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Professor Says ‘Cutter Charges’ Brought Down WTC Buildings

Evidence of Thermite Uncovered at World Trade Center


By Christopher Bollyn

PROVO, Utah—“In times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act,” said the British writer George Orwell. Orwell’s words aptly describe the situation of Steven E.

Jones, a soft-spoken professor at Brigham Young University (BYU) who has turned his attention to the unanswered questions of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Provo, the home of BYU, is America’s most conservative city in the most Republican county. With more than 85 percent of the population supporting President George W.

Bush, Provo seems an unlikely place for any “revolutionary act”—unless that act were simply telling the truth.

On the picturesque campus of the private Mormon university, surrounded by snow-capped peaks, Jones teaches physics and carries out research in the fields of metal-catalyzed fusion, solar energy and archeometry, or the scientific study and analysis of artifacts.

As an archeometrist, Jones applies physics to explain events in the past. Since last year when he became aware of the unanswered questions of 9-11, he has focused his attention on the available data and evidence.

The unexplained presence of molten metal at the World Trade Center (WTC) puzzled Jones and he contacted this writer to confirm the reports first published in American Free Press in 2002. These reports came from two men involved in the removal of the rubble: Peter Tully of Tully Construction of Flushing, N.Y., and Mark Loizeaux of Controlled Demolition, Inc. of Phoenix, Md.

Tully told AFP that he had seen pools of “literally molten
steel” in the rubble.

Loizeaux confirmed this: “Yes, hot spots of molten steel in the basements,” he said, “at the bottom of the elevator shafts of the main towers, down seven levels.”

The molten steel was found “three, four, and five weeks later, when the rubble was being removed,” he said. He confirmed that molten steel was also found at WTC 7, which mysteriously collapsed in the late afternoon.


Last November, Jones presented a draft which has since evolved into a 52-page paper. His paper begins with an appeal for “a serious investigation of the hypothesis that WTC 7 and the Twin Towers were brought down . . .through the use of pre-positioned cutter-charges.”

Jones presents evidence that an “aluminothermic process” called “thermite” was used to weaken and sever the 47 massive core columns that held up the towers. The official version fails to explain how these critical columns failed. When ignited, thermite, a combination of finely ground aluminum and iron oxide (rust), cuts through steel like a “warm knife through butter,” Jones said, especially when mixed with 2 percent sulfur. The resulting combination, called “thermate,” lowers the melting point of steel.

Thermite was patented in Germany by Hans Goldschmidt in the late 1800s. Extremely high temperatures are produced when the aluminum and iron oxide react. The reaction produces temperatures of more than 2,500 degrees Celsius (4,500 degrees Fahrenheit) as the ferric oxide is reduced to molten iron. Iron melts at 1,535 degrees Celsius. The reaction causes the oxygen from the ferric oxide to bond with the aluminum, producing aluminum oxide, molten iron, and approximately 750 kilocalories per gram of thermite. The aluminum oxide is a whitish smoke.

AFP recently attended a presentation of Jones’s 9-11 research at BYU. Jones began with footage of the unexplained collapse of Larry Silverstein’s 47-story building, WTC 7, at 5:25 p.m.

When Jones was interviewed by Tucker Carlson of MSNBC, the producers refused to air this short but crucial video segment.

AFP observed thermite reactions in Jones’s physics class. As a colleague combined the powdered rust and aluminum in a mounted ceramic flowerpot, Jones filmed the reaction. A paper wick with magnesium ignited the sand-like mixture.

The reaction was intense, nearly explosive, and white flames and pieces of metal flew out of the pot. From the bottom poured a white-hot liquid—pure molten iron. After a few seconds a glowing yellow-hot piece of iron was lifted with tongs and shown to the students.

Because thermite does not require air and can react underwater, it may explain the persistent hot spots that were unaffected by a continuous dousing from fire hoses. The white-hot molten iron and slag can itself prolong and extend the heating and incendiary action.

