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How to Knock Down a Skyscraper

It’s really not that hard. That’s what nobody wants discussed, not Uncle Sam or the 9/11 alleged truth movement. Not when a big jet nearly full of fuel crashes into one at close to top speed and explodes against part of the main supporting structure. Not when steel beams fall hundreds of feet and crash into the side of a flimsy skyscraper across the way that burns fiercely and finally collapses into a heap of rubble. All this talk about the fires? The official story says fire primarily caused the collapses, which the alleged debunkers claim is impossible. In the absence of the peculiar cause of those fires, maybe so. How convenient is it to discount the crash impact, absorbed in a fraction of a second against the central columns of the Twin Towers? Those buildings were crippled by those explosive impacts, but might have survived for repair if it were not for the fires, which precipitated their collapse near the point of impact, where the supporting beams were relatively flimsy, not being expected to support as much weight as those at less lofty heights.

I listened carefully to the special series Gary Null did on how the buildings were done in. I’ve been deliberately avoiding the controversy, because I think there ought to be an independent investigation, but not along the lines the Truthers demand, which looks like a dead end and waste of precious time to me. Their theory in a nutshell is, the buildings must have been expertly demolished with explosives surreptitiously planted earlier by operatives paid off by traitors in power. Professor Steven Jones has fingered some nano-thermite the military had in the works. Occam’s Razor is useful here, the maxim that if a simpler explanation can account for something, it’s more likely than a more complicated explanation. I didn’t hear any accounting for the tons of unexploded nano-thermite Jones claims litters the rubble. How did it manage to survive unexploded? Does he mean to say this high-tech super explosive was so inefficiently detonated, tons of it didn’t explode and are to be found everywhere in the debris? What exactly did he find constituting evidence of nano-thermite? I heard no hard evidence for anything, except as is generally known, Uncle Sam has things to hide, what else is new? But that seems the rule for that 9/11 Truth movement. I’d think the Bush crowd covered their asses for incompetence and intelligence screwups, and kept the involvement of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan out of the news so they could punish Afghanistan for not agreeing to a deal for an important pipeline. Now the old Soviet mineral studies are making news, which US officials suddenly revealed, saying the country is a treasure trove of valuable minerals. There’s plenty of shenanigans to investigate, but there’s really no case that the whole disaster was planned and executed by the powers that be to stage a coup, i.e. an inside job. What took the cake for me so far in my research was the feeble attempt at debunking by Kevin Ryan of 911 Review, Manuel Garcia Sees Physics That Don’t Exist, of Manuel Garcia’s series of explanations of how the buildings came down on CounterPunch, which did a special report.

CounterPunch Special Report: Debunking the Myths of 9/11

Alexander Cockburn here assembles his two prime commentaries in a final, expanded essay, “The 9/11 Conspiracists and the Decline of the Left.”

Manuel Garcia Jr, physicist and engineer, presents his three separate reports, undertaken for CounterPunch.

Part One is his report on the Physics of 9/11..

Part Two (published here for the first time) is his report on the Thermodynamics of 9/11.

Part Three, Dark Fire, is his report on the collapse of the World Trade Center’s Building 7.

JoAnn Wypijewski wrote her essay “Conversations at Ground Zero” after a day spent with people at the site on 9/11/2006.

Garcia did a follow-up on Building 7, Thermal Expansion Downed WTC 7:
The Big Heat
after NIST issued its report in August 2008. I recommend these articles to anyone who believes that Bush or his cronies had to be masterminding behind the scenes. In a way, since our politicians serve as inspiration to fight the empire they represent, in the name of all of us despite whatever each individual has to say about it, our leaders and their policies are chiefly responsible for what they call terrorism. The war on terror was old news, but it took on a much more public phase after these spectacular instances of blowback. Obama had his chance to redeem this nation, and deserve his Nobel Peace Prize, but his attacks on Pakistan are living up to his campaign war whooping, and now the heat is on in Afghanistan, with a surge of violence in Iraq postponing those withdrawal plans. But this post isn’t about foreign policy, and I’m just a skeptic about that, no kind of expert. I am, nonetheless, a scientist, not some lay person speculating on towers collapsing by some weird physics so hard to understand, there had to be some kind of thermite. Oxidized aluminum in an event of that magnitude, I’m supposed to believe required tons of thermite? Show me pools of molten metal, I’ll say that can happen when combining superheated gases under extreme pressure, hot aluminum, iron, steam. Metals absorb heat, so they can get significantly hotter than air temperatures in a fire, and their crystals start losing significant structural strength long before they start melting. I hear all this talk about the air temperature of a kerosene fire, as if jet fuel was the only fuel burning in those buildings. Metals will burn if they get hot enough, or if oxidation is catalyzed. When I hear talk about what can’t happen under such circumstances, I wonder if someone is blowing smoke, playing on public faith in experts asserting the counter-intuitive scenario of collapsing skyscrapers wasn’t the result of an act of war, because rogue elements in power pulled it off to stage a coup and start an endless war on terror

I have a nose for pseudo-scientific snow jobs. I attended Caltech, but decided to transfer because its computers back then were so primitive, and I wanted to study programming. My grades were not the reason, though once I was advised by a graduate General Relativity professor I was in danger of failing his course. I was a junior missing several prerequisites, but I wanted to study Einstein’s theories of relativity, so I took the class pass-fail and barely passed. I was not used to being out of my league. Caltech allowed that option, and gave out A+ grades then. I know, I got a few in math classes. But I digress, don’t mean to brag, but I’m making a point. I’m not easy to snow about physics, I’ll put it that way.

For a crowd screaming about ad hominem attacks, Kevin Ryan can dish it out with the worst of them. He can’t really refute the physics, so he ridicules Garcia as a government stooge twisting his joints, making up paradoxical yarns to explain the inexplicable, “spooky action at a distance,” “only imaginative conjecture at best.” I guess ridiculing someone as a stooge excuses one from the task of actually disproving his theories, which Ryan didn’t bother to attempt, though he thinks he did a bang up job, no doubt. He disproved his limited understanding of what Garcia tried to explain, like anyone who has no argument makes up and knocks down a straw man.

From the research of Steven Jones, we know that the thermite reaction likely played a role in bringing the towers down, and it would not be surprising if technology developed by LLNL was involved. Could that be why Manuel Garcia is so intent on seeing Physics that don’t exist, in order to avoid seeing links to technology developed by his employer?

These skyscrapers actually exhibit quantum behavior, as large multi-floor sections go from rest to a speed of 16 mph instantaneously!

If it was not already clear that Garcia never read NIST’s WTC report, we might think that he got his quantum leaps from them.

Garcia’s analysis of the WTC thermodynamics then begins with the removal of all of the fireproofing from all the steel, an unsupported assumption at best.

Did Ryan read what I read? All this grossly distorts Garcia’s work, straw man argument at best, and Ryan should know it. He surely knows about the law of conservation of momentum? What in a skyscraper is going to stop a gigantic sledgehammer crashing down with steadily increasing weight and speed? The ground, nothing else. If Ryan is a respected journalist in the Truther movement, I wonder why, if he is so bold as to engage in such “sloppy dishonesty,” which he blithely tags on Garcia. What else can I call deliberate misrepresentation in the name of science and truth? His piece is full of it. I could go on for pages about the differences between what Garcia says and what Ryan says Garcia says. For example, instantaneous and all have precise meanings in physics, and Ryan deliberately misuses them. The physics Garcia lays out is not mysterious or convoluted, unless one believes it was an inside job. Occam’s Razor tells me the Truthers have somehow managed to outdo the government, concocting theories even more unbelievable than Uncle Sam. I can understand the desire to believe the worst about the Bush gang, but I don’t even think they were unusual. Our political system reeks of corruption, dishonest dealing, power madness, hypocrisy, doublespeak, CYA, then, now, as usual. This is kind of an open secret; one overused euphemism is spin control.

Ryan makes a big deal about the lack of sufficient energy to cause that kind of damage, like knocking fire shielding off the central beams, claiming the available energy was much less than Garcia and NIST estimated. It’s not the total energy that matters, it’s the power applied to the area of impact, which for the duration of that sudden sharp change of momentum those beams had to absorb was considerable. Momentum is conserved, which means any loss of momentum by one mass has to be made up by disruption in another mass(es). That implies huge shock waves that would go all the way down to the bottom, triggering secondary waves and possibly explosions of generators. After burning for awhile, I don’t think it’s mysterious that somewhere support gave way in the area around the impact, starting the avalanche that collapsed the building in on itself.

It could be very distressing for some of these rebel leaders to realize that instead of “muckraking with a radical attitude” they have spent years meekly bolstering the status quo.

That’s Ryan blasting Alexander Cockburn and company, for publishing Garcia on CounterPunch. Maybe he ought to look in the mirror before lashing out. That’s tame compared to the hate mail Cockburn received attacking him for his position. I don’t agree with anyone on everything, not even Cockburn or Null, but Cockburn doesn’t deserve that, even though he is skeptical global warming is such a big problem. I think his point is it’s at most only one of many ecological crises looming created by industrial and military practices ignoring predictably dire consequences of their profit or destructive power over all mentality. It shames me as a scientist that scientists support these practices; they have the power to put a stop to all these abuses of science which that support makes possible. Just grow a backbone or conscience and call it out, colleagues. Some are, like Gary Null and other whistleblowing journalists and scientists, but they struggle to get some truth out while the mass media pumps out mainstream reassurances to trust the experts, they’re making such marvelous progress, everything is under control, not to panic or listen to fearmongers or quacks.

I can smell a snow job even if I can’t prove it, and I smell a rat in many sides of this sideshow. Maybe most amazing statement I heard on the Gary Null special was by San Francisco Bay Area architect, Richard Gage, founder of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, comparing the relatively few floors with lighter supporting beams that initially collapsed above the impact to a Volkswagen crushing the Mack truck of 80,000 tons of solidly welded supporting beams below! What a misleading comparison. The mass of over ten floors moving at speed crashing into each weakened floor below? Which is the Mack truck, I’m puzzling? Especially since the gigantic wrecking ball kept getting heavier and moving faster all the while! Those floors broke off like toothpicks in rapid succession, probably made loud cracking sounds, not unlike explosions? Strong air pressure variations would have created all kinds of weird effects. Gage also claimed the upper floors disintegrated, so there wasn’t anything left to knock down the lower floors, must have been explosives! Where did they go? Where was he looking? There couldn’t have been much besides dust around the impact zone once it fell through, and it would be hard for any camera to track the mass crashing down ever faster. It’s hazardous to conclude much about the internal dynamics from views from the outside.

