Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Frank Greening Iron Sphere Paper... Debunked

Comment 12: - By: Simon Falkner, - Received: 03/04/18 - Posted: 03/20/18
Dr. Greening: You say you did not mention the red/gray chips, studied by Harrit et al. (2009) [1], because you did not find any red/gray chips in your WTC dust sample. You essentially dismiss any such chips as environmental contaminants. In comment 3, you argue that the chips could be "flakes of spalled iron-oxide from so-called weathering steels" since they "would be quite common in the particulate matter found in any large urban center." In comment 3, you support your dismissal by noting that your calculations show that some of the chips studied by Harrit et al. were too large to have been dispersed far enough to reach some of the sampling locations. The chips must therefore, in your view, have been environmental contaminants at the sampling locations, rather than having been from the WTC collapses. In comment 8, you further support your case by adding that other major studies of the WTC dust did not find red/gray chips, and that a book about those studies did not mention them either (a book written by an author of some of the official governmental dust studies, Dr. P.J. Lioy, [2]). There are several obvious problems with this line of reasoning:
  1. Sample #2 in Harrit et al. was collected within 10 minutes of the collapse of the North Tower - after the dust collector and his surroundings had been smothered by a thick layer of the dust that obviously came from that event right there and then. In Part 1.0 of your paper, you describe this sort of a sample as the ideal sample.
  2. Your calculation-based argument begins with the premise that a gravitational collapse was the only possible force that could have flung the chips. You ignored other possibilities, most importantly (in this context) the possibility of energetic materials as a secondary power source: The red part of the red/gray chips is as you know one of the suggested energetic materials in question.
  3. Figure 16 in Part 4.1 of your paper shows that your calculations predict that most particles smaller than 500 microns would have settled within 300 meters from Ground Zero (GZ). But as Dr. Niels Harrit has already noted in comment #7, 4 ton steel beams were hurled up to 200 meters from GZ. Thus, real-life observations have demonstrated that your argument is obviously invalid.
  4. In comment 1, the moderators have this to say: "..Frank Greening replied: "I spent a lot of time looking for red-grey chips, but found none. And I did find a few mono-layered iron-oxide chips.""
    I find it curious that you do not even report finding potential candidates, and I suspect closer inspection would reveal some. Dr. Steven Jones [3] and chemical engineer Mark Basil [4] have both noted that there are many different red materials in the dust, in addition to the thermitic red/gray chips. Were the "mono-layered iron-oxide chips" red by any chance? Did you analyze them and rule out that they could be examples of the red layer without the gray layer [5] or perhaps burnt or charred examples of the red layer or even a red layer from a different source? The upper-right corner of Figure 2 in Part 3.1 of your paper shows the top half of what looks like the red layer of a red/gray chip.
  5. The presence of red/gray chips in the WTC dust has in fact been independently verified by three (3) different researchers in the years following the publishing of the 2009 Harrit et al paper: Mark Basile in the USA [6] and Henry-Couannier in France [7] both reported finding chips in their dust samples, and Dr. Millette in the USA [8] also found red/gray chips in WTC dust even though he had been hired to refute Harrit et al.. These researchers may not agree about the nature of the red material, and they may even have studied different kinds of red/gray chips[9], but they do confirm that red/gray chips are indeed found in the WTC dust. Had you forgotten about them when you scanned Dr. Lioy's book for red/gray chip references?
  6. Not finding red/gray chips in Dr. Lioy's book is a very poor excuse. As chemist Kevin Ryan has observed [10], "Millette and his colleagues did not report iron spheres in the official WTC dust signature study" even though other studies found them to be a prominent characteristic of the dust - yet the spheres are easily found when one really looks for them, as you know. Dr. Millette was the leading laboratory scientist for WTC dust studies sponsored by the government, and thus one of Lioy's co-authors in his WTC dust studies. These studies seemingly neglected to report any red/gray chips, but Dr. Millette had no trouble finding red/gray chips in his own dust samples once he had been independently hired to refute the Harrit et al. report. It can therefore be said that Dr. Lioy's lab technician has in fact independently confirmed that red/gray chips were indeed part of the WTC dust.
  7. Whether or not you agree that the red/gray chips are indeed remnants of the WTC collapse events is not really the main point. In my opinion, you had a scientific obligation to note in your paper that you looked but did not find any chips in your sample. And above all, you had an obligation to explain their relevance to your hypothesis for iron-rich spheres: Harrit et al. showed that their red/gray chips produced iron-rich spheres when ignited, and these chips therefore represent a hypothesis for iron-rich spheres that competes with yours. In my next essay, I will review your iron-sphere hypothesis as well as your fly-ash hypothesis for "iron-poor" spheres.
[2] Niels H. Harrit, Jeffrey Farrer, Steven E. Jones, Kevin R. Ryan, Frank M. Legge, Daniel Farnsworth, Gregg Roberts, James R. Gourley and Bradley R. Larsen"Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe," The Open Chemical Physics Journal, 2009, 2,7-31.
[5] Frédéric Henry-Couannier"Redred Chips".
[6] Mark Basile"Progress Report, August 2014".
[7] Frédéric Henry-Couannier"Independent analysis of WTC dust in Marseille".
[9] John-Michael Talboo and Ziggi Zugam"9/11: Explosive Material in the WTC Dust," Pages 15 - 18 in particular.

Comment 13: - By: Simon Falkner, - Received: 04/21/18 - Posted: 05/08/18

Comments on Characterization of a World Trade Center Dust Sample, by Greening and Greening (2017) - A Response to Dr. Frank Greening, by Simon Falkner

Part 1. The concrete in the floors of the Twin-Towers was NOT a source of fly-ash spheres.
Dr. Greening, in section 4.2.1 in your paper, you suggest that the glassy and "iron poor" aluminosilicate-based spheres found in the WTC dust came from fly-ash mixed into the floor-concrete in the Twin Towers (Greening and Greening, PDF pages 27 - 28), but I notice some problems with this hypothesis:
(1.1) Lack of documentation to prove that this concrete contained fly-ash. You have been making this argument for about 10 years [1] now, so you have had plenty of time to fine comb NIST (and other) sources for such a reference. Your original statement in 2007 was this: "... fly ash is frequently used as aggregate in lightweight concrete, so microspheres may have been present in the Twin Tower's concrete even before the fires of 9/11. Given that so much concrete was pulverized during the collapse of the towers, fly ash debris would be present in large amounts in the rubble pile." In the absence of supporting evidence, this statement is only speculation.
(1.2) You neglect to mention that Dr. Steven Jones is on record [1] responding to you (the conversation quoted in point 1.1 above) that he once looked for magnetic fly-ash spheres in a sample of WTC concrete, but found none. Your glassy spheres may not be magnetic, but have you ruled out that any supposed fly-ash could have contained magnetic spheres in addition to glassy spheres? Did you at any point ask Dr. Jones if he ever searched for non-magnetic spheres in WTC concrete as well? You offer no experimental results (your own or from other researchers) that contradict Dr. Jones either.
(1.3) The floor-concrete in the WTC Twin Towers contained haydite, not fly-ash, according to NIST [2].
Thus, the research and evidence so far actually demonstrates that the concrete did in fact NOT have any fly-ash sourced spheres (or any other kind of spheres for that matter).
Part 2. The WTC fires could not have heated the concrete enough to create fly-ash type spheres.
In part 4.2.2 you ask if the building fires could possibly have heated the concrete floors to temperatures high enough to form the glassy alumino-silicate spheres mentioned in Part 1 above. I agree with your conclusion that "..the temperatures attained by the fire-exposed floors in WTC 2 show that aggregate melting as a precursor to the formation of spherical particles in WTC 2 dust is simply not credible" (Greening and Greening, PDF page 31).
Part 3. The WTC fires could not have heated the steel enough to create the iron-rich microspheres.
In section 4.2.3 you acknowledge the presence of "iron-rich" spheres in the WTC dust, and spheres composed of pure iron (Greening and Greening, PDF pages 31-32). More importantly, you have essentially acknowledged what AE911Truth has been pointing out for years [3]: that the open-air fires at the WTC 9/11 event could not have attained temperatures high enough to create the iron-rich spheres. You do this indirectly by referring to the maximum temperature possibly attained by the steel itself, instead of referring to the maximum possible temperature of the WTC fires (PDF page 40). This is, however, a moot point since it is a generally known fact that open-air fires are limited to temperatures far below your cited 1500 degree (C) melting-point for iron[4].
Part 4. Welding during construction not a source for the iron-rich spheres.
In section 4.3 you state that, "However, specifically for shielded metal arc and gas metal arc welding, (as used for on-site assembly of components at the WTC), references[32, 33] indicate that Mn/Fe ratios can be as high as 30%" (Greening and Greening, PDF page 33).
It is worth pointing out that the above quote indicates that welding during construction could not have been a source for the iron-rich spheres because you did not find any spheres with a high enough Mn/Fe ratio. Figure 7 confirms this as it shows you finding amorphous particles with a high enough Mn/Fe ratio but no spheres (PDF page 35). This point should have been spelled out, in my opinion. This raises another interesting point not addressed in your paper: You go on to hypothesize that cutting and grinding during construction was the source of the iron-rich spheres, but if spheres from cutting and grinding during construction could have survived intact in the buildings for about 30 years, should the spheres from the welding not have survived as well? Since you do not find any surviving spheres from the welding operations, does this not cast a serious doubt on the cutting and grinding hypothesis?
Part 5. Cutting and grinding during construction not a plausible major source of iron-rich spheres.
You propose that cutting and grinding during the construction of the buildings left behind the iron-rich spheres found in the dust some 30 years later (Greening and Greening, PDF page 34). But the hypothesis that these activities were a major source does not appear credible. Here is why:
(5.1) The construction crews most likely cleaned-up the vast majority of any spheres along with other crud as the construction moved along.
(5.2) And then, it seems reasonable to assume that most of any remaining spheres would have rusted away during the 30 odd years of air-exposure in the rust-promoting coastal (humid and salty) climate.
(5.3) A question raised in Part 4 (Welding during construction not a source for the iron-rich spheres) shows that the above two points are very likely true: Where are the Mn-rich spheres from the welding operations during construction? If spheres from cutting and grinding during construction survived all these years, then surely spheres from the welding would have survived as well - Yet, you did not find any.
(5.4) Given the three points above, if a large amount of iron-rich spheres was to be expected anyway, then why was their prevalence in the WTC dust so unique that researchers thought of them as a signature marker[3] for the WTC dust? That is not consistent with your hypothesis, but it is consistent with the three points above, suggesting that iron-rich spheres from the days of construction would be quite rare, at best.
Part 6. Specific Mn/Fe ratio does not prove cutting and grinding hypothesis for iron-rich spheres.
You state that spheres from the cutting and grinding of the steel would have "essentially the same chemical composition as the source material" (PDF page 33). Your hypothesis is that since you found manganese in your spheres in an amount that matches the WTC steel (according to you), the iron-rich spheres were produced via cutting and grinding during construction of the buildings. In order for your hypothesis to be valid, you would have to be able to (1) rule out possible competing manganese sources, (2) demonstrate that all studies reporting iron-rich spheres in the WTC dust show manganese in the spheres, and (3) argue that the reported Mn/Fe ratio is generally consistent with the one you report - But, none of these requirements are met:

A. Iron-rich spheres not typically reported to have manganese and specific Mn/Fe ratio.

(6.1) Dr. Steven Jones [5] has noted that manganese is actually a known thermite ingredient according to a company that does forensic testing, Materials Engineering, Inc. (Revisiting 9/11/2001, PDF page 26). Thus, manganese in iron-rich spheres can also be a marker for a thermitic material.
(6.2) You do not cite all the other known WTC dust studies (that report iron-rich spheres) to confirm that the iron spheres in those studies also consistently had not only manganese in them, but also in the same proportion you found. Thus, you have no data to prove that your Mn/Fe ratio is generally a defining feature of the iron-rich spheres.
(6.3) Dr. Jones has in fact analyzed iron spheres from WTC dust on his own, and reviewed other reports, and his research [5][6] demonstrates that the iron-rich spheres are not in general found with manganese in them. Dr. Jones has specifically noted that "we have looked at the chemical compositions of a number [of] iron-rich spherules as well as that of steel, and the compositions are not the same at all" (Revisiting 9/11/2001, PDF page 23). The iron-rich sphere from WTC dust documented in Harrit et al. (2009)[7] did not have any manganese in it either. The available data does, therefore, not support your hypothesis.

B. Another hypothesis explains the data.

(6.4) Dr. Jones has observed that if cutter-charges based on thermite were used to cut WTC steel beams on 9/11, distinctive spheres could possibly be found from those charges and from the cut steel (Revisiting 9/11/2001, PDF page 23 and 24) - the latter spheres would in this case have the Mn/Fe signature you refer to. The finding of Mn in only a portion of the iron sphere samples is therefore consistent with the thermite hypothesis (see Comment 12, Point 7), but not your hypothesis.
Part 7. Even if true, "cutting and grinding" hypothesis would not refute thermite hypothesis.
The red material in the red/gray chips, documented by Harrit et al. (2009), is still the only proven explanation for the iron-rich spheres in the WTC dust. Even if it were proven that cutting and grinding during construction of the Towers could have left behind a substantial amount of iron-rich spheres, you would merely be left with a hypothetically possible secondary source of iron-rich spheres.
Part 8. Even if true, "fly-ash" hypothesis for aluminosilicate spheres would not refute thermite hypothesis.
If true, this would only prove that other sources could explain some (see next point) or all aluminosilicate spheres. The red material would still remain a proven source of iron-rich spheres.
Part 9. Thermitic materials potential explanation for iron-rich and aluminosilicate spheres, and other noted WTC data.
Although some researchers may assume that the presence of a thermitic material on 9/11 would only leave behind metallic iron spheres, the reality is quite different:
(9.1) The standard iron/aluminum thermite mixture can leave behind iron-oxide spheres and spheres containing iron-aluminum compounds in addition to the signature metallic iron spheres[8]. More complex thermite mixtures would presumably leave behind even more diverse ingredients in the expelled spheres, and another look at Harrit et al. does support that. The red material tested in their paper was comprised of iron-oxide and aluminum in a silicon-rich matrix material. When ignited, this material left behind spheres containing some mixture of aluminum, iron, oxygen, and silicon - as well as spheres containing metallic iron. It is often forgotten that this material also left behind translucent silicon-rich spheres that did not receive detailed study in the paper. One wonders if more detailed study would reveal that this material also expelled the spheres you have described as glassy aluminosilicates?
(9.2) Thermite can explain all the iron-rich spheres since thermitic cutter-charges would probably leave behind evidence from the thermite reaction and the cut steel beams (Part 6.4). But what about the aluminosilicate spheres? Would a thermitic material not melt just about any material it came into close contact with? Since the temperature of even the traditional thermite reaction is about 2500 degrees (C), the presence of thermitic materials in the Towers could account for just about any melted metal and even melted concrete[9], and just about any kind of microsphere. When you ruled out the possibility that heat from the office fires could have melted the concrete aggregate (see Part 2), you relied on a hypothetical number for the maximum concrete temperatures given office fires - but you could reach a different conclusion if you were to consider a thermitic material as the primary source of heat.
(9.3) Finally, it should be noted that thermitic materials also explain a lot of the other noted WTC evidence[10][11].
[1] 9-11-01 History Archive:"Dr. Steven Jones and Dr. Frank Greening Email Correspondence in 2007," Frank Greening JREF post on 12-26-07.
[2] National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)"NIST NCSTAR 1-6B," Page 21, pdf page 57.
[4] Thomas W. Eagar and Christopher Musso"Why Did the World Trade Center Collapse? Science, Engineering, and Speculation," JOM, 53 (12) (2001), pp. 8-11.
[5] Dr. Steven E. Jones"Revisiting 9/11/2001 --Applying the Scientific Method," Journal of 9/11 Studies, May, 2007.
[6] Steven E. Jones, Jeffrey Farrer, Gregory S. Jenkins, Frank Legge, James Gourley, Kevin Ryan, Daniel Farnsworth, and Crockett Grabbe"Extremely high temperatures during the World Trade Center destruction," Journal of 9/11 Studies, January, 2008.
[7] Niels H. Harrit, Jeffrey Farrer, Steven E. Jones, Kevin R. Ryan, Frank M. Legge, Daniel Farnsworth, Gregg Roberts, James R. Gourley and Bradley R. Larsen"Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe," The Open Chemical Physics Journal, 2009, 2, 7-31.
[8] Yi WANG1, Xiao-lan SONG, Wei JIANG, Guo-dong DENG, Xiao-de GUO, Hong-ying LIU, Feng-sheng LI,"Mechanism for thermite reactions of aluminum/iron-oxide nanocomposites based on residue analysis," Trans. Nonferrous Met. Soc. China 24(2014) 263−270.
[9] Energy Innovation Portal"Linear Thermite Charge."
[10] Kevin Ryan"How to Debunk WTC Thermite," Dig Within.
[11] Steven Jones, Robert Koro, Anthony Szamboti and Ted Walter"15 YEARS LATER: ON THE PHYSICS OF HIGH-RISE BUILDING COLLAPSES," Europhysicsnews, 2016.