[FoRK] Re: Flight 93

Kevin Elliott < k-elliott at wiu.edu > on > Thu Feb 2 11:35:00 PST 2006

At 10:15 -0600  on  2/2/06, Corinna wrote:
>First let me say, that I find the arguments that there's more to this than
>the official story persuasive.  I'm not prepared at all to believe, for
>instance, that the planes were remote-controlled, or NORAD and the Air Force
>did it, and so forth. Like the guy in "12 angry men", I just have questions.
>"Kevin Elliott" <k-elliott at wiu.edu> wrote in message
>>  -There is evidence that the fire coating on the steel floor beams was
>>  inadequate.  They showed footage from an inspection several years early
>>  showing that the material had decayed off the beams and large sections of
>>  the floor supports were completely unprotected.
>The idea here, though, is that the jet fuel (which burned reather quickly,
>especially in the second hit, where most of it went into the air in a
>fireball) and burning office stuff couldn't have generated high enough
>temperatures for long enough to seriously damage the building so badly that
>the beams would collapse. Steel being a conductor, it would take a while for
>a single section to get heated enough. There was a fire in the WTC some
>years ago and no structural damage occured. Also, I thought there were
>something like 40 main vertical pillars. Maybe I have that part wrong.

Here's a diagram of the WTC design:


I believe the core shaft is actually built of 2 parallel steel tubes, 
but that's not important.  The key idea is that a plane hitting the 
side of WTC would have been absorbed completely into the building. 
At that point the central shaft would basically have been surrounded 
by burning aviation fuel.

>Steel being a conductor, it would take a while for
>a single section to get heated enough.

Have you ever seen a blacksmith at work?  And the fact of the matter 
is it DID take a while for the building to heat up.

The North Tower stood for 102 minutes.
The South Tower stood for 56 Minutes.

The idea that aviation fuel doesn't burn hot enough to melt steel is 
a total distraction.  The steel doesn't have to melt for the building 
to collapse.  The strength of steel reduces DRAMATICALLY as it heats. 
Once the steel began to warp, collapse was inevitable.

>At any rate, it doesn't make sense to me that the melted steel in the
>basement resulted from the fire at the top, or the energy from the collapse.
>I don't know enough about explosives to say for sure, but they say that the
>charges carry their own fuel, so even if there's no air, combustion can

It's a little obvious, but the building wasn't empty...  Spontaneous 
thermite reactions would have easily started once the steel heated 
up.  Carpet, paper, plastic, wood, all sorts of stuff would have been 
available to fuel the fire as it collapsed.

>>  The central pillars were built, and each floor was attached to them.  Once
>>  a given floor gave way, it's full weight would have impacted the floor
>>  below causing that floor to fail in a chain reaction.
>But would it really have fallen at near free-fall speeds? (You can guage
>this by looking at the video and observing detritus falling alongside the


Here is a diagram of the point of Impacts:

Keep in mind that the WTC had a 110 Floors.  So when the N. tower 
began to collapse 11 floors were above the point of impact (99th 
floor):  Some simple math:

6 floors (number of floors on fire) * 8 FT (ceiling height)= 48 ft.

At the moment of collapse a 11 story building fell 48 ft.  The energy 
involved in that is ENORMOUS.  And of course, when it hit the next 
floor THAT floor gave way.  And now we have a 12 story building 
falling 8 ft.  Obviously the math involved is over simplified, but 
the physics are still pretty hard to ignore...

Same analysis on the south tower:

Plane hit lower (85th floor) so now there are 25 floors above upper 
impact.  In addition more floors caught fire (77th floor).

So we have:

8 floors * 8 ft= 64 ft.

With that kind of energy, nothing but the ground was going to slow 
the fall down.

>>  One clear point- molten steel in the basement is a clear pointer to the
>>  Governments theory.  Explosives would NOT have caused steel to melt.  A
>>  focused charge would have cut supports fairly cleanly.
>see above.  I admit, my knowledge is weak in this area. However, where did
>the energy come from to cause the steel to melt, and still be glowing days

First off, the building was full of "stuff". Virtually ANYTHING could 
have happened reaction wise.  Certainly I would have expected enough 
Aluminum and Rusty steel to be in the building to start spontaneous 
thermite reactions.  Moreover, steel isn't that great a conductor- 
that's why Cast Iron makes good pans.  Once it heats up it STAYS hot 
even if the heat coming into it fluctuates.  Once it gets hot it 
would have stayed hot for a considerable period of time.

>>  Moreover, footage of the collapse clearly shows the upper stories going
>>  first and collapsing down floor by floor.
>But you can see horizontal ejections which look suspiciously like timed
>charges several floors below the collapsing.

Of COURSE the were horizontal ejections!  You have a huge mass 
pushing down on a confined space- where does the air go?  Well, it 
gets shoved out the sides!

>>  Nothing that happened in the basement could have explained that chain of
>>  events.
>The explosions in the basement would have weakened the entire structure.

That's not an answer.  Explosives aren't magic pixy dust.  Nothing 
you do in the basement explains why the collapse started 90 stories 
up.  Think about it.

>Plus, people reported hearing explosions on the lower floors and in the
>basement before the building began collapsing.

Because people hear all sorts of things?  I don't know.  Keep in mind 
that your not exactly catching people on their most observant and 
clear headed.

>If the government had allowed forensic testing, these questions would be
>settled. Instead we have to work with suppositions and video and interviews.
>This is disgraceful. I think it's a valid question: why, in this
>unprecedented attack on our soil, were experts not allowed to analyze the
>steel, or examine the "crime scene" in order to figure out what was wrong
>with the building construction (to prevent this in the future), to determine
>if someone had infiltrated the building security and planted charges (people
>clearly head explosions), to figure out why the collapse was such a surprise
>(to modify emergency procedures in the future).  The way they acted by
>cleaning up immediately, you'd think these kinds of things happened all the

I suspect they wanted to try and get things over with as quickly as 
possible.  I suspect they also realized that getting any kind of 
sensible forensic data out of the wreckage we going to be nearly 
impossible, and that they already had a pretty good idea what 

>Same goes with the Pentagon -- why have they not released the video from the
>security camera which probably clearly shows the impact? We saw the planes
>flying into the buildings over and over, so what possible reason could they
>have to not show us this plane?

Umm... they did.  I've seen it.  It was on the History channel.

>How could a plane practically vaporize and
>leave enough DNA from the passengers to identify each and every one? Why is
>the exit hole so perfectly round,

Because the Pentagon is an enormous concrete building.  The plane 
penetrated into the building and the wings were pulled into the same 

>and why is there not more damage to the
>exterior of the building or the grass?

Again, because the plane pushed itself into the hole.

>It just seems to me that if the government is totally innocent, they would
>be interested in these questions, in order to make us more secure against
>these kinds of attacks in the future.

The problem is that the questions have been answered.  Some people 
just don't accept the answers...
Arguing with an engineer is like wrestling with a pig in mud.
After a while, you realize the pig is enjoying it.
Kevin Elliott   <mailto:kelliott at mac.com>
AIM/iChatAV: kelliott at mac.com  (video chat available)
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