Truth Jihad Radio Mon. 8/1/11, 1-3 pm Central, American Freedom Radio (archived here.) Call-in number: (402) 237-2525 or post your questions to my Facebook page.
First hour: Richard Forer is the author of Breakthrough: Transforming Fear into Compassion: A New Perspective on the Israel-Palestine Conflict. “Forer who grew up in a secular, unaffiliated Jewish home, is the identical twin of a prominent member of an ultra-Orthodox sect of Judaism, and was himself a member of AIPAC, America’s Pro-Israel lobby. He knew where his allegiances lay – anything Israel did was justifiable in his mind. During the summer of 2006, Forer visited the Middle East and underwent a profound spiritual transformation. He saw destroyed villages, displacement, land confiscation, imprisonment without trial, torture, and other inhuman treatment of the Palestinians, and knew he needed to share his truth.” (source)
Jim Fetzer thinks David Ray Griffin and Richard Gage have “oversold nanothermite.” But I’m still buying.
Second hour: Jim Fetzer, U. of Minnesota Duluth professor emeritus, who along with Mark Hightower has been arguing that nanothermite has been oversold to the 9/11 truth community and worrying that 9/11 truth may be based on a false (nanothermite) theory. (Opposing views have been offered by Kevin Ryan in “The Explosive Nature of Nanothermite” and “Experiments with Nanothermite,” among other places.)
I got stuck on an email chain arguing this topic, which Jim thinks is of great importance, and he said he’d like to come on my show. Below is part of my dialogue with Jim, with whom I have agreed to disagree on this topic.
A.K. Dewdney recently wrote:
The “nanothermite” debate appears to be without genuine substance and a complete waste of time. The advice from the intel side is to ignore the whole thing. The basic thrust of messages from Hightower, Fetzer & Co. is that the word “nanothermite” is not officially classified as a “high explosive.” The assertions completely ignored the fact that there is not one “nanothermite”, but a potential infinity of preparations that might go under that name. The explosive force (brisance) would depend, among other things, on the state of subdivision of the components and the kind of matrix they are embedded in.
Does Hightower know the original composition of the nanothermite that was used, in part, to
bring down the twin towers? Of course not. Case closed.
Best wishes for cooler days!
This is unbelievable. Have me on and give me all the flack you can find from any source whatsoever. That Dewdney would so grossly misrepresent the issues simply dumbfounds me. Nanothermite has an detonation velocity of 895 m/s. To destroy concrete or steel requires detonation velocities of at least 3,100 m/s for concrete and 6,100 m/s for steel. That means
NANOTHERMITE CANNOT POSSIBLY HAVE BEEN RESPONSIBLE FOR DESTROYING THE TT. To suggest this is a matter of rhetoric is to be utterly irresponsible.
We discuss the properties of the kind of nanothermite that has been under discussion from the beginning, not barium-nitrate-containing thermite as the military grade thermite and not copper oxide/aluminum nanothermite, which has an even lower detonation velocity, but iron oxide/aluminum nanothermite. I am skeptical that Dewdney has even read the article to
be making such a baseless claim. We have it right; they have it wrong.
And suppose Dewdney were right: THAT NO ONE KNOWS WHAT KIND OF NANO- THERMITE WAS USED? That would mean that Jones, Ryan, Harrit, and the others HAVE NO JUSTIFICATION for the many reports of “explosive nano-thermite” and the publicity it has been given by Richard Gage, David Ray Griffin, and others on the basis of the claims coming from this
“hard science” group. In which case, the situation is even worse, because if Dewdeny is right, THEY NEVER KNEW WHAT THEY WERE TALKING ABOUT!
I really cannot understand how anyone with a remotely scientific cast of mind could adopt the stance of A.K. DEWDNEY! I am simply stunned. This has nothing to do with the word “nanothermite” and everything to do with the properties of nanothermite. Those who want to dump this issue are in the perverse position supporting a false theory in the name of 9/11 Truth. How can anyone stand up for a theory of demolition that is provably false? How can Deets be the only one with a rational response to Mark’s research?
As a trained writing teacher, I don’t think you’re making it easy on your readers to understand why you’re right and the other side is wrong. All the emotional howling and yowling (“unbelievable! dumbfounds me! stupidity! incredible! never in my life!”) just gets in the way, alienating most of your audience and predisposing them against you.
Then there seems to be a merely semantic issue about what “nanothermite/nanothermate” means. Couldn’t those terms describe nano- engineered iron oxide and aluminum energetic materials mixed with other substances in a polymer matrix in such a way that the end product is indeed highly explosive? And though we don’t have any absolute proof that such things exist, the reports cited by Kevin Ryan certainly SUGGEST that they exist; and the findings of Harrit et. al. suggest that not only do they exist, but they were used, in very large quantity, in the destruction of the Towers. And even if most of the destruction were done by something else, the finding of nanothermite in the dust is prima facie evidence of demolition/arson that can be taken to court. Our objective as activists is not to fully explain what happened, but to prove a crime in court. The nanothermite evidence seems useful on that basis; the “DEW” stuff seems much less useful.
The existence of “DEW” (what does that mean?! a slingshot is a directed energy weapon for goshsakes!) at a scale that could “dustify” the Towers is a much bigger stretch, isn’t it? Are there official sources comparable to the ones Ryan cites that assert that “DEW” weapons of that power and sophistication exist?
I once met a credible guy who said he could very quickly and easily modify a microwave oven to severely and secretly injure people, and perhaps even take down a plane. The amount of energy necessary to do that sort of thing is trivial. The amount necessary to “dustify” the Towers would be gargantuan, and I haven’t seen any evidence that anything like that exists or even could exist. Judy’s book started out well, but she lost me in the middle with all kinds of unwarranted inferences and tortured logic.
I’m not saying you’re necessarily wrong, just that you’re making it really hard to understand why you’re right.
You are full of shit! Mark and I have been very patient in laying out the case against nanothermite. Did you ever read “Has nano-thermite been oversold to the 9/11 Truth community?“
And I assume you have read “Is ‘9/11 Truth’ based on a false theory?” We have both been very patient with these thermite-sniffers until they start acting like ops–running away from the scientific evidence and hiding by withdrawing from the discussion thread initiated by Hightower.
Mark has sent me some references showing the extent to which this nano-thermite has been exaggerated. Consider the following summary remarks:
Dr. Steven E. Jones On Nanothermite In WTC Debris
August 26, 2010
A scientific presentation given by Dr. Steven E. Jones in Sacramento, California, April 30, 2009 on the finding of nanothermite in the World Trade Center debris.
Nanothermite is a military grade high explosive that leaves a very difficult to detect chemical signature because of the way it combusts. Nanothermite is not your normal everyday industrial grade thermite that you may have seen in debunking videos such as on the Myth Busters TV show.
Nanothermite is highly explosive and extremely powerful — and extremely difficult to manufacture.
Watch the presentation to see if that is an accurate summary. No doubt, many more like this could be found. Where were the nanothermite promoters to set the record straight that nanothermite could not be a high explosive? Because it SOUNDS NICE but it turns out to be FALSE. Which is why what Mark and I have done is essential to the scientific integrity of the 9/11 movement.
Plus the 10th observance of 9/11 is being discussed in TORONTO, not in NEW YORK, which I find very strange, but where the nanothermite proponents are going to be in the ascendency. This is the acid test for the “9/11 Truth” movement. If they can’t cope with it, there is NO 9/11 “Truth” movement.
Sure, Monday, 1 August, from 11 AM to Noon works fine. Thanks a lot!
First, keep in mind how wonderful it is that we disagree on this. We can be a shining example to the truth movement of how it’s possible to disagree and still be friends. And we can yell at each other on the air and make great radio!
So…you haven’t even tried to refute any of the points I made in the previous email.
“A.K. Dewdeny has posted that there are infinitely many varieties of nanothermite, where no one knows which was used on the Twin Towers… But if Kee is right, then the situation is even worse, because Jones, Ryan, Harrit and others have never even known what they were talking about!”
On the contrary: They know full well that there are infinite varieties of nanothermite, and that no-one but the perps knows exactly which one was used in the Twin Towers. They know that any kind of thermite is prima facie evidence of arson, so even if only ordinary thermite/thermate had been used to create or enhance fires, the presence of thermate residue in any form would be evidence of criminal arson or worse. They also know that military demolition charges designed to slice steel use thermite/thermate, and that advanced thermitic composite explosives is an “explosive” field of classified military research.
Doug Rokke says he knows of advanced, explosive thermitic composites, had contact with the people who have custody of them, knows that large quantities were stored at Redstone Arsenal, and suspects people he knows in the US military of complicity in 9/11 based on that personal knowledge. Based on his personal knowledge, he has no doubt whatsoever that military demolitions charges using thermitic materials can destroy buildings, and he is apparently convinced that the Towers were mostly done in with thermitic materials. Chris Bollyn has done research on Israeli companies allegedly developing high-explosive thermitic composites. Kevin Ryan’s article makes a good case that high explosive thermitic composites have indeed been developed in classified military research.
Every time I have had Jones, Ryan, Harrit, Szamboti, Gage etc. on my radio show, they have said that based on the dust residue analysis, thermitic materials are definitely part of the picture — but not necessarily the only factor in the demolitions. Speculation about classified military development of high-explosive thermitic composites, labeled “nanothermite” or “nanothermites” for convenience and brevity, has been clearly labeled as speculation — as Griffin does by saying “could” in the quote you furnished. These folks believe it is well-founded speculation, and they produce evidence to back up that opinion. Judy Wood, by contrast, has never produced comparable evidence that her speculations about DEW that could dustify the Towers are well-founded.
Please address only the factual issues here in any answer you may send. Below are point-by-point rejoinders to your email.
On Jul 26, 2011, at 10:34 AM, email@example.com wrote: Kevin, Have you read this, which I just sent out? Probably not. It should clarify where I stand on the questions you raise.
I withdraw my use of the phrase, “full of shit”, but I do not withdraw the implication that, as in the case of video fakery, you are unable to accept the consequences of a scientific analysis. I don’t care what you call me in emails, but on the radio, please say “full of [poop, excrement, feces, fertilizer, baloney, or any other euphemism not expressly prohibited by the FCC and its spokesman, George Carlin].” Please be specific about my exact words, as I have been about yours. Which words of mine are you disputing, and why? And why you continue to interject “space beams” into discussion is beyond me. I never used the expression “space beams.” And I have slammed Steve Jones for doing so.
How many times to I have to explain that I support RESEARCH on “space beams”, but do NOT endorse them.
That’s fine. But my point is that you’re being very hard on the thermite researchers because they haven’t proved that such a thing as high explosive nanothermite exists — although they have given good evidence (not proof) that it probably does — whereas you have been much easier on Judy’s DEW research, despite the complete lack of evidence that anything remotely like it exists. This indicates a double-standard.
That is surely not too subtle a distinction for a refined mind like yours. So stop accusing me of straw men. 99% of the 9/11 Truth movement BELIEVES that nanothermite is both a high explosive and was responsible for the decimation of the Twin Towers.
Please supply evidence about what percentage believes what. I don’t agree with your estimate here. You could do your own poll. For example: Q1: Do you believe that nanothermite alone was used to destroy the Twin Towers? Y/N Q2: Please choose from the following statements the one that most closely matches your belief. A) Public, civilian, peer-reviewed literature proves that nanothermate can be a high explosive. B) Reports about classified military research suggest, but do not prove, that nanothermates can be high explosives. C) Nanothermate can never be a high explosive, because Hightower and Fetzer say so. I predict that the majority would answer “no” to question 1, and “B” to question 2. As far as I can tell, those are the correct answers. If so, you’re getting all worked up over a non-problem.
Since we quote from Gage and Griffin in “Is ‘9/11 Truth’ based on a false theory?”–and have quoted the promo for a Jones presentation in the very email to which you are responding–I am now disposed to believe that your emotional state has warped your capacity for serious reasoning about the issue involved here, which also appeared to me to be the case for video fakery.
What is the evidence for your conclusions about my emotional state? And what is wrong and/or dangerous about the Gage and Griffin quotes, given the points I’ve made?
I am adding Mark here, since he has plowed through the massive literature on nanothermite and, as a chemical engineer, has the education and training to evaluate it, which I as a philosopher and you as a humanist lack.
I would be perfectly happy to publish these email exchanges and allow readers to decide for themselves whether they are evidence for philosophers being more rational and dispassionate than humanists, or vice-versa.
I invite Mark to contribute to this discussion between us. And letme affirm that, no matter how intense our disagreement may be about this, I continue to hold you in hight esteem and regard you as among the mostimportant members of the 9/11 Truth movement who remains devoted to truth.
Likewise! You’re actually a pretty fun guy to argue with, though for some reason not everybody seems to realize it ; -) Best Kevin
Jim’s full email to which the above was responding:
Have you read this, which I just sent out? Probably not. It should clarify where I stand on the questions you raise. I withdraw my use of the phrase, “full of shit”, but I do not withdraw the implication that, as in the case of video fakery, you are unable to accept the consequences of a scientific analysis. And why you continue to interject “space beams” into discussion is beyond me. How many times to I have to explain that I support RESEARCH on “space beams”, but do NOT endorse them. That is surely not too subtle a distinction for a refined mind like yours. So stop accusing me of straw men. 99% of the 9/11 Truth movement BELIEVES that nanothermite is both a high explosive and was responsible for the decimation of the Twin Towers. Since we quote from Gage and Griffin in “Is ‘9/11 Truth’ based on a false theory?”–and have quoted the promo for a Jones presentation in the very email to which you are responding–I am now disposed to believe that your emotional state has warped your capacity for serious reasoning about the issue involved here, which also appeared to me to be the case for video fakery. I am adding Mark here, since he has plowed through the massive literature on nanothermite and, as a chemical engineer, has the education and training to evaluate it, which I as a philosopher and you as a humanist lack. I invite Mark to contribute to this discussion between us. And let
me affirm that, no matter how intense our disagreement may be about this, I continue to hold you in hight esteem and regard you as among the most important members of the 9/11 Truth movement who remains devoted to truth.
6 Thoughts to “Richard Forer on transforming fear into compassion; Jim Fetzer questions nanothermite”
Great Forer interview, thanks Kevin
I've been listening to your show for awhile now and truly appreciate the depth of your intellect and reasoning capabilities.
I'm not Muslim or Christian -(though I used to be a very serious Christian)- but still believe in spiritual.
Awhile back, you had Christopher Bollyn on your show and at that time, he was talking of nanothermite in the paint of the floor pans of the WTC towers. I wrote him an email which he almost immediately put up on his website
… and we exchanged a few emails around that topic.
You can see how, putting the stuff inside of the floors, would explain how most of the concrete turned into dust … since the action would be cumulative -every lower floor "churning" the exploding floors still above and coming down.
But getting to Fetzer, I can't understand what it is that he's on about. It sounds like he's into pure nit-picking … unless he's secretly trying to promote Judy Wood's whacky ideas? What does it MATTER whether only thermite was used or if something else was used as well?
However, the point of this email isn't really about Fetzer or thermite but rather, on the nature of explosives. I'll hasten to say that I'm not an explosives expert and I have no formal training in that subject … but I consider myself to be fairly familiar with the physical aspects of explosive "force."
An explosion is simply a rapid EXPANSION of material. Conventional thermite expands relatively slowly because it BURNS relatively slowly. Making the particles smaller increases the surface area of the reactants, accelerating the chemical reaction time (burning) and creating a more intimate contact between the oxidizing material (iron oxide) … and the aluminum.
Now, supposing you had a floor filled with thermite powder and it was 60 feet across. If you lit the thermite at one side of the floor, it would take a fair amount of time to burn all the way across to the other side. But if you were to ignite the stuff simultaneously at 5 foot intervals all the way across, you would accelerate the burn time by 12, wouldn't you? Therefore, you'd get a much more rapid "explosion" and the thrusting power would be significantly greater than if the thermite just burned clear across from one side to the other side.
That's one aspect of explosive nature -the time it takes for reaction to occur.
A second aspect is the temperature difference between unreacted and reacted compound. A very rapid reaction will shatter concrete and bend iron a little … but not necessarily cause much explosive thrusting energy. The greater the temperature difference between cold and hot, the more expansion there will be.
A third aspect is the ratio of expansion from unreacted to reacted … and this is a biggy, because this is what contributes to the immense thrusting power.
Even as late as the mid 1800's, engineers were puzzled by the incredible thrusting power of exploding steam boilers on train engines. Just a crack in the firebox could cause a rupture that would explode so massively, it would flip the monstrous engines end-for-end, utterly destroy the rail beds and eject heavy material for incredible ("unbelievable") distances. They finally figured it out; it was the expansion ratio of water volume being converted into steam volume.
A drop of water turned into open atmosphere steam will occupy about 1000 times the original volume of the water drop! What happens in a steam boiler is that the water inside is held liquid by the containment pressure of the vessel. Say a boiler is being operated at 150 lb. per square inch (ppsi) … that pressure amounts to about 10 atmospheres, (since one atmosphere is around 14.7 ppsi). The imposed pressure prevents the super-heated water from boiling and turning into steam inside of the containment vessel.
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So, what happens then -if a boiler ruptures- is that the liquid water inside of the vessel -at, perhaps 350 degrees F.- escapes through the rupture and IMMEDIATELY turns into steam as soon as the pressure comes off of it. That means the entire boiler-full of water ALL TURNS INTO STEAM when the pressure comes off … and you have a boiler volume suddenly "rolling out" into the open atmosphere … expanding to about 1000 times its original size! This is a far more fantastic expansion ratio than if you simply had that same boiler filled with compressed air and it happened to rupture.
So the secret to the power of explosions is the expansion ratio of the unexploded substance to the exploded substance … and this is where the "gas" element comes in. Expanding from liquid or solid directly into a gas will give you a very powerful and enduring explosive roll.
Now, the "explosive" nature of thermite is, more or less, just the expansion caused by the high temperature ratio of aluminum converting to aluminum oxide. Because the temperature is so high, the materials themselves (iron oxide and aluminum) will expand from heat and so will the air around them … but the expansion factor would be largely confined to the air being expanded around the heating material -not much, in the scheme of throwing stuff to any significant distances. It would be more of a shattering effect. There is, of course, ALSO the expansion factor of iron oxide -a solid dust- being converted into a gas … aluminum oxide … and I suppose this conversion would contribute somewhat to the overall expansion … I don't know.
Aluminum gives off quite an incredible amount of heat when it's burned. You might say that it RELEASES all of the energy that was put into it to convert it from aluminum oxide (bauxite) -in nature- to aluminum metal. As you probably know, it takes a LOT of electrical energy to make aluminum and that's why hydro-electric plants are so desireable in the refining of aluminum. The power essentially costs nothing once it's set up and making aluminum consumes an awful lot of power!
Now the same thing is true of fertilizer. Ammonium nitrate is a granular solid substance but it's made up of only 3 gases -nitrogen, hydrogen and oxygen- and it takes a lot of energy to create (or to get those gases combined with each other in the correct formation -NH4NO3). Very large volumes of gas are "compressed" into very small grains of solid material in ammonium nitrate fertilizer.
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A fertilizer bomb then, releases all of the energy that went into the creation of ammonium nitrate but on top of that … it also expands incredibly, turning from solid grains into huge masses of free gases … nitrogen, hydrogen and oxygen. (To see how much energy … check out the Texas City disaster of April 16, 1947. http://www.local1259iaff.org/disaster.html. Two fertilizer-laden ships blew up within about 12 hours of each other and practically leveled the city.)
Supposing ammonium nitrate was added to nanothermite in the floors of the WTC towers … just "to make sure" that the external walls would be kicked out successfully…
There would be no trace left of the ammonium nitrate since it would all be converted into natural atmospheric gases! The hydrogen of course, would combine with oxygen to produce water but the other 2 gases are found naturally in the atmosphere.
I think the felons "overdid" their explosives by quite a large margin and really didn't WANT all of that peripheral damage to have occurred. They did a much better, cleaner job of WTC-7 building. But … that's what happens when it's a first time!~~ They unconventionally blew the towers from the top down and therefore, "wasted" much of the energy that otherwise would have been invoked less destructively … if they had blown them from the bottom up.
Just thought I'd pass these thoughts on to you for consideration … the next time you talk to Fetzer.
V. from Canada
I’m sure you know the ‘left over’ columns I mean, KB, but some may not:
Nanothermite as incendiary / explosive does not account for the destruction of those North Tower columns that were still standing after the rest of the tower went away and where no fire or explosion is observed as they dustify. We have no reason to suppose that these steel columns were destroyed by different means than all the other steel columns, so it appears that nanothermite as incendiary / explosive did not cause the destruction of steel at the towers — fire or explosion simply wasn’t needed.
Nanothermite as incendiary / explosive might account for the explosive blast effects observed as the towers went away. But these apparent explosions did not destroy the towers, they only masked the real destruction of the towers through dustification by XXXX.