Monday, April 02, 2007

Steven Jones Comments on the "Hot Core" Photo

I was recently in an e-mail exchange with a member of the "Scholars" group (the Steven Jones one, not the Jim Fetzer one), and after we had resolved our discussion I asked him if he could get Jones' comment regarding his previous use of a photograph of firefighters at Ground Zero searching for their fallen comrades with a flashlight, which he had magically reinterpreted to be the "hot core" of the World Trade Center.

I know this is an old issue, but I was curious. Although I believe other debunkers had contacted him before on this issue, I never bothered to myself. I discovered that Mr. Jones has an annoying habit of not replying to e-mails. Once I e-mailed him when I discovered he had used several fraudulent references to the PNAC document "Rebuilding America's Defenses" in his PowerPoint presentation, he never replied, but the references just magically disappeared or were altered, with no mention of ever having changed.

In any case, Mr. Jones' reply to my new inquiry follows:

Thank you for bringing this question directly to me so that I may answer it,
something which neither Mark Roberts nor James Bennett had the courtesy to do.

1. There are two formally published versions of my paper (peer-reviewed for
each publication separately):

(1) "9/11 and American Empire: Intellectuals SpeakOut," David Ray Griffin and Peter Dale Scott, eds.


Neither of these authorized and published versions has the photo in question -- that photo appeared for a short time in a draft of my paper which was somehow picked up and put into the Scholars for 9/11 Truth site. If you follow the link in screwloosechange, you will see that it takes you to Jim Fetzer's Scholars for 9/11 Truth site -- an unauthorized draft. I have repeatedly asked Jim Fetzer to remove this draft (and all papers I authored in fact) from his site, but for some reason he has not done so, without explanation from him.That draft was prepared hurriedly when I was had to move my draft-paper off my research site, during the peer-review process under the direction of Journal of 911 Studies co-editor Kevin Ryan. In a short time, we found the LiRo photo ((Robert Moore found it first as I recall) and I used that to replace the photo in question -- since the LiRo photo provides direct evidence for red-hot debris -- and this LiRo photo now appears in the final published version of my paper (at

2. If you will actually look at the draft version of my paper on Fetzer's site, you will see that the origin of the photo is given with it (lower right-handcorner): Geoepoche 85 (that is, page 85). Geoepoche is a European publication, and the photo is found on page 85. The photo as I have it from my copy of the Geoepoche publication appears with the yellowish glow. I did not alter the coloration at all -- indeed, this is something that I do not know how to do nor do I care to find out. I had a secretary scan in the photo directly.

3. Why did Mark Roberts in his "screwloosechange"posting NOT include the reference for this photo? The Geoepoche 85 reference is in my paper along with the photo, but has evidently been cropped out for the"screwloosechange" posting.

I hope this clarifies the matter.

Please ask these fellows in the future to bring questions directly to me so that I may answer them. And if you wish to post these comments with yours at screwloosechange, pls feel free to do so.

If Mark Roberts would answer my question in (3) above I would appreciate that --perhaps you could forward this to him, or provide me with his email address.

Thank you,

Steven Jones

First of all, although I did not personally e-mail Jones, I can't speak for Mark Roberts, it has hardly been kept a secret. I know these photos, at the very least, have run on this blog, 911 blogger, in Mark Roberts' paper on WTC7, and even on Judy Wood's site. I can't for the life of me imagine how this elite body of 9/11 "scholars" has failed to notice it entirely. Regardless, I will accept his explanation that he just somehow failed to notice any of this.

Addressing the points:

1. The fact the photo was only used part of the time is not a defense. In fact it is part of the point. This is not a dispassionate search for the truth, but a shotgun approach to finding something, anything, which may prove his point. If they happen to be careless or fraudulent in the meantime, oh well, just find another photo and maybe that one will stick. A check of the "Journal of 911 Studies" website does show that in fact, he is no longer using this photo, although the fact that he is still using a photo of steel workers using a cutting torch, and trying to pass it off as the possibility of molten metal, hardly helps his case.

