They oughta know better: Critiques of the inept work, absurd claims, and deceitful practices of Richard Gage, David Ray Griffin, Jim Hoffman, Steven E. Jones, Gordon Ross, Kevin Ryan, and others

Main 9/11 links page

"There are submissions to the Journal of 9/11 Studies, but that's about as convincing as submissions to the Journal of Intelligent Design Studies." –Noam Chomsky

Most of the truther claims addressed on this page are about the collapses of the WTC buildings. My video World Trade Center Not a Demolition shows the absurdity of all the major claims from an audiovisual standpoint. For technical analyses of the collapses, please see the papers and reports listed in my structural engineering and fire engineering sections, particularly the paper published in the Journal of Engineering Mechanics, What Did and Did not Cause Collapse of WTC Twin Towers in New York.

Richard Gage and Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth Joseph Nobles puts the hurt on Richard Gage's falsehoods

JREF: BeAChooser on AE911truth's "engineers" roster. Scroll down to see their bizarre statements.

My summary of Gage's 583-slide online PowerPoint presentation, from June, 2008:
  • 311 false statements (not including the same statements repeated on multiple slides)
  • 114 misleading statements
  • 137 logical fallacies employed
  • Zero original analysis by Richard Gage. Yes, I've got all of this data on a spreadsheet.
Gage's presentation is the most staggeringly incompetent and deliberately ignorant thing I have ever encountered. It makes the Loose Change videos look like the Encyclopedia Britannica. It makes Judy Wood’s site seem like a marvel of restraint. I wish this were hyperbole, but it isn’t.

The two Hardfire shows with myself and Richard Gage are online. The host is 9/11 conspiracy believer John Clifton. Here's some info on the shenanigans they pulled to try to get the upper hand before and during the shows. Or, save time and just go to this point in the second show when Gage becomes the laughingstock of the truther and debunker communities by frantically displaying his staggering ignorance of structures and engineering. To my knowledge these are the only appearances by Gage that he hasn't promoted on his website before or after they aired, for obvious reasons. Thanks, Richard, and good night, "truth" movement!

Hardfire producer Gary Popkin sent an email to myself, John Clifton, and Richard Gage, saying that the north tower collapse does look impressive from the truther point of view: that the top seems to be disintegrating and perhaps loses a lot of mass over the side. I sent this email to those three men in response. It covers that and several other points, and is a good place to start for people who wish to examine Gage's claims on the shows.

–Gage repeatedly makes the absurd claim that no compacted floors were found at the base of the Twin Towers, as they should have been with "gravitational" collapses. Read the reality here, from the people on the scene.

–As of January, 2009, Gage continues to appeal for money to support his effort, of which he says, "The founding members and current volunteers and staff of AE911Truth have donated, truly and literally, thousands of dollars and thousands of hours to AE911Truth. This is a full time effort for a dozen staff." As I pointed out at the beginning of the Hardfire show, this is a lie. Gage has no full-time staff, and to my knowledge he never had any. In March, 2008 a fellow truther questioned his claim: "In email received today, Gage told me that only two of his staff members, who work for the organization close to full time, are paid stipends of only $250 per month. The staff also includes about ten other people who don’t get paid at all." In June, 2008, Gage's website appeal for money from "sustaining members" says, "We now have five staff who volunteer most of their time," yet in 2009 his PowerPoint presentation still claims that he has a dozen staff.
More proof that Gage didn't read the NIST report: he repeatedly claims that NIST did not discuss the unusual erosion of a few pieces of steel found in the piles. Not only did NIST discuss that, the report spends several pages on it, and NIST did an independent analysis of three samples from a column for which the as-built location could be roughly determined, in addition to a sample from the same column analyzed by FEMA. See NCSTAR1-3C, p. 229-232. NIST noted that this column was from no higher than the 53rd floor and was eroded while in a horizontal position, while it was in the piles. There are even photos of the recovered column, showing no evidence that it was attacked by thermite, thermate, or any weapon in the truthers' fantasy arsenal. Gage knew none of this because he couldn't be bothered to read the NIST report. Further, tests continued to be done by metallurgy labs on this phenomenon, and it was discovered that it could be reproduced with a variety of common contaminants. See the WPI seminar presentation summaries linked on the cleanup/molten metal page of this website.

–Gage repeatedly claims that “They would bring up these multi-ton chunks of this previously molten substance, which turns out to be iron.” This is simply a lie. Gage can name no Ground Zero worker who claims this. Nor can Gage show where any formerly molten material was tested to determine its composition. I spoke with Dave Peraza, the engineer in charge of all Ground Zero cleanup: "I never saw pools or lakes of molten, or previously molten, steel. Neither in the subgrade levels, nor as material that was loaded onto trucks by the grapplers and cranes."

