There's been an unsubstantiated rumor flying around theinternet that "gonzo" journalist Hunter S. Thompson waswriting an article on the collapse of the World Trade Centerwhen he killed himself, implying that there remains asecretabout what made those towers collapse when planes wereflown into them on September 11, 2001.
Will Knight writes in New Scientist that a new federalreport shows that the towers collapsed because ofineffective fireproofing and a shortage of staircases. Whenthe towers were built, starting in 1966, they were a radicalnew design. This study is likely to have a major impact onhow skyscrapers are built in the future.
However, the fact remains that Tower 7 may have beendemolished rather than collapsing on its own, for reasonsthat are not clear to this day. In addition,there areserious questions about whether or not the heat of the firegenerated by the jet fuel could have damaged the twintowers' steel infrastructure enough to cause them tocollapse, and a strange similarity in the pattern of bothcollapses to what happens when explosive charges aredetonated to bring a building down.
The report explains that the collisions damaged several of thecolumns at the core of each building. This dislodgedfireproofing, since the floors were attached to the columns,which also supported the structure. This meant that firesspread rapidly, which is why so many firefighters died andwhy so many civilians ended up having to jump from highwindows. The building also contained a great deal ofasbestos insulation, which was dispersed throughout lowerManhattan during the crash. This will probably eventuallylead to a spate of cancers in people who inhaled this dust,and may have caused birth defects in the children ofpregnant women who inhaled it.
More people would have been able to escape if the buildinghad been built with more interior staircases. Also, thestairs were surrounded by drywall, rather than metal, andthe drywall was destroyed during the airplane impacts,making the stairs inaccessible. It took another famous NewYork skyscraper fire on Third Avenue, that inspired the film "Towering Inferno," to make people realize that you shouldnever take an elevator in such a fire, because they containheat sensors and will immediately go to the floor where thefire is and open their doors, killing everyone inside.
Ironically, Unknowncountry.com's Whitley Strieber wastrapped in the Third Avenue fire, and pleaded withcolleagues in his 45th floor offices not to try theelevators. All who did so died in the fire.
Since then, Strieber has taken a high level of interest inskyscraper construction and safety, which is why he remainsconvinced that the 9/11 catastrophe has NOT beensatisfactorily explained.
Strieber comments, "This new theory is the best to comealong in some time, but it still must be proved that heatlevels within the two structures were high enough to degradethe steel sufficiently to initiate the collapse. Inaddition, the collapse of Tower 7, which wasindistinguishable from a planned demolition, must beaddressed by engineers. This has not yet happened."
Subscribers: Youcan still listen to Whitley's provocativeinterview about this withDave VonKleist, and new one-year subscribers get a coupon for a FREEcopy of TheCommunion Letters!
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