|11th Anniversary Surprises and Inspires 9/11 Truth Movement: New York Events buoyed by PBS-TV successes|
|Written by Richard Gage, AIA|
|Thursday, 27 September 2012 21:44|
New York Events buoyed by PBS-TV successes
Last year’s 10th Anniversary of 9/11 was a difficult landmark for the 9/11 Truth community. As it approached, we at AE911Truth were filled with tremendous hope. Yet, when it passed largely without a major triumph in our mission, we were forced into deeper reflection about the effectiveness of our efforts to wake up people to the startling realities of 9/11. We were drawn toward the 11th anniversary, humbled and with dampened optimism, but we have been met with both the resounding success of our documentary, 9/11: Explosive Evidence – Experts Speak Out (ESO), on PBS, and the inspiration of events across the country that educated the public about the controlled demolition of the WTC skyscrapers.
AE911Truth was invited to participate in several anniversary events this year in New York City and at universities in Massachusetts and Maryland. These events occurred in conjunction with street actions by hundreds of 9/11 Truth activists, who made their presence quite known to New Yorkers and visitors at Ground Zero, Times Square, Union Square Park, and Washington Square Park.
Our first event, at the symposium of speakers called “How the World Changed after 9/11,” included an array of knowledgeable and informative participants: Robert Griffin, an expert witness appearing in Experts Speak Out and a member of Psychologists For Social Responsibility; Susan Lindauer, a former CIA asset and author of Extreme Prejudice; Barbara Honegger, 9/11 researcher and author of October Surprise; Julia Davis, a former DHS agent turned whistleblower; and Joe Calhoun, a broadcast journalist.
We debuted “Awakening the Hero Within – Lessons from a Reluctant 9/11 Whistleblower,” a presentation designed specifically to inspire college students. Drawing from my own experience of waking up and founding AE911Truth, it
describes how I tapped into a deeper level of awareness to find the energy, courage and motivation that I needed to pursue our mission. This has included facing ridicule, rejection, and even hostility from people and institutions that not only continue to deny the truth about 9/11 but who sometimes actively oppose us. We call this “the hero’s journey”. Of course, the 1,700+ architects and engineers who back the “evidence” section of the speech, the use of the scientific method, and the evidentiary sources from official documents, also provide rock-solid credibility. We feel confident that we have a winner.
In October, at two regional conferences of college activities directors in New York and in Iowa, we will have the opportunity to “showcase” this new presentation and secure several initial campus speaking opportunities. Our third regional conference will be in Texas in early November. Generous donors who believe strongly in our cause made these promising opportunities possible. You can continue their heroic support of AE911Truth by contributing to the Chip-In, located on the left side of our homepage.
One of the more unique events of the 9/11 anniversary occurred at Columbia University’s Kraft Center, where inspired speakers focused on healing through the arts to release the grief from 9/11 and heal our society. This symposium, titled “Pause, Press Play”, included Penny Little the filmmaker of Dust and Deceit.
AE911Truth volunteer Susie Bonham-Craig also shared her spiritual journey as a result of 9/11. is a Sacred Activist, author, screenwriter/editor, spiritual life coach, and founder/host of Wisdom Wide Open Radio. Susie is co-author of the book Stepping Stones to Success along with Deepak Chopra and most recently a co-writer, editor and story arranger for . Her father, Richard Humenn, who appears in the film, was the Chief Electrical Design Engineer of the original WTC Complex. Susie conveyed, through her own personal story, the opportunities that exist to learn the truth and help us heal and evolve through the crises humanity faces in these seemingly difficult times.
Our short presentation at “Pause, Press Play” included segments of Experts Speak Out reinforced by licensed counselor Fran Shure, who states in the film, “We need the truth in order to heal.”
“Pause, Press Play” artist/contributor Rachel Hughes said, “It’s been eleven years since the horrific events of 9/11, and our society has been on ‘pause’ too long. “It’s time to press ‘play’ and heal.”
The Walker Stage in NY also hosted a four-day film festival, Off the Radar, which included a screening of Experts Speak Out.
This was followed by a fascinating 2½-hour Q&A session. The audience’s profound questions largely fell outside the scope of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth – and the answers frequently came from other audience members. Very often in this line of work, we learn much more than we teach!
At the end of the conference, a virtually unanimous show of hands indicated that new people exposed to the evidence are much more receptive than ever before. Could it be that we are nearing a worldwide tipping point?
There were many other anniversary events around the country sponsored by 9/11 truth activists. Of particular note was the 9/11 Truth Film Festival in Oakland, California’s Grand Lake Theater, which screened Experts Speak Out to a crowd of 300! Up to 3,300 were listening via the live stream broadcast on the internet! Thanks go to Ken Jenkins and Allan Rees for making this possible.
Next, we flew down to College Park, Maryland, to present our “Finding the Hero Within” talk to college students for the first time.
We are blowing the whistle on the fraudulent building reports from FEMA and NIST that are nothing short of a criminal cover-up. Though packaged in a more academic and personal growth-oriented message that is more attractive to college students, this new presentation pulls no punches.
Mo Farsh is the University of Maryland student and president of the club, United Youth Movement, which secured university funding to bring AE911Truth to the campus. “The group’s mission is to inspire political discourse that has been marginalized by the mainstream media – and that’s why we brought your group here,” Mo explained.
Any club on campus can apply for activities funds from the Student Government Association to bring specific speakers of their choice to speak.
