Who Are the Scholars for 9/11 Truth?
As Pat and I get further into this subject, we will inevitably get into people not directly involved in the movie, but those that feed the frenzy of conspiratorial theory. One such organization is the "Scholars for 9/11 Truth", who pop up with increasing frequency as some type of "expert" authority for the 9/11 "truth" movement. Sort of a Jedi Council for conspiracy nutbars. So I decided to look into them further, and see just how authoritative they are.
A look at their website reveals they are certainly full of themselves. Boldfaced headlines scream out the word, "experts" at every turn:
EXPERTS CLAIM OFFICIAL 9/11 STORY IS A HOAX
Scholars for 9/11 Truth call for verification and publication by an international consortium.
Duluth, MN (PRWEB)
January 30, 2006 -- A group of distinguished experts and scholars, including Robert M. Bowman, James H. Fetzer, Wayne Madsen, John McMurtry, Morgan Reynolds, and Andreas von Buelow, have concluded that senior government officials have covered up crucial facts about what really happened on 9/11.
Their most famous member, and co-founder, is Steven Jones, a physicist at Brigham Young University. He has become famous for publishing a paper on the WTC collapse. Thus far this paper though, has only been reviewed, not in a journal on physics, or structural engineering, but in a Marxist journal of political economy. BYU itself has rejected his work. Dr. Jones primary research has been, not in structural engineering or the reaction of metals to heat, but in cold fusion, which even in the physics community is regarded as bordering on alchemy. Even more bizarrely, his other famous published work was one right out of the World Weekly News, claiming that Jesus visited Central America based on ancient Indian artwork.
So maybe the "scholars" have other "experts" from whom Dr. Jones (Indiana?) is relying on, so I decided to look over their list of "full members" described here as:
Currently, S9/11T has four categories of members: full members (FM), who have or have had academic appointments or the equivalent;
I compiled the list of members and categorized them by specialty, position and institution, which actually was rather difficult. Oddly enough many of the members don't list their qualifications or university, which is quite strange, since every professor I have ever met is more than happy to go on for hours about their academic credentials.
I came up with a list of 76 members, expecting it to be full of Ivy League engineers and distinguished Middle Eastern scholars, experts bent on proving that the US government, and not Osama bin Laden attacked the World Trade Centers. I was wrong.
Out of the 76 "experts" the most common academic discipline was philosophy, with 9 members, including a co-founder. Since 7 members did not even list an academic discipline, this was 1/7 of their credentialed membership. English/literature and psychology came in next with 5 members each. Even theology and "humanities" came in with 4 and 3 members respectively. Among actual scientific fields, physics was way in front, with 5 members, including the aforementioned Dr. Jones. I am not sure as to their academic credentials though, at least one of the "physicists", Jeffrey Farrer, isn't even a professor, he is a lab manager at BYU. One has to wonder whether Steven Jones' janitor is also listed as an associate member?
So how many engineers do they have? Out of the 76, a grand total of 2. Jean-Pierre Petit, a French aeronautical engineer, who despite the obvious handicap of being French actually seems to have a relevant qualification. Curiously enough though, he doesn't seem to have written a single word on 9/11. He has written though, on a mysterious plot by the US military to bomb Jupiter with anti-matter weapons!
The second engineer is Judy Wood, who has been mentioned in the comments here for her bizarre billiard ball from the top of the World Trade Center theory. OK, Ms. Wood is an actual Mechanical Engineer at Clemson, but thus far her work has been primarily focused on the stresses of dentistry. A fascinating field no doubt, but hardly relevant to planes crashing into buildings.
So how many structural engineers are listed? Absolutely zero. How many experts in Middle Eastern studies, or the Arabic language? Also zero. But they do have a professor of social work!
So I thought, maybe I am being too narrow minded? Maybe these are just America's best and brightest minds, even if they are working out of their fields of specialty. Noam Chomsky at least, regardless of what you think of his kooky politics, is a respected professor of linguistics at MIT. So I looked up this list of the top 20 universities in the world (17 located in the US) from the Economist, expecting to find the schools of our distinguished scholars to be well represented on it.
Wrong. A total of one professor, Kevin Barrett, a Professor of Folk Lore at the University of Wisconsin-Madison was represented.
Total number of "scholars" from the Ivy League, zero. Total number of "scholars" from Tunxcis Community College, one.