Reply to Reynolds & Wood

by Steven E. Jones 8/25/2006,

Updated 8/31

Morgan Reynolds and Judy Wood have posted the essay “The Trouble with Steven E. Jones' 9/11 Research.” Of course, I will reply and add to my reply as I have time.

I would like to emphasize at the outset that Reynolds and Wood and I agree on the fundamental matter that the WTC Towers and WTC 7 were brought down by controlled demolition rather than by damage + fires. That is, we unitedly disagree with the official “conspiracy theory” that nineteen hijackers managed to get through the multi-trillion-dollar air defense system, and managed also to completely bring down these skyscrapers on 9/11. The details, HOW this was actually done, we disagree on.

I will also observe that there is a group of 9/11 researchers, including Reynolds, Wood, Haupt and Holmgren, who take the approach of personalized attacks on any other researcher who dares to suggest that real planes hit the Towers. Really – they support the “no-planes-hit-Towers” notion so strongly that they resort to personal attacks on anyone who challenges their pet theory. As I have done. I have been the subject of such attacks for some time now.

The debate on the “no-planes-hit-Towers” notion is explained further in point #2 below where I suggest the solution is for both sides of this “How it was done” issue to write scholarly papers. Both sides have now done so, and they have submitted their respective papers to the Journal of 9/11 Studies, where the papers (following necessary peer-reviews) are to be published side-by-side. Ad Hominem (attacking the person rather than addressing evidences) arguments will not be allowed in such scholarly papers.

And so we hope to proceed in the realm of civilized, scientific discussion. For now, I find I must point out the unscholarly ad hominems and false arguments being used against me by the “no-planers” Reynolds and Wood.

0. Ad hominems/false accusations in the R&W essay

R&W write: “Jones champions peer review, yet he has never presented his 9/11 paper at a scientific conference despite at least one invitation, and his journal is not peer reviewed by scholars in the same discipline.”

NOT TRUE! I did indeed present my paper (as much of it as I had time for) at the Utah Academy of Sciences in April 2006, a fact which is announced on the very first page of my Answers to Questions and Objections (AnsQ). Much of the specific, scientific data given in AnsQ was presented at the Utah Academy of Sciences meeting. My abstract for the meeting was submitted, reviewed and accepted for presentation at that meeting. The data are now in the public domain.

R&W’s final statement quoted above, is also not true: “his journal is not peer reviewed by scholars in the same discipline.” First, how would they know that, since by long-standing convention in scholarly journals, reviewers are not named? The fact is, we the editors do invite reviewers in the same discipline to do reviews. One of these reviewers is a member of our Editorial Board -- Joseph Phelps, who is a Charter Member of the Structural Engineering Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Two reviewers on recent papers are Ph.D. physicists at a major University who are not even listed among the Scholars for 9/11 Truth, but they were willing to do reviews of papers submitted to the Journal of 9/11 Studies, and they performed admirably. And of course, it is not accurate to speak of “his journal” as they do – there are two editors and neither of us owns the journal.

R&W write: “Peer-review normally boosts the prestige of academic articles because professors within the same discipline review manuscripts but in this case there is little or no such review, even when offered. That fact convinced Wood to resign.”

See above – there were in fact professors/Ph.D.’s in the same discipline reviewing manuscripts. Yes, Judy Wood submitted a manuscript to the Journal of 9/11 Studies, and it was sent out for review (she did not know to whom, per convention) – then how could she or Reynolds say it was not sent out properly?

What happened is that one of the editors of J911Studies informed Judy that her paper had been sent out for peer review. She wrote back that she had submitted her paper elsewhere, to another journal. Actually, that is considered bad form, to submit to two Journals like that. She may have forgotten to tell the J911Studies that she had submitted elsewhere. In any case, as soon as we learned that her paper had been submitted to another Journal, our peer-review process was stopped, since she no longer wished to publish her paper in J911Studies. Her withdrawal was her own choice. Her paper was NOT rejected by J911Studies, indeed the peer-review process was simply aborted due to the fact that she sent her paper to another Journal. As I told Judy at the time, I hope that the other journal will publish her paper.

