EDITED AND WITH A NEW FOREWORD BY ANONYMOUS
NANTWICH, BURROUGH OF CHESHIRE EAST, UNITED KINGDOM
FREIE HANSESTADT BREMEN, GERMANY
Alternative 3 - 33 rd Anniversary Edition
To the extent possible under law, all copyright and related or
neighboring rights to the aforementioned text have been waived.
Members of Parliament Bruce Kinslade and Michael Harrington-
Brice are works of the author's imagination, and any similarity to
persons living or dead is coincidental. John Hendry, Dr. James E.
McDonald, Sir William Ballantine, Hank McDermott, Dr. Ann
Clark, Robert Patterson and Brian Pendlebury are hkewise works of
the author's imagination. Similarly, "Trojan" and the A3 Policy
Committee are fabrications. In short, if not untrue, everything is
The editor has made the digital version of this work available under
a Creative Commons License. You are welcome to share it with your
friends until served with an injunction. The digital version may be
reproduced, copied and distributed for noncommercial purposes.
Major Aubrey Leland Oakes,
Baron Buxton of Alsa
15 July1918 - 1 September 2009
George John Patrick Dominic Townshend,
7 th Marquess Townshend
13 May 1916 - 23 April 2010
LIKE Milton William Cooper's Behold a Pale
Horse, Leslie Watkins' 1 Alternative 3, inspired
by the Anglia Television hoax of the same name,
is a repository for memetic cues designed to disinform
and confuse. Like Cooper's cult-classic, Watkins' novella
is printed and reprinted without editing. All typos and
factual inaccuracies are preserved. It is not meant to
emulate a work of serious scholarship and it would be
difficult to argue that it aims to entertain, as it fails
spectacularly as an engaging work of fiction.
Nevertheless, it found publishers, first with Sphere
Books (1978) 2 and subsequently with Avon Pubhshers
1 'Leslie Watkins' is a pseudonym employed by British novelist and screenwriter
2 Sphere Books was sold to Pearson PLC in 1985. The current Sphere is an imprint
of Little, Brown.
2 • Anonymous
(1979) in the United States, now an imprint of
HarperCollins. Miracles do happen, or concerted
disinformation campaigns are sanctioned regularly by
Grave structural flaws aside, Alternative 3 is not
entirely without merits. Firstly, it employs intuition in
the service of inquiry, and so is of immediate appeal to
the gullible, which is not to condemn the gullible in the
form of a would-be reader. The gullible are typically
neither jaded nor militantly skeptical; they are receptive
to that which is at once incredible and improbable, both
conditions which do not necessarily make a piece of data
or a collection of data-pieces untrue. Nevertheless, there
is much contained within this so-called work of "fiction
based on fact" that is flagrantly untrue, unnecessarily
defamatory and reliably misleading (that many dates
attributed by Watkins to events-of-note are shifted
backward or forward by a handful of years is
confounding). Furthermore, Watkins' "facts" possess a
peculiar speculative quality unique to disinformation
projects; that data which can be verified is sandwiched
between and undermined by episodes that are contrived
and information that is artlessly fabricated. Secondly, it
is not entirely implausible that Watkins', like popular
disinformers by whom he was succeeded, stumbled upon,
inadvertently or surreptitiously, information that
possessed real-world gravity, in which case, no amount
of bad writing is entirely in vain. So the reader is
presented with a question: away from WHAT is he being
misdirected? And if misdirection is employed
purposefully, are there not clues with which salient
information may be filtered from erroneous information?
The answer is an unqualified 'yes.'
A little due -diligence enables one to systematically
strip from the text most information that is blatantly
fanciful and without substance, with one caveat: it is the
Alternative 3 • Foreword • 3
nature of misdirection to steer one away from
information on which one's attention might better be
trained. The reader is forced to exercise his own
judgment in such a situation; to ask questions of a text —
to shake the tree... all in an effort to determine not the
veracity of the text-as-edifice, but as an amalgam of
distinct component parts, each to be analyzed
individually. It is important to emphasize that the
author stresses that he "is not in the business of
speculation," which doesn't rule out his function as an
amateur agency of speculation. One does not have to be
in "the business" to mount a successful
disinformation/misdirection campaign; it is an art that
by its nature lends itself to the innately curious and
appeals to that same sense in the reader, hence the aura
that surrounds Alternative 3 — the book and the Anglia
Television investigative report from which it was
Speculation thrives on a substrate furnished by the
...and it is the nature of speculation to anticipate; to
make assumptions based solely upon intuition. It is also
the nature of speculation to issue suppositions and to
pass into realms from which travelers under the yoke of
facts are barred. Knowledge does not always treat
supposition kindly, but there are instances when so
uncannily pointed is an assumption leveled by
speculation that knowledge is surrendered by force
majeure. It is this editor's belief that Watkins was
employed in an effort to at once simulate the appearance
of a classic disinformant while affecting naivete in the
service of misdirection. In the process, the hand of the
knowledge-keeper may have been overplayed and
speculation-as-exercise may have been revealed as
speculation-as-device, which is to concede that Watkins
did not reveal a tightly-orchestrated conspiracy
4 • Anonymous
explicitly, but revealed what amounts to the shadow cast
by a conspiracy that can only be delineated by the
practice of controlled-omission.
Watkins' Alternative 3 is a bona-fide diversion, as is
the original Anglia Television hoax. Its aims are suspect
as it has been permitted a life that better books have
been denied; it has assumed an undeserved aura,
especially as so many calculated deceptions lurk in the
details. So how is one to read Alternative 3ft Carefully!
The heavy employment of misinformation should be
dealt with expeditiously. Herein you will find a unique
edition of Alternative 3 that has been edited of overt
misinformation, while a large percentage of
disinformation has been preserved, albeit in a form that
aims to reconstitute the little truths that had previously
been undermined by contrivance.
We cannot ascertain that the Moon or Mars have
been covertly colonized by human assets; there is too
little data in the public domain with which to
substantiate such an assumption, but that does not
make it untrue. On another level, we can ascertain that
fear and distrust may be sewn into a population
efficiently, cheaply and in a sustained way with
constructed threats (global warming, the hole in the
ozone layer, acid rain, the zebra mussel, etc.) which in
and of themselves possess no substance beyond that
afforded by faith. A threat must be nebulous, extant and
it must always loom on the horizon and in Leslie
Watkins' Alternative 3, it does. Threats thrive on a
substrate furnished by the imagination, and like
speculation, many modern-day threats require a stay-of-
logic. Moreover, critical-thinking must be suspended, if
only temporarily, but herein lies the danger: if data is
not considered, always, in a critical light, knowledge
undergoes degradation as by slow erosion and history
grows increasingly malleable...
Alternative 3 • Foreword • 5
And by history, I imply the sum-total of knowledge on
which informed decisions, opinions and policymaking
depend. The recreational distortion of facts should be
taken into account when considering information and
should likewise be taken into account when reading this
book. Watkins refers to not a few compromises on which
the publication of Alternative 3 depended. If the truth
was Watkins' objective, as opposed to obfuscation or
mere entertainment, he might have self-published, but
that he honored these so-called compromises suggests
that Alternative 3 is but one more scantily-clad exercise
in disinformation, or perhaps was written with no little
contempt for the would-be reader's gullibility.
This still does not answer the most glaring question
of all: Why was Alternative 3 written? Why does it
remain a staple text among conspiracy buffs? Why,
when it seems to revel in the disembowelment of the
English language, does it have "staying-power?" This
humble editor concedes that Alternative 3 survives
chiefly as it cursorily addresses the overarching mystery
in which we all participate: SPACE. An exclusive club
has reserved the right to hold dominion over that
mystery which belongs to all men and beasts — equally.
Watkins imphes a conspiracy to misdirect the human
population away from the spectacular prospect of space
exploration which is his natural inheritance.
Alternative 3 may have contempt for its readers, but it
also has contempt (maybe mock-contempt) for
officialdom and therein lays its saving-grace.
Nevertheless, I venture that Alternative 3 was a
haphazardly-contrived and opportunistic disinformation
exercise with one primary objective: misdirection.
Only those perceived threats over which the
individual has no control are able to short-circuit man's
ability to think critically. Consequently, Watkins
employed the time-tested threat of environmental
6 • Anonymous
catastrophe. The threat of environmental catastrophe
reliably galvanizes the public and appeals to its sense of
institutionalized boredom and repressed desire for
sudden and violent change. This alone softens man to
the concessions he regularly makes to an elite that
would have the public believe that it had its welfare at
heart. No elite should have exclusive dominion over the
mysteries from which all creatures are descended, but
Watkins would have you accept after an oblique fashion
the notion that the species does, indeed, require
husbandry from on -high. In effect, Alternative 3 induces
cognitive dissonance: it would have the reader at once
decry the establishment and embrace those movements
from which the establishment derives its power...
There is nothing admirable about "state-secrets."
They are kept in an effort to conceal professional failures
and more often in an effort to armor the impotent.
Witting or not, disinformers are the tools of those that
would keep and reinforce secrets; that would divide by
virtue of confusion. Leslie Watkins is one such tool.
—Anonymous, 29.7° N 4.0° W, 2010
Section One: preamble
"It is intriguing to note the subsequently altered
characters of former Moon-walkers occupationally
exposed to some of the surprises presented by
Alternative 3. A number, undermined by the strain of
such a secret, suffered nervous breakdowns. A high
percentage sought sanctuary in alcoholism and in extra-
marital affairs. These were chosen mem' their training
and experience, intelligence and physical fitness, all
were prime considerations in their selection, but the
supremely important quality was their equanimity.
Only something unprecedented could so alter the
natural dispositions of these men. That something was
Alternative 3. "
8 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
No newspaper has secured the truth behind the
initiative known as Alternative 3. Investigations by
journalists have been blocked. America, Russia, Britain
and Japan obsessively guard their shared secret and this
obsession, as we will illustrate, has made them partners
However, despite this state-level secrecy, fragments
of information have been made public! fragments
released inadvertently or surreptitiously — sometimes by
experts who do not appreciate their significance and
sometimes by witting disinformants — and these
fragments, when assembled, form a pattern; a pattern
which emphasizes the enormity of the conspiracy in
question. On MAY 3, 1977, The Daily Mirror published
President Jimmy Carter has joined the ranks of UFO
spotters. He sent in two written reports stating he had
seen a flying saucer when he was the Governor of
Georgia. The President has shrugged off the incident
since then, perhaps fearing that electors might be wary
of a flying saucer freak. But he was reported as saying
after the sighting: "I don't laugh at people anymore
when they say they've seen UFOs because I've seen one
myself." Carter described his UFO like this: "Luminous,
not solid, at first bluish, then reddish; it seemed to move
towards us from a distance, stopped, and then moved
partially away. "
Carter filed two reports on the sighting in 1973: one
to the International UFO Bureau (2932 NW 36th Street,
Oklahoma City, OK 73112) and the other to the National
Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena.
Hayden Hewes, who directs the International UFO
Bureau from his home in Oklahoma City, has praised
the President's "open-mindedness." But during his
presidential campaign last year, Carter was cautious.
He admitted he had seen a hght in the sky but declined
Alternative 3 • Section One • 9
to call it a UFO. He joked: "I think it was a light
beckoning me to run in the California primary election."
Why this change in Carter's attitude? Had he been
briefed on Alternative 3? A 1966 Gallup Poll showed
that five milhon Americans — including several highly-
experienced airline pilots — claimed to have seen flying
saucers. Air National Guard pilot Thomas Mantell had
already died while chasing one over Kentucky on
January 7, 1948 — his P-51 Mustang disintegrated in the
wash of his quarry's engines. On AUGUST 31, 1966,
Colonel Ivan C. Atkinson, Deputy Executive Director of
the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, commissioned
Dr. Edward U. Condon, Professor of Physics and Fellow
of the Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics, to
head an investigation team at Colorado University.
Condon's budget was $500,000. Shortly before his report
appeared in 1968, this story appeared in the London
The Condon study is making headlines — but for the
wrong reasons. It is losing some of its outstanding
members under circumstances which are mysterious.
Rumors are circulating. At least four key people have
vanished from the Condon team without offering a
satisfactory reason for their departure.
The complete story behind the events in Colorado is
hard to decipher, but a clue may be found in recent
statements by Dr. James E. McDonald, senior physicist
at the Institute of Atmospheric Physics at the University
of Arizona. In a telephone conversation this week, Dr.
McDonald told this author that he is "most distressed."
Condon's 1,485-page report denied the existence of
flying saucers and a panel of the American National
Academy of Sciences endorsed the conclusion that
"further extensive study cannot be justified." Curiously,
Condon's joint principal investigator, Dr. Stuart Cook,
Professor and Chairman of the Department of
10 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
Psychology, had not contributed a word to that report.
And on January 11, 1969, The Daily Telegraph quoted
Dr. Cook: "It is inconceivable that it can be anything but
a cold stew. No matter how long it is, what it includes,
how it is said, or what it recommends, it will lack the
essential element of credibility." Already there were
wide-spread suspicions that the Condon investigation
had been part of an official cover-up; that the
government knew the truth but was determined to keep
it from the public. We now know that those suspicions
were accurate, and that the secrecy involved Alternative
3. A few months after Dr. Cook made his "cold stew"
statement, a journalist with the Columbus, Ohio
Dispatch embarrassed NASA by photographing a
strange craft at the White Sands Missile Range in New
No one at NASA would talk about the mysterious
circular craft, 15 -feet in diameter, discovered in the
"missile graveyard," a section of the range where
experimental vehicles were left to rot. But the Martin
Marietta Company of Denver, where it was allegedly
built, acknowledged designing several models, some with
ten and twelve engines. According to gravimetry expert
Dr. Garry C. Henderson 3 of the Applied Research Group,
General Dynamics, "all of our astronauts have seen
these objects and all of our astronauts have been ordered
to remain tight-lipped."
Maurice Chatelain* has stated that NASA "killed"
significant segments of conversation between Mission
3 Garry C. Henderson was born in Brownwood, Texas, on October 23, 1935. He
received the B.S. degree in mathematics from Sul Ross State College, Alpine, Texas
in 1960, the M.S. degree from Texas A&M University, College Station, in geophysical
oceanography in 1962, and the Ph.D. degree in geophysics from Texas A&M
University in 1965.
4 Apollo communication and data-processing system designer with North American
Aviation, now part of Boeing.
Alternative 3 • Section One • 11
Control and Apollo 11 and that those segments were
deleted from the official record: "Sources with their own
VHF receivers that bypassed NASA broadcast outlets
claim there was a portion of Earth-Moon dialogue that
was censored by the NASA monitoring staff." Chatelain
added that "it was presumably when Aldrin and
Armstrong were making the rounds some distance from
the LEM (Lunar Excursion Module) that Armstrong
clutched Aldrin's arm excitedly and exclaimed: "What
was it? What the hell was it? That's all I want to
MISSION CONTROL: What's there? Malfunction
(garble). . . Mission Control calling Apollo 11. . .
