Nanothermite on 9/11 - Where did the idea come from?

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
It's interesting and sometimes useful perspective to look at the history of an idea. The one about nanothermite being used on 9/11 reminding me of the one about aluminum being in contrails. That became an easy exercise in "finding" evidence to prove your theory, because aluminum is everywhere.

Evidence for nanothermite is harder to come by, but it still seems like evidence being collected to fit a theory, rather than a theory being formulated to best explain the evidence.

So where did the nanothermite theory come from? Who thought it up, and what were they basing it on? What gap in their explanation did it need to fill

It seems that just simple thermite came before nano, here's a Jun 20th 2004 post by a D. P. Grimmer:
http://physics911.net/thermite/
Anomalies involving the collapse of WTC buildings on 9-11 are discussed from the perspective of possible controlled demolition implosion rather than of aircraft impact and fuel-fire damage. Considered is the possible use of thermite to melt sections of the columns of the WTC towers inner cores, thus aiding in their collapse.
...
Thermite has been proposed as a chemical reactant that is capable of achieving the collapse of the central cores of the WTC towers. The thermite reaction produces great heat, capable of melting steel, and since it does not produce reactant gases, there would not be the high explosive signature of a massive shock wave. It is the rapid production and heating of gas reaction products that causes destructive shock waves from high explosives. The possible use of thermite was analyzed only because other researchers have proposed it and because the properties of the reaction are relatively easy to obtain.
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Who are these other researchers? Grimmer gives some details:

[Jim] Hoffman establishes that a large amount of energy had to be available to drive that expansion, in a (minimum) range of 2,706,000 kWh to 11,724,000 kWh (see his Summary table). Hoffman does not propose an energy source to balance that sink.
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Hoffman was someone I'd suspected as being the source. But apparently not.

The immediate conjecture supported by direct observation is the following: controlled demolition, characterized by a (relatively) non-explosive, huge energy release necessary to melt (some) steel. M. Rivero of whatreallyhappened.com and others have proposed the use of thermite, familiar to those of us who had the high school chemistry course with an impressive thermite demonstration.
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Michael Rivero runs a generalized evil-jewish-bankers-illuminati type site:
http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/Metabunk 2018-02-08 15-54-44.jpg

Rivero brings up thermite in 1996 as a possible mechanism of sabotage of the plane of Ron Brown in Croatia.
http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/RANCHO/CRASH/BROWN/brown.php
It's impossible to state, based on the information available to the public. But thermite is a definite possibility. It can be made using available materials and will not show up on the various detectors which would sense chemical explosives such as C-4. Thermite, when ignited, burns at half the temperature of the surface of the sun and would burn through the aluminum of an aircraft with ease.
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It was mentioned in passing in a 2002 article on WTC1, but seemingly just a temperature reference, no suggestion of it being used for demolition.

The root article seems to be this one:
http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/thermite.php

Unfortunately the articles on the site don't seem to be dated. So it's hard to tell what was written when. They also seem to be updated over time. That one references a 2009 article. Perhaps then this was written after.

Anyone have an recollection where this thing started?
 

Oystein

Senior Member
Sorry, all long before I got interested in it all (which was even after Harrit et al 2009). I have tried before to drill back into the past, with no memorable success. At some point, of course, Steven Jones grabbe the idea and ran with it so far that people, myself included, believed he invented the theory.

You surely have at least skimmed "Why indeed did the WTC buildings completely collapse?" by Steven E. Jones, September 2006? In the References, page 46, he writes:

Grimmer, Derrick (2004). Calculations on the Possible Use of Thermite to Melt Sections of the WTC Core Columns, http://www.physics911.net/thermite.htm, also, Mike Rivero at www.whatreallyhappened.com raises the notion of thermite reactions in the WTC demolitions (the earliest reference found).
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Note the ending remark in parentheses.
 

Jeffrey Orling

Senior Member
It was Jones who got the rug pulled out from his thermate diagonal cut column... he invented nano thermite... and looked for it in dust. Jones has no credibility.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Sorry, all long before I got interested in it all (which was even after Harrit et al 2009). I have tried before to drill back into the past, with no memorable success. At some point, of course, Steven Jones grabbe the idea and ran with it so far that people, myself included, believed he invented the theory.

You surely have at least skimmed "Why indeed did the WTC buildings completely collapse?" by Steven E. Jones, September 2006? In the References, page 46, he writes:

Grimmer, Derrick (2004). Calculations on the Possible Use of Thermite to Melt Sections of the WTC Core Columns, http://www.physics911.net/thermite.htm, also, Mike Rivero at www.whatreallyhappened.com raises the notion of thermite reactions in the WTC demolitions (the earliest reference found).
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Note the ending remark in parentheses.

Similar to what I found above then. It's possible that Jones was just (like me) accepting Derrick's account of earlier suggestions by Rivero. I can't find anything dated earlier that 2010 from Rivero.

Here's an earlier (Nov 23 2003) post by Grimmer, archive Dec 7 2003.
https://web.archive.org/web/2003120...rg:80/net/modules/news/article.php?storyid=22
It also contains the mention of Rivero, and is a link to a WhatReallyHappened article. The earliest archived version of this article, from June 22, 2003, says:

https://web.archive.org/web/20030622150344/http://whatreallyhappened.com:80/shake2.html

  1. Construction steel has melting point of about 2,800° Fahrenheit (1535° Celsius), this temperature cannot be reached by jet-fuel burning in air, but molten steel was found in the basements of all of the collapsed WTC buildings.

  2. Thermite is very exothermic. Temperatures above 4,500°F (2,500°C) are often reached. A byproduct of a thermite detonation in the WTC basements would be molten steel.

  3. The service core of WTC 2 initially survived the collapse, but after a few seconds it also came to ground. This is consistent with molten iron from a thermite reaction pooling around the core columns, thus causing the collapse.
....

The collapse of the "spire" is consistent with a thermite reaction pooling molten iron into the central area of the WTC basement and subsequently melting the core columns, thus inducing the collapse which occurred seconds later.
...

Taken together with the seismographic record in the first article, the preponderance of evidence is that there was indeed an event that preceded the collapse of the towers, possibly a low order detonation of thermite (which would explain the pools of melted steel, a byproduct of the thermite reaction), which melted the central columns triggering the collapse several seconds later.
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Nonsensical, of course. He's suggesting the core columns collapsed because they were essentially swimming in a pool of molten iron. Photos of the excavation of the cores shows this was not the case - and zero pools of molten iron (or previously molten iron) were found at the site. But it seems like this silly theory might have been the root of what eventually became the nanothermite thing, and subsequent search for evidence to fit the theory.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Rivero's previous web site, Rancho Runnamukka, has some precursors to the "red chips" of nanothermite (more likely paint). Quite astonishingly similar types of claims.

https://web.archive.org/web/20000816234027/http://www.whatreallyhappened.com:80/RANCHO/index.html




TWA 800: The NTSB's lab tests did NOT prove that the red residue came from seat glue!







TWA 800: LAB TESTS PROVE THAT THE RED RESIDUE IS NOT GLUE!


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https://web.archive.org/web/2000082...ppened.com:80/RANCHO/CRASH/TWA/GLUETESTS.html

SEAT RESIDUE TEST RESULTS
My comments follow.

TEST ONE RESULTS from the red residue visible on 15 seats of the reconstructed TWA 800 in Calverton Hangar. The test was performed at Santa Fe Lab in California under the direction of James Sanders, which he printed in his book "The Downing of TWA Flight 800" and the Press-Enterprise, Riverside California, March 10, 1997 edition.

TEST TWO RESULTS for 3M 1357 adhesive from an UNSOAKED sample performed by Coffey Labs, Portland Oregon.

TEST THREE RESULTS from Atlantic Ocean water soaked - 22 days - fabric from sister ship to TWA 800. Tests were performed under the direction of student/researcher Thomas Stalcup.
...
My comments.
It should be evident from the above that the government claim that the red residue found on three rows of seats from TWA 800 is yet another lie. The red residue contains elements which are not present in either the glue or seat fabric or Atlantic Seawater.

The key issue is that the government could have performed these same tests, indeed it is known that the government did perform such tests, but have never released the results. The reason should be obvious. The red residue isn't glue. The claim that it is glue is a lie.
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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
So, preliminary timeline:

1996 - Michael Rivero brings up thermite as a possible mechanism of sabotage of the plane of Ron Brown in Croatia.
2000 - Rivero discusses "red residue" on TWO 800, maybe implying thermite?
June 22, 2003 - Michael Rivero attempts to come up with a way the core could have fallen later. Has an idea about vast pools of molten iron pooling at the bottom, and theorizes that was made from thermite.
Nov 23 2003 - Derrick Grimmer, based on Rivero's idea, makes some calculations of how much regular thermite would be needed to melt columns near the bases of the towers.
September 2006 - Why indeed did the WTC buildings completely collapse? by Steven Jones is published, suggesting nanothermite (using the name "superthermite")
2009 - Harrit and Jones publish Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe
 

Keith Beachy

Senior Member
Rivero brings up thermite in 1996 as a possible mechanism of sabotage of the plane of Ron Brown in Croatia.
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Thermite is pretty far from a crew using an approach plate which was not safe.

Jones did an article posted on 9.16.05. on 8 points for CD, he mentioned thermite. The 8 point paper found here if you need a copy of 9/11 truth history.
Debunked: Iron Microspheres in 9/11 WTC Dust as Evidence for Thermite
6. The observations of molten metal (I did not say molten steel!) in the basements of all three buildings, WTC 1, 2 and 7 is consistent with the use of the extremely high-temperature thermite reaction: iron oxide + aluminum powder --> Al2O3 + molten iron. Falling buildings are not observed to generate melting of large quantities of molten metal -- this requires a concentrated heat source such as explosives. Even the government reports admit that the fires were insufficient to melt steel beams (they argue for heating and warping then failure of these beams) -- but these reports do not mention the observed molten metal in the basements of WTC1, 2 and 7. Again we have a glaring omission of critical data in the FEMA, NIST and 9-11 Commission reports. (from the 8 point CD paper by Jones)
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Not exactly nano-thermite, yet.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
ones did an article posted on 9.16.05. on 8 points for CD, he mentioned thermite. The 8 point paper found here if you need a copy of 9/11 truth history.
And here, dated 9-15-2005
https://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=125x55542
This is a letter he wrote to his academic colleagues and that he e-mailed to me. He is interested in feedback on it.
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Same here:
http://covertoperations.blogspot.com/2005/09/professor-of-physics-thinks-wtcs-were.html
 

Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
I had a look on Usenet (although Google has really screwed up the search facility in recent years).

I found this article from the Deseret Morning News, from [Nov 10] 2005, referencing Steven Jones:


https://www.deseret.com/2005/11/10/19922050/y-professor-thinks-bombs-not-planes-toppled-wtc


BYU professor thinks bombs, not planes, toppled WTC

By Elaine Jarvik
Deseret Morning News, Thursday, November 10, 2005

The physics of 9/11 - including how fast and symmetrically one of the
World Trade Center buildings fell - prove that official explanations
of the collapses are wrong, says a Brigham Young University physics
professor.

In fact, it's likely that there were "pre-positioned explosives" in all
three buildings at ground zero, says Steven E. Jones.

In a paper posted online Tuesday and accepted for peer-reviewed
publication next year, Jones adds his voice to those of previous
skeptics, including the authors of the Web site www.wtc7.net, whose
research Jones quotes. Jones' article can be found at
www.physics.byu.edu/research/energy/htm7.html.

"It is quite plausible that explosives were pre-planted in all three
(WTC) buildings," BYU physics professor Steven E. Jones says.

Stuart Johnson, Deseret Morning News

Jones, who conducts research in fusion and solar energy at BYU, is
calling for an independent, international scientific investigation
"guided not by politicized notions and constraints but rather by
observations and calculations.

"It is quite plausible that explosives were pre-planted in all three
buildings and set off after the two plane crashes - which were
actually a diversion tactic," he writes. "Muslims are (probably) not to
blame for bringing down the WTC buildings after all," Jones writes.

As for speculation about who might have planted the explosives, Jones
said, "I don't usually go there. There's no point in doing that until
we do the scientific investigation."

Previous investigations, including those of FEMA, the 9/11 Commission
and NIST (the National Institutes of Standards and Technology), ignore
the physics and chemistry of what happened on Sept. 11, 2001, to the
Twin Towers and the 47-story building known as WTC 7, he says. The
official explanation - that fires caused structural damage that
caused the buildings to collapse - can't be backed up by either
testing or history, he says.

Jones acknowledges that there have been "junk science" conspiracy
theories about what happened on 9/11, but "the explosive demolition
hypothesis better satisfies tests of repeatability and parsimony and
therefore is not 'junk science.' "

In a 9,000-word article that Jones says will be published in the book
"The Hidden History of 9/11," by Elsevier, Jones offers these
arguments:

· The three buildings collapsed nearly symmetrically, falling down
into their footprints, a phenomenon associated with "controlled
demolition" - and even then it's very difficult, he says. "Why would
terrorists undertake straight-down collapses of WTC-7 and the Towers
when 'toppling over' falls would require much less work and would do
much more damage in downtown Manhattan?" Jones asks. "And where would
they obtain the necessary skills and access to the buildings for a
symmetrical implosion anyway? The 'symmetry data' emphasized here,
along with other data, provide strong evidence for an 'inside' job."

· No steel-frame building, before or after the WTC buildings, has
ever collapsed due to fire. But explosives can effectively sever steel
columns, he says.

· WTC 7, which was not hit by hijacked planes, collapsed in 6.6
seconds, just .6 of a second longer than it would take an object
dropped from the roof to hit the ground. "Where is the delay that must
be expected due to conservation of momentum, one of the foundational
laws of physics?" he asks. "That is, as upper-falling floors strike
lower floors - and intact steel support columns - the fall must be
significantly impeded by the impacted mass. . . . How do the upper
floors fall so quickly, then, and still conserve momentum in the
collapsing buildings?" The paradox, he says, "is easily resolved by the
explosive demolition hypothesis, whereby explosives quickly removed
lower-floor material, including steel support columns, and allow near
free-fall-speed collapses." These observations were not analyzed by
FEMA, NIST nor the 9/11 Commission, he says.

· With non-explosive-caused collapse there would typically be a
piling up of shattering concrete. But most of the material in the
towers was converted to flour-like powder while the buildings were
falling, he says. "How can we understand this strange behavior, without
explosives? Remarkable, amazing - and demanding scrutiny since the
U.S. government-funded reports failed to analyze this phenomenon."

· Horizontal puffs of smoke, known as squibs, were observed
proceeding up the side the building, a phenomenon common when
pre-positioned explosives are used to demolish buildings, he says.

· Steel supports were "partly evaporated," but it would require
temperatures near 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit to evaporate steel - and
neither office materials nor diesel fuel can generate temperatures that
hot. Fires caused by jet fuel from the hijacked planes lasted at most a
few minutes, and office material fires would burn out within about 20
minutes in any given location, he says.

· Molten metal found in the debris of the World Trade Center may have
been the result of a high-temperature reaction of a commonly used
explosive such as thermite
, he says. Buildings not felled by explosives
"have insufficient directed energy to result in melting of large
quantities of metal," Jones says.

· Multiple loud explosions in rapid sequence were reported by
numerous observers in and near the towers, and these explosions
occurred far below the region where the planes struck, he says.

Jones says he became interested in the physics of the WTC collapse
after attending a talk last spring given by a woman who had had a
near-death experience. The woman mentioned in passing that "if you
think the World Trade Center buildings came down just due to fire, you
have a lot of surprises ahead of you," Jones remembers, at which point
"everyone around me started applauding."

Following several months of study, he presented his findings at a talk
at BYU in September.

Jones says he would like the government to release 6,899 photographs
and 6,977 segments of video footage for "independent scrutiny." He
would also like to analyze a small sample of the molten metal found at
Ground Zero.

E-mail: jar...@desnews.com

© 2005 Deseret News Publishing Company
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Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
An earlier mention from March 2005 but with a long dead link:


THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA FAILED THIS NATION! Remember that!
HEADLINES and NEWS LINKS Courtesy of TvNewsLies.org

MAR-25-05____________________________________________________
WAR - http://www.tvnewslies.org/news/#war

[...]

9/11 - http://www.tvnewslies.org/news#911

* Thermite and the WTC Collapses
* Video Evidence of a Ground Level Explosion Prior to WTC 1's
Collapse - Video showing white smoke at the base of WTC 1
seconds before its collapse.
* The Hidden Hand Of The CIA, 911 And Popular Mechanics -
A brutal purge of the senior staff at Popular Mechanics
preceded the publication of last month's scandalous propaganda
piece about 9/11.
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Going to the archived version of that link for the date in question:

LINK - "A few seconds after 10:00 am", former Colonel Donn De Grand Pre notes, "we see a great white cloud of smoke and dust rising from the base of the [South] tower. The anchor gal on Fox 5 News video exclaims 'There is an explosion at the base of the building… white smoke from the bottom… something happened at the base of the building… then, another explosion! Another building in the WTC complex …'" [Barbarians Inside the Gates: Book Two: The Viper's Venom: p 50]
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It turns out to be a link to the same "Whatreallyhappened" article. (archived version at that date).
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I found this article from the Deseret Morning News, from [Nov 10] 2005, referencing Steven Jones:

https://www.deseretnews.com/article/635160132/Y-professor-thinks-bombs-not-planes-toppled-WTC.html

Jones says he became interested in the physics of the WTC collapse
after attending a talk last spring given by a woman who had had a
near-death experience
. The woman mentioned in passing that "if you
think the World Trade Center buildings came down just due to fire, you
have a lot of surprises ahead of you," Jones remembers, at which point
"everyone around me started applauding."

Following several months of study, he presented his findings at a talk
at BYU in September.
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Interesting. Sounds like this was the trigger that started him down the rabbit hole. Most people get sucked in via YouTube now.

The BYU link goes to an earlier version of "Why Indeed....", archived 24 Nov 2005, but still labeled "Draft 2.4" indicating it had been in the works for a while. Quotes from this version:
https://www.physics.byu.edu/research/energy/htm7.html
The observed “partly evaporated” steel members is particularly upsetting to the official theory, since fires involving paper, office materials, even diesel fuel, cannot generate temperatures anywhere near the 5,000+ oF needed to “evaporate” steel. However, thermite, RDX and other commonly-used explosives can readily slice through steel (thus cutting the support columns simultaneously in an explosive demolition) and reach the required temperatures. (It is possible that some other chemical reactions were involved which might proceed at lesser temperatures.) This mystery needs to be explored – but is not mentioned in the “official” 9-11 Commission or NIST reports.
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Thus, molten metal was repeatedly observed and formally reported in the rubble piles of the WTC Towers and WTC 7, metal that looked like molten steel. However, scientific analysis, using for example X-ray fluorescence, would be needed to ascertain the actual composition of the molten metal.

I maintain that these published observations are consistent with the use of the high-temperature thermite reaction, used to cut or demolish steel. Thermite is a mixture of iron oxide and aluminum powder. The end products of the thermite reaction are aluminum oxide and molten iron. So the thermite reaction generates molten iron directly, and is hot enough to melt and even evaporate steel which it contacts while reacting. Use of sulfur in conjunction with the thermite should accelerate the destructive effect on steel, and sulfidation of structural steel was indeed observed in some of the few recovered members from the WTC rubble.
(See http://www.911research.wtc7.net/wtc/evidence/metallurgy/index.html.) On the other hand, falling buildings (absent explosives) have insufficient directed energy to result in melting of large quantities of metal. The government reports admit that the building fires were insufficient to melt steel beams -- then where did the molten metal come from? Metals expert Dr. Frank Gayle (working with NIST) stated:

Your gut reaction would be the jet fuel is what made the fire so very intense, a lot of people figured that's what melted the steel. Indeed it did not, the steel did not melt. (Field, 2005; emphasis added.)

None of the official reports tackles this mystery. Yet this is evidently a significant clue to what caused the Towers and WTC 7 to collapse. So I would very much like to see an analysis of the elemental composition of the metal, and could do this myself if a small sample were made available according to scientific courtesy. Any reader who knows of chemical analyses or even photographs of this molten metal found below the rubble piles of WTC 1, 2 and 7 is invited to speak out and contact the author. This could lead to an experiment crucis.
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Experimentum_crucis
In the sciences, an experimentum crucis (English: crucial experiment or critical experiment) is an experiment capable of decisively determining whether or not a particular hypothesis or theory is superior to all other hypotheses or theories whose acceptance is currently widespread in the scientific community.
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Back to Jones:

We are left without a compelling fire/damage model, unless one blindly accepts the NIST computer simulation while ignoring the model fire-tests, which I’m not willing to do. And none of the “official” models outlined above accounts for what happens to the buildings AFTER the building is “poised for collapse” (NIST, 2005, p. 142) – namely the rapid and symmetrical and complete (no tall-standing central core) collapses. Reports of explosions, heard and seen, are not discussed. And they ignore the squibs seen ejected from floors far from where the jets hit – particularly seen in WTC 7 (where no jet hit at all). Finally, what about that molten metal under the rubble piles of all three WTC skyscrapers?

Remarkably, the explosive demolition hypothesis accounts for all the available data rather easily. The core columns on lower floors are cut using explosives, near-simultaneously, along with explosives detonated up higher so that gravity acting on now-unsupported floors helps bring down the buildings quickly. The collapses are thus symmetrical, rapid and complete, with accompanying squibs -- really very standard stuff for demolition experts. Thermite (whose end product is molten iron) used on some of the steel beams readily accounts for the molten metal which then pooled beneath the rubble piles.

I believe this is a straightforward hypothesis, much more probable than the official hypothesis. It deserves scientific scrutiny, beyond what I have been able to outline in this treatise.

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I gratefully acknowledge comments and contributions by Jim Hoffman and Jeff Strahl, and Professors Jack Weyland, David Ray Griffin, Bryan Peterson, Paul Zarembka and Derrick Grimmer.
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occams rusty scissor

Senior Member.
Where did the "nano" thermite come into it, and why "nano"? Is it simply because tacking on nano to everything makes it sound specialised and therefore "Military grade" (which is another meaningless term)?

I've looked but can't seem to find its origin, just seems to be one of those terms now taken for fact.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
I've looked but can't seem to find its origin, just seems to be one of those terms now taken for fact.
because regular thermite wasn't 'strong' enough? (<this is a question, not a statement so don't quote me, I didn't research in depth)

I tried looking for nanothermite online scientific papers btween 1990 and 2003.. but unfortunately a lot of 9/11 CT sites back date, so mostly I got "truther" links and gave up rather quickly.

2002
A lot of work has been accomplished recently with nanopowders in energetic materials. For example, it has been proven that because of their large surface area, the nanopowders can increase the burn rate in some types of propellants1,3,8-10. There were also significant developments made in the “super thermite” area with mixes of nanometric aluminum and metal oxides11. Those compounds are said to react at rates approaching (and under particular conditions even equivalent to) those of high explosives. https://www.semanticscholar.org/pap...seau/79b7e19ece1c6b374021e58d2422df574bb171a2
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nt.JPG
https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/cm0007611
 

occams rusty scissor

Senior Member.
but unfortunately a lot of 9/11 CT sites back date, so mostly I got "truther" links and gave up rather quickly.

Yep, that's my issue. It appears to be something fabricated to fit, as I can't seem to understand what the advantage would be to using a "NanoThermite (tm)" aside from appearing more nefarious in the overall scheme.
 

Efftup

Senior Member.
Seems that way to me too. It's like Nano just automatically means Hi Tech and therefore probably Military as opposed to just meaning tiny ( and mostly a very specific SIZE of tiny at that. )
It seems like it was simply a stretch from:

It looks like CD.
Oh but it's not noisy enough. Rather than think I might be wrong then it MUST be super secret military SILENT explosives.

Thermite doesn't make noise. Must be thermite.

Thermite doesn't work like an explosive so ummm

SUPER THERMITE
NANO THERMITE.

Let's look for evidence of thermite in dust
Thermite is aluminium and iron oxide and residue is aluminium oxide and iron. ( YES, Americans that IS how it's spelt :p)
Found some of those very common elements and compounds and not bothered to rule out any other sources ( i.e doing real science)
We have found the SIGNATURE OF THERMITE in the dust.
 

Oystein

Senior Member
Is there a clear statement in one of those early documents that lack of noise was perceived as a problem, and thermite hence introduced as the solution?
It looks more to me as if "molten metal" was the impetus to speculate about thermite, not lack of noise - at least according to what I read. I can't read minds.
 

Jeffrey Orling

Senior Member
Likely the "thinking" which informed to nano thermite speculation was that critics claimed that there are very loud sounds in CDs... explosives... characteristics of all CDs. So they needed a silent CD... They needed something to cut the steel to make the frame fall. Cut strongly implies heat... so they suggested a highly exothermic chemical reaction... Thermate is such a substance. I think the amount required and the tell tale signs of thermate use would have to be found.... ergo the diagonal cut column claim.

When this was shown to be part of the clean up... they needed to find a substance which would leave little to now trace. They looked in the dust girded by the bogus claims of rivers of molten steel. Dust would prove NT and so they produced the bogus NT paper submitted to a pay for play journal which had the gravitas of "peer review".

All of these efforts were grasping at straws which were not there. All of these claims had the rug pulled out from under them because they were demonstrably false. Their schtick is to make scientific sounding claims with a supporting papers which fooled the naive. The papers were all flawed for any number of reasons... none of these "experiments" are repeatable... and some of the demonstrations like Gage and his cardboard boxes are [deeply flawed]
 
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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Please let’s avoid unqualified speculation as to motive. It’s sufficient to describe the history, the claims, and the errors therein. Keep it polite so we don’t alienate truthers on the fence.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
It looks more to me as if "molten metal" was the impetus to speculate about thermite, not lack of noise - at least according to what I read. I can't read minds.
Regarding the switch to nano-
There was also the powder problem.. concrete not being able to be powderized by the energy of a falling building alone..

With non-explosive-caused collapse there would typically be a
piling up of shattering concrete. But most of the material in the
towers was converted to flour-like powder while the buildings were
falling, he says. "How can we understand this strange behavior, without
explosives? Remarkable, amazing - and demanding scrutiny since the
U.S. government-funded reports failed to analyze this phenomenon."

https://www.deseretnews.com/article/635160132/Y-professor-thinks-bombs-not-planes-toppled-WTC.html
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It doesn't sound to my total laymen self, like regular thermite could powderize all the concrete.

This is probably off topic, but do you remember what the final verdict of this thread was? Is nanothermite capable of melting the columns as well as regular thermite? https://www.metabunk.org/nanothermite-vs-thermite-thermate-for-cutting-thick-steel.t2873/page-2
 

Keith Beachy

Senior Member
...
It looks more to me as if "molten metal" was the impetus to speculate about thermite, not lack of noise - at least according to what I read. I can't read minds.
That matches Jones reaction to claims of molten metal. Where did the idea come from for thermite; it comes from a need to explain how the metal was melted. (ignore the office fires)

"6. The observations of molten metal (I did not say molten steel!) in the basements of all three buildings, WTC 1, 2 and 7 is consistent with the use of the extremely high-temperature thermite reaction:" ... (from the 8 point CD paper by Jones)
Content from External Source
"... Falling buildings are not observed to generate melting of large quantities of molten metal -- this requires a concentrated heat source such as explosives." - by Jones
Content from External Source
Ignoring office/debris pile fires burning for weeks.
 

Jeffrey Orling

Senior Member
Regarding the switch to nano-
There was also the powder problem.. concrete not being able to be powderized by the energy of a falling building alone..

With non-explosive-caused collapse there would typically be a
piling up of shattering concrete. But most of the material in the
towers was converted to flour-like powder while the buildings were
falling, he says. "How can we understand this strange behavior, without
explosives? Remarkable, amazing - and demanding scrutiny since the
U.S. government-funded reports failed to analyze this phenomenon."

https://www.deseretnews.com/article/635160132/Y-professor-thinks-bombs-not-planes-toppled-WTC.html
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It doesn't sound to my total laymen self, like regular thermite could powderize all the concrete.

This is probably off topic, but do you remember what the final verdict of this thread was? Is nanothermite capable of melting the columns as well as regular thermite? https://www.metabunk.org/nanothermite-vs-thermite-thermate-for-cutting-thick-steel.t2873/page-2

Concrete was pulverized by the collapse avalanche of billions of mechanical collisions. The floor slab "concrete" had no stone aggregate and was very susceptible to pulverization. No explosives necessary.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I don't know of any mechanism by which ANY sort of thermite will powerdise concrete by its action.
The pulverize of concrete is another historical oddity. That whole obsssion makes no sense except as an unnecessary explanation for the dust cloud. It’s hard to shoehorn it in with “nanothermite”
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
I don't know of any mechanism by which ANY sort of thermite will powerdise concrete by its action.
i thought the topic here is why did the Truthers go with nanothermite. If I was a truther (ie Jones) and read
There were also significant developments made in the “super thermite” area with mixes of nanometric aluminum and metal oxides11. Those compounds are said to react at rates approaching (and under particular conditions even equivalent to) those of high explosives. https://www.semanticscholar.org/pap...seau/79b7e19ece1c6b374021e58d2422df574bb171a2
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then I could assume the thermite part would still cut the metal and the "high explosives" part would powderize the concrete, no?
 

occams rusty scissor

Senior Member.
then I could assume the thermite part would still cut the metal and the "high explosives" part would powderize the concrete,
Except thermite is not an explosive, more incendiary than anything else.
Also high explosives are generally categorised as such because of the velocity of detonation, being supersonic, and therefore cause a shockwave. This is why they're easily detected and audible vs thermite, which doesn't have that rapid "push" to cause damage inn the same mode.
 

occams rusty scissor

Senior Member.
I don't know of any mechanism by which ANY sort of thermite will powerdise concrete by its action.

There seems to be a bit of confusion as to thermite being an explosive.

Thermite is low explosive at best. It's a deflagration rather than a detonation, and there is no shock front ("push") like that of a detonation of high explosives, which occurs at supersonic speeds. However, it burns at extremely high temperatures which means it's useful for welding and so forth.

What some of the quoted research papers are getting at is the use of fine meshed aluminium to speed the reaction up or increase the effectiveness of explosives such as RDX, PE4 etc.

One of the studies suggest that nano mesh aluminium enhances certain properties of the explosives like velocity of detonation, reducing air blast pressure in some and decreasing heat in others.

What stumps me is if nano-mesh Al increases the rate of reaction to near HE level, sometimes higher, then what is the advantage to using it at all? I.E. if it potentially detonates as is suggested by some of the science then why is it any more use than a conventional HE/Thermite?
 

Oystein

Senior Member
It is quite a job to disentangle the confused minds of Truthers 13 years ago. They still have not sorted it all out.

deirdre, I think you are correct to identify that Steven Jones hypothesised (regular) "thermite" to account for high temperatures and molten metal, and that he conjectured "nano/super thermite" to account for pulverization.

All these point are nonsense on multiple levels, but that's not the topic of this thread: "Nanothermite on 9/11 - Where did the idea come from?"

Someone upthread conjectured that the idea came from the fact that there was no sound of explosions, yet Truthers wanted to believe in explosions. But as far as I can see, that conjecture is not supported by the evidence of early Truther writing on the subject.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
It is quite a job to disentangle the confused minds of Truthers 13 years ago. They still have not sorted it all out.

deirdre, I think you are correct to identify that Steven Jones hypothesised (regular) "thermite" to account for high temperatures and molten metal, and that he conjectured "nano/super thermite" to account for pulverization
he also mentions those special "matches" and basically how they wouldn't ignite in the office fires. (I'm lazy and don't want to relink :( ) the matches seemed related to thermite as well.

so that ?? could have been part of the reason they went the thermite route, because regular TNT type explosives would have gone off just from the office fires?
 

Oystein

Senior Member
he also mentions those special "matches" and basically how they wouldn't ignite in the office fires. (I'm lazy and don't want to relink :( ) the matches seemed related to thermite as well.

so that ?? could have been part of the reason they went the thermite route, because regular TNT type explosives would have gone off just from the office fires?
You are giving him too much credit. He read random stuff and dropped it randomly into his confused paper. At some point, I guess, "thermite" became an Idée fixe for Jones, and he lapped up every bit of related information he happened to stumble upon and tried to somehow find meaning in it for his purposes - never mind the contradictions. Around 2006, the thinking revolved around material that ignites at high temperatures and contains sulfur (for ill-understood reasons). Then, in 2009, they "found" the stuff they had hypothesized - never mind it containing no sulfur and being very eay to ignite!
 

Jedo

Member
My first guess was to check the usage of the terms in Google trends and Ngram.

Usage of the terms nano thermite, nano-thermite, nanothermite, super-thermite and super thermite over time in Google trends gives the following curves:
https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=2004-01-01 2018-02-13&q=nano thermite,nanothermite,nano-thermite,super thermite,super-thermite
2018-02-13-133355_1598x898_scrot.png

The online publication of article by Harrit et al. coincides with spike we see around beginning of 2009,
2018-02-13-134321_1598x898_scrot.png

Unfortunately, Ngram did not yield any results. I am not aware of a similar tool for academic usage. I used a Web of science search for the terms including nano, yielding
2018-02-13-133233_1598x898_scrot.png

So these terms seem to appear in academic research under the name "nano thermite" etc around 2006.

A Google Scholar search
yields earlier results, but it seems that previous other terms like "energetic metastable nano-composite powders" have been used rather. So nano-composites as a research topic have been around at least since the mid-90s.

When bing in a physics department, it is quite likely that you come into contact with all kind of current research topics even if that is neither of your field nor represented at your faculty. There are faculty talks, seminars, etc or you hear a talk at some conference, workshop, etc.

It is quite plausible that Steven Jones, who seems, as this thread uncovered so far, to be the first proponent of the term, has heard a seminar talk or something similar about the topic in his academic lifetime.

So citing from the same slides cited above
What data finally convinced you as a scientist that 9/11 was an
“inside job”?
  • A: Molten metal, yellow-hot and in large quantities... and analyses of previously molten metal and WTC dust, and of high-temperature sulfidation of WTC steel.
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So it seems that the conclusion was "molten metal" -> "thermite", confirmed by the following paragraph on a later slide
We find in the previously-molten metal samples significant concentrations of FLUORINE and other unusual elements (data shown later in this presentation). Fluorine is a fairly common fingerprint in thermite mixtures, as we shall see. Does Greening (or anyone else) have an explanation (other than thermite-mixtures) for the presence of Fluorine? We have not found any explanation other than THERMITE mixtures, which accounts for the Fluorine and ALL the rest of the observed data (high-temp. sulfidation, large pools and flowing metal, etc.)
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He then cites the FEMA report:
“Evidence of a severe high temperature corrosion attack on the steel, including oxidation and sulfidation with subsequent intergranular melting, was readily visible...The severe corrosion and subsequent erosion of Samples 1 and 2 are a very unusual event. No clear explanation for the source of the sulfur has been identified.”
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and then states the following:

  • Sulfur is used with thermite
  • (called “thermate”)
  • to cut fast through steel
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and (p85)
Jones_p85.png(p86)
Jones_p86.png
(p90)
Jones_p90.png
Here we see the connection to the fineness of the thermite mixture relating to its characteristics as incendiary or explosive. Repeated again at the before mentioned p97
Jones_p97.png
The link is broken by now, but an archived version exists, linking to the research of Alex Gash (current webpage).

I did then a cross-check on the Harrit et al paper for their references on "super-thermite", which are references 19-28. Of half of those, Alex Gash is an author, and at least one other is authored by multiple co-authors of Gash.

So it is quite plausible to assume that Jones stumbled across Gash's research and "connected the dots". ;)
 

benthamitemetric

Senior Member
Where ever the idea of nanothermite as an explosive came from, I think there's little doubt that AE911Truth and its fellow travelers popularized it. Today in NYC we found out that at least two people took their claims seriously:


Twin brothers have been arrested in New York City on explosives charges for making a bomb, multiple law enforcement sources told ABC News.

