Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth: FAQ # 7: Squibs

FAQ # 7: Squibs
Written by AE911Truth   
Thursday, 08 December 2011


What caused the "squibs"? Could they have been just puffs of dust being pushed out of the Towers by falling floors? Are they visual evidence of explosive charges?


The isolated ejections 20-60 stories below the demolition front appear to be composed of pulverized building materials, including concrete. There was no known mechanism by which pulverized building materials being created up at the zone of destruction could have been transported so far down through the building and to the exterior. Air conditioning vents would not have tolerated such pressures, and there was no other "channel" in the building to deliver “compressed air”.

Images like this one reveal that the squibs were not merely puffs of air, as they have the same hue and consistency as pulverized solid building materials
Multiple analyses have shown that the ejection speed of the squibs was too high, at 100+ mph, to have been the result of air pressure. These are explosive speeds. They have also been clocked at 160 to 200 feet per second.

There is no reason, on the “dust puff” theory, for such blasts to be as isolated as they were. Massive air pressure which would delivered by the (missing) “pile driver” down through the elevator hoist ways and out through a given floor would have broken most or all windows on that floor – not created the highly focalized pin-point ejections that are seen on the videos. The breakage of one or two windows on a given floor would not have relieved enough pressure across an entire floor area to prevent the breakage of many other windows nearby.


The squibs identified in the WTC videos occurred 20, 40, and 60 stories below the destruction wave

Another problem with the “dust puff” theory is that the pulverized building materials would not have been transported so quickly. Air would have been pushed ahead of such materials, resulting in transparent puffs of air flowing through the freshly broken windows.

Physicist David Chandler has also shown that some of these ejections came from the corners of the buildings. Since there are no windows on the corners, these ejections could not have been the result of air pressure.

Video evidence has revealed that violent ejections occurred before the North Tower began its descent

Furthermore, calculations performed by Dr. Crockett Grabbe show that the horizontal ejection rate of the squibs is disproportional to the floor and debris descent speeds that are allegedly responsible for them. As Kevin Ryan has shown, the ejection speed of the squibs from the Towers also matches the speeds recorded for ejections caused by explosives.

As to these ejections appearing only after the collapse initiation, it should be noted that the North Tower's antenna dropped before any other building movement is seen, which is evidence that demolition devices were working on the core before any squibs were seen emerging out of the perimeter walls. There is also video showing that some of these ejections occurred even before the collapses began. See "Visible Explosion at World Trade Center" and "WTC1 collapse initiation - visible signs."

Close examination of network video shows clusters of horizontal ejections racing down the North Tower, at times accelerating faster than debris is falling outside the building

Smoking Gun

This is one of the most compelling articles for C.D. that AE911Truth has ever produced! The official story must claim that these images show "puffs of air" as a result of compression from pancaking floors. However:

"Images like this one reveal that the squibs were not merely puffs of air, as they have the same hue and consistency as pulverized solid building materials."

Re: ejections & gas dynamics

I appreciate AE's write-up on this topic. To elevate the degree of research surrounding 9/11, we need to quantify the overpressures in the core and the stairways with respect to time. Why? Think about how the quantitative efforts of Szamboti, MacQueen and others have advanced research to a higher degree on the topic of the missing jolt. Qualitative descriptions are great, but we need to seal the deal on this topic of ejections quantitatively as well.

AE now has a decent number of knowledgeable mechanical and structural engineers. To refute NIST's hypothesis of "dust puffs", we need experts in compressible fluid dynamics (or gas dynamics) that can determine for sure if NIST's stand holds any weight. Gas dynamics is not an easy field and CFD (computational fluid dynamics) is often used to model complex phenomena and can yield accurate results if the boundary conditions are well defined. The WTC had about 99 elevators and 3 stairways, the core was about 28% of the cross-sectional area of the towers, and the towers were about 95% air. This is certainly difficult to model. However, a simplified approach favorable to NIST's hypothesis can, in my estimation, still show them to be incorrect.

I'm in the process of writing a proposal that will test the piston hypothesis and will obtain an estimate from CFD consultants regarding the costs of modeling the WTC. Szamboti and MacQueen determined the descent to be at about 70% of the gravitational acceleration. We can use their work to model a piston compressing air with respect to time. Having a pressure-volume curve obeying Boyle's law would be NIST's dream come true but it's far from reality given the observable disintegration of Bazant's "upper rigid block". So a model that is an open system (with holes or assumed vent ratios in the piston and some along the perimeter of the crush front) compressing air would be best to test and see if the pressure 30 floors below the crush front was significant at all. If the overpressures are less than the breaking pressure of windows, then there is a very strong case.

A second item NIST briefly mentioned in their FAQ is that such phenomena could be due to a collapsing floor at a lower level. I think the burden rests on them to show whether a floor failed far below the crush front. Regardless, they won't engage in the topic any more. If we wish to advance this area, we'll just have to model it.

Also, I remember MacQueen told me about the ejections piercing through the massive corner column (diagonally outwards). After some thought, a natural explanation for this is impossible.

Squib Contents Are The Most Telling Evidence IMO

With respect to the first image, there are just two centered squibs, yet there are 48 WTC 1 core columns. It doesn't seem that just two explosions (if they were) would be sufficient to destroy enough of the 48 core columns to cause rapid collapse.

Based on at least the following floor plan, the well centered squibs seem to coincide with building core centered corridors traveling N, S, E & W, which could have directed collapse compression air movement resulting in squibs.

However ... the dustified contents of the squibs are evidence consistent with explosion related debris near these locations being expelled by such collapse related compressed air movement.

