This article is from my book "Fire in the Skyscraper"
Reports of Controlled Demolition, Bombs, Thermite, Electromagnetic Rays, etc..Many reports interpreted the loud sounds and debris being projected out sideways during the Tower collapses as an indication that explosives were used to demolish the buildings. Most of these ‘explosive’ sounds, heard during the collapses were heard after the collapses began. The exterior walls can be seen bending and buckling inward in the videos of both Towers long before any sounds or ground vibrations occurred. In Tower 2, the exterior columns in the east wall were photographed bowing inward up to 10 inches, 18 minutes after the plane’s impact. That’s 38 minutes before the global collapse began. To be technical, you could say that Tower 2’s collapse began slowly, with possibly some noise or impact sounds from falling floors, about 38 minutes earlier than the official collapse time. The explosive sounds and expanding dust clouds occurred just after the east wall buckled inward and started the collapse, and not before the buckling, as would have happened with controlled demolition.
When the south wall of Tower 1 was photographed it was bowing inward up to 55 inches on floors 95 to 101, about six minutes before these columns were seen buckling inward. In the North Tower “thunder” sounds were heard when floors collapsed on the south side 12 to 14 seconds before the top of the building was seen to tilt southward and begin falling as a unit starting the global collapse. Since each section of floor on the long-span side weighed about 500 tons, I would explore these ‘explosive’ sounds in Tower 1 as evidence of a floor or floors detaching and impacting the floors below on the south side which most probably accelerated south wall failure. I believe all the supposed ‘explosive’ sounds can be explained by the impacts made by the collapsing buildings after the columns were pulled in and buckled by the bowing and buckling floors and when the floors themselves began impacting the floors below. The boom, boom, boom, boom, boom repetitive ‘explosive’ sounds reported by firefighters running as Tower 2 was coming down were most likely caused by the sequential collision of impacting floors (pan caking).
The great quantity of air on each floor being compressed in a fraction of a second by great weight and momentum would propel air, smoke, and any concrete dust and debris outward at great velocity. It is also clear from the computer studies that the heat from the fires caused differential expansion of the steel parts in the long span, floor trusses with the resulting thermal bowing in some floors directly exerting pull-in forces on the exterior columns or this thermal bowing could have detached a floor which would have impacted the floor below destroying composite action by separating the concrete slab from the trusses and inducing strong tensile (suspension) forces in the double weighted floor. In other floors thermal expansion of the floor against the columns compressed the trusses which along with shear forces within the trusses buckled the diagonal struts collapsing the trusses which went into suspension (catenary action) and helped pull-in and eventually buckle the exterior column walls. All these adverse floor truss effects were caused by steel expansion which begins immediately as the steel is heated. Bowing and buckling can happen at low temperatures (400 C to 600 C) even before the steel would have weakened excessively from higher temperatures.
Once the exterior columns buckling spread,- assisted by the spandrels,- along an entire wall on one face, the towers began to tilt and the buckling spread around the towers exterior and into the core and with all the columns buckled the leaning top sections of the tower began to fall straight down. Although the North tower antenna appeared from some northern angles to have fallen straight down it actually tilted to the south because the south wall buckled first and the cantilevered top building section pulled the core over to the south.
The South Tower’s top tilted to the east because its east wall buckled first. Once the core columns got out of plumb, there would have been little resistance to their buckling at the weak splices. With the incredible weight of the top of the buildings gaining momentum, like a heavy wedge or sledge all it had to do was break the welded, and single bolted connections holding the floors to the columns. This coupled with the fact that the falling top sections momentum increases as the square of the number of floors impacted as the floors were detached and added to the weight of the descending top. There would have been little resistance to slow the top section’s acceleration to the ground. Because this acceleration due to gravity increased the speed and momentum of the collapsing floors and building top, the impacts would have been increasingly violent as shown on the seismic graphs increasing amplitude until maximum when the mass of accumulated floors hit bedrock seven stories into the cellar.
In order for the columns to support the weight they have to be plumb and in line with the columns above and below. If they get out of plumb by 10 to 20 degrees they buckle and can no longer support the weight. The buildings collapsed because the floors first buckled from restrained thermal expansion and thermal bowing affecting floor truss stability. The sagging floor trusses pulled in the 59 columns in one exterior wall and they eventually buckled. Once the buildings started to tip over from loss of column support on one side the tremendous excess eccentric weight began buckling all the columns across the building. Once the tilted building’s tops began descending they hit the floors or columns at eccentric angles which easily detached the floors and buckled the columns.