APOLLO 11: Theses babies were huge, sir —
enormous. Oh, God, you wouldn't believe it! I'm telhng
you, there are other space-craft out there lined up on the
far side of the crater-edge', they're on the Moon watching
Two years after his historic Moon mission, Colonel
Edwin Eugene Aldrin Jr. was admitted to Wilford Hall
Medical Center, Brooks Air Force Base in San Antonio,
Texas. According to award-winning journalist for The
New York Times, John Noble Wilford, "Mr. Aldrin's
problems began almost immediately as he struggled to
adjust to life in the limehght. This made him
increasingly uncomfortable, which led to erratic behavior
and eventually depression and alcohohsm. In any event,
he was hospitalized for severe depression."
All men who have traveled to the Moon have
indicated knowledge about Alternative 3. In MAY 1972,
James Irwin — officially the sixth man to walk on the
Moon — resigned to become a Baptist missionary. He
said: "The flight made me a deeply religious person and
more keenly aware of the fragile nature of our planet."
Edgar Mitchell, who landed on the Moon with the Apollo
14 mission in FEBRUARY 1971, also resigned in MAY
12 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
1972 to devote himself to parapsychology. Later, at the
headquarters of his Institute for Noetic Sciences near
San Francisco, he described looking at this world from
the Moon: "I went into a very deep pathos, a kind of
anguish. That incredibly beautiful planet that was
Earth, a place no bigger than my thumb, a blue and
white jewel against a velvet black sky, was being killed
off." And on MARCH 23, 1974, he was quoted in The
Daily Express as saying that society had only three
alternatives and that the third was "the most viable but
most difficult alternative." Another Apollo Moon-walker,
Hank McDermott, was equally specific when interviewed
by Anglia Television on JUNE 20, 1977: "Nothing's the
way you think it is. We were a dog and pony show — a
PR stunt. A sideshowl As early as Gemini III, every
launch was accompanied by synchronized launches of
Agena or Soyuz rockets — at Baikonur, Plesetsk and
Kapustin Yar; at Jiuquan, Kagoshima and Woomera; at
Kourou and Alcantara. One small, badly-designed tin-
can was publicized, driven by a band of broken men. We
were a diversion!" On JULY 11, 1977, the Los Angeles
Times came close to the heart of the matter when it
published a remarkable interview with Dr. Gerard K.
O'Neill. Dr. O'Neill, professor of physics at Princeton
University and author of The High Frontier: Human
Colonies in Space (William Morrow and Company, 1977)
The United Nations has conservatively estimated
that the world's population, now more than 4 billion
people, will grow to 6. 5 billion by the year 2000. Today
about 30% of the world's population is in developed
nations. But, because most of the projected population
growth will be in underdeveloped countries, that will
drop to 22% by the end of the century. The world of
2000 will be poorer and hungrier than the world today,
Alternative 3 • Section One • 13
Dr. O'Neill described a space habitat design called
Island Three, or "The O'Neill Cylinder": "There is really
no debate about the technology involved; it has been
confirmed by NASA's top people." (APPENDIX C)
Confirmed, proven, deployed and in an unlikely
partnership with America's publicallysworn enemy: The
Soviet Union. Andrew Shonfield, director of the Royal
Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House —
Director of Studies, Ian Smart, 1975) in London
emphasized that fact on JUNE 20, 1977: "On the broader
issue of US-Soviet relations, I must admit that there is
an element of mystery which troubles many people in
my field; and what we are suggesting is that — at the
very highest levels of East-West diplomacy — there could
be operating a factor of which we know nothing: a
massive but covert operation in space. However, we are
not in the business of speculation..."
Washington's acute discomfort over O'Neill's
revelations through The Los Angeles Times can be
assessed by the urgency with which SLAPP suits were
leveled against journalists. We subsequently discovered
that Anglia executive Aubrey Buxton (15 JULY 1918 - 1
September 2009) was familiar with the O'Neill piece
and later expressed regret that similar SLAPP suits
were not regularly leveled against British journalists.
He reflected wistfully that "chilling effects" 5 would have
no uncertain impact upon the networks; that when it
came to Alternative 3, he would be spared the
repercussions of a meddlesome free press. Buxton, it is
of value to note, interfered directly with the publication
of this book; a book that has suffered a host of structural
indignities and professional compromises.
"Chilling effects" refers to the suppression of conduct by the fear of penalization.
Section Two: Background
IN order to avoid executive culpability, the day-to-
day activities associated with Alternative 3 fall
under the purview of appointed professionals.
These professionals, we have established, classify
Alternative 3 candidates into two categories:
"individuals" and "batch consignment components."
There have been several "batch consignments" and it is
the treatment meted out to so-called "components" which
engenders outrage. No matter how desperate the
circumstances may be — and we reluctantly recognize
that they may indeed be desperate — no humane society
should tolerate the practices that will be herein outlined.
That opinion, fortunately, was also assumed by one
man who was recruited into Alternative 3 three years
ago. Initially an enthusiastic participant, he was soon
revolted by the atrocities of which he was a witness. He
did not consider, even in light of the circumstances, that
they could be justified. Three days after the
Alternative 3 • Section Two • 15
transmission of Alternative 3 on Anglia Television's
Science Report he contacted television reporter Colin
Weston and offered to provide him with evidence of an
astounding nature. They met two days later.
The man explained to Weston that copies of most
orders and memoranda, together with transcripts
prepared from tapes of A3 Policy Committee meetings,
were filed in triplicate in Washington, Moscow and
Geneva, Switzerland (alleged Alternative 3
Headquarters). The contact had access to some of that
material and he was willing to furnish what he could to
Weston. He wanted no money. Weston, in light of this
new development, thought Anglia should mount a
followup program — one which would describe
Alternative 3 in greater depth. He argued bitterly with
his superiors but they would not relent; the company
was already in trouble with the Independent
Broadcasting Authority. They refused to consider the
possibility of another program; the Alternative 3
documentary had been officially condemned as a hoax.
Weston is a stubborn man. Friends confirm that
although obstinate, he is a first-class investigative
journalist. So, angry about Anglia's attempt to suppress
the truth, he agreed to cooperate in the preparation of
this book. That cooperation has been invaluable.
Through Weston we met his Alternative 3 insider,
hereinafter referred to as "Trojan." The meeting with
Trojan resulted in the acquisition of sensitive documents
and transcripts. For obvious reasons, neither can we
reveal the identity of Trojan, nor reveal hints about his
function or status within the A3 initiative. We are
completely satisfied, however, that his credentials are
authentic and that, in breaking his oath of silence, he is
prompted by the most honorable of motives '■ disclosure.
From Trojan we learned about the aforementioned
16 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
"batch consignments^" mass disappearances herein
alluded to in the news...
OCTOBER 6, 1975, The Daily Telegraph-
The disappearance in bizarre circumstances in the
past two weeks of 20 people from small coastal
communities in Oregon (Eugene, Waldport and
Tillamook) was being intensively investigated over the
weekend amid reports of an imaginative fraud scheme
involving a flying saucer and hints of mass murder.
Sheriffs officers at Newport, Oregon, said that the 20
individuals had vanished without a trace after being told
to give away all their possessions, including their
children, so that they could be transported in a flying
saucer to a better life. "
Deputies under Mr. Ron Sutton, chief criminal
investigator in surrounding Lincoln County, have traced
the story back to a meeting on SEPTEMBER 14 in a resort
hotel, the Bayshore fnn at Waldport, Oregon.
Local police have received conflicting reports as to
what occurred. But while it is clear that the speaker did
not pretend to be from outer space, he told the audience
how their souls could be "saved through a UFO." The
hall had been reserved for a fee of $50 by a man and a
woman who gave false names (Mr. and Mrs. Joseph
Simon). Mr. Sutton said witnesses had described them
as "fortyish, well-groomed, straight types. "
The Telegraph said that "selected people would be
prepared at a special camp in Colorado for life on
another planet" and quoted fnvestigator Sutton as
"They were told they would have to give away
everything, even their children, f'm checking a report of
one family who supposedly gave away a 150-acre farm
and three children. We don't know if it's a fraud or
whether these people might be killed. There are all sorts
Alternative 3 • Section Two • 17
of rumors, including some about human sacrifice and
that this is sponsored by the Manson family. "
Most of the missing 20 were described as being
"hippy types" although there were some older people
among them. People of this caliber, we have now
discovered, have been "scientifically adjusted" for a new
role in Alternative 3. There have been reports of
animals — particularly farm animals — disappearing in
large numbers, although failures associated with "batch
consignments" appear to have occurred...
JULY 15, 1977, The Daily Mail-
Men in face masks, using metal detectors and a
Geiger counter, yesterday scoured a remote Dartmoor
valley in a bid to solve a macabre mystery. All appeared
to have died at about the same time, and many of the
bones have been inexplicably shattered. To add to the
riddle, their bodies decomposed within 48 hours. Animal
experts confess they are baffled by the deaths at Cherry
Brook Valley near Postbridge. Yesterday's search was
carried out by members of the Devon Unidentified
Flying Objects center at Torquay who are trying to prove
a link with outer space. They believe that flying saucers
may have flown low over the area and created a vortex
which hurled the ponies to their death.
Mr. John Wyse, head of the four-man team, said- "If
a spacecraft has been in the vicinity, there may still be
detectable evidence. We wanted to see if there was any
sign that the ponies had been shot but we have found
The Daily Mail report concluded with a statement
from an official representing The Dartmoor Livestock
Protection Society: "Whatever happened was violent.
We are keeping an open mind. I am fascinated by the
UFO theory. There is no reason to reject that possibility
as there is no other rational explanation." These were
18 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
typical of the threads which inspired the original
television investigation. It needed one person, however,
to show how they could be embroidered into a coherent
whole. Without the guidance of that person, the Anglia
television documentary could not have been produced
and Trojan would not have contacted Colin Weston.
That person was Sir Bernard Lovell, Director of Jodrell
"In order to misdirect, you must do one of two things:
omit or embellish. "
IT is not called murder. It is an Act of Expediency.
Many Acts of Expediency have been sanctioned by
the A3 Policy Committee, a cabal of sixteen
representatives dispatched from the Pentagon and the
Kremlin. An unknown number of people — including
distinguished radio astronomer Sir William Ballantine —
have fallen victim to Acts of Expediency, revealed here,
in print, for the first time. Consequently, prominent
political plants with connections to A3, including two in
Britain, numbered among those that attempted to
prevent the publication of this book. They argued that
the events of the future are inevitable; that there is
20 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
nothing to be gained by the dissemination of facts.
Attempts were also made to neuter the televised
investigative report of the same name. Those attempts
were partially successful; information vital to the story
was withheld. The censored information is now in our
possession, and as we have indicated, there was a great
deal that Weston's team did not discover. They did not
know, for example, that Sir William Ballantine's death
was soon followed by that of Emeritus Professor of
Aeronautics and Aerospace at Stanford University,
Howard Stanley Seifert (Appendix A). Nor did they
know about the A3 Policy Committee meetings.
Alternative 3 appears preposterous until one
analyzes the history of the so-called space-race. From
the start, the public have been slow-dripped information,
much of which is erroneous. Many advanced research
initiatives have been kept classified. In 1949, four
monkeys — Alberts I, II, III & IV — participated in
experimental V2 rocket tests. They all died either in-
flight, from heat-exhaustion or upon impact following
parachute failure. In 1951, two more monkeys, Alberts
V & VI, perished in Aerobee rocket tests. When news of
the tests leaked, it was explained that Monkeys in Space
had been kept secret for one reason: to avert protest.
Most people accepted the official story — that the Alberts
had been the first flesh-and-blood space -travelers. Was
it the truth? By 1951, the V2 rocket, a World War II
relic, had been superseded by far more sophisticated
rockets. Were "Monkeys in Space" a carefully-crafted
experiment in misdirection? There is evidence that
suggests that by 1951, the superpowers were in
possession of far more advanced space technology than
was publically admitted. Much of that evidence has
been supplied by experienced pilots.
At 8:30 PM on January 20, 1951, Captain Lawrence
W. Vinther — then with Mid-Continent Airlines — was
Alternative 3 • Section Three • 21
ordered by the controller at Sioux City Airport to
investigate a "very bright light" above the field. He and
his co-pilot, James F. Bachmeier, took off in a DC3 in
order to intercept the "bogey."
The light dove towards them, passed 200 feet above
them, then reversed direction. Soon it was flying
parallel to the DC3. Light emanated from a cigar-
shaped object bigger than a B-29. The craft lost altitude,
passed under the DC3 and disappeared. Two months
later, on March 15, thousands of people in New Delhi
were startled by a strange object, high in the sky, which
appeared to be circling the city. One witness was George
Franklin Floate, chief engineer with the Delhi Flying
Club, who described "a bullet-nosed, cigar-shaped object
about 100 feet long with a ring of flames at the end."
Two Indian Air Force jets were scrambled, but the object
surged upward and vanished. If the witnessed craft are
of human provenance, then despite official denials, it is
evident that sufficient advances had been made by 1951
to provide the basis for Alternative 3.
By the mid-Seventies there were so many rumors
about covert information-swapping between the East
and West that the alleged "rivals" promulgated a
masterpiece of deception: The Apollo-Soyuz Test Project
(ASTP), July 1975. Leonid Brezhnev sent this message
to the astronauts^ "Your successful docking confirms the
correctness of technical solutions that were worked out
and realized in cooperation by Soviet and American
scientists, designers and cosmonauts. One can say that
Apollo-Soyuz is a prototype of future international
orbital stations." Gerald Ford expressed the hope that
this "tremendous demonstration of cooperation" would
set the pattern for "what we have to do in the future to
make it a better world. "
22 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
transcript furnished by "trojan"
Thursday, February 3, 1977
Eight Russians: r-one through R-Eight
Eight Americans: a-One through A-Eight
A-FlVE: You're crazy —
A-Two: No, he's right — Lovell is a liability.
R-Six: It was agreed that expediencies would be kept
to a minimum.
A-Two: The way he talks—
R-One: Who listens to him? Nobody; he knows
nothing. Theories, that's all...
R-FOUR: The theories are still valid —
A-FlVE: He's senile!
A-ElGHT: He's not senile. I heard him lecture at
Cambridge. What has he been saying?
A-TWO: Oxygen extraction, cap-melt analysis.
People are hstening. . .
A-FlVE : He said the same thing at Huntsville.
R-FOUR: What was said at Huntsville was supposed
to stay at Huntsville.
A-FlVE: No one took him seriously.
Alternative 3 • Section Three • 23
R-FOUR: It's still a breach; Lovell is an unknown
A-FIVE: Then kill him.
A-EIGHT: Anything else?
A-TWO: He has mentioned the breach in the
magnetosphere — prospective remedial action, etc., but
nothing concrete — not yet, at least. (APPENDIX G)
R-Six: How could he know? The technology required
for remedial action is at least three decades away.
A-Two: Maybe he doesn't know, not for sure, but has
made some startling insights —
A-ElGHT: Enough, let's vote. Those for expediency...
Those against expediency... Fine, he hves. What about
Ballantine and Rosa?
R-SEVEN: Rosa has an Ampex?
A-ElGHT: There is no question...
R-SEVEN: Okay, both go.
A-EIGHT: All agreed? Good. What about Seifert?
R-SEVEN^ He's exhibiting paranoia —
R-FOUR: About scientific adjustments?
A-ElGHT^ Yeah, adjustments; he is reconsidering
things in an ethical light... He has also mentioned
prestidigitators in a recent paper on jet propulsion.
A-Two: That wasn't unexpected — a few get away...
A-EIGHT: He could be committed —
A-TWO: Too risky.
A-EIGHT: That settles that.
24 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
Scientific Adjustments (Appendix B)
AUGUST 3, 1977: The London Evening News...
Human "guinea pigs" have been used by the CIA in
experiments to control behavior and sexual activity. The
American intelligence agency also considered hiring a
magician (Sidney Gottlieb) for another secret program
on min d con trol Th e experim en ts o ver the past 20 years
are revealed in documents which were thought to have
been destroyed, but which have now been released after
pressure from United States senate and congressional
committees. The attempts to change sex patterns and
other behavior involved using drugs on schizophrenics as
well as on "normal" people.
AUGUST 4, 1977: Ann Morrow, former Royal
Correspondent, wrote in The Daily Telegraph-
Some of the more chilling details of the way the
Central Intelligence Agency tried to control individual
behavior by using drugs on willing and unwilling human
"guinea pigs" were disclosed yesterday by its director,
Stansfield Turner. In a large wood-paneled room, Mr.
Turner, who likes to be known by his rank of Admiral,
told the Senate's Intelligence Committee and Human
Resources Sub-committee on Health that such tests were
abhorrent to him. He admitted that the tests were
carried out in "safe houses" in San Francisco and New
York where unwitting sexual psychopaths were
subjected to experiments and attempts were made to
change sexual conduct and other forms of human
beha vior At least 185 private scientists and 80 research
institutions, including universities, were involved.
Senator Edward Kennedy asked some incisive
questions, but like other members of the Senate
Committee, found it difficult to keep a straight face
when asking about the CIA's "Operation Midnight
Climax. " Questioning two former CIA employees about
Alternative 3 • Section Three • 25
the experiments which began in the 1950s and ended in
1973, Senator Kennedy read out a bizarre list of
accessories for the "safe houses" in San Francisco and
New York where prostitutes organized. In his flat
Bostonian accent he reeled off, straight-faced: "Rather
elaborate dressing table, black velveteen skirt, one
French Can-Can dancer's picture, three Toulouse
Lautrec etchings, two-way mirrors and recording
equipment. " Then he admitted that this was the lighter
side of the operation. John Gittinger, who was with the
CIA for 26 years, trembled and put a handkerchief to his
eyes', he nodded in agreement.
It is no coincidence that the aforementioned
experiments also started — as is now openly admitted — in
the Fifties — concomitant with Alternative 3. Objective:
reserves of compliant laborers devoted to the
construction of off world facilities.
Dr. Ann Clark is a research scientist specializing in solar
energy. An attractive woman nudging thirty, Clark
made her decision towards the end of 1975. She would
never have made it had her fiance not broken their
engagement. Her future had seemed determined; she
intended to soldier on at the research laboratory in
Norwich until they were married. Conditions and pay at
the laboratory were poor but they weren't intolerable.
Then Malcolm shattered her with his news. He said
their engagement was a mistake and that he had met
someone else. Suddenly the laboratory seemed a squalid
place. Although important, her research attracted little
funding. Aging and obsolete equipment unnecessarily
lengthened experimental projects, while other projects
could not be started: "Maybe in the next fiscal year but
at the moment there is no budget." Dr. Clark grew
frustrated. She wanted to immerse herself in pure
26 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
research but there were too few resources at her
disposal. It was time to start a new life.
Plenty of others were following suit; they left Britain
and defected to generous offers in Greater Europe, the
Middle East and America. They both doubled their
salaries and were offered superior conditions in which to
work: the "brain drain" was underway. (APPENDIX D)
Since 1965, roughly 4 million professionals had fled the
UK. A department-head at Clark's Norwich laboratory
had left for a post in America at the beginning of that
year. Ann Clark wrote to him. Upon receipt of the letter
he telephoned from California. His people were looking
for someone with her credentials. A company recruiter
was in London and he could arrange an interview.
"I'll get in touch with him today," she said.
"Let me call him first," he interrupted. "I'll put in a
"Thank you," Clark replied.
She met the recruiter the following day and was
hired on the spot. She drafted her resignation on the
train back to Norwich. That was the week, as we will
explain later, that she was first contacted by Anglia
Television, and at first she was eager to talk to them
about her plans. She felt it was important that people
be told why scientists were leaving the UK. We are now
confronted with a mystery for which we do not have a
Shortly after the Anglia Television unit arrived at the
laboratory in JANUARY 1976 for the first of a series of
interviews, Clark was visited by an American with
whom she had a long talk. He left and she was visibly
disturbed. That same American, we have now
established, visited her flat that evening. He stayed for
three hours. Thereafter, Anglia Television was no longer
regarded with her former warmth. Her work at the
Alternative 3 • Section Three • 27
Norwich laboratory continued but she withdrew. "It was
very odd; she seemed to regard us with pity," said a
Dr. Ann Clark left Norwich in a rental car on
February 22, 1976.
In July 1974, thirty-three year old Brian Pendlebury, a
Special Projects Officer with the Royal Air Force, left
Manchester for sunnier climes and a cushy post with
Lenoxx Australia. An only child, Pendlebury would be
missed by his parents, although he promised to write
He kept that promise. He kept it for five months.
Each week, his parents received a letter posted from
Melbourne. They also received photographs^ Brian
surfing; Brian with friends at a nightclub; Brian in front
of Victoria Harbour. That harbour picture was a
particularly good one. They had it framed and they put
it on the mantelpiece. Everything was fine, save for one
disconcerting fact: Brian Pendlebury did not hve in
Melbourne, Australia. What is more, Lenoxx had no
record of a Brian Pendlebury.
Robert Patterson hated taxation and he had formulas
with which he could prove the sinister nature of that
practice. Friends at the University of St. Andrews,
where Patterson was a senior lecturer, had grown
accustomed, albeit wary, of his fiery monologues about
fiscal policy. Many at the university were relieved when
he announced his resignation; he and his family were
leaving for the States: "I've been asked to participate in
an interesting endeavor. . . "
Patterson announced his resignation in FEBRUARY
1976 and a paragraph appeared in the Guardian.
28 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
Arthur Garrett read the paragraph and contacted
Patterson. He offered Patterson a platform on which to
air his views on taxation.
"Thank you for the invitation," said Patterson, "but
we leave within the week; there's no time."
"A very brief interview," persisted Garrett. "We'll
send a unit. You can speak from home." Buxton would
squeal about the cost of sending a unit from Norwich —
just for one interview — but let him bloody squeal.
Anyway, John Benson could deal with Buxton. "It won't
take long, Mr. Patterson," he promised.
Patterson hesitated, "Tuesday morning?"
"Absolutely; what time?"
"Right here at the house."
Colin Weston, with whom we are now collaborating,
made the trip to Patterson's. The house had been
abandoned. According to neighbors, the Pattersons had
left on Saturday. The family car was later found
abandoned in London.
FEBRUARY 6, 1977: Sir William Ballantine stared at the
clock on the wall. Why hadn't Rosa called? He should
have telephoned by now. From his study window
Ballantine observed the 76-meter Lovell Telescope.
Something had gone dreadfully wrong. It had been a
mistake to keep the tape a secret. He should have
disclosed its contents to the public. Men had achieved
the impossible and the public must know. But who
would believe him? So extraordinary were the facts that
in spite of his credentials, he would be met with
skepticism. Moreover, NASA would deny the evidence
Alternative 3 • Section Three • 29
emphatically. He and Rosa had seen something that
would alter man's perception about his place in the solar
system. "Don't yap about this — not to anybody. You'll
end up in the Thames," so said Harry Rosa. Of a
paranoid disposition, Ballantine taped his calls and
Lady Ballantine has permitted the inclusion of the
January 26, 1977
ROSA: Did you destroy the tape?
BALLANTINE: No, it's safe. I haven't said a word.
ROSA: Thank Christ! Then we can burst the whole
BALLANTINE: What are you talking about?
ROSA: Batch consignments, that's what I'm talking
about. You wouldn't believe —
Ballantine: r m not following you.
ROSA: I can't talk, not over the phone. I'm coming to
BALLANTINE: To Cheshire?
ROSA: You bloody bet and by the first damned flight
I can. I quit, Ballantine, and I've stolen a baby jukebox.
Ballantine: a jukebox—
ROSA: Yeah, a jukebox — a miniaturized Ampex FR-
900 — a decoder like we used last year. I've got one and
I'm bringing it to England.
BALLANTINE: What is going on, Harry?
ROSA : Wait till we meet; it'll blow your mind. Jesus,
I knew these bastards were evil but I never imagined.
I'll ring you when I get to Liverpool.
30 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
ROSA: We'll see; they know I have the jukebox.
They're looking for me. I have to play it smart. Maybe
through Canada, maybe not, we'll see — a week Sunday,
probably before then.
BALLANTINE: Are we in danger?
ROSA: Yeah, Ballantine, me mostly, but I gotta go. A
week Sunday at the outside —
BALLANTINE: February 6 th .
ROSA: Maybe earlier; maybe not — maybe not at all.
BALLANTINE: What does that mean?
ROSA: That I'm dead, that's what it means.
BALLANTINE: Good Lord! Then what?
ROSA: You'll move on the tape.
February 6, 4:45 in the afternoon, and still no call
from Rosa. Maybe he was dead. 5:30 — still nothing.
They knew about the tape. They knew he intended to go
public. He removed the tape from the safe. Maybe John
Hendry could help. He was a well-connected newspaper
executive. Hendry would tell him how to break the
news. Ballantine checked his watch: 6:00 PM. He dialed
John Hendry. Hendry answered on the second ring:
BALLANTINE: John, this is Bill Ballantine.
HENDRY: What a surprise! How are things at
BALLANTINE: I've got a problem, John — a serious
problem and I need your help.
HENDRY: Certainly, anything. What sort of
BALLANTINE: Can we meet?
HENDRY: You in London?
Alternative 3 • Section Three • 31
BALLANTINE: I'm calling from home; I could be there
HENDRY^ I W as wrapping up for the night.
BALLANTINE: It's important, John. I promise it will
be worth your while.
HENDRY^ How can I say 'no?' Come to the office.
BALLANTINE: John, I'm putting a package in the post
to you, but I'll explain that when I see you.
HENDRY: Why not bring it?
BALLANTINE: Not a good idea.
HENDRY: Bill, what is this about?
BALLANTINE : Don't worry, I'll tell you everything.
The sequence of events which immediately followed
the conversation has been described by Lady Ballantine.
We met her on JULY 27, 1977.
/ entered the study as Bill was replacing the receiver.
He was agitated — this extremely self-possessed man. He
was never flustered. He had been beha ving strangely for
about a week. He wouldn't discuss it with me — which
was also unusual. I'd never seen him look as frightened
as he did then. He said he was lea ving for London.
Bill had a package addressed to John Hendry; he
asked me to take it to the post box. He said it was
urgent and, although I pointed out that there was no
collection that evening, he was adamant that I take it
then. Bill left and I never saw him again.
Ballantine's death made all the papers: Freak Skid
Kills Science Chief. Only one photograph of the crash
was made available to the press. A series were taken by
photographer George Green but only one was released.
It documented the wreckage and a blanket-covered
mound on a stretcher.
32 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
"Why were the photos confiscated?" we asked Green.
"I've been ordered to keep my trap shut," he said,
"but I'll tell you this: ask Hibbert why he lied at the
inquest." John Hibbert, Her Majesty's Cheshire coroner,
reported that the body had been "extensively burned."
That was puzzling as there had been no fire. Hibbert,
however, had not elaborated. We wondered why.
"Ballantine's dead. Case closed." said Hibbert. Had
Hibbert been gagged? We pressed him, mentioned the
burning and then to our surprise...
"It was ghastly," he said. And then he did for us what
he failed to do at the inquest: he elaborated.
Rosa heard about Ballantine over the radio, but it didn't
register; he was stoned and slumming it in Earls Court.
He lay dressed on an unmade bed, his unseeing pale
blue eyes fixed on the ceiling. Wendy was out getting a
paper. He tried to hght a cigarette! it hung, unht, from
his dry lip. Ballantine... Harry rolled off the bed,
fumbled through his wallet. Wendy returned and
handed him the paper; he scanned the headlines.
Ballantine had been murdered.
"Pack, Wendy!" Harry shouted. "We have to leave
"I need to think, Wendy, and I can't do it here. It isn't
They hailed a cab from Earl's Court. Harry related to
Wendy an abbreviated version of events. "I should go to
"They won't believe you. I'm not sure /believe you!"
"I'll make them believe me!"
Alternative 3 • Section Three • 33
The cab driver called over his shoulder: "You should
try Anglia Television. They have a science thing that
would love your story!"
"Anglia — " Wendy began.
"Right, Anglia. The show is called Science Report."
"God, damn, you're right! Pull over. I have to make
SCIENCE Report had a successful thirteen-week
trial on Anglia Television in 1975. Ratings were
good and Anglia Television had httle difficulty
persuading the network to sign a twenty-six week run in
1976. Producer John Benson considered it a
compliment, as Science Report was his baby. By the
middle of December 1975, seven episodes were in the
can — they were ahead of schedule and the production
team was brainstorming topics for the final five. There
were seven of them that day in Benson's office which
was nestled behind Studio B. He'd often protest that the
office was too small to hold proper meetings and also
that he disliked the cooking smells which drifted up from
the canteen. His protests were answered by growls from
Aubrey Buxton, pointing out that space was at a
premium; that Science Report didn't qualify for its own
production office. Buxton, of course, had a handsome
office — one with a view and air-conditioning.
Alternative 3 • Section Four • 35
So there they were — the seven of them in the too-
small office. Production assistant Jean Baker took
notes. Benson paced back and forth. Also present were
anchor-man Tim Brinton, reporters Katie Glass and
Colin Weston; scientific advisers, David Cowie and Dr.
Patrick Snow, and finally researcher Arthur Garrett.
"Wave-power," suggested Weston.
"Been flogged to death, love," said Benson. Benson,
despite his habit of calhng everybody "love," was tough.
When he said no he meant no.
"Newsweek has an intriguing piece on robot
servants — ' mechanical maids,'" said Cowie.
"I like that!" exclaimed Benson. "Mechanical maids,
yes, we could have fun with that. Jean love, put that
down. We'll revisit it."
