Colonial to host Architects and Engineers for 9/11


July 27, 2011
BETHLEHEM—Bethlehem resident Larry Kaplan is not a conspiracy theorist, but next week at a presentation at The Colonial, he will be delving into a topic popular among conspiracy theorists of the world: September 11. As part of a group called "Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth," Kaplan is hoping to spark debate and present information that calls into question the "official story" of how the Twin Towers fell.

"As a former engineer and a math teacher, I try to follow reason, even if it leads to difficult or uncomfortable situations," said Kaplan.

Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth is an organization founded by Richard Gage, an architect of more than 20 years, and boasts more than 1500 architects and engineers who have joined the movement that interprets and presents evidence that the official story given by the United States government for the collapse of the World Trade Center on 9/11 doesn't make sense.

"This has paradigm-shifting implications. It rattles the cage, and people respond to that differently," said Kaplan.

Some of the evidence presented, said Kaplan, includes sideways projection of debris from the towers, excessive temperatures, and residual explosives found in the dust. Kaplan recognizes that the whole thing sounds like a conspiracy theory – and there are many floating around to choose from concerning the events of September 11 – but that he was drawn to the organization because it is based in fact, and does not try to assign blame, but rather simply say the official story does not make sense.

"One of the reasons I got involved with this organization is because I thought they did a great job with staying professional," said Kaplan. "Unfortunately, it does get lumped in with conspiracy theories. The difference is conspiracy theory is based on opinion, conjecture, and witness opinions that really can't be verified. But this, this is physics. In order to buy into the official story, you have to suspend physics, which is hard."

Kaplan, a local math teacher, went to school for civil engineering, with an emphasis on structural engineering.

"I have an education in structures," he said. "I don't have a lot of work experience, but I'm hoping that my years of college will pay off."

Kaplan said he didn't set out trying to get involved in the movement, but once he learned more about the organization, it happened naturally.

"I'm a teacher," said Kaplan. "When I see something that's big and important, I want to tell other people. I want to share it."

Kaplan has given one presentation of this kind before, last January. He said he expected to fill three chairs, but ended up filling 27. Kaplan showed a one-hour video, provided by Architects and Engineers, and prepared a slide show.

"We only got through a few slides," said Kaplan. "People just wanted to talk."

Kaplan said he didn't get any "negative" response because he considers all debate positive, though one man at the presentation disputed the findings of the presentation.

"It was a great discussion," said Kaplan. "I was really glad he was there. We clearly disagreed, which I thought was great."

Kaplan said he is not trying to convince people, only to give them information and let them decide for themselves. What they do with the information is up to them.

"It's hopefully turning into the national debate that it should have years ago," said Kaplan. "I'd be happy if it could spark a little local debate."

Ultimately, the goal of the organization is to get the information out there, and to possibly get some kind of official investigation started.

"There's some deep stuff that goes along with that, but we're not capable of answering that," said Kaplan. "The only thing that can is a Congressional investigation with subpoena power."

As far as goals for the presentation, Kaplan hopes that people will come away with enough information to answer the question: is there sufficient evidence to question the official explanation?

"If you believe the official story, great," said Kaplan. "I would actually feel great as long as they are coming to that decision knowledgably."

For those who come away from his presentation wanting to know more, or perhaps persuaded by the evidence presented, Kaplan, ever the teacher, encourages more investigation.

"It's big, the implications are big, and we need the courage to face it," he said. "We can only do that with knowledge and information."

Kaplan's presentation will be held at The Colonial on Aug. 3 at 3 p.m.

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