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    C2C Debate: Architect vs. Physicist - 3 Million Radio Listeners Decide for Themselves Print E-mail
    Written by Eli Rika   
    Friday, 03 September 2010 02:02

    The debate over what caused the destruction of the World Trade Center skyscrapers on September 11, 2001, has been held in many forums, but for the first time, the explosive conversation made its way onto one of America’s most popular radio shows. On the August 21 broadcast of Coast to Coast AM, host Ian Punnett moderated what can be best described as a “tag team” debate, which pitted architect Richard Gage, AIA, founder of Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth, and chemist Dr. Niels Harrit, against physicist Dave Thomas, president of New Mexicans for Science and Reason, and industrial physicist Kim Johnson. By the end of this grueling 4-hour duel, each of the three million listeners received enough information and resources to decide for themselves.  The feedback we received here at HQ is that they really understood the argument for explosive controlled demolition.  We also heard that our online follow-along videos at AE911Truth.org were quite helpful. This debate clearly demonstrated that you have to “see” the evidence for yourself.

    This wasn’t the first time that Gage and Thomas faced off. Thomas gave a rebuttal to Gage’s presentation at New Mexico Tech on October 24, 2009. Unfortunately, but expectedly, this resorted to rhetoric about conspiracy theories to distract the audience. This time around, Thomas expanded his repertoire in his attempt to obscure the truth.

    The use of false analogies in defense of the official 9/11 conspiracy theory is common, and this debate was no exception. In the opening statement by Thomas, he presented the “pile driver theory” by comparing the collapse of the Twin Towers to a bowler’s worst nightmare. “If you take a bowling ball and put it on your toe, that’s ok,” he stated, “but if you drop it from 12 feet, you’re going to break your toe, and that’s just what happened to those buildings.” Gage was quick to highlight one of the many problems with that comparison. “That pile driver is being destroyed in the first four seconds,” said Gage. “There is nothing to push the rest of the building below the point of jet plane impacts down to the ground.”  Gage also noted after the debate that the bowling ball not only doesn’t get a “running start” (i.e. 12’ of drop), but that it slows down as it meets the resistance of the unfortunate foot below it.  In contrast, The Twin Towers speeded up at the alleged “point of impact.”

    Despite his background as a physicist, Thomas appeared to be confused about the basics of Newtonian physics. He correctly stated that the Twin Towers fell at two-thirds of free-fall acceleration, but repeatedly described the destruction of these skyscrapers as a series of “free fall collisions,” as if the core columns and perimeter walls gave no resistance.  He went on to say that these accelerations were at least 30 times the acceleration of gravity -- a declaration that, if true, would invalidate the last 300 years of scientific analysis.

    There seemed to be a glimmer of accuracy from Thomas on the topic of explosive residue in the WTC dust, but those hopes were quickly dashed. He described witnessing a thermite experiment in which the chemical reaction “spits out all kinds of little spheres,” but argued that “the iron microspheres were just ordinary iron particles that can come about as the result of the fires burning all that stuff and computers” – not accounting at all for the minimum 2,800° F temperature required to melt iron, or recognizing the microspheres were ubiquitous in the WTC dust, representing 6% by volume.

    Thomas also correctly stipulated, “What you want for thermite is… big puddles of iron that was melted.” However, even though Gage documented the numerous reports of “pools of molten metal” discovered at Ground Zero, Thomas failed to connect the dots to controlled demolition, and stood by NIST’s claim that no molten metal was found.

    In a departure from previous debate opponents, Thomas acknowledged that WTC Building 7 came down at free-fall acceleration for two and a half seconds. He explained that this was because one column caused a massive internal failure, so that “the stuff that would have normally been resisted would have already collapsed.” Fortunately, Gage pointed out that one column failure cannot lead to a free-fall event. “What’s remaining,” said Gage, “is 50 very strong perimeter columns, all of which would have to have been cut within 1/10 of a second of each other in order to allow free fall acceleration.”

    One of the most interesting exchanges came when Dr. Neils Harrit and Kim Johnson were brought into the debate. Both Johnson and moderator Ian Punnett surmised that the damage to Building 7 caused by the debris from the Twin Towers contributed to its destruction, but Dr. Harrit corrected them. “You are both in violation of the NIST report,” he said. “According to the report from National Institute for Standards and Technology, Building 7 did not come down due to structural damage [from the North Tower].” Johnson’s response? “So be it.”

    In the call-in segment of the broadcast, virtually all of the callers expressed skepticism about the official account of the destruction of these 3 skyscrapers. In fact, the only party who seemed to be oblivious to the facts was Punnett himself. While he strived for fairness at times, it was clear that he, like many, had some trouble understanding basic scientific principles. Instead, he preferred to ask Gage and Dr. Harrit deviating questions, such as who flew the airplanes, who planted the explosives and how many explosives were used, and who was behind all this. Gage reiterated several times that the architects and engineers who have signed the AE911Truth Petition, now numbering 1270, do not speculate about these important questions.  A real investigation with subpoena power would answer them.  “Will you support an investigation?” Gage asked. Neither Thomas nor Punnett were willing to heed the call.

    Even though Dave Thomas and Kim Johnson were clearly outmatched by the forensic evidence and logical explanations presented by Gage and Dr. Harrit, a determination of who won or lost this debate is not as important as the understanding gained by the listeners as the various issues were clarified, and objective information was brought to bear. Our objective in these live discussions is actually to present as much factual information as possible, point the public to online resources where they can learn more, and create a wider awareness of the controlled demolitions that occurred on 9/11. So in a sense, AE911Truth wins every debate just by showing up, and the official conspiracy theory defenders lose even before they put their foot in their mouths. Join us in our next “virtual” debate, with one dozen OCT supporters beamed on the screen, raising debunking arguments they have raised in the past, all taking place in Washington DC at the National Press Club, at 2 p.m. EDT on September 9th.  If you can’t be with us in Washington, it will be live streamed on our website. Either way you view us, we’ll see you there.