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How it Was Done: 9/11 and the Science of Building Demolition


As public awareness grows about the truth about 9/11, it serves to point out that many features of the towers' destruction fit perfectly with standard patterns of demolition.  Evidence which at first seems puzzling is in fact consistent with known demolition techniques.

WTC 7 differed from Towers One and Two in that WTC7 was a traditional "bottom-up" implosion.  The Twin Towers, on the other hand, exhibited the more unfamiliar pattern of a "banana peel" demolition, which starts at the middle or the top of a building and progresses downward.  The below demolition in China shows the pattern of streamers of arcing debris that we see coming from the Twin Towers, as the cutting of supports begins high above ground level and works its way down.

Banana Peel Demolition in China next to Twin Towers

Banana peel demolitions are used for taller, narrower buildings, where there is danger of the building tipping over should the bottom be cut and the rest of the sequence not execute perfectly.

But first, just how does a demolition work?  Students of the truth about 9/11 will not be surprised to learn that it essentially is the art and science of causing to happen what cannot happen without careful planning and engineering: all key structural supports in a building must be cut at essentially the same time, so that all pieces are falling at free-fall acceleration through thin air.  In the below images we see the principle support columns in the "core," an extensively cross-braced steel assembly which served as the backbone of the towers, and held 70% of the weight.

Twin Tower core backbone under construction

Illustration of main support columns

One standard technique is the use of "cutter' and "kicker" charges, in which the first set of charges, the cutters, cut the steel beam supports at precisely timed intervals, and the kicker charge "kicks" the cut piece outward.  In all the film evidence of the Towers' destruction, straight, cleanly cut pieces of steel beam can be seen spinning outward from the Towers at explosive speeds, across an area at least three times as long as the Towers are wide.

Cut Steel Being Hurled Laterally at Speeds up to 80 MPH

Photo: debris field width
photo of debris field width - See more at:

 Physicist David Chandler Narrates North Tower Demolition

Using this technique, the pattern of debris one would expect to see lying on the ground after the destruction would be cleanly-cut, straight steel pieces, rather than twisted, heat deformed pretzels of steel as implied by the official "steel got soft and buckled" story.  Exactly as predicted, an aerial photo of the debris field shows a thick carpet of arrow-straight, cleanly-cut lengths of steel beam, flung hither and yon.

Aerial View, Steel Debris, from

Aerial Veiw, Steel Debris, from

Use of Thermite

In its famous attack on skeptics of the official 9/11 story, Popular Mechanics held that the melting agent thermite had never been used in a demolition before.  Ironically it had, on the Chicago Sky Ride in 1935.  It was reported in Popular Mechanics.

Thermite works by melting through steel like a hot knife through butter, illustrated in the video below.

Thermite vs. Car

Reaching temperatures of 5,000F, thermite can be expected to produce large pools of molten steel and iron.  This is exactly what was found, to the puzzlement of rescue workers, in the basements of the Twin Towers.

Relatively slow burning thermite would have been used to weaken strong points in the structures, such as mechanical floors, prior to demolition.  So it is of interest that in WTC 2, molten steel seen dripping at around floors 80 and 81 corresponded somewhat, but not exactly, to the mechanical floors at floors 75-77, below.

WTC2 South Tower on 9/11 Molten Metal North-East Corner 

In the following video demonstrating the use of thermite, the characteristic dripping of molten steel can be seen which exactly replicates, in color and consistency, that seen coming from the towers on a larger scale.

Thermite vs. Steel Plate

Another interesting use of thermite can be seen the moment just before each demolition when the perimeter columns around the impact areas seem to bow outward, giving the impression of overload.  Thermite melting the core columns so that all load is transferred to the perimeter columns would give precisely this effect.

Molten iron and steel was not observed dripping from the building until about ten minutes before destruction.  This would be when firefighters were reporting that the fires were under control and almost out. 

One thing which stands out about the presence of molten steel in the basements is that it stayed molten for so long, reported for weeks and even months afterwards.  This would require a powerful exothermic reaction, hot enough not just to melt steel, but to raise its temperature considerably above melting point in order for heat to be stored, in the same way that water brought to near boiling cools down into the solid state of ice far more slowly than water at room temperature.  With the melting point of steel at 2800F, and the thermite reaction reaching temperatures of 5,000F, the reaction would produce enough heat-energy to keep steel molten -  i.e. in liquid state -  for long periods of time.

Thus the evidence again fits what we would expect to find in a demolition that was a combination of thermite, and cutter and kicker charges.

An example of the use of linear-shape charges, i.e. cutter charges, is below, along with a manufacturer's catalog image.

Use of Shape Charges in Demolitions

Linear Shape Charges, "Cutter" Charges

A video simulation of the Towers' inner structure posted at Youtube includes an illustration of a cutter-kicker sequence.

Click on images to go to Youtube video, sequence begins at 7:20




Demolitions Expert Tom Sullivan

A demolitions expert formerly with Controlled Demolitions Inc. (CDI,) which was contracted to help with the clean-up phase at Ground Zero, said in an interview:

"Fire cannot bring down steel-framed high rises — period."

Tom Sullivan grew up with the son of Jack Loizeaux, president and founder of CDI,and a pioneer in the controlled demolitions industry.  In an interview with Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, Sullivan stated:

"that he knew from the first day that the destruction of World Trade Center Building 7 on 9/11 was a classic controlled implosion. Asked how he thought it might have been done he posited, “looking at the building it wouldn’t be a problem — once you gain access to the elevator shafts…then a team of expert loaders would have hidden access to the core columns and beams. The rest can be accomplished with just the right kind of explosives for the job. Thermite can be used as well.”

Sullivan said:

"I mean, come on, it was complete destruction. I've seen buildings fall like that for years -- that was the end game for me."

The means of igniting and controlling the demolition suggested by Sullivan, interestingly, coincides with the one proposed in an early hypothetical blasting scenario by Jim Hoffman, an artificial intelligence engineer.  In the section "Control Architecture" of the scenario Hoffman posits:

Control Architecture

Ignition of the incendiaries and detonation of the explosives
is controlled through a wireless network using RF repeaters on every floor of the Towers having pyrotechnics.

Each of the Stage-2 pyrotechnics units -- the kicker charges and explosive sheets -- has an integrated wireless detonator card that includes a 2-channel RF receiver, an accelerometer, logic, dual wafer batteries, and a micro-detonator...

The detonator cards are programmed to respond only to RF signals on the network's broadcast frequencies that have specific codes. The cards are manufactured in batches of cards with identical codes, where each batch has a unique code and is destined for a specific floor of one of the Towers.

Of a detonator card's two channels, one provides the arm signal, and the other provides a detonation signal. Once the arm signal has been received, the detonator will be triggered by either of two events: rapid acceleration detected by the accelerometer, or receipt of the detonation signal.

Below is an image of this kind of system currently on the market for CD companies, published at (Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth.)

Wireless Detonation System


Once 24/7 access to the towers' interiors and the rest of the WTC complex has been established, the planned destruction of the Twin Towers and Building 7 becomes a task for which all technology is well-developed and available.  Access is established through Marvin Bush, the youngest Bush brother, who was on the board of Securacom, the company which held the security contract for the World Trade Center complex.   According to Barry McDaniel, CEO of Securacom, the company held the contract for security “up to the day the buildings fell down.”

The nexus which seems to connect many of key players in the 9/11 plot is the neoconservative think-tank Project for a New American Century (PNAC.)  PNAC, whose members included Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Jeb Bush, Elliot Abrams, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, Zalmay Khalilzad, Scooter Libby, and Richard Armitage, had been openly advocating for an invasion of Iraq since the Clinton administration.

Dov Zakheim, another member of PNAC, had been awarded the contract for the first WTC bombing investigation in 1993.  The investigation was done by a fully-owned subsidiary of Zakheim's company SPC, Tridata.  The contract assured that not only access to the towers was secured, but also floor plans, blueprints, and all other intimate technical knowledge of the buildings.

Zakeim, who was appointed Comptroller of the Pentagon by Bush upon taking office, was also in charge of the Pentagon's finances at the time $2.3 trillion was announced missing from the Pentagon, on September 10 the day before 9/11.  Needless to say, after 9/11 "the day the world changed," the story was dropped from the media.

In another coincidence involving Zakheim, his company SPC (of which he was CEO and main shareholder) also invented remote 'anti-hijack" technology, by which an airliner's controls could be seized from the ground to foil hijackers.  This technology has obvious ramifications for misuse in the wrong hands.

In a city like New York, the world's most dynamic metropolis, the "city that never sleeps," extra work crews, maintenance crews, technicians, and delivery trucks working round-the-clock would not be noticed.  Nevertheless, some people did notice certain unusual events, such as a series of "power downs" and a generally unusual amount of activity in the months before 9/11.  In the below video a worker describes a "power down" condition days before 9/11, which would have disabled security cameras and alarms.

Worker Describes "Power Down" Days Before 9/11

One favorite contention of defenders of the official story is that the aircraft impacts would have set-off or destroyed explosive charges.  But the loss of a number of charges would be of no consequence in a redundantly "wired" impact zone, since only specific encoded signals could actually arm and trigger the entire detonation sequence. 

As Col. Bob Bowman once said: "If they have nothing to hide, why are they hiding everything?"  The immediate, illegal destruction of 99.5% of the steel evidence, shipped to and melted in China, ensures that the vast majority of the steel can never be examined and tested to either confirm or disprove the presence of the above demolition techniques.  This alone, said Bowman, is evidence of guilt.

Some kinds of thermite can be applied in a "sol-gel" solution, which can be rolled on like paint, or fireproofing.  Think how inconvenient, then, to have steel beams examined and found to have layers of residual thermite paint.  It is no wonder that putting the steel onto ships bound for China, immediately, was of the utmost importance, even if it represented felony destruction of evidence. 

In the end the testimony of firefighters and other responders, like Firefighter John Schroeder below, stands as the most powerful indicator of what happened that day.  Schroeder, who says he does not believe the official story, and who was on the 24th floor of the North Tower, reports explosions rocking the building from the inside, as it seemed to "disintegrate" from the core and the stairwells.  This is precisely the part of the structure which would be most critical to weaken before a final demolition sequence.

Firefighter John Schroeder

There is no shortage of testimony corroborating Schroeder's description of explosions throughout the morning, which might correspond to the preliminary weakening of the buildings' strong points.  Not one of these reports of explosions was included in the official 9/11 Commission report.

One such explosion is captured on video below.


The audio evidence includes footage of what is clearly an accelerating demolition sequence, below.

Explosive Sequence, South Tower

Other anomalies and coincidences in the evidence of 9/11 continue to arise, and together with the above demolition hypothesis continue to provide clues as to just how it was done. 

This essay is dedicated to Colonel Dr. Robert Bowman, (1934-2013,) without whom the movement for 9/11 truth would not be where it is today.

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SteveMT's picture

Richard Gage Takes ReThink 9/11 Across Canada in March.

More info regarding dates and cities here:

Ok, great!

Now that you've figured out how it was done, should we invade israel now?

"If this mischievous financial policy [greenbacks], which has its origin in North America, should become endurated down to a fixture, then that government will furnish its own money without cost. It will pay off its debts and be without debts. It will hav

LOL invade Israel. That pipsqueak wouldn't stand a chance

No, we should demand they hand over the "Dancing Israeli' Mossad agents, and put them in Gitmo like we did to all those innocent Muslims. Then give them a good waterboarding or two just to, ya know, tell them we mean business. Then they can start talking.

Then we can work our way up the chain until we get to Bibi or whoever he wants to throw under the bus. Even if that's all we do a message has been sent: Don't try anymore 9/11s.

BELOW: The Kurzberg brothers, two of the "Dancing Israeli" confirmed Mossad on 9/11, in the studio audience as the other "Dancing..." say on an Israeli talk show: "Our purpose was to document the event." How did they know there was going to be an "event?" The brothers seem to glaring at their colleagues on the stage. "Don't say anything stupid?"

Freedom of Information Act request showing "Dancing Israelis" were at the Doric Tower apartments, from which the neighbors complained, on the day BEFORE the attacks, scouting out the position.

Police scanner audio of arrests of Mossad agents

Ryan Dawson's film "9/11 And the Cover Up: Was Israel Involved in 9/11 Attack? (War by Deception),"

Release the Sandy Hook video.


You want them to hand over their patsies?
and just leave them with their "Samson Option"?
I think the appropriate response is going to have to be a little harsher than that.
Madagascar Plan?

"If this mischievous financial policy [greenbacks], which has its origin in North America, should become endurated down to a fixture, then that government will furnish its own money without cost. It will pay off its debts and be without debts. It will hav

Not patsies/. Complicit Mossad agents who had foreknowledge of

the attacks, just like Larry Silverstein when he slipped and he told them to "pull it."

Israel can do without our $3 billion a year in military aid until they hand them over. How would that be? If we elect a liberty Congress, all these things actually become a possibility.

Is Silverstein the Key to Breaking 9/11 Wide Open?

Release the Sandy Hook video.


As a structural civil engineer myself, this is a great report into the absolute destruction of the three massive structures.


Dear Sueforthebillofrights,

Thanks so much for the fantastic presentation of info. But I have a question. Why do you and other truthers ignore the role of Mossad in the demolition? The dancing Israelis (several of whom are known Mossad agents) had a van filled with explosives and another with traces of explosives. Is it possible that the demolition was done with both RDX, like the explosives found in their vans, AND thermite?

These dancing Israelis were seen celebrating the towers' collapse by multiple witnesses. They just happened to be at exactly the right place at the right time, to "document the event." But it was too far from their work place to make it plausible that it was due to anything other than foreknowledge. These guys failed polygraphs, and had maps of the WTC, and other suspicious items. They were arrested near the GW Bridge. Was that bridge their only target? Or were they not involved in the demolition?

And why focus only on Marvin Bush? We KNOW that an Israeli front company, Magic Heating and Plumbing, was doing unauthorized elevator repairs on the WTC towers in the weeks leading up to 9/11. Its workers were found with fake passes to the ground floors.

There is so much more, but I will just share this link so you can learn more. In short, why do so many, including you, fail to bring up the Mossad angle?

Dude if you think I ignore the Mossad connection you haven't

been paying attention, or been here very long. If you read through my comments in this thread I have already fingered Mossad.

You probably know what you know about Mossad because of my posts, sonny (smile : )

Bush Neocons Urged Netanyahu to Use U.S. Forces to Remove Saddam, Five Years Before 9/11

9/11 Mossad Connection Details, "Dancing Israeli" Positively ID'd on Day Before 9/11 Where Cameras Set Up Prior to Attack

Former German Defense Minister Explains Why CIA and Israeli Mossad Did 9/11

See you in any of those threads. I think the first is most important. We know Mossad was involved but why, and who were the perps in our government who handed them the keys to our back doors?

The most amazing to me is how a former Director of Studies at US Army War College can be ignored by the media when he says it was the Israeli right wing's vision which gained by 9/11, and that only they had insider access to all facets of our military-industrial-media-congressional complex.

Dr. Alan Sabrosky, former Director of Studies at US Army War College,
General of the Army Douglas MacArthur Chair of Research. Concludes
that a combination of treasonous elements in the US government and
Israeli MOSSAD orchestrated 9/11, in order to enable invasion of Iraq.

Release the Sandy Hook video.

I stand corrected! Still,

I stand corrected! Still, too many seem afraid to point out Israel's involvement.

thank you for bringing it up and moving the discussion

forward into the "who" and "why," where I think it needs to be. We need to understand that psy-ops like Fireant understand full well that their comments are inane and repetitive ("Yes but where is your EVIDENCE that structural members did NOT break themselves apart by magic?") This is deliberate in order to simply keep us from moving forward, into the WHO and WHY.

The official 9/11 story is pretty much a shambles now, with even high profile public figures like Super Bowl coach Pete Carroll coming out and calling it a farce. We need to start studying who was in what position when it happened, especially that rabble of Neocons from Project for a New American Century who made it into DoD in the Bush administration, Dick Cheney, Jeb Bush, Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, Scooter Libby, Robert Zoellick, Paul Wolfowitz, Josh Bolton, Richard Armitage, Dov Zakheim, Elliot Abrams and that crew. Feith and Perle were urging Netanyahu to overthrow Saddam since 1996. Iraq was the big thorn in Israel's side. But with what? They have no army. Obviously they were talking about using the American army.

Then came that New Peral Harbor they had been dreaming about, with Mossad agents caught knowing where to set up a camera BEFORE the attacks, then dancing, high fiving, and flicking cigarette lighters. The way you start a new investigation is have Special Forces grab them right off the street in Tel Aviv so we can ask them a few questions.

I recommend Ryan Dawson's film "9/11 And the Cover Up: Was Israel Involved in 9/11 Attack? (War by Deception)," published by the always fearless Information Clearing House. Dr. Paul Craig Roberts says ICH "cannot be intimidated."

Here is a list of PNAC associations in the Bush admin:

My thread here gets into it:
Bush Neocons Urged Netanyahu to Use U.S. Forces to Remove Saddam, Five Years Before 9/11

See you there.

BELOW: The Kurzberg brothers, two of the "Dancing Israeli" confirmed Mossad on 9/11, in he studio audience as the other "Dancing..." say on an Israeli talk show: "Our purpose was to document the event." How did they know there was going to be an "event?" The brothers seem to glaring at their colleagues on the stage. "Don't say anything stupid?"

Freedom of Information Act request showing "Dancing Israelis" were at the Doric Tower apartments, from which the neighbors complained, on the day BEFORE the attacks, scouting out the position.

Police scanner audio of arrests of Mossad agents

Greg Felton:

"If you’ve come across a hasbarat, on-line or otherwise, you have learned that no amount of reasoned argument or intellectual maturity has any effect. That’s because hasbarats don’t care if they come across as ignorant, obnoxious, nasty or inane. All that matters for them is sabotaging criticism of Israel and support for Muslims. They're like anti-intellectual stink bombs: designed to cause maximum discomfort... "

Release the Sandy Hook video.

fireant's picture

Moot, until you can overcome evidence like this...

A grand jury will be shown reams of evidence such as this, explained by experts. Just the tip of the iceberg:
7 Evidence Large Ibeam Broke2

Undo what Wilson did

Fireant I admire that you

choose to joust with the truthers. But you must have better things to do. Save your energy.


fireant's picture

No one that I can find has done a detailed study of debris,

or debris patterns, so that is my contribution to the cause at present. We all know 911 was a seminal event, and it is foundational for one's political views. Young people are vulnerable to the idea that the government blew up the buildings. It's important that we get it right, and what the structural remains show has to be part of the debate. They do not show controlled demolition.
I'm writing a book on it, so it's sort of my job right now. I do appreciate your thoughts.

Undo what Wilson did


the "fireant"

suffer from cognitive dissonance much?

read what you wrote, if not.

fireant's picture

Read it. Have no clue what you speak of...

Found any structural evidence of CD yet?

Undo what Wilson did

So the supposed lack of

So the supposed lack of evidence is enough to discredit controlled demolition theory, but the lack of such evidence is just fine and dandy to keep propping up the official story? Wow. That's some logic.

Please come join my forum if you're not a trendy and agree with my points of view.

fireant's picture

There is not a lack of structural evidence showing joint failure

What does that do to your logic?. If you don't base it on fact, it's not logical.
And for the however many times, I care not the official story. I let the structural evidence speak. It's no different than a car crash investigation.

