May 4, 2007

The Heroism of William Rodriguez: Amazing Testimony from Inside the World Trade Center Towers on 9/11

The Heroism of William Rodriguez: Amazing Testimony from Inside the World Trade Center Towers on 9/11

The following is a transcript of William Rodriguez’s presentation at the American Scholars Symposium, June 25, 2006.[1]

Introduction by Alex Jones[2]

Warning: there are some graphic descriptions in the testimony that may be disturbing to some readers.[3] Reader discretion is therefore advised.

Notes and Transcription by Arabesque[4]

Introduction by Alex Jones

William Rodriguez

Presenting his Testimony to other Countries

Working at the Trade Center before 9/11

Late to Work on the Morning of 9/11

“People thought that it was an earthquake.”

“She didn’t know.”

“Willie, do you have the key?”

“I remember I called my mother”


”Don’t look back!”

“I’m going to die—this is it.”

9/11 Commission Report

“We owe the truth to the victims, survivors and those affected by 9/11.” 


Introduction by Alex Jones

There are so many heroes here today. Great examples of standing up against tyranny; telling the truth in the face of adversity…

William Rodriguez,[5] master janitor [of World Trade Center Tower 1[6]]… he has the master-key, the buildings are on fire, he stays in there with the firefighters, he takes them up to the top, he personally escorts hundreds of people out—physically pushing 50 people out of the door… goes back in, and the building collapses on him, and he’s the last non-emergency worker to be pulled from the rubble.

But that’s not where the courage ends—that’s where it begins.

William Rodriguez was then whisked to the White House,[7] all over National TV, hundreds of shows—he was everywhere.  He’s treated like a big hero; the Republicans wanted him to run for Congress, he was offered millions of dollars—but then he kept talking about the explosions going off;[8] there were people with their skin burned off before the buildings collapsed on the bottom floors... They told him to shut up about that and just take the millions.

How many of you—could say I’m not taking the millions? He didn’t.

He not only saved those people from the World Trade Center, he also refused all of those millions of dollars… they have paid many of the victims—but he said no.  He’s travelled the world from Venezuela, Malaysia, Japan—dozens of countries on national television speaking to the people. There is not a news blackout globally.

He’s been in Germany, England, Italy, and Russia—all over the world.  He believes he can have more of an effect globally.  One of the real heroes on 9/11—he wasn’t a firefighter, or a policeman—he didn’t even sign on for it.  He went in that building on fire.  He went in there and stayed in there until it collapsed.

William Rodriguez

Presenting his Testimony to other Countries

I just came back from Malaysia.  We had Mahathir Mohamad,[9] the most powerful man in Malaysia listening to our story and he opened doors all over the nation. It was a historical moment—because it was the first time that a survivor went to a Muslim country to talk about 9/11... [It had a strong] effect on them.  We have criminalized and demonized the Islamic world because of 9/11.  To have the last survivor go over there and tell them what really happened was an eye-opener for them.

The press coverage was national—we went on every television show, we presented for 10 days—prime time, opening news, every single night.  And when I left, the opinion on national news was that the Malay mindset about 9/11 has been changed forever. 

Prior to that I went to Venezuela—I had a meeting directly with the second man in power after Hugo Chavez,[10] Nicolas Maduro[11]—president of the national assembly who was very concerned about my safety.  He gave me formal protection in Venezuela—he said “you are in a difficult situation here... an FBI agent asked around the hotel for a list of the guests at the Hotel” where I was staying.  Venezuela gave us five body guards around the clock because he said “it’s a possibility that they could do something to you in our country and blame us for it.” They said “we’re going to protect you” and they ordered that a documentary about my life was to be filmed on the grounds of the palace.  For five days I was filming so that they will have historical evidence if something happens to me.

[After the collapse of the North Tower[12]] I was pulled out from under the truck—do you see that small black hole under the truck...? Don’t hold it against me; remember—I did not know… when they name you a national hero or whatever you just go [audience laughter]. 

Working at the Trade Center before 9/11

I worked in the building for 20 years. I was a janitor in charge of cleaning all of the stairwells of the North Tower.  I’ve spent 5 years of my life dedicated to fighting for victim rights, immigrant rights, the truth about 9/11, disaster management, the war in Iraq—as an activist.  The patriot act totally eliminated 50 years of civil rights.  When the government uses 9/11—our tragedy, our despair to create this policy, this agenda against the people, here and abroad—I had a responsibility to open my mouth and complain.

Late to Work on the Morning of 9/11

I went to work late—I really believe that there was a mission for me that day because if I was there at the regular time—8 am; I would have been at the top of the building by Windows of the World,[13] and I would have died.

I came in late—8:30 am.  I’m on the basement—the basement has six levels of basement; B1 to B6.  On the B1 level were all of the support companies that dealt with the World Trade Center—mine was ABM (American Building Maintenance).[14] That company had the structural, painting, and mechanical contracts.

I was talking to a supervisor at 8:46 am and all of a sudden we hear a very loud “BOOM!”

An explosion so hard that it pushed us upwards!  Upwards [pointing up with his fingers for emphasis].  Now, 20 years in the building, and it came from the basement between the B2 level, and the B3 level.[15]  At that moment I thought it was the mechanical room where they have all the pumps and the generators for the building—that I thought maybe a generator had just blown up on the basement.  Now… 20 years in the building—you know the difference between something that comes from the bottom and something that comes from the top [audience laughter].

At that moment everyone started screaming—the explosion was so hard that the walls cracked—the ceiling fell on top of us.  The sprinkler system got activated. 
When I was about to say out loud “it was the generator” we hear “BOOM”—The impact of the plane on the top of the building.

Two different events.  Two different times.[16]

Later on, I thought that they probably didn’t synchronize it well.  That came out in the investigation that this explosion was probably to weaken the base and the foundation of the building—to be synchronized with the plane at the top so that it would fall automatically—which it didn’t.

Now… when this happened… screams everywhere—a person comes running into the office and starts yelling “explosion, explosion, explosion!”— [Warning: graphic content.  Skip ahead to avoid reading] His hands were extended and his skin was pulled from under his armpit... all the way to the top of his fingerprints… and it was hanging on both hands.  I didn’t know what it was.  I thought it was a piece of clothing.  And then I realized it was his skin and I said “what happened? What happened?” …and when I looked at his face—I could see that he was missing pieces of his face.

Felipe David,[17] from Honduras—who I didn’t know—was located on the B2 level when this explosion happened.[18]  He covered his face with his arms because there was fire.  That’s how his arms got burned.[19]

I said: “don’t move”—I was going to pick up the phone to call the emergency medical unit (EMS) that was located at Building 2, the South Tower.[20]  Building 1 and building 2 are connected through the basement… and when I go to pick up the phone I hear another explosion.[21]  And it was so hard that the building oscillated and the walls cracked again. 

“People thought that it was an earthquake.”

People went under the door frames thinking that it was an earthquake and I said—“No!  I think it’s a bomb.”  And the reason I said that was because I survived the 1993 bombing.[22] I was stuck in an elevator in 1993 for four hours.  They had to break through a wall to get us out.  So—automatically, I thought it was a bomb.  I said “we gotta get out”—so I took those 15 people and led them out of the office, through the loading dock, through a hill, outside the building, with Mr. Pelipe David on my back… until I saw an ambulance.  I stopped the ambulance and put Mr. Pelipe David inside.  He goes into a coma.  There was a security guard standing right next to me, and his radio was reporting “a plane hit the building! A plane hit the building!

I’m at the base of the building, and when I turn around—I saw the hole, the fire, the smoke—and all of a sudden I realized that I couldn’t see the antenna of the top of the building.  What came to my mind right away was “Oh my god, the people from Windows of the World,[23] the restaurant that was on the top of that building—106th floor.  I have breakfast with those people every morning.  I start cleaning the stairwells from the top down.  They have an employee’s kitchen, and I will go there and talk with these people all the time.  The 76 people that died there; I knew them all.  So all of a sudden when I see that I start screaming “we gotta go back, we gotta go back!”

Nobody wanted to go back.  The supervisor said: “no Rodriguez—you stay here.” A guy three times my size, a weightlifter, and he’s telling me to “stay here.” And I said “No!  We gotta go back in—we gotta help those people!”  He insisted “No, No, No you stay here now!”

I took the radio from the security guard and I ran inside the building through the basement—all the way again to the North Tower.  There was water all over, because a sprinkler system—why would the sprinkler system get activated on the basement when the plane hit on the top?  Think about it.  Does that make sense?  No.  I find water all over, run straight to the south tower where they have the OCC (operation control center) that was created after 1993.  They spent $155 million to retrofit the building, and to supposedly straighten it out after the 1993 bombing, and to set up a whole security system, the control center.  When I got there and started hitting the window there was nobody there.  There was nobody there—the control center, where they have all the cameras, and the recordings.  Jimmy Barrett was at the other building and didn’t know what was happening so I screamed “you gotta get out, you gotta get out!” He was in the basement of the South Tower.

That gives you an idea—how many people died on the other tower without ever knowing what happened… on the basement.  He just happened to come up from the basement.  I found a lady who worked for the Marriott Hotel standing at a podium at an entrance.  She heard the whole thing.  I said “what are you doing here—get out, now!” …and you know what she said? ”I can’t—I’m a new employee, I don’t want to get fired.” 

“She didn’t know.”

So I pushed her out, ran to the North Tower—there’s water all over.  I found one guy that worked for a recycling company and he said “I hear screams.”  The World Trade Center had 150 elevators in the complex.  I put my ear on one of the elevators and heard two people stuck in the elevators screaming for help saying “We’re going to drown.”  That didn’t make sense—I’m trying to understand what’s going on.  It was all of the water from the sprinkler system going down the elevator shaft, and they got encapsulated—because the elevator went down between the B2 and B3 levels—and they have all of the water up to their waists.

So at that moment, let me tell you—I was never a believer.  I was agnostic.  I didn’t believe in anything.  And at that moment I said “God please help me!”  I looked around and found a metal pipe in an area that was supposed to be clean of construction debris, and I took that pipe and put it between the doors of the elevator and with the help of Barrett we opened the doors.  The doors opened from the middle outwards—up and down—because it was a freight elevator.  When the bottom door hit the floor all of the water that was on my side went rushing in with more power.  And the screaming was worse.  When I looked down it was too deep, and I said again “God, please help me!”  And all of a sudden I remembered that in the area where they have the trash compacters for the building, the electricians always have ladders that they use to change light-bulbs and wiring—they always had them tied up with chains in the loading dock area.  They tied them up because they could be stolen.  I said “let me find one, let me find just one.”  When I got there ladies and gentlemen, the only one that was not tied up was the biggest one of all. That was a miracle by itself. That was there to be used. 

I took that ladder and put it on my back, went inside the elevator shaft and dropped it, went in, opened the grid, and got these two people out.  Salvatore Giambanco,[24] a painter for the Port Authority and a delivery guy.  He was telling me that there was a huge explosion in the basement and there was fire and they tried to cover themselves from the fire. They went into the elevator, and the door closed, and they started going down in the elevator and they lost power.  Those were his actual words.  I got them outside the building, put them in an ambulance and went back into the building.  Everyone said “don’t go back in, are you crazy?”  I got back into the basement and I found one person.  Police officer David Lim[25]—he was in charge of the canine unit and all of the rescue effort for the Port Authority.  And he said:

“Willie, do you have the key?”

I said yes—the master key.  There were only 5 master keys in the whole complex.  The Port Authority had the other 4.  They all left the building; among the first to run out.  This is the master key ladies and gentlemen.[26]

We call this the key of hope, because it gave a lot of hope to people.  I said, “let’s go.”  We go from the basement to the lobby, and when we get to the lobby the firemen are there waiting with the fire access key—the key that they put in any elevator and if the elevator is in the basement it will go up, and if it is on the top it will go down to pick them up.  I said “why are you waiting, there’s no elevator—follow me, I know the best way to go up.” We started going through the staircases.  It was so hard for those poor firefighters because they have so much equipment on their backs, 70-125 pounds of equipment.  As we go up, they started bumping against us because of the people coming down, because the stairwells were not wide enough.

We made it up the staircase, and as we go up, we hear small explosions going off “pah… pah…”—in different areas.  I said to the fireman “what’s that?” and one of the fireman replied “I think it’s the gas tanks from the kitchens.  That did not make sense because it was a Class A[27] building and all the kitchens were electrical.  Where are those explosions coming from? 

Why is this master key so important?  Because Class A buildings—the qualification in New York is that any skyscraper; three doors will not open on the staircases—one will open.  Three won’t open—one will open.  So we have to go and open all of those doors that did not open. 

In [the] 1993 [World Trade Center bombing], the fire department lost so much time breaking doors, trying to get to the floors—that’s why this key was so important.  It opened the whole complex.  The reason I got this key was because in 1996 I fell down the stairwell and I didn’t get help for 3-4 hours—they couldn’t find me. So I did an arbitration case against the Port Authority and I sued for the key, and I got the key—I won. 

As we go up—one thing that people don’t talk about is that… and it breaks my heart [long pause]… is the amount of screams that I heard of people stuck inside the elevators—that we were not able to help.  People screaming for help.  You ask me what is the biggest nightmare I have—I have two, and that’s probably… the one that I recall almost every day.  Every time that I go into an elevator—if I go up to my room over here—it’s just in my mind; listening to those people screaming for help.  And it breaks your heart—it really does.  Those people never had a chance.

So I continue going up—one person tells me: “there’s a man in a wheel chair on the 27th floor that needs help.” I told the fire department I went down two floors to let them know that there was somebody in a wheelchair… and the reason that I went down—remember I have no equipment on my back.  I have no fireproof jacket, I have nothing—and I went down the staircases every day.  So I was in better physical condition than even the firemen.  That was my routine—my job. 

The firemen told me that “we leave the handicapped people for last so that they will not impede the rescue effort of the majority of the masses.”

