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General Says Four Charges Destroyed Murrah Federal Building

The Daily Oklahoman
September 18, 1997


A retired Air Force general, who believes more than one bomb destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, testified Wednesday before the Oklahoma County grand jury.

Retired Brig. Gen. Benton K. Partin of Alexandria, Va., spoke briefly with reporters as he left the Oklahoma County jail after spending more than six hours with the jury.

''The reason we took so long in there (with the jury) is I went through things in considerable detail,'' Partin said.

Also, appearing Wednesday was Oscar ''Dude'' Goodun, a General Services Administration employee.

Goodun is expected to return today along with former television reporter Jayna Davis and Raymon Brown, a seismologist at the Oklahoma Geological Survey in Norman.

The grand jury that convened June 30 to investigate larger conspiracy theories in the April 19, 1995, bombing has heard from 28 people.

Timothy McVeigh, 29, was convicted June 2 and sentenced to die. The bomb resulted in 168 deaths.

The trial of defendant Terry Nichols, 42, is set to begin Sept. 29 in Denver.

Partin, 71, believes four demolition charges were placed on the Murrah Building's third floor prior to the bombing.

Partin bases his theory on the damage patterns he viewed in photographs of the bombing's aftermath.

''I had an opportunity to explain my analysis of what happened in Oklahoma and my conclusions,'' Partin said. ''And my conclusions still are (that) there had to have been demolition charges in the building. And the so-called ammonium nitrate and fuel oil could not possibly have done the damage.''

The photographs he saw convinced him that demolition charges were planted on structural columns inside the Murrah Building before the blast, Partin said.

Federal prosecutors contend the building was bombed with a single Ryder rental truck packed with ammonium nitrate fertilizer, fuel and other explosives.

A British bomb expert who testified at Timothy McVeigh's trial said the damage to the building was consistent with the characteristics of an ammonium nitrate-fuel oil bomb.

In 1995, Partin issued a report stating that ''the damage pattern on the reinforced concrete superstructure could not possibly have been attained from the single truck bomb.

Partin said some of the Murrah Building's columns left standing after the blast should have collapsed and others that collapsed should have stood.

He sent his report to Congress seeking an investigation ''to determine the true initiators of this bombing,'' he said.

Partin has been widely quoted by conspiracy theorists who suggest the federal government is not telling the whole story about the bombing.

Goodun, 61, is assigned to the Fort Worth, Texas, regional office and was in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995.

Goodun and two Mid-Western Elevator Co. employees conducted an annual inspection on the seven elevators in the Murrah Building on April 18, 1995.

The inspectors were en route to the federal building to complete the inspection when the truck bomb exploded.

They rushed into the building and checked each of the elevators, Goodun said. He told The Oklahoman no victims were found in the elevators.

Goodun and Oscar Johnson, Mid-Western general manager, said none of the elevators fell in the blast.

Their findings contradict the story told by David Schickedanz, a now retired Drug Enforcement Administration agent, and Alex McCauley, a federal bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms supervisor.

The agents claim the elevator they were in dropped five floors when the bomb went off.

The federal inspector said he doesn't doubt the agents thought the elevator fell.

Goodun told The Oklahoman when the power was cut off to the elevators there was a thrust in the opposite direction.

''It is like when you slam on the brakes of a car, your body lunges forward,'' he said.

Goodun, who lost part of his hearing, said he did not leave the bomb site area for 14 days, working 19 to 20 hours a day.

Brown is expected to present jurors with records of a seismic reading of the blast made in Norman. Another seismogram was recorded at the Omniplex Science Museum in Oklahoma City.

The seismic records have fueled debate over whether they show multiple explosions caused the damage to the Murrah Building.

Also, Davis, formerly of KFOR-TV, is expected to tell jurors about a report she aired linking an Iraqi man then living in Oklahoma City to the bombing.

Posted here September 18, 1997
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