Joined: 18 Jan 2006
|Posted: Sun Sep 03, 2006 6:39 pm Post subject: Witheld/Destroyed Evidence
|Reply to this topic with evidence and discussion about the
destruction or withholding of evidence relating to 9/11.
For example (macauleym): FAA Tapes, black boxes, etc.
S U M M A R Y
A summary of the thread will be updated here as evidence
is presented in this topic.
Joined: 18 Jan 2006
|Posted: Sun Sep 03, 2006 8:06 pm Post subject: Families Questions to the 9/11 Commission
|One source of witheld information is the unanswered questions posed by
the Family Steering Committee to the 9/11 Independent Commission:
Joined: 27 Jan 2006
|Posted: Mon Sep 04, 2006 7:32 pm Post subject: FAA cassette tape destroyed
|Quoted below in full are three articles, one from the New York Times and two from the Washington Post, describing a report released by the the Transportation Department's Inspector General on May 6, 2004, which describes the creation and subsequent (several months later) destruction of an approximately one-hour cassette tape recording of statements by six FAA controllers at a meeting around 11:40am on 9/11/01, at which approximately 16 people were present. According to the report, it seems that nobody listened to the tape before it was destroyed. The second Washington Post article below identifies two of the FAA managers involved: the one who decided to record the tape (Mike McCormick) and the one who later destroyed it (Kevin Delaney). Delaney (assuming he was identified correctly by the WP writer's "source familiar with the investigation") absurdly said that "the tape was not meant for anyone to hear," and declined the request of one of the six controllers "to listen to the tape in preparing her written statement."
The report itself (24 pages) is available in PDF here (or HTML version from Google here). (It's very long and redundant, so I've decided against copying it here. But it contains many details about the tape and the subsequent investigation.)
Whether anything valuable was lost, or was deliberately covered up, when the tape was destroyed, is anyone's guess. The report makes it seem like there was probably nothing valuable lost -- and gives plausible reasons for concluding this -- but admits that it is impossible to know for sure. Delaney was apparently disciplined (20-day suspesion without pay) as a result of the investigation reported on by the DOT Inspector General.
Two other articles are perhaps worth mentioning and linking to. One, yet another article on the DOT/IG report, from Air Safety Week, May 17, 2004. Two, a more recent New York Daily News article (January 20, 2006), reporting that Kevin Delaney was fired (along with 11 other controllers) in August 2005, got his job back in December 2005 (after the controllers "took the case to arbitration and won reinstatement"), but after "managers continued to create a hostile work environment", he decided to resign (January 2006).
|http://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/06/national/06CND-TAPE.html (requires free registration/login)
The New York Times
May 6, 2004
F.A.A. Official Scrapped Tape of 9/11 Controllers' Statements
By MATTHEW L. WALD
WASHINGTON, May 6 — At least six air traffic controllers who dealt with two of the hijacked airliners on Sept. 11, 2001, made a tape recording that same day describing the events, but the tape was destroyed by a supervisor without anyone making a transcript or even listening to it, the Transportation Department said in a report today.
The taping began before noon on Sept. 11 at the New York Air Route Traffic Control Center, in Ronkonkoma, on Long Island, where about 16 people met in a basement conference room known as "the Bat Cave" and passed around a microphone, each recalling his or her version of the events a few hours earlier.
But officials at the center never told higher-ups of the tape's existence, and it was later destroyed by an F.A.A. official described in the report as a quality-assurance manager there. That manager crushed the cassette in his hand, shredded the tape and dropped the pieces into different trash cans around the building, according to a report made public today by the inspector general of the Transportation Department.
The tape had been made under an agreement with the union that it would be destroyed after it was superseded by written statements from the controllers, according to the inspector general's report. But the quality-assurance manager asserted that making the tape had itself been a violation of accident procedures at the Federal Aviation Administration, the report said.
The inspector general, Kenneth M. Mead, said that the officials' keeping the existence of the tape a secret and the decision by one to destroy it had not served "the interests of the F.A.A., the department or the public" and could foster suspicions among the public.
Mr. Mead had been asked by Senator John McCain, the Arizona Republican who is chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, to look into how well the aviation agency had cooperated with what is widely known as the 9/11 commission, a bipartisan, independent panel investigating the terror attacks.
On the tape, the controllers, some of whom had spoken by radio to people on the planes and some who had tracked the aircraft on radar, gave statements of 5 to 10 minutes each, according to the report.
The tape's value was not clear, Mr. Mead said, because no one was sure what was on it, although the written statements given later by five of the controllers were broadly consistent with "sketchy" notes taken at the time by people in the Bat Cave. (The sixth controller who spoke on the tape did not give a written statement, apparently because that controller had not spoken to either of the planes or observed it on radar.)
One of the central questions about the events of that morning is how the F.A.A. responded to emerging clues that four planes had been hijacked. A tape made within hours of the events, as well as written statements given later, could help establish that.
A spokesman for the 9/11 commission, Al Felzenberg, said that Mr. Mead's report was "meticulous" and "came through the efforts of a very conscientious senator." He said the commission would not comment now on the content of the report but that it "does speak to some of the issues we're interested in."
The tape was made because the manager of the center believed that the standard post-crash procedure would be too slow for an event of the magnitude of 9/11. After an accident or other significant incident, according to officials of the union and the F.A.A., the controllers involved are relieved of duty and often go home; eventually they review the radar tapes and voice transmissions and give a written statement of what they had seen, heard and done.
People in the Ronkonkoma center at midday on Sept. 11 concluded that that procedure would take many hours, and that the controllers' shift was ending and after a traumatic morning, they wanted to go home.
The center manager's idea was to have the tape available overnight, in case the F.B.I. wanted something before the controllers returned to work the next day, according to people involved.
"It was never meant as a permanent record," said Mark DiPalmo, the president of the local chapter of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, who made the deal with the center manager.
He said the session was informal, and that sometimes more than one person at a time was speaking. "We sat everyone in a room, went around the room, said, `What do you remember?" Mr. DiPalmo said in an interview.
Mr. Mead's report said that it was conceivable that without that deal, the tape would not have been made at all.
The quality-assurance manager told investigators that he had destroyed the tape because he thought making it was contrary to F.A.A. policy, which calls for written statements, and because he felt that the controllers "were not in the correct frame of mind to have properly consented to the taping" because of the stress of the day, Mr. Mead reported.
Neither the center manager nor the quality-assurance manager disclosed the tape's existence to their superiors at the F.A.A. region that covers New York, nor to the agency's Washington headquarters, according to the report, which identified none of the officials or controllers by name.
Other tapes were preserved, including conversations on the radio frequencies used by the planes that day, and the radar tapes. In addition, the controllers later made written statements to the F.A.A., per standard procedure, and in this case, to the F.B.I. as well.
The quality-assurance manager destroyed the tape between December 2001 and February, 2002. By that time, he and the center manager had received an e-mail message sent by the F.A.A. instructing officials to safeguard all records and adding, "If a question arises whether or not you should retain data, RETAIN IT."
The inspector general attributed the tape's destruction to "poor judgment."
"The destruction of evidence in the government's possession, in this case an audiotape particularly during times of a national crisis, has the effect of fostering an appearance that information is being withheld from the public," the inspector general's report said. "We do not ascribe motivations to the managers in this case of attempting to cover up, and we have no indication that there was anything on the tape that would lead anyone to conclude that they had something to hide or that the controllers did not carry out their duties."
The inspector general also noted that the official who destroyed the tape had no regrets or second thoughts: "The quality-assurance manager told us that if presented with similar circumstances, he would again take the same course of action."
Mr. Mead wrote that this attitude was "especially troubling" and that supervisors should take "appropriate administrative action."
Although the matter had been referred to the Justice Department, the Mead report added, prosecutors said they had found no basis for criminal charges.
An F.A.A. spokesman, Greg Martin, said that his agency had cooperated with the 9/11 commission and that that was how the tape's existence had become known at the agency's headquarters.
"We believe it would not have added in any way to the information contained in all of the other materials that have already been provided to the investigators and the members of the 9/11 commission," he said.
