Open Letter to Purdue President France Córdova


Dear President Córdova,

Congratulations on your recent appointment at Purdue University. As a long time citizen of the state of Indiana, I welcome you to what I know to be an outstanding institution of higher learning. At the same time, I hope to help you see an immediate opportunity to make a great positive difference in the lives of the people of our state and, in fact, a great difference in the lives of people everywhere. Through your appointment you have been given this opportunity to speak out and denounce what can be called, at best, criminally negligent science on the part of a small segment of the Purdue faculty.

Last month, a few Purdue professors, along with some students, presented a short animation ostensibly related to the 9/11 tragedy at the World Trade Center (WTC). Surprisingly the University then announced this animation in a news release, as if it represented a scientifically accurate simulation of the impact of a Boeing 767 into the WTC’s north tower.[1] Unfortunately, this short video clip is far from a scientifically-based production, as it actually contradicts several of the government’s own, much more intensive studies, and shamefully fails to capture some of the most basic aspects of the related events. To make things worse, Purdue University paradoxically implies that this brief animation provides support for the overworked fire-induced collapse hypothesis. By simultaneously contradicting and voicing support for the official story, Purdue has helped to promote the Bush Administration’s fraudulent 9/11 Wars, and instantly earned a notorious place in modern history.

In one important way this new animation does reflect reality, although in doing so it negates the official stance taken by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). In their September 2005 report, NIST presented their “collapse initiation sequence”, and explained how they felt the loss of fireproofing was the key to the destruction of the towers. NIST suggested that the fireproofing loss occurred as a result of aircraft debris, in the form of shotgun-like blasts, scraping the fireproofing off of thousands of square meters of surface area.[2] But from Purdue’s new animation, we can clearly see that the aircraft that impacted the WTC tower could not have been instantly transformed into thousands of tiny pellets in the form of shotgun blasts. The animation more realistically displays the large fragments of debris from the fuselage clattering around in the skeletal framework of the tower. For this reason we must thank Purdue for this visualization that negates NIST’s primary explanation.

Apart from that small inadvertent success, these Purdue professors show that they do not understand even the simplest aspects of the WTC events, let alone the latest government story in support of the fire-induced collapse hypothesis. Professors Irfanoglu and Hoffman described the details of their project in a paper entitled “An Engineering Perspective of the Collapse of WTC-1”, published on the Purdue University website.[3] In this paper it is explained how the authors simulated the performance of WTC-1 during “the impact of American Airlines Flight 77”. Quite a feat, one might say, considering that Flight 77 hit the Pentagon. This obvious example of the simple errors made throughout this project is an embarrassment, without a doubt. But errors do not become grave mistakes unless they go uncorrected. In this case, however, it appears that we are witnessing gross negligence at a minimum, as later in the same paper the authors make things worse by stating that the animation actually reflects the “impact of Flight AA71”. If the authors can’t even get these basic details right, in several attempts, why should people expect that the animation produced has any relevance to reality? More importantly, did anyone at Purdue review this paper at all before putting the University’s reputation on the line in major media reports around the world?

There is no question that, if any review or oversight did occur for this project, it did not involve anyone who had any familiarity with the US government’s previous WTC investigations. This fact is evident when one reads the abstract of this paper, which states — “a core collapse mechanism could be initiated if the core column temperatures were elevated to about 700 C.” Considering that “core collapse” may be the one and only theory we have not yet seen from the scientists supporting the Bush Administration’s WTC story, it is a wonder that so few noticed the discrepancy. In fact, the latest in a long string of false explanations given in support of the fire-based hypothesis begins with the failure of perimeter columns, not core columns, as the former were pulled inward by sagging floors.[4]

There are many more significant differences between the latest official story for “collapse” of the WTC towers, as given by NIST, and this poor animation put out by a misdirected and unsupervised group at Purdue. Here are a few more examples.

