Ground Zero Smoking Cannon: Where Are All the Core Columns and Beams???(UPDATED 8/24/08)
The destruction of the WTC left basically four major types of large structural debris visible in photos like this:
(click to enlarge; this image was cropped from a larger picture taken September 23rd, 2001)
There was lots of aluminum cladding (the silvery stuff that spread the farthest and was seen on the rooftops of surrounding buildings), there were sections of the outer wall (these have the characteristic "wheat-chex" appearance, which were groups of columns linked by spandrel plates), there were many small beams of unclear origin (the right size for broken-off outer columns but could also be floor beams -- many floors of the WTC were supported by beams and not trusses-- or small core cross-beams), and last, there were the huge core columns and core cross-beams (the largest single separate columns that are strewn about like matchsticks in the photo above).
The core of the WTC was in fact huge-- in contrast to some conceptions of the core after 9/11, the core structure took up a major amount of the space inside the tower-- it was roughly 80 feet by 130 feet in cross-section, in the 207 by 207 foot cross-section of the tower, and it left about 60 feet of floor on two sides and about 30 feet of floor on the other two sides.
The core was composed of 46-47 vertical sets of long columns that went the length of the building, and the core was abundantly cross-braced by steel beams. Additional information on the core structures can be seen here and here and here.
In the picture above, you can see that some of the largest core column pieces were close to 100 feet long. In fact, the longest individual core columns were 36 feet long, so the longest columns shown in the photo must be two or three sections welded together that clearly stayed together during the destruction process.
Now that we have good information on the precise numbers and sizes of the WTC core columns, it turns out there were approximately 1974 total core column sections, and at least 50% of these were large rectangular box columns, 3 to 4 feet wide (note, this is an underestimation). Thus there were at least 980 of the very large column sections in just ONE tower. These columns would be the prominent ones in the photo.
The numbers of steel beams in the cross-bracings was much, much greater. At a minimum of 14 large cross-beams per floor, we're talking over 1500 more large steel beams. All told, we're talking about close to 3500 large steel columns and beams in the core, with 980 of these the massive 3 to 4 feet wide core columns.
So this begs the question: how many core columns and core cross-beams are seen in the remnants of a WTC tower, such as in the remains of WTC1 in the photo here:
I have marked with a black line anything that could be considered a large core column.
Erring on the side of calling everything remotely close to a large steel beam or column, I only count about 200 large core column sections (taking into account the idea that some of these columns are double 36 foot sections).
This leaves over 750 HUGE STEEL core columns unaccounted for!***
Further, there are still 1500 large core cross-beams and hundreds of remaining substantial core columns unaccounted for, that should be filling the debris pile but are not clearly there.
This picture was taken very shortly after 9/11, as the west wall WTC1 is still not cleaned up (lower left foreground), and shows that the large core columns were not moved between 9/11 and 9/23:
(click to view separately)
Thus, it wasn't that hundreds of the columns were carted away before 9/23 (when the top picture was taken). Further, given the massive size of the large core columns, they would not be able to be lifted out until the outer debris was cleaned up and the cranes could be moved in closer-- which was only just starting to happen on 9/23.
Now sure, some core columns and beams are going to be buried under the rubble and not visible. But almost 800 of these monster pieces of steel are buried in a rubble pile that wasn't more than 10 feet deep outside of the footprint of the towers, and no more than 60 feet deep within the footprint of the tower???
I don't think so.
Not to mention that the videos showed that much of the core clearly came down last (or at least large sections of it came down at the end), and therefore the core columns and beams should have been at the top of the pile.
And certainly, the core being the heaviest part of the building, core columns and beams were not going to fall very far from the foot-print of the tower.
So what happened to all the core columns?
My guess is the missing columns and beams were vaporized by small nuclear bombs-- mini-nukes emplaced in the center of the core structure. I am open to other suggestions besides nukes, but nukes seems to be the best explanation currently.
Further, seeing how the core gets progressively stronger towards the bottom, and the huge difference in strength of the columns from top to bottom, it is impossible for me to imagine that any gravity driven collapse would completely tear apart the lower core down to its base level. Thus, the lack of core columns helps to disprove the official story by itself.
***It's possible that I missed counting a few columns/beams in the picture, but I can't see missing more than 20-50. It's probably true I missed a few columns/beams that fell further and were off the bottom edge of the picture-- though looking at other shots of ground zero, I can't have missed more than 20-50 large columns/beams. Even so, we're still talking about over 750 large columns missing (and 2000 smaller columns and beams not readily apparent either)!!!
Seriously, where are they?
Because if these columns and beams can't be accounted for, it is yet another strong piece of evidence for nukes-- or some even more horrible means of destruction.