How to Debunk WTC Thermite

wtc_thermite_2The evidence for the presence of thermite at the World Trade Center (WTC) on 9/11 is extensive and compelling. This evidence has accumulated to the point at which we can say that WTC thermite is no longer a hypothesis, it is a tested and proven theory. Therefore it is not easy to debunk it. But the way to do so is not difficult to understand.

To debunk the thermite theory, one must first understand the evidence for it and then show how all of that evidence is either mistaken or explained by other phenomena. Here are the top ten categories of evidence for thermite at the WTC.

  1. Molten metal: There are numerous photographs and eyewitness testimonies to the presence of molten metal at the WTC, both in the buildings and in the rubble. No legitimate explanation has been provided for this evidence other than the exothermic reaction of thermite, which generates the temperatures required and molten iron as a product.
  2. The fires at Ground Zero could not be put out for several months. Despite the application of millions of gallons of water to the pile, several rainfall events at the site, and the use of a chemical fire suppressant, the fires would not subside. Thermal images made by satellite showed that the temperatures in the pile were far above that expected in the debris from a typical structure fire. Only thermite, which contains its own oxidant and therefore cannot be extinguished by smothering it, can explain this evidence.
  3. Numerous eyewitnesses who were fleeing the area described the air mass as a hot wind filled with burning particles.[1] This evidence agrees with the presence of large quantities of thermite byproducts in the air, including hot metallic microspheres and still-reacting agglomerates of thermite.
  4. Numerous vehicles were scorched or set on fire in the area. Photographic evidence shows that cars parked within the lower-level garage areas of the WTC complex burned as if impacted by a super-hot wind like that described by the eyewitnesses. All non-metallic parts of the cars, including the plastic, rubber, and glass, were completely burned off by a hot blast.
  5. There was a distinct “white smoke” present—clearly different from smoke caused by a normal structural fire—as indicated by eyewitnesses and photographic evidence.[2] The second major product of the thermite reaction is aluminum oxide, which is emitted as a white solid shortly after reaction.
  6. Peer-reviewed, scientific research confirmed the presence of extremely high temperatures at the WTC. The high temperatures were evidenced by metallic and other microspheres, along with evaporated metals and silicates. These findings were confirmed by 9/11 investigators and by scientists at an independent company and at the United States Geologic Survey.
  7. The elemental composition of the metallic microspheres from the WTC dust matches that of metallic microspheres produced by the thermite reaction.
  8. The environmental data collected at Ground Zero in the months following 9/11 indicate that violent incendiary fires, like those produced by thermite, occurred on specific dates. Peer-reviewed scientific analysis of these data show that the components of thermite spiked to extraordinary levels on specific dates in both the air and aerosol emissions at Ground Zero.
  9. Carbon nanotubes have been found in the WTC dust and in the lungs of 9/11 first responders. Formation of carbon nanotubes requires extremely high temperatures, specific metal catalysts, and carbon compounds exactly like those found in nanothermite formulations. Researchers have discovered that nanothermite produces the same kinds of carbon nanotubes. That finding has been confirmed by independent analysis in a commercial contract laboratory.
  10. A peer-reviewed scientific publication has identified the presence of nanothermite in the WTC dust. One of the critical aspects of that paper has been confirmed by an independent scientist. A visual comparison between nanothermite residues and particles found in the WTC dust is remarkable.

There is also a great deal of indirect evidence for the thermite theory. This includes the attempts by NIST to downplay the evidence for thermite. It also includes things like a weak effort by Rupert Murdoch’s National Geographic Channel to discredit the ability of thermite to cut structural steel, which was itself roundly discredited by one independent investigator. It is now unquestionable that thermite can cut structural steel as needed for a demolition.

Therefore, debunking the WTC thermite theory is not easy but is very straightforward. Doing so simply requires addressing the evidence listed above point by point, and showing in each case how an alternative hypothesis can explain that evidence better. Given the scientific grounding of the thermite theory, use of the scientific method, including experiments and peer-reviewed publications, would be essential to any such debunking effort.

That is almost certainly why we have seen no such debunking. Instead, the people working to refute the WTC thermite theory have resorted to what might be called a case study in how NOT to respond to scientific evidence.

