Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Several current and former agents within the National Security Agency (NSA), speaking on condition of anonymity, have told the New York Times that the spy agency likely monitors millions of e-mail communications and telephone calls made by Americans. The new revelations follow the disclosure in April that the NSA’s monitoring of domestic e-mail traffic broke the law in 2008 and 2009.
I won't include a link to this, but if you want read the whole thing, just be sure your virus control program is cranked up before googling the following title...
Hayden and the NSA- the most ignored "9/11 connection"?
The following is copy-pasted from 911research.org...
A 'rant' based on research, compiled between 2001 and 2006, PART 1
Gen. Michael V. Hayden, currently Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence
has also served as Commander of the Air Intelligence Agency
and as Director of the Joint Command and Control Warfare Center.
But more important, he was also former head of the NSA (March 1999 - April 2005).
The role of the NSA regarding 9/11, and ironically also the 9/11 truth 'community',
is consequently dismissed and ignored by many '9/11 truthseekers'.
Apparently because some particular '9/11 authors'
and self appointed '9/11 activist leaders'
distracted too much with 'CIA, Cheney and the Pentagon'.
It was always clear, why.
To also delay or distract from all physical evidence, based on military operations,
scripted by the NSA and their private contractors.
The NSA, but also the NASA had their eyes not only on the 9/11 "plotline"
but also on the "military operation" of 9/11.
More closely than any other U.S. Government Agency.
The National Security Agency (NSA) has traditionally influenced
and been a very early and sophisticated user of the highest performance
of commercial computer, storage, and networking systems.
That includes also the Internet and the internet "daisy committees" of the NSA.
These are unidentified online trolls, which nicknames share different I.P. addresses,
though only impostering 'one and the same user'.
However this "user", represented with a nickname
is also able to post 24/7 on particular discussion boards, apparently without any sleep.
The NSA can also basically login and monitor all important databases of the U.S.,
especially aviation databases.
Among them the National Flight Database (NFD).
Current data elements included are:
Airports and Heliports,
Standard Terminal Arrival Procedures (STARs),
GPS and RNAV (GPS) or Runways for airports that have a SIAP coded in the NFD.
Would the NSA 'log in' on the morning on Sep11th?
Sure they would.
That's why they also know, that the BTS database of the FAA already proves,
that "AA77" and "AA11" did not exist on the morning of 9/11.
The NSA knew all alleged passengers on the morning of Sep11th.
They know this faster than the FBI or CIA.
They know which plane does exist and which doesn't.
They also know in real time, what really happened in NYC, Shanksville and
at the Pentagon, because of less stress of 'competence'.
In other words, the NSA are important part of the perpetrators who 'did 9/11'.
"The CIA did 9/11" is instead distraction language of many "9/11 truthlings",
based on a dried out old school meme of the 80s.
This meme often also includes other inane 'NWO'-drivel like endless distractions
of esoterical traps like "MK-ULTRA" or "drug business", to water down the issue.
The 'CIA-talk' often distracts on alleged on-topic 'discussion forums' with other off-topics,
which immediately deceive their online members with secondary 'research'
or even pseudo-religious agenda, new age cults and other historical sideshows.
Often "CIA researchers" find themselves quickly among associates of "TWA800 researchers"
or worse: "JFK researchers" or "moonflight hoax debunkers".
The strategy is obvious.
To distract from Sep11th with either paranoia or "80s conspiracy theories".
"The Mossad did it"-meme has a similar strategy, though it clearly distracts
with other obvious agendas, often even conflicting each other,
which has the same purpose: Divide and Conquer.
Right after 9/11, self appointed "Mossad researchers", often end up
in debates on historical research from over 2000-3000 years ago,
which is even more effective.
The 'CIA distraction' also helps to stir a fight between
the supporters of the 'mossad distraction'
and the 'CIA-NWO' sensationalists,
often also accused as "zionists", especially if you deny ANY complicity of the Mossad.
But what has 'complicity' to do with the actual performance of the inside operation?
Basically the same complicity of the so called '9/11 cover-up'
can also be easily constructed with the dutch-, german-, saudi- or pakistani intelligence.
The result is an endless debate on whether the one or other agency had more or
less participation into 9/11.
What almost noone realizes, all these 'complicities' refer in the majority to the plotline,
not the military operation.
Therefore it doesn't matter if either CIA, BND, MOSSAD, Dutch Intelligence or "Able Danger" "observed" or "impostered" the alleged hijackers.
