Confessions of a 9/11 Truth Activist


Steve Fahrney, an activist from 9/11 Truth San Diego, who had worked with Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth (A&E) for about a year, contacted me because of his awareness of my research with T. Mark Hightower on the properties of nanothermite, “Is ‘9/11 Truth’ based upon a false theory?” He had a number of issues that he wanted to discuss related to A&E, including that he had discovered during his work with it that research on conventional explosives at the World Trade Center had never been conducted and that communications within the organization did not allow discussion of what happened at the Pentagon or of alternative explanations about how the Twin Towers had been destroyed. I invited him to be my featured guest on “The Real Deal” on Monday, 15 August 2011, an interview that will be archived at, and invited him to author the following blog.

To Test or Not To Test, the Pentagon and “Off Topic” Topics

Steve Fahrney

As much as I respect the work of Richard Gage, AIA, and Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, I decided to publicly address some of my concerns about some of the policies I experienced as a volunteer on the team for a year. Jim Fetzer was kind enough to provide me a public forum to get some of these alarming concerns off of my chest. Most of the Truth movement is aware that NIST shamefully admits to not having tested dust and debris for explosives, despite the overwhelming presence of “high order damage,” but what most 9/11 Truthers are largely unaware of is that WE, in the 9/11 Truth movement, have also failed to test for explosives.

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Richard Gage and TV Anchor

I had always assumed that the tests had been done but had yielded no results, which I further assumed was the reason the painstaking nano-thermite research, testing, and publication were carried out. I did not find out until I had been on Richard Gage’s staff for nine months, via an e-mail thread, that we had never tested for explosives ourselves. I was alarmed by this revelation and quickly backed the notion of testing as soon as possible. I was even more surprised when a respected team member, Gregg Roberts, a technical writer who co-authored the nano-thermite paper, was arguing adamantly AGAINST testing for conventional explosives and det cord. He argued that we have limited resources, and we already have a “smoking gun” and saw no benefit of testing. He cautioned that since so much time had passed the residues might have broken down, where testing could yield a negative result even if they had been used. He further emphasized that “debunkers” would use a negative result to their advantage.

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In regard to the resources, several members of the team had already stepped forth and pledged $200 per person, which would have covered several tests, meaning that A&E’s organization funds would be unaffected. In addition to T. Mark Hightower’s startling revelation that thermite lacks the explosiveness to be considered as a sole “smoking gun”, I had argued at the time that it would greatly benefit the 9/11 Truth movement to empower our outreach specialists with a more easily understood explanation involving conventional explosive, if the results were positive. As an outreach specialist myself for San Diegans for 9/11 Truth, I was using all of the tools at my disposal, including the nano-thermite paper.

Gregg responded to my e-mail, stating it was actually “perverse” to desire different evidence simply because I was having a hard time explaining the evidence I had. I corrected him stating that I could explain it to others, but that I did not feel qualified to do that. How much time might have been saved by the 9/11 Truth movement collectively, if we had simply tested for conventional explosives, gotten a positive result, and been able to state definitively that explosives had been found at the World Trade Center–without having to explain the intricate details of how thermatic material was allegedly engineered to explode?

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Gregg Roberts (left) and Dwain Deets

From what I have learned about controlled demolition, I understand that the charges have to be synchronistically timed to go off within a fraction of a second of each other, where any miscalculation could cause the building to fall over instead of straight down. Given the non-explosive character of nanothermite, I find it rather difficult to believe that melting steel by means of an incendiary could achieve the same result. Additionally, I don’t see how an incendiary could shatter steel and pulverize concrete to produce those enormous pyroclastic clouds of dust that were so ubiquitous in New York on 9/11.

I additionally pointed out to the team that we were hypocritical to attack NIST for not conducting testing when we at A&E hadn’t either. But recently I have realized there is another hypocrisy. We ridicule NIST for advancing the unprecedented theory that fire had brought down these massive steel and concrete structures, even while we were advancing our own unprecedented theory that those buildings had instead been destroyed by a controlled demolition using nanothermite. Given Mark Hightower’s research and unrefuted “Nanothermite Challenge”, I find it rather far-fetched to suppose that nano-thermite could possibly have achieved the symmetrical destruction of the towers.

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Gregg’s argument that we should not test due to the hypothetical concern of getting a negative result and that the “debunkers” would attack us, in my opinion, is both ethically irresponsible and scientifically irrelevant. Are we supposed to halt the scientific process and continue allow potentially crucial evidence to spoil due to an unsubstantiated irrational fear? And this brings me to my next concern about the society as a whole. Due to an internal divide on certain issues, A&E had deemed that any discussion of Dr. Judy Wood’s theories related to Directed Energy Weapons, lasers, masers, mini-nukes, or anything to do with the Pentagon was “off-topic” and could not be discussed as official business at A&E. I was puzzled to find out that there were people on the team who felt very strongly that Flight 77 had indeed hit the Pentagon, when my experience in the 9/11 Truth movement at large was that most truth advocates agree that the evidence was against it.

Gregg Roberts was one of the advocates of the “Official Conspiracy Theory” (OCT) regarding the Pentagon, as are Justin Keogh and David Chandler, which is one of the reasons that I labeled them as “infiltrators” in my resignation letter to the team when I left. In my interview with Jim Fetzer, I retracted those accusation toward any and all parties. I believe that name-calling and accusations are divisive, but I hope you can understand my skepticism. I challenged all of the members of A&E to go to their local 9/11 Truth groups, and see for themselves that (1) the Pentagon issue is not divisive, as some within A&E have claimed, and that (2) it is largely agreed that the available evidence strongly supports that Flight 77 did not crash there.

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Steve Fahrney, President of the San Diego City College 9/11 Truth Club,
created this for an event hosted by Toreros for Truth.

After leaving the organization, I discovered that the government not only treats the Pentagon as an “on-topic” issue, but even treats it as an architecture and engineering issue as well. In January of 2003, the Pentagon Building Performance Report was generated by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) due to the structural failure it suffered on 9/11. I asked Richard Gage why his organization had not critiqued that report, and he said that since its inception, AE911Truth has only focused on WTC-1, 2, and 7. He argued that it is best to promote your strongest most compelling evidence. I realized later, upon reflection, that he had not actually answered my question.

I support the strategy of promoting your best evidence, but we were not discussing strategy. We were discussing policy. Why does A&E have a policy that discourages new discoveries at the Pentagon? Why doesn’t A&E critique their peers who generated the Pentagon Building Performance Report about the structural failure at the Pentagon with the same scrutiny they focus on NIST’s explanation of the structural failures in the three largest buildings of the World Trade Center?

I would like to point out that the report appears on the website, I do not know how much involvement NIST had in the generation of this report, but A&E, which has a “NIST pursuit team” and has collected funds for that cause, should, in my opinion, find out. Why does NIST get a “bye” on the Pentagon? I offered Jim and his listeners a speculative theory. If indeed we have infiltrators in our midst, by discouraging discoveries at the Pentagon and even promoting the OCT internally in the 9/11 Truth movement, military and government officials could be let off the hook, again.

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Steve Fahrney with friend celebrating A&E reaching 1,000 signatures.
The accomplishment would later make the front page of the Campus News.

As Barbara Honneger and CIT have theorized, based on their independent examinations of the evidence, it appears that explosives inside the Pentagon are what caused the destruction. If this theory is correct, it means that there had to be an insider(s). A new investigation could conclude that, even if thermite/explosives were planted in the World Trade Center, the media could still spin it with al CIA-duh involvement — but not at the Pentagon. You cannot simply sneak explosives into the Headquarters of our Department of Defense without intimate involvement internally.

I previously mentioned that Judy Wood’s work is off-topic at A&E, as well as any exotic theories other than nano-thermite. AE911Truth has had many problems with petition signers and volunteers who support Dr. Wood. It is a disqualifier for new members of the team to join if they endorse her work. Anyone who supports “no-plane” theory, laser theory, directed energy theory, or any theory about mini-nukes is disqualified as well. As a Ph.D. and former professor of mechanical engineering, Judy Wood has not been afforded the same dignity and respect of her peers as her counterparts in the nano-thermite realm, particularly by co-authors of the thermite paper.

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Created by Steve Fahrney of the San Diego City College 9/11 Truth Club to
raise awareness on campus. Note the nano-thermite chips in the display.

Gregg Roberts has told me that, in his opinion, Dr. Judy Wood is unscientific when it comes to 9/11. I personally have yet to delve into Dr. Wood’s research or into any of the inappropriately ostracized members of our movement; but, after I shared my story with San Diegans for 9/11 Truth, they began looking where A&E and 911blogger have told us not to. As our local NASA engineer, Dwain Deets explained at our last event, after making a presentation about some exotic theories, San Diegans for 9/11 Truth are committed to looking at all the evidence and all the theories, not just those that are approved by “certain groups”. Independent of myself, the group decided to buy Judy Wood’s book, which compelled them to contact Dr. Wood, has now been invited to give a presentation at our community center.

I would like to make it clear that I still support A&E, but not its policy about “off-topic” subjects and theories. While I retract my accusations of infiltration, though I still find it highly suspicious that the same people who are advocating against testing for explosives are also against looking at the Pentagon, against discussing Dr. Judy Wood’s research, in favor of the OCT at the Pentagon, and in favor of nano-thermite as the sole culprit of destruction in the WTC. No subjects or theories about 9/11 should be “off topic”. None is “too controversial” to deserve discussion. Science should not be subordinated to politics in the 9/11 movement, which should be dedicated to truth no matter what form it may take.

Steve Fahrney, an activist with San Diegan’s for 9/11 Truth, worked as a volunteer for Richard Gage and Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth.

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7 thoughts on “Confessions of a 9/11 Truth Activist”

  1. Well, Steve may not have Chandler right but you certainly have nanothermite wrong. Have you read "Is 9/11 Truth based upon a false theory?", which T. Mark Hightower and I published? Nanothermite cannot have played the role that Jones, Ryan, and others attribute to it. That's not an opinion; it's a fact.

  2. were you to actually read, instead of misread David Chandler, you could not possibly call him an 'advocate' of the official pentagon theory–also, experiments w/nano thermite DO show it to be an effective explosive : cutting & pulverizing at once. i start to see YOUR problem w/A&E–you…

  3. I am a supporter of thermite theory because FEMA filmed the reaction a few days later at WTC 7. I am a supporter Mini-nuke theory because that's what the seismic "Spikes" say they are and Won-Young Kim @ Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory monitors i.e underground nuclear explosions. Why because that is what he learned after 9/11. The complete data on the seismic spikes is not public. The longitude and latitude was replaced with additional time zone translation information because the normal data i.e depth and location would not fix with official theory. A FOIA for this information would be rejected because the location data would not line up with towers and would line up with the large voids found in the subterranean levels under the TWC complex. I also a supporter of Drone theory because that is what NIST FOIA photos show. My youtube account danp5648 documents of these photos and FEMA films in one location. It should be an open and shut case. All of this information is not part 9/11 Truth because the numerous theories have divided up the body of the truth that not one camp can form a complete theory as to what happened without agreeing with some parts of official theory. Its a simple divide and conquer.

  4. Mr. Fetzer,
    I'm impressed with your work on the Kennedy assassination and 911. I've read much of what you've written on both subjects. I like this site and I'd read it more if it weren't so hard to post a comment. Compared to blogs I read and comment on, such as the Burning Platform, Partial Observer, and Raging Debate, this site is frustrating to post on. Consequently I read "James Fetzer" much less than I would otherwise.
    — Jackson

  5. Excellent article with some solid well-reasoned points.

    I like what Barrie Zwicker said in a March 2011 interview which an anonymous commentator in a previous posting here suggested looking for.

    Said Zwicker: "There can be no peace without justice, and no justice without truth."

    I just finished listening to Carol Brouillet interviewing Richard Gage and Chris Sarns today on her program at the Progressive Radio Network.

    Gage's participation was flitting as he said he was working with Gregg Roberts and others on a DVD: 9/11 Explosive Evidence; Experts Speak Out.

    In the radio program, Gage expressed his mystification about the "psychological pressure" that keeps other people from being "active" in the Truth Movement. Before leaving, he mused about "unseen forces" that will help truth to prevail. (I prefer, for more than eponymous reasons, the original and more assertive spiderweb legend of Robert the Bruce.)

    The gist of Carol's program was largely rudimentary shoring-up advice for listeners: the necessity to "look at A, B, and C" (I suppose, like "molten steel") before getting lost in rabbit-hole complexities–

    — such as one which Sarns, abruptly embarrassed by having become carried away by thoughts about wide-ranging injustices, stops himself from discussing further.

    "Richard does not like me to go there," says he to Carol who obscurely responds that she is up against similar obstacles.

    Contention about the validity of the Thermite theories or questions about the Pentagon, unsurprisingly didn't come up once.

    I rather liked Sarns who seemed to be honestly interested in uncovering 9/11 truth, but is already recognizing a floor full of eggshells.

    I happen to love that old Stephen Stills song, Johnny's Garden, which Sarns mentioned as a clue for why Stills is not active in the Truth Movement, despite being aware of its many questions.

    In the song, Stills sings about a garden he can escape to, where "Only trouble was, I had to buy it.")

  6. First of all, I just want to say a heartfelt big 'Thank you, Mr. Fahrney.' Your testimony here is a bright light to me now because I have known we needed someone who had been inside A&E to come forward with the truth about how that organization operates. I was feeling particularly down this tenth anniversary of 9-11 because I see that so many radio talk show hosts and others in our local and national "patriot movement" are going to exclusively devote their tenth anniversary memorials to the "thermite gang's" Toronto Hearings. All these patriots who seem to be telling us so much truth about other issues in the dissolution of the United States of America have only increased, over the years, their unwavering adherence to the untruth of Dr. Steven Jones, Richard Gage, Keven Ryan and all the A&E911Truth agents and minions. But now you have given me some hope. We have your good strong truth getting put out right now before that debacle of untruth known as the Toronto Hearings happen. Your revelations, Mr. Fahrney, disseminate truth now when it is most needed. This is the best memorial possible for the victims and family and friends of victims of 9-11.
    Mr. Fahrney wrote…
    "Why does NIST get a “bye” on the Pentagon? I offered Jim and his listeners a speculative theory. If indeed we have infiltrators in our midst, by discouraging discoveries at the Pentagon and even promoting the OCT internally in the 9/11 Truth movement, military and government officials could be let off the hook, again."

    I contend that the whole underlying policy, strategy, mission and goal of Dr. Jones and Architects and Engineers from the very beginning has been to "let off the hook military and government officials" for having been in on the inside job that was 9-11. Nothing had to be infiltrated because the organization was false from the beginning. The only odd ones out in Architects and Engineers for 9-11 Truth are the honest architects and engineers who were taken in by Mr. Gage’s schemes.

    The "thermite gang" is not negligent or incompetent or overly fearful or irrational. They know, and have always known, exactly what they were doing and it has never had anything to do with 9-11 truth.

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