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FEMA misled the public about the WTC collapse!

Eugene Tenenbaum | 06.09.2004 07:06 | Analysis | Repression | Technology

If WTC was built correctly, it should have burned out and not collapsed, causing smaller material damage and much fewer victims among almost 1000, who died under the zones of impact in and around the both towers. Exposing design flaws causing the WTC collapse would have weakened the argument for the retribution war in Iraq, because the retribution should be proportional to the injury. So, not exposing design flaws, and putting more blame for the injury on the attackers, implied more retribution, i.e. a stronger argument for the war.

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----- Original Message -----
From: Eugene Tenenbaum
To: ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Sent: Monday, July 19, 2004 4:50 AM
Subject: FEMA contradicts laws of physics in the WTC
collapse Study!

Dear 9/11 Commissioner,

is a very serious argument to verify the FEMA Study
about the WTC collapse.  The Study seems to contradict
laws of physics at victim relatives’ expense maybe in
support to the war in Iraq or else you will be able to
find out.

        It is just the beginning
of a broader piece I intend to publish very soon.  If you do
not verify it now, you will not be able to say latter that you
did not know about it, because I intend to include in my
publication a note informing that I sent you this fragment today.

Sincerely, Eugene Tenenbaum


FEMA contradicts
laws of physics in the WTC collapse Study!


By Eugene Tenenbaum, 3985 Gouverneur Av, #1B,
Bronx, NY 10463, Copyright © 2004 Eugene Tenenbaum
Jul. 17, 2004


Federal Emergency Management Agency (or “FEMA”)
misleadingly implies in its Study’s key conclusion (or
“the FEMA conclusion” or “the conclusion”),
about the WTC collapse, that the airplane impacts caused a
decisive damage, and so purposely skips analyzing a) the faulty
structural design, guarantying the towers to fall under any
extensive fire, and b) the faulty design review and approval
process that should have prevented it.


The conclusion in question is the last and
underlined sentence of the following quotation from “World
Trade Center Building Performance Study: Data Collection,
Preliminary Observations, and Recommendations” FEMA 403
• September 2002 • Second Printing (or “FEMA
Study” or “the Study”) available, e.g. at or else:

FEMA Study, Chapter (or “Ch.”) 2, pp. 2-31/32:
“There are some important differences between the impact
of the aircraft into WTC 2 and the impact into WTC 1. First,
United Airlines Flight 175 was flying much faster, with an
estimated speed of 590 mph, while American Airlines Flight 11 was
flying at approximately 470 mph. The additional speed would have
given the aircraft a greater ability to destroy portions of the
structure. The zone of aircraft impact was skewed toward the
southeast corner of WTC 2, while the zone of impact on WTC 1 was
approximately centered on the building’s north face. The
orientation of the core in WTC 2 was such that the aircraft
debris would only have to travel 35 feet across the floor before
it began to impact and damage elements of the core structure. 
Finally, the zone of impact in WTC 2 was nearly 20 stories lower
than that in WTC 1, so columns in this area were carrying
substantially larger loads. It is possible, therefore,
that structural damage to WTC 2 was more severe than that to WTC
1, partly explaining why WTC 2 collapsed more quickly than WTC 1.”


Apparently, it looks… almost logical, if not
for two fundamental problems.  First, less important - as
the airplane hit WTC 2 not perpendicularly, so only its speed’s
component perpendicular to the WTC 2 face caused the damage,
because the parallel component slide along the face, therefore
the effective, damaging speed was less than 590 mph (it would be
nice to have at least fifth grade’s observations, but maybe,
because the Study contains only preliminary observations, so it
does not rise above the fourth grade’s level)!


Second, essential - as WTC 2 was hit at 80th
Floor twice as low from the roof than WTC 1 was at 96th
Floor, and there were 30 floors above the WTC 2 zone of impact (or
“zone”), but only 15 floors above the WTC 1 zone, and
so internal core (or “core”) columns at 80th
Floor carried load twice of a load at 96th Floor, and
exterior columns in the WTC 2 zone carried roughly 20 % more of a
building weight load then in the WTC 1 zone, but additionally
strength added to exterior columns against wind pressure load 30
floors below the roof was roughly four times that added only 15
floors below the roof, so exterior tubular columns in the WTC 2
zone had roughly two and a quarter more of strength than in the
WTC 1 zone, and internal core corner column in front of the WTC 2
airplane nose had four times more of total strength than the mid-side
core outer column in front of the WTC 1 airplane nose. 
There was no wind nor column wind load on the 9/11.

