The Man Who Predicted 9/11   View more episodes

Aired at 07:00 PM on Thursday, Sep 09, 2010 (9/9/2010)      View all transcripts from this day


00:00:00There's no security guards.
00:00:02Trucks are driving in and driving out.,, And I said, "This is it." I said, "You can walk in h with anything.
00:00:10You can drive a truck in here." And he said, "So this is what you'd do?" And I said, "Sure, you steal a truck.
00:00:18You paint it with 'ABC Office Supply' on it.
00:00:20Drive it in here loaded up with demo.Park it right over there near those main support columns, and light the thing off." >> narrator: Rick also hired another friend to work in what became known as "Team Rescorla," whose mission was to protect the World TradCenter.
00:00:37He was writer Fred McBee.,, >> It was fun, in our later years, to be a consultant on Team Rescorla, and that's what we called it.
00:00:47Rick had a cadre of friends and soldiers, bankers, writers, politicians, a variety of people that he would call upon to tap into them, try to get the big picture.
00:01:04>> narrator: On February 26, 1993, terrorists detonated a truck bomb in the basement of the World Trade Center.,, Despite Rescorla's warnings and attempts to improve security, it remained a soft target.
00:01:19>> I was on the phone to Rick when the bomb popped under him.
00:01:22I heard something, and he said, "Oh, gotta go." Of course, I turned on the TV and saw what had happened.
00:01:30Didn't hear again from him for two or three days.
00:01:34In the meantime, he had called Dan Hill, because when the deal goes down, he calls Dan Hill.
00:01:41>> I got the call from Rescorla.
00:01:42And I said, "Are you okay?
00:01:44Did it hit your floors?,, Did it tear up any of your offices?" He said, "The blast did not." He said, "The stairways are full of smoke, and I'm getting the people out." And he said, "Damn it, they didn't listen to me." >> narrator: In spite of Rescorla's best efforts, the evacuation of the World Trade Center descended into chaos, with thousands trapped for hours in their smoke-filled offices.
00:02:12Six died and 300 were injured.
00:02:17This was the first major,, terrorist attack on the United States, and it had seriously damaged one of New York's most iconic buildings.
00:02:26>> narrator: Rescorla resolved that this must never happen again.
00:02:30He was among the first to understand that the new terrorism was rgrgeting innocent and unprotected office workers.
00:02:37He introduced a new evacuation plan for Morgan Stanley Dean Witter.
00:02:43>> After 1993, you really got a chance to get to know Rick Rescorla, because right from the beginning of the post '93 period, you realized that,, there was a different agenda.
00:02:55The agenda was you had to prepare to never let that happen to you again, never let your people at risk.
00:03:02And I think he took it very personally.
00:03:06>> narrator: While the bomb-damaged building was being repaired, Rescorla's team were already predicting when the next attack would happen and where it would come from.
00:03:15>> After the '93 bombing--this is ironic in a way--we began to refer to the World Trade Center as ground zero.
00:03:24And this was our shorthand nickname for the place.
00:03:28We knew another attack was very likely, at least that was high on Rick's radar.
00:03:35>> narrator: Rescorla brought his security consultant Dan Hill back to New York to assess the situation.
00:03:42>> He brought me back up as a consultant again and said, "Okay, where do we get hit from next?" And I said, "Well, I think they're going to come back,think they're going to try and hit you again.",, And he said, "Well, how?" And I said, "Well, obviously it won't be from the ground.
00:04:04Those doors are shut.
00:04:05It's covered.
00:04:07It's got to be from the air." >> narrator: Rescorla asked Fred McBee to look into the possibility of an air attack.
00:04:16>> I was running my flight simulator on the computer, on the phone with Rick, and we were discussing how feasible is it to fly a plane into this building with a load of explosives.
00:04:29Well, it was a piece of cake.
00:04:30You know, there's nothing to,, stop you, you know, once you're in the air.
00:04:35We flew around the Manhattan area.
00:04:37We made a strike on the Statue of Liberty, hit the World Trade Center, Empire State Building.
00:04:45All of this was just obviously feasible.
00:04:49>> narrator: Rescorla did everything he could to improve emergency and evacuation procedures.
00:04:55He lobbied the Port Authority, who owned the building, but he had most influence with his own company, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter.
00:05:03>> One of the things that was,, pretty well documented was, after 1993, Rick believed that it wasn't over.
00:05:13Our whole company was trained to ery well, probably because of a vision he had about the future that most of us never would have envisioned.
00:05:24His vision was that it was going to happen again.
00:05:28>> narrator: Rescorla's campaign for a tightening up of security procedures at the World Trade Center was successful.
00:05:34>> This is a test of the World Trade Center-- >> narrator: He appointed fire wardens who worked closely with security staff.
00:05:40He helped ensure there was fail-safe lighting and smoke extractors in the emergency stairwells, and he insisted that everyone, even top executives like John Olson, took part in regular fire drills.
00:05:54>> We had frequent drills.
00:05:56It seemed to me that we had them every three months or so.
00:06:00And you can imagine, you come to work, and you'd be involved on the telephone or dealing with something, and all of a sudden there was a fire dri .
00:06:08That meant you had to drop what you were doing, leave your office, take the stairwell down.
00:06:12You know, people knew exactly what to do.
00:06:16>> narrator: People's memories of the horror of the '93 bombing were fading, but Rescorla remained dedicated to the evacuation plan that he believed would one day save their lives.
00:06:28>> Rick made them do these drills, and, you know, as time passed, people thought, "Oh, well, this was a one time thing.
00:06:34We don't really need to worry about it anymore." And he was fanatical about it.
00:06:38He always thought the tower was vulnerable, and he always thought it was going to be a target.
00:06:44>> narrator: By 2001, Rick was becoming known in Morgan Stanley as the man who predicted another attack on the World Trade Center.
00:06:52But nobody knew the truth about who he really was and how he came to be there.1 1 ) - The Man Wh,,VE CUSTOMER, our concierge claim centers.
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00:08:28THTHC3// ) - The Man WhnDnD[[áqáqv;v;GñGñHLhihi (1 HR) - The Man Wh,,,, >> narrator: When the World Trade Center came under attack, he died saving the lives of those caught up in the tragedy of 9/11.
00:11:10Rick was hailed as an American hero, but few knew that he was, in fact, an Englishman.
00:11:18[gentle trumpet music] ♪♪ ♪♪
00:11:21When the United States joined Britain in the fight against Nazi Germany in the Second World War, Rick was a young boy growing up in the Cornish town of Hayle.
00:11:32The Americans were heroes to the local children.
00:11:35Most boys dreamt of one day being a soldier, but Rick wanted to be an American soldier.
00:11:42>> He was very taken with Americans from the,, Second World War.
00:11:46When he was a little boy, Americans came through his town, Hayle, and he had a favorable impression of them back then.
00:11:55>> narrator: The GIs fired his imagination, and the Allied victory left him with an abiding image of America as a heroic and romantic nation.
00:12:04In comparison, England seemed rather dull and uneventful.
00:12:08As he grew older, he began to talk like an American and dropped his original name of Cyril.
00:12:14He wanted to be called Rick.
00:12:17>> I do think, probably, his decision to call himselficick was picking up on an American nickname that sounded very rugged and masculine and adventurous.
00:12:30He never liked the name Cyril, even before, I think, he met the Americans.
00:12:34For some reason it didn't appeal to him.
00:12:39>> narrator: Rick's dream of becoming an American soldier came true when, after distinguished service in the British army, he volunteered to fight in Vietnam in 1965.
00:12:50Aged 26, he became second,, lieutenant in the legendary U.S. 7th Cavalry.
00:12:56He won a string of awards for heroism, including the silver and the bronze stars.
00:13:03>> We developed a team spirit, and, "hard corps" was our motto, and we tried to live by it.
00:13:11You know, share your last r.
00:13:14Share your food.
00:13:16Never leave a man behind.
00:13:19>> narrator: Rick's closest comrade, whose life he saved, was Dan Hill.,, >> If Rescorla had one flaw as a combat leader, in my estimation, it was that he got too close to his men.
00:13:37That great curiosity he had got him to know every man.
00:13:41He knew where they were from, where they went to school, if they were married, how many brothers and sisters they had-- all about them. to do that, because I knew a certain amount of them were going to get shot up something horrible or killed.,, And I didn't want that close tie and the emotional loss that went with it.
