Truth is a prison

Steven Jones reminds us that the controversy over 9/11 isn’t ending any time soon

Illustration by Dan Samborski

Steven Jones speaks Thursday, April 30, 7 p.m. at the Colonial Heights Library community room, 4799 Stockton Boulevard; and Friday, May 1, 7 p.m. at the UC Davis Social Sciences & Humanities Building lecture hall, Room 1100. Both events are free.

To borrow a line from the late Rodney Dangerfield, 9/11 conspiracy theorists get no respect. You probably didn’t even know that Steven Jones, co-editor of the peer-reviewed Journal of 9/11 Studies and member of Scholars for 9/11 Truth & Justice, will be giving presentations in Sacramento and Davis at the end of the month. If you do know, chances are you haven’t let your friends in on it. If your friends are already in on it, it’s a safe bet you’ve done slipped down the rabbit hole, amigo.

No worries. Trust me, it happens to the best of us. Three times I’ve been sucked down the 9/11 vortex; three times I’ve emerged like a reluctant fetus dragged from the womb. The third time, I went deeper than I’d ever been before, to a hidden level unknown to even Dante, where only the disciples of David Icke dwell.

How comforting to know the history of the world was entirely mapped out 10,000 years ago by reptilian extraterrestrials whose DNA remains deeply encoded in the skull-and-bones types who control our government. We have met the enemy, and he’s got scales! And, apparently, narrow eyes, a bony forehead and a fleet of remote-controlled jetliners.

Not that Jones is of Icke’s ilk, by any means. I first encountered the Brigham Young University physics professor’s research on the alleged use of thermite explosives to bring down World Trade Center buildings 1, 2 and 7 on my initial foray into Wonderland, perhaps two years after the terrorist attacks. The crux of Jones’ argument is basic thermodynamics: The maximum temperature of the fire generated by burning jet fuel and office furniture in the buildings wasn’t hot enough to weaken the steel beams that failed and supposedly caused the collapses.

In particular, Jones pointed to the enormous piles of rubble that smoldered for months after the attack as evidence that explosives had been used. In 2006, I incorporated his research in an SN&R cover story on the local 9/11 Truth movement, (“To tell the truth”; SN&R Feature; June 22, 2006). The article marked my second visit to Fantasy Island, where I learned a valuable lesson: If you value your reputation as a journalist, take nothing here at face value.

Which is why I checked in with UC Davis professor emeritus Thomas Cahill, the atmospheric scientist who traveled to ground zero days after the attack to monitor the smoldering piles of rubble. Cahill found no evidence of explosives. Instead, he said fuel oil from the WTC’s diesel generators seeped into the ground, ignited and slowly consumed the debris stacked on top of it.

I latched on to Cahill’s lifeline and climbed back to the surface, where the rational universe welcomed me with open arms. I might have remained there, had Jones and his fellow 9/11 researchers not continued their work. As an increasing number of scholars and engineers signed on to the Good Ship Lollipop, I found myself compelled to descend into the chthonian darkness one final time.

I cannot fully recount my last journey in the limited space provided here. Suffice to say my experiences in Never Never Land led me to a horrific conclusion: Either the attacks were caused in part by our government’s own ineptitude, or that ineptitude was feigned in order to forward the reptilian agenda.

I might still be down there, wandering the convoluted paths deep in David Icke’s den, if not for the timely intervention of a colleague, who to bring me around recited the poetry of former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld:

“As we know, there are known knowns. There are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns. That is to say, we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don’t know we don’t know.”

It was like smelling salts for the soul, and when I came to, I didn’t bother telling her that Donald Rumsfeld is heir to the reptilian throne.