9 - 1 1 R e s e a r c h essays
essays by Michael Green

The Company We Keep

by Michael B. Green, Ph.D.
Version 1.2, February 15, 2006


Elaine Jarvik wrote in the January 28, 2006 Deseret Morning News that Brigham Young University physics professor Steven E. Jones has co-founded “Scholars for 9/11 Truth” with James Fetzer, Ph.D., distinguished McKnight Professor of Philosophy at University of Minnesota, Duluth. The group issued a statement about 9/11, viz.:

We believe that senior government officials have covered up crucial facts about what really happened on 9/11. …We believe these events may have been orchestrated by the administration in order to manipulate the American people into supporting policies at home and abroad.

The email I received that regaled this news item began with the encomium, “Quite an impressive group now debunking Bush neocon claims about why WTC Towers fell in a few seconds.” This praise for the new group, alas, is only partially justified, and the part of the group that is not so impressive serves to tarnish the group’s flagship scientist, Steven E. Jones.

What Jones Showed

Jones is a professor of physics at Brigham Young University with a specialization in metal-catalyzed fusion. As such, he is the perfect person to address the pools of molten metal found at WTC1, 2, and 7, and did so in “Why Indeed Did the WTC Buildings Collapse?” http://www.physics.byu.edu/research/energy/htm7.html.

Jones has written a technical essay with admirable clarity that permits easy summary.

  1. Large quantities of iron or steel were found beneath the Word Trade Centers still molten weeks after 911. Large quantities of congealed or still super-heated metals were observed many weeks post-911. The temperatures of these metals could be inferred reliably from their temperature-induced coloration, which is independent of the type of metal. The hues from bright cherry to light yellow indicated temperatures from 790C/1450F to 1080C/1975F of metal that was demonstrably iron or steel. Numerous reliable eyewitness accounts describe molten steel and/or later congealed iron/steel, which are documented by still photos and videos. A large chunk of excavated slag shows rusting that further identifies the molten metal as steel/iron.

  1. Jet fuel and the office fires it produced at the WTCs cannot come close to generating either the temperature or the heat to melt steel or iron. (Heat is the thermal energy in a given mass. A lighted match is hotter than the 130F water in my water heater, but the water heater has much more thermal energy, i.e., the match would not have enough energy to heat room temperature water to 130F).

  1. Thermite, thermate, and their kin, the high-temperature explosive cutter charges typically used in demolishing buildings have huge exothermic (heat-generating) reactions sufficient to melt steel. Furthermore, thermite is a mixture of iron oxide and aluminum powder whose chemical byproduct is molten iron.

  1. Jones recapitulates the extensive evidence for explosive demolitions that have been presented elsewhere, e.g., a) the fact that fires have never in the history of the world brought down a steel framed building; b) that steel framed buildings that have collapsed from earthquakes typically do so as fallen boxes, keeping the majority of their structural integrity; c) the far too sudden, abrupt and complete collapses of WTC 1, 2, but especially 7 which was not hit by an airliner and collapsed at nearly free fall velocity; d) videos of the WTC collapses showing explosive squibs running up the facades of the buildings, or elsewhere occurring far below the point of collapse, or else occurring at a rate of discharge incompatible with being caused by collapsing floors; e) low-grade flashes from these systematic explosions witnessed independently by firemen; f) videos of the WTC1-2 collapses showing vast, dramatic and explosive pulverization of concrete at the initiation of collapse; g) WTC1 and 2 literally exploded, shattering steel columns that were hurled outward up to hundreds of feet; h) the literal disintegration in mid-air of the 34 story top of the South Tower that began the collapse; i) the violation of a fundamental law of physics, the law of momentum, as the massive interlocked core columns that by themselves were capable of bearing several times the weight of the buildings, instead provided no significant resistance of any sort against the fall; no bending, twisting, torquing, no partial pockets of strength. j) that the interlocked core columns, which should have remained standing even if the peripheral ones failed, instead were the first to fail in order to initiate the complete collapses. And much more.

