Monday, April 17, 2006

Physicist says heat substance felled WTC | Physicist says heat substance felled WTC

Extremely hot fires caused structures to fail, BYU expert says

By Suzanne Dean
For the Deseret Morning News

EPHRAIM — A Brigham Young University physicist said he now believes an incendiary substance called thermite, bolstered by sulfur, was used to generate exceptionally hot fires at the World Trade Center on 9/11, causing the structural steel to fail and the buildings to collapse.

"It looks like thermite with sulfur added, which really is a very clever idea," Steven Jones, professor of physics at BYU, told a meeting of the Utah Academy of Science, Arts and Letters at Snow College Friday.

The government requires standard explosives to contain tag elements enabling them to be traced back to their manufacturers. But no tags are required in aluminum and iron oxide, the materials used to make thermite, he said. Nor, he said, are tags required in sulfur.

Jones is co-chairman, with James H. Fetzer, a distinguished professor of philosophy at the University of Minnesota of Scholars for 9/11 Truth, a group of college faculty members who believe conspirators other than pilots of the planes were directly involved in bringing down New York's Trade Towers.

The group, which Jones said has 200 members, maintains a Web site at A 40-page paper by Jones, along with other peer-reviewed and non-reviewed academic papers, are posted on the site.

Last year, Jones presented various arguments for his theory that explosives or incendiary devices were planted in the Trade Towers, and in WTC 7, a smaller building in the Trade Center complex, and that those materials, not planes crashing into the buildings, caused the buildings to collapse.

At that time, he mentioned thermite as the possible explosive or incendiary agent. But Friday, he said he is increasingly convinced that thermite and sulfur were the root causes of the 9/11 disaster.

He told college professors and graduate students from throughout Utah gathered for the academy meeting that while almost no fire, even one ignited by jet fuel, can cause structural steel to fail, the combination of thermite and sulfur "slices through steel like a hot knife through butter."

He ticked off several pieces of evidence for his thermite fire theory:

First, he said, video showed a yellow, molten substance splashing off the side of the south Trade Tower about 50 minutes after an airplane hit it and a few minutes before it collapsed. Government investigators ruled out the possibility of melting steel being the source of the material because of the unlikelihood of steel melting. The investigators said the molten material must have been aluminum from the plane.

But, said Jones, molten aluminum is silvery. It never turns yellow. The substance observed in the videos "just isn't aluminum," he said. But, he said, thermite can cause steel to melt and become yellowish.

Second, he cited video pictures showing white ash rising from the south tower near the dripping, liquefied metal. When thermite burns, Jones said, it releases aluminum-oxide ash. The presence of both yellow-white molten iron and aluminum oxide ash "are signature characteristics of a thermite reaction," he said.

Another item of evidence, Jones said, is the fact that sulfur traces were found in structural steel recovered from the Trade Towers. Jones quoted the New York Times as saying sulfidization in the recovered steel was "perhaps the deepest mystery uncovered in the (official) investigation." But, he said, sulfidization fits the theory that sulfur was combined with thermite to make the thermite burn even hotter than it ordinarily would.

Jones said a piece of building wreckage had a gray substance on the outside that at one point had obviously been a dripping molten metal or liquid. He said that after thermite turns steel or iron into a molten form, and the metal hardens, it is gray.

He added that pools of molten metal were found beneath both trade towers and the 47-story WTC 7. That fact, he said, was never discussed in official investigation reports.