Mo also prevailed upon two professors and a graduate student to attend and join in a panel discussion following the talk. They agreed only after “intense persistence and perseverance – after initial rejection.”
Architect Garth Rockcastle, FAIA, a principal of the large architecture firm Meyer Scherer & Rockcastle, and former dean of the school of architecture at UMD, agreed to be on the panel. He did have the opportunity to review the Experts Speak Out DVD beforehand.
The panel also included Fire Protection Engineering professor James Quintiere, PhD and former manager of NIST’s Fire Safety Division, and graduate student Sadik Barbura.
Of the 71 audience members present, about half were students, and 24 were unfamiliar with World Trade Center Building 7. Before the presentation, 24 believed the official version of the destruction of the Twin Towers and 25 were unsure. The rest already believed the evidence of explosive controlled demolition. After the evidence was shown, only 6 still agreed with the official story, 15 were unsure, and 50 agreed with the explosive 9/11 evidence.
The two professors on the panel remained unconvinced by the evidence and answered several questions from the audience – most of which expressed skepticism of the professors’ position. However, Dr. Quintiere had expressed skepticism of the NIST report in the past. At the 2007 World Fire Safety Conference, he noted, “I wish that there would be a peer review of this…I think all the records that NIST has assembled should be archived. I would really like to see someone else take a look at what they’ve done, both structurally and from a fire point of view…Let’s look at real alternatives that might have been the cause of the collapse of the World Trade Towers.”
Quintiere had worked with the Campaign for Skyscraper Safety, a citizen group that includes structural engineer Abol Hassan Astaneh-asl from UC Berkeley. Astaneh-asl faults the engineering of the Twin Towers as a major vulnerability in the destruction.
Rockcastle cited the lack of a concrete core as a vulnerability. He also noted that “many of the facts brought to bear [by AE911Truth] are disturbing” but that “they assume a cause that they cannot begin to prove.” I, of course, along with 70% of the audience, believed that we proved the cause – explosives and incendiaries – quite well.
It is always difficult for me to understand how any intelligent, well-educated, and highly credentialed professional can not only misunderstand the evidence, but can actively seek to rebut it – providing false explanations in order to prop up the official story. It seems as if such individuals believe that their own sanity depends on such justification.
In this case, Dr. Quintierre actually declared (in response to the overwhelming evidence of melted steel/iron), “In my professional opinion, office fires can reach temperatures that can melt steel” – when all of the professional wisdom on the subject, even from NIST and from FEMA Appendix C author Jonathan Barnett, supports just the opposite. (Barnett, also a Fire Protection Engineer, states in Experts Speak Out, “Office fires are not capable of melting steel,” but goes on to suggest that it can weaken the steel and cause it to sag.)
In responding to the question, “How do you begin to account for the free-fall collapse of World Trade Center Building 7?” Professor Rockcastle stated, “Once it gets started it’s going to go that fast!” thus ignoring the vertical load-carrying capacity of the 40,000 tons of structural steel, which was three times stronger than it needed to be to hold up the building. He also ignored the fact that fires do not have enough duration or precision to harm fireproofed structural steel. In contrast to the official reason for the cause of the collapse (which noted no fires in that area), and in answer to the free-fall question, he stated that the large transfer trusses spanning the Con-Edison electrical substation failed. Clearly, this theory neither explains free-fall nor the symmetry of the building’s descent.
Dr. Quintiere declined to comment on WTC 7 at all, using the excuse that he has not studied it. He took this position in spite of the fact that he is one of the best-known fire-protection engineers in the country, and that WTC 7 is the third-worst structural failure in the country (after WTC 1 and 2) – and it was completely destroyed “by normal office fires” in 6.5 seconds, in the manner of classic controlled demolition. We have found that most professionals who review this evidence are not so quick to deny it.
Nevertheless, Mr. Rockcastle did call for a deeper and broader conversation and invited us back to the University of Maryland for a future engagement with some of the authors of the NIST WTC reports, including Charlie Thornton of Thornton Tomasetti. We accepted the invitation, pending assurance that it would include a point-by-point discussion of the explosive evidence.
In contrast to the above anomaly, two other professors at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, Jeff Gerson (Political Science) and Alex Brown (Environmental Science) decided to screen Experts Speak Out to their class of 40 students. After the showing, we gave a short recap of the explosive destruction of WTC 7. Then we answered questions from the audience. While we didn’t have a chance to do our standard poll on this occasion, we did note a significant shift in the nature of the discussion and the students’ written concerns:
Since 2004, Prof. Gerson has held a Sept. 11 event as part of his Introduction to American Politics class to examine the events leading up to Sept. 11, the day itself, its aftermath, and the larger meaning for American politics. The annual event was created in response to a request from Massachusetts resident Carie Lemack, who lost her mother on 9/11, and the organization she led at the time, Families of September 11.
Supporter David Munson inspired the professors and helped to coordinate the event. He is the local Principal of Munson3d, which produces 3-D new-media solutions for Boston area architects, engineers, planners, artists, research institutes and industrial designers using a “virtual world” approach to produce renderings, animations, panoramic solar studies, interactives, and 3-D printed physical models with a state-of-the art Z-Corp 3-D printing machine.
We owe a debt of thanks to all of the activists, technical professionals, researchers and organizers who helped make the anniversary events a success. Hopefully, these efforts will continue to resonate for years to come, and bring us closer to the real 9/11 investigation that is vital to our nation’s future.