Over the last few weeks the Press-Register collected samples from multiple locations on an Alabama beach where a heavy oil sheen was visible.
The Press-Register assessed the appearance of the samples:
The stained, brown water seen washing up in pockets along Alabama beaches for the last two weeks... [it] was found in water between two sandbars that lie about 50 yards and 100 yards off the beach... A heavy, metallic sheen was floating on the water between the bars and stretched for miles to the east and west. Gulf water in the areas sampled by the newspaper was a muddy brown... Seen in a jar, the Gulf water was turbid with tiny flecks of a dark, reddish brown material. At some locations, the brown material was present from the surface to the sea floor. At other locations, the brown material was in a layer in the bottom 5 feet of the water column. At those sites, another material -- stringy, milky yellow filaments the thickness of a human hair -- formed a layer above the brown material.
The paper provided the samples to Ed Overton of Louisiana State University.
Overton said, "We didn't see oil in the analysis."
Yet, Overton says there are preliminary indications that a dispersant is present in the samples. So why is there dispersant with no oil?
The riddle of Ed Overton continues.
Overton is a professor 'emeritus' at LSU, meaning he is no longer a professor -- though he apparently is still with the school in a research capacity.
The article reports that Overton is currently "analyzing oil samples for the federal government."
And in another strange twist, a report by the same author (Ben Raines) indicate that BP is currently employing scientists from LSU:
Scientists from Louisiana State University, University of Southern Mississippi and Texas A&M have reportedly accepted, according to academic officials. ...
Richard Shaw, associate dean of LSU's School of the Coast and Environment, said that the BP contracts are already hindering the scientific community's ability to monitor the affects of the Gulf spill.
"The first order of business at the research meetings is to get all the disclosures out. Who has a personal connection to BP? We have to know how to deal with that person," Shaw said.
Spend a few minutes googling Ed Overton's history assessing the BP Oil 'Spill'.