Did NIST lie about the time it placed Jennings on the 23rd floor?
The authors of the report of NIST, J. Randall Lawson, Richard G. Gann and Jason D. Averill, responsible of the chapters about the evacuation and the emergency at 7WTC, while reconstructing chronologically a succession of events regarding this building, place Barry Jennings and Michael Hess on the 23rd floor round about the time of the collapse of the south tower(9:59 a.m.).
Without any crossed comparison or explanation, we have to rely on the interpretation contained in the given version.
Obviously in the presence of opposite statement, it becomes compulsory to investigate the event and to inquire deeply into, in order to state which version between that of the authors –through their interpretation of evidences- and the opposite statement itself –in its contents- can strongly fit the circumstances as attained to NIST and, only in part, to the public through the accepted documentation.
In the reports and presentations of the occasions when the various rescuers introduced themselves into 7WTC, it is usually reported a short record describing the ways of access to the building: pretext, dynamics or brief description of the surroundings found by them.
Very simply, as concerns Barry Jennings and Michael Hess, the NIST, all of a sudden, merely places them on the OEM, on the 23rd floor of 7WTC, in the mentioned time, without telling any thing about their modalities of access…
Two different versions: NIST vs Barry Jennings
In the NCSTAR 1-8, at first, and then in the NCSTAR 1-9(Vol. 1), we read:
“Two New York City Employees had gone to the OEM center on the 23rd floor and found no one there. As they went to get into an elevator to go downstairs, the lights inside WTC7 flickered as WTC 2 collapsed.” (page 342 of the pdf NCSTAR 1-9 Vol. 1)
Since when Jennings and Hess abandoned the OEM during south tower collapse, we can obtain that reference – the time 9:59 a.m.- corresponding to the evidence opposed to the declarations of Jennings.
It’s well-known that Barry Jennings declared he was in the OEM, on the 23rd floor of 7WTC, in the very moments when UA-175 was hitting the south tower:
“I received a call shortly after the first plane hit, which everyone thought was a Cessna. That's what I was told. A small Cessna lost it's way and hit the... I got there..uh..I had to be inside on the 23rd floor when the 2nd plane hit. I was inside when the 2nd plane hit. I was already in 7WTC."
The details of the impact of UA-175 against the south tower in the very moments when he was on the 23rd floor, gives on contrary the opposite reference to the declaration of the NIST: the time of 9:03 a.m..
The contrast is evident: NIST postpones the time of almost 1 hour, not compatibly to what Jennings told.
Jennings deposition was made during the spring of 2008, that’s to say between the NCSTAR 1-8, of the September 2005, and the report about 7WTC of July 2008, in the version expounded by the public. Both reports place Jennings at the OEM of the 23rd floor of 7WTC, around the time of south tower collapse(9:59).
Any FOIA request concerning the achievement of Jennings and Hess’s depositions, has been useless. NIST refused the disclosure of such documents. A FOIA Appeal has been made since November 25th 2008, the Department of Commerce hasn’t expressed yet, but declaring –on December 3rd 2008- they are taking care of the Appeal.
Flash-back: the presumed legitimacy of the various objections to the declarations by Barry Jennings.
The objection of Jennings’ deposition made by the NIST and the consequent reiteration made by the “debunkers”, with the addiction of the disrepute given against him, were based till now on the “nothing” in the first case, and on groundless assumptions in the second case. The assumed given by the so-called “debunkers” was deduced through an indefinite personal misunderstanding by Barry Jennings concerning his own chronology of events related in the interview granted by Avery of the website “Loose Change”.
Therefore, this would have allowed the “debunkers” to conclude that Jennings was wrong, and that his account should be postponed respect to the time of arrival at the OEM! Not last, this “explanation” would have had the aim, on its part, to grant, once again, the absolute faultlessness of the reports of NIST…!
It is clear that, on the contrary, it would be necessary for us to investigate into those more interesting details referring to the explosions heard inside 7WTC, before the collapse of the south tower, quoted by Jennings and Hess, once reached the 6th floor.
While the “debunkers” were expressing pretending suppositions, the much more serious matter about the presumed placing of Jennings on the 23rd floor, offered by NIST, was still unbroken.
A deeper interpretation of the reports and of some depositions found among the Oral Histories and other documents, confirms that it is impossible that Jennings and Hess’s placing of time –made by the NIST- has ever had place.
In order to assess which one of the two declarations is mostly corresponding to reality, it is necessary to examinee the two times(contrasting each other), considering the respective circumstances when such events had place. In order to do it, we would have needed a further detail, that’s to say Jennings and Hess’s time of permanence at the OEM. Since we don’t know it, we have had to consider the uncertainty as variable.
