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NIST's WTC 7 Collapse Theory

Analysis of fire and collapse theories and examination of related evidence.

NIST's WTC 7 Collapse Theory

Postby Dr. G » Tue Dec 16, 2008 1:48 am

Apparently, NIST engineers are claiming that a modern 47-story highrise building can totally collapse because one column, at one location , is mildly overheated .......

If NIST's theory of the WTC 7 collapse mechanism is correct I would be very worried about the competence of American structural design engineers! The alleged problems with Column 79 should never have been allowed to slip by the scrutiny of the professional engineers who approved the design. And how safe was column 58 in WTC 7 if the fire had spread in the opposite direction?

However, in the Final Report on WTC 7, NIST flippantly admits, (on page 22 of Chapter 2 of NCSTAR 1-9), that the WTC 7 structural design "fabrication shop" drawings:

"did not contain the stamp of a Professional Engineer"

This is a very serious oversight because we have no way of knowing what connections - including bolts, welds, shear studs, etc, - were actually used in Building 7, and therefore we cannot be sure when and how they failed.

Either way NIST is admitting to serious problems with WTC 7 as a highrise building, supposedly meeting some kind of building code, approved and constructed in Lower Manhattan. And these "problems" should undoubtedly raise legal liability issues associated with "colateral damage" arising from Building 7's collapse - damage to the Consolidated Edison substation, the Verizon building, 123 Barclay, 30 West Broadway, etc.

Interestingly, while Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein has already thrown out of court insurance claims connected to damage to the Con Ed substation, "caused" by the collapse of WTC 7, he did not let the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey off the liability hook......

Meanwhile, NIST itself is immune from any litigation in these matters - a nice position to be in, and one that helps NIST with its mission to "serve and protect" the American construction industry.
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Re: NIST's WTC 7 Collapse Theory

Postby newton » Tue Dec 16, 2008 4:49 am

one column 'removed' does not account for freefall, nor symmetry.

just ADMIT IT, dr.g, .... it was professionally demolished. it is the simplest, best explanation of the observed phenomena.

especially when you 'allow' the sounds of explosions going off before it fell, the reported shockwave when it fell, numerous 'emergency responders' telling everyone the building was 'about to blow up', the BBC announcing the collapse over 20 minutes before it happened, the report of missing floors and dead bodies strewn about LONG before the collapse.....
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Re: NIST's WTC 7 Collapse Theory

Postby Major_Tom » Wed Dec 17, 2008 7:48 pm

one column 'removed' does not account for freefall, nor symmetry.


It cannot account for the symmetry,

for the simultaneity of initial lateral column failure, for practically instantaneous lateral propagation failure of many columns,

for the apparent synchronicity of failure events during collapse initiation.
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Re: NIST's WTC 7 Collapse Theory

Postby Major_Tom » Tue Oct 06, 2009 11:39 pm

In considering the major errors in the WTC7 NIST report, this idea that the failure of one column can cause collapse has got to be at the top of the list.


My first questions: Can anyone name a problem with the WTC7 NIST report more absurd than this? Does anyone see a bigger problem with the report than this?

What is the largest specific contradiction within the report that stands out in your mind?
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Re: NIST's WTC 7 Collapse Theory

Postby Major_Tom » Wed Oct 07, 2009 12:09 am

On the possibility of single column failure destroying a building:

I'd like to present a clear, systematic argument as to why NIST must be wrong but I am at a loss for words.

I do not understand how so many people can accept this as a final conclusion by NIST. I do not understand how they can issue a report with this conclusion and not admit that they themselves have more outstanding questions.

That is probably why I am at a loss for words. If they cannot see the contradiction themselves, what more can I say?


How would you, reader, present a counter-argument to the one column claim?
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Re: NIST's WTC 7 Collapse Theory

Postby femr2 » Wed Oct 07, 2009 12:54 am

Major_Tom wrote:Can anyone name a problem with the WTC7 NIST report more absurd than this? Does anyone see a bigger problem with the report than this?

What is the largest specific contradiction within the report that stands out in your mind?

When synchronised to each run of the NIST model animations, the >2s period of "free-fall" occurs during the period where the model animations show roughly two thirds of the internal columns and the vast majority of the external columns intact.

