Was WTC 7 a Dud? by Jeremy Baker
Facts support the theory that World Trade Center Building 7
was originally meant to implode seconds after the North Tower's collapse
The following is a condensed version of the main premise presented
in the original article "Silverstein, Giuliani, WTC 7 and 20-20 Hindsight."
The strange circumstances surrounding the unusual collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 have become a focal point for the researchers, writers and activists who have committed themselves to reopening the books on 9/11. Many of these people believe that the anomalous collapse of Building 7 is a 9/11 smoking gun, the Achilles' heel in the official version of what occurred on that day. The obvious controlled demolition of the building, proven so conclusively in several videos we have of its collapse, has been supported by other key pieces of evidence as well. These points taken together have proven to the satisfaction of most 9/11 researchers that WTC 7 was brought down not by fires weakening its superstructure, as claimed by the authorities, but was instead destroyed by an explosive system that could only have been installed in the building prior to 9/11.
After allegedly being struck by the North Tower's plummeting debris, fires were said to have been ignited in WTC 7 that grew throughout the day and finally compromised the building's steel structure, causing it to suddenly drop like a stone late in the afternoon. But gaping holes in this scenario have done nothing but arouse suspicion and disbelief in those who've carefully examined the evidence. Rather than presenting a viable scenario for Building 7's destruction, the inexplicable features of its collapse have instead helped to fuel broader speculation that 9/11 was essentially an inside job, an attempt by traitors within our own ranks to generate support for imperialist agendas that could otherwise never withstand the light of day.
So, for those who agree that WTC 7 was indeed brought down with a preplanted explosives system — the last act in a "psy-op" that included the destruction of the entire World Trade Center complex on 9/11 — then the next question becomes: Why did the conspirators wait until the end of the day to do it? What possible reason would they have to keep WTC 7 up all day long? In the four years or so since the unofficial citizens investigation into 9/11 began, no one has offered any sensible answers to this question. But the list of compelling reasons why waiting seven hours after the attacks to bring Building 7 down was not a good idea is long and hard to ignore.
If keeping WTC 7 up for so long after the attacks has proven so threatening to the plot's success and its subsequent coverup, why would the plotters have done it? Only two possibilities logically present themselves; 1) there was some absolutely critical but, as yet, undetermined reason to keep the building intact for so long, or 2) it wasn't originally meant to come down when it did. Since absolutely no compelling case has been made for the former possibility, circumstances appear to support the latter. Is it possible that WTC 7's explosive system didn't operate as planned, a disastrous glitch in an otherwise well conceived plan? The following is a presentation of points that appear to support this theory, one that paints a dramatically different picture of what theorists previously thought had occurred throughout the day on 9/11.
Piecing together a factual account of what happened that afternoon is certainly difficult without confirmation from inside sources, but surely the known facts support a scenario similar to this one: The conspirators, possibly operating out of the mayor's Office of Emergency Management (OEM) on the 23rd floor of WTC 7, first, orchestrated the collision of the planes into their targets, igniting fires that spread throughout the upper floors of both towers and allegedly causing structural damage to the building's steel superstructure. They then armed and programmed the explosive system in the safely distant South Tower and, at the optimum moment, pushed the button and brought the building crashing to the ground.
Next, they programmed the explosives in the North Tower and, if the conspirators were indeed situated in the mayor's emergency bunker, chose this moment to exit WTC 7 and move to a secure location before taking the next steps in their plan. This scenario is supported by comments Rudy Giuliani made to ABC News and Peter Jennings; "We were operating out of there [the OEM] when we were told that the World Trade Center was gonna collapse, and it did collapse before we could get out of the building." This confirms that Giuliani was indeed manning his OEM bunker and that Tower Two (the first building to fall) collapsed before the mayor and his people were able to (or chose to) exit WTC 7.
The perpetrators, now relocated to a backup position, then prepared for the demolition of the North Tower and WTC 7. This secondary control center may also have been referred to in another report that the mayor was operating out of "a makeshift command post at 75 Barkley Street," just north of and adjacent to WTC 7. There, the conspirators waited for the appropriate moment and then remotely detonated the explosives in the North Tower and brought it down as well, the building shredding itself in a way oddly identical to the South Tower's collapse.
As the North Tower fell, a massive cloud of debris shot into the sky and enshrouded most of lower Manhattan, much as it had after the collapse of the South Tower. In seconds, this dense cloud of powdered debris rose and obscured the surrounding buildings. Then, when most of WTC 7 was hidden from view, the conspirators pushed the button on the explosive system in this building as well, the thick cloud of debris obscuring any signs that WTC 7 was being intentionally demolished.
After the smoke had cleared and the events of the day were relegated to history, any lingering questions as to why WTC 7 came down seconds after Tower One's collapse would be easily fielded with a list of invented but plausible excuses that, in the absence of visual evidence to the contrary, would be quite believable. In the wake of the attacks, the stories about debris from Tower One impacting the electrical substation and 40,000 gallon deisel tank located on Building 7's ground floors — causing massive internal explosions that kicked the building's feet out from under it — would've made good sense, providing a satisfactory if implausible excuse for those who had doubts about Building 7's demise. The 32 story Marriott Vista hotel, located between the Twin Towers, was completely leveled by the collapse of these buildings and has been all but forgotten in a world that barely recalls the life and times of WTC 7.
But, as fate would have it, things didn't go according to plan. Incredibly, when the conspirators pushed the button on WTC 7, nothing happened. For whatever reason, the explosive system in WTC 7 had failed and the building stubbornly remained intact. In an instant, the success of an elaborate plot to entirely destroy a New York City landmark (one that, according to many people who lived and worked in the area, had been obsolete for years and become a blight on lower Manhattan) had fallen into confusion.
Faced with a plan that had gone terribly awry, the conspirators then scrambled to bring the demolition system in WTC 7 back online, a task that may have taken hours, well past the time when the handy cloud of debris had dissipated. In the meantime, a new scenario had to be concocted to "cover" what would otherwise be the forthcoming but completely unexplained collapse of WTC 7. In their desperation and haste, the perps finally made the decision to reenter Building 7 and set fires that they hoped would spread and eventually serve as a pretext for the building's collapse. The fire-caused-the-collapse scenario would likely serve them well considering the fact that they'd used the same scheme in the towers earlier that day.
Though its difficult to pin down exactly what happened next, some facts support the following scenario, or variations thereof: The perpetrators reentered WTC 7 and climbed to the 7th floor, the location of the OEM's emergency generators (this floor would become the scene of the lower of the two fires that were soon to be burning in the building). If, as many theorists suggest, the conspirators were indeed OEM men, they would not only have had access to this floor (in a building that had been evacuated and presumably secured), they would also have had deisel fuel in abundance to use as an accellerant to spark their dummy fire.
Next, they ascended to floor 12, one of three floors occupied by the SEC, and sparked blazes in this location as well (floor 12 was the location of the upper of the two fires that were photographed burning in the building). Besides creating another flash point for fire, this may have been done to assure that, in case the explosive system failed again, incriminating evidence in this location was certain to be destroyed no matter what might occur. The conspirators then exited the building and watched the fires grow, hopefully to a crescendo that would serve as a plausible pretext for the building's collapse.
Eventually the explosive system was brought back online and the only thing left to do was wait for the fires to build. But, as we saw, the fires never grew to convincing proportions. Despite their best efforts and training, the conspirators were completely unprepared for this contingency, and it showed. Even as late as 3 PM, the fires in WTC 7 were still marginal and struggling. Unlike the towers, these fires were oxygen starved by windows that hadn't been shattered and couldn't be opened. In fact, the fires remained so small they were barely visible from outside the building until quite late in the day and never approached the size necessary to pass them off as the catalyst for the building's collapse.
