Friday, June 29, 2018

Unusual isotopic ratios in alleged UFO samples

To The Stars Academy

In a blog post dated 26 April 2018 I started looking at statements which had been made by various members of the To The Stars Academy about samples allegedly from UFOs. In this post, I will further explore the issue of unusual isotopic rations from such sources.

During a 28 January 2018 "Coast to Coast" interview between Hal Puthoff and George Knapp, Puthoff said "I had a chance to look at some material." It is complex. There are no new elements. There are layers of material that you would not expect to be layered.

In the 25 February 2018 "Coast to Coast" radio interview between Luis Elizondo and George Knapp, Elizondo stated that these material displayed unique characteristics. From the BAASS perspective, they had very unusual properties, isotopic ratios that were very unique, and not found naturally on this planet.

In a May 2018 MUFON Journal based interview between Chase Kloetzke and Luis Elizondo, when discussing media mentions of unusual metal alloys, Elizondo  stated that it was actually about "...the potential discovery of certain metamaterials in which their isotopic ratios at the molecular level are so unique and so precise that they are not found naturally on this planet..."

Finally, in his June 2018 speech at the Las Vegas Society for Scientific Exploration conference, Hal Puthoff, speaking of unusual materials, referred to what has come to be known as the Art Bell sample. "It was multi layered bismuth and magnesium sample...supposedly picked up in the crash retrieval of an Advanced Aerospace Vehicle." However, in this particular speech there was no mention of unusual isotopic ratios.

Update: 27 September 2018

TTSA published a blog post about this ame material, see here.

For further reading on TTSA's claims about samples, take a look at Jason Colavito's blog post here.

What are isotopes?

They are a form of an element which contains equal numbers of protons and electrons; but different numbers of neutrons in their nuclei. For example, the element Hydrogen has three isotopes; namely Hydrogen; Deuterium and Tritium.

Why is an unusual isotropic ratio significant?

The solar system, including the Earth formed from elements which had specific isotropic ratios. If an element comes from outside the solar system you wouldn't expect it to have the same  isotopic ratios.

Some back history

The Art Bell sample

In 1996, Linda Moulton Howe conducted some research on a sample which had come in through the late Art Bell. This was an alleged piece of material from Roswell. A professor at a major Midwestern University is said to have looked at the material and showed it to be 99% aluminum. I have been unable to find any investigations conducted on its isotopic ratios

Dr VernonClark

Another so-called Roswell sample, this one came via the late Dr Roger Leir in 1995. The analysis results were announced at a meeting in Roswell, New Mexico on 4 July 1997.

A Dr Russell VernonClark, a Chemist at the University of California at San Diego presented some apparently startling results of his analysis of the sample. He concluded that "From the tests that have been completed ...we have determined that this material shows significant variations from the normal isotopic composition found on the Earth and should be considered extraterrestrial in origin."

Unfortunately, on this occasion there was no chain of evidence of where the sample came from, and their was no peer review of the analysis results.

Various scientists were consulted about the results and their considered view was that while the isotopic ratios of the sample were not natural, the manufacture of the material could have been undertaken in a laboratory. So, not natural; and manufactured, but no evidence to show the origin of the material. Later, VernonClark backed off from his conclusions about an ET origin.

Since 1997, there had been no independent analyses conducted on this sample, and Dr VernonClark's claims have almost been forgotten with the passage of time.

The Kimbler sample

A July 2011 article on the Open Minds TV blog told the story of one Frank Kimbler, a high school level teacher of Earth Sciences and a college level teacher of Geology, at the New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, New Mexico.

Using satellite imagery he explored an area said to have been where the Roswell crash occurred, went there and located some metal samples, plus buttons seemingly from military uniforms. The fragments he found were said to be of a "silvery metal that looked aluminum."

Examined at New Mexico Tech in Socorro, the sample consisted of aluminum, silicon, manganese (magnesium ? -KB); and copper. Kimbler then approached the University of New Mexico's Institute of Meteoritics, but no isotopic ratio tests were conducted there.

