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High-quality scans of anthrax letters
www.anthrax-letters.com ^ | April 1, 2002? | Anonymous <anthrax-letters at comcast.net>

Posted on 04/20/2002 8:43:48 PM PDT by Mitchell

Here is my description of the information at the web site above:

An anonymous person has, through a FOIA request, obtained copies of the FBI photographs of three of the anthrax letters and envelopes. High-quality scans are posted on the web site in TIFF format. These are much higher quality than the images on the FBI web site, and the photos include rulers next to the letters, so the sizes can be measured.

The images are much too big to be posted here. Go to the web site and download them if you are interested. (Links to the TIFF images are near the bottom of the web page.)

The author of this web site has a bizarre theory that the letters have hidden imagery on them. I do not subscribe to this strange idea, but I appreciate the efforts of this person to obtain, scan in, and post these photographs.


TOPICS: Anthrax Scare; Crime/Corruption; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: anthrax; envelopes; fbi; letters; photographs; scanned
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To: Mitchell
Curious! I realize it is probably just a coincidence, but I'd still check to see who bought it, wrote it or checked it out of a library...
41 posted on 04/23/2002 1:04:32 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: right_to_defend
Are you from the UK originally?

No, I'm from the U.S.

I rememebr the song when I was a kid "Postman Pat, postman Pat, Postman Pat and his black and white cat!"

I've never heard that one. Is this a British song you recall from your childhood?

42 posted on 04/23/2002 1:15:45 PM PDT by Mitchell
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To: Alamo-Girl
Curious! I realize it is probably just a coincidence, but I'd still check to see who bought it, wrote it or checked it out of a library...

From the book cover that I posted, Postman Pat was apparently a TV show. Was this in the U.S.? I haven't heard of the show.

43 posted on 04/23/2002 1:18:00 PM PDT by Mitchell
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Comment #44 Removed by Moderator

Comment #45 Removed by Moderator

To: right_to_defend; Mitchell; Alamo-Girl
"As far as I know it was never shown in the US, but was huge in the UK. It's British and all the characters have British accents."

The 'UK', the whole worldwide,BBC,... 'UK'?
(Empire, etc.!)
(Worldwide schools, Embassy/consulates/etc., Foreign 'stations' too!)

To include:________

IMHO

46 posted on 04/23/2002 2:12:25 PM PDT by maestro
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To: right_to_defend
Yes, I grew up in the UK. EVERYONE in the UK has heard of "Postman Pat". He was huge over there.

So what does Greendale refer to in the title? I'd guess it's a town, not a school?

47 posted on 04/23/2002 2:37:50 PM PDT by Mitchell
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To: right_to_defend; Alamo-Girl; Nogbad; Shermy; okie01; muawiyah; aristeides; The Great Satan; keri
Somebody posted the following in a web log, indicating that Greendale is a common, almost generic, name. It's a list of Greendales on TV and in real life; most of these are new to me (I don't watch much TV):
Greendale is not that tough to come by if one watches TV-Land. Barney Fife was once offered a job as sherrif of Greendale, NC. It was also a town near Mayfield home of Beaver Cleaver. It is the setting for "Teenagers from Outer Space", "Sabrina the Teenage Witch", lives in Greendale, Postman Pat on the BBC delivers the mail in Greendale, there are Greendales in many us states, Greendale Independent Schools in Greendale Wi (neat town, one of the first planned communities, originated as a USDA facility) and Greendale Va, as well as Worchester MA, there is a Greendale nursery in Homestead Fla (my nephew met the pseudorapper, Vanilla Ice there once.) There are Greendale apartments, golfcourses, one of the student housing complexes at Stanford is named Greendale, etc, etc, etc. Hmm except for Postman Pat I really don't see why Greendale would be too uncommon

48 posted on 04/23/2002 3:30:38 PM PDT by Mitchell
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To: Mitchell
Your#48)...........??...How about, Greendale/Orangedale, Nova Scotia?.......That sounds interesting?

