I Tried To Be Patriotic!

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Subject:   I tried to believe it (revised)
Date:      Sun, 21 Oct 2001 13:17:38 -0400
From:      "J. McMichael" jmcmichael@care2.com
Newsgroup: soc.culture.usa

I tried to be patriotic.

I tried to believe.  I watched those quarter mile high buildings fall
through their jaw-dropping catastrophes over and over again.  I
listened to the announcer and the experts explain what had happened.
And I worked at my pitiful lack of faith, pounding my skull with the
remote control and staring on the flickering images on the TV screen.

But poor mental peasant that I am, I could not escape the teachings of
my forefathers.  I fear I am trapped in my time, walled off from
further scientific understanding by my inability to abandon the Second
Millennium mindset.

But enough of myself.  Let us move on to the Science and Technology of
the 21st Century.  Those of you who cannot believe should learn the
official truth by rote and perhaps you will be able to hide your

Here are the bare bones of the WTC incident:
       North tower struck 8:45, collapsed 10:29;
       South tower struck 9:03, collapsed 9:50;
       (See http://www.infoplease.com/spot/sept112001.html)

Using jet fuel to melt steel is an amazing discovery, really.  It is
also amazing that until now, no one had been able to get it to work,
and that proves the terrorists were not stupid people.  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.

Let us consider: One plane full of jet fuel hit the north tower at
8:45 AM, and the fuel fire burned for a while with bright flames and
black smoke.  We can see pictures of the smoke and flames shooting
from the windows.

Then by 9:03 (which time was marked by the second plane's collision
with the south tower), the flame was mostly gone and only black smoke
continued to pour from the building.  To my simple mind, that would
indicate that the first fire had died down, but something was still
burning inefficiently, leaving soot (carbon) in the smoke.  A fire
with sooty smoke is either low temperature or starved for oxygen -- or

But by 10:29 AM, the fire in north tower had accomplished the feat
that I find so amazing: It melted the steel supports in the building,
causing a chain reaction within the structure that brought the
building to the ground.

And with less fuel to feed the fire, the south tower collapsed only 47
minutes after the plane collision, again with complete destruction.
This is only half the time it took to destroy the north tower.

I try not to think about that.  I try not to think about a petroleum
fire burning for 104 minutes, just getting hotter and hotter until it
reached 1538 degrees Celsius (2800 Fahrenheit) and melted the steel
(steel is about 99% iron; for melting point of iron, see
http://www.webelements.com/iron/).   I
try not to wonder how the fire reached temperatures that only bottled
oxygen or forced air can produce.

And I try not to think about all the steel that was in that building
-- 200,000 tons of it (see http://www.infoplease.com/spot/wtc1.html
for stats).  I try to forget that 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.  If you pour it on hard enough and fast enough, you can
get the syrup to stack up a little bit.  And with very high heat
brought on very fast, you can heat up the one part of the object, but
the heat will quickly spread out and the part will cool off the moment
you stop.

When the heat source warms the last cold part of the object, the heat
stops escaping and the point of attention can be warmed.

If the north tower collapse was due to heated steel, why did it take
104 minutes to reach the critical temperature?  (See
http://www.infoplease.com/spot/sept112001.html).   Am I to believe that
the fire burned all that time, getting constantly hotter until it
reached melting temperature?  Or did it burn hot and steady throughout
until 200,000 tons of steel were heated molten - on one plane load of
jet fuel?  (Quantity of steel in WTC:

Thankfully, I found this note on the BBC web page
( http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/1540044.stm  ):
"Fire reaches 800 [degrees] C - hot enough to melt steel floor
supports."  That is one of the things I warned you about: In the 20th
Century, steel melted at 1538 degrees Celsius (2800 F, see
http://www.chemicalelements.com/elements/fe.html), but in the 21st
Century, it melts at 800 degrees C (1472 F).

This might be explained as a reporter's mistake -- 800 to 900 C is the
temperature for forging wrought iron.  As soft as wrought iron is, of
course, it would never be used for structural steel in a landmark
skyscraper.  (Descriptions of cast iron, wrought iron, and steel and
relevant temperatures discussed at

But then lower down, the BBC page repeats the 800 C number in bold,
and the article emphasizes that the information comes from Chris Wise,
"Structural Engineer."  Would this professional individual permit
himself to be misquoted in a global publication?

I feel it coming on again -- that horrible cynicism that causes me to
doubt the word of the major anchor-persons.  Please just think of this
essay as a plea for help, and do NOT let it interfere with your own
righteous faith.  The collapse of America's faith in its leaders must
not become another casualty on America's skyline.

In my diseased mind, I think of the floors of each tower like a stack
of LP (33 1/3 RPM) records, only they were square instead of circular.
They were stacked around a central spindle that consisted of multiple
steel columns stationed in a square around the 103 elevator shafts.
(See http://www.skyscraper.org/tallest/t_wtc.htm and
http://www.civil.usyd.edu.au/wtc.shtml )

With this core bearing the weight of the building, the platters were
tied together and stabilized by another set of steel columns at the
outside rim, closely spaced and completely surrounding the structure.
This resulting structure was so stable that the top of the towers
swayed only three feet in a high wind.  The architects called it a
"tube-within-a-tube design."

The TV experts told us that the joints between the floors and central
columns melted (or the floor trusses, or the central columns, or the
exterior columns, depending on the expert) and this caused the floor
to collapse and fall onto the one below.  This overloaded the joints
for the lower floor, and the two of them fell onto the floor below,
and so on.  Like dominos (see

Back in the early 1970s when the World Trade Towers were built, the
WTC was the tallest building that had ever been built in the history
of the world.  If we consider the architectural engineers, suppliers,
builders, and city inspectors in the job, we can imagine they would be
very careful to over-build every aspect of the building.  If one bolt
was calculated to serve, you can bet that three or four were used.  If
there was any doubt about the quality of a girder or steel beam, you
can be sure it was rejected.  After all, any failures would attract
the attention of half the civilized world, and no corporation wants a
reputation for that kind of stupidity -- particularly if there are

I do not know the exact specifications for the WTC, but I know in many
trades (and some I've worked), a structural member must be physically
capable of three times the maximum load that will ever be required of
it (BreakingStrength = 3 x WorkingStrength).  Given that none of those
floors was holding a grand piano sale or an elephant convention that
day, it is unlikely that any of them were loaded to the maximum.
Thus, any of the floors should have been capable of supporting more
than its own weight plus the two floors above it.  I suspect the WTC
was engineered for safer margins than the average railroad bridge, and
the actual load on each floor was less than 1/6 the BreakingStringth.

The platters were constructed of webs of steel trusses.  Radial
trusses ran from the perimeter of the floor to the central columns,
and concentric rings of trusses connected the radial trusses, forming
a pattern like a spider web.

Where the radial trusses connected with the central columns, I imagine
the joints looked like the big bolted flanges where girders meet on a
bridge -- inches thick bolts tying the beams into the columns.

The experts tell us that the heat of the fire melted the  steel,
causing the joints to fail.  In order to weaken those joints, a fire
would have to heat the bolts or the flanges to the point where the
bolts fell apart or tore through the steel.  But here is another thing
that gives me problems -- all the joints between the platter and the
central columns would have to be heated at the same rate in order to
collapse at the same time -- and at the same rate as the joints with
the outer rim columns on all sides -- else one side of the platter
would fall, damaging the floor below and making obvious distortions in
the skin of the building, or throwing the top of tower off balance and
to one side.

But there were no irregularities in the fall of the main structure of
those buildings.  They fell almost as perfectly as a deck of cards in
the hands of a magician doing an aerial shuffle.

This is particularly worrisome since the first plane struck one side
of the north tower, causing (you would think) a weakening on that side
where the exterior columns were struck, and a more intense fire on
that side than on the other side.  And the second plane struck near
the corner of the south tower at an angle that caused much of the fuel
to spew out the windows on the adjacent side.
Yet the south tower also collapsed in perfect symmetry, spewing dust
in all directions like a Fourth of July sparkler burning to the

Oh, wait.  Here is a picture showing the top 25 floors of one tower
(probably south) toppling over sideways
Why are there no reports of this cube of concrete and steel (measuring
200 ft. wide, 200 ft. deep, and 200 ft high), falling from a 1000 feet
into the street below?

