World Trade Center Building 7 and the Lies of the 9/11 “Truth Movement”

Relatively small proportional losses of fire protection material are required before significant reductions in fire resistance are realized


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Relatively small proportional losses of fire protection material are required before significant reductions in fire resistance are realized.

–From abstract, “A study of the effect of partial loss of protection on the fire resistance of steel columns.” Fire Technology, Feb. 2005 (Full article is purchase only)

Steel without thermal protection can fail extremely quickly in a fire:

One of the most common structures today is the strip mall built with steel bar joists and metal deck roofs. A serious fire in one of these structures should be expected to produce roof collapse in as little as 5 to 10 minutes. Sept. 1998

But protected steel, even without prior structural damage, presents its own hazards:

Class 1 (fire-resistive) buildings typical of high-rise construction usually are designated as having three- or four-hour fire resistance ratings. In the past, that was taken to mean that they would never be a serious collapse threat. While this is usually the case in the completed structures, it is not a guarantee, particularly in the steel-framed high-rise that relies on some type of spray-on or membrane fireproofing to protect the steel. The 1 Meridian Plaza fire in Philadelphia proved that these can be severe dangers under the wrong set of circumstances. Sept. 1998

To advertise their products, the Concrete Alliance uses the example of Madrid’s Windsor Building fire, in which all the structural steel in the fire-affected area collapsed, leaving the concrete core standing. Fire protection for the Windsor’s structural steel was in the process of being upgraded, but that work had not reached the upper levels. Arup, the fire protection engineering firm, says that the steel would likely have failed even if it had been fire-protected.

How absurd are the CT arguments? CTs often use the Windsor Building to support their claim that the WTC buildings should not have collapsed, completely ignoring the fact that fire destroyed the Windsor’s steel. The WTC buildings had cores of steel, not concrete.

Features of the new WTC 7

Besides the fact that it is the first NYC skyscraper to be LEED “Green” certified, there are two notable features of the new, 52-story WTC 7: a concrete – not steel ­– core that houses the safety systems, stairwells, etc.; and very thick fire resistant coating on its structural steel.

I took the following photos on the 45th floor of the new WTC 7 in September, 2006

Concrete Core Sprayed-On Fire Resistant Coating

More about the fire-resistive coating in the new WTC 7:
Some links to studies and examples of the behavior of structural steel in fires,

and to reports recommending ways to improve structural fire safety.

Unprotected steel fails in Madrid's Windsor Building fire, concrete core stands.

Three multistory steel-framed factory buildings quickly collapse due to fire

Unprotected steel truss roof quickly fails in fire at McCormick Place, Chicago

Fire damage to protected steel in One Meridian Plaza, Philadelphia

Noises in steel buildings during fire equals danger!

NIST: Fire Protection of Structural Steel in High-Rise buildings (white paper)

Underwriters Labs post-9/11 WTC fire testing, ASTM E119 standard

The discipline of structural fire protection after 9/11

Performance of unprotected steel and composite steel frames exposed to fire (Master's Thesis)

Effect of Support Conditions on Steel Beams Exposed of Fire (Master's Thesis)

Fire safety engineering forum (numerous papers)

Eurocode: Introduction to Structural Fire Engineering (Powerpoint presentation)

Determination of fire induced collapse mechanisms of multi-story steel framed structures

Some interesting thoughts on WTC fire protection, steel vs. concrete, redundancy, new materials

Restrained fire resistance ratings in structural steel buildings

Fire Protection Engineering: The future of fire simulation at NIST

NIST early WTC fire simulation experiments and photos

(Posted again) NIST WTC 7 Interim Report June, 2004

FEMA Report 403, Appendix C: Limited Metallurgical Examination of WTC Steel

NIST best practices for reducing the potential for progressive collapse in buildings (draft)

NYC Dept. of Buildings WTC Task Force recommendations report

NIST NCSTAR1-1C Maintenance and Modifications to WTC 1, 2 &7 Structural Systems

WTC 7 fell into a “tidy pile” in its own footprint?

What about the claim that only a controlled demolition could cause building 7 to fall into such a “tidy” pile? This comes up often, and it’s wrong in several ways. First, it’s wrong to say that this claim describes a “controlled demolition.” That’s the term CTs use, and it’s inappropriate. A true controlled demolition is done to minimize damage to surrounding structures. Next, here’s the “tidy pile” created by the collapse of WTC 7:

WTC 7 ravaged 30 West Broadway to the north, which is being torn down in 2006 due to the damage.

