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The Mannlicher-Carcanno Bomb
"It had to have been mined," said the gruff, gnarly voice on the other end of the line. "It's real simple. You cannot bring down a building like that without cutting charges set on the support pillars."
Bud, an ex-Green Beret who saw heavy combat in Vietnam, should know what he's talking about. Bud had military demolitions training — the kind taught to men who need to know how to blow up hardened targets.
"It couldn't have been done externally like that," added Bud. "Without cutting charges, there's just no way to do it."
Bud didn't want me to use his full name. He was worried about his VA benefits.
One man who wasn't worried about government reprisals was General Benton K. Partin. A retired U.S. Air Force Brigadier General, Partin had responsibility for the design and testing of almost every non-nuclear weapon device used in the Air Force, including precision-guided weapons designed to destroy hardened targets like the Alfred P. Murrah Building. Partin has exhaustively researched the bombing and the resulting pattern of damage.
In a letter dated May 17, 1995, hand-delivered to each member of the Congress and Senate, Partin stated:
When I first saw the pictures of the truck-bomb's asymmetrical damage to the Federal Building, my immediate reaction was that the pattern of damage would have been technically impossible without supplementing demolition charges at some of the reinforcing concrete column bases…. For a simplistic blast truck-bomb, of the size and composition reported, to be able to reach out on the order of 60 feet and collapse a reinforced column base the size of column A-7 is beyond credulity.
The full text of Partin's report, reproduced in the appendix, is too complex to elaborate on here, says a truck filled with ammonium nitrate could not have caused the degree of damage done to the Alfred P. Murrah building. Not when it was parked at least 20 feet away from that building. Without direct contact, the fall-off from the blast would be too great to do any serious structural damage.
Another man who knows a thing or two about bombs is Samuel Cohen, inventor of the Neutron Bomb. Cohen began his career on the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos, where he was charged with studying the effects of the atomic bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. During his 40 year career, Cohen worked with every application of nuclear weapons design and testing.
Cohen stated his position in a letter to Oklahoma State Representative Charles Key:
It would have been absolutely impossible and against the laws of nature for a truck full of fertilizer and fuel oil… no matter how much was used… to bring the building down.
Interestingly, the Ryder truck-bomb has earned the nickname the "Mannlicher-Carcanno Bomb" after the cheap Italian-made rifle with a defective scope that was allegedly used to kill President Kennedy. District Attorney Jim Garrison joked during the Shaw conspiracy trial that the government's nuclear physics lab could explain how a single bullet could travel through President Kennedy and Governor Connally five times while making several u-turns, then land in pristine condition on the President's gurney.
In the Oklahoma bombing case, it appears the government is attempting to perform a similar feat of light and magic. The fact that a non-directional, low-velocity fertilizer bomb parked 20 to 30 feet from a modern, steel-reinforced super-structure could not have caused the pattern and degree of damage it did is not being widely touted by the government or the mainstream press. The government expects the public to believe that two disgruntled amateurs blew up the Oklahoma City Federal Building with a homemade fertilizer bomb.
Dr. Roger Raubach doesn't believe the government. Raubach, who did his Ph.D. in physical chemistry and served on the research faculty at Stanford University, says, "General Partin's assessment is absolutely correct. I don't care if they pulled up a semi-trailer truck with 20 tons of ammonium nitrate; it wouldn't do the damage we saw there."
Raubach, who is the technical director of a chemical company, explained in an interview with The New American magazine:
"The detonation velocity of the shock wave from an ANFO (ammonium nitrate/fuel-oil) explosion is on the order of 3,500 meters per second. In comparison, military explosives generally have detonation velocities that hit 7,000 to 8,000-plus meters per second. The most energetic single-component explosive of this type, C-4 — which is also known as Cyclonite or RDX — is about 8,000 meters per second and above. You don't start doing big-time damage to heavy structures until you get into those ranges, which is why the military uses those explosives."
The government is not happy about people like Dr. Roger Raubach. They don't want you to know what Dr. Raubach knows. Sam Gronning, a licensed, professional blaster in Casper, Wyoming with 30 years experience in explosives, told The New American:
"The Partin letter states in very precise technical terms what everyone in this business knows: No truck-bomb of ANFO out in the open is going to cause the kind of damage we had there in Oklahoma City. In 30 years of blasting, using everything from 100 percent nitrogel to ANFO, I've not seen anything to support that story."
In an interview with the author, Gronning said, "I set off a 5,000 lb ANFO charge. I was standing 1,000 feet from it, and all it did was muss my hair, take out the mud in the creek that we were trying to get rid of, and it shattered a few leaves off the trees around it. It didn't cause any collateral damage to any of the deeply set trees that were within 20 feet of it."
The FBI has a different story to tell.
The FBI claims that Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols bought several thousand pounds of ammonium nitrate at a farm supply store in Manhattan, Kansas, then drove to Geary State Park where they mixed a bomb. The FBI claims that the suspects then hauled their magic bomb a distance of over 500 miles, where, nearly 24 hours later, they blew up the Federal Building in Oklahoma City.
Yet what the FBI — those bastions of truth and justice — don't want you to know, is that fertilizer-grade ammonium nitrate isn't a very good blasting agent. As a publication from the Atlas Powder company states:
…agricultural fertilizer prills when made into ANFO had very poor explosive characteristics. They would not detonate efficiently because of their high density, lack of porosity and heavy inert coatings of anti-setting agents.… The ability of an oiled prill to be detonated depends greatly upon the density of the prill. Dense prills, such as agricultural grade, often are not detonable at all; or if initiated, perform at a very low rate of detonation and may die out in the bore hole performing no useful work.
