Germany’s Interviews Dr. Niels Harrit


By Lars Sobiraj

May 24, 2009

Questions to Niels Harrit concerning the study “Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe”.


Some time ago, featured the news about the work of a team of independent scientists from Denmark, USA and Australia. They claim to have found a substance called Nano Thermite in the dust of the World Trade Center attacks of September 11, 2001 in New York City. Nano Thermite is an explosive, normally only used by the military, not available on the normal market. It is a relative to thermite, a substance used for welding.

On the Gulli board one of the biggest discussions ever broke loose between so called conspiracy theorists and people who trust the official version about 9/11. More than 28.000 views. More than 800 postings. We gave sceptical gulli users the chance to ask their questions directly to Dr. Niels Harrit, one of the scientists. The gulli users asked really tough questions and didn’t censor anything. We gave all those questions to Mr. Harrit and were really curious how he would respond. He answered. So now, here’s the promised interview. The whole interview is released under this Creative Commons license, so you can copy it and spread it everywhere at no charge and without asking. You can download the PDF here.

Copenhagen / Düsseldorf, May 2009

Interview: Your full name and title?

Dr. Niels Harrit: Dr. Niels Holger Harrit. Your age?

Dr. Niels Harrit: 64

Niels Harrit, Ground Zero, world trade center, nano thermite

Dr. Niels Harrit, Copenhagen, Denmark Please explain exactly in what subject you earned your doctorate and what you studied / you are an expert in.

Dr. Niels Harrit: My master degree, which I earned in 1971, was based on the work I did for one year at Max-Planck-Institut für Strahlenchemie, Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany. My doctor thesis from 1975 from University of Copenhagen was in mechanistic photochemistry. I spent a year at Columbia University, New York City as post doc. in 1977. Your current profession?

Dr. Niels Harrit: Docent at University of Copenhagen. Please tell us what exactly you are teaching.

Dr. Niels Harrit: I teach organic chemistry, photochemistry and photophysics to nanoscience students and chemistry students. I supervise master students and Ph.D. students. Got some references?

Dr. Niels Harrit: I have published close to 60 papers in the best peer-reviewed journals. Can you please tell us about what you published? Give some examples which might be related? Which journals? Also some examples?

Dr. Niels Harrit: I enclose my list of publications. My latest paper is currently “Hot paper of the month” in Angewandte Chemie, one of the world’s most leading journals of chemistry. I am a senior member of a “Centre of Excellence” Molecular Movies where I mostly work with physicists on time resolved X-ray scattering. This centre is a subdivision of the Nano-Science Center at the University of Copenhagen, of which I have been a faculty member since it started in 2001. Your mindset concerning 9/11 – are you a believer or a questioner?

Dr. Niels Harrit: I am opposed to crime. Your website?

Dr. Niels Harrit: None. What exactly allows you to say that you are an expert on Nano Thermite?

Dr. Niels Harrit: There are no experts on nanothermite without connections to the military. Do you and your team expect any benefit from releasing this work?

Dr. Niels Harrit: Restoring justice, democracy and free press. Avoid fascism. A better world for my grandchildren. Who financed the work?

Dr. Niels Harrit: No one. So you all worked in your spare time at no charge – for free – on this 2 years study? You used university infrastructure though?

Dr. Niels Harrit: You have an unreal conception of what it is to be a scientist. It is not a job. It is an existence. I do not have spare time. Of course I use my office at the university.

RELATE TO THE FACTS Please forgive us our strange questions! But right on: Many of the team of scientists are from the Truther movement. Steven E. Jones, who is preaching the controlled demolition of WTC since years. There are 2 colleagues from Jones’s university in your team: Jeffrey Farrer and Daniel Farnsworth. Kevin R. Ryan, Gregg Roberts and James R. Gourley are from the Truther movement as well. How can this team guarantee neutrality concerning the study?

Dr. Niels Harrit: In European football, you get penalties for attacking the man instead of playing the ball. Besides, I am proud to be on a team with grown-up scientists who have fought for 911 truth longer than I have. Please, read the paper, RELATE TO THE FACTS and nothing else.

Niels Harrit, World Trade Center, ground zero, nano thermite

World Trade Center, Source: Wikimedia Ok then. Where, when and how exactly did you get the dust? How did you make sure its pure and original dust from 911? Were any officials present when you took the samples?

