Of course I’m only speculating, and basing that at on a one time glance at a sandblasting glove box, but I totally agree with you on the difficulties in manipulation of a bouyant chamber under the surface of the water. Stability of the chamber as well as visual distortions from the pond surface disturbances should make the entire process ridiculous.
I question the need of submersion during the operation. It would seem to me that glove boxes are common in the labs of microbiologists, and a sealed chamber would be expected. The operation could be performed in his garage. Of what value is a couple of inches of water over the box? If air could escape it will in bubbles infested with anthrax. Where the problem arises for the clandestine operation is the extraction of the envelopes. Obviously the perp could not do it in a lab with facilities that would eliminate the risk. He could easily be observed.
If however there is something to this story, I would suggest that after filling the envelopes, the glove box was taken to the pond, securely submerged, one of the gloves pierced and the box (glove openings up) allowed to slowly fill with water while the perp left the scene. Once filled, the perp returned, retrieved the wet envelopes and begins to allow them to dry. Just before the envelopes are completely dry, he mails them.
Now the pond is preferable to a bathtub, because the escaping anthrax laden air is to be avoided within the confines of your house.
You leave evidence behind in a bathtub, drain, and plumbing, as well as an outside chance of topical anthrax. You don’t care about a pond, you’ll never go back. I think it’s brilliant in it’s simplicity. One thing though. He would have been standing *in *the pond when he broke the seal to get the envelopes out. So he would have had a chance their to give himself topical anthrax. But, as a worker at a weapons lab, he may have already been immunized, or had easy access to Cipro or it’s topical counterpart. Or, was wearing protective clothing while in the pond.
Heck, maybe that was the tip. “Hey, I was driving home from work a few months back, and I saw this guy in a chem suit standing in a pond looking into a box. It just always struck me as weird. Thought you’d like to know.”
Drainage ponds are an excellent place to place evidence. Water is good at removing oils/hairs and damaging any other usefull traces. Moving water is even better.
I haven’t been following this story much. However, I can tell you about the place since I lived in the area. Those ponds are in the middle of nowhere. There are no houses around for a mile or two as the crow flies, further by road. The roads around there are crap. Very few people go out there and the few times I have been on that road I never passed anyone. The only people that I know of who would go back there would be fishermen so seeing someone in a pond wouldn’t be that big of a deal.
Quite honestly, if someone wanted to do something like that it’s only a 5-10 mile trip to these ponds. An easy place to get to and with very limited amount of people.
The envelopes were supposedly sealed well and had a lining- the problem was that one of the sorting machines at the Brentwood postal facility tore the envelope, spreading anthrax. And everything I’ve read says that it was definitely highly “weaponized” (very finely milled and easily spread).