Richard Gage said 80,000 tons of structural steel would be the path of most resistance. Those tons weren’t standing together as a solid mass, but were supporting the entire building, a chain of welded beams under unimaginable loads and shearing strain. The path of least resistance was down. That’s the nature of gravity. There was some resistance, and some beams bounced or were thrown off to the side. Probably mostly the first few floors could resist milliseconds longer than the rest, but two-thirds is not near free fall acceleration, a peculiar exaggeration for a crowd saying there could be no resistance at all, so planted explosives had to clear the way. This professional architect made that claim, that the twin towers collapsed at about two-thirds of free-fall acceleration, so tightly synchronized explosives had to clear the way. Yet there was tons of unexploded super high tech top secret military nano thermite littering the debris? How well did that synchronizing go? Maybe it went just poorly enough to explain that missing third of free fall acceleration? If the way down was really cleared, that’s a big force factor missing, a good deal more than could be attributed to air resistance. I’m highly skeptical of these claims. Gage also exaggerated the melting temperature of iron, saying it was twice the temperature of the fire. Maybe he meant to say Fahrenheit, but he said iron melts at 3000 degrees Centigrade, which is nearly double 1535 degrees, almost 2800 degrees Fahrenheit. He misspoke, maybe. Otherwise that’s another peculiar exaggeration, though I haven’t heard of that mistake elsewhere, and Truthers usually say the fire was much cooler than 1000 Centigrade, which is plenty hot enough to weaken steel into putty and less than Gage’s calculation. Regardless, even at 600 degrees steel loses about half its strength (see graph).

The avalanche theory is ridiculous, Gage says. That’s ridiculous. There might have been significant resistance in the first few floors, but the speed increase of falling is nearly constant. Air resistance increases with speed, but the resistance of each floor had to decrease, until the bottom had to absorb all that energy, creating who knows what kind of hell. Not like a solar furnace, but could have melted anything, including metals. Some metals melt much cooler than others; tin and lead are used for soldering for that reason, besides being relatively cheap.

The point being, there was no Mack truck to provide resistance. The floors were punched out, becoming part of the sledgehammer, one by one; they couldn’t support each other. A building is more like a chain of supporting mechanisms, as strong as its weakest link, than a solid block. Skyscrapers have some redundancy and reinforcement, but not to stand up to those kind of shearing forces. I hear the towers were designed to withstand the impact of a plane crash. What kind of crash, accidental or deliberate? The initial impacts, and the heavy unbalanced load caused by the hole in the side and listing of the center beams around the impact site, put a lot of stress on the entire structure long before the avalanche came crashing down. The NIST report concentrated on how the cascade started because once that happened, the outcome was set; the path of least resistance was straight down. Where’s the mystery about that? This magical collapse was just a foregone conclusion once the fire finished the job the impact started. No further explosions were necessary to knock down those towers. This mythmaking isn’t helping anyone but the powers that be. What a useful distraction from real issues. Sure I could be wrong, but Gary Null has been exploited before by people using him to promote their own agendas, or steal from him. He’s a remarkable scientist and investigative journalist, but may be too idealistic about people who claim the progressive mantle. He’s skeptical of some such people, but others seem to get undeserved trust, in my opinion. I challenge Gary Null to allow me to defend my theories on his show. If there’s trouble finding a scientist to debate with the Truthers, I’ll do it. I don’t have much time, but I’ll find some for that. I agree with the idea of having an independent investigation, but why stop with what went wrong on 9/11/01? By the way, Manuel Garcia and most independent journalists support an independent investigation as well, regardless of their opinions on the involvement of Bush and his gang.

Another oddity is Truther hero Professor David Ray Griffin making a big deal of claiming cell phones couldn’t have been transmitting panic calls from 30,000 feet. I doubt there would’ve been panic until the planes had descended quite a ways, enough for passengers to realize something terribly wrong was going on. I’m not sure how close to the ground cell phones had to be in those days, but the panic calls probably weren’t made anywhere near cruising altitude.

What I especially find puzzling is how Truthers rationalize the jihad against the United States. Do they believe that’s all Bush’s fault? That predates Bush, and sure as hell wasn’t caused by his reaction to 9/11. Is this a partisan witch hunt, or what? Why is such an attack from extremist Muslims hard to believe? Gary Null hasn’t gone that far; he got convinced the towers couldn’t have been knocked down by the airplane crashes, so someone high up must have known what was in the works and made sure the buildings did come down. Chaos theory was in full swing, along with Murphy’s law. The towers were doomed when their central columns were slammed; it was only a matter of time before the relatively flimsy supporting beams up there lost too much strength, bringing all the floors above the impact to bear on the floor just below. That explains why all that material seemed to disappear; it was partially pulverized by that impact, and everything besides clouds of dust battered the rest of the building down, floor by floor. Where’s the mystery?


1. angryscientist - August 3, 2010

Richard Gage must have realized his error about the melting temperature of iron. I heard him speak during another KPFK broadcast recently where he correctly stated the melting point is about 1500 degrees Centigrade. In his interview by Gary Null, he probably meant to say Fahrenheit, in which case he was only overstating the temperature by about 7%.

For those who think Manuel Garcia is just a government stooge, so his theories about 9/11 shouldn’t be taken seriously, I suggest they read his latest article on CounterPunch, Dear Democrats, 2012. The man is clearly not a fan of either party, so why would he make up a theory to explain how the buildings came down just to backstop George Bush and company? Some scientists think the purpose of science has something to do with searching for truth. Others think it’s all about making money, or fleecing the public. I think Garcia is in the first category. His detractors claim the mantle of 9/11 Truth, but I think their hatred of Bush greatly colors their judgment. Yes, the powers that be are up to no good, but they have no monopoly on that, and to claim the attacks of 9/11/2001 were entirely a false flag operation to enable a coup and the war on terror is to deny the reality of implacable anger among many Muslims at this country and its allies, which has been gathering steam since long before 9/11/2001.

2. bjoern fischer - August 17, 2010

Take a stone in your hand and throw it on concrete really hard (that could be the speed of a collapsing skyscraper top). You will see that little bits fall off but larger amounts may stay intact. It’s similar with pieces made of steel. Only if you accelerate the stone to very high speeds it pulverizes completely (like explosives do). If the pancake theory was the only effect, there had to be some of the massive concrete-steel pillars remain partially intact. 47 massive pillars sticking in the sky – maybe 50m high. I don’t see why a fire on the top weakens the lower structures.

1500 degrees Celsius equal 2732 degrees Fahrenheit – which is about the melting temperature of steel (no 7% error I would say). Problem is that steel looses its strength already at lower temperatures.

The outer structure of the twin towers was designed to cope with the wind forces. The wind creates more shear forces than the impulse of one airliner (my guess). The inner core was designed to take vertical ‘gravity’ forces.

Check out a documentary ‘Building the World Trade Center and Twin Towers’ on youtube to see how massive these buildings were.

3. angryscientist - August 17, 2010

7% is approximately the difference between 3000 degrees Fahrenheit and the melting point of iron.

The wind? Are you pulling my leg? Regardless, you ignore the shearing forces caused by the unbalanced load, which lasted until the buildings collapsed, and the forces caused by the collapse in progress. The jet impact lasted a fraction of a second.

Designed to take gravity forces? Gee, no kidding! They were supposedly designed to stand up to an airplane crash too, but probably not a jumbo jet nearly full of fuel moving near top speed! The momentum of the top of the skyscrapers wielded far more force on the floors that mass (which supposedly disappeared into thin air) crashed into than gravity.

Why should the girders remain intact? They were sheared off, probably at the weld points, snapping like toothpicks under the impacts of that sledgehammer, steadily increasing in mass and velocity. We’re not talking stones or pieces of steel. We’re talking about acres of concrete smashing down everything in the way.

4. bjoern - August 18, 2010

The pressure of strong winds against the tower (huge area) causes stronger forces in the structure then the unbalanced load. The momentum should be largest just below the point of impact – making the top tip over and fall off. Instead it falls straight down smashing and pulverizing everything in its path (causing floors to “disappear into thin air” – maybe I start calling this “Hollywood-physics”).

Of course there is a difference in scale but my practical and theoretical experience with steel tell me that 10 inch standard i-beams are not usually snapping like toothpicks. Especially not 47 of them from top to bottom (>100m) all in the same manner. Some might have snapped at the welding seams but it is unlikely that 100% did.

You say the “sledgehammer” steadily increases in mass in velocity – true. But if you watch closely the sledgehammer is powerful enough to pulverize stories from the beginning on (when it should be very slow)…

If the forces causing the collapse solely result due to the gravity of acres of concrete…why are parts of the building flying away from the tower with a horizontal component? Not just a few metres but out of the block – into or over opposing buildings! Looks like an oblique throw to me. Don’t tell me the air squeezed out of the building pushed steel beams over the street 😉

WTC was designed for a similar airplane crash at higher speeds than occured on 9/11 including the resulting fire: http://911research.wtc7.net/wtc/analysis/design.html

5. angryscientist - August 18, 2010

Your argument reminds me of Kevin Ryan, comparing apples and oranges. You talk of high winds causing stronger forces, but those forces get distributed over the entirety of a structurally sound building. The impact of the airplane crash was concentrated in a relatively very small space, so the energy density at that point of impact was off the scale. If the top had been dislodged at that point, it would have tipped over and fallen off to the side, but it stuck around until its supports got too weak to stand.

Why should a building collapse be completely symmetrical? Why should some of the steel beams not bounce off to the side, or be thrown off to the side?

What’s usual about this scenario? How many experiments have been done crashing projectiles into gigantic skyscrapers? None that I know about. It would be too dangerous and costly, even for Hollywood.

The initial pulverization probably occurred when the top floors crashed into the floors just below the impact. That would be the point in time and place of maximum resistance. After that, the clouds of dust would make it appear everything was disappearing into thin air. Appearances can be deceiving.

Buildings can be designed for whatever disaster. That doesn’t mean the design will stand up. The best design can still only plan for expected circumstances. Anything unexpected will cause unpredicted results. That’s one reason Murphy’s law isn’t a joke; however cocky architects may be about their foolproof designs, it doesn’t necessarily mean a thing in the real world. The “accidents” at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl weren’t supposed to happen either; the odds were vanishingly small, we were supposed to believe.

6. bjoern - August 25, 2010

Even after the meltdown of the Chernobyl reactor the building was mostly remaining intact but those are apples and bananas again.

The maximum resistance is not around the hot place: Steel looses strength with rising temperatures.

Of course steel beams may bounce of, but they may not fly 390 feet away and pierce into another building.

The wind force causes stress which might be comparable to the stress occurring at 9/11. But probably you are right: Airplane crashes and fires made those buildings disappear. Like WTC 7 (and parts of the Pentagon). There were no additional bombs placed in those buildings – do not listen to fire fighters and other survivors – they must have been daydreaming (videos of the explosions in the basements are fake!). The U.S. government has a straight record of telling the truth and loving peace. If fires and pancake theories are the official explanation it should not be questioned (especially not in times of war). BTW I think one of the 15 (or so) 911 commissions stated that there was a fully loaded oil truck in the garage beneath one of the twin towers – to give some explanations for the explosions.

But still why have 100% of all standard I-beams in all the WTC buildings snapped like toothpicks? Snapped into a length which can be conveniently be loaded on a truck and shipped to China?

7. angryscientist - August 25, 2010

This is about the quality of argument I’ve learned to expect from the Truthers. Anything I, or Manuel Garcia, said must be part of the official smokescreen, right, or Hollywood physics? If so, why would we agree there should be an investigation? Nobody is saying the government isn’t covering something up, but I am saying the mechanism of the building collapses probably isn’t part of the coverup. It just isn’t that hard to knock down a skyscraper.

I don’t know about oil trucks, but there were generators in the basements. Generators have fuel tanks that are likely to explode if subjected to a sufficient pressure wave.

Why is it unlikely for a steel beam that bounces or is thrown off to the side to move hundreds of feet horizontally if it is falling from a great height? Its horizontal momentum has to be conserved, so the farther it falls, the greater the horizontal displacement in its roughly parabolic path to the ground.

Anything subjected to greater shearing force than its tensile strength will snap. Why would any of the beams survive the onslaught of a sledgehammer of steadily increasing mass and speed?

8. calsonicblu - September 10, 2010

I would just like to state that when someone says comparing apples and oranges is ridiculous, they are missing the fact that apples and oranges are almost exactly the same in vastly many ways. Yes superficially, they are different, but that’s like saying the empire state building and the twin towers are completely different because the twin towers were flat topped and the empire state building is pointed on top. Come on guys, this is supposed to be scientiffic debate, don’t get lazy.

9. angryscientist - September 13, 2010

Yeah, apples and oranges are more alike than the forces exerted on a building by wind are alike the forces exerted by a high speed airplane crash into a building. They are also more alike than what Manuel Garcia said and what Kevin Ryan said Garcia said. Maybe I should have drawn the analogy of comparing peaches to rocks. They are also superficially related, a stone fruit and a stone?

Unfortunately I don’t see much scientific debate going on about 9/11. I see much more of an appeal to faith in the indestructibility of skyscrapers by any means short of conventional demolition, along with an attitude that George Bush and his cronies were so evil, they must have done this in order to engineer a coup, as if Muslim extremists had no reason to attack the good old USA before Bush started the war on terror! What about all the previous attacks, mostly not on US soil, so maybe people forgot about those? Talk about rewriting history!

10. angryscientist - September 18, 2010

Here’s an interesting analysis of the alleged nano-thermitic material found in the dust.

“Active Thermitic Material” claimed in Ground Zero dust may not be thermitic at all
Abstract: A recent paper claiming “active thermitic material” in dust collected in the vicinity of the Twin Towers after their collapse is found to have shortcomings in its methodology.

The paper also fails to explore adequately alternative, non-thermitic explanations for its findings.

The paper also does not consider the chemical composition of the corrosion-proofing paints and of the vermiculite used as thermal insulation and soundproofing at the World Trade Center and extensively documented by NIST.

These products contain exactly the same elements and exhibit the same structural characteristics as the allegedly thermitic material found by the paper’s researchers in their samples.

The researchers therefore appear to have been somewhat hasty in reaching their conclusions.

11. TOM - February 23, 2011

Your smoke-screen has some good points, however I am still not convinced. I, at first, was convinced by the 911 report. I bought it hook line and sinker. However, with government BS if you look closely you can see the Joker in their Deck every time. In the Roswell incident, for example, the Joker was the fact that the Government has changed its story no less than 4 times over the years, not to mention the witnesses that have come forward in recent years. With JFK the Joker that got people thinking was the Zapruder film and the crazy trajectory of the last shot a.k.a the M.B.Theory, pretty much scraping the single shooter BS. As for the 911 story of the twin falling towers, you try to debunk the Truthers however the Joker for me was something you note once and only once! I.E. the near perfact dropping into its own footprint of Bld.#7. A Bld. that was not hit by a Jet loaded with fuel. With only a few small fires on different floors,(origin and cause of these fires still as yet unknown and not explained by You or the 911 report.) Take a look at the side by side comparison put forth by the Truthers of the fall of Bld.#7 and a planed demolition of a Bld. of comparable size caused by Thermite cutting charges. They are so close that you cant tell witch is witch without being told first. The cause, we are told is, the fires? Bull!! The “truthers” made up of fireman, witness at the scene, Engineers, and Architects have opened my eyes to the many jokers in the deck, and you have not turned me back with your few counter points. The films that swayed me put forth 9 (nine) points that prove the Thermite cutting charges demolition of all three 911 Bld. Nine points that you have not refuted at all! Let me state that I voted for Bush twice, (sorry to say) and the second time was partly to do with the 911 STORY. A story that helped push us to invade two country’s, gave the D.O.D. suppliers new sales of Billions that they would NOT have gotten otherwise, helped re-elect a man that was clearly not able to win on his own, and most sadly gave this man and his, ‘gang’ as you call them, the support to change the Rules of engagement that our country has stood by for a very long time, and an excuse to spy on our own people! Let me also state that I have worked at a D.O.D. site and witnessed and herd things that only gave the Truthers case even more power. If you want to debunk them you must take a look at ALL their information and take it down point by point. respectfully yours Tom, (a new and unconvinced by you Truther.)

12. angryscientist - February 24, 2011

My smokescreen? There’s plenty of smoke to go around in the various analyses of 9/11, but what specifically are you referring to?

You seem not to realize the government has been spying on dissenters for a very long time. Ever hear of COINTELPRO? What rules of engagement have changed, really? Who do you think is really in charge in this country? Those wars served corporate interests, so the so-called liberal media pushed for them as much as the Bush gang. Does Judith Miller ring any bells?

Did you read Manuel Garcia’s analysis of Building 7? That building was precariously structured to begin with, hardly comparable to other skyscrapers, and after getting clobbered by falling debris from the Twin Towers, it’s no mystery to me it suffered a similar fate. You don’t seem to understand the concept of proof. I’m a logic expert. A scientific proof has to meet very high standards, and I’ve seen nothing remotely close to those from the Truthers. Where’s the thermite, anyway? Where’s the proof the material found that contains iron and aluminum was actually some top-secret nano-thermite, instead of run of the mill insulating material? How in these allegedly so perfect demolitions did so much of the crucial explosive (literally tons, it’s claimed) fail to detonate?

The paper also does not consider the chemical composition of the corrosion-proofing paints and of the vermiculite used as thermal insulation and soundproofing at the World Trade Center and extensively documented by NIST.

These products contain exactly the same elements and exhibit the same structural characteristics as the allegedly thermitic material found by the paper’s researchers in their samples.

What’s your answer to that damning evidence that Steven Jones and Niels Harrit were trying to pull the wool over people’s eyes?

This whole fuss about the buildings falling into their footprint amuses me. Since when does gravity pull in any direction but straight down? When the supporting structures of a building give way, most of the building will fall straight down. Some will be thrown off to the side, because of asymmetry, but gravity will be the primary force acting on most of it. You truthers seem to have a superstitious confidence in the strength of steel (cut in half at 600 degrees Centigrade) and the ability of a skyscraper to withstand such an intense impact.

I have plenty of issues with the 9/11 report, but not with its explanation of the mechanics of the building collapses. Why isn’t there comparable questioning of the role played by powerful people in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan? Oh, because according to the Truthers, they had nothing to do with it! Gary Null wouldn’t go that far; he seems to think the government knew of the plot and planted explosives to make sure the buildings would not survive. I wonder if the Bush gang has been amused by the distractions pursued by the Truthers. If they were covering up for their friends in those nations, dubious allies at best, the Truthers have been a great distraction from the really important issues the 9/11 report did gloss over. Talk about a smokescreen! The Truthers may not realize how they have been played for fools!

If you want to debunk them you must take a look at ALL their information and take it down point by point.

Why? The “information” I’ve heard was more than enough to convince me the Truthers don’t understand physics. I don’t need to look at all their theories to show they are full of holes. Besides, they don’t seem to comprehend there are extremists out there who really do hate America enough to carry out such an act of revenge!

13. pjnlsn - May 17, 2011

You speak the truth my friend. I am in awe.

14. angryscientist - May 22, 2011

I never know when something like that is spam, but Akismet didn’t flag it. Truth shouldn’t be awesome, but I guess in this society, it’s rare enough.

What puzzles me is this focus on temperatures. Metals absorb heat faster than they radiate it, so they can easily get hotter than the air in a fire. Kerosene burns at a relatively low temperature, but it can set other things on fire in an office skyscraper. I can see why the Truthers scream about how a kerosene fire won’t melt steel. Kerosene only got those fires started.

The question of thermite is just silly. There was plenty of aluminum around to burn. Where do the Truthers think the energy of a thermite reaction comes from, magic? It comes from aluminum burning! The iron oxide just makes it easier to ignite. Aluminum doesn’t burn easily, because the activation temperature of most metal fires is not encountered under expected conditions, even most fires. But burning aluminum can melt other metals or set them on fire, and maybe that’s why there were fires burning deep in the debris for months. Kinetic energy of all those acres of skyscraper flooring and furniture crashing into the one thing that could resist, the ground, flashing into heat, and they explain molten metal by top-secret nanothermite? They must think because NIST’s explanation of the cascading collapse was so short and simple, it must be hiding something. What got it started was complicated, but once that floor below the impact gave way under the onslaught of the floors above, the buildings were doomed. Nothing was going to stop that sledgehammer until it hit ground. Gravity is funny that way. But that part wasn’t complicated at all, so there wasn’t much to explain. That pesky law of conservation of momentum. The supporting steel was kind of thin up there in the impact zone, so it didn’t have much chance to stand up, to absorb all that momentum. The floors gave some resistance, more than would be expected if it was controlled demolition or collapse of support, when there would be nothing but air to give resistance, and it would be a lot closer to free fall acceleration than two-thirds. There is some air resistance, but that would not be significant at first, since that increases with velocity. Some of those snapping beams could have snapped up and out at high speed.

I listened over and over to that architect on the Gary Null special. His theory is so full of holes, I drove a Mack truck through it. I will inform Null of my challenge soon; I doubt he or any of his staff would notice my blog.

15. angryscientist - July 4, 2011

Well, what do you know. Gary Null isn’t sold on the super top secret nanothermite theory. He interviewed Judy Wood, a “brilliant physicist” who seems to have a problem with Steven Jones. Jones won’t be happy about this. Seems there’s a number of theories knocking about in the Truther world, and they don’t mix too well. Null might have trouble assembling a panel of scientific experts to have a civil scientific discussion. I’ll have more to say about this development later, when I’ve analyzed the interview. What puzzles me is why these scientists think it’s necessary to concoct fantastic theories to explain what happened. There’s no great mystery about it, and there are plenty of ways to explain what happened, as there are plenty of ways to knock down a skyscraper. I maintain a high speed collision with a huge plane is one way.

