Is the technology available to cut the tower columns with thermite or thermate?

Of course the inventions are available to cut the columns. In this research, I found out a bunch of interesting things with some patent searches. Things like creating a back pressure behind the thermite/thermate material, to force it as a spray. Using ejection design to force the hot material into the steel. The chemical composition of different thermites and thermates. The burning temperature of thermate and thermite. How much steel can a pound of thermite burn through. Pyronol.RTM., once ignited, will attain temperatures between six and twelve thousand degrees Fahrenheit. Wait a minute, will attain temperatures between six and twelve thousand degrees Fahrenheit. Are you kidding me, what’s this Pyronol stuff?

The data and number of patents is overwhelming.

Here’s the URL for the patent office search, just enter the following patent numbers into the search box and click search.

To search for your favorite search terms go here:

I found the best ones when I searched these terms:
Incendiary and cutting and thermite
Pyrotechnic and cutting and thermite
Thermal and rods
thermite and cutter

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Patent Number: 5,698,812
Filed: December 16, 1997

Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Army (Washington, DC)

thermite destructive device

A destructive device containing a thermite-type composition having a core burning configuration. The device comprises a housing having a top, a bottom, and a thermally insulated liner to maximize the thermal effectiveness of an ignition. The bottom has a circumferential skirt and defines one orifice therein for directing the expulsion of the thermite-type-composition upon ignition, the top has vents which together with the bottom orifice and skirt balance the escape of gas and prevent the device from moving during ignition.

(1) A core burning design with orifice/nozzle at the base directing the jet at the target.

(2) Balanced gas escape design, including a vented plug at the top, and an orifice and skirt at the bottom which distributes the forces so that the burning thermite jet does not move the container off target.

(3) Thermal insulated container design to maximize thermal effectiveness of the output.

Other types of thermite mixtures containing metals and the oxides of other metals other than iron oxide are known: aluminum/manganese oxide (4 Al+3 MnO.sub.2); aluminum/chromium oxide (2 Al+Cr.sub.2 O.sub.3) and others. Aluminum/iron oxide mixtures (8 Al+3 Fe.sub.3 O.sub.4) have proved to be the most effective incendiary composition for destruction of steel targets because superheated liquid products are formed by the reaction. These molten products affect a high rate of conductive heat transfer to the steel target and, therefore, cause destruction of the target. Any combination metal/metal oxide capable of high rates of conductive heat transfer can be used in the present invention.

A vented plug 30, made of graphite or other refractory material capable of withstanding the reaction temperature of the specific thermite selected, having a plurality of vent holes 32, fits onto the top of the insulation liner 16. The vented plug 30 acts as a baffle for the exit of molten product materials and also acts as a radiation shield and thus helps retain the heat produced. By designing destructive devices so that the diameters of vent holes 32 and a nozzle 18 are of different sizes, it is possible to release the molten products of reaction at a rate which balances gas escape and distributes the forces so that the burning thermitejet does not move the device off the target.

It is used in multicomponent thermite incendiary compositions, in which another oxidizer and binder are together included. THERMATE-TH3, a mixture of aluminum and iron oxide and other pyrotechnic additives, was found to be superior to aluminum and iron oxide alone and was adopted for use in incendiary hand grenades. Its composition by weight is aluminum/iron oxide 68.7%, barium nitrate 29.0%, sulfur 2.0% and binder 0.3%. The addition of barium nitrate increases the thermal effects, creates flame in burning and reduces the ignition temperature.

The combined design features yields jetting molten products rather than flowing molten mass to penetrate the metal target for optimum damage. The device does not require a large void volume which would make the device very large and the design also reduces the amount of payload.

A device with greater penetration capabilities is the "thermite Penetrator Device" of U.S. Pat. No. 4,216,721 herein incorporated by reference, which was designed to direct the flow of energy through an opening at the bottom of the containing vessel. However, it is still inefficient in that a great amount of its energy is being lost through its open top end. The open top not only reduces the energy available for penetration, but adds to the device's visible signature.

