NIST WTC9/11 Report: Top 5 "Smoking Gun" Points

This article isn't really new for anyone who's read the Fourteen Points letter and my previous posts; i created this as an overview of some of the points and the issues, both for people who are seeking info, and for activists to use. Also to maintain and expand visibility for the letter; is crawled regularly by Google- and i'm still experimenting with keywords, tags and spelling to see what happens with search "alerts" from Google and Yahoo by email; for some reason the PRWeb release from 4/22, which had been in a Google News alert that night, just showed up again today in a News alert.

It is said “the pen is mightier than the sword”; it may also be said that a 6 page letter with 5 civilian authors published April 18, 2008 in the peer-reviewed Open Civil Engineering Journal at, “FourteenPoints of Agreement with Official Government Reports on the World Trade CenterDestruction” is more compelling than a 10,000 page report from a government agency that had hundreds of people working on it; the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) “Final Reports of the Federal Building and Fire Investigation of the World Trade Center Disaster”. In an effort to reach agreement on grounds for “productive discussion” of the 9/11WTC disasters, the authors of the letter outline 14 areas where they agree with NIST and FEMA, quoting from and commenting on their reports and public statements. Productive discussion should be welcomed, and those concerned about truth, history, transparency, accountability and justice in government should take note; each of the points raises questions about NIST (and FEMA) data, methods, thoroughness, accuracy, reasoning and even integrity. The combined effect of these 14points, which are based mostly on NIST, is devastating to both the NIST and FEMAWTC reports, and by extension the official 9/11account.

The NIST reports, FAQs and other documents and links are available at and FEMA The link to the FourteenPoints letter and websites for more info on its authors are in the comments section below (explanation at the end). As the letter is just slightly over 5 pages (plus 27 sources) reading it and checking it against the NIST and FEMA reports and FAQs online is fairly simple. In any case, given that it has been published, the scientific community will be discussing and debating it. Some have already been verbally attacking the authors (known for hypothesizing that explosivesbrought down WTC1, 2&7), and the OCIEJ and as well. While people have the right to say what they like, their words will carry more weight if they get a 14point rebuttal published in a peer-reviewed civil engineering journal. Noam Chomsky advised as much to9/11 truth activists at his blog on Zmag “…take the course pursued by anyone who thinks they have made a genuine discovery: submit it to a serious journal for peer review and publication.”

The rest of this article gives an overview of some the points and issues involved. First we’ll look at a statement from NIST about its investigation and report, then we’ll look at 5 of the 14points.

From the NIST Aug 30, 2006 WTC FAQ:

3. “How could the WTCtowers have collapsed without a controlleddemolition…?”

“NIST concluded that theWTC towers collapsed because: (1) the impact of the planes severed and damaged support columns, dislodged fireproofing insulation coating the steel floor trusses and steel columns, and widely dispersed jet fuel over multiple floors; and (2) the subsequent unusually large, jet-fuel ignited multi-floor fires weakened the now susceptible structural steel.”

Five points from the FourteenPoints letter:

Point 4 draws from statements in the NIST report, including; “As stated above, the core columns were designed to support approximately 50% of the gravity loads” [4]

and from a May 2006 NIST statement: “The hat-truss tied the core to the perimeter walls of the towers, and thus allowed the building to withstand the effects of the aircraft impact and subsequent fires for a much longer time—enabling large numbers of building occupants to evacuate safely”

Point 4 also quotes S. W. Banovic, T. Foecke, W.E. Luecke, et al. “The role of metallurgy in the NIST investigation of the World Trade Center towers collapse” in the Journal of Metallurgy, November 2007:

“The core of the building, which carried primarily gravity loads, was made up of a mixture of massive box columns” and “The core columns were designed to carry the gravity loads and were loaded to approximately 50% of their capacity before the aircraft impact.... the exterior columns were loaded to only approximately 20% of their capacity before the aircraft impact” [11].

The letter’s authors note: “The fact is the Towers were constructed with a substantial load-supporting core structure as well as perimeter columns – and on this point we agree with NIST in dispelling false popular notions.”

Point 5, the authors express agreement with the following quotes from Section 6.14.4 of NIST NCSTAR 1; “the building section above came down essentially in free fall, as seen in videos.” and “the structure below the level of collapse initiation offered minimal resistance to the falling building mass at and above the impact zone”.

