Sunday, April 29, 2007

Occam's Razor and Controlled Demolitions

Although they disagree on what hit the buildings, conspiracy theorists generally agree that the Twin Towers (and Tower 7) were brought down by some type of controlled demolitions. Most people do not know enough about structural engineering to competently judge the subject. But we can still apply Occam's Razor.

For instance, if the Twin Towers were brought down by explosives, why bother with the planes at all? Surely bombs would have just as much dramatic effect. And some of the events offered as evidence of demolitions don't bear close examination. Many witnesses saw or heard explosions in places remote from the crash well before the towers collapsed. There is said to have been molten steel in the basement after the towers collapsed. Both of these are alleged to be inconsistent with damage caused by the planes. But are they consistent with controlled demolitions? When buildings are deliberately brought down, do random explosions normally go off in sites far from the actual demolition? Is there usually molten steel in the basement afterwards? Really?

What happens when a plane flies into a skyscraper? Well, in 1945 a B-25 bomber flew into the Empire State Building. The building did not fall because the plane was much smaller and flying slower, but the fuel tank exploded on impact. Although the bomber contained only 800 gallons compared to 10,000 gallons in the planes that hit the Twin Towers, it sent a fireball through hallways and stairwells, that caused damage several floors below impact, and one elevator fell to the bottom of the shaft. Multiply that by eight times the weight, over twice the speed and more than ten times the fuel load and it should hardly be surprising that the WTC suffered far-reaching damage. And anyone wanting to use any event at the WTC to prove disprove the "official account" should first answer this conspiracy debunker:

I'd like to propose a little thought experiment to the conspiracy believers. I've asked this before but no one has ever answered. Please describe, in as much detail as possible, what you would EXPECT to hear and see after a fully-loaded airliner hit a skyscraper at top speed, causing enormous damage, and the building caught fire to the point of collapse? And when a billion-pound building does start to collapse, what would you EXPECT to see and hear at the lower levels? Because in order to be surprised by what did happen, you must have some expectation of what SHOULD have happened.

Touching very briefly on technical details of what caused the collapse, I will point out that just before the towers fell, people inside were desparate, reporting that the ceilings were bulging and the floors were sagging. This is consistent with the truss theory, that the fire caused the metal strips (trusses) supporting the floors to sag, which pulled the walls inward and caused them to buckle. Of course, the most obvious shortcoming with the demolitions theory is how were all those explosives planting without anyone noticing? All that demolitions work going on in three different towers, and not one person noticed anything out of the ordinary?

But perhaps the best evidence of just how implausible the controlled demolitions scenario is was unwittingly made by one of its own advocates:
In addition to having to determine the quantities and placement of explosives necessary to achieve the total destruction of the Towers, the planners had to plan the timing of their detonations with some precision. It is clear from photographs and videos of the Towers' destruction that the zones of destruction moved downward at about the same rates as the exploding rubble clouds descended, so that these zones remained concealed by the clouds. If these zones of destruction moved either too quickly or too slowly, they would would have become visible below or above the rubble clouds, blatantly contradicting the official account of gravity-driven collapses.

Translation: Videos appear to support the "official" view of progressive collapse from the site of impact. That proves how cleverly the evidence was faked. Occam, someone needs a shave.



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