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The Triumph of the Official Narrative:
How the TV Networks Hid the Twin Towers’ Explosive Demolition on 9/11

Ted Walter and Graeme MacQueen
Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth, 8 Sep 2022
This file is divided into 3 parts. Part One is the Main Body.
Part Two is Appendix A and Part Three is Appendix B.

Appendix A: Statements by News Anchors and Guests, and Lower Third Captions


10:02 AM: Peter Jennings, anchor

Jennings [EXPLOSION HYPOTHESIS]: “The southern tower, 10:00 eastern time this morning, just collapsing on itself. This is a place where thousands of people work. We have no idea what caused this. If you wish to bring — anybody who’s ever watched a building being demolished on purpose knows that if you’re going to do this you have to get at the under infrastructure of a building and bring it down.”

Don Dahler: “Peter?”

Jennings: “Yes, [Don].”

Dahler [FIRE-INDUCED COLLAPSE HYPOTHESIS]: “What appeared to happen from my vantage point, the top part of the building was totally involved in fire, and there appeared to be no effort possible to put that fire out. It looked like the top part of the building was so weakened by the fire the weight of it collapsed the rest of the building. That’s what appeared to happen. I did not see anything happening at the base of the building. It all appeared to start at the top and then just collapse the rest of the building by the sheer weight of it. There was no explosion or anything at the base part of it. But I did see that the top part of it started to collapse. The walls started to bulge out, glass things coming out. And then it collapsed down on itself. And then it appeared to just fold down from there, from the very top.”

Jennings: “Thanks, Don, very much.”

10:22 AM: John Miller, guest, and Peter Jennings, anchor

Miller: “They are now concerned about the possibility of a second collapse.”

Jennings: “I’m still desperately confused, John, about what may have caused the building to collapse.”

Miller [FIRE-INDUCED COLLAPSE HYPOTHESIS]: “As you watch the videotape, it appeared to buckle from the middle, from the point of impact and collapse, which, with no background in architecture — I don’t know about the structural vulnerability — but as you see, debris starts to fall...”

Jennings: “It just peels away.”

11:13 AM: John Miller, guest

Miller [EXPLOSION HYPOTHESIS]: “Consider the prospect of sifting for evidence: trying to find the black boxes, the in-flight recorders, evidence of other explosives there.”

Unknown Time in the Evening: Peter Jennings, anchor, Robert Krulwich, correspondent, and Jon Magnusson, guest (structural engineer)

Jennings: “Now, to try to examine the building, ABC's Robert Krulwich has put together a piece on the structural engineering of the World Trade Centers. Perhaps [it will] help us to understand, when these two aircraft hit these two towers today, exactly what was going on. Robert?”

Krulwich [FIRE-INDUCED COLLAPSE HYPOTHESIS]: “Why did the towers collapse as quickly and as suddenly as they did? Engineers from the original firm that built the towers told ABC they can only guess at this point. But they believe that the collisions themselves — the plane hitting building number one and the plane that smashed into building number two — by themselves, they did not cause the collapse. It was the fire, they say — the intense fire and heat from the explosions that brought the buildings down.

“Temperatures inside could have built up to 1,500-1,600 degrees Fahrenheit. At that temperature, steel loses its strength. And steel beams connect every floor to the outside walls. As it got hotter, the beams got weaker. And the hot air inside began to push and press against the outside walls, until the outside walls just buckled, snapped, and released the top floor, which fell onto the floor below. And the entire building sinks in a straight vertical — the floors going faster and faster down, until you notice that every floor in the building is gone.

“Viewed from another angle you can see the same thing. Notice the aerial stays vertical, just stays straight as it sinks into the buildling. There's no buckling or tipping — just straight down.

“And this happened in both buildings. The first tower, too, stayed straight as it went down, each floor falling neatly on top of the other.

“So, the reason the towers went so quickly is because all of the floors were literally hanging onto the skin. And once the skin went, the buildings went, too. Robert Krulwich, ABC News.”

Jennings: “Well, that report [comes] as we look at New York City at night, which has a still quality about it tonight. [It's] the city of light at night, as so many American cities are, but there's a still, almost calm, look of it from the sky. It's anything but that on the ground.

“But this is the second time, from Robert Krulwich and also from some architects and engineers we talked to a little earlier, that say it was the heat which caused the buildings to collapse, because the steel at the top of the building would maybe have only been able to sustain an hour, an hour and a half, of intense fire. And then the steel building, as Robert pointed out so clearly, collapsed all the way down to the bottom.

“I think we have with us, on the phone or in person, from Seattle, Jon Magnusson, who is an engineer. Jon, are you there? Jon Magnusson, who is with the company that actually built the World Trade Center. Jon, have you heard our two layman explanations tonight of what it was we think collapsed the buildings, and do you agree or disagree?”

Magnusson [FIRE-INDUCED COLLAPSE HYPOTHESIS]: “I agree. I need to say one thing: At the time of the design of the World Trade Center, that was in the mid-1960s and I was in sixth grade — to put into perspective how much time has passed since this design was actually completed.

“But the description of the fact that steel, when it gets up to 1,500-1,600 degrees Fahrenheit, loses its strength, is accurate. The buildings actually survived the impact of both the planes, and it was really the fire that finally created the disaster.”

Jennings: “And the upper floor fell on the next floor down, which fell on the next floor, and the sheer accumulation of weight just forced the whole building to collapse on its own.”

Magnusson: “Right. From the videotape — I can only go from what I've seen on television — but the videotape shows that several of the upper floors fell onto the next lower floor that was still intact. And once that happens, there's going to be an instant overload situation, and then it will fail. And then that will drop down to the next floor, into another instant overload situation. And so the floors just progressively collapsed down all the way to the bottom.”

Jennings: “I appreciate the fact that you were very young in the mid-1960s, when the Trade Towers were built. Though I've heard it said earlier today that they, in fact, were stronger, more sensible structures than many of the more daring-shaped buildings that are being built in parts of the world today.”

Graphic on the screen:

Groundbreaking August 5, 1966
First Tower completed 1970: 1,368 ft high—110 stories
Second Tower completed 1973: 1,362 ft high—110 stories
Cost: $1.5 billion

Magnusson: “Right. The term that structural engineers use is redundancy. And the World Trade Center towers really set a new standard in redundancy. And that's why those airplanes were able to crash into the towers without causing the structural failure. The buildings were still standing. And then the problem was the fire and the jet fuel. And in normal buildings, all the steel is protected with fireproofing and there are sprinkler systems, but they're not designed to protect against a jet fuel fire inside of a building.”

Jennings: “Can you be a little more precise what you mean by ‘redundancy’?”

Magnusson: “‘Redundancy’ is if you have a structural element that is damaged and is no longer able to carry the load, that that load is able to be passed onto other elements or other columns or other beams within the building. And the columns on the World Trade Center — they were spaced at 39 inches on center all the way across each face.”

Jennings: “What does that mean: ‘39 inches at center’?”

Magnusson: “Every three feet, three inches, there was a column that supported the building. So they were very closely spaced together. [On] many buildings, the columns are ten, fifteen feet apart — or more. And so having these very closely spaced columns on the outside created a lot of redundancy. That's why there was able to be a hole in the side. If you go back and look at the tapes, there was a tremendous hole in the side of the building, and it didn't collapse until the fire brought it down.”

Jennings: “And Trade Tower Number Seven, which was the last to go, which was a building 47 stories high, do you have any sense of why it ultimately collapsed? Was it the concussion of the other buildings collapsing which undermined it?”

Magnusson: “I'm not familiar with that building. We were not involved in [designing] that building. And I haven't seen any of the details on that yet.”

Jennings: “So aside from your horror, which I assume you share with the rest of us today, when you look at what has happened today, have you learned something?”

