911 Debate: Government Derelection, Coverups, Conspiracy Theories

This blog and a Yahoo group, The911Debate, complement each other. Both focus on 9/11 exploitation, culpability, cover-ups, conspiracy theories, and manipulation of public opinion by both the Government and hoax peddlers (a surprising number of whom are former Government officials.) Fantastic theories, such as controlled demolitions destroying the World Trade Center and a guided missile rather than Flight 77 hitting the Pentagon, are drawing attention away from very real Government malfeasance.

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Location: Seaside, California, United States

Born in 1925, US Navy 1942-1946, retired mathematician (Ph.D. MIT 1958), former Member of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), of TECNICA (Technical Assistance to Nicaruaga), and of Food Not Bombs.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Critique of Jim Hoffman's Analyses--Part I

Jim Hoffman’s Faulty Analyses of WTC Dust Clouds Clouds Understanding
One of the most widely quoted 9/11 "truth researchers" is Jim Hoffman, a prominent computer graphics programmer. David Ray Griffin, Dean of America's 9/11 conspiracy theory popularizers, quotes him extensively, and Hoffman's critiques of the conventional wisdom on how the WTC buildings collapsed are widely accepted in the 9/11 "truth" movment.
A timeline on Hoffman's 9/11 calculations and speculations follows:
VERSION 1 OF HOFFMAN’S DUST CLOUD ANALYIS
On June 13, 2003 Hoffman published his first article on energy analysis of the collapse of the North Tower. ("The North Tower’s Dust Cloud, Version 1" which can be viewed at
http://911research.wtc7.net/papers/dustvolume/volumev1.html.)
Attempting to apply Boyle’s Ideal Gas Law to the dust cloud which arose from the WTC 1 collapse, he "calculates" that more than 60,000,000 kilowatt hours of energy had to have been dissipated in order to produce what the visual evidence demonstrated. Hoffman erroneously assumed that the available potential energy of WTC 1 was 400,000 KWH, and his conclusion was:
"The amount of energy required to expand the North Tower's dust cloud was many times the entire potential energy of the tower's elevated mass due to gravity. The over 100-fold disparity between this estimate and the gravitational energy is not easily dismissed as reflecting uncertainties in quantitative assessments. The official explanation that the Twin Tower collapses were gravity-driven events appears insufficient to account for the documented energy flows."
It can easily be found in energy tables that 1 KWH of energy is produced by 0.78 Kg of TNT, so the 60,000,000 KWH Hoffman "calculates" were dissipated has the TNT equivalent of 60,000,000 X 0.78 = 46,800,000 Kg or 46,800 tonnes (metric tons) of TNT. This is a lot of shiploads of TNT—a lot more power than the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs produced. Apparently Hoffman never gave any consideration to who would be carrying 46,800 tonnes of TNT to the various floors of a 1,386 foot building.
Apparently also, in his critique of the May, 2002 FEMA report on WTC 1 and 2, Hoffman didn’t even read the first sentence of the second chapter:
"Chapter 2: WTC1 & WTC2
"2.2.1.5 Progression of Collapses
"Construction of WTC 1 resulted in the storage of more than [400,000,000,000] joules of potential energy over the 1,368-foot height of the structure."
This potential energy converted to KWH equals 111,111 KWH, whereas Hoffman estimated the potential energy of WTC 1 to be 400,000 KWH—almost four times the FEMA estimate.
The reason this observation is important is that the common practice of Hoffman and Griffin and most other proponents of the planted-explosive WTC theory is to ignore the work done by both FEMA in its hurried preliminary study and by NIST in its ongoing study. (The FEMA reports on the 9/11 attacks were meant only as quick tentative analyses because the definitive analyses are the responsibility of NIST. FEMA is the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and NIST is the National Institute of Standards and Technology.)
VERSION 2 OF HOFFMAN’S DUST CLOUD ANALYIS
On July 23, 2003 Hoffman published his first revision of his June 13 energy analysis of the collapse of the North Tower. ("The North Tower’s Dust Cloud, Version 2" which can be viewed at
http://911research.wtc7.net/papers/dustvolume/volumev1.html.)
This time he accepted the FEMA estimate of the available WTC 1 potential energy, 111,000 KWH, he and re-did his earlier calculations, coming up with 11,835,000 KWH dissipated during the collapse. The TNT equivalent of this is 9,231 tonnes of TNT. This is a lot less than the 46,000 tonnes of TNT in his June 13 calculations, and now down to less than the Hiroshima magnitude, but still too much for humans to carry up to the various floors of WTC 1. The wording of Hoffman’s concluding summary remains unchanged from his June 13 summary:
