December 4th, 2012
Rider With a Cause: Islander Takes Journey for Truth
by Lin McNulty
Three months and two days biking across the country may or may not sound like a great adventure to many of us. Yet, it was just such a journey that Orcas Islander Rena Patty recently undertook to raise awareness for the nonprofit, Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth. She delivered the documentary film, 9/11: Explosive Evidence – Experts Speak Out, to firefighters, law enforcement officers, and religious leaders in cities and towns along her northern route from Orcas to New York, passing through 11 states.
She departed the island on July 25 and arrived in NYC on October 27, just in time to have Sandy delay her departure via train to come back home.
The feature-length documentary film explores evidence from more than 50 top experts in the field, discusses how the scientific method should have been applied, and acknowledges evidence of high temperature incendiaries in all dust samples of the World Trade Center buildings. These high-rise architects and structural engineers lay out the evidence in the features of the destruction of these three high-rises that they believe points to an explosive controlled demolition.
I arrived home on Tuesday, Nov 13. It's good to be in the Pacific Northwest again. Rainy, warm, windy weather. The train ride from Chicago to Seattle was slowed by snowy weather. I find traveling by bicycle to be in some ways easier than riding the train...I like being active more than sitting. I did some reading - I had no interest in writing - but mostly I was just uncomfortable with the slowness of the trip and being stuck with time to just sit and think. I appreciated being able to step off the train in North Dakota and feel the 8 degree temperatures with -8 degree wind chill. I finally did feel grateful for the time to sit and think: I realized that I want people to not focus only on the bike ride - what is important to me is the purpose of the bike ride, to raise awareness and open honest discussion about 9/11.There was a welcome home gathering for me at the Orcas Island Community Church on Sunday afternoon. About 50 people came. The format was question and answer - I appreciated the diversity of questions about both the bike trip and the reason for the bike trip. And I love the confidence that I now have to ride my bike in blustery, windy, rainy weather - fallen tree branches on the road are a riding hazard that I didn't encounter elsewhere.Thanks everyone for the warm welcome home!
I’m in Chicago now. I’ve been visiting people on the way home. Somewhere in northern Montana, as were camping along the railroad track each night, I decided that I wanted to take the train home.
I was fortunate to be on high ground in Brooklyn during the storm, Sandy. I waited a week though for the trains to be running again. Events were canceled – we finally settled on a quiet dinner with a few supporters in Brooklyn.
There hadn’t been any gasoline deliveries into NYC (I shipped my bicycle and most of my cycling gear home), so on Saturday morning I walked the 4.5 miles from Brooklyn to Penn Station in Manhattan. The walk over the river at dawn was beautiful, the dawn sky reflected in the glass sides of buildings in Lower Manhattan still dark from lack of electricity. I could have caught a bus once I got into Manhattan, but was content with the morning walk. A friend with a bicycle met me in Union Square and helped carry my bags the final stretch to the train station. I mailed some of my last DVDs to the New York State Police superintendent, to Democracy Now! and to the WNET public television station.
Taking the train allows me to stop and visit people along the way – AE911Truth petitions signers and NVC community friends in Princeton and WA DC. I gave out the last of my DVDs, to clergy, to a friend who knows a prominent journalist, to a friend with an engineering professor in the family. I connected with a friend who is a student at American University and we gave “9/11 Journey for Truth” business cards, with a link to watch “Experts Speak Out” online, to students in a political science class.
I’m gradually making my way home, now visiting with more AE911Truth petition signers and NVC community here in Chicago. I expect to be home by the end of the week.
Notes from riding the train from WA DC to Chicago:
On the train going west, I remember the satisfaction of riding my bicycle east, each day the satisfaction of riding east.
Despair tells me that there was no reason for the ride. But I don’t listen. I remember conversations and people who received DVDs.
Unlike the bicycle, the train rolls night and day.
The countryside looks different now, frosty and cold in the mornings.
I’m grateful for friends and family at home inquiring about my wellbeing, eager to welcome me home.
October 29 – I’m safely settled into the home of a friend in Brooklyn. We're safe on high ground as ocean waters, pushed by winds of the hurricane, flood into low-lying areas and causing power outages and extensive damage.
Unaffected by the flooding, we have electricity. So I’m settled and taking advantage of opportunity to read “Non-Violent Resistance (Satyagraha),” by M.K. Gandhi (I love to read, but it was too much of a luxury for me to carry the weight a book on my bike, so I haven't had the luxury of reading for weeks). I also appreciate the chance to check email, get some much needed rest, and write.
I’m tired, and not wanting to write.... Gratitude tends to help in situations like this, in all situations really…. I’m grateful for prayers, a dry place to shelter from the storm, food, health, clean water, friends, people with integrity, people who work to keep other people safe, hospitality, family, internet, honest information, my bicycle, the power of the love that people share with one another, electricity….
I had a conversation with a volunteer fire chief in rural Ohio, which I’ve recounted frequently in conversations but I haven’t written about yet. I’ll do so now. This fire chief invited me in for a friendly round of questions…I think he may have been concerned about my wellbeing and making an impromptu mental evaluation to determine whether I was a hazard to myself or anyone else on the road. He asked enough questions to get some engaging stories from the road, which was fun for me, as well as information on the scientific evidence as presented by AE911Truth. As I was describing in detail the scientific evidence, perhaps more articulately than he’d expected, he asked, “Are you an architects or an engineer?” I told him that my university degree is in environmental toxicology. As I was telling him that I studied organic chemistry, analytical chemistry, ecosystems analysis and human anatomy and physiology, he exclaimed, “You’re a smart little thing, aren’t you?” But I’m typically not clever enough to think quickly of comeback lines in the moment. As I was riding out of town, I did think of my response to his comment: “I’m smart enough to treat 9/11 like it matters. And so are other people who continue to ask important questions and seek the truth about happened on 9/11.”