[A good option] is to detonate the columns so that the building’s sides fall inward,” Jones writes, “…all of the rubble collects at the center of the building” (p. 19) Jones seems untroubled by the meager rubble from the massive cores.”

First, why would I use brackets in MY OWN statement? [replaced expression for clarity]

Note that I used quotation marks, and the figure tells the source. I’m not quoting myself. It’s bizarre to me reading what they say I say! Look, I talk about where are the columns from the Towers frequently in my talks -- it is most unfair and incorrect to say as R&W do “) Jones seems untroubled by the meager rubble from the massive cores.” What nonsense they say about me! Consider for example this quote from my AnsQ, p. 25:

No “stacked-up” floors in either Tower (left). And where did the core columns go?
(How to explain without explosives?) (Jones Answers to Questions paper, p. 25)

And I clearly explain in AnsQ that there are unconventional means (such as thermate and superthermite) used to bring down the Towers (top-down) and WTC-7 which had an explosion below floor 9 – see my paper for more details, and thus proceeds with at least one verified, witnessed explosion FIRST at a lower level. So how do R&W justify saying of me:

The demolitions of WTC 1, 2 and 7 were different yet Jones treats them implicitly as if they are alike. The perpetrators essentially destroyed WTC 7 from the bottom up in a gravity-assisted collapse, while WTC 1 and 2 were primarily top-down, virtually unassisted by gravity and destroyed by a combination of conventional and unconventional devices.

I certainly don’t treat the Towers’ demolitions and the WTC7 demolitions as alike – what nonsense to say I say that! Look, this is tiresome. The reader is invited to read what I actually say by reading my papers for himself or herself, and not to read my papers through the distorted lens provided by Reynolds and Wood.

Consider the following from the R&W paper, and kindly assess whether these writers are trying to pull me down or conduct a scholarly analysis:

R&W: “Given Professor Jones' enormous popularity in the 9/11 arena, we must undertake the unpleasant task of social analysis. Jones "evokes" the persona of a choirboy and he plays to the gallery. Here is evidence: over half of his slides have no connection with physical science, and instead are political. In effect, they proclaim, "Elect Steve, I wanna be your physicist, I'm a NICE guy." The clutter in Jones' presentation ranges all over the map: Jones proudly points to "growing investigative support at BYU" [pdf (7/19/06) p. 44], a sympathy-soliciting but phony-sounding email threatening negative consequences and promising bribes (I'm a victim, I'm courageous),

Those were real emails which threatened me – what do they mean “phony-sounding” and “sympathy-soliciting”? Choirboy? Well, I did sing in a community choir yes, but long ago. I never said “"Elect Steve, I wanna be your physicist..." What nonsense and drivel. Worthless attacks.

Such nonsense tends to lead the careful searcher for 9/11 truth away from my contributions with colleagues, such as x-ray fluorescences analysis of WTC dust and slag samples, and the actual color of falling, poured-out liquid aluminum as opposed to liquid iron from thermite reactions (experiments done at BYU, with the best photos we could get as physicists.) Where does the fluorine come from? The titanium? The 1,3 diphenylpropane? Why are these contributions by me (and co-workers) ignored by R&W?

And why do R&W promote the idea that the flowing metal coming out of the Tower was aluminum, while at the same time promoting the notion that no jets actually hit the Towers? That is, the OGCT is that aluminum from the planes melted and this is the flowing metal – so where, R&W, does this aluminum come from if you disagree with the idea that planes hit the Towers? (Several 9/11 truth-seekers emailed me and pointed out the evident discrepancy in the logic of R&W.)

BTW, the geographical locations (proveniences) of those samples are given in my paper now. I just hope those who provided the WTC samples which we are analyzing do not get into trouble for doing so – they are the true heroes!

From my online, peer-reviewed paper: “We have indeed performed electron-microprobe, X-ray Fluorescence and other analyses on samples of the solidified slag and on the WTC dust.  The provenience of the WTC dust sample is an apartment at 113 Cedar Street in New York City, NY.  A monument constructed primarily from structural steel from the WTC Towers located at Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York, is the source of previously-molten metal samples.   Results from these studies were presented at the 2006 meeting of the Utah Academy of Science followed by the American Scholars Symposium (Los Angeles), and are made available here: .  The research continues.”

To me, the WTC dust is particularly intriguing – so unexpectedly rich in iron and zinc and potassium and titanium and … well, that is for an upcoming paper.

R&W: “Perhaps Professor Jones' most disturbing offense is failure to verify his data and show reproducibility in his experiments. The origin of his evidence is shadowy, chain of custody unknown, and materials and proof for the testing processes undocumented.”

Nonsense. The origins of evidence are given above, the chain of custody is directly to me (see above), documentation given now (above). The data have been verified and reproduced in three different labs using independent methods. It is true that the final paper on the WTC dust and slag analyses has yet to be published – but this is precisely because we are taking pains to verify the data thoroughly. Back off.

1. Cold fusion

R&W write: “Cold fusion violates standard physics theory because there is no explanation of where the energy might come from to merge nuclei at room temperature.”

Their statement above is false.

I led a team at Los Alamos Meson Physics Facility which experimentally studied the original cold fusion, called muon-catalyzed fusion, and demonstrated that fusion does indeed occur very rapidly at room temperature and below. (Other physicists had demonstrated the reality of the room-temperature fusion effect before us.) Indeed, we achieved our best results at liquid hydrogen temps, around 21 Kelvin. A little quantum mechanics explains how this works – the deuterons (or deuteron + triton for higher yields) TUNNEL THROUGH THE COULOMB BARRIER. High temperatures are NOT required for fusion. This is not controversial in the physics community, although some may forget about muon-catalyzed room-temperature fusion until one reminds them.

The same quantum mechanical tunneling occurs for d-d fusion in our metal-catalyzed fusion experiments. Our hypothesis in the late 1980’s was: "Metals catalyze nuclear fusion, and some metals will enhance fusion more than others.” I agree that our results were controversial, as is common at the forefront of science. The unequivocal confirmation of this claim, with 100% reproducibility if you will actually read the papers, came in the late 1990’s and after. The papers are published in peer-reviewed Journals and are referenced in my recent paper and in the table below .

R&W reference this paper in their essay, so clearly they are well aware of it. There is a section on my cold fusion work which they may wish to review, in particular this part:

Above, I summarize the empirical results of five different experiments regarding metal-catalyzed fusion (to distinguish this from Pons & Fleischmann cold fusion, which is NOT to be confused with our work). I recommend all of the papers referenced above.

OTOH, if R&W insist that “there is no explanation of where the energy might come from to merge nuclei at room temperature,” the proper thing to do is to write up a scientific paper explaining why all of us are wrong about fusion at room temperature and submit it to Europhysics Letters or Z. Phys. or one of the other Journals listed above. (Good luck.)

2. “No-planes-hit-the-Towers theory”

R&W come back repeatedly to this theme:

“Jones neglects laws of physics and physical evidence regarding impossible WTC big plane crashes in favor of curt dismissal of the no-planes-theory (NPT). He relies on "soft" evidence like videos, eyewitnesses, planted evidence and unverified black boxes. When others challenge how aluminum wide-body Boeings can fly through steel-concrete walls, floors and core without losing a part, Jones does not turn to physics for refutation but continues to cite eyewitnesses and videos, thereby backing the OGCT.”

It’s true: I do not accept the no-planes-hit-the-Towers theory which is espoused by R&W and Gerard Holmgren, Rosalee Grable, Nico Haupt, and Killtown – who are listed by R&W as having performed “The only investigation worthy of the name,” according to them. (I disagree.)

