The Censored Eyewitness Testimony of William Rodriguez
by Christopher Bollyn
June 16, 2005
Calling for an international
investigation of the 9-11 terror attacks, Jimmy Walter's European Truth Tour is
presenting European audiences with evidence from researchers and compelling
testimony from a survivor that shows the official version of events to be false.
The tour's most compelling testimony
comes from William Rodriguez, the 44-year-old former porter who worked in the
twin towers of the
I interviewed Rodriguez, who
single-handedly cleaned the three stairwells of the
On September 11, 2001, Rodriguez, who
worked for American Building Maintenance, was 30 minutes late for work arriving
at 8:30 a.m. After leaving his backpack in his closet on the 33rd floor he went
to his company office in the tower's basement. At 8:45, he was talking with his
supervisor in the first basement level, B1, when he heard and felt a tremendous
explosion. Rodriguez said he felt the first explosion come from a lower basement
level. The towers had 6 basement levels.
The building shook, the ceiling fell,
and some of the sprinklers began spraying. "Oh my God, what happened?"
Rodriguez, who survived the first bombing of the WTC in 1993, said he recalled
saying to his boss. "I think it was the electrical generators." No sooner had
he spoken these words than a second explosion shook the building, this time
coming from the upper part of the tower. This second shock, Rodriguez said,
shook the building and cracked the walls. "The building moved," he said.
At this point, Felipe David, a Honduran
who worked for Aramark and maintained the tower's vending machines, appeared
before Rodriguez with his arms outstretched. "It looked like clothing was
hanging from his fingers," Rodriguez said, "but it was the skin from his arms."
"Explosion, explosion," David said. "The elevator, the elevator." Rodriguez
then felt a third explosion coming from above. "The ground was shaking," he
said. "I thought it was an earthquake."
"We've go to get out of here," Rodriguez
told the others as he assisted David and 14 others out of the building through
the loading dock on Vesey Street, across from WTC 7. David also had facial
injuries that looked to Rodriguez as if he had been "burned and cauterized." "It
did not make sense," Rodriguez said about the official version that says these
explosions in the basement occurred from jet fuel falling down the elevator
shafts. The fact that he felt the explosion in the basement first indicates that
it was not caused by falling jet fuel. Rodriguez noticed that elevator doors in
the lobby and basement levels appeared to have been blown open from below.
After bringing David to an ambulance,
Rodriguez looked up and saw smoke coming from the top of the tower. Unable to
see the tower's communication mast, Rodriguez became concerned for the safety of
his friends who worked at the Windows of the World restaurant at the top of the
tower. "We've got to go back," Rodriguez said. "Stay here," his supervisor
said, "don't go in there."
Taking a radio from a security guard,
Rodriguez went back into the building via the loading ramp. Thinking that a bomb
had been exploded in the building, Rodriguez checked the trucks he passed. They
were all open and he continued on into the
At the B1 level he heard the shouts of
people coming from a freight elevator. After forcing the elevator door open with
a pipe he saw two people trapped in rising water in the elevator car stuck
between the B2 and B3 levels. The rising water, he said, came from the
sprinklers or broken pipes. Using a ladder, Rodriguez climbed down to the top
of the car and pulled the two workers to safety. After taking them to an
ambulance, Rodriguez returned to the tower and began up the stairs with David
Lim, a Port Authority police officer, and fire fighters.
At the lobby level, he noticed that all
the glass windows were broken on tower's west side and the marble had been
knocked off of the walls. With his master key he opened the door to each level
as they ascended and called out to the people on the floor. "Some had light and
some did not," he said. At the 27th level he came across Ed Beyea, a
quadriplegic who was being evacuated. As he continued up the stairs, his
supervisors called him on the radio: "What are you doing there?" they asked.
"Abandon the building now."
"I can't." Rodriguez replied. "I have
the key to the stairwell. I'm helping the fire department."
"I heard many, many explosions,"
Rodriguez said. "We lost 65," he heard on the radio. Understanding that the
65th floor had collapsed down to the 44th floor sky lobby, Rodriguez and the
others decided to descend and get out of the building.
At the 27th floor they took Beyea in a
gurney and carried him down the stairs. At the lobby level fire fighters and
friends tended to Beyea. Rodriguez went out the west side entrance to check for
As he came out of the building he heard
the police say, "Don't look back. Don't look back," which caused Rodriguez to
look back. What he saw was the remains of many people who had jumped from the
towers and the body of a woman he had rescued from the 33rd floor. Falling glass
had nearly cut her body in half, he said.
Hearing the sound of the tower begin to
fall, Rodriguez dove under the fire truck that was in front of the tower. Under
the truck with two fire fighters, Rodriguez said he prayed to God for his body
to remain intact so that his mother could recognize him. The tower collapsed
around him and hot dust burned his skin. The truck however was not crushed and
within a few hours Rodriguez was pulled out from under the truck. "I got out at
the right moment," he said. "I was the last one out."
Since 9-11, Rodriguez has chaired the
Hispanic Victims' Group and the Victims' Support Group. While his story has been