The Demolition of the World Trade Center
(The Devil’s Trick)
MARK H. GAFFNEY
The Unz Review
As we approach the twenty-second anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks, more than enough evidence exists to draw reasonable conclusions about what happened that day and who was responsible. Most of the basic facts have been known for years, though unfortunately have not been readily available to the general public.
Way back in 2007, a physics professor at Brigham Young University, Dr Steven E. Jones, turned up critical evidence while investigating samples of World Trade Center (WTC) dust. The samples had been collected immediately after September 11, 2001 from the thick deposit of dust that blanketed the WTC site and much of lower Manhattan. Jones found tiny bits of an exotic incendiary known as thermate that can cut through steel like a hot knife through butter. Thermate burns at ~5,000°F. The main product of the reaction is molten iron.
Thermate differs from its better known cousin thermite in that it contains sulfur which lowers the melting point of iron, speeding up the reaction. The presence of both sulfur and aluminum was diagnostic for thermate. Jones called this “the last nail in the coffin.” (Dr. Steven E. Jones, Revisiting 9/11/2001. Applying the Scientific Method, 2007)
Jones also found an abundance of tiny iron microspheres in the dust (up to .05% by volume), proof that large amounts of WTC steel had melted. The diameter of the spheres ranged from one micron to 1.5 mm. When Jones obtained some thermate, which is commercially available, and used it to cut through a steel plate, the reaction produced an intense spray of molten droplets which cooled into iron microspheres identical to the spheres in the dust.
Other studies of the WTC dust also reported the iron microspheres. (Heather A. Lowers and Gregory P. Meeker, Particle Atlas of World Trade Center Dust, posted at https://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2005/1165/508OF05-1165.html ; also see Damage Assessment: 130 Liberty Street Property. WTC Dust Signature Report: Composition and Morphology. December 2003)
Jones and his colleagues learned that thermite/thermate can be made more explosive by reducing the particle size of the ingredients. This more reactive variety is known as super thermate or nano-thermate. (Niels H. Harrit, et al, Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe, 2009)
And there were other revelations. It is indeed shocking how far the development of thermate had “progressed” by the late 1990s. Jones & Co, learned that a liquid sol-gel form of nano-thermate can be applied to steel simply by spraying or painting it on. This means insiders could have prepped the twin towers for demolition undetected during an elevator retrofit, a fireproofing upgrade, or even during routine maintenance. Nor was it necessary to wire the entire building. Ignition can be accomplished remotely using a specially designed thermitic match triggered by a radio signal. Once thermate is ignited, the reaction is self perpetuating. (Kevin R. Ryan, The Top Ten Connections between NIST and Nano-thermites, July 2, 2008)
All of this is consistent with the many eyewitness accounts of explosions on 9/11. And it is consistent with the testimony of New York City firemen, first responders and clean-up crews who reported seeing copious amounts of molten steel on site. As one fireman put it: “molten steel was flowing down the channel rails like in a foundry…”
(David Ray Griffin, The New Pearl Harbor revisited, 2008, pp. 31-37; Mark H. Gaffney, The 9/11 Mystery Plane, 2008, pp.132-139; Graeme MacQueen, 118 Witnesses: The Firefighters’ Testimony to Explosions in the Twin Towers)
Office and building fires do not reach temperatures anywhere near hot enough to melt steel which has a melting point of 2,500°F. Nor were there any combustible materials in the WTC, nor any combination thereof, capable of approaching this temperature. Although burning jet fuel has been frequently (and incorrectly) cited as the reason for the WTC collapse, the reality is otherwise. Jet fuel is essentially kerosene and will not burn in air in excess of 1,832°F, far below the melting point of steel.
Not long after the towers collapsed, a hard rain storm drenched Manhattan. Firemen also sprayed millions of gallons of water onto the smoking ruin of the WTC in an attempt to extinguish the fires, all to no effect. This is consistent with burning thermate, which includes its own chemically bound oxygen. This is why a thermate fire cannot be smothered by dowsing and will even burn underwater.
The WTC site was so hot it melted the workmen’s rubber boots. Search-and-rescue dogs brought in to help locate survivors suffered severe burns, and three of the dogs died. Just how hot was the pile? We got an idea on September 16, 2001 when NASA conducted a flyover using an infrared spectrometer (AVIRIS) and detected surface temperatures as high as 1,376° F. Temperatures beneath the pile were undoubtedly much higher. ( https://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2001/ofr-01-0429/thermal.r09.html )
The site remained intensely hot for five months. Molten steel was reported as late as February 2002 when clean-up crews finally reached the bottom of the WTC bathtub. (Jennifer Lin, “Recovery Worker Reflects on Months Spent at Ground Zero”, Knight-Ridder Newspapers, May 29, 2002)
The discovery of thermate in the WTC dust should have been front-page headline news across America, and indeed, around the world. Yet, as we know, the US media went deaf and dumb on the issue. Why? If Muslim jihadists were behind the 9/11 attacks, why would the media censor this breaking story? The only plausible reason for suppressing it was to prevent the truth from emerging about what actually happened. Blanket censorship has been the rule, ever since.
Nor was the cover up limited to the media. After many months of stalling, the G.W. Bush White House reluctantly appointed a government agency, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), to investigate and explain the WTC collapse.
The agency released its findings in 2005. In its final report NIST unequivocally states that it found no evidence the WTC was demolished. The multi-volume 10,000-page report gives the appearance of a thorough investigation. But a close reading (I spent many weeks digging into it) shows that NIST worked backwards looking for facts to support a predetermined conclusion that plane impacts and office fires caused the WTC collapse. In the process, NIST dismissed an abundance of evidence to the contrary.
No doubt, this is why many concerned citizens flooded NIST with critical comments and questions about its report. The public wanted to know: Did your scientists actually look for explosives? If so, where is the beef?
