James H. Fetzer
Founder and Co-Chair
Scholars for 9/11 Truth
SCHOLARS FOR 9/11 TRUTH
Scholars for 9/11 Truth is a group founded by James H. Fetzer and Steven E. Jones on 15 December 2005, which currently includes some 200 experts and scholars who believe that the government's theory of the September 11, 2001 attacks cannot be sustained and functions as a cover-up for its own involvement in the crime. The non-partisan society is dedicated to exposing falsehoods and revealing truths about the events of 9/11 "and letting the chips fall where they may."
The group has demonstrated that investigations by FEMA and NIST about the collapse of the
They also observe that these fires were oxygen-depleted, as the billowing black clouds of smoke emanating from the building reveal, which means that they were generating heat at temperatures far below the optimum. UL certified the steel used in the construction for up to 2,000 degrees for six hours before it would even significantly weaken. The fires were neither hot enough nor long enough to have caused the steel to weaken.
The impacts of the aircraft also appear to have had negligible effect on the collapse of the buildings. Frank DeMartini, the project manager of the construction, observed that, given the sophisticated load-redistribution capacities built into the towers around its 47 massive core columns, the impact of an airplane would be like "sticking a pencil through mosquito netting," which suggests that neither the fires nor the planes brought the buildings down.
Indeed, WTC-2, which was hit second, fell first after less than an hour of exposure, while WTC-1, which was hit first, fell second after only about an hour and a half of exposure. A far more extensive fire occurred in WTC-1 on February 13, 1975, which burned at much higher temperatures for three hours and spread over 65% of the 11th floor, including the core, yet caused no significant damage to the steel structure and no trusses had to be replaced.
The scholars observe that, while dust clouds are expected to arise when a building hits the ground, in this case an immense cloud of fine dust envelops the
In some footage of the buildings fall, tremendous explosions can be observed just before the dust cloud obscures them. This is consistent with the placement of demolitions, which may have occurred during the two weeks leading up to 9/11, when unusual "security lapses" took place and teams of "engineers" were allowed access to the buildings. Steven Jones believes that thermate, a sulfur-enhanced form of thermite, was probably used to bring them down and that it would have only required ten trips each by forty men to place the charges.
Beyond the dust cloud, which they consider to be a "smoking gun", the scholars also point to the collapse of WTC-7, a 47-story building that was hit by no aircraft, suffered only very modest fires, and yet collapsed at 5:20 PM, about eight hours after the towers fell. A taped interview with Larry Silverstein, who leased the
The fall of that building, like those of the towers, displays classic characteristics of controlled demolitions, including falling symmetrically and completely into its own footprint at the approximate speed of free fall, which is only possible if there is no resistence to upper portions collapsing on lower. Pools of molten metal were found in the subbasements of all three buildings for weeks thereafter, another indication that they were taken down.
The scholars point to features of the Pentagon hit that raise serious doubts about whether it could possibly have been hit by a plane of the size and mass of a Boeing 757, which weighs 100 tons with a 125-foot wingspan and tail that rises 44-feet above the ground, especially given that the initial hit point only appears to be far too small to accommodate such a large plane and there is a noticeable absence of aircraft debris, including no wings, fuselage, seats, luggage, bodies, tail, or even engines.
While some members are inclined to accept the government's version of the Pentagon hit, the evidence suggests that, whatever hit the Pentagon, it does not appear to have been a Boeing 757. Moreover, the government has been unwilling to provide photographs and films that would support its position, if it were true, raising further suspicions that it cannot release them because they would contradict the government's position. Indeed, the scholars are submitting a petition to Congress demanding the release of physical and photographic evidence.
The society has issued a series of press releases that reflect the positions of the society on basic aspects of the case and outline some of the major problems with the official account. In addition to the findings described here, other members, who are pilots, aeronautical engineers and computer scientists, have explained why the alleged hijackers would have been unable to fly these planes and why cell phone calls from them would have been impossible.
Scholars for 9/11 Truth maintains an extensive web site that is updated daily, which reflects the current state of knowledge of these events and recent developments related to their study. According to their website, "The members of S9/11T are encouraged to take an active role by devoting themselves to reporting the results of research on 9/11 to the nation and the world by means of lectures, articles, and other venues." While the society is dedicated to research and is not an activist organization, many of its members are committed to political change.
Among those included among the members of this society are:
David Ray Griffin: Professor of Philosophy of Religion and Theology, at the Claremont School of Theology, and the author or editor of thirty books
Morgan Reynolds: A & M Professor of Economics Emeritus, former Chief Economist for the United States Department of Labor, former Director of the Criminal Justice Center
Steven E. Jones: Professor of Physics,
Robert M. Bowman: Former Director of the U.S. Advanced Space Programs Development in the Carter and Ford administrations, former Air Force Lieutenant Colonel with 101 combat missions.
James H. Fetzer: Distinguished McKnight University Professor of Philosophy at the
Andreas Von Buelow: former state-secretary in the German Defense Ministry, director of the German Secret Service, minister for research and technology, and member of Parliament for 25 years.
