New York City activist

November 21, 2007

WTC 7: Reply to Pat at Screw Loose Change

On the Screw Loose Change blog, Pat seems to like my post Demolition of WTC: Let’s not overstate the case, please in which I object to some flawed arguments for the idea of demolition – although I do indeed believe it’s likely that WTC 1, 2, and 7 were brought down by more than just plane impacts plus subsequent fires. But he then says:

(she apparently does not know about the photos of WTC 7 which clearly show the building collapsed slightly to the south, not symmetrically by any means).

Not only am I already aware of the argument that WTC 7 “collapsed slightly to the south,” I already responded to it a long time ago in my post Straight-down collapse of WTC 7 – what do “debunkers” say?, which I referred to in yesterday’s post.

The key word there is “slightly.” Even though it was not 100% symmetrical, the way that WTC 7 fell is still a work of art compared even to many known controlled demolitions, most of which don’t go down 100% perfectly symmetrically either, although that’s the aim. Occasionally, even some known controlled demolitions have missed the mark by quite a bit.

I know I’ve seen photos of known controlled demolitions that went down far less symmetically than WTC 7, but I can’t easily find them offhand. Perhaps someone on the Truth Action board might have such photos handy. Today I asked about this in the thread Photos of controlled demolitions not as symmetric as WTC 7? on the Truth Action board.

Anyhow, as I said in that Truth Action forum post, to me the likelihood of WTC 7 going down as straight as it did, due to a purely “natural” collapse, is similar to the likelihood of a total baseball novice hitting a home run, having never even swung a bat before. It might not be 100% impossible, but if it happened I’d be very suspicious, to say the least – especially if also (a) there were evidence of a coverup of the alleged baseball novice’s background and (b) someone had won a billion dollars betting that the alleged baseball novice was going to hit a home run.

I’ve looked around at many different “debunking” sites to see what they had to say about the (almost perfectly) symmetical, straight-down vertical nature of the collapse of WTC 7. Most of those “debunking” sites totally ignored that issue. The best that any of the “debunkers” I’ve looked at so far could do, by way of a counterargument on this particular point, was to say that the collapse wasn’t perfectly symmetrical.

Anyhow, I’m glad that Pat has noted my commitment to seeking the truth. Alas, there are folks in every political movement that I’m aware of who seem to believe that blind dogmatism is a virtue. But I’m by no means the the only person in the 9/11 Truth movement who believes in careful examination of the evidence and weeding out bad arguments.

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13 Comments »

  1. Thanks Diane, for looking at the papers you were provided. You probably know enough physics to understand for yourself why WTC 7 collapsed almost straight down. Just draw a free body diagram of any gravity collapse of a building. Suppose the sixth floor of a random 47 story building suddenly gives way. Drow a freebody diagram of the upper 40 floors. There is only one force on it – gravity, therefore it can only fall in one direction, straight down. Any gravity collapse is going to be straight down because that’s the only force acting on. Therefore, the fact that WTC 7 fell into its own footprint really means nothing.

    Why then, do most controlled demolitions fall straight down too? Because they are types of gravity collapses. See this explanation of controlled demolition
    http://science.howstuffworks.com/building-implosion.htm

    It does say in that article to do a fully controlled implosion directly into the building footprint requires great skill, more than an ordinary demolition. But that didn’t happen at any of the WTC buildings anyway. They all fall partly outside the footprint. An ordinary demolition, not one designed to fall into its own footprint is going to resemble a natural gravity collapse, regardles of cause.

    See also this article here. It focuses on buildings 1 and 2, but many of the points are relevant to WTC 7 as well, including on the straight down nature of gravity collapses.
    http://www.uwgb.edu/DutchS/PSEUDOSC/911NutPhysics.HTM

    The person who wrote that article says he is willing to entertain questions, assuming you can answer his first question, which, I think you’ll grew, should always be a scientist’s first, or at least second, question.

