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Old 30th June 2009, 09:54 PM   #1
KJC
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Does "nano-thermite" actually exist?

I've been shown a couple of sources to prove that there is something that has been researched matching the general description of nano-thermite, but I still haven't seen it in action.

Does it exist? Has it been demonstrated? Can it cut steel columns quickly and quietly?
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Old 30th June 2009, 10:12 PM   #2
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Not in the context that CT'ers claim it does.

Thermite's existed for a long time. Thermite grenades were used to permanently foul the firing chambers of German artillery pieces during WWII, for example.

And no-it couldn't have cut the weight-bearing structures of the Twin Towers quickly or quietly. It would have taken a few minutes, IMHO. People would have noticed it, and it would have been visible from outside the building. Plus - it doesn't explode.

ETA: I should clarify here. I think the prevailing controlled thermite demo CT is that the plane did in fact strike the tower, but the collapse was initiated by thermite. This doesn't hold much water with me, since the impact of the crash would have obliterated the triggering mechanism for any thermite that was clandestinely placed there. The other way you can go with this is that the thermite was "painted on" certain structures beforehand, and the fire from the plane crash ignited the thermite and destroyed the core columns. Besides being patently ridiculous, the second scenario depends on a gross misunderstanding of the weight distribution and support properties of the WTC. It also would require the pilot to crash the plane at exactly the correct spot.

(The other, more sensible alternative, is that Steven Jones' "iron microspheres" are an expected result of the cataclysm - and not an indication that thermite was used.)

It's also not used for large-scale building demolition. That takes weeks of careful preparation with an empty structure that's already been gutted of everything.

As far as "nano-thermite" - there has been some laboratory experimentation into something called sol-gel nanothermite, but I don't think it's ever been fielded past the proof-of-concept phase.

I'm certain there are other posters here that have better information though.
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Old 30th June 2009, 10:17 PM   #3
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In Dr. Jones's paper at Bentham, he references work by a few scientists -- principal among them, Dr. Tillotson at LLNL -- who are legitimately researching nanothermite. So the answer is Yes, it does exist. The first papers on it came out in 2001, I believe.

However, it exists in extremely small quantities, and as far as I can tell has never been applied outside the laboratory.

It certainly has not been demonstrated cutting structural steel. Its properties are also such that it doesn't seem even remotely suitable for the task. As an explosive, it is difficult to ignite and low-powered. As an incendiary, it is of low heat content even compared to ordinary thermite, which also has not been demonstrated in such a context. Cast into a "sol-gel," it is also of low density -- the "gel" is related to aerogel, which is only a bit denser than smoke. It appears to be expensive (at best) to manufacture in large quantities. Dr. Jones and his co-authors speculate that tens or hundreds of tons would be required, and presumably applied in layers a few microns thick...

Dr. Jones's paper, referring to the existence of laboratory nanothermite and speculating that it's ready to topple skyscrapers, is rather like inferring from the existence of laser pointers that orbiting deathsats could have destroyed the buildings with beam weapons. It's perhaps physically possible, but so impractical as to beggar belief.

ETA: Here is a layman's treatment from LLNL. The key feature is high temperature, which is achieved because the heat content is high relative to the mass and thermal capacity of the reactants. However, the total heat content is absurdly small, about 1/20th that of ordinary paper, pound for pound. Thus, the best use of nanothermite is where tiny, precise application of extreme heat is valuable -- melting tiny platinum wires, applying to miniscule samples of moon rock to boil off volatiles for spectroscopy, that kind of thing. Burning through huge steel columns? Heck, no.
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Old 30th June 2009, 10:18 PM   #4
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Whew. I was hoping you'd show up.

I have a good general grasp of things, but I leave the advanced scientific stuff that's way over my head to guys like you.
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Old 30th June 2009, 10:25 PM   #5
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Nano-thermite is whatever the person arguing that jews blew up the WTC needs it to be. If he needs it to create loud explosive noises it does that. If he needs it to be immune to plane impacts it does that. If he needs it to persists weeks after detonation it'll do that.

