9/11, Steven Jones, and Me – Part 2
During the month of November 2005, Professor Jones and I went back and forth via email about the contents of his paper. His paper has been updated since then so I have gone through our discussions and I have only kept the parts of them that still pertain to the current version of his paper located here. All page references below refer to the current version of the paper as of the date of this post.
Item 1 – On page 9, there is a photo of what Jones asserts is evidently “now solidified metal” that used to be molten. It turns out that this photo is of cement and other materials, including paper, that are part of several floors of material that were compressed during the collapse. Here are two of the original photos with the caption that explains what it really is.
Item 2 – On page 22 in the above report Professor Jones states:
“…further investigation and analyses are indeed needed, including serious consideration of the controlled-demolition hypothesis which is neglected in all of the government reports (FEMA, NIST and 9-11 Commission reports).”
But on page 6 of the NIST report, it says in bold red letters:
“NIST has seen no evidence that the collapse of WTC 7 was caused by bombs, missiles, or controlled demolition.”
So, they do address that they have not found any evidence that would support a controlled demolition theory. I asked Professor Jones if he thought that NIST was wicked (i.e. not telling the truth about what they found) or incompetent. He ultimately replied:
“I think the FEMA and NIST fellows were tightly constrained in what they could say, not evil. NIST states they were under non-disclosure restrictions, for example.”
So even though NIST explicitly states that they have found no evidence that WTC 7 was demolished, it seems to me that Professor Jones states that they neglected addressing controlled demolition and that the reason for this is that they were tightly regulated.
I would think that being regulated would mean that you don’t say anything about demolition even if you had found something, not that you lie and say the opposite of what your findings are. I think that they weren’t lying and that they really didn’t find any evidence of demolition and by saying so, they did in fact address the issue.
Apart from this, there is firsthand testimony gathered from firemen and rescue personnel during the few weeks after 9/11 during debriefing interviews. Several links to these interviews posted at www.nytimes.com can be found here. Some of this information also comes from www.firehouse.com.
In summary, the firefighters at WTC 7 say that there was a huge 20-story tall hole down the south side of WTC 7 that went inside the building 1/4 to 1/2 of the depth of the building, there was a large bulge between floors 10 and 13 that they put a transit on to measure its movement to predict collapse potential, there were strange creaking noises coming out of WTC 7, the building was leaning to one side, they saw from the structural damage combined with transit and laser doppler vibrometer data (another tool used to measure collapse potential) that the building would soon collapse on its own.
They set up a collapse zone a couple of hours before it collapsed to let it fall. Once it fell, they went back in to work on the debris pile. There are photos and video of the severe damage and smoke billowing out of the entire south side of WTC 7 here and here.
I have never seen these photos or video in a demolition theory presentation. I was only shown the basically undamaged north side and a small part of the southwest corner that’s damaged. I think they do this to create a need to investigate a demolition theory in the first place. Maybe I’m wrong though. Maybe they just didn’t look hard enough for evidence that would go against investigating a demolition theory.
Perhaps NIST had access to all this information and saw that a demolition theory was not necessary and that is why they didn’t address it except to say that they didn’t see any evidence of demolition. I have sent Professor Jones the testimony above about the severe damage to WTC 7, for example, but I have yet to find that information in his paper.
Why would he exclude this important testimony about the state of WTC 7 from his paper? I don’t know either. I also heard Professor Jones during an interview with Alex Jones saying that there was little damage to WTC 7 and that was AFTER I gave him the above testimony and references. Like I said, this testimony makes a demolition theory not necessary and perhaps that is why it is ignored.
Item 3 – On pages 2 and 22 of Professor Jones’ paper, it says:
“I invite you to consider the collapse of the 47-story WTC 7, which was never hit by a jet.” and “No major high-rise building has ever collapsed from fire…”
These statements are misleading in a few ways. First, with regard to WTC 7, yes, it wasn’t hit by a plane, it was hit by a huge chunk of the North World Trade Center Tower that did the damage explained above. Also, that other steel high rise buildings haven’t collapsed like the towers (and WTC 7) did that day is interesting but mostly irrelevant. The example photos of buildings falling on their sides in his presentations and other buildings that withstood fires were built differently and were not hit by airplanes or other buildings in combination with fires.
There is also the Madrid Windsor Tower that is often used to show that a huge raging fire didn’t destroy a building, but only selected photos are used. Look here to see the photos the conspiracy theorists don’t want you to see. Yes, if you look at the side of the building they don’t show you (that’s a recurring theme) the steel collapsed but the cement remained at the Windsor Madrid tower.
