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The Ground Zero Grassy Knoll

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Hot Zone: The fact that people, like the woman in this picture, could survive near the impact zone suggests the fires weren’t hot enough to melt structural steel.   

However, you always get to the part where the president’s head explodes in a flash and shower of blood. It remains a horrible, frozen moment. One look and I am back in geometry class at Francis Lewis High School, the principal’s voice on the loudspeaker saying that the president had been shot, that he was “dead.”

Speaking with the widows, or simply walking by a firehouse, was a teleportation back to the raw unspun brutality of the Day. This isn’t as much of a stretch as it sounds, since I was there on September 11.

I’d just walked right into what would come to be called ground zero. No one stopped me. I knew the towers had fallen, seen it on TV. Still, I didn’t expect things that big to totally disappear, as if the ground had swallowed them up.

“Where are the towers?” I asked a fireman. “Under your foot” was the reply.

Hours later, I sat down beside another, impossibly weary firefighter. Covered with dust, he was drinking a bottle of Poland Spring water. Half his squad was missing. They’d gone into the South Tower and never come out. Then, almost as a non sequitur, the fireman indicated the building in front of us, maybe 400 yards away.

“That building is coming down,” he said with a drained casualness.

“Really?” I asked. At 47 stories, it would be a skyscraper in most cities, centerpiece of the horizon. But in New York, it was nothing but a nondescript box with fire coming out of the windows. “When?”

“Tonight . . . Maybe tomorrow morning.”

This was around 5:15 p.m. I know because five minutes later, at 5:20, the building, 7 World Trade Center, crumbled.

“Shit!” I screamed, unsure which way to run, because who knows which way these things fall. As it turned out, I wasn’t in any danger, since 7 WTC appeared to drop straight down. I still have dreams about the moment. Even then, the event is oddly undramatic, just a building falling.

Now the 9/11 Truth movement tells me I saw much more. According to Jim Hoffman, a software engineer and physicist from Alameda, California, where he authors the site 911research.wtc7.net, what I saw was a “classic controlled demolition.” This was why, Hoffman contends, 7 WTC dropped so rapidly (in about 6.6 seconds, or almost at the speed of a free-falling object) and so neatly, into its “own footprint.”

For 7 WTC to collapse unaided at that speed, Hoffman says, would mean “its 58 perimeter columns and 25 central columns of structural steel would have to have been shattered at almost the same instant, so unlikely as to be impossible.”

What happened at 7 WTC might be the key to the entire mystery of September 11, contends Hoffman. The $500 million insurance profit made by Larry Silverstein is a garden-variety motive, but the list of 7 WTC tenants sets conspiracy heads spinning.

To wit: The IRS, the Department of Defense, and the CIA kept offices on the 25th floor. The Secret Service occupied the ninth and tenth. The Securities and Exchange Commission (home to vast records of bank transactions) was on floors 11 through 13. The 23rd floor was home to Rudy Giuliani’s Office of Emergency Management, his crisis center. If this wasn’t enough, the mortgage of 7 WTC was held by the Blackstone Group, headed by Pete Peterson, chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations, stalwart players in any NWO MIHOP.

In the 9/11 Truth cosmology, the destruction of 7 World Trade Center is akin to Jack Ruby’s shooting Lee Harvey Oswald. Seven WTC was the home of secrets. It had to go. Central to the scenario is a comment made by Silverstein in a 2002 PBS documentary.

“We’re like the minutemen of Revolutionary times, prosecutors in the discovery phase of a trial that’s sure to come,” says Les Jamieson.

“We’ve had such a terrible loss of life,” he quotes himself as saying on 9/11. “Maybe the smartest thing to do is pull it.”

Pull it,” as Truth people never tire of repeating, is the term usually used for controlled demolition.

These were vexing questions, especially since 7 WTC is not even mentioned in The 9/11 Commission Report. Nor is the building given much shrift in the subsequent “Final Report on the Collapse of World Trade Center Towers,” compiled by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

And there I was, thinking all I saw was a building falling down.

8. The Magician and the Expert
A few days after the St. Mark’s meeting, I went to a Community Board No. 1 forum where the NIST report would be discussed. The meeting was in the Woolworth Building, the world’s tallest structure when it was completed in 1913. Since it was still standing, it seemed a good place to talk about the only former world’s tallest building(s) to fall down. I was with William Rodriguez, who, as he always does, brought along his video camera, “so they know I’m watching them.”


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