New York City activist

February 11, 2008

Two WTC 7 collapse videos: Can both be real?

Consider the following two WTC 7 collapse videos

To my admittedly untrained eye, these two videos look too different from each other for both of them to be genuine, unaltered recordings of the exact same event from different angles.

Why this is important: The northeast video, if genuine, substantially weakens the “symmetry of collapse” argument regarding WTC 7. Hence, if the genuineness of the northwest video can be established, and if the incompatibility I percieve turns out to be valid, we can thereby disprove an important piece of alleged evidence against the “symmetry of collapse” argument.

The northeast video shows WTC 7 leaning toward the southeast, at what looks to me like a 9 to 10 degree angle. How much this weakens the “symmetry of collapse” argument depends on how you interpret and justify that argument, but it does weaken that particular argument to at least some extent. (See my post Review of Hardfire debates between Mark Roberts and Loose Change crew and the comment thread below it.)

But that’s not the major incompatibility between the two videos. A 9 to 10 degree lean toward the southeast would naturally be hard to see in a video shot from the northwest.

Why the videos seem incompatible

The major incompatibility is that, in the mortheast video, a large vertical split seems to appear in the building as it falls. The northwest corner appears to split away from the rest of the building, so much so that it looked to me like a separate building when I first saw a still photo from this video.

It seems to me that such a split should be visible in the northwest video too. While we might not see the vertical split itself directly, one would expect it to show up as a major irregularity at the roofline, given that the northwest video was shot from ground level.

But it doesn’t. In the northwest video, the only major irregularity I see in the roofline is from the crimp that appeared on the east side before the building fell.

Admittedly, the northwest video shows only the beginning of the collapse. The latter part is obscured by surrounding buildings. On the other hand, the northeast video, shot from a higher perspective, shows us more of the latter part of the collapse. And the vertical split widens as the building descends. So perhaps the split just wasn’t big enough, early enough in the collapse, to be visible in the portion of the collapse shown by the northwest video?

Not likely. In the northeast video, it looks to me like the split is well underway well before the roofline of WTC 7 has descended to a level that could be hidden, in the northwest video, by the white building that can be seen on the right in the northeast video and on the left in the northwest video.

So, it doesn’t seem likely to me that both videos are fully genuine. If I am correct about the incompatibility above, then at least one of the videos must have been, at the very least, jazzed up a little.

To those willing and able to research this issue further

I’m not in a good position to do research on videos.

But it would be desirable if someone in the 9/11 Truth movement could try to verify and prove the genuineness of the northwest video. Supposedly it was shown on CBS, according to “plaguepuppy,” as reported by Jim Hoffman. Was it, in fact, shown on CBS? If so, it should be possible to prove that, I would hope.

On the other hand, perhaps some “debunker” might want to track down a chain of custody for the northeast video.

It would also be desirable to see other corroborating evidence for the seemingly incompatible phenomena portrayed in the two videos.

In the meantime:

I’ll be posting about this in some 9/11 Truth forums. It would also be nice if someone from JREF could call attention to this post over there (preferably in this thread, to which this post is relevant, both because that JREF thread is about me and because the northeast video is discussed there too).

I’ll also be adding parenthesized P.S.’s to a couple of old posts of mine that feature the symmetry-of-collapse argument.

P.S.: I’ve posted about this matter in the following 9/11 Truth movement forums:

I’ve written the promised P.S.’s to the following posts on my blog:

And I’ve emailed Jim Hoffman about this matter. Hopefully I will hear from him. In the meantime, I would be interested to hear anything anyone else knows about the two videos and their origins and history.

Again, I would appreciate it very much if someone could link to this post in this thread about me in the JREF forum. (That JREF thread also contains a link to a longer YouTube version of the northeast video.)

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27 Comments »

  1. Regardless of the exact attitude of the descending structure, it occurs to me that what’s really missing here is expert testimony on whether or not it would be considered plausible for such a structure to fall basically straight down, or perhaps slightly leaning, upon the failure of the key elements currently suspected by investigators. In expert and informed terms, would it or would it not have been possible or likely for the building to have behaved like it did, assuming no nefariously placed devices?

    It would seem that by their silence, the overwhelming majority of the world engineering/physics community has in effect already approved of this possibility and/or likelihood.

    Comment by gary1son — February 12, 2008 @ 1:03 am | Reply

  2. I’m not going to accept a simple argument from authority on this matter, especially an argument from silence by authority.

    Please see my post Engineers were surprised by the WTC collapses. Please see also my post Review of Hardfire debates between Mark Roberts and Loose Change crew and the discussion in the comment thread following it.

    Comment by Diane — February 12, 2008 @ 1:31 am | Reply

  3. Perhaps I’m missing something, but I don’t see anything incompatible in the two videos. It appears to me to be the same scene as shot from different angles. The timing seems identical in both versions.

