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19 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
85 Points

WTC 7 was a controlled demolition

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/2/2009 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 15,652 times Debate No: 9910
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (142)
Votes (16)




I am here to scientifically prove the world trade center seven was a controlled demolition.

Here are the forces that destroy buildings;
Controlled demolition
or an explosion

A typical controlled demolition has several characteristics
1. A sudden onset of destruction at base of structure
2. strait down, symmetrical collapse into footprint
3. Demolition waves remove column support
4. Free-fall speed though path of greatest resistance
5. Total dismemberment of steel structure for shipping
6. Minimal damage to adjacent structures
7. sounds and flashes of explosives
8. Enormous clouds of pulverized concrete
9. Squibs: Explosive charges visible at upper floors
10. Chemical evidence of cutter charges

I will now explain how WTC 7 demonstrates each of these characteristics, but first lets learn about World Trade Center 7. It was 47 stories tall, it would be the tallest building in 33 states, and it was NOT hit by an airplane. Yet it was the third high-rise to collapse on 9/11 (110 yards away from N tower). WTC 7 was hit by debris from the north tower and collapsed 7 hours later at 5:20pm. It also had office fires on the 12th and 11th floor and the 7th floor on the north side of the building, as well as a fire on the 13th floor which spread from the east side to the north-face.

ok now to the demolition characteristics

1. A sudden onset of destruction at base of structure; here is the an Emergency Worker who was an eyewitness to the sudden onset

2. strait down, symmetrical collapse into footprint Here is the video of wtc7 completely collapsing Strait down in 6.5 seconds with no resistance.

Dan rather is presenting the video this is what he said ".... it's reminiscent of those pictures we've all seen too much on television where a building was deliberately destroyed by well-placed dynamite to knock it down"

here is a side by side comparison to acknowledge a controlled demolition.

Into its own footprint

3. Demolition waves remove column support
How did 23 core-columns give way at once? Can fire cause the core columns to fail essentially "simultaneously" (after columns under the east penthouse) such that the building would collapse straight down, rapidly and symmetrically?

4. Free-fall speed though path of greatest resistance
The following link is the data plotted from the actual building fall.
The curve (theoretical free fall at constant acceleration) is then overlaid on top of the data.
The data neatly fits the curve.
Therefore the steel columns gave almost no resistance to the falling building.
Were they "removed" by fire? or by explosives?

5. Total dismemberment of steel structure for shipping
A 47-story skyscraper compressed to stories
The latter picture indicates a total dismemberment of the steel skeleton

these buildings collapsed and toppled over
they are recognizable as buildings (concrete)

6. Minimal damage to adjacent structures
A Minimal damage to adjacent Post office and verizon office bldg.
requires precise control of detonation sequence

7. sounds of explosions
Barry Jennings, NY office of emergency Mgmt. Eyewitness to WTC7 explosions-before collapse.

Craig Bartmer, NYPD eyewitness to explosions

And explosions recorded at FDNY post-late morning

8. Enormous Pyroclastic clouds of pulverized concrete

9. Pools of molten iron
This section applies to the twin towers as well as WTC 7

that was not molten aluminum from an airplane.

Wtc structural engineer; eyewitness molten metal

"as of 21 days after the attacks, the fires were still burning and molten steel was still running." -Leslie Robertson, structural engineer responsible for the design of the wtc.

Molten metal on the street

Saw pools of "literally molten steel" a the WTC - Peter Tully of tully construction

"I talked to many contractor and they said they actually saw molten metal beams had just totally had been melted because of the heat" -chaplain Herb Trimpe

"descended deep below street level to areas where underground fires still burned and steel flowed in molten streams." -reporter with rare access to the debris at ground zero.

"fires are still activley burning and the smoke is very intense... in some pockets now being uncovered they are finding molten steel." -Alison Geyh, PhD.

there are many many more eyewitnesses to the molten metal
A massive heat source bends steel columns with no buckling

or the molten metal "meteorites"

Or you can look at the nasa infrared photo that nasa took that shows you were the molten pools of metal are.

HAHA and yet nist denies the existence of the molten metal

10. Chemical Evidence of thermate cutter charges

could thermate be responsible for that molten metal?

Here is the evidence of thermite in the wtc dust

Unignited thermite found in the WTC dust

With all this evidence we can establish direct evidence of explosion destruction.

although i have much more argument i will leave it here for now.

the official story is the conspiracy theory not this. this is called conspiracy fact so please don't call me a conspiracy theorist.


The collapse of WTC 7 was analyzed by a large team of qualified engineers under the direction of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The team comprised over 200 engineers, more than half from outside the government. The report is given at

The collapse sequence is described starting on page 21. It is surprisingly mundane, and, incidentally, quite different from the mechanisms causing the collapse of WTC 1 & 2. Debris from the fall of WTC 1 & 2 damaged seven exterior columns of the south and west faces of WTC 7, and started fires interior fires. The fuel within WTC 7 was equivalent to 32 kg of paper per square meter. The sprinkler system failed in the building due to failure of the water supply, and due to the same lack of water, the Fire Department could not extinguish the fire. The intense fire caused the heated steel to expand, which placed stress on adjacent columns.

"In this case, the floor beams on the east side of the building expanded enough that they pushed the girder spanning between columns 79 and 44 to the west on the 13th floor. . . . Many of these floors had already been partially weakened by the fires in the vicinity of column 79. This left column 79 with insufficient lateral support, and as a consequence, the column buckled eastward, becoming the initial local failure for collapse initiation."

The report shows that the timing and pattern of the collapse were consistent with all of the observed data. Detailed computer simulation verifies the analysis. Moreover, several hypotheses involving explosives were tested and found to be inconsistent ith observations. Explosives would have made shock waves much larger that actually observed and would have blown out windows inconsistent with that observed.

Structure Magazine reported the detailed analysis of the WTC 7 collapse. "A collapse mechanism analysis performed for the removal of column 79 produced a deformed shape with kink in the roof of the east penthouse, as captured in actual videos and photos taken that day."

The esolution is wrong because it is inconsistent with competent analysis and the observed facts. It is not credible to suppose that 200+ highly qualified engineers form diverse organization would participate in a conspiracy to cover up the murder of 3000 citizens, and even less conceivable that none would ever recant in the passing years.

Pro claims that there are ten characteristics of controlled demolition that match WTC 7. The supposed characteristics of controlled demolition that Pro cites do not derive from any true authority on such demolition, but as far as I can track down, from a retired professor of religion. In any case, some of items on the list [3.5.7,9,10] are not characteristic of controlled demolitions and the rest are characteristic of any building collapse. One of the established characteristics of controlled demolition missing from the list is that the building requires elaborate preparation, exposing steel columns and wiring up detonators. Yet none of 4000 people working in WTC 7 saw any preparation. How was that accomplished?

Note that thermite is not an explosive. Thermite burns, but it does not explode. It is not used in controlled demolition because its ignition is too unreliable and it melts steel too slowly to be controllable. Hence, if thermite were used as claimed by Pro, then the citing of explosions is wrong.

1. Sudden onset is consistent with virtually all mechanisms of building collapse. Skyline Towers in Virginia collapsed suddenly due to improper construction techniques. The Sampoong Department Store in Korea collapsed due to dragging a heavy air conditioner over a column.

2. Straight down symmetrical collapse is due to gravity. All large buildings will fall straight down because the structure cannot resist the force. Small reinforced concrete buildings may tip over because of the relatively low mass relative to the strength of the structure.

3. The columns did not collapse simultaneously, but rather within about a few seconds as shown to be consistent with the NIST simulations. The building collapse began internally before the outside showed collapse. Videos show the east penthouse moving before the exterior collapse. See the Structure Magazine article.

4. Controlled demolitions do not use explosives on the upper floors, only near the base. Consequently, the rate at which the building falls will be the same regardless of whether it is a controlled demolition or not. Under the forces of collapse, the steel fails quickly by brittle fracture.

5. Pro supposes that thermite or shaped charges were placed at a predetermined length on every piece of steel in the building to cut in into pieces. This would require exposing the steel, placing charges, and wiring it all up. this could not conceivably be accomplished without the 4000 occupants noticing, therefore it didn't happen. The metal breaks from the forces of collapse. It is not a part of controlled demolitions.

6. Why would conspirators want to minimize damage to adjacent buildings? In any case, all the WTC buildings were severely damaged. What controlled demolition experts worry about is shattered glass and flying debris.

7. People heard loud noises. There is no evidence they were by explosive charges. A likely cause is from transformer vaults in the building. Note the testing of the hypothesis in the NIST report, cited previously.

8. Every large building collapse produces clouds of pulverized concrete from the force of the descending structure. In a controlled demolition, the energy in the explosives is tiny compared to the energy in the building, so in controlled demolitions the explosives have nothing to do with the dust cloud. The energy in one of the WTC towers was equivalent to the energy in 5000 tons of TNT. WTC 7 was about half the height, so it probably had the equivalent eergy of about 2500 tons of TNT. If you drop a bowling ball on your foot, the potential energy of the ball held in your hand is converted to kinetic energy as it falls. The same principle applies on a large scale to building collapse.

Dr. Frank Greening has done the detailed calculation for the WTC

9. There were pools of molten metal several weeks after the collapse the WTC buildings. Thermite can melt metal, but the liquid metal solidifies again very quickly, which is why thermite is used for welding. No method, neither using thermite nor anything else, that will keep metal liquid for weeks with one shot. There had to be heat continually applied over the long period of time. The explanation is a natural furnace effect in the debris piles whereby combustibles continued to supply high heat.

"NIST concluded that the source of the molten material was aluminum alloys from the aircraft,...Pure liquid aluminum would be expected to appear silvery. However, the molten metal was very likely mixed with large amounts of hot, partially burned, solid organic materials ... which can display an orange glow,"

10. Thermite is aluminum and iron oxide. With an aluminum plane, cladding, and furnishings and with steel beams, it is likely that the oxides would appear in the dust. Conspiracy theorists have no interest in any explanation that does not fit their theory, of course, so they do not consider the possibility of it being a natural product.

