Government Twists Science of 9/11 – Just As With Iraq, the Gulf Oil Spill and Fukushima – to Promote Its Policy Objectives

Governments Sometimes Twist Science to Promote Policy Objectives

Anyone who paid any attention to the claims of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, the Gulf oil spill or the Fukushima nuclear accident knows that the government often twists science to promote certain policy objectives, such as drumming up support for the invasion of Iraq or becoming a booster for nuclear power and big oil (and thus downplaying the damage from nuclear accidents and oil spills).

President’s National Medal of Science winner Lynn Margulis notes that the scientific method is to follow the facts where they lead, to adopt the theory which has the most proof, and to discard theories which are contradicted by the facts.

Margulis says that – in the case of 9/11 – the government has adopted theories which are backed by very little evidence, and refused to look at the most likely theory – the one backed by overwhelming evidence.

New Theory on Towers’ Collapse

Live Science reported last week:

A materials scientist has come up with a more scientific explanation for the mystery booms, and says his model of the Twin Towers collapse leaves no room for conspiracies. “My model explains all the observed features on 11th September: the explosions, molten metal coming out of the window, the time passing between the crash and the collapse, the fact that the explosions took place in a floor below the place it was burning, and the rapid collapse,” Christen Simensen of SINTEF, a research organization in Norway, told Life’s Little Mysteries.

As detailed in the new issue of Aluminum International Today, Simensen argues that molten aluminum from the airplane bodies chemically reacted with water in the buildings’ sprinkler systems, setting off the explosions that felled the Twin Towers.

When each jet cut its way into a building, it took with it parts of walls and ceilings, Simensen said. Steel bars in those walls would have gashed its fuel tanks, which would have caught fire. With the plane positioned somewhere in the middle of the building, blanketed in debris and with no route for heat to escape, the temperature would have rapidly escalated, reaching 660 degrees Celsius (1,220 degrees Fahrenheit), the melting point of aluminum — of which there was 30 tons in each plane fuselage — within an hour. The molten aluminum would then have heated up further to between 800 and 850 C (1,470 and 1,560 F).

“Then molten aluminum becomes [as liquid as] water and has so much heat that it will flow through cracks in the floor and down to the next floor,” Simensen explained in an email. There was an automatic sprinkler system installed in each ceiling, and it was filled with water. “When huge amount of molten aluminum gets in contact with water, a fierce exothermic reaction will take place, enormous amount of hydrogen is formed and the temperature is locally raised to 1,200 to 1,500 C,” or 2,200 to 2,700 F.

Chaos rapidly ensues: “A series of explosions will take place and a whole floor will be blown to pieces,” he wrote. “Then the top part of the building will fall on the bottom part, and the tower will collapse within seconds.” This is what Simensen believes happened in the two World Trade Center towers.

This isn’t obscure chemistry, Simensen says; the U.S. Aluminum Association has recorded 250 accidental molten aluminum/water explosions worldwide since 1980. “Alcoa in Pittsburgh [the worldwide leader in aluminum production] has done a series of such explosions in special laboratory in order to understand what can prevent such explosions and what are the most dangerous situations,” he wrote. “For instance they let 30 kilograms [66 pounds] of aluminum react with 20 liters [5.3 gallons] of water, which resulted in a large hole 30 meters [98 feet] in diameter, and nothing left of the laboratory.”

Why Do We Need a New Theory?

Simensen’s theory has received wide-spread media attention.

Most of the coverage focuses on the theory having the potential to explain the explosions and sudden collapse of the Twin Towers, and thus to debunk the conspiracy theories that the Twin Towers and World Trade Center Building 7 were brought down by controlled demolition.

But this means that the official explanation for why the trade centers collapsed on 9/11 is inadequate … and doesn’t take into account the explosions or sudden collapse of the 3 buildings. In other words, the very fact that there is such a buzz about this theory shows that many don’t believe the “official” explanation really explains the collapse of the 3 buildings.

