9/11 Scholars Forum

Exposing Falsehoods and Revealing Truths


T Mark Hightower, B.S., M.S., Chemical Engineering


This paper explores the explosiveness of nanothermite.

Steven E. Jones made the error early in his research, of classifying nanothermite as an explosive in the same category as the high explosive RDX, with no published science to back up his claim. The 911 truth movement has never recovered from this error, for to this day nearly everyone in the movement refers to "explosive nanothermite," as even this clever cover for a fictitious "For Dummies" book illustrates. (1)

Examples of Jones confusing these issues are cited and commented upon. Two technical papers on nanothermite are cited to support my contention that nanothermite is not anywhere near being an explosive in the sense of a high explosive like RDX. These two papers are also cited on the issue of adding organics to nanothermites to produce gas generating nano-thermites (GGNT) and I maintain that these papers suggest that the only way to make a nanothermite truly explosive is to combine it with an explosive or other high-explosive mechanism. “It's not the “nano” that makes it explosive. It's the explosive that makes it explosive.”

Finally, I make recommendations of what those who advocate the nanothermite theory for WTC destruction can do to clarify their position and I announce The Nanothermite Challenge.


Here is a two-paragraph quote from Steven Jones' first paper. (2)

“Thus, molten metal was repeatedly observed and formally reported in the rubble piles of the WTC Towers and WTC 7, metal that looked like molten steel or perhaps iron. Scientific analysis would be needed to conclusively ascertain the composition of the molten metal in detail.”

“I maintain that these observations are consistent with the use of high-temperature cutter-charges such as thermite, HMX or RDX or some combination thereof, routinely used to melt/cut/demolish steel.” (2)

Here Jones puts thermite, HMX, and RDX in the same category. But thermite is totally different than HMX and RDX. Thermite is an incendiary. It gets very hot, it produces molten iron, it can melt steel, and it can catch things on fire, but it is absolutely not an explosive. It is not even a low explosive. On the other hand, HMX and RDX are high explosives. HMX detonates at 9,100 m/s (meters per second) and RDX detonates at 8,750 m/s. He also lumps all three under the category of cutter-charges, but a cutter-charge with thermite would be totally different than a cutter-charge with a high explosive. A thermite cutter-charge would cut by melting the steel with the high-temperature molten iron it produces (an extremely low velocity and slow process compared to high explosives), whereas an RDX cutter-charge would cut by the supersonic detonation of high explosives in what is known as a shaped charge, which essentially produces a supersonic projectile of molten metal (copper is often used in shaped charges) that instantly penetrates and severs the member.

Later in the paper Jones says

“"Superthermites" use tiny particles of aluminum known as "nanoaluminum" (<120 nanometers) in order to increase their reactivity. Explosive superthermites are formed by mixing nanoaluminum powder with fine metal oxide particles such as micron-scale iron oxide dust.” (2) And further down he says “Highly exothermic reactions other than jet-fuel or office-material fires, such as thermite reactions which produce white-hot molten metal as an end product, are clearly implied by the data. In addition, the use of explosives such as HMX or RDX should be considered. "Superthermites" are also explosive as must be remembered in any in-depth investigation which considers hypotheses suggested by the available data.” (2) From page 85 of a presentation that Jones gave early in his work (3), he says “Gel explosives: Tiny aluminum particles in iron oxide, in a sol-gel: “High energy density and extremely powerful” and “can be cast to shape”. http://www.llnl.gov/str/RSimpson.html (Livermore Nat’l Lab, 2000) I have read the LLNL web page that Jones cites above (4) very carefully and I cannot find anything in it that implies that the “thermitic nanocomposite energetic material” referred to is an explosive. It refers to the result as a thermite pyrotechnic, releasing an enormous amount of heat, but it does not say that it is an explosive. In the web page another class is explained briefly, energetic nanocrystalline composites. "The Livermore team synthesized nanocrystalline composites in a silica matrix with pores containing the high explosive RDX or PETN." No mention is made here of thermite, so this wouldn't apply to Jones claiming that nanothermite is an explosive.
WTC Devastation by public domain


The explanation given for claiming that nanothermite is an explosive goes something like this. The thermite reaction is

Fe2O3 + 2 Al ---> 2 Fe + Al2O3

By making the particle sizes of the reactants smaller, down to the nanosize (approximately 30 nm to 60 nm) and mixing them well, the reaction takes place so fast that it becomes explosive. Let's look at some data from technical papers where the reaction velocity of nanothermites were measured and compare these values with the reaction velocities of explosives to see if it seems reasonable to call nanothermite an explosive.

