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911 Peer-reviewed paper in Journal of Engineering Mechanics

Steven Gaal

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Technical Point: NIST has not adequately explained the yellow-orange fluorescing molten metal observed pouring out of the northeast corner of the 78th floor of WTC 2 shortly before its collapse. In a FAQ article, they claimed that it could have been aluminum. However, when it was explained to them that aluminum fluoresces as a silvery color, they postulated that the aluminum could have been mixed with organics to give it the yellow- orange glow. When physics professor Dr. Steven Jones performed an experiment by adding organics to molten aluminum, they did not mix. The organics consistently floated to the top, no matter how thoroughly they were mixed into the molten aluminum. The significance here is that the maximum temperatures which can be achieved by diffuse flame hydrocarbon (jet fuel or office fires) is in the range of 600° to a maximum of 1,800° F, well below the 2,750° F minimum melting temperature of steel or iron (which does fluoresce yellow-orange in its molten state). Further chemical tests by Dr. Jones on samples of solidified molten metal slag from the WTC site found that it was indeed molten iron — and that the molten iron had the chemical evidence of thermite in it. Thermite is an incendiary designed to cut through steel like a hot knife through butter — particularly when used in a patented cutter charge device designed to eject liquid molten iron in just milliseconds, as described in the text of the patented thermite cutter charge device shown below.

There has been no further response from NIST on this issue.



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pg 20

In 2011, Norwegian scientist Dr. Christian Simensen proposed the idea that molten aluminum from the airplanes reacted with water inside the Towers, which in turn caused violent chemical reactions that produced the explosions heard by the witnesses and that destroyed the Towers. As noted by a press release of this theory:

The impacts triggered massive explosions and fires, but the subsequent collapse of each tower came as a shock to those watching the disaster unfold.

Blasts heard just before the buildings fell have led to conspiracy theories that explosives were set off inside the towers.

But Dr Simensen believes after crashing into the skyscrapers the two jets would have been trapped within an insulating layer of debris.

As a result, the aircraft hulls rather than the buildings absorbed most of the heat from the burning aviation fuel.

It is then claimed molten aluminium from the jets, flowing down through staircases and gaps in the floors, reacted with water from emergency sprinklers on the lower levels.83

Unlike the previous prosaic explanations discussed above, this theory does have some evidence to support it, as the technical literature explains that explosions caused by aluminum-water reactions can be extremely powerful. As one article notes:

Whenever two liquids, with widely different temperatures, come into contact, an explosion can result. This is purely a physical phenomenon, but with aluminium there is an additional concern because it is a very reactive element that has a strong chemical attraction for oxygen, as evidenced in its naturally occurring compounds. Just as a large an amount of energy is required in reduction cell electrolysis to break down the aluminium-oxygen bonds of its oxide form to produce metallic aluminium. This energy is released dramatically if the metal is able to recombine with the oxygen from either water or air. The energy released when 0.5 kg of aluminium fully reacts with oxygen… is equivalent to detonating 1.4 kg of trinitrotoluene (TNT).84

While this idea does seem offer an explanation for both the Towers’ destruction and the sounds the witnesses reported, there are a number of problems with Dr. Simensen’s theory that renders it as unlikely as all of the previously discussed explanations.

 Dr. Simensen’s theory does not account for the inward bowing of the Towers’ perimeter columns seen in the videos and photos. According to NIST, this effect was caused by the heating of the floor trusses which were weakened and sagged downward, which in turn pulled on the perimeter columns of each Tower until the columns finally broke. While the author disagrees with NIST’s explanation of what produced this effect (as other scenarios can account for it; see reference 59), there is no doubt this event happened and is entirely inconsistent with the effects of ANY type of explosion, let alone aluminum-water explosions.

 Dr. Simensen’s theory requires that water react with molten aluminum from the aircrafts in order to produce the explosions he claims took place. However, according to NIST the sprinkler systems were not operational on the principal fire floors, given that the airplane impacts had severed the water pipes that carried water to the sprinkler systems.85


pg 21



water evidently flowed down the stairwells from the severed pipes, which theoretically could have produced explosions at the lower levels, since the molten aluminum could have also flowed down the buildings as well. But the fact of the matter is that the collapses did initiate at the floors where the planes hit, so it can at least be said that no such explosions could have contributed to the initiation of collapse. What further complicates this scenario is that according to NIST, the collapse of WTC1 initiated at the 98th floor.86 However, this floor had far less debris (i.e. aluminum) on it compared to other floors below which were struck by much larger portions of the plane.87

Despite these problems for Dr. Simensen’s theory, he maintains that these were the explosions that "caused the uppermost floors of the buildings to fall and crush the lower parts" and that "these were the explosions that were heard by people in the vicinity and that have since given life to the conspiracy theories that explosives had been placed in the skyscrapers."88 While we conclude that Dr. Simensen’s theory is effectively groundless, we also note with interest that, in attempting to defend the idea that the Towers collapsed due to natural phenomenon, Dr. Simensen has nonetheless acknowledged one aspect of the Towers’ collapses that NIST and other detractors have consistently denied; that explosions equal in power to that of those produced by controlled demolition explosives contributed to the buildings’ destruction. And if such explosions took place at the WTC, then it follows that chemical analyses should have been carried out in order to determine their origin.

While further objections to the witness accounts may be expected, we maintain that the primary criticisms discussed so far have been effectively refuted. The witnesses’ accounts of explosions from the Towers match well with the audiovisual recordings. They are corroborated by the reported aftereffects of the event, and there appears to be no prosaic explanation that can account for every aspect of what the witnesses heard and experienced that day. We thus conclude that 911myths.com’s charge that "considerably more evidence" is needed to show that explosives were used has been answered.

Edited by Steven Gaal
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This is another topic we went over – over and over again years ago. No one but a handful of truthers cares what was dripping out of the corner of the WTC. Thermite reactions last seconds at best and there is no loss of stabilty seen in that corner, so that kooky theory doesn't explain it

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