Debunking The Real 9/11 Myths: Part 9: Larry Silverstein and Barry Jennings

Editor’s note: This is Part 9 of an extensive report by 9/11 researcher Adam Taylor that exposes the fallacies and flaws in the arguments made by the editors of Popular Mechanics (PM) in the latest edition of Debunking 9/11 Myths. We encourage you to submit your own reviews of the book at and other places where it is sold.

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* Larry Silverstein’s “Pull It” Quote
* Analysis of Larry Silverstein’s statements about WTC7 reveals that they do not match the sequence of events that occurred on 9/11

PM’s next section deals with another controversial issue in the debate regarding WTC7 – the infamous quote from WTC7 owner Larry Silverstein regarding the building’s destruction. For reference, here is Silverstein’s full quote from his interview with PBS:

“I remember getting a call from the, er, fire department commander, telling me that they were not sure they were gonna be able to contain the fire, and I said, “We’ve had such terrible loss of life, maybe the smartest thing to do is pull it.” And they made that decision to pull, and we watched the building collapse.”1

PM’s book says that “pull it” is not a term generally used in the demolition industry, meaning that it is unlikely that Silverstein was referring to demolishing Building 7. It also notes that Silverstein’s spokesperson later explained he was discussing pulling the firefighters from the building, when he spoke of “the decision to pull.” Although I cannot say with certainty what the meaning of Silverstein’s remark was, there are a number of undeniable facts that should be further investigated.

Silverstein claims he spoke with the NYC “fire department commander” on 9/11, which was Chief Daniel Nigro. However, Daniel Nigro has confirmed that he did not speak to Silverstein on 9/11:

1. “I am well aware of Mr. Silverstein’s statement, but to the best of my recollection, I did not speak to him on that day, and I do not recall anyone telling me that they did either. That doesn’t mean he could not have spoken to someone from FDNY; it just means that I am not aware of it.”2

2. To date, not a single member of the FDNY has corroborated Silverstein’s story.
When members of the group We Are Change confronted Silverstein about his comments, he commented that he received the call from the FDNY at around 3:30 or 4:00 p.m.3 However, according to the NIST report of WTC7, the decision to pull the firefighters away from the area surrounding Building 7 occurred at 2:30 p.m.4 This clearly contradicts Silverstein’s account of events.

3. According to mainstream journalist and 9/11 eyewitness Jeffrey Scott Shapiro, Silverstein discussed demolishing Building 7 on 9/11 with his insurance carrier. This report was sourced not by FDNY officials but by NYPD officers and ConEd employees. Bizarrely, Shapiro seems to think that his claim exonerates Silverstein and that it somehow removes the mystery about how the building came down symmetrically and in freefall without explosives.5

The fact of the matter is that we may never know what part Silverstein may have played in WTC7’s collapse until a real investigation is launched. As noted by the website, “As part of a new investigation, Mr. Silverstein should be questioned under oath about the conversation he had with the fire department commander, who should also be called to testify.”6 Shapiro, the witnesses he spoke with, and Larry Silverstein’s insurance carriers should also be questioned under oath.

Barry Jennings
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While the cause of 9/11 survivor Barry Jennings’ death in 2008 has not been verified, his testimony about explosions in WTC7 lives on, despite the criticism of Popular Mechanics

While PM’s next section regarding 9/11 survivor Barry Jennings may be true in some areas, it is completely false in others.

Jennings, the former Deputy Director of the Emergency Services Department for the New York City Housing Authority, died in August 2008, although no official cause of death was provided. PM refers to various internet postings made by someone claiming to be Barry Jennings’ son, who states that he was with his father when he died of leukemia. However, the identity of the individual who made these postings has not been verified for authenticity.

This section of PM’s book is clearly meant to play on the emotions of the reader, in order to make it seem that members of the 9/11 Truth movement have been insulting and disrespectful to the memory of Jennings. But beyond the obvious appeal to emotion PM uses in this section, it also claims that Barry Jennings’ death was not the result of foul play.

However, it is completely obvious that PM cherry-picked this issue in regards to Jennings and thereby avoided more the important issues.

The most important issue raised by members of the 9/11 Truth movement in regards to Barry Jennings is that he was one of the last people rescued from inside WTC7 on 9/11, and that while in the building Jennings claimed to have heard and experienced explosions. PM devotes two paragraphs to this issue.