U.S. Army Technical Manual TM 9-1910 states it thusly:
The grade of ammonium nitrate used in the manufacture of binary explosives is required to be at least 99 percent pure, contain not more than 1.15 percent of moisture, and have maximum ether-soluble, water-insoluble acidity, sulfate, and chloride contents of 0.10, 0.18, 0.02, 0.05, and 0.50 percent, respectively.
Moreover, a bomb like that is not easy to mix. According to Gronning, "You'd have to stir and stir and stir to get just the right mixture for proper combustibility. And then, if it isn't used immediately, the oil settles to the bottom and the bomb doesn't go off."
"ANFO is easy to make if you know how to do it," adds Jeffrey Dean, Executive Director of the International Society of Explosives Engineers, "but it takes years of experience to work with safely." According to Dean, "It is almost impossible for amateurs to properly mix the ammonium nitrate with the fuel oil. Clumps of ANFO would inevitably fail to detonate."
The scenario of two men mixing huge barrels of fertilizer and fuel-oil in a public park also stretches the limits of credulity. Such a spectacle would surely have been seen by anyone passing by: hikers, picnickers, fishermen.
"That would have drawn so much attention," said Rick Sherrow, a former ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) agent with 25 years experience in explosives. "It would have required an area twice the size of a truck just to walk around… that would have not have gone okay."
Naturally, the expert who testified for the government disagrees. Linda Jones, an explosives specialist who has studied IRA bombings in Great Britain, "concluded that there was one device… in the rear cargo compartment of a Ryder truck…." Jones added that it wouldn't be difficult to build such a large bomb "provided they had a basic knowledge of explosives and access to the materials — it would be fairly simple. One person could do it on their own, but more people could do it quicker."
While the government built its case on witness accounts of the single Ryder truck, numerous witnesses, uncalled to testify by the prosecution for the McVeigh trial, recall seeing two trucks. Could two trucks — one rented by McVeigh, and one rented by the suspect known as John Doe 2 — have been used to transport the huge quantities of material necessary to build such a bomb?
"I would buy two trucks simply for logistics," said Sherrow. "One truck full of barrels of ammonium nitrate, and you still got to put the fuel into it. Because you don't want to put the fuel in and let it settle for days at a time. They would have to have something to bring everything together and mix it, and that's going to take more then one truck."
Two days prior to the Murrah Building bombing — on April 17th — David King, staying at the Dreamland Motel in Junction City, Kansas, where McVeigh and John Doe 2 spent time, remembered seeing the Ryder truck with a trailer attached to it. Inside the trailer was a large object wrapped in white canvas. "It was a squarish shape, and it came to a point on top," said King. "It was about three or four feet high." King said that later in the day, the trailer was gone, but the truck was still in the lot.
Was this witness describing some sophisticated explosive device? Or was he describing a Lely farm mixer? A Lely farm mixer is about four feet high with a pointed top. What happened to this trailer? Why did we never hear anymore about it?
Then around 2:00 a.m. on April 19, a Ryder truck pulled into the Save-A-Trip convenience store in Kingman, Kansas, followed by a light colored car and a brown pick-up. Assistant manager Richard Sinnett clearly recalls three men, including McVeigh and a man resembling John Doe 2 enter the store. Yet Sinnett was particularly struck by the odd contraption they were towing — a large plastic, semi-transparent tank full of clear liquid. Was this diesel fuel that the bombers intended to add to their ammonium nitrate mixture at the last minute?
Despite a mountain of evidence against the [government's] ANFO theory, the government has gone to great lengths to convince the jury and the public that the Murrah Building was destroyed by a single ANFO bomb delivered by a pair of disgruntled Right-wing extremists. In fact, the ATF televised a demonstration of an ANFO truck-bomb detonating in an effort to prove their contention. "They fired the thing off," said Gronning. "We saw it — it was on CNN — so what? All it did was set off an explosion and wiggle the trees behind it. It didn't even knock them over.
"My knowledge comes from practical handling of explosives," added Gronning. "And my belief is that 4800 lbs of ANFO wouldn't have scuffed the paint on the building!"
The FBI also changed the size of the bomb numerous times. They originally claimed that it weighed 1,200 pounds, upgraded that figure to 2,000 pounds, then to 4,000 pounds, and finally, they issued a press release stating that the bomb weighed 4800 pounds.
"It appears the government keeps up-grading the size of the vehicle and the 'fertilizer' bomb to coincide with the damage," said retired FBI SAC (Senior Agent-in-Charge) Ted Gunderson.
The government also originally claimed the bomb cost less than $1,000 to build. Then just before the start of McVeigh's trial, that figure was upgraded to $5,000. Their rationale was based on the "discovery," almost two years after the fact, that the suspects had constructed their magic bomb with racing fuel, not diesel fuel, which is far less expensive.
To maintain some semblance of credibility in light of increasingly publicized reports of General Partin and others, the government also conceded — right before the start of McVeigh's trial — that the suspects probably hadn't built their bomb at Geary State Park after all.
If Timothy McVeigh or anyone else with military training wanted to destroy the Alfred P. Murrah Building, it is highly unlikely they would use ANFO. As Army demolition manuals clearly state, ANFO is not good for destroying concrete or steel. McVeigh, the consummate soldier who studied every conceivable Army manual in his spare time — including Army Manual TM 31-210: Improvised Munitions Handbook — certainly would have known this.
Yet the FBI insists that amateur bomb-makers Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols built this amazing ANFO bomb that killed 169 people and destroyed a modern nine-story steel-reinforced concrete building. Of course, that was before the government's damage-control apparatus went into effect. Before it did, even the usual government talking-heads were insisting that no amateurs could have done this.