00:14:05>> narrator: Rick's devotion to the men under his command earnedt and loyalty of his fellow soldiers.
00:14:14>> Rick loved his men.
00:14:15He took the death of a soldier under his command very, very personally.
00:14:22He seemed to blame himself. I was very surprised that when I got the names of all the people in his platoon originally, to discover how few casualties there were in his command.
00:14:38Some of these units, the survival rate was less than 50%.
00:14:42I believe Rick only lost six to eight men out of his units.
00:14:48And yet every one of those was like a wound to his heart that he never forgot.
00:14:53>> narrator: One of the bloodiest battles involving Rick's platoon was at Ia Drang, the Valley of Death, in November 1965.
00:15:01Despite Rick's heroics, he lost some of his closest friends.
00:15:05>> Took the dead bodies, and there were a lot of them, I can remember vividly two individuals had been linked together.
00:15:13It seemed that one of them had been shot and was trying to get away.
00:15:17Another linked his arms around this fellow and had been moving him out, trying to carry him.
00:15:24And they'd both been shot in the back.
00:15:28Rigor mortis had set in-- a poignant scene of these individuals, a man and the man who tried to save him, dead in each others' arms.,, >> narrator: After two years of fierce fighting in Vietnam, Rick could never again face the horror of battle.
00:15:43But he could fulfil another dream.
00:15:46He was now eligible to be an American citizen.
00:15:49Proud to be a true American, he became Dean Witter's security chief at the World Trade Center.
00:15:57s not aware of his wartime experience in Vietnam.
00:16:03He didn't bring that up.
00:16:05He had a very nice side to him, but there was sort of a steely part of Rick.,, >> narrator: The steely side of Rick was clear for all to see in the way he dealt with the chaos and panic following the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.
00:16:24>> There's a certain calmness about some people, to be able to handle great stress and trauma and still keep your thoughts and your mind organized to do the right thing, and he was one of those people.
00:16:39>> narrator: Rescorla's tough security measures did not endear him to everyone, but after the 1993 attack, he gained more authority.
00:16:49>> All of the grumbling and groaning about it haened before that '93 bombing.
00:16:55When the '93 bombing came along and the stairs were full of smoke and people were terrified of losing their lives, that gave Rescorla credibility with his superiors and with that 3,000 employees also.
00:17:09>> narrator: Despite improvements in security, Rescorla was still convinced that the World Trade Center remained a target, so much so that he tried to persuade Morgan Stanley to move out.
00:17:21Then, in the summer of '98, at the age of 59, Rick fell in love.
00:17:27>> He was just, he was my sweetheart.
00:17:29He was the love of my life.
00:17:31And how he made his living was in security, but how he led his life was a man of passion.
00:17:40He was this very special person who just loved life.
00:17:43He was a song and dance man.
00:17:44He was everything.
00:17:46He was a magnificent person all wound up in one person.,, And he was all mine.
00:17:56>> narrator: Rick found happiness when he married Susan, but he was still haunted by the recurring nightmare of Vietnam and by his fears for the safety of the men a at the World Trade Center.
00:18:12>> He couldn't sleep the week before September 11th, some nights, and he got up, and he was scribbling in a notebook.
00:18:18And in that, it's clear he was still preoccupied with those lives that he had lost.,, And I think, in some sense, to go back into the tower to save people under his command was his way of redeeming those lives, of making up for what he thought was his failure in losing those men in Vietnam, that if there was a life to be saved, Rick could not walk out and be called a hero.
00:18:47>> narrator: This was the moment Rick had predicted and prepared for.
00:18:51Now he knew what he had to do.,,,,,,,,,,,,OO!
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00:22:59>> narrator: It was 8:45 a.m.
00:23:01on September 11, 2001.
00:23:04Some of the Morgan Stanley Dean Witter staff,, were returning after their summer break.
00:23:10Their offices on the 44th to the 74th floors of the World Trade Center tower two were filling up fast.
00:23:18Jack Kemp was already in a meeting on the 71st floor.
00:23:23>> There was a feeling of an explosion or a rocking sound, but nothing of major significance.
00:23:32>> I was straight across the table from Jack, and I just looked him in the eye and said, "That wasn't good, was it?",, >> narrator: Very few people saw tower one of the World Trade Center hit by a plane, and Morgan Stanley staff continued to stream into tower two.
