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Background Attack Aftermath Evidence Misinformation Analysis Memorial

Oklahoma City Bombing

The Bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City

At 9:02 AM on Wednesday, April 19, 1995 the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, was destroyed, killing 168 people.

The government blames the building's destruction on a progressive structural collapse caused by the detonation of an ammonium nitrate fuel oil (ANFO) bomb packed in the back of a rented Ryder truck that Timothy McVeigh had parked on the street in front of the building.

Parallels to the 9/11/01 Attack

The Murrah Building bombing has a number of parallels to the 9/11/01 attack. Two are that the same engineers created reports supporting the official government explanation of the attack, and that explanations in both cases the damage was blamed on outsiders attacking the buildings from without. 9/11 whistleblower and researcher Kevin Ryan documents commonalities of the investigations in A New Standard For Deception.

Another parallel is that the rare phenomenon of progressive collapse is used to explain the disproportionate extent of the final damage to the alleged cause in both cases. Gene Corley states:

It is important to understand that the bomb blast to the Murrah building was not devastating by itself -- it just so happened that it was located at a critical point which undermined the whole structure of the building. What we discovered as a result of our investigation was that most of the damage and a vast majority of the fatalities were caused by the progressive collapse of the building. 1  

Oklahoma City World Trade Center
investigators Murrah Building Report authors:
  • Dr W. Gene Corley
  • Charles Thornton
  • Paul Mlaker
  • Mete Sozen
Original ASCE team (9/14/01):
  • Dr W. Gene Corley
  • Charles Thornton
  • Paul Mlaker
  • Mete Sozen
buildings destroyed Murrah Federal Building World Trade Center Buildings 1-7
contracted to remove rubble Controlled Demolition Inc. Controlled Demolition Inc.
fate of structural evidence buried recycled
cause blamed by official reports for majority of destruction collapse resulting from truck bomb collapse resulting from plane crashes and fires
type of collapse alleged to explain disproportionate and total collapes progressive collapse progressive collapse
legislation passed in wake of Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 USA PATRIOT Act of 2001

Eglin Blast Effects Study

After the attack, US Air Force explosives experts at Eglin Air Force Base tested the official story by conducting a study of a three-story structure that resembled the Murrah Building structurally. 2   The study, known as the Eglin Blast Effects Study (EBES), concluded that the explosive force from the ANFO bomb could not possibly have caused the pattern of destruction seen in the Murrah Building. 3  

The Oklahoma Bombing Investigation

The most in-depth investigation into the bombing has been performed by the Oklahoma Bombing Investigation headed by Representative Charles Key. The following excerpt from an article in Web Today provides some detail about the work of Key.

Some people do not trust big government. And they trust government investigations even less. One such investigation is the U.S. Government investigation of the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. The person who may have his finger on the pulse better than anyone else in that investigation, is Oklahoma State Representative Charles Key.

Key was an ear-witness to the explosion and lost his first secretary in the blast. Since the ground zero explosion is in the heart of his legislative district, Key spent considerable time meeting with and listening to constituents who lost loved ones in the tragedy.

One of the reoccurring themes he heard was people saying they saw Tim McVeigh near the crime scene with other men but when reporting it to the FBI they got a deaf ear and an attitude kind of like "Our mind is made up. Don't confuse us with the facts."

Representative Key, not to be a party to any perceived cover-up, contacted numerous federal authorities trying to get to the bottom of this seemingly absurd notion that the federal government either did not want to know the truth or was protecting some alleged mole or undercover agent that may have been one of the infamous John Doe suspects.

As time went on, Key concluded that something was very wrong with the federal investigation and stated, The Federal Grand Jury met for several months but during that whole time, not even one of the twenty-plus witnesses who saw a John Doe with Timothy McVeigh were allowed to come before the grand jury.

So Key began the process to impanel a local grand jury, independent of the federal investigation and the federal grand jury. Being a legislator, he was quite familiar with the commonly invoked procedure provided for in the Oklahoma State Constitution guaranteeing citizens the right to assemble a county grand jury.

In his quest to impanel an independent county grand jury, Key met with opposition at nearly every turn. Oklahoma Judge Owens ruled against Key's request and single-handedly rendered the clear State Constitutional provision null and void. Also ganging up on Representative Key were some of the large Oklahoma newspapers that continually trashed him with headlines that were reminiscent of the classic scene from The Wizard of Oz when the Wicked Witch of the West wrote "SURRENDER DOROTHY"; in skywriting with her broom. Closer to home, The Tulsa World editorial headlines screamed, "GIVE IT UP MR. KEY."