Vince Cannistraro, ABC News corespondent and former CIA intelligence advisor to the National Security Council stated, "This is something professional and it really implies that the person who constructed the explosive device has experience, was trained in the use of explosives, and knew what they were doing."
Before he began attacking critics of the government's case, Oklahoma Governor and former FBI agent Frank Keating stated, "…obviously whatever did the damage to the Murrah Building was a tremendous, very sophisticated explosive device."
The very next day, the government was insisting that a homemade ANFO bomb, made with agricultural grade ammonium nitrate, did the job. FBI Special Agent John Hersley contends that traces of a military-type detonation cord known as PDTN (pentadirythri-tetranitrate), commonly known as Primadet, were found on McVeigh's clothing at the time of his arrest (In another report it was PETN, or pentaerythritol-tetranitrate). PDTN was allegedly used to wire the barrels of ANFO.
Senior FBI chemist Frederick Whitehurst conducted a test on McVeigh's clothing but found no residue there, or in McVeigh's car either.
Whitehurst came forward with allegations that the FBI has been slanting results of its forensic tests for years. Collected in a 30-page memorandum, Whitehurst criticized FBI laboratory personnel for incompetence. As a Justice Department memorandum states: "Dr. Whitehurst contends that the Explosives Unit and the Chemistry and Toxicology Unit inappropriately structure their conclusions to favor the prosecution."
According to the Wall Street Journal, "[Whitehurst's] accusations of bias and even manufacturing evidence have called into question several high-profile government cases, including the Oklahoma City and World Trade Center bombings."
Whitehurst's allegations were further elaborated on in a highly revealing report issued by the DoJ Inspector General's Office, which concluded that "[SSA David] Williams repeatedly reached conclusions that incriminated the defendants without a scientific basis and that were not explained in the body of the report."
Indeed. It appears Williams reached his conclusions based, not on empirical evidence, but on the fact that Terry Nichols allegedly purchased large quantities of ANFO. As the OIG (Office of Inspector General) report states:
Without the evidence of these purchases, Williams admitted he would have been unable to conclude that ANFO was used. Indeed, Williams stated that based on the post-blast scene alone it could have been dynamite….
Williams claimed "that the initiator for the booster(s) was either a detonator from a Primadet Delay system or sensitized detonating cord." Yet as the OIG report states, "No evidence of a Primadet system or sensitized detonating cord was found at the crime scene."
Controversial scientist and bomb expert Michael Riconoscuito told former FBI agent Ted Gundersen that the theory of drums of ANFO being detonated by PDTN-soaked loops of rope or "det" cord is highly improbable, if not impossible. "The only way to obtain blast control is with volumetric initiation," explained Riconoscuito. "This takes electronic circuits of similar sophistication as would be required in nuclear weapons. This sophistication is not available to the average person," he added, stating that the resultant blast would have been "confused and uncontrolled," and the energy would have ultimately "canceled itself out."
Finally, the OIG report states: "Whitehurst questions Williams' conclusion that none of the structural damage evident within the Murrah building was caused by secondary explosive devices or explosions."
So why is the government going to such great lengths, in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, to make us believe that the Alfred P. Murrah Building was destroyed by an ANFO bomb? Because the government's case is built upon the premise that Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols built their alleged bomb with ammonium nitrate. The calls allegedly made by McVeigh were to stores that sell racing fuel and ammonium nitrate. McVeigh's fingerprint is allegedly on a receipt for ammonium nitrate. And a small trace of ammonium nitrate was allegedly found at the scene. The government's case must proceed along those lines. Any evidence that proves the bomb was made of anything other than ANFO would not only destroy the government's case, it would open up inquiries about who really bombed the Murrah Building… and why.
The government [also had to stick] with the ANFO theory is because Michael and Lori Fortier agreed to testify in a plea-bargain that their friend McVeigh arranged soup cans in their kitchen to demonstrate how to make a "shaped charge." Yet as bomb experts explained, there is no way to make a shaped charge out of a collection of ANFO barrels.
But the [government doesn't want any serious inquiries as to who really blew up the Murrah Building. The] government expects us to believe that two lone amateurs with a crude fertilizer bomb, out in the open, twenty to thirty feet away from a hardened target, destroyed eight reinforced columns and killed 169 people. As General Partin said, such a scenario is "beyond credulity."
Former ATF [agent] Rick Sherrow, who wrote an article for Soldier of Fortune magazine entitled "Bombast, Bomb Blasts & Baloney," contends that General Partin's assessment of the bombing is somehow inaccurate. Sherrow claims that the pressure wave that would have struck the building from the [rapidly deteriorating] blast of the ANFO bomb (375 p.s.i. according to Partin's figures) would be more than enough to destroy reinforced concrete columns, which Sherrow claimed in his article disintegrate at 30 p.s.i. (pounds per square inch).
To Sam Gronning, such a statement is preposterous: "That's bullshit!" exclaimed Gronning. "Thirty p.s.i. wouldn't take out a rubber tire!" Both Partin and Rabauch contend that at least 3,500 p.s.i. is required to destroy reinforced concrete. In a letter to Partin, Rabauch states:
I took the liberty of checking with the leading concrete supplier in my area in order to confirm the compressive yield figure that you used, that being 3,500 p.s.i. What I was told about concrete was very interesting. A 3,500 p.s.i. figure is extremely low for structural concrete. A properly mixed and cured structure of the type dealt with in your report would probably have a yield strength of 5,600 p.s.i.
Those who rush to refute the evidence presented by Partin, Raubach and others, cite as evidence the 1982 destruction of the Marine bunker in Beirut by a truck-bomb driven by an Islamic terrorist. In that instance, however, the truck was driven directly into the building — a structure much smaller and lighter than the Alfred P. Murrah Building.
