THE WISDOM FUND: News & Views
April 17, 2006 (updated November 4, 2008)
The Wisdom Fund

What Really Happened to 7 World Trade Center

'The 9/11 Commission Report' offers no explanation for its collapse on September 11, 2001. NIST's conclusions, based on computer simulation, apparently suffer from inadequate model validation and insufficient actual data

by Enver Masud

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On September 11, 2001, 5:20 PM, 47-story Building 7 of the World Trade Center (WTC 7) collapsed in about seven seconds. To this day there is no official explanation of why it collapsed.

"The 9/11 Commission Report" tells us that the Mayor's Office of Emergency Management was located on the 23rd floor of WTC 7, and at 8:48 AM the Emergency Operations Center was activated, but it does not mention the collapse of WTC 7. Major news media have largely ignored this omission.

The collapse of the nine-story Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995 was repeatedly shown on television, and initially blamed on Muslim terrorists. Videos of the collapse of the 47-story WTC 7, while readily available on alternative news sites, have generally not been shown to the public after September 11 by major news media.

FEMA's "World Trade Center Building Performance Study," concludes that the collapse of WTC7 may have been caused by "an internal failure and implosion." FEMA adds, "Althought the total diesel fuel on the premises contained massive potential energy, the best hypothesis has only a low probability of occurrence." (May 2002, 5-31)

Dr. Steven E. Jones, a physics professor at Brigham Young University, writes: "The specifics of the fires in WTC 7 and how they caused the building to collapse ["official theory"] remain unknown at this time."

Prof. Jones attempted to make his point on MSNBC's "The Situation" with Tucker Carlson on November 15, 2005, but was prevented from doing so.

Buildings 5 and 6, which stood between the twin towers and Building 7, sustained much greater damage than Building 7, but they did not collapse in the way that the twin towers, and Building 7 collapsed.

Indira Singh, a first responder on September 11, said during an appearance on KPFA that by "noon or one o'clock", the Fire Department was telling them that they had to move the triage site because "we're going to have to bring it down."

CNN's Aaron Brown and BBC's Jane Standley reported that Building 7 "has collapsed or is collapsing" before it collapsed. The BBC picture above is time stamped 21:54 London time which is 16:54 or 4:54 PM EST.

Diane Sawyer, an award-winning investigative journalist, interviewed J. D. Halperin - a volunteer, on ABC News Live Coverage who said: "At Building 7 there was no fire there whatsoever, but there was one truck putting water on the building, but it collapsed completely."

Sawyer then says, "And you saw melted tour busses, melted cars." Halperin responds, "The cars that were right down there were unbelieveable. They were twisted and melted into nothing."

Dan Rather, at the time anchor and managing editor of the CBS Evening News, while reporting on the collapse of Building 7, said: "For the third time today, it's reminiscent of those pictures we've all seen too much on television before - a building was deliberately destroyed."

Larry Silverstein, the World Trade Center leaseholder, was shown on television saying: "I remember getting a call from the ER, Fire Department Commander, telling me that they were not sure they were gonna be able to contain the fire, and I said, 'We've had such terrible loss of life, maybe the smartest thing to do is pull it.' And they made the decision to pull and we watched the building collapse."

If Building 7 was "pulled" - a demolition term, when were the explosives planted to pull it? Who planted them?

The FEMA investigation of WTC7 concluded (World Trade Center Building Performance Study, May 2002): "Further research, investigation, and analyses are needed to resolve this issue."

On August 21, 2008, Shyam Sunder, lead investigator at NIST, presented NIST's findings at a press briefing. A draft "Final Report on the Collapse of World Trade Center Building 7" was made available on the Internet later in the day.

NIST claims that the collapse was due to "some structural damage to the southwest perimeter" by falling debris, and to "ordinary building content fires" on floors 7 through 9, and 11 through 13. This caused "buckling of a critical interior column", followed by "progressive collapse".

Engineers have routinely designed structures to withstand expansion of steel members.

"Video and photographic evidence combined with detailed computer simulations show that neither explosives nor fuel oil fires played a role in the collapse of WTC 7," Sunder said.