And from a pastor in Montana to his congregation, “Whatever you accomplish, give the glory to God!” I'm grateful for health and strength and courage to ride a bike over 4000 miles across the country, for all ways I was met with hospitality and generosity, for every sincere and caring conversation about 9/11, for persistence in the human spirit to seek truth in order to heal.
October 27, afternoon - Manhattan
Riding a bicycle is a great way to see New York City. True to the pattern that existed throughout the country, people warned me to be careful of the people ahead. On the way towards NYC, I received friendly warnings, “Be careful riding your bike in the city streets – it’s dangerous there – they’ll run you over there and not even care.” In my experience, that’s simply not true. The drivers in Manhattan were as careful as anywhere else. Drivers gave room on the edges of the lanes even more so than in other cities, waited for me to cross intersections rather than cutting me off when making right hand turns, and waved me through intersections ahead of them. Traffic in Manhattan adheres less strictly to the lanes as is necessary to be free-flowing around obstacles. I found the conditions, at least on a Saturday afternoon, to be good for bicycling. And the broad-view of the city from the middle of the streets is excellent, much better than the half-view from the sidewalks.
After traveling all the way across the country, I most wanted to stop in at fire stations in lower Manhattan, to let firefighters there know about the 4000 miles and 95 days on the road to raise awareness for AE911Truth.
The responses I received were pretty much the same as all the way across the country. Polite professionalism. What was different, was being informed of the number of firefighters lost on 9/11. At most of the seven stations we visited, the firefighter I was talking with had not yet heard of AE911Truth. I asked Steve if this was the first time an AE911Truth volunteer had stopped at these fire stations. He said, “Yes, I think so - this is the first time.” Pretty much the same as all the way across the country.
Only one of these local firefighters in lower Manhattan said he’d heard of AE911Truth, from his sister in San Diego. He said he was too busy with work at the moment to talk with us. But then he offered me a Gatorade, and he stayed to talk with us for another 15 minutes or so. He said he’d looked at the evidence as presented by AE and it looks important to him, but that he doesn’t talk about it with the other firefighters at the station. At the end of our conversation, he thanked me for my effort and offered directions to find more stations.
At only one station, was I met with the accusatory statement, “Are you one of those people who say it’s an inside job?” My answer was, as it is every time I’ve received that question, “No, I’m not saying it was an inside job. I’m saying that I want a proper investigation based on the scientific forensic evidence.” He nodded and took a DVD and said he’d give it to his captain.
At one point along the way, near the Federal Reserve, I started a conversation with a couple of police officers. I told them about the bicycle journey across the country to raise awareness about the scientific evidence from the WTC site on 9/11and offered a DVD. They said they couldn’t take a DVD while on duty, so I offered a business card – one of the officers was willing to take a business card.
Looking at the 9/11 Journey for Truth business card, he said, “You’re not from around here are you?”
“No,” I said, “What makes you say that?”
He answered, “You don’t get the politics of this place.”
That sparked some curiosity in me. I didn't want to miss the opportunity to ask, “How do you feel about the politics of this place?”
With a wave of his hand, he exclaimed, “All I can say is, good luck to you.”
My guess is that he was expressing his own despair that an honest open conversation about 9/11 could ever happen given the politics of the city.
At two stations, I was invited in for a photo inside the station. And firefighters at one station offered me a t-shirt because they were impressed that I’d ridden 4000 miles to visit their station.
October 27, morning - arriving in Manhattan
On Saturday morning, Wayne and I rode the final 28 miles into NYC without stopping. We encountered dozens of cyclists on the road. I was happy to see the George Washington Bridge, signaling the end of my three-month marathon across the country on behalf of AE911Truth.
Entering onto the bridge, I had a short conversation a police officer and gave him a DVD.
A video-journalist met us on the other side of the bridge. Wayne, comfortable with cameras, jumped right in and started talking to the camera while I stepped aside to deal with a rapidly rising panic. Of all the challenges I faced all the way across the country, big trucks and narrow shoulders, crosswinds that threatened to blow us into traffic, approaching the first few firefighters and police officers along the way, etc., the challenge that required the greatest courage in me was facing a video camera in NYC. But first my courage failed completely and I felt literally sick to my stomach from the distress of it. After this first encounter with the video camera, it took half an hour for me to regain my constitution. I did wait until I had pulled myself together again to continue the ride along the bike path into Lower Manhattan – I wanted my focus to be on the purpose of the journey and my ride into the city.
An AE911Truth petition signer who greeted me on the bike path near the West Village helped me to regain my focus o the purpose of my cross-country bike tour, raising awareness to contribute to healing in relation to 9/11. She brought food to share and business cards that she’d had printed for me. And then as we rode and talked together on the way to WTC 7, she recounted her experience of personally witnessing WTC 2 destroyed on 9/11. I could see the trauma still painfully alive in her face even eleven years later.
After touching in with WTC 7, the final destination of my 4000-mile bike ride, I was surrounded by a small circle of friendly faces and two video cameras.
October 25-26, Red Hook, NY, through the Nyack
Engineer and AE911Truth petition signer Wayne Coste joined me for the final 120 miles down the Hudson River and into NYC. After the intense focus of riding solo for nearly 2000 miles, this was quite a distraction for me – it took a day for me to regain my capacity to focus clearly on work and navigation. At the same time, it was good to have upbeat and experienced company on the road (Wayne rode across the country five years ago on a supported ride, so is familiar with distance cycling). And it was good to have a friend with a camera along to document a portion of the ride.
