Response to NIST’s Invitation for Written Comments
Documentation of spoken remarks presented on December 18 conference call with the NCST Advisory Committee
Emailed to NIST on January 3, 2008
Richard Gage, AIA – Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth
I’m Richard Gage, AIA, a licensed architect of 20 years. I represent Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, a fast-growing body of more than 230 architects and engineers dedicated solely to bringing out the truth about all three high-rise building collapses on 9/11. We believe that we have answers to your questions about the puzzling collapse of World Trade Center 7.
In more than 100 steel-framed, high-rise fires (most of them very hot, very large and very long-lasting), not one has collapsed, ever. So it behooves all of us, as your own former chief of NIST’s Fire Science Division, Dr. James Quintiere, said, “to look at real alternatives that might have been the cause of these collapses.”
Let’s start with temperatures – 1,340° F. temperatures, recorded in thermal images of the surface of the World Trade Center rubble pile a week after 9/11 by NASA’s AVIRIS equipment on USGS overflights. Such temperatures cannot be achieved by oxygen-starved hydrocarbon fires. Such fires burn at only 600 to 800° F. Remember, there was no fire on the top of the pile. The source of this incredible heat was therefore below the surface of the rubble, where it must have been far hotter than 1,340 degrees.
Mark Loizeaux, president of Controlled Demolition, Inc., who was hired for the Building 7 cleanup, said that “molten steel was found at 7 WTC.” Leslie Robertson, World Trade Center structural engineer, stated that on October 5, “21 days after the attacks, the fires were still burning and molten steel was still running.” Fire department personnel, recorded on video, reported seeing “molten steel running down the channel rails… like you’re in a foundry – like lava from a volcano.” Joe O’Toole, a Bronx firefighter, saw a crane lifting a steel beam vertically from deep within a pile. He said “it was dripping from the molten steel.” Bart Voorsanger, an architect hired to save “relics from the rubble,” stated about the multi-ton “meteorite” that it was a “fused element of molten steel and concrete.”
The knowledge that this evidence even exists was denied by one of your top engineers, John Gross, in his appearance at the University of Texas in April of this year.
Steel melts at about 2,850 degrees Fahrenheit, about twice the temperature of the World Trade Center Tower 1 and 2 fires as estimated by NIST. So what melted the steel?
Appendix C of FEMA’s BPAT Report (attached to this email) documents steel samples showing rapid oxidation, sulfidation, and intergranular melting. A liquid eutectic mixture, including sulfur from an unknown source, caused intense corrosion of the steel, gaping holes in wide flange beams, and the thinning of half-inch-thick flanges to almost razor-sharpness in the World Trade Center 7 steel. The New York Times called this “the deepest mystery uncovered in the investigation.”
NIST left all of this crucial forensic evidence out of its report. Why? Because it didn’t fit in with the official conspiracy theory.
Last year, physicist Steven Jones, two other physicists, and a geologist analyzed the slag at the ends of the beams and in the samples of the previously molten metal. They found iron, aluminum, sulfur, manganese and fluorine – the chemical evidence of thermate, a high-tech incendiary cutting charge used by the military to cut through steel like a hot knife through butter. The by-product of the thermate reaction is molten iron! There’s no other possible source for all the molten iron that was found. One of thermate’s key ingredients is sulfur, which can form the liquid eutectic that FEMA found and lower the melting point of steel.
In addition, World Trade Center 7’s catastrophic structural failure showed every characteristic of explosive, controlled demolition. You can see all these characteristics at our website www.AE911truth.org. The destruction began suddenly at the base of the building. Several first responders reported explosions occurring about a second before the collapse. There was the symmetrical, near-free-fall speed of collapse, through the path of greatest resistance – with 40,000 tons of steel designed to resist this load – straight down into its own footprint. This requires that all the columns have to fail within a fraction of a second of each other – perimeter columns as well as core columns. There was also the appearance of mistimed explosions (squibs?) at the upper seven floors on the network video recordings of the collapse. And we have expert testimony from a European demolitions expert, Danny Jowenko, who said “This is controlled demolition… a team of experts did this… This is professional work, without any doubt.”
Fire cannot produce these effects. Fire produces large, gradual deformations and asymmetrical collapses. Thermate can produce all of these effects used in conjunction with linear shaped charges. If the thermate is formed into ultra-fine particles, as has been accomplished at Los Alamos National Laboratory, it is called super-thermate, and is very explosive.
The National Fire Protection Association’s NFPA 921 Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations (1998 Edition) dictates in fire investigations that certain residues should be tested for. Thermate would leave behind signs of sulfidation/corrosion by sulfur. Such residues were in fact noted in Appendix C of the FEMA BPAT report (see note 11). “If the physical evidence establishes one factor, such as the presence of an accelerant, that may be sufficient to establish the cause even where other factors such as ignition source cannot be determined.” Thermate and sulfur obviously qualify as accelerants in this case (with regard to the destruction of steel which in turn could have caused the near-free-fall-speed collapse). (The fires were not particularly suspicious, but Building 7’s collapse was, because of its symmetry and speed.)
Because NIST seems to have forgotten or neglected to apply key features of the scientific method, I am including as an attachment to this submission Steven E. Jones, “Revisiting 9/11/2001 — Applying the Scientific Method”, Journal of 911 Studies, April 2007, Journal of 9/11 Studies: JonesWTC911SciMethod.pdf.
How much longer must we endure NIST’s cover-up of how Building 7 was actually destroyed? Millions of Americans, including the 230+ architects and engineers and 600 others of AE911Truth.org, demand that NIST come clean with a full-throttle, fully resourced and transparent forensic investigation of the evidence of the controlled demolition of Building 7.