Questions asked at NIST's WTC 7 briefing

NIST'S WTC 7 technical briefing took place this morning. A number of good questions were asked, it seemed they came mostly from the 9/11-truth-seeking community. I asked (and these got through but were somewhat re-worded by the fellow "reading" the questions):

1. Did NIST have available to it samples of dust from the WTC catastrophe, and if so, did NIST examine the dust for red/gray chips as described by Dr. Steven Jones (physicist)? Note that over a dozen WTC-dust samples were examined by the US Geological Survey, and these were presumably available to NIST.

2. NIST discusses the fall time for WTC 7 on page 40 of their summary, where we find the significant assumption: "Assuming that the descent speed was approximately constant..." However, observations by Dr. Frank Legge and others of the descent speed shows that it is accelerating, not constant at all. Why did NIST assume "that the descent speed was approximately constant" when observation shows otherwise?

On 1, Shyam Sundar did not answer my questions at all -- he simply replied that they found some hypotheses "not credible," without doing the relevant experiments. Not a very scientific answer, IMO. PS -- they didn't look...
The NIST report disappointingly ignores our papers published in established, peer-reviewed journals:
The Open Civil Engineering Journal:
But by so doing, NIST loses credibility, in not dealing with the issues raised and published in peer-reviewed venues.
I have heard from a number of scientists and engineers who are swayed by our arguments...

On question 2, Sundar and John Gross hemmed and hawed a bit, admitted that acceleration was probable and finally said the report probably needed to be corrected. If they make the needed correction, it should of course change their calculated fall time which was evidently based on the assumption that the descent SPEED was approximately constant... We will be watching.

My third question, about the high-temperature corrosion and sulfidation of a WTC 7 steel member-- reported in Appendix C of the FEMA report -- was not read...
AFAIK -- I say this because, after my second question was read and answered, the feed of the Briefing to my computer failed, and I could not get re-connected... Sundar spoke about this beam briefly in remarks, but I found he represented Barnett's explanation that gypsum COULD possibly have caused sulifdation as a given, rather than an untested hypothesis.
In other words, THAT hypothesis was taken as completely credible without experimental tests, no problem... What has happened to science and critical thinking?

Note that my paper with colleagues on the red-gray chips found in the WTC dust has been submitted to an established journal (a couple of weeks ago) and is going through the peer-review process prior to possible publication.

Dr Jones

..I would like to know how they think their computer collapse resembled.the actual collapse. I mean WTC#7 came straight down. Is there a way to computer generate the collapse based on their information? I am sure it would look totally different than what America seen.
I would also like more answers on the molten metal, and their responce to the documented witnesses that heard explosions.

Dr Jones

I would also like to add. I live here in Utah. I've been here for thirty years, and i can only imagine what you went through.
I admire your honesty, and your intelligence. I still can't believe BYU let you go. For what it's worth ....Thank you sir.
Those that live outside Utah will never will know what sacrifices you gave up for the truth........I do. And it speaks volumes of the man that you are!
You are an American hero!

Dr Jones

,,The truth hides from no questions. Something stinks! America needs you.

It does not have to resemble the collapse.

Because we are suppose to believe everything "the man" says and we are suppose to shut up and watch our American Idol, instead of thinking.

This "house of cards" notion that the engineering community seems to be eating up in spades, is a dangerous precedent. It may cause numerous existing buildings to become "below code", making them uninhabitable. This, in turn, will create a huge problem for lease-holders with large, out-of-date and allegedly unsafe buildings.

If NIST and the government are right, then ANY building with 1985 or earlier codes (even the new WTC7 may not adhere to the codes it's former building's late study has found), anybody inside a hi-rise office structure might be in danger if a normal fire breaks out.

If NIST is lying and Bazant is not correct, it will bring catastrophic results to engineering education and the process of determining structural failure modes. It means over-engineering, over-building and even more expensive construction than before. This could have serious economic implications.

You're spot on

as this link shows

Now will there be any change in building codes in the real world of science? If not, the problem with failing buildings exists only in the NIST computer models.

thank you for the exhaustive research dr. jones

is there an opportunity to ask john gross and shyam sunder about the molten metal, point blank? and what about their reason for dismissing controlled demolition due to their assumption that it would have been too noisy? there is quality research and analysis conducted by dr. macqueen on this topic... and there is also ample video footage and witness testimony to back up both points, yet they claim to not have encountered any of it... what would happen to their theory if they were presented with this material? how can they possibly dismiss it?

