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UFPPC (www.ufppc.org) Digging Deeper CXLIX: February 7, 2011, 7:00 p.m.

David Ray Griffin, The Mysterious Collapse of World Trade Center 7: Why the
Final Official Report about 9/11 Is Unscientific and False (Northampton,
MA: Olive Branch Press, 2010 [released September 2009).

[Thesis. The account of the collapse on National Institute of Standards and


the afternoon of Sept. 11, 2001, of 47- Technology (NIST) worked for six years
story Building 7 of the North Tower some (not three, as claimed) on explaining the
200 yards north of the World Trade collapse (xvi). Popular Mechanics treated
Center's North Tower is the "Achilles a preliminary "working hypothesis" of
heel" of the official account of 9/11 NIST as a definitive solution in its
because it cannot be explained without influential March 2005 issue (xvii-xviii).
evoking domestic, probably government But NIST's final report abandoned two
agents (the attempt by the National key claims on which Popular Mechanics
Institute of Standards and Technology in relied: that diesel fuel in WTC 7 fed fires
a final report issued in 2008 is false and for hours, and that WTC 7 was
constitutes scientific fraud).] structurally damaged by falling debris
from the North Tower (xviii-xix).
Epigraph. Sinclair Lewis [in 1935]: "It is Summary of book (xix-xx).
difficult to get a man to understand Terminological notes: "explosive," "Final
something when his salary depends upon Report," and "final report" (xx-xxi).
his not understanding it."
PART I: NIST's Unscientific Rejection
Dedication. To three scientists (Niels of the Most Likely Theory
Harris, Steven Jones, and Kevin Ryan)
and the memory of Barry Jennings, Ch. 1: NIST as a Political, Not a
"whose truth-telling may have cost him Scientific Agency. Because a large
his life" (v). segment of the population, including
many educated professionals, consider
Acknowledgments. Various assistants the Bush-Cheney administration suspect
(viii). in 9/11, it is inappropriate that "all of the
official investigations of 9/11, including
Frequently Cited Works. 8 NIST the NIST investigation, were carried out
documents (ix). by representatives of the Bush-Cheney
administration" (3; 3-5). FEMA (5-6).
Introduction: The Background to The 9/11 Commission and its director,
NIST's WTC 7 Report. "There are two Philip Zelikow (6-8). NIST (8-12).
main theories" about 9/11: 1) an al-
Qaeda operation; 2) a false-flag Ch. 2: Some Principles of Scientific
operation of the Bush-Cheney Method. The nature of scientific fraud
administration (xi). The 9/11 truth (13-15). Because the NIST report
movement believes that the falsity of the consisted entirely of computer modeling,
first account is "most obvious" with the line in it between fabrication and
respect to the collapse of Building 7 of falsification is sometimes hard to draw in
the World Trade Center (ix). The collapse the NIST report (16). It is a scientific
of this 47-story building was scarcely principle that "None of the relevant
covered or mentioned after 9/11 (xii-xiii). evidence should be ignored" (17,
To many experienced observers, WTC 7 emphasis in original). Another principle
was obviously brought down by a is that "an investigation should aim to
controlled demolition (xiv-xv). The reach the best explanation" (17,
emphasis in original). These are moral, (hydrocarbon fires cannot much exceed
not merely scientific, positions (18). 1,000º F.), but NIST ignored this report
Extra-scientific considerations should not (40-42). A 2005 USGS report on WTC
be allowed to determine the conclusions dust also found spherical iron- and zinc-
of an investigation (18-20). "[S]cientists rich dust; it, too, was ignored by NIST
should begin with the most likely (42-43). A group of scientists led by
hypothesis" (20). Occam's razor (21). Steven Jones found a molybdenum-
Straw-man arguments (21-22). Prima sphere dust particle, which would require
facie implausible claims should not be temperatures over 4,753º F. to form (44-
made without good reasons (22-23). 45). NIST also deliberately ignored
Unprecedented causes should not, evidence from other scientists of a
without good reasons, be posited to thinning of steel that suggested the use
explain familiar occurrences (23-24). of thermate (thermite + sulfur that
Miracles should not be invoked (24-25). lowers the melting point of steel) (45-54).
Peer review (25-26). Nanothermite could explain the long-
burning fires at Ground Zero and unusual
Ch. 3: NIST's Refusal to Begin with particles in the air there long after 9/11,
the Most Likely Hypothesis. NIST but NIST ignored the subject (54-62). A
ruled out, from the beginning, controlled peer-reviewed 2009 paper in the Open
demolition as a cause (27-29). Instead of Chemical Physics Journal by Niels Harrit
starting by looking for evidence of of the Univ. of Copenhagen concluded
explosives, as it should have, NIST that red-grey chips found in dust at the
defined its "challenge" as "to determine WTC site were "unreacted thermite";
if a fire-induced floor system failure could Harrit estimated that 10 tons were used
occur in WTC 7 under an ordinary to bring down the three buildings (62-
building contents fire" (29). This must 66). Responses to question make clear
have been done "on political grounds" that investigators were determinedly
(30; 30-31). closed-minded (66-73). NIST violated
accepted published "principles of fire
Ch. 4: NIST's Ignoring of Physical investigations" (74;73-74).