    Finally, I have found an old article on progressive collapses for you. Note that are quite a variety of collapses – full and partial, tall buildings and small, caused by explosions, by bad construction, by impacts, and also note that many of them were straight down collapses. No exact parallels to 911, but I think you can see that progressive collapse is not exactly an unknown or unknowable phenomenon.

    file:///C:/Documents%2520and%2520Settings/dzw/Desktop/rp578.pdf

    Finally, you might want to look at the Kader Toy Factory Fire, 3 separate steel frame buildings that collapsed due to a fire. Photo looks to me like a total failure, not much left, straight down? Hard to say? Very few details on the internet, and this is the only photo I can find, you might just have to buy the book or go to the library if you want more.

    http://www.wsws.org/articles/2003/may2003/kade-m16.shtml

    This won’t answer all your questions on WTC 7 of course. But I hope it will get you thinking about how to analyze this issue for yourself. I can see you are already well on your way anyway. This is just an nudge.

    Comment by anonanonanon — November 22, 2007 @ 5:03 am | Reply

  2. Why would they want to demolish WTC 7 in the first place? Insurance, no. Government papers, how silly is that. No reason.

    Why would the FDNY evacuate the scene, if they didn’t fear a perfectly natural collapse?

    In my opinion, WTC 7 has always been a very weak argument. Amateurs trying to compare the WTC 7 collapse to known demolitions using google video and youtube. And let’s not even start with Danny Jowenko 🙂

    Comment by ref1 — November 22, 2007 @ 11:10 am | Reply

  3. (This comment is an edited pingback.)

    In the post linked below, I replied to a post on the Screw Loose Change blog which was a reply to me here.

    -Diane

    Pingback by The 9/11 Truth movement and me: Further reply to Pat Curley « New York City activist — November 22, 2007 @ 3:03 pm | Reply

  4. Corrected link to old article on progressive collapse. It is a 1973 guidance document from the canadian government.

    http://irc.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/pubs/rp/rp578/rp578.pdf

    Comment by anonanonanon — November 23, 2007 @ 6:00 am | Reply

  5. I’ll be replying to the comments here in a separate post later, probably tomorrow.

    Comment by Diane — November 23, 2007 @ 7:00 am | Reply

  6. ref1 wrote:

    Why would they want to demolish WTC 7 in the first place? Insurance, no. Government papers, how silly is that. No reason.

    I don’t know why. I can only guess. My guesses are:

    1) An excuse to deny FOIA requests. (We’ll see if that ever happens. This might be a long time in the future if it involves the CIA.)

    2) To destroy physical evidence of a possible Plan B that might have been carried out in the event that the airplanes had failed to hit the towers for whatever reason.

    As I said, these are only guesses.

    Why would the FDNY evacuate the scene, if they didn’t fear a perfectly natural collapse?

    I am well aware that they feared a perfectly natural collapse. I already pointed this out myself a long time ago. Please see my post Straight-down collapse of WTC 7 – what do “debunkers” say?. To me, what seems suspicious is not the mere fact that WTC 7 collapsed, but the way it collapsed. I’ll explain this in more detail in a soon-forthcoming post.

    Comment by Diane — November 23, 2007 @ 10:10 pm | Reply

  7. Four-story toy factory, built to Thai code (maybe), and fire on the first floor. Great comparison. I know, “twoofers” say that no steel framed building has ever collapsed, and this “debunks” it.

    There is plenty of information on the Internet about the structure of the factory. Yes, steel-framed, uninsulated, with heavy fuel load. Don’t know the grade of steel, but it’s reasonable to presume lower grade.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=Ceuq9P4hLJMC&pg=RA1-PT118&lpg=RA1-PT118&dq=kader+industrial+toy+factory+fire&source=web&ots=NIlwQUImkE&sig=2c8RWMMjSmPn_X4XygHB1C-rqvo

    http://www.ilo.org/public/english/protection/safework/hazardwk/fire/fir01.htm

    http://www.iklimnet.com/hotelfires/industrial_fire_case10.html

    Comment by dwightvw — November 27, 2007 @ 6:23 am | Reply

  8. http://www.amrc.org.hk/4712.htm

    The Factory Act was violated; instead of being built with reinforced concrete the factory was made with cheaper uninsulated steel, resulting in rapid collapse, killing many of the workers who had not escaped.

