The Red Residue.

Contents quoted under "Fair Use" provisions for non-profit educational purposes.

The above diagram is based on a diagram published by the Press-Enterprise. The red portions indicate where the residue was observed in the reconstructed wreckage of the 747.

The Press-Enterprise cites official NTSB documents for the above data.

The NTSB, while admitting that they had not tested the residue. claims it is adhesive used in the manufacture of the seats. The 1.7% Titanium calls that statement into question.

The above image is how CNN presented the residue pattern.

The Press-Enterprise: Solid fuel for rockets.


Solid fuel for rockets follows basic recipe
The Press-Enterprise 

Solid fuel to propel missiles is not an everyday commodity, missile experts say,
but the basic recipe remains the same for many of the world's rockets and
military organizations.

 "If you picked up a piece of the stuff it would look like hard rubberized
material," said a retired Hughes Missiles engineer and propellants specialist
who asked not to be named. "Most people would not recognize solid fuel if they
pick it up."

James Sanders, an ex-Southern California policeman, says he acquired a sample
from TWA Flight 800 seats embedded with red residue. He had the sample analyzed
and is convinced laboratory tests reveal solid fuel left a telltale wake through
the plane before the jumbo jet disintegrated, killing 230 people. Linking that
lab analysis with an analysis of crash reports, he said, points directly to a
missile as the cause of the tragedy.

In January, he took one sample of the residue from seats in rows 17-19 to West
Coast Analytical Service, Inc., in Santa Fe Springs.

Sanders provided The Press-Enterprise with a copy of the one-page report, dated
Jan. 31. According to the test, the material included:

Magnesium          18%
Silicon            15%
Calcium            12%
Zinc                3.6%
Iron                3.1%
Aluminum            2.8%
Lead                2.4%
Titanium            1.7%
Antimony            0.53%
Nickel              0.38%
Manganese           0.21%
Boron               0.081%
Copper              0.053%
Silver              0.032
Chromium            0.032%

"The actual metals and mixtures depends on how fast you want it to burn," the
retired Hughes engineer said. He spoke on the condition he would provide basic
information but would not have his name disclosed.

"Things like magnesium and aluminum make it work," he said of solid fuel. "It
depends on how fast you want the motor to burn. Rocket motors on bazookas have
to get to high speed rapidly. The rocket coming out of a bazooka tube has to
burn in a millisecond so the exhaust doesn't burn the person firing.

"Some metals are included so they don't burn so fast. Standard type missiles,
where  they burn for several minutes, are designed to to go on a hundred miles
or so. So you mix in something to keep them burning.

"Most motors have wires running through it, or to give it structure, and include
solder. Antimony is in solder or the lead could have been part of the wiring.
I'll tell you the truth, I'll be honest: In the past, very few missiles were
environmentally friendly."

Sanders admits he had no idea what to look for when he began wondering about
solid fuel.

"I didn't have a clue," he said Sunday. "I spent a lot of time getting up to
speed. I  called government labs. I called Los Alamos, N.M., several times, and
UCLA, the University of Virginia and the University of Illinois. None of them
knew what solid fuel  contained. I dialed all over America trying to get up to
speed. I wanted to find out what the process was."

 Finally, he said, he reached Thiokol Corp., and was told missile propellent had
three  basic components, essentially unchanged the last decade except for minor
"proprietary" adjustments. Government labs, Sanders said, should be able to
determine this residue's fingerprint.

In Sanders' sample, he believes the magnesium is ocean salt, while silicon,
mixed with a small amount of copper, is the essential ingredient in synthetic
rubber.

The rubber, in liquid form, is the base into which the fuel is mixed before
being poured into a container where it hardens into solid fuel.

"The rubber bonds the material together so it doesn't fragment," the Hughes
engineer said. "If a solid motor cracks, you have a disaster. It burns too fast
and blows up. If dropped, it has to withstand breaking."

Aluminum powder is the preferred fuel. Calcium is mixed with a perchlorate to
provide the pyrotechnic effect. Silicon, mixed with a small amount of copper, is
the essential ingredient for synthetic rubber which, in liquid form, is the base
into which aluminum powder, calcium and a substance that provides oxygen are
mixed, then  poured into a container where it hardens into solid fuel, waiting
for use.


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