Saturday, 28 June 2008

Christophera and His "Phenomena"

If you ever happen to chance upon Chris Brown, a conspiracy theories, online who goes by the name Chris on Myspace, but has also been known as Christopera on the JREF forum and a variety of other names online, you would have seen this before.

This post has been created for two purposes, firstly, to put together links and other sources that show, or contradict what he says, and so, if you ever encounter him online, you can just link directly to this when he starts resetting the argument.

One final note before I begin. Christophera and his "concrete core" "theory" is a fringe "theory" of a fringe group, you don't hear too much of this in mainstream 9/11 CTs, but even the Loose Change Forum has banned him at one time for spouting his theory, but online he is still as verbose as other "truthers".


His opening changes depending on who/what he is responding to, when in agreement he will mention "5 phenomena", when posting in response to a debunker, he will probably insult the person first, his content starts with the follwing five links (spelling/grammar/punctuation has not been changed). Beyond this point is where the standardised post begins:

free fall
total pulverization.
superfine, heated particulate
smooth, square cut column ends x the 1,000's
heavy steel assemblies heaved hundreds of feet

(Link to NIST FAQ, Link to plaguepuppy video, dead link, the last two are links to pictures on his site).

(Note, at this time I cannot find a working link to the video, it's a clip with Joe Casaliggi talking about the towers collapsing to dust, Myspace has a stupid linking thing, kind of like a really long tinyurl.)

The only comment I can make of these links is that the presence of a dead link shows how it is used to make cut and past arguments.

The next section before the "evidence" is as follows:
"With the FEMA, steel core column lie, nothing can be explained. It is all impossible and that is what the counter truth movement wants.

Support for the steel core columns is support for the impossible to obscure the possible.

All five of the above phenomena, that NONE of those who believe in the FEMA lie can even approach, can be explained with the use of the true structure, the steel reinforced cast concrete tubular core in the center of each tower.."
Ok, got that? The claim is that everything, including NIST, which is his very first link, is wrong. We also see here a rather typical argument from all kinds of people on the CT side of the fence, that there is some sort of organisation out there designed to censor the "truth".

We are also introduced to his most important point. That the Twin Towers did not have a steel core, and in fact has a concrete one.

Now, I will provide some links, but the best place to see a debunking of a "concrete" core is on this thread from Above Top Secret.

Other places that say that it was a steel core include:
Some of the commonly posted pictures that prove him wrong include:


His next section is the "evidence". This will be broken down into the paragraphs he posts.
"free fall
Concrete can be fractured instantly to fall freely by a small amount of properly placed explosives. With C4 coated rebar and C4 poured into the floor corrugations that also acted as cutting charges for the interior box columns, the only full height columns that existed, free fall was assured. The security phone lines were used to distribute an audio tone to digital counters on every floor and every 40 foot of core. Floors were timed with 75 millisecond delays and core sections of 40 foot at 300 milliseconds."
(NIST again).

This paragraph introduces the second idea that makes up this argument, C4 coated rebar.

But first, let us see what NIST says about free fall:
"NIST estimated the elapsed times for the first exterior panels to strike the ground after the collapse initiated in each of the towers to be approximately 11 seconds for WTC 1 and approximately 9 seconds for WTC 2. These elapsed times were based on: (1) precise timing of the initiation of collapse from video evidence, and (2) ground motion (seismic) signals recorded at Palisades, N.Y., that also were precisely time-calibrated for wave transmission times from lower Manhattan (see NCSTAR 1-5A). "
What they say here is that they don't actually know the exact time but they make a good estimate based on the evidence they have, and there was quite a bit.

However, if you look at pictures, like the one shown here, you can see that there are sections of the building that fell faster then the building itself. Debunking911 has a section talking about free fall that also shows how Christophera (and any other CTist that claims free fall) is wrong.

Next, we come to the C4 coated rebar. The explosive used in C4 is Royal Demolition Explosive or RDX. It is something of an unusual choice to use C4 since the "official" line of thinking is that it was therm*te.

According to Chrisophera this was coated on the rebar, and was used to blow up the towers.

There is a problem with this line of thinking to begin with. According to a supplier, C4 lasts about 10 years under good conditions, not the 30 needed for this "theory" to work. The common counter that I have seen involves him either changing the definition of the word "about" to "up to and including 30" or claim that concrete is a better container then say mylar in a well ventilated area.

We see two problems here. Firstly, if there are any bacteria that were on the rebar before the concrete core was poured, and they happen to be mentioned here, and survive, then they would start to consume the RDX. The counter was that the conditions were too alkaline. Unfortunately there are plenty of scientific articles out there that show that RDX can degrade in an alkaline environment, such as the following:

As you can see, there aren't any that are related to the topic at hand, but the evidence is quite clear that it will degrade either bacterially in anaerobic conditions, or will degrade through chemical processes at high pH.

Funnily enough, once you take care of these two points, there is very little left to argue. Even if his first premise, that the WTC towers had a concrete core, his second premise, that it was C4 coated rebar, doesn't stand up to the evidence at all.


"total pulverization
The above free fall explanation takes care of the building but it needs to be said that when the floors blow and the 300 milliseconds delay of the core blast occurs, the contents of the building are subjected to an outward blast of hard stone aggregates that shred everything and blow it out the windows explaining the 3-5cm bone fragments on roofs 400 feet away."
(The link is the one that I don't have the proper url to).

This section follows on from the first paragraph. When you take away the possibility of it being explosives, you are left with a re-worded version of the "squibs" argument.

Debunking 9/11 has a section on this.

The simplest explanation for what Christophera is claiming was caused by the same process that created the "squibs". The compressing floors during collapse forced air outwards, smashing the windows creating the "squib" effects.

The compression of the floors forced the air out at a speed fast enough to fling bone fragments great distances.

"superfine, heated particulate
With an engineered explosive container made from concrete having the explosive coating on the centralized rebar, the pressures from optimum containment are absolutely maximized. Optimized pressures create a maximum shock wave lending to the total pulverization described in the above paragraph but also creating the 10-100 micron sized particles that are super heated to rise and form the distinctive pyroclastic flow. This also causes some of the iron of the rebar to be bonded to molecules of silica and calcium as seen in the dust analysis."
(The dead link)

Another rewording of an old CT argument, "superfine, heated particulate" is a more elaborate way of saying "pyroclastic flow", which is what he says anyway.

The problem is that trying to claim that there was a pyroclastic flow means very little unless you are arguing that volcanoes took down the towers. Just remember if the towers collapsing looked like a quarry explosion which is also a pyroclastic flow, it leads to only one conclusion, the Mount St. Helens eruption was an inside job.

(By the way, if you were the guy on Myspace who created this picture which I nicked, say something, I would like to give you credit for this picture.)

"smooth, square cut column ends x the 1,000's
The C4 filled corrugations died out into special corner plates that were described in the 1990 documentary as stiffeners for the floor to column joint. There were 6 plates per column, installed in 2 layers all the way around the tower every 3rd floor made from tempered steel, 3/8 thick I think. If these were high pressure gas guides a collapsing plane of high pressure gas would surround the column and slice through it performing as an optimized cutting charges. Good evidence is shown with a ruptured Column. This also provides a very good explanation for the large quantity of iron microspheres as dark columns of iron particulate seen in images are blown out the tops of the severed but still standing interior box columns inside the clouds of debris in the surrounding demolition."
("optimized cutting charges" is a dead link, "ruptured Column links to his own site", the long link is to a picture of one of the towers collapsing.)

All I can say here, not working in the construction industry, but from what I have heard from people who know what they are talking about, all that is here is absolute rubbish.

The 1990 documentary that he mentions either never existed, or does not support what he claims. Likewise, he has claimed before that the C4 coated rebar thing came from an article he read in the 70's, another source that cannot be verified.

On the JREF forum, a poster called Chainsaw has a far more logical explanation of any microsphere. Unfortunately this is another area where I am lacking in knowledge.


"heavy steel assemblies heaved hundreds of feet
Some of the cutting charges failed due to exposure to bad weather during construction. When this happened, large assemblies were intact and the webs of floor "I" beams against the core; still connected to floor beams going out to the perimeter columns, still connected by spandrel plates in the 3 story panels delivered for assembly; were subjected to the expanding debris wave of the concrete core detonating which cause a billowing of the web of an "I" beam showing huge pressure applied horizontally"
(Both links go to his own site) This is the last paragraph of the "evidence". The problem we have here is that it ignores other possibilities like the "I" beam billowing due to pressure from the collapse, instead being put down to "cutting charges failing due to bad weather".

By this time there is very little left to counter, since the argument collapsed four paragraphs ago.


His conclusion is as follows:

"Every phenomena explained in detail. All it depends upon is the infiltration of the US government before 1966 by a faction capable and secrecy adequate to design and construct such buildings for the purpose of eventual demolition."
Clearly, all the "phenomena" were not explained in detail, at least not in a fashion that is acceptable by any scientific standard. There is plenty of evidence out there that at this time I have not found, or encountered from other people arguing with him (or hasn't been purged by the new N&P mod on Myspace).

In a way his "all it depends" claim could be considered true, unfortunately, there is no way to prove it, and also ignores the fact that you have to believe that he is right, and everyone else who thinks otherwise (including the people who built the towers) is wrong, some very unsatisfactory excuses about the lack of evidence, and the suspension of belief about the shelf life and ideal storage of RDX.

Which version of events looks better? His or what actually happened?

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