Monday, June 25, 2007

Purdue Simulation Contradicts FEMA?

This seems to be the latest talking point that the Deniers have picked up in an attempt to debunk the devastating simulation done by Purdue University. And, as usual, they're all wet.

Here's Truth or Lies:

The following statement was used in the Purdue simulation: "The weight of the aircraft's fuel, when ignited, acted like a flash flood of flaming liquid". This is a direct contradiction of the FEMA report (which can be viewed HERE)which stated: "despite the huge fireballs caused by the two planes crashing into the WTC towers each with 10,000 gallons of jet fuel, the fireballs did not explode or create a shock wave that would have resulted in structural damage.”


Now, a careful reader will immediately observe that Purdue did not state that the fireballs exploded or create a shock wave that would have resulted in structural damage. They are saying that the weight (perhaps more appropriately the mass) of the jet fuel acted like a flash flood of flaming liquid, smacking into the fireproofing on the steel and stripping it away. Incidentally, Truth or Lies does a little editin g of FEMA's quote. They got the meaning right, but it is traditional to give an indication by using ellipses when you drop a few words from a quotation.

Truth or Lies sets up a straw man here:

According to the simulation video, "The weight of the aircraft's fuel, when ignited, acted like a flash flood of flaming liquid…and stripped away fireproofing which caused the steel to weaken”

However, a problem lies within this explanation….

According to the NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) Report, (which can be viewed HERE)and an article from Fox News, which can read HERE, “fire-proof asbestos was only used up to the thirty-eighth floor of the north tower and not at all in the south tower”.

These accounts state that because non-asbestos fire proofing was used in simulations by NIST, the non-asbestos fireproofing was far inferior to asbestos in terms of melting points and the ability to keep fire from spreading. It should be noted that these claims of “fire-proofing” as being responsible for the melting of the steel that led to the collapse of the twin towers has been debunked numerous times by world-renowned physicists such as Steven Jones of BYU (view his website here).


Of course, nobody claims that the steel melted, and the idea that the fireproofing was responsible for the collapse is absurd. The loss of the fireproofing was a major contributing factor to the collapse.

Hat Tip to our longtime buddy and radio host Rob Breakenridge for pointing out this "argument".

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