When we got to the 27th floor the whole unit of firemen collapsed on the corridor—one after the other because they couldn’t continue going up.  It was physically impossible for them to continue.  They took off their equipment, their jackets, their boots and they dropped themselves on the floor.

A very shocking… moment for me because I said “Oh my god—I feel like I have to go alone now.”  David Lim said “Willie do you remember this floor?” I said “yes, I know this floor.”  He said “where can we get water? I said “on the other side—there’s a water machine.” So he said “let’s go.”  He breaks the machine, we start taking bottles of water and start putting them in the trash cans and bring them to the firemen. 

“I remember I called my mother”

…from a phone that was working in that office—my mother is in Puerto Rico.  I wanted to let her know that there was an accident in case she heard something on the news, that I was ok.  When she picked up the phone she said “what are you doing there?” Everybody in the world knew but us what was happening.  She said “get out now!”  I said “I can’t—I’m helping these people.  They don’t know the building.  But don’t worry,” and I lied to her, “I’m going to get up to a certain part—but I’m not going to get to the area where they have the fire.”  My actual intention was to go to Windows of the World and help my friends.  That was my motivating power pushing me to go up to the top.  I knew these people were stuck in there. 

I hang up on the phone and I have calls from my supervisor saying “Rodriguez—abandon the building right now! Abandon the building right now!”  I say “I can’t—I’m helping the fire department.” He said “that’s not your job—get out now!”  I turn off the radio and I continue going up the building… by myself, opening doors, letting people out until I got to the 33rd floor.  When I get to the 33rd floor I had a closet with supplies.  Every 16 floors I had a little closet with supplies, and I went to get dust masks to give to the people that were coming out because of the smoke that was coming in the staircase.  It was an acrid smoke.  It was like ammonium stuck in your throat.  I spoke to professor [Steven] Jones about it—I spoke to experts and they said it sounds like ammonium nitrate.[28]   I’m not an expert on those things.

As I went in to get those masks I found a lady sitting on the floor trembling—no shoes, in a fetal position.  And I said “what are you doing here?  Get out!”  She said “I don’t know what to do.  I don’t know where to go.”  She was a new employee.  That gives you an idea—the World Trade Center did drills twice a year!  Twice a year!  A population of fifty thousand employees.  Come on.  It should have been mandatory training for anybody that works in the building to learn where the exits were.  That’s one of the lawsuits that we are trying to pursue—every building that is over a certain amount of floors should have mandatory training because the turnaround of people getting fired, retiring, and hired is a concept.  At the World Trade Center—imagine, it was a city within a city.  It was a constant.  This lady didn’t know what to do.  I stood her up, put her on the stairwell; there were people coming down and I say “take her out.  Please.”

As I went back inside the corridor, I heard the strangest thing.  Now, on the floor above me, on the 33rd floor, I heard heavy equipment being moved around.  You know the steel dumpsters—when they scratch the floor?  It sounded just like it.  It was the first time that I felt fear through the whole ordeal… because it was an empty floor.  I knew for a fact that it was a hollowed out floor for construction.  There was no walls, no ceiling, wires—there was nothing there.  It was a floor that was emptied out over eight months before.  So there was nobody supposed to be there.  And for me to hear that kind of sound really scared me.  So much that I bypassed that floor—that was the only floor that I did not open the door.  And I continued going up, until I got to the 39th floor.

When I got to the 39th floor from the opposite staircase there were three staircases: A, B and C.  Police officer David Lim came up with two firemen.  As we were talking about what was going to be our next move we hear “Boom!”  The impact of the plane on the other tower. It was so hard that the building oscillated and we practically lost our footing and all of a sudden we hear:


[Pounding his fist for emphasis]   

And on the radio we hear “we lost 65, we lost 65!”[29]  Meaning that the 65th floor collapsed floor by floor by floor by floor!  Up to the 43rd floor—the Sky Lobby.[30]  Five flights of stairs away from us.  And I start screaming “we gotta go up, we gotta go up!”  Officer Lim said “Rodriguez, you’ve done enough.  But you don’t get paid for this.”  And I said “What?  I’m going up.”  And he said “No.  You stay here.  You’re still a civilian and you are my responsibility.”  And I said “sorry. I’m not giving the key to anybody, I’m going up.”  And he said “it’s better if you give me a hand with the person on the wheelchair on the 27th floor.”  And I said “David, I’m going to help you with that, but I’m coming right up after that.”

