Reader’s Responses

This a response from one of my readers to the 9/11:10th Anniversary article. The reader’s name and details have been removed  to preserve privacy, but I have posted up the reader’s comments, questions, and my responses here with the reader’s permission. The first section is from the reader, and the sections in red are what the reader quoted from my article:

 So I was reading through the article, and I have a few things to say about the ‘facts’ the engineers and scientists supposedly came up with. I’m going to copy and paste the point I want to talk about and have my comments below each corresponding ‘fact.’

“The strong, fire-proofed, explosion proofed steel frames of the lower parts of the building would have stopped any major collapse, since only the upper columns were aflame. Even if the flame had proceeded down the elevator shafts, it would take a destruction of all the columns on all floors at the same time for a symmetrical fall (which is what occurred).”

I don’t exactly know how much bigger the towers were compared to the planes that hit them, BUT I would imagine the planes would take down a great deal of columns on the one floor it hit (assuming the plane was flying horizontally, which I think they were, but I can’t remember for sure). I don’t know how ‘explosion proof’ works (though I don’t doubt its existence) but a plane crash isn’t anything close to explosion proof. Having taken down the majority of the columns on a single floor would cause all the floors above it to fall down evenly on top of that collapsed floor. Now, I can’t remember how close to roof-level the planes hit, but the falling and crashing down would cause damage to nearly all of the columns in the floors directly below. If there was enough mass or weight it theoretically could cause the columns on the floor directly below to collapse, meaning everything would fall an additional floor, and now there’s the mass of another floor falling, which would cause even more damage to the next floor below it. The more weight there is the more damage will be caused to the lower floors, weakening those columns. And I don’t think the damage will be limited to just the floor directly below, but to other floors below that (though the farther down the less damage is caused to the columns) which means since the columns are weaker, and each floor that collapses adds weight to only weaken the columns more. This is  what I assume, and as for the fire, heat weakens the structural integrity of everything but again I’m not sure how the fire-proof and explosion proof works, though I’m sure they would help against what I have just described.

“A true collapse is partial. The top floors crush down and slow down as they fall, meeting resistance. The World Trade Center towers fell downwards, accelerating as they fell through the path of greatest resistance.”

While this is probably true, also note the chain effect I described above. Each floor that collapses adds more force to the downward motion causing more and more damage to all the columns in the several floors below it, weakening the columns, let’s say three floors below the current destruction. By the time that mess goes down three more floors, the columns there would already be so close to collapsing it would barely take a nudge to finish them off not to mention the tons of weight at a velocity bearing down on it. While it would slow down, it wouldn’t slow enough to be noticeable and just pick up speed again.

“Only pressure from explosions can propel multi-ton steel sections laterally for up to 600 feet away, and at over 60 miles per hour. “

I believe a plane coming in at over 300 mi/hr is more than enough force for that.

  • The 9/11 commission theory of “Pancaking floors” had no support in the evidence, since not a single pancaked floor was found.
  • Buildings pancaking leave large slabs of rubble and steel reinforced concrete. Instead the concrete was completely pulverized into dust.

I don’t know what that pancaking theory is, but as for the concrete being dust, I can see how falling several thousand feet with several thousand tons of force can turn concrete to dust…just my personal view on that.

“FDNY reported puddles of molten steel flowing like lava. Steel flows this way at 2800 degrees F. 1400 degree office fires cannot possibly produce that kind of heat, neither can jet fuel.”

I don’t know much about this, but if the melting point of the steel that was used in the towers really is that high (which I would imagine it would be pretty high for it to be ‘fire-proof’) then this is true. Although I also don’t know how hot those fires were or how hot jet fuel fires can get.

“No single high rise has ever failed due to structural fires in the history of high rises, included when an airplane crashed into the Empire State Building, and also including the New York fires in the early 1900′s that burned for days.”

I don’t think fire would be the prime concern or cause for the fall of the towers. It would be the crash and massive hole caused by the plane and the weakening of the columns that would do the trick. Though the fire would help, it wouldn’t do it by itself. I think this bullet is irrelevant. Also, notice I’m not saying anything about the so called thermite explosives they mentioned in a previous bullet. I don’t know anything about that, but IF there really were explosives of that sort, it may do more damage than the crashing plane and collapsing columns (depending on the type of explosive and it’s intensity, which I know nothing about).

“Over one hundred emergency responders heard and saw explosions on the ground floors, and bright flashes of light.”

While this could be a made-up statistic, if it were to be true I don’t think I would be able to explain the bright flashes of light. Although the explosions may have sounded like they were on the ground floor, the sounds could have been from the noise of the chaos above.

“Free fall of floors in Building 7 cannot occur without the destruction of 400 other steel columns per second, in exact symmetry. Fires cannot cause a systematic and timed destruction.”

This could be true, I don’t know how many columns there were on each floor but that many ‘explosion-proof’ and ‘fire-proof’ columns per floor I would say would do a good job of effectively slowing down (if not stopping) the chain effect I mentioned in the first bullet.

While many things lead to believe that there were explosions (not just the plane crash) involved, it doesn’t necessarily mean it was the governments doing. Any large organization with enough time and preparation could have placed them in strategic locations to aid in the collapse of the tower.

I haven’t read the entire article so I don’t know what excuse they’re saying for the explosives or how they got there but frankly, I don’t care for government conspiracies which may or may not be true, lol. I know you’re a smart guy and I probably don’t have to tell you this, but don’t believe everything you read, especially about conspiracies. I’m not saying to ignore them either, I just keep an open mind to the possibility. Doesn’t mean I believe it, I just accept that it could be possible.

After reading the reader’s email I took some time to do further research, and then mailed off the following response. I have numbered the reader’s responses and placed them in italics for reference:

You should probably know these are 1,500 engineers, physicists and chemists from all over the United States, with Universities such as Yale, Cambridge, and others included. And to re-address your points (all of which have already been brought up and answered by the researchers during open news interviews and debates):

1) “I don’t exactly know how much bigger the towers were compared to the planes that hit them, BUT I would imagine the planes would take down a great deal of columns on the one floor it hit (assuming the plane was flying horizontally, which I think they were, but I can’t remember for sure). I don’t know how ‘explosion proof’ works (though I don’t doubt its existence) but a plane crash isn’t anything close to explosion proof. Having taken down the majority of the columns on a single floor would cause all the floors above it to fall down evenly on top of that collapsed floor. Now, I can’t remember how close to roof-level the planes hit, but the falling and crashing down would cause damage to nearly all of the columns in the floors directly below. If there was enough mass or weight it theoretically could cause the columns on the floor directly below to collapse, meaning everything would fall an additional floor, and now there’s the mass of another floor falling, which would cause even more damage to the next floor below it. The more weight there is the more damage will be caused to the lower floors, weakening those columns. And I don’t think the damage will be limited to just the floor directly below, but to other floors below that (though the farther down the less damage is caused to the columns) which means since the columns are weaker, and each floor that collapses adds weight to only weaken the columns more. This is  what I assume, and as for the fire, heat weakens the structural integrity of everything but again I’m not sure how the fire-proof and explosion proof works, though I’m sure they would help against what I have just described.”

You are correct in your assumption that the planes did take down a great deal of columns on several floors, but these were at the top of the building. These were instantly knocked out, and as you can see through all of the videos, the building did not even bend or slightly buckle. That is because the WTC was designed to withstand direct impact from an airplane. It was one of the most over-engineered structure in the world at the time of its destruction, and was designed so that all the pillars beneath it would hold up its weight. Another thing to note is that every pillar on every floor is NOT stand alone. Your theory that the weight of the top floor would pancake onto bottom floors is simply invalid, because it assumes that a) momentum builds against a resisting normal force, which is not true, b) you assume that all of the columns on each floor are stand alone when in fact they are a network that function similar to a honeycomb. This entire weight is supported on all the columns below it, they don’t suddenly compound upwards as if you are adding weight. c) When a  “honeycombed” building collapses it does not do so suddenly, it bends all the way down to its bottom end, bending like a tall card for some time before it collapses. The structure was designed to hold up 5 times it weight, so it is literally impossible to account for its collapse by adding the force of one floor falling over the space of several meters. F = ma, where a = gravity (9.8 m/s^2) and mass is the mass of the floors (most of which were blown out of the building and also burnt up). This means their mass was actually lower, and therefore it was impossible for these top floors to overcome the bottom structural beams when their Force was actually lower (even with the minimal assistance of gravity over a few meters) and when the majority of the building below was still supporting the structure well. 