Peraza went on to say, "By the way, some of the conspiracy theories state that the steel was sent to the scrap yards, presumably to destroy evidence of the conspiracy. I participated in the decision, ultimately made by DDC, to not retain the majority of the steel. I guess I was part of the conspiracy!”

Gage repeatedly claims that respected engineering, fire engineering, and demolitions professionals agree with his claims. That is a lie.

Gage egregiously misrepresents the fires in WTC 7
"Though Building Seven had been hit by some debris from the North Tower, only the seventh, 12th and 13th floors were burning, Gage said."
(In fact, there were confirmed fires on at least 16 floors: 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17, 19, 21, 22, 29, and 30.) Read eyewitness accounts of the fire severity here.

Architect and head of AE911truth Richard Gage displays his astonishing ignorance about the events of 9/11 in a radio debate with explosives expert Ron Craig
Download here (wmv). JREF forum comments here.

Richard Gage thinks thermate + semi-silent huge explosives were used to destroy the towers. No, really!

Richard Gage uses controlled demolition video with the audio altered to omit sounds of explosions

Here's what Gage's "expert" structural engineers say. All quotes are from Gage's website. These are the words of his best and brightest.

Charles Pegelow thinks nuclear weapons destroyed the towers. No, I'm not kidding.

–Robert T. Mote thinks the tower collapses started from the bottom: "I could never understand the 'convenient' vertical collapse at the BASE due to an extreme event at height."

–Structural engineer Dennis Kollar says, “For me the most convincing aspect that the 911 collapse was a controlled demolition is the recorded explosions on the 9/11 Eyewitness DVD.” The "recorded explosions" he's referring to are wind noise captured by the camera in Hoboken, a few miles away from the WTC. That should be staggeringly obvious to anyone who has seen footage from close to the WTC, where what would be absolutely enormous "explosions" are not captured by any microphones.

–Structural engineer Michael Donley says, "I have read the FEMA report and conclude that it is incomplete at best and a cover-up at worst.” The FEMA report? Welcome to 2002, Mr. Donley. You might try reading the 10,000 page NIST report. Can't blame you, though. Richard has led by example and not bothered to read the NIST report either. (Yes, I can prove that.)

–Engineer Edward Knesl says, “We do not know the phenomenon of the high rise building to disintegrate internally faster than the free fall of the debris coming down from the top.” Faster than freefall! He' hasn't even bothered to review videos of the collapses. 

Can these people possibly be any less competent?

Actually, yes. Here's what AE 911 Truth engineer Donald Messerlian believes: “Seismographic evidence proved pre-planted explosives destroyed WTC 1, 2 and building 7 before the planes struck buildings 1 & 2.”

Right. The three WTC buildings were destroyed before the planes hit. In the same vein of disturbed fantasy, Richard's aerospace engineer is a "no-planer":

–"After performing some in-depth research on this subject, I have come to the conclusion that no commercial airplanes impacted the two WTC Towers. No commercial plane impacted the Pentagon. No commercial aircraft buried itself in Pennsylvania terra firma."

Dr. David Ray Griffin, theologian
(not a scientist, but his books cite the work and opinions of Steven Jones, Jim Hoffman, Gordon Ross, Kevin Ryan, and others)

"On Debunking 9/11 Debunking"– NASA scientist Ryan Mackey's comprehensive critique of David Ray Griffin's claims about the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings. Essential reading for "truthers," skeptics, and anyone who wants to understand how wrong even the "best" of the 9/11 conspiracists are. 198 pages. Download pdf or doc file.

"Distortion of Fact" by Andrew Burfield: A Comprehensive Analysis of "The 9/11 Report: A 571-Page Lie" by Dr David Ray Griffin (developing project)

Griffin again declines an invitation to debate me.

Griffin makes an ass of himself debating George Monbiot on James Whale's radio show (MP3)

Griffin's claim of NORAD 10-minute intercept time taken from a computer game, and refers to flights coming from overseas

Software engineer Jim Hoffman
Hoffman's concrete fragmentation and dust dispersion claims shown to be false: Dr. Frank Greening's "The Pulverization of Concrete in WTC 1 During the Collapse Events of 9-11" (PDF)

Hoffman claims NIST misrepresents tower column sizes. I inform him that he's incorrect. (This graphic originally accompanied the post above)

Physicist Steven E. Jones
Physicist Dave Rogers Comments on Steven E. Jones' Paper "Why Indeed Did the World Trade Center Buildings Completely Collapse?"

BYU Engineers denounce Steven Jones' 9/11 claims

Bad science: comments on Steven Jones' January, 2008 paper on iron microspheres found in WTC dust.

Dr. Frank Greening's summary of Jones' January, 2008 paper on iron microspheres. More here.

