|9-11 - LOOKING GLASS NEWS|
Why Indeed Did the WTC Buildings Collapse?
by Steven E. Jones Brigham Young Univ., Dept. of Physics and Astronom
Entered into the database on Thursday, November 17th, 2005 @ 15:08:54 MST
Accepted for publication: Steven E. Jones, (2006). "Why Indeed did the WTC Buildings Collapse?,"
The Hidden History of 9-11-2001, Research in Political Economy, Volume 23, P.
Zarembka, editor, Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2006. DRAFT Why Indeed Did the WTC Buildings Collapse? By Steven E. Jones ABSTRACT In writing this paper, I call for a serious investigation of the hypothesis
that WTC 7 and the Twin Towers were brought down, not just by damage and fires,
but through the use of pre-positioned explosives. I consider the official FEMA,
NIST, and 9-11 Commission reports that fires plus damage alone caused complete
collapses of all three buildings. And I present evidence for the explosive-demolition
hypothesis, which is suggested by the available data, testable and falsifiable,
and yet has not been analyzed in any of the reports funded by the US government.
Let’s start with the collapse of the 47-story WTC 7, which was never
hit by a jet. I ask you to take a minute to look at the collapse of this building
as a basis for discussion. Now that you have seen the still photographs, it is important to the discussion
which follows for you to observe video clips of the collapse of this building,
so go to: http://911research.wtc7.net/talks/wtc/videos.html
Click on the three photos at the top of this web-site page in order to see the
videos of the collapse of WTC 7. It helps to have sound. Then consider a video close-up of the same building (SW corner) as its demise
begins: http://st12.startlogic.com/~xenonpup/Flashes/squibs_along_southwest_corner.htm What did you observe? Symmetry: did the building collapse straight down (nearly symmetrically) –
or did it topple over? Speed: How fast did the building fall? (Students and I measure less than 6.6
seconds; time it!) Smoke/debris-jets: Did you observe puffs of smoke/debris coming out of the
building? Please note for yourself the sequence and fast timing of observed
puffs or "squibs." Note that reference to web pages is used in this
paper due largely to the importance of viewing motion picture clips, thus enhancing
consideration of the laws of motion and physics generally. High-quality photographs
showing details of the collapses of WTC 7 and the WTC Towers can be found in
books (Hufschmid, 2002; Paul and Hoffman, 2004), magazines (Hoffman, 2005; Baker,
2005) and at http://911research.wtc7.net/wtc/evidence/photos/collapses.html. My reasons for advancing the explosive-demolition hypothesis while challenging
the "official" fire-caused collapse hypothesis are these: 1. As you observed, WTC 7 collapsed rapidly and symmetrically
-- even though fires were randomly scattered in the building. WTC 7 fell about
seven hours after the Towers collapsed, even though no major persistent fires
were visible. There were twenty-four huge steel support columns inside WTC 7
as well as huge trusses, arranged asymmetrically, along with approximately 57
perimeter columns. (FEMA, 2002, chapter 5.) A symmetrical collapse, as observed,
evidently requires the simultaneous "pulling" of most or all of the
support columns. The Second Law of Thermodynamics implies that the likelihood
of complete and symmetrical collapse due to random fires as in the "official"
theory is small, since asymmetrical failure is so much more likely. On the other
hand, a major goal of controlled demolition using explosives is the complete
and symmetrical collapse of buildings. Concluding remarks in the FEMA report on the WTC 7 collapse lend support
to my arguments: The specifics of the fires in WTC 7 and how they caused the building to
collapse ["official theory"] remain unknown at this time. Although
the total diesel fuel on the premises contained massive potential energy,
the best hypothesis [fire/damage-caused collapse] has only a low probability
of occurrence. Further research, investigation, and analyses are needed to
resolve this issue. (FEMA, 2002, chapter 5; emphasis added.)
Accepted for publication:
Steven E. Jones, (2006). "Why Indeed did the WTC Buildings Collapse?," The Hidden History of 9-11-2001, Research in Political Economy, Volume 23, P. Zarembka, editor, Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2006.
Why Indeed Did the WTC Buildings Collapse?
By Steven E. Jones
In writing this paper, I call for a serious investigation of the hypothesis that WTC 7 and the Twin Towers were brought down, not just by damage and fires, but through the use of pre-positioned explosives. I consider the official FEMA, NIST, and 9-11 Commission reports that fires plus damage alone caused complete collapses of all three buildings. And I present evidence for the explosive-demolition hypothesis, which is suggested by the available data, testable and falsifiable, and yet has not been analyzed in any of the reports funded by the US government.
Let’s start with the collapse of the 47-story WTC 7, which was never hit by a jet. I ask you to take a minute to look at the collapse of this building as a basis for discussion.
Now that you have seen the still photographs, it is important to the discussion which follows for you to observe video clips of the collapse of this building, so go to:
http://911research.wtc7.net/talks/wtc/videos.html Click on the three photos at the top of this web-site page in order to see the videos of the collapse of WTC 7. It helps to have sound.
Then consider a video close-up of the same building (SW corner) as its demise begins: http://st12.startlogic.com/~xenonpup/Flashes/squibs_along_southwest_corner.htm
What did you observe?
Symmetry: did the building collapse straight down (nearly symmetrically) – or did it topple over?
Speed: How fast did the building fall? (Students and I measure less than 6.6 seconds; time it!)
Smoke/debris-jets: Did you observe puffs of smoke/debris coming out of the building? Please note for yourself the sequence and fast timing of observed puffs or "squibs." Note that reference to web pages is used in this paper due largely to the importance of viewing motion picture clips, thus enhancing consideration of the laws of motion and physics generally. High-quality photographs showing details of the collapses of WTC 7 and the WTC Towers can be found in books (Hufschmid, 2002; Paul and Hoffman, 2004), magazines (Hoffman, 2005; Baker, 2005) and at http://911research.wtc7.net/wtc/evidence/photos/collapses.html.
My reasons for advancing the explosive-demolition hypothesis while challenging the "official" fire-caused collapse hypothesis are these:
1. As you observed, WTC 7 collapsed rapidly and symmetrically -- even though fires were randomly scattered in the building. WTC 7 fell about seven hours after the Towers collapsed, even though no major persistent fires were visible. There were twenty-four huge steel support columns inside WTC 7 as well as huge trusses, arranged asymmetrically, along with approximately 57 perimeter columns. (FEMA, 2002, chapter 5.) A symmetrical collapse, as observed, evidently requires the simultaneous "pulling" of most or all of the support columns. The Second Law of Thermodynamics implies that the likelihood of complete and symmetrical collapse due to random fires as in the "official" theory is small, since asymmetrical failure is so much more likely. On the other hand, a major goal of controlled demolition using explosives is the complete and symmetrical collapse of buildings.
Concluding remarks in the FEMA report on the WTC 7 collapse lend support to my arguments:
The specifics of the fires in WTC 7 and how they caused the building to collapse ["official theory"] remain unknown at this time. Although the total diesel fuel on the premises contained massive potential energy, the best hypothesis [fire/damage-caused collapse] has only a low probability of occurrence. Further research, investigation, and analyses are needed to resolve this issue. (FEMA, 2002, chapter 5; emphasis added.)
That is precisely my point: further investigation and analyses are needed, including consideration of the controlled-demolition hypothesis which is neglected in all of the government reports (FEMA, NIST and 9-11 Commission reports). Note that the 9-11 Commission report does not even mention the collapse of WTC 7 on 9-11-01. (Commission, 2004) This is a striking omission of data highly relevant to the question of what really happened on 9-11.
2. A New York Times article entitled "Engineers are baffled over the collapse of 7 WTC; Steel members have been partly evaporated," provides relevant data.
That’s correct – no such steel-beam building had ever before (or since) completely collapsed due to fires! However, such complete, symmetrical collapses have indeed occurred many times before -- all of them due to pre-positioned explosives in a procedure called "implosion" or controlled demolition. What a surprise, then, for such an occurrence in downtown Manhattan— three skyscrapers completely collapsed on the same day, September 11, 2001.
The observed "partly evaporated" steel members is particularly upsetting to the official theory, since fires involving paper, office materials, even diesel fuel, cannot generate temperatures anywhere near the 5,000+ oF needed to "evaporate" steel. However, thermite, RDX and other commonly-used explosives can readily slice through steel (thus cutting the support columns simultaneously in an explosive demolition) and reach the required temperatures. (It is possible that some other chemical reactions were involved which might proceed at lesser temperatures.) This mystery needs to be explored – but is not mentioned in the "official" 9-11 Commission or NIST reports.
3.There are several published observations of molten metal in the basements of all three buildings, WTC 1, 2 ("Twin Towers") and 7. For example, Dr. Keith Eaton toured Ground Zero and stated in The Structural Engineer,
The observation of molten metal at Ground Zero was emphasized publicly by Leslie Robertson, the structural engineer responsible for the design of the World Trade Center Towers, who reported that "As of 21 days after the attack, the fires were still burning and molten steel was still running." (Williams, 2001, p. 3; emphasis added.)
