This article discusses the recent reports at the website of Clifford Carnicom that describes the result of his spectroscopic analysis of the atmosphere over Santa Fe, New Mexico. In these reports, titled "BARIUM AFFIRMED BY SPECTROSCOPY", and "BARIUM IDENTIFICATION FURTHER CONFIRMED", Carnicom says that he has confirmed through visual light spectroscopy that barium is detected in the air at his location.
My review of his results, when compared to the known signature of barium, shows that he is mistaken, and that his analysis conclusively shows that barium is in fact NOT indicated. Below I will show the facts that lead me to this conclusion, which can be confirmed by anyone knowledgeable in the field, and through examining the facts I present.
Spectroscopic analysis is a means of identifying elements, molecules, and compounds through examination of the light emission signatures of atoms, and comparing the wavelengths detected by the spectroscope with known spectra available in scientific databases. In a sense, spectroscopic analysis is similar to DNA analysis and fingerprint analysis which compare the unique chromosomes and print patterns to identify a person.
When Clifford Carnicom directs his spectroscope skyward, he receives light emissions, which the spectroscope, using a prism, breaks up into it's different component wavelengths. His observations are presented in tabular form here. He says that he has detected wavelengths specific to the element barium(Ba) at these wavelengths and intensities:
516 nanometers- intensity not shown
578 nanometers- intensity not shown
712 nanometers- intensity of 2400
728 nanometers- intensity of 3000
He lists as his source for this data the National Institute of Standards and Technology Physics Library Atomic Spectral database. I have conducted a search of this database for the complete emission spectra of barium which is available here. I immediately noted that barium is known to have a unique set of emissions whose wavelengths range from 315.27nm to 712nm. These wavelengths vary in intensity as noted by Carnicom, above.
Examination of the known barium emission wavelengths in the database shows distinct peaks at the following:
455 nanometers- intensity of 65,000
493 nanometers -intensity of 20,000
614 nanometers -intensity of 20,000
649 nanometers -intensity of 12,000
These emissions are shown graphically here. In the graphic for barium, note that the spectra specific for barium includes different wavelengths, denoted by color, and intensity, noted by width of the lines. Specifically, note that the broadest line for barium is known to be at 455 nanometers and an intensity of 65,000(broadest dark green line), and the highest wavelengths are shown at 712 and 728 nanometers(narrow red lines at right).
If in fact barium were detected at Santa Fe at the relatively faint intensity of 2400-3000, the much more intense peaks at 455, 493, 614, and 649 should be detected as well, since their intensities are from 65,000 to 20,000. For this reason, the spectroscopic data displayed by Clifford Carnicom DOES NOT show barium at all, and in fact shows quite the opposite, barium is not detected.
Carnicom also states, "These spectral lines are visible
under very limited time conditions near sunset or sunrise, when
the sunlight shifts toward the red portion of the spectrum."
What he doesn't state is that the wavelengths he claims to detect already lie in the red portion of the spectrum, and by doing his analysis at dusk/dawn he skews his result towards detecting spurious wavelengths normal at those times. To be honest, he should take his measurements during full daylight.
Nevertheless, I would not be too surprised to find some barium detected in the Santa Fe area. Barium, in the form of barium sulfate(barite) is found in many locations in the southwestern US, including the Santa Fe area, specifically at ElCuervo Butte in southern Santa Fe county. Barite is a mineral which is mined commercially in Nevada and used extensively in the copper smelting industry of Arizona specifically by ASARCO and Phelps-Dodge, which released nearly 3 million pounds of barium in 1998 in it's casting operations.
Data from EPA shows that Nevada supplies 50% of the barium mined in the US, that from 1987 to 1993, according to the Toxics Release Inventory barium compound releases to land and water totaled over 57 million lbs. These releases were primarily from copper smelting industries. The largest releases occurred in Arizona and Utah.
Large air releases of barium can come from burning coal and oil fuels for power generation. For example, the 11 coal fired power plants operated by the Tennessee Valley Authority released to the air 28,910 pounds of barium compounds in 1999. These stack emissions come from the natural barium found in organic fossil fuels.
In conclusion, Clifford Carnicom has been shown to be in error in his conclusion that his spectroscopic analysis affirms or confirms the presence of barium in the air over Santa Fe, New Mexico. Large amounts of barium are naturally found in the soils of the US southwest, including the Santa Fe area. Large amounts of barium are emitted by industries across the US and specifically in States to the windward of Santa Fe, New Mexico, such as Arizona and Nevada.
My former conclusions, as posted on the Sightings website 3/23/99, still stand: