. . . The NYT said in the article that the military has in its possession alloys it cannot identify. In a conversation with another poster, he wondered why academic institutions with materials scientists on board haven't been given the opportunity to study these alloys
The source of that New York Times article should be scrutinized and validated. . . Any idea of the date or section or title? . . That’s not necessarily a show stopper, though, without those.
At any rate, one angle to consider are the security issues and need-to-know access that previously classified materials or even currently classified materials entail outside military protocol. . . Military Research and Development methodology is not an excessively public domain with easy access. Nor am I one to write the book on it presently. . . With projects outsourced, there’s often a vetting process that occurs. Socio-economic, management of industry, financial support of manufacturing / fabrication and, in a capitalist based economy, there’s patenting and profits to consider as well as eventual public and adversarial exposure of product spinoff development from unique resources. . . One should include staff personnel or employees also. . .
It will affect economy based investment procedures and expectations on global markets. They [private enterprises] often need to input an initial sum to continue research and development as well as see to their employee wages. The military establishment does seek potential developments of military utility geared toward their mandate – National Security. . . The military cannot seek a profit based outcome, but one should expect and allow private enterprises that privilege in a free and democratic society. The military does not necessarily claim originality, either, of initial ideas or back engineering observations from captured source materials. Credits stay with the private sector. . .
. . . The elements contained in the alloys must be known. The universe is made up of the same stuff. So what exactly do they mean by "unidentifiable"?
One angle, maybe two, regarding element identification might have to do with currently known elements and isotopes to those hypothesized which, as I recall Prof Stephen Hawking theorizing that there might be 200 elements, or so, to fill the period table of elements. Another source less contemporary suggests that there are 266 elements. Laird Scranton has elaborated on that angle and is a member on the forum boards where his input can be searched. He’s also written books on related material.
Both angles of inquiry leave this business of identifying the remaining unknown elements still a work in progress as well as the means of further identifying the unknowns. . .