This past week I had the great pleasure of meeting William Rodriguez, a humble man from Puerto Rico who worked at the World Trade Center. He looked healthy in spite of suffering from many 9-11 related problems. The occasion was at a special meeting at the Schaumburg, Illinois Township Library in the Chicago suburbs. This informative presentation served as a memorial for the many victims as we approach the fourth year anniversary of 9-11. In addition to William Rodriguez, other knowledgeable and well qualified individuals presented their thoughts: Phil Jayhan, Dave VonKleist and Christopher Bollyn, a journalist with the American Free Press. This event, which should have attracted hundreds, was sponsored in part by the American Free Press as well as Jimmy Walter and Eric Hufschmid, a physicist and author of the book “Painful Questions”.
A press release was sent to all of the print media in the Chicago area about a month in advance of this event. That resulted in a very tiny isolated notice in one of the Chicago papers. Surely, we could hope that the local newspapers would wish to interview all or any of the survivors from 9-11. But, only one Hispanic television station sent a journalist and a camera. So we must assume that the other Chicago news organizations, affiliates of a much larger cabal, have already determined exactly what their readers are supposed to believe about 9-11. Let’s not deviate from the government version and confuse people with the truth!
William Rodriguez gave an outstanding, sensitive discourse about his experiences on that fateful day. He appears to be a genuinely warm, gentle caring human being and it is easy to believe that his working relationship with his many fellow employees was much more – they were also his long time friends. Daily, he met with them for breakfast in the Windows on the World Restaurant on the 106th floor. Nearly two hundred people, many of them William Rodriguez’s friends, were in that restaurant that morning. [i] None of them survived. Not only did he lose his job on 11 September 2001, he lost most of his friends. William Rodriguez would have also perished had he been in the restaurant that morning but he arrived at work at 8:30 a.m. rather than his usual time of 8:00 a.m.
William Rodriguez had worked at the World Trade Center for about twenty years. He was in charge of the maintenance of the three stairwells, A, B and C in the north tower designated as WTC1, a class “A” building. The stairwells were narrow, steep and without windows. There were also 97 passenger and 6 freight elevators in the building. [ii] On a typical morning, he would finish breakfast and then begin at the top of the building and methodically work his way down. Arriving at 8:30 on the morning of 9-11 he went to the maintenance office located on the first sublevel, one of six sub-basements beneath ground level. There were a total of fourteen people in the office at that same time. As he was discussing the day’s tasks with others, there was a very loud massive explosion which seemed to emanate from between sub-basement B2 and B3. There were an additional twenty-two people on B2 sub-basement who also felt and heard that first explosion.
At first he thought it was a generator that had exploded. But the cement walls in the office cracked from the explosion. “When I heard the sound of the explosion, the floor beneath my feet vibrated, the walls started cracking and everything started shaking.” said Rodriguez, who was crowded together with fourteen other people in the office including Anthony Saltamachia, his supervisor for the American Building Maintenance Company.
Just seconds later there was another explosion way above which made the building oscillate momentarily. This, he was later told, was a plane hitting the tower at about the 90th floor. Upon hearing about the plane, he immediately thought of the people up in the restaurant. Then there were other explosions just above B1 and individuals started heading for the loading dock to escape the explosion’s resulting rampant fire. When asked later about those first explosions he said: “I would know if an explosion was from the bottom or the top of the building.” He heard explosions both before and after the plane hit the tower.
A fellow worker Felipe David came into the maintenance office. “He had been standing in front of the freight elevator on sub-level 1 about 400 feet from the office when fire burst out of the elevator shaft, causing his terrible injuries.” The skin on his face had been peeled away by the heat of the blast and he was horribly burned on thirty-three percent of his body. “He was burned so badly from the basement explosion that flesh was hanging from his face and both arms.” William asks: “How could a jetliner hit 90 floors above and burn a man’s arms and face to a crisp in the basement below within seconds of impact?” William carefully led Felipe David outside to safety and medical assistance. William continued to hear people screaming and returned to the building in spite of police orders. There were people encased in the many elevators. There were frantic people who needed help.
