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A Quick Review of Manuel Garcia's article "We See Conspiracies That Don't Exist: The Physics of 9/11"


November, 2006

This article* offers the US government another opportunity to answer serious questions about 9/11 without anyone actually having to take responsibility for those answers. Like Shyam Sunder of NIST, promoting the Pancake Theory in a Popular Mechanics interview even after that theory was proven to be incorrect, a US government scientist (Garcia) can say whatever he wants in an informal media presentation. And in this case, Garcia does just that, repeating many unsubstantiated claims, and even adding some new ones.

Garcia begins by suggesting that those who question the Bush Administration's story are psychologically disturbed in some way. Of course, the absurdity of this implication is obvious. The official theory is not only a conspiracy theory, but is one that appeals to our most contemptible instincts. And after what we've been through in the last five years, questioning the Bush Administration's ever-changing explanations for those important events would seem, for most of us, a pretty good idea.

As an introduction, readers get only a brief, dismissive hint that there is an alternative hypothesis for "collapse" of the WTC buildings. A link to a Wikipedia article on the subject is provided, but a more direct, and more fair, approach would have been to provide links to sources like Steven Jones' paper at the Journal of 911 Studies ( i, or Jim Hoffman's site ( ). And a much more interesting article would have included some explanation from Garcia about his own employer's growing dominance in research on the use of Aluminothermics ( ).

Be that as it may, Garcia begins his lecture with the slightly insulting statement that, with it, "readers can expand their range of rationality and hence their political maturity." He then offers a summary review of the NIST WTC report that acknowledges how NIST never actually explained the dynamics of collapse. The NIST report is for the towers, not WTC 7, and only discusses how such a collapse could have initiated.

Garcia summarizes the NIST findings by offering a vague description of aircraft impact and damage, and then makes some unsupported claims about the versatility of the jet fuel and the "loosening" of fireproofing. Unfortunately, he does not refer to any existing critique ( ) of the false claims already made by NIST. Instead, he proceeds to explain the importance of the tower's supportive hat truss, but without noting that NIST simply ignored the hat truss in the critical segments of their all-important computer model.

The claim that the "fuel fire burned up to 1,100 degrees C (2,000 degrees F) for perhaps 10 minutes" is vague enough for government work, as well as being unsupported by any (computer) test data that the public is allowed to view. Garcia then claims, incredibly, that "the exposed steel beams in the impact zone heated to between 700 C to 1,000 C", and in just (perhaps) ten minutes! Despite the fact that steel has a very high thermal conductivity, and therefore large quantities of steel would need to be heated for a long time, NIST's (Bush's) story calls for failure of steel columns that are far from the impact zone. The fires had to migrate around the building's core to reach this failure zone, by which time the jet fuel was long gone. And don't forget, NIST's test results from real steel samples, pulled specifically from fires zones, showed steel temperatures of only about 250 C.

Garcia then offers even more detail about the collapse initiation sequence than NIST was ever ready to give, while simultaneously using some of the same fuzzy claims about sagging floors. How much did the floors sag in the physical tests? And for comparison, how much sagging was used in the computer model we are not allowed to see? There are some important differences here.

By saying "the sagging floors twisted their joints to the perimeter columns", Garcia now appears to be telling us that it was increased torque (twisting), and not pure lateral (pull in) loads, that caused the external columns to fail. We can't be sure if he checked with NIST on this before publication, but seeing as NIST had to actually disconnect their virtual floors from their virtual columns in order to demonstrate any kind of inward failure, none of this seems to matter anyway.

After simply parroting, and then embellishing, NIST's vague claims, Garcia spends the remainder of his paper explaining what NIST could not -- the dynamics of collapse. Perhaps we can take the time to consider his findings at a later date, but it is clear that Garcia's paper is yet another attempt by US government employees to suggest that the rest of us are silly, and possibly insane, to continue seeing "conspiracies that don't exist." This helps us remember that we should only see those conspiracies that do exist, as provided by our own benevolent leaders.