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

Posted by willyloman on July 24, 2008

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

by Scott Creighton

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 just a fan letter and I know your time is valuable, so I will get to the point.


 I would like to discuss 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.)



Loading g/m (gr/ft)


Primaline 4D 3.6 (1) Orange
Primaline 4HS 3.6 (1) 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.


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 velocity of 8,400 m/s.

“PETN’spreparation 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 controlled 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 controlled 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.

As a matter of fact; remember that video of the democ expert that said, right off the bat, that Building 7 was controlled demolition? Well, I just saw an extended version of that interview, in which he talks about the process of how they could have done it. And the first thing he talks about is how they would have to run the “det cord”.

There are inexpensive ways to test for PETN residual traces. Anyone can get one of the kits and do it themselves. in fact, PETN is the primary HE in most US made missiles. It was the finding of trace elements of PETN that solved the Flight 800 case.

So therefore, any artifacts or untainted material from Ground Zero or the Pentagon, could be, and should be, checked for these trace elements.

NIST made a point to let us know that they hadn’t tested for these very trace elements then went on to say “Their presence wouldn’t NECESSARILY prove demolition.” Seems kind of odd to say about a criminal investigation involving the potential use of explosives; wouldn’t you say?


4 Responses to “An Open Letter to Steven Jones…On the Subject of Detonator Cord”

  1. The trusses used to connect the inner and outer structures and to support the concrete-filled 22ga. steel floor pans are 33″ in height. Photographs clearly show a plenum or “crawl space” some 36″ high between the underside of the floor pans and the framed suspended ceilings.

    Ideally placed to access the exterior steelwork, and much of the interior structure.

    Multiple radio-controlled detonators firing magnetically-attached C-4 charges under the floor pans will pulverize the floor pans and their concrete rather well. With the main columns of the central cores weakened by Thermite or Thermite charges, the demolition can be dynamically controlled.

    Always remember that these demolitions were planned to create the greatest possible psychological impact. Mushroom clouds strike at peoples’ deepest fears. Loiseaux is being faux-naive when he said that he would blow the towers at the base. This is show business, not efficient demolition.

    I can think of one person with the intelligence, mindset and expertise to create this spectacle — a work of genius. He had access to all the building plans of WTC. He had access to the towers themselves. He worked from a vantage point just across the Plaza, in Giuliani’s OEM Center.

    His name is Jerome Hauer, the OEM Chief.



  2. willyloman said

    Thanks Tony:

    That’s very interesting as far as the C-4 is concerned. And certainly very interesting about Hauer. Is it true that Hauer himself has demo experience? I heard he did.

    Now C-4 is something to look into, but remember this: Det cord was and is the standard of the industry. Even in that interview with the Danish(?) demolition expert, he goes on to describe how Building 7 could have been brought down, and he mentions running “det cord” through-out.

    Lets look at it this way; if they were going to bring these buildings down, it’s not like something they would just get some “black-op” guys to do. It takes a lot of knowledge to drop something like Building 7 (it would be a world record, by the way), much less the Towers, in a way that “looked” like a “collapse” (to the average person, that is).

    So they had to get professionals to do this. And professional demo guys probably aren’t going to reinvent the wheel, with their lives on the line (if discovered they get the death penalty).

    So, IMHO, they would use what they know; det cord. It’s the most effective, and stable tool for the job.

    Now I know det cord looks thin, but that is the point. They could have had contractors wearing AT&T uniforms there running “cable” for months before 9/11, and no-one would have suspected a thing. Even now, people wouldn’t even have really paid them much mind. Do you remember each contractor that comes into the office?

    Now this cord has tremendous explosive energy. But when I was talking to a guy who used to do demo for the Army, he said they would weave two and three strands of the ‘red” prima-line together, making it 3 times as powerful.

    You take that and run it up thru the cable chases inside the trusses, right under the floor pans, and that would both pulverize the concrete floor as well as melt most of the trusses and floor pan themselves.

    The stuff is very powerful.

    in fact, they will hang wraps of the stuff on the side of the column that the cord runs to the cutter-charge on, and a 1/10th of a second after the cutter-charge suts the steel, the “wrap” detonates, and blows the column out of the way, into whatever direction they choose.

    Remeber all of the columns blown across the street?

    anyway, C-4, cutter-charges, det cord… something blew the shit out of that building. And if I am not mistaken, C-4 is also PETN, so that would show up on that test as well.

    Thanks for commenting.

    Scott Creighton

  3. gravity said

    The odd thing about thermite and derivatives is that they leave substantial residues. Almost all remains except the thin white dust which rises from the reaction.

    In contrast PETN and TNT turn completely into gas on detonation. They leave no residue. That is not to say that there would not be a signature – perhaps some inpurity or wrapping material might leave a tiny residue – however I think the chances of finding a signature from conventional explosives would be pretty slim. Perhaps someone else had knowledge that would help.

  4. chuckboldwyn said

    Chuck Boldwyn, Retired Physics & Chemistry Instructor has very extensively researched the Twin Tower Collapses and discovered:

    The following is the Equation that proves that the 911 Twin Towers could not possibly have collapsed due to exploding plane crashes and extremely widespread and intense fires.

    CL(95) = 20*LL(95)
    = 20*[5*DL(95)]
    = 100*DL(95)
    = 100*(95/15)DL(15)
    = 633 Force Units of upward support

    CL = Collapse Load for 100% & Total Collapse
    LL = Live Load = Occupied & Furnished Weight
    DL = Dead Load = Unoccupied, Unfurnished
    110 = 110 Floor Steel WTC
    95 = 95 Floor Steel Block (Lower Block)
    15 = 15 Floor Steel Block (Top Block)
    20 = Collapse Load Factor of John Skilling
    5 = Live Load Factor of Ronald Hamburger
    of NIST

    Therefore, it required the Force of Weight of 633 15-Floor-Blocks pressing down on one 95-Floor-Steel-Block before the possibility of total collapse could possibly occur.

    I am using the NIST and Mass Medias own published and or announced at 911 tour presentations data to make this scientific proof that one 15-Floor-Block could not, even in one’s wildest dreams totally collapse the 95-Floor-Steel-Block below.
    The same application of this data will show that the other Twin Tower could not possibly collapse.

    I have prepared a MS Word document with photos, data tables, graphs and other evidence aplenty to conclusively prove my assertions. If you are interested in receiving it for your own evaluation and can help me distribute it to the world, please email me at
    and I will send you a copy at your email address.

    I am also building a scale model of the WTC Twin Tower, using Ramagon connector beams and connector balls (26 holes.
    The 95-Floor model has a Core with trussed outer walls and trussed floors connected. The model weighs only 3 pounds.
    I am predicting it will Collapse-Load to failure between 200 and 1000 times its own weight of force. I will top load it
    using 25 to 50 pound barbell plated to total failure. I will take photos and video of this project and publish it on youtube,
    eventually and have a lot more to say about the impossibility of total collapse from a mere 15 floor block.
    I am in possession of the most critical information that all of the 911 researchers have been longing and praying for some
    Physicist to uncover. The wait for conclusive proof is over. Just request my paper to sent to you via your email address….

    Chuck Boldwyn
    Retired Physics & Chemistry Instructor

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