Dr. Niels Harrit: All this is accurately accounted for in the paper. Is it right that Steven Jones organised the samples? Steven Jones is known as an absolute believer in the 911 conspiracy and folks out there do not step back from accusing him of mixing the dust of with explosives to finally bring the “proof” for the controlled demolition.

Dr. Niels Harrit: This is an absolute insult to an honest scientist. Furthermore, it is a stupid question, in as much as we are anti-conspiracy theorists. We oppose the official conspiracy theory. That’s all.

Niels Harrit, Ground Zero, world trade center, nano thermite

Locations where the dust samples were taken. How do you make 100% sure that the dust you analyzed was not altered, or anybody mixed it up with Nano Thermite before you analyzed it?

Dr. Niels Harrit: See next question. OK. Did you compare the dust samples to samples you did not get from Steven E. Jones?

Dr. Niels Harrit: Yes. I have two samples in Copenhagen which were sent to me directly from the collectors, and they contained the chips as well. There is a handful of other scientists who can bring the same testimony.

Niels Harrit, Ground Zero, world trade center, nano thermite

Red and grey chips found in the dust of WTC.

Dr. Niels Harrit: I believe there are about 20 samples out there, but I don’t know exactly and I have no reason to care. How come that you were chosen to examine the dust?

Dr. Niels Harrit: I am part of the team. I was invited to join. If you gross it up, how much Nano Thermite was laying around in Lower Manhattan after the collapse?

Dr. Niels Harrit: Very, very difficult to put an absolute number on that. Let us say 10 tons.
It was not prepared in a cave in Afghanistan Is it possible for terrorists to get hold of this material? It’s such a special material, so that only people from inside the US army could get hold of it. Where can Nano Thermite be bought? Can normal people buy it as well? Or only companies / military?

Dr. Niels Harrit: This stuff has only been prepared under military contracts in the USA and probably in bigger allied countries. This is secret military research. Do your own guess work and read Kevin Ryan’s article on this subject. It was not prepared in a cave in Afghanistan.

Niels Harrit, Ground Zero, world trade center, nano thermite

photo: Red layer on top of grey layer. How does Nano Thermite differ from Thermite and Thermate? What is the special function? Who does normally use Nano Thermite and for which purposes is it used?

Dr. Niels Harrit: Thermate is thermite which contains sulphur. What is Thermate used for normally?

Dr. Niels Harrit: Melting steel items. Armour, for example. Nanothermite is thermite prepared by nanotechnological methods.
Smaller, cheaper and nastier. So it is much smaller and therefore has a bigger surface which makes it react much quicker and more energetic?

Dr. Niels Harrit: Yes, the particles are much smaller. But it is prepared in a radically different way compared to ordinary thermite, where the small particles are made by making bigger particles smaller.

In nanomaterials, the particles are prepared from atoms and molecules.

Nanothermite is the explosives of the future. “Smaller, cheaper and nastier” (as they say, those who want funding for their research). Does Nano Thermite have more power than regular explosives such as C4 or TNT? What are the biggest benefits that Nano Thermite has?

Dr. Niels Harrit: Power, safety, versatility. It is cheap too. “Smaller, cheaper and nastier” than regular explosives. You say that there is iron oxide and aluminium and conclude that this means it’s Nano Thermite. Isn’t it normal in such a building that there is iron oxide and aluminium? Or could it happen that the substance Nano Thermite was produced as a result of the collapse?

Dr. Niels Harrit: No way. You don’t expect a box of matches to be formed in a fire.

South Tower, WTC, ground zero, nanothermite, Dr. Niels Harrit

WTC South Tower collapse, Source:, thx! original link Did you have other samples of Nano Thermite (not from the dust) to compare while you studied the dust? Just to make sure it is real Nano Thermite?

Dr. Niels Harrit: Yes. We have prepared it ourselves, since there have been some scientific publications and conference reports. It performs as expected. But it is not exactly the same variety as the stuff we have found in the WTC dust. Can Nano Thermite be prepared by a university without any OK from government officials? It is a very dangerous substance, so that it might fall under assault weapons law?

Dr. Niels Harrit: Nanothermite is quite safe to handle. All the known programs (in US) are funded by military funds and secret. See this, which only covers what was know at the time of writing.

A big part of the Pentagon budget is secret. This part is up to 60 billions e.g. this year. Why did no bomb sniffing dog bark?

