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Why Indeed Did the WTC Buildings Collapse?


By Steven E. Jones
Depart­ment of Physics and Astron­o­my
Brigham Young Uni­ver­si­ty
Pro­vo, UT 84604


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.

We start with the fact that large quan­ti­ties of molten met­al were observed in base­ment areas under rub­ble piles of all three build­ings: the Twin Tow­ers and WTC7. A video clip pro­vides eye-wit­ness evi­dence regard­ing this met­al at ground zero: http://plaguepuppy.net/public_html/video%20archive/red_hot_ground_zero_low_quality.wmv . The pho­to­graph below shows a chunk of the hot met­al being removed from the North Tow­er rub­ble about eight weeks after 9–11. Notice the col­or of the low­er por­tion of the extract­ed met­al — this tells us much about the tem­per­a­ture of the met­al and pro­vides impor­tant clues regard­ing its com­po­si­tion, as we shall see.

Next, I invite you to con­sid­er the col­lapse of the 47-sto­ry WTC 7, which was nev­er hit by a jet, as a basis for fur­ther dis­cus­sion. Here is the build­ing pri­or to and on Sep­tem­ber 11, 2001:

WTC 7: 47 — Sto­ry, steel-frame build­ing..

WTC 7 on after­noon of 9–11-01. WTC 7 is the tall
sky-scraper in the back-ground, right. Seen from WTC 1 area.

WTC 7 col­lapsed com­plete­ly, onto its own foot­print

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:


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. 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,

‘They showed us many fas­ci­nat­ing slides’ [Eaton] con­tin­ued, ‘rang­ing from molten met­al which was still red hot weeks after the event, to 4‑inch thick steel plates sheared and bent in the dis­as­ter’. (Struc­tur­al Engi­neer, Sep­tem­ber 3, 2002, p. 6; empha­sis added.)

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.

A video clip pro­vides eye-wit­ness evi­dence regard­ing this met­al at ground zero: http://plaguepuppy.net/public_html/video%20archive/red_hot_ground_zero_low_quality.wmv. The observ­er notes that the observed sur­face of this met­al is still red­dish-orange some six weeks after 9–11. This implies a large quan­ti­ty of a met­al with fair­ly low heat con­duc­tiv­i­ty and a rel­a­tive­ly large heat capac­i­ty even in an under­ground loca­tion. Like mag­ma in a vol­canic cone, such met­al can remain hot and molten for a long time — once the met­al is suf­fi­cient­ly hot to melt in large quan­ti­ties and then kept in an under­ground loca­tion.

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. Sci­en­tif­ic analy­sis, using for exam­ple X‑ray flu­o­res­cence, would be need­ed to ascer­tain the actu­al com­po­si­tion of the molten met­al.

I main­tain that these obser­va­tions are con­sis­tent with the use of the high-tem­per­a­ture ther­mite reac­tion or some vari­a­tion there­of such as ther­mate, 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 ther­mit
e reac­tion gen­er­ates molten iron direct­ly, and is hot enough to melt and even evap­o­rate steel which it con­tacts while react­ing. Ther­mite con­tains its own sup­ply of oxy­gen and so the reac­tion can­not be smoth­ered, even with water. Use of sul­fur in con­junc­tion with the ther­mite will accel­er­ate the destruc­tive effect on steel, and sul­fi­da­tion of struc­tur­al steel was indeed observed in some of the few recov­ered mem­bers from the WTC rub­ble, as report­ed in Appen­dix C of the FEMA report. (FEMA, 2005; see also, http://www.911research.wtc7.net/wtc/evidence/metallurgy/index.html.) 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:

Your gut reac­tion would be the jet fuel is what made the fire so very intense, a lot of peo­ple fig­ured that’s what melt­ed the steel. Indeed it did not, the steel did not melt. (Field, 2005; empha­sis added.)

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.

Prof. Thomas Eager explained in 2001 that the WTC fires would NOT melt steel:

“The fire is the most mis­un­der­stood part of the WTC col­lapse. Even today, the media report (and many sci­en­tists believe) that the steel melt­ed. It is argued that the jet fuel burns very hot, espe­cial­ly with so much fuel present. This is not true.... The tem­per­a­ture of the fire at the WTC was not unusu­al, and it was most def­i­nite­ly not capa­ble of melt­ing steel.

In com­bus­tion sci­ence, there are three basic types of flames, name­ly, a jet burn­er, a pre-mixed flame, and a dif­fuse flame.... In a dif­fuse flame, the fuel and the oxi­dant are not mixed before igni­tion, but flow togeth­er in an uncon­trolled man­ner and com­bust when the fuel/oxidant ratios reach val­ues with­in the flam­ma­ble range. A fire­place is a dif­fuse flame burn­ing in air, as was the WTC fire. Dif­fuse flames gen­er­ate the low­est heat inten­si­ties of the three flame types... The max­i­mum flame tem­per­a­ture increase for burn­ing hydro­car­bons (jet fuel) in air is, thus, about 1000 °C — hard­ly suf­fi­cient to melt steel at 1500 °C.

But it is very dif­fi­cult to reach [even] this max­i­mum tem­per­a­ture with a dif­fuse flame. There is noth­ing to ensure that the fuel and air in a dif­fuse flame are mixed in the best ratio... This is why the tem­per­a­tures in a res­i­den­tial fire are usu­al­ly in the 500 °C to 650 °C range [Cote, 1992]. It is known that the WTC fire was a fuel-rich, dif­fuse flame as evi­denced by the copi­ous black smoke.... It is known that struc­tur­al steel begins to soft­en around 425 °C and los­es about half of its strength at 650 °C [Cote, 1992]. This is why steel is stress relieved in this tem­per­a­ture range. But even a 50% loss of strength is still insuf­fi­cient, by itself, to explain the WTC col­lapse... The WTC, on this low-wind day, was like­ly not stressed more than a third of the design allow­able... Even with its strength halved, the steel could still sup­port two to three times the stress­es imposed by a 650 °C fire.” (Eager and Mus­so, 2001; empha­sis added.)

We will return to the ques­tion of fire-induced stress­es and WTC col­laps­es lat­er.

Even with­out a direct ele­men­tal analy­sis, we can rule out some met­als based on avail­able data. The pho­to­graph in the intro­duc­tion shows a chunk of the hot slag being extract­ed at ground zero. The hottest por­tion of the chunk is the low­er por­tion, which was deep­est down in the slag, and the met­al is seen to be yel­low-hot, cer­tain­ly above cher­ry-red hot. The fol­low­ing table (see http://www.processassociates.com/process/heat/metcolor.htm) pro­vides data regard­ing the melt­ing tem­per­a­tures of lead, alu­minum, struc­tur­al steel and iron, along with approx­i­mate met­al tem­per­a­tures by col­or. Note that the approx­i­mate tem­per­a­ture of a hot met­al is giv­en by its col­or, quite inde­pen­dent of the com­po­si­tion of the met­al.

We see from the pho­to­graph above that sol­id met­al slag exist­ed at salmon-to-yel­low-hot tem­per­a­ture (approx. 1550 — 1900 oF, 845 — 1040 oC.) The tem­per­a­ture is well above the melt­ing tem­per­a­tures of lead and alu­minum, and these met­als can evi­dent­ly be ruled out since they would be run­ny liq­uids at much low­er (cher­ry-red or below) tem­per­a­tures. How­ev­er, the observed hot spec­i­men could be struc­tur­al steel (from the build­ing) or iron (from a ther­mite reac­tion) or a com­bi­na­tion of the two. Addi­tion­al pho­tographs of the hot met­al could pro­vide fur­ther infor­ma­tion and advance the research.

