World Trade Center Building 7 and the Lies of the 9/11 “Truth Movement”


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World Trade Center Building 7

and the Lies of the 9/11 “Truth Movement”

Did firefighters abandon their fallen brothers to help real estate developer Larry Silverstein demolish a skyscraper?

Conspiracist Alex Jones and other 9/11 “Truth Movement” leaders gather at Ground Zero and accuse Silverstein of murder and FDNY heroes of heinous crimes, lies and cover-ups.

Do their claims stand up to examination?

By Mark Roberts email: October, 2006

Table of Contents


Introduction: Are they “More to be pitied than censured?” .....4

Part 1

Larry Silverstein’s “Pull it” quote.....8

Remedial reading at Ground Zero: Now That’s Denial! .....11

What really happened at WTC 7 on 9/11/01?.....12 members disparage the FDNY at Ground Zero.....13

Jason Bermas of Loose Change disparages the FDNY at Ground Zero.....18

Alex Jones vilifies the FDNY at Ground Zero.....21-30

Part II

Is “Pull” used by demolitions pros to mean “demolish with explosives?”.....32

Is “Pull” used to mean “Withdraw firefighters from danger?”.....33

Eyewitness accounts of WTC 7 fires.....37

Eyewitness accounts of WTC 7 damage .....40

Eyewitness accounts of withdrawal and hold back from WTC 7 due to danger.....43-51