00:23:56But when smoke and flames were seen coming from the tower opposite, there were rumors of an explosion.
00:24:03John Olson was on the 69th floor.
00:24:06>> I was reading my mail, and all of a sden the sky was full of papers, like 8 1/2x11 papers.
00:24:13At least, that's what they looked like.
00:24:15And they were going up instead of going down, and they were on fire.
00:24:20>> And John walked in, and then people from other departments started coming in to look out the conference room.
00:24:27And we were all wondering what was this?
00:24:32>> narrator: In his offices on the 44th floor of tower two, Morgan Stanley security chief Rick Rescorla knew something serious was happening.
00:24:41He had predicted an attack and had trained his staff to leave the building as soon as they sensed danger.,, This was already happening on the 71st floor.
00:24:52>> My people had all been there in 1993, and, you know, if you slammed a door very loud on our floor, a lot of those women would have their shoes on and be ready to go out of the building anyway.
00:25:01>> We all just stood up.
00:25:02We said, "Leave everything, and let's go." We didn't wait for any announcements.
00:25:09>> narrator: 8:50 a.m.: television networks picked up on the story of the fire in tower one, and the phones started ringing at Morgan Stanley as worried relatives called to check that everyone was okay.,, Barbara Williams was Rick Rescorla's colleague in security.
00:25:24>> The phone rang, and it was Mrs. Rescorla.
00:25:28She called to ask what was going on.
00:25:33>> She said, "Oh, don't worry.
00:25:34Don't worry.
00:25:35I think there's a fire in the north tower, and Rick's getting everybody out.
00:25:39You know, everything's fine." And we hung up.
00:25:44>> narrator: Minutes after the plane struck, Rick Rescorla rang his old friend Dan Hill.
00:25:50Rick already suspected it was a terrorist attack.,, >> I got the call from Rick.
00:25:57"Are you watching TV?" I said, "Yeah." He said, "You know what's happened?" I said, "Yes." d, "What do you think?" I said, "Could be, could not be, but I'd get the hell out of that building, get my people out." And he said, "I'm already doing that.
00:26:12I'm evacuating." >> narrator: 8:55 a.m.: Susan Rescorla was at home watching the television when the phone rang.
00:26:22>> Suddenly I get the call from Rick, and he's on his cell phone.,, From the moment it happened, Rick knew that it was a terrorist attack.
00:26:33And so I, of course, was just crying and crying, and he said to me, very calmly, he said to me, "Stop crying.
00:26:41I have to get everyone out." >> narrator: The fires in tower one now blazed out of control.
00:26:49The predicted air attack that Team Rescorla member Fred McBee had simulated on his computer was happening.
00:26:56>> My daughter called me and said, "Turn on the TV." And when I did, it was like,, déjàà vu.
00:27:04In other words, I was expecting it.
00:27:06It wasn't even a surprise.
00:27:09And that's an odd feeling.
00:27:11[sirens wailing] >> narrator: The emergency services rushed to the scene from the moment the plane had hit, but it already seemed they were too late.
00:27:23New Yorkers watched and listened, spellbound, trying to make sense of the tragedy that was unfolding.
00:27:31Those who worked on or above the 93rd to 99th floors hit by the,, aircraft were trapped.
00:27:37There was only one way out.
00:27:41>> I actually started to just check my floors, knowing that my people were leaving, and so as I went around the floor, I was able to find one or two people, ironically, on the side that faced tower one where you could see flames coming out, and you could see people clinging to the edges of windows and some people jumping already, because the fire was so intense on that floor.
00:28:04And we found some people that were still there, almost like, moths looking at a light.
00:28:10>> When I looked up, I didn't know what was falling until you really looked and you saw arms and legs.
00:28:17You didn't hear anything.
00:28:20It was a sight that I never thought I'd see, people jumping from buildings.
00:28:27>> narrator: While the fire in tower one was spreading, tower two seemed relatively safe to Bill McMahon, who was on the 69th floor.
00:28:35>> There were a lot of reasons not to leave the building.
00:28:38And there were a lot of things gog a lot ofalls y'd,, want to make and things you needed to do.
