by Patrick E. McCarthy

Imagine you learn that a close family member has died at a young age and, according to officials, the cause of death was a stroke. Several months pass and you hear a rumor that your loved one did not die from a stroke, but was murdered. According to this rumor, numerous medical and police reports explain exactly how your loved one was murdered. What would you do? Would you go on as if nothing had happened, or would you want to find out if the rumors were true or not? 
Well, if you continue to live as if nothing had happened then you would be taking a position similar to that of the 9/11 tragedy. On the other hand, if you wanted to find out if the rumors about the events surrounding the death of your loved one had any validity, then, as regards the 9/11 tragedy, you would be regarded as a quack.
Talk to anyone about the events of 9/11 and mention that you have reservations concerning the 9/11 Commission’s official report; you’ll probably receive a ridiculing stare, a shake of the head and a smirk. If you mention that you believe the buildings were brought down by controlled demolition, words such as conspiracy theorist, unpatriotic “truther,” or worse, would be coming your way in short order.
It is perhaps very human to want to believe what our government tells us is true. And sometimes the facts may take a back seat when strong emotions get in the way. Dorothy Lorig, a counseling psychologist, mentions that our worldview may be that our government is like our protector, or like our parents who would never lie to us or hurt us.  
Many good-intentioned, patriotic Americans sincerely believe that those questioning the official government version of 9/11 are attacking the government and disrespecting the heroes of that day: However, those demanding full explanations for the manner in which the 9/11 victims were murdered deny that allegation; they say they do so to show respect for the lives the victims lived, and the potential of the many lives lost.  

The official documents offered by the government explaining the events of 9/11 are included in The 9/11 Commission Report, released in July, 2004. This 7-year study was conducted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which is a non-regulatory federal agency within the U.S. Commerce Department’s Technology Administration. This study was funded by Congress through FEMA, and FEMA’s Building Performance Assessment Team (BPAT).

Independent scientists dealing strictly with hard facts have reviewed the NIST report findings. There appear to be considerable differences of opinion between what independent scientists and NIST believe happened on 9/11. It is the little- publicized collapse of World Trade Center Building 7 that is at the center of those differences and reveals the widest divide between the conclusions of outside scientific experts and those in the NIST. 

One of the initial problems mentioned by independent scientists was the fact that NIST did not follow standard protocol in investigating WTC building 7. It did not start its investigation until nearly all of the steel had been removed and destroyed. According to independent investigators, such action goes against the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Guide 921, which calls for saving the evidence, or justifying why the evidence was not saved, and also testing for explosives or accelerants when high order damage is involved. After 9/11, evidence was quickly removed. In fact, it was estimated that starting just two weeks after the collapse, approximately 400 truckloads per day of steel evidence were being shipped to China and melted.
In addition, NIST claimed that WTC 1, also referred to as the North Tower (which was hit at 8:46 am and collapsed at 10:29 am) and WTC 2 (referred to as the South Tower, hit at 9:03 am and collapsed at 9:59 am), fell due to a combination of factors: the impact of the planes, which dislodged fireproofing insulation, which weakened the structure; the amount of jet fuel released, and the resulting office fires. However, World Trade Center Building 7, a modern 47-story high-rise steel framed building — at the time taller than any other building in 33 states — was not soaked by jet fuel. It did not have its fireproofing insulation blown off, since it was not hit by a plane. Yet, with “normal” office fires visible on the south side of the building, it symmetrically fell in 6.5 seconds into its own footprint at 5:20 pm on 9/11.

Located 300 feet north of Tower One, Building 7 contained 40,000 tons of structural steel, 24 steel beam core columns and 57 perimeter columns. It had met all of the building codes when constructed in the mid 1980s. Yet it became the third steel framed building in world history to have the dubious honor of experiencing a total collapse due to office fires.  The first and second time such a total collapse was known to have occurred with steel framed buildings was WTC Building 1 and Building 2.  

“Impossible”, Kamal Obeid C.E., S.E, stated regarding the explanation offered by NIST for the collapse of WTC Building 7.  A civil and structural engineer with 30 years engineering practice, Obeid said that the one-column theory offered by NIST, whereby the collapse of column 79 on the 12th floor caused the entire building to symmetrically fall, is “embarrassing. This is the crime of the century,” the veteran engineer continued to assert. He urged other structural engineers to look at the evidence. According to Obeid, the collapse of Building 7 was, “a classic case of controlled demolition.”
Robert Bowman, Lt Col., USAF (ret.), who holds a Ph.D. in Aeronautics and Nuclear Engineering, said that the collapse of WTC Tower 7 was the smoking gun: “It is absolutely obvious to me that we have been lied to. That the government’s official story is physically impossible and that’s why we absolutely need a new investigation of 9/11.” 