In 2006, the agency posted a clarification on its website. NIST acknowledged that it failed to look for explosive residues. (See question #29: https://www.nist.gov/world-trade-center-investigation/study-faqs/wtc-towers-investigation )
The admission was fatal to the agency’s credibility, and exposed the NIST report for what it is, a pile of stinking manure. Testing for thermitic incendiaries and explosives is standard practice in fire investigations. The national standard calls for it. (NFPA 921)
All of which means that the familiar narrative about Osama bin Laden and nineteen fanatic A-rabs is nothing but a cover story: a tapestry of lies. There is no way foreign jihadists could have gained access to the WTC to pre-position explosives. Nor in any event could Al Qaeda have manufactured thermate in a cave in Afghanistan. The incendiary is high-tech and in 2001 only a handful of nations had the capacity to produce it, the US and Israel at the top of the list.
As Sherlock Holmes famously told Watson: My friend, once you rule out the impossible what remains must be the truth. Like it or not.
The Devil’s Trick?
But is thermate the whole truth? Can thermate alone account for everything we witnessed on 9/11? This is the contentious question that some in the 9/11 truth community have been attempting to raise, for years.
According to NIST, the steel in the monster box columns in the core of the towers was up to seven inches thick at the base. Could thermate cut through columns of this size? Doubtful. (NIST NCSTAR 1-3 p. 10).
We know that enormous explosions ripped through the basement of each tower shortly before they fell. A photographer named Rick Siegal actually captured these explosions on film from Hoboken, just across the Hudson River from Manhattan. The quality of Siegal’s video was excellent because his camera was set on a tripod. Moreover, it was also equipped with audio so he was able to record the thunderous noise which carried across the river. The footage is graphic. After each blast a dust cloud is plainly visible rising from around the base of the tower. Collapse ensued within minutes. These huge explosions shook the ground and evidently were intended to weaken the towers by destroying the gigantic core columns. In my opinion they were not caused by thermate.
We also know that during the collapse large segments of the outer perimeter wall were thrown at least 600 feet from the base of the towers. Could thermate do this? Not likely. This points to a much more powerful explosive.
Recently, I also learned about another anomaly. On completion of the clean up at ground zero, two cavernous holes in the bedrock were very much in evidence at the site. They were located near to where the towers stood. The deepest of these was 110-feet below street level, so deep the bottom was below sea level. Obviously, thermate did not excavate these enormous voids in the granite. I was stunned when I learned about this.
The official story is that ice age glaciers carved the “grand canyon of Manhattan” 20,000 years ago. (David W. Dunlap, At Ground Zero, Scenes from the Ice Age, New York Times, September 21, 2008)
However, a German physicist who thinks outside the box, Heinz Pommer, has a different explanation. In 2018, during a presentation in London, Pommer argued that the twin towers were demolished with nuclear weapons. He thinks the enormous voids in the granite may have been a collateral effect.
Pommer is not the first to propose the use of nukes on 9/11. Others who did so before him have faced disbelief and ridicule. The main argument against nukes is the absence of radiation at the WTC site. Although a nuclear isotope, tritium, was definitely detected, allegedly its presence has been otherwise accounted for, ruling out nukes.
But Pommer begs to differ. He argues that the placement of the Uranium charge at the bottom of the WTC elevator shaft explains the seeming absence of radiation. The nuclear reaction in these simple but effective weapons proceeded slowly, at first. As the heat from fission built up, the Uranium charge melted down into the granite. The result was a pressure chamber in the bedrock below each tower where fission ultimately fizzled and was contained. The fusion component, however, formed a rising plasma needle that eventually broke containment. At a critical point, super-heated gas and gamma radiation vented vertically through the core of each tower, analogous to a volcanic gas jet eruption. All of this was hidden from view until the moment the tower visibly exhaled dust and gas from the upper levels. Then came the symmetric top-down collapse.
Pommer argues that only the vast energy of a nuke can explain the conversion of hundreds of thousands of tons of concrete and steel into dust. And only a nuke can account for the sudden disintegration of the upper portion of the South Tower (WTC-2) which had tipped at a weird angle and was falling as a unit. And only a nuke can explain the near total absence of ceramic sinks and toilets, filing cabinets, furniture, and human bodies in the wreckage. Almost everything in the towers was vaporized by gamma radiation.
According to Pommer, the nuclear reaction progressed over at least an hour, and this explains a number of anomalies. These include electromagnetic interference of radio and tv transmissions, spontaneous fires in surrounding buildings and in nearby vehicles, the pyroclastic cloud that enveloped lower Manhattan, conspicuous venting of steam from underground sewers, strange rainbow effects and silverfish flashes in video footage, and the like.
Recently, important new evidence has also come to light. In 2019, doctors at Mt. Sinai Medical Center reported “an increased incidence of thyroid cancer among 9/11 rescue workers….the etiology of which remains unclear.” I only learned about this, a few days ago. ( https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6479621/ )
Ever since Hiroshima and Nagasaki, thyroid cancer has been recognized as the tell-tale signature of exposure to nuclear radiation. A spike of thyroid cancers also occurred after the Chernobyl disaster. ( https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3222994/ )
I believe the thyroid cancers are the true smoking gun of 9/11, and a wake up call. Pommer’s thesis deserves thoughtful consideration. He calls it the devil’s trick.
In part two of this essay I will name the principal suspects responsible for the worst terror attack in US history.
Mark H. Gaffney is the author of Dimona the Third Temple (1989), The 9/11 Mystery Plane and the Vanishing of America (2008), Black 9/11. Money, Motive and Technology (2016), and Deep History and the Ages of Man (2022). Mark can be reached for comment at firstname.lastname@example.org