Sunday, February 3, 2008

Skeptics: The 9/11 Truth Movement in Perspective.

At the end of the column by Michael Shermer he has a link to an article written by Phil Mole for the Skeptic magazine. It was published for the fifth anniversary of the attacks. The majority of the people who attempt to write about the 9/11 Truth Movement do not know the first thing about it or the events of that day. They start off with the premise that our ideas are absurd and there is no reason to take our claims seriously. Any claims made by the 9/11 Truth Movement is instantly discarded and any claim made by a "debunker" is accepted as legitimate. There is no skepticism applied to the claims made by those defending the government. This is also the case with Phil Mole which I will demonstrate.

Phil Mole attended a Truth Conference in Chicago sponsored by 9/ He stated that the goal of the conference was for "attendees to consolidate their group identity..." What is this suppose to mean? He appears as though he is trying to give the impression that we are some kind of cult, maybe not that much different from the one headed by Jim Jones. Wasn't "The Amazing Meeting! 5.5" a way for "skeptics" to consolidate their group identity as well? He goes on to say, "As someone who does not share the views of the 9/11 Truth Movement, I have another objective. I want to listen to their arguments and view their evidence, and understand the reasons why so many likable and otherwise intelligent people are convinced that the United States government planned the murder of nearly 3,000 of its own citizens. "

His first topic is the destruction of World Trade Towers 1 & 2. He lists the evidence made by the conspiracy theorists that WTC1,2 were destroyed by a controlled demolition. This includes the fact that the collapse looks like a demolition, the speed of the collapse, the fact that jet-fuel fires do not melt steel, and the demolition squibs(i.e. mistimed explosions). He attempts to counter each one. His argument against the collapse resembling a controlled demolition is the fact that controlled demolitions begin at the bottom, not the top. This is a weak argument. A controlled demolition means that explosives are precisely timed. They can go off in any order. This is ultimately a straw man argument, as no one in the Truth Movement is saying that WTC1,2 were blown up from the bottom, or that they resembled an implosion. He goes on to state, "but what are the chances that those planning such a complicated demolition would be able to predict the exact location the planes would impact the towers, and prepare the towers to begin falling precisely there?" The planes were probably remotely piloted into the buildings. Therefore, there could be great precision on where they would impact the towers.

He next discusses whether or not the fires could have weakened the steel to lead to a collapse of the buildings. He states, "engineering estimates tell us that steel loses 50% of its strength at 650° F, and can lose as much as 90% of its strength at temperatures of 1,800° F. Even if we assume temperatures of no higher than 1,000° F during the fire, we would still have more than enough reasons to expect damage severe enough to result in eventual collapse. " This is another bad argument. First, he is confusing the temperatures of the fire with the temperatures of the steel. Also he does not say what percentage of the steel would have to heat up to 1,000° F for structural collapse to ensue. NIST found that only 2% of the steel tested on the perimeter columns got over 250C(482F) and none of the core columns. They also found, "Microstructure tests showed no steel reached critical (half-strength) values (600 C, 1112 F)." Besides, if fire temperatures of only 1,000° F can cause an entire building to be destroyed, then why hasn't this happened before?

His next discussion is whether or not there was molten steel found in the rubble pile of the collapsed buildings. He states, "However, the sources in question are informal observations of “steel” at Ground Zero, not laboratory results." This is not entirely true. In Appendix C: Limited Metallurgical Examination of the FEMA Report, they found, “Evidence of a severe high temperature corrosion attack on the steel, including oxidation and sulfidation with subsequent INTERGRANUAL MELTING, was readily visible in the near-surface microstructure.”

What about the "squibs"? He states, "these are plumes of smoke and debris ejected from the building due to the immense pressure associated with millions of tons of falling towers." This cannot be true, as many of the "squibs" were emerging from floors that had no smoke. If it was due to increased pressure, it would be uniform across the floor. It would not emerge from localized points.

His discussion of WTC7 is weak. A lot of the discussion has to do with what did Larry Silverstein really mean when he used the phrase, "pull it." It is incumbent on the government to prove how WTC7 collapsed. This they have not done. Shyam Sunder, the head of the NIST investigation said, "We are studying the horizontal movement east to west, internal to the structure, on the fifth to seventh floors.… But truthfully, I don’t really know. We’ve had trouble getting a handle on building No. 7." Maybe a similar level of humility would be good for the "debunkers" to exhibit every now and then, instead of pretending they have all the answers.

