Peer Review Vs Trial By Twitter

This past week has seen some unedifying academic-on-academic hostility on Twitter, with a storm of haughty criticism being whipped up in response to publication in the journal Alternatives of a paper by Dr David A. Hughes. Perhaps because I know first hand what it feels like to be publicly smeared for touching on inconvenient questions, I have felt impelled to speak out against this intimidatory conduct.

Hughes’ paper tackles a taboo subject, one which has been at the centre of a great deal of conspiracy theorizing, much of it preposterous. What he nevertheless aims to show is that there are also reasonable questions to be asked about the subject; and he wants to understand why these have been lumped together with the foolish ones in a blanket dismissal by other scholars in the field of International Relations (IR).

The paper having undergone peer review and been published, it is now encountering public condemnation from a number of academics via their Twitter accounts. We see the makings here of a campaign to have the paper retracted or the editorial team censured.

Such conduct from professional colleagues requires an exceptional justification. For them to seek to overturn the result of peer review is tantamount to a vote of no confidence in the professionalism of colleagues who were involved in it. Very good reasons ought to be provided for such serious censure.

Scientists and scholars rely on the system of peer review – whose functioning itself depends on the good will and good faith of colleagues – to ensure that publications in their fields of expertise reach certain standards of methodological rigour and substantive significance. They do not assume that publication following peer review is an unequivocal endorsement of everything the paper claims. Once any article is published, it is quite likely to be subject to criticism, if it is of any interest at all, since the advance of learning inherently involves debate. 

So peer review is a valuable process, but it is not an infallible guide to the quality of a publication above a certain threshold, and it does not provide the last word on the worth of a publication. I doubt there is any academic who could not point to some paper or other that, in their view, does not meet the threshold and so ought not to have been published. It is another matter, however, for a case to be made for seeking retraction of a published paper. Such a case would normally be grounded in provable claims of academic fraud of some kind.

It is normal, then, for academics to live with the existence of publications they disagree with or disapprove of. This is not an unalloyed burden, either, since such publications also provide convenient opportunities for academics to exhibit their own superior learning through their critical responses.

What has been more unusual until now is for outcomes of peer review to be challenged in public fora. Of course, before the advent of social media, there would have been little opportunity to do so. But now, papers that strike a nerve with disapproving readers can encounter public challenge via instantaneous reactions on platforms like Twitter.

Some of the responses to Hughes’s paper have expressed dissatisfaction at the publication in relatively measured terms.  For instance, Dr Nicholas Kitchen, a lecturer in International Relations at Surrey University posted several tweets, which included these:


Disagreeing with editors’ decisions is not uncommon, I think, but to go on to publicly denounce a colleague’s work in this way is quite another matter. Although Kitchen adds such a damning comment, he has not pointed to any specifics in the paper that warrant such opprobrium.

This lack of specificity, in fact, is a common feature of the attack tweets. An influential example is this Tweet from Professor Brendan Nyhan of Dartmouth College:

Brendan Nyhan

Other academics challenged the editorial board to retract or resign. See, for instance, this thread from Dr Emmett Macfarlane, associate professor in Political Science at the University of Waterloo.

upset IR peeps

The response by Dr Jennifer Mustapha, an Assistant Professor in Political Science at Huron University College, illustrates Hughes’s point that “critical” IR scholars have no time for the kind of uncomfortable questions he highlights.

Indeed, a further tweet from Macfarlane went so far as to call Hughes’s article the ‘antithesis of academic scholarship’. Thinking myself that this was a harsh judgement to make of any professional colleague, particularly when no grounds for it had been demonstrated, I intervened with a request that Macfarlane suggest better readings. In response he simply blocked me!

Academic debate with Macfarlane!

In the meantime, the journal’s editor had been alerted to the Twitter discussions and had issued a response, which Kitchen cites:

Kitchen and Bellamy

The quip added by Professor Alex Bellamy of the University of Queensland captures the tenor of many of the comments inserted by others into these twitter conversations.

A more aggressive intervention came from Dr Nour Halabi, a Lecturer in Media and Communication at the University of Leeds, with her proposal to boycott the publisher unless it bowed to the pressure of the complainants about this ‘truther’ and ‘conspiracy theorist’:

Halabi and others

My view is that the approach of these academics on Twitter is indefensible. They smear the author and the paper while seeking to intimidate the publisher and send a public message that this topic ought to remain off-limits to any critical inquiry. The fact that the paper is seeking to reflect on how that taboo comes to be maintained is scarcely commented on by the critics. Those few who do mention it make a general complaint about this not being the right way to go about it – but without indicating what would be the right way. (A helpful recommendation is offered, though, by Roland Bleiker of a piece he co-authored with Tim Aistrope on Conspiracy and Foreign Policy, as a more subtle treatment.) I am not suggesting Hughes’ paper could not have been improved in any way, but I am concerned that none of the attacks on it has identified any specific scholarly defect, let alone anything close to the kind of fraudulence that would warrant retraction.

Certainly, raising questions about the circumstances of the destruction of the three World Trade Centre buildings in 2001 leads into very uncomfortable and disturbing areas of speculation, and reasons to avoid doing so are compelling – certainly pragmatically and psychologically. Such influential dissenters as Noam Chomsky have supported the position that such questions are better not asked, with even Julian Assange apparently saying “I’m constantly annoyed that people are distracted by false conspiracies such as 9/11, when all around we provide evidence of real conspiracies, for war or mass financial fraud.” This is surely an efficacious salve for the critical conscience of many of us. I wonder, indeed, what cognitive condition the vitriolic responses to a humble journal article by so many critical thinkers might betoken.

More humdrum questions about whether Hughes’s paper should have been published exactly as is are open to reasonable disagreement. But since it has now been peer reviewed and published, criticism should be made in appropriately academic terms, and not those of the playground bully, which some academics seem to feel themselves licensed to do on Twitter.

Regarding the substance of the paper, since I have not researched the topic myself, my comments will be limited to a few very general points.

  1. The terrible events of 11 September 2001 had not been pre-announced publicly and were not carried out by one person alone: by definition, therefore, they involved a conspiracy.
  2. The authorized version of events accordingly, and unavoidably, includes a theory of a conspiracy as a core part of its explanation.
  3. The authorized conspiracy theory has been questioned in a variety of ways, as Hughes’s literature review indicates.
  4. Many of those questions are not foolish or trivial, but quite reasonably posed in the light of evidence assembled.
  5. Therefore, while the authorized account might be true, to question it is not irrational or shameful. Indeed, following John Stuart Mill, one might emphasise how constantly reviewing the grounds of accepted truths can help keep them vivid.
  6. Furthermore, a theory can be true in parts and still be improved upon, especially when it relates to a complex event, and a fuller account of the truth can be attained by continuing rational research into questions that can sensibly be posed.
  7. Therefore to pursue those questions is not only justified but can be seen to be part of the scholarly community’s collective obligation.

If the IR community has not given much scholarly attention to those questions, then it seems to me that Hughes is right to suggest that they, and the reasons for the silence, are worth devoting a few journal pages to. Accordingly, in my view, the editor of Alternatives was right to put the submission out for review and then to accept the advice of the reviewers. Since their recommendation was to publish the article, any criticism of it now should be made in the way that academic criticisms normally and properly are.

Trying to shame the publisher into retracting the paper is not the way to uphold academic standards.

As for trying to shame a scholar who has the courage to engage in what the “critical” scholars seem merely to pay lip service to – namely, an attempt to speak truth to power – the academics in question ought, in my view, to be offering apologies. Hughes is well aware why it is that those relatively few ‘academics who have spoken out have tended to be emeritus or retired professors with little to lose career-wise’. It is because in virtue of doing so they can ‘expect to find themselves subjected to a media smear campaign as part of a coordinated effort to discredit them.’ Such attacks on a scholar’s reputation can be very damaging for younger academics with future prospects to put in jeopardy. So in standing firm in full awareness of all this, Hughes has responded with integrity to the pull of an intellectual obligation he feels to undertake academic due diligence regarding assumptions about a defining historical event of our epoch.

I would like to invite readers to share below their comments on either this post or Hughes’s paper. Naturally, I expect them to be respectful. (Any anonymous smears or abusiveness will be excluded during moderation.)

This entry was posted in bullying, conspiracy, conspiracy theory, disinformation, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

101 Responses to Peer Review Vs Trial By Twitter

  1. mato48 says:

    I never engaged in discussions about 9/11, because there are more pressing topics (natures destruction, globalization, inequality, climate change, Syria and other US imperial wars). But, taking the conduct of the USA into account from the declaration of independence in 1776 till now, a “false flag” component of 9/11 seems possible. To be clear: The USA is a ruthless empire, not limited by any moral boundaries and with no concern about human lives (including its own population). Under this aspect 9/11 looks very different from the officially approved narrative.

    • Brilliant. Thank you so much for providing ample reason why investigation, discussion, debate, and research on what happened to WT7 should continue and be amplified with a new official investigation.. The constant coordinated attempts to silence criticism of the official conspiracy theory provided in the 911 report through character assasination, threats, fact free repudiations, criticism devoid of specifics is a clear sign that the blue check marks of twitter are afraid of what detailed professional examination of evidence in a new investigation will reveal.

