The evidence for the presence of thermite at the World Trade Center (WTC) on 9/11 is extensive and compelling. This evidence has accumulated to the point at which we can say that WTC thermite is no longer a hypothesis, it is a tested and proven theory. Therefore it is not easy to debunk it. But the way to do so is very straightforward and is in no way mysterious.
To debunk the thermite theory, one must first understand the evidence for it and then show how all of that evidence is either mistaken or explained by other phenomena. Here are the top ten categories of evidence for thermite at the WTC.
- Molten metal: There are numerous photographs and eyewitness testimonies to the presence of molten metal at the WTC, both in the buildings and in the rubble. No legitimate explanation has been provided for this evidence other than the exothermic reaction of thermite, which produces the temperatures required and molten iron as a product.
- The fires at Ground Zero could not be put out for several months. Despite the application of millions of gallons of water to the pile, several rainfall events at the site, and the use of a chemical fire suppressant, the fires would not subside. Thermal images produced by satellite showed that the temperatures in the pile were far above that expected in the debris from a typical structure fire. Only thermite, which contains its own oxidant and therefore cannot be extinguished by smothering it, can explain this evidence.
- Numerous eyewitnesses who were fleeing the area described the air mass as a hot wind filled with burning particles. This evidence agrees with the presence of large quantities of thermite byproducts in the air, including hot metallic microspheres and still-reacting agglomerates of thermite.
- Numerous vehicles were scorched or set on fire in the area. Photographic evidence shows that cars parked within the lower-level garage areas of the WTC complex burned as if impacted by a super-hot wind like that described by the eyewitnesses. All non-metallic parts of the cars, including the plastic, rubber, and glass, were completely burned off by a hot blast.
- There was a distinct “white smoke” present—clearly different from smoke produce by a normal structural fire—as indicated by eyewitnesses and photographic evidence. The second major product of the thermite reactions is aluminum oxide, which is emitted as a white solid shortly after reaction.
- Peer-reviewed, scientific research confirmed the presence of extremely high temperatures at the WTC. The high temperatures were evidenced by metallic and other microspheres, along with evaporated metals and silicates. These findings were confirmed by 9/11 investigators and by scientists at an independent company and at the United States Geologic Survey.
- The elemental composition of the metallic microspheres from the WTC dust matches that of metallic microspheres produced by the thermite reaction.
- The environmental data collected at Ground Zero in the months following 9/11 indicate that violent incendiary fires, like those produced by thermite, occurred on specific dates. Peer-reviewed scientific analysis of these data show that the components of thermite spiked to extraordinary levels on specific dates in both the air and aerosol emissions at Ground Zero.
- Carbon nanotubes have been found in the WTC dust and in the lungs of 9/11 first responders. Formation of carbon nanotubes requires extremely high temperatures, specific metal catalysts, and carbon compounds exactly like those found in nanothermite formulations. Researchers have discovered that nanothermite produces the same kinds of carbon nanotubes. That finding has been confirmed by independent analysis in a commercial contract laboratory.
- A peer-reviewed scientific publication has identified the presence of nanothermite in the WTC dust. One of the critical aspects of that paper has been confirmed by an independent scientist.
There is also a great deal of indirect evidence for the thermite theory. This includes the attempts by NIST to downplay the evidence for thermite. It also includes things like a weak effort by Rupert Murdoch’s National Geographic Channel to discredit the ability of thermite to cut structural steel, which was itself roundly discredited by one independent investigator. It is now unquestionable that thermite can cut structural steel as needed for a demolition.
Therefore, debunking the WTC thermite theory is not easy but is very straightforward. Doing so simply requires addressing the evidence listed above point by point, and showing in each case how an alternative hypothesis can explain that evidence better. Given the scientific grounding of the thermite theory, use of the scientific method, including experiments and peer-reviewed publications, would be essential to any such debunking effort.