Magnusson: “Well, it's a very difficult situation, because if you take that much of a load and that much jet fuel and you put it into a building, there's very little that you can do. And, really, I think the solution to this will be to keep the planes and keep these attacks away from the doorsteps of these buildings.”


9:59 AM: Brian Gumble, anchor

Gumble [EXPLOSION HYPOTHESIS]: “We understand now there has been a secondary explosion on Tower 2. With that we will leave you and turn it over to Dan Rather.”

10:28 AM: Dan Rather, anchor

Rather [EXPLOSION HYPOTHESIS]: “We’re going to interrupt you, David Martin, and come back here to New York, because the second tower in the World Trade Center is teetering and looks like it may be in the process of collapsing. The second World Trade Center tower just had another explosion — we can’t call it a secondary explosion — and appears to be in the process of collapsing.”

10:38 AM: Dan Rather, anchor

[Note: Several networks reported a “fourth explosion” at 10:38 AM. These are not considered mentions of the “explosion hypothesis” in our analysis. Nevertheless, we deemed these reports relevant enough to include in the appendix because they paint a picture of how people at the networks were interpreting the events.]

Dan Rather: “There’s been a fourth explosion at the World Trade Center, just reported. Claire McIntyre was an eyewitness to this collapse of the World Trade Center. Ms. McIntyre?”

Claire McIntyre: “Yes, hi.”

Rather: “What did you see? What did you feel? What did you hear?”

McIntyre: “Well, I’m on the 91st floor of Building 1. And I face the north side. And I was at my computer. And I heard the plane. And then I saw it hit right above us, the 92nd or 93rd floor probably, or even 94. And our whole floor just fell to pieces practically. And we got out though. Everybody in my company got out.... And when we came out we were walking up the block to get away from the building, and that’s when 2 World Trade Center blew up. And we were just in a cloud of darkness.”

11:25 AM: Dan Rather, anchor

Rather: “Then there was a fourth explosion, a fourth counted big explosion rocked the collapsed remains of the World Trade Center. That was at about 10:38 AM eastern time.”

12:13 PM (Approximately): Dan Rather, anchor, and Jerome Hauer, guest (bio-terrorism official)

Rather [EXPLOSION HYPOTHESIS]: “Is this massive destruction of the World Trade Center — based on what you know, and I recognize we’re dealing with so few facts — is it possible that just plane crash could have collapsed these buildings? Or would it have required the sort of prior positioning of other explosives in the building? What do you think?”

Hauer [FIRE-INDUCED COLLAPSE HYPOTHESIS]: “No, my sense is that just, one, the velocity of the plane, and the fact that you have a plane filled with fuel hitting that building that burned. The velocity of the plane certainly had an impact on the structure itself. And then the fact that it burned and you had that intense heat probably weakened the structure as well. I think it was simply the planes hitting the building and causing the collapse.”


12:37 PM: Katie Couric, anchor

Couric [EXPLOSION HYPOTHESIS]: “Clearly, this was a suicide mission of enormous magnitude. And of course we heard speculation from Pat Dawson at the scene that there might have even been a secondary bomb on board the aircraft, although who knows what kind of explosion would occur if a plane actually crashes in a building that’s 110 stories high.”

1:40 PM: Tom Brokaw, anchor

Brokaw [EXPLOSION HYPOTHESIS]: “This is as effective as a bomb being dropped there, or two bombs, in effect. Commercial airliners flown into those two buildings, and then they came down — we presume because of the initial explosion. There may have been secondary explosions as well that were detonated in the building by these terrorists.”

2:28 PM: Tom Brokaw, anchor

Brokaw [EXPLOSION HYPOTHESIS AND FIRE-INDUCED COLLAPSE HYPOTHESIS]: “No one could have anticipated that it would happen as swiftly or as catastrophically as it did. It does lead one to wonder whether there was a secondary explosion of some kind within the building. Although it did take, in both instances, a terrible, terrible hit at the top. These buildings are secure. The World Trade Center was bombed in 1993. It managed to survive that. But, nonetheless, the full effect of these two airliners, both considerable size with a lot of fuel on board, brought down two of the iconic buildings in Manhattan.”

4:48 PM: Tom Brokaw, anchor

Brokaw [AMBIGUOUS]: “There’s a 40-story building that is near the Trade Center that is in danger of collapsing as well because of the shock of the explosion that was coincidental with the two towers coming down. Forty fire companies we are told are in the immediate area. Well, there were 40 fire companies in the immediate Trade Center area just before the towers collapsed. The great fear is that many of those, of New York’s finest were lost in that debris, and all that rubble, and the force of that explosion.”


9:59 AM: Aaron Brown, anchor

Brown [EXPLOSION HYPOTHESIS]: “Wow! Jamie. Jamie, I need you to stop for a second. There has just been a huge explosion. We can see a billowing smoke rising. And I can’t — I’ll tell you that I can’t see that second tower. But there was a cascade of sparks and fire and now looks almost like a mushroom cloud, explosion, this huge, billowing smoke in the second tower. This was the second of the two towers hit. And I, you know, I cannot see behind that smoke obviously, as you can’t either. The first tower in front has not changed. And we see this extraordinarily (sic) and frightening scene behind us of this second tower now just encased in smoke. What is behind it...I cannot tell you. But just look at that. That is about as frightening a scene as you will ever see.”

10:02 AM: Aaron Brown, anchor

Brown [EXPLOSION HYPOTHESIS]: “Again, there has been a second explosion here in Manhattan at the Trade Center. We are getting reports that a part of the tower, the second tower, the one a bit further to the south of us, has collapsed. We are checking on that.... What we can tell you is that just in the last several minutes here — two or three minutes — a second or third, I guess, technically, extraordinary event has happened here in lower Manhattan. You can see this extraordinary plume of smoke that is, or was at least, the second tower of the World Trade Center.”

10:03 AM: CNN Banner


10:03 AM: Aaron Brown, anchor

Brown [EXPLOSION HYPOTHESIS]: “and then just in the last several minutes there has been a second explosion or, at least, perhaps not an explosion, perhaps part of the building simply collapsed. And that’s what we saw and that’s what we’re looking at.”

10:04 AM: Aaron Brown, anchor

Brown [EXPLOSION HYPOTHESIS]: “This is just a few minutes ago...we don’t know if...something happened, another explosion, or if the building was so just collapsed.”

10:06 AM: CNN Banner


10:10 AM: CNN Banner


10:29 AM: Aaron Brown, anchor

Brown [EXPLOSION HYPOTHESIS]: “We believe now that we can say that both, that portions of both Towers of the World Trade Centre, have collapsed. Whether there were second explosions, that is to say, explosions other than the planes hitting them, that caused this to happen we cannot tell you.”

10:31 AM: Aaron Brown, anchor

Brown [EXPLOSION HYPOTHESIS]: “This is tape. And you can see now, whether that was an explosion, or exactly what happened that caused that second tower to collapse, we cannot tell you.”

10:41 AM: Aaron Brown, anchor

Brown [EXPLOSION HYPOTHESIS]: “Was there... Brian, did it sound like there was an explosion before the second collapse, or was the noise the collapse itself?”

Brian Palmer: “Well, from our distance... I was not able to distinguish between an explosion and the collapse. We were several hundred yards away. But we clearly saw the building come down. I heard your report of a fourth explosion: I can’t confirm that. But we heard some “boom” and then the building fold in on itself.”

10:53 AM: Aaron Brown, anchor

Brown [EXPLOSION HYPOTHESIS]: “About a half an hour after that...the first Tower — let me correct that, the South Tower, the second Tower, the one to the left, collapsed. It collapsed in a cascade of smoke and spark, and what we cannot tell you is if there was a second explosion that caused that collapse or if it was simply... [unfinished sentence] Then shortly after that, just as the smoke was starting to clear away, the second Tower. . . It almost looks like one of those implosions of buildings that you see, except there is nothing controlled about this...this is devastation.”

