By Craig McKee
Shortly before 5 p.m. on Sept. 11, 2001, BBC World reporter Jane Standley told a TV audience that World Trade Center Building 7 had just collapsed, the third WTC building to fall that day as the result of supposed terrorist attacks.
The problem was that the 47-storey office tower was still clearly visible over her left shoulder during the entire live report. Roughly 23 minutes after this “mistake” the building actually did fall. How did the BBC know this would happen? Where did the premature report of the destruction of the building come from?
While the BBC has claimed that it was simply an error, they have made no effort to provide the public with the source of their information (Standley says she doesn’t remember what she said on camera). It is also interesting that Standley’s video feed broke up at around 5:14 p.m., sparing us the site of the building actually coming down while she talked live about it as having already happened. The BBC now claims that it has lost all original tapes of its 9/11 coverage…
Incredibly, this isn’t the only example of a broadcaster reporting a collapse when it hadn’t yet happened. A female reporter on Britain’s ITN states that the second tower is “crumbling” and “near collapse” when it is clearly still standing. Then a male colleague says there are “collapses” on the second tower when there were none. Yet.
Fox news also reported several minutes before the collapse that:
“…we are getting word from New York that another building has collapsed and we understand this is a 47-storey building … is that smoke coming from this third collapse? Take a look at that right hand of the screen. It’s going down right now.”
If you listen to the eyewitness accounts of many who were on the scene, you’ll find that British journalists were not the only ones who seemed to know about the collapse in advance. News footage shows a New York City policeman moving people away from the building, telling them: “Watch that building; it’s coming down soon.” Former Air Force medic Kevin McPadden reported that he heard the last three seconds of a countdown from a radio held by a Red Cross worker, which ended with the collapse of the building. This has not been confirmed by any other source.
Even more bizarre was the statement made by Larry Silverstein who had acquired the lease for the World Trade Center, including Building 7, a couple of months before. Silverstein made billions of dollars profit once the insurance claims for the destruction of the WTC were settled.
Silverstein, in a TV interview with PBS, said:
“I remember getting a call from the fire department commander telling me that they were not sure they were going to be able to contain the fire. I said, ‘We’ve had such a terrible loss of life, the smartest thing to do would is to pull it. And they made that decision to pull, and then we watched the building collapse.”
It seemed clear that Silverstein was saying that a decision had been made to bring the building down in a controlled demolition. But how could this fit with the terrorist attack scenario? It would certainly take weeks to set up the explosive charges to bring the building down. It’s not something you could do in a day.
And if explosives were placed in advance of the attacks in Building 7, then couldn’t they have been placed in the twin towers also?
Silverstein later backtracked, saying that he meant that he recommended that they “pull” the contingent of firefighters out of the building. Nice try. All firefighters had been ordered out of the building several hours before. The fire department commander would not have told Silverstein otherwise. And having demolished a number of buildings before, Silverstein was well aware what “pull it” means in industry jargon.
Why did this angle get almost no attention from the media? For that matter, why did we hear almost nothing about Building 7 after Sept. 11?
Consider also a statement made by Fox News reporter Jeff Scott Shapiro (who operates a web site that praises George W. Bush). He tries to say there was no government conspiracy but ends up only adding fuel to fire, so to speak. Here’s what he said:
“Shortly before the building collapsed, several NYPD officers and Con-Edison workers told me that Larry Silverstein, the property developer of One World Financial Center was on the phone with his insurance carrier to see if they would authorize the controlled demolition of the building – since its foundation was already unstable and expected to fall. A controlled demolition would have minimized the damage caused by the building’s imminent collapse and potentially save lives. Many law enforcement personnel, firefighters and other journalists were aware of this possible option. There was no secret. There was no conspiracy.”
Shapiro says he heard no sounds of explosions right before the building fell, seeming to argue against the demolition theory. But what he heard from the police suggests the building was brought down intentionally. He doesn’t seem to see the contradiction. And he doesn’t seem to realize that you can’t just demolish a building on a few hours notice.
If you have problems believing that the twin towers were brought down in a controlled demolition, start by looking at Building 7. Look at all the improbable aspects of the destruction of this steel-framed building. If what happened to it can’t be explained, then the whole 9/11 official story is in doubt.
Of all the World Trade Center buildings, number 7 received the least damage – fires on a few floors and some structural damage to its south face from falling debris. But there was nothing that would have caused a collapse at near free fall speed. Even the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which supports the official story down the line, admits that falling debris played no role in the collapse of Building 7.
By the way, the first part of the building to start falling was the penthouse on the roof. It starts the collapse even though it hadn’t been damaged by debris and it wasn’t on fire.
By the way, fire – even if it comes from exploding jet fuel – doesn’t burn nearly hot enough to melt steel. Other steel buildings have sustained great fire damage over many hours and many floors without collapsing. In fact, only three steel-framed buildings have ever collapsed because of fire – all on Sept. 11, 2001.
This isn’t the whole story of the Building 7 collapse, not by a long shot. In my next post, you’ll hear more about the physical evidence, including molten metal in the rubble and the powerful explosions reported by a city employee hours before the building collapsed.
Oh, and one more thing: the destruction of Building 7 was not even mentioned in the main body of the 9/11 Commission Report…