    Kader had not obtained the legally required local construction certificate. This was possible because the government does not employ enough qualified engineers to ensure the law is enforced.

    http://www.hrsolidarity.net/mainfile.php/1993vol05no03/2056/

    Most deadly of all was the substandard construction of the buildings – they fell like “a stack of poker cards” in 15-20 minutes. Despite the rather weak structure, over 500 sewing machines were placed on the upper levels. The weight factor contributed to the quick collapse. But the director of Hong Kong-based Kader Industrial Co., Kenneth Ting, was defensive: ‘We are just manufacturers, how do you expect us to know about building construction?”

    There is a commonality with the WTC, though:

    http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/1230-05.htm

    Neil Bush is not the first presidential relative involved in foreign business dealings. Billy Carter registered as an agent of the Libyan government during the tenure of his brother, Jimmy Carter. He also disclosed that he had received a $220,000 loan from Libyan partners.

    In a deposition taken March 3 as part of his divorce case, Neil Bush said he earned $642,000 from the deal that paired U.S.-based Kopin Corp. investors with the CP (Charoen Pokphand) Group, an Asian firm headed by Dhanin Chearavanont.

    The CP Group, a huge agricultural conglomerate, is involved in such businesses as aquaculture, telecommunications and motorcycle manufacturing. It was also a 40 percent partner in a company that owned a Thailand toy factory that was destroyed by fire in 1993, killing 188 workers, according to a report by Kroll Associates, a private investigation and risk assessment company. The blaze, which also injured 469 workers, has been labeled the world’s worst industrial fire.

    Comment by dwightvw — November 27, 2007 @ 6:33 am | Reply

  9. Diane, here’s another article from ENR by a fire engineer who slams NIST and talks about how going against the interests of advertisers is damaging to an engineer’s career. I found it at the same time as the “progressive collapse” article I’m still looking for. I’m hoping I scanned it, too.

    http://leviathans-betrayal.blogspot.com/2007/07/independent-fire-protection-engineer.html

    Comment by dwightvw — November 27, 2007 @ 8:04 am | Reply

  10. Is this the article?

    http://enr.construction.com/features/buildings/archives/040607-1.asp

    Am I missign something? While the article criticizes NIST and SSC for pushing new building code changes, the engineers seem to mostly agree with NISTs findings regarding collapse mechanism. How does this help your case>

    Comment by anonanonanon — November 27, 2007 @ 8:27 am | Reply

  11. In a comment on my post about Fire temperatures and steel temperatures, anonanonanon wrote:

    It is known that fire can cause ANY building to collapse. This is based on both theory and experience with fire in 19th-century buildings made of structural iron (precursor to structural steel). By the time structural steel was invented, engineers developed ways to minimize the effects of fire, but never lost site of the fact that the effects of fire could be total and devestating. If Cardington proves that some buildings may perform much better than expected, WTC 7 proves that some buildings may perform much worse.

    So we agree, at the very least, that WTC 7 “performed much worse” than expected?

    So, we agree on one thing.

    I would also agree with you that below-par performance, even extremely below-par performance, is not, in and of itself, a good reason to conclude or even strongly suspect anything in particular, especially about a building of such unusual design.

    As you know, though, I don’t think that the only strange thing about WTC 7 was its exceedingly below-par performance.