"The amount of energy required to expand the North Tower's dust cloud was many times the entire potential energy of the tower's elevated mass due to gravity. The over 100-fold disparity between this estimate and the gravitational energy is not easily dismissed as reflecting uncertainties in quantitative assessments. The official explanation that the Twin Tower collapses were gravity-driven events appears insufficient to account for the documented energy flows."
VERSION 3 OF HOFFMAN’S DUST CLOUD ANALYIS
On October 16, 2003 Hoffman published his second revision of his energy analysis of the collapse of the North Tower. ("The North Tower’s Dust Cloud, Version 3" which can be viewed at
http://911research.wtc7.net/papers/dustvolume/volumev1.html.)
This time he makes a different assumption of how the energy was dissipated, bringing in the change-of-state of water in the building, including water in the concrete. Again he accepts the FEMA estimate of 111,000 KWH of available potential energy, and calculates that the total amount of energy dissipated had to be approximately 2,817,000 KWH, which is 25.38 times the available potential energy. This time in his conclusions he conservatively reduces this 25 times to 10 times available potential energy in his concluding summary:
"The amount of energy required to expand the North Tower's dust cloud was many times the entire potential energy of the tower's elevated mass due to gravity. The over 10-fold disparity between the most conservative estimate and the gravitational energy is not easily dismissed as reflecting uncertainties in quantitative assessments. The official explanation that the Twin Tower collapses were gravity-driven events appears insufficient to account for the documented energy flows."
Ten times the 111,000 KWH of available potential energy, minus the 111,000, comes out to be 999,000 KWH, or 799 tonnes of TNT the minimum amount of explosive power needed to fit the observed evidence. But 799 tonnes of TNT is still more than could be expected of human beings to covertly carry up to the various floors of WTC 1. Considering that this 799 tonnes of explosives would all have to have been wired up carefully so that the explosives on the various floors are detonated by a computer in a manner coordinated with the building collapse, it remains, even after his drastic reduction in energy calculations, that Hoffman’s theory of controlled demolition of WTC 1 and 2 is not at all plausible.
VERSION 4 OF HOFFMAN’S DUST CLOUD ANALYIS
On an undisclosed date a person going by the pseudonym "TRUTH" tried to rescue Hoffman’s controlled-demolition theory, with a fourth version (third revision) of the June 13 analysis. This is given version 3.0 (as opposed to version 3 above), and is posted on various websites, including on the forum:
http://globalresearch.ca.myforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=318.
In this version the complete title has been changed and for the first time 14 tons of explosives is claimed to be sufficient to fit the observed evidence, but this tonnage is mentioned only in a new section inserted by TRUTH, who indicates that his revision was made in two steps, the last editing being on April 17, 2005. The complete heading and title in the globalresearch forum are:
"Posted: Sat Mar 06, 2004 3:54 am Post subject: CALCULATIONS SAY 14 TONS OF EXPLOSIVE TO BRING DOWN EACH WTC.
"The North Towers Dust Cloud: Analysis of Energy Requirements for the Expansion of the Dust Cloud following the Collapse of 1 World Trade Center by Jim Hoffman, October 16th, 2003 (Version 3.0)" [Note the 3.0 instead of 3 as the version number of the third revision (fourth version).]
At the end of his posting, TRUTH states that "The comment in red has been added to the original article." Since there is much text in TRUTH’s posting in red font (color)—some commentary and one whole new section, all of which is in addition to Hoffman’s Version 3 of October 16—it seems evident that TRUTH meant to say "commentary" instead of "comment".
In TRUTH’s commentary as well as in the whole new section, he refers to Hoffman by name, indicating that Hoffman did not participate in the revision which got the tonnage of explosives down to 14 from the 799 in Hoffman’s Version 3. TRUTH suggests that: "This article by J. Hoffman is a deliberate attempt to divert your attention from the fact that explosives were used to bring down the WTC towers. By presenting a possible explanation for the debris cloud without considering explosives, he is implicitly stating that he, as an expert in the field, does not consider explosives an option, so why should you? He is deliberately pointing you in the wrong direction."
The whole new section apparently written and inserted into Hoffman’s Version 3 of October 16, 2003 begins with:
"The Unexplored Option -- Explosives."
