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Thermitic Material Discovered.pdf

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The Open Chemical Physics Journal,
7-31 7
1874-4125/09 2009 Bentham Open
Open Access
Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World TradeCenter Catastrophe
 Niels H. Harrit
, Jeffrey Farrer 
, Steven E. Jones
, Kevin R. Ryan
, Frank M. Legge
,Daniel Farnsworth
, Gregg Roberts
, James R. Gourley
and Bradley R. Larsen
 Department of Chemistry, University of Copenhagen, Denmark 
 Department of Physics and Astronomy, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602, USA
S&J Scientific Co., Provo, UT, 84606, USA
9/11 Working Group of Bloomington, Bloomington, IN 47401, USA
 Logical Systems Consulting, Perth, Western Australia
 Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth, Berkeley, CA 94704, USA
 International Center for 9/11 Studies, Dallas, TX 75231, USA
We have discovered distinctive red/gray chips in all the samples we have studied of the dust produced by thedestruction of the World Trade Center. Examination of four of these samples, collected from separate sites, is reported inthis paper. These red/gray chips show marked similarities in all four samples. One sample was collected by a Manhattanresident about ten minutes after the collapse of the second WTC Tower, two the next day, and a fourth about a week later.The properties of these chips were analyzed using optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray energydispersive spectroscopy (XEDS), and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The red material contains grains approxi-mately 100 nm across which are largely iron oxide, while aluminum is contained in tiny plate-like structures. Separationof components using methyl ethyl ketone demonstrated that elemental aluminum is present. The iron oxide and aluminumare intimately mixed in the red material. When ignited in a DSC device the chips exhibit large but narrow exotherms oc-curring at approximately 430
C, far below the normal ignition temperature for conventional thermite. Numerous iron-richspheres are clearly observed in the residue following the ignition of these peculiar red/gray chips. The red portion of thesechips is found to be an unreacted thermitic material and highly energetic.
Scanning electron microscopy, X-ray energy dispersive spectroscopy, Differential scanning calorimetry, DSCanalysis, World Trade Center, WTC dust, 9/11, Iron-rich microspheres, Thermite, Super-thermite, Energetic nanocomposites, Nano-thermite.
The destruction of three skyscrapers (WTC 1, 2 and 7) onSeptember 11, 2001 was an immensely tragic catastrophethat not only impacted thousands of people and families di-rectly, due to injury and loss of life, but also provided themotivation for numerous expensive and radical changes indomestic and foreign policy. For these and other reasons,knowing what really happened that fateful day is of graveimportance.A great deal of effort has been put forth by various gov-ernment-sponsored and -funded investigations, which led, inlarge part, to the reports released by FEMA [1] and NIST[2]. Other studies of the destruction have been less well
*Address correspondence to these authors (NH) Department of Chemistry,University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, DK-2100, Denmark;Tel:
(+45)35321846; Fax: (+45)35320460; E-mail: harrit@nano.ku.dk,(SEJ) at S&J Scientific Co., Provo, UT, 84606, USA; Tel: 801-735-5885;E-mail: Hardevidence@gmail.com
 publicized but are no less important to the outstanding obliga-tion that remains to the victims of that tragedy, to determinethe whole truth of the events of that day [3-10]. A number of these studies have appropriately focused attention on the re-maining physical material, and on available photographs andvideo footage, as sources of evidence still in public hands,relating to the method of destruction of the three skyscrapers.The collapses of the three tallest WTC buildings wereremarkable for their completeness, their near free-fall speed[11] their striking radial symmetry [1, 12] and the surpris-ingly large volume of fine toxic dust [13] that was generated.In order to better understand these features of the destruc-tion, the authors initiated an examination of this dust. In June2007, Dr. Steven Jones observed distinctive bi-layered chips,with both a red and a gray layer, in a sample of the WTCdust. Initially, it was suspected these might be dried paintchips, but after closer inspection and testing, it was shownthat this was not the case. Further testing was then performedon the red/gray chips in an attempt to ascertain their compo-
The Open Chemical Physics Journal, 2009, Volume 2 Harrit et al.
