Monday, August 28, 2006

an Open Letter in search of signatories

this seems to work well enough for brent bozell, so i thought i'd re-purpose the 'protest by form letter' meme.

as you may or may not know, Brent Blanchard of Protec Documentation Services (and recently released a PDF devoted to 'de-bunking' some of the demolition-related 9/11 conspiracy theories.

i studied the paper, and compared it to the FEMA and NIST reports, and found some inconsistencies which prompted me to contact the International Society of Explosives Engineers (in which Protec enjoys membership) - because, from what i've read, it looks as though Protec is violating a few parts of the Society's Code of Ethics.

i just got a reply from, saying that they won't review my comments unless i give them my name, address, and phone number... it's not an outlandish request, of course, but at the same time i fail to see how my contact information could affect the contents of FEMA 403, NIST NCSTAR 1, Blanchard's paper, or ISEE's code of ethics.


in case any of you are brave enough to cast off anonymity and personally identify yourselves, i have included the contents of my original email below, which you are free (and encouraged) to send.

thanks for your time, and good luck.




subject: re: Protec Documentation Services

Sirs -

I am writing with a comment about an organization which claims membership in your organization, Protec Documentation Services of Rancocas, NJ.

Protec recently released a paper, 'WTC COLLAPSE STUDY', on its sister-site ''.

Having read the paper, and having compared the statements therein with the US Government's official positions on the issues addressed, I have reason to believe that Protec has failed to comply with at least two of the ISEE Fundamental Principles and Fundamental Canons listed on your website's Code of Ethics page.

ISEE Fundamental Principle #1:
ISEE Members uphold and advance the integrity, honor and dignity of the engineering profession by using their knowledge and skill for the enhancement of humankind.

I am not an expert in explosives, structural, or fire protection engineering, but I am definitely a member of 'humankind'.

After comparing Protec's statements regarding the WTC collapses with the statements of experts contracted by FEMA and NIST, I feel that rather than 'enhancing' anything, Protec has instead misrepresented and obfuscated the facts.

--Example 1--
a refutation of the assertion "they [the WTC Towers] fell straight down into their own footprint"

"PROTEC COMMENT: They did not. They followed the path of least resistance, and there was a lot of resistance."

This statement is at odds with NIST NCSTAR1, page 196:
"The structure below the level of collapse initiation offered minimal resistance to the falling building mass at and above the impact zone. ...the stories below the level of collapse initiation provided little resistance to the tremendous energy released by the falling building mass"


ISEE Fundamental Canon #3:
ISEE Members shall issue public statements only in an objective and truthful manner.

Clearly, Protec's release of this paper constitutes the issuance of a public statement, and a portion of the paper seems at best misleading, if not outright untruthful.

--Example 2--
a refutation of the assertion "A steel-framed building has never collapsed due to fire..."

"PROTEC COMMENT: ...The fact is, many steel structures have collapsed due to fire."

This statement is at odds with FEMA Report 403, Chapter 5, page 1:
"Prior to September 11, 2001, there was little, if any, record of fire-induced collapse of large fire-protected steel buildings."


--Example 3--
an excerpt from a page on the implosionworld website:

No. They collapsed in an uncontrolled fashion, causing extensive damage to surrounding structures, roadways and utilities."

This statement is disingenuous, as it purposefully does not address the collapse of WTC7, which is described in FEMA 403, Chapter 5 as an 'implosion' on three separate occasions.

Page 30: "...this would explain why the building imploded..."
Page 31: "...the facade was pulled downward, suggesting an internal failure and implosion."
Page 31: "Loss of strength due to the transfer trusses could explain why the building imploded..."


I trust that the above examples are sufficient to demonstrate that Protec Documentation Services is in a state of non-compliance with the above-referenced ethical standards of ISEE, and that being the case I urge you to reconsider Protec's membership in your organization.

My sole motivation in this regard is to ensure that the public record of September 11, 2001 remains untainted by mis-characterization of the events that occurred on that day, especially by self-proclaimed experts in the field of explosive demolition.

Thank you for your time, and I will look forward to your reply.