What is the Goal in the 9/11 Truth Community? Debates, or Justice?
Steven E. Jones
December 22, 2006 (updated Jan. 9, 2007)
Consider this statement made a few weeks ago by Dr. Frank Legge, Kevin Ryan,
Victoria Ashley and other (previous) members of Scholars for 9/11 Truth:
“Further, on the Scholars’ web site, positions are being promoted which
are disputed by the scientists specializing in physical sciences from Scholars
For 9/11 Truth. Attempts to correct this situation have failed. As of this
date the web site continues to promote assertions which are unsupported by
the evidence (ray-beams from space caused the demolitions, mini-nukes were
used in the WTC towers, real commercial jets did not hit the WTC towers, etc.).
We feel that the promotion of these ideas functions to distract from and discredit
much of the other basic strong material challenging the official story of
9/11 which already exists – the stand down, the war games, the insider trading,
the many strong points of evidence on the demolitions, etc.”
How do we determine if ray-beams from space or mini-nuclear bombs were responsible
for bringing down the WTC Towers? How do we know whether jets actually hit the
While it is admittedly exciting to come up with fascinating new theories about
9/11, if we wish to bring the perpetrators of the horrific 9/11 crimes to justice,
we have to exert discretion and discipline by ferreting out those ideas repudiated
by the physical evidence. We should consider these ideas, yes, but we do not
need to endlessly debate all such issues. We can move on and focus on the solid
forensic evidence which lends a hope of attracting the involvement of a criminal
prosecutor and of holding up in court or before Congress.
As scientists, we look at the evidence, perform experiments, and apply the
Scientific Method. The Greek method was to look at the evidence (superficially)
and then try to explain things through logic and debate. The Greeks came up
with various ideas in this way — such as the geocentric theory in which the
Earth was at the center of the universe, and all the stars and planets revolved
around the earth. There were problems with this geocentric explanation, but
Plato insisted that they must “save the hypothesis,” and plausible
explanations were found to account for anomalies — i such as the retrograde
motion of Mars. The philosophical debates and discussions were seemingly endless;
the Dark Ages ensued.
Along came Copernicus, Galileo, Newton and others with their experiments and
observations, and the centuries-old Greek philosophy-based notions began to
crumble. Galileo observed through a telescope that Jupiter had moons — which
revolved around Jupiter (not the Earth). He was threatened with torture if he
did not recant his explanation (that the Earth was not at the center). He suffered
house arrest but not torture as he quietly continued his experiments.
In the lifetime of Newton, another experimenter who challenged the Greek approach,
the scientific community worked out a system whereby scientific studies would
be published after review by peers — qualified experts who could judge the
quality of the research. Peer-reviewed technical journals arose and the peer-review
process brought order to the relative chaos of work up to that time. Now experiments
could be done and written up, then peer-reviewed and published. Peer-reviewed
papers would draw the attention of others. To give an example of using the modern
scientific method, a few colleagues and I are doing experiments and making observations
in a scientific approach to what really happened at the World Trade Center.
It is NOT merely a plausible explanation or debates about “possibilities”
that we seek. Rather, having seen strong indications of foul play (see journalof911studies.com/Intersecting_facts_and_Theories_on_911.pdf
) we are looking for hard evidence that would clearly verify an intentional
crime beyond that of 19 hijackers. Ours is a forensic investigation, looking
for a “smoking gun,” which would then lead to a serious criminal investigation.
I do not plan to make a career out of 9/11 research, and I am not making money
from my investigations anyway. We need a formal, solid investigation of the
9/11 crimes committed, not a long-term study which endlessly debates all alternatives.
I seek such solid evidence of an insider crime (beyond a reasonable doubt) that
some of us will successfully demand a criminal investigation to confront key
individuals who may have insider information — within one year, if possible–
So what evidence is likely to lead to such a criminal investigation?
As identified in my talk at the University of California at Berkeley, there
are four areas of 9/11 research that are so compelling that they may quickly
lead to the goal of a solid investigation of 9/11 as an un-solved crime scene.