It's basically Schrodingers Cat for paranoid inbreds.
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Old 30th June 2009, 11:57 PM   #6
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What's even more compelling to me (as Ryan pointed out) then its existence or lack thereof, is the fact Thermite would be one of the least reliable OR reasonable manner to "cut" steel nonetheless destroy a building. Reasonable to melt holes into steel? Yes. Cut steel? Not at all. And from what i've heard nano-thermite was in the infant stages of development (i.e. only existed on paper) in 2001.
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Old 1st July 2009, 06:18 AM   #7
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You guys are all sheep. The gubmint has had nanothermite since the 1980's. They only take it out for sooper sekrit demolitions though.
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Old 1st July 2009, 06:25 AM   #8
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i still want to see the super secret nano-thermite factory that produced the 100 tonnes of it that harrit said they needed lol
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Old 1st July 2009, 06:47 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by JoeyDonuts View Post
Whew. I was hoping you'd show up.

I have a good general grasp of things, but I leave the advanced scientific stuff that's way over my head to guys like you.
This is the problem with debunkers. Leaving it to those who actually knows stuff. Pfffft.
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Old 1st July 2009, 06:58 AM   #10
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As far as I am aware nano thermite does exist but its very new.
Debunkers claim the 'evidence' of it being used in the wtc collapse was in fact paint. Having been an avid twoofer for the last couple of years I request someone provide me with 'evidence' that this is the case.
I am becoming more skeptical the longer I stay here but as mentioned in my welcome posts, ''I still have questions''
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Old 1st July 2009, 07:57 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Squidgy View Post
Debunkers claim the 'evidence' of it being used in the wtc collapse was in fact paint. Having been an avid twoofer for the last couple of years I request someone provide me with 'evidence' that this is the case.
There's a lengthy thread discussing Harrit et al in considerable detail at
http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?t=140017 which should fill you in on both sides of the discussion. Be warned, though, this gets extremely technically involved.

The clincher for me that this doesn't indicate thermite is that the energy content is too high. Materials that burn in air tend to have much higher energy densities than those, such as thermite, that contain their own source of oxygen; typically, combustible hydrocarbons tend to have around ten times the energy density of thermite. Harrit et al's samples show energy densities higher than thermite even without accounting for the fact that part of the sample is an inert material. This in itself is clear evidence that combustion is taking place in their experiments, which in turn means that there cannot be certainty that any other exothermic reaction is taking place.

However, there are other, equally significant, flaws in their analysis identified in the thread.

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Old 1st July 2009, 01:30 PM   #12
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As excellent as Ryan's debunking is, wouldn't it just be the nail in the coffin if we could get it from the horses mouth? ie. if we could get someone actively working on nano-thermite to address certain myths.
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Old 1st July 2009, 01:38 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by KJC View Post
As excellent as Ryan's debunking is, wouldn't it just be the nail in the coffin if we could get it from the horses mouth? ie. if we could get someone actively working on nano-thermite to address certain myths.
Google energetic nanomaterials.

You should get a list of people who have authored papers/spoke at conferences.
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Old 1st July 2009, 02:39 PM   #14
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I would like to know what the critical mass of this nanothemite is . The DDT

(Defraglation to Detonation Transistion) point. How much nanothermite is needed to make that happen .

This is the point where the reaction is no longer carried on by heat , where the pressure wave becomes strong enough to keep the reaction going .

This is important to be able to determine if it can be any use as blasting material .
I doubt that , also because it releases solids and not gases like high explosive compounts do.
I do not believe it can be used to slowly melt trough those massive steel columns.

