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"As we were moving toward the building we saw the top begin to blow out in a plume of smoke and we heard the noise associated with an implosion."

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WTC 2:
Cutter Charges and Cover-Up

Before proceeding with this page let me explain a little something about explosives and how people perceive them.

I work in special effects. In films, great use is made of low velocity explosives such as untamped black powder and ANFO because they are low velocity explosives. With a great whoosh and roar they belch forth with fire and smoke in a manner that has caused folks to drop their popcorn in matinees ever since sound came in.

Movies have conditioned people to expect a certain look and sound to explosions, all based on very low velocity explosives. In a stunning ironic twist, moviegoers seem to perceive the slower explosions as more powerful.

Demolition experts will tell you that high brissive or high velocity explosives [full details] are actually more powerful, as they build up a powerful shock wave.

However, except for actually collapsing a structure, such explosives are unsuitable for film. The blast is over so quickly it can be missed while the film is moving between one frame and the next. There is very little visible smoke and flash, and the "crack" of a C-4 cutter charge is downright disappointing to hear.

Thus, the average person's awareness of what an explosion is supposed to look and sound like is based on the movies and low velocity explosives only. In not knowing what high velocity explosives sound like or feel like (as the shock wave moves through the earth), many people might not understand what they heard or felt on 9/11/2001.

With the above in mind lets take a look at the collapse of World Trade Center 2...

"It [WTC 2] started exploding," said Ross Milanytch, 57, who works at nearby Chase Manhattan Bank. "It was about the 70th floor. And each second another floor exploded out for about eight floors, before the cloud obscured it all." [ASNE] "I saw small explosions on each floor." [Wing TV]

"...and then all of a sudden it started like... it sounded like gunfire... you know, bang, bang, bang, and then all of a sudden three big explosions."

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"It actually gave at a lower floor, not the floor where the plane hit, because we originally had thought there was like an internal detonation explosives because it went in succession, boom, boom, boom, boom, and then the tower came down." [Ed Cachia - Firefighter [Engine 53]]

"Floor by floor it started popping out."

"It was if they had detonators and they planned to take down a building."

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One eyewitness whose office is near the World Trade Center told AFP that he was standing among a crowd of people on Church Street, about two-and-a-half blocks from the South tower, when he saw "a number of brief light sources being emitted from inside the building between floors 10 and 15." He saw about six of these brief flashes, accompanied by "a crackling sound" before the tower collapsed. Each tower had six central support columns. [American Free Press]

"We were there I don't know, maybe 10, 15 minutes and then I just remember there was just an explosion. It seemed like on television they blow up these buildings. It seemed like it was going all the way around like a belt, all these explosions." [Rich Banaciski - Firefighter (F.D.N.Y.)]

"When I looked in the direction of the Trade Center before it came down, before No. 2 came down, ..I saw low-level flashes. In my conversation with Lieutenant Evangelista, never mentioning this to him, he questioned me and asked me if I saw low-level flashes in front of the building, and I agreed with him because I thought -- at that time I didn't know what it was. I mean, it could have been as a result of the building collapsing, things exploding, but I saw a flash flash flash and then it looked like the building came down."

Q. "Was that on the lower level of the building or up where the fire was?"

A. "No, the lower level of the building. You know like when they demolish a building, how when they blow up a building, when it falls down? That's what I thought I saw. And I didn't broach the topic to him, but he asked me. He said I don't know if I'm crazy, but I just wanted to ask you because you were standing right next to me… He said did you see any flashes? I said, yes, well, I thought it was just me. He said no, I saw them, too." [Stephen Gregory - Assistant Commissioner (F.D.N.Y.)]


Two orange flashes can be seen below the collapse level - click image for full size

"Somewhere around the middle of the World Trade Center, there was this orange and red flash coming out. Initially it was just one flash. Then this flash just kept popping all the way around the building and that building had started to explode. The popping sound, and with each popping sound it was initially an orange and then a red flash came out of the building and then it would just go all around the building on both sides as far as I could see. These popping sounds and the explosions were getting bigger, going both up and down and then all around the building." [Karin Deshore - Captain (E.M.S.)]

"It was a frigging noise. At first I thought it was -- do you ever see professional demolition where they set the charges on certain floors and then you hear "Pop, pop, pop, pop, pop" That's exactly what -- because I thought it was that. When I heard that frigging noise, that's when I saw the building coming down." [Daniel Rivera - Paramedic (E.M.S.)]

As we are looking up at the building, what I saw was, it looked like the building was blowing out on all four sides. We actually heard the pops. Didn't realize it was the falling -- you know, you heard the pops of the building. You thought it was just blowing out. [Joseph Meola - Firefighter (F.D.N.Y.)]

“When we got to about 50 ft from the South Tower, we heard the most eerie sound that you would ever hear. A high-pitched noise and a popping noise made everyone stop. We all looked up. At the point, it all let go. The way I see it, it had to be the rivets. The building let go, there was an explosion and the whole top leaned toward us and started coming down. I stood there for a second in total awe, and then said, ‘What the F_____?’ I honestly thought it was Hollywood. [Jeff Birnbaum - EMT]

The sound it made. As I said I thought the terrorists planted explosives somewhere in the building. That's how loud it was, crackling explosive, a wall. That's about it. Any questions? [James Drury - Assistant Commissioner (F.D.N.Y.)]

The audio track of the following video corroborates the above eyewitness reports. "Pops" end explosions can be heard as WTC 2 comes down.

This text will be replaced

Now take a look at the following identical video. You will notice the audio track has totally changed. The "pops" and explosions have disappeared.

Why has the audio been modified?


"You have two hundred and ten story office buildings. You don't find a desk. You don't find a chair. You don't find a telephone, a computer. The biggest piece of a telephone I found was half of the keypad ... The building collapsed to dust."

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Peter Tully, president of [Tully Construction], was, notably, the only person willing to speak openly with AFP about his work at the WTC site. ... “Think of the thousands of file cabinets, computers, and telephones in those towers—I never saw one—every thing was pulverized,” Tully said. “Everything that was above grade—above the 6th and 7th floor—disintegrated . . . it was like an explosion.” Tully Construction specializes in concrete. AFP asked Tully if he had ever seen concrete pulverized as it was at the WTC. “No—never,” he said. [AFP]

See also:

The BBC's 'WTC 7 Collapsed At 4:54 p.m.' Videos
The 9/11 WTC Collapses: An Audio-Video Analysis


 

What Really Happened