Thanks for the update.

Looks to me like the NIST report on Building 7 is like a ball waiting to be whacked out of the park. I look forward to a thorough dissection.

Shyam Sundar is an employee of the George W. Bush administration

It should be mentioned in interviews that Shyam Sundar is an employee of the George W. Bush administration.

This can be done indirectly by stating, for example, "I am not an employee of the George W. Bush administration. I am an independent researcher"

It is fair to state that if he reported the facts and obvious conclusions that are being reported by the independent researchers, he would be fired.

This should help people see through the coverup that he is promoting and his possible motivation.


Shyam Sundar is very likely consciously lying

When Shyam Sundar make claims that clearly violate basic laws of science he is very likely consciously lying rather that ignorant.

Therefore the correct wording in response is "you claim" rather than "you believe" ... We have no way of knowing what he believes ... only what he says. He could believe one thing and say something else.

In other words he could be consciously lying. If he is not consciously lying then he not understand much of basic science.

My guess is that he is lying and he knows it.

I'll second that!

"My guess is that he is lying and he knows it."

It is really hard to find something...

... if you don't look...

On 1, Shyam Sundar did not answer my questions at all -- he simply replied that they found some hypotheses "not credible," without doing the relevant experiments. Not a very scientific answer, IMO. PS -- they didn't look...

It is quite incredible what passes as a scientific investigation these days. And no politician, no media calling them on that... They ignore important evidence, yet remember to remind on every opportunity how many millions of dollars, how many years this study took and how many "credible" scientists were on the job...

Compare a 10 story building hit by a C-130 and no collapse ...

Why was it in TEHRAN, Iran, on Dec. 6, 2005, that a military C-130 plane hit a ten story building and it did not buckle or collapse?

See article and photos:

Sunder admits knowing that thermite was found, but won't "look".

Sunder answers “No” to the question: “Shouldn’t you have tested for those residues that Steven Jones had found according to your own dictates.”
Sunder goes on to say:
“…Just because thermite or thermate exists in some dust particles does not necessarily translate into thermate being the cause of the building failure. There is no theory around it, there’s just observations, isolated observations….”

A "Pull No Punches" Interview with Dr. Shyam Sunder.
This Interview was first broadcast Sunday, August 24, 2008. Archive is half-way down the page.
The above quote is a little past the half-way mark, with the slidebar under “ust”.

So, here we have Sunder admitting to thermite evidence being observed. However, he admonishes "observations". I guess that means that people should not observe phenomena because it doesn't fit a hypothesis. Comic books are more real than this guy.

Worth its own entry

That right there is worth its own blog entry. That's huge that Sunder admits thermate was found.

You mean it isn't material from the buildings?

You mean it isn't material from the buildings? Wow, you mean Mark Roberts is making stuff up? Who knew.
A 9/11/2008 Resolution: Start Your Own 9/11 Blog

Prof. Jones

Have you been able to extrapolate from your discovery of thermite/thermate residue in the dust the probable VOLUME in ALL of the dust?
You know where I'm going: what total amount of energy might this thermate represent?

Thanks. For everything you're doing in pursuit of the truth.

No evidence

NIST admits in their, "Questions and Answers about the NIST WTC 7 Investigation" that their investigation looked at no physical evidence. Shyam Sunder stated in his opening remarks, "This study has identified thermal expansion as a new phenomenon that can cause structural collapse. For the first time we have shown that fire can induce a progressive collapse." So if this claim is true, can we expect demolition companies to use this newly discovered phenomenon in building demolitions? After all, if NIST science is real science it should be applicable in real world circumstances.

Nevertheless, any scientific investigation that doesn't rely on any physical evidence, has no experimental verification, and uses computer animation to prove it's hypothesis has no right to be considered "robust science."

Special case

It can only be used as a demolition technique in buildings with a large floor span.

... and only in month of september...

... and on the same lattitude as lower Manhattan... :)

...and even in that case... still only applies if the local mayor's surname starts with the letter 'G'.

Sham is a fraud

He claims there were no explosions recorded when Building 7 went down.


