The World Trade Center Demolition
and the So-Called War on Terrorism
2.  The Official Story: The Twin Towers

The official story is:

On that date [September 11, 2001], as is well known, 19 terrorists associated with an organization called al Qaeda hijacked four [Boeing 757 and 767] airplanes, and succeeded in crashing three of them into public buildings they had targeted — one into each of the two towers of the World Trade Center in New York, and one into the Pentagon near Washington, D.C. The World Trade Center towers were destroyed and the Pentagon was seriously damaged. Passengers on the fourth airplane sought to overpower the hijackers, and in so doing prevented that airplane from being similarly used, although it too crashed, in a field in Pennsylvania, and all aboard were killed. In all, more than 3,000 people were killed in that day's coordinated attacks.Padilla v. Bush TL;DR

The official story also includes the assertion that the "19 terrorists" were all from Saudi Arabia, and that their identities were announced within a few days by the FBI (though at least six are reportedly still alive enough to protest at the misuse of their identities).

The official story has been augmented by details provided by the mainstream media, as follows. Several of the alleged "19 Arab terrorists" had attended flight schools in Florida (their instructors regarded them as incompetent). The Arabs succeeded in overpowering the flight crews despite the fact that they (the terrorists) were armed only with boxcutters. Two of the Boeings were deliberately crashed into the Twin Towers, causing raging fires within which turned the steel holding up the buildings into putty, thereby causing them to collapse completely. A third Boeing, after flying around for an hour, was deliberately crashed at high speed into the Pentagon and was vaporized without trace. Heroic passengers on the fourth plane overpowered the hijackers and caused the plane to crash in Pennsylvania. This was an Attack on America and it was planned and directed by one Usama bin Laden (because he "hates our freedoms"), the leader of Al-Qaeda, a previously obscure anti-U.S. international terrorist organization composed mainly of Arabs (who "hate our freedoms").

The official story, either in its bare-bones form or its added-details form, cries out for further explanations, but the official story provides almost nothing more. We are simply expected to believe it without question. And to question the official story is to be labelled "unpatriotic".

A nation (and world) in shock largely accepted this story, since it did appear, at first, to provide some explanation. Even those who considered this explanation hard to believe were inclined to believe it because on September 11th there seemed no other explanation — and the President of the United States and all mainstream news sources in the U.S. were telling the world that this is how it was.

But the official story does not withstand critical examination.  It is, in fact, full of holes.  It's not just full of holes, it's a deliberate lie, designed to fool the American people and the rest of the world.

According to the official story the four jetliners were hijacked by nineteen Arab terrorists. It is certainly possible to find Arabs who are willing to die for their cause (freedom of their people from ongoing American interference and domination and brutal Israeli aggression) — although finding nineteen of them for a single mission could be difficult — but where do you find such Arabs who also know how to fly Boeing 757s and Boeing 767s?  (None of the alleged Arab hijackers had ever worked as professional pilots.) At least four highly trained pilots are needed.  Alleged hijacker-pilots Mohammed Atta, Marwanal Al-Shehhi and Hani Hanjour had received pilot training (courtesy of the CIA?) but were considered by their flying instructors to be incompetent to fly even light single-engined planes.

Marcel Bernard, the chief flight instructor at the airport, said the man named Hani Hanjour went into the air in a Cessna 172 with instructors from the airport three times beginning the second week of August and had hoped to rent a plane from the airport. ...  Instructors at the school told Bernard that after three times in the air, they still felt he was unable to fly solo ...  — The Prince George's Journal (Maryland), 2001-09-18, as quoted in Operation 911: NO SUICIDE PILOTS

The official story expects us to believe that these alleged nineteen on-board hijackers (acting with military coordination and precision) overpowered the flight attendants (with nothing more than boxcutters and shouted commands), forced their way into the cabin (were all eight official pilots absorbed in contemplation of the clouds?), overpowered the pilots (apparently none of them, some ex-military, could offer any resistance to hijackers armed only with boxcutters), took command of the planes, having acquired the necessary flying skills from training courses and flight manuals, flew them expertly to their targets (good navigators, those Arabs; and flying with the skill of a trained military pilot in the case of the jet which, allegedly, hit the Pentagon), met absolutely no opposition from the U.S. authorities (including the U.S. Air Force) responsible for safeguarding America's airspace (despite the fact that the Pentagon jet was in the air for nearly an hour after the first impact), hit those targets and killed themselves.  Sure.  And pigs can fly.  — Anyone who would believe this story (after thinking about it) obviously has nothing between their ears.

