BYU places '9/11 truth' professor on paid leave

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Re: BYU places '9/11 truth' professor on paid leave

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Steven E. Jones
by Wikipedia



Steven Earl Jones (born March 25, 1949[1]) is an American physicist. Among scientists, Jones became known for his long research on muon-catalyzed fusion and geo-fusion.[2][3][4] Jones is also known for his association with 9/11 controversies.[5][6] Jones has claimed that mere airplane crashes and fires could not have resulted in so rapid and complete a fall of the World Trade Center Towersand 7 World Trade Center, suggesting controlled demolition instead, based upon his own experiments.[6][7] In late 2006, some time after Brigham Young University (BYU) officials placed him on paid leave, Jones chose to retire as part of deal with BYU which included BYU abandoning their academic review of Jones' later work.[8]


Jones earned his bachelor's degree in physics, magna cum laude, from Brigham Young University in 1973, and his Ph.D. in physics from Vanderbilt University in 1978. Jones conducted his PhD research at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (from 1974 to 1977), and post-doctoral research at Cornell University and the Los Alamos Meson Physics Facility.[9]

Research interests and background

Jones conducted research at the Idaho National Laboratory, in Idaho Falls, Idaho where, from 1979 to 1985, he was a senior engineering specialist. He was principal investigator for experimental muon-catalyzed fusion from 1982 to 1991 for the United States Department of Energy (DOE), Division of Advanced Energy Projects. From 1985 to 1993, Jones studied deuterium based fusion in the context of condensed matter physics under DOE and Electric Power Research Institute sponsorship. Jones also collaborated in experiments at other physics laboratories, including TRIUMF (Vancouver, British Columbia), LANL (Los Alamos, NM), KEK (Tsukuba, Japan), and the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory near Oxford University.[9]

Around 1985, Jones became interested in anomalous concentrations of helium-3 and Tritium found in gases escaping fromvolcanoes. He hypothesized that metals and high pressures in the Earth's interior might make fusion more likely, and began a series of experiments on what he referred to as geo-fusion, or piezofusion, high-pressure fusion. To characterize the reactions, Jones designed and constructed a neutron counter that was capable of accurately measuring minuscule numbers of neutrons produced in his experiments. The counter indicated that a small amount of fusion was occurring. Jones claimed that the results indicate that fusion is at least possible, although the process was unlikely to be useful as an energy source.

Jones' interests extend to archaeometry, solar energy,[10][11] and, like numerous professors at BYU, archaeology and the Book of Mormon.[12] For example, he has sought radiocarbon dating evidence of the existence of pre-Columbian horses in the Americas,[13]though initial results have indicated the equine remains tested are modern in origin,[14] and has interpreted archaeological evidence from the ancient Mayans as supporting his faith's belief that Jesus Christ visited America.[15]

Muon-catalyzed fusion

In the mid-1980s, Jones and other BYU scientists worked on what he referred to as Cold Nuclear Fusion in a Scientific American article (the process is currently known as muon-catalyzed fusion to avoid confusion with the cold fusion concept proposed by Ponsand Fleischman). Muon-catalyzed fusion was a field of some interest during the 1980s as a potential energy source; however, its low energy output appears to be unavoidable (because of alpha-muon sticking losses). Jones led a research team that, in 1986, achieved 150 fusions per muon (average), releasing over 2,600 MeV of fusion energy per muon, a record which still stands.[16]

Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann commenced their work at approximately the same time. Jones became aware of their work when they applied for research funding from the DOE, after which the DOE forwarded their proposal to Jones for peer review. When Jones realized that their work was similar, he and Pons and Fleischmann agreed to release their papers to Nature on the same day (March 24, 1989). However, Pons and Fleischmann announced their results at a press event the day before. Jones faxed his paper to Nature.[17]

A New York Times article says that although peer reviewers were harshly critical of Pons' and Fleischmann's research, they did not apply such criticism to Jones' significantly more modest, theoretically supported findings. Although critics insisted that Jones' results were probably caused by experimental error,[18] the majority of the reviewing physicists claimed that he was a careful scientist. Later research and experiments have supported Jones' metallic "cold fusion" (geo-fusion) reports.[19]

In July 2013, Jones gave a poster talk at the 18th International Conference on Condensed Matter Nuclear Science at the University of Missouri, titled, 'Empirical Evidence for Two Distinct Effects: Low-level d-d Fusion in Metals and Anomalous Excess Heat'.[20]

