Debunked: Construction worker Philip Morelli experienced an explosion in the sub-basement of the North Tower

Marc Powell

Active Member
As evidence in support of claims of explosions in the basement of the North Tower at the time of the AA Flight 11 crash, conspiracy theorists quote an NY1 news interview with a construction worker named Philip Morelli who was in basement level B4 at that time. At the 45:08 mark in the 2014 David Hooper film, The Anatomy of a Great Deception (viewable in its entirety at ), Hooper presents a brief voiceover from that interview where Morelli can be heard saying:

I mean, I know of people that got killed in the basement. I know of people that got broken legs in there, in the basement, people who got reconstructive surgery because the walls hit them in the face...

Philip Morelli.jpg

Without context, it would indeed sound as if Morelli was describing the effects of an explosion. However, when the entire interview is heard, it becomes clear that what Morelli was describing was actually the impact of a falling freight elevator.

The entire NY1 interview with Philip Morelli can be heard at . At the 1:10 mark, Morelli says:

I go downstairs. The foreman tells me to go to remove the containers. As I'm walking by the main freight car of the building in the corridor, that's when I got blown. I mean, the impact of the explosion of whatever happened, it threw me to the floor and that's when everything started happening. It knocked me right to the floor. You didn't know what it was. Of course, you're assuming something just fell over in the loading dock, something very heavy, something very big. You don't know what happened and all of a sudden you just felt the floor moving and you get up and the walls and then you know. Now, I'm hearing that the main freight car, the elevators, you know, I mean fell down. So, I was right near the main freight car. So, I assumed what that was. Then, you know, I mean you heard that coming towards you. I was racing, I was going towards the bathroom. All of a sudden I opened the door. I didn't know it was a bathroom and all of a sudden the big impact happened again and all the ceiling tile was falling down the light fixtures were falling, swinging out of the ceiling and I come running out the door and everything, the walls were down. And now I started running towards the parking lot.

From what Philip Morelli described, it is clear that the “explosion” he first experienced was actually the impact of a falling freight elevator. And, in fact, Freight Elevator 50 was documented to have fallen into the sub-basement from about the level of the fourteenth floor, injuring its two occupants, when its lift ropes were severed by the Flight 11 crash. The second “big impact” a few seconds later could have been the multi-ton elevator counterweight, that may have plunged more than 1,000 feet before crashing to the elevator pit.

One would expect that David Hooper and his team of diligent researchers, including Technical Director, Richard Gage, would have come across Philip Morelli’s complete interview so they would know exactly what he was really talking about.
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