It all represents just the 'plotline' and distracts from
the controlled demolition or the so called "controversial" TV fakery research.
The "CIA connection" was also designed to distract from the private military-
and intelligence contractors (PMCs), which already replaced and dominated
U.S. Intelligence anyway.
Another "distraction", not less effective, is the "Bush did it" meme,
which helps to distract with post 9/11' -"scandals" of the White House or Pentagon,
to keep false hope campaigners or the complete 'anti-war movement' busy.
The same "bush did it" meme also automatically triggers other inane 'activist drivel' on prior knowledge red herrings like Jeb or Marvin Bush.
That's why also so called leftgatekeepers are still clueless about the real players
of many other new 'setups' against their own citizens:
Among them In-Q-Tel, Titan Corp., BoozAllen Hamilton, CSC/DynCorp, SAIC and many others.
The NSA has their own satellite surveillance trackers, developed by SAIC
and other private intelligence contractors.
(* see also
SAIC- power structure 9/11 and more
On the morning of Sep11th, the NSA did not follow any particular standard government-
and military procedure or any other logistics, therefore cannot be accused of "negligence".
There also was no "Rumsfeld around".
Neither a silly "Rove influence", "Cheney" or "Joe Wilson",
all carefully designed limited hangout puppets.
Truthlings and Gatekeepers apparently watched too many soap operas.
If the name isn't known to them, it isn't 'cool' to talk about.
That's why more important players of the 9/11 perps never arrived
on any '9/11 truth flyer', among them:
Douglas Feith, Stephen Cambone, Jay C Davis (ANSER), James Woolsey, Ruth David,
James R. Clapper, Duane (Dewey) Clarridge, Andrew W. "Yoda" Marshall,
Scott Myers, Eliot Cohen, Christopher Demut, Thomas S. Foley,
Charles Holland, David Jeremiah, Michael Ledeen, Norman Podhoretz,
Bruce P. Jackson, the Naudet Brothers, the Club of Rome, Raytheon and many others.
That's why also the role of the NSA is underrepresented in this 'truth movement',
because much closer to the truth than anyone else.
That's why cointel-pro still succesfully runs or
deceives the biggest 'activist' groups in the 9/11 truth movement.
Anyone knows, that the Heritage Foundation runs meetup.com,
where most of the 'activists' met in the first time?
Obviously the majority doesn't.
"Profile producers" are less important than "profile paranoia".
When 'Civil Right activists' try to distract with "controversial surveillance facts" on the NSA,
they follow a clear script from their leadership groups, itself also infiltrated by government agents
or sponsored by right wing think tanks, ironically also often close to the CIA.
The same or similar pattern can be also seen in the 'alternative media'.
Often cited in this connection:
DemocracyNow!, FAIR, Nation, PBS or truthout.org.
It not only helps as a gatekeeper distraction from 9/11,
it also helps to increase the limited hangout agenda
for the political theatre.
However the role of the NSA for both 9/11 'plotline' and 'military operation',
but also 'disinformation front' and 'surveillance industry' regarding 9/11 'activists'
is much more important.
It wasn't the CIA, but apparently the NSA with their most advanced high tech,
which really was in charge of the so called "9/11 plotline".
However the official 'plotline' of 9/11 had nothing to do with the military operation.
The 'plotline' of 9/11 helped as most important distraction, even still in 2006.
While the 9/11 perpetrators used the CIA as helpful distraction idiots,
the NSA knew exactly who observed whom
in the 'plotline' and when the 'military operation' would take place:
"Tomorrow is Zero hour" (September 10th, 2001)
The alleged suspects of 9/11 met next to Fort Meade.
Also, it was ex-NSA agent Linda Mills (BENS), who lived in the same city as
some of the alleged suspects of 9/11.
And BENS helped creating the Tail to Tooth Commission,
an important tool for the neocons and PNAC.
BENS is located in front of the White House (1717 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20570).
Chairman Stanley A. Weiss is a member of the
Advisory Board of RAND's Center for Middle East
Public Policy, a member of the CFRand writes for Journal sentinel.
Members of BENS are also:
Norman R. Augustine (Director Lockheed Martin),
David S. Browning (Vice President of Schlumberger),
Daniel H. Case, III (Chase),
Rudy de Leon (Senior VP, Boeing),
Victor Ganzi (The Hearst Corporation),
Richard Grasso (New York Stock Exchange),
Frank W. Jenkins (SAIC),
Paul V. Lombardi (President and CEO of DynCorp),
Stephen T. McClellan (Merryl Lynch),
Philip A. Odeen (TRW),
Peter G. Peterson and Stephen A. Schwarzman (Blackstone Group).
Significantly, all these companies have extreme close ties
with particular elements of '9/11 research', some of them also
represent distractive issues like 'put options', 'war', 'media control' or 'oil industry'.
The "military operation" of 9/11 therefore also included a P.R. and media operation and
was a close cooperation with their very own private military- and intelligence contractors:
AMEC renovated the wedge of the Pentagon, which 'coincidentally' was attacked on Sep11th.
Then also AMEC was in charge to remove the rubble of the Pentagon, but also from Ground Zero.
Among other contractors: Tully Inc., which subcontracted Controlled Demolotion Inc.
(* see also
The AMEC- Turner-WTC 7 connection)
Honeywell produced the cockpit recorder, which was officially found in Shanksville.
Two Honeywell employees 'followed' the Colgan Flight of 'Mohammad Atta'.
A high tech military camera system (meanwhile belonging to L3 Communications),
installed on an unidentified and prepositioned helicopter,
which filmed the only available "live" footage of the 2nd attack.
This 'footage' was then exclusively wired to W-ABC (ABC7) which synched their
final camera operator position feed 11 seconds (!) before the 2nd attack took place,
with CNN, FOX and NBC. (CBS had no 'live aired footage')
Also, it was the hangar of the NASA (NASA Glenn Research) in Cleveland,
where unidentified passengers of two U.S. flights (among them Delta 1989)
had been interrogated by the FBI.
Strangely "Delta 1989" was only forced to land in Cleveland,
because it had the same flight pattern as "United175", officially hijacked on that morning.
Oddly also the other flight was early identified as "United93",
confirmed by Mayor Michael R. White and 9News Staff (Liz Foreman),
which later denied the accurancy of their story.
The CIA (same to FBI) was also used as a distraction for the 'limited hangout' to divert
not only attention away from the NSA but also NRO and NIMA (later renamed into NGA).
The National Imagery and Mapping Agency was also known as "the 'eyes of America'
On August 8th, 2001 (two days after Bush received a new PDB with a clear warning on Bin Laden),
James R. Clapper was announced as new head of NRO.
The countdown for 9/11 continued.
These 3 intelligence agencies had been already in charge
during the mid 90s to develop a so called
'secret surveillance project', closely also linked to former Reagan's "Star Wars",
which was in reality well known,
even for U.S. Congress:
ECHELON and PROJECT TRAILBLAZER.
During 1998/1999, under Bill Clinton, the NSA and NRO handed out their first contracts of "Trailblazer"
to almost a dozen of less known private military- and intelligence contractors.
In the same years, controversy breaks out over the NSA "Echelon" project.
U.S. Congress 'figured' a problem with Echelon and looked into it.
However in 1999 both General Hayden (NSA) and George Tenet (CIA) neither denied or confirmed
the existance of Echelon and their sub contractors.
If they would have confirmed the existance of Echelon and its sub projects,
noone would have believed into negligence on the morning of Sep11th.
The denial was therefore most important, because 9/11 was already in planning.
In March 2001, Logicon TASC officially announced their five-year,
$57 million contract for "Trailblazer".
'Logicon' was in reality a team of others:
"Logicon Task Team", part of Northrop Grumman, included Veridian (in 2003 aquired by General Dynamics),
Advent Systems Inc., Mountain View, EDS, Advanced Engineering & Sciences,
RDR Inc., SRS Technologies.
Another subcontractor of Logicon TASK (diff. sp.)
became Modern Technologies Corporation (MTC) of Dayton.
MTC included Kenneth A. Minihan (ex-NSA, ex-DIA) and General Lawrence A. Skantze (ex -U.S. Air Force).
The lost terror drill- Pt.11 B )
Veridian includes Neil Armstrong (former space missions during 60s).
This brings us also directly to a popular example
for an infiltration hipothesis of the 9/11 "truth" movement:
Neil Armstrong's sister is married with Jack Hoffman,
who is interestingly the uncle of '9/11 author' Jim Hoffman,
recently again accused as disinfo provocateur
(against the "Loose Change" people).