World Trade Center destruction controversy

On September 22, 2005 Jones presented his views on the collapse of the World Trade Center towers and World Trade Center 7 at a BYU seminar attended by approximately 60 people. Jones claimed that a variety of evidence defies the mainstream collapse theory and favors controlled demolition, using thermite. The evidence Jones cited included the speed and symmetry of the collapses, and characteristics of dust jets. Later, Jones claimed he had identified grey/red flakes found in the dust as nanothermite traces. He has also claimed that the thermite reaction products (aluminium oxide and iron-rich microspheres) were also found in the dust.[21] He called for further scientific investigation to test the controlled demolition theory and the release of all relevant data by the government.[22] Shortly after the seminar, Jones placed a research paper entitled "Why Indeed Did the WTC Buildings Collapse?" on his page in the Physics department Web site, noting that BYU had no responsibility for the paper.[23]

Jones subsequently presented the WTC research in lectures at Idaho State University, Utah Valley State College, University of Colorado at Boulder and University of Denver, the Utah Academy of Science, Sonoma State University, University of California at Berkeley, and the University of Texas at Austin.[24][25][26][27][28][29][30]

On September 7, 2006, Jones removed his paper from BYU's website at the request of administrators and was placed on paid leave.[31] The university cited its concern about the "increasingly speculative and accusatory nature" of Jones' work and that perhaps Jones' research had "not been published in appropriate scientific venues" as reasons for putting him under review. The review was to have been conducted at three levels: BYU administration, the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, and the Physics Department.[32] However, Jones resigned before the BYU review could be completed.[8] Some of Jones' colleagues also defended Jones' 9/11 work to varying degrees,[33] and Project Censored lists his 9/11 research among the top mainstream media censored stories of 2007.[34]

Jones' placement on paid leave drew criticism from the American Association of University Professors and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. Both organizations have long been critics of BYU's record on academic freedom.[35] Jones "welcomed the review" because he hoped it would "encourage people to read his paper for themselves," however the review was abandoned as part of a deal where Jones elected to retire, effective January 1, 2007.[36]

Jones has been interviewed by mainstream news sources and has made a number of public appearances. Although Jones has urged caution in drawing conclusions,[37] some believe that his public comments have indicated a significant degree of certainty on the controlled demolition of the World Trade Center and the culpability of elements within the U.S. government.[38] In one interview, Jones asserted that the attacks were "an 'inside job', puppeteered by the neoconservatives in the White House to justify the occupation of oil-rich Arab countries, inflate military spending, and expand Israel."[39] His name is often mentioned in reporting about 9/11 conspiracy theories.[40]

Jones has published several papers suggesting that the World Trade Center was demolished with explosives, but his 2005 paper, "Why Indeed Did the WTC Buildings Collapse?" was his first paper on the topic and was considered controversial both for its content and its claims to scientific rigor.[41] Jones' early critics included members of BYU's engineering faculty;[42] shortly after he made his views public, the BYU College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences and the faculty of structural engineering issued statements in which they distanced themselves from Jones' work. They noted that Jones' "hypotheses and interpretations of evidence were being questioned by scholars and practitioners," and expressed doubts on whether they had been "submitted to relevant scientific venues that would ensure rigorous technical peer review."[43]

Jones maintained that the paper was peer-reviewed prior to publication within a book "9/11 and American Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out" by D.R. Griffin.[44] The paper was published in the online "Journal of 9/11 Studies", a journal co-founded and co-edited by Jones for the purpose of "covering the whole of research related to 9/11/2001." The paper also appeared in a volume of essays edited by David Ray Griffin and Peter Dale Scott.[45]

In April 2008, Jones, along with four other authors, published a letter in The Bentham Open Civil Engineering Journal, titled, 'Fourteen Points of Agreement with Official Government Reports on the World Trade Center Destruction'.[46] In August 2008, Jones, along with Kevin Ryan and James Gourley, published a peer-reviewed article in The Environmentalist, titled, 'Environmental anomalies at the World Trade Center: Evidence for energetic materials'.[47]

