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ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 25 2006,17:46   

I've been doing a fair amount of Internet research (for what it's worth) lately about the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Avoiding, as far as possible, conspiracy theories (although the official story is certainly a conspiracy theory), I seem to have come across a large number of implausible anomalies. I'll include a partial list, but I'm wondering if those of you on this discussion group with more formal groundings in physics, chemistry, and related disciplines could give me some feedback into just how problematic any of these anomalies really are.

So here's the list:

• World Trade Center Towers 1, 2, and 7 are the only steel-framed skyscrapers to ever have suffered total structural failure—ever. While WTC 1 and 2 were hit by aircraft (certainly an unusual event), WTC was not. According to the official story, relatively minor structural damage and relatively minor fires caused the total collapse of WTC 7. By contrast, the Windsor hotel in Madrid, Spain, a 32-story hotel, burned for eighteen hours on ten floors last year without a total structural failure.

• All three towers collapsed vertically downward, into their own footprints. Normally it takes weeks of preparation from highly-experienced companies specializing in demolition to produce the same results.

• The level of piloting expertise demonstrated by the hijackers was nothing short of breathtaking. Despite never having flown jetliners before, the pilot of Flight 11 managed to hit a 200-foot-wide target within 15 feet of its centerline at a speed of ~400 MPH. The pilot of Flight 174 managed to hit the south tower flying at almost 500 MPH, and while he didn't quite manage to hit the target on its centerline, he managed to hit it with the aircraft banked at almost 30 degrees, causing damage to four contiguous floors. The pilot of Flight 77 managed a spectacular 270-degree spiral dive, passed over an adjacent freeway at a low-enough altitude to clip the tops of streetlights, and impacted the Pentagon at exactly zero altitude (in the least-occupied part of the building).

• Over 30 phone calls were made from Flights 11, 77, and 93. Some of these  calls may have been made by airphone, but at least some of them were definitely made from cellphones. One such cellphone call lasted 18 minutes, almost until the moment Flight 93 crashed in Pennsylvania. The majority of these calls were made from jetliners flying at 30,000 feet or more over rural areas of the country. How possible was this using existing technology in 2001?

• Despite the fact that at least 60 commercial flights were intercepted by NORAD between September 2000 and June 2001, not one of the four flights was ever claimed to be intercepted on September 11. Jets scrambled from Otis Air Force Base on Cape Cod, which is less than ten minutes' flight time from Manhattan, nevertheless took over an hour to actually arrive over NYC airspace.

This is just a small sample of the anomalies I've managed to identify with respect to the events of September 11, 2001. Virtually every aspect of the official story seems to have glaring problems associated with it, with the result that it is virtually impossible to believe that any of it is actually true.

So...have I become a victim of crank-ology? Or is there something anomalous going on here?

--------------
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
Mr_Christopher



Posts: 1238
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 25 2006,18:57   

I am no expert but I am familiar with a few points...

Quote
• World Trade Center Towers 1, 2, and 7 are the only steel-framed skyscrapers to ever have suffered total structural failure—ever. While WTC 1 and 2 were hit by aircraft (certainly an unusual event), WTC was not. According to the official story, relatively minor structural damage and relatively minor fires caused the total collapse of WTC 7. By contrast, the Windsor hotel in Madrid, Spain, a 32-story hotel, burned for eighteen hours on ten floors last year without a total structural failure.


I am not familiar with the Windsor fire, but the first question would be was the center of the Windsor structure the epicenter of an explosion of a 747 jet with full fuel tanks?  

Quote

• All three towers collapsed vertically downward, into their own footprints. Normally it takes weeks of preparation from highly-experienced companies specializing in demolition to produce the same results.



There was a recent episode of Modern Marvels (History Channel) that explored catastrophic engineering failures.  The show was not conspiracy or controversy related.  The emphasis was purely from an engineering standpoint.  They also avoided the gore and horror aspect which I appreciated.

The Twin Towers was one of the subjects and they interviewed numerous engineers and architects including some who helped design and build it.  The also used some computer animation.  I am not an engineer but the explainations offered were compelling.  They speakers were very much "when we build/deigned this, we did not plan for X to happen"  They showed where the buildings were dedinged to withstand a lot of stuff, but jet fuel and a internal exposion was not one of them.

They also demonstrated how the impact affected certain braces, how once the temperature from the fire hit a certain level a literal structural melt down would occur.  Certain structures would melt or crumble and the floor would drop a certain bit as what was left was now holding up the entire floor/building.  They gave a pretty good blow by blow analysis including the final vertical drop.

