by Jim Fetzer
Steve Fahrney, an activist from 9/11 Truth San Diego, who had worked with Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth (A&E) for a year, contacted me because of his awareness of my research with T. Mark Hightower on the properties of nanothermite, “Is ‘9/11 Truth’ based upon a false theory?” He had a number of issues related to A&E that he wanted to discuss, including that he learned during his work with it that research on conventional explosives at the World Trade Center had never been conducted and that communications within the organization did not allow discussion of what happened at the Pentagon or alternative explanations of how the Twin Towers had been destroyed. I invited him to be my featured guest on “The Real Deal” on Monday, 15 August 2011, an interview that will be archived at radiofetzer.blogspot.com (which is now available), and invited him to author the following blog.
To Test or Not To Test, the Pentagon and “Off Topic” Topics
by Steve Fahrney
As much as I respect the work of Richard Gage, AIA, and Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, I decided to publicly address some of my concerns about some of the policies I experienced as a volunteer on the team for a year. Jim Fetzer was kind enough to provide me a public forum to get some of these alarming concerns off of my chest. Most of the Truth movement is aware that NIST shamefully admits to not having tested dust and debris for explosives, despite the overwhelming presence of “high order damage,” but what most 9/11 Truthers are largely unaware of is that WE, in the 9/11 Truth movement, have also failed to test for explosives.
I had always assumed that the tests had been done but had yielded no results, which I further assumed was the reason the painstaking nano-thermite research, testing, and publication were carried out. I did not find out until I had been on Richard Gage’s staff for nine months, via an e-mail thread, that we had never tested for explosives ourselves. I was alarmed by this revelation and quickly backed the notion of testing as soon as possible. I was even more surprised when a respected team member, Gregg Roberts, a technical writer who co-authored the nano-thermite paper, was arguing adamantly AGAINST testing for conventional explosives and det cord. He argued that we have limited resources, and we already have a “smoking gun” and saw no benefit of testing. He cautioned that since so much time had passed the residues might have broken down, where testing could yield a negative result even if they had been used. He further emphasized that “debunkers” would use a negative result to their advantage.
In regard to the resources, several members of the team had already stepped forth and pledged $200 per person, which would have covered several tests, meaning that A&E’s organization funds would be unaffected. In addition to T. Mark Hightower’s startling revelation that thermite lacks the explosiveness to be considered as a sole “smoking gun”, I had argued at the time that it would greatly benefit the 9/11 Truth movement to empower our outreach specialists with a more easily understood explanation involving conventional explosive, if the results were positive. As an outreach specialist myself for San Diegans for 9/11 Truth, I was using all of the tools at my disposal, including the nano-thermite paper.
Gregg responded to my e-mail, stating it was actually “perverse” to desire different evidence simply because I was having a hard time explaining the evidence I had. I corrected him stating that I could explain it to others, but that I did not feel qualified to do that. How much time might have been saved by the 9/11 Truth movement collectively, if we had simply tested for conventional explosives, gotten a positive result, and been able to state definitively that explosives had been found at the World Trade Center–without having to explain the intricate details of how thermatic material was allegedly engineered to explode?
From what I have learned about controlled demolition, I understand that the charges have to be synchronistically timed to go off within a fraction of a second of each other, where any miscalculation could cause the building to fall over instead of straight down. Given the non-explosive character of nanothermite, I find it rather difficult to believe that melting steel by means of an incendiary could achieve the same result. Additionally, I don’t see how an incendiary could shatter steel and pulverize concrete to produce those enormous pyroclastic clouds of dust that were so ubiquitous in New York on 9/11.
I additionally pointed out to the team that we were hypocritical to attack NIST for not conducting testing when we at A&E hadn’t either. But recently I have realized there is another hypocrisy. We ridicule NIST for advancing the unprecedented theory that fire had brought down these massive steel and concrete structures, even while we were advancing the unprecedented theory that those buildings had instead been destroyed by a controlled demolition using nanothermite. Given Mark Hightower’s research and unrefuted “Nanothermite Challenge”, I find it rather far-fetched to suppose that nano-thermite could possibly have achieved the symmetrical destruction of the towers.
Gregg’s argument that we should not test due to the hypothetical concern of getting a negative result and that the “debunkers” would attack us, in my opinion, is both ethically irresponsible and scientifically irrelevant. Are we supposed to halt the scientific process and continue allow potentially crucial evidence to spoil due to an unsubstantiated irrational fear? And this brings me to my next concern about the society as a whole. Due to an internal divide on certain issues, A&E has deemed that any discussion of Dr. Judy Wood’s theories related to Directed Energy Weapons, lasers, masers, mini-nukes, or anything to do with the Pentagon was “off-topic” and could not be discussed as official business at A&E. I was puzzled to find out that there were people on the team who felt very strongly that Flight 77 had indeed hit the Pentagon, when my experience in the 9/11 Truth movement at large was that most truth advocates agree that the evidence was against it.