Sarah Atlas was part of New Jersey's Task Force One Urban Search and Rescue and was one of the first on the scene at Ground Zero with her canine partner Anna. She reported in Penn Arts and Sciences, summer 2002,
'Nobody's going to be alive.' Fires burned and molten steel flowed in the pile of ruins still settling beneath her feet. (Penn, 2002; emphasis added.)
Dr. Allison Geyh was one of a team of public health investigators from Johns Hopkins who visited the WTC site after 9-11. She reported in the Late Fall 2001 issue of Magazine of Johns Hopkins Public Health, "In some pockets now being uncovered they are finding molten steel." Further information on the subject is available at http://globalresearch.ca.myforums.net/viewtopic.php?p=11663.
Thus, molten metal was repeatedly observed and formally reported in the rubble piles of the WTC Towers and WTC 7, metal that looked like molten steel. However, scientific analysis, using for example X-ray fluorescence, would be needed to ascertain the actual composition of the molten metal.
I maintain that these published observations are consistent with the use of the high-temperature thermite reaction, used to cut or demolish steel. Thermite is a mixture of iron oxide and aluminum powder. The end products of the thermite reaction are aluminum oxide and molten iron. So the thermite reaction generates molten iron directly, and is hot enough to melt and even evaporate steel which it contacts while reacting. On the other hand, falling buildings (absent explosives) have insufficient directed energy to result in melting of large quantities of metal. The government reports admit that the building fires were insufficient to melt steel beams -- then where did the molten metal come from? Metals expert Dr. Frank Gayle (working with NIST) stated:
None of the official reports tackles this mystery. Yet this is evidently a significant clue to what caused the Towers and WTC 7 to collapse. So I would very much like to see an analysis of the elemental composition of the metal, and could do this myself if a small sample were made available according to scientific courtesy. Any reader who knows of chemical analyses or even photographs of this molten metal found below the rubble piles of WTC 1, 2 and 7 is invited to speak out and contact the author. This could lead to an experiment crucis.
4. Horizontal puffs of smoke and debris are observed emerging from WTC-7 on upper floors, in regular sequence, just as the building starts to collapse. (The reader may wish to view the close-up video clip again.) The upper floors have not moved relative to one another yet, as one can verify from the videos. In addition, the timing between the puffs is less than 0.2 seconds so air-expulsion due to collapsing floors is excluded. Free-fall time for a floor to fall down to the next floor is significantly longer than 0.2 seconds: the equation for free fall, y = ½ gt2, yields a little over 0.6 seconds, as this is near the initiation of the collapse.
However, the presence of such "squibs" proceeding up the side of the building is common when pre-positioned explosives are used, as can be observed at http://www.implosionworld.com/cinema.html. The same site shows that rapid timing between explosive squibs is also common. (It is instructive to view several of the implosion videos at this web site.) Thus, squibs as observed during the collapse of WTC 7 going up the side of the building in rapid sequence provide additional significant evidence for the use of pre-placed explosives. Regarding this highly-secure building, a NY Times article entitled "Secretive C.I.A. Site in New York was Destroyed on Sept. 11," provides an intriguing puzzle piece:
5. The official FEMA 9-11 report admits a striking anomaly regarding the North Tower collapse:
Yes, we can see for ourselves that the antenna drops first from videos of the North Tower collapse. (See http://911research.wtc7.net/wtc/evidence/videos/wtc1_close_frames.html; also http://home.comcast.net/~skydrifter/collapse.htm.) A NY Times article also notes this behavior:
But how? What caused the 47 enormous steel core columns of this building (which supported the antenna) to give way nearly simultaneously? That mystery was raised by the FEMA report (FEMA, 2002, chapter 2) and the New York Times (Glanz and Lipton, 2002) yet not solved in any official report (FEMA, 2002; Commission, 2004; NIST, 2005). The odd behavior was not even mentioned in the final NIST report (NIST, 2005), but some of us have not forgotten.
Could random fires burning office materials in the building account for a near-simultaneous "pulling" of these core supports? Certainly such an event would have exceedingly low probability. Again, use of pre-positioned explosives to cut the core columns first (standard demolition practice) provides a simple yet elegant explanation for the observation, satisfying the "Occam’s razor" test (Jones, 2005).