The WTC collapse is well explained by real engineering. The ad hoc theories by rambling amateurs are self-contradictory and do not fit the facts.
Debate Round No. 1


1. A sudden onset of destruction at BASE of tower roy. That Air conditioner crushed the top of the building leaving the outside of the structure intact, the skyline towers toppled, neither were collapsed by "fire". And neither of them had a total dismemberment of the steel skeleton like WTC 7. [7]

2. All buildings will fall strait down? Yea thats if it was a controlled demolition, this is what buildings look like that are not demolished [8], they topple over following the path of least resistance, or they collapse but they are still recognizable as concrete, but they don't go strait down into its own footprint in six seconds unless you can cut the core columns all at once. You say small reinforced structure may tip over, yes, but thats irrelevant, thats obviously not what happened with seven.
3.The videos show the whole structure going down at the same time, not one weak column first, ALL the columns simultaneously. you admit they fail within a few seconds of each other, office fires cannot do that. Hello That would mean that the 23 steel columns were cut within a few seconds, by fires. IMPOSSIBLE, you say only one column was weak, although thats false too steel is not effected by low burning fires. But how roy Please tell me how all those columns "gave way" within a few seconds of each other from OFFICE FIRES. The columns were in pieces big enough to ship in a dump truck, which is what happened. The WTC wreckage was shipped overseas to china before any experts could even examine. Would experts not want to analyze the three biggest structural failures in the history of the world?

4. <<"Controlled demolitions do not use explosives on the upper floors, only near the base">> (your right, remember number one, sudden onset destruction at BASE of towers?). But you state Regardless of weather or not it's a controlled demolition, it will still fall at the same rate. Well yes gravity is gravity, but how do you make a building fall at freefall speed? You have to cut the core columns simultaneously (steel core columns of course). and No fire cant do that

5. 4000 people? Were did you get that number? Let's look at the tenant list for WTC 7. CIA's underground New York station, Secret Service NYC headquarters, department of defense, NYC mayor Giulians office of emergency Management, and last but not least The securities and exchange commission! not to mention A couple weeks prior 9/11, workers commented on random power outages, resulting in evacuation of the premises. [rest of number five in comments]

6. I'm not even going to waste my space on this one because theres so much more facts to cover, But just to say it, there were steel girders that projected 100 of yards into other buildings. Haha but i guess office fires did that too rite?
7. [I'd like to cover this one in the comments as i am running out of space]
8. Roy the clouds produced by WTC 7 spanned over 4 square miles, that is HUGE. I have asked you twice now were you got the information that WTC 7 has the potential energy of 2500 tons of tnt, and you have yet to tell me were your getting that statement, because frankly i have never heard that buildings have more energy that explosives, that actually sounds pretty ridiculous. And if they did then how does one activate that energy, i would like a full explanation.

9. -The last fire was not extinguished until dec 19, 2001, over 3 months after the attack.
Hundreds of people saw that molten metal.
"It's been six weeks and There are still pieces of steel being pulled out [from as far as six stories underground] that are still cherry red."
"while the fire department was throwing water on the pile, the water would bounce back and burn us. That's how hot it was." -John Feal / Demolition worker at Ground Zero
"...numerous fires were still burning and smoldering. Underground it was still so hot that molten metal dripped down the sides of the wall from building 6." -9/11 commision report
Office fires did not create this molten metal meteorite[2], nor did they bend (with OUT buckling) 5in thick steel column. [3] that is just the facts.
Here is a USGS aerial photo 9-16-08 [4] It shows Temperatures under WTC 1 & 2 and WTC 7, 1160 degree F, 1340 degree F, and 1377 degrees F. Office fires only burn at 800 degrees F TOPS. So what is responsible for those pools of molten metal?[10]
Thermite, an HTA (high-temperature accelerant) typically used in military operations, would have been able to LIQUEFY the steel. Thermite can reach a temperature of 4500 dF in 2 seconds, and steel begins to melt at 2750 dF.
"You couldn't even begin to imagine how much water was pumped in there. It was like you were creating a giant lake." - Tom Manley, FDNY
Thermite contains its own supply of oxygen, it will burn just as well underwater, water sprayed on a thermite reaction will instantly be boiled into steam.

Was the NFPA 921: Guide for fires and explosive investigations used? (standard for arson investigation)
Sec. 12-4 "Unusual residues ...Could arise from thermite, mangnesium or other pyrotechnic materials'.
-NIST acknowledges that id did NOT look for such evidence. But others did.
**Chemical analysis on previously molten metal from the WTC** DR Steven Jones, Physicist
The signature of thermite.. Thermite Reactions compounds used to inginte a fire produce a characteristic burn pattern.
White ash, White-yellow hot liquid metal, intense white reaction zone seen. and leave behind unique chemical evidence, elements such as copper, aluminum, silicon, iron, and calcium, And unusual elements such a manganese, and fluorine. A small Piece of molten metal from the wtc was sent to doctor jones. The piece shows predominantly iron so he rules out aluminum fro jet planes[11] The metal also has predominate manganese so he rules out molten steel as a componet. He also finds much Flourine in the metal. SO we have Manganese, and flourine in abundance.
Manganese is from the potassium permangete (KMnO4)- commonly used as an oxidizer in thermite.
Flourine is used in sol-gel type thermite charges. Hence K, Mn, and F are often present in the residue and are part of a "thermire fingerprint".