His next topic of discussion is the Pentagon. The government has yet to show conclusively what happened there. He devotes a lot of attention to the statement made by Jamie McIntyre. As in the case of WTC7, interpreting what someone actually meant is largely a waste of time. What the physical evidence shows is far more important. Why is there no tail damage to the facade? This issue is not even brought up by Phil Mole. Yet the problem is clearly mentioned in the Pentagon Building Performance Report(PBPR). It states, "The height of the damage to the facade of the building was much less than the height of the aircraft’s tail. At approximately 45 ft, the tail height was nearly as tall as the first four floors of the building. Obvious visible damage extended only over the lowest two floors, to approximately 25 ft above grade." Then it drops the issue as it is not important to explain. What about the hole in the C-Ring? The PBPR gives no explanation for it. All of these important anomalies are not even mentioned, but they are critical if we are to understand the events of that day.

His discussion of Flight 93 does not focus on the size of the debris field, only on where the engine was found. What about a second debris field at Indian Lake, and third one near New Baltimore over eight miles away? There is no mention of this. He also fails to mention that there was little evidence of a plane crash.

Konicki: "Na, there was nothing, nothing that you could distinguish that a plane had crashed there."

Wally Miller: "The smoking crater looked, he says, 'like someone took a scrap truck, dug a 10-foot ditch and dumped all this trash into it.'"

Reporter Jon Meyer: "There was no plane to be found."

Pat Madigan: "Where was the plane crash?"

Ernie Stull, mayor of Shanksville, "There was no plane."

Regarding the issue of a NORAD stand down, he does not mention the numerous contradictions within the government's own story, nor does he explain why NORAD generals apparently lied under oath. He also does not mention the testimony made to the 9/11 Commission by Norman Mineta while he was in the PEOC.

Phil Mole concludes, "This article has analyzed the arguments of the 9/11 Truth Movement and found them lacking." Maybe he found them lacking because his research was very poor and superficial. He goes on, "any theory needs evidence in its favor if it is to be taken seriously." This is true. The evidence that the 9/11 Truth Movement has accumulated against the government's story is overwhelming. Phil Mole did not set out to learn about the evidence. His goal was to write another hit piece against the 9/11 Truth Movement.


Arthur Scheuerman said...

I am only talking about the colapse of the towers in my book Fire in the Skyscraper. Here is an excerpt.
Reports of Controlled Demolition, Bombs, Thermite, Electromagnetic Rays, etc..
Many reports interpreted the loud sounds and debris being projected out sideways during the Tower collapses as an indication that explosives were used to demolish the buildings. Most of these ‘explosive’ sounds, heard during the collapses were heard after the collapses began. The exterior walls can be seen bending and buckling inward in the videos of both Towers long before any sounds or ground vibrations occurred. In Tower 2, the exterior columns in the east wall were photographed bowing inward up to 10 inches, 18 minutes after the plane’s impact. That’s 38 minutes before the global collapse began. To be technical, you could say that Tower 2’s collapse began slowly, with possibly some noise or impact sounds from falling floors, about 38 minutes earlier than the official collapse time. The explosive sounds and expanding dust clouds occurred just after the east wall buckled inward and started the collapse, and not before the buckling, as would have happened with controlled demolition.
When the south wall of Tower 1 was photographed it was bowing inward up to 55 inches on floors 95 to 101, about six minutes before these columns were seen buckling inward. In the North Tower “thunder” sounds were heard when floors collapsed on the south side 12 to 14 seconds before the top of the building was seen to tilt southward and begin falling as a unit starting the global collapse. Since each section of floor on the long-span side weighed about 500 tons, I would explore these sounds in Tower 1 as evidence of a floor or floors detaching and impacting the floors below on the south side which most probably accelerated south wall failure. I believe all the supposed ‘explosive’ sounds can be explained by the impacts made by the collapsing buildings after the columns were pulled in and buckled by the bowing and buckling floors and when the floors themselves began impacting the floors below. The boom, boom, boom, boom, boom repetitive ‘explosive’ sounds reported by firefighters running as Tower 2 was coming down were probably caused by the sequential collision of impacting floors. The great quantity of air on each floor being compressed in a fraction of a second by great weight and momentum would propel air, smoke, and any concrete dust and debris outward at great velocity.
It is also clear from the computer studies that the heat from the fires caused differential expansion of the steel parts in the long span, floor trusses with the resulting thermal bowing in some floors directly exerting pull-in forces on the exterior columns or this thermal bowing or could have detached a floor which would have impacted the floor below destroying composite action by separating the concrete slab from the trusses and inducing strong tensile (suspension) forces in the double weighted floor. In other floors thermal expansion of the floor against the columns compressed the trusses which along with shear forces within the trusses buckled the diagonal struts collapsing the trusses which went into suspension (catenary action) and helped pull-in and eventually buckle the exterior column walls. All these adverse floor truss effects were caused by steel expansion which begins immediately as the steel is heated. Bowing and buckling happen at low temperatures (400 C to 600 C) even before the steel would have weakened excessively from higher temperatures. Once the exterior column buckling spread along an entire wall on one face the towers began to tilt and the buckling spread around the towers exterior and into the core and with all the columns buckled the leaning top sections of the tower began to fall straight down. Although the North tower antenna appeared from some northern angles to have fallen straight down it actually tilted to the south because the south wall buckled first and the cantilevered top building section pulled the core over to the south.