Hoffman's former institute is sponsored by the NSA, NSF and ONR (Office of Naval Research)
After Jim Hoffman plagiarized his 'wtc7' research from the '9/11 science and justice alliance',
he oddly turned into a so called "planehugger"
(supportive of the idea that a plane crashed into the Pentagon,
in Shanksville and into both Twin Towers)
Back to 'Trailblazer':
Some parts of this program had been also developed in the very same wedge,
which was attacked on 9/11.
The 'pentagon attack' not only 'wiped out' the Office of Naval Intelligence,
but also three employees of James Woolsey's Booz Allen Hamilton.
Woolsey (ex-CIA director and PNAC)'s company was working on "Trailblazer".
Also killed: two employees from BTG Inc., another sub contractor of Trailblazer.
Only 10 days after Sep11th, BTG Inc. was suddenly purchased by Woolsey's other former company,
Needless to say, Titan was another main contracter of Trailblazer
since 1998 (contracted by both NSA and NRO).
What "role" did the NRO really play?
The NRO is main suspect among some '9/11 truthseekers' for the Pentagon attack,
with the cover of a live terror exercise drill on the morning of Sep11th.
Again, this also helped to re-establish the myth for an alleged commercial aircraft at the Pentagon.
A terrorist drill which was "cancelled", but in reality took place but didn't include a real plane either.
When the importance of the pre 9/11-terror drill research in general became more popular
(among them also the terror drill exercise for the anthrax attack during June 2001, "Dark Winter"),
9/11 research frauds had to establish another plagiarization and distraction:
The so called "wargames-focus" and the alleged "Cheney mastermind" role was therefore created
to divert attention away from the terror drill run-up for 9/11, and build yet another limited hangout.
Once again, the 9/11 truth movement was fooled and still is, because most of the 'wargame activists'
ended up as 'peak oil fanatics' or started to talk about 'global warming' or 'alternative energy'.
Not if you know, who and why these distractions had been scripted into this movement.
It helped to delay and later control the activists of the "controlled demolition".
It helped to either discourage or depress many 'activists' in general
or keep them busy with false hope campaigns.
And it helped to distract from NSA, NGA and NRO.
The researcher who found out about all this, was labelled
All other supportive associates labelled as 'wackos' or 'insane'.
Case closed. But that was 2003/04.
Why is the NRO much more important than the CIA?
The NRO was established in 1960 to develop the nation's revolutionary satellite reconnaissance systems.
It was endorsed by Dwight D. Eisenhower in February 1958
after the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, the first orbital satellite.
The existence of the NRO was declassified by the Deputy Secretary of Defense,
as recommended by the Director of Central Intelligence on September 18, 1992.
The Director of the NRO is appointed by the Secretary of Defense
with the consent of the Director of National Intelligence,
without confirmation from U.S. Congress.
(In July 2005 Donald M. Kerr was approved as new Director of the NRO)
In late 2001, "Trailblazer" (just another sub project and codename of Echelon and others)
was integrated into "Misty".
The information was still 'classified'.
Finally during December 2004, the so called 'classified' project, popped up in U.S. mainstream media.
Now described as "controversial spy satellite program" or "stealth satellite program",
it was debated by some U.S. congress members, among them Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon.
Finally General Michael Hyden (NSA) somehow confirmed, that this 'spy satellite program'
was a cooperation between the NGA (National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency), the NSA
Hyden also confirmed, that Lockheed was then picked as one of the main contractors
for this Satellite Surveillance program.
On December 8, 2004, Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia,
the senior Democrat on the Intelligence Committee,
"complained" ...that the spy project was "totally unjustified and very,
very wasteful and dangerous to the national security."
Rockefeller and three other Democratic senators -
Richard Durbin of Illinois, Carl Levin of Michigan
and Ron Wyden of Oregon - refused to support this 'secret project'.
It took only 3 weeks to kill the debate and approve the project.
It was the result of an officially labelled 'natural disaster':
The Sumatra-Andaman earthquake, followed by a series of tsunamis throughout the Indian Ocean,
killing large numbers of people and devastating coastal communities in Indonesia,
Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, and elsewhere.
Meanwhile, noone in U.S. Congress,
especially 'since Katrina' argues about any 'satellite surveillance threat' anymore.
While so called 'weather modification theorists' are getting accused as 'paranoid'
and/or 'without any evidence', the coincidental timing of these events should make some people
think, especially since U.S. Congress already debating two Weather Modification Bills.
Meanwhile also Hayden has the guts to claim, "had this program been in effect prior to 9/11, it is my professional judgment that we would have detected some of the 9/11 al-Qaida operatives in the United States, and we would have identified them as such.."
But eco-, human right- and civil right activists are not getting the bigger picture,
because the fundings of their biggest groups are already controlled by globalists -since decades!
They rule the agenda, they rule the topics.
And if it comes to NSA, only superficial topics are allowed to debate or instrumentalize,
often also to manipulate the idea, that democracy still exists in the U.S.
And if it comes to e-voting machines, wannabee activists ignore military and intelligence
influence into the production of these machines, supervised by Pentagon and NSA contractors
like SAIC, Northrop-Grumman, Lockheed-Martin,
Accenture (formerly a spin-off of ENRON's Arthur Andersen) and EDS.
But does that mean, all other, less organised media activists are having the better strategy?
The irony is, that also the majority of so called independent 'activists' and 'researchers'
share another thing in common: Their ignorance on google.
While many 'truthlings' praying 'google' as the holy grail for their 'breakthrough' for 9/11-research and
community creations, it's more than clear, that Google operates as yet another NSA- and NASA
front, with the only purpose to profile their users worldwide via cache results, 'google desktop',
'google calendar' and 'google earth'.
The facts are:
Google works openly with ex-NSA employee Matt Cutts (since 2000).
Google works together with the NASA.
In April 2004, google acquired one of the companies
in which CIA firm In-Q-Tel invested, @Last Software.
Google already acquired Keyhole, Inc., which was developed by In-Q-Tel as well.
The CIA doesn't care about all this?
It should therefore noone surprise, why noone wants to buy google.
If it belongs to the NSA, it will be impossible :)
The 9/11 truth movement community and many other false oppositions are played by the NSA.
Should THAT discourage us?
No, it shouldn't. Because we altogether still have the same chance on this very same cyber chess board.
It depends on which figure you're playing at which time.
The real tools are the 9/11 truthlings. They're also not the real "googlers".
They will not find any real clue about what's going on.
As long as the truthlings run the show,
the NSA doesn't care about more serious 'google activists
Instead they focus on the 9/11 truthling sheeple:
The NSA know every step of them and
therefore sending from time to time
new alleged false hope campaigners and gurus
into this 'movement'.
Whether it was ex-CIA firm In-Q-tel 'negotiator'
Karl Schwarz or Mike Ruppert (who himself even claims,
both parents worked for the NSA).
It still works:
A real "truthling" never questioned their 'leaders'.
And that's why General Hayden will most obviously BECOME head of the CIA,
surely after some fake debates between the democratic- and republican party,
in case they won't find someone better, who once worked for NSA, NRO or NGA.
And maybe also the one or other 9/11 truthling might point out,
that the NSA knew about 'zero hour'.
But since this is already yet another poisoned meme, this truthling might deceive another truthling to buy a book by Paul Thompson.
Meanwhile, the reorganisation of the U.S. Intelligence Apparatus is almost done.
"...The first was the stacking of too many responsibilities
on the director of central intelligence (DCI),
with insufficient statutory powers.
The second was the Defense Department’s ownership
of the national intelligence agencies (the National Security Agency [NSA],
the National Reconnaissance Office [NRO], and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency [NGA]).
And the third was the FBI’s control of domestic intelligence,
or in other words, the absence of a U.S. counterpart
to Britain’s MI5 or Canada’s Security Intelligence Service..."
Welcome back to the Matrix.
The deceptions and 'distractions'
throughout all false oppositions do still work.
Don't worry about it.
There will be always another 'zero hour' :)
Friday, July 24, 2009
PAUL A. LaVIOLETTE, PH.D, is author of The Talk of the Galaxy, Earth Under Fire, Genesis of the Cosmos (Beyond the Big Bang), Subquantum Kinetics, and editor of A Systems View of Man. He has also published many original papers in physics, astronomy, climatology, systems theory, and psychology. He received his BA in physics from Johns Hopkins, his MBA from the University of Chicago, and PhD from Portland State University and is currently president of the Starburst Foundation, an interdisciplinary scientific research institute.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
Here's AIPACS number one sicko. A stealth Democrat, with no allegience to party, who has recieved $3.6 million in campaign contributions from the health, insurance, and pharmaceutical industries over the course of his career. I'm sure that he has plenty of health insurance coverage, and if it isn't enough he can probably rely on Israel, which has an excellent health program. Unfortunately, even for such benevolent and upstanding servants of the sheeple, such as Holy Joe, there is no cure for the common cold.
