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Structural and Civil Engineers against Controlled Demolition

Conspiracy theorists say Structural and Civil Engineers haven't come out to support Jones paper because:

  • They can't believe the government would do this
  • They don't know it exists
  • They fear being killed by the government
  • They fear losing their jobs

They can't believe the government would do this

This assumes they think the government did this. Why would the scientists jump to the conclusion that the government was responsible? I know why a conspiracy theorist would but not a scientist. There are many other possibilities a smart scientist could think of, like Saddam working with Al Qaeda and hiring people to install the bombs. What about another country like North Korea? It could even be a home grown terrorist. You know, like some psycho angry with the government over a conspiracy to murder innocent Americans.

They don't know it exists

This could be true. The Scholars have been very busy enlisting politicians and running Zogby polls. They have little time to do things like reach out to civil engineers. Why would they do that? The most they would get from that is a critique of his paper anyway. They'll learn about it as they see the "Bombs Blew up the Twin Towers" tee shirts and bumper stickers anyway.

They fear being killed by the government
They fear losing their jobs

There are many ways to get a paper supporting Jones in the public. One way is becoming a "Deep Throat". Just as Mark Felt exposed crimes during Watergate, so can a civil engineer. There are many journalists who would love to win a Pulitzer uncovering the largest mass murder in US history. But what if you don't trust them? What about through a third party or the internet? The point is, the people killed in the towers could have been them or someone in their family. I have a hard time believing they don't have a single Civil Engineer with a spine or the brains to get a paper out anonymously.

Then again, people who fear the government wouldn't come out actively AGAINST Jones paper. You can expect someone afraid for their life/job to say "err... No comment" but not actively speak out against it. That's exactly what happened. Below are civil/structural engineers who have come out against his paper. Some of the most damning from his own university...

Letter to the Editor
Refuting 9/11 Conspiracy Theory

April 09, 2006

Dear Editor,

After reading in the Daily Herald the presentations made by Professor Steven E. Jones (BYU Physics) to students at UVSC and BYU, I feel obligated to reply to his "Conspiracy Theory" relating to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center (9/11/01).

I have studied the summary of the report by FEMA, The American Society of Civil Engineers and several other professional engineering organizations. These experts have given in detail the effects on the Towers by the impact of the commercial aircraft. I have also read Professor Jones' (referred to) 42 page unpublished report. In my understanding of structural design and the properties of structural steel I find Professor Jones' thesis that planted explosives (rather than fire from the planes) caused the collapse of the Towers, very unreliable.

The structural design of the towers was unique in that the supporting steel structure consisted of closely spaced columns in the walls of all four sides. The resulting structure was similar to a tube. When the aircraft impacted the towers at speeds of about 500 plus mph, many steel columns were immediately severed and others rendered weak by the following fires. The fires critically damaged the floors systems. Structural steel will begin to lose strength when heated to temperatures above 1000 degrees Fahrenheit. Steel bridge girders are bent to conform to the curved roadway by spot heating flanges between 800 and 1000 degrees Fahrenheit. It is easy to comprehend the loss of carrying capacity of all the structural steel due to the raging fires fed by the jet's fuel as well as aircraft and building contents.

Before one (especially students) supports such a conspiracy theory, they should investigate all details of the theory. To me a practicing structural engineer of 57 continuous years (1941-1998), Professor Jones' presentations are very disturbing.

D. Allan Firmage

Professor Emeritus, Civil Engineering, BYU


[Dr. Firmage uses unfortunate language in his letter.

"To me a practicing structural engineer of 57 continuous years (1941-1998), Professor Jones' presentations are very disturbing."

I give that quote about one month before it's taken out of context...]


"I think without exception, the structural engineering professors in our department are not in agreement with the claims made by Jones in his paper, and they don't think there is accuracy and validity to these claims" "The university is aware that Professor Steven Jones's hypotheses and interpretations of evidence regarding the collapse of World Trade Center buildings are being questioned by a number of scholars and practitioners, including many of BYU's own faculty members. Professor Jones's department and college administrators are not convinced that his analyses and hypotheses have been submitted to relevant scientific venues that would ensure rigorous technical peer review." - A. Woodruff Miller, Department Chair, BYU department of Civil and Environmental Engineering


"The structural engineering faculty in the Fulton College of Engineering and Technology do not support the hypotheses of Professor Jones." - The College of Engineering and Technology department


"But jet fuel wasn't the only thing burning, notes Forman Williams, a professor of engineering at the University of California, San Diego, and one of seven structural engineers and fire experts that PM consulted. He says that while the jet fuel was the catalyst for the WTC fires, the resulting inferno was intensified by the combustible material inside the buildings, including rugs, curtains, furniture and paper. NIST reports that pockets of fire hit 1832F."

"The jet fuel was the ignition source," Williams tells PM. "It burned for maybe 10 minutes, and [the towers] were still standing in 10 minutes. It was the rest of the stuff burning afterward that was responsible for the heat transfer that eventually brought them down."

Professor Williams received his BSE from Princeton University in 1955 and his PhD from California Institute of Technology in 1958. He then taught at Harvard University until 1964, at which time he joined the UCSD faculty. In January 1981, Professor Williams accepted the Robert H. Goddard Chair in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton University, where he remained until 1988, when he returned to UCSD to assume his present position. His field of specialization is combustion, and he is author of Combustion Theory (Addison, Wesley, 2nd ed., 1985) and co-author of Fundamental Aspects of Combustion (Oxford, 1993). He is a deputy editor of Combustion and Flame and a member of the editorial advisory boards of Combustion Science and Technology, Progress in Energy and Combustion Science and Archivium Combustionis.


"Once each tower began to collapse, the weight of all the floors above the collapsed zone bore down with pulverizing force on the highest intact floor. Unable to absorb the massive energy, that floor would fail, transmitting the forces to the floor below, allowing the collapse to progress downward through the building in a chain reaction. Engineers call the process "pancaking," and it does not require an explosion to begin"


"Demolition expert Romero regrets that his comments to the Albuquerque Journal became fodder for conspiracy theorists. "I was misquoted in saying that I thought it was explosives that brought down the building," he tells PM. "I only said that that's what it looked like."

Romero, who agrees with the scientific conclusion that fire triggered the collapses, demanded a retraction from the Journal. It was printed Sept. 22, 2001. "I felt like my scientific reputation was on the line." But emperors-clothes.com saw something else: "The paymaster of Romero's research institute is the Pentagon. Directly or indirectly, pressure was brought to bear, forcing Romero to retract his original statement." Romero responds: "Conspiracy theorists came out saying that the government got to me. That is the farthest thing from the truth. This has been an albatross around my neck for three years." - Van D. Romero, Ph.D. in Physics



The conspiracy sites are quick to point out these civil engineers haven't taken their valuable time away from their students, families and jobs to critique Professor Jones' 42 page unpublished report line by line. The inference drawn from this is they are just dismissing it out of hand without really looking at it. Or if they are looking at it, they're stumped by the incredibly flawless nature of this 42 page report. It's easier to just say it's wrong than have to address this masterpiece of forensic science. But why doesn't any civil engineer want to win the Nobel prize, write books, get on Oprah and become a national hero by exposing the greatest mass murder in US history? This is a little harder to explain.

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