reply to post by chr0naut
Over to the local college, we did some of the high school "ap" chemistry in the college's chem lab, where there was a five gallon jug of 20 year
old picric acid we found under the bottom shelf while the instructor was away, while we were scouting the supply room for raw materials. Mostly
because our high school was a metal building sort of like a big grocery store and wasn't good for much past mixing vinegar and baking soda.
Being the budding mad bomber I later turned to be professionally, I recall looking at it and going "Cool! Five # gallons of picric acid! Explosives
ALL SUMMER!", then I looked at the date "What? 1956?!" and looked in the bottom - brightly colored crystals from the metal cap that had somewhat
corroded and fallen into the acid, ionically contaminating it.
I crawled my big butt out of there very slowly and said "Go tell the security guard to get the state police on the phone, y'all get out of here"
It was exciting, they got the state bomb squad out and extracted it, took it outside to a big field and shot it. It was magnificent, but not as much
as it would have been if we'd gotten a clean jug of it. Picric acid is the starting point for many a very good explosive.
Speaking of which, United Nuclear. Guys, this is a seriously cool store, and I have bought stuff from him - notably I gave out chunks of trinitite for
stocking stuffers last year - BUT. And this is a big but. They worry me.
I hate to say it. But they do, and they worry me two different ways. One, while I can't prove it, I'm pretty sure Lazar was Agency. That's no
biggie in itself. But it relates to the second worry. UN has the trappings of a honeypot. Yes, a lot of the stuff is innocuous. That's often true of
honeypots, too. But if you know your stuff, ol' Bob, well, the selection of chemical reagents he sells is seductively tailored towards producing a
half-dozen of the more favored military explosives. It's like you took a laundry list of "what do I need to make RDX, both main methods" and put it
on the site. Also HMX and a couple of others. Along with the ancillary bits and pieces. You could make you a big kit for doing the amino synthesis of
RDX in a big one stop shop, right there at UN.
I don't see that as being an accident. Hell, I can't order all that stuff at any one MAJOR chemical supplier. It's some here, some there. But
Bob's got it all. For HMX, PETN and a couple of others you don't use a lot, too.
I have to scratch my head and wonder - do I order the right combo and get a free visit from the Feds, or what?
Now, back in 2004 I found two DOE honeypots by accident, and they looked a lot like this. For instance, there was a page at a well-known supplier,
they also supply stuff to LANL and Sandia. And if you went to their page looking for lithium, you could find lithium hydride. Not abnormal. They had
lithium in a variety of forms, in bulk. But nothing odd. If, however, you specifically searched for it, you were presented a page that did NOT show up
in the product index. They had a page for bulk Li6D. Not lithium hydride, technical Li6D. And at a bargain basement price, too. I had also found a
site where a major manufacturer of refined metals, who has a sideline in making slappers for nukes, if you searched just right, you'd end up on a
page where you could buy slappers with a Visa or MC. I reported them both and found out they were honeypots. You order that, and the mailman that asks
you to sign for it is a non-postal Fed, and you go answer hard questions for a while.