Comments regarding Prof. Jones’ “Why Indeed Did the WTC Buildings Collapse?” (More comments will be added as there is time. Not all of this will be fan-mail…)
1. Email to
Prof Jones from a structural engineer in
“It occurred to me that structural engineers and architects are practitioners of static physics [like yourself] although we use different terminology peculiar to our professions to elaborate on our designs.
I am surprised how few of my colleagues have expressed public disbelief at the official line which lurches from theory to theory as the shortcomings of each became apparent. I guess they have run out of ideas on Building 7.
You nailed the biggest problem
when you focused on the symmetry of collapse in comparison to the asymmetry of
the damage... Steel high rises are designed (and overdesigned)
as cantilever beams on end. There is so
much redundant steel in these buildings because they have to resist hurricane
force winds. Was there a hurricane in
If steel framed structures designed by world class engineers (who are still being commissioned to design high rises elsewhere in the world) can collapse with so little provocation, I should send my diploma back and take up fortune telling.
So astute that the president promptly declared 9/11 an Act of War (the truth, sort of). This relieved the designers of having to defend themselves for negligent design. No professional liability policies cover war (because of exposure to explosives etc.), so no deep pockets to make a lawsuit worth while. So no engineer singing to a jury…”
2. From another structural engineer:
• “A couple of months back I examined [Jones] claims in detail. Initially I was a bit incredulous… so I downloaded all the official reports basically expecting to find holes in the good prof's hypothesis.
• I'm a professional civil engineer with a lot of experience in the construction of major structures and I was just astounded at what I found. In my COO days if my staff had put up reports like that relating to a disaster on my patch, there is no way they would have been accepted and I would have been asking some very tough questions: The [official] reports are not at all convincing.
• That they are not is a serious worry.
• Regards, Ted [last name withheld pending permission]
3. From a Mechanical Engineering Professor, email to Dr. Jones:
• “You may be interested in the fact that I have begun approaching discussions of the WTC "collapses" in my classes. It began with the appearance of your [SE Jones] article, last fall. I found the article just before class, and left it on my laptop so that when I plugged in the laptop projector, the students would see it. (I tried to make it look accidental.) Some were very interested, but I had a few violent responses… (e.g. "I'm extremely offended”) and a few of the students acted as though they would turn me in to the Dean. I'm embarrassed to say that I backed down.
• That was on a Friday (Veteran's Day). By Monday, I had my wagons in a circle and was ready to take on the Dean, if need be. I felt the topic of the WTC was totally appropriate to discuss in this class (Engineering Statics), and I could counter any logical argument against it. By the end of the semester, at least a third of the class was seriously questioning the official story. Also, I've been continually improving my techniques for approaching this topic in my classes, and it has become very rewarding.
• Last Thursday, I introduced the topic to my Strength of Materials class for the first time, and about half of the class jumped in to the debate. The topic of the day was material properties and how heat affects the strength and stiffness of steel. How could I resist? I was so pleased to find that half of the class was willing to debate the issue.
• As far as I know, I'm the only person in my department that doesn't buy the official story, and this bothers me. I have approached a few others, but they've each thought I was crazy, yet were unwilling to look at the facts. So far, I've not been called to the dean's office or the chair's office for covering this material.
• Beginning with your article, last semester, I made a separate folder on the class web space where I put links to various articles and videos.
• Last September , you corresponded with my friend… In his letter to you, Alex mentioned that he has a friend who is an engineering professor. I am the person he was referring to.
• I'm sorry I didn't contact you then. I was afraid of what might happen with my career.
• Now, I'm more afraid of what is happening with the world than with my career.
I'm writing you now because I'd like to join
your Scholars for 9/11 Truth team.”
[Prof. J. Wood at
4. From a mechanical engineer with ‘government contacts’, sent to Prof Jones and BYU administrators:
[Nov. 2005, shortly after Prof. Jones’ article first appeared on the web] “The publication of this [Jones] article can be stopped on the basis of endangerment, and I have the contacts to make this happen if necessary, but I prefer to give you the opportunity to consider the consequences - which you have not addressed. You need to give this very serious consideration. This is an issue that is more important than any individual career, or whether or not you believe that you are correct. …The molten metal may be the best evidence that local conditions in the fire where [sic] hotter than the post-test evaluation of specific points… your theories are likely to be subject to intense scrutiny and criticism. As painful as it may seem now, perhaps it may be less painful than could occur after publication.”
