Prof. Graeme MacQueen and Tony Szamboti publish "The Missing Jolt..." in Journal of 9/11 Studies

The 116th peer-reviewed paper was published today in the Journal of 9/11 Studies:
“The Missing Jolt: A Simple Refutation of the NIST-Bazant Collapse Hypothesis,”
by Prof. Graeme MacQueen and Tony Szamboti. Take a look!

This fine paper underwent several months of rather arduous peer-review preceding its publication in the Journal of 9/11 Studies. The paper supports work by James Gourley published in the Journal of Engineering Mechanics and recent analysis by David Chandler. A few quotes from the paper should wet your interest:

“In its Final Report on the Collapse of the World Trade Center Towers, the National Institute of Standards and Technology summarizes its three year study and outlines its explanation of the total collapse of WTC 1 and WTC 2.[1] Readers of the report will find that the roughly $20 million expended on this effort have resulted in an explanation of the total collapse of these buildings that is so vague it barely qualifies as a hypothesis. But it does have one crucial feature of a hypothesis: it is, in principle, falsifiable. In fact, it is easy to demonstrate that it is false.
In this paper we will, concentrating on the North Tower, offer a refutation that is:

• easy to understand but reasonably precise
• capable of being stated briefly
• verifiable by any reader with average computer skills and a grasp of simple mathematics.

[snip] Zdenek Bazant and Yong Zhou, with whose September 13, 2001 back-of-the-envelope theory (with subsequent revisions and additions) NIST largely agrees, have never hesitated to say that the upper block fell. [8] Bazant has likewise been frank about the need for severe impact as the upper and lower structures met: he believes the impact may have been powerful enough to have been recorded by seismometers. [9] In his view, collapse initiation of the lower structure required “one powerful jolt.”[10] Of course, if there was a powerful jolt to the lower structure there must also have been a powerful jolt to the upper falling structure, in accord with Newton’s Third Law.”

Excellent Analysis!

I would encourage the authors to submit the paper to as many professional trade journals for publication and further peer review.
The science cannot be "debunked" away in this case as the authors have done an excellent job discussing their means, methods, and conclusions.

Folks, get your Jolt! in a can because its not in WTC 1 and 2!

I'm curious as well to find out why NIST stated it was "too chaotic" to model the global collapse of WTC 1 and 2, but WTC 7 was not chaotic enough to model its global demise?

"I would imagine that if you took the top expert in that type of work and gave him the assignment of bringing these buildings down with explosives, I would bet that he could do it." -1993-John Skilling, Head Structural Engineer WTC Towers

This paper

This paper needs to be published in a mainstream engineering journal.

Great work, Tony and Graeme.

Note that this more serious, professional study grew out of this presentation by Professor MacQueen's at the University of Waterloo:

Show "Dear Professor Jones," by haverman

Professor Jones already KNOWS why the buildings collapsed

Professor Jones already KNOWS why the buildings collapsed.
He has tested his hypotheses scientifically and documented his results.
Read his papers.
If you disagree with something that directly relates to his work, state your disagreement in scientific language. If your critique makes sense to him, then you will merit a response from him.
If you publish a paper in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, you will surely be taken seriously.

Show "He has a hypothesis, but he does not KNOW." by haverman

Use Of Energetic Materials By Far Most Plausible Hypothesis

The CD hypothesis via energetic materials (EM) thus far has NOT been "shot down". The evidence for thermite use is virtually overwhelming.

- Dust evidence.
- EPA evidence consistent with EM use.
- Images of a bright white flame generating white smoke, followed by molten flows from same spot within WTC 2 moments later, just prior to collapse.
- Accounts of molten deposits post collapses.
- Lingering extreme temperatures.

