New Mexicans for Science and Reason present
9-11 'Truth' Resources
By Dave Thomas
"Debunking the Debunkers" Claims About "Fraudulent Steel-Wool Experiment"
are Based on a LIE. So Much for 9/11 "Truth"
By Dave Thomas
One Ziggi Zugam of the "Debunking the Debunkers" blog has repeatedly attacked the supposedly "fraudulent steel wool experiment" I have posted on YouTube.
Background: After soliciting some soundbites from JREF members regarding iron-rich microspheres and thermite, I posted the first version of a YouTube Video about making iron-rich microspheres by burning steel wool, on October 19th, 2011. The 8min 22sec-long video was announced on JREF, and posted on YouTube.
On the next day, October 20th, 2011, JREF's Oystein posted some critical comments on the video, specifically regarding the incorrect description of the steel-wool-produced microspheres as 'pure iron' (6:23 in the video), and an incorrect assertion that WTC office fires were hotter than a BIC lighter's flame (7:47 in the video).
While critical of parts of the video, Oystein gave the overall conclusion good marks:
Your conclusion is of course correct: Iron-rich spheres are not indicative of exotic high-tech incendiaries and malicious intent, but can be produced under quite mundane conditions and are not as such proof of anything.
I acknowledged Oystein's comments within the hour, and deleted the video that same morning, as verified by Oystein himself at 11:05 am.
Pro-truther JREF commenter MirageMemories approved of the video's removal, saying Well that is good news. Nice to know Dave has some integrity. MM
A couple of weeks later, on November 10th, 2011, I posted a revised, 1min 54sec-long version of the steel wool video on JREF and on YouTube. The segments Oystein had criticized were removed, as was about 78% of the content of the first video. A JREF commenter quickly observed that the claim that has been refuted is that thermite is the only possible source of iron-rich microspheres, and Oystein himself responded to this comment with an approving "Yep".
If I had simply re-posted the "same old video" which Oystein had so strongly criticized just a few weeks before, his reaction would have been outright anger, and not a satisfied "Yep."
Zugam and "Debunking the Debunkers" discuss the steel wool/iron-rich microsphere video here. The Problem on this page is that Zugam explicitly declares
But Oystein was too quick to assume that the JREF forum could live up to the standard of true skeptics, and MM was too quick to congratulate Dave for having integrity, because Dave Thomas re-posted the same old video again a couple of weeks later, without retracting any claims.
Zugam's claim that I "re-posted the same old video again a couple of weeks later, without retracting any claims" is an obvious LIE.
For Zugam to be telling the truth, a 1:54 video would have to be 8:22 in length, and that is clearly impossible.
Zugam's false statement that I re-posted the "same old video" is the very core of his accusations of "fraud" on my part, making this not just a Lie, but a malicious Lie.
After discovering how severely Zugam has lied about my revised steel wool video, I can no longer entertain a respectful dialogue with him, and will not respond further to him until Zugam publicly admits his fabrications, and deletes them from his website, and anywhere else that echoed it.
In the meantime, everyone should treat every single article on "Debunking the Debunkers" as suspect. If this blog's writers can not tell the Truth about something as simple as the length and content of a YouTube video, why should anyone believe any statement on the entire site?
On 28 May, Zugam posted yet another diatribe on Debunking the Debunkers.
One important point is obvious: Zugam has not apologized for his severe misrepresentations, but has instead altered the original page so as to make his mis-statements less obvious, without making any distinction as to what was originally there, what has been added, etc. If he honestly felt he was telling the truth, why did he not preserve his original text, a screen capture of which appears below (from May 19th, 2014), and explain why I was wrong to accuse Zugam of lying?? Instead, he has altered the text, with no clear indication of what was changed. His attempt at revisionist history is a very lame attempt at covering his tracks.
The short version: Zugam said I "re-posted the same old video," when I clearly hadn't. His failure to own up to that simple fact has me marveling at how truly Orwellian the word "Truther" is.
For the record, I still contend that burning the steel wool did indeed produce iron-rich microspheres. I have no problem with the fact that the iron might be in the form of iron oxide. If Zugam thinks my iron-rich microspheres "don't count" because of their oxygen content, then he should immediately contact Harrit, et. al., and inform them that their own "iron-rich microspheres" ARE ALSO IRON OXIDES! These images from my experiments, and from the Bentham Open paper prove this point! If the WTC spheres were themselves pure iron, they would not exhibit the large Oxygen spike in Harrit's XEDS spectrum.
Somebody tell Zugam that my microspheres are just as iron-rich as Harrit's. I have nothing further to say to him.
I am continuing to learn about thermite, what produces iron-rich microspheres, and so forth. I no longer think that the "thermodynamic size effect" itself likely accounts for the microspheres from steel wool; they are most likely due to direct combustion. I think the production of iron-rich microspheres by burning painted beams is the more relevant experiment, and I stand by it.
I am now taking a second look at whether or not the excess of iron-rich microspheres in WTC dust might indeed be the results of thermitic reactions. Truthers AND Mainstreamers, you should prepare to have your socks blown off.
