Well, we made it! Our fiercely dedicated AE911Truth supporters raised the necessary the funds to send structural engineer Steven Dusterwald, S.E., and architect Richard Gage, AIA, to the 400-strong NCSEA Structural Engineering Summit in Las Vegas earlier this month.
And once there, we made quite a stir! Thanks to our backers, we hosted a first-class exhibit booth that attracted many curious convention-goers. Throughout the two days we participated in this three-day event, more than 100 structural engineers saw the evidence we presented demonstrating the controlled demolition of World Trade Center Building 7.
Of those we engaged in conversation, 25 of them signed our petition demanding a new investigation. How did we get such a high percentage to stop by our booth and sign on the dotted line? As attendees walked past, we asked: "Did you know a third tower came down on 9/11?" Hearing that question more than 14 years after the tragic event had become a dim, distant memory in their minds, they generally stopped dead in their tracks and, with a puzzled look, asked, "What?!"
"Yeah," we responded, pointing to the looping video on our TV monitor. "Look at Building 7. How is it coming down? Did fire cause it to fall that way? Or is that a controlled demolition?" Most of them replied matter-of-factly: "Controlled demolition." Our next line: "NIST says 'normal office fires.' But fire has never brought down a steel-framed skyscraper — and no plane hit this building. Would you like to join the 2,350 architects and engineers who are calling for a new independent investigation?"
When the event was coming to a close, Dusterwald reflected on the success of the outreach effort:
We're getting some good responses from people who are willing to look at the evidence. Of course, there are a few who don't want to hear about it and get a bit hostile.
When you grab people walking by, you might think they'd be annoyed that they're being roped in for a speech or something, but a lot of them are very interested. When they see the videos on our two screens running the collapse of Building 7 over and over every ten seconds, and they hear us ask if they think a fire could bring the building down, they can't help but give their honest opinion: "No . . . that looks like a controlled demolition."
It's really rewarding to find all these hard-nosed structural engineers opening their minds, evaluating the evidence, taking our literature, and listening to our explanations.
It's just such an obvious video. You can see the building coming apart a little bit as it's coming down, but basically it just stays together all the way down to the ground, until it's just a pile of rubble. So they can't believe that anybody would come to the conclusion of "destruction by fire."
The petition-signing rate is remarkably high, I think, given how skeptical and scientific these people are. The ones who don't sign immediately are saying, “Let me think about it.”
Also, they're usually on their way to somewhere when they come by here, so we don't have much time with them. One type of visitor stops for a few minutes and picks up some literature. Then there's another type of visitor who stays for 10 minutes and talks with us in detail.
I see hardly anybody refusing the DVDs or literature. It seems like everybody will at least take our Beyond Misinformation booklet or a copy of our 15-minute DVD of Ed Asner saying, "Did you know that a third tower came down on 9/11?" or our three-page foldout brochure "Why architects and engineers should support a new investigation," into which we put the flyer for our film screening presentation on Saturday at the Sahara Library.
Some people just take the petition with them, say, "I don’t sign anything on the spot," which is a sensible viewpoint. They take the petition with them, read it when they have time, then decide to sign it and drop it by our booth later on. I'm amazed at how many others will sign it right as we're talking to them. They look at the video, agree that it looks like a controlled demolition, see that all we're asking for is another investigation, realize that's not too much to ask, and sign on the spot.
Sure, it costs money to be here, but it's worth it, because that's the only way we can get our message out there to the profession. You've got to spend the money to get results.
We're reaching high-level people here. Some key engineers from one structural engineering firm that has done some analysis on World Trade Center 7 came by.
An engineer from another major engineering firm said that he did research on Buildings 1 and 2 and was dissatisfied with the official explanation for their destruction. He was astounded to learn about Building 7, which he hadn't heard about all these years after 9/11. So he was very interested in our display, and he talked with us for about 15 minutes. He disagreed with some of our points, but he was intellectually engaged, and he was discussing things with us in a reasonable way. He wasn't ranting or hostile. Before he left, he took a DVD, some literature, and our petition, which he said he might sign and return later on, after he had a chance to evaluate everything for himself.
