Steven Jones Answers Questions About His Research In a Reply to 'Screw Loose Change'

An Open Letter to Dr. Steven Jones by James Bennett, with replies by Steven Jones

Letter also posted at

[Responses by Dr. Jones in Bold]

Dear Dr. Jones:

In a recent letter you criticized me, and Mark Roberts, for failing to notify you about questions that we had regarding your misrepresentation of a photograph of firefighters at Ground Zero searching for their fallen comrades with a flashlight. In this you expressed the hope that we would contact you in the future regarding such issues. While it is true that I had failed to contact you directly, although I am not sure how you missed this issue since it was publicized throughout the 9/11 conspiracy theory community, I had in fact contacted you on concerns I had about your misrepresentations of fact regarding other 9/11 issues previousy, but you failed to respond. Not being one who likes writing e-mails for the purpose of being ignored, I stopped trying.

E-mails did not reach me for some time, especially during my retirement transition—you should not assume that you were being “ignored.”

In any case, I presume that your new request can fairly be interpreted as an offer to actually respond to inquiries, so in that spirit I am sharing other concerns that I, and other 9/11 researchers have regarding the credibility of your research, in the hopes that you might address these concerns.

First of all, I would like to continue with the issue of the use of photographs. Although in the case of the aforementioned photograph of firefighters, I did not reach a conclusion as to whether the change in coloration was intentional or incidental, many assumed that it was intentional based on the fact that you have a long history of misrepresenting photographic evidence.

No, I do not have such a history—but let’s look at the examples you provide, and my answers.

Some additional examples of this are as follows:

1. A cut steel beam, given as an example of being cutting through the use of an as yet unknown device employing thermite,

Actually, the metal-cutting device employing thermite is well known and documented; see the paper by Robert Moore published three months ago (January 2007) in the Journal of 9/11 Studies:

Robert made these data available to me long before he published them, and so I discussed the patented “thermite torch” long ago.

Furthermore, there is a demonstration of a “device employing thermite” cutting through a metal rod, here:

which is in fact more likely one of the hundreds of beams cut by iron workers during thecleanup, of which there are numerous photographs and examples which are similar to the one you use. An example of this may be found here.

The angle-cut beam in the first photo above has been the subject of much discussion. Recently, a first-responder has stated that he saw this particular cutcolumn (it is rather remarkable in appearance) when he arrived at the GZ scene on 9/11/2001. We are seeking a written statement from him to this effect to hopefully settle this issue. An analysis of the slag seen clinging to the inside and the outside (both) of this angle-cut column would also do much to answer questions about what did the cutting. I think you will agree that in the second photo, the worker is using an oxyacetylene torch to cut the steel.

2. A photograph on page 17 of your paper of workers using some sort of cutting device, which apparently even you suspect it is, because you only speculate that it "may show" proof of hot metal. You give no reason why it should be assumed to be anything other than the obvious, iron workers cleaning up, given that they would have no reason to be huddled around hot glowing metal otherwise. Some other examples can be found here.

Look closely: these two workers do not appear to be “using some sort of cutting device” to generate the observed bright glow in this photo. The worker on the right has both hands by his sides, and the other worker is sitting with his right hand a little in front of him. Yes, I included the caveat that this photo “may show the glow of hot metal in the rubble” [thanking you for acknowledging the caveat] since this is not totally clear from the photo, and then I added, “; the second photo clearly does so. [See Photo below in this response.] It is labeled “Red Hot Debris” and is published in LiRo News, Nov. 2001, Moreover, there is recorded eyewitness testimony of the molten metal pools under both Towers and WTC 7; see: Video clips provide eye-witness evidence regarding this metal at ground zero:,”

3. A picture of pancaked concrete floors on exhibit in an aircraft hanger, which you misrepresent as molten metal, despite the fact that the exhibit is clearly identified in resources available on the Internet, including close-up pictures showing items such as paper, which would not likely be found in molten metal. More on this can be found here. jones.htm

Next to this photo is this: Large pieces of debris, likened to meteorites by preservationists, are actually several floors of the towers compressed together as the buildings collapsed. Furniture, twisted metal, pipes, cords and even papers with legible type are visible. The pieces are kept in a humidity-controlled tent in Hangar 17 of Kennedy International Airport. (Photo by Lane Johnson)

Actually, the above photo which appears first above (large rusty object) and in my paper was taken by Janette MacKinlay. Note that the people standing behind the object have had their faces “whited out” at her request for privacy reasons. (The paper is here:

To determine whether the metal in the object quietly photographed by J. MacKinlay in fact contains residue from a thermite-analog (such as thermate), it will be necessary to perform analyses on samples from the actual object. I explained this already in my paper: “The abundance of iron (as opposed to aluminum) in this material is indicated by the reddish rust observed. When a sample is obtained, a range of characterization techniques will quickly give us information we seek. X-ray energy dispersive spectrometry (XEDS) will yield the elemental composition, and electron energy-loss spectroscopy will tell us the elements found in very small amounts that were undetectable with XEDS. Electronbackscattered diffraction in the scanning electron microscope will give us phase information; the formation of certain precipitates can tell us a minimum temperature the melt must have reached. We will endeavor to obtain and publish these data, whatever they reveal.