And even though WTC 7 was not connected to the Trade Towers — in fact, there was another building between it and the towers —and even though it was never hit by a plane, it collapsed. That suggests, he said, that it came down because a thermite fire caused its structural steel to fail. (It was "pulled"= deployed per the instruction of Larry Silverstien-leaseholder, who made a hefty profiy in insurance)

Jones said his studies are confined to physical causes of the collapses, and he doesn't like to speculate about who might have entered the buildings and placed thermite and sulfur. But he said 10 to 20 people "in the know," plus other people who didn't know what they were doing but did what they were told, could have placed incendiary packages over several weeks.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Not a Conspiracy, Folks

"It's very true that some of the more specious conspiracy claims have been largely discredited and proved false. Some of the more radical "evidence" gathered by theorists is quite suspect and easily placed in the category of no-way-in-hell. This is valid. You have to chew through a lot of skin and gristle to get to the real meat. is quite impossible to watch the entire "Loose Change" documentary and not come away just a little shaken, a little awed by the sheer number of perversely interrelated facts and aberrant coincidences-that-aren't-coincidences."
-- San Francisco Chronicle, 3/29/06

Dear friends,

As one who has worked as a language interpreter for presidents and other dignitaries at the highest levels of government, I am deeply committed to strengthening democracy and to building a brighter future for all of us. I and many others in the research network in which I am involved have found that a key difficulty we face in building a better world is the resistance of many people to looking at some of the darker aspects of what is going both in the world and inside of ourselves.

I invite you to consider that by avoiding or suppressing the darker aspects of life, we only give them room to grow even darker and more threatening. By choosing to pull back the veil and look directly into the darkness, by choosing to face both our individual and collective fears and working to transform them, we can improve not only our own lives, but our entire world. I present the information below out of a desire to invite all of us draw back the veils and awaken to the deeper potential that lies within all of us to play an important role in transforming our world into a more caring, supportive place to live.

If you can give just a few minutes of your time, I invite you to open to a crucial piece of what is going on behind the veil by watching the most empowering documentary on 9/11 that I've ever seen. Titled "Loose Change," this highly revealing film is available free on Google Video at the link below. If you have limited time, I cannot recommend highly enough going straight to the link now and watching at least 10 to 15 minutes of this highly revealing documentary. The reliable information provided serves as a wake-up call for us all to come together in building a better world. - Loose Change (82 minutes)

Though it ranks as far and above the best documentary on 9/11 I've seen, "Loose Change" is not enjoyable to watch. Many people find their stomach turning and their mind saying "is this true" or "how can this be?" The documentary is meant to be disturbing, yet it is equally designed to inspire us to action. Once we open to seeing the darkness by educating ourselves, we begin to take power back into our own hands both individually and collectively, and can then work together to create more balance and harmony in our world.

You may not be aware the even the major media has recently joined in raising serious questions about 9/11 and suggesting a major cover-up. The savvy, sophisticated New York magazine had a long, detailed article and the San Francisco Chronicle had two articles raising serious questions about the official story. One of the articles (see below) was on the front page of the entertainment section. CNN also recently gave over 10 minutes of very supportive coverage for several days running to this vital topic. To see these articles and watch the CNN clips, visit

If you have questions about what you saw in "Loose Change," for much of the information provided we have links direct to the original, highly reliable sources allowing for easy verification at Our website at also has a 9/11 Information Center filled with more easily verifiable information raising many serious questions. If you have the time, before viewing "Loose Change" I recommend taking a few minutes to educate yourself about Operation Northwoods, which is mentioned at the beginning of the film. Read the reliable, verifiable information (including an ABC News article) at

Over the last year or so, numerous high-level government officials, professors, and others have joined in investigating and spreading the word the many unanswered questions around 9/11. For quotes from top government officials of both parties who have publicly raised questions in the media (links provided), see Over 100 respected professors and scholars have also joined together to form an investigative website exposing the truth of what happened on that fateful day (see The numbers of those involved in the 9/11 movement are growing every day.

For the many thousands of us who have spent long hours researching 9/11 (try Googling "9/11 cover-up"), we have found that the problem we are facing is not in finding solid facts and information disproving the official story. We have an abundance of reliable, easily verifiable information showing clear and obvious deceit on the part of both the 9/11 Commission and elements within government. Our problem is rather in breaking through the psychological barrier that keeps people from even wanting to look at the evidence.