11:17 AM: Aaron Brown, anchor

Brown: “About half an hour after that [i.e., after the second plane crash] the first of the — that tower that is now you see in flame there in your shot collapsed. The top collapsed. And there was an enormous — uh, uh, I don’t want to say “explosion,” but there was an enormous plume of smoke, sparks, as we looked over from where we’re standing.”

[Note: We do not count this as a mention of the explosion hypothesis since Brown is saying he doesn’t want to call it an explosion.]

11:17 AM: Aaron Brown, anchor

Brown [EXPLOSION HYPOTHESIS]: “Our reporters in the area say they heard loud noises when that happened. It is unclear to them and to us whether those were explosions going on in the building or if that was simply the sound of the collapse of the buildings as they collapsed, making these huge noises as they came down.”

11:46 AM: Aaron Brown, anchor

Brown [EXPLOSION HYPOTHESIS AND FIRE-INDUCED COLLAPSE HYPOTHESIS]: “As they were trying to get out, the South Tower collapsed. It collapsed in an enormous plume of smoke and spark, and what we can’t tell you is if there was a second explosion or if this collapse was simply a . . . structural collapse caused by the plane that hit it perhaps a half hour before. And then just a few minutes after that, it wasn’t very long, as you will see, it happened again. The second Tower came tumbling down. And you can see that it almost looks like one of those — almost looks like one of those planned implosions, but of course there was nothing planned, and it was not an implosion as you see...”

12:31 PM: Aaron Brown, anchor, and Mayor Rudy Giuliani, guest

Brown [EXPLOSION HYPOTHESIS]: “Sir, do you believe that — was there another set of explosions that caused the buildings to collapse, or was it the structural damage caused by the planes?”

Giuliani [FIRE-INDUCED COLLAPSE HYPOTHESIS]: “I don’t, I don’t know, I, uh, I, uh . . . I, I saw the first collapse and heard the second ‘cause I was in a building when the second took place. I think it was structural but I cannot be sure.”

2:07 PM: Aaron Brown, anchor

Brown [FIRE-INDUCED COLLAPSE HYPOTHESIS]: “The smoke continues to pour out of the area where the Trade Center towers were. They are no more. They collapsed in the hour after the attack.”

2:08 PM: CNN Banner


2:58 PM: Joie Chen, anchor

Chen [EXPLOSION HYPOTHESIS]: “You see really just almost an explosion, an implosion, as it just gave away.”

4:20 PM: Aaron Brown, anchor, and Jim DeStefano, guest (structural engineer)

Aaron Brown: “Jim DeStefano is a structural engineer. He knows about big buildings and what happens in these sort of catastrophic moments. He joins us from Deerfield, Connecticut on the phone. Jim, the plane hits. What — and I hope this isn’t a terribly oversimplified question — but what happens to the building itself, the structure?”


DeStefano [FIRE-INDUCED COLLAPSE HYPOTHESIS]: “Well, it’s a tremendous impact that’s applied to the building when a collision like this occurs. And it’s clear that that impact was sufficient to do damage to the columns and the bracing system supporting the building. That coupled with the fire raging and the high temperatures softening the structural steel then precipitated a destabilization of the columns and clearly the columns buckled at the lower floors causing the building to collapse.”

Brown: “So it is a combination of — as we see again this extraordinary shot of the second plane hitting the Tower — it is a combination of the impact of the plane itself, and then the fire that ensues that causes these — I don’t know, are they called ‘beams’? — to buckle?”

Jim DeStefano: “It’s the columns, the vertical elements are columns, and those are the elements that are holding the whole building up, and those are the critical, vulnerable elements that clearly failed in a buckling mode from the high temperatures and the damage from the impact.”

Aaron Brown: “Now, I’m not asking you to assign any blame to anyone about anything here. But just give me an idea if in fact you can design these buildings in such a way so that this sort of thing does not happen even in a catastrophic event.”

Jim DeStefano: “Well, it’s very difficult when you’re designing a structure like this to imagine all the scenarios of things that might occur to the building during its construction. It’s my understanding that when this building was designed, one of the criteria that it was designed for was a direct hit from a 707. Um, clearly planes are larger today and it wasn’t considered the effects of the aftermath fires and high temperatures that would have been applied to the structure subsequent to the collision as we saw today.”

4:33 PM: Joie Chen, anchor

Chen [FIRE-INDUCED COLLAPSE HYPOTHESIS]: “The North Tower had collapsed already. This is the South Tower [she has confused the two towers] you can see collapsing into the streets of Lower Manhattan, just falling away, as you see it there, just falling away, falling into the sky, falling into pieces all over Lower Manhattan. So you can understand the tremendous amount of ash just dumped on Lower Manhattan today.”

4:42 PM: Jeffrey Beatty, guest (counter-terrorism expert)

Beatty [EXPLOSION HYPOTHESIS]: “So we’re yet to determine — we’ve heard reports of secondary explosions after the aircraft impacted — whether there wasn’t something else at the base of the towers that, in fact, were the coup de grace to bring them to the ground.

Fox News

9:59 AM: Jon Scott, anchor, and Bill Daley, guest

Scott: “Jim, let me interrupt you. We are looking at live pictures of the World Trade Center literally starting to crumble. It is...falling apart as we watch these pictures live. The World Trade Center, 110 stories, literally starting to fall. Bill Daley, let me bring you into the conversation. I know this was the goal of the terrorist strike back in 1993.”

Daley [FIRE-INDUCED COLLAPSE HYPOTHESIS]: “Jon, it was. And they thought they could do it by putting charges down in the basement and damaging the under-structure. And as much as these buildings were built to withstand a certain large hit, including some aircraft, apparently the structural integrity appears — from what we can see here — to be faltering to some degree.”

Scott [FIRE-INDUCED COLLAPSE HYPOTHESIS]: “They were not designed, perhaps, to take a direct strike from something the size of a 737, or perhaps an Airbus, perhaps fully loaded with fuel. Steel will melt.”

10:01 AM: Jon Scott, anchor [responding to reporter David Lee Miller’s reporting of a “very loud blast, an explosion” and talk on the street of “some other attack”]

Miller: “Jon, the scene is horrific. One of the two Towers literally collapsed. I was making my way to the foot of the World Trade Center. Suddenly, while talking to an officer, who was questioning me about my press credentials, we heard a very loud blast, an explosion. We looked up, and the building literally began to collapse before us... I am now standing in a black cloud of smoke... I'm on a payphone on the street right now and I literally cannot see more than quarter-block away.... Not clear now is why this explosion took place. Was it because of the planes that, uh, two planes, dual attacks this morning, or was there some other attack which is — there has been talk of here on the street.”

Scott [FIRE-INDUCED COLLAPSE HYPOTHESIS]: “Yeah, David, we are looking at the replay of what happened that you're describing — it happened just moments ago — it sure appears that the building simply collapsed...of its own weight, that there was so much damage from the heat of the I said, steel will melt. That was the building that was hit by the second plane, the plane that we actually saw hit the building, live, during our coverage. That is the building that has just collapsed. Now, it bears noting that that plane seemed to come in at a lower altitude. It hit the building lower down and there was that tremendous fireball, so the damage to the building came at a point where there is much more weight on top of it, and those steel girders, strong as they are, had a lot of weight to support and, apparently – I'm not a structural engineer, but I'm just guessing now – that they gave way.”

10:09 AM: Jon Scott, anchor [responding to reporter Rick Levanthal’s reporting of a “huge explosion”]

Scott [FIRE-INDUCED COLLAPSE HYPOTHESIS]: “Rick Leventhal is not able to hear me but from his vantage point on the ground I think it's not clear to him what's fairly clear to us — our vantage point from the helicopter — that the top of Tower One, One World Trade Center, has literally crumbled.”