"Bigelow Aerospace showed some interest in helping too with his analysis, but after spending months with little results, he had to go elsewhere."  For further detailed comments about the link between Kimbler and BAASS by Jack Brewer, author of "The UFO Trail" blog click here.

So, Kimbler had a lab undertake isotopic ratio analysis. Their findings, dated 8 April 2011,  are shown below:

Isotope Magnesium 24 Standard % 78.6 sample 78.6-79.6
Isotope Magnesium 25 Standard % 10.1 sample 9.6-10.6
Isotope Magnesium 26 Standard % 11.3 sample 10.3-11.3

However, contrary to the assertions by Kimbler, that there is something unusual about the magnesium isotopic ratios, the above information shows that the sample's magnesium isotopic ratios were within the standard ranges.

I can find no further details of any isotopic ratio analysis on the Kimbler samples. Indeed, in a further Open Minds TV blog dated 22 June 2018 there is "An initial isotope ratio test done in conjunction with the Roswell International UFO Museum and Research center was inconclusive, but suggested the material maybe of unearthly origins."

Jacques Vallee

UFO researcher Jacques Vallee gave a fascinating talk titled "What do we know about the material composition of UFOs?" at the 2017 Contact in the Desert conference in the USA. Specifically, he talked about analyses of material ejected from UFOs and more specifically about isotopic ratios.

"Even if the elemental compositions are similar, a change in the ratio of the various isotopes, might indicate that the material was manufactured in a sophisticated fashion, possibly outside Earth."

Vallee went on to list fifteen known examples of ejected material, between 1897 and 1996; including Maury Island 1947; Ubatuba, 1957; and Bogota in 1975/1976.

To me, the most interesting was a sample he referred to by a codeword, "Sierra." Vallee presented details of some preliminary results of the sample's titanium and iron composition. He stated that he is still researching the background to the case, for which he provided no date or location, or details of the UFO connection.

Looking at the titanium in the sample, there was 99.35% by weight titanium, with traces of ten other elements in it. However, what was of interest were the isotopic ratios, namely

Titanium 46  Standard % 8.25 sample 8.70 and 7.66 (two runs)
Titanium 47  Standard % 7.44 sample 5.33 and 3.83
Titanium 48  Standard % 73.72 sample 73.91 and 76.56
Titanium 49  Standard % 5.41 sample 6.30 and 6.70
Titanium 50  Standard % 5.18 sample 5.76 and 5.26

Note the Ti47 and Ti49 deviations from the standard.

The isotopic ratios of the iron component of the sample had not then been tested.

The other interesting samples were two new pieces of material from the 1957 Ubatuba, Brazil event. While in Argentina in September 2016 Vallee visited a UFO museum in Victoria. There he found two Ubatuba samples, one from the late Dr Olavo Fontes and one from an Argentinian sailor named Hercente. Vallee named the samples Muestra A and Muestra B. In the lab the Muestra A sample looked at Magnesium isotope ratios which turned out to be very close to the standard percentages.

However the results for the Muestra B sample were as follows:

Magnesium 24 Standard % 78.9 sample 1 66% sample 2 67%
Magnesium 25 Standard % 10 sample 1 15%  sample 2 16%
Magnesium 26 Standard % 11 sample 1 20% sample 2 17%

As Vallee stated the "Ratios are significantly different."

In summary

Research into the origin and composition of a number of samples alleged to have come from UFOs, has been full of claims and counter claims over the years. However, provided that there is a chain of custody between the initial finding of something which appears unusual, and abnormal findings once a competent analysis has been conducted, with peer reviewed analysis and full disclosure of the entire findings; future research on isotopic ratios does give some sense of a direction to be taken.

Update 4 August 2018

On 26 July 2018, To The Stars Academy, announced on its website  that they had initiated the A.D.A.M. project to collect and analyse anomalous samples associated with UAP.

On 2 August 2018, To The Stars Academy revealed details of their 'collection process.' 

On 3 August 2018, researcher M J Banias on his blog reported on this, and provided some comments from Dr Hal Puthoff.

1 comment:

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