A thermite reaction on 9/11?

Discuss

119 Responses to “A thermite reaction on 9/11?”

  1. I think he’ going to run into scale issues. For this to have been substantial enough it would need to either be in very large quantities or be in the exact right positions (and possibly both). This may do a better job simply explaining some of the claims made by some people in the buildings that they heard explosions below them which is generally considered to just be evidence of how confused humans can get in stressful extreme situations where things are happening quickly. 

    (Disclaimer: Not an engineer)

  2. Pliny_the_Elder says:

    a molten aluminum / water explosion is not the same thing as a thermite reaction

  3. ComradeQuestions says:

    C’mon, sheeple, everyone knows that the Twin Towers were actually brought down by the birth certificate.

  4. IANAE, either, but since the Truthers came around I’ve started wondering why we’d ever build a building that tall, with the potential to fall down like a tree and destroy dozens of other buildings, WITHOUT rigging it with remotely controllable explosives so it can be brought straight down as safely as possible in the event of such an emergency… Especially a building that had it’s basement attacked in ’94 with just such an intent in mind. 

    You’d still want to cover that up with a “national security” blanket, even if it was set up for just those two buildings and not every skyscraper in the country. But if it were set up for every skyscraper in the country, wouldn’t that make you feel safer standing in the shadow of one?… Just something to think about.

  5. codesuidae says:

    Molten aluminum and water is an interesting theory. 

    IIRC, someone claimed to have collected samples of undisturbed dust from the collapse (from inside the home of someone who lived near the site), and found in it particles consisting of two layers, some sort of reddish binder and a layer of what appeared to be a high-grade thermite. They demonstrated lighting it to show that it burned like thermite.

    If this was a credible report (I haven’t heard any more about it since that initial report from years ago), I’m curious if this molten aluminum and water theory connects at all.

    • In the NIST review of the collapse of the other WTC building, they address the thermite issue. If you wanted to plant enough thermite to take out one of the load columns, you’d need 100 lbs of the stuff for each column, which seems more than somebody could pull off in the middle of the confusion that day. However, the theory here could explain the alleged traces of tthermite claimed at the disaster site.

  6. opmaroon says:

    Molten Aluminium and water is not a thermite reaction. The Goldschmidt process describes reactions between powdered metals and metal oxides, the most common being good ol’ rust and Aluminium.

    I’ve never melted any planes personally, but I have water-quenched molten Aluminium and alloys containing Aluminium and never noticed any explosions.

  7. stillcantfightthedite says:

    Did a quick search on YouTube and found this excellent video.  Seems to debunk all of the claims of a thermite reaction causing the tower collapse.  It passes the engineering sniff test, at least.

  8. kartwaffles says:

    At first, I thought Amanda Palmer had done a write-up about the theory.

  9. ryuthrowsstuff says:

    Thermite doesn’t really “explode” in the conventional sense either it more burns, like a welding torch. The articles in question describe aluminum heated well above its usual melting point and exposed to water, the chemical reaction creating hydrogen. So a hydrogen explosion. Rust and other materials are mentioned only as a catalyst in the reaction between aluminum and water.

  10. Chris Muir says:

    And how come no one talks much about WTC 7? It was a forty story building. It collapsed. It was not hit by aircraft. I’m not a “truther,” but I haven’t seen much in the way of explanation of this one.

      • penguinchris says:

        In case anyone didn’t want to click on this and read a lengthy PDF, the gist of it is that plain old fire caused the WTC 7 collapse. It was probably accelerated by a rather large quantity of “diesel fuel oil” kept in the building for the emergency generators.

        The fire was left burning due to lack of available water for firefighters, for seven hours – which weakened or deformed key structural sections on the 5th floor (where the diesel was kept) which essentially were holding the entire building up.

        There’s not a definite answer provided, as much evidence is lacking, but that’s their explanation, and it sounds reasonable – though I’m not an engineer (I am a scientist if that counts for anything).

    • Asdfasdf says:

      Debris falling from the towers knocked out the support pillars at one corner – I have seen pictures of that. It also started dozens of fires in WTC7. They were fueled by tens of thousands of gallons of diesel fuel that was stored there for the emergency generators that were supposed to be used by the city’s emergency command post, which was in WTC7 in one of the greatest displays of irony ever seen on this planet.

  11. W Peck says:

    I’m an engineer and the story I get is that the impact knocked the fire insulation loose on the steel beams.  Generally not a problem because the random office debris isn’t likely to burn hot enough to weaken the steel, but add all the jet fuel and the fire got really hot.  So the floor beams deformed until the floors above the impact zone came down.  At that point it’s just a chain reaction as the entire frame was overloaded.

    Was going to comment on WTC7, but Donald’s link covers it.

    • Asdfasdf says:

      Isn’t likely to burn hot…? Man, talk to any firefighter.  99% of all office stuff these days – furniture, carpets, upholstery, door facings, etc. – is made from petroleum derivatives. That stuff burns at a hellish temperature. Add in all the paper and the jet fuel and the clothing and fat on the bodies of the victims. Now add in the fact that the fire was being force-fed air…the updrafts coming off the fire in a vertical shaft caused a chimney effect that pulled air in from lower floors so the fire was being turbocharged. Insulation being knocked loose was just icing on the cake.

  12. W Peck says:

    A ‘tree-like’ failure where a building falls sideways would probably require a point failure somewhere in the bottom of the frame wherein one side was weakened while the other stayed intact.  I believe the WTC towers probelm was a loss of stiffness when the floor beams deformed due to the fire.

