The Mystery of WTC 6
by Christopher Bollyn
The 8-story WTC 6 lay between the North Tower and WTC 7. WTC 6 was evidently damaged before either tower fell and had an unexplained crater that went to the lowest basement level. The basement of the building appears to have experienced an explosion at the exact moment the South Tower was hit by a plane. In this photo the rubble of the North Tower is on the left and the remains of WTC 7 are on the lower right.
The destruction of WTC 6 is one of the many unexplained questions of 9-11. This 8-story building suffered a huge crater in its center which went all the way down to sub-basement levels. What caused the huge crater in the middle of WTC 6?
This infrared image shows the large and deep crater in the center of WTC 6 (lower left). There is no explanation for the deep crater that goes into the sublevels of the 8-story building.
WTC 6 was damaged prior to the collapse of the South Tower; damage that can be seen in photos taken by Bill Biggart. In 2002, I asked CNN about the timing of the explosion indicated by the light plume rising in the lower left hand corner of the photo below and was told that it occurred at 9:03 a.m. Although the archivist had no reason to lie, it seems that the CNN footage was taken as the South Tower collapsed. The footage can be seen in its complete context at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZBhWRzt-aA
The mystery plume seen rising over WTC 6 evidently occured as the second tower began collapsing. It appears to be a sandy-colored plume rising from the area of the crater seen in WTC 6. The plume appears to be rising from the exact area of the huge crater. The same explosion probably caused the secondary light plume seen in the second photo by the late Bill Biggart, seen below.
A photo shows the damaged WTC 6 on the left of the North Tower. WTC 6 lay between the North Tower and WTC 7, Larry Silverstein’s 47-story building that mysteriously collapsed in a controlled demolition at 5:25 p.m. on 9-11.
The fact that the WTC 6 building was severely damaged before the first tower collapsed can be seen in photos taken by Bill Biggart, a photographer who was killed on 9-11 when the North Tower collapsed. His digital photos were salvaged from his camera. The website StagedTerror.com has an excellent analysis of his photos.
This photograph by Bill Biggart, who died when the North Tower collapsed, shows what appears to be a damaged and burnt WTC 6 on the left, in front of the North Tower. This photo was taken as the South Tower was demolished with super-thermite, which caused the super-pulverization of the concrete. Whatever caused the scorched damage to WTC 6 clearly happened before the first tower collapsed.
This photo shows the collapse of WTC 2 with a mystery plume of light smoke rising from the street beside WTC 6. This secondary plume of sandy-colored dust is similar to the larger plume seen in the CNN footage rising above WTC 6. Both of these plumes are light and sandy in color and appear to be of another composition than the concrete dust clouds of the pulverized tower. This plume is clearly rising from below the street and is not part of the pyroclastic cloud coming from the demolished WTC 2. It is rising from below the street and obstructing the Quebec-New York.com sign seen behind it on the walkway, while the pyroclastic cloud has not yet reached the walkway. These images suggest that a powerful explosion may have occurred below WTC 6 at the exact time WTC 2 collapsed.
The following articles are my early articles about the WTC 6 mystery. Please note that these articles were written in 2002.
Video Evidence of Unexplained Explosion in WTC 6
July 2, 2002
Images of unidentified aircraft and missiles photographed during the attack on the World Trade Center suggest that 9-11 was the “highly planned, covert, special-operation,” which some astute observers have claimed from the beginning.
The awful moment when United Airlines Flight 175 smashed into the south tower of the World Trade Center is an event captured on film and videotape from many angles. Among the archive of photographic and video evidence are distinct images of unidentified aircraft and missiles that appear to have played significant roles in the attack. The fact that the leading federal agencies involved in the criminal investigation of 9-11 deny any knowledge of these photographs lends credence to those who maintain the attack was “a domestic, covert, special operation.”
Although millions of people have watched on video the horrible spectacle of the second hijacked plane plunging into the smooth facade of the south tower, very few have seen the mysterious white aircraft that accompanied it on a nearby parallel path slightly to the north. While viewers’ attention was focused on the crash and subsequent fireball, few noticed the missile streaking toward 6 and WTC 7 at the edge of the screen. The blurred streak that appeared from behind the smoking north tower disappeared in the wink of an eye into the lower right hand corner of the screen.