As you watch "Loose Change", please remember that there is a large, well-organized network of passionate, caring people who have known about much of what is presented in this landmark documentary for years. We have accepted the disturbing reality and are ready to share with you what we know can be done to turn this all around. Below is the full article that came out in San Francisco's leading newspaper on March 29th with serious questions and great recommendations on the 9/11 cover-up. Underneath this revealing article are suggestions for what we can do now to make a difference and build a brighter future. - San Francisco Chronicle

Anyone still care about the heap of disturbing, unsolved questions surrounding Our Great Tragedy?

Here is your must-read for the month. Here is your oh-my-God-I'm-sending-this-piece-to-every-smart-person-I-know hunk of outstanding, distressing, disquieting media bliss.

Here it is: an absolutely exceptional inside scoop on the white-hot world of Sept. 11 conspiracy theories, writ large and smart by Mark Jacobson over at New York magazine, and it's mandatory reading for anyone and everyone who's ever entertained the nagging thought that something -- or rather, far more than one something -- is deeply wrong with the official line on what actually happened on Sept. 11.

See, it is very likely that you already know that Sept. 11 will go down in the conspiracy history books as a far more sinister affair than, say, the murky swirl of the Kennedy assassination. You probably already know that much of what exactly happened on Sept. 11 remains deeply unsettling and largely unsolved -- or to put another way, if you don't know all of this and if you fully and blithely accept the official Sept. 11 story, well, you haven't been paying close enough attention.

But on this, the third anniversary of the launch of Bush's illegal invasion of Iraq by way of whoring the tragedy of Sept. 11 for his cronies' appalling gain, what you might not know, what gets so easily forgotten in the mists of time and via the endless repetition of the orthodox Sept. 11 tale, is the sheer volume, the staggering array of unanswered questions about just about every single aspect of Sept. 11 -- the planes, the WTC towers, the Pentagon, the fires, the passengers and the cell phone calls and the firefighters and, well, just about everything. It is, when you look closely, all merely a matter of how far down the rabbit hole you are willing to go.

Verily, Jacobson, in his New York mag piece, encounters crackpots and fringe nutballs and those who think Sept. 11 was connected to aliens and electromagnetic fields and the Illuminati. It can, unfortunately, get a little crazy. But there is also a very smart, grounded, intelligent and surprisingly large faction -- which includes eyewitnesses, Sept. 11 widows, former generals, pilots, professors, engineers, WTC maintenance workers and many, many more -- who point to a rather shocking pile of evidence that says there is simply no way 19 fanatics with box cutters sent by some bearded lunatic in a cave could have pulled off the most perfectly orchestrated air attack of the century. Not without serious help, anyway.

Whose help? This, of course, is the biggest question of all, one which many of the more well-researched theories go a surprisingly long way toward answering.

You have to sift and sort. There are disturbing questions about collapse speeds and controlled demolitions and why the towers fell when the all-steel infrastructure was designed to easily withstand the temperatures of any sort of fire, even burning jet fuel. There are questions of the mysterious, media-documented blasts deep in the WTC towers that took place after the planes hit. There are questions of why there was such a short-selling spree on shares of American Airlines and United Air Lines the day before the attack, huge doubts about the failures of NORAD and the FAA, the bizarre case of the missing plane in the Pentagon crash, and also the downing of Flight 93 where, according to the coroner, no blood or major plane wreckage was actually found. There is, ultimately, the stunning failure of the entire multi-trillion-dollar American air-defense system. Just for starters.

There is also the very big question of what happened to 7 WTC, the only building not hit by anything at all, but which collapsed anyway, in a perfect controlled-demolition sort of way, for no reason anyone can sufficiently explain. But which just so happened to contain vital offices for the IRS, the Department of Defense, the CIA, the Secret Service, the Securities and Exchange Commission and more.

But perhaps Jacobson's article is insufficient for you. Perhaps you have heard much of it before, or you're more of the visceral type and need to actually see the proofs in order to delve deeper, have them laid out like gruesome body parts in a mesmerizing autopsy. Fair enough.

For you, we have the surprisingly compelling indie documentary "9/11 Loose Change" (Google it), freely available on the Internet and produced by three very astute and very young and very strong-willed dudes who managed to cobble together a truly astounding array of proofs and interviews and evidence, a full 1 hour and 20 minutes' worth of mesmerizing footage you will not be able to easily forget.

Or maybe you should peruse one of the countless Sept. 11 conspiracy sites, many of which link to relevant video and one of which -- -- claims to be "a non-partisan association of faculty, students, and scholars, in fields as diverse as history, science, military affairs, psychology, and philosophy, dedicated to exposing falsehoods and to revealing truths behind 9/11." Start there.

Now, it's very true that some of the more specious conspiracy claims have been largely discredited and proved false. Some of the more radical "evidence" gathered by theorists is quite suspect and easily placed in the category of no-way-in-hell. This is valid. This is as it should be. You have to chew through a lot of skin and gristle to get to the real meat.

But oh the meat. The overwhelming quantity, the bloody, deadly stench of it. Fact is, it is quite impossible to watch the entire "Loose Change" documentary and not come away just a little shaken, a little awed by the sheer number of perversely interrelated facts and aberrant coincidences-that-aren't-coincidences, shaking your head at how it all seems to irrefutably prove there is far, far more to the Sept. 11 tragedy than just crazy Osama and his band of zealots, as you begin to sink into a sighing morass of rage and frustration and suspicion and mistrust. You almost can't help it.

Of course, there is another option. There is another way out. You may, as is the standard cultural default, simply ignore it all, scoff and roll your eyes and shrug it all off because it's just too bleak and distasteful to entertain the idea that the dark Sept. 11 thread winds all the way through the NSA and the FBI and the White House and the Project for the New American Century and Dick Cheney's mangled soul and God only knows where else.

But then again, no. You have to look. You have to try. Knowledge is power, and while the truth may be spurious and slippery and messy and deep, the pursuit of it is just about the only thing we have left. Give that up, and all that's left is spiritual numbness, emotional stasis and death. So what are you waiting for?

Thoughts for the author? E-mail him.

What We Can Do. Many of us having been working steadily for years to help find ways to bring this disturbing, yet critical information into the public light. Our hundreds of websites and media campaigns are beginning to bear real fruit with the recent media coverage. Choosing to educate yourself by exploring all of the plentiful information on the 9/11 cover-up is the first powerful step you can take. You can then invite your friends and colleagues to open to this information, remembering the psychological barrier that most people must overcome. Join us in presenting this issue as a powerful opportunity for a better world.

You can also join those of us in the 9/11 movement in asking the media to give fair and full coverage to this topic. We are particularly focused now on inviting Oprah to help raise the questions that need to be asked on her popular program. Send Oprah a message asking her first to learn about all the information discussed here, and then to invite key guests on to her show to discuss and debate this highly important issue. You can reach her at the link below.

And to provide balance to all of the darkness, I highly recommend finding some time to enjoy the deeply inspiring stories also available on our website at Let us not forget to find balance in dealing with these difficult issues. Remember that by looking into the darkness and educating ourselves to what is happening behind the veil, we choose to join together in transforming our fears. Because I believe in you and in all of us collectively, I have no doubt that we can and will spread the word and build a brighter future together.

With gratitude and very best wishes,
Fred Burks for the Team
Former language interpreter for Presidents Bush and Clinton

Monday, April 03, 2006

Article NYTimes wants removed

The New York Times> Search> Abstract

Last week, for the first time, Fred Burks received a letter from a lawyer at the New York Times insisting that we take down one of our webpages. The page in question contained a Times article where experts claim the investigation into the collapse of the World Trade Centers was inadequate. How interesting that this particular page was targeted when there has been so much discussion of the WTC collapse in the media lately. We may have to remove it, so take a look before it's gone at...