According to NIST, their experts did not test for explosives, because they believed that none would be found, seemingly forgetting that terrorists used explosives in their 1993 attack on the Trade Center. Shyam Sunder, the lead investigator for the NIST team, stated that if explosives had been used to demolish Building 7, loud noises would have been heard; in his opinion, there were no witnesses to any loud noises.

However, scientists from the group “Architects and Engineers for 911 Truth” disagreed. They stated that there were many such noises captured on video, as well as eye-witnesses, including several firefighters, who stated on camera that they heard multiple explosion sounds coming from Building 7 prior to its collapse. On other audio recordings, large explosions could clearly be heard. Before his death, Barry Jennings, Deputy Director of the Emergency Services Department, NYC Housing Authority, stated several times in camera interviews his clear memory that when he stood in WTC Building 7 with Corporation Counsel, Michael D. Hess, just after the plane hit, “A big explosion blew us back into the 8th floor.” Firemen rescued both Jennings and Hess.
After proving that Building 7 had freefall acceleration for nearly 105 feet or approximately 8 floors, David Chandler, who holds a B.S. in Physics and an M.S. in mathematics, also questioned the NIST report. He stated, “What we are supposedly seeing is a building coming straight down through itself with zero resistance.” Chandler asserted that buildings don’t have zero resistance; therefore for Building 7 to fall at freefall speed, floors would have had to have been removed by controlled demolition.

Roland Angle, P.E. civil and structural engineer said, “NIST is telling us that the building below it (Building 7) ceased to exist for the first few seconds of the collapse of the building.”
In June of 2007, Dr. Steven Jones, who has a Ph.D. in physics, obtained a sample of 9/11 dust. After careful examination he determined that what he had uncovered within the sample was identified as nano-thermite, an advanced, engineered and energetic military-grade explosive or incendiary used in weaponry and for demolition purposes. Other scientists, including Niels Harrit, Professor Emeritus, Copenhagen University, a scientist who holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry and has had over 40 years of teaching experience, also tested 9/11 dust samples taken from other areas around Ground Zero. After finding nano-thermite, he posited that Building 7 was taken down by controlled demolition; for him this is a solidly scientific conclusion. Jones also proved that the tiny colored chips inside the dust were not WTC paint as first thought by some, but tiny spheres of iron—conclusive proof that thermite had been used to take down the buildings.
Independent scientists also pointed out that molten steel was seen pouring out of WTC Building 2, as evidenced by video footage, just before it collapsed. While “normal” office fires are not hot enough to produce molten steel, nano-thermite would easily produce it. In addition, firefighters reported seeing small rivers of molten steel that appeared “like lava” still flowing beneath the buildings several weeks after the attacks.
To address this issue, NIST doesn’t merely reject all of the photos and video evidence that clearly show the presence of molten steel. NIST asserts that the photos and video evidence do not even exist! As explained in a recent interview with Dr. John Gross, lead engineer for NIST, with reference to images of molten steel: “I know of absolutely nobody, no eyewitnesses, who says so, or produced it.” Gross said that it would be unlikely to have molten steel at Ground Zero, since steel melts at around 2,600 degrees Fahrenheit, and that it would be difficult to get those kinds of temperatures in an open fire. 
Yet physical evidence exists to prove that the steel melted: we can view several partially melted steel beams, the of which were melted and merged together into the shape of a much-publicized giant cross, as well as a giant chunk of fused steel and set in concrete. It is known as the “meteorite.” These pieces have been disregarded by NIST.

However, many local residents in Brooklyn and Queens do not disregard this evidence. They will tell you of the distinct WTC smell that lasted for months as those underground infernos burned, while spewing chemicals into the air. In fact, the fires below the ruble at Ground Zero burned for so long that a November, 19, 2001 article in the New York Times stated that some firefighting experts were calling the fire the “longest commercial building fire in United States history.” According to many independent scientists, nano-thermite can account for the longevity of the underground fires, since it needs no external oxygen for fuel; it produces its own.  
Whether you believe in the official government’s version of what happened on 9/11 or not, why would anyone object to having the above questions answered by way of a complete and comprehensive investigation?  The evidence still exists, but it won’t exist forever. And what will we say when our grandchildren ask us what steps we took about getting the answers to these very real questions? 

Patrick E. McCarthy received an award from the New York Press Association for his photographic coverage of the attack on 9/11. He lives in Middle Village with his family. Email Patrick:

**The views expressed in this column represent only those of the author and not the board or membership of the Juniper Park Civic Association.