Friday, September 21, 2007

Waterboy Wonder Ryan Debunked

An emailer named John Randall Ray put this together this terrific debunking of a video featuring the Waterboy Wonder himself, Kevin Ryan:

One among the “next batch” of 9/11 denier videos is a short clip, slowly gaining in popularity, available under the title “pancake theory debunked – by NIST !!!” In its short (2:22) span, it seeks to debunk the idea that the WTC collapsed as a result of internal damage caused by heat – a familiar claim, of course. However, this one does so by using a CT tactic that has been around since the Warren Commission report: pulling quotes, in some cases single sentences, out of context, ignoring their meanings, changing the references they make, and otherwise distorting their actual intended meaning.

This video features a one Kevin Ryan, who was reportedly fired by the NIST after becoming a famed “scholar for 9/11 truth,” though no correlation has been factually demonstrated. Indeed, he’s featured prominently on the famous 9/11 denier site, “”

As with all other “quote-pullers,” as I call them, this person knows perfectly well that what he’s saying isn’t true, or, at least, is wildly misleading. Hopefully this article will help people understand that, when a conspiracy theorist gives you a report from a quote, it is almost ALWAYS out of context. In short, this person is being deliberately disingenuous with his information. Let's go through his quotes in order:

"None of the recovered steel samples showed evidence of exposure to temperatures above 600' C for as long as 15 min" (180).

He actually leaves out all the relevant information in this quote - the rest of the paragraph states:

"This was based on NIST annealing studies that established the set of time and temperature conditions necessary to alter the steel microstructure. These results provide some confirmation of the thermal modeling of the structures, since none of the samples were from zones where such heating was predicted" (180-181).

This "suspicious lack of heat" is entirely intentional. This sentence is referring to the control group of the experiments used, and to show the predictive power of the collapse hypothesis. There is no way one could have read this information fully and not known this (read the whole report yourself). So we know right off the bat this person isn't being honest with his information. Let's go to his next quote:

"Only three of the recovered samples of exterior panels reached temperatures in excess of 250 'C during the fires or after the collapse. This was based on a method developed by NIST to characterize maximum temperatures experienced by steel numbers through observations of paint cracking (NIST, p.181)."

Sounds like there's a conspiracy afoot! Oh, wait...Lets look at the sentence that comes immediately after this quote:

"Perimeter columns exposed to fire had a great tendency for local buckling of the inner web; a similar correlation did not exist for weld failure" (181). Let's keep going:

"For the perimeter columns struck by the aircraft, fractures of the plates in areas away from a welded joint exhibited ductile behavior (necking and thinning away from the fracture) under very high strain rates. Conversely, fractures occurring next to a welded joint exhibited little or no ductile characteristics.


"The failure mode of spandrel connections on perimeter panels differed above and below the impact zone. Spandrel connections on exterior panels at or above the impact zone were more likely to fail by bolt tear out. For those exterior panels below the impact zone, there was a higher propensity for the spandrels to be ripped off from the panels. This may be due to shear failures as the weight of the building came down on these lower panels. There was no difference in failure mode for the spandrel connections whether the exterior panels were exposed to fire or not.

"With the exception of the mechanical floors, the perimeter column splices failed by fracture of the bolts. At mechanical floors, where splices were welded in addition to being bolted, the majority of the splices did not fail.

"Core columns failed at both splice connection and by fracture of the columns themselves.

"The damage to truss seats on perimeter panels differed above and below the impact zone in both towers. The majority of recovered perimeter panel floor truss connectors (perimeter seats) below the impact floors were either missing or bent downward. Above this level, the failure modes were more randomly distributed.

"In the floor trusses, a large majority of the electric resistance welds at the web-to-chord connection failed. The floor truss and the perimeter panel floor truss connectors typically failed at welds and bolts" (181).

This person wants to convince you that it's impossible for fire to have destroyed all the steel... because he also wants you to forget that this steel also had to support twenty or so floors and tons of steel, all by itself. He also wants you to think that these "recovered samples" refer to WTC 1 in general, so that you don't actually get the facts yourself in which case you'd realize that those three are only samples from areas not presumed to have collapsed as a result of heat. They buckled under the pressure and mild heat damage, nothing more. This person is inventing claims so he can address them personally.

Let's go to his last, and most outrageously egregious, example of a "quote":

"The results established that this type of assembly was capable of sustaining a large gravity load, without collapsing for a substantial period of time relative to the duration of the fires in any given location on September 11" (143).

He forgets, of course, the two or so preceding sentences:

"The Investigation Team was cautious about using these results directly in the formulation of collapse hypothesis. In addition to the scaling issues raised by the test results, the fire in the towers on September 11, and the resulting exposure of the floor systems, were substantially different from the conditions in the test furnaces. Nonetheless, the results established that this type of assembly was capable of sustaining a large gravity load without collapsing, for a substantial period of time relative to the duration of the fires in any given location on September 11" (143).

And, on the next two pages, in summary of these facts and in summary of the rest of the experiment:

"Structural steel and concrete expand when heated. In the early stages of the fire, temperatures of structural members in the core rose, and the resulting thermal expansion of the core columns was greater than the thermal expansion of the (cooler) exterior walls. The floors also thermally expanded in the early stages of the fire. About 20 min after the aircraft impact, the difference in the thermal expansion between the core and exterior walls, which was resisted by the hat truss, caused the core columns' loads to increase. As the floor temperatures increased, the floors sagged and began to pull inward on the exterior wall. As the fires continued to heat areas of the core that were without insulation, the columns weakened and shortened and began to transfer their loads to the exterior walls through the hat truss until the south wall started to bow inward due to the inward pull of the sagging floors. At about 100 min, approximately 20 percent of the core loads had been transferred by the hat truss to the exterior walls due to weakening of the core, the loads on the north and south walls had each increased by about 10 percent, and those on the east and west walls had about a 25 percent increase. The increased loads on the east and west walls were due to their relatively higher stiffness compared to the impact damaged north wall and bowed south walls.

"The inward bowing of the south wall caused failure of exterior column splices and spandrels, and these columns became unstable. The instability spread horizontally across the entire south face. The south wall, now unable to bear its gravity loads, redistributed these loads to the thermally weakened core through the hat truss and to the east and west walls through the spandrels. The building section above the impact zone began tilting to the south as the columns on the east and west walls rapidly became unable to carry the increased loads. This further increased the gravity loads on the core columns. The gravity loads could no longer be redistributed, nor could the remaining core and perimeter columns support the gravity loads from the floors above. Once the upper building section began to move downwards, the weakened structure in the impact and fire zone was not able to absorb the tremendous energy of the falling building section and global collapse ensued" (144-145).

In fact, if this person had read even the opening abstract of the NIST report into this matter, he would know that he was wrong:


“As described in section 5.4.7, the composite floor system, composed of open-web, lightweight steel trusses topped with a slab of lightweight concrete, was an innovative feature. As further noted in Section 5.6.2, the approach to achieving the specified fire resistance for these floors was the use of a SFRM. Documents indicated that the performance of the composite floor system of the WTC towers was an issue of concern to the building owners and designers. However, NIST found no evidence regarding the technical basis for the selection of insulation material for the floor trusses or for the insulation thickness to achieve a 2 hour rating. Further, NIST has found no evidence that fire resistance tests of the WTC floor system were conducted" (141).

He's trying to compare the wrong effects to the wrong parts of the building, under the wrong conditions and affected by wrong environmental detriments.

There is simply no way that the person who made this video could honestly believe what he's saying, because he gets completely refuted by his own arguments within pages of making them. He knows very well that what he is saying is incorrect. In short, this person is being blatantly dishonest. Looks to me like another "Scholar for 9/11 Truth" has been shown to be what he is: a Liar for 9/11 Distortion.

(Pat speaking again: Ryan's clearly not the sharpest knife in the drawer, so it's certainly possible that his mistakes come from stupidity. But I'm always more suspicious when somebody makes an error that helps their case; it's sort of the reverse corollary to the old principle that an admission against one's own interest is highly credible testimony.)

Terrific job by John!

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