The LiRo photo he mentions, just shows a blurry photo of a bunch of hot burning stuff, which considering the fact that it is generally accepted there were fires burning for months, hardly adds much to the discussion.

Lastly, stating that the photo in question did not appear in "9/11 and American Empire" doesn't mean much, since that book did not have photographs of any type!

As for Fetzer's involvement, well I am probably on record for criticizing Jim Fetzer more than anyone else on the planet, so I can understand his frustration, but Fetzer did not make this "draft", Jones did. If you put something out there with your name on it, don't complain if others read it and assess your credibility based on that. He did this before the "scholar schism", when they were both co-chairs of the same group, so it is not like some third party came along and stole it from him. The paper which shows up on Fetzer's site, is dated September 2006, does not indicate anywhere that it is a draft, and states that it is from Volume 3 of the "Journal of 9/11 Studies". Ironically enough, the 4th line of the paper reads:

The views in this paper are the sole responsibility of the author.

I suppose that should be amended to, "unless something embarrassing is found, in which case it is Jim Fetzer's fault".

2. While many have speculated that it was altered (hardly an unknown act in the "truth" community) the point was that it was misrepresented, whether through malice or carelessness. I also find it amusing that a physics professor does not know how to alter the coloration of a photograph. Hello! It involves light, photons, I know you have covered this in class! How hard is it to figure it out? Also note the comment about his secretary doing his work. So much for the idea that his conspiracy theory work had nothing to do with his job at BYU.

3. In this case he goes off on some strange tangent about Mark Roberts, who did not write this original blog post, and why he didn't include the source of the photo. Then he claims that he (we) cropped the photo to cut out the identification of the magazine that he got it from. Yeah, OK, which is more likely, we found the same discolored photo that he did from some obscure European magazine, used an ultra-expensive high quality scanner, cleaned it up, cropped and then posted it.... or we just found the original JPEG and posted that without any quality loss.

As for Mark Robert's e-mail address, I sent him a link to his paper on WTC7, which contains his e-mail, and suggested that he read it, several times

But hey, at least we have Steven Jones on record saying that he wants us to e-mail him whenever we find problems in his work. Who knows, maybe he will even respond...

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At 02 April, 2007 20:01, Blogger Sword of Truth said...

If he's finally answering questions, maybe you can ask him how he reconciles his associations with nazis (Eric Williams, Rick Ratjer, Chris Bollyn, et al)with the teachings of the mormon church.

He never responded to my own e-mail on the topic, nor was Robert Cronk at LDSpatriot able to get any comment from him on that.

A guy who claims to represent Jesus shouldn't have any problems answering tough questions.

At 02 April, 2007 23:18, Blogger Mark Roberts said...

You're right: that photo appeared in Jones' paper the ST911 site through October, 2006, and in the September, 2006 issue of the "Peer Reviewed" Journal of 9/11 Studies, and in Jones' lectures.

He's got a lot of nerve, blaming others for what appears in his paper.

Note that Jones has removed that photo but retained the photo of ironworkers cutting steel, which he mislabels as the hot core.

He does this all the time. In addition to misrepresenting any old piece of data that strikes his fancy, he's one of the worst photo abusers out there.

At 02 April, 2007 23:29, Blogger Mark Roberts said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 02 April, 2007 23:36, Blogger James B. said...

Mark, I don't remember if that is the same paper that was actually submitted in September. Since Jones runs the journal and the website, he could revise it at any time. I didn't keep an archive. As I have mentioned before, Ryan was put in that position by Jones, and his work is cited in the paper, he is hardly in a unbiased position to be running a peer review on it.

SOT, send me the question you want me to ask. If he is going to throw a fit because I didn't raise an issue with him before posting about it, well, he is now obligated to answer questions when asked.

At 02 April, 2007 23:38, Blogger Mark Roberts said...

By the way, the September, 2006 "Journal of 9/11 Studies" paper that contains the altered and misrepresented photos says,

The paper has undergone significant modifications following a third set of peer reviews
organized by Journal of 9/11 Studies Editor Kevin Ryan. "

That's what he gets for putting Ryan in charge of "peer" review!

