Editor’s Note: Last month, thanks to donations from 200 dedicated activists, AE911Truth was able to send four civil engineers to the ASCE’s Forensic Engineering 8th Congress in Austin, Texas. There they spoke with some 200 forensic engineers, distributed educational fliers, and, on the evening of November 30, held a presentation at a hotel near the conference. On our most recent episode of 9/11 Free Fall — which can be read below or heard on YouTube or SoundCloud — engineers Roland Angle and Larry Cooper join host Andy Steele to give an insightful recap of their experience.
Andy: Tonight we'll be joined by structural engineer Larry Cooper and AE911Truth board member and civil engineer Roland Angle. We're going to be talking about the presentation that Roland did near the forensic engineering conference in Austin recently, at the end of November. Very good stuff. A lot of great outreach taking place. You're going to hear about it all tonight — it's coming your way right now.
Larry Cooper is a structural engineer. He has 40-plus years of consulting engineering experience related to the structural design and construction of major wastewater treatment facilities and highway and railway bridges. He is joined by Roland Angle. Roland graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, with a BS in civil engineering. He served in the U.S. Army special forces, where he was trained for the use of explosives, and became a licensed civil engineer in California. His 50 years of engineering experience has included designing and testing of blast-hardened missile launch facilities and designing U.S. Naval explosives containers, harbor terminal facilities, earth foundation systems, and hydraulic systems. In addition, Roland has owned three construction companies and has taught engineering subjects to high school students. He's a board member for AE911Truth. He's also the head of Project Due Diligence, which we'll be talking about a little bit today. Guys, welcome back to 9/11 Free Fall.
Larry: Well, thank you, it's a pleasure to be here.
Roland: Thank you, Andy, glad to be here.
Andy: So please, just remind our audience in terms of yourselves and the 9/11 evidence and your experience. We'll start with Larry. What from your background really drew you into this issue and, for you, what evidence seemed the most important?
Larry: Well, my involvement with Architects & Engineers started in 2014, when I happened upon a booth that Architects & Engineers was sponsoring at a general assembly that I was attending. I stopped in to pay a visit to see what they were all about, and it didn't take very long. The person manning the booth there showed me a video of the collapse of Building 7 and we had a little discussion, and my immediate reaction upon seeing that video was, “That looks like controlled demolition.” And that, of course, was just the tip of the iceberg that caused me to delve into it a little bit deeper. I soon realized there was a lot more evidence and it all pointed toward the same conclusion. So I thereupon decided Architects & Engineers was an organization that warranted my support. I contacted them, and that was the beginning of my connection with Architects & Engineers. After they researched my credentials and confirmed that I did, in fact, have a master's degree in structural engineering, they added me as an endorser. I've been supporting them since then, and, of course, as of several months ago, joined Roland in participating in Project Due Diligence.
Andy: Roland, just for new people, remind us what drew you into the movement — what you consider to be the most important evidence that really lit a fire under you to put you where you are now with AE911Truth.
Roland: I heard Richard Gage on the radio in about 2006, and he was talking about the fact that there was a lot of evidence that pointed to controlled demolition. So I went out and heard him. At that time he was living in the same area that I am, here in the East Bay in California, and I went out to one of his presentations. He presented some very convincing evidence that the only way those buildings could have come down in that fashion was controlled demolition. From what I knew about structures and explosives, and so on and so forth, it made perfect sense to me. I had been aware of the issue before then, but I had been wrapped up in my own personal affairs and didn't really have that much time to pay attention to it. But as things began to clear up for me, I became more involved. I signed the petition, they verified my credentials, and shortly thereafter — well, I guess it was a couple of years later — they came to me and asked me if I wanted to be on a video that they were making, Experts Speak Out. So I appeared in that video, and then I sort of dropped away from the scene for awhile, doing other things.
