Loose Screw #3--Kevin Ryan of Underwriter's Laboratories
Kevin Ryan of Underwriters' Laboratories gets highlighted from 37:14 to 38:20. He apparently wrote a letter disputing the claim that the fires had weakened the steel, causing the World Trade Center Towers to collapse.
This appears to be the letter referenced in the film, although of course I have no way of vouching for its authenticity, and it was found on a 9-11 Conspiracy website, so you should definitely approach it with some skepticism. Here are the paragraphs that Loose Change highlights:
We know that the steel components were certified to ASTM E119. The time temperature curves for this standard require the samples to be exposed to temperatures around 2000F for several hours. And as we all agree, the steel applied met those specifications. Additionally, I think we can all agree that even un-fireproofed steel will not melt until reaching red-hot temperatures of nearly 3000F (2). Why Dr. Brown would imply that 2000F would melt the high-grade steel used in those buildings makes no sense at all.
This story just does not add up. If steel from those buildings did soften or melt, I’m sure we can all agree that this was certainly not due to jet fuel fires of any kind, let alone the briefly burning fires in those towers. That fact should be of great concern to all Americans. Alternatively, the contention that this steel did fail at temperatures around 250C suggests that the majority of deaths on 9/11 were due to a safety-related failure. That suggestion should be of great concern to my company.
This all sounds very scientific, and so when Avery says, "Days after writing this letter, Kevin Ryan was fired from his position", it sure sounds like he got canned for whistle-blowing.
However, the next two paragraphs of Ryan's letter, which Avery does not show, may give us something of a hint as to why he was terminated:
There is no question that the events of 9/11 are the emotional driving force behind the War on Terror. And the issue of the WTC collapse is at the crux of the story of 9/11. My feeling is that your metallurgical tests are at the crux of the crux of the crux. Either you can make sense of what really happened to those buildings, and communicate this quickly, or we all face the same destruction and despair that come from global decisions based on disinformation and “chatter”.
Thanks for your efforts to determine what happened on that day. You may know that there are a number of other current and former government employees that have risked a great deal to help us to know the truth. I've copied one of these people on this message as a sign of respect and support. I believe your work could also be a nucleus of fact around which the truth, and thereby global peace and justice, can grow again. Please do what you can to quickly eliminate the confusion regarding the ability of jet fuel fires to soften or melt structural steel.
Global peace and justice? Sure sounds to me like Ryan's the one trying to make a political point here. Note that the letter is written over 2 years after 9-11--after the Iraq invasion and also following Bush's victory over John Kerry in the 2004 Presidential Election.
This article indicates that Ryan was fired for lying about key facts in the letter.
But his allegations drew a sharp rebuke from UL, which said Ryan wrote the letter "without UL's knowledge or authorization." The company told The Tribune "there is no evidence" that any firm tested the materials used to build the towers.
"UL does not certify structural steel, such as the beams, columns and trusses used in World Trade Center," said Paul M. Baker, the company's spokesman.
Ryan was fired, Baker said, because he "expressed his own opinions as though they were institutional opinions and beliefs of UL."
"The contents of the argument itself are spurious at best, and frankly, they're just wrong," Baker said.
UL moved immediately to discredit Ryan.
The company said Ryan "was not involved in that work and was not associated in any way with UL's Fire Protection Division, which conducted testing at NIST's request."
The company said it "fully supports NIST's ongoing efforts to investigate the WTC tragedy. We regret any confusion that Mr. Ryan's letter has caused 9/11 survivors, victims' families and their friends."
"We prefer to base our conclusions, and NIST would say the same, on science rather than speculation," Baker said. "We anxiously await the outcome of the NIST investigation."
James suggested I check out the Wikipedia entry on Ryan. Guess what his area of expertise was at Underwriters Laboratories?
Kevin Ryan is a former Site Manager for Environmental Health Laboratories in South Bend, Indiana, a subsidiary of Underwriters Labs(UL) responsible for water testing.
Steel, water, what's the difference? James also points out that Ryan's argument about steel melting in the fire is a straw man, since that is not what the experts concluded:
"I have never seen melted steel in a building fire," says retired New York deputy fire chief Vincent Dunn, author of The Collapse Of Burning Buildings: A Guide To Fireground Safety. "But I've seen a lot of twisted, warped, bent and sagging steel. What happens is that the steel tries to expand at both ends, but when it can no longer expand, it sags and the surrounding concrete cracks."
"Steel loses about 50 percent of its strength at 1100°F," notes senior engineer Farid Alfawak-hiri of the American Institute of Steel Construction. "And at 1800° it is probably at less than 10 percent." NIST also believes that a great deal of the spray-on fireproofing insulation was likely knocked off the steel beams that were in the path of the crashing jets, leaving the metal more vulnerable to the heat.