(And my favorite oddity - the only WTC 1 & 2 floors re-fireproofed just prior to 9/11 "coincidentally" being those within impact and collapse zones, suggesting perhaps activity intended to create the appearance of collapses attributed to the aircraft impacts.)

not only that

we have more things to offer

for example the 104/105th floor fire,the 105th floor kink and some phone calls from the 105/106th floor of south tower

Missing pieces

Like you, I am a lay person without any scientific expertise. However, some critical factors are self evident. You have ignored several of these.
1) Fire is random and could not cause all the floor trusses to fail simultaneously as is required in a straight down collapse.
2) The central core was exceptionally strong and floors collapsing around it would leave this core intact.
3) The top 29 floors of the south tower were leaning at about 22 degrees and would have fallen to the side, not straight down.
4) Exterior framework sections weighing 4 tons were ejected up to 600 feet laterally. Gravity cannot do this.
5) Most of the debris was ejected outside the building and did not contribute to the collapse as is required by the Bazant hypothesis.

Show "Your points 1) I don't" by haverman

You have to EARN Professor Jones' reply

Each and every one of us - regardless of what we think happened - must EARN a reply from Professor Jones.


1) You ignored the point.
2) Part of the 1,300 foot high core remained standing for short time but then collapsed. The core did NOT depend on the exterior walls or floors for lateral support.
4) "I'm not surprised that certain beans were flung that far away. I can see it happening !"
Really? Please post the photo or video where you see this. What is the mechanism that converts downward energy into horizontal energy?
5) "If that is Bazant's hypothesis, he's wrong"
Please read his hypothesis. He is wrong. His hypothesis is just another lame attempt to validate the official assumption. NIST did NOT explain the total collapse. They stopped at collapse initiation.

You have offered nothing resembling a scientific argument, just personal opinions which I have "crushed" in simple English.

I welcome questions, along with careful

reading, experiments, and analyses.

If we were sitting together, I would ask if you have read the papers I've published with other researchers in established, peer-reviewed journals. Reading these is a pre-requisite for further discussion, if you want me to participate. I put a lot of work into these papers:

1. Fourteen Points of Agreement with Official Government Reports on the World Trade Center Destruction
Authors: Steven E. Jones, Frank M. Legge, Kevin R. Ryan, Anthony F. Szamboti, James R. Gourley
The Open Civil Engineering Journal, pp.35-40, Vol 2

2. Environmental anomalies at the World Trade Center: evidence for energetic materials
Authors: Kevin R. Ryan, James R. Gourley, and Steven E. Jones
The Environmentalist, August, 2008

I think you will find, haverman, that these papers already address some of your points.

With regard to direct evidence for the use of energetic materials, we now have a considerable body of experimental/analytical data on the famous red/gray chips found in the WTC dust. But you did not mention this physical evidence so I would ask you to review this talk as an introduction:
Red/gray chip discovery:

After you have done some study, then, we can discuss further.

Thank you, Prof. Jones

I had hoped you might engage me on what I have written already, but it is your prerogative to respond in this way.
I am not completely unfamiliar with your work, but (re-)reading will be beneficial, I'm sure.
My expectation is that my basic questions will still stand unanswered, but I may be mistaken about that.

Thank you also for responding on this plenary location. I am often treated with some distrust and suspicion here,
e.g. for asking critical questions.

I look forward to discussing this matter with you in more detail.
Please allow for some days to pass until then.

One more thing...

I would ask you to read/watch, since the discussion is about the Towers -- the recent blog and video by David Chandler:

David Chandler on downward acceleration of WTC 1

You indicated a response "some days" from now -- in which case, you will probably wish to email me directly so that I don't miss your comments after your "preparatory study" is completed...

Best wishes, and thanks to others for comments as well.
We're in this together.


This is what debate should look like. Kudos to you both for being such gentlemen, we would all do well to emulate this behavior in the hundreds of 9-11 forums and threads peppered throughout Facebook and the like. I have found that meeting someone's anger and insulting attacks with a calm demeanor and strong factual background has opened a LOT of eyes to what the scientific community is finding. I applaud you all for your tireless efforts and thirst for the truth. Godspeed!

Dave Nehring

Thanks, Dave...

