I tried to believe. I watched those quarter mile high buildings
fall through their jaw-dropping catastrophes over and over again. I
listened to the announcer and the experts explain what had happened.
And I worked at my pitiful lack of faith, pounding my skull with the
remote control and staring at the flickering images on the TV
But poor mental peasant that I am, I could not escape the teachings of
my forefathers. I fear I am trapped in my time, walled off from
further scientific understanding by my inability to abandon the Second
But enough of myself. Let us move on to the Science and
Technology of the 21st Century. Those of you who cannot believe
should learn the official truth by rote and perhaps you will be able to
hide your ignorance.
Using jet fuel to melt steel is an amazing discovery, really. It
is also amazing that until now, no one had been able to get it to work,
and that proves the terrorists were not stupid people. Ironworkers
fool with acetylene torches, bottled oxygen, electric arcs from
generators, electric furnaces, and other elaborate tricks, but what did
these brilliant terrorists use? Jet fuel, costing maybe 80 cents a
gallon on the open market.
Let us consider: One plane full of jet fuel hit the north tower at 8:45
a.m., and the fuel fire burned for a while with bright flames and black
smoke. We can see pictures of white smoke and flames shooting from
Then by 9:03 a.m. (which time was marked by the second plane's
collision with the south tower), the flame was mostly gone and only black
smoke continued to pour from the building. To my simple mind, that
would indicate that the first fire had died down, but something was still
burning inefficiently, leaving soot (carbon) in the smoke. A fire
with sooty smoke is either low temperature or starved for oxygen --
But by 10:29 a.m., the fire in north tower had accomplished the feat
that I find so amazing: It melted the steel supports in the building,
causing a chain reaction within the structure that brought the building to
And with less fuel to feed the fire, the south tower collapsed only 47
minutes after the plane collision, again with complete destruction.
This is only half the time it took to destroy the north tower.
I try not to wonder how the fire reached temperatures that only bottled
oxygen or forced air can produce.
I try to forget that heating steel is like pouring syrup onto a plate:
you can't get it to stack up. The heat just flows out to the colder
parts of the steel, cooling off the part you are trying to warm up.
If you pour it on hard enough and fast enough, you can get the syrup to
stack up a little bit. And with very high heat brought on very fast,
you can heat up one part of a steel object, but the heat will quickly
spread out and the hot part will cool off soon after you stop.
Am I to believe that the fire burned for 104 minutes in the north
tower, gradually heating the 200,000 tons of steel supports like a
blacksmith's forge, with the heat flowing throughout the skeleton of the
tower? If the collapse was due to heated steel, the experts should
be able to tell us how many thousands of tons of steel were heated to
melting temperature in 104 minutes and how much fuel would be required to
produce that much heat. Can a single Boeing 767 carry that much
That is one of the things I warned you about: In the 20th Century,
steel melted at 1535 degrees Celsius (2795 F), (see
), but in the 21st Century, it melts at 800 degrees C (1472 F).
This might be explained as a reporter's mistake -- 800 to 900 C is the
temperature for forging wrought iron. As soft as wrought iron is, of
course, it would never be used for structural steel in a landmark
skyscraper. (Descriptions of cast iron, wrought iron, steel, and
relevant temperatures discussed at
But then lower down, the BBC page repeats the 800 C number in bold, and
the article emphasizes that the information comes from Chris Wise,
"Structural Engineer." Would this professional individual permit
himself to be misquoted in a global publication?
Eduardo Kausel, an M.I.T. professor of civil and environmental
engineering, spoke as follows to a panel of Boston area civil and
structural engineers: "I believe that the intense heat softened or melted
the structural elements -- floor trusses and columns -- so that they
became like chewing gum, and that was enough to trigger the collapse."
Kausel is apparently satisfied that a kerosene fire could melt steel --
though he does not venture a specific temperature for the fire
I feel it coming on again -- that horrible cynicism that causes me to
doubt the word of the major anchor-persons. Please just think of
this essay as a plea for help, and do NOT let it interfere with your own
righteous faith. The collapse of America's faith in its leaders must
not become another casualty on America's skyline.
The outside shape of the towers was almost square, but the inner core
was more rectangular. Pictures from the early phases of construction
photos show how the rectangular inner cores were oriented in the finished
). Note that the north tower core was aligned east-west, and the
south tower core was aligned north-south.
|This drawing shows the two WTC towers (black) and the paths of
the attacking aircraft (red). Within the profile of each
tower, the shape of the central core is shown by the green
rectangle. WTC buildings 1 through 6 are numbered, WTC 7,
north of 6, is not shown.
