There’s Dr Steven E. Jones:
His retirement from his post at Brigham Young University followed a period in which the university placed him on paid leave due to controversy over his claims of a 9/11 conspiracy involving the ‘controlled demolition’ of the World Trade Center’s twin towers. Brigham Young University is owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church) and run under its ‘Church Educational System’, and Jones is a committed Mormon. Throughout his career, Jones’ main area of academic interest has been ‘alternative energies’, including the widely discredited ‘Cold Fusion’. However, in addition to this, he has also been keenly involved in Archaeometry ‘research’, the entire aim of which has been to give an academic sheen to the claims of the Book of Mormon. The central purpose of this work is to support the Book of Mormon’s absurd ‘historical’ claims, and, with this aim, Jones has engaged in a search for evidence of ‘pre-Columbian’ horse remains in North America. In addition to this, he has also published a risible paper in which he claims to have found evidence in ancient Mayan artwork ‘proving’ the Book of Mormon’s claims regarding Jesus visiting America.
For Jones, the 9/11 attacks were an ‘inside job’, orchestrated by ‘neo-conservatives’ to justify the occupation of oil-rich Arab countries, inflate military spending and expand Israel. Indeed, Jones has confidently asserted that ‘by God, we’re going to get to the bottom of this’. Rather than seeking to have his ‘research’ published in credible, peer reviewed academic journals, Jones simply started his own. The online ‘Journal of 9/11 Studies’ seeks ‘to provide evidence-based, peer-reviewed research that furthers the cause of truth and justice’. As such, it largely publishes articles focusing on the supposed ‘controlled demolition’ of the twin towers, but has also included a variety of sociological and political pieces, including a desperate article which claims that it is psychological blocks, as opposed to a complete lack of evidence, that stops more people subscribing to 9/11 conspiracy theories. In common with ‘journals’ set up by Creationist outfits, the claim that the journal is ‘peer-reviewed’ turns out to be misleading at best. Of course, if one’s peers are all Creationists or conspiracy theorists, then one’s articles may indeed be peer reviewed, but this peer review process is hardly likely to challenge any of the extreme and unscientifically supported claims to be found in those articles.
Aside from the fact it is so dubious that the authors do not dare submit it to credible, mainstream journals, it often contains errors that are simply embarassing. For example, Jones has attempted to buttress his claim that he has found proof that cutting charges were used to ‘demolish’ the twin towers by pointing to an image supposedly showing molten metal glowing at Ground Zero. A quick search by the conspiracy debunker Pat Curley revealed the source of the glow to be nothing more nefarious than a high-powered portable light.
And Dr Judy Wood:
As with most 9/11 conspiracy theorists, Wood has drawn her conclusions based on highly contentious interpretations of photo and video evidence of the events of September 11th. By carrying out a highly selective analysis of these images, Wood has concluded that the WTC structures became ‘dustified’ during the collapses. She claims that there is a ‘lack of suffient debris’ to corroborate the ‘official story’ of the towers collapsing due to their structural integrity being fatally compromised by a weakening of the steel due to the extreme heat produced by fires following the plane crashes. Consequently, according to Wood, all the evidence points to the WTC buildings having been destroyed by ‘Star Wars beams’, and she is promoting this claim in tandem with Dr Morgan Reynolds, a former White House chief economist (2001-2) who believes no planes were used on 9/11 and all video evidence of planes is fake and shows little more than ‘cartoons’.
In making her case, Wood employs a dazzling array of neologisms and pseudo-scientific terms and concepts. She refers to various 9/11 phenomena using terminology such as ‘jelly beams’ and ‘jellification’, ‘Alkaseltzer’, ‘Shaving Cream’, ‘toasting’, ‘Fuzzyblobs’, ‘Fuzzballs, ‘Cheetos’, ‘fuming into nanohaze’, ‘fuming rust’, ‘lathering up’, ‘Silly String’, and ‘dustification’. Wood’s work is so absurd that even fellow 9/11 conspiracy theorists are able to see it for the lunacy that it is, and mainstream debunkers have no trouble dispensing with her claims either.
In reality, there is no more evidence for the claim that 9/11 was an ‘inside job’ than there is that God created the world in six days, that the Holocaust never happened, that Jesus walked in America, or that an angel dictated the Qur’an to Muhammad. These are faith based positions.
He might have added, like Monbiot, that 9/11 denial is a nonsensical distraction from the very real follies and crimes of our governments and corporations.
After all, the time you spend paying attention to this bullshit is time you don’t spend paying attention to disgraces like this one.
(BTW, my favourite 9/11 theory is here.)