Sunday, September 06, 2009

Loose Change 9-11 An America Coup: Barry Jennings Interview

Barry Jennings and Mr Hess, two of the men who were stranded in WTC-7 for several hours on 9-11, come in for a bunch of attention in Loose Change 9-11 An American Coup. Here are transcripts of what they have to say in the movie. The first two quotes are from interviews that they gave on 9-11; the final one is an interview Jason Bermas did with Jennings.

Hess: Yes I was, I was, I was up in the Emergency Management Center on the 23rd floor and when all the power went out in the building, another gentleman and I walked down to the 8th floor, where there was an explosion and we were trapped on the 8th floor with smoke—thick smoke—all around us for about an hour and a half. But the NY Fire Department, as terrific as they are, just came and got us out.

Jennings: Well, me and Mr Hess, the corporation counsel, were on the 23rd floor, I told him we gotta get out of here. We started walking down the stairs we made it to the 8th floor, big explosion, blew us back into the 8th floor, and I turned to Hess I said, “This is it. We’re dead, not going to make it out of here. I took a fire extinguisher and I bust a window out. That’s when this gentleman this gentleman here heard my cries for help.

Barry Jennings: Hi. My name is Barry Jennings. Um. I'm 52 years old. Um, I've worked for for 32 years in one location. Basically, that's it. I'm married. Father of 4.

It’s very funny, I was on my way to work, traffic was excellent, I received a call, a small Cessna had hit the World Trade Center. I was asked to go and man the Office of Emergency Management at the World Trade Center 7 on the 23rd floor. As I arrived there, there were police all in the lobby. They showed me the way to the elevator, we got up to the 23rd floor. Me and Mr. Hess who I didn't know was Mr. Hess at the time. We got to the 23rd floor, we couldn't get in. We had to go back down. Then, security and police took us to the freight elevators. When they took us back up, and we did get in.

Upon arriving into the OEM EOC, we noticed that everybody was gone. I saw coffee that was on the desk. Still smoke was still coming up the coffee. I saw half-eaten sandwiches. And only me and Mr. Hess was up there. After I called several individuals, one individual told me that um, to leave and to leave right away.

Mr Hess came running back in. He said: "We’re the only ones up here. We gotta get outta of here!"

He found a stairwell. When we reached the eighth, uh, the sixth floor, the landing that we were standing on, gave way. There was an explosion. And the landing gave way.
And when, I was left there hanging. I had to climb back up. And now I had to walk back up the eighth floor. After getting to the eighth floor, everything was dark. It was dark and it was very, very hot. Very hot. I asked Mr Hess to test the phones as I took a fire extinguisher and broke out the windows. Once I broke out the windows I could see outside below me, I saw, um, police cars on fire, buses on fire, I looked one way, the building was there, I look the other way it was gone.

I was trapped in there for several hours. I was trapped in there when both buildings came down. The firefighters came, they came to the window cause I was going to come out on the fire hose, I didn’t want to stay there it was too hot, I was going to come out on the fire hose, they came to the window, they started yelling, do not do that, it won’t hold you. And then they ran away. See I didn’t know what was going on. That’s when the first tower fell. When they started running, the first tower was coming down. I had no way of knowing that. Then I saw them come back. Now I saw them come back with more concern on their faces. And they ran away again. The second tower fell. So as they turned and ran the second time, the guy said “Don’t worry, we’ll be back for you.” And they did come back, this time they came back with ten firefighters. And they kept asking, “Where are you? We don’t know where you are.” I said I was on the north side of the building because when I was on the stairs I saw, north side.

All this time, I’m hearing all types of explosions. All this time I’m hearing explosions. And I’m thinking maybe it’s the buses that were on fire, the cars on fire, I don’t see no, you know. But I’m still hearing these explosions. When they finally got to us, and they took us down to what, what they, they, uh, called the lobby. 'cause I asked them, when we got down there, I said: "Where are we?" He said: "This was the lobby." And I said: "You gotta be kidding me!" Total ruins. Total ruins. Now keep in mind, when I came in here, lobby had nice escalators, it was a huge lobby. And for me to see what I saw, unbelievable.

And the firefighter that took us down, kept saying, do not look down. And I kept saying “Why?” “Do not look down.” And you’re stepping over people, and you know you can feel when you’re stepping over people. Took us out through a hole, that the, I don’t know who made this hole, in this wall, that’s how they got us out. They took us out through a hole in the wall, to safety. As they were taking me out, one firefighter had fallen, I believe he was having a heart attack, but before that, this big giant police officer came to me. And he says, "You have to run!" I said, "I can't run. My knees are swollen." He said, "You'll have to get on your knees and crawl then.” He said, “Because we have reports of more explosions." And that's when I started crawling. And I saw this guy fall behind me. His comrade came to his aid, and dragged him to safety. Um, I was looking for an ambulance, for my knees and at that time they told me you gotta walk 20 blocks, to a refuge. Before I got there, Eyewitness News grabbed me and started interviewing me. And that’s basically it. (End)

Now there are some obvious problems reconciling the accounts. Hess quite clearly states that he and Jennings were in the OEM when the power went out in the building; this indicates that the time was right around 9:59, as the power went out in WTC-7 (and much of lower Manhattan) when the South Tower collapsed. Jennings claims to have already poked out the windows and attracted the attention of the firemen at that time. It seems clear to me that Jennings has the times confused, that it was when the South Tower collapsed that they tried to evacuate, but in the darkness it took them about a half-hour to get down 17 flights of stairs, when the North Tower collapsed, providing the big explosion Jennings describes.

There are other problems. It never made much sense for me for the fireman to say "Don't look down," if they're stepping over bodies, surely you'd be more likely to trip and fall. Rather it would seem logical to say something like "Be careful where you step." And does it make any sense to tell someone who can't run because of swollen knees to crawl? Or for him to obey that suggestion? If the objective is to get out of there as quickly as possible, walking is surely faster than crawling?

Of course, there are deeper problems with the story; in his BBC interview last summer, Jennings specifically denied mentioning stepping over bodies; unless Dylan is a master at voice-morphing that seems to be untrue.

My conclusion? Jennings probably elaborated on his story over the years, making it more dramatic. Given a chance to tell his tale to the Loose Change boys, he pulls out all the stops. When the BBC comes calling and he realizes that there are real problems with the anecdote as he told it to LC, he denies it. That seems to me to be the most parsimonious explanation.

Of course to the "Troofers" Occam's razor would say that the NWO got to Jennings before the BBC interview, but afterwards they realized that Dylan had the tape of him talking about walking over bodies and they decided he had to be snuffed.

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