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Claim

The Danish physicist Per Hedegaard supports Harrit’s views.0.

Background

In the time leading up to Niels Harrit’s libel trial in the High Court, a claim emerged that the former colleague of Harrit’s, physicist Per Hedegaard, had changed his mind from thinking that Niels Harrit’s theories were “crazy” to supporting Niels Harrit.

This post could be found on ae911truth.org written by Josef Hanji and Ted Walter on February 26th, 2015:

“As for witnesses, architect Jan Utzon will again speak on behalf of AE911Truth. In addition, Harrit will call upon colleague Per Hedegård, a professor of physics at the University of Copenhagen’s Niels Bohr Institute. In City Court in 2013, Villemoes’ lawyer had used a statement from Per Hedegård dismissive of Harrit as a way to substantiate the claim that Harrit was a crackpot. However, since Per Hedegård now supports Dr. Harrit’s view that the official explanation for the collapse of the three WTC buildings is in violation of Newton’s laws of physics, he has insisted on appearing in court to testify on Dr. Harrit’s behalf.”0

One of the top leading figures in the Truth Movement, Richard Gage, also made the claim a few days later.

“Today, Dr. Hedegård has completely reversed his position and insists on testifying in support of Dr. Harrit!”1

Both posts enouraged readers to donate money to the court case.

Facts

Per Hedegaard has made several public statements about the theories of Niels Harrit, e.g. in the Danish newspaper Jyllandsposten on February 10, 2010, long before Harrit’s libel case:

”Professor in physics Per Hedegård, Niels Bohr Institute, has told Politiken (Danish newspaper, ed.) that “most of his (Niels Harrit, ed.) hypothesis is pure crazy, and he should ask himself why he is the only teacher here in the Physics and Chemistry departments who believe it.”2

District Court
When Niels Harrit’s libel case against Danish newspaper Weekendavisen went to the District Court, he referred to a conversation that took place between him and Per Hedegaard. According to the District Court’s file:

”When it was pointed out that Per Hedegaard in the article states that most of his (Niels Harrit, ed.) hypothesis is pure crazy, he explained that professor Per Hedegaard several times prior to the quote in the newspaper had stated that “data does not matter”. Additionally, Per Hedegaard is known to be a rogue. When it was pointed out that Politiken on August 14, 2010, has quoted him about the lack of support from his colleagues, among them Per Hedegaard: “They don’t know shit… everyone is afraid and lies”, he explained that he was contacted by a journalist from Politiken and asked to comment on Per Hedegaard’s statements. He was willing to participate and comment on Per Hedegaard’s statements, because he wanted the press to cover his theory. Later, he has spoken with Per Hedegaard, who grinning said that he had spoken with the journalist from Politiken and that the journalist was crazy as a bed-bug. Long after, Per Hedegaard was known as “Per Crazy Hedegaard”. He believes that Per Hedegaard’s statements are uncorroborated and that he should have been called to explain himself in court today.”

“Per Hedegaard denies Galilei and Newton. His statements about Per Hedegaard are also harsh words against a colleague, but then Per Hedegaard should have shown up and defended his views today.”3

Interview with Per Hedegaard
On March 3, 2015, shortly before Harrit’s libel case went before the High Court, 911facts.dk did an interview with Per Hedegaard4, where he was asked if he had changed his mind:

“…he (Niels Harrit, ed.) is still crazy, if you ask me.”4

Hedegaard’s overall view on Niels Harrit et al’s report of a supposed finding of nanothermite:

““It is nevertheless a report with figures and facts, and you can take a look at those and see what you get out of that.”4

And his view on the conclusion in the report:

“To me, he (Niels Harrit, ed.) cannot conclude anything, and he does not do that. He is clever.”4

Hedegaard had done some calculations himself based on the figures in the report:

““100 tons, that’s quite a lot, is it not? I would say that it is an argument against the theory that there must be any explosives, because you cannot just get away with placing 100 tons of explosives without somebody noticing.”4

He also stated his view on the claim that the World Trade Center 7 should have collapsed due to a controlled demolition:

“There is a huge logical leap from free fall to concluding that it cannot be fire.”4

High Court

During Niels Harrit’s libel case against Weekendavisen in High Court, Per Hedegaard was called as a witness, and gave this testimony:

”Per Hedegaard explained that he looked at the data in the presented article with a chemical analysis of the dust from the Twin Towers/Building 7 and concluded the following: The authors argue that they have analysed nanothermite in dust from the buildings. He is interested in the amount of nanothermite in the dust, and in the article is given the fraction of nanothermite in the samples used. Common ratio calculation leads to how much nanothermite there must have been originally, and the result is 60 tons, which is unreacted thermite. Add to that, the reacted thermite, and he thinks that is quite a lot.”5

Postlude
After the libel case was finished in High Court, Hedegaard was quoted by several media following the case, e.g. the University Post:

”Per Hedegård’s testimony appeared not to support Niels Harrit’s claim that WTC7 could not have been a free fall but a controlled explosion.

