9/11, 9/11 fifteen years on, latest
Comments 224

Screw Loose Change respond to Jones et al

from Screw Loose Change

This response to “On the Physics of High Rise Building Collapses“, is not thorough or scholarly, is shot through with basic errors (the type of plane that hit the towers for one), but it is so far the only response we have found that isn’t simply ad hominem or ridicule, and we’re publishing it in the interests of presenting opposing views. Is there a serious rebuttal to be made of Jones et al? Is this the best that can be done to refute the case for controlled demolition? We would very much like to see a better one of it can be found. And if it can’t – well that speaks for itself. And if anyone wants to reply to this we’ll be happy to publish any cogent responses

In terms of our usual metric, TTFLMO (time to first lie, mistake or omission) this one actually does pretty well; it is almost three paragraphs into the article. Talking about why high-rise buildings usually do not collapse due to fires, they write:

2) Most high-rises have fire suppression systems (water sprinklers), which further prevent a fire from releasing sufficient energy to heat the steel to a critical failure state;

True enough as far as it goes, but it omits one critical detail: when WTC-2 (the South Tower) collapsed, it took the water mains with it, and thus there were no sprinklers running in WTC-1 and WTC-7 to prevent the fires from spreading. As a practical matter, I suspect that the sprinklers in WTC-1 and WTC-2 were already not functioning after the plane impacts, but even if they were they would have been insufficient to put out the massive fires in those two buildings.

But after that, the errors and omissions abound. Next paragraph:

3) Structural members are protected by fireproofing materials, which are designed to prevent them from reaching failure temperatures within specified time periods; and

Ignores the obvious, which is that the impact of the plane debris stripped away a good deal of the fireproofing. This is the usual Truther nonsense of focusing solely on the fires and not considering the enormous energy released by the two 757s(sic) when they hit the two towers.

4) Steel-framed high-rises are designed to be highly redundant structural systems. Thus, if a localized failure occurs, it does not result in a disproportionate collapse of the entire structure.

Which ignores the unusual tube-in-tube design of the towers, which were not as capable of shifting the enormous loads they encountered on 9-11 as conventional skyscrapers.

The total collapse of WTC 7 at 5:20 PM on 9/11, shown in Fig. 2, is remarkable because it exemplified all the signature features of an implosion: The building dropped in absolute free fall for the first 2.25 seconds of its descent over a distance of 32 meters or eight stories [3]. Its transition from stasis to free fall was sudden, occurring in approximately one-half second. It fell symmetrically straight down. Its steel frame was almost entirely dismembered and deposited mostly inside the building’s footprint, while most of its concrete was pulverized into tiny particles. Finally, the collapse was rapid, occurring in less than seven seconds.

All the signature features of an implosion? Sorry, Dr Jones, but I have watched quite a few controlled demolition implosions of buildings before and there were several missing from WTC-7’s collapse on 9-11:

the collapse of WTC7  now acknowledged by NIST to be at free-fall

the collapse of WTC7 now acknowledged by NIST to be at free-fall

1. No deafening explosions of the shaped charges which (Jones admits) are usually used in controlled demolitions.[see here for claims of eyewitness testimony of explosions – OffG ed]

2. No prior removal of the glass and other materials which might impede the collapse (not to mention the belongings inside the buiding.

3. No miles of detonation cord as is commonly used to ensure the simultaneous (or nearly) loss of load-bearing supports to the building.

And of course, when it comes to the towers, the usual focus on why the NIST report didn’t go past the moment that collapse became inevitable:

Whereas NIST did attempt to analyze and model the collapse of WTC 7, it did not do so in the case of the Twin Towers. In NIST’s own words, “The focus of the investigation was on the sequence of events from the instant of aircraft impact to the initiation of collapse for each tower….this sequence is referred to as the ‘probable collapsesequence,’ although it includes little analysis of the structural behaviour of the tower after the conditions for collapse initiation were reached and collapse became inevitable.”[5]

Gee, I don’t know, maybe it’s because the collapse became, you know, inevitable? After that, there are too many variables to really measure, but it doesn’t really matter.

Thus, the definitive report on the collapse of the Twin Towers contains no analysis of why the lower sections failed to arrest or even slow the descent of the upper sections—which NIST acknowledges “came down essentially in free fall” [5-6]—nor does it explain the various other phenomena observed during the collapses. When a group of petitioners filed a formal Request for Correction asking NIST to perform such analysis, NIST replied thatit was “unable to provide a full explanation of the total collapse” because “the computer models [were] not able to converge on a solution.”

If NIST really acknowledges that the Twin Towers came down “essentially in free fall” then bad on them. As for why the lower sections failed to arrest (they did slow) the descent of the upper floors, it is blindingly obvious: The floors were connected to the exterior and central columns of the building. As the weight from above collapsed on each floor, it pulled in on the connections until they snapped on the exterior. Very quickly the exterior portions of the building peeled away from the floors, leaving nothing to support them. This is why you can see, in aerial photographs of the devastation, large sections of the exterior walls virtually intact.

The references section contains four footnotes from JONES, and one from the ridiculous Bentham paper. I hope that there will be some vigorous pushback on this article from the magazine’s subscribers.

the planes that hit the WTC on 9/11 were Boeing 767s, not 757s as stated in this article – OffG ed
This article is a reply to On the Physics of High Rise Building Collapses, published by Europhysics News and republished by  us here.


  1. Questions says

    The real problem with Screw Loose Change’s approach is they let themselves get bogged down in Jones et al. rabbithole garbage instead of taking a look at where it comes from: political propaganda from the racist Tea Party friendly alt-right trying to mainstream their ideas:

    Steven E. Jones, a former physics professor at Brigham Young University who likens himself to Galileo, said his scientific studies have convinced him that planted explosives, not jetliners, brought down the Twin Towers and a third building — still another secret government conspiracy and cover-up.

    Steven Jones is a conman, pure and simple. His theory is a fraud, as is the so called “Bentham paper”. Engaging him in anyway that doesn’t call out his scam is the wrong approach and validates his ideas as worthy of engagement. There is no need to debunk him point by point once his intellectual dishonesty is proven. It makes one wonder why the SLC blog thought it was worth their time.

    OTOH there’s a rumor one of the blog owners has worked with an associate in the UKIP. That’s the British equivalent of the Tea Party. That might explain the confusion of how to debunk this crap; if that person basically shares the same ideological world view, they would be hesitant to call out alt-right garbage as a deliberate scam.

  2. pained Scientist says

    Jerome Fryer says:

    Does the fact that the ARUP report corroborates the NIST results indicate that their results are also deficient? Deliberately so? Your reasoning?

    Wait – you’re saying ARUP duplicated NIST’s tests? How did they do this since NIST refused to release their models for replication? What tests exactly did ARUP duplicate? Can you post your source for this? (we all know you won’t but we have to keep on asking.)

    Jerome Fryer says:

    (I recall there were two other reports into WTC 7 that also corroborated the NIST determination about the cause of failure. Although I could be wrong. If you also know of these, and think that they’re also defective, then add them in to your explanation.)

    You don’t recall Jerome. Because it’s not true. You’re lying or busking it. Hoping no one knows enough to call you on it.

    You want to prove me wrong? Post the damn links.

    • Jerome Fryer says

      Wait – you’re saying ARUP duplicated NIST’s tests?

      Do you believe that ‘corroborate’ has the same meaning as ‘duplicate’? Why?

      You aren’t answering my questions or explaining any of your assertions. It also isn’t clear what ‘links’ you want posted. Your link is to a ‘truther’ site, so I guess that constitutes a citation in your view.

      Here is what I was reading yesterday:

      An example post (search on the page if you want to establish fuller context):

      So let’s talk about #7: It seems that the consensus is that cutting col 79 somewhere low is likely to initiate total collapse, but in all the models, it was floor failure over several stories that made 79 buckle. It seems less obvious that some one girder connection alone, without the addictional damage that had also accumulated over time, would have sufficed to start the cascade of floor failures that left col 79 fatally unbraced. In the NIST model, several other connections – most significantly the c77-80 girder connection failure on c80, fl14, had initiated its own cascade – had failed or were damaged before c79-44 fell. In the ARUP and Nordenson models, I am not sure how far they went with the dynamic simulation resulting from the c79-44 pull-off.

      Connection failures on several floors isn’t that local, and perhaps none ought to have happened in the first place. Then again, the designers did not, and could not have been expected to, foresee that fires would start on several floors (or spread between floors that had their fire stops compromised) and have the benefit of sprinklers not working and fire department lacking capacity. The building stood the required 3 hours, a time within which some firefighting ought to have begun, or all bets are off anyway.

      The forum (ISF / JREF) is also useful. Example of ‘truther’ vs. truthful debate:

      You don’t recall Jerome. Because it’s not true.

      Assertion with no content (followed by ad-hominem).

      The NIST, ARUP, and Nordenson models produce the same result (according to those evaluating it). They also differ, but that doesn’t mean NIST was lying / falsifying their model: they all conclude that WTC 7 failed due to fire.

      I can’t find the fourth model. Possibly I got confused with the University of Alaska project that “Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth” is funding. That hasn’t produced a conclusion yet.

      • Loop Garou says

        You have to duplicate a model/experiment in order to corroborate it. PS is pointing out ARUP couldn’t duplicate or confirm NIST’s modelling , because NIST will not release details of the program it used. In fact ARUP didn’t duplicate NIST, it did a parallel study before the NIST report was even out which was focused on whether steel could be heated to the point of failure even with the fire-proofing intact.


        But none of that matters. The point is all of these computer models are only as good as the data input. It’s GIGO I’m afraid.

        Let me explain how a predictive computer model works. It’s virtual reality. If you are building a model to predict anything from the stock market to building collapses you are essentially telling a computer a set of rules that enable it to construct a real-world simulation of your money markets or your building. The most important thing to understand is the result you get is only as reliable as the data you input, because computers are quick but not smart.

        If you input garbage, you will output garbage. If you punch in wrong values a computer won’t realise they make no sense, it will just run its program with those values and produce a result that has no connection to the real world. and can even be downright ridiculous. There’s no fail safe or common sense override. Punch the wrong data into your computer model and you will get “proof” cars can drive on water, or birds can fly through solid rock.

        Any computer model of anything – including NIST’s or ARUP’s or Nordenson – is only as good as the parameters fed into it.


        So, this is why the fact NIST admits assigning a themal conductivity of zero to all the steel in its model is so important. Real-world steel does not have a TC of zero, so if NIST’s virtual steel has a TC of zero the model will not reflect reality. In fact what this error will do is produce much higher temps in the steel exposed to fire than would be possible in reality. Because in reality the heat would dissipate along the length of the steel through conductivity, and in the flawed model it won’t,

        Without that error the NIST model would likely not have predicted collapse at all.

        This is a huge problem, but it’s not the only problem. Because NIST refuses to release its entire computer model and data we don’t know how many other potential errors there might be in it, and no one can duplicate NIST’s working to verify it.

        This is why so many scientists are calling for another investigation. They aren’t saying the gumment did it, they aren’t claiming a conspiracy, they just see huge errors in the previous investigation and want more work to be done. Like OffGuardian says, government inquiries alway end up whitewashing, it’s not bonkers to think NIST, ARUP et al are just more of these. They don’t have to be covering up a conspiracy in order to be dodging awkward questions and looking for easy non-controversial answers, they jut have to be insiders doing what insiders do, scratching backs for each other.

        Bottom line is NIST punched in false data that totally screwed up their model. The zero thermal conductivity issue alone is sufficient grounds for a new investigation.

        • Jerome Fryer says

          No, you have to end up with the same end result to corroborate something. The process used can be (and should be, if you believe the first process to be flawed) entirely different.

          You are ignoring the calibration of the model to physical tests, again.

          This indicates to me that you either don’t understand the relevance of this, or are deliberately ignoring it. I don’t know which. Can you explain why you are ignoring this?

          • Loop Garou says

            Are you saying NIST found some real-word steel that had a thermal conductivity of zero?

            Whatever other physical tests NIST may have done have no bearing on this. If they gave the steel in their model a thermal conductivity of zero then their model was wrong. The steel in their model would have acted different than steel in the real-world and this would have had a knock-on effect on everything else in the model.

  3. moriarty's Left Sock says


    So you are asserting that all other fires that occurred in a tall building, and the separate incident of the B25 striking the Empire State, are comparable?

    They are comparable in some points but not identical. But ok, lets agree to say the WTC incident was totally unique what do you think this means?

    Are you saying the fact it was unique means it doesn’t need to be explained in any other way?

    Are you saying the fact it was unique means it doesn’t have to obey known physical laws?

    And why do you keep changing your story about whether or not you’re a scientist? Are you or aren’t you?

    • Jerome Fryer says

      I am arguing that, per Occam’s Razor, the simplest explanation is more usually correct.

      The further you depart from what is more probable — once you start introducing explosives etc. — then the less likely you are going to get a hypothesis that is correct.

      • Loop Garou says

        Agreed – but the simplest and most probable explanation can’t be one that has no precedent in human experience and which requires physical laws to be suspended!

        • Jerome Fryer says

          You need to explain why you believe that suspension of physical laws is required.

          Please try to be concise.

          [MS and other posters have explained this repeatedly, you have the explanation and the sources for it – OffG ed]

  4. passerby says

    I do not wish to argue against or in favor. I merely wish to observe one fact: that fifteen years after 9/11, this discussion is still being held.

    To me, this means that government has lost credibility with a sizeable part of the population. Government is no longer trusted to say the truth.

  5. Jerome Fryer says

    “This response to “On the Physics of High Rise Building Collapses“, is not thorough or scholarly, is shot through with basic errors (the type of plane that hit the towers for one), but it is so far the only response we have found that isn’t simply ad hominem or ridicule, and we’re publishing it in the interests of presenting opposing views.”

    Why not ask for someone directly, on a site that opposes the ‘truther’ assertions (substitute another term for ‘truther’, if that bunches up your panties — it isn’t relevant). — [ Screw Loose Change is one of the major 9/11 debunking sites on the web, if anyone knows of a better one or a better rebuttal of the Jones et al fifteenth anniversary paper please let us know – OffG ed.]

    “Is there a serious rebuttal to be made of Jones et al?”

    Yes, there seem to be plenty. Try some sites where they discuss the merit of ‘truther’ conspiracy claims. — [why don’t you link to any of them? -OffG ed.]

    “Is this the best that can be done to refute the case for controlled demolition?”

    The way this works (in science), is that the person(s) proposing something must supply evidence for that. This is then tested and the results assessed to determine if the proposal has merit. This isn’t necessarily binary (it’s completely true / completely false), and often disputation will occur over whether one approach is better than another. You can, at least in principle, continue with this process indefinitely or until agreement is reached. (Then someone else can choose to ignore the earlier agreement, and dispute the shape of the Earth, the Apollo missions, or anything at all really.) — [what does this have to do with, or add to, the current discussion? -OffG ed.]

    In the case of the ‘thermite’ claim, Harrit et al published a paper claiming to have found thermitic compounds in dust produced when the WTC towers collapsed. Millette attempted to reproduce that result, and discovered only paint chips and no evidence for thermitic compounds. — [this is not what Millette alleges at all. Millette was given some samples of red-gray chips and endeavoured to prove they were primer paint; he did not claim to “find only primer paint” – OffG ed.]

    I find Millette’s work more credible, because he works under an accreditation regime and has a long track-record, including producing work that goes against official claims. Harrit has lesser credibility as he doesn’t have any external accreditation framework, his results weren’t replicated by Millette (sorry, but this is how it works, people), and the paper has not been cited (a proxy for how much value the scientific community ascribes to the paper). This is not my field, so I can’t critique either result. [Harrit is an associate Professor Emeritus of Chemistry at Copenhagen University. Millette is an environmental scientist who runs his own lab and has worked for the EPA. How does Harrit have “less credibility” than Millette? – OffG ed.]

    “We would very much like to see a better one of it can be found. And if it can’t – well that speaks for itself.”


    However, what I think it says is: ‘We are trying to favour the truther arguments, because that seems like the correct approach’. This is a political decision, rather than a scientific approach. [As we have said many times, send us what you consider to be a good rebuttal of the Jones et al fifteenth anniversary paper and we will publish it, your repeated refusal to do this tells its own story – OffG ed.]

    It is the ‘truther’ claims that require proving. This is the reverse of what is being promoted on off-Guardian. — [Both sides require testing/proving – OffG ed.]

    • True or False: “Harrit has lesser credibility as he doesn’t have any external accreditation framework”

      Ph.D. Chemistry, University of Copenhagen, 1975, Thesis: mechanistic photochemistry

      Post Doctorate, Columbia University, New York, 1977

      Master of Science, Chemistry, Max-Planck-Institute for Strahlenchemi, Mulheim an der Ruhr, Germany

      Fuck you, Jerome, I ain’t giving you a citation for that info.. Just kidding 😉 , eh:


      So, Jerome, once again, eh . . . do try to fact check what we have showed you time and again are only the fumes of your overwrought imagination.

      True or False: “his results weren’t replicated by Millette (sorry, but this is how it works, people)”

      Lets see. If Harrit et al. conduct a specific set of experiments, say, X and Y and Z, and Millette does F and U and C and K and A and L and L, did Millette replicate the Harrit et al. study? How likely would it be that Millette would get the same results? Did Millette fail to reproduce results or fail to reproduce the study? An important distinction.

      Quote begins:
      “When Rev. Chris Mohr delivered the report to his followers at the JREF 9/11 debunking forum, he announced that, “..the results will soon be published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal”. But the report never made it to the publishing stage, and 18 months constitute enough waiting to confirm what we have suspected all along: Dr. Millette cannot publish the report.”
      Quote ends.

      Oh, Dr. Millette can’t even publish his report in a peer reviewed journal, ANYFUCKINGWHERE!

      Quote begins:
      “…the Millette report has never given the impression of having been intended for peer-reviewing and publishing due to its fundamental flaws: Although Millette´s chips do have some superficial similarities to the chips studied by Harrit et al., neither the red nor the gray layers actually match the composition and characteristics of Dr. Harrit´s chips upon close inspection. And as Mr. Ryan had predicted, Dr. Millette does not even attempt to address or refute the ignition of the Harrit et al. chips at about 430°(C) and the resulting iron spheres in the residue. Dr. Millette actually refuses to replicate the ignition tests with his chips, and we speculate in our article that this is because he knows that these tests would confirm that he has not been studying the correct chips.”
      Quote ends.

      Fuck you, Jerome, I ain’t giving you a citation. Just kidding 😉 , eh:


      Now before you go getting your panties all in a bunch and cry, “wrong website, wrong website,” lets say you give the name of the journal and the issue in which Dr. Millette’s “peer reviewed” refutation of Harrit et al. is published. Then, and only then, will we permit you to scream — as I know you will regardless, and without ever telling us where Millette’s self-satirizing refutation has been published (because nobody can) — “bloerarhgadpadfpa something something huff and puff, bla, bli, bla website!”

      Sorry Jerome, but that’s how it works, eh. But that doesn’t mean that if you want to, you can’t trust Millette work more than that unaccredited douche bag, Neils Harrit, who only has a few shitty little degrees in chemistry and probably not even one paper published anywhere. Oh, but that’s right. He has published at least one that we both know of, eh?

      • Jerome Fryer says

        Was Harrit working in an ISO 17025 accredited lab?

        Harrit seems to have subsequently added information about his testing that wasn’t published, and suggested that Millette’s results don’t match because he didn’t do the additional tests that Harrit didn’t mention. Also, Harrit has suggested that the samples could be different, with no thermitic material in Millette’s samples. Then there are also some claims that Harrit has the data that addresses the criticisms around the lack of that data, but he won’t share it because something or other.

        It’s all poorly sourced and non-standard work, from what I can tell. Mainly I am relying on the difference between accredited (audited systems and verified competence) and non-accredited (everyone can take part) results, though.

        My bias here is that I run an ISO 17025 accredited lab, and thus understand why that is significant.

        • Is the ISO 17025 accredited lab significant because you run it? Why don’t you invite Harrit et al. to your lab and do the experiments under your nose? What’s the name of your lab? Where is it? Does it have an address? What is your professional title? What is your accreditation, academically and professionally speaking? Why should I believe anything you say about who you say you are?

          Indeed, the feebleness of your demonstrated ability to reason gives me reason to doubt everything you say about yourself. And if it turns out that you do run an ISO 17025 lab, you’ve demonstrated to me that intellectual and scientific ability are not a lab manager’s forte, eh.

          You wouldn’t by any chance have the name of the peer-reviewed journal in which Millette’s refutation is published? Because that’s the gold standard of trustworthiness, right? That and the ISO 17025 accredited lab.

          Oh, but that’s right, you are mainly relying on “audited systems and verified competence.” Would that be, like, publishing the important details of your experiment (the audit part, so to speak) and, on the other hand, the “verified competence” part would be, like, proving to the people running the lab and to whom you are submitting your audit, so to speak, your Ph.d. credentials?

          I guess you don’t believe that Harrit’s C.V. is what he claims it is, what with his competence being such a big issue for you. And then lets say Harrit’s C.V. is what he claims, how could you prove or disprove Harrit’s competence on an issue? Oh, yeah, by “repeating” his experiment faithfully with the same sample that he worked on, right, and either ending up with the same results or different ones. If the results are the same, he is competent; if the results are different, he didn’t prove anything and his competence is now in question, eh. Is that what Millette did? Why isn’t he published? And if he is published, where?

          • Jerome Fryer says

            Go and read up on what ILAC is, then decide whether the international accreditation system is a good idea or not.

            It has nothing to do with ‘trust’, it is about verification of competence.

            • pained Scientist says

              Jerome is pulling a distraction. The idea two top-flight university labs like BYU and Copenhagen are less reliable than some little for-profit outfit that gets itself an accreditation is ridiculous. Like saying the Plaza hotel isn’t as good as some boarding house in Illinois that’s an accredited B&B.

        • johnschoneboom says

          As a scientist who manages an ISO 17025 accredited lab, would you expect to be able to publish results riddled with factual inaccuracies and a computer model running on inputs that you’ve declared to be secret? Do you reckon that would pass peer review? After you’ve answered that, tell me again why NIST’s report on Building 7 is credible.

          • Jerome Fryer says

            First off — I’m not a scientist. I use science. If you read poetry, or can even recite entire works from memory, that doesn’t make you a poet: you have to create poetry (that is accepted to be such by someone other than your mum, or supportive partner…)

            National laboratories such as NIST are at the apex of the pyramid in terms of competence. This isn’t some ‘theory’ or opinion — it is the consensus that underpins all of science.

            My field is metrology, so I’ll use an example that you should understand easily. When you go out and buy something by weight, or volume, or length, or with some other unit of measurement attached to it — how do you know it is what it is?
            Do you measure it yourself?
            Using what instrument?
            How do you know that instrument is accurate (this is where my lab comes in, potentially)?
            How do you know that the verification process (which was very reasonably priced and with a quick turn time) was correct?

            You don’t. But, fortunately you don’t live in a ‘Libertarian’ paradise of perfect freedom, and there are international organisations brutally enforcing conformist ideas about what units such as kg, m, A, J, etc. represent. ILAC organises national accreditation organisations that run the global system of labs, and national standards bodies (such as NIST) cooperate to determine stuff such as methodology.

            So, if you’re asking me why I would think that NIST would be more credible than, frankly, a probable crackpot with a hypothesis that relies on a long chain of improbable things… The question should now answer itself.

            • johnschoneboom says

              As it happens, that’s not what I asked at all. I asked you whether you thought reports with easily demonstrable errors and models with secret inputs could pass peer review and get published.

              However, your unshakable faith in the unimpeachable trustworthiness of NIST regardless of the content of its reports or the political circumstances surrounding them is nothing short of adorable. So it’s fair to say then that you are blithely unconcerned with the facts? Your opinion of the reputation of an arm of the US Department of Commerce will do nicely instead? Absolutely adorable.

              • Jerome Fryer says

                Which of us works in this field, and so may be reasonably supposed to know of what they speak? (Or write, in this case.)

                NIST’s report is credible because NIST is credible., according to the various governing bodies and authorities within the international scientific community. Your opinion may differ.

                • johnschoneboom says

                  I suppose I’m about as much of a scientist as you are. MA in Science and Tech Policy from George Washington University, worked for the American Association for the Advancement of Science for about 15 years, with some of that time in the department responsible for Scientific Fraud and Misconduct. Enough to have some idea about how science — and politics — works.

                  None of which I consider relevant to the questions I asked or the answers required. NIST put out a computer model with secret parameters. That is a joke, and an insult to science. Among other flaws, their Building 7 report also falsifies data. This is demonstrable. If you cared about science, you’d care about that, and if you didn’t know about it, or didn’t believe it, you’d be investigating it, not ignoring it, not belittling it, not denying it in ignorance.

                  So why not just come out and admit the truth? You’re acting politically, not scientifically. You’re not politically willing to follow where the evidence leads. It’s OK. You’re not alone. But it contradicts what you assert about yourself rather blatantly. I’d say what that makes you but I’d not want to be accused of making an ad hominem attack.

                • johnschoneboom says

                  By the way, I’m pretty sure that “appeal to authority” is a classic example of a type of logical fallacy. So I’m afraid that gets put into the “not science” bucket as well.

                • Fryer, you are beneath contempt. If you really do know of what you speak, you are despicable because you obviously engage in obfuscation to mislead scientifically naïve readers. If you don’t know what you are talking about, and that’s fairly palpable in your style of debate, you are worthless as a source of either information or analysis.

                  This isn’t me engaging in ‘ad hom,’ it’s demonstrated in the manner you fail to engage your interlocutors, in your constant evasions, in your persistent failure to cite presumed sources for your claims, your circular reasoning and non sequiturs.

                  In short, you are a waste of time and energy, either a witting or unwitting troll.

                • moriarty's Left Sock says

                  Excuse me? s this an argument from authority perchance?

                  You are actually saying you trust NIST because it’s an establishment voice staffed with insiders and government appointees?

                  So, why don’t you also trust the NYT, CBS, CNN, NATO, Pentagon, CIA, FBI, FDA, TSA, DHS, the Fed, the PNAC, the IMF?

                  Or maybe you do?

                • Jerome Fryer says

                  Do you have any experience with ILAC? Or understand the ISO 17025 system?

                  If not, continue to the next point below. If so, do you agree that an accredited lab is more likely to produce better results than a non-accredited one? Then by extension: do you agree with my view that the result from Millette is more likely to be methodologically sound than that produced by Harrit? (Please provide your arguments.)

                  So your opinion differs, because you claim that NIST’s results are deficient (and imply that this is deliberate). Where is your argument for that?

                  Does the fact that the ARUP report corroborates the NIST results indicate that their results are also deficient? Deliberately so? Your reasoning?

                  If you don’t provide your reasoning or evidence for your assertions, then it isn’t being demonstrated, is it? It is simply an assertion, based on your politics on this issue — being a ‘truther’ or co-traveller.

                  (I recall there were two other reports into WTC 7 that also corroborated the NIST determination about the cause of failure. Although I could be wrong. If you also know of these, and think that they’re also defective, then add them in to your explanation.)

                • johnschoneboom says

                  🙂 I’m quite sure our Jerome is just having himself a bit of a laugh at this point, seeing how long we’ll chase him round in his nonsensical circles. I’ll bow out here unless anything changes, personally. If anybody can’t tell by now that Jerome has no ammunition, I daresay they’re beyond rational help. Jerome, I salute your persistence.

        • Hey Mr. Fryer, I am the author of the cited blogpost above, “millette chip study debunked and buried,” and someone just told me about your BSing here. You have no idea of what you are talking about. The main tech guy for the Harrit study runs the state of the art lab at BYU, where he also performed the bulk of the testing. Millette is not quite the pillar of trustworthiness you allude to, even if his lab may perhaps come close to or even equal the BYU lab. Millette took part in several different WTC dust studies for the EPA as a lab tech guy and an EPA whistleblower charged those studies with fraud which included fraudulent manipulation of the dust samples, so the next time you feel like spreading BS you better blow it out your arse. You are getting your BS information from the ISF forum which used to belong to the JREF before it got rid of those clowns. A co-author of one of the papers defending the official NIST story for the collapse of the Towers once likened those people to religious fanatics defending their GOD given Bible story, in this case the official 911 narrative. If you want to have a real discussion I challenge you to a one on one email discussion which we can make public later. My email: ziggizugam@gmail.com

          • john miller says

            Where is evidence of WTC steel thermite damage? No damage found.

    • Jerome Fryer says

      Try the JREF forum here:

      I have already explained why accreditation is important. Anyone can perform some tests and publish a paper (provided the journal accepts it, and the peer review process varies between journals), but you have to prove competence in testing in order to be accredited.

      Harrit et al has never been cited, and that usually indicates that peers working on their own papers don’t consider your work to be useful.

      Both sides (and you’ll have to clarify which ‘truther’ claims you are ascribing as a side, here) are not of equal standing. That is the same incorrect argument used about evolution vs. creationism.

      • Moriarty's Left Sock says

        ISO 17025 accreditation is just like a food hygiene certificate for private-sector labs that do work on commission. It’s not a measure of anything but the fact they use approved calibration and protocols. No one in the science community judges a paper by whether or not it comes from a an ISO accredited lab, that’s just ridiculous and would disqualify most papers currently published.

        Protocols at BYU or Copenhagen University are just not up to snuff apparently??? This is really getting beyond ridiculous. Fryer needs to produce something solid or he needs to be banned as a nuisance troll. He’s just disrupting proper debate.

        • Jerome Fryer says

          MVA is an accredited lab, which means that Millette, as a signatory, has been deemed competent by ‘experts’ in the same field brought in by that accreditation body — A2LA, in this case. His lab must also pass the basic requirements set out in ISO 17025 that cover good laboratory management and practice. He also has to engage in proficiency testing, where his lab gets compared to others to see if test results agree.

          His paper doesn’t necessarily have to be written to meet those criteria, but as his practice already does then there would be no reason to deviate.

          Harrit only has to write something up and get it published somewhere. In this particular case, that process seems to have been unusual and subsequently problematic.

          There are different standards and controls (or lack thereof) at play here.

          [if you are contending the experiments done at Copenhagen Uni and BYU by faculty professors of physics and chemistry are substandard and using this a an argument for rejection you need to cite evidence for your claim, otherwise you are merely discrediting by innuendo. Produce your evidence or we have to consider this particular argument to be nul – OffG ed.]

          • Jerome Fryer says

            I am addressing the point of which paper would be more credible. They do not agree, with Millette finding only paint chips in the same material than Harrit et al found “thermitic compounds”.

            Millette performs his work under a regime that differs from Harrit. Harrit was essentially free to decide what he thinks is the best approach, while Millette then looked at his paper and tried to replicate the results. I have no idea how Harrit went about his work, but I have a good idea how Millette went about his — in terms of the regime that an accredited lab must adher to.

            The “evidence” to back my opinion on this is my qualification as a signatory (for the past twenty-four years) for an ISO 17025 accredited lab. I am not a research scientist, but I know the regime that a lab such as MVA must work under.

            If you gave me two calibration certificates with differing results, and asked me which was more likely to be correct, and one was marked as from an accredited lab while the other was not, then the certificate from the accredited lab would be judged correct. (All else being equal.) A practical example is where auditors for quality systems, e.g. the ISO 9000 regimes, must accept accredited certificates (not ‘should’, or ‘in most cases would’ — must). Non-accredited certificates can be audited further, and the results therein questioned.

        • john miller says

          BYU fired Jones for making up nonsense about 9/11. No big deal, Jones best work is about Christ showing up in the new world – more reality to that than his thermite fantasy.
          Jones/Harrit’s paper proves the dust was not thermite, the energy does not match thermite, and the DSC is not a match.
          Take your time, the graphs don’t match, it looks almost like peat moss was in the dust, or dust was in the dust.
          Ironically paper burning the WTC had more heat energy than thermite, plastic does too, and jet fuel (yes it burned off in minutes, but started the biggest office fires in history) has ten times the heat energy of thermite; big reason why we don’t use magical thermite to heat our houses and run our cars.
          Did you read the paper? There is no proof, just talk. Take the paper to a chemical engineer, and find out you have been fooled. Why does Jones lie about themite? Why did he get fired. If you say BYU is in on the inside job, it is a sign of fantasy and paranoia.

      • pained Scientist says

        Ok –

        Ask JREF to tell you how WTC7 fell at free fall for 2.25 secs and eight floors. Ask them why NIST decided to assume the WTC steel had a zero thermal conductivity.

        Post any reasons they give you here, and we can discuss.

  6. It’s never wise to trust in authorities, whether political or academic, especially not in our neo-fascist and highly controlled times. Agenda is king these days and everyone is selling it. There’s no short cut. You need to read the output of both sides and make up your own mind.

    You don’t need to be an expert in the field to recognise clear and well-balanced argument, properly-sourced data or basic scientific principles. Much more important than where a claim originates is how well-sourced it is. If a claim is backed up by nothing but appeals to authority, ad hominem, or vague references to “masses of evidence” that is never cited or produced, you can figure this is a weak case. If it’s richly-sourced, detailed, backed up by research and defended without evasion of personal attacks then it’s more likely to be a strong case. That’s a good place to start anyway.

    These guys you are asking about are all accessible. Talk to them, read their work. Much better than asking me to tell you what to think.

  7. mog says

    Jerome Fryer:
    There is also a good, short, rebuttal of Herrit by Denis Rancourt. (Dr. Rancourt is one of the people who would be called ‘climate change sceptics’. Probably difficult to tar him with the ‘bought by government’ assertion. I am on the other side of Rancourt WRT climate change, by the way.)

    There is much in this statement. It is widely acknowledged that the bulk of the accusations regarding scientists being ‘bought’ in the climate debate are in the opposite direction. The widely documented employment -by the fossil fuel lobby -of propagandists known to have skewed science in other areas (notably links between cancer and smoking) and the revelations about the Exxon research in the 1980’s that emerged in recent months, they show that it is climate deniers who have repeatedly been unfaithful to scientific findings.
    The false dichotomy of ‘government’ and ‘business’ shows a naivety. The same nexus of interests of military, finance, and resource extraction have benefitted from the past fifteen years of foreign imperial war and its opening of oil and gas fields.
    For me, your advocacy for a discredited pseudoscepticism that refutes the vast majority of scientific opinion in the field of climate science tells me all I ‘need to know’ about your scientific credibility.

    • Jerome Fryer says

      Well, you are incorrect about the conclusion, and the process you are using to reach it appears to be tortured.

      I believe that you are starting with the conclusion you want to reach, then moving from the start point along any path available that will reach the conclusion. This is not a scientific approach.

  8. Hi all, ex-Guardian reader here. Nowadays, if I accidentally click on it, I get “overheated” and feel faint. Anyway, I’ve been watching the performance of Jerome “I have a science background” Fryer with amusement. I can’t believe he actually said 7 was never in freefall. I’m not going to argue with him. It’s futile. I’ll leave David Ray Griffin’s eminently readable 2009 takedown of the NIST report here: http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-mysterious-collapse-of-wtc-seven/15201

    • Jerome Fryer says

      The standard claim is that WTC 7 (and, typically, the towers) “fell at free fall”. They didn’t. NIST did their own measure based on a video source, and calculated that WTC 7 fell at essentially free fall for a short period.

      Are these two assertions qualitatively the same — do they give the same impression:

      1) “WTC 7 fell at free fall”

      2) “WTC 7 fell at free fall for a short duration, after an initial duration of collapse propagation, then it slowed again, for the eighteen floors that could be observed in the video recording used to make the measurement”.

      About one quarter of the way down the page, if you want to review the actual NIST wording: https://www.nist.gov/property-fieldsection/questions-and-answers-about-nist-wtc-7-investigation

      • Pained Scientist says

        Do you understand the background here? NIST first claimed a descent of less than free fall and would have continued to do so had David Chandler not publicly embarrassed Shyam Sunder by presenting his own calculations that showed NIST’s figures made no sense and that the descent was demonstrably at free fall. The moment was captured on video, watch it for yourself, and see Sunder stammering like a fool, with no idea how to rebut.

        After this public shaming NIST had no choice but to admit free fall, and so it eventually released a revised report that said “oh ok, there WAS free fall”, but with as much damage limitation as possible. Hence the whole “first stage”, “second stage” smoke blowing.

        It makes no difference. NIST’s case is in ruins and sooner or later it will have to admit it. Its current position is just place-holding. At some point it’s going to have try to explain how – by its own admission – eight floors worth of steel and concrete got cleared away in just 1.75 seconds.

        Where did they go? NIST don’t say. They just produce a computer model that looks nothing like the actual collapse and hope no one asks too many questions they just can’t answer.

        By the bye Jerome, did you find those videos and images of the south side of WTC7 you keep talking about? The ones you say show massive damage and which you say the “truthers” ignore? You keep talking about them, but they never show up. Where are they?

        • Jerome Fryer says

          Again, NIST is NOT — take note: NOT — stating that WTC 7 collapsed at free fall.

          Read what they wrote, for goodness sakes.

          NOTE FROM OFFG EDITOR: it has been established beyond question that NIST stated in its own report on WTC7 that the building fell at “essentially” free fall for eight floors and 2.25 secs. Here is a screen cap from the relevant part of that report

          Any further attempts to deny, exaggerate or muddy this fact may be regarded as trolling

          • “A detailed analysis of the descent of the north face found 3 stages: • A slow descent at less than gravitational acceleration, corresponding to column buckling • A free fall descent at gravitational acceleration over approximately 8 stories • A decreasing acceleration, as the north face encountered resistance from the structure below. P.64. [Norm’s emphasis]”


            Yup, says it right there, in bold no less. Again, NIST is INDEED — take note: INDEED — stating that WTC7 undergoes free fall.

            Read what they wrote, for Gautama Buddha’s sake.

            But I know what you are going to say, Jerome: “Don’t believe everything that you read, no matter who has written it.” I wholly concur.

            And yes, indeed, the entire NIST report is tongue in cheek. You have to read the way you need to read Nietzsche to understand properly. Think ‘irony.’ Invert the surface assertions to penetrate to the depth of the true meaning of the asserted claims: “help us, “they” has (sic) a gun to our heads.”

            I understand your distress, Jerome. I really do.

            • Jerome Fryer says

              So your definition of ‘WTC 7 fell at free fall’ is, apparently, that it fell at free fall (or near enough) during some part of the collapse?

              Why do you think that this supports the assertion of some form of controlled demolition?

              • Hello, there, er . . ., Jerome?

                I’m not sure. Are you the same Jerome who has been commenting here since the first 9/11 posts went up, here, at OffG? I mean if you are a new Jerome Fryer, I’ll bring you up to speed, eh. I don’t know, maybe you guys work in shifts, or you really are a new guy, but with the same name as the other Jerome Fryer from New Zealand, although it’s possible, however improbable, that there are two Jerome Fryer(s) from New Zealand and now they both post here, eh.

                On the other hand, if you are the old Jerome whose been here from the beginning, so to speak, do you not read what others post and have time and again said about what the basis for believing that any amount of ‘free fall,’ but most certainly 8 stories worth of it, constitutes ‘proof’ of explosives? Since I’ve already answered your question, oh, about 10 times, and maybe 8 other commenters have done likewise, for a total of about 80 fucking times, Jerome, NO, I’m not going to tell you AGAIN why that’s game, set and match.

                If you’re serious about wanting to “know,” wade back into everything that’s already been said.

                Did I ever mention that I think there is something seriously wrong with you?

          • Jerome Fryer says

            Are you asserting that the WTC 7 collapse — all of it — occurred at free fall?

            If not, then stating ‘WTC 7 collapsed at free fall’ is incorrect. Agreed?

            If you are asserting that the entire collapse was at free fall, then I think you should explain your reasoning.

            • Jerome Fryer says

              OK, moving on from the carefully reasoned responses given — which I shall take as ‘truthers use “collapsed at free fall” to mean “collapsed at free fall for any part of the collapse process” (my fault for assuming that the “collapsed at free fall” argument was still the same one, and hadn’t been repurposed to mean something different) — what does this indicate?

              Is the argument that all collapses that have any free fall (or near free fall — quantifying this would be useful) involved must be controlled demolition?

  9. Over 1,000 9/11 Victims Still Unidentified


    Could someone please explain how a simple building collapse could obliterate nearly 2,400 human bodies? A couple of hundred bodies were found, but how does one explain a simple building collapse blowing up and disintegrating a human body into bone shards so tiny, they fit into test tubes?

    And how did WTC victims bone fragments land on building roofs several hundred feet away?

  10. Catte says

    @jerome fryer

    “Truther assertions”?

    “Conspiracy theories”?

    Why are you employing the propagandist language used by corporate media outlets to discredit without critiquing? Why are you using generic designators of unreliability rather than simply debating the questions?

    Personally I have no fixed opinions about what happened on 9/11, but I have no time for people who use tactics in place of honest argument. Try dealing with these questions (without using any generic put-downs).

    1) Has NIST explained the free-fall of Building 7? If so, how?

    2) Why did NIST assign a thermal conductivity of zero or just above to all the steel in the WTC?

    3) If you have no answers to the above do you still think NIST’s claims of three unique fire-induced collapses in one day in one place have been adequately documented and verified with experiment?

    4) If you don’t think this article does a good job of debunking Jones et al, and since you have a science background, why not write one yourself? We will gladly host it here.

    5) will you post that other debunking article you have mentioned several times but seem reluctant to identify (NB-if it’s the Millette one, which is the only one we know about, don’t bother as we have that and are intending to post it).

    • Jerome Fryer says

      1) It was free-fall. Because it didn’t free-fall, nor fall into it’s footprint (having damaged a building across the street so badly that it required subsequent demolition), your point is invalid.

      2) The three cases pointed out are red herrings — distractions intended to give the unwary a false impression. The modelling does not have to be perfect, it merely has to align with the practical tests. Skim through the relevant document, and note how they calibrate the model to match what they find via practical experiment.

      3) So far as I am aware, there has been no rebuttal of the NIST report that would raise doubts as to the conclusions they reached.

      4) What you want, in my opinion, is a series covering how to assess truth or correct content in sources. That is, as far as I understand it, the point of this website. This is a ‘teach a person to fish’ approach. If you want an actual expert to write an article, then you’ll have to work on it. I am not an expert in this field, and so would only be adding more noise.

      5) The “Millette” article rests on work done by an accredited lab. Do you understand the import of that work? I can assist you with that, as I also run an ISO 17025 accredited lab (different field, being metrology, but same basic ‘rules’ and assessment regime applies).

      Short response WRT Harrit et al — anyone can (and sometimes anyone does) claim to do a laboratory assessment of something, so that in itself means essentially nothing. The crux is competence: if you are just a monkey pushing buttons, then you’ll get monkey work out the other end. Check out ILAC to get a rough overview of how the accreditation system works, and why this means that the different results found between Harrit et al and the MVA lab are not of ‘equal merit’.

      There is also a good, short, rebuttal of Herrit by Denis Rancourt. (Dr. Rancourt is one of the people who would be called ‘climate change sceptics’. Probably difficult to tar him with the ‘bought by government’ assertion. I am on the other side of Rancourt WRT climate change, by the way.)

      [thanks I think you have told me all I need to know – Catte]

      • Jerome Fryer says

        iPad ‘auto-correct’ issue: 1) It didn’t free fall.

        (Why is the Apple auto-change feature a random effect? I really can’t figure that out.)

      • johnschoneboom says

        You do realize that you are rather alone in your denial of the Building 7 free fall? NIST itself has admitted it. 2.5 seconds worth of absolute, free-as-a-breeze bowling-ball drop. You know what they say. It’s not just a river in Egypt.

        Or as someone else recently said: “If you don’t know much, and have no interest in finding out, then you can believe anything.” Oh right. That was you.

        • Jerome Fryer says

          The free fall time, according to NIST, would have been 3.9 s. The actual time was 5.4 s. (This was for eighteen stories of the complete forty-seven.)

          They further split that into stages, and noted that stage two was “essentially free fall” — that time would be from after the structural failure has propagated fully until the collapse debris starts to inhibit the collapse.

          Do you understand that sequence?

          Do you understand why this doesn’t align with the assertion above: “Has NIST explained the free-fall of Building 7?”

          WTC 7 didn’t free fall.

          • Pained Scientist says

            Not true.

            NIST has admitted the first eight floors fell at free-fall. It demurs over the rest simply because there is not enough clear footage to assess beyond doubt, and so NIST assumes it slowed down Maybe they are even correct. It doesn’t matter.

            The point is the first eight floors fell at free fall and NIST admits it. And in admitting this they are admitting their own previous explanation of the collapse is impossible. Sooner or later they will have to also admit that and offer yet another explanation.

            How will they do that? How will they explain how a single shifting girder somehow wiped out the entire support structure across the entire width of eight floors in a matter of seconds?

            I don’t know. They don’t know. Currently there is no official explanation for how Building 7 came down, pending NIST figuring out how they can possibly talk this one away.

        • Pained Scientist says

          You’re correct. Jerome is citing NIST who are trying to hide behind averages. The first eight floors fell at free fall, that’s as many as can be accurately measured.

          • Jerome Fryer says

            No, it was the second ‘stage’ that fell at essentially free fall.

            That makes sense, because the supporting structure doesn’t simply vanish, it has to get pushed out of the way.

            If, on the other hand, you did use some form of demolition charges then you can speed the first stage up. The point of demolition in this way is to control the descent, so they presumably failed pretty badly given that WTC 7 partially fell onto what were undamaged buildings.

            • Pained Scientist says

              Did you just say “free fall”?

              So you’re finally admitting it, but just like NIST trying to do it with sleight of hand so no one notices.

              • Jerome Fryer says

                Can you explain what you think “WTC 7 fell at free fall” means?

                It sounds like what you are trying to claim (along with some others) is that WTC 7 fell at free fall, even though you seem to know that it didn’t. Those positions are contradictory.

                • Moriarty's Left Sock says

                  it fell at free fall for at least eight floors , and no one has yet explained the physics that made it possible using only “fires”

                  (for the love of Jesus don’t say the rubble from WTCs 1 and 2 helped knock it down! This is a lie. NIST is on record saying WTC7 would have collapsed without any impact damage from the other two towers.) — [this is correct, see part 22 of the NIST report on WTC7 “Even without the structural damage, WTC 7 would have collapsed from the fires that the debris initiated” – OffG ed.]

                  NIST is clear – fires ALONE brought down WTC7, so now it has to explain how “fires” removed eight storeys of concrete and steel right across the width of the building – in 1.75s!.

                  No wonder they are keeping quiet about that and relying on bully boys in forums to try and pummel people into thinking this car crash of a report and its self-contradictory claims, awful protocols and bad guesses is some sort of stone tablet of totally incontrovertible Truth.

            • Moriarty's Left Sock says

              The “first stage” lasted 1,75 seconds! How much faster do you think demolition charges could have made it?

              Eight storeys of concrete and steel “pushed out the way” in 1.75 seconds – how does that not say “explosive demolition” to you?

                • Janey says

                  Well, they look very similar obviously. The sound is hard to establish as a comparison because there is a lot of background street noise in NYC and it’s hard to know what sort of microphones are being used at what distance in either case.

                  There are definite sounds of what could be explosions throughout the time between the TTs being struck and the WTC7 coming down. Of course that might be gas mains or other fire-based events – but it could be charges couldn’t it?

                • Jerome Fryer says

                  Demolition charges are actually extremely loud. I have been reading the ISL (JREF) site and there seems to be a new claim that squibs were used. Then there is the ‘nano-thermite’ claim (Harrit at al).

                  The problem with the ‘truther’ approach, in my view, is that they are not looking for an explanation that is most plausible. They are looking for some explanation that fits into a preconception of some form of government conspiracy.

                  The ISL site is interesting, where they discuss how the ‘truther movement’ was deliberately fed nonsense by trolls and others interested in performing a sort of social experiment. Some of the claims were turned into new ‘theories’ about the events, some were not. I have no issue with the ‘official’ explanation, that has subsequently been corroborated.

                  ISL site:

      • Pained Scientist says

        1) NIST admitted publicly WTC7 fell at free fall

        2)NIST fiddling the numbers and changing the thermal conductivity of steel to zero is a red herring? And you claim to have a scientific background? Do you realise that without the conductivity being set to zero in the NIST model they would never have been able to get the theoretical steel to heat up enough to get theoretically weak enough to “explain” the collapse? How the hell is this a “red herring”?

        3) So far s you’re aware, there’s nothing in the report to raise questions? Look at the above. That on its own constitutes gross incompetence amounting to fraud.

        4) If Off Guardian does run a series on how to “asses truth or correct content” you be sure to pay attention.

        5) You had never read and knew nothing about the Millette paper until Catte mentioned it, did you? Be honest. Do you know what it says? Do you know it’s been rebutted? Do you know Millette never tried to rebut the rebuttal?

        My questions:
        a) Where are the many “peer-reviewed papers” you claim have been written in support of the NIST conclusion? Are you ever going to link to them?

        b) You also didn’t link to this latest “good rebuttal” you talk about.

        c) why are you not prepared to source any of your claims?

        • Jerome Fryer says

          Bluntly: you don’t know what you’re talking about here, and are making a bunch of baseless accusations. Let’s try to move forward and see if we can agree on at least some points.

          1) Incorrect. This is the same type of misdirection issue, or possibly just a comprehension failure.

          2) You apparently can’t see the wood for the tree, or rather the (deliberate, I would assume) misdirection about the notes on the model. The model is calibrated to the physical tests.

          The reason you have a model is that it is more convenient than building a full-scale replica of the WTC towers multiple times and ramming aircraft into them. I thought I should add that, because you seem to be a bit fixated on an irrelevant detail.

          3) Can you explain why, if NIST were trying to commit some form of fraud, they would carefully note their ‘fraudulent’ methodology?

          4) Are you sure you couldn’t do with some instruction?

          5) I found the Millette paper — or rather Chris Mohrs discussion of it — within seconds. I read through some of this (long) thread here: http://www.internationalskeptics.com/forums/showthread.php?t=231314

          I suspect that you may not fully understand what a rebuttal is, or why a supposed rebuttal may not be valid. I am also assuming that you’re taking these assertions from a ‘truther’ website, and are essentially believing whatever is being posted. (I’m not criticising you for this. Who has the time to read everything? But be aware that you’re locking yourself into a narrative crafted by someone with an agenda that runs counter to good practice. The ‘truthers’ are not following the normal scientific approach.)

          Also, did you note that some of the ‘truthers’ are ‘debunking’ Harrit, because they have their own pet theories to promote? There is no ‘alternate’ hypothesis: there are many, mutually exclusive ones, with varying degrees of plausibility.

          a) I don’t recall writing that. No valid rebuttal isn’t the same thing as replication of the work.

          b) I provide the source. Last paragraph. Again, I am fairly sure that you won’t understand it as I do. The reason being, after twenty-five years in my specialty, I am painfully aware of the problem with people assuming that having a specialist tool magically confers expertise onto them.

          c) Which claims did you want sourced? Or, perhaps, what do you think I am asserting that requires a source?

          • JanjoukedeHaan says

            Quote: “The reason you have a model is that it is more convenient than building a full-scale replica of the WTC towers multiple times and ramming aircraft into them. I thought I should add that, because you seem to be a bit fixated on an irrelevant detail.”

            No. The reason you have a computerized model is to make several hypotheses of what could have happened. To prove a hypothesis, however, you need a real model. A computerized model can “prove” that pigs can fly.

            Oh, and WTC7 did not have an “aircraft rammed into” it.

          • johnschoneboom says

            With regard to your continued insistence that, in spite of all the evidence and NIST’s admission, there was no free fall, if I may be so bold, may I suggest you try stamping your feet a little harder while insisting? That usually works.

          • pained Scientist says


            OK, I’m just going to keep talking science. Maybe some of it will get through

            1) Well, since posting this you’ve gone and done some basic reading and discovered – oops! – that NIST has admitted WTC7 collapsed at free fall for eight floors, so let’s just let that one slide.

            2) are you saying NIST was correct to assume the steel in the WTC had no more ability to conduct heat than concrete or gypsum board?

            3) If they had lied and claimed they were giving steel the usual range of conductivity then they would have had to actually fake the math somewhere to make the model produce enough localized heat to weaken the girders. Faking math is orders of magnitude more difficult and more reprehensible than just assigning the wrong values beforehand. By just quietly giving steel zero conductivity they can stop short of fakery, get the results they want and be guilty of nothing worse than being careless or stupid. It was the best way to get their models to work short of all out fraud.

            Just thought of something – you do understand that these experiments were with computer models, not actual models? They were doing a virtual simulation of how a cool office fire might be able, despite all known observations, to weaken steel, and they got a positive result only by programming zero-conductivity into the steel in their models.

            4) Yes thanks, doing fine here.

            5) You need to find the Millette paper, not some guy’s summary. Basically Millette thought the red-gray chips might be primer paint. Reasonable proposal, but his paper can’t show enough resemblance between known primer paint and the chips. Most notably the chips have significantly different elemental composition and – of course – they ignite with enormous energy. Primer paint, for obvious reasons, doesn’t do that. Harrit and Jones produced a rebuttal that answered a lot of key points. Millette never produced a response, which in scientific terms amounts to a concession he can’t defend his position.

            a) you did say it my friend. Look through your own comment history. Are you now admitting there aren’t a lot of pro-NIST peer-reviewed papers?

            b) You don’t provide the source! Look at your paragraph – NO SOURCE. You say you found this guy’s stuff online, so why don’t you just post a link?

            c) I want the articles you talk about sourced. I want to see the link you found that rebuts the thermite paper, which you’ve NEVER posted. I want to see the “peer-reviewed papers” you claim support NIST.

            Is that clear enough?

            • Jerome Fryer says

              You aren’t using a scientific approach.

              1) Incorrect, again.

              2) I am saying that this point is not relevant. Either the model works, or it doesn’t.

              3) Totally incorrect. You simply don’t know what you’re talking about. If you know someone who understands this type of modelling then ask them to read the NIST document and explain why you are focusing on irrelevant details.

              4) This isn’t supported by your inability to think outside of the box that you’ve decided to stay in.

              5) My understanding is that Millette has been stalled by Harrit refusing to clarify what his process was (he has added details that weren’t in his paper) and also an assertion that Millette must just have ‘the wrong kind of dust’, to paraphrase this fiasco. Millette finds no confirmation of Harrit’s claim to have found thermitic compounds, therefore his sample must be wrong. Harrit won’t let Millette have any of his dust sample, and won’t defend his process (which keeps being modified in the telling).– [cite a source for this – OffG ed.]

              One side has produced a quite extraordinary paper claiming to have found evidence of thermite being present in the WTC towers, yet this has never been cited by anyone.

              They also appear to have no prior experience in this type of analysis, have performed no subsequent work in the same field —[you are saying two physicists and an analytical chemist have “no prior experience in this type of analysis”, you need to source and amplify this claim – OffG ed]— , and published their paper in a journal that has lax standards on what will be published (to put it charitably) — [citation needed – OffG ed]

              Millette has a business that has internationally recognised accreditation, has a long record of expertise in this field (including providing the evidence that the dust cloud was in fact toxic, contradicting the official assertion that the air was just fine), and found no corroboration for what Harrit claims.

              There is a credibility gap here. I also run an accredited lab, and consider Millette’s result to be far more likely to be correct. — [you have said elsewhere that you are not qualified to discuss Millette’s work, yet here you say you run a lab and seem to be offering professional endorsement – you need to clarify this apparent anomaly – OffG ed.]

              (Oh, there has also apparently been some assertions that the gummint’ must have switched Millette’s dust samples. They didn’t bother doing so when he was looking at air toxicity, but I guess that’s just how the shadowy apparatus of gummint’ works.) — [citation needed – OffG ed.]

              a) I don’t recall that, and can’t find anywhere I did. Please quote where you think I did make that assertion. — [you made it here and here – OffG]

              b) Yes, I did. I assume that you can use Google? — [once again you inexplicably refuse to link to a source – OffG ed]

              c) You’re making a lot of demands, yet it is the ‘truther’ side that are making the extraordinary claims. — [in strict scientific terms the extraordinary claim is that the buildings collapsed due to fire, since such an event has never previously occurred or been thought possible and therefore requires rigorous support before it can be accepted; there is nothing extraordinary (in the scientific sense) in the idea the buildings fell due to explosives as buildings have been proven to collapse this way many thousands of times before; it’s only “extraordinary” in a non-scientific sense that we may find it hard to believe, but we need to differentiate between our subjective thoughts and scientific procedure – OffG ed.]

              Do you understand and agree with the concept that if you make a claim you should be able to support it? [that is why you are all being asked for you sources, but unlike most of your “opponents” you don’t provide any, however many times you are asked – OffG ed.]

              • Jerome Fryer says

                To the editor: why do you believe that a conspiracy involving surreptitiously planting explosives, that are used in a manner different from controlled demolitions (check any CD video for the way they are used), do not make the expected sound levels, leave no traces noticed by the demolition experts hired to collect evidence from the wreckage (e.g. supports with obvious signs of being cut), then requires a further cover-up involving a large number of scientists and academics, is not “extraordinary”?

                Why do you believe the default position should be: there was such a conspiracy, and you must prove it didn’t happen?

      • Ah, yes, the famous email exchange between the genius Rancourt and Harrit et al.

        It is extremely difficult to find online these days. Can’t imagine why that would be.

        Perhaps someone else more adept than me might be able to find it, but because I had such a difficult time finding it the last time I sought it out, I took some screenshots of it, to keep it conveniently at hand and just in case, eh. For those, here, who might want to be entertained, I’ve just posted those screenshots on my blog, under the title:

        A polite exchange between Rancourt and Harrit et al. (many thanks to Jerome for the reminder!)


        I wish I could have done better than screenshots, but there was no way for me to copy and paste. Enjoy!

        • Jerome Fryer says

          Oh, so you’re a committed ‘truther’, then.

          I take it that you belong to the ‘several hundred tonnes of thermite, that withstands an hour of fire then emits no light when mysteriously detonated’ sect, and not the ‘explosives that don’t make a large exploded noise’ sect?

          And let us not mention the ‘missiles, not aircraft’ or other unbelievers.


          • Why, yes, Jerome, I am committed to the truth. And that’s why I think it illuminating that I should go and read the exchange between Rancourt and Harrit et al. myself, to see what I can make of it, eh, rather than rely on an interpretation by the likes of you, Jerome.

          • Stop using generic denigrations and discredit by association. Don’t accuse people of holding beliefs they have not expressed merely so you can mock them for things they have not said. Follow proper rational rules of debate. Deal in facts not ad hom and support your claim with sources.

          • JanjoukedeHaan says

            Quote: “thermite, that withstands an hour of fire”

            There was no fire on the floors below impact. Therefore, the thermite did not have to “withstand” that. There was light emitted during the explosions of the towers, molten steel was seen and explosions were heard. Just ask the firefighters that were there.

            Why don’t you stop making silly assumptions and start looking at the facts. Afraid to become a “truther”?

          • mog says

            Agree with Catte, stop the name calling.
            I am sure that you don’t want to be referred to as a ‘Bunker’ ?

        • johnschoneboom says

          Is this the same thread, possibly? It is a long series of messages representing a debate between Harrit (et al) and Rancourt. I suppose, as with all evidence, people will see what they want in it but as I read it, Harrit makes the essential important points and Rancourt focuses on trivialities and distractions and ignores rebuttals. Where have I seen behavior like that recently?

    • Catte,

      Just so you don’t miss it, a post for you if only because Jerome mentioned it.

      A polite exchange between Rancourt and Harrit et al. (many thanks to Jerome for the reminder!)


      I wish I could have done better than screenshots, but there was no way for me to copy and paste. Enjoy!

      If you want me to send you the screenshots by email, it will be my pleasure.

      • BTW: if I do mail them to you, you will have an easier time of reading them in a photos viewer. You might also be able to do a better job of posting them than me if you think it worthwhile.

        Okay, I’ll mail them to you, then. ;-), as a submission . . .

  11. Jerome Fryer says

    I think it may be worth posting this, for the majority of people posting here who seem to be believers in the various ‘truther’ assertions.

    After the initial few days of this event I was assessing what had taken place and trying to figure out what was going on. There are such things as conspiracies, and the Bush administration (Cheney and Rumsfeld, in particular) were not exactly model citizens or even close to decent human beings. I knew that ‘Operation Northwoods’ was an actual, genuinely considered, false flag that would have killed a lot of US citizens but was put forth as a viable way to force a war with Cuba. I also knew that PNAC and the Neo-con warmongers were hot for wars on a laundry list of nations, and even wanted to forcibly dismantle Russia and — ‘stretch goal’ — China. So it didn’t seem wildly improbable that the 9/11 fiasco was unintentional.

    There were already large numbers of competing conspiracy theories, many of which were getting traction in the mainstream media. So… pick a conspiracy theory that looked cool and edgy, and made me feel cool and smarter than the foolish people who were inclined to believe the official narrative…? Or, dig a bit and see what seemed to be more objectively likely?

    I have a science background, so am inclined toward analysis and critical thinking. That doesn’t mean that whatever I consider ‘true’, or even likely, is necessarily so, but it does mean that I have tools that can deliver something that is probably closer to the truth than if you merely guess, or believe the mainstream media, or believe the ‘alternative’ media (regardless of who or which government agencies, foreign or domestic, may or may not be paying the bills for that ‘alternative’ media).

    The key to making better sense of what goes on in the world, generally — i.e. on an ongoing basis, rather than having to try to navigate events and propaganda each time — is to develop critical thinking skills. Read (or watch) ‘dissident’ material by critical thinkers — I rate Noam Chomsky highly — and learn to think for yourself. Then, after a bit of practice, when you read some article or watch some video you can usually immediately tell if (more generally how) the creators are trying to manipulate your opinion.

    You’ll also not waste your money buying useless crap. It works on all forms of manipulation, including those that keep Madison Avenue awash in money. Bonus ‘life hack’!

    • johnschoneboom says

      Wow, thanks! Critical thinking skills! My god, it makes so much sense now you’ve said it.

      Guys, call off the dogs. We haven’t been using critical thinking skills. That’s what we’ve been missing. I only wish somebody had suggested this 15 years ago.

    • O Lucky Man! says

      Ah! Fascinating stuff, yes priceless, in summary –

      You are an aware person, not fooled by the veneer of mainstream bullshit.
      You are a serious person not fooled by the veneer of alternative bullshit.
      You are scientist.
      You dig critically deep.
      You don’t waste your money because you understand advertising.

      I mean come on! You appear to be characterising just about everyone except yourself as lacking in that special aware seriousness that has restrained you from buying a seaside property in Birmingham all these years. Do you realise how crassly this comes across?

      Can you not discern that you are engaged in exchanges with other aware, serious human beings? Yes, here in these little boxes of pixelated text that appear before your especially serious and aware eyes. Could it be that you are simply projecting a fear of appearing foolish and ignorant out onto everyone who challenges your view?

      How foolish and ignorant would that be?

      • Pained Scientist says

        It’s worse than that – he’s an aware person, not fooled by the veneer of mainstream bullshit who’s on here asking everyone to believe mainstream bullshit.

        • Jerome Fryer says

          No, actually. But if it makes you happy to believe that — whatever you believe — sets you apart in some way then I don’t really care.

          Just don’t tell me that I need to wear your particular tinfoil hat, because I’ve looked into it and decided, in this case, that the “mainstream bullshit” aligns with reality.

          Other people should be aware that there are usually more than two ‘sides’ to a narrative, and that there are relatively easy ways to perform a sniff test on information.

          • O Lucky Man! says

            Ah Jerome, don’t you see how you’ve reached the point of emotional redact over this?

            Your uncritical identification with what you consider to be a scientific authority has become your critical thinking.

            Your logic has been transposed into a reflexive fear of “tin foil hats”.

            Based on your self description it looks like you are coming up a bit short.

            You have been fooled by the veneer of mainstream bullshit.
            You have foolishly dismissed alternative information out of hand.
            You are responding based on liminal emotions rather than scientific rigour.
            You are scanning the surface of the issue and failing to dig deep in any critical way into the detail.
            As for the last one, I now have a mental image of you pedalling around in a Sinclair C5,… but hey, that’s just ego having it’s say.

            Look sir, you are obviously intelligent and aware, but you have a blind spot here that is clear and complete. How can others see this and you can’t? Because we all carry the same faults as you to some degree or other. There is nothing more human than hubris, nothing more rare than true humility.

            9 11 is all about inversion, always was, and continues to be so as it plays out in the mass psyche. The trauma that is locked into it is a monster that is still ceaselessly thrashing at us all in agony as time and care conspire to drag it fully out into the light of day.

            I mean just look at the trail of pixels it is leaving here…

            • Love the last paragraph!

              Your mental image incorporating the Sinclair C5 almost had me literally laugh myself out of my chair . . . that is, after I looked it up . . .

              People are funny. That’s also why I love them.

          • Jerome says:

            “Other people should be aware that there are usually more than two ‘sides’ to a narrative, and that there are relatively easy ways to perform a sniff test on information”

            Then Jerome objecting to “two sides,” says:

            “That isn’t useful. Publishing two sides that each don’t understand what they’re arguing about is not going to achieve anything”

            (see Jerome’s reply below, to ADMIN, early in the thread)

            Yes, I know, it’s complicated, Jerome, and I’m misconstruing, again!

    • marc says

      Jerome, jerome… with all due respect, i think you misread the readership.

      • Jerome Fryer says

        Do you mean in general, or specifically with respect to the 9/11 conspiracy stuff?

  12. johnschoneboom says

    The official collapse story of WTC 1&2 depends on this notion that the floors are in some sense entirely separate from each other, especially from all the floors above them. If one floor drops, well, you can’t expect the floor below that to hold the weight of that, and then the floor below that suddenly has to withstand the weight of two extra floors, and my god, it just goes on from there obviously all the way to the bottom. Golly when you think of it, the real miracle is that the building was able to stand up there for so long in the first place. All those poor lower floors barely hanging on with all that weight on them, just waiting for somebody to slam a door too hard upstairs and push the whole dang thing over the edge.

    It’s amazing to me how many people accept this nonsense.

    Have they not noticed that the bottom floor successfully held the weight of the other 109 since 1973? Does that not imply anything about considering the building as a whole?

    Do bear in mind that most of the building was completely intact following the airplane strikes. And spare me the specious assertions about the design being uniquely flimsy. Don’t even type it. Instead, go have a look at a construction photograph and take a look at the interior column structure.

  13. johnschoneboom says

    Always amusing to see the yeoman’s efforts to defend the hilarious absurdity of the official non-explanation of the collapse of all three towers. Yes, by all means, let’s quibble over words like “typically” or “growing”, while a) NIST utterly declined to offer any explanation of how WTC 1&2 fell, opting for the convenient but (to say the least) unscientific assertion that global collapse became “inevitable” after an implausible account of an “initiation”; and b) their account of how Building 7 fell demonstrably constitutes scientific fraud and misconduct, as, inter alia, it deliberately misrepresents the structure of the building. We know it’s deliberate because early drafts of the report acknowledged the existence of shear studs; the final report relies on them not being there. Nor could it ever have passed peer review — not with the model input data declared “secret”!

    “Ha, I’d like to see a reference for NIST saying steel doesn’t conduct heat!”
    [reference provided: NIST’s model assumes steel doesn’t conduct heat]
    “Ah. Yes. Well. That’s just YOU not understanding what you read! Ha!”

    “For some reason, those silly truths think free fall is significant.”
    [Erm, that would be because it means there is zero resistance, indicating rather strongly that enormous amounts of cross-braced steel and concrete were instantaneously removed.]

    Let’s be honest. Anybody who is not at the very least troubled by the complete inadequacy of the NIST explanations is not thinking scientifically, regardless of how contemptuously they throw the phrase “moon landing hoax” around.

  14. bevin says

    “… scientists examine the event and figure out how they came to be destroyed.”
    Then they take a look at the signature on the pay cheque they last received. And sometimes they decide that, after all, they are not really sure what happened- there are so many possible explanations- and that stating their theoretical surmises could have national security implications that it is beyond their expertise to assess. And that if they knew, absolutely knew, what was the cause they would be bound to speak but, in view of the circumstances, and in order not to get involved in something that could become very dangerous. They smile quietly to themselves, change the subject, take a vacation perhaps or call in sick for a few days and get back to the really important job of …(whatever it is).

      • Jerome Fryer says

        I’ll take that as a “yes”, based on the up and down votes.

  15. Jerome Fryer says

    “painedScientist” brought up something in the comments here that I wish to try to unpack: https://off-guardian.org/2016/09/11/why-were-covering-911-fifteen-years-on/

    painedScientist (responding to Eric_B):
    “This is the official government explanation for how the towers fell. Not mine. NIST’s.

    NIST says the planes damaged the structure, but FIRE brought the towers down. And the only way they can make a model that demonstrates this claim is by pretending steel is non-conductive.

    How the hell can anyone say this is the last word? How the hell can anyone call someone who wants more investigation a “nutter”?”

    “Are you claiming that NIST state that steel doesn’t conduct heat?”

    Loop Garou:
    “NIST do say that. Or at least to make their computer model produce enough heat in certain locations they admit they assigned the steel zero conductivity. Which means they were saying they assumed the steel in the WTC could not conduct heat.
    Yes, it’s crazy. And yes that’s what NIST says.”


    Loop Garou:
    “The steel was assumed in the FDS model to be thermally-thin, thus, no thermal conductivity was used.” NCSTAR 1-5F, p 20
    “The interior walls [including insulated steel columns] were assumed to have the properties of gypsum board [0.5 W/m/K].” NCSTAR 1-5F, p 52
    “Although the floor slab actually consisted of a metal deck topped with a concrete slab…the thermal properties of the entire floor slab were assumed to be that of concrete [1.0 W/m/K].” NCSTAR 1-5F, p 52”

    Thank you to “Loop Garou” for pointing to the NIST document. Apologies for formatting omissions above. I do not know how to insert the tags correctly within the text.

    From the NIST document, titled “Computer Simulation of the Fires in the World Trade Center Towers”. Note that this is a simulation: a model.

    This is the abstract:
    “This report presents the results of numerical simulations of the fires in World Trade Center (WTC) 1 and WTC 2 on September 11, 2001. The calculations were performed with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Fire Dynamics Simulator, a computational fluid dynamics model that describes the flow of smoke and hot gases from a fire. Before performing the simulations, the model was validated by comparing its predictions with measurements from a series of large scale fire experiments performed at NIST. The model also was enhanced to better describe the pyrolysis of charring fuels, like wood; and the computer program was re-configured to run on multiple processors. Input data for the simulations of WTC 1 and WTC 2 consisted of descriptions of the properties of typical office furnishings and jet fuel, floor layouts, exterior damage, and interior damage estimates. Results of the simulations were compared with visual observations. Predicted temperatures and gas concentrations were subsequently used to analyze the temperatures within steel trusses and columns.”

    As several commenters have taken exception to the content of this document, would they care to explain why they believe that the sections quoted indicate a problem or error in this modelling?

    • Loop Garou says

      Are you asking wha’s wrong with the part you quoted or the part I quoted? I’ll answer both.

      what’s wrong with the part you quote?
      Nothing. But it’s just a broad claim about how good their model is and includes no details at all. They are just saying “we have made sure all our figures are really precise and well-correlated.”

      what’s wrong with the part I quote?
      Everything! Tucked away in the small print where people won’t check NIST is saying they have built their model assuming all the steel in the WTC had a thermal conductivity of 0 give or take. That is about as bad as it gets.

      • Jerome Fryer says

        You don’t understand what you’re reading, and are making speculative claims about motive that have no evidence. This is the same problem with climate change deniers, who swallow fabrications produced by people with — presumably — intent to deceive.

        “painedScientist” claims to have a science education, so I want to know if he understands the paper.

        • Loop Garou says

          Maybe you don’t understand it Jerome, but it’s really not difficult. I’ll try and explain.

          “The steel was assumed in the FDS model to be thermally-thin, thus, no thermal conductivity was used.” NCSTAR 1-5F, p 20

          The phrase used here “no thermal conductivity was used” means that when punching in the data to make their collapse model NIST set the thermal conductivity of the steel to zero.

          “The interior walls [including insulated steel columns] were assumed to have the properties of gypsum board [0.5 W/m/K].” NCSTAR 1-5F, p 52

          This means that when punching in the data to make their collapse model NIST set the thermal conductivity of the steel in the interior walls to be the same as gypsum board , ie 0.5W/m/K. Most people intuitively know that steel does not have the same thermal conductivity as gypsum board.

          “Although the floor slab actually consisted of a metal deck topped with a concrete slab…the thermal properties of the entire floor slab were assumed to be that of concrete [1.0 W/m/K].” NCSTAR 1-5F, p 52”

          This means that when punching in the data to make their collapse model NIST set the thermal properties of the steel in the floors of the WTC be the same as concrete, ie 1.0W/m/K.

          For comparison of these NIST values with real world non-insane values – the lowest thermal conductivity for steel I am aware of is around 20W/m/K. The highest is around 60.

          Here is a link to a table of values:

          So, NIST rewrote known physical laws in order to make their collapse-by-fire model work, and hid this detail in the body of the report hoping no one would notice.

          If there’s anything you’re still having a problem with I’ll do my best to help

          • Jerome Fryer says

            Do you accept that the model worked? That it matched the physical testing?

            Yes, no, maybe…

            • johnschoneboom says

              Do you accept that a model that produces the desired end results, but which substitutes graham crackers for steel, does not constitute a satisfactory explanation of something that happened in the real world?

              • Jerome Fryer says

                If the model matches the physical results, then it doesn’t matter.

                Graham crackers, mouse turds, whatever — the important thing is to ensure that the model reliably predicts what you actually get in the small-scale testing. You then scale that up. NIST explain their methodology, but without a specialist background I can’t critique it meaningfully.

                For me, as someone who uses the same scientific method, it comes down to whether NIST are credible (they are) and whether their modelling looks like a sound methodological approach (I think so, but am not qualified to critique it).

                If NIST were performing their physical tests with a typical office load out and materials, then added thermite — yes, you’d have a point, because they’d be modelling ‘WTC tower, plus added thermite’.

                Do you understand?

                • JanJoukedeHaan says

                  What physical results? NIST only used a computerized model. They adjusted the computer model to provide their desired hypothesis. There was no connection to the real world.

                • johnschoneboom says

                  I’m assuming that you mean by “physical results” the actual results of what happened to the actual towers, i.e., a sudden, rapid and more or less symmetrical descent. As opposed to some other physical results that happened in a NIST experiment. If so, what you are arguing appears to be that any model that successfully recreates a sudden, rapid, and more or less symmetrical descent is valid and useful, regardless of the parameters used, up to and including the use of an attack by Godzilla.

                  Because from what we know of what NIST actually did — and here your experience in scientific method will come in handy — their physical results (trying to get a floor assembly to fail in a furnace) failed to replicate what happened to the WTC, so they used a computer model, in the case of WTC7, for which some of the input parameters were declared to be secret, while others are known to be inaccurate (e.g., the conductivity; the lack of shear studs), and still the resulting computer animation bears little resemblance to the real world physical results.

                  In the case of WTC 1 & 2, of course, the official explanation of the mechanisms of global collapse simply do not exist. No attempt was made. The existence of molten and evaporated steel is simply denied, despite credible evidence, some would say that swiss cheese beams constitutes irrefutable evidence. And the controlled demolition hypothesis, on the face of it a reasonable one given the many apparent similarities, was not even investigated, ruled out in advance, because to paraphrase NIST very closely “why look for something that’s not there?” This is a patently unscientific approach as I’m sure you’d almost have to agree.

                  I am genuinely curious how you, as somebody with purported respect for the scientific method, process these deeply unsatisfactory, indeed in some respects fraudulent, results and accept them as beyond reasonable question.

                • “Do you understand?”

                  Yes, I think . . . well, as far down as the Graham crackers. After that it’s all turds.

                • Moriarty's Left Sock says

                  I’m confused. Are you a scientist or not? One minute you say you’re not competent to understand or refute Steve Jones’s paper, the next minute you’re telling us you’re a scientist and run a lab.

                  If you don’t understand the science enough to publish a rebuttal of Jones et al as OffGuardian invited you to do, then how do you feel able to tell other posters they don’t understand the science that you admitted you don’t understand?

                • Jerome Fryer says

                  Conclusion: maybe (?)

                  No sensible response to the question, all responders avoiding answering it, or in the case of “johnschoneboon”, what appears to be a deliberate evasion.

              • johnschoneboom says

                I’ve read it, Jerome. And I’m not speculating. I’ve identified several areas that variously represent scientific misconduct, incompetence, and fraud. You do not address these issues, despite your avowed fealty to the scientific method, because you cannot. So you dissemble.

                There are a limited number of possibilities here. One is that you don’t understand the scientific method. Another is that you don’t care about it. You apparently think you can work around it by smoke screens. It’s not working very well here, is it, among actual critical thinkers? I sort of admire your persistence, although I’d admire it more if you’d specifically address the substance of the criticisms of the NIST pseudo-science. But admitting you’ve got nothing is hard. It takes integrity.

                • Jerome Fryer says

                  If you’ve identified such things, post them.

                  Or tell the editors here and you can write them an article (probably).

                • johnschoneboom says

                  This thread has gotten a bit convoluted so I’m not even sure where to post a reply, but somewhere up above Jerome has accused me of deliberate evasion. Deliberate evasion of what, I’m not sure. I just wanted to respond by appreciating Jerome’s subtle humor here, coming after I mentioned several specific anti-scientific flaws in the NIST report and asked him to respond. Oh, he responded. He said it must be good science because NIST did it, and never mind any examples of falsified data or ridiculous secret parameters. And when I raised it again, he said: please give me some examples! Now that’s first class evasion right there, a proper invitation to run round in circles. It’s all still here on the page, Jerome, I’m sure we’re all waiting for you to address it without actually holding our breath.

                  You are of course using the time-honored “no, you!” defense employed by countless eight-year-olds, with an admirably staunch disregard for irony as you simultaneously appeal to NIST’s authority and dismiss a defense of university science as an appeal to authority. I always make popcorn now when I see that you’ve written something here. Keep it coming. I love popcorn.

                  I’m going to take a wild guess about what I was supposed to be evading, and that’s whether I’m willing to concede “that the model worked…that it matched the physical results.” The answer is yes, I agree that the NIST model worked. That is, it correctly took the garbage and mystery that was entered and spit out what you’d expect. I do not agree that it matched the physical results of what happened to Building 7, since its collapse animation looks nothing like what happened to Building 7. Nor do I agree that it matched the physical results of NIST’s physical tests, since their attempts to make a floor assembly stop supporting its load in a furnace failed every time.

                  Wake me up again when you decide to address the cognitive dissonance you must be experiencing from the collision between your insistence on the credibility of NIST and the undeniably laughable nature of its fraudulent report. I’ll have the popcorn standing by. I’m starting to become genuinely fond of you.

    • Dear Jerome,

      You ask:

      “As several commenters have taken exception to the content of this document, would they care to explain why they believe that the sections quoted indicate a problem or error in this modelling?”

      The answer you seek is in your post. Here, have a look:

      Jerome To Pained,

      “Are you claiming that NIST state that steel doesn’t conduct heat?”


      Jerome quoting Loop Garou quoting NIST:

      “The steel was assumed in the FDS model to be thermally-thin, thus, no thermal conductivity was used.” NCSTAR 1-5F, p 20

      Let me spell it out for you so that you “get it:” It does seem that for modelling purposes, that is, to make it’s model work, that is, to make it simulate a “pre-determined” conclusion, NIST does and had to make the assumption that “steel doesn’t conduct heat.”


      BTW, a while ago you wrote:

      “. . . I found an independent attempt at duplication the ‘nano-thermite’ hypothese of Harrit et al by some painstaking and extensive Google searching. Well, about a half minute or so of effort. How is it that you can’t find it?”

      see the comment section here:


      If this purported link of yours is only ‘about a half minute or so’ away, how ’bout you share with us. Because unless you give me a) a title or b) a URL, it’s difficult for me to know how I am to find the document to which you are referring, eh. The latter bit that I just wrote would be my answer to your question, “How is it that you can’t find it?”

      • Jerome Fryer says

        Why do you think that the model requires certain things, but not others? (My assumption would be that you don’t understand what you’re reading, and are taking someone else pointing to those notes as ‘evidence’ for some sort of error in the model.)

        Perhaps you should consider why those notes are in there, if the whole point is to cover up some form of conspiracy. That doesn’t require any understanding of the process they’re using, just some critical thinking.

        Let me know why you believe that NIST didn’t just lie about their modelling, if that was the actual object.

        • Loop Garou says

          No self-respecting professional scientist wants to lie any more than they absolutely have to. So when governments pressure enquiries to draw convenient conclusions there’s alway a compromise. NIST fiddled their data as much as they could to get the “fire-induced collapse” model to work and hid the details in the depths of a report that few would bother to read cover to cover. Standard practice.

          If you have a science background why do you keep talking as if the basic high school physics of thermal conductivity is some kind of magic no normal person can understand?

          You understand it right? Why assume no one else does?

          • Jerome Fryer says

            You haven’t read the document, have you?

            Do you understand this: they develop a model that replicates a physical test. When they have tweaked the model correctly, the results produced by the model will match the results they got in the physical test. Then they scale that out, and try to check that everything seems to give correct results.

            There could be a problem where you match the model to the expected result, but they performed physical tests — they burnt a whole bunch of stuff and took measurements, to put it simply.

            Read the document. If you still believe that the notes on methodology are important then you have not comprehended the document.

            I am fairly sure that the ‘truthers’ who fed you the misdirection do understand this, by the way. They’re lying to you.

            (Or maybe they really are just incredibly shitty scientists. I can’t really rule that out. Unless they make money from the ‘truther’ stuff. Do they?)

            • Loop Garou says

              The models NIST is talking about are computer models you jackass.

              • Jerome Fryer says

                What about the physical tests that they did, to calibrate the models?

                Did you even look at the original document? If so, why didn’t you note the photos of their various test burn setups and wonder what those were?

                See chapters 3 and 4 in the NIST NCSTAR 1-5F document.
                “Chapter 3 Modal Accuracy Assessment – Steady Fires” and “Chapter 4 Model Accuracy Assessment – Workstation Fires”

                • moriarty's Left Sock says

                  The question of the physical tests NIST did to calibrate its computer models is itself riddled with controversy. Kevin Ryan worked at Underwriters, the lab tasked with doing much of the physical fire-modeling. He has described the horrendous breaches pf protocol he witnessed. He was fired for his very brave whistleblowing, and became prominent in the call for a new investigation. — [citation needed – OffG ed.]

    • How is it possible for an aircraft, like the 757, which is made mostly from aluminum, can crash thru thick, steel beams–like WTC 1 and 2 had–when there are many pics online of passenger jets that were hit by a flock of birds and forced to land due to the immense damage to the jet. And no, I’m not talking about birds that fly into the jet propellers.

      As for the NIST simulations, I say BULL. I worked construction as a bricklayer before joining the FD and worked on many a commercial building.
      When you pour the floor, it’s basically the same; On top of the steel girders running from wall to wall, barn tin/sheet metal is laid down perpendicular to the girders for strength, then the concrete is poured.
      In the NIST simulation I saw, the barn tin was laid PARALLEL to the beams, making the whole floor structure very weak even before fire is applied.

      Looked to me like someone was trying to get an outcome already pre-ordained.

      • Jerome Fryer says

        Do you believe that the Japanese suicide bombers were able to do significant damage to US aircraft carriers and other ships? Physics isn’t conditional.

        • You just tricked yourself into admitting that BOMBS were used to bring down the WTC, because the kamikaze planes were loaded with explosives.

          • Jerome Fryer says

            “You just tricked yourself into admitting that BOMBS were used to bring down the WTC,”
            Oh, did I? Your thought process here does not seem rational.
            “because the kamikaze planes were loaded with explosives.”
            Yes, and / or full fuel tanks.

            Sometimes the explosives failed, and there was one case where the pilot even survived the attack. But even slamming a lightweight aircraft into a heavy ship does damage.

            If you’re fixated on the “BOMBS” thing, then consider if the B25 that hit the Empire State did any damage. It did, even though it was made out of lighter materials than the building.

      • John McGrath says

        High school physics has the answers you seek.

        Additionally, the aluminum curtain walls of 1WTC and 2WTC were exactly that…aluminum curtain walls.

        • Jerome Fryer says

          I think he’s referring to the outer supports, and believes that because they were structural steel they can withstand an impact from anything with less hardness (?) than steel.

          Maybe ‘truthers’ think that tsunami damage is a conspiracy too, what with water being all soft and watery, and so forth…

          It seems like a highly selective disbelief.

          • Pained Scientist says

            That’s pretty admirable – sniggering at an experienced retired firefighter who risked his life to serve people for many years and is offering an honest opinion based upon sober analysis. Do you have anything to say about his observations, or is giggling and pointing all you’re good for?


            • Jerome Fryer says

              “sniggering at an experienced retired firefighter who risked his life to serve people for many years and is offering an honest opinion based upon sober analysis”
              And thus his opinion on something unrelated is credible? If Greg (or even someone who isn’t a retired firefighter, someone of lesser moral stature, presumably) also opined that something you consider to be incontestable were incorrect would you defer to that opinion? Are facts provisional, based on whether they are honestly considered to be true or false?

              Do you agree with Greg’s impression that an aluminium [something] can’t damage a steel [something]? You don’t address that, so I think not.

        • Pained Scientist says

          You believe the exterior columns of 1 and 2 World Trade Center were made from aluminum?

          The smug stupidity index just went off the gauge.

        • JanjoukedeHaan says

          “The buildings used high-strength, load-bearing perimeter steel columns called Vierendeel trusses that were spaced closely together to form a strong, rigid wall structure. There were 60 perimeter columns, narrowly spaced, on each side of the buildings. In all, the perimeter walls of the towers were 210 feet (64 m) on each side, and the corners were beveled. The perimeter columns were designed to provide support for virtually all lateral loads (such as wind loads) and to share the gravity loads with the core columns.

          The perimeter structure was constructed with extensive use of prefabricated modular pieces, which consisted of three columns, three stories tall, connected by spandrel plates. The perimeter columns had a square cross section, 14 inches (36 cm) on a side, and were constructed of welded steel plate. The thickness of the plates and grade of structural steel varied over the height of the tower, ranging from 36,000 to 100,000 pounds per square inch (260 to 670 MPa).”

        • Greg Bacon says

          Not really, someone tossed a bucket of water on me and I ‘overheated!’

            • Large Johnson says

              Probably all that creaking and groaning right around your bulge.

              • Interesting that a Large Johnson would be interested in all the creaking and groaning going on around another’s “bulge,” and speculate in “exploding” imagery. Even more interesting is the fact that he has to . . . oh, what’s the word . . . oh, yes, “sidle up” to the “bulge” in question to whisper in its ear that he imagines it to be “creaking” and “groaning.”

  16. Jim Porter says

    It has all been said in the comments above but one thing about the upper floors collapsing and forcing lower floors to collapse as they went down doesn’t even tally with the inset video of this piece where all floors are equally spaced all the way down to the ground so that it must have been lower floors collapsing first – just as in a controlled collapse.

    • Jerome Fryer says

      You would observe that in video footage and photographs. If the base of the building were to collapse first then the floors above would come down as a unit, and the building would collapse progressively at ground level.

      What you actually see is the section of building above the damaged area drop onto the rest of the building, effectively like dropping a huge wrecking ball on top of the tower. As the debris mass increases and the velocity of propagation of destruction increases the noise and dust cloud ramps up.

      • Loop Garou says

        Not so.

        Building 7 implodes from the bottom at free fall and is really indistinguishable from a classic controlled demolition.

        Buildings 1 and 2 drop top down, which is less typical but not unknown in controlled demolitions. They are not acting like wrecking balls because the collapse accelerates too smoothly . In other words they are falling like things encountering no resistance.

        As our friend the professional firefighter points out, pancake collapses are never as total or symmetrical or as fast as that. Which is why NIST ruled it out.

        But even though NIST ruled out a pancake collapse it didn’t offer any alternatives, because there aren’t any compatible with a collapse due to fire, so NIST left the precise mechanics of how the drop happened vague.

        Look at the drop. That’s not floors pancaking. That is steel ripping apart, concrete and fiberglass and gypsum turning into powder. There is so much energy there that steel girders weighing fifty tons are being hurled hundreds of feet and everything inside the structure is literally being blasted apart., including the people. How does a collapse explode human bodies into tiny fragments? Look at the pyroclastic flow of pulverised material – a few seconds earlier it was part of a standing structure. Buildings that fall down just fall down. All the energy is spent in dropping and breaking things as it drops. These buildings are blowing up , literally turning to dust as we watch.

        Where are they getting the immense amount of energy to do that? Physics tells us there must be an external source, because nothing in the building can supply it. It’s simple maths.

        • Jerome Fryer says

          A few observations.

          The WTC 7 collapse was well-documented, and the theory about the single point of failure causing a progressive collapse of the weakened structure is pretty sound. If you only look at the ‘truther’ sites then you’ll only get cherry-picked partial information — for example only photographs of the North side of WTC 7 showing what appear to be small fires on two levels (the ‘standard photo’ used on those websites) — and that is misleading.

          NIST uses ‘pancaking’ to describe a particular type of collapse, which is presumably the standard definition. This is where a building with floors suspended between supports exhibits a support failure and one floor detaches and drops down, setting off a chain reaction. My earlier use of the term to describe the progressive collapse of the towers is incorrect, and the NIST description of the collapse uses different terminology. I apologise if this caused confusion — I agree with the NIST description of the events, and am not positing a different hypothesis.

          I live in Christchurch, New Zealand. Roughly half of the city centre here was destroyed in a series of earthquakes, so I have seen a lot of destroyed buildings that collapsed from various related causes — mostly partial collapse, but a couple of unfortunate examples of total and catastrophic failure (accounting for the major part of the death toll). A huge amount of debris gets ejected a long way when a building collapses, and the energy involved is enormous. WTC 1and 2 were huge buildings, with at least an order of magnitude more energy than the largest buildings that collapsed here (‘PE = 1/2 mgh’, so the 110 story high towers had a lot of ‘h’). You are simply wrong with your assumptions as to how a building should collapse, and there is no requirement to add energy from somewhere else.

          • Dear Jerome,

            The estimated gravitational potential energy per WTC tower was roughly 111,000 KWH (kilowatt hours) *

            The estimated energy to pulverize 600,000 tons of concrete is 135,000 KWH.**

            These estimates do not include the energy required to disaggregate the steel frame of the tower, to scatter the material horizontally, to expand the dust cloud observed during collapse, and to bring all the material down vertically to ground level, where it finally settles.

            Do you notice something about the difference between the estimated GPE of each tower and the estimated energy to ONLY pulverize the concrete of the tower?

            If “ALL” the GPE of the building had been converted into pulverizing the concrete, NOT ALL the concrete would have been pulverized, and furthermore — I don’t expect that you will be able to make the leap of logic necessary to understand this — NOTHING ELSE WOULD HAVE HAPPENED TO THE TOWER, that is, the steel frame would have remained intact, nothing would have travelled horizontally, nothing would have moved vertically, not a window would have been broken BECAUSE ALL THE GPE would have gone into “pulverizing,” that is, breaking up the concrete into 60 micron particles, which is of course an absurdity, isn’t it, BECAUSE much more than “pulverized concrete” resulted on 9/11, eh?

            But, of course, Jerome, as you prove incontrovertibly simply by the power of your ability to assert any absurdity you desire, “. . .there is no requirement to add energy from somewhere else.”

            For * and ** see:

            The North Tower’s Dust Cloud : Analysis of Energy Requirements for the Expansion of the Dust Cloud Following the Collapse of 1 World Trade Center, by Jim Hoffman, October 16, 2003,
            [Version 3.1]


            • Jerome Fryer says

              They give the PE in “kWh”?

              That’s pretty funny. I should read that link sometime.

              • Ha . . . Ha . . .Ha!

                1J = 2.777778·10-7kWh = (1/3600000)kWh

                PE = Energy (in Joules)
                • m = mass (in kilograms)
                • g = gravitational acceleration of the earth (9.8 m/sec2)
                • h = height above earth’s surface (in meters)

                Ha . . . Ha . . . Ha . . .

                • Jerome Fryer says

                  So there was a reason to use the wrong units? (Other than incompetence.)

                • Jerome Fryer says

                  There is a reason we have the SI. Unless there is some other reason for using different units for energy, joules should be used.

                • Jerome Fryer says

                  There are conventions on which units should be used. This prevents unnecessary conversion.

                  I could, for example, give my customers a power meter result in MJ instead of kWh, but that would be a nuisance and yield no benefit (unless they specifically wanted the energy converted to that unit, or some other).