Nonetheless, Mr. Martin said that "we have taken appropriate disciplinary action" against the quality-assurance manager. For privacy reasons, he said, he could not say what those actions were or identify any of the employees involved.
FAA Managers Destroyed 9/11 Tape
Recording Contained Accounts of Communications With Hijacked Planes
By Sara Kehaulani Goo
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, May 6, 2004; 6:16 PM
Six air traffic controllers provided accounts of their communications with hijacked planes on Sept. 11, 2001, on a tape recording that was later destroyed by Federal Aviation Administration managers, according to a government investigative report issued today.
It is unclear what information was on the tape because no one ever listened to, transcribed or duplicated it, the report by the Department of Transportation inspector general said.
The report concluded that the FAA generally cooperated with the independent panel investigating the terrorist attacks by providing documents about its activities on Sept. 11, but the actions of two FAA managers "did not, in our view, serve the interests of the FAA, the Department [of Transportation] or the public."
The report was conducted at the request of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) after the panel investigating the Sept. 11 attacks, officially known as the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, complained that the FAA had been less than forthcoming in turning over documents and issued a subpoena to the agency for more information.
The FAA said it was cooperating fully with the 9/11 panel. The agency said it took disciplinary action against the employee who destroyed the tape but declined to elaborate on what kind of action they took. [Earlier, an FAA official incorrectly stated that the agency took action against two employees in the case.]
"We believe the audiotape in question appears to be consistent with written statements and other materials provided to FBI investigators and would not have added in any significant way to the information contained in what has already been provided to investigators and members of the 9/11 commission," said FAA spokesman Greg Martin.
Hours after the hijacked planes flew into the World Trade Center Towers, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field, an FAA manager at the New York Air Route Traffic Control Center gathered six controllers who communicated or tracked two of the hijacked planes and recorded in a one-hour interview their personal accounts of what occurred, the report stated.
The manager, who is not named in the report, said that his intentions were to provide quick information to federal officials investigating the attack before the air traffic controllers involved took sick leave for the stress of their experiences, as is common practice.
According to the report, a second manager at the New York center promised a union official representing the controllers that he would "get rid of" the tape after controllers used it to provide written statements to federal officials about the events of the day.
Instead, the second manager said he destroyed the tape between December 2001 and January 2002 by crushing the tape with his hand, cutting it into small pieces and depositing the pieces into trash cans around the building, the report said.
The tape's existence was never made known to federal officials investigating the attack, nor to FAA officials in Washington. Staff members of the 9/11 panel found out about the tape during interviews with some controllers who participated in the recording.
One controller said she asked to listen to the tape in order to prepare her written account of her experience, but one of the managers denied her request.
The New York managers acknowledged that they received an e-mail from FAA officials instructing them to retain all materials related to the Sept. 11 attacks. "If a question arises whether or not you should retain the data, RETAIN IT," the report quoted the e-mail as saying.
But the managers decided not to include the tape in a November 2001 "Formal Accident Package" report the office prepared because one manager said he did not want to break his word to the union official and he did not think the tape should ever have been made.
The inspector general concluded today that the managers' actions resulted in the loss of potential evidence that would allow the 9/11 commission to compare controllers' recollection of the events immediately after the attacks with the written statements prepared three weeks later.
"The destruction of evidence in the Government's possession, in this case an audiotape -- particularly during times of national crisis -- has the effect of fostering an appearance that information is being withheld from the public."
© 2004 The Washington Post Company
Controllers' 9/11 Tape Destroyed, Report Says
By Sara Kehaulani Goo
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, May 7, 2004; Page A02
Six air traffic controllers provided accounts of their communications with hijacked planes on Sept. 11, 2001, on a tape recording that was later destroyed by a Federal Aviation Administration manager, according to a government investigative report issued yesterday.
It is unclear what was on the tape, but its destruction did little to dispel the appearance that government officials withheld evidence, the report by the Department of Transportation inspector general said.
The report found that an FAA manager tape-recorded an hour-long interview with the controllers just hours after the hijacked aircraft crashed into the World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania. His intention was to provide the information quickly to the FBI. But months after the recording, the tape was never turned over to the FBI and another FAA manager decided on his own to destroy the tape, crushing it with his hand, cutting it into small pieces and depositing the pieces into several trash cans, the report said.
The existence of the tape and its destruction were revealed in a report that initially was to find whether the FAA had fully cooperated with an independent panel investigating the terrorist attacks after the panel complained last fall that it needed more information from the agency. Inspector General Kenneth M. Mead found that the FAA never intentionally withheld information, but he condemned the managers' actions and said they were required to keep such evidence for five years.
The report said investigators were told that the tape was never listened to, copied or transcribed.
"The destruction of evidence in the Government's possession, in this case an audiotape -- particularly during times of national crisis -- has the effect of fostering an appearance that information is being withheld from the public," the report says. "We do not ascribe motivations to the managers in this case of attempting to cover-up, and we have no indication there was anything on the tape that would lead anyone to conclude that they had something to hide or that the controllers did not properly carry out their duties on September 11. The actions of these managers . . . nonetheless, do little to dispel such appearances."
The FAA yesterday said it had taken disciplinary action against the employee who destroyed the tape. That manager, identified by a source familiar with the investigation as Kevin Delaney, was last week given a 20-day suspension without pay. Delaney appealed that decision, the source said, confirming a report last night by Newsday. The employee who recorded the tape, Mike McCormick, was not subject to a disciplinary procedure and is in Iraq for the FAA, helping to set up an air traffic control system, the source added.
The FAA said it has provided thousands of documents to government investigators and the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, known as the 9/11 commission.
"We believe the audiotape in question appears to be consistent with written statements and other materials provided to FBI investigators and would not have added in any significant way to the information contained in what has already been provided to investigators and members of the 9/11 commission," said FAA spokesman Greg Martin.
The 9/11 commission does not allege that FAA employees were attempting to cover up information related to the terrorist attacks. A spokesman for the commission yesterday said that it has received all information it sought from the FAA and that it interviewed controllers involved with the tape.
Evidence in the report and from the air traffic controllers union suggests that the decisions to make the recording and later to destroy it were meant to conform to traditional protocols following a plane crash. The actions also were aimed at protecting controllers who were under excessive stress and emotion, according to union officials representing the controllers.
According to the report, an FAA manager at the New York Air Route Traffic Control Center in Ronkonkoma recorded 10-minute interviews with six controllers who communicated with or tracked two of the hijacked planes.
According to union officials representing air traffic controllers, it is almost unheard of to tape-record an air traffic controller's account of an accident. The normal procedure is for controllers to provide written statements after reviewing radar and other data. A union official representing the New York controllers agreed to the tape recording on Sept. 11 because the union wanted to help law enforcement officials, but only on the condition that the tape was to be a "temporary" document, a union official said.
Ruth E. Marlin, executive vice president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, said she could not speak to the question of why the union official involved in the incident wanted the tape to be "temporary." "If it were me, my concern would be that if tapes were saved permanently, they might be subject to FOIA [Freedom of Information Act] request and then controllers would be subject to hearing their own voices recounted on television over and over again," Marlin said, adding that any accident can feel personal and emotional for controllers.
According to the report, a second manager at the New York center promised a union official representing the controllers that he would "get rid of" the tape after controllers used it to provide written statements to federal officials about the events of the day. The second manager said he destroyed the tape between December 2001 and January 2002.
The tape's existence was never made known to federal officials investigating the attack or FAA officials in Washington. Staff members of the 9/11 panel found out about the tape during interviews with some controllers who participated in the recording.
Staff writer Dan Eggen contributed to this report.
© 2004 The Washington Post Company
Joined: 21 Sep 2006
Joined: 20 Jun 2006
|Posted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 2:22 pm Post subject:
|Interesting connection, possibly... what is with that name "Great Kills", and in the other document refers to "Fresh Kills", renamed to "Staten Island Landfill". Why the difference in names between the two documents?
Are these all referring to the same dump/area, or different?
One day the cows will sprout wings and fly away...