    • Jay Fleming says:

      Have you considered that 9/11 was a blank check in perpetuity for the US military, the biggest polluter on the planet, to engage in imperial wars?

    • M. Vuorinen, Finland, EUROPE says:

      We people living in Finland (Europe) – the happiest ranked country in the world – know very well from our own history from back to 1939 about the Mainila shelling that A FALSE FLAG CONSPIRACY TO START A WAR (in our case the USSR-made false flag event to start the winter war 1939 against our country) is 100% reality.
      Just by studying the evidence of 9/11 without having to be in state of denial I am very convinced that US gov. did harm to it’s own civilians to get people to approve “the war on terror” aka “seven countries in five years” war plan revealed by general Wesley Clark. It is also very suspicious that the PM of Israel, mr Netanyahu has backed up the joy of “the dancing (mossad) israelis” by stating (by freudian slip) that the 911 bombing (sic the cause “bombing”, not aeroplanes) was a “good thing” for Israel.

  2. rogerglewis says:

    Complots of Mischief, Charles Pidgen,
    Well worth reading.
    Here is a reading.
    Complots of Conspiracy, Pidgen Conspiracy Theory Snobbery. SCADS

    “Nature rejects the monarch, not the man; The subject, not the citizen;
    for kings And subjects, mutual foes, forever play A losing game into
    each other’s hands, Whose stakes are vice and misery. The man Of virtuous
    soul commands not, nor obeys. Power, like a desolating pestilence, Pollutes
    whate’er it touches; and obedience, Bane of all genius, virtue, freedom, truth,
    Makes slaves of men, and of the human frame A mechanized automaton.
    Nature! -no! Kings, priests and statesmen blast the human flower Even in
    its tender bud; their influence darts Like subtle poison through the bloodless veins
    Of desolate society. The child, Ere he can lisp his mother’s sacred name,
    Swells with the unnatural pride of crime, and lifts His baby-sword even in a hero’s
    mood. This infant arm becomes the bloodiest scourge Of devastated earth;
    whilst specious names, Learnt in soft childhood’s unsuspecting hour,
    Serve as the sophisms with which manhood dims Bright reason’s ray and sanctifies
    the sword Upraised to shed a brother’s innocent blood. Let priest-led slaves cease
    to proclaim that man Inherits vice and misery, when force And falsehood hang
    even o’er the cradled babe, Stifling with rudest grasp all natural good.
    44 1v ‘War is the statesman’s game, the priest’s delight, The lawyer’s jest,
    the hired assassin’s trade, And to those royal murderers whose mean
    thrones Are bought by crimes of treachery and gore,
    The bread they eat, the staff on which they lean.
    Guards, garbed in blood-red livery, surround Their palaces,
    participate the crimes That force defends and from a nation’s rage
    Secures the crown, which all the curses reach That famine, frenzy,
    woe and penury breathe.
    These are the hired bravos who defend The tyrant’s throne -the
    bullies of his fear; These are the sinks and channels of worst vice,
    The refuse of society, the dregs Of all that is most vile;

    Shelly, Queen Mab.

  3. rogerglewis says:

    Reblogged this on Not The Grub Street Journal and commented:
    Complots of Mischief, Charles Pidgen, Well worth reading. Here is a reading. Complots of Conspiracy, Pidgen Conspiracy Theory Snobbery. SCADS

    “Nature rejects the monarch, not the man; The subject, not the citizen; for kings And subjects, mutual foes, forever play A losing game into each other’s hands, Whose stakes are vice and misery. The man Of virtuous soul commands not, nor obeys. Power, like a desolating pestilence, Pollutes whate’er it touches; and obedience, Bane of all genius, virtue, freedom, truth, Makes slaves of men, and of the human frame A mechanized automaton. Nature! -no! Kings, priests and statesmen blast the human flower Even in its tender bud; their influence darts Like subtle poison through the bloodless veins Of desolate society. The child, Ere he can lisp his mother’s sacred name, Swells with the unnatural pride of crime, and lifts His baby-sword even in a hero’s mood. This infant arm becomes the bloodiest scourge Of devastated earth; whilst specious names, Learnt in soft childhood’s unsuspecting hour, Serve as the sophisms with which manhood dims Bright reason’s ray and sanctifies the sword Upraised to shed a brother’s innocent blood. Let priest-led slaves cease to proclaim that man Inherits vice and misery, when force And falsehood hang even o’er the cradled babe, Stifling with rudest grasp all natural good. 44 1v ‘War is the statesman’s game, the priest’s delight, The lawyer’s jest, the hired assassin’s trade, And to those royal murderers whose mean thrones Are bought by crimes of treachery and gore, The bread they eat, the staff on which they lean. Guards, garbed in blood-red livery, surround Their palaces, participate the crimes That force defends and from a nation’s rage Secures the crown, which all the curses reach That famine, frenzy, woe and penury breathe. These are the hired bravos who defend The tyrant’s throne -the bullies of his fear; These are the sinks and channels of worst vice, The refuse of society, the dregs Of all that is most vile”;
    Shelly, Queen Mab.

    9/11 in Academia Film.

  4. Pingback: Peer Review Vs Trial By Twitter — Tim Hayward – The Critical Thinking Times

  5. The best way to resolve this is to (a) Forget about social media (b) Forget what anyone has said about “conspiracy theories” and go back to basics – study the available evidence relevant to the actual event(s) in question. When you have actually gone through this process (as I have), only then are you in an appropriate position to make a judgement.

    Dr Hughes has raised some fundamental questions, which most people don’t really want to consider – at all. Once all the references in his paper have been studied and evaluated, and any errors determined, only then should a reaction be given. As many prior assumptions about 9/11 as possible should be put aside – which is what I had to do about 15 years ago, when I started studying what really happened.

    When and only when you have studied the evidence (which will take several days, at a minimum, if you are unfamiliar with it), then you can post comments about said evidence.

    A very good starting point is observation of what actually happened to the WTC. “newbies” assume it was destroyed by fire and gravity. However, observation proves this is not what happened. The buildings did not burn, nor did they slam on the ground – they turned mostly to dust in mid air. When you have seen and understood this truth and evidence for yourself, then you can move forward and understand why this article ended up being posted in the first place.

  6. I remember being told of the 9/11 attack on the day it happened. I thought to myself, “Sure. The Americans will have done it to themselves.” When I emigrated from England to Spain I was amazed to meet people who actually believed the Bin Laden story. It was baffling that people didn’t think the Bin Ladens being colleagues of the Bushes was significant. The only reason for the Bin Laden family being flown out of the U.S. on the day of the event that makes sense to me, is that their job was to develop the terrorist side of the war on terror.
    Clearly that is not an academic comment. The scientific materialism of academics makes it harder for them to emerge from the minutiae and use pattern recognition skills. In fact they’re not allowed to, as this case shows.
    My prediction for this year was that science would lose prestige, which is not a good thing. Maybe it’s time to review the function of science.

  7. proftonyhall says:

    Any honest and conscientious scholar familiar with the relevant literature cannot in good conscience advance the position that there is an established consensus about who did what to whom on 9/11 and why. Within three weeks of the event the USA went to war with Afghanistan based on a speculative and unproven theory about the responsibility of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda for the 9/11 crimes. Just as Afghanistan was being attacked, there was a bioweapon attack on the US Congress. The attacks were directed at US Senators Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy who were then intent on slowing down the process of rushing the Patriot Act through Congress. Prof. Graeme MacQueen in his book on the subject presents the evidence that the high quality military grade anthrax probably came from within the US Armed Forces. I am not aware of any credible challenge to this interpretation.

    Once the USA had gone to war with another country on the basis of the interpretation first given out by Ehud Barack on the BBC on the morning of 9/11, there was never any chance an authentic investigation of the evidence would ever take place. The Philip Zelikow/9/11 Commission report is a model of fiction writing presented as fact. Much of the “evidence” came from torture sessions in violation of many principles of domestic and international law. Clearly the comments so far come mostly from younger academic careerists who defiantly look away from this history to pretend that some sort of dignified academic process has taken place to determine the substance of what actually transpired on 9/11. Those in this camp who have jumped in the issue so far in such a blinkered, reactionary and power-serving manner probably cannot be aware of just how thoroughly ridiculous they are made to look look to those who of us who have actually gone to the trouble to do some independent investigating.

    Anthony James Hall
    Professor Emeritus
    University of Lethbridge, Alberta Canada

  8. Marshalldoc says:

    Thanks for publishing this summary of a shameful debate occurring the cloisters of academia. The one word not used in your essay is ‘censorship’; which, to me, seems to be the functional effect of the criticism for publishing the article. As you’ve seen with your own exposures of the facts behind the Syrian regime-change war, criticism is rarely based on a logical, facts-based, argument but more often on ad hominem attacks against the author or against the concept of challenging the ‘received wisdom’. This event seems to be similar. I don’t personally know all the issues involved in the 9/11 attack but, having read the Commission Report, I do know if fails to address many valid issues its critics raise. For academics to suggest such inquiry (especially in an academic milieu) is either ‘off-limits’ or ‘taboo’ if a negation of the academic tradition in which poor arguments are countered with better arguments rather than derision & threats. Without trying to be ‘conspiratorial’, one might well ask why these critics are unwilling to engage in a serious debate. I am most certainly not suggesting there is a conspiracy of silence to preserve the ‘Party LIne’.