In August of 1970, 1,700 pounds of ANFO parked in a van exploded outside the Army Math Research Lab at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Although parked closer than the Ryder truck was to the Murrah Building, the bomb merely blew a hole in the outer wall and took out the windows. One person was killed. (See photo)
In 1989, Colombian narco-terrorists detonated a truck-bomb outside the National Security Department in Bogota, Columbia. The vehicle was parked approximately ten feet from the modern high-rise building. The bomb decimated the face of the building, but left the support columns intact. Fifteen people were killed.
In the summer of 1996, an IRA truck-bomb detonated in the heart of Manchester's financial district. The device, constructed of ANFO and 3,500 pounds of Semtex, a high-velocity, military-grade plastic explosive, caused considerable damage to the surrounding buildings, but left them relatively intact. Although the device managed to break a lot of windows and injure 206 people, no one was killed.
On June 25, 1996, a tanker-trailer packed with RDX plastic explosives blew up outside the Khobar Towers apartment complex at King Abdul Aziz Air Base in Saudi Arabia, killing 19 American servicemen and injuring hundreds more. While the blast produced a crater 35 feet deep and 85 feet across (the crater in Oklahoma was approximately 6 feet deep and 16 feet across, although the government claimed it was 30 feet), it didn't do the same amount of damage done to the Murrah Building — a building constructed to much more rigorous codes and specifications. Yet authorities claim that the bomb was at least the size as that which blew up the Federal Building. [See photo]
In an analogy offered by Partin, "It would be as irrational or as impossible as a situation in which a 150 pound man sits in a flimsy chair causing the chair to collapse, while a man weighing 1,500 pounds sits in an identical flimsy chair and it does not collapse — impossible."
"But," contends Sherrow in Soldier of Fortune, "the [Murrah] Building was not designed to withstand explosions or earthquakes, and it's basically a weak building."
Jim Loftis, one of the building's architects, told me they were asked to make the building bomb-resistant, due to left-wing radicals who were blowing up federal facilities in the early 1970s. Loftis also said the building was designed to meet earthquake standards. "We designed it to meet the building codes and earthquakes are part of that code," said Loftis.
Loftis also said that the north side of the lower level (the area impacted by the truck-bomb) was steel-rebar reinforced concrete without windows. He also concurred with Raubach and Partin that the pressure necessary to destroy reinforced concrete is in the 2,500 to 4,000 p.s.i. range — a far cry from the 30 p.s.i. cited by Sherrow.
Yet Sherrow concludes that since there was so much collateral damage (damage to the surrounding buildings) the truck-bomb must have been responsible. "The collateral damage just discounts [Partin's] material," says Sherrow.
Two experts who seem to agree with Sherrow are Dorom Bergerbest-Eilom and Yakov Yerushalmi. The Israeli bomb experts were brought to Oklahoma at the request of ATF agent Guy Hamal. According to their report, the bomb was an ANFO bomb boosted with something more powerful… and it had a Middle Eastern signature.
The Athenian restaurant, which sits approximately 150 feet northwest of the Murrah Building, was almost completely destroyed. Pieces of the Murrah Building were actually blown into the Athenian. As video producer Jerry Longspaugh points out, only a bomb inside the Federal Building would be capable of projecting parts of the building into another building 150 feet away.
As Gronning notes in a letter to Representative Key: "Not in your wildest dreams would that much ANFO affect peripheral damage at that distance. Which leads me to suspect that another more powerful explosive was used."
According to a source quoted in the Rocky Mountain News, an ammonium nitrate bomb made with a racing fuel component known as hydrazine "would create one of the largest non-nuclear blasts possible." McVeigh had allegedly attempted to procure the substance from a dealer in Topeka, Kansas, who refused. In fact, hydrazine is extremely hazardous and difficult to obtain.
While not knowledgeable about hydrazine, Gronning noted that "C-4, for example, would be capable of creating those kinds of pressure waves and destroying the local foundation of the Federal Building.
"If you had 4,000 lbs of C-4 in there," Gronning said, "now you're talking a real high-order explosive at some serious speed. And when that goes off, you're liable to take out the thing. But I still have a problem believing even at that distance away from the building, it would create that kind of damage. All you have to do to see what I'm talking about is to see what kind of bomb damage you get from a bomb in the [WWII] attacks on London."
It is precisely this analogy that Sherrow attempts to use in Soldier of Fortune. "For perspective, notes SOF 'demo' expert Donovan, "consider that the German V-1 and V-2 missiles that devastated London carried only 1,650 pounds of an explosive not dissimilar in brisance and yield. In other words, would three V-2s simultaneously striking the first floor of the Murrah Building do such damage? Of course they would."
Yet the Ryder truck did not impact the Murrah Building at the speed of a rocket, nor did it impact it at all. Even to the layperson, one can see that such an analogy is ridiculous. In his article, Sherrow never speculates that C-4 or any other high-velocity military type explosive might have been used.
Still, the former ATF man contends that an ANFO bomb parked out in the open could have caused the pattern and degree of damage done to the Murrah Building. "Absolutely and without a shadow of a doubt, and I base that on 30 years in the business, and shooting ANFO — from a couple pounds to 630 tons in one shot." Sherrow goes on to state that Partin's conclusions were based upon mere "theoretical analysis," not hands-on experience.
Yet Partin spent 25 years in the defense research establishment, including hands-on work at the Ballistic Research Laboratories; Commander of the Air Force Armament Technology Laboratory; Air Force System Command, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) management. Such credentials speak of a man who knows his explosives.
