Free Fall — Part 6
by David Chandler
Free fall of WTC 7, the “near free fall” (i.e. uniform downward acceleration) of WTC 1, and the manifest use of explosives in bringing down WTC 2, just scratch the surface of the research that has been done on uncovering the true story of 9/11. (A good cross section of the diverse lines of research can be found in the video record and published proceedings of the 2011 Toronto Hearings, officially, the International Hearings on the Events of September 11, 2001.) Rather than trying to cover the whole waterfront, we will here focus on the single line of evidence we have been developing throughout this series of essays: the freefall of WTC 7 and near freefall of WTC 1. It is time to ask, where does this line of evidence lead?
1. Explosives and/or other demolition techniques had to have been used.
Free fall (WTC 7) implies the removal of all support, pure and simple. We have also shown that “near free fall,” falling with uniform downward acceleration (WTC 1), whether at the exact acceleration of gravity or not, requires the removal of a substantial amount of support independent of the falling mass. Sudden onset of downward motion and falling with a level roofline, in either case, implies the synchronized removal of support, across the entire width of the building, and these were very large buildings: 100 meters wide in the case of WTC 7 and 64 meters square in the case of the Twin Towers. Lack of synchronization would result in the buildings tumbling down rather than descending straight down. The only feasible way this could be accomplished is with the use of explosives.
WTC 2 is a separate case. Something apparently went wrong and the building did tumble down. The fact that the remainder of the building continued to demolish itself, all the way to the ground, however, without the fig leaf of a pile driving mass leads to the same conclusion. All three buildings were rigged with explosives that could be detonated in a synchronized manner.
Some have said the buildings came down “through the path of greatest resistance,” rather than taking the path of least resistance. I too have said at times that they came straight down through their supporting structure. These statements involve irony. Collapsing structures don’t do that. The buildings fell through the path one would assume provided the greatest resistance. The fact of free fall, or near free fall, however, tells us the resistance was not actually present and the falling section of the building could not have participated in its removal. Therefore explosives, or other demolition techniques, had to have been used to clear the way. (I refer to “other demolition techniques” only to cover my bases. Verinage demolitions, pioneered in France, do not use explosives, but they require extensive preparation and substitute the input of energy through bulky hydraulic devices to buckle the columns. They would not have been a realistic option for a covert demolition such as we saw on 9/11. However, even if other techniques could have been used, the significance for any investigation is that demolition implies preparation and intention.)
NIST argues that the buckling of columns in WTC 7 could have occurred “naturally” due to fire, but NIST’s computer modeling cannot actually reproduce the observed effects. The NIST model is problematic because NIST has not released all of the parameters they used in modeling the building structure. Leroy Hulsey and a group at the University of Alaska, under contract with Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, have constructed an independent open-source computer model of WTC 7. From the very start of their project they discovered numerous ways the NIST model failed to accurately represent the true structure of the building. The Hulsey group tried and failed to induce collapse, in their model, using fire, and they have been unable to induce the kind of collapse that was observed by any means short of cutting all columns.
The simultaneity of the support failures needed to produce sudden, straight down collapse with a level roof line rules out the progressive collapse hypothesis for WTC 7 promoted by NIST. Progressive collapse does not match what was observed. NIST attempts to cover themselves by claiming, without evidence, that progressive collapse occurred in the interior without disturbing the visible surface of the building. As we discussed in Part 4, this scenario is clearly false. The exterior structure is not a separate, stand-alone entity. Major girders directly connect the perimeter columns to the interior columns. Failure of the interior columns would cause simultaneous disruption of the exterior, as NIST’s own modeling clearly shows.
We must conclude that the apparent demolitions of these buildings could not be caused by natural collapse mechanisms. The apparent demolitions point to actual demolitions using explosives or other demolition techniques. (I leave the door open on the exact methodology of demolition more as a hypothetical possibility than a practical reality. The reality, in all likelihood, is the use of incendiaries to weaken key structures followed by explosives to provide the coup de gras.)
Does this mean controlled demolition companies were involved in the conspiracy? Not necessarily. As one military demolition expert put it to me, “The most experienced demolition ‘company’ in the world is the U.S. military.” I have ceased using the term “controlled demolition” because preserving neighboring buildings was clearly not a priority. I prefer the term “explosive demolition.” Whatever the exact mechanism of the demolition, these were intentional acts that employed outside energy sources apart from the potential energy of the buildings.
