Reynolds, Wood and Fetzer’s assault on 9/11 Truth
by Jeremy Baker
–James Fetzer, founder and co-chair of Scholars for 9/11 Truth, April 2007
“On behalf of Scholars [for 9/11 Truth] I would observe that Dr. Judy Wood is the leading expert on the technical issues involved in relation to the destruction of the World Trade Center.”
–James Fetzer, April 2007
“Reynolds/Wood really did a number on the Seattle 9/11 movement. They disgraced us to the public and split us apart internally. That’s a job done by a pro.”
–Reverend Rich Lang, Minister, Trinity United Methodist Church and co-sponsor of the October 28th Reynolds/Wood event in Seattle
Some say that the truth can be found in the reconciliation of opposites. But the only truth that lies between the opposites expressed in the quotations above is trouble.
I support the freedom of speech with no reservations and will make full use of mine in the paragraphs below. These rights may even extend to the promulgation of erroneous, ill-proven scientific theory, but most sensible people would never put such theorists on stage and hand them a microphone. Most, but not all
Conspiracy research has always required an open mind; it’s in the job description. But 9/11 researchers and activists have their limits, and Morgan Reynolds and Judy Wood have sorely tested them.
“Right or wrong, this is fascinating stuff…”
–James Fetzer, on Reynold’s and Wood’s “new research” into the attacks on the WTC.
Normally I wouldn’t bother myself with this kind of thing. But these two have been showing up far too often on the 9/11 truth radar screen and have left a trail of destruction wherever they go. They also have some powerful friends in high places. Thus my concern.
Chief among these supporters is, oddly, the outspoken and ubiquitous founder and co-chair of Scholars for 9/11 Truth, the most prestigious 9/11 truth group of them all. 9/11 activists have spent years doing their best to draw engineers, physicists and professionals into the movement and Professor James Fetzer’s st911.org is the result.
“The society belongs to all the Scholars. We do not belong to you, Jim.”
–Dr. Steven Jones in an open letter to st911.org founder James Fetzer.
As founder of st911.org, Mr. Fetzer certainly deserves some respect, but he isn’t shy about taking charge and his conduct isn’t exactly reassuring. Last fall, during a well publicized rift between he and ex-co-chair of “Scholars,” thermite theorist Dr. Steven E. Jones, Fetzer accused Jones of attempting a “hostile takeover” of st911.org citing differences in opinion about some “new research.”
Jones vehemently denied the charge adding that the accusation was “not only unfounded, it is bizarre.” Anyone who has met Dr. Jones or seen him speak would find it hard to believe that he would scheme to take over anything, much less with hostility. And he hardly seems deserving of the appalling invective with which Fetzer and Reynolds have plagued him.
“[Dr. Jones] is incorrigible and a serial liar. We’ve got to clean up our own backyard mess before his implosion takes nearly all 9/11 skeptics down with him.”
–Morgan Reynolds on Dr. Steven Jones, August 2006.
This acerbic commentary from Morgan Reynolds is particularly disturbing when you consider the fact that many 9/11 truth activists believe that it’s Reynolds’ inevitable “implosion” that will really cause trouble. Add engineer and space-beam theorist Judy Wood into the mix and it’s easy to understand why those who are committed to the dignity of the 9/11 truth movement might be developing concerns.
To some, this may seem like a petty squabble among ill-tempered 9/11 personalities, but I don’t agree. I think it’s something more; something that everyone who cares about 9/11 truth should pay some attention to.
“I believe it was precipitous of you to go public with an unproven theory regarding video fakery. In doing so, you…set the whole [911 truth] movement back.”
–Canadian scientist A. K. Dewdney, on Reynolds’ appearance on FOX’s Weekend Live.
During the summer of 2006, the Seattle 9/11 Visibility Project spearheaded a speaking engagement featuring former chief economist and Bush administration defector Morgan Reynolds. Naturally, an ex-Bush appointee hurling thunderbolts back at his old boss while openly implicating Bush and his minions in the highest of high treason was considered a big catch for the 9/11 skeptics community and more than a few otherwise intelligent and discerning 9/11 activists welcomed Reynolds into the fold.
Soon his friend and colleague, Engineering Professor Judy Wood, was added to the Seattle itinerary and, not long after, Wayne Madsen agreed to speak as well. But during the planning stage the particulars of Reynolds’ and Wood’s research began to concern some of those who had been less involved in the original brainstorming sessions. I was increasingly apprehensive about the idea of featuring such bizarre and extraneous theories in a 9/11 “public educational forum” and shared my concerns with the group. But plane tickets had been bought, posters had been hung and the venue was secured.
“The intent of the public forum was to allow thoughtful dialogue so that controversial assertions and/or new information, as opposed to entire theories or personalities, could be challenged and either successfully defended or refuted.”
–The Seattle 9/11 Visibility Project steering committee’s letter to GO Magazine.
Most of Reynolds’ presentation focused on a fairly standard cross-section of 9/11 evidence that he delivered via Powerpoint and Arkansas sass. It was towards the end of his talk that he began to discuss his “controversial but proven” no-planes theory. No planes at the WTC theory.
He attempted to clarify that the “no-planes” label is actually misleading; he actually means no big Boeings (NBB) hit the Twin Towers and that duplicate aircraft or a missile of some kind really did the damage. But the no-planes label has always been his and the image that it evokes is unnecessarily disorienting, especially to newcomers and neophytes.
Occam’s Razor (?k-?mz) n. The simplest explanation is likely to be the correct one.
Reynolds asserts that the holes in the Twin Towers simply do not correspond to the dimensions of the Boeings that hit them. Unfortunately he neglected to offer evidence of this in his talk. He is also adamant that aluminum airplanes could never have penetrated the steel façade of the towers and showed no discernable signs of deceleration as they made contact with the towers. The fact that commercial jets are made of aluminum and some of the densest, strongest materials in existence, all traveling at 500 mph, and that shards of wood are known to pierce concrete in tornados doesn’t seem to faze him. And I don’t know about you but those planes looked like they decelerated pretty damn quick to me.
The lack of wreckage from the airliners on the streets below also troubles Reynolds who speculates that whatever plane parts photos and video do show were planted by the conspirators to deceive the public. In a Q&A period following the presentations, Reynolds’ responses included even more contentious points. Apparently the network video we saw of the plane’s impacts had all been doctored to make whatever hit the Twin Towers just look like Boeing 767’s. He also speculates that cloaking technology may have been used, presumably for the same purpose.
“I don’t believe that you are “dis-info”…but you have become what I call “effective dis-info,” which is just as damaging.”
–A. K. Dewdney, founder of SPINE (the Scientific Panel Investigating Nine-Eleven).
In my review of the Reynolds/Wood event (mentioned below), I put it this way: “The problem for theorists like Morgan Reynolds is that even if he isn’t an agent provocateur, he may as well be. Irresponsible researchers or disinformation agents—the end result is identical.”
Judy Wood began her Powerpoint presentation with a photo of life-size cartoon characters that had apparently been stored in a sub-basement beneath the Twin Towers. The fact that they were found intact is, for Wood, evidence to support her signature theory; that conventional explosives (thermite, micro-nukes, etc.) could not have been used on the WTC and that the Twin Towers were “dustified” from above by an advanced version of microwave technology that turned two of the largest buildings in the world into a huge cloud of fine powder. This is why the pile of debris at Ground Zero wasn’t taller; most of the concrete and steel just turned to dust and blew away.
“…it appears to have been indispensable to turn 4/5 of the towers to dust and demolish just 1/5 by more conventional means…”
Wood also uses photos of burnt out cars to support her microwave space beam theory. She insists that something other than thousands of tons of concrete and steel—super-heated by high explosives and dropped from a quarter mile above—must have damaged the cars given certain tell-tale features that she sees in the wreckage. Other photos show blackened cars that were photographed on the opposite side of Manhattan—almost a full mile away from Ground Zero—a detail that Wood neglected to share with her audience. These mangled cars were obviously removed from Ground Zero by rescue workers. Seeing photos of them in their original locations—likely buried under tons of hot wreckage—might have shed some light on the situation. But on her website Wood claims that the cars were half that distance from the WTC and, unbelievably, she insists that the cars were zapped where they were photographed; on the East River side of Manhattan.
“Cars along FDR drive were randomly toasted. These cars are at least 1/2 mile away from the WTC.”
–Judy Wood, on the burnt-out-cars page on her website.
Her comparison of the seismic signatures and total amount of explosives required in the demolition of the Seattle Kingdome and the “collapses” of the Twin Towers was, of course, meant to illustrate that the WTC succumbed to something very different than a standard controlled demolition. But the comparison of two such wildly dissimilar structures built on totally different geological under-pinnings seems utterly inappropriate and the resulting inferences inherently nonsensical.
Then, in a stunning departure from 9/11 dogma, Wood postulates that fake explosive charges were planted in the Twin Towers to draw attention away from exotic weaponry and towards conventional explosives. This, of course, is what we saw blasting out of the sides of the Twin Towers as they fell.
“This is completely first-rate work. It’s the cutting edge of the science of 9/11.”
–James Fetzer, on Reynolds and Wood, speaking in NYC.
Again, I have a fairly high threshold for the unconventional and bizarre, but given a choice between a theory of extraordinary complexity but questionable plausibility (that may, on its face, appear to fit the facts), and another theory of infinitely greater simplicity and likelihood (that also appears to fit the facts), nine times out of ten I’ll opt for the latter.
Wood’s oft referenced comparison of the Twin Towers to tree trunks may make basic sense but surely it’s just a simple observation that almost anyone might make in the most casual of conversations. Her billiard ball model as well is, at its core, just a graph illustrating the obvious; buildings can’t fall through themselves at freefall speed. And directed energy beams from space? This is her “gift” to the 9/11 database? These things have made Judy Wood a 9/11 truth VIP?
“You have got to be kidding me.”
–Dave Ross, Seattle talk radio show host and panelist at the Reynolds/Wood event in Seattle.
This is the frustration that I have with Reynolds and Wood. When you spend time perusing their websites or hearing them speak, the confidence with which they state their cases clashes brutally with the little voice inside your head that keeps screaming “you can’t be serious!” Like it or not, the quality of the messenger is always important. If theorists are going to push such fantastical theories, they must make an absolutely solid and persuasive case. Unfortunately, Reynolds and Wood don’t even come close.
Of course, should you voice your doubts about Reynolds and Wood publicly, you’re immediately set upon by Fetzer who scolds you for spending too little time on their respective websites, not examining the data closely enough and not trusting the professional expertise of those who have.
“…having Wood and Reynolds come to Seattle represented an opportunity to possibly mitigate a quickly developing schism between highly visible members of Scholars for 9/11 Truth.”
–The Seattle 9/11 Visibility Project steering committee’s letter to GO Magazine
Well, if there was ever a schism that was never meant to be mitigated, this is it. Some schisms are a positive indication that essential discretionary skills are being put to full use. In a healthy environment, such critical thinking is valued and respected.
Having played a peripheral role in the Reynolds/Wood event, I was naturally looking for ways to make things right. So I wrote a thorough and fairly hard-hitting review of the evening which I thought might be appreciated by other reasonably discerning individuals. But I was mistaken. Instead, the Seattle Viz. steering committee bitterly condemned my review as a “personal attack” on two well meaning theorists. Two committee members even threatened to “dissociate” themselves from me if I distributed it.
“Thank you SO much for this. IMO, your review of the evening is the best thing you’ve ever done, and you’ve done some great work.”
–Barrie Zwicker, Canadian filmmaker, media critic and associate editor of GO magazine.
But when they found out that Toronto based Global Outlook Magazine had asked for my permission to publish “Punch and Judy come to Seattle,” things really got nasty. Apparently the editors at GO felt that my observations were a useful commentary on the subject of mis-information and dis-information embedded in the 9/11 truth movement and that my review deserved some attention. The Seattle Viz. steering committee, however, did not and co-authored a letter to the editors at GO that was the very definition of a personal attack upon me. They desperately urged GO not to publish the piece lest a grave disservice to the free exchange of ideas was done to the 9/11 truth movement.
“The Punch and Judy document is ABSOLUTELY right on!!! It spins the event exactly as I saw it, as did my family and friends. By the time we left my stomach was in knots and my soul/sixth sense was screaming.”
–Cheryl Falk, musician, teacher and musical contributor to the film 9/11 Mysteries.
Well, this was odd. I was there. I saw what happened that night with my own eyes. The knot in my stomach didn’t dissipate for days.
But when all was said and done, the only people who attacked my review were the ones who spear-headed the event; the same ones who tried to do such a grave disservice to my free exchange of ideas. But there was one other who, months later, would repeatedly come to Reynolds and Wood’s defense. Only this man was the self-appointed spokesman for the most respected society of 9/11 big-wigs of them all.
In late March of 2007, I first heard that Reynolds, Wood and Ed Haas of the Muckraker Report had filed a series of “Request for Correction” lawsuits against NIST, the National Institute for Standards and Technology. Thinking that Reynolds and Wood were seeking venues that would give their ideas a bigger audience than ever, I was naturally concerned.
If you think that this isn’t cause for concern, give Reynolds’ appearance on FOX’s Weekend Live a watch. Once a member of SPINE—the Scientific Panel Investigating Nine Eleven—Reynolds was immediately dismissed from this group by its founder, Canadian scientist A. K. Dewdney, who “hit the roof” when he saw the interview. Dewdney also chided Reynolds for work that is “1) largely irrelevant to the overall picture that the hijackings were stage-managed and 2) [makes] a hard sell 100 times harder.” I couldn’t have said it better myself, although I did give it a try:
“The irony is that even if, by some wild chance, these far out theories are proven to be true, they still aren’t a wise contribution to 9/11 presentations at this point in time and represent a monumental tactical error for 9/11 activists working hard to spread the word.”
–J. Baker, “Punch and Judy come to Seattle.”
To me this is the very heart of the issue. There’s no telling what far out advancements in war science the Pentagon is keeping under wraps. But talk about these things in the locker room, don’t bring them out on to the field. This kind of loose and extraneous theorizing is an extremely unwise addition to 9/11 public presentations for obvious reasons and adds nothing of value to the 9/11 truth movement’s data base.
But it’s not just Reynolds, Wood and others who are at fault. Those who enable them are just as much to blame. Professor Fetzer’s (and, for that matter, the Seattle group’s) abysmal judgment on this matter is very perplexing, especially when he takes it upon himself to speak “on behalf” of the prominent researchers at st911.org. This is all the more troubling when you consider the fact that one of the few 9/11 figures whose mainstream media exposure exceeds that of Fetzer is Reynolds, who, as an ex-Bush appointee has appeared on every TV news show from the McNeil Lehrer Report to Hardball with Chris Matthews.
“At one point in the article submitted for your review, [Baker] refers to ‘Wood’s paranoid and unacademic disposition…’ However [this] is truly having the pot call the kettle black.”
–from The Seattle 9/11 Visibility Project steering committee’s letter to GO Magazine
Well call me paranoid if you like but I have a fairly good track record when it comes to these things. In my 2004 review of the deeply flawed film 911 In Plane Site, my prediction that, “if [the film] is a sandbag job, the proof will undoubtedly come in the form of a mainstream attack that will pick out these blatant red-herrings and use them to blast the other good stuff out of the water,” was right on the money. Within a few months, Popular Mechanics Magazine did a cover story blasting the 9/11 Truth movement, and 9/11 In Plane Site was their primary target. Amazingly, I still get e-mails thanking me for that review.
A few weeks ago, I wrote a short e-mail and sent it out to all my 9/11 contacts. It was meant to alert people about the forthcoming NIST lawsuits and what was looking more and more to me like a set-up of grand proportions. The e-mail generated some modest exchanges but it provoked no less than three heated public responses from who? Professor James Fetzer,
“None of us…should tolerate shoddy, ad hominem, or sloppy research.”
-James Fetzer, from his essay The Company You are Keeping.
According to Mr. Fetzer, my “completely distorted” review of the Reynolds/Wood event was a “ridiculous attack piece” that made him feel “embarrassed that anyone associated with the 9/11 truth movement would compose such rubbish.” His next e-mail encouraged “Serious students of 9/11…to pursue the lines of research that [Reynolds and Wood] have initiated…” and also urged us not to be “taken in by smooth sounding words from,” well, people like me who are “more interested in distracting you from the search for 9/11 truth than they are in discovering it.” His third e-mail complained about “pseudo-intellectualism and shoddy arguments from critics of those who are doing the most important work in 9/11 research.” [my emphasis] After all, scholars like he, Reynolds and Wood can see things in “a more thorough and comprehensiver [sic] fashion” than the rest of us illiterates.
Well, Mr. Fetzer is certainly entitled to his opinion, but personally, I think he doth protest too much. My review may not have been a literary masterpiece but I’m quite sure that it wasn’t “rubbish” either. Nor do I think it was at all “distorted” or “embarrassing,” especially when so many fine people praised it so highly and added their testimonials at the end. And remember, it was just a review. Strange isn’t it, how much dust it raised?
–the subject heading of an e-mail sent to colleagues in 2003 by Rosalie Grable, a.k.a. the Webfairy.
This isn’t the first time this kind of thing has happened. Several years ago I read an online article by a writer named Scott Loughery who also made mention of “no-planes” at the WTC and video manipulation. Feeling that his reasoning was just as leaky as that of some “others” who would later expound similar views, I grew impatient and added some fairly ripe commentary to a thread that followed the article. In particular, I mentioned that I thought such over the top theorizing might be the work of operatives trying to sabotage 9/11 truth.
Almost immediately, I was attacked by a 9/11 writer named Gerard Holmgren and none other than the Webfairy herself, the first 9/11 researcher to suggest that it was holograms, holograms that made whatever hit the Towers just look like planes. The fiery exchange that followed raged in a way that was remarkably similar to what we’ve recently seen pass between Reynolds, Fetzer, Jones and myself. It’s also interesting to note that there is a link on Reynolds’ website to the Webfairy and that Steven Jones has also had “experiences” with Holmgren who is apparently still baring his teeth at those whose minds remain “mired in convention.”
“Now the fairly predictable scenario is unfolding. The handlers behind the agents of the state are pulling out all the stops: it shows they’re truly afraid of us.”
–Barrie Zwicker, April 2007.
There’s a wonderful scene in Michael Moore’s film Fahrenheit 911 that features a small, docile peace group in Fresno whose regular meetings aren’t exactly Black Panther rallies. But one day, a young man who had been a regular at their meetings showed up in a local obituary. Details of his death included what he had done for a living. Unbeknownst to the group, the young man was a member of the local sheriff’s anti-terrorism squad who had infiltrated the group in hopes of catching a glimpse of Osama.
Now, if the powers that be saw this tiny, frumpy group of part time peace activists as being enough of a threat to actually assign a covert operative to monitor their every move, then how much more of an effort is being made to make sure that the truth about 9/11 never sees the light of day, at least on any effective level? My guess is that the 9/11 conspirators are busier than ever keeping the cover-up in place and are sparing no expense towards that end.
“It is hard not to see [Reynolds and Wood] as potential infiltrators, because the effect of their involvement in 9/11 is so incredibly detrimental to the goals of the movement.”
-Reynolds/Wood event volunteer.
And not unlike the 35% of the population who would drink cyanide-laced Kool-Aid if George W. Bush asked them to, inevitable as well are those stalwarts who will support fringe 9/11 researchers whatever planet they might fall from. And, sure as shoe polish, I’ll be pilloried by these fanatics as the one with “government connections.”
But what these people don’t understand is that if I really wanted to derail the 9/11 Truth movement the first thing I’d do is buy these three “mavericks” a private jet and send them out on a world tour. I’d bring the Punch and Judy (and Fetzer) Show to every town on the planet and then I’d introduce them to Rupert Murdoch.
Copyright Darkprints, 2007
Original article here.