Danville Express

Perspective - July 6, 2007

Letters to the editor

Architect's corrections

Dear Editor:

While fair on the surface, which I very much appreciate, the article June 22 on my speech on the collapse of the twin towers contains errors. Here are the corrections:

Structural steel softens to one-half its strength at about 1400 degrees and doesn't need to melt in order to collapse. Nevertheless, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has no evidence of steel temperatures over 450f degrees - and the World Trade Center Towers were over-designed to a factor of 5 in the core structure and 20x at the perimeter - and required much hotter temps to fail. The point about the steel melting temperature was in reference to the tons of molten metal found by the first responders "flowing like lava."

The towers completed their descent in about 15 seconds, not 9 seconds, which is free-fall speed.

Explosives pulverized most of the 90,000 tons of concrete, filing cabinets, people and building materials to gravel and fine dust - but not the structural steel and aluminum cladding. These materials were ejected outside of the buildings' footprint - undermining completely the official theories of a gravitational collapse.

I quoted FEMA, which maintained that the primary debris field was a 1,200-foot diameter around the twin towers. The bone fragments were found on top of the Deutsche Bank building, which is a couple of hundred feet at most. Still - how can a gravitational collapse cause this?

The explosive force of the plane is irrelevant because that event occurred one to two hours prior to each tower's "collapse" onset. What is relevant is the tremendous explosive force of the demolition charges breaking all the windows within 400 feet and hurling 20 ton beams 500 feet laterally.

Thank you for correcting the record.

Richard Gage, AIA, Architect

Unfortunate article

Dear Editor:

Unfortunately the Danville Weekly ran an article on June 22 relating to the Sept. 11 collapse of the twin towers. The article quotes one Richard Gage representing "Architects and Engineers for 911 Truth" speaking to the Tri-Valley Democrats. Gage, "providing scientific data," alleging that "the impact of the plane and the fire could not have taken down the steel frame buildings." Gage "suggested the 110 story buildings were destroyed by controlled demolitions."

Gage is quoted saying "structural steel melts at about 2700 degrees Fahrenheit, plane fuel only burns up to 1600 degrees" so that "there is no way the heat could have caused the immense building frame to collapse."

If Gage's "analysis" was presented to a group of structural engineers he would have been laughed off the podium for more than one reason. Steel does not have to melt to collapse. Its load-bearing capacity diminishes with increasing temperature. The burning aircraft fuel is incinerating everything in the buildings: furniture, carpeting, plastics and, yes, people - so that temperatures would likely be much hotter. Even at Gage's 1600 F the steel beams would have only a taffy-like load-bearing capability. With the accumulating weight of upper floor debris on the next-lower floors the collapse would accelerate rapidly as it did.

Local residents were given a stark example of this recently with the collapse of the concrete and steel 80/580/880 freeway interchange from the heat of a crashed truck fire.

Gage's presentation was a combination of BDS (Bush Derangement Syndrome); LLCT (Loony Left Conspiracy Theory) and BS (Propaganda). Too bad the Weekly chose to participate.

B.A. Riggs, Walnut Creek


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