Frank Legge Letter in the Journal of 9/11 Studies: Thermite Questions Answered

A study of some issues raised in a paper by Wood and Reynolds

Frank Legge answers some of the common misunderstandings about thermite and its variants. This information is very important in understanding the thermate evidence discovered by Steven Jones and how it relates to his controlled demolition hypothesis.

Frank Legge [in bold], Jan 11, 2007 (Peer-reviewed Letter)

[Responding to a] paper by Wood and Reynolds, dated December 14, 2006:“The Scientific Method Applied to the Thermite Hypothesis”.

[Wood and Reynolds in italics]:

Steven Jones claimed that nano-enhanced thermite or thermate could account for pulverization of the Twin Towers. One difficulty with his hypothesis is that nano-enhanced thermite apparently did not exist in 2001 and only recently has the Department of Defense awarded contracts to prove and develop such a product.

This is incorrect. The history of nanothermite appears to go back far enough to be considered as a possible explosive in 2001. Here is a patent which is dated several years earlier.


19960722 (July 22, 1996)

EFFECTIVE DATE: 1996/07/15

Where is the proof of concept for the hypothesis that thermite, thermate, and/or nano-enhanced thermite can do any of the things he claimed it did at the WTC, much less explain how angle-cut columns at ground level had any relevance to what pulverized the buildings? He fails to explain how a cutting/melting mechanism can pulverize.

The cutting/melting process requires incendiary thermite/thermate. Jones doesn’t have to explain how such a process can pulverize for the simple reason that he never said it did. To demand an explanation is therefore not logical. [Note: Thermite/thermate does not explode as Legge explains below—therefore it would not “pulverize” the WTC buildings].

What he did say was that nanothermite was explosive, which is true, and therefore might have been the explosive which pulverized the concrete.

Thermite does not explode and pulverize. It cannot explain the data.

Note the words here: “thermite does not explode”. Jones has never said that it did. It is therefore not logical to ask this question.

Why does Dr. Jones continue to boast that he uses "the scientific method" after it has been pointed out repeatedly that his thermite hypothesis does not account for the data? [Reynolds and Wood] Does not science throw a failed hypothesis overboard after the evidence repeatedly contradicts it?

Jones has never claimed that thermite or its variants account alone for all the observations. There is obvious evidence that incendiary thermite was used and there is evidence that the towers exploded which may have been caused by nanothermite or may have been caused by something else, such as conventional demolition explosives.

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check out point #6

6) An EMP (electomagnetic pulse) phenomenon
blacked out cellular phones at the moment the
south tower started to 'fall down', at the exact
moment a small thermonuclear bomb was
detonated. Even in electronic cameras, a strange
afterglow was seen in the late phase of the 'collapse'
of both of the towers

Hard Evidence Repudiates Mini-Nukes

“Hard Evidence Repudiates the Hypothesis that Mini-Nukes Were Used on the WTC Towers”

(January 16, 2007)
Steven Jones 

“We're an empire now, and when we act we create our own reality."

Show "people are learning that" by DEADPOOPOO666

People are "saying"

I am very aware that people are smearing Jones with unsubstantiated garbage. What these people also fail to realize is that it is irrelevant if Steven Jones wears pajamas with the death star on them.

What is relevant is his argument. What is relevant is his evidence. Everything else is irrelevant.

“We're an empire now, and when we act we create our own reality."

Show "i'm smearing him with that" by DEADPOOPOO666

Follow the thermate/thermite?

I have a question: how many firms around the world make and sell either thermate or thermite? Does anyone here know? Wouldn't it be just one or two, maximum? And wouldn't that firm, or those firms, be in the US?

I gather that one of these substances, I think thermite, plus possbily also nanothermate, was/were developed at Lawrence Livermore Laboratories in California. That would have been relative recently, as in the late 1990s. Would the LIvermore Lab also market these substances? Would all the work be classified? We should check.

It may be possible to find out quantities of these substances that the firm(s) shipped out, between when they were first marketed at all and 9-11-01.

It might also be possible to find out who purchased the stuff. Wouldn't large orders be hard to hide? There should be public records of some sort, such as in quarterly reports to stockholders.

It does seem as though you'd need quite a large order of it to take down the Twins plus Bldg. 7. Let's look for it. It should be traceable.

Tracing the thermite

Tracing the thermite

Interesting question:

Thermite is commonly used by the military. Thermite is used in hand grenades and charges for military demolitions.

However, the “basic ingredients are so readily available, anyone with the inclination could produce their own thermite, aided by some very basic internet research.”

Therefore, it presumable that it was not difficult to obtain. In fact,

“Dr. Jones believes that demolition by military-grade thermite is the only possible explanation for the building's sudden, complete collapse. He reported that research on molten metal from the debris and analysis of WTC dust reveal chemical traces indicative of thermite reactions.”

So it is likely that the source of the thermite came from the military. Steven Jones has pointed out that thermite leaves no ‘tags’ so it can’t be traced:

The government requires standard explosives to contain tag elements enabling them to be traced back to their manufacturers. But no tags are required in aluminum and iron oxide, the materials used to make thermite, he said. Nor, he said, are tags required in sulfur.”

Regarding the use of superthermite, he has been less specific on this issue at this point in time. He speculates it could have been used along with other types of explosives in combination. As far as I know, he has not conclusively determined that superthermite was used.

