New York City activist

November 27, 2007

Richard Gage’s slide show, WTC 7 section: Reply to charlienneb

I’ll now reply to charlienneb’s review of the section on WTC 7 in Richard Gage’s powerpoint presentation.

In my quotes from charlienneb’s review below, I’ll add links to the specific slides he’s talking about. (Note: Some of the slides contain streaming video. Normally I do not link to streaming video here. Please do NOT link to streaming video in comments, as per my comment policy.)

Slide 12 Compares pictures of concrete strucures to collapse of the Twin Tower and WTC7

Do you know of any examples of collapses of steel-frame (or at the very least steel-reinforced) buildings, especially skyscrapers, other than the partial collapse of the Windsor building? I agree that steel-frame buildings would be a more relevant comparison. But, as far as I am aware, there aren’t any other examples of total skyscraper collapses besides WTC 1 and 2.

Slide 14 The Oslo demotlion video (already discussed) with the caption “Fires don’t do this to buidings” (already discussed).

I don’t recall a discussion about the caption here. Did you copy and paste your review from someplace else where you did talk about it? If so, could you please provide a link to that discussion?

Slide 15 Characterisics of controlled demoltion diagram Many errors, dealt with in subsequent slides.

Slide 18 Suggests WTC7 had “only a few small fires”. Completely at odds with firefighter testimony.

Indeed, as I’ve already noted elsewhere on my blog (e.g. in Straight-down collapse of WTC 7 – what do “debunkers” say?), it seems to me that many people in the 9/11 Truth movement have underestimated the extent of fires in WTC 7, probably because most of the photos were taken from the north side, whereas the fires were mainly on the south and east side. Ditto regarding the structural damage due to debris from WTC 1.

BUt, to me, all of this extremely asymmetrical fire and damage only underscores the unlikelihood of WTC 7 falling down without more of a tilt to the south than there was.

Slide 19 Suggests WTC7 did not fall towards it’s damaged side – it did.

Yep it did lean slightly toward the south, which should be noted. But, to me, the big question is why it didn’t lean a whole lot more – as did, for example, the top part of WTC 2.

Slide 30 Suggests symmetrical collapse of WTC7 – it wasn’t symmetrical.

Not quite, but pretty darned close. Closer than some known controlled demolitions, even. But, yes, it would be more precise to say “almost perfectly symmetrical” rather than just “symmetrical.”

Anyhow, I didn’t find this in slide 30. Perhaps you meant Slide 20?

Slide 23 Suggests all colummns failed simutaneously and WTC7 fell in 6.5 seconds. They did not and it fell in around 16 seconds.

The final global collapse did indeed take 6.5 seconds, did it not? Yes, the core columns failed earlier, during the 10 seconds or so before the global collapse. Anyhow, given the almost-perfect symmetry of the global collapse, it does indeed seem that all or most of the perimeter columns (other than ones previously damaged) failed at the same time. Would you not agree?

Slide 27 Audio of emergency worker describing fall of WTC7. He could just as easily be describing the natural collapse of 7, rather than a demoiltion. The audio ends before emergency worker has finished speaking. Why?

Indeed the testimony is perhaps ambiguous. How would you differentiate, in terms of sound, between actual explosions and natural collapse phenomena interpreted as explosions?

Slide 28 Video in which Craig Bartmer says he was real close to building 7 when it collapsed and had to run away from it when it collapsed. Why? A collapse zone had been set up around 7 much earlier.

Good question, which should be checked into. The same question should be asked about the testimony of Kevin McPadden, which I’ve had questions about on other grounds. Is it possible that a few people might have been sent back into the collapse zone in order to rescue other people there?

Slide 30 Headline of a story in the New York Times from November 29th, 2001: “Engineers baffled over collapse of 7 WTC”.

I think something up to date would be more appropriate, but we can all pick and choose our own quotes. Here are mine from the same article cited by Gage:

The building had suffered mightily from the fire that raged in it, and it had been wounded by the flying beams falling off the towers.

One tank holding 6,000 gallons of fuel was in the building to provide power to the command bunker on the 23rd floor. Another set of four tanks holding as much as 36,000 gallons were just below ground on the building’s southwest side for generators that served some of the other tenants.

Engineers and other experts have already uncovered evidence at the collapse site suggesting that some type of fuel played a significant role in the building’s demise

Still, experts concede, in a hellish day, 7 World Trade might have sustained structural injuries never envisioned in fire codes.

Any structure anywhere in the world, if you put it in these conditions, it will not stand,” Mr. Marcus said. “The buildings are not designed to be a torch.”

It would be good to specify what the engineers did find “baffling” about the collapse, as mentioned in the headline, besides just the sheer unusualness of a steel-frame building collapsing because of a fire. And it would be good to name some of the specific engineers who found it baffling (if these engineers aren’t named elsewhere in the slideshow), rather than just referring to anonymous “experts.”

Slide 32-35 Pictures of buildings on fire as evidence that fires don’t cause collapse. No details of of their construction method or whether the fires were fought (WTC7 fires were not fought). The much used Windsor building is noteably absent, as the Truth Movement has finally cottoned on to the fact that the steel portion of this building did indeed collapse.

Jim Hoffman has a page about the Windsor building fire. Anyhow, this was only a partial collapse. Do you know of any instances of total collapse of steel-frame buildings (especially skyscrapers) due to fire?

I do think it’s legitimate to say that collapses of steel frame skyscrapers due to fire are extremely rare and unlikely. (See Jim Hoffman’s page about Other Skyscraper Fires.) But I agree that it’s an overstatement to suggest that they are outright impossible. After all, if they were not even theoretically possible, then why even bother with fireproofing?

Slide 36. A picture of small fire at WTC7. Tell that to a firefighter who was there.

The slide does mention at least the possibility of “severe fires” on the other side of the building, though it may come across as overstating doubt about their existence. In any case, it is clear that the fires, even if much greater on the south side, can’t possibly be as massive as the fires shown in the other slides, which engulfed entire buildings. The slide also mentions another important point, namely the asymmetricality of the fires.

Slide 37 More pictures of collapsed buildings. No details of construction method nor cause of collapse.

Actually, this slide does mention that the collapses shown here are due to earthquakes. It should be admitted here that earthquakes are more likely to cause toppling, and more extreme toppling, than other kinds of natural collapses, due to the lateral shaking.

On the other hand, it seems to me that many official-theory defenders have overstated the likelihood that a steel-frame skyscraper could collapse straight down with little or no leaning. The top part of WTC 2 is an obvious counterexample.

Slide 44 Suggests evidence destroyed by FEMA. Evidence for this claim would be nice.

I would suggest the 2001 Fire Engineering article which I quote in WTC 1 and 2: Focus on the need for a new investigation in my post Demolition of WTC: Let’s not overstate the case, please.

I would also suggest the news stories quoted on Jim Hoffman’s page about WTC Steel Removal.

Slide 47

1) Complaint that WTC7 is ignored in the 9/11 Commission report. The 9/11 Comission report was never meant to be an analysis of building collapses – that task is NIST’s. What should they have said in the report? If they said ”analysis of the collapse of building 7 has been tasked to NIST” would Gage be happier?

The 9/11 Commission, which was supposed to have been independent of the Bush administration (but wasn’t really), should have included a scientific panel. The problem with merely leaving all the technical stuff entirely up to NIST is that NIST is a part of the executive branch of the government, hence has a conflict of interest in investigating even the possibility of negligence or even incompetence, let alone complicity, by high-ranking officials in the Bush administration. The 9/11 Commission, on the other hand, worked directly under Congress, which is supposed to act as a check and balance on the power of the executive branch, but which, alas, has all too often failed to do so.

This objection should be clarified in Gage’s presentation. The 9/11 Commission is worth mentioning, but, since the 9/11 Commission apparently did not include a scientific panel, it is probably best discussed briefly in a separate section, not as part of the discussion of how the buildings were destroyed.