Are there any exam­ples of build­ings top­pled by fires or any rea­son oth­er than delib­er­ate demo­li­tion that show large pools of molten met­al in the rub­ble? I have posed this ques­tion to numer­ous engi­neers and sci­en­tists, but so far no exam­ples have emerged. Strange then that three build­ings in Man­hat­tan, sup­pos­ed­ly brought down final­ly by fires, all show these large pools of molten met­al in their base­ments post-col­lapse on 9-11-2001. It would be inter­est­ing if under­ground fires could some­how pro­duce molten steel, for exam­ple, but then there should be his­tor­i­cal exam­ples of this effect since there have been many large fires in numer­ous build­ings. It is not enough to argue hypo­thet­i­cal­ly that fires could pos­si­bly cause all three pools of molten met­al.
Fur­ther­more, we have pub­lished reports that “molten steel [or oth­er met­al] flowed in the pile of ruins still set­tling beneath her feet” — how could build­ing fires have caused that effect? Has it ever been seen before?

The very high tem­per­a­tures of the molten or pre­vi­ous­ly-molten met­al implied by the data are dif­fi­cult to explain in the con­text of the offi­cial the­o­ry that fires final­ly caused the col­lapse of the WTC Tow­ers and WTC 7. High­ly exother­mic reac­tions oth­er than hydro­car­bon fires, such as the ther­mite reac­tion which pro­duces molten iron as an end prod­uct, are clear­ly implied by the data. The use of explo­sives such as HDX and RDX should also be con­sid­ered. The offi­cial reports by NIST, FEMA and the 9–11 Com­mis­sion strik­ing­ly omit men­tion of large quan­ti­ties of molten met­al observed in the base­ment areas of WTC 7 and the Tow­ers. Fur­ther inves­ti­ga­tion is strong­ly moti­vat­ed.

2. As you observed (above), WTC 7 col­lapsed rapid­ly and sym­met­ri­cal­ly — even though fires were ra
ndom­ly 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 many 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 these 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.

3. A New York Times arti­cle enti­tled “Engi­neers are baf­fled over the col­lapse of 7 WTC; Steel mem­bers have been part­ly evap­o­rat­ed,” pro­vides rel­e­vant data.

Experts said no build­ing like it [WTC7], a mod­ern, steel-rein­forced high-rise, had ever col­lapsed because of an uncon­trolled fire. (Glanz, 2001; empha­sis added.)

That’s cor­rect – no such steel-beam build­ing had ever before (or since) com­plete­ly col­lapsed due to fires! How­ev­er, such com­plete, sym­met­ri­cal col­laps­es in steel-frame build­ings 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.

Engi­neers have been try­ing to fig­ure out exact­ly what hap­pened and whether they should be wor­ried about oth­er build­ings like it around the coun­try… Most of the oth­er build­ings in the [area] stood despite suf­fer­ing dam­age of all kinds, includ­ing fire... ‘Fire and the struc­tur­al dam­age …would not explain steel mem­bers in the debris pile that appear to have been part­ly evap­o­rat­ed’, Dr. [Jonathan] Bar­nett said. (Glanz, 2001; empha­sis added.)

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. (Recall that WTC 7 was not hit by a jet, so there was no jet fuel involved in the fires in this build­ing.) 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.

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 = _ 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:

The C.I.A.‘s under­cov­er New York sta­tion was in the 47-sto­ry build­ing at 7 World Trade Cen­ter… All of the agen­cy’s employ­ees at the site were safe­ly evac­u­at­ed… The intel­li­gence agen­cy’s employ­ees were able to watch from their office win­dows while the twin tow­ers burned just before they evac­u­at­ed their own build­ing. (Risen, 2001)

5. The offi­cial FEMA 9–11 report admits a strik­ing anom­aly regard­ing the North Tow­er col­lapse:

Review of video­tape record­ings of the col­lapse tak­en from var­i­ous angles indi­cates that the trans­mis­sion tow­er on top of the struc­ture began to move down­ward and lat­er­al­ly slight­ly before move­ment was evi­dent at the exte­ri­or wall. This sug­gests that col­lapse began with one or more fail­ures in the cen­tral core area of the build­ing. (FEMA, 2002, chap­ter 2; empha­sis added.)