6. Multiple loud explosions in rapid sequence were heard and reported by numerous observers in and near the WTC Towers, consistent with explosive demolition. Firemen and others described flashes and explosions in upper floors near where the plane entered, and in lower floors of WTC 2 just prior to its collapse, far below the region where the plane had struck the tower (Dwyer, 2005). For instance, at the start of the collapse of the South Tower a Fox News anchor reported:
Firefighter Edward Cachia independently reported:
And assistant fire commissioner Stephen Gregory provides additional insights:
It is highly unlikely that jet fuel was present to generate such explosions especially on lower floors, and long after the planes hit the buildings. Dr. Shyam Sunder, Lead Investigator for NIST stated: "The jet fuel probably burned out in less than 10 minutes." (Field, 2005) On the other hand, pre-positioned explosives provide a plausible and simple explanation for the observations, satisfying Occam’s razor (Jones, 2005). Thus, it cannot be said that "no evidence" can be found for the use of explosives. This serious matter needs to be treated as a plausible scientific hypothesis and thoroughly investigated.
7. The horizontal ejection of steel beams for hundreds of feet and the pulverization of concrete to flour-like powder, observed clearly in the collapses of the WTC towers, provides further evidence for the use of explosives – as well-explained in http://911research.wtc7.net/talks/towers/index.html. (See also, Griffin, 2004, chapter 2.)
Unlike WTC7, the twin towers appear to have been exploded "top-down" rather than proceeding from the bottom – which is unusual for controlled demolition but clearly possible, depending on the order in which explosives are detonated. That is, explosives may have been placed on higher floors of the towers and exploded via radio signals so as to have early explosions near the region where the plane entered the tower. Certainly this hypothesis ought to be seriously considered in an independent investigation using all available data.
8. I totally agree with the urgent yet reasoned assessment of expert fire-protection engineers, as boldly editorialized in the journal Fire Engineering:
9. The occurrence of nearly symmetrical, straight-down and complete collapses of the WTC 7 and the Towers is particularly upsetting to the "official" theory that random fires plus damage caused all these collapses. Even with explosives, achieving such results requires a great deal of pre-planning and expertise.
Careful observation of the collapse of WTC 7 (video clips above) demonstrates a downward "kink" near the center of the building first, suggesting "pulling" of the support columns, then the building’s sides pull inward such that the building "collapses straight down into its own footprint" (Harris, 2000). FEMA admitted that WTC 7 collapsed onto a well-confined footprint:
Evidently we agree that this was a beautifully done implosion in the collapse of WTC 7, and yet:
This feat requires such skill that only a handful of demolition companies in the world will attempt it. (Harris, 2000; emphasis added.)
Consider: Why would terrorists undertake straight-down collapses of WTC7 and the Towers, when "toppling-over" falls would require much less work and would do much more damage in downtown Manhattan? And where would they obtain the necessary skills and access to the buildings for a symmetrical implosion anyway? The "symmetry data" emphasized here, along with other data, provide strong evidence for an "inside job." Proof would require additional investigation and questioning of suspects outside of Al Qaeda.
One of the people a thorough investigation should question under oath would be demolition expert Mark Loizeaux, president of Controlled Demolition, Inc. Speaking of the way the WTC buildings came down, he said in an interview: "If I were to bring the towers down, I would put explosives in the basement to get the weight of the building to help collapse the structure." (Bollyn, 2002; emphasis added.)
Just right – "explosives in the basement" agrees with eyewitness reports of explosions down low in the buildings (point 6 above). Also, this would be the way to effectively sever the support columns, consistent with both the initial drop of the communication tower (WTC Tower 1) and the "kink" in the middle of WTC 7 as its collapse began. Yes, and as president of Controlled Demolition, Inc., Mr. Loizeaux would know the "handful of demolition companies in the world [that] will attempt" a symmetrical controlled demolition. (Harris, 2000) His company is certainly one of these and was hired to do the rapid clean-up work following the building collapses. A thorough investigation might also query the owner of WTC7, who received billions in insurance monies due to the demise of the WTC buildings on 9-11. (Paul and Hoffman, 2004, p. 17)
If you still haven’t looked at the rapid symmetrical collapse of WTC7 for yourself, why not do so now? Watch for the initial "kink" or drop in the middle, and for the "squibs" blowing in sequence up the side of the building, and notice the symmetrical, straight-down collapse -- all so common in controlled demolitions. See for yourself at: http://911research.wtc7.net/talks/wtc/videos.html. A great deal of further information is presented from a serious scientific point-of-view at this site (http://911research.wtc7.net/).
