A Scientific Theory of the WTC 7 Collapse

by Michael Fullerton

Foreign Policy Journal

On September 11, 2001 a third building came down. This building was 7 World Trade Center (WTC 7), a 47-story building about the width and length of a football field. NIST, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, was tasked with officially explaining how WTC 7 fell. Their theory is documented in the report entitled Final Report of the Collapse of Building 7[1]. Many people are under the mistaken impression that NIST’s theory of how WTC 7 fell down is a valid scientific theory. In science however, a valid theory must be the simplest theory available that best explains all the available empirical data.[2] This article will show that the NIST theory is a highly convoluted theory that cannot explain important observations.

A major piece of evidence in the WTC 7 collapse is the fact that WTC 7 underwent free-fall acceleration for a period of at least 2.25 seconds.[3] A free-falling building means there is no supporting structure whatsoever below to slow the building’s fall. The NIST theory does not explain this astounding fact. However, if their theory is to believed, the 2.25 seconds of free fall must have resulted from near-simultaneous buckling and breaking of the 58 perimeter columns and most of the 25 core columns over eight stories. The only evidence NIST provides to support their theory is in the form of a computer model. While it could possibly be argued that the model does show some buckling occurring over eight stories, it most certainly does not show a period of free-fall. So NIST’s theory has absolutely no scientific evidence whatsoever for the fact of free-fall. In other words the NIST theory cannot explain key empirical data.

Another requisite for a scientific theory is that the empirical data the theory is based on must be reproducible by others. Other scientists must be able to perform the exact same experiments and obtain the exact same results. Unfortunately, NIST’s only empirical data to explain the eight story buckling, the data their computer model is based on, is unavailable to independent researchers. It is unavailable because NIST refuses to release it. NIST has stated that releasing the data “might jeopardize public safety”.[4] So because the NIST model cannot be verified, it is meant to be taken on faith. The NIST model, then, is faith-based, not science-based. Since NIST’s theory does not explain fundamental facts of the WTC 7 incident and other important facts are so far unreplicated, we can categorically state that NIST’s theory is in no way scientific. At best, it could be referred to as faith-based pseudo-science. Since the NIST theory is in no way scientific, competent conscientious scientists must reject it in favor of a science-based theory.

The best alternative to NIST’s WTC 7 theory is the controlled demolition theory. This theory states that additional sources of energy other than fire and gravity were used to bring down WTC 7. The strongest theories contend that these alternate energy sources included explosives and incendiaries. It is common knowledge that shaped charges can cut through steel support columns.[5] If all remaining support columns of WTC 7 were rigged with shaped charges on both sides, on each story for eight stories and were set off in the correct precisely timed manner, they could remove all remaining resisting support for WTC 7 allowing it to free-fall for 2.25 seconds. So unlike the official story, the controlled demolition theory does explain all the observables: the rapid onset of collapse, the largely symmetrical collapse into the building’s footprint, the roof line kink causing the building to fall in on itself, minimizing damage to other buildings, the intricate roll to the south at the end of the collapse away from valuable real estate, and the free-fall period.

There definitely are problems with the controlled demolition explosives theories. For instance, although there is some evidence of explosive sounds,[6] in the available audio/visual evidence of the WTC 7 collapse, you don’t see the flashes and the loud booms typically seen with explosive controlled demolitions. But the sounds and flashes could be muted by Romex blasting mats,[7] for example. Non-typical technologies could also have been used. Recent experiments by the engineer Jonathan Cole have shown that relatively small amounts of thermate, thermite mixed with sulfur, can cut through vertical support beams like a shaped charge and yet produce much less noise.[8] These experiments also show that thermate can also easily weaken beams and cut bolts. Note that in typical controlled demolitions the building’s structure is weakened as much as possible to minimize the amount of high explosive needed. Explosive nano-thermite has also been found in the WTC dust.[9]

So the inescapable and disturbing conclusion is that the most scientific theory available for the WTC 7 collapse is that it was a controlled demolition, brought down with explosives. This conclusion shows without a doubt that a thorough independent scientific investigation into the 9/11 event must be undertaken. Until now, this has not been done. I strongly urge all scientists and scientifically-oriented individuals to support Scientists For 9/11 Truth (http://www.scientistsfor911truth.org/) in calling for an real unbiased scientific investigation of the 9/11 tragedy.


[1] NIST NCSTAR 1A, Final Report of the Collapse of Building 7 http://wtc.nist.gov/NCSTAR1/PDF/NCSTAR%201A.pdf

[2] Merriam-Webster.com Merriam-Webster Dictionary: Theory in Science http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/occam%27s%20razor

[3] NIST admits freefall of WTC 7 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ii49BaRDp_A

[4] http://911blogger.com/news/2010-07-12/nist-denies-access-wtc-collapse-data

[5] Shaped Charge Explosion Compared to Explosion at WTC http://www.mefeedia.com/watch/30834556

[6] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERhoNYj9_fg

[7] Y. Kasai. The International Union of Testing and Research Laboratories for Materials and Structures. Demolition and reuse of concrete and masonry http://books.google.ca/books?id=Q3wOAAAAQAAJ

[8] 9/11 Experiments: The Great Thermate Debate http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5d5iIoCiI8g

[9] Niels H. Harrit, Jeffrey Farrer, Steven E. Jones, Kevin R. Ryan, Frank M. Legge, Daniel Farnsworth, Gregg Roberts, James R. Gourley, Bradley R. Larsen, “Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe,” The Open Chemical Physics Journal. Volume 2, 2009, pp. 7-31. Available from:  http://www.bentham-open.org/pages/content.php?TOCPJ/2009/00000002/00000001/7TOCPJ.SGM

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~ by Eric Harrington on March 9, 2011.

