When people talk of the bravery exhibited by ordinary men and women during the traumatic hours of the 9/11 attacks, they are talking about people like William Rodriguez. Indeed, of the many stories of selflessness and courage to have emerged from that fateful day, it would be difficult to find one more heroic than that of William Rodriguez, dubbed the “last man out” because, as a janitor holding a master key to the buildings, he risked his life till the very moment of the Tower’s destruction, helping those trapped inside the Towers to escape.
RAMON TAYLOR: William Rodriguez was working as a janitor at the World Trade Center when the towers were attacked. Using a master key, he ran to open as many doors as he could before exiting and becoming buried alive.
WILLIAM RODRIGUEZ: So they started looking under the rubble, and once I got pulled from under the rubble I was—after, I was in shock. Why? Because I couldn’t find any of those buildings.
SADE BADERINWA: Rodriguez had one of only five master keys to unlock the doors in the middle stairwell and lead firefighters up floor by floor.
RODRIGUEZ: So I went and I picked up the man in the wheelchair and I started going down. The building started to oscillate so hard.
BADERINWA: He saved several lives that day. Then suddenly Rodriguez heard a terrible rumbling like the sound of an earthquake.
RODRIGUEZ: I saw—it was a total disaster. And all I hear is “Run! Run! Run!
BADERINWA: Like so many others, Rodriguez ran from the cloud of debris and dove under a fire truck.
WILLIAM RODRIGUEZ: We went up by the stairs with the Port Authority police to start rescuing people. A lot of people were coming out, but there was a lot of people that stayed there. And we brought a lot of people on wheelchairs and a lot of people on gurneys, all [the] people that couldn’t make it because there was no elevator service. The elevator went out.
REPORTER: The World Trade Center towers were built as a class “A” building. That means that, in the case of a fire, every third floor in both towers is closed to prevent a backdraft. It is the reason that Rodriguez’ master key was so crucial to getting people out.
RODRIGUEZ: It was hard. The amount of heat that was generated because of the fire was coming down. The smoke . . . It was an acrid smoke because you could feel it on your throat.
REPORTER: He saw firefighters carrying a hundred pounds’ worth of equipment on their backs waiting for a freight elevator that would never come. That elevator was demolished. So Rodriguez led them up another way, using a back pathway that only he knew. After the sky lobby collapsed he finally listened to police, who told him to get out. He was not prepared for what he was about to see.
RODRIGUEZ: When I look around I find all the bodies of the people that jump out of the building. They came out of the building and they say, “I saved myself!” And a piece of debris came in and killed them.
As one of the heroes of that day, a man whose story encapsulates all the tragedy and drama of 9/11, William Rodriguez is no stranger to the glare of the media spotlight. Not only has he been interviewed for dozens of news programs and reports on the events of September 11, 2001, and been featured as a spokesman for the survivors at multiple events and on many reports, he has also been awarded for his courage that day and even invited to a White House dinner, where he was honored by President Bush for his bravery.
But carefully curated from most mainstream reports on Rodriguez’ remarkarble story is an equally remarkable fact: This 9/11 hero is in fact a 9/11 whistleblower, someone who has contradicted the official story of the September 11th attacks from day one. According to Rodriguez, the first explosion that he felt that day was not the impact of the plane nearly 100 stories above him, but an explosion below him, from one of the sub-basement levels.
RODRIGUEZ: That morning I was supposed to be there at 8 o’clock in the morning every day. I called my supervisor because I was not going to work, I was gonna take a sick day. Made it there at 8:30 in the morning, go straight to the lobby, down to the basement.
The building has six sub-levels of basement: B1, B2 . . . all the way down to B6. Basement six, basement five, all the way up to basement one were all Port Authority areas. Some of them have parking for tenants, some of them have storage. B1 office . . . B1 level is where they have the support office for my company, the cleaning company, American Building Maintenance.
So I was talking to the supervisor, and at 8:46 we hear “BOOM!” An explosion so hard that pushed 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, the false ceiling fell on top of us, the sprinkler system got activated, and everybody started screaming so loud because they didn’t know what was going on.
And the first thing I’m going to say is that a generator just blew up on the B2 level—the level below me. And everybody’s screaming. And when I’m going to verbalize it, six to seven seconds after, we hear “BAH!” The impact all the way on the top of the building of the plane.
Two different events separated by almost seven seconds. Separated by time. And now, I work in the building for 20 years. I know the difference of the sound coming from the top and one from the bottom.
So when everybody started—”What the heck is going on?”—a person comes running into the office saying, “Explosion! Explosion!” His hands extended, all the skin pulled from under his armpits on both arms. Hanging! And we thought it was clothing—it was part of his clothes—until he gets closer. He was coming like this, like a zombie. “Explosion! Explosion!” And when I looked at him, I realized it was his skin. Like when you take off a glove and you let it hang. And when I get to see his face, all this part was hanging off his face and everybody started screaming in horror. And I say, “Don’t move!” The guy was a black guy named Felipe David. Worked for a company called Aramark.
SOURCE: William Rodriguez’s story
Rodriguez’ story provides startling and credible eyewitness testimony that undermines the official myth that there were no explosives in the Twin Towers that morning. Rodriguez is insistent on a number of points: That there was a loud and distinct noise at 8:46 AM, that it came from beneath them in the sub-basement level and blew them upwards, and that it notably preceded the sound of the plane impact above them. This has led Rodriguez to conclude that there was an explosion in the sub-basement before the plane impacted the North Tower, something which the 9/11 Commission and other official government investigations into the attacks denies.
And, importantly, Rodriguez has been telling this same story—including the same detail about Felipe David—since the day of 9/11 itself.