On this week's episode of 9/11 Free Fall, host Andy Steele invites New York architect Bill Brinnier to reminisce about his best friend, World Trade Center construction manager Frank De Martini, who died in the North Tower on September 11, 2001. They also talk about how 9/11 Truth is perceived by the world as the 20th anniversary approaches.
We invite you to listen or to read the interview below.
Welcome to 9/11 Free Fall. I am the host Andy Steele today we are joined by Bill Brinnier, he's an architect and a signatory to AE911Truth's petition calling for a new investigation into the destruction of all three World Trade Center towers on September 11th, 2001. His best friend Frank DeMartini died in the attacks in New York on that day. And we've had Bill on the show to talk about that before. We'll be catching up with him now. Bill, welcome back to 9/11 Free Fall.
Hey Andy, it's great to be back and it's great to be chatting with you again about a subject that is near and dear to my heart, especially when it comes to honoring Frank and his heroism on that day. Just thinking about him, which I do on a daily basis, as I miss him dearly. And it's always good to be back talking with you guys.
Right. And we've had you on in the past to talk about it, but it's been eight years worth of shows, and we're always picking up new listeners. So I'm going to ask you tell us again who Frank was and your story about him and yourself, of course, on 9/11 and how you began to question the events in New York on that day.
Well, let me try to give you the CliffsNotes version of my relationship with Frank. We met in college as college students out in Brooklyn at Pratt Institute. We were both in the school of architecture. And he came from South Jersey and I came from up in the Hudson Valley. We hit it off immediately. I think we met in the dorm. It was a big dormitory that most of the students were in, and we were in that together and I don't know somehow we met up and we hit it off immediately. So we finished school, we got involved in the brownstone effort. There was a movement to renovate brownstones and bring the city life back to life again. There was this great exodus during the '50s and '60s down into the suburbs, and in the '70s it began to reverse, and people were coming back into the city, and we got involved in that. And we ended up working together.
We kind of went through our formative years our 20s of watching, in the beginning, watching the World Trade Center come out of the ground and take shape and take form. I can remember one time Frank - we drove taxi cabs and got a little money in our pockets and bought motorcycles - and one night Frank said he was in lower Manhattan and there was this opening in the area where the Trade Center was going up, and they just drove in, he and his girlfriend, on the back. And they went down and down and down. They must've gone down six stories underground, and they were actually under the towers of the Trade Center in the garage. And they got to the bottom and there were all of these FBI cars lined up in a row. They had FBI license plates on them, and they just turned around and high-tailed it out of there.
But that was it; it was just part of our life, and Frank eventually we got our license. We sat for the exam and got our licenses and kind of went off into different directions. And in '93, Frank had a small practice in Brooklyn Heights and was looking to move to the corporate side, which I had already done. And he saw this ad for a position with Leslie E. Robertson. They were looking for an architect member of the damage assessment team to assess the damage after the bombing and the reconstruction in '93. He went on board for a temporary six-month assignment, ended up staying for the rest of his life. He was so well liked and respected by the Port Authority that they eventually hired him.
And at the time of the attacks of 9/11 - I'm going to say quote, unquote attacks - Frank was the manager of construction at the World Trade Center for the Port Authority. And he had an office on the 88th floor of the North Tower. His wife had been on vacation in Switzerland visiting her parents, had just returned, and they were on that fateful Tuesday morning were sitting down for a cup of coffee in Frank's office and she worked in the South Tower. She was still working for Leslie E. Robertson who had the contract to maintain the structure. He was one of the original members of the design team that did the engineering for the buildings in the first place back in the late '60s.
And then all hell broke loose, a plane hit the North Tower. She said it was just amazing they were thrown to the floor, the ceiling tiles fell out. The smoke detectors went off. The sprinkler system ignited. There was water and smoke. It was a real bedlam. And she said the building shook three times, it swayed back and forth three times: womp-womp, womp-womp, womp-womp, and stopped. And according to her it felt like the building did exactly what it was supposed to do. And Frank got everybody together and cleared the floor, put everybody in a corner conference room, went looking for a stairwell that might be clear.
They found one, directed everybody down. Nicole led the team. She was rather anxious that Frank wasn't going to lead the team with her. He said, "No, you go first. I'm going to follow up from the rear. I'll clear the floor, make sure everybody's off and come down behind you." Well, once everybody was off and went down, Frank and one of his buddies, Pablo Ortiz, went up, and they made it to the 89th floor.