The failed thermite theory debunkers have produced:

  • Thousands of chat room comments and other posts yet not one peer-reviewed scientific article.
  • Alternate hypotheses that have little or no evidence to support them. For example, the mini-nuke hypothesis and the “Star Wars Beam” hypothesis.
  • Government scientists declaring that the evidence simply doesn’t exist.
  • Attempts to exaggerate the meaning of the evidence, for example by saying that thermite or nanothermite could not have caused all of the effects seen at the WTC.
  • Deceptive efforts to introduce the government contractors who created the official accounts as independent scientists.

The last of these methods has been the most popular. Trying to debunk the tenth piece of evidence for WTC thermite, NIST contractor James Millette produced an unreviewed paper that purports to replicate the finding of nanothermite in the WTC dust. This was apparently organized in the hope that doing so would discredit all of the evidence for thermite at the WTC.

Millette is well known for having helped create the official reports on the analysis of WTC dust. He was responsible for creating the form that was used to pre-screen all materials found in the dust prior to any analysis by official investigators. Those official reports did not mention any of the evidence listed above, in particular failing to report the abundant iron microspheres scattered throughout the WTC dust. Additionally, Millette’s official report team did not find any red-gray chips, let alone nanothermite.

As he worked to debunk the WTC thermite research, Millette was still unable to find any iron microspheres. But he did claim to have finally found the red-gray chips. Curiously, he did not attempt to replicate the testing that would determine if those chips were thermitic.

Claiming to have found the chips, Millette perfomed an XEDS analysis for elemental composition but failed to do any of the other tests including BSE, DSC, the flame test, the MEK test, or measurement of the chip resistivity. Having inexplicably “ashed” the chips at 400 °C in a muffle furnace, thereby proving that they were not the materials of interest (which ignite at 430 °C), Millette ignored the remainder of the study he had set out to replicate.  Because he did not do the DSC test, he could not do XEDS of the spheres formed from the chips. Since he had still not found spheres in the dust, he could not test those and this allowed him to ignore the testing of spheres from the thermite reaction.

ftir911Millette rested his case on FTIR, which I have also performed on chips from WTC dust but with a much different result. Like Millette’s paper, my FTIR work is not yet part of a peer-reviewed publication and therefore should not be taken as authoritative evidence. There has been less urgency to this supplemental work because what has been done to date has received no legitimate response from the government or from much of the scientific community. That sad fact should be the central point of discussion today.

In any case, Millette attempted only one tenth of the tests in his struggle to replicate (or refute) one tenth of the evidence for thermite at the WTC. His un-reviewed “one percent approach” was nonetheless very convincing to many people, including some of the people who produced the official reports for 9/11. But it is obvious to others that Millette’s work was not a replication in any sense of the word.

I’m looking forward to the peer-reviewed scientific article that finally does replicate the nanothermite paper or any of the other peer-reviewed scientific papers that document the evidence for thermite at the WTC. Hopefully, we can approach those efforts without concerns about the sources and without recalling all the deception and manipulation that preceded them.

Until then, it is important to recognize the difference between the superficial appearance of science and the actual practice of science. Ignoring 90 percent of the evidence is not scientific. And replication of the 10 percent means actually repeating the work. If thermite debunkers and alternate hypothesis supporters can find the courage and focus to step through that challenge, maybe they can begin to add to the discussion.


[1] Here are only a few examples of the hot wind:
“Then the dust cloud hits us. Then it got real hot. It felt like it was going to light up almost.” -Thomas Spinard, FDNY Engine 7
“A wave — a hot, solid, black wave of heat threw me down the block.” – David Handschuh, New York’s Daily News
“When I was running, some hot stuff went down by back, because I didn’t have time to put my coat back on, and I had some — well, I guess between first and second degree burns on my back.” -Marcel Claes, FDNY Firefighter
“And then we’re engulfed in the smoke, which was horrendous. One thing I remember, it was hot. The smoke was hot and that scared me” -Paramedic Manuel Delgado
“I remember making it into the tunnel and it was this incredible amount of wind, debris, heat….” -Brian Fitzpatrick FDNY Firefighter
“A huge, huge blast of hot wind gusting and smoke and dust and all kinds of debris hit me” -Firefighter Louis Giaconelli
“This super-hot wind blew and it just got dark as night and you couldn’t breathe” -Firefighter Todd Heaney

[2] For example, see Joel Meyerowitz, Aftermath: World Trade Center archive. Phaldon Publishing, London, p 178. See photograph of the event on 11/08/01 that shows a stunning and immediate change of cloud-like emissions from the pile, from dark smoke to white cloud.