10:32 AM: Jon Scott, anchor [responding to reporter David Lee Miller’s report of a “huge explosion” as the second tower went down]

Scott: “David Lee, what can you tell us?”

Miller: “Jon, just seconds ago there was a huge explosion and it appears right now the second World Trade Tower has just collapsed. . .”

Scott [FIRE-INDUCED COLLAPSE HYPOTHESIS]: “Alright, David Lee. Stay safe. We are looking now at pictures, this of the second of the two World Trade Center towers collapsing after that awful, awful event.”

10:43 AM: Jon Scott, anchor

Scott [FIRE-INDUCED COLLAPSE HYPOTHESIS]: “You are looking at the pictures from the last half hour or so, as the first tower simply collapsed on itself. . . Now here comes the second tower. This is the one that had the TV antenna on top, simply imploding on itself.”

10:53 AM: Jon Scott, anchor

Scott [FIRE-INDUCED COLLAPSE HYPOTHESIS]: “Here is the first of those towers coming down. This is the one that was actually hit by the second plane. It was hit lower. There was more weight on those steel girders that had been damaged. And here comes the second tower, the tower with the signature television antenna on top. Both of them simply imploding in on themselves.”

11:03 AM: Jon Scott, anchor

Scott [FIRE-INDUCED COLLAPSE HYPOTHESIS]: "That tremendous fireball, you can imagine, triggered a fire inside the building that apparently weakened the structural elements to the point that the upper level of the building simply could not stand. It collapsed.”

11:51 AM: Rick Levanthal, reporter, and Mark Walsh, Fox freelancer (known to many as “Harley Guy”)

Leventhal: “We want to bring in Mark Walsh, who’s a freelancer for Fox. You live just a few blocks away and witnessed...”

Walsh: “Dude, I live on the 43rd floor of a building which is five blocks from the World Trade Center itself. I witnessed the entire thing from beginning to end.”

Rick Leventhal: “People talk about how it looked like a movie. I know when I came walking down here earlier this morning and saw both towers on fire, and people on every street corner, it was like a movie. But you watched the planes hit the towers?”

Mark Walsh [FIRE-INDUCED COLLAPSE HYPOTHESIS]: “I was watching with my roommate. It was approximately several minutes after the first plane had hit. I saw this plane come out of nowhere and just ream right into the side of the Twin Tower, exploding through the other side. And then I witnessed both towers collapse, one first and then the second, mostly due to structural failure because the fire was just too intense.”

12:38 PM: Fox News Crawl Text


12:43 PM: Fox News Crawl Text


12:45 PM: Fox News Banner


[Note: This is another appearance of the 10:38 AM explosion report. We did not count this as a mention of the explosion hypothesis.]

12:58 PM: Jon Scott, anchor

Scott [FIRE-INDUCED COLLAPSE HYPOTHESIS]: “The structural steel in those towers, steel that was thought to be strong enough to withstand this kind of attack, ultimately gave way to the heat of the burning fuel from those aircraft.”

1:18 PM: Fox News Crawl Text


2:00 PM: Jon Scott, anchor

Scott [FIRE-INDUCED COLLAPSE HYPOTHESIS]: “...that tower, the second one which was hit, that tower could no longer stand the strain of the flames that weakened the structural elements, and the tower collapsed, sending concrete, glass, steel raining down almost a quarter mile onto the streets below.”

3:00 PM: Jon Scott, anchor

Scott [FIRE-INDUCED COLLAPSE HYPOTHESIS]: “This is the collapse of the second tower that was hit. It was the first one to collapse, perhaps because the structural damage there so much more severe and so much lower down.”

3:03 PM: Fox News Crawl Text



9:59 AM: Chris Jansing, anchor, and Gregg Garrett, anchor [speaking with reporter Ashleigh Banfield]

Jansing [EXPLOSION HYPOTHESIS]: “It does appear that there has been a third explosion in the area of the World Trade Center. There was first one plane that hit one of the Twin Towers. A second plane, each about one hour ago. And now a third explosion. Ashleigh Banfield is in Manhattan. Ashleigh, did you see or hear anything just moments ago?”

Banfield: “God. Oh my god, Chris, this is incredible. I’m looking right at it.”

Jansing: “What are you seeing, Ashleigh?”

Banfield: “Well, I saw the explosion, for one.”

Jansing: “Could you feel it?”

Banfield: “I can smell it. Everyone around screamed at the time it happened. It’s just unbelievable. I can’t see that it’s another building. It looks almost in the same position as the second bomb, or second explosion. It’s unbelievable.”

Jansing: “What’s the scene around you? What are people doing?

Banfield: “Most people, as I said earlier, are absolutely aghast.

Jansing: “Are they running?”

Banfield: “No one’s running. No, I’m not close enough at this point to be seeing that. I wouldn’t be showered with debris from my position here. I’m too far north of it. But I have a bird’s eye view of what’s happening. The route that I’m on is the emergency route right now, so all of the emergency vehicles are streaming past us. But as I was looking up I saw the entire explosion. It looked exactly like the first two. Unbelievable. And everyone who watched it around me screamed. It was just a chorus of “oh my gods” from everyone standing around. I’m walking, so what I’m hearing are a lot of people whose cars are parked, who’ve got their radios tuned to local news stations and trying to catch up on just exactly what’s happening. But now I’m seeing people running. But I really don’t think they’re running from the area. We’re too far away to be in the direct line of any debris. But we certainly had the most perfect vantage point for that explosion. It was unbelievable. And the smoke now is so thick. It’s just incredible.”

Jansing [EXPLOSION HYPOTHESIS AND FIRE-INDUCED COLLAPSE HYPOTHESIS]: “And we can see from our pictures here, Ashleigh. And our picture — well, we’ve gotten it back. But there is a huge cloud of smoke virtually enveloping the downtown area of Manhattan. It is the Wall Street area. It is in the Battery Park City, Lower Manhattan. A series now of three explosions. Two planes: First one flew into one tower of the Twin Towers, then a second some minutes later. And just moments ago a third explosion in the area of the World Trade Center.

“In addition, let’s bring you up to date. There was an explosion. . .

One of the Twin Towers has collapsed! That was the explosion. It apparently was not a third independent explosion. It was not a bomb, it was not a plane. But there has been a collapse of one of the towers of the World Trade Center. You are talking about a 110-story building. On any given day, as many as 100,000 people can be there in their offices or visiting the World Trade Center. It is one of the most visible sights on the skyline of New York City. It is a main center of commerce. And there has apparently been a collapse of one of the two towers of the World Trade Center.”

Garrett [FIRE-INDUCED COLLAPSE HYPOTHESIS]: “This may be one of the worst tragedies ever to strike this country. One of the World Trade Centers, having been struck by a plane in an apparent terrorist attack, has now collapsed.”

12:37 PM: Brian Williams, anchor

Williams [EXPLOSION HYPOTHESIS]: “It was later in the morning, some say as a result of secondary and subsequent explosions, that both towers came down.”

1:40 PM: Brian Williams, anchor

Williams [EXPLOSION HYPOTHESIS]: “Alright, Ashleigh Banfield. Thank you for that live report from lower Manhattan just blocks away from where the explosions took place after, again, both World Trade Center towers struck by hijacked commercial aircraft earlier today.... The Trade Center towers collapsed in on themselves, and for that we are fortunate, thousands of New Yorkers are fortunate. But thousands have not made it — it is guessed — today.”


10:01 AM: Mark Haines, anchor

Haines: “Now, we heard from them just moments before that another jet liner, a 737, crashed into the building, way down low. And that was apparently enough to take the World Trade Center South Tower out completely. The building is gone. The scope of this attack is mind boggling.”

[Note: Initially Mark Haines hypothesized that the South Tower had collapsed due to being hit by another airplane. We not count this as a mention of the explosion hypothesis nor the fire-induced collapse hypothesis.]

10:03 AM: Mark Haines, anchor

Haines: “The South Tower has disappeared. It collapsed, apparently when a third airplane hit very close to the base.”

10:12 AM: Mark Haines, anchor, and Alina Cho, anchor

Cho: “Mark, I want to remind you: The wire is saying that the South Tower there collapsed following this morning’s plane crash. There is not yet confirmation of a fourth plane.... We’re not sure if another plane was involved.”

Haines: “No, at the time we had MSNBC’s feed up. And we could clearly hear people in the background saying, ‘My god, another plane.’ And then the South Tower disappeared. So while officials may not have confirmed it, it seems fairly clear — plus, the tower would not have collapsed absent some tremendous trauma.”

Cho: “Absolutely, that seems to make sense.”

10:14 AM: Mark Haines, anchor, and an unidentified anchor [speaking with reporter Maria Bartiromo]

Bartiromo: “Now I’m standing on the floor of the exchange. But I just came back from outside and I am covered with soot. Basically, I was outside when that third explosion occurred.... The whole area turned pitch black when that third explosion happened.... I don’t know if you can see my jacket and my shoes, but I’m completely covered in white smoke from that third explosion.”

Unidentified Anchor: Maria, do you know what that explosion was?

Bartiromo: “That was about 10 — I’d say 15 minutes ago.”

Unidentified Anchor: “But do you know what caused it?”

Bartiromo: “No, I don’t.”

Haines: “At the moment, Maria — and for the people with you — at the moment there are eyewitnesses who feel that another plane, a third plane . . .”

Bartiromo: “Yes, some people are saying that . . .”

Haines: “. . . hit the base of the South Tower.”

Bartiromo: “I was under the impression that it was just the actual collapse of the building. But some people are speculating that. I didn’t want to say that because ....”

Haines: “We had — at the moment it happened — we had MSNBC’s feed up, and we could hear people shouting ‘a third plane, a third plane.’ And then there was an explosion — ‘another plane, another plane,’ and there was an explosion.

Bartiromo: “That’s right. And I was outside during that explosion.”

10:16 AM: Mark Haines, anchor, and unidentified anchor

Haines: “Alright, Maria Bartiromo, stay where you are if you will. And, AP says two planes what? Two planes total? Alright, so AP is saying there was no third plane to hit the South Tower. Is that right? Okay, well that’s a possibility. We had no official confirmation. We did have people we heard in the background show that a. . .”

Unidentified Anchor [EXPLOSION HYPOTHESIS]: “Something ignited there, though. Maybe they had — that was an incredible . . .”

Haines [EXPLOSION HYPOTHESIS]: “That was an incredible explosion.”

Unidentified Anchor: “And that was not caused from a . . .”

Haines: “I agree with you. I think it was a third plane.”

Unidentified Anchor [EXPLOSION HYPOTHESIS]: “No, it could have been, it could have been something that was planted.”

Haines [EXPLOSION HYPOTHESIS]: “Or a bomb planted in the building, yeah.”

10:21 AM: Mark Haines, anchor

Haines [EXPLOSION HYPOTHESIS]: “And here, this, 20 minutes thereafter, something happened to the South Tower. There were some eyewitnesses we heard in the background screaming that ‘another plane, another plane.’ But here you see an enormous explosion about midway up in the South Tower, and the entire structure collapses. It just disappears.... Now that’s interesting from a forensic point of view. The explosion that leveled the South Tower came, it seemed, roughly halfway up. And yet it took the entire tower out.”

10:28 AM: Mark Haines, anchor, and Bill Griffeth, anchor

Haines [EXPLOSION HYPOTHESIS]: “We have an enormous explosion in the remaining World Trade Tower Center! The second — I believe the North Tower is now gone as well. Yes, it is gone. Both towers of the World Trade Center have been destroyed. It happened the same way. The explosion started high in the building and worked its way down. Now, of course, the entire lower section of Manhattan is a disaster zone of unbelievable proportions. I would imagine at any moment we will hear from — the National Guard is going to be brought in. I mean, this is far beyond anyone’s ability, any one agency to cope with this. Not only do we have in that building any remaining people, but it was, I am certain, full of New York City firefighters, New York City policemen, New York City rescue workers. There you see — I don’t understand, and I would be very anxious to hear in the future some, the forensics of this situation. But both towers — this is an unbelievable day. Both towers of the World Trade Center are now gone.”

“Joining me now is Bill Griffeth, my colleague . . .”

Bill Griffeth: “As we try to absorb the unthinkable here, Mark.”

Haines: “This is unthinkable. This is a situation that . . .”

Griffeth: “I mean, we are to maintain some modicum of immunity to all of this. But we are humans as well. And it is very, very tough to watch all this.”

Haines: “The scope is beyond comprehension.”

Griffeth: “I mean, I came up here five minutes ago getting ready to talk about which markets may be closing around the world. But now this is just becoming even . . .”

Haines [EXPLOSION HYPOTHESIS]: “No, they’re irrelevant. This is — there you see the building imploding. It, it — do you see what’s happening? Now, what would cause that I don’t know.”

Griffeth [EXPLOSION HYPOTHESIS]: “Well, you have — I mean . . . Certainly, the structure had been weakened by the impact. But you’d have to wonder if there was something else there. But we just don’t know at this point.”

Haines: “Certainly, yeah, we don’t know. But it looks like . . .”

Griffeth: “And at this point I can’t imagine we’re getting any word any time soon.”

Haines [EXPLOSION HYPOTHESIS]: “I don’t think . . . I think we’re safe — here I think I’m on safe ground, Bill. I don’t think — This was clearly, the way the structure is collapsing, this was the result of something that was planned. This is not — it’s not accidental that the first tower just happened to collapse and then the second tower just happened to collapse in exactly the same way. How they accomplished this, we don’t know. But clearly this is what they wanted to accomplish.”

10:32 AM: Mark Haines, anchor

Haines: “I’ve been in this business for 35 years and I’m not prepared to deal with this. I keep thinking of all of the people in there. I think of the firemen, the policemen, the rescue workers, the people who go into hell to save others, and now apparently all for naught. And there you see a shot. This from the northern end. This is more from midtown. Those high buildings in the foreground, that’s midtown Manhattan. The Empire is just barely visible. Perhaps the smoke is just beginning to reach the Empire State. But you’re looking at several square miles of New York completely obscured by all of this. Again, both towers of the World Trade Center collapsing, attacked first by, apparently, passenger-laden jetliners, hijacked, at least one out of Boston?”

10:34 AM: Bill Griffeth, anchor, and Mark Haines, anchor

Griffeth: “Maybe we should perhaps try a recap, if anybody is now tuning in, especially for those on the West Coast who may be tuning in now for the first time. You’ve heard bits and pieces. It was about 10 minutes, 15 minutes before 9:00 AM on the East Coast that an explosion was witnessed at the World Trade Center, one of the World Trade Center towers. Mark Haines, by the way, yeoman’s duty, my friend. If you’re leaving us, thank you.”

Haines: “I’m just going to step back for a bit.”

11:07 AM: Sue Herrera, anchor, Bill Griffeth, anchor, and Eric Gass, guest (structural engineer)

Herrera: “That was the collapse of the Trade Center tower, the South Tower, which we shot earlier this morning here on CNBC in our live pictures. Government buildings in Washington, including the Capitol and the White House, have been evacuated. The North Tower of the Trade Center collapsed about an hour or so after the South Tower collapsed.”