The insignificant fires burning in WTC 7 have always been a sticking point for 9/11 researchers who rightfully doubt that fires so small could ever have brought the building down. Indeed, in all the history of firefighting, no steel-framed high-rise has ever collapsed due to fire. Even in the case of major infernos that entirely engulfed such buildings in the past, no office fire had ever burnt hot enough to compromise the strength of the massive steel beams that support these structures. The physics simply do not support this phenomenon — that is, of course, with one exception. On 9/11, the laws of physics were apparently suspended and three such anomalies occurred. Those who argue that the towers fell because the planes caused structural damage in addition to fire damage cannot, however, apply this theory to the anomalous collapse of WTC 7.
But, despite the difficulties confronting the perpetrators, the bottom line was that Building 7 had to go. If WTC 7 was indeed an operations and control center for this sprawling conspiracy, it was, essentially, a crime scene that needed to be destroyed. It was also the only WTC building left standing, making the plan to level the entire complex incomplete. This theory is supported by the fact that, throughout the day, absolutely no effort was made to save this extremely sensitive and valuable building (one that housed several key governmental and intelligence agencies) that was being threatened by only modest fires. This is all the more baffling when you consider that WTC 7 must have had a built in fire suppression system of some kind as well, one that presumably would have made short work of such a marginal threat.
So, despite the fact that, even towards the end of the day, the fires in WTC 7 remained barely significant (from a fire engineering standpoint), the culprits finally made the decision to pull the plug on WTC 7 and rely on their formidable propaganda machinery to bulldoze any doubts that might arise. The conspirators couldn't logically wait any longer because a burgeoning army of firefighters and rescue workers had recovered from their shock and were descending on Ground Zero to begin the lengthy search and rescue effort that began that evening. For those who desperately needed the building destroyed, it was then or never and, in an effort to finally wrap things up, they put the demolition process in motion by clearing personnel from around the base of Building 7. Then, when they could wait no longer, they put an end to the spectacle at 5:25 PM, dropping Building 7 neatly within its footprint, an obvious controlled implosion so perfect it would have earned any demolition company a bonus.
Needless to say, the theory outlined above is a significant departure from beliefs previously held by the broad community of 9/11 conspiracy advocates concerning what happened to WTC 7 that afternoon. Any paradigm shift of this magnitude relating to an event as grave as 9/11 will likely undergo intense scrutiny, as it should. But we needn't go far to find precedent for the scenario outlined above. All we need do is go back in time six years, to 1995.
There are many intriguing correlations between the September 11th attacks on the WTC and the bombing of the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City. Both events enabled draconian domestic security provisions to be signed into law shortly thereafter. Both sites were quickly and discretely cleaned up by the same company, Controlled Demolition, Inc., whose conduct, in both cases, sparked criticism from fire investigators who felt that not enough had been done to examine the evidence. In addition, both attacks employed much the same scheme: a primary event "covered" the real cause of the destruction — explosive systems preplanted in the buildings. In OK City, a rental truck packed with crude explosives "covered" the simultaneous detonation of bombs planted in the Murrah Building. In Manhattan, two passenger jets caused destruction that "covered" the tower's eventual demolition — again, the result of bombs previously planted throughout the Twin Towers.
But there's another parallel that bears examination, one that does much to support the theory at hand. After the smoke had cleared in downtown OK City, it was discovered that two of the bombs planted in the Murrah Building had failed to explode, a fact that was reported nightly on local TV news programs for a week or two after the bombing. And these reports were more than just rumors. Sources included FBI agents, police and firefighters. The OK City bomb squad was called out as well and got to work disarming these charges before they could do any more damage. Even Oklahoma governor Frank Keating confirmed the story to the media before it disappeared from the airwaves forever (Alex Jones presents an excellent montage of these reports in his video 9/11 The Road to Tyranny).
Consider how this astonishing fact conflicts with what are by now historical accounts that the building was destroyed only by the crude fertilizer bomb constructed and detonated by lone wolf Timothy McVeigh. And any allusions we may have had that the guys who orchestrated the attacks of 9/11 were criminal masterminds who had covered every angle is neatly dispelled when we consider this previously botched job. Certainly this kind of breakdown on the part of shady, covert operatives, or "asteroids," is not unprecedented.