2) Complaint that ARA Associates have been asked by NIST to analyse floors 8 to 46 only and claims this is because analysis of floors 1-7 and 47 will yield evidence of a controlled demoltion.

I would suggest making this a question (and only a very tentative question) rather than a statement.

NIST broke the analysis up in this manner because floors 8-46 are of a homogeneouse construction design. Floors 1-7 and 47 are of different design. NIST themselves will analyse these floors. I guess we can add the 200 or so scientists and engineers to the vast number of people involved in the conpiracy.

I don’t think it likely that all those NIST scientists are in on any criminal plot. The number of knowing perpetrators would need to be have been kept quite small.

It might be interesting to look at how the work was divided up amongst those people who did look at Floors 1-7 and 47. Are there, for example, any parts of that investigation where access to key evidence has been suspiciously limited to only a very few people? That’s a question worth exploring, to which I don’t know the answer.

3) Quoted newspaper headlines of Max Cleland’s resignation from 9/11 commission. Gage seems to be intimating that Cleland’s resignation is connected to 1) and 2) above. This is incorrect and dishonest.

As I said earlier, I think it would be a good idea to discuss the 9/11 Commission Report briefly in a separate section. Then there would be no such intimation.

Slide 49 Claim that building 7 fell at freefall speed in 6.5 seconds. It did not.

Again the global collapse took 6.5 seconds. Indeed that’s not exactly free-fall, but close. The question is whether it is too close for a natural collapse.

Slide 51 Demolition expert Danny Jowenko confirms WTC7 controlled demolition by merley looking at a video. No explantion of how the building was rigged or the absence of loud demolition charges. Looking forward to the Twin Towers section where Danny Jowenko will appear confirming his belief that the towers were not a controlled demolition. (Oh dear, Jowenko is absent from that section).

If indeed you’re correct about Jowenko’s views on the Twin Towers (something that should be checked), then, for the sake of accurately representing Jowenko’s views, it would be good for Richard Gage’s slideshow to mention that Jowenko does not think likewise of the Twin Towers. But, instead of putting this in the section on the Twin Towers, it would suffice to add a brief, small-print parenthetical note to the above-mentioned slide, along the lines of “(Jowenko does not believe the same about the Twin Towers, whose destruction did not as closely resemble a standard controlled demolition.)”

Slide 52 Expert Hugo Bachmann gives opinion that WTC7 was probaby controlled demolition. A link to anything where Bachmann explains his reasoning would be good.

Indeed that would be highly desirable.

Slide 53. Two videos compared side by side. One of WTC7 and one of a controlled demolition. Zoom in on “squibs.” The “squibs” on WTC7 are clearly material attached to the building and not demolition “squibs.”

“Attached to” the building??? Looks to me like stuff is flying away. Could you please clarify your objection here, e.g. by explaining what you mean by “attached”?

Slides 55-59 Series of slides where molten metal is conflated with molten steel.

Indeed the question of whether and to what extent we can be sure that the molten metal is steel (or iron) should be explicitly addressed, at least briefly. Some witnesses reported seeing a white hot molten metal, which indeed could have been steel (or another iron alloy). I don’t recall offhand whether Gage’s presentation contains any mention of the iron-alloy spherules and the “meteorites” (as discussed by Steven Jones), but, if it doesn’t, it should, since these are stronger evidence than just the testimonies alone.

The photogram in slide 57 shows gound zero hotspots at a maximum of around 1377 degrees Fahrenheit – greater than the temperature at which, for example, aluminum and zinc melt, but nowhere near enough to melt steel.

The temperatures further down could have been much higher than the temperatures on the surface. Thus the temperatures of the GZ hot spots are not inconsistent with the presence of molten iron/steel further down. Of course they don’t prove that the temperatures were hot enough further down, but they are not inconsistent with that claim.

There is a highly dubious video clip in slide 59, where the speaker is abruptly cut of after he utters the word “molten”. I suspect that the source of the video clip would be enlightening as to what Gage is trying to do here.

The team responsible for putting together Gage’s presentation should look into this.

Slides 60-65 Deal with foreknowledge of collapse. Yes, indeed the firefighter knew it would collapse. Their observations at the scene told them as much. BBC foreknowledge – add the BBC to the vast army of conspirators.

Indeed there’s nothing suspicious about the “foreknowledge,” as I’ve noted in past posts. (See Straight-down collapse of WTC 7 – what do “debunkers” say? and the section “Foreknowledge” by NYC officials – a bad argument in my post Demolition of WTC: Let’s not overstate the case, please.)

To me, what’s suspicious about WTC 7 is not the mere fact that it collapsed, but the way it collapsed. What I’m inclined to believe is that whoever demolished it deliberately waited a plausible amount of time for a possibly “natural” collapse, and then demolished the building in such a way as to ensure that it was indeed thoroughly destroyed.

More about this in future posts.

To Richard Gage, if you’re reading this: Please see also this comment by “patslc” (who I think is Pat Curley) and my reply immediately beneath it. You might also be interested in my other posts about WTC 7.

P.S., 11/29/2007: In case this isn’t clear to all readers, I should mention that, although I agree, to at least some extent, with some of charlieneb’s specific criticisms, I basically support Gage’s work. Certainly I support Gage’s aim, which is to attract architects, engineers, and scientists into the 9/11 Truth movement. Only thus can we develop a more solid case as far as the scientific matters are concerned. His presentation might fulfill that aim better than it is doing already, and perhaps attract more structural engineers in particular, if it were to incorporate the improvements suggested above.

P.S., 12/7/2007: Richard Gage has made numerous changes to his slideshow in response to email from me. The changes affect even the numbering of the slides, so that many of the links above are out-of-date.

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32 Comments »

  1. Diane, if you don’t drop out of the Truth Movement you scare me greatly because you’re already better at arguing the case reasonably than anybody I’ve come across. 😉

    Good point on McPadden; check out the famed video of (what appears to be) Amy Goodman watching the collapse and realize that McPadden claims he was only a few feet away from her. If he was running, he was the only person there who was (which is not what he claims at all).

    Another point you might quiz Mr Gage on is his use of the word “pyroclastic”; to paraphrase Inego Montoya, I don’t think that word means what he thinks it does.

    Yes, I am Pat Curley; apparently I had registered both my name and my backup nickname with WordPress sometime ago, but I could not remember what my password was.

    Comment by patslc — November 28, 2007 @ 12:28 am | Reply

  2. patslc (Pat Curley) wrote:

    Good point on McPadden; check out the famed video of (what appears to be) Amy Goodman watching the collapse and realize that McPadden claims he was only a few feet away from her. If he was running, he was the only person there who was (which is not what he claims at all).

    Thanks for the info. I’ll have to look into this at some point.

    Another point you might quiz Mr Gage on is his use of the word “pyroclastic”; to paraphrase Inego Montoya, I don’t think that word means what he thinks it does.

    Indeed this is something I was already planning to mention to him, if and whenever I finish writing the critique I was planning to send him.

    Comment by Diane — November 28, 2007 @ 4:29 am | Reply

  3. […] 11/28/2007: Pat Curley wrote, in a comment on my post Richard Gage’s slide show, WTC 7 section: Reply to charlienneb: “Good point on […]

    Pingback by WTC 7 - witnesses heard countdown? « New York City activist — November 28, 2007 @ 7:03 am | Reply

  4. >>BUt, to me, all of this extremely asymmetrical fire and damage only underscores the unlikelihood of WTC 7 falling down without more of a tilt to the south than there was.

    >>Yep it did lean slightly toward the south, which should be noted. But, to me, the big question is why it didn’t lean a whole lot more – as did, for example, the top part of WTC 2.