30 West Broadway, damaged by the collapse of WTC 7

Damage to Verizon Building from WTC 7. Source: FEMA
Below: Looking east along Barclay St. from Washington St. Some street clearing had been done. Most of WTC 7 is at right.

Note how high the debris is piled against 30 W. Broadway at left.

Did the collapse of WTC 7 resemble a controlled

demolition to observers on the scene?
The video Loose Change quick-cuts between WTC 7 collapsing and a building being demolished.

This building is the Beirut Hilton. Play the original video with your computer’s sound on and find out why the creators of Loose Change don’t want you to hear the audio:

Watch and listen to another demolition, Schuylkill Falls Towers:

And another: Landmark Tower demolition

And another: Southwark Towers, Philadelphia:
In each case we hear the initiation charges, then the larger primary charges. Keep in mind that the buildings above underwent extensive structural weakening before their demolition. Absent such weakening, using explosives to bring down the WTC buildings would require charges of far greater magnitude. The use of such explosives would have been immediately apparent to everyone in the area, as well as to audiovisual and seismic recording equipment.

No explosive sounds like these were reported or recorded when WTC 7 collapsed.

Here’s an audio clip from a NYC news radio interview with a medical student who saw WTC 7 collapse and describes what it sounded like.

What about those “explosive squibs” coming from WTC 7 on video?

Steven E. Jones, among others, promotes that idea, and it’s as silly as 9/11 conspiracy claims get.

Squibs (horizontal puffs of smoke and debris) are
observed emerging from WTC-7, in regular sequence,
just as the building starts to collapse. (SEE: Yet the floors have not
moved relative to one another yet, as one can verify
from the videos, so air-expulsion due to collapsing
floors is excluded. I have personally examined many
building demolitions based on on-line videos, and the
presence of such squibs firing in rapid sequence as
observed is prima facie evidence for the use of
pre-positioned explosives inside the building. ...I conclude that the evidence for
pre-positioned explosives in WTC 7 (also in towers 1
and 2) is truly compelling.

I encourage everyone to read the whole page from which the Jones quote is taken. But don’t play “spot a false statement: drink a shot of Jack” – you will die. Jones’ “observations” and conclusions wouldn’t pass muster if they came from a junior-high school student. Note in particular his “experiment” in which he drops a block of concrete on another from a height of 12 feet and concludes that it’s “nonsense!” that concrete could pulverize when a billion-pound, quarter-mile high building crashes down! Can Jones, a physicist, possibly be that ignorant? Is he putting us on?

Here’s a still from the cropped, low-quality video that Jones wants us to see (

Is there some reason that Steven Jones doesn’t want us to see a good quality video of this event, which is just as easy to find on the internet as a poor-quality video? Judge for yourself:

There are a few things that Jones neglects to show us with his highly selective video:

  • That absolutely no explosive blasts are coming out of the building as Jones claims.

  • That the “squibs” somehow stick to the side of the building.

  • That the “squibs” appear 10 seconds after the collapse of the east penthouse began.

  • That a huge smoke cloud is coming from WTC 7’s south and east sides and blowing southeast.

  • That windows and granite panels are cracking all over the building. Remember this quote from above: “As we were walking, we had to actually get a little closer to Seven. So we turned and looked at Seven, and that's when all the marble siding started popping off the side because it was starting to go down.” –Firefighter Thomas Donato

  • That the entire roof of the building has already fallen due to loss of support from below – first the east penthouse, then the center, then the west, just prior to global collapse. So much for the floors not moving “relative to one another.”

I’d love to hear Jones explain why he thinks the crack WTC 7 demolition team chose to plant a few “charges” in the southwest corner of the the top.

In Jones’ presentations to live audiences, he actually uses the Southwark Towers demolition video linked above, which shows huge, high-velocity jets of debris shooting out before the buildings collapse. WTC 7 looks nothing like that. What does Jones omit from that video? The audio, of course.

One thing I’ll give Steven Jones credit for: an elegant demonstration of the conspiracist modus operandi :

Download a single fourth-generation video of an event.

Crop and enlarge it.

Remove the audio.

Completely misinterpret it.

Declare your observations “compelling” and “science-based.”

Have your “work” cited by numerous “truth-based” organizations.

Start a club for the dissemination of your wisdom.

Start an online “journal” for the publication of your findings.

Get some friends (peers!) to approve of your opinions.

Rewrite the book on bad Powerpoint presentations.

Purchase earplugs to block the laughter that follows you everywhere but in conspiracist circles.