Frame-by-frame analysis of that video shows what appears to be an incredibly fast streaking missile, headed toward 6 or WTC 7, at the precise moment the plane exploded in the south tower. Six WTC was an 8-story building, which was left with a huge unexplained crater at its center while WTC 7 burned and collapsed late in the afternoon on 9-11, for no apparent reason. Fire engineers are baffled as to what caused the 47-story building, built by Larry Silverstein in 1987, to collapse.
“Even though Building 7 didn’t get much attention in the media immediately, within the structural engineering community, it’s considered to be much more important to understand,” said William F. Baker, a partner in charge of structural engineering at the architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. “They say, ‘We know what happened at 1 and 2, but why did 7 come down?'”
“EVAPORATED” STEEL BEAMS
Sections of the steel beams in WTC 7 seem to have “evaporated”, according to a New York Times article of November 29, 2001. “A combination of an uncontrolled fire and the structural damage might have been able to bring the building down, some engineers said. But that would not explain steel members in the debris pile that appear to have been partly evaporated in extraordinarily high temperatures, Dr. Jonathan Barnett said.”
Engineers are investigating whether intensely hot fires resulted from thousands of gallons of diesel fuel stored in the building. While one tank held 6,000 gallons of fuel to power the mayor’s command bunker on the 23rd floor, another set of four tanks held as much as 36,000 gallons just below ground level on the building’s southwest side for emergency generators. “The fuel absolutely could be a factor,” said Silvian Marcus, executive vice president for the Cantor Seinuk Group and a structural engineer involved in the original design of the building, which was completed in 1987. But he added, “The tanks may have accelerated the collapse, but did not cause the collapse.”
Two firefighters, Deputy Chief James Jackson and Battalion Chief Blaich, said that the southwest corner of WTC 7 near the fuel tank was severely damaged and that the tanks might have been breached. Jackson said that about an hour before the building’s collapse, heavy black smoke, consistent with a fuel fire of some sort, was coming from that part of the building.
DID A “BUNKER BUSTER” MISSILE HIT WTC 6?
The streaking missile seen in the video could have pierced the heavy masonry that protected the diesel storage tanks. The missile is obviously traveling extremely fast, at an estimated 5,000 feet per second (3,400 mph). The U.S. military has a LOSAT (line-of-sight anti-tank) missile that travels that fast with a range of 4 miles that can be guided by laser or Global Positioning technology. The LOSAT Kinetic Energy Missile uses its velocity rather than explosives to destroy tanks, buildings, and bunkers. No other military is known to have such a missile.
In the WTC video the black streaking object travels an estimated 1,000 feet in the space of 4 frames, each frame taking 1/30 of a second. Although a video might not capture an image of the missile, experts say the rapidly dissipating exhaust of a LOSAT can be captured on film if the lighting, angle and background conditions are suitable.
I asked Matthew Heyman of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the agency investigating the structural collapses at the World Trade Center, if the investigation would examine the photographic evidence of a missile and the crater in 6-WTC. “Yes”, Heyman said, but only if evidence of a missile is presented, adding that the 2-year investigation will only study the collapses of the twin towers and WTC 7.
Although numerous images of unidentified aircraft and missiles are accessible in the public archive of WTC video footage and have been scrutinized frame-by-frame by Internet sleuths, federal investigators and the mainstream media pretend to be completely ignorant of their existence. Spokesmen for the federal agencies engaged in the 9-11 investigation all feigned ignorance of the aforementioned video images when contacted by this reporter on July 1, 2002.
When I asked James Margolin, spokesman for the New York City office of the FBI, about the video images of unidentified planes and missiles on Sept. 11, Margolin said, “It’s the first I’ve heard.” William Shumann, spokesman for the FAA said, “I’m not aware of any such videos.” When asked about the radar tapes that could have recorded such objects, Shumann said, “We’re not saying anything.” The 9-11 radar tapes from New York City had been turned over to the FBI, Shumann said.