It's worth watching if they ever show it again.


Quote

• The level of piloting expertise demonstrated by the hijackers was nothing short of breathtaking. Despite never having flown jetliners before, the pilot of Flight 11 managed to hit a 200-foot-wide target within 15 feet of its centerline at a speed of ~400 MPH. The pilot of Flight 174 managed to hit the south tower flying at almost 500 MPH, and while he didn't quite manage to hit the target on its centerline, he managed to hit it with the aircraft banked at almost 30 degrees, causing damage to four contiguous floors. The pilot of Flight 77 managed a spectacular 270-degree spiral dive, passed over an adjacent freeway at a low-enough altitude to clip the tops of streetlights, and impacted the Pentagon at exactly zero altitude (in the least-occupied part of the building).


a) I am not a pilot.  I'm sure someone here can speak to your question but do we know at what point during each flight exactly when the hijackers actually took control of the plane versus making the pilot manuever as they commanded?  

Also, I think the .Skeptical Inquirer has dedicated an issue or two to this subject within the last couple of years.  I take the hard copy but I think much of their stuff is online.  You might poke around there and see what kind of evidence they have come up with.

I always check them out for the latest on any fantastic claims.  Joe Nichols is my hero.  That's where I learned about the intelligent design hoopla.

Finally, my Iranian cab driver tells me Bush is behind 911.  The Twin Towers thing is a Bush conspiracy.  "Sam" claims Bush "wants the oil" and it was Bush who used controlled 747s to bring about 911.  Sam is always on time and greets me with a big smile and some Iranian pastries so I just smiled and said that was an interesting theory.  

Anyhow, it will be interesting to hear some of the engineers to chime in

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Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 25 2006,20:16   

Quote (Mr_Christopher @ Jan. 26 2006,00:57)
I am no expert but I am familiar with a few points...


I am not familiar with the Windsor fire, but the first question would be was the center of the Windsor structure the epicenter of an explosion of a 747 jet with full fuel tanks?  


The jet fuel in WTC 1 burned off in about 12 minutes. The majority of the jet fuel in Flight 175 (which struck WTC 2) exploded outside of the building, which resulted in the spectacular fireball visible in the videos of the collision.

Naturally-aspirated hydrocarbon fires burn at less than 650 degrees C, not nearly hot enough to seriously weaken structural steel girders in high-rises (especially given the thermal ductility of steel). Certainly fires burning for less than an hour and a half are not nearly hot nor long-lasting enough to cause this type of structural failure.

By contrast, the Windsor hotel burned for 18 hours.

Quote


The Twin Towers was one of the subjects and they interviewed numerous engineers and architects including some who helped design and build it.  The also used some computer animation.  I am not an engineer but the explainations offered were compelling.  They speakers were very much "when we build/deigned this, we did not plan for X to happen"  They showed where the buildings were dedinged to withstand a lot of stuff, but jet fuel and a internal exposion was not one of them.


The twin towers were designed to withstand impact from a Boeing 707, the largest passenger jet in existence in 1971, and approximately the same size as a Boeing 757 (not a 747—a 747 is almost twice the size of the 757s that actually crashed into the WTC towers). Surely it occurred to someone that a jet aircraft crashing into a high-rise would result in a fireball caused by exploding jet fuel. And again, all the jet fuel in both collisions burned off in much less than half an hour.

Quote
They also demonstrated how the impact affected certain braces, how once the temperature from the fire hit a certain level a literal structural melt down would occur.  Certain structures would melt or crumble and the floor would drop a certain bit as what was left was now holding up the entire floor/building.  They gave a pretty good blow by blow analysis including the final vertical drop.


Unfortunately, we'll never know for certain what caused the core structures of the WTC towers to fail, because there was no real investigation (the debris was disposed of in a matter of weeks), but I've seen photos of the debris on-site two weeks after the disaster. The core structure girders are clearly visible. None of them show any signs of bending, twisting, or distortion (to say nothing of melting), but all of them are neatly cut into 20–40-foot sections.

In any event, this site seems a reasonable, non-tin-hat-wearing resource for various problems with the official story. I recommend it to anyone who has doubts about what has come of out official stories: for example, at least four, and possibly more, of the originally-named 19 hijackers have turned out still to be alive, and vehemently protesting their innocence (one of the instances where merely being still alive is basically an iron-clad alibi). But the FBI, and the various congressional reports, have never retracted or corrected the original list.

Let's just say I'm feeling a bit skeptical about the whole thing.

--------------
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
Ved



Posts: 398
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 25 2006,20:35   

Hi eric.
Quote
So...have I become a victim of crank-ology?

IMO as a layman, if these apparent anomalies convince you that something wildly different from the official account of that day's events happened, then yes. The thing that puzzles me about conspiracy theories concerning 911, is that they don't seem to be necessary, the official account is  f***** up enough. I find it completely believeable that under the Bush administration, we weren't prepared for what was thrown at us that day. No one was interested in the pre 911 memo entitled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US" until we started trying to figure out how we could have not seen it coming.

I'll pick one bullet for now...
Quote
• All three towers collapsed vertically downward, into their own footprints. Normally it takes weeks of preparation from highly-experienced companies specializing in demolition to produce the same results.

Here's how I understand it: The force that actually brought the towers down was gravity pulling straight down. The collapses started when just one or two of the few damaged floors gave way, basically all at once.  It's impossible to say the exact sequence of events, but once one side of one floor gave out, the other sides of that floor couldn't hold. (If the side opposite the initial collapse was very very strong, it might have supported the structure long enough for it to start to topple over into the collapsed "notch"' like the felling of a tree) The buildings were designed as a light tubular structures, with much of their strength in their outside edges. Tubes, like arches and domes are only strong as long as they have some integrity. Once it was breached and started to fall apart, the strength was gone. As those first damaged floors collapsed, the weight of all the dozens of floors above, with the momentum from gravity, crashed down on the floor directly below, which just became a chain reaction of collapsing floors above and below the damaged spot as the whole thing came down.

As a side note, the timing of the two collapses was consistent with the different locations of damage. The first tower to be hit was hit higher on the building. 45 minutes later the second tower was hit farther down, causing the damaged portion of the second building to have to support many more floors and much more weight. It doesn't seem surprising that the fire in the second tower didn't have to burn as long to cause complete structural failure. And as we saw, the second tower to be hit fell first.

  
Stephen Elliott



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Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2006,00:17   

I am a bit concerned that you could take this seriously.

Do you really think for that a government, no matter how corrupt, in a democracy, could persuade so many employees to murder its own citizens and have them keep silent?

The WTC was almost certainly occupied 24 Hrs/day. How could a demolition team get acces plant the explosive charges while nobody noticed?

A military aircraft not on high alert status can't just have a pilot jump in then take off. Lots of preperation (fuelling/armament/checks) need to be done before launch.

Why, if it was a plan to take oil would the accused perpetrators turn out to be a group in a piss-poor country?

Also if it was a set-up. How come the blame was lain on a terrorist group rather than a government?

  
Dean Morrison



Posts: 216
Joined: Dec. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2006,01:21   

.. the nature of some of these events may seem to be counter-intuitive - but on the basis of what kind of intuition?

If we had a basis to think that:

When terrorists fly huge planes at huge buildings they usually miss (and presumably give up on the idea?)

When tall buildings fall down, they are supposed to 'topple over' like huge trees.

That tons of aviation fuel poured into a tall tubular building usually burns at the same temperature as a 'naturally aspirated fire'.

Moblie telephone signals travel several miles from their transmitters - however this only works in a horizontal direction - the signals can't travel upwards.

..... then you might be on to something....

- Crank-ology I'm afraid. One thing I would have thought that a lot of Americans would have realised is that your governments are pretty crap at staging cover-ups.

Clinton couldn't even cover-up a blow job for Crisakes.

The truth is sinister enough.

  
Arden Chatfield



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Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2006,08:21   

Also, if 9/11 was a conspiracy, you'd think the Bush administration would have made absolutely sure there were halfway-convincing links all over it connecting it to Iraq, which Bush had already decided to invade. As it was, they made some feeble wild allegations that Saddam 'probably had something to do with it', none of which held up.

It's a pretty ineffectual conspiracy if it's all connected to a bunch of Egyptians and Saudis, two countries that are very closely tied to the US.

That said, the failure of the govt. to come up with an accurate list of the hijackers is very weird. I was also startled to see the claim on that website that none of the hijackers were on the passenger lists. If that's true, where on earth did the names come from? I'd always assumed they went thru the passenger lists for the 4 flights and just pulled out whatever names looked 'Arab'.

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
ericmurphy



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Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2006,08:30   

As I said before, I'm not discussing (or at this point interested in) whether there is some conspiracy involving the government (and as I said, the official story is nothing if not a conspiracy theory). I'm interested in discovering if the official story is plausible, or even possible.