[For some reason TRUTH prefers to use the explosive amatol (80:20)—80% ammonium nitrate and 20 % TNT—instead of the more standard TNT when discussing energy equivalents of explosive tonnage and kilowatt hours. He goes through a lot of chemical calculations which are totally unnecessary because energy conversion between Kg of TNT and KWH are easily found on the Internet, as is the approximation that amatol is 26% more powerful than TNT by weight.] (TRUTH’s relating "hot gasses" to a 200,000,000 liter air expansion seems to me to be lacking validity, but that is not important in this current critique.) TRUTH’s conclusion is that
"Hence the 200,000,000 liter expansion calculated by Hoffman can be explained by the detonation of 200,000,000/16,068 = 12,447 kg = 12.5 tonnes (14 tons) of the high explosive amatol. "Summary "The 200,000,000 liter expansion calculated by Hoffman can be explained by the detonation of 12.5 tonnes (14 tons) of the high explosive amatol." [This ends TRUTH’s inserted section which began with the heading, "The Unexplored Option -- Explosives."]
[Then following this long inserted section, the text of Hoffman’s October 16, 2003 Version 3 resumes with:]
"The dominant energy source assumed to be in play during the leveling of each of the Twin Towers was the gravitational energy due to its elevated mass, whereas the energy sinks included the pulverization of it's concrete, the vaporization of water, and the heating of the concrete and air in the ensuing dust cloud. . . . "Conclusion "The amount of energy required to expand the North Towers dust cloud was many times the entire potential energy of the towers elevated mass due to gravity. The over 10-fold disparity between the most conservative estimate and the gravitational energy is not easily dismissed as reflecting uncertainties in quantitative assessments. The official explanation that the Twin Tower collapses were gravity-driven events appears insufficient to account for the documented energy flows." [The following was in red color—one of TRUTH’s many short inserted comments:] "However, the use of explosives explains all the observed facts, and is thus probably the correct explanation."
[NOTE THAT NOWHERE DOES HOFFMAN HIMSELF REFER TO 14 TONS OF ANYTHING. THERE IS NO SUGGESTION THAT HE COLLABORATED IN THE THIRD REVISION (FOURTH VERSION) GOING FROM VERSION 3 TO 3.0. In order to realize the significance of TRUTH’s revision of Version 3, it is necessary to go to
http://globalresearch.ca.myforums.net/viewtopic.php?t=318
where the text in red color is clearly set off from the earlier text by Hoffman.]
Jim Hoffman on "Guns and Butter", KPFA, 1/24/04 and 1/28/04
The transcript of these two interviews is found on:
http://911research.wtc7.net/talks/radio/youreyesdontlie/index.html
Edited Transcript of Your Eyes Don't Lie: Common Sense, Physics, and the World Trade Center Collapses
Originally broadcast on KPFA in two parts:Part 1: 1/21/04, 2-3PMPart 2: 1/28/04, 2-3PM
Due to time and space considerations, in this posting it only will be mentioned that Hoffman, perhaps for the first time, referred to a low tonnage of explosives—he used 16 tons instead of TRUTH’s 14 tons above. But in Part 2 of the interview Hoffman states that he doesn’t believe any explosives were used because of the visible evidence, He expounds instead on his new theory that giant masers created the energy which collapsed WTC 1 and 2.
Popular Mechanics Attacks Its"9/11 LIES" Straw Man by Jim Hoffman Version 1.2, February 9, 2005
Is on
http://911research.wtc7.net/essays/pm/
Here Hoffman returns to defend the planted explosives and controlled demolition theory, following his abandonment of that theory in his Guns and Butter KPFA interviews above.
Future postings to groups.yahoo.com/group/the911debate and the911debate.blogspot.com will develop further Hoffman’s current views and examine his critique of the Popular Mechanics article debunking major 9/11 conspiracy theories.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi John,

You seem to have a lot of understanding of the web and of the 9/11 movement for someone almost 80 years old.

I congratulate you. I know of few people your age reading anarchist websites. But I guess since there's a picture of you holding a sign on the front page, you must be a real activist!

Here's a comment from the 'groups' list which I appreciated:

From: "tierce_de_picardie"
Date: Tue Jul 19, 2005 3:03 pm
Subject: Debate? tierce_de_pi...

Seems to me it ain't going to be much of a debate if the list owner
has already made up his mind that direct government complicity is
preposterous.

Doug

Just a comment - using center justifiction makes your stuff almost unreadable.

- reader

2:56 PM  
Blogger John Kimber said...

I appreciate the tip about center justification. Actually, on my most recent long posting I intended to have only the heading center-justified. I used copy and paste from Word, but the left justification of the body of text was stripped. In future long postings I will always have EVERYTHING left justified.

10:18 AM  
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