Therefore, the structural damage to
WTC 2 was LESS severe than that to WTC1 on the contrary to the FEMA
conclusion, because the columns in the WTC 2 zone had double-quadruple
of a strength of WTC 1’s, but the WTC 2 airplane speed was
only 26 % greater, and its kinetic (destructive) energy only 58%
greater than the WTC 1 airplane, so much less than the double-quadruple
strength and mass advantage.  In other words, the advantage
of WTC 2 zone column strength over WTC 1’s was much greater
than the advantage of the WTC 2 airplane destructive energy over
WTC 1’s.


That observation is so simple and obvious that the
cited above FEMA staggeringly false conclusion is difficult to
explain by a mistake.  So, who decided to make it?  Any
idea why?  Could the intended war against Iraq play a role? 
the possibility of a faulty WTC design contributing to or even
causing its collapse have deterred the public opinion from
supporting the war the Administration had afraid of?  You are invited to answer these


To see, how obviously the FEMA conclusion is wrong (if
you forget from school), as well as to show it to five-year-old
children, just borrow any blocks from them, build a column by
stocking a few blocks vertically (one on another) and hit the
column in the middle, so it collapses.  Next build again the
same column, put your hand on the top of it, press the hand down,
and try to collapse the column by hitting like before.  It
is impossible, if you pressed strong enough!


“Greater load representing greater strength and
resistance to damage” can be recognized in every
kindergarten, but not in FEMA despite that actual FEMA Study’s
Figures 2-27 and 2-16, as well as the similar Damage Area figures
below, CLEARLY show that the structural damage to the exterior
columns of WTC 2 was (34 %) smaller by area than of WTC 1,
illustrating that simple law of physics at work.


The actual damage areas to WTC 1 and WTC 2 exterior
columns were 1,607 and 1,044 square feet respectively! 
Following the pattern, the structural damage to internal columns
of WTC 2 should have been also LESS severe than in WTC 1 opposite
to the FEMA conclusion.


FEMA - of course - could defend its conclusion
claming using the word "possible", but it implies the
greater chance of only two possible (much greater or smaller), as
meant chance "that structural damage to WTC 2 was more
severe". To describe as possible a minuscule chance
qualifies as MISREPRESENTATION, e.g. if a chance
of a less severe structural damage to WTC 2 was 99.999 %, so the
more severe damage to it was still possible (with probability of
just 0.001 %), so technically FEMA Study's report was (always)
true, but with the reasonable doubts of 99.999 %!


Maybe “incompetent” authors wrote FEMA
Study in a good faith?  Their omission from the inner
core (or “core”) in the WTC 2 plan at the zone of
aircraft impact of the massive box columns - which greater
strength contradicts their conclusion - rather suggests a
self-serving misrepresentation.


The misrepresented outer columns of the core at 84th
Floor and below (within the zone of impact in WTC 2, but not in
WTC 1’s) were significantly heavier boxes 36x14-16 inches
made of ¾- 4-inch plates (FEMA Study, p. B-2) than the actually
drawn I-shaped inner core’s outer columns in the WTC 1 zone
of impact.  Figure B-6 of FEMA Study shows an imprint of the
I-shaped column on the heavier box column illustrating the huge
difference between them.

The massive boxes can be seen on photographs,

and in a WTC tower typical floor plan

available at; unlike in the following plans used by
FEMA Study (Figure 2-1) indicating the huge structural
differences between the inner cores in the zones of aircraft
impacts below 84th Floor in WTC 2 and way above 84th
Floor in WTC 1.

Not showing in the FEMA Study (Figure 2-25) the
massive columns in the WTC 2 impact zone has been misleading,
self-serving and unethical.

