Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Is South Tower oscillation evidence of a plane? Not necessarily.

In his reply to Reynolds/Wood, Steven Jones states that he has used physics to show that planes hit the Twin Towers on 9/11.


The three pieces of physical data he cites are:

(1) deceleration

(2) plane debris

(3) South Tower oscillation data

I have already addressed the deceleration and debris issues here:


and here:


I agree with Jones' statement that "[i]t will not do in scientific inquiry to ignore data like this [oscillation data] – even if one does not trust the source for some reason."

Jones cites to oscillation data taken from analysis of a video and published as Figure 2-9 on page 26 of NIST NCSTAR 1-5:


Since I have not addressed this data in any of my articles, I will do so here. Because I have no reason to believe that the data is inaccurate, I will assume it is accurate.

My conclusion is that this data shows the impact of some object, unless it is possible for an internal explosion to cause this oscillation, but that it does not prove what kind of object hit the South Tower.

In other words, this data could be evidence of a Boeing 767, or it could be evidence of a missile of some sort. Therefore, it is not conclusive evidence of a plane hitting the South Tower, which I have ruled out on the basis of the lack of deceleration, but it does suggest that some type of missile hit the tower. I disagree with both Jones and NIST that the only assumption that can be drawn from this oscillation data is that it was caused by the impact of a plane.

(I rule out any type of plane for the same reason I rule out a Boeing 767: a comparison of kinetic energy balance with observed decleration. For all I know, the world's largest aircraft, the Antonov AN-225 "Mriya," fully loaded at 600 metric tonnes and flying at top speed of 528 mph, could have flown right through the South Tower, but that is not the plane pictured here. We are also not talking about some kind of specially reinforced plane, which is essentially a missile and is not Flight 175. For all I know, there exists some aircraft that looks exactly like a Boeing 767 and can get off the ground with a nose cone and wings made out of depleted uranium. If so, it is a missile, not Flight 175.)

Below are the NIST pages which discuss the oscillation data and the video from which the oscillation data was derived. I have already stated my conclusion, which is that the oscillation data does not prove a plane, and have no further analysis.
(See NIST report for versions in color, but black and white is fine for Figure 2-9)

My understanding of Figure 2-9 is that it shows the South Tower rocking back and forth for at least four minutes after "Flight 11" is said to have hit the South Tower, from about 12 inches from center to about 3 inches from center at the 70th Floor. (Is this amount of oscillation even consistent with the kinetic energy contained in the impact of a Boeing 767? I have seen no analysis to that effect, and am incapable of such analysis.)

NIST states on the page below that this oscillation was evident in a stable video of "Flight 11" hitting the South Tower:

(NIST NCSTAR 1-5, page 26)

(NIST NCSTAR 1-5, page 24)

Here is a blurry version of the Scott Myers video frames that NIST used to estimate the speed of "Flight 175" and that appears to be the "stable video" from which the above oscillation data was taken. A clearer but abbreviated version is posted below from Jones' "QuestionsandAnswers presentation, page 173, which until last week was available here:


(NIST NCSTAR 1-5, page 25)

For some reason, at page 174 of his QuestionsandAnswers presentation Jones used Salter's analysis of a different video, the Evan Fairbanks video, to draw conclusions on the deceleration of "Flight 175":

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