sition and properties. The authors also obtained and exam-ined additional samples of WTC dust which had been col-lected by independent observers on, or very soon after, 9/11.All of the samples examined contained these very small,peculiar red/gray chips. Previous studies discussing observa-tions of the WTC dust include reports by the RJ Lee Com-pany [14], the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) [15], McGee
et al 
. [13] and Lioy
et al 
. [16] Some of these studies con-firmed the finding of iron-rich microspheres, which are alsopeculiar [5, 8, 11, 13-15] but the red/gray chips analyzed inthis study have apparently not been discussed in previouslypublished reports. It is worth emphasizing that one samplewas collected about ten minutes after the collapse of the sec-ond Tower, so it cannot possibly have been contaminated byclean-up operations [17].
MATERIALS AND METHODS1. Provenance of the Samples Analyzed for this Report
In a paper presented first online in autumn 2006 regard-ing anomalies observed in the World Trade Center destruc-tion [6], a general request was issued for samples of theWTC dust. The expectation at that time was that a carefulexamination of the dust might yield evidence to support thehypothesis that explosive materials other than jet fuel causedthe extraordinarily rapid and essentially total destruction of the WTC buildings.It was learned that a number of people had saved samplesof the copious, dense dust, which spread and settled acrossManhattan. Several of these people sent portions of theirsamples to members of this research group. This paper dis-cusses four separate dust samples collected on or shortlyafter 9/11/2001. Each sample was found to contain red/graychips. All four samples were originally collected by privatecitizens who lived in New York City at the time of the trag-edy. These citizens came forward and provided samples foranalysis in the public interest, allowing study of the 9/11dust for whatever facts about the day might be learned fromthe dust. A map showing the locations where the four sam-ples were collected is presented as Fig. (
Fig. (1).
Map showing collection locations of dust samples analyzed in this study with respect to the location of the WTC complex (markedarea near location 1). 1: MacKinlay (113 Cedar St./110 Liberty St); 2: Delessio/Breidenbach (Brooklyn Bridge); 3: Intermont (16 HudsonSt); 4: White (1 Hudson St). (Base map courtesy of http://www.openstreetmap.org; copyright terms at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/ by-sa/2.0/).
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 Active Thermitic Material Found in WTC Dust The Open Chemical Physics Journal, 2009, Volume 2
 The earliest-collected sample came from Mr. Frank De-lessio who, according to his videotaped testimony [17], wason the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge about the timethe second tower, the North Tower, fell to the ground. Hesaw the tower fall and was enveloped by the resulting thick dust which settled throughout the area. He swept a handfulof the dust from a rail on the pedestrian walkway near theend of the bridge, about ten minutes after the fall of theNorth Tower. He then went to visit his friend, Mr. TomBreidenbach, carrying the dust in his hand, and the two of them discussed the dust and decided to save it in a plasticbag. On 11/15/2007, Breidenbach sent a portion of this dustto Dr. Jones for analysis. Breidenbach has also recorded histestimony about the collection of this dust sample on video-tape [17]. Thus, the Delessio/Breidenbach sample was col-lected about ten minutes after the second tower collapsed. Itwas, therefore, definitely not contaminated by the steel-cutting or clean-up operations at Ground Zero, which beganlater. Furthermore, it is not mixed with dust from WTC 7,which fell hours later.On the morning of 9/12/2001, Mr. Stephen White of NewYork City entered a room in his apartment on the 8th floor of 1 Hudson Street, about five blocks from the WTC. He founda layer of dust about an inch thick on a stack of folded laun-dry near a window which was open about 4 inches (10 cm).Evidently the open window had allowed a significant amountof dust from the WTC destruction the day before to enter theroom and cover the laundry. He saved some of the dust and,on 2/02/2008, sent a sample directly to Dr. Jones for analy-sis.Another sample was collected from the apartment build-ing at 16 Hudson Street by Mr. Jody Intermont at about 2 pmon 9/12/2001. Two small samples of this dust were simulta-neously sent to Dr. Jones and to Kevin Ryan on 2/02/2008for analysis. Intermont sent a signed affidavit with eachsample verifying that he had personally collected the (now-split) sample; he wrote:
“This dust, which came from the ‘collapsed’World Trade Center Towers, was collected frommy loft at the corner of Reade Street and Hud-son Street on September 12, 2001. I give per-mission to use my name in connection to thisevidence”. [Signed 31 January 2008 in the pres-ence of a witness who also signed his name].
