Saturday, October 29, 2011

Feeding a troll

I know that one policy at this blog we have tried to maintain is to not feed the debunkers and trolls, but in this case I must make an exception. For the past few days I have been in a heated debate with a youtuber called CaptMandrake360 (sadly, his name is a reference to one of my favorite movies). One need only look through the comments section of this video to see how pointless it has been trying to debate this person. He has also left several fallacy-rich comments on my channel and his own, constantly claiming that I have not answered any of the questions he has asked me.

For the record, I have answered his questions numerous times, as can be seen looking through the comments from our discussion. What has happened through the course of our debate is that he has simply not been happy with the answers I have provided. There is obviously an enormous difference between not answering someone's question, and that person simply being unhappy with the answers he's been provided with.

It shouldn't be necessary for me to continue to address such silliness, as I and others have already repeatedly addressed numerous issues raised by the debunkers. But for the sake of clarity, I will provide full responses to this person, in hopes that he will see how truly ridiculous he has been. Here are the basic questions he has asked:


A: The basic question being presented is how the explosives set in the Towers wouldn't have been affected by the plane impacts and ensuing fires. At one point, I provided this person with a link to 911research which tackles this very issues. Unfortunately, he dismissed this and claimed that

This evidently highlights CaptMandrake's nonsensical logic. Because it's a "truther" site, it must be untrue! Apparently Mr. Mandrake decides in debates what is a credible source. His reasoning is obviously ridiculous. In any case, before providing this link to 911research, I provided several of my own answers.

It's important to note that, when discussing the collapse of the Towers, the collapses began at the floors with minimal to virtually no damage. In regards to the North Tower, the collapse initiated at the 98th floor, which had the least amount of structural damage. Only the tip of the starboard wing cut through that floor.

The NIST Report clearly states that the collapse began at this floor:

“First exterior sign of downward movement of building at floor 98.” NCSTAR 1, pg. 87

Although it is true that the inward bowing occurred over several floors (as Mandrake felt the need to repeatedly tell me), the first floor to collapse was the 98th floor. This is significant because this shows that the collapse did not start at floors with significantly more structural damage, which means that any demolition devices placed on the 98th floor would not have been affected by the plane impacts. When I pointed out to Mandrake that NIST reported that the collapse began at the floor with the least amount of structural damage, his response was

Although it is true that the NIST report never specifically states that the 98th floor was the least damaged, the information provided in their report clearly demonstrates this. Mandrake's claim that floor 98 was "one of five seriously damaged floors" is unfounded. The 98th floor had only five perimeter columns severed, and one need only look through the table provided in NCSTAR 1-2, pg. 205 to see that NIST does not list floor 98 as having any of its core columns severed.

On page 196 of NCSTAR 1-2, we see that NIST shows that only 6000lb of debris went into floor 98. We see in their severe case scenario (page 212) 7300lb of debris was said to have went into that floor. Although the report does list floors 92, 97 and 99 as having even less debris on them, the 92nd floor had core columns severed and the 99th floor was not recorded as having any structural damage to any support columns. Floor 97 had major damage to the perimeter and damage to the core as well. Therefore, out of all the floors that received structural damage to the perimeter and/or core columns, the 98th floor was the least damaged. Mandrake's claim that this floor was not the least damaged is therefore groundless.

If the demolition was started at the 98th floor where there was the least amount of damage from the plane, then clearly the plane's impact would not have had any serious affect on devices placed on this floor. But it's important to note that some of the devices may actually have been affected by the impacts. However, this would still be consistent with the observations of the Towers. An example would be the spout of molten metal seen coming from the side of the South Tower. As Jim Hoffman explains:

Partly because thermate produces bright orange light while burning, Stage 1 is allowed time to run to completion before Stage 2 commences. In the South Tower, some thermate pushed by the plane crash from the building's core to its corner generates an orange spout lasting from about T-7 to T-2 minutes.

The plane impact, in the case of the South Tower, may have indeed affected the devices in some way. However, this does not mean the overall demolition of the Towers was affected.

Another issue Mandrake brought up was the fires and how they didn't affect the demolition devices either. A thermite based demolition, however, solves this problem. As Dr. Steven Jones explains:

It is important to note that initiating the thermite reaction requires temperatures well above those achieved by burning jet fuel or office materials -- which is an advantage of using thermite charges over conventional monomolecular explosives such as TNT, RDX and PETN. Below is a photograph of an experiment performed by the author and colleagues at BYU in which a sample of thermite was heated to orange-hot temperature (about 1700 ºF). We demonstrated that the thermite reaction would not ignite at this high temperature. Later, the thermite reaction was triggered by burning a magnesium strip in contact with the thermite. An electrical superthermite "match" could have been used and remotely triggered via radio signal.

Thermite did not ignite when heated with a propane torch.

Dr. Jones’ point about triggering the thermite with electrical superthermite matches is noteworthy because, as pointed out by Los Alamos National Laboratory, these types of matches can be made to “resist friction, impact, heat, and static discharge through the composition, thereby minimizing accidental ignition.” The same article notes that one application of these matches can be to trigger explosives for demolition.

The third issue Mandrake raised concerned the planes and how they were guided into the Towers. 911research discusses this issue in some detail, so I will quote from there:

[T]he charges could have been arranged so as to avoid the regions that the attack planners expected to take direct hits from the aircraft, given that the planes may have been flown by GPS-equipped autopilots providing targeting accuracy to within a few meters.

Indeed, research shows that the types of maneuvers the planes executed on 9/11 would be entirely consistent with GPS-based control.

This particular issue was one I was not enthusiastic about addressing, as I felt it had more to do with speculation on my part rather than observable evidence. But Mandrake's insistence led me to address it, to which several times he ridiculed my sources as "conspiracy sites."

Mandrake's questions have been effectively answered, although I have no doubt that he will disagree. He will likely come up with any number of scenarios for how this explains nothing or how I'm "not answering" his questions. Let him think what he may. I choose to concern myself with more important matters, rather than answering every tiny problem brought up by faceless individuals on the internet.