    Comment by westprog99 — February 12, 2008 @ 12:16 pm | Reply

  4. On this thread, the person starting it sought to argue for a controlled demolition of WTC 7. What stuck me as incongruent with his argument though was that the second picture which he posted in the thread shows a picture of the WTC 7 rubble which likes its covered with pieces from a wall. If the collapse of WTC 7 were a real straight-down collapse, such as is often claimed, then I’d expect to see a picture where at least at the center the rubble would be recognizably from the roof. On the 4 sides of the pile one would expect to see rubble from the walls, and some of this wall-rubble might even accumulate and pile over towards the center. But a really even straight-down collapse might plausibly be expected to show the bulk of wall-rubble somewhat evenly distributed around the building’s collapse pile. What this photo shows is wall chunks laying across the whole pile. That suggests a rather uneven collapse, not a straight-down collapse. If this guess is correct then that could also account for different impressions which people have gained from viewing the picture from different sides, with perhaps one side collapsing before the other. That could also account for the popular error among 911 activists who repeatedly insist that Building 7 fell in 6.5 seconds, when the seismographic readings say 18 seconds instead. It could be that from a certain side the collapse is only identifiable for a period of 6.5 seconds, whereas viewing it from a different side might be more consistent with the seismograph.

    [Comment by patricksmcnally, edited by blog author Diane to HTML-ize and prettify link.]

    Comment by patricksmcnally — February 12, 2008 @ 12:32 pm | Reply

  5. Diane, I remind you that when all was said and done, the northern facade of WTC 7 lay draped over the entire pile. This could not have happened unless the building leaned as it fell. If it had gone straight down, the northern facade would have stayed on the north side of the debris pile.

    I hope you’ve had a chance to read through the NIST Interim Report on Building 7 as well. It’s Appendix L on this page.

    It’s a 5 MB file, so it may be a bit of a wait on dial-up. But I believe the working hypothesis for NIST is in those pages, and it’s a three-part hypothesis: initiating event, vertical collapse of eastern interior under east mechanical penthouse, horizontal collapse of core bringing down the rest of the building. It also has a good layout of the unusual structure of 7 World Trade.

    [Comment by boloboffin, edited by blog author Diane to HTML-ize and prettify link.]

    Comment by boloboffin — February 12, 2008 @ 1:07 pm | Reply

  6. To both Patrick S. McNally and boloboffin:

    First off, I’ve never claimed that the collapse of WTC 7 was 100 percent perfectly symmetrical. I’ve usually referred to it as “almost perfectly symmetrical.” If it were to lean only a few degrees, that would not be inconsistent with “almost perfectly symmetrical.” Even that would be closer to perfectly symmetrical than many controlled demolitions.

    I’ve seen, earlier, the photo of the north wall of WTC 7 falling on top of the rubble pile. But having outer walls fall on top of the rubble pile is one of the goals of a symmetrical controlled implosion, if I understand correctly. The outer walls are pulled inward as a result of the inner columns being broken first. So, the north wall ending up on top is not at all inconsistent with a close-toperfectly symmetrical implosion with only a slight lean toward the south.

    The northeast video shows a 9 to 10 degree lean. That’s a much more substantial lean than would be required (I think), in conjunction with an implosion, to have the north wall end up on top.

    To Patrick S. McNally:

    About the 6.5 seconds vs. 18 seconds: 6.5 seconds is the correct length of time for the final global collapse, which took place after a series of local collapses which took place during the preceding 10 to 12 seconds.

    To boloboffin:

    Yes, I am familiar with Appendix L of the 2004 NIST progress report. I’ve already commented on it elsewhere on this blog. But thanks for calling attention to it anyway.

    Comment by Diane — February 12, 2008 @ 1:51 pm | Reply

  7. To readers from JREF:

    First, thanks to boloboffin for linking here from this post. But he then says:

    That’s right. Faced with two videos of the same event, one clearly demonstrating the lean as Building 7 fell, Diane’s first thought is that one or the other video has been faked.

    No, that wasn’t my first thought. For my first thoughts, see the comment thread following my post Review of Hardfire debates between Mark Roberts and Loose Change crew.

    Only later did I begin to wonder if one of the videos had been faked. And the reason why I wondered about this wasn’t because of the lean. Please read my post above more carefully.

    Next, Dave Rogers wrote:

    Is the “large vertical split” in the northeast video actually a column of smoke obscuring part of the facade? That’s what it looks like to me.

    No. Look at the roof line in both videos.

    Comment by Diane — February 12, 2008 @ 2:07 pm | Reply

  8. Just to let you know Diane, Mark Roberts has called it quits. He retired from debunking. You can see his post “Checking Out” at JREF. And I can fully understand why. This is getting tiring.

    WTC 7: Why it wasn’t a controlled demolition

    – Why would they want to implode WTC 7? Insurance fraud or secret government papers won’t be good enough (one not true, other one ridicilous).
    – Why would they wait 7 hours in between WTC 1 and WTC 7 demolitions?
    – How could detonation charges survive the fires?
    – How could they know, that portions of WTC 1 would collapse into WTC 7 to give them a reason for demolition? If WTC 7 would have remained untouched, they would have had no reason to call it a natural collapse.
    – Why does Chief Nigro, who was on the scene, think it was a natural collapse based on his and FDNY’s observations?
    – Why has not a single piece of detonation cord, or other demolition evidence ever been found?
    – No loud explosions were heard prior to WTC 7 collapse
    – Steven Jones and his thermite findings are wrong. HE has found numerous spectra, which means he has numerous sources for his findings. He takes no natural sources into consideration and does not release any info on his methods + no reliable peer review.

    WTC 7: Why it was a controlled demolition

    – It somewhat looked like one on video

    Comment by ref1 — February 12, 2008 @ 2:15 pm | Reply

  9. Everyone, when you refer to something on another site, please post a link (unless it’s a streaming video or anything else forbidden by my comment policy).

    Anyhow, I found the Mark Roberts post on JREF. He is yet AGAIN misrepresenting his interaction with me and the reason why I got upset at him. For more about this, please see my post Email debates, and more about Mark Roberts, to which I’ll be adding a P.S. shortly.

