From the July 2005 Idaho Observer:
Official 9/11 story crumbling under foundational eyewitness testimony
Think about what has happened in America (and to the rest of the world) since 9/11. Now realize that, on top of all the evidence that we can prove to discount the official story, those who were there, beneath street level, that fateful morning, are coming forward to further the gulf between official fiction and witness fact. Due to the tireless work of Greg Szymanski to get, literally, to the bottom of what really caused the Twin Towers to collapse, we are beginning to get a clear picture: Explosions occurred beneath the feet of those who were in the basement moments before the airplanes struck. And, unlike the government, these people have no reason to lie to us. The hope is that release of these stories will prompt others who were there to come foreward. We believe that, ultimately, it will be the working people of this country who will rally behind the truth of 9/11 to catch the real terrorists.A second WTC maintenance worker has now come forward with eye-witness testimony that a massive explosion erupted in the lower levels of the north tower at approximately the same time the jetliner struck the tower's top floors.
By Greg Szymanski
Second WTC janitor comes forward with eyewitness testimony of 'bomb-like' explosion in North Tower basement
Jose Sanchez, 45, of New Jersey, in a never-released tape recorded statement made in early 2002 to William Rodriguez, (the first WTC maintenance man to claim a bomb exploded in the north tower basement-see page 4), said he heard what sounded like a "huge bomb," causing lights to flicker on and off, while he worked in a small sub-level 4 workshop. There were six sub levels beneath the Twin Towers.
Sanchez, who worked for American Building Maintenance Co. at the WTC for 14 years, was unavailable for comment, but made the taped 2002 statement to Rodriguez, recounting his personal 9/11 experience.
Sanchez, who fell on hard times after 9/11, revealed the details of a basement bomb-like explosion while Rodriguez and two CNN interns, Carolina Inojosa and Evita Zerebrinsky, interviewed victims and documented information for the many unfortunate people having trouble getting needed government assistance after 9/11.
Besides questioning the credibility of the official story that burning jet fuel was the only factor in bringing down the towers, Rodriguez formed an assistance organization called the Hispanic Victims Group instrumental in helping hundreds of people get help after 9/11 left many victims unemployed and homeless.
"I knew Jose very well since we worked for the same company," said Rodriguez in a telephone conversation from his New Jersey apartment. "At the time I taped his statements, I was more concerned about getting people needed assistance and, anyway, back then I really thought the government was seriously investigating the WTC attacks.
"But since then I have learned otherwise. I realize now they are covering-up the real truth and that's why I want to release Jose's statement. What really upsets me, and you can take this message to the White House, is that people like Jose, and many others like him who experienced what happened in the basement of the north tower were simply ignored and never interviewed by the 9/11 Commission.
"If they really wanted to get at the truth, these are the very people who should have been interviewed, not public officials who knew very little about what occurred inside the buildings that tragic morning.
"However, instead we all have been ignored in order to cover up the truth. The victims, those who died and the families who lost loved ones, deserve nothing less than the truth and I intend to keep talking until the truth is finally told."
Sanchez's explosive comments, shooting another large hole in the government story, now adds even more credibility to Rodriguez's recent statements that he heard a massive explosion in the WTC basement just seconds prior to the jetliner striking above while working in a sub-level 1 office along side 14 others, all of whom who heard and felt the very same thing as Rodriguez.
Since the outset, the government has stood firm that only burning jet fuel brought down the towers, but has ignored mounting eye-witness testimony and scientific data showing that a controlled demolition was an additional cause.
The government also has not fully explained why it immediately tampered with a crime scene (a criminal offense), by having all the hard evidence from the WTC removed and shipped overseas before independent investigators had a chance to study the structural components of the towers in order to help determine the real cause of the tower's collapse.
While arguments continue in the scientific community about the structural cause of the WTC collapse, Sanchez's eye-witness testimony adds more credibility that explosives were placed and detonated in the lower level of the North Tower.
In the 2002 taped statement, Sanchez recalls, at the same time Rodriguez and the others heard the explosion, being in a small sub-level 4 workshop with another man who he only knew by the name of Chino when, out of nowhere, the blast sounded as the two men were cutting a piece of metal.