However, not every institution was bent on suppressing the truth. On December 24, 1997 The Oklahoma Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Oklahoma State Representative Charles Key's request to investigate the federal government's investigation of the Oklahoma City bombing. The three member panel of appellate judges actively chided Assistant District Attorney Beverly Palmer for attempting to deny the impaneling of the Grand Jury, as she represented District Judge Daniel Owens and his legal arguments. The judges stated that Oklahoma law was clear in giving citizens the right to have a Grand Jury impaneled to investigate matters they deemed necessary and that the petition was legally sufficient in its call.

The ruling would have cleared the way for Key to continue his efforts to have an independent County Grand Jury impaneled, however, Judge Owens and the ruling establishment appealed the case to the Oklahoma Supreme Court. Once again Key was blocked.

In the mean time while the high court was evaluating the request, Representative Key along with survivors and family members of victims of the bombing, continued to raise questions about the federal government's prior knowledge of the bombing, their disinterest in pursuing the many eye witness sightings of multiple "John Does" and the increasingly likely possibility that the some high ranking officials within the federal government were involved in Obstruction of Justice.

Glen Wilburn and his wife Kathy, who lost two grand children in the daycare center of the federal building, joined Key in the petitioning to have the County Grand Jury impaneled. Wilburn, who also has conducted an extensive investigation into the Oklahoma City bombing, stated, "The many witnesses in Kansas, Northern Oklahoma and in Oklahoma City who saw Timothy McVeigh driving the Ryder truck, and in the company of several individuals, have not been allowed to give their testimony yet. The reason we believe that the ATF offices were conspicuously absent that morning of the bombing, is because there was a federal sting operation being conducted the night before of which the ATF lost control. We believe an open and complete investigation of the crime should be brought before the Grand Jury in addition to the other troubling questions involving this case."

Both Wilburn and Key believe the federal government may have been involved in a "sting operation gone bad" similar to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing in New York, as reported in a 1993 article in the New York Times (copy available upon request).

Key, refusing to be silenced by pressure tactics applied by the federal administration and establishment media, aired his government cover-up theory on several dozen radio talk shows. In addition, some of his supporters posted information on the Interne, and Key gave interviews to the few remaining (mostly small or alternative) newspapers that still report news, rather than merely parroting the standard "Associated Propaganda" rhetoric, as do so many lockstep U. S. daily newspapers.

Then in January, 1997, ABC aired a surprisingly well done 20-20 episode with Barbara Walters and Tom Jerrold that gave both dignity and credibility to Charles Key's theories. The segment, the first of a two part series, actually gave credence to the plausibility of a FBI cover-up involving the bombing. Unfortunately, part two never aired. It is widely believed that the U. S. Justice Department applied pressure to ABC to pull part two. Furthermore, it has been said that when Colonel Roger Charles confronted his superiors at ABC as to why they buckled under to outside pressure, he was promptly fired.

Yet all was not lost because on February 18, 1997 the Oklahoma Supreme Court issued a stunning ruled [sic] in favor of Charles Key and against Judge Owens and the federal government, upholding the right for Key and Wilburn to impanel an independent County Grand Jury to investigate the bombing as well as to investigate the federal government investigation of the bombing.

Sadly, the ruling doesn't take effect until Judge Owens signs an order, and currently that action is being stalled. It is now a race to see if Charles Key can impanel a Grand Jury in time to attempt to unearth a possible cover-up of unprecedented proportions, or if the federal government will win their fast track race to put their trial devoid of multiple John Doe witnesses being called. So far the government seems to be in the lead, while Representative Key's hands are tied in, but any day now the ruling will get signed. Time will tell if justice prevails.

Charles Key was elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives District 90 in 1986. He represents the western legislative district where he was raised. He served as Republican Minority Whip from 1988-1990 and currently serves on Criminal Justice Committee, Judiciary Committee, Education Committee, and has formerly served on the Banking and Finance Committee.



1. Testimony of Dr. Gene Corley, P.E., S.E. on Behalf of the American Society of Civil Engineers, ASCE.org, [cached]
2. Case Study Relating Blast Effects Tests to the Events of April 19, 1995 ..., 1/22/97
3. Multiple Blasts in the OCK Bombing: More Evidence, The New American, [cached]
4. Oklahoma City Bombing: Investigating the Investigation, Web Today,

page last modified: 2008-05-16