BYU and Prof. Steven Jones revisited
A few days ago I was asked by a distinguished Professor at the University of Massachusetts what happened to me at BYU, in my own words. I often get this question and would like to say the following.
1. In September 2005, I presented a colloquium at Brigham Young University (BYU) in a large auditorium, presenting the physical evidence I had accumulated by then that the “official story” of the 9/11 disaster (that it was all due to Al Qaeda ALONE with no US foreknowledge of the attacks) was highly suspicious. I had invited professors from across campus and many came, from numerous disciplines including physics, math, psychology, engineering. I asked them to take the “kid gloves off” and tell me where I was in error. In particular, we watched the rapid, nearly-symmetrical collapse of WTC 7 – which was NOT hit by a plane and yet fell to the ground seven hours after the Towers were completely destroyed.
After two hours, we had to leave because a class had the room scheduled. But before we left, I asked those present (about 70 in all) if they agreed with me that an investigation into 9/11 events was warranted. By show of hands, none disagreed with this proposition, except one, a geology professor. The next day, he saw me on campus and said that he had changed his mind and that he now supported a full investigation into 9/11. Note that a large number of professors supporting an investigation of the full story of 9/11 is not the same as an endorsement by BYU.
A number of those in attendance provided helpful, critical comments for my nascent paper published later in a volume by Profs. David Ray Griffin and Peter Dale Scott, and available on-line here:
http://journalof911studies.com/volume/200609/Why_Indeed_Did_the_WTC_Buil... This peer-reviewed paper includes discussion of this colloquium/review described above.
One could say that this was an initial “peer-review” for my research in this area, a peer-review that I sought out well before the paper was published, and at no time have I shied away from scientific peer-review of my research (on the contrary). There was a more formal peer-review process on the paper as well, by multiple referees. The paper was finally approved for publication following extensive peer-review and published in about August 2006:
Professors David Ray Griffin and Peter Dale Scott, editors, 9/11 And The American Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out, Northhampton, MA: Interlink Publishing, 2006. It was re-published on-line by kind permission of the editors (see link above). One of the editors (Prof. Griffin) has explained that there were four reviewers for my paper, all Ph.D’s. To clarify some apparent confusion: the paper is not published in “The Hidden History of 9-11-2001,” Elsevier, 2006, although that volume does contain a number of relevant articles.
2. In April 2006, I presented a talk regarding my 9/11 research findings at a meeting of the Utah Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters. I recall that the abstract for this talk was reviewed and approved by a fellow BYU Physics Professor, and my contribution was subsequently published by the Utah Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters.
3. BYU placed me on administrative leave on Sept. 7, 2006, with reference to my research on 9/11 (see http://www.deseretnews.com/article/1,5143,645199800,00.html?pg=1)
The University spokesperson clearly stated that "The university doesn't have an opinion regarding the theory."
[quote]“Jones was placed on administrative leave for publishing a theory that explosives were involved in the towers' collapse through channels university officials deemed inappropriate,"
BYU spokesperson Carri Jenkins said.
"The university doesn't have an opinion regarding the theory," she said.”
This was an important distinction -- BYU was specifically NOT stating an opinion regarding my "theory" which challenges the official narrative of 9/11, the highly-publicized "official theory" that ONLY ill-trained Muslim hijackers were involved in the complete destruction of three WTC skyscrapers, one of which was not hit by a plane (WTC 7), with no foreknowledge of the plans by the Bush-Cheney administration.
4. Dr. Jeffrey Farrer, director of the Transmission Electron Microscopy Laboratory at BYU was (and still is) permitted to work with me on my research.
5. Based on that research, a group of scientists wrote the paper now published in the Open Chemical Physics Journal, "Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe," April 2009. There were two authors from BYU listed on that paper, Dr. Farrer (as second author) and Daniel Farnsworth. Their affiliation with the BYU Department of Physics and Astronomy was listed in the paper as anyone can see by referring to this paper in an established, peer-reviewed journal:
Deseret News article on the paper:
6. Retiring Professors at BYU (at least in the Department of Physics and Astronomy) often are allowed a shared office on campus and to keep a research web page and to continue research, and given emeritus status. One can find this out by asking several retirees; it is not a secret. In response to numerous questions – in my retirement, I was probably treated in a more-or-less standard way.
7. It is apparent from the news media at the time that BYU had been under considerable pressure regarding my 9/11 research; this was particularly clear in radio talk-shows in 2005-2006 (e.g., by Bob Lonsberry, KNRS). Further, we understand from press releases that Dick Cheney's office or the White House approached BYU leaders, and this resulted in Cheney's coming to BYU to give a commencement address just three months after my "early retirement" from BYU, in April 2007. BYU -- to its credit -- allowed TWO on-campus demonstrations against the policies of Dick Cheney in spring 2007. Again, this information is available publicly in the media. (How many protests has BYU allowed through the years? Very few!)
In view of such facts, my friend and fellow 9/11-researcher Kevin Ryan said "Hurray for BYU!" And I have to agree.
Reply from Professor Niels Harrit, Department of Chemistry, University of Copenhagen, Denmark (March 13, 2010)
Steven: I am glad that you can see beyond your own (and ours!) annoyance and point to the positive aspects of BYUs handling of their situation.
Let me hasten to join Kevin and cheer for BYU – loud and clear.
We have to acknowledge the political space they live and operate in, and BYU deserves the credits you point out.
One senses a high level of decency at BYU.
Kind of the same thing I feel in the mainstream press these days. The young journalists try to squeeze some information in and take the discussion as far as they can before they run their head into the editors hammer.
Steven E. Jones
Professor of Physics (retired)
PS -- In my email to the distinguished professor in Massachusetts, I added that I feel that an INTERNATIONAL INVESTIGATION conducted by scientists and engineers and others is needed -- not a US-congressional investigation at this time. She agreed with me, writing:
"I entirely agree with your suggested objective: an international review body to investigate 9/11, with scientists and engineers from a number of participating countries... In fact, I suspect that this is THE ONLY way to get national and international coverage so extensive that the US media will have to follow the news stories."
With regard to current activities, I am pursuing energy-related research at this time. This is an area where I continue to have support. For example, see:http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/4CF06/Event/55778 . Experiments involving a low-energy deuteron beam impinging on a liquid lithium target are ready to launch at BYU... stay tuned.
American dependence on foreign oil is causing great problems. It is time to declare American Independence a second time -- this time, energy independence.