Bruce Ivins strange subtilis goes against plates in trash theory

October 25, 2014

October 25, 2014

The facts say Ivins grew the spores on 546 plates used to test dosages for animal experiments.  Those test plates were supposed to be destroyed after readings were taken, but Ivins evidently didn’t destroy the plates until after he used the spore contents in the anthrax letters.

An unidentified subtilis was found in the mailed anthrax, in the New York Post letter I believe from memory.

Ed Lake makes clear that the procedure was to throw out plates, not reuse them.

It has been assumed “by everyone” or concluded “by everyone” that the unidentified subtilis indicated a trial run was done and the same equipment reused with the actual anthrax.  However, if Ivins did it with anthrax plates thrown away in the trash as Ed Lake suggests, there would be no trial run with subtilis.

Thus the presence of unidentified subtilis indicates a trial run done with whatever equipment set up is used. As shown by Ed Lake, the plates with anthrax thrown in the trash at Ft. Detrick were not reused but instead destroyed.  Thus these plates are ruled out by the subtilis.

Instead, a method was used that involved a trial run using subtilis on the same equipment.  This points towards someone either a) not familiar with anthrax b) doing something with anthrax they are not familiar c) using an equipment setup that is new, e.g. in the field.

In any case, it rules out Ivins using plates thrown in the trash because such plates are not reused and so there is no trial run issue with them.

Also discussion between Dxer and Ed Lake on this topic

But it is duly noted that you concede Dr. Ivins did not use a fermenter to grow the anthrax.


It would seem that Ed Lake has also conceded that Ivins could not use (shaker) flasks to produce the anthrax also. That is why Ed Lake came up with the ingenious plates thrown in the trash theory.  So we can infer a triple play,

Ivins did not use plates in trash as proven by Ed Lake who shows that such plates were thrown out not re-used and we know the setup had to involve reusing from the trial run subtilis to the actual run anthrax.  Ed conceived his theory because he recognized that shaker flasks and fermenter were not possible for Ivins in his lab.  Thus Ivins is excluded.  The Triple Play that saves Ivins posthumously.

The subtilis suggests someone who could work in their lab without worry about being discovered.  They had plenty of time to do practice runs with subtilis.  It shows they were more worried about getting it wrong than about being discovered.  Ivins would have been more worried about being discovered taking the extra time for a subtilis practice run or more.  A practice run with a foreign subtilis would have been very suspicious since he had no reason to do such.

If he did a practice run with subtilis at home or some place else it would not be in the plates in the trash with anthrax at Ft. Detrick that Ed Lake was forced to posit as the only possible way left to save the Ivins did it theory.

The subtilis instead indicates someone with lots of time to do runs without worry of being discovered but who needed the practice.  That would be someone like field agents of al Qaeda in the US.  It could also be someone experimenting with a new silicon tin coating method.

They could practice on subtilis first.  It could also be a sophisticated country’s intel service playing games to set up a false flag. They could have either practiced making a strange mixture of different runs from different methods and then not realized the subtilis was in the final batch.  Or an intel service might have done it deliberately to create a confusing signal.

However, Ivins seems strongly excluded since Ed Lake has in effect shown that the only possible theory left for Ivins is plates in the trash bags, but as pointed out here, this proves Ft. Detrick did not reuse the plates so it is excluded because someone did trial run(s) with subtilis on the same equipment for the real runs.


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