10. Roy says thermite doesn't explode. Here is an example of a thermite explosion experiment. [12]
We know that thermite Reaches 4500 degrees F in 2-3 seconds. And the evidence of thermite being present in abundant[13-16] AS well as sol-gel a super thermite binder [17]. As well as unignited thermite[18-20]


<<"The WTC collapse is well explained by real engineering. The ad hoc theories by rambling amateurs are self-contradictory and do not fit the facts.">>

Experts said no building like it, a modern, steel-framed high-rise had EVER collapsed because of a fire.
And no roy the people making these claims are Quite qualified, and they DON'T work for the Government.

there was lots of things i didn't get to say but one more point. Up to 400 trucks a day came and removed the steel from the WTC crime scene and shipped it over seas to china. That is called destruction of evidence and it is illeg


Q1. What is the authoritative source for the list of ten characteristics of controlled demolitions claimed? Specifically justify the ones I claim not to be characteristics, such as having explosives on upper stories and cutting beams to small length.

Q2. In particular, what authority claims that *only* controlled demolitions have the claimed characteristics.

Q3. Is there any evidence that thermite has ever been used in a controlled demolition anywhere?

Q4. Pro, did you read the NIST report on WTC 7? Do you understand it?

1. The onset was not at the base, it was inside the structure on about the 7th of the 47 floors. The NIST simulation was consistent with the photographic evidence. Note that the penthouse on the top moved before the rest of the structure. There was a bulge in the side of the building. Controlled demolition is inconsistent with those events.

2. I did not say all buildings fall straight down. Pro should read my argument and respond to it.

3. No, the videos only show the outside of the structure, not the inside where the failure began. The office fire did not cause simultaneous failure. The NIST report explains the mechanism of progressive collapse in detail. Pro should read it. Pro claims the timing given by simulations is impossible, but he gives no qualified authority who supports his claim. A qualified authority is a structural engineering familiar with the types of simulations used in such analysis. NIST had over 200 of such qualified experts, and independent reviews by the engineering departments of major educational institutions verified the analysis. The Wikipedia article I referenced pointed to the independent reviews.

The NIST report explained the mechanism of collapse of WTC 7 and I summarized the analysis. Pro should at least read my summary. Unlike WTC 1 & 2, WTC 7 did not collapse because the fire weakened the steel. WTC 7 collapsed because the heat expanded the steel near the fire. Thermal expansion creates a tremendous force that distorted the structure. The bending caused failure of column 79 by buckling. WTC 7 had an unusual design because it was initially designed as having a smaller footprint, and they patch on a periphery late in the design process. The collapse was a product of this unusual design. Pro should read the report, which explains it in detail.

Fires in high rise buildings in which the sprinkler system is inoperative are quite rare. NIST cited two others, and those did not collapse, because they had different designs. Pro supposes that there should be a long history of structural collapses due to fire. That idea supposes that bad designs are repeated. We expect every major design failure to be corrected in future designs. The analysis of the WTC 7 was performed so that future designs will avoid that flaw. Engineering designs do fail; not only buildings, but bridges, dams, airplanes, satellites, antennas, and space shuttles. The goal is for each failures not to be repeated, and that is pretty much what happens. Failures due to shoddy construction recur, but design failures are usually corrected. The space shuttle exploded due to an O-ring failure due to low temperatures. That never happened before? What would be difficult to explain would be it happening again. Unique failures are what we expect. We don't expect and future building to fail by the WTC 7 mechanism.

4. Pro asks, "Well yes gravity is gravity, but how do you make a building fall at freefall speed?" It is because there is nothing in the building strong enough to resist the fall. The steel doesn't squish like a spring. Tempered steel is strong but brittle, so it snaps when overstressed. It shatters like glass, which is very fast. Cracks propagate at something like 20 times the speed of sound. However, even if you don't understand it, there are no explosives involved so we expect it to be the same in all collapses.

5. The number of 4000 occupants is given in the NIST report. Wikipedia has a good article on WTC 7 with many references. It says, "In all, 7 World Trade Center had 1,868,000 sq ft (174,000 m�) of office space." That is about half the floor space of the Empire State Building. For comparison, the Empire State Building site says, "More than 15,000 people work in the building and another 10,000 to 20,000 people enter the building each day to visit tenants, patronize our stores, banks or shops, or go the our Observatories." Half that many workers for WTC 7 would be in the ball park, although WTC 7 would not have any tourists.

If there were 4000 occupants, that would be about 450 sq. ft. per occupant. That includes hallway and utility space, but even so it seems quite generous, given that office cubicles are typically 100 sq. ft. or less. Nearly two-thirds of the building was occupied by a brokerage firm. The government agencies cited by Pro occupied less than 2% of the total space. No one saw any preparations for controlled demolition, and those preparations would be elaborate.

6. Pro admits that substantial debris was outside the building footprint, contrary to his asserted characteristics of controlled demolition. Pro asks "Haha but i guess office fires did that too rite?" [sic] No, kinetic energy from about 500,000 tons of stuff falling an average of 250 feet does that.

7. Pro did not respond.

8. Pro claims, "I have asked you twice now were you got the information that WTC 7 has the potential energy of 2500 tons of tnt, and you have yet to tell me were your getting that statement ..." I gave the reference to Prof. Greening's paper that gives the energy calculations in detail. Greening shows the energy is ample to pulverize concrete. The energy given in joules can be converted to tons of TNT

9. I agreed there was molten metal. I asked Pro how thermite, or anything else, could melt metal in one shot so that it stayed melted for weeks. Pro ignored my question and wasted space reasserting what was agreed to. The metal would rapidly resolidify without a continuing heat source. NIST explained it as a natural furnace effect in the heaps of debris.

