0 versions of this essay critiqued the Draft of NIST’s Final Report. Version 1 includes the new section NIST’s Nist 800 61 pdf Response to its Critics. NIST’s investigation is often cited as proving the official theory that the plane crashes and fires caused the collapses.
Yet the Report does not explain why or how the buildings totally collapsed, despite the lack of a single historical precedent for a steel-framed skyscraper totally collapsing for any reason other than controlled demolition. NIST simply avoids these troublesome issues by placing them outside the scope of its investigation, claiming that “global collapse” was “inevitable” after the “initiation of collapse. This series of photographs show the North Tower at about 6, 8, and 10 seconds into its collapse. Neither NIST’s Final Report, nor any of its other documents, attempts to explain the explosiveness, systematic pulverization, speed, or straight-down symmetry of the collapses. NIST shows no interest in explaining the catastrophic total collapses, blithely asserting that “global collapse” was “inevitable” following “initiation. Its presumption that “collapse initiation” will automatically lead to “global collapse” is unfounded. Whereas the Report attempts to pre-empt challenges of the first type with the voluminous detail of its observations and models, it does not even address challenges of the second type.
Yet it must have been aware of such challenges. NIST’s lead investigator Shyam Sunder is extensively quoted in the Popular Mechanics article attacking “conspiracy theories. Many people in the buildings said that they heard or felt explosions. Virtually all the concrete of these enormous structures was pulverized into very fine dust. Much of this dust, along with pieces of steel and aluminum, was blown out horizontally several hundred feet. Most of the steel beams and columns came down in sections about 30 feet long, conveniently ready to be loaded on trucks. By truncating its investigation at “collapse initiation” NIST avoids having to consider and disclose the subsequent evidence of controlled demolition.
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