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Controlled demolition at WTC: ongoing developments: WTC7...
Be sure to visit Jim Hoffman's www.wtc7.net, and then listen to leaseholder Larry Silverstein discuss the collapse:
Also http://VestigialConscience.com/PullIt2.mp3 in which the word "pull" is used to describe a controlled demolition. Thanks to Sir Dave 'tmo' Soule for posting these audio files.
WTC 1 & 2...
Jeff King has posted a wonderful, up-to-date summary,
World Trade Center Collapse:
Another key reference is this 2-part series by J. McMichael, "Muslims Suspend the Laws of Physics". McMichael argues that the fires at the WTC were not hot enough to have substantially weakened the steel structure. This argument is also strongly suggested by the image below (from Eric Hufschmid's video "Painful Deceptions") which shows a woman looking out from the hole in the North Tower.
Cool temperatures in the collision zone were also confirmed by an audiotape indicating that firefighters reached the area of the crash damage in the South Tower, and reported survivable temperatures there. Relatively hot conditions may have existed in smoldering fires higher in the towers, but would not have created synergistic effects with the collision damage to create an overall weakened condition sufficient to create a collapse.
A study by Paul J. Lioy et al. examined three samples of dust deposited by the WTC disaster, and found that the samples consisted of a homogeneous mixture, primarily made of cement and soot (37 to 50%), glass fiber (40%) and cellulose (9 to 20%). The proportion of particle sizes from 75 to 300 microns in diameter ranged from 42% to 46%, while particles less than 75 microns in diameter made up 30 to 39 percent of the samples. This dust was deposited around Manhattan in tremendous quantities (up to 10 cm thick at distances of 700 meters from the collapse site), consistent with the idea that most of the concrete, drywall and fireproofing in the buildings ended up as dust. Creation of such a finely ground and homogeneously mixed debris is difficult to explain as the result of a mechanical pounding process, but could be explained by highly turbulent combustion effects at high temperatures -- at least hot enough to cause spalling of the concrete due to explosive evaporation of entrapped water.
An analysis by Jim Hoffman argues that pyroclastic flows such as the WTC dust cloud must expand primarily by thermal heating. He reduced the calculated expansion volume by 33%, to account for turbulent mixing with surrounding air. Hoffman shows that even after this correction, the pyroclastic flow from the North Tower collapse expanded to approximately three times the original volume of the tower. According to Hoffman, this expansion is due to either heating of the air mass within the towers, or boiling of the water contents of the concrete. However, http://www.controlled-demolition.com/images/client/kingdome.mpg shows that the Kingdome demolition also generated a vast dust cloud, although only ordinary demolition charges were used. I've undertaken a preliminary and inconclusive photogrammetric analysis of the Kingdome demolition here.
Hoffman's analysis neglects the possibility of accelerated combustion of the flammable contents of the WTC during the collapses. Any such combustion would have been limited by the available volume of oxygen, as well as other factors. Here is a preliminary analysis (Caveat lecteur: this has not been through peer review!) Using an air density of 1.22 kg per cubic meter, and an estimated volume of air 1.5e6 cubic meters, the mass of air in each tower would be 1.9e6 kg. Given a stoichiometric ratio of 15 kg of air for each 1 kg of fuel, we could burn 138 tons of fuel with the air in each building. If the energy content of the contents is 10 gigajoules/ton, we would obtain 1380 gigajoules of energy, or 380,000 kwh. This is probably an upper limit on the energy that could have been released by accelerated combustion, although the actual figure may have been much lower. Also note that any accelerated combustion would have released large volumes of CO2 and H2O, which would contribute to the expansion of the pyroclastic cloud.
Hoffman's first draft of his paper relied on my estimates of the volume of concrete in the towers. In my "powder analysis" I estimated that the mass of concrete in the towers was 650,000 tons. This was based on reports of the total amount of concrete poured for the WTC, which probably included plazas, roads, subways and so forth, in addition to the towers themselves. This was probably a serious over-estimate (although it would have no effect on the conclusion of the "powder analysis" since the gravitational energy per kg of concrete would be essentially unchanged.)
From the FEMA report, for the floors of each WTC tower, we have ~40,000 sq ft of floor area (including the core) * 117 floors * 4" thick of "lightweight" concrete (5" in the core), which works out to about 58,000 cubic yards.
"Normal" concrete ways about 2 tons per cubic yard, but "light weight" concrete can be anywhere from about 600 to 3000 pounds per cubic yard. If we take a figure towards the high end of the range, we would estimate about 90,000 tons of concrete, but the correct figure could be much lower.
Additionally, all of the exterior columns (and presumably core columns and spandrel plates as well) were coated with several inches of a fireproofing plaster containing either asbestos or "inorganic fibers" which presumably might include fiberglass. From the Guardian, the exterior columns were about 13" square (240 columns) and the core columns were about 14"x36" (48 columns) so the surface area of all the columns would be 17280 square feet per floor, or 2 million square feet for the entire building. Covering with a 3" layer of fireproof plaster would require 19,000 cubic yards, which could easily amount to another 10,000 or 20,000 tons of fiberglass-rich material.
Overall, the mass of concrete and fibrous material in each WTC tower is probably not more than 110,000 tons. This revised estimate was used in Hoffman's later revisions of his paper.
When all is said and done, I believe that the analysis by Jim Hoffman is substantially correct -- the energy required to heat this huge mass sufficiently to reduce it to powder is very difficult to account for by any reasonable combination of gravitational and combustion effects, without the input of additional energy from explosives. On the other hand, I do not see any conclusive evidence of extremely high energy inputs from advanced technologies.
The historical precedent of the bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building, is also well worth reviewing. The damage to the building was so extensive that it could not have been caused by the truck bomb which was allegedly constructed by Tim McVeigh. Thus, the real perpetrators of the Oklahoma City atrocity (just like the WTC atrocity) are still at large. See:
The key documents are the Partin report, the Elgin blast study, and the early media reports of multiple explosive blasts.
Also, here is a book-length discussion, "The Oklahoma City Bombing and
the Politics of Terror" by David Hoffman, hosted on-line by the
In the mass media propaganda barrage of 9/11/2002, researcher Mike Rivero discovered film footage of the collapse of WTC building 7. The images are at this link:
Here is a report on the WTC tower collapses from Christopher Bollyn of American Free Press. However, it turns out that the seismic evidence seems to be based on a circular argument: the exact time of the collapse is established by an estimate from the seismic event itself, rather than any independent source of information such as a video recording of the event. From an energy analysis standpoint, the "pools of molten steel" are very hard to account for.
The article begins:
(Most recent page update: 3/13/04)