On Thursday we made several stops to drop off DVD’s...Rhinebeck fire and police departments, and Hillside fire department – the volunteer firefighter at Hillside was preparing for the incoming storm. In Hyde Park, we gave a DVD to the public library, spoke with a village historian outside the library, and with a maintenance worker at the United Methodist Church.
In the afternoon, at a Poughkeepsie fire station we had an extended conversation with a fire fighter about the bicycle trek and the evidence, the first time he’d heard of the evidence of molten iron, constant acceleration of rooflines, asymmetrical damage and symmetrical collapse, sounds of explosions, etc., or AE911Truth. He accepted a DVD, thanked us for our effort and offered directions for the road.
The roads had variable shoulder widths, sometimes narrow, and consistently moderate to high traffic. We left DVDs for the Wappinger Falls. Stopping for directions, we gave a DVD to a man with a “chemical safety fire police” insignia on his sweatshirt.
We got a late start on Friday. The days are now so short that we made only one stop at the Cold Spring police and fire departments. The east side of Hudson River and the New Jersey side after crossing Bear Mountain Bridge, is surprisingly beautiful, with lovely fall colors and continuous gentle cascades of leaves.
We stopped to visit a couple, friends, who were preparing to pull their yacht out of a Hudson River marina just ahead of the incoming storm; they had reacted negatively in the past to information about AE911Truth, so we kept the conversation narrowed to family life and left a 9/11 Journey for Truth business card at the end of the visit.
The ride through Nyack and into Orangeburg at dusk was dangerously urban, with narrow shoulders and high traffic.
Wayne Coste, engineer and AE911Truth petition signer and team member, with me, ready for the ride south along the Hudson River from Red Hook, NY to NYC.
A moment on the road with the good conditions of wide shoulder and low traffic.
We were pleasantly surprised to see this AE911Truth WTC7 yard sign along the road. I left a business card attached to the sign - I hope the person who put up the sign will find the card and write to me.
Short days, cool weather and lovely fall colors. I'm glad Wayne came along and took some photos. I like this one.
I wrote personal notes on most of the DVD's I gave to fire police stations, giving information about the bike tour, links to more information and thanks for their work for our communities. Over thousands of miles I wrote hundreds handwritten notes on backs of DVD sleeves.
Entering onto the George Washington Bridge to cross the river from New Jersey to New York.
Crossing the George Washington Bridge into NYC.
Two events planned for NYC. Share with anyone you know in NYC who might be interested.
Sunday Oct 28th, 3-5pm
Film screening n QnAAt private home in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn
340 Decatur St (A train to Utica)
Please RSVP bklyngrrrl AT gmail.com
RESCHEDULED: Friday, November 2, 7 pm
56 Walker Street, NYC (Tribeca)
Between Broadway & Church Street, 2 blocks south of Canal Street
Admission: Free (small donation requested for venue)
The Friday night event will include a screening of the 1 hour version of the documentary which features interviews with the most highly credentialed AE911Truth petition signers. Experts like Richard Humenn, former chief electrical engineer for the WTC complex, and Roland Angle, a civil engineer who was responsible for designing blast resistance of the Minuteman Missile silos. This will be followed by a presentation by Rena about the cross-country bicycle journey and Q&A.
Riding through the city of Utica I was almost hit by a car. The driver was making a left-hand turn across traffic, didn’t see me, and missed crashing into me by only 5 feet. I screamed as I was braking, which may have helped get her attention so she braked as well sparing my legs. I’m grateful for the firefighters and paramedics who respond to accidents in our communities...I thought of them in that moment. I’m grateful that we didn’t need to call them!
Later in the day I did crash, but it was a slow motion crash, all on my own. My chain derailed as I was going up hill with both feet clipped with cleats into my pedals. There is nowhere to go in that situation except for over (I haven't fallen over in this way since WA state)...I only slightly bruised my knee.
At a convenience store on the outskirts of Herkimer, a man asked about my travels – when I told him the reason for the bike trip, he said, “You’re what we around here call a ‘truther.’” …the name fit well enough. He proceeded to explain to me how the jet fuel was hot enough to melt the steel because the steel wasn’t properly insulated, and that the buildings pancaked down because of their weight. With further discussion, he stated (like so many people I've talked with across the country) that he doesn’t trust government officials to tell him the truth, and he said he wouldn’t be surprised if that was true in this case. He listened with care and friendliness as I told him about the scientific evidence that was missing from his explanation. I gave him a DVD.
Just a moment later another person approached me to ask about the bike. He’s a social worker. He’d already been questioning 9/11, but he hadn’t heard yet about the scientific evidence presented by AE911Truth. He was interested. His son has a degree in criminal justice. Also, he has a friend who's a retired state trooper who volunteered at the WTC site and is now very sick from exposure to the dust. He said that both would be interested in the DVD.
I talked with a firefighter at the Herkimer fire station. He’d never heard of the scientific evidence or AE911Truth – he said he intended to look at the DVD that afternoon. At the Herkimer police station, the police officer said he had looked online at some of the evidence from the WTC site but had not yet heard of AE911Truth. He expressed support for the science and my effort – he said, “We need more people like you.” I also dropped off a DVD for the Herkimer County Sheriff.
At Little Falls the fire department bay doors were wide open. Three firefighters there had not heard of the scientific evidence or AE911Truth. One of the firefighters walked around the corner to the police station with me. As we walked I mentioned that some of the people I’ve met along the way, some of the AE911Truth petition signers, had told me that they are fearful to approach their local law enforcement officers to talk about 9/11. He said in a quiet and sort of sad voice, “Yeah, they’re afraid to talk with us too.” I wondered aloud why people would be afraid to talk with firefighters of paramedics. He shook his head and said, “I don’t know.” The patrol officer we met just coming onto duty had heard of the scientific evidence but not AE911Truth (like the Herkimer police officer he said he’d learned about the evidence of molten iron, etc, online). He was interested in the DVD.
I made quick stops at the Fort Plain and Canajoharie village offices and left DVDs for the police chief and the fire chief in each town.
The first half of my day I rode on the pavement of Rt 5. And then I rode the gravel of the Canal Trail. I saw a cyclist along Rt 5 who was please to see me, and had rushed to complete his business so that he could ride with me on the 7-mile trail to Schenectady. I appreciated the opportunity to hear his life story as we rode together.
In Schenectady I met with business owner and AE911Truth petition signer grateful for my work - we had coffee together and talked about some of the challenges of talking with people in the community about 9/11. I left some DVDs with him to deliver to the Schenectady fire and police stations. I asked if he was afraid to do this. He said no, but that he thought I would be a better AE911Truth ambassador than him – he wanted AE911Truth to be represented well in interactions with local fire and police stations.
It was getting late in the day, so I rode without stopping through several communities on my way into Albany.
My top priority riding into Albany was to visit New York State Museum. As I entered the museum I gave my business card to three museum employees/volunteers at the information desk. We had a friendly conversation about the bike trip and some of the evidence, just enough to let them know why I was so interested in the WTC display at the museum. (I also let a man who desperately needed to make a call regarding a medical concern borrow my cell phone, such an easy thing to do to let someone make a call on my cell phone.)
I was concerned about what I saw in the display. I took photos for future reference of parts that I considered to be scientifically inaccurate. I copied this from the display into my notebook, “Temperatures rose to over 1300 degrees F…. If the fire had been more contained, the beams could have cooled down and regained their strength as the fire moved and consumed fuel. As the structural steel frame began to melt….” I have not yet seen evidence of continuously raging fires over 1300 degrees - the smoke seen in the videos of the fires an hour after the plane crashes is black, smoldering.
As I left the display and was walking toward the door, I had a choice to say something about my concerns or not. As I approached the desk, all three employee/volunteers were staring at their computer screen. They had been viewing the "9/11 Journey for Truth" website as I was viewing the display. I told them that I had concerns about the scientific accuracy of the display - they looked uncomfortable in the way people look uncomfortable when they first hear about the scientific forensic evidence presented by AE911Truth. They suggested that I write a critique of the display for the museum director.
I didn’t get to do most of the outreach I had been intending to do in Albany. I had a broken spoke (a continuation of damage from an incident on a railroad crossing in Ohio). So after picking up a final shipment of DVDs from the AE911Truth office I found a bike shop for the necessary repairs. I didn’t get out of Albany until noon. I had intended to deliver a DVD to the New York State Police Superintendent…I guess I’ll mail one with a note from NYC.
I’m grateful for the capable bicycle mechanics at the Broadway Bike Shop. The ride out of Albany was first intensely urban, and then hilly. My stamina for outreach is quickly fading - I'm tired from more than 90 days on the road. I think this is a good thing – it means that I’ve given nearly all the strength that I have in me for this journey. I’m relieved to be nearly at my destination of NYC. On the ride from Albany to Red Hook I dropped off DVDs for the Rensselaer police department and the Castleton-on-Hudson fire department.
I was hosted in Red Hook by a couple of AE911Truth petition signers for dinner, and then another couple provided peaceful company, a comfortable bed for the night and breakfast in the morning. I appreciate meeting AE911Truth petition signer I left ten DVDs with these petition signers for delivery around the Red Hook and Dutchess County area. Again I am happy to give some of this work to supporters along the way.
This is a lovely time to be riding down the Hudson. Most of the leaves have fallen from the trees, so there are clear views through the trees to the river and surrounding hills. And the scent of the damp leaves is richly pleasant. I’ve seen pileated woodpeckers a couple of times here in the woods along the river. Seeing pileated woodpeckers reminds me of home.
50-something moms cycle across the US to raise 9/11 awareness
By Victoria N. AlexanderOct 21, 2012
Riding 50 miles a day in all weather, sleeping in tents, sharing meals with strangers along the way, two women undertake an arduous journey as tribute to those who died or suffered loss on 9/11 and to all who have died or suffered loss on account of 9/11.
On July 25th, Rena Patty and her friend Pam Senzee set out from Washington State on their 4000-mile journeys. In Fargo, North Dakota, Patty took a rural route toward New York and Senzee took a more urban route toward Washington DC. They will arrive at their respective destinations at the end of October, but in some sense they have already achieved their goals. They have distributed information to police and fire stations, churches and to hundreds people they have met during their trips. They have started conversations in small towns. They have made friends. Most importantly, they have renewed their hope in America’s future by taking part in its recovery.
Read more: http://digitaljournal.com/article/335078#ixzz2A8aJspRz
I’m just outside of Utica, NY, just to the west of the city. A petition signer here has offered me a cottage, actually a very nice house, stocked with food. I’m sitting in a very comfortable recliner as I write. It Sunday morning, so I’m not riding my bicycle today, and to be completely honest, the 4000-mile ride is hard and I’m tired. I felt fatigued this morning walking up a flight of stairs!
I made slow progress across the Erie Canal route – riding on the gravel of the canal trail takes more physical power than riding on pavement.
I began my day yesterday, after a peaceful home-cooked breakfast at the home of a cyclist who rode the northern tier bike route one month ahead of me, with Syracuse Peace Council members. The Syracuse Peace Council is one of the oldest established peace organizations in the country. We held signs protesting drone strikes as we talked about AE911Truth. Three times in my conversations with people I met through the peace council, people said to me, “If what you are saying about the evidence and the reports is true, that’s scary. It’s scary to think that the buildings were brought down, with people in them.”