When I highlighted this fundamental paradox, NIST ceased all communication with me.

(If anyone has the full length NIST WTC7 model animations at decent resolution, they would be very handy indeed, to provide clearer clarification than I could with the versions I have.)

There are many other contradictions between the model behaviours and their written descriptions, and also between the model behaviours and reality. It would be quite a long list to wade through though, but am happy to compile...
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Re: NIST's WTC 7 Collapse Theory

Postby Major_Tom » Wed Oct 07, 2009 1:59 am

When I highlighted this fundamental paradox, NIST ceased all communication with me.


Not very civil of them.

Are they just animations or are they physics-based models? How can a physics-based model show this? (Are they just cartoons that look like simulations?)

A list of problems would be long. Let's just start with the most striking contradictions with the report/models and see where it goes. What should be at the top of the list?

My guess is

1) What does the model show which can explain what was happening during the near freefall phase of collapse? (Wouldn't we all be curious how the structural resistance fell to near zero for about 8 floors of falling and then was magically restored?)

2) How does the model explain the initial lateral failure progression leading to what appears to be near simultaneous column failure. (I've never been able to visualize the chain of events that leads to rapid symmetrical collapse)

3) How does single column failure lead to global collapse (the type of collapse witnessed?)

I'd love to see how the models explain these.


What would you put at the top of the list?
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Re: NIST's WTC 7 Collapse Theory

Postby Heiwa » Wed Oct 07, 2009 5:43 am

Major_Tom wrote:3) How does single column failure lead to global collapse (the type of collapse witnessed?)

I'd love to see how the models explain these.




Well, the load above carried by this single column (no. 79) is evidently transmitted to adjacent columns (99.9%) or simply dropping to the ground (0.1%).
As the failure of column 79 is down at the bottom of the structure (floors 11-13), there is plenty of secondary structure above (floor beams) that will transmit the load to adjacent, primary structure, e.g. the 4 off nearest columns.
As column 79 apparently is a core structure corner column, it would appear that the load above is transmitted abt. 50% to the walls and 50% to adjacent core columns.
Simple calculations show that adjacent structure easily can carry the extra load imposed due to alleged failure of column 79. Thus the structure cannot collapse! http://heiwaco.tripod.com/nist7.htm .
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Re: NIST's WTC 7 Collapse Theory

Postby peterene1 » Wed Oct 07, 2009 4:37 pm

Heiwa, would it be possible to remove at least a third of the core columns on floors 5 and 13 without any sign of collapse, which would be visible from the outside?

If so, which columns would have been cut? Would it incorporate 16 cuts at 8 columns, or 16 cuts at 12 columns or....? Would it be constructive to attack the lateral bracing with thermite?

What effect would have a collapse of column 61, 62 or 63 on the structure?

see this in context http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQ6-kJb9CAE

There are many other contradictions between the model behaviours and their written descriptions, and also between the model behaviours and reality. It would be quite a long list to wade through though, but am happy to compile...


I suggest comparing the penthouse fall in the model and in the real world (i.e. the freefalling penthouse).

Do you have the synchronized videos somewhere?
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Re: NIST's WTC 7 Collapse Theory

Postby Heiwa » Wed Oct 07, 2009 6:18 pm

peterene1 wrote:Heiwa, would it be possible to remove at least a third of the core columns on floors 5 and 13 without any sign of collapse, which would be visible from the outside?

If so, which columns would have been cut? Would it incorporate 16 cuts at 8 columns, or 16 cuts at 12 columns or....? Would it be constructive to attack the lateral bracing with thermite?



WTC7 has 24 core columns. Removing one column = no. 79 between floors 11/13 does not produce overload of adjacent two core columns (or perimeter wall columns). You can evidently continue to remove (adjacent) core columns at floors 11/13 to see when an adjacent core column becomes overloaded and will buckle by itself and then you should check it it means that further, adjacent columns just fail/buckle by themselves ... and how much of the load drops down (or out = does not contribute to further actuion) and how much is transmitted to still intact structure to assist further destruction.

Or in other words - arranging local failures as suggested above will probably result in serious local failures, e.g. one part of the structure/tower collapses due to bottom supports having been removed and the load drops off the structure, while the remainder structure still stands.