With the central core bearing the weight of the building, the platters
were tied together and stabilized by another set of steel columns at the
outside rim, closely spaced and completely surrounding the
structure. This resulting structure was so stable that the top of
the towers swayed only three feet in a high wind. The architects
called it a "tube-within-a-tube design."
The TV experts told us that the joints between the floors and central
columns melted (or the floor trusses, or the central columns, or the
exterior columns, depending on the expert) and this caused the floor to
collapse and fall onto the one below. This overloaded the lower
floor, and the two of them fell onto the floor below, and so on like
or: http://public-action.com/911/jmcm/harmon ).
Back in the early 1970s when the World Trade Towers were built, the WTC
was the tallest building that had ever been built in the history of the
world. If we consider the architectural engineers, suppliers,
builders, and city inspectors on the job, we can imagine they would be
very careful to overbuild every aspect. If one bolt was calculated
to serve, you can bet that three or four were used. If there was any
doubt about the quality of a girder or steel beam, you can be sure it was
rejected. After all, any failures would attract the attention of
half the civilized world, and no corporation wants a reputation for that
kind of stupidity -- particularly if there are casualties.
I do not know the exact specifications for the WTC, but I know in many
trades (and some I've worked), a structural member must be physically
capable of three times the maximum load that will ever be required of it
(BreakingStrength = 3 x WorkingStrength).
|According to Engineering and Technical Handbook
by McNeese and Hoag, Prentice Hall, 3rd printing, September 1959:
page 47 (Table) Safety Factors of Various Materials, the mandatory
safety factor for structural steel is 600%. That is, a steel
structure may be rated for a load of only one sixth the actual
Given that none of those floors was holding a grand piano sale or an
elephant convention that day, it is unlikely that any of them were loaded
to the maximum. Thus, any of the floors should have been capable of
supporting more than its own weight plus the two floors above it. I
suspect the WTC was engineered for safer margins than the average railroad
bridge, and the actual load on each floor was less than 1/6 the
BreakingStrength. The platters were constructed of webs of steel
trusses. Radial trusses ran from the perimeter of the floor to the
central columns, and concentric rings of trusses connected the radial
trusses, forming a pattern like a spider web (see
). Where the radial trusses connected with the central columns, I
imagine the joints looked like the big bolted flanges where girders meet
on a bridge -- inches thick bolts tying the beams into the columns.
In order to weaken those joints, a fire would have to heat the bolts or
the flanges to the point where the bolts fell apart or tore through the
steel. But here is another thing that gives me problems -- all the
joints between the platter and the central columns would have to be heated
at the same rate in order to collapse at the same time -- and at the same
rate as the joints with the outer columns on all sides -- else one side of
the platter would fall, damaging the floor below and making obvious
distortions in the skin of the building, or throwing the top of the tower
off balance and to one side.
But there were no irregularities in the fall of those buildings.
They fell almost as perfectly as a deck of cards in the hands of a
magician doing an aerial shuffle.
|Images cached from PsyOpNews:
This is particularly worrisome since the first plane struck one side of
the north tower, causing (you would think) a weakening on that side where
the exterior columns were struck, and a more intense fire on that side
than on the other side. And the second plane struck near the corner
of the south tower at an angle that caused much of the fuel to spew out
the windows on the adjacent side
Yet the south tower also collapsed in perfect symmetry, spewing dust in
all directions like a Fourth of July sparkler burning to the ground
This symmetry of descent is even more remarkable in the south tower
because in the first moments of the collapse, the top 20 floors of the
south tower tilted over to the south (
Whatever irregularities caused the top of the tower to
tilt, subsequent pictures show the tower falling mostly within its own
footprint. There are no reports of this cube of concrete and steel
from the upper floors (measuring 200 ft. wide, 200 ft. deep, and 250 ft
high) falling a 1000 feet onto the buildings below.
Implosion expert Mark Loizeaux, president of Controlled Demolition,
Inc. of Phoenix, MD, was also misled by the picture. Having observed
the collapses on television news, Loizeaux said the 1,362-ft-tall south
tower failed much as one would fell a tree
I have recently seen a videotape rerun of the south tower
falling. In that take, the upper floors descend as a complete unit,
tilted over as shown on the BBC page, sliding down behind the intervening
buildings like a piece of stage scenery.
That scene is the most puzzling of all. Since the upper floors
were not collapsed (the connection between the center columns and the
platters were intact), this assembly would present itself to the lower
floors as a block of platters WITHOUT a central hole. How then would
a platter without a hole slide down the spindle with the other
platters? Where would the central columns go if they could not
penetrate the upper floors as the platters fell?
If the fire melted the floor joints so that the collapse began from the
60th floor downward, the upper floors would be left hanging in the air,
supported only by the central columns. This situation would soon
become unstable and the top 30 floors would topple over (to use Loizeaux's
image) much like felling the top 600 ft. from a 1,300 ft. tree.