    Comment by Diane — February 12, 2008 @ 2:33 pm | Reply

  10. More about the northeast video and the apparent split in the building. Let’s look again at these two stills:

    still 1

    still 2

    In still 1, note that the northwest corner of the building (on the right side) seems to be leaning at a different angle from the rest of the building. (Look at the formerly vertical lines on the two parts of the building.)

    In the video, note the differing movements of the two parts of the building between still 1 and still 2. Observe how the apparent difference in lean angle changes.

    Comment by Diane — February 12, 2008 @ 3:19 pm | Reply

  11. > About the 6.5 seconds vs. 18 seconds: 6.5 seconds is the correct length of time for the final global collapse, which took place after a series of local collapses which took place during the preceding 10 to 12 seconds.

    Fine. That summarizes exactly what bothered me when I realized that such local collapses had been occurring for as long as 12 seconds or so prior to the global collapse. An argument which has been used frequently by many 911-activists is that the global collapse could not have occurred within a mere 6.5 seconds because the mass of the building would not have obstructed such a swift collapse. This argument implicitly assumes a solid global mass. But if local collapses had already been occurring for as long as 10 seconds or more then the main premise of the argument that global collapse in 6.5 seconds was impossible without demolition charges is now undercut. At the very least, such an argument for demolition has to be more carefully formulated in customary in 911-blogs.

    [Comment by Patrick S. McNally, edited by blog author Diane to fix HTML formatting in quote.]

    Comment by patricksmcnally — February 12, 2008 @ 4:11 pm | Reply

  12. patricksmcnally wrote:

    But if local collapses had already been occurring for as long as 10 seconds or more then the main premise of the argument that global collapse in 6.5 seconds was impossible without demolition charges is now undercut.

    That’s true. That’s one of the reasons why I’m not inclined to rely on the speed-of-collapse argument. That’s a different argument from the symmetry argument. What has seemed very strange to me has been the apparent close-to-perfect symmetry of the final global collapse (as seen in most videos, at least), in contrast to the highly asymmetrical nature of the preceeding local collapses, and indeed the highly asymmetrical nature of nearly everything else about both the building itself and the damage to it.

    At the very least, such an argument for demolition has to be more carefully formulated in customary in 911-blogs.

    Agreed.

    Comment by Diane — February 12, 2008 @ 6:04 pm | Reply

  13. ref1 wrote:

    WTC 7: Why it wasn’t a controlled demolition

    – Why would they want to implode WTC 7? Insurance fraud or secret government papers won’t be good enough (one not true, other one ridicilous).

    I haven’t yet fully studied the insurance fraud angle. What I’ve seen so far are reasonable claims by “debunkers” that Silverstein in fact didn’t make a profit. But I’m not yet sure whether he could have reasonably expected to make a profit. Silverstein might have grossly underestimated the amount and duration of political wrangling over what would be built at Ground Zero afterward.

    As for the destruction-of-records angle, I should point out that there’s a big difference between (1) actually destroying papers (which can be done more easily with a shredder, of course) and (2) having a good excuse for the destruction of papers that one isn’t supposed to destroy (not quite so easy, in the absence of a disaster like the collapse of WTC 7).

    – Why would they wait 7 hours in between WTC 1 and WTC 7 demolitions?

    To make the collapse of WTC 7 look as “natural” as possible.

    – How could detonation charges survive the fires?

    Good question, but this might not have been a problem for either detonation charges or indendiary devices that were planted on the 5th floor. All the known fires were on higher floors.

    – How could they know, that portions of WTC 1 would collapse into WTC 7 to give them a reason for demolition? If WTC 7 would have remained untouched, they would have had no reason to call it a natural collapse.

    In that case there might have been some other excuse for the fires in WTC 7.

    If I’m not mistaken, there weer other buildings that were hit by debris but did not catch on fire. (This is a matter I should look into in more detail.) WTC 7 not only caught on fire but (if Appendix L of the NIST 2004 Progress Report is to be believed) had fires in multiple apparently unconnected locations. That in itself is weird.

    – Why does Chief Nigro, who was on the scene, think it was a natural collapse based on his and FDNY’s observations?

    First off, as far as I am aware, no one was directly “on the scene” at the time of the collapse. A several-block collapse zone had been cleared.

    A collapse was expected due to what were said to be signs of possible structural instability.

    – Why has not a single piece of detonation cord, or other demolition evidence ever been found?

    A possible answer to that question can be found in this New York Times article. See my thoughts about it in my review of Loose Change Final Cut – section on WTC 7.

    – No loud explosions were heard prior to WTC 7 collapse

    This is a matter I’m still checking into. There have been claims to the contrary. See, for example, the thread linked in my post Blasts before collapse of WTC7? (to peterabbit) in the Loose Change forum.

    Anyhow, if there weren’t loud explosions, this still wouldn’t rule out arson.

    – Steven Jones and his thermite findings are wrong. HE has found numerous spectra, which means he has numerous sources for his findings.

    Ths most interesting thing Steven Jones has found is not his “spectra” but the iron-allow spherules, which imply that there was molten iron, although the known fires were not hot enough to melt steel.

    He takes no natural sources into consideration and does not release any info on his methods

    He did indeed take into account at least some of Frank Greening’s speculation on naturally-occurring thermite reactions involving melted aluminum from the airplane wreckage, and he did publicly discuss some relevant experiments he did. See the linked articles in the section on Thermite (or Thermate) – good so far, though not conclusive in my post Demolition of WTC: Let’s not overstate the case, please

    WTC 7: Why it was a controlled demolition

    – It somewhat looked like one on video

    My reasons have been:

    1) What I have thought of as the close-to-perfect symmetry of the collapse (now subject to question, given the above-discussed northeast video, whose genuineness I now would like to see ascertained).

    2) The strangely large number of widespread, seemingly unconnected, scattered fires in WTC 7, if the NIST prelim report is to be believed. Multiple fires, starting in multiple separate locations, are usually a sign of arson.

    Comment by Diane — February 12, 2008 @ 6:59 pm | Reply

  14. To JREF folks:

    boloboffin wrote in the JREF forum:

    I think you’re right, Dave. The sun is hitting the camera right there, and that combined with that smoke might looking like the building has broken apart. It isn’t moving away or at a different speed than the rest of the building though. Hopefully, Diane is going to be looking at that clip a few times.

    I had already watched that clip more than a few times, in slow motion, and scrutinized your two stills again numerous times as well, before writing my post above.

    I see the formerly vertical lines on the two parts of the building going down at different angles, and I see the relative angles between them chenging on the way down. This could perhaps just be a perspective problem, but I don’t think so. Perhaps if you could make a few more high quality stills, if you can do that easily, that might help.

    Also, the roofs of the two parts of the building appear to tilt at different angles.

    It is true that the downward acceleration seems to be exactly the same for both parts, but I’m not sure whether we should expect that to differ between the two parts if indeed they are separating. After all, by the time of the global collapse, the entire building would have been pretty much shattered, correct? If so, I don’t see how a difference in the horizontal component of motion of two shattered parts should necessarily affect the vertical component of their motion.

    DGM wrote in a subsequent JREF post:

    It also might be worth directing her to pictures of the debris pile. The north face of the building is clearly laid over the top of the pile confirming what is seen in the video.

    I’ve long been aware of at least one of those photos, which, I’ve long thought, was consistent with an implosion (pulling the outer walls inward) combined with only a slight lean (say, maybe 2 or 3 degrees) toward the south.

    I then came across this post by “bje,” who is apparently “911booger” here. This person is referring primarily to a debate with me that took place in the comment thread following my post Debates and such – further reply to some JREF folks. I’ll reply in a comment there later, or perhaps in a separate post.

    Further down in that JREF thread, one A W Smith even goes so far as to call me a “liar,” without presenting any evidence whatsover for that accusation. [Sigh!] I guess some people just can’t comprehend how anyone can honestly disagree with them. Alas, too many people in the 9/11 Truth movement are guilty of that same error, calling everyone who disagrees with them a “shill” or a “disinformation agent.”

    P.S.: See my reply to “bje” (911booger) in this comment here, in the thread following my post Debates and such – further reply to some JREF folks

    Comment by Diane — February 12, 2008 @ 11:46 pm | Reply

  15. WRT Silverstein –

    there’s absolutely no evidence whatsoever that Silverstein had WTC7 demolished for insurance reasons. Even if we accepted that WTC7 were demolished (a claim that is equally lacking in evidence) there’s nothing whatsoever to link it to Silverstein.

    It’s very rare that insurance frauds are linked to terrorist attacks with massive loss of life, seen live worldwide. How could such a thing be coordinated? Would the evil geniuses running the 911 conspiracy really be bothered giving a bit of help to the landlord of the WTC?

    As to the “Pull it” quote – which has been extensively debunked over and over – is it really likely that Silverstein would be part of a massive murder plot and then just tell us all on TV?

    The strongest evidence against him is that he’s Jewish. The people who subscribe to the “No Jews went to work at the WTC on 911” theories find that inherently suspicious.

    Comment by westprog99 — February 13, 2008 @ 11:17 am | Reply

  16. The unconnected fires –

    is it really unlikely that there would be unconnected fires? Firstly, do we know that they were unconnected? Seeing flames in different windows of the building doesn’t mean that they weren’t connected. Even if they weren’t connected at the time, it doesn’t mean that they didn’t start from a commmon origin. Perhaps some areas burned out. And finally, if it’s possible for one piece of debris to start a fire, why not several pieces of debris starting several fires?

    Comment by westprog99 — February 13, 2008 @ 11:20 am | Reply

  17. About Silverstein: I should first clarify an important point. If it can be shown that what happened to WTC 7 was not purely “natural,” then, in that case, Silverstein would certainly be, at the very least, a “person of interest,” if not a suspect. Since arson by landlords is a very common crime (or, at least, has been very common at various times in the past), the possibility should not be ruled out a priori. On the other hand, if he’s not guilty of any involvement in the crime, then he might be, at the very least, a valuable source of clues.

    My point here is not to claim that he’s actually guilty of any involvement, but only that the possibility should not be ruled out a priori. Of course, he should be presumed innocent until proven guilty. Nevertheless, we should consider a range of possibilities. My remarks below should be taken not as arguments that he’s actually guilty of anything, but only as arguments against an a priori dismissal of the possibility that he might have been involved.

    It’s very rare that insurance frauds are linked to terrorist attacks with massive loss of life, seen live worldwide. How could such a thing be coordinated? Would the evil geniuses running the 911 conspiracy really be bothered giving a bit of help to the landlord of the WTC?

    As a form of bribery to gain access to the buildings? Or perhaps they just happened to be friends of his?

    As to the “Pull it” quote – which has been extensively debunked over and over – is it really likely that Silverstein would be part of a massive murder plot and then just tell us all on TV?

    The “pull it” remark is too ambiguous to be used as evidence. If indeed it was a reference to demolition, then his remark can only be interpreted as either a misunderstanding or a desperate lying excuse for a too obvious-looking demolition. The remark cannot be a completely true description of a decision to demolish the building, because fire commanders don’t do demolitions, and, in any case, it would have been unsafe for any demolition contractor to go into the building to plant explosives while the building was on fire. It’s possible (though unlikely) that Silverstein might have innocently (and ignorantly) suggested that the building be demolished for safety reasons, and then, when he saw the building collapse, perhaps guessed that that’s what had been done. It is also possible, of course, the “pull it” meant “pull the operation,” although some objections have been raised to that interpretation too. In any case, the “pull it” remark is ambiguous, and I’m not inclined to use it as evidence that Silverstein is guilty of anything other than a grammatical error (unclear antecedent).

    The strongest evidence against him is that he’s Jewish. The people who subscribe to the “No Jews went to work at the WTC on 911″ theories find that inherently suspicious.

    That he’s Jewish is not evidence of anything at all. What might possibly be relevant is that he does happen to be friends with both Ariel Sharon and Benjamin Netanyahu. (See this Haaretz article, for example.) Hence, if one suspects Israeli government involvement, that makes Silverstein a possible connection.

    I have not looked deeply enough into the possibility of any Israeli government involvement to comment. I’ll just say that, if one suspects Israeli government involvement, that’s no excuse for prejudice against Jews (or against Israelis) in general, any more than suspicion of U.S. government involvement should be an excuse for prejudice against Americans in general. Also, if one suspects Israeli government involvement, such suspicions should not be based on anything so ridiculous as the “No Jews went to work at the WTC on 911″ rumor.

    Another issue I have not yet looked into is the question of what friends Silverstein has on the U.S. (as distinct from Israeli) political scene.

    I’ll respond later regarding the fires and other matters. Gotta run now.

    Comment by Diane — February 13, 2008 @ 6:18 pm | Reply

  18. westprog99 wrote:

    is it really unlikely that there would be unconnected fires? Firstly, do we know that they were unconnected? Seeing flames in different windows of the building doesn’t mean that they weren’t connected. Even if they weren’t connected at the time, it doesn’t mean that they didn’t start from a commmon origin.

    The question here is whether the fires could plausibly have spread, as far and as quickly as they are alleged to have spread, from a common origin. I’ll need to research this issue further, but it’s my impression that skyscraper fires, even out-of-control ones, don’t usually spread so far so fast. Skyscrapers are usually designed to resist, in various ways, the floor-to-floor spread of fire.

    And finally, if it’s possible for one piece of debris to start a fire, why not several pieces of debris starting several fires?

    This is possible but unlikely. Only a small fraction of the debris from the Towers were on fire. Other buildings, a comparable distance away from the Towers, were hit by debris but were not set on fire. (This too is a matter I should research further.)

    Comment by Diane — February 13, 2008 @ 8:58 pm | Reply

  19. Diane Wrote

    “- Why would they wait 7 hours in between WTC 1 and WTC 7 demolitions?

    – To make the collapse of WTC 7 look as “natural” as possible.”

    Oh please. Please.

    “- How could detonation charges survive the fires?

    – Good question, but this might not have been a problem for either detonation charges or indendiary devices that were planted on the 5th floor. All the known fires were on higher floors.”

    So there were only charges on 5th floor then? Damn that debris from WTC1 which cut out portions of the lower floors. That must have taken some detonation cord with it. Parts of cord missing, no demolition. Unless of course, they knew exactly where the debris would NOT hit. This is equally ridicilous.

    “- How could they know, that portions of WTC 1 would collapse into WTC 7 to give them a reason for demolition? If WTC 7 would have remained untouched, they would have had no reason to call it a natural collapse.

    – In that case there might have been some other excuse for the fires in WTC 7.

    If I’m not mistaken, there weer other buildings that were hit by debris but did not catch on fire. (This is a matter I should look into in more detail.) WTC 7 not only caught on fire but (if Appendix L of the NIST 2004 Progress Report is to be believed) had fires in multiple apparently unconnected locations. That in itself is weird.”

    Might have been, could have been. Maybe maybe maybe. This is weird that is weird. Speculation is getting tiring. I think it’s weird that with all the available evidence you think WTC 7 collapse was weird. WTC 5 & 6 were on fire. Bankers Trust was not.

    “- Why does Chief Nigro, who was on the scene, think it was a natural collapse based on his and FDNY’s observations?

    – First off, as far as I am aware, no one was directly “on the scene” at the time of the collapse. A several-block collapse zone had been cleared.

    A collapse was expected due to what were said to be signs of possible structural instability.”

    Oh, they were on the scene before evacuation. They evacuated, because it was getting too dangerous in their opinion. There were signs of severe strutural instability. So why do you think, that after all that it still could have been a demolition?

    “- Why has not a single piece of detonation cord, or other demolition evidence ever been found?

    – A possible answer to that question can be found in this New York Times article. See my thoughts about it in my review of Loose Change Final Cut – section on WTC 7.”

    Are you saying, that a few CIA agents managed to locate all the possible remains of demolition evidence (cords, remains of charges etc) and nobody else managed to find any piece of anything related? Argh.

