Home | Index & Archives | Contributing Writers | Power Elite Playbook | Contributing Writers | Awards | News Tips | Subscriptions | Muckraker Report T-Shirts | News Sources / Links | Contacts | Legal Disclaimer | Search


NIST WTC-7 Technical Approach and Status Summary

NIST WTC-7 Technical Approach and Status Summary


January 31, 2007 – It has been 1,967 days since World Trade Center Building Seven (WTC-7[1]) collapsed at 5:20PM on September 11, 2001.  After 5 years, 4 months, and 19 days the government has yet to explain how or why this building within the World Trade Center Complex that was situated furthest from the twin towers, nearly two blocks away, the building that suffered significantly less debris damage from the collapsed towers when compared to WTC-5[2] and WTC-6[3], neither of which collapsed although engulfed in fires and catastrophically damaged by falling debris, the 47 story building that collapsed into its basement (footprint) at freefall speed (6.6 seconds)…it is this building, WTC-7, a building that many Americans remain unaware of the fact that it too collapsed on 9/11, it is this very pivotal building in the entire scheme of 9/11 accounts that the government has yet to offer a viable explanation, after all these years, as to how or why it collapsed.  NIST claims that it will release its report on WTC-7 in Spring 2007. 


The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is an agency of the Commerce Department’s Technology Administration.  Under the National Construction Safety Team (NCST) Act that was signed into law in October 2002, thirteen months after the 9/11 events, NIST became authorized to investigate major building failures in the United States[4] to include the collapse of WTC-1, WTC-2, and WTC-7 on September 11, 2001.


In reference to the National Construction Safety Team (NCST) Act, prior to it becoming law in October 2002, Jack E. Snell of the Building and Fire Research Laboratory, a subset of NIST, wrote a paper titled The Proposed National Construction Safety Team Act[5]  In it, Snell, although probably unknowingly, demonstrates why more than half of Americans lack confidence in the government provided account of September 11, 2001.  While Snell was attempting to articulate what he saw as a vacuum in designated response teams to investigate in a timely manner how and why any building had collapsed, what he actually did was provide more catalyst to the then already hardening belief that the truth about 9/11 was being purposely covered-up, and any official conclusions, a whitewash. 


In his paper’s introduction Snell wrote: When disaster strikes, we, as a nation, have learned to mobilize emergency response teams to effect search and rescue and to mitigate the immediate consequences.  If criminal wrongdoing is suspected, the FBI and / or the BATF spring into action.  If an accident occurs involving interstate commerce, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) takes jurisdiction and conducts a thorough investigation to determine the probable cause, derive lessons learned and to forward its recommendations to the Department of Transportation.  However, when a major building collapses, a major fire or industrial incident or natural disaster occurs, or a terrorist attack occurs such as on September 11, 2001, there is no “NTSB”-like responsibility.  No one has the responsibility, the technical competencies or resources dedicated. 


The fact that Snell was clearly predisposed with the assumption that no criminal wrongdoing should be suspected regarding the total collapse of WTC-1, WTC-2, and WTC-7 before the National Construction Safety Team Act was even enacted and NIST being authorized to investigate the collapses calls into question the purity and integrity of the government’s analysis and conclusions.  The fact is that NIST had a predisposition to reach conclusions that corresponded to its assumption that criminal wrongdoing was not an element of the catastrophic collapse of the twin towers and WTC-7. 


When speaking of the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 events Snell wrote:  Security was at an all time high.  Access to the sites in New York and Washington DC, were tightly restricted.  Due to initial military and FBI presence, even the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) staff had a difficult time getting access to the site for anything other than the immediate needs associated with rescue and recovery. 


The fact that the FBI in conjunction with FEMA orchestrated the destruction of the most important crime scene in the history of the United States prior to agencies like NIST getting access cannot be easily dismissed.  In this regard Snell wrote:  Obviously, it would have made a great deal of difference to have been in a position to initiate the investigation in October 2001, rather than August 2002.  More steel would have been available to us as well as physical artifacts from ground zero.  The minds of those we would have interviewed then may have been clearer regarding personal observations than now nearly a year later and their recall may be confused by the many new things they have read or heard subsequently. 


