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Interview with Dr. Niels Harrit on Discovery of Nano-Thermite in WTC Dust

Dr. Niels Harrit is a retired associate professor of chemistry at the University of Copenhagen and one among an international team of scientists who published a paper in The Open Chemical Physics Journal on the discovery of nano-thermite in the dust from the World Trade Center collapses on September 11, 2001. He has recently finished a lecture tour of Canadian universities, where he spoke on the subject.

In this interview on the cable program Face to Face with Jack Etkin, Dr. Harrit discusses this finding and its implications. Dr. Harrit notes that World Trade Center building 7 (WTC 7), a 47-story steel-framed skyscraper that was not hit by one of the planes on 9/11, collapsed symmetrically into its own footprint, and that the official explanation for this is that it was due to fire. However, the finding of nano-thermite in the dust, along with other available evidence, leads inescapably to another conclusion. “There is no doubt that this building was taken down in a controlled demolition,” says Dr. Harrit. “I consider this to be [a] mainstream scientific conclusion. There’s no way around this conclusion. There are so many observations that are only compatible with a controlled demolition.”

“Science is based on observation and experience,” says Dr. Harrit in the interview. Pointing out that it had never occurred before 9/11, he says, “A steel framed high rise simply does not collapse due to fire.”

Among the other evidence is the observation that WTC 7 fell at the acceleration of gravity, or free-fall acceleration. Fire, says Dr. Harrit, cannot do that to a building. “All of these columns had to be cut at the same time for this phenomenon to happen,” he says.

While conventional thermite is an incendiary, made from a mixture of powdered aluminum and iron oxide, Dr. Harrit explains that nano-thermite is manufactured from the atomic scale up. The ingredients are much more intimately mixed, he says, so they react with each other much faster. Unlike thermite, “Nano-thermite can be used as an explosive,” notes Dr. Harrit. “You can use thermite for cutting the steel beams, and it’s soundless,” he adds.

Discussing the relevance and importance of the conclusion that the three World Trade Center towers were destroyed in a controlled demolition, Dr. Harrit says, “I think what happened on September 11, 2001 is the most important event to our generation, and for our children…. And the consequences of this event should be obvious to everyone. But it’s not. But it’s happening at such a slow pace that people maybe do not connect the dots.”

It’s not just about getting history right and understanding what truly happened on 9/11, according to Dr. Harrit. “I think the whole civilization is in the balance these days,” he says. “Planet Earth will still be there no matter what we do…. But what we call civilization — if you care about music, this is what we’re talking about. If you care about the health of your grandparents, this is what we’re talking about. If you care about theater, literature, kids playing in the playground. Whatever you care for, whatever you love, this is what’s at stake here. Civilization. And it’s very fragile. And it can easily be lost.”

He discusses issues ranging from the environment to the loss of liberty due to the threat of terrorism stemming from the attacks of 9/11. The U.S. has waged multiple wars using 9/11 as a pretext, even though, in the case of Afghanistan, the publicly stated purpose for the war was to bring to justice the presumed mastermind of the attacks, Osama bin Laden. Yet, Dr. Harrit points out, to this day, “we haven’t seen the evidence for this person actually being guilty in the crime, and he is not wanted by the FBI for this attack on 9/11.” An FBI spokesperson, Rex Tomb, Dr. Harrit observes, in fact explained to reporter Ed Haas that 9/11 is not listed on bin Laden’s “Wanted” poster because the FBI does not have enough hard evidence to connect him to 9/11 to indict him in a court of law.

Dr. Harrit credits Dr. Steven Jones, a retired professor of physics at Brigham Young University, with having the insight to examine the dust to look for evidence of how the buildings collapsed. Dr. Harrit rebuts two of the more common attempts to dismiss the discovery of nano-thermite in the dust. One dismissal that is often heard is that this material was a natural occurrence resulting from the collapses. Dr. Harrit points out that this violates basic chemical principles, and that nano-thermite is a high-tech manufactured substance that cannot result from natural occurrences. Another charge is that the material was planted in the dust samples Dr. Harrit and his team examined, a claim Dr. Harrit regards as preposterous, noting that the chain of custody of each of the four samples examined for the peer-reviewed paper is well-documented.

