WTC Cross

Was a cross formed from iron beams found amidst the World Trade Center wreckage?

Claim:   Clean-up workers at the World Trade Center found two metal beams in the shape of a cross.

Status:   True.

Origins:   That


many people turn (and return) to religion in times of crisis is a common facet of human behavior. Attendance at churches (and other houses of worship) soars as we seek answers, reassurance, and comfort — items which religion provides in great abundance. We also look for tangible signs of our religious beliefs, a phenomenon which has already popped up in several tales stemming from the September 11 terrorrist attacks on America, such as the finding of the face of Satan in smoke from the World Trade Center, and the story of an unburned Bible having been discovered amidst the charred wreckage of the Pentagon.

In a similar vein, a cross formed from two metal beams was reported found “standing almost upright” at the World Trade Center site a couple of days after the September 11 attacks, having fallen from one of the WTC towers onto an adjacent building:

A cast iron “cross” found in the rubble of the World Trade Center has been adopted by rescue workers as a symbol of faith …

Laborer Frank Silecchia, 47, found the cross standing almost upright two days after the towers toppled Sept. 11.

“Some people will say it’s velocity or physics that put it there. To me it’s an act of God,” said Silecchia, who cried for 20 minutes after his discovery.

On October 3, workers placed the cross atop a 40-foot foundation so that it could more easily be seen by everyone in the area, and it has since been blessed with holy water by a Franciscan priest and adopted by construction and rescue workers as “a symbol of hope, our symbol of faith, our symbol of healing.”

Last updated:   8 March 2008


  Sources Sources:

    McCaffrey, Shannon.   “Iron ‘Cross’ Found at Ground Zero.”

    Associated Press.   8 October 2001.
Since 1994
A Word to Our Loyal Readers

Support Snopes and make a difference for readers everywhere.

  • David Mikkelson
  • Doreen Marchionni
  • David Emery
  • Bond Huberman
  • Jordan Liles
  • Alex Kasprak
  • Dan Evon
  • Dan MacGuill
  • Bethania Palma
  • Liz Donaldson
  • Vinny Green
  • Ryan Miller
  • Chris Reilly
  • Chad Ort

Most Snopes assignments begin when readers ask us, “Is this true?” Those tips launch our fact-checkers on sprints across a vast range of political, scientific, legal, historical, and visual information. We investigate as thoroughly and quickly as possible and relay what we learn. Then another question arrives, and the race starts again.

We do this work every day at no cost to you, but it is far from free to produce, and we cannot afford to slow down. To ensure Snopes endures — and grows to serve more readers — we need a different kind of tip: We need your financial support.

Support Snopes so we continue to pursue the facts — for you and anyone searching for answers.

Team Snopes