THE WISDOM FUND: News & Views
February 1, 2007 (Updated Dec 15)
The Wisdom Fund

1, 2 World Trade Center Report Challenged

Aircraft collision 'would not cause collapse or substantial damage', NIST does not support 'pancake theory'

by Enver Masud

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The National Institute of Standards and Techonology (NIST), the U.S. government agency responsible for analyzing the collapse of 1 and 2 World Trade Center, stated in a memo dated February 3, 1964:

"The buildings have been investigated and found to be safe in an assumed collision with a large jet airliner (Boeing 707 - DC 8) traveling at 600 miles per hour. Analysis indicates that such collision would result only in local damage which would not cause collapse or substantial damage to the building and would not endanger the lives and safety of occupants not in the immediate area of impact."

The memo also states: "The structural analysis carried out by the firm of Worthington, Skilling, Helle & Jackson is the most complete and detailed of any ever made for any building structure."

The February 3, 1964 memo is included as Appendix A to "Baseline Structural Performance and Aircraft Impact Damage Analysis of the World Trade Center Towers," NISTNCSTAR1-2, April 26, 2006.

Executive Summary, Table E-8 of the NIST report estimates aircraft impact speeds at 443 mph plus or minus 30 for AA 11 (WTC 1), and 542 mph plus or minus 24 for UAL 175 (WTC 2).

Executive Summary, Finding 18 states that "the tower still had reserve capacity after losing a number of columns and floor segments due to aircraft impact."

In an August 30, 2006 Fact Sheet, NIST stated:

"NIST concluded that the WTC 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 (which reached temperatures as high as 1,000 degrees Celsius) significantly weakened the floors and columns with dislodged fireproofing to the point where floors sagged and pulled inward on the perimeter columns. This led to the inward bowing of the perimeter columns and failure of the south face of WTC 1 and the east face of WTC 2, initiating the collapse of each of the towers."

In response to an April 12, 2007 "Request for Correction," NIST's Catherine S. Fletcher, Chief, Management and Organization Division, in a letter dated September 27, 2007, stated:

"NIST Computer Simulations: NIST has used an extensive database of photographic and video evidence to validate the models used to analyze the behavior of the towers up to the point of initiation of collapse."

"The WTC Steel Temperature: While NIST did not find evidence that any of the recovered core columns experienced temperatures in excess of 250C, it is not possible to extrapolate from such a small sample size to state that none of the core columns on the fire affected floors reached temperatures in excess of 250C."

"The Goal of the WTC Report and Its Overall Analysis: NIST has stated that it did not analyze the collapse of the towers. NIST carried its analysis to the point where the buildings reached global instability. . . . we were unable to provide a full explanation of the total collapse."

In other words, NIST has not analyzed the collapse of the towers. NIST's analysis ends with the "initiation of collapse."

NIST admits that physical evidence does not support their conclusion of fire temperatures as high as 1,000 degrees Celsius. In the samples taken from the site, there's no evidence that any core column experienced temperatures in excess of 250C.

Steel loses 50% strength at 650C, and melts at 1500C. And while turbulent, premixed jet fuel/air temperature will reach 1000C, turbulent, diffusion jet fuel/air temperature will reach 500C to 650C.

If for the sake of argument only, one were to assume that the fire was large enough, the fire was neither hot enough, nor long-lasting enough (the blulk of the fire was out in 10 to 15 minutes), to significantly weaken the towers. And this does not account for the fact that the steel structure, in essence a large radiator, would have dispersed some of the heat.

Kevin Ryan, a division director who was terminated by Underwriters Laboratories for challenging the NIST analysis, wrote:

"Of course, those of us who have actually followed NIST's investigation know that they could not produce any "robust criteria" to establish that fireproofing was lost through forces of vibration. Instead, NIST performed a shotgun test to see if the fireproofing could have been lost through shearing forces.

"The shotgun test not only failed to support NIST's pre-determined conclusions, as was the case for all of their other physical tests, but it actually proved that the fireproofing could not have been sheared off because too much energy would be needed."

Richard Gage, founder of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, makes the following points regarding the NIST report:

  • The destruction occurred with rapid onset, at virtually free-fall speed, and with radial symmetry.
  • One hundred eighteen first responders described hearing, seeing and feeling explosions and seeing flashes of light at the onset of destruction.
  • The concrete floors were almost completely pulverized into dust and gravel.
  • The structural steel framework was largely dismembered into shippable lengths. Much of it was hurled outside the Twin Towers' perimeters, some as far as 500 feet away.
  • Tons of molten metal were seen by FDNY and others, and was described as "flowing like lava" for weeks after 9/11, yet its existence was denied by NIST.
  • Proven chemical evidence of thermate, an incendiary material which produces molten iron as its by-product, found on the columns and beams, previously molten metal, and iron-rich micro-spheres in the dust by Dr. Steven Jones [founder of Scholars for 9/11 Truth & Justice] (and corroborated by the U.S. Geological Survey but never explained).

"These features are characteristic of controlled demolitions, and not office or jet fuel fires", writes Gage.

Leslie Robertson, strutural engineer responsible for the design of the World Trade Center, is reported to have said at the National Conference of Structural Engineers on October 5, 2001: "As of 21 days after the attack, the fires were still burning, and molten steel was still running".

In the August 30, 2006 Fact Sheet, NIST states that it does not support the "pancake theory" of collapse.



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

[Strength loss for steel is generally accepted to begin at about 300C and increases rapidly after 400C, by 550C steel retains about 60% of its room temperature yield strength. This is usually considered to be the failure temperature for structural steel. However, in practice this is a very conservative assumption; low loads, the insulating effects of concrete slabs, the restraining effects of connections etc. mean that real failure temperatures can be as high as 750C or even higher for partially exposed members.--"Fire resistance of steel framed buildings - Fire damage assessment of hot rolled structural steel," azobuild.com, October 10, 2003

David Ray Griffin, "Explosive Testimony: Revelations about the Twin Towers in the 9/11 Oral Histories," 911truth.org, January 18, 2006

Enver Masud, "What Really Happened to 7 World Trade Center?," The Wisdom Fund, April 17, 2006

Graeme MacQueen, "118 Witnesses: The Firefighters' Testimony to Explosions in the Twin Towers," journalof911studies.com, August 21, 2006

Gregory M. Zeigler, "I knew from September 18, 2001, that the official story about 9/11 was false. That was when I realized that the perpetrators had made a colossal blunder in collapsing the South Tower first, rather than the North Tower, which had been hit more directly and earlier.," patriotsquestion911.com, September 19, 2006

Enver Masud, "The Book Hugo Chavez Should Have Held Up," The Wisdom Fund, September 24, 2006

VIDEO: Richard Gage, "Richard Gage Interviewed in Vancouver," The Standard, April 22, 2008

Kevin R. Ryan, "The Top Ten Connections Between NIST and Nano-Thermites," Journal of 9/11 Studies, July 2, 2008

[We disagree, based upon general technological principles and also multiple reasons to believe that the destructive energy was released at "Ground Zero" by fissionless fusion devices, also known as tactical nuclear weapons, that had been placed inside the buildings - a technologically simpler explanation which better fits the evidence.--"'Ground Zero' Energy Surplus: Analysis and Discussion," 911u.org, November 2008]

Michael Fury, "Evidence of Foreknowledge in the WTC Hard Drive Recoveries," Journal of 9/11 Studies, December 2008

[The rigidity of the upper block of stories is crucial to this explanation. If the upper block were to break, disintegrate or flow on impact it would certainly not threaten the 92 intact floors beneath it.--Graeme MacQueen and Tony Szamboti, "The Missing Jolt: A Simple Refutation of the NIST-Bazant Collapse Hypothesis," Journal of 9/11 Studies, February 5, 2009]

[VIDEO: we conclude that the red layer of the red/gray chips we have discovered in the WTC dust is active, unreacted thermitic material, incorporating nanotechnology, and is a highly energetic pyrotechnic or explosive material.--Niels H. Harrit, Jeffrey Farrer, Steven E. Jones, Kevin R. Ryan, Frank M. Legge, Daniel Farnsworth, Gregg Roberts, James R. Gourley, Bradley R. Larsen, "Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe," The Open Chemical Physics Journal, vol 2, 2009]

