Category Archives: Conspiracy Theories

Debunking the 9/11 denial movement

9/11, Steven Jones, and Me – Part 4

As I have been reviewing Professor Jones’ paper for part 4, I have come across two articles that, taken together, have done this already and from what I’ve read so far, they’ve done a much better job than I could ever dream of doing, so rather than rebuilding the wheel, I’ll point you to them for a more complete review.

The first is an article written by Brent Blanchard, senior editor at Implosion World.  The article is located here.  I also found another copy of it here.  I included both in case either link goes away.

According to Mr. Blanchard, he was at ground zero during the cleanup after 9/11 and he goes through some common misconceptions about demolition that demolition theorists are getting wrong.  Some examples of the myths he debunks are:

Assertion 1: “The towers’ collapse looked exactly like explosive demolitions.”

Assertion 2: “But they fell straight down into their own footprint.”

Assertion 3: “But explosive charges (aka plumes, squibs, etc.) can clearly be seen shooting from several floors just prior to collapse”

Assertion 4: “Several credible eyewitnesses are adamant that they heard explosion in or near the towers.”

These are just the first four out of nine total assertions that are debunked and explained from a professional demolitionist point of view.  Mr. Blanchard also says that he spoke to Professor Jones in 2006 about his paper.  It’s a good article.  Go read it.

The second article is by Mike King and it uses the above article as a source as he discusses Professor Jones’ paper.  It is here.  It is a very good read also.  I recommend it.

I think I’m done with this topic and I want to move onto another one: seeking truth.  In my years interacting with conspiracy theorists and others, I have noticed many traits, motivations, and behaviors that are quite interesting to me.  In my next article, I will cover what I have found.  It’s interesting because in observing these traits in others, I have been able to identify some of those traits within myself too and have been able to progress as a person as I have tried to get rid of these traits.  See you soon!

Related Articles:
9/11, Steven Jones, and Me
9/11, Steven Jones, and Me – Part 2
9/11, Steven Jones, and Me – Part 3

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9/11, Steven Jones, and Me – Part 3

Don’t you just love egg nog? Me too.

For part 3, I would like to tell the story of what happened when I went to one of Professor Jones’ presentations at UVSC (Utah Valley State College) that was held on Wednesday, 1 Feb 2006, at 7:00 pm. UVSC is about a 15-minute drive from BYU. At the time of this presentation, I had already had email interaction with Professor Jones, as described in part 2.

I knew that there was going to be a question and answer period at the end of the presentation, so I typed up the best question I could think of: Why demolish WTC 7 when it was going to fall down on its own anyway? And then I provided the testimony of the firemen and the transit data, etc. that I covered in part 2. In preparation, I also printed up our entire email conversation and made notes as to questions I might ask him during his presentation.

I arrived and found that two of my friends were there. One was the guy I mentioned before who introduced me to Professor Jones’ work and the other was videotaping the presentation. You can probably find that presentation video online somewhere – I’m the one whose head explodes about 1 1/2 hours into it. 😉

I sat down in the middle of the audience and they announced that the question and answer period would be at the end and that Professor Jones would not be taking any questions during the presentation. Oh, and the questions would be written and handed in, reviewed, and then given to Professor Jones. Cool – I already had mine typed up, so I handed it in and sat back to soak in the content of the presentation.

I was annoyed by the number of times “WTC 7 wasn’t even hit by a jet” and “no other steel high-rise has ever collapsed because of fire” were repeated, but I got over that. He brought more political and religious information into his presentation than he does in his paper. I’m ok with people having an opinion on political and religious issues, but when billed as “Professor Jones – physicist”, I expected more material that deals with his area of expertise.

I saw one slide that had the infamous photo of the “column cut at an angle” on it. Professor Jones said that it’s still under investigation but the message I got as he talked about it was that this was one of the core columns that was cut with thermite at an angle so that the building would come down. The people all around me were full of “ooh’s” and “aah’s” and were just giddy about how this was surely the smoking gun that would blow the cover off the official government story. I believe it was at this point that I figured out that I was probably in an audience of mostly “true believers” of government conspiracy theories.

