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Cover Story

We All Fall Down Page 1

After 9/11, BYU prof. Steven Jones’ teaching career imploded just like the twin towers, but he still insists planes were not to blame.

By Eric S. Peterson
Posted // August 19,2009 -

The equation for free fall is pretty basic. Drop anything—from a dime to a rock—from a tall building, for example, and once that object hits an acceleration of 9.8 meters per second squared, it’s free falling. This equation applies to everything, even to buildings.

In the fall of 2005, Brigham Young University professor Steven Jones presented this simple principle in a BYU campus auditorium packed with hundreds of people to illustrate how several of the World Trade Center towers fell too quickly on Sept. 11, 2001, to have only been hit by planes. To reach free-fall speed, Jones explained, the building’s floor supports would have needed to be blown apart. In other words, the carnage of 9/11 would have required another catalyst of destruction beyond hijacked planes—an explosive to cause the buildings to implode.

The discussion ran two hours and only ended because students began arriving for a class to be held in the room. Before concluding, Jones asked if anyone was not convinced more investigation was needed. Only one professor raised his hand. “And he tracked me down the next day on campus and told me I changed his mind,” Jones says.

Jones’ speech began his rise as an outspoken skeptic of the official 9/11 report. But, it was also the beginning of the end for his career as a college professor.

TowersCov.jpgJones and his colleagues theorized that a military-grade explosive called nano-thermite sliced through the building supports and brought down the buildings. Recently, they bolstered their theory with analysis of a mysterious powder collected from around New York City, a powder they asserted in the April 2009 Open Chemical Physics Journal was nano-thermite.

If the theory sounds like bad science fiction, it is because a similar explosive substance, “nanomite,” was used by Cobra (the bad guys) in this summer’s over-the-top action movie, G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra. In the movie, Cobra uses nanomite to disintegrate buildings and national monuments in a cloud of green dust.

Nano-thermite, however, is no green powder from comic book fiction—it’s actually a red-chip substance that Jones and his researchers have matched specifically to an explosive residue using electron microscopy.

But before Jones recent red-chip research came to fruition, he continued to speak frankly about other pieces of the puzzle: the reported sounds of explosions on 9/11, molten steel at the site, steel beams shooting out horizontally like missiles from the buildings, and the sloppy federal explanations about what happened at World Trade Center 7, the third building that collapsed and the only one that did so without being hit by any planes.

Jones now casually rattles off the official testimony that claimed air defenses were called off and describes suspicious stock deals that netted mysterious individuals billions of dollars in profits from the 9/11 disaster.

“The problem in this country is that we accept one conspiracy theory,” Jones says. “That it was Al Qaeda—that’s the official conspiracy theory. OK, but it doesn’t explain the lack of air defenses that day, it doesn’t explain why World Trade Center 7 came down the way it did, and it doesn’t explain the billions made off these extremely suspicious stock trades. So, there really is a lot of evidence for foul play,” the professor says matter of factly.

Beyond the figures and formulas, perhaps Jones’ most incendiary conclusion is that the explosions were the result of an inside job. Ironically, Jones says his theory is supported by Occam’s razor: the principle that states where there are multiple competing theories, the simplest one is better. For Jones, the simplest theory is that the U.S. government conspired to commit terror on its own citizens and kill thousands in the process. The storm Jones has stirred up speaking out on 9/11 eventually forced him, in 2006, into early retirement from BYU.

Down but not out, the soft-spoken professor continues his controversial research, having created a peerreviewed journal for multidisciplinary 9/11 research. He continues to call for a complete investigation into the events of 9/11. Looking to explain this generation’s Day of Infamy, Jones fights to retain his credibility while fending off criticism from those more-or-less in his own camp for being dismissive of their 9/11 theories—laser beam attacks and holographic planes—all while reconciling his faith with his own controversial work.

Some see the exiled BYU professor as the voice of dissent against the greatest cover-up in American history.? Others see a reckless professor with a messiah complex, tilting at windmills that just aren’t there.