8 Responses to “A Scientific Theory of the WTC 7 Collapse”

  1. I am a criminal investigator/Engineer. I’ve seen all the proof and it is undisputed. You watched to much “Loose Change”. As I stated before, the proof is right in your face, if you can’t see
    it, you belong to Al-Jazeera. Their main goal is to turn the American people against our Great Government. You people must sit up late at night thinking up ways to attack our government. “Blessed are the Peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God”. I could sit here and explicate every
    logical reason why Bld.#7 fell, but it will fall on deaf ears. If you do not concur with the logical independent findings, then you
    and your so called freinds are truly blind. “Loose Change” is a fantasy by someone looking for publicity. WAKE UP!!!!!!

  2. Sure you have seen proof.. Proof you have imagined. SHow it to me. post links. I don’t think you can. There are hundreds of engineers and architects who all vehemntly question the offical story. And then there is you. Keep believing and praying and maybe you can continue to believe the lie. I love this country, and this crime is the lynch pin of a criminal war on a fictitious enemy. PLease.. do not reply any more with opinions, pronouncements and religious nonsense. Facts is all I care about. Good luck and best wishes.

  3. Hey William than explain the fact that all three buildings in the basements had molten steel. Explain the nasa photo shot with flir vision, revealing the intense heat comming from the three building sites, weeks after the 9/11. Or how about the paper done useing forensics scientific applications performed on the blast residue? Please sir explain how this evidence in a courtroom could be proven untrue? Useing basic scientific principles. Explain what all the first responders, firemen, emt’s, physically heard and seen explosions coming from the buildings. What I learned from in the bible. My people will perish for a lack of knowledge. And there are people willingly ignorent to the words of God! What about what Albert Einstein said, “Condemination without investigation is the height of Ignorence” He even stated, “The worlld is a dangerous place, not from those who do evil, but from those who stand by and do nothing” By the way sir, I did 30 months in Iraq, we never found any WMD’s! Bush and his chicken hawks, neocons lied to us. They commited TREASON!

  4. David, et al sticking to WTC 7. and the treatise above. When & where (what floors, columns, etc) were the nano thermite charges produced (and by whom), bought, paid for, shipped, planted, wired up, Romex matted up (to lessen the blast noise?)? How many people, vans, pounds of exposives, et al were used to accomplish this….5 charges 50 pounds each 5 people 1 van kinds of stuff.

    why were only a few ‘bumps’ felt or heard? The few dozen controlled demolitions I’ve seen have a series of explosions that are clearly heard….this one has a couple of them, none are seen (inside the still windowed oxygen starved building?!), and the videos don’t show any movement in the lower x stories (obscured by buildings)

    In the video pictures, are successive windows being blown out evidence of sparky thermite charges or non heard explosions? Are windows blowing out at the 30+ floor evidence of a controlled demolition?

    why are charges being placed 3 feet apart (successive windows) : aare they blowing up columns spaced 3 feet apart? or lateral trusses?

    I thought nano-thermitic charges burned intensely and cut through steel like butter….yet you claim there’s lots unburned small particles in the dust? Is there same ratio of burned to unburned nano-thermites? are they that inefficient? what do you need 100 pounds of nano-thermites per column yielding 25 pounds of unburned particles?

    WTC 7 certainly looks like a controlled demolition….so where’s the evidence that it was (and who were the amateurs that couldn’t neatly drop WTC 7 into its basement as it certainly strayed out of it per the undisputable evidence),

    You’ve got a video that show’s a dropping building with supports kicked out somewhere down low….a couple of beam popping ‘explosion’ sounds…..and no evidence of charges being bought, shipped, set up, paid for, wired up, set off, etc.

    Where’s the beef?

  5. Eric, You disrespect the people who died in 9/11 along with the families. This will be my last message. I am not driven by fantasy like you.

  6. It is the ultimate disrespect of their deaths to allow their murder to go unpunished, and un-investigated. Suit yourself, your on-topic comments are welcome anytime. But the facts are in the physics, the comprehension of which is clearly beyond you. You indeed may not be driven by fantasy, but you are living in one my friend. Enjoy…

  7. I know all the fact, seen tests, inveestigated deeper than you even know how. Please do not E-Mail me with your fantasy land science,

  8. I can tell all your research. You researched what? Popular Mechanics? The History Channel? I thought you weren’t replying to my site anymore? You clearly know better than THOUSANDS of ENGINEERS,
    ARCHITECTS, AND SCIENTISTS who risk their reputations and waste their time to try to tell people like you the truth. Wake up and stop wasting my time..

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