The Oregon Files: Afanasyeva Letter to ATG

In order to refute Structure Probe's claim that the structures seen in IE water samples were bacterial contaminants, ATG sent a sample to Dr. Natalya Afanasyeva, a spectroscopist at the University of Nevada. Dr. Afanasyeva performed the requested test (Fourier Transform Infra Red spectroscopy) and reported her results back to ATG in a letter, which ATG then incorporated as Exhibit F in their reply to the Oregon Attorney General's office.

The most striking thing about Dr. Afanasyeva's letter is the concluding paragraph. While she states that there are no microorganisms present in the sample that was sent to her, the test she conducted does indicate the presence of "organic compounds". Since water -- and hence IE -- is non-organic (i.e., it does not contain carbon atoms), what Dr. Afanasyeva appears to be saying is that the test reveals organic contaminants in the sample!

As is typical with outside scientists hired by ATG, Dr. Afanasyeva apparently had no idea what was in the sample she was sent to test. I cannot tell (and presumably, Oregon couldn't either) exactly what she was sent, how it was made, or how it differed from the samples sent to other labs. According to her test, this particular sample contained no bacteria, but did it contain any "IE structures"? Did it show the chemical effects ATG claimed for IE water? There's no way to tell from this document.

In November, 1998, John Collins informed me (Dave Touretzky) that the sample Afanasyeva tested was a mixture of IE water and various organic components. ATG created this mixture as part of its research. Hence, the organic compounds Afanasyeva detected should be regarded as adulterants rather than "contaminants". Collins says this information was never provided to the Oregon Attorney General's office.

Exhibit F
To whom it may concern:

       As a spectroscopy consultant to ATG, I collected and analyzed FTIR spectra of IE
solutions using Perkin-Elmer Paragon 1000 instrument with Attenuated Total Reflection
(ATR) accessory and ZnSe prism. The measurements were carried out in thin layers and 
dried films of IE solutions. To prepare a thin layer of IE solution for FTIR analysis, I placed
IE solutions on ZnSe surface of ATR accessory for 10 min. and then removed the solution 
by poring it off.  To prepare a dried film of IE solution I dried a thin layer of IE solution 

       Based on the results obtained for thin layers and dried films of IE solutions the 
following conclusions can be made:

1. All spectra obtained for thin layers and dried films of IE solutions are similar in pick 
positions, but dried films demonstrate more distinct picks.

2. The following picks were identified in all spectra:

   at 2920 cm-1 assigned to asymmetric stretching vibration of C-H bond in
            -CH2- group;
   at 2845 cm-1 assigned to symmetric stretching vibration of C-H bond in
            -CH2- group;
   at 1740 cm-1 assigned to C=O bond in carbonyl;
   at 1160 cm-1/ 1140 cm-1/1090cm-1 assigned to C-O (C-O-C).

   Additionally, in dried films the following picks were identified:

   at 970 cm-1/ 820 cm-1/ 720 cm-1 assigned to deformations of the 
                            above described groups.

3. No characteristic amide I and amide II vibrational spectra of proteins were identified 
(1650 cm-1 for amide I and 1540 cm-1 for amide II).

4. IR spectra of biomolecules and biological systems always demonstrate complicated 
stretching vibrations of CH3 and CH2 groups, that were not identified in IE spectra.

5. The band shape of amide carbonyl present in protein structures differs significantly from 
the carbonyl band identified in IE spectra.

       Based on the above discussion, as well as my 30-year experience in IR work, 
including IR work on cells and living tissues, I conclude that there are no 
microorganisms present in IE samples, and that associations formed in IE solutions are due
to presence of organic compounds.

Should you have any questions or would like any references to my published work, 
please do not hesitate to contact me at University of Nevada, Reno:

      (702) 784-1335
or    (702) 784-4920

Dr. Natalya Afanasyeva,

Senior Scientist
Institute of Spectroscopy,
Russian Academy of Science

Figure marked "Thin Layer of IE Solution":

Figure marked "Dried film of IE:

Back to the main ATG page
Dave Touretzky
Last modified: Tue Nov 17 22:23:04 EST 1998