Explosions or Collapse?

The Semantics of Deception

by C. Thurston


A clever semantics strategy has been put into play by the perpetrators of 9/11. Language usage that is promoted by mainstream media and government agencies is compromising our ability to see what happened to the WTC Towers. As a result of this deliberate artifice, people often say that the Towers "collapsed," or "fell," without realizing that these descriptions have a powerful influence on our perceptions and beliefs.


At the onset of destruction for each Tower, we do see the top part of each building begin to fall, and this, no doubt, is what gives the initial impression that a "collapse" is taking place. In both cases, however, this upper block of floors somehow quickly disintegrates and is lost in the growing cloud of dust and debris. There are no intact portions of either building that survive the wave of destruction that moves down each Tower, spewing debris like a giant fountain. These global features of the destruction are NOT the characteristics of a true collapse.




North Tower at 8.5 sec and 9.5 sec after top begins to fall


N. J. Burkett, an ABC News correspondent, is standing more than a block away from the WTC Towers on 9/11 when the South Tower destruction begins. He interrupts his live TV commentary by shouting as everyone runs for cover: "...A HUGE EXPLOSION NOW — RAINING DEBRIS ON ALL OF US!  WE'D BETTER GET OUT OF THE WAY!"


By now, anyone who has seriously looked into 9/11 has seen compilations of news clips from early in the day with numerous commentators and eyewitnesses all talking about the sights and sounds of explosions going off in the buildings. After the first few hours of spontaneous reporting, however, all talk of explosions mysteriously vanished from mainstream media channels.


We were then told over and over again about how the Towers "collapsed" and why they "fell." The NOVA and Discovery Channel specials that soon appeared on American television continued this campaign of emphasizing that the Towers "collapsed." Using grave authoritative language, sophisticated computer simulations and numerous so-called experts, these fraudulent programs "explained" to a traumatized and gullible audience why it was "inevitable" that the Towers were doomed to "fall."


These descriptions not only launched the starting premise for the various official investigations, but they also became common usage among ordinary folks and many 9/11 researchers when talking about the destruction of the Towers.


There's a serious problem with this. "Falling" and "collapsing" are categories for gravity-driven events. We all know what it means to "fall," and according to Merriam-Webster, the word "collapse" means: "to cave in, fall or give way, as in <the bridge collapsed>."


If we compare the meanings of the words "collapse" and "explosion" outside of the confusing context of the destruction of the Towers, it is clear that they in fact have opposites meanings. They represent entirely different categories of events. Collapses "pull things down," whereas explosions "blow things up." A true collapse, like falling, is a self-fulfilling event. It only requires the help of gravity to reach its completion.


If we look with our eyes open, it quickly becomes apparent that the Towers DIDN'T "cave in, fall or give way." They were systematically and progressively EXPLODED from the top down, starting from the impact zone in each Tower.



South Tower at 5 sec, 5.9 sec, and 7.5 sec after top began to fall


The rapidly expanding cloud of dust and debris blankets over the powerful explosions to some extent, but we can clearly see that there are no intact portions of the building falling from above. We also do not see any part of the structure "collapsing" prior to the arrival of the wave of destruction — and there is nothing left afterwards.


Unlike a typical controlled demolition, we don't see any part of the building "imploding" or folding in, but we do see tremendous outward arching plumes of debris, with sections of steel perimeter columns tossed into the air like toothpicks.


As the wave of destruction moves down each Tower, it encounters stronger and heavier structural materials — the perimeter and core columns were much heavier in the lower parts of the building — so the power of the destructive force would have to increase progressively in order to guarantee total destruction.


Now, roll back the clock and imagine this hypothetical scenario for a moment:


Upon the first noticeable appearances of air pollution, leading atmospheric scientists and weather professionals are enlisted (with adequate financial and career incentive) to insist publicly that this is simply part of the weather. The same message is repeated consistently by the media. A government agency is even assigned to look into the problem and it is rigged to arrive at the same conclusion.


As a result of these efforts, the belief that the brown stuff in the air is a weather phenomenon becomes generally accepted by the population. The occasional brave researcher who tries to say that it is actually something else — pollution introduced by industry and auto emissions — is immediately branded as a conspiracy theorist and is ruthlessly discredited and marginalized.


Since the general public tends to trust the media and their government, they are content to believe that the brown stuff is part of the weather. But, in so doing, they become effectively disabled from thinking that anything can be done about it because everybody knows you can't control the weather.


This would be an example of a strategically engineered category error, cleverly designed to intellectually disenfranchise the general public from the possibility of an effective understanding — or even a true perception — of the matter in question (the brown stuff in the air).