  13. spameroo says:

    I read about this hypothesis a while back, and I’ve got to say it makes a lot of sense. The quote here hasn’t really presented it correctly. A thermite reaction is Al + FeO -> AlO + Fe, or something like that. I don’t remember the exact formula/stoichiometry/etc., but moral of the story is aluminum and iron oxide (rust) react very violently and very exothermically given enough energy to get going. The reaction itself produces a ton of heat, as well as molten iron, and since it has its own oxygen supply it can only be quenched by using up one of the reagents.

    Here’s the theoretical scenario I read: after the planes hit the towers, their aluminum airframes basically melted into puddles (from the burning of the jet fuel, or possibly some other mechanism.) The entire building was supported by steel beams, which had a coating of oxidization. When the molten aluminum came in contact with the beams… Well, I’m not sure if even that would have been hot enough to trigger the thermite reaction (5600K I think?), but Mg burns hot enough, so maybe there was some specific spark that provided the energy of activation.

    Anyway, once a thermite reaction began, the floor would have quickly collapsed, sending the giant pool of molten aluminum crashing down to a fresh supply of rust… Any water it encountered would have dispersed the metals even more, by exploding. It is pretty easy to see how this could explain exactly how the towers fell… There was a significant lag period where we just saw the tops of the towers burning. Then, once the planes had melted and burned out the walls to expose the steel beams, the molten mass of thermite would basically begin burning out each floor, accelerating with each one as it gained mass, momentum, and fuel, essentially allowing the husks of the towers to collapse at free fall accelerations.

    Not only does this answer the Truther objections that the towers could not have experienced free fall without each support being demolished (one of their most effective criticisms of the “official story” imo), but it also explains several other oddities about the aftermath. For one, it provides a mechanism for how even the subterranean levels were utterly demolished, and moreover, it explains how the ruins could have stayed burning in their depths for so incredibly long (remember, the thermite reaction is self-sustaining even without oxygen). This scenario provides a plausible mechanism for the implausibilities in the accepted story, and it does so without resorting to conspiracy.

    On the other hand, Building 7 was TOTALLY brought down by the feds.

  14. Antinous / Moderator says:

    Al-Qaeda is now making fun of Ahmadinejad on this subject.  How crazy are you when al-Qaeda are the sane ones in the conversation?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-15097317

  15. we_the_people324 says:

    Bullshit. Nano thermite was found in the dust. Nano thermite is mixed together very fine particles of iron & aluminum. Not molten aluminum running down a iron framed building falling into a pool if water & causing a building to elegantly fall at free speed demolition style.

    Sensationalism science to appease the masses about incongruities in the story told by our government imho.

    • Halloween Jack says:

      Quite a lot of the twin towers ended up as very fine particles, including most of the people in them, by virtue of having two of the tallest buildings in the world collapsing on top of them. You speak with the absolute certainty of someone who’s unwilling to give up their hobby horse long enough to consider an alternative hypothesis. You are, in other words, a fine exemplar of why people regard truthers with scorn, or simply ignore them.

  16. Doesn’t the chemist in the video look like  the love child of Martin Landau and Rick Mercer? If you don’t know who Rick Mercer is, go to Canada. Never been there myself but I’m a big fan of their TV.

    At any rate, how much iron oxide would there be. Supposing the thermite reaction happened, wouldn’t it be all spread over a super thin layer of each beam. Hardly seems like that would add a whole lot more heat.  I’m gonna stick with the Popular Mechanics explanation.

    BTW, we have now all typed thermite so many times the NSA is watching us.

  17. Tchoutoye says:

    All that rain in NYC had turned the 3 WTC buildings into flakey rust, basically crumbling already before the planes hit two of them. I remember you could poke holes in the supporting columns with a blunt screwdriver. The city should never have let these ruins rot away for centuries, they should have pulled them in the early 1960s already.

  18. jahberger says:

    I can’t se how the sheer weight of the upper floors would be enough to crush the lower floors.  As far as I can tell, the lower floors are already supporting all floors above them and are not being crushed.  

    • Ed Ligget. Tuba. says:

      But they’re supporting the floors above that aren’t moving.  Imagine several of those floors having just fallen 10 feet, now with inertia effectly increasing the downward force by several orders of magnitude.

    • flagler23 says:

      I can’t se how the sheer weight of the upper floors would be enough to crush the lower floors.
      It’s not the weight, it’s the momentum.  If you can lift a 50lb tv set it doesn’t mean the same tv set wouldnt knock you down falling from a height of 10ft.

      • The Chemist says:

        It’s not just momentum. IIRC, for one tower, the top half fell into the bottom half at an angle putting high levels of shear stress on the sides of the columns. Kind of like making a fist in a too-small lego box.

    • Donald Petersen says:

      Like the Tuba and the flagler already pointed out, there’s a big difference between supporting a static load and having it dropped upon you.  Once the fires had weakened enough of the structure to start the collapse of the South Tower… well, there were twenty-five floors above the ones impacted by the airplane.  Since each floor was about ten feet apart, and apart from office furniture and interior walls and the supporting superstructure the space between each floor was largely empty space (they’re habitable buildings, after all, not solid slabs), when structural integrity began to give way, it was exactly like dropping a twenty-five-story building from a height of ten feet onto the floor below… which was already similarly weakened and collapsed in a similar fashion, this time dropping the weight of twenty-six floors onto the floor below, which then dropped twenty-seven floors’ worth of weight, and so on and on.  And each impact from the very first deals a hell of a blow to the structure below, so once the collapse begins there’s no stopping or slowing it.  No wonder it rapidly resembled freefall.

