- Two unexplained "spikes" in the seismic record
from Sept. 11 indicate huge bursts of energy shook the ground beneath the
World Trade Center's twin towers immediately prior to the collapse.
- American Free Press has learned of pools of "molten
steel" found at the base of the collapsed twin towers weeks after
the collapse. Although the energy source for these incredibly hot areas
has yet to be explained, New York seismometers recorded huge bursts of
energy, which caused unexplained seismic "spikes" at the beginning
of each collapse.
- These spikes suggest that massive underground explosions
may have literally knocked the towers off their foundations, causing them
- In the basements of the collapsed towers, where the 47
central support columns connected with the bedrock, hot spots of "literally
molten steel" were discovered more than a month after the collapse.
Such persistent and intense residual heat, 70 feet below the surface, in
an oxygen starved environment, could explain how these crucial structural
- Peter Tully, president of Tully Construction of Flushing,
N.Y., told AFP that he saw pools of "literally molten steel"
at the World Trade Center.
- Tully was contracted after the Sept. 11 tragedy to re
move the debris from the site.
- Tully called Mark Loizeaux, president of Controlled Demolition,
Inc. (CDI) of Phoenix, Md., for consultation about removing the debris.
CDI calls itself "the innovator and global leader in the controlled
demolition and implosion of structures."
- Loizeaux, who cleaned up the bombed Alfred P. Murrah
Federal Building in Oklahoma City, arrived at the WTC site two days later
and wrote the clean-up plan for the entire operation.
- AFP asked Loizeaux about the report of molten steel on
- "Yes," he said, "hot spots of molten steel
in the basements."
- These incredibly hot areas were found "at the bottoms
of the elevator shafts of the main towers, down seven [basement] levels,"
- The molten steel was found "three, four, and five
weeks later, when the rubble was being removed," Loizeaux said. He
said molten steel was also found at 7 WTC, which collapsed mysteriously
in the late afternoon.
- Construction steel has an extremely high melting point
of about 2,800 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Asked what could have caused such extreme heat, Tully
said, "Think of the jet fuel."
- Loizeaux told AFP that the steel-melting fires were fueled
by "paper, carpet and other combustibles packed down the elevator
shafts by the tower floors as they 'pancaked' into the basement."
- However, some independent investigators dispute this
claim, saying kerosene-based jet fuel, paper, or the other combustibles
normally found in the towers, cannot generate the heat required to melt
steel, especially in an oxygen-poor environment like a deep basement.
- Eric Hufschmid, author of a book about the WTC collapse,
Painful Questions,* told AFP that due to the lack of oxygen, paper and
other combustibles packed down at the bottom of elevator shafts would probably
be "a smoky smoldering pile."
- Experts disagree that jet-fuel or paper could generate
- This is impossible, they say, because the maximum temperature
that can be reached by hydrocarbons like jet-fuel burning in air is 1,520
degrees F. Because the WTC fires were fuel rich, as evidenced by the thick
black smoke, it is argued that they did not reach this upper limit.
- The hottest spots at the surface of the rubble, where
abundant oxygen was available, were much cooler than the molten steel found
in the basements.
- Five days after the collapse, on Sept. 16, the National
Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) used an Airborne Visible/Infrared
Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) to locate and measure the site's hot spots.
- Dozens of hot spots were mapped, the hottest being in
the east corner of the South Tower where a temperature of 1,377 degrees
F was recorded.
- This is, however, less than half as hot at the molten
steel in the basement.
- The foundations of the twin towers were 70 feet deep.
At that level, 47 huge box columns, connected to the bedrock, supported
the entire gravity load of the structures. The steel walls of these lower
box columns were four inches thick.
- Videos of the North Tower collapse show its communication
mast falling first, indicating that the central support columns must have
failed at the very beginning of the collapse. Loizeaux told AFP, "Everything
- "At 10:29 the entire top section of the North Tower
had been severed from the base and began falling down," Hufschmid
writes. "If the first event was the falling of a floor, how did that
progress to the severing of hundreds of columns?"
- Asked if the vertical support columns gave way before
the connections between the floors and the columns, Ron Hamburger, a structural
engineer with the FEMA assessment team said, "That's the $64,000 question."