In addition, the collapsing strength of the floors would still leave the top of the structure intact, since it was not pulverized by cement falling on top of it. Many slabs would also have fallen off laterally due to high resistance from the building pushing up from below, which was not the case. It was reduced to DUST, particulate matter. Even dropping one of the reinforced concrete slabs at free fall from the top of the world trade center would not have enough force to reduce that slab to a fine particulate dust when it hit the ground.

2) “While this is probably true, also note the chain effect I described above. Each floor that collapses adds more force to the downward motion causing more and more damage to all the columns in the several floors below it, weakening the columns, let’s say three floors below the current destruction. By the time that mess goes down three more floors, the columns there would already be so close to collapsing it would barely take a nudge to finish them off not to mention the tons of weight at a velocity bearing down on it. While it would slow down, it wouldn’t slow enough to be noticeable and just pick up speed again.”

The theory you are describing is the famous NIST “Pancaking Theory”, where they theorized that the weight of the top floors would create an exponentially increasing force heading downwards. The problem is that this is not sound when taken to any college physicist who has applied his physics to engineering. That is because Pancaking Theory has never been observed in a single high rise collapse in history, because it only occurs with no resistance beneath it (high rise demolitions where all the supporting columns have been taken out). Buildings are designed in such a way that when they have a great force coming down on top of them (Such as all the other floors) all of that material moves to the path of least resistance. This means that it sloughs off to the sides, meaning that the building would begin a RAPID onset of a sideways lean, not an even freefall into its own footprint. Ask any of your engineering professors for confirmation on this.

3) “I don’t know much about this, but if the melting point of the steel that was used in the towers really is that high (which I would imagine it would be pretty high for it to be ‘fire-proof’) then this is true. Although I also don’t know how hot those fires were or how hot jet fuel fires can get.”

Jet fuels are a refined hydrocarbon, and they can burn at temperatures up to 1800. Even if these could somehow account for the heat, the majority of the jet fuel was vaporized upon impact (as shown in the initial flaming black cloud that billowed out of the building), and that which remained rapidly flowed downwards and was dispersed throughout a few floors before burning itself up, meaning it could not remain in one area for long. Office fires alone can also theoretically reach temperatures of up to 1400. (Both of these temperature figures are unreasonably high by the way, and could only exist under ideal conditions which are not realistic, but for the sake of argument lets use both of these figures). Neither of these temperatures come close to explaining the temperatures seen that day.

4) “I believe a plane coming in at over 300 mi/hr is more than enough force for that.”

This was your response when I said huge multi ton beams were found launched from the world trade center. I think you misunderstood, these columns were not launched during the initial crash. These columns were launched as the world trade center collapsed, which would mean it is impossible to launch anything laterally because gravity is a purely vertical accelerative force. This means that a pillar of multiple tons (lets just say one single ton for argumentative purposes, so thats 2000 lbs, or 907 kg) launched at 60 miles per hour (which translates to 26.82 meters per second) would mean a total force of 24,330 Netwons per SECOND in a LATERAL direction during what was supposed to be VERTICAL FREE FALL. That kind of force is impossible without the propulsion of high explosive or incendiary charges.

5) “I don’t think fire would be the prime concern or cause for the fall of the towers. It would be the crash and massive hole caused by the plane and the weakening of the columns that would do the trick. Though the fire would help, it wouldn’t do it by itself. I think this bullet is irrelevant. Also, notice I’m not saying anything about the so called thermite explosives they mentioned in a previous bullet. I don’t know anything about that, but IF there really were explosives of that sort, it may do more damage than the crashing plane and collapsing columns (depending on the type of explosive and it’s intensity, which I know nothing about).”

The fire is of primary concern because according to the government NIST report, the reason for the structural failure of the buildings were the office fires, which reached critical temperatures that weakened the steel columns. Steel does not melt and begin weakening until it reached 1800 degrees, and only normal, non-high carbon, non-fireproof steel would weaken at the temperature. The world trade center columns would have weakened at 2200 degrees, which was impossible to reach except on impact, and even after impact would not have persisted for long due to quickly burning hydrocarbons. The gaping hole in the Twin Towers was irrelevant to its fall, since the structure underneath was meant to hold up this kind of damage. This is why even the 9/11 government reports did not propose this could be the cause of the fall, and that is why this bullet is VERY significant. Even they realized the plane would not have brought down the towers without some massive help, which is why they’re proposed structural fires (which have also been dis-proven). And in regard to you not going over my thermite point, that is a smoking gun Juan. Weaponized nano-thermite cannot be present on a civilian airplane, and it cannot detonate without blasting caps, which means they would have to have been remotely detonated.