    “- No loud explosions were heard prior to WTC 7 collapse

    – This is a matter I’m still checking into. There have been claims to the contrary. See, for example, the thread linked in my post Blasts before collapse of WTC7? (to peterabbit) in the Loose Change forum.

    Anyhow, if there weren’t loud explosions, this still wouldn’t rule out arson.”

    Ok, nobody just reported those blasts, never. Not the FDNY who lost 343 members. Not the experts working there (Brent Blachard etc.)

    And your last sentence is typical trutherism. If it was not that, then it could be this, or if not even that, what about this. It could have been a white rabbit. But nothing speaks for it being a white rabbit. Arson? So no demolition, they just set the building on fire.

    “- Steven Jones and his thermite findings are wrong. HE has found numerous spectra, which means he has numerous sources for his findings.

    – Ths most interesting thing Steven Jones has found is not his “spectra” but the iron-allow spherules, which imply that there was molten iron, although the known fires were not hot enough to melt steel.”

    Why would you need molten steel? To quote Frank Greening: If some of these sources were present before 9/11, e.g. in construction debris from welding and cutting operations, Jones needs to show us how he can distinguish between such particles and particles produced in the WTC fires.

    Possible natural sources of his particles:

    – Pigments and fillers used in plastics
    – Fly ash from the combustion of cellulose-based materials: wood, cardboard and paper
    – Welding fume left in the towers from construction activities
    – Wear particles from grinding and cutting during construction of the towers
    – Iron powder cores from electronics (e.g. transformer cores)
    – NYC background levels of particulate from general environmental sources

    “My reasons have been:

    1) What I have thought of as the close-to-perfect symmetry of the collapse (now subject to question, given the above-discussed northeast video, whose genuineness I now would like to see ascertained).

    Why on earth would you think it would be fake?

    2) The strangely large number of widespread, seemingly unconnected, scattered fires in WTC 7, if the NIST prelim report is to be believed. Multiple fires, starting in multiple separate locations, are usually a sign of arson.”

    Usually. Usually when WTC 7 containing diesel tanks is hit by debris and burns for 7 hours, multiple fires should not occur?

    Usually a sign of arson means absolutely nothing.

    I think I’m really just getting tired of this. All you have is speculation and moving goal posts (if it wasn’t this maybe it was that, but it sure wasn’t what we are told -tactic). Why oh why won’t you just consider the “official” explanation as an option.

    You seem so smart on surface. Where is you critical thinking? It sometimes seems to be totally absent.

    Comment by ref1 — February 14, 2008 @ 1:37 pm | Reply

  20. Disclaimer: What I am defending in the first part of this comment, below is only a hypothesis in response to ref1’s arguments (in this comment) as to “Why it wasn’t a controlled demolition.” The point is only to show that some form of CD of WTC 7 is possible, not that it actually occurred. More evidence would be needed to prove the latter, of course.

    ref1 wrote today:

    Damn that debris from WTC1 which cut out portions of the lower floors. That must have taken some detonation cord with it.

    I don’t think there is alleged to have been any damage to core columns on the 5th floor due to debris from WTC 1. There may have been such damage on the 8th or 9th floor (judging by the 2004 NIST Progress Report, p.L-18), but apparently not the 5th floor.

    In any case, the devices might perhaps have been radio-controlled, or something, rather than using cords.

    Unless of course, they knew exactly where the debris would NOT hit. This is equally ridicilous.

    Or they might not have expected WTC 1’s debris to fly quite that far in the first place. They might have decided on the fly to use that as the excuse for a fire in WTC 7, rather than some other excuse they might have planned earlier.

    Speculation is getting tiring.

    Again, the point of the speculation here is simply to answer your objections.

    WTC 5 & 6 were on fire. Bankers Trust was not.

    WTC 5 & 6 were both much closer to WTC 1 than WTC 7 was. Lots and lots of debris were dumped on top of WTC 5 & 6. That they caught fire is no surprise.

    Other buildings that were hit by debris but did not catch fire include (if I recall correctly) at least one of the World Financial Center buildings across West Street and a hotel (whose name I forget offhand) across Church Street. These buildings, as well as the Bankers Trust building on Liberty Street, were all at distances from WTC 1 comparable to WTC 7’s distance from WTC 1.

    So why do you think, that after all that it still could have been a demolition?

    Until very recently, my answer to that question would have been the straight-down, vertical, almost perfectly (to within a few degrees, I thought) symmetical nature of the collapse. That’s now open to question in my mind, given the video evidence that was called to my attention recently (see my post above). I’m now trying to get help with looking into the question of authenticity of the two videos.

    Why on earth would you think it would be fake?

    I’ve already explained this, in detail, in my post at the top of this page and in comments here and here.

    Are you saying, that a few CIA agents managed to locate all the possible remains of demolition evidence (cords, remains of charges etc) and nobody else managed to find any piece of anything related?

    The CIA agents would have to have been pretty thorough, in their publicly-known search, just to make sure that none of their papers went astray. To that end, they would have to have been on the scene for quite a while, involving themselves in the cleanup of WTC 7. While keeping an eye out for papers, they certainly could have kept an eye out for other things too. It need not have been obvious, to other onlookers, what those other things were.

    And your last sentence is typical trutherism. If it was not that, then it could be this, or if not even that, what about this. It could have been a white rabbit. But nothing speaks for it being a white rabbit. Arson?

