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  1. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    A frequent argument is that the collapse of the WTC towers was at free-fall speed, and this mean no resistance, so all the columns must have been destroyed. But how many explosives would this theory entail? How would they be set off?

    Some figures:

    WTC1/2 each had 110 floor, 46 core columns. Does this mean that there were 2*46*110 = 9200 explosive charges installed in the towers?

    How were they set off with such incredible precision? 9,200 individual radio controlled detonators? 9,200 digital timers? Lots of wire?

    What about the exterior columns? Wouldn't the also have to be destroyed to ensure near-free fall speed, according to AE911? Each side had 20 three column sections. How many need to be cut to remove all the resistance? That's 3*20*4*2*110 = another 52,800 individual column segments. How many were cut?

    And what was used to cut them? Thermite burns too slow, thermate does a better job, but not really, but it's noisy and toxic, regular explosives are noisy.

    What would your proposed quantity weigh? 10 lb per column? 50? A pound or so for the radio and battery? Any wires? That's at least 100,000 pounds just to wire all the core columns. And if you are using thermate you'll probably need at 50 pound rig per column based on Johnathon Cole's experiments. So really we are talking about 1,000,000 pounds of explosive and gear.

    Truthers, what do you think is the smallest amount of explosives, the smallest number, and how would they be installed?

    In addition, the number of explosives affects the detonation method. One can quite easily rig a bomb to go off with a cell phone, however even this single bomb setup has problems, as most cell phones do not have more than a few days of battery life. A very large number of cell phones is not practical.

    Remote detonation by radio is problematic, but seems at least technically possible. In order to avoid accidental triggering, the detonation device must have a receiver that is activated by a code, and then separately activates the detonator, possibly with a timer. But then you've got the problem of having 10,000 custom coded detonation devices, and their batteries. 100% detonation would be highly unlikely, leaving a lot of evidence.

    What's your proposed method?
  2. BombDr

    BombDr Senior Member

    Could anyone please provide me with the dimensions of the WTC columns, and I'll be happy to calculate the charge sizes required to cut them, and I'll show my working out for rebuttal.

    Any takers?
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  3. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member


    At the base of the building, just replace the 2" with 4"

    Where the columns meet the ground:

    Last edited: Nov 20, 2013
  4. BombDr

    BombDr Senior Member

    Arrrgh! I should have known it would be Imperial rather than Metric...

    OK, give me a while to figure out one column, and then we will work from there.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2013
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  5. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Here you go :)
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2013
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  6. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Having a a bash myself.

    Useful Reference:


    Looks like P = 3/8 A where A = cross section in square inches.

    (I'm not 100% sure it's 3/8, if it's not then obviously the following is wrong)

    So for the 2" (which is an average thickness), that's (36+12+36+12)*2*3/8 = 36 pounds of TNT per column.

    Per column, so 9200*36 = 331200 pounds, if we do each core column on each floor. Reference says it's the same for TNT or plastic.

    Just blowing the base columns, at 4" thick, is 138 pounds per column, or 6,348 pounds of TNT/C4.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2013
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  7. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member


    Last edited: Oct 16, 2014
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  8. BombDr

    BombDr Senior Member

    Thanks Mick, sorry for the delay, things got suddenly exciting here. Im using the RE Pocket Book as my demolition manual is in my room, but here is a basic, crude calculation.


    Nothing is fouling access to the surface of the steel
    No prepretory cuts are allowed, this is a single stage attack.

    Bulk explosive: Using L3A1 PE4 Demolition Slab

    Length of cut (Ill not bother with the flanges) / Length of Slab

    2438/ 250mm = 9.75
    Round up to 10
    10 x 5.4Kg = 54Kg per column and that is assuming you can get access around all 4 sides of the column, which of course you cannot.

    54Kg x 244 Exterior Columns = 13.176 Tonnes of PE4
    Or 2440 Slabs

    But, that is for a single cut accross a single floor. None of the video footage suggests the exterior columns were cut, as we would be able to see the flashes, and that cut would have a safety distance on 1000m, so lots of other buildings would have shrapnel in them. Many, many people would also have permanent hearing loss... windows accross Lower Manhattan would have shattered, and seeing as few widows shattered on WTC 7 unless they were physically struck, adds to the evidence of no explosive demolition.