10. I presented my objections to the "official" theory at a seminar at BYU on September 22, 2005, to about sixty people. I also showed evidence and scientific arguments for the explosive demolition theory. In attendance were faculty from Physics, Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Psychology, Geology, and Mathematics – and perhaps other departments as I did not recognize all of the people present. Two local universities were represented (BYU and Utah Valley State College).
The discussion was vigorous and lasted nearly two hours. It ended only when a university class needed the room. After presenting the material summarized here, including actually looking at and discussing the collapses of WTC 7 and the Towers, all except one attendee agreed (by hand-vote) that further investigation of the WTC collapses was called for. The next day, the dissenting professor said he had further thought about it and now agreed that more investigation was needed. He joined the others in hoping that the 6,899 photographs and 6,977 segments of video footage held by NIST plus others held by the FBI would be released for independent scrutiny; photos largely from private photographers (NIST, 2005, p. 81). We call for the release of these data to a cross-disciplinary, preferably international team of scientists and engineers.
11. One attendee to the BYU Seminar on 9-11 anomalies suggested I review the paper by Bazant and Zhou, which I did. Quoting:
Correct – jet collisions did not cause collapses – we can agree on that. MIT’s Thomas Eager also concurs "because the number of columns lost on the initial impact was not large and the loads were shifted to remaining columns in this highly redundant structure" (Eager and Musso, 2001).
We continue with Bazant & Zhou:
But here we note from the recent NIST report that: "The initial jet fuel fires themselves lasted at most a few minutes" and office material fires would burn out within about 20 minutes in a given location. (NIST, 2005; p. 179, emphasis added.) Certainly jet fuel burning was not enough to raise steel to sustained temperatures above 800oC. But we continue:
Bazant & Zhou do not explain how "more than half of the columns in the critical floor [can] suffer buckling" at the same time to precipitate the complete and nearly symmetrical collapse observed. There were 47 huge steel core columns in each Tower, and 24 such support columns in WTC 7 (NIST 2005; NISTb, 2005).
Many doubt that random fires/damage could cause them to collapse straight down (official theory), and suspect explosives.
They do NOT explain how steel-column temperatures above 800oC were achieved near-simultaneously due to burning office materials. NIST notes that office materials in an area burn for about 15-20 minutes, then are consumed away (NIST, 2005, pp. 117, 179). This is evidently not long enough to raise steel column temperatures above 800oC as required in the Bazant & Zhou model, given the enormous heat sinks of the structures. And to have three buildings completely collapse due to this unlikely mechanism on the same day strains credulity. Moreover, the Final NIST report on the Towers admits:
As for WTC 7, Bazant & Zhou say little but mention in a separate "addendum" that burning natural gas might have been a source of the needed heat (Bazant and Zhou, March 2002, p. 370). The FEMA report (FEMA, 2002) addresses this issue:
12. I have read through the hundreds of pages of the Final NIST report on the collapses of the WTC Towers. (NIST, 2005) It is interesting to note that NIST "decoupled" and delayed their final report on WTC 7, which is overdue as of this writing (NIST, 2005; NISTb, 2005) I agree with some of the NIST report; for example:
However, I along with others challenge NIST’s collapse theory. NIST maintains that all three building collapses were fire-initiated despite the observations above, particularly the fact that fire endurance tests with actual models did not result in collapse. In a paper by fire-engineering experts in the UK, we find:
I agree with these pointed objections, particularly that the "response of the whole frame" of each building should be considered, especially heat transport to the whole frame from localized fires, and that the "core columns cannot pull the exterior columns in via the floor." (Lane and Lamont, 2005)
The computerized models of the Towers in the NIST study, which incorporate many features of the buildings and the fires on 9-11-01, are less than convincing. The Final report states:
The NIST report makes for interesting reading. The less severe cases based on empirical data were discarded because they did not result in building collapse. But 'we must save the hypothesis,’ so more severe cases were tried and the simulations tweaked, as we read in the NIST report:
How fun to tweak the model like that, until the building collapses -- until one gets the desired result. But the end result of such tweaked computer hypotheticals is not compelling, sorry gentlemen. Notice that the "the pulling forces on the perimeter columns by the sagging floors were adjusted" (NIST, 2005, p. 142; emphasis added) to get the perimeter columns to yield sufficiently – one suspects these were "adjusted" by hand quite a bit -- even though the UK experts complained that "the core columns cannot pull the exterior [i.e., perimeter] columns in via the floor." (Lane and Lamont, 2005; emphasis added.)