      • Ed Ligget. Tuba. says:

        Precisely.  It’s the lack of understanding of this sort of basic physics that I think is the real basis for the Truther conspiracy movement.  Now don’t get me wrong, I think there were some shenanigans in the government at the time, but I think it was something much simpler, i.e. they knew some s#!t was going down and they looked the other way because they figured an attack would only help their cause, not some complex plan to secretly plant explosives in two of the busiest buildings in the world, get two jumbo jets to do a maneuver on par with landing on a carrier, and set off the explosives at just the right time without a single leak of the plot.

    • joyhn says:

      Totally agree. The steel fame structure, forget about the so-called rusting  the faithful believe existed, is unimaginably strong and even under the loading, the same faithful claim crushed the rest of the building, most of the towers would have survived. You can test it yourself, as long as you don’t weigh 500 pounds. For you faithful out there, find a sturdy wooden, colonial style kitchen chair, if you have one. Stand up on the seat and then begin jumping up and down on it as hard as you can. How about that, nothing, no collapse. Now get down and with a saw, cut through the legs, not all the way, but most. Now climb back up onto the chair and once again jump up and down. I hope it didn’t hurt.

    • Strato Head says:

      http://www.nysm.nysed.gov/wtc/about/facts.html

      I’d say that 1,500,000 TONS of materials (not including office supplies…furniture…electronics…remaining people etc) ALONE is more than sufficient to pancake the 7 underground parking levels, once structural integrity is gone…it’s gone.

      with regards to this latest bullshit theory… I’ve rewatched videos (again) from many angles and 10 years later still can’t seem to find any hint of the outward force of the explosion this “Materials Expert”  (what materials? is he into plastics? metallurgy? alchemy
      ?)  describes in his theory.  If such a reaction were to take place (and at approx 30 tons between the 2 aircraft of aluminum (which would have shattered/become powder upon initial impact) the explosion would have been pretty clearly visible to anyone or anything observing at the time…and I’m pretty sure the resulting pressure wave alone would have been pretty devasting by itself.

    • Asdfasdf says:

      It’s not just the weight (mass), it’s the shock and the sheer force applied in the collapse. Kinetic energy, not just weight. Kinetic energy is mass times speed. Prove it to yourself. Set a piece of 1/4 in plywood between 2 sawhorses, and put a bowling ball on it. If you place the ball on the plywood slowly and gently, the plywood holds. If you drop the bowling ball from 10 feet, it will smash through the plywood.

      • Daniel says:

        Kinetic energy is proportional to mass times speed squared.  1 tonne moving at 20 kmh has 4 times as much kinetic energy of 1 tonne moving at 10 kmh.  Not arguing, obviously, since this only reinforces your argument.

  19. Tim Samson says:

    A few weeks ago, I grilled some salmon on top of some aluminum foil (read: aluminum oxide) on a rusty old grill. Now I was really hungry at the time and wasn’t paying too much attention, but I don’t recall a thermite reaction occurring. 

    Ok in all seriousness, a thermite reaction won’t just occur becasue the ingredients are there. They need to be quite small and tightly packed. If such a reaction is going to occur, its not going to be by accident. This is not me saying one did occur on 9/11. Just that question the idea that one might have happened by accident. 

    • Joe Buck says:

      Tim, the aluminum oxide layer makes aluminum unreactive.  To get a thermite reaction, you need finely powdered, unoxidized aluminum, plus iron oxide and heat. I’m guessing large amounts of molten aluminum would do as well.

      • bardfinn says:

        You don’t even need the iron oxide. You just need a source of oxygen.

        Molten aluminium + water = superheated steam + aerosolised elemental aluminium = rapidly expanding aerosol elemental aluminium and steam froth = steam evacuates, draws in atmospheric air = aluminithermite reaction = “chimney” effect in aerosolised aluminium and steam froth.

      • Asdfasdf says:

        I’m pretty sure that running a plane through a metal wall will scrape off a lot of the aluminum oxide and turn some of it into powder.

  20. Joe Buck says:

    I’ve heard truthers with some technical background claim that they had found evidence of thermite use on the site (molten aluminum oxide that then solidified, I think), and claiming that this proved that an evil plot was involved. If a thermite reaction could have happened using the aluminum from the planes, then it would explain this.

  21. Joe Buck says:

    Google ‘thermite 9/11′ to see the truther conspiracies, mostly “who put thermite in the twin towers”. If the answer is “the planes did”, that would explain a major loose end.

  22. Thebes says:

    This is desperation on the cusp of madness to protect the official story from an investigation which even the investigators acknowledged was flawed. 
    What next, fuel vapors in Building 7 will have permiated the building to cause a symmetrical demolition?

  23. Scratcheee says:

    I’m incredibly grateful that this post led to some actual science.

  24. The Chemist says:

    I think there’s some plausibility, but I doubt it. I don’t know that enough aluminum would have been melted to do what he’s describing, and civil engineers have a pretty good explanation for most of what people saw.