10. "Thermite is a pyrotechnic composition of a metal powder and a metal oxide, which produces an aluminothermic reaction known as a thermite reaction. It is not explosive, but can create short bursts of extremely high temperatures focused on a very small area for a short period of time." It is not an explosive. Pro says, it reaches high temperatures in *2-3 seconds* Two to three seconds is not an explosion. Pro's reference 12 is a text slide.

Pro should explain why natural processes can be excluded from producing such common substances as iron oxide in the dust. Repeating that it might be thermite is not convincing, because the materials are so common, thermite is not used in controlled demolition, and preparing the building for controlled demolition without any of 4000 people noticing is inconceivable.

11. Pro notes a story that two months after 9/11 that engineers were baffled over the collapse of WTC 7. That's true. Conspiracy theorists concluded within days that it was a conspiracy. By contrast, engineers need substantial work to derive the real reasons. Plane crashes, for example, usually take a couple of years to come to a conclusion. In this case WTC 1 & 2 were given higher priority. Quick conclusions about difficult problems are a sign of gross incompetence.

12. Pro says, "Up to 400 trucks a day came and removed the steel from the WTC crime scene and shipped it over seas to china. That is called destruction of evidence and it is illeg[al]" Recovering the bodies was a higher priority than preserving the rubble heap, so they cleared the rubble as fast as possible. That's common sense and exactly what should have been done.
Debate Round No. 2


Never before in history has a steel building collapsed from fire, therefore it would be ridiculous to say that anyone knew WTC was going to "collapse". How would anyone know that if it has never happened in history before. Well the fact of the matter is that Officials did know wtc 7 was going to fall;

BBC announces WTC 7 collapsed "due to structural failure" 20 minutes before it happened! how would they know a structural failure has occurred if it hasn't even happened yet.

The oral histories released on August 12, 2005 contain many reports of warnings of the collapse of WTC Building 7 at various times during the day. Most of the warnings were from after about 4 PM.

Joseph Cahill -- Paramedic (E.M.S.)
The reason we were given for why we were moving was that 7 World Trade Center was going to collapse or was at risk of collapsing. So we must have been somewhere in this area where we would have had a problem with that. But I honestly don't remember.
They wanted us to move the treatment sector because of 7 World Trade Center was imminently to collapse, which, of course, it did.
Interview, 10/15/2001, New York Times

Tiernach Cassidy -- Firefighter (F.D.N.Y.), Engine 3
Then, like I said, building seven was in eminent collapse. They blew the horns. They said everyone clear the area until we got that last civilian out. We tried to give another quick search while we could, but then they wouldn't let us stay anymore. So we cleared the area. ... So yeah, then we just stayed on Vesey until building seven came down.
Interview, 12/30/2001, New York Times

Pete Castellano -- Firefighter (F.D.N.Y.), Ladder 149
We were ordered down from the tower ladder because of a possible collapse at Tower 7.
Interview, 12/28/2001, New York Times

Jason Charles -- E.M.T. (E.M.S.), Battalion 13
So we started heading over to where Building 7 was at and they were like Building 7 is going to collapse, you can't go over there, this and that, and there was another building that they thought was going to collapse that was like right behind the triage center, the building that we were in.
Interview, 1/23/2002, New York Times

Frank Congiusta -- Battalion Fire Chief (F.D.N.Y.)
While we were searching the subbasements, they decided that Seven World Trade Center, which was across the street, was going to collapse. So they called us out.
When I came out, they were calling us on the radio to tell us to get out. Then I reported that the search was negative, and then they wouldn't let anybody near the site pretty much, because Seven World Trade Center was going to come down.
Interview, 1/8/2002, New York Times

Louis Cook -- Paramedic (E.M.S.)
We got to Chambers and Greenwich, and the chief turns around and says, 'There's number Seven World Trade. That's the OEM bunker.' We had a snicker about that. We looked over, and it's engulfed in flames and starting to collapse.
We hear over the fire portable, 'Everybody evacuate the site. It's going to collapse.' Mark Steffens starts yelling, 'Get out of here! Get out of here! Get out of here! We've got to go! We've got to go! It's going to collapse.'
We pulled the car over, turned around and just watched it pancake.
Interview, 10/17/2001, New York Times

Frank Cruthers -- Fire Chief (F.D.N.Y.)
Early on, there was concern that 7 World Trade Center might have been both impacted by the collapsing tower and had several fires in it and there was a concern that it might collapse. So we instructed that a collapse area --
-- be set up and maintained so that when the expected collapse of 7 happened, we wouldn't have people working in it. Thre was considerable discussion with Con Ed regarding the substation in that building and the feeders and the oil coolands and so on. And their concern was of the type of fire we might have when it collapsed.
Interview, 10/31/2001, New York Times

Roy David -- Fire Lieutenant (F.D.N.Y.), Battalion 8
At Pace University we had -- we set up -- I'm sorry, we set up in that lobby of that building, the lobby and the actual whole first floor. There was a threat of collapse of building number seven, so 225, we had to evacuate it.
Interview, 10/12/2001, New York Times

Brian Fitzpatrick -- Firefighter (F.D.N.Y.), Ladder 22
We were then positioned on Vesey Street between North End and the West Side Highway because there was an imminent collapse on 7 World Trade, and it did collapse.
Interview, 12/6/2001, New York Times

