Andrew Johnson (
Based on a report which contains
Morgan Reynolds s Russ Gerst s Jeff Strahl
CB Brooklyn s Cathy Palmer
(Audio Discussion of this artcle with Prof Jim Fetzer Here)
Listening to Those Who Were There
A repeated pondering of the answers to questions (a) and (b) can lead on to a re-examination of other data about 9/11. Such a re-examination of existing data was proposed by Attorney Jerry Leaphart, in September 2007. Jerry brought to our attention the accounts / “oral histories” as given by over 500 Emergency Service “First Responders” to the 9/11 Tragedy, as posted on the New York Times Website, at the link given below.
These accounts were published on 12th August 2005. Jerry originally tasked us with analysing the accounts of the responders to see what was contained in their accounts of 9/11 about seeing the plane crashes – particularly the 2nd one. We therefore shared our findings and they are discussed in the report linked at the end of this article.
However, I must pause for a moment and say that, whatever the conclusions of this study and however it is interpreted, we must pay a large tribute and debt of thanks to those people who responded on the day of 9/11 and think of the lives they undoubtedly saved and the injuries they helped to prevent. Many of them have suffered severely due to the adverse long term health effects of the dust they worked in while working to save people. I hope for their sake, too, that we can learn the truth about 9/11.
I decided to go “one step further” and, once I had downloaded all 500 accounts, I used text searching software to scan all the accounts and determine, primarily where each person was when the 2nd plane is supposed to have hit the tower. I also tried to determine where witnesses were when the 1st crash occurred. I then entered all this information into a database, which allowed me to more easily count who saw or heard the 2nd plane. (All the details of how this was done are contained in the report.)
In going through the accounts, I also decided to look for any use the words “Missile” or “Rocket”, “Plane Parts”, “Luggage/Suitcases”, “Landing Gear” and witnesses hearing the F-15/F-16 planes. The witness accounts of the latter are particularly interesting to compare to their accounts of the sound of the 2nd Boeing, before impact.
A number of reports of FBI Agents talking about a possible “3rd Plane” heading for New York were also discovered, along with a number of other accounts of witnesses describing anomalous occurrences.
“I Saw The Plane… I Heard The Plane…”
The words “plane jet airplane aircraft” were found in 426 accounts, 1770 times. The final account Sample Size was used for the “Witnesses to a plane” study was 291. A few of those who simply described seeing the impacts on TV were left out, but some were included – the main focus of the study was on those who were close to where the 2nd impact happened.
16 witnesses reported seeing the 1st plane before impact and 16 witnesses reported hearing the 1st plane before impact but only 1 Witness reported clearly seeing and hearing plane 1 before impact.
I managed to establish that at least 96 witnesses were near the WTC (with ½ a mile) at time of 2nd impact and a further 21 witnesses were inside one of the WTC buildings at the time of the 2nd impact. This gave a total of 117 witnesses who were near or the Inside WTC buildings at the time of 2nd impact.
- Only 19 of the witnesses near the WTC reported actually seeing plane 2 before impact and, as a percentage of total number near the WTC, this was 20%.
- Only 20 of the witnesses near the WTC reported actually hearing plane 2 before impact and as a percentage of total number near the WTC, this was 21%.
- Only 8 of the witnesses near the WTC reported actually seeing and hearing plane 2 before impact and as a percentage of total number near the WTC, this was 8.3%.
- Of those witnesses inside one of the WTC buildings at the time of the 2nd impact, only 2 reported hearing the plane (none saw it). As a percentage of the total of those inside WTC, this was 9.5%.
- There were 117 witnesses inside or near the WTC and 291 witnesses in the total sample I used. The percentages given below, then, are therefore based on the number 291 – 117 giving a total of 174.
- There were 33 witnesses who were further than ½ mile from the WTC Complex and reported seeing plane 2 before impact. As a percentage of the total of those who were further than ½ mile from WTC Complex, this was 19%.
- There were 2 witnesses who were further than ½ mile from the WTC Complex and reported hearing plane 2 before impact. As a percentage of the total of those who were further than ½ mile from WTC Complex, this was 1.1%.
“I Wasn’t Initially Sure it Was A Plane”
Quite a few witnesses were not at all sure that large planes had been responsible for the damage at the WTC. Accounts where they said “I didn’t realize it was a plane at the time” or “I only realized later it was a plane” were studied. Due to the different ways witnesses described being unsure about the true nature of the crash, it was difficult to pick out keywords to find these accounts. (Most of these accounts were discovered in reading them for other parts of this study.) Time limitations may have prevented finding them all.
A number of witnesses reported that they didn’t realize that the second impact was that of a plane – many of them “found out later”. This is in direct contradiction to those who reported to seeing plane parts, engine parts and landing gear. For example, from the account of Patricia Ondrovic (File No: 9110048):
I saw a police captain that I knew, and he came out to me. He looked absolutely terrified, he was shaking, he was pale, he was sweating. I looked at him, I said what's wrong? He said there's another plane headed our way, and they just blew up the Pentagon. I said, another plane? What are you talking about? I hadn't realized that planes had hit this, I thought they just set bombs off. I didn't realize when I got there that planes hit it. I said, what do you mean another plane? He said two planes hit the World Trade Center. So I'm thinking a little Cessena. How can a little Cessena do all that damage? He said no, 757s. I said big things? See I was there for about 25 minutes before I knew that planes had crashed into this.
Similarly, the account of EMT David Timothy (File No. 9110156) expressed some doubt that he saw a plane.
The next thing I heard was a loud like an engine roar. I looked up, and the next thing I knew I just saw -- I don't know if it was the tail end of the plane or what, but I saw something. When I looked up, I heard ‘boom’. I'm sorry, the north tower was the first one. The south tower then got hit when we were right there.
Perhaps even more significant was where 2 witnesses who were standing next to each other, initially, did not agree upon the idea of a plane crash. From the account of Scott Holowach (File No: 9110114)
At that time Chief Ganci was behind me and he thought there was another explosion in the north tower and that's when I turned around and said Chief, listen, there is a second plane that hit the other tower. He was like no no no no, we have another explosion. I said no, Chief, I witnessed it. I watched the plane hit the other tower. He is like are you sure. I said Chief, I'm 100 hundred percent positive I watched the second plane hit the other tower.
There was some additional confusion and rumours circulating about the nature of any planes involved. From the account of Anthony Bartolomey (File No: 9110013)
Q. When you arrived there, did any civilians report anything to you?
A. Yes. Numerous civilians were telling me that a plane had hit the building. There were discrepancies as to the type of plane. Some were saying it was a Cessna or Leer jet type, a small jet plane. Some said it was a large passenger plane. One person actually said that it was like a military style plane that actually shot missiles into the building.
There are other instances of this type of confusion. The account of Peter Fallucca (File No: 9110388) mentions a “fireball or something” and a missile attack as witnessed by a police officer:
It was a big fireball or something from the plane I guess, came from across the street in front of our rig, and as we get out of the rig, there's a cop, city police officer, in the street. He's telling us, "I'm getting out of here. I just saw a rocket." He said he saw it come off the Woolworth Building and hit the tower.
Landing Gear and Tires
There were over 10 different reports of Landing Gear being found. Some of these put the Landing Gear on Vesey Street, West Street, in a Parking Lot (which may be on West or Vesey Street), in a Jacuzzi, on top of a woman or in Rector Street. From the account of Dean Coutsouros (File No: 9110049)
…we got in front of 90 West Street, we held up there for a few minutes underneath the scaffolding to reassess the situation, how we were going to get into the building. There was all kinds of human debris. The landing gear of the aircraft was in that parking lot there. There was all kinds of stuff all over the floor.
From the account of John Breen (File No: 9110321)
We did see part of -- I didn't see it, but Jeff Johnson told me later on he did see part of the landing gear actually fell right through the roof and it was in one of the Jacuzzis in another room.
With 4 apparently separate reports of aircraft landing gear or tires being found in different locations, it is difficult to believe that these tires genuinely could have survived the crash. For example, from the account of Steve Grabher (File No: 9110241):
We came right down West Street, down here. We couldn't get too close, because by the time we got near 2 World Trade Center people were jumping off the roof like crazy. Landing near the hotel and the street was littered with body parts. I don't know if it was from the plane or what. But there was just body parts all over the place. Chunks of meat. I saw an airplane tire. I walked past an airplane tire. What looked like an airplane tire. Again we were looking up the whole time.
Reading accounts like this, and seeing the picture of the tire under the scaffolding, one is immediately reminded of the story of the survival of Mohammad Atta’s passport.
Similarly, the sightings of luggage and suitcases do not seem to be explainable other than by the idea that this evidence was planted – how could such items survive the enormous impact and fireball, which is said to have been sufficient to destroy the WTC’s structural integrity?
Federal Bureau of … Information…?
It seems like there were a good number of FBI agents on the scene – at least one of them seemed to be promulgating reports of a 3rd plane being en route to NYC. How were they so sure, considering the confusion in the “fog of war”? Terence Rivera’s account (File No: 9110343) has some interesting details.
There was a -- he wasn't a regular security guard. He had a weapon on him. I don't know if he was FBI or Secret Service and he was trying to put the pants out on one individual that was conscious. His pants were still smoldering. I took the can, fire extinguisher off the truck and then sprayed down the pants on the person that was still conscious. At that time, I had asked him where did this individual [had] come from. He told me when the plane had hit, a fire ball had shot down the elevator shaft and had blown people out of the lobby
Sometime while we were doing that, that same individual that was -- when we first got there, that was trying to put the pants out, he came over and he is saying to us that it's a terrorist attack. You guys are too close. It's a terrorist attack.
Then I went -- that same individual, the security or -- he told me to go over to the command post and let them know it's a terrorist attack. There are more planes in the air.
With repeated accounts of the FBI agents mentioning a 3rd plane attack was imminent, one is given the impression that they were unwittingly or deliberately promoting the plane stories at a time when the picture of what was happening was very likely still not at all clear.
