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9/11 Commission

Continuous Explosions Leveled the Towers

The towers' destruction cannot be accurately described without the word "explosion." Huge clouds billowed out from the towers, starting around the crash zones, and grew rapidly as they consumed each tower, converting them to fine powder and fragments of steel, and depositing the bulk of the remains outside of each tower's footprint in a radial pattern.

Incredibly, this stark reality has and continues to be so consistently and widely denied in government, media, industry, and academia, that few Americans have even entertained the idea that the towers were intentionally demolished. One of the key underpinnings of that denial is the fact that the explosions were continuous, extending for the entire 15-second duration of each tower's collapse. Although witnesses describe loud pops at their onsets, the extended duration and loud roar of the explosions apparently prevented most people from thinking of them as explosions. Also, the repeated description of the events as collapses by the broadcast networks must have had a powerful effect in shaping people's understanding of them, particularly given the heightened state of suggestibility induced by the profound state of shock and disbelief most of them were in.

While helping to destroy the physical evidence, FEMA did provide some information on the fallout pattern from the tower explosions, as well as a description of the pressure waves that accompanied the collapses, in its report.

e x c e r p t
title: Chapter 1 - The WTC Report
authors: Therese McAllister, Jonathan Barnett, John Gross, Ronald Hamburger, Jon Magnusson

Figure 1-7
The sudden collapse of each tower sent out air pressure waves that spread dust clouds of building materials in all directions for many blocks. The density and pressure of the dust clouds were strong enough to carry light debris and lift or move small vehicles and break windows in adjacent buildings for several blocks around the WTC site.

In the months following the attack, several people challenged the official account of the collapses on the basis that fires could not have sufficiently compromised the steel frames of the towers to induce their collapse. Fewer people pointed to the fact that the explosive disintegrations of the towers didn't look anything like any kind of gravity-driven collapse, no matter what the nature of the events that preceded them. Jeff King provided a straightforward account of the actual characteristics of the collapses in his classic article, How Strong Is The Evidence For A Controlled Demolition?, which appeared in Plaguepuppy's Cafe.

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The South Tower at 8 seconds into its collapse
The North Tower at 7, 13.3, 14.5, and 22 seconds into its collapse
The North Tower at about 8.5 seconds into its collapse