16. angryscientist - July 19, 2011

I regret to say, Gary Null has gotten some of his facts thoroughly mixed up. The second caller he took on his 6/21/11 show, Joe from the Bronx, said fire does weaken steel. Null shot back, “at 4300 degrees, not the degrees of the airlines.” 4300 degrees Celsius exceeds the boiling point of iron by about fifty percent. Possibly he meant Fahrenheit. Iron melts about 2800 degrees Fahrenheit and boils around 5200. 4300 degrees Fahrenheit is approximately the burning temperature of a thermite reaction. I guess that’s where Null got that number, but he ought to take care not to make a fool of himself. Unfortunately physics is not his area of expertise, and at times like this, it shows.

17. angryscientist - September 2, 2011

On Null’s August 12, 2011 show, Richard Gage was on again, repeating his usual spiel, despite Null asking him for new findings that people would not be aware of. Gage stated there were only a few small fires in Building 7. Really? He wasn’t there. Some who were told a different story. He also said that the paper I cited above about the alleged nano-thermite found in the dust has been “uncontested” in the last two years. Maybe to his knowledge, but this completely ignores the article I linked in comment 10, which tears that paper to pieces.

Null brought out the testimony of William Rodriguez, a maintenance worker for the towers with the master key to all the elevator shafts, a recognized hero for rescuing many people. Rodriguez claims he heard and felt an explosion in the basement 7 seconds before the jet hit the building. How could he possibly know that? From the basement, he couldn’t have seen the jet, so the only way he could surmise when the jet hit was by feeling the shock wave. By the time he felt that, the fuel in generators, or other volatile chemicals, could have been exploded by that same shock wave, and the 7 seconds was an estimate at best. What, did Rodriguez compare his watch when the first explosion threw him off his feet to the official time the plane hit the building? He claims there were at least three explosions within seconds of each other, all prior to the plane impact. This isn’t “fully documented,” “accurate,” or an “irrefutable fact.” Null usually has higher standards for what he calls irrefutable. Since when is anyone’s testimony an irrefutable fact, especially of one’s memory of such a traumatic and quickly unfolding event? Null conceded at first Rodriguez was parroting the official story, at the behest of the Administration, but then after realizing his testimony for the 9/11 committee was never going to see the light of day, he came out with the “real story.”

Null also told stories of several mysterious deaths of eyewitnesses. Considering how toxic the atmosphere was on that day, are these deaths really so mysterious? Sure, there’s a coverup of something, but isn’t it possible all this guesswork about how the towers were brought down is a blind alley?

Here’s a logic lesson for those who don’t understand the concept of scientific proof. I’m sure Gary Null knows this lesson, but for some reason he doesn’t seem to be applying his usual rigor to this issue. He’s putting the pieces of the puzzle together, he says. The puzzle may not reveal what he expects. The nature of causality is such that A can cause B implies A caused B, or in other words A is the cause of B, if and only if A is both necessary and sufficient to cause B. Explosive charges, or directed energy beams, or both, could have caused the collapse of the WTC buildings, but though either would be sufficient, neither would be necessary to bring those buildings crashing down. Anyone who doesn’t understand the laws of physics can claim it was impossible for the combination of the jet impacts and the subsequent fires to bring down those buildings, but that’s a matter of faith, not science. So NIST had to revise their theories. So what? There has never been a scientific theory that stood the test of time, and I doubt there ever will be. Theories are made to be broken; they’re always incomplete or not quite 100% accurate, so they have to be revised or scrapped.

18. angryscientist - September 16, 2011

On Gary’s Progressive Commentary Hour from August 8, he read a piece from Veterans Today by Susan Lindauer, which he said was unusual, very intriguing, and an interesting article. Yeah, some of it was interesting, but this in particular was a dead giveaway.

On August 2, the date of Robert Mueller’s Senate confirmation hearings to become Director of the FBI, my CIA handler, Dr. Richard Fuisz warned me not to travel to New York because the attack on the World Trade Center involving airplane hijackings was “considered imminent,” with the potential for “mass human casualties” and a “possible miniature thermo-nuclear device” (thermite).

Gary read this verbatim, without remark. It’s really hard for me to believe he is as clueless as Ms. Lindauer about the nature of thermite. Thermite reactions derive their extreme heat from the oxidation of aluminum. They have no relation to thermonuclear devices whatsoever, except that both start with “therm” and both produce extreme heat. It’s impossible to conceal the detonation of a thermonuclear device, because it releases a great deal of radioactivity. I’ve heard plenty about the toxicity of the atmosphere following 9/11, but nowhere have I heard that there were elevated levels of radioactivity. This conflation of a thermonuclear device with thermite is so nonsensical, it’s embarrassing. Lindauer may know something about what the CIA knew before 9/11, but when it comes to explosives, she clearly has no idea what she is talking about.

Gary did observe that he hadn’t been able to independently confirm this story. Lindauer previously made a big deal of vans that showed up a couple of weeks before the attack for several nights after the janitors had left, insinuating they were planting explosives. If the CIA was expecting an attack on the towers that could bring them down, maybe these vans were taking out the gold stored there. There has been speculation about what happened to all that gold, which as far as I know was never found.

Meanwhile, yesterday Amy Goodman reported on Democracy Now about information linking prominent Saudis to the attacks.

Former Florida governor and senator Bob Graham is calling on President Obama to reopen the investigation into the Sept. 11 attacks after new information has emerged about the possible role of prominent Saudis in the 9/11 plot. According to recent news reports, a wealthy young Saudi couple fled their home in a gated community in Sarasota, Florida, just a week or so before Sept. 11, 2001, leaving behind three cars and nearly all of their possessions. The FBI was tipped off about the couple but never passed the information on to the 9/11 Commission investigating the attacks, even though phone records showed the couple had ties to Mohamed Atta and at least 10 other al-Qaeda suspects.

Now this is the kind of coverup I’d expect from the Bush gang, what with his close connections with the House of Saud. All this speculation about how the towers must have gotten an extra push seems to me to be a distraction from the real coverup. What’s the real agenda of the 9/11 Truthers anyway? Distraction? Misinformation? I don’t know, but it was interesting that Gary said he was tempted to walk out of a recent 9/11 symposium because one speaker said he was glad about 9/11, and the audience applauded. He said if he hadn’t been the keynote speaker, he would have walked out. Yeah, Gary is starting to get it. He doesn’t belong with this crowd. Gary is interested in truth. I suspect many of the 9/11 Truthers are more interested in pinning all the problems of the world on George Bush and company.

19. angryscientist - October 6, 2011

Some links to dispute the guests on Gary’s three hour 9/11 special on his Progressive Commentary Hour:
As to this peculiar idea that it wasn’t a plane that hit the Pentagon, see http://www.rense.com/general32/phot.htm or http://www.snopes.com/rumors/pentagon.asp
On the wreckage of the plane that went down in Pennsylvania:

I wonder how hard Gary Null has tried to disprove his theories about 9/11. I know, he’s putting the pieces together, but there’s so much that doesn’t add up. At least he paid some attention to the the Saudi couple that fled just before the attack, reading an article that linked them to the House of Saud as well as the commandos who seized the planes (though his guest from Pilots for 9/11 Truth said that couldn’t have been what really happened).

On Gary’s 02/23/12 show, Gary interviewed Elizabeth Woodward about the organization consensus911.org, which he said had irrefutable proof that the official story was wrong in at least 20 areas. That’s strong language, totally inappropriate for matters of physics. Physics is all theory and application of theory. No theory in physics has stood the test of time; only the most recent may appear to, because they haven’t been put to that test for long enough. Sometimes a theory just needs some refinement, sometimes they are scrapped when evidence is discovered that contradicts them.

Most of these “consensus points” have been refuted, by myself and others, though since this is all a matter of theory and conjecture, these refutations can be contested. This scholarly panel has all kinds of experts, but only a few physicists, and it seems to me that these consensus points were based on preconceived notions more than actual evidence.

Gary mentioned again the story of the 911 hero who claimed he was thrown off his feet into a wall eight seconds before the first plane hit. I still want to know how this guy could time that so precisely. If he was in the basement, how could he possibly know the exact time the plane hit the building? What could be the purpose of setting off an explosion in the basement so long before the other explosives were supposedly detonated to bring the building down? What, was it necessary to weaken the structure from the bottom? Hardly.

Nobody from 911 Truth wants to talk about all the aluminum that was around that could have caught fire, which could easily explain the melting of other metals. Nobody wants to talk about the conservation of momentum. Force in physics is defined as the rate of change of momentum. In order for any one of the floors to have stopped the ongoing collapse, it would have had to absorb the force of all the momentum of the collapsing floors hitting it changing to zero in a fraction of a second. The supporting columns were stronger farther down in the building, but their increase in strength paled in comparison to the increase in momentum, from both increased mass and increased velocity.

It has been estimated that the Twin Towers collapsed at roughly two-thirds free fall acceleration. That has to be an average. I’d think the acceleration was slower near the plane impact zone and picked up as the collapse proceeded, because even though the columns could put up more resistance, the force on them was increasing so much faster that the power to resist would decrease, at least until the collapse reached ground level. The 911 Truthers like to talk about gravity. Gravity just instigated the collapse. The force of the collapse was much stronger than mere gravity. If it was just gravity, then the floors below the impact could have survived, because the structure could bear the weight of the floors above. The weight was just a small part of the actual force at play. The momentum, steadily increasing much faster than linearly, was what could not be resisted.

20. angryscientist - October 5, 2012

More confusion about the temperature of the fires from David Ray Griffin’s right hand man Tod Fletcher, during Gary Null’s 911 special for 2012. He said he was relying on his memory, which might explain the startling disconnect between his statement that NIST said the maximum temperature of the fires was about 500 degrees Fahrenheit and what NIST actually said. NIST actually said, in this Frequently Asked Questions update from last year

6. What caused the collapses of WTC 1 and WTC 2?

Based on its comprehensive investigation, NIST concluded that the WTC towers collapsed because: (1) the impact of the planes severed and damaged support columns, dislodged fireproofing insulation coating the steel floor trusses and steel columns, and widely dispersed jet fuel over multiple floors; and (2) the subsequent unusually large number of jet-fuel ignited multi-floor fires (which reached temperatures as high as 1,000 degrees Celsius, or 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit) significantly weakened the floors and columns with dislodged fireproofing to the point where floors sagged and pulled inward on the perimeter columns.

Is this another example of NIST changing its story, or is it the 911 Truth movement that keeps changing its story? I guess Fletcher’s memory of this pertinent fact isn’t reliable. 500 degrees Fahrenheit won’t significantly weaken steel. 500 degrees Celsius will, and at 1000 degrees Celsius steel couldn’t hold up its own weight, let alone tons of concrete.

That was the only thing I heard from Fletcher that was new to me, this faulty recollection of the maximum temperature cited by NIST. Yet Null’s next expert, Barbara Honegger, started off with a critically important quick comment to Fletcher’s

excellent and completely accurate overview of some of the main points of contradiction between the known facts, the proven facts, and the official lie of 911.