In 2007, Jennings, the father of four, gave an interview to the producers of Loose Change, alleging that he heard “explosions” in Building 7 before it collapsed. “I’m just confused about why World Trade Center 7 went down in the first place,” he says on camera. “I know what I heard. I heard explosions.” In that instant, Jennings became conspiracy theorists’ sole eyewitness for a Building 7 controlled demolition scenario… NIST’s analysis of the emergency response at the World Trade Center alludes to Jennings’s story, and provides a timeline suggesting the “explosions” he heard were actually the collapse of WTC1 roughly 300 feet away, along with the subsequent debris damage to Building 7. Jennings backed off his claims during a 2008 interview with the BBC, saying he “didn’t like the way (he) was portrayed” in the film. He added, “I didn’t appreciate that, so I told them to pull my interview.” (pg. 81)
PM claims Jennings was the sole eyewitness to report explosions at WTC 7, ignoring the testimony of Air Force medic Kevin McPadden (above) and others

PM refers to Barry Jennings as the sole witness to explosions in connection with the destruction of Building 7, when in fact that is completely untrue. There are several other individuals who claimed to have heard explosions right before and during the time Building 7 collapsed, including first responders Kevin McPadden7 and Craig Bartmer8. Furthermore, Michael Hess9, the former Corporation Counsel for New York City was trapped with Barry Jennings in Building 7, and he also claimed to have heard explosions inside the building. Hess has since retracted this claim. In any case, several people claimed to have heard explosions when WTC7 collapsed, and PM’s characterization of Barry as the sole eyewitness is flatly untrue.

NIST’s analysis… provides a timeline suggesting the “explosions” he heard were actually the collapse of WTC1

The NIST analysis which PM discusses states that Barry Jennings and Michael Hess were rescued at around 12:00 to 12:15 p.m. However, as David Ray Griffin has demonstrated, the time Hess and Jennings were likely rescued was well before noon10, meaning that NIST’s timeline is inaccurate and that the explosions that Jennings and Hess said they experienced could not have been the result of debris from the collapse of the North Tower. Why did PM not also thoroughly examine NIST’s timeline of events and attempt to determine whether the PM timeline is consistent with it?

Jennings backed off his claims during a 2008 interview with the BBC

This claim is by far PM’s most dishonest one. Barry Jennings retracted only one aspect of his testimony to the Loose Change producers, and that was his claim that he stepped over dead bodies as he was rescued from the building. However, he never retracted his statement about hearing the explosions in WTC 7. But PM dishonestly portrays Jennings as if he retracted his entire testimony.11

1Quoted from:
2Quoted from:
4See: NIST NCSTAR 1-9, pg. 303
6Quoted from:
11For Jennings’ testimony to the Loose Change producers, see: For Jennings’ testimony to the BBC regarding his so-called “retraction,” see:

definition of "pull down"

Often we are told "pull it" isn't used much in demolition vocabulary. However, the phrase "pull down" can commonly be found in dictionaries. Here's an online example,

Note the first definition: "1. demolish something: to destroy or demolish something, especially a building."

It remains true that, without corroborating verbal evidence, we can't really prove what Silverstein meant. But, loosely, to "pull" or to "pull it" can mean to demolish a building.

Con Edison or Chief Nigro?

Who did Silverstein actually talk to on 9/11? His insurance provider. About imploding it.

He lied about talking to Chief Nigro. No firefighters to pull back at the time either.

polygraph test for Larry Silverstein

Wonder how Silverstein would respond to an open letter, asking if he'd take a 9/11 polygraph test? The questions would center around the WTC structures, who he talked with that day, and his intended meaning of "pull it."

The matter of polygraph testing would also be a good question for videographers to ask Silverstein.

Thanks for

quick response. I knew polygraph tests weren't perfect, but it looks like they may be much worse than I'd thought. A pity.

Was WTC 7 the target of Flight 93?

I have been thinking for a while about flight 93. Perhaps its target was suppose to be building 7 and it never made it because it was taken down by the passengers. now take into account that the first 2 planes hit their targets successfully and debris from those crashes fell into building 7. is it an unreasonable assumption that the planes crashing into the buildings was just a cover? This would make sense if in fact the target of flight 93 was building 7. have there been any computer simulations that could verify that the plane could have hit building 7?


There were reports of a 3rd incoming jet, someone would need to find where in the radio recordings these appear, and then correlate the times as a first step.

Target Certainty

We could speculate endlessly about where any of these flights were going. We cannot say with certainty until they actually reach their targets.

Flight 77 could have been headed to the Capital, White House, Supreme Court, FBI, CIA, or even building 7. It probably could have gotten there right before WTC2 collapsed at 9:59.

You have to admit that this would be very risky since two aircraft had already successfully penetrated NYC airspace and, as it turned out, the OTIS fighters were getting there about the same time.

Maybe it was going to the Deutsche Bank. After all, it sustained a similar gash down the front face, just like WTC7. The DB had as good reason to be demolished in all this confusion because it was involved in the airline insider trading schemes.

My point is there is simply no way of knowing.

What we can do is keep digging up the evidence of what did happen and piece it all together.

The luxury of a little speculation on WTC7....

The WTC7 aspect of the attack is strange...its not so much that the cause of the building's destruction is in any way a mystery - the evidence has been found, analyzed and successfully peer reviewed, and no peer-reviewed rebuttal has been published. The big problem child: why did it happen at 5.20 pm, some 7 hours after the attack sequence was concluded? It seems the most peculiar time to detonate a 3rd building, running the risk of people asking a bunch of awkward questions - the world's TV cameras were pointing at Ground Zero. And yes, once the "shock and awe" psychological element of 9/11 had dulled, people did ask questions, and lots of them: We still do! It appears that something might have gone very awry with the initial plan.