    >>Not quite, but pretty darned close. Closer than some known controlled demolitions, even. But, yes, it would be more precise to say “almost perfectly symmetrical” rather than just “symmetrical.”

    Good responses here. I think what these really show is that despite minor imperfections that some are pointing out, the basic positions are still strong. Steven Jones states in his paper –

    “The likelihood of complete and nearly-symmetrical collapse due to random fires as in the ‘official’ theory is small, since non-symmetrical failure is so much more likely. If one or a few columns had failed, one might expect a portion of the building to crumble while leaving much of the building standing. For example, major portions of WTC 5 remained standing on 9/11 despite very significant impact damage and severe fires.”
    http://www.journalof911studies.com/volume/200609/Why_Indeed_Did_the_WTC_Buildings_Completely_Collapse_Jones_Thermite_World_Trade_Center.pdf

    >>Certainly I support Gage’s aim, which is to attract architects, engineers, and scientists into the 9/11 Truth movement. Only thus can we develop a more solid case as far as the scientific matters are concerned.

    Good point too.

    Comment by reader21 — November 29, 2007 @ 8:22 pm | Reply

  5. Another thing that pops out at me from the “Blueprint for Destruction” video is when Gage presents the claim at about 29:50 that Mark Loiseaux supports the claim of molten steel in the basement. However, what he presents is Dylan Avery quoting that great primary source, American Free Press. I encourage you to look into American Free Press, its founder Willis Carto, and the reporter who “broke” the story, convicted fugitive Christopher Bollyn. Bollyn is widely cited by even the most respectable “Truthers” like David Ray Griffin and (indirectly in this case) Richard Gage. It might baffle you why they would cite him because it’s a slam-dunk for debunkers like me to point out Bollyn’s anti-semitic associations and Holocaust Denial. So why cite him? It’s because Bollyn’s “reporting” is the only source for many key claims.

    And beyond the Bollyn/American Free Press issue, think for a moment about the controlled demolition claims. Most of the CD believers link Loiseaux’s firm, Controlled Demolition, Inc., with the deed. So what they really think is not only did Loiseaux participate in the “inside job”, but that he gave the “Truth” movement one of its major pieces of evidence.

    It’s like Silverstein’s “pull it”; what we like to refer to as a “Merry Pason” confession. Remember the old Perry Mason shows where through a clever series of indirect questions Perry would trap the witness into confessing his guilt? Well, in the Merry Pason world you give the witness a softball question and he blurts out, “I confess! I did it!”

    Gage also cites Indira Singh, the remarkable everywhere woman of 9-11 “Truth”. Back in the days when “PTech” was the buzzword, Indira was a software specialist who was supposed to be in the Towers when they were hit and knew about PTech well before 9-11. When WTC-7 became the cutting edge, there was Indira the volunteer EMT to tell us that she was told the building was being “brought down”. And if (as I expect), the movement recedes to air quality issues, there will be Indira the tenant with her discussion about how they never really cleaned her apartment which was seven blocks from the WTC.

    Note also that Singh specifically states that the Fire Department told her they were going to have to bring WTC-7 down. So we are into the FDNY being in on the plot territory. Of course, we don’t need Singh to do that; really to buy the CD of WTC-7 you have to discount the testimony of many firefighters about how the building was “leaning” and the statement by Chief Nigro that they fixed a transit on the building and discovered it was moving.

    One more thing on WTC-7; a lot of people seem to think they can choose the controlled demolition of that building a la carte. It doesn’t work that way. If you believe CD of WTC-7, you have to believe CD of the North Tower. Why? Because if the North Tower doesn’t collapse there would be no explanation at all for the collapse of WTC-7. But of course the plotters could have no guarantee that WTC-1 would collapse just because a jet hit it and ignited huge fires, and even if they were sure it would come down they had no guarantee that it would impact that particular building severely enough to cover up the CD of WTC-7. So they had to do a controlled demolition of the North Tower in such a way that it was guaranteed to do extensive damage to WTC-7.

    But here you get into really difficult territory, because the North Tower collapse is easily explained by the “official” theory and not by the conspiracy theories. You can look at photos of the building on fire and see that the columns around the perimeter have snapped like twigs because the floor trusses sagging inwards caused them to bow and then break. How could that happen with thermite or explosives with every available camera in NYC focused intently on that building? Either would have been obvious; thermite generates a blinding light, while explosives produce light, sound and debris. And neither would result in the quite visible pulling of those columns into the building. I’ve never heard yet of an explosive that could pull something towards it.

    Comment by patslc — November 29, 2007 @ 8:43 pm | Reply

  6. Sorry, hit send on that without checking one fact from memory. It was not Chief Nigro but Deputy Chief Peter Hayden who reported about the transit.

    http://www.firehouse.com/terrorist/911/magazine/gz/hayden.html

    Comment by patslc — November 29, 2007 @ 8:53 pm | Reply

  7. patslc (Pat Curley) wrote:

    Another thing that pops out at me from the “Blueprint for Destruction” video is when Gage presents the claim at about 29:50 that Mark Loiseaux supports the claim of molten steel in the basement. However, what he presents is Dylan Avery quoting that great primary source, American Free Press. I encourage you to look into American Free Press, its founder Willis Carto, and the reporter who “broke” the story, convicted fugitive Christopher Bollyn.

    I’m already aware of AFP and its Nazi-sympathizer connections. Indeed it was already on my list of things to write to Richard Gage about.

    Bollyn is widely cited by even the most respectable “Truthers” like David Ray Griffin and (indirectly in this case) Richard Gage. It might baffle you why they would cite him because it’s a slam-dunk for debunkers like me to point out Bollyn’s anti-semitic associations and Holocaust Denial. So why cite him?

    Most likely because he’s already cited in the more widely-promoted videos, such as Loose Change, and too many other people just aren’t bothering to do their own research. Alas, even Griffin, whom one would think ought to know better, seems to have been rather careless except on a few specific issues that he bothered to pay a lot of attention to.

    It’s because Bollyn’s “reporting” is the only source for many key claims.

    Not so. There are plenty of other sources regarding the molten metal, for example, as mentioned in the section on Thermite (or Thermate) in my post Demolition of WTC: Let’s not overstate the case, please.

    And beyond the Bollyn/American Free Press issue, think for a moment about the controlled demolition claims. Most of the CD believers link Loiseaux’s firm, Controlled Demolition, Inc., with the deed.

    I don’t, at least not necessarily. I do think CDI should be questioned as part of any serious criminal investigation, and perhaps they should even be on the preliminary suspect list, but I see no reason to consider them guilty as of yet.

    Gage also cites Indira Singh, the remarkable everywhere woman of 9-11 “Truth”. Back in the days when “PTech” was the buzzword, Indira was a software specialist who was supposed to be in the Towers when they were hit and knew about PTech well before 9-11. When WTC-7 became the cutting edge, there was Indira the volunteer EMT to tell us that she was told the building was being “brought down”.

    Quick question: Are you sure that these are both the same Indira Singh, rather than two women with the same name? If I’m not mistaken, “Indira” and “Singh” are both extremely common names among people from India, of whom there are a great many in and around NYC. I would expect “Indira Singh” to be about as common a name around here as, say, “Mary Smith.” Note: I don’t have evidence that we ARE dealing with more than one Indira Singh here; I’m just asking if you are sure that they are the same.

    Anyhow, thanks for pointing out a potential problem here.

    Note also that Singh specifically states that the Fire Department told her they were going to have to bring WTC-7 down. So we are into the FDNY being in on the plot territory.

    That, to me, seems exceedingly unlikely. I would be extremely reluctant to accuse firefighters of anything.

    Of course, we don’t need Singh to do that; really to buy the CD of WTC-7 you have to discount the testimony of many firefighters about how the building was “leaning” and the statement by Chief Nigro that they fixed a transit on the building and discovered it was moving.

