Thursday, July 26, 2007

Why the Towers Fell: Two Theories . . . . Bush vs. Newton

— William Rice, P.E. - Civil/Structural Engineer

Having worked on structural steel buildings as a civil engineer in the era when the Twin Towers were designed and constructed, I found some disturbing discrepancies and omissions concerning their collapse on 9/11.

I was particularly interested in the two PBS documentaries that explained the prevailing theories as determined by two government agencies, FEMA and NIST (National Institute of Science and Technology). The first (2002) PBS documentary, Why the Towers Fell, discussed how the floor truss connectors failed and caused a “progressive pancake collapse.”

The subsequent 2006 repackaged documentary Building on Ground Zero explained that the connectors held, but that the columns failed, which is also unlikely. The collapse of a concrete-framed building cannot be compared with that of a structural steel-framed building.

Since neither documentary addressed many of the pertinent facts, I took the time to review available material, combine it with scientific and historic facts, and submit the following two theories for consideration.

The prevailing theory

The prevailing theory for the collapse of the 110-story, award-winning Twin Towers is that when jetliners flew into the 95th and 80th floors of the North and South Towers respectively, they severed several of each building’s columns and weakened other columns with the burning of jet fuel/kerosene (and office combustibles).

However, unlike concrete buildings, structural steel buildings redistribute the stress when several columns are removed and the undamaged structural framework acts as a truss network to bridge over the missing columns.

After the 1993 car bomb explosion destroyed columns in the North Tower, John Skilling, the head structural engineer for the Twin Towers, was asked about an airplane strike. He explained that the Twin Towers were originally designed to withstand the impact of a Boeing 707 (similar in size to the Boeing 767). He went on to say that there would be a horrendous fire from the jet fuel, but “the building structure would still be there.”

The 10,000 gallons of jet fuel (half capacity) in each jetliner did cause horrendous fires over several floors, but it would not cause the steel members to melt or even lose sufficient strength to cause a collapse. This is because the short-duration jet fuel fires and office combustible fires cannot create (or transmit to the steel) temperatures hot enough. If a structural steel building could collapse because of fire, it would do so slowly as the various steel members gradually relinquished their structural strength. However, in the 100-year history of structural steel framed buildings, there is no evidence of any structural steel framed building having collapsed because of fire.

Let’s assume the unlikelihood that these fires could weaken all of the columns to the same degree of heat intensity and thus remove their structural strength equally over the entire floor, or floors, in order to cause the top 30-floor building segment (South Tower WTC #2) to drop vertically and evenly onto the supporting 79th floor. The 30 floors from above would then combine with the 79th floor and fall onto the next level down (78th floor) crushing its columns evenly and so on down into the seven levels below the street level.

The interesting fact is that each of these 110-story Twin Towers fell upon itself in about ten seconds at nearly free-fall speed. This violates Newton ’s Law of Conservation of Momentum that would require that as the stationary inertia of each floor is overcome by being hit, the mass (weight) increases and the free-fall speed decreases.

Even if Newton ’s Law is ignored, the prevailing theory would have us believe that each of the Twin Towers inexplicably collapsed upon itself crushing all 287 massive columns on each floor while maintaining a free-fall speed as if the 100,000, or more, tons of supporting structural-steel framework underneath didn’t exist.

The politically unthinkable theory

Controlled demolition is so politically unthinkable that the media not only demeans the messenger but also ridicules and “debunks” the message rather than provide investigative reporting. Curiously, it took 441 days for the president’s 9/11 Commission to start an “investigation” into a tragedy where more than 2,500 WTC lives were taken. The Commission’s investigation also didn’t include the possibility of controlled-demolition, nor did it include an investigation into the “unusual and unprecedented” manner in which WTC Building #7 collapsed.

Perhaps it is time for these and other unanswered questions surrounding 9/11 to be thoroughly investigated. Let’s start by contacting our congressional delegation!

William Rice, P.E., is a registered professional civil engineer who worked on structural steel (and concrete) buildings in Boston , New York , and Philadelphia . He was also a professor at Vermont Technical College where he taught engineering materials, structures lab, and other building related courses.