There was a swooshing sound coming from the freight elevators on B2 and B3. Water from the fire sprinklers from all of the floors had gone into that elevator shaft. There were two individuals trapped below who were in danger of drowning. Rodriguez was able to secure a long enough ladder to extend into the shaft to facilitate their escape from a certain watery grave.
He had possession of just one of the five master keys that opened all of the stairwell doors at each of the floors in the 110 story building. The other four key holders were trained for emergencies. They had already left the building. Firemen from New York City Unit Six arrived. Each fireman, in addition to their heavy protective clothing, had about 70 pounds of equipment. William, who now had the only key, led the firemen up stairwell B. Firemen were struggling up the stairs as victims were hastily descending.
The firemen made it up to the 27th floor but were exhausted from the burden of their equipment. As William had ascended the stairwell he, as well as the firemen, had heard explosions from the 20th through the 30th floor. Chunks of the building were falling down all around them and they could literally hear the creaking in the building. Yet, the firemen continued to climb – to give aid, support and direction to the lost and the terrified. The firemen rightfully assumed, from past experience, that the fire was isolated at the location where the plane entered. This rupture and the resulting damage would not affect the integrity of the rest of this well designed steel building. That assumption, and unknown factors, probably related to the explosions, would cost the lives of many of these dedicated firemen.
On the 33rd floor, William was able to procure some dust masks from a maintenance office. The air was thick with suffocating smoke. On the 33rd floor he found a woman laying on the floor in a fetal position. She didn’t know where to go or what to do. They had fire drills twice a year but because of employee turnover, not everyone had a clear view of emergency procedures. While some individuals intuitively respond appropriately in an emergency, others are absolutely paralyzed by their fears.
Strangely, while William was on the 33rd floor he heard lots of very loud noise as if someone was moving heavy equipment and furniture around on the 34th floor. The reason this is interesting is that the 34th floor was empty. Elevators did not stop at the 34th floor. It was off limits due to a construction project. The new security chief, John O’Neill had his new office on this floor. William said that this was the first time that he felt fear.
They continued to ascend to the 39th floor. This is as far as William got before he was turned back by the firefighters. As he began his descent he heard the second plane hit the south tower.
He made it back down to the chasm where the large metal framed front doors were before they were blown out. Just the bottoms of the elevator doors were blown partially open indicating the source of the powerful pressure – from beneath. The large ornate pieces of marble that covered the walls were now resting where they landed. It resembled a war zone. He couldn’t breath, his eyes burned, his leg was burned. Someone yelled: “Don’t look back!” William, like most of us would, looked back momentarily. The building was coming down. He then raced for the first cover he saw – a fire truck. That is where he was found, under the truck and buried in rubble. Pulverized concrete mixed with asbestos and smoke created a dark pervasive cloud of doom. Flashlights were necessary. William received temporary medical assistance and then went to work trying to find other survivors.
The mangled bloodied bodies of the jumpers blanketed the ground. William will never forget the anguish he felt or the sight of this senseless horrific carnage. This was evidence of desperation – people desperate to escape possible death by suffocation or by fire chose death by jumping. The fire created by the jet fuel was contained and isolated yet the building came down. Something else had occurred in that building. Much of the initial flame actually burned outside of the building instantly upon impact. The fire was spent – even at the giant gaping hole where the plane breached the building where people worked, talked with friends and felt relatively safe.
William Rodriguez saved lives that day. Currently he is attempting to alert the public to what actually happened. He is a courageous witness to those terrible events. The controlled censored media doesn’t really appear willing to report the real news but rather they promote whatever the propaganda ministry wants the masses to believe. It takes continuous courage to go against such opposition but that is the kind of man he is. He says that he owes it to his friends – those that were slaughtered for some covert political agenda.