Steven Jones responds to Jim Fetzer [83:00 mark and forward]:

Q: “are you suggesting both [thermate/superthermite] were used in the Twin Towers?

A: “I’m suggesting that’s possible along with other explosives

As mentioned in the Legge article that I posted above, thermite does not explode on its own, and other explosives were probably used.

I would suggest a more compelling area of inquiry would be which demolition company was tasked with destroying the towers? An answer for this question would be much more easily obtained as there are only a few companies in the world capable of pulling off such an act. My guess is “Controlled Demolition Inc” which was involved in the cleanup at ground zero could possibly be a prime suspect—but that is only speculation. When an investigation is obtained we will be able to answer this question. 

“We're an empire now, and when we act we create our own reality."

Hard Evidence Repudiates Mini-Nukes

Hard Evidence Repudiates the Hypothesis that Mini-Nukes Were Used on the WTC Towers

By Steven Jones

1. Observation of tritium (an important component of hydrogen-bomb fuel) at WTC sites at the few nano-curie level only. This is strong evidence against the mini-nuke hypothesis.

2. The fact that radioactive iodine concentrations were actually lower in the upper/WTC debris-filled layers.

3. Radioactive hot-spots in NYC were found to be due to radium, which is traceable to industrial uses (not bombs). This in itself does not rule out mini-nukes, but these data certainly do not support the mini-nuke hypothesis.

4. Lioy et al. report that radioactivity from thorium, uranium, actinium series and other radionuclides is at or near the background level for WTC dust.

5. Nuclear activation or residual “fall-out” radioactivity (above background) was NOT observed, in tests performed by the author on actual WTC samples. This result is consistent with the low Iodine-131 measured by independent researchers (point 2 above) and the low radionuclide counts (point 4 above) and again provides compelling evidence against the mini-nuke-at-Towers hypothesis.

6. No fatalities due to radiation “burning” were reported near ground zero. William Rodriguez survived the North Tower collapse.

7. No observed melting of glass due to the collapse-process of the Towers.

8. One more: The mini-nuke idea fails completely for WTC 7 where vertically-directed plumes of dust were absent during the collapse, and the building fell quite neatly onto its own footprint. (Molten metal was observed under the WTC7 rubble as well.)

“We're an empire now, and when we act we create our own reality."

Would the President have

Would the President have come and stood on the rubble pile days after one was used?

Nukes and Dust

Agreed, the idea that Nukes were used is pretty far-fetched. The radiation would be a dead giveaway.

That being said they did lie about the air quality and the Dust. Perhaps Bush was warned about it. An interesting question to resolve.

My personal suspicion is that some advanced weaponry (explosives—not space beams) may have been used (like superthermite), and I am interested to see where the research goes. Just watch the videos of the buildings blowing up. Something hammered them unmercifully from the inside out (not from the outside in). Perhaps this can't be answered without an investigation. Speculation is not enough on its own. And theories contradicted by the evidence are suspect.

“We're an empire now, and when we act we create our own reality."

They may have

Been able to crreate an aerosolized device which would have filled the lower floors which would explode very violently but the steel structure would still need to be directly targeted with explosives. The aeresolized explosive would have detonated when the shape charges exploded.

I still think that there had to have been a hell of alot of explosive charges.

The same technology as used in the thermite with the nano particles could also be used in the explosives to drasticly reduce the quantity of material needed.
Ignorance is NOT Bliss

Manhattan Project

Thermite was developed during the Manhattan Project and used as a means to refine Uranium.

The components of thermite are elementary really. It could have easily been created anywhere. Nanothermite is just an ultrafine particle of the same components which aid in a more efficient reaction.

New technology also allows you to bond key ingredients directly to each other... like piggybacking sulfer on the aluminum particles and oxygen on the iron oxide particles. This would create a very efficient reaction which could create very intense heat.

If you really wnated to you could probably make thermite in your garage.
Ignorance is NOT Bliss


Actually thermite dates back to Hans Goldschmidt in 1893:

The Manhattan Project used gaseous diffusion to separate uranium isotopes - I can't imagine how thermite was involved. Could you provide a reference?


A thermite reaction, when used to purify the ores of some metals, is called the Thermite process. An adaptation of the reaction, used to obtain pure uranium, was developed as part of the Manhattan Project at Ames Laboratory under the direction of Frank Spedding. It is sometimes called the Ames process.

When thermite is made using iron (III) oxide, for maximum efficiency it should contain, by mass, 25.3% aluminum and 74.7% iron oxide. (This mixture is sold under the brand name Thermit as a heat source for welding.) The complete formula for the reaction using iron (III) oxide is as follows:

Fe2O3(s) + 2Al(s) → Al2O3(l) + 2Fe(l); ΔH = -851.5 kJ/mol

When thermite is made using iron (II,III) oxide, for maximum efficiency it should contain, by mass, 23.7% aluminium and 76.3% iron oxide. The formula for the reaction using iron (II,III) oxide:

3Fe3O4(s) + 8Al(s) → 4Al2O3(l) + 9Fe(l); ΔH = -3347.6 kJ/mol

The reaction using Fe3O4 produces a substantially larger amount of energy pr. mol reaction than the reaction using Fe2O3, which produces more energy pr. gram of thermite mixture.
Ignorance is NOT Bliss