One might expect burned papers associated with the hot slag, as in the detailed photo you provided – but we cannot say for certain the origin of the slag until we perform XEDS/elemental analyses as I stated in my paper (and quoted for you in the previous paragraph).

Do you believe that because, either intentionally or through carelessness you have repeatedly made claims regarding the use of photographic evidence which are not backed up by fact, others may have serious questions as to the reliability of your research? How would you answer such critics of your work?

I have answered your questions, and shown that your statement “either intentionally or through carelessness you have repeatedly made claims regarding the use of photographic evidence which are not backed up by fact,” is itself not backed up by fact. I answer “such critics” with an appeal that they read my paper in full and support the additional research work (such as XEDS analyses) called for in the paper to get at complete answers, and that they allow me to answer specific questions.

Additionally I have questions regarding the standards and practices at the Journal for 9/11Studies, particularly the "peer-review" of your paper. You have stated on several occasions that your paper underwent another series of peer-reviews organized by your co-editor Kevin Ryan. There are two issues raised by this process.

First of all, is Kevin Ryan, who to the best of my knowledge has no experience editing a scientific journal, who has never published peer-reviewed scientific research, and does not even have a graduate degree in any field, have the necessary academic qualifications and experience to carry out this process to any standard generally accepted by any serious academic body?

Secondly, given the fact that you yourself founded this journal, and that you most likely also appointed Mr. Ryan to this position, after Dr. Judy Wood resigned, protesting the lack of standards at this journal, does it follow normal standards of academic ethics to have him in charge of the review process of your paper. Does the fact that Mr. Ryan himself is a major citation in your paper affect his unbiased discharge of his responsibilities? Can you point to any respected academic journal which allows this type of conflict of interests, where the founder of the journal has peer reviews for their own papers organized by people they appointed, which cites works written by that very person? Is it unreasonable for outside observers to conclude that Mr. Ryan may have a difficult time being unbiased in this matter, and conduct this process in the most rigorous manner expected under generally accepted academic standards? Given all of this, on what basis do outside observers have to place any trust whosoever in the integrity of the papers published?

I find that Kevin Ryan, a chemist, is very insightful and careful in his editing practices, based on his comments now on over thirty published articles and letters in the Journal of 9/11 Studies. Furthermore, Kevin supervised several PhD’s at Underwriter Laboratories while he worked there. At the time Judy Wood resigned as a co-editor, I recall that she mentioned that she had done essentially nothing to that point and that time was a factor, not that she challenged the “standards at this journal.” The Editorial Board which oversees content and standards has not yet expressed concerns about the standards. The board has eleven members, seven of whom hold Ph.D. degrees, and one is a structural engineer (retired).

Frank Carman (Ph.D.), Alex Floum, Prof. Marcus Ford, Derrick Grimmer (Ph.D.), Prof. Richard McGinn, Kimberly Moore, Robert Moore, Joseph Phelps (MS, PE), Prof. Diana Ralph, Lon Waters (Ph.D.) and Prof. Paul Zarembka.

Based on these facts, as well as my own experience in editing scientific publications before this one and authoring or co-authoring over forty peer reviewed publications, yes, I think that people should take the Journal articles seriously. Now even Physical Review Letters (where I have published several papers) has retractions from time to time. This may happen especially in an area of very active research such as 9/11 Studies. If there are errors, we expect the authors to point out corrections. This is expected in front-line research. In addition, my paper (an earlier version of it) was published in a volume edited by David Ray Griffin and Peter Dale Scott, 9/11 And The American Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out, Northhampton, MA: Interlink Publishing, 2006. One of the editors (Prof. Griffin) has explained that there were four reviewers for my paper, all Ph.D’s, two were physicists. Thus, the paper was peer-reviewed also under the independent editors, Prof. Griffin and Prof. Scott. Are you challenging their qualifications to supervise a suitable peer-review? Both are experienced, I think you will agree. The paper has been thoroughly peer-reviewed.