    I do have reasons for this speculation. There are quite a few things about the reported fires in WTC 7 that look weird to me. I’ve noticed these things for quite a while, as mentioned in previous posts and comments during the past few months on my blog; I didn’t just come up with them on the spot right now. I should write them up in more detail in a post in the near future.

    Arson? So no demolition, they just set the building on fire.

    More than “just set the building on fire.” What I’m now wondering is whether fires may have been set in particular places at particular times, including, possibly, a deliberate attack on key structural members shortly before the collapse. (Or, alternatively, perhaps just some deliberate means of keeping the fires burning on floor 7 for an extraordinarly long time.)

    Why would you need molten steel?

    To produce spherules, which are formed by molten droplets solidifying. If metallic iron were formed in a chemical reaction lower than its melting point, it would most likely form random shapes, not spheres.

    To quote Frank Greening: If some of these sources were present before 9/11, e.g. in construction debris from welding and cutting operations, Jones needs to show us how he can distinguish between such particles and particles produced in the WTC fires.

    Do you have a source for that Frank Greening quote? I’d like to call it to Steven Jonee’s attention. Anyhow, the above quote does include other possible ways that small amounts of molten iron/steel might have been produced (welding and cutting). And, yes, I agree that Steven Jones needs to determine whether those can be ruled out as sources, if indeed he has not done so already.

    Possible natural sources of his particles:

    – Pigments and fillers used in plastics
    – Fly ash from the combustion of cellulose-based materials: wood, cardboard and paper
    – Welding fume left in the towers from construction activities
    – Wear particles from grinding and cutting during construction of the towers
    – Iron powder cores from electronics (e.g. transformer cores)
    – NYC background levels of particulate from general environmental sources

    Some of the above sources would produce spheres, while others, I think, would most likely produce randomly shaped iron-alloy particles. The only relevant ones are the ones that would produces spheres.

    In any case, other researchers besides Jones have found that the “WTC event” produced an unusually high concentration of iron-alloy spherules. See, for example, WTC Dust Signature Report: Composition and Morphology: Summary Report, Prepared for: Deutsche Bank (PDF), prepared by the RJ Lee Group, available on an archived version of the website of the New York Environmental Law and Justice Project.

    Usually. Usually when WTC 7 containing diesel tanks

    NIST has ruled out the diesel tanks as a source of the fires. Of course the diesel tanks probably caught on fire eventually, but they were not a cause of the fires.

    is hit by debris and burns for 7 hours, multiple fires should not occur?

    Of course multiple fires should occur eventually. But the fires seem to have spread awfully far and awfully fast, far above the floors where the diesel tanks were. Details in a future post.

    I think I’m really just getting tired of this. All you have is speculation and moving goal posts (if it wasn’t this maybe it was that, but it sure wasn’t what we are told -tactic).

    “Sure”? I’m not a dogmatist on what did or did not happen to the WTC buildings.

    There are other aspects of what happened on 9/11 that I think we can be much more certain about. Perhaps I should spend more time writing about those. I’ve been focussing mostly on the technical stuff because I think I can make a unique contribution in that area. But there are other kinds of research that need to be done too, plus a whole bunch of relevant recent news stories that I have been woefully remiss about discussing here.

    Comment by Diane — February 14, 2008 @ 8:48 pm | Reply

  21. I don’t understand your reasoning, but that always going to be a problem between our sides.

    The link to Frank Greening post I mentioned earlier, including the possible natural sources I listed, courtesy of Greening as well:

    The whole thread here.

    [Comment by ref1, edited by blog author Diane to HTML-ize and prettify links.]

    Comment by ref1 — February 15, 2008 @ 8:11 am | Reply

  22. What this seems to boil down to is suspicion about the symmetrical collapse, which seems to be contradicted by the videos recently posted, and concern that the fires occurred on multiple levels.

    If we accept that WTC7 was struck by massive pieces of debris, which penetrated the building, then it’s not surprising that internal fireproofing and fire barriers between floors were breached. It’s not surprising that such a violent incident would cause multiple fires. If power cables get violently wrenched out of the wall, I’d find sparking quite likely. Fires could be caused even if the debris was not on fire.

    However, this is just idle speculation. The way to find out if something is unusual is not to think about it in isolation. The way to find out if there is precedent for something is to talk to the people who’ve seen such things. In this case, that’s the firemen.

    I’d suggest that if the fire patterns seem anomalous to someone who hasn’t seen many major building fires, the sensible thing to do is to talk, directly, to someone who’s seen hundreds of building fires. Go to a fire station and talk to a twenty-year fireman. Talk to fire investigators – the people who go to fire sites year in year out and try to figure out what happened.

    There is no need to create a new forensic fire science from nothing. There are people who devote their entire lives to this stuff. They should be consulted.

    Comment by westprog99 — February 15, 2008 @ 10:55 am | Reply

  23. westprog99 wrote:

    What this seems to boil down to is suspicion about the symmetrical collapse, which seems to be contradicted by the videos recently posted,

    The latter is an issue I’m still in process of looking into.

    and concern that the fires occurred on multiple levels.

    There are people who devote their entire lives to this stuff. They should be consulted.

    Well, yes, but first one needs to have a reason to consult them. I’m wondering whether such people ever were consulted, or whether it was simply assumed that the fires must have been purely natural.

    It will be interesting to see what NIST’s final report has to say about the fire progression.

    The reason why the fire progression issue sticks out in my mind is because, many years ago, the house of a friend of mine was set on fire, apparently by a disgruntled ex-housemate – or, at least, that’s what my friend believed, although no one was ever prosecuted. The fire was known to have been arson because it started in two separate places.