Well, I had seen that diagonally cut column before but hadn’t really looked into it. Since then, I have. It turns out that excavation crews cut steel columns at a diagonal because the melting steel runs down, pre-heating the cut so that even though it’s a longer cut, it cuts faster. I then found this page that has other columns being cut at a diagonal by excavation personnel.

This is what bothers me so much about conspiracy theorist methods. They dig deep enough to find something that looks like it matches their beliefs but then they stop digging. Did they go so far as to ask an excavator if that would be a normal cut? Did they Google around to find the page that the photo in question originally came from?

So, I think it was scheduled to be a two-hour presentation with a lot of time for questions at the end. Professor Jones was going into detail about how the government went around telling people that the air at ground zero was safe to breathe when it really wasn’t – fair enough – put those people in jail. He seemed to be picking out whatever he could to sell the audience on the idea that we couldn’t trust the government and so there was one more reason to believe in a demolition theory. I thought this was going to be about physics.

He took up so much time talking about all of this other non-physics stuff that he only left a few minutes at the end for questions. There was a guy reading through the questions and handing them to Professor Jones. Mine was on an 8 1/2″ x 11″ paper and the rest were on quarter page sheets, so mine stood out. It contained details about the firemen testimony and so it was longer than the other questions, but it was still only about a quarter page of text.

I watched the guy reading through my question and handing Professor Jones other questions over and over again until they were out of time. It was a bit frustrating. So I went up afterward and got my printed question from “the question guy” and went up to Professor Jones and waited for him to get done talking to some people who were also asking questions.

It was finally my turn to talk to him. At this point, Professor Jones didn’t know who I was and that I had been conversing with him via email. This was the first time we had seen each other face to face. I told him about the various firemen testimonies of severe damage to WTC 7 and the transit data and how they had set up a collapse zone hours before it collapsed on its own. I read a lot of testimony to him. He said – no lie – “I don’t think there was that much damage.” What? I said that these were firemen standing at the base and inside of WTC 7 on that day telling us what they saw. I asked him on what basis did he think there wasn’t that much damage. We were being rushed out of the room at that point since others had reserved the room. I think my head exploded again in the car on the way home – I can’t remember for sure.

I didn’t hear from him for several months after that until about two months ago when he contacted me again asking if I had any other unresolved issues with his paper. It was a bit strange. I asked him a few questions about chain of custody and he replied with a partial chain of custody that didn’t include dates or names. I then asked him a few more questions and gave him new links to video and photos of the badly damaged south side of WTC 7. He didn’t respond. I sent it again. No response. I received delivery receipts for both emails and so I’m pretty sure he got them.

So, that was a strange story, eh? It left me puzzled about what was going on in his mind to so flatly reject relevant testimony about the condition of WTC 7. It does go against the demolition theory and he’s heavily invested in that theory being true but I don’t know if that’s what’s causing him to ignore this testimony. Hopefully, he’ll reply again and I’ll find out what’s going on.

In part 4, I will go through the current version of his entire paper and bring up any other unresolved issues I see. I’ll be posting that soon. See you then.

Related articles:
9/11, Steven Jones, and Me
9/11, Steven Jones, and Me – Part 2
9/11, Steven Jones, and Me – Part 4

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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 ([2], 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.

Related articles:
9/11, Steven Jones, and Me
9/11, Steven Jones, and Me – Part 3
9/11, Steven Jones, and Me – Part 4

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9/11, Steven Jones, and Me

My name is Robert Cronk and I have been informally investigating the evidence, testimony, and theories surrounding 9/11 for a while now and I have been fascinated by what I have experienced. Hopefully I’ll be able to offer a different point of view than the other multitudes of people out there talking about 9/11.