I ran down to the 27th floor and when I got there I screamed to the firemen “I have orders to get this guy out right now.”  The guy was taken out of the wheelchair and was put on a rescue basket, all tied up.  Three guys stood up and said “let’s go.” We grabbed him and started going down the stairwell.  As we go down it was like the movie “The Towering Inferno,”[31] because chunks were coming down all over us… from the ceiling and the walls.  And then the florescent lights, the long ones—that’s what we had on the stairwells—the building was oscillating so much that you could hear them breaking in unison, floor by floor:

“Clash, clash, clash, clash” 

And we lost visibility as we go down.  Emergency lights: some floors they worked, other floors they didn’t.  Calls for us to get out of the building—we never got them, even though they say that they did make them.  There was a famous lawsuit against Motorola because the radios didn’t work out.[32] As we go down, we make it to the lobby—when I get to the lobby what do I see? 

The elevators for the passengers were open from the bottom like this [clasps hands together with his arms forming an upside-down V shape].[33] The doors, the aluminum doors indicated that something powerful came from the bottom.  You don’t have to be a genius to realize that something was wrong there.  And then, all of a sudden one of the firemen tells me “please go get the ambulance ready.” 

Now, the other tower already collapsed as we were going down.  I remember telling the guy on the wheel chair, “don’t worry—after this we’re going to get a beer,” and he was saying “yes, yes, yes, yes…”  I don’t even drink. [audience laughter].  But I wanted to give him motivation, disposition, and enthusiasm to continue, and I was looking for a way to digest what was happening.  As I was told to get the ambulance ready I realized that the whole area on my left was destroyed.  There was dust everywhere.  The security cameras were hanging by a wire.  That beautiful marble—anybody that went into the World Trade Center saw the marble at the entrance—was all pulled out.  Broke into pieces on the floor, and the only thing that you saw was the cement patches where the marble was before.  I get to the front of the building, the Westside highway entrance—the main entrance.  And as I get there all of the glass is broken into pieces.  There’s not an intact piece of glass anywhere.[34]  There is no revolving door either.

”Don’t look back!”

[Warning: this section contains graphic content.  Skip ahead to next section if you do not wish to read]

I get to the front, and all of a sudden I hear “don’t look back!  Don’t look back!” The police had the area cordoned out on the World Financial Center, almost a block and a half away.  And they are telling me not to look back.

And what do you do when they tell you that?

I turned around and looked back.  I saw the bodies of the people that jumped out of the building.  I saw, like they melted on the floor because of the impact.  And that lady from the 33rd floor that I helped to escape was cut in half because of glass from the top of the building, and it cut her in half like a guillotine.  And I said “God, what is this? What is this?” 

And I hear “Run! Run!”  I look up to the left side and I see the Marriott Hotel almost gone.[35]  Bodies everywhere, and I said “God, please help me!”  And the only thing that I see is a fire truck in front of the building.  And I just slipped right under the fire truck—and all of a sudden the building started to destroy itself on top, and you hear “Boom! Boom! Boom!” and the truck going down.  And I said at that moment “please don’t let my mother see my body in pieces.  Let her recognize my body… please.  Please.”  I just didn’t want my mother to see what I just saw. 

There was silence all of a sudden and this cloud of dust came from all over.  And then I said “I’m not dying of being squashed to death here, but now I’m going to die of asphyxia” because I couldn’t breathe.  You felt your lungs expanding and contracting.  I said “this is going to be a slow death.”  And all I have in my mind was that poor lady cut in half.  The most grotesque thing I’ve ever seen in my life.

“I’m going to die—this is it.”

And at that very moment, I just said “I’m going to die—this is it.”  Many of you heard that I was a magician for 30 years.[36]  I used to do escape acts with the straight-jackets and all those things—one of the things that they teach you is to make it last.  That’s exactly what I tried to do—I controlled my breathing, my concentration and see what happens.  But I was expecting death.

Luckily, CNN, Global Vision from Brazil—they were across the street and they pinpointed the area where I was—“the last man came out from that area.” That’s where they started doing the rescue effort.  I was pulled from the rubble.  They were confused because I had a jacket that says safety 11—it looked like a jacket for the fire department.  They thought I was a fireman.  I stayed within the perimeter continuing to look for people—remember, I’m sorry to be graphical, I went back to the truck to see… if there was anybody there, and I was pulled out in the nick of time because the tires of the truck just blew out when they pulled it out.  So I was saved right on time. I went to the area where they had this bridge that connected the North Tower to the World Financial Center that collapsed on top of fire trucks.  I went under—I saw two boots, I pulled the boots and stayed with the boots in my hand.  And when I look inside I see the legs of a fireman.  And I started screaming and all the firemen came over and started to rescue the body because there was nothing else there. 

I stayed there for hours—I came out just to get water.  That’s when I was grabbed by the news and that’s the news that you saw all over the world over those three days.[37]  They start interviewing me and I start talking about the explosions that I heard, the person on the wheelchair—the whole thing.  That day I did not sleep. Neither did I the following day.  I was being called from all over the world around the clock.  The problem was that the lady from Global Vision from Brazil sent a press release with my phone number on it.  So I was getting calls from Montevideo, Argentina, Kuwait—from all over.  How am I going to pay this bill? [Audience laughter] After they recognized me during that time I organized the families, I made the Hispanic victims group because I saw that the Hispanic community were not getting an equal distribution of the funds given to the victims.[38]

9/11 Commission Report

I went to Congress with a group of families to ask for a commission to be created to investigate 9/11.  When we went over there the President said “we don’t need an investigation—we know who did it.” That was the wrong thing to say to the families because we pushed very hard and we got it.  The problem is that we wanted to have a family member as part of the commission and they said “we don’t want to allow that.” And they never permitted it.  We never had it.  We created the Family Steering Committee,[39] we gave [400] questions to the commission to answer—they [answered 30%].[40] What happened to the other questions?  Then, I was one of the last persons to testify, but they wanted my testimony behind closed doorsEverybody was testifying about 9/11 on national TV.  You remember those hearings.  I testified,[41] and up until that moment I thought that they were going to do the right thing.  When the final report came in—what a surprise; my testimony wasn’t there, even though I was wined and dined by them.  Twenty two people that I made available—firemen, victims, and survivors that had similar experiences to me were never called. 

[Starts playing recordings in Spanish of eyewitness testimony about 9/11 and translates them]

“We were in the basement of Tower 1 of the World Trade Center.  We heard something like a bomb.  And the light turned off.  At the exit door there was this ball of fire that came down and knocked us on the floor.  We were hit by hot air.  The room was full of smoke.  At that moment I believe there was a bomb.  I said ‘Chino, let’s get out of here.’  [Chino said] ‘I can’t get out because my leg was wounded.’  I heard that there was an explosion.  There was hot air, my hair got burnt.”

This was Jose Sanchez.[42]  He was available to testify—he was in the basement. He was never called.  Chino[43] was never called either.

Felipe David survived[44]—he was in a coma for thirteen weeks.  He gave an interview for national television, and his story went all over the world—but in Spanish.  You see, our story in Spanish is perfect.  Put it out there, we’ll cover it.  In English it was totally edited—constantly.

Salvatore Giambanco[45] survived.  His story was never told even though his interview was done for national TV.  Police officer David Lim[46] survived.

This is the reason that we do this. 

“We owe the truth to the victims, survivors and those affected by 9/11.” 

The reason I do this is because I lost 200 friends on 9/11—two hundred people who don’t have the ability to call for the truth.  They don’t have a voice.  I’m alive because of a miracle.  I was sent to the governing institute to train for political office.  When I started asking questions, they all went the other way.  You see, they wanted me to play ball.  The motivation, the disposition and the enthusiasm—I don’t care about anything else—I want the truth.  I’ve been offered everything, like they said.  I had a television show on PBS in New York.  They offered me movies, books, everything—I said “no, forget about it.” It’s not money that I want.  I was homeless—I raised $122 million.  Don’t take my word for it—go on the internet.  Do your own research.  You’ll find it there.  I did national PSA, public service announcements for the community to raise funds.  I never received one penny.  I found myself living under a bridge.  Don’t get by fooled—this is the same suit I had yesterday.  The only thing that changed is the tie.  I do this by donations.  I go all over the world.  We need to get the truth.  Please stand up, take it upon yourself to ask real questions and make a change.  We need activism.  We need you to ask those people in power to tell you what really happened.

They have an agenda.  They have used our tragedy to create this world “war on terrorism” which is just a fallacy.  Everybody else in the world is more prepared and have more information about 9/11 than we do.  Get the facts.  God bless you [Applause and standing ovation].

[1] William Rodriguez at L.A. 9/11 American Scholars Symposium, June 25, 2006. 

This is an edited transcript.  I have not added anything, unless clarification is needed.  Unnecessary words and some small portions have been removed for lucidity.


[3] Warnings are present before the sensitive text in question.





[8] For multiple civilian, news reporter, firefighter and police eyewitness statements about explosions in the World Trade Center Buildings read:

David Ray Griffin, “Explosive Testimony: Revelations about the Twin Towers in the 9/11 Oral Histories”

and here for more evidence:

[9] Mahathir Mohamad, BBC Profile:

[10] Hugo Chavez, BBC Profile:





[15] This statement about an explosion in the basement is corroborated by many other eyewitness statements.  There is also photographic evidence of smoke coming from the basement.

From September 20, 2001 “I… reach World Trade at about 8:50. As we get off the train and go through the hall from the subway tunnel and enter the lobby of the World Trade Center, we see no people and a lot of smoke. At the time I thought there was a bomb in the basement like in 1993. (Once I learn about what actually happened, I'm amazed that that much smoke filled the ground floor of a 110-story building from anything that could happen at 90 plus stories.”

