Laser Beam Weapons and
the Collapse of the World Trade Center
By Christopher Bollyn
American Free Press
February 14, 2002

Did a laser beam weapon cause the collapse of the World Trade Center? A physicist who worked on the original infrared beam weapon has reason to believe so.

More than five months after the sudden and total collapse of the World Trade Center (WTC), the cause of the towers' structural failure has yet to be properly investigated and remains unexplained, according to America's leading fire engineering experts. As part of an on-going investigation into the disaster, American Free Press has interviewed a German physicist who believes a laser beam weapon, employing infrared technology originally developed in the Soviet Union, may have caused the collapse of the towers.

Unexplained Collapse

When the twin towers collapsed shortly after being struck by airplanes on September 11, millions of television viewers watched the apocalyptic scenario unfold. As immense clouds of concrete dust rolled across lower Manhattan, people around the world tried to comprehend what they were seeing. Nearly six months later, people are still trying to understand exactly what caused the two tallest buildings in the United States to completely crumble into a pile of burning rubble. However, it now appears likely that the federal government will not be conducting an open and comprehensive inquiry and that the most important questions surrounding the towers' collapse may remain unanswered. The destruction of the World Trade Center was the first total collapse of a high-rise in the history of the United States and the largest structural collapse in recorded history. It resulted in the deaths of some 3,000 people, the second largest loss of life on American soil — and the largest loss of firefighters ever.

However, instead of conducting an immediate forensic investigation into the causes of the disaster, the Bush administration has allowed critical evidence to be destroyed and now wants to limit the congressional investigation — an investigation that has not yet begun.

Bush Wants to Limit WTC Investigation

Recently both President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney personally intervened and asked Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (Dem. - S.D.) "to limit the congressional investigation into the events of Sept. 11," according to CNN. Bush made the unusual request at a private meeting with congressional leaders on January 29. He asked that the House and Senate intelligence committees only look into "the potential breakdowns among federal agencies that could have allowed the terrorist attacks to occur," rather than conduct a comprehensive inquiry.

Cheney made a similar appeal to Daschle on Jan. 25. "The vice president expressed the concern that a review of what happened on September 11 would take resources and personnel away from the effort in the war on terrorism," Daschle said. "I acknowledged that concern, and it is for that reason that the Intelligence Committee is going to begin this effort, trying to limit the scope and the overall review of what happened," Daschle said. Although the president and vice president told Daschle they were worried a wide-reaching inquiry could distract from the government's war on terrorism, privately Democrats questioned why the White House feared a broader investigation to determine possible culpability.

A Non-Investigation

A forensic investigation into what actually caused the buildings to collapse has not been opened and probably never will because essential evidence, such as steel from the building, was quickly recycled or dumped rather then taken to a metallurgical laboratory to be examined.

Fire Engineering magazine, the 125-year-old respected journal of firefighting, which publishes technical studies of major fires, recently criticized the WTC investigation being run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as "a half-baked farce." Fire Engineering said it "has good reason to believe that the 'official investigation', blessed by FEMA and run by the American Society of Civil Engineers, is a half-baked farce, commandeered by political forces whose primary interests lie far afield of full disclosure."

Fire Engineering's editor, WiIliam A. Manning wrote in the January issue, "respected members of the fire protection engineering community are beginning to raise red flags, and a resonating theory has emerged: The structural damage from the planes and the explosive ignition of jet fuel in themselves were not enough to bring down the towers."

Then What Did It?

There are numerous indicators that something other than fuel fires caused the towers to collapse, including:

"Vaporized Victims"

Dr. Charles Hirsch, the chief medical examiner, told grieving relatives in November that many bodies had been "vaporized". Hirsch reportedly declined to be interviewed. However, Dr. Michael Baden, the state's chief forensic pathologist and a top expert in the field, said in September that most bodies should be identifiable because the fires had not reached the 3,200 degree (F), 30-minute level necessary to incinerate a body.

"Recovered tissues will likely be identified," Baden said, because "bodies are not cremated — or burnt beyond the ability to be identified — in the type of fire that occurred at the World Trade Center. The cremation of a body requires a temperature of over 3000 degrees Fahrenheit for close to half an hour... and that did not occur when the airplanes struck the World Trade Center."

To put things in perspective, the temperature of a normal house fire is about 1700 degrees (F); jet fuel burns at a temperature a little lower than that. In a normal house fire of 1700 degrees, the body is charred on the outside but remains intact on the inside; it is not reduced to ashes," he said.

Burning Dust

The rubble of the World Trade Center, which was a steel and concrete construction, burned for more than three months, quite unlike a normal fire, despite having been sprayed with a nearly constant jet of water. The fires were only reported extinguished on December 19.

