- TRRT Online Edition | May 6-12
- RRI: The Names frontman Dave Galluzzo
- Madigan sues companies of student loan debt scams
- State Roundup: Gambling expansion hearing highlights two possible bills
- Rauner to Smiddy: No debate for you
- State Roundup: Moody’s: Regardless of reform, Chicago pension will grow for years
- State Roundup: State could see up to $500 million in unexpected revenue for current FY
- Tax revenues up, Rauner to restore $26 million ‘Good Friday’ cuts
- First Friday Lineup: May 1
- State Roundup: Former governor Walker passes away
WTC story challenged
WTC story challenged
By Joe Baker, Senior Editor
The official story of how the twin towers of the World Trade Center collapsed on Sept. 11, 2001 now has to reconcile with new seismic data from seismometers in New York state.
Investigative reporter Christopher Bollyn says two unexplained spikes in the record show huge bursts of energy shook the ground under the twin towers just before they collapsed.
Bollyn said the energy source for incredibly hot areas at the base of the towers has yet to be explained. Pools of molten steel were found there weeks after the collapse.
The sharp spikes, Bollyn said, suggest that massive underground explosions may have knocked the towers off their foundations, bringing them down.
There were 47 central support columns tied to the bedrock some 70 feet below ground. It was there, in the subbasements, that the molten steel was found more than a month after the collapse. That kind of intense and persistent heat, in an oxygen-starved environment, could explain how the support columns failed.
Peter Tully, president of Tully Construction of Flushing, N.Y., told American Free Press he saw pools of literally molten steel at the World Trade Center. Tully was there to remove debris from the site.
He said he called Mark Loizeaux, president of Controlled Demolition of Phoenix, Md. to consult about the job. Loizeauxs firm considers itself the global leader in controlled demolition and implosion of structures.
Loizeaux confirmed there were hot spots of molten steel in the basements of the towers. He said these were found at the base of the elevator shafts in the main towers and were down seven basement levels.
This molten metal turned up, Loizeaux said, three, four and five weeks later, when the rubble was being removed. The same condition was found at WTC number seven, which collapsed in late afternoon of the 11th.
Construction steel melts at about 2,800 degrees Fahrenheit. Tully attributed the meltdown to the jet fuel that spilled down the elevator shafts. He said the fires also were fueled by paper, carpeting and other combustibles which were rammed down the shafts by the upper floors as they dropped into the basement.
Some investigators disagree. They say kerosene-based jet fuel, paper and other combustibles would normally not furnish enough heat to melt the steel. That would be especially true, they said, in an oxygen-poor environment like a deep basement.
Experts say that jet fuel and paper could not generate such heat. They say the maximum temperature that can be reached by hydrocarbons like jet fuel burning in air is 1,520 degrees F. Because the tower fires were fuel rich, as the heavy black smoke indicated, they did not reach that upper limit.
The hottest places at the surface of the rubble were much cooler than the melted steel found in the basements. Five days after the collapse, Sept. 16, NASA used an airborne imaging spectrometer to locate and measure the hot spots.
The hottest was in the east corner of the South Tower, where the temperature was measured at 1,377 degrees F. That was less than half as hot as the molten steel in the basement.
The foundations of the towers were 70 feet down. There 47 mammoth box columns, anchored to the bedrock, supported the entire weight of the towers. The steel walls of these lower columns were four inches thick.
Ron Hamburger, a structural engineer with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was asked if the vertical columns gave way before the connections between the floors and the columns. Thats the $64,000 question, Hamburger said.
Loizeaux commented: If I were to bring the towers down, I would put explosives in the basement to get the weight of the building to help collapse the structure.
Seismographs at Columbia Universitys observatory in Palisades, N.Y., 21 miles north of the WTC, recorded the seismic activity on Sept. 11.
When the South Tower collapsed the instruments recorded a 2.1 magnitude earthquake just before the building fell. The North Tower recorded a 2.3 quake just before it dropped. The strongest jolts were marked well before any debris hit the ground.
Experts cannot explain why the seismic waves peaked before the towers actually struck the ground. Seismologist Arthur Lerner-Lam said last November: During the collapse, most of the energy of the falling debris was absorbed by the towers and the neighboring structures, converting them into rubble and dust or causing other damagebut not causing significant ground shaking.
From all evidence, the energy source that shook the ground beneath the towers was many times more powerful than the total energy released by the falling towers. The question is: what was that energy source?
We may never know because the steel was hurriedly hauled away from the site before any extensive testing of it could be done.