[The significance is that, during a period of freefall, all of the gravitational potential energy is converted to energy of motion (kinetic energy). There is no energy available for doing other work, such as breaking up structural columns or hurling structural pieces out of the way as required by NIST's fire-induced collapse scenario.--Matt Sullivan, "NIST's Quiet Admission of Controlled Demolition," Rock Creek Free Press, April 2009]

May 28, 2009

Kevin R. Ryan, "Demolition access to the WTC Towers," Scoop, August 13, 2009

Anders Bjorkman, "Why a building cannot collapse from top down!," tripod.com, December 10, 2009

VIDEO: "Airplane controllability," Pilots for 9//11 Truth, March 21, 2010

AUDIO: "Alan Hart on The Alex Jones Show," alexjonespodcasts.blogspot.com, May 28, 2010

[ . . . experts state the speeds are impossible to achieve near sea level in thick air if the aircraft were a standard 757/767 as reported. Combined with the fact the airplane which was reported to strike the south tower of the World Trade Center was also producing high G Loading while turning and pulling out from a dive, the whole issue becomes incomprehensible--Robert Balsamo, "NASA Flight Director Confirms 9/11 Aircraft Speed As The 'Elephant In The Room'!," pilotsfor911truth.org, June 22, 2010]

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

Eli Rika, Mock Debate: Strongest 9/11 Myth Arguments Crumble as Truth Prevails," ae911truth.org, October 1, 2010

Paul Joseph Watson, 9/11 Firefighters Reveal Huge Explosions Before Towers Collapsed," infowars.com, October 6, 2010

Jonathan H. Cole, "The Great Thermate Debate," November 10, 2010

[This "international trading division" of Hugo Neu was used to dispose of many tons of the critical steel evidence from the World Trade Center, before it could be examined by engineers.--Christopher Bollyn, WikiLeaks and the 9/11 Crime Gang," bollyn.com, December 13, 2010]

[For his outstanding heroism during America's desperate hour, William Rodriguez received a special commendation for valor from President George W. Bush at a special White House ceremony. . . .

Rodriguez and a handful of co-workers who were down in the basement at the time of the attack, actually heard and felt huge explosions beneath their feet in the lower basement levels. . . .

While this anomaly in itself should have been cause for serious investigation, it is the timing of these explosions that is extremely troubling:

They occurred several seconds BEFORE the first airplane impacted the tower.

The first of these explosions, which occurred about 7-8 seconds before the plane struck the tower was so powerful it literally threw Rodriguez upwards, clean off the floor, as parts of the false ceiling collapsed onto and around him. . . .

It would be another sixteen minutes before the second aircraft would rip into the one Mongello was in.

Yet, within a minute of the first plane hitting the North Tower, an elevator in the SOUTH Tower exploded to smithereens right before his eyes!

Mongello and others were literally blown backwards by the blast, as people - many, horribly burned - began to run willy-nilly shrieking in pain, shock, and sheer terror. Thick, black smoke could be seen billowing out of the now exposed elevator shaft, and the pungent smell of "gunpowder" was very evident.

Again, just as with the North Tower, this explosion occurred inside a building that had NOT YET BEEN STRUCK BY A PLANE!--Richard Roepke, "'Last Man Out' Makes Shocking 9/11 Disclosure," veteranstoday.com, August 10, 2011]

Dr. Niels Harrit, BBC, January 13, 2012

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

PilotsFor911Truth.org, June 9, 2014

FOIA Requested Material

Firefighters for 9//11 Truth

VIDEOS: Architects & Engineers for 9//11 Truth

Jack White's 9/11 Photo Studies

PHOTOS (58): Military photos of the Twin Towers

VIDEOS: 9/11 WTC Explosions: The Official Collapse Theory Implodes

VIDEO: Were the planes that struck the WTC military planes?

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