Debunked: The WTC 9/11 Angle Cut Column. [Not Thermite, Cut Later]

Mick West

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Staff member
Debunked Angle Cut Column 2.jpg
This image is famous in 9/11 conspiracy culture:

hdanglecutlarge.jpg

The column in the center of the photo (by Sam Hollenshead) has been cut at an angle, presumably during the cleanup process. Yet Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth (AE911) still insist it was cut before the building fell, and looks nothing like a normal cut, and hence is evidence of thermite. Here's an AE911 slide they used just a few weeks ago:

upload_2018-1-27_13-52-44.png

Here's Richard Gage, head of AE911, discussing this:
Source: https://youtu.be/cjzZ7Yot_5s?t=1m11s

However other photos of the scene show the exact same column, so we can figure out where it is, and when it was cut.
Metabunk 2018-01-31 22-34-42.jpg

This photo from Oct 29, 2001 shows the angle cut column after it has been cut. It also shows the adjacent column as it falls to the ground, having just been cut.
Metabunk 2018-09-04 14-18-25.jpg

Image Source: http://www.apimages.com/metadata/In...United-/76b06dee64e5da11af9f0014c2589dfb/54/0
Date: Oct 29, 2001.

The clincher is that the column was still there earlier that day, with no cut. On October 29th.
Metabunk 2018-09-04 14-19-05.jpg
Image Source: http://www.apimages.com/metadata/In...-United-/e0279fc464e5da11af9f0014c2589dfb/1/0


The position of the column is right at the bottom of the pile of debris that formed when WTC1 collapsed. It took weeks to dig it out.
Metabunk 2018-01-31 22-39-20.jpg



Drag the slider to see the two photos in context:


It appears in other images from after Oct 29th, which show it in the same position.


Hence the column was cut several weeks after the collapse. People have been claiming something as evidence for over a decade. But they were wrong. Again.


[Update] Some people have reported difficulty seeing the match of the Hollenshead image with the AP image. Here's a guide to the matching features between the two.
Metabunk 2018-02-08 08-14-22.jpg

And in a wider context we can see other columns and pieces of debris that line up in both images

Metabunk 2018-02-08 08-21-27.jpg

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The above is a summary of the thread discussion. The original question that started this follows, and the thread contains more information reinforcing the location and timing.

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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Has the location of this column ever been identified? It's such a core part of 9/11 mythology that a conclusive demonstration of the fact that it was cut later would go a long way to shifting the balance for those near the fence.

I suspect it's part of the core of WTC1, the North Tower. Around 100 feet of the core was still standing


FEMAphoto_WTC - 295 Core remaining North Tower.jpg

FEMAphoto_WTC - 380.jpg

FEMAphoto_WTC - 386.jpg

However I'm not sure. Some clues:

The building columns in the background. Here's a contrast enhanced version:
hdanglecutlarge-contrast.jpg
Metabunk 2018-01-27 14-15-08.jpg

The fact that it's a section of the core. Those appear to be core columns, viewed from a shallow angle from quite a distance. Here's something similar:
crane and ground zero Oct 21 2001 AP William C. Lopez.jpg
(Photo source: http://archive.boston.com/bigpicture/2011/09/ground_zero_september_11_2001.html )

Notice the slag marks and partial cuts on the columns in the above photo.


Found a higher resolution image with TinEye, although it's cropped a bit



You can see something that were less apparent in the other image, like the right angle marks on the top of the side of the two columns on the right, showing are just the "snapped off" core columns.
Metabunk 2018-01-27 16-26-18.jpg

You can actually see the join line on the short side of the angle cut column lining up with the tops of the other two.
Metabunk 2018-01-27 16-30-52.jpg
 
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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Something to keep in mind is that the cut is only around 30°, and so will not look as steep from other angles.

 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
And on a bit of a side note, I no longer think it must have been done with a thermal lance. Regular oxy cutting can also produce similar slag, especially if done in a fiddly situation.
 

Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
Do you know the date of the photo? I can't find it on any press or newswire sites. Finding the original source would be a great first step as then it would be easier to search photos around that date.
 

Mick West

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Staff member
Do you know the date of the photo? I can't find it on any press or newswire sites. Finding the original source would be a great first step as then it would be easier to search photos around that date.

No, and that's partly what I'm trying to determine, as Gage is claiming it's during rescue efforts, so too early for any beams to be cut. He does not seem to realize that firefighters were involved in recovery efforts for months after the collapse. Here, for example:
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PH8MIVuLz1g


And just now, randomly clicking through that video I found (at 21:43) some angle cut columns.
Metabunk 2018-01-28 06-45-02.jpg
 

Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
He does not seem to realize that firefighters were involved in recovery efforts for months after the collapse. Here, for example:
It's hard to tell from such a close crop how much, if any, of the pile has been cleared away. There is still smoke rising, but that doesn't mean much because the fires were still burning more than three months after 9/11:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2001/dec/20/september11.usa


Ground Zero stops burning, after 100 days



Staff and agencies

Thu 20 Dec 2001 11.59 GMT First published on Thu 20 Dec 2001 11.59 GMT


One hundred days after the suicide attacks that brought down the twin towers of the World Trade Centre and killed nearly 3,000 people, the final fires have stopped burning at Ground Zero.
For months, acrid clouds of smoke from the site could be smelled several miles away in Brooklyn and upper Manhattan. The fires, fuelled by documents and office furniture, had been so strong they needed a near-constant jet of water sprayed on them.

"You couldn't even begin to imagine how much water was pumped in there," said Tom Manley, a firefighters' union representative. "It was like you were creating a giant lake."

At times, the flames slowed the work of clearing the site. Flare-ups would occur from time to time as demolition and rescue crews exposed the debris to the air.

But for the 75 firefighters at the site daily, working without the flames only makes the job of finding human remains a bit easier.
Content from External Source
See also the part I have bolded at the end. Firefighters were there daily for months.
 

Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member

This image appears to have been scanned from a newspaper or magazine. There are screening dots visible (easiest to see eg in the area of smoke to the right of the man in the centre). Working out where it was published would be a good start.
 

Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
No, and that's partly what I'm trying to determine, as Gage is claiming it's during rescue efforts, so too early for any beams to be cut.

But also beams were clearly being cut even during the "rescue" phase of the operation. There's a good album on Flickr of photos from the days immediately after 9/11 by Andrea Booher: https://www.flickr.com/photos/32610356@N02/albums/72157609574082001/with/3046778693/

This one was taken on September 18 or 19 (both dates are listed), and shows a beam being cut by firemen wearing very similar gear to those in the OP photo.

https://flic.kr/p/5DiKAu

upload_2018-1-28_15-56-57.png

And one from September 20 showing what appears to be the same type of cutting device. The caption calls it a "blowtorch", I'm not sure what the correct term would be.

upload_2018-1-28_16-4-50.png
 
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Mick West

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Staff member
And one from September 20 showing what appears to be the same type of cutting device. The caption calls it a "blowtorch", I'm not sure what the correct term would be.

It's an Oxy–Acetylene Torch. Note the red and green hoses in the first image. Red is acetylene, green is oxygen.
Metabunk 2018-01-28 08-16-28.jpg
In the second image he's just lit the torch with a flint striker. This is done without extra oxygen, so you get the larger irregular flame.

These torches can be used for welding or cutting. When cutting a different tip is used that has a high pressure jet of oxygen controlled by the lever on the handle.
 

Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
Earliest picture I have found of cutting going on, dated September 13 2001.

upload_2018-1-28_16-59-32.png

I have a feeling the OP picture might be one of those taken by Andrea Booher (she was one of two FEMA photographers with full access to Ground Zero in the immediate aftermath), but the image search on the FEMA site is fairly terrible, and won't seem to continue past the 10th page of results:

https://www.fema.gov/media-library/...":"1391+|+DR+|+New+York+|+Terrorist+Attack"}}
 

DasKleineTeilchen

Active Member
I think I found the photographer of the "beams-cut-at-an-angle" shot; from a blog-post from 2008:
It appears, that the group of pictures in the 'Workers at Ground Zero' section on Sam Hollenshead's site, where all taken a few weeks after 9/11, because the WFC buildings are shrouded in some of the other shots.
Content from External Source

source: http://911blogger.com/news/2008-06-08/who-took-photo-when#comment-189102

they refering to this site, which doesnt exist anymore, but archive.org got it (without photos):

https://web.archive.org/web/20080828183650/http://www.lraphotography.com/essays/sep11/essay_wtc.php

description reads:
Workers at Ground Zero

In the immediate wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11th, New York City fire fighters, police officers and construction workers faced the daunting task of finding survivors and cleaning up the burning rubble that was once the World Trade Center. Without hesitation these workers rose to the occasion and embraced their call to duty. When historians sit down to write about September 11th and its aftermath, they will have to reserve a page of History for the workers at ground zero whose tireless efforts saved lives and helped New York City rebuild itself. Here is the story of workers at ground zero. Photography by Sam Hollenshead.
Content from External Source
and on Sam Hollensheads personal site it states:
Sam Hollenshead lives in Brooklyn, NY. He grew up in Ann Arbor, MI and studied anthropology at the University of Michigan.

Between 2001 and 2007, Sam spent time developing his photography. He documented workers at the World Trade Center after 9/1
Content from External Source

source: https://www.samhollenshead.com/contact/
 

Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
I think I found the photographer of the "beams-cut-at-an-angle" shot; from a blog-post from 2008:
It appears, that the group of pictures in the 'Workers at Ground Zero' section on Sam Hollenshead's site, where all taken a few weeks after 9/11, because the WFC buildings are shrouded in some of the other shots.
Content from External Source
source: http://911blogger.com/news/2008-06-08/who-took-photo-when#comment-189102

they refering to this site, which doesnt exist anymore, but archive.org got it (without photos):

https://web.archive.org/web/20080828183650/http://www.lraphotography.com/essays/sep11/essay_wtc.php

description reads:
Workers at Ground Zero

In the immediate wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11th, New York City fire fighters, police officers and construction workers faced the daunting task of finding survivors and cleaning up the burning rubble that was once the World Trade Center. Without hesitation these workers rose to the occasion and embraced their call to duty. When historians sit down to write about September 11th and its aftermath, they will have to reserve a page of History for the workers at ground zero whose tireless efforts saved lives and helped New York City rebuild itself. Here is the story of workers at ground zero. Photography by Sam Hollenshead.
Content from External Source
and on Sam Hollensheads personal site it states:
Sam Hollenshead lives in Brooklyn, NY. He grew up in Ann Arbor, MI and studied anthropology at the University of Michigan.

Between 2001 and 2007, Sam spent time developing his photography. He documented workers at the World Trade Center after 9/1
Content from External Source
source: https://www.samhollenshead.com/contact/

Good info. That led me to this forum discussion: https://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=125x175209


jberryhill [Broken External Image]:https://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/images/donor.gif (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-17-07 09:05 PM
Original message
Sam Hollenshead - the "angle cut column" photographer

Edited on Mon Sep-17-07 09:10 PM by jberryhill
In 2001, Sam Hollenshead was a staff photographer for Labor Research Associates.

For example, if you searcj the articles from the union site workinglife.org, you will find a lot of examples of his work.

http://wbff.org/films/detail.asp?fid=664

Sam Hollenshead worked as a photographer from 2001-2003 documenting union labor throughout NYC. In 2004 his photographs of the rebuilding of subway infrastructure at the World Trade Center site were exhibited at the Museum of the City of New York.



http://www.samhollenshead.com/bio01.html

After 9/11, he documented workers at the World Trade Center site clearing debris and rebuilding damaged subway lines. Images from this project were published in the New York Times Magazine and displayed at the Museum of the City of New York in a group show with Magnum photographer, Bruce Davidson and MacArthur fellowship recipient, Camillo Jose Vergara. A solo exhibition of his subway photographs is currently on display at the New York City Transit Museum until December 2006.



http://www.samhollenshead.com/escontacts/wtccontact.htm...


http://www.lraphotography.com/essays/sep11/essay_wtc.ph...

When historians sit down to write about September 11th and its aftermath, they will have to reserve a page of History for the workers at ground zero whose tireless efforts saved lives and helped New York City rebuild itself. Here is the story of workers at ground zero. Photography by Sam Hollenshead.


The fact that Mr. Hollenshead spent a lot of time documenting ironworkers renders it no surprise that many of his WTC photographs involve people working with torches.


wildbilln864 [Broken External Image]:https://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/images/donor.gif (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-17-07 09:37 PM
Response to Original message
1. good find!
thanks! [Broken External Image]:https://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/images/hi2.gif
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Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-17-07 09:40 PM
Response to Reply #1

2. "A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on."

I've written to Mr. Hollenshead to ask whether he has more information about that photograph, or is even aware of how it is used by Richard Gage et al.
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Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-17-07 09:46 PM
Response to Reply #2

3. good deal then......
Edited on Mon Sep-17-07 09:48 PM by wildbilln864
please keep us posted if you will. [Broken External Image]:https://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/images/hi2.gif
And maybe you can ask him about these pics as well?
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Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-18-07 09:16 AM
Response to Reply #3

5. He wrote back....

He's going to check his notes for more information about the photograph, but he has written back to me and said:

"i do recall that the photo of the firefighters was taken almost a month after 9/11 and the cut beam in the background was almost certainly cut by a worker, not the result of 'intentional demolition.'"
Content from External Source
 

DasKleineTeilchen

Active Member
"i do recall that the photo of the firefighters was taken almost a month after 9/11 and the cut beam in the background was almost certainly cut by a worker, not the result of 'intentional demolition.'"
there you go; that was a decade ago, I wonder how often he had to confirm this since then. and now propably again.
 

benthamitemetric

Senior Member
Most of the photos taken of the initial ground zero recovery were taken by one man--Joel Meyerowitz--starting on September 23, 2001 when he was granted access to be a photographer of record. Meyerowitz has published a number of the photos a stories from that time in a book, and all of his 5000 photos are now owned by the Museum of the City of New York, though I haven't found a place online where they are all accessible. I did find a presentation Meyerowitz gave to the New York Public Library about how he gained access to the site and, more importantly, what he saw and photographed there. A higher quality version of the NYPL presentation is preserved at C-SPAN.

One interesting note he makes about the ironworkers who disassembled the remains of the buildings, is that many of them had worked on erecting the buildings 35 years prior (at 28:15 in the above linked video).

Another point he makes (at 45:03 in the above linked video) is to say that, to him, the most emblematic scene of the recovery was that of men and women raking through debris meticulously, either standing or on their hands and knees, and pouring it through screens, all in search of evidence of missing persons.

Meyerowitz's book is only available in hardcopy form so it's difficult to find digital copies of the photos from it. As far as I can tell, his full archive hasn't been digitized and made available yet either.

(By the way, some additional evidence that the WTC 1 core columns were not cut by thermite or attacked by explosive charges: a number of people survived the collapse of the building from inside stairwell b of WTC 1. The History Channel actually put together a documentary on them, which can be found on youtube in various places including here.)
 

Mick West

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Here's a photo of the WTC1 core, some time into the cleanup. Notice all the cut/snapped columns
Metabunk 2018-01-28 10-01-55.jpg

There's one center bottom that's possible angle cut with similar slag coloration.
Metabunk 2018-01-28 10-04-40.jpg
 

Mick West

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This, I think, shows the same locationMetabunk 2018-01-28 10-43-56.jpg
Getty image dated Oct 17, 2001

Looking north from behind the south bridge
Metabunk 2018-01-28 10-44-44.jpg

So it's looking at the WTC1 pile, with WTC6 in the background. I think.

So if you can see WTC6 in the Hollenshead angle cut pic, then that means it was taken after the north wall remains of the north tower were removed.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
So it's looking at the WTC1 pile, with WTC6 in the background. I think.

So if you can see WTC6 in the Hollenshead angle cut pic, then that means it was taken after the north wall remains of the north tower were removed.

Actually it seems like PART of the north wall has been removed, and this is quite a bit lower down
Metabunk 2018-01-28 11-12-35.jpg
 

Mick West

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Which I think means that at the time Gage claims the photo was taken it was actually buried about 100 foot deep in the pile of WTC1's core.

Round about this level, or deeper
Metabunk 2018-01-28 11-52-59.jpg
 
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Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
And as we know who took the photo, surely it must be possible to find out the date it was taken. That image must have been circulated widely at the time. Might be worth a search of newspapers around October 2001, if contacting the photographer doesn't work.
 

benthamitemetric

Senior Member

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benthamitemetric

Senior Member
Which I think means that at the time Gage claims the photo was taken it was actually buried about 100 foot deep.