2. The demolitions had to have been prepared prior to 9/11/2001
Demolitions require intricate planning and execution. This takes time to set up. The demolition of WTC 7 could not have been initiated as an afterthought on the day of 9/11/2001. The famous quote by Larry Silverstein, where he says that he and a fire chief decided to “pull” the building because of the tremendous loss of life that had already occurred has to be erroneous. He and whatever fire chief he was supposedly talking to could not have decided upon, and then carried out a demolition of the building, all in the same day while fires raged on a number of floors. Silverstein’s comments have the appearance of a poorly thought out, self-serving, after-the-fact pseudo explanation for why the demolition looked so much like a demolition.
One of the most common objections to the idea that the buildings were rigged ahead of time is that the process could not have happened in secret. Those rigging the building had to install tens of tons of explosives. How could this have been done without being visible to the users of the building. My first response to this kind of objection is “Newton trumps Freud.” If the physical evidence says it happened, then it happened. Psychological objections don’t hold up against physical evidence. You may speculate about the psychological, sociological, and political ramifications at your leisure. But since this is such a stumbling block to so many people, let’s take another look.
Given the speculative nature of the objection, let me offer a plausibility argument in response. We know that the Twin Towers were undergoing an elevator renovation, rewiring projects, and fire proofing upgrades in the months preceding 9/11. Elevator shafts would give access to all the core columns. If workers wearing company uniforms and carrying security passes set out orange cones and “Caution: Men at Work” signs, they could wheel pallet loads of materials into the building, close down access to one or more elevator shafts at a time and be completely transparent to the tenants and visitors in the building. The same reasoning applies to workers with wiring or spray-on materials closing access to certain areas, removing ceiling panels, and doing their work in plain view. WTC 7 was even more secure than the Twin Towers, considering its tenant list. It is hard to pin down the details, but the same general scenario could apply.
A few years ago I was giving a talk at a conference on this very topic on a college campus where major renovations were taking place. Parts of the buildings we were using were blocked off and we had to work around the heightened noise level. No one paid any attention to exactly what it was they were doing. (They could have been rigging the building with explosives, for all we knew!) Still the audience acknowledged that apart from my calling attention to the presence of the workers during my talk, they had accepted them as part of the background scene and had been hardly aware of them.
3. The individual demolitions had to have been part of the overall operation of 9/11
Let’s start with WTC 7. We have seen that the demise of WTC 7 was due to demolition which involved foreknowledge. The cover story for its demolition, since it was not hit by a plane, was that it was badly damaged by debris from the collapse of the North Tower across the street. It would not make any sense to have a sudden demolition of WTC 7 without the other collapses providing a rationale, so WTC 7 cannot be analyzed in isolation from the other building collapses that day. It is actually probable that WTC 7 was intended to come down along with the Twin Towers, which would have provided much more adequate cover, but something probably went wrong and the building had to be brought down later in the day with a hastily concocted rationale. Another possibility that has been suggested is that WTC 7 was the intended target of Flight 93 that crashed in Shanksville Pennsylvania. We were told that the intended target of Flight 93 was either the White House or the Capitol Building. (How could anyone know? Why would they tell us that?) Neither of these scenarios played out, but the building was rigged to be demolished, so it was brought down with the weak excuse of debris damage. Police, firemen, and news reporters spent the afternoon telling people to back away because, “That’s the building that is going to go down next.”
They needed to get the word out with a plausible scenario (the building was “unstable”) so that an unaccounted for building collapse would not take everyone by surprise and be seen as a suspicious event.
Once we recognize that the Twin Towers’ collapses were necessary precursors for the WTC 7 demolition, WTC 7 has to be seen as a part of the same coordinated operation that brought down the Twin Towers. We have seen that there is an independent scientific basis for knowing that the Twin Towers were also demolished. The buildings were ready to be brought down before the planes were ever hijacked. The planes were therefore not needed to destroy the buildings, but they were needed to be a cover story to give a rationale for the building collapses. The hijackings thus could not have been the work of independent terrorists. The pseudo-terrorist-patsy-hijackers were orchestrated by those who stage managed all the other events of that day. The hijackers and the planes could actually be seen as the first layer of the cover-up.
But how could hijacked planes be allowed to wander around the skies for over an hour without being intercepted, which has been the routine practice for planes that wander off course? (Not necessarily shot down, but at least accompanied and checked out up close by fighter jets.) There had to be some combination of staged civilian and military air traffic “mix-ups” to allow the hijacked planes to continue to their targets unmolested. There is a lot of material out there on this topic. I will leave the details of this drama for further reading, but regardless of the details, this lack of response was so anomalous that some kind of interference with the air security apparatus is apparent. The web of intrigue continues to spread, once we realize the hijackers entered the country with questionable visas and were tracked by the FBI, but not interfered with, the whole time they were here.