    About the leaning and the transit: See my latest post WTC 7: FEMA report and NIST prelim report: What about pre-collapse leaning and the transit???. By the way, do you happen to know of any other good sources of firefighter testimony on this matter besides the sources mentioned in my post?

    Anyhow, I don’t discount their testimony, nor do I need to, as I’ve already explained in a few posts here, and as I plan to explain in more detail in a soon-forthcoming post.

    One more thing on WTC-7; a lot of people seem to think they can choose the controlled demolition of that building a la carte. It doesn’t work that way. If you believe CD of WTC-7, you have to believe CD of the North Tower. Why? Because if the North Tower doesn’t collapse there would be no explanation at all for the collapse of WTC-7. But of course the plotters could have no guarantee that WTC-1 would collapse just because a jet hit it and ignited huge fires, and even if they were sure it would come down they had no guarantee that it would impact that particular building severely enough to cover up the CD of WTC-7. So they had to do a controlled demolition of the North Tower in such a way that it was guaranteed to do extensive damage to WTC-7.

    A non-natural collapse of WTC 7 certainly does suggest at least the very strong likelihood of a non-natural collapse of WTC 1 too, for exactly the reason you mentioned. However, the perpetrators might have had a plan B, to provide them with some other plausible excuse for a quasi-natural collapse of WTC 7, in the event that it wasn’t hit by enough debris from WTC 1.

    But here you get into really difficult territory, because the North Tower collapse is easily explained by the “official” theory and not by the conspiracy theories.

    Of that, I’m not convinced, but you’re welcome to try to convince me.

    By the way, I’d prefer that you used a term like “inside job theory” rather than “conspiracy theory,” for two reasons: (1) Every explanation of what happened on 9/11, including the official story, involves a conspiracy. (2) The term “conspiracy theory” is often used, in a propagandistic way, to lump together truly wacky and grandiose conspiratorial claims with smaller-scale, more reasonable hypotheses. (See my post Chip Berlet and “conspiracism”.)

    You can look at photos of the building on fire and see that the columns around the perimeter have snapped like twigs because the floor trusses sagging inwards caused them to bow and then break. How could that happen with thermite or explosives with every available camera in NYC focused intently on that building? Either would have been obvious; thermite generates a blinding light,

    Would it necessarily have been seen as a “blinding light” if it were used in hidden-away places like elevator shafts or crawlspaces? Anyhow, I have yet to study the oral histories in detail, but my recollection is that there were indeed testimonies about flashes of light, which perhaps could be consistent with a hidden-away “blinding light.”

    while explosives produce light, sound and debris.

    There were indeed plenty of witness testimonies about “huge explosions,” although exactly what those “huge explosions” were is open to interpretation. As for debris, well, there are those “squibs,” although exactly what they were is open to interpretation, too. (See the sections on Sounds of explosions heard by witnesses and the “squibs” in my post Demolition of WTC: Let’s not overstate the case, please.) I don’t consider either of these to be conclusive, unambiguous evidence of the use of explosives, but it seems to me that they are at least consistent with the use of explosives, unless I’m missing something.

    And neither would result in the quite visible pulling of those columns into the building. I’ve never heard yet of an explosive that could pull something towards it.

    One thing that could indeed cause that pulling might be the breaking of core columns lower down in the building. And perhaps explosives and/or thermite could have something to do with the latter.

    Anyhow, after I’ve finished writing my series of posts about WTC 7, one of the next things on my agenda will be to look into the various critiques of the NIST report and any substantive counterarguments that are brought to my attention against those critiques. Are you aware of any substantive rebuttals to the critiques listed in the section on the NIST report in my post Demolition of WTC: Let’s not overstate the case, please? (Note: by “substantive” I mean focussed on the actual content of what the person says, rather than trying to shoot the messenger. For example, the fact that Kevin Ryan is a chemist and not a structural engineer is irrelevant to his critique, which is focussed on matters of general scientific methodology, not on any arcane matter that only structural engineers would know about.) Another commenter on this blog has already recommended that I read Ryan Mackey’s paper “On Debunking 9/11 Debunking,” which is alleged to contain an indirect critique of Kevin Ryan via a critique of David Griffin. (That in itself makes me doubt it’s a good critique of Ryan, but I’ll read it anyway.) Are there any others you would recommend?

    Comment by Diane — November 30, 2007 @ 1:55 am | Reply

  8. Diane,

    What would convince you it was not an inside job, or not a demolition?

    Comment by ref1 — November 30, 2007 @ 10:48 am | Reply

  9. Diane wrote:
    His presentation might fulfill that aim better than it is doing already, and perhaps attract more structural engineers in particular, if it were to incorporate the improvements suggested above.

    The most convincing thing ae911truth.org can do is prepare an engineering report and have one of their engineers stamp it.

    Comment by anonanonanon — November 30, 2007 @ 2:13 pm | Reply

  10. ref1 wrote:

    What would convince you it was not an inside job, or not a demolition?

    Let’s stick with the narrower issue of demolition of the WTC buildings for now. The following horrendously expensive experiments could convince me, depending on their outcome:

    !) Build maybe a dozen full-scale replicas of WTC 7 out in some thinnly populated region somewhere, then give them all enough good hard whacks with with a wrecking ball to simulate the damage to WTC 7, and then observe what percentage of them (a) collapse totally at all and (b) collapse in a manner as close-to-symmetrical as the WTC 7 collapse.

    2) Build maybe a dozen full-scale replicas of the Twin Towers out in some thinnly populated region somewhere, then crash auto-piloted jets into them and see what happens.

    Both experiments would need to be overseen by a committee of scientists representing both sides of the debate, to ensure that the models are not unfairly biased in any way.

    Of course, these horrendously expensive experiments aren’t likely to happen. I bring them up because one of the main problems here is a lack of relevant scientific data on how steel-frame skyscrapers collapse, because, as far as I am aware, there are no other examples of skyscraper collapses, other than the only partial collapse of the Windsor building. Do you know of any others?

    Anyhow, let me now address the question of what could convince me on a more realistic level, in the absence of the above-described unlikely-to-happen experiments. Below, I’ll outline what I think the key issues are.

    Regarding WTC 7, the key issue, to me, is the question of why it didn’t tilt more than it did. I’ll discuss this issue in more detail in my next several posts.

    Regarding WTC 1 and 2, the key issues are:

    1) The plausibility of NIST’s initiation-of-collapse hypothesis, or some similar hypothesis. On this matter, I’m not yet prepared to answer the question of what it would take to convince me, because I’m not yet fully informed of what the issues of contention are from both sides. As I also asked Pat Curley, do you know of any good, substantive (as opposed to ad hominem) rebuttals of the critiques listed here? (Ryan Mackey’s “On Debunking 9/11 Debunking” is already on my reading list.)

    2) The plausibility of Bazant’s progressive collapse hypothesis, or some similar hypothesis. In particular, was the structural steel really as fragile (relative to what was hitting it) as Bazant claims? If so, there might be some smaller-scale way to demonstrate this experimentally.

    3) WTC 7. As Pat Curley pointed out above, an “a la carte” demolition of WTC 7 would not make much sense. So, as long as I have reason to suspect that WTC 7 was demolished, I’ll also suspect that the collapses of WTC 1 and 2, even if plausibly natural in terms of issues #1 and 2 above, might have had at least a little extra help, e.g. from thermite.

    Comment by Diane — November 30, 2007 @ 4:32 pm | Reply

  11. Diane, my point is that the exterior columns cannot have been snapped via thermite or explosives because the columns were simply too visible. Thermite does generate a blinding white light; look at the “Truth Burn” from this year’s Burning Man festival for an example of this. I am not a structural engineer so I cannot speak to what would happen in the hypothetical you pose about what would happen if the core columns were cut a little lower; certainly cutting all those box columns would be a difficult task to accomplish.