Denial of the existence of these photographs by the federal agencies at the forefront of the 9-11 criminal investigation is troubling because it indicates an inability to respond to evidence that has been in the public domain since September 11. It is incredulous that the FBI and FAA are denying knowledge of photographic evidence, which has been openly published and discussed in the Japanese mass media.
“A DOMESTIC COVERT OPERATION”
The agencies’ denial of this evidence supports the unconventional thesis of political observers such as Lyndon LaRouche, who was interviewed by Jack Stockwell of KTKK-AM (“K-Talk”) in Salt Lake City as the horror of September 11 unfolded. Before either tower had collapsed, LaRouche said: “Well, largely, this is a domestic covert operation, which we had word of beforehand.” Shortly after the south tower collapsed, LaRouche said, “This is obviously a highly planned attack by a very capable agency.” LaRouche rejected that the attacks were “an Islamic national operation” saying they lacked the capability. Instead he blamed “people who want the U.S. to go to war against the Arab world.”
“It’s a geopolitical provocation!” LaRouche said. “It’s run by people whose intentions coincide with those of some of the wildest people in the Israeli Defense Forces. People who have the ability to play that kind of game inside the United States.”
“Somebody obviously intended to enrage the U.S. into going in full-force in support of a launching of the Israeli Defense Forces against neighboring Arab nations,” he said.
The next day, LaRouche told listeners of Woody Woodland on New Hampshire’s WGIR: “This is not a terrorist operation. This is a covert, strategic, special-operations operation, which has characteristic similarities to the militia operation against the Oklahoma City center some years ago.”
Woodland asked, “Are you saying that this might have been some people within our own country?”
LaRouche said: “In part, it had to be people within our own country … it was primarily a domestic, covert, special operation, by people with very high-grade military special-operations backgrounds. It could not have happened otherwise.”
What Caused the WTC 6 Crater?
July 10, 2002
Before the smoke had cleared from around the stricken South Tower, a mysterious explosion shot 550 feet into the air above the U.S. Customs House at 6 World Trade Center. This unexplained blast at the Customs House has never been investigated or reported in the mainstream media.
Despite the fact that the horrible events of September 11 occurred in broad daylight and were widely photographed, significant aspects of the attacks have been completely suppressed by a media blackout. A massive explosion, witnessed by millions of television viewers on CNN, evidently devastated WTC 6, the 8-story U.S. Customs House, although no national newspaper or media outlet has said a word about it.
The unexplained blast occurred between the burning North Tower and the 47-story Salomon Brothers Building, known as WTC 7, immediately after United Airlines Flight 175 smashed into the South Tower, at about 9:03 a.m. The explosion at WTC 6 was shown afterwards on CNN. Because it not broadcast as it happened there has been some confusion about when it actually occurred. The large amount of smoke seen cascading around the South Tower in the video led some observers to mistake the blast for a dust cloud from the subsequent collapse of the tower.
I contacted CNN to determine exactly when the footage was filmed. CNN’s Public Affairs Department confirmed that the explosion shown in the footage occurred immediately after the second plane had crashed into the South Tower. When asked if the footage was taken at 9:04 a.m., the CNN archivist who could not give his last name, said, “That’s correct.” When asked if CNN could offer any explanation about what might have caused the blast that clearly reached 550 feet, soaring higher than the 47-story WTC 7 in the foreground, the archivist said, “We can’t figure it out.”
The affected space between WTC 7 and the North Tower was occupied by the 8-story U.S. Customs House building, also known as WTC 6. The building primarily housed the offices of some 760 employees of the Customs Service, a department of the U.S. Treasury. A number of other federal agencies reportedly had offices in the building, including the Departments of Commerce, Agriculture, Labor, and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco & Firearms, although the agencies failed to return calls about the matter. A spokesman for the Export-Import Bank of the U.S., which had an office with 4 employees on the 6th floor of the Customs House did confirm the time of the explosion and said the employees had survived and been relocated to another location in the city. One private company, Eastco Building Services, Inc., reportedly leased space in the building.
Some 800 workers from WTC 6 were safely evacuated within 12 minutes of the first plane hitting the North Tower at about 8:46 a.m., according to a Washington Post article by Stephen Barr, “Knowing the Drill Saved Lives at New York’s Customs House” dated 18 September 2001. The Barr piece is the only known article published about WTC 6, however, Barr failed to mention the explosion that apparently devastated the building just minutes after the workers had escaped with their lives.