“There is an explosion at the base of the building… white smoke from the bottom… something happened at the base of the building! Then another explosion.” (De Grand Pre, 2002, emphasis added.)  See this white smoke from basement here:

Construction worker Phillip Morelli discusses explosions in the sub-basement of tower 1:

"I go downstairs, the foreman tells me to go remove the containers. As I am walking by the main freight corridor building, in the corridor, that's when I got blown. I mean, the impact of the explosion of whatever happened threw me to the floor and that's when everything started happening… I was going towards the bathroom...all of a sudden. I opened up the door...I didn't know it was the bathroom and all of sudden a big impact happening again and all of the ceiling tiles were falling down, the light fixtures were falling down, swinging out of the ceiling. And I come running out the door and everything...the walls were down and now I start running towards the parking lots... I just assumed a car or something exploded on B1 or something big or heavy thing fell over...when the floor is moving underneath you...”

Same worker talks about explosions in the basements of tower 2—the other tower  I mean, I know people that got killed in the basement, I know people who got broken legs in there in the basement, people got surgery, because the walls hit them in the face." (NY1 News -

[16] This statement is backed up by a tape recording as well as other eyewitness statements.  Listen to these “two different events” here.
Other eyewitness statements:

“Sanchez recalls, 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.  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. 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.’”[16] Jose Sanchez, WTC maintenance worker

Greg Szymanski, "Second WTC Janitor Comes Forward With Eye-Witness Testimony Of 'Bomb-Like' Explosion in North Tower Basement," Arctic, July 12, 2005.

Also in the Basement:

“There was nothing there but rubble,” said Pecoraro. “We're talking about a 50 ton hydraulic press—gone!” They then went to the parking garage, but found that it was also gone. Then on the B level, they found that a steel-and-concrete fire door, which weighed about 300 pounds, was wrinkled up "like a piece of aluminum foil." Having seen similar things after the terrorist attack in 1993, Pecoraro was convinced that a bomb had gone off.” From:

"We Will Not Forget: A Day of Terror," The Chief Engineer, July, 2002.

[17] Felipe David, who had been standing in front of a freight elevator on sub level 1 after 8:30am:
“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 where [William] 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."

[18] A news reports states that he was on B1, not B2.  Although the fact that he was pushed up from below probably indicates that Rodriguez has given the correct account.

[19] William Rodriguez worked on the basement level of the north tower and was in the building when the first plane struck his building.

"We heard a loud rumble, then all of a sudden we heard another rumble like someone moving a whole lot of furniture," Rodriguez said. "And then the elevator opened and a man came into our office and all of his skin was off."


[21] There were many explosions reported: 

"Shortly after 9 o'clock ... [Albert Turi the Chief of Safety for the New York Fire Department] received word of the possibility of a secondary device, that is another bomb going off. He tried to get his men out as quickly as he could, but he said there was another explosion which took place, and then an hour after the first hit - the first crash that took place - he said there was another explosion that took place in one of the towers here, so obviously according to his theory he thinks that there were actually devices that were planted in the building… One of the secondary devices he thinks that took place after the initial impact he thinks may have been on the plane that crashed into one of the towers. The second device - he thinks, he speculates - was probably planted in the building. ... But the bottom line is that he, Albert Turi, said that he probably lost a great many men in those secondary explosions, and he said that there were literally hundreds, if not thousands, of people in those towers when the explosions took place."

"...then somebody said that they saw an airliner go into one of those towers. Then, an hour later than that we had that big explosion from much, much lower down and I don't know what caused that.WMV video download (268kB)

Lou Cacchioli, Firefighter in WTC 1: At that point, Cacchioli found one of the only functioning elevators, one only going as high as the 24th floor  ... "Tommy Hetzel was with me and everybody else also gets out of the elevator when it stops on the 24th floor," said Cacchioli, "There was a huge amount of smoke. Tommy and I had to go back down the elevator for tools and no sooner did the elevators close behind us, we heard this huge explosion that sounded like a bomb. It was such a loud noise, it knocked off the lights and stalled the elevator.
"Luckily, we weren't caught between floors and were able to pry open the doors. People were going crazy, yelling and screaming. And all the time, I am crawling low and making my way in the dark with a flashlight to the staircase and thinking Tommy is right behind me. "I somehow got into the stairwell and there were more people there. When I began to try and direct down, another huge explosion like the first one hits. This one hits about two minutes later, although it's hard to tell, but I'm thinking, 'Oh. My God, these bastards put bombs in here like they did in 1993!'

"I spoke with some police officials ... and they told me they have reason to believe that one of the explosions at the World Trade Center ...  may have been caused by a van that was parked in the building that may have had some type of explosive device in it."

"There's a bomb in the building - start clearing out"..."We got a secondary device in the building"

More evidence of explosions:


[23] see their 2001 website here:

[24] "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." From see also:



William Rodriguez with actor Charlie Sheen: the master key to the North Tower of the World Trade Center.



It is prepared commercially by reaction of nitric acid and ammonia. Major uses are in fertilizers and explosives.


“It took a bitterly fought lawsuit brought by the New York Times to get the Fire Department of New York to release some of its dispatch tapes from 9/11. The NYT requested the tapes in early 2002, got denied, and went to court. When the FDNY lost the fight three and a half years later, on 12 August 2005 it made available 23 CDs, almost all containing audio of radio dispatches, plus transcripts of oral histories and some other text. The NYT posted about one-quarter to one-third of the audio.”

[30] This could be significant because the sky lobby is an important structural location on the tower.

Sky lobbies are intermediate floors where people can change from an express elevator that only stops at the sky lobbies to a local elevator which stops at every floor within a segment of the building. When designing very tall (supertall) buildings supplying enough elevators is a problem.”


The Towering Inferno (1974)

“Plot Outline: At the opening party of a colossal, but poorly constructed, office building, a massive fire breaks out that threatens to destroy the tower and everyone in it.”




“Brian Reeves, a 34-year-old security guard, was nearly killed while making the rounds in the lobby of 1 World Trade Center on September 11. He started to run after hearing an explosion that he said sounded like a missile, but he was knocked down by a fireball that roared down the elevator shaft.

[34] News Footage with Battalion Chief Joseph Pfeiffer:
Narrator: Pfeiffer was the first chief into the building. Right away, a guy from the Port Authority told him ‘the damage was somewhere above the 78th floor’. But all you had to do what look around. It was obvious, something had happened right there, in the lobby.
Pfeiffer: “You just… you just saw that, all the windows were blown out. The lobby… looked like the plane hit the lobby.” Taken from 9/11 - The Filmmakers' Commemorative Edition (2002)

Watch the video for this statement and visual evidence confirming this statement:


[36] "I was a magician for thirty years….It is very easy to do misdirection, to make you look into one place while you're doing the magic with the other hand." Inferring that in plain sight, the planes struck; out of sight, bombs exploded, "It's just a big magic trick," Rodriguez concludes. "It's an illusion."

[37] CNN transcript



The Family Steering Committee (FSC) is an independent, nonpartisan group of individuals who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001.

[40] The actual number is 400 questions.  Rodriguez probably misspoke here.

“The families demanded a full investigation, posing nearly 400 questions to the Kean Commission. The commissioners said they welcomed these queries. But their final report ignored most of the unanswered questions. Still posted on the website of the September 11 Family Steering Committee, these questions are a stark reminder of the Kean Commission's failures.”

The majority of the nearly 400 questions submitted for investigation to the Kean Commission by the September 11 victims' families who lobbied the inquiry into existence (the Family Steering Committee) were not even addressed in The 9/11 Commission Report. (See

See also the movie: for further discussion on this issue.

[41] “I told the [9/11] Commission, there was an explosion that came from under our feet, we were pushed upwards lightly by the effect, I was on basement level 1 and it sounded that it came from B2 and B3 level. Rapidly after that we heard the impact far away at the top.” William Rodriguez, WTC janitor for 20 years in a letter to physicist Steven Jones.  “Why Indeed did the World Trade Center Buildings Completely Collapse?” page 45.


[43] Ibid.  Also see

[44] Rodriguez helped to save Felipe David after the sub-basement explosion.  See previous testimony.  See a video in Spanish with Rodriguez meeting David after 9/11.

[45] Rodriguez saved Salvatore Giambanco from an elevator filling with water.  See previous testimony and this news article.


“I am a Police Officer in the employ of the Port Authority of NY & NJ. I have been such for the greater part of the last 23 years. On Sept. 11th, 2001, our Police Department suffered the greatest single day loss in Law Enforcement history @ the World Trade Center… Upon my arrival on the 44th floor, I started evacuating those on the floor towards my stairway. I heard an explosion & as I looked to my left, a fireball blew out the windows, knocking us to the ground. I knew now that we were under attack & proceeded down the stairway with my people. On the way down, we cleared floors of any remaining employees. On or about the 35th floor, I felt the [building] shake & thought that my tower was collapsing. I then heard on my Police radio that #2 World Trade Center had collapsed & we were ordered to evacuate Tower #1. We kept going down & met up with Chief Romito, Capt Mazza & Lieut.Cirri. They were assisted an injured male on the 21st floor. I advised my supervisors of the order to evacuate & we all kept descending the staircase. On the way down, we were losing our lights & could feel the bldg falling apart…  When we finally emerged, we turned to view the devastation & were struck by the total destruction of the World Trade Center complex.”