Imagine the state of mind of the conspirators as they watched their plan to destroy one of the world's most recognizable landmarks (and, of course, violently murder thousands of innocent people) unfold before their eyes. Even the most jaded covert operative wouldn't likely remain unrattled after having perpetrated such an outrage. Again, the idea that these guys were able to calmly meet every contingency or work magic under that kind of pressure certainly shouldn't be taken for granted. And let's not forget what Deepthroat said to Bob Woodward during his investigation into yet another botched "op": "Truth is, these aren't very bright guys and things got out of hand."
And well they may have. Reentering Building 7 in a spur of the moment attempt to ignite crude fires is a potentially dangerous enterprise. Whatever the conspirators may have used to spark their fires, the potential for trouble with an ill-considered plan for arson is high. Reports that a body was found in the remains of Building 7 are intriguing for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that other reports claim that there were no casualties in WTC 7 whatsoever. Nonetheless, the US House of Representatives website posts a tribute to Secret Service Special Officer Craig Miller whose body was found in the rubble of Building 7 after he'd apparently perished during the "rescue effort" that day. But what really happened to Officer Miller — Secret Service Special Officer Miller? Not a firefighter. Not a rescue worker or cop — a secret service special agent.
Who on earth were you rescuing, Officer Miller? WTC 7 had been evacuated. Could this man have been an amateur arsonist who got too close to his fire? Could he have sabotaged the explosive system in WTC 7 because he got cold feet about his role in one of the cruelest deceptions in history and paid for it with his life? This man's autopsy records might shed some light on the matter. The story of WTC lessee Larry Silverstein claiming to have 'pulled' WTC 7 is well known among 9/11 researchers. The only explanation that's ever been offered in his defense was that he meant 'pull' the firefighters out of the "dangerously burning" building. But if that were true, why didn't Officer Miller get the message?
Not only were the suspicious facts of his death ignored by the media but Officer Miller was then posthumously granted hero status as someone who had allegedly died during the phantom "rescue effort" in this empty building. We saw this phenomenon applied to many key governmental figures in the wake of 9/11 — officials who, instead of being held accountable for their criminal negligence in regard to the attacks, were afterwards sold as "American heroes" and sometimes even promoted. And, as you'll see, nowhere was this ploy more at work than in the case of "Man of the Year" and "America's Mayor," Rudy Giuliani.
WTC 7, or the Solomon Brothers Building, had been owned by Manhattan real estate mogul Larry Silverstein since the '80s and was the HQ for his development company, Westfield America, for years. Building 7 was also the NYC home of the Secret Service, SEC, DoD, IRS, CIA and a handful of private financial institutions. But WTC 7 also housed Rudy Giuliani's Office of Emergency Management (OEM), long considered by theorists as a possible operations center for the attacks. This $13 million doomsday bunker, meant to be used in the event of a catastrophe like a terrorist attack or natural disaster, was oddly located in the midst of the number one terrorist target in the western hemisphere. Isn't one ill-advised to locate their emergency command facility where it will likely be destroyed in the event of an actual emergency? This incomprehensible choice of venues for the mayor's emergency bunker is even more troubling when you consider the fact that the WTC had already been attacked once in 1993. This extremely unheroic plan to locate the OEM at the WTC then went on to prove its absurdity on 9/11 when, according to the official account, the occupants of the OEM were forced to abandon it after the first tower collapsed. This and other compelling points support the hypothesis mentioned above, that the OEM was just a front for the conspirators attack operations center. Now that would explain the poor choice of locations.
Many researchers believe that shadowy elements within the agencies housed in WTC 7 are prime suspects in this sprawling conspiracy. To these theorists, Building 7 is a kind of nexus for the planning and execution of what may well have been the most audacious "black-op" or, more accurately, "false flag" operation in the history of covert actions. If they are correct, Building 7 was literally a nest of suspicious activity and its remaining intact may well have been a catastrophe for those who were counting on its destruction.
As 9/11 researchers are well aware, Larry Silverstein took over control of the entire World Trade Center just a few weeks before the attacks of 9/11, the first time the WTC had changed hands in thirty years and the first time it had come under private control. In an interview in a 2002 PBS documentary called America Rebuilds, he described being on the phone with the FDNY commander on the afternoon of 9/11 and coming to the conclusion that there had "been such terrible loss of life maybe the smartest thing to do is, is 'pull' it," (referring to WTC 7). Then, according to Silverstein, "they made that decision to 'pull' and we watched the building collapse" (the same documentary quotes a demo worker, "well, we're getting ready to 'pull' building 6," moments before its burnt out carcass was demolished — a comment that appears to connect the word "pull" even more closely to the actual act of demolition).
Many have asked how he could possibly have been so careless as to make such an admission publicly. But what if circumstances compelled him to do so? What if his comments were a discrete response to growing suspicions surrounding the botched attempt to 'pull' WTC 7 earlier in the day? The powers-that-be have brazenly used PBS programming to spin other aspects of 9/11. The NOVA program that espoused the theory of the "pancaking" of the Twin Tower's floors is infamous in the 9/11 skeptics community. PBS programs relating to 9/11 typically feature "experts" who unanimously support the party line.
With WTC 7's obvious demolition caught on film from at least three excellent perspectives, it's an understatement to say that the conspirators had a big problem on their hands. Could it be that Silverstein's comments about 'pulling' WTC 7 were a carefully choreographed "hang out" of the issue? Using Karl Rove-like sleight of hand, he offers a vague accounting of the anomaly delivered to us on an almost subconscious level. Paradoxically, his comments may have been intended to steer us in the exact opposite direction — that, despite how it may have appeared, heroes in high places stepped up and made the tough choices.
The expression 'pull' relates to the word 'demolition' in much the same way that the expression 'wind up' relates to the word 'pitch.' In this sense, Silverstein's use of the word 'pull' to mean 'demolition' seems clear and may also have served to cover the sudden and suspicious evacuation of personnel from around the base of WTC 7 shortly before its bizarre suicide. A photographer on the scene described the evacuation of firefighters as they "prepared for the collapse of Building 7...I was 150 yards away when I saw the firefighters raising the flag." What? It's understandable that, given the events of the day, the authorities might consider preparing for this extremely remote possibility, just to be safe. But for these guys to 'pull' Building 7 and then have it come down right on cue when there's absolutely no precedent for such a phenomenon is just too much coincidence to stomach.
There are other factors to be considered as well. The alleged damage to Building 7's south face, caused by debris from the collapse of Tower One, was the official cause of the fires that the authorities then sanctioned as being the "likely" cause of the building's collapse. Hundreds of photos of Ground Zero taken throughout the day show every detail of the devastation, yet pictures of Building 7's damaged south face, "raging" fires and billowing smoke are conspicuously absent. Certainly this spectacle would have caught the eye of any photographer recording the aftermath of the attacks. Doesn't this lack of photographic evidence support the idea that, after things went wrong that morning, photographers on the scene would have their materials confiscated and vetted by the authorities, much as they had been at the Pentagon (and Oklahoma City for that matter)? Any photographs of the suspicious lack of damage to Building 7 (evidence that would prove the official account untenable) would disappear forever. Isn't it extremely suspicious that absolutely no pictures of WTC 7's south face have ever been released to the public, an astounding revelation when you consider the key role this alleged debris damage played in the days events.
In addition, aerial photos of Ground Zero appear to confirm that the debris raining down from Tower One's collapse fell well short of WTC 7. These photos show a huge crater in the roof of WTC 6 (the low-rise building standing between Tower One and Building 7), the result of damage caused by this debris. This crater provides a clear imprint of the limits of the destruction and, despite some bits and pieces of rubble that made their way across a full city block to WTC 7's location, the bulk of the truly destructive wreckage clearly fell safely short of Building 7.
