On June 23, 2005 the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) published the draft of its ‘Final Report of the National Construction Safety Team on the Collapses of the World Trade Center Towers’ (documentNISTNCSTAR1Draft.pdf), and in September it released its Final Report (document NISTNCSTAR1CollapseofTowers.pdf). This Report and a separate one on the case of WTC 7 represent the culmination of NIST’s three-year investigation of the collapses of the three World Trade Center skyscrapers, funded with an initial budget of $16 million and subsequent appropriations from taxpayers’ money.
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. And, in contrast to the Report’s voluminous detail about the plane crashes, fires, and loss of life, it makes no attempt to characterize or explain the demolition-like features of the collapses — such as their explosiveness, pulverization, verticality and nearly free-fall rapidity — except for two sentences in a half-page section added to the Final Report to address criticisms of the Draft.
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.”