To ensure that the complete structure suddenly is destroyed - top part, floors 20-47, free falls for 2.25 seconds and displaces vertically down without resistance >30 m (to crush the bottom structure) - you have to destroy all 24 core columns at, e.g. cut them at both floors 8 and 16 simultaneously, e.g. by controlled demolition. You have to remove 30 m of verical primary structure (24 core columns) completely - fast.

To suggest, like NIST, that local failures develop horizontally like dominoes falling takes too long time and can only take place at one floor and the structure will tilt and drop sideways (as seen after earthquakes).

The destroyed core columns at floors 8 and 16 are probably visible on photos when the rubble of floors 17 - roof was removed.
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Re: NIST's WTC 7 Collapse Theory

Postby Major_Tom » Thu Oct 08, 2009 12:13 am

I suggest comparing the penthouse fall in the model and in the real world (i.e. the freefalling penthouse).


Yes, another to be near the top of the list.

I wanted to put the NIST report failures on then list of "comprehensive WTC7 list of odd features" in the other thread but the topic was too big to include as an entry.


So what is the best way to look at the NIST model of the movement within the building that tries to explain these things? I'd like to get a nice visual library of problems with the NIST collapse theory.

Some stills from the NIST report and....any videos? anything showing dynamics?
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Re: NIST's WTC 7 Collapse Theory

Postby femr2 » Thu Oct 08, 2009 10:39 am

Major_Tom wrote:I'd like to get a nice visual library of problems with the NIST collapse theory.

Sounds like my cup of tea.

Some stills from the NIST report and....any videos? anything showing dynamics?

I'll start compiling, but here's a crude observation...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WnXeUIaYj3k
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Re: NIST's WTC 7 Collapse Theory

Postby OneWhiteEye » Thu Oct 08, 2009 5:09 pm

femr2 wrote:I'll start compiling, but here's a crude observation...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WnXeUIaYj3k

Your 'crude' observation is right on the money, as far as I'm concerned. One need only consider the qualitative observation that wrinkling of perimeter columns (along with all the members still attached) at large scale consumes a great deal of energy and the only source for this energy is loss of material elevation. Of course, their animation (which so far as I know, depicts the actual displacement results from the physics simulation) does not show a roofline descent at anywhere near the acceleration of gravity. It shows, at least initially, a slow displacement resulting from folds developing across the major portion of remaining structure.

This means their physics simulation stands in contradiction to actuals of the event, which they pretty much acknowledge in the image analysis section, but try to gloss over in a very ham-fisted way. It's not necessary to be a structural engineer to recognize these aspects of the report are at odds, nor to conclude that the discrepancy is not so easily waved away. This, according to NIST, is simulation of an unprecedented scope (guess they hadn't heard about Extreme Loading, eh?) requiring thousands of hours of computation. Anyone in the least familiar with simulation techniques must be immediately skeptical of simulation without precedent and actual physical examples, since this is the means by which simulation is developed and verified, and must also call foul when the results of the simulation bear only passing resemblance to the event being simulated.

The nature of most physical simulations, even of very simple systems composed of only a few free bodies, present the opportunity to diverge rapidly from actual system evolution as the result of only small initial deviation from the system state at any given step. While it would be quite a miracle if the entirety of the physical simulation matched the observed dynamics and would lead me to suspect data-fixing, the alternate result - that of a poor match and the one that was actually presented - leaves little room to conclude that the dynamics have been adequately captured. Only if your institutional standards absolutely suck can you claim this simulation reflects the actual dynamics. It is merely a solution which leads to global collapse, from among the innumerable other outcomes which could lead to similar or entirely different results, and completely distinct from a solution that matches the observables.

What's more, having viewed quite a few demolitions, the twin towers' collapses and, most importantly, the actual collapse of WTC7, I have no reason whatever to believe that the type of conformation depicted would occur in any sort of building. I'll allow for the fact that it was not a stable structure in the seconds before global collapse, but I doubt that's sufficient to account for the differences, especially since it did not, in actuality, collapse that way.
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Re: NIST's WTC 7 Collapse Theory

Postby OneWhiteEye » Thu Oct 08, 2009 5:48 pm

It's quite strange that I've yet to see a self-identified debunker express even the slightest of criticism or concern for these most glaring discrepancies. I can only guess... but if the topic were far less controversial, I think a few of the more knowledgeable individuals would step up to the plate and call it for what it is not. It is not a good representation of the global collapse. Since the global event is contingent on a highly localized failure occuring much earlier in the sim, and the system state evolution of the sim does not match the actuals well, it very obviously calls into question the initiating event because the result of carrying forward from the specific and localized failure does not match observation. Of course, this based on the premise that an accurate state evolution from that failure can be and was carried out, a premise I don't necessarily accept but one that is the cornerstone of any credibility the sim may have.

This is really, really obvious. I doubt very much, given the pencil on my desk to hold in their hands, measure and examine any way they want, that NIST could accurately model a vertical drop of said pencil, eraser side down, from a height of 1m onto a nearly ideal rigid and flat concrete surface. In fact, all I ask is they provide the final location and angular orientation of the pencil. Good God, that has to be a whole lot simpler system to model than the failure and subsequent collapse. Does anyone here doubt that I have a good point? And, as far as fire sims, I wonder if the NIST could accurately predict the time it takes for the pot of potato and cheddar soup on my stove now to come to a boil? I'm starved, I'd like to know.

Argument from incredulity? Kiss my posterior, any lurking JREFer who may be here but is too timid to post without the 'gang' here to bully the science aside. A great many arguments made at JREF are all about personal and group-think incredulity (too complicated, too many people, can't keep secrets, blah blah blah), and these arguments seem to hold a lot of sway. I call you bastards out because you're chicken-shit low grade 'scientists', proof once again that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Learn to debate for real. Show some fortitude and question NIST, your world need not come tumbling down around you because you do.


If it's simply a matter of the results being 'good enough' for your level of understanding, fine. Then shut the hell up and step aside, your standards are too laxed for me.
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Re: NIST's WTC 7 Collapse Theory

Postby peterene1 » Thu Oct 08, 2009 6:53 pm

Heiwa wrote:
peterene1 wrote:Heiwa, would it be possible to remove at least a third of the core columns on floors 5 and 13 without any sign of collapse, which would be visible from the outside?

If so, which columns would have been cut? Would it incorporate 16 cuts at 8 columns, or 16 cuts at 12 columns or....? Would it be constructive to attack the lateral bracing with thermite?



WTC7 has 24 core columns. Removing one column = no. 79 between floors 11/13 does not produce overload of adjacent two core columns (or perimeter wall columns). You can evidently continue to remove (adjacent) core columns at floors 11/13 to see when an adjacent core column becomes overloaded and will buckle by itself and then you should check it it means that further, adjacent columns just fail/buckle by themselves ... and how much of the load drops down (or out = does not contribute to further actuion) and how much is transmitted to still intact structure to assist further destruction.

Or in other words - arranging local failures as suggested above will probably result in serious local failures, e.g. one part of the structure/tower collapses due to bottom supports having been removed and the load drops off the structure, while the remainder structure still stands.



1) the primary suspects (if demolition) are floors 5 and 13. That's supported by the jet flame, Barry Jennings (RIP :roll: ), the WEIRD WEIRD weird smoke behaviour at 5:00pm and at approximately 5:15...5:20pm? and the fact that floor 5 was a mechanical floor....with fra****g metal louvers.......(hence no broken windows.......mr. Mark Loiseaux :roll: :roll: :roll: )

video evidence confirming this

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_IAcuITqh6E (I can link to more, if you ask me)


2) if the jet flame points to thermite (along with other things) than they would have to find a way to remove significant portion of the core structure without any visible collapses.

So once again Heiwa, how could they do it?

3) if thermite did a significant damage to the whole strucutre before the global collapse initiation, than it could explain the near-freefall period very well. Just a very very metastable strucutre.

4) NIST does look for the actual demolition mechanism ......and than they cover it with bullshit. (so they can get "close to the reality...")

No wonder they place the initiation at floor 13.

5) it explains, why the perpetrators were in WTC7 at that morning, here you can see them accessing the gas after the column number 20

..they wanted to know the exact effect of the changes in the structure

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVahuOpOJYE )around 5:00)

Floors 13 and 5.
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