  1. The remarkable fact that both the FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Association) and the NIST (National Institute of Science and Technology) reports on the WTC collapses fail even to mention the well-documented existence of the molten metals.

  1. The even more remarkable fact that the NIST report refused even to consider the relevant data by restricting its “explanation” to what might have produced conditions that could have produced a total collapse under some imaginable set of circumstances, but then refused to consider how the buildings in fact collapsed, and refused to consider whether even their computer generated model with “tweaked” quantitative parameters could have produced collapses as they actually occurred. Any reasonable person would conclude that the refusal to consider such data is due to the fact that it does not fit the “official story.” Jones quotes NIST but does not draw the full consequences of his own analysis, which I shall hope to do:

The focus of the Investigation was on the sequence of events from the instant of aircraft impact to the initiation of collapse for each tower. For brevity in this report, this sequence is referred to as the "probable collapse sequence," although it does not actually include the structural behavior of the tower after the conditions for collapse initiation were reached...(NIST, 2005, p. 80, fn. 12; emphasis added.)

Jones quotes a recent article from New Civil Engineering that “World Trade Center disaster investigators [at NIST] are refusing to show computer visualizations of the collapse of the Twin Towers despite calls from leading structural and fire engineers” but Jones, politely, can only bring himself to express “serious concerns” about NIST’s concealing their findings. Readers familiar with such matters will appreciate that if the NIST had a computer model that could explain how the WTCs in fact behaved during their collapses it would be more than glad to share it. In fact, as should be obvious to all, we are looking at a classic cover-up in which the NIST is following a narrowly circumscribed mandate “to explain how the fires might have caused a complete collapse of WTCs 1,2, and &7,” with implicit permission thus to ignore the vast quantites of molten iron/steel; but NOT to explain how fires could in fact have caused the collapses as they in fact actually occurred. We suspect that the consciences of some good persons within NIST will be placated with the thought that they had simply met their mandate, had followed the orders to explain what was asked but no more, unlike whistleblower Kevin Ryan.

Jones is a godsend to those of us in the 911 Truth movement who seek some way of putting hard evidence before a body of responsible elected officials who are not complicit in 911, or the solid responsible citizens of this country who still do not understand 911, to engage productive political action. Jones is a competent professional in the hard sciences working on a technical question directly and completely within the area of his professional expertise, and wholly within the scope of his competencies.


Other Than That, Mrs. Lincoln,
What Did You Think of the Play?


Jones’ strength as a pure scientist, however, is also a weakness. However much one would like to think that forensic questions can be considered in isolation from politics, geopolitics, USG domestic covert operations, and media complicity in such, it is impossible to do so. Poor Mrs. Lincoln’s opinion of “Our American Cousin” cannot be detached from the fact that her husband was assassinated during its performance. Nor, unfortunately, can Professor Jones’s opinion, nor our own opinions, about thermite, molten iron/steel, pulverized concrete, shattered steel columns, and disappearing core columns be detached from politics, geopolitics, USG domestic covert operations, and media complicity. Frankly, I wish it were otherwise, but it is not. And, unfortunately, because it is not possible to divorce one from the other, and because acquiring a coherent account of the latter is extremely difficult, there is a lot of wild, wooly, and sometimes lunatic ideas associated with the 911 Truth movement, on both the political-geopolitical-covert operations end, and on the forensic end as well. Briefly, many of the folk with strange world-views or loosened cognition that permit an openness to seeing 911 as a USG domestic covert operation apply those defects to 911 with very unhappy results. The problem is complicated when these folk lack professional training, or insist that their opinions should carry comparable weight whether or not they are opining within or without their area of expertise; and it is complicated further by the fact that the perpetrators of 911 are likely to seek ways to discredit those whose efforts seek to expose their handiwork.

Because Professor Jones is likely a neophyte outside his own areas of expertise, including the others aspects of 911 beyond the scope of his paper, and in all likelihood on the larger issues his work affects, he is vulnerable to making alliances that will not serve his quest.


Co-Founder James Fetzer, Ph.D.

