New York City activist

September 27, 2007

WTC 7 – witnesses heard countdown?

As I pointed out in my blog entry Straight-down collapse of WTC 7 – what do “debunkers” say?, there are good reasons to believe that WTC 7 was brought down by controlled demolition. However, we need to be careful to present a strong case. Some of the evidence that some people have presented for controlled demolition is not very strong.

One example I mentioned was the evidence of foreknowledge of WTC 7’s collapse (as discussed, for example, on 9-11 Research). According to this interview with Deputy Fire Chief Peter Hayden, from the April 2002 Firehouse Magazine, firefighters had legitimate reasons to fear that Building 7 might collapse. So, evidence that a bunch of people expected WTC 7 to collapse is not good evidence of demolition. Even the premature BBC report that WTC 7 “has collapsed” is not good evidence of demolition, but only of a misunderstood prediction that WTC 7 would soon collapse.

But there are also many eye-witness accounts by first responders who say they heard that Building 7 was going to be “brought down,” supposedly for safety reasons.

At first glance, this sounds like stronger evidence of demolition. But even that could easily be dismissed, by supporters of the official story, as having been nothing more than a garbled rumor — a simple, honestly mistaken, widely-circulated misunderstanding of official concerns that the building might spontaneously collapse. (Furthermore, even from the point of view of one who does believe that WTC 7 was deliberately demolished, it doesn’t make much sense for the conspirators to have broadcasted their intent.)

Harder to dismiss might be a bunch of testimonies by people who had overheard a countdown just before WTC 7 came down.

Such testimony was reported on the Loose Change blog on February 7, 2007, in a post titled Open Letter, containing a copy of an anonymous email to Dylan Avery. Unfortunately, this testimony was anonymous, and the person feared possible repercussions for going more public, as reported in a subsequent entry on the Loose Change blog, Open Letter Part B. So, all we have is Dylan Avery’s word for it, which isn’t likely to convince any believers in the official story. Nor could such indirect, anonymous testimony possibly hold up in court.

The email was subsequently published on 911 Blogger and then on PrisonPlanet, which also published the story Ground Zero EMT: We Were Told Building 7 Was to Be “Pulled” by Paul Joseph Watson, Thursday, February 8, 2007.

The next day, Prison Planet published another story, More Ground Zero Heroes On The Record: Building 7 Was Deliberately Brought Down by Paul Joseph Watson & Alex Jones, Friday, February 9, 2007, containing testimony by various other first responders including Kevin McPadden. (The story contains a link to an audio file containing at least some of Kevin McPadden’s testimony.) However, except for the anonymous email to Dylan Avery, none of these witnesses reported a countdown. They all, including Kevin McPadden, are quoted as talking only about how they heard that WTC 7 was going to be “brought down” — which, as I pointed out earlier, could easily be dismissed as just a garbled rumor, even if a lot of first responders happen to have heard it.

But then, more recently, Prison Planet published the story 9/11 First Responder Heard WTC 7 Demolition Countdown by Paul Joseph Watson, Thursday, September 13, 2007. Here, Kevin McPadden is quoted as having said, at a 9/11 Truth event the previous weekend:

“We started asking questions, everybody started asking questions, and the next thing you know there was a Red Cross representative pacing back and forth in front of the crowd holding his hand over the radio – I couldn’t hear what it was saying but it was like pulsed – whatever the speech was on there it was pulsed – and that means to me most likely it was a countdown.”

“But he took his hand off at the last three seconds and he gave this heartfelt look – like just run for your life – because he didn’t want to bring it on his conscience – he didn’t want to go to his grave with that – and then we had a couple of seconds to put our heads together.”

The Prison Planet article also says:

In a taped interview with us after the event, McPadden made it clear that he and onlookers clearly heard “three, two, one” from the radio before the building collapsed. We will be releasing that tape over the next week. We also talked to other first responders who verified the story.

