Monday, September 26, 2011

Squibs and thermite, take 2: “Rocket projectiles” at WTC2

I’m eager to see all the video that comes out of the Toronto Hearings, because it sounds like it’s going to be a riot. First up: David Chandler and Niels Harrit discussing rocket-propelled explosives shooting out of the Towers after they’re already collapsing.

Around second thirty-three (coincidence?!) of this video, the narrator talks about seeing an object falling faster than some of the smoke coming from the collapsing WTC2. In his mind it is a piece of super-thermite, and confirmation kicks in when, as it falls past the camera, a puff of air and debris shoots out of one of the floors of the tower – you know, one of those normal things that happens when something collapses and pushes air out of the lower floors.

In order:

The debris falling out of the tower faster than other debris falling out of the tower is probably heavier than the median piece of debris. Most of the cloud is shards and pieces of office, things that are much more subject to air resistance than a much heavier piece of debris (which the author seems to concede is what it probably is around minute two second thirty). The puff of air ejecting out of one of the caving floors is just that. As a building collapses, its caving mass forces out air and debris from wherever it will escape: elevator shafts, broken windows, vents, you name it. If that sounds familiar, that’s because it is: this is a rehashing of the “squibs” claim originating from around 2005. Debunked around 2006.

In the video the narrator claims to have controlled for the motion of the camera, but even in this endeavor he fails. He may try to correct for the x-y jitter of the camera, but not the x-y-z artifact arising from the annoying fact that vision happens in three dimensions. The apparent “change of motion” of the object looks more like the object moving towards the camera as it falls – that is, pushed out of the tower by the ejection of air and debris. You can artificially halt the jitter of a camera, but it’s much more complex to flatten an image beyond how flat video makes an image, and that is not something for which the notoriously sloppy David Chandler corrected. Go figure.

This one’s barely worth the bandwidth. I repeat the same challenge I proffered at my Denkfest talk: 9/11 deniers, come up with a claim that can’t be debunked with evidence proffered over half a decade ago. Yeesh.

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