    Comment by Diane — December 6, 2007 @ 11:15 am | Reply

  12. I am not sure that you and I agree on what “performed much worse” than expected means, at least in this context. WTC 7 had at least 3 features that made it much more likely to collapse than an ordinary building in an ordinary fire.
    1) It sustained severe structural damage in addition to fire. I can’t stress this enough. There were I believe, 5 high rise steel structures in the world that ever experienced both severe structural damage and severe fires at the same time that were not in war zones or earthquakes. All 5 were involved in 911 and 3 of them fell down, the other two were irreparably destroyed but remained standing ( I think the 5 were WTC 1,2 and 7, Deutsche bank and the Marriot Hotel, let me know if I left any others out) In WTC 7’s case, it was enough to tear out a huge gash in the side and knock the whole building out of alignment (out of alignment even by a small amount can render a building unsafe).
    2) Building had unusual structural features. It was really a building on top of a building. This is such a strange thing to do, I am surprised they were allowed to it. I know this was the plan all along, and they did what they could to make it safe. Doesn’t mean it was ever a good idea, or that it would act like other buildings in any given circumstance.
    3) Buiding had 30,000 gallons of diesel fuel in it. It’s very unusual to have that amount of fuel in a building outside the basement, and I think it is (or was) a violation of New York City fire code, though they must have gotten a variance. Again, having a variance doesn’t make it a good or idea or mean it should act like any other building.

    If we agree on those things, then yes, we agree on at least one thing.

    Comment by anonanonanon — December 6, 2007 @ 2:24 pm | Reply

  13. anonanonanon wrote:

    I am not sure that you and I agree on what “performed much worse” than expected means, at least in this context. WTC 7 had at least 3 features that made it much more likely to collapse than an ordinary building in an ordinary fire.
    1) It sustained severe structural damage in addition to fire. I can’t stress this enough. There were I believe, 5 high rise steel structures in the world that ever experienced both severe structural damage and severe fires at the same time that were not in war zones or earthquakes. All 5 were involved in 911 and 3 of them fell down, the other two were irreparably destroyed but remained standing ( I think the 5 were WTC 1,2 and 7, Deutsche bank and the Marriot Hotel, let me know if I left any others out) In WTC 7’s case, it was enough to tear out a huge gash in the side and knock the whole building out of alignment (out of alignment even by a small amount can render a building unsafe).

    There were other buildings irreparably damaged but still standing on 9/11 (WTC 4, WTC 5, WTC 6, and Fiterman Hall), but I guess none of them (except possibly Fiterman Hall?) would qualify as high-rises. (Also I’m not sure whether Fiterman Hall had a fire.)

    Anyhow, I’ll agree that WTC 7 suffered severe structural damage, except to note the following:

    1) As even the 2004 NIST interim report on WTC 7 mentions, there are conflicting descriptions of the “huge gash” in the south face, so we can’t be absolutely sure of its extent, e.g. whether any core columns were severed.

    2) The damage to WTC 7 was not anywhere nearly as severe as the damage to WTC 3 (the Marriott). Yet the latter remained standing, despite being irreparably damaged otherwise. Yes I realize this is not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison since the buildings were of different design.

    2) Building had unusual structural features. It was really a building on top of a building. This is such a strange thing to do, I am surprised they were allowed to it. I know this was the plan all along, and they did what they could to make it safe. Doesn’t mean it was ever a good idea, or that it would act like other buildings in any given circumstance.

    Agreed that this is strange and a risk factor, though far from the craziest kind of building we have here in New York, where we even have skyscrapers built on top of bridges (over very wide highways, in some places).

    3) Buiding had 30,000 gallons of diesel fuel in it. It’s very unusual to have that amount of fuel in a building outside the basement, and I think it is (or was) a violation of New York City fire code, though they must have gotten a variance. Again, having a variance doesn’t make it a good or idea or mean it should act like any other building.

    Agreed that all that fuel was a fire hazard. Still the fire was not nearly as severe as the other high-rise fires described here (at least one of which also involved an “explosion” – not sure how severe), none of which led to total collapse. (One led to partial collapse and the others did not lead to any collapse.)

    Comment by Diane — December 6, 2007 @ 4:14 pm | Reply


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