Sunday, February 5, 2012

What Does it Mean for the 9/11 Truth Movement if James R. Millette Proves Nano-thermite Wasn't Used to Take down the WTC Towers on 9/11?

Update 09/30/2012 - Reply from Oystein to update below.


My original blog post below, outlines what steps must be taken to conclusively debunk nano-thermite as the culprit in our minds here. It's argued that the case for demolition isn't nano-thermite dependent, as varied methods of demolition have been proposed by those rejecting gravity-driven collapse. Most importantly, the widely agreed upon physical evidence for demolition has not been debunked, as evinced, in part, by the peer-reviewed scientific literature battle favoring controlled demolition theories.

Also noted, is the non-demolition evidence of complicity, consisting of the UNBELIEVABLE LACK of response from NORAD and other facilities equipped to defend our air space on the morning of September 11, 2001, as well as a staggering amount of prior-knowledge, some as specific as could be.  This seemingly ever-mounting evidence, strains the incompetence excuse offered up the government and "debunkers" beyond its breaking point and needs to be properly investigated, despite any debunking of the original nano-thermite study or dismissal of demolition in general.

The "debunker" Oystein at the JREF Forum replied, commenting that my post "presents Discussion pieces at the JEM [Journal of Engineering Mechanics] as 'peer-reviewed articles', which shows the author (Talboo) know nothing about scientific discourse, or he flat-out lies ('discussions' about a peer-reviewed paper are published by the journal without peer-review)."

First off, after being told on YouTube that, "There is a rebuttal to Zdenek Bazant's January 2011 paper with an editor at JEM right now, "grandmastershek" responded, "You mean Bjorkmans comments? Yeah discussion papers are not peer reviewed."

To which mechanical engineer Tony Szamboti retorted:
No, it is not Bjorkman's comments. It is a substantial correction of major errors in the Bazant and Le January 2011 paper in JEM which are not ambiguous and that their claim that deceleration of the North Tower upper section in a natural collapse would be too small to be visible is erroneous. I hate to burst your little bubble here bubba but I would tend to think Discussion papers are more rigorously reviewed than standard papers, owing to the fact that they are criticizing a published paper and the author of the paper being criticized gets to respond.
Bjorkman (who has "more than 40 years experience in steel structural design and structural damage analysis") noted at The 911 Forum that he sent his discussion paper into the JEM in February 2009 and that following June was "advised it had been reviewed and was going to be published."

Further backing up Szamboti's argument, is chemical engineer James Gourley, who described the process of getting his discussion paper refuting Bazant published in the JEM on Gourley states, "Not much is ever written about what we go through to get these papers published. The publication of this paper is a case study in the struggles we face." He notes that he had to "remove language that the editors thought was too argumentative" and that he left out a number of points he could have raised, knowing that "it would be difficult to get a paper critical of the official story published in a mainstream scientific journal" and "didn't want to give JEM any reason to reject it."

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), which oversees the JEM and many other scientific journals, makes essentially the same point, in their "ASCE Authors’ Guide," as Szamboti did, that "Discussions present significant comments or questions about the technical content of a technical paper." The guide goes on to state that "Discussions follow the requirements for other manuscripts except that they do not have abstracts, introductions, or conclusions." [All above emphasis added.]

Considered in sum, it certainly looks like discussion papers are indeed peer-reviewed. But just to make certain, I contacted Szamboti as well as esteemed scientist Dr. Crockett Grabbe, who replied:
I know they are peer reviewed in the Journal of Engineering Mechanics, as Richard Johns and I just went through that with our Discussion of the Le and Bazant January 2011 paper [mentioned here]. There was at least one reviewer other than the editor.

Tony Szamboti


Yes, the discussion papers submitted to JEM are peer-reviewed. I have had 2 papers peer-reviewed & accepted to JEM: one appeared in 4/11 (taking apart Sefen), & the one I submitted early summer of 2011 will appear in October of 2012 (which takes on Bazant).

Crockett Grabbe
PhD in Applied Physics, Caltech, 1978
As Scootle recently noted, stay tuned for an upcoming "post about the red-gray chips that addresses Millette's report and outlines an upcoming, blind study of the WTC dust commissioned by chemical engineer Mark Basile." The article will kick off a fundraising campaign for the study that I am helping spearhead. Let the red chips fall where they may!

What Does it Mean for the 9/11 Truth Movement if James R. Millette Proves Nano-thermite Wasn't Used to Take down the WTC Towers on 9/11?

It was announced recently that Chris Mohr is spearheading an investigation by James R. Millette, Ph.D. of MVA Scientific Consultants, looking into the peer-reviewed findings of Harrit et al, that the explosive/incediary nano-thermite was used to take down the WTC Towers on 9/11.

This begs the question, "What does it mean for the 9/11 truth movement if Millette proves nano-thermite wasn't used to take down the WTC Towers on 9/11?"

First off, to do that he will need to address an issue debated on between physicist Steven Jones Steven, PhD. and chemist Dr. Frank Greening shortly after the release of the nano-thermite findings. Jones highlighted how he informed Greening that during the ignition of the material iron-rich spheres were formed, such as would be expected during a thermite reaction. He pointed out that the device in which the chips were heated only reaches 700°C, but that "the melting points of iron and of iron oxide are both above 1200 C." This is evidence of a high-temperature chemical reaction and was already addressed in the paper, which notes that the samples ignited at about 430ºC.

Greening argued that, "The microspheres reported in the Harrit paper could at best be described as 'iron-rich', with Al, Si and O always present. But let me remind you, this is also true for the magnetically separated microspheres found in incinerator ashes – they contain mostly Fe, Al, Si, and O."

Jones replied, "Dr. Farrer and Danny and I have looked at many of these post-DSC spheres, many do NOT contain Al. See for example Fig 21 in our paper."

Greening then admitted to some error on that point. He also seemed to agree that the materials could not be primer paint used on the WTC.

Furthermore, as Jim Hoffman has pointed out, the Thermitic Material paper analyzes iron-rich spheres from three different sources: residue from the ignition of commercial thermite, residue from the ignition of the red-gray chips found in the WTC dust, and the spheres found by themselves in the dust. Take a look; the chemical compositions are almost indistinguishable, or "strikingly similar" as the paper puts it. This again requires an impeccable explanation.

It is therefore imperative that it be conclusively demonstrated how Jones was wrong on this point and why the spheres carry an overarching thermite signature. And if the paint hypothesis is put forward it must equally be proven why the debunker Greening was wrong in saying this idea didn't hold water! In all seriousness though, there are a plethora of points regarding the highly implausible claim that very well credentialed scientists (including the first author who is an expert in nano-chemistry) mistook paint for explosive material, which must be adequately addressed for the new study to be taken seriously. See video:

Comparative tests must be run by igniting known WTC paint samples, suspected other types of paint in the dust (often proposed by "debunkers" as the possible culprit) and red/gray chips. Ignitions must also be conducted in open air and inert atmospheres as well.

If all of this is done and the original study is effectively debunked then the question remains, "What does this mean for the truth movement?" The answer is nothing. Because most of us are not scientists, we must act like jurors in a trial, who often are asked to disseminate forensic evidence. The situation as it has existed is thus: the government skipped key forensic tests, while independent scientists did not and presented longstanding unrefuted peer-reviewed evidence of explosive material being present. This is akin to a prosecution in a murder trial demonstrating through forensics that there was blood on a knife, while the defense simply claimed it was only red wine, while also refusing during a nearly three year window of opportunity to test their hypothesis. In essence, our position has been the logical one.

Couple this with the fact that the truth movement has many differing opinions concerning the method of demolition, but almost universally agrees on the physical evidence, and an effective refutation by way of a new study becomes even less important. Case in point, even supporters of the nano-thermite evidence like Jim Hoffman have presented it alongside the other plausible theories of distributed conventional explosives (an idea which I have warmed up to, more than before) and better yet thermobaric devices, which have many desirable attributes for a covert demolition, including the advantage of an absence of conventional explosive residues. Combinations of conventional and non-conventional explosives has also been proposed. But again, the bottom line is, the physical evidence is widely agreed upon and must also be debunked, but as the following material demonstrates, the government investigators and defenders of the official story have failed at this task.

The official investigations conducted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology were not peer-reviewed and thus incited criticism and calls for independent review by the former Chief of NIST's Fire Science Division. Much harsher, demolition supportive, criticism of NIST has come from a former top civil service grade supervisory scientist at NIST, who was employed there until 2001, after which he worked as a part-time contractor until 2006. This whistle-blower, although wishing to remain anonymous for fear of possible retaliation, provided very detailed information. This lends credence to his claims, as experts note "usually the choice is clear" when lying to "keep it simple." That said, his account includes his having retired from the Army in 1983 and taking a three year hiatus from NIST to work in an engineering position on the United States Department of Defense's Strategic Defense Initiative (better known as the Star Wars project) before concluding (as did the prestigious American Physical Society) that the set goals of the projects weren't feasible in the least, or as he put it, he became "sick of that charade;" returning to to NIST in 1989. There has also been no financial gain for this person stemming from telling his story and thus the often touted financial motive for lying when it comes to controversial claims is out the window. To top it all off, the third author of the nano-thermite study, Steven Jones, stated that he "has confirmed" this claimed former NIST scientist "is indeed who he says he is." It therefore can quite reasonably be assumed that Jones was shown documentation, photos, etc. and did not just take his word for it before declaring this individuals identity was "confirmed."

Furthermore, Jones and a professor colleague at BYU, who was formerly employed by NIST, performed video-taped experiments conclusively debunking NIST's explanation of molten aluminum as the cause of molten metal seen flowing from the South Tower on 9/11. See video:

On the other hand, scientists from the truth movement have refuted the most prominent paper promoting gravity-driven collapse as the culprit on 9/11, three times in the same journal it was published in, the American Society of Civil Engineers' peer-reviewed Journal of Engineering Mechanics (JEM). Another major paper published in JEM supportive of gravity-driven collapse was also refuted in that same journal in a paper published by the impeccably credentialed scientist Crockett Grabbe, who also published one of the aforementioned three refutations. Still yet another three important peer-reviewed papers published in mainstream journals by members of the truth movement remain unchallenged. Learn more about all of these papers and read some by clicking here.

Again, this is all to say that the widely agreed upon physical evidence for demolition has not been debunked and the official investigations unquestionably were deplorably inadequate. One win in the scientific literature for debunkers in no way changes the very clear need for a new independent investigation. All of this this is best demonstrated by the following video of mechanical engineer Tony Szamboti with accompanying factual back-up.

-1:47 South wall of WTC1 buckling/columns bowing inward

-4:00 Manipulated sagging models

-4:22 NIST stopped at “collapse initiation”

-4:37 Problems with Dr. Bazant’s analysis

-5:58 NIST’s distorted tilt

-6:33 Bazant’s deceleration flaws

-8:46 Verinage demolitions refute arguments

-9:33 Upper section destroyed, therefore can’t crush lower section

-10:07 NIST “unable to provide a full explanation of the total collapse”

-11:02 Exaggerated sagging

-12:43 No explanation for high temperatures

-14:00 NIST misrepresents design loads of the Towers

-15:34 Small amount of steel saved for analysis

-16:36 No explanation for the molten flow from WTC2

-17:50 NIST acknowledges WTC7 free fall

-18:36 NIST’s WTC7 model doesn’t match the videos

-19:40 NIST’s model resembles natural collapse, but not WTC7 collapse

-20:00 NIST’s illogical reasons for dismissing controlled demolition

-21:06 Secret retrofit of the Citibank Tower refutes NIST’s arguments

-22:20 NIST misrepresents WTC7 construction

-23:11 NIST refuses to release data

-24:10 WTC7 sulfidized steel

-25:30 No other steel from WTC7 saved for analysis

-25:55 NIST never looked at any WTC7 steel in their investigation

-26:12 NIST misrepresents fire severity

-26:40 South Tower fire severity

-26:55 John Gross denies molten metal at Ground Zero

-27:57 NIST admits they never tested for explosives

-28:10 Over 100 first responders reported experiencing explosions

-28:52 NIST fails to follow NFPA 921 guidelines

Then of course there is the non-demolition evidence of complicity, consisting of the UNBELIEVABLE LACK of response from NORAD and other facilities equipped to defend our air space on the morning of September 11, 2001, as well as a staggering amount of prior-knowledge, some as specific as could be. This evidence strains the incompetence excuse beyond its breaking point and needs to be properly investigated despite any debunking of the original nano-thermite study or dismissal of demolition in general.