    • Villien B says:

      After 1984 by Georges Orwell we can name the avoidance of adversary arguments :
      Crimestop. ( the faculty of stopping short at the threshold of any dangerous thought. It includes the power of not grasping analogies, of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the simplest arguments if they stand in conflict with one’s beliefs or the doxa, and of being repelled by any train of statements leading to politically unacceptable positions ). It can be understood as a materialisation of the mental state of cognitive dissonance.

      • M. Vuorinen, MSc (Economics), MSc (Social psychology; pending) says:

        “It can be understood as a materialisation of the mental state of cognitive dissonance.”
        I do 100% agree this statement.

  9. Pingback: Academic groupthinkers pile on a prof who dared raise questions about 9/11 – NEWS FROM UNDERGROUND

  10. iafantomo says:

    Whoever did it, it is up to the government to provide evidence for their narrative, and for journalists and academics to question that. When academics resort to ad hominem attacks rather than analyse according to academic criteria, then we have to worry not only about them, but also about quality control in their institutions. If, when I was a student of physics in the 1960s I had found my professors involved in such behaviour, or misrepresenting or covering up truths as seems to be happening now in academia on a grand scale, then I would have undergone a crisis in confidence in my course. A professor’s entire output is in words, and if those words cannot be relied on at least in their purpose, then the professor has no value as an academic. I would have regarded my degree as worthless if I had gained it, but more likely I would have left the course. What is the point of Physics? Remember Galileo? We have similar experiences over here in the UK, too. I organise the meetings for Keep Talking in London, in which we invite speakers on such topics on a voluntary basis, doing the work that should be being done by academics and journalists. We’ve found fake unis here, too.

  11. John Schoneboom says:

    Thanks Tim. I don’t see how any functioning academic could possibly find anything other than rock solid common sense in your argument. It is continually astonishing to see how many people quite hysterically abandon all notions of normal academic discourse, of dispassionate consideration of evidence and argument, the moment certain hallowed official narratives are invoked. It is the one repetitive and dependable reality that I can never get used to. It is also a phenomenon worthy of additional study in its own right.

  12. We’ve been following this U. S. Government conspiracy theory (propagated by NIST) since the morning of Wednesday, September 12, 2001. Being just a simple U. S. citizen, when the first two towers collapsed on Tuesday, it occurred to me that they looked a little bit like controlled demolitions. And, with the collapse of WTC Tower 7 later Tuesday afternoon, well I was convinced that that was a controlled demolition. And so, it was certainly within the next 24 hours, that I began a Google search on “controlled demolition” to see if any “experts” had weighed in on the collapses. And the article of significance that the search found was the September 11, 2001 interview in the Albuquerque Journal mentioning that Dr. Van Romero, Vice President for Research and Economic Development, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, and former Director of the Institute’s Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center, that is to say, a person with some expertise in explosive materials and the effects of explosions on buildings and other structures, e. g., aircraft, while in Washington, D. C. that day to discuss war-funded (euphemistically, defense-funded) research projects for the Institute, suggested that, indeed, it was his opinion that “there were some explosive devices inside the buildings that caused the towers to collapse.”

    You can readily imagine why he retracted his comments ten days later – to the tune of having the Institute be named a Wall Street Journal “hot school” for its research in counter-terrorism (October 5, 2001), being appointed national chairperson of the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium (2002), procuring $15 million for the Institute’s anti-terrorism program that same year, and being named the nation’s top lobbyist for procuring $56 million worth of appropriations for the Institute (2003).

    Since that time I have tried to keep abreast of more recent developments via the WWW sites of the: World Trade Center Survivor’s Network, Family Steering Committee for the 9/11 Independent Commission (including the Jersey Girls), 911 Truth Organization, Scholars for 9/11 Truth & Justice and their Journal of 9/11 Studies, Firefighters for 9/11 Truth & Unity, Pilots for 9/11 Truth, and Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth.

    The latter group not only completed (in 2015) a publication entitled “Beyond Misinformation: What Science Says About the Destruction of World Trade Center Buildings 1, 2, and 7,” but also was instrumental in helping to fund Dr Leroy Hulsey’s, et alia, study “A Structural Reevaluation of the Collapse of WTC 7,” whose preliminary final results – that WTC 7 did not come down as a result of fires – were announced on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 and opened for peer review.

    Now, truth be told, “science” is taking it on the chin (in the U. S. from the Tea Party, other right-wingnuts, and the Ziocons). So, we, apparently, have to lay out the scientific principles in advance: 1) Unprecedented causes should not, without good reasons, be posited to explain familiar occurrences. One properly assumes, unless there is extraordinary evidence to the contrary, that each instance of a familiar occurrence was produced by the same causal factors that brought about the previous instances; 2) When there is a most likely explanation for some phenomenon, the investigation should begin with the hypothesis that this explanation is indeed the correct one. Doing otherwise would suggest that the investigator’s work is being determined by some extra-scientific motive, rather than the simple desire to discover the truth; and 3) None of the relevant evidence should be ignored.

    Of course “Beyond Misinformation” is just a 42-page booklet. So, we continued to study the official reports and the studies referenced in the booklet, as well as Dr. Hulsey’s, et alia, work, a process which only supported the scientific explanation that “WTC1, WTC2, and WTC7 were destroyed in a procedure known as ‘controlled demolition.'”

    Meanwhile, NIST continues stonewalling with their unsubstantiated mantra – “The World Trade Center Twin Towers (WTC 1 and WTC 2) collapsed (for the first and only time in the history of high rise buildings) due to damage from airplane impacts and fires, while World Trade Center Building 7 (WTC 7) collapsed completely and symmetrically into its own footprint due to office fires ignited by debris from the earlier collapse of WTC 1.” And, will not release certain computer modeling data and other information used by then in their investigation of the collapse of WTC 7 based on a July 7, 2009 “Finding Regarding Public Safety Information” – wait for it . . . that the release of said data and information “might jeopardize public safety.”

    I’m sorry for NIST’s plight and I must say that I, too, would like to urge greater transparency in the scientific process regarding the collapse of WTC7 on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. Logically, I fail to see how withholding the computer modeling information ensures any type of public safety. Rather than anything in the public interest, to me it looks like NIST is continuing their deceptive practices.

  13. Gary Weglarz says:

    It is all rather stunning – to see academics act like such a mob of completely uniformed idiots. Unable to form a rational, evidence based challenge to the material – if they even read it – they simply shoot the messengers and attempt to claim some moral high ground. The reflexive defense of the State by MSM and members of the military and intelligence services is to be expected. However, these are members of the academic community where critical thinking and evidence should trump the knee jerk defense of State narratives on ANY topic. This would be laughable were it not so frightening in its implications for the state of Western academia.

  14. fremo.remo. says:

    A wonderful strike to the heart of 911 Demolition denial. To have reasoned and objective arguments contesting the Official Conspiracy Theory [OCT] peer reviewed and published, before the blind and reactionary censorship of it, is rare and a coup for truth. God knows the shame ‘academia’ will feel the day they understand they were played just like everybody else.

  15. Terry Byrne says:

    What is so crazy about all this is that there isn’t a shred of evidence for the US governments’ official conspiracy theory. evidence was promised by both the US government and the UK government for Osama bin Laden’s involvement but none was ever presented.

    World trade centre seven fell at free fall speed for the first 2.25 seconds, 105 feet, eight stories. NIST, The US federal government agency studying this fully admitted freefall after lying about it.
    everyone knows that freefall cannot occur without a controlled demolition.

    Everyone also knows that Osama bin Laden and 19 Muslim hijackers could not set up a controlled demolition in a building that according to the official story they came nowhere near.

    • RONALD WATSON says:

      Dear Mr. Byrne,
      Shortly after the tragedy of 9/11, … I personally spoke to the ( at that time ) head of an European Secret Service and a personal friend . At the time George Bush Jr. was exposing the Terrorist Leader as Osama Bin Laden, … this Internationally acclaimed Terrorist Expert advised me … ” We feel that Osama Bin Laden had nothing to do with the terrorist attack. ” When I asked, .. ” Whom do you believe carried it out then ? ” His response was … ” No comment, ” Years later when I spoke to him again, … his response was … ” No comment. ” Everyone should know by now who was behind it all, … yet NO ONE WANTS TO INCUR THE WRATH OF THE USA and ISRAEL.