"It sounded like a bomb and the lights went on and off," said Sanchez in the tape recording. "We started to walk to the exit and a huge ball of fire went through the freight elevator. The hot air from the ball of fire dropped Chino to the floor and my hair got burned," said Sanchez in the tape recording. "The room then got full of smoke and I remember saying out loud 'I believe it was a bomb that blew up inside the building.'
"I said, 'Chino, let's go-we gotta get out of here.' But Chino was wounded and told me he needed help. I remember him saying that the hot air came with such force that it broke his leg. We finally went out through another exit and his leg and knee were both broken."
Sanchez, all the time helping Chino, then recalls exiting into a parking lot on sub-level 4 where he encountered a group of other people also trying to flee. In the parking lot, a person assisted the pair, wrapping Chino's leg with a bandage from a first aid kit.
Chino was then driven in an SUV to safety while Sanchez decided to walk up four flights of stairs through the stairwell, trying to exit at the plaza level but being turned back by debris and falling glass.
"I went back down the stairwell to B-4 and encountered several people coming up. I told them to turn back around and then went across the parking lot up another stairwell, making a left and then finally getting outside," said Sanchez. "It took about 15 or 20 minutes to get outside and for me it was like a bomb with huge smoke all around. Then when I got outside, the other plane hit the south tower. It looked and felt like a war as I hid behind a wall to get out of the way of falling debris."
Saying that he felt disoriented and "didn't know what was happening," Sanchez eventually made his way to safety, arriving at his New Jersey home at about 3:30 pm after fleeing down 34th St. and making his way to the ferry boat.
Asked how he felt in the aftermath of the attacks, he said:
"I felt a sense of loss and despair. I worked there 14 years and I worked through the whole complex, installing signs. I worked on all floors and that day I just happened to be in the basement.
"I think I was lucky to get out of the basement because I was near the stairwell."
Two more WTC workers come forward
Two more WTC workers have come forward with eye-witness testimony that a huge explosion ripped apart the lower levels of the north tower at about the same time a jetliner rammed into the top floors.
The pair not only reported hearing an underground blast, but were both injured, one suffering severe burns to the face, arms and hands and the other cuts and bruises after being trapped in a stalled basement elevator.
Burn victim, Felipe David, employed by Aramark Co. and Salvatore Giambanco, a WTC office painter trapped in a basement elevator, were both unavailable for comment, but made their explosive testimony, never before released in America, to a Colombian television station in 2002 on the first anniversary of 9/11.
Their comments eventually aired in Colombia in Spanish on the Red Continental De Noticias (RCN) as a part of an in-depth 9/11 documentary after the foreign station spent a month in New York in 2002 shooting the project.
A copy of the original interview tapes with RCN reporter Claudia Gurisatti questioning the WTC workers was made available this week by WTC maintenance worker William Rodriguez, the first eye-witness to go public about the north tower basement explosions.
Recently Rodriguez, declared a national hero for helping save numerous lives on the morning of 9/11, including David and Giambanco, said he heard a massive basement explosion seconds before the jetliner struck the top floors when he, along with 14 other co-workers, were huddled in a sub-level 1 office.
Besides the trio, the taped statements of Jose Sanchez, another WTC maintenance worker, recently came forward, saying he heard an underground explosion at the same time the others reported it while working in a small sub-level 4 workshop.
"What really upsets me is that we have all these people coming forward with credible testimony about explosions and we have been completely ignored by the 9/11 Commission and the major media," said Rodriguez in a telephone conversation from his New Jersey apartment. Rodriguez believes there is an obvious media and government blackout on any information contrary to the official story that only jet fuel brought down the towers, a theory adopted by the 9/11 Commission.
"They concluded jet fuel brought down the towers without even considering the testimony of people like David, Giambanco and Sanchez. Why would they do that unless they are covering up something?