TPM July 18, 2009
A bipartisan group of six "moderate" US senators, dubbed the "Gang of Six" by news agencies, issued a demand July 17 for a slowdown on Democratic health care reform. These senators - including three conservative Democrats, one conservative Independent who caucuses with Democrats, and two moderate Republicans - asked for a slowdown on health care reform not because their constituents wished it so: recent polls show that a clear majority of Americans want health care reform now including a public health care option such as that proposed by President Obama and progressives in Congress. No, these senators asked for a slowdown on health care reform because the for-profit health, insurance, and pharmaceutical industries have bid them to do so in the hope that reform can be stopped, and because these same industries have generously provided them with career campaign contributions totalling more than $11 million.
Read more about these sicko's
Gang of Sickos (part 2)
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
I am posting this simplified explanation of Newtons theory for those who are getting lost in formulas and numbers. It's just a graphic way of showing the simplicity of how an apple falls and that everything will be fine as long as it isn't a really tall tree. Believe it or not, even scientist's with phd's, such as at NIST get lost in the numbers. Keep it simple folks, it isn't necessary to calculate to the nitty gritty for a general discussion of time distance and velocity, but if you want to...all of the information to do it is on this page.
~click picture to enlarge~
Monday, July 13, 2009
September 11: An Oral History
Soul-stirring firsthand accounts—terrifying transports—of living through the disasters of September 11, as told to New York Times reporter Murphy. Murphy was one of the reporters who covered that grave day and its aftermath, and for this collection he took on the unenviable task of asking those who survived by the skin of their teeth to relive the catastrophe, plus a handful of people who, by the grace of fortune, were slow at making their morning coffee or decided to change travel plans and so missed a doomed airplane. Murphy admits to some "compositing" of the testimony, but he strove for accuracy and credibility. And the stories simply rattle, first from those who had to wait in jam-ups to get onto escalators or out the door. But those that most whiten the knuckles by far are the near-escapes. For instance, the fireman who dove into the lobby of the South Tower to escape the crumbling edifice and was buried in the rubble, or the office worker who heard the building’s public-address system say it was safe to return to work: He heard people screaming, " ‘They’re jumping. People are jumping’. . . There was a tremendous disconnect between what was happening around me and the announcement that it was safe to go back upstairs." Or the management services worker who had just walked out of the tower: "Just 50 yards behind me a hundred and ten stories started coming down. . . . I became buried in debris and soot. The whole place was as dark as the darkest night." More buried people were rescued than is common knowledge, and Murphy found a handful of them. One of the real keepers of the flurry of 9/11 publications, destined to find a place on the shelf and be turned to time and again.
In the North Tower
A Prayer to Die Quickly and Painlessly
Teresa Veliz was the facilities manager for Clearforest, a software development company that had offices on the 47th floor of the North Tower. Because she had two narrow escapes on September 11--one on an elevator and one on an escalator--she worries that she cheated death. She has been unable to return to work, and only conquered her frequent anxiety attacks by going back to Lower Manhattan and retracing her steps of that morning. There with her mother at her side, she cried until she could cry no more. "I won't lie to you," she says. "That day turned my life upside down."
I can still hear that horrible noise in my ears. "Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang!" It was the sound of my elevator hitting the walls as it dropped from just above the 47th floor. The further down it fell, the fainter the bangs became--and the more terrified I felt. I had just stepped off that elevator, maybe nine or ten seconds earlier, leaving a handful of people continuing up to higher floors. I got off, turned the corner and opened the door to the ladies' room. I said good morning to a lady sitting at the mirror when the whole building shook. I thought it was an earthquake. Then I heard those banging noises on the other side of the wall. It sounded like someone had cut the elevator cables. It just fell and fell and fell.
I began to cry. "Oh, my God, I just got off that elevator!" Isaid. "That could have been me." I prayed that those other people had gotten off on the 48th floor before the elevator dropped. But I didn't have much time to be upset because the building shook again, this time even more violently. The lady at the mirror grabbed me from behind and held on for dear life. She was sobbing and screaming. I didn't even know her name. She worked for a bank on the same floor. We would pass from time to time in the hallway or in the ladies' room and exchange pleasantries. But I was all she had right then. I had to be strong for her.
"We have to leave," I told her.
"No! No! We can't go out there," she screamed.
"I have to go and see who is in my office," I said. "But I'll take you to your office first. I promise I won't leave you alone. Don't worry, everything's going to be all right."
I dropped my things on the bench in the bathroom--my handbag and the morning supply of bagels and muffins. I opened the door and there was a puff of dust so I turned back and got some tissue to cover our noses. I then walked the lady down the hall toward her office, my mind in rapid-replay mode. I was retracing my steps, the ones that got me off the elevator with only a few seconds to spare. I had stopped at Bon Ami to get the muffins. I remember the line was long. I was very impatient. I never had to wait so long before and I wanted to be at work on time. Then I went to American Cafe for the kosher bagels. Some people in my office only eat kosher. I had to wait there too. Finally, I waved some money in the air and slapped it down on the counter. "I can't wait," I announced and I rushed out the door with the bagels. When I entered the lobby of 1 World Trade Center, I pulled out my ID and swiped it through the security reader. I could see the elevator was there, the doors still open. Oh, great, I thought. The elevator is going to leave without me. But for whatever reason, it didn't. I ran and got in. It wasn't crowded. "Today is my lucky day after all," I thought as the doors closed and we headed up directly to the 44th floor, where I switched to a waiting local elevator for the final three stories up.
I felt okay leaving the lady at the bank. There were about 50 or so people there, so she had plenty of company and would be taken care of. I didn't worry much more about her. But I was worried about my own office colleagues. I felt it was one of my responsibilities, making sure everybody was okay. It came with the job title. I was chief caretaker, ordering supplies, buying breakfast--and taking control in an emergency. I am strong when I have to be for other people. It wouldn't be until much later in the morning that I let down and allowed myself to feel all the pain and anxiety that was rushing through my own mind and body.
"Katherine! Katherine!" I began screaming as I opened the door to my company's offices. But Katherine, I later learned, was still in the lobby waiting for an elevator when the plane hit. She had turned around and left the building safely.
Then I heard the voice of another colleague, Karin. "No, T, it is only me," she said, using my nickname. It was still before nine, it was Election Day and quite a few people had morning meetings away from the office, so Karin was alone, except for an electrician who had been working in the hallway. She was so scared that she was hiding under a table. "What do we do?" she asked.
"We evacuate," I said.
I told Karin to gather up her things, that I would be back in a minute. I had to run back to the ladies' room and get my purse. I didn't want to leave without my ID. The electrician tried to talk me out of it, saying it was dangerous to go back there. But I felt okay about it because I had just been there. When I got back from the ladies' room, Karin was in her office talking to her mother on the telephone. Her back was to the window. I was looking at her when something fell behind her outside. Was it a body? A piece of the building? The airplane? I wasn't sure, but I knew things shouldn't be falling like that. "Please hurry up!" I said to Karin, not saying anything about the object outside. I knew that would have sent her into a panic.
I quickly looked around the office for anything we might need to take if this turned out to be a big fire. My CD player was on my desk with my collection of CDs. Guns N' Roses. George Michael. A bunch of movie soundtracks. They can be replaced, I thought. Then I saw a laptop. It belonged to the director of finance who was visiting from Israel. I knew it had all of the company's important financial information. I stood there and spoke to it. "I hope you will be here tomorrow," I told it. "I can't take you. I can't be weighed down. I am sorry." We closed all of the doors to the inside offices, put some paper towels over our noses and hurried out.
We took staircase B. It was slow moving but orderly. Clearly, my survival instinct kicked in. I was as cool as a cucumber. I also had a bit of mother hen in me. I was very protective of Karin. We are about the same age, early thirties, and about the same height, but I am heavier and stronger. She wears a size 2, I wear a 14. And I tend to take charge in situations like this. At one point, when the flow of injured people in the staircase started to get to Karin, I shielded her. "It's okay, Karin," I said. "Just turn your head." We saw the lady from the bathroom upstairs. She was having a bad panic attack. She was crying hysterically. One of the emergency workers was escorting her down the left side of the stairs, which was reserved as a passing lane for the injured. We also stepped to the right when a blind man and his dog wanted to get by.