About these ads
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

50 Responses to How to Debunk WTC Thermite

  1. Pingback: How to Debunk WTC Thermite » New Zealand 911 Truth

  2. Er, Kevin, I was at one time a professional proofreader and I am mildly obsessive compulsive about related issues?
    ..
    There was a distinct “white smoke” present—clearly different from smoke produce by a
    ..
    should be “produced.” Thank you.

  3. This is an excellent compilation of the evidence. Thanks.

    • What saddens me about all of this is that 12 years after the events of September 11th, 2001, we are still in this stage.

      We KNOW that open air fires didn’t do this.

      We KNOW NIST is being dishonest.

      Let’s go beyond conjecture – science rules out all of the nonsense. Let’s determine WHO did it. They will provide the HOW.

    • Peter Wells says:

      You said it!

    • A.Wright says:

      @David Chandler
      After the collapse of the WTC buildings were there hundreds, maybe thousands, of large structural steel columns in the debris with large diagonal molten cuts at each end?

  4. Thank you for the work you do in keeping this subject alive. The molten metal question has always been on the top of my list of questions needing answers. I worked in an open hearth in Gary, IN in the early 60′s I understand the amount of time and fuel and conditions necessary for melting steel. I have not heard an explanation other than thermate that would provide these conditions.

    • The oldest known piece of steel is about 4,000 years old. They didn’t have thermite back then, I don’t think, Harry.

      • hybridrogue1 says:

        If Harry was working an open hearth furnace foundry he certainly knows that thermite is not involved in the process. Bellows for high oxygen = high temperature.
        There were no bellows in the pile of the WTC aftermath.

        \\][//

  5. Jordan Combden says:

    Good stuff. Thanks

  6. Bilbo says:

    Thanks for the article, Mr. Ryan. Do you think Mark Basile’s attempt to raise enough money to submit the WTC dust to an independent laboratory is worthwhile? Would you think that a metallurgical analysis of Jonathan Cole’s thermate-melted steel worthwhile.

  7. Bilbo says:

    Also, Millette claims in the paper to have done the MEK test.

  8. Cheri says:

    Hey Kevin…why don’t you have social media “share” buttons on your posts so we can easily share your outstanding articles my friend?

  9. pat says:

    Flight 93 was suppose to hit WTC 7 Noam. Look at the fllght path on wikpedia. It was headed toward Manhattan not the capitol building like bush suggested

    • Charlie Musier says:

      I looked…and it looks like it is headed for DC…much further south. But there are vague flight paths diagrams out there that give the appearance it to be further north !!! I like the WTC 7 scenario with the 3rd plane…Peace

      • tom purnell says:

        okay, but wtc7 did go down, and nearby firefighters are on video saying that it sounds like demolition shots for collapsing buildings. also, never forget fhe press conference on 9/10 where donald rumsfeld stated that 3 trillion dollars were missing from the pentagon. the government did the whole darn thing to us to cover a theft and start a war which would have no possible ending. sigh.

  10. Pingback: How to Debunk WTC Thermite | History Uncensored

  11. hybridrogue1 says:

    “Alternate hypotheses that have little or no evidence to support them. For example, the mini-nuke hypothesis and the “Star Wars Beam” hypothesis.”~Article

    This is an issue that has taken more than two years of my time in research and argumentation counter to the nuclear and beam weapon assertions.

    Anyone interested in a rebuttal of the ‘Nuke-DEW’ disinformation can visit my blog page:

    http://hybridrogue1.wordpress.com/2012/11/26/disinformation-dew-nuke/

    The article is a partial treatment which is followed by fuller information in my added commentary.

    \\][//

  12. Pingback: RINF Alternative News How to Debunk WTC Thermite

  13. A.Wright says:

    @Kevin Ryan
    After the collapse of the WTC buildings were there hundreds, maybe thousands, of large structural steel columns in the debris with large diagonal molten cuts at each end?

    • How could one make that determination?

      The entire crime scene was sold off and shipped to China…at a profit, no less.

      • A.Wright says:

        @Vincent Nunes
        The question was were there hundreds of large structural steel columns with diagonal molten cuts at each end, at ground zero, after the buildings collapsed. People in the 911 truth movement say there were. There were hundreds and hundreds of people at the site, the rescue workers, first responders , firefighters , people who transported all that steel onto trucks, through the streets of NY out to the dump site, loading and unloading it ,besides all those who examined and photographed those thousands of pieces of steel. I have never seen or heard any evidence from anyone of steel with large diagonal molten cuts at the ends.