The South Tower’s top tilted to the east because its east wall buckled first. Once the core columns got out of plumb, there would have been little resistance to their buckling at the weak splices. With the incredible weight of the top of the buildings gaining momentum, like a heavy wedge or sledge all it had to do was break the welded, and single bolted connections holding the floors to the columns. This coupled with the fact that the falling top sections momentum increases as the square of the number of floors impacted as the floors were detached and added to the weight of the descending top. There would have been little resistance to slow the top section’s acceleration to the ground. Because this acceleration due to gravity increased the speed and momentum of the collapsing floors and building top, the impacts would have been increasingly violent as shown on the seismic graphs increasing amplitude until maximum when the mass of accumulated floors hit bedrock seven stories into the cellar.

In order for the columns to support the weight they have to be plumb and in line with the columns above and below. If they get out of plumb by 10 to 20 degrees they buckle and can no longer support the weight. The buildings collapsed because the floors first buckled from restrained thermal expansion and thermal bowing affecting floor truss stability. The sagging floor trusses pulled in the 59 columns in one exterior wall and they eventually buckled. Once the buildings started to tip over from loss of column support on one side the tremendous excess eccentric weight began buckling all the columns across the building. Once the tilted building’s tops began descending they hit the floors or columns at eccentric angles which easily detached the floors and buckled the columns. In order for the lower building section to offer any meaningful resistance to the falling building top the columns would have to hit each other exactly in line and in plumb and this was impossible with the top leaning causing eccentric angles of impact.

The fact is that columns have to be axially (in line and centered) aligned to support the weight of the building above. Once the top building section began tilting the columns on the side that originally buckled did not line up at all. These columns would have been hitting the floors and would have easily detached or buckled them. After the south wall buckled in Tower 2 the adjacent exterior wall columns buckled from overloads and the columns on the opposite west side of the building, which acted as a hinge would still be bearing on each other but at an eccentric angle which means they also would have also eventually buckled as the top tilted. These columns along with some of the core columns as they buckled are probably what kicked the bottom of the top building section to the west as reported by NIST. With all the columns across the building buckled the top section began descending at an angle to the building section below. None of the columns would have been axially lined up. As the columns collided they would have hit each other at eccentric angles and easily dislodged, disconnected or buckled each other. Adding the accumulating collapsing floors and you have a release of incredible potential energy changing to kinetic energy and building momentum as the accumulating chaotic mass of debris accelerated to bedrock 7 stories into the cellars.
There have been some engineering analyses about the impacting floors slowing down the collapse so that the time to collapse should have been longer than ‘free fall’ times of an object dropped from the towers tops. I have a theory that may explain this. Since the Tower’s outer wall columns, especially in Tower 1, pealed out like a banana, they may have been able to break the connections to the floors ahead of the floors being impacted? In other words, with the weight of the wall columns pealing outward from the vertical along with the added horizontal forces of impacting floors projecting debris outwards onto these columns; would these columns, while leaning out, be able to break the wall-to-floor connections ahead of the level of impacting floors? If this is possible than I believe that the connection failures could could have traveled down the sides of the buildings at a speed faster than free fall times. This might help explain the rapid collapses especially in Tower 1. The wall-to-floor connection failures could have traveled down the building sides faster than ‘free fall’ times and in effect started the floors falling before they were impacted by the accumulating mass of impacted floors above.
The heavy exterior wall columns in the 1500 foot high builddings while pealing off could project the column sections outwards a great distance. This distance (500 feet) was proposed as only being made possible by explosive forces. I disagree.
Much has been made of the fact that NIST only analyzed the events up to the point where the Towers were poised to collapse before runaway collapse began and failed to pursue the remaining collapse. This was largely because after collapse began the chaotic impacts of the floors, walls and columns colliding could not possibly be analyzed accurately with even the strongest computers.

