An August 20 article by WLOX in Biloxi reports that the Coast Guard was searching for submerged oil off the coast of Mississippi on Thursday and "did not find any evidence of oil all day."
"The method and means of testing for oil is straight forward. With an anchor on one end, and a series of absorbent pads tied to a rope, lower it to the bottom for 30 seconds," and according to WLOX, "The bright white absorbent pads were pulled from the water, still bright and white."
Contrast the Coast Guard's statement with another August 20 article reporting on the search for submerged oil off the coast of Mississippi.
Dahr Jamail toured the area with Mississippi commercial fishermen James Miller and Mark Stewart, and Gulf Restoration Network's Jonathan Henderson. Both Miller and Stewart were trained "in identifying oil and dispersants" while in BP's Vessels of Opportunity program.
The men used a method very similar to that of the Coast Guard -- "They tied an absorbent rag to a weighted hook, dropped it overboard for a short duration of time, then pulled it up to find the results," according to Jamail.
"The rags were covered in a brown oily substance that the fishermen identified as a mix of BP's crude oil and toxic dispersants," Jamail wrote.
Jamail "watched Miller and Stewart conduct eight tests in various places around Mississippi Sound. One of them was less than a quarter mile from the mouth of Pass Christian Harbor, and another was less than one mile from a public beach."
"Every single test found the absorbent rags stained with brown oil," the report adds.
Read the full report published by the Inter Press Service and written by the highly respected journalist Dahr Jamail here.