On the morning of 9/11/2001, Ms. Janette MacKinlaywas in her fourth-floor apartment at 113 Cedar St./110 Lib-erty St. in New York City, across the street from the WTCplaza. As the South Tower collapsed, the flowing cloud of dust and debris caused windows of her apartment to break inward and dust filled her apartment. She escaped by quicklywrapping a wet towel around her head and exiting the build-ing. The building was closed for entry for about a week. Assoon as Ms. MacKinlay was allowed to re-enter her apart-ment, she did so and began cleaning up. There was a thick layer of dust on the floor. She collected some of it into alarge sealable plastic bag for possible later use in an artpiece. Ms. MacKinlay responded to the request in the 2006paper by Dr. Jones by sending him a dust sample. In No-vember 2006, Dr. Jones traveled to California to visit Ms.MacKinlay at her new location, and in the company of sev-eral witnesses collected a second sample of the WTC dustdirectly from her large plastic bag where the dust was stored.She has also sent samples directly to Dr. Jeffrey Farrer andKevin Ryan. Results from their studies form part of this re-port.Another dust sample was collected by an individual froma window sill of a building on Potter Street in NYC. He hasnot given permission for his name to be disclosed, thereforehis material is not included in this study. That sample, how-ever, contained red/gray chips of the same general composi-tion as the samples described here.
2. Chip Size, Isolation, and Examination
For clarification, the dust samples collected and sent tothe authors by Ms. Janette MacKinlay will be sample 1; thesample collected by Mr. Frank Delassio, or the Delas-sio/Breidenbach sample, will be sample 2; the sample col-lected by Mr. Jody Intermont will be sample 3; and the sam-ple collected by Mr. Stephen White will be sample 4. Thered/gray chips are attracted by a magnet, which facilitatescollection and separation of the chips from the bulk of thedust. A small permanent magnet in its own plastic bag wasused to attract and collect the chips from dust samples. Thechips are typically small but readily discernible by eye due totheir distinctive color. They are of variable size with majordimensions of roughly 0.2 to 3 mm. Thicknesses vary fromroughly 10 to 100 microns for each layer (red and gray).Samples of WTC dust from these and other collectors havebeen sent directly from collectors to various scientists (in-cluding some not on this research team) who have also foundsuch red/gray chips in the dust from the World Trade Centerdestruction.An FEI XL30-SFEG scanning electron microscope(SEM) was used to perform secondary-electron (SE) imag-ing and backscattered electron (BSE) imaging. The SE imag-ing was used to look at the surface topography and porosityof the red/gray chips, while the BSE imaging was used todistinguish variations in average atomic number, Z. The mi-croscope was also equipped with an EDAX X-ray energydispersive spectrometry (XEDS) system. The XEDS systemuses a silicon detector (SiLi) with resolution better than 135eV. The spectrum resolution was set to 10 eV per channel.Operating conditions for the acquired XEDS spectra were 20keV beam energy (unless otherwise specified) and 40-120second acquisition time (livetime). XEDS maps were ac-quired using the same system at a beam energy of 10 keV.For general surface analysis in the SEM, dust sampleswere mounted to carbon conductive tabs. The samples wereleft unwashed and uncoated unless otherwise specified. Inorder to more closely observe the characteristics of the redand gray layers, and to eliminate the possibility of surfacecontamination from other dust particles, several red/graychips from each of the four WTC dust samples were frac-tured. The clean, cross-section surfaces were then studied byBSE imaging and XEDS.

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