Debunked: Iron Microspheres in 9/11 WTC Dust as Evidence for Thermite

Tony Szamboti

Active Member
I just replicated the steel wool experiment with a butane lighter, and found that hydrocarbon fire can actually melt steel.

This does not suggest the towers were made of steel wool. It simply demonstrates that small pieces of iron produced by rusting and friction can turn into microspheres at normal fire temperatures.


The fact that Dave Thomas found Fe-rich iron microspheres in his trash barrel or that you could produce them by burning steel wool, are both far from proofs showing how they were produced in the WTC dust.

We know they were abundant in the WTC dust. They were also found in that same dust with a abundant substance (red/gray chips) that produced iron microspheres in abundance when ignited in a calorimeter.

I am reminded of an analogy where a man is found dead with birdshot all through his body and a shotgun is found nearby. Someone then mentions that birdshot is the same size as a BB. That might be true, but there is no logic to say the man was shot with a BB gun and it is much more likely he was shot with the shotgun found near the scene.

By the way, hydrocarbon fire cannot melt the steel when it has any size or mass beyond that of steel wool. Standard sized steel structural items, such as those used in buildings, would not melt with hydrocarbon fire.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
We know they were abundant in the WTC dust. They were also found in that same dust with a abundant substance (red/gray chips) that produced iron microspheres in abundance when ignited in a calorimeter.

Of course they made microsphere. They were the precise type of thing that RJ Lee was referring to when he said normal fires would create iron microspheres.

 

Ben Klumaster

New Member
I am reminded of an analogy where a man is found dead with birdshot all through his body and a shotgun is found nearby. Someone then mentions that birdshot is the same size as a BB. That might be true, but there is no logic to say the man was shot with a BB gun and it is much more likely he was shot with the shotgun found near the scene.
Except, in this case, it's the BB gun that's been found near the scene (in the sense that we know the building was on fire) and the claim is that it must have been a shotgun.
 

Hitstirrer

Active Member
Except, in this case, it's the BB gun that's been found near the scene (in the sense that we know the building was on fire) and the claim is that it must have been a shotgun.

Not at all. The claim from NIST is that a single BB gun was capable of firing hundreds of pellets into three dead bodies simultaneously. Which is why people are saying 'hang on' doesn't it take a shotgun to do that ?
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Not at all. The claim from NIST is that a single BB gun was capable of firing hundreds of pellets into three dead bodies simultaneously. Which is why people are saying 'hang on' doesn't it take a shotgun to do that ?

Don't get lost in analogies. NIST claimed that planes flew very fast into buildings, and exploded, and the buildings burned for a long time, then collapsed from fire and impact damage.

As far as you know, what mass of iron microspheres was estimated to be in the dust?

And what mass of red/grey flakes?
 

Hitstirrer

Active Member
As far as you know, what mass of iron microspheres was estimated to be in the dust?

As you should be aware, there have been many 'guesstimates' - with the most conservative at 10 tons. Ranging up to 100 tons.

What mass do you estimate can be produced by burning rust flakes, and wire filaments from inside computers, plus sparks from falling steel clattering together as they fall ?
 

Landru

Moderator
Staff member
As you should be aware, there have been many 'guesstimates' - with the most conservative at 10 tons. Ranging up to 100 tons.

What mass do you estimate can be produced by burning rust flakes, and wire filaments from inside computers, plus sparks from falling steel clattering together as they fall ?

Can you post a link to the evidence please?
 

MikeC

Closed Account
The fact that Dave Thomas found Fe-rich iron microspheres in his trash barrel or that you could produce them by burning steel wool, are both far from proofs showing how they were produced in the WTC dust.

Of course not - and no-one is saying they are.

However they are evidence that debunks the idea that such spheres can only be produced by thermite - which is the subject of this thread.
 

Josh Heuer

Active Member
Of course not - and no-one is saying they are.

However they are evidence that debunks the idea that such spheres can only be produced by thermite - which is the subject of this thread.
It seems like this thread ought to be locked, as the main point has been made (iron microspheres do not necessarily mean thermite). Perhaps a new thread should be opened to discuss the amount of iron microspheres found, of course with reasonable evidence to back it up. It's pretty obvious at this point to anyone with access to a computer and a couple minutes free time that iron microspheres are not exclusively the result of thermitic(sic) reactions.

It seems the topic is shifting to there being too much, which I think is reasonable grounds for a thread on that topic. Although at this point there hasn't been much in the way of supporting figures.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
And how would 10 tons of microspheres translate back into thermite? 10 tons of thermite? Of did the thermite vaporize the girders?

