The basic position of 9/11 truthers is that the Twin Towers were brought down by a controlled demolition. One piece of evidence they use to support this view are alleged explosive squibs that we see during the collapse of the buildings. They also point to the lateral ejection of heavy debris as something that only could be caused by powerful explosions.
Here I'll explain what's wrong with these arguments in my first of many videos on 9/11, made possible by some generous funding from the CIA as part of their diabolical, government-disinformation program. Pour yourself a nice, tall glass of fluoridated water and settle in, because it's time for some "official story" propaganda.
Here I'm going to argue that these alleged squibs are much better explained by the falling mass of the building rapidly increasing air pressure at lower levels, causing windows to burst and eject debris. The explosion hypothesis makes no sense, because explosions wouldn't cause individual windows to break like this—especially if they took place in the center of the building around the core columns, as truthers allege. The only way that they could be right about this would be if impossible explosions took place, which sent debris on impossibly straight paths to exit out of individual windows, leaving all others intact.
The outward ejection of heavy debris during the collapse can also be explained without invoking explosions, because when part of a building smashes into and crushes another part of a building, that's obviously going to send debris in all kinds of different directions. Specific non-explosive mechanisms that could account for lateral debris ejection include pulverization, tipping over, and elastic rebound.
Finally, truthers don't seem to realize that they contradict themselves by using alleged explosions to prove that a non-explosive, thermitic demolition took place.
In the second edition of the documentary Loose Change, they show us several examples of the alleged explosive squibs that were seen during the collapse of the Twin Towers.
"In all the videos of the collapses, explosions can be seen bursting from the building 20 to 30 stories below the demolition wave. Here, here, here, here, here, and here."
In their report on the collapse of the Twin Towers, The National Institute of Standards and Technology provided an explanation for these so-called squibs—or should I say covered up these squibs? Wake up, sheeple! Ron Paul 2012. No, I shouldn't say that, and I see no good reason to doubt their explanation because it makes perfect sense:
"The falling mass of the building compressed the air ahead of it, much like the action of a piston, forcing material, such as smoke and debris, out the windows as seen in several videos."
Some truthers, not satisfied with this explanation, try to poke holes in what they call the piston theory. We read the following on 911Research.WTC7.net:
"The squibs emerge from the facade 10 to 20 floors below the exploding rubble cloud inside of which the tower is disintegrating. The thick clouds appear to contain the pulverized concrete of the floor slabs, which was the only concrete component of the tower. But the piston theory requires that the floors have already pancaked down to the level of the squib, making them unavailable for the production of the concrete dust more than 10 floors above."
This guy's just plain wrong about this. The piston theory says that some of the dust and debris created by the building destruction will get rapidly forced downwards as the building is being crushed—so it's perfectly in line with the piston theory to see debris ejection happening below the current crush point. He thinks he's refuting the piston theory when he's really just misunderstanding it.
You don't need to take on board any outlandish assumptions to accept this explanation for the squibs. The idea is that some of the air, dust, and debris finds its way into the elevator shafts and other downward access points, subsequently being pushed down the building from the crushing and ultimately forcing its way out of a window when the pressure gets high enough. Which part of this do truthers think is not possible? Every one of those steps in the process seems completely reasonable to me.
It's not a perfect analogy, but I like to think of it as similar to how a syringe works: When you press the plunger at the top, what happens to the air inside of the syringe? It gets forced downwards, because there's nowhere else for it to go. With the floors being crushed, obviously much of the debris and air would escape outwards to the sides, but all you have to grant is that some of it would move downwards through the building.
"That's preposterous! A much more likely explanation is the greatest conspiracy of all time!"
Aha!, the truther might say, there's another reason why these must be caused by explosives, and that's the extremely rapid speed that they move at! Here's how David Chandler puts it in the documentary 9/11: Explosive Evidence - Experts Speak Out:
“And naysayers tend to say, well, that's just air being blown out the windows. It doesn't really work to say it's just air pressure. I've estimated these are coming out faster than 100 miles an hour."
Huh, so that's what a socially awkward Amish person looks like. I'm surprised they didn't conduct this interview while he was churning butter or something!
I like their super intense background music, by the way. It sounds like something out of a Terminator movie! David Chandler's like "Come with me if you want to live." I'm like: "Get away from me, you weirdo!"
"I've estimated these are coming out faster than 100 miles an hour."
Ok, and since when did air become incapable of traveling at rapid speeds? You ever heard of this thing called "wind" before? Last I checked, it can move pretty damn fast! If there's a hurricane or tornado, we're talking 100+ miles per hour, easily—no explosion necessary.
I mean for fuck's sake, a measly little sneeze pushes air out of your nose at 40 miles per hour—yet a gigantic, collapsing building weighing millions of tons can't produce air speeds over 100 miles per hour? What a ridiculous, made-up standard this guy is operating with.
He's like: "Well, it can't be just air and debris because it's moving fast."
Ok, what if it's air and debris that's simply moving fast? What is the problem here? It's like he just drew an imaginary line in the sand and he's like: "I'm sorry! Now that I drew this line, it's physically impossible for you to cross it!" Motherfucker, you just made that line up two seconds ago!
What do I know, though: he's the expert. What are his credentials again? "30 Year Math and Physics Teacher"? Cool, dude, I guess I'll catch you at the next PTA meeting, then. I'd be willing to bet that the only experience this guy has with building construction comes from raising barns with his fellow villagers!
"Hey, bro, what are your credentials?"
I don't have any relevant to the field—but I'm not the one being presented to the audience as if I am some kind of expert. Remember, the title of the documentary is 9/11: Explosive Evidence - Experts Speak Out.
Being a math and physics schoolteacher doesn't exactly qualify you as an authority on skyscraper construction and building demolition. He's like: "Hey, you know what? I've actually learned a lot about the design of buildings from cleaning spitballs off the ceiling!"
Don't get me wrong, schoolteachers do play an important role in society: Who else is going to indoctrinate our children to believe a bunch of patriotic nonsense? Yes, teachers are important, blah blah blah. I just find it funny that Chandler is portrayed as an expert in this field. Even if he was, however, experts can still be wrong about things. Waving your credentials—or non-credentials—in front of our face simply doesn't demonstrate the soundness of your argument.
Phil Molé, writing for Skeptic magazine, points out another flaw in the truther's argument about squibs:
"Videos of the WTC collapse show that these plumes do not begin until after the towers begin falling and increase in intensity as the collapse continues — this is not the scenario one would expect if the plumes were actually explosives used to cause the buildings to fall."
Very good point. The truther argues that the squibs are the cause of the collapse, when really, the collapse is the cause of the squibs. If we were seeing a bunch of squibs before the collapse initiated, they might be onto something. The squibs, however, are invariably seen only after the onset of collapse—which is perfectly in line with what the piston theory would predict, and completely contradicts the demolition hypothesis.
Another argument made against the piston theory was presented by Richard Gage, founder of Architects & Engineers For 9/11 Truth, in a lecture:
"And, in fact, they're these focalized ejections that occur halfway between the corners of the building. Also, say this was the open office space, 60 ft long, the elevator hoistway's over here. The piston's gonna shove the air into this room. It's gonna fill the room fairly uniformly with air pressure before it breaks any windows, right? And then it might break several, but not these highly focalized, pinpoint accurate, geometrically precise violent ejections. No. It's extremely unlikely."
First off, he's completely wrong when he says that these squibs occur halfway between the corners of the building. The very video evidence from Loose Change that he just presented his audience with refutes that statement. Look at this shit: The squibs are all over the place. Sometimes they're fairly close to the center, although other times they're very left of center, right of center—there's just no consistent pattern that we see in these squibs.
What kind of a shitty and disorganized controlled demolition would this be? They're like: "Ah, just hurry up and put the explosives wherever! Let's get the fuck outta here and watch the game." The random location of these squibs runs counter to the idea of a precise, controlled demolition.
And isn't Richard Gage an architect? You'd expect a little more precision from him than this. These squibs are occurring all over the place and he's like: "They occur halfway between the building corners!" I just hope he doesn't bring that same lack of attention to detail into his architecture.
His client is like: "Now it's really important that the chandelier is in the center of the hallway right when people walk in," and Gage is like: "Yeah, of course. I'll get it done."
Two weeks later he comes back with a drawing and they're like: "What the fuck, man? This chandelier is like 40ft off center!", and he's like: "Oh, whatever. Close enough. Now where's my paycheck, bitch?"
Maybe these squibs are just mistimed explosions, you might argue, and that explains their disorganized nature? So let me get this straight: These nefarious, all-powerful actors who masterfully pulled off the greatest conspiracy in human history did such a shitty job of rigging up the building that several explosives went off several seconds before they should have? What kind of bumbling demolition technicians would be responsible for such shoddy work?
