CASE CLOSED … what really happened in the 2001 anthrax attacks?

* October 2001 BATTELLE REPORT TO DIA ON LETHAL INHALATION DOSE (provided to DXer today under FOIA)

Posted by DXer on August 19, 2011


Authors: Barnewall, Roy, James Estep, and Robert DeBell. 2001.









8 Responses to “* October 2001 BATTELLE REPORT TO DIA ON LETHAL INHALATION DOSE (provided to DXer today under FOIA)”

  1. DXer said

    “I guess one of the biggest things that I was so closely involved with was the anthrax incident in 2001. Back then the bomb squad was a bomb squad and hazmat team. I was the one who went on the original call and analyzed it. We did our field tests, and we were positive for anthrax. I remember the doctor from the CDC said: “I don’t know why you’re still alive. You inhaled between 300 and 3,000 times the lethal amount.” He said, ‘You’re my living monkey.’ ””

  2. DXer said

    Dr. Barnewall and Dr. Estep have worked out of Battelle in West Jefferson and Dr. Robert De Bell has worked for Battelle out of Arlington, VA. Any one of them could clear up any misconceptions about the research — which was for standard and legitimate biodefense purposes.

    They can now confirm that Strain D was Ames.

    • DXer said

      Dr. DeBell of Battelle Arlington explained in a September 2001 report on the effect of particle size on lethality

      “Because microbes as dry agents will often clump because of attractive surface effects (i.e., electrostatic charge, “hairy” endosporium, etc.), it is most important to add hydrophobic materials or other dry diluents to retain a uniform particle size. Although some of these chemical additives might occupy some of the space resulting from the fractional fill, the number of spores in a given mass will be reduced, although not necessarily in direct proportion to volume. Assuming that 50% of the mass of a dry agent preparation consists of additives to promote effective dispersion and 10% of these materials occupy the void volume created by the fill fraction within a five-micron particle, five-micron particles might contain an average of 33 spores per particle. In this case, the “particle LD50”, as opposed to the infectivity of B. anthracis,in terms of five-micron particles that would contain a total of 8,000 to 10,000 spores is estimated to be between 242 and 303 particles. Using similar calculations for three-micron particles, the “particle LD50″ would be from 1111 to 1388 particles. Thus, the LD50 value based on particles would be less than the typical LD50 value by one or two orders of magnitude depending on particle size. These types of calculations to characterize bioaerosols provide valuable tools for defensive measures, especially for the development of items such as detectors and dispersion codes.”

  3. anonymous said

    Battelle Edgewood Operations Cbiac

    Po Box 196
    Gunpowder, MD 21010

    Above is the location of the facility where the aerosol study on monkeys appears to have been undertaken. It’s 128 miles from Princeton.

    If Battelle were interested in determining lethal doses for monkeys in 2001 with wet spores it’s not too much of a stretch to assume that they were also interested in much more realistic studies – namely the lethal doses with dry spores. I’m assuming lethal doses with dry spores are quite different than wet spores.

    This report is unclassified – perhaps the dry spore studies, if they exist, are classified.

    • DXer said

      About the third page up in part 2 states:

      Study PeIfonned by Battelle Memorial Institute
      Medical Research and Evaluation Facility (MREF)
      State Route 142
      Plail) City Georgesville Road
      West Jefferson, Ohio 43162

      Thus, it appears that the aerosol study was performed in West Jefferson, Ohio.

  4. DXer said

    Professor Guillemin writes: “Advised that the first draft of the NRC report was highly critical of Amerithrax methods, Director Mueller decided that transparency might improve the assessment. In December 2010, the Bureau supplied more than 600 pages of new material….”

    ****** COMMENT ******

    For there to be transparency, there needed to be a full production of documents and it needed to come in 2009 so the issues could have been addressed.

    Congress may learn that there was the same withholding of documents from GAO as there was from the public under FOIA.

    Relatedly, DOJ has failed to comply with FOIA in connection with Amerithrax.

    As soon as the inventory of documents produced by USAMRIID to FBI is produced next week, media requestors should seek those documents simultaneously from USAMRIID and DOJ and FBI.

    For some of the key documents (e.g., lab notebooks from September/October 2001), copies were not made and FBI took the only copy.

    It is important that researchers put aside their preconceptions and work to reconstruct a timeline, based on documentary evidence, of what Dr. Ivins did in September and October. For example, if there is a record of what time he viewed a document sitting at a computer on a key date, that is the sort of thing that could be hugely relevant.

    For example, the DOJ has failed to produce the September 17, 2001 email from Bruce Ivins to Mara Linscott so that the public can see what time it was sent (that would show that at the particular time in question he was at the computer from which it was sent and not Princeton).

    Similarly, the DOJ is withholding the family 302s (compare the UNABOM case in which they were produced). Those 302s also serve to alibi Dr. Ivins for the night of September 17.

    As another example, the DOJ is withholding its server archive that it obtained from USAMRIID that contains extensive documents not yet produced.

    • DXer said

      I enjoyed Professor Guillemin’s descriptions. She all but compares Director Mueller to Gary Cooper, as I so often do.

      “his big jaw set” and “impeccable in a crisp white shirt.”

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