But implosion expert Mark Loizeaux, president of Controlled Demolition
Inc. in Phoenix, MD is of the opinion that it happened:

    Observing the collapses on television news, Loizeaux says the
    1,362-ft-tall south tower, which was hit at about the 60th floor,
    failed much as one would like (sic) fell a tree

I have seen a videotaped rerun of the south tower falling.  In that
take, the upper floors descend as a complete unit.  All the way, the
upper-floor unit was canted over as shown on the BBC page, sliding
down behind the intervening buildings like a piece of stage scenery.

That scene is the most puzzling of all.  Since the upper floors were
not collapsed (the connection between the center columns and the
platters were intact), this assembly would present itself to the lower
floors as a platter WITHOUT a central hole.  How then would a platter
without a hole slide down the spindle with the other platters?  Where
would the central columns go if they could not penetrate the upp
floors as they fell?

The only model I can find for the situation would be this: 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 40 floors would topple over (to use Loizeaux's
image) much like felling the top 600 ft. from a 1300 ft. tree.

This model would hold also hold for the north tower.  According to
Chris Wise's "domino" doctrine, the collapse began only at the floor
with the fire, not at the penthouse.  How was it that the upper floor
simply disappeared instead of crashing to the earth as a block of
thousands of tons of concrete and steel?

The amazing thing is that no one (but Loizeaux) even mentions this
phenomenon, much less describing the seismic event it must have

Where is the ruin where the 200ft x 200ft x 50 story- object struck?
Foty floors should have caused a ray of devastation 500 ft. into the
surrounding cityscape.

In trying to reconstruct and understand this event, we have to know
whether the scenes we are watching are edited or simply shown raw as
they were recorded.

But let us return to the fire.  Liquid fuel does not burn hot for
long.  Liquid fuel evaporates (or boils) as it burns, and the vapor
burns as it boils off.  If the ambient temperature passes the flash
point of the fuel and oxygen is plentiful, the process builds to an
explosion that consumes the fuel.

Jet fuel boils at temperatures above 176 degrees Celsius (350 F) and
the vapor flashes into flame at 250 degrees Celsius (482 F).  In an
environment of 1500 degrees, jet fuel spread thinly on walls, floor,
and ceiling would boil off very quickly.  And then it would either
burn, or run out of oxygen and smother itself.  Or it would simply
disperse out the open windows (some New Yorkers claimed they could
smelled the spilled fuel).

In no case would an office building full of spilled jet fuel sustain a
fire at 815 degrees C (1500 F) for 104 minutes -- unless it was fed
bottled oxygen, forced air, or something else atypical of a fire in a
high-rise office building.  Certainly, the carpets, wallpaper,
occasional desks -- nothing else in that office would produce that
temperature.  What was burning?

OK, since it was mentioned, I am also upset with the quantity of
concrete dust (see http://www.civil.usyd.edu.au/wtc.htm#why).   No
concrete that I have ever known pulverizes like that.  It is
unnerving.  My experience with concrete has shown that it will crumble
under stress, but rarely does it just give up the ghost and turn to
powder.  But look at the pictures -- it is truly a fine dust in great
billowing clouds spewing a hundred feet from the collapsing tower.
And the people on the ground see little more than an opaque wall of
dust -- with inches of dust filling the streets and the lungs
afterward.  ( http://www.serendipity.li/wot/psyopnews2/thirdexplosion.jpg  )
What has happened here?

I need a faith booster shot here.  I would like to find a pictures of
all those platters piled up on each other on the ground, just as they
fell -- has anyone seen a picture like that?  I am told it was
cumulative weight of those platters falling on each other that caused
the collapse, but I don't see the platters pilled up liked flapjacks
on the ground floor.

Instead, the satellite pictures show the WTC ruins like an ash pit:

I am told by a friend that a Dr. Robert Schuller was on television
telling about his trip to the ruins.  He announced in the interview
that there was not a single block of concrete in that rubble.  From
the original 425,000 cubic yards of concrete that went into the
building, all was dust.  How did that happen?

I have just one other point I need help with -- the steel columns in
the center.  When the platters 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.

Now I know those terrorist must have been much better at these things
than I am.  I would take one look at their kamikaze plans with
commercial jets and I would reject it as -- spectacular maybe, but not
significantly damaging.  The WTC was not even a strategic military

But if I were a kamikaze terrorist, I would try to hit the towers low
in the supports to knock the towers down, maybe trapping the workers
with the fire and burning the towers from the ground up, just as the
people in last 20 stories were trapped.  Even the Japanese kamikaze
pilots aimed for the water line.

But you see, those terrorists were so sure the building would
magically collapse that way, the pilot who hit the north tower chose a
spot just 20 floors from the top.

And the kamikaze for south tower was only slightly lower -- despite a
relatively open skyline down to 25 or 30 stories.

The terrorists apparently predicted the whole scenario -- the fuel
fire, the slow weakening of the structure, and the horrific collapse
of the building - phenomena that the architects and the NY civil
engineering approval committees never dreamed of.

Even as you righteously hate those men, you have to admire them for
their genius.

Few officials or engineers have been surprised by this turn of events
-- apparently everyone certified it for airplane collisions, but
almost no one was surprised when both collisions caused utter
catastrophes in both towers.  In fact, their stutters and mumbles and
circumlocutions would make a politician blush:

    "Eventually, the loss of strength and stiffness of the materials
    resulting from the fire, combined with the initial impact damage,
    would have caused a failure of the truss system supporting a
    floor, or the remaining perimeter columns, or even the internal
    core, or some combination."
    ( http://www.civil.usyd.edu.au/wtc.shtml  )

In a hundred years of tall city buildings, this kind of collapse has
never happened before.  Never.  It was not predicted by any of the
experts involved when the WTC towers were built.  But now that it has
happened, everybody understands it perfectly and nobody is surprised.

Is this civil engineering in the Third Millennium -- a galloping case
of perfect hindsight?

Only one I have found candidly admitted his surprise:

    Observing the collapses on television news, Loizeaux says the
    1,362-ft-tall south tower, which was hit at about the 60th floor,
    failed much as one would like (sic) fell a tree. That is what was
    expected, says Loizeaux. But the 1,368-ft-tall north tower,
    similarly hit but at about the 90th floor, "telescoped," says
    Loizeaux. It failed vertically, he adds, rather than falling
    over. "I don't have a clue," says Loizeaux, regarding the cause of
    the telescoping.  (http://www.civil.usyd.edu.au/wtc_enr.htm)

There was one highly qualified engineer in New Mexico who thought the
collapse could only happen with the help of demolition explosives, and
he was foolish enough to make the statement publicly.  But then he
recanted ten days later and admitted the whole thing was perfectly
natural and unsurprising.  I wonder what happened in those ten days to
make him so smart on the subject so quickly.

Both articles at the Albuquerque Journal:

And then, as though demonstrating how normal this "building
collapsing" phenomenon is, WTC buildings Six and Seven "collapsed,"

    "Other buildings - including the 47-story Salomon Brothers
    building [WTC 7] - caved in later, weakened by the earlier
    collapses, and more nearby buildings may still fall, say
and http://www.serendipity.li/wot/psyopnews2/numbersixafter_closeup.jpg )

It seems no building in the area, regardless of design, is immune to
galloping WTC collapse-itis.  It never happened in the 20th Century,
but welcome to the physical universe laws of the Third Millennium.

Pardon me, but this recitation has not given me the relief I hoped
for.  I must get back to work.

I believe in the president, the flag, and the Statue of Liberty.  I
believe in the honesty of the FBI and the humility of military men.  I
believe in the network news anchor-persons, who strive to learn the
truth, to know the truth, and to tell the truth to the audience.

And I believe all of America is so well educated in the basic physics
discussed above, they would rise up in fury if anyone tried to pull a
cheap Hollywood trick on them.

Hand me that remote, will you?  I believe clonk.  I believe clonk.
I believe ...

J. McMichael

(Celsius/Fahrenheit conversion tool at

Logic is Truth and Truth, Logic
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- and all we need to know.

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