Griffeth [EXPLOSION HYPOTHESIS AND FIRE-INDUCED COLLAPSE HYPOTHESIS]: “Which is something I wanna get into here, Sue, because there’s been all kinds of speculation about how that would happen, whether it would be necessary for a further attack upon the buildings before they would collapse. And as it happens we have with us in studio here is a structural engineer, Eric Gass, who happens to be in the process of building a building that we’re putting together here at CNBC down the road. And you would have some sense since you’ve been a part of the construction of buildings of this magnitude, Eric, to give us some insight of what would happen with the kind of damage that was done with the jet attacks on the buildings and whether that’s enough to bring those buildings down by themselves.”

Gass [FIRE-INDUCED COLLAPSE HYPOTHESIS]: “Well, I think you’ve a got a couple of issues that are going on here. One is, these are concrete reinforced structures. And concrete is a compressive material. So as you can see, especially from the second attack, as it comes in, it appears to shear into the side of the building.”

Herrera: “The plane.”

Griffeth: “Right.”

Gass: “Absolutely. So you have a couple of issues. One, it probably has taken all the concrete away from the steel.”

Herrera: “And now you’re seeing that second plane.”

Gass: “Absolutely. So this structure, and I think as you see as it will collapse later on, it begins to tilt to that side. It has taken all of the concrete and put it into tensile property.”

Herrera: “And these are large planes.”

Gass: “Absolutely. If we’re dealing with a Boeing 767, you’re not just dealing with a large plane, you’re dealing with a large plane that’s coming in at over 500 mph. So you have all of the impact going in to those members. There is no building that I’m aware of that can take this kind of impact.”

Griffeth: “So as we watch the first of the towers collapsing there, it was enough from the initial attack by the jet to bring the tower down eventually. Is that your understanding?”

Gass: “I would say so. Especially the second thing you would have going on, of course, is the airplane’s going to have a great deal of fuel, and the fire is going to be working against that structural steel, which of course is why the fire codes are so stringent in this country. So then you’re going to have a problem with once the fire takes place it’s going to work against the structural strength of that steel and begin to collapse.”

Herrera: “If I could just interrupt we’re getting more information. The plane that crashed in Pennsylvania originated in Chicago. It was headed to Cleveland. There were 90 people on board. That comes from WPIX.”

Griffeth: “Whether that is related to anything that’s been going on today, it would be the most incredible of coincidences if it’s not, but . . .”

Herrera: “That’s true. But we do not know if that is the case.”

Griffeth: “So you’re not surprised that these would go down just based on the jet crashing into the buildings here, Eric?

Gass: “No. As a matter of act, as we were seeing the explosion the first time, that was the first thing that occurred to us, is that there would be an immediate weakening on that side of the building. I think if you look at the second tower that collapsed, you will see that it begins to collapse straight down, which as it appears from what happened in the impact, it impacted much more into the center of the building. Again, you would have gotten rid of all of the ability for fire protection to have gotten rid of some of the fire and the flames, which apparently is why it took longer. The other point too is that you have 15 floors of extremely heavy material bearing down on this situation. It would be impossible to see why it would be able to hold up.”

Herrera: “Eric, if a I can interrupt you. Canada has basically closed its airspace, but they are going to allow US diverted planes who may be in the air at this point to land at their airports for humanitarian purposes. US airspace for all intents and purposes has been closed by the FAA.”

Griffeth: “The terrorist bombing of some years ago against the World Trade Center, which occurred essentially in the parking structure below the building, why didn’t that bring that down at the time?”

Gass: “Well, I think you’re dealing with a different issue. One, you’re dealing with a static explosion, where someone pulls a small truck underneath so you have all of the concrete not only keeping both of the floors above and below. But you’re dealing with the biggest structural strength of that building is sitting underground. Of course, New York is pure bedrock. So that would have been the worst place to attack it. Clearly it did not do that much damage, enough structurally to make major structural problems with the design, as I understand it. Here, you have a much larger vehicle, with much more speed, and literally shearing any of its structural capacity in those particular areas.”

2:25 PM: Bill Griffeth, anchor

Griffeth [FIRE-INDUCED COLLAPSE HYPOTHESIS]: “We were witness to this horrifying spectacle of the Twin Towers just disintegrating to the ground. And we had heard from this structural engineer that we interviewed earlier that once these towers had been struck by these jets — I mean, these are structures that are built mainly, of course with steel, but with concrete. The concrete essentially was liquefied. Not to that degree, but it just was very suspect in the structure. And according to him it was only a matter of time before it came down. And course that is exactly what happened after the crashes.”

4:00 PM: Tyler Mathisen, anchor, and Liz Claman, anchor

Tyler Mathisen [FIRE-INDUCED COLLAPSE HYPOTHESIS]: “And then, a half hour later, approximately 9:59 AM, the South Tower of the World Trade Center collapses in an explosion of concrete, steel, glass, and humanity. 110 stories fall as one, the building weakened by the impact of that first jet can no longer support its weight.”

Liz Claman: “So as people are rushing there to try and help those who were trying to escape, rescuers attempting to save those trapped in the second tower, it too collapses, just a half hour later, in a rain of concrete and steel spreading for blocks, showering down debris on the streets of lower Manhattan below.”


10:08 AM: Lori Stokes, anchor

Stokes [FIRE-INDUCED COLLAPSE HYPOTHESIS]: “One, it was just seven minutes ago that we saw the South Tower go down in a collapse right in the middle. Earlier, we had spoken to a witness and someone who was inside the tower talking about the damage that was sustained, particularly within the core. Anytime that the core has been damaged, there’s not too much then to hold up.”

10:09 AM: Bill Ritter, anchor

Ritter [EXPLOSION HYPOTHESIS]: “And we do not know — we should re-emphasize — we do not know why the second tower collapsed. Whether it was, as the expert was talking to you and Steve and Jim, whether because the core of the building was damaged or whether because of some other kind of detonating device. We just do not know.”

10:17 AM: Bill Ritter, anchor

Ritter: “Nina, I want you to describe one more time what it felt like when that tower collapsed. What did it feel like to you on the ground there?”

10:22 AM: John DelGiorno, anchor

DelGiorno [FIRE-INDUCED COLLAPSE HYPOTHESIS]: “The second plane hit the south building just at 9:00. And then that building subsequently collapsed shortly after 10:00.... That tower continued to burn for quite some time. And then, again, it subsequently collapsed down onto itself.”

10:34 AM: Bill Ritter, anchor, and Jim Dolan, anchor

Ritter [EXPLOSION HYPOTHESIS]: “We are about to see it here, Jim. The second tower just completely collapses on itself. And I — we don’t know what caused the collapse. But it seems — it appears that just structural damage from all that fire. Although, we do not know whether there was some sort of timed explosion. But it does appear . . .”

Dolan [FIRE-INDUCED COLLAPSE HYPOTHESIS]: “And in the end it doesn’t much matter. The core was damaged. We know that from talking to witnesses earlier, people who were in the building. We do know the core of both buildings were damaged, the cores were damaged. And apparently the building just couldn’t withstand the mass of the explosion.”


9:59 AM: Lisa Hill, anchor, and Jim Smith, helicopter cameraman

Hill [EXPLOSION HYPOTHESIS]: “Marcia, Marcia. We gotta interrupt you. We just saw live from chopper 2 yet another explosion. Did anybody — Jeanine, what did you see? Was it an airplane or was it . . .”

Jeanine [Last Name Unknown]: “It looked like a part of the building, if not most of the top collapsed and all the debris from the building was falling down towards the ground.”

Hill: “Look at the smoke. Look at the smoke. This is unbelievable.”

Jeanine [Last Name Unknown]: “The whole building, did it collapse?”

Michael Palmer: “Do we have Jim Smith available on microphone chopper 2 as he takes these pictures? Jim?”

Smith: “Yes, I am here, Michael.”

Michael Palmer: “Jim, tell us what’s happening out there.”