A paper by Spitzer et al. published in the Journal of Physics and Chemistry of Solids in 2010 presents a variety of research on energetic nano-materials. (5) In one section they deal with nano-thermites made with tungsten trioxide (WO3) and aluminum nano-particles. They experimented with different particle sizes, but they highlight the mixture made with the smallest nano-particles of both WO3 and Al for its impressive performance.

“WO3/Al nano-thermites, which contain only nano-particles, have an impressive reactivity. The fireball generated by the deflagration is so hot that a slamming due to overpressure is heard. The combustion rate can reach 7.3 m/s. This value is extremely high compared to classical energetic materials.” (5)

A paper by Clapsaddle et al. published by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in 2005 also contains some reaction rate data for nanothermite composed of nano-particles of Fe2O3 and aluminum. (6) In Figure 2. in the paper the combustion velocity is plotted versus percent SiO2 content. The highest values were obtained at zero percent SiO2, so those are the only values I am going to cite. The nanothermite produced by a sol gel process had the highest velocity of 40.5 m/s, compared to the one produced by a simple mixing of the nano-particles with a combustion velocity of 8.8 m/s. (6)

Compare the above combustion velocities of nanothermite with the detonation velocities of high explosives HMX and RDX of 9,100 m/s and 8,750 m/s, respectively, and they are dwarfed by the velocities of the conventional high explosives. Steven Jones appears to be calling the nanothermite reaction explosive only in the sense that it is reacting much faster than regular thermite, but not in the sense that it is anywhere near as explosive as a conventional high explosive. By failing to make this distinction Jones has misled nearly the entire 911 truth movement into believing that nanothermite is a super explosive, possibly even more powerful than conventional high explosives.

From the above, it is quite clear that the “nano” in nanothermite does not make the thermite explosive anywhere near the degree of a high explosive like RDX.

In addition to saying that nano-izing thermite makes it explosive, I have heard Jones say that adding organics to nanothermite also makes it explosive. This issue is explored in the next section.


First I would like to quote an entire two paragraph section, with its title, from the LLNL paper. (6)

“Gas generating Al-Fe2O3-SiO3/2-R (R = –(CH2)2(CF2)7CF3) nanocomposites. ”

“One limitation inherent in any thermite energetic material is the inability of the energetic material to do pressure/volume-work on an object. Thermites release energy in the form of heat and light, but are unable to move objects. Typically, work can be done by a rapidly produced gas that is released during the energetic reaction. Towards this end, the silica phase of sol-gel prepared oxidizers, in addition to modifying the burning velocities, has also been used to incorporate organic functionality that will decompose and generate gas upon ignition of the energetic composite [3-4, 7]. Phenomenological burn observations of these materials indicate that the Al-Fe2O3-SiO3/2-R nanocomposites burn very rapidly and violently, essentially to completion, with the generation of significant amounts of gas. Figure 5 shows a comparison of the ignition of an energetic nanocomposite oxidizer mixed with 2 μm aluminum metal without (left) and with (middle) organic functionalization. The still image of the energetic nanocomposite without organic functionalization exhibits rapid ignition and emission of light and heat. The still image of the energetic nanocomposite with organic functionalization also exhibits these characteristics, but it also exhibits hot particle ejection due to the production of gas upon ignition. This reaction is very exothermic and results in the production of very high temperatures, intense light, and pressure from the generation of the gaseous byproducts resulting from the decomposition of the organic moieties.”

“These materials were also mixed with nanometer aluminum. Figure 5 (right) shows a still image of the ignition of the Al-Fe2O3-SiO3/2-R nanocomposite mixed with 40 nm aluminum. This composite is much more reactive than the same oxidizing phase mixed with 2 μm aluminum metal; the burning of the composite with 40 nm aluminum occurs much too quickly to be able to observe the hot particle ejection. This observation is a good example of the importance mixing and the size scale of the reactants can have on the physical properties of the final energetic composite material. When the degree of mixing is on the nanoscale, the material is observed to react much more quickly, presumably due to the increase in mass transport rates of the reactants, as discussed above.” (6)

Note that in the title of the section quoted above, the symbol R is used to represent the organic functionality added to the nanothermite. In this case it is a 10 carbon atom straight chain functional group fully saturated, with hydrogen atoms on the first two carbon atoms of the chain and fluorine atoms on all the rest. I have not explored the precise energy level of this functional group, but I can tell by just looking at it that it will consume energy (from the thermite reaction) in order to break it down into multiple smaller molecules in order to get the expanding gases necessary to make it behave as explained. This is not an efficient way to make an explosive. I wouldn't expect the explosiveness to be anywhere near that of a conventional high explosive, and the qualitative description given in the paper certainly does not seem to support it being a true explosive, but unfortunately the paper does not give data on what its reaction rate would be. Wouldn't it be better if the organic added to the nanothermite was a molecule that, instead of consuming energy to drive its decomposition, actually produces energy as it decomposes? Such a molecule could be the RDX molecule. This leads to the quoted two-paragraph section below from the Spitzer et al. paper. (5)

