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9/11 theories: What is the probability of a controlled demolition?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/10/2015 Category: News
Updated: 10 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 454 times Debate No: 82347
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (3)
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I would like to engage anyone who believes that 9/11 was an "inside job" in a truly free thinking debate. We will debate the collapse of WTC 7 - often cited as the "smoking gun" by the Truther movement. I will argue that the probability of fire-induced collapse is far greater than that of a controlled demolition.

To remove all bias, I propose a debate which uses ONLY objective facts to evaluate the two possible circumstances which led to the collapse of WTC 7:
1. Fire leading to a progressive collapse
2. Controlled Demolition leading to total collapse (if possible, please provide a more specific theory as to the method which is most likely to have been used)

Objective facts are strictly defined as facts which are uncontested by the majority of people on BOTH sides of the debate; they cannot involve interpretations or speculation of any kind. For example: the presence of fire at WTC 7 is not contested; the models for collapse produced by NIST or ae911truth are refuted by the opposition, and are therefore inadmissible in this debate. Eye witness accounts or other unverifiable information is also inadmissible. Either opponent may contest the objectiveness of any facts presented with an explanation as to why he/she believes it to be subjective.

The objective facts I have identified to begin are as follows:
1. No skyscraper had ever fallen due to fire prior to 9/11.
2. The exterior of the building fell at a high rate of speed.
3. The tallest building to ever be demolished via implosion prior to 9/11 was 33 stories high.
4. WTC 3, 4, 5, 6 and the Deutsche Bank Building were all damaged so severely that they were later demolished due to structural instability.
5. Fires and and debris damage were visible at the WTC 7 site. ( Though the extent of the damage is contested, it is generally agreed that the damage was not entirely negligible.
6. Controlled demolition generally requires weeks or months of planning and set up.

If you wish to accept this debate, please verify that you believe the above facts to be objective and without interpretation. Feel free to add as you see fit.


Jet Fuel can't melt Steel Beams
Debate Round No. 1


My opponent has reproduced a common straw man argument. which is also not relevant to WTC 7 as there was no jet fuel present at the WTC 7 site.

Just for the sake of debunking my opponents' statement, while steel melts at 2750 deg F, it loses half its strength at 1100 deg F [1]. It also begins to expand and twist at 1000 deg F, which can cause key joints to fail. Jet fuel can burn at temperatures up to 1800 deg F. Evidence in WTC 5 showed multiple supports and floors which had collapsed due to fire (which had been more contained).

I suspect my opponent is not actually interested in an objective debate.



The weakening of the steel beams would indeed cause a major weakness in the overall structure in that general area, but this would not cause a total collapse of the building.

Additionally,teh political journal National Review obtained copies of the VISA applications for 15 of the 19 named hijackers, and in the process found that all 15 should have been refused entry to the country.

"A new report accuses the State Department of staggering lapses in its visa program that gave Sept. 11 hijackers entry into the United States.

The political journal National Review obtained the visa applications for 15 of the 19 hijackers " and evidence that all of them should have been denied entry to the country."

This raises the question. Why would they be given permission to the U.S. if not to hit the World Trade Center?

How was it possible the Pentagon was hit 1 hour and 20 minutes after the attacks began? Why was there no response from Andrews Air Force Base, just 10 miles away and home to Air National Guard units charged with defending the skies above the nation"s capital? How did Hani Hanjour, a man who failed as a Cessna pilot on his first flight in a Boeing, execute a difficult aerobatic maneuver to strike the Pentagon? Why did the attack strike the just-renovated side, which was largely empty and opposite from the high command?
Debate Round No. 2


My opponent appears to have unfortunately diverged from the purpose of this debate, which is to center around the collapse of WTC 7. To that effect, using the objective facts previously outlined, I will prove that the only rational conclusion as to the cause of the collapse was fire as ignited by the falling debris of the other towers. I will do so by simply outlined the probability of each event.

WTC 7 is often paraded as the first skyscraper to have ever fallen due to fire. This can often lead one to the conclusion that the likelihood that a skyscraper could fall due to fire is very low, and thereby another cause is more likely. However, this misrepresents the event. The question we should ask is, given that the skyscraper did fall, what are the chances that it fell due to A (fire), or B (demolition)?

Let us first assess A (fire):
Given that there were a total of 6 other buildings (including WTC7) which were damaged severely that day and had massive structural deficiencies as a result, what are the chances that one of them collapsed completely? If we assigned even a 5% chance (1 in 20) to each building collapsing, the chances of one collapsing completely are 30% (1/20 x 6). Suddenly, the fire-induced collapse event does not seem improbable.

Now, B (demolition):
Given no other information, if one to were to watch the video of WTC 7 falling, it is easy to believe that WTC 7 could have fallen due to a controlled demolition given how quickly the structure falls, and the symmetrical appearance. This is further aided by availability bias; most people have seen a controlled demolition in person or on video, but very few have ever seen a fire-induced collapse. That said, looking only at the collapse would omit critical information: we know at the time of collapse that there were also fires in the building that had caused at least some significant damage. We also know, since fire is inherently unpredictable, that no one could have known exactly where the weak points in the structure would be ahead of time. We also know that the the WTC 7 building was 15 stories taller than the tallest building on record to have been demolished via implosion. Given this information, how likely is it that someone could pull off an otherwise perfect demolition - 15 stories higher than the tallest recorded demolition - on an already damaged structure with asymmetrical weak points? We know that demolitions on buildings take months of planning and set up, even when contractors have full access to the building and are able to assess all aspects of the structure ahead of time. What are the chances they got the charges exactly right on a structure with essentially random weak points? I submit that it is extremely low.

This probability of demolition is only made lower when additional theories are factored in, such as the prevailing nano-thermite theory amongst conspiracy theorists.

In summary, while no event is entirely impossible, it would seem the demolition theory is well beyond the realm of reasonable probability.


If my opponent were to watch the actual video, he would notice that the clouds of smoke coming from the building were volcanic-like clouds from the concrete being pulverized, and no physical mechanism other than explosives can begin to explain how so much of the buildings" concrete was rendered into extremely fine dust. The debris was ejected horizontally several hundred feet in huge fan shaped plumes stretching in all directions, with telltale "squibs" following the path of the explosives downward. These are all facts that have been avoided by mainstream and even most of the alternative media. Again, these are characteristics of the kind of controlled demolitions that news people and fire fighters were describing on the morning of 9/11. These are all signs of a controlled demolition.

The WTC 7 ultimately went into free-fall. This could not have been done had the supports still been there. The only way they could have been destroyed would have been with a demolition. The only support columns that would have been essential for the collapse of the WTC 7 would have been the main support columsn. All of the towers were designed to withstand a Boeing 707 and 160 mph winds, and nothing about the plane crashes or ensuing fires gave any indication of causing the kind of damage that would be necessary to trigger even a partial or progressive collapse, much less the shredding of the buildings into dust and fragments that could drop at free-fall speed. The massive core columns"the most significant structural feature of the buildings, whose very existence is denied in the official 9/11 Commission Report"were severed into uniform 30 foot sections, just right for the 30-foot trucks used to remove them quickly before a real investigation could transpire.
Debate Round No. 3


My opponent has continued to produce speculative interpretations of events, and misrepresent facts. All of the evidence presented is equally explained by fire-induced collapse. Free-fall acceleration (not to be mistaken with free-fall velocity), pulverization of concrete, and plumes of smoke are all explained by the millions of tonnes of falling mass which collapsed down upon the remainder of WTC 1 and 2. Free-fall acceleration is also very rare in any controlled demolitions. WTC 1 and 2 were both built to withstand the force of a Boeing 707; they were not, however, designed to withstand almost 24,000 gallons of jet fuel igniting and causing additional fires.

Nonetheless, I would encourage my opponent to use objective facts - as outlined in Round 1 - to think objectively about which scenario was most likely to have occurred on September 11, 2001. I look forward to him/her presenting an argument from objective reasoning.


xXx_dank_memes_xXx forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4


DerekWilliamson forfeited this round.


xXx_dank_memes_xXx forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by StAndrewsLad 9 months ago
The NIST explanation for the collapse of WTC7 is not possible. Their supposed initiating event of a girder spanning columns 79 and 44 "walking" off its seat to the west by 6.25" is ridiculous. The girder would itself expand at NISTs temperature of 500C and is trapped inside of the 1.8" overlap created by the west sideplate overlapping the north flange of column 79. You can see these details on structural drawing number 9114.
The most up to date and the only finite element analysis to my knowledge that has been presented to a court was carried out by ARUP, and does not endorse NISTs conclusions but rather confirms what many told NIST many times - that the girder connection could not have failed in the heating stage of their analysis by "walking" to the west.
NIST also omitted 30 shear studs from the girder and 2 stiffener plates from the column 79 end of the girder. Their report and analysis into building 7 is non-explanatory. Until they prove that it is indeed possible for office fires to cause the global progressive failure of a high rise steel structure, then the only proven and known mechanism to induce such an event is the use of incendiary and/or explosives.
NIST claimed an unprecedented event, the onus remains on them to back that up with any analysis that betrays a shred of technical rigor.
On the basis of WTC 7 alone, 911 should be fully re investigated, and NIST should be compelled to produce a hypothesis that is at least possible.
Posted by DerekWilliamson 11 months ago
Cool, what was the outcome? What side did you argue?

I thought it would be interesting to take all speculation and subjective evidence out of the equation to avoid what inevitably spirals into a debate over credibility and bias.
Posted by 21MolonLabe 11 months ago
I just had a debate with one of my friends about this a couple days ago.
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