9-11 Conspiracy Theories
examined with real science.
There are too many "loose nuts" out there saying that the 9-11 tragedy was a conspiracy within the United States
government. They say that the World Trade Center Towers 1 and 2 were deliberately demolished with explosives, and
that several other events on that day were staged. But with a little detective work, and some REAL science, it can
be shown that the hijacked planes were all that were needed to bring the buildings down, collapse Tower 7, and cause
the other observed events.
Several different facts and factors combined to bring down the buildings:
- To make the space more desirable for tenants, Towers 1, 2, and 7 were designed and built
without interior load-bearing walls. This allowed the interior space to be reconfigured to the desires of the
tenant. But it means that the exterior walls held up the entire structure of each tower.
- Because the interior space was reconfigurable, the plumbing, electric power, and stairwells
had to be run up close to the exterior walls or the elevator shafts.
- Only the vertical supports in the exterior walls were designed to hold up the entire
structure. The interior vertical supports were designed to hold up only the stairwells, or the partitions on that
- The horizontal supports for each floor were designed to hold up only the one floor, plus
the contents of that floor. They were not solid beams, but trusses made of networks of triangles made of steel.
This meant that they could be heated up faster than solid I-beams.
- The insulation intended to prevent heat from a fire from reaching the steel, had been
removed in some places, due to asbestos abatement. In other places, it had fallen off the trusses.
- It is not necessary to raise the temperature of steel members to the nearly 1400 C
(2700 F) melting temperature of steel to collapse the towers. It is necessary to raise the temperature
to only 780 C (1440 F) to weaken the structure enough that it would collapse. This is the temperature
at which steel is hardened or softened by a blacksmith, so he can work it, then harden it. The following temperatures
|Carbon dissolves in iron.
||780 C||1440 F
|Steel melting point
||1400 C||2700 F
|Jet fuel combustion
||1100 C||1800 F
It is instructive to know how steel is worked in everyday life.
How a blacksmith works steel
When a blacksmith works steel, he does the following:
- He heats the steel up to the temperature at which carbon dissolves in iron (780 C).
- He lets the steel cool slowly to room temperature. This lets the carbon come out of solution. It forms tiny
islands in the iron. The steel is now soft, and can be cut and worked.
- He can also heat the steel up again, to facilitate forging it, as long as it cools gradually while he
works it on his anvil.
- When the blacksmith finishes forming the steel, he again heats it to the temperature at which carbon
dissolves in iron (780 C).
- This time, he quickly plunges the steel into an oil bath. This cools the steel too quickly for the carbon
to come out of solution. It bonds with the iron instead. The steel is now hard, and cannot be worked.
- He heats the steel to a lower temperature (about 400 C) to remove stresses. This is called annealing.
If the blacksmith later needs to do more work on the piece, he repeats the entire process.
So steel becomes soft and easily worked at temperatures much lower than those cited by the conspiracy
Now that we know these facts, the 9-11 puzzle falls into place:
So just what happened to the Twin Towers?
- When the planes crashed into Towers 1 and 2, they took out the water lines, destroying the
sprinkler systems on and above the affected floors. Jet fuel started the fires. Meanwhile, water from the
broken pipes ran down the stairwells.
- As the temperature rose from the fires, eventually the temperature of the horizontal steel
trusses, their anchors to the vertical columns, and the vertical columns themselves, rose above 780 C.
The page author has a news video of Tower 1, taken just before and during the collapse. An
exposed floor is visibly sagging, lower at the center than at the ends. This indicates that the steel had softened,
and the soft steel was able to bend as it lost its strength. As that floor sagged lower, it touched the floor
below it. At that instant, Tower 1 collapsed.
Why did the tower collapse at that instant? Remember that each floor was designed to hold up only its own weight,
plus its contents. The instant the sagging floor above put some weight on the intact floor, the intact floor
failed due to overload. It tore loose, and fell on the floor below, breaking that one loose. This became a
- Because the floors were supported only at the edges, they acted as pistons as they fell,
centered by the vertical supports. This compressed the air below the falling floors. The compressed air blew out
windows on lower floors, causing puffs of dust (which conspiracy theorists say are "detonations").