IMHO

49 posted on 04/23/2002 3:56:26 PM PDT by maestro
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To: Mitchell; maestro
Hmmmm ... it is curious that the series is U.K. And perhaps the choice of "Greendale" is purely coincidental ---but I doubt it, on personal experience. I say that because I cannot name anything without relying on memory for words or parts of words I've previously seen or heard. IMHO, the word had some meaning to the perp.
50 posted on 04/23/2002 8:10:29 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: Mitchell
Actually, my site does have a lot of information about al Qaeda. However, I feel that the evidence is overwhelming that an American scientist sent the anthrax letters - and there is virtually no reason to think al Qaeda was behind it.

The "Milwaukee scientist" has not been cleared. He is just not the "focus" of the investigation, and that is almost certainly because he established a perfect alibi for himself for the date of the first anthrax mailing. On September 18, 2001, he was 800 miles away from Trenton talking with the FBI in his home. He even made certain they searched his home for anthrax on that date by telling the FBI he was building "an anthrax delivery system" in his basement. At that time, however, who knew that "an anthrax delivery system" would be a few envelopes?

My site at anthraxinvestigation.com is an attempt to analyze the available information without any particular agenda. Too many people were arguing opinions without looking at facts. I just wanted to see what the facts told me. That's why I created the site. When I find new data, I change the site - if necessary.

Ed

51 posted on 04/25/2002 11:30:52 AM PDT by EdLake
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To: EdLake
Actually, my site does have a lot of information about al Qaeda. However, I feel that the evidence is overwhelming that an American scientist sent the anthrax letters - and there is virtually no reason to think al Qaeda was behind it.

The "Milwaukee scientist" has not been cleared. He is just not the "focus" of the investigation, and that is almost certainly because he established a perfect alibi for himself for the date of the first anthrax mailing. On September 18, 2001, he was 800 miles away from Trenton talking with the FBI in his home. He even made certain they searched his home for anthrax on that date by telling the FBI he was building "an anthrax delivery system" in his basement. At that time, however, who knew that "an anthrax delivery system" would be a few envelopes?

I don't have time for a detailed answer right now. Let me just say that I don't think that "al-Qaeda was behind it"; I think the evidence indicates that some country was behind it, probably Iraq. That country may have used al-Qaeda agents to deliver the anthrax, however. I do think that it's conceivable that some U.S. scientist sold them the anthrax from American stock, so this isn't entirely inconsistent with there being some domestic angle to it.

There's a great deal of evidence connecting the 9/11 terrorists and Iraq to anthrax (you've seen it all, so I won't repeat all the details -- the proximity between the hijackers' apartments and AMI, as well as the connection with the rental agent; Mohamed Atta's meeting with an Iraqi agent and his investigation into cropdusters; Alhaznawi's apparent infection with cutaneous anthrax; the timing, so close to 9/11; the known Iraqi interest in biological weapons and, in particular, anthrax; the "weaponization" of the anthrax, which is now said to be better than the U.S. ever achieved; the handwriting on the letters; as well as many other facts).

Admittedly this evidence is circumstantial. However, in contrast, I know of no actual evidence for, say, the Rosenberg/Greenpeace theory or for some other connection with U.S. scientists. (As far as I know, the Milwaukee scientist didn't work with anthrax; he was a research chemist in explosive ordnance systems. I know that the date of the police report in Milwaukee is peculiar, but that's not much of a link.)

If it was a domestic scientist, here's a question: How did he fill the envelopes? This anthrax is highly weaponized; it's uncharged and scatters veryeasily. Filling the envelopes without contaminating everything around would be quite difficult. [Also, if this anthrax really is more weaponized than the U.S. ever made, where did he get it? I don't believe he could have prepared it himself in a makeshift lab in his house.]

Well, this turned out to be a longer post than I'd planned. I'd like to add that you have an excellent web site, with a great deal of good research on it. I just don't agree with your conclusion :-).

52 posted on 04/25/2002 4:32:25 PM PDT by Mitchell
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To: Mitchell
If it was a domestic scientist, here's a question: How did he fill the envelopes? This anthrax is highly weaponized; it's uncharged and scatters veryeasily. Filling the envelopes without contaminating everything around would be quite difficult. [Also, if this anthrax really is more weaponized than the U.S. ever made, where did he get it? I don't believe he could have prepared it himself in a makeshift lab in his house.]

I have a section describing how it was done. It's HERE.

But, personally, I think the guy used his lab at work. I think he has unlimited access to a sophisticated lab somewhere in Central New Jersey, probably in a pharmaceutical company, hospital or university.