I don’t think I’ve written about this in my blog yet. But when I first started to talk with people in my community – the fire chief, the county prosecutor, the district court judge – about the evidence and the implication of the evidence, it terrified me. In fact, it terrified me at such a deep level that it made my knees feel shaky for about three weeks – my knees literally felt like they were going to give out from under me. (never before or since have I had this weak knee sensation.)
From my Nonviolent Communications training, I am trained to attend to my emotions and make choices carefully in response to my needs. At the time I thought, "If this is how people feel when they talk about 9/11, no wonder they don't talk about it." This was back in November 2010…I remember exactly where I was, walking on the path between my chicken pen and my house, when I made the choice to feel this level of terror in my gut and my legs and to not succumb to it, but to claim my integrity and keep talking about 9/11. What arose along side of the fear was self-respect. Fortunately, the shaky knees symptom subsided after a few weeks.
Now, my knees just feel tired! (If you were with me in person, you’d get my sense of humor. It’s enough to bring tears to my eyes, this combination of tiredness and humor about the challenges I set for myself.)
From the eastern edge of Syracuse I rode the trail for the first twenty-five miles of the day. It does take more physical strength to ride the trail, so it felt good to be riding that section early in the day. Puddles spanned the trail in places, and the trail narrowed to an intermittently muddy track for parts of the last ten miles. From Canastota I rode on Rt 5 to the outskirts of Utica.
Riding out of Canastota I delivered DVDs to three churches in a row. The first, the Church of the Nazarene, nobody was around, so I left a DVD on the door. At the second, I met two men and three boys – the boys said they were just having fun playing around with their Bible study books. After giving a DVD to the men for the pastor, I invited them out to see my bike.
The boys asked a completely different set of questions than questions from adults. “How many stops did you make riding all the way across the country?’ “How can you ride with the bags hanging off the wheels?” “Will you pull your tent out so we can see how big it is?” And then the boys expressed sentiments exactly the same as people all across the country – the friendliness and care was almost startling for me spontaneously offered from these boys. “If you can stay for a while, until my mom gets here, she’s bringing pizza and we’ll give you some.” (I really wanted to stay and play for a while – I really like playing with kids – but it would have been getting dark by then.) And as I was leaving a boys shouted his care for my wellbeing, “Be safe.”
At the third church, a pastor came out and listened with care to my explanation of the bike ride and the evidence. He said he’s watch the DVD, and then recommended that I ride into Oneida to the police station – his son is an investigator there. He said he thought that it was less than a mile into Oneida.
It felt like a bit more than two miles off my route into Oneida. But I still had plenty of daylight so I was okay with that.
My first stop was at the fire department. The sign on the door said, “Our communities bravest walk through these doors.” Four firefighters were right there inside the door. I explained the bike ride and some of the evidence. They listened to the evidence of molten metal. I mentioned that NIST failed to carry forward the evidence of molten metal documented by FEMA and EPA.
When I got to videos evidence of first responders, newscasters and people in the streets reporting sounds of explosions in the basements and lobbies, one of the firefighters walked out in agitation. It felt somewhat like the way the detective in Dickenson walked out, like “I’m not listening to any more of this!” But I also got a sense like the disturbed looks on the faces of the paramedics in Henry, IL. It is disturbing and uncomfortable information – the implications are disturbing and uncomfortable.
Another firefighter said he’d take a look at it. And another called to a firefighter who was just coming in from a call, asked him to come and listen to what I had to say, but I could see that he was busy with work from the call, and I needed to keep moving so I left saying that I was going to the police station. This was an awkward moments for me.
At the police station, I asked a patrol officer outside if he was the son of the pastor. He wasn’t, but he offered to deliver the DVD to the investigator. He also said he was aware of the forensic evidence and that he saw the validity of the concerns presented by the architects and engineers of AE911Truth.
Just outside of Vernon, I met briefly with a petition signer and AE911Truth team member who is currently working on a FAX to all the police chiefs and county sheriff’s around the country. He was watching for me and spotted me on the road as he was driving home from work. He gave a friendly shout, “Hey! Are you one of those truthers?” Most AE911Truth team volunteers have never met in person but work together by phone. It’s challenging to work primarily by phone, and to squeeze volunteer work on this intense topic into busy work and personal lives.
For my day of rest this week, I joined a service at a Presbyterian church in Clinton. After the service, I left a DVD with the pastor and with two church members. The son of one of those church members was involved with the cleanup at the WTC site – she said she’d share the DVD with him. In the afternoon, after some rest, I was invited to record two half-hour programs for a local cable access TV program. On the way back to the cottage, we left a DVD with the New Hartford fire station, and I gave one to a New Hartford patrol officer siting in a car nearby.
This morning, Monday morning, I’m giving some DVD’s to a local resident to deliver to the New Hartford police chief and to give to the Utica fire and police departments. I’m grateful for the shared effort – I’ve made so many of these stops personally that I’m happy to hand some of this work off to local residents.
I met a young couple in the morning that were tired and hungry. They looked unsettled and worried. I bought breakfast.
Kamal Obeid holds a Master’s Degree in Civil and Structural Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley. He has been a practicing engineer for the last 30 years, a licensed structural engineer for the last 25 years. He has designed and retrofitted numerous structural steel-frame buildings.
I started my day in Rochester with writing for the previous blog post. Then I had two radio interviews, one for WELW in Cleveland and one for the Hamilton College station in Clinton, NY. I was finally out on the the canla tail and onto the road into Rochester by about 10:30 am.