- The vertical supports also broke when the horizontal supports were ripped away from them.
Thus, they were unable to hold up the top of the tower. They failed, bringing down the top of the tower behind the
- The falling floors tore out electrical cables, causing the flashes of light the conspiracy
theorists say were explosions.
What about the melted steel found later in the collapsed rubble?
- There were other sources of heat available once everything collapsed into the
- There was an electrical substation under Tower 7 feeding all of the towers. The falling
debris might have created a short circuit through steel members that drew enough current to melt the steel,
but not enough to trip out the protective circuit breakers. Steel often heats up, instead of tripping protective
breakers, because its resistance is higher than that of copper.
- Each building had natural gas service, not for heating the building (which was done by
steam piped into the buildings), but for cooking purposes in cafeterias. The service in each case was a 4-inch
gas main. Natural gas burns at 2000 C, enough to melt steel. The collapse most likely severed these
- Each building had an emergency Diesel generator and a fuel tank on one of the lower
sub-basement levels. This added heat in an enclosed area when the fuel caught fire.
- Many automobiles were parked in the parking garage area. Each one had a tank of gasoline.
The flame temperature peaks at 1250 C, but it can set other parts of the car on fire.
- Materials used in the building construction also can burn hot enough to melt steel. These
include wood, paper, and plastic construction materials, and some of the low-voltage wiring in the building
(including the telephone wiring). The low voltage wiring was protected from fire by fireproof conduits. These were
destroyed by the collapse, exposing the wiring to the already burning fires.
- Materials stored in the building for use, sale, or shipment may have added to the heat
available. These include butane and propane products, office supplies, cleaning fluids, alcohol, charcoal, steel
wool, clothing, and other combustible materials. (If you didn't know steel wool burned, try lighting a small
wad with a match over a fireproof surface.)
- Chemicals stored in various parts of the building that are ordinarily safe by themselves
may have become mixed together in the collapse, causing chemical reactions for a very hot fire. One particular
item to note might be nitrate fertilizer (stored for export) becoming mixed with Diesel fuel from the generator
tanks, forming an explosive. Another item is Thermite, which is basically a mixture of rust and aluminum foil.
There should have been plenty of both in the collapsed rubble.
- Carbon monoxide, produced by incomplete combustion of wood or paper, itself burns at
2121 C when it finally gets to a plentiful oxygen supply.
- In addition, the packing of all of these combustible materials together in the wreckage
would increase the concentration of heat.
Why did Tower 7 fall hours later?
- Tower 7 had the same basic type of construction Towers 1 and 2 had.
- When Tower 1 fell, its debris struck and destroyed Towers 3, 4, and 6, and also damaged
Tower 7. In Tower 7, the sprinkler system was again taken out, and the debris from tower 1 started a fire in
- The power failure caused by the fall of Towers 1 and 2 started some automatic
emergency-power equipment in Tower 7. One of these pieces of equipment was a Diesel-powered generator and pump.
The purpose of the pump was to feed Diesel fuel from a large tank in the basement to another generator halfway
up Tower 7. But the pipe to this generator was run with the utility pipes, and was also severed by debris from
the fall of Tower 1. This flooded a floor area with Diesel fuel, and fed the fire.
- With the fire out of control in Tower 7, the temperature of the horizontal trusses rose
above 780 C. This caused the same sagging and collapse to occur in Tower 7. It then fell in the same
The owner of Building 7 gave the order to "Pull it!" Wasn't that an order
to destroy the building? Isn't "Pull it" an order to pull down a building?
- The order was to pull all of the firemen and emergency workers out of the building, because
it looked like a lost cause. The owner said that too many had already died that day.
- "Pull it" has never been used as an order to demolish, either by the military,
or by any demolition company.
What about the military cargo plane seen over the Pentagon moments after the explosion
there? And what about the small private jet seen over the Flight 93 crash site? Conspiracy theorists
believe that both of these planes fired missiles at these targets.
