July 5, 2007

Journal of 9/11 Studies Letter: Steven Jones Replies to James Fetzer

Steven Jones Replies to James Fetzer

June 4, 2007 (with more recent Addendum in this letter below)

[Dr. Jones writes] On June 2, 2007, James Fetzer wrote to me as posted publicly at http://www.911blogger.com/, and I respond, in ITALICS.

[Jim Fetzer:] Steve,

Just for the record, why do you continue to make statements about the journal you co-edit that are inaccurate and miseading [sic]? It was created as a part of Scholars, not as an independent entity, where Judy Wood was your original co-editor and I managinag [sic] editor. Please cease making these historically false and legally disputable claims.

It is a fact that the idea for the Journal of 9/11 Studies was independently mine, and I never intended the Journal to be part of “Jim Fetzer’s Scholars” group. I personally belong to a number of organizations and I have always maintained that the Journal I created is independent of any group or society.

It is true that J. Fetzer asked to be “managing editor” of the Journal during spring 2006 and I accepted that – but he himself withdrew from this position before the Los Angeles 9/11 meeting (organized by Alex Jones) and likewise Judy Wood withdrew on her own initiative. I emphasized that I would talk about the new Journal at that conference – which I did – over the objections of Fetzer and Wood. The Journal has been going strong – independently – for just over a year now and contains over sixty peer-reviewed papers.

Fetzer: You attack other scholars for not responding to pieces that appear in the letters section of the journal,

J. Fetzer is invited to provide quotes and references to support this accusation. Incidentally, Judy Wood has submitted two letters for the Journal at my invitation and they were published (without peer review per her request), so Fetzer’s charge appears unfounded.

Fetzer: but you have ignored far more serious publications raising questions about your research on thermite. "The Scientific Method Applied to the Thermite Hypothesis", for example, was published by Judy Wood and Morgan Reynolds on 14 December 2006: http://janedoe0911.tripod.com/JonesScientificMethod.html [note by Arabesque: replies to this article are available in the letters section of the Journal of 9/11 Studies]

I have objected to the ad hominems (quoted below) in the non-peer-reviewed papers by Wood and Reynolds and have asked them for an explanation or apology, following which I will further respond to them. For example, in an email dated March 27, 2007, I wrote to Wood and Reynolds – copy to Jim Fetzer – the following:

Morgan [Reynolds]…

I would never say of a colleague [as you did of me]

"Jones gives experimentalists a bad name."

"Can a Ph.D. physicist be this retarded?"

"We wonder if his college and university approve of his behavior."

"Given Jones's enormous popularity in the 9/11 arena, we must undertake the unpleasant task of social analysis."

"At the end of our paper, it is true that our section titled "Vote for Jones" addressed his campaign to be the only 9/11 scientist in town. [Which is total nonsense. I frequently refer to papers by David Griscom, Kevin Ryan, Frank Legge, Kenneth Kuttler and others -- SJ]

"We regret having to consider the politics of the Jones' phenomenon, but we in good conscience had to address it since his rise in the 9/11 movement rests largely on prestige and pandering, not on good science."

"Since he is no video expert, the clueless professor might ask himself if the Newtonian laws of motion still prevailed on 9/11."

"Jones has this 'baby face' that - and 'soft personality' – that seems to 'sell' his positions."

"Jones huffs and puffs, "The argument must be to the DATA, not to the source (ad hominem)."

The above statements are published ("_Reynolds and Wood try to help Steven E. Jones_", and Reynolds and Wood, _Why Indeed Did the WTC Buildings Disintegrate?_ ) under the joint authorship (and concomitant responsibility) of Morgan Reynolds and Judy Wood and I demand of you both an apology and retraction.

Thank you,

Steven Jones


There has been no response to my email challenging the Wood/Reynolds ad hominem attacks which they published on their websites.

Fetzer: You have many loyal fans who have no idea at all when research is "scientific".

What an insult to so many – and such nonsense. In my discussions with members of the 9/11 community (I do not call them “fans”), I find that they understand when research is fact-based and empirical, when the research is scientific. But, let Fetzer support this broad and categorical derogation if he can.

Fetzer: Given your qualifications about your own research in your latest paper—where you claim only that your iron-in-dust samples are "consistent with" but not therefore caused by and might have had other sources than thermite--isn't it time for you to respond to these questions?

In fact, the term “consistent with” nowhere appears in my paper! I have responded and continue to respond to questions. Anyone reading the Journal of 9/11 Studies will see detailed responses by myself – and others.