“I know you’re a smart guy and I probably don’t have to tell you this, but don’t believe everything you read, especially about conspiracies. I’m not saying to ignore them either, I just keep an open mind to the possibility. Doesn’t mean I believe it, I just accept that it could be possible.”

Thanks bro, I know you’re a smart guy too. I’m glad you keep an open mind, but to be honest I hear a lot of people say this as a way of letting me know they have automatically dismissed the possibility that this could be true. They have dismissed it because they have categorized it as a conspiracy theory, which for some reason in our society means it is lunacy. In case you have forgotten a few lessons from history: 1) Pearl Harbor was historically proven to have been allowed to occur. FDR had warnings hours ahead of the Japanese fleet arrival, and rather than sending his best ships to Pearl Harbor to meet them he instead carefully removed his expensive aircraft carriers (ships necessary to fend off the Japanese kamikaze fighters). 2) Vietnam was a war started over a ship sinking that never occurred. Although most history books do not detail the start of the war, this has become common knowledge and can be found over Google or in any academic search for the causes of the war, and the knowledge revealed 10 years ago when the government documents were declassified to reveal that no one really died in the Gulf, and that no U.S. soldiers died. This is just an example of the government making excuses for war, in this case no one died for it though. 3) The Watergate Scandal was called a ridiculous and lofty conspiracy theory, and people were openly laughed at in congress for even suggesting i… until they proven it true. 4) JFK’s assassination remains shrouded in mystery to this day, and we will have to wait another decade or so before the documents are released on that. Who knows if they will show who was really responsible.

I think you should keep a truly open mind, because right now you may think your mind is open but you have not truly considered that a “conspiracy” could in fact be true. Remember that throughout history the main stream media laughed at conspiracy theories that were later proven true, and despite the popular lie that the news reveals the truth, almost every single conspiracy theory ever proven true was first proven by private citizens who after taking a huge berating from friends, family, media, and government, proven themselves right. Factor this in before you dismiss the thoughts and facts compiled as “conspiracy theories”.

Much to my surprise and pleasure, I received the following reply to my detailed message. His final response is as follows:

You’ve obviously already done a lot of research on this subject and that’s good. You’ve provided information that counters all of my thoughts lol. I don’t really know too much about the facts of what happened 10 years ago. I do also realize, though, that the planes themselves couldn’t have caused the collapse all by themselves and I do accept the fact that other explosions (such as the thermite) would be required to cause the damage that was done. What I don’t know is how the explosives got into the building, or who put them there. And I don’t think I am yet ready to believe any case presented about who did it, but I feel that will need more time to uncover some really solid evidence. As for the fires, since the columns were “fire-proof” I went ahead and incorrectly assumed that the fires would not have as much of an effect in completely melting the columns; but I’m not a mechanical or civil engineer so I don’t know how those things really work which is why I assumed that.

And I really haven’t dismissed the idea entirely. I know there had to have been something else that was there for this to happen. I just try to stay objective. I don’t readily believe conspiracies because I feel there are many that are made up, though I also don’t like the government and how corrupt it is, so I don’t doubt that there really are some true conspiracies. This one regarding 9/11 in particular is a huge and very popular one. Looking through the article and really thinking about it the way we’ve discussed, there’s obviously something else there that the government is hiding. But as to what exactly I don’t know and that particularly is why I try not to believe everything about conspiracies b/c at the moment they are just on going ideas and research, which no doubt some of it is true. However, I feel like there a few things that may be a bit of a stretch. So until things are completely uncovered, I just stay objective and open. There is definitely something that went on that is being hidden, I don’t deny that. And I also agree that this war is stupid, and I feel the government probably had their own reasons for starting it. But, politics isn’t exactly my favorite topic and I don’t know much about it, so b/c of that also I don’t like to get involved and make false statements or accusations.

One more intelligent and curious mind has successfully opened to new possibilities. Share your thoughts, and please remember to question everything and everyone. Only then can you be sure that your beliefs are based on hard cold logic.

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