what to make of "conspiracy theories"?

Martin Schreader mschreader at npns.org
Tue Feb 12 07:06:13 MST 2002

Dear Les (and Jim);

I have thought of those things, and I have stills from that video (as well
as a few photos I don't think anyone has seen). But the floor joists are one
thing, the building superstructure is another. The WTC floor load ratio was
a minimum of 6:1 (that is, each floor could handle at least six times its
own weight). Even with the loss of some of the outer supports (the holes
punched into the outer walls of the WTC, the floors -- and the building --
should have held.

In addition, the main designer of the WTC made clear in a speech given
before Sept. 11 that it was designed to survive an impact from a Boeing 707
airliner. Now, I used to work around these pigs, and I can tell you that a
707 is much bigger and heavier than a 767 or 757; it is comparable to a 747
or a 777 (I wouldn't even put a DC-10 in the same category as a 707). Keep
in mind that designers had to account for such contingencies -- especially
in NYC, where a U.S. bomber crashed into the Empire State Building in 1945.
Designing a skyscraper the size of the WTC without taking into account the
possibility of an air collision is like designing a skyscraper in San
Francisco or Los Angeles and not taking into account the earthquakes.

As for high-temperature creep, we are talking about structural steel, which
does not hold heat very well. It likes to spread it out as far as it can go;
one person likened it to trying to "stack syrup on a plate". Besides that,
what accounts for the massive time differential between when the planes hit
and when the towers toppled? About 30 minutes for one, and 108 minutes (!!!)
for the other. If it was just the failure of the floor supports, the whole
building would not have collapsed ... and it would have been relatively
quickly, when the fire was producing the most heat.

Finally, if we follow comrade Jim's advice and "[t]hink shoddy building
codes [and] corruption and Mafia involvement", that's fine. But it begs the
question I asked in my last post: whom shall we -- i.e., those affected by
the destruction -- never forgive ... the terrorists abroad or the terrorists
at home?

I only want the truth, not excuses and not conspiracies. I think those
affected deserve that much.


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