Saturday, September 3, 2011


The tenth anniversary of the greatest civilian loss of life on American soil is just around the corner. The case is supposedly closed, but the manner of collapse of World Trade Center building 7 offers strong proof that it should be reopened. Not unexpectedly, the high ideal to “follow the evidence wherever it may lead” encounters considerable resistance at the mention of this building.

Controlled demolition (CD) enables condemned tall buildings to be brought down quickly in a manner that will not cause damage to surrounding structures. The procedure requires a high level of knowledge and skill in the correct distribution of the right amount of explosive charge, and split-second timing of its ignition. Executed properly the building drops like a horse shot in the head – straight down, at almost free-fall speed, under a combination of its own weight and the sudden destruction of resistance in all its support columns at once.
Thanks to our acquaintance with the effects of gravity, a short introduction to how gravity works on falling buildings should be sufficient for our purpose. Before proceeding further, then, let’s take a quick look at some controlled demolitions. They’re quite fun to watch. Here’s a good representative sampling (please click on the link before continuing) -

But what happens if the charges don’t go off at exactly the right time? Well, then you end up with a real mess! (Please click on this link too) -

This illustrates the huge wayward forces that demolition engineers must tame in order to bring a multi-storey building down safely. Explosives set off correctly throughout are essential to the even descent of the building. Any asymmetry results in disaster.

With this pictorial introduction we now have something with which to compare the collapse of WTC7 – the third building to fall in the 9/11 attacks. Here’s that collapse at actual speed

This looks to be, judged by all that has gone before, a classic example of a controlled demolition, does it not? Note the great accuracy with which this 47-storey, steel frame building – a sturdy giant, occupying an entire city block – was brought neatly down in textbook fashion almost exactly into its own footprint at very nearly free fall speed; a tidier job, despite its size, than most of the preceding examples. Note, moreover, how all the windows remain in place (removal of all windows prior to CD is the norm, to prevent flying glass), suggesting, aside from a manifest lack of damage on that side, sophisticated use of thermite (an incendiary) to weaken the 410 steel support columns ahead of demolition, thus allowing for less explosive force. Very elegant!

Now read what Wikipedia, one of the world’s most-used knowledge resources, has to say about this event –

On September 11, 2001, 7 WTC was damaged by debris when the nearby North Tower of the WTC collapsed. The debris also ignited fires, which continued to burn throughout the afternoon on lower floors of the building. The building's internal fire suppression system lacked water pressure to fight the fires, and the building collapsed completely at 5:21:10 pm[1] The collapse began when a critical column on the 13th floor buckled and triggered structural failure throughout, which was first visible from the exterior with the crumbling of the east mechanical penthouse at 5:20:33 pm.


So, in defiance of the visual evidence (where are the raging flames, the heat-smashed windows, the buckling walls, the tell-tale tipping of a tall building falling out of control?), Wikipedia declares flatly that this was not a CD at all, but a random collapse. Not a word is said about the theoretical nature of the alleged simultaneous buckling of 410 support columns – an impossibly unlikely event, in the absence of CD, and to explain which NIST had to concoct a sophisticated computer simulation three years in the making, whose parameters the public has not been allowed to examine. Perhaps anticipating these objections, the Wikipedia editors offer this -

World Trade Center controlled demolition conspiracy theories say the buildings that collapsed on September 11, including building seven, were felled by controlled demolition.[53][54][55][56] The NIST report rejects this hypothesis, as the window breakages and blast sound that would have occurred if explosives were used were not observed.[8] The suggestion that an incendiary such as thermite was used instead of explosives is discarded by NIST because of observations of the fire and the building's structural response to the fire, and because it is unlikely the necessary quantity [of] material could have been planted without discovery.[35]

The article does not mention that the “conspiracy theorists” include 1500 architects and engineers who have risked their careers and reputations to dismiss the NIST analysis as hogwash. And it only mentions in passing that

the collapse of the old 7 World Trade Center is remarkable because it was the first known instance of a tall building collapsing primarily as a result of uncontrolled fires.[35]

Remarkable, indeed! Here’s what several experts have to say about it (again, please click on the link) –

Also unmentioned in the Wikipedia article is what appears to be the frank admission of none other than the building owner himself, Larry Silverstein, that controlled demolition was indeed employed to bring WTC7 down –

An often overlooked feature of Wikipedia is the Discussions forum of its volunteer editors. In the WTC7 Discussions forum this rather incriminating video is summarily rejected –

In short, the reason why this video isn't mentioned in the article is that it's a fantasy, one of many that are used to manipulate people into believing a particular set of beliefs. -Jordgette (talk) 17:52, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

A heated discussion of Silverstein’s use of the term “pull it” ensues, in which the majority as usual prevails and all mention of the video is omitted.