I also agree with Kevin Ryan’s objections regarding the NIST study. Kevin Ryan, at the time a manager at Underwriters Laboratories (UL), makes a point of the non-collapse of actual WTC-based models in his letter to Frank Gayle of NIST:
That models of WTC trusses at Underwriter Laboratories (UL) subjected to fires did NOT fail is also admitted in the final NIST report:
So how does the NIST team justify the WTC collapses, when actual models fail to collapse and there are zero examples of fire-caused high-rise collapses? Easy, NIST concocted computer-generated hypotheticals for very "severe" cases, called cases B and D (NIST, 2005, pp. 124-138). Of course, the details are rather hidden to us. And they omit consideration of the complete, rapid and symmetrical nature of the collapses.
Again, on page 142, NIST admits that their computer simulation only proceeds until the building is "poised for collapse", thus ignoring any data from that time on.
What about the subsequent complete, rapid and symmetrical collapse of the buildings? What about the observed squibs? What about the antenna dropping first in the North Tower? What about the molten metal observed in the basement areas in large pools in both Towers and WTC 7 as well? Never mind all that: NIST did not discuss at all any data after the buildings were "poised for collapse." Well, some of us want to look at ALL the data, without computer simulations that are "adjusted" to make them fit the desired outcome.
13. Kevin Ryan, the whistleblower from Underwriters Laboratories, did his own statistical analysis in a recent letter regarding the NIST report, arguing that probabilities of collapse-initiation needed to be calculated (Ryan, 2005). NIST nowhere provides such a likelihood analysis for their non-explosive collapse model. Ryan’s analysis is that the probability that fires and damage (the "official theory") could cause the Towers complete collapse is less than one in a trillion, and the probability is much less still when the complete collapse of WTC7 is included (Ryan, 2005). Nor does NIST (or FEMA or the 9-11 Commission) even mention the molten metals found in the basements of all three buildings (WTC 1, 2 and 7).
So where does that leave us? I strongly agree with Kevin Ryan,
14. The NIST team fairly admits that their report "does not actually include the structural behavior of the tower after the conditions for collapse initiation were reached." (NIST, 2005, p. 80, fn. 1; emphasis added.) Quite a confession, since much of the external evidence for explosive demolition typically comes after collapse initiation, as seen in cases of acknowledged controlled demolition. (Harris, 2000.)
The rapid fall of the Towers and WTC7 has been analyzed by several engineers/scientists (http://911research.wtc7.net/wtc/analysis/proofs/speed.html; Griffin, 2004, chapter 2). The roof of WTC 7 (students and I are observing the southwest corner) falls to earth in less than 6.6 seconds, while an object dropped from the roof would hit the ground in 6.0 seconds. This follows from t = (2H/g)1/2. Likewise, the Towers fall very rapidly to the ground, with the upper part falling nearly as rapidly as ejected debris which provide free-fall references (http://911research.wtc7.net/wtc/analysis/proofs/speed.html; Griffin, 2004, chapter 2). Where is the delay that must be expected due to conservation of momentum – one of the foundational Laws of Physics? That is, as upper-falling floors strike lower floors – and intact steel support columns – the fall must be significantly impeded by the impacted mass. If the central support columns remained standing, then the effective resistive mass would be less, but this is not the case – somehow the enormous support columns failed/disintegrated along with the falling floor pans.
How do the upper floors fall so quickly, then, and still conserve momentum in the collapsing buildings? The contradiction is ignored by FEMA, NIST and 9-11 Commission reports where conservation of momentum and the fall times were not analyzed. The paradox is easily resolved by the explosive demolition hypothesis, whereby explosives quickly remove lower-floor material including steel support columns and allow near free-fall-speed collapses (Harris, 2000).
And these explosives also readily account for the turning of the falling Towers to fine dust as the collapse ensues. Rather than a piling up with shattering of concrete as we might expect from non-explosive-caused progressive collapse ("official theory"), we find that most of the Towers material (concrete, carpet, steel, etc.) is converted to flour-like powder WHILE the buildings are falling. The Towers’ collapses are not a typical implosions, but quite possibly series of "shock-and-awe" explosions – at least the evidence points strongly in this direction. The hypothesis ought to be explored further.
Those who wish to preserve as inviolate fundamental physical laws may wish to take a closer look. Consider the collapse of the South WTC Tower on 9-11: http://www.911research.com/wtc/evidence/videos/docs/south_tower_collapse.mpeg
What happens to the block and its angular momentum?