- Both of these planes were asked to investigate by Air Traffic Controllers trying to find
out why they lost Flight 77 and Flight 93 from their RADAR screens. They wanted some eyes on the areas
The Pentagon security tape does not show a plane moving into the Pentagon, but just an
explosion. If there was a plane, why can't we see it on the film? And why does the video look like a cheap Internet
- The security system was set up to identify intruders, not record events. It took only
one frame per second. The plane entered the building between frames. The low frame rate looks fake.
Why didn't the wings and engines of Flight 77 make grooves in the Pentagon, the way
they did in the World Trade Center? Doesn't their absence indicate that a missile hit the Pentagon?
- The wings and engines were sheared off by a trailer and a monument before the plane hit
the building. Their wreckage was lying on the ground, mixed with the wreckage of what they hit.
- If the wings and engines had not been sheared off, they still would have not hit the face
of the building, because the plane was in a steep bank when it hit.
- The facing on the Pentagon is made of limestone, which is a lot stronger than the material
used on the face of the World Trade Center. If the wings had hit this, they would have just disintegrated. The
fuselage was stronger and heavier, and penetrated the walls, as it should have.
How was the plane able to penetrate several offices in the Pentagon, and come out the
other side into the courtyard? Can't only a missile do that?
- No. Inertia keeps ANY mass moving until enough force is applied to stop it.
Didn't Flight 93 break up in the air? Debris from the crash was found at Indian Lake,
6 miles away from the crash site. Only a missile could cause it to break up in the air.
- The debris was not 6 miles from the crash site. That "6 miles" came from
using an Internet mapping website to find the distance between the two points. But that distance is the distance
needed for a car to DRIVE on available roads from the crash site to where the debris was found. The debris was
actually found only 1.5 miles from the crash site, as the crow flies.
- The debris found at Indian Lake was paperwork from the flight. The wind could have taken it
there after the crash. And the impact from the crash itself could have blown the paperwork into the air.
Why was there so much confusion in the Air Traffic Control system? Were the controllers
deliberately losing these airliners?
- People are unreasonably expecting a supercompetent government. But working for government
doesn't give anyone special powers of clairvoyance or precognition. They are just people.
- The hijackers turned off the transponders in the airliners. This kept the air-traffic
controllers from identifying the planes by flight number. They are not used to this.
- Airplanes without transponders are just RADAR blips. The controllers couldn't even pick out
which blips were the airliners. There were thousands of blips on their screens, from all of the private airplanes
that were also in the air.
Why didn't we shoot down the airplanes before they could crash into the buildings?
Where were the routine patrols that defend our country?
- People also expect a supercompetent military. But being in the military also does not
grant any powers of clairvoyance or precognition. They are still just people. They have more training, but no
- Nobody knew anything was wrong, other than hijackings, until the SECOND plane hit the
World Trade Center. The first collision was thought to be just an accident.
- Because the hijackers had turned off the transponders, nobody knew exactly where the
missing flights were. They couldn't find them.
- There haven't been any routine patrols inside the borders of the US since 1993. They
were discontinued by budget cuts, enacted by Democrats after the Cold War ended in 1991.
- All of our defense detection systems were designed to detect enemy planes approaching
from OUTSIDE the United States. Nobody expected an attack from inside the border.
- Nobody (other than the terrorists) thought of using an airliner as a weapon. All previous
hijackings had been in the form of either a ransom demand or a political demand in return for release of the
- Because there were no alerts, there were no soldiers manning antiaircraft guns. Even if
there had been soldiers available, they would have had only seconds to shoot.
- Even if there had been an alert, it would have taken time for the soldiers to man the
guns. Soldiers do not have superhuman powers either. They would have had to get through the city traffic to get
to the antiaircraft guns (This is a good argument for removing all housing from Washington DC).
- Shooting the plane would not keep its mass from crashing into the building, unless the
plane had been shot down well in advance. And shooting the planes down over cities would have endangered other
people in other buildings or on the street.
- The closest jet fighters were in Delaware, positioned for an attack from outside the
- It takes time to scramble a jet. As soon as we knew there was a real attack, jets were
scrambled. But by the time they reached the affected areas, all of the hijacked planes had already crashed.