William spent hours testifying behind closed doors in front of the 9-11 Commission. His testimony as an eye witness does not appear in the 576 page report. But after all, Bush confidently told us within mere hours exactly who the perpetrators were, so why go to the trouble to examine the evidence or talk with the people who were really there – the hundreds of witnesses. The only agency that was immediately allowed to investigate the circumstances of the event was FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The National Institute of Safety and Technology (NIST), an independent investigative group was also allowed to scrutinize the circumstances. He contacted them four times but never got a response. NIST was funded by the government which gives you a pretty good idea of just how subjective their findings were. They were paid $35 million dollars and the investigation lasted two years. The taxpayers certainly did not get their money’s worth.
William Rodriguez also contacted the FBI who never followed up. The media was not interested. CNN spent a day filming and interviewing him at his home but when it was shown the following day it was thoroughly edited. Some reporters have subtly warned Rodriguez to keep quiet as his words could jeopardize his life. They said “You do not know who you are dealing with!” He had already defiantly looked death in the face and he will probably continue to courageously tell his story. He is speaking for his friends who were forever rendered speechless. He says: “I am living on borrowed time since I probably should be dead anyway.”
William Rodriguez is the lead plaintiff in a RICO lawsuit filed against George W. (warmonger) Bush and others. [iii] He is alleging conspiracy to commit murder and other crimes. So not only is he speaking for his friends but he is seeking justice for all of the victims, both those who died and those who were injured.
The World Trade Center twin towers were erected by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey from 1968 to 1972. To adequately fireproof the buildings a mixture of asbestos and cement was sprayed during the construction. However, this fireproofing technique was banned in 1971 by the New York City Council. By then there was already hundreds of tons of this material in the building. Later, some of this material was removed yet there was still about 100 tons of asbestos remaining. [iv] Asbestos was used in other areas that would not leave the harmful residue unless there were extraordinary circumstances such as those that occurred on 9-11. [v]
William Rodriguez says: “I have tried to tell my story to everybody, but nobody wants to listen. It is very strange what is going on here in supposedly the most democratic country in the world. In my home country of Puerto Rico and all the other Latin American countries, I have been allowed to tell my story uncensored. But here, I can’t even say a word.” Thank goodness for the alternative media where one may still discover the truth.
In spite of millions of dollars spent on gathering intelligence, our intelligence either was not effective or totally ignored – it failed to protect the taxpayers who paid the ultimate price. On 11 September 2001 the defense systems of the most powerful nation on the earth failed. Our defense communications, NORAD failed. Our commander-in-chief, intent on a child’s goat story, failed to appropriately respond after knowing about the first plane hitting the north tower. His actions could have saved others. The twin towers, symbols of our economic status, failed. They collapsed – the only known steel frame buildings in history known to have failed because of fire. Many other steel frame buildings have burned for hours and hours yet they did not collapse. Of course, we do not know the cause of their failure as the evidence was rendered unavailable for independent investigation – either it was sold immediately or otherwise withheld. There was also the failure of the local authorities to warn the people about the highly toxic air that burned their lungs and blanketed their offices and homes and would create life long health problems. They were told that there was no problem.
After 9-11 there was a failure to discover exactly who made millions of dollars on all of the put options on American Airlines and United Airlines. There were so many failures yet I haven’t heard of one person reprimanded or thoroughly investigated for inefficiency.
There were also successes which involved enormous sacrifices:
There were about 350 firemen who gave their lives – crushed in the totally unexpected and unprecedented building collapses. There were medical people who tenderly treated the trauma struck victims. There were more than two thousand injured souls. The policemen, about 75 of whom died, did not fail to do their job. There were thousands of volunteers who searched for the dead and dying who did not fail to think of others. There were trained search and rescue dogs who did not fail to gallantly perform – many of whom have since died of cancer as a result of burrowing through the toxic waste. And William Rodriguez did not fail. He made selfless sacrifices for others. He acted appropriately – just like a man of integrity and courage should act. He did not hesitate – unlike others – those who have sworn allegiance to our constitution, our country and to the citizens. They each should have responded as their elected offices demanded. They should have responded like the patriotic Christian Americans they claim to be. It takes more than just rhetoric – it takes action. If William Rodriguez ever runs for office – I hope you vote for him. He can be trusted!
© Deanna Spingola 2005 - All rights reserved
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