A few years ago Richard called me up and asked me if I would like to be on the board; they needed more engineer presence on the board; it had been unbalanced toward architecture for some time. So I said, “Well, what would you want me to do?” And he said, “Well, we want you to bring the engineering community into this debate on a bigger scale.” So I came on board and, in time, developed this notion of reaching out to the ASCE individual branches (they have 160 branches across the U.S.). Then I said, “We should go to each one of these branches. I don't think they are really aware of the content of the NIST and FEMA reports, which comprise thousands and thousands of pages, and I just don't believe that the average engineer has had time to go through that. And I think if they knew what the position of the ASCE was — [believing] that the existing reports are okay — they might change their minds. Certainly it was convincing to me. And so they put me together with some of the other engineers that had been doing research on the NIST reports. We put together this presentation which critiques the [NIST and FEMA] reports, and now we've begun to outreach to the ASCE branches. Also, we've started going out to the National Society of Professional Engineers — to their local chapters. So our job is to take this information to them and see if we can get them to help us call for a new investigation.
Andy: Can you please describe to the audience what the forensic engineering conference is, why engineers go to these kinds of conferences, and what they typically talk about at them.
Roland: We were very fortunate to have with us two other volunteers: Jef Bishop, who is a structural engineer down in Texas, and Ozzie Rendon-Herrero, who is a retired professor of engineering in Mississippi. He was one of the founders of the original forensic conferences. They've only had eight — this was the eighth forensic congress that ASCE has held. And they only hold them every three years. Ozzie was one of the persons that initiated the forensic congress idea amongst ASCE. It's a very important subject for engineers, because it's an examination of structural and other types of failures that have occurred, with an eye towards understanding why they occurred and how they could be prevented in the future. So he was very experienced and knowledgeable about a lot of the people who were [at] the conference. He had brought many of them into the congress himself in the past, and he was instrumental in helping us understand their proceedings and their background. We were very lucky to have him there.
We found out about the congress through Larry, actually, who notified us a couple of months beforehand that it was going to take place. So we decided we would go, even though it was kind of last minute. We didn't present a paper for acceptance and presentation at the congress because we didn't find out in time. We decided to hold our presentation at a nearby hotel; we couldn't get a room in the same hotel, so we got a hotel nearby. We got a meeting room there, we published a flyer advertising the event, and we went to the congress the first night and passed it out amongst the majority of the attendees. There were roughly 300 people in attendance. We got out about 175 flyers and mixed [with engineers] there at the reception [that evening], then went [back] the next morning, attended some of the conference workshops. We held our own presentation that Friday night at a hotel nearby — the Hotel Indigo. So that was our plan and that was our motive in going: to present this information to a lot of people who are directly concerned and involved with the issue of studying failures and analyzing them and coming to conclusions about why they occurred and adopting measures to prevent them in the future.
Andy: Now, Larry, it's interesting that you were the one who had the idea first. You were the very nucleus of this whole project, [wanting, as you did,] to do something in correlation with this conference. Do you feel that forensic engineers — that engineers in general — are exposed to this topic enough? I mean, how much do you feel, from what you see, that you and your peers really get any education on what happened at the World Trade Center on that day?
Larry: Well, that's quite interesting, because we did have discussions with quite a few of the people who were attending this congress, and it was interesting that several of them indicated that they were involved in the original FEMA investigation into the cause of, well, into the failure of the buildings. In the discussions that we had with them, it became pretty clear that they really were not wanting to side with us. And when we probed the reasons for their resistance, I guess you'd call it, they really didn't come up with any technical explanations. They didn't dispute any of the factual information that Architects & Engineers was presenting. It seemed to be more a matter of, "Well, our fellow engineers made some decisions back in 2005 [and] 2008 when the reports were done," and they were basically just supporting [those reports] without questioning the evidence. So it told me that engineers are just as human as a lot of other people. They kind of want to go with the crowd. They're not comfortable stepping back and saying, “Well, hey, maybe I ought to take another look at this and draw my own conclusions.” That didn't seem to be happening. So, they seemed to be just wanting to support the original work and not really scrutinizing it — scrutinizing the evidence itself, which is rather disappointing.
Andy: How common is it? I mean, there are other things that happen in the world. There was a skyway that collapsed in Kansas City in, I think it was '79, if I'm correct, and that ended up being the engineers' fault, or the engineering company's fault. But engineers weigh in on this: They have been talking about it for years afterward and it gets cited in engineering classes as an example of what you don't want to happen. There would be other things that happen where people more freely would opine, at least I would think so when you're involved in a field that has so much science involved with it. You know, science is all about collaboration and input in an open, transparent setting. So how often is it that you have a circumstance where a group of engineers makes a determination and then almost uniformly, other than the engineers that have signed the AE911Truth petition or the ones that may have some reason to support us but not sign it, other than that subset, all the other ones go along with it almost as a political stance, saying, "Well, we support the original determination of that team." I mean, is that a common thing to have happen or is that unique to 9/11?
Larry: Ah, no, I think it's quite common. I've been involved in other controversial issues that are rather uncomfortable for people to confront and recognize, and I think probably it's that phenomenon that I think is going on here, because when you look at the evidence as to what caused the collapse of the buildings, it's really quite discomforting; the conclusions that you're likely to come to are quite discomforting, and those conclusions have major implications. And I think, psychologically, it's difficult for people to accept those conclusions, because then they have to reckon with some very serious implications. And so, I think there's some interesting psychology going on here where, when people find themselves in a position where the evidence points to uncomfortable conclusions, they try to dismiss the evidence or just say, “Well, there must be more to this. I can't accept the conclusions that this is leading me to, so I'm going to deny it.” They don't come right out and say that, but that's basically what they're doing. That's my psychological analysis as an engineer.
Andy: Well, there you go. It's very interesting. I mean, I think that in the future they're going to write a lot about this time in history and some of the dynamics going on in our society around it, even within the engineering field. Roland, you may have mentioned this or touched on it before, but I want to draw it out a little more. Why did we do the presentation near the conference as opposed to at it? Did you try to get it presented at the conference and, if so, what was the reaction of the people putting it on?
Roland: We didn't try to get into the conference, because by the time we got Project Due Diligence organized and up and running, the deadline for presenting possible workshops at the conference had already passed. As I said, we didn't find out about it until maybe a couple of months before the congress was scheduled [to be held], and it was too late to present anything. So we didn't even attempt to.
However, we did run into some of the organizers of the conference while we were there, and they're attitude was that, I was told right to my face, "You're in the wrong place." And I said, "Well, I don't think I'm in the wrong place; these are people who are trained and educated to understand the material that we are presenting, and therefore that's why we're reaching out to them. Furthermore, that's not the reaction I'm getting from the vast majority of people that I am talking to, who all express some interest, and none of them deny that this is a relevant subject for this particular body to examine.”
Our experience so far, not only at this conference but with Project Due Diligence in general, is that the further up the chain of command we go in the ASCE, the more resistance there is to us being able to discuss this information with the members. And I think that grows naturally out of the fact that there were a number of prominent people in the ASCE organization who were involved in the investigation of the original crime scene and [in] the publication of various papers that explained — purported to explain — what had happened. They have an interest in this and an interest in supporting the existing story. So we weren't surprised by that attitude from the leadership.
But we are attempting to go beyond the leadership and go directly to the rank and file, because we feel like, if we can get the opportunity to present this information to them, [they will understand and sign on]. As we found out at our presentation, there were a number of people who came from the congress to our presentation, and none of them raised any objections to the information that we presented. We have yet to find anybody who will confront any of the facts that we are presenting in an effective or scientific way and [who can] dispel the evidence that we're presenting. So it's a question of history and where the ASCE found itself after the event and what they did at that time.
Andy: Yeah, I think you guys did it in a very smart way. I think having it separate from the conference but near it and drawing people from the conference, that way you can get the right audience but you're in a situation that you don't have to deal with interference from people who want to keep the issue stifled. So, I want to hear it from both of you; we'll start with Roland. There was obviously a mingling period during the event that you guys held. What was your impression? Describe some of the interactions that you had there.
Roland: Well, I didn't have a chance to explain or discuss anything. There was a general discussion period afterwards, but nobody raised any technical issues. One fellow raised a technical issue: He asked if the steel that had been salvaged had been tested and did it meet the specifications, and the answer to that was, “Yes, it had been tested, and yes, it was all at or above the specifications for the steel.” So that is not an issue; it wasn't a problem with the steel material itself.
