Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Does NIST's own data prove "no planes," and has Jones failed to disclose that in his "planes" thesis?

I have previously raised questions about Steven Jones' failure to disclose data from a peer-reviewed engineering journal that contradicts a major part of his "planes" thesis, here:


One of Jones' three main arguments in support of his "planes" thesis, which he presents as a rebuttal of the "no planes theory," is the deceleration argument, as follows:

An 18% deceleration of "Flight 175" during its impact with the South Tower, which Jones states can be observed in a video by Evan Fairbanks, is consistent with the expected loss of kinetic energy from such an impact as modeled by Tomasz Wierzbicki, Professor of Applied Mechanics in MIT's Department of Ocean Engineering and director of the department's Impact and Crashworthiness Laboratory.

My criticism is that Jones does not address subsequent research done by Karim and Hoo Fatt who are on the engineering faculty at the University of Akron, and who address Wierzbicki's model in concluding that a much higher amount of kinetic energy would be lost in such an impact.

I have added these two conclusions together the best I can as a non-engineer with high school math and physics, and concluded that these models prove that a real Boeing 767 would have shown much higher deceleration and deformation upon impact with the South Tower.

My analysis and conclusion on this issue can be read, along with some rhetoric about thinking for myself, here:


The correctness of my analysis and conclusion is not the issue. Rather, it is the failure of Jones to address data that contradicts a major premise of his conclusion. I applied the same reasoning as Jones did in his "planes" argument, and as Salter did in his "planes" paper in the Jones-edited Journal of 9/11 Studies. However, I chose an input that I believed to be based on more realistic assumptions. I believe that my education and experience gives me the ability to understand the assumptions and conclusions of these impact models, even if I could never develop these models myself, and that I have a solid understanding of academic standards and scientific method. Thus, I am confident in saying that both Jones and Salter should have disclosed and addressed this contradictory data that was published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Engineering Mechanics.

I have now learned of other pertinent and contradictory data that was not disclosed by Jones and Salter, even though it was available 9-12 months before each of their publications.

NIST NCSTAR 1-5, pages 24-26, analyzes the Scott Myers video of "Flight 175" and concludes that the tail of "Flight 175" "did not slow as the aircraft entered the building."

I repeat: "the tail did not slow as the aircraft entered the building."

That means 0% deceleration, as opposed to the 18% found by Salter and cited by Jones.

Jones and Salter state that the plane decelerated 18% in support of their conclusion that the video of "Flight 175" is real, but do not disclose NIST's data and conclusion to the contrary.

Please click on the below JPEGs of three pages from NIST NCSTAR 1-5, pages 24, 25, and 26.

Read section 2.3.2, Estimated Aircraft Speed on the first page. It refers to Figure 2-7 on the second page, which is frames of the Scott Myers video on the second page. It also refers to Figure Figure 2-8 on the third page, which shows parallel lines of pixel location of the nose and tail over time, and which NIST says is evidence that the tail of "Flight 175" in the Scott Myers video "did not slow as it entered the building."

After these three pages, I will show that Jones and Salter used another video by Evan Fairbanks to show an 18% deceleration. (After that, please be sure to read Endnote 1, which is important.)

Update: Note that Jones used the lower graph in support of his "planes" thesis, as discussed here:


Thus, he cannot reasonably argue that he did not know about the upper graph on this page, which contradicts Salter's 18% deceleration result.

Note also that both of these results were obtained from NIST's analysis of the same Scott Myers video (the "stable video in section 2.3.3 of the above page of NIST text). How can Jones offer the second graph but not the first, without acknowledging the first graph and explaining why he thinks it is invalid?

At Journal of 9/11 Studies, Jones published a Power Point presentation, dated July 2006, entitled "Answers to Objections and Questions" (hereinafter, "Jones Answers")

Until last week, the document was available here:


I have published JPEGs of the title page and the pages purporting to rebut "no planes" theory , here:


Jones cites the Scott Myers video as evidence that a Boeing 767 hit the South Tower:

Jones Answers, page 173

Above, Jones says that it is not enough to say that a jet would not behave like this. You have to do an experiment, which he says is preferred, or a computer simulation to really know. An experiment is not realistic, even for NIST, so that leaves computer simulation.

As far as I know, NIST did not do a computer simulation of the entire aircraft, but they did conduct a computer simulation of the impact of the starboard engine of "Flight 175," which I discussed for a different purpose here:


In my opinion, NIST's model of the loss of speed of the starboard engine just to clear the external columns and floor truss of the South Tower contradicts the Wierzbicki kinetic energy balance study and should be disclosed. Pending further analysis, I reach no conclusions, but state that this is data that Jones and Salter should have addressed in their papers purporting t prove the "planes" thesis.

I digress, because new failures to disclose keep appearing. Back to the video study.

In the page below, Jones cites an analysis of the Evan Fairbanks video by Eric Salter, who concludes that the video shows an 18% deceleration as "Flight 175" enters the South Tower.

Jones also cites to an analysis of Wierzbicki's online paper by Stefan Grossmann, a German lawyer, which shows 25% loss in initial kinetic energy as "Flight 175" enters the South Tower.

See endnote 2 for links to the studies of Salter, Grossmann, and Wierzbicki.

