Newtown township - Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth wanted to set up a table alongside other symposium participants at Lockheed Martin, but their application was denied.
A local symposium about the future of aerospace has attracted the attention - and indignation - of a group of engineers that was denied participation.
Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth wanted to set up a table alongside other symposium participants today at Lockheed Martin in Newtown Township, but the local chapter of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, sponsor of the symposium, denied the application.
The 9/11 group contends that official reports describing the fall of the World Trade Towers on Sept. 11, 2001, paint a false picture of how Building 7 collapsed. It fell not because of fire, as the report describes, but because an unknown group deliberately planted explosives in the building, according to the group.
Nearly 1,500 architectural and engineering professionals and 11,500 others who are members of the group have signed a petition demanding that Congress initiate an independent investigation of all three building collapses, including the north and south towers.
Wayne Coste, an engineer and a member of the 9/11 group, said he can't understand why it would be refused a chance to participate in symposium discussions.
"Our position is that engineering ethics is an appropriate topic whenever there are engineers and engineering students around. You wouldn't want a fraudulent engineering report after the Japanese nuclear problems. You want an accurate understanding so you can move on," said Coste, who was planning to be a presenter at the symposium.
Certainly, the Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics promotes ethics in engineering, said Klaus Dannenberg, deputy executive director of the organization.
The organization isn't commenting on the 9/11 group's theories; it's just unreasonable to include the group in this symposium, Dannenberg said.
Today's event is all about the next generation of aerospace, including advancements in controls, aircraft design and materials.
Members of the sponsor organization work on building airplanes and aren't knowledgeable about building dynamics, mechanics or explosives, he said.
"We're not qualified to engage in that. Our ethics would keep us from engaging in those kinds of discussions in any formal way," he said.
The main problem the 9/11 group has with the National Institute of Standards and Technology's official report of the terrorist attack has to do with how Building 7 came down. Located across the street from the World Trade Center complex, the 47-story high-rise was not hit by an airplane, as the Twin Towers, both 110 stories tall, were.
Yet, Building 7 dropped straight down in a free fall, the same way a cannonball would if dropped from the roof, said Coste.
"The only way that can happen across the entire structure of the building is if all the supports were removed simultaneously," he said.
The only logical explanation is a controlled demolition with planted explosives, according to the 9/11 Truth website.
The 9/11 group also questions the computer models used by National Institute scientists to simulate Building 7's collapse, and the omission of certain explosives evidence from the agency's official report.
Coste is team leader for the group's congressional outreach team.
"We're trying to get people to write letters to their congressmen and have congressmen ask (the National Institute) specific questions. Because (National Institute members) are very dismissive and don't really answer the questions, they consider the issue as closed," he said.
In the meantime, Coste and other members of the 9/11 group are trying to get out the word, in professional settings and through the media. Today's symposium would have been a good opportunity to discuss the issue, said Coste.
Dannenberg countered that it would be the wrong setting for the controversy.
"What this group wanted to do was raise questions about a conspiracy," he said. "It wasn't going to help aerospace professionals of the future. It's outside the immediate subject area, and this would be the wrong audience for it."