Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Listening to Debunker Arguments is Like Watching Paint Dry...

Especially when they keep going on and on about paint.

A few weeks back poster "Sunstealer" at the JREF forum claimed to have shown that one of the red/gray chips in the Active Thermitic Material paper was actually WTC primer paint.
I just found something new out. Harrit et al did have a sample of WTC primer paint in the paper - they just didn't realise it!

I have long suspected that the chip subjected to the MEK soaking was WTC primer paint but couldn't show that it was - until now.

Now what's interesting is that Harrit et al claim that the MEK chip is identical to the samples a-d in the paper even though the compositions are radically different.

Compare and contrast my corrected spectra of Fig 14 (Mg peak identified at 1.3KeV and K peak at 3.4 KeV) below with the spectra at 2.45 in the video below (note that in the spectra below the peak at 3.7KeV is incorrectly labelled as C - it should be Ca)

This is one and the same material!

Note how in the paper they say

Quote: Fig. (14). XEDS spectrum of red side before soaking in MEK. Notice the presence of Zn and Cr, which are sometimes seen in the red layers. The large Ca and S peaks may be due to surface contamination with wallboard material.

The bolded part is their own bias.

Que the nitpickers looking at different peak heights and claiming something different. It's not.

Fig 14 - the chip soaked in MEK in the Harrit et al paper was WTC primer paint.

The first thing that we should note here is that Sunstealer is apparently focusing on one chip in particular. The chip he is referring to is this one: He claims that this chip is comparable to the spectra showing WTC primer paint. But is it? We contacted Dr. Jones about this, and here is what he had to say:

"It is unfortunate that we did not first fracture the chip which was later soaked in MEK and measure the fresh surface -- a procedure we followed (thanks to Jeff Farrer) on the FOUR chips thoroughly analyzed in the paper. I am certain that if we had done this, there would have been no zinc on the inside of the chip-later-soaked, because after soaking there was NO ZINC (as we showed in our paper, Figures 16, 17 and 18). Clearly, soaking and agitating in MEK removed surface contamination. The Zn seen in Figure 14 was before soaking, as we said in the paper, and was very likely due to surface contamination, but we could have stated that more clearly. A lot of Zn was present in the dust (a fact recorded also in the USGS data set for the WTC dust). The fact that no Zinc or Ca show up in the post-MEK XEDS spectra, Figs 16, 17 and 18, appears to be ignored by the JREF'ers but is crucially important as demonstration that this is NOT primer paint."

What's more, Dr. Niels Harrit also made this distinction in his article WHY THE RED/GRAY CHIPS ARE NOT PRIMER PAINT. In his discussion of the Figure 14 chip, he states:
In one experiment the chips were to be soaked in methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) and could not – for good reasons – be broken before. The resulting XEDS of this chip (Figure 6, below) displays tiny blips indicating the presence of chromium and zinc. They disappeared after the chips had been soaked/rinsed with the organic solvent. Therefore, they are believed to derive from surface contamination, which very well could have been from the primer paint(!).

Furthermore, Dr. Harrit goes on to point out that:

Magnesium was never observed, which is another element characteristic of the primer paint (Table 1).

Indeed, as the spectra Dr. Jones labels as primer paint shows, magnesium is present in the paint, but not in the Fig. 14 spectra.

Another JREFer, "The Almond," also threw in his own comments:
Good catch on this. I've often suggested that the material in question was the anti-corrosive coating applied to the steel structure during construction. NIST describes the anti corrosion coating applied to the steel beams (also used to do the infamous 600 C temperature test) in 1-3C appendix D (check around page 433). Not shockingly, the pigments listed have iron, zinc, silicon and a proprietary pigment known as Tnemec. What's further, if you compare figure D4 to the ones shown in Harrit et al, you can't even begin to think it's anything else.

Apparently, Mr. Almond likes using the same argument that Mark Roberts and Joseph Nobles are fond of using: that the paint and the chips look similar. Dr. Jones also addressed this issue for us:

"The paint and the red/gray chips have a distinctly different appearance (see for example recent photos by Jon Cole which confirm this fact) and different behaviors in the MEK solvent. After soaking in MEK, the red/gray chips (still wet with MEK) remained very hard, easy to pick up with forceps without deforming. OTOH, the paint including primer paint chips become very flexible and limp after soaking and still wet with MEK. There can be no mistaking the distinction, despite what the JREF'ers say."

And what's more, we have independent confirmation from chemical engineer Mark Basile, who has come to the same conclusions as Dr. Jones et al.

(At around minute 38:00 he discusses his analyzation of the red/gray chips)

This is an issue that's been addressed many times before. The red/gray chips discovered do not act like paint, do not have the same ingredients as paint, and do not look like paint. And until debunkers decide to actually get their objections peer reviewed, the paper's conclusions stand.

Thanks to Dr. Steven Jones and Jon Cole for their helpful comments and pictures of WTC paint and red/gray chips.

Thanks to youtuber Lietuvispartizan for sending me the Mark Basile video and other helpful comments.

Related Info:

Listening to Debunker Arguments is Like Watching Two Coats of Paint Dry...