    Let me also encourage you to look a little closer at your logic. When I say, if A then B (with A standing for CD of WTC-7 and B standing for CD of WTC-1), that does not mean in strictly logical terms that you can assume B and think you’ve proven A. If A then B does not imply if B then A. It does however imply that if Not B, then Not A. So from a strictly logical standpoint, you should try to disprove B.

    I know you’re not actually making that mistake, but you come close when you say, “So, as long as I have reason to suspect that WTC 7 was demolished, I’ll also suspect that the collapses of WTC 1 and 2, even if plausibly natural in terms of issues #1 and 2 above, might have had at least a little extra help, e.g. from thermite.” This is what we talk about when we say that the “inside job theories” are constructed backwards; the conclusion is reached and THEN the evidence is analyzed to support that conclusion, so that no matter what evidence is discounted or debunked, the conclusion doesn’t change, because it did not proceed from the evidence.

    This sort of backwards construction can be seen in almost all the theorizing. Think about the “No-Planers”. Virtually everybody sees these folks as nuts, but they’re responding to real problems with the inside job theories. Suppose you take an extreme MIHOP position; that the government did it all. There’s a huge obstacle though, in that it is difficult to conceive of the airline pilots intentionally crashing their planes, killing themselves in the process. So maybe you assume that commandos, disguised as Arab hijackers, did it, but that pushes the problem to the commando level; would they engage in a suicide mission? So inevitably somebody suggests that there were no real planes, and they start looking for evidence of no planes. And sure enough they “find” evidence in looking at blurry YouTube videos.

    This is the concern I have with starting from the conclusion and working backwards. In the scientific method, only the data are considered as certain; the conclusions reached from the data can change if new data reveal problems with the existing theory. It is fine to make a hypothesis and test it against the data. But you must always be willing to throw it out if the data do not fit the hypothesis.

    I will read your other posts as well. Yes, it is the same Indira Singh; check out her testimony to the 9-11 Citizen’s Commission if you want to confirm this.

    Comment by patslc — November 30, 2007 @ 5:42 pm | Reply

  12. patslc (Pat Curley) wrote:

    Diane, my point is that the exterior columns cannot have been snapped via thermite or explosives because the columns were simply too visible.

    There might have been a simple solution to this problem. For example, I should look into the question of whether there were crawlspaces between the floors (or at least between some of the floors. (A quick Google suggests that there were. See World Trade Center/Pentagon Memorial in Salem, Oregon?; another copy here.)

    By the way, it might not have been necessary to cut the exterior columns all the way. Perhaps they might have been cut just enough to guarantee that an otherwise natural collapse would happen.

    My guess, at least regarding the Twin Towers, is that thermite may have been used in the above-described way on the exterior columns, and that some conbination of thermite and explosives was used on the core.

    Let me also encourage you to look a little closer at your logic. When I say, if A then B (with A standing for CD of WTC-7 and B standing for CD of WTC-1), that does not mean in strictly logical terms that you can assume B and think you’ve proven A. If A then B does not imply if B then A. It does however imply that if Not B, then Not A. So from a strictly logical standpoint, you should try to disprove B.

    But, as I explained in my previous reply to you, I don’t think that A strictly implies B. Proving A would just be a very strong reason to suspect B. The contrapositive is that disproving B would just be a very strong reason to suspect not-A.

    I know you’re not actually making that mistake, but you come close when you say, “So, as long as I have reason to suspect that WTC 7 was demolished, I’ll also suspect that the collapses of WTC 1 and 2, even if plausibly natural in terms of issues #1 and 2 above, might have had at least a little extra help, e.g. from thermite.” This is what we talk about when we say that the “inside job theories” are constructed backwards; the conclusion is reached and THEN the evidence is analyzed to support that conclusion, so that no matter what evidence is discounted or debunked, the conclusion doesn’t change, because it did not proceed from the evidence.

    I’ve seen plenty of a priori, non-evidence-based reasoning on the part of defenders of the official story too. For a quick and especially ridiculous example, see the Skeptic’s Dictionary page I critiqued in my post More about anti-Illuminism. A more subtle example might be NIST’s ignoring of the FDNY’s transit data in the 2004 interim report (see WTC 7: FEMA report and NIST prelim report: What about pre-collapse leaning and the transit???) although I don’t really know whether they were deliberately ignoring this evidence or just managed somehow not to have heard about it. (Nor do I know whether the missing transit data would be evidence against their hypothesis, although I do suspect it might be.) In any case, the best-known example, on the official-theory defenders’ side, would seem to be NIST’s handling of various data as critiqued by Kevin Ryan (although I am open to reading counter-critiques on this matter).

    Anyhow, I think it’s legitimate to have a priori suspicions based on past experience or data that is of only secondary relevance to the matter immediately at hand. But, of course, one should be open to having one’s suspicions disproved by more-directly-relevant evidence.

    As for the no-planes theories, I suspect that they’re inspired by Operation Northwoods.

    Comment by Diane — November 30, 2007 @ 7:22 pm | Reply

  13. Do you know of any examples of collapses of steel-frame (or at the very least steel-reinforced) buildings, especially skyscrapers, other than the partial collapse of the Windsor building? I agree that steel-frame buildings would be a more relevant comparison.

    Yes, the Twin Towers!

    What we need for comparison to building 7 is a steel-framed building, cantilevered over something like an electricity sub-station, that has been substantially damaged by debris, has a non-functioning sprinkler system and has fires, possibly fueled by diesel, which are not fought by firefighters. I don’t know of such a comparison building.

    Yep it did lean slightly toward the south, which should be noted. But, to me, the big question is why it didn’t lean a whole lot more – as did, for example, the top part of WTC 2.

    If perceived lack of sufficent lean is to be explained by means of explosive demolition, there is a need to explain how the fires failed to burn the explosives, wiring, timers and detonators. There is also a need to explain how thermite would produce a symmetrical collapse. To paraphrase truthers, never in history has thermite been used to collapse a building (at least to my knowledge).

    The final global collapse did indeed take 6.5 seconds, did it not? Yes, the core columns failed earlier, during the 10 seconds or so before the global collapse. Anyhow, given the almost-perfect symmetry of the global collapse, it does indeed seem that all or most of the perimeter columns (other than ones previously damaged) failed at the same time. Would you not agree?

    Around 6.5 seconds seems to be right. But if we are to treat this in isolation, I must amend my valid comparison building to:

    What we need for comparison for building 7 is a steel-framed building, cantilevered over something like an electricity sub-station, that has been substantially damaged by debris, has a non-functioning sprinkler system, has fires, possibly fueled by diesel, which are not fought by firefighters, where a large roof structure crashes through the the building destroying structure below and then has a second roof structure fall into the building. I don’t know of such a comparison building.

    So the claim that all columns failed simultaneously is indeed false. I would agree that the remaining perimeter column failure was was almost simultaneous. In view of the fact that core columns were no longer supporting any load, bracing of the perimeter columns may well be lost or pulling the perimeter columns down and in towards the core collapse, why is rapid failure of the perimeter columns unlikely?

    Indeed the testimony is perhaps ambiguous. How would you differentiate, in terms of sound, between actual explosions and natural collapse phenomena interpreted as explosions?

    For WTC7 controlled demolition, I would expect a primary sequence of very loud explosions, a brief period of silence and then a secondary sequence of very loud explosions. See the demolition of the Landmark Tower as an example.

    Good question, which should be checked into. The same question should be asked about the testimony of Kevin McPadden, which I’ve had questions about on other grounds. Is it possible that a few people might have been sent back into the collapse zone in order to rescue other people there?

    It might be possible, but I don’t think so. All search and rescue operations had been abandoned because WTC7 was expected to collapse. Very wise to question McPadden, in my opinion.

