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WTC Dust Study Feb 29, 2012 by Dr. James Millette

Jones CD 'proof' demolished by real science: some following the truther conspiracy scene might be convinced that Steven Jones found proof of thermite/thermate aluminum particles in the WTC dust. Jones, et al have never had dust samples lab tested. Millette did; no aluminum was found. Steven Jones is a fraud.
Progress Report of Results: MVA9119
Analysis of Red/Gray Chips in WTC Dust


This report summarizes the results to date of the analyses of red/gray chips found in samples of dust generated by the World Trade Center (WTC) disaster of 11 September 2001. MVA Scientific Consultants was requested by Mr. Chris Mohr of Classical Guide to scientifically study red/gray chips from WTC dust that matched those presented in a paper by Harrit et al., 2009,1 which concluded that thermitic material was present in the WTC dust. Mr. Mohr was unable to gain access to any samples used in the Harrit study so four samples were chosen from the archives of MVA Scientific Consultants. These dust samples had been collected within a month of 11 September 2001 and sent to MVA for different projects. They are identified by the sample numbers shown below and on the New York City map shown in Figure 1. The red/gray chips discussed in this report were analyzed during the period from 18 November 2011 to 20 February 2012. Some analytical results characterizing the particles in the dust from two of the samples (4808-L1616 and 9119-X0135) had been previously published in the scientific literature. 2,3

Fig. 1
MVA # Date Collected Sample Location Map No.
4808-L1616 28 September 2001 22 Cortlandt St. 1
4795-L1560 22 September 2001 Murray & Church St. 2
5230-M3451 15-16 September 2001 49 Ann St. 3 9119-X0135
07 October 2001 33 Maiden Lane 4


In order to confirm that the samples chosen had the characteristics of WTC dust, the samples were examined by stereomicroscope and by polarized light microscopy (PLM) according to the procedures described in Turner et al., 20054 (Figures 2 and 3). The analytical procedures used to characterize the red/gray chips were based on the criteria for the particles of interest in accordance with the recommended guidelines for forensic identification of explosives5 and the ASTM standard guide for forensic paint analysis and comparison.6 The criteria for the particles of interest as described by Harrit et al.1 are: small red/gray chips attracted by a magnet and showing an elemental composition primarily of aluminum, silicon and iron as determined by scanning electron microscopy and x-ray energy dispersive spectroscopy (SEM-EDS) (Figure 4). The spectrum may also contain small peaks related to other elements. To that end, the following protocol was performed on each of the four WTC dust samples.

1. The dust sample particles contained in a plastic bag were drawn across a magnet and those attracted to the magnet were collected (Figure 5).
9119ProgressReport022912s Page 3 of 21
2. Using a stereomicroscope, particle chips showing the characteristic red/gray were removed and washed in clean water.
3. The particles were dried and mounted on a carbon adhesive film on an SEM stub and photographed (Figure 5).
4. Analysis of the surfaces of the chips was done by SEM-EDS at 20 kV without any added conductive coating (Figures 6 and 7).

Red/gray particles that matched the criteria (attracted to a magnet and an EDS Al-Si-Fe spectrum) were then considered particles of interest and subjected to additional analytical testing. The additional tests included: Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR); SEM-EDS of cross-sections; low temperature ashing and residue analysis by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) with selected area electron diffraction (SAED) and EDS; muffle furnace ashing and residue analysis by PLM and TEM-SAED-EDS; ultra-microtome sectioning of the red layer and analysis by TEM-SAED-EDS; and solvent tests.

Stereomicroscopy was done using either an Olympus SZ-40 stereomicroscope or a Wild M5-49066 stereomicroscope.

Polarized light microscope (PLM) examination of the dusts and ashed residue was done with an Olympus BH-2 PLM or an aus Jena Jenapol PLM.

Scanning electron microscope (SEM) analysis of the surfaces of red/gray chips was done using a JEOL Model JSM-6490LV SEM coupled with a Thermo Scientific Noran System SIX x-ray energy dispersive spectrometer (EDS). Digital x-ray images and phase mapping was also done with this instrument.
Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) was performed with a SensIR FTIR equipped with a diamond ATR objective and attached to an Olympus BX-51 compound microscope.

Cross-sections of the chips of interest were made with clean scalpel blades. The analysis of cross-sections was done with a JEOL Model JSM-6500F field emission SEM with a Thermo Scientific Noran System SIX EDS system.
Low-temperature ashing (LTA) is an alternative to using solvents to extract inorganic constituents from an organic film or coating.6 LTA of the chips of interest was done using an SPI Plasma Prep II plasma asher. LTA was performed for time periods of
30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the size of the chip. The gray layer remained intact and the red layer residue was collected in clean water and drops of the suspension were placed on carbon-film TEM grids. After drying, the particulate was analyzed using a Philips CM120 TEM capable of SAED and equipped with an Oxford EDS system.

Chips of interest were ashed in a muffle furnace using a NEY Temperature Programmable furnace operated at 400oC for 1 hour. The gray layer remained intact and the red layer residue was prepared as described above and analyzed using a Philips CM120 TEM-SAED-EDS.

Ultra-thin sections of a red layer were cut using a Reichert-Jung Ultracut E Ultramicrotome with a diamond knife. The ultra-thin sections were placed directly on TEM grids and analyzed using a Philips EM 420 TEM-SAED-EDS.
Samples of red/gray chips were placed in several solvents overnight and then subjected to ultrasonic agitation to determine if the solvents could dissolve the epoxy binder and liberate the internal particles. The solvents included methylene chloride, methyl ethyl ketone (MEK), and two commercial paint strippers used for epoxy resins. The commercial paint strippers, Klean-Strip KS-3 Premium Stripper and Jasco Premium Paint and Epoxy Remover, contain methylene chloride, methanol and mineral spirits. One red/gray chip was subjected to 55 hours of submersion in MEK, then dried and coated with a thin layer of gold for conductivity. The red layer was analyzed by SEM-EDS analysis using an advanced x-ray phase mapping technique. The technique uses a multivariate statistical analysis program to find spectral-similar regions in a spectral imaging acquisition. It analyzes the spectrum at each pixel location and then groups the pixels with similar spectra into principal components or phases.



The composition of the four samples of dust chosen for study were consistent with WTC dust previously published 2,3 (Appendix A).

Red/gray chips that had the same morphology and appearance as those reported by Harrit et al.1, and fitting the criteria of being attracted by a magnet and having the SEM-EDS x-ray elemental spectra described in their paper (Gray: Fe, Red: C,O, Al, Si, Fe) were found in the WTC dust from all four locations examined. The red layers were in the range of 15 to 30 micrometers thick. The gray layers were in the range of 10 to
50 micrometers thick (Appendix B).

The FTIR spectra of the red layer were consistent with reference spectra of an epoxy resin and kaolin clay (Figure 8) (Appendix C).

The SEM-EDS and backscattered electron (BE) analysis of the cross-sections of the gray layer in the red/gray chip showed it to be primarily iron consistent with a carbon steel. The cross-sections of the red layer showed the presence of equant-shaped particles of iron consistent with iron oxide pigment and plates of aluminum/silicon consistent with reference samples of kaolin. The thinnest kaolin plates were on the order of 6 nm with many sets of plates less than 1 micrometer thick. Small x-ray peaks of other elements were sometimes present. The particles were in a carbon-based matrix (Figures 9 through 14) (Appendix D).

TEM-SAED-EDS analysis of the residue after low temperature ashing showed equant-shaped particles of iron consistent with iron oxide pigment and plates of kaolin clay. Small numbers of titanium oxide particles consistent with titanium dioxide pigment were also found (Figure 15) (Appendix E).

PLM analysis of the residue from red/gray chips after muffle furnace ashing at 400oC for 1 hour showed very fine red particles consistent with synthetic hematite (iron oxide) pigment particles (Figure 16). PLM also found possible clay present based on a micro-chemical clay-stain test. TEM-SAED-EDS analysis of another portion of the same muffle furnace residue showed equant-shaped particles of iron consistent with iron oxide pigment, plates of kaolin clay and some aciniform aggregates of carbon soot consistent with incomplete ashing of a carbon-based binder (Figure 17). The SAED pattern of the kaolin particles (Figure 18) matched the kaolin pattern shown in the McCrone Particle Atlas8 (Appendix E). The values for the d-spacings determined for the diffraction patterns matched those produced by reference kaolin samples.