It is unclear why the former ATF man was trying to discredit Partin, and by association, others who disagreed with the government's theory. What is clear however is that Soldier of Fortune, the magazine in which Sherrow's article appeared, is owned by Paladin Press, regarded a CIA proprietary. Robert K. Brown, the magazine's publisher, is an associate of General John Singlaub, a key Iran-Contra player who ran the genocidal Phoenix Program in Vietnam, and helped train death squads in Central America. Both men reportedly played an ancillary role in the 1984 La Penca bombing, which resulted in the deaths of eight journalists. [See Chapter 14] Sherrow admitted to working for the CIA in Africa. What he did there wasn't exactly clear.
If the CIA (or one of its tentacles) were involved, as they invariably tend to be in such cases, they would have a strong motive to cover up their involvement and re-direct the investigation. The most common way of doing this is through the use of propaganda and disinformation. While Sherrow himself has criticized the ATF, and wrote several articles debunking the government's theory regarding militia groups, this particular article appeared to be a "hit-piece" designed to discredit any legitimate analysis of the bombing.
Yet some critics of the government's story have gone beyond the relatively ordinary explanations of Partin, Gronning and others to suggest that the Federal Building was destroyed by a device called an "A-Neutronic Bomb." These advocates cite as evidence the nature of the spalling (the disintegration of the concrete into tiny pieces) on the top of the building, and the extent of the damage to surrounding buildings that even men like General Partin claim would be impossible for an ANFO bomb.
Larens Imanyuel, a Berkeley assistant physics professor who has studied the bombing, is one such advocate. Imanyuel's analysis, which appeared in Veritas newsletter, indicates that the wide extent of the collateral damage was not consistent with a conventional explosion. As Imanyuel writes:
There was some very sophisticated bomb that was capable of causing a tremendous blast atmospheric pressure wave that blew out windows in so many of the surrounding buildings. This had to be some sort of very high-tech dust explosive-like bomb — one that creates a widely dispersed explosive mixture in the very air and then detonates it with a secondary charge. This last spectacular high-tech bomb served the purpose of convincing the general public that the alleged solitary truck-bomb was powerful and "devastating" enough that it could wipe out and collapse a nearby building.
Consider the comments of a local structural engineer, Bob Cornforth, "The range of this blast has really impressed me — the extent of the damage and the distance out." A mile away, window frames had been pushed back two feet. On the other hand, he inspected two buildings just a little over 200 ft. from the so-called crater, the YMCA center and the Journal Record building, which lost part of its pitched concrete roof. To his surprise, "The structural frames performed extremely well. We design for 80-mph winds," which he says seems adequate. The lack of damage to the frames, despite the massive light-structural damage showed that the shock waves were of short duration. This was consistent with a many-point explosion, but not with a single-point explosion large enough to knock out the four heavy columns that had collapsed in the Murrah Building.
The A-Neutronic bomb, or "Electro-Hydrodynamic Gaseous Fuel Device," was reportedly developed by the young scientist-prodigy in the early 1980s while he was working for Hercules Manufacturing in Silicon Valley, CA. The first bomb test at the Pentagon's super-secret Area 51 in Nevada apparently resulted in the death of a technician and injured several others due to their underestimation of its power. The project was reportedly compartmentalized and classified under a "Nuclear Weapons" category by President Reagan. [For a description of the device, see Appendix]
[What does Samuel Cohen have to say about the A-Neutronic bomb? "Well, I'm not expert enough to really vouch for his statements, but I've got a hunch that it's technically well-based. I've spoken to Michael Riconosciuto (the inventor of the A-Neutronic Bomb) and he's an extraordinarily bright guy. I also have a hunch, which I can't prove, that they both (Riconosciuto and Lavos, his partner) indirectly work for the CIA."]
According to Imanyuel, a member of a public watch-dog group that monitors military and nuclear procurement activities, "The design would be particularly suitable for use as a cruise missile warhead, where a non-nuclear charge is required that can reliably destroy a hardened target despite a several-meters targeting error. Such weapons are designed as part of the Advanced Technology Warhead Program of Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos National Laboratories."
Ted Gundersen, who has independently investigated the bombing, included numerous letters and memos in his report which pointed to the existence of such a device. He reported that the government contract number for the bomb was DAAA-21-90-C-0045, and was manufactured by Dyno-Nobel, Inc., in Salt Lake City. Dyno-Nobel was previously connected with Hercules Manufacturing, where Riconosciuto worked. The Department of the Army denies that contract DAAA-21-90-C-0045 exists. Dyno-Nobel refused to respond to inquiries from Gundersen or the author.
Curiously, the bomb specialist the government called as its expert witness during the Federal Grand Jury testimony was Robert Hopler. Hopler recently retired from Dyno-Nobel.
Sherrow raised the issue of the Electro-Hydrodynamic Gaseous Fuel Device in his Soldier of Fortune article. According to Imanyuel, "Gundersen's bomb model was clearly unworkable as presented in Soldier of Fortune, but contained the essential information that the bomb generated an electrostatically charged cloud."
One victim in the HUD office in the Murrah Building described in a National Public Radio interview on May 23, 1995 how she felt a heat wave and a static electricity charge immediately before the windows blew in.
Daina Bradley, who lost her mother and two children in the bombing, said she felt electricity running through her body right before the bomb went off.
Another victim, Ramona McDonald, who was driving about block away, remembers seeing a brilliant flash and described the feeling of static electricity. "It made a real loud static electricity sound. It sounded like big swarm of bees — you could actually hear it. The next thing was a real sharp clap, like thunder.…" McDonald also described both gold and blue flashes of light. Interestingly, Riconiscuto has called his device "Blue Death."