  16. RONALD WATSON says:

    I have been a Blaster & Demolitions Expert in Manitoba, Canada for 40 years before retirement. I did a DOCUMENTARY on YouTube TITLED : 9/11 Truth With Blasting and Demolitions Expert Ron Watson I have studied the tragic events of September 11, 2001 for 18 years and I can assure the Academics who criticize Dr. Hughes WITHOUT first studying the SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN evidence eg. ( Newton’s Laws of Physics being violated not once but at least twice in one morning obviously with the destruction of WTC1 and WTC2 and one additional time with WTC7 … obvious to only a demolitions expert ) that rather than being the learned men/women they purport to be, … they are missing too many points to be smearing anyone and should be offering both Dr. Hughes and the Editor of Alternatives an apology as well as a little humble pie might be ordered and consumed.

  17. Andy Beckett says:

    This is a great piece that shows the underlying hard wiring of how social
    Is very
    Much a belief wiromg
    system that once imposed
    On a people
    Is very
    Difficult to accept academic inquiries

  18. Rikki Simm says:

    Thank you for a very thorough academic summary of what really matters in examining this issue. The comments here also pursue a persistent path of logic which ultimately arrives at the goal of all academic pursuits: To confront people with not only a conclusion, but also the means of following for themselves the reasoning which led to the conclusion.

  19. Rikki Simm says:

    Thank you for a very thorough academic summary of what really matters in examining this issue. The comments here also pursue a persistent path of logic which ultimately arrives at the goal of all academic pursuits: To confront people with not only a conclusion, but also the means of following for themselves the reasoning which led to the conclusion.

  20. wardropper says:

    Thank you for a very thorough academic summary of what really matters in examining this issue. The comments here also pursue a persistent path of logic which ultimately arrives at the goal of all academic pursuits: To confront people with not only a conclusion, but also the means of following for themselves the reasoning which led to the conclusion.

  21. Dennis Kogl says:

    I’m amazed that so-called “Academics” would react that way. These people purport to understand the scientific method but react in a hysterical fashion. This reflects badly on those individuals that should have displayed more restraint and not have reacted frivolously.

    • Chris Goodwin says:

      Well, they are just that – “Academics” – not Scientists or Engineers or Architects or Demolition experts or people in any way technically competent. They are Social(ist) “Scientists” – aka Philosophers – whose skill is to construct a plausible narrative that can be “Believed IN” by people who want to believe: it is a religion. Those who disagree, who do not believe, are then to be treated as Heretics – to be excoriated and driven from the hole places-

  22. Tom Welsh says:

    Surely the immense, emotionally charged hostility to articles such as Dr Hughes’s can best be explained by psychological – even psychoanalytic – motives.

    An event like 9/11 is terrifying to anyone with the slightest imagination. Not just in forcing us to admit that any of us can be destroyed with immense violence and without a moment’s warning; but also in shaking our complacent assurance that the world we inhabit is safe, predictable and regular.

    Once an explanation – such as the US government’s account of 9/11 – has been offered and generally accepted, there is therefore huge resistance to any re-opening of the “wound”. What is alleged by the official story to have happened is quite bad enough. To start contemplating alternatives – such as that the US government itself, or the Israelis – were responsible, causes the ground to shake beneath our feet.

    Hence the violent, almost raging, rejection not only of Dr Hughes’s specific paper, but of any suggestion that the official story might be questioned. Psychologically, it’s like suggesting a midnight visit to a graveyard to dig up the body of an alleged vampire and examine it. Many people find that terrifying.

    • Tom Welsh says:

      I came across this just the next day: very succinct.

      “One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back”.

      – Carl Sagan, “The Demon-Haunted World : Science as a Candle in the Dark”, Ch. 13 : Obsessed with Reality, p. 241

  23. Sam Haschets says:

    “and with a U.S. Federal Grand Jury on 9/11 having been announced,” this is simply false. The US Attorney acknowledged receipt and acknowledged the requirements of the law – nothing more.

    • Terry Byrne says:

      The US attorney has a statutory duty to empanel a grand jury. No one in the public knows whether he has fulfilled this statutory duty.

  24. Robert J. Randall says:

    My thanks to all the prior responders. I am a structural engineer and an early joiner of AE911Truth. I am sometimes labelled as a paranoid conspiracy theorist, probably rightly. I have given up on trying to convince even my own family of the truth about 911 and instead come to realize that there have been many major disinformation campaigns in our nation’s history and will undoubtedly continue to be. But reading these pesponses helps reassure me that I am not nuts. Thanks.

    • Ronnie says:

      I have also stopped trying to convince others, and it has been even more difficult to come to terms with the realisation that human beings are absolutely not evidence led, than the fact that 9/11 was most certainly an inside job. Re being called a conspiracy nut, I now just say that I understand freefall 😉

      Oh yes, and Tim, great piece!

  25. Since the original article is behind a paywall, I have not read it. But if an article “should never have gone out to peer review”, how exactly did it pass the peer review it should never have gone out to?

    • RONALD WATSON says:

      Dear Sir,
      You would be surprised by the number of so called Academics who may well be knowledgeable in their own specialized field but are totally ignorant of the world around them. The definition of an EXPERT is someone who knows more and more about less and less. Then we also have the BRAINWASHING by the MEDIA who are 60% owned by the very people whose MOTHERLAND was involved in 9/11 up to their Kippahs.

  26. Desmond KAhn says:

    The “academics” attacking the journal for publishing the substantive critique of IR “scholars” are striking in that not one of these criticisms has any substantive content. They are full of outrage that the topic has even been raised in polite society. Speaking as a biologist who has tried to study the scientific process, these critics are not scientists in any way, shape or form. Rather, they are dogmatics. Part of the search for truth is testing ideas by confronting them with facts, those stubborn things that can be very inconvenient. Having studied the evidence that the 9-11 tragedy was caused partly by explosives pre-set in the three buildings that collapsed on 9-11, I am convinced that it is strong. I challenge any of these critics to go to the website of Architects and Engineers for 9/121 Truth and rebut the evidence presented there. They can’t do it. Science marches of, even if its findings are reviled, either by Donald Trump or the indignified IR “academics”.

    • Terry Byrne says:

      Actually Desmond, Trump said that he believed there were explosives in the twin towers. He also said that when he became president he was going to show what really happened. Ah well, One truthful statement and then more Trump lies.

      • M. Vuorinen, Finland (EUROPE) says:

        Here is the Trump’s truthful interview from 11th September 2001. He knows that “bombs must have been used”

        (Later he started lying/hiding the truth).

      • Terry Byrne says:

        Maybe just maybe if all those who know and accept the truth of 911 Truth started to snow the media with all these
        irrefutable truths about the US governments’ lies they would have to sit up and take notice.
        So instead of all of us true believers talking to and at each other why not form a group that blankets the news media?

  27. RONALD WATSON says:

    Sadly, … the whole of the USA is one big LIE !

  28. Spinky says:

    Now academics are being subject to the same trolling as the rest of us. Batten down the hatches and stick up for honest debate, because otherwise we will lose it. Social media has not only got programmed bots now attacking anyone broaching a taboo subject, but also paid teams of astroturfers who use intimidation and abuse to try to force their censorship on the rest of us. In the end, publishers are in the business for $$ and will probably retract it, and this should encourage all academics to re appraise the publishing industry as a whole — ask your academic librarians about access and publishers’ control nowadays — it’s time to support open publishing via academic institutions and stop paying to view research that was funded by public dollars in the first place. All research should be available to the public, and there should be no censorship of debate, and debate should not take place on twitter with the use of character assassination.

  29. Thank you, Prof. Tim Hayward, for your present review regarding the irrational and contrived controversy surrounding Dr. David A. Hughes’s paper “9/11 Truth and the Silence of the IR Discipline”, published in the journal Alternatives: Global, Local, Political. I myself have written extensively on the topic of the 9/11 attacks, and this is an issue that I have been addressing in one form or another since the very day of the attacks: as indeed, I was anticipating something on the order of said attacks, as the US government had priorly been priming the public for an eventual major terrorist incident.

    For those who would like irrefragable physicochemical proof that the 9/11 attacks were an inside job by deep-state elements of the US government–i.e., via the use of large quantities of thermite in the case of the collapse of the three destroyed World Trade Center towers–see pp. 75-84 of my following article:

    * James Redford, “The Physics of God and the Quantum Gravity Theory of Everything”, Social Science Research Network (SSRN), Sept. 10, 2012 (orig. pub. Dec. 19, 2011), 186 pp., doi:10.2139/ssrn.1974708.

    My foregoing article concerns physicist and mathematician Prof. Frank J. Tipler’s Omega Point cosmology and the Feynman-DeWitt-Weinberg quantum gravity/Standard Model Theory of Everything (TOE), which is a proof (i.e., mathematical theorem) of God’s existence per the known laws of physics (viz., the Second Law of Thermodynamics, General Relativity, and Quantum Mechanics). Tipler’s Omega Point cosmology has been extensively peer-reviewed and published in a number of the world’s leading physics and science journals. However, it also analyzes the societal implications of said, particularly the implications of the exponential advancement of technology and hence also the coming radical life-extension technologies in light of a world dominated by a callous oligarchy.