Anonymous said...

Shoes4Industry said...

Each 110-story tower contained a central steel core surrounded by open office space, with 18-inch steel tubes running vertically along the outside of the building. These structural elements provided the support for the building, and most experts agree that the planes impacting the buildings alone would not have caused them to collapse. The intense heatfrom the burning jet fuel (jet fuel is NOT THAT HOT when it burns, 1/3 of it burned OUTSIDE THE STRUCTURE) , however, gradually softened the steel core (in less than an hour??!!) and redistributed the weight to the outer tubes, which were slowly deformed by the added weight and the heat of the fire. Eventually, the integrity of these tubes was compromised to the point where they buckled under the weight of the higher floors,(HOW? THERE WAS NO FIRE ON THE LOWER PORTION OF THE BUILDINGS THEY WERE SUPPOSEDLY INTACT) causing a gravitational chain reaction (?) that continued until all of the floors were at ground level.

Does this make one bit of sense to you, if so, please explain.

Do the cup experiment and get back to us.

H Nicole said...

Why is the phrase "molten steel," as I spotted again in this article, still being spread around like molten butter? If anybody can show me one picture of this molten steel, I would appreciate it. You would think that such an odd site as "molten steel dripping from such and such" would be a Kodak moment for anybody. In the meantime -- dustification folks!

(BTW, haven't been here for a while, but what happened to my good friend Dr. Judy Wood? If she's been banished already, it might be a record for her -- less than 24 hours! I would love to see what people would have done to Copernicus if the Internet existed in the 1500's)

Shoes4Industry said...

We think the molten steel is a red to speak.

H Nicole said...

Okay, well, I am very disappointed tonight in Mr. Richard Gage, head of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, for accepting my resignation from his group tonight before I was even fully accepted! That hurt. He is one of my own peeps, too, right here in the good ol' East of Bay...

I would post my e-mail to him and his response to me, but my Yahoo mail has crashed and I can not access it. Guess this site can be my e-mail for now. Thanks, shoes, for giving us this space to have a voice!

Peace Out.

H Nicole said...

Okay, finally got it. Here it is...

From: "Richard Gage" (rgage at ae911truth dot org) Add to Address Book Add Mobile Alert
To: "'H. Nicole Young'" (hn_young at yahoo dot com)
CC: "'William Donnelly'" (william at donnelly-house dot net), "'Gregg Roberts'" (groberts17 at gmail dot com), (doug at etfacoustic dot com), "Brian Good" (snug dot bug at hotmail dot com)
Subject: RE: Dustification
Date: Thu, 26 Jul 2007 22:47:23 -0700

Mr. Young,

We will be happy to remove you from the membership! has a tight focus which is a primary reason for our success.


-----Original Message-----
From: H. Nicole Young [mailto:hn_young at yahoo dot com]
Sent: Thursday, July 26, 2007 9:37 PM
To: rgage at ae911truth dot org
Subject: Dustification

Dear Mr. Gage,

Please acknowledge that you have received this e-mail and that this is the correct e-mail address to communicate with you on matters concerning Architects and Engineers for 911 Truth (

I recently applied to join A&E for 9/11 Truth, but now I am seriously
considering withdrawing my application because, upon more careful review of the web site, I
believe I may have been misled.

It was my suspicion (on 9/11/01), and now my strong opinion (after
reviewing and weighing available data and evidence as presented on the Internet alone) that it is highly unlikely that the WTC buildings 1,2, and 7 collapsed the way they did as a result of plane crashes and/or fires alone. It seems evident that there was some input of energy from somewhere
that not only helped to dustify large portions of the buildings in
mid-air, but also helped the rest of what was left of the buildings reach the ground at near free-fall speeds.

I believe that this is the one and only fact that nearly all 9/11 "Truth Movement" supporters can agree on -- that something else in addition to, or
other than, planes and fires contributed to the destruction of the towers.