Quote
Here's how I understand it: The force that actually brought the towers down was gravity pulling straight down. The collapses started when just one or two of the few damaged floors gave way, basically all at once.  It's impossible to say the exact sequence of events, but once one side of one floor gave out, the other sides of that floor couldn't hold. (If the side opposite the initial collapse was very very strong, it might have supported the structure long enough for it to start to topple over into the collapsed "notch"' like the felling of a tree)


Actually, I've watched the video of the collapse of WTC 2 (the south tower) at least a dozen times. In that video, it is clear that the upper 30 stories of the tower actually do start to "topple" (i.e., do not fall straight down) to the south side of the tower. Obviously, the top 30 stories of the tower should be more or less structurally intact; certainly no floor above the 85th floor suffered any structural damage. In the first few seconds of the collapse, this large, 30-story tall structure rotates about 7 degrees as a unit. About five seconds into the collapse, however, this entire structure, weighing several tens of thousands of tons (and which should have reached the ground more or less intact) completely disintegrates losing all its angular momentum, and collapses into the lower portion of the tower. What caused this catastrophic and virtually instantaneous disintegration of an object the size of a large 30-story office building?

Quote
The buildings were designed as a light tubular structures, with much of their strength in their outside edges.


This is incorrect. The major weight-bearing structures in WTC 1 and 2 were the immense core girders visible in the photos on this page. 47 box girders, 50 inches thick at their bases tapered to about 18 inches at their tops, were capable of supporting the entire weight of the building unaided. In the photo of the debris, none of these core girders shows any sign of deformation. They are all neatly snipped into 20-40 foot sections. In the video of the onset of collapse of the north tower, it is evident that the core structures, which may not have been damaged at all in the collision, failed before the perimeter columns.

WTC 1 and 2 each collapsed all the way to the ground in ~15 seconds. The free-fall time from 1,300 feet (the height of the towers) in a vacuum is ~9.5 seconds. Yet the towers fell through themselves, taking the path of most resistance. 500,000 tons of steel and concrete presented slightly more resistance to the falling debris than air would have.

The floors of the WTC towers consisted of lightweight concrete poured into steel pans, approximately 300,000 cubic yards' worth. All that concrete was converted into ~60-micron powder. There is insufficient gravitational potential energy in either tower to both cause the complete collapse of the towers and convert the entire non-ferrous contents of the tower to dust the consistency of talcum powder.

Each floor of the towers was approximately an acre in area. The floor pans surrounding the core structures was approximately half that area, meaning each tower had approximately 50 acres of steel floor pan topped with concrete. The concrete ended up spread over most of lower Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn, but I was unable to locate any evidence of the floor pans themselves in any of the photographs of of the debris. What happened to the floor pans?

Quote
A military aircraft not on high alert status can't just have a pilot jump in then take off. Lots of preperation (fuelling/armament/checks) need to be done before launch.


But as I noted, more than 60 flights had been intercepted in the 18 months before 9-11. Despite the fact that hijacked aircraft had been in the air for more than an hour, not one of them had been intercepted, even though some interceptors were already in the air at the time Flight 11 was hijacked. Further, none of the aircraft that were (belatedly) scrambled flew at more than a minimal fraction of their top speed (e.g., 400 MPH vice 1,500 MPH). At a bare minimum, the inability to intercept even one of the hijacked aircraft points towards inexplicable incompetence at every level of government, and after all, NORAD has no other mission than to protect American airspace from exactly this sort of attack.

Quote
When terrorists fly huge planes at huge buildings they usually miss (and presumably give up on the idea?)


As for the attack on the Pentagon, the maneuver taken by flight 77 was so extreme that military pilots questioned whether a human pilot could have executed it successfully.

Quote
When tall buildings fall down, they are supposed to 'topple over' like huge trees.


How likely does it seem that very asymmetrical damage could cause perfectly symmetrical collapse? Given the vastly larger number of asymmetrical failure modes, it seems unlikely unless it was planned that way. Did the hijackers plan for a perfectly symmetrical collapse, doing as little damage to surrounding buildings as possible?

In any event, it seems to me that indisputably the single most significant political event of the century deserves something more than the cursory investigation it’s been given so far. Before you dismiss me as the victim of crankery, I think you should review some of the material I cited above, cited here. Surely it’s worth your time. After all, don’t you want to know what happened on September 11, 2001? Surely the topic is not without its fascination.