After writing about the Erie Canal bike path yesterday, I spent the next several hours in the city of Rochester traffic! I gave DVD’s to, in order:
- a city patrol officer
- a woman on the street (she looked like she needed something to refresh her perspective on the day)
- a Democrat and Chronicle newspaper editor
- the Monroe county sheriff’s office for the sheriff
- a friendly deputy sheriff
- city police patrol officer for the police chief
- the patrol officer who took the DVD to give to the sheriff
- an employee of the Rochester Business Alliance
- a vendor selling food on the street
- a woman passing by who looked both shocked and fascinated by our conversation
- three city transit workers – all were interested, one was also a volunteer firefighter
- a convenience store employee
- a lieutenant with the city of Rochester fire department, Truck 4, who knew about WTC 7, and said that at his station they’d watched a few documentaries about the forensic evidence and that there were some good points made in those documentaries…and also that there were still differing opinions among the firefighters in the station
- a man on the street who had asked me, “Why do you look so happy? It is your birthday or something? I never see anybody look so happy.” I told him that I am content, and maybe that's why I look happy.
I arrived on the east side of Rochester by about 2 pm, ready to pick up new business cards and ride east. It turned out that the business cards were at the FedEx branch in the city. I was tired by then and not happy about riding two and a half miles west in urban traffic back into the city. Each part of the country has it’s own challenges on the road. North Dakota has intense winds…Rochester has multiple copy shop locations. I did my best to keep calm. On the ride back into and out of the city, I gave DVDs to:
- four young men for the bus, on who said to me, “You can’t just go around telling people that you rode your bike across the country when you don’t have any proof.”
- a firefighter at the city of Rochester Fire and Rescue station who hadn't yet heard anything about the forensic evidence
- a FedEx copy shop employee (I returned to the first copy shop where I’d previously nearly lost my temper, because I wanted to leave the city in a friendly and positive spirit)
To make sense of the lists above for readers, I want to give information to people in positions of authority in each community, and I also want to give information to people who will talk about it to other people in their community, so I respond to curiosity and to friendly comments.
I was already tired from the urban riding by the time I got to the Erie Canal trail. A fellow cyclist joined me for conversation while we rode for about ten miles. I gave him a DVD.
I was on my own for another 25 miles, very tired. I rode past the towns of Pittsord, Fairport, Macedon and Palmyra without stopping. I gave a DVD to two women on the trail who asked about my travels.
I made it to Newark, NY, just as the trail was getting too dark to see. The brother of a friend who lives in Manhattan picked me up and took me to his house in Geneva – he’ll give me a ride back to Newark in the morning. I appreciate being in relaxed, friendly and supportive company.
Ed Munyak is licensed fire protection engineer for the last 25 years and worked for a number of organizations. These positions were for city, federal, and large insurance companies. He has worked as a consultant in the area of fire safety with the goal of keeping the public and first responders safe.
He became fascinated with the government’s version of the events on 9/11. He says it is totally contrary to everything that he has ever experienced either working in the field of fire safety or mechanical engineering. He says the government story defies many fundamentals of mechanics, materials, physics, and engineering.
I just received the text message, “Very interesting DVD, young lady!” I don’t yet know who sent the message…the retired fire chief, the fire district administrator, one of the volunteer firefighters, one of the patrol officers, or maybe the retired mechanical engineer I met on the bike path today? It’s somebody with an area code between Albion and Rochester…I’ll call in the morning and ask.
I discovered today why I am on the Erie Canal route. There is a bike path along the Erie Canal from Buffalo all the way to Albany. That means that I have a route with no cars, except when I go into the towns to make connections, for the next 250 miles! My nerves appreciate the break from traffic – it is peaceful to ride without cars and trucks. And it’s beautiful, with the green, red and gold of the trees reflected quiet dark blue waters of the canal.
I had a fairly short day on the road, only from Albion to Rochester, today. I got a late start. I was busy in the morning with an interview with a person who is writing an article about the bike tour. I sent my business card file ahead to Rochester so I can pick up another round of business cards when I pass through the city. And then I made several stops just along the road for phone calls to set up radio interviews and places to stay over the next few days.
My first stops were at the Albion fire station and police station, and on the way out of town at the Harvest Community Church. In Holley I met a past fire chief, and together we rang the door buzzer to talk with a patrol officer at the police station. Just outside of Brockport I met an employee of the university on a bicycle, who directed me onto the bike path (the retired fire chief in Holley also advised the bike path). On the bike path I stopped to talk with a couple walking their dog – the man was a retired mechanical engineer. At the fire station in Spencerport, I paused to take a photo of the 9/11 memorial with yet another piece of WTC steel, and a volunteer firefighter invited me in for a tour of their fairly new fire station. The head administrator of the fire district was at the station – I gave him a DVD too. The firefighter took an additional DVD to give to the police chief.
I am curious who might have sent that text message to me.
Yesterday…let’s see how much I can remember. I started the morning with a car ride with a local resident to the Buffalo Sun newspaper. The city editor and staff said they were too busy to interview me – I left a DVD for the city editor, and also gave one to the security guard/receptionist at the front desk (as I gave him a DVD he said, “yes, I am interested.”).
Riding east out of town, I met a cyclist who is also a Buffalo University student writing a master’s thesis on gender and cycling. She guided me most of the way across the BU north campus (I was disappointed to learn that the engineering department is on the south campus). Stopping to get directions the rest of the way through the campus, I also gave a DVD to a psychology student.
Then riding the back roads to the northeast, I left a DVD for the Imam of the Islamic Center. I also stopped at the Amherst Museum and gave a DVD to the museum curator. In Lockport, I gave a DVD to the owner of a convenience store whose brother is a mechanical engineer. I left a DVD with the clerks of the Niagara County offices for the county sheriff. The receptionist at the fire department said she’d give the DVD to the municipal training officer. And the dispatcher at the police station said he’d give the DVD to the ID officer whose responsibility is forensics.