Another survivor of the blast was quoted on CNN as saying, "It was just like an atomic bomb went off. "The ceiling went in and all the windows came in and there was a deafening roar…"
Proponents of the A-Neutronic Bomb conclude that these are all signatures of such a device.
While both Gundersen and Riconosciuto have received ridicule for suggesting that a super-secret pineapple-sized device may have destroyed the Murrah Building, Cohen cautions: "Look, when I first came up with that concept (the Neutron Bomb, developed in the 1970s), the ridicule I took from the scientific community was something awful. And this included scientists at the Nobel Prize level." "Regarding Riconosciuto," adds Cohen, "the guy's a madman… but technically, there's no doubt in my mind that he's brilliant."
Gene Wheaton, a former Pentagon CID investigator, claims that the fuel-air bomb was deployed in the Gulf War, along with other experimental weapons responsible for much of the massive devastation inflicted on Iraq. The fuel-air explosive, or FAE, can cover an area 1,000 feet wide with blast pressures of 200 p.s.i. According to a CIA report on FAEs:
[T]he pressure effects of FAEs approach those produced by low-yield nuclear weapons at short ranges. The effect of an FAE explosion within confined spaces is immense. Those near the ignition point are obliterated. Those at the fringes are likely to suffer many internal… injuries, including burst eardrums and crushed inner-ear organs, severe concussions, ruptured lungs and internal organs, and possible blindness.
Moreover, it seems that Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm supplied Iraq with plans for a fuel-air explosive. The blueprints were allegedly passed on to the Iraqis by the Egyptians, and Iraq commenced commercial production of the weapon — the force of which is the equivalent of a small atomic explosion.
A few minutes before 9:00 a.m. on April 19, a young Arabic man carrying a backpack was seen in the Murrah Building hurriedly pushing the elevator button as if trying to get off. A few minutes after he exited the building, the bomb(s) went off. The elevator doors, which were on the opposite side of the building from the truck-bomb, had their doors blown outward.
Another former military source agreed that a device similar to the fuel-air explosive exists. "It's called a Special Atomic Demolition Munitions or SADM," said Craig Roberts, a Lt. Colonel in Army Reserve [Intelligence]. According to Roberts and Charles T. Harrison, a researcher for the Department of Energy and the Pentagon, this munition has been deployed with artillery units in Europe. The SADM can also be carried in a backpack.
Another source who has monitored top-secret weapons projects confirmed this information:
I do not know a lot about SADM's, but I have friends — ex British SAS and RAF — who were trained in their use a few years ago for behind-the-lines sabotage in the event of a Russian breakthrough in Europe. They believe from their still-serving military contacts that the earlier football sized back pack weapons that they were trained on have been significantly microed such that a device would now easily fit in a grapefruit and deliver five to ten tons TNT equivalent — or less [i.e: down to one ton TNT]. These things easily fit into a 105mm howitzer shell or a briefcase. ...
Exactly what components are utilized in these weapons is difficult to get as the still serving British officers are reluctant to talk about them in detail. One can assume that a mixture of Plutonium 239 (highly refined hence relatively low radioactivity emission on detonation), Lithium 6 Deuteride Tritide, Tritium, and possibly Beryllium and Uranium 238 (NOT 235) would be involved as a series of lenses in a Bi-Conical shape. I am endeavoring to get more data but this a very touchy area…
An article in the The Nashville Tennessean insists Iraq's Saddam Hussein has been developing 220 pounds of lithium 6 per year. lithium 6 can be converted to tritium, an essential ingredient in thermonuclear reactions.
Other sources say that 6,000 to 7,000 SADM's were produced, some of which made their way to Israel and other countries. Sam Cohen confirms this information in the Fall issue of Journal of Civil Defense. Cohen, echoing Harrison, charges that the U.S. has purposefully underestimated the number of nuclear warheads that Iran, Iraq and North Korea could produce, and deliberately discounted their capacity to produce substantially smaller warheads.
"A couple of years ago," states Cohen, "disturbing statements on advanced small, very low-yield nuclear warheads, began emanating from Russia. Cohen adds that these articles "revealed a massive smuggling ring had emerged where the material was being sold around the world to a number of countries, some of which were terrorist nations."
[Writing in Nexus Magazine, Australian journalist and military authority Joe Vialls points out that the bombing which destroyed a financial center in London in July of 1993, and which almost destroyed the World Trade Center in New York four months later, could not have been caused by conventional explosives. In a bizarre coincidence predating Cohen's analysis, theoretical physicist and former Pentagon nuclear expert Theodore B. Taylor stated in his book, The Curve of Binding Energy, that someday someone was going to blow up the World Trade Center with a nuclear device the size of a stick of gum. Taylor's prediction first appeared in the New Yorker magazine in 1973.
Vialls adds that the British government was quick to blame the London attack on an IRA (Irish Republican Army) truck-bomb, in the same manner that U.S. authorities were quick to blame the Oklahoma bombing on a truck-bomb constructed by a pair of so-called disgruntled anti-government loners. Yet at the same time the British government was issuing these statements, their bomb technicians were exploring the bomb site in full nuclear protective suits.]
Had the Murrah Building been destroyed by a SADM or a backpack nuke, using the truck-bomb as a cover? British bomb experts, with extensive experience dealing with terrorist truck-bombs, told McVeigh's attorney, Stephen Jones, that the ANFO bomb could not have done all of the damage to the Murrah Building.