Hearing the F15’s/F16’s
There seemed to be more consistency in the witnesses who reported hearing the F15’s/F16’s than the sounds of a Boeing (other witnesses may have reported these as different planes). From the account of Robert Larocco (File No: 9110081):
At that point we hear a plane -- it turned out to be two planes, and they were closing in on us and the motors were getting louder and louder. All eyes went up to the sky and were looking. I kind of thought to myself as I looked at guys running for their lives and for cover that now we're going to get kamikazed. The rescue workers, they are trying to take us out. I stood there and looked at the sky all around in all directions and couldn't really tell where the sound was coming from. It was getting louder and louder. Then I spotted them, they were coming out of the west, like out of Jersey City, that way. They were two F15 fighters.
On page 13 of his account, Paramedic Robert Ruiz (File No. 9110333) describes an apparently spontaneous car fire:
Like things weren't bad enough already, the car that's parked right on that corner catches on fire. I don't mean a little fire, the entire thing. Don't ask me how. The entire car caught on fire. You would think maybe just a motor part or just the engine part. But this entire car just goes up in fire.
In his account (File no: 9110179), Frank Cruthers, Fire Chief mentions WTC 7 was expected to collapse:
Early on, there was concern that 7 World Trade Center might have been both impacted by the collapsing tower and had several fires in it and there was a concern that it might collapse. So we instructed that a collapse area –
Q. A collapse zone?
A. Yeah -- be set up and maintained so that when the expected collapse of 7 happened, we wouldn't have people working in it. There was considerable discussion with Con Ed regarding the substation in that building and the feeders and the oil coolants and so on. And their concern was of the type of fire we might have when it collapsed. They shut down the power, and when it did collapse, the things that they were concerned with would have been. That's about it.
Controlled Demolition of the WTC?
For quite some time, I was convinced that the mechanism of the destruction of WTC 1 & 2 had to be similar to controlled demolition – it was the only thing that could account for the near free-fall time of “collapse”. However, I have since been enlightened through the results of Dr Wood’s study – the overall evidence does not support the idea that controlled demolition was the primary method of destruction of the towers. In examining the witness accounts, I found quite a few where the collapse was described as possibly like the sound of an approaching plane or rocket. For example, from the account of Faisel Abed (File No: 9110071):
You just heard this thrushing, thrushing noise like a rocket. I thought the building was under attack again. You just start seeing this smoke coming down. We just took off. We went north. We actually -- sorry, we went west. We went towards the river. All right. Then we just went towards the river and went up north a little bit behind the building. That was after the first one went down.
He describes a continuous noise rather than lots of explosions going off. Let us not confuse this part of the account with those accounts of earlier explosions before the towers came down, rather than as they were coming down. The repeated sequence of timed explosions heard during a controlled demolition is very distinctive and none of the witness accounts I studied described hearing this sort of sound as the towers collapsed.
What Aren’t We Allowed to Know?
Patricia Ondrovic’s testimony, mentioned earlier, contains redacted portions and there were a number of other portions discovered in this research, and there are almost certainly others. Having used the file searching software, it would suggest there are redactions in at least 46 accounts. One can understand why certain parts of certain accounts may be obscured – perhaps so as not to cause upset to relatives of victims or where they might reveal certain small points of sensitive information. However, suspicions should be raised in the cases where significant portions of accounts were redacted, such as those of Rene Davila (over 10 pages in File No: 9110075) and Ronald Coyne (over 4 pages in File No: 9110395).
On studying the accounts of the plane impacts, a confused picture appears. For the first plane, only one witness - William Walsh (File no: 9110442) specifically describes an American Airlines Plane. Other witnesses describe a whole variety of planes – some seen “out of the corner of their eye”. Some describe a military plane, some initially thought it was a small Cessna type plane. Of those witnesses who describe specifically seeing or hearing the planes, there are a number of instances where a curious turn of phrase is used at one or more points in the account. For example, the account of Thomas Fitzpatrick (File No: 9110001).
The noise from the plane was enough to make you not want to look up. I thought the plane was actually going to land in the street to be honest with you. The noise was outrageous. When it hit the building it was even worse.
Overall, I conclude the descriptions of planes given by the witnesses do not give one any more confidence than the video material, such as that presented in the September Clues series, that large planes hit the towers. With something as unique as 9/11, it was easy to “sell” people the plane stories in the midst of such a terrible tragedy.
There is a need for some witnesses to be questioned again about their experiences to determine the true nature of the crashes - and other anomalous events at the time of the WTC towers’ destruction. I hope that someday this is possible and that the true 9/11 perpetrators are brought to account for their heinous actions.
Is this study above really "deranged"? The anonymous (as usual) person making this post takes the figure out of context and does not explain how the figure was determined. Nor does he discuss the quoted witness sample size of 291. A "deranged MS-Access Query"? Hmmm
Never mind how I was raised (a little about which can be found if you poke round here) - what about the actual evidence? Critical thinking? Shouldn't it be based on criticising the evidence?