“3. Gas generating nano-thermites ”

“Thermites are energetic materials, which do not release gaseous species when they decompose. However, explosives can be blended in thermites to give them blasting properties. The idea developed at ISL is to solidify explosives in porous inorganic matrixes described previously. Gas generating nano-thermites (GGNT) are prepared by mixing Cr2O3/RDX and MnO2/RDX materials with aluminium nano-particles. The combustion mechanisms of these nano-thermites were investigated by DSC and high-speed video. In the case of Cr2O3-based GGNT, the decomposition of RDX induces the expansion and the fragmentation of the oxide matrix. The resulting Cr2O3 nano-particles, which are preheated by the combustion of the explosive, react violently with aluminium nano-particles. In the case of MnO2-based GGNT, the mechanism of combustion is somewhat different because the decomposition of RDX induces the melting of oxide particles. The droplets of molten MnO2 react with aluminium nano-particles.”

“The non-confined combustion of GGNT is rather slow (1-11 cm/s) in comparison with other nano-thermites presented here. However, in a confined environment their combustion rate is expected to be significantly higher. Indeed, the thermal decomposition of GGNT produces gaseous species, which contribute to increase the pressure and the combustion rate in accordance with the Vieille’s law. The thermal decomposition of miscellaneous GGNT compositions was studied in a closed vessel equipped with a pressure gauge. The GGNT were fired with a laser beam through a quartz window. The pressure signal was recorded along time for each material (Fig. 7). The pressure released by the combustion of a GGNT is directly linked to the RDX content of the nano-composite used to elaborate it. Depending on its formulation, a GGNT can provide a pressure ranging from a few bars to nearly three thousand bars.” (5)

I am surprised by the low number given for the reaction velocity, only 1-11 cm/s. Also, it does not say what percent RDX resulted in this low velocity. Maybe it was a very low content of RDX. But the main point I want to make about the above quoted section does not depend on this velocity anyway. The key point is that you have to blend explosives (like RDX) into nanothermite to make it an explosive (“give them blasting properties”).


Steven E. Jones and other nanothermite theory advocates should be upfront and truthful about these issues, and clearly elaborate upon the factors missing from their theory that need further fleshing out. It is not good enough to just say “explosive nanothermite” over and over again without explaining exactly what is meant by the term. If they think that incendiary thermite or incendiary nanothermite or low explosive nanothermite or high explosive nanothermite were used in cutter-charges, or some combination, then they should say so. The lack of or degree of explosiveness claimed, whether incendiary, low explosive, or high explosive, is key, because the type of cutter-charge used would depend on this. Once they clarify what they mean by their use of the term “nanothermite”, then they should start describing the quantities of thermite that would have been necessary for the destruction. Only by adding these details to their theory can it be fairly evaluated against alternative theories of the destruction of the buildings of the World Trade Center for the benefit of the wider 9/11 truth community.


Find and document peer reviewed scientific research that demonstrates that a gas generating nanothermite (GGNT) based upon iron (III) oxide (Fe2O3) and aluminum (Al), where the gas generating chemical added to the nanothermite is not itself a high explosive, can be made to be a high explosive with at least a detonation velocity of 2000 m/s. The author of this paper will donate $100 for every 1000 m/s of detonation velocity that can be documented, the donation not to exceed $1,000. For example, if a detonation velocity of 5500 m/s can be documented, then the donation amount will be $550. Only one prize will be awarded in the form of a donation to AE911Truth, and it will be awarded based upon the highest detonation velocity that can be documented. Those submitting entries grant the author the right to publish their entries. Entries must be in the form of a brief (no longer than one page) write-up, with the peer reviewed research cited, and at least scanned copies (electronic pdf files) of the cover page(s) and pages relied upon of the technical papers, if not a submittal of the entire paper(s). Entries should be sent by email to DetonationVelocity@att.net by June 20, 2011. The award will be announced and paid by July 20, 2011.

1 May 2011

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: T. Mark Hightower began his awakening in January 2004 after having stumbled upon the Serendipity web site and learning that the explosive demolition theory for WTC destruction was a more probable explanation than was the official story.