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Patent Number: 4,216,721
Filed: August 12, 1980

Assignee: The United Stated of America as represented by the Secretary of the Army (Washington, DC)

thermite penetrator device (U)

In a thermite penetrator device for destroying a metal target comprising a refractroy crucible containing a thermite mixture therewithin, said crucible having a plurality of metal discs disposed adjacent a bottom portion of said mixture and crucible, said discs providng a space therearound between said discs and crucible, said discs being devoid of any chemical reaction with said thermite mixture, a readily ignitable starter material atop said thermite mixture, an igniter cord contacting said starter material and an exit hole in said crucible below said discs for passing molten thermite reaction products therethrough,

Controlling the release from a conical ceramic crucible of molten thermite eaction products (generally, iron and alumina) to effect optimum penetration of metallic targets by said molten products through the use of metallic discs which are completely protected on their sides against the molten products, thus forcing these molten products to melt the discs sequentially from top to bottom, resulting in a delay of flow of the molten products from the conical crucible to thus permit the molten iron, heavier than the molten alumina, to substantially unimpededly transfer its heat to the metallic target, the molten iron being more efficient in melting metallic materials than the molten alumina.

Upon ignition of the above mixture, molten iron, having a melting point of approximately F. and a density of about 7, and molten alumina, or aluminum oxide, having a melting point of approximately F. and a density of about 4, will be formed. The peak temperature of the reaction will be in excess of F. The reaction is caused to take place in a reaction vessel or ceramic crucible, suitably of fused silica, although any refractory ceramic material capable of withstanding the temperatures involved may be used.

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This is my favorite patent because it shows that thermite can be made into paste then could be daubed or painted on a column and an igniter can be pressed into the still moist paste. Dang I love this, it even uses photo flash cubes as igniters. This one also shows that Radio Frequency controlled igniters can be used.

Patent Number: 4,477,060
Filed: October 16, 1984

Underwater cutting tool


Some of the wires are left in place to provide a sufficiently great area of contact with the thermite. This cavity is filled with thermite paste (thermite alcohol mixture). It is important that the paste cures well and fills the lance cavity in question densely packed.

The igniter (heater filament) is pushed in or pressed into the thermite paste as long as the latter is still moist. Subsequently the free lance end is sealed by a pressure-resistant seal.

In tests also conventional photoflashes which operate mechanically, of the type called magic cubes, have proved to be advantageous ignition means. In that even mechanical ignition is effected of snarled up magnesium wire disposed in a glass container or the like filled with oxygen, for example by an igniter filled with gunpowder, which is ignited by a mechanical stroke and which feeds a blast flame to said snarled up magnesium wire.

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This one shears of the ends of bolts. I like this one because the ignition device is acoustical. This also uses thermite as an igniter, so I guess that the reaction is a lot hotter than thermite.

Patent Number: 4,069,407
Filed: January 17, 1978

a plurality of pyrotechnic torch means in said housing each having a nozzle proximate said shackle pin and said mooring loop, said nozzles being oriented to direct high temperature non-explosive jets against one of said mooring elements in at least two places, the other of said mooring elements extending across the interval between said two places, and

Returning to the front end of plug adapter 86, two thermite igniters 114 and 116 are disposed in adjacent longitudinal bores, igniters 114 and 116 being contacted by igniter wires 118 and 120,

Torch ignition is actuated by an acoustic control system commanded from a remote location.

the acoustic transducer might be mounted exterior of the housing; an acoustic control system from another manufacturer might be employed; electromagnetic wave or low frequency radio wave signaling devices might be employed in lieu of an acoustic transponder system.

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Patent Number: 3,744,369
Filed: July 10, 1973

Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Army (Washington, DC)



An apparatus and method for severing a steel cable comprising a housing hng an upper reservoir and a lower work piece holder component, a flow gate extending downward from the reservoir through the work piece holder, port means positioned at the bottom of the housing, whereby on the ignition of the thermite mixture in the reservoir component, the resultant molten mass contacts the steel cable positioned in the work piece holder for a short period of time, thereby severing the cable.

The present method is based on the well known thermite welding process. In the process, coarsely powdered aluminum and iron oxide are mixed, and ignited by a fuse of magnesium ribbon and barium peroxide. A violent reaction occurs resulting in a peak temperature of over The reaction proceeds as follows:

2Al+ Fe.sub.2 O.sub.3 .fwdarw. Al.sub.2 O.sub.3 + 2Fe+185,000 calories

The thermite is suitable for utilization as a destructive agent becasue of its high temperature and the erosive action of the superheated molten iron and aluminum oxide.

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Patent Number: 4,069,407
Filed: January 17, 1978

Underwater cutting rod


It is the further object of this invention to provide a cutting rod and system which is far superior to any previously used in the art. In addition, it is an object to provide a rod which is light-weight, readily adaptable to most standard rod holders, easy to handle and use, which develops an arc under any non-explosive atmosphere including water, and develops temperatures high enough to melt any known metal, mineral or combination of metals and minerals.

The classic thermite reaction consists of 8 moles of aluminum plus 3 moles of magnetic iron oxide. The reaction to completion produces 4 moles of aluminum oxide plus nine moles of molten iron. When ignited, this mixture produces an enormous quantity of heat, namely 758,000 calories per gram molecular weight. this heat is sufficient to raise the temperature of the region to 5, F.

The rod of the present invention is completely consumed during the operation; thus, no waste product is developed which would cause environmental problems in the use of the device.

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Patent Number: 4,541,616
Filed: September 17, 1985

Thermal burning rod

General requirements for cutting metals, especially metals such as steel, certain ceramics, and concrete, under water, have led to the development of a series of exothermic burning rods primarily based upon various thermite reactions involving the combustion of oxides of iron in the presence of oxygen atmospheres.

The most recent developments in this type of thermite or exothermic burning rod may be seen in U.S. Pat. No. 4,069,1107 to Brower, which describes an elongated metallic rod suitable for the conduction of electricity having an insulating outer coating and having a plurality of interior elements running its length. With one exception, the elements are primarily of an iron composition. The exception is that at least one element, constructed of metal from the metallic group comprising aluminum, magnesium, titanium, or their alloys is included so as to provide the aluminum, iron, and oxygen mixture required for the classic thermite reaction. The rods are gripped in a pressure tight collect chuck . . .

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Patent Number: 4,034,567
Filed: July 12, 1977

Self-drilling thermal bolt

The self-drilling bolt according to the invention may be anchored in widely differing types of material: among these there may be mentioned mineral materials such as rock or stone, refractory materials, asphalt, concrete, reinforced concrete, metals in general, and in particular steels. The anchorage of such a bolt in iron-based materials is especially advantageous since the iron, which is itself present in the material, will during drilling provide some of the necessary energy for melting the latter.

The self-drilling thermal bolt which has been described can be used in many fields: civil engineering work, mining work, the construction industry and under-water work for example.

Other materials which have similar properties and which may also be used are for example ferro-manganese compounds, mixtures of silica and metallic powders, mixtures of the thermite type, or even cast iron.

Patent Number: 4,799,829
Filed: January 24, 1989

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Method and apparatus for removing submerged platforms.

Here’s an excerpt of the patent:

“The cutting of the piling is performed by a series of tubes radially deployed in the cutter on a common plane. Each tube is filled with what is, in essence, a solid fuel similar to thermite or magnesium. Thus, the cut is performed through the use of a series of solid fuel torches. The preferred solid fuel is Pyronol.RTM.. Pyronol.RTM. is manufactured by Goex, Inc. and the material itself is the subject of U.S. Pat. No. 3,695,951. Pyronol.RTM., once ignited, will attain temperatures between six and twelve thousand degrees Fahrenheit. These temperatures are sufficient to burn through steel and concrete.”

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Patent Number: 5,532,449
Filed: August 29, 1994

Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Komatsu Seisakusho (Tokyo, JP)

Using plasma ARC and thermite to demolish concrete

This is used for concrete, but reaches the needed temperature.


thermite powder T is basically a mixture of finely-divided metallic aluminum and ferric oxide that, when ignited, produces extremely high temperatures as the result of the union of the aluminum with the oxygen of the oxide. The thermite reaction on the surface of a concrete structure is so intensive that it easily melts concrete and rock with a melting point in the range of about 1200 to about

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Here’s a patent for another igniter:

Patent Number: 3,988,989
Filed: November 2, 1976

Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy (Washington, DC)

High-pressure, electrically initiated explosive igniter

The central area of the booster head 36 contains a material such as thermite, for example, for igniting the main charge. Such a material may, or may not, be necessary.