The New Theory Contradicts the “Official” Explanation

The “official” explanation assumes that the aluminum from the airplanes which crashed into the Twin Towers formed hundreds of thousands of shotgun-like blasts, pointed in all directions, to which sheared off all the fireproofing in a broad section on several floors.

That would have to happen quickly – before the metal was heated. Instead, Simensen’s theory hinges on the assumption that the aluminum from the planes cascaded down all at once – causing explosions when it hit water.

Not the First Novel Theory

As I noted in 2008, this is not the first novel theory about the collapse:

First it was the “new phenomenon” of “thermal expansion”.

Now, Sergei Dudarev, of the UK Atomic Energy Agency, says the Twin Towers collapsed due to “unusual magnetic forces“.

Specifically, as described by the BBC, Mr. Dudarev argues that:

“The peak in this pliability is at 911.5C, but begins at much lower temperatures, at around 500C (932F) – a temperature often reached during building fires.

The steel backbone of the Twin Towers was probably exposed to temperatures close to this, when insulating panels – meant to protect the buildings’ structural frame – were dislodged by the impacts of the hijacked planes.

The roaring fire mid-way up the building heated the steel struts, and once temperatures rose above 500C the structure became elastic, and collapsed under the force of the floors above.”

Is he right?

Well, as noted in Appendix A of The World Trade Center Building Performance Study:

In the mid-1990s British Steel and the Building Research Establishment performed a series of six experiments at Cardington to investigate the behavior of steel-framed buildings. These experiments were conducted in a simulated, eight-story building. Secondary steel beams were not protected. Despite the temperature of the steel beams reaching 800-900 C (1,500-1,700 F) in three of the tests (well above the traditionally assumed critical temperature of 600 C (1,100 F), no collapse was observed in any of the six experiments.

And Underwriters Laboratories tested the steel components at the Twin Towers and found they could withstand fires for hours without failure:

“NIST contracted with Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. to conduct tests to obtain information on the fire endurance of trusses like those in the WTC towers…. All four test specimens sustained the maximum design load for approximately 2 hours without collapsing… The Investigation Team was cautious about using these results directly in the formulation of collapse hypotheses. In addition to the scaling issues raised by the test results, the fires in the towers on September 11, and the resulting exposure of the floor systems, were substantially different from the conditions in the test furnaces. Nonetheless, the [empirical test] results established that this type of assembly was capable of sustaining a large gravity load, without collapsing, for a substantial period of time relative to the duration of the fires in any given location on September 11.” (NIST, 2005, p. 140).

Other fire tests have also failed to cause failures, collapses or “unusual magnetic forces” at high temperatures.

[And no previous office fires – even ones which burned much hotter and much longer – caused the collapse of a modern steel-framed building]

The 2005 Madrid skyscraper fire “reached 800 degrees Celsius (1,472 F), said Javier Sanz, head of Madrid firefighter” (see pictures here), and lasted some 20 hours. Indeed, the fires in the Twin Towers were much cooler than many office fires, as indicated by the color of the flames and the black smoke pouring out of the windows.

As Steve Watson notes:

We have previously pointed to the innumerable number of buildings that have suffered roaring fires across the majority of their floors for hours and remained standing. Seemingly the steel beams in these buildings were not subjected to the same “unusual magnetic forces”.

Furthermore, a far more extensive fire occurred in WTC 1 itself, prior to enhanced fireproofing of the building, on February 13, 1975. The fire burned at much higher temperatures for three hours and spread over six floors, including 65% of the 11th floor and the building core, yet it caused no significant damage to the steel structure and no trusses had to be replaced. There were no “unusual magnetic forces” present on that day.


Furthermore, referring to the collapses, the original NIST report concluded that ‘the existing condition of the fireproofing prior to aircraft impact and the fireproofing thickness on the WTC floor system did not play a significant role’”.