Dr. Niels Harrit: All the bomb sniffing dogs were sent home by the security company two weeks before. Furthermore, they are trained on conventional explosives which smell rather characteristically. Did anybody who is not involved in the Truther movement double-check your studies? Like independent blasters or producers of Nano Thermite?

Dr. Niels Harrit: The paper was peer-reviewed as it is routinely done with scientific publications. Who did this peer-reviews? Can you explain at least which kind of people it has been? Officials from your university?

Dr. Niels Harrit: The referees are anonymous. They are not officials from my university. No one at my university knows more about this than I do. The University is not responsible for the research. Only the authors are. Nano Thermite is both an explosive and a substance for welding?

Dr. Niels Harrit: No. Welding is performed with conventional thermite. Everyone can buy it. It is not an explosive. It only produces hot, molten iron. Do you have any theory who placed the substance in the towers? Could it be the company “Controlled Demolition” whose president Mark Loizeaux openly denies the existence of Nano Thermite, although he is an expert on demolition? His company came up with a clean up plan for Ground Zero shortly after the collapse. People accuse him to have taken down the WTC.

Dr. Niels Harrit: No. I absolutely do not like to speculate beyond the data. We insist on a criminal investigation of the crime. No investigation has been carried out yet. What exactly do you want to achieve with your work on Nano Thermite and 911?

Dr. Niels Harrit: The truth.

Niels Harrit, Ground Zero, world trade center, nano thermite

Ground Zero, Source: Wikimedia. Why did almost no news portals, TV stations or even scientific journals except some conspiracy websites report about your results?

Dr. Niels Harrit: Ask them! How do you deal with people calling you a “stupid conspiracy theorist”?

Dr. Niels Harrit: Shrug my shoulders. They are going to come down. I am an anti-conspiracy theorist. The only conspiracy theory worth dealing with is the official conspiracy theory – the one with Osama Bin Laden and the 19 hijackers. Now, ain’t it stupid to believe the official conspiracy theory without having been presented one single piece of evidence? Who are the fools? Is it true that somebody in your team lost his job because of your common examination? And if yes, how could that happen?

Dr. Niels Harrit: No, not yet. But some of them lost their jobs before that!! Why did they lose their job? Linked to the work on 911? Who kicked them out then and why?

Dr. Niels Harrit: They lost their job because they are critical of the Official Conspiracy Theory. Steven E. Jones was forced into early retirement from Brigham Young University. Kevin Ryan was fired from Underwriters Laboratories, who were responsible for certification of the steel to the towers.

You have to accept that far from everything leaks out, since you do not know what does not leak out. How do you think did “they” manage it that nobody from the crew of demolition specialists told the public afterwards that it was a crime? Normally everything leaks out. Have they all been jailed in WTC Building 7?

Dr. Niels Harrit: No. You have to accept that far from everything leaks out, since you do not know what does not leak out. This is the greatest cover-up in history. No one was killed in WTC7. Do you expect that the results of your research will result in any official inquiries of the police or FBI etc.? Did you send a copy of the results to the FBI? What happened?

Dr. Niels Harrit: Yes. A copy has actually been sent to FBI. I am not in a position to give a full account of the response, but as I recall, it was surprisingly receptive. How are you connected with other specialists who want to reopen 911?

Dr. Niels Harrit: I don’t really have time to connect. I am totally busy keeping up with all the attention this last paper has received. I am overwhelmed by that, since we are not really bringing something new. I am just doing the best I can., the day only has so and so many hours and I still have to attend to my job.

Silence gives consent Yes, if you google your name at the moment, you get more than 260.000 results. What would you suggest how to move on now? Next steps for the media / the public?

Dr. Niels Harrit: The media hasn’t reacted yet. It is the duty of the public to tell them that if they keep on lying for much longer, they will lose what little credibility they have left.

Silence gives consent! Ask questions!! Trust yourself. It is not so complicated. There were two airliners, but three skyscrapers. You don’t need a scientist to count to three.

Everyone should push every button and demand truth in the press. This is very serious. Every action, no matter how small, counts.

My major point: Everyone is lying, everyone is scared. So we have to trust ourselves, and it is not so hard. Thank you for this nice interview, Dr. Harrit. Really appreciated. You answered a lot of questions which the Gulli members were asking. We wish you all the best for the future and hope all this really gets cleared up by the police soon.

Dr. Niels Harrit: Thank you for the interview! All the best to Germany!

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