If they were WTC1 columns, that could well be the case as survivors from stairwell b had to climb out of the rubble at near the 6th floor level, indicating that the rubble pile there was quite substantial immediately after the collapse.
 

Jeffrey Orling

Senior Member
The columns extended 7 stories below the plaza level to the bottom of the bath rub where the foundations were. The debris from the collapse I believe filled much of those 7 floors which voids. The core columns from the foundations up to 10 stores or more where made from 5 and 6" thick plate up to the 22nd floor. These monsters were 3 stories tall... OAL dimensions at the bottom were 22"x52"

http://femr2.ucoz.com/photo/core_data/10

There were some that were smaller in the center of the core as there function was mostly to define the elevator cores and support the corridors and smaller floor spaces inside the core.

Up at the top the cross sections were way smaller by comparison... with the facade having 1/4" plate walls
 

Mick West

Administrator
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Plan of the first floor of the North Tower (WTC1). Note the core columns are oriented with the long side running north/south
Metabunk 2018-01-28 16-07-06.jpg

From this we can identify the columns in the background
Metabunk 2018-01-28 16-21-08.jpg
 

Mick West

Administrator
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The version that's on Hollenshead's site actually has a bit more detail of the background columns, going up a bit higher.
2015-Sam-WTC-02-Cropped-enhanced.jpg
Which I think gives a 99.9% on the identification of those columns:
Metabunk 2018-01-28 16-44-53.jpg


Metabunk 2018-01-28 16-45-49.jpg
 

Mick West

Administrator
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Based on the above, this guy is standing at street level. This makes sense with the photographer also being about at street level.
Metabunk 2018-01-28 16-52-57.jpg
 

benthamitemetric

Senior Member
Just to confirm that it was a deliberate practice of the engineers and iron workers on site to make diagonal cuts on columns that were dangerous to remove, here is the account of Charlie Vitchers, one of the construction workers on site, describing the removal of the southern tower's facade:

There was no science to pulling it down; it was common sense. It needed to come down one spandrel, one panel, one column at a time, cutting through the connections. In the time we spent trying to pull, we probably could have given that thing a haircut and had it down.

In the end, of course, we cut it down, piece by piece. We were able to control where it was going and how it was going to fall. We had the blueprints of the façade and I would sit there with one of the demo guys, and we would decide where we were going to cut and drop. We would give the prints to the ironworkers, go over that with them, they would go up in a man basket and they would do what we asked them to do.

There was no concern that we’d accidentally knock the rest of the façade down. That’s how strong they were. The bottom of these crucibles were box beams. Eventually we cut them like you would a tree, on a wedge so that they couldn’t tip back. We’d leave a little stick in there, then we’d hook the cable up and just pull it away. Everything was taken out in controlled increments.
Content from External Source
(Emphasis added. Nine Months at Ground Zero, The Story of the Brotherhood of Workers Who Took on a Job Like No Other, pg. 97.)

Of course it's not certain if the same wedge technique was used on this column, but it could explain why there is no slag on the upper left portion if that small section had been left in tact to be broken by the crane/grappler pull.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
@deirdre found this:


https://911justicehalifax.wordpress.com/wtc-huge-hi-res-photos/#jp-carousel-2166
Dated 10-17-01, five weeks after the attack.

Here's the portion of the core that's still standing at this level.
Metabunk 2018-01-28 21-53-39.jpg


Note this is ABOVE where the angle cut column is. This is the portion that surrounded the staircase where survivors were found. You can see from the spacing of the columns it matches this portion of the core:
Metabunk 2018-01-28 22-24-31.jpg

So the angle cut column is likely one of these:
Metabunk 2018-01-28 22-27-01.jpg

It's not hugely important which and where, as I think we've established that it as at ground level, and hence under the pile, and at the bottom of one of these pink columns. Hence not cut for weeks after the collapse.
 
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Mick West

Administrator
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Same set of columns, showing an angle cut, middle right.

Metabunk 2018-01-28 22-50-17.jpg

Metabunk 2018-01-28 22-48-19.jpg


And again:
Metabunk 2018-01-28 22-52-31.jpg

FEMAPhoto_WTC192 and 193


The angle is quite similar as it's only around 30 degrees when seen from the side.
 
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