Hers's a video that captured a huge explosion a second or two before the building fell:

Click on the link and it should take you to 27 minutes and 15 seconds into the video - about 30 seconds before the explosion is heard:

On the same video, at 28:25, reporter Al Jones explains that it looked like a demo crew brought it down and that the building fell from an "explosion":

Then at 31:30, there's an interview with a first responder who witnessed the demolition of WTC-7 and explains that he heard a sound that sounded like a "clap of thunder" and then Building 7 fell a couple seconds after.

Please forward this information to Sham and his other fraud budies at NIST with intensity!!

"If I had just paid $20 million for the NIST report, I'd be asking for a refund!... The trouble with the NIST Report is that it isn’t even science because it's not capable of being verified or negated!"
-Dr. Frank Greening

Dr. Sunder lied, saying there were no witnesses to explosions

Jennings, Bartmer, and McPadden are witnesses to explosions.

His dismissal of the explosive hypothesis by discarding an unrealistic scenario (9 pounds on column 79) is not reasonable.

His dismissal of the thermate hypothesis as impractical is absurd. He seems to feel that that smuggling a hundred pounds of thermate into the building would be difficult, and fails to recognize that a hollow core column represents a suitable container for the thermate reaction.

This is all from the Thursday session. I had a lot of problems with missing audio on the Tuesday session. Did anybody else have trouble?

As I've mentioned elsewhere,

As I've mentioned elsewhere, saying "he lied" makes us look belligerent to people on the fence w/o proof he knows about the explosions. Does he? How do you know? Does he understand when and where they happened? No one has discussed this WITH him so cannot know *intentions* . . .

His body language suggests denial to me. Just a guess. If someone covinces themselves that demolition is "impossible" they can literally blockade themselves from the evidence. It happens.

Thermal Expansion

Dr Jones,

Can you shed any light on this "Thermal Expansion" theory in which NIST is proposing that caused the single crippling column to fail. On its surface it seems like a real stretch. He psuedo explains it here but offers no data or experimental demonstration of this process.

In the interview above, Dr. Sunder states that the "Magnitude of the thermal expansion is directly tied to length of the floor span. If you have a twice as long floor span; you will have 2x as much expansion beyond the order of 4 to 5 inches." 4 to 5 inches?!! Wouldn't we have seen this expanding property in steel given as many times as we've studied fire tests and other structure fires? I've only glanced over the report but Dr Sunder states that all this was played out in the computer model. Given the penchant for this investigation to rely solely on video analysis, I doubt they spent any of the $16M on a 50 foot piece of steel, mounted it up somewhere and cooked it at 800 degrees C for 7 hrs to actually see if it expanded 4 or 5 inches to prove this "thermal expansion" theory. And how could it expand? would it swell? lengthen? Don't things expand when they freeze for instance when a frozen soda bursts its container?

It just seems odd they would put so much stock in the "new phenomenon" of "expanding steel" if so easily disproved. Thank you for all your time and efforts. You are true hero.


Frozen water has a greater volume than the liquid state

You are confusing what happens when water changes state from liquid to solid. In that case the solid state has a lower density than the liquid and thus occupies a greater volume per unit weight.

This isn't true with most solids like steel, which expand with heat and contract with cold.

It's Time To Publish A Peer Review Response

I would recommend a suitable response to all points of Mr. Sunder to be submitted to a peer reviewed technical journal. Considering the lack of media coverage on this "thermal expansion" excuse, the worlds engineering and construction community needs to be made aware of the process and lack of scientific procedures NIST used to arrive at this conclusion. The fact that thermite/thermate was found in the dust and Sunder blowing (pardon the pun) it off needs to go global. Here we have a governmental agency admitting that thermite/thermate was found in the dust and admitting it could be a possible cause contributing to collapse.

One would think owners, leasers, and tenets of high rise steel buildings would be fuming over the costs of renovation and updating so that "thermal expansion" from a fire would prevent a global collapse.

"I would imagine that if you took the top expert in that type of work and gave him the assignment of bringing these buildings down with explosives, I would bet that he could do it." -1993-John Skilling, Head Structural Engineer WTC Towers

Excellent comments --

much appreciated. There is a team (organized by James Gourley) now working on a response to the NIST WTC 7 report. Yes, this should be followed by a peer-reviewed response paper.

As someone above noted, blaming the rapid, symmetrical fall of WTC 7 on thermal expansion of a steel member is quite a STRETCH... I expect we will hit that hard, along with their gaffe on assuming that the descent of the building was at "approximately constant speed".