Undo what Wilson did

The material evidence was

The material evidence was split between being recycled and being sent to China. What people have done on their own, such as testing the dust samples, offers more evidence than that pathetic 9/11 commission report. They claim they never found the nearly-indestructible black boxes, yet they were finding shavings of humans to identify? Oh, and they found the passports of the "hijackers" the same day the towers fell.

Please come join my forum if you're not a trendy and agree with my points of view.

employing circular logic.. is cognitive dissonance.

or did I miss something?


Am I supposed to have

Am I supposed to have employed circular logic?

Please come join my forum if you're not a trendy and agree with my points of view.

Vote down! fireant's picture No one that I can find has done a


Vote down!
fireant's picture
No one that I can find has done a detailed study of debris,
Submitted by fireant

"They do not show controlled demolition."

I have NO idea why it says "vote down"
all I did was to copy and post.

Good for you. I appreciate an analytical approach

to the controversy. I have a vague memory of reading some debris data, maybe out of Purdue University? Anyway good luck and stay strong.


fireant's picture

I'm looking at it more as an investigator than a scientist.

It's really no different than an automobile accident investigation. You can re-construct based on damage, skid marks, etc. Those deal with one or more more moving objects. Applying the same principles to a building is much simpler; not to diminish the task, it is challenging, but it's simple logic really, as any investigation is.
Investigation has to be brutally objective. There can be no pre-conceptions; let the evidence speak. Every nick in the steel tells a story of how it got there. All you have to do is backtrack the motions and directions indicated by location and damage to the structural member.
The truth movement has omitted this vital step, and I don't think they realize this is what they will confront if they want a new investigation. The evidence truly is overwhelming, and I only have access to what is publicly available. That's why I say they need to find structural evidence or they have no case, which makes the whole CD story a diversion.
I've just begun my book, in blog form for now, and am publishing the preliminary chapters now. I will illustrate how the building fell based on debris patterns, to include a view from the south. You can determine what occurred in the smoke from studying the debris.
Maybe readers will understand better where I'm coming from now; thanks H-daddy. Follow along as I publish my findings

Undo what Wilson did

Evidence suggests a scientific

analysis. That said, I look forward to your work!


Weak Kung Fu.

Some supports weren't cut with explosives, so of course they would buckle and tear as the picture depicts. The right number of supports in key places being cut (or likely many more) would cause the universal failure we witnessed that day, and the much smaller number (proportionally) of uncut supports would be thus brought down, too, a la the one in the picture.

Moot "evidence" so far. We need more, please! Cherry-picking simply won't do; perhaps you should cut to the chase and deliver unto us the "iceberg" of which you speak.

(It's tough however, I know, what with the lion's share of the columns having been almost immediately shipped off to be melted down overseas--in gross violation of standard investigative procedure for a crime scene!)

: (

What would the Founders do?

fireant's picture

The Iceberg

Solve this little riddle. How did 5 stories of the entire west wall get embedded flat into Verizon Building from the ground up? It's 40+ some feet across Washington Street. I keep asking all the engineers I meet here, but no one will answer.
7evidence Verizon Annotated
It was the entire west wall:
7evidence Verizonpostcleanup Annotated

Undo what Wilson did

momentum and inertia.

any other questions?

fireant's picture

Momentum from what?

How did it get slammed flat into the wall across the street from the ground up? We know there was momentum and inertia; that's not an answer.

Undo what Wilson did

was that a question? or an answer.

the supposition is not mine.

"gravity induced collapse sequence"

that is your mantra, or am I wrong?

fireant's picture

I see. You either can't or won't explain.

The structural evidence is my mantra. What is yours? CD? Then you should be able to look at the structural remains and show how CD caused it. If you can't, what will you bring for the grand jury? Everything I find shows the building broke apart at it's connections. That's what a grand jury will be shown. You have to overcome that.

Undo what Wilson did