"It would be some consolation for the feebleness of our selves and our works if all things should perish as slowly as they come into being; but as it is, increases are of sluggish growth, but the way to ruin is rapid." Lucius Anneaus Seneca, Letters to Lucilius, n. 91

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The abrupt collapse of the twin towers in New York: a case of "controlled demolition"?

The concept of "Seneca Collapse" is supposed to be applied mainly to socio-economic systems. Here, however, I would like to discuss it in the framework of the 9/11 attacks in New York and of the related legend of the "controlled demolition". Image above from xkcd (licensed under creative commons). 

In 2004, I attended the 4th ASPO conference on peak oil, in Berlin, and there I met Michael Ruppert (yes, that Ruppert!). Among other things, Ruppert told me that some CIA agents he personally knew were attending the conference. Later on, the same day, someone whom I had never met before introduced himself and chatted with me for a while. He told me of something that I had never heard before. It was about the 9/11 attacks in New York. It has been proven, he told me, that the towers didn't collapse because they were hit by the planes. No, it was a  controlled demolition: explosives were detonated inside the towers in order to make them collapse. It was an inside job! After that conference, I never heard from him again.

More than one decade after that conference, I still wonder about all this. Was it true, as Ruppert had told me, that there were CIA agents attending? And the person who had told me the story of the controlled demolition, who was he? Was he one of those agents engaged in "planting" an absurd story with a group of people known for their somewhat conspiratorial theories? I can't say, of course, but let me tell you that I am paranoid enough that I can't discount the idea that Ruppert was perfectly right.

One thing that I can say from these recollections of mine is that the legend of the "controlled demolition" of the Twin Towers was being diffused in 2004. This is an interesting point in itself; because it is not clear where the legend originated from. Some data seem to point out that it was proposed for the first time just the day of the attack, but it didn't go viral until 2005-2006. Today, it remains one of the weirdest and - in a certain sense - most fascinating legends among those that pullulate in the Web, where it nicely competes with equivalent ones, such as the "chemtrails" idea (and note how Randall Munroe masterfully mixed the two things together in the image, above).

The controlled demolition legend shows how difficult it is for us to understand collapse. In engineering, smart people have been making the same mistakes over and over, assuming that a structure was safe when it was not; unable to understand how easily things break. Even today, when we should know enough about the theory of fracture, things keep crashing and breaking all the time; taking us by surprise. It was, probably, this surprise that led some people who were watching the collapse of the towers on Sept 11, 2001 to think that it wasn't possible that the fall was "natural". Someone, they thought, must have been masterminding the whole event, pushing the buttons that detonated the explosives with the incredible precision necessary to cause the buildings to fall at exactly the speed that things reach when they fall freely.

But engineering is a good playground for learning about things that collapse all of a sudden, and the collapse of the twin towers was nothing exceptional. You may see it as one more case of a "Seneca Collapse" - a term that we can apply to engineering just as to the collapse of civilizations. We can understand it as part of the general rule that things are built slowly, but tend to collapse rapidly.

Despite being so patently absurd, the theory of the "controlled demolition" maintains an incredible traction as a meme residing in the Web. It is because it is not just about engineering; it is part of a general trend and it involves much more than a poor understanding of the engineering of fracture. There is one more collapse behind that of the twin towers: the collapse of trust in governments. I have discussed in a previous post of mine how this collapse of trust may have been generated by the brazen lies we were told about the "weapons of mass destruction" in Iraq in 2003, but it seems to be a necessary result of the trajectory of a collapsing civilization. Lies generate more lies until truth disappears, buried underneath. The "lie curve" can't be exactly measured and so I can't say if it has the typical shape of the "Seneca Curve". But we can say that, from the early years of the 21st century, it was a landslide: conspiracies started being seen everywhere and everything that had an even vaguely defined as an "official" truth generated a counter-interpretation based on the idea that the government was lying to us: chemtrails, peak oil, fake lunar landings, and all the rest.

The problem is that the fact that a theory is wrong doesn't make another theory right: after all, there is only one truth, but lies are many. And we cannot even say that all "conspiracy theories" are wrong by definition (conspiracies do exist!). So, where is the truth? It is somewhere, buried under a gigantic mass of lies as thick as the debris of the collapse of the Twin Towers. And we may never be able to dig it out.


  1. Seneca Cliff of Trust? I will ponder that for some time Ugo. Thank you for your work.

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  3. I think I will need some time to think about this... Meanwhile it is a disturbing idea. The more so for its plausability.