Joseph Fortis -- E.M.T (E.M.S.), Battalion 13
When the third building came down, we were on that corner in front of the school, and everybody just stood back. They pulled us all back at the time, almost about an hour before it, because they were sure -- they knew it was going to come down, but they weren't sure. So they pulled everyone back, and everybody stood there and we actually just waited and just waited and waited until it went down, because it was unsafe.
Interview, 11/9/2001, New York Times

Ray Goldbach -- Fire Captain (F.D.N.Y.), Executive Assistant to the Fire Commissioner
There was a big discussion going on at that point about pulling all of our units out of 7 World Trade Center. Chief Nigro didn't feel it was worth taking the slightest chance of somebody else getting injured. So at that point we made a decision to take all of our units out of 7 World Trade Center because there was a potential for collapse.
Made the decision to back everybody away, took all the units and moved them all the way back toward North End Avenue, which is as far I guess west as you could get on Vesey Street, to keep them out of the way.
Interview, 10/24/2001, New York Times

George Holzman -- Firefighter (F.D.N.Y.), Ladder 47
We stayed there for quite sometime when I don't even know who, I think it was someone, Lieutenant Lowney spoke to, asked us to leave the area, they were concerned about 7 World Trade Center collapsing.
Interview, 1/17/2002, New York Times

Edward Kennedy -- Firefighter (F.D.N.Y.), Engine 44
That was the only Mayday that I remember, and to tell you the truth, the only guy that really stands out in my mind that I remember being on the radio was Chief Visconti.
I remember him screaming about 7, No. 7, that they wanted everybody away from 7 because 7 was definitely going to collapse, they don't know when, but it's definitely going to come down, just get the hell out of the way, everybody get away from it, make sure you're away from it, that's an order, you know, stuff like that.
Interview, 1/17/2002, New York Times

Matthew Long -- Firefighter (F.D.N.Y.), Ladder 43
And at that point they were worried that 7 was coming down so they were calling for everyone to back out.
So I waited for -- we waied for the boss, Lieutenant Rohan, in the middle of the rubble and we all walked out together back to the West Side Highway and pretty much hung out by the marina when 7 came down.
Because they were just adamant about 7 coming down immediately. I think we probably got out of that rubble and 18 minutes later is when 7 came down.
Interview, 10/9/2001, New York Times

WTC 7 showed all the characteristics of a controlled demoltion, there was foreknowlege of its collapse, and chemical evidence of cutter charges. AND IT HAS SHOWN NO CHARACTERISTICS OF DESTRUCTION BY FIRE. Need i say more?

I have showed you the evidence, I am sorry that these are the facts. I didn't want to admit it either but it's time to man up and face the damn facts. WTC 7 was brought down proffesonially. Even 6 of the ten 911 commision mebers have came out and said there is a coverup. Wake up, for the sake of your children and family, for the sake of America.


Remarkably, Pro abandoned all his previous arguments in the face my rebuttals, and in the last round has introduced a completely new argument. I will rebut his new argument first, then return to summarizing the unanswered points I made previously.

Argument that WTC 7 Collapse Could Not Be Predicted

The new argument is that the Fire Department predicted that the building was going to collapse, which Pro claims they could not have known by observation of the building. Hence, he implies, conspirators must have tipped off officials that they were about to demolish the building. That would be the same conspirators who supposedly had no qualms about murdering 3000 people in WTC 1 & 2, but who then wanted to avoid unnecessary injuries in WTC 7.

The reasons for deciding that WTC 7 was about to collapse were: 1) Apparent serious damage, 2) A bulge in the southwest corner of the building, 3) creaking noises indicating structural failures, and 4) the risks posed by the open atrium design. Authorities viewed the evidence in the light of the collapses of WTC 1 & 2 which demonstrated the possibility of steel high rise buildings collapsing.

The Wikipedia article on WTC 7 has a good summary with references: "At approximately 2:00 p.m., firefighters noticed a bulge in the southwest corner of 7 World Trade Center between the 10th and 13th floors, a sign that the building was unstable and might collapse.[33] During the afternoon, firefighters also heard creaking sounds coming from the building.[34] Around 3:30 pm FDNY Chief Daniel Nigro decided to halt rescue operations, surface removal, and searches along the surface of the debris near 7 World Trade Center and evacuate the area due to concerns for the safety of personnel.[33][35] At 5:20 p.m. EDT on September 11, 2001, 7 World Trade Center collapsed."

"...also we were pretty sure that 7 World Trade Center would collapse. Early on, we saw a bulge in the southwest corner between floors 10 and 13, and we had put a transit on that and we were pretty sure she was going to collapse. You actually could see there was a visible bulge, it ran up about three floors. It came down about 5 o'clock in the afternoon, but by about 2 o'clock in the afternoon we realized this thing was going to collapse." Deputy Chief Peter Hayden

"1 - Although prior to that day high-rise structures had never collapsed, The collapse of WTC 1 & 2 showed that certain high-rise structures subjected to damage from impact and from fire will collapse. ... 2. The collapse of WTC 1 damaged portions of the lower floors of WTC 7. ... 3. WTC 7, we knew, was built on a small number of large columns providing an open Atrium on the lower levels. ... 4. numerous fires on many floors of WTC 7 burned without sufficient water supply to attack them. ... For these reasons I made the decision (without consulting the owner, the mayor or anyone else - as ranking fire officer, that decision was my responsibility) to clear a collapse zone surrounding the building and to stop all activity within that zone. Approximately three hours after that order was given, WTC 7 collapsed." Dan Nigro, Chief of Department FDNY

Photos of WTC 7 before its collapse show that it had suffered major damage.

