An Open Letter to Steven Jones…On the Subject of Detonator Cord

by Scott Creighton (reposted from May 25th 2008)

and  ***UPDATED***

An Open Letter to Steven E. Jones, Jeffrey Farrer, Gregory S. Jenkins, Frank Legge, James Gourley, Kevin Ryan, Daniel Farnsworth, and Crockett Grabbe On the Subject of Detonator Cord

I wish to first thank each and every one of you for your continuing efforts to bring the serious questions that still permeate the official 9/11 investigations to light. I hope that in time, your efforts will rank among those of Daniel Ellsberg, Bob Woodward , and Carl Bernstein.

I also wish to congratulate you on the recent publication of your peer reviewed article Fourteen Points of Agreement with Official Government Reports on the World Trade Center Destruction“, published in The Open Civil Engineering Journal, Vol. 2 Issue 1, by Bentham Open. This is a huge step in the struggle for credibility in an atmosphere where any mention of discrepancies in the “official story” of  9/11 equates to professional suicide.

The courage it takes for you to continue your research and lectures is not lost on us and if I may be so bold as to speak for some of the 9/11 Truth seekers; thank you.

But this is by no means a fan letter and I know your time is valuable, so I will get to the point.

I have written your website on several occasions about this topic and received no response. I take issue with some of your findings in your all too important study, Extremely high temperatures during the World Trade Center destruction.” and subsequent comments that you have made when discussing your findings.


  1. The iron-rich spheres have differing chemical compositions
  2. The shear abundance of the spheres found in the WTC dust

I think I might be able to suggest an avenue of study that may shed some light on these facts.

The iron-rich spheres have differing chemical compositions

The work that you and others have produced detailing the residual chemical and physical signatures of the presence of Thermite and Thermate in the WTC dust has been extraordinary to say the least. But if I may be so bold, it would seem you are looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack full of nails.

Cutter charges are indeed an important part of the demolition process, but they are not, by far and away, the most abundant explosive charge used in terms of shear volume in a demolition.

The cutter charges you speak of do produce the type of evidence that you have pointed out several times and you have proven, in my opinion, their presence in the demolition of the World Trade Centers.

However, you mentioned in one of your lectures about the iron-rich spheres, that you and others have found many spheres of varying composition. I would like to suggest one possible explanation for that.

Detonating cord

Your work explaining how the core and exterior columns were moved out of the way of the falling debris by the use of “cutter charges” like Thermite or Thermate has been exceptional. However, in the demolition industry, these types of charges are not used to remove floor mass or concrete firewalls.

That work is accomplished by the detonating cord itself.

This cord, though used as a fuse to ignite the cutter charges and accurately link them together in a controlled demolition, is also a high explosive in and of itself.

“As a timing mechanism, detonation cord detonates at a very reliable rate (about 7000 – 8000 m/s), enabling engineers to control the pattern in which charges are detonated. This is particularly useful for demolitions, when structural elements need to be destroyed in a specific order to control the collapse of a building.” Wiki

Cordtex” and “Primacord” are the most commonly used detonation cords. Primaline, a heavier yield Primacord, has a hard plastic casing and looks very similar to a heavy gage commercial wiring.

(I remember that one of the witnesses who observed the workers who came in during the weekend of the “power-down” at the World Trade Centers say that he saw many of them moving large spools of what looked like “brightly colored cable”. Primaline, like most commercial explosives, uses bright colors to differentiate between the cords grain loads.)

Name Loading g/m (gr/ft) Colour
Primaline 4D 3.6 (18) Orange
Primaline 4HS 3.6 (18) Clear with blue stripe
Primaline 5 5.3 (25) Orange with wax coating
Primaline 5D 5.3 (25) Orange
Primaline 5NF 5.3 (25) Yellow
Primaline 8D 8.6 (40) Orange
Primaline 8HS 8.6 (40) Clear with black stripe
Primaline 10HS 10.6 (50) Clear with red stripe
Primaline 21 21.3 (100) Clear
Primaline 32 31.9 (150) Clear
Primaline 42 42.5 (200) Clear
Primaline 85 85 (400) Light green

You see, this is the vehicle they use to break up the vast amounts of concrete flooring systems and turn them virtually into dust and at the same time. Also, these charges (for they are explosive charges themselves) are used simultaneously to break-up the metal floor pans under the concrete as well as the metal trusses that hold them up.

The heavier cord burns extremely hot and they use some of these in commercial demo applications to remove large sections of pipe (which means they will in fact, cut through certain gages of steel).

So here we have a possible avenue of research; since we know that the cutter charges are not used to break up the masses of concrete flooring, and we know that there are different chemical traces in the iron-rich micro-spheres that you have found in the WTC dust, it would seem likely that, as is standard practice in professional demolitions, some other charge was used. I suggest that you look into the residual trace element finger-prints of detonator cords such as Primline.

The presence of this product would go a long way to explain the different compositions of the micro-spheres (the chemical make-up of the Primaline is different than that of the Thermite and Themate cutter charges, and the metals that were affected by these charges would be different than that of the steel columns.)

The shear abundance of the spheres found in the WTC dust

In your study on the presence of the iron-rich micro-spheres found in the WTC dust you note:

“Iron-rich spherules were also observed in studies conducted by the RJ Lee Company and the USGeological Survey. In particular, a USGS report on the WTC dust provides two micrographs of “iron-rich spheres” and a “bulbous” or tear-drop-shaped silicate droplet.”

“Moreover, the RJ Lee report provides provocative data regarding the abundance of observed iron-rich spheres. A WTC dust sample acquired at 130 Liberty Street shows a “mean of composition” of “Fe spheres” of 5.87% which is very high compared with “Fe spheres” found in ordinary building dust of only 0.04%. As the report notes, the WTC dust has unusual identifying characteristics – in particular, the WTC dust in this sample has nearly 150 times (5.87/0.04) the amount of iron-rich spheres as ordinary dust.”

Even though there were many columns in the WTC that had to be “cut” in order for the building to come down in the highly controlled manner which they did, Thermite cutter charges could not have produced such a high yield of residual micro-spheres when compared to the shear volume of the mass of the concrete and other materials used in the buildings.

Imagine that a cutter-charge slices roughly and 1/8″ of material to ¼” of material when ignited. Even if they used two cuts per floor (which seems unlikely if, as you and Richard Gage have pointed out, the beams were pre-cut to roughly 30′ lengths in order to more easily transport) that would not explain the nearly 6% composition of micro-sphere in the dust.

It is more likely that something else produced micro-spheres in the process.

“Not only is it necessary for the material to have achieved extremely high temperatures to melt and so be able to form small spheres, it is also necessary that some violent physical disturbance occur in order to shatter the molten material into the sizes observed,” (from your study)

We have established that certain high yield detonator cord burns hot enough to melt thin gage metals. But to be more specific as to the exact chemical residues of each type of detonator cords potentially used would require more comprehensive study than I am qualified to produce.

But were you and your researchers to find trace elements of residual detonator cord explosives within the WTC dust, that would go along way to fill in the gaps of the story.

By observing the overall collapse time of the WTC building, we can see that they floors failed at a rate of about 10 floors per second.

What that would mean is if the detonator cord was used, as I suggest it must have been, it would have been “fished” in the ceilings, beneath the concrete flooring of the floor above and through the metal trusses that suspend the floor sections.

As that floor detonates, it would simultaneously eject the concrete flooring upward and the resulting molten metal from the trusses downward.

In 1/10th of a second, the floor beneath would do the same thing, creating a two stage effect, “shattering the molten metal into the sizes observed.”

Then the force of the residual mass of the structure above would force the material outward in a lateral ejection of dust, as was observed.

I do not know if you and your fellow researchers have already tested for the residual trace elements of this type of explosive in the dust you have collected from the WTCs. And though it may be presumptuous of me to suggest any course of action, I feel that this is something that should not be overlooked.

In the overall design of a demolition project on such a massive scale, the volume of cutter-charge material compared to the volume of what-ever was used to break up those floors, must be relatively low.

Therefore I would hope that you and your colleagues will take this letter in the manner in which it was written; not as a criticism but rather a suggestion of a course of investigation.

If indeed this was an example of a controlled demolition, as I think you have come a long way towards proving, then something other than Thermite was used to link the cutter-charges, and to demolish the flooring systems.

It is my suggestion that you and your researchers look into detonator cords as one possible solution.

***UPDATE*** (comments I left for Dr. Jones on 9/11 Blogger)

Though I am no chemical engineer, I will do my best to flush-out what info I can on the residual trace elements of Primaline.

At this point, I can tell you:

Primaline is composed of a thin outer plastic jacket surrounding a core of pentaerythritol tetranitrate. or PETN

“The heat of explosion is 5,862 kilojoules per kilogram[2], or 1.4 times that of TNT.”

and it’s chemical formula is PETN’s formula is C(CH2ONO2)4.

It has an explosive velosity of 8,400 m/s.

“PETN’s preparation involves the nitration of pentaerythritol with a mixture of concentrated nitric and sulfuric acid.”

I will look into forensic signatures, but that may be way over my head.

But I can tell you this; the use of this method of demolition is pretty commonplace for the larger companies doing this kind of work.

There was one company brought in to help with the clean up of the WTC area, 2 days after the 11th.

This company is the largest and best in the world at demolitions.

If your conclusions are correct about cutter charges being in the building, then something broke up those concrete floors.

If cutter charges were placed in the buildings, then it was demoed. Would you bring in the best demo team in the world, to clean up your evidence, if they weren’t involved in the first place? Wouldn’t you worry about them finding tell tale signs that only demo industry people would notice?

In Nov. 2005, Popular Mechanics did an article about controled demolitions. They interviewed someone from CDI. In the first few paragraphs you find this…

“Everywhere, tangles of red and yellow cords snake across the floor and wind their way up the load-bearing columns.

“Those lines are detonating cord,” Doud warns. “They’ve got a PETN-based explosive in them. Pentaerythritol tetranitrate. Took me two years to learn how to say it and I still can’t spell it.”