TEM-SAED-EDS analysis of a thin section of the red layer showed equant-shaped particles of iron consistent with iron oxide pigments and plates of kaolin clay (Figures 19 and 20). The matrix material of the red coating layer was carbon-based. Small numbers of titanium oxide particles consistent with titanium dioxide pigment and some calcium particles were also found (Appendix F).

The solvents had no effect on the gray iron/steel layer. Although the solvents softened the red layers on the chips, none of the solvents tested dissolved the epoxy resin and released the particles within. SEM-EDS phase mapping (using multivariate statistical analysis) of the red layer after exposure to MEK for 55 hours did not show evidence of individual aluminum particles (Appendix G).

In summary, red/gray chips with the same morphological characteristics, elemental spectra and magnetic attraction as those shown in Harrit et al.1 were found in WTC dust samples from four different locations than those examined by Harrit, et al.1 The gray side is consistent with carbon steel. The red side contains the elements: C, O, Al, Si, and Fe with small amounts of other elements such as Ti and Ca. Based on the infrared absorption (FTIR) data, the C/O matrix material is an epoxy resin. Based on the optical and electron microscopy data, the Fe/O particles are an iron oxide pigment consisting of crystalline grains in the 100-200 nm range and the Al/Si particles are kaolin clay plates that are less than a micrometer thick. There is no evidence of individual elemental aluminum particles detected by PLM, SEM-EDS, or TEM-SAED-EDS, during the analyses of the red layers in their original form or after sample preparation by ashing, thin sectioning or following MEK treatment.


There is no evidence of individual elemental aluminum particles detected by PLM, SEM-EDS, or TEM-SAED-EDS, during the analyses of the red layers in their original form or after sample preparation by ashing, thin sectioning or following MEK treatment.


There is no evidence of individual elemental aluminum particles

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WTC Dust Study — Yet More Stupid Disinfo 29.Mar.2012 18:19


Probably most people in the 9/11 Truth movement have been completely aware that Dr. Steven Jones', (former BYU physics professor — but he still makes a huge income via his "connections") "thermite/thermate theory" is absurd. It is very well understood that only a high explosive could have caused the Twin Towers explosions. Thermite-type incendiaries can get nowhere near the explosive velocity that was required to blast the two huge towers into dust. They are low-velocity explosives at best, and could not have caused that type of explosion.

Only high-velocity explosives, possibly such as PETN, could have done it. Most people who are involved in the serious investigation of the explosion of the towers assumes that Jones' "nano-aluminum" theory is disinfo, just another red herring.

By the way, the website that the link in the above article ( seems to genuinely lack a domain name! It refers to a site "James Randi Educational Foundation" which is presumably run by the professional magician James Randi, who had a radio show on WOR-FM in New York City about 40 years ago. He must be at least 90 years old! Too cheap to actually buy a domain name? Maybe they think they are Wikileaks?

Anyhow, you can read a years-ago debunking of ("former") professor Jones' absurd thermite theory at:

9/11 Truth Red Herring: Neoliberal BYU Has Financed, Staffed, and Peer-Reviewed Prof. Jones' Flawed Thermite Distraction Since Day One — May 26, 2010:
 link to willyloman.wordpress.com

To this day, no one will test the dust for high explosives. Jones won't, and the Amazing Randi won't. They just can't be bothered.

FAQ #7: Aren’t the Red-Gray Chips Identified in the WTC Dust 30.Mar.2012 01:07

Merely Primer Paint from the WTC Steel Structural Elements?

Written by AE911Truth Staff Thursday, 15 March 2012 13:37

Editor's note: The preliminary results of a new study of the red-gray chips, commissioned by Chris Mohr, a supporter of the official NIST reports about the destruction of the WTC skyscraper, and authored by Dr. James Millette, have recently been released. They seem to confirm that the composition of the red-gray chips does not match the formula for the primer paint used on the WTC steel structure. Look for a critique of Millette's study in next month's Blueprint newsletter.