It turns out the Wikipedia article on WTC7 is both a particular source of pride to the Wikipedia editors, and one of the online encyclopedia’s hotspots, attracting a lot of comment, not to say criticism, of which the lack of mention of the Silverstein “confession” video is but one. Further on in the Discussions forum we read this response by Tom Harrison and Jordgette to a suggestion by Smitty that the WTC7 article should include NIST's mention that there was some pre-collapse vibration, and a period of free fall acceleration (I have slightly edited and reformatted the text, for clarity). Tom Harrison launches the counter-attack against Smitty -

You think collapse times should be emphasized, and the article should include "free fall acceleration?" Astonishing. I oppose including your paragraphs. That kind of skewed selection of factoids gives undue weight to the elements of fringe theories. We should rely on the summary of the report to determine what's important. Tom Harrison Talk 00:06, 3 August 2011 (UTC)           

In support of which Jordgette chimes in -

I agree; the less cherry picking we do of these hundreds of pages of documents, the better. That's why I support drawing from the executive summary only. There is little value in these minutiae. The detection of six seconds of vibrations, and what parts of the building were determined to experience free fall acceleration and for how long, are not necessary in a general encyclopedia article on... 7 World Trade Center. The five-page NCSTAR1A executive summary does not mention these details, so the brief collapse section in this article shouldn't, either. If someone is looking for the precise timing sequence of the collapse, they can find it in the source. -Jordgette (talk) 00:20, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

Cherry picking? Surely the pot is calling the kettle black! Smitty replies –

Since when is a resource subject to only allowing inclusion of information in the summary? Can someone please post a link to a WP best practices that recommends this? Tom, your... insinuation that I am pushing "fringe theories" is absurd. Are you saying NIST is on the "fringe"? My entire post was pulled from NCSTAR 1-A and NCSTAR 1-9. The six seconds of vibration is pertinent and interesting, and it is one of the pieces of real world data that NIST used to verify its computer data. You can read a more brief summary in NCSTAR 1-A on pg. 42. If you want to leave this detail out, that's fine. However, I state strongly that the three stages of collapse are important enough to include because this is the part of collapse that is actually visible to people. You can't possibly justify ignoring the actual visible collapse. In fact, it is important enough for NIST to include in their FAQ page... Additionally, the wiki article currently contains original research when it comes to the collapse timings. You cannot defend what is there. It must be updated to reflect the current source. Smitty121981 (talk) 00:46, 3 August 2011 (UTC)smitty121981

But Tom/Jordgette will have none of this -

Yes, you've stated your position strongly indeed. However, others seem to disagree, don't they? That's why we have a talk page. If we're going to list what was actually visible to people, then we should include when specific windows broke and what direction and color the smoke/dust was going. But we aren't, because they're unnecessary details. (If you want to distance yourself from conspiracy theorists, perhaps you shouldn't keep insisting on including the extremely minor bit about free fall acceleration of the north face. You may not know this, but "NIST admits freefall!" is a common rallying cry used by "Truthers.")
The above links lead to other mainstream statements about the WTC "collapses" which completely discount any suggestion of foul play from within the U.S. government. Everything is accepted to be exactly as stated by the organs of government authority.

And there you have it, in that last sentence, in a nutshell. Naked bias, dressed up as objectivity, protecting a black lie whose exposure threatens America’s controllers; and it’s in Wikipedia, the on-line encyclopedia trusted by billions. It’s not that Smitty’s points are invalid, but simply that to publish them will lend support to the nutcases who believe the evidence of their own eyes. Case (and minds) closed.

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