Joined: 16 Jul 2006
Location: Municipal Flat Block 18A, Linear North
|Posted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 4:05 pm Post subject:
|Great Kills Park? Who the hell came up with that name? |
I believe that 'kills' is a Dutch word that means 'fresh water', or something to that effect...
The rule for today.
Touch my tail, I shred your hand.
New rule tomorrow.
Joined: 21 Sep 2006
|Posted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 4:51 pm Post subject:
|According to mapquest, Great Kills Park looks to be about 3 miles WSW of Fresh Kills Park.
The fact that there are "80 hot spots" with increased radium levels in the area seems likely to me, considering we're talking about 1.5 million tons of debris being "processed" in the area.
I saw that recent story a couple of days ago on one of these damned sites, and when I was trying to find out where to post my latest thought in the "evidence archive" or whatever, I stumbled across the Staten Island Landfill story. I still can't find the original story I saw... I need to check my I.E. history - thought I saw a map of the hot spots too.
Either that landfill story is obscure knowledge and I just got lucky seeing it so close to reading the recent story, or the whole thing is a plant. That whole "preparing for a dirty bomb" thing doesn't pass my sniff test either. That could just be the excuse for planting the seed. See the way you guys have me thinking now?
Now if I could just remember what the hell I was trying to post before I came across this Staten Island thing, things would be just great...
Joined: 21 Sep 2006
|Posted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 5:06 pm Post subject:
|Looks like I followed the link from st911.org to get the recent story. Now why would they post that? The more I think about it, the more I think this is disiformation. Surely local residents would remember all the activity going on back then. Sounds too damn convenient to be real evidence.
Fool me once, shame on me... fool me again.... I won't get fooled again.
Either I was mistaken about seeing a map, or they pulled it. I think I was just mistaken.
Joined: 21 Sep 2006
Joined: 10 Feb 2006
|Posted: Wed Nov 01, 2006 11:58 am Post subject:
|I'm not sure if this is the best spot for this but there is an ongoing "recovery" of more WTC evidence. Mayor Bloomberg is suddenly quite determined that all of it must be found.
NYC mayor: This time, WTC recovery effort will be more thorough
Daily News, New York (October 30, 2006)
NEW YORK - Mayor Michael Bloomberg conceded Monday that things might have "slipped through the cracks" in the Ground Zero recovery effort - after the New York Daily News revealed a new search wasn't launched when Sept. 11 debris was found in a manhole in 2002.
"If you go back and look, there were so many things going on and the recovery effort was so big, it's very possible that something slipped through the cracks," Bloomberg said.
The News reported Monday that the city never opened a more thorough search of the World Trade Center site after utility workers found a Secret Service bullet-proof vest inside a manhole a block from Ground Zero in October 2002.
But this time, Bloomberg vowed, things will be different.
"We think it will take a year to go through every single place that was for reasons, good or bad, accidental or deliberate, missed the last time," he said. "We will go through every place so that the families can be assured, to the extent humanly possibly, we've looked every place as carefully as we possibly could."
On Oct. 19, a Consolidated Edison crew found more than 200 human bone fragments and a number of personal effects in a manhole about 300 feet from the spot where the vest was found.
Last week, the city announced a full-scale search in lower Manhattan involving every manhole from Barclay to Albany streets and from Broadway to west of the World Financial Center.
A service road and a parking lot will be dug up, the interiors of three buildings will be searched, as will the roofs of the Millenium Hotel and the One Liberty Plaza office tower.
The renewed search follows pressure from the families of the 1,150 Sept. 11 victims whose remains have never been found.
Monday night, community residents confronted government officials about the search inside one Ground Zero building: Fiterman Hall, a City University of New York building that is still clogged with toxic World Trade Center debris from the day of the attacks.
Residents and local environmental and worker-safety groups have demanded "a full, open public process" as cleanup and ultimately demolition of Fiterman begins in the coming weeks.
Officials revealed that the city medical examiner is expected to begin searching for human remains inside Fiterman Hall by mid-November.
Of particular interest is that Secret Service bulletproof jacket found underground one block from the WTC. Any speculation on how the jacket got so far? Seems improbable that it was blown laterally one block underground.
Joined: 16 Jul 2006
Location: Municipal Flat Block 18A, Linear North
|Posted: Wed Nov 01, 2006 1:28 pm Post subject:
|Of particular interest is that Secret Service bulletproof jacket found underground one block from the WTC. Any speculation on how the jacket got so far? Seems improbable that it was blown laterally one block underground. |
I get the unshakeable feeling that there was allsorts of fascinating things going on in the sewer system, under manholes and in utility pits/conduits around 9/11. Good question about the SS vest - I mean a normal police vest would be less remarkable, but seeing as how the SS is such a small, specialised unit, what the hell was an SS guy doing under Ground Zero?
The rule for today.
Touch my tail, I shred your hand.
New rule tomorrow.
Joined: 11 Feb 2006
Location: 36ï¿½ 3'N x 86ï¿½40'W
|Posted: Wed Nov 01, 2006 3:31 pm Post subject:
|I can almost guarantee there are copies (most likely digitized) of those tapes somewhere, and for many reasons. I also would guarantee that most of us will be dead before they surface.
"No matter what happens, ever... there's ALWAYS at least one reason. And the top reason is ALWAYS money."
Joined: 25 Aug 2006
|Posted: Fri Nov 10, 2006 1:25 pm Post subject:
|Those tapes were destroyed for one reason, retribution. They were not required to make an interview, someone thought it might be a good idea, to get the chronology correct. These are not ATC Tapes that are constantly recording, these were just an interview for those individuals to help them get their story right so when they were going to face questions later, they could go back and listen to thier tape. Later they thought about it a while, and determined that someone (the FAA) could come back later and use those tapes against them. So they destroyed them. I don't blame them but unfortunately that is the way the FAA is now towards its controllers. I wished I had recorded my story right after 9-11 as well, but then again why, if it could be used against you.
Joined: 22 Sep 2006
Location: Lost in anamnesis, cannot forget my way out
|Posted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 8:32 am Post subject:
|In general I do not spend much time these days on the "dancing Israelis" (except for one: did I mention Ayelet?) and even the "official" hijacker gig, since I side with Fintan and Co. that just about everything we've heard about the hijackers was a outer level of onion.
BUT ONE NEWS THREAD keeps my attention. Why? Because someone actually died after 9/11 under suspicious circumstances. This is real post-9/11 murder; therefore it is worth more than ten thousand "dancing Israelis".
- Katherine Smith dies 10 Feb 2002, foul play pretty well obvious, a day before she was due to appear in court
- She was a Tennessee DMV employee, state witness, who helped several 9/11 POI to obtain drivers' licenses
- The car she had been driving, registered to Khaled Odtllah, who had been her 'partner in the scheme'
- One of the licensees, a man who had shared an address with Odtllah: Sakher Hammad
- Sakher Hammad employed 'Sergei Davidenko of Denko Mechanical Ltd' (a Canadian Co. happens to have same name)
- Sakher Hammad arrested for questioning in Tenn. ID case on 5 Feb 2002; overstayed visa, 'nationality not given'
- Showed them his trade business card, 'Magic Plumbing and Heating'
- Also found on his person: 5-6 September 2001 Port Authority visitor's pass for WTC North Tower, basement B1-B6
- Hammad told authorities he was "a plumber who worked on the center's sprinkler system."
- * Alan Hicks, PA spokesman on 15 Feb 2002: "Which tenant hired Hammad to work on its sprinklers is lost."
But Hicks said the Port Authority, which owned the building, did its own sprinkler work, and that any other work involving sprinklers would have been arranged by an individual tenant. "We don't know (which one) because all our records were destroyed in the World Trade Center, as were some of the people who know that," Hicks said.
Hicks evidently not too eager to directly volunteer any direct opinion on the plausibility, possibility or even legality of a tenant hiring a residential plumber to make its own modifications to the 'sprinkler system'. Hicks apparently not pressed for such an opinion by the press, either. Elephants in the living room.
Fact is, above basement level, the water plumbing of the WTC was NOT IN ANY WAY partitioned by 'tenant' or 'floor' -- in fact, obviously aside from tenants actually in the basement...
