WASHINGTON – For 15 years, there’s been a small band of investigators who have questioned the idea that the Twin Towers in New York City collapsed because of the intense heat and fires raging following two terrorist-directed plane crashes.
But they have largely been dismissed as crazy conspiracy theorists.
Now, however, Europhysics Magazine, the respected publication of the European physics community, has published a report by four experts who say “the evidence points overwhelmingly to the conclusion that all three buildings were destroyed by controlled demolition.”
“Given the far-reaching implications, it is morally imperative that this hypothesis be the subject of a truly scientific and impartial investigation by responsible authorities,” the four physicists conclude.
The study is the work of Steven Jones, former full professor of physics at Brigham Young University, Robert Korol, a professor emeritus of civil engineering at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, Anthony Szamboti, a mechanical design engineer with over 25 years of structural design experience in the aerospace and communications industries, and Ted Walter, the director of strategy and development for Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth, a nonprofit organization that today represents more than 2,500 architects and engineers.
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Conscious of the controversial nature of the report Europhysics included an editor’s note with the study in the September 2016 issue: “This feature is somewhat different from our usual purely scientific articles, in that it contains some speculation. However, given the timing and the importance of the issue, we consider that this feature is sufficiently technical and interesting to merit publication for our readers. Obviously, the content of this article is the responsibility of the authors.”
In August 2002, the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology launched what would become a six-year investigation of the three building failures that occurred on 9/11. It found both the Twin Towers, as well as the 47-story World Trade Center Building 7, which was not struck by an airplane, all collapsed as a result of fires and intense heat. But even the NIST found that the three buildings were “the only known cases of total structural collapse in high-rise buildings where fires played a significant role.”
“It bears repeating that fires have never caused the total collapse of a steel-framed high-rise before or since 9/11,” the researchers write. “Did we witness an unprecedented event three separate times on September 11, 2001?”
The report also concluded: “Given the far-reaching implications, it is morally imperative that this hypothesis be the subject of a truly scientific and impartial investigation by responsible authorities.”
The researchers also found “the only phenomenon capable of collapsing such buildings completely has been by way of a procedure known as controlled demolition, whereby explosives or other devices are used to bring down a structure intentionally.”
They noted that “15 years after the event a growing number of architects, engineers, and scientists are unconvinced by that explanation.”
Here are some of the observations the researchers offered:
- Fires typically are not hot enough and do not last long enough in any single area to generate enough energy to heat the large structural members to the point where they fail (the temperature at which structural steel loses enough strength to fail is dependent on the factor of safety used in the design. In the case of WTC 7, for example, the factor of safety was generally 3 or higher. Here, 67 percent of the strength would need to be lost for failure to ensue, which would require the steel to be heated to about 660°C);
- Most high-rises have fire suppression systems (water sprinklers), which further prevent a fire from releasing sufficient energy to heat the steel to a critical failure state;
- Structural members are protected by fireproofing materials, which are designed to prevent them from reaching failure temperatures within specified time periods;
- Steel-framed high-rises are designed to be highly redundant structural systems. Thus, if a localized failure occurs, it does not result in a disproportionate collapse of the entire structure. Throughout history, three steel-framed high-rises are known to have suffered partial collapses due to fires; none of those led to a total collapse. Countless other steel-framed high-rises have experienced large, long-lasting fires without suffering either partial or total collapse. In addition to resisting ever-present gravity loads and occasional fires, high-rises must be designed to resist loads generated during other extreme events – in particular, high winds and earthquakes.
The physicists also note the Towers were specifically designed to withstand the impact and destructive force of airliners crashes.
They write:” The total collapse of WTC 7 at 5:20 pm on 9/11, is remarkable because it exemplified all the signature features of an implosion: The building dropped in absolute free fall for the first 2.25 seconds of its descent over a distance of 32 meters or eight stories. Its transition from stasis to free fall was sudden, occurring in approximately one-half second. It fell symmetrically straight down. Its steel frame was almost entirely dismembered and deposited mostly inside the building’s footprint, while most of its concrete was pulverized into tiny particles. Finally, the collapse was rapid, occurring in less than seven seconds. Given the nature of the collapse, any investigation adhering to the scientific method should have seriously considered the controlled demolition hypothesis, if not started with it. Instead, NIST (as well as the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which conducted a preliminary study prior to the NIST investigation) began with the predetermined conclusion that the collapse was caused by fires.”
The original investigations did note: “The specifics of the fires in WTC 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.”
On March 2006, the NIST’s lead investigator, Dr. Shyam Sunder, was quoted as saying, “Truthfully, I don’t really know. We’ve had trouble getting a handle on building No. 7.”
“The collapse mechanics discussed above are only a fraction of the available evidence indicating that the airplane impacts and ensuing fires did not cause the collapse of the Twin Towers,” the report says. “Videos show that the upper section of each tower disintegrated within the first four seconds of collapse. After that point, not a single video shows the upper sections that purportedly descended all the way to the ground before being crushed. Videos and photographs also show numerous high-velocity bursts of debris being ejected from point-like sources. NIST refers to these as “puffs of smoke” but fails to properly analyze them. NIST also provides no explanation for the midair pulverization of most of the towers’ concrete, the near-total dismemberment of their steel frames, or the ejection of those materials up to 150 meters in all directions.”