00:28:43But there was one reason to go.
00:28:45Rick said, "No matter what happens, the first thing you do is, you get in that stairwell, and you get out of the building.
00:28:51Forget everything else.
00:28:53Nothing else makes a difference.
00:28:54All you do is get out of the building." >> narrator: Also on the 69th floor was Patti Monachino, who wanted to wait for her boss John Olson before leaving.
00:29:04>> Bill McMahon just pushed me into the exit door to leave.
00:29:10And we started to go down.
00:29:12But I knew I left John on the,, 69th floor.
00:29:17>> narrator: John Olson was on the phone to his son John, who was a fire warden on the 60th floor.
00:29:22>> Phones were ringing off the hook, so I was the only one in my departmennd I remember putting my son on hold.
00:29:29I said, "John, hold on a minute." And I'd pick up the phone.
00:29:32It was somebody calling up who had seen it on TV and wanted to know, you know, what was going on.
00:29:37And when I got back to the phone, my son said, "Dad, don't put me on hold again.
00:29:41You stay on the phone." And I asked him, I said, "Did you get all the people out of your floor?" And he said, "Yes.",, I said, "Well, we got everybody out of our floor as well." >> narrator: 8:55 a.m.: an announcement was made not to evacuate tower two.
00:29:58This was so that the rescue operation in tower one could continue unimpeded.
00:30:03Patti Monachino had reached the 44th floor on her way down.
00:30:08>> The announcement came on that everything was fine.
00:30:12Tower one they were evacuating, but tower two was fine, and we could go back to our offices.
00:30:18I knew John was on 69., I wanted to go back up.
00:30:24>> narrator: The announcement came from the Port Authority, who managed the World Trade Center and were ultimately responsible for its security and safety.
00:30:32People were now in two minds whether to go or stay.
00:30:35Camille Prelli worked on the 56th floor.
00:30:38>> We started to get on the elevator to go down, and someone was getting off.
00:30:41He said, "What are you doing?
00:30:42Port Authority is just telling us to stay.
00:30:44It's safe and secure." And we walked back to our desks again.
00:30:48First, we just looked at each other, and I said, "Well, all right, let's just..." So we went back.
00:30:52We answered a couple more phone calls, and I said, "Sue, we have to get out of here.
00:30:55Rick said evacuate.
00:30:56We're still here.
00:30:57We're not accomplishing anything." And she said, "You're right.
00:30:59I can't take it anymore." And we just left.
00:31:02>> narrator: Still worried about leaving her boss John on the 69th floor, Patti Monachino wondered whether to take the elevator back up to look for him.
00:31:11>> As I was about to enter an elevator, some lovely lady pulled me by the arm, and she said, "Don't you remember '93?" And I looked at her, and I said, "Yeah." She said, "You have to leave right now.
00:31:29You have to go." And I said, "But--" you know, I knew John was upstairs, and I'm going, "But I think I'm going to go up." And she said, "You have to leave." >> narrator: But Patti knew John Olson was still on the 69th floor and didn't want to leave the building without him.
00:31:46>> But I remember telling my son, I said, "Well, John, stay there and answer the phone.
00:31:51A lot of people are concerned about what's going on.
00:31:54Answer the phone and, you know, maybe we'll get together for lunch later.",, >> narrator: The police now suspected that tower one had been targeted by terrorists.
00:32:06Rick Rescorla had been planning for just such an attack and was well-prepared to evacuate his staff.
00:32:13But even he could not have foreseen that tower two would also come under attack just 16 minutes after the first.
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00:36:15MaMaWh,, >> narrator: When the second plane hit tower two of the World Trade Center, Jack Kemp was still in his office on the 71st floor.
00:36:40The plane entered the building above him, between the 78th and 83rd floors.
00:36:45>> My wife was talking to me on the telephone, and she actually watched the plane hit the building on theTodayshow and heard the explosion over my telephone.
00:36:58>> narrator: Morgan Stanley occupied the 44th to the 74th floors of tower two.
00:37:03Even down on the 44th floor, where Patti Monachino had stayed, there was a huge impact, and the whole building swayed.
00:37:13>> Things just exploded everywhere, everywhere.
00:37:17It was the loudest boom.
00:37:19I saw, like, shades of silver.