I've been calling the people who signed the sign-up sheet, and I've spoken with a number of the engineers who came from the conference. They all agree that the information was effective, was well-presented, was compelling, and certainly was more than enough reason to call for a new investigation. We talked about what we thought the hesitation was in terms of them being willing to confront the issue.
One fellow in particular owns a forensic architectural/engineering firm in Dallas, and he was quite experienced in this particular field, and he said, “Whenever there's a failure there's always going to be a controversy, because the people who designed and built it are going to have a vested interest in defending its integrity, and the people who are concerned about the effects of the failure — perhaps loss of life, property, expenses, and so on — have the interest in finding out what actually happened. As a forensic engineer, he said, "You always have to step into the middle of those two parties and behave objectively, and not let their individual interests sway you in terms of how you're going to interpret the evidence."
And I think that's true in this case as well. There was the government, [which] was responsible for conducting the investigation, and they were investigating a failure of massive proportions. They were not the actual organization that should have been conducting that investigation, because there were government agencies that were implicated. For instance, the military: Their job to protect us had somehow fallen through, so it was improper in the first place for an agency of the government to be investigating the failure of the buildings. It should have been done by an independent agency, such as they do with airplane crashes. So that was a problem from the very beginning. You had a partisan investigative body, and their partisan nature showed up in the way that they conducted their investigation, unfortunately. I think people who are interested in this field are aware that there's always going to be two sides to the issue, and your job is to be impartial. I think, in this case, the NIST investigations failed in that regard.
Andy: Larry, same question. Your overall impression of interactions in Q&A time during the event at the hotel.
Larry: Let me speak more to a discussion that I had with an engineer who attended that event prior to Roland's presentation. I don't recall his exact title, but he was in the armed services. He had a very responsible position at a base — it may have been somewhere in Texas. I don't recall just why, but in the course of the conversation he mentioned the war in Iraq. He was quite fortunate that he didn't end up going to Iraq, but many of his colleagues — his people who were responsible to him — did get sent to Iraq, but he was designated as someone who was critically needed at the base. It obviously had a huge impact on him, because he lost a lot of people he knew. He did comment that he did not believe in conspiracy as being related or having anything to do with what happened to the Twin Towers; we basically just left it at that. But I guess, by virtue of the fact that he brought up, and I guess it is a simple matter of historical fact, that after 9/11 several things changed. Several things happened. Now just what the connections are, that remains to be seen yet.
But the war in Iraq was something that did happen and I think many people would argue that, were it not for 9/11, that probably wouldn't have happened. Now what the cause and effect is, that's something that remains to be determined. I think maybe that speaks a little bit to what people don't want to talk about, what people don't want to recognize — some of those huge implications that are going on there. It's in the back of the minds of many people. We have to, first of all, establish what did in fact cause the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings. Having established that, then, of course, we move on to how was it done, who did it, and so on. Anyhow, I bring that up as a sort of a subtle indication that there are some serious implications between the collapse of those buildings and a lot of other things that subsequently happened.
Andy: So, I imagine that the volunteers and yourselves had advertised this thing pretty well at the event, and then a certain number of people came up. When the people came up, did they seem to have an overall interest in the topic, or was it more of just kind of a curiosity to them? Did they seem to have been exposed to this before and want to learn more, or were they completely in the dark? What was your overall impression of the audience?
Roland: I think there were mixed emotions. I didn't talk to all of them but I think, from what I did talk about, these were people that were either open to another explanation than the one they were aware of, or they were skeptical of the original explanation. I think that there were a couple of people who came who were probably convinced that they could poke holes in our argument and that they would be able to easily dissuade us from our [to them] misguided understanding of what had happened. I spoke with a couple people like that at the event the night before, but they immediately went to things like, "Well, somebody would have talked; how did they keep it a secret?" Questions like that.