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Old 1st July 2009, 03:16 PM   #15
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Whatever, people. Nanothermite just sounds cool, so I'm sticking with it!
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Old 1st July 2009, 03:27 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by katertje View Post
I would like to know what the critical mass of this nanothemite is . The DDT

(Defraglation to Detonation Transistion) point. How much nanothermite is needed to make that happen .

This is the point where the reaction is no longer carried on by heat , where the pressure wave becomes strong enough to keep the reaction going .

This is important to be able to determine if it can be any use as blasting material .
I doubt that , also because it releases solids and not gases like high explosive compounts do.
I do not believe it can be used to slowly melt trough those massive steel columns.
I don't know about the DDT, but I believe you're correct about not being able to melt steel columns.
However, nanothermite is not being postulated for melting AFAIK. For this, Regular Thermite/Thermate is the supposed culprit.Problem is, this too is sheer speculation, since it has never been demonstrated to have this ability - that is, melting laterally thru a vertical column!
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Old 1st July 2009, 03:38 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by katertje View Post
I would like to know what the critical mass of this nanothemite is . The DDT

(Defraglation to Detonation Transistion) point. How much nanothermite is needed to make that happen .

This is the point where the reaction is no longer carried on by heat , where the pressure wave becomes strong enough to keep the reaction going .

This is important to be able to determine if it can be any use as blasting material .
I doubt that , also because it releases solids and not gases like high explosive compounts do.
I do not believe it can be used to slowly melt trough those massive steel columns.
'Thermite' or 'nanothermite' requires a consistant high temperature (such as a blow torch) to ignite. It is notoriously unpredictable, difficult to ignite and control. Thin layers painted on would not be sufficient. Bags and bags of the stuf would have to packed around each column and at specific sites on evry floor.

It burns similar to a sparkler that kids get on bonfire (Guy Forkes) night. Conventional ignition methods of electric dets of knotted det cord (fuse instantanious) just wouldnt work as an initiation. No 'pressure wave' would exist as 'thermite' does not explode -it burns profusely and creates large amounts of smoke and light (imagine a roman candle).

The twoofers would have you believe that it was detonated and exploded and that this stuff burned its way through the columns or down the length of the columns without smoke or extreme bright light. Pathetic and ridiculous.
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Old 1st July 2009, 04:20 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by R.Mackey View Post

It certainly has not been demonstrated cutting structural steel. .
that's what the government WANTS you to think!!

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Old 1st July 2009, 04:54 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Jackanory View Post
(snip)

It burns similar to a sparkler that kids get on bonfire (Guy Forkes) (Guy Fawkes) night. (snip)
Fixed that for ya.
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Old 1st July 2009, 08:41 PM   #20
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I much preferred the theory I once saw that C4 was actually inserted in the concrete slabs when they were originally built in anticipation of the future plans to blow the place up. Sounds so much more devious than "nanothermite".
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Old 1st July 2009, 08:48 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by katertje View Post
I would like to know what the critical mass of this nanothemite is. The DDT (Defraglation to Detonation Transistion) point. How much nanothermite is needed to make that happen.

This is the point where the reaction is no longer carried on by heat, where the pressure wave becomes strong enough to keep the reaction going. This is important to be able to determine if it can be any use as blasting material. I doubt that, also because it releases solids and not gases like high explosive compounts do. I do not believe it can be used to slowly melt trough those massive steel columns.
Actually, you can't think of nanothermite like that -- it doesn't fit most typical models of explosives. One of those reasons, as you correctly note, is that it doesn't give off a great deal of gas when it reacts, and thus there is little volumetric change. This means not only does it not exert a high pressure on other objects, but it also creates a rather weak pressure wave, one insufficiently high to trigger a sustaining reaction.

Before I get into that, however, it should be noted that the precise mixtures created by Dr. Tillotson et al. are not "pure" thermite, i.e. not simply aluminum and iron oxide or replacement metals. Their "sol-gel" construction involves a matrix of organics, in some cases using a synthetic rubber compound called Viton. With sufficient heat, this additional substance can flash to gas phase, and is no longer just ballast. However, if you do want to drive a pressure pulse with nanothermite, this creates another tradeoff -- the Viton, or whatever else you want to use to creat a driving gas, will cut into your energy density even further.

