The destruction of the WTC left basically four major types of large structural debris visible in photos like this:
(double 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 MASSIVE-- in contrast to some conceptions of the core after 9/11, the core structure took up a huge amount of the space inside the tower-- it was roughly 90 feet by 140 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
In the picture above, you can see that some of the very large core columns were about 100 feet long. If we assume that the core was made up of these 100 foot long core columns, it turns out there should have been over 600 core columns (at MIMIMUM-- the exact number depending on whether there were 46 or 47 the whole length and if the core had 100 foot columns the whole way).
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 HUGE steel beams. All told, we're talking about, at MINIMUM, 2100 HUGE steel columns and beams in the core.
Note, if anything, I am underestimating the numbers of core columns and core cross-beams.
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 core column or beam.
Erring on the side of calling everything remotely close to a large steel beam or column, I only count about 125 core columns/beams.***
That leaves almost 2000 HUGE STEEL columns and beams unaccounted for!
This picture was taken 9/13/01, and shows that the large columns in the picture above were basically left lying in place since 9/11:
Now sure, some core columns and beams are going to be buried under the rubble and not visible. But almost 2000 of these monster pieces of steel are buried in a rubble pile that wasn't more than 20 feet deep in most places?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?
I really, really, really, really doubt that jet fuel, or even thermite, caused over one thousand massive steel columns and beams to melt into a puddle. Besides, despite the reports of molten steel under ground zero, I have yet to see a picture of large pool of molten steel at ground zero.
What happened to all the core columns and beams then?
My guess is most of them turned to very fine dust and smoke.
Now you may say this "dustification" idea is just silly, that these huge pieces of steel are there and we just can't see them. But in truth, the rubble/debris pile for each tower was NOT THAT DEEP.
I defy anyone to take 2100 long thin objects (say pencils or toothpicks) and dump them into a pile and get a pile as relatively small as seen with the remains of WTC1-- and also only be able to see less than 10% of the objects at the end. Add in some junk to your pile if you wish.
Of course there is the whole issue of how the core structure was dismantled in the first place-- it's impossible for me to imagine that any gravity driven collapse would completely tear apart the core down to its lowest level.
***It's possible that I missed counting a few columns/beams in the picture, but I can't see missing more than 20. 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 large columns/beams. Even so, we're still talking about hundreds and hundreds of missing columns and beams.
One formal possibility is that I only counted the largest steel pieces that were the core columns and that all the cross-beams were smaller. There are in fact scads of small individual steel pieces scattered in the footprint of WTC1. I really doubt these are the major core cross-beams, as they seem too small. These small beams probably were individual outer wall columns that broke off, or steel beams that made up some of the floors (several floors had heavy steel beams instead of trusses supporting the floor) or the smaller core cross-beams (there should have been thousands of these). But even if we assume all these small pieces were the cross-beams, and the large steel pieces are only the core columns, we are still missing around HUGE 500 core columns!
Seriously, where are they?
Because if they can't be accounted for, it means the beam weapon that disintegrates steel is a reality.