Thanks, Caper. Keep in mind that in the NY studio we couldn't see, and largely couldn't hear, Richard's videos or cardboard box demo.
Hardfire producer Gary Popkin sent an email today to myself, John Clifton, and Richard Gage, saying that the north tower collapse does look very impressive from the truther point of view, that the top seems to be disintegrating and perhaps loses a lot of mass over the side. I sent this email to those three men in response:
I haven't watched all of it but the shows look great. Excellent editing job.
Keep in mind that early on in the collapses most of what we're seeing expelled from the buildings is smoke and lighter debris such as insulation and gypsum wallboard. These materials, not concrete, comprised the bulk of the dust on the ground. Large structural sections don't begin to peel away until the collapses are far beyond the point of no return.
No structural sections are "blown out" by explosives, as is perfectly clear from the lack of the enormous detonations that would be necessary to do that work (note that Richard has not provided any calculations to support his claims, for obvious reasons), and by the fact that the heavy falling exterior wall steel sections precede the lighter debris. Explosions would produce exactly the opposite effect and would have showered lower Manhattan, and likely parts of New Jersey and Brooklyn, with high-velocity ejecta. Ryan Mackey's paper "On 'Debunking 9/11 Debunking
'" covers this issue particularly well.
Other buildings would have been leveled, windows for miles around would have shattered, and thousands of people would likely have been killed by the hundreds of tons of high-explosives that would have been necessary to do the work Richard claimed was done. For example, for explosives to produce ONLY the concrete pulverization that Richard claims, about 115 tons of TNT-equivalent would need to be placed in closely-spaced holes in the concrete. Per tower. By contrast, only about 1/10 of the towers' gravitational potential energy was necessary to pulverize the concrete to the level actually measured. See the Bazant paper cited below for details. Richard was apparently unaware of this and other scholarly critiques of his claims as of the date of the Hardfire shows. This makes me wonder what he and his imaginary "dozen full-time staff" actually do with their time.
Additionally, there is abundant physical evidence that explosives weren't used. Not a single piece of steel examined by engineers, preserved for further study, or shown in thousands of photos shows such effects. The column truss seats below the collapse zones were bent downward, meaning the floors were still attached to them when struck from above and disproving Richard's claim that the the walls were blown outward first.
Richard posits the use of imaginary superweapons to destroy the towers. On a radio show this May Richard said,
”Ninety thousand tons of structural steel has been pulverized to a fine talcum powder through these intense explosions”
Strangely, no such steel was missing and no such steel powder was found. I'd love to hear Richard's description of the weapon he imagines was capable of producing such an effect – and without being detected! Nuclear weapons can't, nor can conventional high explosives. I'm sure the 16 people who survived the north tower collapse while inside the building will be surprised to hear of the use of this superweapon. Sadly, Richard is breathing rarified air in Judy Wood territory.
For visual comparisons that conclusively show why all Richard's claims are not only wrong, but howlingly preposterous, see my video World Trade Center Not a Demolition. On this page is an index that allows you to jump directly to specific scenes.
There was vastly greater force applied by the falling upper sections than the first intact floor below could resist. A simple explanation is in NIST's FAQ of December, 2007
. See questions 1, 2, and 10.
A much more detailed explanation can be found in the papers of the renowned structural engineer Zdenek Bazant, which you'll find on this page of mine
. In particular I recommend the paper that was recently published in the Journal of Engineering Mechanics, What Did and Did not Cause Collapse of WTC Twin Towers in New York , which conclusively refutes the truther claims about explosives being used. The link is to an online copy.
nowhere in Richard's presentations does he tell us where to find his or his members' calculations that show the law of conservation of momentum was not satisfied by collapses due to damage and fire. There's good reason for that.
I am aware of only two of Richard's members who have attempted such calculations, which are not difficult for a structural engineer. One is mechanical engineer Gordon Ross, whose very basic errors were demonstrated long before Richard's organization existed – yet his work remains online and uncorrected. You'll find critiques of Ross's work by a nuclear chemist, a NASA scientist, a physicist, and a structural engineer on this page
. Ross's partner on one paper, Craig Furlong, has since renounced his work and is now a rationalist, not a truther.
The other of Richard's members who has published conservation of momentum calculations is electrical engineer Gregory Urich. He's done probably the most detailed study of the mass of the towers. His calculations show that the tower collapses must proceed to the ground without the aid of explosives. Although he remains sympathetic to "inside job" claims along the lines of a "LIHOP" scenario , he recently published a scathing open letter to Richard (PDF),
detailing why AE 911 Truth claims do not stand up to scrutiny.
This is a truther who bothered to do the work
, which showed that his assumptions had been wrong, and he corrected himself. By contrast, none of the people listed on Richard's site as having structural engineering credentials have published any such calculations. It's the middle of 2008. What in the world are they waiting for? If they were correct, the world's structural engineers and physicists would need this revolutionary information NOW.
Here's what some of Richard's structural engineers DO say:
–Charles Pegelow thinks nuclear weapons destroyed the towers. No, I'm not kidding.
–Robert T. Mote thinks the tower collapses started from the bottom
: "I could never understand the 'convenient' vertical collapse at the BASE due to an extreme event at height."
–Structural engineer Dennis Kollar says, “For me the most convincing aspect that the 911 collapse was a controlled demolition is the recorded explosions on the 9/11 Eyewitness DVD.” The "recorded explosions" he's referring to are wind noise captured by the camera in Hoboken, a few miles away from the WTC. That should be staggeringly obvious to anyone who has seen footage from close
to the WTC, where what would be absolutely enormous "explosions" are not captured by any microphones.
–Structural engineer Michael Donley says, "I have read the FEMA report and conclude that it is incomplete at best and a cover-up at worst.” The FEMA report? Welcome to 2002, Mr. Donley. You might try reading the 10,000 page NIST report. Can't blame you, though. Richard has led by example and not bothered to read the NIST report either. (Yes, I can prove that.)
–Engineer Edward Knesl says, “We do not know the phenomenon of the high rise building to disintegrate internally faster than the free fall of the debris coming down from the top.” Faster than freefall! He' hasn't even bothered to review videos of the collapses. Can these people possibly be any less competent?
Actually, yes. Here's what AE 911 Truth engineer Donald Messerlian believes:
–“Seismographic evidence proved pre-planted explosives destroyed WTC 1, 2 and building 7 before the planes struck buildings 1 & 2.”
Right. The three WTC buildings were destroyed before the planes hit. In the same vein of disturbed fantasy, Richard's aerospace engineer is a "no-planer":
–"After performing some in-depth research on this subject, I have come to the conclusion that no commercial airplanes impacted the two WTC Towers. No commercial plane impacted the Pentagon. No commercial aircraft buried itself in Pennsylvania terra firma."
This is plain mental illness, and it's promoted by Richard on his website. How reprehensible, and how sad.