Unfortunately, as engineers, they failed to understand that those questions are not an area of our expertise. We can't speak to those issues as engineers; we can only speak to the evidence. And as soon as you begin to talk to the evidence, you say, "Well, let's look at the evidence, there were explosives found in the residue, in the dust." Then the question they come back with is, "Well, how could that have happened?" Well, again, not our purview. We're not into understanding how the explosives were planted or any of that business. That's a criminal investigator's job to perform. We simply note the fact that, since explosives were found in the dust, there must have been explosives in the building, and leave it at that. That's as far as we want to go with it, as the engineering profession. We simply want to say, "There were explosives; there wasn't an investigation to examine those explosives. Therefore, we have done that investigation. We've done our due diligence. We examined the dust. We found explosive residue. It wasn't done in the original investigation. That is a problem with the original investigation and [with] the reports that came out of that investigation. That's why the investigation needs to be done again." If you stick to the facts like that, their arguments don't really go very far, because most of the people who think they are arguing with you are not arguing about engineering facts. They're arguing about criminal elements or economic motives or other kinds of issues that are not of our concern.
Andy: It's interesting that people who are attending a forensic engineering conference would fall into that kind of thinking — how somebody would have talked, how could this actually happen. It's the same thing that most average people will fall into when you discuss this with them. When really, of course, when you're investigating a crime like this, you've just got to stick to the facts, as Roland has said. Roland, I know that our audience and you are very familiar with the evidence, but could you just talk about some of the main points that you felt really drove it home to these newcomers to a presentation like that? I don't know if you were gauging people's faces during it, but what do you think really stuck in their minds, from your own impression?
Roland: Well, talking about Building 7 first, very briefly, we've shown that the initiating event that NIST claims set off the building failure could not possibly have happened. There are four — at least four — good reasons for why that couldn't have happened. And they involve the fact that NIST misrepresented the condition that they said led to the failure. NIST said that the beams were heated and [that the beams] pushed a girder off of its seat. Well, we've shown that even if the beams were heated to the temperature that NIST said they were, they couldn't have expanded enough to push the girder off of its seat.
They misrepresented the seat itself — the dimensions of the seat. They shortened it to make it appear as if the girder could have come off the seat. They left off stiffeners at the end of the girder that would have prevented the lower flange from failing even if it had been able to be pushed off the seat. They left off stiffener plates at the column that would have prevented the girder from moving off of its seat. They left off the studs on top of the girder that secured it to the concrete, which would have prevented it from moving independently of the floor and being pushed off of its seat. So there's all kinds of reasons, physical reasons, that the initiating event could not possibly have happened. Those are indisputable. Those are just facts. That's mechanics of materials. That's an accurate depiction of the condition that we started with. NIST failed in those areas. So, in the very beginning, the initiating event couldn't have occurred. And if the initiating event couldn't have occurred, well, then, the entire building wouldn't have failed. You've got to have something that starts it. Their starting event, we've proven, couldn't possibly have happened.
Then they said that girder fell down and knocked the girder below it off the column and led to a cascade of floors all the way down to the 5th floor from the 13th floor. We proved that that couldn't possibly have happened either: The girder falling couldn't have knocked the girder below it off of its seat and led to a cascade. So the cascade couldn't have occurred. And then they said that that cascade of floors led to a buckling of that column, and that column buckling led to the columns adjacent to it buckling, and all the core columns failed, and that, in turn, caused the exterior columns to fail, and that led to the global collapse of the building.
Well, all those things [are not true], because the initiating event couldn't have occurred and because the cascading floors couldn't have occurred. We even showed that the column, according to their own information, wasn't unsupported for a length enough to cause that column to buckle, so the column couldn't have buckled. So their whole chain of events was proven to be impossible according to the physical data and according to their own information. So that completely disproves their theory and calls for a new investigation that would involve the examination that possibly explosives were used.
As far as the Twin Towers go, the initiating event, NIST said, was caused by the failure of some exterior columns after the planes had hit and the fires had burned for awhile — in other words, that some of the columns on the exterior of the building failed and then that worked its way around the exterior of the building and all the columns on the exterior failed; and that then caused the interior columns to fail and the buildings to collapse.
But the video evidence shows that the core columns had to have failed first, because the antenna on top of Building 1 descended before the exterior of the building began to descend. That means that the core columns failed first, and that completely disproves their collapse initiation theory. They don't want to touch that, because they don't have any explanation for why the core columns would have failed first, since there was very little damage done to the core columns by the plane impacts or the burning fuel. So it seemed as if they were running away from the evidence to come up with a conclusion that was totally contrary to the evidence. There are lots of other details that we went into, but that's the main story. Their story doesn't work: It's not supported by the evidence and needs to be redone.