Professor Jones co-founded “Scholars for 9/11 Truth” with James Fetzer, Ph.D., who has authored and co-authored many books in philosophy of science, edited and co-edited many more, and who has written voluminously on the JFK assassination, including the recent The Great Zapruder Film Hoax, which he edited, which I was sent as a gift, and on which I will later comment.

The Scholars website displays Professor Jones’s article alongside one by David Ray Griffin, and one by James Fetzer, Ph.D. entitled “Thinking about "Conspiracy Theories": 9/11 and JFK .” A great deal of the Fetzer article is devoted to inflating his own bona fides as both a conspiracy researcher and a philosopher of science by offering an essentially unintelligible technical discussion of epistemology that is grounded in addressing obscure assumptions that are not fruitful for the working scientist interested in theory confirmation. Professor Fetzer is lead to adopt what he calls “abductivism” as the solution to a problem that few if any lay readers can grasp, let alone its “solution.” The discussion, in any case, has no bearing whatsoever on what he will say about 911. Nonetheless, given Professor Fetzer’s impressive self-promotion we are entitled to expect at least minimal competence when he turns to 911. Alas, this expectation is to be disappointed. My examination is illustrative, not exhaustive.

Fetzer begins by lumping together many critics of 911 who would not want to be associated with its spoiler, e.g. “As a consequence of inquiries by Nafeez Ahmed (2002), Thierry Meyssan (2002), Paul Thompson (2004), Michael Ruppert (2004), and David Ray Griffin (2004, 2005), among others, we already know that the official account of 9/11 cannot possibly be correct.” In particular, Meyssan has two books purporting to prove that no plane hit the Pentagon. The second, Le Pentagate, humorously has a well-known photo of the hole punched in the C ring that displays two plane parts. For two accounts of why Meyssan is either a fool or a deliberate hoaxer, see: http://www.oilempire.us/hoax-jokes.html and http://www.911research.wtc7.net/essays/pentagontrap.html. My view is that the entire discussion of what hit the Pentagon is a tar baby designed to trap the 911 truth community in useless speculation.

Fetzer next launches into a rebuttal of the view that the jet fuels were hot enough to melt steel, thus falsely implying that the “official” USG position is that the WTCs melted: “The extremely high melting point of structural steel (about 2,800° F) is far above the maximum (around 1,700° F) that could have been produced by jet fuel under optimal conditions. … Insofar as most of the fuel was burned off in the gigantic fireballs that accompanied the initial impacts, that these towers were brought down by fuel fires that melted the steel is not just improbable but physically impossible.” Fetzer’s argument is both irrelevant and confusing because no official USG account contends that the buildings collapsed because their fires melted their steel. Thus Fetzer attacks a straw man and misleads readers away from the actual nature of the cover-up.

In the next two paragraphs Fetzer uses imaginary probabilities to generate a 10,000,000,000 to 1 “proof” for each Tower that airliner crashes and fires did not collapse it (hence explosives did), 10,000,000,000,000,000,000 to 1 for both, while also advising that ”most of the beams and columns fell in sections of 30' to 40' in length.” Let's see what is wrong with these claims, taking the latter first. Eric Hufschmid in Painful Questions first popularized this happy fiction about beam and column lengths. Unfortunately, both Hufschmid and Fetzer did not trouble to observe Figure 5-19 in Hufschmid’s book. This photo, taken on September 23, 2001, shows a multitude of columns in the 50’ to 100’ range. Beams and columns were shattered, and this is what matters to understand that explosives were used, but the “poison pill” fiction that they were all or mostly sheared to fit onto the trucks comes from being a great thinker who fails to ask when certain photos were taken (trucks carting beams) and what happened in between (beams were cut to fit the trucks).

What about all the big numbers? It seems petty to fault a distinguished philosopher of science by pointing out that Fetzer states that there are "at least ten features" indicating controlled demolition, but lists only 9 features, 4 of which are false (i.e., that the towers collapsed at nearly free fall velocity, collapsed straight down into their own footprints, were preceded by seismic spikes, and severed most columns into 30'-40' lengths). If Fetzer counted "falling straight down" and "falling into their footprints" as two features, then 5 of his 10 features did not occur.

More relevant is that Fetzer is doing pseudo-science by attaching impressionistic probabilities to features of the Towers' collapses in the wake of an airliner induced fire, since the probability of a given feature occurring in the absence of explosives depends upon a complex piece of science beyond his ken. Additionally, his "calculation" assumes the causal independence of the "propensities" of the features, but these propensities would not be independent of each other if a fire could in fact produce the features given the specifics of the airliners crashes and the Towers' construction; hence Fetzer's assignment of probabilities essentially begs the answer to the scientific question that they are designed to support by being the best fit to the data, viz., explosives brought down the Towers, not merely the crashes/fires. His ostensible mastery of "relative frequencies" and "causal propensities" seems to have failed him in the clutch. Of course the Towers were brought down by explosive charges as the above summary of the evidence #1-6 demonstrates, but Fetzer's invented probabilities add nothing to the discussion. What, then, is their purpose?

The purpose is clear in Fetzer's very next section, "9/11: The Pentagon" in which he tells us that no Boeing hit the Pentagon. In "What Really Happened?" Fetzer tells us that the probability that a Boeing did not hit the Pentagon is even greater than the probability of 100,000,000,000,000,000,000 to 1 that the Towers' were not collapsed by planes/fires, hence explosives brought down the Towers. "Its likelihood [that a Boeing hit the Pentagon] given the evidence is actually null..." By "null," Fetzer means a physical impossibility, a violation of the laws of nature, less than zero. Hence, by using specious philosophy of science to endow miraculous certainty, Fetzer succeeds in linking the true proposition that the Towers were brought down by explosives with the fatuous one that the evidence and the laws of nature are incompatible with a Boeing having hit the Pentagon, much to the disadvantage of the first proposition. Fetzer next equalizes the probabilities by declaring of the WTCs that "the government's account posits a physically impossible sequence of events whose probability is null." So Fetzer gives us two alleged examples of laws of nature being violated: the Towers fell from crashes/fires; a Boeing hit the Pentagon. But since a sober review of all the evidence strongly supports that a Boeing did crash into the Pentagon, a reasonable person will simply conclude that Fetzer is all wet, tarnishing the contribution of Professor Jones. The arguments for "no-Boeing 757" have been satisfactory rebutted by both Jim Hoffman at The Pentagon No-757-Crash Theory: Booby Trap for 9/11 Skeptics and http://911review.com/errors/pentagon/index.html and by Joël van der Reijden, "Pentagon - Why the no-757 crowd is making an ass out of itself" at http://home.planet.nl/~reijd050/JoeR/home.html.

The acumen of Fetzer’s thinking is clearest when he addresses the Pentagon itself:

The Pentagon case should be the most accessible to study, since it only depends upon observations and measurements, which are the most basic elements available for any scientific investigation. Indeed, photos taken prior to the collapse of the Pentagon's upper floors supply evidence that, whatever hit the Pentagon, it cannot possibly have been a Boeing 757.44 The plane was 155' long, with a wing span of 125' and stood 36' high with its wheels retracted. The initial point of impact (prior to the collapse of the floors above) was only about 10' high and 16-17' wide, about the size of the double-doors on a mansion. A meticulous engineering study with careful measurements has been conducted that offers powerful evidence that the official story cannot possibly be correct.

In his fn. 45 to the above paragraph, Fetzer writes, “ A photograph is archived at http://www.assassinationscience.com/911links.html. The opening appears to be about 10 feet high and roughly 16 or 17 feet wide, or not much larger than the double-doors on a mansion.” The relevant photographs on that site are reproduced below with their original captions.


Location of hit to the Pentagon on 11 September 2001.
For more recent research, go to Jack White's Pentagon Studies .
(The studies are presented as a MS Powerpoint presentation.)



I’m sorry, but as someone who knows something about Philosophy of Science, I would as soon read tea leaves. The first photo, rather than being of the initial impact site, is of an area of the Pentagon far to the left of the impact point of the fuselage and is presumably caused by the impact of the left wing. The second photograph is in my opinion uninterpretable. I will spare the reader a lecture on the confirmation and discomfirmation of scientific theories, but I will suggest that anyone who would offer such photos as useful “observations and measurements” in understanding what occurred at the Pentagon has not the slightest idea what observation or measurement consists of in the context of science.