Why were no iron macrospheres found?
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
It seems like this thread ought to be locked, as the main point has been made (iron microspheres do not necessarily mean thermite). Perhaps a new thread should be opened to discuss the amount of iron microspheres found, of course with reasonable evidence to back it up. It's pretty obvious at this point to anyone with access to a computer and a couple minutes free time that iron microspheres are not exclusively the result of thermitic(sic) reactions.

It seems the topic is shifting to there being too much, which I think is reasonable grounds for a thread on that topic. Although at this point there hasn't been much in the way of supporting figures.

I think we should nail down the actual claim first. I can split it if things get specific.
 

Pete Tar

Senior Member.
re. splitting or locking threads - Maybe you should add particularly useful points that come up later in a thread to the first post of a thread once it's run it's course, so people can see a summary if they don't want to read the whole thing.
(ETA. actually, I can see that would be complicated and contentious in most threads where there is a long debate, so not really workable. It would only work with definitively proven or debunked subjects.)
 
Last edited:

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I just did a few experiments with steel wool. Quite interesting. You can't melt steel wool with a butane lighter, the microspheres comes from the actual combustion of the steel. The butane only provides ignition.

Here's a bit of a video I made, you can see the spheres being formed. This is in real time. The most notable one is to the one just of the left of center, it's about 0.20mm in diameter. The other glowing orange blobs are also microspheres. There are many much smaller spheres formed.
[IMGSIZE=60%]https://www.metabunk.org/files/Steel-wool-microspheres-metabunk.gif[/IMGSIZE]
 
Last edited:

Hitstirrer

Active Member
Can you be more specific?

Not really. It needs to be read as a whole. Only 11 pages, with much of that being preamble, references and graphs/charts.

The article refers to iron rich, and other microspheres, found in 9/11 dust, and examines the way they are formed.

Page 10 says :- "The data provides strong evidence that chemical reactions which were both violent and highly-exothermic
contributed to the destruction of the WTC buildings." .............."Thus, a thorough investigation which considers this data,showing extremely high temperatures and severe fragmentation in the formation of small metal-rich spheres during the WTC Towers destruction, is highly motivated." ......."The iron-rich spheres collected in sample 1 are evidence of high-temperature melting and violent fragmentation during the WTC destruction and dust formation."

I have a feeling that this was written before the red/grey chips were analysed as page 10 also says :- "Probing alternative chemical reactions which could have produced these spherules is beyond the scope of this paper; but further analyses of these contaminants may provide important clues"

Here is the link again :- http://journalof911studies.com/articles/WTCHighTemp.pdf
 
Last edited:

Hitstirrer

Active Member
I just did a few experiments with steel wool.

A well known backwoodsman's way of starting a camp fire is to carry some steel wool and a 9v battery. Ignition is simply to apply the battery terminals to the wool creating a flame. Edit -- or possibly sparks to ignite tinder. ( But off topic. )
 
Last edited:

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
A well known backwoodsman's way of starting a camp fire is to carry some steel wool and a 9v battery. Ignition is simply to apply the battery terminals to the wool creating a flame. Edit -- or possibly sparks to ignite tinder. ( But off topic. )
That's more of a last-ditch zombie apocalypse method. It far more practical to carry around a lighter than batteries and steel wool.

Not entirely off topic though, the topic being related to the mechanism of formation of microspheres. Interesting that a battery is actually better at lighting steel wool than a blowtorch is (in my experiment). That's seems to be because the steel gets coated with a layer by the flame, probably of iron oxide, in a way that prevents ignition.

So if we are talking about microspheres formed via combustion of iron, there's obviously some ideal circumstances, and some less-than ideal. I wish I had more rust to experiment with.
 

Tony Szamboti

Active Member
That's more of a last-ditch zombie apocalypse method. It far more practical to carry around a lighter than batteries and steel wool.

Not entirely off topic though, the topic being related to the mechanism of formation of microspheres. Interesting that a battery is actually better at lighting steel wool than a blowtorch is (in my experiment). That's seems to be because the steel gets coated with a layer by the flame, probably of iron oxide, in a way that prevents ignition.

So if we are talking about microspheres formed via combustion of iron, there's obviously some ideal circumstances, and some less-than ideal. I wish I had more rust to experiment with.

You imply you formed iron microspheres from steel wool with plain hydrocarbon fire. However, butane actually burns at 2,600 degrees F (1,430 degrees C) which is a temperature very close to the melting point of steel (2,750 degrees F or 1,510 degrees C) and much hotter than the maximum of 1,800 degrees F (1,000 degrees C) attainable in the worst office fires. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butane_torch.