[Nov. 2005, after responses
by Prof. Jones]: “The
[Dec. 2005, following answers and detailed responses by Prof. Jones]: “I… have learned to appreciate the value of silence, even in the case of superior data and information…. There are, perhaps, several reasons why the administration [at BYU] would pay more particular attention to me than to you in this matter. First, you made many assertions without the least amount of analysis to support your assertions… [Prof. Jones challenged this comment!]
“I regret that you are still trying to publish your paper. The fact that a paper passes peer review and is accepted for publication should not be viewed as validation of ideas unless the peer reviewers are really qualified to perform the peer review.
“In contrast to studying things that could cause harm, the whole focus could be changed to something that is assured to prevent harm… Maybe a low velocity rocket fired from a helicopter could disperse fire retardants on a floor that can't be reached otherwise. Even if explosives are planted, this makes it much more difficult to cause the collapse of the building. If this interests you, I would be happy to contact Tom Hunter and the Head of Homeland Security to see if funding for BYU could be found to research options for this purpose.
Again, I am sorry for the difficulty of this interaction.”
[end of Dec., 2005]: “Steven: I have recently given some thought to how I can help you preserve your good name at BYU. My intent is to show that I have as much concern for your well being as I have in preserving the safety and security of others.
“It is better to demonstrate that structural collapse can be prevented than to show how or why structures may be collapsed. Toward this goal, I have recently had some ideas that may be inexpensive, passive, light weight and effective against attack by both fire and explosives. [A rather detailed outline for a suggested grant proposal follows, snip…]
“The concept is patentable, could be easily applied during construction (beneath facia), could be required by building codes, and has a potentially large market. Naturally, research is required to define the required thicknesses, attachment in a way that preserves existing fire protection, and attachment in a way that is difficult to remove without obvious alterations. It could even be added as a decorative feature in existing buildings.
“Perhaps you may come up be different or better ideas, but it suggests a course of action that protects others, rather than put them at risk. It could bring substantial resources to BYU, and could involve a cooperative effort between the structural design group and physics department. This would give you the opportunity to address your explosive ideas without having to capitulate, while improving the resistance of the structure to collapse by fire. It also generates a project that could bring the various departments together in a cooperative effort. Naturally, you are most likely to achieve the greatest success in such an effort if you change course, rather than continue to pursue your present effort…” [Name withheld. The reader can judge for her/himself the statements and tactics used by this man with “contacts.” Note that his comments and efforts to thwart publication of the Jones paper did not succeed, but may have influenced the statement by the BYU Fulton College of Engineering which follows.]
5. [The following was posted at the web site of the BYU Fulton College of Engineering and Technology from November 2005 to April 2006, when it was removed without explanation.]
"Professor Jones's department and college administrators are not
convinced that his analyses and hypotheses have been submitted to relevant
scientific venues that would ensure rigorous technical peer review. The
structural engineering faculty in the
[Comments by Prof. Richard McGinn]: “Notice the form it takes. It undermines Jones' hypotheses with a hand-wave about academic procedure. No mention of the substance of Jones' work.
”Another problem of the statement: The Physics Department at BYU, which ran its own version of the offending statement on its web site last [autumn], was persuaded to take it down following a letter-writing campaign. Yet the
”It would really, really help if we could find ways to get engineers and scientists to focus on the substance of Professor Jones' hypotheses.” Richard McGinn
6. [Letter from Prof. McGinn to the Dean of the
Alan R. Parkinson, Dean
Dear Dean Parkinson,
am writing to you both as an individual and a member of Scholars for 9/11 Truth
(ST911.org). At issue is a statement posted on the
web site makes three questionable statements. First, it implies that Dr. Jones’
in-progress research into the physics of the 9/11 attacks in
it states without substantiation: “The structural engineering faculty in the
Third, it names Dr. Jones’ own department as complicit in all of this, and in particular, that the Physics Department is "not convinced that his analyses and hypotheses have been submitted to relevant scientific venues that would ensure rigorous technical peer review."
hereby request the
Jones' department and college administrators are not convinced that his
analyses and hypotheses have been submitted to relevant scientific venues that
would ensure rigorous technical peer review. The structural engineering faculty
There are additional reasons for deleting the unprofessional and unethical statement. First, although I am not a member of American Society of Civil Engineers, I am permitted, according to the ASCE code, to lodge an ethics complaint against an engineer. (The ombudsman for formal complaints to ASCE is: firstname.lastname@example.org).
no dean has the right to represent individual faculty, much less the entire
faculty of BYU’s
Most poignantly, it is inconsistent with the code of ethics of the American Society of Civil Engineers, by which you, as dean of the Engineering College, are bound, given that your web site claims to represent the opinions of an entire faculty of BYU engineers. The ASCR Code states in part:
g. Engineers shall not maliciously or falsely, directly or indirectly, injure the professional reputation, prospects, practice or employment of another engineer or indiscriminately criticize another's work."
If members of the College disagree with Dr. Jones' assertions in his paper that the official FEMA and NIST reports are inadequate as they stand, then they should be specific in their reasons for supporting those reports, neither of which provides (routine) visualizations for finite element analyses.
CC: ASCE Ombudsman
AAUP Committee on Academic Freedom
web-statement by the
7. Email to Dr. Jones from an explosives expert:
“I am a veteran of the
“I have read
your paper concerning the WTC towers collapse and agree; Military thermite [which contains sulfur as an accelerant] is
the only explanation for the molten slag found weeks after the collapse.… Thermite charges
used in conjunction with small linear shaped charges could be used to drop
• Keep fighting the good fight.
• Note on linear-shaped charges: "... Linear-shaped charges focus the energy of the charge into a line, generating about 3,000,000 pounds per square inch of pressure. This pressure creates a flow in the steel, forcing the steel aside. Such charges can be used to slice steel as thick as 10 inches." CDI p 43
8. Email to Prof. Jones from a Professor of Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT:
“I agree wholeheartedly with one comment [in Jones’ paper] – that the [official] enquiries are grossly inadequate and the conclusions may well be wrong. I have publicly stated that they are significant for what they do NOT say rather than for what they say. Building engineers on the defensive.”
9. Rep. Curt Weldon Town Hall Meeting (April 2006, transcript from audio tape)
Dave Slesinger: First, I want
to praise you for your Able Danger efforts. Since you are the Congressman most
sympathetic to firefighters, have you looked at the quotes from NYC
firefighters at the
Rep. Weldon: I will absolutely accept information, and I'm very close to the NYC firefighters because one of my best friends was killed there…
I talk to the fire department on a regular basis. When
the Republican convention was held in
Now, there's a lot of theorists out there about what occurred. And uh, I haven't gone into the structural elements of the building. The fact that there are reports on multiple explosions on other floors... I am open to that information. I'm willing to challenge the system. And uh, and don't automatically discount anything that's told to me because I've seen, I've seen too much. I mean, ya know, I hate to say that sometimes I don't trust my Government, but sometimes, I don't trust the Government. The bureaucracy. Ya know the best evidence of that is we had the, uh, Tillman, the football player. Joined the army, he was killed. We now find out that the army burned his clothing. So the family never got to get the real story about how Pat Tillman died. Now if it was an accident, so be it. You don't hide that information because somebody is going to be embarrassed.
That's the whole story with Tony Shaffer. It's the bureaucrats trying to hide information and facts, so they're not embarrassed. So, do I automatically accept what the Government tells me? No. And that's why I get myself in trouble. I challenge the CIA, I challenge the DIA. I'll challenge our Defense Department. That's why you send me there. If you want somebody to go there, and just go along, you would send a robot. That would vote the way the party wanted, and would go along with the current President. I won't do that. So I'm absolutely open to any information anyone has that challenges anything about the 9/11 Commission or the work there.
Dave Slesinger speaks up: Congressman, that was my question, I, wanna give out, anybody who wants this, this is a speech by a physics professor at BYU, Steven Jones.
Rep. Weldon: Yea.
It's the hottest thing happening on the 9/11 issue. In his speech, he praises
Congressman Weldon, he's a conservative Republican [or was], he praises Reagan,
Rep. Weldon: It'll open your eyes, because his allegations are pretty strong.
[UVSC Presentation on Feb. 1, 2006, by Prof. Jones is available in various formats: