The article "Interviews will examine why trade center collapsed" (The Sun, Sept. 18) informed
us that the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is hiring a
contractor to interview more than 1,300 people to "determine the physical sequence
of events that led to the collapse of the New York City landmark."
The article also notes that the Federal Emergency Management Agency attributed the
collapses of the twin towers to "intense heat [which] softened the structural steel
to the point of collapse."
It seems strange that the NIST would seek to interview survivors and witnesses rather
than examine the existing documentation, which is now strewn all across the Internet. The
pictures and videos all show black, seemingly oxygen-deprived smoke leaving the burning
The FEMA report estimates that temperatures reached 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit in some
areas. However, blast furnaces don't normally leave large amounts of black smoke. This
temperature also would easily melt aluminum, shatter windows and be visible as red
light in exterior photos. None of these indicators of extreme heat have appeared
in any of the extant documentation.
NIST has many mysteries to address. It should inspect the physical evidence instead
of interviewing large numbers of people to solve them.