He has worked as an engineer for nearly 30 years, initially in the chemical industry, then in the space program, and currently in the environmental field. He is a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).

His research on 9/11 is an exercise of his Constitutional rights as a private citizen and in no way represents his employer or the professional societies of which he is a member.


(1) Fictitious Book Cover, “Explosives in the WTC for Dummies”

(2) Jones, Steven E., “Why Indeed Did the WTC Buildings Completely Collapse?” Journal of 911 Studies, Volume 3, September 2006

(3) Jones, Steven E., “Answers to Objections and Questions,” Department of Physics and Astronomy, Brigham Young University, 18 July 2006

(4) LLNL Web page cited by Jones – “Nanoscale Chemistry Yields Better Explosives,”


(5) Denis Spitzer, Marc Comet, Christian Baras, Vincent Pichot, Nelly Piazzon, “Energetic nano-materials: Opportunities for enhanced performances,” Institut franco-allemand de recherches de Saint-Louis (ISL), UMR ISL/CNRS 3208, 5, rue du General Cassagnou, 68301 Saint-Louis, France,
Journal of Physics and Chemistry of Solids 71 (2010) 100–108

(6) B. J. Clapsaddle, L. Zhao, D. Prentice, M. L. Pantoya, A. E. Gash, J. H. Satcher Jr., K. J. Shea, R. L. Simpson, “Formulation and Performance of Novel Energetic Nanocomposites and Gas Generators Prepared by Sol-Gel Methods,” March 25, 2005, Presented at 36th Annual Conference of ICT, Karlsruhe, Germany, June 28, 2005 through July 1, 2005 UCRL-PROC-210871, LLNL This paper is free to download at

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I am posting here a reply to Dr. Hubert's last posting in my thread about Massimo Mazuco's 9-11 video.


Seems the discussion of the dust and thermite got sidetracked onto that thread and I want to get things back over here.  I will ask Dr. Fetzer to move those postings on that other thread over here that do not relate to that subject.






I do not know who wrote the article that I posted in full on the other thread from




 Main Page               The 9/11 Truth Movement: A Closer Look


This paper examines the research and methods of a retired BYU professor Steven Jones. Thanks to Dr. Frank Greening, Ryan Mackey and Dave Rogers among others. I have quoted your work and/or analysis in this paper.




Now here is an excerpt from




This site is owned by "Mark Roberts" and


This dust was exposed to all surrounding conditions for a minimum of nine days before being collected. From MacKinlays writing: “We headed back to our place on Thursday, September 20th.



It is also important to note, that her boyfriend, Jim Lecce, was a sculptor who possibly worked with metals and welding equipment (see this example from a similarly named sculptor). From the previously linked PDF: 


"I (Jannette MacKinlay) moved to New York in September of 1997 with sculptor Jim Lecce to curate art shows featuring both New York and California artists. What was initially going to be a three-month stay turned into four years. Our art loft was directly across the street from the World Trade Center complex."


The dust sample is taken from a household of a man, who was possibly using welding gear to make sculptures. Welding gear can create the iron spheres Jones is talking about. Even the possibility of contamination of the dust samples with dust from his clothing hasn't been ruled out, or even addressed. And this sample was the main piece of evidence he built his theory on. "





I cannot find the name of the person who wrote that article but since the one I just quoted from and the whole article I last posted in the other thread are from sites.google.com,  I have a feeling they are at least closely associated.  Many of the debunkers are in serious need of debunking themselves.  I think Dr. Frank Greening is some kind of "operative" and these debunking sites both reference him.




Am reposting part of my last post since it posted too dark. 




Obtaining the First Dust Sample


Steven Jones claims he is in possession of dust samples from the WTC site, and that those samples contain thermite residue. He got his first dust sample from Janette MacKinlay, who is also a member of the truth movement. MacKinlay sent the sample to Steven Jones by mail.


"The provenience of the dust sample used in my study is from an apartment at 113 Cedar St. in New York City. This fourth-floor apartment was the residence of Janette MacKinlay and was approximately 100 meters or so from the closest Tower the South Tower ...(snip)... Janette told me that she had a sense, almost a spiritual or reverential feeling (knowing the origin of the dust) to preserve some of it, which she did, placing dust from her apartment into a plastic bag. My first 9/11-related paper appeared on-line in November 2005, and Janette MacKinlay soon learned from it that I was seeking WTC dust and other samples for study. She contacted me and sent me a small sample by mail."



This dust was exposed to all surrounding conditions for a minimum of nine days before being collected. From MacKinlays writing: “We headed back to our place on Thursday, September 20th.



It is also important to note, that her boyfriend, Jim Lecce, was a sculptor who possibly worked with metals and welding equipment (see this example from a similarly named sculptor). From the previously linked PDF:


"I (Jannette MacKinlay) moved to New York in September of 1997 with sculptor Jim Lecce to curate art shows featuring both New York and California artists. What was initially going to be a three-month stay turned into four years. Our art loft was directly across the street from the World Trade Center complex."


The dust sample is taken from a household of a man, who was possibly using welding gear to make sculptures. Welding gear can create the iron spheres Jones is talking about. Even the possibility of contamination of the dust samples with dust from his clothing hasn't been ruled out, or even addressed. And this sample was the main piece of evidence he built his theory on.



Many of the "debunkers" of Dr. Jones are highly debunkable themselves, but they do have referenced links for some of their criticisms.  The two sites are now not active and they stopped posting articles a few years ago.  Mark Roberts of the last post of mine declared the 9-11 truth movement is dead and there is no more need to cover this.  Problem is Mark Roberts seems to have accomplished his mission in discrediting the ENTIRE 9-11 truth movement.

Thanks for transferring the discussion to this thread Jeannon.


I am going to combine and re-post my comments from the other thread to this one for ease of handling.


 Reply by Dr. J. P. Hubert 1 day ago


I found the interchange on this new topic to be very interesting. Jeannon, you have expressed your position very well. A number of questions come to mind for me after reviewing the above posts.


First, I would like to know (from someone who purports that both nano-thermite and nuclear explosions were used to destroy the Twin Towers) how we can differentiate that hypothetical scenario from the one in which only conventional (non-thermite/nanothermite) cutter agents were used in combination with nuclear explosions or from a third option in which only nuclear explosions were employed?  Assume for the moment that we are unable to trust the analysis of WTC dust carried out by Jones/Herrit et. al in which allegedly an identification of nano-thermite was made. Assume this either because we cannot document that a proper chain of custody was insured or because the sample was obtained allegedly from only one location in the WTC area. How then do we prove that nano-thermite was utilized at all in the process of destroying the 2 buildings?


My sense is that nuclear explosions of the proper kind and number could not only account for the USGS dust evidence which proves to a very high degree of probability that a large amount of nuclear fission of Uranium 235 occured but could also account for the virtual complete pulverization of all the Twin Towers concrete into dust along with the vaporization of virtually the entire contents of each building including file cabinets, electrical wiring, computers, other business machines, plumbing fixtures, furniture and human beings. It also explains the increased incidence of cancer being documented in first responders especially in those who are much too young statistically to be developing those with which they are afflicted. The only question that then remains is whether the several hundred tons of steel beams could have been demolished as they were, some of which were forcefully ejected up and out away from the buildings, some of which fell into the sub-surface basement levels of each footprint and some of which appears possibly to have been vaporized--without invoking the use of nanothermite as a cutter agent.


For those who think that nuclear explosions could not have produced all of the above findings either in combination with conventional non-nanothermite cutter agents or in isolation, it would be helpful if they could explain why. One possible explanation is that the appearance of some of the steel beams suggests a rapidly occuring cutting action which presumably cannot be explained without postulating the use of nanothermite. On the other hand, some steel beams do appear to be bent around the wrong axis as argued by Dr. Judy Wood in her book, an effect which if real needs to be investigated to see if it can be produced by nuclear explosions or any other conventional means short of DFEW.


In another thread I suggested that properly constructed mock-ups of the Twin Towers should be constructed and then empirically subjected to demolition utilizing various agents including nanothermite. It would very readily be determined what could be acoomplished without the use of nuclear explosions. When all else fails, conduct an experiment. Has this been attempted?


I tend at this point to agree with Jeannon that the nanothermite issue may turn out to be a "red-herring." Occam's razor holds that we must not multiply entities unnecessarily. If the destruction of the Twin Towers  is explainable without nanothermite being involved, its presence should not be assumed unless there is unimpeachable evidence that it was used.


 Reply by Dr. J. P. Hubert 6 hours ago


I wanted to add this material from the Jones/Harrit paper and a clarification of my previous post.

In the Materials and Methods section of the Jones/Harrit paper published in The Open Chemical Physics Journal, 2009, 2, 7-31, it states that 4 private New York civilians totally of their own volition and utilizing their own methods, collected samples independently, one within minutes of the destruction of the second Tower, two were collected on the morning and afternoon of 9/12/2001 respectively by different individuals, and one a week later, all from locations in lower Manhattan. Presumably, no communication occurred between the 4 individuals or with any scientific experts with respect to the proper methods to be employed in collecting the samples or with regard to what procedures, methods, standards etc. should be utilized in order that the samples would be properly preserved. From a reading of the paper, it is unclear why the individuals collected the samples in the first place other than as a curiosity.