North Tow­er show­ing anten­na (top) at begin­ning of 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:

The build­ing stood for more than an hour and a half. Videos of the north tow­er’s col­lapse appear to show that its tele­vi­sion anten­na began to drop a frac­tion of a sec­ond before the rest of the build­ing. The obser­va­tions sug­gest that the build­ing’s steel core some­how gave way first… (Glanz and Lip­ton, 2002; empha­sis added)

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 cor
e 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, 2006).

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:

There is an explo­sion at the base of the build­ing… white smoke from the bot­tom… some­thing hap­pened at the base of the build­ing! Then anoth­er explo­sion.” (De Grand Pre, 2002, empha­sis added.)

Fire­fight­er Edward Cachia inde­pen­dent­ly report­ed:

[We] thought there was like an inter­nal det­o­na­tion, explo­sives, because it went in suc­ces­sion, boom, boom, boom, boom, and then the tow­er came down…It actu­al­ly gave at a low­er floor, not the floor where the plane hit. (Dwyer, 2005; empha­sis added.)

And assis­tant fire com­mis­sion­er Stephen Gre­go­ry pro­vides addi­tion­al insights:

When I looked in the direc­tion of the Trade Cen­ter before it came down, before No. 2 came down, ..I saw low-lev­el flash­es. In my con­ver­sa­tion with Lieu­tenant Evan­ge­lista, nev­er men­tion­ing this to him, he ques­tioned me and asked me if I saw low-lev­el flash­es in front of the build­ing, and I agreed with him because I thought — at that time I did­n’t know what it was. I mean, it could have been as a result of the build­ing col­laps­ing, things explod­ing, but I saw a flash flash flash and then it looked like the build­ing came down.

Q. Was that on the low­er lev­el of the build­ing or up where the fire was?

A. No, the low­er lev­el of the build­ing. You know like when they demol­ish a build­ing, how when they blow up a build­ing, when it falls down? That’s what I thought I saw. And I did­n’t broach the top­ic to him, but he asked me. He said I don’t know if I’m crazy, but I just want­ed to ask you because you were stand­ing right next to me… He said did you see any flash­es? I said, yes, well, I thought it was just me. He said no, I saw them, too. (Dwyer, 2005, Assis­tant Com­mis­sion­er Stephen Gre­go­ry FDNY WCT2 File No. 91 10008; empha­sis added.)

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.)

North Tow­er dur­ing top-down col­lapse. Notice mys­te­ri­ous squibs far below pul­ver­iza­tion region.

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:

Respect­ed mem­bers of the fire pro­tec­tion engi­neer­ing com­mu­ni­ty are begin­ning to raise red flags, and a res­onat­ing [result] has emerged:
The struc­tur­al dam­age from the planes and the explo­sive igni­tion of jet fuel in them­selves were not enough to bring down the tow­ers.

Fire Engi­neer­ing has good rea­son to believe that the “offi­cial inves­ti­ga­tion” blessed by FEMA… is a half-baked farce that may already have been com­man­deered by polit­i­cal forces whose pri­ma­ry inter­ests, to put it mild­ly, lie far afield of full dis­clo­sure. Except for the mar­gin­al ben­e­fit obtained from a three-day, visu­al walk-through of evi­dence sites con­duct­ed by ASCE inves­ti­ga­tion com­mit­tee mem­bers- described by one close source as a “tourist trip”-no one’s check­ing the evi­dence for any­thing.

Some cit­i­zens are tak­ing to the streets to protest the inves­ti­ga­tion sell­out. Sal­ly Regen­hard, for one, wants to know why and how the build­ing fell as it did upon her unfor­tu­nate son Chris­t­ian, an FDNY pro­ba­tion­ary fire­fight­er. And so do we.

Clear­ly, there are burn­ing ques­tions that need answers. Based on the inci­den­t’s mag­ni­tude alone, a full-throt­tle, ful­ly resourced, foren­sic inves­ti­ga­tion is imper­a­tive. More impor­tant, from a moral stand­point, [are con­sid­er­a­tions] for the… present and future gen­er­a­tions… (Man­ning, 2002; empha­sis added).

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.