“As of 21 days after the attack, the fires were still burning and molten steel was still running,” Leslie Robertson, structural engineer responsible for the design of the WTC, told fellow engineers.

Footage taken by WABC-TV of the burning South Tower at 9:53 a.m., immediately before the building collapsed, reveals large amounts of white-hot molten metal, presumably iron, pouring from the 81st floor of the east corner.

The amount of spilling molten metal suggests a pool of molten iron was in that area of the building. While some have suggested that the molten metal was aluminum, this is easily disproved by the fact that molten aluminum appears silver-gray in daylight. The only possible explanation is that the white-hot metal gushing from the South Tower was molten iron and had been produced by a very large amount of thermite.

The amount of molten metal seen falling would indicate that tons of thermite had been used on that floor. From the video footage it appears that several cubic yards of molten metal fell, which, if iron, would have weighed over eight tons.

Jones’s explosive paper is accessible on his web page ( and will be published in a forthcoming book by David Ray Griffin and Peter
Dale Scott. Reading Jones’ paper on-line allows the reader to review the photographic/video evidence.

“I consider the official FEMA, NIST, and 9-11 Commission reports,” Jones writes, which claim “that fires plus impact damage alone caused complete collapses of all three buildings.”

He challenges the official explanation and provides evidence to support the controlled-demolition hypothesis, which, he says “is suggested by the available data, testable and falsifiable.”

Jones notes that the hypothesis that the towers were demolished by explosives “has not been analyzed in any of the reports funded by the U.S. government.”

Ignoring the evidence of the controlled-demolition hypothesis, the FEMA-sponsored study of 2002 concluded, “The specifics of the fires in WTC 7 and how they caused the building to collapse remain unknown.”

Furthermore, the official report found that the fire-induced collapse hypothesis “has only a low probability of occurrence.”

The engineers concluded that “further research, investigation, and analyses are needed to resolve this issue.”

“That is precisely the point,” Jones says, “further investigation and analyses are indeed needed, including serious consideration of the controlled-demolition hypothesis which is neglected in all of the government reports.”

The fact that the 9-11 Commission report does not even mention the collapse of WTC 7 “is a striking omission of data highly relevant to the question of what really happened on 9-11,” he said.


Further investigation is what Jones is trying to get other scientists to do. One would think that the mainstream media would be interested in a highly respected physicist answering questions about 9-11, but that has not been the case. The controlled media and supporters of the official version completely avoid Jones.

Like a modern-day Galileo or Luther, Jones has exposed the flaws in the official version, “a myth,” he says, “which has taken on religious proportions.

“There is a clear disconnect between what the official reports say happened and what actually happened,” Jones says. “A scientific theory has to be falsifiable. It must be able to be tested and challenged.

“The data stands on its own. Where are the honest scientists?” Jones asks. “Take the blinders off and find out what happened.”

The official 9-11 reports are what Jones calls “pathological science,” in which investigators ignore all evidence that contradicts the conclusion they have been asked to prove.

AFP contacted three scientists who support the official theory to ask if they would review Jones’s paper.

Thomas W. Eagar of MIT refused to even look at the paper and said there is no evidence of molten metal pouring from the WTC. Challenged with the
evidence, he hung up the phone.

Zdenek P. Bazant of Northwestern University submitted his fire-induced collapse theory to the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) two days after 9-11, without examining any evidence. Asked if he would review Jones’s paper, Bazant also refused, “I have seen Jones’s fiction before. If you want my private opinion, it is nothing but sensationalism,” he said. “His purported refutation of my analysis is baseless.”

Asked to simply look at five photos in an e-mail showing the cascading molten metal and core columns, which appear to have been cut with thermite, Bazant responded, “I do not have time.” 

Abolhassan Astaneh-Asl, an Iranian-born professor at Berkeley, who was a member of the ASCE team studying the WTC collapse, also refused to look at Jones’s paper.

“I will not be able to find time to review the material that you have sent me,” said Astaneh-Asl.

(Issue #18 & 19, May 1 & 8, 2006)

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Updated May 1, 2006