Some five years later in the fall of 2006, a general request was made for WTC dust samples that appeared in an on-line journal article by the Jones et. al research group. According to the authors, five individuals who presumably saw the request submitted samples for analysis. Four of the five agreed to have their names disclosed and their samples were subjected to detailed testing. All five samples were said to contain iron rich microspheres in the form of red/gray chips, which according to the authors, is diagnostic of nanothermite or superthermite. 


 Thus, 4 of the 5 individuals who sent samples had their material reported on in the Jones/Harrit paper. The 5th was excluded because of not be willing to have his name disclosed, a decision which seems perplexing given that the authors state that the sample contained red/gray chips. It is unclear from reading the paper however, whether these 5 were the only samples that the Jones research group was supplied with. If other samples were in fact sent to the authors, then it is possible that they did not contain the red/gray chips. The authors should clarify whether they tested every sample sent to them and report on the results if more than 5 were received.


Moreover, in the introductory section of the paper, the authors state that they studied dust samples from the WTC prior to being given the 4 samples which they report on in detail in their paper. It is not clear where these dust samples came from. While they mention other WTC dust studies such as that of the USGS, the RJ Lee Company study, the McGee et. al study and the Lioy et. al study, they do not specifically state that they obtained their preparatory dust samples from any of them. Rather, they reported the following: 


"In June 2007, Dr. Steven Jones observed distinctive bi-layered chips with both a red and a gray layer, in a sample of the WTC dust (no disclosure was made of where that sample came from)…The authors also obtained and examined additional samples of WTC dust which had been collected by independent observers on, or very soon after, 9/11."


It was the foregoing that apparently raised their interest. However, there is no documentation of the actual origin of these samples. The authors concluded their paper with the following:


"Based on these observations, we conclude that the red layer of the red/gray chips we have discovered in the WTC dust is active, unreacted thermitic material, incorporating nanotechnology, and is a highly energetic pyrotechnic or explosive material."


Thus in 2009 they were referring to nanothermite as an explosive.


Based on what is reported in the paper itself, all of the samples studied by Jones/Harrit et. al were handled in less than a pristine/controlled/standardized way. That does not mean that the conclusions made by the research group are wrong. It does mean that a separate study should be conducted by independent investigators in which for example, USGS dust samples could be tested utilizing the exact same protocol as that used by Jones/Harrit et. al. If nanothermite is discovered once again, the conclusion that it was involved in the destruction of the Twin Towers will be rendered more highly probable.  "






The piece which Jeannon posted above from Mr. Mark Robert's site is also critical of the samples studied by the Jones/Harrit research group. It is not quite as powerful as might be initially imagined when one notes that Jones et. al. report studying 5 samples from the WTC area. Four of these were exmined in detail and were reported on in their paper. Only one sample was collected some 9 days after the destruction of the Twin Towers. The other 3, were collected as follows: one on the morning of 9/11, one each in the morning and afternoon of 9/12 respectively. Therefore, it is at least theoretically possible that some of the Jones et. al. samples were not contaminated by "clean-up" activities. However, all the samples were allowed to sit unprotected for 5 years until Jones et. al. put out their call for samples. During that time, virtually anything could have happened to the samples. That is a huge experimental design flaw which cannot be overcome not to mention the fact that no standards were followed in the collection of the samples by the 5 civilians who did so.


Here is my currrent thinking vis a vis the nanothermite issue, recognizing that I could be wrong:


If the nanothermite hyothesis is to be taken seriously, known properly preserved dust samples collected early after 9/11 for example the previously reported on USGS samples collected 6 days after 9/11 should be subjected to identical testing per the Jones et. al. protocol.  If the other dust studies that were carried out have properly preserved samples which were collected prior to that of the USGS study, then those should be utilized. If the resulting experimental findings are in agreement with the Jones et. al. findings, then empirical testing of a "mock-up" version of the Twin Towers should be carried out to ascertain if the destruction of the "mock-up" Twin Towers matches the known 911 evidence. If the findings cannot be duplicated, the nanothermite hypothesis should be discarded. 


I recognize that this is controversial.



