Written By: Ever Eden
Building 7 took a back seat for the most part of September 11 2001, a smouldering structure in the background of a handful of television broadcasts documenting the unfolding chaos and loss of life. It fell suddenly, almost seven hours after the two towers, easily descending into dust and leaving behind a whole set of new questions because it was not attacked or hit by a plane.
The structure was originally built in 1980s in the World Trade Complex, Manhattan New York. Forty seven storeys high, it housed branches for agencies such as the IRS (floors 24,25), the US Secret Service (9, 10), CIA, the Security Exchange Commission (11, 12, 13), the mayor’s Office of Emergency Management (23) and various loan and banking firms. Despite the importance of the building’s contents, it was not mentioned in over 500 pages that make up the official 9/11 Commission Report and many people do not know it also fell the day New York was attacked.
The abnormalities surrounding the collapse of Building 7 began with a now infamous BBC newscast in which a reporter, Jane Standley – on site in New York – seemed to make a huge mistake with her facts. She claimed Building 7 had fallen twenty minutes before the fact, while it could still be seen standing behind her in the background. Her live cross to the studio went for some time but at 5:15pm, exactly five minutes before Building 7 would have fallen behind her on film, the satellite feed was abruptly lost. The BBC later stated that the newscast was scheduled to cut the feed at a specific time regardless of wrapping the interview and that killing the feed was not some sort of a cover-up to hide a degree of foreknowledge. However, the strangeness of the interview, which can be seen on Youtube, prompted people to pay more attention to the third tower that fell.
Building 7 was said to have suffered catastrophic damage when debris from the falling north tower landed on it. Though later proved false by photos and footage showing that only two out of the forty seven floors in Building 7 were visibly on fire, The National Institute of Standard and Technology (NIST) lead investigator Shyam Sunder said, “Heating of floor beams and girders caused a critical support column to fail,” concurring with the final NIST report completed in 2008 which stated the building collapsed due to intense heat.
A&E 911Truth, a group of over 1550 Architects and Engineers who campaign for another investigation into Building 7′s collapse, say, “NIST likes to point out how many scientists and engineers worked on its WTC investigation, and how much time was spent. But the number of participants and the time and money spent does not guarantee a thorough investigation.” The articles and videos on the A&E 911Truth site reflect the opinion that Building 7 was brought down via controlled demolition as footage shows it collapsing at freefall speed, in 6.6 seconds – something they say is physically impossible unless a structure is imploded or rigged with explosives.
A number of videos and analysis completed by A&E 911Truth show what they say are demolition charges or squibs going off split seconds before the building comes down and go on to call NIST ‘wilfully ignorant’ because traces of Nanothermite, an explosive frequently used in the demolition industry, were found in the rubble but were not mentioned in NIST’s final report.
NIST’s official explanation of how the building came down also comes under fire from A&E 911Truth due to a penthouse on the roof which is seen in the collapse footage to cave inwards through the building, suggesting not one main column but two or more supporting columns under it were taken out or cut simultaneously as the rest of the building still retained its integrity while the penthouse disappeared downwards through it.
Zembla, a Dutch news program, made headlines internationally after featuring a video of control demolition expert, Danny Jowenko watching footage of Building 7′s collapse. During the viewing he stated,“This is a controlled demolition carried out by a team of experts,” a controversial opinion because he was unaware he was watching footage from 9/11 at the time and was only told the significance of his conclusion afterwards. He re-iterated his opinion publicly again in 2007 when rumours surfaced claiming he had retracted his statement and continued to stand by his opinion until he was killed in a car accident this year.
Larry Silverstein, the developer and owner of most of the buildings in the World Trade Centre complex remains at the heart of the mystery to this day because he famously fought for and collected a large sum of insurance money when his buildings fell due to an ‘unforeseen cause’ on 9/11. The clause in his contract saw him reimbursed 4.55 billion dollars. Various campaigners for a new investigation into Building 7 point to his appearance in the PBS documentary, “America Rebuilds,” as something to take notice of, a spoke in the works of the official version concerning Building 7’s fate.
Originally broadcast in 2002, the documentary features an interview in which Silverstein tells an interviewer about a conversation he’d had regarding Building 7, “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, 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.”
Speculation over what he meant by this came from all directions after the revelation. Some people researched the term ‘pull it’ and discovered it was commonly used in destruction/demolition industries, jargon when referring to demolishing a building. Interviews with employees of the industry in the same documentary seemed to support the statement. Other people claimed Larry Silverstein merely muddled his words under pressure, later confirmed four years later in January 2006, by spokesperson, Dara McQuillan, who told the U.S. State Department that the “pull it” comment meant to “pull” fire fighters from the building. Unfortunately, despite the explanation, campaigners were not happy as FEMA, the New York Times and even Popular Mechanics had already reported that no firefighting took place within Building 7 – it was evacuated at 9am, already common knowledge in relevant circles at the time the statement was made.
Witnesses, including emergency personnel at the scene on September 11th 2001, reported hearing explosions go off seconds before Building 7 fell and several have gone on record to give their accounts. NYPD officer Craig Bartmer told Dylan Avery, director of Loose Change, “I was real close to Building 7 when it fell down. That didn’t sound like just a building falling down to me while I was running away from it. There’s a lot of eyewitness testimony down there of hearing explosions. I didn’t see any reason for that building to fall down the way it did.” He then continued to express his confusion and frustration over the official story by telling Avery he did not believe the official story, and gave the mayor’s Office of Emergency Management as one of the main reasons he found it hard to believe what he’d been told, “That was a hardened bunker built to withstand just about anything that New York would face.”
Ten years after it fell, Building 7 is breaking it’s way into mainstream music with Lupe Fiasco’s song “Words I never said, ” a song in which the American rapper, who has worked with Lil Wayne and has a song on Twilight’s New Moon soundtrack on itunes raps the line, “Nine eleven, Building Seven, did they really pull it?” continuing in the vein of Muse’s frontman Matt Bellamy who has gone on record to ask people to question the official stories surrounding 9/11 and the reasons there is a war in Iraq. This exposure, along with adverts launched by A&E 911 Truth featuring families of 9/11 victims, airforce pilots and engineers asking for another investigation are slowly gaining the attention of the general public around the world.
We Are Change, an international activist organisation, is also campaigning for a new investigation into Building 7’s collapse. Co-founder of the West Australian chapter, Andrew Middleton related his past experiences while educating the local public on Building 7; “Two years ago, the ABC broadcast a documentary called “The Third Tower,” produced by the BBC. It was screened in the leadup to the 2009 9/11 anniversary. The documentary gave a fair chance for both believers and skeptics of the official story of Building 7’s collapse to put their argument across. Members of the public that I spoke to during the 2009 9/11 anniversary were more open to discussing the event in a different light after that.” He also described 2011’s “9/11 Truth Action” as taking place in King’s Park, Perth where he and other members of We Are Change WA have planned to provide information and free DVDs for members of the public who are interested in the mystery of Building 7.
9/11 is a day that no one will forget. It was the catalyst for increased national security worldwide and the War on Terror. In the years since 2001, Ground Zero first responders have died of cancer due to toxic dust from the trade centres, soldiers from Australia have given their lives and many civil liberties have been voluntarily given up in the favour of safety. Should there still be inconsistencies in the reasons for these circumstances? Groups seeking a new investigation into Building 7’s collapse, have made an important point through their claims; there should be no abnormalities or questions remaining when the events of that fateful day have been pretext for a war and changes in laws and policies that affect millions of lives. Through songs, media exposure and various campaigns, Building 7 is sure to keep people asking questions until the mystery is solved satisfactorily.