Jim Smith [EXPLOSION HYPOTHESIS]: “We just witnessed some kind of secondary, follow-up explosion on the World Trade Center #2, the one that is on the south. And it’s difficult to make out through the debris and smoke. But it does appear that a portion, the top portion of the building, has collapsed down onto the streets below.”

10:00 AM: WCBS Caption

Caption [EXPLOSION HYPOTHESIS]: “Another explosion hits lower Manhattan”

10:02 AM: Marcia Kramer, anchor/reporter

Kramer [EXPLOSION HYPOTHESIS]: “Right now police have to determine if whether that explosion was caused from the initial impact of the plane or whether it was something that was exploded on the ground. Generally speaking, for a building to collapse in on itself like that, it would seem to indicate — obviously, this is just early speculation — but it would seem to indicate that there could have been an explosion, a bomb planted on the ground, that would make the building collapse within itself.”

10:14 AM: Marcia Kramer, anchor/reporter

Kramer [EXPLOSION HYPOTHESIS]: “Well, we have a number of updates. Number one: CNN is now reporting that there was a third explosion at the World Trade Center, probably an explosion from the ground that caused World Trade Center 1 to collapse on top of itself. Again, there was a third explosion. It is unclear what caused it, whether it was a bomb or whether the first plane that crashed into the tower had somehow been booby-trapped with a bomb that was timed to explode later after the crash had occurred. But CNN is reporting that there was a third explosion that caused World Trade Center 1 to collapse within itself and then collapse on other surrounding buildings.”

10:16 AM: Lisa Hill, anchor

Hill [EXPLOSION HYPOTHESIS]: “Governor Pataki we understand is in the city. Mayor Giuliani is also here, of course. And he was preparing to speak earlier this morning. But, of course, that was prior to all of the secondary blasts.”

10:18 AM: Michael Palmer, anchor

Palmer [EXPLOSION HYPOTHESIS]: “And for those of you just joining us, as you continue to look live at the only standing tower remaining of the World Trade Center, the second had collapsed not too long ago. Both had been hit by planes. We understand it was a third explosion, however, that brought the tower to collapse on top of what we understand are other buildings in the area.”

10:23 AM: Michael Palmer, anchor

Palmer [EXPLOSION HYPOTHESIS]: “Keep in mind that what you’re seeing on your screen right now is live. This is not tape at all. This is the only remaining World Trade Center tower, the other collapsing not too long ago, both victims of plane crashes. The second — or the tower, rather, that has collapsed, though, we are told collapsed because of a third explosion. The source of that, though, at this point we don’t know.”

10:28 AM: Michael Palmer, anchor, and Jim Smith, helicopter cameraman

Palmer: “If Jim Smith is with us still at chopper 2 — Jim, are you there?”

Smith [EXPLOSION HYPOTHESIS]: “Michael, we just saw that, as well. The second tower, the only one that was standing, Tower #1, just — we saw some kind of explosion, a lot of smoke come out of the top of the tower, and then it collapsed down onto the streets below, much like we saw the first tower just about a half hour ago.”

10:33 AM: Michael Palmer, anchor

Palmer [EXPLOSION HYPOTHESIS]: “The first incident that we had was the plane crash just before 9:00 into the first tower. A second crash into the second tower 18 minutes later. A third blast brought down one tower. And then just moments ago the second tower collapsed.”

10:38 AM: Michael Palmer, anchor, and Lisa Hill, anchor

Hill: “Rose, we hate to interrupt you. Rose, we have interrupt you. We’ve just been told . . .”

Palmer: “A fourth explosion.”

Hill: “. . . of a fourth explosion, at the World Trade Center.”

Palmer: “Now in the area of the World Trade Center. Obviously, neither tower still standing. We don’t know the source of this fourth explosion. But we do have Cindy Shu in the newsroom. Perhaps she can shed a little on this. Cindy?”

Cindy Shu: “I can’t tell you that much about the fourth explosion.”

[Note: This is another appearance of the 10:38 AM explosion report. We did not count this as a mention of the explosion hypothesis.]

10:40 AM: Michael Palmer, anchor

Palmer: “As well as now a fourth explosion at the site of the World Trade Center.”

10:52 AM: Lisa Hill, anchor, and Michael Palmer, anchor

Hill: “This is tape of the initial explosion of World Trade Center 1 on your left side of your screen, and that’s the collapse there earlier today, about 10:30, 10:00 of World Trade Center 1.”

Palmer [EXPLOSION HYPOTHESIS]: “Yeah, very difficult to keep track of time in these types of event. However, we can tell you, of course, that the crash happened before 9:00, the second one 18 minutes later, and then of course a third explosion and collapse of one tower, followed by an explosion of another.”

10:56 AM: Michael O’Looney, anchor

O’Looney [FIRE-INDUCED COLLAPSE HYPOTHESIS]: “And again, those two towers came down this morning, both hit by planes. Tower 1 hit around 9:00, Tower 2 at 9:18, both towers later collapsing.”

11:02 AM: Michael Palmer, anchor

Palmer [EXPLOSION HYPOTHESIS]: “The World Trade Centers, hit by hijacked planes, exploding, collapsing.”

11:25 AM: Michael Palmer, anchor, and Michael O’Looney, anchor

Palmer: “Michael O’Looney joining us now with a recap of just what’s happened today. Michael.”

O’Looney [FIRE-INDUCED COLLAPSE HYPOTHESIS]: “...Then around 10:00 AM the first tower, Tower 1 of the World Trade Center, collapsed to the ground.... And at 10:30, the second tower of the World Trade Center also collapsed. About eight minutes later, there was a fourth explosion at the World Trade Center.”

11:30 AM: Todd McDermott, anchor

McDermott: “Let’s go back to recapping what happened this morning earlier. The second tower of the World Trade Center collapsing. About eight minutes after that a fourth explosion at the World Trade Center, perhaps at the base of the building.”

11:54 AM: Michael O’Looney, anchor

O’Looney: “About eight minutes later there was a fourth explosion at the World Trade Center.”


10:00 AM: Glen Walker, anchor, and Jane Hanson, anchor

Walker [EXPLOSION HYPOTHESIS]: “Alright. Thank you very much, Walter. Again, one or two more explosions again around the World Trade Center. We don’t know if it was in the same building or adjacent buildings.”

Hanson [EXPLOSION HYPOTHESIS]: “Can we re-rack that video that we were looking at as Walter was interviewing those people, because perhaps that will give us some indication of what this was. Obviously, there are buildings nose to nose down there. We have no idea if this was a third explosion or if it might have been something from the debris raining down from one of the World Trade Center towers.”

10:03 AM: Jane Hanson, anchor

Hanson [EXPLOSION HYPOTHESIS]: “We have just been told that what we thought was another explosion was indeed, according to the Associated Press, another building that has either been attacked or exploded. So it appears to be separate from the two that we have already witnessed this morning.”

10:05 AM: Jane Hanson, anchor

Hanson [EXPLOSION HYPOTHESIS]: “Again, we don’t know what truly occurred. But there’s talk of aircraft being hijacked, of second explosions, of etcetera, etcetera.”

10:09 AM: Glen Walker, anchor, and Jane Hanson, anchor

Walker: “We’ve also been told that the second tower that was hit by the second plane — which is 1 World Trade Center [sic] — we understand that that tower has actually collapsed at this point.”

Jane Hanson: “Well, I’m looking at this picture right now, and you cannot see the top of the second tower. So, a few moments ago, if you remember, there was just billowing smoke there.”

10:12 AM: Jane Hanson, anchor, Jim Rosenfield, anchor, and Glen Walker, anchor

Hanson: “The people that are just tuning in, we need to just reiterate and give them a bit more information here, because there have been a couple of recent developments that we need to tell people about.”