These four areas are:
- Fall time for WTC 7.
- Fall times for the Towers.
- Challenging the NIST report and Fact Sheet.
- Evidence for use of Thermate reactions: What the WTC dust and solidified
- Whistleblower statements — including some individuals yet to emerge
- Who made the stock-market “put-option” trades on American and
United Air Lines in the week before 9/11, indicating clear foreknowledge of
the attacks coupled with greed?
- The fact that the WTC dust was declared quite safe by the EPA/National
Security Council when it fact scientists had proven it to be toxic, and the
many people now clamoring for justice after being hurt and misled.
- Calls for impeachment for war issues, e.g., from a state legislature or
Congress, which scrutinizes the “Bush Doctrine,” then opens the
- Pressure from 9/11 Family members, firemen and others for answers.
- Direct appeals to Senators and Congresspersons — who are charged with
an oversight role. I initiated a Petition to this effect, demanding release
of government-held information related to 9/11, which has since been signed
by over 10,000 people. And I am in contact now with the Congressman from my
state, seeking information and remedy.
* Please note that I do not focus only on the thermate-hypothesis, and
I do research in all four areas above. Details are given in my talk, available
There are other lines that may compel a criminal investigation even before
one of the above “hard science” research lines bears fruit:
We have found evidence for thermates in the molten metal seen pouring from
the South Tower minutes before its collapse, in the sulfidation and high-temperature
corrosion of WTC steel, and in the residues found in the WTC dust. (Our sample
originated from an apartment at 113 Cedar Street across from the WTC; chain
of custody direct from the collector J. MacKinlay to Dr. Steven Jones). Many
other details are given in the peer-reviewed paper here: journalof911studies.com/volume/200609/
WhyIndeedDidtheWorldTradeCenterBuildingsCompletelyCollapse.pdf. Other cutter-charges
such as HMX and RDX may have also been used; but again, solid evidence for just
one type of incendiary or explosive would be sufficient to compel a criminal
Experiments continue, as shown in the photos below, and the results
are consistent with thermate having been used in on 9/11/2001. We have a series
of experiments planned, along with analyses. This research takes time.
Above: In a fraction of a second, thermate cuts horizontally through a steel
cup. Notice the high-temperature corrosion which occurred.
Above: 1999: “Invention offers a thermite based apparatus and method for
cutting target material [eg, steel] of a substantial thickness … linear..
cutting action …” A prototype has been used to cut through a steel I-beam.
Below: Proof of Concept. The photograph below shows the one-hole
proto-type device I built to produce a thermate-jet. Thermate is the red powder
in the steel base. The prototype worked well, and the thermate-jet cut through
a piece of structural steel in a fraction of a second.
My colleagues and I are pursuing the thermate data as strong evidence for foul-play,
and I encourage researchers to pursue all worthwhile areas of inquiry. One person
can hardly pursue every line of inquiry, but I’m confident that one of these
lines (above) will bear fruit in getting us to a serious, evidence-based investigation
that leaves no stone unturned.
In contrast the theory that no planes hit the towers does no stand up to scrutiny,
as published in a peer-reviewed paper by Eric Salter, here: journalof911studies.com/v…Salter.pdf
Salter shows that evidence for real planes hitting the Towers is compelling
Papers regarding the following notions have been or are being prepared for
the new Letters section of the Journal of 9/11 Studies: Mini-nukes
exploding in the Towers on 9/11; Ray-beams used to bring the Towers down; comments/questions
regarding papers by Reynolds and Wood. I anticipate and welcome questions regarding
my published papers also. The editors of the Journal of 9/11 Studies
invite questions and answers in the Letters section, as a means to bring the
debate to a civilized, scientific forum. In Newton’s day, there were various
verbal attacks and debates among scientists, including attacks against Newton
by Gottfried Leibniz and Robert Hooke. Considerable order was brought to the
scientific community by requiring that articles and letters be published in
peer-reviewed journals, so that the world would have a public record of the
debates. This procedure also encouraged careful thought and respectful questioning
and responding, and the use of scientific venues continues today. If questions
are brought to me in this spirit of collegiality in this publication or another
peer-reviewed Journal, I will be most happy to respond. Again, endless debates
of a verbal or on-line-equivalent nature are not appropriate scientific venues
and I do not intend to participate in those.
The editors of the Journal of 9/11 Studies will allow response Letters to be
published in the Journal without formal peer-review, on a trial basis, to encourage
public publication of various views. The requirements for publication will be:
relevance, respectful civility, posing specific questions, answering all questions
existing in the relevant Letter before posing new ones, and avoiding “straw-man”
and ad hominem arguments. The scientific method (including publishing in Journals)
includes evidence-based challenges to hypotheses, and rejection of hypotheses
which fail to conform to the empirical data. Without this, we might still be
debating whether the earth was flat, or at the center of the universe!
I have been asked, regarding the thermite-in-WTC hypothesis in my paper, “Exactly
where did it need to be placed? … How thick would it have to be against various
steel columns, beams, concrete, etc.? How many hours of labor would it take
to cover every surface of the building, carefully avoiding detection by WTC
office workers? Exactly who placed all the alleged thermite there? Please give
us their names, ages, and social security numbers for validation.” (M.
Reynolds and J. Wood, “The Scientific Method Applied to the Thermite Hypothesis,”
Clearly, the answers to most of these questions will require a criminal investigation
and cannot be determined from scientific analysis of the physical evidence.
We cannot realistically be expected to answer all the “whodunit” and
“exactly where” questions before a criminal investigation and trial
begin! But that does not mean that scientific analysis is unimportant. For example,
although various cutter-charges could have been used, if we can once establish
that thermate-class residues are found in the WTC rubble and dust, then a criminal
investigation will indeed be necessitated — to determine who was responsible.
Do you see the difference in focus, from unrealistically requiring all the answers
up front, to seeking sufficient evidence to motivate a criminal investigation
and trial to get at more answers? The NFPA 921Guide for Fire and
Explosion Investigations states:
- “Unusual residues might remain from the initial fuel. Those
residues could arise from thermite, magnesium, or other pyrotechnic materials.”
This is standard for fire and explosion investigations — Why was the
standard not applied to the WTC “crime scene”? I’m saying it should
be. And as with other crime-scene investigations, once a pyrotechnic material’s
presence has been established, then the next step is a criminal investigation
to determine who planted the pyrotechnic (such as thermate). It is not correct
that I as a scientist in the laboratory have to answer the questions of
names, ages, social security numbers, etc. anymore than an arson investigator,
once he has demonstrated that accelerant residues were present so that a
crime has been established, must himself provide the names and addresses
of the arsonists who committed the crime. The identities will emerge from
the criminal investigation that follows.
I encourage all serious researchers to join now the research effort to
pin down hard evidences and work towards a criminal investigation — perhaps
by a Congressional committee, perhaps by a special prosecutor. Whatever
body conducts the investigation, they will need hard evidences AND public
In conclusion, it is proposed that we:
1. Get very solid evidence that a crime was committed — focusing
on the best evidence, enough to “prove” the case.
2. Then, use that evidence to demand and support an investigation;
3. Get as much public support as possible to help encourage the investigation;
4. Have a goal of organizing such an investigation in 2007.
Anything that takes resources or distracts from these goals should
So, we have some action items:
1. Continue good scientific research;
2. Work on getting the right contacts for starting an investigation;
3. Continue to inform the public. Keep that information campaign to the most
convincing ideas and NOT muddy the waters with exotic theories. These can,
however, be discussed via published Letters as explained above, so that we
can sort out the wheat from the chaff scientifically.
Let’s roll up our sleeves and focus, all of us who agree that the goal is to
GET A CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION rather than engaging in endless debates.
It is time to unite and seek an end to the 9/11 wars by bringing out the truth
of what happened on 9/11. We seek truth, justice — and peace.
Acknowledgments: Thanks for valuable input from Frank Legge, Shaun Taulbee,
Victoria Ashley, Carl Weis, and Lon Waters.