  4. Ugo there are very many YoTubes on the Internet on this topic. Some are baloney put out either by some of the so called "truthers" and some by either those who wish to discret them (and discredit even more so those who actually have figured out the truth) and some by so called "controlled opposition" groups. (Naturally many will say that the existence of of such groups too is only a so called "conspiracy theory" ( a term invented or at least propagated systematically more widely by the CIA to discredit those who did not believe the official version of the JFK assassination. (this fact is i believe is uncontroversial)....but some were prepared by very serious and competent people after much hard work also including many professional structural engineers. (but clearly not those working for the official agencies) And there are of course not only youtubes but many articles and books also written on the Subject. To figure out what happened one has to actually watch and/or read them all (or at least very many ) very carefully and critically. Naturally most people either cannot or will not do that. Therefore the result is that the Truth for most will remain buried under a large mass of intellectual rubble, just as you say at the end of your post. And it is my belief that this is precisely the intention of those responsible. But I think the Truth is discoverable and has been discovered with definitiness at least in part. Namely that the official version is false. Who actually did it and how and why is harder to prove conclusively but there is plenty of evidence available to weigh and consider. And some have reached conclusions. In any case there is much more evidence that the official version is false besides the structural evidence. Pointless for me to say what it is YET again here. It is already all available on the Internet in various forms. But at this stage (though it also was so from the beginning and from even before the event happened) it takes some work to sift the wheat from the chaff, the nonsense from the facts and the lies and disinformation from the truth. But although it takes time and work it is not nearly as much work as has been done by the many (also corageous) people who have relentlessly and meticulously sought out the Truth. My hat goes off to them and certainly not to those who (unsurprisingly) have sought to disparage them by labeling them "truthers" or by otherwise diminishing their work including by burying it in a sea of confusion. All tactics proven to be effective (at least for a while) and all used repeatedly in the past. So I urge anyone who is interested in this topic to actually do the research since understanding this topic correctly is also a key to understanding many other important contemporary topics.

  5. By the way there are also many ways to do "controlled opposition" work and many such groups exist...there are some pretty good litmus tests for most of them too....though some work hard to have a Ph of seven by balancing multi component solutions across a wide range of topics and disciplines...

  6. The Controlled Demo Theory goes back to the Oklahoma City bombing and I do believe it came up very quickly after 9/11. When your third tower untouched by a plane also pancakes, and when the Pentagon hole is smaller than a jet engine ( and, there is no sign of that plane in front of the hole ), you can guess The Truth Is Out There and it ain't what the government is telling you. Planted charges might not be true, but it makers more sense than the official version.

    1. Yes and there is also abundant other evidence of all types that contradicts the official conspiracy theory. (which incidentally is as much of a conspiracy as the unofficial "conspiracy theories") In addition to the evidence related to controlled demolitions alone and which is just too vast to list in a comment to a post. (But it has been written up in plenty of books and articles and also popularized with YouTubes) However one interesting detail related to the controlled demolition of tower 7 (the third tower which came down at around 5.30 p.m) an event which also was filmed as the building came down and with the analysis of the frame by frame time record of the speed of fall showing free fall speed with no resistance to the fall offered by the lower floors...was also announced to have already occurred by the BBC twenty minutes BEFORE it actually happened and timed video footage of the BBC announcer is available (poor coordination by the conspirators?). Then later Mr. Silverstein admitted that "because of the earlier loss of life and etc" . (the collapse of the other two towers) "we" decided "to pull it". One interesting consideration here that I thought of by myself is a) at precisely what time did they decide to "pull it" (presumably no earlier than 10 or 11 a.m?)? and b) how long does it take to fully wire a building with explosives for a typical controlled demolition? I don't know because I am not an expert in controlled demolitions but probably a bit longer than the maximum of 8 hours between the collapse of the first two towers "due to fire" and the collapse of the third tower from controlled demolition? (Unless Mr Silverstein said he decided to "pull it" just for fun and to show his familiarity with controlled demolitions lingo? ) So if the third tower had been pre wired well in advance why couldn't the first two have been pre wired as well? How the "aircraft" which crashed into the Pentagon made a pin prick hole and then vaporized and how the other aircraft which crashed in Pennsylvania also vaporized and how passengers using cell phones were presumably able to have conversations with people on the ground from near cruising altitude is another of the many scientific and technological mysteries of that day. But there are also plenty of other strange occurrences and mysteries from that day (and also from well before and well after it) beyond the purely scientific, technological or engineering realms. To discover what they are all one has to know is a) how to read and b) how to think critically and c) actually do some of both It also helps to know something about how propaganda and counter propaganda and counter counter propaganda and counter counter counter propaganda ad infinitum and ad nauseum is done and how and why. But somewhere under it all is the truth. And this phenomenon is in plain sight not only with respect to the 911 and global war on terror agenda but also with respect to the "green" agenda. I just finished watching one of the better "scientific" "debunkings" of nearly all the arguments used by the AGW and climate change skeptics. Naturally this is for a mass audience and there is no face to face debate between the scientists who are proponents of anthropogenic climate change and those who either don't believe it or are skeptical. And mass audiences easily can be hoodwinked by all sides. But here the "science" has presumably given its "ultimate" verdict yet again. What these people don't realize in their glee and tone easily reveals that the woman doth protest too much and that one doesn't even have to be a scientist to sense that. Just some basic "psychology" reveals.

  7. How does one make thermite?


    What do you get when you pulverize steel beams, studs, etc. with a great big chunk of aluminum in an environment rich in oxygen, water, and heat? Is 2500C hot enough to melt steel, which melts at 1371C?

  8. Watch the news reports from Oklahoma City from the day of the Murrah Building bombing... in all the reports the newscasters say that three more devices were found by the FBI. After that day there was never another word about the other devices they found. If McVey acted almost alone who planted the rest of the devices? Why is Lee Harvey Oswald the ONLY person who defected to the Soviet Union and back in the History of the Soviet Union, AND the only person to successfully kill and American President in that century, AND the only suspect to ever be killed by an outsider while in custody of Dallas Police? Because it is all scripted, that's why.

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  10. Ugo, do you realise that by hosting a "Cassandra Legacy" blog, some people would expect you to be more forgiving and less obtuse about other people beliefs? That person you spoke with at that conference was either a fraud, mistaking or... Cassandra.