Rosenfield: “One of the most startling is the fact that we only see one tower of the World Trade Center Twin Towers still standing. We’ve gotten word that 1 World Trade Center [sic] has either partially or fully collapsed.”

Glen Walker: “It looks like a partial collapse. We can still see below the smoke.”

Chorus of People: “This is actually tape.”

Jane Hanson: “And you are now witnessing it.”

Jim Rosenfield [FIRE-INDUCED COLLAPSE HYPOTHESIS]: “Obviously, that structure weakened by the aircraft that we saw fly into it, what, over an hour ago now.”

10:17 AM: Jane Hanson, anchor, and Melissa Russo, guest (Saint Vincent’s Hospital worker)

Russo: After that last explosion, some ambulances took off and headed down 7th Avenue, which is otherwise closed to traffic.

Hanson [EXPLOSION HYPOTHESIS]: “So, Melissa, what you’re telling us is that you have not seen the number of people that you might expect to be there after an explosion of this magnitude?”

Russo: “That’s right. I’ve only been here for about, I would say 20 minutes, 25 minutes. But we’ve seen a couple of ambulances come in. As I said, after that last explosion, I saw some more ambulances race out of here and head down 7th Avenue.”

New York 1

10:00 AM: Sharon Dizenhuz, anchor

Dizenhuz [EXPLOSION HYPOTHESIS]: “One wonders if there was anything on the plane that could have caused such a structural damage below since it hit such at the upper portions of the building.”

[Note: While Dizenhuz does not explicitly speculate on the occurrence of an explosion, we counted this as a mention of the explosion hypothesis because she is wondering whether some secondary force besides the building spontaneously collapsing destroyed the rest of the structure.]

10:01 AM: Pat Kiernan, anchor

Kiernan [EXPLOSION HYPOTHESIS]: “Please let me know if we’ve reestablished contact with Kristen [Shaughnessy] as well. She saw the explosion in front of her in fairly close proximity as that happened.”

10:02 AM: Pat Kiernan, anchor

Kiernan [FIRE-INDUCED COLLAPSE HYPOTHESIS/AMBIGUOUS]: “We talked to several people who were in that area of lower Manhattan as this was happening. And a lot of them had this sense of security as well that this damage was 100 stories up. And now we’ve had this structural failure of 2 World Trade Center and literally saw the building disintegrate. And much of that is smoke. But much of it is just dust and debris as though they had — it’s a scene that you see when they deliberately demolish a building, but without any of the precautions or evacuations. And those who know that area well know that there is a building on every block there, multi-story buildings on every block. So there would undoubtedly be damage to those buildings as well, the subway lines below, the city’s infrastructure below. Let’s look at that videotape. This would have been at about 9:55 this morning as 2 World Trade Center started to rip apart in an explosion.”

[Note: We considered this ambiguous due to his use of the expression “rip apart in an explosion” and because of his previous statement, “She saw the explosion in front of her.” Kiernan continues to make ambiguous statements over the next hour as he apparently attempts to reconcile his visual perception of an explosion and his intellectual interpretation that it must have been a natural structural failure.]

10:06 AM: Pat Kiernan, anchor

Kiernan [AMBIGUOUS]: “There’s the explosion and the collapse of the tower looking from the north now.”

[Note: If another anchor had made this statement, we would count it as a mention of the explosion hypothesis. But based on the whole of Kiernan’s statements, we find that his interpretation of the event is more ambiguous.]

10:07 AM: Pat Kiernan, anchor

Kiernan [FIRE-INDUCE COLLAPSE HYPOTHESIS]: “And this is that picture again from about 9:55 this morning of the structural failure, the collapse of 2 World Trade Center after this plane crash.”

10:12 AM: Sharon Dizenhuz, anchor

Dizenhuz: “Andrew, when you saw this happen, what did it look like to you at close range? Because to us it seemed almost like dominoes, you know, going floor by floor by floor.”

Andrew Siff: “It was a little difficult to tell at first to figure out what was happening. We heard an explosion. We heard either an explosion or the sound of something making impact. We were in the middle. I was with news assistant Jason Post, and we were walking down West Street. And when we heard the sound we whipped around and saw just a buckling of the tower. And it just looked like it collapsed within itself. You could just see the top of the tower collapse. We can’t tell what happened to the bottom half of the tower from here.”

10:25 AM: Pat Kiernan, anchor

Kiernan [AMBIGUOUS]: “As we recap this, there is very little movement into or out of Manhattan, because of subway closures, PATH train closures, bridge and tunnel closures. And this is part of the reason for that, the explosion — first of all, the crash, then the second crash, and subsequently the structural failure and massive explosion that brought down 2 World Trade Center and sent debris raining down on a huge part of lower Manhattan.”

[Here Kiernan appears to be attempting to reconcile his intellectual interpretation that it was a structural failure by imagining that the collapse of the building caused the explosion.]

10:48 AM: Pat Kiernan, anchor, and Sharon Dizenhuz, anchor

Kiernan [FIRE-INDUCED COLLAPSE HYPOTHESIS]: “And following that we got those two structural failures of the two World Trade Center towers. And that perhaps came as the biggest surprise, is just how quickly these buildings disintegrated.”

Dizenhuz [FIRE-INDUCED COLLAPSE HYPOTHESIS]: “This was the first one at about 9:55, 2 World Trade Center just collapsing like a heap of dominoes, leaving you with a sick feeling in your stomach wondering how many people were in there, how many people were hurt.”

Kiernan [AMBIGUOUS]: “And then to about half an hour after the first structural failure, here’s another. It began with an explosion near the top, near the scene of the plane crash. And the building story by story, top to bottom, ripped apart. That transmission tower on the top of 1 World Trade Center — you saw it for a moment just tumbling away.”

[Note: We counted this as ambiguous because Kiernan again uses the word “explosion.”]

11:00 AM: Pat Kiernan, anchor, and Mayor Rudy Giuliani, guest

Kiernan [FIRE-INDUCED COLLAPSE HYPOTHESIS]: “Did the fire department have any warning that the structures of the two World Trade Center towers were compromised? Did they have some sense that they had to pull their people away from there?”

Mayor Giuliani: “We were actually in a building two blocks away when it crashed and had to evacuate the building, and for a while we were stuck in there. So I can’t tell you right now if they knew. My recollection is when we were in the building we probably had about a minute’s notice, maybe two minutes.”

11:05 AM: Pat Kiernan, anchor

Kiernan [AMBIGUOUS]: “And then once the fire and police personnel moved in and thought they were dealing with a fire that was confined to the top of the World Trade Center towers, they quickly heard that next explosion, and the structure of the two towers was compromised. And in relatively quick succession the two towers ripped apart.”

11:16 AM: Pat Kiernan, anchor

Kiernan [AMBIGUOUS]: “This videotape again shot well over an hour ago. This was just in the minutes after the explosion that ripped down the first of the two towers to collapse. You can see at that point people running away, just having no idea what the threat was. It was in the moments that we saw when both towers were still standing a more orderly evacuation. But then there was that explosion through 2 World Trade Center initially, the South Tower, that collapsed. And this is just in those few minutes as people just had no idea what they were dealing with and were running for safety, trying to get out of the footprint of any sort of debris that might have fallen.”

[Note: This is the closest Kiernan comes to fully voicing the explosion hypothesis, but we decided to count it as an ambiguous statement due to the totality of his statements.]

11:18 AM: Pat Kiernan, anchor

Kiernan [AMBIGUOUS]: “This is the videotape when only one of the two towers remained standing. And you can watch here. I think the explosion is about to occur as we watch this videotape. The fire was burning. They had moved in personnel in the area to try to fight the fire. But what was unknown to everybody was just how fragile the structure of the World Trade Center was.”

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Appendix B: Brief Osama bin Laden Discussions

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