Debunking 9/11 Conspiracy Theorists Claims with Simple Google Searches

By: Myles Power Edited by: Hannah

I recently got the opportunity to visit one of my favorite cities in the world - New York, New York. Even though I've been to The Big Apple before, I'm always flabbergasted by the buildings, the people, and the general hustle and bustle of the big city. I happened to be there on September 11th this year and took the opportunity to walk down to Ground Zero, to talk to 9/11 'truthers' about the tragic events of 2001. All of the truthers' claims can be debunked by a little research, but three of them need only the simplest of Google searches to be proved utterly incorrect; three that none of the 9/11 truthers had any excuse in spouting that morning.

“Molten aluminum does not glow orange”

9/11 conspiracy theorists claim that the molten material seen flowing from the south tower minutes before its collapse is evidence of thermite.

According to ‘truthers’, this molten material came from one of a score of devices planted on every floor, which was accidentally ignited; these devices were designed to cut the steel beams and allow the buildings to collapse. They also say that a fire fuelled by office supplied and jet fuel would not be sufficient to melt steel, so it must have been molten iron from a thermite reaction.

Looking past how you could attach these devices on every floor without the office workers knowing, or how they could survive the sheer impact, or for that matter the fact that thermite has never been used to take down a building before, they do have a point. The fires at the south tower are not hot enough to melt steel, but they are hot enough to melt aluminum. Aluminum has a melting point of 660*C, depending on the alloy, and jet fuel burns at 980*C. With the vast amount of debris from the aircraft in the north-east corner (80% of which was aluminum – about 64,000kg), it’s most likely that the molten material seen flowing from the building is molten aluminium. Truthers believe however, that molten aluminium is a silvery colour, like mercury, and does not glow orange.

To debunk this one, simply run a Google image search for molten aluminum’. The results shows multiple images of the stuff, glowing an orange-ish colour. The search even brings up a diagram, showing the colour of aluminium at different temperatures. What’s interesting is that at 980*C (the temperature at which jet fuel burns), aluminium glows light orange, just as shown in the video.

       

“The twin towers fell at free fall speed”

Nearly all of the truthers I met at Ground Zero that day said that the twin towers both fell at free fall speed. They claim that the fact the buildings fell at speed proves that explosives helped to take down the towers. This is already so easy to disprove, just by looking at the footage and timing the collapse for yourself. In fact, most of the footage even shows that parts of the lower portions of both towers (60 stories of WTC 1 and 40 stories of WTC 2) remained standing for up to 25 seconds after the start of the initial collapse, before they too fall down.

But there is an even simpler way to debunk this.  Simply run a Google image search for WTC collapse’. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of images of the collapse of World Trade Center towers 1 and 2. Every single truther will have seen these images, so in order to debunk this particular theory, all it takes is a little common sense; in every single photo you can see columns and debris below the point the building is collapsing. The columns and debris are free falling and outpacing the collapse of the building. This therefore means that the buildings fell well below free fall speed; otherwise they would have been falling at the same pace!

“No steel structure has ever collapsed dud to fire”

One of the arguments that the 9/11 truthers repeatedly mentioned was that WTC 1, 2 and 7 were the first steel-framed structures to collapse because of fire. Ignoring the fact that these buildings where damaged by planes crashing into them and falling debris, are they the only ones to collapse because of fire alone? A little bit of research shows that actually, in the past, many steel-framed structures have collapsed from fire alone. These include: Dogwood Elementary School; Windsor Tower; Faculty of Architecture Building; etc, etc. But these examples can take a while to find, so what if there was an example of a steel structure collapsing after being weakened by fire, that was much easier to track down. Like say, World Trade Center 5.

Yes, believe it or not truthers, there was a World Trade Center 3, 4, 5 and 6. All had to be demolished because they were damaged beyond repair after the attacks. If you were to GoogleWorld Trade Center 5′, you will learn that it was a nine-story building that stood east of the north tower. The building was the least damaged of the complex, but suffered partial collapse due to impact from steel and debris from WTC 1, and collapse due to fire damage. Four floors inside part of the building collapsed when some of the connections between the structural steel beams failed. It amazes me that 9/11 truthers say that steel structures can’t collapse dure to fire alone when there is one that partially collapsed at the World Trade Center complex.

In conclusion, I believe that in this era of information, it is inexcusable to make these kind of mistakes; mistakes that only take one quick Google search and some common sense to correct. On a more positive note though, in a city of 8.2 million, only around 30 truthers turned up. This is mostly likely down to sites like Google, where people can do the research themselves, and analyse these theories as being the ridiculous, unscientific bullshit they are.

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About Myles Power (605 Articles)
My name is Myles Power, and I run the educational YouTube channel, powerm1985. I spend what little free time I have sharing my love of SCIENCE! through home experiments, visiting sites of scientific interest, and angrily ranting at pseudoscience proponents. I am also one of the founding members of the podcast 'The League of Nerds' - which I co-host with James from 'The History of Infection'.

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