No, you can read it below too :)

Experts Urging Broader Inquiry In Towers' Fall


Saying that the current investigation into how and why the twin towers fell on Sept. 11 is inadequate, some of the nation's leading structural engineers and fire-safety experts are calling for a new, independent and better-financed inquiry that could produce the kinds of conclusions vital for skyscrapers and future buildings nationwide.

Senator Charles E. Schumer and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, both of New York, have joined the call for a wider look into the collapses. In an interview on Friday, Mr. Schumer said he supported a new investigation ''not so much to find blame'' for the collapse of the buildings under extraordinary circumstances, ''but rather so that we can prepare better for the future.''

''It could affect building practices,'' he said. ''It could affect evacuation practices. We live in a new world and everything has to be recalibrated.''

Experts critical of the current effort, including some of those people who are actually conducting it, cite the lack of meaningful financial support and poor coordination with the agencies cleaning up the disaster site. They point out that the current team of 20 or so investigators has no subpoena power and little staff support and has even been unable to obtain basic information like detailed blueprints of the buildings that collapsed.

While agreeing that any building hit by a jetliner would suffer potentially devastating damage, experts want to examine whether the twin towers may have had hidden vulnerabilities that contributed to their collapse.

The lightweight steel trusses that supported the tower's individual floors, the connections between the trusses and the buildings' vertical structural columns, as well as possible flaws in the fireproofing have been drawing scrutiny from fire safety consultants and engineers in recent weeks.

''Two buildings came down,'' said Joseph F. Russo, director of the Center for Fire Safety Engineering at Polytechnic University in Brooklyn, referring to the twin towers. ''That suggests some degree of predictability.''

''And if it was predictable,'' Mr. Russo said, ''was it preventable?''

Family members of some victims have added their voices to the calls for a wider investigation.

The exact scope of an expanded inquiry has not been defined. But the central desire is to learn any lessons that might be hidden in the rubble and to pinpoint the exact sequence and cause of the collapse, regardless of whether it was inevitable from the moment the planes struck, members of the investigative team and others said.

In calling for a new investigation, some structural engineers have said that one serious mistake has already been made in the chaotic aftermath of the collapses: the decision to rapidly recycle the steel columns, beams and trusses that held up the buildings. That may have cost investigators some of their most direct physical evidence with which to try to piece together an answer.

Officials in the mayor's office declined to reply to written and oral requests for comment over a three-day period about who decided to recycle the steel and the concern that the decision might be handicapping the investigation.

''The city considered it reasonable to have recovered structural steel recycled,'' said Matthew G. Monahan, a spokesman for the city's Department of Design and Construction, which is in charge of debris removal at the site.

''Hindsight is always 20-20, but this was a calamity like no other,'' said Mr. Monahan, who was designated by the mayor's office to respond to questions about the investigation. ''And I'm not trying to backpedal from the decision.''

Interviews with a handful of members of the team, which includes some of the nation's most respected engineers, also uncovered complaints that they had at various times been shackled with bureaucratic restrictions that prevented them from interviewing witnesses, examining the disaster site and requesting crucial information like recorded distress calls to the police and fire departments.

The investigation, organized immediately after Sept. 11 by the American Society of Civil Engineers, the field's leading professional organization, has been financed and administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. A mismatch between the federal agency and senior engineers accustomed to bypassing protocol in favor of quick answers has been identified as a clear point of friction.

''This is almost the dream team of engineers in the country working on this, and our hands are tied,'' said one team member who asked not to be identified. Members have been threatened with dismissal for speaking to the press.

''FEMA is controlling everything,'' the team member said. ''It sounds funny, but just give us the money and let us do it, and get the politics out of it.''

A spokesman for FEMA, John Czwartacki, said the agency's primary mission was to help victims, emergency workers and to speed the city's recovery, and added, ''We are not an investigative agency.''