    I do think it’s legitimate to say that collapses of steel frame skyscrapers due to fire are extremely rare and unlikely. (See Jim Hoffman’s page about Other Skyscraper Fires.) But I agree that it’s an overstatement to suggest that they are outright impossible. After all, if they were not even theoretically possible, then why even bother with fireproofing?

    Agreed.

    Actually, this slide does mention that the collapses shown here are due to earthquakes. It should be admitted here that earthquakes are more likely to cause toppling, and more extreme toppling, than other kinds of natural collapses, due to the lateral shaking.

    Ah, I missed that. You are correct about lateral movement and as such it is very misleading to compare earthquake collapse with the WTC7 collapse.

    On the other hand, it seems to me that many official-theory defenders have overstated the likelihood that a steel-frame skyscraper could collapse straight down with little or no leaning. The top part of WTC 2 is an obvious counterexample.

    So, WTC7 doesn’t lean enough – it’s a demolition. Top part of WTC2 leans a fair bit – it’s also a demolition, or at least it is according the vast majority of truthers ( I accept your own take may be slightly different). I think more evidence than this is required.

    I would suggest the 2001 Fire Engineering article which I quote in WTC 1 and 2: Focus on the need for a new investigation in my post Demolition of WTC: Let’s not overstate the case, please.

    I would also suggest the news stories quoted on Jim Hoffman’s page about WTC Steel Removal.

    I see no evidence in the above links supporting the specific claim that FEMA destroyed evidence.

    I don’t think it likely that all those NIST scientists are in on any criminal plot. The number of knowing perpetrators would need to be have been kept quite small.

    It might be interesting to look at how the work was divided up amongst those people who did look at Floors 1-7 and 47. Are there, for example, any parts of that investigation where access to key evidence has been suspiciously limited to only a very few people? That’s a question worth exploring, to which I don’t know the answer.

    Don’ t be like Gage; better hold off on this until the final report comes in just in case a floor from 8 to 46 is implicated in the collapse. Gage will then need to take a close look at ARA Associates. Then again, Gage’s “squibs” are on the upper floors. Whichever way it goes, it’s always a conpiracy.

    If indeed you’re correct about Jowenko’s views on the Twin Towers (something that should be checked), then, for the sake of accurately representing Jowenko’s views, it would be good for Richard Gage’s slideshow to mention that Jowenko does not think likewise of the Twin Towers. But, instead of putting this in the section on the Twin Towers, it would suffice to add a brief, small-print parenthetical note to the above-mentioned slide, along the lines of “(Jowenko does not believe the same about the Twin Towers, whose destruction did not as closely resemble a standard controlled demolition.)”

    I am correct about Jowenko’s view that the Twin Towers were not a controlled demolition.

    Slide 53. Two videos compared side by side. One of WTC7 and one of a controlled demolition. Zoom in on “squibs.” The “squibs” on WTC7 are clearly material attached to the building and not demolition “squibs.”

    “Attached to” the building??? Looks to me like stuff is flying away. Could you please clarify your objection here, e.g. by explaining what you mean by “attached”?

    The stuff stays close to the side of the side of the building, as opposed to demolition “squibs” which propel material much further. Furthermore, these WTC7 “squibs” fall with the building. Show me a video of a real demoltion where the “squibs” stick close to fall with the building. The building was damaged at that corner, leaving material loose and hanging. That is what I believe we see here and there is more to this video than exists on Gages website. I believe the extra video footage shows at least some of these “squibs” existed, hanging there, before the building fell at all. Others came into existence when air pressure caused by the collapse forced material out from the building. They may be something as simple as window blinds.

    Indeed the question of whether and to what extent we can be sure that the molten metal is steel (or iron) should be explicitly addressed, at least briefly. Some witnesses reported seeing a white hot molten metal, which indeed could have been steel (or another iron alloy). I don’t recall offhand whether Gage’s presentation contains any mention of the iron-alloy spherules and the “meteorites” (as discussed by Steven Jones), but, if it doesn’t, it should, since these are stronger evidence than just the testimonies alone.

    For Jones, spherules=motlen iron =thermite used. So he must have eliminated all other possible sources of spherules. Trouble is, he’s not saying what he beleives they they are and how he eliminated them.

    The temperatures further down could have been much higher than the temperatures on the surface. Thus the temperatures of the GZ hot spots are not inconsistent with the presence of molten iron/steel further down. Of course they don’t prove that the temperatures were hot enough further down, but they are not inconsistent with that claim.

    Near double the maximum surface temperature? Is witness testimony consistent with seeing molten metal further down? I forgot to mention that one photograph of hot (but not molten) material in this series of slide is purported to be a fake at this website:

    http://www.sharpprintinginc.com/911/index.php?module=pagemaster&PAGE_user_op=view_page&PAGE_id=32&MMN_position=55:55

    I’m not sure I agree with the author’s analysis, but I have my own reasons for doubting the photograph, though I have nothing that I wish to comment on at the moment.

    To me, what’s suspicious about WTC 7 is not the mere fact that it collapsed, but the way it collapsed. What I’m inclined to believe is that whoever demolished it deliberately waited a plausible amount of time for a possibly “natural” collapse, and then demolished it in such a way as to ensure that the building was indeed thoroughly destroyed.

    More about this in future posts.

    I hope this is going to include a rational explanation about why WTC7 would be demolished at all. What would also be good is an explanation as to why the alleged conspirators would blow up three building and then blame the collapses essentally on fire which, as the internet has it, is impossible/never happened before/highly unlikely.

    After I typed all of the above, I thought it best that I should take alook at one of Gage’s lectures. I did so, and frankly I’m far from impressed. More misuse of video clips and more attempts to mislead.. At one point during the lecture, Gage tells his audience that there are experts on both sides and that the audience, like a jury, must decide who is telling the truth and who is lying though their teeth. My verdict is in.

    Comment by charlienneb — November 30, 2007 @ 7:50 pm | Reply

  14. To charlienneb:

    In reply to my question about other examples of skyscraper collapses, you wrote:

    Yes, the Twin Towers!

    Yes, obviously. Any others? (I didn’t think so.)

    What we need for comparison to building 7 is a steel-framed building, cantilevered over something like an electricity sub-station, that has been substantially damaged by debris, has a non-functioning sprinkler system and has fires, possibly fueled by diesel, which are not fought by firefighters. I don’t know of such a comparison building.

    For a comparison similar in all particulars, we would indeed need something like the above (except that we could perhaps substitute a wrecking ball for debris damage). But, for comparision on some issues, total collapses of other steel-frame skyscrapers in general would be relevant enough, if there were any.

    If perceived lack of sufficent lean is to be explained by means of explosive demolition, there is a need to explain how the fires failed to burn the explosives, wiring, timers and detonators.

    A question of packaging, to which we can’t possibly know the answer until we get a real investigation, which would involve, among other things, digging up the Fresh Kills landfill.

    There is also a need to explain how thermite would produce a symmetrical collapse.

    This is an issue more for WTC 7 than for the Twin Towers, the top parts of which (especially WTC 2) did not collapse symmetically. I don’t think there would have been any need to use explosives (as opposed to thermite) on the perimeter columns of the Twin Towers. But it does seem to me that there would have been a need to use explosives on perimeter columns of WTC 7.

    In view of the fact that core columns were no longer supporting any load, bracing of the perimeter columns may well be lost or pulling the perimeter columns down and in towards the core collapse, why is rapid failure of the perimeter columns unlikely?

    I’ll address this question in another post within the next several days, hopefully.

    For WTC7 controlled demolition, I would expect a primary sequence of very loud explosions, a brief period of silence and then a secondary sequence of very loud explosions. See the demolition of the Landmark Tower as an example.

    I’ll have to explore this issue later.

    So, WTC7 doesn’t lean enough – it’s a demolition.

    I would just say, reason to suspect (strongly) a demolition. It is certainly not 100% proof. It just seems to me that the near-perfect-symmetry of the collapse is otherwise very unlikely.