She seems to think the presence of explosives that brought down the buildings by controlled demolition is one of those proven facts. Hardly. She actually stated that even if multiple planes had crashed into the buildings, they couldn’t possibly have come down by any means other than controlled demolition by pre-placed explosive charges. These pontificators on the laws of physics ought to leave physics to physicists. Why is it I can construct a theory based on evidence I can find that contradicts every one of the claims of the 911 Truthers about what caused the effects observed on 9/11/2001? Oh, that evidence isn’t credible, right? Not only isn’t it credible, according to these self-appointed physics experts, only their theories are even in the realm of possibility!

Honegger has her critics even within the Truther community. This site has a lot of information Honegger claims doesn’t exist, such as data from the Flight Data Recorder of American Airlines Flight 77 found at the Pentagon.

21. angryscientist - October 11, 2012

If there were any doubt that being a scientist is no guarantee against using the concept of proof loosely, I submit the book Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife. The author is featured in the cover story of the current Newsweek. Dr. Eben Alexander had a near-death experience during a coma which convinced him heaven is real. People can have all sorts of visions. Having a vision proves nothing, no more than a dream, no matter how vivid, coherent, and real it may seem. It may indeed be real, but that has nothing to do with the question of the existence of consciousness after death. People who have near-death experiences are not dead, no matter how completely their cortex is shut down; therefore their experiences are part of life, though inaccessible in ordinary consciousness, and prove nothing about death, heaven, or god. That the longstanding theories of consciousness are too limited should not even be a question nowadays, since quantum mechanics and the decoding of the genome have established that consciousness is not a deterministic function of biochemistry. The latter has shown that not even biochemistry is a deterministic function of biochemistry, since there isn’t enough variation in gene patterns to explain all the variations in gene expression. The genetic engineers cheerfully ignore this finding, insisting that they can predict the results of their manipulation of DNA. Dr. Alexander has once again demonstrated that no matter how firmly people are convinced they know what they believe is true, it isn’t necessarily so.

The legal system has a different standard of proof than science or mathematics. In the legal system, proving means establishing beyond a reasonable doubt. In science, proving means establishing there can be no other possible explanation. Since it is impossible to prove a negative, the scope of what can be scientifically proved is extremely limited, generally confined to statements of implication, i.e. if A is true, then B must be true. Proving A implies B, however, does not prove B; that would require proving A as well. If one pursued that chain back far enough, one would be required to prove the assumptions and definitions upon which the whole structure depends. Assumptions and definitions are assumed to be true because they are unprovable. This is why science calls its ideas about how things work theories, and why the scientific method is a method of trial and error. Disproving is much simpler, requiring only one example of verifiable contrary evidence. So I can say I’ve disproved Richard Gage’s theory that only controlled demolition could have knocked down the WTC skyscrapers simply by observing that an average acceleration of two-thirds free fall is inconsistent with the kind of perfectly timed controlled demolition he claims must have occurred. That missing third of the gravitational force had to come from some kind of significant resistance, so if it was a controlled demolition, it was an extremely sloppy one. The 911 Truthers make a big deal out of WTC 7 initially collapsing at free fall, which they say is only possible for controlled demolition. Again, if it was controlled demolition, why did the acceleration decrease? What caused the resistance? When the support of the top of a building buckles, the roof will come down at free fall until it encounters resistance. Where’s the mystery?

22. saxa - December 10, 2012

how about the mystery as to why it fell at all? it was not hit by anything!!!!!

23. angryscientist - December 11, 2012

WTC 7 was clobbered by heavy debris falling from the Twin Towers at high speed. I haven’t heard that it wasn’t hit by anything from the Truthers before, just that it wasn’t hit by a plane! If it wasn’t hit by anything, what started the fire?

24. angryscientist - December 11, 2012

I’ve decided to quote a respected 9/11 Truther, Paul Craig Roberts, from his tribute to Alexander Cockburn, who died on July 21, in the Sept. issue of CounterPunch.

A Great American

…I discovered in our conversations that he was far more optimistic than I. For example, many have wondered and speculated over the disagreement Alex and I had over 9/11. Being pragmatic, having been a graduate student of one of the best 20th century physical scientists, and trained to respect evidence, I reported the findings of the experts who concluded that the US government’s account of 9/11 was improbable.

Alex, despite my popularity on CounterPunch, would not post my columns that reported experts’ questions about 9/11. If you think about it, it seems odd that one of the last few legitimate leftists ended up on the side of the government’s account of the event. Many, who don’t know Alex, have accused him of helping to cover up a false flag event. People who say this do not know the man.

It was very important to Alex’s optimism about our future as a free, just society, respectful of other ways and cultures, that Washington’s imperialistic oppression of Muslim countries produced blowback and 9/11.

Alex derided David Ray Griffin and the 9/11 Truth Movement, because he interpreted their questioning of 9/11 as a statement that oppressed peoples were impotent to repay the US for its crimes against them.

Alex objected to the implication that the US government is so competent that, by following the rules on the books, the government could have easily prevented the attack. For Alex, the implication of the totally successful attack was that the US government is incompetent, a pleasing thought to a person concerned about the US government’s underhanded ways.

I note that Roberts used the term improbable, not impossible or ludicrous, to refer to the official explanation of the building collapses, unlike some of his less careful colleagues. Roberts went on to say that this disagreement didn’t affect their relationship, and that the CounterPunch editors published a collection of Roberts’ columns as a CounterPunch book, which sold out. I don’t agree that Cockburn’s derision toward the 9/11 Truthers was the product of excessive optimism, but I think those Truthers who have directed so much derision toward Cockburn might do well to think about what Roberts said. They did not know the man.

25. angryscientist - January 10, 2013

The 911 Truther site physics911.net has an interesting analysis of the various Truther theories on how the towers were knocked down. It concludes the most likely explanation is nuclear bombs, and pokes a bunch of holes in Richard Gage’s theory. I don’t necessarily agree with its analysis, but I did find it interesting. This quote about nanothermite from the beginning of page 15 is especially telling:

Professors Niels Harrit, Steven Jones, and the other authors of the Bentham Open Physical Chemistry Journal article, describe the nano-thermite compound they found in the WTC dust as an incendiary or explosive. Richard Gage promotes “explosive evidence,” which is a way of being somewhat more general. Gage, however, has admitted in an email exchange that it isn’t a high explosive.

Burning aluminum will create a very hot fire, hot enough to melt and/or ignite most other materials, but since when is thermite in any form a high explosive? And if Gage has been forced to concede it isn’t, why is he still claiming it brought down the Twin Towers?

26. angryscientist - January 30, 2013

I’m not the only one asking that question. The founder of Scholars for 9/11 Truth, Jim Fetzer, posted on his blog on July 17, 2011, with T. Mark Hightower, a NASA engineer, Is 9/11 Truth based upon a false theory?.

On July 7, 2011, Hightower received emails from both David Ray Griffin and Richard Gage. Gage wrote back that “it [nanothermite] should not be called a ‘high’ explosive”. Griffin made a similar suggestion and, in reply, Mark observed that calling it simply “an explosive” would convey to most members of the public that it is “a high explosive” or, given it’s invocation by the “hard evidence” crowd, at least, has the ability to disintegrate concrete and even steel. Since that is the impression that has been indelibly implanted in the consciousness of the public, within and without the 9/11 Truth movement, until that claim is corrected, the 9/11 Truth movement will be based upon a provably false theory.

When Griffin wrote back, “We are happy with our formulation, that it can be tailored to work as an incendiary or an explosive. We cannot be responsible for the fact that many people may equate ‘explosive’ with ‘high explosive'”, therefore, his answer raised a number of extremely disturbing questions about the ethical implications of allowing these enormously misleading impressions to linger:

(1) Will Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth inform the public that it has misrepresented the potential for “explosive nanothermite”?; and,

(2) If nanothermite only exists as a low explosive, that it cannot “hold the key” to the destruction of the Twin Towers, as has been claimed?; and,

(3) Will A&E admit that nanothermite cannot possibly be the “smoking gun” of 9/11 research, when the hard evidence contradicts that claim?

Even now, after the publication of Has nanothermite been oversold to the 9/11 Truth community?, some of its most important advocates, such as Steven Jones, Kevin Ryan, and Neils Harrit, remain its obdurate supporters. There are signs that others may be more appreciative of the significance of these considerations, where recent handouts from Architechts & Engineers for 9/11 Truth advance the slightly more modest claim, “WTC dust samples contain chips of highly energetic nano-thermite composite materials – uniformly nano-sized, proportioned in an organic gas-generating (explosive) matrix”, which appears to be the fallback position: nanothermite may not be explosive, but it can be combined with explosives to make it explosive. The same, alas, can also be said of toothpaste. At some point, therefore, these “leaders” of the 9/11 Truth movement have to concede that a mistake was made and that they have misled the movement: nanothermite cannot possibly hold the key to understanding the demolition of the Twin Towers on 9/11.

Well, what do you know. Some Truthers are concerned about the truth after all, but I think Richard Gage and David Ray Griffin are more interested in how much money they can make selling their fantastic theories to a gullible public that hated George W. Bush so much they can believe 9/11 was entirely a false flag operation to justify the war on terror.

Physics teacher David Chandler, a respected member of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, seems to be at least partly responsible for the idea that the towers collapsed at two-thirds free fall acceleration. Here he makes this astonishing statement:

In other words, as long as the falling block is accelerating downward we have the counter-intuitive result that the force it exerts on the lower section of the building is significantly less than its static weight.

That isn’t just counter-intuitive, it is flat out wrong. He calculates that by assuming that the two-thirds of free fall acceleration is constant, as opposed to an average. The force exerted on each floor is the rate of change of the momentum of the debris collapsing onto it, which is considerably more than the weight of that debris. For the floor to stop the collapse, it would have to absorb all that momentum and kinetic energy in a fraction of a second. Between floors, the collapse would accelerate at very close to free fall, at least until air resistance became a significant factor, but the acceleration would be negative for a fraction of a second as each floor was knocked down.

Imagine a block of lead weighing over ten times as much as your body dropped from the ceiling directly onto you. What do you think would happen to your body? Hint, the force would be a whole lot more than that weight resting on your body. This is what the floor directly beneath the impact had to sustain. The floors below that had to sustain greater forces, because the mass of debris was greater and so was its velocity. The support beams up there just below the impact were relatively thin and sustained some damage from the impact shock itself.

27. angryscientist - February 8, 2013

On Gary Null’s Jan. 21 Progressive Commentary Hour, Barbara Honegger made a big deal out of the chief prosecutor for the Guantanamo war crimes tribunal recommending on Jan. 9 that the conspiracy charges be dropped against five guys accused of plotting the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States in 2001. This was because he was concerned that conspiracy wasn’t recognized as a war crime in 2001 and therefore might not stand up on appeal. Honegger didn’t mention the reason for this recommendation, insinuating it was because the government didn’t have a case. She also didn’t mention this news from January 18:

U.S. won’t drop conspiracy charge against 9/11 plot suspects

By Jane Sutton

MIAMI | Fri Jan 18, 2013 4:07pm EST

(Reuters) – The Pentagon appointee overseeing the Guantanamo war crimes court refused on Friday to drop conspiracy charges against five accused plotters of the September 11 attacks despite the chief prosecutor’s concerns that the charge might not withstand appeals.