The main chal­lenge in bring­ing a build­ing down is con­trol­ling which way it falls. Ide­al­ly, a blast­ing crew will be able to tum­ble the build­ing over on one side, into a park­ing lot or oth­er open area. This sort of blast is the eas­i­est to exe­cute [favored by the Law of Increas­ing Entropy]. Tip­ping a build­ing over is some­thing like felling a tree. To top­ple the build­ing to the north, the blasters det­o­nate explo­sives on the north side of the build­ing first…

Some­times, though, a build­ing is sur­round­ed by struc­tures that must be pre­served. In this case, the blasters pro­ceed with a true implo­sion, demol­ish­ing the build­ing so that it col­laps­es straight down into its own foot­print (the total area at the base of the build­ing). This feat requires such skill that only a hand­ful of demo­li­tion com­pa­nies in the world will attempt it. [Again, con­sis­tent with the Sec­ond Law of Ther­mo­dy­nam­ics.]

Blasters approach each project a lit­tle dif­fer­ent­ly... [A good] option is to det­o­nate the columns at the cen­ter of the build­ing before the oth­er columns so that the build­ing’s sides fall
(Har­ris, 2000; empha­sis added.)

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:

The col­lapse of WTC 7 had a small debris field as the facade was pulled down­ward, sug­gest­ing an inter­nal fail­ure and implo­sion… The aver­age debris field radius was approx­i­mate­ly 70 feet. (FEMA, 2002, chap­ter 5.)

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? These ques­tions sug­gest the need for fur­ther inves­ti­ga­tion.

One of the peo­ple a thor­ough inves­ti­ga­tion should ques­tion 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.

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. A local uni­ver­si­ty and col­lege 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:

The 110-sto­ry tow­ers of the World Trade Cen­ter were designed to with­stand as a whole the forces caused by a hor­i­zon­tal impact of a large com­mer­cial air­craft. So why did a total col­lapse occur? (Bazant and Zhou, 2002, p. 2.)

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:

The con­fla­gra­tion, caused by the air­craft fuel spilled into the struc­ture, caus­es the steel of the columns to be exposed to sus­tained tem­per­a­tures appar­ent­ly exceed­ing 800°C… (Bazant and Zhou, 2002, p. 2.)

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:

Once more than half of the columns in the crit­i­cal floor.. suf­fer buck­ling (stage 3), the weight of the upper part of the struc­ture above this floor can no longer be sup­port­ed, and so the upper part starts falling down onto the low­er part below…”(Bazant and Zhou, 2002, p. 2.)

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).

The WTC tow­ers were solid­ly con­struct­ed with 47 steel core columns and 240 perime­ter steel beams. 287 steel-columns total. Many doubt that ran­dom fires/damage could cause them to
col­lapse straight down (offi­cial the­o­ry), and sus­pect explo­sives.

Steel-frame: Huge core (left) is an enor­mous heat sink. Notice work­ers stand­ing on floor pan which is firm­ly attached to the inter­con­nect­ed core columns.

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:

Of the more than 170 areas exam­ined on 16 perime­ter col­umn pan­els, only three columns had evi­dence that the steel reached tem­per­a­tures above 250ºC… Only two core col­umn spe
cimens had suf­fi­cient paint remain­ing to make such an analy­sis, and their tem­per­a­tures did not reach 250 ºC. ... Using met­al­lo­graph­ic analy­sis, NIST deter­mined that there was no evi­dence that any of the sam­ples had reached tem­per­a­tures above 600 ºC. (NIST, 2005, pp. 176–177; empha­sis added.)

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:

Ear­ly news reports had indi­cat­ed that a high pres­sure, 24-inch gas main was locat­ed in the vicin­i­ty of the build­ing [WTC 7]; how­ev­er, this proved not to be true.” (FEMA, 2002, chap­ter 5; empha­sis added)

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:

Both WTC 1 and WTC 2 were sta­ble after the air­craft impact, stand­ing for 102 min and 56 min, respec­tive­ly. The glob­al analy­ses with struc­tur­al impact dam­age showed that both tow­ers had con­sid­er­able reserve capac­i­ty. This was con­firmed by analy­sis of the post-impact vibra­tion of WTC 2… where the dam­aged tow­er oscil­lat­ed at a peri­od near­ly equal to the first mode peri­od cal­cu­lat­ed for the undam­aged struc­ture. (NIST, 2005, p. 144; empha­sis added.)