"And, concerning the American press, they have locked their doors on all of us, never allowing our stories to surface or even trying to investigate why the 9/11 Commission didn't bother to include our statements in the final report. Here we have a Colombian station in 2002 doing their work and three years later our story only has appeared in South America in Spanish. What does that tell you?"
In the 2002 Colombian television taped interviews where Rodriguez also adds his 9/11 account, both David and Giambanco, located in different basement locations, tell gut-wrenching and heart breaking stories of survival from what they both thought to be from a massive underground explosion, not an airplane strike 90 floors above.
Standing in front of a freight elevator on sub level 1 near the office where Rodriguez and 14 others were huddled together when the explosion erupted below, David said in the taped interview: "That day I was in the basement in sub-level 1 sometime after 8:30 a.m. Everything happened so fast, everything moved so fast. The building started shaking after I heard the explosion below, dust was flying everywhere and all of a sudden it got real hot.
"I threw myself onto the floor, covered my face because I felt like I was burned. I sat there for a couple of seconds on the floor and felt like I was going to die, saying to myself "God, please give me strength."
Although severely burned on his face, arms and hands with skin hanging from his body like pieces of cloth, David picked himself up, running for help to the office were Rodriguez and others were gathered.
"When I went in, I told them it was an explosion," said David, who was then helped out of the WTC by Rodriguez and eventually taken by ambulance to New York Hospital. "When people looked at me with my skin hanging, they started crying but I heard others say, "OK, good, good, you made it alive."
At the same time David, Rodriguez and the others heard the basement explosion, Giambanco was in a completely different location on the opposite side of sub level 1 by another elevator.
In the taped interview, Giambanco told Gurisatti, the Colombian reporter: "We heard the explosion and the smoke all of a sudden came from all over. There was an incredible force of wind that also swept everything away. I remember hearing a scream of a woman, but I couldn't see her. I had just gotten off the elevator and I was standing by it with another man but didn't know his name.
"The doors of the elevator were still open and, I don't know why we did, but we both jumped back in maybe because of the wind whipping everything around in the hallway. Then, suddenly, the elevator doors closed in front of us and we started going down. It all of a sudden stopped and I could see through the cracks we were between B-2 and B-3. We were both screaming and afraid. I remember seeing through the slot of the elevator and seeing other people running and screaming.
"Then water started gushing in the elevator and I remember saying, 'God, please help us.' At that point, I was resigned to the fact I was going to die."
But like a miracle, Giambanco's plea to God was answered as all of a sudden he heard someone yelling from above, "How many people are down there?"
The miracle above turned out to be Rodriguez who had returned into the WTC after helping David to safety in order to help others after disobeying police orders to remain outside.
"I remember rushing past police, telling them to go to hell as I was going back to help my friends no matter what," recalls Rodriguez about his basement search for survivors, eventually only making his way to the 39th floor before being turned back in a desperate attempt to reach the top floors.
In the basement, Rodriguez managed to find a construction ladder, miraculously lowering it into the elevator after courageously entering the darkened shaft and opening the top hatch on the elevator where Giambanco and the other unidentified man now were standing thigh-deep in water from the broken or activated sprinkler system spewing water into the elevator shaft.
"I don't know how he did it, but I felt him just pick me up and pull me out," said Giambanco about Rodriguez's rescue efforts. "I didn't know who he was then, but I do now and he definitely saved my life. If it wasn't for William Rodriguez, I wouldn't be here today. For me, William is like my brother. He single handedly saved my life."
After Rodriguez brought him to safety, Giambanco remembers being taken to an ambulance and rushed to a hospital where, in his hospital room, he received news reports that both towers had collapsed.
"I threw myself on the hospital floor in tears and I finally had to get an injection to calm me down," said Giambanco. "For a long time after, every time I would try to go to sleep I would get nightmares about being trapped in the elevator."
Reflecting back on his 9/11 near death experience, he added: "I remember riding in the ambulance that morning and looking back, thinking it had to be a bomb.
"Later they told me it was an airplane that hit the towers, but how could it just be an airplane? I know all the newspapers were saying that, but it was just too incredible to believe if you heard and experienced what I did. It had to be a bomb."
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