                  Gravitational PE in kWh seems an odd choice, unless you’re used to dealing with an end conversion to those units and are uncomfortable with using the usual unit. You could be an electrical engineer with a background in hydropower, for example.

                  • Always ready with a straight answer to a simple question, eh, Jerome.

                    Clearly, Jerome, whoever you are, you are either, clinically speaking, an idiot or you are a troll, the difference between the one and the other being essentially nil, eh.

          • Loop Garou says

            The WTC7 collapse is symmetrical. The single column failure , even if you accept it as possible – which in physics terms it isn’t – can’t cause a symmetrical collapse.

            Look at NIST’s own model. Even after punching in the highly questionable data we’ve talked about it’s collapse model looks entirely unlike the actual free-fall of WTC7.

            But never mind that – unless NIST can explain how any natural structural failure can produce a free-fall drop they are not explaining anything. None of the buildings that fell down in Christ Church collapsed symmetrically and at free-fall. No buildings that fall due to structural failure have ever done that.

          • Pained Scientist says

            Jerome says:
            If you only look at the ‘truther’ sites then you’ll only get cherry-picked partial information — for example only photographs of the North side of WTC 7 showing what appear to be small fires on two levels (the ‘standard photo’ used on those websites) — and that is misleading.

            This is a standard “liar” (as opposed to “truther”) position. But you never produce the allegedly missing images of the massively damaged south side. Have you seen them ? Where are they? Can you post them here?

            But even if the south side was as damaged as the non-existent photos are supposed to show, so what? Asymmetrical damage can’t produce symmetrical collapse at freefall.

            Jerome says:
            My earlier use of the term [pancaking] to describe the progressive collapse of the towers is incorrect, and the NIST description of the collapse uses different terminology. I apologise if this caused confusion —

            About time Jerome. It was getting ridiculous.

            Jerome says:
            I live in Christchurch, New Zealand. Roughly half of the city centre here was destroyed in a series of earthquakes, so I have seen a lot of destroyed buildings that collapsed from various related causes — mostly partial collapse, but a couple of unfortunate examples of total and catastrophic failure (accounting for the major part of the death toll). A huge amount of debris gets ejected a long way when a building collapses, and the energy involved is enormous.

            Did you see any images of Christchurch remotely resembling the total destruction of WTC 1 and 2? Did you see thousands of tons of concrete and rebar converted to powder or steel girders thrown two or three blocks , or human beings blown into inch-long fragments of bone found a half mile from the collapse?

            Physics 101: The energy involved in a natural collapse is going to be, in simple terms, the potential energy of the standing structure converted into kinetic energy. A falling building (or anything) has finite and calculable amounts of energy at its disposal and most of that is being used in falling, Which is why any resistance it encounters on the way down will slow or stop it. Ok? A falling building (or anything) can’t produce the extra energy to also explode. This is an absolute of Newtonian physics. And common sense.

            Think about it. Apply it to the real world. How can a building collapsing under gravitation find the energy to explode people’s bodies into inch-sized fragments? Do you think next time you drop a coffee cup it just might pick up enough energy on its way to the ground to become a grenade and blow your legs off?

            Jerome says:
            WTC 1 and 2 were huge buildings, with at least an order of magnitude more energy than the largest buildings that collapsed here (‘PE = 1/2 mgh’, so the 110 story high towers had a lot of ‘h’). You are simply wrong with your assumptions as to how a building should collapse, and there is no requirement to add energy from somewhere else.

            The size of the building is irrelevant. Energy can’t just be created out of nothing. No standing structure however large has the potential energy to blow itself up, (unless of course it has thermite sol-gel painted on its steel girders).

            • Jerome Fryer says

              WTC Building 7 Collapse – 23 angles

              “Did you see any images of Christchurch remotely resembling the total destruction of WTC 1 and 2?”
              Yes. Most of the central city was impassable, with casualties having to be carried by hand. It looked like London during the Blitz.

              Oh, and no: I don’t think thermite, or explosives, or any other factor was involved except for gravity and an earthquake that (temporarily, but very decisively) trumped gravity.

              You keep using terms like “explode” to describe things that don’t require the use of explosives. Can you explain what the ‘theory’ of the nano-thermite behaviour is? Not how in the hell it was supposedly in the WTC towers in the first place — lets assume it was — but how it acts.

              “The size of the building is irrelevant.”
              The structure isn’t irrelevant. A single story building is going to have less stored energy than a 110 story tall building, due to the “h” component in the PE = 1/2 m g h calculation. You know this, or knew it a paragraph up. Why is it now not relevant?
              “Energy can’t just be created out of nothing.”
              “No standing structure however large has the potential energy to blow itself up, (unless of course it has thermite sol-gel painted on its steel girders).”
              What do you mean by “blow itself up”? Do you mean a 110 story tall building collapsing? What was your expectation from such a collapse?

              Did they paint the CTV building with “thermite sol-gel”? How about all of the other building collapses that have occurred?

              So much ridiculousness in that final paragraph.

          • Greg Bacon says

            When those NZ buildings collapse due to a quake, do they shoot up a hot column of smoke and debris several hundred feet into the air?

        • Large Johnson says

          Sofia Softsquish says ga-hey,Loopy and keep up the good work!

  17. Much that could be said to add to the entirely justified condemnations of this pathetically absurd alleged refutation of the obvious: that all three towers were destroyed by controlled demolition, though in two different ways (WTC7 classic, leaving a large debris pile; WTC1&2 very unusual, with metal being vaporised in mid-air and hundreds of thousands of tons of material – concrete, office furniture, etc. – being turned into powder. As of now, no-one can say with absolute certainty exactly which technique or techniques were used to achieve this. There are basically three camps, each with valid arguments: the ‘nano-thermite camp’, the ‘mini-nuke camp’ and the ‘directed energy weapon (DEW) camp’. There may well have been a combination of these.

    As mentioned in another comment, in none of the three towers were the fires hot, as evidenced by the black smoke – but also by the recorded message of the firefighters who reported that there were only a few minor fires left that could be easily dealt with with a couple of extra hoses. That message may well have been the reason why the second tower to experience an explosion at an upper level – supposedly caused by a plane – was the first to be destroyed. It seems obvious that it was brought down sooner precisely because the fires were burning out – and thus the ‘fires brought them down’ story was rapidly losing credibility.

    I’ve spent 6 hours today listening to Gary Null’s excellent series of interviews at http://prn.fm/gary-null-911-special/. His last interviewee is Robert David Steele (just over 20 minutes long, from 5.33.52) who is one of a rapidly increasing number of 9/11 researchers who now accept that the evidence shows that no planes were involved. I won’t repeat the evidence for this conclusion here, merely urge readers to look at the evidence. There are some excellent videos – such as the interview with John Lear – which deal with this important issue. Crucial to this assertion is the undisputed fact that not one of the hundreds of thousands of individually numbered airplane parts was recovered from the WTC. Another key Gary Null interviewee, Barbara Honegger, confirms my assessment that the planes were the necessary cover story.

    • John McGrath says

      There’s six hours of your life you can’t get back.

      • Jerome Fryer says

        I guess it’s a sort of hobby for some people. (Or a type of relatively benign mental illness. Think of the character from “Cheers”.)

        I have been unsuccessfully attempting to get some ‘Moon landing hoax’ people to accept the facts brought up in a YouTube clip, concerning why there are no stars (easily) visible in photos taken on the lunar surface. Photography isn’t difficult to understand, and they almost certainly have cameras they can use to verify dynamic range for themselves.

        But they won’t do it. They want to believe claims that are simply not real, and won’t do anything that might jeopardise the fictional narrative.

  18. johnschoneboom says

    The sad thing is that this profoundly pathetic level of attempted rebuttal — a series of incorrect and unsupported assertions that sounds like it was written by a 16-year-old boy too stoned to know he’s way out of his depth — seems to satisfy so many people. Not here, obviously, or in other similar enclaves where critical thinking remains alive, but among the general population. It just doesn’t bode well for our future.

  19. drouetda says

    This is so much rubbish! I have not read so much utter crap it is to the point of being pathetic. No fire especially from aviation fuel can melt or soften steel, No aircraft hit these buildings not one! All 3 buildings were taken down in the same way by demolition.

    • Large Johnson says

      Jeepers,guy,the smashing of #7 by the collapse of #1 constitutes a damaging “hit”.Did you even know that Tower 1 and some of its reeeeally heavy beams crashed into your Sacred Tower while it collapsed?

      How the heck could that be so difficult for you to understand? Fires can’t “soften steel”? Have you hit the wall?

      Are you inclined to be hustled into cults? Did you forget to make up your own mind?

      • Jerome Fryer says

        It was what set WTC 7 on fire.

        Possibly this isn’t understood by some people, because they never see the images of the huge amount of damage to the south side of WTC 7 (a massive gouge starting from floor forty going down to near ground level) nor the photos of several floors fully ablaze. Combine that with the fable about the towers ‘falling into their footprint’ (rather than largely falling on top of nearby buildings, because that’s what happened) and some people seem to believe that WTC 7 was standing there perfectly pristine then some shadowy government agent types (and / or ‘Jews’, sometimes) came along and blew it up with charges that made no sound, or ‘nano thermite’ that produced no light.

        If you don’t know much, and have no interest in finding out, then you can believe anything.

        • Large Johnson says

          Propaganda most likely started by the Godfather of The Controlled Demolition Cult,the reprehensible and proud Holocaust Denier Eric Hufschmid.

  20. JanjoukedeHaan says

    Why mr. Loose and Mrs. Change wanted to call their son (or daughter) “Screw” is beyond me, just like a lot of the words that mr of mrs Screw uses in this text.

    For instance:
    “No miles of detonation cord as is commonly used to ensure the simultaneous (or nearly) loss of load-bearing supports to the building.”

    I dare say that mr. Screw can’t know that. But it also doesn’t matter. They may have used wireless detonators, like the US Army does.

  21. mog says

    I commend offguardian for re posting this piece.
    For me the most bizarre thing about this whole affair has been the lack of any real attempt to rebut the arguments of 911 researchers.
    Such attempts are usually anonymous, very thin on references and full of obvious sophistry. The 911 story hangs on faith that nobody will question it.

    • mog says

      Who are screw lose change?
      ‘James B’ , coincidentally has the same profile as Mike Williamson –
      the sole creator of of 911myths.com – that being software designer and writer.
      ‘Pat’ the only other contributor, has no profile at all. I think ‘James B’ also created a ‘journal of debunking 911’ that cited ‘shaggy’ as part of its peer review team.
      The web page ‘debunking 911.com’ has the same layout as 911myhts.com.
      In short, the debunking circle seems quite small.

      • Jerome Fryer says

        There is a paucity of people with any relevant expertise wanting to wade into a subject that has already been thoroughly examined. This article is simply a screed of assertions and attempts at braggadocio that indicate a fundamental lack of understanding. It is the same response you get from attempting to debate ‘Moon landing hoax’ believers.

        • Loop Garou says

          What are you talking about? There are literally thousands of extremely well-qualified people who have come out against the official explanation for the destruction of the trade center buildings. We have architects and structural engineers whose working lives are spent designing and building safe high-rises. How can you say they don’t have relevant expertise?

          True, there are also a lot of professionals who are sitting on the fence and preferring not to get involved, but the number of professionals prepared to actually go on record with a detailed support of the NIST report is very small. Because the closer you look the more ridiculous the report is and most professional engineers and scientists have a minimum of self-respect that stops them actually putting their reputations on the line to support bad science. That’s why it’s left to idiots and Anons such as Screw Loose Change to do the dirty work.

          • Jerome Fryer says

            If they were qualified they would understand the material. What is posted on the ‘truther’ websites is erroneous and misleading. That indicates that they don’t understand the material, or do understand it and are deliberately misrepresenting it.

            This only works because some people are suspicious of anything that they don’t understand, and will believe a dissenting assertion even if it is completely erroneous — they don’t understand the source, and they wish to believe the ‘conspiracy’.

  22. Greg Bacon says

    Let me add one more thought: Sure, some of the sprinklers didn’t work because SOME of the water mains were broken, so where did the NYFD firefighters get the water needed to fight the fires? From Heaven or from water mains that didn’t break?

    • John McGrath says

      The FDNY was using water from fire boats that were pumping it from the Hudson River. There was no water in lower Manhattan after 2WTC collapsed. As for the sprinkler systems, their effect had to have been minimal prior to the collapse of 2WTC as it is 1) difficult to maintain pressure over such a long distance and 2) some, if not all of the stand pipes were severed by the impact of the planes.

      • Jerome Fryer says

        The design of the sprinkler systems in all cases was inadequate for the sudden extensive fires caused. Nobody designs fire-suppression for ‘impact at maximum speed by fully fuelled jetliner’. (I suppose they could, but it’s a risk-analysis vs cost trade-off.)

      • Greg Bacon says

        Then what water supply was the NYFD using BEFORE the Twins collapsed and destroyed all those mains?

        Setting up a relay system from a boat to FD truck involves a lot of hose, time and manpower. Add in the PSI they’d have to overcome from all the resistance and they must of had one helluva fire boat to pump out at over 500 PSI to the WTC fire floors.

  23. Then where did the 2,700 degrees heat needed to bend and wrap steel come from? Not from the burning of JP4, the jet fuel that was mostly vaporized and exploded upon contact. Besides, JP burns between 800-1,500 degrees.

    Not from the contents fires, which can reach over 1,200 degrees with sufficient oxygen. But as you can see from the WTC smoke, which is mostly black, meaning that the fires WEREN’T getting the needed oxygen to burn at a high rate.

    Again, where did the 2,700 degrees needed to bend and warp steel come from?

    • Jerome Fryer says

      Steel softens with a lot less heating that that, and you don’t need to lose 100% of the strength for it to become ineffective.

      • Really? Better send out emergency notices to all those incinerators that burn paint, volatile chemicals, old carpet and the like, since it’s obvious they’re are in danger of melting!!!

        Because that’s what was burning in the WTC.

        One more question: The NYFD poured millions and millions of gallons of water on the WTC rubble, plus, that September was rainier than usual, adding to the total, so why were there fires still burning three months later?
        And why did NYFD crews find pools of molten steel in the rubble?

        • John McGrath says

          Steel loses 50% of its tensile strength at a temperature less than 1000 degrees Fahrenheit.

          FDNY did not find “pools of molten steel” in the rubble.

            • John McGrath says

              Was that link supposed to be a joke? Professor Jones citing the hearsay of those unqualified to identify “molten steel”?

              Do you even know what “molten steel” is?

              Why don’t you refer to that doctored photograph as evidence as well? That would help your credibility.—[citation needed for the photograph being “doctored” – OffG ed]

            • John McGrath says

              Provide a source for the video that doesn’t limit it to 14 seconds. Complete source material, not cherry picked snippets if you want to be taken seriously, which 15 years later, is too late. [the video is 14 minutes long, not fourteen seconds – OffG ed.]

              • Greg Bacon says

                It’s never too late to find out the TRUTH about 9/11.

                The 343 murdered NYFD firefighters demand no less.

          • Greg Bacon says

            For a fire to burn for days after the main body of fire has been extinguished isn’t unusual, but for it to burn for THREE MONTHS after millions and millions of gallons of water has been applied is unusual.

            • Jerome Fryer says

              How many events like the 9/11 attacks have occurred?

              The WTC towers, in particular, were enormous structures with a novel design. Comparisons can’t be made to anything else unless there is something to compare to. Do you have any suggestions?

              • johnschoneboom says

                I have a suggestion. I would suggest that it is unscientific to use the uniqueness of the events, or the uniqueness of the design, as a blanket explanation for any inconvenient anomaly you might run across. Perhaps it was the uniqueness of the design that also explains the evaporated steel from the swiss cheese beams reported on in the NY Times? They should never have used those unique evaporating beams. What bunglers.