00:37:22I don't know what that was, but the loud--it was a deafening sound.
00:37:26It threw everyone to the floor.
00:37:28>> narrato Kathy Comerford was also on the 44th floor with Rick Rescorla.
00:37:32>> When the impact happened,,, I was blown out of my shoes, and I hit the marble wall where Rick was standing.
00:37:39And Rick and I both were knocked to the floor.
00:37:41At all times, even on the floor, I was within inches of Rick.
00:37:46He was on that bullhorn, in the pitch black, reassuring people that the lights would come on.
00:37:51"Just stay calm.
00:37:52Don't panic." >> narrator: Rick avted any panic, guiding everyone away from the disabled elevators to stairwells A, B, and C.
00:38:01There, he supervised an orderly evacuation out of the building.
00:38:06>> No one knew what was,, going on.
00:38:08We wjust walking.
00:38:08And then I saw Rick.
00:38:09And when I saw Rick, it was like, "Oh, there's Rick, okay.
00:38:12So this is good.
00:38:13It's a good thing." Rick wasn't smiling, and Rick always smiled, but he had the bullhorn, and he was saying, "We're good Americans.
00:38:22Walk down slowly.
00:38:23Be good Americans." And he repeated that a few times.
00:38:29>> narrator: Further down, a colleague grabbed Patti by the arm.
00:38:33>> He goes, "We're going to run, Patti." So I said, "Oh," I said, "Honey, you're young.
00:38:39You run., I'll try to get down as soon as I can." And he says, "We're going to run." Well, he, I don't know how he got me by the arm, but I never ran so fast.
00:38:54>> narrator: When the plane hit tower two, some of those in the streets nearby began to panic.
00:38:59It seemed as if war had broken out, and New York was under attack.
00:39:04John Olson was still up on the 69th floor and in great danger.
00:39:10>> Everything had collapsed, and it looked like a bomb had gone off.,, And my thought was, "I'm going to die.
00:39:17I'm the only one here.
00:39:18I should have left when I started to.
00:39:21And now I'm going to die here." >>arto O On n the 71st floor, things were also looking desperate for Jack Kemp.
00:39:28>> We went to stairwell C, which was the stairwell we had trained in all of our fire drills to leave on, and the door was blocked, and the stairwell, evidently, had caved in.
00:39:40>> narrator: With Jack was his assistant Nancy.
00:39:44>> I just started to say, "Our Fathers," and "Hail Marys," out loud, and, frankly, I felt a sense of peace at that point.
00:39:53>> And then, through the smoke, a voice came across on a megaphone that said, you know, "If anyone's ave on this floor, make some noise." And we did, a lot of noise.
00:40:04>> narrator: Jack and Nancy were rescued by one of Rick's security guards who led them to another stairwell.
00:40:13>> We started counting our floors going down, as part of a way to race ourselves down the stairwell.
00:40:21Along the way, we kind of made sure we cheered each other on, because it's a long way to go 70 stories down a building, especially when you're ripped with fear.
00:40:31>> narrator: 9:45 a.m. and the fires in both buildings were burning out of control.
00:40:37The emergency services faced an impossible task, but Rick Rescorla remained in place, talking the last of his colleagues down the emergency stairwells.
00:40:47>> We just kept going lower and lower, and I remember very distinctly hearing, "Stay calm.,, Keep moving.
00:40:55Stay calm.
00:40:56Keep moving.
00:40:57Everything's okay." And I realized it was Rick Rescorla.
00:41:01And when I got to Rick, I said, "Rick," I said, "You have to get out of here also." And Rick looked at me, and he said, "I will, John, as soon as we get everybody is out." >> narrator: 9:50 a.m.: in the streets around the World Trade Center, survivorsdesperately tried to get as far away from the burning buildings as they could.
00:41:22Most were in a state of shock.
00:41:25>> When we crossed over the street and looked back, a lot of people came out at the same time, saying, "How come is tower two on fire?" And a gentleman said,it tower two." So I started screaming.
00:41:43I said, "Is anyone in the crowd Christian?" And three ladies came out, and we started praying.
00:41:52>> narrator: Kathy Comerford made it down from the 71st floor with a group of colleagues.
00:41:58>> When we sat down on the curb to catch our breath, I looked,, up, and the only thing I could think of was how far did we have to get away from this building before it fell?