- Loizeaux said, "If I were to bring the towers down,
I would put explosives in the basement to get the weight of the building
to help collapse the structure."
- SEISMIC 'SPIKES'
- Seismographs at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty
Earth Observatory in Palisades, N.Y., 21 miles north of the WTC, recorded
strange seismic activity on Sept. 11 that has still not been explained.
- While the aircraft crashes caused minimal earth shaking,
significant earthquakes with unusual spikes occurred at the beginning of
- The Palisades seismic data recorded a 2.1 magnitude earthquake
during the 10-second collapse of the South Tower at 9:59:04 and a 2.3 quake
during the 8-second collapse of the North Tower at 10:28:31.
- However, the Palisades seismic record shows that-as the
collapses began-a huge seismic "spike" marked the moment the
greatest energy went into the ground. The strongest jolts were all registered
at the beginning of the collapses, well before the falling debris struck
- These unexplained "spikes" in the seismic data
lend credence to the theory that massive explosions at the base of the
towers caused the collapses.
- A "sharp spike of short duration" is how seismologist
Thorne Lay of University of California at Santa Cruz told AFP an underground
nuclear explosion appears on a seismograph.
- The two unexplained spikes are more than 20 times the
amplitude of the other seismic waves associated with the collapses and
occurred in the East-West seismic recording as the buildings began to fall.
- Experts cannot explain why the seismic waves peaked before
the towers actually hit the ground.
- Asked about these spikes, seismologist Arthur Lerner-Lam,
director of Columbia University's Center for Hazards and Risk Research
told AFP, "This is an element of current research and discussion.
It is still being investigated."
- Lerner-Lam told AFP that a 10-fold increase in wave amplitude
indicates a 100-fold increase in energy released. These "short-period
surface waves," reflect "the interaction between the ground and
the building foundation," according to a report from Columbia Earth
- "The seismic effects of the collapses are comparable
to the explosions at a gasoline tank farm near Newark on Jan. 7, 1983,"
the Palisades Seismology Group reported on Sept. 14, 2001.
- One of the seismologists, Won-Young Kim, told AFP that
the Palisades seismographs register daily underground explosions from a
quarry 20 miles away.
- These blasts are caused by 80,000 pounds of ammonium
nitrate and cause local earthquakes between Magnitude 1 and 2. Kim said
the 1993 truck-bomb at the WTC did not register on the seismographs because
it was "not coupled" to the ground.
- "Only a small fraction of the energy from the collapsing
towers was converted into ground motion," Lerner-Lam said. "The
ground shaking that resulted from the collapse of the towers was extremely
- Last November, Lerner-Lam said: "During the collapse,
most of the energy of the falling debris was absorbed by the towers and
the neighboring structures, converting them into rubble and dust or causing
other damage-but not causing significant ground shaking."
- Evidently, the energy source that shook the ground beneath
the towers was many times more powerful than the total potential energy
released by the falling mass of the towers. The question is: What was that
- While steel is often tested for evidence of explosions,
despite numerous eyewitness reports of explosions in the towers, the engineers
involved in the FEMA-sponsored building assessment did no such tests.
- Dr. W. Gene Corley, who investigated for the government
the cause of the fire at the Branch Davidian compound in Waco and the Oklahoma
City bombing, headed the FEMA-sponsored engineering assessment of the WTC
- Corley told AFP that while some tests had been done on
the 80 pieces of steel saved from the site, he said he did not know about
tests that show if an explosion had affected the steel.
- "I am not a metallurgist," Corley said.
- Much of the structural steel from the WTC was sold to
Alan D. Ratner of Metal Management of Newark, N.J., and the New York-based
company Hugo Neu Schnitzer East.
- Ratner, who heads the New Jersey branch of the Chi ca
go-based company, sold the WTC steel to overseas companies, reportedly
selling more than 50,000 tons of steel to a Shanghai steel company known
as Baosteel for $120 per ton. Ratner paid about $70 per ton for the steel.
- Other shipments of steel from the WTC went to India and
other Asian ports.
- Ratner came to Metal Management after spending years
with a metal trading firm known as SimsMetal based out of Sydney, Australia.
- * Painful Questions (Item# 1051, $20, 160 pages, softcover)
Is available from First Amendment Books, 645 Pennsylvania Avenue SE, Suite
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