  • NIST reported that 9 core columns were severed or heavily damaged by aircraft impact, and this was in their “more severe” case. Purdue now says that 52 core columns were “destroyed or heavily damaged” over a height six floors (see Irfanoglu and Hoffman, table 1). First note that there was a total of 47 core columns in the building. Even if several of these were “destroyed” at multiple levels, Purdue is now asking us to accept a level of damage that is far greater than years of government research could support.
  • NIST reported that the damage done to the south face of WTC 1 was limited to one dislodged panel, encompassing three exterior columns (329,330 and 331), caused by whatever small amount of debris passed through and exited the far side of the building. Purdue’s team now wants us to believe that 12 exterior columns were severed on the south face of WTC 1.[5]
  • NIST told us that the center fuel tank of the aircraft was completely empty when it struck WTC 1. But this new animation shows the center tank to be completely full. Additional comments from the animation’s creators indicate they have no idea how much jet fuel was available inside the building, or how this fuel played a part in the destruction.

I could go on describing the stupefying failure of this new Purdue animation, and how it contradicts the reports it pretends to support. But I ask you to review this project yourself, and consider asking for clarification from the authors.

You might start with Purdue’s Mete Sozen, a long time leader of official investigations for terrorist acts, and a mainstay of “expert” testimony for those supporting Bush’s war of terror. Professor Sozen also happens to be the chairman of a US Department of Defense program, which puts him among the least likely people to objectively judge the scientific basis for the origins of this war. But my guess is that Mete Sozen is more than just a simple war profiteer, and may have more sinister personal reasons for promoting the Bush Administration’s genocide for oil program.

In any case, it is disturbing that a respected academic institution like Purdue would offer what is essentially a half-baked video game as another explanation for the most important events of the 21st century. It is just as disturbing, although less surprising, that major media sources would uncritically repeat ridiculous assertions by the animation’s creators as if they were statements of fact. For example the Associated Press and the New York Times quoted Purdue Computer Science professor Christoph Hoffman when he said “One thing it does point out…is the absolute essential nature of fireproofing steel structures” and “This is something that wasn’t originally in the World Trade Center when it was built. It wasn’t code at that time.” In these articles the reader can’t tell if it is the reporters, or just the professors, who are hopelessly confused.[6] Not only were the WTC buildings fully fireproofed, that fireproofing had been dramatically upgraded in the two years prior to 9/11.

President Córdova, I ask you to consider Purdue’s part in the propagation of false stories behind 9/11 and the devastating damage they are doing to our country and the victims of the 9/11 Wars. As a physicist you must understand that the near free-fall “collapse” of three tall buildings, of which only two were struck by airliners, is the most improbable, and yet politically convenient, series of events that the world has ever seen. Now that we have witnessed multiple false official explanations for these events, many scientists are waking to, and are willing to stand against, this fraud in order to save our country and end these wars of aggression.[7] As the leader of a university that has been thrust into the center of this critical national discussion, you should lead this effort.

If you can spare one hour of your time to better understand these issues, I would be happy to make a detailed presentation to you and any members of your staff.


Kevin R. Ryan
Co-editor, Journal of 9/11 Studies

[1] Steve Tally, Purdue University News Service, Purdue creates scientifically based animation of 9/11 attack, June 12, 2007,

[2] NIST’s WTC report NCSTAR 1-6A, Passive Fire Protection, Appendix C,

[3] A. Irfanoglu and C. Hoffmann, An Engineering Perspective of the Collapse of WTC-1, J. of Performance of Constructed Facilities, ASCE, 06/2007,

[4] NIST’s collapse initiation sequence can be found in their report NCSTAR1, Final Report on the Collapse of the World Trade Center Towers, Principal findings, p 175, . My critique of these findings is here: What is 9/11 Truth?-The First Steps, Journal of 9/11 Studies, August 2006,

[5] Voicu Popescu, Paul Rosen, Christoph Hoffmann, Ayhan Irfanoglu, 9/11 Attack Simulations Using LS-Dyna, Phase 4 Preview: Post-processed simulations rendered using 3Dsmax, still image called “Debris Exiting”

[6] The Indianapolis Star ran the AP article by Steve Herman on June 21, 2007, with the title Purdue researchers simulate 9/11 attacks,… . The next day, the New York Times rehashed much of this same article in one they called 9/11 Simulation Taxes Purdue Servers.

[7] There are several groups of scientists actively seeking the truth behind the events of 9/11. Groups I recommend include Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Justice, whose member list can be found here: , and Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth:

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