Traces of explosives in
9/11 dust, scientists say
By Elaine Jarvik
Published: Monday, April 6, 2009 10:43 p.m. MDT
Tiny red and gray chips found in the dust from the
collapse of the World Trade Center contain highly explosive
materials — proof, according to a former BYU professor, that 9/11 is
still a sinister mystery.
Physicist Steven E. Jones, who retired from Brigham Young University
in 2006 after the school recoiled from the controversy surrounding
his 9/11 theories, is one of nine authors on a paper published last
week in the online, peer-reviewed Open Chemical Physics Journal.
Also listed as authors are BYU physics professor Jeffrey Farrer and
a professor of nanochemistry at the University of Copenhagen in
For several years, Jones has theorized that pre-positioned
explosives, not fires from jet fuel, caused the rapid, symmetrical
collapse of the two World Trade Center buildings, plus the collapse
of a third building, WTC-7.
The newest research, according to the journal authors, shows that
dust from the collapsing towers contained a "nano-thermite" material
that is highly explosive. Although the article draws no conclusions
about the source and purpose of the explosives, Jones has previously
supported a theory that the collapse of the WTC towers was part of a
government conspiracy to ignore warnings about the 9/11 terrorists
so that the attack would propel America to wage war against
Afghanistan and Iraq.
The next step, Jones said in a phone interview on Monday, is for
someone to investigate "who made the stuff and why it was there."
A layer of dust lay over parts of Manhattan immediately following
the collapse of the towers, and it was samples of this dust that
Jones and fellow researchers requested in a 2006 paper, hoping to
determine "the whole truth of the events of that day." They
eventually tested four samples they received from New Yorkers.
One sample was from a man who had swept up a handful of dust on the
Brooklyn Bridge, where he was walking when the second tower fell. As
the journal authors note, "It was, therefore, definitely not
contaminated by the steel-cutting or clean-up operations at Ground
Zero, which began later. Furthermore, it is not mixed with dust from
WTC-7, which fell hours later."
Another man collected dust in his apartment, about five blocks from
the World Trade Center, on the morning of Sept. 12. There was a
layer about an inch thick on a stack of folded laundry near an open
Red/gray chips, averaging in size between .2 and 3 mm, were found in
all four dust samples. The chips were then analyzed using scanning
electron microscopy and other high-tech tools.
The red layer of the chips, according to the researchers, contains a
"highly energetic" form of thermite. While normal thermite (a
mixture of finely granulated aluminum and an oxide of metal) can be
incendiary, "super thermite" is explosive. He says there is no
benign explanation for the thermite in the WTC dust.
Jones made headlines in 2005 when he argued that the rapid and
symmetrical fall of the World Trade Center looked like the result of
pre-positioned explosives. He argued that fires alone wouldn't have
been hot enough to crumble the buildings; and that even if struck by
planes, the towers should have been strong enough to support the
weight of the tops as they crumbled — unless they were leveled by
Essentially forced to retire, Jones says he is now paying for
research out of his own pocket. He likens himself to Galileo and
Newton, who stood by their consciences. "I would like to think I
could stand up for the truth," he says.
The dust study vindicates his earlier theories, Jones says, but he
has mixed feelings about the implications. "As a young student said
to me a while back: 'It's exciting from a scientific point of view,
because things are now making sense. But I feel sad for my country.'