Robert Oswain R.I.P. – NYPD Victim of Toxic WTC Smoke

May 18, 2010 

Robert Oswain, a police officer with the New York Police Department (NYPD), died from cancer on May 15, 2010.  Oswain, a Bronx cop who served in recovery efforts at the destroyed World Trade Center, died of cancer late Saturday. He was 42 years old.

Robert Oswain
(Photo: William Baker, The Forgotten Victims)

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly commended Oswain, who had recently married, for his “valiant struggle” against the disease. Oswain’s family and NYPD brothers believe Ground Zero’s toxic dust caused the cancer that claimed his life, the Daily News reported.

Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (NYC PBA) President Patrick Lynch called Oswain “one of the forgotten heroes of 9/11” – and warned that the true cost in lives from the attacks won’t be known for decades.  The NYC PBA has a webpage devoted to Oswain in which he described what he did at the World Trade Center in the aftermath of 9-11:

PBA: What did you do at the WTC?

Robert Oswain: The day of the attack I was off. But two or three days later we went down for guard duty at West and Vesey Streets, not quite the pile but right where they were loading up the trucks with all the debris. I knew something was wrong because whenever they’d load up the trucks, this Army guy would come out in one of these suits you see in those movies about nuclear radiation. The hood over his head, the whole spaceman thing. And he’d power wash every one of the trucks before they could go uptown. The trouble with that was that it would send debris into the air. That was an area where there was always a breeze anyway, so dust was always being blown all over. We did 12- hour tours, and you couldn’t even open a container of coffee without exposing it to the garbage flying around. The federal government had to know what the threat was because they had EPA boxes on the parking meters to check air quality.

PBA: How long did you spend there?

Oswain: Overall it came to about 200 hours spread over three months. The worst part, at least at first, was when you’d go home and try to get the smell off your body. It sounds ridiculous, I know, but I had to brush my teeth for about 20 minutes and then, after that, make sure I reached every hair in my nose with soap. You missed one hair, you went to bed with the stink.


Robert Oswain did not actually die from the dust.  What Oswain was most likely afflicted by and eventually died from was exposure to the nano-size particles that were found in extremely large amounts in the toxic smoke which rose from the rubble of the World Trade Center for more than three months after 9-11.  The thin bluish smoke (which rose from the rubble pile until after Christmas 2001) was primarily composed of nano-size particles of heavy metals and other elements. These extremely small particles are only produced by fires hotter than the boiling point of the metal or element.

The bluish smoke that rose from the rubble was created by hotspots of boiling iron beneath the rubble.  These fires raged for more than three months despite being continuously doused with water. Large format PDF image is here.  (This photo and following five are from Aftermath by Joel Meyerowitz)

The special investigators from the fire department of New York had no idea that large amounts of super-thermite were responsible for the fires that could not be extinguished.  This was one of the first clues that something other than jet fuel (kerosene) was responsible for the destruction of the World Trade Center. Large format PDF is here.

The smoke that rose from the pile contained large amounts of extremely toxic nano-particles which cannot be stopped by even the most advanced respirators.  To inhale this smoke means to absorb toxic particles that can travel freely throughout the body before becoming lodged in the nucleus of the human cell – where they wreak havoc, causing cancer and other diseases.  Large format PDF is here.

Most of the workers on the pile of rubble lacked adequate protection from the nano-particles contained in the smoke.  Like U.S. soldiers exposed to nano-particles from depleted uranium munitions, many of these workers suffer from a host of ailments caused by “the particle effect.”  Large format PDF is here.

The spraying of water did nothing to extinguish the aluminothermic (thermite) fires that raged beneath the rubble.  Because thermite is composed of aluminum and ferrous oxide it will burn despite the presence of water or the absence of air.  Large format PDF is here.

The men who worked on the removal of the rubble were exposed to extremely large amounts of nano-particles from the toxic smoke they worked in.  The U.S. government and New York City completely failed to protect those who worked on the pile or warn the residents of the dangers.   Large format PDF image is here.

It was in the spring of 2006 that I concluded that thermite was responsible for the nano-particles found in the smoke that had risen from the rubble until January 2002.  Having met with Dr. Steven E. Jones in Provo, Utah, I had continued on with the California Zephyr to my Alma Mater in Davis, California to meet with Dr. Thomas A. Cahill, an expert on airborne aerosols and director of the DELTA Group at the University of California. 

The California Zephyr crosses Donner Pass in the Sierra Nevada, California

The train station of Davis, California, where Christopher Bollyn began his college career and where he concluded (in early 2006) that thermite had created the nano-particles found in the smoke from the demolished World Trade Center.

Cahill and the DELTA Group had sent a Davis DRUM to New York City to independently collect and analyze the particles from the smoke of the fires that raged beneath the rubble of the destroyed World Trade Center.  Having found extremely large amounts of nano-particles in the smoke, I asked Dr. Cahill what could have created these particles.  Dr. Cahill said: “Ultra-fine particles require extremely high temperatures, namely the boiling point of the metal.”

The hotspots that burned beneath the rubble and which produced the nano-particles found in the DELTA Group’s drum were evidently hotter than the boiling point of iron:  2861 degrees Celsius or 5182 degrees Fahrenheit.  Given the evidence of molten iron found at the bottom of the pile and in the dust of the demolished towers, it was clear that ongoing thermitic reactions had probably created the nano-particles found in the smoke.

The discovery of evidence of thermite in the destruction of the World Trade Center was probably what led to the concerted attacks on me and Dr. Steven E. Jones.  I was attacked by a squad of undercover police at my home in mid-August 2006, shortly after returning from an extended period away.  Dr. Jones was attacked for completely innocent comments he made during an interview on the Salt Lake City affiliate of National Public Radio in early September 2006.  Both of us lost our jobs at the same time, probably as a result of our investigation of the role of thermite in the destruction of the World Trade Center.  Dr. Jones was allowed to continue his research of the dust at Brigham Young University and published a peer-reviewed paper in early 2009 in which actual evidence of the super-thermite used to pulverize the Twin Towers was presented to the public.  This historic paper marked the end of the official version as an acceptable explanation for what happened on 9-11.

Sources and Recommended Reading:

Aftermath (World Trade Center Archive), photographs by Joel Meyerowitz, Phaidon Press 2006, London and New York

“WTC veteran cop Robert Oswain, 42, dies from cancer”, by Rocco Parascandola and John Lauinger, New York Daily News, 17 May 2010 

The Forgotten Victims, Robert Oswain, New York City Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association

Bollyn, Christopher, “Why Did Iron Boil beneath the Rubble?” May 6, 2006

Bollyn, C., “Who is behind the Attack on Professor Jones?” September 17, 2006

Bollyn, C., “Why are Honest 9-11 Researchers Targeted?” May 15, 2007

Bollyn, C., “Dr. Steven Jones Appeals for Fairness”, May 23, 2007

Bollyn, C., “The Toxic Smoke from the Rubble”, September 13, 2007

Bollyn, C., “Bush Was Behind Silencing of Dr. Steven E. Jones on Thermite”, January 29, 2008

Bollyn, C., “How Depleted Uranium Particles Damage Human Health”, January 7, 2005

Jones, Dr. Steven E., “Why Indeed Did the WTC Buildings Completely Collapse”, September 2006

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