At any giv­en loca­tion, the dura­tion of [air, not steel] tem­per­a­tures near 1,000oC was about 15 min to 20 min. The rest of the time, the cal­cu­lat­ed tem­per­a­tures were near 500°C or below.” (NIST, 2005, p. 127, empha­sis added.)

NIST con­tract­ed with Under­writ­ers Lab­o­ra­to­ries, Inc. to con­duct tests to obtain infor­ma­tion on the fire endurance of truss­es like those in the WTC tow­ers… All four test spec­i­mens sus­tained the max­i­mum design load for approx­i­mate­ly 2 hours with­out col­laps­ing.” (NIST, 2005, p. 140, empha­sis added.)

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:

The basis of NIST’s col­lapse the­o­ry is… col­umn behav­iour in fire... How­ev­er, we believe that a con­sid­er­able dif­fer­ence in down­ward dis­place between the [47] core and [240] perime­ter columns, much greater than the 300 mm pro­posed, is required for the col­lapse the­o­ry to hold true… [Our] low­er reliance on pas­sive fire pro­tec­tion is in con­trast to the NIST work where the amount of fire pro­tec­tion on the truss ele­ments is believed to be a sig­nif­i­cant fac­tor in defin­ing the time to col­lapse… The [pro­posed effect] is swamped by ther­mal expan­sion … Ther­mal expan­sion and the response of the whole frame to this effect has NOT been described as yet [by NIST]. (Lane and Lam­ont, 2005.)

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 Inves­ti­ga­tion Team then defined three cas­es for each build­ing by com­bin­ing the mid­dle, less severe, and more severe val­ues of the influ­en­tial vari­ables. Upon a pre­lim­i­nary exam­i­na­tion of the mid­dle cas­es, it became clear that the tow­ers would like­ly remain stand­ing. The less severe cas­es were dis­card­ed after the air­craft impact results were com­pared to observed events. The mid­dle cas­es (which became Case A for WTC 1 and Case C for WTC 2) were dis­card­ed after the struc­tur­al response analy­sis of major sub­sys­tems were com­pared to observed events. (NIST, 2005, p. 142; empha­sis added.)

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:

The more severe case (which became Case B for WTC 1 and Case D for WTC 2) was used for the glob­al analy­sis of each tow­er. Com­plete sets of sim­u­la­tions were then per­formed for Cas­es B and D. To the extent that the sim­u­la­tions devi­at­ed from the pho­to­graph­ic evi­dence or eye­wit­ness reports [e.g., com­plete col­lapse occurred], the inves­ti­ga­tors adjust­ed the input, but only with­in the range of phys­i­cal real­i­ty. Thus, for instance,…the pulling forces on the perime­ter columns by the sag­ging floors were adjust­ed... (NIST, 2005, p. 142; empha­sis added.)

The pri­ma­ry role of the floors in the col­lapse of the tow­ers was to pro­vide inward pull forces that induced inward bow­ing of perime­ter columns. (NIST, 2005, p. 180; empha­sis added.)

How fun (per­haps) 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:

As I’m sure you know, the com­pa­ny I work for cer­ti­fied the steel com­po­nents used in the con­struc­tion of the WTC build­ings. In request­ing infor­ma­tion from both our CEO and Fire Pro­tec­tion busi­ness man­ag­er last year… they sug­gest­ed we all be patient and under­stand that UL was work­ing with your team… I’m aware of UL’s attempts to help, includ­ing per­form­ing tests on mod­els of the floor assem­blies. But the results of these tests… indi­cate that the build­ings should have eas­i­ly with­stood the ther­mal stress caused by… burn­ing [jet fuel, paper, etc.]. (Ryan, 2004)