Fetzer then argues that there are photos of the exterior of the Pentagon taken shortly after the crash that do not show debris or broken parts of an airliner. Fetzer does not consider that the airliners parts have smashed the façade of the Pentagon and penetrated to its interior.

Fetzer also has an argument of sorts about the damage done to the Pentagon’s grassy lawn, but I find it incoherent. Essentially, he is saying that early reports that the plane crashed into the Pentagon lawn were mistaken, but that Rumsfeld had the lawn repaired anyway so that people might believe this earlier mistaken account. But I gather that the truth is something closer to the homely fact that the lawn was covered with a material so that it could better support heavy equipment, following which it required repair.

Fetzer’s “observations’ are at odds with obvious fact and either wittiningly or unwittingly serve the purpose of disinformation. Anyone who has ever looked carefully looked at video footage of the collapses of WTC1, 2, 7 knows that 1 and 2 were exploded symmetrically from their core well beyond their footprint, while 7 was imploded by conventional means and collapsed into its footprint. This is evident from the following photos of the South Tower Collapse:


These photographs show the South Tower at about 5, 5.9, and 7.5 seconds after its top started to fall. [ caption from http://911Research.wtc7.net/wtc/evidence/photos/wtc2exp9.html ]


Yet Professor Fetzer advises us, “Indeed, there appear to be at least ten features of the collapse of the Twin Towers that are expectable effects of controlled demolitions but not from fires following aircraft impacts. They include that the buildings fell about the rate of free fall; that they both collapsed virtually straight down (and into their own "footprints"); … The buildings both fell abruptly, completely, and symmetrically into their own footprints, which is explicable on the controlled demolition hypothesis but not on the official account.” I will permit Professor Fetzer the option of arguing somewhere else that he may be a great philosopher of science, but not a great scientist. I will say only that I have read this error enough from those who by all reasonable standards should know better that I have been waiting for the deliberate disinformation websites to make their play with it, and now at least one has.

Victor Thorn’s Web TV seems to honor a brave NYFD reserve officer who defies the official gag order with a banner declaring Bush complicity in 911.

http://www.wingtv.net/thornarticles/paulisaac.html


 


 

On the morning of September 11, 2005, New York City auxiliary fire lieutenant Paul Isaac, Jr. admitted yet again that 9-11 was an inside job. In fact, here is his exact quote to Lisa Guliani and myself: “I know 9-11 was an inside job, the police know it’s an inside job, and the firemen know it

Preeminent researcher Jim Marrs (Inside Job: Unmasking the 9/11 Conspiracies) also quotes author Randy Lavello, who wrote the following about Paul Isaac, Jr.: “New York firemen were very upset by what they considered a cover-up in the WTC destruction. Many other firemen knew there were bombs in the buildings,’ he said, ‘but they are afraid for their jobs to admit it because the higher-ups forbid discussion of this fact.’ Isaac, who was stationed at Engine 10 near the WTC in the late 1990s, said the higher-ups included the NYFD’s antiterrorism consultant, James Woolsey, a former CIA director. ‘There were definitely bombs in those buildings,’ Isaac added.”

So far, so good. I happen to agree with this account despite not liking some of its sources (e.g., Marrs) and not knowing others. But in the very next paragraph Victor Thorn gives the evidence that clinches his ostensible case that bombs were covered up, but only to undermine it:

The above information was corroborated by Nico Haupt in the November 1, 2004 edition of 911 Skeptics where he wrote, “[Isaac] explained to me that if the building had 'pancaked' as it's been called, the falling floors would have met great resistance from the steel support columns, which would have sent debris flying outward into the surrounding blocks.”

Of course, debris was sent flying into surrounding blocks. Thus stands “confirmed” for those who know no better: The Pancake Theory! To be explicit: Thorn, while appearing to prove that bombs were covered up, in fact uses Isaac's statement to prove that the way that the Towers actually collapsed is consistent with the Pancake Theory. And, just in case the reader does not appreciate the coordination amongst the family of hoaxers, the keystone in the disinformation is cemented by Greg Szymanski, a well-known hoaxer who writes for a publication specializing in Holocaust Denial:

Adding further weight to this argument is Greg Szymanski’s July 21, 2005 article entitled Former Auxiliary NY Fireman Is 'A One-Man Investigative Team' When It Comes To Finding The Truth About 9/11 where the following quote appears: “When Isaac first watched the towers collapse from a block away, he said they ‘strangely came down like a house of cards, in their own footprints’ in what he called a perfect demolition job.” (Boldface added)

Thus, Thorn and Szymanski use and spin the fireman Isaac by quoting him to show that first, because he can't see straight he thinks bombs were in the building; and second, what he should have seen but did not see (the explosion well beyond the footprints) confirms the Pancake Theory collapse. I consider Thorn and Szymanski leaders of the 911 Mirth Movement.

As a final caution to anyone who knows anything about science or logical reasoning, I offer this gem from Fetzer before he begins his speculations about what really maybe possibly might have hit the Pentagon:

Jon Carlson has proposed that the plane used in the attack must have been a Boeing 737, which also uses them. 54 That contradicts the use of a 757, of course, but it would also be vulnerable to a parallel argument about the absence of debris of the right kinds and quantities. Interestingly, both are incompatible with the smooth and unblemished landscape, which should have been massively disrupted by the wake turbulence that would have been generated by any plane of those dimensions at that low height, a phenomenon even known to rip tiles off roofs at ordinary altitudes. 55 These and still other lines of argument establish that, whatever hit the Pentagon, it cannot have been a Boeing 757 (or a 737). (Boldface added)

If I understand Fetzer, he is arguing that since the lawn and landscape were not torn up in some way by the Boeing’s wake, there could have not have been a Boeing. Fetzer’s implicit “scientific theory” with which the “observation” is in conflict by means of his intuited "laws of nature" is that wakes are pretty darn strong and can sometimes dislodge roof tiles, hence if they don’t mess the lawn and trees as shown in photos, there’s no Boeing! This is not what those in the philosophy of science business would call a tight nomological network of theoretical entities, laws in the form of quantified relationships, and observations. The reader should contrast this errant speculation about the quantitative forces involved in a Boeing’s low flying descent and the damage it would cause to lawn and trees (something that most post-crash photos would only poorly reflect at best), with the kind of careful, quantitative, quasi-quantitative, and always logical reasoning used by Professor Jones.

I advised my friend who sent me The Great Zapruder Film Hoax that I could not read the book because it was an illogical incoherent hash and mishmash of nonsense that could hardly be followed, and that it could not be usefully assessed from the tiny blurry grainy photos that accompanied it. I advised that if there were a pony in there, it had been deliberately buried and disguised to discourage anyone from finding it. And I happen to believe strongly that the Zapruder film was altered. In going to Amazon.com to learn what some readers thought of the book, I found the following summary comment by Michael K. Beush preceding his review: “This garbage gives conspiracy theorists a bad name” I concur. A very interesting collection of essays that debunks much of the book may be found at “Assassinated Science” (a witty pun on Fetzer’s home page “Assassination Science”) http://home.earthlink.net/~joejd/jfk/zaphoax. The Introduction to that site begins:

"On September 3, 2003, Professor James H. Fetzer, Ph.D. described his new book, The Great Zapruder Film Hoax, as ‘a magnificent achievement that may very well stand as an enduring turning point in JFK assassination research, namely the definitive proof that the Zapruder film was faked...."

Leaving aside Professor Fetzer's characteristic modesty, the claim is laughable. In its 496 pages, the book never gets around to making a single direct argument for the fabrication of the Zapruder film. The book is little more than a random collection of observations concerning features of the film which various contributors find odd and therefore label "proof of forgery. They consider these features "anomalies" but make no attempt to link any of them to each other or to show how any of these random claims disclose a process of fabrication.”


A Motley Crew

I know the work of only a handful of the member Scholars, and appreciate the contributions of at least three, Victoria Ashley, E. Martin Schotz, M.D., and Wayne Madsen. Ms. Ashley co-edits www.911research.wtc7.net and www.911review.com and amongst other topics analyzes establishment media resistance to and distortion of the facts of 911. Dr. Schotz’s book, History Will Not Absolve Us, trenchantly analyzes the public’s resistance to understanding USG domestic covert operations not merely because of mass disinformation, but because of mass denial, an active process of refusing to recognize and integrate the facts that are available because their consequences are too horrible to face. Wayne Madsen has lived and faced that horror, and in addition to his accomplishments listed on the Scholars’ website, he is the author of Genocide and Covert Operations in Africa 1993-1999. This group would be easy to embrace professionally.

But I also see Morgan Reynolds, Ph.D. Texas A & M Professor Emeritus of Economics, former Chief Economist for the Department of Labor for President George W. Bush, and former Director of the Criminal Justice Center at the National Center for Policy Analysis. When I first read Reynolds’ declaration that the official 911 story was a fraud and a hoax, and that the Towers were collapsed by explosives, I was overjoyed. I felt that someone with good science had also a strong conscience and was willing to speak out for the truth about 911. But then I read his essay, “Why Did the Trade Center Skyscrapers Collapse?” at http://www.lewrockwell.com/reynolds/reynolds12.html.

Reynolds' essay mixes the true position that the Twin Towers were demolished by internal explosives with the patently false one that no planes hit the WTCs, and he does so through the flimsiest of arguments and impressions. Reynolds mistakes the aluminum cladding on the peripheral columns for the columns themselves and concludes that the outward bent of the cladding confirms internal explosives and disconfirms impact by an airliner. Reynolds has an intuition that the ends of the airliner wings should have broken more of the peripheral columns that they did, knowing nothing about how wings are constructed or how sturdy the peripheral columns are. Reynolds has the intuition that the planes should have left holes roughly three times their own size, ignoring the fact that in the WTCs the airliner is punching out its silhouette through steel columns. And, because these and similar impressions do not meet his intuitions, Reynolds concludes that the actual holes in the WTCs were not made by the airliners, but were actually made by pre-planted internal explosive charges that conformed to precisely the points of impact that videos recorded and eyewitnesses observed mistakenly as the points of impact of a plane. To do this, Reynolds must ignore or count as irrelevant all the evidence that planes were photographed and observed to enter just at the places where the big holes in the WTC appeared. Look at the result. Reynolds with his impressive credentials and former high standing in the Bush Administration, proves himself to be not merely wholly unscientific, but also a downright crank by claiming that explosives but not airliners caused the big holes in the WTC Towers. Reynolds also claims that explosives collapsed the Towers. I cannot think of anything better designed than the embrace of Reynolds as a comrade in arms to smear the conclusion that Professor Jones has worked so carefully to support.

I also see Eric Hufschmid, whose book I have read and whose video (Painful Deceptions) I have watched carefully. I frequently use the pictures in Painful Questions to show receptive folk that the Towers were exploded, but urge them not to read the book itself because it is so full of misinformation and peculiar reasoning. I do not wish to burden the reader with details of his forensics, which are often roughly right but written with peculiar or bizarre commentary guaranteed to alienate many readers. But do take a look at Eric’s theory that government service is a magnet and haven for the severely mentally ill:

“Some mentally ill people are capable of controlling themselves enough during the day to hold jobs in private businesses without any of us realizing that in their leisure time they are killing and torturing people. John Wayne Gacy (he raped, tortured, and killed a lot of people) is an example. But what happens to the people whose personalities are so undesirable and/or so violent that private businesses do not want them?

From what I have seen, our governments and universities are like sponges, soaking up the unemployable citizens. This results in lousy government and school system, plus these people create a tax burden on us and cause tuition to rise.” (p. 151).

Thus, according to Eric Hufschmid who tells us that 911 was done by the USG, people like John Wayne Gacy who are less mentally ill and have saving social graces and self-restraint can function in private business, but those who are more mentally ill generally fill government and university positions. What better way is there to discredit his own principal claims?