You’ve seen them. Some of them are selling a DVD or a book. Others seem to be doing it for popularity. Some have actually put their career or reputation on the line. Still others seem to struggle with the pride of “being right” above all else – sometimes I fall into that category too – oops.

In my estimation, most of these people, myself included, believe that they’re on to something that nobody else has found and they believe they are honestly just “seeking the truth.” In many cases, I have found that they have a vested interest in their particular theory being right and in my experience it seems that these vested interests get in the way of really “seeking the truth” above all else. So I’ll throw out my point of view and let you be the judge.

First of all, I’m not an expert in physics, structural engineering, or really any other relevant field involving 9/11. I am a software engineer – a computer geek. You know – I’m one of those guys who sit in a dark cubicle somewhere, eyes glazed over, eating pizza and writing code to make computers do amazing things like send email, balance your checkbook, or let you play solitaire while your boss isn’t looking.

A large part of my career has dealt with accurately comprehending and modeling reality in a computer – that’s what most computer geeks do. For example, if your business deals with money and goods, we would write a program that models the movement of that money and those goods so that you can track it and report on it. This is usually done by combining my own research and evidence with information gathered during interviews with people who are experts in whatever it is we’re trying to model.

I then go through all of the information, resolving conflicts between the evidence and people’s views of reality, and finally come up with (hopefully) an accurate model of reality to program into the computer. Any inaccuracies in the model end up causing problems for the customer and end up making a lot more work for me and so I try to get it right the first time and I try to be rigorous as I build the model – getting all the facts nailed down completely before coding anything up on the computer.

As I have done this over the years, I have learned a lot about figuring out what is true and what is false when I look at a set of information. This is the experience that I use as I investigate 9/11.

What’s that? You want me to be quiet about all of this computer stuff and get to the point? Ok, ok – Back in October of 2005, a friend of mine introduced me to the work of one Professor Steven E. Jones – a professor at BYU. Since that time, I have studied and researched the topics contained in his paper and presentations. I also attended a presentation that he gave at UVSC as well as receiving various versions of the PowerPoint slides used in those presentations.

I have also had continuing email correspondence with Professor Jones regarding the content of his presentations and his paper entitled “Why Indeed Did the WTC Buildings Collapse?” Throughout this exchange, I have found Professor Jones to be a very kind and civil person as I have interacted with him and I thank him for that.

In this series of articles, I want to describe my interactions with him as well as working through his paper and presentation slides. I would like to tell the story of what I have found.

Why am I doing this? Don’t I have something better to do? I could think of a few things I’d rather be doing, but my goal here is to publish the truth and error that I have found throughout this process.

I believe that this country is becoming more and more divided over these issues and I have found that much of what is dividing us is rooted in misleading quotes, incomplete information, testimony taken out of context, assumptions made in ignorance, all combined with flawed theories that are based on the aforementioned mess.

I want to reveal these things in an objective way to give the casual researcher of 9/11 events another point of view. I will do my best to keep my own feelings and theories out of this discussion. That’s hard to do and I’ll probably fail at times but I’m sure you’ll forgive me.

Currently I do not support any specific theory. I am therefore open to any theory, though I must admit that my research so far has me leaning toward some theories and away from others. Let’s get to it, shall we?

On Tue 18 Oct 2005, I received an email from a friend of mine concerning one Professor Jones from BYU who was investigating the events of 9/11. It had a PowerPoint presentation attached to it. I had been looking into the events of 9/11 for a while at that point and so I was interested in taking a look at it.

The email was a forwarded email from Jones to my friend and then to me. In the part that Professor Jones wrote, he said, “…if any of you spot errors or weak arguments in the enclosed presentation, please let me know.”

I opened up the presentation slides and noticed several things that caught my attention. And when I say “caught my attention”, I mean “errors or weak arguments”. I wanted to discuss these things with Professor Jones directly and so I emailed him the next day.