We have found that we can't push these engineers too far. We generally stick with Building 7, because that's enough for them to handle. We gauge their responses, and we see that most of them just aren't ready to move on — especially when they tell us that "everybody knows how the Twin Towers came down." We don't want to challenge their basic assumptions before they're ready to reconsider them. To do that would risk setting their world on fire.
But even when they've dug in their heels on Buildings 1 and 2, they are willing to think differently about Building 7 when they approach our booth. They know it wasn't hit by a plane and they're looking at this footage of the collapse. Every time they watch the video, it becomes more obvious to them that it was a controlled demolition. Still, it's funny how when someone is so used to agreeing with the official story, they almost don't want to believe their eyes. That's why some of them, no matter how many times they look at that footage, still hang on to the official story that fire could have done that. At some point, though, anybody with a structural engineering degree — anybody who knows the laws of physics — has to eventually admit the truth.
During his post-conference recollections, Gage referred to a "very interesting" exchange he had with Ronald Hamburger, a structural engineer who authored part of the original FEMA Building Performance Study of the World Trade Center. "Ronald and another engineer sat down to rest at a table right in front of our booth. I talked with him for few minutes," Gage noted.
"He looked right at our TV monitor. I asked, 'What do you think could cause the seven-second symmetrical collapse of Building 7?' He didn't argue with my facts. He even said that he didn't agree with NIST's 12th-floor collapse scenario but thought it was more of an internal cascading collapse starting lower down. He said, 'The bottom floors were kicking out — and then, when that happens, the whole building can come down.' 'At free fall?' I inquired. 'Yeah!' he insisted. 'There's nothing to stop it once it gets going!'
"So there it is," Gage recounted. "You heard it right from this well-educated, respected, seasoned leader in the structural engineering world who was a featured speaker at the summit. A clear denial of the laws of physics — and of the principles of structural engineering. Of course, my next question should have been, 'No resistance from any of the 80 columns in the building?! What happened to them?' But at least I thought to ask him, 'Yeah, well, what kicked out the columns at the bottom? Only explosives could accomplish that.' 'That's bullshit. I'm outta here,' Ronald responded as he stood up and stormed off.
"On pages 10 and 11 of our booklet, Beyond Misinformation – What Science Says about the Destruction of World Trade Center Buildings 1, 2, and 7," continued Gage, "you'll find Ronald Hamburger, chief structural engineer for ABS Consulting in Oakland, California, quoted in a September 19, 2001, Wall Street Journal article as saying, 'It appeared to me that charges had been placed in the building.'
"Then, according to the WSJ, upon learning that no bombs had been detonated, though, Hamburger remarked, 'I was very surprised.' But how did he learn that 'no bombs had been detonated'?" wondered Gage. "FEMA engineers were not granted access to the site until the week of October 7. Thus, neither Hamburger nor anyone else had conducted forensic analysis of the debris, nor had they interviewed eyewitnesses yet. In other words, there was no basis for him to disconfirm his original opinions. More than likely, what he 'learned' was that the official account did not include explosives being used to bring down the buildings (despite the hundreds of witnesses and overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary)."
A conversation between Dusterwald (SD), Gage (RG), and a structural engineer (SE1) who had never heard of Building 7 until he saw it collapse on the TV monitor at our booth:
SE1: That one looked a little controlled.
RG: That's Building 7. It was about a football field away from the North Tower. It came down seven hours after the towers, and the official story tells us that these fires brought that building down. How fast is it coming down, Steve?
SD: Seven seconds.
RG: Seven seconds! How can fire bring a building like that down in seven seconds?
SD: It came down at free-fall acceleration.
RG: Meaning not one of those 82 columns gave any resistance. So that's why there are 100 structural engineers and hundreds of other engineers, plus architects like myself, calling for a new investigation — more than 2,000 of us altogether. Would you like to join us? Because that's what we're doing here. We're educating the profession about the free-fall collapse of this skyscraper. We want a new investigation. Will you join us?
SE1: Let me read about this. I'll take one of those pamphlets, and I'll come back and see you.
