The following Affidavit was provided by Dr. Bassett of NASA. It shows that statements by the FBI that the "Red Residue" found on seats was 3M glue, are false and not supported by Dr. Bassett's tests.
AFFIDAVIT OF C.W. BASSETT
C.W. BASSETT, having been duly sworn, deposes and says:
I am a chemist working for NASA, Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Florida.
In early 1997, Dr. Merritt Birky, in connection with the NTSB's investigation into the cause of the crash of TWA Flight 800 forwarded to me residue samples identified as being removed from seats that were recovered from the airplane's wreckage.
Dr. Birky requested that I compare the chemical composition of those samples to 3M Scotch-grip 1357 HP adhesive.
This affidavit is submitted to provide a general synopsis, in layman's terms, of certain aspects of the laboratory analysis I conducted, and general observations regarding the conclusions that can and cannot be drawn from them.
Particularly since this subject entails technical matters of a complex nature, this affidavit does not attempt to discuss the full scope of the testing or conclusions drawn from it.
The tests performed by me at NASA-KSC on samples Dr. Birky said were from rows 17, 19, 24 and 27 of the flight 800 cabin interior did not address the issue of origin of any reddish-orange residue. The tests I performed for the NTSB cannot answer such a question.
The tests conducted by me at NASA-KSC did not identify specific elements, by quantity, within the reddish-orange residue of the sample submitted to them by Mr. Sanders. At NASA, we used Fourier-Transform Infrared ("FT-IR") spectroscopy to analyze the reddish colored samples provided by the NTSB. Since FT-IR is specifically a technique used fore characterizing by functional groups the molecular structure of organic materials, we would not be able to corroborate the presence of elemental compounds other than by subjective context. FT-IR does not objectively identify elemental quantity within a sample, which would be a necessary first step in determining 3M Scotch-grip 1357 adhesive is consistent with the other samples identified by specific elements.
FT-IR analysis alone would not be my choice of tools to determine the presence of specific elements. To accurately identify, and to quantify, amounts of each constituent, one would need to employ a technique specifically designed to provide quantitative elemental analysis.
In the course of my testing, I observed the color of 3M Scotch-grip 1357 HP adhesive under different conditions. The adhesive, when cured, is dark green to olive drab in color. Depending on degrees and intervals of elevated temperatures, the adhesive progresses towards a darker shade of green and then to varying shades of brown, mostly very dark in either case. I did not achieve a red coloration during my analysis of the residue.
(signed) C.W. Bassett
STATE OF FLORIDA
COUNTY OF BREVARD
Before me this day personally appeared C.W. BASSETT who, being duly sworn, deposes and says the statements presented in the above affidavit are true and correct to the best of his knowledge.
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 23rd day of July, 1998.
(signed) Carolyn B. Pecquet
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