00:42:07I had no doubt in my mind that the building was going to come down.
00:42:13working alongside the emergency services to try to rescue the hundreds of people who were still alive but who were trapped high inside the building.
00:42:22By this stage, he had overseen the safe evacuation of practically all the 2,700 Morgan Stanley staff.
00:42:30>> Rick himself, the path was clear.,, He could have walked out onto the plaza or into the concourse and left.
00:42:37And he would have been hailed as a hero.
00:42:40But he didn't leave.
00:42:41He turned around and started climbing back up the stairs.
00:42:49>>arrato Rick knew what he had to do.
00:42:52He had always been haunted by the memory of the colleagues he lost under his command in Vietnam.
00:42:57It would have been unbearable for him to lose any more.
00:43:00He was determined to rescue those still trapped on the upper floors.,, >> He told me to call his wife, that she was very frightened and on the verge of panic, and talk to her.
00:43:14And so I called her, and her and I were talking on the phone, she watching TV at her house in New Jersey and me in Florida, and we saw the buildings come down.
00:43:32>> I just watched in amazement as the south tower came down.
00:43:36And it was just, it was all over.
00:43:38And, of course, I was just,, screaming and crying.
00:43:41>> And she said, "Oh, my God.
00:43:42Oh, my God," you know, "It'll kill Rick.
00:43:46It'll kill Rick." And I told her, "Susan, relax.
00:43:48Rick's been through tights before.
00:43:50If anybody can survive it, Rick will survive it." And I hung up the phone and said, "Rick's dead." >> narrator: Fred McBee also knew this was the end of Rick Rescorla.
00:44:08>> When I saw that tower go down, the first tower, and I knew Rick was in it, then I knew,, Rescorla was no more.
00:44:17And I don't know how to tell you how you feel.
00:44:24It's--on the one hand, it's a terrible pain, on the other, danggumit, Rescorla went out like he should.
00:44:35You know, it's a noble death.
00:44:38And he's a noble man.
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00:48:57>> narrator: It was 9:58 a.m.
00:49:00when tower two of the World Trade Center began to collapse, just 56 minutes after it had been hit.
00:49:07Patti Monachino knew that Rick Rescorla, the man who had,, predicted 9/11 and helped save her life, was still inside.
00:49:15So, too, were many trapped office workers and firefighters.
00:49:20>> As I looked up, the building two collapsed.
00:49:24And I just-- I still can't believe-- I was just torn apart.
00:49:30My heart broke.
00:49:33>> narrator: Barbara Williams, one of Rick's security staff who had made it out of the building, ran for her life.
00:49:40>> We heard this rumbling sound, like a terrible thunderstorm.,, And we were just running and running and running.
00:49:49Then I heard a big "psssshh." >> narrator: The tower that had taken ten years to build collapsed in ten seconds.
00:50:00500,000 tons of concrete and steel created a tidal wave of dust that engulfed the surrounding area.
00:50:08>> This whole--it was like an avalanche.
00:50:10It was coming straight towards me, and I was just like this.
00:50:14And he--again, we're running, and we're running towards the,, Brooklyn Bridge.
00:50:19>> narrator: The dust blizzard caught up with Kathy Comerford as she tried to escape.
00:50:24>> The smoke was everywhere, and it was like the end of the world.
00:50:27Everything went pitch black.
00:50:28And then, minutes later, everything was bright and clear again, and then there was, like, four, five inches everywhere of white powder.
00:50:36[sirens wailing] >> narrator: The building's collapse had turned a major disaster into a catastrophe.
00:50:43John Olson felt lucky to be alive.
00:50:46Then he remembered his son.
00:50:49>> And what I remember,,, somewhere along, I'm thinking, "Jeez, what happened to my son?" Here I told my son to stay there and answer the phones, and I had no idea if he had gotten out or not.
00:51:02I mean, he just did not know.
00:51:05>> narrator: 10:15 a.m.
00:51:08As the dust cleared, the scale of the devastation was revealed.
00:51:12Jack Kemp found it hard to comprehend.
00:51:15>> Only when you looked back and you could suddenly see that not only was one of the towers gone, but it was the tower you worked in for 20 years,,, did it really hit you that this was something really traumatic.
