Wow, this molten metal debate's getting messy and confused.
Does the thermal imaging recorded represent the maximum temperature present in the wreckage?
As already stated, infrared radiation, just like any form of electromagnetic radiation, is absorbed, filtered, or reflected by intervening objects.
This is the simple reason why a light will be a lot dimmer of you put a piece of cloth over it, and this is why the AVIRIS spectrometer cannot read
thermal impressions from the masses of magma under the Earth's crust. The wreckage, debris, and pulverized concrete in the WTC1 & 2 basements was 70
feet deep. The data was only corrected for atmospheric absorption and scattering. It cannot be and was not corrected for absorption by debris, nor for
absorption and scattering effects of smoke and of water vapor being sprayed on and evaporating from the wreckage. The temperatures underneath the
wreckage were much higher than those read by the spectrometer at the surface, unless we are to assume that the source of the enormous heat was on the
very top of the wreckage, and the wreckage underneath was cool. Official and media reports, and common sense refute this.
The image from September 16th shows temperatures recorded at the surface in excess of 700°C. This means that the temperatures under thousands of
tonnes of wreckage could quite easily be double that or more. Easily hot enough to be molten iron or steel.
Doesn't thermite burn at about 2500°C? Wouldn't much higher temperatures have been recorded?
The thermite reaction itself burns at 2500°C, yes, but the byproducts of that reaction - molten iron, aluminum oxide, and anything else melted by
contact with them - will begin to cool and will not retain that temperature forever. Since the rate of cooling is proportional to temperature, the
byproducts will cool faster earlier on, decreasing in their cooling rate as they decrease in temperature. Cooling rates are dependent on many
different factors, such as ambient air temperature, surface area of the material/object exposed to air, conductivity of objects it is in contact with,
and many more, but for a simple example something which takes 3 days to cool down by 1250°C may take 15 days to cool the down by another 1250°C.
Below is a simplified cooling curve:
The cooling object in this case was at 625°C after 2 days, 1250°C the day before, and a full 2500°C the day before that. The above graph is not
meant to be quantitatively representative of the molten metal in the WTC wreckage. It is designed to show how the time-temperature relationship is not
linear. For more information regarding cooling and heat transfer, google for "Stefan-Boltzmann law" and go from there.
Does the thermal imaging recorded on September 23 indicate the wreckage was completely cooled?
No. At the areas under WTC 1, 2 & 7, red hotspots are still visible, even at the surface where much less radiation would be recorded. Hotspots can
still be seen at the corners of the two WTC tower footprints, and under the East side of WTC7. Remember that the temperature recorded reflects a much
higher temperature under the wreckage. Also, the imagery has a spatial resolution (pixel spacing) of approximately 36 sq.ft. Extremely small or deep
areas of high temperature will not register.
Could an ordinary fire in the wreckage be hot enough to reach such temperatures as recorded on the 16th? Didn't the Madrid fire burn at
temperatures approaching 1000°C?
Yes, the Madrid fire burnt at hellish temperatures. However it also burnt itself out in 16 hours. Fires require two things to burn - combustible
(fuel), i.e. paper, wood, gasoline, oil, gas, etc, and a combustive agent
, i.e. an oxidant, usually the oxygen of the air. Only when
these conditions are optimal will a fire reach extremely high temperatures. A fire will "starve" without fuel, and "asphyxiate" without oxygen.
The Madrid fire burnt at high temperatures because it had plenty of fuel in the office space, and more importantly plenty of oxygen flowing in through
the large, blown-out windows on all its sides way up in the air.
Fires under the wreckage of the WTC towers and WTC7 would be low in combustible fuel, but most importantly would be severely asphyxiated. The only way
for air to get to where the fires were was by being sucked down from above - the sides of the WTC building basements were sheer concrete walls. Fresh
air moving down into the wreckage has to battle against a) the upward-moving convection forces of rising heat, b) the obstruction to airflow caused by
the debris, c) the "exclusion" of oxygen by heavier, denser gases and smoke in the lower areas, and d) the water being sprayed on the wreckage
creating steam and water vapor in the air - hot water vapor tends to carry oxygen away from a fire, and spraying thinly vaporised water into the air
around a fire is a trick firefighters use to asphyxiate it.
There is one thing which can assist a fire to survive under inoptimal conditions, and that is if it is generating very extreme temperatures. Under
such extreme conditions, materials with low combustibility will burn, melt, or conduct heat to other areas in turn creating more heat and fire, plus
gases and smoke created by the fire will ignite in a process called 'flashover'. In an oxygen-starved, fuel-starved environment, a fire cannot reach
the temperatures required for flashover. Only if there was something else initially creating extreme heat could this occur in the WTC wreckage, and
only then could it burn for 3 whole months.
There is an excellent wiki on firefighting principles here: en.wikipedia.org...
Didn't the witnesses to the molten metal say that they only found molten metal on the surface of the wreckage?
I can't seem to find anything which would indicate this. The witnesses refer to steel flowing in
the ruins and under
the ruins, not
the ruins. They use terms such as "in some pockets now being uncovered". This plainly implies that the molten metal was under the wreckage
and being discovered as the debris was being dug up by excavation machinery. Among the witnesses was Leslie Robertson, the structural engineer
responsible for the design of the World Trade Center Towers, a person that would be privy to all the goings on of the clean-up and collapse
assessment. The four independent witnesses all reporting on the molten metal being under the wreckage implies that is in fact where it was, and also
that the fact was widely known amongst those involved in the clean-up.
Couldn't the molten metal be aluminum?
Yes, it is possible that some of the molten metal was aluminum, however there are a few problems with this assumption.
1. Three of the four witnesses specifically stated the words "molten steel
2. The aluminum on the WTC towers was all on the outside of the buildings. As the buildings collapsed, the outer walls mushroomed away from the
towers, with the aluminum covers being flung away from the building footprints. Both the demolition and pancake theories entail this aspect of the
collapses. If the running metal was all aluminum, then the question is, where did it all come from? And how did it get under all that wreckage?
3. The presence of molten steel under WTC1 &2, and also WTC7, was further testified to by Mark Loizeaux, president of Controlled Demolition, Inc.
Loizeaux, who cleaned up the bombed Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, arrived at the WTC site two days later and wrote the clean-up
plan for the entire operation.
AFP asked Loizeaux about the report of molten steel on the site.
"Yes," he said, "hot spots of molten steel in the basements."
These incredibly hot areas were found "at the bottoms of the elevator shafts of the main towers, down seven [basement] levels," Loizeaux
The molten steel was found "three, four, and five weeks later, when the rubble was being removed," Loizeaux said. He said molten steel was also
found at 7 WTC, which collapsed mysteriously in the late afternoon.
Mr Loizeaux clearly states that the molten metal was found deep in the basements, not on top of the wreckage, and he further states quite clearly that
it was molten steel
that was discovered, not molten aluminum. Moreover, he states that molten steel was also found under WTC7. There was no
aluminum involved in the construction of WTC7 that I'm aware of. There is no mention of it in any FEMA or NIST reports or anywhere else that I can
find. The WTC7 basement would have been even more fuel-starved than the basements of WTC1 & 2, and yet the hottest readings were under the WTC7
wreckage. FEMAs WTC report states that the diesel tanks under WTC7 did not explode or catch fire, rather they were crushed. Even had they caught fire,
a diesel fire would be incapable of creating molten steel.
Peter Tully, president of Tully Construction of Flushing, N.Y., told AFP that he saw pools of "literally molten steel" at the World Trade
Tully was contracted after the Sept. 11 tragedy to re move the debris from the site.
So, it seems the only argument left against the presence of molten steel is, "The witnesses are embellishing the facts". That's six credible,
expert witnesses now all directly involved in the actual clean-up operation who are supposedly just "making it all up".
First off, WCIP the burden of proof is on the parties claiming that there was literally molten steel. How exactly do you prove that something was not
there? It is up to you to prove something positive.
My Roark-inspired "Prove it" challenge was not asking that you prove the molten metal wasn't there, rather it was in response to your two
assertions which were as follows:
That the witnesses fabricated or embellished their testimony, and
That ordinary fires, particularly in an oxygen-starved, soot-choked environment, are capable of creating the temperatures indicated by the
thermal spectroscopy, and furthermore capable of burning for three months despite having thousands and thousands of gallons of water poured on them
non-stop for that entire period.
So once again, I request that you provide proof of that which you posit.
Using your logic WCIP we should never take anything you post seriously either. By your standards, we should hold your prior posts as proof that you
are completely biased and agenda driven, and should ignore anything you say.
I never said that we should ignore what you say. What I meant is that yes, you are biased and agenda-driven, and therefore when a new piece of
information comes out, you will automatically look to see if it strengthens your case. If it weakens your case, you will automatically try to debunk
it or find alternative explanations. This is a natural process and is the way in which we humans approach logic - we form a hypothesis based on
observations, and then we see if further observations support or can be reasonably interpreted to fit our theory...no mystery here.
As for me, yes, I do exactly the same but on the other side of the fence. I already clearly and openly stated that I do have an agenda and what that
agenda is, and yes, after having reviewed all of the information available in regards to 9-11, I have formed a general opinion and thus I am
. It is impossible to not have bias; impossible not to have an opinion - it's simple human nature. But does bias mean that we will be
deceptive? No. Does it mean that we will accept everything as fact if it fits our opinion without confirming through research? No. However you were
attempting to "sell" your complete and pure objectivity to us, and it just doesn't float. The simple and starkly obvious fact is that you are doing
your best to try to debunk the molten steel issue in any way you can, previously stating that it should simply be ignored, because you are staunchly
biased against any controlled demolition theory, and the sooner we can be honest with each other, the sooner we can continue to debate free from any
illusions of disinterest.
[edit on 2005-12-4 by wecomeinpeace]