EITHER: Hammad was a journeyman actually hired by a basement tenant to do something,
OR: Hammad took advantage of his basement access to 'plant something' or 'do something' to the effect of hampering fire-fighting efforts... ?
OR: The pass was planted and the 'working on the sprinklers' was pure fiction
OR: Even the existence of Hammad is fiction.
But which? Considering the sprinkler angle, and what it would imply regarding preparation and/or possible complicity.
|Fiery death raises fears of terror link
A Tennessee woman accused of helping five Middle Eastern men get fraudulent drivers' licenses is found dead in her car.
By ALLEN G. BREED and BILL POOVEY, The Associated Press // February 17, 2002
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Shortly before 1 a.m. last Sunday, witnesses saw flames erupt from the back seat of a 1992 Acura Legend as it crawled along a two-lane road skirting farm fields in the little Tennessee town of Piperton.
The driver breathed in the flames, her lungs searing, as the car veered off the road and came to rest against a utility pole near the Mississippi state line. There were no skid marks or furrows in the grass to indicate the driver had hit the brakes.
A witness rushed up and pulled open the car door, but the driver was not moving. She appeared to be already dead. When the first volunteer firefighters arrived, the car was engulfed in flames.
From the very beginning, it didn't look right, said Steve Kellett, chief of the Piperton Volunteer Fire Department.
The car had been moving too slowly for the accident to cause much damage. The wooden pole was barely dented. The radiator was pushed in a few inches, but the engine block was undamaged. Most important, the gas tank had not ruptured. The cardboard packaging for a replacement headlamp in the trunk was barely scorched.
What could have caused a fire so severe that it cooked the passenger compartment of the sedan down to the frame and burned the driver beyond recognition? If someone had been trying to make this death look like an accident, they had done a lousy job.
Police began investigating the death as a homicide, though they have not ruled out suicide. The mystery deepened the next day when dental records identified the victim as Katherine Smith, 49, a state driver's license examiner.
Smith had been scheduled to be arraigned last Monday on federal charges of helping five Middle Eastern men from New York obtain fraudulent Tennessee drivers' licenses.
One of the men, authorities say, drove from New York to Memphis on Sept. 11 -- the day of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. And one of them, at the time of his arrest, was carrying in his wallet a pass to the trade center dated Sept. 5.
Was this a series of bizarre coincidences?
"The possibility of a really interesting story exists here," FBI Agent George W. Bolds said last week, brushing soot from his hands as he walked away from the charred vehicle impounded in a garage. Then again, he said, "it could turn out to be a whole lot less than people expect."
On the morning of Feb. 5, authorities say, a gray Dodge Durango and a white Toyota Avalon arrived in Memphis from New York and parked outside the motor vehicles office. Inside the cars sat six Middle Eastern men.
Tennessee is one of four states not requiring a Social Security number to get a license, and many people carry utility bills as proof of residence.
Shortly after Smith showed up for work, a man from the Toyota, Khaled Odtllah, a native of Jerusalem, joined the morning rush into the building. According to an FBI affidavit, he was clutching four signed driver's license applications.
Katherine Smith was a woman of modest means. She had a couple hundred dollars in a credit union account, a couple hundred more than that in checking, according to court records. She had a 1999 Ford Escort with a $10,000 lien and the Acura.
She and her daughter shared a one-story home in a rough-and-tumble neighborhood in the shadow of Memphis' Liberty Bowl stadium. The neat little house is worth $65,000; Smith owed $55,000 on it.
She had worked for mental health agencies before joining the motor vehicle division in 1992. She was earning just over $23,000 a year.
Neighbors say they hardly saw the woman because she was working all the time. After hours, she worked taking care of an elderly woman.
"She worked day and night," says Peola Wright, who lives two doors down. She called Smith a nice lady who sang in the church choir and tried to get neighbors to attend services.
The neighborhood is a few miles from where Khaled Odtllah lived, but it seems a world away.
According to records, Odtllah's last address was the Grove, a gated community in the Memphis suburb of Cordova, with swimming pools, tennis courts and spas.
Police say Odtllah came to the United States about 13 years ago from Jerusalem and had been in Tennessee for about 2 1/2 years.
Smith later told officials she met Odtllah at his gas station. He sold her the Acura, which was still in Odtllah's name when Smith died. Somewhere along the line, police say, Smith and Odtllah became business partners.
As an examiner in an office processing 300 to 400 driver's license applicants each day, Smith screened applicants at a front counter and gave written and road tests.
On the applications Odtllah was carrying on Feb. 5, each man listed as his address 2840 Morning Lake Drive, in another gated community just outside Memphis.
At motor vehicles, the applications were approved and entered into the computer system. When Odtllah walked outside, the FBI was waiting for him.
Agents in New York had received a tip that the men would be traveling to Memphis that day, and the bureau's agents in Tennessee had staked out Smith's home and the motor vehicle office. When Odtllah and the others pulled out of the parking lot, agents flashed blue lights and pulled them over.
With Odtllah, police found Mostafa Said Abou-Shahin, Mohammed Fares and Sakher Hammad and his cousin Abdelmuhsen Mahmid Hammad. An unnamed juvenile also was arrested.
A few months ago, the contents of Sakher Hammad's wallet would have seemed innocuous: two video rental cards; two major credit cards; a card designating him a "charter member" of Team Ford Racing; a New York plumber's business card.
And a pass, dated 09/05/01 that gave him access to the lower basement of One World Trade Center.
Shown a photocopy, New York City Port Authority officials said the pass looked authentic, but they couldn't be certain without seeing the original.
Authorities say Sakher Hammad told them that he is plumber and that he and his cousin were in the tower to work on the sprinkler system. New York authorities have no record of a plumber's license for either cousin.
A business card in Sakher Hammad's wallet was for a Magic Plumbing & Heating in Brooklyn. It advertises "custom kitchens, bathrooms, water heaters, boilers, repiping" -- generally residential in nature.
A call to the business produced only a full voice-mailbox for someone named "Rocky." Using a reverse telephone directory, the AP found a list of phone numbers at the company's street address, all of them for individuals, among them Sakher Hammad.
Hammad's wallet also held courtesy cards from the New York City Patrolmen's Benevolent Association and the Detectives' Endowment Association of New York. The latter bears the inscription, "In memory of those who lost their lives on 9-11-01."
It is adorned with a fluttering American flag, a police badge and a picture of the twin towers.
When Smith was arrested, authorities say she admitted helping Odtllah obtain licenses for "cousins" on a half-dozen occasions in the past year. An FBI agent later testified that Odtllah was charging up to $1,200 each to help people get their new identities.
Authorities say the men arrested with Odtllah admitted being in the country illegally.
The day Smith was to appear in court, her car sat in an FBI garage in Memphis, the champagne finish bubbled and streaked with trails of melted rubber window stripping. The upholstery was burned away. Police couldn't even tell if Smith had been wearing a seat belt.
However, they had found a residue of gasoline on her body. The fire, the FBI determined, was intentionally set.
Bolds, the FBI agent, wondered how someone who was conscious could have stayed in the burning car. "If the car is on fire, you're going to stop in the middle of the highway if you have to, to get out," he said.
An autopsy is not yet finished.
On Wednesday, Abou-Shahin, Fares and Abdelmuhsen Hammad appeared in court wearing blue windbreakers provided by the court. They face charges of conspiring to obtain licenses with false information. Odtllah and Sakher Hammad had appeared in court Monday.
Court records indicate that another man, Omar Khayata, 20, had also applied for a license Feb. 5, using the same address. But he was not charged, and officials would not say whether he was the juvenile mentioned in the affidavit.
Lawyers for the defendants argued that their clients were being held only because of their ethnicity. "They seem to be trying to tie this to Sept. 11," said Clifton Harviel Jr., who represented Abou-Shahin.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Tim DiScenza replied that each man had participated in a conspiracy intended to acquire a "completely false and untraceable identity." Their motivation, he said, could be "further criminal activity."