Fetzer: I do not mean by your usual technique of citing other papers and presentations. You have encouraged the 9/11 truth movement to place faith in your findings. But this is science, not religion. If you are unable to respond, point by point, to a substantial set of questions about the research you claim to have done, why should anyone trust it?

There is nothing wrong with citing other papers – indeed, this is common practice in the scientific community and shows courtesy and respect for others’ work. I ask that people look at the scientific evidence, critically – not on “faith.” And I am endeavoring to respond point by point here as the reader can judge.

Fetzer: In your latest paper, you imply that Truth and Justice came up with the idea of The National 9/11 Debate, when it was the inspiration of Ed Haas of THE MUCKRAKER REPORT, who advanced it before that society even existed! You know better. I was the captain and had invited you to join the team. Why are you perpetating [sic] a fraud here? That is neither truthful nor just.

Unfair – since this was immediately corrected in the paper with an erratum noted – and notice of this correction was sent to J. Fetzer long ago. The original read: “We extended an invitation to NIST to sit down with them and debate, we had a certain time and place. They declined. And we said…”

I agree that the “we” in the transcript (before the break-up of the scholars into two groups) was not clear. So I noted an erratum in the paper the next day (errata appear on the last page of the paper), and the paper now reads: “A group (including me) extended an invitation to NIST to sit down with them and debate, we had a certain time and place. They declined. And we said…”

Furthermore, the following day, I notified Jim Fetzer by direct email to him personally

-- here is what I wrote directly to J. Fetzer about this:

An errata has been added to my paper, on the last page, as follows:


This paper was based in the first instance on a transcript of a talk given by Dr. Jones at the University of California at Berkeley, and some errors as well as typos occurred and of course will be corrected as they are found. [clip two other errata]

p. 65 "A group (including me)" was inserted to avoid apparent confusion; the point seemed clear in the original talk. (S. Jones email to J. Fetzer, May 16, 2007)

Yet Fetzer still points to a claim that “Truth and Justice” is given credit for the challenge to NIST -- as if this was never clarified and he was not notified! Why is this? Does he agree that a correction has been made and an erratum noted?

BTW, having a set of errata for a paper is common practice in the technical peer-reviewed literature.

Fetzer: A recent press release from Truth and Justice announcing the filing of a Request for Correction with NIST, distorts the content of the prior filings by Ed Haas, Morgan Reynolds, and Judy Wood and falsely asserts that I have filed, which is neither true nor just. They and Jerry Leaphart deserve the credit, not I. You have to know better. It comes from your own site: http://www.stj911.com/press_releases/NIST.html

Earlier on the same day as this post by J. Fetzer (he even refers to my earlier post), I had already explained to “Killtown” that the stj911 (“Truth and Justice”) site is NOT my site, as follows:

"His site" meaning my site is not correct as I am not even on the steering committee of this group-- I belong to a few 9/11 groups, and I'm just a member of the Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Justice. That's all.

I was unaware of these two "evidences" you mention and will have to look into it. Along with other members, I have input into what goes on the group's site. But no veto power (at all).

Further, the Journal of 9/11 Studies is independent of any group, although it is linked-to by a number of groups and we welcome that (the editors and Advisory Board).”

So why does Fetzer call this “your own site” when it is not my site and I had just explained this two posts before his? Bizarre.

Fetzer: Moreover, such filings are archived at an official government site, where the public can find them. Having visited that site many times, I have been struck that the document you signed and Truth and Justice claims has been filed is not there. Can you explain this oddity? Here is the official site, where you can verify for yourself that your petition is not on pubic [sic] record: http://www.ocio.os.doc.gov/ITPolicyandPrograms/Information_Quality/PROD01_00261

We received from NIST an acknowledgment of our Request for Correction as follows:

This is to acknowledge receipt of your information request dated April 12, 2007. Pursuant to our guidelines we usually respond with a decision or a status of the request within 60 days of receiving the request. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via e-mail at [contact information redacted].

Fetzer: I might not be so concerned but for the discovery that an announcement concerning the San Diego People's Grand Jury's verdict from Ron Paul pubished [sic] by Truth and Justice has been contradicted by members of the Grand Jury, who assert they were never even given the opportunity to DELIBERATE! You testified and must know what's going on. Tell us the truth!

Truth is, I did not testify personally at this Grand Jury and only heard about it peripherally – I have heard they showed a video of one of my talks. I do not know what opportunities were given to the “Grand Jury” and since I am not involved in this I have no comment on this matter except to respond that Fetzer’s attempt to smear me on this issue is ill-founded and unfair.

Fetzer: You make historically inaccurate and legally disputable claims about the journal; you ignore serious publications raising questions about your research; you claim credit for ideas that did not originate with you; your society makes false and misleading claims about fiings [sic]; a filing you signed is AWOL; and now this Grand Jury verdict appears to be a hoax and a fraud! Is this your idea of truth and justice?


James H. Fetzer


Scholars for 9/11 Truth Submitted by Jim Fetzer on Sat, 06/02/2007 - 11:54am

I have responded to your fallacious/misleading charges and smears and now invite you (James Fetzer) to respond, in writing, for publication of our exchange in the Journal of 9/11 Studies – Letters section. This same courtesy I have extended on more than one occasion to Judy Wood and Morgan Reynolds and others, even those who seem to delight in attacks on other 9/1-truth researchers, rather than focusing on those who perpetrated or profited from the 9/11 attacks. I do NOT seek to stifle research on various hypotheses, but I do object strongly to unsubstantiated/false charges and to ad hominem attacks on co-researchers.

– Steven Jones, June 4, 2007.

Addendum [by Dr. Jones]

In an article dated May 17, 2007, James Fetzer severely criticized Alex Jones, Kevin Ryan, Jim Hoffman, Jack Blood as well as Loose Change and 911bloggers. He publicly stated:

“As critical thinkers, members of the 9/11 community weren’t taken in, but they aren’t so sophisticated in scientific reasoning, now to be taken in by narrow channeling within the 9/11 research community. And that narrow channeling is being enforced by 911blogger, by Loose Change (I’m sorry to say), by Jack Blood’s forum, but especially by Steve Jones, Alex Jones, Kevin Ryan, Jim Hoffman.” [James Fetzer’s remarks are available on Judy Wood’s site, here: http://janedoe0911.tripod.com/manipulation.html]

[Jones:] I think the 9/11 community is quite capable of seeing in the Letters section of the Journal of 9/11 Studies that various points of view are welcomed and that there is in fact no basis for the accusation of “narrow channeling” or censorship. I have repeatedly invited James Fetzer, Judy Wood, Morgan Reynolds and others to submit their Letters to the Journal to substantiate their ideas – and Judy Wood has published two letters in the Journal in fact. So where is the “narrow channeling”? (She requested publication without peer review and that request was honored.)

I believe that people when presented with empirical facts and logic can make their own judgments. Thus, the rapidly increasing readership of the Journal of 9/11 Studies is encouraging, and the rapid growth in publications in the Journal. Just one year after initiation (by me), the Journal makes available over sixty peer-reviewed technical papers by authors such as:

Prof. David Ray Griffin, Dr. Cate Jenkins, Prof. David Griscom, Dr. Steven Jones, Dr. Greg Jenkins, Dr. Frank Greening, Dr. Judy Wood, Dr. Frank Legge, Gordon Ross, Kevin Ryan, Tony Szamboti, Gregg Jenkins and Profs. Ken Kuttler and Terry Morrone.

Now I write in support of those researchers critiqued by J. Fetzer.

Alex Jones is a well-known 9/11 researcher and extremely effective radio-show host. He told me that Fetzer had phoned him and verbally attacked with profanities. Fetzer has done the same with me and I was obliged to ask that he cease from using profanities while talking to me. (Our conversation soon came to an end.)

Like Alex, Jack Blood is an effective and energetic radio show host and strong proponent for 9/11 truth.

Kevin Ryan is a chemist who spoke “truth to power” when he pointed out results from fire-endurance tests of WTC-floor assemblies and challenged certain conclusions being made by NIST. He lost his job for being thus outspoken. He continues to speak out and write -- including work in the Journal of 9/11 Studies, for which Kevin and I serve as co-editors.

The Loose Change crew has been singularly successful in spreading the word about 9/11, they have made adjustments in some statements (as we all have to do), and they are coming out with a Loose Change release which will be shown in major theaters later this year. They are doing great!

Jim Hoffman and his team have put together one of the most influential and highly-visited sites in the 9/11 community: http://911research.wtc7.net/. This site was the main source for my own initial studies regarding 9/11 facts in early 2005 and can be reached simply by typing: http://www.wtc7.net/.

http://www.911blogger.com/ allows anyone to post – and J. Fetzer has posted there himself. It appears to me that this is an open forum, welcoming input.

Hence, I defend my co-9/11-researchers versus the derogatory barbs hurled against them by James Fetzer. And I propose that he save his venom for those who support the war-provoking “official story of 9/11” promoted by the Bush/Cheney administration.


Final Word by Arabesque:

Inappropriate phone calls, ad-hominems and misleading claims? Par for the course for Jim Fetzer:

9/11 Disinformation and Misinformation: Definitions and Examples