In addition, the compression of air in the elevator and air-conditioning shafts by the collapsing upper building section and floors, would project air, smoke, and dust down these shafts and out of any air intake or discharge openings on the exterior walls on the lower mechanical equipment floors. This accounts for the plumes of smoke seen projecting outwards from the buildings well below the collapsing floors. There were quite extensive vertical HVAC shafts built into the building. These shafts are connected to air conditioning exhaust and intake ducts open to the exterior on the mechanical floors. Collapse of these shafts would force the dust and smoke out these HVAC exhaust and intake openings in the side of the building.

The lightweight aluminum cladding’s breaking free from the buckling columns also would have been propelled outward a great distance by this expanding cloud of air and dust. This would account for huge dust clouds and pieces of aluminum seen projected outwards from the upper sections of the collapsing buildings. The light reflected off these aluminum pieces at the north wall of Tower 2 would be interpreted as flashes from explosive ‘squibs’. The flashes below the buckling east wall may have been from the aluminum cladding breaking free from the lower columns as they expanded after being unloaded of axial weight by the buckling of the wall above and their expansion breaking the connections to the cladding. Also explosives leave characteristic tears and fractures in steel, and such indications were not found in the debris pile.

Much has been made of the presence of molten metal in the debris pile after the collapse. Presumably this molten metal was somehow connected to explosions or thermite charges, but there were Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) battery rooms on some floors of the Towers and Building 7. These battery rooms supplied continuous battery power to computers if the electricity failed for any reason. These batteries contained tons of lead which melts at 327 C (621 F). The heat form the fires in the debris pile could easily have melted this lead which was probably the metal that was seen flowing through the pile. I also could have been Aluminum from the plane. NIST reported UPS in the 13th floor of Building 7 and the 81st floor of Tower 2. Batteries also contain Sulfuric acid which could have corroded the steel accounting for the half consumed steel beams found in the debris pile. Additionally the EPA reported over 400 different chemicals in the dust and debris. These chemicals could easily be assembled conceptually to propose any type of chemical reaction imaginable including thermite reactions. In addition thermite reactions are rapid and wouldn’t last the hours or days at which times the molten metal was observed.

About the concrete destruction into dust; F.R. Greening did a paper called Energy Transfer in the WTC Collapse in which he says “the energy required to crush concrete to 100 μm particles is 1.9 × 1011 J, which is well within the crushing capacity of the available energy. Hence it is theoretically possible for the WTC collapse events to have crushed more than 90 % of the floor concrete to particles well within the observed particle size range.” I would also investigate the possibility that the concrete was sub par due to freezing during curing or too much air or water having been added during construction.

The windows broken out and marble wall panels detached on the first floor were probably because of torque forces experienced on the lower floor columns from the plane impacts many floors above. The reports of “explosions” in the cellars were also probably from such column displacements or from jet fuel ignitions in the elevator shafts. In conclusion I think most of the reports of controlled demolition etc. are examples of delusions experienced by “experts” who jump to conclusions and didn’t spend enough time examining the actual evidence.

Arthur Scheuerman
Ret. Battalion Chief FDNY

Anonymous said...

"The planes were probably remotely piloted into the buildings. Therefore, there could be great precision on where they would impact the towers."

My, oh my - what detailed knowledge you have! And what exactly is the evidence that the planes were remotely piloted? None. You are typical of 9/11 conspiracy theorists in that a) you are ignorant and uninformed, b) when presented with evidence contradicting your claims, you simply make a new claim, and c) you are gullible, naive, and quite frankly an idiot.