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International Center for 9/11 Studies Secures Release of Thousands of Photos and Videos from NIST

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August 31, 2010
911blogger.com, James Gourley’s blog

The International Center for 9/11 Studies has secured the release of hundreds of hours of video footage and tens of thousands of photographs used by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for its investigation of the collapse of the World Trade Center Twin Towers and Building 7. This material is being released to the Center under the Freedom of Information Act, in response to a lawsuit the Center filed against NIST.

The Center filed a FOIA Request with NIST on January 26, 2009, seeking production of “all of the photographs and videos collected, reviewed, cited or in any other way used by NIST during its investigation of the World Trade Center building collapses.” Following several unsuccessful attempts to get NIST to even acknowledge receipt of the Request, the Center was forced to file a lawsuit on May 28, 2009. Shortly after the lawsuit was filed, the Request was assigned a reference number, and NIST began periodically releasing batches of responsive records. To date, the Center has received over 300 DVDs and several external hard disk drives that contain responsive records – more than 3 terabytes of data so far – and NIST has indicated that additional records will be released in the future.

We are currently looking at the best ways to distribute these materials to interested researchers and journalists around the world. It has taken NIST more than 8 months so far to produce a partial archive of photographs and videos in their possession, but we hope to be more efficient in our efforts. Because of the huge volume of data, we are working on a wiki-style website to facilitate review and discussion of any interesting items that are discovered by researchers.

Justin Keogh, our Chief Technical Officer, is preparing the website and materials for release. The first batch of materials we are releasing is a group of video clips sent to us on an external hard disk drive labeled “NIST WTC Investigation Cumulus Video Clips.” We believe NIST entered these clips into a searchable database called the Cumulus database, and used them as the basis for the investigation and reports. Researchers may be interested to see which video clips NIST determined were important to its investigation, and compare these clips to the raw footage we release at a later date. Justin will be posting more details about the data release in the next week or two. Any questions about the FOIA Request, lawsuit, or data release should be submitted via the Contact Us page at the Center’s website: http://www.ic911studies.org/Contact_Us.html.

Although the Center has extremely limited resources with which it can review this mountain of data, several interesting items have already been discovered. Below are five items the Center has uncovered so far. The items below have not been altered from the original provided by NIST, except in three cases where a short section of footage was extracted from a much longer video. Otherwise, no alterations have been made to the video or audio. For the best viewing experience, you should watch all of the videos below in the highest resolution available. We will supplement the list below in the coming days and weeks.

1. Video Footage of Explosion Before Collapse

In the video below, at about the 0:59 mark, a high-pressure explosion occurs in one of the Twin Towers, below the impact zone, while the building is still standing.

Continued, with videos referenced, at the source: http://911blogger.com/news/2010-08-31/international-center-911-studies-secures-release-thousands-photos-and-videos-nist.

September 6 update:

The International Center for 9/11 Studies has posted two videos from the NIST Cumulus database to its YouTube channel. The first is uncut, raw footage of an interview with Barry Jennings on 9/11. The second is FLIR video of the Twin Towers burning. More videos will be posted this later this week.

Justin Keogh is still preparing the entire Cumulus database for release via bittorrent. He will post the details of the release in the next few days.