British bomb expert Linda Jones, testifying for the prosecution in McVeigh's trial, came to the opposite conclusion however. Nevertheless, the site was quickly demolished and covered over with concrete; the remains taken to a secure dump and buried. What was the government trying to hide? Nuclear Physicist Galen Winsor, General Ben Partin, and KPOC manager David Hall went to the building and disposal sites with radiation measuring equipment, but were kept away. They managed to gather some fragments anyway, and when they measured them with Winsor's NaI Scintillator detector, they registered radiation levels 50 percent higher than normal.
[The specter of radioactive terrorism is not exactly brand new. In Paris, the French secret police foiled terrorists planning to set off a conventional bomb designed to spread particles of deadly radioactive plutonium in the air.
Cohen suggests that if it had been a radioactive attack, and it were made public, it would have panicked a public already frightened about terrorist attacks: "If the perpetrators had been able to get their hands on just a traceable amount of radioactivity, and mixed it up with the explosive, so that it would virtually assure that it would be picked up by some detecting meter, and this had gotten out, that there was a fairly copious amount of radioactivity in the explosive, all hell would have broken loose…. It would scare the pants off a very large fraction of the U.S. citizenry, by saying this was used by terrorists, and contaminated an area…"
Given the government's long history of covering up radiation tests on U.S. citizens, from radiating entire towns downwind of nuclear test sites, to slipping radioactive isotopes to crippled children in their oatmeal, it goes without saying that they would also cover this up.]
"A new class of nuclear weapons could exist which could have an extremely disturbing terrorist potential," said Cohen. "And to admit to the possibility that the warheads might be sufficiently compact to pose a real terrorist threat was equally unacceptable [to the government]."
So was the Federal Building blown up by demolition charges, a truck filled with C-4, a fuel-air explosive, a miniature nuke, or some combination of the above?
["It really doesn't make any difference," says Cohen. "From the standpoint of practicality… I would lean towards Ben Partin. Because all the stuff Partin's put out, it just holds up — it makes eminent sense — he doesn't have to get into this exotica. Partin says using ordinary Primacord wrapped around these pillars could have done the job." 
In fact, it does make quite a bit of difference from an investigative point of view, since the more sophisticated the bomb, the more sophisticated the bombers. And Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols weren't that sophisticated.]
KFOR-Channel 4 reported that the mysterious severed leg clothed in military garb found in the rubble allegedly had PVC embedded [in] it. PVC pipe is sometimes used to pack plastic explosives. It increases the shear power. Had this leg, unmatched to any of the known victims, belonged to the real bomber?
[In fact, it does make quite a bit of difference from an investigative point of view, since the more sophisticated the bomb, the more sophisticated the bombers. And Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols weren't that sophisticated.]
Then on March 20, 1996,Strategic Investment Newsletter reported that a Pentagon study had been leaked which backed up General Partin's analysis:
A classified report prepared by two independent Pentagon experts has concluded that the destruction of the federal building in Oklahoma City last April was caused by five separate bombs. The two experts reached the same conclusion for the same technical reasons. Sources close to the Pentagon study say Timothy McVeigh did play a role in the bombing but peripherally, as a "useful idiot." The multiple bombings have a Middle Eastern "signature," pointing to either Iraqi or Syrian involvement.
Finally, in the Spring of 1997, explosives experts at Eglin Air Force Base's Wright Laboratory Armament Directorate released a study on the effects of explosives against a reinforced concrete building similar to the Federal Building. The Air Force's test closely matched the conditions under which the government contends the Murrah Building was destroyed.
The Eglin Blast Effects Study, or EBES, involved a three-story reinforced concrete structure 80 long, 40 feet wide, and 30 feet high. The building constructed for the test, the Eglin Test Structure (ETS), while smaller than the Murrah Building, was similar in design, with three rows of columns, and six-inch-thick concrete panels similar to those in the Murrah Building. Overall, the ETS was considerably weaker than the Murrah, which had five times the amount of steel reinforcing than the ETS, and 10 times the amount of steel in its columns and beams. As New American editor William Jasper noted in regards to the EBES:
If air blast could not effect catastrophic failure to the decidedly inferior Eglin structure, it becomes all the more difficult to believe that it was responsible for the destruction of the much stronger Murrah Building.
The experts at Eglin conducted three tests. They first detonated 704 pounds of Tritonal (equivalent to 830 pounds of TNT or approximately 2,200 pounds of ANFO), at a distance of 40 feet from the structure, equivalent to the distance the Ryder truck was parked from the Murrah Building. The second test utilized an Mk-82 warhead (equivalent to 180 pounds of TNT) placed within the first floor corner room approximately four feet from the exterior wall. The third test involved a 250-pound penetrating warhead (equivalent to 35 pounds TNT), placed in the corner of a second floor room approximately two and a half feet from the adjoining walls.
The first detonation demolished the six-inch-thick concrete wall panels on the first floor, but left the reinforcing steel bars intact. The 14-inch columns were unaffected by the blast — a far cry from what occurred at the Murrah Building. The damages to the second and third floors fell off proportionally, unlike that in Oklahoma City. The 56-page report concluded:
Due to these conditions, it is impossible to ascribe the damage that occurred on April 19, 1995 to a single truck-bomb containing 4,800 lbs. of ANFO. In fact, the maximum predicted damage to the floor panels of the Murrah Federal Building is equal to approximately 1% of the total floor area of the building. Furthermore, due to the lack of symmetrical damage pattern at the Murrah Building, it would be inconsistent with the results of the ETS test [number] one to state that all of the damage to the Murrah Building is the result of the truck-bomb. The damage to the Murrah Federal Building is consistent with damage resulting from mechanically coupled devices placed locally within the structure ....
It must be concluded that the damage at the Murrah Federal Building is not the result of the truck-bomb itself, but rather due to other factors such as locally placed charges within the building itself .... The procedures used to cause the damage to the Murrah Building are therefore more involved and complex than simply parking a truck and leaving ....
