I am including this page because there has been so much talk of a conspiracy (by someone other than the group of hijackers) to collapse the two large World Trade Center towers as well as Building 7 of the complex. These claims appear to be that there was a plot by the US government, or maybe someone else, to demolish the buildings with explosives – something similar to the familiar implosions of other buildings
Let me say clearly that I do not believe a word of those conspiracy claims. The damage due to the crashing planes was clearly enough to make the buildings fall including building 7. There is plenty of physical evidence of this.
However, this is not a comprehensive analysis of these events, and I have not made any such study. It is just a short discussion of some things that I have noticed by looking at videos of the collapsing buildings. The videos, I think, can give general idea about the veracity of some of the main claims.
In order to see this, you will have to look at videos of the falling buildings. That is distasteful and I have to admit that I don’t really like doing it. But if you are interested in evaluating claims of such a conspiracy, then it is necessary to look at the evidence.
You might like to compare the videos of the World Trade Center with actual explosive demolitions. If so, there are some links that you can use at the bottom of this page.
There is a detailed video of the South Tower collapse (the first one to fall) at
You can look at it carefully and see how severely damaged the tower was before the collapse and that the initial failure of the building took place exactly where it was most damaged. It starts falling above this level and not below. The damage is concentrated to one side of the tower, and in several of the views you can briefly see the other side on the same floors without much damage before the collapse catches up with it. In fact, the upper part of the building immediately tilts toward the damaged side where the collapse started. So anyone planting a bomb to collapse this building would have needed to put it exactly where the plane hit, which would have been mighty difficult to predict. The people flying the planes just didn't have that much control.
Here are three videos showing various details of the fall of this building:
The first two of these make it quite clear that the building was undamaged and not falling below the point of failure until, of course, the collapse reached each part of the building. In a demolition, explosives are planted at the very bottom of a building and, usually, at other, higher points. In the North Tower (and the South Tower), it is the part of the building above the airplane damage that starts to fall. The lower floors are undamaged until the collapsing parts reach them. Therefore these collapses do not resemble a demolition at all.
Furthermore, it has been claimed that the building(s) fell at free fall rates. To free fall means to fall under the influence of gravity alone. If nothing is hindering a falling object, it will fall at a speed that is 32 ft/second faster each second, and nothing that lacks some extra propulsion can catch it. If the buildings did this, it would suggest in spite of appearances that the lower parts of the building were damaged, presumably by explosives, so much that they offered no resistance. But, in fact, these buildings did not fall at free fall rates. The easy way to see this is to compare the fall of the building itself with the debris falling along side of the building. That debris gets way ahead of the collapsing building and can be seen falling past the as yet undamaged floors.
The third video listed for the North Tower has multiple close looks at the initial failure. As for the South Tower, the failure occurred where the prior damage was most severe. Here, too, anyone planting explosives would have had to know in advance exactly where the plane would hit, which is extremely improbable.
There is one floor on fire below where the failure begins, but the floors above obviously have far more damage. The collapse squeezes a brief fireball out of the burning floor, and some people may have mistaken this for the fireball of an explosion. But it occurs after the failure begins. I cannot see any evidence of an explosion just before the building fails even though some of the views are zoomed very close.
Building 7 (Collapsed later in the day – 5:20 PM according to CNN [link at bottom of page] *)
This one does look more like a demolition since it starts to fall in one piece and breaks up a little as it falls and before it reaches the ground. That suggests that the failure was very low down in the building, which is where explosive charges would be placed, if such charges were actually there. In a building this size, there would also be explosives higher in the building. But if you don’t care where it falls, the higher charges might not be necessary.
However, there is really no reason to think that any explosives were there. For one thing, it takes a long time to plan where to put them and also to actually place them there. There is no record that I know of that indicates anyone was ever observed doing any of that.
The first of the two videos listed for Building 7 shows many views of the fall of this building (which had been evacuated by the time it fell late in the day). One observation is that there is intense smoke coming from the lower floors of the building before it fell. That would suggest a lot of fire down there and make it pretty hard for anyone to carefully place the explosives during this particular day.
(NOTE: The investigation of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) says that the damage and fires to Building 7 were caused by debris from the collapsing North Tower, and that the out-of-control fires were on floors 7 through 9 and 11 through 13. There were smaller fires elsewhere in the building. See the site: http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/factsheet/wtc_qa_082108.cfm.
There is a view at the 5 minute mark showing that the building had extensive damage on or near the burning lower floors before the collapse. Some large flames are also visible. You can see here that the initial failure is also very low down although I couldn't tell exactly what floors were involved. The initial failure can be seen at least very close to the prior damage and the fire. It has been reported frequently that the fires would not have been hot enough to melt the steel columns, but it is also well- known that the heat of these flames would cause other changes to the supports such as thermal expansion and softening.
(NOTE: I tried to locate the point of failure by noticing that the floors above it started to fall as one piece. The NIST says that this “one-piece” falling mode applies to the external walls only. More complicated things were going on inside the building and, according to the NIST, the initial failure was in the interior part of floor 13. My only point is that I can see nothing with my own eyes to contradict the notion that the building failed in the vicinity of the fires. See the above NIST reference.)
At least three stages of collapse are visible, especially in the views between 4 and 5 minutes into the video. First a structure on the roof seems to sink into the building. Then, about 3 or 4 seconds later, the end of another structure on the roof collapses over a period of a second or so. Then a couple of seconds later the rest of the roof structure sinks into the building just as the collapse of the external walls begins.
That suggests that whatever happened to the supporting columns happened first under those collapsing roof structures. Then the failure became general. Of course, a failure of a supporting column low in the building would be transmitted to the roof. Although demolition can occur in a sequence like that, there is no need to assume demolition given the fires that existed.
I can neither see nor hear any explosion in any of the views – even in the close-up views. In videos of actual demolitions, I can hear many explosions just before the fall and usually see flashes and smoke from many explosions.
The second video about Building 7 shows a column of windows breaking just as the external walls start to fall. This video seems to be interpreting this as an internal explosion. The same view is contained in the first video. However, since it occurs just as the walls start to fall, then it must have happened several seconds after that first roof structure sank into the building. The collapse started before these windows broke. And there is no other indication of structural failure on these upper floors. They don’t break apart or collapse inward, at least not until they have fallen a long distance.
For comparison, here is a lot of information about actual explosive demolitions of buildings including many pictures and videos.