But I DO turn to physics and to hard physical evidences for refutation of this no-planes notion, right in my paper they cite, starting on page 171 in the current version (there is an index at the front). The reader will find there, on the first page of my discussion:

Now I have looked at these data myself, some time back. I focused on the motion of the tail section of the aircraft as it entered the Tower. And I found that the tail slowed down dramatically as the plane entered the building – there is REAL DECELERATION! Now I would ask the reader to check me on this – mark the position of the tail in each frame and notice that the marks get closer together as the plane enters the Tower. Now we have some data! And we can discuss these data like scientists, and determine the amount of deceleration, etc.

But wait – Reynolds finds no deceleration of the plane! He writes:

“How could two large wide-bodied aluminum jetliners penetrate massive steel towers and disappear with no deceleration visible, no plane wreckage visible in gashes and none knocked to the ground below the impact zone?”

“Zero deceleration upon impact, although shown in south tower videos, is physically impossible.”

Over and over he refers to no deceleration in his essay here:

Now we have a clear discrepancy in interpreting the data – and that is where the polite discussion should focus, rather than on ad hominems.

Reynolds also brings up: “no plane wreckage visible in gashes and none knocked to the ground below the impact zone.” But again, I disagree – for I have shown photos of wreckage found on the ground below the impact zone in my Answers paper, e.g.:

Again, I presented physical evidences for real debris from real planes hitting the Towers.

Now when a jet hits a building, the building is going to move – due to conservation of momentum (basic physics), and then the building will sway back and forth after the collision. But only if a REAL plane hit the Tower. And so we find data for this oscillation:

These are physical data, showing a characteristic nearly exponential decay (damping) of the oscillation. Observed oscillation of the WTC 2 Tower provides compelling empirical evidence that it was hit by a fast-moving jetliner. Any claim to the contrary must confront these published data or the analysis thereof. p. 26 It will not do in scientific inquiry to ignore data like this – even if one does not trust the source for some reason. In other words, the argument must be to the DATA, not to the source (ad hominem).

I could go on, but the fact is that as editor of the, I have invited Morgan Reynolds and whoever he wishes to join him, and another author to write papers on BOTH sides of this issue – did REAL planes hit the Twin WTC Towers, or not? Both sides agreed. In this way, readers will have two peer-reviewed scholarly papers side by side, both confronting the evidences presented above and whatever other evidences they wish to bring in – and then the reader can judge for himself or herself. And that is MUCH better than ad hominem arguments – it is the way of modern science.

3. Glowing aluminum

R&W write: “We have no explanation for why Jones would insist, contrary to evidence outside BYU, that flowing aluminum does not glow at high temperatures in daylight conditions.”

Now read what I wrote in my paper, and which R&W quote actually, see if you find what I am really saying:

Jones paper: “A notable exception is falling liquid aluminum, which due to low emissivity and high reflectivity appears silvery-gray in daylight conditions, after falling through air one to two meters, regardless of the temperature at which the poured-out aluminum left the vessel. Aluminum does incandesce [glow] like other metals, but faintly so that the conditions in the previous sentence, falling liquid aluminum will appear silvery-gray according to experiments at BYU [Jones references himself {as is standard in science, to reference a separate paper written with others, to give the reader much more detail.])."

Can you see it there? Look again – that’s what I said. Aluminum DOES GLOW, faintly. And I provide photos and experiments we did ourselves, showing that falling, poured-out aluminum appears silvery in daylight conditions, even though it is indeed glowing faintly. That is because its reflectivity far exceeds its emissivity. Inside a shadowed environment, with molten aluminum stationary, I – we – saw a beautiful pinkish glow from the aluminum. Then we poured it out – and the stream was silvery!

Look, I’m not tricking anyone – please, Judy, pour out the liquid aluminum in the air in daylight, and THEN tell me what it looks like! (Not sitting next to tungsten which also has low emissivity, as in your previous experiments.) The difference lies in matching the WTC conditions – POURED OUT, flowing, falling aluminum far from the container will indeed appear silvery, every time. Try it. You’ll see.

This from a fellow who emailed me – and I forwarded the email to R&W so they would have a ‘second witness’ regarding the behavior of falling liquid aluminum, but they did not reply AFAIK:

On 8/17/06,


Since my email to you regarding the question of glowing Aluminum, I have received some better information from a source none other than my own Father!

My father, who is 69 years old now and in poor health, told me today, that HE WORKED for a company called British Aluminium starting in 1973 up until he was made redundant in 1983!
Being a kid at the time, i was aware that he worked in a factory of some sort but wasn't aware of exactly what he did there and,over time, i had never asked! Until today that is.

My Dad told me that British Alcan, which he said the company changed its name to, made everything from drink cans,alluminium foil and yes, aircraft body panels. When i asked him (at last)what his job entailed, he told me he worked in the foundry, where the alluminium was melted prior to being poured into moulds to form the ingots.

What is interesting is this.

When i asked my dad what colour the liquid alluminium was in the furnace (which was oil fired he said),he said that the top of the liquid was silver,which he called the slag, but underneath when the slag was scraped off, the aluminium had a pinkish appearance, a pinkish glow. Not red or orange or yellow but pink.

He also said that the colour of the liquid alluminium remained that way ONLY UNDER the SLAG within the vessel because,when the liquid was exposed to air, it turned the colour you would expect immediately, Silvery, hence the colour of the slag which is of course exposed to the air.
It also goes without saying really, but he said that when poured from the vessel,the liquid aluminium's in-vessel colour of pinkish, does not make it very far,if at all, from the vessel before it turns, you guessed it, to the silvery natural colour of aluminium.

From someone who has had firsthand experience of working with liquid aluminum in furnace conditions,i hope that the information my Father has been able to supply may be of some use.

Mike Ferguson. UK

Whoa! Evidence outside BYU!

My reply: “Yes, this is what we observe also, Mike. Poured out aluminum [in air] appears silvery, every time!
It's beautiful also, in the darker environment of the vessel to see the pinkish glow. I've seen it. Then POUR the liquid aluminum out in a stream and VOILA, it looks silvery!

 Thank you for following up on this.

Steven Jones

Does the poured-out, falling liquid metal from the WTC Tower (above) look like poured-out liquid aluminum (below) to you? The above photos are now used in my online paper.

4. Were WMD’s used on Towers? (in particular, mini-nuke hypothesis)

R&W: “Jones ignores the enormous energy releases at the twin towers apparently because his favorite theory, thermite and its variants, cannot account for data like nearly complete transformation of concrete into fine dust. Instead, in a blinkered fashion Jones narrows the issue to thermite versus mini-nuke (fission bomb) and predictably finds no evidence for a mini-nuke.”

No, I certainly do not narrow “the issue to thermite versus mini-nuke (fission bomb)…” Rather, I consider thermite, superthermite (which is explosive), RMX, HMX, variations of aluminothermics including sulfur, KMnO4, and other additives. All mentioned in my papers. Also, the effects of gravity on collapse and conservation of momentum and energy are brought in. (However, more by Gordon Ross than by me, see ) I also consider the hypothesis raised by someone else of a fusion bomb in the WTC Towers, and yes, I bring forth hard physical evidences which repudiate that hypothesis, in my AnsQ paper. In particular, I have discussed the trace amounts of tritium observed, and the fact that radioactive iodine-131 is less in WTC-debris layers in the Hudson River sediment, than in lower layers.

But again, the way to resolve the issue is not mud-slinging (“choir-boy,” “no one can prove a lie, not even Steven Jones”, quoting R&W) but rather by reasoned, scholarly papers – published in a peer-review journal. As with the no-planes-hit-Towers theory which R&W promote, I have invited mini-nuke-hit-Towers supporters to write a paper and submit to the Journal of 9/11 Studies, carefully addressing the tritium and iodine-131 and other data. I have also invited one who is opposed to the mini-nuke hypothesis to write a companion paper, and then this matter can be discussed in a scientific setting sans ad hominems.

I have discussed several of R&W’s main points. As I have opportunity, I will add more. Please, read my papers looking for I actually said: and