In April 2009, Jones, along with Niels H. Harrit and 7 other authors published a paper in The Open Chemical Physics Journal, titled, 'Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe'.[48] The editor of the journal, Professor Marie-Paule Pileni, an expert in explosives and nano-technology,[49][50] resigned. She received an e-mail from the Danish science journal Videnskab asking for her professional assessment of the article's content.[51][52] According to Pileni, the article was published without her authorization. Subsequently, numerous concerns arose regarding the reliability of the publisher, Bentham Science Publishing. This included the publishing an allegedly peer reviewed article composed of nonsense,[53] the resignation of multiple people at the administrative level,[54][55] and soliciting article submissions from researchers in unrelated fields through spam.[56] With regard to the peer review process of the research conducted by Jones in The Open Chemical Physics Journal, Dr. David Griscom identified himself as one of the reviewers,[57] which Jones claims was "anonymous" in nature and welcomed Dr. Griscom to the "9/11 truth-seeking community".[58] However, the paper which Jones co-authored referenced Dr. Griscom, and multiple 9/11 conspiracy theorists, in the acknowledgements for "elucidating discussions and encouragements".[21] Also, almost four years prior to identifying himself as a reviewer and the welcome he received from Jones, Griscom published a letter in defense of 9/11 conspiracies in the Journal of 9/11 Studies;[59] of which Jones was the editor.[60]

Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Scholars for 9/11 Truth & Justice

Jones was a founding member of Scholars for 9/11 Truth for approximately one year as co-chair with James H. Fetzer. From mid-November 2006 until the end of that year, Jones, Fetzer and a series of other researchers and individuals engaged in a dispute about the direction of the organization. Jones and others examined the claims of James Fetzer and Judy Wood — i.e., that directed energy weapons or mini-nukes destroyed the WTC Towers — and delineated empirical reasons for rejecting them.[61]

In December 2006, Steven Jones and about 4/5ths of the members voted to leave the Scholars for 9/11 Truth organization[62] to establish Scholars for 9/11 Truth & Justice.[63] While Jones is not a committee member of Scholars for 9/11 Truth & Justice, his work is supported and documented by the group. By April 2010, that organization had grown to over 800 members.[64]


Steven E. Jones was co-chair of Scholars for 9/11 Truth until December 5, 2006, when he resigned his membership there and joined Scholars for 9/11 Truth & Justice. Also in 2006, Jones became a founding member of Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth.

He is co-editor of Journal of 9/11 Studies.[65]

He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and has been described as "a devout Mormon."[41]

Recognition and awards

• 1968, David O. McKay Scholarship at BYU; National Merit Scholar[9]
• 1973–1978 Tuition Scholarship and Research Fellowship at Vanderbilt University
• 1989 Outstanding Young Scholar Award (BYU); Best of What's New for 1989 (Popular Science); Creativity Prize (Japanese Creativity Society)
• 1990 BYU Young Scholar Award; Annual Lecturer, BYU Chapter of Sigma Xi
• 2005 BYU Alcuin Award and Fellowship, for excellence in teaching