Explosives Found in
World Trade Center Dust

Scientists Discover Both Residues
And Unignited Fragments
Of Nano-Engineered Thermitic Pyrotechnics
In Debris From the Twin Towers

Jim Hoffman
Version 1.00, April 3, 2009
Version 1.01, April 9, 2009
Version 1.02, October 23, 2009
Version 1.03, December 7, 2009





The scientific paper Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Tr... conclusively shows the presence of unignited aluminothermic explosives in dust samples from the Twin Towers, whose chemical signature matches previously documented aluminothermic residues found in the same dust samples. The present review of the paper and related research is intended to summarize those findings for the non-technical reader. To that end, I first provide a short introduction to the subject of aluminothermic explosives, then outline the methods and results of analysis of the dust samples, and finally explore the significance of these findings.




FOR DUMMIES® is a registered trademark of Wiley Publishing, Inc., 
But what of the reader whose strong suit isn't the hard sciences? Does one have to be an expert to understand the findings and evaluate the many claims thrown up by "debunkers" to dismiss those findings?

Fortunately, the answer is no. The central observations of the paper can be understood by any intelligent person with some effort. In this thumbnail summary of the paper's findings, I focus on three easy-to-remember features of the red-gray chips established by the paper -- features that undeniably show that the chips are a high-tech engineered http://911research.wtc7.net/essays/thermite/thermitics_made_simple.... material. Because my description includes some technical language, I have provided a glossary for the benefit of the non-technical reader.








Three Points of Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe that Anyone Can Understand

Would be interested to hear from Chuck or others as to naming some...


conventional (non-thermite/nanothermite) cutter agents.




If I am understanding correctly, only after a better study of the dust is performed that confirms Dr. Jones' findings can we move on to the mock-up test.  The dust samples are probably still around so this better dust study would seem quite possible to do.


If that dust study was done, it would be much easier to accept Chuck's proofs of thermite's "work" used to refute certain of Dr. Wood's 42 points.


I do not want to get off on a tangent, but "the bathtub" issue is not resolved at all at this point to my thinking.  Even if it was nukes alone that did the work, it is difficult to understand how the explosion of several mini-nukes did not put at least one major fracture in the "bathtub".   Whoever did 9-11 must have known that what they were doing would not crack the bathtub.  If the bathtub had sustained one or more significant ruptures. the river (not sure if East River or the Hudson river) would have massively flooded all of lower Manhattan.  I find it rather a big mystery for "them" to have been so sure that that particular catastrophe was not going to happen.  Maybe we can discuss that after we decide which way to go regarding the present state of the "nanothermite" issue.


Even if that proper dust testing was done,

I am understanding that at most it could only...


1.  tell us thermite was present in all the samples  (but not necessarily "nanothermite" was definitely present) (I may be   misunderstanding something here.)


2.  end us up with the results of Dr. Jones' and Dr. Herrit's study, and that study allows for the possibility of  (does not rule out)  "other explosives" being employed.  Regarding the mock-up test, I guess that would be done with real thermite or real nanothermite and that it would be a do-able test.  It would be testing the effects of either of those agents alone as the destruction agent to account for ALL observed "evidence."    If this mock-up test were done with whatever was discovered to be in all the dust samples (thermite or nanothermite)  from the proper dust study, it still would not be a definitive test because we would have to have also determined if another explosive was also used and what that other explosive was.   I do not think even a properly done dust study could say for sure there was another explosive nor identify the name of that other explosive.

Several potential problems now arise:


1) It may be impossible to obtain dust samples from any of the 4 dust studies even if we presume that they still exist in a properly preserved state.


2) If some of these samples can be obtained we would need to find an independent researcher and or group to perform the identical studies that Jones et. al. did. This may be more difficult than it appears at first blush.


3) In response to your other statements Jeannon, if an independently conducted test of the samples discussed above in 1 and 2 were in agreement with those of Jones et. al., we could proceed with the "mock-up" using only nanothermite in an attempt to duplicate the actual results of the Twin Towers destruction on 911. It is my understanding that Jones et. al. allege that nanothermite alone was used to destroy the Twin Towers without nuclear explosions or other conventional explosives. If this is not the case, please advise.


4) The Jones/Harrit paper which was published in 2009 alleges that they have demonstrated nanothermite that is superthermite in the dust samples that they tested. The independent testing that we are envisioning here would have to demonstrate the same thing that is, nanothermite in the dust samples subjected to testing since that is what Jones et. al alleged. Here is the operative sentence from page 25 of their paper. "All these data suggest that the thermitic material found in the WTC dust is a form of nanothermite, not ordinary (macro-) thermite."


"It is my understanding that Jones et. al. allege that nanothermite alone was used to destroy the Twin Towers without nuclear explosions or other conventional explosives. If this is not the case, please advise."