One of Achilles’ heel were the “walls”
of tower inner cores that unfortunately were just plain and not
reinforced sheetrock (gypsum board) partitions with strength
comparable to heavy cardboard, and completely vulnerable to the
slightly elevated pressure of even a foot kick, hence also to an
impact of the actual jet fuel fireballs, or, e.g. a propane gas
blast, like in “Backdraft” (1991) film.  So, it
seems to be misrepresenting and self-serving the following
(underlined) FEMA Study reasoning from p. 2-15 unsubstantially
insinuating that wracking of the week and flimsy partitions (also
ceiling panels) at WTC 1 indicate structural damage (i.e. to
the columns): “They [witnesses] described
extensive building debris in the eastern portion of the central
core, preventing their access to the easternmost exit stairway. This
suggests the possibility of immediate partial collapse of framing
in the central core. These persons also described the
presence of debris from collapsed partition walls from upper
floors in stairways located further to the west, suggesting
the possibility of some structural damage in the northwestern
portion of the core framing as well.


Unfortunately, the destruction of flimsy core
partitions deprived the stairwells and (elevator) shafts of their
enclosure turning them into chimneys and the towers into stacks
helping the fires to spread heating bigger floor areas, of which
thermal expansion faster collapsed the towers, but not
necessarily increased fire temperature.  The issue of
partitions is irrelevant for the structural analysis except for
widening the fires, heat distribution and subsequent thermal
expansion speeding up the collapse (increasing casualties), but
not changing the mechanism.


To find out, why the towers collapsed so
differently, and so to analyze differences between the both
airplanes impacts, it is useful to visualize the both zones of
aircraft impact on one plan with the correct massive columns only
on the WTC 2 side of impact (one plan’s half) and not on the
WTC 1 side (other plan’s half), and showing the difference
between them (in reality they were present or not at once on both
sides), and disregarding the flimsy partition.  One plan can
show also both areas of damage to the exterior columns, both
airplanes at their angles of impact and at the positions of
slowing down, where they were not able to inflict any further
damage to the exterior columns stronger than the airplanes’
soft bodies, when the surviving exterior columns begun damaging
airplanes wing ends.  Such plan shows also the trajectories
of both airplane landing gears and engine found penetrating
through the entire floors, and landing far outside the towers.

The key question is, if the airplanes caused
damage to inner core columns, and, if yes, to what extend.


Let’s first start from an obviously false
following statement from p. 2-16 of FEMA Study claiming that
debris, which passed through the towers [almost intact!], “doubtlessly”
caused damage to core columns, and that the extend of this damage
cannot be known (underlined):  It is known that some
debris from the aircraft traveled completely through the
structure. For example, […]. Part of the landing gear
from this aircraft was found at the corner of West and Rector
Streets, some five blocks south of the WTC complex (Figure 2-18).
As this debris passed through the building, it
doubtless caused some level of damage to the structure
across the floor plate, including,
potentially, interior framing, core columns,
framing at the east, south, and west walls, and the floors
themselves. The exact extent of this damage will likely
never be known with certainty.


First – the phrase “some level of damage”
is MANIPULATIVE and MISLEADING, because it includes a near
zero level of damage, so technically FEMA is right in any case,
because that phrase means that there was or was not damage, i.e.
it is truism meaning some level from near 0 to 100 %!


Second – the debris, which passed completely
through the towers almost intact keeping their initial
trajectories, certainly could not have caused any damage to
core columns, because it was virtually impossible to strongly hit
a column certainly causing a bounce in a different direction, and
then come back to the original trajectory requiring –
improbable - another bounce in the exactly opposite direction,
and all that at 200 mph and without even a significant damage

to the passing engine, which was extremely fragile,
or landing gear!  So, the opposite of the above FEMA claim
is true that the debris, which passed through the towers [almost
intact and not changing their initial trajectories], certainly
did not cause any structural damage to the towers.  So,
their free fall can be used to determine their speed of passing
through the cores after the initial airplane impacts on the
exterior walls.  And that is a critical conclusion FEMA avoided at all


Third – damage to core columns, if any, could
have been causes by debris, which did not pass through the towers
– unlike in the above FEMA statement.