00:51:29>> narrator: 10:28 a.m.: In the middle of a chaotic evacuation of emergency workers from the disaster area, tower one also collapsed.
00:51:40>> I just saw that big cloud of dark smoke coming out of what used to be the World Trade Centers, and I turned to Jack and said, "Our families think we're dead.
00:51:51There's no way they think we got out of there." >> narrator: Survivors frantically called their loved ones, but most cell phones weren't working.
00:52:01>> I couldn't get through to my husband to tell him I was alive.
00:52:05I couldn't get through to anybody to say, "I am alive.
00:52:09I'm okay." >> narrator: After trying for five hours, John Olson finally spoke to his family.
00:52:15>> I called the house, and my daughter-in-law answered, and she was excited that, you know, we were alive.
00:52:23And my first question was, "What about John?" And she said, "John's alive also.,, He got out." So at that point, of course, I was just totally ecstatic.
00:52:39>> narrator: Rick Rescorla's well-rehearsed evacuation plan meant that all but six of Morgan Stanley's 2,700 staff were reunited with their families later that day.
00:52:50>> I finally called my brother's house, and he answered, and I said, "I'm alive." And they got me a car, and I got home, and I ran into my husband's arms.
00:53:02>> narrator: Many hours later,,, Nancy Kennedy arrived home in New Jersey.
00:53:07>> When I got home, I gave my husband a big, big hug, and then I said, "I have to find everybody." And I just started calling our coworkers to see where everybody was.
00:53:23>> narrator: It was 7:00 p.m.
00:53:26Battered emergency workers had regrouped and were searching the disaster area for any survivors.
00:53:31John Olson had seen Rick Rescorla on the 10th floor minutes before tower two collapsed and knew he could never have survived.
00:53:41>> Whether I was the last person to speak to Rick, I don't know, but I'll always...
00:53:59I'll remember Rick.
00:54:05>> narrator: Susan Rescorla was anxiously awaiting any news of Rick.
00:54:10He had always been a survivor before, and she prayed for a miracle.
00:54:16>> I really knew that he was dead, and yet, you can't-- you know what I mean?
00:54:20You just keep hoping that somehow he'soing to get on the train.
00:54:23He's going to come back.
00:54:24I kept his car at the train station, saying to myself, "Well, if he comes back in the middle of the night, he'd be able to come home, you know?" I had his suit from the night before, because it had been raining out, and I had to take it to the dry cleaners, and I put the suit in bed with me, and I could still smell him.
00:54:41And I thought, "Oh, please, God, please, let me just...
00:54:46Let me just have him breathe," you know?
00:54:49Maybe this miracle can happen, and he can come back.
00:54:54>> narrator: 2,200 office workers died in the World Trade Center.
00:55:01One of them was Mary Fetchet's son Brad.
00:55:08>> Brad was such an athletic young man.
00:55:11He was so dependable and reliable.
00:55:14So I really hoped that he had,, survived.
00:55:18But I think it was pretty apparent early on that they weren't finding survivors.
00:55:24In fact, they weren't even finding bodies intact down at the site.
00:55:31>> narrator: Brad's death led Mary to form the group Voices of September 11th, which campaigns to protect and support the victims of terrorist attacks.
00:55:41Its vision of saving the lives of innocent office workers was inspired by the example of Rick Rescorla.
00:55:48>> I know Brad would never want,, another person to die in the manner that he and these other 3,000 people died on September 11th.
00:55:59He would want to know that our country is safer, and he would want to know that government reforms are being implemented.
00:56:12>> narrator: 2,749 men and women died in the World Trade Center on 9/11.
00:56:19It was a tragedy that Rick Rescorla predicted and tried to avert, but in the end,,, he, too, would become one of its victims.
00:56:27His body was never found.
00:56:30>> I know he did what he did, that he had to do it.
00:56:34He died the way he lived, a courageous man who was always looking out for the other man and responsible and who was a man of courage.
00:56:44And so now I can say, you know, I am so proud.
00:56:49I am so proud.,, >>>> Good morning.
00:56:58 it'ss TUTUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11th. HERE'SS Whwhat's s happening in new york ..
00:57:05Shshattered by terror.
00:57:07>>>> Oh, my god!