Thank you for your time, and I am looking forward to your responses to these questions, so that we can clarify some of these issues.

James Bennett

Screw Loose Change Blog

You’re welcome.

Steven Jones 4/20/2007

Show "Peer Review? That's hilarious." by Mark Roberts

Hey Mark...

I'm glad you're here. There's a rumor going around that you had something to do with Jim Fetzer being in NYC. Is that true?

"So where is the oil going to come from?... The Middle East, with two-thirds of the world's oil and the lowest cost, is still where the prize ultimately lies."

Richard Cheney - Chief Executive Of Halliburton

Fetzer vs. Roberts

Mark Roberts and Jim Fetzer discuss DEW, and "tv fakery".

Who needs 9/11 smoking guns when we can talk about these things in an interview.

I agree that Steven Jones should answer legitimate criticism. However, if someone is going to present straw-man arguments, we can usually be certain that their intent is to deceive and not to educate. (See my letter 'thermite hypothesis versus controlled demolition hypothesis for a great example of this)

“We're an empire now, and when we act we create our own reality."

Show "Fetzer Was In NYC to Debate Roberts/Wieck" by Brainster


It's not exactly the end of the story considering someone accepted money from enemies of the movement, and is himself, suspect.

Whatever. I'm glad you had your fun.

"So where is the oil going to come from?... The Middle East, with two-thirds of the world's oil and the lowest cost, is still where the prize ultimately lies."

Richard Cheney - Chief Executive Of Halliburton

Show "I Couldn't Care Less" by Brainster


"Little club" is substantially larger than your "little club" traitor.

"So where is the oil going to come from?... The Middle East, with two-thirds of the world's oil and the lowest cost, is still where the prize ultimately lies."

Richard Cheney - Chief Executive Of Halliburton


I hope you enjoyed your cute little game. Unfortunately, you've miscalculated-- it WILL NOT result in me stopping from asking this question:

How did you and James determine the hoax "Pat" and fake Nico come from the same location? Because you DIDN'T do that with haloscan....they never posted on your personal blogs--not so they could be obviously identified anyway. God knows I wasted time scanning through the bastards...

Oh, look! There's Jimbo!

Be seeing you...

Impeachment. Accountability. A better world.

Seeing both sides

The exchange in the original post doesn't sound like progress in a debate to me. Steven Jones may have the best intentions, and there also may be problems with his work. We should certainly expect him to be as responsive to critique as any good academic. We don't need more divisive rhetoric, but some solid answers to each others questions.

Whatever we think of the intention of those involved in Screw Loose Change, or similar projects, our assertions have to be able to stand up to the kind of scrutiny they provide. I've seen some excellent points made over at these sites, and Mark Roberts here often makes very solid points about the flimsiness of some of our less well founded assertions. He doesn't have to be on our side to make a good point.

Some of the concerns about Steven Jones' work need to be directly addressed. However, like anyone, how you approach will have a lot to do with the kind of reception you get. Assuming his intentions to be genuine and constructive, we should be able to ask him specific questions about his work, without the assumption of confrontation.

Debate doesn't happen under the assumption of confrontation. Telling someone they're an idiot because they don't have their facts straight leads to no progress. So if the honest intention is to get Jones to address these concerns, then I would ask, what are the best means to making that happen?

International Truth Movement

Link, please

Mr. Roberts, what are these falsehoods, fallacies, and obvious errors?

Yet another reason I despise

Yet another reason I despise getting into CD debates.

We also need a new "no AA77 at the Pentagon" debate... it's been a while.

While we're at it, we can discuss the magic bullet theory and whether Oswald acted alone.

How about John Lennon's killer?

Was Paul McCartney killed and replaced with an imposter?

Inquiring minds want to know...

///////////////////// - $1 DVDs shipped - email for info

Show "9/11 ExoW Cover-Up: Successful Satellite War Test in 2000 by WTC" by relkceh09
Show "CNN Fake Footage Blasted" by relkceh09
Show "check out" by relkceh09

I'm going to be blunt

I find it very hard to believe that Steven Jones can be serious in making the following statement:

Furthermore, Kevin supervised several PhD’s at Underwriter Laboratories while he worked there.

I don't mean this a reflection on Kevin Ryan's expertise and ability as an editor, but Dr. Jones offered this statement in response to the criticism that Kevin Ryan does not have a graduate degree, has not published scientific articles, and has not edited peer-reviewed scientific journals.

Managing PhDs does not make one a PhD. This is not a serious answer.

I also don't think the opinion of the editorial board is a serious answer when it is they that are being questioned.

Dr. Jones has published in scientific journals, and maybe he is right that they are meeting those standards, but it is hard for me to believe that it is as rigorous..

There's nothing wrong with that. The work can be evaluated on its merits. I do not in any way mean that the Journal of 9/11 Studies is sub-standard.

However, the term "peer review" has a commonly accepted meaning - peers in the specialty. To my understanding, that's not what consistently occurs here.

It would be much better to say that the journal is not yet peer reviewed as commonly accepted, but we do have academic reviewers, as often as possible in the specialty, and think the work stands on its own merits. Dr. Jones says that well above, but I have a big problem with the use of the word "peer review" when it does not seem appropriate.

The question of peer review has a credentialist basis, and has to be answered on those terms.

I know this won't be popular but it needs to be said.

General vs Specific publication

If Jones were to publish an article (called a letter) in Physical Review Letters, it would be reviewed by nuclear physicists, preferably ones that are doing work similar to the submitted work.

If jones were to publish in a much more general publications, like Science, then the peer review may be by just other 'scientists', not necessarily even physicists. The reason for this is to ensure that the article is readable to other scientists across disciplines. That is the point of the journal, Science.

There are two reasons that the peer review is of the general flavor for the Journal of 9/11 Studies:
1) there are no PhD's in the study of 9/11
2) the articles must be readable by a general audience

I used Jones as an example, but you could use anyone that has published in the Journal similarly...

That sounds more like editing to me

And even though there may be no degrees in 9/11 studies, there are papers being published on scientific issues as they relate to 9/11. Can't those be given discipline-specific peer review, and more importantly, isn't that what people expect when they hear "peer review"?

My concern is that it hurts to oversell -- is there any basis for my concern? I may be wrong on the facts of peer review - you would know better - but I don't think I'm wrong about the common perception of what peer review is.

Ningen, good points + FYI

"That sounds more like editing to me"

Different reviewers, no matter what the 'flavor' of the peer-review process, will critique your work to various degrees of detail, dependent upon the personality and time constraints of the reviewer. All reviewers critique the concepts presented in the paper. Almost all reveiwers will critique the clarity of presentation of those concepts. Some reviewers will correct grammer and spelling mistakes effectively performing customery 'editing' as well. It depends upon the individual reviewer.

BTW, some publications offer very specific guidelines to help the reviewers know what their priorities should be when critiquing a paper. Other publications do not offer any specific guidelines at all. For instance, as you mentioned, some publications who have editors will actually stylistically offer input and fix the more mundane spelling mistakes, etc.,.. The editors, in this case, would not be considered peer reviewers. However, the editing role can be played by the reviewers themselves, and very often happens.

I, for one, love it when I receive a critique back from a peer-review which has been 'edited' (common journalistic editing implied) by peers. Very often, the input is well worth incorporating into the final version.

Your point regarding discipline-specific peer review is well taken. However, Jones' work was peer reviewed by 'discipline-specific' peers: PhD physicists. My personal experience with the Journal of 9/11 studies has demonstrated that the strive to use 'discipline-specific' peers in the review process. There are other disciplines included as well, but as I stated in my previous post, this should be expected based upon the general nature of the journal.

The Journal of 9/11 of Studies is an honest-to-god peer-reviewed journal.

I should mention one more thing. Bad data, or later discredited concepts, etc., are published in many peer-reviewed Journals all the time. Not all crap is weeded out before publication, but it certainly keeps the ridiculously wrong stuff out >99% of the time, and helps to keep the 'noise' down somewhat when combing topics in the 'stacks' of the library.

Show "Ridiculous Crap" by JamesB

To clarify

I don't mean this as a reflection on Kevin Ryan's expertise as a scientist and ability as an editor . . .

He may well be a better scientist than the PhDs he supervised . I'm just saying that the answer wasn't a good one.

Show "Up-To-date" by JamesB

Oh, yes--was that the one and only INTELLIGENT blog...

...I've ever noticed at Screw Loose?

I think it's understandable how we could miss it among your other shite.

So, how did you and Pat determine the hoax "Pat" and the fake Nico come from the same place? And how the fuck do you know it's a "HE"? Like I told Pat above--you DIDN'T do this with haloscan, "chum".

Mind when I say "chum" I'm actually thinking of something begining with a "B" that rhymes with "witch", but I'm trying to help reduce the moderators' work by being good.

BTW--I'm busy on a couple of projects more important than Screw Loose--so if you're tempted by that "thing", I will be back.

Impeachment. Accountability. A better world.

You don't get it, do ya'?

This was posted to show the absurdity of your arguments. No one with an IQ above their pant size is fooled by your weak 'prop up the straw man & knock it down' pseudo-arguments. Just be happy Dr. Jones is still entertaining you. I give him credit, having two little ones of my own, I know what it's like trying to explain some things to a child.

Stick to funding & debunking the no-planers & space beamers, you pathetic Shills. You're out manned & out witted on anything else.

Show "Absurdity?" by JamesB

You cowardly little bitch...

..not only will you not answer my question but, don't you think you have something to say to me now that this thread has all but exposed Nico Haupt as the perp for that lovely hate blog you tried to blame me for?

Here's me following you from thread to thread...

Impeachment. Accountability. A better world.

Show "..yeah let's bring back some" by relkceh09

Been with us for 2+ hours, sunbeam....

So who the fuck are you posting Nico's disinfo shite?

BTW--you know "killtwoofers"? Lovely "hate blog"--I've got to give the Rick Seigel gang points for sheer nastiness--and trying to get Screw Loose to try to pin the thing on me--well, that's worth extra evil points, innit?

I'm off now--to consult with a higher AUTHORITY.

I suspect you will soon become a winner....

Impeachment. Accountability. A better world.

Show "(No subject)" by relkceh09

Good pic--trying to get on my good side, are yeh?

How about starting by deleting the blog "What Twoofers Deserve"? I DID think it was amusing in a pathetic--look how far debunks will go to attack me--sort of way, until you had your little debunk padawans try to claim I did it.

Bollocks, don't know why I'm addressing you. You'll be gone by morning. But before you go, just one more question:

Do you get dental?

Impeachment. Accountability. A better world.

Show "Sparks, can you read IPs? We" by relkceh09
Show ""...You'll be gone by" by relkceh09

Thank you for confirming your identity as Nico Haupt with this:

"Here, your flashback, still a "satire", NOT a imposter show:"


Impeachment. Accountability. A better world.

Who's "We"?

You here with the bedunkers?

You put a lot of work in that poster, obsess much?

Show "Nice party here, time to go" by relkceh09

To the lurkers who are just beginning to question 9/11...

The crap coming from this idiot above me was designed for you to see in an effort to turn you away from 9/11 truth. Remember that.

"We are going to keep up this fight till the end, till the very end... They took it from the top to the bottom. We're gonna take it from the bottom to the top!"
-Dan Wallace

Show "Oops, the wacked out" by relkceh09

Right, bitch--welcome to you kicking

Now you've done it---here come the moderators--well, when they wake up.

It's all good, sunbeam. I'll take suspension if I get to hand you your arse on a shite platter.

Let's deconstruct your wee post, shall we?

Sparks, can you read IPs?

Like I'm going to tell you. But from this bit we can infer you read IP's. OOOOh! SPOOKY!

Oh, wait---that would only be on a site you CONTROL. Not say, 911Blogger. Or Google--who I''ve filed a formal complaint with re: the blog "What Twoofers Deserve".

And I'm going to go out on a limb and bet that, maybe, just maybe, GOOGLE can track YOUR IP.

Just a wacky thought. I could be wrong--but I doubt it.

We have nothing to do with your psycho blog.

Well, the blog's not MINE--as you know--but you're not very bright, so you might have missed that. But thanks for admitting there's more than one of you and you're organized.

Stop impostering then there will be no problem!

The "problem" being the hate blog directed at me? Well, how can you stop/delete it--unless you and your mates ARE the gits who did it?

Didn't think that one through, did you?

So, now that you've admitted:

a) you /your lot make the hate blog
b)you're threatening me with a continuation of the same if I don't "stop impostering"

what's to keep me from passing this lot on to Google?

As for "impostering" , I recall Nico doing that. Perhaps you should talk to HIM about that instead of parroting some paranoid debunk rubbish. Otherwise you'll just have attacked someone randomly and Google will NOT be amused.

And you finish with a link to the hate blog in question---you did it, sunbeam. And your writing style sounds so familiar...

casseia, pay up--it's Nico. Oh bugger, I forgot to bet...

Impeachment. Accountability. A better world.

Goddamn it.

Nico, you little bitch, you owe me fifty dollars!

Although I wonder why a native German speaker writes "cyclon B."

Show "Yeah, you guys are 84% of America, Right?" by Brainster

I'd check the "What Twoofers Deserve" blog if I were you

Here's the link just to make it easy for you:

Just read the comments.

You lot have 24 hours--well actually slightly less now...

Impeachment. Accountability. A better world.