The first indication in Manhattan that something other than plane crashes was afoot came with large amounts of white smoke rising from much closer to street level than the plane impacts, before the South Tower fell. This is also shown in Rick Siegel's 9/11 Eyewitness video.
It would be easy to confuse this smoke with the large pyroclastic dust cloud emanating from the WTC site seconds after the South Tower's collapse, which was likely dust reflected up off the south surfaces of WTC 5, 6, and 7, because there is no similar cloud reflecting up off of WTC3, which would be on the right side of the Twin Towers in Rick's video. A demolition charge in WTC 5 timed to coincide with the collapse of the South Tower, perhaps?
At any rate, WTC 6, the Customs Building, was severely damaged before the first tower collapse. From street level, it looked 'blown out'. Viewed from above, it was blown out.
Like this picture showing WTC 6 prior to any collapse, photographer Bill Biggart took one showing a rather damaged-looking Customs Building, just over the red sign "122" on the very left. Is this the stock paint job the Port Authority applied to WTC 6? If not, this discoloration and blown windows could only be caused by either a bomb in the building or falling plane parts, and the global aspect of the discoloration tends to rule out the latter. The heavy parts of "Flight 11", hitting the North Tower directly from the north, penetrated it. Presumably, the light parts bounced off. It is doubtful they really destroyed Building 6.
From the air, a gaping hole can be seen extending down 8 stories into the center of the building. Official reports (link pending) claim that the shape of the crater roughly matches the shape of the outer wall of the North Tower that fell on it.
The Marriott Hotel, WTC 3, struck by falling debris from the collapse of WTC 2 even more devastatingly
than WTC 6, shows a visually very different characteristic of damage. We know the damage to the Marriott is
caused by falling debris because we have
direct photographic evidence of it:
Also see this view of WTC6, which shows a building contrasting starkly with WTC 3.
Is the quantity and shape of WTC1 north wall shards really consistent with the size and shape of the crater in WTC6?
Look at this picture very carefully:
The video Loose Change contains panning footage of the northwest corner of WTC1 with a curious discoloration up from street level, shot BEFORE either WTC1 or 2 collapsed. If this is distorted cladding, claiming it as damage from falling plane debris would be clutching at straws. The damage is so uniformly extensive we suspect intense heat from a thermite event in WTC6 or WTC5 withered the aluminum cladding like so much foil.
Since no official investigation questioned the origin of the damage to Building 6, its determination remains an action item for independent efforts.
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