Herald Sun spread, 9th September 2016
by Dee McLachlan
This article reflects on two eye-witness accounts of the day. One from the janitor in the North Tower, William Rodriguez — and the other, a foreign correspondent at the time, now editor of the Herald Sun, Damon Johnston.
In 2001 Mr Johnston was working as a foreign correspondent in New York, and experienced first-hand the trauma of the “attack” on Manhattan. He later returned to Australia, and was for almost four years at the helm of the Sunday Herald Sun, before being appointed editor of the Herald Sun, in July 2012.
On Friday the 9th September 2016, he reflects on his day in New York in his article “The Saddest Day On Earth“:
“It’s 15 years since I was standing five blocks from the north tower.”
As a journalist, Mr Johnston gives a clear first-hand account of the collapse of the North Tower — but in an unusual way. He writes about orange rim glows, fireball squirts, growling sounds and deep rumbles.
This is an extract of his account:
I wonder if Mr Johnston has heard about William Rodriguez, and what he experienced that day.
Mr Rodríguez was a janitor at the North Tower of the WTC and had been working in the building for 20 years. He was the only one present that day with a set of the master keys for the stairwells.
On September 11 Mr Rodriguez helped evacuate the injured from the basement levels; rescue people trapped in elevator cars; led firefighters up the stairwells — unlocking doors, and aided in the successful evacuation of countless survivors. He is believed to be the last person to leave the North Tower alive.
William Rodriguez (L) and George W. Bush (R) at the White House
On that fateful morning, Rodriguez and a few co-workers were down in the basement. Suddenly there was an explosion. The blast was so powerful it threw Rodriguez up, clean off the floor. He initially thought the generator below them must have blown up.
He says they heard and felt at least three explosions going off down in the basement levels within seconds of each other. He says this all happened about 7-8 seconds before they heard the plane strike the tower high above.
This is his account (transcript of the video below):
“… I was talking to the supervisor and at 8:46 we hear — BOOM — an explosion so hard that it pushes us upwards in the air. Upwards. And it came out from below us, from the mechanical room that was right below us. And it was so loud and so powerful that all the walls cracked…
” …six to seven seconds after we’re hear a — BAAA — the impact all the way on the top of the building — of the plane. Two different events separated by almost seven seconds…
“…a person comes running into the office saying “explosion, explosion” his hands extended, all the skin pulled from under his armpits, hanging… He was coming at us like a zombie…”
Rodriguez also testified under oath at the closed-door 9/11 Commission hearings that explosions were going off in the basement of the North Tower before the impact of the first plane. He also provided the panel with a list of first-hand witnesses. But the Commission did not include his account.
Rodriguez and Johnston Should Meet
But back to our journalist. I wonder if Mr Johnston has heard of William Rodriguez? And would he interview Rodriguez, and give him a large double page spread — so that the mainstream readers could learn about the many explosions that day.
What a break through would it be, if he met with Rodriguez, compared notes and reported the truth about 9-11 for once.
And Mr Johnston, you are absolutely correct when you write — “It’s too big to fall down (the South Tower). Can’t be right“. Thousands of architects and engineers agree with you.
Photo credits Johnston - Herald Sun Rodriguez - www.911tap.org