The photographic evidence regarding fires is helpful, and it does show some damage to WTC 7. However, NIST admits:

Although the visual evidence for WTC 7 was not nearly as rich as for WTC 1 and WTC 2, the fire simulation did exploit as much as possible the few photographs showing the location of severe fire activity in WTC 7 at various time during the afternoon of September 11, 2001.

And computer simulation, without satisfactory validation of the model, proves nothing - those sumo wrestlers transforming into an airplane taking off, in the United Airlines commercial broadcast during the Beijing Olymics, were computer simulations.

Model validation - a crucial step in the modeling process - requires that "[i]nferences made in establishing the model are checked by observing if the model behaves as expected" (Simulation and Modeling, Prentice Hall, 1969).

In the NIST reports we were unable to find NIST's model validation criteria, or discussion of other instances where the models used by NIST (LS-DYNA - "a general purpose transient dynamic finite element program" - developed by Livermore Software Technology Corp, and ANSYS), had been successfully applied to similar problems, or how the NIST model behaved with other disturbances.

NIST writes that damage estimated by ANSYS "was input to the LS-DYNA model as the final step before analyzing the structural response" (p565), and that "damage criteria required adjustment to obtain the appropriate strength and ductility of the structures" (p542). Did NIST adjust model inputs to obtain the outputs presented by NIST?

Others dispute Sunder's claim that explosives played no role, and videos appear to show explosions. Buildings that have collapsed without explosives do not come straight down on their own footprint. Forensic evidence from the structural steel is necessary to rule out the use of explosives in WTC 7.

Absent satisfactory answers to these issues, one cannot have confidence in the NIST computer simulation.

Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth, with 400 plus members, argue that NIST does not address why the collapse exhibits none of the characteristics of destruction by fire, such as slow onset with large visible deformations, and [a]symmetrical collapse - which would cause the building to fall to the side most damaged by the fire.

NIST also does not address why the collapse does exhibit all the characteristics of a classic controlled demolition with explosives such as rapid onset of collapse, sounds of explosions at ground floor - a full second prior to collapse, symmetrical collapse - through the path of greatest resistance - at nearly free-fall speed - with the steel skeleton broken up for shipment, massive volume of expanding pyroclastic dust clouds, tons of molten metal found by Controlled Demolition, Inc., the chemical signature of thermate (a high tech incendiary) found in slag, solidified molten metal, and dust samples by Prof. Jones, and rapid oxidation and intergranular melting on structural steel samples examined by FEMA.

Indeed a newly found video more clearly shows windows being blown out from the bottom toward the top of WTC7 just prior to its collapse -- see below at the beginning, and at 33 seconds.

When I worked for the U.S. Department of Energy, it would have been highly unusual for a report such as NIST's to be presented to the news media without it first being subjected to outside peer review, and often with both supporting and dissenting views included in an appendix.



Enver Masud founded The Wisdom Fund - a nonprofit corporation - eleven years ago today.

Reporter at WTC 7: "That is the building that is going to go down next!"

ABC Interview: Barry Jennings, September 11, 2001

Enver Masud, "What Really Happened on September 11 Remains a Mystery," The Wisdom Fund, April 27, 2002

David Ray Griffin, "THE 9/11 COMMISSION REPORT: Omissions And Distortions," Olive Branch Press (November 30, 2004)

Enver Masud, "What Really Happened on September 11 at the Pentagon?," The Wisdom Fund, March 7, 2005

Paul Joseph Watson, "Silverstein Answers WTC Building 7 Charges," prisonplanet.com, January 5, 2006

Judy Wood, "A Refutation of the Official Collapse Theory," presented at the 2006 Society for Experimental Mechanics Annual Conference, June 7, 2006

Enver Masud, "FBI: Bin Laden Not Wanted for 9/11?," The Wisdom Fund, June 8, 2006

David Ray Griffin, "Christian Faith and the Truth Behind 9/11: A Call to Reflection and Action," Westminster John Knox Press (July 1, 2006)

VIDEO: "CSPAN Coverage of the American Scholars Symposium," 911podcasts.com, July 27, 2006

David Ray Griffin and Peter Dale Scott (Editors), "9/11 and American Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out," Olive Branch Press (August 23, 2006) - contributors include Richard Falk, Daniele Ganser, David Ray Griffin, Steven E. Jones, Karin Kwiatkowski, John McMurtry, Peter Phillips, Morgan Reynolds, Kevin Ryan, Peter Dale Scott, Ola Tunander.