I know you don’t like mentioning companies or pointing fingers, and that’s not what I am doing. All i am saying is, the best controled demolition company out there was talking about using this product in 2005.

and they didn’t just invent it.

Not only that, but they hang coils of the stuff on the sides of the columns in order to control the direction the column flies in the demo.…

It’s a good read.

I will find what I can about the traces to look for. Thank you for responding and for all the work that you have done. I feature much of your work on my site ( I hope you don’t mind)


I don’t know much about Hoffman’s dispersed hydrogen gas theory, nor the thermobaric explosives for that matter.

But what I know is this.

If I were going to do this, if I were going to base all of these changes and the entire globalization movement on one event, I would damn sure want to know it was going to work, and that it would look like it was supposed to.

I don’t know how many buildings have been demoed from hydrogen gas or thermobaric explosions, but I know lots of them have been demoed by Primaline and cutter charges.

Dropping a 47 story building into it’s own footprint is an art form.

Doing the same to two 110 story buildings, side by side, is a goddamn magnum opus in the demo world.

To do all three in one day, there can’t be more than 3 companies and engineers capable of pulling that off.

We should stick to what we know. I think they would.

We know that NIST didn’t test for residual explosives, from their own report. Maybe we shouldn’t look at that as an oversight… maybe we should look at that as a clue.

PETN is a commonly used explosive in terrorist attacks, missle attacks, as well as demolitions.

It is common practice to test for the presence of PETN in terrorist hijackings and plane crashes, yet NIST admits they didn’t.

Maybe someone is trying to tell us something in that letter they sent.

Exotic weapons wouldn’t leave a PETN signature, so if they tested for it and found nothing, like releasing the missing Pentagon security videos, that act would would pretty much crush the controled demo theory. Or slow it down quite a bit by giving the debunkers more to work with.

But they didn’t test for it.

They also brought in a controled demolition company 2 days after 9/11 to help with the clean up.

They had to demo building 5 a couple months later to get rid of the rest of it, but why were they there 2 days after the buildings came down? They were still sifting through the remains trying to piece together what happened, supposedly.

And if they did demo those buildings, why bring in a company that specializes in just that? They also do forensic investigation of bomb sites for the government.

It would seem to me that if you used some new explosives, the last people you would want on site are people qualified to start putting the pieces together.

Unless, of course….


22 Responses

  1. Great follow through on the tech stuff.

  2. It’s hard to think they haden’t already considered this.

  3. Go to town willy … Kick ass “Open letter” … I’m behind you all the way … if you need it ….

  4. By the way I spent an hour or so late last night working on a ruff template … which is why my picture is finally showing …

    What do you think so far ….

  5. I just left another link for you willy ….

  6. Well goddamn. Welcome to the club.

    I started with that very same blank looking slate 15 months ago. My first month I had 50 views. My second month I had 500. Now I am averaging 1000 per day.

    It’s been a long strange trip (plagerism is fun).

    If you have any questions or want any help, I will be glad to lend a hand or talk you though any process. Consider anything I write here, yours for the taking and anything I plagerize yours to plagerize as well.

    Seriously, good for you. Now go figure out how to moderate that comment I left, you slacker.

  7. 🙂 I am a slacker … compaired to you … Good show today willy really … And here I thought I was the one who was going to surprise you guys ….

  8. hello…. a lot of technical stuff but you seem to know what you are talking about…. I hope they do… (It is all over my head)…

    Yeah…. J. Douglas… nice pic. Had to get my magnifying glass out to find you but you are mighty nice looking young serious fellow…

  9. ah shit… Jan got out her magnifying glass… uh oh.

  10. go read J. Douglas’ first posting. He fires away at Hawster. (I might have that man’s ID spelled wrong)

    see comment no 4 above to get address.

  11. I’m just having fun fiddling with all these new buttons 🙂 I’ll be finished with the first post by morning I’m sure …. wooo hooo ….

  12. JD, I got only one concern about this new site, will we be allowed to make threats of violence toward certain individual’s?

  13. Are you going to go all “Raumbo” on me now there SCOTT 🙂

  14. Yeah… watch out for RAmbo Humphrey….. LOL

  15. well, it was forbiden at ADS.ORG but what about AADS.ORG?
    I don’t really wanna do it, I jus wanna talk some shit.


  16. Talk away my friend … I’ll leave an exepmtion form for you ….


  18. […] commercial contractor I can tell you with complete confidence that Willyloman’s hypothesis here does have merit and is certainly worth looking into … Det cord by it’s very nature(looking […]

  19. 0bd0aJ5LSi54e

  20. […] the demolition process. This is only PART of a larger work that I am putting together incorporating technical information of PETN (det cord), findings of Steven Jones (iron rich micro-spheres), dust particle contents reported by […]

  21. […] believe that conventional materials commonly used in the demolition business were used to pulverized the lightweight concrete used in […]

  22. Thanks for writing this up, I’m eager to see what you have to say next about this topic.

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