Fourth – once the speed of debris passing
through the cores is known, it is possible to model the exact
extend of damage [to core columns] with a high degree of
certainty opposite
to the FEMA insinuation underlined just above.  If the speed was
low, because of the enormous strength of the exterior walls
absorbing a vast majority of the initial impact energy, it is possible to
exclude any significant damage at all, and opposite to FEMA
Study.  The
passing debris issue is critical!


It is obvious that the airplanes entering the towers
were constantly loosing speed.  The floor plan above shows
the positions of both airplanes fully filling the damage holes in
the exterior walls between the intact exterior columns on both
sides of the damage areas shown above and on Figures 2-27 and 2-16
of FEMA Study.  At these positions the airplanes lost so
much of their initial speeds that their movement was too slow to
cause any further damage to the hard steel exterior columns by
their soft aluminum bodies, and the intact exterior columns on
both sides of the damage areas started to cut out the airplane
wing ends exceeding the damage areas perimeters.


Knowing parameters of the exterior columns and whole
towers, wings and Boeing airplanes (they were designed and tested
in the computer), it is easily and cheaply to simulate the
impacts in the computer, and to get these speeds, but FEMA failed
to do so.  Why?  There were successful Flight 800 or
shuttle Columbia crash recreation efforts.


Instead, FEMA Study (p. 2-22) provides, e.g. a
useless number of gigawatts of energy were released by both
fires, or misleadingly speculates about temperature allegedly
reaching 1,400 °C melting point of steel (p. A-12, 17) implying
such a possibility.  FEMA Study provides references to the
very outdated office fire experiments in 1972 (p. A-3), but DOES
NOT conduct any computer simulation of the actual WTC fires, like
– though maybe not perfect - the MSC Marc simulation (


The MSC Marc simulation is useful allowing to
conclude that “It is clear that the fires could not/did
not get much above 825°C (and were almost certainly cooler)”
and also to ask “what caused the fire sprinkler system to
fail within a few minutes of the impact”, though the
included there Boeing 747 collision simulation is out of touch
with a WTC reality, because the 767s were less than a half weight
of a 747, and the WTC tower structure nor the 767s’ speed
were not reflected.


Coming back to the floor plan above showing the
airplane positions inside the towers, at which they were too slow
to inflict any structural damage to both - the exterior columns
and stronger inner core columns, the question remains, if
airplane debris reaching these positions could have damaged the
inner core columns within the front of both airplanes shown on
the plan above.


There are four (4) inner core columns within the
front of both airplanes.  Because both airplanes shattered
on impact and the front section of the WTC 1 airplane could not
survive to reach the inner pair of columns of the inner core, so
further considerations are limited only to the outer pair of
columns of the inner core of WTC 1.  Because of a greater
load and strength of columns at the zone of airplane impact in
WTC 2 than in WTC 1 (indicated by the smaller area of damage to
exterior columns), it is certain that during the impacts the WTC
2 airplane was slowing down more rapidly than the WTC 1 airplane,
and its front was damaged more than of WTC 1’s, hence the
two (2) furthest inner core box columns within the front of the
WTC 2 airplane can be excluded from a damage consideration.


The almost equal distances from the towers of the
fallen almost intact airplane parts after completely
penetrating the towers prove that the WTC 2 airplane was slowed
down on impact more than the WTC 1 airplane.  The schematic
here (FEMA Study Figure 1-3) shows the areas of landing of the
airplane debris after flying over the whole floors and falling
down far beyond of the opposite tower sides to the impact sides
of the towers.

Landing gears of both airplanes completely
penetrated both towers.  The WTC 2 landing gear (wheel) fell
1212 ft (370 m) from WTC 2, and the WTC 1 one – 1310 ft (399
m) from WTC 1.  The WTC 2 zone of impact was 994 ft (303 m)
above the ground, and the WTC 1 zone – 1178 ft (359 m). 
There is a simple formula – on approx. seventh grade level -
to calculate speed of projectile at constant downward
acceleration ( - in our case – of 32 ft/s2
(9.8 m/s2) caused by the gravity force, if
disregarding air resistance on falling body that shortens
distance of falling: velocity=(distance of projectile fall)*{[(constant
downward acceleration)/[(height of fall)*2]}^1/2.