But this all ends up being a straw man argument anyway. Consider the research of Asif Usmani – a structural engineer from Edinburgh University who specializes in fire’s effect on structures. He contends that the steel didn’t need to melt or even loose much strength – all it had to do was expand. Another paper exists here. (Dang! I had to pay $25 for an earlier, less complete copy of that document and now it’s free and has more information in it – oh well.)
The floors of the towers expanded with fire across three floors. These floors buckled (as is shown in photos) because they couldn’t push the core in or the outer walls out. Once they buckled, the load was transferred to adjacent floors and also through the hat truss to the core. As each floor buckled, more load was put on the core until a global collapse initiated. The outer walls buckled inward up to 55 inches before the collapse, just as his computer models predicted. His models took about 50 minutes to collapse completely and the temperatures were fairly low.
Item 4 – On page 23 it says:
Horizontal puffs of smoke and debris are observed emerging from WTC-7 on upper floors, in regular sequence, just as the building starts to collapse. (The reader may wish to view the close-up video clip again.) The upper floors have evidently not moved relative to one another yet, from what one can observe from the videos. In addition, the timing between the puffs is less than 0.2 seconds so air-expulsion due to collapsing floors (see Chertoff, 2005) is evidently excluded. Free-fall time for a floor to fall down to the next floor is significantly longer than 0.2 seconds: the equation for free fall, y = ½ gt2, yields a little over 0.6 seconds, as this is near the initiation of the collapse. However, the presence of such “squibs” proceeding up the side of the building is common when pre-positioned explosives are used…”
The puffs come from the damaged area of WTC 7 as seen in the above photos and video of the south side. The penthouse falls into the building and then we see puffs of debris coming out of the windows in regular succession. It wouldn’t surprise me to see puffs of debris coming out of a building that has already started to collapse. Even the regularity of the puffs wouldn’t surprise me. If these were explosives, not only would they be seen before the building starts to fall (I saw the building start to fall one frame before the first puff came out – perhaps I’m looking at a different video), but they seem to be in the wrong place. Why put them at the top edge of the building? Also, why are we calculating floor to floor pancake times when WTC 7 didn’t pancake according to video accounts. The floors were connected to each other and a shock wave through the floors would go as fast as the speed of sound in the materials it was traveling through. With the penthouse dropping before the puffs, why is it such a mystery that air pressure from within the building as it collapsed would want to escape out of the already broken windows? Anyway, this really is moot since the collapse was expected hours before (without demolition), according to the firemen on the scene.
Item 5 – On page 32, it says:
“The 110-story towers of the World Trade Center were designed to withstand as a whole the forces caused by a horizontal impact of a large commercial aircraft. So why did a total collapse occur? (Bazant and Zhou, 2002, p. 2.)”
This is dishonest and misleading. I gave Professor Jones a more accurate quote:
“According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, however, WTC towers 1 and 2 were designed to withstand the impact of a 707 lost in fog, looking to land. The modeled aircraft was a 707 weighing 263,000 lb (119,000 kg) with a flight speed of only 180 mph (290 km/h), as would be used in approach and landing situations (, page 17). The 767s that actually hit the towers had a kinetic energy more than seven times greater than the specifically modeled 707 impact.” (wikipedia.org)
To which he replied:
“That was Bazant and Zhou’s statement in full on this matter – and I’m analyzing their paper at this point. The towers did withstand the impact, and so stood for 52 and 102 minutes afterward.”
Fair enough. He gave the full quote from Bazant and Zhou, but I gave him the complete quote. Ok, so now he has the complete quote. Does he remove the less correct, misleading quote from the paper and replace it with the more complete and accurate quote that I gave him? No. The incomplete and misleading quote is still in the paper to this day. He then discusses the misleading quote:
“Correct – the WTC Towers were designed to withstand forces caused by large commercial aircraft – we can agree on that.”
That’s a true, but misleading statement, especially when you know what the whole quote says.
Item 6 – on page 41, it says:
“Ryan’s estimate is that the probability that fires and damage (the “official theory”) could cause the Towers complete collapse is less than one in a trillion, and the probability is much less still when the complete collapse of WTC7 is included”
I asked him the following questions about this estimation:
How can you do a probability calculation on an event with such an incredible amount of unknowns? Did Ryan input the amount of core damage that was done into his statistical calculations? If so, where did he get that data? If not, where did he get his numbers? Could you provide me with the inputs and the formula used to come up with that number? Was an airplane flying into those core columns part of the calculation?
He didn’t get back to me on those questions. I really think it smells funny to put a “one in a trillion” estimate out there with no calculations to back it up.
Apparently, Mr. Ryan didn’t know about the damage to the south side of WTC 7 that gave the firemen the idea that the probability of collapse was close to 1 in 1. He also apparently didn’t know about Dr. Asif Usmani’s work that put the probablilty of collapse of the towers at some number quite a bit less than a trillion to 1.
If you combine those two probablities, you get a more likely overall chance of the three buildings collapsing. Yeah, I don’t know the exact probability, but it seems that Mr. Ryan doesn’t have all the inputs, including the firemen testimony above, or it would seem to be less than a 1 in a trillion chance.
Item 7 – On page 28, it says:
“And these explosives also readily account for the turning of the falling Towers to fine dust as the collapse ensues. Rather than a piling up with shattering of concrete as we might expect from non-explosive-caused progressive collapse (“official theory”), we find that most of the Towers material (concrete, carpet, etc.) is converted to flour-like powder WHILE the buildings are falling.”
As we might expect? Who is expecting this? Exactly what type of concrete were the floors made out of again? What amount of energy would it take to convert that into dust? Is there a more reasonable explanation than explosives all over every floor?
I think so and I think I’ll believe people who knew what kind of concrete was used and actually did calculations to find out what would happen. Look here if you dare.
Item 8 – On page 29 it says:
“But then – and this I’m still puzzling over – this block turned mostly to powder in mid-air!”
I just watched video of this again and the upper floors remain intact all the way until they disappear into the cloud of concrete dust below them. I don’t know which video he was watching.
Even if it did turn into dust because of explosives, how on earth would you do that without having fire or other explosive evidence other than just dust? And don’t say nukes – even Professor Jones doesn’t buy the nuke or the “high energy particle beam” theories.
Item 9 – On page 43, it says:
“Remarkably, the explosive demolition hypothesis accounts for all the available data rather easily. The core columns on lower floors are cut using explosives, near-simultaneously, along with explosives detonated up higher so that gravity acting on now-unsupported floors helps bring down the buildings quickly. The collapses are thus symmetrical, rapid and complete, with accompanying squibs — really very standard stuff for demolition experts….It is quite plausible that explosives were pre-planted in all three buildings, and set off after the two plane crashes – which were actually a diversion tactic.”
I disagree. How would cutting core columns on lower floors cause a collapse of the building directly above the impact but not just below the impact? How would it cause the south tower to tilt and rotate above the impact point but not below? Why would it not fall from the ground floors straight down?
And how on earth does a physics professor make an assertion that the plane crashes “were actually a diversion tactic”? What? Um, where are your physics calculations for such an assertion? I think that statement gives us a glimpse into his underlying beliefs that could be driving him to reject any data that goes counter to that belief. I could be wrong though. You decide.
Item 10 – This quote was in his paper back when I reviewed it with him but it has now been removed:
“And that fact should be of great concern to Americans and to all those threatened by American military and security units in the wake of the 9-11 events.”
Regardless of the reason that he put this in his paper originally, it stinks like anti-war agenda bias and it weakens his objectivity. Could it be just another glimpse into his underlying belief driving what I think is his practice of pathological science – where his underlying belief drives the types of data he looks for? I don’t know either. You decide.
Item 11 – Chain of custody. Professor Jones discusses some ground zero samples on page 13:
“We are studying residues found in solidified slag as well as in dust from the WTC collapses, in order to determine the nature of the reactions which produced this molten material. We have performed electron-microprobe, X-ray Fluorescence and other analyses on samples of the solidified slag and on the WTC dust. The provenience of the WTC dust sample is an apartment at 113 Cedar Street in New York City, NY. A memorial constructed from structural steel from the WTC Towers located at Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York, is the source of previously-molten metal samples. Porous, solidified splatter found with the compacted dirt from this memorial is being analyzed.”
I think if these samples are real, that this is really where Professor Jones’ time should be spent. It’s in his area of expertise and it’s physical evidence.
My only problem is that since his theory amounts to charging our own government with large scale cold blooded murder, his chain of custody (or provenience) needs to be better than this. I believe he has more detail for his chain of custody but I haven’t seen it published yet. I would like to see the names, dates, and locations of each sample from ground zero all the way to his hands. That is what would be required for a murder case.
If the chain of custody isn’t bulletproof, then it could be argued that someone just gathered up some slag from a thermite experiment they did in their back yard and sent it to Professor Jones and that would be the end of his case.
Next up, I would like to describe his reaction when I came to one of his presentations with firemen testimony in my hand. It was very strange. I would also like to go through his current paper and address any new information he has added since my last review of it.
Just to reiterate, I am not here to beat up on Professor Jones or to just do anything I can to prove him wrong. I think he should do the research he’s doing and I think his findings should be published. I do not however think that his solid research dealing with physics and metal samples should be hidden in a sea of already debunked or questionable or misleading material.
This would end up being a bunch of red herrings for the government or others to pick at – like I’m doing right now. I’d like these inaccuracies and misleading items to be reworded or removed so that the focus can be clear and solid and if there was something fishy going on on 9/11, it can be discovered.
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