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Sept. 11 collapses not explained

Observer Viewpoint | Friday, February 25, 2005

I was intrigued to see that Wednesday World Trade Center structural engineer Leslie Robertson spoke on campus and briefly addressed the World Trade Center collapses. However, I was extremely disappointed to find yet another vague and confusing explanation from him regarding the collapses. This comes on the heels of news that only nearly half of the Sept. 11 victims’ remains have been identified due to insufficient DNA evidence.

There is a growing concern among the general population that the explanation of what happened to the towers on Sept. 11 is glaringly insufficient. The shock of images of the towers collapsing is gradually being replaced by skepticism about how this event could have happened. For example, how could fire produced by jet fuel inside of the planes get hot enough to melt the steel inside the towers? Kevin Ryan, a site manager for a division of Underwriters Laboratories (the product compliance and testing company that certified the steel used in the World Trade Centers) was recently fired for voicing his concerns that while “experts” told us that the towers collapsed due to steel melting at 2000 degrees Fahrenheit, the World Trade Center steel was ASTM E119 certified, meaning it withstood temperatures of 2000 degrees Fahrenheit for several hours in testing. Evidence suggests that the weak and quick-burning fires in the World Trade Center only exposed the steel to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. If you are an endorser of FEMA’s “Truss Theory,” take into consideration that the report left out the presence of cross trusses, and the fact that the tower’s inner cores were not stacked but a collection of columns. The core structure of the towers is inconsistent with the “zipper theory” which purports to explain the rapid demise of the towers. Observational evidence that shows concrete (notably already turned to dust before hitting the ground) fell at the same speed as the actual building is even more disturbing, taking into account that this implies that the towers encountered an inexplicable absence of resistance as they collapsed straight down, along the path of most resistance.

This brings me back to the recent news story of the unidentifiable remains of victims. A New York City firefighter put it best when he said, “You sift through two 110-story office buildings, and you don’t find a chair, you don’t find a desk, you don’t find anything.” Is this consistent with a collapse brought on by the force of a plane hitting the towers? Why do we still get the story that Building Seven was leveled because of internal fires when so many other buildings have withstood more intense fires for so long? These few small observations are really just the tip of a massive iceberg being discovered by a surprisingly large part of the population genuinely confused and genuinely angry about the lack of legitimate inquiry into what really happened on Sept. 11. There is a movement occurring that is larger than a few cheesy flash videos. What I’ve quickly noted above in no way represents the main or even best arguments against the official explanation. I’d encourage anyone curious to check out www.911truth.org.

Adam Fairholm


Knott Hall

Feb. 24