by Enver Masud
On September 11, 2001, around 5:20 p.m. 47-story Building 7 of the World Trade Center (WTC 7) collapsed in about seven seconds.
The World Trade Center consisted of seven buildings: the Twin Towers and Buildings 3, 4, 5, and 6 taking up the equivalent of about nine city blocks, and across the street—North of the Twin Towers—Building 7.
Buildings 3, 4, 5 and 6 sustained much greater damage than Building 7. They also collapsed, but not in the manner that the Twin Towers, and Building 7 collapsed.
The 9/11 Commission Report tells us that the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management was located on the 23rd floor of WTC 7, and at 8:48 a.m. the Emergency Operations Center was activated, but it fails to mention the collapse of WTC 7.
Major news media remained silent about this glaring omission for about seven years.
Videos of the collapse of the 47-story WTC 7—which would have been the tallest building in most countries and U.S. states—while readily available on alternative news sites, have generally not been shown to the public after September 11 by major news media.
The collapse of the 9-story Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995 was repeatedly shown on television, and initially blamed on Muslim terrorists.
Dr. Steven E. Jones, a physics professor at Brigham Young University, writes: “The specifics of the fires in WTC 7 and how they caused the building to collapse [“official theory”] remain unknown at this time.”
Prof. Jones attempted to make his point on MSNBC’s The Situation with Tucker Carlson on November 15, 2005, but was prevented from doing so.
CNN’s Aaron Brown and BBC’s Jane Standley reported that Building 7 “has collapsed or is collapsing” before it collapsed—the picture in the BBC television broadcast is time stamped 21:54 London time which is 16:54 or 4:54 PM EST.
Diane Sawyer, an award-winning investigative journalist, interviewed a firefighter on ABC News Live who said: “At Building 7 there was no fire there whatsoever, but there was one truck putting water on the building, but it collapsed completely.”
Some claim that “diesel fuel stored in the building somehow caught fire, and created a towering inferno.” But a report from FEMA (World Trade Center Building Performance Study, May 2002) states that this scenario had “only a low probability of occurrence.”
Dan Rather, at the time anchor and managing editor of the CBS Evening News, while reporting on the collapse of Building 7, said:
For the third time today, it’s reminiscent of those pictures we’ve all seen too much on television before. A building was deliberately destroyed by well placed dynamite to knock it down.
Indira Singh, a first responder on September 11, said during an appearance on KPFA that by “noon or one o’clock”, the Fire Department was telling them that they had to move the triage site because “we’re going to have to bring it down.”
Larry Silverstein, the WTC leaseholder who stood to profit from the collapse of the WTC (Greg Levine, Forbes, December 6, 2004), was shown on PBS saying:
I remember getting a call from the ER, Fire Department Commander, telling me that they were not sure they were gonna be able to contain the fire, and I said, ‘We’ve had such terrible loss of life, maybe the smartest thing to do is pull it.’ And they made the decision to pull and we watched the building collapse.
If Building 7 was “pulled”—a demolition term, when were the explosives planted? This would have had to be done several weeks before 9/11—it takes that long to place and wire the explosives.
Who had access to the building for a period long enough to plant explosives while bypassing the building’s security?
Securacom, now Stratesec, was in charge of security for the World Trade Center. During the time that a new security system was being installed, the president’s brother, Marvin Bush, was a director of Securacom.
The collapse of Building 7 is unprecedented.
No steel-frame, high-rise building has collapsed from fire, either before September 11, 2001 or after September 11, 2001.
On February 23, 1991, a 38-story tower in Philadelphia burned for 18 hours; on October 17, 2004, a 56-story tower in Caracas burned for 17 hours; on February 12, 2005, a 32-story tower in Madrid burned for 24 hours; on February 19, 2009, Beijing’s newest skyscraper burned for 6 hours.
None of these collapsed like World Trade Center buildings 1, 2, and 7. Why then should we believe that on September 11, 2001, three steel-framed, high-rise buildings collapsed from fire?
Following the inconclusive, FEMA investigation of May 2002, the “free press” ignored the issue.
On August 21, 2008, Shyam Sunder, lead investigator at NIST, presented NIST’s findings at a press briefing. A draft Final Report on the Collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 was made available on the Internet later in the day.
“Video and photographic evidence combined with detailed computer simulations show that neither explosives nor fuel oil fires played a role in the collapse of WTC 7,” Sunder said.
NIST claims that the collapse was due to “some structural damage to the southwest perimeter” by falling debris, and to “ordinary building content fires” on floors 7 through 9, and 11 through 13. This caused “buckling of a critical interior column”, followed by “progressive collapse”.
Engineers routinely design structures to withstand expansion of steel members. Sunder did not explain why similar building fires, either before 9/11 or after 9/11, did not cause buildings to collapse like Building 7.
The photographic evidence regarding fires is helpful, and it does show some damage to WTC 7. However, NIST admits:
Although the visual evidence for WTC 7 was not nearly as rich as for WTC 1 and WTC 2, the fire simulation did exploit as much as possible the few photographs showing the location of severe fire activity in WTC 7 at various time during the afternoon of September 11, 2001.
Computer simulation, without satisfactory validation of the model, proves nothing—those sumo wrestlers transforming into an airplane taking off, in the United Airlines commercial broadcast during the Beijing Olymics, were computer simulations.
Model validation—a crucial step in the modeling process—requires that “inferences made in establishing the model are checked by observing if the model behaves as expected” (Simulation and Modeling, Prentice Hall, 1969).
In the NIST reports we were unable to find NIST’s model validation criteria, the results of model validation tests, and discussion of other instances where the models used by NIST (LS-DYNA—“a general purpose transient dynamic finite element program”—developed by Livermore Software Technology Corp, and ANSYS), had been successfully applied to similar problems, or how the NIST model behaved with other disturbances.
NIST writes that “damage criteria required adjustment to obtain the appropriate strength and ductility of the structures” (p542), and damage estimated by ANSYS “was input to the LS-DYNA model as the final step before analyzing the structural response” (p565).
In other words, NIST adjusted model inputs to obtain the outputs it desired.
Others dispute Sunder’s claim that explosives played no role, and videos appear to show explosions. Buildings that have collapsed without explosives do not come straight down on their own footprint. Forensic evidence from the structural steel is necessary to rule out the use of explosives in WTC 7.
Absent satisfactory answers to these issues, one cannot have confidence in the NIST computer simulation.
Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth argue that NIST does not address why the collapse exhibits none of the characteristics of destruction by fire, such as slow onset with large visible deformations that would cause the building to fall to the side most damaged by fire.
NIST also does not address why the collapse does exhibit all the characteristics of a classic controlled demolition with explosives such as rapid onset of collapse, sounds of explosions at ground floor a full second prior to collapse, symmetrical collapse through the path of greatest resistance at nearly free-fall speed with the steel skeleton broken up for shipment, massive volume of expanding pyroclastic dust clouds, tons of molten metal found by Controlled Demolition, Inc., the chemical signature of thermate (a high tech incendiary) found in slag, solidified molten metal, and dust samples by Prof. Jones, and rapid oxidation and intergranular melting on structural steel samples examined by FEMA.
Indeed a newly found video shows windows being blown out from the bottom toward the top of WTC7 just prior to its collapse—see video at twf.org/911.html at the beginning, and at 33 seconds.
When I worked for the U.S. Department of Energy, it would have been highly unusual that a report such as NIST’s were presented to the news media without it first being presented to outside peer review. In fact we had critics review progress of our research at critical stages. NIST has sought to avoid answering its critics.
Except for the photos in the draft report, NIST did not release the photos and videos they referred to at the press briefing for examination by other experts.