on 11 Sept 2001 which was shown originally on BBC on 6 July last.
The most significant sequences in the programme are described with critical comment following where appropriate.
Shown BBC2 – 6th July 2008 28 July 2008
NOTE 1: [...] indicates comments.
NOTE 2: The “straw man” is a deceitful technique used in argument where an
opponent is falsely alleged to take a certain position which is then later
demonstrated to be false, thus discrediting him.
NOTE 3: This piece assumes a certain amount of background knowledge
on controversies surrounding the Sept. 11 2001 events in New York City.
The programme claimed building 7 in the World Trade Centre complex was the
“first and only skyscraper on the world to have collapsed because of fire”
[But what of the other two WTC buildings according to the 9/11 Commission Rpt?
That official government report into “9/11” stated that WTC1 & WTC2 had collapsed
due to fire. So the BBC began by contradicting the official US Gov. report into
Later the programme told us the “Final Gov. Rpt on the 3rd tower has still not been
There was an interview with Barry Jennings, an African American who was in WTC7
before the collapse.
There was a clip simultaneously showing the collapse of WTC7 and a high-rise
building being demolished by controlled demolition. They both collapsed at the same
speed and in about the same way. This clip was displayed by Dylan Avery the director
of Loose Change, the Internet movie which has had phenomenal success in
disseminating “9/11 Conspiracy Theories”.
The programme admitted “all the steel was taken away to be melted down”, [so
the crime scene had been destroyed before a proper investigation could get under way.]
It showed one piece of steel that, it claimed had survived. It was in a strange mangled
state. It appeared to have undergone some sort of melting process. There was a
reference to a New York Times report which claimed how the piece of metal was in
its present state was the “deepest mystery uncovered in the investigation”.
[A phrase like “deepest mystery” is a queue to the viewer to take something
significant on board. Be alert here too for a “straw man” being set up.]
A Prof. Sissan was introduced discussing the steel piece.
The entire alarm system for WTC 7 was placed on “test” early in the morning of
Sept. 11, so that all alarms would be ignored.
WTC7 contained the offices of various federal agencies. It was evacuated for fear of
an attack on it. B Jennings was unaware of the evacuation order.
He was “the “key witness” in “the “controversy over building 7”.
[Note with the phrase “key witness” another “straw man” is being set up.
Note no ‘911 Truther” confirms the claim that Jennings is a “key witness”. ]
Problems with a lack of water supply for fire fighting were mentioned.
Architects & Engineers for 911 Truth was referred to. It was stated the organisation
had more than 390 professionals from around the world. Richard Gage, an
architect represented the organisation on the film.
There was a reference to experiments in Britain in the mid-1990s to see how well steel
framed buildings could stand up to fire. Fires as hot as 1000 C did not cause a collapse.
Bldg 7 suffered fires to the maximum temperature of 600 c (so the BBC says). At this
temperature steel loses half its strength.
Barry Jennings was trapped inside for 3 hours. A Police officer told him to run, he said,
as “they had more information of bombs”.
Deputy Fire Chief Hayden, said “one particular engineer” advised that collapse of WTC7
was a possibility. And gave them about 5 hours, and “he was pretty much right on the
money, that he said in its current state, you have about 5 hours.”
[Interestingly the film did not elaborate and tell us who this engineer was. It would
have been intriguing to discover who this individual was who was able to accurately
predict the onset of occurrence of a physical phenomenon, which it was admitted had
never occurred in history before, accurate to a matter of minutes.]
The film claimed this had been taken by some as “evidence the Fire Dept. and others
were planning its destruction”. [ Again another “straw man”]
In a documentary the owner of the site, Mr Silvestein, in an interview is shown saying
it had been decided to “pull it”, in reference to tower 7. It has been alleged this could
only refer to an act of controlled demolition, as to “pull” is jargon for just that. R Gage
said the language used by Silverstein was strange but “who knows”, in the end it was
“just speculation” as to what was originally meant.
Fire Chief Daniel Negro, NYFD, said they had to make a decision to stop rescue efforts
& pull fire fighters from the building. The decision came from the Fire Chief and him
alone, he claimed. He discussed the notion of conspiracy briefly and dismissed the
The CNN and BBC broadcasts where the collapse of tower 7 was reported more than 20
minutes before it happened were briefly shown and then discussed. Jane Stanley was
the reporter for the BBC. She was interviewed briefly. There was a suggestion that
the main accusation was that the media were part of the conspiracy.
[Here another straw man.] [This distracts from the enormous anomaly which was
revealed. The explanation was that they had received a misleading report from Reuters.
The question this immediately provokes as to how Reuters came by such an odd
report was not pursued. The programme makers displayed a lack of curiosity.]
R Gage is shown further discussing the collapse and asserting that for a high-rise
building to fall neatly into its own footprint as shown, explosives would have been
required. A structural engineer Kamal Obeid, a member of Gage’s group said all
columns failing at the same time due to fire as claimed “was an impossibility”.
“Impossibility” exclaimed the interviewer, taken aback.
The film told how “Loose Change” found one demolition expert, Daniel Jowenko, with 28
years of experience who believed the towers had been brought down by controlled
demolition. It showed the clip from a Dutch TV investigation of 2006 where Jowenko,
without him knowing what he was being shown, observed a video of the collapsing
tower 7 and was asked to describe what he saw. He said it was certainly a controlled
demolition he was seeing. Only then was he told it was WTC 7. “Then they worked
hard”, he said with a air of surprise.
“But it is not a view shared by other demolition experts” according to the programme.
To validate this claim it interviewed the sum total of ONE demolition expert, and this
a man compromised by his personal connection to 9/11 and the US government.
Again active curiosity appears seriously hampered.
The boss of Controlled Demolition Incorporated, Mr Loizeau then made a major
contribution. He said the preparation of a controlled demolition on site takes months.
Parts of the structure need to be knocked in and this is a noisy business. Much cable
has to be laid down.
Gage was asked when he thought explosives could have been placed. He suggested the
possibility that they could have been placed even when the building was first erected
in the 1980s. [This sounds on the daft side. Perhaps he gave more plausible answers
also which were edited out and not shown.]
Loizeau: Windows would be shattered in buildings “all the way around” if explosives had
been used. Also detonation chord would have been an obvious give away after the event.
Dr Gene Corley of FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) said he had
checked for evidence of controlled demolition and then ruled it out.
The film then turned its attention to Prof. Steve Jones. It introduced him as “his theory
is so controversial he left his job as a Prof. of Physics, because of it”.
[The reality is that he was constructively dismissed after his college had been
subjected to outside pressure.]
It said he “thinks he’s found evidence of an unconventional explosion, in the dust from
the WTC”. This was an explosion using a form of thermite, a substance that when
ignited can melt steel. He explained how the dust residue left after the collapse of
the three towers contained traces, such as characteristic tiny iron spheres which he
believed could only be the result of thermite explosions in the buildings.
Then the film reported on how a NASA plane flew over the scene “5 days” after the
collapse. It measured the ground temperatures at ground zero below. The highest
temperature was in the “tower 7 footprint”, which was 720 C. These temperatures,
the programme admitted were “extraordinarily high”.
Then the programme admitted that Loizeau, the expert supporting the official
explanation of the events, could be biased because he was and is in receipt of generous Government contracts.
[Then the documentary launched into its final section where it attempts to debunk the
It was announced that “new evidence” had emerged that supports the official theory
that fire brought WTC7 down.
Gage, the “9/11 Truth” architect was then shown claiming there was little in the way
of fire going on in tower 7 on that fateful day.
A photographer/video maker who was there and took pictures claimed heavy fires had
taken hold of the building. Some of his video film was shown. [However, it failed to
show a wide view of the fires burning in tower 7, preferring to opt for close-up images.
Thus, the unevenness of the fires over the whole building was de-emphasised.]
Then a fire fighter who said he was there claimed there were large scale fires in the
building. So, the fire fighters pulled back. Then the building fell. He said he heard no
explosive charges going off.
BBC personnel, including Jane Stanley discussed the reporting of the collapse 26
minutes early. It was down to a mistaken report from Reuters. [It did not occur
to them to inquire of Reuters how they get it so wrong. Again the lack of curiosity which
haunted the film was evident.]
The losing of the tape with the anticipatory report of the collapse of tower 7 was
explained as a mistake. It had been filed mistakenly with 2002 material, they said.
[How strange this matter was so deluged with screw-ups.]