...

While serving a search warrant for the Bronx apartment, investigators found about 20 pounds of iron oxide, about 5 pounds of aluminum powder, about 5 pounds of potassium nitrate and about 2 pounds of confectioner's sugar located in the floor of a bedroom closet.

A glass jar containing a black powdery substance, later identified as explosive material, was also found on top of the closet shelf, the court document states. Another closet contained a cardboard box containing firecrackers, more containers full of varying substances and a bag containing varying sizes of metal spheres.

A diary containing writing that stated that it it were lost it should be returned to Tyler Toro was located on the kitchen table as well.

"WE ARE TWIN TOROS STRIKE US NOW, WE WILL RETURN WITH NANO THERMITE" the diary read, according to the complaint.
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(Emphasis added.)

Maybe, in the end, AE911Truth has done us a favor by leading potential terrorists to stockpile the wrong materials when attempting to build their bombs.

In any case, perhaps this arrest will lead some major news organizations to dig deeper and try to find out where these two numbskulls came up with the idea for making such an esoteric substance.
 

Me2

New Member
I see a reference to concrete pulverization above that the concrete in the floor slabs had no coarse (stone) aggregate? That would be quite unusual. It probably warrants it's own topic, unless one is already here?
 

TheoryQED

Member
because regular thermite wasn't 'strong' enough? (<this is a question, not a statement so don't quote me, I didn't research in depth)

I tried looking for nanothermite online scientific papers btween 1990 and 2003.. but unfortunately a lot of 9/11 CT sites back date, so mostly I got "truther" links and gave up rather quickly.

2002
A lot of work has been accomplished recently with nanopowders in energetic materials. For example, it has been proven that because of their large surface area, the nanopowders can increase the burn rate in some types of propellants1,3,8-10. There were also significant developments made in the “super thermite” area with mixes of nanometric aluminum and metal oxides11. Those compounds are said to react at rates approaching (and under particular conditions even equivalent to) those of high explosives. https://www.semanticscholar.org/pap...seau/79b7e19ece1c6b374021e58d2422df574bb171a2
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nt.JPG
https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/cm0007611
What distinguishes MICs from traditional thermites is that the oxidizer and a reducing agent, normally iron oxide and aluminium, are in the form of extremely fine powders (nanoparticles). This dramatically increases the reactivity relative to micrometre-sized powder thermite.
Content from External Source
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nano-thermite
 

Oystein

Senior Member
What distinguishes MICs from traditional thermites is that the oxidizer and a reducing agent, normally iron oxide and aluminium, are in the form of extremely fine powders (nanoparticles). This dramatically increases the reactivity relative to micrometre-sized powder thermite.
Content from External Source
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nano-thermite
Deirdre's post / source / quote said the same, only more specifically and accurately.

What does "reactivity" mean, in your opinion?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reactivity_(chemistry)
Reactivity is a somewhat vague concept in chemistry. It appears to embody both thermodynamic factors and kinetic factors—i.e., whether or not a substance reacts, and how fast it reacts. Both factors are actually distinct, and both commonly depend on temperature.

I am generally a fan of Wikipedia, as it is very often a good starting point to learn about a topic. But you always have to be aware that some topics draw more interest from "ideologically" motivated editors than others: Lemmata having to do with politically disputed topics are often battlegrounds on Wikipedia.

And so it is with "Nano-thermite". Behold its early edit history: Created in November 2005, 14 edits in the next three years, but then Harrit et al gets published and makes the round among Truthers, and suddenly the article is full of talking points popularized by Steven E. Jones. Just compare the versions of the article as they change from Jan 10, 2009 to April 05, 2009: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.ph...&type=revision&diff=281970526&oldid=263228347
Added phrases like "are intimately mixed on the nanometer scale", "applications in propellants, explosives, and pyrotechnics", "In April 2009, Danish chemist Niels H. Harrit...", "[[PTFE]] or other fluoropolymer can be used as a [[binder (material)|binder]] for the composition. Its reaction with the aluminium, similar to [[magnesium/teflon/viton]] thermite, adds energy to the reaction..."

From that time on, the article gets edited a lot. With many edits making (or removing) direct reference to WTC conspiracy theories:
77 edits in 2009
103 edits in 2010
56 edits in 2011
Then the 10th anniversary has passed
13 edits in 2012
7 edits in 2013
4 edits in 2014
4 edits in 2015
Then the 15th anniversary rolls in:
25 edits in 2016 (8 of those connected to the Harrit/Jones universe of thought, as best as I can determine)
...and rolls out:
6 edits in 2017
9 edits in 2018
7 edits in 2019
7 edits in 2020
Then the 20th anniversary rolls in:
10 edits in 2021 (4 of which WTC/CT-related)

What this indicates is that there is not a lot of scientific or technical development or interest beyond the specific allegations revolving around 9/11. This Wikipedia article currently is largely purged of all overt references to the WTC CTs, but you may notice that several paragraphs have essentially no references, and also that all references data back 12 years or more.

So even though it does not promote 9/11 CTs, much of its existence can probably be traced to Truther interest, not actual relevance in military or civil research.
 
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