  25. jennchlebus says:

    The servers that processed all the credit card transactions at the overwhelmed gas station I was working in that afternoon all lived in Building 7. Immediately after Dan Rather announced on the radio that “World Trade Center 6″ (fog of war) had collapsed, a horrible noise came from the back room and the credit cards stopped going through. I was alone, working in the only gas station on the strip that had any gasoline left (they shut down the terminals outside of town out of fear before the trucks had finished their morning deliveries), on the BUSIEST DAY EVER.

    The typical order for that day was 1. Fillup on two cars. 2. a 24-pack of Natty Light. 3. Smokes by the carton. Hardly anyone got reasonable things like canned soup, or toothpaste, or paper plates and coolers.

    And of course all the clever people that thought that America was turning into a remake of Red Dawn wanted to pay me with their soon-to-be worthless credit cards and hold on to their folding money to buy black market pork chops when winter came.

    Guess who got to run the kachunka-chunk machine for the next three hours.

    What I assumed was that all the terrorists had seen Fight Club and were aiming for Building 7, and missed because it was a smaller target.

  26. bcsizemo says:

    Jet fuel has an open air burn temp of approx 300C.  Aluminum 6061-T6 has a liquidus temp of 652C.  With a melt temp of around 600C.  Now it is plausible that jet fuel and the fireball that erupted could have deformed and melted the plane, but I find it hard to believe that without some type of forced convection or accelerent that loads of jet fuel just magically reach temperatures in excess of 650C…

    Even if liquid aluminum was poured on a steel beam covered in rust, both would have to reach a temperature in excess of 1600C to begin to start the reaction.  At that point the rust would be consumed quickly, well before the beam had been melted through.  At that point you’d be left with Fe, which wouldn’t support the reaction.

    I’m not supporting any conspiracy theories, but I find the idea that the plane liquefied and caused the collapse to be hard to swallow.

  27. Frode Helland says:

    I don’t know anything about this particular guy, but I know quite a former SINTEF scientist who went on to do his doctorate at CERN. In other words, they are serious guys.

    • Hanchau Dog says:

      doctorate at CERN. In other words, they are serious guys

      1)  A Ph.D in particle physics, whether theoretical or experimental, does not one a metallurgist make.

      2)  CERN doesn’t do psych analyses of people who work there.  If they did, lots of good scientists would be let go.

      3)  Lots of good scientists who are experts in their own field have strong opinions about other fields about which they know nothing.  Just like every other human.

  28. Genre Slur says:

    I’m no american. But if I were a human living  300 years from now, and I came across the historical phenomena of the USA from the late 19th to the 21st century this is what I would point out:
    The intentional destruction of those buildings by someone other than the accused parties is quite reasonable, even likely. Especially in light of the operational changes of the US government since the event — with regards to the abilities of the government to control it’s citizens, as well as the nation’s state-sanctioned terrorism imposed at other points on the planet. It would seem to be a desirable thing to do, in fact.

    The civilian acquiescence to the official explanation of all the events also would make a great deal of sense. A poorly educated citizenry (especially regarding historical/critical analysis, the natural sciences, and cultural literacy), rampant nationalist tendencies, multiple types of distractions (IE Spectacular Reality), and a century-old (government constructed) redirection/transference of general discontent towards external groups (IE brown humans that speak a different language and have a different religion).

    In fact, if you paid me to give you some ideas which would allow you to control a bunch of local primates while assaulting bunches of other primates and taking their stuff, I would most likely posit the above historical event as a low ‘risk’, high ‘yield’ scenario option.

    Thanks to the past, I find that arguing over how many angels can occupy an area of space is a waste of my time. Thermite, planes, eyeball-capped pyramids… none of this concerns me. What concerns me is “where are the bodies in Space-Time? What signals are they exchanging?”

    • Genre Slur says:

      Apologies for the lower-quality ‘wordsmithery’. I think I got rid of all the participles that were dangling… :/

    • Guest says:

      “where are the bodies in Space-Time? What signals are they exchanging?”

      I was warned about the impending war against Muslims about 20 years ago, by the same dude who introduced me to the concept I quoted from your post. Mind you, this was before the Soviet Union had dissolved.

      In essence, I think you’re entirely correct. If  someone made out like a bandit, there is a good chance they are the bandit.

  29. Genre Slur says:

    Post Script — The country in question has many, many highly educated, quite critical and culturally-literate people. Yet they appear to be a (rather delightful) exception. As appears to be the case for most if not all groups, tribes, religions, nation-states.

  30. Guest says:

    I  assumed the thermite traces they found came from shit-tons of ferrous metals being mashed at enormous pressure into shit-tons of aluminum furniture, window frames, etc. as the building collapsed. But hey. I’m just a chemist.

  31. humanresource says:

    I can’t see anything here about MOSSAD, false flags, or the NWO… and no one is going “Wake up sheeple!”. Instead, science, thoughtful speculation and good manners.

    BB: how the fuck does it work? 

  32. Palomino says:

    Many years ago, I read a great article about anti-sway mechanisms and engineering. I remember holes through buildings, pendulums and large trays filled with steel ball bearings that slid around on a slick of oil. 

    I found this: At the very top of both the towers were huge concrete anti-sway stabilizers which were computer-controlled and kept the towers from swaying and causing people to feel nauseous. Those concrete blocks had to be much heavier than just a few floors of concrete in order to do the job. The towers imploded from the top, a first time ever event, because it could not handle the weight of a 757 plus 24,000 gallons of burning jet fuel and a disconected anti-sway stablizer. Those concrete blocks on top acted as huge pile drivers.

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/524466/posts

    Ever played Jenga? 

