Eyewitnesses Recalled Explosions, No Alarms or Sprinklers
The collapses of the Twin Towers were witnessed firsthand by scores of people, most of them emergency responders. The majority of those accounts have been suppressed by the state for years. In August of 2005, the New York Times published the single largest and most authoritative body of eyewitness evidence yet assembled, as a result of winning a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. 1 Another body of evidence, which we have yet to examine, is a set of recordings of calls processed by the 911 system on the day of 9/11/01 and released in 2006. 2
Accounts Earlier Made Public
Prior to the release of the oral histories, eyewitness reports with descriptions of the World Trade Center building collapses came from a variety of diverse sources, such as mainstream media, documentaries, and the Web.
Eyewitness Jeff Birnbaum, president of Broadway Electrical Supply Co., New York, recalled events in the South Tower:
Eyewitness Neil deGrasse Tyson recounted his recollection of explosions at the onset of the collapses in an e-mail he sent to his family on the day after the attack:
As I dress for survival: boots, flashlight, wet towels, swimming goggles, bicycle helmet, gloves, I hear another explosion followed by a now all-too familiar rumble that signaled the collapse of WTC 1, the first of the two towers to have been hit. I saw the iconic antenna on this building descend straight down in an implosion twinning the first.
The video 9/11, The Greatest Lie Ever Sold contains several excerpts of video reports in which witnesses describe what they saw and heard. In the first, a reporter gives the following account:
The second excerpt records the impressions of an amateur videographer:
The third excerpt, a man in talk-show format panel states:
The final clip shows a man in a hospital bed, with a video banner reading "AMERICA RESPONDS". He states:
Neil deGrasse Tyson provided a graphic description of the South Tower collapse in an e-mail sent to his family and friends on 9/12/01.
John Bussey, foreign editor for the Wall Street Journal described the collapse of the South Tower thusly:
Other accounts are in the form of video records. One is of firefighters recalling detonations [MPEG video] in the South Tower, in a firehouse discussion:
fireman2: We made it outside, we made it about a block. fireman1: We made it at least 2 blocks. fireman2: 2 blocks. fireman1: and we started runnin' fireman2: poch-poch-poch-poch-poch-poch-poch fireman1: Floor by floor it started poppin' out .. fireman2: It was as if as if they had detonated, det.. fireman1: yea detonated yea fireman2: as if they had planned to take down a building, boom-boom-boom-boom-boom-boom-boom-boom ... fireman1: All the way down, I was watchin it, and runnin' fireman3: Just ran up west street. fireman1: Then you just sort of ... this cloud of s___ just chasin' you down fireman4: Where did you go? fireman3: Just ran up west street. fireman2: You couldn't outrun it. fireman1: You couldn't outrun it. fireman4: So what did you do? fireman2: I jumped behind a battalion car, I hid under the car, I was waitin' to die.
In another video, a worker at Ground Zero describes what was found in the rubble in the way of objects other than the Towers' steel.
You have two 110 story office buildings. You don't find a desk. You don't find a chair. You don't find a telephone, a computer. The biggest piece of a telephone I found was half of a keypad, and it was about this big: (makes a shape with his hand about 4 inches in diameter) The building collapsed to dust.
Other Eyewitness Reports
The following eyewitness compared the scene to a Hollywood disaster movie, as did many other people.
When we got to about 50 feet from the South Tower, we heard the most eerie sound that you would ever hear. A high-pitched noise and a popping noise made everyone stop. We all looked up. At the point, it all let go. The way I see it, it had to be the rivets. The building let go. There was an explosion and the whole top leaned toward us and started coming down.
I stood there for a second in total awe, and then said, "What the F_____?" I honestly thought it was Hollywood. 7
2. In New 9/11 Tapes, Glimpses of Loss, Struggles and Valor, 8/16/06
3. Online petitions allow 9/11 skeptics to speak out, Daily Beacon, 2/6/02 [cached]
4. On the Scene at the WTC, Electrical Wholesaling, 2/1/02 [cached]
5. An Eye-Witness Account of the World Trade Center Attacks..., The Planetary Society, [cached]
6. Running Toward Danger: Stories Behind The Breaking News of 9/11, 2002, page 87
7. Broadway Electrical Supply's Jeff Birnbaum recounts his experience..., ceenews.com, 2/13/02 [cached]