Pro contends that because no steel building had ever collapsed before solely due to fire, that it would be unreasonable to suppose that WTC 7 would collapse. However, few reasonable people would suppose that something never happening was grounds for overruling the clear evidence that just such a thing was about to happen. Everything that has ever happened happened a first time, and that first time was without precedent. For example, the Tacoma Narrows bridge collapses due to resonance set up by wind conditions. When the bridge started oscillating, it was perfectly reasonable to believe it was going to collapse. No one in his right mind would rule it out on the grounds it hadn't happened before.

Summary of the Debate

Pro's previous thesis in this debate was that there are ten identifying characteristics of controlled demolition and that WTC 7 showed all ten of these characteristics. Pro could provide no authoritative source for the alleged ten characteristics, and I traced them to a retired professor of religion, who apparently invented them. In any case, many of the alleged characteristics are false: no explosives are used in upper stories, beams are not cut into transport lengths as part of demolition, thermite is not an explosive and as such it is never used in controlled demolition. The other characteristics cited by Pro are common to any large building collapse: the building falls close to straight down due to gravity, the building falls at close to free-fall rate, and a cloud of dust is produced by the energy of the falling mass. In real controlled demolitions, there are no explosives used in the upper part of the building but the rate of fall and cloud of dust are produced nonetheless.

A common characteristic of real controlled demolitions is that extensive building preparation is required, yet none of the 4000 occupants noticed any preparation. I asked Pro how it could be that even as determined a conspiracy as the Mafia cannot keep secrets for long, yet there was no direct evidence of a 9/11 conspiracy from conspirators. Pro did not respond. Throughout the debate I asked pertinent questions, and failed to respond to any of them. For example, I asked Pro repeatedly how it would be possible for a sudden shot of thermite to keep steel melted for weeks, rather than having the steel resolidify in a minute or so, as happens when thermite is used for welding. Pro had no response.

During the debate I explained the real cause of the WTC 7 collapse as verified by computer simulation and over 200 qualified engineers employed by NIST, about half under contract from outside the government. Pro declined to say if he ever read the report and gave no evidence of errors in the analysis. Independent authorities in structures at universities (cited in the referenced Wikipedia article) and in Structures Magazine have verified the NIST analysis. I asked Pro to provide evidence of qualified structural engineers who had found errors in the NIST report or had run convincing computer simulations of their own. Pro provided nothing beyond vague claims of lists of architects (who may be working on designing church interiors or single family homes) and such non-credentialed "authorities."

Pro claimed repeatedly that the collapse of WTC 7 strictly from the bottom floor upwards. That does not agree with the documented evidence of a bulge in the southwest corner of the building nor with videos showing the penthouse on the top of the building moving inward prior to the collapse being evident on the exterior. The computer simulations show how this happened, with the collapse starting internally.

Pro's case is a long example of the confirmation fallacy. He selects evidence that appears to be consistent with his theory, but ignores contrary evidence. No matter how pointedly presented, he won't consider anything contrary to his theory. Perhaps most fallacious is the idea that if something has not happened before, then it must be a conspiracy that made it happen. New and unusual things happen every day. When disastrous things happen, engineers try to find new design methods to prevent them from happening again. If WTC were the 50th building to collapse due to fire, we would wonder why the design method was not fixed. It is more likely to be unique than a repetition.

The resolution is negated.
Debate Round No. 3
142 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Double_R 6 years ago
Are you serious? I just finished what turned out to be a mock debate about this, and am in another one about weather we should investigate. I should have challenged you.
Posted by TOMlive 6 years ago
911 was an inside job (duh!) and stanley kubrick filmed the apollo moon landing after making 2001
Posted by RoyLatham 7 years ago

I've never heard the "test mode" story before. I suspect it is false; Truthers invent a whole lot of stuff. There was no delay whatsoever in reporting the WTC 7 fire. The main way fires are reported these days are by calling 911. There is ample evidence that was done: I saw TV documentary recently that recounted the events, and firefighters have given statements at fighting the fire for several hours before creaking noises in the building made it clear the building was in danger of collapse. Recall the coincidence that all the documents for the Enron prosecution were destroyed, so that all those Enron criminals had to be set free. Amazing coincidence, right? The only problem is that it takes about 20 seconds to search the Internet and discover that in fact all the convictions were obtained on schedule. Or how about all the WTC 7 wreckage being shipped to China within a week? Another 20 seconds on the net shows that it took 10 months to clear the site,with every bit of wreckage being sifted.

There are literally dozens of completely fanciful stories being passed off as fact. Truthers have no concern for establishing the truth, so they let disproved nonsense stay on their sites forever. The"strange coincidences" are mostly false.