    • Asdfasdf says:

      THANK YOU for being someone who has FINALLY picked up on the same thing I have long said was a contributing factor.  I have long wondered if the sway dampers were disabled by the aircraft impacts.  If they were just knocked a little off track, they could no longer compensate for winds.

      I remember that when the Twin Towers were being designed, engineers calculated that without damping, the upper floors could be affected by winds enough to sway through an arc as much as 10 feet – enough to cause sea sickness. If the dampers were no longer functional, then wind would cause the towers to sway, and that would add torquing to the forces acting on supports which were being softened by the fire.

      Why have so few people ever cottoned onto this potentially vital clue?

  33. jccalhoun says:

    hasn’t the whole “thermite” thing been pretty well debunked as actually just being paint? http://forums.randi.org/showpost.php?p=4607894&postcount=1694

  34. Finally we figured out how the twin tower collapse happened. YAY! So simple. Molten aluminum contacting water, now I will tell all my friends this explanation because its so scientific and much less emotional. I mean, if  I believed the cause of the twin towers collapse was a controlled demolition orchestrated by  Neocon PNAC CIA NSA USMIL operatives to realize their Reichstag moment it would upset people or anger them and I would be socially ostracized. I think I will use the aluminum on water explanation from here on out and of course I wont bring up the inconvenient WT7. It collapsed onto itself as well but it was little and no plane was in it. It just kinda happened and well you know whatever!

  35. Uniquack says:

    And then there’s this completely alternative theory that’s beyond anything even the 9/11 truthers dreamed of, which I find fascinating in a sci-fi kind of way: http://wheredidthetowersgo.com/

    Dr. Wood suggests the evidence shows some entity used directed energy weapons (combining static fields and radio waves) that are beyond contemporary/mainstream physics, which completely dematerialized the towers, turning the steal into dust and the people into jelly and microscopic bone fragments, which is why there wasn’t much of a pile of stuff and few human remains were found.  The lack of a recorded seismic event proportionate to the collapse and what happened to WT7 is also explained by dematerialization. Perhaps the thermite was the backup plan, but it wasn’t necessary, and the explosions were just the sound made when pressurized toilet tanks started dematerializing.  It would make all these truther/official story debates besides the point, if it were true. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TIqIT9avewU&feature=related for “experimental” models, if you can believe any of the evidence they present– or if you don’t, it still makes for interesting sci-fi imaginings.

  36. Bezoomy says:

    here is an excellent presentation by Chris Mohr that address the claims of Richard Gage of 
    AE911Truth.org   and most of the other “truthers” points.
    http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL92DAE5DE3C22CF4F&feature=viewall
    @heavystarch   at the start of the video you posted it shows the central collums not collapsing at the same rate as the floors, this is exactly what happened if you watch the video of the collapse. http://www.youtube.com/watchv=2Ls4Kq24CiI&feature=player_detailpage#t=159s

  37. Morgan Curtis says:

    The new molten aluminum explanation for the collapse of  THREE World Trade Center Towers on 9/11 does a few very nice things for 1500 dissenting “Architects and Engineers for 911 Truth”. NIST has alway blamed fire for the total collapse of all three. But the new aluminum argument shifts the focus to molten metal and multiple explosions – properties of the collapse that NIST denies exist. Push the molten aluminum argument hard enough and perhaps people will finally begin to realize that there really are active super-thermate particles and tons of iron microspheres in the WTC dust.

  38. Ernst Gruengast says:

    See 5.7 – “the gist of it” is NOT that plain old fires caused the collapse – the gist of it is that they don’t know.

  39. Ernst Gruengast says:

    The orthodox collapse hypothesis is flawed and insufficient to explain the collapse as it happened. The most important evidence for this is the complete collapse of the building cores which occurred.

    The building structure included trusses in the floor depth to transfer the loads born on the facade to the core. This enabled the facade columns to maintain the same dimension from the top to the bottom of the building – because cumulative floor loads were transferred to the core. By contrast the core columns increased significantly in size down the building to accommodate the cumulative loads. All the scientific studies I have read fail completely to explain, either thermally or structurally, how the fires could have weakened the lower core columns to such a degree that they would fail completely and at the speed they did. If the collapse was caused purely by the structural damage of the impact plus the progressive weakening of the structure by fire, there would have been a large chunk of the core still standing after collapse, which was not the case. In addition, a progressive collapse would not have happened at the speed it did.

    This does not mean there was a controlled demolition, only that the orthodox hypotheses are flawed and impossible. I am an architect, and know many structural engineers who admit privately that this is the case – most of course would not say this publicly for fear of being vilified as truthers.  In the light of this, a theory which confronts the impossibility of the conventional narrative and accepts the notion that an additional explosive component was necessary for the collapse to happen as it did is helpful, as it allows people to confront the fundamental errors in the accepted story without feeling obliged to embrace conspiracies.

    I find the theory not particularly convincing on several counts, but if it means that one can discuss the implausibility of the official account sensibly without being accused of tin-foil hat wearing, then it could serve a useful purpose.

    • Asdfasdf says:

      And how many times have you tested core columns of the type you describe by dropping 200,000 tons of debris on them?  How much force would they be subjected to in the event of having 200,000 tons dropped on them at a velocity of 32 ft per second per second? Have you ever calculated that? Have you created a computer model that compares the known structural strength of the core columns against that much force?