There is by far no consensus, and in fact something more like widespread dissent (thank goodness), in the truth movement on anything beyond this one
point, but that is okay because this one point is all that is needed (and all that should be put forth) in arguments to open a new investigation.

I object to the leadership of this group defining the mechanism of
destruction so narrowly as "demolition by thermite explosions" before a thorough investigation is even opened. Seems to me like you are placing
everybody's eggs into one pretty shaky basket.

I, personally, am placing my bets on "dustification by the mechanism of chemical fuming and lathering followed by free energy laser ignition," but I certainly know better than to walk around stating this as absolute fact to the general public before a thorough investigation is carried out.

Please consider removing the following words (placed in brackets below) from
your otherwise excellent "statement to congress," and I will consider not
withdrawing my application...

We believe that there is sufficient doubt about the official story and therefore that the 9/11 investigation must be re-opened and must include a
full inquiry into [the possible use of explosives that may have been the actual cause behind] the destruction of the World Trade Center Towers and WTC Building 7.

Thank you.


H. Nicole Young, Ph.D.

Shoes4Industry said...

I am sure Mr. Gage will reconsider you involvement if you want to join. My impression is that they are focused more on reopening the investigation and less about specific mechanisms of destruction. If they arn't, they should be.

Jack Straw said...

"Shoes4Industry said...
>I am sure Mr. Gage will reconsider you involvement if you want to join. My impression is that they are focused more on reopening the investigation and less about specific mechanisms of destruction. If they arn't, they should be."

Mr. Shoes,

The point is that Dr. Wood's group, led by attorney Jerry Leaphart, has led the way with legal efforts against NIST's results, beginning in December 2006. The NCST held a meeting where private citizens would be allowed to speak, to point out flaws in their study of WTC7. Jerry Leaphart made arrangements to get on their schedule and made a presentation.

I wonder why Jones and/or Gage didn't participate in that meeting.

Wood's group has set an example. The Steven Jones/Richard Gage group appears to have been shamed into following the examples Dr. Wood's group set, filing their RFC a full month after Dr. Wood's group filed several separate RFCs. Please see for yourself on the government's web site. (The Jones/Gage one was the last one on the list, filed April 12, and is listed below the five documents filed by Wood's group, as their RFC was filed after the others.)

So, if Mr. Gage's group were really interested in seeing "a new investigation," why would they not only disregard such an investigation, but criticize the only group actually doing and investigation and proceeding legally? That, to me, illuminates their true agenda.

* They want an independent investigation? They've got one. Please review to see the results thus far.

* They want to see legal action? They've got it. Please review to see the results thus far.

* I'd say Dr. Wood has a much tighter focus than Mr. Gage. And, she's actually accomplishing something. Please review to see the results thus far.

I note that Dr. Wood's RFC supplement#1 points out a significant conflict of interest, that a major contractor for the NIST report is a manufacturer of directed energy weapons. In her supplement#2, she lists many more companies. So, it looks like Dr. Wood has done a fair amount toward solving this crime and naming of participants. Who would have a problem with that?

Curiously, searching the Steven Jones/Richard Gage document for each of these words, turns up nothing. Why is that?


Actually, there is one mention of thermite in the url of an article Jones wrote. In the RFC it states, "Specifically, Jones has written a peer-reviewed paper challenging the findings of NIST's WTC Report, available at: (url)"

I find that rather ironic that Jones writes in the RFC that he challenged the NIST report in an article on his website, yet here in the RFC, he does not challenge the NIST report with his "thermite" story.

Are folks aware there is a statute that makes it illegal (as in treason) for government agents to conduct a psyops/propaganda on the government! If one was a hard-core conspiracy type, who thinks everyone is a gov't operative, one would say that is why Jones/Gage left "molten metal" and "thermite" and "thermate" out of their RFC. I'd like/prefer to think there are other reasons.

Shoes4Industry said...

To clarify, we do not have any knowledge of the 's intentions. We would hope that they, like all concerned 9-11 TRUTH groups, would be primarily focused on getting a new, INDEPENDENT investigation opened, sooner rather than later.