Point 13 notes the NIST response to a request for correction from the Journal of9/11 Studies, affiliate organization of Scholars for9/11 Truth & Justice. NIST: “This letter is in response to your April 12, 2007 request for correction... weare unable to provide a full explanation of the total collapse”

So, NIST is “unable to provide a full explanation of the total collapse”, but does acknowledge that “the structure below the level of collapse initiation offered minimal resistance to the falling building mass at and above the impact zone” and “the building section above came down essentially in free fall, as seen in videos.” In Point 5 NIST addresses this incredible phenomenon of a steel-and-concrete building whose structure is at less than 50% load capacity providing “minimal resistance” to the building structure above falling on it by saying, “The potential energy released by the downward movement of the large building mass far exceeded the capacity of the intact structure below to absorb that energy through energy of deformation.” The letter’s authors note that NIST does not quantify the energy from the falling building mass, nor the energy required to cause the observed total destruction; that NIST conclusions don’t conform with the laws of Conservation of Momentum and Energy; and that controlled demolitions use explosivesto move material out of the way of falling building mass, so a hypothesis that includes explosivesdoesn’t violate laws of physics.

Point 14 is also based on the NIST August 30, 2006 FAQ:

12. “Did the NIST investigation look for evidence of the WTCtowers being brought down by controlleddemolition? Was the steel tested forexplosives or thermiteresidues? The combination ofthermite and sulfur (calledthermate) "slices throughsteel like a hot knife through butter."”

“NIST did not test for the residue of thesecompounds in the steel.”

Watch videos of theWTC “collapses” here:

Point 1 notes NIST has not issued its report yet on World Trade CenterBuilding 7, which completely collapsed at 5:20 pm 9/11/01. The destruction ofWTC 7 exhibits many classic features of a controlleddemolition, including; straight-down, total collapse, into its own footprint, at near free-fall speed. Watch video ofWTC 7 collapsing here:

Some have referred to the collapse of this building, which housed offices of the SEC, Secret Service, CIA, and Mayor Giuliani’s emergency management headquarters, as 9/11s “smoking gun”. The 9/11Commission Report does not mention the collapse ofWTC7, despite many people having called their attention to it, videos being available online and numerous popular pundits, websites, books and DVDs making cases for controlled demolition being the cause. A September 2007 Zogby poll found 67% of Americans think the Commission should have investigated it’s collapse. The FEMA report onWTC 7 says, “The specifics of the fires inWTC 7 and how they caused the building to collapse remain unknown at this time. Although the total diesel fuel on the premises contained massive potential energy, the best hypothesis has only a low probability of occurrence. Further research, investigation, and analyses are needed to resolve this issue”. The letter’s authors agree that a fire-only based explanation of the collapse has “only a low probability of occurrence.” and eagerly await the release of NIST’sWTC 7 report.

Here is the letter’s outline; I’ve pasted the authors’ “Conclusions” section in entirety.


1. WTC 7Collapse Issue

2. Withstanding Jet Impact

3. Pancake Theory Not Supported

4. Massive Core Columns

5. Essentially in Free Fall

6. Fire Endurance Tests, No Failure

7. Fires of Short Duration

8. WTCFires Did Not Melt Steel

9. Destruction of WTCSteel Evidence

10. Unusual Bright Flame and Glowing Liquid (WTC2)

11. High-Temperature Steel Attack, Sulfidation

12. Computer Modeling and Visualizations

13. Total Collapse Explanation Lacking

14. Search forExplosive or ThermiteResidues


“We have enumerated fourteen areas where we are in agreement with FEMA and NIST in their investigations of the tragic and shocking destruction of the World Trade Center. We agree that the Towers fell at near free-fall speed and that is an important starting point. We agree that several popular myths have been shown to be wrong, such as the idea that steel in the buildings melted due to the fires, or that the Towers were hollow tubes, or that floors “pancaked” to account for total Tower collapses. We agree that the collapse of the 47-storyWTC 7 (which was not hit by a jet) is hard to explain from the point of view of a fire-induced mechanism and that NIST has refused (so far) to look for residues of explosives [3, 22, 27]. Our investigative team would like to build from this foundation and correspond with the NIST investigation team, especially since they have candidly conceded (in a reply to some of us in September 2007):

“...we are unable to provide a full explanation of the total collapse” [25].

We are offering to discuss these matters in a civil manner as a matter of scientific and engineering courtesy and civic duty. The lives of thousands of people may very well depend on it.”

Publication of this FourteenPoints letter has been almost entirely ignored by mainstream media, but links and references to it are being posted and emailed all over the World. It has been asked, “If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, does it make a sound?” It may also be asked, “If the official 9/11story is disproved and the media don’t report it, does it make a difference?” Before the Web, media consolidation made it possible to suppress news so that it couldn’t make a difference; thanks to the Web, corporate media censorship no longer makes a difference. And if public opinion didn’t make a difference, influencing it wouldn’t be a multi-billion dollar industry.

For the 14point letter’s title and link, and links to more information about the letter’s authors and their theories, see the first comment below: