WTC 7 and the Barry Jennings Story

NOTE: At the moment this page is ongoing work, but I hope that it still can be useful before it is complete.

Background

Barry Jennings worked for the Emergency Services Department of the New York City Housing Authority. On September 11th 2001 he was among the personnel called up to staff the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) inside the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) on the 23rd floor of World Trade Center Building 7 (WTC 7). When WTC 1 collapsed he was trapped on the 8th floor together with the New York City’s Corporation Consul Michael Hess. After some time they were rescued by firefighters who brought them out of the building. In 2007 Barry Jennings was interviewed by the well-known conspiracy theorists Dylan Avery and Jason Bermas about his experience inside WTC 7. In the interview Barry Jennings gives an honest account of the events that he experienced inside WTC 7. The only problem with the interview is that Barry Jennings had placed the events he experienced that day into a faulty timeline, a simple and understandable mistake by Barry Jennings when he attempted make sense of his experiences in the aftermath. This is something that should be quit obvious to anyone looking into what happened at the World Trade Center that day.  But because of the faulty timeline and a few parts of the interview that it is possible to misrepresent, Barry Jennings ends up as the centerpiece in the conspiracy theories surrounding the collapse of WTC 7. Sadly enough this controversy must surly have clouded his last remaining living year. Barry Jennings died on august 19th 2008. True to form Dylan Avery and other conspiracy theorists immediately added his death to their delusional conspiracy theories, implying that Barry Jennings must have been murdered because he knew too much. One of the big issues for the conspiracy theorists was that they could not find his obituary. But his obituary appeared in the October issue of  NYCHA Employee Bulletin, a bimonthly publication.

The full uncut interview with Barry Jennings can be seen here on YouTube; together with a short interview Barry Jennings gave to ABC7 on September 11th 2001 shortly after he got out of WTC7: Barry Jennings Interviews (WABC-TV, 2001 / LTW, 2007)

Controversies

In the interview Barry Jennings makes the following claims that seems to contradict the established narrative of what happened in and around WTC 7 that day:

  • That he and Michael Hess arrived in the Emergency Operations Center on the 23rd floor before Flight 175 hit WTC 2.
  • That the EOC was empty when they arrived there.
  • That they experienced  an explosion inside WTC 7 that trapped them on floor 8th before either WTC 1 and WTC 2 had collapsed.
  • That he could see both WTC 1 and WTC 2 standing from the 8th floor inside WTC 7.
  • That he could see burning buses and police cars outside WTC 7 from the 8th floor before either WTC 1 and WTC 2 had collapsed.
  • That he heard explosions while he was trapped on the 8th floor.
  • That WTC 2 and WTC 1 collapsed while they were trapped on floor 8th.
  • That the lobby of WTC 7 looked like King Kong had walked through it.
  • That he believed it felt like he steeped on dead bodies when he was rescued out of WTC 7.
  • The claim that the mayor Rudy Giuliani had been in WTC 7 before Barry Jennings arrived before Flight 175 hit WTC 2

Taken at face value the interview seems to contain several controversial statements compared to the well established facts of September 11th, as reported in mainstream media, witness accounts, the NIST reports, the 9/11 Commission report and other reports and studies. But a closer look at the claims made by Barry Jennings and the events he describes in the interview makes it very obvious that Barry Jennings timeline is wrong. The interview contains more than enough information to create a corrected timeline of the events described by Barry Jennings in the interview. In the table below I have corrected the timeline of Barry Jennings

Time  Event  Corrected Barry Jennings Timeline
 08:46  Flight 11 hits WTC 1
 08:46 – 09:03 Office workers begins to evacuate the buildingActivation of the EOC Barry Jennings on his way to work is called and asked to go to the EOC. This could also have occurred after 09:03.
 09:03  Flight 175 hits WTC 2
 09:03 – 09:32 General evacuation of the building by all office workers
 09:32 – 09:44 Evacuation of the OEM and EOC after it is being reported that a possible third plane is approaching
 09:44 – 09:59 Barry Jennings and Michael Hess arrive in the EOC on floor 23. The EOC is empty.
 09:59 WTC 2 collapsesShaking of buildingPower failureElevators stop working Michael Hess describes in an interview:Power failureThe Elevators stop working
 09:59 – 10:28 Remaining personnel evacuates the building including the EMS triage center established in the loading dock on the ground floor. Barry Jennings makes phonecalls to find out what is going on. Told on the phone to leave the building.

Barry Jennings and Michael Hess evacuates down the east stairwell of WTC 7.

 10:28 WTC 1 collapsesLarge pieces of debris hits the south face of WTC 7 causing extensive damage to buildings exterior. Burning debris from WTC 1 starts fires on several floors. Barry Jennings and Michael Hess on floor 6 in the stairwell:The building shaking and the stairwell fills with dust and smoke. Barry Jennings and Michael Hess forced back to floor 8th
 10:28 – 11:59 Evacuation of a WTC 7 security officer trapped on floor 7 Breaks window on floor 8 and calls for helpEvacuated by firefighters during this time frame
 05:21  WTC 7 collapses

As said there are no controversies here when the claims are placed in the proper context together with a corrected timeline. Something NIST did after they interviewed Barry Jennings and Michael Hess in spring 2004. See chapter 5.9 EMERGENCY RESPONSE OPERATIONS AT WORLD TRADE CENTER 7 in:

NIST NCSTAR 1-8: The Emergency Response Operations

This report was published in 2005 in connection with the reports on the collapse of WTC 1 and WTC 2. And the emergency operations at WTC 7 were again covered in chapter 6 EMERGENCY RESPONSE in the final report on WTC 7 published in 2008:

NIST NCSTAR 1-9: Structural Fire Response and Probable Collapse Sequence of World Trade Center Building 7 Volume 1 

The BBC did the same thing when they interviewed Barry Jennings in connection with their program about the WTC 7 conspiracy theories in 2008.

This is something that Dylan Avery and Jason Bermas failed to do when they interviewed Barry Jennings.  Or should we say did not want to do, even though they had researched 9/11 for years.

Witness Accounts from Inside WTC 7

To get an overall understanding of the events inside WTC 7 I highly recommend reading through all the witness accounts from inside WTC 7 I have gathered on this page, especially the accounts of Mike Catalano and Jose Gregori:

When you read through 9/11 witness accounts you should keep in mind that they may contain conflicting information, and therefore they have to be viewed in the overall context of what happened that day. The account of Barry Jennings no exception in regard to this matter. A good background primer is this New York Times article:

Background Information and Further Reading

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