    As well as that I have not added the detonation cord to the calculation, nor the detonators: For it to be a clean cut, the detonation would have to be as near as simultanious on all charges, so the choice is between fewer points of initiation, and more detcord and DCBs (Det Cord Boosters), or less detcord and more detonators. Either way, that is one large quantity on detcord and firing cable you would have to conceal, and figure out how to RF shield all those electrical detonators as discussed at length on the other thread. Of course you still have to sneak in 13 tonnes of explosives and fix it to the exterior columns without anyone noticing. I have not even calculated for the 27m x 40m core, or the concreat covered joists.

    So much for bulk explosive - I would not recommend it.

    OK: Now to cutting charges
    Using Charge Demolition Linear Cutting (CDLC), if we have to cut 51mm we have a problem, as the biggest size we have is 1150g/m and that will only cut up to 30mm Steel in the air. Under compression it will be even less effective, so someone would have to specially manfacture some higher gram-per-metre CDLC.

    For arguments sake, lets say the column is only 30mm thick, as it is a box it would have to cut all round so again there is the sheer volume required: 2438mm x 244 = 594872mm, which is 594m of CDLC weighing 684KGs, but as discussed, this is not sufficient to even get through the steel effectively, and it has to be fixed flush against the surface of the steel - problems remain with that.

    Bigger cutting charges!

    Charge demolition No 14:

    Main charge for cutting girders on bridges etc. 133mm wide and weighes 9.3Kgs per charge.

    Can cut up to 100mm Laminated Steel in compression, so we have an immediate problem with the columns being boxes, but lets be generous and make another concession that we merely need to cut one side (suggest inside out) and we will ignore the air gap in the column (which would vent the force) and assume it to be 100mm. 914mm x 244 = 223016mm

    223016mm / 133 = 1676.81 or 1677 charges.

    1677 x 9.3Kg = 15596.1 KG or 15.596 Tonnes of Explosive

    Add another 1008 charges (9374Kgs) if you only want to cut the innner core, to conceal all that molten copper squirting out the sides of the building.

    I have made the requirement less than required just to make the maths easier and to avoid have a line of green boxes danging along the outside of the WTC.

    The next problem is the actual fixing, for which we use specialist fixtures, bolt guns and straps. Detcord (which I keep banging on about) would be everywhere and seriously big muscle moves would be required to do all that fixing.

    This is really rough and ready, and simply calculated on the number of columns and size of the interior core. The reconnaissance alone would take weeks, and again, Iv assumed all the columns are bare.

    All of the above is for a single, horizontal cut, accross a single floor.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2013
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  9. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Very interesting.

    Why the L3A1? Is that what you need for 2" steel, or could a smaller charge be used?
  10. Cairenn

    Cairenn Senior Member

    I understand that you are saying that it couldn't be rigged overnight with a few guys with some backpacks of explosives. I thought that was true.
  11. BombDr

    BombDr Senior Member


    The L3A1 os a box charge, filled with 6 smaller boxes (slabs) of PE4. Theoretically I could used a single slab to cut through 2 inches, but the problem is the calculations are for regular steel that is not in compression, and as a stand alone in air. As Im trying to make the building collapse, I need a larger section of steel to be cut so that there is a clean gap for the downward momentum to take effect. As each box would require 100% reliability, Im not in any way thinking this is an efficient method.

    Also, its simple brute force and would shatter the steel rather than 'cut it'.

    To use smaller charges on PE also, you would have to strip down to the bare metal (problem) and mould the Plastic into the flanges (time consuming) then you would either need DCBs or rectify detonators directly into the PE, but I would never do that on a charge that size, and that would only be good for immediate use. The whole place would reek on explosives, so really it is a non starter - Im just being thorough.

    My first choice would be for CD 14s, as theoretically I could just lay them on the floor next to the columns, all 1677 of them, and thread a single piece of detcord through every charge and use a single detonator, but that would be an equally ridiculous solution as there is no redundancy and once an escaping resident of the towers trips obver my detcord, it will not fully fire.

    I have also not even calculated how many floors I would have to cut, as this is a most primitive calculation. This would be a serious project that would be months in the planning, so reaally all Im doing is scoping the problem.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2013
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  12. BombDr

    BombDr Senior Member

    They could as long as they had a Delorian that gets to 88.8mph and generates 1.21 gigawatts...

    I'v been on the go for 27 hours now and its 0851 in Afghanistan, so off to bed for a couple of hours, so apologies if I do not respond immediately.

  13. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Have you ever used, or heard of, using any form of thermate, or thermite for cutting thick steel?

    "nano-thermite" is the mythical substance most often cited by truthers, but nobody has ever seen this.

    Regular theremite does not seem like it would cut steel.

    Thermate (with sulfur and barium nitrate) is featured in a popular truther video by Johnathon Cole:
    (Skip to 5:30 to see the experiments)

    MOV file (with intro snipped)

    He keeps calling it thermite, and thermate is a form of thermite. It's very cool stuff.

    He seems to suggest that that thermate was used for several minutes pre-collapse to weaken all the columns, and then also says there was a carefully timed series of bolt cuttings. He focuses on the perimeter columns, and does not explain what happened to the center columns.
  14. Drew

    Drew Active Member

    This is admittedly a tangent, but perhaps you'll find it interesting.

    Yesterday morning I had the pleasure of witnessing the controlled demolition of a multi-story building on Governors Island, a disused military facility in the middle of New York Harbor that has been deeded back to the city and is being converted to parkland.

    From somebody in a high-rise on the Battery.

    A background video

    It was cool to see. Not an engineer/scientist in the least, but two anecdotal observations strike me as vaguely relevant:
    1) There was a long time (10 seconds apparently) between the first detonations and when the structure actually collapsed. It was easy to appreciate the elaborate degree of timing and precision required for the implosion.
    2) It was surprisingly loud. I could physically feel the concussions even though I was over a mile away (and across a body of water) on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade.

    I suppose there's nothing specifically relevant here regarding WTC1&2 and WTC7 (much, much larger structures, obviously, and of very different construction), other than merely to note that setting off the necessary amount of HE to bring them down would have been a really difficult thing to miss, and yet the reports of the supposed pre-collapse "explosions" heard on 9/11 are pretty spotty. Although I suppose this won't matter to the nanothermite people.

    But I'm gonna go out on a limb to say yes: Governors Island was an Inside Job. ;)
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  15. BombDr

    BombDr Senior Member

    I cannot watch the video, but I have seen it before. I have never seen it used in demolitions, nor weaponised in any way. Bear in mind I am a military demolition guy so I onced asked someone at Chemring if they manufactured a ready made thermate/thermite charge and they said no - why would you bother when explosives can cause a reliable and consistent and calculatable effect? The only thermic tool is a Thermal Lance, which is a handheld device seen here:

    These were used by Royal Engineers retrograding watchtowers in Northern Ireland in the late 90s and early 2000s, but purely for chopping the RPG cages off and suchlike. It was increadibly slow as well, but tidy.

    If memory serves, the guy in the video is very innovative and escalates up in his application, but firstly - he is working on naked steel and secondly, does he not weld a square tube into place with the Thermate in? I ask as the idea that a crew going round 244 columns welding metal boxes on is hardly discreet, and then we have our remaining, inconvenient problem of wires and initiation and uncontrolled RF...

    Again, Im happy to be corrected on the weaponisation if anyone has better information.
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  16. Bruno D.

    Bruno D. Senior Member

    I see a problem with the premise itself. There are several videos that shows pieces of the columns falling faster than the building itself, so if the pieces are at free fall speed, the rest of the building is not.


    You can find similar videos for both towers (1 and 2). Specifically for the wtc 7, as every non CT knows, it starts falling before the outer part of the building (the brown structure at the top of the tower) and about 5 seconds later all the rest of the structure falls. Again, not free fall speed at all.

    So, as the premise is not true, maybe all the subsequent debates are not valuable?
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  17. George B

    George B Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member

    There are three possibilities in my opinion . . .
    1) 1, 2 & 7 came down as the Official Story explains after 5 to 7 years it took to study, analyze and publish . . . with those who should have prevented it being rewarded instead of resigning out of embarrassment or fired out of incompetence . . .
    2) Unknown technology was used along with some complicity or stupidity of leadership . . .
    3) The collapses were a product of luck and unprecedented coincidences along with intentional or unintentional degrading of fire suppression efforts and resources . . . more applicable to WTC 7 . . . which may have been the real target of the whole affair . . .
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  18. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    "Unknown technology"? What would Occam say? :)

    Perhaps you should go down that road though. Regardless of how the unknown technology worked, what do you think it did? Just a novel incendiary that very rapidly melted the columns? Or something else?

    Then how many would you need, and where would you put them?
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  19. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    The premise is easily shifted to "nearly free-fall", or just "too fast". The idea is to get people to move beyond "that does not seem right", and to figure out what it would actually take to do what they think happened. This hopefully gets them to look at the physics at least a little bit, and maybe arrive at a better understanding of why a rapid collapse was not that improbable after all.
  20. Bruno D.