    Top part of WTC2 leans a fair bit – it’s also a demolition, or at least it is according the vast majority of truthers ( I accept your own take may be slightly different).

    The reasons for suspecting demolition of the Twin Towers are, in my opinion, very different from the reasons for suspecting demolition of WTC 7 (apart from the “A implies B” issue I discussed with Pat Curley on this page). And I’m inclined to believe that they were demolished in very different ways.

    These differences are obscured in Richard Gage’s presentation, which focusses on David Ray Griffin’s list of “characteristics of a controlled demolition.”

    I think more evidence than this is required.

    I think so too. As I said, I think we have reason for strong suspicion of demolition, but not proof of demolition.

    I see no evidence in the above links supporting the specific claim that FEMA destroyed evidence.

    What??? All I can say is, read them again, and then please explain how they do not support the claim that FEMA destroyed evidence.

    Whichever way it goes, it’s always a conpiracy.

    True enough. Even the official story involves at least a conspiracy of 19 young men with box cutters plus a bearded older man in a cave.

    I am correct about Jowenko’s view that the Twin Towers were not a controlled demolition.

    Well, of course you’re going to say you are correct; it would have been nice to provide a link, or something, if you have one handy.

    Regarding the “squibs” on WTC 7:

    The stuff stays close to the side of the side of the building, as opposed to demolition “squibs” which propel material much further.

    Indeed the material was not propelled as far as in the comparison video.

    Furthermore, these WTC7 “squibs” fall with the building. Show me a video of a real demoltion where the “squibs” stick close to fall with the building. The building was damaged at that corner, leaving material loose and hanging. That is what I believe we see here and there is more to this video than exists on Gages website. I believe the extra video footage shows at least some of these “squibs” existed, hanging there, before the building fell at all. Others came into existence when air pressure caused by the collapse forced material out from the building. They may be something as simple as window blinds.

    This is a matter which Gage and the other people who put together his video presentation should look into.

    For Jones, spherules=motlen iron =thermite used. So he must have eliminated all other possible sources of spherules. Trouble is, he’s not saying what he beleives they they are and how he eliminated them.

    Obviously, further work is needed on the thermite hypothesis. But it seems to me that Jones has found quite a bit of evidence that is at least consistent with it.

    I forgot to mention that one photograph of hot (but not molten) material in this series of slide is purported to be a fake at this website:

    http://www.sharpprintinginc.com/911/index.php?module=pagemaster&PAGE_user_op=view_page&PAGE_id=32&MMN_position=55:55

    Another matter that should be looked into by Richard Gage and his team.

    Comment by Diane — November 30, 2007 @ 9:38 pm | Reply

  15. charlienneb wrote:

    After I typed all of the above, I thought it best that I should take alook at one of Gage’s lectures. I did so, and frankly I’m far from impressed. More misuse of video clips and more attempts to mislead.. At one point during the lecture, Gage tells his audience that there are experts on both sides and that the audience, like a jury, must decide who is telling the truth and who is lying though their teeth. My verdict is in.

    Everyone, please, no more personal accusations (or insinuated personal accusations) against Richard Gage, Jim Hoffman, etc.

    I see no motive for Richard Gage to lie. It is my impression that he has a well-paying career as an architect. Why would he put his career at risk, by going out on a limb for a controversial cause, unless he sincerely believes he has good reason?

    There are, I will admit, people in the 9/11 Truth movement who do have a motive to lie. There are people who make most of their living by selling books, videos, etc.; and some (not necessarily all) of those people may choose to attract attention and money via sensationalism rather than by cultivating a reputation for accuracy. I do not see Gage as being in this category at all.

    I do think that Gage’s presentation contains some errors which he needs to correct. Everyone, let’s just focus on pointing out the errors and cut out the personal attacks.

    Comment by Diane — November 30, 2007 @ 10:06 pm | Reply

  16. Diane Wrote:

    “There might have been a simple solution to this problem. For example, I should look into the question of whether there were crawlspaces between the floors (or at least between some of the floors. (A quick Google suggests that there were. See World Trade Center/Pentagon Memorial in Salem, Oregon?; another copy here.)”

    Exterior. Columns. You know those huge things around the outside of the buildings, quite visible to the world, not hidden in some crawlspace. You have to convince yourself they could be severed as is shown in numerous photographs, in some other manner than the obvious, which is that as the trusses failed they pulled in the exterior columns and broke them.

    I posted a photo here that shows what I mean:

    http://screwloosechange.blogspot.com/2007/11/north-tower-fire-and-collapse.html

    Be sure to click on that photo to see it full size.

    “By the way, it might not have been necessary to cut the exterior columns all the way. Perhaps they might have been cut just enough to guarantee that an otherwise natural collapse would happen.”

    Sigh. Except that they were “cut” (severed really) all the way; look at the photographs.

    Comment by patslc — November 30, 2007 @ 10:59 pm | Reply

  17. Well, of course you’re going to say you are correct; it would have been nice to provide a link, or something, if you have one handy.

    Sorry, it’s on streaming video. I’ve never see anything in writing from Jowenko.

    Everyone, let’s just focus on pointing out the errors and cut out the personal attacks.

    Sorry again. I don’t usually go in for personal stuff. Gage’s “lying through their teeth” remark got to me.

    Comment by charlienneb — November 30, 2007 @ 11:38 pm | Reply

  18. patslc said:

    “This is what we talk about when we say that the ‘inside job theories’ are constructed backwards; the conclusion is reached and THEN the evidence is analyzed to support that conclusion, so that no matter what evidence is discounted or debunked, the conclusion doesn’t change, because it did not proceed from the evidence.”

    NIST didn’t even do this. It assumed its conclusion by saying “global collapse ensued.”

    Talking about no-planers, patslc said:

    “Virtually everybody sees these folks as nuts, but they’re responding to real problems with the inside job theories.”

    The problems you describe with the need for inside job theories to assume commandos willing to kill themselves have more become the basis for “remote control plane” theories than for “no plane” theories.

    Comment by dwightvw — November 30, 2007 @ 11:43 pm | Reply

  19. To patslc (Pat Curley):

    Regarding your comment about the North Tower and its exterior columns, etc., please see my reply in the post linked below.

    (This comment of mine is an edited pingback.)

    -Diane

    Pingback by Twin Towers demolition hypothesis: Discussion with Pat Curley « New York City activist — December 1, 2007 @ 1:31 am | Reply

  20. charlienneb wrote:

    Sorry, it’s on streaming video. I’ve never see anything in writing from Jowenko.

    Please see my email to you, so we can send Richard Gage a copy of this video link.

    … Gage’s “lying through their teeth” remark got to me.

    Indeed, I wouldn’t be so quick to accuse the NIST scientists of outright lying. I would phrase any such accusations a lot more tentatively. For example, I might say something like: “I suppose it’s possible that the NIST folks never heard of any of the witness reports of molten metal, but to me this seems very strange. I have to wonder if perhaps they might be deliberately ignoring some politically inconvenient data.”

    For an example of how I’ve dealt with a similar issue, see the following post and a subsequent comment by me: WTC 7: FEMA report and NIST prelim report: What about pre-collapse leaning and the transit???.

    Comment by Diane — December 1, 2007 @ 3:58 am | Reply

  21. Diane wrote:

    Regarding WTC 1 and 2, the key issues are:

    1) The plausibility of NIST’s initiation-of-collapse hypothesis, or some similar hypothesis. On this matter, I’m not yet prepared to answer the question of what it would take to convince me, because I’m not yet fully informed of what the issues of contention are from both sides. As I also asked Pat Curley, do you know of any good, substantive (as opposed to ad hominem) rebuttals of the critiques listed here? (Ryan Mackey’s “On Debunking 9/11 Debunking” is already on my reading list.)

    2) The plausibility of Bazant’s progressive collapse hypothesis, or some similar hypothesis. In particular, was the structural steel really as fragile (relative to what was hitting it) as Bazant claims? If so, there might be some smaller-scale way to demonstrate this experimentally.
    Comment by Diane — November 30, 2007 @ 4:32 pm

    Granted that you don’t have all the information you’d like on WTC 1 and 2, it still seems you could explain this more. What makes something plausible? Lot’s of scientific theories started out completely implausible, what makes them plausible? Who decides what is plausible and what is not?

    Regarding Bazant’s theory, beleive it or not, the entire thing has been tested in a small scale way. The differential equation he provides is a mathematical formula, it is either true or false based on mathematical criteria. It simply describes certain motions and energy transfers, and similar equations can be written to describe other theories of the motion of the towers. The numbers and equations he plugged were all based in either scientific theory or empirical engineering correlations. Each can be checked for accuracy, or replaced with alternates found in technical literature. Bazants assumptions on the strength of the steel were calculated based on a theoretical design that he got from a previous paper of his, but he didn’t describe his method. Nonetheless, NIST provides much more detailed information, or one can use one of several simplification methods used by structural engineers.

    All of this is well known to structural engineers, and many have read the paper, both in formal peer review before it was published, and inthe wider community of structural engineers, who do in fact read such things and will send in comments or rebuttals if they find an error.

    Comment by anonanonanon — December 1, 2007 @ 3:59 am | Reply

  22. Indeed, I wouldn’t be so quick to accuse the NIST scientists of outright lying. I would phrase any such accusations a lot more tentatively. For example, I might say something like: “I suppose it’s possible that the NIST folks never heard of any of the witness reports of molten metal, but to me this seems very strange. I have to wonder if perhaps they might be deliberately ignoring some politically inconvenient data.”

    Comment by Diane — December 1, 2007 @ 3:58 am

    Well that’s a pretty nice way to say that they are either liars or idiots.

    Comment by anonanonanon — December 1, 2007 @ 4:01 am | Reply

  23. anonanonanon wrote:

    All of this is well known to structural engineers

    It would be interesting, sometime, to see a debate between a structural engineer holding the mainstream view and a structural engineer who is a member of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth.

    Comment by Diane — December 1, 2007 @ 6:07 am | Reply

  24. anonanonanon wrote:

    Well that’s a pretty nice way to say that they are either liars or idiots.

    It also leaves open the possibility, however remote, that they are genuinely ignorant of something that a spokesperson claimed to be ignorant of.

    Comment by Diane — December 1, 2007 @ 6:10 am | Reply

  25. anonanonanon wrote:

    Well that’s a pretty nice way to say that they are either liars or idiots.

    It also leaves open the possibility, however remote, that they are genuinely ignorant of something that a spokesperson claimed to be ignorant of.

    Comment by Diane — December 1, 2007 @ 6:10 am

    So, I take the rule of your blog is that it is okay to call someone a liar or idiot as long as it is done in a nice way and leaves open a remote possibility that they are genuinely ignorant. I’ll keep that in mind.

    Comment by anonanonanon — December 4, 2007 @ 5:45 am | Reply

  26. It is okay to voice a suspicion that someone might be lying, but let’s try to avoid jumping to conclusions.

    Comment by Diane — December 4, 2007 @ 11:51 am | Reply

  27. Earlier, charlienneb complained about a lack of support for the claim that most of the physical evidence was destroyed. In addition to the sources I’ve already provided earlier in this thread, here are some more:

    The section on Authority in the Wikipedia article on Collapse of the World Trade Center includes the following paragraph, regarding the investigations:

    A team was quickly assembled by the Structural Engineers Institute (SEI) of the American Society of Civil Engineers, with the American Institute of Steel Construction, the American Concrete Institute, the National Fire Protection Association, and the Society of Fire Protection Engineers also involved.[36] ASCE also invited FEMA to join the investigation, which later became a joint ASCE-FEMA effort.[36] This investigation was criticized by engineers and lawmakers in the US, however, for its limited funding, authority to conduct an investigation, and access to the WTC site. One major point of contention at the time was that the cleanup of the WTC site was resulting in the destruction of the majority of the buildings’ steel components.[37] Indeed, when NIST published its final report it noted “the scarcity of physical evidence” that it had had at its disposal to investigate the collapses. Only a fraction of a percent of the buildings remained for analysis after the cleanup was completed: some 236 individual pieces of steel.[3]

    The footnotes for the above paragraph are:

    3. Snell, Jack, S. Shyam Sunder (November 12, 2002). NIST Response to the World Trade Center Disaster (pdf). National Institute of Standards and Technology. Retrieved on 2006-07-27.

    36. “Experts Debate Future of the Skyscraper in Wake of Disaster”, Engineering News-Record, September 24, 2001.

    37. Glanz, James and Eric Lipton. “Nation Challenged: The Towers; Experts Urging Broader Inquiry In Towers’ Fall”. New York Times, December 25, 2001

    Comment by Diane — December 5, 2007 @ 6:05 pm | Reply

  28. Looking again at charlienneb’s complaint, after I had posted some suggested sources earlier:

    I see no evidence in the above links supporting the specific claim that FEMA destroyed evidence.

    Are you complaining here about an alleged lack of support for (1) the claim that evidence was destroyed or (2) a claim that FEMA was the agency that did it? It seems to me that the sources I’ve given strongly support at least the claim that evidence was destroyed. I’ll have to look at them again regarding the question of who did it.

    Comment by Diane — December 5, 2007 @ 6:14 pm | Reply

  29. Looking again at charlienneb’s complaint, after I had posted some suggested sources earlier:

    I see no evidence in the above links supporting the specific claim that FEMA destroyed evidence.

    Are you complaining here about an alleged lack of support for (1) the claim that evidence was destroyed or (2) a claim that FEMA was the agency that did it? It seems to me that the sources I’ve given strongly support at least the claim that evidence was destroyed. I’ll have to look at them again regarding the question of who did it.

    Comment by Diane — December 5, 2007 @ 6:14 pm

    If you figure out who, you also need to figure out why. When the buildings fell, the top priority was rescuing people, not investigation. Then the priority switched to cleanup, not investigation. Both these activities probably did destroy some evidence. This is not necessarily what “should” been their priorities, from our perspective, so many years later, but those were the decisions made then, most likely with good faith, on the fly. And it is also possible that some people at the scene thought they should have done something else and complained about it, again in good faith.

    The implication of truthers (or at least the suspicion they raise) is that these decisions were made in bad faith in order to cover something up. But they don’t present any evidence for bad faith.

    Comment by anonanonanon — December 6, 2007 @ 3:39 pm | Reply

  30. anonanonanon wrote:

    When the buildings fell, the top priority was rescuing people, not investigation. Then the priority switched to cleanup, not investigation. Both these activities probably did destroy some evidence. This is not necessarily what “should” been their priorities, from our perspective, so many years later, but those were the decisions made then, most likely with good faith, on the fly.

    Certainly the decisions made were politically justifiable, and it is certainly possible, even likely, that the agencies responsible acted in good faith. However, those agencies are by no means totally independent in their decision-making, and I strongly suspect that at least some of the people above those agencies did not act in good faith.

    But my reasons for suspecting so are a topic for another thread. I’ll discuss this issue sometime later, after we’re finished with our discussion about the buildings.

    Comment by Diane — December 6, 2007 @ 4:31 pm | Reply

  31. (This comment is an edited pingback.)

    Pingback by Screw Loose Change - reply to some recent posts « New York City activist — December 19, 2007 @ 4:13 am | Reply

  32. (This comment is an edited pingback.)

    Pingback by Richard Gage’s avowed enemy, part 1 « New York City activist — February 25, 2008 @ 3:01 am | Reply


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