Kevin Barrett, John Cobb and Sandra Lubarsky (Editors), "9/11 and American Empire: Christians, Jews, and Muslims Speak Out," Olive Branch Press (October 15, 2006) - contributors include Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, Kevin Barrett, Faiz Khan, Enver Masud, Yasmin Ahmed, Tamar Frankiel, Roger Gottlieb, Marc Ellis, Sandra Lubarsky, Rabbi Michael Lerner, John Cobb, David Ray Griffin, Carter Heyward, Catherine Keller, and Rosemary Radford Ruether.

Steven E. Jones, "Why Indeed Did the WTC Buildings Completely Collapse," Journal of 9/11 Studies, September 2006

VIDEO: "911 Mysteries: The Demolitions," 911Mysteries.com, September 2006

PHOTOS: "Was the WTC7 Pulled?," thewebfairy.com, October 24, 2006

April 23, 2007

[The majority of FDNY members did not rationally conclude, on the basis of direct perception of damage to the building, that it was in danger of collapse; they accepted that it would collapse on the basis of what they were told.--Graeme MacQueen, "Waiting for Seven: WTC 7 Collapse Warnings in the FDNY Oral Histories," journalof911studies.com, January 11, 2008]

Frank Legge, "Proof of Explosive Demolition without Calculations," journalof911studies.com, March 2008

"WTC7 Survivor Barry Jennings Account," June 23, 2008 [Barry Jennings is dead. The circumstances of his death remain a mystery.

["Our study found that the fires in WTC 7, which were uncontrolled but otherwise similar to fires experienced in other tall buildings, caused an extraordinary event," said NIST WTC Lead Investigator Shyam Sunder. "Heating of floor beams and girders caused a critical support column to fail, initiating a fire-induced progressive collapse that brought the building down."--"NIST WTC 7 Investigation Finds Building Fires Caused Collapse," nist.gov, August 21, 2008]

[A fierce fire consumed all 44 floors of a skyscraper in Beijing today, shooting 30 foot flames into the air, but unlike the similarly-sized 47-story WTC 7, which suffered limited fires across just eight floors, the building in China did not collapse.--Paul Joseph Watson, "Fire Consumes WTC 7-Size Skyscraper, Building Does Not Collapse," infowars.com, February 9, 2009]

David Ray Griffin, "The Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center 7: Why the Official Final Report About 9/11 Is Unscientific and False," Olive Branch Press (September 2009)

Ronald H. Brookman, "The NIST Analyses: A Close Look at WTC 7," ae911truth.org, March 26, 2010

David Ray Griffin, "Building What? How SCADs Can Be Hidden in Plain Sight: The 9/11 'Official Story' and the Collapse of WTC Building Seven," Global Research, May 30, 2010

VIDEO: Jonathan H. Coles, "9/11 Experiments: The Mysterious Eutectic Steel," youtube.com, July 13, 2010

VIDEO: "Architects & Engineers: Solving the Mystery of WTC 7," rememberbuilding7.org, August 16, 2011

Richard Gage, "Summary of evidence and call for independent investigation," AE911Truth.org, March 15, 2012

[U.S. District Court Judge Alvin Hellerstein ruled that an investment group led by Mr. Silverstein had already received all the compensation for which it is eligible: the $4.1 billion paid by property insurers in 2004--Eliot Brown, "Silverstein Loses Battle Over 9/11 Payouts: Developer Sought Billions of Dollars From Airlines for Rebuilding of World Trade Center," wsj.com, July 18, 2013]

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