--------------
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
Stephen Elliott



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Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2006,08:36   

IIRC. Within minutes/hours of the the crash it was known that Osama bin Ladan was behind it.

During the first few days of the aftermath Bush looked clueless.

It then took quite awhile for Bush to convince most governments on where the blame lay.

At the time most left wing people in Britain where trying to deny that bin laden was responsible.

The Taliban went through stages of denial that would give the Disco Institute a run for their money.

They claimed:
a) Bin Laden/Al Queda was not responsible.
b) Bin Laden/Al Queda was not in Afghanistan.
c) Yes they did it and are proud.

How anyone could think that the government of the USA is responsible for carrying out the 9/11 atacks is amazing.

  
stevestory



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2006,08:40   

Ah yes, that building which was hit at 400 mph by a 757 carrying 11,000 gallons of fuel...I wonder why it fell down....

OW! My eyeballs rolled so hard I sprained my inferior rectus muscles. Dangit.

   
ericmurphy



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2006,08:50   

Again, I am not for the moment discussing who orchestrated the attacks or why. I am merely interested in exploring whether the official explanation is plausible, or even possible.

Quote
Ah yes, that building which was hit at 400 mph by a 757 carrying 11,000 gallons of fuel...I wonder why it fell down....


Again, the WTC towers were designed specifically to withstand impact from a Boeing 707 flying at 600 MPH, which would transfer as much or more energy to the buildings than a 767 flying at 400 MPH. This is an easily verifiable fact.

I do not think anyone is going to be equipped to discuss this issue on this thread without looking at the links I posted previously. Once you've had an opportunity to look at that material, then we will have a basis for discussing whether the conclusions reached there are or are not reasonable.

As scientists or as people who are interested in science, I think we can all agree that it is pointless to discuss a hypothesis without first looking at the evidence proffered to support that hypothesis.

--------------
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
Ved



Posts: 398
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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2006,08:56   

Quote
the WTC towers were designed specifically to withstand impact from a Boeing 707 flying at 600 MPH, which would transfer as much or more energy to the buildings than a 767 flying at 400 MPH.

And both towers did indeed withstand the impact.

But not the fires.

Before I go any farther, I'll look at your links...

  
stevestory



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2006,08:59   


   
Arden Chatfield



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2006,08:59   

Quote (ericmurphy @ Jan. 26 2006,14:50)
Again, the WTC towers were designed specifically to withstand impact from a Boeing 707 flying at 600 MPH, which would transfer as much or more energy to the buildings than a 767 flying at 400 MPH. This is an easily verifiable fact.

Maybe the building designers failed?

--------------
"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
stevestory



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Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2006,09:09   

Popular Mechanics: 9/11: Debunking The Myths
PM examines the evidence and consults the experts to refute the most persistent conspiracy theories of September 11.
http://hearst.corp.printthis.clickability.com/pt....1227842

   
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2006,09:57   

Come on,
Those planes had only just taken off and were fuelled for a long haul flight.

The fires burned for ages before structural integrity was lost.

How can anyone honestly believe the government organised this?

  
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2006,10:07   

Quote (stevestory @ Jan. 26 2006,15<!--emo&:0)
Popular Mechanics: 9/11: Debunking The Myths
PM examines the evidence and consults the experts to refute the most persistent conspiracy theories of September 11.
http://hearst.corp.printthis.clickability.com/pt....1227842

And the response.

--------------
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
Mr_Christopher



Posts: 1238
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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2006,10:09   

Any mention of a grassy knoll?

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Uncommon Descent is a moral cesspool, a festering intellectual ghetto that intoxicates and degrades its inhabitants - Stephen Matheson

  
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2006,10:14   

Quote
And both towers did indeed withstand the impact.

But not the fires.

Before I go any farther, I'll look at your links...

But no high-rise had ever collapsed as a result of fires before. The FIB building, a 62-story high-rise in Los Angeles, burned for 3 1/2 hours, the worst high-rise fire in U.S. history. The Meridian Hotel in Philadelphia burned for 18 hours, with eight floors out of 38 destroyed.

What was so destructive about the relatively minor fires in the WTC towers. Tower 7 had even less damaging fires (not severe enough even to break windows), yet the entire building collapsed into its own footprint.

--------------
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
stevestory



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2006,10:27   

Eric, that link was to help you get access to intelligent info, not to argue with you. I'm sure you can point me to responses to responses to responses to responses. If there's one thing cranks have, it's time to write webpages.