While this might seem like a wildly improbable story, it is not so different from the situation we now face, with a large portion of the general public believing that the Towers "collapsed" or "fell." Remember the titles of those two highly produced PBS specials that were broadcast shortly after 9/11? "Anatomy of the Collapse" and "Why the Towers Fell." I cannot believe that the highly funded promotion of this use of language was merely incidental.


As long as the destruction of the Towers is firmly planted (even unconsciously) into a person's mental category for gravity-driven events, that person can be effectively disabled from "seeing" that total destruction was NOT inevitable. He or she will have a difficult time "seeing" the explosions, because explosions belong to a different category of events. The category represented by the very language that is used to think about the question does not include this possibility.


As the understanding of these events has evolved among 9/11 researchers, it has sometimes been said that the Towers "fell" as the result of demolition charges that were triggered in a carefully timed sequence, removing the support structure in advance of the "collapse." While close to the truth, this description is still tied to the notion that a "global collapse" is taking place, so it is forced to compete in the same category with all the other collapse theories.


I'm suggesting that the SAME explosive scheme that is removing the support structure is ALSO simultaneously and utterly destroying the building itself. This is no longer a collapse theory.


From looking at the videos and photographs we can see plenty of falling debris, but it is shattered and pulverized, and it only begins to fall straight down AFTER it has been propelled far beyond the original perimeter of the structure. While debris may include the material from a FORMER building, "falling debris" and "falling building" obviously have entirely different meanings!



When the air finally clears, allowing a look at the scene of destruction, we see no heaps of identifiable "collapsed" structure that has "fallen" within the footprints where the buildings once stood — we only find smoking ruins with debris scattered for blocks in all directions.



For those who want us to imagine that the Towers "collapsed," the assumption that they "fell" on their own is a critical part of the story. But to anyone who has studied the performance of modern steel-frame structures, it should be obvious that they cannot simply collapse on their own, with or without an office fire, or even from the impact of a falling portion of the same building. If impacted from above, the Towers might bend or distort, but they wouldn't explode, disintegrate in mid-air, or collapse like a house of cards!


Anyone who has ever played with an Erector Set knows that as long as the structural members remain well-connected, a framework may become twisted and distorted if it falls to the floor, but it will never just collapse into pieces under any scenario involving self-related and self-proportional forces. Buildings that have fallen in earthquakes demonstrate this resistance to disintegration.




If a force large enough to cause total destruction was actually applied to the top of one of the Towers, the continuous vertical strength of the specially fabricated multi-story core columns, with their welded connections and dense cross-bracing, along with the high-strength steel perimeter columns, and the integrity of the structural design as a whole, would cause the building to respond as an entire assembly, splitting out or buckling asymmetrically over many floors, much like pushing down on a bundle of archery bows.


The vertical spacing of the office floors in the Towers did NOT create periodic points of weakness in the column assemblies. A force applied from above would not cause the building to flatten on a floor-by-floor basis; the building would resist and behave as a unified structure.


Because the official theories have all been based on the a priori assumption that the Towers "fell," the NIST investigators only had to explain how each building became "poised for collapse." It is amazing that they have been able to get away with such an egregious case of cart-before-the-horse analysis. Before jumping ahead to formulate hypotheses for "collapse initiation," they first must prove that the Towers DID indeed collapse! But since this has already been pre-established by deliberate category error, few seem to notice that they have "overlooked" this step.


Unfortunately, whenever anyone talks about how the Towers "collapsed" or why they "fell," they are unwittingly (or wittingly) giving credence to these unproven beliefs and are perpetuating the incorrect categorization of these events. The directors of the NIST investigation would no doubt prefer that we all join them in their assumption that the Towers "collapsed," but this is, in fact, the CRUX of the matter and the REAL question. I therefore submit that we should not allow our choice of language to obscure this point.


By questioning whether OR NOT a global collapse (properly speaking) even occurred, we can significantly reframe this important debate and finally begin to cultivate a competing mental image and a proper category for what DID happen. The sooner we openly and aggressively challenge the imaginary assumptions that are bundled with this false use of language, the sooner we can break its hold on the minds of those who are convinced that they saw something that never actually happened.


Buildings obviously, logically and unquestionably cannot “explode” without explosions. They can’t be destroyed without destruction and they can’t disintegrate without disintegration. The same can be said for dismemberment, pulverization, demolition, etc. I suggest that we seize this opportunity and unfailingly refer to the Towers' destruction with language that will allow true perception to once again become possible.


A final note:  I've noticed that media and government spokespeople ALWAYS refer to 9/11 researchers as "conspiracy theorists." Apart from the obvious pejorative intent, I believe this is another scheme that deliberately imposes a disabling category error. In the absence of a real investigation, the consistent mislabeling of legitimate citizen-volunteer inquiry as "conspiracy theory" prevents the general public from discovering that a growing body of well-documented evidence now exists for the crimes of 9/11.