By the way, have you noticed that although the FBI announced within days the identities of the nineteen alleged hijackers, in the two-and-a-half years since then no new information about them has emerged. One would think that in a criminal investigation the FBI would, with the passage of time, uncover more and more information about how the (alleged) hijackers made their fiendish plans and carried them out successfully against all the odds, and that the FBI would then inform the public. But no. In fact the FBI admitted, in April 2002, that it had no evidence linking any of the (alleged) hijackers to the events of 9/11. In a speech on 2002-04-19 delivered to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, FBI Director Robert Mueller said that the (alleged) hijackers "left no paper trial." He stated:

In our investigation, we have not uncovered a single piece of paper — either here in the United States or in the treasure trove of information that has turned up in Afghanistan and elsewhere — that mentioned any aspect of the Sept. 11 plot. (Reported in FBI Admits: No Evidence Links 'Hijackers' to 9-11)

What's worse, several of the alleged hijackers, who should have died on September 11th according to the official story, have turned up alive and well (see The Fatal Flaw in the 9/11 Coverup). But has the FBI admitted that its initial (mis)information was erroneous? Has it come up with any other alleged hijackers to replace those still alive? No. The FBI's story remains unchanged from its initial release. We are simply expected to believe it.

Now we come to the biggest hole in the official story about the Twin Towers: the manner of their destruction.

Clearly the towers did not collapse because of the plane impacts alone, because both towers stood for 45 to 90 minutes after impact. The official explanation, parroted faithfully by the mainstream media, is that the towers collapsed because burning jet fuel caused the steel girders supporting them to melt.  Let us examine this hypothesis as to its credibility.

Much (perhaps, in the case of the second impact, as much as two-thirds) of the jet fuel was consumed immediately in the fireballs which erupted when the planes hit the towers.  Furthermore, according to one FEMA investigator (Jonathan Barnett), most of the jet fuel which managed to enter the towers was consumed within ten minutes.

The Twin Towers were giving off a lot of black sooty smoke, but there was little fire visible.  But to melt steel you need the high temperature produced by, e.g., an oxy-acetylene torch.  Jet fuel burning in air (especially in an enclosed space within a building, where there is much smoke and little available oxygen) just won't do it.  And if the steel columns had melted, would this have produced the implosive collapse observed?  If the columns had melted it is unlikely that the resulting structural weakness would be completely symmetrical (as required when a building collapses upon itself in a controlled demolition). Irregularity in an uncontrolled collapse would have produced the kind of collapse in which concrete and steel girders would have rained down over a wide area (causing huge damage to the surrounding buildings in lower Manhattan and many fatalities among their occupants).  This did not happen.  These considerations (and others, given below, concerning the probable maximum temperature of the fire) show that the claim that thousands of liters of burning jet fuel produced a raging inferno and caused the steel columns to melt is extremely dubious, and does not account for the collapse of the towers.

Click for enlargement Examination of the times of the events of September 11th provides further evidence that it was not the fires that caused the Twin Towers to collapse.  The North Tower was hit first, at 8:45 a.m.  The plane (or some object, not necessarily a large passenger jet) hit the tower directly, in the center, and a huge explosion immediately followed the impact.  Then at 9:03 a.m. the South Tower was hit, but whoever was controlling the plane did not manage a direct hit; rather the plane hit the tower toward a corner and at a shallow angle, and comparatively little of the jet fuel entered the building, most being consumed in the fireball (click on the image at left for further photographic evidence).

Since the plane and its fuel initially shared a common trajectory, after impact the metallic components of the plane followed much the same path as the jet fuel. This path was through one corner of the South Tower. The steel beams bearing most of the load were located in the center of the tower, and thus most of the metal from the plane would not have hit the central steel beams, which would thus have remained largely undamaged by the impact.

Thus neither the plane impact nor the fire damaged the South Tower sufficiently to account for its collapse, so the South Tower collapsed from some other cause.

north tower The fire in the South Tower was thus less intense than that in the North Tower.  But the South Tower collapsed first, at 9:59 a.m., 56 minutes after impact, whereas the North Tower collapsed at 10:29 a.m., 1 hour and 44 minutes after impact.  Had the fires been the cause of the collapse then the North Tower, with its more intense fire, would have collapsed first. Or, put another way, had the fires been the cause of the collapse then the South Tower, hit after the North Tower, and subjected to a less intense fire, would have collapsed after (not before) the North Tower collapsed.

The Split-Second Error
... Exposing the WTC Bomb Plot ...
Note:  This page assumes that an on-board hijacker was piloting the plane, but its argument concerning the cause of the collapse remains valid if the plane was actually being controlled remotely (see below).

A convincing case (with numerous web references supporting his argument) that the Twin Towers did not collapse because of the fires has been given by J. McMichael:

Using jet fuel to melt steel is an amazing discovery, really. ...  Ironworkers fool with acetylene torches, bottled oxygen, electric arcs from generators, electric furnaces, and other elaborate tricks, but what did these brilliant terrorists use? Jet fuel, costing maybe 80 cents a gallon on the open market.

... heating steel is like pouring syrup onto a plate: you can't get it to stack up.  The heat just flows out to the colder parts of the steel, cooling off the part you are trying to warm up. ...  Am I to believe that the fire burned all that time, getting constantly hotter until it reached melting temperature [1538°C, not 800°C as the BBC reported]? Or did it burn hot and steady throughout until 200,000 tons of steel [the amount of steel in one of the Twin Towers] were heated molten — on one plane load of jet fuel?  ...  — Muslims Suspend Laws of Physics!  Part I

In a sequel to this article J. McMichael writes:

... the maximum temperature in the unprotected steel supports in those test fires [in the U.K., Japan, the U.S. and Australia] was 360 degrees C (680 F), and that is a long way from the first critical threshold in structural steel, 550 degrees C (1022 F). ... I think the case is made: The fire did not weaken the WTC structure sufficiently to cause the collapse of the towers.  — Muslims Suspend Laws of Physics!  Part II

In fact all of the so-called experts who claim to explain the collapse of the Twin Towers as a result of the plane impacts and the fires are merely guessing, due mainly to the destruction of the evidence, and are simply offering reasons (insufficient as they are) to believe the official story (as many people want to do). For some examples of these so-called experts' ignorance of what they are talking about, as well as a lack of consensus in their "explanations", see Eric Hufschmid's When nobody knows nothing, Everybody is an expert.

The "official report" on the collapse of the Twin Towers was released in mid-2002 by a group conducting its "inquiry" under the direction of FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency). This report is convincing only to those who wish to believe what it says, but is quite unconvincing to anyone who reads it critically. Chapter 2 of this report, along with reasoned objections, is available at The WTC Report: WTC 1 and WTC 2:

... it is well known that the maximum temperature that can be reached by a non-stoichiometric hydrocarbon burn (that is, hydrocarbons like jet-fuel, burning in air) is 825 degrees Centigrade (1520 degrees Fahrenheit). ...  [The] WTC fires were fuel rich (as evidenced by the thick black smoke) and thus did not reach anywhere near this upper limit of 825 degrees. In fact, the WTC fires would have burnt at, or below, temperatures typical in office fires.

The official story has it that the towers collapsed because (a) the only connection between the outer perimeter wall and the central core were flimsy lightweight trusses, (b) the plane impact weakened these trusses and the heat of the fires caused them to buckle until (c) the trusses at the impact floors gave way and (d) the floors above lost their support and fell upon the lower floors causing all floors to pancake.

That this "truss theory" is false has been demonstrated (by an anonymous author) in The World Trade Center Demolition.

Firstly, there must have been strong connections between the perimeter wall and the central core so that the wind load on the towers could be transmitted to the central core. If this wind load were not transmitted then the perimeter wall would move several feet in a strong wind and the central core would not have moved, so the floors would have buckled, which never happened. Thus there must have been strong steel girders connecting the perimeter wall to the central core, not merely trusses. These girders would not have suffered catastrophic failure as a result either of the impact or the fires.

Secondly, the assumption that there were only lightweight trusses connecting the perimeter walls with the central core leads to a calculation of the amount of steel in the towers which is only 2/3rds of the amount known to have gone into their construction, leaving 32,000 tons of steel unaccounted for. Thus the assumption is false. Those 32,000 tons are accounted for by steel girders connecting the perimeter wall to the central core.

Thirdly, there is photographic evidence of these, officially non-existent, horizontal beams.

This truss theory is a fabrication which has been spread about to give an appearance of plausibility to the official story as to how the towers collapsed. There have even been a couple of made-for-TV "documentaries", complete with "experts", promoting the truss theory, and suggesting that, because of the trusses, the design of the Twin Towers was fatally flawed, and that the trusses were not properly fire-proofed. The refutation of the truss theory is a refutation of the official "explanation" as to "how the towers fell".

Another problem with the official story is the fact that both the Twin Towers collapsed evenly and smoothly.

If the fire melted the floor joints so that the collapse began from the 60th floor downward, the upper floors would be left hanging in the air, supported only by the central columns. This situation would soon become unstable and the top 30 floors would topple over ...  How was it that the upper floors simply disappeared instead of crashing to the earth as a block of thousands of tons of concrete and steel? ...

When the platters [the floors] fell, those quarter-mile high central steel columns (at least from the ground to the fire) should have been left standing naked and unsupported in the air, and then they should have fallen intact or in sections to the ground below, clobbering buildings hundreds of feet from the WTC site like giant trees falling in the forest.  But I haven't seen any pictures showing those columns standing, falling, or lying on the ground. Nor have I heard of damage caused by them.  — Muslims Suspend Laws of Physics!  Part I

Whatever damage the fires did would not have been evenly distributed (especially in the case of the South Tower, where the jet struck a corner of the building). If the collapse was due to the fires then it too would be irregular, with parts of the Twin Towers remaining intact and connected while other parts fell. But both towers collapsed completely symmetrically, with the floors pancaking upon themselves, exactly as we have seen in other cases of controlled demolition of tall buildings.

To demonstrate the falsity of that part of the official story which claims that burning jet fuel heated the steel sufficiently to melt it or at least to malfunction one has only to remember that jet fuel normally burns at a high temperature in jet engines. Do those jet engines melt? No. Does the "intense heat" of the jet fuel burning in a jet engine cause the engine to twist out of shape or to malfunction? No. Then why believe that jet fuel burning in the Twin Towers would melt or weaken steel? Because some talking head on CBS or NBC or CNN said so? Oh ... well if they said so ... it must be true, right?

It is interesting to note that the

contractor whose people were the first on the WTC collapse scene — to cart away the rubble that remains — is the same contractor who demolished and hauled away the shell of the bombed Oklahoma City Murrah building. The name of the contractor is Controlled Demolition! — The Blockbuster

Could there be more of a connection between these two building collapses than the identity of the contractor who supervised the removal of the debris?

Some people read this far and begin to wonder about the truth of the official story, but yet their faith remains fairly strong. Accordingly they look for reasons to cling to their faith, such as, "Pilots are trained not to resist hijackers." Apart from the fact that this attitude begins with the assumption that the official story is true (which is exactly what is in question) this overlooks such inconvenient parts of the official story such as that the alleged hijackers had only boxcutters (not guns) with which to threaten the pilots. You think ex-military guys are going to feel threatened by someone wielding a boxcutter? Ludicrous! But some people read this far and think they've found a few points to criticize, and so decide that the truth of the official story has not seriously been threatened. But if you've read only Sections 1 and 2 then you are grasping only the tail of the elephant. Read the next section about the Pentagon and you'll start to feel one leg. Read The Pentagon Crash Site and you'll have a firm grasp of the leg, and will begin to suspect that it's an elephant. By the time you've read the whole of this article, and looked into some of the other pages on this site to which it links, such as Other WTC Building "Collapses": WTC 6 and WTC 7 (not to mention the hundreds of other websites which contain evidence that 9/11 was an inside job), you'll be well on your way to realizing that it's really an elephant that's standing in the middle of the living room, ignored by almost everyone standing around sipping their drinks and discussing the latest celebrity court case. The elephant which is the falsity of the official story, the fact that what all high officials in the Bush administration, and all their lackeys and hangers-on in the corporate-controlled media and elsewhere, have been asserting for nearly four years cannot be true. It takes some time to discover this, and you have to overcome a certain psychological resistance, and especially your faith (if you have it) in the goodness of the US government and in the credibility of administration officials in high places, but the effort is worth it. Assuming, of course, that you really want to know the truth. Not everyone does. If you don't then perhaps you'd be more comfortable with this site. But if you really want to know what happened on 9/11 then read on. It's something you have to discover for yourself. And in the process you will also discover something about yourself. Or don't you want to know?

Other Fires in Steel-Structure Buildings

A copy of (almost) the entire Serendipity website is available on CD-ROM.  Details here.

Previous section Contents Next section
The CIA Serendipity home page