Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A "Collapse-the-Buildings" Contest for Engineering Students?

Dear Sifting & Winnowing Club,

Per Kevin Barrett's request, I am submitting a suggestion for the Sifting & Winnowing Club to bring about educated discussion on the destruction of the three WTC massive steel framed buildings.

As I understand it, pretty much every college that has an Engineering curriculum usually also has some type of engineering contest. For example, there was a contest where students had to design a contraption that would safely carry a raw egg dropped from several stories above without causing the egg to crack when it landed on the ground.

My suggestion, of course, is to put structural engineering students to the test to see if they can recreate the free-fall, symetrical collapse of a steel and concrete structure (on a model scale) using only open-air office fire that lasts approximately one hour. This, of course, is part of the Scientific Method. Would be interesting to see how many Engineering students repeatedly try to attempt this feat based on the solid engineering/physics principals that they are being taught in school. What occurred on 9/11 violates all of the principals that they have been taught.

Each model structure must be examined by at least two independent professional structural engineers to make sure that there is no trickery involved. The model structures must be solid. Doesn't have to be fancy - could weld together some wire milk crates for example. See if they can get the smaller mass to free-fall through the much larger stronger mass - accelerating, not slowing down.

If, by some small chance there was a miracle and someone recreated this feat, then it would need to be performed again with supervision on how the structure was put together. No shenanigans allowed.

This is the core of what we are dealing with. If students are being taught the same solid structural and physical principals that I learned in Engineering school, then they will quickly know that what happened on 9/11 is impossible - unless there is the use of controlled demolition. If they can't repeat the feat through simple experimentation, then there is no debate. The science speaks for itself.

This contest should be run at every engineering program at every college across the country.

This is kind of the same as asking someone if they believe the official account, then would they be willing to start a demolition company that only uses open-air fire to completely demolish steel framed structures in free fall acelleration, perfectly symetrical. So far, I have not seen anyone start up such a business.

Hope you find this suggestion helpful. And I hope to see some engineering contests on campuses across the U.S.!

Best regards,



  1. This is an interesting idea. Maybe the unclaimed $1,000 from the debate challenge could be put up as prize money?

    It would probably still be safe ; - )

  2. Kevin,

    Glad to hear that you like the idea. Just so you know though, I do not live in Wisconsin and I am no longer a student (that was many years ago).

    Personally, I think it would be best for an Engineering student(s) to be in charge of this project and just approach this whole thing from a purely academic point of view. Does what happened on 9/11 match up with what they are learning in their engineering and physics classes, and, if not, why not? Pure academics, using scientific analysis to test concepts learned.

    If what NIST says is true, then surely they will not mind if several thousand engineering students put it to the test with some rigorous experimentation in an academic environment.

    Hope that helps!