Editor's Note: This extensive technical piece on NIST's manipulation of the WTC 7 evidence is broken down into a series of five articles. The third installment (Part 3) is presented below.
Part 3: Trusses & Tanks — Popular Mechanics Helps NIST Create More Myths
The 2005 Popular Mechanics article referred to in Part 1 and Part 2 propped up NIST's myths about WTC 7 in yet other ways. It said, for instance, that NIST was continuing to investigate two possible contributing factors that may have helped the (non-existent) 10-story gouge destroy the building.
The first of these two alleged contributing factors, according to PM, was the supposed ability of the trusses on Floor 5 and Floor 7 to transfer stress from the damaged south face to the rest of the building.
PM wrote: "First, trusses on the fifth and seventh floors were designed to transfer loads from one set of columns to another. With columns on the south face apparently damaged, high stresses would likely have been communicated to columns on the building's other faces, thereby exceeding their load-bearing capacities."
The trusses did in fact transfer loads between core columns, but they had nothing to do with the perimeter frame. The PM magazine editors, however, gave that false impression when they paired together two unrelated statements about the trusses and the damage to the south face.
The magazine authors seem to have wanted readers to believe that localized failure of columns on the south face of the building would naturally lead, by way of the trusses, to failure of columns on other faces of the building, and thus the collapse of the entire building. But PM supplied few details, and with good reason: The claim conflicted with NIST's 2004 progress report, which had made the point that "[a]nalysis of the global structure indicates that the structure redistributed loads around the severed and damaged areas." Even more tellingly, the 2004 report had contended that the perimeter frame itself would redistribute loads due to damaged columns on the south face, and that this load distribution would prevent progressive failure and maintain the integrity of the "global structure." PM's alleged team of "professional fact checkers" missed this one too.
Sunder told Popular Mechanics that this fifth-floor fire lasted up to seven hours, but the whole story was wishful thinking on his part.
Here's how Sunder apparently arrived at this fanciful conclusion: WTC 7's fifth floor had four emergency generators in a room on the northeast corner, in the vicinity of column 79. These generators were fueled by two large diesel tanks in the basement. Sunder speculated, unjustifiably, that the pressurized fuel line linking the tanks to the generators broke and that this break fed a long-lasting fire that somehow started in the generator room (as reviewed in PART 2). It would seem that Sunder was propagating this myth even though it contradicted the data in his own 2004 report. In fact, a previous AE911Truth article has demonstrated that certain information in NIST's 2004 report had ruled out the possibility that a diesel-fuel fire could have been a factor in WTC 7's demise. Moreover, at no time were there any eyewitness reports or photographs of fire on the fifth floor, so there never was any reason to think there may have been a fire there.
NIST finally publicly conceded this fact in a December 2007 summary statement: "The working hypothesis is based on an initial local failure caused by normal building fires, not fires from leaking pressurized fuel lines or fuel from day tanks." [Emphasis added.]
This point cannot be made strongly enough: The 2005 article in Popular Mechanics helped NIST propagate obvious falsities that contradicted the data in NIST's own 2004 preliminary report.
In short, NIST's fairy tales about these two contributing factors to the collapse — the trusses and a diesel fire — were clearly as ill-founded as the story about the non-existent 10-story gouge.
It is important to keep in mind the development of NIST's deceptive tactics as we continue our investigation toward its final collapse initiation hypothesis, which is outlined in Part 4.
In the next (fourth) installment of this series of five articles, Part 4: Independent Analysis Undermines NIST's New Thermal Expansion Hypothesis, the authors explore NIST's 2008 final report, showing it to be even more unprofessional than the agency's collaboration with Popular Mechanics in 2005.