In the wake of Sept. 11, there have been crackdowns on illegally obtained drivers' licenses elsewhere. Several of the Sept. 11 hijackers had illegally obtained licenses in Virginia.
In denying bail for the five, federal magistrates cited the men's tenuous connections to the community and strong ties to other countries.
Court papers show Odtllah has a wife, a 2-year-old son, a mother and 10 siblings, all living in Jerusalem. Officials say he has "traveled extensively across the U.S. in the last few years."
Sakher Hammad "has no ties whatsoever to this community," a magistrate noted. "He has substantial ties to Jordan or Gaza, where his mother lives. He has had less than stable employment . . . and a cooperating witness has disappeared under suspicious circumstances."
Of the local telephone numbers listed on the license applications, three were out of service, and one was a fax.
When bail was denied, Fares put his head in his hands and wiped his eyes. The others showed no reaction.
Outside Smith's home, a row of red artificial flowers seems to wilt in the winter chill.
Family members have refused to talk.
The answering machine message on Smith's phone was changed to provide information about her funeral Saturday. There was no wake, the message said, because wakes are for sadness.
"Please wear lively attire," said a young woman's voice. "Because this is a joyous occasion -- because she's going home to be with the Lord."
If the existence of I myself is a fiction, please disregard this message.
Joined: 10 Feb 2006
|Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2007 6:10 pm Post subject:
|I prepared a presentment regarding WTC evidence destruction and concealment. It's a little long so I'd normally attach it. Comments are welcome.
Updated with the latest revision.
PRESENTMENT REGARDING DESTRUCTION OF WORLD TRADE CENTER EVIDENCE AND CONSEQUENT OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE
Bill Manning, acting as then Editor-In-Chief, published an article entitled $ELLING OUT THE INVESTIGATION
in FIRE ENGINEERING MAGAZINE on January 1st 2002. In this article, Manning issued the
following public statement:
For more than three months, structural steel from the World Trade Center has been and continues to be cut up
and sold for scrap. Crucial evidence that could answer many questions about high-rise building design practices
and performance under fire conditions is on the slow boat to China, perhaps never to be seen again in America
until you buy your next car.
Such destruction of evidence shows the astounding ignorance of government officials to the value of a thorough,
scientific investigation of the largest fire-induced collapse in world history. I have combed through our national
standard for fire investigation, NFPA 921, but nowhere in it does one find an exemption allowing the destruction
of evidence for buildings over 10 stories tall.
Fire Engineering has good reason to believe that the "official investigation" blessed by FEMA and run by the
American Society of Civil Engineers is a half-baked farce that may already have been commandeered by political
forces whose primary interests, to put it mildly, lie far afield of full disclosure. Except for the marginal
benefit obtained from a three-day, visual walk-through of evidence sites conducted by ASCE investigation
committee members-described by one close source as a "tourist trip"-no one's checking the evidence for anything.
Bill Manning's article was followed up with a public call for investigation in a January 4th 2002 FIRE ENGINEERING
article entitled BURNING QUESTIONS...NEED ANSWERS: BILL MANNING CALLS FOR COMPREHENSIVE INVESTIGATION OF THE WTC
COLLAPSE which reiterated the statements of the initial article and formalized a public call for investigation.
This public call for investigation from a prestigious public service publication was given by a competent
fire engineering professional fully aware of the proper standards for the investigation of any fire or explosion
incident. The allegation that evidence from the scene of a crime of mass murder was being destroyed would
constitute obstruction of justice and related crimes which would rise to the level of felony offenses if
deliberate violations of standard investigative procedure could be substantiated. The open call was based upon
violations of NFPA 921, the national standard for fire investigation. This standard is composed by the National
Fire Protection Association, a group of fire protection professionals dedicated to public dissemination of
standards for conducting fire investigation and ensuring public safety.
Under common law, the violation of
national standards leading to destruction of evidence and consequent obstruction of justice is a cognizable crime.
Private Citizens with knowledge of felonious activity are required by common law and United States Code to make
publicly known their suspicion of criminal activity in the interests of preserving law and order and of bringing
criminals to prosecution. Specifically, 18 USC Section 4, MISPRISION OF FELONY states
Whoever, having knowledge of the actual commission of a felony cognizable by a court of the United States,
conceals and does not as soon as possible make known the same to some judge or other person in civil or military
authority under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or
Public servants acting in their official capacities do not have the authority to arbitrarily engage in willful
New York Penal Law, TITLE L--OFFENSES AGAINST PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION states clearly in Section 195.00 the
classification of official misconduct:
A public servant is guilty of official misconduct when, with intent to obtain a benefit or deprive another person of a benefit:
1. He commits an act relating to his office but constituting an unauthorized exercise of his official functions, knowing that such act is unauthorized; or
2. He knowingly refrains from performing a duty which is imposed upon him by law or is clearly inherent in the nature of his office.
Official misconduct is a class A misdemeanor.
Destruction of evidence and consequent obstruction of justice, if proven, would have lead to the denial of due
process for victims of the World Trade Center destruction by allowing to remain unknown any hidden parties
participating in or profiting from such destruction. There is no known authority under which criminal evidence
may be deliberately sold for profit and destruction or concealed by disposal prior to proper investigative
analysis and so such activity would clearly be unauthorized. Further, knowingly hampering investigation into a
major crime is clearly outside of the lawful activities of any public servant.
2) ARTICLE 205 of the New York Penal Code contains definitions of the crime of hindering prosecution and states
Section 205.50 Hindering prosecution; definition of term
As used in sections 205.55, 205.60 and 205.65, a person "renders criminal assistance" when, with intent to
prevent, hinder or delay the discovery or apprehension of, or the lodging of a criminal charge against, a person
who he knows or believes has committed a crime or is being sought by law enforcement officials for the commission
of a crime, or with intent to assist a person in profiting or benefiting from the commission of a crime, he:
1. Harbors or conceals such person; or
2. Warns such person of impending discovery or apprehension; or
3. Provides such person with money, transportation, weapon, disguise or other means of avoiding discovery
or apprehension; or
4. Prevents or obstructs, by means of force, intimidation or deception, anyone from performing an act which might
aid in the discovery or apprehension of such person or in the lodging of a criminal charge against him; or
5. Suppresses, by any act of concealment, alteration or destruction, any physical evidence which might aid in the
discovery or apprehension of such person or in the lodging of a criminal charge against him; or
6. Aids such person to protect or expeditiously profit from an advantage derived from such crime.
If profit motives surrounded the destruction of the World Trade Center and the realization of profit hinged upon
prevention of full analysis of the criminal evidence, then any person engaging in destruction or concealment
of evidence would be a suspect in criminal activity.
Having reached the conclusion that criminal destruction and concealment of evidence and consequent obstruction
of justice have occurred in the illegal removal and destruction of World Trade Center crime scene evidence, this
presentment seeks to obey common law mandates regarding public disclosure of known criminal activity. This
presentment further invokes common law authority to prosecute known participants in the obstruction of justice via
unlawful destruction and concealment of evidence. This presentment further finds that profiteering from the sale of
criminal evidence has taken place, indicating that possible racketeering prosection should be commenced.
In order to substantiate charges that destruction and concealment of evidence and consequent obstruction of
justice have taken place, this presentment will now detail a portion of the supporting evidence with reference to
NFPA 921 as appropriate.
ANALYSIS OF NFPA 921
Basic elements of fire or explosion investigation
NFPA 921 establishes the proper purpose of a fire or explosion investigation. Section 126.96.36.199 lists the
following as the basic purpose of investigation: leadership/coordination function; photography, note taking,
mapping, diagramming; inteviewing witnesses; searching the scene; evidence collection and preservation.
Primary leadership responsibility for the World Trade Center crime scene fell upon then mayor Rudolph
Giuliani. He was assisted in the removal of crime scene evidence by then NYPD police chief Bernard
Kerik and then fire commissioner Thomas Holden.
Acting under the authority of Mayor Giuliani, Kenneth Holden established the primary leadership role
for the removal of evidence from the World Trade Center crime scene. Kenneth Holden was the director for
New York City Department of Design and Construction.