The decision announced by the Pentagon means the alleged mastermind of the hijacked plane attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and four other captives could be tried on a charge that the prosecutor acknowledged might not have been recognized as a war crime when the attacks occurred in 2001.

In addition to the conspiracy charge, the defendants face murder and other charges that could lead to their execution if they are convicted in the tribunal at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base in Cuba.

The chief prosecutor, Brigadier General Mark Martins, asked the Pentagon appointee, Retired Admiral Bruce MacDonald, to dismiss the conspiracy count last week. The prosecutor said doing so would remove uncertainty that could taint or delay the case.

But MacDonald said on Friday that “dismissal at this time would be premature” because an appellate decision on the validity of the conspiracy charge was still pending in a Washington court.

I guess that news didn’t fit the storyline Honegger is peddling, so she didn’t think it was worth mentioning. She is another of the Truthers who uses the term proof very loosely, insisting that David Ray Griffin proved in his book Osama Bin Laden: Dead or Alive? that he died in December 2001. She told the story of how she ran into Leon Panetta in a grocery store and confronted him, telling him he knew it wasn’t bin Laden who was killed in the raid on the compound in Pakistan, since she had previously arranged to deliver that book to Panetta. She said Panetta didn’t deny this, but asked her to send him what she had on that; she says she did. Who knows if he bothered to read that book; he probably knows all he cares to know about the Truthers, so maybe he didn’t think he needed to read it. Somehow I have trouble believing David Ray Griffin has proved anything about 9/11, but that doesn’t stop him or his friends from claiming that he has proved the official report is a pack of lies. No doubt some of it is; something was covered up, but I think what was actually being covered up had nothing to do with the physics of how the Twin Towers were knocked down.

28. David welch - October 21, 2013

The video shows the buildings collapsing very quickly.. If any and all resistance slows a collapse . Why did the building collapse so quickly.. Why didn’t the resistance of the buildings slow the collapses?

29. angryscientist - October 22, 2013

It did. Otherwise they would have fallen at much closer to free fall acceleration than two-thirds. That’s one of the glaring holes in Richard Gage’s theory, since he claims controlled demolition removed all the resistance. If that were so, where did the resistance come from, thin air? Air resistance would become significant once the falling debris picked up enough speed, but not during most of the elapsed time.

As part of Gary Null’s 911 programming this year, he invited Richard Gage once again to set up a forum where his arguments could be debated and challenged. I wonder if anyone from Physics 911 will be invited?

30. wjm - November 9, 2013

Are WTC 1, 2, and 7 the only skyscrapers that have collapsed as if by controlled demolition? There have been skyscrapers that have experienced more intense fires such as http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBkIprte4SE and have remained standing. Was there a fatal flaw in the design and/or construction of these buildings?

31. angryscientist - November 11, 2013

Did you bother to read my argument? The fires alone wouldn’t have caused the collapses, but these buildings were all severely damaged by heavy impacts. The fires then weakened them enough to cause the collapses. This is not rocket science, but it isn’t high school science either, and as I stated, if they really were brought down by controlled demolition, they would have fallen a good deal faster than they actually did. Aren’t you at all curious why the piece I linked at Physics 911 concluded the buildings were more likely knocked down by small nuclear bombs than thermite?

32. Andrew Clark - March 18, 2014

Building 7, the one that the BBC news reported to have collapsed around 20 minutes before it actually did (which was rather oddly still standing behind the BBC reporter as she was speaking about the horror of the collapse she had just witnessed) Which only burned for 7 hours and was struck by some rubble and was certainly not hit by a plane at any point. collapsed exactly as the other 2 buildings did. And they still managed to find a clean red “hijacker” bandana within the rubble.

The latest building to be used as a comparison is a 45 story building in Chechnya, which supposedly burned for 29 hours, and yet did not collapse. Surely with such a lasting fire would have caused infinitely more reason to collapse than WTC7.

I would like to see a decent reason for one building to have fallen whilst the other did not under far more punishment.

33. angryscientist - March 19, 2014

Struck by some rubble, you say. What an understatement. It had a huge hole in its side after getting clobbered by steel girders falling from the Twin Towers. Also, you shouldn’t use the terms “exactly” or “infinitely” if they don’t fit. The collapses may have been similar, but they hardly collapsed in exactly the same way, and the length of time a fire burns has no significance. What matters is whether the building remains structurally sound. A building is mostly air, by volume, so it is more like a chain than a brick, and a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

34. angryscientist - April 25, 2014

One of the early 911 Truthers, Michael Ruppert, died a couple of weeks ago. Apparently he committed suicide. An article on Global Research asks why? I won’t presume to have a clue as to that. However, the article posits a classic straw man argument about the collapse of the WTC buildings:

One of the most important attributes about Ruppert was that he saw through 9/11/01 before most other skeptics.

Within a couple of months after 9/11, Ruppert published and spoke out publicly against the White House’s provably false 9/11 conspiracy theories (ie, the theory that two jet planes and the subsequent low-heat office fires [impossibly] melted – and sectioned – scores of massive steel beams at multiple levels and simultaneously pulverized all the concrete and then, equally impossibly, caused the pan-caking, at free fall speeds, of three WTC towers 1, 2 and 7).

Melted? Simultaneously? Free fall speeds? Low heat? None of these applies to the NIST explanations. A straw man argument mischaracterizes what it claims to refute and then knocks down the straw man. I doubt Ruppert was so careless as the author of this article, Dr. Gary Kohls. Claiming those fires were low-heat sounds like what David Ray Griffin’s right hand man Tod Fletcher claimed NIST said on Gary Null’s 911 special for 2012 (see comment 20), that the maximum temperature of the fires was about 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Never mind that NIST actually said it was about 1000 degrees Celsius, which isn’t nearly hot enough to melt iron, but plenty hot enough to destroy its capacity to support any weight. Nothing “impossible” or “provably false” about it.

I say again, two thirds of free fall acceleration is not nearly the same as free fall, and the difference has to be due to substantial resistance. I thought the Truther story was that only the roof of Building 7 accelerated down at free fall, and only for a few seconds, presumably until it encountered resistance. What’s free fall speeds supposed to mean? Free fall is a description of unimpeded gravitational acceleration, not speed. Technically speaking, free fall acceleration can only occur in a perfect vacuum, and technically speaking, no perfect vacuum exists in the universe, but objects can accelerate fairly close to free fall until air resistance becomes significant. I guess free fall speeds is the lay person’s attempt to describe speeds reached due to free fall acceleration? Obviously any speed short of light can be attained from any kind of positive acceleration, given enough time for the accelerating force to act on an object and the lack of a counterbalancing force.

The more I hear from the Truthers, the more I wonder if some of them are engaging in a disinformation campaign to distract people from what was really covered up, which I suspect had much more to do with who knew about it and their connections than how the WTC buildings were felled. If some bigwigs in the House of Saud knew about it and didn’t tell their American friends in high places, that would be extremely embarrassing for the Bush Administration, so they would be highly motivated to go to great lengths to cover that up, and all this noise about the mystery of how the buildings were brought down could be a useful distraction from the real coverup. Gary Null, to his credit, has been pursuing many angles of the story, but I think he’s been conned. He was warned that the powers that be would go to any lengths to discredit him. Disinformation and infiltration are known tactics of the authorities to discredit and disrupt opposition. That’s why I’ve called out the 911 Truthers, and Dr. Rima Laibow, and some greenwashers, who I suspect are double agents, not what they want to appear to be.

35. wjm - April 25, 2014

Wouldn’t there have been a temperature gradient between the steel 800-900 feet above ground and the steel 400 feet above ground, as well as at ground level? If the softened steel beams 800 feet above ground were unable to support the weight above them, what about the structure’s support capability 500 feet above ground, for example?
Was there molten steel at the base of WTC? If so, how long did it stay molten?

36. angryscientist - April 25, 2014

The temperature only mattered for the floors at and above the impact level. The ability of the beams to support weight, likewise. Once the collapse started, there was a great deal more force to resist than weight. I.e. in order for a given floor below the impact to stop the collapse, it would have to absorb all the momentum of the floors above crashing down onto it in an instant. That force dwarfed the weight of those floors, and it didn’t matter at all what the temperature was. It wasn’t like a Volkswagen crushing a Mack truck, as Richard Gage likes to analogize; it was more like the reverse. Force is calculated in physics as the rate of change of momentum.

Metal fires, as I’ve noted, are in general much hotter than fires burning organic chemicals, are extremely difficult to extinguish (water just provides them with oxygen), and some metals (for example, aluminum) burn hot enough to easily melt almost anything on earth. Regardless, it’s a matter of contention exactly what was melted at the base of the towers (for instance, try explaining the pictures of workers standing so close to pools of molten steel). Some metals melt at much lower temperatures than others. For instance, lead and aluminum can be melted by an office fire, but not iron. The kinetic energy of the collapse absorbed when it hit the ground could have melted and/or ignited iron. Iron burning produces just about as much heat as a thermite reaction, and as Truthers apparently know, a thermite reaction will melt iron. There was a lot more at work in those collapses than weight and burning jet fuel.

37. psikeyhackr - June 2, 2014

“crashing down with steadily increasing weight” and then mention the conservation of momentum. That is hysterical!!!

12 years go by and we don’t have accurate data on the tons of steel and tons of concrete on every level of the towers. And then people claiming to be “scientists” haven’t been asking for the information. How did the north tower come down in less than 26 seconds?

These days 8th graders should be able to write a computer program with 109 masses spaced 12 feet apart and allow the top 14 to fall on those below and figure out how the distribution of mass would affect the collapse time just on the basis of impacting masses. That would not show how much of the energy had to be lost bending, breaking and crushing the supports that had to be strong enough to support the mass.

And then there is the problem of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge model. In 1940 they could build a 54 foot 1:200th scale in 4 months and yet no engineering school has built a collapse model of the north tower in TWELVE YEARS.

So regardless of what the TRUTH of 9/11 was, how have “scientists” not demanded to know the TONS of STEEL and TONS of CONCRETE on each and every one of the 116 levels of the north tower? All discussion without that data is absurd.

38. angryscientist - June 3, 2014

Yes, the supports were strong enough to support the mass above them. They weren’t strong enough to support the same mass in near free fall. It makes no difference how much steel or concrete was on each floor. The force impacting each floor as it was hit by the avalanche of debris was proportional to the weight of the mass in motion and to the velocity of that mass, both of which were steadily increasing.

What was hysterical about what I said? Can you elaborate, or did you just not understand it? Force equals the rate of change of momentum. In order for the supports to stop the collapse, they would have to absorb the full brunt of that force. Tell me how the supports, relatively weak in the upper part of the towers, could have stood up to that force.

