Thursday, October 6, 2011

The attack anthrax was NOT weaponized.

The facts say that the attack anthrax was NOT weaponized.  The spores were examined by Sandia National Laboratories, and it was determined beyond any doubt that the silicon which showed up in the spores was inside the spore coat, which is under the exosporium.  Plus, the silicon was clearly accumulated there via natural processes, since they also found the same silicon "signature" in spores that were still inside the "mother germ."

One test of the powder from the New York Post letter supposedly found 10.77% silicon and 0.65% tin.  The finding was explained as possible contamination from a shard of glass.

An alternative explanation is that the material was centrifuged before it was dried, and the process of centrifuging resulted in natural silicon being concentrated in one spot in the centrifuge tube.  When dried, it showed up in one sample but not in others.

The facts show that the attack spores were not weaponized, so an unexplained finding of an unusual amount of silicon and tin in one sample doesn't change the "weaponization" finding.



  1. What is foundation for shard of guess being the source?

  2. In another sample of the attack powders, a tiny piece of metal was found. A lot of work was done to try to figure out what it was and where it came from.

    It turned out to be a piece of metal from a new tweezer used by a scientist examining the sample. The tweezer came in a sterile bag, but when other news tweezers from the same company were examined under a microscope, they found that there were pieces of metal clinging to some of them from when they were made. They changed to a different brand of tweezers.

    So, there could have been a shard of glass from some source - either from the culprit's work or from the examiners' work.

    The silicon in the spores was inside the spore coat. That means it had nothing to do with weaponization. And, it couldn't have been added after the spores were formed. So, that seems to leave only two possibilities: (1) the sample was contaminated with a piece of silicon of some kind, or (2) when the material was centrifuged, a concentration of natural silicon accumulated in one area of the centrifuge tube and was then dried in place. So, it showed up in only on tiny portion of the New York Post Powder.


  3. For someone who hasn't followed this too closely, what does weaponized actually mean in regards to antrhax?

    The Frontline episode makes a big deal of how these spores were able to float.

  4. Anonymous,

    The term "weaponized" generally means that silicon or bentonite were added to the outside of the spores to keep them dry and help prevent them from sticking together. Individual spores are more able to enter the lungs than large clumps of spores, which usually get coughed out or caught in nostril hairs.

    People sometimes argue that if anthrax spores are used "as a weapon" to scare people, then they are "weaponized." But that just makes things confusing, since I can use my car keys as a weapon, but the keys aren't "weaponized".

    There are pictures of "weaponized" spores on my web site HERE.

    BTW, I prefer that you use the Name/URL option and pick some unique name. Things can get very confusing if there are a half dozen people all posting as "Anonymous."