Evidence for Explosives. Evidence of
demolition squibs was ignored (34-35). A Ch. 5: NIST's Ignoring of Testimonial
video that emerged in 2008 clearly Evidence for Explosives. NIST ignored
shows "a vertical row of approximately abundant eyewitness testimony of
eight windows" [actually, inspection of explosions in the Twin Towers from
the video shows a vertical row of engineers, journalists, and firefighters
windows on seven consecutive floors] (75-78). The omission was demonstrably
being blown out; NIST ignored this deliberate and constitutes "scientific
evidence (35). NIST's dismissive fraud" (80; 79-81). NIST ignored a
handling of credible testimony of molten witness, William Rodriguez, who tried to
metal in WTC 7 as "irrelevant" is submit testimony (81-82). Michael Hess
unscientific and absurd (39; 36-39). reported an explosion in WTC 7 (85-86).
When Deutsche Bank had to respond to Barry Jennings, the emergency
an insurer's claim that the dust in its coordinator/deputy director of the
building was a pre-existing condition, it Emergency Services Dept. of the NYC
had the RJ Lee Group prepare a 2004 Housing Authority who in 2009 died
report whose description of the dust somewhat mysteriously (his cause of
implies (and states, in its 2003 draft death is still unknown) at the age of 53,
form) that it was formed from molten gave several detailed accounts of
metal and vaporized lead, implying explosions in WTC 7 (86-92). Jenning's
temperatures over 3,180º F. testimony establishes that "There were
explosions in WTC 7 on the morning of Overview. NIST claimed in its final
9/11, with a huge on occurring not long report that WTC 7 was the "first known
after 9:03, hence prior to the collapse of instance of the total collapse of a tall
both of the Twin Towers" (104; 92-104). building primarily due to fires" (147). But
Inconsistencies in the NIST timeline (104- since NIST decided that structural
10). Other evidence of internal damage damage caused by debris from the North
(110-11). Many said they know the Tower played no role, "primarily" can be
building was coming down (111-14). removed (147-48). NIST claimed to have
Premature news of the building's collapse "identified thermal expansion as a new
was broadcast (114-16). A number of phenomenon that can cause structural
people were heard to report intentions to collapse" (148). Physicist John Wyndham
bring down the building, including WTC wrote to NIST that this "runs contrary to
leaseholder Larry Silverstein (117-21). 100 years of experience with the
Much expert testimony is persuaded behavior of steel-framed buildings," and
explosives brought down WTC 7 (121- architect Richard Gage wrote that "In
22). Chapter summary (123). more than 100 steel-framed, high-rise
fires (most of them very hot, very large
Ch. 6: NIST's Straw-Man Argument and very long-lasting), not one has
against Explosives. Review of collapsed, ever" (149). But NIST was
argument (125). NIST identified a "most intent on avoiding evoking explosives,
plausible scenario" involving explosives because this would imply complicity by
to examine (125-26). It then argued that "domestic—most likely government—
this was implausible, because it would agents" (149). An outline of NIST's
have caused window breakage that did theory: fires started on 10 floors and on
not occur, sounds that did not occur, and 6 of them burned intensely for 7 hours at
would have been detected (but was not), high temperatures, causing thermal
but these arguments do not stand up to expansion and floor and column failures
scrutiny (126-34). An additional
fallacious argument (134-35). NIST Ch. 8: The Initiation and Spread of
ignored the possibility of thermites and Fires: NIST's Unempirical Account.
thermates, much less nanothermite (135- Though it claimed fires burned for seven
36). NIST did not discuss these hours, NIST provided evidence only of
explosives in its report, and in another fires that burned from 40 minutes to
document discussing them "engaged in three hours (157-78).
deception" (138; 136-138). Analysis of
the backgrounds of NIST's directors from Ch. 9: Fire and Steel Temperatures:
2001 to 2008, its advisors, and its Implausible Claims Based on
research shows were all conversant with Distorted Data. Unrealistically hot fires
nanotechnology (139-42). By were posited, the thermal conductivity of
acknowledging that "some fragments" of steel was ignored, and fires lasting too
the North Tower "were forcibly ejected long in one place were supposed, thus
and traveled distances up to hundreds of permitting production of hypothetical
meters," NIST implicitly acknowledged in exaggerated temperatures (179-207).
