Extremely high temperatures were evident before and after the destruction of the World Trade Center Twin Towers. These extremely high temperatures contradict the official story because office and hydrocarbon fires burning in open air (~500° to 1,500° F) cannot reach temperatures in the range that iron or structural steel melts (2,700° F).

Seven minutes before the destruction of the South Tower, a flow of molten metal appeared, accompanied by several smaller flows, as documented by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The material’s glowing color showed that its temperature was close to “white hot” at the very beginning of the flow and “yellow-orange” further down. Iron-rich spheres in the WTC dust are additional proof of temperatures above the melting point of iron.

An excavating machine at Ground Zero lifts debris dripping with molten metal

An excavating machine at Ground Zero lifts debris dripping with molten metal

The high-temperature phenomena at Ground Zero are documented by various sources: Bechtel engineers, responsible for safety at Ground Zero, wrote in the Journal of the American Society of Safety Engineers: “The debris pile at Ground Zero was always tremendously hot. Thermal measurements taken by helicopter each day showed underground temperatures ranging from 400ºF to more than 2,800ºF.”

The fact that high-temperature phenomena were an important issue at Ground Zero is underscored by the large number of thermal images acquired: images by SPOT, MTI, AVIRIS/NASA, “Twin Otter”/U.S. Army, and at least 25 images by EarthData, taken between Sept. 16 and Oct. 25. In addition, temperature measurements by helicopter were taken each day, and the firefighters used onsite sensors too.

Many witnesses, including rescue personnel and firefighters working on the piles, described the phenomenon of “molten steel.” Terms used in witness statements are, for example, “molten steel,” beams “dripping from molten steel,” “molten steel … like you’re in a foundry. Like lava, from a volcano.” A photograph taken on September 27 by a Ground Zero worker shows an excavating machine lifting debris from the WTC wreckage dripping yellow/orange molten metal.

2The heat at Ground Zero was not only extreme, it was also persistent, as proven not only by witness statements and a photograph by LiRo Group / Engineering of orange-red glowing steel as late as October 21, but also by thermal images taken by NASA and EarthData satellites. The EarthData thermal images also show that the “hot spots” remained at the same locations.  The phenomenon did not “move” across the site, like one would expect from fire as it consumes the fuel available in any one location.

University of California professor Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl, the first structural engineer given access to the WTC steel at Fresh Kills Landfill notes, “I saw melting of girders at the World Trade Center.” Astaneh also “describes the connections [between supporting columns] as being smoothly warped: ‘If you remember the Salvador Dalí paintings with the clocks that are kind of melted – it’s kind of like that. That could only happen if you get steel yellow hot or white hot – perhaps around 2,000 degrees.’”.

Ironworkers at the site pointed out huge columns that were bent into horseshoe shapes – without the flanges showing any cracks or buckling.  They cited, “It takes thousands of degrees to bend steel like this”.


Starting in 2007, a group of independent researchers began examining the dust from the World Trade Center disaster to see if identifiable residues might help explain the highly energetic destruction that was observed in the videos. Naked-eye and microscopic examination revealed numerous tiny metallic and magnetically attracted spheres and red/gray chips, quite distinctive in the dust samples.

Highly energetic pyrotechnic or explosive red/gray chips discovered in WTC dust samples

Highly energetic pyrotechnic or explosive red/gray chips discovered in WTC dust samples

The existence of iron-rich microspheres in the WTC dust was documented in 2004 and 2005. But nothing yet had been published about the red/gray chips in the dust until Physicist Steven Jones first described them in 2007. What might have been misinterpreted as the residue of common paint when seen with the naked eye proved to be a highly energetic advanced nano-composite material.

In April 2009, a team of scientists that included physicist Steven Jones (formerly BYU), chemist Niels Harrit (University of Copenhagen, Denmark), physicist Jeffrey Farrer (BYU), and six other authors published their findings regarding the red/gray chips in the peer-reviewed paper “Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 


World Trade Center Catastrophe,” The Open Chemical Physics Journal, 2009, 2, 7-31, available online. Red/gray chips from four different WTC dust samples were examined using scanning electron microscopy, X-ray energy dispersive spectroscopy (XEDS), and differential scanning calorimetry. The main findings of the study are as follows:
The material in the red layer consists of intimately mixed particles of iron oxide and aluminum embedded in a carbon-rich matrix. The particles range in size from tens to hundreds of nanometers. Elemental aluminum was present in thin plate-like structures, while iron oxide was present as faceted grains, roughly 100 nm across – about a thousand times smaller than a human hair.

Iron oxide and aluminum are the ingredients of classic thermite, an incendiary that burns unusually hot at approximately 4500°F, producing aluminum oxide and molten iron. The carbon content of the matrix indicates the presence of an organic substance.

When the red/gray chips were heated to about 430° C. (806° F.), they ignited, releasing relatively large amounts of energy very fast. This behavior matches “fairly closely an independent observation on a known super-thermite sample”, as reported in a paper published by researchers associated with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories. The residue of the ignited red/gray chips included iron-rich spheres, “indicating that a very high temperature reaction had occurred, since the iron-rich product clearly must have been molten to form these shapes.” The chemical signature of the spheres and spheroids “strikingly matches the chemical signature of the spheroids produced by igniting commercial thermite, and also matches the signatures of many of the microspheres found in the WTC dust.”

The scientists concluded based on all their findings that the red layer of the red/ gray chips “is active, unreacted thermitic material, incorporating nanotechnology,” and that it “is a highly energetic pyrotechnic or explosive material.” See the published study for the remainder of the findings.

Energetic nanothermitic compounds have been researched since the 1990s. One “advantage” of nanothermites as stated in the literature is their ability to enhance the destructive effect of high explosives; the high rate of reaction in nanothermites allows the main explosive charge to release its energy even faster when nanothermite is used as an igniter. Such igniters also do not leave behind lead-containing residues as lead azide igniters do. Nanothermitic composite materials have been extensively researched by US national labs. The energy release of these special materials can be tailored for various applications, they can be designed to be explosive by adding gas-releasing compounds (such as what the matrix of the WTC chips’ red layer might consist of) and they have potential for easy storage and safe handling.

As of 2002, the production process at the Naval Surface Warfare Center for ultra fine grain (UFG) aluminum, alone, required several pieces of high-tech equipment. The article states: “The current state of UFG aluminum production is that this is an area that still requires considerable effort” (AMPTIAC Quarterly, Special Issue, “DOD Researchers Provide A Look Inside Nanotechnology,” 2002).

Red/gray chips, with a red layer that comprises ultra fine grain aluminum platelets intimately mixed with faceted grains of nanosized iron oxide, embedded in a carbon-rich matrix, cannot have been widely available in 2001. Niels Harrit, lead author of the study, stated “These new findings confirm and extend the earlier finding of previously molten, iron-rich microspheres in the World Trade Center dust. They provide strong forensic evidence that the official explanation of the WTC’s destruction is wrong.”

*This “Extreme Temperatures & Incendiaries” primer is based on excerpts from the articles “High Temperatures, Persistent Heat & ‘Molten Steel’ at WTC Site Contradict Official Story” by Richard Gage, Andrea Dreger and Gregg Roberts; and “Advanced Pyrotechnic or Explosive Material Discovered in WTC Dust” by Gregg Roberts and Andrea Dreger.