Part III

An in-depth look at conspiricist claims about WTC 7.....52

Details of damage to WTC 7.....55-62

Steven E. Jones’ Thermite / Thermate claims.....63

Larry Silverstein: Insurance profit motive? .....66

Can office fires cause large steel columns and beams to buckle?.....71-76

WTC 7 collapsed into a “Tidy pile?”.....77

Comparison of WTC 7 to controlled demolitions.....79

WTC 7 collapse videos.....83

Conspiricists misrepresent WTC 7’s condition.....85-91

What has become of the “Truth Movement” leaders?.....92

FDNY photos.....93

9/11 first responder fatalities.....96-100

Appendix: WTC 7 eyewitness accounts spreadsheet.....102


9/11 Commission

Reason didn't mention WTC 7 95

9/11 Truth Movement Protest at Ground Zero 9/11/06

Organized for media attention 9

Shouts Murderer at Silverstein's office 8 on importance of WTC 7 9

America Rebuilds, PBS documentary 10

Avery, Dylan

Misrepresents condition of WTC 7 91

Reason for organizing protest 9

Upset at lack of protest coverage 22

Banfield, Ashleigh, MSNBC reporter video 87

Bermas, Jason

Reason for organizing protest 9

The many conspiracy theories of 19

'The firefighters are paid off!' 20

Blanchard, Brent

On thermite theory 68

Protec paper–‘Pull’not CD term 34

Spoke with CD experts who saw WTC 7 fall 85

Blood, Jack 9/11 victim-bashing 8

Collapse time 24

Controlled Demolition

Experts saw WTC 7 fall, say no CD 85

Is LOUD 82


9/11 fatalities 100

Aftermath photos 98

Carrying extra gear into north tower 98

Ten House photos 97

What it would mean if they 'obeyed orders' to 'pull' 14


WTC 7 Report 54

Fetzer, James, says Silverstein ‘absolutely’ in on it 9

Ganci, Peter, FDNY Chief of Department 10

Greening, Frank, Paler on sulfidation of WTC steel 67

James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF) 6

Jamieson, Les

Botches Silverstein quote 17

Contact info 18

Misrepresents condition of WTC 7 93

Says FDNY was in on it 14

Jones, Alex

Accuses Giuliani & Port Authority of inside job 25

Afraid to tell firemen what he thinks of them 32

Argues with me at Ground Zero 22

Blames \ 8

Fears U.S. gov't terrorism 7

Gets Silverstein quote wrong 23

Harrasses Marines in restaurant 7

Is indignant at my ‘lies' 28

Lies about WTC building 6 29

Links to websites 6

Lyingest man east of the Pecos 29

Says FDNY, NYPD think 9/11 was inside job 32

Vilifies FDNY at Ground Zero 22

Websites accuse FDNY 28

Jones, Steven

Demonstrates conspiricist M.O. 84

Drops concrete block 82

Misrepresents condition of WTC 7 88

Misrepresents EPA report 66

Removed from teaching position at BYU 91

Thermite/Thermate theory 66

Loose Change conspiracy video 7

Loose Change Viewer Guide 20

Molten metal in WTC basements 69

Nigro, Daniel, FDNY Chief of Operations 10

'The building's integrity was in serious doubt' 13, 95


Considering hypothetical blast events 54

Contract for failure analysis work 54

Estimate of damage to south face 58

Refutes Thermite theory 66

Report on Emergency Response Operations 13

Shyam Sunder, Lead Investigator, on damage 57

Why hasn't report been completed? 54

WTC 7 Interim Report 54

WTC 7 working hypothesis 54

Now That’s Denial! – CTs botch Silverstein's statement 12

Claims made at Ground Zero 5

Foti, Tom 23

Member says FDNY witnesses are liars 15

Scan of pamphlet 5


9/11 fatalities 103

Popular Mechanics book Debunking 9/11 Myths 34

Port Authority

9/11 fatalities 104

Rivera, Ray


\ 5

Rowe, Korey

Reason for organizing protest 9

Speculates on Silverstein's ‘motive’ 92

Scholars for Truth 66

Accused of wrongdoing by membership secretary 91

Scott, Abby

Video \ 5

Seismic Data shows no explosions 55

Silverstein, Larry

Insurance motive? 68

'Pull it' quote 9

Squibs show on videos? 82

Steel in Fires

Barnett, Jonathan, On WTC 7 fireproofing 75

Column buckling in 90 West St. 75

Links to studies & examples of failures 79

Thermal protection damaged at 130 Liberty St. 76

Unprotected steel fails quickly 76

WTC bldg. 5 steel buckled 74

Madrid Windsor bldg. fire 77

Thermal Protection

Small loss = large effect 76

Summary of eyewitness accounts to WTC 7's condition 35

Thermite/Thermate Theory

Photo evidence of columns cut by? 67

Why I confront the 9/11 deniers 6


Alarm system signaled fire 39

Damage & debris, eyewitness accounts 42

Damage to surrounding buildings 80

Demolished because of sensitive info inside? 55

Difficulty of CD in buiding on fire 72

Fell into a \ 80

Fires, eyewitness accounts 39

Map of debris damage 57

New building–concrete core, thermal protection 77

New building–tenants 69

No evidence of explosives on exterior columns 70

Photos of WTC 1 debris 62

Rubble photos after collapse of north tower 63

South face damage photos 59

Videos from street don't show whole collapse 86

Was diesel fuel a factor? 72

Withdrawn & held back, eyewitness accounts 45

Workers saw no evidence of CD work 55

'No modern steel skyscraper' argument 73


Doesn't mean demolish with explosives 34

Quotes from first responders 35

Used 28 times at WTC to mean 'withdraw firefighters from danger’ 35

/11 6


For the past few months I’ve been going to the World Trade Center site on Saturdays with some friends. We go there to oppose the ignorance that’s spread by members of a group called NY911truth. These people say they have evidence that the terrorist attacks of 9/11 were an “inside job” perpetrated by elements within the US government. They haven’t shown any such evidence, but they argue passionately, aided by large laminated posters, that the hijackers are still alive, that no airliner hit the Pentagon or crashed in Pennsylvania, that there’s proof that explosives brought down WTC buildings 1, 2, and 7, that al Qaeda is run by the US government. And on, and on. They claim to be spreading the “truth” about 9/11, but they are unable to answer basic questions such as, “What did NIST (the National Institute for Standards and Technology, which investigated the tower collapses) conclude were the causes of the tower collapses,” and “On September 11, 2001, what big building was standing right where we’re standing?” None of them have answered these questions correctly.

I recently kept track of NY911truth’s statements at Ground Zero over a 3 ½ hour period. During that time I didn’t hear any of the 10 of them make a single true claim to the public. Recently they spent an hour arguing with an Air Force morgue technician who processed the remains from the Pentagon. Remember, this group claims that there were no remains of flight 77 passengers at the Pentagon, because that plane never crashed there. It takes a special kind of person to make that argument to the face of someone who personally handled those charred remains.

Abby Scott and Ray Rivera made a funny video based on some of these encounters, which captures a bit of the lunacy of the “Truthers:” When I’m around the Truthers I often have the refrain of the old song “She’s More to be Pitied Than Censured” running around in my head:

She is more to be pitied than censured,

She is more to be helped than despised.

She is only a lassie who ventured

On life's stormy path, ill-advised.

Then I snap out of it and remember that these people give absolution to terrorists while accusing innocent people of mass murder, all without a shred of evidence. And they do this at Ground Zero. They are the most delusional people I have ever met, and their delusions are dangerous.

Below is a scanned and reduced reproduction of the pamphlet that NY911truth hands out by the thousand to tourists from Mexico, Sweden, and Nebraska. I’ve highlighted all the false statements in red, and all the misleading statements and photos in purple.

The area at lower right that’s unbesmirched by red and purple is the group’s contact information, which I’m afraid to check for accuracy. I’m not just into coloring, though. In May I took the time to write a 36-page analysis of this group’s single-sheet pamphlet. I sent it to their leader, Les Jamieson, and I’ve given links to it to all of the regular Saturday 9/11 deniers at Ground Zero, but as far as I know none of them have read any of it. Nor will most of them look at the evidence we provide when we make our points at Ground Zero. They are repulsed by evidence like a vampire is by a cross.

I met the two people who I go to Ground Zero with via an internet forum for critical thinkers that’s run by the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF). Recently one of them wondered if our presence at Ground Zero wasn’t counterproductive, in drawing more attention to the 9/11 deniers, and in making Ground Zero less conducive to reflection than that bustling, noisy, touristy place already is. Here’s an excerpt from my response to his forum post “Why we fight...”

  • So that on September 11, 2007, people can go to Ground Zero without running into a crowd of uniformed "patriots" marching behind a ranting charismatic leader to shout "Murderer!" outside the business of a Jewish "conspirator."

  • Because these creeps have the nerve to call themselves a "truth movement."

  • Because it's difficult for people who were more seriously affected by the attacks (than I was) to debate the creeps with dignity.

  • Because firefighters (on 9/11) thanked us for learning about what they do and standing up for them. Because the creeps make it necessary to defend the people who would enter the maws of hell to save them.

The ugliness of the uniformed “patriots” chanting “murderer” outside the office of a man they claim is a “conspirator” really happened. On September 11, 2006, about a thousand members of the “9/11 Truth Movement” gathered at Ground Zero during memorial services to protest what they believe is the US government’s involvement in the attacks. They wore black shirts that said “Investigate 911” and carried banners that said “USA Did 9/11,” “The Bush Regime Engineered 9-11,” and the ever-popular “9/11 Was an Inside Job!”

This throng of wrong was led by Alex Jones (not to be confused with journalist Alex S. Jones), a conspiracy salesman whose radio show, website, and videos make him the Prince of Paranoia to those who fear they’re being followed by silent black helicopters. Note how he works the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 into this brief audio clip, in which he plays a scary arachnid that’s out to ensnare us and take our freedoms away. Jones claims, apparently in all seriousness, that members of the U.S. political and economic elite practice satanic occult rituals. He also claimed:

They're preparing for new terrorist attacks that are much larger. & they're planning to bring in foreign armies....The U.S. government is going to engage in large terrorist attacks domestically & probably internationally...They may kill millions of Americans. (Alex Jones Radio Show, 7/11/02)

A good example of what a grandstanding, braying jackass Jones is can be seen in a video shot in New York on September 9, 2006 by the Loose Change crew: They enter a buffet restaurant, and at 1:40 in the video Jones approaches a group of Marines at a table and begins harassing them. The Marines leave the restaurant, with Jones and two cameramen on their heels. Jones follows them down the street while lecturing them about WTC building 7 being “pulled” and “thermite” being found on steel at Ground Zero (more about these falsehoods later). The Marines walk on with dignity. Jones takes a parting shot while jabbing his finger in the air:

“The military-industrial complex tried to get this republic, but they failed!

Jones then returns to the restaurant, where he apologizes to the manager for “running his guys off.” Ever the gentleman, Jones then “tips” the manager for his troubles. Conspiracy!

About the Marines, Jones says to the camera, “Yeah, that guy was Northcom. Those guys were Martial Law Officers. Hit ‘em with the codes!” Jones believes that the U.S. will soon be under martial law, and that citizens will be herded into FEMA-run concentration camps. Honest.

When Jones returns to the table, the Loose Change crew applauds him, their hero. His accomplishment? Harassing people who may be asked to put their lives on the line so that Alex Jones can remain free to make a public jackass of himself. “That’s martial law, Northcom,” said Jones, giddily. “He was just laughing at me (inaudible). I fired off a code – gave him a Northcom designation code! He was like, Whoa!” A restaurant employee, functioning as the only editor the Loose Change crew seems to have ever met, then asks that the cameras stop shooting.

On his radio show on 9/11/01, Jones lapsed into paranoid hysteria and blamed the attacks on the “New World Order,” of which the aforementioned “occult-practicing elites” are supposedly members. That’s forgivable. I’m sure the shock of the attacks made many people say and do strange things. The problem is, Alex Jones still thinks that the “New World Order” perpetrated the attacks, and so do his followers.

In the hands of this Hyperion of hyperbole, a “bullhorn” truly lives up to its name. At Ground Zero on 9/11/06, Jones stood at the fence of historic St. Paul’s Chapel, which houses a 9/11 memorial and which served as the place of refuge and care for workers at Ground Zero, and screamed “9/11 was an inside job!” Then he led the crowd a few blocks away to another historic building on Broadway. This description by a protester reads like a parody, but isn’t.

Anywayz, that went on for a while, and then the movement began walking to 120 Broadway, where Larry Silverstiens office is. The police blocked off 2 lanes of traffic and the Truth Movement gathered in the middle of the street. Alex Jones got on the megaphone again and started speaking about WTC 7 and other things. In the hour or so we were there, we chanted "Pull it! pull it! pull it!" and "murderer! murderer! murderer!" among other sayings like "911 was an inside job, we have the proof, so face the truth!" After that, the Truth Movement marched to Police HQ, but me and my boy were both tired as shit and beat, so we decided to head back to Penn Station.

...Another thing I couldn't help but notice was the respect, concern, and love that the 9/11 Truth Movement represented. And on the other side, the hate and anger and wickedness of the so called "ordinary" people. They could not debate one fact, they couldn't talk without cursing or offending whoever they were talking to. To think that if it were them who died in the towers, and I had been there fighting for truth and wanting to know what happened to them, how unworthy they would be to protest for. I'm absolutely sure that there were good people that died in the towers, and not all evil hateful monsters like those there yesterday pretending to mourn. I dedicate my protest to any good person that died in the buildings, but it's sad to say, those people I encountered yesterday in mass, are not worth protesting for. Next time they're government kills them, I might just stay home and be quiet.

Radio host and conspiracy-monger John C. Clayton, who goes by the name “Jack Blood,” was equally skeptical about the “ordinary people” at Ground Zero. As a bell tolled the number of the 9/11 dead and the memorial service was underway across the street, he told a videographer:

I can only imagine how this would have gone if we weren't down here, if there wasn't a counter-message to the heartstring pulling and tying in knots”

Yes, Jack, it’s too bad we can’t mobilize 1,000 people to protest at every memorial service for

murder victims. Fred Phelps would be proud of you.

“Jack Blood” at Ground Zero

(To read more of Jack Blood’s 9/11 victim-bashing, see the first page of my document Loose Change Creators Speak:

Why were these protesters at Ground Zero during the memorial service? These quotes from the three creators of the 9/11 conspiracy video Loose Change, who organized the protest, say it all.

