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June 28, 2010

WTC Building 7 questions remain

Building 7 questions remain

Dwain Deets -

President Obama's promise to restore science to its rightful place raises a question regarding the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Is forensic science already well in hand, but just not the honesty to apply it?

Case in point is the NIST final report on World Trade Center Building 7 high-rise that collapsed on September 11, 2001. The report's authors explained in precise technical terms, the North side of the building (the side they were measuring) underwent a 2.25-second free-fall drop, extending approximately 8 stories. This agreed very closely with observations made during the opportunity for public comments. The whole process of requesting public comments to the draft final report, receiving them, and updating the final report where warranted was very commendable.

The problem comes with the NIST interpretation of the significance of this updated information. The NIST authors did need to make a comment, in that they stated in their draft report that the visible part of the collapse had accelerated downward at 40% of free fall. Their comment was in essence, when they looked at a longer period of time (5.4 sec.) encompassing this intermediary 2.25-sec. stage, then the three stages of collapse progression are consistent with the results of their global collapse analyses, i.e., their analytical model.

Their analytical model did not contain the mechanism for free fall. Yet, they called the overall results consistent with their model. NIST has not faced up to the significance of free fall. Is declaring the overall results consistent with their model the NIST way of sweeping the dirty implications of free fall under the proverbial carpet?

A free-fall drop of 8 stories raises the obvious question, what was going on with 8 stories of structure that allowed the upper visible section of the building to fall through it unrestricted? The NIST analytical model produces an answer that columns were buckling. In fact, it might be said, the theme of the NIST WTC7 Final Report[1] was fire and buckling. A search on the word, "buckling," comes up with 42 times the word is used. Whereas, "free fall" only produces 6 matches, and all but one of those are in reference to the overall collapse being 40% slower than free fall, or the definition of free fall, itself.

The reason NIST is making such an effort to hide free fall is it strongly suggests explosives were involved. NIST did a superficial explosives study, referred to in the Final Report as "Hypothetical Blast Scenarios." The study should be viewed with skepticism, in that it made the unreasonable assumption that any explosives would have to have been planted after the attacks on the Twin Towers, but before the collapse of WTC7. A very limited time frame, indeed. NIST just did not make an honest effort to consider an explosives scenario.

September 11, 2001 | By doctormatt | 3:50 AM

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