A major September 11 conspiracy theory group's co-founder is Steven E. Jones, who was a BYU physics professor. In November 2005, Salt Lake City Utah's Deseret News reported on a paper that Mr. Jones had posted on BYU's physics page that offered his research on the subject. The paper has since been removed and Mr. Jones was put on paid leave and subsequently retired from BYU last fall. However, the paper, titled "Why Indeed Did the World Trade Center Buildings Collapse?", was published in the book "9/11 and American Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out" and can be found at journalof911studies.com. The Deseret News provided the following quote:
"It is quite plausible that explosives were pre-planted in all three buildings and set off after the two plane crashes — which were actually a diversion tactic," he writes. "Muslims are (probably) not to blame for bringing down the WTC buildings after all,"Professor Jones was also interviewed by a local Salt Lake City news program:
Mr. Jones has done numerous interviews and has spoken at many conferences explaining his findings and answering questions.
However, many organizations are skeptical of the skeptics, including the folks at Popular Mechanics. Their March 2005 cover story was devoted to debunking the debunkers. After Rosie's comments stirred the controversy again, Popular Mechanics revisited the issue. Here are some pertinent quotes:
debris from the 110-floor North Tower hit WTC7 with the force of a volcanic eruption. Nearly a quarter of the building was carved away over the bottom 10 stories on its south face, and significant damage was visible up to the 18th floor.Popular Mechanic's website has many valuable photographs of the towers and the damage done to them by the two planes. They also reveal that WTC7
The North and South Towers of the World Trade Center weren’t knocked down by planes—they both stood for more than a half-hour after the impacts. But the crashes destroyed support columns and ignited infernos that ultimately weakened—not melted—the steel structures until the towers could no longer support their own weights. Ms. O’Donnell fundamentally misstates the case with her use of the word “melted”.
"housed the city’s emergency command center, so there were a number of fuel tanks located throughout the building—including two 6000-gal. tanks in the basement that fed some generators in the building by pressurized lines."Popular Mechanics also refutes Mr. Jones's claim that the towers were felled by explosives by saying that wiring the buildings for a controlled demolition "would present insurmountable logistical challenges."
The 9/11 conspiracy groups are not satisfied with these explanations however. Nor, I suspect, will they ever be. Rosie O'Donnell says she would like to have physicists on the show to discuss the issue. Hopefully they will have physicists from both sides of the argument so a real discussion might be possible. Maybe she'll invite Mr. Jones. It might possibly be the only time she ever agrees with a Mormon.