Demolition & WTC 7Controlled Demolition Theory & The Collapse of World Trade Center Building 7

Many people who question the official story of 9/11 doubt the plausibility of crash damage and fire being the sole causes for the total collapse of the World Trade Center Towers. The “controlled demolition” theory of pre-planned demolition with explosives has become so prominent that, for many people, it is now synonymous with the “9/11 truth movement.” Entire videos, conferences, websites, books, and lectures are dedicated to explaining this theory.

A minority of activists, have expressed caution at equating 9/11 truth with controlled demolition, some of them also questioning the veracity of the evidence put forward to support the theory. At TruthMove, we have given the controlled demolition theory varying degrees of credence over the years, but we generally view it as something that has marginalized the movement and increased speculation and fanaticism. We will provide some of the most cogent information on this page, but we don’t see controlled demolition as a particularly productive path of inquiry or promotion.

The lesser known collapse of WTC 7, a 47-story skyscraper, has been one of the more compelling pieces evidence for many people. This building, not hit by a plane and suffering an unclear amount damage from fire and the destruction of the adjacent towers, collapsed completely at 5:20pm.

Controlled demolition started as a somewhat controversial theory within the 9/11 truth movement. But since 2005, it has become increasingly accepted, and according to supporters, validated by solid research. At the same time, the controlled demolition hypothesis continues to be used by the mainstream media to frame the movement as wild and sensational. There is a danger that 9/11 skepticism is now equated with the simplistic and sensational argument, “They blew up the Towers with explosives!!!” Many videos, lectures, and websites are solely centered on controlled demolition.

Controlled demolition is a very interesting subject with a lot of research and compelling photographic documentation to back it up. Nevertheless, we must remember that it’s just one piece of a huge, cumulative argument for official complicity which convincingly counters every major part of the official story. At TruthMove, we feel that some in the movement have focused too myopically on controlled demolition, at the expense of other evidence, historical precedence, and context.

The time and mental resources dedicated to controlled demolition have been tremendous. Lecture after lecture and website after website have laid out various arguments concerning such details as the melting point of steel, the structural engineering of the buildings, “free-fall” collapse, pulverization, pyroclastic flows, nano-thermite, and so on. While much of this information may be compelling, we are left with the conclusion that most of us are not structural engineers, chemists, architects, or explosives experts. We do not necessarily have the expertise to evaluate the evidence or to make a cohesive argument. We may appeal to the “common sense” view that the towers and WTC 7 simply could not have come down so quickly and cleanly without the assistance of explosives or some other means, but then we are getting in to the territory of opinion and not fact.

Researchers such as Steven Jones have claimed such “conclusive” evidence as “traces of nano-thermite” but this supposed breakthrough evidence has resulted in zero traction for the movement. We tend to see the controlled demolition theory as a never-ending vortex of details, speculation, and confusion. We encourage curious people to look into it, but not to get stuck in it.

The case for controlled demolition may be bolstered by the mysterious collapse of WTC 7. The collapse of Building 7 was captured in several videos and even aired on mainstream news reports on the day of the attacks. However, after the official story went into overdrive and the media started to get its story straight, these videos were rarely, if ever, shown in the mainstream media again. Outside of New York City, most of the public had no idea that Building 7 ever existed.

Disputed Evidence

Below are some of the key points put forward in favor of the controlled demolition theory:

  • No modern steel-framed high-rise building has ever collapsed due to fire. The official explanation given by the government teams is that fire destroyed both towers and building 7. The damage from the aircraft and debris are said to have played an insignificant role.

  • The collapse of all three buildings occurred in a symmetrical, straight down fashion. While dust and debris may have been ejected outwards and significant damage was done to other buildings in the WTC complex, the structures appeared to essentially fall in on themselves.

  • The buildings collapsed at almost free-fall speed. This means that each building must have experienced some spontaneous global structural failure so that there was no resistance or delay in the collapse. The official “pancake theory” for the towers is untenable because as upper floors supposedly collapsed onto those below, there would have been structural resistance. Instead the collapses began almost instantly and showed no signs of resistance. NIST’s pancake theory has also been superceded by their new “column failure” theory, revealing their own failures in providing a solid explanation.

  • According to the 9/11 Commission, “The interior core of the buildings was a hollow steel shaft, in which elevators and stairwells were grouped” (p. 541). In fact, the core of the towers was actually a support system of 47 massive steel columns. The commission just ignored these because their existence conflicted with the official story of spontaneous global collapse.

  • All three buildings were essentially completely destroyed. The resulting piles of rubble were only a few stories high and there were no large, structural pieces left. If you consider the structural engineering strength and redundancy put into the buildings, it can be difficult to attribute this result to a “structural failure” or simple “collapse.”

  • Nearly all the concrete and non-metallic substances in the towers were pulverized into a fine powder. It has been argued that the gravitational energy of a simple “collapse” would not have been sufficient to cause this pulverization.

  • Molten Steel was also supposedly observed by multiple witnesses at ground zero, even weeks after 9/11. Some argue that the energy needed to melt steel would only been possible through the use of explosives or other foreign, high-energy devices. Supposedly, jet fuel and the collapse of the buildings could not have created enough heat or energy to leave molten steel.

  • Firefighters, initial news reports and other witnesses prominently reported secondary explosions within the towers.

  • WTC 7 housed the New York offices of the CIA, Secret Service, SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission), and Rudy Giuliani’s Office of Emergency Management bunker. This can be seen as the circumstantial evidence of a “paranoid conspiracy theorist” or as an interesting and telling fact.

  • The New York Times on WTC 7: “no building like it, a modern, steel-reinforced high-rise, had ever collapsed because of an uncontrolled fire… Because of those doubts, engineers hold open the possibility that the collapse had other explanations, like damage caused by falling debris or another source of heat….A combination of an uncontrolled fire and the structural damage might have been able to bring the building down, some engineers said. But that would not explain steel members in the debris pile that appear to have been partly evaporated in extraordinarily high temperatures, Dr. Barnett said.”