Before I get to the first email, I would like to explain my approach. It is based on my discussions of several topics with people over the years ranging from whether or not the moon landing happened to what happened on 9/11.

My approach has been influenced by all of my interactions with conspiracy theorists in the past. One thing I try to avoid is what I have called the “conspiracy theory pattern”. It goes like this: First, I find some evidence that refutes one of the theory’s supporting facts, next, the defender of the theory essentially avoids the evidence I presented and then brings up several (usually more than five) other facts that supposedly also support the theory.

This has the effect of keeping the overall theory protected since the issue in question doesn’t get resolved – rather, the theory seems to get even stronger as all of these other supporting (but thus far not proven) “facts” are brought up.

In my experience, it turns out that those other “facts” usually end up being a large pile of debunkable (is that a word?) “maybes”. It’s as though protecting the theory is more important than uncovering the truth – as if they have such a strongly held belief that their theory is true that they refuse to let any of the supporting “facts” be debunked because any debunked “fact” threatens whatever vested interest they may have in the theory being true.

They might also twist a fact into a pretzel shape so that it can fit into their theory. Of course I have found that this happens to most people defending their theories and so this behavior is not necessarily proof of anything, it’s just something to keep in mind as we go through this. My idea is that once all of the facts are proven true or false individually, then and only then can the true ones be gathered together to form a theory.

I didn’t know if Professor Jones would behave this way or not and so I initially tried to avoid the “conspiracy pattern” by asking him not to address multiple items at once. I should have been clearer, as you’ll soon see. I also wanted to address the fact that Professor Jones is a physics professor (i.e. not a structural engineer) and so I was confused as to why he was glossing over, dismissing, and asserting his opinion on so many structural engineering issues that were outside of his area of expertise. He seemed to do this with his various political assertions too – as we’ll see later.

I’ll only cover the first couple of emails and then I’ll switch from this detailed mode to a summary mode where I’ll summarize what we talked about and bring up unresolved issues from his paper and presentation. Professor Jones and I are communicating about these issues via email to this day though there was a period where we had no interaction. This first email will serve as an introduction.

Wed 19 Oct 2005 – My first email to him was as follows:

From: Robert Cronk
Sent: Wednesday, October 19, 2005 10:30 AM
To: Jones, Steven
Subject: 9/11 Presentation

Mr. Jones,

My name is Robert Cronk and I am a software engineer. I am a friend of [name deleted], who I believe you are acquainted with. He regularly forwards things to me and I give him feedback on them. He recently sent me the slightly stripped down PowerPoint presentation that you prepared from your past two presentations on 9/11. I wanted to thank you for working so hard to gather this information up. I am with you as far as finding out the truth of these events. I would like to give you some feedback that I hope will make your presentation more bulletproof and more accurate based on all of the information out there.

I seek the truth and I try to do it without any agenda. It’s difficult at times, but that’s the way I believe it should be done. Currently, I am open to all options regarding 9/11. I am open to it being: 1. initiated and orchestrated by the government to rob us of our freedom (using Arab terrorists as pawns), 2. Greedy businessmen trying to get money from insurance companies, 3. It’s as explained, that terrorists just flew planes into buildings and they fell down because of the damage, 4. Anything else that pops up in the process of finding the truth. I try to look at the facts without bias for one of the above scenarios and once I have gathered it all up, then I might lean towards one that makes the most sense given all of the facts….I hope that you are taking the same unbiased approach or we won’t be able to reach the truth.

Given this background, I would like to start with a single topic and go through your presentation one topic at a time to resolve or solidify or tweak that topic. I don’t like to deal with many topics at once because in my experience, nothing is accomplished when I deal with multiple topics at once. Thanks for considering my input.

Robert Cronk

In your presentation, you assert that the global collapse of WTC Building 7 was not explained by the NIST report that you gave a link to. In that report, it discusses the following scenario:

1. An initial local failure at the lower floors (below Floor 13) of the building due to fire and/or debris induced structural damage of a critical column (the initiating event), which supported a large span floor bay with an area of about 2,000 sq ft
2. Vertical progression of the initial local failure up to the east penthouse, as large floor bays were unable to redistribute the loads, bringing down the interior structure below the east penthouse
3. Horizontal progression of the failure across the lower floors (in the region of Floors 5 and 7, that were much thicker than the rest of the floors), triggered by damage due to the vertical failure
4. Events resulted in a disproportionate collapse of the entire structure

In my view, this combines some heavy architecture with physics. The missing link that you did not mention in your presentation is item #3 in the above list. The key architectural pieces involved are trusses 1 and 2. The architecture of floors 5 through 7 was unique because they had a transfer system between floors 5 and 7 that included the two trusses that are at the core of the collapse. This system of cantilever girders and trusses was supposed to be a kind of converter of loads between the Con-Edison substation (that WTC 7 was built on top of) and WTC 7 itself. The two buildings had different architectures and so there needed to be a conversion point between the two. The debris impacted and damaged components adjacent to truss #2. If trusses 1 and 2 failed, they would pull the whole line of columns over simultaneously since they were all attached in the middle of that transfer area between floors 5 and 7. “Floor 5 – which did not have any exterior windows and contained the only pressurized fuel distribution system on the south, west and north floor areas – is considered a possible fire initiation location”. Because there were no windows on that floor, fire observations from outside the building would not be possible. The orange section of the graphic below shows that a large portion of the south face was destroyed by debris from the towers and that this damage tore into WTC 7 about 1/4th of the thickness of that side of the building. This is part of the damage that weakened components near truss #2.

As I have gone and studied the architecture of this building and the pieces involved, I have found this explanation of the global collapse to be a reasonable explanation. At this point, please don’t move on to squibs or anything else. Let’s first finalize the facts before us and then move on to other topics afterward. What’s your take on this specific possibility?

Thu 20 Oct 2005 – Professor Jones replied the next day the way I feared he might – as explained above:

Robert –

Thanks for your comments. Since I teach class this afternoon, 3 – 5:20 pm, I will not be able to answer your questions in much detail now. But I would like to ask you a few things that come to mind. You wrote: “At this point, please don’t move on to squibs or anything else. Let’s first finalize the facts before us and then move on to other topics afterward.”

Now why should we restrict the discussion in this way? Are you asking me to ignore relevant data in the analysis? And not just squibs would I include – but also:
1. Is there sufficient heat in hydrocarbon fires to cause column failure?
2. Is there any evidence for such heat?
3. How does heat transport to the WHOLE building structure, an enormous heat sink, as well as shifting of loads, affect the building collapse?
4. Does collapse of trusses (How many do you argue?) lead to rapid and SYMMETRICAL collapse of the entire building, onto a small footprint as observed?
5. How does one account for the molten metal found in the basement of WTC 7 (and both Towers), post collapse?
6. How does one account for sulfidation and partial evaporation of metal beams found (and reported!) in WTC 7?

So, no, I’m not willing to consider facts in isolation, ignoring other facts. But perhaps you can explain why I should take such a non-scientific approach. Or explain these other facts in correlation with the arguments you raise about trusses. Then I will consider further your questions.

Steven Jones

I was a bit disappointed by his punting (refusing to address individual facts) and then moving to six other points – the conspiracy theory pattern strikes again. Perhaps I wasn’t clear enough with him. Perhaps I should have explained my approach better.

In my opinion, each piece of evidence should be able to stand on its own without being affected by or needing the support of any other fact. Once each individual fact has been proven true, then and only then can they all be gathered together and then an appropriate theory can be chosen that best matches the validated data.

I believe this to be one of the main logical fallacies of conspiracy theorists in general – just considering the hundreds of “maybes” without validating each one individually. He replied a few more times asking me a few questions about my explanation.

Looking back, I realize that I should have started with the firemen testimony and photographic and video evidence that shows that WTC 7 was so severely damaged on its south side (the side you never see in the demolition theory presentations) that the firemen set up a collapse zone hours before it actually collapsed, but we’ll get to that later.

Next we’ll be talking about diagonally cut columns, firemen testimony of WTC 7 damage, transits (what’s a transit?), laser doppler vibrometer evidence (what the?), photo and video evidence, and the extremely important issue of why a physicist would be talking about structural engineering, political, and religious issues.

We may even touch on how the majority of the scholars for truth’s membership is made up of mainly theologians, philosophers, English/literature teachers, etc. and not many engineers and why that might be important to the average person.

We might also talk about which scholar for truth believes the U.S. military is blowing up anti-matter weapons on Jupiter (he’s the engineer from France who hasn’t written anything on 9/11) and which one thinks a high energy beam was directed from WTC 7 toward the towers to blow them up – hint: his last name rhymes with “metzer” and he’s the co-chair who’s last name is not Jones. I’m being a smart aleck today – sorry.

Stay tuned and put on your thinking cap – be it cloth, leather, or tin foil – put it on and snug it up tight – this is going to be fun!

In my next post, I plan on discussing the details of Professor Jones’ powerpoint presentation and his paper along with bringing other evidence to the table that you don’t normally find on 9/11 sites. In some cases, I have dug deep to get this information. In other cases, it was a five-minute trip through Google to get to it – so why don’t the “9/11 truthers” find this stuff? It may remain a mystery until the end of time. See you in the next post.

Related Articles:
9/11, Steven Jones, and Me – Part 2
9/11, Steven Jones, and Me – Part 3
9/11, Steven Jones, and Me – Part 4

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Scholars for 9/11 Truth collapse. Steven Jones gets the boot.

Did Steven Jones get kicked out of Scholars for 9/11 Truth? It appears to be so.

Poor homeless Steven Jones, abandoned by BYU.

Now his homies at Scholars for 9/11 Truth do not want Steven Jones anymore either; apparently he got kicked out of Scholars for 9/11 by Fetzer.

Scholars for 9/11 Truth has imploded.

Which means that their prestige among the 9/11 Denial Movement has been shattered. As one die-hard Truther laments:

Anyway we can say goodbye to the Scholars, or at least to the Scholars as the center piece for the “Truth Movement.” (source)

Click here to read the start of the major fight between Fetzer and Jones which caused the schism. It is so absurd, bizarre, conspiratorial, unprofessional, moronic and demonstrative of the extreme dysfunctional nature of the group and its star individuals that it comes as no surprise Scholars for 9/11 Truth have imploded. Or did the Government cause the schism and ultimate collapse using thermite?

Did I mention Jones work is to be published in a political opinion book and not a science journal? And when questioned about that reality he refused to answer and changed the subject.

Related post:
9/11 conspiratorialist Steven Jones on paid leave from BYU
Pattern of Secret Combinations in the Book of Mormon
Protec answers Steven Jones’ “Why Indeed Did the WTC Buildings Completely Collapse?”
Cultural Jihadists

Documentary – The Arab and Iranian Reaction to 9-11: Five Years Later
9/11 Conspiracy Cereal: A Few Nuts and a Bunch of Flakes
Wisconsin Instructor’s 9/11 Conspiracy Theories ill-serve Students
Feds challenge 9/11 conspiracies

9/11 Conspiracies

Related sites:
www.911myths.com
www.debunking911.com
www.debunking911myths.com

Related articles:
TIME: Why The 9/11 Conspiracies Won’t Go Away

The 9/11 Conspiracists and the Decline of the Anmerican Left

Manuel Garcia Jr, physicist and engineer, presents his three separate reports, undertaken for CounterPunch.

  1. Part One is his report on the Physics of 9/11.
  2. Part Two (published here for the first time) is his report on the Thermodynamics of 9/11.
  3. Part Three, “Dark Fire“, is his report on the collapse of the World Trade Center’s Building 7.

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