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911 why debunkers cant face the facts

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/9/2013 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,073 times Debate No: 36526
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)




three facts debunkers never face in debates

evidence of molten steel
evidence of high tech nanothermite
evidence of thermite residue.

All debunkers run away from these questions and only try and attack strawman arguments like how did the conspirators get away with it and why did they do it while ignoring this evidence


I'll accept the debate. Pro asserts that debunkers refuse to address three topics. I intend to establish that both of the primary agents devoted to debunking 9/11 conspiracy theories, NIST and Popular Mechanics, have addressed all 3 of the questions Pro puts forth. This will show that the topics have been addressed and so Pro's argument is invalid. I don't need to defend NIST or PM's findings or debate the minutia of chemical analysis vs. pictorial evidence. All I need to refute is to establish that debunkers have evaluated these 3 categories of evidence.
Debate Round No. 1


I contend that the three major debunking sources NIST, popular mechanics and History Channel used cunning 'debunking' tactics of not fairly addressing the evidence proposed by Architect and engineers for 911 truth and other truther scientists.
Rather they manipulated the argument without facing the evidence provided.

Melted Steel

PM next addresses physics professor Dr. Steven Jones" findings regarding molten metal in the debris at Ground Zero, and how this is evidence of melted steel and/or iron. PM"s counter to this claim is the assertion that the fires in the debris piles cooked the steel and other metals to the point where they melted. They quote Jon Magnusson as saying:
When we"re talking about the debris pile and the insulating effect, the fires down there are completely different than the factors [affecting the steel] in the building. (pg. 41)
However, the idea that the molten metal could have somehow formed in the debris afterwards is actually addressed in Jones" paper:
Notice that the molten metal (probably not steel alone; see discussion below) was flowing down in the rubble pile early on; so it is not the case that the molten metal pools formed due to subterranean fires after the collapses.11
PM provides no technical analysis in their book to show that the fires could have become hot enough to melt steel in the debris piles. The temperatures that existed in the debris piles were vastly hotter than what any sort of natural fire could have produced. In fact, the temperatures were evidently high enough:

" To form Fe-O-S eutectic (with ~50 Mol % sulfur) in steel [1,000 "C (1,832 "F)]
" To melt aluminosilicates (spherule formation) [1,450 "C (2,652 "F)]
" To melt iron (III) oxide (spherule formation) [1,565 "C (2,849 "F)]
" To vaporize lead [1,740 "C (3,164 "F)]
" To melt molybdenum (spherule formation) [2,623 "C (4,753 "F)]
" To vaporize aluminosilicates [2,760 "C (5,000 "F)]12
" To melt concrete [1,760 "C (3,200 "F]

The conditions at Ground Zero simply could not have produced these types of temperatures.13 However, the extreme heat in the piles is indeed consistent with thermitic reactions.14

In PM"s next attempt to undermine the case for molten metal in the debris, they cite the analysis of Alan Pense, a professor of metallurgical engineering at Lehigh University. They quote him saying:
The photographs shown to support melting steel are, to me, either unconvincing" or show materials that appear to be other than steel. One of these photos appears to me to be mostly of glass with unmelted steel rods in it. Glass melts at much lower temperatures than steel. (pg. 41)
First off, it is not clear from this statement which photograph Alan Pense is referring to. However, he is likely referring to the popular "crane shot."
Regardless of whether the obvious molten material shown above is molten steel, iron, or even glass, its color indicates temperatures exceeding 2,300"F. The jet fuel and office fires in the Twin Towers never reached such temperatures.
Second, we have already seen that there were metals that were either melted or evaporated at temperatures well above the melting point of steel and iron. Third, even if the crane photo did show molten glass, it would still need to have been heated to extremely high temperatures, since glass does not begin to give off any visible light until it approaches temperatures of 2240 "F.15

PM next takes issue with Steven Jones" claim that the molten metal can be accounted for by incendiaries that could have been used to destroy the buildings. They counter this claim by quoting Controlled Demolition, Inc. president Mark Loizeaux as saying the explosives used in demolitions do not produce molten metal, noting that the heat from the explosives would not last long. While this may be true for conventional explosives, the use of thermate and nanothermite based devices could certainly account for the molten metal. Molten iron is the main byproduct of a thermite reaction, and the reaction can produce extreme heat that lasts longer than conventional explosives. Nanothermite is a very high tech variation of thermite, and could account for all of these phenomena.16

In fact, both the USGS and RJ Lee, an environmental consulting firm, found ubiquitous previously molten iron microspheres in all of the WTC dust samples. These also can only be the result of temperatures reaching 2,800"F. Up to 6% of some of the dust samples recovered in the nearby skyscraper, the Deutsche Bank building, are composed of these iron spheres " most of which are only the size of the diameter of a human hair.

It is quite evident that PM has failed to explain away the extreme heat and molten metal that clearly existed at Ground Zero. They have also failed to show the temperatures inside the buildings were sufficient to cause collapse.

The next section of PM"s book deals with another subject not previously dealt with in the 2006 edition: the nanothermite discovered in dust samples from the World Trade Center. PM"s stated objective of the updated book is to debunk "the most common speculation about free-fall times, "nanothermite," and other aspects of the Twin Towers" collapses"," (pg. xxii). However, PM"s section regarding nanothermite utterly fails to do this " not because it presents weak scientific arguments, but because it provides virtually no scientific arguments at all.
Molten Metal Flowing from the South Tower
PM"s only scientific criticism of claims made by individuals in the 9/11 Truth movement in regards to thermite applies to the spout of molten metal seen coming from the 81st floor of the South Tower, which some have cited as evidence of a thermite-based demolition for the Towers. In spite of photographs and numerous eyewitness accounts of molten steel/iron and concrete, PM chooses to address only this one example. PM"s explanation for this is simply that the material is molten aluminum, a claim echoed by other defenders of the official narrative. It is also a claim that has been thoroughly refuted. PM cites NIST as saying that the material may have been molten aluminum, but individuals such as Dr. Steven Jones have demonstrated " by experiment " that, in daylight conditions, molten aluminum appears silvery and does not glow brightly like the metal seen coming from the South Tower.[i]

Some still may argue that the material was molten aluminum and that it was heated to high enough temperatures to get it to glow that brightly. Below is a chart showing temperature-dependent colors of metals.

At about 980"C (1800"F), most metals begin to glow "light orange." PM asserts throughout the book that this is how hot the fires could have been in the Towers. However, we previously noted that NIST has no evidence that the fires did reach these temperatures in the buildings. However, even if we accept that the fires did reach those temperature levels, the material still could not have been aluminum because of how long it was heated. As explained by physicist Jerry Lobdill:
The problem with concluding that the liquid flowing from the tower"s 82nd floor could have been aluminum" is that the liquid in the tower was not confined in a container so that more heat could be applied to raise the temperature of the liquid above its melting point. Instead, as soon as the metal liquefied it flowed away from the heat source under the force of gravity. Therefore, the color of the liquid flowing from the 82nd floor [indicated that it] was at approximately the melting point of the metal. And therefore, it was molten iron from steel.[ii]

Perhaps the most important reason why the material could not have been molten aluminum is that the material actually became white hot. Regardless of what kind of material was glowing, nobody has explained what would have heated it to over 2000"F to get it to glow that brightly.
In addition, there is simply little chance the material could have been molten aluminum, based on the fact that the material glowed for as


Con contends that debunkers refuse to address some specific issues during debates about the possibility of controlled demolition before the collapse of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

Melted Steel

From NIST's Investigation Report in 2006:

"NIST reported (NCSTAR 1-5A) that just before 9:52 a.m., a bright spot appeared at the top of a window on the 80th floor of WTC 2, four windows removed from the east edge on the north face, followed by the flow of a glowing liquid. This flow lasted approximately four seconds before subsiding. Many such liquid flows were observed from near this location in the seven minutes leading up to the collapse of this tower. There is no evidence of similar molten liquid pouring out from another location in WTC 2 or from anywhere within WTC 1.
Photographs, and NIST simulations of the aircraft impact, show large piles of debris in the 80th and 81st floors of WTC 2 near the site where the glowing liquid eventually appeared. Much of this debris came from the aircraft itself and from the office furnishings that the aircraft pushed forward as it tunneled to this far end of the building. Large fires developed on these piles shortly after the aircraft impact and continued to burn in the area until the tower collapsed.

NIST concluded that the source of the molten material was aluminum alloys from the aircraft, since these are known to melt between 475 degrees Celsius and 640 degrees Celsius (depending on the particular alloy), well below the expected temperatures (about 1,000 degrees Celsius) in the vicinity of the fires. Aluminum is not expected to ignite at normal fire temperatures and there is no visual indication that the material flowing from the tower was burning.

Pure liquid aluminum would be expected to appear silvery. However, the molten metal was very likely mixed with large amounts of hot, partially burned, solid organic materials (e.g., furniture, carpets, partitions and computers) which can display an orange glow, much like logs burning in a fireplace. The apparent color also would have been affected by slag formation on the surface.

NIST investigators and experts from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and the Structural Engineers Association of New York (SEONY)"who inspected the WTC steel at the WTC site and the salvage yards"found no evidence that would support the melting of steel in a jet-fuel ignited fire in the towers prior to collapse. The condition of the steel in the wreckage of the WTC towers (i.e., whether it was in a molten state or not) was irrelevant to the investigation of the collapse since it does not provide any conclusive information on the condition of the steel when the WTC towers were standing.

NIST considered the damage to the steel structure and its fireproofing caused by the aircraft impact and the subsequent fires when the buildings were still standing since that damage was responsible for initiating the collapse of the WTC towers.

Under certain circumstances it is conceivable for some of the steel in the wreckage to have melted after the buildings collapsed. Any molten steel in the wreckage was more likely due to the high temperature resulting from long exposure to combustion within the pile than to short exposure to fires or explosions while the buildings were standing." [1]

However unconvincing Pro may find it, there can be little argument that the NIST directly addressed concerns about molten steel here.

Evidence of Thermite

The only WTC Debris which exhibits evidence of thermite was proffered by Dr. Steven Jones. NIST rejected Jones' findings citing the lack of a clear "chain of control." That is, the sample had not been protected from potential contamination in a scientifically rigorous way. No examination of WTC material that did meet scientifically rigorous controls has ever demonstrated evidence of thermite. Hundreds of demolitions experts evaluated the debris pile in the weeks after the 9/11 and none found evidence consistent thermite, nano-thermite or other explosives.

NIST responds:

a very large quantity of thermite (a mixture of powdered or granular aluminum metal and powdered iron oxide that burns at extremely high temperatures when ignited) or another incendiary compound would have had to be placed on at least the number of columns damaged by the aircraft impact and weakened by the subsequent fires to bring down a tower. Thermite burns slowly relative to explosive materials and can require several minutes in contact with a massive steel section to heat it to a temperature that would result in substantial weakening. Separate from the WTC towers investigation, NIST researchers estimated that at least 0.13 pounds of thermite would be required to heat each pound of a steel section to approximately 700 degrees Celsius (the temperature at which steel weakens substantially). Therefore, while a thermite reaction can cut through large steel columns, many thousands of pounds of thermite would need to have been placed inconspicuously ahead of time, remotely ignited, and somehow held in direct contact with the surface of hundreds of massive structural components to weaken the building. This makes it an unlikely substance for achieving a controlled demolition.[1]

The Engergetic Materials Research and Testing Center was unable to cut a vertical steel column using thermite, even when the columns were significantly smaller than WTC columns.[2]

Again, Pro need not be convinced by these finding. Con is not debating the relative value of pro-demoltion expert findings vs. debunkers. At issue in this debate is whether debunkers like the NIST are willing to address questions about molten steel and thermite. Pro has put forward that debunkers "never face" these arguments. As demonstrated here and with great repetition across the internet, debunkers do address these arguments with regularity.

Debate Round No. 2


I would like to applaud you on your investigation skills and instead of verbally abusing the truth movement or attacking strawman arguments you have provided some rebuttal so that we may examine the science behind these claims .
If all 911 debunkers behaved this way we could have good scientific debates on 911.

I would like to argue that NIST hasn't properly shown scientifically anything to back their counter claims.

NIST fails to show how aluminium can be yellow at the temperatures of 1000 C . Independent experimenters have tried to melt aluminium and add office furniture carpets etc but have not been able to reproduce the statement NIST claims.
NIST ignores other evidence such as
molten iron spheres from RJ lee report.
FEMA melted steel
Many eyewitnesses
University of California professor Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl, the first structural engineer given access to the WTC steel at Fresh Kills Landfill notes, "I saw melting of girders at the World Trade Center."

NIST claims steven jones has no clear chain of control for the dust samples , they argue that because they didn't control the chain of custody its not clear to them .
Jones invited NIST to conduct its own studies using its own known "chain of custody" dust, but NIST did not investigate

NIST claimed they found no evidence of explosives , later when asked how they tested for that they replied they did not look for evidence of explosives therefore found none.

NIST claims on how much thermite are needed are irrelevant as nanothermite was claimed to be used and not normal thermite.

The points above show that NIST has not fairly answered or contested the 911 truth movements points with any clear scientific experiments to back up their claims once again.


Thanks for the kind words, Pro. We are not, however, debating the science. Rather, we are evaluating whether debunkers respond to questions about controlled demolition.

Con argued that well-known debunkers like NIST and PM have directly addressed concerns about molten steel and thermite and provided a few examples.

Pro counters by stating "Well,, they have responded but their science is not valid."

Therefore, Pro concedes the argument. Whether or not the science is valid, Con concedes that debunkers have responded to questions of controlled demolition, in contradiction to Con's original argument, debunkers never face these questions. Both Pro and Con are now in agreement that debunkers sometimes face questions of controlled demolition, which essentially ends the debate in favor of Con.