This model would also hold for the north tower. According to
Chris Wise's "domino" doctrine, the collapse began only at the floor with
the fire, not at the penthouse. How was it that the upper floors
simply disappeared instead of crashing to the earth as a block of
thousands of tons of concrete and steel?
In trying to reconstruct and understand this event, we need to know
whether the scenes we are watching are edited or simply shown raw as they
But let us return our attention to the fire. Liquid fuel
does not burn hot for long. Liquid fuel evaporates (or boils) as it
burns, and the vapor burns as it boils off. If the ambient
temperature passes the boiling point of the fuel and oxygen is plentiful,
the process builds to an explosion that consumes the fuel.
Jet fuel (refined kerosene) boils at temperatures above 160 degrees
Celsius (350 F) and the vapor flashes into flame at 41 degrees Celsius
(106 F). In an environment of 1500 degrees F, jet fuel spread thinly
on walls, floor, and ceiling would boil off very quickly. If there
were sufficient oxygen, it would burn; otherwise it would disperse out the
open windows and flame when it met oxygen in the open air -- as was
likely happening in the pictures that showed flames shooting from the
windows. Some New Yorkers miles distant claimed they smelled the
fuel, which would indicate fuel vapors were escaping without being
Note that jet fuel burning outside the building would heat the outside
columns, but would not heat the central load-bearing columns
significantly. Following this reasoning, the jet fuel fire does not
adequately explain the failure of the central columns.
Whether the fuel burned gradually at a temperature below the boiling
point of jet fuel (360 C), or burned rapidly above the boiling point of
jet fuel, in neither case would an office building full of spilled jet
fuel sustain a fire at 815 degrees C (1500 F) long enough to melt
200,000 tons of steel. And certainly, the carpets, wallpaper, filing
cabinets, occasional desks -- nothing else in that office was present in
sufficient quantity to produce that temperature.
The WTC was not a lumber yard or a chemical plant. What was
OK, since it was mentioned, I am also upset with the quantity of
concrete dust (see
No concrete that I have ever known pulverizes like that. It
is unnerving. My experience with concrete has shown that it will
crumble under stress, but rarely does it just give up the ghost and turn
to powder. But look at the pictures -- it is truly a fine dust in
great billowing clouds spewing a hundred feet from the collapsing
|The University of Sydney -- Department of Civil
And the people on the ground see little more than an opaque wall of
dust -- with inches of dust filling the streets and the lungs afterward.
What has happened here?
I need a faith booster shot. I would like to find a picture of
all those platters piled up on the ground, just as they fell -- has anyone
seen a picture like that? I am told it was cumulative weight of
those platters falling on each other that caused the collapse, but I don't
see the platters piled up like flapjacks on the ground floor.
|In this picture, the top of the picture is south and the right
side is west. The ruined shell in the lower left is WTC
building 6, and lower left of that is WTC 7, which was leveled by
forces not explained. Picture cached from
http://www.eionews.com before it was
Instead, the satellite pictures show the WTC ruins like an ash pit
I am told by a friend that a man named Dr. Robert Schuller was on
television telling about his trip to the ruins. He announced in the
interview that there was not a single block of concrete in that
rubble. From the original 425,000 cubic yards of concrete that went
into the building, all was dust. How did that happen?
I have just one other point I need help with -- the steel columns in
the center. When the platters fell, those quarter-mile high central
steel columns (at least from the ground to the fire) should have been left
standing naked and unsupported in the air, and then they should have
fallen intact or in sections to the ground below, clobbering buildings
hundreds of feet from the WTC site like giant trees falling in the
forest. But I haven't seen any pictures showing those columns
standing, falling, or lying on the ground. Nor have I heard of
damage caused by them.
Now I know those terrorists must have been much better at these things
than I am. I would take one look at their kamikaze plans with
commercial jets and I would reject it as -- spectacular maybe, but not
significantly damaging. The WTC was not even a strategic military
But if I were given the assignment of a terrorist hijacker, I would try
to hit the towers low in the supports to knock the towers down, maybe
trapping the workers with the fire and burning the towers from the ground
up, just as the people in the top stories were trapped. Even the
Japanese kamikaze pilots aimed for the water line.
But you see, those terrorists were so sure the building would magically
collapse that way, the pilot who hit the north tower chose a spot just 20
floors from the top (
And the kamikaze for south tower was only slightly lower -- despite a
relatively open skyline down to 25 or 30 stories (
apparently predicted the whole scenario -- the fuel fire, the slow
weakening of the structure, and the horrific collapse of the building --
phenomena that the architects and the NY civil engineering approval
committees never dreamed of.
Even as you righteously hate those men, you have to admire them for
Few officials or engineers have been surprised by this turn of events
-- apparently everyone certified it for airplane collisions, but almost no
one was surprised when both collisions caused utter catastrophes in both
towers. In fact, their stutters and mumbles and circumlocutions
would make a politician blush:
"Eventually, the loss of strength and stiffness of the
materials resulting from the fire, combined with the initial impact
damage, would have caused a failure of the truss system supporting a
floor, or the remaining perimeter columns, or even the internal core, or
some combination." (http://www.civil.usyd.edu.au/wtc.htm#why).
In a hundred years of tall city buildings, this kind of collapse has
never happened before. Never. It was not predicted by any of
the experts involved when the WTC towers were built. But now that it
has happened, everybody understands it perfectly and nobody is
Is this civil engineering in the Third Millennium -- a galloping case
of perfect hindsight?
Scientific American, prestigious journal of cutting edge science,
Despite the expert panel's preliminary musings on the
failure mechanisms responsible for the twin towers' fall, the definitive
cause has yet to be determined. Reportedly, the National Science
Foundation has funded eight research projects to probe the WTC
catastrophe. The American Society of Civil Engineers is sponsoring
several studies of the site. Meanwhile the Structural Engineering
Institute of the American Society of Structural Engineers has
established an investigative team to analyze the disaster and learn from
Amazing: At least ten independent professional studies for an incident
every professional seems already to understand. Notwithstanding the
apparent lack of answers and all these studies not yet done, the very next
paragraph is headed, "How the Towers Fell," and the reader is
treated to a shotgun assortment of speculations, each delivered with the
beard-stroking and pipe-puffing certainty that no explanation would ever
be seriously challenged.
I have found only one expert candidly admitting his surprise.
This was Mark Loizeaux, president of Controlled Demolition, Inc. of
Observing the collapses on television news, Loizeaux says
the 1,362-ft-tall south tower, which was hit at about the 60th floor,
failed much as one would like (sic) fell a tree. That is what was
expected, says Loizeaux. But the 1,368-ft-tall north tower,
similarly hit but at about the 90th floor, "telescoped," says
Loizeaux. It failed vertically, he adds, rather than falling
over. "I don't have a clue," says Loizeaux, regarding the cause of
the telescoping. (http://public-action.com/911/jmcm/USYDENR ).
There was one highly qualified engineer in New Mexico who thought the
collapse could only happen with the help of demolition explosives, and he
was foolish enough to make the statement publicly.
Romero is a former director of the Energetic Materials
Research and Testing Center at Tech, which studies explosive materials
and the effects of explosions on buildings, aircraft and other
Romero said he based his opinion on video aired on national
Romero said the collapse of the structures resembled those of
controlled implosions used to demolish old structures.
"It would be difficult for something from the plane to trigger an
event like that," Romero said in a phone interview from Washington,
Romero said he and another Tech administrator were on a
Washington-area subway when an airplane struck the Pentagon.
He said he and Denny Peterson, vice president for administration and
finance, were en route to an office building near the Pentagon to
discuss defense-funded research programs at Tech.
If explosions did cause the towers to collapse, the detonations could
have been caused by a small amount of explosive, he said.
"It could have been a relatively small amount of explosives placed in
strategic points," Romero said.
The explosives likely would have been put in more than two points in
each of the towers, he said.
But Romero recanted ten days later and admitted the whole thing was
perfectly natural and unsurprising. I wonder what happened in those
ten days to make him so smart on the subject so quickly. The
retraction is now displayed above the original on the Albuquerque Journal
And then, as though demonstrating how normal this "building collapsing"
phenomenon is, WTC buildings Six and Seven "collapsed," too:
Other buildings -- including the 47-story Salomon Brothers
building [WTC 7] -- caved in later, weakened by the earlier collapses,
and more nearby buildings may still fall, say engineers. (
(These ruins are shown in aerial photo
It seems no building in the area, regardless of design, is immune to
galloping WTC collapse-itis. It never happened in the 20th Century,
but welcome to the physical universe laws of the Third Millennium.
Pardon me, but this recitation has not given me the relief I hoped
for. I must get back to work.
I believe in the President, the Flag, and the Statue of Liberty.
I believe in the honesty of the FBI and the humility of military
men. I believe in the network news anchor-persons, who strive to
learn the truth, to know the truth, and to tell the truth to
And I believe all Americans are so well educated in the basic physics
discussed above, they would rise up in fury if someone tried to pull a
cheap Hollywood trick on them.
Hand me that remote, will you? I believe <clonk>. I
believe <clonk>. I believe ...
--- J. McMichael
(Celsius/Fahrenheit conversion tool at
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