AVOIDING THE SUBJECT
Although the Customs House apparently exploded at 9:04 a.m., the government-sponsored investigation was steered away from looking into what had actually happened. The Federal Emergency Management Agency funded an investigation by the American Society of Civil Engineers, however, investigators were reportedly blocked from the building by an order from the New York City’s Dept. of Design and Construction (DDC). Kenneth Holden is Commissioner of the DDC, having been appointed by the former mayor, Rudolph Giuliani on December 7, 1999.
Regarding the investigation of WTC 4, 5, and 6, FEMA’s “Building Performance” report says, “WTC 5 was the only building accessible for observation,” but it adds, “The observations, findings, and recommendations are assumed to be applicable to all three buildings.” A spokesman for FEMA told me that because the building was considered by DDC to be “very dangerous,” there was “no data collection” from WTC 6. Dr. Gene Corley, one of the engineers who led the investigation, told me that concerns about loose gold bullion and cash prevented investigators from entering WTC 4.
The FEMA report says, “The buildings [4,5,6] responded as expected to the impact loadings.” Although the report says, “most of the central part of WTC 6 suffered collapse on all floors” it adds, “damage was consistent with the observed impact load.” The Customs House had a huge crater in its center.
The crater in WTC 6 went into the sub-basement levels. The damage to WTC 6 occurred before the first tower collapsed and does not appear to have been caused by falling debris.
I contacted Corley about the CNN photos. Corley said he had not seen the photos before and said, “These are interesting photos.” Corley, like others, thought the damage at WTC 6 was caused by the collapse of the North Tower, however, not one of the experts could recall seeing the CNN footage before. A spokesman for the Customs Service said, “It did not blow up. When the tower collapsed it caved in.”
Corley said he had not seen the photos of the extremely high-speed missile-like object seen streaking toward WTC 6 from behind the North Tower as the second plane impacted the South Tower. He noted that parts of the plane’s landing gear and an engine passed through the South Tower, and landed several blocks away. These objects, however, had a distinctly different trajectory from the streaking missile-like object. Jonathan Barnett, another investigator that I spoke to, said, “The debris from Tower 2 hit Building 5, not 6.”
What Exploded at WTC 6?
July 12, 2002
There has been some confusion about when the CNN video showing the mysterious explosion of 9-11 was filmed. In order to clarify the timing, I contacted CNN archives in Atlanta. The most senior archivist available, who could only reveal his first name, Andy, said that the footage showing the mysterious explosion had been shot as the second plane crashed into the South Tower, about 9:04 a.m.
There has been some doubt about the large amount of smoke seen around the south tower in the background. Most television viewers did not see the debris and smoke that fell around the South Tower after the plane crashed because tall buildings were in the way. A series of photos by Carmen Taylor, however, show that the amount of smoke and debris, and the way that if fell, match the image from CNN, which is taken from the opposite side of the towers.
The Carmen Taylor photos
Carmen Taylor of Lavaca, Ark., was visiting New York City and caught on film the moment United Airlines Flight 175 crashed into the south tower of the World Trade Center. Taylor was vacationing in New York when she spotted an airplane flying toward the World Trade Center, which had been struck by another plane minutes earlier. The second plane struck the Trade Center’s second tower, and Taylor captured the event in an astonishing series of digital photographs that aired on the local ABC affiliate, Channel 40/29.
Taylor was just about to board the Staten Island Ferry to see the Statue of Liberty when the first explosion happened. She turned her camera on, and started shooting. As she did, she caught the explosions after the first plane struck. Then, she captured the second plane just before it hit the tower.
“There had been helicopters circling,” Taylor said. “And then, this big plane comes up, and I thought ‘OK, there’s a plane going by.’ Within seconds, it went straight into the other tower. “We were just standing, looking at the World Trade Center, and all of a sudden, it lit up like massive fireworks,” she said.
Sources and Recommended Reading:
The damaged 6 World Trade Center building, StagedTerror.com