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Posted // July 8,2010 at 09:20

What a crock. Nanothermite is not an explosive as it produces no shockwave. Watch the experiments Jones taped or the one of Ventura's BS show. Jones repeatedly fakes peer review to avoid real academics from criticizing his work. The Journal of 9/11 Studies is pure example of seeking out people who already agree with you to fake the process; badly at that since many of the "peers" are not experts in what they are reviewing. 9/11 Studies is not a field of research. The publisher (Bentham) of the nanothermite article approved a totally computer generated paper (google: CRAP paper); had 3 editors resign because of their nonexistent standards (1 of which was the editor for the Active Nanothermite paper); and has been cited on numerous accounts of spamming for authors, editors, and referees. No truther experts has published a single journal article in a real journal demonstrating the use of any form of thermite or explosives (even in a theoretical sense), or has been able to refute NIST. There is a reason they can't when there are dozens of journals across the globe which handle the fields relevant to the collapses.

This article and the comments are riddled with truther woo. Any person seriously interested in "the truth" will look at the counter arguments found at the JREF 9/11 forums, 9/11myths[dot]com, wtc7lies[dot]googlepages[dot]com, debunking911[dot]com, ae911ruth[dot]info

All that is left in the truth movement are kooks, wilfully ignorant people, and snakeoil salesmen. Look below, 1 guy compares 2 totally different building designs and caps it off with an argument from incredulity while misrepresenting the collapses since all 3 buildings showed signs of fatigue over time, admits the towers weren't in free fall then makes an analogy about free fall (not to mention he himself doesn't even know wtf free fall is as he said its not a speed, then cites a speed 32 m/s; 9.8 m/s^2 in reality). WTC 7 collapsed for over 15 secs. That's way beyond 1/2 resistance.

Another guy make s vague reference to the PNAC document about a "New Pearl Harbor", but like any good little truther doesn't know what the actual recommendations of the PNAC doc are because he never read it himself. Had he, he would know they weren't calling for a new pearl harbor (post hoc fallacy, and a strawman).


Posted // March 23,2011 at 18:17 - "You are aware that Nist admits to acceleration in the collapse of building 7?" You do realize that not 1 person has shown that any amount of FFA must be the result of a CD right?


Posted // March 23,2011 at 11:22 - You are aware that Nist admits to acceleration in the collapse of building 7?


Posted // September 14,2009 at 17:23

OK, bldg 7 had something inside that caused or helped it to fall down.

That doesn't mean the two tall buildings had any help, other than two airplanes hitting them full of people and killing thousands.

Jones can't pull the two appart.

I personally met a structural engineer that investigated the buildings right after they let anyone in. He had no question as to why the two towers fell. They were hit be planes. Steel goes "junk" when it gets hot.

When the 1st tower fell, I wondered how long it would take for the 2nd one to fall.

Tower 7, falling (no one was killed in it) was an other matter.

The structural engineer in question had no really good reason for it to come down.

Go ahead, blame tower 7 on the owner dropping it for insurance, or some government agency storing weapons or something else in tower 7, but anyone that thinks that the two tall towers fell was anything other than the planes is nuts.


Posted // March 23,2011 at 11:19 - Your remarks are baseless and come from no where. Before the twin towers magically appeared out of the ground, there were these people called engineers. The world trade center towers were built to widstand multiple impacts by airliners. The towers were built to hold up 10x their weight, and also to stand up to hurricane force winds. And for the insanely idiot comment about building 7 not being related to the other two towers. That comment is by far the most ignorant in your post. Using this logic the plane that crashed in pennsyvania, has nothing to do with 9/11. The owner larry silverstien, says on a pbs documentary that a decision was made to pull building 7. Making a decision to let a buildnig collapse that is going to collapse due to damage, isnt a decision. If the building is going to collapse it is. The only decision they could make is to bring it down by their own means. And unless they are using magic, some other mechanism is needed to "bring the tower down". And for beginners, random fire and random damage do not cause a symetric collapses. If you believe they do, please stop using science, like your car and toothbrush and computer. Because faith, not science is what we use not emotional feelings about a "government".


Posted // July 8,2010 at 09:34 - "bldg 7 had something inside that caused or helped it to fall down" Its called fire. "The structural engineer in question had no really good reason for it to come down." Others have. See the NIST report, Structure Mag. Both have explained it.


Posted // September 8,2009 at 10:06

I thank God for all the ones that have pushed for the truth ..and stand up for what is right ....And to those who think you can get away with this is so wrong...The Whole Truth will Arise.....


Posted // March 23,2011 at 18:01 - "Bill, please share with us the document that has indited al queda or osama bin laden. " In case you weren't aware Khaleid Sheik Mohammed is awaiting trial. " Your "faith" that the government couldnt or wouldnt know is public knowlege to be false. " Bare assertion fallacy & appeal to popularity.


Posted // March 23,2011 at 11:28 - Bill, please share with us the document that has indited al queda or osama bin laden. Please share with us the vast documentation that is awaiting the trial of said terrorist. Your "faith" that the government couldnt or wouldnt know is public knowlege to be false. So what trial or court case is pending the arrest of members of al queda. Why have we not had a trial for osama bin laden or alqueda? Where is this "evidence" that osama bin laden is responsible. Please, i think a lot of people are waiting.


Posted // July 8,2010 at 09:36 - And Jesus will come back one day...blah blah blah. There is a reason truther arguments are near identical to religious fundamentalists.


Posted // August 24,2009 at 21:19

I recently saw a video called 'Missing Links' - a documentary claiming to show 'the definitive truth of 911' a Jewish person I was disgusted and offended as it primarily implicated Jewish people as being the architects of the attack. Jewish kamikazis? Give me a break. Or so I thought....this is a frightening film. There are irrefutable facts presented in this documentary that will enrage anyone who sees it - regardless of your faith or nationality. I am more disgusted and offended now - for terrifyingly different reasons. Unbelievable.


Posted // August 24,2009 at 16:40

"sounds of explosions on 9/11, molten steel at the site, steel beams shooting out horizontally like missiles from the buildings, and the sloppy federal explanations about what happened at World Trade Center 7, the third building that collapsed and the only one that did so without being hit by any planes. "

Well, yeah. We SAW those things happen.

How many idiots does it take to keep a conspiracy going? The same amount that it takes to energize "birthers" or talk about the "grassy knoll".

WTC 7 had about 1/3 of its base knocked out by the flaming debris that hit it....and it didn't help that fuel was stored in the basement.

For all of you Jones supporters: PLEASE give me your email addresses. I'd like to send you some phish, some Nigerian scams, some fun emails to "send to everyone in your address book".

WHY? Because you're gullible enough to fall for those, too.

City Weekly: what happened to journalism, what happened to questioning Jones' theories by looking at the available proof that he's wrong? Are you that desperate, City Weekly, that you think only outliers read you?

Sign me: disgusted


Posted // August 25,2009 at 14:29 - CW's comment board sucks technically, by the way, and has ever since it was changed, which may explain why comments here dropped. Just thought I'd throw that out there. Took me two tries to get this posted, lost the first because the thing malfunctioned. The second try, I spaced the paragraphs properly as I always do but once posted, the thing's all jumbled together. Which is just as well since I'm a shit rambler anyway.


Posted // August 25,2009 at 14:24 - Laytonian, you're right. It is insane and foolish to think that anybody within the government could ever be so dishonest as to attack their own for gain. That only happens in places like Russia and Cambodia and Myanmar. And others. Maybe you can help me, because I am sort of stupid when it comes to stuff like this. Do you, by chance, have a photo of tower 7's missing base? Also, how do you know there was fuel stored in the basement and if there was, why was there such vast quantities as to contribute to destroying such a large building? What was all that fuel for - powering the emergency generator? And if you have time, could you explain to me how a building, or any object for that matter, that is missing a full third of its support base, could fall into itself perfectly, floor by floor, from the top to the bottom, within 7 seconds, when it should have fallen toward the damaged base, as any chopped tree might do? I know I ask a lot but you seem to have info and knowledge that I don't. I'm sure it's simply a weird coincidence that three massive buildings fell in exactly the same manner, as if intentionally demolished, in a matter of hours. For the sake of good journalism, I agree that this story needed an informed, opposing view point. Somebody within the scientific community, perhaps, willing to refute Jones' theory, piece by piece. But that didn't appear to be the purpose of the story. Please don't send Nigerian scammers my way. I'm just a fool. Thanks, man. Or woman.