"I think it's time we took a look at the brain drain,"
Benson stopped pacing, looked at him doubtfully. "I
don't know, Tim. It seems a bit heavy." He rubbed his
pointy chin. "Is it us?"
"If it isn't, it ought to be," said Brinton.
"We are allegedly a science program and the brain
drain has special relevance for scientists..." conceded
Benson. "If we dressed it up somehow — " He looked at
Garrett. "Art? Reckon you could dig up some case-
Garrett could see his work-load swelling: "It would
take time," he said guardedly.
"Of course it would, love. Getting the right people, I
can see that. But it doesn't have to be a top priority.
Say... five programs from now." It was that simple.
None had the slightest inkling that they were about to
embark upon the most astonishing television
documentary ever produced.
36 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
Garrett knew there was only one way to tackle this task:
scores of phone calls. He would call head-hunting firms,
universities and research facilities. He would brace
himself for rejections. But if he worked hard enough —
and had a bit of luck — he'd secure a collection of case-
studies willing to talk. As it happened, Garrett got very
lucky; one of his first telephone calls was to a research
laboratory. Human resources informed him that one of
their solar-energy experts was leaving for America. Her
name was Dr. Ann Clark and she agreed to an interview.
Colin Weston disembarked to Norwich with a small
unit. According to Weston, "Clark was not only
articulate but she had also done homework on
emigration. She was a good subject and I'm glad we
managed to get a few frames in the can." His delight
died after the film was processed; most of it — audio and
video — was blank. Benson fumed. He would have to
send another unit. Buxton would be unhappy. He
"You're sure she is that good — that it's worth going
"It was a good interview," insisted Weston.
Weston telephoned Ann Clark, explained the
situation, and arranged a new appointment:
She was sympathetic and agreed to see us again. But
when we got to Norwich, she wasn't at her Hat. We
found her elsewhere, back at the lab. She was flustered
and appeared frightened. For some reason, she tried to
give us the slip. She didn't want to talk. She asked lab
security to waylay us. It didn't make sense. Morning
the next, outside the lab, I managed to detain her; she
said: "I can 't finish the film; I'm going away. " That was
the last we saw of her.
Alternative 3 • Section Four • 37
They were driving toward Norwich when Arthur Garret
read the Guardian piece on Robert Patterson. Back at
the office, Garrett phoned Patterson.
"You better meet with more luck than in Norwich,"
said Benson sourly. "That was a disaster." We already
know that Weston discovered an abandoned house. As a
resource of last-resort, Weston met with the Chancellor
of the University of St. Andrews, Bernard Edward
Fergusson. According to Fergusson, Patterson had left
earlier than he had intended: "He was summoned by his
new employer; the appointment must have escaped him.
I apologize on his behalf."
"Who were his new employers?"
The Vice Chancellor apologized, said, "Patterson was
mum about his next incarnation, but apparently the
Yanks presented him with an enticing opportunity."
Patterson's whereabouts remain unknown, as do the
whereabouts of Dr. Ann Clark. According to the
American company for which Clark was leaving the UK,
she declined the appointment "for personal reasons."
Clark's rental car was discovered in the parking lot of
Number Three Terminal at Heathrow. In the
documentary, anchor Tim Brinton elaborated:
Friends say Dr. Ann Clark flew to New York, but
flight manifests say otherwise', Ann Clark did not leave
Heathrow on a plane. Here, where she parked her
rental car, Clark's trail goes cold.
By April 1976, the brain drain project was deemed
lost. Witnesses on which the episode hinged were
missing. Audio and video equipment had failed on
several occasions. Buxton roared about the "reckless
waste of resources." Had it not been for producer John
Benson, the fate of the Science Report episode would
surely have been sealed. Benson, in a Hammersmith
38 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
pub on April 11, overheard a disturbing story. A man
called Pendlebury, an engineer, had left the UK for
Melbourne and vanished. Odder still, his parents had
received letters regularly from an address at which
Pendlebury had never lived. "Brian was a selfish sod,"
one of the pub patrons said. "But daft, isn't it?"
It didn't make sense to Benson, but in light of the so-
called brain drain and the confounding disappearances
of Patterson and Clark, he was intrigued. He mentioned
the episode the next day to Colin Weston. "Disappearing
boffins," Colin said matter-of-factly.
"Maybe a prank..."
"And if it isn't?" asked Weston.
"Well what else could it be?"
"Maybe there's a pattern: Perhaps Clark, Patterson
and Pendlebury are connected," replied Weston.
"Let me poke around in Manchester — visit his
"Look, love, please. We're a week behind schedule
and we can't afford tickets to Manchester."
"John, I've got a feeling; I've got a feeling we're on the
edge of something big."
Benson shook his head. "We've got a show to do. I
know you're still sore over the Clark and Patterson cock-
ups, but relax."
"Buxton blames me."
"Buxton blames everybody for everything. That's the
way Buxton's made. Anyway, I got the ass-kicking, not
you. He's going to pull the plug."
"I'll go on my day off," said Weston. "I'll pay my own
Alternative 3 • Section Four • 39
"You're persistent, Weston. Okay, see what you can
dig up but don't bill anything to the station"
Weston had thrown down the gauntlet and
Manchester would prove the turning-point for the
foredoomed Science Report episode, Alternative 3.
Dennis Pendlebury is a retired milkman. He and his
wife Alice live in an Openshaw duplex. They are an
ordinary couple. A couple of modest means, the
Pendleburys made many sacrifices to send son Brian to
university. Mrs. Pendlebury worked as a charwoman.
Weston sat at the kitchen table, flipped through
photographs of their son dispatched from Melbourne.
The Pendleburys sat facing Weston, Dennis' arm
wrapped around Alice's shoulders. They drank tea.
"So we were disappointed when he stopped writing,
but not surprised; he wasn't a natural letter-writer."
"When did you learn of his..." started Weston. "When
did his letters stop?"
"Five years ago now — " Mr. Pendlebury began.
"Six years," corrected Mrs. Pendlebury, "seven in
"Our neighbor's daughter, Beryl — an old friend of
Brian's — migrated to Melbourne, found a job. We asked
her to look up Brian, that way she'd have a friendly face,
see? So she visited his address — the address from the
letters — but the landlord had never heard of Brian
"That's the address to which we'd been writing!"
exclaimed Mrs. Pendlebury. "We know he received our
letters." Mrs. Pendlebury's hands shook — her teacup
rattled on its saucer.
Mrs. Pendlebury said to her husband: "Show Mr.
Weston the letter."
40 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
"We wrote to his firm, inquired about Brian; here's
Weston took the letter embossed with the Lenoxx
Electronics Corporation logo. It read:
Thank you for your letter which has been passed to
me by the Managing Director. I am afraid that you ha ve
been misinformed for I have checked our personnel
records for the past five years and I have established
that at no time has the company employed, nor offered
employment to, anyone by the name of Brian D.
Pendlebury. I regret that I cannot be of additional
Weston frowned, "This is the correct firm?"
"Pass me that wallet, mother." From the wallet he
took a shp of paper. "There it is — Brian's own
Mrs. Prescott, the Pendlebury's neighbor, a widow
with a shrewd and agile mind, confirmed their story but
had little to add. Weston borrowed the letter and
photographs and left Openshaw on foot for the station.
On the train he studied the photographs, particularly
those on Victoria Harbour. There was something
unusual about the photographs. At the studio he enlisted
the help of cinematographer Ian Craig. Craig created
copy-negatives from the original photographs and
produced several enlargements. When the enlargements
were complete, Weston could see clearly the anomaly
that he had noted on the train: In the background of
every shot were three identical birds flying in a
triangular formation. The photographs were mock-
ups — frauds. He hurried to Benson's office: "We've had
a breakthrough, John. This is no mere 'brain drain'
"Twentyone others," said Tim Brinton on television,
"chiefly scientists and academics, have vanished under
unusual circumstances." They were among four-
hundred researched — ostensibly for an extended version
of the brain drain program — by Science Report staff.
Some, Brinton explained, had disappeared alone and
others, like Patterson, disappeared with their families;
all told friends, relatives, neighbors and colleagues that
they were going abroad. However, as we have already
indicated, only part of the story was presented on
television. Many facts were still not known when the
show was taped and a portion of the material was
censored by executive producer Aubrey Buxton, a
principal personage also devoted to the suppression of
AUGUST 9, 1977: Letter from Aubrey Buxton to
Messrs. Ambrose and Watkins...
42 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
I have been given to understand that you propose a
book based on one of the Science Report programs
produced by this company and that you plan to publish
confidential memoranda in which I was a participant. I
am not prepared to sanction such publication as I would
consider it a gross invasion of my privacy. As you are
undoubtedly aware, my company has now formally
denied the authenticity of the material presented in that
program. It is to be hoped that you do not proceed with
this project but, in any event, I look forward to receiving
a written undertaking that no reference will be made to
me or the memoranda.
August 12, 1977: Letter from Solicitor Edwin Greer
to Aubrey Buxton...
/ have been instructed by Mr. David Ambrose and
Mr. Leslie Watkins and I refer to your letter of the 9 th .
My clients are cognizant of the statement made by your
company following the transmission of the Alternative 3
program and, in conducting their own inquiries, they are
mindful of the background to that statement. They
point out that any copies of memoranda now in their
possession were supplied willingly by the persons who
either received them or sent them and that they
therefore feel under no obligation to refrain from their
publication, although they will consider your request for
anonymity under advisement.
One of the first batches of memoranda we received
related to a curious discovery made by researcher Arthur
Garrett in May 1976. By that time, despite objections
from Buxton, the Science Report team had been enlarged
and allocated its own production office.
MAY 17, 1976 : Memo from Arthur Garrett to John
Benson — C.C. to Marquis Townshend, Chairman...
We have now established that relatives of two of our
missing people, Dr. Penelope Mortimer and Professor
Alternative 3 • Section Five • 43
Michael Parsons, received letters which appeared to
have originated in Australia. In both cases, the letters
bore the address used in the Pendlebury case.
Photographs of Dr. Mortimer and Professor Parsons
include the bird-formation artifacts present in the
Pendlebury shots. A Melbourne PI has verified the
address and he reports that it is a two-bedroom ground-
floor flat near the harbour. It has been empty for a year.
MAY 13, 1976: Memo from Aubrey Buxton to Mr.
/ have been notified of Garrett's unauthorized
inquiries in Australia. I have already issued specific
instructions that I am to be kept fully informed on all
aspects of this project. Please repeat those instructions
to Garrett and all other members of the Science Report
team and ensure that they are understood. I am
surprised to learn that, despite my warnings, you are
still determined to waste company time and money. Let
me remind you that Science Report is regarded by the
Network as a serious program and that its credibility
can only be damaged by this wild-goose chase with
which you are obsessed. The more I learn of this affair,
the more obvious it becomes that you are losing your
objectivity as an editor and producer. Many people
disappear deliberately, sometimes for personal reasons.
I will not tolerate this station turning that sort of
situation into an excuse for sensationalism. I assumed
that you were experienced enough to recognize that the
photographic evidence is fraudulent. Have you
considered that some of your so-called mysteries might
have been caused by incompetence on the part of your
staff? Did Dr. Ann Clark, for example, refuse to grant
Weston a second interview because she found his
manner offensive during the first one? Did Garrett
confuse the date and send an expensive unit on a fool's
errand to Scotland? These are the questions which
44 ■ Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
should occupy your attention, not unsubstantiated
nonsense. I am not prepared to sanction any further
expenditure in Australia and I recommend, once again,
that you resume the duties prescribed in your contract.
May 19, 1976 : Memo from John Benson to Arthur
CONFIDENTIAL: / attach a copy of a rollicking I
received from Aubrey Buxton. It's self-explanatory and,
for the moment, I'd like you to keep it to yourself. In the
future, don't send carbons to anyone before checking
with me. We'd better soft-pedal for the moment on
Australia. Will you line up Mortimer and Parson's
parents to be interviewed by Tim or Colin?
Six days later, on MAY 25, Arthur Garrett gave
Benson bad news: "No interviews with Mortimer or
Parsons," he said. "They changed their minds."
"But why?" demanded Benson. "Did they give you an
"None at all," said Garrett. "They say they'd sooner
"You think they've been got at?"
Garrett nodded in assent. "That's the impression I
got but proving it, that's another matter."
"They're important, love. Have another go at them."
Garrett did, but Mortimer and Parsons, despite their
former agreement, would have nothing further to do
with Science Report. We tried to contact them in
September 1977, but we were too late. They had gone
This question of the staged photographs and letters was
deliberately omitted from the television program. At the
time, it was a question of relevance. Benson admits
Alternative 3 • Section Five • 45
regret^ "I thought Buxton was nit-picking, but he was
adamant. Their value didn't appear worth the
aggravation. If I'd known then what I know now..." On
January 3, 1978, we received an envelope from Trojan
containing sensitive documents which shed unexpected
insight onto something called "The Smoother Plan." The
Smoother Plan was an early directive addressed to A3
National Chief Executive Officers.
November 24, 1971:
The recent publicity which followed the movement of
Professor William Braishfield was unfortunate and
potentially damaging: In order to avert any repetition, it
has been agreed to adopt a new procedure in all cases
where families or others are likely to provoke questions.
The procedure, to be known as "The Smoother Plan, " is
designed to allay fears or suspicions in the immediate
post -movement period. Department Seven will arrange
for letters, photographs and mementos to be dispatched
to concerned parties. Cover addresses will be circulated
to National Chief Executive Officers. Officers will then
issue addresses to individual movers. At least four
addresses will be provided in each "country of
destination." There is, however, no limit to the number
of movers allocated to a given addresses. The Smoother
Plan will operate for a maximum of six months in
respect to each individual, unless circumstances are
It is emphasized that, because of the overhead
involved, The Smoother Plan is to be activated in
selected cases only, subject to review. Only PR risks will
be considered. Most movers, (i.e., families), will not
merit this treatment. Batch consignment components
will not be considered.
It was chnical and cruel, but it made sense.
46 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
transcript furnished by "trojan"
Thursday, March 3, 1977
A-Two: Nobody's bitching about Ballantine, but
what about Rosa?
A-ElGHT: We'll find him; he's on the loose in London.
R-THREE: Do we know where the tape is?
A-ElGHT: No; we've turned Ballantine's place over
R-ElGHT: It wasn't in the car?
A-Two: We don't know where Rosa is and we don't
know where the tape is. Maybe they're together?
A-ElGHT: He'd have blown it — the story.
R-One: You're positive he's in London?
A-ElGHT: He was in Earls Court — with a girl in her
twenties. We missed him by an hour.
R-ElGHT: Have you seen the expediency report on
R-TWO: Entirely satisfactory.
A-FlVE: I'm not sure he deserved a hot job.
R-FOUR: Sure he did.
A-One: He didn't suffer; it was instantaneous.
R-ElGHT: Is Lovell under surveillance?
Alternative 3 • Section Five • 47
A-ElGHT He's laid up with bronchitis. He might as
well be in isolation.