That simple formula (without considering
air resistance) allowed calculating the speeds of the landing
gears exiting WTC 2 and WTC 1 at 105.3 and 104.3 mph respectively. 
The actual speeds were higher, but also almost identical, because
of similar air resistance.  Air resistance (drag) is a
product of air density (1.225 kg/m^3), silhouette area A of
body (its area as seen from the front), dimensionless constant C
called the drag coefficient (that depends on the shape
of body), and squared velocity of body divided by doubled mass of
body.  (Projectile motion with air resistance description
can be found, e.g. at, and its programming – at


Calculating speeds of the landing gears
exiting WTC 2 and WTC 1 with air resistance, two cases were
considered.  First: gear mass m=150 kg, wheel height
of 1.2 m, wheel width of 0.4 m, so area A=0.48 m^2, drag
coefficient C=0.5.  Second: m=200kg, A=0.6
m^2, C=1.0.  In the first case (m=150kg, A=0.48
m^2, C=0.5) the EXIT floor speeds of the landing gears
from WTC 2 and WTC 1 were 122.4 and 123 mph respectively, and the
preceding ENTRY floor higher speeds - needed to travel through
the whole 210 ft (64 m) span of each tower floor after the impact
(from initial impact exterior wall to exit window), and
leaving at the previously calculated EXIT speeds - were 130.2
and 130.9 mph respectively.  In the second, conservative
case (m=200 kg, A=0.6 m^2, C=1.0) the EXIT from
WTC 2 and WTC 1 speeds were 139.8 and 143.2 mph, and the floor
ENTRY floor speeds were 156.6 and 160.4 mph, respectively.

Recordings and a simulation ( show that after the initial airplane
impact the resulting fireball expanded through the tower - like a
very strong hurricane (much over 100 mph) - ripping off panels of
elevation falling down beneath flames, so also leveling
everything inside, but columns, and leaving no obstacles slowing
down the landing gears and engine traveling through the towers
within that fireball hurricane.


Even, if adding a bounce or two from the
floor inside the towers not much changing trajectory, but
increasing the landing gears speed from the calculated 160 mph
without bounces to around 200 mph with bounces, the plans still
lost more than 50 % of their initial speeds on the initial
impacts with exterior columns, so more than 75% of their
destructive (kinetic) energy (proportional to velocity squared v^2
and mass m, so when velocity drops by 1/2, energy drops by
¾ to 1/4, because [1/2]^2=1/4), so the airplane destructive
power to damage inner core columns decreased at least four (4!)
times after the initial impacts, FEMA Study ignores and
MISREPRESENTS on p. 2-16 claiming that “The
exact extent of this damage will likely never be known with
certainty” manipulatively implying that some
damage had to occur and nothing can be done, because its exact
extend cannot be known with certainty, and that is necessary to
solve the mechanism of the collapse, and anything else is not
good enough, and so it is appropriate not even attempt to assess
the damage, nor to conduct a structural analysis based on
probabilities, nor to consider more than one possibility, nor to
consider that no significant damage to the columns could have
happened at all at 200 mph most likely, i.e. that it is fine to
refrain from further considerations, and it is the only way to
proceed, because there is “no smoking gun”.


The “no smoking gun” theory
excusing from an effort, if problems were difficult, does not
apply to positions including a full responsibility for dealing
with the problems especially, if someone else could have sat down
for a half of year and solve them.  The use of the “no
smoking gun” excuse and not even attempting solving problems
by those, who are responsible, proves their incompetence or worse. 
Before using it, look in your job description and think twice
before claiming the “no smoking gun” excuse!  A
“smoking gun” is not served on a silver platter. 
It grows and becomes more visible while you work intelligently to
solve a problem, and elements without an apparent meaning or
connection start to build a whole picture, and a smoking gun
emerges becoming more visible step by step.


The exterior columns slowed down the WTC 2
airplane impacting at 590 mph more than the exterior columns
slowed the WTC 1 airplane impacting at 470mph with only 63 % of
the kinetic energy of the WTC 2 airplane, to almost identical
landing gear exit speeds.  Additionally, the debris passing
entirely through WTC 2 did not go through the inner core unlike
in WTC 1, but near the core, so on the debris path were no
columns to bounce from slowing WTC2 debris down unlike in WTC 
1.  It means that the landing gear passing entirely through
WTC 1 did not bounced as well, because, if it had retaining on
exit the same speed as the WTC 2 debris without bouncing, the
speed of debris in WTC 1 would have been actually greater than in
WTC 2 rendering the FEMA conclusion just plain insane. 
The fact that the exit speeds were almost identical clearly
indicates that the WTC 2 exterior columns were much stronger and
resistant to damage than the columns of WTC 1, as they supposed
to be, because of their greater load.  By the same
principal, the WTC 2 zone of impact inner core columns were much
stronger than of WTC 1.  So, after passing the exterior columns with
similar speeds in both towers, the airplane debris could not
damage the much stronger inner columns of WTC 2 more than those
of WTC1 with 100% certainty and contrary to the FEMA conclusion!


The fall of the WTC 2 airplane engine not much
farther from the landing gear fall indicates that the landing
gear was not slowed down much inside the tower, because the gear
behind the engine in the airplane impacted a moment latter at a
slightly lower speed of the slowing down by the impact airplane
while the slimmer engine was still rotating.  This points to
the initial impact, as the separation event that did not distort
much the trajectories, but certainly trashed the wings slightly
rotating them back, separated the engines pushing their
trajectories slightly outward, and also had to free the landing
gears leaving not much of the airplane front fuselages as a
whole, which had to further slow down plowing through the
concrete (which doubled its strength after 30 years) of the floor(s)
in order to reach the inner core columns to damage them. 
So, the exit speeds of the debris passing entirely through the
towers are certain indicators that the initial impacts slowed
down the airplanes by more than a half of their initial speeds. 
So, it seems like FEMA purposely neglected to conduct computer
simulations of the initial impacts to avoid reaching a right


Watching bad airplane accidents at landings, it is
apparent that they are very fragile and brake on impact with hard
surfaces at landing speeds.  So, both airplanes hitting the
towers at maximum speeds were disintegrating on initial impact.
 The superimposed airplane profiles not fitting well the
exterior structural damage areas clearly indicate shifts of
airplane parts hitting the towers latter (farther back in the
airplane) from their initial location within the profiles. 
These shifts could have been only caused by airplane deformation
resulting from the disintegration on the initial impacts.  E.g.
just after the initial moment of impact the airplane wings
started to roll up causing the damage above their initial
positions, as indicated above by the damage to the exterior
columns above the superimposed airplane profiles, etc.


The airplane disintegration on initial impact is
supported by the fall of the WTC 2 airplane engine slightly
further than of the same airplane’s landing gear, because
the engine - more up front than the landing gear - hit the tower,
separated from the airplane earlier, and at a slightly higher
airplane’s speed (decreasing on impact) than the landing
gear impacting a moment latter at a slightly lower speed. 
Only a small deviation of the WTC 2 part trajectories from that
airplane direction before impact also points to the airplanes
disintegration on the initial impacts despite that the WTC 1
airplane landing gear probably slightly bounced from a column
deviating from the airplane trajectory before exiting the tower.


Disintegration on the initial impact means that
resulting separated airplane pieces lacked significant energy to
exert damaging pressure on inner core columns protected by their
load and strength much greater than exterior columns of the same
floor.  The flying pieces (except the hard engine shafts, as
Peter Bressington of Ove Arup & Partners, Consulting
Engineers explained showing a simulation at 33 min. of
Inventions, Building to Extremes show on PBS) did not have energy
to structurally damage the inner core columns contrary to the FEMA
conclusion.  FEMA
chose not to conduct cheap computer impact simulations maybe to
avoid pointing toward revealing tower design inadequacies
reducing reasons to go to war with Iraq, but at the expense
of orphans and widows.

Eugene Tenenbaum