A conversation between Dusterwald (SD), Gage (RG), and a structural engineer (SE2) from Weidlinger Associates, Inc., the firm hired by Larry Silverstein (after the May 2002 FEMA report was published) to conduct another study of WTC 7's destruction for the purpose of helping Silverstein wage his legal battle:
SE2: It happened 12, 13 hours after the initial attacks. It was heavily damaged, right?
RG: This building had some damage, but NIST says that damage from North Tower debris was not a significant part of the cause of this building's failure. Instead, NIST said "normal office fires" brought it down.
SE2: But do you think they would have demolished it, regardless?
RG: I don't know what to think about what they would've done or not done. I just know what the evidence shows.
RG: Your firm, Weidlinger Associates, did the analysis on this building. It does not talk about the eyewitnesses of the explosions, it does not talk about the extreme high temperatures — thousands of degrees of molten iron invading the steel. It doesn't talk about the sulfuric corrosion on the ends of the beams or the fact that Jonathan Barnett, the metallurgist and fire protection engineer, said that the end of the beams appeared to have been 'partially evaporated,' which takes 4,000-degree (Fahrenheit) temperatures. So that's why we've got to have a real investigation.
SE2: So what's your hope at the end of this? You get an investigation. What's the endgame? What are you trying to prove by it?
RG: We're just trying to educate the profession right now, because most architects and engineers know nothing about the third-worst structural failure in modern history.
SE2: But what are you trying to educate them on?
RG: That that building came down not by those fires, according to the official story, but by explosive controlled demolition — which raises all kinds of questions that I'm not qualified to answer.
SE2: But educating the public on that, what does that do for . . .
RG: For instance, if that building did come down by fire, why wouldn't we have any structural engineering code changes . . . . There are none.
SE2: We do have — ASE is implementing performance-based fire design.
RG: Performance-based but no changes to the prescriptive building codes.
SE2: Yes, so they have prescriptive design measures, and those haven't changed yet, but that's because a lot of the . . .
RG: It's been 14 years. They're not discussing it at all anymore, so it's unlikely that there are any more code provisions being enacted.
SE2: Well, NIST is doing a lot of performance-based research. They have a new fire lab at the Gaithersburg, Maryland, facility I recently toured. They're doing a lot of work on performance-based fire design. They're moving towards performance-based fire design. They're encouraging it. I don't know if it's as a result of this, but I know that a lot of research has been done, because this is the only high-rise structure to collapse due to fire design in the U.S. So I think people have to think differently.
RG: Well, why are most structural engineers completely unaware that it even happened, if it's the third-worst structural failure in modern history? How can that be true if everybody's unaware of it? It's not well studied.
SE2: I think it was well studied. I think there are a lot of people that did look into it. I think Weidlinger made one of them. I think we did a very comprehensive — I haven't read it exclusively, but my understanding from talking to people in the firm is that the report was very comprehensive and recognized on a national level. We've won awards because of that report.
RG: I'm sure. But did they look at the evidence for explosive demolition, which is overwhelming?
SE2: So I think it was well investigated, actually.
RG: Well, I hope you'll look at the DVD. Thank you.
A conversation between Dusterwald (SD), Gage (RG), and a structural engineer (SE3). This discussion (and the two above) are fairly typical of approximately 75% of the exchanges with structural engineers who visited the AE911Truth booth (the other 25% raised no objections, but instead signed the petition on the spot):
RG: Now we're looking at this 47-story skyscraper coming down at free-fall acceleration, and the question was, "What's bringing it down, fire or controlled demolition?" Your first hunch is . . .
SE3: I'm an engineer, so I don't work in hunches. I work in facts. And I work in what I can see and prove. The problem is that I haven't done enough research to understand [the facts yet]. Again, when it comes down to it, . . . I'm an optimist. I like to believe that someone didn't put a bunch of explosives somewhere in the building and it fell down. But can I say know that with 100 percent certainty? I can't.
RG: But you can say that it looks exactly like a controlled demolition like the old hotels in Las Vegas?
SE3: Yeah. It's certainly a bit of a paradox in the sense that it . . . comes down the way it does.
RG: And it's also curious, isn't it, that NIST — the National Institute of Standards and Technology — which was tasked with explaining these three building failures to us, didn't even examine the hypothesis of explosive controlled demolition?
