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Old 09-06-2006, 08:11 AM
Perry Perry is offline
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Question A Polite Discussion of 9/11 Theories

I'm starting a new thread because the other one went downhill...

I don't know what to believe because the physics is complex beyond my level of comprehension, without the use of very advanced finite-element programs, a very fast computer, and detailed blueprints of the Twin Towers.

As far as human nature, some people do have a tendency to concoct wild conspiracy theories, yet real conspiracies do exist and systems have a very powerful effect on each member who might squeal (and they choose their members carefully), so we can't make a conclusion by applying psychological stereotypes. Terrorism is real, but so is politics. It is quite plausible that insider sabotage with a scapegoat could be used to attain more executive powers. Occam's Razor is not very useful with a lack of information and uncertainty about the validity of "information" we receive. In Newton's day, Occam's Razor would suggest there was no reason to believe Einstein's theories. Yet with more evidence, scientists today believe Einstein's special theory of relativity is accurate, even though it was not the simplest explanation back in Newton's day.

My hypothesis (which I cannot evaluate): Al Qaeda did hijack airplanes, they did crash them into the Twin Towers, but they got a little assistance on the inside to make it more dramatic by collapsing the entire buildings. With this theory, the U.S. Government still has reasonable evidence that Al Qaeda "did it," which draws attention away from the assistance that even Al Qaeda didn't know about.

There's a lot of crap on the web that is obviously fake, or can be proved incorrect with some research. For example the flash was caused by aluminum hitting an object at high speeds. http://www.911myths.com/

Focusing on the bogus stuff is creating a straw argument. Focusing on a person's religious beliefs (e.g. Prof. Steven E. Jones has some unusual Mormon beliefs) is an ad hominem argument. For that reason, it is only worthwhile to discuss the interesting things that might actually suggest something. Here are the physics issues that bother me:

1. Sulfated steel in the rubble. NY Times said this was possibly the greatest mystery of 9/11. Where did the sulfur come from? How did it create holes in the structural steel? Some people theorize that a thermate reaction was used to disintegrate the steel columns. This is similar to a thermite reaction but with the addition of sulfur it eats away at the microscopic grain boundaries within the steel.

2. The core columns were "short columns," which in a laboratory setting would fail by compression and not buckling because of their slenderness ratios and because steel has a high elastic modulus compared to its compression yield strength. Compression involves considerably more strain energy than buckling. I estimated the slenderness ratios at about 10. Below 40 is a "short column," 40 to 150 is an intermediate column, and above 150 is a "long column" for structural steel. It's counter-intuitive if you look at the columns and perceive them as solid wood instead of hollow steel. The stability of the columns is also complicated by the interaction of multiple columns, which I admit I have not studied.

Also, the core had it's own truss system and did not rely on the floor trusses for support. If the floor trusses "pancaked" and the perimeter columns lost support, we might expect a pile of rubble with a tower sticking up in the center. It would be interesting if somebody would do experiments with high-velocity eccentrically-loaded "short columns" to determine the strain energies and calculate how fast the towers would collapse or whether they would catch themselves after the initial fall of the upper sections.

A paper by Frank Greening uses the aircraft crashes (horizontal) to estimate the energy absorption of the collapse (vertical). It seems inconclusive because of it's assumption that the direction of impact does not matter, which is true for some large structures. In the case of the twin towers, they were designed specifically to take very large (usually static) vertical loads (horizontal wind forces would still be countered by the vertical perimeter columns). Clearly a side-impact would involve bending/snapping of the columns. But would a vertical impact involve buckling, compression, or a combination of both? Hard to say.

3. The experiments by Underwriters Laboratories (the company that certified the parts during construction) could not verify the fire-induced collapse hypothesis. One of the employees in charge of the experiment got fired after he raised hell about it.

Greening suggests that the crashes did most of the damage to start the collapses, and the fires just helped out a little bit. Sounds kind of plausible, but I think he made some very low guesses on the safety design factors (we don't have actual blueprints of the WTC).

He did do a very nice explanation of how the towers fell so fast, even with conservation of momentum. He set up a spreadsheet to run a simple finite-element approximation. His papers are featured on http://www.911myths.com/

Related:

General Benton K. Partin, a retired weapons expert from the Air Force, wrote a paper explaining why the van outside the building in the Oklahoma City bombing could not have caused all the damage and why it had to be due to pre-placed charges within the building. It sounds reasonable, although I have not studied detonation theory to the same level as him. I have not seen any public arguments that refute his paper. I do remember hearing that he was not allowed to testify in court.
http://www.physics911.net/generalpartinreport.htm

Again, a similar theory here: Timothy McVeigh *did* bomb the building, but bombs were also placed inside the building by somebody else. According to this idea, McVeigh was just a useful idiot.