But given the assignment to examine the structural failures at the World Trade Center, the agency has so far spent roughly $100,000 and Mr. Czwartacki said that more financing could be expected after the group produced what he called an ''interim document'' in the spring.

''I've heard the calls for the N.T.S.B.-style investigation,'' Mr. Czwartacki said, referring to appeals by engineers and some families of trade center victim for an exhaustive examination like those done by the National Transportation Safety Board when a plane crashes. ''I don't think this study will do it for them.''

Mr. Czwartacki added that it was premature to comment on whether team members were receiving necessary information because the study has not been completed. Regardless of what any investigation might find, it is unclear how many civilian lives would have been saved if the buildings had not collapsed, because so many died on the burning upper floors.

Despite the universe of unknowns, the calls for more extensive investigations of various kinds are coming from engineers, fire experts and professional organizations in New York and across the nation.

''What some of us are calling for is a probe or reassessment,'' said Loring A. Wyllie Jr., a member of the National Academy of Engineering and chairman emeritus and senior principal at Degenkolb Engineers in San Francisco. Mr. Wyllie, who has investigated many building collapses after earthquakes, said the work would involve ''a critique of our building practices'' in search of greater safety after Sept. 11.

He added that intensive studies of building failures in disasters like the Northridge earthquake near Los Angeles in 1994 had led to important structural advances.

Calling an intensive new investigation ''absolutely necessary,'' Mr. Russo, of Polytechnic University in Brooklyn, said the expense could be justified by the payoff of better safety in high-rises of the future. Other experts take a still wider view, favoring a study that would look at the implications of the collapses -- a nearby, 47-story building, 7 World Trade Center, also fell on Sept. 11 after burning for most of the day -- for fire codes, building standards and engineering practices across the board.

National organizations charged with addressing building and fire safety issues have sent letters urging the federal government to invest as much as $15 million a year to study the vulnerability of buildings to terrorist attacks and possible changes to fire and safety standards.

''There is an urgent and critical need to determine the lessons to be learned from these events,'' reads a letter from the American Society of Civil Engineers, dated Nov. 15.

In other disasters, FEMA, the Army Corps of Engineers and other federal agencies have played a more central role in making decisions about cleanup and investigations. But from the start, they found that New York had a degree of engineering and construction expertise unlike any they had encountered.

''They wanted to do a lot of things on their own,'' said Charles Hess, who is in charge of civil emergency management for the Army Corps. ''Which they're very capable of doing.''

But during a recovery effort that received worldwide praise, the city made one decision that has been endlessly second-guessed. To deal with nearly 300,000 tons of crumpled steel, the city quickly decided to ship it to scrap recyclers.

Dr. Frederick W. Mowrer, an associate professor in the fire protection engineering department at the University of Maryland, said he believed the decision could ultimately compromise any investigation of the collapses. ''I find the speed with which potentially important evidence has been removed and recycled to be appalling,'' Dr. Mowrer said.

But Mr. Monahan, the City Department of Design and Construction spokesman, pointed out that members of the investigation team were eventually allowed to visit the site and inspect steel at the scrapyards and continue doing so.

Some experts have suggested that the only way to definitively determine the sequence and cause of the collapse is to recover large amounts of steel from the areas near where the planes struck, and possibly reassemble sections of the towers.

Others say such a reconstruction of an entire section might be impractical, but also expressed discomfort with the impediments they said they have faced in their investigation.

For example, three months after the disaster, Ronald Hamburger, an expert in structural analysis at A.B.S. Consulting in Oakland, Calif., and a director of the National Council of Structural Engineers Associations, said he had not even been given access to basic blueprints describing where the steel and other structural elements had been when the World Trade Center was whole.

''I'd like to be able to have a set of the drawings for all of the affected buildings,'' Mr. Hamburger said. ''I don't have that.''