    Bruno D. Senior Member

    Ok, agree with you. But i'd also like to note that at the first video i linked you can see really big pieces of the outer structures falling, so the outer structure in this case could not be rigged to demolition, only the inner structure. Or at least the outer columns could have explosives set only to some of the floors, and not all of them. That way the life of the conspirators were a little easier regarding the amount of explosives set on the buildings. :)
  21. George B

    George B Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member

    The type of technology either known but used in a novel way or unknown technology which would still be a secret even today . . . here a few that the conspiracy community have speculated about
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2013
  22. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Would you like explore the practicalities of any of those?
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2013
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  23. Grieves

    Grieves Senior Member

    The method he used to apply the thermate was one he thought up himself, as a hobbyist in his back-yard, using the materials readily available too him. It's somewhat ridiculous to suggest professionals applying a similar but doubtless far more potent substance in a covert operation would be limited to the same back-yard technologies.
    Well, I'd not heard of Chemring, so I did a bit of poking around on them. Turns out the Thermic Lance isn't the only tool/weapon application they have for thermite.
    Now consider: how certain are you more weapons-applications for thermite don't exist? As a member of the US army you have access to extensive technologies, but are you certain mercenary soldiers of a much higher pay-grade than you/the officers who's orders you take wouldn't have access to far more? Considering the big business of private armies like G4S and Blackwater/XE/Academi, can you honestly say there are no high-powered mercenary forces working 'under the table', with resources beyond what the US Army provides you?
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  24. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Thermate quite clearly can melt though steel under the right circumstances (although regular thermite has a very hard time). The questions are:

    A) Can it cut though 2"-4" steel? (Cole cuts through what loks like 1/4" steel, and not very fast).
    B) How would it be set up around the core columns
    C) How much would be needed.
    D) How would it be triggered

    (and stepping back for a second, remember this is a bit of a moot point, as progressive collapse does actually explain what was observed, this is more of a thought experiment to flesh out the parameters of alternatives).
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  25. George B

    George B Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member

    Please pick the one you want to sink your teeth into first . . . I have no real preference . . . :)
  26. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Might as well go with the first one. As the others are just pointless fluff (other than the NIST report of course :) )
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  27. Grieves

    Grieves Senior Member

    An act of God upon the evil Infidels also explains what was observed. Does the evidence directly support that premise? The observable evidence certainly does. The attacks were apparently carried out in the name of God, so check there. The act was certainly carried out against all odds, a true 'David and Goliath' series of events in which a few suspicious characters managed to simultaneously circumvent and defeat the most complex and expensive security system in the history of mankind, so check there. Two planes completely leveled three buildings, something so unlikely as to seem miraculous to the perpetrators, so check there. Based on observance of the event, it seems entirely clear that God himself has laid his judgement through the works of his martyrs.

    But then, what we observe aren't always the facts of the matter, are they? The facts of the matter in a serious crime aren't discerned through personal or collective interpretations of what was observed, unless what was observed is the absolute sole source of information. They're determined through examination of the crime itself in a strictly defined format dependent on physical evidence and the scientific method. Interpreting as factual the conclusions of observations made in the absence of such an examination in regard to a criminal act is as rooted in assumption and preconception as the above scenario of righteous holy retribution, regardless of how scientific the language of those observations are. There is no physical evidence to support the conclusion that WTC7 collapsed as a result of fire causing a load-bearing beam to fail. The physical proof of such a scenario was readily available within the rubble, and given the lack of people within WTC7 upon its collapse, rushing it's clean-up by no means contributed to the rescue-effort, and delaying its clean-up would have in no way impacted the families of victims in a negative way. Upon realizing this vital evidence was in jeopardy, efforts should have been taken to retrieve and identify WTC7 steel which had been removed before it was destroyed.
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  28. George B

    George B Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member

    I suggest the real test of the "Story" is how long it took to formulate . . . with the full resources of the US government it took 5-7 years to concoct . . . with similar resources the Conspiracy Theorists could have done a much better job . . . I am sure. . . :)
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  29. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    There's no physical evidence that the moon was hit by asteroid either, maybe the craters are all just old moonman stadiums?

    There's no physical evidence my neighbor's cat is really a mammal, maybe it's a robot.

    Physical evidence is not the only way you can figure things out. There's also math and science.

    Anyway, if you want to continue that point, there's a thread for that.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2013
  30. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    How long would the least suspicious amount of time been?