1. CV Professor Steven Earl Jones
2. Steven E Jones & Johann Rafelski, AIP Conference Proceedings, 181: Muon-catalyzed Fusion: Sanibel Island, FL 1988 (New York: American Institute of Physics, 1989).
3. George L Trigg, ed, Encyclopedia of Applied Physics, Volume 14: Physical Geology to Polymer Dynamics (New York: VCH Publishers, 1996), p 112: "Dr. Steven Jones of Brigham Young University, who had long studied muon-catalyzed fusion...".
4. Thomas F Gieryn, Cultural Boundaries of Science: Credibility on the Line (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999), pp 198–99.
5. Stephen E Atkins, "Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Justice" pp 385–87, in S E Atkins, ed, The 9/11 Encyclopedia, 2nd edn (Santa Barbara CA: ABC-CLIO, 2011).
6. nthony Summers & Robbyn Swan, The Eleventh Day: The Full Story of 9/11 (New York: Ballantine Books, 2011), p 99.
7. Peter Phillips & Mickey Huff w/ Project Censored, eds, Media Democracy in Action: Censored 2010: The Top 25 Censored Stories of 2008-09 (New York: Seven Stories Press, 2009), "Censored 2007 #18", pp 140–41.
8. "9/11 Conspiracy Theorist to Leave Brigham Young". Retrieved 2014-12-30.
9. Brigham Young University: Steven E. Jones' CV
10. "Steven E. Jones' biography at BYU". Retrieved August 3,2006.
11. "The Solar Funnel Cooker".
12. For the relationship between BYU and Mormon apologeticsscholarship see generally John-Charles Duffy. "Defending the Kingdom, Rethinking the Faith: How Apologetics Is Reshaping Mormon Orthodoxy." Sunstone, May 2004, 22-55.
13. Anonymous. "Out of the Dust" in Journal of Book of Mormon Studies Volume 10 Issue 1.
14. Our Collective Responsibility: The Ethics and Practice of Archaeological Collections Stewardship, ed. S. Terry Childs, Washington, D. C.: Society for American Archaeology, 2004, pg. 30
15. Behold My Hands: Evidence for Christ's Visit in Ancient America, by Steven Jones at the Wayback Machine (archived November 24, 2005), article claiming evidence that Jesus Christ visited the Americas (also here)
16. Jones, Steven Earl (1986). "Muon-catalysed fusion revisited".Nature. Nature Publishing Group. Retrieved September 4, 2007.
17. Jones’ manuscript on history of cold fusion at BYU, Ludwik Kowalski, March 5, 2004
18. Browne, Malcolm W. (1989). "Physicists Debunk Claim Of a New Kind of Fusion". Science (The New York Times). Retrieved July 14, 2006.
19. Czerski, K.; Huke, A.; Biller, A.; Heide, P.; Hoeft, M.; Ruprecht, G. (2001). "Enhancement of the electron screening effect for d+ d fusion reactions in metallic environments". Europhysics Letters(pdf) (Europhysics Letters) 54 (4): 449–455.Bibcode:2001EL.....54..449C. doi:10.1209/epl/i2001-00265-7....the observed enhancement of the electron screening in metal targets can, in tendency, explain the small neutron production rates observed in the cold-fusion experiment of Jones [reference 1989 Nature paper].
20. Jones, Steven Earl (2013). "Empirical Evidence for Two Distinct Effects: Low-level d-d Fusion in Metals and Anomalous Excess Heat". Posters (18th International Conference on Condensed Matter Nuclear Science). University of Missouri. RetrievedDecember 24, 2014.
21. Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe. By Niels H. Harrit, Jeffrey Farrer, Steven E. Jones Kevin R. Ryan, Frank M. Legge, Daniel Farnsworth, Gregg Roberts, James R. Gourley and Bradley R. Larsen. ISSN 1874-4125doi:10.2174/1874412500902010007. The Open Chemical Physics Journal. pp 7-31
22. Jones, Steven E. "Why Indeed Did the WTC Buildings Collapse?". Retrieved September 9, 2008. I presented my objections to the “official” theory at a seminar at BYU on September 22, 2005, to about 60 people. I also showed evidence and scientific arguments for the explosive demolition theory.
23. Jones, Steven E. "Why Indeed Did the WTC Buildings Collapse?". Archived from the original on November 24, 2005. Retrieved April 10, 2010.
24. Jones, Steven E (September 22, 2006). "What Caused Not Two but Three World Trade Center Skyscrapers to COMPLETELY Collapse on 9/11/2001?" (pdf). Retrieved September 4, 2007.
25. Jones, Steven E (February 1, 2006). "9/11 Revisited: Scientific and Ethical Questions". Archived from the original on August 26, 2007. Retrieved September 4, 2007.
26. Riley, Michael (October 29, 2006). "Backers hail 9/11 theorist's speech". Denver & The West (Denver Post). RetrievedSeptember 4, 2007.
27. Dean, Suzanne (April 10, 2006). "Physicist says heat substance felled WTC". Deseret Morning News. Retrieved September 4,2007.
28. "Scholars For Truth Founder Is Keynote Speaker for Media Accountability Conference, Nov. 3 And 4". October 26, 2006. Retrieved September 4, 2007.
29. "Analysis of the World Trade Center Destruction". Lifting the Fog: The Scientific Method Applied to the World Trade Center Disaster. November 11, 2006. Retrieved September 4, 2007.
30. "The Twin Towers in scientific detail". Project for a New American Citizen: Rebuilding America's Senses. April 14, 2007. Archived from the original on September 1, 2007. RetrievedSeptember 4, 2007.
31. Walch, Tad (September 14, 2006). "BYU's Jones Denies Bias". Deseret News. Retrieved October 9, 2007.
32. McFarland, Sheena (September 8, 2006). "BYU prof on paid leave for 9/11 theory". Salt Lake Tribune.
33. Walch, Tad (September 18, 2006). "Three at BYU praise Jones". Deseret News. Retrieved September 3, 2007.
34. Kramer, John; David Abbott; Courtney Wilcox (2007). "Physicist Challenges Official 9-11 Story". Project Censored. Archived from the original on September 2, 2007. RetrievedSeptember 3, 2007.
35. Walch, Tad (September 14, 2006). "BYU action on Jones lamented". Deseret Morning News. Retrieved September 3,2007.
36. Walch, Tad (October 21, 2006). "BYU professor in dispute over 9/11 will retire: Jones had been placed on leave 6 weeks ago". Deseret Morning News. Retrieved September 4, 2007.
37. Jones, Steven E (July 18, 2006). "Answers to Objections and Questions" (PDF). Retrieved September 4, 2007.
38. Narain, Jaya (September 6, 2006). "Fury as academics claim 9/11 was 'inside job'". London Daily Mail. RetrievedSeptember 4, 2007.
39. Asquith, Christina (September 5, 2006). "Who really blew up the twin towers?". Education Guardian Weekly (London: The Guardian). Retrieved September 4, 2007.
40. Dwyer, Jim (September 2, 2006). "U.S. Reports Seek to Counter Conspiracy Theories About 9/11". The New York Times. Retrieved April 8, 2008.
41. Gravois, John (June 23, 2006). "Professors of Paranoia?".The Chronicle of Higher Education 52 (42). p. A.10. RetrievedSeptember 3, 2007. Soon after Mr. Jones posted his paper online, the physics department at Brigham Young moved to distance itself from his work. The department released a statement saying that it was 'not convinced that his analyses and hypotheses have been submitted to relevant scientific venues that would ensure rigorous technical peer review.'
42. Firmage, D. Allan (April 9, 2006). "Refuting 9/11 Conspiracy Theory". Letter to the Editor. NetXNews (online edition of College Times, the Utah Valley State College student newspaper). Retrieved September 4, 2007.
43. McIlvain, Ryan (December 5, 2005). "Censor rumors quelled". BYU NewsNet. Retrieved September 4, 2007.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. The structural engineering faculty in the Fulton College of Engineering and Technology do not support the hypotheses of Professor Jones.
44. Tad Walch (November 8, 2006). "BYU places '9/11 truth' professor on paid leave". Deseret News. Retrieved June 1,2008.
45. Griffin, David Ray (ed.); Peter Dale Scott (ed.) (August 23, 2006). 9/11 and American Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out, Vol 1. Olive Branch Press. p. 247 pages. ISBN 1-56656-659-2. Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help)
46. Jones, Steven E. "Fourteen Points of Agreement with Official Government Reports on the World Trade Center Destruction". Archived from the original on June 10, 2008. Retrieved April 23,2008.
47. Jones, Steven E. "Environmental anomalies at the World Trade Center: evidence for energetic materials". Retrieved June 9,2008.
48. Harrit, Niels H. "Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe" (PDF). Retrieved October 11, 2010.
49. "Professor Marie-Paule Pileni". Laboratoire des Matériaux Mésoscopiques et Nanométriques. Université Pierre et Marie Curie. Retrieved September 14, 2009. 1990-1994: Société Nationale des Poudres et Explosifs, SNPE, France.
50. "Marie-Paule Pileni". Georgia Institute of Technology. Retrieved September 14, 2009.
51. Hoffmann, Thomas (April 28, 2009). "Chefredaktør skrider efter kontroversiel artikel om 9/11". Videnskab. RetrievedNovember 15, 2009. Mailen får hende til med det samme at smække med døren til tidsskriftet.
52. "Bentham Editor Resigns over Steven Jones' Paper". April 28, 2009. Retrieved May 17, 2014.
53. "CRAP paper accepted by journal".
54. "Editors Quit After Fake Paper Flap".
55. "Editor in Chief resigned over Harrit et al. nanothermite paper".
56. "Some background on Bentham Open, but just some".
57. "A 9/11 Truth: Evidence of Energetic Materials in the Debris of the Collapsed World Trade Center Towers".
58. "A peer-reviewer of the "Active Thermitic Materials" paper identifies himself... Great!".
59. ""Hand Waving" the Physics of 9/11" (PDF).
60. "The Journal of 9/11 Studies".
61. Jones, Steven E. (September 28, 2006). "Hard Evidence Repudiates the Hypothesis that Mini-Nukes Were Used on the WTC Towers" (PDF). Retrieved April 15, 2009.
62. "Scholars for 9/11 Truth 7 Justice: FAQ". Retrieved April 15,2009.
63. Scholars for 9/11 Truth and Justice
64. Scholars for 9/11 Truth & Justice Members Page
65. Journal of 9/11 Studies
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