              • JanJoukedeHaan says

                Ah, so the unique design of the towers caused office furniture to burn for three months, while looking like molten steel?

              • Moriarty's Left Sock says

                @ JeromeFryer Claiming an event is unusual is NOT a valid scientific explanation. of anything.

                “How did these low grade office fires find the energy to heat the rubble for weeks at temps of 2,000 deg +?”

                “Easy – they were unusual fires!”

                “Oh. Right. now I get it. Enough said.”

                • Jerome Fryer says

                  So you are asserting that all other fires that occurred in a tall building, and the separate incident of the B25 striking the Empire State, are comparable?

                  The WTC towers had a different construction, and were struck by far larger aircraft at far higher speeds.

                  There is a ‘built-in’ comparison within the event, in that two towers of near identical construction were struck and burned differently. They also failed in the same way, with the building suffering damage lower down (thus having more weight bearing down on the damaged section) failing faster.

                • JanjoukedeHaan says

                  Of course they are comparable. Why on earth would they not? Were the laws of physics switched off for that specific area on that specific day?

                  You talk about high rise buildings with office fires burning for three months, just because of the fires and the scale of them. So I offer you fire and scale. You talk about the plane in the building that is supposed to make the big difference. So I offer you a plane in a high rise building with a fire. There are loads more, like the El-Al cargo plane that struck a residential building in Amsterdam in 1992. Guess what? The laws of physics applied even there!

                  But not for the WTC towers? Don’t be silly.

                • Jerome Fryer says

                  Where are you getting the idea that “the laws of physics” we’re being violated during the WTC collapses?

                  Do you have a citation? — [see – http://911blogger.com/node/17704 – cited and quoted here many times already – for the claim NIST gave the steel in its models a thermal conductivity of zero, which is alleged to be a violation of physics. It might be good if you can find a refutation of this claim as this would be a better basis for discussion than simply going round and round asking for sources already given and refusing to give sources of your own – OffG ed].

  24. Utter Amateur Rubbish – beneath contempt.

    Try and repeat any of this in real conditions, as in build an identical tower & crash a plane into it but nobody would dare as we all know the result – it won’t fall !

    US economy lasted 15yrs longer than it should have & 9/11 bought time to try a war on terrorism & the Wolfowitz doctrine for World Domination but Ooops along come Putin…………..

    • Yes,we’re afraid it is very poor, but our reasoning is that if this is the best rebuttal that can be made then that too is informative. We will keep watching out for a better response, and we will post any we find here if we are able.

      • Jerome Fryer says

        That isn’t useful. Publishing two sides that each don’t understand what they’re arguing about is not going to achieve anything.

        • Loop Garou says

          I just keep wanting you to tell us how the two structural engineers and the physicist who wrote that paper don’t understand basic Newtonian mechanics? You keep saying these hyper-qualified people don’t know what they are talking about. What are you basing this on?

          • Jerome Fryer says

            I’ll assume you are referring to “On the physics of high-rise building collapses”.

            They understand physics (presumably), but their article is full of weasel words and what appear to be deliberate attempts to confuse and mislead the reader. I’ll try to give some examples and explain what I am referring to.

            “…the lesser-known collapse late that afternoon of the 47-story World Trade Center Building 7…”
            On what basis do they make the claim “lesser known”? Isn’t WTC 7 the primary focus of ‘truthers’? This appears to be an attempt to set the scene for a later assertion, implying that there is some form of cover-up already.

            “Fires typically are not hot enough and do not last long enough in any single area to generate enough energy to heat the large structural members to the point where they fail…”
            Example of weasel words: “typically”. Also ‘typically’, fires do not burn for hours on multiple floors of a building while firefighters struggle to keep them under control with a severe lack of water and resources. How is WTC 7 ‘typical’?

            “Indeed, neither before nor since 9/11 have fires caused the total collapse of a steel-framed high-rise—nor has any other natural event, with the exception of the 1985 Mexico City earthquake, which toppled a 21-story office building. Otherwise, the only phenomenon capable of collapsing such buildings completely has been by way of a procedure known as controlled demolition, whereby explosives or other devices are used to bring down a structure intentionally.”
            What constitutes a “high-rise”? What do they mean by “collapsing a building completely”? Was WTC 7 a complete collapse, and what criteria are they using?

            “Although NIST finally concluded after several years of investigation that all three collapses on 9/11 were due primarily to fires, fifteen years after the event a growing number of architects, engineers, and scientists are unconvinced by that explanation.”
            So if NIST had taken a lesser time would that have been better? Or did they not take long enough? What is the point of the comment?

            What does “a growing number” refer to? Do they have a statistic? Did it change from three to four, or from (for example) next to none to a significant percentage?

            There is also at least once obvious factual inaccuracy. WTC 7 did not collapse in less than seven seconds. It took roughly six and a half seconds to drop below view behind tall buildings in front. That also means that it wasn’t collapsing at ‘free fall’ velocity. (Why that is important is also never explained. It seems that the ‘truthers’ conflate controlled demolition with free fall velocity, for some reason.)

            In summary, my opinion is that this is a propaganda piece, not an objective (or ‘scientific’) review of the facts. You don’t need to know any details to figure that out, you just need to analyse the article. I was taught in high school English class about how to critically evaluate newspaper articles etc. and determine propaganda and other manipulative techniques (e.g. those used in advertising). Is this not the practice in the UK or US? (Or wherever you were taught.)

              • Jerome Fryer says

                I was probably busy attempting to get straight answers from the ‘truthers’ on an earlier article posted up.

                Apparently, multiples of opinion pieces posing as analysis is being substituted for one or two solid articles arguing the ‘truther’ position. Whatever that is right now — ‘nano-thermite’ seems to be in vogue.

    • You are completely correct! I always wonder how debunkers of inside treachery, can even consider their position to be valid. When the scientists say it isn’t possible to destroy three skyscrapers in this fashion with airplane crashes, then that’s enough for me. I wouldn’t trust the Bush League as far as I could throw any of them.

      • Jerome Fryer says

        “Scientists” don’t say it isn’t possible to destroy these three buildings with impact and fire. On the contrary, the scientists examine the event and figure out how they came to be destroyed.

        • Catte says

          That’s right. And it’s up to the scientists proposing the fire hypothesis to provide that data to support it. And if they fail to supply adequate data it’s up to them to admit it.

          The “truther” scientists are those who have observed NIST’s work and claim they have not only failed to produce adequate data but that some of the insufficient data itself is bogus. In light of this they are saying more investigation is needed.

          This is an eminently reasonable position that embodies the pursuit of truth which is the heart of all scientific enquiry. Even if you take a different view why do you see this position as deserving of ridicule?

          • Kurt says

            What evidence is there of a serious attempt on the part of these “truther scientists” to convince their peers (not the public) of their arguments ?
            E.g. have they attempted to get their papers published in indexed academic journals read by academic and practicing engineers etc. (not obscure non indexed journals ) ?
            If yes, and assuming their submissions were rejected, and assuming that the “truther scientists” claim that their papers were rejected for political rather than science related reasons, have they published the rejection correspondence to further demonstrate the bad faith of the leading academic journals editors and further expose the strength of their arguments etc. ?
            if not, why not ?
            If yes, could anyone post some relevant links ?

            What have the 2000 architects and engineers who do believe that NIST is wrong/lied done to convince their peers ?
            Assuming they are mostly practicing they would have contact with hundreds of their peers annually.
            Have they tried to convince their peers of their position on 911 ?
            If yes, why did they fail to convince them ?
            Do they claim their peers are afraid to speak out ?
            Is there any evidence that the 2000 have suffered career wise since signing onto A&E 911 truth ?

            • Most of your questions are nothing more than strange demands that someone else does your research for you. The best way to get your answers and also find out if the ironic quotes you put round the word “scientists” is deserved or not is to go along to Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth or Scholars for 9/11 Truth & Justice or Scholars for 9/11 Truth or the Journal of 9/l1 Studies, take a look at the members and contributors lists, read their publication and generally inform yourself. I’m amazed you seem to find it improbable that our current tightly controlled and proto-fascist society would not make it hard for non-approved narratives to be published. Presumably you think, like Chomsky, that academia is somehow insulated from this climate of censorship.

              To answer your last question – yes, several of the scientists brave enough to go public with challenges to the NIST report have lost their jobs, suffered reduced incomes, had their family lives destroyed, and there are many others who have endured huge peer pressure to desist.The information about that is easy enough to find. Despite Chomsky’s bland claim being a “truther scientist” is far from a “risk-free” position

              • Kurt says

                Sorry posted at the top by mistake.

                Sorry, no insult was meant by the quotes, I was attempting to echo your use of truther in quotes but mistakenly included scientists in there as well.

                “Most of your questions are nothing more than strange demands that someone else does your research for you”

                As someone with a undergraduate science degree I learned enough to know that I am and will remain supremely unqualified to make judgements about the wtc collapse/demolition based on my own research.
                I’ll take my heart surgery from heart surgeons, my dentistry from dentists, my engineering from engineers, my climate science from climatologists etc.
                I find the command to ‘do my own research’ bizarre as no one would suggest , for example, that I need to study climatology before forming a view on whether global warming is real or not. One of the hallmarks of quackery is when experts take their arguments to the public before they have convinced their peers. Engineering, for example, is a highly specialised field with many sub branches. Qualified engineers from one area of speciality would typically not have the requisite knowledge and experience to adjudicate arguments in another area even if there is significant overlap in expertise and knowledge. Lay persons have basically zero chance of deciding who is wrong or right in cases like this.

                I ask about the attempt on the part of the “truther” scientists to convince their peers as it is first and most obvious port of call for any relevantly qualified professional who believes NIST is lying, 911 was an inside job etc.
                Presumably each of the 2000 A&E 911truth architects and engineers personally have a large number of peers with whom they have dialogue. And given that the truth movement claims that NIST’s errors are so basic, so fundamental and so obvious, their peers would have a hard time disagreeing with them ?

                I am also specifically interested in why the “truther” scientists have failed to publish any of their papers in any mainstream academic engineering journals (assuming that is the case).
                Or if they have attempted, why haven’t they gone public with the reasons for the rejection of their arguments.
                In the U.S. alone there are 120,000 qualified civil engineers, 80,000 architects , 40,000 chemical engineers, 35,000 aeronautical engineers etc.
                So 2000 is not really in itself convincing of anything especially if most of them have made no attempt to do anything apart from sign a petition. And this after , to give just one source of publicity, Richard Gage has had his stand at dozens of architect conventions over the years etc. ?

                Agreed, our proto fascist system is tightly controlled when it comes to getting published in the corporate media though even there some dissent is allowed just for window dressing purposes.
                However, I am not sure that applies to the same extent to academic journals. Editors of academic journals usually have to give reasons for rejecting submissions and assuming that the arguments of the “truther” scientists are unassailable from a science standpoint, the rejections could only be based on weak excuses rather than scientific disagreement, flaws in reasoning etc.
                Therefore, the arbitrary rejections themselves could be used by the “truther” scientists to add weight to their argument of a massive professional ‘omerta’ on 911.

                In terms of the blowback for the “truther” scientists I am aware of a handful of cases or alleged cases. But I was asking specifically about the signatories i.e. is there is any indication that becoming a member of AE 911 truth is in itself damaging for your architectural or engineering career ?

                • rtj1211 says

                  I think you need to take a deep breath when I tell you that you should not see scientists as self-less public servants solely in pursuit of the truth. They’d like to be that, but the real world can sometimes get in the way.

                  What scientists are, ultimately, is ‘securers of funds to do research’. That’s right, they are salesmen/women. Without funding, they cannot research, without funding they cannot publish, without funding they cannot talk at conferences etc etc.

                  So, if you were doing research on the effects of solar cycles on climate in, say 1990, you would have found your funding drying up as the new IPCC mantra of carbon dioxide being the sole driver of climate change was getting 99% of all funding.

                  If you choose to believe that that was due to them having convinced their scientific peers, you would be very wrong. What they had done was convince very powerful politicians that using global warming as a replacement for communism as the bogeyman was the way to go.

                  I worked for 10 years after graduation in science in professional medical research. I saw power struggles, I saw institutional bullying, I saw cover ups of HSE regulation transgressions (serious ones), I saw how one ill-advised clinical trial in the USA caused scientists to treat gene therapy like poisoning babies, almost overnight (stalling or destroying many honourable careers by so doing) and I saw how scientists had to raise money from the City of London using rather dodgy claims, because there wasn’t a proper framework for funding translational research in the UK at the time.

                  What I’m saying to you is simple: don’t treat scientists like Gods. They are human, they are fallible, they have egos, they have tempers, they can bear grudges, they can stack committees with cronies and they can spin to politicians with the best of them.

                • Good questions? Why don’t you pursue them? Why not try to get in touch with some of the “truther” scientists themselves? Why not put your questions to A&E for 9/11 Truth or to the other organizations Catte mentions? These people have names and emails and can be approached. I think it would be worth your while, and depending upon what you discover, it may also serve to disabuse people of their illusions on this issue, either as skeptics of the ‘official story’ or not.

                  At any rate, you now have me, too, wondering about what you have raised . . .

                • Merely to add a short but heuristic example to the point that rtj1211 is making, on an unrelated topic to 9/11, but pertinent the topic of “consensus” thinking in academe or any other kind of formally institutionalized discipline, see this introduction to Pierre-Marie Robitaille’s work for the layman by Alexander Unzicker: “Is Astrophysics Ready to Draw a Lesson from Thomas Kuhn?”


                  Another interesting presentation along these lines by Unziker is a talk he gave at the “2nd Rational Physics Conference in Salzburg-Austria :”

                  If I may quote myself commenting about the foregoing video:

                  For those of you who are intimidated by ‘physics’ and therefore feel that this presentation by Dr. Alexander Unzicker might not be your cup of tea, there is more to learn, here, about ‘human nature’ than about physics as such, about how your own processes of ‘cognition’ are rooted more in culture, in group biases, than in anything you may fancy as being your own individual ‘insight.’

                  To a higher or lesser degree, we are all infected by the delusions of our cultural contexts. Unless one recognizes this, unless one learns to both recognize and question what one believes on little else but the authority of a consensus, it is less likely that one will ever rise to a more adequate understanding of oneself, one’s society and the world we share.

                • johnschoneboom says

                  I hate to post “me too” comments but I want to add support for this kind of skepticism. These are very reasonable questions. Scientists and academics are, somewhat surprisingly, just as subject to political and social pressure as everyone else, and just as reluctant to wade upstream into the forbidden zone of “conspiracy theory”. But I’d welcome more work that explicitly addresses and studies the experiences of those who have dared, or consciously chosen not to. Like Norman I’m curious myself so I’ll have a look round to see what I can turn up out of my bookmarks and vague memories.

          • Jerome Fryer says

            “And it’s up to the scientists proposing the fire hypothesis to provide that data to support it.”
            That is what NIST did. It isn’t up to NIST to ‘convince’ everybody.
            “This is an eminently reasonable position that embodies the pursuit of truth which is the heart of all scientific enquiry.”
            No, it is an inversion of the standard process. It is the ‘truther’ assertions (which are varied, remember) that require support. You can’t claim something extraordinary then argue that your claim must be disproven or it is valid. (Or equally valid, or whatever the argument is. They vary, as I said.)

            • moriarty's Left Sock says

              There are all kinds of “truthers” making all kinds of assertions, some of them stupid beyond belief, but the scientists of AE9/11Truth are confining themselves to pointing out the science of NIST’s report is substandard and in places contradictory of known physical laws. We want a new investigation with full disclosure. Hard to see how anyone can object to that

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