Editor's note: The following article on WTC 7, quite critical of the NIST report, appeared in the Foreign Policy Journal this week.
This year will mark the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 disaster. In these 10 years, not only have extremely important scientific questions about this tragedy gone unanswered, but they have even been ridiculed to the point of deranged absurdity. We owe a valid scientific explanation to the 3000 victims on that day, the steadily dying health-stricken first responders, the dead and wounded soldiers, and the untold thousands upon thousands of dead and injured Afghans and Iraqis resulting from the terrifying never-ending “war on terror”. Critics of those skeptical of the official story of 9/11 have often objected that an alternative theory has never been put forth. To that end, this article will put forth a scientific theory for one important aspect of the 9/11 event, the Building 7 collapse.
On September 11, 2001 a third building came down. This building was 7 World Trade Center (WTC 7), a 47-story building about the width and length of a football field. NIST, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, was tasked with officially explaining how WTC 7 fell. Their theory is documented in the report entitled Final Report of the Collapse of Building 7. Many people are under the mistaken impression that NIST’s theory of how WTC 7 fell down is a valid scientific theory. In science however, a valid theory must be the simplest theory available that best explains all the available empirical data. This article will show that the NIST theory is a highly convoluted theory that cannot explain important observations.
A major piece of evidence in the WTC 7 collapse is the fact that WTC 7 underwent free-fall acceleration for a period of at least 2.25 seconds. A free-falling building means there is no supporting structure whatsoever below to slow the building’s fall. The NIST theory does not explain this astounding fact. However, if their theory is to believed, the 2.25 seconds of free fall must have resulted from near-simultaneous buckling and breaking of the 58 perimeter columns and most of the 25 core columns over eight stories. The only evidence NIST provides to support their theory is in the form of a computer model. While it could possibly be argued that the model does show some buckling occurring over eight stories, it most certainly does not show a period of free-fall. So NIST’s theory has absolutely no scientific evidence whatsoever for the fact of free-fall. In other words the NIST theory cannot explain key empirical data.
Another requisite for a scientific theory is that the empirical data the theory is based on must be reproducible by others. Other scientists must be able to perform the exact same experiments and obtain the exact same results. Unfortunately, NIST’s only empirical data to explain the eight story buckling, the data their computer model is based on, is unavailable to independent researchers. It is unavailable because NIST refuses to release it. NIST has stated that releasing the data “might jeopardize public safety”. So because the NIST model cannot be verified, it is meant to be taken on faith. The NIST model, then, is faith-based, not science-based. Since NIST’s theory does not explain fundamental facts of the WTC 7 incident and other important facts are so far unreplicated, we can categorically state that NIST’s theory is in no way scientific. At best, it could be referred to as faith-based pseudo-science. Since the NIST theory is in no way scientific, competent conscientious scientists must reject it in favor of a science-based theory.
The best alternative to NIST’s WTC 7 theory is the controlled demolition theory. This theory states that additional sources of energy other than fire and gravity were used to bring down WTC 7. The strongest theories contend that these alternate energy sources included explosives and incendiaries. It is common knowledge that shaped charges can cut through steel support columns. If all remaining support columns of WTC 7 were rigged with shaped charges on both sides, on each story for eight stories and were set off in the correct precisely timed manner, they could remove all remaining resisting support for WTC 7 allowing it to free-fall for 2.25 seconds. So unlike the official story, the controlled demolition theory does explain all the observables: the rapid onset of collapse, the largely symmetrical collapse into the building’s footprint, the roof line kink causing the building to fall in on itself, minimizing damage to other buildings, the intricate roll to the south at the end of the collapse away from valuable real estate, and the free-fall period.
There definitely are problems with the controlled demolition explosives theories. For instance, although there is some evidence of explosive sounds, in the available audio/visual evidence of the WTC 7 collapse, you don’t see the flashes and the loud booms typically seen with explosive controlled demolitions. But the sounds and flashes could be muted by Romex blasting mats, for example. Non-typical technologies could also have been used. Recent experiments by the engineer Jonathan Cole have shown that relatively small amounts of thermate, thermite mixed with sulfur, can cut through vertical support beams like a shaped charge and yet produce much less noise. These experiments also show that thermate can also easily weaken beams and cut bolts. Note that in typical controlled demolitions the building’s structure is weakened as much as possible to minimize the amount of high explosive needed. Explosive nano-thermite has also been found in the WTC dust.
So the inescapable and disturbing conclusion is that the most scientific theory available for the WTC 7 collapse is that it was a controlled demolition, brought down with explosives. This conclusion shows without a doubt that a thorough independent scientific investigation into the 9/11 event must be undertaken. Until now, this has not been done. I strongly urge all scientists and scientifically-oriented individuals to support Scientists For 9/11 Truth (http://www.scientistsfor911truth.org/) in calling for an real unbiased scientific investigation of the 9/11 tragedy.
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