That mod­els of WTC truss­es at Under­writer Lab­o­ra­to­ries (UL) sub­ject­ed to fires did NOT fail is also admit­ted in the final NIST report:

NIST con­tract­ed with Under­writ­ers Lab­o­ra­to­ries, Inc. to con­duct tests to obtain infor­ma­tion on the fire endurance of truss­es like those in the WTC tow­ers…. All four test spec­i­mens sus­tained the max­i­mum design load for approx­i­mate­ly 2 hours with­out col­laps­ing… The Inves­ti­ga­tion Team was cau­tious about using these results direct­ly in the for­mu­la­tion of col­lapse hypothe­ses. In addi­tion to the scal­ing issues raised by the test results, the fires in the tow­ers on Sep­tem­ber 11, and the result­ing expo­sure of the floor
sys­tems, were sub­stan­tial­ly dif­fer­ent from the con­di­tions in the test fur­naces. Nonethe­less, the [empir­i­cal test] results estab­lished that this type of assem­bly was capa­ble of sus­tain­ing a large grav­i­ty load, with­out col­laps­ing, for a sub­stan­tial peri­od of time rel­a­tive to the dura­tion of the fires in any giv­en loca­tion on Sep­tem­ber 11. (NIST, 2005, p. 141; empha­sis added.)

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.

Indeed, NIST makes the star­tling admis­sion in a foot­note on page 80 of their Final Report:

The focus of the Inves­ti­ga­tion was on the sequence of events from the instant of air­craft impact to the ini­ti­a­tion of col­lapse for each tow­er. For brevi­ty in this report, this sequence is referred to as the “prob­a­ble col­lapse sequence,” although it does not actu­al­ly include the struc­tur­al behav­ior of the tow­er after the con­di­tions for col­lapse ini­ti­a­tion were reached...(NIST, 2005, p. 80, fn. 12; empha­sis added.)

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.

The results were a sim­u­la­tion of the struc­tur­al dete­ri­o­ra­tion of each tow­er from the time of air­craft impact to the time at which the build­ing became unsta­ble, i.e., was poised for col­lapse. ...(NIST, 2005, p. 142; empha­sis added.)

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,” per­haps 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,

This [“offi­cial”] sto­ry just does not add up…. That fact should be of great con­cern to all Amer­i­cans…. There is no ques­tion that the events of 9/11 are the emo­tion­al dri­ving force behind the War on Ter­ror. And the issue of the WTC col­lapse is at the crux of the sto­ry of 9/11. (Ryan, 2004; empha­sis added.)

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

Top ~ 34 floors of South Tow­er top­ple over.
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

“It was the fire that killed the build­ings. There’s noth­ing on earth that could sur­vive those tem­per­a­tures with that amount of fuel burn­ing… The columns would have melt­ed, the floors would have melt­ed and even­tu­al­ly they would have col­lapsed one on top of the oth­er.” (quot­ed in Paul and Hoff­man, 2004, p. 25)

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:

Your gut reac­tion would be the jet fuel is what made the fire so very intense, a lot of peo­ple fig­ured that’s what melt­ed the steel. Indeed it did not, the steel did not melt. (Field, 2005; empha­sis added)

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 (Man­hat­tan schist). FEMA does not total­ly ignore the core:

As the floors col­lapsed, this left tall free­stand­ing por­tions of the exte­ri­or wall and pos­si­bly cen­tral core columns. As the unsup­port­ed height of these free­stand­ing exte­ri­or wall ele­ments increased [no men­tion of the huge cen­tral core any­more!], they buck­led at the bolt­ed col­umn splice con­nec­tions and also col­lapsed.” (FEMA. 2002; empha­sis added)

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.


I have called atten­tion to glar­ing inad­e­qua­cies 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 and chem­i­cal-cut­ters. And high-tem­per­a­ture chem­i­cal reac­tions can account for the observed large pools of molten met­al, under both Tow­ers and WTC 7. 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 9–11‑0
1 is far from com­pelling. It just does not add up.

And that fact should be of great con­cern to Amer­i­cans. (Ryan, 2004). 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. 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; Mey­er, 2005).

