The Request asserts that the NIST Final Report violates information quality standards, draws inferences that are inconsistent with its own computer simulations and physical tests, and exhibits a significant bias toward a preordained conclusion while ignoring available evidence contrary to it. The Request also says that if this bias is corrected, the NIST simulation clearly indicates that the Towers should not have collapsed due to plane damage and fire. The obvious alternative, which the group says should have been studied by NIST, is explosive demolition.
A key theme of the Request is a call for NIST to reveal more of the data behind the Report's statements. Steven Jones, a physicist in Utah, says of the Report, "Among other things, we've found that the Report violates information quality standards by leaving out necessary information which would allow its conclusions to be verified."
But what's worse, Jones says, "when you read the Report, you find some data that don't support the conclusion are simply being ignored. That's a big red flag."
The assertion that the conclusion of the NIST report is incorrect is important, the Request says, because that "would mean that the assumption that foreign terrorists alone carried out the destruction would become a matter of dispute."
The group says that a different conclusion better fits the evidence - they believe that pre-positioned explosives were responsible for the destruction of the WTC towers. "It sounds outlandish," Jones says, "But when you look at the evidence, it fits. In fact, many of the physical features of these events -- such as their rapidity, totality, and the observed iron-rich spheres in the WTC dust -- fit the demolition hypothesis and are difficult to reconcile with any of the existing collapse explanations."
A criticism in the Request examines the Report's description of the collapse mechanisms - that once the top portion of the buildings started to fall, the portion below was "not able to arrest this initial movement as evidenced by videos from several vantage points." But NIST, the Request says, must explain why the intact structure below the impact zone offered so little resistance to the collapse of the building."
California architect and member of the Requester group, Richard Gage, AIA, emphasizes that the buildings were designed to withstand 150mph lateral wind loads and even airplane impacts, and notes that vast majority of both towers were not damaged by fire or impact.
"There were 80 to 90 floors of completely intact steel structure below the impact zones, untouched by fire or damage, which had held up the mass above them for decades and, in the case of the perimeter columns, were over-designed by a factor of 20. Also, almost all of the mass of the building coming down from above was being ejected outside the footprint as it fell, so there is not even a "pile driver" to crush the building below, and thus no valid engineering explanation for the failure!" Gage says that the only way to achieve what NIST describes as "'such little resistance [from the structure below to the falling mass above,' was to destroy that solid intact structure with pre-planted explosives."
"It sounds extreme," he says, "even preposterous. But when you set aside your disbelief, you find explosives to be the only valid explanation for the 'collapse' and this explains many features -- such as the virtually free fall speed, symmetry, audible & visible explosions, pulverization to dust of all of the floors, file cabinets, etc. -- that are consistent with demolition style collapses, but not with historical structural failures by fire."
But this Request isn't the only one being made by groups critical of the Final Report conclusion.
"It's a nonsense submission," says James Gourley. He says that such submissions are likely to undermine the legitimate work of others. "By submitting what amounts to nonsense, they basically inoculate people against any other legitimate challenges to the NIST Report." This, he says, gives officials an easy way to avoid serious consideration to all conclusions counter to that of the Final Report.
"It's called discrediting by association," a historic means to marginalize a viewpoint by associating it with transparently flawed or repugnant ideas. "You've got these people saying that real planes didn't hit the WTC towers at all in their submission." Gourley says. "That only discredits the rest of us, regardless of what the real motive behind it is."