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Melted Molybdenum: Another study was carried out by scientists at the US Geological Survey. Besides also finding the spherical iron particles, these scientists found that something had melted molybdenum42 – which has an extremely high melting point: 4,753°F (2,623°C).43 Although these USGS scientists failed to mention this discovery in the published version of their report, a group of scientists led by Steven Jones, having obtained the USGS team’s data through a FOIA request, reported evidence that this team had devoted serious study to “a molybdenum-rich spherule.”44 NIST, however, failed to mention this discovery by the US Geological Survey, although it is another federal agency.
Nanothermite: A peer-reviewed report by University of Copenhagen chemist Niels Harrit and several co-authors, including physicist Steven Jones and chemist Kevin Ryan, showed that the WTC dust contained unreacted nanothermite. Unlike ordinary thermite, which is an incendiary, nanothermite is a high explosive.
This report by Harrit, Jones, Ryan, and their colleagues did not appear until 2009,45 so it could not have been mentioned in NIST’s final report, which came out at the end of November 2008. However, given the standard guidelines for the investigation of building fires, NIST should have tested the WTC dust for signs of incendiaries, such as ordinary thermite (including thermate), and explosives, such as nanothermite.46
When asked whether it had carried out such tests, NIST said it had not.47 When a reporter asked NIST spokesman Michael Newman why not, he replied: “[B]ecause there was no evidence of that.” When the reporter asked the obvious follow-up question, “[H]ow can you know there’s no evidence if you don’t look for it first?” Newman replied: “If you’re looking for something that isn’t there, you’re wasting your time . . . and the taxpayers’ money.”48
5. NIST’s Fabrication of Evidence
Besides omitting and otherwise falsifying evidence, NIST also committed the type of scientific fraud called fabrication, which means simply “making up results.”49
No Girder Shear Studs
For example, in offering its explanation as to how fire caused Building 7 to collapse, NIST said that the culprit was thermal expansion, meaning that the fire heated up the steel, thereby causing it to expand. Expanding steel beams on the 13th floor, NIST claims, caused a steel girder connecting columns 44 and 79 to break loose. Having lost its support, column 79 failed, starting a chain reaction in which all the other columns failed.50
Leaving aside the question of whether this is even remotely possible, let us simply ask: Why did that girder fail? NIST’s answer was that it was not connected to the floor slab with sheer studs. NIST wrote: “In WTC 7, no studs were installed on the girders.”51 In another passage, NIST said: “Floor beams . . . had shear studs, but the girders that supported the floor beams did not have shear studs.”52
However, NIST’s Interim Report on WTC 7, which it published in 2004 before it had developed its girder-failure theory, said shear studs were used to anchor “[m]ost of the beams and girders,” including the girder in question.53
A Raging 12th Floor Fire at 5:00
Although in its 2004 Interim Report on WTC 7, NIST said that by 4:45 PM, “the fire on Floor 12 was burned out,”54 it claimed in its 2008 report that at 5:00, just 21 minutes before the building collapsed, the fire on this floor was still going strong.55
6. NIST’s Final Report: Affirming a Miracle
NIST’s final report on WTC 7, which appeared in November 2008, was for the most part identical with its draft report, which had appeared in August. But NIST did add a new element: the affirmation of a miracle, meaning a violation of a fundamental law of physics.
This issue is treated in a cartoon in which a professor has written a proof on a chalkboard. Most of the steps consist of mathematical equations, but one of them simply says: “Then a miracle happens.”56 This is humorous because one thing scientists absolutely cannot do in their scientific work is appeal to miracles, even implicitly. And yet that is what NIST does. I will explain.
NIST’s August 2008 Denial of Free Fall
Members of the 9/11 Truth Movement had long been pointing out that Building 7 came down at the same rate as a free-falling object, or at least virtually so. But in NIST’s Draft for Public Comment, issued in August 2008, it denied this, saying that the time it took for the upper floors – the only floors that are visible on the videos – to come down “was approximately 40 percent longer than the computed free fall time and was consistent with physical principles.”57
As this statement implies, any assertion that the building did come down in free fall would not be consistent with physical principles – meaning the laws of physics. Explaining why not, during a “WTC 7 Technical Briefing” on August 26, 2008, Shyam Sunder said:
“[A] free fall time would be [the fall time of] an object that has no structural components below it. . . . [T]he . . . time that it took . . . for those 17 floors to disappear [was roughly 40 percent longer than free fall]. And that is not at all unusual, because there was structural resistance that was provided in this particular case. And you had a sequence of structural failures that had to take place. Everything was not instantaneous.”58
In saying this, Sunder was, of course, presupposing NIST’s rejection of controlled demolition – which could have produced a free-fall collapse by causing all 82 columns to fail simultaneously – in favor of NIST’s fire theory, which necessitated a theory of progressive collapse.
Chandler’s Challenge and NIST’s November Admission of Free Fall
In response, high-school physics teacher David Chandler, who was able to speak at this briefing, challenged Sunder’s denial of free fall, stating that Sunder’s “40 percent” claim contradicted “a publicly visible, easily measurable quantity.”59 Chandler then placed a video on the Internet showing that, by measuring this publicly visible quantity, anyone knowing elementary physics could see that “for about two and a half seconds. . . , the acceleration of the building is indistinguishable from freefall.”60
Amazingly, in NIST’s final report, which came out in November 2008, it admitted free fall. Dividing the building’s descent into three stages, NIST described the second phase as “a freefall descent over approximately eight stories at gravitational acceleration for approximately 2.25 s[econds].”61 So, after presenting over 600 pages of descriptions, photographs, testimonies, graphs, analyses, explanations, and mathematical formulae, NIST says, in effect: “Then a miracle happens.”