John-Michael Talboo and Ziggi Zugam cover the whole Harrit VS Millette debate in an essay written for Mark Basile´s fundraising effort: http://911debunkers.blogspot.com/2013/06/why-you-should-make-donation-at.html
Harrit et al reported the finding of Active Thermitic Red/Gray Chips in the WTC dust, in a peer-reviewed 2009 paper. But the notion that all red/gray chips found in the WTC dust are the thermitic chips in question is a common misunderstanding, that was perhaps spread around by supporters of Dr. Millette´s "replication study" that had been planned for 2012, but never delivered. Millette claims in is preliminary report that he found paint chips, but his lack of care in selecting the correct "chips of interest" may have doomed Millette´s study as a failure before it even started. This may be why Dr. Millette never moved on to complete the study and publish it in a reviewed journal, even though Chris Mohr had promised that "the results will soon be published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal."
Some may try to argue that the Truth Movement invented this problem of multiple kinds of chips in the dust as an afterthought in response to Millette´s March 2012 preliminary report, but Reverend Chris Mohr, who commissioned Millette´s study, reveals on January 10, 2013, that one of Harrit´s co-authors made them aware of this issue before the study commenced:
"...when Kevin Ryan was still talking to me, he said that he has in his possession both red-grey paint chips and red-grey thermitic chips, "and I can tell you they are not the same." He claimed that they look different to the eye, but more importantly, that the thermitic chips have an exothermic quality that the paint chips don't. Unfortunately, he refused to release the samples to me or Millette, and our personal connection broke down around that time. I was never able to get samples of these different kinds of chips, or more info about them in relation to the Bentham paper. Nor did I know at that time about the two different types of paint primer in use at WTC..." http://forums.randi.org/showpost.php?p=8905229&postcount=1181One of Dr. Harrit´s co-authors, Dr. Steven Jones, talks about the many different chips in the dust, and notes the same exothermic difference on September 8, 2012, in a public letter on 911blogger:
"...James Millette did NOT do DSC analyses at all for his report MVA9119. What a shame, really, and I hope you will do better as you propose....When Dr Farrer burned epoxy paint in the DSC, it gave a very broad thermal trace, NOT at all like the spiked exothermic DSC peak in our Fig 19. This is one of the many tests he did to check things...There is a lot of red material of various types in the WTC dust, so one must be careful to make sure it is the same as what we studied, and not some other material...." http://911blogger.com/news/2012-09-08/letter-regarding-redgray-chip-analysesAnother co-author, Dr. Jeff Farrer, notes in a 2010 interview that these tests confirm that paints demonstrate completely different behavior in the DSC ignition tests:
"There have been some who have argued that these red/gray chips could be paint of some form. We did a study on some epoxy paint. We put that in the DSC. We found that paint would just burn up and turn to ash. You may get a minor exothermic peak but it is not energetic. It is a very smooth wide peak and it is certainly not an energetic material. As part of the actual paint [WTC] that we ignited in the DSC, it was basically ash. There were no micro-spheres found. We also took paint that came off of the WTC steel and looked at that in the scanning electron microscope and did compositional analysis of that and found that it was not similar to the red layer of the red/gray chips. The red/gray chips are not the primer paint that was used on the WTC steel." http://s1.zetaboards.com/LooseChangeForums/single/?p=474481&t=242875
Chemist Mark Basile has performed the same tests independently, and in a 911FreeFall interview on December 27, 2012, he states that:
"There are a lot of paint chips in the dust! You should make that perfectly clear! Just when you, if anybody in the audience, let's say, would get out there and get a World Trade Center dust sample, and they pull out red chips from this, I'm not telling anybody in the world that every red chip you're gonna pull out of there is one of these nano-thermite chips. The vast majority of them actually are primer paint, from what I'm finding, but that doesn't mean they all are." http://www.911freefall.com/2012/12/mark-basile-and-wtc-dust.html
One would be forgiven to think that the careful selection of chips goes without saying, as well as the following of the protocol set out in the Harrit et al paper, but some people have decided that muddying the water is in their interest. Harrit et al clearly set out several ways to identify the correct chips, and comments by Dr. Jones and Dr. Farrer in the sources cited above make things even clearer. The many different ways to identify the correct thermitic chips are not hard to understand and follow:
- To experienced researchers, the texture of the correct red material is visually distinctive.
- The chips are brittle and tend to cleave and fragment in certain ways.
- Resistivity testing shows a huge difference between this material and paints. (Millette did not perform this test.)
- The MEK test reveals how porous the red material is, and that it remains hard even after more than 50 hours of soaking, while paints become soft and limp. (Dr. Millette´s chips become soft when soaked in MEK.)
- The MEK soaking disrupts the red matrix material and shows that the aluminum in the platelets is not bound to the silicon, which demonstrates elemental aluminum and rules out kaolin. (Millette´s chips do not show this disruption and he claims to find kaolin.)
- The red material XEDS signature does have some common elements with some paints, and Millette´s chips, but Dr. Jones notes that the devil is in the details.
- The ignition tests reveal a dramatic difference between the thermitic chips and paints. (Millette did not perform these tests.)
- Dr. Frank Legge, another co-author of Harrit´s paper, even notes that the gray layer can also be distinctive, since the iron-oxide gray layer of their chips does not match Millette´s metallic gray layer.
It should be noted that some people may still try to argue that Harrit and Millette studied the same chips and that they are indeed WTC paint, but besides all the points outlined above, these people tend to stay silent about the fact that only two different WTC paints have been identified (Tnemec and LaClede), and that even Millette himself rules out both. As noted in Part III of our essay, Millette admits that "..none of the 177 different [Tnemec]coatings are a match for the red layer coating found in this study." We add that even though LaClede does have some of the same basic ingredients as both Harrit´s and Millette´s chips, the composition does not match in either case because the quantities of those ingredients do not match and there are also other differences. Millette´s TEM analysis, for example, fails to identify the expected strontium chromate in his chips. Chris Mohr summed up the problem when he stated that: