9/11 Conspiracy

Some people are more susceptible to conspiracy theories than others. I am one of them. But even to me, the 9/11 conspiracy theories sounded ludicrous at first. I couldn’t see any possible motivation for anyone to go and murder 3000 people, nor any possible way of getting away with it. But there were things that could not be explained in the way the buildings came down, especially the World Trade Center Building 7, WTC7. So I went through as much of the conspiracy literature, and their debunking as I could. After a month or so of casual research, I have to say that a conspiracy is plausible, and even likely. I thought I would share my thoughts here, with apologies to anyone who might find this line of thinking offensive.

Of all the conspiracy theories about the 9/11 and the World Trade center towers collapse, the most intriguing one is about WTC7 — another skyscraper that was about 300 meters away from the towers. Why did it collapse? It was not hit by any plane. Although it had some office fires, they didn’t look that serious from the video — no flames leaping across floors, no billowing smoke. Even much larger fires have never caused a building to collapse until that day. A fire-induced collapse should look like an irregular event, with parts of the building crumbling down, and the structure coming down in a sort of halting, stuttering manner. What the videos show, however, is a smooth collapse that looks very much like a controlled demolition, with the building collapsing into its own footprint. Finally, there is video evidence of somebody saying “let’s pull it,” and firefighters and other witnesses hearing explosions, some of which can actually be heard on the sound track.

If the building was indeed “pulled,” then the demolition charges must have been in place before the day because it would have been impossible to wire up explosives in the morning of 9/11 on a WTC building. That would mean that somebody with access, opportunity and motive must have known about the 9/11 attacks, and made use of them to mask the demolition. Hence it is a conspiracy. That’s the theory, at least.

I’m no expert on building demolitions, or fires, or the motives and workings of the powers-that-be. But I am an expert when it comes to computing the details of the free fall of an object, or inelastic collisions. In fact, anybody who paid attention to their high school physics teacher would be an expert, because the physics involved is fairly simple.

The official explanation for the collapse is that structural failures (resulting from thermal expansion due to uncontrolled office fire) caused floors to “fail” between the 8th and 14th Floors in the east and between the 7th and 17th in the west. Since the building collapsed straight down, the floor failures had to be simultaneous and symmetric; otherwise the building would have tipped over to the side with the initial (or the largest) failure. With the the floors below “failing,” the remaining portion of the building above fell as a single unit. I added quotes around the word “fail” because I don’t quite know what it means in this context. I will assume that it means the floors that “failed” just disappeared. So, let’s assume that seven floors between the 8th and 14th floors in the east and the 10 floors between the 7th and 17th floors in the west disappeared at time t=0, when the collapse started.

You already see a problem here, don’t you? If the west side had more floors that disappeared, then the building would have tipped over to the west, which didn’t happen. So, let’s ignore the west side for now. The first thing that happens after the seven floors disappear is that Floor 15 comes down and hits Floor 7 (which takes two seconds), fusing with it (as in an inelastic collision), and moving down to Floor 6. Then Floor 6 also fuses with everything above and goes and hits Floor 5 and so on until Floor 15 experiences an inelastic collision with mother earth about a second later. The acceleration during the first two seconds would be measurably different from the next second, which itself would be different from the velocity profile after the third second. In fact, what would happen after three seconds is not at all obvious; my best guess would be a kind of shuddering disintegration of the remaining part of the building.

The collapse did not happen that way. Here is what did happen to WTC7.

Here is an arial photograph of ground zero taken a few days after 9/11, showing the footprints of the buildings. Notice how neatly WTC7 imploded into its footprint, and how unscathed the neighboring buildings look.


Once you accept that the collapse of WTC7 is not consistent with a natural fall caused by fire, you have to come to the uncomfortable conclusion that it was a deliberate and controlled demolition. If office fires could have brought down a steel-framed high-rise building, why would we need expensive controlled demolition work to tear down old buildings? And how can we feel safe when we are in any modern high-rise office building? Once you reach the inevitable conclusion of conspiracy, you will have to ask yourself a series of logical questions. Who could have done it? Who benefited from it? Is it conceivable that your government could have lied to you about it? Well, at least that question seems easy enough to answer. Of course it could have. In the run-up to the Gulf war to teach Saddam Hussein a lesson, the administration freely fabricated evidence about weapons of mass destruction. (Of all the lies of that time, it is Colin Powell’s performance at the UN that hurts the most. I prefer to think that he was deceived himself.) In fact, instead of calling it “your government,” I would have preferred to call it certain elements in the Bush administration, but then, no element in the Obama administration is taking a serious look at the conspiracy (of 9/11 or the Gulf war) either.

Ultimately, you have to ask yourself the question — does it really matter whether the conspiracy was hatched domestically or in Afghanistan? Sure, it would be nice to bring the real culprits to justice, and the loss of lives in the 9/11 attacks and the ensuing wars is deplorable and tragic. But it is a small number, in the grand scheme of things, and no amount of after-the-fact epiphany is going to change it. Does it matter to you, personally? Or to your children? I, for one, think it does, for a variety of reasons. But that is only my opinion. What am I going to do about it? Well, I will write a few more of these posts.