its 2008 report that explosives destroyed
the Twin Towers (143; 142-44). Ch. 10: From Thermal Expansion to
Global Collapse: Fabrications and
PART II: NIST's Unscientific Contradictions. Review of the theory of
Arguments for Its Own Theory collapse (209-11). But NIST's account of
thermal expansion of steel beams
Ch. 7: NIST's Theory of an overestimated steel temperatures,
Unprecedented Collapse: An falsely claimed girders had no shear
studs, used a fabricated differential Appendix B: Another Towering
thermal expansion by not calculating the Inferno That Did Not Collapse. The
expansion of heated concrete floor slabs, failure of Beijing's 500-story Television
and exaggerated how far beams would Cultural Center (TVCC) to collapse in a
have moved (211-23). Its theory of Feb. 9, 2009, fire (267-69).
weakened floor beams depends on
excessive fire temperatures and Notes. 51 pp.
durations, its theory of girder failure
depends on denial of the existence of Index. 8 pp.
shear studs and a fabricated differential
thermal expansion, and presupposes an About the Author. David Ray Griffin
unlikely amount of elongation—and even has published 35 books on philosophy,
so, fails to account for the free-fall rate of religion, and politics.
collapse (224-44).
[Additional information. David Ray
Conclusion: NIST's WTC 7 Report as Griffin was born in 1939 and lives in
Unscientific and False. The report was Santa Barbara, CA. He grew up in the
not merely unscientific, but constituted Disciples of Christ church, but abandoned
scientific fraud (245-49). It refused to ambitions for the ministry in college. He
begin with the most likely hypothesis graduated from Northwest Christian
(249-51). It did not undergo peer review College in Eugene, OR, and has a
(251-53). In addition to being master’s degree in counseling from the
unscientific, the report is false (a logically University of Oregon and a Ph.D. from
separate and more important claim) Claremont Graduate University, where he
(253-55). This is important because it embraced a Whiteheadian version of
follows "that Muslim terrorists were not process theology. In 1973, he returned
responsible for the collapse of this to Claremont, where he taught for 30
building" (255). Twenty-one reasons to years and established the Center for
question the official 9/11 story (256-59). Process Studies with John B. Cobb. In
The refutation of the WTC 7 report also 1983 he started the Center for a
debunks the notion that the 9/11 truth Postmodern World in Santa Barbara, and
movement is a bunch of ignoramuses: edited the SUNY Series in Constructive
au contraire, it involves hundreds of Postmodern Philosophy from 1987 to
accredited professionals (259-60). It is 2004. It is perhaps ironical that his
one of the missions of the National involvement with the 9/11 truth
Science Foundation to pursue scientific movement has made him a defender of
fraud, but Director Arden Bement will Enlightenment values and science. — In
need to be replaced first (260). [NOTE: the spring of 2003 Prof. Griffin examined
This occurred in 2010, when Pres. Obama Paul Thompson’s timeline and read Gore
appointed MIT's Subra Suresh to the Vidal’s Dreaming War, which pointed him
post.] to Nafeez Ahmed’s The War on Freedom:
How and Why America Was Attacked
Appendix A: Why Did Explosions in September 11, 2001. Believing they
WTC 7 Begin by 9:30AM? Preliminary provided a prima facie case for some
removal of structural elements is level of governmental complicity, he
common in controlled demolitions; others became involved in the 9/11 Truth
suggest that a first attempt to bring the Movement by writing a magazine article
building around 10:45 a.m. failed (261- that grew into The New Pearl Harbor:
65). An independent investigation is Disturbing Questions about the Bush
needed (266). Administration and 9/11 (Olive Branch
Press, 2004). He has become its most
respected voice in the academy. On speculation about what who benefited
related themes Griffin has also written from the collapse of this building.
The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions Diagrams, drawing, photographs, and
and Distortions (2005), Christian Faith timelines would have been desirable. —
and the Truth Behind 9/11: A Call to As in previous books, Griffin makes a
Reflection and Action (2006), Debunking convincing and well-documented case in
9/11 Debunking (2007), and The New dry and sober prose for the need for a
Pearl Harbor Revisited (2008), and, with new and independent investigation of
Peter Dale Scott, has edited 9/11 and the 9/11. — A cursory search for
American Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out mainstream reviews of this book found
(2006).] none. — A 22-minute Canadian
Broadcasting Corporation interview with
[Critique. Like his 9/11 Contradictions, Griffin on 9/11 generally was broadcast
David Ray Griffin's The Mysterious on Dec. 4, 2009, and is available at
Collapse of World Trade Center 7 is drily http://www.cbc.ca/fifth/2009-
analytical, like a legal brief. The focus is 2010/the_unofficial_story/video_griffin.ht
entirely on the NIST report; there is no ml]

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