Some of the wires are left in place to provide a sufficiently great area of contact with the thermite. This cavity is filled with thermite paste (thermite alcohol mixture). It is important that the paste cures well and fills the lance cavity in question densely packed.

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Another remote ignition device.

Patent Number: 4,371,771
Filed: February 1, 1983

Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Army (Washington, DC)

Cutting torch and method

For munition demilitarization the preferred initiator is an electric match, shown in FIG. 3. An electric match permits a remote activation, e.g., 750 meters away, and it is inexpensive.

The devices and methods, shown in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,069,407 and 4,182,947 by Jerome S. Brower issued on Jan. 17, 1978 and Jan. 8, 1980 utilize the thermite reaction consisting of 8 moles of aluminum plus three moles of iron oxide to produce 4 moles of aluminum oxide plus nine moles of molten iron. The reaction is extremely exothermic, releasing 758,000 calories per gram molecular weight.

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Our government has kept us in a perpetual state of fear, kept us in a continuous stampede of patriotic fervor, with the cry of grave national emergency. Always there has been some terrible evil at home or some monstrous foreign power that was going to gobble us up if we did not blindly rally behind it. ~ General Douglas MacArthur

We always obeyed the law. Isn't that what you do in America? Even if you don't agree with a law personally, you still obey it. Otherwise life would be chaos. ~ Gertrude Scholtz-Klink, explaining Nazi policy

Authoritarian government required to speak, is silent. Representative government required to speak, lies with impunity. ~ Napoleon

The target suffered a terminal illness before a firing squad in Baghdad. ~ CIA officer at US Senate hearing on 1963 overthrow of Iraqi Prime Minister Kassem

Form no covetous desire, so that the demon of greediness may not deceive thee, and the treasure of the world may not be tasteless to thee. ~ Zoroaster

I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own; a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotisms… ~ Albert Einstein, obituary

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This is not technically correct

Patents are taken out on all kinds of things.

What we would need to see are examples where thermite has EVER been used for controlled demolition purposes.

You would also need to show that actual functional technology exists that would allow thermite to cut through vertical steel columns.

Another problem is speed. Thermite will melt through steel but it is a very slow process. Imagine the size of those core columns and outer columns in the WTC. Imagine how slow a process it would be to effectively melt through them.

This seems to run contrary to the evidence of loud explosions and a synchronized spontaneous collapse at free fall speed.

Does anyone one have any theories about this?

I am unsure why something like thermite would even be used. Controlled demolition using conventional explosives has been refined to an artform. Simply severing column joints at key points in the towers would have allowed gravity to do the job every efficiently, and I believe this is why the conservation of momentum is a telltale clue in the collapse.

But, melting through steel columns seems inconsistent with this, given the volume of thermite that would be needed, the undemonstrated technology that would allow it melt through VERTICAL columns, and the time it would take to accomplish without the tenants of the building noticing smoke or burning smells, etc etc

On the contrary, the collapse seemed spontaneous, synchronized, rapid and highly efficient, I have always been puzzled by the insertion of thermite into the controlled demolition theory. It seems riddled with problems that make it speculative at best, when simple conventional controlled demolition techniques by far are the simples explaination of why the tower fell.

But I do welcome informed answers on this, so i can incorporate them into my research.

Thanks for this. Its great investigative research.


I would like to preface my response by saying that I believe that explosives were used in combination with thermite / thermate.

You were inquiring about how these devices were placed where they were undetectable.

This building was comprised of structural steel columns... 47 large core coulmns which tapered in thickness from 4" at the base to 1" thick near the top. Coulmns were rectangular in shape creating a hollow interior with 2 seperate chambers seperated by another steel piece of similar thickness.