For the science behind the limit on office fire temperatures see the section on fires in Professor Thomas Eagar's article here http://www.tms.org/pubs/journals/jom/0112/eagar/eagar-0112.html
 
Last edited:

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
You imply you formed iron microspheres from steel wool with plain hydrocarbon fire. However, butane actually burns at 2,600 degrees F (1,430 degrees C) which is a temperature very close to the melting point of steel (2,750 degrees F or 1,510 degrees C) and much hotter than the maximum of 1,800 degrees F (1,000 degrees C) attainable in the worst office fires. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butane_torch.

For the science behind the limit on office fire temperatures see the section on fires in Professor Thomas Eagar's article here http://www.tms.org/pubs/journals/jom/0112/eagar/eagar-0112.html

As I said above, it's not the butane that's making the microspheres. It's the steel burning. You can light steel wool with any flame. Burning wood, just about anything.
 

Tony Szamboti

Active Member
As I said above, it's not the butane that's making the microspheres. It's the steel burning. You can light steel wool with any flame. Burning wood, just about anything.


Have you tried generating iron microspheres from steel wool with burning wood or paper?
 

MikeC

Closed Account
I haven't tried it. Does that mean it is not possible?

I provided a link to someone who HAS done it - are they wrong?
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Interesting. Do you actually think the microspheres in the WTC dust were formed by a process like the one you describe with steel wool?

Certainly not exactly the same, as where are long thin strands of steel going to come from? But it seems very likely that flakes of rust will contain some iron with a very high surface area to mass ratio, and that will burn in a similar way to the steel wool swarf. Also the friction of collapse must have created a lot of steel dust with similar properties. If something makes sparks, it can probably make microspheres.

Here's a video of me lighting some steel wool with a piece of burning wood.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Here's a video of one of my experiments burning wool. Again it's just igniting it, then the steel wool itself burning does the melting. This is the video the above GIF came from. If you view it full screen in HD you can see that each orange circular glow is a microsphere forming.



Filmed thusly: (100mm, field of view is about 20mm wide)
 
Last edited:

Tony Szamboti

Active Member
Certainly not exactly the same, as where are long thin strands of steel going to come from? But it seems very likely that flakes of rust will contain some iron with a very high surface area to mass ratio, and that will burn in a similar way to the steel wool swarf. Also the friction of collapse must have created a lot of steel dust with similar properties. If something makes sparks, it can probably make microspheres.

Here's a video of me lighting some steel wool with a piece of burning wood.
It is hard to imagine your steel dust notion being a cause, as the steel we see in photos of the WTC rubble looks intact from an abrasion standpoint. There also would not have been a lot of rust on structural members of the building during the collapse as they were heavily primed. Any rusting would have occurred after the collapse, with the steel being exposed to the fire in the rubble and massive amounts of water and chemical extinguishing agents over several months time.

What I find interesting, with both the iron microspheres and the red/gray chips found together in the dust, is that when ignited the red/gray chips produce iron microspheres.
 
Last edited:

MikeC

Closed Account
It is hard to imagine your steel dust notion being a cause, as the steel we see in photos of the WTC rubble looks intact from an abrasion standpoint. There also would not have been a lot of rust on structural members of the building during the collapse as they were heavily primed. Any rusting would have occurred after the collapse, with the steel being exposed to the fire in the rubble and massive amounts of water and chemical extinguishing agents over several months time.

More assertion without evidence - and based on nothing more than a need to support your conclusions rathe than any actual enquiry into what might have happened.

With just a modicum of thought you could have realised that there is iron in all sorts of things other than just the structural components - there is iron in paper clips and pens, phones and computers. There is not only rust there is small iron components pulverized in the multi-then-thousand-ton falling mass.

What I find interesting, with both the iron microspheres and the red/gray chips found together in the dust, is that when ignited the red/gray chips produce iron microspheres.

Red-grey chips huh....and you can't figure out why they might produce iron microspheres? You can't think of anything that is red or grey that contains iron...??:rolleyes:
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
It is hard to imagine your steel dust notion being a cause, as the steel we see in photos of the WTC rubble looks intact from an abrasion standpoint. There also would not have been a lot of rust on structural members of the building during the collapse as they were heavily primed. Any rusting would have occurred after the collapse, with the steel being exposed to the fire in the rubble and massive amounts of water and chemical extinguishing agents over several months time.

What I find interesting, with both the iron microspheres and the red/gray chips found together in the dust, is that when ignited the red/gray chips produce iron microspheres.