If anyone has found this "technical briefing" by NIST archived, either video or audio, I would very much like to see it... A transcript would be very helpful, particularly of the Q&A part.

Naturally Occuring Thermite/Thermate

Since Sunder has stated Thermite/Thermate was found but chalked it up to an isolated observation, does that mean thermite or thermate occurs naturally?

That is the case isn't it with Sunder's comment on the issue?

If not then the case is simply a slam dunk for the use of thermite /thermate on all three structures.

Thanks again Dr. Jones for your hard work on the issue.

"The truth will shine bright just like thermite!"-btw, that phrase has just now been copyrighted. ;)

"I would imagine that if you took the top expert in that type of work and gave him the assignment of bringing these buildings down with explosives, I would bet that he could do it." -1993-John Skilling, Head Structural Engineer WTC Towers


Am I the only one wondering, how fires in building 5 and 7 came to be in the first place? When there is an earthquake, gaspipes and high voltage wires are ripped apart because of the ground moving and twisting (and therefore the pipes and wires in it) and fires ensue. And it is very likely, that gaspipes underneath WTC 1 and 2 vwhere severed and caused fires. But why did (fx.) building 5 and 7 catch fire? Did NIST say that the dieselfueltanks began the fires (I havn't heard that) or something else. As far I'm informed, Shyam Sunder just said that the debris from WTC 1 caused the fires - BUT HOW? I's it plausible, that the debris falling from WTC 1 would cause fires on 10 floors by just hitting building 7? Perhaps it is possible, but is it likely? There were many unusual thing going on with building 7 on 9/11!!

Indeed. The windows weren't

Indeed. The windows weren't even broken in the areas of the fires, were they? Is there evidence of fire in the slightly damaged corner? How'd the fire snake in to the lower floors without touching the floors in between?

The fires were probably set

I agree that there isn't a high degree of probability for debris from WTC 1 to cause fires in WTC 7.

I can see it in WTC 6, which got hammered hard by debris, and maybe even WTC 5.

However, WTC 7 had relatively light damage to it's exterior and it is very interesting that the 12th and 13th floors, where the SEC was located with the ENRON 2001 California electricity swindle and other fraud case files in it, were two of those that apparently burned all day.

The excuse for the sprinkler system not putting out these fires is that city water was used for the lower floors up to the 20th floor and that the water tanks on floor 46 only supplied the sprinklers down to the 21st floor.

Even if the collapse of the twin towers affected the city water it is suspicious that hoses weren't run from more distant fire hydrants to fill the sprinkler system on the lower floors.

It simply looks like the fires in WTC 7 were intentionally set and allowed to burn. First to get rid of the SEC files, and then as a possible excuse for a collapse.

There's more to that than just Enron

The SEC was also after W.R. Grace, the asbestos deliverer for the WTC towers because of accounting practises. E.g. hide your costs away from the balance sheets and cover this up via aquisations. Please note that Frank Partnoy did a good work on that. It's safe to say that Halliburton, Cheneys company then, used the same accounting methods as W.R. Grace, Waste Management, Enron, Worldcom and so on. But it never came to light. This is a direct motive for members of the highest US admin to let it happen, as the Bush family was inflicted by Dresser, too.

Regarding the sprinkler:

911 veritas and others had already done some work:

Here is the offical take:

Growth and Spread of Fires. Fires on the lower floors (Floors 7 to 9 and 11 to 13) grew and spread since they were not extinguished either by the automatic sprinkler system or by FDNY because water was not available. (!)

The sprinkler system on most floors was a looped system fed by a riser in stairway 2.

5-12 Fema Report

• Two of the three sprinkler risers which were located next to stairs (#1 and #2) on the west side of the building transferred towards center on the 5th floor along with stairs.
• Sprinkler systems on floors 1 through 20 were supplied directly from the city distribution system through an automatic pump located on the 1st floor; water supply could be interrupted by loss of power to fire pump or significant damage to underground city main in vicinity of building.

(now do they not have emergency power supply? As far as I'm concerned I think you have to plan that fires did knock out the power supply!)
(or take a look at the last point below)

Servo-controlled drying fire sprinklers of the type „A “ would function only, if a fire alarm system works and fire sprinkler fire characteristics are noticed, they were used in areas where damages caused by water have to be absolutely avoided. (SEC files?)

