|Another Expert “Speaks Out”: Jeff Farrer, PhD|
|Written by Mike Bondi, PEng|
|Saturday, 22 January 2011 16:37|
In December’s Blueprint, we reported that AE911Truth is producing a new documentary DVD, “9/11: Explosive Evidence – Experts Speak Out,” which will present analysis and testimony on the destruction of the three WTC skyscrapers on 9/11 from more than 45 experts, including architects, engineers, scientists, firefighters, and many others. Our last issue described the work of high-rise architect Robert McCoy and chemical engineer Mark Basile.
Since December, we received a number of responses from readers and supporters around the world who remarked on the importance of this DVD, and urging us to make it available to activists as soon as possible. As a result of this encouraging feedback, we will continue to bring you written excerpts from the series of interviews included in this critically important documentary before it is finished.
In this issue we feature the work of Dr. Jeff Farrer, a physicist with a PhD in materials science and engineering. Dr. Farrer has worked with solid-state reactions, characterizing semiconductor and thin film materials, as well as working with nanoparticles.
Dr. Farrer first became aware of the destruction of WTC 7 on 9/11 when he read a paper by Professor Steven Jones, first published in 2005, where he discusses the strange details and evidence surrounding that event, including evidence that iron or steel from the World Trade Center had been melted during the destruction. This made no sense, given the official theory of what brought down the twin towers and WTC 7, since the temperature of office and jet fuel fires was at least 1000°F cooler than the melting point of iron. Farrer sought out Professor Jones to discuss this evidence further.
At the time, Dr. Farrer was an electron microscopist working on characterizing materials, and he offered to help Professor Jones with his research. When he was able to later study samples of steel beams from the towers which had “obviously gone through some melting,” his expertise was critical in the discovery of different phases in the metal samples, including the steel, iron oxide, iron sulfide, and iron silicate phases. He explains that various techniques such as X-ray analysis and diffraction were used to determine the “…structure of the phases along with the chemistry.”
As a result of his research, Dr. Farrer “…came to the conclusion that in order to create these phases, [the metal would] have to reach a minimum of about 1100° C.” The question then became how did the metal reach such high temperatures?
“Obviously the question of how do you get to 1100° C is significant because you don’t get to those temperatures with scattered office fires or even jet-fuel-fed office fires. You get to maybe half that temperature.”
In addition to pointing out that jet fuel burning in open air is unable to create these phases, Dr. Farrer goes on to address the theories proposed by those who claim that some of the physical evidence we see was created during the clean-up of Ground Zero after 9/11.
“You don’t get these phases with an oxyacetylene torch [used] to cut the steel. You don’t get these phases existing together the way that we found them.” According to Dr. Farrer, it would take a properly controlled scientific experiment to demonstrate that such a method could create these phases, and “so far nobody’s done that.”
A significant point in Dr. Farrer’s research came when he examined the samples for sulfur. One steel sample contained a pore with pure sulfur embedded in it. This led him to the discovery of sulfur in abundance in some of the phases. “How do you get sulfur in these pieces of steel or in the debris?” he wanted to know.
Thermite with sulfur added is called “thermate”. The added sulfur lowers the melting point of iron or steel allowing thermate to cut through steel structural members like a hot knife through butter. Also of interest, FEMA had described steel samples that had undergone a “high-temperature corrosion attack” resulting in oxidation and sulfidation. Farrer’s research confirmed these findings with his samples in which “iron sulfide attack[ed] the grain boundaries of the steel – which is exactly what thermite would do.” Originally, he started with steel from Building 7, but later found very similar things in samples from the twin towers.
Defenders of the official explanation of the destruction of the World Trade Center, such as the BBC production “The Conspiracy Files – The Third Tower” in 2008, have claimed that the sulfur in these steel samples could have come from the gypsum wallboard in the buildings, since gypsum is essentially calcium sulfate. According to the narrator, the claims of the mysterious melted steel from tower 7 has been unraveled.” Professor Richard Sisson of Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) says the steel “…was attacked by what we determined was a liquid slag…containing iron, sulfur and oxygen.” The narrator explains that the steel from WTC 7 eroded, and the cause was the “very hot fires in the debris after 9/11 that cooked the steel over weeks. The sulfur came from masses of gypsum wallboard that was pulverized and burnt in the fires.” Professor Sisson then concludes “I don’t find it very mysterious at all … if I have steel in this sort of high temperature atmosphere that’s rich in oxygen and sulfur, this would be the kind of result I would expect.”
Dr. Farrer, however, explains that “…in order to get sulfur out of wallboard, you’ve got to heat [it up] to high enough temperatures to dissociate the calcium from the sulfur…” The extremely high temperatures required for this to occur are “…certainly higher temperatures than you get in normal office fires, so this is impossible to achieve … even [with] a jet-fuel-fed office fire…” In fact, this is one of the reasons for using wallboard in building construction, since the sulfur would not dissociate in an office fire and attack the steel in the building. “Wallboard is actually there to protect the steel.” So the questions surrounding where the sulfur came from and how much would be required to create the phases observed have never been answered by these critics. Professor Sisson’s colleague, WPI fire protection engineer Jonathan Barnett, said that the steel had not only melted but partially evaporated, requiring even higher temperatures (around 2750°C / 5000°F).
The BBC’s “expert” shows no awareness of the gap between the temperatures that could reasonably have been reached and the temperatures required to account for the evidence of melted steel. Other “experts” who support his conclusions have acknowledged that there is no prosaic explanation for temperatures in excess of 1100°C during or after the World Trade Center’s destruction (see, for example, http://www.journalof911studies.com/articles/WTCHighTemp2.pdf, endnote 16). All these “experts” blatantly violate the scientific method by ignoring documented facts that contradict their hypothesis. Even if these scientists and engineers did not fabricate evidence, “[o]ne type of [scientific] fraud is falsification, which includes ’omitting data.’” We take this opportunity to repeat our call for an investigation of NIST's top WTC investigators for scientific fraud.
Dr. Farrer also discusses the red/gray chips found in the WTC dust by Jones and other scientists, and in particular his studies using a differential scanning calorimeter. “We got a peak on the calorimeter which shows that these red/gray chips were energetic … very exothermic… this very small chip had a lot of energy packed into it...” Addressing claims by critics that the chips are just primer paint, he explains that “…paint will eventually burn up and turn to ash, but it certainly doesn’t give you an energetic spike in the DSC.” The red/gray chips found in the dust were tested using samples from different areas of Manhattan, and from independent, non-associated individuals. “We ran multiple samples through the DSC … and found that they behaved almost identical[ly].” Special care was taken in handling the samples in order to ensure that no surface contamination was involved in the tests. “We’ve got some form of thermite in these red/gray chips, and I think it’s a very, very strong conclusion.” Dr. Farrer goes on to point out the importance of further independent tests and research. “I can guarantee [that] our work is completely reproducible. I’d like to see other people looking at these things… There needs to be another [official] investigation of the events of that day.”