      • John Burns says:

        There are numerous such photos around. I have seen them on multiple occasions. Probably AE911Truth is the place to look.

      • In answer to A. Wright – as John Burns has replied, there are numerous photos available. Many have adduced to what you purport you have not seen or heard. You may want to take the bull by the horns, and inquire of the company who shipped and sold that steel as to the conditions of the metal.

      • A.Wright says:

        @John Burns
        I have not seen these photos. AE 911 truth have a number of presentations and they don’t show any photos of cut steel.

      • Kiwicris says:

        WHATREALLYHAPPENED.COM has these photos of the diagonally cut steel beams in the wreckage of the WTC.(they will be in his 911 section under WTC from memory) They do look like what results when cutter charges or cordex (or whatever they use these days to blast cut steel during demolition) are attached to a column to give a slant cut so that the upper part of the column “walks”/slides off. Hope this helps.

    • A. Mundi says:

      A. Wright
      We would know for sure if and how many steel columns showed diagonal cuts had the evidence been preserved. However the remains of the buildings were quickly melted down and shipped to China.

      Where is the proof WTC 7 could collapse like that from fire? There have been highrise fires before and since 9/11 but none have resulted like WTC 7, not even close.
      Or
      Where is the proof OBL was the mastermind behind the attacks? (The Jalalabad tape has been thoroughly debunked). He denied involvement on 3 separate occasions.

      Do not be fooled into thinking the official story is anything other than a theory just like the rest.

  14. Elizabeth Woodworth says:

    The crux of this paper is that “it is important to recognize the difference between the superficial appearance of science and the actual practice of science.”
    This is where investigative journalism has failed America and the world, leaving the 9/11 lie alive to create vast never-ending conflicts that are displacing our attention from global warming.
    Let us hope that Pierre Omidyar and Glenn Greenwald’s still unnamed NewCo investigative journalism site (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57613838-38/saving-the-net-from-the-surveillance-state-glenn-greenwald-speaks-up-q-a/) will start looking at 9/11, as are starting the Boston Herald, December 7 (http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/opinion/editorials/2013/12/open_the_911_books ) and the International Business Times, Decemeber 9 (http://www.ibtimes.com/911-link-saudi-arabia-topic-28-redacted-pages-government-report-congressmen-push-release-1501202)

    • John Burns says:

      Greenwald and Chomsky are friends and share the same view of 9/11– it is doubtful that
      Greenwald will change his mind as his position is not based on science but hidden political considerations. One has to be careful with Greenwald. He is not 100 percent trustworthy.

  15. flybynews says:

    Excellent article for people who can critically analyze evidence to determine the difference between lies and proven observation, as Elizabeth Woodward commented as real science. Thank you Kevin.. i will be updated it on Flyby News resource page: New 9/11 Investigation vs New World Order http://flybynews.wordpress.com/2012/04/03/new-911-investigation-vs-new-world-order-2/

  16. Pingback: New 9/11 Investigation VS. New World Order | flybynews

  17. John Burns says:

    Proof. The ideal proof is mathematical as it is certain. Science is always theoretical or hypothetical. Something may turn up that confutes the theory. Almost anyone can follow Euclid’s proof that there is no greatest prime number. Very few people can follow the proof of Fermat’s last theorem. The latter proof took about ten years of hard mental work. People often have emotional/mental blocks to seeing the obvious. After all if people like Kevin are right, it means that our government not only is failing to protect us but will on some occasions murder us! For some grown up that is just too much to take. Some people have made a lot of money pursuing the terrorists. It has been for them a Golden Goose.
    All in all 9/11 was badly done. It was pretty amateur. The guy on the street who acted like an actor? had a full explanation which he was just bursting to tell the TV people–after which presumably he got a big sack of money! It was identical to the shoddy “scientific” explanation offered years later by NIST. That is just one of many B movie effects that were worked in. Viewed as a film it should have been a big money loser. Bad acting by the perpetrators and their hired hands. Just recall the strange yet canny look on George W.’s face; and how he went on to read to the kids with the book upside down! It was only successful because it was psychologically so unexpected and not because the Director was a man of genius. You can forget the science and still know it was an inside job. And about what you would expect from an American government whose reins were supposedly in the hands of Mr. Bush–fool me once . . . fool me . . . me twice (and then what?).

  18. Pingback: 9/11 Truth: How to Debunk WTC Thermite at Ground Zero | LES RAISONS DU CITRON

  19. Pingback: Update: JFK Coup d’etat 50, What’s Next? | flybynews

  20. Pingback: 9/11 Truth: How to Debunk WTC Thermite at Ground Zero! « Socio-Economics History Blog

  21. Simon says:

    Hello Mr. Ryan
    The mismatch between your FTIR spectrum and Millette´s spectrum is interesting. I remember seeing a different spectrum in your 2009 slideshow. Are you going to elaborate on your FTIR data and/or perhaps publish it?

  22. A.Wright says:

    @Kevin Ryan
    I asked this question previously and you did not respond – ‘After the collapse of the WTC buildings were there hundreds, maybe thousands, of large structural steel columns in the debris with large diagonal molten cuts at each end?’
    Do you not think this is an important question which should be addressed by people in the 911 truth movement, in relation to controlled demolition of the WTC buildings? I have directed the question to David Chandler also but it has not been approved (it seems). Do you not think this is a question that should be asked of someone like David Chandler?

  23. A.Wright says:

    @Kevin Ryan
    I contacted AE911 truth and asked them if they had any evidence of steel at the WTC site with angled cuts from controlled demolition and I got this reply:

    “Yes early on when folks were sure that conventional controlled demolition methods were used they were looking for the angle cuts. There are not very many to say the least so that method was not used.
    What is critical is that there is more than enough evidence of explosives being used ie the symmetrical collapse of WTC 7. I am sure that you know of the others. If you have the symmetrical collapse of WTC 7 you do not need the angle cuts and again it seems that they were not used.”

  24. Mike McNulty says:

    I lead the Scientific Translation Team in China to translate the Jones, Harrit “Thermitic paper” into Chinese.
    Using members of the Chinese Science Academy and academics in Chinese and English, the labor of love took two years to complete.
    I have asked Chinese academics to answer three questions after reading the paper.
    1. Did you find any scientific flaw in the study or findings?
    1A. No (universal response)
    2. Did you find any mistakes in the translation, typos, grammar, spelling.
    2A. No (universal response)
    3. Is there any way for the red-gray chips to be confused with paint?
    3A. No (accompanied by a “universal” derisive chuckle)

  25. Paris says:

    What type of energy can burn cars six or more blocks from WTC while leaving papar and vegetation unscathed?

  26. marvin sannes says:

    One of my favorites is the testimony of the Fresh Kill landfill workers who found melted guns under the seats of cars and they wondered what temperature it would take to reduce a pistol to a blob of metal, picture of that table full of firearms, from the customs house, in various states of melt.

  27. marvinsannes says:

    I like to use the term “weapons grade nano-particles” found in the dust. I have found that “Popular Mechanics” has become a Scientific Journal in America and many Americans accept that the magazine exploded the “thermite theory” many years ago. The American public seems to accept anything from the famous or the media regardless of what they say: NOVA, PBS, History Channel, Discovery, Disney, etc. These TV presentations pass as “scientific” analysis and are quickly accepted. I think the Nazi discovered that people will hear what they want, and Orwelle tells us the “Ministry of Truth” can make truth whatever is needed. Haliburton Corp’s. fracking PR is similar to the selling of the 19 Arabs myth.

  28. marvinsannes says:

    My favorite witness of extreme temp. is the Fresh Kill workers describing the pistols, found under the seats of cars in the street, melted to blobs of metal and wondering what temp. could have done this melting so quickly “… 3 to 4 thousand degrees” – also the car engines melted, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_MQxkytIS0

  29. marvinsannes says:

    And, from the Fresh Kill workers: the metal elevator floor signs – 99 elevators X 116 floors (includes sub-floors) X 2 = 22,968 metal signs and from the sifted rubble they find 25 or 30,
    “what happened to everything …filing cabinets, chairs, desks…nothing but rebar, metal, and concrete” – These guys are, to me, among the most creditable witnesses.

  30. mpbond2014 says:

    I find Dr Sarkosky’s evidence (link above) very convincing, and the Architects & Engineers for 9/11 truth campaigners have my greatest respect.

  31. Pingback: NWO Newz for 1-17-14 | Chapel of Chaos Blog

  32. Dave Simpson says:

    You can see in Sonnenfeld’s FEMA photos that the entire wreckage of WTC7 was cleaned out first of all, right down to the basement. If that isn’t removing all evidence of CD as fast as possible, I don’t know what is.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s