The 1993 bombing of WTC did very little damage. Maybe the domestic terrorists needed some help. These types of conspiracies take very little coordination because the terrorists do most of the work in providing the self-incriminating evidence, which is practically irrefutable because it is not manufactured by the insiders. No "red herring" is necessary, and it takes very few people to pull it off.

Just some interesting things to think about. Please post intelligent comments...
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Old 09-06-2006, 12:49 PM
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Default Re: A Polite Discussion of 9/11 Theories

Leading engineers, including those from MIT and the lead structural engineer for the WTC, have researched the issue heavily and all concluded that the combined effects of an impact by a 350,000 lb plane plus fire including jet fuel and combustibles in the building were enough to weaken the steel supports and cause the collapse.

Good enough for me.
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Old 09-06-2006, 01:01 PM
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Default Re: A Polite Discussion of 9/11 Theories

fyi...the other thread was not about this. i actually feel kind of sick to my stomach that i just inspired more disagreeing over tragedy, even if it remains polite. that was not my point...

what i am going to say can be googled and backed up with 'evidence'. i am not going to go all over the internet to find things for others to disagree with, especially since i don't think the truth will ever be known. that said...

i believe that religion and fundamentalism was used to create easy pawns to carry out a terrorist act that would reap all kinds of benefits for government and business leaders in the west, as well as royal oils in the east. i think it was done for two reasons...because some crazy muslims hate the west because of their own weakness, a weakness that was exploited by the west to carry out an act that will end up making people a lot of money in the long run, while making it easier to put through controls to make sure the average person doesn't get in the way of that.

that's all i've got for ya...don't believe me. i am ok with that. all our evidence was given to us. not one of us investigated this ourselves. i choose to trust the mild loons...

michael :)
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Last edited by The Jesus Lawyer; 09-06-2006 at 03:09 PM.
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Old 09-06-2006, 04:30 PM
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Default Re: A Polite Discussion of 9/11 Theories

Quote:
Originally Posted by Perry
My hypothesis (which I cannot evaluate): Al Qaeda did hijack airplanes, they did crash them into the Twin Towers, but they got a little assistance on the inside to make it more dramatic by collapsing the entire buildings. With this theory, the U.S. Government still has reasonable evidence that Al Qaeda "did it," which draws attention away from the assistance that even Al Qaeda didn't know about.
There was a program on PBS about this, unfortunately I didn't get to see much of it.
In what I did see they said a poorer structure would have collapsed quicker but the strength of the tower stood up long enough to allow more people out.

When it comes to the conspiracy theorists still towing the "jet fuel couldn't have done it" line I start to wonder. Now as The Lone Ranger and I mentioned in the other thread, steel is effected by heat, heat is used by smiths to adjust the property of steel. It can be made extremely hard and brittle as glass, or extremely soft and malleable. All of this is done by heating and cooling. It is rarely heated to melting temperature.
To suggest that the fire from the fuel doesn't matter because it isn't hot enough to melt steel suggests that either A) They don't understand what they are talking about and probably shouldn't be making conspiracy theories or B) they are lying for some other reason (book sales?).

I find it interesting that people seem to have a need to find something "more" to the answer.
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Old 09-06-2006, 05:19 PM
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Default Re: A Polite Discussion of 9/11 Theories

No discussion on the towers can be complete without reference to this scientific recreation of the event as found on http://www.democraticunderground.com...&mesg_id=56836 to prove whether or not the towers needed help to collapse.

I think the conspiracy goes as far as an attempt by the DoD to cover any failures/shortcomings they may have had, but otherwise I don't think there's anything more to it than face value.

NTM
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Old 09-06-2006, 05:40 PM
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Default Re: A Polite Discussion of 9/11 Theories

Weird oddity, Thread id: 9911.
queue sci-fi mystery music.
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Old 09-06-2006, 05:50 PM
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Default Re: A Polite Discussion of 9/11 Theories

Quote:
Originally Posted by Perry
As far as human nature, some people do have a tendency to concoct wild conspiracy theories, yet real conspiracies do exist and systems have a very powerful effect on each member who might squeal (and they choose their members carefully), so we can't make a conclusion by applying psychological stereotypes. Terrorism is real, but so is politics. It is quite plausible that insider sabotage with a scapegoat could be used to attain more executive powers....
My hypothesis (which I cannot evaluate): Al Qaeda did hijack airplanes, they did crash them into the Twin Towers, but they got a little assistance on the inside to make it more dramatic by collapsing the entire buildings. With this theory, the U.S. Government still has reasonable evidence that Al Qaeda "did it," which draws attention away from the assistance that even Al Qaeda didn't know about.
That's pretty much how I feel about the whole thing. And the fact that the Comissioners of the 9/11 Report publicly stated that they were lied to by Pentagon officials tends to back up that feeling.
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Old 09-06-2006, 09:56 PM
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Default Re: A Polite Discussion of 9/11 Theories

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ari
Weird oddity, Thread id: 9911.
Obviously an :ff: admin conspiracy.

:noid:
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Old 09-06-2006, 10:12 PM
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Default Re: A Polite Discussion of 9/11 Theories

At this point, I wonder whether I should be wasting more time studying something that I may never figure out, or just move on to other things.

CT, that was an interesting experiment I had not seen before. Not particularly useful because of the effects of scaling and the open structure allows radiative heat exchange with the surroundings. So in that experiment, the flame temperature would be lower than the WTC fires.
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Old 09-06-2006, 10:32 PM
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Default Re: A Polite Discussion of 9/11 Theories

Quote:
Originally Posted by Perry
Not particularly useful
Are you European, perchance? That was an understatement of almost British proportions...

NTM
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Old 09-06-2006, 10:37 PM
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Default Re: A Polite Discussion of 9/11 Theories

Quote:
Originally Posted by California Tanker
No discussion on the towers can be complete without reference to this scientific recreation of the event ...
:laugh:

That reminds me of Dan Burton, the Congressman from Indiana who fired a shotgun at a watermelon to prove that Hillary Clinton murdered Vince Foster.
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Old 09-06-2006, 10:50 PM
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Default Re: A Polite Discussion of 9/11 Theories

Just pointing out that not all of the 9/11 theorists are idiots. I think that experiment is dumb, but I'm still bothered by details of 9/11. That experiment doesn't prove anything, but to most people it's not obvious *why* it isn't useful. People tend to assume things based on authoritative influences rather than scientific analysis. Also, we don't know anything about the safety design factor of his experimental contraption. That is, could the cold steel support 2X or 20X the design load? But yeah, it's kind of funny that somebody thought chicken wire and a cement block would prove something.
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Old 09-06-2006, 11:03 PM
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Default Re: A Polite Discussion of 9/11 Theories

i think a good source of information on this subject can be found here.

http://www.fromthewilderness.com/

i have this tape and i think this guy does a good job connecting the dots.
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Old 09-07-2006, 01:16 AM
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Default Re: A Polite Discussion of 9/11 Theories

Quote:
Originally Posted by D. Scarlatti
That reminds me of Dan Burton, the Congressman from Indiana who fired a shotgun at a watermelon to prove that Hillary Clinton murdered Vince Foster.
The destruction of watermelons by firearm is well ensconsed in today's culture: Just look at any episode of Mail Call.

Seriously, though, this is the first I heard of it. What was the premise behind the watermelon experiment? (As I go googling to find out who Vince Foster was)

NTM
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Old 09-15-2006, 06:08 AM
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Default Re: A Polite Discussion of 9/11 Theories

ok...

this is not based on anything but what my own eyes and that of others have seen. i have been drowning in 9/11 for the past few weeks because of my job. it has been really depressing, but that's life.

i am not alone in how i feel and what i see, and my coworkers experience the same things i do. some of us have been talking about the buildings coming down and just how odd it is that they fell so perfectly. it really is strange when you see it over and over again, in the detatched way we do. even with evidence to show how it could happen, it still doesn't look right when you keep seeing it. i know everybody has been inundated by images of those towers coming down, but i think it is safe to say that the nature of my job means i have probably seen it more. seeing is all i'm talking about here.

then there is how building 7 does the same thing, but it wasn't impacted by a plane at all, having been felled solely by catching fire. when you look at it imploding and watch how it also falls in what appears to be a controlled demolition, you have to wonder... i understand there is science and evidence behind it, but it still looks as fishy as the people telling me why. :)

as i said before...i don't believe anyone will ever know the truth. i believe it is the result of manipulation and plotting by groups all over the world, including america. it really doesn't matter what i believe because i am telling you what i see. my feelings about it are shared by coworkers. i was just talking to one tonight and he agreed that it does seem strange and doesn't sit right after a while. this is a guy who is pretty straight-laced and normal. he doesn't see 11:11.

anyhow...i suppose looks can be deceiving, but...

michael :)
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Old 09-15-2006, 06:22 AM
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Default Re: A Polite Discussion of 9/11 Theories

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Jesus Lawyer
ok...
i am not alone in how i feel and what i see, and my coworkers experience the same things i do. some of us have been talking about the buildings coming down and just how odd it is that they fell so perfectly. it really is strange when you see it over and over again, in the detatched way we do.
Put it another way: What other direction could the towers have come but straight down?

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Old 09-15-2006, 06:23 AM
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Default Re: A Polite Discussion of 9/11 Theories

How do you think they should fall?
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Old 09-15-2006, 06:26 AM
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Default Re: A Polite Discussion of 9/11 Theories

Ha, we were thinking the same thing. :)

To add to that, when demolision crews "Implode" a building, what they are really doing is taking out support beams and letting gravity do the rest.
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Old 09-15-2006, 06:29 AM
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Default Re: A Polite Discussion of 9/11 Theories

i understand that, ct, but it was just so uniform...i don't know. oh well. i realize people won't agree...just felt like venting a bit. :)
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Old 09-15-2006, 06:34 AM
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Default Re: A Polite Discussion of 9/11 Theories

and don't get me wrong...there are people i work with who have the same attitude you do, which is fine. i am just surprised at the types of people who share the same observations i do...
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Old 09-15-2006, 06:46 AM
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Default Re: A Polite Discussion of 9/11 Theories

one more thing...i think what is strange is that i wouldn't have expected the entire buildings to collapse. i can understand the floors above the impact point collapsing and spilling over, but you would think that there would be enough strength in the bottom floors to continue holding the weight of the top since that is what they had been doing since it was constructed. ok, weakening supports collapse and bring down all that is above it, but was the weight of the planes enough to pancake the entire buildings? the entire buildings weren't on fire. i imagine more than half wasn't...so how were the lower floors weakened? i ask honestly...i've probably heard the explanation before, but if i have it has escaped me...

ari brought up demoltions imploding by collapsing supports, which i knew, but how did the supports from the impact site on down all fail? momentum of the collapsing floors above? you still would think it would have caused some teetering...i don't know.

michael :)
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Old 09-15-2006, 06:48 AM
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Default Re: A Polite Discussion of 9/11 Theories

The problem is, unless you are an expert at x then your observations might be deceiving, just watch any illusionist and I bet you see something different than another illusionist.
Sometimes things in nature/science are counter intuitive.
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Old 09-15-2006, 06:49 AM
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Default Re: A Polite Discussion of 9/11 Theories

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ari
The problem is, unless you are an expert at x then your observations might be deceiving, just watch any illusionist and I bet you see something different than another illusionist.
ya know, i could say the same thing to you ;)

but yeah...i've thought of that.

michael :)
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Old 09-15-2006, 07:07 AM
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Default Re: A Polite Discussion of 9/11 Theories

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but you would think that there would be enough strength in the bottom floors to continue holding the weight of the top since that is what they had been doing since it was constructed.
Well it has been holding up the upper sections for quite awhile, not trying to stop a mass of steel falling a couple floors. I'm sure I can rest a big dictionary on some strawberries without squishing them, but raise it up a bit and drop it, mmm strawberry jam.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Jesus Lawyer
ari brought up demoltions imploding by collapsing supports, which i knew, but how did the supports from the impact site on down all fail? momentum of the collapsing floors above? you still would think it would have caused some teetering...i don't know.
If the building was more solid or had a different support system teetering would make sense, but it was basically a bunch of massive pancakes with air inbetween and beams holding it up.To teeter and drop to one side (like a jenga game) you would need some strong supports not only going up and down the building on one side but also through the floors, without that, gravity will just break everything as it drags it straight down.
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Old 09-15-2006, 07:11 AM
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Default Re: A Polite Discussion of 9/11 Theories

i suppose...i have thought of those things, as i did mention the momentum of the floors above collapsing...oh well, i guess i will just have to remain a doubter, but don't confuse it for paranoia because it was a conspiracy no matter what, one of human against human. it is awful no matter how i look at it...
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