Barry Jennings appeared again and said he did not believe in the conspiracy theories
and then appeared to contradict a statement he had made on other occasions about
walking over dead bodies as he made his way out of the building. Dylan Avery, director
of Loose Change made a good job of exposing contradictions in his evidence by playing
a snippet of a a previous interview he gave on a handheld device. [Remember,
the programme had previously introduced this man as “the key witness”.]
Then what was claimed to be a steel remnant from WTC7 was produced. It had been
mentioned earlier in the programme. It was claimed to had been found “in a salvage
yard”. It was made of the same formulation of steel as WTC7.
It had undergone analysis in a laboratory by a Prof. Jonathan Barnett.
The outcome of the analysis was commented on by Prof. Sisson of Worcester
“It was attacked by a liquid slag” he said. He stated “Hot fires in the debris cooked
the debris over weeks”.
[The idea is that it was eroded in the fires that lasted at ground
zero for weeks. Thus this was not the result of an explosion using thermite.
Most tellingly, in the exposition concerning the piece of deformed steel the “Truthers”
do not get to make the merest contribution. What is their position on this piece of
steel? We do not learn it. We were left in the dark.
Nowhere in the film do the conspiracy proponents refer to or make any claims for this
piece of deformed metal. So, technical debunking related to it in effect qualifies
as a “straw man” argument.
How can we be fully sure this piece of steel really came from ground zero? That is
another vital question that was not answered.]
A Dr Sunder, apparently from India, the leading investigator of the current Bldg7
investigation said as they had no steel to study they had developed four models to
study what had happened. He explained the swift and even collapse by stating “it
turns out that when you have connections that essentially don’t have strength, ah,
for the loads they are being subjected to, ah, and you have this massive failure of
a column, you..it does not take time, the structure has lost all integrity at that point
[The idea that “the massive failure of a column” should cause a structure to “lose
all integrity”, virtually instantaneously, conflicts with everything we must assume to
be true regarding professionally constructed high-rise buildings. Such a structure
may not display the characteristics of a “house of cards”, as this statement implies.
Dr Sundar was not shown providing any further justification for his claim.]
The programme said what had happened with tower 7 was unique; there had been a
lack of water to fight the fire, there were many fires, it was built over an electricity
substation which undermined it structurally.
Prof Barnett now began to assume the role of expert on behalf of the official position.
He displayed evidence by way of film of Bldg 5 soon after the events where steel
beams had been broken and there had been a partial collapse. He had been there
at the scene himself, he said.
[However, evidence from the same site is not convincing, when one thinks about
it. One could credibly theorize the same explosive materials which had brought down
the other towers contributed to the partial collapse within tower 5.]
The experienced politician Richard Clarke, who had been counter terrorism adviser to
President Bush at the time opined that governments are not competent enough to
carry out such conspiracies. Also they can not keep secrets. All the state secrets he
has been privy to, he said, eventually came out in the New York Times or the
Washington Post. [What Clarke has to say about the eagerness of these two
newspapers to uncover the truth, tells you all you need to know about the
reliability of his statement.]
Finally, the film cut to the fire fighter who did not believe in conspiracies and then to
Chief Negro, who basically says “conspiracy theories” are fiction.
[However, the argument based on the examination of the piece of steel allegedly from
WTC7 does not convince for reasons described above. Similarly the argument based
on the condition of WTC5 post-attack is very weak, as discussed just above.
Tower 7, being built partially over an electricity sub-station should not cause it to
collapse evenly into its own footprint as it did. In fact, due to the uneven distribution of
weight over the superstructure such a situation would cause, the collapse ought to
have been yet more uneven.
The extent of the fires and the lack of water to combat them ought not to have
provoked a collapse. The programme admitted such a structural collapse had never
happened before that day in history anywhere in the world. Yet, more aggressive and
consuming fires had occurred on high-rise buildings before without initiating a
Dr Sunder, who leads the current WTC7 investigation merely provided a description
of what was officially claimed to have happened.
There were distractions and straw men aplenty as well as half truths and outright
falsehoods. The “new evidence”, on closer examination, turned out to be limp.
The profound question the “911 Truthers” posed; how could a high rise building
simulate the appearance and effects of a controlled demolition without actually
undergoing one itself remained unanswered.]