If verifiably true, this would be much harder to dismiss, as a mere misunderstanding, than the reports that the WTC 7 was going to be “brought down” or “pulled.”

But supporters of the official story will almost certainly ask: Why didn’t McPadden talk about the countdown in the earlier version of his testimony that was reported back in February? Has he changed his story? If so, that would cast doubt on his credibility.

Another possibility is that McPadden’s story itself didn’t change, but that the earlier reports, deliberately or otherwise, left out the most important part of his story.

Alas, a neutral reader does not have any way of knowing which is the case.

Everyone, when reporting an eye-witness testimony, please be careful not to leave out anything important! Otherwise you may undermine your source’s credibility later.

Be that as it may, Kevin McPadden’s story sounds very weird to me. Why would the culprits broadcast the demolition countdown over a radio channel heard by a Red Cross representative? In the September 13 Prison Planet story, Paul Joseph Watson says:

McPadden’s account, when added to the testimony of other first responders, clearly suggests that officials knew the building was about to be brought down in a planned demolition, and that they made a conscious effort or were ordered to hide that fact from the first responders, though at the very end onlookers were given a brief warning which enabled them to escape safely.

But what would have been the point of informing a Red Cross representative about the demolition, while also telling him to conceal it? Why would a Red Cross representative have been let in on the conspiracy at all, in the first place?

I hate to cast even tentative aspersions on a first responder, but I do think we need to look more closely at both Kevin McPadden himself and his story before we start treating it as good evidence. First, who is Kevin McPadden? According to Watson, McPadden is a “former Air Force Special Operations for Search and Rescue expert” who “traveled to ground zero completely of his own accord and spent the next four days searching through the rubble and nearby buildings for survivors.” So, he was a first responder not in any official capacity, such as being a firefighter or EMS worker, but only as a volunteer. This, alas, makes it harder to verify that he was even a first responder at all.

My point here is not to accuse him of lying. For all I know, McPadden’s story may be 100% truthful. I just think we need to be careful about what we assert as evidence, that’s all.

As mentioned earlier, Watson says, “We will be releasing that tape over the next week. We also talked to other first responders who verified the story.” It will be interesting to hear that tape, and it will be interesting to hear what the other first responders had to say.

Looking on Prison Planet for the subsequent tape, I found The Elephant In The Room: Kevin McPadden, 9/11-1st Responder, Wednesday, September 26, 2007. This page contains a YouTube video.

Let’s wait and see if we hear more about this from other sources.

(P.S., 10/28/2007: Last night I heard Kevin McPadden on Truth Revolution Radio. Here it seems he does NOT believe that the Red Cross worker had been deliberately included in any plot, but had taken it upon himself to listen in on some relevant radio channels in an effort to figure out what was going on. It still seems odd to me that a demolition countdown would have been broadcast over any radio channel at all. Anyhow, I’d really appreciate it very much if someone who knows a bunch of first responders could corroborate Kevin McFadden’s claims. I’d love to be able to stand behind him, but, until I see some good corroboration of his story, I have to question it.)

(P.S., 11/28/2007: Pat Curley wrote, in a comment on my post Richard Gage’s slide show, WTC 7 section: Reply to charlienneb: “Good point on McPadden; check out the famed video of (what appears to be) Amy Goodman watching the collapse and realize that McPadden claims he was only a few feet away from her. If he was running, he was the only person there who was (which is not what he claims at all).” I’ll have to look into this at some point. Pat’s comment was in response to my question about whether any people had been sent back into the collapse zone after it had been evacuated, as McPadden seems to claim.)

1 Comment »

  1. […] (P.S., 9/27/2007: The above was written before I learned about the testimonies about a countdown. See WTC 7 – witnesses heard countdown?.) […]

    Pingback by Straight-down collapse of WTC 7 - what do “debunkers” say? « New York City activist — September 27, 2007 @ 7:24 pm | Reply

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