Pure, ordinary thermite only contains about 4 MJ/kg of chemical energy. Nanothermite, because as the aluminum gets milled finer the inert aluminum oxide shell on the particles becomes a significant fraction of its total mass, is even lower density; Dr. Tillotson remarks about 1.5 MJ/kg is typical. If you then replace some of these ingredients with (potentially flammable, but requiring oxygen) Viton, you're going to reduce that energy density even further. And again, just for comparison, gasoline is about 40 MJ/kg.

Back to the original question, nanothermite can actually react with a supersonic flame front. However, as far as I can determine, this is caused strictly by thermal effects, such as radiation, and not through compression. There is no applicable Rankine-Hugoniot curve since compressing the nanothermite itself could lead to a temperature rise, but through different mechanisms, such as abrasion between the tiny little particles.

The upshot is that nanothermite can be a high explosive, but this is solely a function of grain size which drives the speed of the flame front. Because it is not a pressure-driven effect, while it can still produce a shockwave, it will be a particularly weak one. Unless packed with some medium that produces a large volumetric change when heated, it is unlikely to create much of an explosion. If so packed, it will be in all likelihood the least energetic explosive known to science.

I think the melting angle is less ludicrous than treating it like an explosive, personally. Thermite does, nonetheless, retain the ability to create high temperatures. But if used in this fashion I just don't see what making it "nano" would buy you.

Nor have I ever seen a plausible explanation for how it was controlled after it reacted. Again, see the Mythbusters exercise, using 1000 pounds of thermite, which didn't even come close to totally melting a light truck chassis. This demonstrates just how meager its effect can be on steel until the issue of controlling it is solved. It just isn't an efficient approach.
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Old 1st July 2009, 08:50 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by twinstead View Post
Whatever, people. Nanothermite just sounds cool, so I'm sticking with it!

Bah. The bacon blowtorch is way cooler, and if it had been used, we would know that it wasn't Muslims behind the attack.
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Old 1st July 2009, 09:11 PM   #23
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Old 1st July 2009, 09:25 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by R.Mackey View Post
I think the melting angle is less ludicrous than treating it like an explosive, personally. Thermite does, nonetheless, retain the ability to create high temperatures. But if used in this fashion I just don't see what making it "nano" would buy you.
Agreed to all of that. While it can be laudable that a researcher attempts to answer all issues - and the "sounds" of explosions is one of those issues when we're talking the Twin Towers - in this specific case it's less an attempt to neatly fit observations and more an attempt to force a thesis into a mold that'll be accepted by everyone.

Ryan's right: Proposing thermite as something that melted steel columns would be far less insane than proposing it as an explosive. For starters, why not use real explosives? For two, as has been pointed out by damn near every sane observer, the explosive "noises" have alternate, logical explanations, so it would be entirely internally consistent to say "thermite melts, the sounds were due to something else". But to try to make thermite responsible for both the "melting" and the "explosions"... well, that makes our job easier, since it provides multiple ways to disprove the proposal (no evidence of column melting (no, for the bazillionth time, the eutectic erosion is not such evidence), no evidence of spalling or other effects of blowing up metal). But it does no good for the person advocating the theory because now the evidence has to be consistent in two directions simultaneously. And when it's not, the thesis is sunk. Again, no real signs of column melting, no "shrapnel" shredding people, parked cars, and buildings, the thesis fails. But apologists continue to cite it as gospel, just because it looks "sciency".