There are other "squib" images from WTC 2 that seem to be in the form of sustained streams of white dust or smoke (as opposed to being sudden bursts) from the north, east and south faces, where there should not be any white dust or smoke (floors well below the fire zones). These white "squibs" may contain white aluminum oxide produced by thermitic reactions within the building pre-collapse, that accumulated and was expelled by collapse related compression. The east face upper floor "puffs" seem to be a wide and odd 25 foot wide band of bursting white debris.

As for the squibs within the below image, since they are located at the corners of the floor spaces, one should consider that they are not within the proximity of vital supportive core column structures. Behind these squibs were simply open floors filled with office contents. If they were destructive explosions, they don't seem to have been well placed. Although, they may have been evidence of explosives designed to separate floor structures from exterior column structures. However, one might expect to see many more such explosions which don't seem to be evident.

If the core columns were explosively destroyed, because they are set back from the exterior columns by approximately 25 or more feet, such explosions might not be viewable.

Although, the best evidence of WTC core destruction seems to be the narrow vertical band of bursts or explosions racing down the west face of WTC 1 at nearly the same speed as the adjacent falling wreckage.

Mechanical Floors?

Have you seen this Aidan, you may find it interesting.

I hadn't seen it until today.

Squibs Are Achiles Heel Of Debunkers For Less Obvious Reasons

But not becuase there were directly caused by respective explosions in my view, but because of what they seem to contain (dark debris and white smoke or dust). The compressed air squibs carried out of the towers, the visual evidence of possible foul play inside the towers - dark colored debris near upper floors possibly tied to explosive detonations and white aluminum oxide from lower floors possibly tied to thermitic reactions.

Below are seen white compressed air streams from floors where there should not be any white smoke or dust, perhaps caused by thermitic activity originating from a common location like the elevator shafts. What could otherwise generate large amounts of white smoke or dust where there shouldn't be any?

Published Paper?

I would like to see this article published in a peer-reviewed journal. David Chandler, Jon Cole? Could you submit this article, in slightly expanded form maybe, to the Journal of 9/11 Studies? Even better if it could be published in other scientific journals. If this paper could be published, it would be ideal for outreach to public officials and academicians. Anyone should be able to "GET IT".

1. The towers are exploding outside their perimeter - not pancaking.
2. The squibs are well below the destruction front.
3. Air puffs would not be isolated if compression were taking place.
4. The squibs have the same hue and consistency as pulverized building materials.
5. There's at least one instance of a squib prior to destruction.
6. 1,600 architects and engineers say these are mistimed explosions, not puffs of air.


Peer-review requires critique of NIST/Bazant + Modelling

RL McGee: A couple months ago, I submitted a critique regarding the NIST-Bazant explanation on "squibs" to a Canadian physics journal. The paper was reviewed by Bazant and he quickly dismissed it. It was a major conflict of interest and now the journal is closing down due to reasons that are unknown to me. The second reviewer said that the critique is valid but to earn a publication, an alternative model that quantifies the pressures and flow speed is needed.

Using MS Publisher, one can quickly make a hypothetical visualization of the gauge pressure or overpressure in the WTC during its destruction. An example of this would be the following diagram:

CFD Piston Model representing Overpressures during the WTC Destruction (Hypothetical)

I will be proposing this modelling problem to nearby CFD consultants since some of them will provide an estimate of the costs of the simulation for free. Might as well do it! This is the type of research we need to bring the debate on this topic with folks like NIST-Bazant-Dave Thomas to an end.

Aidan: you appear to be on the right track. Near the "crush-front", the ejections are gray and lower down they are kind of white. I don't think a floor collapse lower down could have caused this.

Good suggestion - here's another one

Why don't the science people submit a paper based on WTC 7's acknowledged 8-story freefall to an engineering journal?

As a freely descending building cannot, by definition, be destroying itself during freefall, wouldn't this provide a rather delicious starting point for analysis?


Still waiting for a coherent answer from the ROOSD* crowd on this one, never mind OCT defenders who we've already seen have absolutely nothing. Especially the question on why and how the supposed air pressure would take such a concentrated, as the OP says, "pinpointed" pathway. How does it get down to those levels in the first place, 20, 30, 40 and more floors below the "collapse" wave, through what pathways in the buildings' architecture, and then find its way out in such a concentrated jet? In different places on each floor. It's ridiculous.

(* The ones who claim to have a theory that matches "all observables" but have yet to put into a coherent, articulate package. And submit it. Anywhere.)

Although I do agree with Aidan's question about the placement -- if these are explosive ejections, they do not, in most cases, seem to be coming from areas of the structure most in need of demolition.

"Squibs" is putting it lightly, "Explosions" are more accurate!

Squib defined by Wikipedia:
squib is a miniature explosive device used in a wide range of industries, from special effects to military applications. It resembles a tiny stick of dynamite, both in appearance and construction, although with considerably less explosive power.

Squib defined by
3. a small firework, consisting of a tube or ball filled with powder, that burns with a hissing noise terminated usually by a slight explosion.

Squib defined by my 1970 Websters:
1. a type of firecracker that burns with a hissing, spurting noise before exploding


Explode defined by Wkiipedia:
An explosion is a rapid increase in volume and release of energy in an extreme manner, usually with the generation of high temperatures and the release of gases.

Explode defined by
1. to expand with force and noise because of rapid chemical change or decomposition,
2. to burst, fly into pieces, or break up violently with a loud report,

Explode defined by my 1970 Websters:
2. to make burst with a loud noise; blow up; detonate
3. to cause to change suddenly and violently from a solid or liquid to a quickly expanding gas