In Middleport I put a DVD in the mail slot for the fire department, and gave a DVD to the city clerk for the police chief. Back on the road, I left a DVD for the Medina United Methodist Church. And then riding into Albion, I left a DVD on the door of the New York State Police – before leaving I talked with a patrol officer who was just arriving.
I’m a few days behind in my writing again, but committed to catching up before resting tonight, so I’m tracking back, in writing, through the past several days.
In Buffalo I had Sunday off, sort of. On Sunday morning I went to the Unitarian Church, where I gave DVDs to the speaker for the day, a writer who spoke about the importance of stories, to the co-leader of the social justice committee and to an architect. Later in the day, I was invited to visit Niagara Falls…the highlight for me was the 270-degree rainbow along the walkway at the base of the falls. I’m glad for the opportunity to visit the falls, even if I had less rest than I needed.
Riding into Buffalo on Saturday morning, I laughed out loud with the realization that I had just ridden my bicycle all the way across the country. For more than a year I’ve wanted to visit Marty McGee, the initiator, videographer and co-director of the Experts Speak Out documentary – it came as a shock to me that I was arriving to visit him on my bicycle!
I stood for one hour in silence with a Women in Black group along the Bidwell Parkway. This group has stood in vigil for one hour every week for eleven years - it was their eleventh anniversary. It was a strange sensation for me for activism to take the form of standing still in protest of the violence of the wars after being so in constant motion for days. Standing still and silent has it's own kind of discipline.
Following the vigil, we dropped in on a local alternative newspaper. The associate editor just happened to be in the office at that moment, usually not there on Saturdays. He took a photo and said he'd write a story.
Later, I was completely striking out being able to get into fire stations and getting to the dispatchers of the police and sheriff stations in the city of Buffalo...I was thinking, there mush be something else I'm supposed to be doing instead. A few minutes later we came across the Occupy the Roads bus meeting with the Buffalo Occupy group. I was able to speak right after a woman who had just returned from a Code Pink trip to Pakistan to be with the people there in protest of the drone strikes (I admire her courage).
I was feeling a bit panicky after standing out in the cold – I was dressed for cycling in the cold weather, not standing – so I was grateful to be set up with a warm house to stay in where I could get a warm shower.
Then I went out to dinner with another group of people, AE911Truth petition signers. Over the past two years of volunteering with AE911Truth, as happened this evening, it has not been uncommon for me to meet people in tears of relief for the chance to talk to honestly about 9/11, because family, friends and colleagues have discouraged open discussion of 9/11.
I want to take a moment now to express gratitude for people who have the inner strength to face the fear of risking belonging in order to express themselves with integrity, and – this is the best part – come through this experience with a deeper sense of belonging and integrity.
In Buffalo, I left DVDs in the hands of several local residents who want to give them to their own local firefighters, law enforcement officers and church leaders.
I rode through Orchard Park pretty quickly the evening before arriving in Buffalo. The days are getting shorter and cooler which affects how much I can safely accomplish on a bicycle each day. I missed the fire station but visited the police station.
On the way to Orchard Park, I had an interview with the assistant editor of the Hamburg Sun. And I dropped off DVDs with the local fire department and police department.
On the way to Orchard Park, I dropped DVDs off for a couple of churches along the route, the Evans First Church and the Episcopal Church on Triangle Rd. I also stopped at a several fire stations, Goanda, Seneca Nation, Highland, Lakeview and Evans.
I felt some trepidation crossing into NY state, uncertain of the response I'd get from people here. So far, people here are as friendly and respectful and thoughtful as everywhere else in the country. If anything is changed, I've noticed in the words and facial expressions of the firefighters a more heartfelt gratitude than anywhere else. “You’ve ridden you bicycle all this way for this? Thank you! Wait here, let me get you a patch from the station.
Leaving Fredonia, I dropped off DVDs at the Fredonia fire station, where I received an expression of gratitude for my effort. I left a DVD at the Fredonia police station, where the security window is so dark that you can’t see the person behind the glass.
My first stop in Dunkirk was in response invitation to a home of a local resident – she had invited people over to meet me. She was interested because she’s been worried about how strongly her son has been impacted by 9/11, persistently studying and questioning many aspects of the official reports. She called him to tell him I was at her house, so he came over, as did several of her friends. For most it was the first time they had heard of AE911Truth. One woman told stories of the first weeks in NYC after 9/11, similar to stories I’ve heard before, of the handmade flyers and the people searching for loved ones lost on 9/11. I can barely imagine, nor does my heart want to allow me to imagine the immensity of fear and grief...I’m hesitant even to write about it. Another woman is an architect from Argentina. I left DVDs with the woman who invited me and with the architect.
I proceeded to the fire station, left a DVD on the door, and to the police station. I asked the police dispatcher how he felt receiving the DVD. He was uncertain. I asked if he felt more curious or more resistant. He said both applied, he was both curious and resistant.
The ride out of Fredonia was a short day on the road for me, only about 30, because my next planned stop was at the Seneca Nation. I was welcomed and introduced to the Seneca Nation by a councilwoman. In the evening, I had dinner with a woman who has devoted many years to working for indigenous rights. And I spent the following morning with a local business owner and her daughter, learning about some of the intrigue behind the local Seneca Nation elections, and sharing my story the led up to my ride across the country on behalf of AE911Truth. I appreciated sharp wit and straightforward humor about life, generosity and laughter!
So that’s it, writing is caught up to the present, for now. In the morning, after two radio interviews, I ride through Rochester.
See below youtube video with Erik Lawyer, firefighter, one of the experts in "Experts Speak Out".
I moved through the most urban parts of Cleveland pretty quickly, grateful for light traffic on a Saturday afternoon. In the greater Cleveland area, I stopped a several fire stations, Huron, Lorain, Sheffield Lake, Euclid, Wickliffe, Willoughby, Mentor, Painesville, Grand River and Perry. I also stopped at the police stations in Huron, Willoughby and Mentor, and I give DVDs to patrol officers in Braetenal, Painesville and Perry.
At all of these stops I was received with respectful consideration of the effort to ride across the country to raise awareness for AE911Truth – everyone said some version of “thank you, I’ll take a look at it.” One police chief listened as far as the nanothermite and said “Well, how did that get there?!” When I said, that’s the reason for the call for a proper investigation, he said, “That’s what I was just thinking.” One fire chief, welcomed me warmly and invited me in, and then when he started listening to the evidence he put on a really good poke face – I honestly could not discern anything from his facial expressions. He did offer me a fire department patch before I left the station. At another fire stations, one of the firefighters was very skeptical but interested and agreed to watch the DVD, and one firefighter was very interested and asked questions about who and motive that I just couldn’t answer – he said that he had wondered how the buildings could come down the way they did, that he was interested, he’d definitely watch the DVD.
At one police station the dispatcher sent me to deliver the DVD upstairs to the detective division – the receptionist there, when she’d heard that I’d ridden 3300 miles, in her surprise offered me water. I told her that I didn’t need water at the moment. The pattern continued when I went around the corner to the fire station, one of the firefighter had the same immediate response “Wow, do you need some water?” I assured him that I was well hydrated. As I was sitting outside talking with a news editor, a training officer came by, and a few minutes later came back with a bottle of water – he actually got a bottle of water into my hand (even though I was well hydrated).
I also stopped at the WELW radio station to deliver a DVD. I have an interview set up with that station for Oct 17. I dropped in on the Mentor Herald News and talked with the editor – the reporters were all busy, so I offered to send a press release and a photo. I also talked with the editor of the Mentor Patch online newsletter affiliated with AOL. Here's the article.
I arrived in the Cleveland area after a long ride in the rain on Friday. I’d hit a railroad crossing badly and tweaked my rear wheel on the ride into the city on Friday, so my brakes were working poorly for this urban ride. Riding out of the city on Monday am, the Bicycle Hub mechanic trued my wheel, replaced my rear tire (some of the tread had been ripped off by the railroad crossing), adjusted my brakes, and cleaned up my bike a bit - I appreciated having my bike in capable hands when it needed repairs!
Monday night, I camped at Geneva State Park, just outside of Geneva on the Lake. The temps dropped to 34 by morning. My cold weather gear is working okay. I was cold but not miserable. I was able to fall asleep and sleep through the night. In the morning I had a good breakfast at a café. The waitress and one of the customers was very interested in what I was doing – some of the many people I meet who say, “It didn’t look right the way the buildings came down like that.” The customer bought my breakfast.
On the road to Erie, PA, I stopped at Ashtabula. The fire station and police department are about 2.5 miles from my route. I didn’t make the 5 mile round trip. Instead I spent the time it would have taken me to ride to the fire station sittings in the sun outside the Mother of Sorrows church. I needed the rest and time to ponder on the theology related to this whole situation, 9/11.
Back on the road I encountered several fire stations, so I stopped and dropped off DVDs – Conneaut fire department and police station, and three Lake City stations. At the fire stations I received the usual polite thank-you. The dispatcher at the police station said she’d share it with the patrol officers. I also dropped a DVD off at a Lutheran church outside of Conneaut, just taped onto the door.
At a bar and grill outside of Erie, PA, the first people I talked with were awed with appreciation for my efforts – they gave hand signals indicating love. The waiter also expressed interest. I gave them DVDs – I trust they’ll talk with friends about what they learn from their DVDs.
In the morning I woke up to the sound of roaring waves on Lake Erie and wind in the trees. It sounded intimidating, but wasn’t so bad once I got out of the tent. I had the good fortune to be leaving my campsite just in time to meet the city building inspector out for a morning bike ride. He listened to what I was doing, took a DVD, and then guided me into town.
In town, I found the fire department and dropped off a DVD. The Erie Times-News is right across the street. I called the number I’d been given by the AE911Truth team for the newspaper and let them know that I was right across the street. A reporter and a photographer came to meet me at the door. After a brief interview with the news reporter, the photographer got some video of me on the road and coached me through making a 30-second statement for the camera in front of the fire station (this was a first for me giving a statement in front of a camera, so I was grateful for coaching).
Then the rain started. I made quick stops at the sheriff office and the police department. I left DVDs for the county sheriff and gave a DVD to a patrol officer doing security at the door. I gave a DVD to the dispatcher at the police station.
The ride in the rain was not a problem. It was wet, but I had a favorable wind. Key indicators of wind direction in addition to the American flags are autumn leaves dancing and skittering down the road and weeping willow branches waving my direction. The ride along the lake is beautiful and aside from an occasional steep dip into and out of creek crossings mostly level. Riding in the wind and the rain reminds me of sailboat racing, where maintaining an alert, active and capable attitude in wind and rain is the norm. The biggest problem for me with the rain is that people tend to treat me with wariness when I’m wearing rain gear.
Crossing the state line from Pennsylvania into New York, the rain intensified and the sun came out – perfect conditions for rainbows. Riding along, it was beautiful to see the end of a rainbow tracking along the tops of the red, gold and green trees. At little later there was a double rainbow and then the sunlight intensified so that the red, yellow and green of the trees and the rainbow was reflected in the puddles on the road. In the midst of all that brilliance, who cares about wet feet?
In Fredonia, I was hosted by some AE911Truth petition signers, a physics professor and a webmaster from the university. A few other people joined our gathering to learn about the bike ride and the cause. It was great to have a home cooked breakfast in the morning with seconds, the first since Dickenson, ND.