In your first post you seemed intrigued in the conspiracy nonsense, so I thougth I'd help point you toward something sane. But now you seem committed to the nonsense, so I'll let someone else waste his time.

   
ericmurphy



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(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2006,10:34   

Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Jan. 26 2006,15:57)
Come on,
Those planes had only just taken off and were fuelled for a long haul flight.

The fires burned for ages before structural integrity was lost.

How can anyone honestly believe the government organised this?


Interesting how everyone immediately assumes that if the official story isn't true, then it must have been a government conspiracy. Given the overall lack of credibility the Bush administration has, I suppose this isn't surprising, but again, my point is not to assign blame anywhere. Frankly, I find it basically impossible to believe the whole thing was a government plot. But I want to know if the official story comports with reality, or if it doesn't.

But here's a question. If we assume the hijackers specifically were looking for large planes that would cause the most damage, why would they hijack mid-range planes, that were not flying to the limits of their ranges (none of the planes' fuel tanks were filled to capacity on takeoff), when there were available plenty of transatlantic flights on much larger aircraft available much closer to the targets? JFK has plenty of 747 flights (747s are almost twice the size of 767s). Furthermore, why would the hijackers fly the planes hundres of miles to the west, burning up more fuel, than fly hundreds of miles east, burning up even more fuel, to hit targets that were at most 20 minutes' flight time from the take-off points? (Flight 77, which took off from Dulles International, flew almost all the way to Cleveland before turning back to hit the Pentagon, which is only a few miles from Dulles.)


Further, hijacking transatlantic flights would have an additional advantage in that FAA radar only covers aircraft out to about 200 miles offshore. Instead of being on radar for their entire flight, transatlantic flights would only appear on radar for a few minutes before hitting their targets, vastly reducing the risk of interception.


The fires in WTC 1 and 2 burned for less than an hour and a half. Other high-rise fires burned for up to 18 hours without ever causing a structural failure.

Again, read the links before jumping to conclusions.

--------------
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2006,10:52   

Quote (stevestory @ Jan. 26 2006,16:27)
Eric, that link was to help you get access to intelligent info, not to argue with you. I'm sure you can point me to responses to responses to responses to responses. If there's one thing cranks have, it's time to write webpages.

In your first post you seemed intrigued in the conspiracy nonsense, so I thougth I'd help point you toward something sane. But now you seem committed to the nonsense, so I'll let someone else waste his time.

Steve, I'm not committed to anything, one way or another. It does, however, seem to me that there are serious problems with the official story. So far, pretty much every objection I've raised has been met with an explanation that doesn't comport with well-established facts. The Popular Mechanics article seems to mostly shoot down straw men, while not addressing (or even raising) some of the more serious issues. Michael Shermer's article in Scientific American, while at first seeming pretty persuasive, suffers from many of the same defects.

I'm definitely most open-minded about these issues, but merely dismissing my concerns without actually addressing them is not very persuasive, I'm afraid.

And one more time: I am not, not not not, interested, for the moment, in any "conspiracy theories." My questions are entirely related to whether the official explanation is plausible, or even possible, without regard to what organization is actually responsible. Without knowing what happened, it is fruitless to speculate about who caused it to happen.

Perhaps it would be best to view my questions as being in the nature of a devil's advocate. If my questions can be met with answers that seem reasonable, I'll be satisfied. But so far, I haven't seen any answers that seem reasonable. Admittedly, the three high-rise collapses are unprecedented in world history, which makes for a rather limited data set. But the mere fact that nothing similar has ever happened should be enough to stimulate a detailed investigation, shouldn't it? But no such investigation has, to my knowledge, ever been carried out.

--------------
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2006,10:54   

Well at that point in time USA internal flights had less security protection than transatlantic I would assume.

I also believe that the towers structure was unusual. IIRC the main strength was in a single central column.

  
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2006,11:02   

Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Jan. 26 2006,16:54)
Well at that point in time USA internal flights had less security protection than transatlantic I would assume.

I also believe that the towers structure was unusual. IIRC the main strength was in a single central column.

Actually, the main strength of WTC 1 and 2 was derived from 47 steel columns, extensively cross-braced, which by themselves were capable of supporting the entire weight of the building. More information is available here.

--------------
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
stevestory



Posts: 10392
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2006,11:06   

You know one sign you're dealing with a creationist? They treat the opinion of some unknown internet crank the same as scientific associations and biology departments. Why are you imitating them? If you wanted to, you can find explanations of why and how the towers collapsed at numerous departments and conferences of civil engineers, NIST, FEMA, MIT, &c &c. But you, you choose 911Research.WTC7.net.

smarten up.

   
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2006,11:17   

Actually, I've read the NIST report. Have you? It's about 300 pages, and it doesn't even discuss what actually happened after the "onset of collapse." The NIST report never even menions WTC 7. Meanwhile, the FEMA report (why is FEMA investigating anything? FEMA is not an investigatory agency. Where is the FBI, CIA, DIA investigation?) states in essence that it has no explanation whatsoever for the WTC 7 collapse.

The issues raised by 911 research have not, as far as I know, been dealt with in any scholarly report. If you can point me to a report that explains, e.g., how a gravity-driven collapse can result in the reduction of the entire contents of a 110-story office building into ~60 micron powder, I'd be glad to read it. But I am so far unaware of any such report.

And in the meantime, can we keep the ad hominem attacks to a minimum? Have I insulted you, or anyone else, on this board (with the possible exception of some mild ribbing directed at Mssrs. Evopeach and Paley)?

Look. I have no emotional investment in this issue. I'm driven by curiosity, nothing more. If you, or anyone else, can come up with some plausible explanations for what happened on September 11, I'm all ears. So far, those explanations have simply not been forthcoming.

--------------
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2006,11:17   

Eric,
Please lay out your questions and I will try to adress them.

The link is not very clear in making your point.

What do you think the actual reallity might be?


EDIT:
Never mind done a cut and paste.

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2006,11:34   

Quote

ericmurphy



Posts: 151
Joined: Oct. 2005
 Posted: Jan. 25 2006,23:46    

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I've been doing a fair amount of Internet research (for what it's worth) lately about the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Avoiding, as far as possible, conspiracy theories (although the official story is certainly a conspiracy theory), I seem to have come across a large number of implausible anomalies. I'll include a partial list, but I'm wondering if those of you on this discussion group with more formal groundings in physics, chemistry, and related disciplines could give me some feedback into just how problematic any of these anomalies really are.

So here's the list:

• World Trade Center Towers 1, 2, and 7 are the only steel-framed skyscrapers to ever have suffered total structural failure—ever. While WTC 1 and 2 were hit by aircraft (certainly an unusual event), WTC was not. According to the official story, relatively minor structural damage and relatively minor fires caused the total collapse of WTC 7. By contrast, the Windsor hotel in Madrid, Spain, a 32-story hotel, burned for eighteen hours on ten floors last year without a total structural failure.


The two main towers had aircraft flown into them with lots of fuel on-board. They had only just taken off. The structures burned for quite awhile before collapsing.


Quote

• All three towers collapsed vertically downward, into their own footprints. Normally it takes weeks of preparation from highly-experienced companies specializing in demolition to produce the same results.

The buildings collapsed from burning, not impact.


Quote

• The level of piloting expertise demonstrated by the hijackers was nothing short of breathtaking. Despite never having flown jetliners before, the pilot of Flight 11 managed to hit a 200-foot-wide target within 15 feet of its centerline at a speed of ~400 MPH. The pilot of Flight 174 managed to hit the south tower flying at almost 500 MPH, and while he didn't quite manage to hit the target on its centerline, he managed to hit it with the aircraft banked at almost 30 degrees, causing damage to four contiguous floors. The pilot of Flight 77 managed a spectacular 270-degree spiral dive, passed over an adjacent freeway at a low-enough altitude to clip the tops of streetlights, and impacted the Pentagon at exactly zero altitude (in the least-occupied part of the building).

The two that hit the WTC had to aim an aircraft at the centre of a large structure. They had received pilot training. Granted, not on such large planes. But surely it could be an analogy of someone with a car licence aiming a truck.



Quote

• Over 30 phone calls were made from Flights 11, 77, and 93. Some of these  calls may have been made by airphone, but at least some of them were definitely made from cellphones. One such cellphone call lasted 18 minutes, almost until the moment Flight 93 crashed in Pennsylvania. The majority of these calls were made from jetliners flying at 30,000 feet or more over rural areas of the country. How possible was this using existing technology in 2001?

I have been on aircraft where people have used mobile phones. The cabin crew had to tell the eejits to turn them off.
While mobile phones are not guaranteed to work on an aircraft, I have personal experience of people using them.


Quote

• Despite the fact that at least 60 commercial flights were intercepted by NORAD between September 2000 and June 2001, not one of the four flights was ever claimed to be intercepted on September 11. Jets scrambled from Otis Air Force Base on Cape Cod, which is less than ten minutes' flight time from Manhattan, nevertheless took over an hour to actually arrive over NYC airspace.

