Thermite Claim Questionable

thermite.jpgSteven Jones claims to have found evidence that thermite was used to collapse the World Trade Center. However, if you go to this site, you’ll see that this conclusion came from a test he ran on what he claims is some WTC dust and steel. Jones states he found mostly iron, with low amounts of chromium, manganese, and fluorine. They also found some aluminum and sulfur, which they state are expected from thermite reactions. This is technically true, but he fails to consider other sources for aluminum and sulfur.

There are problems with his claims, the first of which is where the steel actually came from. Jones claims the steel was sent directly to him, which creates a problem as that would be indicative of an unverifiable chain of custody. There’s no evidence that Jones’s correspondent gave accurate information as to the origin of the steel samples.

How the samples were treated after 9-11 needs to be considered as well. The dust and steel could have been contaminated after the collapse but before it got to Jones. No thermite was used in the cleanup, because that was too dangerous for the workers.

Jones makes a big deal about “uncommon elements,” but it’s not really a surprise as the destruction of office buildings the size of WTC 1, 2, and 7 plus the resultant fires burning for months would produce numerous chemicals. As we see here, a USGS Survey found these elements in WTC dust samples: Silicon, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, iron, aluminum, carbon (organic and carbonate), sodium, potassium, titanium, manganese, and phosphorus.

Sulfur, potassium, titanium, and manganese are the ones Jones uses to support his thermite claim, but as we see from here, there are perfectly plausible explanations for said elements that don’t require thermite and here they are: Silicon, aluminum, calcium, magnesium, sodium, and other elements are from glass fibers, gypsum ( the drywall) accounts for calcium and sulfate, and so forth. Things like titanium, lead, etc can be explained by paint, and the organic carbon can be explained by paper, wallboard binder, it. In short, all elements are those one expects in the construction of a building.

Oh, and as for the aluminum, last time I checked, the planes had an aluminum frame. In addition, Steve Jones didn’t mention any barium nitrate, which is a much more significant portion of thermite than sulfur.

Fluorine can be explained by refrigerants used by the air conditioning system. Furthermore, if you go to 9/ and scroll down to the bottom of the page, you will see more evidence that the thermite claim is questionable. Simply put, Jones found some elements that are left by thermite, while ignoring the fact that there were other, more likely sources of those elements in the WTC, and when he combined it with the videos, Jones assumed that it was thermite. Steven Jones (and conspiracy theorists in general) would do well to remember the old adage as to why one should never assume.


Posted December 6, 2007 by Victor Chabala in Real 9/11 Facts

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