Steven E. Jones is a professor at Brigham Young University. He has created the paper which has created the ground swell around the 911 conspiracy theories. His paper was peer reviewed but not by a civil engineering journal. One would think a serious professor would get his paper peer reviewed by a scientific journal which specializes in the field they are writing the paper on.
But is Professor Jones qualified to create a paper which says the towers must have fallen due to explosives? He is a physics professor but what experience does Jones have in building collapse forensics? He has none. His other peer reviewed papers consist of cold fusion technology. He conducts research in nuclear fusion and solar energy. Nothing in his background would suggest he is qualified to write a civil engineering paper on the infinitely complex building collapse of the towers.
Brigham Young University doesn’t want anything to do with the paper.
A few department chairmen at Jones’ university have issued critical statements, though none of these has yet addressed any of the points which Jones made in his paper and at his presentation at BYU. Chairman of the BYU department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Dr. Miller, is on record stating in an e-mail, “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 BYU physics department has also issued a statement: “The university is aware that Professor Steven Jones’ 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’ 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.” The College of Engineering and Technology department has also added, “The structural engineering faculty in the Fulton College of Engineering and Technology do not support the hypotheses of Professor Jones.”
Jones says his paper will pass peer review again. But will it pass peer review in a respected civil engineering journal? Nothing less would be taken seriously.
One of Jones BYU colleagues had this to say after reading his paper…
Letter to the Editor
Refuting 9/11 Conspiracy Theory
April 09, 2006
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
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