New Video at NMSR's YouTube Channel!
July/August 2012 Skeptical Inquirer: New Info Challenges 9/11 Thermite Claims
New Info Challenges 9/11 Thermite Claims...
A new report on studies of dust from the destruction of the Twin Towers on 9-11-2001 was released on February 29th, 2012. The report, by James R. Millette, Ph.D., of Georgia, is titled "Progress Report on the Analysis of Red/Gray Chips in WTC Dust." The study was commissioned by journalist Chris Mohr, who has a whole series of videos on YouTube about 9/11 conspiracy theories. Funds for the study were raised with help from members of the James Randi Educational Foundation.
The purpose of the study was to take another look at samples of WTC dust. In 2009, Niels Harrit of Denmark, along with several others (including Steven Jones), published a paper which purported to prove that nanothermitic materials were found in the dust ("Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe," The Open Chemical Physics Journal, 2009, 2, 7-31.)
Millette's conclusion: "The red/gray chips found in the WTC dust at four sites in New York City are consistent with a carbon steel coated with an epoxy resin that contains primarily iron oxide and kaolin clay pigments. There is no evidence of individual elemental aluminum particles of any size in the red/gray chips, therefore the red layer of the red/gray chips is not thermite or nanothermite."
If these chips weren't thermite, what were they? Millette performed several tests on them, including Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). This clearly showed that the chips were a mixture of kaolin and epoxy. Kaolin, also called aluminum silicate and china clay, is a platy mineral frequently used as a pigment in paints. Epoxy resins have been used in coatings since the 1940's.
Millette's FTIR plot shows that the chips in WTC dust are likely a mixture of Kaolin and Epoxy, both common ingredients in paints and coatings
Whatever the chips are, they are not thermite, as particles of elemental aluminum are as crucial to thermite or nanothermite as heat and oxygen are to fire. No aluminum, no thermite.
On a related note, in February 2012, I posted a letter from Rich Lee of the R. J. Lee Group at the James Randi Educational Forum (JREF). This company's post-9/11 report (2003) on WTC dust samples mentioned microscopic spheres of iron, which truthers have long maintained could only have been formed with thermite, thus proving their controlled demolition/inside job claim. Ron Wieck, who produces the internet debate program Hardfire, recently asked the R. J. Lee Group to clarify what they thought about the iron microspheres, and Rich Lee himself answered (in part) "What about the iron microspheres? The iron has a thin layer of rust flakes that can be easily removed by sticky tape. The iron is heated red hot or hotter and subjected to hurricane force blast furnace like wind. The iron flakes are liberated as small particles and some iron is vaporized. Like drops of water, the iron flakes form molten spheres that solidify and the fume also condenses into spheres, the most efficient geometrical form. … The formation of iron and other type spheres at temperatures obtainable by the combustion of petroleum or coal based fuels is not a new or unique process. These spheres are the same as iron and alumino-silicate spheres in the well-studied fly ash formed from contaminants in coal as it is burned in furnaces. – Rich Lee"
The answer to the mystery of the microspheres - "Iron melts only at temperatures far higher than possible in normal fires, so how could microspheres have possibly been formed on 9/11?" – is simply that very small metal particles have much lower melting points than their bulk material counterparts (around 900 o C for iron nanoparticles, as opposed to 1535 o C for bulk iron). This is called the "thermodynamic size effect." The towers contained thousands of computers and electric gadgets. Wires and filaments and meshes from electronics, as well as thin rust flakes and other small iron particles, could all have easily been made into microspheres during the WTC conflagration. To see a vivid demonstration of this phenomenon, watch the video on NMSR's YouTube channel, 'theNMSR', in which a BIC lighter is used to burn steel wool, creating numerous iron microspheres without any Thermite at all!
For now, two principal claims of the 9/11 Truth Movement – that scientists found thermite residues in WTC dust, and that iron microspheres in WTC dust prove the use of thermite – have both been found to have no basis in fact.
Millette study online: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/64959841/9119ProgressReport022912_rev1_030112webHiRes.pdf
R. J. Lee letter online: http://forums.randi.org/showpost.php?p=8013472&postcount=1329
Dave Thomas “Microspheres from Steel Wool” video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZ9wSD4Hcys
Miles Kara was a member of the 9/11 Commission. He is quite critical of 911 Truth, as his web site will show.
NMSR's Dave Thomas to appear on two radio stations, Sunday September 11, 2011
Strange Frequencies Radio
Sunday September 11th at 1 PM PDT (2 PM MDT, 4PM EDT)
Download MP3 File
Pacifica stations (NY, Washington DC, Houston, LA and Berkeley, and ~150 more nationwide):
IT'S HERE: Skeptical Inquirer July/August issue on 9/11 Truth!
Read Dave Thomas's article ONLINE!
Most of the July/August issue of Skeptical Inquirer is devoted to analyses and discussion of 9/11 Truth and 9/11 conspiracy theories.
Skeptical Inquirer: http://www.csicop.org/si
Discussion on this issue of Skeptical Inquirer at the JREF 9/11 Subforum: http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?t=211304
Read Dave Thomas's article ONLINE!
SUPPORT THE Rally to Restore Sanity, October 30th, 2010, National Mall, Washington, DC!!
The Coast to Coast Debate is Over! Resources and Reviews
On August 21st, 2010, NMSR's Dave Thomas and Kim Johnson debated Richard gage and Niels Harrit of Ae911truth, on the Coast-to-Coast AM radio show. Here are some resources and reviews of the event.
The Coast-to-Coast site has a 5-paragraph synopsis of the debate. http://www.coasttocoastam.com/show/2010/08/21
The entire debate is on YouTube, in several parts, starting here: http://www.youtube.com/v/zzdSbjTEFcs
This dropbox has the entire debate as a 3-hour mp3, downloadable for Ipodsters and carpoolers (FireFox): http://archive.org/details/Coast_coastAm_august21_2010_4-hour_9_11_truth_debate
This page is running commentary on the debate, and pre/post debate analysis, at the James Randi Educational Foundation's 9/11 Forum: http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?t=183483
More running commentary, on the "Screw Loose Change" blog: http://screwloosechange.blogspot.com/2010/08/dave-thomas-to-debate-box-boy-gage-and.html
911blogger.com's running commentary and analysis: http://911blogger.com/news/2010-08-22/coast-coast-am-911-debate-richard-gage-and-dave-thomas
This reveals the Truther take on the proceedings. They were clearly listening to a different debate than the rest of us. Especially memorable are these two comments:
"I need some clarifications here:Mr Thomas also states that we (the truth movement) greatly underestimate the energy of the impact. He has an experiment on his website which should be viewed so you can see his math. He is taking impact measurements by dropping items onto a scale. But this is just the point we are making. In order for him to get his measurement, he must first drop an item through nothing but air. His experiment presumes no resistance. Additionally, his math formula uses 'g' for gravity in his calculation. We KNOW (as in the case of tower 1) that it descended at 2/3g. He seems to forget this fact and calculates with 'g' or is my understanding way off base here. I was only a B student in Calc. ..." http://911blogger.com/news/2010-08-22/coast-coast-am-911-debate-richard-gage-and-dave-thomas#comment-236359
The experiment he mentioned: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SozKaHYD85Q
This shows the pervasiveness with which 9/11 physics teacher David Chandler's analyses have misled many in the truth movement. My work shows that the AVERAGE of freefalls and collisions for both Twin Towers comes to 2/3 g for the early part of the collapse, and 1/3 g at the end. Chandler smooths out this process, and acts like the average acceleration is the actual representation of what happened, and thus lowballs the actual impact by a factor of 100 (YES, ONE HUNDRED!)
See NMSR 9-11 'Truth' Resources: Chandler's Data Support a Gravitational Collapse! http://www.nmsr.org/nmsr911c.htm
Then Tony Szamboti, author of "The Missing Jolt" paper over at the Journal of 911 Studies, writes "In a structure with a factor of safety of at least 3.00 to 1 the only way the upper section of it can fall through it at 2/3rds g, without a dynamic load, is if about 85 to 90% of the integrity of the structure was being consistently removed unnaturally, leaving only 1/3rd of the minimum strength necessary to support the static load with no reserve. Gordon Ross has previously described it as a weight being dropped in and moving down through custard. I tend to agree with him, in that the lower section was being turned into a custard like consistency, and it had nothing to do with dynamic loads, because they provably weren't occurring.": http://911blogger.com/news/2010-08-22/coast-coast-am-911-debate-richard-gage-and-dave-thomas#comment-236406
Silly me, thinking I could use a free-fall experiment to test something I think was in free-fall!
More Truther Pans: David Icke forum http://davidicke.com/forum/showthread.php?t=131448
Debunking the Debunkers: http://911debunkers.blogspot.com/2010/08/as-screw-loose-change-would-say-moron.html
Yup, hit a nerve there, I think...
NEW: RESPONSE TO GAGE ERUPTION OF FALSE STATEMENT AT DEBATE'S END http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZVs4H5dGLE
|Dave Thomas's May 19th 9-11 Presentation||Slides from Dave Thomas's recent presentation,
with a physics model for the tower collapses,
links to related pages and videos, and lots more! (~3 Meg)
Animated Movie: Model Overlaid with WTC 1 Collapse
Dave Thomas's physics model of the tower collapse, compared to actual. The two small red squares falling on the right represent objects dropped from the top (110th) and impact-level (96th) stories, and these are in true freefall. The towers are clearly falling at less than freefall speeds in this physics analysis. The horizontal red lines (top of WTC1, top of WFC3, top of WTC7, and ground level) were used to calibrate the scale of the plot.
THE VIDEO JESSE VENTURA DOESN'T WANT THE WORLD TO SEE!
"How I Debated a 9/11 Truther and Survived", Skeptical Briefs Volume 19.4, December 2009
"How I Debated a 9/11 Truther and Survived", at the JREF 9-11 Forum
"9-11 Presentation at NMSR, May 19 2010", at the JREF 9-11 Forum
NMSR Site Map