World Trade Center leaseholder Larry Silverstein explains how he narrowly avoided death on 9/11. Instead of being where he normally would have been on that fateful day – in the Windows on the World restaurant at the top of the north tower of the WTC having breakfast with tenants – he was at home preparing for a dermatology appointment at the insistence of his wife when the first plane struck. It was fortunate as well that his son and daughter, both of whom worked with him on the 88th floor of the north tower, were merely “on their way to work” at 8:46 a.m. and were no where near the buildings. One of Silverstein’s top executives, Geoffrey Wharton, also just happened to be one of four people who caught the last elevator down from the restaurant at 8:44. In all, only four of Silverstein’s 100-odd employees were killed on that day, two of whom had been hired only weeks before.
Hmm … well that explains it. But does it strike anyone else as odd that on the second Tuesday after Labor Day virtually no one in this firm is starting work before 9:00 a.m.? When did this slacker culture take over the high-powered world of Manhattan real estate? According to Silverstein his children Roger and Lisa were “on their way to work” when the first plane hit, but this New York Observer piece from 2003 tells a slightly different story:
“After a last-minute breakdown in the front-running bid, Mr. Silverstein’s team won by a hair. His son, Roger, and his daughter, Lisa, were working for him in temporary offices on the 88th floor of the W.T.C. north tower. Regular meetings with tenants in the weeks immediately following their July 26, 2001, takeover of the building were held each morning at Windows on the World. But on Sept. 11, Roger and Lisa Silverstein were running late [bold and italics mine]. Meanwhile, Mr. Silverstein’s wife of 46 years had laid down the law: The developer could not cancel an appointment with his dermatologist, even to meet with tenants at his most important property. If the attack had happened just a little later, Mr. Silverstein’s children would likely have been trapped at Windows. As it was, Silverstein Properties lost four employees in the attack, two of whom had just recently been hired.”
The Observer’s version of events makes a lot more sense than the version Larry gives to Charlie Rose. Think about it. Larry has a scheduled appointment with his dermatologist for the morning of 9/11/2001, so he can’t attend his normal tenant meeting at Windows at 8:00 a.m. So what would have been the logical thing to do? He would have made sure that Roger and Lisa were there to take his place, or that at least one of them was there. But both Roger and Lisa were “running late”, according to the article, so this prompted Larry’s argument with his wife. Having no one to attend the tenant meetings might prompt him to want to cancel the dermatology appointment and head downtown instead. But his wife put her foot down and wouldn’t let him do that, “… even to meet with tenants at his most important property.”
So why does Larry tell Charlie Rose that Roger and Lisa were “on their way to work” instead of “running late”? Well, the answer is kind of obvious, isn’t it? He fails to attend his 8:00 a.m. meeting at Windows on 9/11 for the only time in the month and a half following his acquisition of the property on July 26th, and both of his children just happen to be conveniently “running late” as well? By suggesting instead that Roger and Lisa normally didn’t start work until 9, he avoids highlighting the staggering improbability of the family’s luck on that day, since if any of the three of them had been in Windows when the plane hit, he or she almost certainly would have died.
So if the Observer piece is the truer of the two narratives, and we accept the “official story” of 9/11 as a totally unforeseeable terrorist attack with no inside or advance knowledge on the part of anyone affected, then we’re confronted with the inevitable conclusion that the Silverstein clan are the most improbably lucky group of humans ever to set foot on planet Earth. Not only did all three of them, Larry, Roger and Lisa, fail to show up for work on the same day for, presumably, completely independent reasons, but Silverstein Properties benefitted from a humongous $5 billion settlement as a result of the attacks, having loaded up on “terrorism” insurance on the property when it was acquired six weeks earlier.
And please don’t forget the aforementioned Mr. Wharton, the Silverstein Properties exec who, according to the New York Times, had the extraordinary luck of getting on the last elevator out of Windows at 8:44 just two minutes before the plane struck the north tower at 8:46. Apparently, there is a special Providence for fools, drunkards, and the family and friends of Larry Silverstein.
Perhaps I ask too many questions. Like, how does a skyscraper collapse neatly into its own footprint at free-fall speed without anything hitting it? Which brings us to the next bizarro-world Larry Silverstein interview, in which he claims he told the fire department to “pull” Building 7 on the afternoon of 9/11, a feat which would have been impossible absent carefully planted explosives placed inside the building in the days and weeks prior:
Silverstein doesn’t talk much about 9/11 anymore. Maybe because nothing he says makes any sense according to the known laws of the Universe.