William Rodriguez has sent impor­tant infor­ma­tion (pri­vate com­mu­ni­ca­tions, Novem­ber 2005) which I append in clos­ing:

“Thank you so much for com­ing out with a report ques­tion­ing the “offi­cial Sto­ry” of 9/11. I read with a lot of ded­i­ca­tion your paper and I dis­trib­uted it wide­ly to all the Vic­tims and sur­vivors of that day (I am the leader of the fam­i­lies and the last per­son pull from the rub­ble from the North Tow­er).

You are just miss­ing my expe­ri­ence. I told the 9/11 Com­mis­sion about the explo­sions and the events on the sub-base­ment on that day. They did not put it in the final report. Please check the inter­net under “William Rodriguez 9/11”. I am try­ing to raise the same ques­tions. Since I am a respect­ed fig­ure inter­na­tion­al­ly, I noticed how my tes­ti­mo­ny has been pre­sent­ed unedit­ed all over the world. But in the USA, I am edit­ed and even though I have a lot of respect from the media, I am asked con­stant­ly about oth­er sub­jects and issues but noth­ing about the explo­sions of that day. Con­grat­u­la­tions from the side of the real­ly affect­ed on that day. Keep up your inves­ti­ga­tions.

William Rodriguez His­pan­ic Vic­tims Group, 9/11 Unit­ed Ser­vices Group, Low­er Man­hat­tan Fam­i­ly Advi­so­ry Coun­sel

I thanked William and asked him how he could say the explo­sion came from the sub-base­ment below him, rather than far above (where the plane hit), also regard­ing the tim­ing of the explo­sions. He replied:

About my expe­ri­ence. My basis was, like I told the Com­mis­sion, there was an explo­sion that came from under our feet, we were pushed upwards light­ly by the effect, I was on base­ment lev­el 1 and it sound­ed that it came from B2 and B3 lev­el. Rapid­ly after that we heard the impact far away at the top. My asser­tions are [that] my 20 years expe­ri­ence there and wit­ness­ing pri­or to that many oth­er nois­es [enable me] to con­clude with­out any doubt where the sounds were com­ing from. 2ND- Some of the same peo­ple that I saved gave tes­ti­monies in inter­views of the same expe­ri­ence pri­or to my actu­al­ly being reunit­ed with them after the event!!! Like I explained, some of these sur­vivors sto­ries were told in count­less [inter­views] of cov­er­age, but in SPANISH!! I have the actu­al record­ings avail­able of some of the Tele­vi­sion Spe­cials that fea­tured our sto­ries.

Mr. Rodriguez worked for years in the build­ing and his per­cep­tion of sounds can­not be over­looked. He is a reli­able wit­ness. Above (and else­where) he records that the explo­sion in the sub-base­ment was fol­lowed “rapid­ly after that” by the sound of an impact far above. This asser­tion is remark­able for it strong­ly sug­gests that the col­lid­ing plane or its fuel could not have caused the (ear­li­er) explo­sion in the sub-base­ment. William and oth­er wit­ness­es may shed addi­tion­al light on the explo­sions in the Tow­ers on 9/11/2001.


I grate­ful­ly acknowl­edge com­ments and con­tri­bu­tions by Jim Hoff­man, Alex Floum, William Rodriguez and Jeff Strahl, and Pro­fes­sors Jack Wey­land, David Ray Grif­fin, Frank Green­ing, Bryan Peter­son, Paul Zarem­b­ka and Der­rick Grim­mer.


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Ryan, Kevin (2004). Let­ter to Frank Gayle, avail­able at http://www.911truth.org/article.php?story=20041112144051451

Ryan, Kevin (2005). “A Call for a Per­son­al Deci­sion,” Glob­al Out­look, Issue 10, p. 96 (Spring-Sum­mer 2005).

Williams, James (2001). “WTC a struc­tur­al suc­cess,” SEAU NEWS; The Newslet­ter of the Struc­tur­al Engi­neers Asso­ci­a­tion of Utah, Octo­ber 2001, p. 1,3.


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