"If you start evoking their high school physics, they just tune out. But if you can say, look, this was a cop who was on the scene, and he says there was an explosion that was so strong it picked him up and threw him across the concourse — well, they can relate to that." — Graeme MacQueen
MacQueen investigation of blasts reveals minimum of 156 witnesses
It was a treasure trove of evidence, just waiting to be examined.
An intrigued Graeme MacQueen decided to do just that.
MacQueen, a retired university professor and 9/11 researcher, noticed that, even though a full five years had elapsed since the World Trade Center towers were leveled, no one had done a thorough investigation of the eyewitness accounts of explosions that took place on September 11, 2001. He realized that he was well suited to take on such a study, as he had the requisite time, research skills, and motivation.
The Canadian academic got the idea for this project from an article written in early 2006 by David Ray Griffin, titled "Explosive Testimony: Revelations about the Twin Towers in the 9/11 Oral Histories." In it, 31 witnesses to the explosions were identified. While fascinated by the selection of first-hand accounts Griffin presented, MacQueen reasoned that a more detailed analysis of all 503 oral chronicles could reveal even more. Those accounts — from firefighters, emergency medical technicians, and paramedics — had been recorded between early October 2001 and late January 2002.
"They suffered through the thing; many of them are sick now," MacQueen explains. "They can tell me what they saw, what they heard, what they felt — just remarkable. What an opportunity to just get a sense of what it was like that day."