9/11 explosions

Not a “Truther” here and I find the conspiracy claims to be predominantly dubious, but I’m just curious about this video that’s been circulating recently. It’s basically a lot of footage of various people and news footage of witness to explosions in the tower. So I’m wondering -

  1. Is this some kind of clever fake, with real footage combined with fake audio?

  2. If it’s real, why hasn’t it been a major focus of the Truthers? I know they believe the collapse was caused by explosions but usually they focus on the style of the collapse and red chips found in the rubble - I haven’t seen any that focus on actual witnessing of explosions. I would think this would have taken a forefront in their claims earlier. It doesn’t seem to even be mentioned on the wikipedia page for example.

  3. What’s the official debunking for this? Supposedly there were no gas lines in the building so what were the secondary explosions that supposedly happened right before the collapses?

Looking at the first minute, I would call it more a crude than a clever fake.

It’s not for someone to debunk this. The mere fact that the explosions can’t be explained to their satisfaction is not evidence supporting any conspiracy theory. If they do contend it’s a conspiracy, they have to prove their point: explosions were from the WTC, what exactly was exploding, that the explosions caused the collapse, and that the explosions were deliberate.

The info on the video claims debunkers say these were gas explosions, but that’s impossible because there was no gas in the WTC. But any number of things can explode under the right conditions, such as boilers and transformers.

This is a montage of people saying they heard a second explosion but most of the people are talking about the sound just prior to the buildings pancaking. The original engineering thoughts were that the floor truss bolts sheered and the outer walls snapped out. What they discovered after looking at the remains was that the bolts held but the joists sagged under heat and pulled the walls IN until they snapped. It was a cascade effect when one snapped they zippered across the affected area.

Also neglected to point out that when the plane hit the first building the fuel entering the elevator shaft ignited which drove the passenger compartments down like a giant piston. They blew out the doors in lobby and badly burned the people in it.

Linked to this in another thread, but here it’s even better: The Shark Guys’ Top 10 Celebrity 9/11 Conspiracy Theory Nutjobs.

I know this is utterly tangential to the thread, but this reminded me of one of the really simple, obvious ways at least some* Truthers are wrong: They don’t understand how a skyscraper falls. They (apparently) expect it to topple over like it’s made of individual boxes or a solid concrete frame, like a huge cinder block. They aren’t built like that.

A skyscraper is constructed out of support columns holding up both the floors and the walls. Once those are gone, everything goes downwards because there isn’t any force acting against gravity to make it go sideways. So the building more-or-less does fall into its own footprint.

(Note I said ‘more-or-less’ above. It takes a lot of engineering effort on the part of professional demolitions teams to make a skyscraper fall cleanly into its own footprint, and, as you can see if you look at photos of Ground Zero taken soon after 9/11, the WTC towers did not fall cleanly by any stretch.)

*(There are multiple varieties of Truth, ranging from a belief that Chinese space lasers took the towers down and there were no planes involved at all to a suspicion that the Bush Administration knew more than it let on about Osama’s plans prior to the attacks and didn’t do anything to stop him. There is, predictably, considerable acrimony within the ranks of Truthers, with some calling others COINTELPRO, meaning ‘controlled by the CIA’. Watching all this from the sidelines is a diverting way to spend a few hours a week.)

I’m still waiting for someone to explain why none of the hundreds of motorists who were driving on Route 27 west of the Pentagon reported that it was a ballistic missile, not a plane, that soared right over their heads and crashed into the Pentagon. Seems like folk would notice a thing like that.

Truther videos point out this “explosions heard prior to the collapse” thing. I think they find it less convincing than other arguments, so they don’t make it their central point too often. I can’t listen to the audio to the video at the moment, but i’m wondering why you found this facet of the argument more striking than the others?

Well, yes, if they poof diseappear entirely and all at once. But if they don’t, or don’t do it with perfect symmetry, then everything would logically want to go through the path of least resistance which would amount to the thin air next to the skyscraper (not the skypscraper itself) or through the side of the skyscraper that failed first (not the whole thing evenly).

Gravity. As soon as something is less supported than the pull of gravity, it tend to start plummetting down, as opposed to “over”.

No, if plummeting straight down means plummeting through things, then things tend to fall “over.”

I’d like to say that the best explanation for how the Twin Towers (but not WTC7) fell straight down was that the buckling floors caused an internal avalanch, which was contained by the skin. This would create a “local minimum,” so to speak, of resistance (ie, easier to fall through more floors than travel laterally through supported skin). I’m still not sure how it really makes sense in relation to the building’s core or to the skin also falling downward or to the North tower whose top actually started to fall sideways but then miraculously stopped in its rotation and proceeded straight down (or, again WTC7). But to say things, naturally, fall straight down through great resistance (such as… a building) is silly.

I think you think skyscrapers look like tubes, because the failure mode you’re detailing would indeed hold true if you fired a small explosive round into a large steel tube.

In a tube, the skin of the structure is load bearing and it has a lot of cohesion. It will indeed survive a very large jolt and stick together enough to topple in one piece.

Skyscrapers aren’t built like that. In a skyscraper, the walls are not load bearing. They’re hung from the rest of the building which, ultimately, rests on load bearing support columns. Since nothing is resting on the walls, no sideways force is being exerted on them. Therefore, their natural direction to go is downwards. Ditto the floors. (An individual floor only bears the load of the things resting on it. They all want to go straight down.) The only load on the columns is a downwards one from the rest of the structure and its contents, so they collapse (not topple) and allow everything to collapse through the mostly-hollow building.

I rember an interview with one of the architects after the collapse. He took a small crumb of comfort from the tragedy, because the towers collapsed exactly like they were designed to.

This 9/11 debunker made a great comment on the claims in Loose Change 2 that there were bombs in the WTC:

http://www.ccdominoes.com/lc/lcg3.html (then scroll down to 39:35)

In brief:

I hadn’t seen that. It doesn’t seem to be mentioned on the wiki page, and also wasn’t mentioned on a recent 9/11 conspiracy thing on I think the Discovery channel. My impression is mainly from those two things that this particular thing wasn’t a major focus of their claims.

Well the current main arguments dealing specifically with demolition, from my experience, have been:

  1. it fell straight down!
  2. there were red chip things in the debris!
  3. the military has super secret demolitions that are untraceable and undetectable!

(1) seems to be the main reason people started the demolition theory, (2) seems to be the only thing vaguely close to possible evidence and (3) is their fanwank for why there’s not any convincing physical evidence

Given the (2) is weak and (3) is basically admitting that there is no strong physical evidence, I would think actual witnessing of explosions would be more attractive to them as evidence than little red chip things.

As an aside the biggest reason I find all this kind of silly is that you could easily have a conspiracy of plane hijackers destroying things. There’s just no need to demolish things and send missiles at things when you already have planes. It’s not like the WTC collapsing gave us some huge extra rationale for attacking Iraq that the planes smashing into them alone didn’t.

The floors didn’t buckle, the outer walls did. The sagging floors pulled them inward until the wall beams snapped.

The twin towers were indeed built like a tube (actually a tube inside a tube). In order to give more open space on each floor the architect moved the inner pillars to the outer walls. The outer pillars were holding the building up as was the central core. It was an innovative departure from traditional designs. The walls were not rigid enough in this double tube arrangement without the floor joists tying the 2 “tubes” together. Structurally this would have easily sustained the impact except the insulation was blown off the steel, which made it vulnerable to failure from the heat.

If you look at the Empire state building it too the impact of a B-24 bomber but sustained little damage due to the concrete insulation on the beams. It was also a more conventional structure with more vertical beams per square foot than the twin towers.

I don’t know if this had anything to do with it but when they were building the towers they switched insulation in the middle of the project because of environment concerns. I would be sad to think that the buildings fell because of this.

I remember seeing this also.

Wiki Explanation of twin tube design.

There’s a lot of circumstantial evidence, such as the swift trucking away of all debris to be melted in china. None was given to the Commission to examine. One of the most bizarre elements is the FAQ on the NIST website. You know what their answer is for “why didn’t you test for explosives”? It is, “well, if had tested for them, we’d probably have found them.”

Fucking seriously. After hand-waving about how they didn’t need to test for explosives because they already knew that there were no explosives, the answer (#12) concludes with: “Analysis of the WTC steel for the elements in thermite/thermate would not necessarily have been conclusive. The metal compounds also would have been present in the construction materials making up the WTC towers, and sulfur is present in the gypsum wallboard that was prevalent in the interior partitions.” So no forensic investigator, scientist, etc. can reliably tell thermite-based arson apart from a fire of office cubicles? I suspect they actually did do the testing, found it, and then silenced the results. For everyone’s benefit.

True. Well, the collapse did have a very surreal effect on me when I first learned of it, and I think it intensified the event, but I do agree it wasn’t necessary. My wag on this, and regarding the fall of WTC7 (which I find to be far more obvious as a non-collapse but which seems to have even less strategic value), is that there were a number of plans. In one plan you take out WTC7 with a truck bomb. In another the towers. Using airplanes may have been a long-shot plan (or stroke of luck), but all the explosives were already planted…

I think you need to watch your fluoridated water consumption.