These individuals and private corporations operating in collusion engaged in the complete destruction of the
World Trade Center crime scene and participated in covering up the evidence of that crime scene.
Photography, note taking, mapping, diagramming:
The FEMA BPAT team was the first investigative body present on the World Trade Center crime scene. According to
numerous public reports, the FEMA team was not given full access to the crime scene but was restricted to a
cursory "walk through" which was described by FIRE ENGINEERING MAGAZINE as follows:
Except for the marginal benefit obtained from a three-day, visual walk-through of evidence sites conducted by
ASCE investigation committee members- described by one close source as a "tourist trip"-no one's checking the
evidence for anything.
This failure to provide for a proper and thorough on-scene investigation ensured that the proper note taking
required for a detailed fire investigation was criminally obstructed.
The FEMA reports indicate that numerous witnesses to the destruction were inteviewed. Public records of
eye witness testimony are available from the New York Times website, from archives of news video from that
day and from news publications.
Searching the scene:
As previously indicated, the FEMA investigative team was not given the proper and lawfully mandatory access to
the crime scene which would be required for an investigation of such magnitude. The failure to allow the FEMA
team full access to the crime scene was a deliberate act to further an ongoing criminal destruction of
evidence and consequent obstruction of justice.
Evidence Collection and Preservation:
Section 16 of NFPA 921 details the proper procedure for evidence collation and preservation. It illustrates
the key deficiencies of the FEMA attempted investigation and explains the criminal degree to which obstruction
of justice was performed by key public officials and contracted corporations acting in collusion.
Section 16.3 of NFPA 921 states, in part:
"16.3.1 General. Every attempt should be made to protect and preserve the fire scene as intact and undisturbed
as possible....Evidence...could easily be destroyed or lost in an improperly preserved fire scene.
188.8.131.52 Generally, the cause of a fire or explosion is not known until near the end of the investigation.
Therefore, the evidentiary or interpretive value of various pieces of physical evidence may not be known until...
the end of the complete investigation. As a result, the entire fire scene should be considered physical
evidence and should be protected and preserved...
184.108.40.206 The responsibility for the preservation of the fire scene and physical evidence does not lie solely
with the fire investigator, but should begin with the arriving fire-fighting units or police authorities...
It is clear from the proceedings of US House of Representatives Committee on Science that
"FEMA's investigation into the World Trade Center collapse was inhibited at several turns by an
inability to access the disaster site quickly, preserve evidence, and obtain necessary documentary evidence,
such as blueprints, in a timely way. Several observers, including the families of the Trade Center victims,
have called for World Trade Center investigators to be granted authorities akin to those of the National
Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which is authorized by statute to enter the site of airplane crashes,
preserve evidence, and issue subpoenas to witnesses or for documents to facilitate its investigation.
The above statement is misleading because it implies that there is some legal or lawful justification for the
failure to preserve the evidence of a crime scene of mass murder. There is no known lawful or legal
justification for such criminal removal of evidence.
Further, any evidence removed was, so far as publicly known, not properly preserved according to requirements
to document the chain of custody and original location for any moved evidence. NFPA 921 states clearly
the proper requirements:
220.127.116.11 Physical evidence should be thoroughly documented before it is moved...The investigator should strive
to maintain a list of all evidence removed and of who removed it.
The events of September 11, 2001 clearly fall beneath the category of major crimes: mass murder and
terrorism. As such, the fire or explosion investigation of the World Trade Center crime scene was undeniably
a criminal investigation. As a criminal investigation, NFPA 921 makes clear the requirement for preservation
of criminal evidence:
16.11.2 Criminal cases...require that the evidence be kept until the case is adjudicated.
In the case of the World Trade Center evidence, steel from the crime scene was not simply removed but was
actually sold at bargain rates to domestic and foreign contractors. American contractors participated in
profiting from crime scene evidence. According to public news reports, the purchase of World Trade
Center crime scene evidence was undertaken by the following corporations:
1) Metal Management Northeast of Newark, New Jersey purchased 40,000 tons of World Trade Center steel.
2) Hugo Neu Schnitzer East of Jersey City, New Jersey purchased 25,000 tons of World Trade Center steel.
3) Baosteel Group Corporation of Shanghai, China purchased 50,000 ton of World Trade Center steel.
The destruction of World Trade Center evidence was commented on by fire investigators attempting to
follow proper procedure:
"Upon arrival to NYC on September 19,  and after visiting Ground Zero and paying my respects and
prayers to the victims, I started my reconnaissance and collection of the perishable data. I have collected
some data on design and construction of the WTC and have met and discussed the case with the structural
engineers who have designed the WTC Buildings. Thanks to cooperation of the HNSE recycling plant, I have been
able to study the steel from the WTC before recycling. ... I wish I had more time to inspect steel structure
and save more pieces before the steel was recycled."
- Dr. Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl, Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of
California, Berkeley, Before the Committee on Science of the U.S. House of Representatives, March 6, 2002
"The investigation into the collapse of the World Trade Center has been hampered by the destruction of steel
wreckage that could hold vital clues about why the twin towers fell, a fire expert says.
Glenn Corbett, a fire science professor at John Jay College, criticized New York City's decision to melt down
and recycle tons of charred and twisted steel from the trade center. "
"I find the speed with which potentially important evidence has been removed and recycled to be appalling."
- Dr. Frederick W. Mowrer, an associate professor in the Fire Protection Engineering Department at the
University of Maryland, New York Times, 12/25/2001
The sale for profit of crime scene evidence has no known lawful authority prior to proper investigation. To
hamper or interfere with a criminal investigation for purposes of profit is properly classified as
obstruction of justice.
Motive for evidence removal and obstruction of justice:
It is clear that the investigation of the World Trade Center was deliberately interfered with and therefore a
reason for such interference must be determined. The only reasonable explanation for the criminal interference
with the World Trade Center investigation and for the illegal and unlawful removal, destruction and sale for
profit of World Trade Center crime scene evidence was to prevent proper investigation. It was publicly assumed
that evidence removal was engaged in to allow for rescue attempts, but such rescue attempts would only be
reasonable within the first few days of the event. The destruction and removal of evidence spanned weeks of time,
long past the point where any survival was likely. Further, as later evidence indicates, the below ground
temperatures at the World Trade Center site precluded long term survival of any victims. Concerns about the remains
of the victims also are irrelevant as the remains of victims were also deliberately disposed of in a public
On October 10, 2004, Charles Laurence, reporting for the UK Telegraph newspaper issued the following report:
The remains of hundreds of victims of the September 11 attacks are to be permanently buried in the world's largest
rubbish dump, to the consternation of their grieving relatives...
Relatives were assured that ashes would be returned after they were sorted, but city authorities have since balked
at the estimated $450 million cost of transferring them again. Instead they have promised to lay a 2,200-acre park
on top of the dump, whose rotting contents smell strongly of methane, and to erect a memorial to the victims.
Recovery of victim remains, therefore, was not related to the destruction and removal of World Trade Center
crime scene evidence because the bodies of victims were also disposed of without consideration.
Interference with an investigation and destruction of evidence constitute an attempted cover up of the nature of
any crime. In the case of the destruction of the World Trade Center, a cover up of the evidence would imply that
the examination of the evidence by impartial parties would reveal some element to the crime which participants in
the crime, either before or after the fact, would not desire revealed.
Evidence supporting explosives:
In examining the possibility that explosive or related technologies were used to accomplish the near complete
disintegration of the World Trade Center North and South Tower as well as the more conventional collapse of
World Trade Center Building 7, a proper fire investigation would have been compelled by forensic analysis, physical debris
patterns, video footage of the collapse, seismic data, the incredibly high thermal temperatures of the post
collapse crime scene and eye witness testimony to pursue the possible use of explosives.
Explosion debris pattern:
NFPA 921 describes basic standards for determining that a fire investigation must also consider explosions as
a probable occurrence:
17.5.4 Explosion Evidence. Any displacement of the exterior surfaces should be documented. The distance the
pieces traveled and the extent of the displacement of walls and roofs should be noted...
