(9) That the collapses were caused by high-yield explosives such as thermate.
This theory is based on first-responder and survivors’ statements about hearing and feeling a series of major explosions from the Towers’ upper floors to its sub-basements, a characteristic of controlled demolitions.
A witness from the North Tower basement——William Rodriquez——has testified that explosions at his level sounded like bombs. He also saw a crumpled 300-pound metal door and a sub-basement survivor whose upper-body skin hung in shreds.
Observers outside the Towers have furnished many accounts of seeing flashes of light, squibs, and fire circling certain floors on the top half of the buildings prior to collapse.
The theory of a physicist specializing in the collapses, Steven E. Jones, Ph.D., has been that the only explosive capable of causing the collapses is a thermate compound, a high-yield agent commonly used in controlled demolitions which is also employed to cut through iron and steel alloys. Thermate is used because of its 4,500ºF to 6,000ºF range because it easily slices and/or melts steel.
Jones’ additional evidence offered to indicate the presence of thermate or similar high-yield explosives includes: a) photographs and many witnesses attesting to molten metal pouring down Tower exteriors; b) pools of molten metal burning under sites No. 1 and No. 7’s weeks after September 11; c) iron microspheres and other elements he discovered by chemical analysis of steel fragments and ground-dust samples, key components such as sulfur, of thermate.
These conclusions are supported by 300 structural engineers, architects, and scientists, as well as demolition experts. Add to that, 188 depositions about explosions from first responders, street-level witnesses, and Tower tenants.
Some scientists, such as William R. Deagle, Ph.D., another WTC investigator, are now suggesting that even more powerful explosive devices than thermate were used because of the volcanic-like kinetic energy displayed above the Towers before collapse and because of their free-fall speed.
Other signs of high-yield explosives he has cited were the mid-air pulverization and vaporization of concrete with outward-arching plumes reminiscent of volcanic energy. Deagle notes that this phenomenon was accompanied by rapid expansion and pyroclastic flow of significant dust clouds and the “squibs” caught by hundreds of photographers and videographers 40 floors below the aircrafts’ impact zones.
One inconsistency photographed at street level was that squibs from the Towers progressed downward. But at No. 7, they progressed upward. Those patterns, he says, suggests faulty explosive devices thus, contradicting the theory that the squibs were evidence of compressed air ejected horizontally from the collapsing upper floors.
Photographic evidence also exists of cutter-charge patterns shown by fire flashes on the Towers’ upper floors.
No. 7 collapsed in 6.5 seconds at nearly free-fall speed. Hundreds of witnesses and photographic evidence would seem to indicate that destruction began in its basement. In 1993, bombs were placed in the Towers’ basement areas. Demolition company officials have pointed out they generally initiate operations on high-rise buildings by planting explosives in basements so that the weight of the upper floors helps “collapse the structure.”
Two European experts in demolitions, Hugo Bachmann, Ph.D. and Daniel Jowenko, examined documents and videos of No. 7’s collapse without knowing its identity and immediately pronounced it a “perfectly executed controlled demolition.”
A skyscraper cannot be prepared for demolition in a single day, as recent television programs about “pulling” celebrated buildings demonstrate. This theory posits therefore if thermate or another high-yield explosive were used, WTC 1, 2, and 7 would have had to be primed for demolitions long before September 11.
Officials, unwittingly or not, engaged in organized prevention of forensic examination of beams and columns. Though it is a felony to remove material evidence from a crime scene, they ordered instant trucking of most of the beams and columns from the site to nearby docks for immediate shipment to Asia as scrap.
Before trucks departed, however, witnesses attested that beam/column ends were cut at 45º angles and “softened;” some ends dripped with molten metal, possible only at temperatures exceeding 2,500ºF. Such testimony would indicate explosives were wrapped diagonally around beams and columns. This is a procedure that demolition experts call “stepping a building” so it falls in a symmetrical, vertical path to prevent damage to neighboring structures.