Nano-thermite, Dr. Harrit explains further, is “produced only in military facilities and big military institutions in the world…. The explosions of the future are based on this technology…. Research is going on, but it’s military research. This is high technology material.”

“We know explosives were used,” says Dr. Harrit, to bring down the towers. However, “We do not know where the nano-thermite fits into this picture. We do not know the exact role played by the reactive remains we found.” Further investigation is required to answer the questions that arise from this discovery. But the bottom line, notes Dr. Harrit, is that “Nano-thermite shouldn’t have been there.”

(Video copyright Lazarus Productions 2011. Source: I.C.T.V. Victoria.)


  • Elizabeth Woodworth

    Dr. Harrit and his 8 colleagues published this peer-reviewed two-year science study, which made headlines in the major Danish newspapers in 2010, but the news never reached the North American media:

    Niels H. Harrit, Jeffrey Farrer, Steven E. Jones, et al., “Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe,” Open Chemical Physics Journal, Vol. 2 (April 3, 2009): 7-31 (http://www.bentham.org/open/tocpj/openaccess2.htm).

    • Bill

      “Dr. Harrit and his 8 colleagues published this peer-reviewed two-year science study…”

      This study dodged real peer review by submitting to faux pay to play publisher. At 1 least reviewer was a truther and the other remains anonymous. At least 5 people have resigned from Bentham due to their non standards, 2 of which were the editors in the journal which Harrit & co were published. Typical Steven Jones smoke n mirror show.

      All they found was paint on oxydized steel.

      • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

        You don’t know anything about the peer-review process of Bentham journals, and you clearly didn’t ever bother to read the study, or you wouldn’t suggest it was paint.

      • aussie

        Bill, paint does not act explosively when you light it. This residue was explosive when heat was applied.

        According to the scientific method, the proper way to rebut a science study is to write up a paper, submit it to a journal for peer review and see it published. No such scientific rebuttal to the Harrit et al paper has yet appeared.

        Ad hominems against the science journal do not count as a rebuttal to the paper.

        Neither do ad hominems against Steven Jones.

        Resorting to ad hominem is usually seen as a sign of weak argument.

        • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

          Well said, Aussie.

    • Elizabeth Woodworth

      I see that the whole journal which carried the Harrit et al. article is now down again. It was down while Dr. Harrit was lecturing in Canada, then went back up on March 4th as he was nearing the end of his tour, and now is gone again. Fortunately the article is available elsewhere online, see below, and it should perhaps be posted around the Internet to prevent its loss:

      Niels H. Harrit, Jeffrey Farrer, Steven E. Jones, et al., “Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe,” Open Chemical Physics Journal, Vol. 2 (April 3, 2009): 7-31,

      http://www.scientistsfor911truth.org/docs/Harrit_active_thermite.pdf

      • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

        I’ve noticed it goes down and comes back online fairly frequently. I’ve seen this pattern at least three times now.

  • Steve

    Lest we forget:
    The program and video is ©2011 Lazarus Productions.

  • KDL

    What? No mention of the “many, many tons. Hundred of tens” of conventional explosives that were used, according to Harrits interview with Russia Today?

    And is Harrit intentionally ignoring that bin Laden is already indicted for several other terrorist acts prior to 9/11? And that bin Laden is wanted for 9/11 through Rewards for Justice, which is run by the US State Department?

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      That OBL was indicted prior to 9/11 is irrelevant to Harrit’s point, which is that there is not enough evidence of his involvement in 9/11 to indict him in a court of law. That the State Department lists OBL as wanted is also irrelevant to Harrit’s point, which is that he is not wanted by the FBI for 9/11, because there is not enough evidence of his involvement in 9/11 to indict him in a court of law.

