There's a behind the scenes battle going on between Pinnacle Armor, the Air Force, the National Institutes for Justice and the Army.
You'll remember that a year ago the Air Force debarred Pinnacle after it found that the company had pumped up the ballistic capabilities of its SOV 2000 armor claiming it was Level III compliant when it wasn't. This ban of Pinnacle products came on the heels of the Army's very public outing of Dragon Skin test results conducted by Army ballistics experts and witnessed by Pinnacle president Murray Neal himself.
But after the dust cleared, the tenacious Neal waged his own battle against the debarment, filing suit and compiling evidence that he claims shows Army testers forging test result documents and intentionally painting Dragon Skin in a bad light to the Air Force.
I spoke with Neal about this at length, and while I'm skeptical that the Army is resorting to lying and forging documents, there are some things that definitely look fishy about this case.
Neal provided me with an example of a document that purportedly shows forged test results and failures of the armor that didn't happen during tests conducted for the Air Force by H.P. White Labs. A lot of Pinnacle proponents point to a recent article by the hysterical bloggers at Soldiers for the Truth as explanation for the suspected forgeries and other skull duggery and I'll let DT readers make their own judgment on that.
But Neal claims that when the actual shooters at HP White were cross examined during depositions, they claimed that over two days of testing they did NOT see the failures tabulated on the result summary table. I asked Neal to forward me some copies of the deposition transcripts to prove that. What he sent me didn't seem to correlate with what he was claiming (they are too large to upload so email me if you want to see them)...prompting still more questions about what is actually going on here.
Seems to me Neal at least has some cause here for fighting the debarment. Rumor has it the Air Force/NIJ is willing to settle and reverse the ban. I've had difficulty with Pinnacle's claims and chafed it the company's absolutist claims and hyperbolic publicity stunts, but there's a limited number of armor makers in the world and there's no sense in keeping anyone out of the fold unless their product is totally bogus -- which Dragon Skin is not.