Any “thermal expansion” at the World Trade Center was not a new phenomenon, but something that building designers and fire safety engineers have taken into account for decades if not hundreds of years.

Likewise, any “magnetic forces” at the WTC should have been less severe than those present in fire safety tests and actual office building fires, which have never before led to complete collapses. Indeed, despite the apparently advanced science which Mr. Dudarev hints at, he actually admits this is nothing new:

“He said blacksmiths had exploited this property for hundreds of years”.22*

Is the New Theory Right?

So the previous “novel” theories didn’t pan out. But what about Simensen’s new theory?

Initially, Simensen admits that the new theory doesn’t explain the destruction of World Trade Center building 7, which wasn’t hit by an airplane and which suffered only minor fires before mysteriously falling on 9/11.

And the above-quoted Live Science article notes:

Simensen’s new collapse model has not gained immediate acceptance by proponents of earlier models.

“Occam’s Razor says that the simplest explanation is usually the best,” said Thomas Eagar, a materials scientist at MIT who has also studied the fall of the towers. “I do not see any merit to this new, more-complex explanation.


Eagar also objects to the notion that the aluminum, if it did melt, would definitely have reacted with the water it encountered. Most of the time when water is sprayed on molten aluminum, “there is no explosion because the water turns to steam and excludes the oxygen, preventing the growth of the combustion,” he said.


Roughly 1,600 architects and structural engineers across the country, who have banded together in a group called “Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth,” say it does not fully account for the buildings’ collapses. With so many people looking for answers, Simensen’s alternative theory is likely to receive further attention and study.

Moreover, while Simensen talks about explosions at or below the level of the planes, there is credible eyewitness testimony of explosives well above the floor hit by the planes:

Simensen’s theory can’t explain these explosions.

(In addition, several eyewitnesses report hearing explosions at the base of the building before the planes hit. See this and this. See hundreds of additional eyewitness statements of explosions well away from the area of the planes’ impact here and here).

In addition, scientists say that the lower section of the Twin Towers was designed to support several times the weight of the upper block, that the upper section of the North Tower did not, in fact, crush the lower portion, and that the crushing theory is even more improbable with the South Tower.

And peer-reviewed scientific papers claim that extremely high-tech, military-grade explosive materials known as nano-thermate were found in the rubble and dust from the World Trade Center. See this and this. If true, Simensen’s proposed aluminum-water reaction cannot account for the existence of such materials.

Michael Rivero argues:

“The reaction [Simensen] is talking about is one in which hot aluminum will ‘steal’ oxygen from water, leaving hydrogen gas. There are two problems with this theory, of course.

The first is the hydrogen gas is very light and floats upward even faster than helium. The ruins of the World Trade Towers were ‘porous’ and as the smoke trails prove, there was a strong wind from the side. This means that hydrogen could not collect together anywhere in any amounts enough to cause an explosion, certainly not down in the basements, where some explosions were reported.

Second, even under the most ideal of circumstances of perfect mixture of hydrogen and oxygen, impossible in the natural atmosphere and under those conditions, hydrogen may burn fast but does not detonate. Recall the destruction of the Hindenburg. Huge fire, no ‘bang.’

So this latest official ‘explanation’ is a desperate attempt to reconcile eyewitness reports and video recordings of explosions (like the one that initiates the collapse of building 7) with the rapidly collapsing official story.


Finally, given that aluminum is a rather common building material, why have we not seen such water and aluminum explosions before or since 9-11?”

And officials admit that the fires in the Twin Towers were not very hot, and yet dozens of firemen, structural engineers and emergency responders say that they saw molten steel in the rubble of the World Trade Center for months after 9/11, even though it was sprayed with enormous quantities of water. Steel melts at a much higher temperature than aluminum, and the government admits that the fires were not hot enough to have melted the steel (and a professor emeritus of physics has shown that the collapse of the buildings could not have melted the steel).

So how does a government spokesman explain the molten steel? He denies its existence:

This shows once again that the government and its defenders are twisting the science around 9/11 to meet policy – rather than scientific – objectives.

The introduction of novel theory after novel theory to explain what many top structural engineers, mechanical engineers, architects and physicists say can only be a controlled demolition shows the desperation of the government to explain away the most probable hypothesis.

And see this.

Note: This essay is not necessarily arguing that controlled demolition brought down 3 buildings on 9/11. It is, however, arguing that – just as with Iraq, the Gulf oil spill, and Fukushima, wild-eyed scientific theories are being promoted which have no basis in fact, and the most likely hypotheses are not being examined by the government.

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  • mick

    I’ll donate $1000 towards anyone that can duplicate the “reaction” that Christen Simensen of SINTEF “theorizes” occurred on 11/9/2001 .
    Anyone else willing to add money to the “prize” ?
    The “theory” is demonstrably wrong ,massive fires would have been evident in the lower floors as the “molten metal” descended to the lower levels of the building .People must remember that the buildings received NO DAMAGE at all below the impact area.
    If the South Tower is used as an example ,you can clearly see the aircraft hit to one side of the building .Therefore any “molten metal” would have had to first flow across the floor to reach the core of the Tower .You will recall that the fires in the South Tower seemed to be reducing in size ,them down it collapsed.

  • The “new” serendipitous aluminum incendiary hypothesis is actually a much older one…

    Others have pointed out the possibility that the aviation fuel fires burned sufficiently hot to melt and ignite the airliners’ aluminum airframe structures. Aluminum, a pyrophoric metal, could have added to the conflagrations. Hot molten aluminum, suggests one well-informed correspondent, could have seeped down into the floor systems, doing significant damage. “Aluminum melts into burning ‘goblet puddles’ that would pool around depressions, [such as] beam joints, service openings in the floor, stair wells and so forth…The goblets are white hot, burning at an estimated 1800 degrees Celsius. At this temperature, the water of hydration in the concrete is vaporized and consumed by the aluminum.
    – When the Twin Towers Fell, Steve Ashley, Scientific American, October 9, 2001

    My attempt to ignite aluminum with a 1600C flame:

    Metal fire at WTC, description and photos per NIST:

    Column cutting clips – NIST cumulus:


  • Howard T. Lewis III

    Read activist Post: Architects and engineers question…Comments for the low down on preliminary agreements to the installation of demo charges during construction of the WTCs I,II, and 7 and the Chicago Sears (Willis) tower. I have known of this for about 43 years as do the construction management and several thousandd uninvolved civilians with good memories. BUT, the buildings were retriggered by Bush buddies. Thules? Zionists? Jail both until somebody squeaks.

  • Wooten Berston

    The fool who persists in his folly shall become wise. Or extinct.

  • nader paul kucinich gravel mckinney baldwin ventura sheehan

    when the government attempts to corrupt science
    when the media attempts to corrupt science

    guilty criminals are in charge

  • it’s not obama, it’s not bush, clinton, romney, bachman, Rick Perry etc. it’s not PUPPETS. It’s the bankers that control the puppets, wake up!

    • Liberty

      Knights of MALTA. Morloch. It’s about your soul. Think fractals… If it’s happening here, something must be happening elsewhere which looks a lot like it does here. This is why you feel frustrated and exhausted. This has been happening for eons and only few will escape the shackles of this prison planet, and that which awaits once we pass.

  • ES 2012

    I normally don’t allow myself to become involved with 9-11 debates because that rapidly degenerate into chest beating exercises, however I will make an exception in this case.

    I usually place a great deal of credence in the articles from Washington’s blog, but in this case I believe an important fact was overlooked. The article states: -snip-

    “Simensen’s theory has received wide-spread media attention.

    Most of the coverage focuses on the theory having the potential to explain the explosions and sudden collapse of the Twin Towers, and thus to debunk the conspiracy theories that the Twin Towers and World Trade Center Building 7 were brought down by controlled demolition.”


    The theory of “molten aluminum/water explosion” has merit that cannot be disputed. It is not theoretical when applied to reality because it is well researched, studied, and found to be fact. It IS theoretical when applied to the events of 911 because theories are all that are allowed by the circumstances.

    There is a problem though…… “molten aluminum/water explosion” still doesn’t explain building seven since that building did not contain the remains of a jet airliner to be melted and cause the reaction described.

  • Amerikagulag

    Well, at this rate, in about 46 years, we can count on hearing about controlled demolitions and nanothermite being a possibility as to why the towers collapsed. But by that time, Lucky Larry Silverfish will have taken down the Willis Tower in Shitcago and collected on the insurance. I’m sure dual national, son of Irgun terrorist Rahm will benefit by the event as well.

    Truth passes thru 3 stages……. we’re in the second stage right now.

  • Howard T. Lewis III

    It was PUBLISHED in at least 2 periodicals that the WTCs and Sears (Willis) tower were being preloaded. The procedure was halted on later projects for OBVIOUS reasons. The whole concept shows dementia. As was building 50+ story buildings in the U.S.. If nanothermate did not exist back in 1968, the WTCs’ preset demolition systems were retriggered by its affect on the cores. The persence of the nanomaterial in a thin plastic or epoxy matrix indicates application to relatively thin material. The thought that this is from its spray application to the interior steel vertical panels on the restricted floors where the jets hit makes logical but daft sense. Other thermite was thusly applied back during construction throughout the WTCs I and II.(See the video if you can find it.) The other 10,000 videos and 30,000 articles are irrelevant until these basic central questions are addressed, and correct conclusions and direct observation testified to, in a noncorrupted court of law in the U.S.. I have downloaded 100s of GBs of this stuff and none of it indicates interest in proving the obvious, beyond the self-evident. Even though they take in money. We must end the A&E for 9-11 truth’s efforts to stall progress. Too many innocents are being murdered across the world. Gage can go to hell. He’s earned it. Even Harrit neglects the other thermitic chips in the dust and the other explosive residues. And he neglects to mention the numerous radioactive isotopes.

    Bollyn took his lumps. How about the rest of you guys? In the past, I have been shot at, before 9-11, and with this stuff confronted by two different Israelis with scars on their faces and thick accents. I told them that I understood their fix and that the ‘world court of the world’ owners were responsible for ‘the holocaust’ and their trouble today. The tension disappeared. Israel is an employee. Their job is to absorb heat and they don’t care what you say because it keeps the heat off their boss. The bunch who set up the CFR. If the documentors of 9-11 over the last ten years were having any affect, they might be taking some lumps like Bollyn. I did not tell the scar faced Israelis I felt Israel was set up to be the promised land of organized crime. That one might require a response of mandatory lumps.
    Youtube, google, Yahoo!, Facebook(Facecrook?) and some others concentrate on minimizing the affect good conscientious people might have on the public. They just want to be on the side that’s winning, or filling their bowl.

  • I really liked the way you brought out that there are more plausible theories than the Bush II Commission theory, or the NIST theory.

    One thing of note, concerning the Aluminum theory: molten Aluminum does not glow orange, yellow or red during daylight. Instead, it has a silver color when molten during the day.

    The molten metal pouring from the Twin Towers was photographed and recorded on video. The color of that molten metal was various shades of red, orange, and yellow, indicating steel / iron.

  • Coincidental this came out after the Saudis were implicated in the hijacking of the 9/11 aircraft ? They are clutching at straws at this point and building 7 stands out like a sore thumb they can’t hide.

  • Liberty

    Knights of MALTA. Morloch. It’s about your soul. Think fractals… If it’s happening here, something must be happening elsewhere which looks a lot like it does here. This is why you feel frustrated and exhausted. This has been happening for eons and only few will escape the shackles of this prison planet, and that which awaits once we pass.