Several seconds of error might not sound like a long time, but in the world of controlled demolition, that's the equivalent of your pizza delivery guy taking 9 hours to bring you your food.
"Sorry, bro: Traffic was rough."
"Traffic was rough? The guy who ordered that pizza doesn't even live here anymore!"
Go watch some actual controlled demolition videos and you'll see that the precision timing of the explosions is virtually perfect, down to milliseconds. The room for error is extremely small, and it would be laughably embarrassing for any demolition firm to so ineptly rig up a building that several explosives fire several seconds before they should have.
It would be humiliating enough if this happened during a standard operation, but during a demolition where the entire world is going to have cameras pointed at the buildings during the collapse? During a demolition that will kill thousands of people? When the stakes are so high, you'd think they'd at least try to check their fucking work and avoid making such absurd and visible mistakes.
Gage, in that lecture, also claims that air pressure would cause multiple windows to break simultaneously—and we wouldn't see these single window failures like this.
I see where he's coming from, but here's why I think he's wrong: When such enormous amounts of air pressure are built up, this air is going to travel through the past of least resistance. So if one individual window is the first to fail—even if just milliseconds prior to another one—wouldn't the huge amounts of pressure push the air out of that particular window and relieve the pressure on the other windows?
Think about it as analogous to the failure of a levee during a flood: Even though the entire levee is made of the same material, what often happens is that as the pressure from the swelling river builds up, the initial structural failure of the levee will take place at one particular location—and water will begin to travel through that particular failure point. It's not like the entire levee uniformly collapses at once. So single-point failures through the path of least resistance does seem to make sense when the operative force is air or water pressure.
I also find it interesting that air pressure, in Gage's view, couldn't break individual windows like this—but apparently explosions can? That seems completely backwards to me. Think about it: If there were explosions going on anywhere on that floor, the debris isn't just going to break a single window; it's gonna get thrown in every single direction and break dozens of windows. Precisely what they're pointing to as proof of explosions couldn't possibly have been caused by explosions.
It seems like the only way we could see isolated explosions like this would be if the charges were placed on individual exterior beams with perfectly precise, outward explosive directionality. Even then, however, there's the real possibility that the concussive force from the explosion would break surrounding windows.
And what would be the value of placing charges on individual exterior beams like this? Severing just one exterior beam would make a negligible contribution to the failure of the building. So I guess this gets us back to the mistimed explosion hypothesis.
Here's another massive problem with the truther position on squibs: Doesn't their entire argument hinge upon the idea that the charges were planted on the core columns? When people ask truthers how a building this large with so many occupants could be rigged up for a controlled demolition with nobody noticing, they'll claim that this was done via the conveniently hidden interior columns. Richard Gage makes this point in that same lecture:
"How could explosives be placed in the World Trade Center Twin Towers with 50,000 occupants not knowing about it? Well, this is the floor plan. Let's enlarge it and take a close look. We note that the core structure, the columns of which are immediately adjacent to almost all of the elevators at the lower levels, certainly. If you had access to the elevator hoistway, you would have access to the core columns and beams, and no one would see you!
How about an elevator modernization, which we know was going on the 9 months prior to 9/11? Yes, Elevator World, March 2001 documents it."
To argue that these squibs are the product of explosives means that truthers have to refine their idea of how the building was rigged without people noticing—because this means that explosives were added to at least some exterior columns, as well.
Keep in mind that these exterior beams weren't somehow separated from everybody inside of the building; no, the outermost walls of the offices basically were the steel beams, just with some drywall and paint and other standard building materials on top of them.
So how could these columns have possibly been rigged up with explosives? What did they do, hide the explosives behind these curtains here? "Gee, I sure hope nobody finds these!" It's ridiculous!
"Hey Bill, have we always had those packages of C4 strapped next to the water cooler counting down from 10 minutes?"
"Yeah, I'm pretty sure those have always been there. Decoration or something."
"Huh, ok. Back to work, I guess."
Also, think about this: If explosives were only placed on the core columns as they assert, what kind of impossible explosion would travel all the way across the office space to the exterior windows, yet only break one of them? To travel that far and send debris that far from the center of the building, the explosions would have to be massive—and even with the building collapsing, they probably would've been audible and might have shattered all of the windows on that floor.
On top of that, to send debris in such a straight line from the center of the building is simply impossible because explosions send debris in all directions, so a bunch of windows would break at once. Even if it was a highly directional explosion, you can't produce an explosion that directional. I mean at that point, you'd basically just be shooting a fucking bazooka out the window. (Now that's how you bring down a building right there! Duct tape and bazookas. All the other stuff in the demolition industry, it's bells and whistles, really.)
The key point is that there is no way to reconcile these observations with the controlled demolition hypothesis. If you claim that the squibs are explosions, they couldn't have come from the interior columns because there's no way such a distant explosion could magically break individual windows located across the building.
That means that if you wanted to argue that the squibs are explosions, explosives must have been placed on exterior beams. And if you need to rig up exterior beams to bring down the building, you'd almost certainly rig up a lot of them; there'd be no value in taking out just one or a few of them, because the surrounding beams would continue to hold the weight of the building.
The problem is that the design of the building makes it completely impossible to load these exterior columns with explosives without the people working inside the building seeing them. So no matter how you try to twist it, these so-called squibs simply can't be used to support your position.
There's one finally cherry to put on top of this point here: Most truthers—including Richard Gage—fall into the thermite camp and reject the idea that traditional explosives were used to bring down the Twin Towers.
So just think about what's being argued here by truthers: their position is that thermite—which reacts by producing heat and melting things rather than exploding them—this thermite somehow did actually explode all the way in the center of the building, which somehow sent explosive debris in an impossibly straight line to exit out of only one individual window, leaving all other windows intact—and this didn't just happen one time, but it happened multiple times. That has to be one of the dumbest ideas I've ever heard.
It is a much more parsimonious explanation to say that air pressure built up from the crushing of the building escaped from the first window that broke. Either that's what happened, or there were impossible explosions which sent debris on impossible trajectories—with the explosions being caused by something that wasn't even meant to be explosive. I don't know about you, but I know which option I'm going with.
The other truther argument we'll examine in this video centers around the lateral ejection of heavy materials during the collapse of the Towers. Here's what they argue in 9/11: Explosive Evidence:
Jody Gibbs: "Large, multi-ton beams were hurled hundreds of yards laterally. Gravity works vertically, not laterally."
David Chandler: "So, something's happening to throw these things horizontally at those kinds of speeds. And here it is trailing white smoke the whole time. It really is indicative of some kind of explosion."
"Gravity works vertically, not laterally."
Correct, but gravity isn't the only force at play here. If we had a person who dropped a bowling ball off the side of a building from a resting position—with the exception of some minor movements caused by wind—we would expect the ball to fall straight down and crush some cab driver's windshield or something. (I wonder if insurance would cover that, by the way? "Ah, yes, the old bowling ball through the windshield from a skyscraper. Trust me, I see this all the time in my line of work.")
So yes, if you just dropped a bowling ball, you'd expect it to fall straight down. But what if the bowling ball, on its way down, smashed into a stationary concrete block? What would happen to the ball and the concrete block? Would they both remain intact and both move down in a straight line? No, the concrete block would be destroyed and debris would fly out in all directions.
When heavy things smash into each other, that introduces new forces into the equation. When the top section of the building crushes the bottom section, that's gonna cause shit to break and disintegrate and fly all over the place—in directions other than straight down. There is nothing mysterious going on here. This is no more mysterious than a brick shattering in all directions when subjected to a straight downward force from a sledgehammer.
"Holy shit, how did that brick explode like that? It must've been a controlled demolition!"
Now it's one thing for me to say that shit would break and disintegrate and fly all over the place, but perhaps that's a bit too vague and bro-sciencey for you and you want me to describe the specific non-explosive mechanisms that would cause debris to be laterally ejected.
One that we covered already would be pulverization: As the massive, upper portion of the building smashes into the floors below it, the impact would be so forceful that the concrete floors and other components of the building would break into small pieces and be shot sideways, similar to what we saw with the sledgehammer smashing the brick.
Another mechanism at play here would be tipping over: As the floors are pancaking downwards, certain sections of the core and exterior might remain temporarily standing for a few moments. No longer being supported by the floor and trusses, these might then tip over like a tree being chopped down by a lumberjack. And because the ground wouldn't immediately get in the way, these building chunks could continue to move on a curved path and could actually move a further horizontal distance than just the height of the object. [Watch the gif here. It shows a huge chunk of the South Tower’s outer perimeter tipping over.]
Here I performed a ghetto, homemade experiment to demonstrate this process. Using a standard, 12-inch ruler—one that I use to measure my penis quite often (Hey, why’s this thing all sticky?)—I show that an object that tips over can fall a further horizontal distance than the height of the object if the ground doesn’t get in the way and it’s allowed to continue on its curved path.
The final mechanism we'll examine here was pointed out by Mick West on MetaBunk, and that is elastic rebound. As he writes,
"When you snap something by compressing it, it's put under stress, and then that stress is released, causing sections of the object to fly off."
He also links to a video which demonstrates this process. As we can see, a long piece of plastic is being subjected to vertical stress, and once it snaps, pieces rapidly fly a significant distance horizontally. You could imagine a similar process during the collapse, where upper sections of the building subject steel beams below to vertical stress, causing them to break and shoot out to the sides like this.
David Chandler says "So something's happening to throw these things horizontally at those kinds of speeds." Yeah, something is happening: the top section of the building is falling and crushing the bottom section!
What do these people expect such a collapse to look like? If the top section is crushing the bottom section, why wouldn't we see material being ejected horizontally? Where would this destroyed material go if not out to the sides and in all other directions? Should it just vanish into a black hole or something?
Chandler says "here it is trailing white smoke the whole time"? White smoke? That looks to me like nothing more than dust and debris from the destroyed building.
I think one of two different mechanisms could cause the dust to trail like this: Number one, the falling heavy steel beams create an area of low air pressure behind them, which nearby dust naturally moves into. And number two, dust ahead of the steel beam could also be pushed along by the air-pressure bow shock it creates in front of it. I'm certainly no physics expert or 30-year schoolteacher but I don't see why both of these forces wouldn't apply here.
"Oh yeah? Why isn't the dust traveling downwards at the same speed as the steel beam? Shouldn't they all be falling at the rate of gravity?"
If this was taking place in a vacuum, you might be right, but dust is extremely light and air resistance would slow its descent.
I couldn't find any good real-world examples that illustrate something like this taking place, and I was thinking about performing another ghetto, homemade experiment to demonstrate this. Thankfully, Mick West over at MetaBunk.org beat me to it and saved me the trouble. Basically, what he did is cover a sledgehammer in dust and toss the thing several feet, leaving a very noticeable trail of dust behind it. No explosives necessary.
And again, I thought the truther position was that explosives weren't used—and that thermite was used? It is nonsensical to use alleged explosions as proof of a non-explosive demolition.
Final point: Many of the building pieces that we see moving sideways are clearly chunks of steel from the building exterior. If it were an explosion causing such large and heavy pieces of metal to move outwards, it would have to be an enormous explosion, which means that the exterior columns wouldn't just have to be rigged up, but would have to be rigged up with absurd amounts of explosives—which the building occupants clearly would have noticed.
"Hmm, we can rig up the building so that the steel support beams fail, or we can rig it up so that the steel beams are thrown hundreds of feet laterally." At the very least we could say that this wouldn't be a very economical use of their demolition resources.
It'd be like saying: "Huh, so I need to get this nail into this piece of wood. I could do this by hitting it with a hammer, but where's the fun in that? I think I'll instead drive the nail into the wood by dropping a grand piano on it from a ten-story building." What would be the purpose of engaging in such needless overkill during a building demolition?
I don't mean to keep sucking his dick in this post, but Mick West makes a very good point about what we would have seen if explosions truly were the cause of this debris ejection:
"Has anyone ever suggested a mechanism where an explosion might hurl a 20 ton wall section 250 feet, but not hurl smaller debris tens of miles?"
That's a great point, and it's one of many characteristics of the collapse that are inconsistent with explosives.
The truther arguments in these areas do not make sense when you take the time to think them through.
Truthers argue that explosive squibs were seen during the collapse of the Twin Towers. The piston theory is a much more reasonable explanation for what we see, as air pressure build-up could cause single-point failures whereas explosions would only cause multiple-point failures. It also simply wouldn't be possible for explosions taking place in the center of the building to send material on such precise, straight-line paths.
The lateral debris ejection can be explained by the fact that building destruction is a very violent process which introduces additional forces into the equation aside from just gravity. Truthers seem oblivious to the contradiction they create when they use alleged explosions as proof of a non-explosive, thermitic demolition.