Scholars and Family Members Submit Request for Correction to 9/11 NIST Report


Gaps and inconsistencies reveal fundamental flaws in NIST’s building collapse analyses

Berkeley, CA (PRWEB) April 14, 2007 — A group of scientists, researchers and 9/11 family members challenging the official reports of the destruction of the World Trade Center Towers on 9/11/01 has filed a Request for Correction (RFC) with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

The Request asserts that the NIST Final Report violates information quality standards, draws inferences that are inconsistent with its own computer simulations and physical tests, and exhibits a significant bias toward a preordained conclusion while ignoring available evidence contrary to it. The Request also says that if this bias is corrected, the NIST simulation clearly indicates that the Towers should not have collapsed due to plane damage and fire. The obvious alternative, which the group says should have been studied by NIST, is explosive demolition.

The group submitting the Request includes 9/11 family members Bob McIlvaine and Bill Doyle, physicist Steven E. Jones, former UL manager, Kevin Ryan, architect Richard Gage, AIA, and the group Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Justice.

A key theme of the Request is a call for NIST to reveal more of the data behind the Report’s statements. Steven Jones, a physicist in Utah, says of the Report, “Among other things, we’ve found that the Report  violates information quality standards by leaving out necessary information which would allow its conclusions to be verified.”

But what’s worse, Jones says, “when you read the Report, you find some data that don’t support the conclusion are simply being ignored. That’s a big red flag.”

The assertion that the conclusion of the NIST report is incorrect is important, the Request says, because that “would mean that the assumption that foreign terrorists alone carried out the destruction would become a matter of dispute.”

James Gourley, the attorney working with the Request group, says the public has a right to see the data and ensure their validity. “We think that the American people deserve the chance to be allowed to analyze the computer models and the calculations that they have paid for. We also think Bob McIlvaine and Bill Doyle, each of whom lost a son in the WTC Towers, deserve a scientifically sound answer from NIST about how their sons were killed.”

The group says that a different conclusion better fits the evidence – they believe that pre-positioned explosives were responsible for the destruction of the WTC towers. “It sounds outlandish,” Jones says, “But when you look at the evidence, it fits. In fact, many of the physical features of these events — such as their rapidity, totality, and the observed iron-rich spheres in the WTC dust — fit the demolition hypothesis and are difficult to reconcile with any of the existing collapse explanations.”

A criticism in the Request examines the Report’s description of the collapse mechanisms – that once the top portion of the buildings started to fall, the portion below was “not able to arrest this initial movement as evidenced by videos from several vantage points.” But NIST, the Request says, must explain why the intact structure below the impact zone offered so little resistance to the collapse of the building.”

California architect and member of the Requester group, Richard Gage, AIA, emphasizes that the buildings were designed to withstand 150mph lateral wind loads and even airplane impacts, and notes that vast  majority of both towers were not damaged by fire or impact.

“There were 80 to 90 floors of completely intact steel structure below the impact zones, untouched by fire or damage, which had held up the mass above them for decades and, in the case of the perimeter columns, were over-designed by a factor of 20. Also, almost all of the mass of the building coming down from above was being ejected outside the footprint as it fell, so there is not even a “pile driver” to crush the building below, and thus no valid engineering explanation for the failure!” Gage says that the only way to achieve what NIST describes as “‘such little resistance [from the structure below to the falling mass above,’ was to destroy that solid intact structure with pre-planted explosives.”

“It sounds extreme,” he says, “even preposterous. But when you set aside your disbelief, you find explosives to be the only valid explanation for the ‘collapse’ and this explains many features — such as the virtually free fall speed, symmetry, audible & visible explosions, pulverization to dust of all of the floors, file cabinets, etc. — that are consistent with demolition style collapses, but not with historical structural failures by  fire.”

But this Request isn’t the only one being made by groups critical of the Final Report conclusion.

Another group — Fetzer, Wood, Reynolds and Hass — also filed requests for correction with NIST in the past two months. Their claims include assertions that a directed energy weapon destroyed the World Trade Center Towers, and that real jetliners did not hit the buildings.

“It’s a nonsense submission,” says James Gourley. He says that such submissions are likely to undermine the legitimate work of others. “By submitting what amounts to nonsense, they basically inoculate people   against any other legitimate challenges to the NIST Report.” This, he says, gives officials an easy way to avoid serious consideration to all conclusions counter to that of the Final Report.

“It’s called discrediting by association,” a historic means to marginalize a viewpoint by associating it with transparently flawed or repugnant ideas. “You’ve got these people saying that real planes didn’t hit the WTC  towers at all in their submission.” Gourley says. “That only discredits the rest of us, regardless of what the real motive behind it is.”

Gourley also notes that the online journal, ‘The Journal of 9/11 Studies,’ has published refutations of many of the unscientific claims such as these.

“Scientists have responded to these outlandish claims in writing. Their refutations have undergone peer review and have been approved prior to publication..” The Fetzer/Wood/Reynolds claims are unable to withstand any serious scientific scrutiny.

His own group’s submission, Gourley points out, is the first one which seriously addresses specific and significant aspects of the Report, rather than only minor details or making nonsense appeals.

Physicist Steven Jones says, “Our submission asks some very crucial questions which are necessary for any scientific Report, regardless of what our own positions are on what happened.”

Architect Richard Gage, AIA agrees. “Here’s one of the grossest examples,” he says, “While the NIST-sponsored UL floor assembly fire tests demonstrated only 2 to 4 inches of sag with no failure at 2,000 degrees for 2 hours, NIST never-the-less used 42 inches of sag in their computer models and concluded failure! These are very basic inconsistencies and suggest some serious data integrity problems.”

And one problem the group comes back to is that few have taken the time to comb through the massive Report. The likely reality, they say, is that most people assume that what’s contained in the approximately 10,000 pages is correct because, “Frankly,” Gage says, “people have been paid a lot of money – and these are the ‘experts’. They weren’t looking at the more reasonable hypothesis of controlled demolition. Instead, they just worked the numbers backwards until their desired conclusion – collapse by fire – was supported.”

A PDF of the Request for Correction is available here:


Contact: Victoria Ashley,, 510-769-5109

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