According to news reports and the FEMA/NIST investigative reports, multi-ton steel elements of the World
Trade Center structure were flung hundreds of feet, striking surrounding buildings and embedding within
the stricken buildings. And example of the acknowledged wide debris pattern can be found within the FEMA
World Trade Center Building Performance Study. In Chapter 1 [http://www.fema.gov/pdf/library/fema403_ch1.pdf]
on page 9, a graphic of the debris pattern shows that steel columns and other debris were thrown hundreds of
feet causing damage to surrounding buildings. Two examples of building damaged by thrown debris were
World Trade Center Building 7 and Bankers Trust Building. A typical example of the force with which World
Trade Center debris was thrown is found in Chapter 6 of the FEMA Building Performance Study
Debris from WTC 2 fell along the north side of the building...A column section from WTC 2 was embedded in the
north edge of the building...and collapsed it into the basement in this area. A column section from WTC 2 was
embedded in the north edge of the floor slab of the 29th floor. It also appears that one section, or perhaps
several sections, of exterior column trees from the south wall of WTC 2 plunged through the north wall of the
building, just above the 23rd floor.
Chapter 7 of the FEMA Building Performance Study makes clear that numerous buildings in the area surrounding
the World Trade Center suffered comparable damage [http://www.fema.gov/pdf/library/fema403_ch7.pdf]:
In addition to the WTC buildings and Bankers Trust building, a number of other buildings suffered damage from
the projectiles and debris...
The force required to fling multi-ton steel beams hundreds of feet as well as the general displacement of the
entire exterior facade of World Trade Center North and South Towers falls well within the NFPA 921 classification
for explosion evidence.
NPFA 921 makes clear that shrapnel or projectile damage is an identifying characteristic of an explosion:
18.104.22.168 Identify Damage Effects of Explosion. The investigator should make a detailed examination and analysis
of the specific explosion or overpressure damage. Damaged articles should be identified as having been affected
by one or more of the following typical explosion forces:
(1) Blast pressure wave - positive phase
(2) Blast pressure wave - negative phase
(3) Shrapnel impact
(4) Thermal energy
(5) Seismic energy
The debris radius surrounding the World Trade Center crime scene extended for hundreds of feet. For example, the
shattered remains of victims of the destruction of the World Trade Center were found in buildings located
hundreds of feet away. The Deutsche Bank Building was found to contain at least 600 pieces of human remains,
prompting a public statement from Senator Charles Schumer:
In September, construction workers from Bovis Lend Lease who were working on demolishing Deutsche Bank found scores
of bone fragments. They found the remains as they were removing the roof ballast, stone by stone...
Last month, more fragments surfaced bringing the total of bone fragments found at the Deutsche Bank Building up to
“The appearance of these new fragments, all of this time after the attacks leads me to believe that we have to
cast a wider net,” Schumer said. “
Schumer today asked that the JPAC unit expand the search to buildings like Fitterman Hall and others on the
perimeter but said he would leave the parameters of the search to them.
The presence of fragmented human remains hundreds of feet away from the main World Trade Center towers fits the
criteria for shrapnel impact from explosion. The extreme disintegration of all human remains from the World
Trade Center crime scene indicates a high level of explosive force:
At the urging of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, other manholes and underground areas were searched this
weekend: so far, more than 100 additional human remains and artifacts have been found, including ID cards,
fragments of arms, ribs, cranial bones and vertebrae...
It was horrible enough to learn almost 800 pieces were found on top of the Deutsche Bank [building] last year,
including someone’s full scalp...
Every single funeral broadcast on the news of a fireman included a casket, but people didn’t realize most of those
caskets were empty. There were only 19 full bodies recovered from debris—and that number may not even be exact. A
full body isn’t even a full body—it counted as a full body if it was 50 to 75 percent there.
Steel columns embedded in building hundreds of feet from the source of the columns can also be considered examples
of shrapnel impact. The shrapnel effect can also be determined by watching the trajectory of laterally ejected
material. NFPA 921 describes the relevance of ejection trajectory to determine explosion force:
22.214.171.124 When the containers, structures, or vessels that contain or restrict the blast pressure fronts are
ruptured, they are often broken into pieces that may be thrown over great distances. These pieces of debris
are called shrapnel or missiles...
126.96.36.199 The distance to which missiles can be propelled outward from an explosion depends greatly on their
initial direction...An idealized diagram for missile trajectories is shown in Figure 188.8.131.52...
The figure indicated above shows a series of trajectories which match the trajectories taken by debris from
World Trade Center North and South Towers. An excellent source for analysis of these trajectories is the
eye witness footage taken by Rick Siegel available from 911eyewitness.com.
Evidence of a blast pressure wave was provided by eye witness testimony to news reporters. An example of such
testimony was given by Stationary Engineer Mike Pecoraro:
The two decided to ascend the stairs to the C level, to a small machine shop where Vito Deleo and David Williams
were supposed to be working. When the two arrived at the C level, they found the machine shop gone.
"There was nothing there but rubble, "Mike said. "We're talking about a 50 ton hydraulic press ? gone!" The two
began yelling for their co-workers, but there was no answer. They saw a perfect line of smoke streaming through
the air. "You could stand here," he said, "and two inches over you couldn't breathe. We couldn't see through the
smoke so we started screaming."
The two made their way to the parking garage, but found that it, too, was gone. "There were no walls, there was
rubble on the floor, and you can't see anything" he said.
They decided to ascend two more levels to the building's lobby. As they ascended to the B Level, one floor above,
they were astonished to see a steel and concrete fire door that weighed about 300 pounds, wrinkled up "like a piece
of aluminum foil" and lying on the floor.
Construction worker Phillip Morelli described being thrown to the floor by a blast and subsequents blasts taking
Seismic indication of explosion damage is present in data collected at the Lamont-Dohert Campus of The Earth
Institute at Columbia University indicated magnitude 2.1 and 2.3 seismic events associated with the destruction
of the World Trade Center [http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/LCSN/Eq/20010911_WTC/WTC_LDEO_KIM.pdf]:
The waves from the WTC events resemble those recorded by regional
stations from the collapse of part of a salt mine in western New York on March 12, 1994 (ML
3.6). That source also lasted longer than that of a small earthquake. A truck bomb at the WTC in
1993, in which approximately 0.5 tons of explosive were detonated, was not detected seismically,
even at a station only 16 km away.
An explosion at a gasoline tank farm near Newark NJ on January 7, 1983 generated observable
P and S waves and short-period Rg waves (ML 3) at PAL. Its Rg is comparable to that for
WTC collapse 2.
Evidence of explosion thermal energy can be found in reports of the temperature of the WTC crime scene.
The New York Department of Sanitation reported molten steel beams being recovered from the World Trade Center
crime scene: http://www.wasteage.com/mag/waste_dday_ny_sanitation/
But for about two and a half months after the attacks, in addition to its regular duties, NYDS played a major
role in debris removal — everything from molten steel beams to human remains — running trucks back and forth
between Ground Zero and Fresh Kills landfill, which was reopened to accommodate the debris.
Underground fires raged for months. O'Toole remembers in February seeing a crane lift a steel beam vertically
from deep within the catacombs of Ground Zero. "It was dripping from the molten steel," he said.
“Standing down there, with your eyes closed,” says Ron Burger, a public health advisor at the National Center for
Environmental Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who arrived in New York to help September 11th
but didn’t arrive to the Ground Zero the site until the night of September 12th, “it could have been a tornado or
an avalanche or a volcano.”
A veteran of disasters from the Mississippi floods Mt. St. Helens, Burger said it reminded him most of the
volcano, if he forgot he was in downtown Manhattan. “Feeling the heat, seeing the molten steel, the layers upon
layers of ash, like lava, it reminded me of Mt. St. Helen’s and the thousands who fled that disaster,” he said.