  40. Ernst Gruengast says:

    I personally am most surprised that the architects and engineers who advocate a controlled demolition narrative still do so after 10 years primarily by showing films of WTC collapse next to controlled demolitions and saying “look they look alike”. This is not evidence at all and nobody who does not have knowledge of building structure should allow themselves to be duped through such “guilt by association”. What I would like to know is the following (and I don’t ask these questions in a rhetorical or sceptical way – they genuinely need to be answered for the theory to stand up):

    1. If explosive charges are the only explanation for free-fall collapse and total destruction of the core structure, where would charges need to be placed to produce the collapse as it happened? Would it be feasible in an inhabited building to lay these and all associated triggers without anyone noticing (ie outwith any rented zones)?

    2. How long would it be take and how complicated would it be to install such explosives?

    3. Despite the fact that the demolition of such a building would be many times larger than any demolition in history, nobody has come forward to say they were part of the planning or implementation of this. How would it be feasible for the planning of such an operation be so compartmentalized or organized such that the many participants must have either:
    a) not known what they were working on;
    b) be too scared to talk, or
    c) be part of the conspiracy.

    To be honest, given that there is a significant group of advocates for this theory which includes architects, engineers, security experts and former intelligence officers, one should expect after this amount of time some possible answers to these questions which are at least as thorough as the melted aluminum hypothesis here. Although I have looked into this to some degree, I have however never seen any serious attempt to address these questions. I would be interested to know if anyone else has.

  41. Nick Kukich says:

    *sigh*

    It doesn’t take a structural engineer, an aircraft engineer or a metallurgist to understand the forces that brought down the towers, which is why no credible member or organization in any of those fields have stepped forward to back any of the wingnut theories about the collapse of the WTC towers.

    Anyone who has actually built anything more complex than a doghouse can see what happened: a tall, relatively lightweight, steel-frame structure got HIT BY A COMMERCIAL AIRLINER LADEN WITH FUEL THAT BURNED FOR HOURS, which, completely un-shockingly, weakened the steel frame resulting in its vertical collapse.  There is nothing even unusual about it, let alone extraordinary (other than the fact that it was unprecedented.)

    Even ignoring this glaring reality, the thought that some government entity could have, without notice, trucked/hauled in thousands of pounds of some accelerant or explosive, planted it, rigged it and then managed to coordinate the collision of aircraft into those buildings with the detonation of those materials resulting in a beautifully controlled collapse of millions of tons of steel and concrete is ABSOLUTELY FUCKING MIND-BOGGLINGLY RETARDED.

    And on top of all that, whomever did this managed to perfectly execute this operation, necessarily involving THOUSANDS of people and sizable amounts of money and materials without a single person leaking any information about it.

    All accomplished by people in our government who can’t even text pictures of their genitals to other people without getting caught.

    You people make me sad.

    • You were doing fine until you got to the part about “people in our government”.

      Why always assume it was “our government”? The USA does have enemies you know, some of whom have an incredible amount of carte blanche when it comes to getting away with questionable activities in this country.

    • Ernst Gruengast says:

      Oh dear – flame alert.

      I love it when people start an argument with:
      “It
      doesn’t take a x, y or z to understand that……..” followed by an
      opinion presented as patently obvious qualified by no evidence. Usually
      the territory of truthers, but clearly not always.

      “no credible member or organization in any of those fields have stepped forward to back any of the wingnut theories”
      Well yes they have actually.

      “There is nothing even unusual about it, let alone extraordinary (other than the fact that it was unprecedented.)”
      LOL.

      “no credible member or organization in any of those fields have stepped forward to back any of the wingnut theories”
      Well yes they have actually.

      “There is nothing even unusual about it, let alone extraordinary (other than the fact that it was unprecedented.)”
      LOL.

      • Nick Kukich says:

        You described the crux of the problem yourself.  The measures required to affect a controlled demolition in buildings of that size are an absolute logistical impossibility.  It’s absurd to even consider.

        If you had twenty guys sneaking in briefcases full of semtex for months it wouldn’t be enough.   “Don’t mind me, maim, while I stand on your desk and fish 500′ of detcord into the drywall.”

        Why do so many people insist on chasing down a wildly complex conspiracy theory when there’s a far simpler and plausible explanation right in front of them?

        Oh well.  I guess it sells books.

        • Brainspore says:

          Here’s what I never got about the Truthers: it actually wouldn’t be that hard to come up with a reasonably plausible conspiracy theory if they actually applied themselves. Why not “the planes were hijacked by brainwashed black-ops agents?” A nice, tidy explanation that doesn’t require thousands upon thousands of co-conspirators, ridiculous controlled demolition plots and zero margin for error.

          • Guest says:

            All it takes is 20 people to manage the planes and press the button on board, and one software person to rewrite the code, and one person to sent that to the planes, and one cyborg vice president who was never there.

            It’s funny. I don’t actually believe the conspiracy happened. But I know there is room for it to have happened. Nothing I have seen proves anything in either direction.

            So I say keep asking questions.

          • Brainspore says:

            I don’t think that happened either (still unnecessarily complicated and doesn’t explain the phone calls from passengers on Flight 93, among other problems) but at least that scenario would be a conspiracy theory I could wrap my head around. 

            That, however, is not the story most Truthers are pitching. Most believe there was some kind of controlled demolition, which in addition to being pretty much logistically impossible to pull off doesn’t even make logical sense. Why run a false flag operation to make it appear that the buildings were destroyed by something other than what actually took them down? Why not just bomb the buildings and blame it on terrorists?