I'm now having a problem opening the MacQueen/Szamboti paper at the Journal of 9/11 Studies... It worked fine earlier.
Is anyone else having this problem?

Opened fine for me

Not sure where the website is hosted from, but I know we had some network issues in AZ earlier today. I work tech support for dental practices nationwide, in case you wondered...

You are treated very well on this site

"I am often treated with some distrust and suspicion here,
e.g. for asking critical questions. "

Haverman. You are treated very well on this site. Getting negative points is not being treated poorly, it is merely others expessing an opinion with respect to the objective value of your posts.

Good Work

Good work, good analysis. and good info.

It seems that many people in the Truth Community and in the Debunker Community are not even aware of the official explanation for the collapse of the towers. NIST stops at the point of collapse initiation. Their analysis, "does not actually include the structural behavior of the tower after the conditions for collapse initiation were reached and collapse became inevitable..." They assume it to be inevitable do to the conclusions reached by Zdenek Bazant. So Bazant's explanation is essentially the "official" explanation after the point of collapse initiation. So how does Bazant explain the collapse of WTC 1 and 2, crush-down, crush up. Bazant et al write, "The gravity-driven progressive collapse of a tower consists of two phases—the crush-down, followed by crush-up..." So the upper block crushes the lower block in a pile-driver like effect. Once it finishes crushing the lower block, the upper block hits the rubble pile and experiences a crush-up. So essentially the upper block remains intact as it destroys the lower 90 some floors of steel and concrete and only self-destructs when it hits the rubble pile. NONSENSE!

Bazant actually states,

"During the crush-down, the falling upper part of tower, having a compacted layer of debris at its bottom, is crushing the lower part with negligible damage to itself. During the crush-up, the moving upper part of tower is being crushed at bottom by the compacted debris resting on the ground."

Bazant assumes that the upper block falls 3.7 meters(one story) at near free-fall onto the lower block. This is what is suppose to supply the necessary energy for the upper block to begin crushing the lower block. Bazant writes, "the upper part may be assumed to move through distance h[3.7 meters] almost in a free fall."

So how does the upper block separate itself from the lower block? Then how does fall 3.7 meters? After the plane impacted the towers the majority of the core and perimeter columns were still intact. These questions have never really be addressed by defenders of the official theory.

Bazant merely made up mathematical assumptions that have no basis in the visual evidence. This paper Szamboti and Macqueen demonstrate that conclusively.

p.s. haverman writes, "If you are willing to accept that the floors fall first, ripping loose from their relatively light connections to the central and outer
columns, everything starts to make sense."

But NIST doesn't accept that the floors fell first either. Their explanation for collapse initiation is the inward bowing of the perimeter columns caused by the catenary action of the sagging floor trusses. If the trusses didn't fail, there is no way the floors could have fallen first.

Excellent points, Tanabear.

In addition, NIST analyzed the "pancaking floors" model and soundly rejected it, as explained in our Fourteen Points paper.


Thanks, as Ryan Mackey wrote to me at the JREF forum, "Shamefully, you are the best the Truth Movement has to offer at the moment."

Yes, even lead NIST investigator, S. Shyam Sunder, now seems to support the pile-driver explanation and disavows the pancake collapse theory. He stated,

"When you did it previously, you showed that the floors actually pancaked, and we did not see any evidence of pancaking in the videos or photographs we have. Suddenly the columns snapped, and, as a result, the entire top of the building came down, pretty much in freefall, because kinetic energy that was unleashed was just huge."

This echoes Bazant's theory. It is also interesting to note that Bazant released his first paper on the collapse of the towers on 09/13/2001! This was only two days after 9/11. I wonder what evidence Bazant examined to reach his conclusions? None. It seems strange that the "debunkers" like to accuse the truthers of making stuff up, when their theory is based on zero evidence.

If the link above does not work for you...

this one should work fine:

PS -- its a fine paper, well worth reading!

Initiating event

I posted this on David Chandler's Blog, and no one seemed impressed. I am posting it again because I think it is a useful analogy.

I used one off-color word in the post on David's blog. That was crude. I apologize to David and everyone else. I have changed the offending word to "heck" in this post.

The subject is; "What can and cannot be learned from an 'Initiating event.'"

A boxer lands a punch to his opponent's head. (That is the initiating event). His opponent falls down and lies motionless on the mat. The ref counts to 10, and the fight is over. The medics come out with a stretcher and carry the motionless fighter away.

An explanation that only goes as far as the initiating event tells us that the "winner" landed a punch to the loser's head. Then it just leaves us to conclude that the guy was knocked out.

BUT there are many other possibilities. Only a skillful and honest medical examination can tell us what happened after the punch landed.

After all - boxers are continuously landing punches to one another's heads. Some of these punches seem to have no effect at all and the fighter continues unfazed. Some stagger the opponent momentarily and he quickly recovers. Some stagger him so badly that he remains standing but the ref stops the fight because he is no longer able to defend himself adequately. Some knock him down and he remains conscious but doesn't have the will or co-ordination to get up. Some knock him out cold. Some kill him.

Anyway - we can't "conclude" that he was knocked out, just because his opponent landed a punch to his head and he fell down, remained motionless and was carried off in a stretcher. We need a competent medical examination to establish what actually happened to him.

Possibilities include:

1: He was knocked out cold by the punch.

2: He was not knocked down at all, but chose to fall down (as the punch landed) and stay down for any number of other possible reasons such as:

A: He was bribed

B: He was threatened

C: He was tired of getting punched

D: It occurred to him as he was lying there, that he would much rather be a veterinarian, and if got up he might suffer brain damage as the other guy was beating the heck out of him. He decided to fake total unconsciousness so as not to be labeled a coward.

E: Any number of other possibilities.

A skilled medical team might be able to establish the actual "collapse mechanism." If there were good videos from a number of angles, it might be possible by observing his eyes, his eyelids, his knees, the changes in color of his skin, the speed of his respiration, the relationship in time between the landing of the punch and the responses of his body -- to establish whether he collapsed voluntarily or involuntarily and what the "collapse mechanism" was.

A good video analysis of the punch, might show the velocity of the impact - whether or not the punch was actually pulled by his opponent impacting him with very little force, or whether the punch was accelerating with increasing force etc. etc. The possibilities are endless ---especially as a whole lot of money changed hands as a result of the fight.

Anyway - my point is - that to say "his opponent landed a punch to his head and it therefore follows that this punch knocked him out" is not science - it is rhetoric.

You would cetainly not go to war based on the "conclusion" that he was knocked out by an "initiating even" (the punch) , just because you saw a punch thrown that touched his forehead.

Yes, but...

For NIST, the initiating event is the inward bowing of the perimeter columns caused by the sagging floor trusses. Actually, for the upper block to separate from the lower block the columns would need to eventually break/snap, preferably at the same time. What evidence does NIST provide that this is an event that actually occurred? NIST in their FAQ stated that they,

"reviewed tens of thousands of documents, interviewed more than 1,000 people, reviewed 7,000 segments of VIDEO footage and 7,000 photographs..."

In the following video Shyam Sunder presents the conclusions reached by NIST in their investigation. Sunder states, "Suddenly the columns snapped, and, as a result, the entire top of the building came down, pretty much in freefall, because kinetic energy that was unleashed was just huge."

However, they don't offer video footage to show this, they present CARTOON ANIMATION!!! If they have over 7,000 segments of video footage why can't they present real evidence, not cartoons?? Maybe because they don't have any evidence.

So I'm not even ceding to NIST their "collapse initiation" event.

Watch video here:


Newton's Third Law

Newton's Third Law applies regardless of a distinct zone of compacted debris. As the upper block with debris falls on to the next floor, that floor resists (through deformation, splicing) the impact of the debris from above. It does this by exerting force F upwards. This force immediately causes the debris to deaccelerate in proportion to F=ma. At the same time, the floor is accelerated downward by the same force F. Under case 1, if the floor has sufficient mass and strength, it will exert enough force on the debris to arrest its descent. Of course this is not what appeared to happen on 9/11. The other case is that the floor/column yields/fractures at some point and thus is unable to continue to generate resistive force F. In this case the debris will decelerate briefly, and then resume once it has broken the connections. This appears to be what Bazant is proposing for the crush down phase: The upper block, shielded by the debris field cannot be arrested. However this argument fails to account for the requisite force F that the debris must also exert UPWARD on the upper block. As the debris is slowed by each floor, the upper block will collide with the debris field. Assuming no energy is lost in this system (to breaking connections, concrete, etc), the upper block will also experience a force on it equal to F and will decelerate according to F=ma. Therefore even under this collapse hypothesis there will be negative acceleration applied to the upper block, which is essentially equal to the acceleration being applied to the lower block. The McQueen paper then attempts to quantify and measure the expected deceleration spikes of the upper block which would be expected and predicted by this hypothesis. However, upon observation of EMPIRICAL data (not some theoretical model that exists in NIST's computer, on paper, or in anyone's mind) they find no deceleration spikes at all. This leads them to conclude that the hypothesis that the upper block is crushing the lower block is false. Newton's Third Law cannot be violated. If two masses are interacting then they both experience the SAME force in opposite directions, period.

To take the example to the extreme, imagine you have a large weight with a spring attached underneath it. You then drop this weight on the floor. What happens? As the spring first contacts the floor, it is not compressed at all so it imparts very little force on the floor. As the spring compresses, it will exert a greater and greater force on the floor. However, at the same time this force is also being exerted upwards against the weight. Thus even though the weight is "disconnected" directly from the floor by the spring, the force that spring imparts on the floor is also imparted upward on the block, leading the block to decelerate according to F=ma. Eventually either three things will happen: 1) The floor gives way and the objects continue to fall 2) The spring reaches a compression point where the force it generates is sufficient to completely stop the block (and liekly reverse direction) or 3) The spring is incapable of generating the force needed to stop the block, in which case the block impacts the floor. In all three cases the upper block decelerates its descent, which can be measured and quantified.

Thus you cannot have it both ways: You can't use the entire top block's mass to calculate the overall force imparted on the lower tower without also letting the same forces be imparted to the ENTIRE top block. Thus if the top can break the bottom, at the same time the bottom can break the top and at the same rate. With no mesaurable "jolts" as they call it in the velocity profile of the upper block, we can likely rule out that the top block encountered much resistance.

Is this blog closed to newcomers?

A friend of mine is trying to post to this blog but can't figure out how to register.
Is this blog closed to newcomers?

I certainly understand the need to keep from getting swamped if this forum is limited to current members.

This can't be right

"During the crush-down, the falling upper part of tower, having a compacted layer of debris at its bottom, is crushing the lower part with negligible damage to itself. During the crush-up, the moving upper part of tower is being crushed at bottom by the compacted debris resting on the ground."

Did Bazant actually say this? Wow. So he acknowledges the obvious question: how did his putative upper block crush the lower part without being damaged. Richard explains well below what I could not explain but see intuitively - Bazant's claims is absurd.

Bazant's answer appears to be that this is what was observed (even though it wasn't), and under his assumption that no energy was added, it must have happened that way.

peanut butter sandwich

"During the crush-down, the falling upper part of tower, having a compacted layer of debris at its bottom, is crushing the lower part with negligible damage to itself."

Seems to me that a "compacted layer of debris" would not "belong to" either the upper block or the lower structure. It would be the peanut butter between two slices of bread. It could not therefore, "protect" the lighter and weaker upper block while acting as a force to crush the lower block.

SI units

Someone has asked at STJ--

"Can you please provide calculation results in this paper in SI units? or at least give conversion factors for converting results to SI Thanks"