Now was that the reason the alarm was set on tests modus?

"Finding 2.25: The fire alarm system that was monitoring WTC 7 sent to the monitoring company only one signal (at 10:00:52 a.m. shortly after the collapse of WTC 2) indicating a fire condition in the building on September 11, 2001. This signal did not contain any specific information about the location of the fire within the building. From the alarm system monitor service view, the building had only one zone, "AREA 1." The building fire alarm system was placed on TEST for a period of 8 h beginning at 6:47:03 a.m. on September 11, 2001. Ordinarily, this is requested when maintenance or other testing is being performed on the system, so that any alarms that are received from the system are considered the result of the maintenance or testing and are ignored. NIST was told by the monitoring company that for systems placed in the TEST condition, alarm signals are not shown on the operator's display, but records of the alarm are recorded into the history file." - NIST: Progress Report - Chp 1; (PDF - pg 28:(June '04)


Regarding water: There was water. At least at WTC 5.

Peter Hayden says (like FEMA and NIST) in an e-mail:
4. numerous fires on many floors of WTC 7 burned without sufficient water supply to attack them.

But that can only be a good guess, as no fire fighting activity was started at all:

In fact, one of NIST's earlier reports stated,
"According to the FDNY first-person interviews, water was never an issue at WTC 7 since firefighting was never started in the building."
See: (p. 110).

Firefighting the Twins was also never an issue:

Peter Hayden, assistant chief, F.D.N.Y.: ''Well, we realized that because of the impact of the plane that there was some structural damage to the building, and most likely that the fire suppression systems within the building were most likely damaged and possibly inoperable. We made that conclusion. We knew that at the height of the day there was as many as 50,000 people in this building. We had a large volume of fire on the upper floors. Each floor was approximately an acre in size. Several floors of fire would have been beyond the fire-extinguishing capability of the forces that we had on hand. So we determined very early on that this was going to be strictly a rescue mission. We were going to evacuate the building, get everybody out, and then we were going to get out.''


On the effectiveness of Water Spray Systems (sprinklers) in controlling fires in High-Rise Buildings and some recommendations in the wake of the World Trade Center disaster.

By Arthur Scheuerman, Retired Battalion Chief FDNY

I read the extensive, May, 2002, FEMA, ASCE report on the World Trade Center Fire and have a few disagreements, one of which concerns Water Spray Fire Extinguishing Systems. The statement, that sprinklers are not normally capable of controlling fires that are of a large size before the sprinklers operate� (p1-16) seems a widespread belief held by engineers. Having spent most of my life fighting fires I know there are situations where fires cannot be extinguished by interior hand held hose lines but that these same fires can be controlled by "sprinklers".


Regarding the 20 floor and above stored water tanks: Fire spread high, always, This is the reason for installing storage tanks high up in buildings beforehand. And in large, real office fires even that was enough to controll the fires, as in this example:

Firefighting Operations Suspended
All interior firefighting efforts were halted after almost 11 hours of
uninterrupted fire in the building. Consultation with a structural engineer
and structural damage observed by units operating in the building led to
the belief that there was a possibility of a pancake structural collapse of
the fire damaged floors. Bearing this risk in mind along with the loss of
three personnel and the lack of progress against the fire despite having
secured adequate water pressure and flow for interior fire streams, an
order was given to evacuate the building at 0700 on February 24. At the
time of the evacuation, the fire appeared to be under control on the 22nd
though 24th floors. It continued to bum on floors 25 and 26 and was
spreading upward. There was a heavy smoke condition throughout most of
the upper floors. The evacuation was completed by 0730.

Fire Stopped
The fire was stopped when it reached the 30th floor, which was
protected by automatic sprinklers. As the fire ignited in different points
this floor level through the floor assembly and by autoexposure through the
windows, 10 sprinkler heads activated and the fires were extinguished at
each point of penetration. The vertical spread of the fire was stopped
solely by the action of the automatic sprinkler system, which was being
supplied by Fire Department pumpers. The 30th floor was not heavily
damaged by fire, and most contents were salvageable. The fire was
declared under control at 3:Ol p.m., February 24, 1991.


I do think we need more explanations. What's about the fire test modus and the modus operandi of the sprinkler?
Was there water or not? If not, why not?