The exterior structure consisted of 236 exterior steel structural box columns which were connected horizontally with steel supports...creating a highly resiliant exterior shell. Compared to a mosquito screen of steel.

The building was massively overbuilt.

To conceal these thermite / thermate charges it was easier than you would imagine.

Due to the box column structure... You would simply need to penetrate the box column.... cut a hole in the coulmn then insert the thermite / thermate charges to the appropriate locations. Every 40 ft to cut the steel to lengths easily loaded onto trailers to be removed.

With the above patented technology.... the ceramic cauldron with the sparay apparatus.... you could easily control the targeted area for the thermite to be applied.

while the thermite could have compromised the columns completely... I think that the explosives were implemented to best control the descent of the building. I believe the best way to control this would be to use the thermite application on just as many columns as needed to allow the building to reamin standing... then use as little explosives as possible to knock the last legs out from the structure.

Either by staggering the thermite charges vertically or horizontally.... then the detonation team would only have to wait for their cue and pull the trigger


Jim Fetzer.... what do you think about this?

maybe you would like some thoughts on how conventional demolition could be used to bring a building down from the top to the bottom.

Fetzer would rather spew nonsense about SPACE BEAMS

to further discredit us, so don't hold your breath.

But I agree with what you wrote concerning thermite / thermate and explosives being used in conjunction with each other to help control the buildings fall. I'll add to it by saying the thermate may have been used to make the demolition appear (and sound) *less* obvious that the building was being destroyed on purpose.

Whatever the case may be, though, it's quite obvious that some type of demolition method was used involving explosives being planted *inside* the building and not from SPACE BEAMS or some other energy directed beam from *outside* the buildings.

We have reports of bombs being found *inside* the buildings. We have witnesses saying they heard loud "booms" occurring in rapid succession BEFORE the buildings fell (including WTC7). We have audio recordings of these "Booms". We have visual recordings of explosions going off some 50 floors beneath the point of airplane impacts. We have firefighters and others who saw orange and red "flashes" shooting up and down and all around inside of the towers BEFORE they fell. We have William Rodriguez's testimony (and others) who said bombs were going off in the basements just before and during the airplane impacts. We have reports of bomb sniffing dogs being removed from the WTC before the attack. We have power downs at the WTC and strange men entering the buildings the weekend before the attack. We have people working on the steel to supposedly replace "fire proofing" in the months leading up to the attack. We have reports of an unusually high number of evacuations at the WTC buildings leading up to the attack. And on and on and on...

The latest SPACE BEAM lunacy is being put forward to discredit all of this information.

The first patent I listed

The first patent I listed expressly details it's use for vertical applications.

If you read the above patents, it clearly details process that enhance the speed, creating back pressure, and directed charges that creates a jet flow into the vertical column. Not to mention Pyronol.RTM which burns at 12,000 degrees F. This is stark evidence that accelerated thermite/thermate/Pyronol.RTM are very possible. Of course the actual devices constructed using most of these inventions would be held as proprietary information. You could try to go ask the assignees about it, but sigh, most of the assignees are DOD. Give them a call and see if you can get them to reveal what they have.

No, you would not need a large quantity. Pyronol.RTM is almost five times more powerful than normal thermite, and this is incendiary material that is in the public record. Can you imagine that maybe there are even more powerful incendiary composites unknown to the general public. I’m sure you would say ‘yes’.

Again, using advances materials like Pyronol.RTM, back pressure, directed construction, and multi chamber release to produce JETS of reactant material; the reaction would be very fast. This is all completely documented in the above patents. The chemical markers of C4 are very obvious. The traces of thermite/thermate reactions is hard to see, and covered up by the aluminum airplane frame, the cladding, the drywall and most recently noted acid rain. These types of reactions would be the obvious choice as they evidence would be questionable as to their use.

I don’t know if these devices have been used for building demolition, my guess is that these are more expensive than conventional devices and the market would dictate that conventional explosives would be used commercially. In patent number 4,799,829, the device is used to bring down submerged platforms. It’s underwater, but it definitely shows cutting vertical members, just under water. Using a hybrid of these devices would be a very fast reaction. Again, you’ll have to go to The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Army (Washington, DC) to see what the military has in their stockpile that they use to cut underwater vertical columns.