SE3: It seems to be the way things work sometimes, right?
RG: No fire has ever brought down a skyscraper, and yet fire is the first — and exclusive — hypothesis NIST examined. What does that mean to you?
SE3: Certainly, not only am I for finding out the truth, but from an engineering perspective, from a scientific perspective, I do believe that all potential outcomes should be investigated. . . . Regardless of what the outcome is — whether we find out that it was some act of God or it was a fire or it was controlled demolition — I'd want it to be fully investigated. And that's just me as an engineer.
RG: Steve, you're a structural engineer. How many structural steel connections are failing every second in order to bring that building down?
Steve: I believe it comes out to, like, 400 per second.
RG: Steve, this engineer told us he has looked at our website. He has humbly acknowledged, "We don't want to believe that somebody could've gotten in that building and set explosives."
Steve: Well, it's not good news for the country [if they did plant explosives].
RG: That's why we're sticking with the facts. We don't have conspiracy theories here. So we've got to have a real investigation. If there are questions raised, do you think there should be a new investigation?
SE3: Certainly. I think that's only logical and common sense, in any case. It has nothing to do with whether . . .
Steve: There are procedures for a crime.
SE3: Yeah, you should investigate it. I totally agree with that.
RG: Would you call for a new investigation with 2,300 of us A/Es who are also doing so?
SE3: Uh, I don't know. That's one of those things that I'd have to — I'd have to firmly believe in something in order to —and like I said, I've perused the website. I haven't necessarily —
Steve: He needs time to think about it.
SE3: I don't make snap decisions — that's not my M.O.
RG: Would you watch a DVD documentary with 40 high-rise architects, structural engineers, metallurgists, chemists, physicists, controlled demolitionists talking about the evidence in these three building failures?
SE3: Oh, I probably would.
And here are comments from three structural engineers who signed the petition at the AE911Truth booth in Las Vegas:
Dilip Khatri, Ph.D., S.E., principal of Khatri International in Pasadena, CA: "I think it’s important to find out the truth, so that's why I signed the petition."
Allyn Hector, S.E., of Fort Worth, TX: "Well, to me, it looks like it's coming down in a controlled way. As a structural engineer, I've seen this. I've had buildings taken down to make way for a new building that I designed. And when a building implodes, it seems to come down in the middle first — that's controlled — so that it ends up in a pile right in the same spot, versus the sides peeling off and damaging other buildings. So you do it in a controlled, symmetrical way, where it piles into the center, into itself, for the cleanup and to avoid collateral damage. So that's what it looks like to me."
Seth Harris, a structural engineer in Charleston, SC: "The rate at which that building falls, the direction in which that building falls, appears to be very deliberate, very reminiscent of what a controlled demolition would look like versus a structural failure across multiple columns, multiple beam moments."
Summary of Outreach Effort at SE Summit
Most of the 100 SEs who stopped at our booth admitted that they had never heard of WTC 7 and didn't know of the existence of AE911Truth. Of those who already knew about Building 7, a few had previously signed our petition but walked up to us anyway — giving us much-needed moral support.
Of the many newcomers to WTC 7, some said they needed more time to review the evidence before coming to a decision. We applaud them for taking time to study the facts. Roughly half of the newcomers quickly recognized WTC 7's collapse as a controlled demolition. And of those visitors who readily acknowledged the hallmarks of planted explosives, another half took the courageous step of signing our petition.
Based on these results, one cannot help but conclude that the single biggest obstacle to mobilizing the engineering profession behind a new investigation is a lack of awareness of WTC 7.
Given this observation, we know it's possible to awaken architects and engineers everywhere through the straightforward approach of informing them of WTC 7. But there's much work to be done to reach them all. We need your help! Please email the AE911Truth.org link to every architect and engineer in your area and beyond. Snail-mail or drop off the Beyond Misinformation booklet to building professionals in your area. We're grateful for whatever steps you take to open eyes, hearts, minds to the truth of 9/11. But do something. Our individual rights and our country's sovereignty are at stake. The implications of these controlled demolitions are far greater than we had time to explore with these structural engineers. Each of us must become informed — and speak out.