They got, I think about 12 people off of that floor. They continued up to the 90th floor and had to break in. That was a difficult one. It was only a couple of floors below the impact zone, and they got six people off of that floor. And they couldn't get any higher up, there was just so much damage, and so they decided to head down and clear the building.
There's an amazing book called 102 Minutes: The Fight to Survive in the World Trade Center. It was written by a New York Times journalist. And Frank was one of the few people who had a working radio. He had a Port Authority radio, so there are many excerpts of his communications during that period of time that are reflected in the book. He's one of the main characters of the book, so it's kind of interesting to read that. You get a feel for how brave he was and what a thoughtful guy he was. He was doing everything he could to clear that building. We're not sure where he was at the time that the North Tower came down.
As far as I was concerned it was blown to smithereens, but he didn't get out. Nicole did. She made it out. And she was near the Brooklyn Bridge, I think, when the South Tower came down. And my daughter was in the Greenwich Village in Washington Square Park watching it from there. It was just a crazy, crazy day. And I was on the Jersey Turnpike heading South. I actually witnessed the... I saw the smoke on the North Tower when the towers first came into sight. And then when I headed South, I got kind of abreast of the two towers on the turnpike. And I kept looking over, looking over away from where I was driving. And I noticed the South Tower exploded in a yellow ball of flame. I did not see the plane I was too far away, I just saw it explode into a ball of flames.
And I knew something was up. It was crazy. I got to the job site down on the Jersey Shore, which was about, I don't know, 30 miles South of the World Trade Center. You could see it. I was in a medium-rise building. So from the balcony of the 9th floor I had a clear vision of the plume of smoke that was rising. And I was lucky enough to have access to the basement of the building where the building staff had a break room, and they had a TV down there. So every once in a while I'd go down and see what was going on, and then I'd go back up, check on the guys to see what was going on. And at one point I went down, I guess it was a little after 10, and they told me that the South Tower had exploded and disappeared. That just did not seem possible to me, knowing what I knew relative to the structure and the design of the building.
It was designed to take the impact of a 707, which was actually as big if not a little bit bigger than the planes that were used that day to try and knock them down. These 707 were four-engine airplanes. They were almost as big as a 747. They were monsters. And so Frank had done a TV show with the History Channel. At his insistence or his prodding he finally convinced the History Channel to produce a TV show, a history of the World Trade Center.
And in that program, Frank talks about the structure of the building and what an amazing feat of engineering it was in terms of being able to resist... I mean110 stories, 200 feet wide, 1,500 feet high. You can imagine what kind of sail that is in terms of withstanding hurricane force winds. Just a tremendous load that an airplane of that size was just a smidgen of that load.
So there was no way as far as I was concerned that the planes could do that. And yet only an hour later, the North Tower came down and I was just stupefied. I didn't know what to think. And we were being barraged by such a constant stream of information that was coming from the mass media, from TV and radio and newspapers and periodicals. Just everything was pointing the finger at terrorists who hijacked airplanes and flew them into the Trade Center.
And I, actually, I have to admit at some point I just kind of gave up and started to buy that story. But it was nagging at the back of my brain that as prevalent as that story was, there were too many holes in it. It didn't really square with the evidence that I had seen.
I kept watching films of the collapses. I'm telling that this is a gravitational collapse and yet I look at these films and you can see the debris flying up and out sometimes 600 feet. It was clearly not what we were being told it was. And slowly, slowly, I started going onto the internet, which was in its infancy at the time. But by 2006, I had seen enough. And there was enough questioning going on that I found... And then I started to say, "I think I was right. That couldn't have been what they told me it was." It just didn't make sense.
And lo and behold, I came across Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth and their "Explosive Evidence" film. I watched that. I sent away for it. As soon as I watched it I immediately signed the petition. I said, "These guys are onto something. They know what's going on." And I contacted them. I got in touch with Richard Gage, who was the originator. He invited me to come down to New York and interview with him because of my relationship with Frank, who was so close to the buildings and knew so much about the structure.
It started a quest for the truth in me that burns stronger today than it ever did. There's no way I'm going to give up. I have to tell you I don't have tremendous optimism about our chances of success in terms of talking our government into instigating a true investigation into the events of that day in New York City. It would be great to have an investigation of the entire situation, what happened in Shanksville, what happened in Washington D.C. Totally different. Related, but totally different from what happened in New York.
And the fact that we had three high-rise skyscrapers that came down, two in short order, the two monster towers, and then a tower. It was roughly half the size of them but still a tower in and of itself. I think someone once said a 47-story high-rise would have been the highest building in 31 out of the 50 states in the United States. So it was not a small building. It was a substantial high-rise steel-structured building. It came down at 5:20 in the afternoon, and we heard about it that day and maybe once or twice the next day, and then it was gone from the news. Nobody heard anything about it. I honestly don't remember hearing about it that afternoon. I was so consumed with worrying about Frank that I didn't really pay attention to what was going on.
And so it really wasn't until 2006 that I learned about Building 7. And Building 7 to my mind is the smoking gun. If Building 7 was destroyed by controlled demolition, which is pretty clear, then the whole mess had to be controlled demolition. If you look at what happened with the towers and how they came down it's inescapable that there were explosives involved. And the more I look at it the more I question that the type of explosive that there is so much evidence of the nano-thermite in the dust. And there was a thin blanket of dust that coated the entire Island of Manhattan, South of Canal Street and a little bit North, I guess. But the entire footprint of that island was coated with several inches of this fine powder, it wasn't a gritty sandy dust it was a fine powder.
How does one explain all of the concrete and all of the glass in that building being reduced to a fine powder? What kind of energy does it take to do that? I have no idea. I'd certainly like to know, but I have no idea what could do that.
And of course, they've closed the book. They had an open comment period, NIST did, when they did their investigations into the destruction of the buildings. But once that open comment period was past, they closed the book, and they don't want to hear any more. But it's too bad for them because we are making them here more. And we've got their request for correction still ongoing that was sent into NIST, and we'll give updates to our supporters when we have more on that.
But to me, it's an open and shut case. It was a controlled demolition. And you don't need an engineering degree, you don't need an architectural degree to look at Building 7 and know that fire did not bring that building down. All you need is two eyes and common sense, and don't let anybody tell you any different. Don't let anybody say that you have to have gone to school for 10 years to listen to your own instincts and your own brains when you watch it come down.
It was right there; we should have a new investigation. It was a reasonable thing that we can ask for considering the loss of life and the Twin Towers and the impact of 9/11. Now, here we are 20 years, almost 20 years, after the event took place. This is obviously a very significant part of our nation's history, even world history.
And I feel that the post 9/11 world has had an impact in terms of the stuff that's right on the surface, the wars, loss of civil liberties, all of that. But also 9/11 Truth, the emergence of it, how that impacted the world too by first talking about 9/11 and then people talking about other issues. And I think a lot of what we're seeing now in terms of needed strife and questioning of government is as a result of the great work that we have done.
So I am hopeful because I see a change happening. It's not a pleasant thing to go through right now, but I don't see what we're seeing as leadership and governance is maintaining their foothold in power. I think we're going to see some changes over the years, and while that's going on we've been reminding people over and over again, planting that seed about this huge lie that was perpetuated onto the American public. So the time will come.
The great thing about the American government is that people shift in and shift out. New people come in. We educate young people that become the older people that fill those seats in Congress. I believe we will one day have an acknowledgement of what really happened. Everybody's got to keep on pushing. But I want to get your idea on 20 years later. In your view how is 9/11 still affecting our world? And why do we need to keep pushing on this?
Well, it's very clear, Andy, that it was a turning point really in the nation's history and the whole world's history. Everything changed on that day. In short order, we had the Patriot Act, we had the Department of Homeland Security, which is a cabinet level position in the administration at the highest levels. There was just absolute major change. And you've got a guy like Edward Snowden hiding out off shore based on his work with the National Security Agency and blowing the whistle on what they were doing. And what they were doing, basically spying on all of us, was a direct result of what happened on 9/11. And it continues today. All of the things that were supposedly put in place on a temporary basis seemed to become permanent based on a lie.
The fact that we were brutally attacked by ruthless terrorists on 9/11 It certainly would appear that that was the case, but it certainly seems to me to be a false flag event. We've been labeled as conspiracy theorists, nut case conspiracy theorists.
The term conspiracy theorist has been totally weaponized and is used to instill distrust in the general populace of anyone who questions the official story. We're now living in a corporatocracy that is not the democracy that people are taught in school that we live under. It's not the case. It's certainly not what it's cracked up to be. It's not what we're led to believe. The reality of it... You had a guy on the other day, John O'Malley the activist and he basically... I thought he did a beautiful job putting his finger on the pulse of that, that we live in a world that's controlled by people that are not elected to a government that supposedly governs and rules what happens in this country.