He even implied that the speed of the building’s collapse could theoretically be above free fall due to the complex nature of the energy waves, undermining the clear-cut nature of Niels Harrit’s argument. All in all, his testimony did not appear to support Niels Harrit: When Per Hedegård was questioned by Niels Harrit about the data in an analysis by Niels Harrit and associates, he told the court that the nano-thermite trace content in the WTC dust would imply more than 60 tons of un-exploded material prior to a detonation.”6

This editors of 911facts.dk, also present in court, wrote an article about the court case, where Hedegaard was quoted:

”Harrit’s next witness was his star witness, Professor of Physics Per Hedegård, whom Harrit knows well. Hedegård had previously dismissed Harrit’s theories as “gak”, a Danish term for “up the pole”, but, according to a press release from AE911Truth, where Harrit was also appointed one of the leaders of the 9/11 Truth Movement8, he had apparently persuaded Hedegård that the latter was wrong and Hedegård would now be willing to show up in court, in full support of Harrit’s theories.

However, this did not happen. Hedegård answered Harrit’s questions but did not support his theories at all. Harrit pointed to gravitational acceleration which Hedegård affirmed that, yes, it was about 9.88 m/s2, but the point – whatever it was – was totally lost on the judges: One pointed out that it was hard to understand the relevancy of a scientific fact. Hedegård then pointed out that, from the data in Harrit’s nanothermite report, there would have to be about 60 metric tonnes of unreacted nanothermite, which would mean that there would have been even more inside the buildings that actually reacted. It was clear that Hedegård found it quite unbelievable that so much had been placed without anyone noticing. One of the judges were taking notes and even had to ask for clarification from Harrit on this point.

When asked about the structural failure of WTC 7, Hedegaard pointed out that it was extremely difficult to explain and that you could not conclude that it was brought down by explosives, merely by looking at the video. When the judge asked Harrit if he had more questions for Hedegård, Harrit gave Hedegård a long stare, and said “No, thanks.”7

Finally, one of the Truth Movement’s own media, www.ae911truth.org, publicized a detailed summary from the High Court, written by Josef Hanji, the same person who is the source of the claim being investigated in this article:

”When Per Hedegaard finally entered the court room, he looked nervous and confused. Asked specific questions by Dr. Harrit, he was unable to give direct answers. For example, even though the looping video of the collapse of WTC 7 was shown a second time during the testimony of Utzon and a third time when he took the stand, Dr. Hedegaard said he could not see any violation of physical laws. While agreeing that the collapse of WTC 7 looked close to free-fall acceleration, he noted that it was too complicated for him to say for sure.

“But what does it mean when a building is falling 9.8 metres per second squared, Per?” Harrit asked. The professor of physics said he did not know. “This means the building is in free fall, Per,” Harrit elaborated. “And when a building is in free fall, is there then energy left to destroy the supporting structure?” Hedegaard’s answer was confusing. He talked about how energy moved faster than free-fall and suggested that WTC 7 could have fallen even faster than free-fall.
“But Per, you told me you had looked at the data, and that you supported it,” Harrit responded. Again, Hedegaard gave a confusing answer. The judge in charge of court protocols asked the witness what data it was that he actually supported. “Only the report,” he replied, referring to the nano-thermite report. “I read some of it, and it looked good.”
Hedegaard had earlier calculated, on his own, that at least 60 tons of thermite would have been needed to take down the Twin Towers, and on that basis he found it difficult to believe that controlled demolition had been used to level those two buildings.

Though Hedegaard did say he found the nano-thermite report “good,” his other answers were clearly not what Harrit had been expecting. An obviously disappointed Harrit told the judges he had no more questions for the witness.
Villemoes’ lawyer asked Hedegaard if he could support statements he had made about Harrit quoted in an article used in City Court — statements substantiating that Dr. Harrit was a “crackpot”. Hedegaard replied that he still agreed with his statements in the article, in which he had called Harrit’s theories “nuts.” That became the final answer from the last witness of the day.”8

Conclusion

Nothing points to Per Hedegaard ever having shared the views of Niels Harrit. Both before and after the Truth Movement claimed that Hedegaard had changed his mind, he has made clear:

  • that Harrit’s theories were crazy.
  • that the hypothesis of nanothermite has unlikely consequences and does not hold up to scrutiny.
  • that free fall does not prove anything and certainly not controlled demolition.

The closest Per Hedegaard comes to support Niels Harrit in anything is when he, according Josef Hanji’s account, finds that the report as such looks good. This is in full concordance with his statement to 911facts.dk in the interview just before the High Court case, where he more specifically explains that because there are figures and facts in the report, it is possible to evaluate it more closely by doing calculations and look at the facts. That view has clearly been Per Hedegaard’s all along, both before and after the Truth Movement claimed he had changed his mind.
The claim which has been used as an argument to donate money to Niels Harrit’s court case is in other words false.

Sources

  1. Libel Lawsuit Against Danish Media Sets Stage for 9/11 Evidence in Court, Josef Hanji and Ted Walter, AE911TRUTH.org
  2. 911 Truth: Distinguished Scientist Dr. Niels Harrit Sues Danish Newspaper for Libel, Richard Gage, GlobalResearch
  3. Dansk skeptiker: Hvad skete der med bygning 7?, JyllandsPosten
  4. Sag nr. BS 33D-8/2013, Domsbogen, Københavns Byret
  5. 100 tons, that’s quite a lot, isn’t it?, 911facts.dk
  6. Udtalelser anset for en meningstilkendegivelse, der ikke var strafbar efter straffelovens § 267, Domsresuméer, Østre Landsret
  7. Courtroom drama in 9/11 ´crackpot´ libel case, University Post, University of Copenhagen
  8. March 12th, 2015: Niels Harrit appealed his libel suit today in court, 911facts.dk
  9. WTC 7 & Nano-thermite Evidence Admitted, Josef Hanji, AE911TRUTH.org

Q & A