Although Pro argues that debunkers have not scientifically proved that the WTC was not imploded by controlled demolition, Pro neglects to acknowledge that the burden of proof is on the side of conspiracists, not debunkers.

As Carl Sagan once said, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." I don't think even Pro would go so far as to find that these minor points of clarification amount to extraordinary evidence.

NIST fails to show how aluminium can be yellow at the temperatures of 1000 C .

As documented above, NIST makes no argument that aluminum itself is yellow. NIST advises that the yellow glow comes from the massive amount of organic material trapped in the flow. If Pro's undocumented independent experimenters are unable to produce a yellow glow by burning organic material, Con would recommend burning wood in a fireplace. This is a simple experiment that can be repeated at will and often produces a yellow glow.

Molten Iron Spheres

Here is a debunker reproducing RJ Lee's molten iron spheres with a bic lighter, proving that thermite is not necessary to explain the presence of molten iron spheres in WTC dust:

FEMA melted steel

Pro has failed to document this argument, but the same FEMA report also provides a lucid explanation without resorting to extraordinary causes:

The thinning of the steel occurred by high temperature corrosion due to a combination of oxidation and sulfidation.
The sulfidation attack of steel grain boundaries accelerated the corrosion and erosion of the steel.
The high concentration of sulfides in the grain boundaries of the corroded regions of the steel occurred due to copper diffusing fr
om the HSLA steel combining with iron and sulfur, making both discrete and continuous sulfides in the steel grain boundaries [1]

Pro has failed to elucidate why NIST should contradict FEMA's report.

Many eyewitnesses

Much of the world can be counted as an eyewitness to the WTC collapse, what of it? Eyewitness misidentification is the single greatest cause of wrongful convictions nationwide, playing a role in nearly 75% of convictions overturned through DNA testing. [2]

Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl.... saw melting of girders at the World Trade Center.

Astaneh-Asi is a prominent civil engineers whose conclusions are the same as NISTs and whose findings were considered part of the evidence that NIST and Congress used to conclude that there was no controlled demolition. Pro disagrees with Astaneh-Asi's findings so why Pro is citing him in evidence?

Jones invited NIST to conduct its own studies using its own known "chain of custody" dust

Obviously, NIST is not at liberty to create studies is response to every minority theory. Nevertheless, many objective analyses of WTC dust contradict Jone's findings.

"There is no evidence of individual elemental aluminum particles of any size in the red/gray chips, therefore the red layer of the the red/gray chips is not thermite or nanothermite." [3]

NIST claimed they found no evidence of explosives

NIST was trying to understand the cause/effect of WTC collapse after jet impacts: the most obvious and likely explanation for collapse. Although NIST had no cause to suspect demolition and therefore did not seek evidence to that effect, NIST does point out that the presence of hundreds of demolitions experts suggests that any strong evidence indicating an explosion would have been detected and reported by these experts. In the absence of any report of any sign of explosion by any demolitions expert, NIST did not waste time exploring explosions as one possible cause.

NIST claims on how much thermite are needed are irrelevant as nanothermite was claimed to be used and not normal thermite.

nanothermite was not in general production outside of the lab in Los Alamos at the time of the WTC collapse. The point is that any theoretical explosive would require a massive, coordinated effort that went entirely undetected by the many police agencies protecting one of the busiest buildings in the world, a highly unlikely scenario.


However unconvincing Pro may find the science, the central dynamic of the controlled demolition debate always revolves around the same fallacy- that debunkers have failed to prove that the WTC was NOT brought down by controlled demolition. This dynamic keeps the debate alive since it is impossible to prove a negative. At the end of the day, the burden of proof must always be handed back to the Truther side of the argument. Unless Pro and controlled demolition advocates can provide unimpeachable evidence that demonstrates controlled demolition, there is little reason to change history's verdict.

PRO proposed that debunkers never face molten steel or thermite arguments. Pro conceded the argument in the second round by admitting that debunkers do address these arguments, but Pro finds the science unsatisfactory. Con has demonstrated that the debunkers' responses reflect mainstream and common sense opinion.

Voters only have to agree that debunkers do sometimes contradict truther arguments regarding steel and thermite to refute PRO's proposition in order to vote for CON. Thanks in advance, voters, please vote for CON.


Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by tryanmax 3 years ago
Honestly, I can't even tell what pro's position is. Is "debunker" the opposite of "truther"?
Posted by imabench 3 years ago
To whoever accepts this debate, enjoy the free win pro's pretty retarded on this subject.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by imabench 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Not only did pro not provide sources for any of his claims, but com sufficiently countered many of pros arguments which at the very least did prove that debunkers can 'face' the proposed 'facts' that pro listed. Arguments and sources to the con