The aircraft used in the 9-11 atacks were comercial aircraft taking off as scheduled within USA airspace. They were on normal flight paths until (and even after) being hijacked.



Quote

This is just a small sample of the anomalies I've managed to identify with respect to the events of September 11, 2001. Virtually every aspect of the official story seems to have glaring problems associated with it, with the result that it is virtually impossible to believe that any of it is actually true.

Well it happened. The actual facts are barely believable. Who would have predicted 4 planes being hijacked and used in a kamikaze way (except Tom Clancy).

Quote


So...have I become a victim of crank-ology? Or is there something anomalous going on here?  


I think you may have been subject to crank posts.

  
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2006,11:37   

Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Jan. 26 2006,17:17)
Eric,
Please lay out your questions and I will try to adress them.

The link is not very clear in making your point.

What do you think the actual reallity might be?

Okay. Question 1: the three WTC collapses were, and remain, the largest structural failures in world history. Why was Ground Zero not treated like the crime scenes they clearly were. Even if one assumes that the 19 hijackers (at least four of which, strangely enough, seem still to be alive) are actually responsible, and the collisions did cause these catastrophic collapses, where is the investigation into the modality of the failures? A single jet crash analysis can take months, during which the debris is preserved and carefully studied. The debris from the WTC collapses was removed starting only days after the disaster. Why is this?

Question no. 2: The fires in WTC 1 and 2 were nowhere near the worst in history. Other high-rise fires were orders of magnitude more severe. WTC 7's fires were if anything even less severe, and WTC was never hit by an aircraft. What caused its collapse? (In fact, no one really has any idea.)

Question no 3: normally it takes weeks of preparation to demolish a high-rise building so that it collapses into its own footprint. There are a handful of companies in the world with the knowledge and expertise to accomplish such a feat. Yet on one day, three different high-rise buildings collapsed in the same fashion, entirely by accident (WTC 7 is a particularly stunning example--watch the videos). Does this seem likely?

Question 4: WTC 1 and 2 were 110-story office buildings. The entire contents of the buildings, exclusive of structural steel, were converted to powder. No office chairs, no computers, no telephones, no copiers, or even debris therefrom. Is this possible in a collapse entirely driven by gravity?

I have many, many, many other questions, but these should be a good start. And remember, "I don't know" is a perfectly acceptable answer.

I hesitate to propose an hypothesis about what really happened (especially in light of the veiled hostility even bringing up the subject seems to engender), but is it possible that buildings could have been demolished using explosives? And remember, positing a controlled demolition does not necessarily implicate the government. No one is blaming the govnment for the 1993 attack.

--------------
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
Ved



Posts: 398
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Jan. 26 2006,11:48   

Quote
From your link:

   * One Meridian Plaza fire blazed for 18 hours, gutting 8 floors.
   * First Interstate Bank Building fire burned for 3-1/2 hours, gutting 4 floors.

These fires were much worse than those in the Twin Towers and Building 7.*****

(*****I think that this is a very bold assertion)

If you don't mind my non-expert opinion, let's compare the fires.

WT1 + WT2 were damaged by impacts from large airplanes, fires were fueled by whatever normal flammables there were inside the building as well as thousands of gallons of jet fuel. Firefighers did attempt to fight the fires, but I'm not sure how much success they were having in the short time they had dozens of floors above the street. These fires are difficult to compare to Meridian and First Interstate because of the impact damage, the jet fuel, and the fact that WT1 + WT2 were twice the size of the other 2.

WT7 was not significantly damaged by impacts, and there couldn't have been much jet fuel that made it there. The big difference between this fire and the Meridian Plaza / First Interstate fires though is that WT7 was allowed to burn out of control. AFAIK No attempt was made to actively combat the fire. Firefighting abilities were severly hampered by firefighter loss of life, loss of infrastructure, and general state of emergency / war zone at ground zero.

In contrast, in the Meridian Plaza fire "caused three firefighter fatalities and injuries to 24 firefighters. The 12-alarms brought 51 engine companies, 15 ladder companies, 11 specialized units, and over 300 firefighters to the scene." http://www.iklimnet.com/hotelfires/meridienplaza.html

The First Interstate Bank fire "was controlled only through the massive and dedicated manual fire suppression efforts large metropolitan fire department." http://www.iklimnet.com/hotelfires/interstatebank.html

IMO firefighting efforts or lack thereof should not be overlooked.

  
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