NIST has attempted to explain why WTC7 collapsed, but skeptics very quickly dismissed their 92-page report. To quote one witty commentator:
I hope demolition companies watched this report. Next time they want to bring down a large building, all they need to do is to set the the office furnoture [sic] on fire. This would be much cheaper than rigging up hundreds of charges through out the building.The highly productive George Washington blog has lots more contrary arguments, including this:
NIST said fires alone brought down Building 7, but other office fires have burned longer and hotter without causing collapse.See the link for URLs.
No Explosive Sounds
NIST also said:
"No blast sounds were heard on the audio tracks of video recordings during the collapse of WTC 7 or reported by witnesses."
What about this, this, this, this, this and this?
Moreover, as discussed below, high-tech explosives don't necessarily make the same loud "booms" that dynamite make.
High-Tech Explosive Residues
And why were there residues for high-tech explosives at ground zero (and see this)?
Surprisingly, perhaps, the NYT's Eric Lipton does a good job of addressing these concerns in his coverage of the report:
During the last four decades, other towers in New York, Philadelphia and Los Angeles have remained standing through catastrophic blazes that burned out of control for hours because of malfunctioning or nonexistent sprinkler systems. But 7 World Trade Center, which was not struck by a plane, is the first skyscraper in modern times to collapse primarily as a result of a fire. Adding to the suspicion is the fact that in the rush to clean up the site, almost all of the steel remains of the tower were disposed of, leaving investigators in later years with little forensic evidence...Exactly right: the best science money can buy.
The skeptics — including several who attended Thursday’s news conference — were unimpressed. They have long argued that an incendiary material called thermite, made of aluminum powder and a metal oxide, was used to take down the trade center towers, an approach that would not necessarily result in an explosive boom. They also have argued that a sulfur residue found at the World Trade Center site is evidence of an inside job.
Dr. Sunder said the investigators chose not to use the computer model to evaluate whether a thermite-fueled fire might have brought down the tower, since 100 pounds of it would have had to have been stacked directly against the critical column that gave way, which he said they did not believe had occurred.
To the skeptics, it was a glaring omission.
“It is very difficult to find what you are not looking for,” said Shane Geiger, who contributes to a Web site that follows the topic and who had come to Maryland from Texas to quiz Dr. Sunder about his findings, with a bumper sticker on his laptop computer that says, “9-11 was an inside job.”...
Within moments after the news conference ended, leaders of a group called Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth held their own telephone conference briefing, dismissing the investigation as flawed.
“How much longer do we have to endure the coverup of how Building 7 was destroyed?” said Richard Gage, a California architect and leader of the group.
Told of the doubts, Dr. Sunder said he could not explain why the skepticism would not die.
“I am really not a psychologist,” he said. “Our job was to come up with the best science.”
Listen, I am not civil engineer. But when a key report like this does not even address a major issue like the potential use of thermite, which has been discussed countless times on "conspiracy" blogs, what are we supposed to believe? The 911 Commission, which Bush and Cheney resisted even setting up, failed to deal with similar glaringly obvious possibilities. We are entitled to ask why. We are entitled to remain skeptical. We are entitled to draw our own conclusions.
Unfortunately, the Bush administration has already been caught out on several massive lies, not least the carefully orchestrated nonsense about Saddam's WMDs and his links to Al Quaeda. Credibility, once lost, is very hard to regain. We are entitled to demand airtight evidence from these mendacious criminals, and once again - as with 911, as with the anthrax attacks, as with PlameGate and so much more - the facts just don't add up.
This NIST report has been another colossal waste of US taxpayer money. But no doubt it will give the McCain campaign a big boost in the polls, which is all that really matters to those who commissioned it.