Free fall implies explosives, which implies preparation and foreknowledge. It also implies high level access into very secure areas (of WTC 7) that housed offices of the Secret Service, the Department of Defense, and the CIA. The fact that the plane impacts were essential to the collapse scenarios for the Twin Towers implies coordination of the demolitions with all that was involved in the planes, the hijackers, the preparation of the hijackers, the issuing of shady visas, arranging for their financing, housing, and training, and coordination with the military to not intercept or shoot down the planes before they reached their targets. All of this had to be coordinated with the propaganda campaign to leverage this one-day event into a generations-long war on terror, unleashing the flow of money into the military industrial complex, and Congressional action (in the PATRIOT act) allowing the roll-back of constitutional rights in favor of greater social control. Finally, to prevent this “opportunity” from turning into a disaster for the perpetrators, everything had to be coordinated from day one with an elaborate cover-up. This brings us to our final point.
4. The fact of high level coordination places constraints on who the perpetrators could have been.
The free fall of WTC 7 and the near free fall of WTC 1 do not immediately point to a specific perpetrator, but they do define the nature of the operation and lead to the chain of inferences we have just seen. Who could the perpetrators be?
The perpetrators were clearly not the hijackers. The planes had nothing to do with the buildings falling. As we have seen, the planes could be considered part of the cover-up. The hijackers were bit players in this drama. The perpetrators had to have been in positions of significant power to be able to coordinate such a wide-ranging series of events.
At the operational level, there was a need for expertise in demolitions and access to the demolition agents used. We have not discussed it in these articles, but independent researchers have found residues of a military-grade demolition agent, nanothermite (not available on the open market), in the dust.
Private demolition companies have the expertise, but they are not the only ones. The military has ample expertise, access to the novel agents used, and a culture of secrecy. It is possible, of course, that the actual task of rigging the buildings could have been outsourced to foreign nationals and/or foreign agencies. This would answer the commonly raised emotional objection that American citizens would never do such a thing, or in their remorse they might have blown the whistle.
The military chain of command did seem to have a role in the obfuscation of the air traffic that day. Much has been written about multiple war games that could have drawn fighter jets out of the area, obscure last minute changes in hijack protocols that obstructed the possibility of rapid response, shifts of responsible personnel that put inexperienced people at key positions in the decision making chain, and the possible insertion of confusing false blips onto radar screens. Communications between the FAA and NORAD were confused and inefficient, with conflicting and changing accounts and timelines. I have seen much of this literature, but I am not the person to make definitive statements on these issues. This has not been the focus of my research. What I can say is that the military response that was routine in the months and years leading up to 9/11 was non-functional that day, allowing planes to fly around for over an hour and hit both of the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. Obstruction of our defenses was crucial for the success of the overall operation, so one must conclude that the confusion was by arrangement. Whoever the perpetrators are, they had to have the clout to manipulate the functioning of the military that day.
I previously said it is altogether plausible that foreign nationals or even foreign security agencies had a hand in the actual rigging of the buildings, to avoid the issue of individual moral qualms and whistle-blowing. However the requirement that the perpetrators had to have clout with the military establishment rules out, in my mind, that this was a foreign operation at the top level.
The perpetrators had to manage the procurement, training, maintenance, and deployment of the hijacker-patsies. One aspect of this was the issuance of questionable visas, the majority of them from the same consulate in Saudi Arabia, by some accounts issued by the same person. If this was part of the operation, which it seems it must have been, then the perpetrators had influence within the State Department, which could also point to the CIA. Money to finance the needs of the hijackers was funneled in from various sources including Saudi Arabia, so there appears to be international cooperation at some level, but not outside control.
From the very first day there were indications of media control. Talking heads spelled out the official explanation du jour of why the buildings fell. Very early in the day they identified Osama bin Laden as the most likely perpetrator, and made numerous references to this event being a new Pearl Harbor, setting it up to be treated as one.
Stories about the impending demise of WTC 7 are perhaps the clearest example of media manipulation. Given that WTC 7 was not hit by a plane, and that the NIST investigation took years to identify the (supposed) cause of the collapse, and that no steel frame high rise had ever collapsed simply due to fire, there is no plausible reason why it would be identified in real time as “the building that is going to go down next.” Furthermore, several news outlets, most prominently the BBC, got the script that the building had come down, complete with an explanation for the collapse, before it had actually collapsed.
