Although it received little media attention at the time, the third-worst structural building failure in modern history occurred on September 11, 2001. World Trade Center (WTC) Building 7 was a 47-story, steel-framed, fire-protected, high-rise office building located about a football field’s length from the WTC North Tower. Unlike its two taller cousins, WTC 7 was never hit by an aircraft, yet it fell to the ground suddenly, displaying the classic signatures of explosive controlled demolition.
Building 7 came down neatly, symmetrically and completely at 5:20PM. The official story, according to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is that WTC 7 collapsed due to “normal office fires.” Much evidence was ignored by NIST, the federal agency tasked with explaining its unprecedented destruction.
But explosive demolition is the only cause that has ever produced such structural failure characteristics of Building 7’s destruction. WTC 7’s failure was indistinguishable from a classic controlled implosion. Building 7 collapsed at free-fall acceleration for a distance of more than 100 feet – equal to at least eight stories.
Physics instructor David Chandler used network television videos to measure and document the acceleration of the building during its fall and shows a significant period of free-fall was an indisputable fact.
Having been cornered, NIST reversed its initial denial of free-fall in its Final Report. For the observed straight-down collapse to happen, an immense network of heavy steel columns and beams would have had to be forcibly removed and more than 400 structural-steel connections would have had to fail every second, evenly, all across each of the eight floors involved. These failures had to occur ahead of the collapsing section – and could not be caused by it – because a free-falling object cannot exert force on anything in its path without slowing its own fall. Moreover, in what looks like an attempt to bury the discussion, its change of stance on the question of free-fall was omitted from the list of changes accompanying its Final Report.
The overall building mass fell suddenly, uniformly and nearly symmetrically through what should have been the path of greatest resistance – some 40,000 tons of structural steel. According to structural engineer Kamal Obeid, PE, this requires a precisely timed, patterned removal of critical steel columns – which office fires, a gradual chaotic, organic process, simply cannot achieve. Only a carefully engineered series of explosions (or incendiaries) could cause a steel-framed skyscraper to collapse in on itself – and land mostly within its own footprint. After all, demolition companies are paid large sums to accomplish this extremely difficult feat and only a few can do it with tall buildings. Also, the destruction was complete. This building had been built especially strong so that alternate floors could have been removed in case a tenant needed a two or even three-story open space. Yet, its 47 stories collapsed, in fewer than seven seconds, to about four stories of debris – having fallen like a house of cards – with the almost complete dismemberment of both the braced frame and welded moment-resisting (bend-resistant) frames. Again, this is something fire could not have, and has never, achieved.
Prior to the NIST investigation, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), had conducted a preliminary, cursory, underfunded investigation and produced a Building Performance Assessment Report. In Appendix C of that report, FEMA described its analysis of only two steel samples, one from Building 7 and the other from Tower 1 or 2. The analysis of the WTC 7 sample showed “evidence of a severe high temperature corrosion attack on the steel, including rapid oxidation and sulfidation with subsequent intergranular melting….”
Neither jet fuel nor office fires can reach anywhere close to steel’s melting point, much less its evaporation point, even if those critical temperatures had been lowered by the presence of free sulfur. So what could have caused this “high temperature corrosion attack?”
Thermite is a mixture of powdered iron oxide and elemental aluminum which, when ignited, reacts violently at 4,000-4,500° Fahrenheit (F) – well above the melting point of steel or iron, about 2,800° F, producing aluminum oxide and molten iron. When free sulfur is added to the mixture, the iron melts at a lower temperature. Thermite with sulfur added is called thermate. Structural steel in contact with ignited thermate also melts at a lower temperature.
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) used NASA thermal imaging of the WTC rubble pile surface to document hot spots with extreme temperatures of almost 1,400° F, temperatures hotter than most office fires produce, and there were no fires on the surface of the WTC 7 pile following the collapses. The detected surface temperatures indicate much higher temperatures deeper within the pile. These extreme temperatures persisted for several weeks, despite the continuous spraying of millions of gallons of water onto the debris pile – so much water that one worker described the result as “a giant lake.” Thermite contains its own source of oxygen and burns just as well under water.
The collapse of WTC Building 7 represents one of the worst structural failures in modern history. The official story contends that fires weakened the structures, resulting in a gravitational collapse. The evidence, obvious to so many researchers but omitted from NIST’s Final Report, supports a very different conclusion – one that points squarely to explosive controlled demolition. The destruction of the Twin Towers must be re-evaluated as well in light of the WTC 7 evidence. We therefore call for an unimpeachable investigation with subpoena power into the destruction of all three WTC skyscrapers. We ask you to do your part as a citizen to join us in making it happen.