The point here is that there are other mechanisms of microsphere formation besides thermite. And that they do not all require a high source of heat.

And of course the red/grey chips are widely thought to be flakes of red primer and grey rust. So of course burning them produces iron. But that has all been discussed extensively elsewhere.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Couple of references to see the scope of the red/grey chips discussion already:

A fairly detailed going over of the argumens from a Truther perspective in 2011:
http://911debunkers.blogspot.com/2011/04/listening-to-debunker-arguments-is-like.html (http://archive.is/86Owr)

One of the referenced rebuttals:
http://climateguy.blogspot.com/2010/11/peer-review-of-harrit-et-al-on-911-cant.html (http://archive.is/EoERf)

I find it quite amazing that the 9/11 "Truth" is supposed to be so obvious, and yet it inevitably ends up discussing aracana like this, and hence the masses are really just going on an argument from authority.

Two very long and active threads on JREF:
And related:
 
Last edited:

Tony Szamboti

Active Member
And this?
Interesting video. I never noticed that reddish dust in the northeast corner as the building went down.

It is extraordinarily interesting that the iron microspheres are found in the WTC dust along with something that apparently produces iron microspheres prodigiously when ignited. That would be the red/gray chips, which also produce a significant exothermic energy spike when ignited.

The red/gray chips are clearly not primer paint for the above two reasons and the notion that there are other ways to produce iron microspheres does not say it was not the red/gray chips that produced them in this instance.

I think any honest investigator would be wondering why something like the red/gray chip substance was in the building.
 
Last edited:

Jay Howard

Member
The basis of this line of criticism it seems is that there are ways to make iron microspheres that don't require 2750F temps. That's good information, but it does not get us much closer to a good theory about how the microspheres showed up in the WTC dust with such 1. regularity and 2. mass.

There is no argument by RJ Lee or anyone else that the amount of iron microspheres in the dust is on the scale of 150 times the amount found in a "typical" office fire. Nor is there disagreement that there are other methods of producing the microspheres than a thermitic reaction.

The problem I see is that Thomas and West among others want to dismiss the ms as an insignificant piece of evidence--as something to be ignored. I find this disconcerting because it is not an attempt (as West acknowledges) to form a good theory that explains the existence of the ms.

A "good" theory is one which explains the most phenomena and ignores the least. That's partly why evolution is such a better theory than creationism: the fossil record is not ignored as a "test" from a higher intelligence.

So what is the best theory for the iron ms? Steel wool? Certainly not. Friction? Heated rust? All of these phenomena may possibly contribute to a percentage of the total mass of the spheres, but none of these explanations even in total can account for the mass and regularity of the ms in the dust. If they did, the amount of iron ms would not be 150 TIMES the expected amount. Would you say that's a fair approach? Or would you say these effects are indeed enough to account for the amount of iron ms in the dust?
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
There is no argument by RJ Lee or anyone else that the amount of iron microspheres in the dust is on the scale of 150 times the amount found in a "typical" office fire. Nor is there disagreement that there are other methods of producing the microspheres than a thermitic reaction

Could you give a source for the "150 times"?

And ahead of that, I don't think you'd argue that the Word Trade Center's circumstances on that day really resembled a "typical" office fire?
 

MikeC

Closed Account
There is no argument by RJ Lee or anyone else that the amount of iron microspheres in the dust is on the scale of 150 times the amount found in a "typical" office fire.

RJ Lee (at least) didn't "argue" that figure because they never made any such comparison at all.
 