Again we see a predisposition to prove an assumption that eventually manifested itself to such a degree that NIST was able to contemptuously dismiss all of the eyewitness accounts of secondary explosive devises reported by both the police and firefighters from inside the towers before they collapsed, as eyewitness testimony that must have somehow been tainted, confused, or contaminated by what the witness might have read or heard over the course of one year, even though the recordings of these eyewitness accounts occurred on 9/11!  The scientists at NIST simply were prevented or unable to fathom the unfathomable and therefore looked to dismiss or rationalize away any eyewitness testimony that conflicted with its predisposed assumption that the impact of the airplanes initiated a cycle of structural failures that lead to the collapse of the buildings. 


There were many accounts of explosions being heard in the basement / parking garage levels of the towers as well as in the floors below the impact zones, all of which NIST completely failed to address in its final report on the probable collapse sequence of WTC-1 and WTC-2 released finally in October 2005, nor in its responses to the public scrutiny it has received since the release of that report.[6] 


The background provided above is important because the conclusions reached by NIST regarding the collapse of WTC-1 and WTC-2 clearly have shaped the current status of the NIST WTC-7 investigation.  The Muckraker Report believes that NIST is confined to a phenomenal conclusion regarding the collapse of WTC-7, a bizarre sequenced simultaneous structural failure of the building that will defy all logic yet will mysteriously tumble on the computer modeling screens, because any controlled demolition conclusions would further discredit the NIST conclusions regarding WTC-1 and WTC-2.  Unfortunately for the American people, this means the truth will not prevail because of personal reputations and ambitions, politics, and protecting / preserving the Bush Administration propaganda machine. 


According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, on March 31, 2006, under solicitation number SB1341-06-Q-0186, a fixed price purchase order has been awarded by the federal government to Applied Research Associates, Inc. (ARA) of Albuquerque, New Mexico to research and provide World Trade Center Building Seven structural analysis and collapse hypotheses.[7]  Specifically, the U.S. government has contracted with ARA to:


Create detailed floor analyses to determine likely modes of failure for Floors 8 to 46 due to failure of one or more supporting columns (at one or more locations) in World Trade Center Building Seven. 


Please note that contractually, ARA is restrained to research likely modes of failure only for floors 8 to 46 when considering the following: 


In December 1996 PBS science show, NOVA conducted an interview with Stacey Loizeaux, who is the daughter of Mark Loizeaux, and niece of Doug Loizeaux – president and vice-president of Controlled Demolition Inc.  Incidentally, Controlled Demolition Inc. was a sub-contractor hired to remove debris from the World Trade Center Complex after 9/11.  The purpose of the NOVA interview[8] was to provide the audience with information about controlled demolitions.  Here is an excerpt from the NOVA interview, which validates that the government is not at all interested in a controlled demolition conclusion regarding the collapse of WTC-7.


NOVA:  I understand that you try to use the smallest amount of explosives possible.


Loizeaux:  Right.


NOVA: Can you explain why?


Loizeaux:  Well, explosives are really the catalyst.  Largely what we use is gravity.  And we’re dealing with Class A explosives that are embedded into concrete – and that concrete flies.  So, let’s say your explosive is 17,000 feet per second – you’ve got a piece of concrete moving at that speed when you remove it from the structure.  So we try to use the minimal amount to keep down the fly of debris for a safe operation.  Other than that, it comes down to cost effectiveness.  You know, the more holes you have to drill, it’s more labor, more time, and it’s more expensive.  So obviously, the smallest amount of work is best. 


NOVA: Can you describe the prep work that goes into dropping a building?