Resorting to a proposal of nanothermite as an explosive is most definitely taking the more insane track. It doesn't save you weight or volume, it sure as heck doesn't allow the evidence of the supposed destruction to escape notice, and it most certainly doesn't gain you any advantages over either regular thermite (to just melt the columns apart) or conventional explosives. But, it allows researchers to take materials expected to be found in the WTC rubble (iron oxide and aluminum) and make a conspiracy out of it anyway, which is definitely a neat trick. Throw in some layers of seemingly respectible observations, misdirect with unsupportable conclusions, and suddenly you have "proof" of what's not actually there. And it suddenly takes people with uncommon knowledge (like Sunstealer, who says he's a materials scientist) to work through the proof. More ludicrous, yes. But also more deliberate, which is why I'm willing to put the label of "liar" on Jones and his cohorts rather than "mistaken". They have to know at some level that their thesis is full of it; too many contradictions with known facts, and too many contortions required to make the thesis fit. But, they run with it anyway. The lure of applause from the non-critical thinkers must be too appealing.

Ryan's right when he condemns nanothermite "explosives" as the more ludicrous of the possibilities. But the fact such proposals are ludicrous doesn't matter to those who's agenda is to force a point into public perception by miscasting evidence. The more important thing to the conspiracy peddlers is to shape the narrative, and such ludicrous proposals allow them to do so. Doesn't matter that truth suffers in the end.
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Old 1st July 2009, 09:28 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by JoeyDonuts View Post
Nanothermite is what Hokulele spreads on her toast.
This is demonstrably untrue. Her toast is burnt, not melted or exploded.







Me? Rip her cooking? How would I know what kind of chef she is...
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Old 1st July 2009, 10:39 PM   #26
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Old 1st July 2009, 10:51 PM   #27
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Old 1st July 2009, 11:06 PM   #28
Justin39640
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Quote:
QUOTE=jackanory
(snip)

It burns similar to a sparkler that kids get on bonfire (Guy Forkes) (Guy Fawkes) night the fourth of July. (snip)

QUOTE=Mr. Skinny;4864590]Fixed that for ya.
fixed that again

i just got 6 inch mortars m80s and 3 lbs of nano-thermite from the italian guys down the block (for the 4th) lol
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Old 2nd July 2009, 02:53 PM   #29
katertje
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Quote:
But apologists continue to cite it as gospel, just because it looks "sciency".
That's what bothers me , the presentation of non science as science . Jones never finishes his theory , he never talks about how and how much and where the thermite must have been placed in the towers.
When he makes these huge claims , he'd better have a decent and complete theory to back it up .

Ive worked with thermite ,and know that it is very far from being a high explosive. Especially the Fe thermite isnt very powerfull , CuO3 as an oxidizer is more powerfull but still completely diffrent from H.E.'s
Even if thermite releases more total energy than certain high explosives , it's reaction is still much to slow, and therefore useless for blasting columns.

Slow thermite te slowly melt the columns? I dont think so
, because even welding a train rail takes a lot of that stuff and things to control it .
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Old 2nd July 2009, 02:58 PM   #30
katertje
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Originally Posted by Justin39640 View Post
fixed that again

i just got 6 inch mortars m80s and 3 lbs of nano-thermite from the italian guys down the block (for the 4th) lol
Even for that purpose , you would rather have a KClO4 /fine aluminium, I believe
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Old 2nd July 2009, 03:08 PM   #31
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Old 2nd July 2009, 03:23 PM   #32
alienentity
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Originally Posted by katertje View Post
That's what bothers me , the presentation of non science as science . Jones never finishes his theory , he never talks about how and how much and where the thermite must have been placed in the towers.
When he makes these huge claims , he'd better have a decent and complete theory to back it up .

Ive worked with thermite ,and know that it is very far from being a high explosive. Especially the Fe thermite isnt very powerfull , CuO3 as an oxidizer is more powerfull but still completely diffrent from H.E.'s
Even if thermite releases more total energy than certain high explosives , it's reaction is still much to slow, and therefore useless for blasting columns.