Another even more stunning fact is that pictures of the two buildings flanking WTC 7 clearly show that they were barely scratched by the debris that had somehow, according to Popular Mechanics magazine, "scooped out" 25% of Building 7's depth. In fact, both of these structures still stand in near pristine condition, shoulder to shoulder with WTC 7, despite their being well within the same radius of destruction. And what about the debris from the identical South Tower (or Tower Two)? Did it cause similar damage to its neighbors? Apparently not. The photos in question also show that the Banker's Trust Building, a building similar in size to WTC 7 (but not a WTC building), standing just across the street from the South Tower, suffered no such catastrophic damage and it certainly didn't catch on fire and collapse.
And another thing. We all remember 9/11. The eyes of the world were focused on lower Manhattan. Helicopters were circling the area all day long, the television coverage never let up, not even for commercials. Are we really to believe that no aerial video exists of WTC 7 going down, especially when the FDNY was apparently preparing for its collapse — film clips that would surely tell the story of what happened to Building 7 and clearly show the damage (or lack thereof) on the south face of WTC 7? As mentioned before, Building 7's fires (meager though they were) and its billowing cloud of black smoke would surely have attracted the attention of videographers recording the aftermath of the attacks from above — dramatic images reminiscent of the smoking towers aired earlier that day. It's always been a keen frustration to 9/11 researchers (and a chilling example of media suppression) that the only videos we do have of Building 7 falling to the ground were all distant shots taken from the north, precisely the wrong angle to shed light on the matter.
If dropping Building 7 late in the day on 9/11 was really part of the original plan, wouldn't the plotters have concocted a far more believable and well-constructed scenario to "cover" its collapse (much as they had for the Twin Towers and the Murrah Building), especially when they knew that Ground Zero would be center stage on every TV and computer screen on the planet that night? Instead we got tiny, insignificant fires, and a long list of nagging questions that have only served to arouse widespread suspicion.
What does the body of a Secret Service Special Agent in the rubble of WTC 7 most likely indicate; 1) that a well-planned scheme had just gone off without a hitch, or 2) that some kind of major breakdown had occurred that day? How could Officer Miller have died except by malfeasance? WTC 7 had been evacuated before it was hit by falling debris and the lazy fires building in its belly couldn't possibly have caught a healthy Secret Service agent off-guard. Under the circumstances, isn't the absurd claim that this man died during the "rescue effort" that day clearly a smokescreen for something that's being carefully kept under wraps?
Isn't it odd that the FDNY seemingly just gave up on such an exceedingly important and valuable building as WTC 7, one that had only marginal fires burning on two floors? Wouldn't the conspirators have preferred wrapping things up in one fell swoop that morning rather than prolonging the spectacle any longer than necessary? Why wasn't Rudy Giuliani kept well away from what was obviously an attack on lower Manhattan? And the bewildering notion that the conspirators originally planned to spend the day in the OEM orchestrating the aftermath of the attacks in the upper floors of a burning building is really stretching credulity to the breaking point.
All of the anomalies listed above and the many disturbing questions following in the wake of WTC 7's suspicious collapse would have been neatly and easily dispensed with had the building been demolished while hidden beneath the dust cloud kicked up by Tower One's collapse. But with clear video footage of Building 7's belated and obvious demolition, the talk of the electrical substation and deisel tank exploding and causing the collapse has always rung hollow and has generated rather than mollified suspicion.
Nothing about WTC 7 remaining intact throughout the day before finally and obviously being demolished has ever made any sense at all. But if WTC 7 was brought down as it was hidden by the debris cloud rising from the rubble of Tower One, no one would have asked another question about it and what many theorists consider to be a 9/11 smoking gun would have vanished into obscurity. Certainly this theory is supported by the evidence and deserves consideration by the broad community of 9/11 skeptics.
Copyright Darkprints July 2005
This article is part of an ongoing investigation into the theory outlined above. If you have additional information that supports this new take on WTC 7's last hours, please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks to David Ray Griffin for his invaluable assistance.
For a video of Silverstein's comments about 'pulling' WTC 7 go to www.infowars.com/print/Sept11/FDNY.htm. To see three excellent videos of WTC 7 imploding, go to www.wtc7.net/videos.html.
Jeremy Baker has written a revised and updated version of this article,
also available on this website: Last Building Standing
A copy of the entire Serendipity website is available on CD-ROM. Details here.
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