The description of the steps leading the two men –on the 23rd floor of 7WTC- to leave the OEM, will be useful to associate the level of security they met at the entrance of the building, in particular in the lobby of 7WTC, with both of the two times.
Both declarations, made by the NIST and Jennings, will be related to these circumstances uniquely reconductable to them.
From Jennings’s description concerning the time of permanence on the 23rd floor, it comes out that:
a) He went out of the lift once arrived at the 23rd fl.
b) He entered the OEM, finding it empty
c) He tried “many” times to telephone in order to ask for explanations about what to do, until he found a colleague informing him to go quickly away from there
d) He moved to leave the OEM
A necessary time comprehending: his arrival by lift with Michael Hess, his verification that the OEM was empty, his “several” attempts to telephone, finding a colleague advising him to go quickly away from there, reasonably cannot take a long time…
Considering that the realization of the above mentioned actions can approximately take a lapse of time between 3 and 6 minutes, we take into consideration the two following hypotheses, as second point of reference to be related to the circumstances late described:
1st - if Jennings had been in the OEM at 9:59(NIST), he might have reached it at about 9:55
2nd - if Jennings had been in the OEM at 9:03(Jennings), he might have reached it around 08:59
With a reference time for every declaration and enough information of the whole period, existing between the impact of 8:46 and the collapse of the first tower at 9:59, Jennings and Hess’s time of permanence at the OEM, is a problem of minor importance.
In the case of the first hypotheses, we can increase at pleasure the time of permanence at the OEM(variable uncertainty), absurdly, till half hour. The conclusion, as we will see, would not change…!
Changing at pleasure Jennings’s time of permanence at the OEM, for example estimating from 6 to 12 minutes –instead of from 3 to 6 minutes- anybody can derive one’s own conclusions…
The analysis of the two different time contexts, in function of the time while Jennings and Hess were at the OEM, will acknowledge the admissibility or inadmissibility of the two hypotheses.
First Circumstance: from the 8:46 impact to the false alarm of the third plane
According to Sgt. Justo Andaluz, 7WTC was evacuated before the impact of the second plane. A study of the results achieved during the 9/11 emergency, based on several depositions, has brought to the conclusion that the OEM staff on the 23rd floor of 7WTC, between the 8:46 impact and the 9:03 impact, did not know what to do. Considering the crisis in progress, beyond their own possibilities, as they knew about the Secret Service evacuation, they evacuated consequently. From a deposition of the Secret Service, it results the New York office placed at 7WTC, started to evacuate since the 8:46 impact. Sam Caspersen, inquirer of the 9/11 Commission, in the document of a deposition released by mayor Giuliani, comments wondering about the acknowledgements of the news according to which, approximately (and in excess!), “around 9:10”, OEM at the 23rd floor was already useless. For Odermatt’s order, a few moments after 8:46, the presence of only two people was requested at the OEM, while all the others would be employed, in the North Tower lobby, in order to converge at the “Advanced Command Post”. Part of the OEM staff was not present at 7WTC, due to the equipment of a “triage area” at “Pier 92”, on the Hudson River, according to “Tripod” drill’s necessities. John Farmer of the 9/11 Commission, manager responsible for the valuation of emergency, found out strange the fact that four OEM managers, instead of getting to the OEM, went to the North Tower lobby. He could not understand the sense of such organization, and could not get any appropriate explanations of the happening.
As we can assume from available sources –some of them above mentioned- the OEM on the 7WTC 23rd floor, on 9/11 remained substantially without any staff. The OEM remained essentially unused during the whole period of New York attack, save only one exception.
Chief Peruggia arrived at 7WTC around 9:15-9:20(imho), setting up a temporary OEM in the south-west corner of the lobby, on the 3rd floor of 7WTC. When he arrived at the lobby, he met Zarrillo and Nahmod, who just had come downstairs on foot from the 23rd floor. The two men left the OEM further to a false alarm announcing a third plane approaching New York. Zarrillo and Nahmod had managed to reach the OEM by elevator AFTER 9:07(EMS Response).
Nahmod and Zarrillo were the outside representatives of the only agency(among about 68) that on 9/11 reached the OEM on the 23rd floor: the EMS. They represented also the only exception to the almost total uselessness of the OEM Center.
Between 9:18 and 9:20(imho) the OEM was once again abandoned by these two rescuers, because of the false alarm of the third plane (wrongly carried out and then officially announced by radio at 9:32 from PAPD, until South Tower collapse).