Dylan Avery, writer and director of Loose Change: “This is gonna be the mainstream media event of the year! The major media everywhere is gonna be there, and if they wanna cover the memorial, they're gonna have to cover us, because there's so many of us in numbers.”

Korey Rowe, producer of Loose Change: “They will have to cover us if they want to cover the memorial.”

Jason Bermas, production assistant and “researcher” of Loose Change: “There's gonna be every major media outlet in the world at Ground Zero, and if they want a wide shot, they're gonna have to cover us, and a hundred signs that say ‘9/11 Was an Inside Job!’” (Quotes and references appear in Loose Change Creators Speak P. 21)

Larry Silverstein’s “Pull It” Quote

“This building—the last to fall on 9-11—is key to all controlled-demolition theories. Its sudden fall onto its own footprint, and developer Larry Silverstein's reference on TV to telling the FDNY to "pull it," are seen as evidence that WTC7 was rigged to fall.”

– Keep in mind that this is one of the leading organizations of the 9/11 “Truth Movement.” (This is a national organization, not to be confused with, already mentioned.)

James Fetzer, co-chairman of “Scholars for 9/11 Truth,” and long-time JFK assassination conspiracy theorist, interviewed on Alan Colmes’ radio show, June, 2006:

Fetzer: Larry Silverstein, in New York, actually directed the World Trade Center Number 7 be pulled, meaning brought down by controlled demolition.

Colmes: Wasn’t he the landlord? Why would he want that to happen?

Fetzer: Well, it’s recorded. He admitted it in an interview that he had it pulled. Now, just to make an obvious point, Alan, it can’t have been pulled unless there were pre-positioned explosives in World Trade Center 7

Colmes: What would be Larry Silverstein’s interest in destroying his own building?

Fetzer: He had insured it for $3.5 billion against a terrorist attack six weeks previous.

Colmes: So he’s in on this?

Fetzer: Absolutely. Later in that interview: I can prove all of these things, it’s the only hypothesis that makes any sense and in many cases we have direct evidence, we have Silverstein’s admission that he directed that the building be pulled. That was at 5:20 in the afternoon, it had been hit by no aircraft, it had only very modest fires, that was an extremely robustly built building— Keep in mind that Jim Fetzer is one of the leaders of the 9/11 “Truth Movement.”

Larry Silverstein was the owner of the 47-story WTC building 7, which collapsed on 9/11, and he owns the new 52-story building 7, which opened in May, 2006 on the site of the old building. He was the leaseholder on most of the other WTC buildings, including the Twin Towers (the property is owned by The Port of New York and New Jersey Authority). He won the right to the 99-year lease only six weeks before September 11, 2001, after a long public bidding process.
During an interview in 2002 for the PBS documentary America Rebuilds: A Year at Ground Zero, Mr. Silverstein said this about the fate of building 7 on 9/11:

"I remember getting a call from the fire department commander, telling me that they were not sure they were gonna be able to contain the fire, and I said, 'We've had such terrible loss of life, maybe the smartest thing to do is pull it.' And they made that decision to pull and we watched the building collapse." –Larry Silverstein

The conspiracy theorists (hereafter referred to as “CTs”) believe that Silverstein was ordering the FDNY to demolish, or to allow to be demolished, building 7.
In my experience, the CTs are in such a hurry to get to the “pull it” phrase that they neglect to read the whole statement. While I will provide much evidence in this paper that’s intended to convince the most hardcore CT, all that’s really necessary is to apply a bit of logic to the Silverstein statement, so I’ll start by doing that.

The setting: Larry Silverstein is being interviewed by a documentary crew from PBS. He calmly, clearly describes what happened. CTs would have us believe that Silverstein accidentally let it slip – twice, for a national TV audience – that he ordered his building to be demolished! Does that make any sense whatsoever? Can the CTs give an example of a similar “accidental confession” of a monumental crime in the history of the world? Keep in mind that if Silverstein thought he had said something wrong, he could simply have asked the crew to shoot that part again. Silverstein is a very smart guy who is in full possession of his mental faculties. He didn’t “slip up.”

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