Where did you get 26 seconds? All the estimates I’ve seen were less than half that time. Do you realize that an object in free fall for 25 seconds will fall ten thousand feet? Maybe you need to brush up on your physics. Are they teaching eighth graders calculus now? Hint, the acceleration in such a collapse would not be linear, even before air resistance became a significant factor. See comment 26.

psikeyhackr - November 18, 2015

I didn’t say just “26 seconds” I said “less than 26 seconds”. Wikipedia says 25 seconds for the collapse including THE SPIRE. I also did not say “Floors”, I said LEVELS.

The core had horizontal beams connecting the columns not trusses like the FLOORS outside the core. The horizontal beams could not miss each other in a collapse even if the columns did. The NIST said the core supported 53% of the buildings weight. So where are the energy calculations for the core destruction and the degree to which it would have had to slow the top of the north tower?

angryscientist - November 19, 2015

If you’re trying to snow me with your nitpicking, you’re wasting your time. What’s the distinction you’re making between a floor and a level? What does the spire have to do with anything?

Wikipedia isn’t my idea of a reliable source.

It doesn’t matter how much of the weight the core supported. You’re missing the point. That’s an average, for one thing, and for another, the horizontal beams couldn’t have stopped the collapse any more than the columns could. Near the point of impact, both were weakened substantially, and lower down, the avalanche was moving too fast to be stopped. Slowed, for a small fraction of a second, but not stopped.

39. angryscientist - June 14, 2014

Here’s another example of the straw man argument made by some Truthers. This is from The Psychology of Being a “Non-Conspiracy Theorist”, by Bernie Suarez:

Conspiracy theorist says: “You are claiming that fire alone can cause a building to self-implode, descend at freefall speed into its own footprint? That’s physically impossible, what about Newton’s Laws and laws of thermal dynamics and such? “

Non-conspiracy theorist says: “No, you are wrong because you are a conspiracy theorist.”

No, you are wrong because nobody claims that fire alone knocked down any of the buildings on 9/11/2001, or that they descended at freefall speed, certainly not NIST or any reputable scientist. NIST did discount the effect of the damage done by falling debris to building 7, to my mind wrongly so, but they didn’t say it had no effect at all. The buildings did fall at near free fall acceleration briefly, until they encountered resistance. Nothing impossible or improbable about that; but they would’ve have fallen at much closer to free fall acceleration for much longer if they were in fact brought down by controlled demolition. By the way, isn’t that supposed to be thermodynamics, not thermal dynamics? I guess that would be nitpicking.

I guess since I don’t believe in Truther logic, I must be one of those non-conspiracy theorists. Funny, I do think it was a conspiracy; I just don’t think Bush or Cheney was part of that conspiracy, except that they probably did conspire after the fact to cover up who was really behind it, or knew about it, because those may well have included people they thought of as our allies, such as bigshots in Saudi Arabia? And if Mossad had gotten wind of it, would they have tipped us off? There could be many reasons they would’ve preferred to let the plan go ahead. The United States adopted a similar attitude to Israel’s toward “terrorists” in the entirely predictable reaction, and look what America did to one of Israel’s most hated enemies, Saddam Hussein. Truthers like to ignore the fact that many people who don’t agree with their theories do think there ought to be an independent investigation. That flies in the face of their pet theory that their critics are government stooges, or at least prone to believe whatever the authorities say, like the sheep Suarez describes as non-conspiracy theorists. No, there are good reasons to criticize them, because their physics expertise is dubious, to be charitable, and as a result, their conclusions about the physics of 9/11 are full of holes!

40. Jesse - August 13, 2014

I’ve never really bought the conspiracy side of things, even when it was popular in my school, I just didn’t like how they presented theories as fact. There’s never been another case where a plane that size, with literally tens of thousands of pounds of fuel hit a building that tall. So unless you set up a controlled test you can never really prove the theories that it was “impossible” even if the physics of it didn’t add up, that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. There’s two stars that rotate around each other in less than 6 seconds, they are the fastest known celestial bodies in the universe, physics would say it shouldn’t exist, yet it does. Just the fact that a fire of 500 degrees centigrade will reduce the strength of steel by 50% is enough to say that a fire of double that temp would have no problem weakening it enough to collapse. Not to mention the force of the impact itself and how and how many beams were likely bent, broken, or displaced by it. The forces being talked about are so much greater than what people imagine I’m sure. The kinetic energy of 10 floors suddenly breaking free and falling must have been insane, and once it starts moving there’s no reason to believe it would stop, as you said each floor would have to take the full force, so it would just keep snapping those beams as if they were branches on a tree that’s got another tree falling onto it. It’s a domino effect.

I’m very pleased to see that you not only said you will take any questions or comments on, but actually did. All in a very well thought out, fact based way. My only question is, is there any proof nano thermite even exists? and if so, what’s the difference from the thermite my friends an I used to make in our backyard other than obviously the purity of the ingredients.

What I really can’t believe, is John Lear and his followers, I get that he doesn’t seem like a person to lie, and that he’s got a long history in aviation, and genuinely believes what he preaches. But it’s too far fetched for me to even consider. Claiming that no planes actually hit the towers, he claims it was a hologram and a death ray, and even saying that literally billions of people are living on the moon and mars, mining the moon for helium 3. Correct me if I’m wrong here, but does the moon even have helium 3 reserves? I know Saturn and some of the other gas giants do, but they are gas giants, not rocky planets, or rocky moons. I mean I just can’t believe what some people will believe just because the person saying it is considered credible.

Back on track though, thank you for keeping it simple and making it easy to understand by sticking to the facts, some articles on the 9/11 hoax debate use big words that make it sound important, but when you really read into the meaning of what they are saying, it makes no sense. They also like to conveniently forget to mention things that plop big holes in their stories.

Keep up the good work, and hopefully people will start reading the things you say and understanding them before posting and forcing you to requote yourself again and again, especially regarding building 7, considering the amount of debris that fell I’m not all that surprised there was collateral damage that caused another building to fall. Also why is it that buildings can’t fall straight down according to people? I mean I get there’s wind forces involved, but there’s also a huge amount of mass there that would take a huge amount of wind to effect. The building was damaged on the inside more than anything, usually buildings that fall sideways have considerable damage to that side so it collapses first pulling the rest of the building towards it.

41. angryscientist - August 13, 2014

The Truthers seem to have enough trouble agreeing on what actually knocked down the buildings that it seems hypocritical for them to rant about inconsistencies in the NIST reports. Has there ever been a scientific theory that didn’t have to be revamped in light of new information? I’m waiting. I don’t know how they can pretend their case has been proven when even a comparison of the theories on physics911.net finds the nanothermite theory inconsistent with observations. How many Truthers are aware that Richard Gage and David Ray Griffin were confronted with the fact that no form of thermite could qualify as a high explosive, that they had to concede that was true, but that they intended to stick to their story regardless? (see comment 26)

The Moon does have plenty of helium 3, according to the MIT Technology Review (and other sources), from constant bombardment by the solar wind. I guess somehow it gets embedded in the surface; otherwise it would just float away.

42. angryscientist - August 13, 2014

A couple of fine points I should make. From my research, steel loses half its strength closer to 600 degrees Centigrade than 500 (depending on the alloy), and if one speaks of doubling temperatures it would make more sense to measure them in Kelvin. Curiously, the melting point of iron in Kelvin is just a tad over double 600 degrees C. I don’t think that’s true of metals in general, but for iron it seems to be the case. Also, 1000 degrees C was the NIST estimate for the maximum temperature of the fire, but it should be noted that metals absorb heat much more than air does, so they can get hotter than the air temperature of a fire, especially when their insulation has been knocked off. Much of the heat would be lost to conduction and radiation, but I’d expect that some of the uninsulated girders directly exposed to the fire would have gotten hotter than 1000 degrees C. That wouldn’t melt them (though it certainly could melt other metals, such as aluminum, tin, lead), but steel anywhere near that temperature couldn’t support any weight.

Jesse - August 13, 2014

There seems to be a lot of concern with the melting point of metals, but in my mind nothing had to actually melt, just heating up to a point where it could bend with the weight on top of it would be fatal to those supports. Is the concern because of the supposed melted pools of metal in the rubble? Because that heat would have been trapped under the rubble, it would transfer to anything it could so what’s to say that the melted metal was steel and not something else, was it tested?

43. angryscientist - August 14, 2014

There’s been plenty of speculation that only thermite could account for molten iron, which seems odd to me, since burning aluminum produces about twice as much heat as a thermite reaction, and since iron itself can ignite, producing about as much heat as a thermite reaction, and since the impact of that much falling debris from that height with the ground could have produced enough heat to melt just about anything. To my knowledge, the composition of the molten metal was never tested, but who knows. I remember reading an observation that workers were standing awfully close to those pools, close enough that if it was actually molten iron the heat would have been unbearable. I think the reason the Truthers play up the molten iron angle is that since an office fire isn’t hot enough to melt iron, that supposedly proves it must have been thermite that did it, especially since they think there was copious undetonated thermite in the dust around the site.

44. wjm - August 15, 2014

I’ve seen a video in which thermite was discounted but super nanothermite proposed as the material used to bring down the skyscrapers. Super nanothermite is allegedly a military product as allegedly is the anthrax used to attack certain federal offices in that time period.
I think that we were not given the identities of the true perpetrators of 911. Instead Iraq was attacked for bogus reasons and Afghans suffered immensely since 911. Webster Tarpley proposed a model of several national intelligence services working in concert.

45. angryscientist - August 15, 2014

I’d say both Afghanistan and Iraq were attacked for bogus reasons. Neither government was implicated, even by the Bush gang, but the reason given for attacking Afghanistan was that the Taliban sheltered and refused to turn over Osama bin Laden (they wanted evidence of his guilt, which was not forthcoming), and for Iraq, it was the myth of their weapons of mass destruction. Who knows who was involved behind the scenes. One thing for sure, America has made plenty of enemies over the years, and seems determined to make more.

Yeah, thermite could be mixed with a high explosive to make a high explosive, but then what’s the point of calling it super nanothermite? My point is that no explosive was necessary to knock down any of the buildings felled on 9/11.

46. wjm - August 22, 2014

I have a book entitled “Dismantling the Empire” by Chalmers Johnson. In it, he forecasts that the United States is heading toward bankruptcy because it is engaging in wars it cannot afford and maintaining too large a military and a global empire of military bases. On pages 22-23 Johnson writes of Steve Coll’s book “Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA” where Coll writes that “Middle-class, pious Saudis flush with oil wealth embraced the Afghan cause as American churchgoers might respond to an African famine or a Turkish earthquake”. On page 190, Johnson writes of Firzgerald and Gould who write: “Pakistan’s army and its Inter-Services Intelligence branch… from 1973 on, has played the key role in funding and directing first the mujahideen … and then the Taliban. It is Pakistan’s army that controls its nuclear weapons, constrains the development of democractic institutions, trains Taliban fighters in suicide attacks and orders them to fight American and NATO soldiers protecting the Afghan government.” On page 51, Johnson writes: “In AD 1258 the Mongols descended on Baghdad and pillaged its magnificent libraries. A well-known adage states that the Tigris River ran black from the ink of the countless texts the Mongols trashed, while the streets ran red with the blood of the city’s slaughtered inhabitants. The world has never forgotten that medieval act of barbarism, just as it will never forget what the U.S. military unleashed on the defenseless city in 2003 and in subsequent years. There is simply no excuse for what has happened in Baghdad at the hands of the Americans.”

47. wjm - August 22, 2014

This is from Wikipedia:
“A Nano-thermite or “super-thermite”[1] is a metastable intermolecular composite (MICs) characterized by a particle size of its main constituents, a metal and a metal oxide, under 100 Nanometers. This allows for high and customizable reaction rates. Nano-thermites contain an oxidizer and a reducing agent, which are intimately mixed on the nanometer scale. MICs, including nano-thermitic materials, are a type of reactive materials investigated for military use, as well as for general applications involving propellants, explosives, and pyrotechnics.

What distinguishes MICs from traditional thermites is that the oxidizer and a reducing agent, normally iron oxide and aluminium, are in the form of extremely fine powders (nanoparticles). This dramatically increases the reactivity relative to micrometre-sized powder thermite. As the mass transport mechanisms that slow down the burning rates of traditional thermites are not so important at these scales, the reactions become kinetically controlled and proceed much more quickly.

48. wjm - August 22, 2014

Here’s more on nano thermite: http://www.alienscientist.com/nanothermite.html

I saw a video of the very upper floors falling by the side of the WTC building – 1 or 2. I’ve read that WTC 7 fell because a 47 ton chunk fell onto it from WTC 1 or 2. I have doubts about that because as I watch the video of the very top coming down I see that although it is not falling into the footprint of the skyscraper it is almost hugging the building in its downward plunge. Unless a lever were involved, I don’t see how a 47 ton chunk could fall from WTC 1 or 2 the length of a football field to hit WTC 7.

49. angryscientist - August 22, 2014

The video, you say. Do you expect a video to show everything that happened? A video can only show what it focused on. The collapse was not symmetrical, therefore some chunks (or girders) could have snapped or bounced to the side. The size of the debris that hit WTC 7 wasn’t especially relevant; its velocity was.

As for this alleged nanothermite, that argument didn’t convince the people at physics911.net, and neither Richard Gage nor David Ray Griffin disputed their contention that nanothermite isn’t a high explosive (see comments 25 and 26). Are you contending that physics911.net and the founder of Scholars for 9/11 Truth, Jim Fetzer, are spreading disinformation? If so, why doesn’t Gage or Griffin say so? I know there’s a lot of infighting among the Truthers, which may be why Gary Null hasn’t been able to organize that 9/11 forum he’s suggested, but that’s some stretch.

As I’ve said, no doubt aluminum and iron oxide could be part of a high explosive compound, but even the site you just linked said that combination is a relatively slow reaction compared to other metals combined with aluminum. Yet the dust was analyzed and it is claimed its energy derived from aluminum and iron oxide. Why such a relatively inefficient choice of materials? Not to mention NIST also analyzed the dust, and it appears corrosion-proofing paints and vermiculite used as thermal insulation and soundproofing are strikingly similar to this alleged nanothermite (see comment 10). Also, if the controlled demolition was so perfect, why was so much of this supernanothermite undetonated?

America is heading for worse than bankruptcy. It is leading the way toward fascism and environmental catastrophe. As far as those prospects are concerned, there’s very little difference between Democrats and Republicans.

50. wjm - August 29, 2014

Can you see the photo? Debris is being thrown up as well as sideways from the WTC building. I assume the photo is not photoshopped.

51. wjm - August 29, 2014
52. angryscientist - August 29, 2014

I agree with much of what that article says. Our security apparatus is a bad joke on we the people. The same goes for the war on terror. Some people are getting rich and powerful on the backs of the rest of us. Nothing new about that.

I don’t see what that photo proves. To me that looks like dust and smoke. Dust and smoke are light enough to respond more to air currents than gravity, and I already explained how heavy debris could have been thrown off to the side. Is there something mysterious about dust and smoke not moving straight down? Hot air rises, right? When was that photo taken? It appears it was during the fire, before the building collapsed. Or was it a photo of the explosion right after the plane hit? Those question marks to my mind should call into question the poster’s understanding of basic properties of fire and hot air, rather than be taken as evidence of controlled demolition. Besides, in this photo the tower is still standing, so it seems the demolition hadn’t been triggered yet.

53. wjm - September 12, 2014
54. wjm - September 12, 2014

About the 47 ton section hitting WTC 7. If 47 tons of a single piece came off WTC 1 or 2 and hit WTC 7, this should have happened within moments after the plane impacted, otherwise the momentum would have been lost, the energy of impact would have been dissipated. I don’t recall an image of either building that minutes after impact showed a large missing section.

55. angryscientist - September 12, 2014

The momentum of the plane impact was quickly lost, true, absorbed mostly by the columns that took the brunt of the impact, but that had no bearing on the momentum of the collapse of the towers. That didn’t come from the plane; it came from gravity. It seems some people have trouble comprehending the difference between a brick resting on a foot, which won’t do any damage, and a brick falling on a foot, which will, depending on how far it falls. A brick at rest on a foot has zero momentum, relative to the foot; the only force it exerts on the foot is its weight. A brick falling on a foot exerts the force of its weight plus the force required to stop its fall almost instantaneously, the rate of change of its momentum.

The Al Jazeera story you linked doesn’t seem to support your position at all. I’m not inclined to dispute that those who commandeered the planes got help from outside this country, or that there was and is an ongoing coverup of who was behind the plot, or that there should be an independent investigation of the whole business. What I’m disputing is the theory that the takeover of the planes to crash them into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon was just an elaborate ruse to cover up an inside job that planted the explosives that did the real damage.

psikeyhackr - November 18, 2015

You can accuse people of having difficulty of telling the difference but the foot analogy is nonsense. Dropping a brick on your foot with the foot on the floor when it cannot move downward is an absurd comparison to dozens of levels that would be crushed and consume kinetic energy from the falling mass.

Drop the brick on a stack of 20 shoe boxes and see how much damage the bottom 10 boxes sustain.

angryscientist - November 19, 2015

Your analogy is absurd. Are you implying the floors had freedom to move downward? A few inches to compress the supporting beams, before they broke under the strain?

Each floor was destroyed in rapid succession, but not all at once, one at a time. The consumed kinetic energy would slow down the collapse for milliseconds, then the momentum, and kinetic energy, would resume increasing.

A shoebox is a featherweight compared to a brick, and is not structured anything like a level of a skyscraper. If the shoeboxes on top did collapse they wouldn’t contribute anything significant to the momentum of the brick, since they are so light and especially since their height is so miniscule, but the smashed floors did contribute significantly to the momentum of the avalanche, which had over ten feet of free space to resume accelerating between each floor. My analogy was meant to illustrate the difference between a heavy mass at rest on a lighter mass and a heavy mass falling onto a lighter mass, since the Truthers seem to make a big deal out of the irrelevant fact that the buildings were plenty strong enough to support their weight. I presume you’d agree that your foot wouldn’t be injured by a brick resting on it, but a brick falling from the ceiling onto your foot would be a different story?

56. Asus - November 2, 2014

Occam’s Razor is not useful. Get it out of your so-called scientific explanation.

57. angryscientist - November 2, 2014

Maybe so, as a matter of pure logic; but since it appears to me that the contention that 9/11 was an inside job is based more on politics (i.e. hatred of the Bush gang escalated to the point that they are blamed for practically everything evil that goes on in the world) than science, I mentioned it to make a point.

58. jesse1989 - January 10, 2015

Mr. AngryScientist, your article has helped me put a lot of theorists on the ropes, but I ran into something that I still can’t explain and someone says is the best proof. He mentioned the elevated tritium levels as proof of nuclear devices, it’s already got a lot of holes at that point because the tritium levels are the only thing that suggests it, and they were only raised at WTC 6, not the main two towers, but still, I’m curious what could cause those elevated levels. I mean it’s clear to me no nuke was used just by the fact there was no EMP that fried electronics all over Manhattan, but I want to know what caused the levels to be elevated in that one spot. If it was a nuke surely it would have raised tritium levels all over the site, but the level at WTC 6 was like 50x normal levels which confuses me.

59. angryscientist - January 14, 2015

You might want to check out the link I posted in comment 25. That article on Physics911.net is a comparative analysis of the various theories that concluded the most likely explanation was small nuclear bombs, since they could think of no other possible explanation for the elevated radiation levels. I’m not sure why. There could have been an experimental reactor in one of the buildings, or even somebody doing experiments with tritium. That may seem unlikely, but when I went to UCLA I took a lot of classes in a building which housed a small experimental reactor. It wasn’t advertised, but there was a ruckus about it, and UCLA dismantled it almost thirty years ago.

Also, according to Judy Wood, something did fry the electronics in some cars parked in the area. She thinks it was an electromagnetic weapon, but there probably were some electromagnetic disturbances just from fluctuations in electric power in the affected buildings.

jesse1989 - January 14, 2015

Wasn’t Judy Wood the one who claimed it was space lasers? If so, I’m not inclined to trust that statement without others to back it up. I basically said more or less the same thing, it’s only that one area, there was not elevated levels down wind, which with levels 150x normal, should have shown up if it was any kind of an explosive. Plus why target that building and not the two main towers, it’s intirguing, but to me it screams it was something in the building that had large amounts of tritium. Plus with a nuclear weapon there would have been other signs, it’s the first I’ve heard that cars electronics were fried, I saw cars that were badly burnt from the fires, but that’s different, still I would have expected any kind of nuclear device even a small one to affect enough cell phones, news cameras, and a large number of cars in the area as well. Something that would have been talked about day one, because everything suddenly going black would surely get people talking.

60. angryscientist - January 16, 2015

Space lasers? I don’t know that much about Judy Wood, besides what I heard on that Gary Null show and the discussion of her theory at physics911.net, but I didn’t hear her say anything about space lasers. She was talking about an electromagnetic weapon based on Nikola Tesla’s work. I don’t recall her saying anything about it being fired from space. Where did you see that?

jesse1989 - January 17, 2015

Perhaps lasers was the wrong word, but it’s in her book, http://wheredidthetowersgo.com and she talked about directed energy weapons, I read one quote that talked about it basically turning the steel into dust. I don’t doubt the technology is possible, but in this case for me, all evidence points to what I watched happen that day. I was probably one of the few who saw the second tower get hit live because I grew up right next to NYC and it was on every TV in my school not long after the first tower was hit. Of course we all thought it was a mistake at that point, that perhaps something went wrong with the pilot or airplane that caused the crash.

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