Since from the moment when Peruggia arrived at the 7WTC lobby on the 3rd floor, nobody, except the 7WTC maintenance staff (IUOE engineers) was allowed only longer to reach the upper floors of the building above the 3rd floor. One of them, Peter Mulroy, on the patrol way further to the collapse of the two towers, remained entrapped as Michael Hess and Barry Jennings.
Second Circumstance: from the false alarm of the third plane to the south tower collapse(9:59)
From the NIST reports 1-8 and 1-9 Vol. 1:
“Shortly after WTC7 was evacuated, the FDNY fire commissioner arrived, looking for the mayor who he believed to be at the OEM center on the 23rd floor. A guard meet the commissioner in the lobby and ordered him and his staff out of the building. The guard told him “This building has been evacuated” and that “OEM, the mayor, they’re all gone”.(NCSTAR 1-8 e NCSTAR 1-9 Vol. 1)”
The “no-admittance” ordered to an official as Von Essen, Chief of New York Fire Department and Chief Deputy Commissioner of the OEM, with the pretext of looking for the mayor, is the evidence of the absolute prohibition imposed to anyone. The highest ranks in the OEM hierarchy above Thomas Von Essen were hold by Sheirer, Chief manager of the OEM, and above again by Mayor Giuliani, who held a symbolic and institutional function.
This happening seemed to me, at first, to be placed approximately between 9:30 and 9:50. But in the new report about WTC7(NCSTAR 1-9 Vol. 1 published in 2008) that should offer a more detailed chronology minute by minute of the happenings about WTC7, besides reporting the above mentioned reference in like manner, it lists three further points describing two happenings (pg 340 of the pdf) stating two precise times(9:45 and 9:59), before learning the collapse of the south tower(9:59).
Therefore we conclude that Von Essen was refused to be admitted into the OEM between 9:32 and 9:45(Peruggia’s deposition, between when he says he has met Von Essen to when the south tower collapses, confirms approximately such lapse of time: we presume in effects that Von Essen was refused to be admitted into the OEM, and then he talked to Peruggia to inquire about where mayor Giuliani was).
From 9:45 the admittance to the OEM was already denied, since there was an order given by a figure, described by NIST as a simple guardsman, to a person holding such a rank as Von Essen.
Von Essen, therefore, could not even see from far the elevators in the lobby of 7WTC.
Ray Goldbach, executive assistant of Von Essen, gives a further confirmation of the objective impossibility to get to the elevators of the 7WTC placed in the lobby on the 3rd floor, after the temporary OEM was equipped in the lobby and manned from Peruggia:
“We got into 7 World Trade Center, we took the escalator up to the second floor, then we were going to take the elevator. I think it was John Peruggia from operations, but I'm not sure, at that point told us we had to get out of that building. Everybody was evacuated in that building.”
Between 9:10 and 9:59 the already tragic situation at the WTC increased more and more: a second plane had already hit also the second tower, a dozen planes couldn’t be individuated, a third plane was supposed to be approaching New York, people threw themselves out of the towers choked by the thick black smoke, false alarms as the impact of another plane against the Sears tower, the America Mall etc, were warning the city against the impending danger on the Nation, at 9:37 an explosion at the Pentagon brought the attack against the USA to Washington too.
This danger getting continuously harder and harder, and its extension time after time to the whole Nation, had made the (security) precautionary measures obviously more rigorous in respect to how they were before, and they couldn’t have been so strict at the news of an impact against a tower, at first assumed as a consequence of the accident of a small tourism plane that had lost its course.
This is the reason why, after the 8:46 impact, while evacuating the 7WTC it was easy to get to the OEM on the 23rd floor. After the second impact, the precautionary measures became more rigorous, intensifying then definitely with the false alarm of the third plane approaching New York.
In such situation, the only places in the 7WTC still working, for something additional to the emergency in progress, were the lobby on the 3rd floor, designed to host the temporary OEM and to act as a “bridge”(repaired for the evacuation) linking “The Plaza” and the north side of the WTC, and the huge garages placed on the ground level of the building, where, by 9:30(EMS Response), a “triage area” had been equipped by Nhamod and Asaeda for the codification of the wounded people passing through.
Circumstances in comparison
The only “time gap” admitting an entrance of Jennings and Hess to the OEM on the 23rd floor of the 7WTC, is placed between 8:46 and a time inclosing 9:10 and 9:15. At least starting from 9:20 onwards it will not be possible any longer to reach the OEM on the 23rd floor of the 7WTC because of:
- The false alarm of the third plane approaching New York and the consequent order of OEM official evacuation communicated most likely by Sheirer.(Later on, his actions will be subject to criticism for changing an unconfirmed danger into a real alarm, with the consequent countermeasures undertaken for the case: deleterious for the detriments suffered by an OEM useless during the emergency – Sheirer, about the matter of the OEM evacuation, has provided a double version too…)
- The temporary moving of the OEM to the lobby on the 3rd floor. Therefore it would not have had any longer any sense to reach an useless OEM on the 23rd floor to organize the various operations of the assistance and rescue agencies or looking for the mayor after 9:30 a.m.
