BBC's Premature Announcement of WTC 7's Collapse
Archived footage of television broadcasts from 9/11/2001 shows the BBC reporting the collapse of WTC 7 about 23 minutes before it actually occurred.
|BBC News correspondent Jane Standley reports that the Salomon Brothers' Building (WTC 7) has collapsed, unaware that the intact building is clearly visible behind her.|
The BBC Bombshell
On February 26, 2007, it was publicized that the BBC had reported the collapse of the building at 4:57 PM on 9/11, 23 minutes before the actual collapse time of 5:20 PM, using excerpts which were apparently extracted from one of 417 streaming video files discovered on Archive.org just four days earlier.
The report is found in the following 1-gigabyte mpeg, which covers the time span from 4:54 PM through 5:36 PM:http://ia311517.us.archive.org/2/items/bbc200109111654-1736/V08591-16.mpg
Portions of the report are transcribed below. The numbers in bold indicate times, in minutes and seconds, from the beginning of the mpeg recording.
03:15 ~4:57 PM: The anchor states:
06:31 ~5:00 PM: The anchor states:
13:20 ~5:07 PM: The anchor states:
14:00 ~5:08 PM: The screen is filled by correspondent Jane Standley standing in front of a window framing smoke rising from Ground Zero and a clearly erect WTC 7.
15:35 ~5:09 PM: The caption on the bottom of the screen reads:
20:15 ~5:14 PM: The image of Jane Standley begins to break up and the anchor, remarking that they'd "lost the line" with Jane Standley, shifts to another report.
This YouTube video captures a portion of the mpeg starting at 00:13:20, and contains an excerpt from another BBC broadcast containing the announcement.
Veracity of Conclusion
Questions prompted by the report include: How do we know what the correct time of the broadcast footage is? and How do we know that the imagery behind Jane Standley is live?
It is unlikely that the real times estimated above are off by more than a minute. The mpeg files are located in directories on archive.org with names that encode times down to the minute. For example, the directory name bbc200109111654-1736 encodes the time range 4:54 - 5:36 PM. No part of the 41-minute recording that contains the report shows a digital clock, but other recordings do, and suggest that the encoding of times into directory names is as meticulously accurate as the set of recordings is complete. For example, an NBC broadcast recording with the directory name nbc200109110954-1036, encoding the time range 9:54 - 10:35 AM, shows a clock with minutes and seconds. It displays a time of 10:20 starting at 25:34 in the recording, putting the start of the recording at 9:54:26 AM.
That Jane Standley was standing in front of a live view of WTC 7 as she describes it in the past tense is virtually indisputable. The high-quality mpeg video clearly shows that she is in front of a row of windows in a tall building.
On February 27, 2007, the BBC's website published a response by Richard Porter in which he reactively denied the suggestion that there is something wrong with the BBC ( whose "vision is to be the most creative, trusted organisation in the world" 1 ) announcing the third of the only three skyscraper "collapses" in world history before it happened.
1. We're not part of a conspiracy. Nobody told us what to say or do on September 11th. We didn't get told in advance that buildings were going to fall down. We didn't receive press releases or scripts in advance of events happening.
2. In the chaos and confusion of the day, I'm quite sure we said things which turned out to be untrue or inaccurate - but at the time were based on the best information we had. We did what we always did - sourced our reports, used qualifying words like "apparently" or "it's reported" or "we're hearing" and constantly tried to check and double check the information we were receiving.
3. Our reporter Jane Standley was in New York on the day of the attacks, and like everyone who was there, has the events seared on her mind. I've spoken to her today and unsurprisingly, she doesn't remember minute-by-minute what she said or did - like everybody else that day she was trying to make sense of what she was seeing; what she was being told; and what was being told to her by colleagues in London who were monitoring feeds and wires services.
4. We no longer have the original tapes of our 9/11 coverage (for reasons of cock-up, not conspiracy). So if someone has got a recording of our output, I'd love to get hold of it. We do have the tapes for our sister channel News 24, but they don't help clear up the issue one way or another.
5. If we reported the building had collapsed before it had done so, it would have been an error - no more than that. As one of the comments on You Tube says today "so the guy in the studio didn't quite know what was going on? Woah, that totally proves conspiracy... "2
2. Part of the conspiracy?, bbc.co.uk, 2/27/07
3. A stunning 48 hours of news, Associated Press,