Putting a 9/11 Mystery on the Ballot

I was standing blocks from Building 7 of the World Trade Center complex and staring directly at it when it collapsed.

Working for the Los Angeles Times, I arrived that morning just in time to see an enormous cloud of dust and people running away. I had not yet known of the rapid and deadly descent of the South and North towers. That afternoon, I called in a series of reports to a staffer in the New York bureau.

I was literally on the phone with the office at 5:21 p.m., describing the fires burning in the structure as the building began—and completed— its remarkably fast, smooth descent to the ground. I described the building neatly pancaking, and the Pulitzer Prize winner on the other end taking my dictation declared: “That sounds like a controlled demolition.”

In fact, I have seen controlled demolitions before and since—and indeed, that was exactly what the destruction of Building 7 looked like, except perhaps for a marginally slower collapse of the top portion..


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