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Wednesday, February 09, 2005

The Sacred Truth You Dare Not Challenge

The official version of the events of 9/11 appears to have become somewhat of a sacred cow challenging which is viewed by many as a form of blasphemy. It appears that now 9/11 skeptics can reasonably expect all sorts of problems - including the loss of employment.

That was what happened to Kevin R. Ryan, a former laboratory director of a division of Underwriters Laboratories (UL). According to this report,
SOUTH BEND, Ind.—A former laboratory director of a division of Underwriters Laboratories (UL) in South Bend generated considerable heat in professional circles on Nov. 11 when he fired off a letter via email to a prominent metallurgist, questioning the theory that jet fuel fires set by the 9-11 terrorist attacks against the World Trade Center were hot enough to soften or melt structural steel.

Sending that email led to Kevin R. Ryan being fired from his job as site manager at the UL-affiliated Environmental Health Laboratories Inc., in South Bend.

This report contains the full text of Ryan's e-mail. In it, Ryan says,
There continues to be a number of "experts" making public claims about how the WTC buildings fell. One such person, Dr. Hyman Brown from the WTC construction crew, claims that the buildings collapsed due to fires at 2000F melting the steel (1). He states "What caused the building to collapse is the airplane fuel . . . burning at 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The steel in that five-floor area melts." Additionally, the newspaper that quotes him says "Just-released preliminary findings from a National Institute of Standards and Technology study of the World Trade Center collapse support Brown's theory."

We know that the steel components were certified to ASTM E119. The time temperature curves for this standard require the samples to be exposed to temperatures around 2000F for several hours. And as we all agree, the steel applied met those specifications. Additionally, I think we can all agree that even un-fireproofed steel will not melt until reaching red-hot temperatures of nearly 3000F (2). Why Dr. Brown would imply that 2000F would melt the high-grade steel used in those buildings makes no sense at all.

The results of your recently published metallurgical tests seem to clear things up (3), and support your team's August 2003 update as detailed by the Associated Press (4), in which you were ready to "rule out weak steel as a contributing factor in the collapse". The evaluation of paint deformation and spheroidization seem very straightforward, and you noted that the samples available were adequate for the investigation. Your comments suggest that the steel was probably exposed to temperatures of only about 500F (250C), which is what one might expect from a thermodynamic analysis of the situation.

However the summary of the new NIST report seems to ignore your findings, as it suggests that these low temperatures caused exposed bits of the building's steel core to "soften and buckle"(5). Additionally this summary states that the perimeter columns softened, yet your findings make clear that "most perimeter panels (157 of 160) saw no temperature above 250C". To soften steel for the purposes of forging, normally temperatures need to be above 1100C (6). However, this new summary report suggests that much lower temperatures were be able to not only soften the steel in a matter of minutes, but lead to rapid structural collapse.

This story just does not add up. If steel from those buildings did soften or melt, I'm sure we can all agree that this was certainly not due to jet fuel fires of any kind, let alone the briefly burning fires in those towers. That fact should be of great concern to all Americans. Alternatively, the contention that this steel did fail at temperatures around 250C suggests that the majority of deaths on 9/11 were due to a safety-related failure. That suggestion should be of great concern to my company.

There is no question that the events of 9/11 are the emotional driving force behind the War on Terror. And the issue of the WTC collapse is at the crux of the story of 9/11. My feeling is that your metallurgical tests are at the crux of the crux of the crux. Either you can make sense of what really happened to those buildings, and communicate this quickly, or we all face the same destruction and despair that come from global decisions based on disinformation and "chatter".
This is poignant. Coupled with the fact that according to fire-fighting experts the WTC fire scene was never properly investigated it becomes even more poignant.

It is probably proper for me to introduce a little disclosure at this point. I am one of those 9/11 skeptics. While I do not offer my own theory of what happened on that tragic day, I do not believe the official version of the events offered by the US government. And from what Kevin Ryan has to say it follows that events are quite unlikely to have unfolded the way our government would want us to believe they did.

We have a right to know the truth and settle for nothing less. And given the tremendous importance of those events I believe we have all the more reason to search for that truth. And the very fact of Mr Ryan's firing is all the more reason to believe that he may have been quite right in his assertions thus giving all the more ammunition to the 9/11 skeptics.

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