Some defenders of the official 9/11 story have claimed that the red-gray chips of thermitic material identified in the WTC dust by chemist Dr. Niels Harrit, Ph.D., Dr Steven Jones, Ph.D., and other scientists are simply remnants of the rust-proofing primer paint that was applied to the steel structure of the WTC skyscrapers during their construction. However, scientific evidence gathered by both the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Harrit's team of scientists clearly shows that this claim is false, since the properties of the primer paint are strikingly different from those of the red-gray chips.

First of all, several key ingredients of the primer paint are not present in the composition of the red-gray chips. According to NIST, the type of primer paint used on the WTC steel columns contains substantial levels of zinc, chromium, and magnesium. However, the X-ray Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (XEDS) analysis of the red-gray chips performed by Harrit and others showed no significant amounts of zinc, chromium, or magnesium.

These XEDS charts show the chemical properties of four red-gray chips after analysis by Dr. Niels Harrit and other scientists. No significant quantities of zinc, chromium or magnesium are observed, which are vital components of the WTC primer paint

Based on this data alone, we can already conclude that the red-gray chips are not primer paint. Furthermore, there are other important differences that reinforce the fact that these two materials are not the same.

In one of the tests performed by Harrit and other scientists, a red-gray chip was soaked in methyl ethyl ketone (MEK), which is a paint solvent. While paint dissolves within a few hours upon immersion in this solvent, the red-gray chip did not dissolve, and remained in a hardened state after being soaked for 55 hours.

The thermal properties of the red-gray chips and primer paint are also highly dissimilar. Thermal analysis of the red-gray chips has shown that they ignite at approximately 430º C.
As shown in this chart, all four red-gray chips that were tested ignited at temperatures around 430º C, far below the temperature at which WTC primer paint burns

In contrast, tests on the primer paint performed by NIST and recorded in NIST NCSTAR 1-3C Appendix D (pages 440, 442) demonstrated that it can reach temperatures exceeding 650º C without burning. Since primer paint is primarily a ceramic material, it is chemically stable at temperatures up to 800º C.

In addition, the thermal tests on the red-gray chips revealed that when they are ignited at around 430º C, they create molten iron microspheres as a byproduct. Since iron does not melt until it reaches approximately 1538º C, this means a high-temperature chemical reaction occurred. This volatile reactivity makes this type of material extremely dangerous, disqualifying it from ever being used as primer paint.
This image shows a red-gray chip after it has been partially ignited. The gray iron-rich spherical particles, which were also found in the WTC dust documented by USGS and RJ Lee & Associates, are evidence of a high-temperature chemical reaction

Conversely, the documented chemical and thermal properties of the red-gray chips confirm that they are thermitic material. The chemical composition of these chips includes sizeable quantities of the key elements of thermite (iron, oxygen, and aluminum), and the high-temperature reactions that occurred when the chips were ignited verifies that they are indeed thermitic in nature.

This sophisticated incendiary material has been developed in the most advanced laboratories in the world, and is designed to blast through steel, a result that cannot be produced by jet fuel or office fires. An independent, comprehensive, fully resourced and unimpeachable investigation is long overdue to determine who placed this destructive material in the WTC skyscrapers and bring them to justice.

 link to www.ae911truth.org

gotta do better than that 30.Mar.2012 02:04


"Some defenders of the official 9/11 story have claimed that the red-gray chips of thermitic material identified in the WTC dust by chemist Dr. Niels Harrit, Ph.D., Dr Steven Jones, Ph.D., and other scientists "

Wasn't that from the Bentham paper that turned out to be published by a vanity press?

Why do the Antifas ignore the Anarchist dictum of Question Authority? 13.Mar.2013 13:40

Antifas are Fascists

Note that the faux-Anarchist Antifas always make "appeals to Authority" regarding 9/11. Why do the Antifas ignore the Anarchist dictum of "Question Authority?"

According to the Antifas, the US Government must be telling the truth about 9/11 because "the US Government knows more than we do."

The Antifas are incapable of discussing the facts and details of 9/11, because the Antifas refuse to study the facts and details of 9/11. So the Antifas make "appeals to Authority."

The Antifas are faux-Anarchists and faux-revolutionaries. The Antifas are Controlled Opposition. The Antifas are here disrupt the activities of genuine activists.