A few months back, Europhysics News, the science journal that published the new study “On the Physics of High Rise Building Collapse”, by Jones et al (republished here on OffG), published an interesting range of follow up letters to the editor. Less widely publicised has been an announcement in the same edition from its editors that reads like a declaration of political censorship.
The small collection of “letters to the editor” published in a recent edition of Europhysics News as a follow-up to the Jones et al paper “On the Physics of High Rise Building Collapse” is revelatory on several levels. Not only for the range of views expressed, but also, and perhaps most significantly, as a statement on the level of censorship and self-censorhip currently deemed acceptable in academia.
The letter that received most attention in the alt media is from a “member of the NIST technical staff during the period 1997 – 2011,” and alleging “the more I investigated, the more apparent it became that NIST had reached a predetermined conclusion by ignoring, dismissing, and denying the evidence.” He calls on NIST to “openly share all evidence, data, models, computations, and other relevant information unless specific and compelling reasons are otherwise provided.” Which seems an eminently rational and reasonable demand.
Thoughts from a former NIST employee
I was a member of the NIST technical staff during the period 1997- 2011. I initially joined the High Performance Systems and Services Division and later became a member of what was, at the time, the Mathematical and Computational Sciences Division of the Information Technology Laboratory. My fellow NIST employees were among the finest and most intelligent people with whom I have ever worked.
I did not contribute to the NIST WTC investigation or reports. But in August of this year, I began to read some of those reports. As I then watched several documentaries challenging the findings of the NIST investigation, I quickly became furious. First, I was furious with myself. How could I have worked at NIST all those years and not have noticed this before? Second, I was furious with NIST. The NIST I knew was intellectually open, non-defensive, and willing to consider competing explanations.
The more I investigated, the more apparent it became that NIST had reached a predetermined conclusion by ignoring, dismissing, and denying the evidence. Among the most egregious examples is the explanation for the collapse of WTC 7 as an elaborate sequence of unlikely events culminating in the almost symmetrical to- tal collapse of a steel-frame building into its own footprint at free-fall acceleration.
I could list all the reasons why the NIST WTC reports don’t add up, but others have already done so in extensive detail and there is little that I could add. What I can do, however, is share some thoughts based on common sense and experience from my fourteen years at NIST.
First, if NIST truly believes in the veracity of its WTC investigation, then it should openly share all evidence, data, models, computations, and other relevant information unless specific and compelling reasons are otherwise provided. For example, would the release of all files and calculations associated with the ANSYS collapse initiation mod- el jeopardize public safety to an extent that outweighs the competing need for accountability?
Second, in its reports, NIST makes a great show of details leading to collapse initiation and then stops short just when it becomes interesting. The remainder of the explanation is a perfunctory statement that total collapse is inevitable and obvious. It is easy to see through this tactic as avoid- ance of inconvenient evidence. In response to any challenges, NIST has provided curt explanations from its Public Affairs Office. There were many contributors to the NIST WTC investigation: Why not let them openly answer questions in their own voice with the depth of knowledge and level of detail that follows from the nuts and bolts of their research?
Lastly, awareness is growing of the disconnect between the NIST WTC reports and logical reasoning. The level of interest in “15 years later” is a good example. Due to the nature of communication in today’s world, that awareness may increase approximately exponentially. Why not NIST blow the whistle on itself now while there is still time?
Truth is where our healing lies.
Peter Michael Ketcham, USA
The 9/11 Truth community has, understandably, promoted the above letter as evidence for the crumbling of NIST’s official position on 9/11. But we think the following announcement is in many ways the most relevant to our current time. In the era of “propornot”, campus censorship and the promotion of “anti-free-speech” as the new badge of the Left, below is the official statement by the editors of Europhysics News itself (our emphasis):
The editors respond
It is the policy of EPN to publish by invitation. Prospective authors are suggested by members of our Editorial Advisory Board, who cover various disci- plines and come from different countries.
This particular Feature article ‘On the physics of High Rise Building Collapses’, followed the same route.We expected this topic to be of wide interest to our readers and thus invited the suggested authors to submit their manuscript. EPN does not have a formal review/rejection policy for invited contributions.
In the present case we realized that the final manuscript contained some speculations and had a rather controversial conclusion. Therefore a ‘Note from the editors’ was added, stressing that the content is the sole responsibility of the authors and does not represent an official position of EPN.
Since some controversy remains, even among more competent people in the field, we considered that the correct scientific way to settle this debate was to publish the manuscript and possibly trigger an open discussion leading to an undisputable truth based on solid arguments. Therefore we aske dNIST,as principal investigator of the WTC collapse, to send us a reaction to the article. Their response can be found elsewhere on these pages.
It is shocking that the published article is being used to support conspiracy theories related to the attacks on the WTC buildings. The Editors of EPN do not endorse or support these views.
In future, prospective authors will be asked to provide an abstract of the proposed article, as well as an indication of other related publications to allow the editors to better assess the content of the invited articles.
It’s hard to read this as anything but a wholesale rejection of its own decision to publish this “controversial” paper, and an announcement that all future papers will be vetted for political content as well as scientific validity, and that certain authors and/or dissenting opinions will be suppressed. Whatever your opinions on 9/11, and however you view the Jones et al paper, this must disturb you.
We did email Europhysics News to ask them for some clarification. We’ll let our readers know when/if they respond.