[back] New Orleans
Levees Blown Say
Eyewitnesses - Media Ignores Them
Eye Witnesses Living Near 17th St. Levee
Say Loud Explosion Heard Just Prior
To Raging Waters Flooding The 9th Ward
By Greg Szymanski
- Eye witnesses are starting to come forward, some only a block away from
the 17th St Canal levee break, saying they heard a loud, powerful explosion
right before water starting gushing in, as they ended up in a matter of
minutes floating downstream on their rooftops.
- Terry Adams, who lives one block away from the 17th St. break,
remembers hearing what sounded "like a bomb going off" from where the
levee gave-way before rushing water forced him to his rooftop.
- "Everything was calm, it was late at night and the storm had passed.
I thought we had dodged a bullet and there was no water in my house and
I was only a block away from the 17 th St. break," said Adams, a lower
9th Ward resident, in an extended conversation this week from New
- "Then I heard what sounded like a bomb go off from the direction of
where the levee gave-way and within a matter of minutes I was forced up
on my roof where I floated for about a mile into town before somehow
getting to safety."
- Asked if he was sure he heard an explosion, he added: "Water
breaking a levee isn't going to make the noise I heard and besides, the
levee should have broke before or during the storm, not afterward.
- "I heard an explosion and so did a lot of other people. It came
right from where the levee broke. What else could it have been but
somebody blowing up the levee?"
- The question of how the levee burst in one gigantic place at the
17th St. and London Ave. drainage canals, estimated by some to be a
gaping hole three football fields long, as well as a number of other
locations, has been on the minds of other local residents from the lower
9 th Ward besides Adams, many hearing the same explosions but being
ignored by the mainstream media, putting their accounts in the realm of
- For example, whenever the subject of the levees being intentionally
detonated comes up, most mainstream commentators like ABC's Michel
Martin, dismiss even the slightest possibility of foul play, appeasing
Black listeners with comments such as this:
- "Anybody with any knowledge of history can understand why a lot of
people can feel this way, but any real possibility that the levies were
intentionally exploded must be dismissed."
- However, according to Ryan Washington, a long time New Orleans bus
driver and former resident of the lower 9th Ward who grew up playing
football on top the levee, said the possibility of government dirty work
and foul play isn't so far fetched.
- Now living in nearby Slidell, also hard hit by the hurricane, he has
talked to numerous eye witnesses who say the exact same thing as Adams,
insisting the levee was blown up and didn't give-way by natural means.
- Washington also said the media should not concentrate on testimony
from experts, new commentators and government officials, who have biased
opinions, buy emphasis should be placed on interviewed the hundreds if
not thousands of people who heard or saw something the night the levees
- "Why don't they talk to the people who were there? Why are they
relying on government experts who have a reason to hide the truth? I
personally am gathering a list of people, a long list, who saw and heard
what really happened that night," said Washington, in a telephone
conversation this week from New Orleans.
- He added that government officials have been wanted to get hold of
the valuable lower 9th Ward property ever since 1965 when Hurricane
Betsy flooded the area and the same suspicions of foul play circulated
through his neighborhood.
- "I even have talked to many reporters on the scene and tell them to
get the story from the horse's mouth and talk to the people," said
Washington, adding it's easier to hear and learn the real truth on a
city bus than behind the veil of city hall and the corrupted television
- "The stories about people hearing and seeing explosions, as well as
stories about bomb residue being found at the scene, never see the light
of day or get in the papers or on television.
- "And if they do, these stories are always dismissed as being crazy
or discredited by experts or government officials, who I personally
don't believe one bit."
- According to Washington, several important factors convince him
beyond a reasonable doubt that the levees were blown intentionally to
racially cleanse the city, as well as the first step in a redevelopment
plan to put up high rise casinos and hotels in the lower 9 th Ward.
- "First, they always say that explosion was a power generator. But
the power was off when the levees blew and the power station they were
talking about was not in the vicinity of where the explosions were
heard," said Washington. "Next, they say the barge in the canal broke
the levees. I never once saw a barge in the canal in all the years I
- "Also, if it did plow through the levee, it never would have made
such a noise or cause an immediate break three football fields long.
Further, why were immediately on the scene to fence of the levees so no
one could see what happened when it too them more than 10 days in some
cases to rescue people. What are they hiding?
- "Please someone from the media come down here and get the real story
as I have talked to so many people who feel the same way I do. The
government has been trying to get our land since 1965 and they are still
- Besides numerous residents suspecting foul play, New York filmmaker
Spike Lee in October Lee said on Friday night's Real Time with Bill
Maher on HBO, that he believes Louis Farakhan's allegation that a levee
was blown up to flood the nearly all-Black 9th Ward.
- Lee added that "a choice had to be made, one neighborhood got to
save another neighborhood and flood another 'hood, flood another
neighborhood." He then engaged in a heated battle of words with neo con
shill and MSNBC reporter, bow tied Tucker Carlson, who dismissed Lee as
conspiracy theorist spreading paranoia and fear.
- At this point the short exchange between the two shows Carlson's
true colors as a government propagandist and as far from being a
journalist as George W. Bush himself:
- Lee: "Presidents have been assassinated. So why is that so
far-fetched? Do you think that election in 2000 was fair? You don't
think that was rigged If they can rig an election, they can do
- Carlson: "I was in New Orleans right after the hurricane in the
ninth ward. And while I didn't hear anybody say the levee was blown up
by the federal government, I did interview a bunch of people who were
stuck there who said they believed this was part of the conspiracy to
rid New Orleans of black people. They honestly believed that. I didn't
argue with them, I just listened to what they said and I felt bad for
them. So as you sit here -- who is someone who is rich and has option --
and are watched by people who are poor and have no options, it seems to
me it's your responsibility, your obligation to tell them the truth and
you know the truth, which is the federal government did not blow up the
levees so don't feed the paranoia and the crazies."
- Lee: "First of all, how's that feeding the paranoia?"
- Carlson: "Because you're saying it's entirely possible when you know
perfectly well it's not possible."
- Lee: "How's it not possible?"
- Although numerous questions remain unanswered about the reason
behind the levee controversy, one question never posed was how could a
man like Carlson ever call himself a fair-minded journalist after
comments made on Real Time?
- "I know why," said Washington. "These journalists are as corrupt as
the government folks they write about. I'm only a bus driver but I know
the difference between right and wrong and the media is dead wrong by
not covering this story fairly.
- One of the biggest controversies still brewing is the preliminary
results of the three main investigatory groups looking at why the levees
erupted. The groups, all tied to government interests, include the
National Science Foundation in conjunction with the American Society of
Civil Engineers; the United States Army Corps of Engineers; and the
third group being funded by the State of Louisiana, led by scientists at
the Louisiana State University hurricane center.
- Although each investigation is independent of the other, scientists
claim to be sharing data, coming to some surprising preliminary
conclusions, one of which could have enormous consequences.
- In a recent article by John M. Barry analyzing the data from the
three groups, he looks at some of the suspicious preliminary questions,
raising even more questions of how could the 17th St. levee break with
such a small storm surge emanating from Lake Pontchartrain not the Gulf
- "We know that Hurricane Katrina made landfall with enormous power,
devastating the Gulf Coast, and that the levee on the Industrial Canal
in New Orleans was overtopped by a storm surge coming directly from the
Gulf of Mexico. When a levee is overtopped, there is basically nothing
that can be done. Water pouring over a levee long enough will, in
effect, wash part of the levee away. That's what happened on the
Industrial Canal, resulting in the flooding of part of the Ninth Ward,
along with much of St. Bernard and Plaquemines Parishes.
- "But most of New Orleans was not flooded by water coming directly
from the Gulf. It was flooded from the north and rear by Lake
Pontchartrain , when levees failed along the 17th Street and London
Avenue drainage canals. Initially, the Corps of Engineers said that the
storm was so great that it overtopped these levees also.
- "But after inspecting the levees and reviewing storm data, all three
investigating teams agree: Hurricane Katrina hit Lake Pontchartrain with
far less strength than it did the Gulf Coast, and the storm surge fell
well short of the tops of the levees. In fact, a design or construction
flaw caused them to collapse in the face of a force they were designed
to hold. In other words, if the levies had performed as they were
supposed to, the deaths in New Orleans proper, the scenes in the
Superdome and the city's devastation would never have taken place."
- For more informative articles, go to www.arcticbeacon.com.
- Greg Szymanski