Sunday, January 21, 2007

9/11 Conspiracy Theories,controlled demolition hypothesis 2

Videos that show the fall of 7 World Trade Center have become a mainstay of presentations of the controlled demolition hypothesis. This was a 47-story steel-framed skyscraper that stood across Vesey Street north of the main WTC complex. Though not hit by a plane, it collapsed at about 5:20 p.m. EDT on the evening of September 11, 2001. No modern, steel-reinforced high-rise, had ever before collapsed because of an uncontrolled fire. NIST has postponed publication of its report several times, attributing the delays to reassignment of investigators to other tasks.

In addition to its being officially unexplained, proponents of controlled demolition often emphasize the collapse of WTC7 for two reasons. First, because it was not hit by a plane and, second, because its collapse looked even more like a bottom-to-top standard controlled demolition than the more explosive top-to-bottom collapses of the two main towers. Support for this theory comes from visually observed features of the collapse--the swift and symmetrical fall, the pulverization of concrete, the lateral ejection of debris from high up for large distances. They also cite an early report of molten and partly evaporated steel found in the debris.

In the PBS documentary America Rebuilds, which aired in September 2002, Larry Silverstein, the owner of Building Seven and leaseholder and insurance policy holder for the remainder of the WTC Complex, recalled a conversation with the Fire Department commander in which it was decided that "the smartest thing to do is just pull it", after which they "watched the building collapse." While Silverstein has issued a statement that rejects this interpretation, proponents of controlled demolition have taken the remark as a confession that the building was intentionally demolished.

In a New York Magazine interview in March 2006, Dr S. Shyam Sunder, NIST's lead WTC disaster investigator, said "We are studying the horizontal movement east to west, internal to the structure, on the fifth to seventh floors," and then added, "but truthfully, I don’t really know. We’ve had trouble getting a handle on Building No. 7." Hugo Bachmann and Jörg Schneider, both of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, believe that building 7 was intentionally demolished based on video footage.

Proponents have timed the collapse at just under seven seconds. Preliminary official investigations do not include the mechanics of the actual collapse, concentrating instead on the events leading up to it. The FEMA report begins its "timed collapse sequence" with a seismic event recorded at 5:22:33 pm. FEMA marks this as the time the building "begins to collapse." At this time, the report says, the east and west mechanical penthouses--the structures at the very top of the building--are still intact. Approximately thirty seconds later, FEMA says, video evidence shows the east mechanical penthouse begin to disappear into the building. Five seconds later the west penthouse also disappears, and at 5:22:10 "WTC 7 collapses completely." This is roughly the point at which Jones begins timing the collapse, noting that his results correspond with the free, unimpeded fall of the roofline. This observed "near freefall" collapse time is a recurrent theme of the controlled demolition hypothesis.

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