How could Barry Jennings and Michael Hess have reached the elevators in the lobby on the 3rd floor of 7WTC five, ten, fifteen or even thirty minutes before 9:59, with the prohibition to anyone to be admitted because of these reasons??
Considering Jennings’ deposition, from the information he received on the phone about the 8:46 impact, we cannot learn any detail letting presume a certain awareness, on his part, about the happenings how they developed further.
“And I received a call that a small cessna had hit the WTC. And I was asked to go and man the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) at WTC 7 on the 23rd floor. As I arrived there, there were police all in the lobby. They showed me the way to the elevator. We got up to the 23rd floor.” (Barry Jennings)
The alarm according to which a Cessna had hit one of the two towers, remained valid within five minutes from the AA:11 impact (8:46). As well as Jennings was informed about the accident, so it was also for the first rescue teams (among which, for instance, also Goldbach) that dashed into the WTC. Most rescuers hadn’t foreseen yet a “terroristic” attack, as it was then perceived further to the second plane impact at 9:03. Moreover, the false alarms according to which a dozen of planes could not be individuated hadn’t reached yet the WTC, nor a third plane was supposed yet to reaching New York ecc. The fact is that 7WTC wasn’t considered yet at risk of specific alarm, although it was immediately and unofficially evacuated(IUOE started the evacuation in spite of the security men of the Silverstein Properties, who wanted to leave the employees in the offices, in order to avoid any panic).
When Jennings entered the lobby of the building, there couldn’t have been the same restrictions imposed to Von Essen and Goldbach in consequence of the of the 9:03 impact and of the false alarm of the third plane approaching the city, that would then involve the evacuation of the OEM on the 23rd floor of 7WTC later.
That is to say: Jennings managed easily to reach the access to the elevators with the help of the Police who showed him where they were, since the situation hadn’t yet as serious as a real offensive attack(as it became later, starting from 9:03 onwards).
Before the second impact of 9:03 , the emergency was inclined to an answer in consequence of a casual and unintentional accident in time of peace, rather than to an attack made by an “X enemy”.
Being therefore in an emergency (in those moments apparently limited) Jennings obtained what had been denied to Von Essen and Goldbach for objective reasons once the situation had hugely enlarged in unpredictable and uncontrolled way.
But, as it is well known, even more amazingly, not once but twice he got the 23rd floor to arrive into the OEM. …and all this, in the same ways as he had reached it for the first time!
The first time, in fact, he couldn’t get into the OEM:
"We got to the 23rd floor. We couldn't get in. We had to go back down. Then Security and the Police took us to the freight elevators where they took us back up and we did get in. Upon arriving into the OEM EOC …we notice that… everybody was gone.”(Barry Jennings)
(Twice) two times Jennings arrived at the lobby on the 3rd floor asking for help, twice he asked the policemen and the security teams to show him which direction to take, twice he managed to take the elevators and twice he got to the 23rd floor.
Could it have been possible to do between 9:30 and 9:59???
Going back to the two above mentioned hypotheses, it appears to be clear that, while Von Essen(by 9:45), and Goldbach couldn’t get into the elevators of the 7WTC, likewise Barry Jennings and Michael Hess couldn’t have managed to reach it after this time. Considering that many hours mentioned by the NIST have been ambiguously “delayed”, and are in conflict with the report of the 9/11 Commission Report concerning the evacuation of the OEM that reports 9:30, it is reasonable to conclude that Jennings and Hess have never got to the 23rd floor of the 7WTC in a time around 9:59, and not even a little bit earlier.
On the contrary, Jennings and Hess could have reached the OEM in a lapse of time between 8:46 and 9:10-9:20 only.
Nevertheless, knowing that Zarrillo and Nhamod arrived at the 23rd floor to activate their placing after 9:07, learning that they received the order to evacuate the OEM because of the false alarm of the Third plane, and assuming that they met Peruggia in the lobby and, together with him, they equipped a “triage area” and a temporary OEM, we can deduce that the OEM was abandoned by the two responders around 9:18-9:20, and that Jennings could have been there, on the 23rd floor, only before the two arrived there, because, from the moment when Peruggia (9:20) arrived at the lobby, the admittance to the upper floors of the building was denied to anyone.
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