The "mysterious" iron spheres in WTC dust that are cited by Jones as possible evidence of thermite or thermate use, were in fact expected to be produced by the WTC fires:
Considering the high temperatures reached during the destruction of the WTC, the following three types of combustion products would be expected to be present in WTC dust. These products are:

• Vesicular carbonaceous particles primarily from plastics
Iron-rich spheres from iron-bearing building components or contents
• High temperature aluminosilicate from building materials

...In addition to the spherical iron and aluminosilicate particles, a variety of heavy metal particles including lead, cadmium, vanadium, yttrium, arsenic, bismuth, and barium particles were produced by the pulverizing, melting and/or combustion of the host materials such as solder, computer screens, and paint during the WTC Event. Source (PDF)
Dr. Frank Greening lectures Steven Jones about the content of his iron microspheres

Flaws with Jones' X-ray analysis of dust ....Why Jones' X-ray analysis cannot prove what he claims.

On the quantification of EDS spectra (related to Steven Jones' "microspheres" claims)

Steven E. Jones evades questions about peer review of his 9/11 work.

Steven Jones falsely claims 90 peer reviewed papers in JONES: it's actually 40 non-peer reviewed articles. and

Jones thinks vehicles around WTC site may have been set afire by "thermite dust." As opposed to, you know, paper.

Steven Jones argues that the tower collapses were both "straight down" and characterized by the horizontal ejection of structural steel.

Steven E. Jones determines that 4"-thick concrete floors will not pulverize when a quarter-mile high building collapses. Ya can't make this stuff up.

My look at Steven Jones' thermite/thermate hypothesis

Steven Jones attempts multiple deceptions by photograph

Steven Jones makes false claim of explosive "squibs" at top of WTC 7

Steven Jones misrepresents WTC 7's collapse time

Steven Jones egregiously misrepresents the fires in WTC 7 “Fires were random, not particularly large, and certainly not an inferno," and again misuses photos.

Robert Cronk: "9/11, Steven Jones, and Me" (4 parts)

Physicist Heikki Kurttila
Ryan Mackey on Heikki Kurttila's estimates of WTC building "resistance factors"

Mathemetician Kenneth Kuttler
Physcist Dave Rogers on mathemetician Kenneth Kuttler's analysis of tower collapse times

Mechanical Engineer Gordon Ross
Structural Engineer "Newton's Bit" Examines Gordon Ross' conservation of momentum paper

Structural Engineer Newton's Bit: Failure of the “Truth” Movement’s Engineer (Gordon Ross)

Ryan Mackey on Gordon Ross' calculations

Physicist Dave Rogers: "I came up with a good analogy for Ross's error, in fact. Suppose I go out shopping with a hundred dollars, buy a forty-dollar pair of shoes, buy some lunch, and come back with thirty-three dollars. Analysing this according to Ross's approach, I must have stolen the shoes. Why?

Starting cash: $100
Amount spent shopping: $67
Amount left: $33
Therefore there was not enough money left over after shopping to buy a $40 pair of shoes.

Check Ross's energy tables. The analogy is exact."

"Scholars for Truth" Gordon Ross and Craig T. Furlong write a paper claiming that an explosion at the WTC was recorded by seismic instruments before the first aircraft impact. They hilariously forget to check one little thing.... (Paper remains online and uncorrected to this day).

Update: As of April, 2008, Mr. Furlong agrees that there were no explosions before the aircraft hit and does not believe that "9/11 was an inside job," as reported by Ryan Mackey in his "On 'Debunking 9/11 Debunking,'" pp. 79-81

Gordon Ross claims that the core columns that were most accessible from the elevator shafts (the outer, he says) were destroyed first in the south tower collapse. I show why he's making that up. Accompanying graphic:

Chemist Kevin Ryan
Documents pertaining to Kevin Ryan's failed lawsuit against U.L.

Kevin Ryan alters Larry Silverstein's statement, commits libel and slander, and disrespects the FDNY (after viewing the link above, you can confirm it with this link, which takes you directly to the relevant section of Ryan's videotaped presentation.

Brave Sir Kevin...

March, 2007: Kevin Ryan flees from my debate challenge, although I offer to let him choose the time, the place, the topics, and the moderators.

April, 2007: Kevin Ryan declines an invitation to debate me on the TV show "Hardfire"

July, 2007: Kevin Ryan says no one will debate him on Thom Hartmann's radio show – then flees and has me banned from 9/ when I tell him that Hartmann's producer asked me if I'd do it and I immediately accepted.

December, 2007: Ryan lies about how hard it was to find someone to debate him on the Hartmann show.

Delusions of grandeur: Kevin Ryan credits himself for delaying the NIST report on WTC 1&2

Kevin Ryan responds to a few points in Ryan Mackey's extensive "On Debunking 9/11 Debunking," and gets them wrong, of course.(PDF)

Torin Wolf
JREF forum thread on Torin Wolf