I tried to be patriotic.
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 screen.
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 Millennium mindset.
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.
Here are the bare bones of the WTC incident:
North tower struck 8:45 a.m. from the north at about the 93rd floor, collapsed about 10:29 a.m.
South tower struck 9:03 a.m. from the south at about the 80th floor, collapsed about 9:50 a.m.;
(http://www.infoplease.com/spot/sept112001.html or http://www.public-action.com/911/jmcm/info.html).....
North tower struck 8:45 a.m. from the north at about the 93rd floor
South tower struck 9:03 a.m. from the south at about the 80th floor
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 the windows.
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 — or both.
( http://www.fosters.com/news2001c/september/11/04758CA1-AC58-4591-9F50-5976D2 BE2E04.jpg or http://www.public-action.com/911/jmcm/fires1-2.html)
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 the ground.
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 think about that. I try not to think about a petroleum fire burning for 104 minutes, just getting hotter and hotter until it reached 1538 degrees Celsius (2800 Fahrenheit) and melted the steel (steel is about 99% iron; for melting points of iron and steel see http://www.webelements.com/webelements/elements/text/Fe/heat.html, http://www.weldtechnology.com/rwintroduction.html or http://www.public-action.com/911/jmcm/rwintroduction.html).
(Celsius/Fahrenheit conversion tool at http://www.vaxxine.com/mgdsite/celcon.htm.)
I try not to wonder how the fire reached temperatures that only bottled oxygen or forced air can produce.
And I try not to think about all the steel that was in that building — 200,000 tons of it (for WTC statistics see http://www.infoplease.com/spot/wtc1.html or http://www.public-action.com/911/jmcm/wtc1.html).
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 fuel?
Thankfully, I found this note on the BBC web page
( http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/americas/newsid_1540000/1540044.stm or http://www.public-action.com/911/jmcm/BBCNews): "Fire reaches 800 [degrees] C — hot enough to melt steel floor supports."
That is one of the things I warned you about: In the 20th Century, steel melted at 1535 degrees Celsius (2795 F) (see http://www.chemicalelements.com/elements/fe.html), 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 http://www.metrum.org/measures/castiron.htm or http://public-action.com/911/jmcm/castiron.htm.)
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 ( http://www.sciam.com/explorations/2001/100901wtc or http://www.public-action.com/911/jmcm/sciam).
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.In my diseased mind, I think of the floors of each tower like a stack of LP (33-1/3 RPM) records, except that the floors were square instead of circular. They were stacked around a central spindle that consisted of multiple steel columns interspersed with dozens of elevator shafts (see http://www.skyscraper.org/tallest/t_wtc.htm, http://www.civil.usyd.edu.au/wtc.htm and http://www.GreatBuildings.com/buildings/World_Trade_Center.html).
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.
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 (see http://www.eionews.addr.com/images/wtc/southtowerpath.jpg or http://public-action.com/911/jmcm/southtowerpath.jpg).
Yet the south tower also collapsed in perfect symmetry, spewing dust in all directions like a Fourth of July sparkler burning to the ground (http://public-action.com/911/jmcm/usyd/DOCS/dustfountain.jpg).
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 ( http://news.bbc.co.uk/olmedia/1535000/images/_1538563_thecollapseap150.jpg or http://www.public-action.com/911/jmcm/BBCNews/DOCS/1538563t.jpg).
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 1000 feet onto the buildings below.
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 were recorded.
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 burned.
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 burning?OK, since it was mentioned, I am also upset with the quantity of concrete dust (see http://www.civil.usyd.edu.au/wtc.htm#why or http://www.public-action.com/911/jmcm/usyd/index.htm#why). 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 tower.
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 ( http://eionews.addr.com/images/wtc/thirdexplosion.jpg or http://www.public-action.com/911/jmcm/thirdexplosion.jpg).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....
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 target.
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 ( http://abcnews.go.com/sections/us/DailyNews/worldtrade010911.html or http://www.public-action.com/911/jmcm/ABCNews).
And the kamikaze for south tower was only slightly lower — despite a relatively open skyline down to 25 or 30 stories ( http://a188.g.akamaitech.net/f/188/920/15m/www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/nation/graphics/rubble_ny091101.htm or http://public-action.com/911/jmcm/wtcgeog).
The terrorists 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 their genius.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 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 surprised....
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 America.
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