  30. Pingback: The Submissive Void of INTELLIGENSIA – New Zealand 911 Truth

  31. Pablo Novi says:

    Wonderful. fyi:
    Best (short) Vdeo: “9/11 Explained in 5 Minutes” (by James Corbett of CorbettReport)

    Best 1-pg Leaflet: “End All The Wars & Police States, NOW!”
    (also known as, “The 9/11 Truth UNITY Manifesto”; original version by Pablo Novi – me);
    can be found as the “Pinned Post” as well as the top, most recent, document in the “Files” section / tab of (my) Facebook page: “International 9/11 Fraud Awareness Week”:

    The leaflet lays out & REFUTES ALL 27 – 33 major component claims of the US Gov 9/11 Official Conspiracy Theory; (organized by: “People” “Places” & “Planes”). grouped into 9-11 sections.

    It was UNANIMOUSLY approved by the “9/11 Truth-Leaders … Teleconference” (in October 2016; at a meeting of some 40 9/11 Truth Movement leaders; representing all the 9/11 Truth Movement’s very diverse trends).

  32. Craig Maxwell says:

    After reading the published article I can understand how raw emotion and unfettered verbal violence, devoid of disciplined intellect erupts from otherwise rational approaches of disagreement. The scope, depth and breath of the article dismantles, not just bits and pieces of civil order, but the whole-cloth of truth and trust in government.

    It’s not to say that anyone part is true or false, but as a whole, if accurate, where does anyone person/scholar find refuge from the total corruption and abuse of total power? The whole as argued, in my opinion, creates a hopeless vacuum of despair; in the simple minded view, releasing the truth implodes the star of democracy, and unwinds the delicate framework of our constitution. The path to the truth invokes the revolution so delicately touched on.

    This said, and with my background as a participating member of one of the groups mentioned, I find the article logical and comprehensive – perhaps to comprehensive for comfort.

    My limited view seeks truth as it relates to the credibility of my field’s academic achievements and our architectural and engineering profession at large. True, my search for truth is much more narrow then all that being addressed in the article. For practical reasons, and to breakdown the behemoth picture into manageable pieces, I ask the academic IR peers to reconsider the visceral emotion and punishment approach aimed at the publisher and author(s), and to focus more on factual dialogue particularly critical to healthy IR improvements – your field of interest.

    The points and questions raised within the article are valid, and although they ring true of a conspiracy to hide truth, and they academically fit the form of a theory, there mere mention and the suggestion to seek answers does not constitute a conspiracy. It’s a simple start for good science. If there is a conspiracy, it’s in the details of a new investigation, which the research to date demands. The official reports are simply wrong – scientifically proven wrong. Since the government undertook the investigation and wrote the conclusions, it’s there job to get it right. So far, the public does not have the truth underlying the events of 911 we are entitled too, and have paid for.

  33. Roland Melzer says:

    When Professor Alex Bellamy gives his opinion that the qualityof 9/11 resarch ranges between „nonsense on stilts and complete gibberish“ he actually highlights the fact, that there is very little academic literature critically dealing with the official narrative concerning the events of 9/11 – which is exactly the point made by Professor Hughes.
    This is strange given the grotesque implausibility of NIST‘s report concerning WTC7. NIST‘s collapse hypotheses is based on the assumption that extremly hot fires caused thermal expansion of steel beams, which then pushed a girder off its seat on one of the central columns of the building (Column 79). This is supposed to have led to a chain-reaction resulting in global collapse at 5:20 pm in the afternoon. In the report there is an important disclaimer, however: „Note that only the window glass breaking times were prescribed in the fire model. The observed fire activity gleaned from the photographs and videos was not a model input, and thus one should not expect a perfect correspondence between predicted high temperatures and observed fire activity.“ (NIST NCSTAR 1-9, Structural Fire Response and Probable Collapse Sequence of World Trade Center Building 7, page 378). A clarification of this disclaimer is added on page 382 regarding fire activity on floor 12: „The burning time near the north face was longer in the simulation than in the visual evidence, […]“.
    What this means is, that the visual evidence shows that the fires in the northeast corner of the 12th floor had already burned out as soon as 15:44 pm. In the simulation, however, fire intensity would reach its climax 15 minutes later than that in this specific region. So NIST states quite frankly that there they were aware of a drastic doscrepancy between their simulation and the event in the real world – and ignored it. This is not the only „weakness“ in NIST NCSTAR 1-9. The resulting (positive!) claim that WTC7 collapsed due to fire is to be considered as fraudulent.

    • Terry Byrne says:

      NIST lied, bald faced, many times, contradicting what they had said previous ly. John Gross grossly lied denying the existence of World trade Centre seven molten steel. He stated that he had been in the steelyard and had seen no evidence for it and yet a few years later freedom of information act revealed pictures of the same John Gross pointing to and touching the end of a previously molten steel beam/girder.
      Molten steel vaporized Ladd Walton iron microspheres, molten molybdenum described by the RJ Lee group in the US GS mean that there were no Muslim hijackers.

      • Terry Byrne says:

        That last paragraph didn’t turn out well – the product of dictation on a small phone screen.
        Molten steel vaporized Ladd Walton iron microspheres, molten molybdenum described by the RJ Lee group in the US GS mean that there were no Muslim hijackers.


        Molten steel, 2800F vaporized lead, 3180F iron microspheres, 2800F, molten molybdenum 4180F, described by the RJ Lee group and the USGS mean that there were no Muslim hijackers.

  34. Truther says:

    Google the dancingisraelis

  35. Villien says:

    Thoughtcrime is the concept that represent best the behavior of those academics who refuse to enter any discussion with the critics of the official account of the 911 events.

  36. Rhett Micheletti says:

    Are any of us really surprised to see such organized efforts to condemn and silence 9/11’s questioning and dissenting voices? Is it just more conspiratorial thinking, or common sense to consider that such orchestration very likely reveals the conductor’s hand? I believe one need only consider our government’s history of CoIntelPro operations directed against it own courageous citizens who dared to speak truth to power.

    Let there be no doubt that every American’s obligation is to never stop questioning our government, most especially on issues as critically important as 9/11. But let us bear witness to our faith in science by only respecting answers delivered through rigorous and peer reviewed scrutiny, repeatable testing, and consensus-based proof.

    And finally, let us not waste our time and energy on those who oppose answers provided by unimpeachable science, but instead allow their hollow accusations and unscholarly condemnations of such science to reveal them as the charlatans, cowards, and criminals they most certainly are.

  37. Vern says:

    I have thought of this situation and came to the conclusion that it is a conspiracy involving politicians from within the corporate USA and other countries such as Israel and that to this present time they’re still proceeding with a New World Order and a greater Israel as the main objective and are willing to do whatever it takes to obtain this goal.

    • RONALD WATSON says:

      Gear Vern,
      I find it interesting and very disturbing that the Children and Grandchildren of the leaders of Israel are doing exactly the same to the Palestinians as the Nazi did to the Jews of Europe 80 years ago … committing Genocide and Theft. I am NOT a RACIST, … but I have trouble with a people who actually BELIEVE they are GOD”S CHOSEN PEOPLE above all other peoples. I am glad I am an ATHEIST, … I prefer the term REALIST as I can love my fellow man despite his/her RELIGION. I maintain the filthiest words in ANY language are : POLITICS and RELIGION

      • Terry Byrne says:

        There are lots of these gods chosen people – The BRITs, Americans,Australians, Canadians, … . Just look at the countries that have invaded since 911 .

      • RONALD WATSON says:

        Dear Mr. Byrne,
        Having studied the events and subsequent events of 9/11, … I come to the irreconcilable conclusion that all the wars fought by the USA post 9/11 are either PROXY WARS for ISRAEL or their American Corporations witch are 80 % Jewish Owned ( information published at one time I believe by the New York Times regarding the fact that 60 % of Media are also Jewish owned, … yet Jewish people make up less than 2 % of the US population ).

      • Terry Byrne says:

        Thanks for your reply Mr. Watson. I am of the opinion that it is Zionists, not so much Jews who are responsible for SOME of these problems. The much larger problem is the fault of the USA and the UK, with the little shits like Canada Australia etc. also contributing to the evil.
        Americans and BRITs Canadians … too are as responsible as any Jews Who is Support this cabal of evil.
        Remember what Henry Kissinger says, “The US has neither permanent friends nor enemies just interests”. Those interests are a voracious greed stealing the wealth from the poor of the world. The UK has invaded 93% of the countries of the world, it has stolen vast sums of wealth and the USA is the new UK. The USA stole 60% of Mexico’s land, it has raped and pillaged Latin America since the 1840s. Western powers are now and have always been the main contributor to the worlds problems.

      • RONALD WATSON says:

        Dear Mr. Byrne,
        I could not agree more. I am ashamed of MY ( shitty little Canada ).!

  38. David A. Hughes says:

    Thank you, Tim, for your timely and eloquent intervention and thank you to everyone who has made a positive contribution in the comments section.