As I looked up behind me and down ahead of me, I heard people getting upset about the slow pace. "Why are we stopping?" they were saying. I said to myself, It's okay. Let them speak. So long as no one reacts and pushes their way down. At some of the slowest moments, I got impatient too, even looking enviously at the injured people who had priority to go ahead of us. Sometimes it would be like an ambulance racing down a busy street, when some cars pull behind it and take advantage of the open road. Only this time the cars were anxious people in the line. I told Karin not to worry, that I would get her out one way or the other. I would fight for us if I had to. I began devising a plan in my head. Karin would have a heart condition. She would pass out. I would tell everyone that we had to get by. But by the 18th floor, a fireman announced that it was clear sailing the rest of the way. No more stopping. And he was right. The pace picked up considerably and I never had to resort to the theatrics. I said thank-you to that fireman. I don't know if he heard me, but I was glad I said it.
At one point, we had to move to the right to let one of the many burn victims pass. She didn't know it, but this woman was an incredible source of strength for me. Her back was badly burnt, and so were her face, neck and ears. But she wasn't crying or screaming in pain. She might have been in shock, but even so, she walked with an amazing sense of dignity. Her chin was up, her shoulders back and eyes straight ahead. Don't lose it, T. Don't lose it, T, I said in a pep talk to myself after she went by. Later, I worried that I had let down a fireman, but it seems he gave me an impossible assignment. He had opened the door, I think it was at the 33rd floor, and looked right at me. "You," he said. "Tell No. 5 that the doorman is here." Smoke was coming off the floor into the stairwell and someone yelled, "Close the door!" The fireman was gone. Everyone around me started to repeat the instructions, like schoolchildren trying to memorize the words to a song. "Tell No. 5 that the doorman is here. Tell No. 5 that the doorman is here. Tell No. 5 that the doorman is here." But there was no No. 5. I carefully noted the numbers on the helmets of the guys coming up. Some had no numbers, at least not ones that I could see. The firemen with numbers were 23, 39 and 6. So the message never got relayed. I hope it wasn't important.
We finally reached the bottom, dumping out on to the concourse level. The sprinklers were on, so it had gotten pretty wet. We went through the turnstile and were directed toward the shopping mall. The place was empty except for security officers and police positioned every so often to give us directions. Turn left. Go straight. Turn. Straight. When we got the escalator near the Warner Bros. Store, the gentleman posted there shouted, "Pick up the pace!" That made me nervous. We started to move faster, though we didn't run. We got on the escalator, and as I looked to the top, I could see sunlight through the glass doors. I am free! I am free! That was all that came to mind. I am free! I am free!
We were halfway up when the escalator stopped abruptly and the lights went out. I waited and listened for some sort of instructions. BOOM! The glass doors at the top of the escalator shattered. I thought it was a bomb. But then a huge wind, with the force of a hurricane, swept across us. I don't know what happened to the people standing in front of us, but I think they were blown away. Something hit me in the head and I felt my body being pushed backward so hard that I was about to break in half. It took all of my strength to fight the wind. I started yelling, "Get down! Get down!" I grabbed Karin and crouched over her, pinning her to the stairs with my leg. I had her head in my stomach. I was so afraid that she was going to blow away. "I got you! I got you! You're okay," I shouted at her. It felt like people were stoning me. Hit. Hit. Hit. Hit. Hit. I was getting pounded all over with metal and glass and other flying objects. Then the whole building started to tremble. I feared the ceiling was going to come down on us or that the escalators would be ripped apart and we would fall into some hole and be swallowed up deep inside the Earth.
I accepted death. My luck had run out. I was meant to die earlier on that elevator. "God, I can't run any more," I said. "I guess this is it." I was at peace with it but I made one last request. "I just ask one thing," I prayed. "Please do it quick. This stuff is really hurting now." I was afraid how I was going to go. The thought of being flattened like a pancake was very scary. I closed my eyes really tight and waited. But by some miracle, the wind stopped. There was no more shaking. The air felt heavy but I was not being pelted anymore. Everything was completely silent.
I opened my eyes, and there was nothing but darkness. "Dear God," I said. "I am blind." I felt around. Karin was there. She was fine except for some bleeding on her arm. My face was stinging and my neck and back ached, but I could move. "Hello! Hello!" I started to shout. "Somebody help us. Please tell us what to do." I wasn't blind. I could see a little light. It was someone with a flashlight. "Follow the flashlight," an instruction from nowhere came. "Follow the flashlight." I grabbed Karin's hand, when a lady on the stairs behind me said, "Please help me." I turned and grabbed her with my other hand and yelled, "No matter what happens, don't let go of my hand! Do you understand?" She said yes and so we started up the escalator stairs. As we felt our away along, there were shoes and sandals everywhere. I can only guess that the people in them had run away or had been blown away.