Slow thermite te slowly melt the columns? I dont think so
, because even welding a train rail takes a lot of that stuff and things to control it .
Eventually this thermite theory is going to implode under the weight of it's implausibility. Nobody, including Jones, has offered anything but the most weak and vague hypothesis as to HOW WTC 1, 2 and 7 could have been brought down by thermite, let alone even begin to identify some real perpetrators to pursue.

Kevin Ryan is casting suspicion at various companies, some of which contributed to the NIST report;http://911review.com/articles/ryan/n...onnection.html Jones alludes to military programs.

Perhaps the most ludicrous element is that they claim a vast government conspiracy on one hand, then want the government (by way of some kind of 'investigation') to reveal and prosecute the conspirators. They do not seem to care that, if their claims were true, then the government would certainly not be in a position to police itself anyway....

This kind of self-canceling nonsense is unfortunately embedded into 9/11 'truth' mythology.
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Old 2nd July 2009, 10:55 PM   #33
dropzone
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Originally Posted by alienentity View Post
Eventually this thermite theory is going to implode under the weight of it's implausibility.
Dude, it already has, but has that ever even SLOWN DOWN a CTer hypothesis?
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Old 3rd July 2009, 07:53 AM   #34
katertje
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C.T. are very active in spreading the work of Stevens Jones all over the world . A hell of a lot publicity /attention for Jones for free .

Other reports from other scientists that do apply 'the scientific method' (in the right way),never get that much attention. This work never appears on the news sites over here. People begin to actually think that Jones and other CT are the only people that did 'serious' research besides NIST .
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Old 3rd July 2009, 07:59 AM   #35
T.A.M.
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Originally Posted by katertje View Post
That's what bothers me , the presentation of non science as science . Jones never finishes his theory , he never talks about how and how much and where the thermite must have been placed in the towers.
When he makes these huge claims , he'd better have a decent and complete theory to back it up .

Ive worked with thermite ,and know that it is very far from being a high explosive. Especially the Fe thermite isnt very powerfull , CuO3 as an oxidizer is more powerfull but still completely diffrent from H.E.'s
Even if thermite releases more total energy than certain high explosives , it's reaction is still much to slow, and therefore useless for blasting columns.

Slow thermite te slowly melt the columns? I dont think so
, because even welding a train rail takes a lot of that stuff and things to control it .
Originally Posted by katertje View Post
C.T. are very active in spreading the work of Stevens Jones all over the world . A hell of a lot publicity /attention for Jones for free .

Other reports from other scientists that do apply 'the scientific method' (in the right way),never get that much attention. This work never appears on the news sites over here. People begin to actually think that Jones and other CT are the only people that did 'serious' research besides NIST .
As I have posted elsewhere, if anyone presents you with the Jones bullcrap, simply show them this. In response to calculations that Dr. Frank Greening presented to Jones et al, their response, was the following,

Quote:
So when I bounced my calculations and conclusions off Jones et al, all he could come up with was the suggestion that there were probably other explosives used in the WTC and the nanothermite chips were maybe just fuses!
http://the911forum.freeforums.org/ac...t-t150-30.html

So when pushed by Greening with evidence that would make the suggestion of his nanothermite chips used to melt the steel columns seem ridiculous, Jones suggests that his thermite, all this hooplah, is over "fuses" for traditional explosives.

Seriously...you can't make this crap up!

TAM
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Old 3rd July 2009, 10:52 PM   #36
dropzone
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Originally Posted by Mr. Skinny View Post
Fixed that for ya.
Catholic swine!

Okay, while watching V for Vendetta I asked mine wife to which side I, raised Catholic, should adhere, as if it weren't BLOODY OBVIOUS. B*tch was born Methodist so she's useless, voting for the overthrow of BOTH sides.
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Old 4th July 2009, 06:44 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by JoeyDonuts View Post
Nanothermite is what Hokulele spreads on her toast.

JoeyDonut's massively cool Stalin 'stache is actually composed of nanothermite.
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