Thread starter Related Articles Forum Replies Date
Mick West Debunked: Trump's Claim of "1,126,940 votes created out of thin air" in PA Election 2020 1
Mick West Debunked: Crowder's "Fraud Week" Title Graphic (and Why it Matters) Election 2020 1
JFDee Debunked: Democratic senators complained about 'vote switching' by Dominion voting machines in 2019 Election 2020 2
Mendel Debunked: The Democrats are trying to take away freedom of religion Election 2020 6
H Debunked: Dr. Shiva's Scatterplot Analysis of Michigan Precincts Election 2020 37
Mick West Debunked: Suspicious "Biden Only" Ballots in Georgia Election 2020 3
Mick West Debunked: "Nancy Pelosi's long time Chief of Staff is a key executive at Dominion Voting" Election 2020 0
Mick West Debunked: Wisconsin Turnout 89% Impossible High [Actually 72%] Election 2020 1
Mick West Debunked: Video of Poll Worker "Filling In" Ballots. Election 2020 3
Mick West Debunked: Pentagon has Evidence of "Off-World Vehicles Not Made on this Earth" UFO Videos and Reports from the US Navy 14
derrick06 Debunked: United Nations creates a "NWO" website Conspiracy Theories 2
N Debunked: Google Mail icon shows linkage to Freemasons Conspiracy Theories 4
Mendel Debunked: The WHO did not take the Taiwan CDC seriously Coronavirus COVID-19 0
A Why 9/11 Truthers Are Wrong About The Facts | (Part 1 w/ Mick West) 9/11 1
Mendel Debunked: Radar Waves Affect Clouds General Discussion 0
Pumpernickel Need Debunking: Foucault's Pendulum debunked through Mach's principle (the Earth is a static object in the center of the Universe) Science and Pseudoscience 16
M Ufos arrive to the central zone of Chile. (Debunked). Skydentify - What is that Thing in the Sky? 0
Jesse3959 FE Debunked with water tube level - 187 foot building 21.2 miles away below eye level Flat Earth 0
H Debunked: Cadillac Mountain from 220 miles Flat Earth 7
Jesse3959 FE Claim Debunked: JTolan Epic Gravity Experiment - Flat earther disproves Perspective! (or his instruments.) Flat Earth 0
Mick West Debunked: DoD prepares for martial law in CONUS: Conspiracy Theories 0
Oystein Debunked: AE911T: CNBC Anchor Ron Insana claims Building 7 a Controlled Implosion 9/11 13
A Debunked: NASA tampered with the original television audio of the Apollo 11 moon landing Conspiracy Theories 1
Greylandra Debunked: media headline "Judea declares war on Germany" [boycott] Conspiracy Theories 20
Mick West Discovery Channel's "Contact: Declassified Breakthrough" was debunked 2.5 years ago UFOs, Aliens, Monsters, and the Paranormal 8
Joe Hill Debunked: "The North Face of Building 7 Was Pulled Inward" 9/11 66
A Debunked : Fake Set Moon Landing with TV Camera and Stairs Conspiracy Theories 3
Mick West Debunked: Photo with Sun Rays at Odd Angles Flat Earth 0
Staffan Debunked: Wikileaks releases unused footage of moon landing (Capricorn One movie scenes) Conspiracy Theories 2
Mick West Debunked: Neil deGrasse Tyson : "That Stuff is Flat" Flat Earth 10
Mendel Debunked: Air Map of the World 1945 is a flat Earth map Flat Earth 0
Trailblazer Debunked: Trees being cut down "because they block 5G" (tree replacement in Belgium) 5G and Other EMF Health Concerns 44
deirdre Debunked: Exemption from military service doc proves Jews had foreknowledge of WW2 (fake leaflet) General Discussion 0
Trailblazer Debunked: Obama called Michelle "Michael" in a speech. (Referring to Michael Mullen Jr) Quotes Debunked 0
Rory Debunked: 120-mile shot of San Jacinto proves flat earth Flat Earth 39
Rory Debunked: The Lunar Cycle affects birth rates Health and Quackery 26
Rory Debunked: Study shows link between menstrual cycle and the moon Health and Quackery 30
novatron Debunked: California Wildfires Match the Exactly Path of the Proposed Rail System Wildfires 3
Rory Debunked: "You must love yourself before you love another" - fake Buddha quote Quotes Debunked 7
W Debunked: Qanon claims there have been 51k sealed indictments filed this year. Current Events 11
K Debunked: Audio of David Rockefeller "leaked" speech in 1991 [Audio Simulation] General Discussion 2
tadaaa Debunked: Fake photos-Novichok attack Russian 'agents' (side by side gates) General Discussion 34
Mick West Debunked: XYO Device Replacing GPS, Saving $2 Million a Day General Discussion 23
Mick West Debunked: "Tip Top" as a QAnon Clue from Trump [He's said it before] Conspiracy Theories 5
Whitebeard Debunked: Nibiru FOUND? Mysterious gigantic rogue planet spotted lurking outside our solar system Science and Pseudoscience 1
Mick West Debunked: "There Exists a Shadowy Government" — Daniel Inouye Quotes Debunked 0
Mick West Debunked: Delta Lambda Compression General Discussion 16
MisterB Debunked: Isle of Man from Blackpool at water level proves flat earth [refraction] Flat Earth 19
JFDee Debunked: Wernher von Braun confirmed that rockets can't leave earth Conspiracy Theories 23
Mick West Debunked: Missing $21 Trillion / $6.5 Trillion / $2.3 Trillion - Journal Vouchers Conspiracy Theories 33
Related Articles


















































Related Articles

Top