Gregg Roberts was one of the advocates of the Official Conspiracy Theory (OCT) regarding the Pentagon, as are Justin Keogh and David Chandler, which is one of the reasons that I labeled them as “infiltrators” in my resignation letter to the team when I left. In my interview with Jim Fetzer, I retracted those accusations toward any and all parties. I believe that name-calling and accusations are divisive, but I hope you can understand my skepticism. I challenged all of the members of A&E to go to their local 9/11 Truth groups, and see for themselves that (1) the Pentagon issue is not divisive, as some within A&E have claimed, and that (2) it is largely agreed that the available evidence strongly supports that Flight 77 did not crash there.
After leaving the organization, I discovered that the government not only treats the Pentagon as an “on-topic” issue, they treat it as an architecture and engineering issue as well. In January of 2003, the Pentagon Building Performance Report was generated by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) due to the structural failure it suffered on 9/11. I asked Richard Gage why his organization had not critiqued that report, and he said that since its inception, AE911Truth has only focused on WTC-1, 2, and 7. He argued that it is best to promote your strongest most compelling evidence. I realized later, upon reflection, that he had not actually answered my question.
I support the strategy of promoting your best evidence, but we were not discussing strategy. We were discussing policy. Why does A&E have a policy that discourages new discoveries at the Pentagon? Why doesn’t A&E critique their peers who generated the Pentagon Building Performance Report about the structural failure at the Pentagon with the same scrutiny they focus on NIST’s explanation of the structural failures in the three largest buildings of the World Trade Center?
I would like to point out that the report appears on the website, fire.nist.gov. I do not know how much involvement NIST had in the generation of this report, but A&E, which has a “NIST pursuit team” and has collected funds for that cause, should, in my opinion, find out. Why does NIST get a “bye” on the pentagon? I offered Jim and his listeners a speculative theory. If indeed we have infiltrators in our midst, by discouraging discoveries at the pentagon, and promoting the OCT internally in the 9/11 Truth movement, military and government officials could be let off the hook, again.
As Barbara Honneger, and CIT have theorized based on their independent examinations of the evidence, it appears that explosives inside the Pentagon are what caused the destruction. If this theory is correct, it means that there had to be an insider(s). A new investigation could conclude that, even if thermite/explosives were planted in the World Trade Center, the media could still spin it with al CIA-duh involvement — but not at the Pentagon. You cannot simply sneak explosives into the Headquarters of our Department of Defense without intimate involvement internally.
I previously mentioned that Judy Wood’s work is off-topic at A&E, as well as any exotic theories other than nano-thermite. AE911Truth has had many problems with petition signers and volunteers who support Dr. Wood. It is a disqualifier for new members of the team to join if they endorse her work. Anyone who supports “no-plane” theory, laser theory, directed energy theory, or any theory about mini-nukes is disqualified as well. As a Ph.D. and former professor of mechanical engineering, Judy Wood has not been afforded the same dignity and respect of her peers as her counterparts in the nano-thermite realm, particularly by co-authors of the thermite paper.
Gregg Roberts has told me that in his opinion, Dr. Judy Wood is unscientific when it comes to 9/11. I personally have yet to delve into Dr. Wood’s research or into any of the inappropriately ostracized members of our movement; but, after I shared my story with San Diegans for 9/11 Truth, they began looking where A&E/911Blogger told us not to. As our local NASA engineer, Dwain Deets explained at our last event, after making a presentation about some exotic theories, ‘San Diegans for 9/11 Truth are committed to looking at all the evidence and all the theories, not just those that are approved by certain groups.’ Independent of myself, the group decided to buy Judy Wood’s book, which compelled them to contact her. Dr. Wood, has now been invited to give a presentation at our community center.
I would like to make it clear that I still support A&E, but not its policy about “off-topic” subjects and theories. While I retract my accusations of infiltration, though I still find it highly suspicious that the same people who are advocating against testing for explosives are also against looking at the Pentagon, against discussing Dr. Judy Wood’s research, in favor of the OCT at the Pentagon, and in favor of nano-thermite as the sole culprit of destruction in the WTC. No subjects or theories about 9/11 should be “off topic”. None is “too controversial” to deserve discussion. Science should not be subordinated to politics in the 9/11 movement, which should be dedicated to truth no matter what form it may take.
Steve Fahrney, an activist with San Diegan’s for 9/11 Truth, worked as a volunteer for Richard Gage and Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth.
McKnight Professor Emeritus at the University of Minnesota Duluth, he has also conducted extensive research into the assassination of JFK, the events of 9/11, and the plane crash that killed Sen. Paul Wellstone.
The founder of Scholars for 9/11 Truth, his latest books include The Evolution of Intelligence (2005), The 9/11 Conspiracy (2007), Render Unto Darwin (2007), and The Place of Probability in Science (2010).
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