As one can see from the page just below, Jones fails to cite to the NIST study of the Scott Myers video that he used in the previous page, and which showed 0% deceleration as opposed to 18% deceleration. One can also see that he failed to disclose the Karim/Hoo Fatt study which found a 46% loss in initial kinetic energy from piercing the external columns alone, without considering the increased resistance of the external columns when backed by floors, without considering the resistance of the floors themselves, and without considering the resistance of the core columns.

Jones Answers, page 174

NIST's 0% decleration compared to Wierzbicki's 25% kinetic energy loss gives a drastically larger discrepancy that would not be "consistent with the data within allowable tolerances."

Salter's 18% deceleration compared to Hoo Fatt's 46% kinetic energy loss (really much closer to 100% as I show in my paper) gives a drastically larger discrepancy that would not be "consistent with the data within allowable tolerances."

NIST's result compared to Hoo Fatt's data gives an even more drastic discrepancy, and that's without even considering the massive resistance of the floors and core columns found in Wierzbicki's paper,as Hoo Fatt looked only at the resistance of the external columns.

Jones' own reasoning is that the relationship between observed deceleration and modeled kinetic energy loss is important evidence of a video's authenticity or lack of authenticity.

Any one of these combinations proves that the videos of "Flight 175" slipping into the South Tower are falsified.

Given Jones' failure to disclose these results, he has no business stating that the "assertion . . . real commercial jets did not hit the WTC towers . . . has been disproved by the evidence."


By his own reasoning, this assertion has been proved by the evidence that he fails to acknowledge. (3)

I ask Steven Jones to be more careful in the future about academic standards, both in his own work and in his editing of the Journal of 9/11 Studies.


(1) It may be that neither the Scott Myers video nor the Evan Fairbanks video are authentic, or it may be that one but not the other is authentic. [Update, 3/2/2007: this is a strange statement I made - I think both videos are fake. One video shows 0% deceleration, which happens to be the one the NIST used to estimate the speed of "Flight 175." This speed is nothing more than an artifact of a faked video, but since it results in about the highest speed that could claimed, and the models of kinetic energy use speeds derived from videos, I take these speeds as true for purposes of my analysis. The other video purportedly shows 18% deceleration, though that is disputed by Rick Rajter. Either figure is unrealistic.] Regardless, both need to be disclosed, particularly since NIST has apparently chosen the Scott Myers video over the Evan Fairbanks video. We don't know if NIST would have concluded that the Fairbanks video showed more or less than 18% deceleration, but again, NIST's data must be disclosed. If I had known about NIST's data, I would obviously have disclosed it as it supports my conclusion. You will just have to trust me that I would disclose this or any other data I know about that does not support my conclusion.

Since writing my 911-Pound Gorilla article, I have learned that a group headed by Mete Sozen of Purdue University has done an energy balance study of "Flight 11" hitting the North Tower, and I will need to address it. The website does not disclose the assumptions and conclusions as to energy balance, but concludes that many core columns were destroyed by the impact on the North Tower, and has a simulation showing what I think is impossible---a plane slipping into a WTC tower without any apparent resistance. Therefore, I shall have to request more information and address this research.


Purdue's Sozen has headed an energy balance study of "Flight 77" hitting the Pentagon, which I think is a separate issue that I am not required to address, but should if I have time:


(2) Salter's analysis of the Evan Fairbanks video can be read here:


Wierzbicki's paper can be read here:


Grossmann's analysis of Wierzbicki's paper may be read here:


(3) Jones says that the following assertions have also been disproved by the evidence:
"ray-beams from space caused the demolitions" and "mini-nukes were used in the WTC towers." I have no opinions on either of these assertions, other than that they should be considered. It is my understanding that mini-nukes are not considered a valid theory by most researchers, and that "ray beams from space" misstates the Wood thesis which does not limit the source of the beams to space. I try to view each individual argument on its merits, but Jones' failure to disclose in relation to research that I understand will make me question his work on any theory. The sine qua non of honest and valid research is a willingness to disclose and address adverse results. I find it very disturbing that a prominent figure in 9/11 research, who must know that this behavior is unacceptable, is publishing work which can so easily be discredited. This has far more potential to discredit alternative theories of 9/11 than Judy Wood's public research, which she clearly states is a work in progress.


spooked said...

You should look at and link to Rick Rajter's study on the deceleration issue, which is on Morgan Reynold's No More Games site.

I also did an anaylsis some time back on my blog, though admittedly crude, of deceleration of the 2nd plane looking at different videos and saw no significant deceleration.

I also declare Salter's analysis badly flawed, for a few reasons-- though I think Salter changed the page since my original analysis.

Ningen said...

Good point. I learned a lot from his work early on, and should have credited it. I brought his work up in response to a question by Cassiea at 911 Blogger, who was asking about the accuracy of the videos. He used the Scott Myers video, same as NIST, and found there might have been slight decleration. For now, here's a link:


About the work of those who do not disclose what mistakes and changes they have made, and remove their work from the Internet, I think it's important to save copies.

Anonymous said...

Regardless of what caused the towers to come down shouldn't we want to know the tons of steel and tons of concrete on every level of the building? How much steel had to be heated to 1100 oF to supposedly weaken in 56 minutes?


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