    And have you read it? It's not exactly a weekend's work. There's literally thousands of pages.
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  31. George B

    George B Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member

    I have read or at least skimmed much of it (I have had a copy on my PC since 2009) . . . I have also investigated and filed extensive reports myself for the government . . . I think the time required to complete the Commission's Report was very excessive especially when one considers the significance of the event, the number of investigators and the need for closure . . . my conclusion is it was slow rolled . . .

    IMO anything over 12-18 months is unacceptable . . .
  32. Grieves

    Grieves Senior Member

    No crime is being investigated in regard to moon craters.
    No crime is being investigated in relation to your neighbor's cat. (hopefully.)
    In the investigation of a serious criminal act, especially a murder, a thorough examination of the crime scene and the gathering/study of any remotely pertinent physical evidence is quintessential to forensic science. In the investigation of a serious structural collapse, especially where fire and/or deaths are involved, the attempted 'reconstruction' and physical examination of structural materials/tests for accelerants is vital to properly understanding that collapse/fire, and taking steps to prevent future instances.
    Why are these scientific essentials being overlooked as irrelevant, but the dubious act of composing a scenario in their absence is considered entirely forgivable / 'good science'?
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  33. Pete Tar

    Pete Tar Moderator Staff Member

    Completely irrelevant. Address the maths that proves the alternative scenario is not possible.
  34. Cairenn

    Cairenn Senior Member

    From STUDY 8-06 w clarif as of 9-8-06 .pdf

    That is from EXPERTS in imploding buildings.
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  35. BombDr

    BombDr Senior Member

    That exactly was my point, a better way would be needed, but any way that is designed to burn through a column that thick would need to be fixed to it in such a manner that it does not either burn whatever it is contained in, and does not propel itself away from its target. The burning thermate would create a venturi which would need to be harnessed.

    That is for denying equipment. It is not a demolition charge.

    Firstly I am a Captain in the British Army, and secondly as it is my job to supervise demolition ranges for UKSF and use all sorts of things that we don't talk about publically, I doubt very much that some super-secret-illuminati mercenary group have some mythical technology that is unbeknown to the EOD community. The EOD community is very good at sharing information worldwide. Our database is pretty comprehensive, and there is no 'special-secret-NWO-Thermate demoition charge' on it, and I worked at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratories (DSTL) at Fort Halstead for six months so have a pretty good idea about what is being developed.

    It is possible, but possible in the same way that G4S and Blackwater/XE/Academi developed light sabres in secret and had were swishing them around in the basements of the WTC...
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  36. Mr. Really

    Mr. Really New Member

    Explain to me how you can argue BOTH that it would take too much explosive material to take down the WTC AND the WTC fell by themselves? Apparently it doesn't take any explosive material to knock down the WTC. A small fire will do the trick
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  37. WeedWhacker

    WeedWhacker Senior Member

    That wasn't the gist of the claim. But, as to how the buildings came down? Gravity, after sufficient structural failures at critical load-bearing points.

    Failures that yes, can be induced by excessive temperatures from uncontrolled fires. The rest is simple physics.
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  38. Mr. Really

    Mr. Really New Member

    I see, the pathetic fires did it, but it would take 1,000,000 pounds of explosives (your claim). Very consistent thinking. If a few small fires at "critical load-bearing points" could do it, why wouldn't explosives at "critical load-bearing points" do it?
    I think you can't have it both ways. Admit that explosives are a reasonable way to do it, even if you don't believe that was how it was done. And as for getting the explosives in the buildings, we all know why that wasn't a problem, don't we?
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  39. Pete Tar

    Pete Tar Moderator Staff Member

    This is the claim that is being explored -

    How much explosives would it take to achieve this?
    Read what you quoted again to understand the context in which this point is being made.

    The fires weakening load-bearing points does not require all columns to be simultaneously destroyed as the claimed scenario does, hence the large amount of explosives.
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  40. WeedWhacker

    WeedWhacker Senior Member

    No. At no point did I "claim" that it would take "1,000,000 pounds of explosives".

    I ask why would you assert that I made such a claim, when the posts above show clearly that I did not?


    I have never, in many years of studying the events at the WTC seen the fires in those buildings described, before, as "pathetic". This is, I admit, "news" to me. Can you provide some sort of standard of reference to qualify the term "pathetic" as it applies to a building fire?

    Example: A minor incident in an ashtray, or waste-bin, compared to a full conflagration that encompasses multiple floors of a tall building? The former description would, i presume, be described as "pathetic" (although, I would have chosen "minor" as a descriptive word). The latter, much more profound and extreme in nature.
    Last edited: May 3, 2014
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