Loizeaux:  Well, it depends on the structure, obviously.  We’ve had chimneys prepared in half a day and we’ve had buildings that take three months.  Generally we don’t do the prep work.  We are usually an implosion subcontractor, meaning that there is a main demolition contractor on site, who’s been contracted by the property owner or the developer, and they then subcontract the implosion to us.  We will then ask them to perform preparatory operations, including non-load bearing partition removal – meaning the dry wall that separates the rooms.  It’s not carrying the weight of the building.  It’s just there as a divider.  But what happens – you know, if you have a case of beer – all the little cardboard reinforcements inside?  If you have all those little cardboard reinforcements, then you can jump up and down on the case.  But if you take them out, the case will crush under your weight.  Those little partitions actually add up and act as stiffeners.  So that’s one of the first things we strip out.  The second thing we do is drilling.  Depending on the height of the structure, we’ll work on a couple different floors – usually anywhere from two to six.  The taller the building the higher we work.  We only really need to work on the first two floors, because you can make the building come down that way.  But we work on several upper floors to help fragment debris for the contractor, so all the debris ends up in small, manageable pieces…


Note that Stacey Loizeaux said, “We only really need to work on the first two floors, because you can make the building come down that way”.  However, ARA has been hired by the government to create detailed floor analyses to determine likely modes of failures for Floors 8 to 46 due to failure of one or more supporting columns (at one or more locations) in World Trade Center Building Seven. 


On December 12, 2006 NIST released its WTC-7 Technical Approach and Status Summary.[9]  In this summary, NIST expressed its current working collapse hypothesis for WTC-7 as stated:


  • An initial local failure occurred at the lower floors (below floor 13) of the building due to fire and / or debris-induced structural damage of a critical column (the initiating event) which supported a large-span floor bay with an area of about 2,000 square feet;
  • Vertical progression of the initial local failure occurred up to the east penthouse, and as the large floor bays became unable to redistribute the loads, it brought down the interior structure below the east penthouse; and
  • Triggered by damage due to the vertical failure, horizontal progression of the failure across the lower floors (in the region of floors 5 and 7) that were much thicker and more heavily reinforced than the rest of the floors resulted in a disproportionate collapse of the entire structure


The fact that ARA has been hired by the government to create detailed floor analyses to determine likely modes of failures for Floors 8 to 46 due to failure of one or more supporting columns (at one or more locations) in World Trade Center Building Seven, while the current working collapse hypothesis is that an initial local failure occurred below floor 13, followed by vertical progression of the failure up to the east penthouse, which then triggered a horizontal progression of the failure across the lower floors in the region of floors 5 and 7, floors in which ARA is not contractually authorized or obligated to analyze or model, is all the proof the reader needs to know that the fix is in place.  As taxpayers that are paying for this crap, we should demand that Congress halts the NIST investigation into WTC 7 to save the paper NIST plans to print its final report on, the burden of the ink!


What is of greater interest to the Muckraker Report is the fact that NIST reports in its December 12, 2006 WTC-7 Technical Approach and Status Summary that it will investigate hypothetical blast scenarios and evaluate thermite as a possible heat source substance.  The fact that thermite has entered into the NIST discussion regarding the collapse analysis of WTC-7, when it was ignored in the investigation and conclusions reached in regard to WTC-1 and WTC-2 suggests that NIST is merely attempting to pacify the volume of critics of its twin towers report.  I suspect that NIST will report that they investigated the possibility of thermite at WTC-7, and found no evidence of its presence, thus suggesting that if thermite was not a component of the WTC-7 collapse, then it certainly was not part of the collapse of the twin towers.  At this point, thermite entering into the discussion is a matter of housekeeping for the government, and not meant for meaningful consideration.  They’re just trying to tidy up some loose ends before they officially close the books on the investigation into how WTC-1, WTC-2, and WTC-7 collapsed. 


This point is made clear by what NIST describes as its methodology it will use to determine whether thermite might have been used to collapse WTC-7.  NIST continues to maintain that it has found no evidence of a blast or controlled demolition event, but will still estimate the magnitude of hypothetical blast scenarios that could have led to the structural failure of one or more critical elements as a result of a blast.  What is so amazing is that NIST used this same language to explain the reason why it did not develop a “controlled demolition” hypothesis when investigating the collapse of WTC-1 and WTC-2 – because it found no evidence of a blast or controlled demolition event.  What NIST is saying is that it found no evidence of a blast or controlled demolition event when investigating the collapse of the twin towers so therefore it did not see the need for a “controlled demolition” hypothesis, but it also has found no evidence of a blast or controlled demolition event at WTC-7, never mind the video footage of the building collapsing in 6.6 seconds at 5:20PM after Larry Silverstein and the New York City Fire Department decided to “pull it”, but has decided to conduct a hypothetical blast analysis anyhow.  Does this make any sense to you? 