Even the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was forced to conclude that 4,800 pounds of ANFO could have not caused the so-called crater in Oklahoma City. FEMA's report, published on August 30, 1996, inadvertently concluded that the bombers would have had to use approximately three times the amount reportedly used in Oklahoma City.
Another interesting confirmation came from FBI agent Danny Defenbaugh, who, along with U.S. Attorney Beth Wilkerson, visited General Partin in June of 1995. Part of the team that prosecuted McVeigh and Nichols, Wilkerson interviewed Partin on the presumption that he would be called as a witness. "…and [Agent Defenbaugh] was going through the report that I did," said Partin, "and he put his finger on that picture I had in the report… the designated crater, and he said, 'Suppose I told you that is not the crater?'"
Partin believes Wilkerson and Defenbaugh (who Partin described as belligerent) interviewed him as part of a ruse to find out what he knew about the blast(s), so the government could carefully avoid those issues at trial. While they pretended to be interested in Partin's analysis, they never kept their word to follow up the interview.
"I think what they did," said Partin, "was they looked at my credentials and technical justification of all this stuff, and they felt found that what I had was based on some pretty sound footing.… I think that's why they framed the case the way they did."
Whatever blew up the Alfred P. Murrah Building, one thing's for sure, there was enough ANFO present at the site to leave visible traces. Randy Ledger, a maintenance man who was in the building at the time of the blast, claims fellow workers who rushed into the building immediately after the explosion "complained of burning eyes, heavy dust and choking lungs. That is right out of the textbook of a diesel-fertilizer bomb, because it creates nitric acid," said Ledger. "The guys I work with, they're not going to make it up that their eyes are burning."
Dr. Paul Heath, a VA psychologist who was on the fifth floor of the building at the time of the blast, said, "I picked fertilizer out of my skin… I could see the fertilizer actually exploding in the air; you could see it popping all around you."
Ramona McDonald, who also survived the blast, concurs with Heath. "There was a bright flash, and then boom! And you could see the fertilizer popping in the air."
Given this scenario, it's reasonable to conclude that the Ryder truck was filled with something more powerful, with just enough ANFO to leave a visible trace.
Cohen agrees. "The damage that resulted could not have occurred from a van parked outside… I don't care how fancy an explosive was used. What did in that building… was an inside job."
It would appear that experts' analysis' are not the only evidence of an inside job. In an interview with a local TV station, a man who escaped the building said, "I was sitting at my desk, and I felt a rumbling, a shaking in the building… so I decided to get under my desk.… the glass windows blew in and knocked down the ceiling and some of the stuff above the ceiling and it all landed on top of my desk."
Another man said, "I thought it was an earthquake because I resided in California for many years, and it was almost like it was in slow motion. I felt a shake, and then it began shaking more, and I dove under my desk, and then the glass all came flying in."
A friend of Dr. Ray Brown's, who's secretary was in the building said, "She was standing by a window. The window cracked, then she got away from it and then she was blown across the room and landed in another woman's lap. Another woman I know, Judy Morse, got under her desk after feeling the building shake, and before the glass flew."
"Dr. Brian Espe, who was the sole survivor in the Department of Agriculture's fifth floor office, told the author he first "heard a rumbling noise."
According to these individuals' accounts, if the truck-bomb — the alleged sole bomb — had detonated first, how would they have felt a rumbing, had time to think about the situation, then dive under their desks? The resulting blast wave from the truck-bomb would have been immediate and total. Such an account could only be indicative of demolition charges placed inside the building.*
"The inside charges — demolition charges," said Cohen, "may have gone off first, and so the columns now started to collapse. Boy, that would produce one hell of a rumble, to put it mildly…."
A caller to the Oklahoma Radio Network related the experiences of his friend, a Federal Government worker, who had witnessed the blast first-hand. "He was approximately five blocks from the building whenever the building went up. He claims that the top of the building went up like a missile going through it. The debris was coming back down when the side of the building blew out. He said third and last, the truck blew up on the street."
Notice this witness said the building "blew out." This is contrary to the effect of an explosive blast from the street blowing the building in from the street. Candy Avey, who was on her way to the Social Security office when the explosions occurred, was blown away from the building, struck a parking meter, and then hit her car. Said Suzanne Steely, reporting live for KFOR, "We could see all the way through the building. That was just the force of the explosion — it just blew out all the walls and everything inside." Ramona McDonald saw a flash and smoke rising up from inside the building, "like a rocket had shot out the top of the building."
It should be obvious to the reader that it's implausible an ANFO bomb parked out in the street would have the force to blow all the way through a huge superstructure like the Alfred P. Murrah Building.
No matter how hard the government tried to lie, obsfucate, and distort the truth, the evidence would come back to haunt them.
On April 19, a tape recording made during a conference at the Water Resources Board directly across from the Murrah Building appears to indicate a succession of blast events, spaced very close together.
The tape recorder at the Water Resources Board was not the only instrument recording explosions that morning. The seismograph at the Oklahoma Geological Survey at the University of Oklahoma at Norman, 16 miles from the Murrah Building, recorded two waves, or "two events," on the morning of April 19th. Another seismograph at the Omniplex Museum, four miles away from the Federal Building, also recorded two events. These seismic waves, or "spikes," spaced approximately ten seconds apart, seem to indicate two blasts. [See Appendix]
Professor Raymond Brown, senior geophysicist at the University of Oklahoma who studied the seismograms, knew and talked to people inside the building at the time of the blast. "My first impression was, this was a demolition job," said Brown. "Somebody who went in there with equipment tried to take that building down."
continued in next post