Those people that are elected and do create the legislation and enforce the legislation and the judiciary, they are all doing the calling of a certain select few. It's called the 1%. There's no other way to put it. And it's actually quite a bit less than the 1%. If anything it's the 1/100th of 1%. It's a very select small group in this country that controls the wealth, that controls everything that happens in this country and for that matter in the world. I see what's happening or what happened with 9/11 as a crucial moment for them. It was that Pearl Harbor event that they needed to guide in a quick fashion the direction of legislation, the direction of the country, the direction of where we were going in terms of the economic system, how it works.
You had a guy like George Bush that at one point admitted that we couldn't exist without war. We needed a permanent war. We needed a never-ending war. And we certainly got that with 9/11. It hasn't ended since, and we've been at war for 20 years. And things change and everything stays the same. We learn in the history books about the Hundred Years' War and all of... So many Thirty Years' War all these tremendous long wars that took place in the past and how much has things changed? What's changed is technology. Other than that, human nature continues to yield the same results. There is a select powerful group at the top that control everything, and the rest of us do the best we can to fend for ourselves.
And I have to say that I am actually starting to become optimistic based on where technology is taking this younger generation. These are kids today that are in college that weren't born 20 years ago when the World Trade Center disappeared on that beautiful September day weren't even born. And today a lot of us don't understand they have a different way of looking at the world. They were raised with computers. They were raised with an internet. They were raised in a world that is exciting to those of us that grew up in the '50s, '60s, and '70s, like me. It's extremely exciting. There's so much going on. But these kids, they have a different way of looking at life, and they're very demanding.
They look at things, and if it doesn't make sense to them they question it. They reach out and they demand change. So I think we're going to see some change, and we've seen a lot. We've made a lot of progress. Mr. O'Malley talked about the fact that the powers that be seemed to be hedging their bets and stepping back a little bit, I don't know. I was raised, as I said, in the Vietnam War era. And I took place or I took part in that fight to end that war. I remember going down to Washington as a college student. Frank stayed back; he didn't go with me. But I went with a bunch of other people and got arrested in Washington, and it was a crazy time. And we did stop that war.
And it just appears to me like the powers that be went to school on that. They learned a lot from that experience. They got rid of the draft, they stopped showing pictures of wars on TV. They retrenched, and they figured out how to get around that. They weren't going to let that happen again. That was a tremendous blow to them. And O'Malley talked about JFK. To me that was clearly a coup d'Ètat. He had to go. He had the unmitigated gall to try and direct things and make things happen in his way to meet his vision of what the world should be, of what the United States part in that world should be. And it didn't mesh with what the powers that be wanted.
And they had they had a guy waiting in the wings. They had Mr. LBJ, Lyndon Baines Johnson, who was more than happy. It was the one thing that he lived for was to be president. And he did their bidding for a while, and then when came time for him to stand for his second election he dropped out. Suddenly he dropped out. He'd had enough. That war had just done him in; he couldn't take it anymore. And he left, and then we got Nixon. And the rest was history.
But there was this progression that happened after Vietnam. That was 1975 when that ended. And Nixon went down in flames with a resignation, which shocked the nation, shocked the world. Nobody thought that could happen, but they patched things together, and we had the end of the Cold War. There was a lull in the military industrial complex that had to be rectified.
And I think 9/11 was the culmination. They tried in '93 with the bombing. That didn't work. They needed something more intense and they got it with 9/11. It was exactly what they were looking for. I have to say that what happened that day, all the things that went wrong for those guys, who knows when... I have a feeling that Building 7 was supposed to come down in short order, and something went wrong. I don't know what the hell went wrong but something went wrong. There were all these things that went wrong, but they just kept covering it up and moving forward with their plan to hoodwink the people of the nation and the people of the world.
It was beautifully planned. I have to give where credit is due. What they did was phenomenal. It was just unbelievable and it would be nice to know how they did it, how it was brought off. I think it would be a complete surprise to all of us, the level of technical know-how and the brilliance of new technology that they used to make those buildings come down the way they did, so beautifully within their own footprints, cut up and ready to go. Everything... So much went well. A lot of things went wrong, but enough went right that they were successful, and they got done with what they needed to get done.
Bill, you're fascinating to listen to. Unfortunately, we're out of time. So thank you so much for lending your voice to the call for a new investigation and for coming out when you do. And thank you so much for coming on 9/11 Free Fall today.
Thanks, Andy. It was a real pleasure.