            Ask questions, fine. Just try to ask ones that make some sense, and take the time to find out if reputable people have already answered them.

        • Asdfasdf says:

          BINGO. You have hit the nail on the head in explaining why the “truther” movement has gone on so long. There are lots of people making lots of money off hysteria. There are lots of people like Alex Jones who are deranged attention whores as well as capitalists who know that without 9/11 to scream about they would never get more than 3 seconds of attention.

          I fear for our country. All the “truther” books and tapes and lecture circuit stuff about 9/11 is happening largely because people have realized that this country contains so many gullible, hysterical fools that you can get rich off of selling them stuff. It started with the Y2K bug nuttiness; that proved that panic sells. From now on, nothing will ever happen in this country without a huge bunch of people rushing to whip up hysteria over it so they can make a buck from it. Every tragedy, every serious accident, will be followed by a wave of idiocy claiming that is the result of some deep, dark evil plot.

          What the hell. Maybe we can take consolation in the idea that selling more books is good for the economy.

        • Ernst Gruengast says:

          This is not necessarily the crux of the problem for the controlled demolition hypothesis as such, only the crux of the problem for why after 10 years it is no more convincing than it was when first postulated.
          It is not necessarily “an absolute logistical impossibility”. Secret military projects are organised, paid for and executed for many years without any leaks, through classification and compartmentalisation.
          Similarly, given the load transfer mechanisms involved in the WTC structures, one might postulate that explosives could be placed  exclusively on core structural members, therefore potentially in secret.
          So not an impossibility, just an extraordinary endeavour which requires extraordinary evidence.
          My only point is that, given that there is a group of Architects and Engineers advocating this as the most likely cause of collapse, one would expect after 10 years they would have fleshed out their scenario more thoroughly by now.
          I find, for example, the case for some degree of official complicity as evidenced by national security questions (Able Danger, Norad stand-down, security drills, destruction of evidencem relationship to hi-jackers, involvement of pakistani, saudi and other intelligence agencies etc.) more compelling and thoroughly researched.

    • JiveBowie says:

      “HIT BY A COMMERCIAL AIRLINER LADEN WITH FUEL THAT BURNED FOR HOURS”

      From wikipedia:

      The South Tower collapsed at 9:59 a.m. after burning for 56 minutes in a fire caused by the impact of United Airlines Flight 175. The North Tower collapsed at 10:28 a.m. after burning for 102 minutes.

      And just so you know, abusing the caps lock key doesn’t really add any more truth to what you say.

    • Guest says:

      Friend, Insulting people for asking unaswered questions does not actually address their questions, though it may serve to innoculate you against a doubt that you would find crushing.

      We’re all free to think other people are idiots, I just think your bar is low, and your mouth runneth over.

      • Brainspore says:

        Insulting people for asking unaswered questions does not actually address their questions…

        There aren’t really any big unanswered questions about how the WTC came down. There are just answers that some people refuse to accept or acknowledge.

        Not that you need to accept every answer you are presented with, but stop pretending that scientists, engineers, demolition experts etc. haven’t examined and refuted the most provocative claims.

        • Guest says:

          There really are some big unanswered questons that some people refuse to accept or acknowlege.

          I can tell, because every time I ask one, people refuse to accept or acknowledge them. There is the problem of kooks who are looking for some vast conspiracy who have no first hand knowledge of the situations and bad critical thinking skills.

          But there are also world class people putting their careers on the line asking these questions.

          Don’t be the NYT, only reporting on the kooky hippies in order to confirm your bias. Let people ask, don’t challenge them so much, let the institutions that they are seeking the information from defend themselves. 

          Again, I am not a conspiracy theorist. I am, however, reticent to believe a thing when the best argument I have heard to the contrary is “you don’t want to be seen as a kook, do you?”

    • Genre Slur says:

      In one rant, you managed to wear a pope-hat AND a judge’s robe. Impressive role playing sir. May I suggest trading the robe in for a wig? That would allow you to put a lab coat on, thereby pretending to be a three-fold authority. :)

  42. Lobster says:

    It couldn’t have been termites.  The World Trade Center’s not made out of wood.

  43. ocschwar says:

    “It couldn’t have been termites.  The World Trade Center’s not made out of wood.”

    You mean it weighed more than a duck?

  44. Daniel says:

    All the truthers seem to have the same exact number of “likes” on their comments.  It’s almost like some sort of conspiracy.

    BTW, you don’t need molten aluminum — or aluminum at all — to start a thermite reaction.  (Non-molten aluminum powder can be used, and presumably under the right conditions, aluminum splinters too.)  There are magnesium, copper, and chromium thermite reactions as well, and according to wikipedia even Teflon (!) plus aluminum or magnesium can undergo one of these types of reactions.  What matters isn’t the material or its state but the activation energy; for an aluminum/ferrous thermite reaction this can, according to the internet, be provided by igniting magnesium, or even with a propane torch. 

    Wikipedia also mentions that if the reactants are pre-heated the thermite can explode instead of simply melting.  So if I can trust the information on the wikipedia page, then most of the objections to the thermite theory explored so far on this thread aren’t very effective.

    Agree with mdhatter03, there is no reason not to keep asking questions about this.   If the theory really is ludicrous then you should be able to demonstrate that it’s ludicrous.  If it’s not, then it’s worth talking about.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      All the truthers seem to have the same exact number of “likes” on their comments.  It’s almost like some sort of conspiracy.

      NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!  Actually, I could live with that.  It’s the ones who flag every comment with which they disagree that are the problem.

  45. ill lich says:

    When it comes to Occam’s Razor, which is more complicated:  a reaction between molten aluminum and water that destroys an entire floor of a building, or a conspiracy involving the US government working with Al Quaeda where terrorists are not only tricked to their death by studying at flight schools and flying planes into buildings, but the conspirators also manage to sneak tons of explosives into three large occupied buildings and place the charges exactly right to bring them down on cue?

  46. Strato Head says:

    I can’t believe that people are now trotting out the “planes couldn’t manuver like that” horse shit… cuz I watched the second plane strike the second tower live… seems to me like the aircraft had no problem with those High G manuvers.

  47. Eric Rucker says:

    A thermite reaction sounds plausible to me – even if it wasn’t a primary factor, maybe as a contributing factor.

    Also, re: the truthers: Occam’s Razor. If this was the US government, you just want to scare the crap out of the people, so collapsing the towers isn’t necessarily what you want to do. So, the simplest way to do it is, you have the CIA call up your good old friends at Al-Qaeda, and pay them to fly some planes into the towers.

    THAT is a conspiracy that begins to make sense. (Not saying it is the case, but it’s not absurd like the theories the Truthers come up with.)

  48. Brainspore says:

    If 9/11 had never happened and you posed a theoretical question of “What would happen to the WTC1/2 if struck by a commercial airliner?”  - we would almost certainly have different models of what would happen than the theoretical models created in our post 9/11 world.

    Much like the public’s prior belief that the Titanic was “unsinkable” proves that it couldn’t have possibly been taken down by an iceberg.

  49. heavystarch says:

    The same misguided faith/belief that the Titanic was “unsinkable” is the same type of misguided faith/belief people have in the official conspiracy theories from NIST, Pop Sci, the Congressional Report et al.

    1. The Titanic struck an iceberg which ruptured it’s hull.
    2. The Titanic’s hull filled with water.
    3. The Titanic sank once it filled with enough water. 
    4. Anyone who was foolish enough to believe that 52,000 tons of steel would not sink at this point was either an  idiot/naive/ignorant/lying/mislead. 

    There were no laws of physics being violated when reading any official story surrounding it’s demise.  Nothing even remotely questionable.  About the only questionable thing was the fact that they did not have enough life boats. 

    If you need to even feel a tiny amount of doubt about the official theories surrounding WTC1 and WTC2 please watch this 3 part series starting here: 

    http://youtu.be/5QMSAsOkumI
    If you need further doubt sneaking into your soul just google WTC7.  If after looking at those things you are still okay with the Official Conspiracy Theories presented by NIST, Popular Science and others then by all means go about your way.  I can’t change your mind but I can’t change physics either. 

  50. joyhn says:

    But twice and in exactly the same manner?. And I don’t recall any other large ships of the era, made pre-Titanic or afterwards, sinking by iceberg collision. It was a legitimate worry however, icebergs,  thats why it was built and its tragic claim to fame.  By the way, where is all that so-called thermite-like material, over at the Pentagon?. Or did someone forget to look?.

  51. Strato Head says:

    Well… lets see… you contradict yourself from the start… if I choose “NOT” then what?

    clearly there was a conspiracy… one that involved several Jihadist’s hijacking aircraft loaded with jet fuel and human beings and used them as missiles and crashed them into large buildings.  Is that not bad enough?  we have to seek some larger more implausibly impossible boogey man?

  52. Guest says:

    What is impossible is for even a highly trained pilot to make the turns they did. The planes are engineered to not pull those G-forces.

    Software is why. Any of the hijackers sopftware engineers? They’d need one per plane. Just saying.

    I recommend you look into the capabilities of the 757. A good (late) friend of mine flew them in the 80′s and 90′s. First fly by wire jetliner.  I recall him marveling at being brought in for a landing by the computers, once he hit the button that turned control over to the computers on the ground, and amazed that NORAD could take control of the airplane in case of a hijacking or crew incapacitation.  Again, all he had to do was press a button to give them control…. that’s when the planes can pull more than 1.5G.

    Don;t berate people for asking good questions. You say it;s a dumb question. I say I have the flight manuals.

  53. Brainspore says:

    What is impossible is for even a highly trained pilot to make the turns they did. The planes are engineered to not pull those G-forces.

    There are a lot of people out there who are more familiar with the capabilities of a 757 than either you or me. Why haven’t thousands of pilots and aircraft engineers come forward to explain that the 9/11 attacks were logistically impossible?

  54. Nick Kukich says:

    Fly-by-wire does not equal fly-by-NORAD.  I suggest you actually read those flight manuals of yours.

    Somebody needs a bit more tinfoil in their hat.

  55. Asdfasdf says:

    Well, you obviously know absolutely NOTHING about aircraft design. Thank you for playing. Please leave stage right and don’t forget to pick up your consolation prize on the way out.

  56. Asdfasdf says:

    “Logistically” impossible? That makes no sense at all.

  57. Brainspore says:

    I used that word because mdhatter03 seems to think that it would be impossible to plan and execute such an attack without first tweaking the aircraft software, a claim that I think is horseshit. I’ll rephrase:

    If the planes involved in the 9/11 attacks performed any maneuvers that an unmodified 757 should not have been capable of doing, don’t you think that thousands of pilots and aircraft engineers would have brought that to the public’s attention?

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