Others are not so strange when compared to how often things regularly occur. Have you ever seen news reports of any plane crash where someone declares they had a premonition of the crash? Premonitions are common; they aren't reported unless the plane happens to crash. Hard statistics are needed to say if something is really unusual.
Posted by heart_of_the_matter 7 years ago
thanks for the answer...yes 7 hours burning is a lot different than 20-30 min. So that pretty much answers my question...I figured there might be a logical explanation...I actually am still leaning towards thinking that it was not a conspiracy btw....but I just keep running into questions and anomalies....for ex. while confirming that point I now find out that the fire alarms in WTC7 had "coincidentally" been placed on "Test Mode"...which would not allow firefighters to know there was a fire there until much later.
I sometimes think there are too many strange "coincidences" could all be random of course, but man, there are so many things it really seems suspicious to me.
Posted by RoyLatham 7 years ago
Heart asks "How did the steel lose it's insulation (from temperatures above 1000 degrees)?"

Insulation absolutely does not prevent heating. If something is insulated and put into a 1000 degree building, eventually the thing will get to be uniformly 1000 degrees, no matter how well it is insulated. The idea behind insulation requirements in buildings is to allow the fire department to get to the building and put the fire out, a couple of hours, before the steel loses its strength. That principle usually works, but it fails if there is a general disaster that overwhelms the fire department or cuts off water supplies.

In WTC 7, there was another factor at work. When steel is heated it expands. The lengthy fire on one side of WTC 7 caused that part of the structure to expand. That expansion put great force on one of the internal columns and that precipitated failure by buckling. The building was designed in such a way as to be unusually subject to this type of failure. I think it is fair to say that it was a design flaw, although in the ordinary life of a building it would never have been a problem.

One consequence of the NIST reports is a revision of design standards for fire resistance.
Posted by RoyLatham 7 years ago

1. what you heard about the "NIST advisory committee" is false. The fuel load was substantially greater because of the amount of paper in the building. It was observed to burn for far longer than three hours, so any claim that it couldn't burn for more than three hours is obviously nuts. The NIST final report accurately reports the fuel load. Besides, the reason that WTC 7 collapsed was do to its peculiar construction as well as the fuel load. Tell me why no Truther has, as far as I can tell, ever read the NIST report on WTC 7? Would it hurt?

2. The Truther photos and videos are from the wrong side of the building. Actually, the buckling mechanism requires unequal heating, so that one side expands more than the other.

3. WTC 7 collapsed by a different mechanism than WTC 1 and 2. However, the report on WTC 1 and 2 does not say they would have stood forever. It says that the reason it fell so quickly was because the insulation was blown away. If fires had burned in WTC 1 and 2 for as long as they did in WTC 7, they might have collapsed anyway. Insulation only slows the rate of heating, things still heat. More relevant, there were other WTC buildings destroyed by fire that did not collapse. Only WTC 7 had the design flaw that resulted in collapse by buckling.

All this is explained in the NIST reports. It is, however, necessary to read and understand them.
Posted by heart_of_the_matter 7 years ago
With regard to my question about WTC7's insulation on/around the steel I also found this (see last paragraph especially!)

1. During a meeting of the NIST advisory committee, NIST scientists admitted that the fuel loading in WTC-7 was similar to that of the nearby twin towers. This means that, on average, the offices in WTC-7 had only enough fuel (i.e., carpets, desks, office dividers etc) to support a fire for about 20 minutes.

What is more, the steel columns in WTC-7 were protected with foam insulation rated to give at least 3 hours of fire protection. The steel beams in the floors had similar protection rated for 2 hours. How then did a 20-minute office fire cause thermal expansion and the catastrophic collapse claimed by NIST?

2. The pre-collapse photos and videos of WTC-7 do not support NIST's claim that the fires were extensive. On the contrary, the videos/photos strongly suggest that the fires were rather minor and were limited to a few floors.

3. NIST acknowledged in its 2005 report that WTC-1 and WTC-2 survived the plane impacts, despite serious structural damage, and would have stood indefinitely, despite the fires, but for the fact that the impacts jarred loose SFRM foam and wallboard insulation. This allegedly exposed the steel columns and floor trusses to the fires.

Yet, in the case of WTC-7 there was no plane crash, hence, no violent impact to jar loose the insulation. For this reason all of the insulation in WTC-7 was 100% intact. The steel in the building was fully protected throughout and, therefor, would have been unaffected by ordinary office fires lasting no more than about 20 minutes. Obviously the fires had nothing to do with the total, symmetrical and near-free fall collapse of this 47-story steel skyscraper.
Posted by TOMlive 7 years ago
keep the government in check, no that is impossible with people like roy feeding their lies, strait ppl better wake up and get our country back, stop wasting our time on this forum.
Posted by heart_of_the_matter 7 years ago
I did look up a site on the brittleness of steel to try to gain some insights on this phenomenon:

Which led me to another question...

How did the steel lose it's insulation (from temperatures above 1000 degrees)?

(I presume the steel was covered in said insulating materials right?)...
Posted by heart_of_the_matter 7 years ago
I want to add also though that I do really appreciate the "truthers"! I appreciate people being keep the government (and others) in check. I appreciate their perspective and I appreciate their intentions...which I believe to try to bring people to the knowledge of the truth (inasmuch as they have it in their possession).
16 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
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Reasons for voting decision: Despite Pro's Gish Galloping, Con seems to have addressed pretty much everything. Pro than had the audacity to add yet another new argument in the final round, prompting me to take conduct. Almost all of Pro's claims were grossly unsourced, unverified, and baseless. Roy dominated.
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