Page 1: Introduction to photos, documented melting
Page 2: How the melting may have occurred
Page 3: Appendix C of FEMA BPAT report
Those familiar with the 9/11 Truth movement have probably seen the popular video of a NIST official denying any evidence of the dozens of reports of “molten metal” seen in the World Trade Center towers before their collapse and in the rubble after. The man in the video is John Gross, a leading engineer with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
The video was recorded during a 2007 information session in Austin, Texas where a researcher asked Gross about the reports of molten metal. As he asked the question, Gross became visibly irritated because he knew where the man’s question was going, towards evidence that contradicts the official explanation of collapse from the plane crashes and resulting fires.
Question: I’m curious about the pool of molten steel that was found in the bottom of the towers.
John Gross: *laughs* I am too, please tell me about it. have you seen it?
Question: I have not personally, eyewitnesses there found huge pools of molten steel beneath the towers and some scientists don’t think that the collapse of the building could have melted all that steel. A physics professor, analyzed some of the steel, Steven Jones, and he found evidence of thermate residue, which would explain how the buildings collapsed by means of pre planted explosives, so have you have you analyzed the steel for any of those residues?”
John Gross: “First of all, let’s go back to your premise that there was a pool of molten steel, I know of absolutely nobody, no eyewitnesses said so, nobody who’s produced it. I was on the site, I was on the steel yards, so I can’t… I don’t know that that’s so. It melts at around two thousand six hundred degrees Fahrenheit…, I think it’s probably pretty difficult to get that kind of… temperatures in a fire. So I don’t know the basis, I can’t address your question if I don’t know the basis.”
Beyond the eyewitness accounts of molten metal, there is confirmation in official government reports of unexplained, melted steel. Using the word unexplained to describe the damage is not an opinion, but conclusions directly from an official report which has a special section focused on finding the cause of the observed damage. It was the responsiblity of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate the investigation of the collapsed buildings, reported in the 2002 Building Performance study.
An obscure section of the study called “Limited Metallurgical Examinations”, labeled Appendix C (full report), reports on the analysis of 2 steel samples that were melted beyond the normal capabilities of a fuel-based fire.
Two structural steel members with unusual erosion patterns were observed in the WTC debris field. The first appeared to be from WTC 7 and the second from either WTC 1 or WTC 2. Samples were taken from these beams and labeled Sample 1 and Sample 2, respectively. A metallurgic examination was conducted.
Only one picture of each steel sample are shown in the report and neither show the true scale of the melting observed. Both of the steel samples were from pieces originally over 1 inch thick and now both are at least 75% thinner, completely melted in some areas with brittle, jagged edges. The pictures in the report make the melting seem like isolated anomalies.
A set of photos may explain more about why Gross was so irritated with the questioning. Gross was part of the FEMA Building Performance Assessment Team who began documenting the debris, which was being removed as quick as possible to expedite the rescue efforts for the lives of emergency workers and victims in the towers.
In the weeks after the attacks, the BPAT team inspected about 35000 tons of steel, about 10 percent of more than 350,000 tons of steel removed, for the official purpose of studying the failure of the buildings. Most of the debris was initially taken to Fresh Kills landfill and then steel was transferred to multiple scrapyards, mainly Claremont scrapyard in New Jersey.
Gross himself is seen posing with steel showing signs of extreme, unexplained melting and corrosion in pictures released as part of nearly 2500 images from a February 2012 request under the Freedom of Information Act.
John Gross was one of the engineers who inspected steel during the process of the two samples and he is seen with whole sections of severely melted steel, which show the melting was not represented in full context by the report.
The sample from Building 7 was cut off the end of the beam in the photo.
The sampling process
According to FOIA documents, the team was instructed to use care to remove sample coupons if it could compromise the damaged area. One of the concerns was that heat from a torch could have distorted the analysis of the damage as well.
On the Building 7 sample, the torch actually cut through the melted area instead of analyzing it as a whole by using a cold saw or other methods friendly to preserving the evidence. This is what produced the small mangled sample from the full beam for those confused by its appearance.
The second sample was cut from an outer column section of one of the towers, labeled as coupon B in the photo.
If a real investigation was done, a cold saw would have been better for preserving the original conditions. An example of what can happen amazingly can been seen just inches away from where the second sample was cut. None of this damage was significantly analyzed.
The source of Sample 2 is a 3 piece set of the outer steel columns which provided structural support and were covered by the building’s silver aluminum face.
By NIST’s conclusion (2005), this piece was no higher than the 53rd floor in either tower based on the configuration of the columns. How would holes be melted completely through these outer columns if jet fuel weakened inner core steel at least 30 floors above?
It is also suggested that both sample steel pieces were laying horizontally in the debris pile and could have sustained the damage then, however that reintroduces the problem of what melted to produce the liquid that caused the damage seen.
It is not known how much diligence the team exercised in identifying the location of the WTC7 beam. It may have been marked with reference numbers but from the available photos, the markings cannot be seen and may have been damaged. There is really no excuse for the lack of analysis on either sample, as that location could have been narrowed with minimal verification. The location of the steel sections would provide a lot of insight and answer questions about how the melting occurred.