Andy: Now before I did this interview today, I was talking to our director of strategy, Ted Walter, and he mentioned that there was a workshop on "First Impression Myopia," and we weren't sure which members of your team actually attended it. Can I ask you guys right now: Did you guys attend that workshop?
Larry: Yes, I did.
Andy: Larry, tell us about that.
Larry: Yeah, I attended that, and I found it very apropos to what our work is about. The speaker was right on target with a number of things. The title of that session was "Building Failure Investigations — First Impression Myopia." He made several very relevant statements, like warning us of deliberate or unconscious confirmation bias, of selective information sharing, of dishonesty, etc. He noted that as investigators are conducting their investigation, they generally form an initial theory as to the cause of the problem. He then emphasized the importance of keeping your mind open to changing your initial theory if new information leads you in another direction. Don't allow your investigation to be restricted by your client. Avoid disaster by obtaining a second opinion. Be willing to admit mistakes.
During [his] Q&A session, I reminded the attendees — probably about 40 people — that Roland was going to be making a presentation that evening and that it was very much related to a number of points that the speaker had just brought up in that session. I encouraged everyone to attend our presentation that evening. And I specifically, after the Q&A session was over, spoke with the speaker himself and asked him if he would attend Roland's presentation that evening. He informed me right off that he disagreed with the position of Architects & Engineers — implying, of course, that he was not interested in attending our presentation. I said, "Well, that's okay, but I hope that you would still attend and that you would share your thoughts and your criticism with us. I mean, we're about finding the truth, and if you see any faults, any flaws, if you disagree with anything that's being presented, we want to hear about it." Well, he did not show up.
Andy: You can present the people the information and people can say they disagree, and then you ask them specifically what about the official story do you feel supports their claims. You ask them, basically, for the specifics of the official story — and people won't even know. It's not that they have any limited mental capacity or anything like that, it's just they haven't taken the time to study it to get into why the official story doesn't make any sense. They just assume that somebody has looked at this — [that] a team has looked at this and come to a conclusion, that what Roland and Larry are presenting is just out of bounds; it just can't possibly be true. So whatever this team appointed by the government has said has to be true and the benefit of the doubt should go to them. But most people, when you talk to them, don't even know the official story that they are defending.
We get so many people who will say, "Oh, we need to be out there protesting in front of Washington, D.C." and we do these things, but you know, we need to be approaching the President and confronting him about this issue. And they may say that we've reached out to institutions before and it's not effective or it's not important enough — you know, we need to do these bigger and bolder, more dramatic things. I disagree, and I know why I disagree, but I want to hear it from you, Roland, why is it important that we keep up with this strategy and keep injecting the 9/11 evidence into professional events like this forensic engineering conference?
Roland: Speaking as an engineer, I'm first and foremost concerned about the reputation and the effectiveness of the engineering community. Engineers can't afford to be wrong; we're not given that luxury. When we are wrong, we have to find out why we're wrong and we have to take action to correct our errors. That hasn't been done here, and this is a tragic case that affected the lives of virtually every person on the planet. So it is of even greater importance that we examine this issue thoroughly.
And what we're finding, for the reasons you've been discussing, is kind of this remarkable lack of curiosity about this event. My father was stationed on a ship at Pearl Harbor. After the Pearl Harbor attack, there were no fewer than five congressional investigations into what had caused the failure and who was responsible. And in fact, eventually, the head of the Naval command and the head of the Army command were both pushed out as a result of what was considered to be their dereliction of duty. We've had no such thing with 9/11, no such thing at all. And our profession, the engineering profession, was smack-dab in the middle of this, because we were the ones who designed the buildings, we were responsible for the safety of the people who were using the buildings. The buck stops with us.
Essentially, what the government has found out is pointing the finger at us and saying that we didn't do our job properly because those towers were designed to take a hit from a commercial aircraft and survive. And Building 7 was certainly designed to withstand normal office fires. Yet they all fell down, and we are the ones who are on the hook for that. It is remarkable that our profession is not standing up for itself and demanding a complete and thorough investigation, because if we are indeed responsible, we need to own up to it. I don't believe we are. I think we have been made the scapegoat in this affair and I'm not willing to be that scapegoat. I didn't devote 50 years of my life to this practice to be held up as a scapegoat for the world to blame for this incident which changed all of our lives.
More than ever, engineers cannot afford to be wrong, and if we are wrong, we need to find out why we were wrong. We haven't found out anything about why we were wrong here. We have found, instead, a report that seeks to cover up the actual evidence. Therefore, we must demand a new investigation, and it has to be done properly. It doesn't meet our standards.
Andy: Larry, same question. Why is it important that we keep up with the strategy and keep injecting the 9/11 evidence into these kinds of professional conferences?
Larry: Well, I think Roland just [gave] an excellent description of the responsibilities of the engineering community, and I guess I would speak to something that goes beyond that. As I mentioned, I've been involved in other controversial issues, and they happen to be related to the Middle East. The things that have happened in the world since 9/11, as Roland said, have impacted everybody in the world. And when I hear discussions that come back to 9/11 — when politicians, for example, or world leaders are discussing things and they somehow, for some reason, make reference to 9/11 — the underlying assumption is that the buildings fell down because they were hit by planes and caught on fire.
Well, as Roland has very well pointed out, that is false. That was not the cause of the collapse of those buildings. So there is much more going on here than what is being openly discussed. And that has huge implications for society, for societies around the world. Engineers tend to be, for the most part, nonpolitical, non-activist. They're generally technically oriented, they want to solve technical problems. But when we are being used, as Roland said, as scapegoats, we need to speak up because what's happened here has implications that go way beyond the engineering world. And to get into that requires another investigation because clearly, the culprits, if you will, have not really been identified. There's been a misidentification of who caused the collapse of these buildings. So until we really identify the real cause of the collapse of those buildings, that means there are people, forces, organizations, whatever —special interests — that have not been held to account yet. And they still have an agenda that they're working. Just what that all is, that's another investigation.
Andy: That's right, but again, we've established exactly what did not happen. These buildings did not collapse because of random office fires. We can make the case, and we're going to have a study coming out pretty soon [proving] that there had to have been pre-planted explosives in Building 7 and that NIST's story doesn't make any sense. So even if you can't make sense of the official story or if the official story doesn't pass the smell test, you still have to throw it out and look into [the evidence] again.
We're not going to let the apathy of passing time and new events dissuade us, or keep us off our mission of constantly shining a light on this event. I don't care how much time passes, even if it's another 10 years from now and it gets acknowledged that there were explosives in these buildings, it'll be a huge deal. It'll be a big eye-opening moment for all of America. And they know that; that's why they put so much effort into trying to dissuade people from listening to us. And that's all we're asking for, is for people to listen to us and make their own determinations. I'm pretty confident that when they watch Building 7 fall, they'll agree with the need for a new investigation.
So let me make a quick comment and pass my respect out to our great volunteers here at AE911Truth, the people who helped out Roland down there. We have some of our best ones. I just want to know, Roland, if somebody has an idea—you know, Larry had the idea of attending this conference. There might be something else that we're not thinking of or some event that we might want to do something similar at. First of all, would we consider doing something similar at another type of event; and if somebody has an idea, what would be the best thing for them to do?
Roland: That's a very great question. And I would like to, before I get into it, thank all the many volunteers who helped pull off this presentation at the congress. There were a number of them who showed up. And that leads me to the next question about conferences of this kind and how we can use them. My thinking has developed, from different things that people have said, to the point that I think we should be trying to mobilize for conferences several times a year in different areas of the country. Because what we found in this case, we found a lot of people who came to Austin from as far away as Galveston and Dallas and other parts of the state. They came to this event because they wanted to be involved. And we got two new presenters; two people joined Project Due Diligence out of the people who came. [Both are] engineers. And then there's other people there who played a significant role in helping us with the setup and just anything that we needed in terms of support.
