Written by Adam Taylor
Wednesday, 15 August 2012
Architects and Engineers for 911 Truth

Editor’s note: This is Part 5 (see Part 4) of an extensive report by 9/11 researcher Adam Taylor that exposes the fallacies and flaws in the arguments made by the editors of Popular Mechanics (PM) in the latest edition of Debunking 9/11 Myths. We encourage you to submit your own reviews of the book at Amazon.com and other places where it is sold.

(Quotes from Popular Mechanics’ book are italicized and with page numbers.)

The next section of PM’s book deals with another subject not previously dealt with in the 2006 edition: the nanothermite discovered in dust samples from the World Trade Center. PM’s stated objective of the updated book is to debunk “the most common speculation about free-fall times, ‘nanothermite,’ and other aspects of the Twin Towers’ collapses…,” (pg. xxii). However, PM’s section regarding nanothermite utterly fails to do this – not because it presents weak scientific arguments, but because it provides virtually no scientific arguments at all.

Molten Metal Flowing from the South Tower

PM’s only scientific criticism of claims made by individuals in the 9/11 Truth movement in regards to thermite applies to the spout of molten metal seen coming from the 81st floor of the South Tower, which some have cited as evidence of a thermite-based demolition for the Towers. In spite of photographs and numerous eyewitness accounts of molten steel/iron and concrete, PM chooses to address only this one example. PM’s explanation for this is simply that the material is molten aluminum, a claim echoed by other defenders of the official narrative. It is also a claim that has been thoroughly refuted. PM cites NIST as saying that the material may have been molten aluminum, but individuals such as Dr. Steven Jones have demonstrated – by experiment – that, in daylight conditions, molten aluminum appears silvery and does not glow brightly like the metal seen coming from the South Tower.[i]

Some still may argue that the material was molten aluminum and that it was heated to high enough temperatures to get it to glow that brightly. Below is a chart showing temperature-dependent colors of metals.

At about 980ºC (1800ºF), most metals begin to glow “light orange.” PM asserts throughout the book that this is how hot the fires could have been in the Towers. However, we previously noted that NIST has no evidence that the fires did reach these temperatures in the buildings. However, even if we accept that the fires did reach those temperature levels, the material still could not have been aluminum because of how long it was heated. As explained by physicist Jerry Lobdill:

The problem with concluding that the liquid flowing from the tower’s 82nd floor could have been aluminum… is that the liquid in the tower was not confined in a container so that more heat could be applied to raise the temperature of the liquid above its melting point. Instead, as soon as the metal liquefied it flowed away from the heat source under the force of gravity. Therefore, the color of the liquid flowing from the 82nd floor [indicated that it] was at approximately the melting point of the metal. And therefore, it was molten iron from steel.[ii]

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