    Now that academic attempts at censorship have failed, more insidious attempts appear to be underway. Twitter appears to be shadow-banning my article and Altmetric refuses to record any of the dozen blogs, Facebook groups, and Pubpeer sites on which it appears, meaning that it will cease trending on the Observatory of International Research earlier than it should.

    I was recently sent a comment by another academic who used to work on 9/11 truth. That person, who shall remain nameless, wrote,

    “If you write something that in any respect diverges from US/UK discourse, the campaign against you will be cruel and ruthless, and the more recognized you are as a scholar, the more brutal will the attempt be to discredit you. […] Writing is in this sense a balancing act, and if you say one word that is ‘controversial,’ if you make one step aside of the thin line, you will fall into the dark world of ‘conspiracy,’ where no one will take you seriously. That is the logic of the ‘public sphere’ today […]”

    As all goes quiet during the new period of online censorship, it stands to reason that “cruel and rutheless” plans are being made to attack and undermine my professional reputation. Perhaps this may take the form of a media smear campaign, but if it did, that would only confirm the truth of my article in the same way that the hostile tweets by academics did. I am therefore concerned that it could be something worse. I say this preemptively, so that should any such attack occur in the coming weeks, months, and years, it can immediately be recognised as politically motivated – an attempt by the ruling class to tarnish and discredit the author rather than allow earnest intellectual debate on an issue that calls its legitimacy into question.

    I urge all academics not to stay silent on the issue of 9/11 any longer. There are too many important unanswered questions, with too many far-reaching consequences.

    For those who find my article worthwhile, please keep spreading it through your networks in whatever ways possible. We must resist the war on truth under the existing censorship regime.


    • Terry Byrne says:

      I applaud you, David A Hughes, for your bravery and your academic excellence. I called my university to see if I could get a copy of your article and it seems I can if I travel to the library, Being that I am no longer a student nor a staff member. Just an old old alumni.
      I emailed Emmett McFarlane, The University of Waterloo professor who blocked Professor Tim Hayward. So far no response. I have also been trying to make contact with the academic integrity section of Waterloo university to offer my opinion that Emmett has breached sad academic integrity guidelines.

    • Terry Byrne says:

      D Hughes: “please keep spreading it through your networks in whatever ways possible.”

      Are you saying that it’s possible/kosher/legal/fair/just to copy and paste your article wherever we can, Dr Hughes?

      • David A. Hughes says:

        Not exactly. Technically the correct thing to do is to link to (and that indeed gives me due credit, rather than people linking to other websites, some of which have shamelessly stolen all the content to attract traffic).

        Perhaps I should have said “please keep spreading the word about it” (always using the link above). For example, my article currently lacks exposure on Wikipedia, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, and Youtube (admittedly it will probably be censored in some way on all of those platforms). There’s no harm tweeting about it, provided you don’t mind your account being temporarily suspended (as several people have let me know). Some 9/11 Facebook groups have picked up on it, others have not. Supporters may know of trustworthy alternative media outlets and blogs that may wish to feature it. One person has mentioned it on Reddit, but more could. Comments on Pubpeer would also be helpful. And of course, just making sure people are aware of it within your own private and professional networks also helps to get the word out.

        Conspicuously, despite all the controversy generated by my article regarding a topic of international significance, not one mainstream media outlet anywhere in the world has mentioned it. Speaks volumes to the power of the censorship regime we’re up against.

        Thank you for your support,


    • Ronald Watson says:

      Dear Dr. Hughes,
      Shortly after giving a written statement to the Lawyer’s Committee for 9/11 Truth on the method used to bring down WTC I , WTC II, and WTC VII, … I was threatened at a Canada/US Border Crossing by US Homeland Security that at any time they felt like it, … they would find something in my vehicle and I would NOT be returning home. I’ve never crossed again and upon contacting the Lawyer’s Committee … it was suggested that I do a DOCUMENTARY on my research and publish it on YouTube as a precaution. I did that just over a year ago, … and since I was getting up to 20 views a day for weeks and then suddenly only a trickle, … I assumed the US Government ordered YouTube to bury me. UNLESS you type in the EXACT TITLE, … the Documentary cannot be found and even then you must scroll down to find it : 9/11 Truth With Blasting & Demolitions Expert Ron Watson

    • Terry Byrne says:

      Might I ask, Mr. Hughes, how has this article been received at your own university?

  39. Terry Byrne says:

    It makes me proud no end that McCarthyism is alive and well in our oh so open and free
    Western societies.

  40. Terry Byrne says:

    Too bad you didn’t videotape your border incident, Mr Watson. Ya just never know when a surreptitious videotaping Will come in handy.

    Can anyone explain to me why German Nazis and Japanese were hung after the nuremberg and Tokyo war crimes trials but US and UK war criminals, many many more in number are collecting pensions?

    • Ronald Watson says:

      Dear Mr. Byrne
      Actually Malaysia, tried some of these goons in absentia and found them GUILTY of WAR CRIMES. LINK :
      Sir, … If I’d attempted to video tape the US Home Security ( actually I was locked up for about 20 minutes while they searched my vehicle, and only when I was about to leave did they threaten me ) … I would have had my cell phone confiscated. They have all the cards stacked in their favour.

      • Terry Byrne says:

        I know of the Malaysia war crimes trials. Is this why Flight 370 disappeared? US retribution?
        I was joking about videotaping. I to have seen just how ugly they can be. The US only exists for me in my nightmares.

  41. Pingback: Regarding Ignoramuses in Academe – YoNews

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  43. Isaac Siwale says:

    To: Prof. Hayward—Thank you so much for a well-thought-out article!

    To: Dr David Hughes—Brilliant paper. Well done!

    To: Dr Lacin Idil Oztig—Well done! Thank you for spreading the truth. Don’t be intimidated by pseudo-scientists masquerading as truth-seekers!

    To: Drs Nicholas Kitchen, Emmett MacFarlane, Jennifer Mustapha, Nour Halabi
    Ladies and gentlemen, I suggest you find some free time to watch this 3-minute video ( If at the end of it, you still insist on clinging to the “conspiracy theory” security blanket, then I suggest you do some serious introspection. I suggest you begin by studying Frances Shure’s essay (

    To: SAGE Publishers—I sincerely hope you do not yield to people who clearly cannot handle uncomfortable truths!

    • Terry Byrne says:

      Excellent post, Mr Siwale. Everyone must just keep chipping away. Remember how “Mr. Welch: You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?” ended another US reign of terror.

  44. Isaac Siwale says:

    Sorry I missed out Brendan Nyhan and Alex Bellamy in the message above, so here goes . . .


    I suggest you find some free time to watch this 3-minute video ( If at the end of it, you still insist on clinging to the “conspiracy theory” security blanket, then I suggest you do some serious introspection. I suggest you begin by studying Frances Shure’s essay (

  45. This overview that you have done is really a damning indication of the lack of discipline of academics who ramble on with such self-seriousness before even thinking about attempting to assemble a cogent argument. I prefer to convince myself that the majority condemn these blind outbursts silently, but even that silence is frustrating in its own right

    “a taboo subject, one which has been at the centre of a great deal of conspiracy theorizing, much of it preposterous”
    Depends on what we are talking about… Less adjectives and more tangible arguments would do much good to any research endeavour
    The “model” presented by Dr. Judy Wood -whose photographic archive Hughes peruses- would certainly belong to those, as she -a materials scientist ‘dedicated’ to 9/11- has ACTIVELY discarded the molten steel abundantly documented by onsite operators during the disaster (I personally suspect she is a saboteur)

    It is indeed difficult to swallow and takes time and reflection in order to wrap one’s head around it, yet the evidence not only suggests, but clearly states that deep underground nuclear devices -probably initially installed for civil usage- were used for demolition. It also states that airplane structures -mostly made of aluminium alloys- do not have in any way the mechanical capacity to pierce through a steel forest structure such as that of the Twin Towers ( in the way that the public was shown

    The demolition itself was a psychological operation targeted at scientific investigators. The apparent convolutedness fades away as the advantages of every component of the operation start to make sense

    Underground nuclear devices explain:
    – Aerial thermal readings that lasted two months after extinction of the fires (which themselves lasted more than three months), until February 2002: into New York’s cold winter
    – The estimate obtained for a MINIMUM value of thermal energy released by the Ground Zero site as assessed by François Roby (among other things he did)
    – The ‘out-of-our-experience’ pulverization of the buildings’ steel columns seen in videos (such as, since underground nuclear explosions produce a shockwave that shatters the material surrounding the plasma ball, as described in military literature. There are mathematical laws that govern the geometry of these explosions, which explains the desire to use them in civil engineering. Roby has done some historiographic work in that direction
    – The toponym “Ground Zero” itself, whose initial meaning is “the point on the land or water surface below, above, or at which an atomic or nuclear bomb detonates”
    In addition to other data, including disinformation, such as Dr. Wood’s attempt to either exclude key evidence or curtail it with excentric terminology
    Perhaps some further critical work is needed to refine his model, but Dr. Roby’s demonstration is the new standard, and ignoring it is foolish. It is hard to conceive of, it is not something that can be believed or rejected on a short notice and may need time for familiatization, but it is what it is

    Same for the “airplanes”
    Anyone who does not believe that Newton’s laws are passé can see it (all of mechanics is literally built on them as long as relativistic and quantum realms are left alone). Alumnium alloy vs. steel is not even a competition
    Newtonian mechanics is the immovable argument for the inexistence of the planes shown on videos, work on the video fakery front such as that of Ace Baker ( is only the cherry on the cake, so to speak

    On a sociological level, there are structures of control at play that help delay salutary insights. But on a psychological level, if a physics student can see it, then professionals more so. Which means that we are not dealing with a problem of irrationality or arrogance, but of cowardice

    Apologies if my words seem harsh…

    • Ronald Watson says:

      Dear Mourad Dahami,
      Thermal nuclear detonations my ass. Photographic evidence of massive steel girders being hurled up to 600 feet laterally and the photographic evidence, if looked at frame by frame which I have done clearly shows detonations on every few floors in rapid sequence starting from the top and working their way downward. Are you Sir a professional demolitions ( explosives expert ) ?? Well, … I am … 40 years of doing this work every bloody day. Rethink your theory and watch : You too could learn a lesson by studying Newton’s Laws. It did not take a thermal nuclear blast to bring down the Towers, only the availability of nano thermitic ( samples of which have been independently found by several scientists and peer reviewed published ) material as possessed by the USA Military, the Israeli Military and Russian Military. The first two are the culprits along with possibly Saudi Arabia financing and possibly other at yet unknown accomplices.
      … Ron Watson

      • With all due respect, Mr. Watson, “your ass” is irrelevant: either you have localized and isolated the flaw in the argument and you can articulate a counter-argument clearly listing the ‘misused’ fundamental physical concepts and clearly detailing how they were ‘misused’, or not. Generic statements about expertise are not sufficient, no matter how ‘confident’, you must already know that

        The necessary calculation has already been done regarding the nuclear component: the quantity of heat released is the key; not Newton’s laws. This key is obtained through a thermodynamic study, not just mechanics. This is a detailed scientific paper speaking, not a WordPress comment; by a professional -and quite skillful and rigorous, I might add- CNRS physicist, not a mere student. Add to this that steel columns were not invariably being hurled away during the collapse: some faded into ‘dust’ while still standing

        That said, I should have indeed added that Roby did not exclude the use of other devices above the deep nuclear zero-box, including the nanothermite widely adopted in classic WTC demolition models: which cannot last for the duration that was documented. Given the masses of matter at play, no chemical process can account ALONE for even a minimum value of the total energy released to begin with. Roby has formally excluded this scenario through an examination of physical quantities fundamental to the makeup of matter itself. The Towers were huge, complex structures, and a complex demolition procedure would be understandable, a priori (Not to mention any potential red herrings planted by the culprits). As I have said, there may be space for refinement, but the heat and pulverization issues cannot be unseen. The core instrument was necessarily nuclear

        Since you too are an expert -which I am not, as already stated-, it would be fantastic to se e trustworthy investigators cooperate, including through pertinent critique, instead of calling out each other without even thinking (although it is understandable because of the amount of time and effort they put into it, aside from the active disinformation operators). Dr. Roby has no more time to waste with nonsense than you do, and without support, he is currently paying the price for his work to denounce the asphyxiating atmosphere in France Critical academics MUST find an angle to push for a release of the stranglehold on permissible scientific discourse and permissible discourse in general

        Thank you for the link, I will watch it at once, but I am afraid a missile -the well-known explanation given in the section linked to- is not enough to allow a plane to go through the Tower façades from end to end with no aircraft piece breaking off and falling back outside. A missile’s effect is simply too limited for that purpose

        And again, Ace Baker has locked onto enough evidence of video compositing to seal the deal

        I insist and remind that although incredible at first glance -and even after giving it some initial thought-, the procedure was engineered with a psychological effect in mind, including on people with professional backgrounds

        9/11 was planned to last for a very long time, and this assumption needs to have its knees shattered as soon as possible

      • A parting remark I forgot to add

        If indeed minimal consensus is needed in order to transition to action, scientific discussion, once engaged in, is by definition unable to take these considerations into account

        Meaning, this is not an attempt to break ranks. Roby’s work simply sets a new bar for radical enquiry on 9/11, and it needs to find a way to be acknowledged

    • Roland Melzer says:

      Had there been a thermal nuclear detonation – even if far below the Twin Towers – there would have been measurably higher radioactive emissions in New York City ever since that day. Radioactivity is not a short term effect. There does not seem to be, though. I also agree with Ronald Watson. Visual evidence does not point to a single explosion below ground level, but to thousands of them far above ground, rapidly progessing downward.
      The top sections of the towers are in fact mostly pulverized before they even reach the impact-zones of the planes.

      • You are breezing over my comments, I clearly corrected the record by stating that above-ground explosives were not ruled out

        If a non-nuclear ‘explanation’ is adopted, that would leave at the very least the columns pulverized WHILE STILL STANDING and the quantity of heat released over five months. What is to be done with these observations? Leave them floating in the ether?

        As for radioactivity (the reason for UNDERGROUND devices being used), Roby’s paper touches upon it:
        “radioactive contamination, although unavoidable, can be restricted to some safe levels according to Teller et al. [Authors of the book “The Constructive Uses of Nuclear Explosives”]”
        Roby later raises the question of whether reported cancer cases surrounding the event could be checked for relevant physiological effects

        Roby’s work is very detailed and quite holistic, each observation must be given its proper weight in setting up the problem for solution. It is his paper that should be discussed, not my cursory comments, which means that his work should be carefully taken in beforehand. The barrier is of course not solely psychological

        I will leave it at that (really this time), and advise readers to be particularly attentive to but also wary of any objections: some can help flesh out the nuclear model, others are effectively -regardless of individual intentions- mere distractions

        Research. Compare. Include or exclude. Conclude. Act accordingly

  46. Ronald Watson says:

    Dear Mr. Mourad Dahami,
    You simply will not see the trees for the forest. Thermite burns at 4000 degrees F. A steady flow of molten metal ( iron/steel ) can be seen running NOT dripping from a corner of the one Tower. The Tons of Thermate used in the 3 World Trade Centers accounts for the tremendous
    heat detected from the Space Station weeks if not months after the collapses. This and NOT nuclear generated heat accounts for the sustained heat in the basements. As far as pulverization of the concrete ( the steel did NOT pulverize ), … I have taken down a heavily steel reinforced concrete bridge which stood a mere 15 feet above a river bed and the largest portion of the
    concrete was baseball size and that sir was using conventional explosives. If I had so desired,
    by using heavier charges, I could have turned the concrete to DUST. It does not take a thermal nuclear detonation to convert concrete to dust PERIOD. These WILD hypothesis of Nuclear Bombs only serve to muddy the water, when the water has been made crystal clear by SCIENTIFIC STUDY by experts in their respective fields. I Sir am NOT a diplomat and I call a spade a spade and not a hand held earth moving machine. Such use of language is enough to sow discord by mumble jumble when pure understandable printed word is needed. It bothers me little that you do not wish to comment further as you will only deepen the nuclear blasted hole you have fallen into.

    • Terry Byrne says:

      The evidence for The use of nano thermite to bring down WTCS 1, 2 &7 is overwhelming as is all of the evidence which is overwhelming describing the US government’s official conspiracy theory as a fairytale.

      But the really important thing or should I say the equally important thing is that the US governments official conspiracy theory has no evidence of its own. Not a single part of the roughly 4,000,000 parts found in four passenger jets has been identified as coming from any of the four alleged hijacked jets.
      The World Trade Center, molten and vaporized steel, The molten molybdenum (4750F), The vaporized lead – 3180F, The 5.87% volume of iron microspheres, the by product of thermite explosions, found in World trade Centre dust when the usual volume is .04% .
      No evidence ever provided for either Osama bin Laden’s or the alleged hijackers participation.

      Just ask yourself – Who were the people who lied bald faced lied about Iraq WMDs and all these other things.

      Just ask yourself – Cui bono – Who benefitted?

      There’s no reason for the people who hold the US governments official conspiracy theory to be a fairytale to argue with each other. Simply ask the US governments official conspiracy theory conspiracy theorists for the evidence for the US governments official conspiracy theory.

      • Terry Byrne says:

        This isn’t a reply to MV, but that’s all the website allows me to do.

        An interesting little tidbit. Of all the worlds English dictionaries that are listed on, which are all the big name dictionaries like Merriam Webster, Oxford, McMillan, … not a one of them has any entry for the word nanothermite .
        I contacted Merriam-Webster and ask them why they didn’t have an entry for this word. They told me that they put the word in the entry for . Which is a lie because there is no mention there of nano thermite.

        I posted the following comment in the comments section following the entry for thermite.
        Here is what I said. Let’s see if it stays.

        A new form of thermite was found in World trade Centre dust. this thermite is produced at the nanoscale which gives it its name, nanothermite.
        This nanoscale thermite was developed by USA Lawrence Livermore laboratories. It is according to the LL military scientists, ” A new generation of super explosives”. It can be painted on sprayed on and it can be set off remotely, which as we all can agree is a good thing with super explosives.

        The byproducts of this USA military super explosive, iron microspheres, were also found in World trade Centre dust at a volume of 150 times the normal volume found in normal office dust.

        This, Nano thermite, is the only reasonable, logical and scientific explanation for the molten/ vaporized WTC structural steel found from WTCs 1, 2 &7.

      • Ronald Watson says:

        Dear Mr. Byrne,
        Thank you, thank you, thank you. Enough bullshit has been brought forward in the never ending supposed expert opinions, … everything from Office Fires to Impact Damage to Death Rays to Nuclear Detonations when ALL has already been PROVEN and ACCEPTED in PEER REVIEWED SCIENTIFIC papers by not one but by several SCIENTISTS, yet even Academics who should know better keep wandering around with blinders on. It makes one wonder about the
        quality of Education their students are receiving.

      • Terry Byrne says:

        Tim Hayward: Any anonymous smears or abusiveness will be excluded during moderation.)

        Are we allowed to smear the opposing team?

  47. DDearborn says:


    It is not just “Academia” that is actively participating in censoring 9-11 Truths, it is also the Main Stream Media, Hollywood and of course members within the US Government itself . Beyond that is the problem with many of the so called “Alternative Media” websites which have been co-opted, bought out, or otherwise compromised to keep the truth hidden from public view. And it bears mentioning that many of these “alternative” websites were fronts for the lobbies or or the country they serve from day one.

    These efforts are usually very easy to spot because what is missing stands out like sore thumbs. They they rarely if ever mention these lobbies or the country they serve in conjunction with the events on 9-11 in any way other than as victims. Despite the mountains of direct and irrefutable evidence which link them to the attacks, these compromised sources don’t tolerate forum comments that speak to those facts, let alone the obvious conclusions they draw. The quickest way to get censored on any compromised forum is to offer any of these irrefutable facts surrounding 9-11 in evidence against “Israel” or its “lobbies” .

    We must publicly out these corrupted and compromised sources of fake news, phony narratives and re-written history because they are part of a greater conspiracy which is threatening not just individuals and entire nations which stand against this evil onslaught, but to civilization as we know it.

    • Ronald Watson says:

      The Dr. Hulsey,( UNIVERSITY of ALASKA ) … three year study of the dynamics of WTC 7 collapse just released a few days showing Scientifically the folly of NIST’s explanation of the collapse on September 11, 2001, one would think that should put the question of CONTROLLED DEMOLITION verses FIRE to rest once and for all. The propaganda circulated by the US Government and the ADDMITTED fact that many JEWISH people were advised ahead of time by a private a Messaging Company named ODEGO in HEBREW rules out any chance the ISRAELIS were not involved up to their Kippahs … La la land. The dancing Israelis who were caught photographing the ” event ” as they later called it ( back in Israel ) when the STATE DEPARTMENT released them to return to ISRAEL might also convince the most BLINDED Academic, … but since 60 % of all MAJOR MEDIA outlets in the USA are Jewish owned and the fact that 80 % of all MAJOR US CORPORATIONS are Jewish owner ( many of which are directly involved in the WEAPONS INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX ) should make the LEAST intelligent Academic ( and lord knows there are plenty of these ) … SCRATCH HIS/HER HEAD. In short you can lead a horse to water but you cannot make him drink.

      • Craig Maxwell says:

        Do us all in the engineering community a favor and stop connecting the great work of Dr. Hulsey and his team’s with “WHO DID IT.” The purpose of this study is to present well researched and analyzed proofs of WTC building 7’s true failure mode so that requests for a new investigation cannot be, in all good conscious, ignored.

        If all of us can get behind the requirement for a new investigation, which the powers to be cannot ignore, we can eventually get to the next steps of who, how and why. This is not a minor request. Most likely the next-step questions will explode into a horrible spectrum of systemic government, foreign affairs, and industry distrust. It won’t be pretty. But for now, we will never get to next-step questions (aside from dismissive conspiracies that produce nothing of value) unless there is bonafide acceptance that the existing Government’s official building(s) failure report is false and unacceptable, and our government leaders demand a new investigation that honestly, scientifically, and with believability takes into account all the evidence, and is able to stand toe-to-toe with Dr. Hulsey’s (and others) studied conclusions.

      • Ronald Watson says:

        I concur Mr. Maxwell, … most of humanity as a whole cannot accept the OBVIOUS unless led by
        the nose through learning to count to 10 by starting with 1. Sadly, … the PUBLIC will never get
        the truth unless hammered into their heads by experts in the field ( Explosives ) such as myself and even then the continual tip toeing around the subject by those who know the truth but are still too afraid to use their voice will simply bore the already apathetic masses. It matters little who ” done it “, as the Media and Corporations who benefit from propaganda and so called ” Terrorist Attack ” will NEVER publish or allow the publication of the truth. I therefore leave you ” academics ” to your mundane discussion.

      • Terry Byrne says:

        Yes, by all means, the engineering
        community should continue to do what it does best but that doesn’t mean everybody should remain silent. Those who done it have committed enormous crimes against humanity. Often the only mention is the deaths of Westerners in the towers etc. with little to no regard for the, what is it now in the millions for the peoples of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and Ukraine.
        Enormous evil has been perpetrated, on a scale that equals that of the Nazis.
        Consider what the world would’ve thought if the Nazis/Germans had perpetually whined about how they suffered.

      • Craig Maxwell says:

        AGREED. Great damage has been done… loss of life, so many lives; loss of liberty, freedom and constitutional protections, and perhaps (from my point of view) the greatest loss of all – the loss of virtue and values that without our Constitutional Republic cannot survive. In other words, we are rapidly going down the path of self destruction, which means all the lives lost building this great country are being wasted, the many blessing that our generation has been given will not be past on to our children and grandchildren, raising deep concern in all of us as to the safety, happiness, and opportunity for a better life ahead. Are we the beginning of the end to one of the greatest experiments in human development?

        So, by all means, DO NOT be silent. It is the time for patriots to raise up and speak out; too act. All I ask is to stay focused on the battle front, and avoid loosing the war by diluting the strategic importance of one intellectual battle front by spreading intellectual attention across to many intellectual fronts. I get your point that a lot more damage was done then just the 2,700+ lost lives on 911. The engineers are not the enemy and they are not whining. They are fighting for the truth – a critically important truth.

      • Terry Byrne says:

        First, I never suggested that any engineers, architects or other building professionals are whining. They have stayed perfectly professional even to the point of not pointing up the bald face lies of NIST, the 9/11 commission, Colon Powell, Bush, Cheney, virtually the entire US media, … .

        With all due respect, Mr. Maxwell, and I say this with no anger at all. Here you are focusing once again on the USA as if it has ever been a force for good.

        The US, just since World War II is responsible for the deaths of innocents that number the equivalent of 6 to 7 Holocausts, at its original calculation. The US has never had any virtue or value. That so many Americans always put their country ahead of the deaths of tens of millions illustrates this in spades.

      • DDearborn says:


        I vehemently disagree that remaining silent regarding who is responsibility makes any sense at all. The fact is that unless until the American people realize that these attacks were not the result of “Muslim Terrorists” but in fact were the result of a conspiracy to commit treason by a cabal of Americans and Israel there is no way on gods green earth they will believe that the Governments explanation of how the towers came down is wrong, let alone accept any alternative explanation. Especially, not when that alternative explanation is in the form of a complex engineering analysis. It simply isn’t enough if it cannot be demonstrated that Dr. Husley’s conclusions fits into the overall picture painted by the actual facts surrounding 9-11.

        Dr. Husley and his team have done a tremendous amount of research and drawn the only logical conclusion possible from their perspective. But to suggest their work must be presented in isolation is only logical from the narrow perspective of an engineer. But in terms of the bigger picture of convincing the American people that the official explanation of the collapse of the towers is a lie, which is of course the one of the goals here, it falls far short in the common sense department.

        As for those that argue that is “doesn’t matter” who did it: I have to ask: are you high on drugs? Ultimately, just so we are all clear; finding out who did it is the overriding goal of the entire exercise The analysis of the collapse of the Towers on 9-11 isn’t a hypothetical being carried out in the safety and confines of a classroom. Literally Millions of people have already been killed as a result of the lies stemming from 9-11. And more innocent people are being killed every day.

      • Terry Byrne says:

        I agree 100% with the things you have expressed Mr/Ms Dearborn. The best thing that can come out of this is that once and for all a leash can be put on the USA’s raping and plundering of the planet’s poor countries of the world!!

  48. Terry Byrne says:

    Everyone has to stop calling US illegal invasions of sovereign nations imperialism/imperial wars. Illegal invasions of sovereign nations were deemed the ultimate war crime by the Nuremberg and Tokyo war crimes trials. Using the term imperialism sanitizes these evil actions. The actions of the US and the UK in the western nations that have supported them are as heinous as anything the Nazis or the Japanese did in World War II.

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