To speculate: WTC#7 was supposed to come down at the same time, or very shortly after the start of the collapse sequence of the North Tower. The fall of WTC would have been hidden within the huge, outward and downward moving cloud of debris from WTC#1. When the air was clear enough to see the skyline a while later, WTC7 would have vanished and the media may not have even noticed until someone might have mentioned, along the following lines: "Oh by the way, wasn't there another building nearby? Where is it - where did it go?" The demise of WTC7 would have been easily and "rationally" explained by the following: "it was destroyed by the North Tower falling". This explanation would have been acceptable to pretty much everyone. WTC#7 would not have become a pesky mystery, a bizarre anomaly, a persistent thorn in the side of the official version of events, as it famously has become. It is unlikely that people would have questioned WTC#7s demise, despite the fact it wasn't hit by a plane.

To add: BBC correspondent Jane Standley, at or around 5pm that afternoon, said (approximately): "It appears that another building has also collapsed - this building (WTC#7) is known as the Saloman Brothers Building.... etc. etc.",\; all the while, WTC#7 was still standing there behind her, in full camera shot. The embarrassed BBC had to scramble an excuse - a horribly inadequate piece of "weaseling out". To this day, Ms. Standley refuses to talk about that faux pas. This bizarre error might have been on account of a story previously put out for the media by official sources, but which had not been edited as regards the status of WTC#7 - and still contained the wrong, or out of date information!

In a similar vein, there was a smorgasbord of material - which formed the basis of the official version - which was being infused into the media by officials that day. These included Jerome Hauer (a Bush Administration insider and arch neoconservative), who appeared repeatedly on news channels to explain to the gaping horrified public, that "this attack bears the hallmarks of Osama bin Laden's "al Qaeda" network", even though the al Qaeda M.O. was nothing more sophisticated than crude truck bombs, and there was zero evidence available at the time as regards culprits... he was whitewashing the fact that the method employed on 9/11 was 100% out of pattern with al Qaeda's history. Then there was "Harley Guy", explaining to the public the cause of the collapses of the Twin Towers - coolly and calmly, while all hell was breaking out. A more "scientific looking" version of this same fable appeared in the national newspapers the next day, couched in scientific, constructional and architectural jargon/ terminology. I recall reading this piece in the LA Times; I still have the copy.

There is video which occasionally surfaces on youtube - in which a metal dumpster at the base of the rear of WTC#7 is burning furiously - it appears that the dumpster is filled with rubber tires, and a thick cloud of black and brown smoke is belching forth. Maybe this was deliberately set up to make the rather minor fires in the building look more spectacular to viewers? Similar clouds of thick black and brown smoke were pouring from windows on some floors of WTC#7... what was burning in there around 5 pm that wasn't burning much earlier in the day, when all the action happened? There is also a video which makes occasional appearances on youtube showing activity in WTC#7 - for example, on one floor, objects are being thrown out of a broken or open window.

Perhaps there was a frantic effort to try and fix the problem with the planned but failed detonation of WTC#7, before the situation got out of control: investigators went in there and found evidence that whoever planned the attacks went to great lengths not to be found... such as explosive charges throughout the building!!! The one man who testified to explosions/bombs in WTC#7, alongside dead bodies, was the late Barry Jennings (RIP), (see article above), who died in suspicious circumstances after going public.

Alan Dodds Frank

Familiar with this, bloggulator? CNN reports possible third collapse on 9/11 more than SIX hours before Building 7 was brought down! This report by correspondent Alan Dodds Frank is at 11:07 a.m. and references a "50 story building" that either exploded or collapsed at 10:45 am. So yeah, I think that B7 was supposed to have been demolished at this time of 10:45 or so in the wake of the N. Tower's destruction -- and something went wrong or plans changed for whatever reason. Then Aaron Brown of CNN reported this story AGAIN at a much LATER time around an hour before 5:20 --- and then BBC's Jane Standley. But the first attempt to plant this script was by Frank at 11:07 a.m.

Flight 93?

I've shared the point before that Flt 93 could have arrived in New York City at apprx. 10:45AM had it not gone down in Shanksville. This observation/calculation was made by Ryan Dawson (now with Sibel Edmunds' Boiling Frogs Post) and I'm simply passing it along due to its plausibility. Of course, we're told repeatedly that 93 was heading towards DC, but I believe that information was acquired via torture and is therefore unreliable (and repulsive).

An interpretation of WTC7 timeline

This video also interprets the long, strangely symmetrical gash on one side of WTC7, as being perhaps caused by explosives within that section of WTC7. The explosions would have begun there at that time, and then stalled, leaving an even, clean, gouge in the building's face.

Further, it correlates the firefighter's statement of "fifty stories" with the approximately fifty stories of the exploded gash.