These clips were broadcast on BBC news in the hour before WTC 7 actually came down. CNN seems to have gotten the same script even earlier and handled it in other ways.
I’m not trying to say BBC or CNN are part of the conspiracy. Just that the media was being manipulated. What it tells us is that the perpetrators had the clout to do so.
There are finger prints all over this case belonging to the CIA, the FBI, the US Military, the military industrial complex, Larry Silverstein (who leased the Twin Towers in the summer of 2001 and immediately took out a multi-billion dollar insurance policy for acts of terrorism), and likely international collaborators. But what about the Bush administration?
For me the most blatant sign that the Bush administration is a prime suspect is the cover-up. David Ray Griffin has written a whole book on the omissions and distortions of the 9/11 Commission Report, which provides plenty of evidence on this point, but reminding ourselves that we are focused on the trail of inferences from the free fall of WTC 7 and the near free fall of WTC 1, let us turn our attention to NIST. NIST is a government agency in the Department of Commerce which is under Executive branch control. We have seen that NIST, or at least a select team within NIST, has produced documents that have many examples of contradictions, irrational arguments, and blatantly invalid analytical methods. Interestingly, the whole report is not this way. There are large sections with characteristically meticulous, scientifically valid work which is then ignored when it comes to the conclusions.
One example I have not discussed already is the analysis of the spread of the fire in WTC 7. One very long and detailed section (NIST NCSTAR 1–9 section 5.6.3) tracks the fire as seen through windows in photographs time stamped throughout the day. The fire burned in any one area no more than about 15 to 20 minutes before exhausting the fuel and moving on. By the time the building collapsed the fires were nearly out. This is all documented in the report itself. But then they introduce computer fire modeling software and create a simulation. Somehow they get the simulation to produce intense fires on the 12th floor around column 79 just when and where their theory requires intense heat to make their thermal expansion model trigger the initiation of collapse. NIST’s own observational evidence shows that the fire had burned through that area several hours previously and had already depleted the fuel, but they rejected their own observational data in favor of their computer model which they could control by manipulating the inputs. Even if the fire could get as hot as they claim, where and when they claim, thermal expansion would only work in their collapse model if they ignored the sheer studs that strengthened the steel-to-concrete connections in the floor, ignored the stiffeners at the ends of the girders that gave the flanges an order of magnitude more strength than they assumed, misstated the sizes of the girder seats, and omitted several bracing beams. These elements are all in the blueprints but omitted from NIST’s computer model. There appears to be a clear agenda to force their computer model to produce a natural collapse, without the use of explosives, by any means necessary.
The question that comes to my mind is why would an organization that prides itself on its reputation for high standards of science stoop to such depths to produce a blatantly deceptive report? If this were a report on an issue that did not stir such public outrage, it would have surely passed under the radar, as most 10,000 page reports do. What they may not have counted on was citizens who are science literate, who have the ability to think and calculate for themselves, and who care about their country. We are now more than 16 years removed from the events of 9/11 and yet large numbers of scientists, engineers, architects, and many others with scientific knowledge and high levels of concern are still pushing for the truth to come out.
Do you believe that NIST, or the competent professional scientists and engineers at NIST, concocted this monstrosity of a report and pushed it out the door after the elections, before President Obama took office, during the lame duck period at the end of the Bush presidency, without having been given a political mandate from above to create a report that points away from demolition or even a realistic consideration of demolition? As we continue to the bottom of the rabbit hole, we come to the Bush administration. This is where the means (the political, economic, and military power), the motive (a rationale for war to redraw the map of the Middle East to control its resources), and the opportunity all come together. We have in the NIST report the grossest example of “Bush Science” (the manipulation of scientific results to fit policy objectives — something seen repeatedly during the Bush administration). Only the administration has the reach to manipulate the military, the press, the State Department, the CIA, our allies, and command the resources to bring the materials and expertise together. The only reason the Bush administration would want this covered up is if the blood is on their own hands. 9/11 was the ultimate psy-op: too big to be accused of in polite society. Even the suggestion of insider involvement has been made taboo. I guess that makes me a crazy, lunatic, tin-foil hat wearing conspiracy theorist. Yet we have no place else to turn. We seem to be at the very bottom of the rabbit hole. Or does it go yet deeper?