Shouldn't you have asked "If it was al Qaeda, how did they fill the envelopes?" It would be much easier for a working American scientist to fill the envelopes than some al Qaeda member hiding out in a motel room.

The evidence seems to indicate that the scientist grew the anthrax himself (from an initial supply furnished to him by someone who previously worked in the biodefense area - like the "Milwaukee scientist). He quickly prepared the first mailing of Sept. 18 from anthrax supplies on hand, then grew more anthrax over the next three weeks and more thoroughly refined it for the second mailing of Oct. 9.

I don't think weaponizing anthrax is as difficult as some "experts" believe. There's a link on my site to an Apr. 27 article by the Weekly Standard that describes in detail how there are ways to "weaponize" anthrax that are very simple. The "experts" are just thinking about the complicated ways that the U.S. government last did it back in the 1960s. There have been lots of scientific advancements since then. And there are "experts" who believe it can now be done in a garage with $2,500 worth of equipment.

All the so-called "proof" that al Qaeda was behind the anthrax mailings is really only proof that al Qaeda was investigating ways to make bioweapons, they were building labs to make bioweapons, and they are really nasty guys would would use bioweapons if they got the chance. And, too, some 9-11 al Qaeda members got sick with sores and coughs last June, but they were all DEAD for a week before the first mailing, and DEAD for a month before the second mailing.

If you look for evidence that al Qaeda are creepy, nasty guys who would kill you if they got the chance, you'll find plenty of it. But if you look for evidence that they were behind the anthrax mailings, you won't find any. IMO

Ed Lake

anthraxinvestigation.com

53 posted on 04/26/2002 7:54:01 AM PDT by EdLake
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To: boris
Hello. I just wanted to briefly introduce myself. I am the author of the Anthra-Letters Website

Firstly let me say that I am simply a citizen that noticed the anomalies on the letters that were available on the FBI press release web page and sent in the FOIA request for the images. I have no affilation with any group or any interest other than distributing the images for analysis.

Secondly I wanted to mention why I chose to remain anonymous. The last thing I need in my life is harassment. There are far too many wackos out there in the Internet community and I choose not to deal with them. There is no mystery there. If you wish to write me at the anthrax-letters@comcast.net please do so.

I really do not wish to debate about whether these images exist on the letters. I have my opinions and do not feel the need to convince anyone whether or not these images exist. Debating the issue without using advanced image processing techniques is pointless.

I am glad that some have found a good use for the high resolution images. Ed Lake and others have produced some interesting observations using the images. I am glad I could help. As far as my knowledge goes, there were previously no other high resolution images of the letters available on the internet. See Ed's Anthrax Investigation Website

The 8.5 x 11 photographs that I received were the same ones distributed to the press. The media have clipped these images for display to the public.

They have been scanned on several types of scanners that all produced the same results. There is no injection of noise (or artifacts) introduced by the scanners or the file format (Tiff). Also note that all of the images outline are visible with the naked eye when viewing the photographs. The photographs are film quality and not run off on some copy machine or the like. Whether or not the images where initially captured on a digital camera, I am not certain. They pictures are of high quality (not reffering to lighting conditions or the camera angles).

As mentioned, if you want to really check out the images, download the high resolution images at the bottom of the page. All of the photos presented on the page are in JPG format and are used to maximize throughput for users on slower connections. I have much larger uncompressed images that exceed 500mb but I do not have the webspace available. If anyone out there would like to obtain these images, send me an e-mail and we can try to work something out.

As far as obtaining higher quality photographs (without the plastic baggies), I am very doubtful that any more information will be released by the FBI. In fact they stated that right in the FOIA denial. They have issued a blanket statement that no more information other than already released to the media will become available. I will continue to appeal the denials. One must assume that they are affraid of information being released that might jepordize the investigation. I disagree with that perspective and hope that after review they will release the photographs.

I do not see that I can really provide any other information to the discussion as I have stated my opinions on the page and have made available all the information that I have regarding the matter.

Have a nice day.

54 posted on 04/26/2002 10:15:37 AM PDT by anthrax_letters
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To: anthrax_letters
BUMP
55 posted on 04/26/2002 1:02:57 PM PDT by KS Flyover
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To: EdLake
I have a section describing how it was done. It's HERE. [About how envelopes could be filled with anthrax.]

It seems to me that some of the spores would have spread throughout the glove box in your scenario, even though the person is moving everything as smoothly and slowly as possible. Yes, most of the powder would go inside the envelope, but the outside of the envelope and the outside of the baggie would still get contaminated, probably substantially.

Also, a simple glove box is insufficient to keep such tiny, uncharged particles inside. Without a negative pressure facility, there would be leaks.

But, personally, I think the guy used his lab at work. I think he has unlimited access to a sophisticated lab somewhere in Central New Jersey, probably in a pharmaceutical company, hospital or university.

Shouldn't you have asked "If it was al Qaeda, how did they fill the envelopes?" It would be much easier for a working American scientist to fill the envelopes than some al Qaeda member hiding out in a motel room.

First of all, they didn't just have motel rooms. They had rented several apartments. [Moreover, two of these were close to the first anthrax incident (at AMI), and the rental agent's husband worked at AMI. There are also apartments in NJ associated with them.] And they could as easily have used a glove box as a U.S. scientist anyway, if you subscribe to the simple glove box idea.

But my guess is that the envelopes may have been filled abroad (in Iraq perhaps?) in a real lab [just as, with the domestic theory, you suspect that he used some real lab he had access to]. As I understand it, he is not likely to have used just a glove box, as I mentioned earlier. This is apparently inadequate for biohazards like weaponized anthrax; one would want to use a negative-pressure containment system to prevent leakage. One would presumably also need some type of ventilation and filtering system to remove spores that had been dispersed inside the glove box -- on the outside of the envelopes, on the outside of the baggies, on the inside walls of the glove box.

The evidence seems to indicate that the scientist grew the anthrax himself (from an initial supply furnished to him by someone who previously worked in the biodefense area - like the "Milwaukee scientist). He quickly prepared the first mailing of Sept. 18 from anthrax supplies on hand, then grew more anthrax over the next three weeks and more thoroughly refined it for the second mailing of Oct. 9.

I don't think weaponizing anthrax is as difficult as some "experts" believe. There's a link on my site to an Apr. 27 article by the Weekly Standard that describes in detail how there are ways to "weaponize" anthrax that are very simple. The "experts" are just thinking about the complicated ways that the U.S. government last did it back in the 1960s. There have been lots of scientific advancements since then. And there are "experts" who believe it can now be done in a garage with $2,500 worth of equipment.

Maybe there are "experts" who believe it can now be done in a garage with $2,500 worth of equipment, but I think there's a reason that the word "experts" has to be in quotes!

If the mailer grew all the anthrax himself from an initial supply, he would have had to weaponize it himself; weaponization in this context refers to a process of physical preparation (milling, drying, that sort of thing). These anthrax spores are supposed to have been ground more finely and to therefore be more highly weaponized than any produced by the U.S. military. They also are said to have been prepared so that they would have no electrical charge. This would be very difficult to carry out in one's home (to the point of near impossibility), and it's undoubtedly too long and complicated a process to do clandestinely with stolen minutes in a pharmaceutical company lab, say. Moreover, the contamination problem is even more severe in the weaponization stage than it would be in the pouring-into-envelopes stage, because of the length of the process. (The whole point of the weaponization is to make the powder disperse very quickly and easily, with only slightest motion of the air. This makes working with it very difficult.)

It's certainly possible that some of the anthrax wasn't weaponized (the AMI anthrax, perhaps the anthrax mailed to Brokaw and the NY Post), and such unweaponized anthrax could have been grown by the mailer. But the weaponized anthrax (sent to Sens. Daschle and Leahy, and maybe some of the rest) could not have just been grown; it requires extensive and complex preparation.

Notice that it's not just a question of whether there exists a simple method of weaponizing anthrax; the mailer would have had to discover that method, in your scenario. This would require extensive testing and experimentation; it's not conceivable that this could be done out of someone's home or in brief clandestine laboratory sessions (whether by a domestic scientist or an al-Qaeda terrorist). Such experimentation would have to be carried out in a full-time lab with security, to prevent being found out.

All the so-called "proof" that al Qaeda was behind the anthrax mailings is really only proof that al Qaeda was investigating ways to make bioweapons, they were building labs to make bioweapons, and they are really nasty guys would would use bioweapons if they got the chance. And, too, some 9-11 al Qaeda members got sick with sores and coughs last June, but they were all DEAD for a week before the first mailing, and DEAD for a month before the second mailing.

If you look for evidence that al Qaeda are creepy, nasty guys who would kill you if they got the chance, you'll find plenty of it. But if you look for evidence that they were behind the anthrax mailings, you won't find any. IMO

A few points regarding this:

  1. Some of the evidence is more direct than you suggest: the proximity of the first anthrax attack to two of the hijackers' apartments and to the small airfield they used; the fact that the wife of an AMI employee (an editor at the Sun) was the rental agent who managed these two apartments; the apparent infection of hijacker Alhaznawi with cutaneous anthrax; the highlighting of the letters A-T-T-A in two of the messages, like a signature; and the actual content of the messages. None of these things is definitive. But they all link the hijackers to the anthrax mailings; it's well beyond simply saying that al-Qaeda are creepy, nasty guys. [I'm purposely omitting things like the evidence of anthrax bioweapon planning in Afghanistan, since that isn't known to be linked to the mailings or to the hijackers. I could also have included the meetings that two of the hijackers had with Iraqi agents, in Prague and in the United Arab Emirates, but this could have been related to something other than anthrax.]
  2. Even circumstantial evidence (Atta checking into cropdusters, his reddened hands, etc.) is suggestive, since they show that the desire and the opportunity were there. Plus the timing was right. How likely is it that somebody was sitting on weaponized anthrax, just waiting for some event like 9/11 to happen? What was he actually waiting for, if he didn't know that 9/11 was coming?
  3. While you may not consider the evidence linking the terrorists to the anthrax mailings very strong, at least there are several connections, all mutually consistent; in contrast, there seems to be no evidence for the domestic scientist theory, not even anything circumstantial. There's some speculation of this sort (the Greenpeace/Rosenberg theory, the Milwaukee scientist theory, etc.), but these theories are unsupported by any specific evidence like the evidence we have connecting the terrorists to the anthrax mailings. I can't disprove them, of course, but there isn't any particular evidence that makes these theories more believable than any random speculation.
Finally, there's the question of motive. The motive for a foreign state (like Iraq) to do this is quite clear and straightforward: it's an act of military deterrence. (The possible motive for the mad scientist is vague and not very believable.) I've expounded at length on the military deterrence theory in other threads, so I won't do so again here.

Overall, the idea that the anthrax mailings were an action undertaken by a foreign state as a military deterrent, prepared abroad (most likely) and carried out by the 9/11 hijackers and other agents on U.S. soil, is supported by the evidence, is internally coherent, and is logical in that a strong, understandable motivation exists for the attack. Other theories (the domestic scientist theories, or the failed al-Qaeda attack theory) lack evidentiary support, are internally inconsistent, and have an ad hoc character that fails to explain why somebody would actually have done this.

56 posted on 04/26/2002 11:26:23 PM PDT by Mitchell
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To: keri; Nogbad; The Great Satan; right_to_defend; Shermy; okie01; Alamo-Girl; aristeides; muawiyah
Bump. You might be interested in the exchange above.
57 posted on 04/26/2002 11:28:04 PM PDT by Mitchell
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To: Mitchell
You are right, of course.
58 posted on 04/27/2002 12:01:19 AM PDT by The Great Satan
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To: Mitchell
It is an interesting exchange. I agree with you: it isn't likely these envelopes were filled outside the lab where the spores were produced.

I remain skeptical that a "lone scientist" could have produced these spores. Physics, Microbiology and Biochemistry are involved here, and I doubt a scientist of just one discipline has the expertise needed in all three to produce this anthrax.

JMO, and I might be very, very wrong.

59 posted on 04/27/2002 12:02:28 PM PDT by keri
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To: anthrax_letters
The 8.5 x 11 photographs that I received were the same ones distributed to the press. The media have clipped these images for display to the public.

Thank you for obtaining these, scanning them, and posting the images. What you have done is a public service.

It's unfortunate that nobody in the press has seen fit to scan and post these images. It shouldn't have required a private individual filing an FOIA request for the public actually to have access to them, since the press apparently already is in possession of these same photographs.

In any event, I just wanted to thank you for your efforts.

60 posted on 04/27/2002 12:05:58 PM PDT by Mitchell
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