The USGS Spectrography Lab confirmed extremely high temperatures at the World Trade Center site with the hottest
temperature being in excess of 1300 degrees Fahrenheit:
Solutions that include reflected solar radiation, hot spot temperature and hot spot area are shown in Thermal
Figures 6a and b. Hot spot A, which from Thermal Figure 5 has a temperature greater than 800 Kelvin, is found to
have a 1000 Kelvin temperature in a spot covering ~15% of a pixel, or 0.56 square meter. Similarly, hot spot C is
found to have a 900 kelvin temperature over 20% of a pixel, or 0.8 square meter.
Relevance of eyewitness testimony:
NFPA 921 makes clear the importance of recording eye witness testimony to any fire or explosion event. The New
York Times has provided a substantial record of eye witness testimony for that day. This records includes
a large number of accounts of explosions which should have been considered as relevant during any proper
fire or explosion investigation.
The New York Times archive of these eye witness accounts is available on their website:
An example of the eye witness testimony from the New York Times resource indicating explosions taking place was
given by Chief Frank Cruthers
"""And while I was still in that
immediate area, the south tower, 2 World Trade Center, there was what appeared to be at first an explosion.
It appeared at the very top, simultaneously from all four sides, materials shot out horizontally. And then
there seemed to be a momentary delay before you could see the beginning of the collapse.
Louie Cacchioli, FDNY stated to People Magazine on 9/12/2001:
We were the first ones in the second tower after the plane struck. I was taking firefighters up in the elevator
to the 24th floor to get in position to evacuate workers. On the last trip up a bomb went off. We think there
was bombs set in the building.
Pat Dawson a reporter for NBC News stated on 9/11/2001:
Just moments ago I spoke to the Chief of Safety for the New York City Fire Department, who was obviously one of
the first people here after the two planes were crashed into the side, we assume, of the World Trade Center
towers, which used to be behind me over there.
The Chief of Safety of the Fire Department of New York City told me that shortly after 9:00 he had roughly ten
alarms, roughly 200 men, trying to effect rescues of some of those civilians who were in there, and that
basically he received word of a secondary device, that is another bomb, going off. He tried to get his men out
as quickly as he could, but he said that there was another explosion which took place.
And then an hour after the first hit here, the first crash, that took place, he said there was another explosion
that took place in one of the towers here. So obviously, according to his theory, he thinks that there were
actually devices that were planted in the building. One of the secondary devices, he thinks, that [detonated]
after the initial impact he thinks may have been on the plane that crashed into one of the towers. The second
device, he thinks, he speculates, was probably planted in the building.
So that’s what we have been told by Albert Terry, who is the Chief of Safety for the New York City Fire
Department. He told me that just moments ago.
William Rodriguez a WTC Maintenance worker stated for reporters
"When I heard the sound of the explosion, the floor beneath my feet vibrated, the walls started cracking and
everything started shaking." said Rodriguez, who was crowded together with fourteen other people in the office
including Anthony Saltamachia, supervisor for the American Maintenance Company.
Just seconds later there was another explosion way above which made the building oscillate momentarily. This,
he was later told, was a plane hitting the 90th floor. Upon hearing about the plane, he immediately thought of
the people up in the restaurant. Then there were other explosions just above B1 and individuals started heading
for the loading dock to escape the explosion's resulting rampant fire. When asked later about those first
explosions he said: "I would know if an explosion was from the bottom or the top of the building." He heard
explosions both before and after the plane hit the tower.
The widespread failure of any proper fire or explosion investigation was included within a series of House
Committee on Science hearings in 2002:
· No clear authority and the absence of an effective protocol for how the building performance
investigators should conduct and coordinate their investigation with the concurrent search and rescue efforts,
as well as any criminal investigation: Early confusion over who was in charge of the site and the lack of
authority of investigators to impound pieces of steel for examination before they were recycled led to the loss
of important pieces of evidence that were destroyed early during the search and rescue effort...
· Difficulty obtaining documents essential to the investigation, including blueprints, design drawings,
and maintenance records: The building owners, designers and insurers, prevented independent researchers from
gaining access – and delayed the BPAT team in gaining access – to pertinent building documents largely because of
FEMA's investigation into the World Trade Center collapse was inhibited at several turns by an inability to
access the disaster site quickly, preserve evidence, and obtain necessary documentary evidence, such as
blueprints, in a timely way. Several observers, including the families of the Trade Center victims, have called for
World Trade Center investigators to be granted authorities akin to those of the National Transportation Safety
Board (NTSB), which is authorized by statute to enter the site of airplane crashes, preserve evidence, and issue
subpoenas to witnesses or for documents to facilitate its investigation.
FEMA responded to this disaster by deploying a building performance assessment team (BPAT)—a group of experts in
engineering, design, construction, and building codes—to conduct a formal analysis of the causes of the collapse
of the buildings and determine what can be learned from the disaster to save lives in the future. Concerns
regarding the timing of the BPAT deployment, their access to the site and building records, premature disposal of
evidence, and FEMA's lack of regular communication with the public were the subject of a previous Science
Committee hearing, and are explained in detail in Appendix 1 (the March 6 hearing charter).
On November 12, I, and my constituents, had the misfortune—and hundreds of families were ravaged by the crash of
Flight 586. Within literally moments of that plane crash, the National Transportation Safety Board was on the
ground sequestering evidence, interviewing witnesses, subpoenaing information, if necessary. And since then, they
have offered periodic reports.
One month and a day earlier, when the World Trade Center collapsed, nothing could have been further from the
truth. According to reports that we have heard since, there has been no comprehensive investigation. One expert
in fire engineering concluded that there was virtually a nonexistent investigation. We haven't examined any
aspects of the collapse that might have impacted rescue worker procedures even in this last month.
Second, reports have emerged that crucial evidence has been mishandled. Over 80 percent of the steel from the
World Trade Center site has already been sold for recycling, much of it, if not all of it, before investigators
and scientists could analyze the information.
On the basis of extensive research into a large body of mutually supportive and publicly reported information,
We, the undersigned, do hereby find cause to issue a formal presentment regarding the participation of known
individuals and corporate entities in the destruction of evidence of the crime of mass murder
having taken place on September 11th, 2001 at the World Trade Center in New York City and consequent
willful obstruction of justice. We, the undersigned, do hereby formally demand the formation of a common law
Grand Jury as secured to the People of the united States by the fifth amendment to the Constitution of the united
States to investigate the information hereby presented and issue formal indictments upon confirmation. We, the
undersigned, do hereby swear under penalty of perjury, that we believe the foregoing information
to be factual to the best of public knowledge.
We, the undersigned, hereby demand the exhumation and return to family members of any victims of the World
Trade Center destruction currently dumped in the Fresh Kills landfill in Staten Island, New York City.
We, the undersigned, hereby demand that the evidence buried in the Fresh Kills landfill be made open to
Grand Jury subpoena and investigation.
We, the undersigned, hereby find cause to demand that a Grand Jury investigation of the following known
participants, as well as any heretofore unknown accessories, accomplices or originators to the illegal and
unlawful destruction, concealment and profit taking from the destruction of the World Trade Center. We call upon
local and State law enforcement personnel to participate in and confirm the findings of this investigative body.
PARTICIPANTS IN DESTRUCTION AND CONCEALMENT OF EVIDENCE AND CONSEQUENT OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE
Rudolph Giuliani, former Mayor, New York City, New York
Thomas Van Essen, former Fire Commissioner, New York City, New York
Bernard Kerik, former NYPD Police Chief, New York City, New York
Kenneth Holden, NYC Department of Design and Construction
Controlled Demolition, Inc [given contract by Giuliani on 9/22/2001]
Tully Construction, Sacramento District
Bovis Lend Lease International, Mobile District
AMEC Construction Management, Portland Distric
Turner Construction, Baltimore District
Metal Management Northeast bought 40,000 tons
Hugo Neu Schnitzer bought 25,000 tons
Baosteel Group Corporation of Shanghai, China purchased 50,000 ton of World Trade Center steel.
Invaluable research assistance for this presentment was provided by David Ray Griffin:
Also of invaluable assistance were the Internet resources: 911research.wtc7.net, 911eyewitness.com and
This presentment is dedicated to the courage and outspoken quest for answer demonstrated by Bill Manning,
former Editor in Chief of FIRE ENGINEERING MAGAZINE.
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