Weren't the cell phone calls from Flight 93 faked? Wasn't the flight too far from cell
towers for the phones to work?
- The plane was at 40,000 feet. Cell phone towers have a range of about ten miles
(52800 feet), where no other towers are closer (to take the call away).
- All but two of the calls used the system provided on the plane for plane-to-ground
- The people receiving the calls recognized their relatives. They used pet names and other
language a stranger could not possibly know. Most of the conversations were highly emotional on both ends. You
can't fake that.
Did the CIA or FBI suppress knowledge of the upcoming terrorist attacks?
- They had bits and pieces of it, but no one person had enough information to put the whole
thing together, until after the event itself showed them how these pieces fit together.
- This is another case of the government worshipers expecting government to be supercompetent.
In fact, all of the privacy regulations in force at the time prohibited the agencies having the information from
sharing it with the other agencies. Democrats enacted those laws after Watergate.
- There was still no way to know that anyone taking pilot training without learning to
take off and land would later use an airplane as a weapon. Nobody thought of using a plane as a weapon until it
happened. There were many other possibilities with higher probability (including writing video games).
- If there was any suppression of information, it was done by people afraid of losing their
jobs if they passed such outlandish theories up the line.
Didn't the Bush administration have several motives for starting a war?
- Not one of them makes any sense, except in the warped minds of people with a driving
emotional hatred for the US government that existed at that time.
- It can't be that President Bush wanted a war. Until the attack happened, Bush was
concentrating on reducing government spending. A war would definitely not do that.
- It's not over oil. If we had been after the oil, wouldn't we have been be guarding the
oil, instead of protecting the Iraqi population from the madmen?
- It can't be a craving for more government power. Before the attacks, President Bush was
trying to reduce the power of government.
- In fact, all of the motives supplied by the conspiracy theorists have no basis at all in
the facts. They are emotional in nature, created by imaginative people who are not getting their own way. It is
not going to work.
- In the 1950s, people did similar things by claiming that
"UFO aliens" from outer space were demanding that we stop nuclear
testing. They supported these demands with fake photos of chicken brooders or change-cycle drive wheels from
Collaro record changers. This was about as effective at changing government policy as the effectiveness of
yelling at a TV set to change the outcome of the TV show.
Why were the crime scenes cleaned up before investigators could sift through the evidence?
Isn't this just more proof the government was covering something up?
- The EPA trumped the Justice Department. The EPA ordered these hazardous sites to be cleaned
up as soon as possible, because the dust escaping from the sites created health hazards to others in New York City
and Washington DC. Justice Department investigators also would have been endangered by the dust.
- There was no need for an in-depth investigation of the crash scenes scene, because all bone
fragments found at the site were preserved for identification, and because the actual crimes occurred in other
locations. There were also no allegations at that time of anything other than hijackers deliberately crashing
airliners full of passengers into buildings. Those allegations did not appear for several months.
All of these outrageous claims are thus refuted.
WHAT'S GOING ON???
So why do these people do such despicable things? Most of them have ulterior motives. Some possibilities
There are many people who have religious beliefs saying that war is always wrong. They seem to be willing to go
to any length to stop the wars. Some of them don't care who they hurt, in order to force others to obey their
Some people hate George W. Bush, and would have done anything to try to get him out of office.
Some of them are so wacky that they believed that removing President Bush from office would have somehow
magically made John Kerry become the President. This is the ultimate in lack of brains, because the line of
presidential succession is well defined in the law. Kerry was not even on the list of succession.
Some of them want National Health Care. Their bad science is just like the bad mathematics and economics that
say that such a health care plan can actually work. Do they want the moon too?
Some of them want the Living Wage the Democrats propose. Their bad science is also like the bad mathematics
and economics that say that such a wage plan can actually work without massive tax cuts. They want the moon
Some have brains so distorted by drug use that they don't think straight. Their websites show it.
Others have their pet reasons for hating and distrusting government, so they create conspiracy theories.
LET'S GET SOME SANITY IN HERE!!!