In order for the lower building section to offer any meaningful resistance to the falling building top the columns would have to hit each other exactly in line and in plumb and this was impossible with the top leaning causing eccentric angles of impact. The fact is that columns have to be axially (in line and centered) aligned to support the weight of the building above. Once the top building section began tilting the columns on the side that originally buckled did not line up at all. These columns would have been hitting the floors and would have easily detached or buckled them.
After the south wall buckled in Tower 2 the adjacent exterior wall columns buckled from overloads and the columns on the opposite west side of the building, which acted as a hinge would still be bearing on each other but at an eccentric angle which means they also would have also eventually buckled as the top tilted. These columns along with some of the core columns as they buckled are probably what kicked the bottom of the top building section to the west as reported by NIST.
With all the columns across the building buckled the top section began descending at an angle to the building section below. None of the columns would have been axially lined up. As the columns collided they would have hit each other at eccentric angles and easily dislodged, disconnected or buckled each other. Adding the accumulating collapsing floors and you have a release of incredible potential energy changing to kinetic energy and building momentum as the accumulating chaotic mass of debris accelerated to bedrock 7 stories into the cellars.
There have been some engineering analyses about the impacting floors slowing down the collapse so that the time to collapse should have been longer than ‘free fall’ times of an object dropped from the towers tops. I have a theory that may explain this. Since the Tower’s outer wall columns, especially in Tower 1, pealed out like a banana, they may have been able to break the connections to the floors ahead of the floors being impacted? In other words, with the weight of the wall columns pealing outward from the vertical along with the added horizontal forces of impacting floors projecting debris outwards onto these columns; would these columns, while leaning out, be able to break the wall-to-floor connections ahead of the level of impacting floors? If this is possible than I believe that the connection failures could could have traveled down the sides of the buildings at a speed faster than free fall times. This might help explain the rapid collapses especially in Tower 1. The wall-to-floor connection failures could have traveled down the building sides faster than ‘free fall’ times and in effect started the floors falling before they were impacted by the accumulating mass of impacted floors above. The heavy exterior wall columns in the 1500 foot high builddings while pealing off could project the column sections outwards a great distance. This distance (500 feet) was proposed as only being made possible by explosive forces. I disagree.
Much has been made of the fact that NIST only analyzed the events up to the point where the Towers were poised to collapse before runaway collapse began and failed to pursue the remaining collapse. This was largely because after collapse began the chaotic impacts of the floors, walls and columns colliding could not possibly be analyzed accurately with even the strongest computers. It was hard enough for NIST to analyse the collapse mechanism up to the point of the initiation of collapse.
In addition, the compression of air in the elevator and air-conditioning shafts by the collapsing upper building section and floors, would project air, smoke, and dust down these shafts and out of any air intake or discharge openings on the exterior walls on the lower mechanical equipment floors. This accounts for the plumes of smoke seen projecting outwards from the buildings well below the collapsing floors. There were quite extensive vertical HVAC shafts built into the building. These shafts are connected to air conditioning exhaust and intake ducts open to the exterior on the mechanical floors. Collapse of these shafts would force the dust and smoke out these HVAC exhaust and intake openings in the side of the building.
The lightweight aluminum cladding’s breaking free from the buckling columns also would have been propelled outward a great distance by this expanding cloud of air and dust. This would account for huge dust clouds and pieces of aluminum seen projected outwards from the upper sections of the collapsing buildings. The light reflected off these aluminum pieces at the north wall of Tower 2 would be interpreted as flashes from explosive ‘squibs’. The flashes below the buckling east wall may have been from the aluminum cladding breaking free from the lower columns as they expanded after being unloaded of axial weight by the buckling of the wall above and their expansion breaking the connections to the cladding. Also explosives leave characteristic tears and fractures in steel, and such indications were not found in the debris pile.
Much has been made of the presence of molten metal in the debris pile after the collapse. Presumably this molten metal was somehow connected to explosions or thermite charges, but there were Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) battery rooms on some floors of the Towers and Building 7. These battery rooms supplied continuous battery power to computers if the electricity failed for any reason. These batteries contained tons of lead which melts at low temperatures [327 C (621 F)]. The heat form the fires in the debris pile could easily have melted this lead or the aluminum from the plane which were probably the molten metals that were seen flowing through the pile. NIST reported UPS in the 13th floor of Building 7 and the 81st floor of Tower 2.
Batteries also contain Sulfuric acid which could have corroded the steel accounting for the half consumed steel beam found in the debris pile. Additionally the EPA reported over 400 different chemicals in the dust and debris. These chemicals could easily be assembled conceptually to propose any type of chemical reaction imaginable including thermite reactions. In addition thermite reactions are rapid and wouldn’t last the hours or days at which times the molten metal was observed.