Tons of melted metal at Ground Zero
The claim takes on several forms:
“Prevalence of several tons of melted metal under all 3 buildings”0.
“And that explains why there were still lakes of melted iron in the ruins of the towers many weeks later”1.
The claim posits that melted metal/iron is equivalent to the World Trade Center 1, 2 and 7 being destroyed by nanothermite which should have melted tons of metal and helped cause the building collapses.
The Truth Movement supports this claim with various photographs and witness accounts from people present at Ground Zero. The following was used by Steven E. Jones in his article “Why Indeed Did the WTC Buildings Completely Collapse?”, from 20062 and can be seen on page 18.
The text goes as follows:
“Workers evidently peering into the hot “core” under the WTC rubble.” 2
The article is widely used by members of the Truth Movement.
There is no documentation of the prevalence of considerable amounts of molten metal of any kind under the buildings, before or after the collapses.
The witness accounts used turn out to be extremely faulty when it comes to concrete evidence. Often, it is a question of misunderstandings and outright garbled quotations:
Underground, it was still so hot that molten metal dripped down the sides of the wall from [WTC] Building 6.
Ken Holden, New York Department of Design and Construction 3
Apart from the fact that this is not about the three buildings (the World Trade Center 1, 2 and 7), the quote is in full:
Just walking on the site was hazardous because the debris could shift at any moment. Yet hundreds of fire fighters, police officers, rescue workers, laborers, crane operators, iron workers, construction management personnel and DDC staffers worked around the clock in close proximity to literally hundreds of potentially dangerous objects and situations. Throughout this time, the war like atmosphere was surreal, with Army, National Guard and NYPD providing armed security.
Quick, but safe decisions regarding where to put the cranes had to be made, inspection of the slurry wall and water in the basement were conducted, while numerous fires were still burning and smoldering. Underground, it was still so hot that molten metal dripped down the sides of the wall from Building 6. Cars both burned and pristine were suspended in the air balanced on cracked parking garage slabs.4
The metal could thus easily come from the burning cars.
Another often used quote is by Leslie Robertson:
…one of the structural engineers responsible for the design of the WTC, describes fires still burning and molten steel still running 21 days after the attacks.5
This is is not a direct quote but is taken from a newsletter from the Structural Engineers of Utah. It turns out that Robertson does not recall having made such a statement and was definitely not in possession of such information6.
The amount of melted metal – whatever it could be – is at any rate not of such magnitude that it has caused concern among the many experts from FEMA and NIST which during their investigations analyzed the ruins to collect objective experience from the tragedy and from that, define future building and fireproofing standards.
Concerning the photographic material, it is clear that Steven Jones or others in the Truth Movement have altered the color intensity on one of the photos. The original can be seen here, “Misleading Use of Photographs”.
The photo shows rescue workers looking for wounded and killed in the light of a powerful lamp.
Of course, such manipulation is quite unacceptable and must justifiably disqualify any argument using such an image.
The claim is unclear and misleading because it isn’t defined what the word “metals” cover. If the claim is understood as a reference to nanothermite, it is absurd on two levels:
- As mentioned, there has not been found molten steel in considerable amounts and nanothermite is supposedly used to melt steel, not other metals.
- There has been no evidence of nanothermite either which is to be expected, at least in the form of cinders or similar, if nanothermite had been used on a large scale.
The photographs and witness accounts used to support the claim would hardly have been made public if they showed evidence of the buildings having been destroyed by explosives and nanothermite.
The claim is therefore:
- Without witnesses
- Supported by faked evidence
- Løbeseddel, i11time.dk
- Dansk forsker: Eksplosivt nanomateriale fundet i støvet fra World Trade Center, Videnskab.dk
Why Indeed Did the WTC Buildings Completely Collapse?, Steven E. Jones
- Why Indeed Did the WTC Buildings Completely Collapse?, side 18, Steven E. Jones
- Profile: Steven E. Jones, History Commons
- National Commission On Terrorist Attacks Upon The United States, Public Hearing
Tuesday, April 1, 2003
- SEAU News, Volume VI – Issue II October 2002, Webarchive
- Leslie Robertson, 911myths.com
- Here is New York