Demolitions experts saw WTC 7 fall, say no sign of explosives
Whom should we ask to find out if WTC 7’s collapse resembled an explosive demolition? How about asking the explosive demolition experts who were on the scene on 9/11?
Brent Blanchard of Protec:

Several demolition teams had reached Ground Zero by 3:00 pm on 9/11, and these individuals witnessed the collapse of WTC 7 from within a few hundred feet of the event.

We have spoken with several who possess extensive experience in explosive demolition, and all reported seeing or hearing nothing to indicate an explosive detonation precipitating the collapse.

As one eyewitness told us, "We were all standing around helpless...we knew full well it was going to collapse. Everyone there knew. You gotta remember there was a lot of confusion and we didn't know if another plane was coming...but I never heard explosions like demo charges. We knew with the damage to the building and how hot the fire was, that building was gonna go, so we just waited, and a little later it went."

Video including east mechanical penthouse collapse

CTs often show video from street level and remark about how quickly the building fell (6.6 seconds, according to an estimate by BYU professor Steven E. Jones and his students, although since much of the collapse is obscured by other buildings and by the dust and smoke thrown up by WTC 7, it’s impossible to tell exactly when the collapse ends).

However, in this video (download and play it in full-screen mode) it’s obvious that the collapse takes at least 13.5 seconds from the first movement of the east mechanical penthouse, a structure about 115 x 130 feet (35 x 40 meters) in area, until it disappears behind the foreground buildings. NIST and FEMA posit that the penthouse collapse was due to collapses on floors at the lower levels.

Videos of smoke billowing from the south side of WTC 7

Just as they choose to ignore the mountains of evidence that contradict their theories, 9/11 conspiracy buffs hate to show the south side of the WTC 7, which shows smoke billowing out of nearly every visible floor.

If you still think there wasn’t an inferno in WTC 7, click here:

And here:
WTC 7, late afternoon, from behind the WFC From West & Vesey Streets, Verizon bldg. at left.

MSNBC Video: “What we’ve been fearing all afternoon...”

In another video clip, Ashleigh Banfield of MSNBC is interviewing a woman when WTC 7 collapses in the background. Banfield: “This is it!” Newsman Brian Williams: “What we’ve been fearing all afternoon has apparently happened. We’ve been watching number 7 World Trade, which was part of the ancillary damage of the explosion and collapse of the other two.” Watch it here:

We’ve now read many reports from professionals on the scene about the condition of WTC 7. All of these firsthand reports are in agreement that the building was in imminent danger of collapse due to the damage and fires it sustained. We’ve also seen that WTC 7’s collapse did not look or sound like an explosive demolition, and we’ve seen still photos and videos that show an immense amount of smoke pouring from the building’s south and east side. We’ve seen evidence that contradicts the claim that specific WTC 7 steel showed signs of being cut with explosive charges, and we’ve read the opinion of NIST about the plausibility of using thermite or thermate do destroy the building. Finally, we’ve (hopefully) read the NIST’s interim report on WTC 7 to better understand how the building was constructed and why it may have collapsed as it did. Here’s the report again:

Conspiracist Claims Revisited: Steven Jones, Dylan Avery, Les Jamieson

To close this chapter, let’s take a look at how the condition of WTC 7 on 9/11 is represented by CTs, and how they incorporate the evidence that I’ve presented above. I’ll focus on the claims made by Steven E. Jones, because other CTs believe his science credentials give him credibility in this area, by Dylan Avery, writer and director of the most popular 9/11 CT video, and by the group, because I‘ve heard hundreds of their claims in person.

In his February, 2006 presentation at Utah Valley State College, Dr. Jones spends a good deal of time discussing WTC 7’s condition and playing videos of its collapse. Here’s a slide he uses as an overview. Keep two things in mind here: Jones is a scientist who surely must know how the scientific method works, and Jones presents this as being representative of WTC 7’s condition:

Above the photo it says, “Not much smoke or visible damage.” First, this photo was not taken in the afternoon from the area of WTC 1, as Jones claims. It was taken in the morning, shortly after the towers collapsed, from Church Street at the southeast corner of the site, as far from WTC 1 as it’s possible to be and still be in view of the site. How can we tell it’s a morning shot? The sun is strong on WTC 7’s east face, and the south face is in shadow. Debris from tower 2 is at left, WTC 4 is at center, and WTC 5 is at right. Why does this anger me? Because, as we read in the eyewitness accounts, the fires in WTC 7 did not spread extensively until the afternoon. Steven Jones deliberately chose a photo that was taken before WTC 7 was heavily involved with fire.