So what does NIST intend to do when investigating whether thermite was used to purposely bring down WTC-7.  According to NIST, it has developed three phases of investigation.


        Phase I:  Identify hypothetical blast scenarios and materials, based on analysis and/or experience, for failing specified columns by direct attachment methods.  Preliminary section cutting shall be considered.  Compare estimated overpressures for each scenario against window strength.

        Phase II:  For blast scenarios with overpressures that clearly would not have broken windows, the worst case scenario(s) will be analyzed using SHAMRC software to determine overpressures at windows.

        Phase III:  If Phase II overpressures did not clearly fail windows, 3 blast scenarios will be selected to determine the sound levels that would be transmitted outside the building through intact windows. 


Ladies and Gentlemen, the fix is in!  The overpressures of the windows and sound levels transmitted outside the building windows are not characteristics of thermite and the scientists at NIST know it!  Thermite is a cutter charge.  It does not explode.  It burns.  Occasionally when ignited, it will pop, but what NIST is describing is an explosion similar to a grenade going off inside WTC-7.  We the taxpayers can save ourselves some money by telling Congress to stop NIST from wasting another penny on this study.  We already know the results – NIST will find no meaningful window overpressures or significant noise levels recorded from outside the window of WTC-7 and therefore will report that it has concluded that thermite was not part of the WTC-7 collapse equation. 


Below the footnotes of this article are two important videos to watch.  The first is a demonstration of thermite.  The reader will quickly discover that thermite functions like a torch and not a grenade.  The second video brings the evidence that NIST has ignored regarding thermite and WTC-1, WTC-2, and WTC-7 focus.  You owe it to yourself to watch both.  Can I get a witness? 

If you enjoyed this article, please consider donating $1 or more to the MUCKRAKER REPORT.
Your donations keep the Muckraker Report subscription free!


To comment or request reprint permission, please contact Ed Haas via e-mail at efhaas@comcast.net.

[1] 9-11 Research, Building 7, http://911research.wtc7.net/wtc/attack/wtc7.html, [Accessed January 30, 2007]

[2] 9-11 Research, 5 World Trade Center, http://911research.wtc7.net/wtc/attack/wtc5.html, [Accessed January 30, 2007]

[3] 9-11 Research, 6 World Trade Center, http://911research.wtc7.net/wtc/attack/wtc6.html, [Accessed January 30, 2007

[4] National Institute of Standards and Technology, NIST’s World Trade Center Investigation, http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/factsheet/nist_investigation_911.htm, [Accessed January 30, 2007] 

[5] National Institute of Standards and Technology, Building and Fire Research Laboratory, The Proposed National Construction Safety Team Act, Director Jack E. Snell, http://www.fire.nist.gov/bfrlpubs/build02/PDF/b02044.pdf, [Accessed January 30, 2007] 

[6] National Institute of Standards and Technology, Answers to Frequently Asked Questions, http://wtc.nist.gov/pubs/factsheets/faqs_8_2006.htm, [Accessed January 30, 2007] 

[7] Muckraker Report, No Chance of Truth in WTC-7 Investigation, Ed Haas, April 19, 2006, http://www.muckrakerreport.com/id243.html, [Accessed January 30, 2007]

[8] PBS, NOVA, Interview with Stacey Loizeaux, December 1996, http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/kaboom/loizeaux.html, [Accessed January 31, 2007] 

[9] National Institute of Standards and Technology, WTC 7 Technical Approach and Status Summary, Therese McAllister, PhD., P.E., December 12, 2006, http://wtc.nist.gov/media/WTC7_Approach_Summary12Dec06.pdf, [Accessed January 31, 2007]


9/11 Mysteries: Thermite & The Case for Controlled Demolition

This video clip is from the documentary produced by Sofia titled 911 Mysteries.  To learn more about this film or to order the DVD, click here. 

Enter content here

Enter content here

Enter content here

 Subscribe to Muckraker Report RSS Feed

Copyright 2002-2008 by MUCKRAKER REPORT.
All rights reserved.
For re-print permission, contact Ed Haas: (843) 817-9962.