May 1, 2008
At 11:07 a.m. in the morning of September 11, 2001, a CNN correspondent in New York reported that a third tower had possibly collapsed. While this report was incorrect, it is interesting to note that the reporter's description could have applied to World Trade Center Building 7. This huge skyscraper was indeed the third tower to collapse on 9/11. However it did not come down until late in the afternoon, more than six hours after this report.
CNN correspondent Allan Dodds Frank reported by phone from Lower Manhattan. He described: "[J]ust two or three minutes ago there was yet another collapse or explosion. I'm now out of sight, a Good Samaritan has taken me in on Duane Street. But at a quarter to 11, there was another collapse or explosion following the 10:30 collapse of the second tower. And a firefighter who rushed by us estimated that 50 stories went down. The street filled with smoke.
It was like a forest fire roaring down a canyon."
WTC 7 was a 47-story tower, so would have fitted the description of the estimated "50 stories" described by Frank. And it did indeed collapse completely. One could in fact accurately describe its demise with Frank's words: "The street filled with smoke. It was like a forest fire roaring down a canyon." However, this collapse did not happen until 5:20 that afternoon.
What could have led Frank to make his incorrect report? Surely, even in the chaos of that morning, it would have been quite difficult for a mistaken report of another massive skyscraper coming down to have emerged out of nothing. Could the reason be that WTC 7 had originally been scheduled to be brought down (with explosives) at 10:45 a.m.? The incorrect information Frank reported had therefore been put out, by persons unknown, on the assumption that this would be the case. However, something--as yet unknown to us--happened that meant the demolition had to be delayed, and so Building 7 was not ready to be brought down until late that afternoon.
10:45 a.m. would certainly seem a far more logical time for the masterminds behind 9/11 to have wanted to bring down WTC 7. At that time, just 17 minutes after the North Tower had come down, the collapse of a third skyscraper would have appeared less obviously suspicious. It would have been easier for those involved with covering up the truth about 9/11 to claim this collapse was simply a consequence of the two earlier ones. Instead, however, the collapse at 5:20 p.m. appeared completely inexplicable. (Unless, of course, it was a controlled demolition.)
MORE REPORTS OF A THIRD COLLAPSE
What makes Frank's report particularly notable is that there were other incorrect reports of a third building having collapsed--or at least being in danger of collapsing--later in the day, though these made specific reference to WTC 7. These went out in the hour or so before Building 7 came down:
At 4:15 p.m., CNN reported, "We're getting information that one of the other buildings ... Building 7 ... is on fire and has either collapsed or is collapsing." At 4:27, Greg Barrow reported from New York for the BBC radio channel Five Live, "We are hearing reports from local media that another building may have caught light and is in danger of collapse." He added, "I'm not sure if it has yet collapsed, but the report we have is talking about Building 7."
At 4:54, presenter Gavin Esler reported on the BBC's domestic television news channel, BBC News 24: "We're now being told that yet another enormous building has collapsed. ... It is the 47-story Salomon Brothers building." At 4:57, presenter Phil Hayton announced on the BBC's international channel, BBC World, "We've got some news just coming in actually that the Salomon Brothers building in New York right in the heart of Manhattan has also collapsed."
However, WTC 7 (the "Salomon Brothers building") did not collapse until almost 25 minutes later.
WHY PUT OUT ADVANCE REPORTS OF THE COLLAPSE?
These reports indicated that some people knew in advance that Building 7 was going to come down. This would have been quite a feat, since, as the New York Times put it, "before then, no modern, steel-reinforced high-rise in the United States had ever collapsed in a fire."
Perhaps the real reason we heard these premature reports was that this information had somehow been passed to the media by the 9/11 perpetrators, as a cautious attempt at preventing speculation that WTC 7 was brought down with explosives. This was clearly what the collapse resembled, with the building falling completely and symmetrically into its own footprint in just 6.6 seconds. Indeed, CBS News anchor Dan Rather commented at the time that it was "reminiscent of ... when a building was deliberately destroyed by well-placed dynamite to knock it down."
Speculation such as this would surely have been a threat to the official 9/11 story, as it might lead people to ponder whether--rather than being committed by Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda--the attacks were an "inside job." To stifle any such debate, an official narrative would need to have been put out promptly. Perhaps this was why at 5:10 p.m.--still before WTC 7 had come down--the BBC's Phil Hayton reported: "[Y]ou might have heard I was talking a few moments ago about the Salomon building collapsing and indeed it has. ... It seems this wasn't the result of a new attack but because the building had been weakened during this morning's attack."  It appears the information had been put out already, not only that WTC 7 had collapsed, but also that it had come down without the use of explosives: It collapsed because "the building had been weakened during this morning's attack."
And thus, the cover-up had begun.
NOTES "America Under Attack." Breaking News, CNN, September 11, 2001.
 These reports are summarized in Richard Porter, "Part of the Conspiracy? (2)." BBC News, March 2, 2007.
 James Glanz and Eric Lipton, "Burning Diesel is Cited in Fall of 3rd Tower." New York Times, March 2, 2002.
 CBS News, September 11, 2001. Quoted in Richard Porter, "Part of the Conspiracy? (2)."