We observe that approximately 34 upper floors begin to rotate as a block, to the south and east. They begin to topple over, as favored by the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The torque due to gravity on this block is enormous, as is its angular momentum. But then – and this I’m still puzzling over – this block turned mostly to powder in mid-air! How can we understand this strange behavior, without explosives? Remarkable, amazing – and demanding scrutiny since the US government-funded reports failed to analyze this phenomenon. But, of course, the Final NIST 9-11 report "does not actually include the structural behavior of the tower after the conditions for collapse initiation were reached." (NIST, 2005, p. 80, fn. 1; emphasis added.)
Indeed, if we seek the truth of the matter, we must NOT ignore the data to be observed during the actual collapses of the towers, as the NIST team admits they did. But why did they do such a non-scientific procedure as to ignore highly-relevant data? The business smacks of political constraints on what was supposed to be an "open and thorough" investigation. (See Mooney, 2005.)
So I with others call for an open and thorough investigation. I hope the international community will rise to the challenge. The field is wide open for considering the alternative hypothesis outlined here, due to its neglect by studies funded by the US government.
15. Finally, and by way of review, we consider the variations and inconsistencies in the fire/damaged-caused collapse models with time. The earliest model, promoted by various media sources, was that the fires in the towers were sufficiently hot to actually melt the steel in the buildings, thus causing their collapse. For example, Chris Wise in a BBC piece spouted out false notions with great gusto
But as we have seen from later serious studies, the jet fuel burned out within minutes following impact. Recall the statement of expert Dr. Gayle refuting the notion that fires in the WTC buildings were sufficiently hot to melt the steel supports:
Then we have the model of Bazant and Zhou, which requires the majority of the 47 huge steel columns on a floor of each Tower to reach sustained temperatures of 800oC in order to buckle (not melt) – at the same time. But as we’ve seen, such temperatures are very difficult to reach while burning office materials, in these connected steel structures where the heat is wicked away by heat transport. (Paul and Hoffman, 2004, p. 26) And then to reach the 800oC at the same time, well, no, this scenario is far too improbable.
So that approach was abandoned by FEMA in the next effort (FEMA, 2002). The FEMA team largely adopted the theory of Dr. Thomas Eager (Eager and Musso, 2001), which was also presented in the NOVA presentation "Why the Towers Fell" (NOVA, 2002). Instead of having the columns fail simultaneously, FEMA has floor pans in the Towers warp due to fires, and the floor connections to the vertical beams break, and these floor pans then fall down onto the floor pans below, initiating "progressive collapse" or pancaking of one floor pan on another. Very simple. But not so fast – what happens to the enormous core columns to which the floors were firmly attached? Why don’t these remain standing like a spindle with the floor pans falling down around them, since the connections are presumed to have broken away? This interconnected steel core is founded on bedrock. FEMA does not totally ignore the core:
This approach finally fails to account for the observed collapse of the 47 interconnected core columns which are massive and designed to bear the weight of the buildings, and it has the striking weakness of requiring the connections of the floor pans to the vertical columns to break, both at the core and at the perimeter columns, more or less simultaneously.
That didn’t work out, so NIST goes back to the drawing board. They require that the connections of the floor pans to vertical columns do NOT fail (contrary to FEMA’s model), but rather that the floor pans "pull" with enormous force, sufficient to cause the perimeter columns to significantly pull in, leading to final failure (contrary to objections of ARUP Fire experts, discussed above). Also, NIST constructs a computer model -- but realistic cases do not actually lead to building collapse. So they "adjust" inputs until the model finally shows collapse initiation for the most severe cases. The details of these "adjustments" are hidden from us, in their computerized hypotheticals, but "the hypothesis is saved." NIST also has Underwriters Laboratories construct models of the WTC trusses, but the models withstand all fires in tests and do NOT collapse. (See above for details.)
We are left without a compelling fire/damage model, unless one blindly accepts the NIST computer simulation while ignoring the model fire-tests, which I’m not willing to do. And none of the "official" models outlined above accounts for what happens to the buildings AFTER the building is "poised for collapse" (NIST, 2005, p. 142) – namely the rapid and symmetrical and complete (no tall-standing central core) collapses. Reports of explosions, heard and seen, are not discussed. And they ignore the squibs seen ejected from floors far from where the jets hit – particularly seen in WTC 7 (where no jet hit at all). Finally, what about that molten metal under the rubble piles of all three WTC skyscrapers?
Remarkably, the explosive demolition hypothesis accounts for all the available data rather easily. The core columns on lower floors are cut using explosives, near-simultaneously, along with explosives detonated up higher so that gravity acting on now-unsupported floors helps bring down the buildings quickly. The collapses are thus symmetrical, rapid and complete, with accompanying squibs -- really very standard stuff for demolition experts. Thermite (whose end product is molten iron) used on some of the steel beams readily accounts for the molten metal which then pooled beneath the rubble piles.