    Comment by Diane — February 15, 2008 @ 11:26 am | Reply

  24. ref1 wrote:

    I don’t understand your reasoning, but that always going to be a problem between our sides.

    Can you ask a more specific question? What do you not understand? Maybe I can clarify?

    The link to Frank Greening post I mentioned earlier, including the possible natural sources I listed, courtesy of Greening as well:

    The whole thread here.

    Thanks for the links. Sorry about the delay in your comment appearing. I found it in the moderation queue just now.

    Comment by Diane — February 16, 2008 @ 7:14 pm | Reply

  25. Diane wrote: “Can you ask a more specific question? What do you not understand? Maybe I can clarify?”

    When I tell you the reasons WTC 7 was most probably a natural collapse, you start speculating. When talking about the damage and fires, you want to consider arson instead of thinking any natural reasons. The difference is, you don’t want to accept the natural reasons. You always have to speculate the conspiracy twist into every topic.

    Another thing is the defending of the likes of Gage and Jones. They have shown their lack of skills and honesty many times. There is no reason to defend them, unless you want to believe what they have to say.

    Comment by ref1 — February 16, 2008 @ 10:26 pm | Reply

  26. ref1 wrote:

    When I tell you the reasons WTC 7 was most probably a natural collapse, you start speculating.

    Most of my “speculation” these past several days has been in response to people (primarily westprog99, but also you) trying to prove to me that a not-purely-natural collapse is impossible. To prove that something is not impossible, any speculative hypothesis that’s possible will do. Of course, this doesn’t constitute evidence that the speculative hypotheses actually happened. I am well aware of that.

    When talking about the damage and fires, you want to consider arson instead of thinking any natural reasons. The difference is, you don’t want to accept the natural reasons.

    I don’t dismiss the possibility of a natural collapse. However, the specific natural-collapse mechanisms that have been proposed seem unlikely to me, given the actual specifics of the observed fires (according to NIST and FEMA). For more details on this, see my post WTC 7 fire weirdness, taking FEMA and NIST at their word (which I edited a few times during the 24 hours after I posted it, so you might want to read it again, since I added clarifications as to the reasons why the natural collapse hypotheses seem unlikely to me).

    Yes, I know I’m not an expert. But I don’t fully trust the experts either, for various reasons.

    So I’ve decided, for now, to take a neutral position on the question of what happened to the WTC buildings.

    What I previously thought of as the strongest argument in favor of the idea of demolition has been called into question, in a manner that is still unresolved as far as I am concerned, and I don’t know how long it will take me to resolve it. (See my post at the top of this page.) Most other arguments seem iffy to me, and in need of further analysis or research. (See my post Demolition of WTC: Let’s not overstate the case, please.) But I’m not convinced of the natural collapse idea either.

    Furthermore, even if the WTC buildings did collapse naturally, there are oodles of other fishy things about what happened on 9/11. These other things, in turn, make the idea of non-natural collapse of the WTC buildings seem more likely to me, or at least less unlikely, than they would otherwise. But I don’t claim to be able to prove non-natural collapse either.

    My desire now is to see the research that other people are doing on this matter carried to its conclusion, whatever that conclusion might turn out to be. Alas, a real conclusion might not be possible, due to the expense that would be involved in truly adequate experiments.

    Another thing is the defending of the likes of Gage and Jones. They have shown their lack of skills

    They indeed don’t have the best possible backgrounds for what they are doing. However: (1) There are indeed some structural engineers in Gage’s group. I have urged Gage (via email) to make use of their expertise, especially of any who have worked on high-rises. (2) Jones does face quite a learning curve, since he’s neither a chemist nor a metallurgist, but hopefully he is indeed learning and consulting with relevant experts. His central ideas seem plausible to me, even if he’s mistaken about some of the details. So I’m taking a wait-and-see attitude on his research.

    and honesty many times.

    They’ve made mistakes, but I believe they are sincere. So far I’ve encountered no strong reason to believe otherwise.

    Note: If you or others here would like to debate with me further about Gage and Jones, I would appreciate it very much if you could wait for relevant posts of mine, rather than continue to debate about them here in this thread (or in threads following other posts not specifically about them).

    Later this evening, or perhaps tomorrow, I’ll put up a brief post pertaining to Jones’s research.

    Some other time in the not-too-distant future, I’ll post a series of responses to boloboffin’s site against Gage. If there’ stuff you’re itching to tell me about Gage in the meantime, please post it in response to one of the following posts, whichever is more appropriate: Richard Gage’s slide show, WTC 7 section: Reply to charlienneb or Reply to “9/11 Guide,” part 1 (to ref1).

    But keep in mind my comment policy. Stuff inappropriate to this blog may be sent to me via email if you’re absolutely dying to share it with me.

    P.S., 2/17/2008: I’ve written the promised post about Steven Jones’s research, and critiques thereof. Anything further you wish to say about his research that is within the bounds of my comment policy, please post it there.

    Comment by Diane — February 17, 2008 @ 2:05 am | Reply

  27. (This comment is an edited pingback.)

    The post linked below includes more about both (1) the symmetry-of-collapse issue and (2) the importance of verifying the authenticity of any and all video evidence in general.

    -Diane

    Pingback by Richard Gage’s avowed enemy, part 2 - and my thoughts about WTC 7 « New York City activist — February 28, 2008 @ 6:21 pm | Reply


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