Wayne Madsen: investigative journalist, author, and syndicated columnist with articles in The Village Voice, CounterPunch, Online Journal, Wired, In These Times, Insider Magazine, and From The Wilderness.
John McMurtry: FRSC, moral philosopher and ethicist at the
Their conclusions are based on the results of their own scientific and political research. They contend that the official version of events on September 11, 2001 is one of the great hoaxes in world history, which has been used to manipulate the American people for political purposes and has led to undermining the Constitution, launching illegal wars, and subjecting the people to virtually unrestricted surveillance. Since terrorism involves the use of acts of violence and threats of violence to instill fear into a population in order to manipulate it for political purposes, their findings suggest, ironically, that the American government appears to be using terrorism to manipulate the American people.
Criticism of Scholars For 9/11 Truth
Although most activists and researchers in the 9/11 Truth Movement have been positive and excited about the formation of a scholars group and most would agree that it is an important step for the movement to take, some also express concern that members of the scholars group and its website are promoting debunked theories which discredit the movement, such as the idea that the commercial aircraft used on 9/11 were not actually involved in the attacks, but instead, were replaced by fake planes or military drones, as described by Morgan Reynolds and Leonard Spencer, among other members of the group.
This criticism overlooks an essential characteristic of scientific investigations, which requires considering all possible alternative hypotheses that might explain the data. In this case, there are photos and films that raise questions about the aircraft involved and the way in which they impacted the buildings, which are appropriate subjects for study by members of the society. To describe such theories as "debunked" is to take for granted conclusions that have yet to be established. As long as questions remain as to whether those planes they may have been military fuel tankers that could be flown by remote control, for example, it is important that members explore them until they are resolved. While the members support the positions of the society, the society does not therefore support the positions of its members and it would be irresponsible of the society to curtail research by its members.
Some 9/11 researchers have criticized the website, noting that it promotes one-sided views of issues which are debated within the movement (such as the idea that Flight 77 did not hit the Pentagon). Although the 'Resources' page states, "We do not necessarily endorse or concur with conclusions or opinions expressed here, but we think that they provide suggestive and stimulating resources for further contemplation," only one side of a serious and divisive debate within the 9/11 movement is presented for contemplation. Similarly, papers asserting that a plane did not hit the Pentagon are posted on the front page, but no papers asserting the opposite are posted, that a Boeing 757 did indeed hit the building as described by dozens of witnesses at the scene.
The witness testimony in this case is very much in dispute, since it is unlikely that those who were exposed to whatever flew over or hit the building were qualified to distinguish between Boeing 767s, 757s, and 737s, for example, much less other kinds of aircraft that could have been fashioned to resemble planes of those kinds. The weight of an objection like this is dependent upon the weight of the evidence, where the small impact point and large size and mass of the aircraft alleged to have hit the building create difficulties for any objective student of the case. In particular, the absence of aircraft debris of appropriated kinds and quantities — including no wings, no fuselage, no seats, no bodies, no luggage, no tail, and no engines — makes the official story very difficult to accept. Everyone knows the government's account; what requires emphasis is the powerful evidence that contradicts it. So emphasis on the data that refutes the hypothesis appears entirely appropriate.
The objection has also been raised that articles described on the web site by David Ray Griffin, Steven E. Jones, and James H. Fetzer as "peer reviewed" have not appeared in any scientific journals. These papers, however, have been extensively subjected to review by anonymous experts on these issues and are going to appear in forthcoming books. Fetzer's paper [81 KB PDF file, opens in new window], for example, was accepted for publication in a volume being edited by
Indeed, the absence of journals in this specific area is being addressed by the society, which is developing a new Journal for 9/11 Studies, which will be edited by Steven Jones and Judy Wood, a professor of mechanical engineering at Clemson. Fetzer will assist in managing the journal. He and Jones have extensive editorial experience, where Fetzer, for example, founded and edited Minds and Machines: Journal for Artificial Intelligence, Philosophy, and Cognitive Science for eleven years. The journal will have a distinguished Editorial Advisory Board and will provide opportunities for students and scholars to have their research processed by the procedures appropriate to academic journals, thereby formalizing what has been until now only an informal process. This should lay such concerns to rest, once and for all.
A related concern has been that the website effectively ignores the websites and original work by some of the most respected long-term researchers of the 9/11 attacks, such as CooperativeResearch.org, FromTheWilderness.com, 911Truth.org, OilEmpire.us, 911Research.WTC7.net, Ratical.org/ratville/CAH/ and WTCEO.org. These websites represent the efforts of people who have been effectively dealing with the media, victims' families, and congress members for years. The rather surprising success that Scholars for 9/11 Truth has enjoyed in reaching the American public appears to stem from the prominence of experts and scholars among its members, which establishes its credibility. But nothing that the society may achieve can ever diminish the significance of the efforts of other groups before it, to whom every student and scholar concerned with these issues is permanently indebted.