Once the fires developed, according to eyewitness accounts I’ve compiled (Those who claimed to be sure of the floors where they saw fire) and those cited in the NIST investigation, flames were seen on at least 14 floors: 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 17, 21, 22, 29, and 30.

Steven Jones continues about WTC 7:

It's not an inferno, certainly.”

Fires were random, not particularly large, and certainly not an inferno.”

Here in this photo you see the fires in building 7. A close-up and you see a little bit of fire in there. Not much.”

Now here are photos seen in the late afternoon. Not a lot of fire here, or damage.”
What does Jones display to prove these assertion? A photo of the NORTH side of WTC 7. Here it is in the late afternoon, with the red border:

At about the same time, the south side of the building looked like this:

Steven Jones, scientist and Mormon, is deliberately misrepresenting the events of 9/11.

Again, the videos of WTC 7 burning are far more impressive than the still photos above:

Update: as of September 7, 2006, Steven Jones has been removed from his teaching position at BYU (after classes had started for the new semester). He is on paid leave pending investigation into the nature and legitimacy of his 9/11 claims.

"BYU has repeatedly said that it does not endorse assertions made by individual faculty," the statement said. "We are, however, concerned about the increasingly speculative and accusatory nature of these statements by Dr. Jones."

"BYU remains concerned that Dr. Jones' work on this topic has not been published in appropriate scientific venues," the university statement said.

"It is a concern when faculty bring the university name into their own personal matters of concern," she said.

In addition, in August the Scholars for Truth’s ( membership secretary left the organization after making accusations of improper behavior against Steven Jones and Jim Fetzer. An excerpt from a scathing email she sent:

What this means is that Jones is perfectly willing to LIE about credentials to pad the roles of ST911, and Fetzer is perfectly willing to ACCOMMODATE those lies even after he has been informed in no uncertain terms that that is EXACTLY what they are.

This puts in stark relief the noteworthy lack of integrity that informs the work of ST911. That is, if there is not even an INTENTION to maintain integrity in the membership roles, how can anyone trust there is integrity anywhere else? As I have said more than once, Scholars for 9/11 TRUTH cannot succeed when founded on a pack of LIES.

The entire email, with responses from Fetzer, is here:

* * * * * * *

Dylan Avery, writer and director of Loose Change, in an interview on The Edge AM radio, May 13, 2006:

“The strongest piece of evidence I would have to say would be the collapse of World Trade Center building 7. This was a 47-story office building, 300 feet away from the north tower. At 5:20 p.m. on September 11th this building fell straight down into it's own footprint in six seconds, which if you do the math, is basically in absolute free-fall.

I’ve shown that to be false.

I mean, this was a controlled demolition. I mean, there's no way of avoiding it, I mean, the simple fact is, how could al Qaeda, or anybody else, have rigged building 7 for controlled demolition, which is a process that takes months of planning?

Excellent question. Avery just needs to take the next mental step.

“...Barely even in the damage range...It wasn't hit by a substantial amount of debris.

I’ve shown that to be false.

Dylan Avery, in an interview on Black Ops Radio, May 14, 2006, explaining what facts are on his “side”:

Galileo's Law of Falling Bodies, Building 7, the Pentagon, basically, the obvious physical and scientific evidence that nobody can refute.

Korey Rowe, producer of Loose Change, interviewed on Air America Phoenix, April 15, 2006:
Caller: What is the objective to be accomplished by placing bombs in the towers, other than a complete collapse, if plane impacts are sufficient to be considered an attack on America, the justification for war?
Rowe: Well, supposedly those bombs weren't there. According to the official version, there was never any charges placed inside the World Trade Center. And it's a question of why they would they be in there, and why you would want to bring down the World Trade Center themselves. I mean, the World Trade Center was built in 1973 with asbestos and other dangerous materials that aren't allowed in today's building world. I mean, they received numerous citations to clean up the buildings. And to clean up those materials would have cost over a billion dollars. So, I mean, yes, running planes into the buildings would have been sufficient enough as an attack, but it wasn't the overall goal of Larry A. Silverstein, who owned WTC Building 7 and leased the rest of the buildings. It wasn't enough for him. I mean, now he's got prime real estate in downtown Manhattan, and after a 220 million investment turned into a two billion dollar profit.
Utter hogwash. The WTC buildings were highly profitable. And by the way, WTC 7 opened in 1987, and did not use asbestos for fireproofing.

* * * * * * *

Here’s how WTC 7 is presented in the literature that’s handed out to thousands of people at Ground Zero by I’ve highlighted some of the false and misleading statements.

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