Friday, September 30, 2005

Last Man Out of WTC Possibly Slated for Mainstream Film Documentary

Emmy winner and documentary film maker, Pat O’Mahony, is pushing hard with HBO and others to film a story of William Rodriguez, the last man out alive of the World Trade Center and declared a national hero for saving hundreds of lives.

“William’s story needs to be told and what he has to say is a great way to lead up to the bigger story of 9/11,” said O’Mahony last week in New York, a day after receiving an Emmy for his acclaimed documentary called ‘Reporters at War.’

O’Mahony, recipient of his first Emmy and originally from Ireland, is now in the process of pitching the story to major studios after meeting with Rodriguez on two occasions, once in London and recently in New York.

“It has all the ingredients. The last man out alive, heroism, his fight for the truth and, of course, his interesting life starting back as a boy in Puerto Rico,” said O’Mahony.

Rodriguez, a 20-year-veteran WTC head maintenance man who had one of the only master keys for the towers, barely escaped death several times on 9/11, as he risked life and limb opening doors and pulling people to safety all the way up to the final seconds before the towers collapsed.

His heroics have been well-documented overseas, also being declared a hero in his home country of Puerto Rico, but strangely the true story of what really happened to Rodriguez in the North Tower has been muffled and silenced for four long years by the mainstream media and the 9/11 Commission.

Not only did the brave maintenance man save numerous lives, but he also claims to have heard explosions coming the sub levels of the North Tower prior to the jetliner striking the top floors.

On the morning of 9/11, Rodriguez and at least 14 other people, all able to verify his story, were huddled in a sub-level one office when an explosion emanating from beneath their feet rocked the lower levels of the tower, cracking walls and rupturing sprinkler systems.

The explosion came a split second before Rodriguez said he heard another more faint and distant explosion coming from high above in the tower, which he later surmised to be the airplane striking the upper floors.

Besides those in the office, at least three other eye-witnesses in the sub levels have corroborated Rodriguez’s story. Felipe David, walking in the sub-level hallway near the office and severely burned moments after the basement explosion was heard, stormed into the office where Rodriguez and the others were still reeling from the explosion, yelling ‘explosion, explosion, explosion!’

Rodriguez then immediately rushed David to safety, where he later was taken to a hospital where he spent more than three months recovering in a coma from severe third degree burns.

Salvatore Giambanco, trapped in an elevator between sub-level one and two of the North Tower, also tells the same story about hearing an explosion in the basement. After Rodriguez brought David to safety, he returned to the North Tower basement, where he then crawled in a darkened elevator shaft, pulling Giambanco and another man trapped after the explosion brought the elevator to a halt between floors.

Still another eye-witness, Jose Sanchez, working on sub level four, came forward with the others, telling the same story about a powerful explosion heard beneath the North Tower.

Filmmaker O’Mahony didn’t reveal whether the documentary would delve into Rodriguez’s controversial statements that contradict the government’s jet fuel theory as being the sole cause of collapsing the towers. But Rodriguez for years has said he never would allow his story to be told without “telling the truth” about what he experienced, even if it leads to proving that the government was responsible for lying and covering up the truth about what really happened on 9/11.

What has troubled critics of the government story and the subsequent 9/11 Commission Report is that the stories of explosions in the North Tower, told by Rodriguez and the other eye-witnesses, has been systematically censored by the government, media and 9/11 Commission.

Even though Rodriguez’s story has been presented overseas unedited in numerous markets, including Europe, South America and the Middle East, the New York Times, Washington Post and all major television networks have kept his story from earshot of most Americans.

Although he recently told his story on ABC radio after the fourth annual 9/11 ceremony at Ground Zero, Rodriguez has documented how the media in this country has either edited his story or censored it completely in what he calls a systematic effort to keep any serious evidence that contradicts the official 9/11 story out of the mainstream news.

“From day one, I have told the same story, never straying from the truth,” said Rodriguez at Ground Zero at the recent 9/11 ceremony held in New York. “I am going to continue to tell my story, trying to get at the truth of what happened at the WTC since the 3,000, people who died on that tragic day, including more than 200 friends, deserve nothing less than the truth in order to preserve their dignity and honor.”

Besides the documentary, First Amendment Publishing, a subsidiary of the American Free Press, is in the process of publishing a book about Rodriguez to be released early next year.

Also, Rodriguez has begun to speak out publicly across the country, recently talking about his experiences at speaking engagements in Hollywood and Chicago. Presently, he is actively looking for sponsors to jump-start what he hopes will turn out to be a nationwide tour.

“I will speak at every church and university in the country if that’s what it takes to get at the truth. The government story is a lie and I know it for a fact because I was there that morning,” added Rodriguez.

Besides the media censorship, the 9/11 Commission finally met with Rodriguez before releasing its 2004 report, but in the final version his story was completely omitted and his name never mentioned.

“Unless there is a cover-up, why didn’t they use my comments or even mention my name,” said Rodriguez, saying all the other statements were omitted from eye-witnesses in the basement who also heard the same explosion.

Rodriguez contends after “not playing ball” with the government who wanted him to change his story or keep quiet, he was systematically black balled, going homeless in 2004.

At one point, living under a bridge while feeling hopeless and destitute with no place to turn, he planned to tie himself to a cross in the middle of Ground Zero to prove his point. But before taking such drastic action, a 9/11 Methodist support group came to his assistance, finding him shelter and providing financial assistance to get him back on his feet.

Even though he now lives more comfortably in Jersey City, his troubles haven’t completely vanished. Recently, after returning from a 9/11 truth speech near Chicago, his apartment was suspiciously burglarized, the thieves taking his laptop containing personal information as well as a camera and jewelry.

By Greg Szymanski

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