Dr. Hubert, This is NOT the case.  I do not have links for you right now but I know Dr. Fetzer has interviewed Dr. Jones and others on his team and they have all said that they do not rule out the presence of other explosives.  I think that is what prompted Dr. Fetzer to make his "toothpaste" comment on his blog, but over the years more than one person has said it may not have been nanothermite alone and that their studies do not contend nanothermite alone.


"All these data suggest that the thermitic material found in the WTC dust is a form of nanothermite, not ordinary (macro-) thermite."


OK.  So they tell us it is "a form" of nanothermite, but they do not specify which from.  In fact, I think from hearing Dr. Jones and Richard Gage and Kevin Ryan that the exact forms of this "not ordinary" kind of nanothermite are unknown because it is only produced in very top secret government contractor weapons labs.


I see that Mark Hightower is now a member of the group. This is great. Hopefully people will welcome him and invite him to review this thread's posts and then comment since it is his article which began the discussion.


I for one would be very interested in his assessment of the Jim Hoffman material posted by Jane Doe which can be found in its entirety at http://911research.wtc7.net/essays/thermite/thermitics_made_simple..... Hoffman takes the position  Stephen Jones has taken, i.e. that the red/gray chips described in the Jones/Harrit paper are evidence of so-called nano-thermite or superthermite and that it is an explosive 3 times more powerful than conventional explosives. 


I think it is great that Mark Hightower in onboard here.  I welcome reading his postings.  This man has done us all a profound service.  He has proven that Dr. Jones' "nanothermite" can in no way, shape or form be an "explosive."  He has asked all the right questions and called for Dr. Jones and group to complete their work to make their case.  But they will not do this.


I am not going to go back 5 years and read all the Jim Hoffman material.  He has a long negative history with Dr. Fetzer and he has become a part of Dr. Steven Jones' stable.  Hoffman is a software engineer and has no expertise to judge upon the science or the logic of any serious essays or studies put out by either Dr. Jones or Dr. Fetzer, or Mark Hightower for that matter.  Hoffman and really even Dr. Jones have faded out of their part of the false 9-11 truth seeking play that is Dr. Steven Jones' and company's truly disgusting endeavor. 


Just enter the search term in your search engine --  "Jim Hoffman, James Fetzer, 9-11 Scholars".  You can also enter the term Hoffman on this forum's search engine.


(I no longer read or respond to JaneDoe.  She has not presented herself as a sincere seeker of honest and open discussion on this forum, nor does she wish to post new threads on her chosen topics, but rather prefers to continually throw in off-topic, rabbit trail, material to derail discussions.  She has insulted me for at least trying a little to keep things orderly.  She has posted at least one attack piece on Dr. Fetzer, and while I do not know or care where her true allegiances lie, it is clear that this individual is not well intentioned as far as discussion on this forum.)


Dr. Hubert,

 To carry on where we had previously left on in this thread's topic.  You see now, I am sure, that Dr. Jones never claims that "nano thermite" is the only "explosive" that could have been used in the Towers' destruction.  However, Dr. Jones has claimed that "nano thermite", in certain of its forms, does have substantial explosive properties, an idea that Mr. Hightower has, in my opinion, totally blown out of the water.  Knowing this now, I am now understanding that your idea of a more comprehensive dust study no longer presents itself as a viable option, and please correct me if I am wrong.


Mark Hightower analyzed and responded to the basic more "concrete" parts of Dr. Jones' study and he has proven that none of Dr. Jones assertions, as weak and vague as they are, are true from what is known in the field of chemistry regarding these kinds of agents used in destruction / demolition.   To me, at this point, we have to leave Dr. Jones' ideas where Mr. Hightower has left them.  We must stop giving them credence as though there is still some way to "save them." 




I am not going to go back 5 years and read all the Jim Hoffman material.  He has a long negative history with Dr. Fetzer and he has become a part of Dr. Steven Jones' stable.  Hoffman is a software engineer and has no expertise to judge upon the science or the logic of any serious essays or studies put out by either Dr. Jones or Dr. Fetzer, or Mark Hightower for that matter.  Hoffman and really even Dr. Jones have faded out of their part of the false 9-11 truth seeking play that is Dr. Steven Jones' and company's truly disgusting endeavor. "


correct, I am starting to get a good feel myself now of 3 categories of people:  (1) good guys, (2) bad guys, outright disinfo people/ops, (3) good guys who are unfortunately just wrong, anyone can be wrong


1:  : good guys: Fetzer/Boldwyn

2:  bad guys:  Hoffman/Jones

3.  good guys who are just plain wrong:  Judy Wood/Morgan Reynolds.(although Morgan is correct about no planes, he's wrong about the DEW idea of Judy)


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