      Not quite sure which part of that, KDL, you don’t understand.

  • Bill

    ” Unlike thermite, “Nano-thermite can be used as an explosive,” notes Dr. Harrit. “You can use thermite for cutting the steel beams, and it’s soundless,” he adds.

    Soundless? Sorry but the hallmark of an explosive is the shockwave it produces. What a bunch of ridiculous nonsense.

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      Thermite isn’t an explosive, Bill. It’s an incendiary. That point is clear in the interview. Nano-thermite can be made into explosives. But like Dr. Harrit said, you can use thermite for cutting steel, and it isn’t loud as with explosives.

    • gregg

      There are videos where you can see how thermite is cutting the steel. It doesn’t make explosion if you don’t intend it to and its not loud. Go check em out

  • aussie

    What one has to bear in mind, Bill, is that the Harrit et al paper provides the forensics that best explain the very rapid, symmetrical and explosive nature of the top-down destruction of the two towers – as well as the smooth descent of Building Seven, not hit by a plane and subject to limited fire.

    NIST’s ‘fire and gravity’ explanation for those events are fraught with inconsistencies. Indeed, NIST’s explanations stop at the ‘initiation of collapse’, not proceeding any further to explain the global symmetry and speed of these events.

    As others have said, the speed of the demolitions, which you can measure yourself with a timer while observing the video, is the giveaway that these buildings had ‘help’.

    Even without Harrit, it is clear there is something wrong with the NIST explanation.

    Jones hypothesised the buildings had to have had ‘help’ coming down, given the astonishing descent through the path of greatest resistance.

    He hypothesised explosive/incendiary use. NIST failed to look for evidence of incendiaries. Harrit et al examined rubble and found the fingerprint of a sophisticated nano-structured incendiary which is made in military laboratories – not civilian labs. His work rounds off the hypothesis, but is not central to revealing that WTC 7 (and indeed WTC 1 and 2) came down in unnaturally speedy and symmetrical fashion. His work is but the icing on the cake, the final nail in a coffin already built.

    Why are so many so quick to dismiss Harrit’s paper? If you are not a nano-chemist, your understanding may be somewhat limited. Why not join in with those of us calling for a wider debate among the world’s science community – for wider, free and fair coverage of this subject by mainstream media – which effectively censors the subject at present?

    Why shut down transparent discussion before it’s even started?

    Why the a priori ad hominem and derision?

    Didn’t Barack Obama say not so long ago that open discussion and free speech is the lifeblood of democracy?

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      Very well said, again, Aussie.

    • Walker

      Do you know when they gonna publish their TEM results?

  • aussie

    Thanks for the feedback Jeremy. Having followed this discussion for a while – and having read Harrit and Jones’ own words on the subject – I have come to the conclusion the biggest problem is the lack of mainstream media coverage afforded to these scientists.

    Why will the mainstream not touch Jones or Harrit? Why can’t we the public be trusted to read what they say and make up our own minds. Because the Harrit paper never made it into the mainstream I come across people in our local science faculty who have never heard of it. More widespread coverage of the work of people like Harrit, Gage and MacQueen means more awareness and more democratic debate.

    Let this be thrashed out among experts – once they are all alerted to it. At the moment the media is not informing the public of these dissenting opinions – which come from respected professionals who have a democratic right to be heard, surely? At the moment, they are effectively censored.

    In the meantime, kudos to you Jeremy, for allowing the free flow of information – without fear or favour – at FPJ.

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      Appreciated, aussie. That’s why I started FPJ, to do the job our mainstream media perpetually fails us at. ;)

    • gregg

      Can you please provide full names of those 2 scientists, Gage and MacQueen and how can I find their research (where it was published and what’s the name on it).

  • Eric Klein

    Richard Gage, a San Francisco Bay area based architect,founded Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth in 2006.[8] Gage, who is a member of the American Institute of Architects,[2] has worked as an architect for twenty years and was involved in the construction of numerous fireproof steel-frame buildings.[9] He became convinced of the need to create an organization that brings together architects and engineers when he listened to an independent radio station interview theologian David Ray Griffin.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Architects_&_Engineers_for_9/11_Truth

    Graeme MacQueen, PhD – Associate Professor of Religious Studies, McMaster University
    MacQueen’s presentation was devoted to his analysis of the testimony of firefighters. He said, “I decided to read it and look for evidence of explosions”.

  • Eric Klein

    EXPLOSIVE TESTIMONY! / MacQueen NYFD 9/11 witnesses
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZ4dVo5QgYg

    David Ray Griffin (born 1939) is an American retired professor of philosophy of religion and theology. Along with John B. Cobb, Jr., he founded the Center for Process Studies in 1973, a research center of Claremont School of Theology which seeks to promote the common good by means of the relational approach found in process thought.[1]

    More recently, Griffin has published a number of books on the subject of the September 11 attacks, suggesting that there was a conspiracy involving some elements of the United States government
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Ray_Griffin

    David Ray Griffin on C-SPAN

  • gepay

    I am no expert but nanothermite appears to me to be an excellent material to be used in a thermobaric device made expressly for the WTC 1 and 2. Thermobaric explosions can rival the explosive power of nuclear bombs. They are what happens in a silo explosion or a coal dust explosion. I would imagine nanothermite would make much more powerful ones. While the WTC 7 appears to be an example of a conventional controlled demolition, the towers were another kettle of fish. The design of the towers were a tube within a tube. That is, none of the really strong central core (more concentrated than the framing of the the Empire State building was left standing. While the outer perimeter exploded like popcorn. This tells me the inner core framing was cut by shaped charges while the outer perimeter was destroyed by a nanothermite thermobaric device. It also explains why when you watch the collapses they look like a big roman candle fireworks (without the color). it also explains why Ground Zero was smoldering for months from the residual heat.
    From Global Security.org – “The Thermobaric [TB] Weapon Demonstration will develop a weapon concept that is based on a new class of solid fuel-air explosive thermobarics. The term “thermobaric” is derived from the effects of temperature (the Greek word “therme” means “heat”) and pressure (the Greek word “baros” means “pressure”) on the target. The weapon could be used against a certain type of tunnel targets for a maximum functional kill of the tunnels…Unlike free-field blast loads, a detonation within a tunnel system can have a significant dynamic pressure component. This dynamic pressure component, in conjunction with the overpressure component, makes up the entire pressure-loading history necessary to predict component response…For instance, detonation reactions are slower (than conventional high explosives – such as thermite) but more energy is released in a way that has the potential to produce a lot more damage.”
    An elevator shaft in the core of the WTC could be considered as a large vertical tunnel. A fuel-air explosive is an example of a thermobaric weapon. A fuel-air explosive can have the effect of a tactical nuclear weapon without residual radiation. If a fuel-air charge is fired inside a building or bunker, the cloud is contained and this amplifies the force on the load-bearing components of the structure.

    2nd Sight Magazine
    Thermobaric Weapons
    The Canadian Defence agency hopes to eventually develop computer software that will allow military engineers to quickly determine whether the structure of a building might be vulnerable to a thermobaric explosion.
    It is my theory that their cohorts to the south did such computations and designed 2 or more devices for a special project – WTC 1 & 2 … New computational approaches and diagnostics for explosives characterization have made the development of a “designer” main charge feasible…This work was performed under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory under contract No. W-7405 -Eng-48. 1997

  • http://conspiraciesrnotus.blogspot.com/ John
    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      Yeah, one needn’t read very far into this, John, to see how weak it is:

      He makes the point that “two planes” caused “three skyscrapers” to collapse, a reference to the collapse of World Trade Center 7, which was not hit by a plane. This claim is actually false: In total, almost a dozen buildings were heavily damaged by falling debris in the same way that WTC 7 was, and most of them were eventually razed due to that damage.

      It might have escaped you, John, but I trust the fallacy of this criticism of Harrit is glaringly obvious enough to FPJ’s intelligent readership.

  • Roland Dooley

    The “thermite” paper proves no thermite. The chemistry was wrong. Harrit published proof it was not thermite, in the same paper. The dust burned too cold to be thermite. The energy released was not the same as thermite. Reading the paper exposes it as fraud. One of the co-authors, Dr Jones believes the United States caused the earthquake in Haiti. He also made up the thermite claims with no evidence 4 years after 911. There are real studies on the dust from the WTC done many years ago.

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      Roland, what do you mean “The dust burned too cold to be thermite?” and “The energy released was not the same as thermite”? Explain. You sound like you have no clue what you are talking about, so I’ll call your bluff.

  • aussie

    Roland , I politely suggest that if you submitted the above paragraph to a journal it would not pass peer-review. The proper way to rebut the ‘Active Thermitics’ study is to write up a paper – showing via supporting evidence and full reference – that ‘the dust burned too cold’ etc, etc..

    Ad hominems also don’t cut it, unfortunately.

  • aubreyfarmer

    Anyone with even a small amount of intelligence and the ability to see, would immediately come to the conclusion that the collapse of WTC 7 was controlled demolition. Only an idiot would come to any other conclusion.

  • dotmafia

    they weakened the foundations with explosives in each tower’s basement, prior to the planes hitting, then brought them down with nanothermite placed up and down inside the elevator shafts. it’s been said work was being done on the elevators in the days before. the entire demolition op was based and controlled from the OEM in WT7, hence the need to destroy it. if i was to make an educated guess at who pulled it off? mossad, with a little CIA help. my theory anyway.

  • http://sludge.tk Newsie

    Well, I can ascertain that a little-known report “WT7011W (originally published at Truthbunny ) does indeed speak of microdendrites found in the rubble.
    Dr. Niels knows, as reported to me by the above “Bunny”. Bunny has a friend who has intimated detail of the WTC7 demolition, but for obvious reason, keeps their mouth shut.
    Indeed there are approximately 275,000 people involved in this conspiracy. We’re just waiting for at least 10 (that’s TEN) of them to open their mouths.
    When one does it singly, they are immediately terminated. This has happened several times as you all know!
    Anyhow check that http://www.plonque.com/bunny above! But DO NOT print it!

  • http://sludge.tk BunnyL (operative 53)

    OK. So I am one of them. What do you plan to do about it?
    Do you wish a list of the other 274,999 co-conspirators?
    Sorry, my mouth is sealed. I do not have many of their names anyhow.
    And many of us are heavily involved in the CIA, the Mossad, and the NYC fire department.
    Best you stop all this “conspiracy” talk while you still have your health.
    We will release the astounding truth in our own good time, just as we will release detailsabout the Kennedy assassination(s), the faked Apollo moon-landings and Sector 51.
    You will be shocked. But for now, be patient.

  • aussie

    Bunny and Newsie – I’ve just read your comments. Perhaps you are here just having a laugh. Fair enough. But you contribute nothing to this discussion.

    You conflate this discussion with silly red herrings, like faked moon landings.

    Lame. My kids could probably come up with something more exciting. Your offerings suggest you have no better rebuttal. This suggests you are in trouble if ‘Sector 51′ is all you have to lean on.

    Given Cass Sunstein’s call to ‘infiltrate’ and ‘break up’ discussion around this issue (read D.R.Griffin’s book Cognitive Infiltration: An Obama Appointee’s Plan to Disrupt..) you might find that people will (fairly or unfairly) assume you have a particular agenda when you appear here.

    As Paul Craig Roberts has written: (I paraphrase) If people discussing 911 are ‘kooks’ why are people like Cass Sunstein so worried about them they want to ‘disrupt and break them up’?

    Why does freedom of speech and open discussion worry you to the extent you have to chip in with blatant nonsense, better expressed in a school playground?

    What are you worried about? What do you fear?

    • http://www.timecube.com Bunny – A CHRISTIAN woman.

      You conflate this discussion with silly red herrings, like faked Airliners crashing in to the WTC.

      “Lame. My kids could probably come up with something more exciting”
      Alas, your children probably will.
      And it will not be because of silly http://poutine.tk innuendo.

      -Another co-conspirator. And, an expert in Psychotronic Thermite Placement in tall thin structures.
      Do yo govern yourselves accordingly.

  • http://none Investigator

    If 911 was an inside job, the people who planned it had to control NORAD. NORAD was the US Air Force agency empowered to shoot down hijacked aircraft, based on some predefined threat level. Dick Cheney had that authority transferred to him in June 2001. He was the man who refused to let Flight #77, which hit the Pentagon, be shot down. Why? Good question. He is not talking! Few people know that. Even fewer know he reversed that power transfer order a few months AFTER 911. Almost like he dared folks to call him on it.
    If 911 was not an inside job, why did Bush do everything in his power to thwart any investigation of 911.
    The question many folks ask is, if 911 was an inside job, why did they do it?
    Fair question. The basic answer is money, which is a pathway to power. Consider that yearly profits of porn, gambling and illegal drugs in the USA amount to $85 billion per year. The profits derived from the wars being fought at the present
    are roughly $500 billion per year. There is no business more profitable than war for the war
    merchants and bankers. Without the Communist threat putting fear into the hearts of every American, a new threat had to be found. The big bad islamo-fascist threat appeared on 911. And the green flag to go to war was waved.

    Anyone who gets in the way of the military industrial war complex is asking for trouble.

    JFK issued executive memorandum 263 on October 5, 1963. It ordered that American troops ( 16,000 in Vietnam at the time)begin a formal drawdown. JFK was killed Nov 22, 1963. President Johnson reversed #263, with a new executive memorandum, #273 on November 26, 1963 which ordered a troop build up in Vietnam. Who benefited from war?

    This is all about creating wars, framing innocent nations or groups and then demonizing anyone who dares to question any part of the script the government offers.

  • A Normal person who does not ware an earing!

    I have never heard such nonsense in my entire life.

    I admit I don’t have the level of knowledge to prove or even disprove Dr. Niels Harrit. What I am extremely good at though and have very rarely made a mistake with, is judging peoples character from watching them and reading their body language. I am afraid to conclude from my observations as a people watcher of some 45 years, that Dr. Niels Harrit is in my professional opinion a complete fraud. I’m sorry but liars are extremely easy for me to identify.

    There is more believable evidence for a conspiracy theory of the Islamic God Allah and his Prophet Mohamed visiting the earth and plotting the whole thing. They were able to place their martyrs at the right place at the right time, yadda, yadda, yadda!

    How can anyone trust a grown man who is also supposedly educated, who wares an earing?

    If anyone wants to prove something, get evidence that is CONCLUSIVE and not circumstantial and of the “Could Be” varuety. Speaking louder than normal, does not make something true!

    I don’t like people who give academics a bad name.

    • Miguel

      This is one of the dumbest comments I’ve ever read.

      So you have watched people for 45 years and this “How can anyone trust a grown man who is also supposedly educated, who wares an earing?” (with “wares” instead of “wears”) is your maing argument?

      My god man, get a grip.

      • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

        Seriously.

  • Jack

    Harrit’s paper rebuts itself. The paper does not support thermite. The iron spheres found after the dust “burned” are iron oxide, not a product of thermite. The heat contained in each sample did not match thermite. The DSC done (who knows why) does not match thermite. The paper shows Harrit is a fraud, with a fantasy. He is anti-war, and cares less how he opposes the “wars”. They found iron and Al in the dust, wave their hands and declare thermite after doing some tests gullible people think are proof of thermite.

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

      Harrit’s paper does not rebut itself. The paper does support thermitic material. The iron spheres found in the dust are not rust. The energy contained in the chips does not match rust. Etc.

  • thetruthis

    You cant fix stupid