The television evangelist Dr. Robert Schuller visited the ruins and said that there "was not a single block of concrete in that rubble," suggesting that the nearly 425,000 cubic yards of concrete had disintegrated into dust.

Television viewers saw the immense amounts of dust, described by one observer "as if some high-energy disintegration beam or laser had been focused on the towers, and pulverized the concrete into minute particles of ash and dust."

Directed-Energy Weapons

A former East German physicist who studied Soviet infrared technology and plasmoids during the 60s and 70s, and who was directly involved in a demonstration of a Soviet laser beam weapon in 1991 for the U.S. Air Force in Weimar (DDR), told AFP that there is evidence that a directed-energy weapon using "deep infrared" radiation was used to bring down the WTC. Although infrared weapon technology is not widely discussed in the West, the Soviet infrared beam weapon is nothing new and was already used during a Soviet dispute with China in 1969 to destroy "a wall" at the Ussuri River, which separates Manchuria from Russia's Far East, according to the physicist.

Infrared radiation is heat-producing and invisible wavelengths lying between visible light and microwave on the electromagnetic spectrum. "Near" infrared is closest to visible light and "far" or "deep" infrared is closer to microwave. Far infrared waves are thermal and cause increased molecular vibrational activity. In other words, infrared radiation is heat.

Israel's Laser Weapon

There are indications, according to the physicist, that such a weapon was used when the KAL plane was shot down over Kamchatka (Soviet Union) in September 1983. In the early 90s, this technology returned to scientific discussions in the West and the technology itself appears to have been transferred from the Soviet Union.

Since 1995, the United States and Israel have actively developed an advanced infrared beam weapon under a joint "anti-missile" program known as the Tactical High-Energy Laser (THEL). The THEL is a mobile, high-energy laser weapon.

Although the THEL laser weapon was designed, developed and produced by a TRW-led team of U.S. and Israeli contractors for the U.S. Army Space & Missile Defense Command, Huntsville, Ala. and the Israel Ministry of Defense, "requirements for the system have been driven by Israel," according to TRW and industry reports. Lasers are the leading edge of directed energy weapons. Laser weapons have been under active development for twenty years and easily constitute the most advanced of the directed-energy devices. In 1984, Jeff Hecht, author of Beam Weapons: The Next Arms Race, wrote, "The military 'destructor beam' definitely is in our future tactical arsenal." The advanced technology and plasma physics involved in directed-energy weapons give them unprecedented lethal power. Among their more important features are:

No conventional ammunition is required — only fuel for the power generator is needed.

The THEL is part of a joint program known as Nautilus, in which the US Army and the Israeli Ministry of Defense (IMOD) have developed infrared laser weapon systems. The prime contractor, TRW Space and Electronics Group, has been involved in the development of high-energy laser systems since the early 1970s. A host of Israeli engineers and companies are involved in the program including the aerospace companies Rafael, Israel Aircraft Industries and Tadiran.

The THEL is a mobile system ostensibly designed to destroy rockets, such as the Russian-made Katyusha. The THEL employs the Mid-Infrared Advanced Chemical Laser (MIRACL). The MIRACL is a megawatt-class, deuterium-fluoride chemical laser. The weapon's systems can be transported in one or two shipping containers.

The THEL first successfully destroyed a short-range rocket in flight on Feb. 9, 1996. As a result, the US and Israel began joint development of a Tactical High Energy Laser/Rapid Acquisition Demonstrator (THEL/RAD) system.

In April 1996, President Clinton and Secretary of Defense Perry met the then Prime Minister of Israel, Shimon Peres. During the meeting, the U.S. made a commitment to assist Israel in the development of a THEL Advanced Concept Technology Demonstrator (ACTD) by the end of 1998. Congress gave more than $55 million for THEL development in 1997. Expense to the U.S. taxpayer and U.S. national security are apparently not considerations at the political level when sharing the results of U.S. weapons development programs with Israel. Nautilus was offered to Israel in the form of a multimillion-dollar "research grant."

The funding for Nautilus research was part of a $2 billion military grants package Clinton offered to Shimon Peres. Israel's access to real-time U.S. satellite imagery and at least $50 million for accelerated development of the "Nautilus" laser system were included in the Clinton package.

"Our commitment to Israel's security is unshakable and it will remain so because Israel must have the right to defend itself, by itself," President Bill Clinton, said as he explained why he was giving Israel an additional $200 million in U.S. taxpayer money above and beyond the $5.5 billion aid in U.S. grants and loan guarantees already given Israel in 1996. Described as the "the world's first high-energy laser weapon system," THEL-ACTD reportedly shot down a rocket with a live warhead on June 6, 2000 at the Army's High Energy Laser Systems Test Facility (HELSTF), White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. The THEL-ACTD is a highly mobile "stand-alone defensive weapon system" unlike the earlier version.

"Truly Revolutionary Weapon"

"We've just turned science fiction into reality," said Lt. Gen. John Costello, Commanding General, U.S. Army Space & Missile Defense Command.

"The THEL-ACTD shoot-down is a watershed event for a truly revolutionary weapon," said Tim Hannemann, executive vice president and general manager, TRW Space & Electronics Group.

During the test of THEL-ACTD, an armed Katyusha rocket was fired from a rocket launcher placed at a site in White Sands Missile Range. Seconds later, the THEL-ACTD, located several miles away, detected the launch with its fire control radar, tracked the streaking rocket with its high precision pointer tracker system, then engaged the rocket with its high-energy chemical laser. Within seconds, the 10-foot-long, 5-inch-diameter rocket exploded. In a series of two-rocket salvo tests conducted August 28 and September 22, 2000, in the rolling, high desert of the Army's White Sands Missile Range, N.M., the THEL/ACTD did twice what no other air defense system has ever been designed to do: detect, track and destroy multiple Katyushas in a single engagement. This weaponry, which is usually described as defensive in the context of anti-missile applications, can be mounted on an airplane, ship, land-based station, or satellite. It can bombard its target with either beams that will destroy it outright, or by beams of lesser strength to disable the target's electronics and cause it to go out of control.

The physicist told AFP, "From my experience as a physicist and research scientist with the GRU (Russia's Central Intelligence Agency) I have enough experience to judge that the WTC towers have been burning too quickly, too hot, and too completely to have been caused by the kerosene [jet fuel] fires that resulted from the crashes. Furthermore, the demolished buildings nearby [the 47-story Salomon Bros. Bldg.] are an indication that there was a plasmoid cloud involved, which probably affected the buildings nearby."

A plasmoid cloud is a heated and ionized gas that can be created and projected using far infrared thermal waves. Plasma occurs when a gas is heated so that some electrons have been separated from their atoms or molecules. Ball lightning is considered by experts to be a plasmoid phenomenon.

The physicist told AFP that he believes that a plasmoid may have been projected onto the towers before the planes struck. "The planes may have had a plasmoid in front of them. Just two or three seconds before the planes hit the towers, a plasmoid on the towers would have caused the Faraday cabin effect, like a car being hit by lightning."

The Pentagon was less damaged by a similar plane crash and fire because either a plasmoid was not involved or as the physicist speculated, "the Pentagon is technically shielded and protected from plasmoids." "The thermal infrared plasmoid would have raised the heat of the building. One should examine the videos in slow motion to see exactly when the fires started. A plasmoid would have affected the computers in neighboring buildings, because the plasmoid affects computers and cannot be targeted precisely," the physicist said.

If that were the case, another plasma expert says, "it seems evident that if the object [the plane] is moving at high speed in the dense lower levels of the atmosphere, the sudden collapse of the force free field and plasmoid would result in its thermal disintegration in a matter of seconds." The absence of any data from the black boxes is a further indication of the use of a plasmoid weapon, according to the physicist.

"Old" Soviet Technology

In 1991, before the Soviet military withdrew from East Germany, the GRU demonstrated for the U.S. Air Force Electronic Security Command (AFESC) the capabilities of its infrared beam weapon by reducing a ceramic plate into dust from a distance of one mile. This display of Soviet weapon technology was meant to impress upon the U.S. Air Force "how a stealth bomber could be turned into dust in the same way," the physicist said.

The physicist placed a slightly warmed plate on the floor of a kitchen in an apartment on the fifth floor, just below the roof. GRU headquarters in Weimar (DDR), where the infrared beam originated was less than one mile away on the other side of the valley and the second transmitter or reflector was 200 meters away, with no obstacles between. An infrared beam weapons requires two sources.

The TV and the oven were turned on and the TV's remote control was put in the refrigerator. The physicist left the room and watched the TV screen, which went black for a few seconds. The physicist left the apartment for a half hour to allow AFESC personnel to examine the results.

The plate had been reduced to dust that was difficult to pick up even with a vacuum cleaner, according to the physicist. "The plate was not destroyed suddenly as if hit by a bullet, rather it disintegrated in a process taking about 15 minutes." If the WTC had been struck by a similar weapon, than it is very likely, according to the physicist that one of the transmitters could have been placed in a high building nearby or on a moving platform such as a satellite, plane, or ship, and the reflector, or second source, on a ship or across the East River. Some of the pertinent questions that should be asked to determine if such a weapon was involved in the collapse of the WTC would be: How long did the towers' emergency power supply continue to function and had the computers in the towers been disturbed?

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