How many excuses can one person make for their incompetence? "Do-over Dylan" has a real challenger in Mr. Jones.

At 02 April, 2007 23:41, Blogger Mark Roberts said...

James, it's the same paper that was originally published in the "Journal" in September, after the new round of peer review supervised by Ryan. I have a copy of it, as well as the "corrected" version, also dated September.

At 03 April, 2007 05:32, Blogger b. j. edwards said...

Jones has been called on the carpet many times from day one for this description in his paper:

"The following photograph has become available, evidently showing the now-solidified metal
with entrained material, stored (as of November 2005) in a warehouse in New York:"

Page 9

Jones has been asked to explain how molten metal could solidify around iron rebar. He has never responded.

Jones's "now-solidified metal" is actually a piece of compressed concete (closeup) that resides in Hangar 17 at JFK with other similar pieces.

The description of these pieces reads:

"Large pieces of debris, likened to meteorites by preservationists, are actually several floors of the towers compressed together as the buildings collapsed. Furniture, twisted metal, pipes, cords and even papers with legible type are visible. The pieces are kept in a humidity-controlled tent in Hangar 17 of Kennedy International Airport."

Feel free to ask Jones for his explanation again.

At 03 April, 2007 11:05, Blogger The Artistic Macrophage said...

You know, I am really, REALLY sick of them using the "Peer Review" term inappropriately, and loosely.

If I write up a medical paper on the "Effects of Ciprofloxacin on Renal Function", and submit it to a medial journal, do I expect it to be "Peer Reviewed" by several history majors, a 1st year medical student, and a biochemistry major? No, I expect it to be reviewed by at the very least a panel of Physicians, more appropriately by a panel of Nephrologists, or at the least, Internists.

They are degrading the term, and it is embarrassing as a scientist and intellectual to see it barbarized in this way.


At 03 April, 2007 12:50, Blogger Sword of Truth said...

James, see if you can get the good professor to respond to this:

Were you aware that Rick Rajter was a Holocaust denier when you endorsed his 911myths rebuttal, specifically his analysis of jewish businesman, Larry Silverstiens finances?

Were you aware at the time of your interview by Christopher Bollyn that he himself is a Holocaust denier and that the publication he worked for is a neo-nazi newspaper?

Were you aware when you agreed to appear at the recent "9-11 Accountability" conference, that its chief organizer at the time, Eric D. Williams, is a Holocaust denier?

Were you aware at any time prior to your own appearance at the conference, that the reason Alex Jones and the makers of "Loose Change" withdrew from it, was due to Mr. Williams ties to neo-naziism?

If the answer to any or all of the above questions is "yes", how do you, as a Latter-Day Saint, especially given the tragic early history of our own faith, reconcile your association with these people with the 11th Article of Faith and President Hinckleys recent conference addresses on racism?

Do you believe that someone who feels compelled to lie about the Holocaust out of his own hatred for jews can be trusted to come up with an unbiased assessment of wether a jewish person is guilty of major felonies?

Do you trust people who lie about crimes committed out of religious bigotry in europe 70 years ago to never lie about similar crimes committed in Missourri and Illinois 170 years ago?

I could come up with more, but it just be more of the same.

For those who don't understand the historical references, the early history of the Mormon Church was plauged by violence against its members. Both by average joes with nothing better to do on a saturday night than to "form a posse and go git them mormons" and officially government sanctioned campaigns of extermination.

In 1838, the governor of Missouri, Lilburn Boggs, ordered the state militia to exterminate all mormons within state borders. This order remained on the books in Missouri until I myself was a small child and Dr. Jones was a young man.

At 05 April, 2007 07:50, Blogger The Masked Writer said...

Really it is ok, cause we all thought Val's photo was the real photo of the aftermath of 93 crashing in Shanksville.

Still doesn't disprove molten metal in the rubble pile and the interview with firefighters as well.

Oh and wouldn't all that air that blasted out steel beems and debris up and up and out be enough to put out those fires?


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