Sunday, April 1, 2007

Main article: The Destruction of WTC 7

Contradictory pictures of WTC 7's corner damage

There are conflicting pictures of WTC 7's south-west corner on September 11, 2001.

On the left is a picture of the corner taken from NIST's draft report (April 5, 2005, p. 17). According to NIST, the damage was caused by debris ejected from the North Tower when it collapsed at 10:28 a.m.

NIST uses the picture to show that the corner has been destroyed, or scooped out, below the point marked by the arrow.

I have always thought that the picture looks somehow unreal around the area of the damaged corner.

Recently, a picture by Aman Zafar showing quite a different view appeared on the net. The relevant part of the picture is cropped below. WTC 7 is the brown building in the middle.

In Zafar's picture, taken around 2 p.m., the corresponding portion of WTC 7's south-west corner is intact, notwithstanding some superficial soot damage. Click here to see all Zafar's pictures from 9/11.

The two pictures were mapped by Reprehensor in the composite image below.

The massive damage in the NIST/NYPD picture on the left seems to be missing from the picture on the right.

The discrepancy between the images has suggested to some that the image in NIST's draft report was modified to support their claim that there was considerable damage to the skyscraper (from the North Tower's collapse) in order to add some plausibility to the argument that its near-freefall descent at 5:20 p.m. was due to debris damage and fires. However, there are at least two other pictures, one here and another one in NIST's interim report (June 2004), showing a damaged corner.

An in-depth analysis and comparison of all these pictures can be found in Arie's article. His analysis suggests that slight alterations were made using photo editing software to give the impression of more extensive damage in the NIST/NYPD photo. Further, Arie concludes that

"Although it's impossible to prove that NIST deliberately doctored this photo, the Zafar shot makes clear that it does not give a fair representation of the southwest corner damage. It's hard to believe that NIST could not find a better photo among the thousands they are still witholding from the public and instead produced this dubious, misleading and probably doctored picture."

It would be instructive to know precisely what kind of damage the corner suffered. But whatever happened to it, the chances that random, scattered fires and some asymmetric damage would have resulted in the vertical demolition-like implosion of the skyscraper are non-existent, as FEMA practically acknowledged in its inconclusive report in 2002.