In this article related to WWII, it states, “Covert operations that conceal the identity of, or permit plausible denial by, perpetrators moreover may be politically prudent, especially in "peacetime." Demolition specialists able to infiltrate clandestinely, position charges precisely, then slip away sometimes prove invaluable under combat conditions, because they impose disproportionately heavy security burdens on defenders.” And “Brittle cast iron breaks easily, but acetylene torches or thermite may be needed to slice nickel-molybdenum steel, which strongly resists conventional explosives.” And “Professionals whose mission is to stop road and river traffic temporarily cut supports at one end of truss bridges so affected spans fall in the water; they cut trusses at midspan to make bridges buckle if long-lasting destruction is the intent.”

So the US military was using thermite to take down bridges over FIFTY years ago. Please consider that the technology has advances considerably in the last 50 years.

I couldn’t access this article directly, but the Google blurb states “RDT&E BUDGET ITEM JUSTIFICATION SHEET (R-2 Exhibit) ... thermite-like materials and provide twice the total energy of high explosives. ...
So another reason that would be that the thermite provides twice the total energy of high explosives.

While I appreciate your healthy skepticism, I am astounded. Any reasonable person would quickly and gladly say, ‘Okay, there are a lot of patents that describe using thermite to bring down vertical structures, Okay, they have been doing it for over fifty years with much cruder technology. Okay, thermate reactions can easily be fast using back pressure, shaped charge design and advanced material.


We may know that there are five essentials for victory:

1) He will win who knows when to fight and not to fight.

2) He will win who knows how to handle both superior and inferior forces.

3) He will win whose army is animated by the same spirit throughout all the ranks.

4) He will win who, prepared himself, waits to take the enemy unprepared.

5) He will win who has military capacity and is not interfered with by his sovereign.

Victory lies in the knowledge of these five points. ~ Sun tzu

"While I appreciate your healthy skepticism..."

It's not healthy skepticism. It's manipulation.

On the bright side, the work you did bringing that all that patent information together was invaluable and your posts about it very interesting. I wonder if Prof. Jones has looked into the patented technology to this extent. It obviously bolsters the demolition via thermite hypothesis considerably.


I was thinking a bit more about the placement of these charges within the cavity of the box columns. This placement would acutally be the optimum placement for the ceramic cauldrom with the spray apparatus.

When placed with-in the column the device could apply the caustic mix from the spray nozzle in a 360 degree pattern within the cavity of the coulmn. This would ensure a symmetrical application and symmetrical failure of the structural member.

These devices would not enev have to be very large.... I'm imagining that they could be less than 4" diameter and 12" in length.

and with the spray being between 3,000 and 12,000!!! degrees the effect would be devistating to these box columns,

I can understand their urgency in removing these columns from the scene of the crime

The reason for the remnants of these reactions.... the pools of molten metal... up to 3 months after the collapse.... was that this was not caused by fire... This was a chemical reaction....

Wasn't there a story about FEMA having to but special fire suppressant material to stop this reaction so the clean-up could continue?

John O'Neil

I also believe that this reaction began shortly before the planes hit their desired targets. Allowing the planes to create far more damage due to the weakened structural members in the target areas.

This is why I believe that John O'Neil was called to the area of first impact on the morning of 9/11.

Perople in that office were probably starting to smell fire or something burning and called security. He went to investigate and that's when the first plane hit.

They had probably been set off 30 to 40 minutes prior to impact.

The video where we get a glimpse of a possible thermite reaction pouring out the side of the building.... you can see that the column in that location had failed and buckled to the outside of the building.... and it was spilling it's hidden reaction for all to see.

Controlled Demolitions Inc. had been commissioned in the past to do an estimate for demolition of the WTC buildings.... do you think that this estimate could be obtained via the FOIA? It would probably give us an indication of their concept or plan to demolish the building.... It would be a great indicator of how they planned to implode a structure of this size and complexity. There has to be a way to get this info.... It's not something that any company would discard... at least not without running it through a shredder a few times and then an incenerator.