I believe this is a straightforward hypothesis, much more probable than the official hypothesis. It deserves scientific scrutiny, beyond what I have been able to outline in this treatise. It is quite plausible that explosives were pre-planted in all three buildings, and set off after the two plane crashes – which were actually a diversion tactic. The science is sound. The implications are paradigm-shifting: Muslims are (probably) not to blame for bringing down the WTC buildings after all.
I have called attention to glaring weaknesses in the "final" reports funded by the US government and shown evidences for a likely alternative hypothesis. In particular, the official theory lacks repeatability in that no actual models or buildings (before or since 9-11-01) have been observed to completely collapse due to the proposed fire-based mechanisms. On the other hand, dozens of buildings have been completely and symmetrically demolished through the use of pre-positioned explosives. The "explosive demolition" hypothesis better satisfies tests of repeatability and parsimony and therefore is not "junk science." It ought to be seriously, scientifically investigated and debated.
A truly independent, international panel would consider all viable hypotheses, including the pre-positioned-explosives theory, guided not by politicized notions and constraints, but rather by observations and calculations, to reach a scientific conclusion. Questioning (preferably under oath) of officials who approved the rapid removal and destruction of the WTC steel beams and columns before they could be properly analyzed – and others as outlined above – should proceed in the United States.
None of the government-funded studies have provided serious analyses of the explosive demolition hypothesis at all. Until the above steps are taken, the case for accusing ill-trained Muslims of causing all the destruction on 9-11-01 is far from compelling. It just does not add up.
And that fact should be of great concern to Americans and to all those threatened by American military and security units in the wake of the 9-11 events (Ryan, 2004). Use of powerful, pre-positioned explosives in the WTC buildings would imply an "inside job" (Griffin, 2004, chapter 2). Clearly, we must find out what really caused the WTC skyscrapers to collapse as they did.
To this end, NIST must release the 6,899 photographs and over 300 hours of video recordings – acquired mostly by private parties – which it admits to holding (NIST, 2005, p. 81). In particular, photos and analyses of the molten metal (probably not molten steel) observed in the basements of both Towers and WTC7 need to be brought forth to the international community of scientists and engineers immediately. Therefore, along with others, I call for the release of these and all relevant data for scrutiny by a cross-disciplinary, international team of researchers. The explosive-demolition hypothesis will be considered: all options will be on the table.
In writing this paper, I call for a serious investigation of the hypothesis that WTC7 and the Twin Towers were brought down, not just by damage and fires, but through the carefully planned use of explosives. I have presented ample evidence for the explosive-demolition hypothesis, which is testable and falsifiable and yet has not been seriously considered in any of the studies funded by the US government.
At the same time, I acknowledge that other notions have sprung up in the near vacuum of official consideration of this very plausible hypothesis. These notions must be subjected to careful scrutiny. I by no means endorse all such ideas. For example, the video "In Plane Site" promotes the theory that a "pod" holds a missile under the wing of the 757 which hit WTC 2 (see Hoffman, 2005; Chertoff, 2005). Careful inspection of the undercarriage of a standard 757 leads to the explanation that the so-called "pod" was merely a reflection from the bulged undercarriage (Hoffman, 2005; Chertoff, 2005). I find that the "pod theory" is very weak and distracts from central issues.
Again, there is a notion that something other than Boeing jetliners hit the WTC Towers (see Hoffman, 2005; Chertoff, 2005). Scrutiny of photographs and videos provides compelling evidence that jets did in fact hit these buildings (Hoffman, 2005; Chertoff, 2005). A March 2005 article in Popular Mechanics focuses on poorly-supported claims and proceeds to ridicule the whole "9-11 truth movement" (Chertoff, 2005). Serious replies to this article have already been written (Hoffman, 2005; Baker, 2005; serendipity.li/wot/pop_mech/reply_to_popular_mechanics.htm).
Those espousing weak or untestable claims should realize that they may be damaging the effort to achieve a rational debate of important issues by poisoning the process with "junk science". Likewise, the notion that the "explosive demolition" hypothesis should not be debated since it would imply a "conspiracy theory" departs from good science as well as from numerous historical precedents of empirical conspiracies (Jones, 2005). Scientific inquiry is not or should not be dictated by politics (Mooney, 2005).
I gratefully acknowledge comments and contributions by Jim Hoffman and Jeff Strahl, and Professors Jack Weyland, David Ray Griffin, Steven Benzley, Bryan Peterson and Harold Stokes.
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