Hufschmid also manages to smear any rational position on USG domestic covert operations with his analysis of JFK’s death. As students of the JFK assassination know, after Kennedy was shot he was rushed to Parkland Memorial Hospital where the medical team tried in vain to save his life. Virtually all the medical team who were in a position to see it observed a nearly fist-sized defect (cavity) in the right occipital-parietal area of his skull (back of the head, mid-skull, near the right ear). Great pressure was brought to bear on the medical staff to change their accounts of the location of the exit wound in the back of JFK’s head because it did not conform to the official story, but the staff stuck to its guns. Hufschmid, analyzing the evidence, argues that because the physicians made an effort to save Kennedy despite the occipital-parietal defect, and because they were not simply panicked incompetent students, the entire staff was USG covert operatives:

“…when I discovered the doctors were adults with many years of experience, I realized that the only way to explain the insane medical treatment is that the doctors were removing bullets and/or converting bullet holes to ‘treatment holes.’ The hole in Kennedy’s neck [for the tracheotomy] was not to help him breathe.” (p. 115)

Hufschmid’s reasoning is deranged on its face, but I nonetheless tried to reason with him by email. I pointed out to him that there was a profound social press, a national expectation, to do everything humanly possible to save the President's life; that even though the doctors knew that they were merely going through the motions, they had to go through those motions because it was the President and not a skid-row bum. I advised that I happened to be the co-author of a widely recognized paper bearing on this very topic, “Brain Death and Personal Identity.” At the time of the JFK assassination, the medical criterion for recognizing and pronouncing death was irreversible cessation of heart-beat, and JFK was observed to have a very faint pulse because his lower brain stem apparently continued to function. Hence the physicians were obligated by law and practice, as well as the obvious press of circumstances and context, to give it a go. Eric would have none of this. They were USG assets. I had the opportunity to try again much later, privately, face to face, at an event at which Hufschmid spoke, with precisely the same results. I cannot think of any posture better designed to smear the position that USG intelligence community agents and assets perform covert operations in the domestic USA, either with respect to JFK or 911.

Hufschmid also denies that a Boeing hit the Pentagon. Joël van der Reijden, a very rational gentleman whose website is now http://home.planet.nl/~reijd050/JoeR/home.html, presented a powerful case that a Boeing did hit the Pentagon, and engaged Hufschmid in debate. Hufschmid refused to answer any of the substantive points, much as Morgan Reynolds has failed to answer any of Jim Hoffman’s substantive points about whether a plane hit the WTC Towers in their exchange at http://www.911research.wtc7.net/essays/index.html. That very interesting email exchange with Hufschmid is unfortunately no longer archived.

Hufschmid is also a Holocaust denier, and proud of it. In a January 6, 2006 essay, he wrote, “People who question the official story of the Holocaust are not Holocaust Deniers. Rather, they are Holocaust Truth Seekers, or HoloHoax Exposers.” http://www.erichufschmid.net/Separating_truth_from_lies.htm. The political wisdom of making common cause with folk of other political views, even extreme ones, must be weighed against the wisdom that “politics makes strange bedfellows.” But in addition to that consideration, a scientist of Steven Jones’s stature may well want to contemplate the obvious point that what matters is not simply the conclusion, but how it is reached, and that apart from extremely narrow technical issues, holocaust deniers, whatever other virtues they may have, are not capable of serious and concerted reasoning that is not afflicted by gross errors of evidence, judgment, inference and logic. Such reasoning is something a hard scientist may wish to avoid.

I very much admire, and have very much profited from, Professor Jones’s article. Let me then make bold by taking a liberty perhaps more appropriate were it to come from his mother: Choose your 911 friends and your 911 professional affiliations carefully and wisely. The focus on molten iron and steel notwithstanding, 911 is not about forensics.

Michael B. Green, Ph.D.,
Clinical Psychologist,
Qualified Medical Examiner,
Former Assistant Professor of Philosophy,
University of Texas, Austin,

Copyright, 2006, Michael B. Green