We can use these conferences as organizing points for a particular area. Let's say we found out about a congress — and there are many of these congresses that take place with various engineering organizations across the country. We can go [to it] and we can bring in our local volunteers who have signed our petition. We can advertise, take our message to the attendees, recruit more presenters, and build an organization around them that can help them carry out presentations in that area as we go forward. So now, for instance, we're in a much better position in Texas than we were before the congress, because now I've got 12, 15 people who I can connect [and] who can now go forward to the ASCE chapters and the other professional engineering organizations in the area and get this material in front of them. So it helps us in our organizing efforts in a very specific way. We're learning, as we're going along here, how best to do this, and this is a very important lesson for us that came out of that congress.
Andy: Now, we're in our last few minutes here. We'll start with Larry. Do you guys have any final thoughts you want to leave with the audience?
Larry: Well, I guess I would say, yeah, people need to listen, to look at the evidence. I think a lot of people think this is such a huge problem and there's really nothing they can do about it because they just don't have a position of influence. Well, that's not the way movements grow. Movements grow from the ground up, person by person; you build a house brick by brick.
Here's one little example: A friend of mine has a granddaughter who just started college [and who] had heard one of her high school teachers talk about 9/11. When she got in college, one of her professors was talking about 9/11. So this young lady prepared a paper and gave a speech on 9/11, and she made reference to Architects & Engineers in her speech. She got an A on her speech. That's just one little example, and it illustrates that, okay, the young generation, the people of college age, they're still aware and have some interest in this.
And when people like me, who are a couple generations removed, and people in between, spread the word and keep the interest going, I think the movement will grow. Eventually the pressure will emerge, recognition will emerge that something's not right here. This problem needs to be delved into in greater depth so that we understand what really happened and can correct whatever needs to be corrected and prevent this sort of thing from happening in the future. The younger generation has to live with the world that evolves, and so they have an interest. Some of them have an interest.
So just remind people that we can make things happen if we decide to. If we decide it's too big of a problem for us, well, then, of course, nothing's going to happen. But talk it up, spread the word, take an interest, support those who delve into it and we'll eventually get this problem properly addressed. It may take awhile, but we'll get there.
Andy: Yeah, 9/11 itself started off as an idea in somebody's head, some group of people planning something out of nothing and changing the world for the worse as a result of it. We can undo it, beginning with a spark of thought in a few people's heads and the ambition to get it done, and we can do what we need to do to restore the world as it should be. So I agree with you completely. Roland, any final thoughts?
Roland: Every movement starts small, starts with an idea, starts with a few people, and it's a matter of momentum. If what you're saying has truth and validity, it will grow. It's just a matter of time — that's all it is. It's a matter of time and the persistence of those who continue to adhere to it and push for it. And that's what we're doing. We're just following the truth.
As one of the volunteers said to me, "This is all going to be historical evidence, this is all going to come out in the end." We know that what we're saying is correct — there's no question about it. Nobody who opposes us is even willing to discuss it. So it's all going to be out there in the future at some point.
Now, the engineering community can either be out in front of it, leading that discussion, or they can be behind it, sticking their head in the sand and pretending that it doesn't exist. If we do the latter, it will look very, very bad for us — very bad. We will have lost the trust and confidence of the public to believe that we can design and build things that serve their interests. So we can't allow that to happen. We're fighting for the professional reputation of our community.
Of course, there are larger issues involved, and I don't want to make it seem like it's parochial. But we do have an interest, first and foremost, in our profession, and we need to carry it out. And people can help us by supporting us. It takes money, it takes various kinds of donations of time and effort. We've been very fortunate to get that: Our trip was paid for by people who sent in money when we requested money. We paid for it and we made some more money besides. We need to do that because we're going to be doing this now on an ongoing basis for some time. These visits, these trips, these presentations — they all cost money. Money is a very practical matter. If you can't do anything else, you can always support AE911Truth by giving money, and specify that it go to Project Due Diligence. So we'll just keep going. It's a matter of momentum.
Andy: Absolutely, and I know you guys have got a lot of it, so I'm looking forward to the next big thing that you get done and talking to you about it here on Free Fall. So, guys, thank you for coming on the show today.
Larry: Thank you, and thanks for getting the message out there, Andy, we really appreciate it.
Roland: Yeah, thanks, Andy, for having us on. We really appreciate your efforts.