R-ElGHT: Then everything's under control. Maintain
surveillance on Lovell.
The "Hot Job"
Spontaneous Combustion: a phenomenon
confirmed by John Hibbert who gave evidence at the
Ballantine inquest. Hibbert, when pressed about the
"extensive" burns on Ballantine's body, made this
It was technically accurate to describe Ballantine's
body as extensively burned although those words
embrace only part of the truth — an understatement. I
was requested to make that understatement in order to
allay public alarm. I was conscious that there had been
some degree of public hysteria following reports of
spontaneous combustion and I agreed that full-
disclosure would be of little value at the hearing.
I regret that decision and I welcome this opportunity
to atone for my failure. Ballantine's body was not
merely burned', it was reduced to cinders and scorched
bones. His skull had shrunken due to intense heat, but
his clothing sustained little damage. There were small
scorch-marks on the steering wheel, but the rest of the
vehicle showed no evidence of fire- damage. Extensive
damage was suffered by the vehicle, but not by fire, as
the police stated at the inquest. This is the first occasion
on which I have personally encountered spontaneous
combustion in a human being but I have studied papers
relating to twenty-three similar occurrences. There is
still no known explanation for this phenomenon.
48 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
On Wednesday, February 10, 1977, three days after
Ballantine's death, Harry Rosa telephoned the Science
Report office. Colin Weston took the call. Rosa was
guarded and refused to give his name, and until he
mentioned missing scientists, Weston doubted his
WESTON^ Would you repeat that, what you said
ROSA: I know why they're vanishing.
Weston: Tell me.
ROSA: Not on the phone.
WESTON: Well, really, this is a bit—
ROSA: I'm not shitting you! Ballantine was killed.
ROSA: Ballantine, the astronomer.
WESTON: The car crash.
ROSA: I me t him at NASA, in Houston — that's why
WESTON: You aren't making sense.
ROSA: Can we meet?
WESTON: Was Ballantine murdered?
ROSA: Either we meet or I go someplace else.
WESTON: From where are you calling?
ROSA: Public box, north of the studio.
WESTON: Then come in!
ROSA: Too risky.
ROSA: Just Harry...
Alternative 3 • Section Five • 49
WESTON^ Harry, you having me on? Were you really
ROSA: A busy street, maybe...
WESTON^ All right, we'll do it your way. I'll meet you
around the corner on Market Ave. I'll be in front of the
Boer War Memorial, wearing a blue suit, holding a... red
Weston and Rosa were to meet in one hour. A hidden
camera was positioned adjacent to Norwich Castle and
Weston's "red book" was equipped with a miniaturized
transmitter in order to record the conversation.
WESTON: I think you're looking for me.
ROSA: How far are you willing to go with this?
WESTON: As far as it takes. Can you help?
ROSA: Yes and Bernard Lovell can confirm what I
ROSA: Lovell, yes, at Jodrell Bank. Ask him about
WESTON: Riddles, Harry. What's "Alternative 3?"
ROSA: Later; right now we do this my way.
ROSA: Let's walk.
Viewers will recall that the sound quahty was poor
during the reenactment interview, particularly during
the section when they were discussing Bernard Lovell
and Alternative 3. There was a great deal of static
interference and Weston's radio microphone picked up
passersby and traffic. In actuality, there was no such
50 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
ROSA: I'm nervous.
ROSA: I'm afraid of heart attacks and embolisms and
WESTON: It was an accident — a freak accident.
ROSA: Not an accident; it was called an expediency.
I know what happened. I have to get on record. Meet
me at this address, tomorrow morning, ten-thirty. Bring
everything you've got — camera, witnesses. I'll tell you
Rosa dashed across the road and disappeared down
Castle Meadow. Weston was disappointed. The
elaborate set-up, it seemed, had been a ridiculous waste
of time. He looked at the scrap of paper which Rosa had
pushed into his hand. On it was scrawled an address in
"Well, what do you think?" he asked Benson.
"Follow through, love. I'll arrange a unit."
"What about Bernard Lovell?"
"I'll talk to Tim; see if he fancies a trip to Cheshire."
WESTON arrived at the Lambeth address with
a camera crew shortly before 10:30 AM on
February 11. It was a derehct three-story
with rubbish moldering in the front garden. Most of its
windows, hke those of its neighbors, had been boarded
up, but in one on the second floor a dirty sheet billowed.
The garden gate had been ripped away and there were
broken roof-tiles on the path leading to the front door.
Weston hurried up the steps, followed by the
technicians, and rapped on the door. No reply. He tried
again, harder. He shouted and pummeled the door with
both fists. A girl called from inside^ "Who is it?"
"Colin Weston." On the other side of the shabby door,
in the darkness of the hall, Wendy stood shaking. She
didn't know who they were or what they wanted but she
did know that they could arrive at any time, and that
they would hurt Harry. She bit her bottom lip, "Who?"
52 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
Weston shook his head in frustration. There was no
number on the house. He stepped back along the path to
double-check the numbers on either side, returned to the
door. "This is 33, isn't it?"
"Who did you say you were?" Wendy's American
accent, now obvious, was the confirmation Weston
"Colin Weston," he repeated. "I'm here with a film
Wendy was still suspicious. Maybe it was a trick.
Harry had said they used all sorts of tricks. "How can I
be sure?" she called. "What program are you with?"
"Science Report — Harry invited us."
A short silence, then the sound of heavy bolts being
drawn back. The door was opened inches. Wendy, her
hair unkempt and her eyes wide with anxiety, stared at
Weston then at the camera, sound equipment and tangle
of wires. "You're really with Science Report?" she said.
"Can we come in?" Weston said. "Harry did invite
us." He showed her Harry's hand-written note.
She pulled the door open. "You won't get much out of
him," she said, "not this morning."
They followed her down a hallway and up a flight of
stairs. Ancient flower-print paper peeled away from the
walls. Wendy stopped and she shouted down to the
soundman who was the last in: "Bolt the door after you;
we've got to keep it bolted!" She waited, watching,
while he did so. "You know, this is a waste of time," she
said quietly to Weston. Maybe it would be better if you
turned around and left."
"He asked me to be here, so I'm here."
She shrugged again. "Fine," she said haughtily.
There were three doors leading off the landing. She
Alternative 3 • Section Six • 53
opened the one at the front of the house, and there, in
the room with the sheet-covered window, Weston saw
Harry Rosa. He didn't recognize Rosa, not at first, for
what he saw was a haggard and vacant-eyed creature.
It was shivering convulsively and its teeth were
chattering; it was clutching a matted blanket to its
naked shoulders! it was hunched defensively with its
knees up to his chest on an old sofa — the only bit of
furniture in the room. Weston stepped forward
"Harry?" Rosa pressed further into the rotting sofa
cushions, his eyes wild.
"Who are you?" Harry growled.
"It's Colin Weston, Harry. Do you remember me?"
Wendy tried to help, "It's all right, Harry. He's with
Rosa gave a howl of despair. "It's them^ he yelled,
"They've bloody tricked you and now they've found me!"
"What's he talking about?" demanded Weston.
"What's the matter with him?"
Wendy ignored him. She knelt by the sofa and
cradled Rosa. "Now, Harry," she said, "it's alright.
There's nothing to be frightened of." She glanced up at
Weston, jerked her head towards the door. "You'd better
"Is he high?"
"Get out of here!"
"Maybe we should get a doctor." That was when
Rosa, hysterical, flung Wendy aside and leapt from the
"Come on, you bastards!" he yelled. "Come and kill
me!" He waved his arms wildly and the blanket shpped
to the floor. Save for socks, he was naked. He sprang at
54 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
Weston. Weston tried to dodge, but Rosa's nails raked
down his face — narrowly missing his eyes — leaving
ragged furrows in the flesh of both cheeks. The film
technicians, wedged behind Weston in the doorway, were
unable to help. Weston drove his elbow into Rosa's nose.
The fight was over. Rosa clutched his face with both
hands and collapsed to the floor. His heroin-ravaged
body was racked by sobs.
"I'm sorry," Weston said to Wendy. "I didn't
"I told you to go!" She wiped Harry's face with her
sweater. "Now for God's sake, leave!"
At the studio, Benson listened to Weston recount the
altercation with Harry. Meanwhile, Katie Glass dabbed
at Weston's raw face with cotton swabs wetted with
"We can't leave him there like that," Benson said.
"We have to call the police."
When the police arrived, Wendy and Rosa were gone.
According to Wendy, she went out to buy antiseptic and
bandages. When she returned, Harry was gone. He has
not been seen since.
Benson, Weston, Garrett and Glass clustered around a
Steenbeck flatbed editing suite and re-watched the short
film shot on Market Ave.
"That's the spot!" said Benson. "Go back!" Garrett
rewound the 16 -mm film.
"Right, love, stop — right therel" The Boer War
Memorial clung to the edge of the frame. The camera
tracked Weston and Rosa as they proceeded down
Alternative 3 • Section Six • 55
WESTON^ It was an accident — a freak accident.
ROSA: Not an accident; it was called an expediency.
I know what happened. I have to get on record. Meet
me at this address, tomorrow morning, ten-thirty. Bring
everything you've got — camera, witnesses. I'll tell you
"Okay, kill it," said Benson. Garrett froze the reel,
brought up the lights. "Well," asked Benson, "what do
Glass shook her head doubtfully. "An addict," she
said. "Maybe it's an elaborate fantasy."
"I'm inchned to agree," said Benson. "I'm not sure we
should waste any more time on him. Colin?"
Weston rubbed his bandaged face. "Remember what
he said about vanishing scientists? Maybe you're right:
maybe he is an addict, but it's a hell of a coincidence, the
way his fantasies reinforce our work. Did Ballantine
really go to Houston?"
"Yes, as a visiting lecturer," said Glass. "But it was
on the wire; it wasn't a secret."
Benson stood, glanced at his watch. "What do you
want to do, Colin?"
"I want to talk to Lady Ballantine."
"You can't. Today is the funeral."
"Tomorrow, then; I'll be discreet," said Weston.
Friday, February 12, 1977
Lady Ballantine was cordial when Weston arrived by
appointment at 3:30 PM. She told him what she would
tell us on JULY 27.
The package: Did she know what it contained?
"I can't imagine," she said.
56 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
Did she know why he posted it to London, and to
whom it was posted?
"That's what puzzled me," said Lady Ballantine. "It
was posted to the man he intended to meet."
"I'm sorry," said Weston. "I don't follow."
"The envelope — it was addressed to his old friend
John Hendry. John called on Friday, late. He was
waiting for Bill."
"Have you spoken to Hendry or asked him about the
"He rang on Sunday, but I was too upset to think
At 8:00 PM, Weston met Hendry at his Fleet Street
Office. "A "premonition" — that's the word he used," said
Hendry. "Extraordinary, isn't it?"
"The package," persisted Weston. "What was in the
Hendry crossed the room to a table by the window,
took a loose spool of magnetic tape from a drawer.
"This," he said.
"What's on it?"
"Not a thing as far as we can tell."
"You've played it?"
"Sure, we tried everything but there's nothing there.
You know what I think? I think he sent the wrong one."
"That's not likely, is it?" said Weston. "Someone so
Hendry went back to his desk and lit a cigar.
"Normally, yes, but he wasn't himself on Friday. His
voice on the telephone, it was manic, almost
unrecognizable. He must have been under an incredible
Alternative 3 • Section Six • 57
amount of stress — trouble at home perhaps, or at work.
I don't know."
Weston picked up the tape. "Could I borrow this?"
"Why do you want the tape?"
"We have pretty sophisticated equipment at the
studios. Maybe we can learn something."
"Why not," said Hendry, "but keep me in the loop."
On JUNE 20 1977, during the original broadcast of
Alternative 3, there was nothing on the encoded tape.
Tim Brinton pointed out that it held only "the cold
crackle of the vacuum of space." But had Harry Rosa
not been stoned on that chilly FEBRUARY Lambeth
morning, that "cold crackle" would have told a very
different tale, for Rosa had the Ampex decoder — the so-
called "jukebox." Nevertheless, progress was being
Lovell's housekeeper was protective of her ward. She
bullied him about his pipe-smoking: It was a filthy habit,
she argued. When he developed a vicious case of
bronchitis, she had felt vindicated; Lovell would relent.
But Lovell would sooner murder than abandon his pipe!
it was part of him. She regulated Lovell's visitors as
well. The housekeeper had watched Brinton on
independent television and she had a soft spot for him,
but it wasn't soft enough: "Not this month," she said.
"It's out of the question."
Had Brinton known that Lovell was under
surveillance, he would not have persisted. "It really is
very important; I wouldn't dream of troubling him if it
58 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
She relented, disappeared upstairs and consulted
with the sickly Lovell. "I can make a provisional
arrangement, Mr. Brinton," she said, "but it will depend
on his health."
"MARCH 4, 2:00 PM. Is that suitable?"
Brinton checked his calendar. "Thank you," he said.
"I'll be there."
HE Lovell interview took place as planned on
March 4, 1977.
"This Harry," he said, "I don't think I can
"He said it was important that we talk to you," said
Brinton. "He told us to ask you about 'Alternative 3.'"
Lovell packed his pipe with fresh tobacco, lit it.
"He did?" Lovell said between puffs.
"Are familiar with Alternative 3?"
"Let me show you something," said Lovell. He
unlocked a desk drawer, withdrew a folder. "Read that;
it is — was," Lovell winked, "a confidential report issued
by a consortium of intelligence agencies! a report on
which I did consulting." Brinton flipped through the
jargon-laden report; scanned over heavily-footnoted
60 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
"What is this?" asked Brinton.
"That is the future, Tim. You are holding a report
that prescribes remedial action."
"For what is remedial action being taken?"
"A number of things, Tim; call it a cascade of
failures." The 64-year-old Lovell removed his tweed
jacket and rolled up his shirt-sleeves. "We screwed up,"
Lovell said matter-of-factly. His pipe had gone out. He
did not relight it. "In fact, we screwed up collectively, for
once. In what year was the last atmospheric test of a
nuclear weapon conducted?"
"I'm afraid I can't say."
"Well, we think it was in June of '74. There is a
secret moratorium on nuclear weapon testing in the
upper atmosphere and for the most part, it has been
"I don't see what this has to do with anything,"
Brinton said, tapping the report's manila cover with his
"I'm getting to it. Are you familiar with the process
Brinton shook his head, and exasperation crept into
the corners of his eyes. "I'm an anchor, not a science-
"In short, it's the process whereby which an atom is
converted into an ion. An ion is an atom with an
unequal number of electrons and protons. If an electron
absorbs enough energy and exceeds the so-called
"ionization potential" by which it is confined, it will
break free, thus creating a positively-charged ion.
Conversely, if an electron is captured by an atom — if it
crashes through the atom's electric potential barrier — a
negatively-charged ion is created. When atoms are
Alternative 3 • Section Seven • 61
bombarded with radiation, ions are formed — simple,
Brinton humored him and nodded.
"I'm getting to the point: An untold number of
atmospheric weapon tests resulted in an enormous
amount of ionization in the upper-atmosphere. The tests
were conducted before the physics and risks were
understood. Plasmas — " Lovell produced a piece of paper
and a pencil and began to sketch. "Okay, like this —
plasmas are an electrically-conductive gas, and there's a
lot of it in the so-called "vacuum of space," or at least we
think there is. But plasmas are not native to our own
upper-atmosphere, not in quantity! Not until nuclear
weapon testing. Plasmas aren't like typical sohds,
liquids and gases; they have very distinct properties and
most importantly, they interact with magnetic fields in
acute and dynamic ways. Well, Mr. Brinton, the fact of
the matter is, these plasma-byproducts began to interact
with the Earth's magnetic field in unpredictable ways
and several layered tunnels were burrowed through the
mesosphere and into the thermosphere."
"Again, not a science -guy... So you are saying there
are holes — that the atmosphere is escaping?"
"No, things don't escape into the vacuum of space —
Earth has sufficient mass to preserve its atmosphere."
"Then I'm not sure what you're getting at..."
Lovell tapped the paper on which he was drawing
with his pencil. It was clear that he was unaccustomed
to abridging his thoughts for a layman. "Okay, think of
the magnetosphere as a shield. The magnetosphere is
generated when Earth's magnetic field is charged by
particles from the Sun. Well, Earth's magnetic field has
been irreversibly altered by plasmas generated by
atmospheric weapon tests. Consequently, the
magnetosphere is failing and the magnetosphere is the
62 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
only thing that stands between you and solar radiation.
There is a word for the phenomenon but we aren't using
it in public^ "clefting."
"Like a palate?"
"Sure! Earth's magnetic field has a harelip, or in this
case, several harelips. I'm not going to mince my words:
life on Earth is in dire jeopardy. We anticipate a total
collapse of Earth's magnetic field." Lovell considered his
pipe, left it where it lay, sat back in his chair.
"We can't go public with this," said Brinton. Beads of
sweat stood out on his forehead.
" You can't go public with this."
"And Alternative 3..."
"You're a smart man, Tim; you can probably guess:
small colonies on Mars, bases on the moon, orbiting way-
stations. There is nothing practical about the
colonization of Mars, but its magnetic field is somewhat
intact and that's our chief consideration. We considered
going underground and there is a large element that has
done so or is in the process of doing so, but that presents
its own set of problems."
"Why are you telling me this, Bernard?"
"Think about it, Tim; what will you do? You can't go
public — you don't have any facts with which to
substantiate your claims. Even if you managed to
present your case, you would be laughed off the stage.
Who would believe it? And yet, ironically, from man's
most grave error, the knowledge with which to reach the
stars in a laughably simple way was discovered!"
"Wait, wait, but firstly, can't these clefts be
"Alternative 1 is devoted to the repair of our
magnetic field. It has not met with success. Projects
Alternative 3 • Section Seven • 63
have been abandoned in the Soviet Union already.
Essentially, Alternative 1 requires the construction of a
handful of very large and very powerful particle
accelerators. Alternative 1 will proceed in concert with
Alternatives 2 and 3, but we can't bet on its success.
The accelerators may even exacerbate the problem."
"Do you? Would I really share this with you if I
didn't think people should know? Do I really expect you
to compromise your professional and personal ethics?
Tell this story, Tim. An exclusive club shouldn't be
responsible for the fate of Mankind." Lovell unrolled his
sleeves, buttoned his cuffs and put on his jacket. "We
have men on Mars. From outposts on the moon, they are
able to reach Mars in 33 days using quantum propulsion
craft." (Appendix H)
"Quantum propulsion!" Brinton was no longer taking
notes. He did not look well.
"In the presence of a radioactive isotope, quantum
leaps are observed in atoms — instantaneous changes in
quantum state. Electromagnetic radiation is released
which reciprocally fuels an ionic propulsion engine. It is
very efficient and relatively easy to maintain. Anyway,
that's the sunny side of the street."
"And..." Brinton hesitated, "the dark side?"
"Pretty much everything else! a certain amount of
regularity must be perpetuated on Earth — the wheels
have to keep turning, things have to be manufactured;
institutionahzed complacency has to be guaranteed. So
Alternative 3 is also in the business of entertainment, or
misdirection by another name. Threats will have to be
presented to the public but they must be threats for
which solutions may be devised; we can't sell futility — "
"I'm sorry, Bernard, I've made a terrible mistake
coming here. This is..." Brinton stood, wiped his sweaty
64 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
palms on his pants, and unfastened the top button of his
oxford. "Listen, I don't think we had this talk. I'm not
your man, uh, not for this. This isn't my scoop, uh,
something — something terrible is happening to me, to
my head, listening to this. I've made a terrible mistake!"
Brinton ejected a cassette from the recorder with which
he taped the conversation and handed it to Lovell. "Do
what you want with it. Science Report — " Brinton balled
his fists and stomped his foot, "/can't handle this!" He
left and in so doing, rather than tell the truth, became a
proponent of misdirection; and unwittingly, so did
"Lovell recommended consulting someone at NASA, or
maybe an ex- astronaut," Brinton lied.
"Good idea," Benson said. He paced with his hands
folded behind his back.
Garrett ran his hands through his hair. "And how do
I do that?" he demanded. "By the way, Tim, you look
"Thank you, Garrett."
"Okay, Art, an ex- astronaut is a priority. Get on it!"
"It'll cost," persisted Garrett. "I'll have to hire
someone in America and that could cost real money.
Buxton's not going to like it."
"Never mind about Buxton," Benson said. "You do
your job and leave Buxton to me." He grinned:
"Anyway, he's a busy man and I don't think we ought to
trouble him with such a small matter."
Three former astronauts refused to cooperate. A fourth
agreed, but grudgingly: Hank McDermott. In
preparation for the interview, Garrett reviewed relevant
Alternative 3 • Section Seven • 65
transcripts from McDermott's Apollo missions. Here is a
MCDERMOTT: Hey, Houston, do you hear this
constant bleep we have here now?
MISSION CONTROL: Affirmative. We have it.
MCDERMOTT: What is it? Do you have some
explanation for that?
MISSION CONTROL: We have none. Can you see
anything? Can you tell us what you see?
MCDERMOTT: Oh boy, it's really, really something
super-fantastic here. You couldn't imagine this.
Mission Control: O.K., could you take a look out
over that flat area there? Do you see anything beyond?
MCDERMOTT: There's a ridge with a pretty
spectacular... Oh, my God! What is that there? That's
all I want to know! What the hell is that?
MISSION CONTROL: Roger, interesting. Go Tango —
immediately — go Tango.
MCDERMOTT: There's a hght now...
MISSION CONTROL: Roger, we got it, we've marked it.
Lose a little communication, huh? Bravo-Tango, Bravo-
Tango, select Jezebel.
No more speech could be heard; McDermott had
switched to another frequency: Jezebel! On the tape
there was only static. Tim Brinton, you may recall,
underlined that point when the television documentary
was transmitted. He said: "...select Jezebel — a form of
code? Almost certainly, but what did it mean?
Absolutely nothing to the estimated six hundred million
people listening in on earth." Remember the allegations
made by former NASA-man Maurice Chatelain?
"Certain sources with their own VHF receivers that
bypassed NASA broadcast outlets claim there was a
66 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
portion of Earth-Moon dialogue that was quickly
censored by the NASA monitoring staff."
That censored portion, according to Chatelain,
included these words from Apollo 11:
"These babies were huge, sir — enormous. Oh, God
you wouldn't believe it! I'm telling you, there are other
spacecraft out there, lined up on the far side of the crater
Could that have a direct link with the exchange
heard on the McDermott tape? Had McDermott, like the
men of the Apollo 11 mission, seen something too
startling to be revealed? Or were these astronauts
mistaken? The idea of unknown and unidentified
spacecraft "lined up" on the Moon — to the astonishment
of human astronauts — was ridiculous. And yet,
McDermott agreed to be interviewed via satellite from a
studio in Boston, Massachusetts. The plan was to tape
the interview and edit it later. In fact, as viewers will
remember, the interview ended abruptly and in the
oddest possible way and it places a bigger question mark
on the subject of Alternative 3. There was, right from
the start, something slightly manic in McDermott's
expression and he showed a tendency to laugh nervously
for no apparent reason. Nevertheless, he spoke lucidly
and displayed no reluctance about discussing the
breakdown he had suffered after his final return from
space. Nothing remarkable happened, or seemed likely
to happen, until Tim Brinton asked a question which we
Now it has been suggested that all of you in the
Apollo program saw more than you have been allowed to
admit publicly. Would you comment?
The effect on McDermott was immediate: He
shouted: "What are you trying to do, man? Just tell me
that! What are you trying to do?"
Alternative 3 • Section Seven • 67
Brinton apologized: "I was only — "
"You trying to screw me?" demanded McDermott. He
leaned forward in his chair, glowering into the Boston
camera. "That what you want? You want to screw me?"
"Of course not," said Brinton quickly. "And I'm sorry
"Like Ballantine? Is that what you want?" He got no
further; his voice was muted in midsentence, his picture
on the monitor vanished and was replaced by static.
"Hell's teeth!" Brinton exclaimed.
He was interrupted by Benson's voice. "We don't
know where he's gone."
That's the line which grabbed their attention. It had
to fit in, somehow, with the mystery of the tape received
by Hendry — and with the strange circumstances
preceding Ballantine's death.
"We have to talk to him face-to-face. Arthur, see
what you can arrange." He turned to Colin Weston.
"You're our man, Weston," he said.
Weston beamed. "Great! But isn't Buxton going to
raise a stink?"
"Probably," said Benson. "But leave that to me."
Buxton did "raise a stink;" he raised it more
vehemently than Benson anticipated. We have the
memoranda which reveal the strength of Buxton's
feelings; a strength bordering on fanaticism.
68 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
transcript furnished by "trojan"
Wednesday, July 13, 1977
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This meeting, held later in the
month than was customary, was two days after The Los
Angeles Times published the controversial interview —
detailed in SECTION ONE of this book — in which Dr.
O'Neill outlined the solution he called "Island 3."
"There is really no debate about the technology
involved; it has been confirmed by NASA s top people. "
R-Two: This Princeton man, Gerard O'Neill — not
A-FOUR: Sure, but no harm done — it sounds like
science fiction — highly theoretical.
A-ElGHT: It is just theoretical as far as he is
concerned. He knows nothing.
R-FlVE: He is respected. People listen.
A-ElGHT: Let's keep this in perspective. Washington
doesn't want to underscore the O'Neill thing. We ignore
R-SEVEN: Nevertheless, Moscow is worried. Rosa, for
A-ElGHT: Not Rosa, again!
R-SEVEN: And Lovell...
Alternative 3 • Section Seven • 69
how to wrangle a "component" without really
THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE BATHROOM
The Daily Mail
AUGUST 27, 1977
Morgan Hall (a.k.a. George H White) was a spy. He
always kept a jug of martinis in the refrigerator. He had
a two-way mirror in the bathroom. But Morgan's life
was full of woe. His masters were slow in sending
money. His assignment was sleazy. The codename for
his project was "Operation Midnight Climax. " It was
meant to be a perpetual secret and no wonder. For two
full years Morgan spent his days sitting on a portable
toilet watching through his mirror drinking his martinis
while a prostitute entertained men in the adjoining
bedroom. Her job was to persuade clients to drink
cocktails. What they didn't know was that the drinks
had been mixed by the mysterious Morgan Hall. They
were more chemical than alcohol. Morgan had to record
the results. We still don't know just what they were or
how they worked. But some of the drinks gave instant
headaches, others made you silly or drunk or forgetful or
just plain frantic. The effects were only temporary and
nobody was harmed, much. Morgan was employed by
the Central Intelligence Agency and it was America's top
spy bosses who sent him out from headquarters near
Washington to set up the "laboratory" in a luxury
apartment overlooking San Francisco Bay. Now, 1,647
pages of financial records dealing with the operation
70 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
have been made public as part of a Congressional
It was all part of the agency's TkfiT-ULTRA mind
control experimental program. It was reasoned that a
prostitute's clients wouldn't complain. The financial
records released yesterday show that Morgan was
always writing to headquarters. Says a typical letter —
"Money urgently needed to pay September rent. " His
bills for the flat include Toulouse Lautrec posters, a
picture of a can-can dancer and one marked, "Portable
toilet for observation post." Says the CIA: "Morgan
Hall died two years ago. We have no idea where he is
Lowther's story was followed by two more reports
which lent credence to Trojan's allegations regarding
secret behavior-modification experiments.
SEPTEMBER 2, 1977, The Times-
The general assembly of the World Psychiatric
Association, meeting behind closed doors, has adopted a
resolution condemning the Soviet Union for abusing
psychiatry for "political purposes. " The international
code of ethics, called the "Declaration of Hawaii," follows
years of criticism against the WPA for its failure to
respond to "ethically ambiguous" incidents.
AUGUST 28, 1977, The Sunday Telegraph:
Hospitals for the mentally ill and mentally
handicapped have been instructed by the Health
Department to collect statistics on operations being
carried out to alter personality. For the first time,
ministers have acknowledged that there is growing
concern. The operations, known as psychosurgery, are
carried out to remove or destroy portions of brain tissue
to alter the behavior of severely depressed or
exceptionally aggressive patients who do not respond to
drugs or electric shock treatment.
Alternative 3 • Section Seven • 71
Neither article pointed out that these operations can
also be performed to control the behavior pattern of men
and women who are completely sane, or that they are
performed regularly. . .
Dr. Randolph Crep son -White spoke to us about these
operations when we met him in the Somerset village to
which he retired in 1975. He spoke frankly: "I
performed five of these operations — four young men and
one young woman. All subjects were perfectly sane.
There were two objectives: The patients had to be
completely de-sexed — to have their natural biological
urges taken away — and they had to have their sense of
self blunted. They would, upon discharge, obey any
order without question. I recognized that what I was
doing was unethical, but I was told that the operations
were vital to "national security." I was ordered to sign
an "Official Secrets" form. Soon it became apparent that
I would be required to perform many more operations. I
quit. I pled grave illness, which is true, and retired."
Dr. Crepson-White died on OCTOBER 19, 1977 of
UGUST 15, 1977: Aubrey Buxton responds to
Solicitor Edwin Greer...
/ am surprised by the contents of your letter
and I must insist on receiving undertaking from Messrs.
Ambrose and Watkins to the effect that I will not be
mentioned in their projected book. I note that your
clients are aware that Anglia Television has admitted
that the Alternative 3 program was an unfortunate hoax
and I am puzzled by the apparent evasiveness of your
second paragraph. You state that your clients are
'mindful of the background to that statement. ' What, if
anything does that mean? I repeat that it would be
wrong to perpetuate in book-form what has already
become a public misconception. There is absolutely no
truth in the suggestion of any East-West covert action
such as that described in the program and your clients
Alternative 3 • Section Eight • 73
apparently intend to compound what has already been
admitted as a serious error of judgment. If your clients
persist in their attitude, particularly in respect to my
privacy, I will ha ve to seek legal advice and/or redress.
AUGUST 13, 1977: Solicitor Edwin Greer responds to
There was no evasiveness in my letter of the 12 th . I
pointed out that my clients have conducted their own
investigations in Britain and America into the subject of
their projected book. Indeed, that investigation is still
continuing; any decisions taken by Mr. Ambrose and Mr.
Watkins, in consultation with their publishers, will
depend on their eventual findings and I am instructed to
inform you that it is not possible for them to give you
Six days later, Greer received a letter from a well-
known MP that had been lobbied by Buxton. Because of
Britain's restrictive libel laws, the name of the MP has
In common with a number of my colleagues in the
House of Commons, I have already deplored the
misguided motives which resulted in the television
program about the so-called Alternative 3. Letters from
many of my constituents demonstrate the alarm which
was engendered and which, despite the subsequent
statement by the television company, still lingers. The
fact that your clients should apparently be determined to
capitalize on that alarm is, to my mind, quite
scandalous. I intend to seek an injunction to prevent the
publication of this book.
No such injunction was served but this author was
forced to make many unseemly compromises.
APRIL 12, 1977: Memo from Aubrey Buxton to
Marquis Townshend, Chairman...
74 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
The note from Benson, bearing today's date and
relating to his interest in America, is clear confirmation
of what I have already indicated to you and the
Executive Producer. Benson has become
unprofessionally obsessed with this ridiculous
investigation with which he is persisting and I
recommend that he be replaced immediately as producer
of Science Report. I have studied his contract and we
would be within our rights to transfer him. I have on
several occasions warned him about squandering
company time, money and resources. He has defiantly
persisted in doing so. I was told nothing of the inquiries
which have been commissioned on our behalf in America
although, as I mentioned again at the Senior Executives'
Meeting on Friday, it is company policy for matters of
that nature to be channeled through me. It would be
wrong to sanction Weston 's fact-finding mission', nothing
can possibly be gained by talking to McDermott. We
should, I suggest, instruct Benson to abandon this fool-
APRIL 13, 1977: Memo from Marquis Townshend to
Let us not forget that Science Report is a network
success due in part to Benson's ingenuity. However, I
note your objections and I too am concerned about the
monies channeled into said project. Weston 's proposed
trip to the States is not justified. If the situation should
change as a result of any further information you may
receive, I will be prepared to discuss the matter. Until
then, the episode is frozen.
Benson read the note, pushed it across his desk to
Garrett. "That bloody Buxton!" he shouted.
"Now what?" asked Garrett.
Alternative 3 • Section Eight • 75
"We're going to do it, Art. We are definitely going to
do it. What we need is more information."
"I don't know, love. You're the researcher — the sort
of information that'll swing it with George." He got up
and started pacing the room. "What was it Lovell said
about cooperation between the superpowers?"
"He seemed to have the idea that they were working
together on Alternative 3."
"That could be it!" said Benson excitedly.
"Do we know anyone who might develop that thought
for us? It has to be somebody with real prestige."
"He's the director of the RIIA."
"There's no harm in trying. Is Colin around?"
Garrett shook his head, "His day off."
"It's always his day off when I need him," said
Benson. "Ask Katie to pop in and see me, will you? She
can start sounding out Shonfield."
At 5:15 PM, Katherine Glass commenced her interview
with Shonfield, parts of which, as you may recall, were
eventually used in the transmitted program. Shonfield
was cautious, suspicious of Glass' motives; he did not
want to be a party to sensationahsm.
SHONFIELD: On the broader issue of US -Soviet
relations, I must admit that there is an element of
mystery which troubles many people in my field. To put
it simply, none of us can understand how it is that the
peace has been kept over these past twenty-five years.
GLASS: The experts are baffled?
76 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
SHONFIELD: Baffled and, for once, in agreement. The
popular myth of mutual assured destruction does not
GLASS: What is your explanation?
SHONFIELD: What we are suggesting is that — at the
very highest levels of East-West diplomacy — there could
be operating a factor of which we know nothing: a
massive but covert operation in space. However, we are
not in the business of speculation...
Benson barged into the Chairman's office: "You read the
Townshend, busy at his desk, sat back and smiled
Benson groaned, exasperated. "Surely that clinches
Townshend shook his head. "No, John, not as far as
I'm concerned. It's either speculation or
disinformation — maybe both."
"But George, it all fits! Lovell and Shonfield, each a
top man in his field, both suggesting cooperation in
space between the superpowers. Rosa, his links to
NASA and Ballantine, the disappearing scientists and
McDermottl He saw something incredible on the Moon!
For Pete's sake, we can't drop it, not now!"
"Stop pacing and sit down." Townshend gestured to
a chair. "Go on, sit down." He waited. Benson sat.
"Now, for the last time, let's get this clear. I realize that
something odd may be going on but I don't think it's our
business. You've done a tremendous job with Science
Alternative 3 • Section Eight • 77
Report, John. Everybody thinks so and the ratings
reflect that. It's time to buckle down."
"That means you're still saying "no" to America?"
"That's exactly what it means."
"If it's a matter of money, can I point out how much
profit this company made last year?"
"The company does make profits and good ones but it
does not do so by sending teams gallivanting around the
world on fool's errands. Let it rest, John."
Benson got up, prepared to leave. "I'll arrange a
junket! Weston could do a piece for the holiday series
while he's there. I've spoken to Tim Shaw who's taken
over the holiday programs and he's quite keen, and I
know an airline that'll play ball."
"God, you don't give up, do you?" Townshend grinned.
"All right, give Weston the green light."
"Why did you disappear that night?" asked Weston.
"The night of the interview — why did you run out like
"Have another beer," said McDermott. He pushed a
fresh can across the low table and opened one for
"The bastard was trying to screw me. Did I see more
than I've been allowed to admit publicly! Jesus, what
sort of fool question was that?" Weston forced a grin,
tried to relieve the tension. He felt hke an angler
stalking a clever fish — gently, gently. He took a long
drink, sighed, put down the empty glass.
"I needed that beer," he said.
McDermott was glowering, "You aiming to screw me,
too?" He was frightened. Weston felt a twinge of pity.
Would anything be gained by pushing McDermott any
78 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
further? It would be easy to tell Benson that McDermott
had refused to talk; that he couldn't be persuaded.
Benson wouldn't like it. In fact, he'd be bloody furious,
but he'd have to accept it. Then he considered Harry at
Lambeth, stoned, naked and terrified: "Camera,
witnesses. I'll tell you everything. " Perhaps McDermott
had the key to a piece of the puzzle. Weston needed
"Well?" persisted McDermott. They were in canvas
chairs behind the ranch-style bungalow which
McDermott was renting in a lonely corner of New
England. It was peaceful. No neighbors. Far in the
distance, beyond the vast spread of scrub, they could see
the towlike sprawl of the smoke-blue mountains. There
were no noises from the bungalow behind them but
Weston knew that the girl called Annie was busy in the
kitchen. McDermott introduced him to her and then she
scuttled out of sight. Annie, he felt, wasn't at all happy
about this intrusion. She looked young, had straight
hair, no makeup and gold-rimmed glasses. On the far
side of the bungalow, at the top of the winding drive,
Jack Dale sat in the rental car babysitting his video
McDermott drained his glass. "Owned a place like
this once," he said. "Thought I was putting down roots,
you know? Used to go up there in the summer with the
family — ah, it was all different then; we had a few
horses and — " He stopped, smiled ironically, continued,
"Guess you can say I'm not much into planning for the
future anymore." He studied his empty glass. "Annie,
we're out of beer! Bring a couple more, will you?" He
glanced at Weston. "Or you want a real drink?"
"Beer's fine," said Weston.
McDermott grunted and shrugged. "Annie! There are
two men out here dying of thirst!" She appeared with
Alternative 3 • Section Eight • 79
two sweating cans of beer. McDermott squeezed her
hand. "Thanks, baby."
"How about getting something on the record?"
"Like what you know about Ballantine."
The guarded expression was back on McDermott's
face. "I never knew the guy."
"You didn't go to Houston and you didn't meet
"Drop it, will you! I never knew him. I never met
"But you know what happened to him."
McDermott stood up. "Time to eat," he said. "Let's
give your pal a shout."
During dinner, McDermott converted to bourbon on
the rocks. Their table-talk was casual, but several
drinks later, McDermott agreed to a taped interview.
MCDERMOTT^ Ballantine and a young radar-guy —
Rosa — got their hands on a roll of magnetic tape. Rosa
had access to the equipment with which it could be
played — NASA techs called it a "jukebox."
MCDERMOTT: Ampex recording equipment — the data
could only be deciphered by the device for which it was
designed, like an FR-900, or something similar.
WESTON: Is this Rosa? Weston showed McDermott a
photograph of Rosa. McDermott frowned, nodded.
MCDERMOTT: Are you sure you don't want a real
80 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
WESTON: I' m sure, thanks.
McDERMOTT: Bourbon's better for you...
WESTON: You're saying the tape got Ballantine
MCDERMOTT: I saw the way those guys looked at
him. I knew those looks...
There was a break in the interview. McDermott emptied
his glass and shambled to the living room bar. On JUNE
20, 1977, viewers did not see Annie return from the
kitchen, nor did they hear her argument with
McDermott. She thought McDermott was being
indiscreet. But he was drunk, restless and resented
Annie's remonstrations. He yelled at her, said she didn't
have "nagging rights": "You aren't my goddamn wife!"
She continued to argue — tried to persuade him; he grew
madder still. He threw a tumbler of bourbon at the wall
and the glass exploded. Annie left in tears. For the next
hour he drank heavily. Weston worried that McDermott
would lose consciousness but McDermott remained
lucid — the mark of an inveterate drinker. He's drinking-
himself sober, Weston thought. The interview
WESTON: Hank, what happened out there — on the
MCDERMOTT: I don't know how to put this, but it was
a disappointment; we were late to the party.
WESTON: 'Late to the party?'
MCDERMOTT: The later Apollo Missions were smoke-
screens — to cover up what was really going on out there,
and the bastards didn't tell us — not a damned thing!
Here, as viewers will recall, there was another break.
It lasted only a split second on the screen but, in fact,
Alternative 3 • Section Eight • 81
filming stopped for more than an hour. When they
resumed, McDermott was sweating heavily. He was
sweating because of the alcohol and because of his
excitement over what he was saying. They'd said he
wasn't to talk about it. That's what the bastards had
said. Well, he'd show them Hank McDermott wasn't a
guy to be scared into silence. They didn't own him. He
was out of the service now and maybe it was time for
someone to talk. He was holding yet another drink as he
waited for Weston's first question.
WESTON^ Hank, you've got to tell me, what did you
MCDERMOTT^ We touched down several kilometers
east of our target and it was... it was crawling with
WESTON^ Are you talking about men from Earth?
MCDERMOTT: Nothing's the way you think it is. We
were a dog and pony show — a PR stunt. A sideshow\ As
early as Gemini III, every launch was accompanied by
synchronized launches of Agena or Soyuz Rockets — at
Baikonur, Plesetsk and Kapustin Yar; at Jiuquan,
Kagoshima and Woomera; at Kourou and Alcantara.
One small, badly-designed tin-can was publicized, driven
by a band of broken men. We were a diversion!
McDermott finished his drink and fell face-down on
the carpet. Weston and Doyle left. The interview had
been a success.
82 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
December 11, 1972 19:54:57 utc
MISSION CONTROL: More detail, please. Can you give
more detail of what you are seeing?
HARRISON SCHMITT: It's something flashing. That's
all so far. Just a hght going on and off by the edge of the
MISSION CONTROL: Can you give the coordinates?
HARRISON SCHMITT: There's something down there,
maybe a httle further down.
Mission Control: it couldn't be a Vostok, could it?
HARRISON SCHMITT: I can't be sure. It's possible.
The Chairman - A3 Policy Committee
NATIONAL CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICERS - E.O.
January 10, 1978
August 27, 1958:
Each designated mover will, it is estimated, require
back-up labor support of five bodies. These bodies,
which will be transported in cargo batch consignments,
Alternative 3 • Section Eight • 83
will be programmed to obey orders without question and
their principal duties will be construction and priority
will be given to the construction of accommodations for
the designated movers.
However, in the interests of good husbandry,
accommodations will also be provided for the human
components of batch consignments, as well as for "food
stuffs" — as a matter of urgency. The completion of these
accommodations, which will be of a basic and utilitarian
nature, will in normal circumstances take precedence
over the creation of laboratories, offices, and recreational
centers. All exceptions to this rule will require written
authorization from the Chairman of the Committee in
Residence. It is estimated that the average working life-
span of human batch consignment components will be
fifteen years and, in view of high transportation costs,
every effort will be made to prolong that period of
usefulness. At the end of that lifespan they are to be
considered disposable. Preliminary work is now
progressing to adapt batch consignment components,
mentally and physically, to their projected roles and the
scope of this experimental work is to be widened.
Further details will be provided, when appropriate, by
Department Seven. Pre-transportation collection of
batch consignment components will be organized by
National Chief Executive Officers who will be supplied
with details of categories and quantities required. No
collection is to be arranged without specific instructions
from Department Seven.
October l, 1971:
Experimental processing of batch consignment
components is now producing a 96% success rate. This
is considered not unsatisfactory. The Policy Committee
briefing circulated on SEPTEMBER 7, 1965, explained the
necessity for all components to be desexed. On another
note, the permanent elimination of self will and self-
84 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
interest has presented great difficulties. Long-term
laboratory tests have revealed that an unaccountably
high percentage of components eventually regress into
pre-processing attitudes. Advanced work, conducted
principally at Dnepropetrovsk has now resulted in a
substantial reduction of the "component- personality"
failure ratio. Finally, in the future, no desexing will be
performed until after the personality adjustment of the
projected component, male or female, has been assessed
and approved. This will ensure that those which
eventually return to their homes as "rejects" will betray
no evidence of laboratory work.
MONDAY, MAY 2, 1977: Benson was spending as
little time as possible in his own office. He
could no longer tolerate the smells from the
canteen. He operated from a desk in the open-plan office
which had been allocated to Science Report. At times,
however, it tended to be too noisy, with too many
telephones and too many people, and occasionally he was
forced to retreat to his own tiny room behind Studio B.
Benson and Weston were closeted there together,
studying a transcript of the McDermott interview.
Benson marked a section with a red pencil.
"There, love," he said. "That's the bit that really
intrigues me. What did he mean?"
Weston read aloud: "One small, badly-designed tin-
can was publicized, driven by a band of broken men. We
were a diversion/"
"I don't know," he said. "McDermott passed out."
86 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
"That still leaves us with questions, doesn't it?" said
Benson. "And I need answers."
"Yes, but— "
"No 'buts,' love! I'm getting enough 'buts' from
Buxton. He's put in a complaint about you to
Townshend; he says it was unethical of you to
interrogate a drunken man. He wants to kill the
"All right, so he was smashed, particularly towards
the end. I'm prepared to admit that, but I'm certain he
was coherent and telhng the truth."
"I know, and then he fell flat on his face." Benson
chuckled. "You stick with your version, love, because the
Chairman wants to see both of us."
"You're serious, then: Buxton is trying to kill it?"
"Yes, indeed. And you didn't do the holiday piece I
"What holiday piece?"
Benson grinned, "Yeah, for the hohday series —
something for Tim Shaw. He's pissed and so is the
airline; they don't like to throw away junkets."
"Oh, come on — "
Benson stopped him: "Don't' worry; he's got his Isle
of Man project."
"Then we should locate Harry; he's got answers," said
Benson frowned, got up to close the window. "So
where do we start?"
"Could try the police again," said Weston.
"Be back by mid- afternoon," said Benson.
Alternative 3 • Section Nine • 87
The desk sergeant was polite but unhelpful. "You any
idea how many people get reported missing in Britain
every year?" he asked. "275,000 and those are the
reported disappearances. God only knows how many
don 't get reported."
Weston handed him a photograph of Rosa. "He was
last seen on February 11 th in Lambeth."
The sergeant snorted, "Gives us plenty to go on,
doesn't it? What makes you think he's missing? Maybe
he doesn't want to see you anymore."
"He was frightened, very frightened, and he got me
confused with somebody else," said Weston. "He seemed
to think that somebody was planning to kill him."
"You think that he's been killed — that he's been
murdered — is that what you're trying to say?"
"I don't know," said Weston miserably. "I don't think
so but I don't know."
"Why should he confuse you with somebody else?"
"Because he wasn't normal that morning; he was
bombed out of his mind."
"He was stoned?"
"That's right." They were short-handed at the police
station and it was a busy morning. The sergeant
decided he had already wasted too much time. He
pressed the photograph back into Weston's hand.
"So what have we got? Male, 30s, squatter, a junkie,
paranoid... Anything else you want to add?"
Weston shuffled his feet, said sheepishly, "Sounds a
bit daft, doesn't it?"
"I've got your information," said the sergeant. "If
Rosa turns up, we'll ring you."
88 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
The afternoon meeting with Townshend was a rough
one. The Chairman was in a foul mood. Maybe Buxton
was right. Maybe Benson was becoming
"unprofessionally obsessed." Townshend had doubts
about the transmission of an interview with a drunken
subject. There could be repercussions.
"But George, it could prove to be an invaluable part
of the program," argued Benson. "There are just a
handful of missing links."
"Come back when you find those links." Townshend
brushed imaginary crumbs from his hound's-tooth
jacket, glowered at the pair of them. "Until then, your
pet-project is dead."
They returned to the small office behind Studio B.
Benson sat at his desk, sniffed. "No fish on Mondays,"
he said. "Fish-days are the worst."
"Lovell — he's all we've got left. If only we could get
him to open up. You want me to try him?"
Benson shook his head, picked up the grey internal
telephone, and dialed the Science Report office. "Is
MAY 1971 : the authoritative pubhcation Computers and
Automation carried an article by Edward Yourdon:
...tremendous improvement in various precincts of
Government, if one has faith — faith that the computers
will work properly. Men have lost faith in their human
leaders, and now things will be better if they have faith
in a cold computing machine...
Alternative 3 • Section Nine • 89
national Security Cited by police as
reason for maintaining Silence on use
SEPTEMBER 9, 1977
The names and personal details of tens of thousands of
people scrutinized by the Special Branch for reasons of
national security are to be fed into a new criminal
intelligence computer purchased by Scotland Yard and
which remains shrouded in mystery.
When plans for the computer were drawn up two
years ago it was understood that by 1985 the Special
Branch would allocate space on it for up to 600,000
names out of the system's total capacity ofl, 300, 000.
Census projections have indicated that Britain's
population will not increase in the next decade. So that
figure of 600,000 means that the Special Branch was
preparing to feed details of one person out of every
ninety-five in the entire population into that computer.
But that is merely the start. Discount from the total
population all geriatrics, young children, and those who
have been judged incurably insane and the ratio under
surveillance comes down to about one person in fifty.
Take that one step further and the implications are
startling. If the average household comprises two
adults, the ratio is reduced to one household in twenty-
five. That means there can hardly be a street in Britain
where at least one household does not merit computer-
monitoring by the Special Branch. Can you now be
90 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
confident that you or your immediate neighbors are not
being studied by the Special Branch? You can be
absolutely certain that people you know, probably people
very close to you, are getting this particular treatment.
And the figures we have given, astonishing as they may
seem, do not allow for those people programmed into
other Special Branch computers — computers which so
far have remained hidden on the classified list.
Is this typical Special Branch work or does it indicate
an operation on a scale required by Alternative 3?
Yesterday a police source said that the Special
Branch had yet to decide how many names would be
placed on the computer and denied that 600,000 would
eventually be filed. Scotland Yard said last night: "The
question of the involvement of the Special Branch in the
project to computerize sections of the records of C
Department (the department covering CID and
specialist detective squads) is not one we are prepared to
discuss, since most of the work of the Special Branch is
in the field of national security. The publication of any
figures purporting to indicate the total number of
records in any part of the project would amount to
Special Branch is still surrounded by a certain
amount of mystique and the same is true of the new
computer. The Metropolitan Police and the Home Office
have made few public statements about the nature of its
Tendler also stated that the activities of the Special
Branch were "a closely-guarded secret" and he added:
"It is not known whose names and details have been
gathered by the officers." We cannot prove that this
particular computer has been used to sift "designated
movers" and "batch consignment components" for
Alternative 3 from the general population. However,
because of information furnished by Trojan, we are able
Alternative 3 • Section Nine • 91
to state categorically that similar computers are used for
Fort George G. Meade, MD, USA
PINE GAP, Alice Springs, Australia
GCHQ, Cheltenham, United Kingdom
BUNDESNACHRICHTENDIENST, Pullach, Germany
Little trouble is taken over the selection of
"components" for batch consignments. They need to be
strong. That is the prime criterion. Their backgrounds
and mental capacities are of secondary importance; all
"components" undergo behavioral modification. But how
is the value of a "designated mover" determined?
The Chairman - A3 Policy Committee
NATIONAL CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICERS - E.O.
Standing instructions relating to the recruitment of
designated movers have already been circulated by this
Committee. However, recent reports from the Chairman
of the Committee in Residence indicate that there have
been failures in the execution of those instructions.
These failures have produced unanticipated problems in
the new territory and have resulted in an unacceptably
high number of post -transportation asset-losses. This
situation cannot be tolerated and I am once again
92 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
compelled by the Policy Committee to highlight the
overarching aims of the Committee -in -Residence •■' Every
effort must be made to eliminate dissension in the new
territory Affiliative dispositions must be routed and re-
entrained. National Chief Executive Officers will give
priority -attention to re-enculturation initiatives
undertaken by their scientific officers. Suggestibility-
thresholds in all candidates must be determined prior to
inculcation. Due to the scope of the initiative, the onus
falls upon regional case officers.
Candidate -quotas which remain unfulfilled include
general practitioners, neurologists, chemists and
bacteriologist. A satisfactory complement of computer
scientists, mining technicians, and agriculturalists has
been achieved. Future personnel requirements will be
circulated to National Chief Executive Officers.
Richard Tuffley, 27, endocrinologist — living and working
in Swansea, South Wales...
Orphaned when young and brought up his by
mother's sister, now deceased. . .
Unmarried and with no known relatives...
Lived alone in a small rented flat near the
Disappeared MONDAY, JANUARY 5, 1976...
Last seen driving a light-blue mini-van in the
direction of Cardiff. . .
Alternative 3 • Section Nine • 93
The van has still not been located. . .
Statement from his department chief: "He was a
first-class and highly-conscientious colleague — certainly
not the sort one would expect to wander off. He was
introverted and made few friends but I had no indication
that he was in any way unhappy here."
Gordon Balcombe, 36, senior administrator with a
multinational manufacturing conglomerate...
Living in Bromley, Kent, and working in central
Divorced in 1969...
Father of three children, from whom he is
Lived alone in former family home! reported to have
many women visitors. Some, according to neighbors,
often stayed overnight...
Disappeared on Thursday, February 5, 1976...
Last seen leaving his office in a taxi...
Taxi-driver was never traced...
Statement from his managing director: "We were
completely bewildered by his disappearance for he was a
man with a future. Plans were being made for him to
move to a senior position at our base in Chicago and he
seemed excited by the prospect. We regard his
disappearance as a great loss."
Statement from Mrs. Marjorie Balcombe:
"Gordon, for all I know, could be anywhere. I suspect
that he is probably in America. He is the sort of man
that executive head-hunters try to entice to new posts
and it is quite possible that he would not bother to tell
his old firm if he decided to accept a better offer. He
would just go if it suited his purpose. That's the sort of
person Gordon is: self-centered. And I shouldn't be
94 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
surprised to learn that he has some woman in tow.
Women are his great weakness. The only thing that
really puzzles me is the way he left so many of his
clothes and other personal possessions in the house.
That does strike me as being out-of-character."
Sidney Dilworth, 32, meteorologist...
Living and working in Reading, Berkshire...
Wife died in a car crash in October, 1975...
Lived alone in a mortgaged duplex...
Disappeared Friday, April 16, 1976...
Last seen driving a hired car in the direction of
Vehicle later found in a car-park at Number Three
Terminal, Heathrow Airport...
Statement from his father, Wilfred Dilworth: "i
keep telling the police that something really bad has
happened to our Sidney but, although they're very
sympathetic, they don't seem to be doing much about it.
I've got a nasty feeling he's been murdered. He was
always a very considerate lad and he'd never want me
and his mum to have this sort of worry hanging over us.
He was very upset after his wife was killed and he
talked about trying to start a new life in Canada. In
fact, the January before he disappeared he said he
thought he had a job lined up there but, as far as I could
gather, that fizzled out. At the research station they say
he never mentioned anything about leaving but I
suppose he wouldn't want to tell them until it was all
settled. Now we've reached the stage where I dread
opening the newspaper in the morning for I'm sure that
one day I'll be reading that they've found his body."
Alternative 3 • Section Nine • 95
Also missing. . .
Andrew Nisbett, 39, aerospace technician, born
Tulsa, Oklahoma, disappeared on Tuesday, October 5,
1976, from Houston, Texas, together with his wife, Rita,
and their only son.
Pavel Garmanas, 42, physicist, born in Usachevka,
USSR, disappeared on Thursday, July 14, 1977, from
his new home in Jerusalem, Israel.
Marcel Rouffanche, 35, nutrition specialist, born in
the suburb of Saint-Rugg near Avignon, disappeared on
Wednesday, November 16, 1977, from his apartment in
Eric Hillier, 27, constructional engineer, born
Melbourne, Australia, disappeared on Thursday,
December 29, 1977. Intensive investigation has shown
that the figures given by Brinton in that television
program represented only a fraction of the true total.
And that total is still mounting.
REACTIONS AND REPERCUSSIONS: POST-DENIAL
Storm Over TV Spoof
THE DAILY EXPRESS
Thousands of viewers all over the country protested in
shock and anger over a science fiction "documentary"
broadcast by ITV last night. From the moment that
Alternative 3 ended at 10 PM, irate watchers jammed
96 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
the switchboards of The Daily Express and ITV
companies to complain.
This story made no mention of the evidence which
had been given on-screen by Bernard Lovell or by other
respected authorities such as Andrew Shonfield.
McDermott's important contribution was also ignored.
However, the story did indicate that...
... the hour-long spoof purported to show a version of
the scientific brain drain. The program was introduced
by anchor Tim Brinton as a serious investigation into a
disturbing trend. American and Russian spacemen were
seen collaborating to set up a "new colony" while viewers
were left to infer that the reason for the exploration was
the projected end of life on Earth. The documentary had
a disclaimer- What this program shows may be
Viewers protested their shock immediately. Others
complained of ITV s "irresponsibility." Early today, a
spokesman for the Independent Broadcasting Authority
said it had thought long and hard before allowing the
documentary to be aired. But Mrs. Denise Ball of
Camberley Surrey said- "I was scared out of my wits.
It was all so real. "
Mrs. Mary Whitehouse, the renowned Clean -JJp-TV
campaigner, was another who believed the "Buxton
denial. " She was quoted in another newspaper as
saying- "I had hundreds of calls. The film was an expert
piece of deception. "
That was the immediate reaction and it was
understandable. The facts assembled by Benson and his
team were so alarming that people were eager to believe
that they were untrue. Buxton's denial, which drew a
comforting veil over the affair, was readily accepted. All
this put men like Arthur Garrett in an invidious
position. Over Robert Patterson, for example: Had
Alternative 3 • Section Nine • 97
Patterson really existed? That question was implied by
the attitude of most newspapers, and for some
unfathomable reason, officials at the University of St.
Andrews refused to make any comment. Chancellor
Bernard Edward Fergusson was on a "scholar's quest"
abroad. Was Patterson a figment of Garrett's
imagination? Was that why Weston had been unable to
interview him? The questions were piling up. Days
later, once Alternative 3 had been properly digested,
Fleet Street considered the investigative report in a
Arthur Garrett told us that relief arrived on JUNE 26
when he opened the Sunday Telegraph. Esteemed
columnist Phihp Purser wrote: "a number of mysteries
within the mystery posed by Alternative 3 remain
unsolved." Philip Purser made it abundantly clear that
he was too shrewd to be fooled by the Buxton denial. He
concluded his Sunday Telegraph article with these
It would be a mistake to Hie Alternative 3 a way too
cozily with Panorama's spaghetti harvest and other
hoaxes. Suppose it was fiendish double-bluff inspired by
the very agencies identified in the program and that the
superpowers really are setting up an extraterrestrial
colony of outstanding human beings to safeguard the
Many sensed the underlying truth. Tim Brinton
received the following note from ESA Director General
Roy Gibson: "I must congratulate you and Colin Weston
on your assiduous research."
Yet mainstream newspapers still exhibited a
reluctance to pursue the subject of Alternative 3. Why
didn't they question Marjorie Balcombe? Why didn't
they contact Dennis Pendlebury in Manchester or
Richard TuffLey's former colleagues in Swansea? The
authors have already revealed that pubhcation of this
98 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
book was subject to rigorous and demoralizing
censorship, as well as structural compromise. Likewise,
is it possible that newspapers have too been subjected to
similar pressures, and that they have yielded to those
pressures? A key to this presumption was provided by
Kenneth Hughes in the Daily Mirror on JUNE 20, 1977,
the day of the broadcast. He had secured advance -access
to material gathered by Benson and his team and his
article was headlined: What on Earth is going- on? He
A science program is likely to keep millions of Britons
glued to their armchairs. Alternative 3 is an
investigation into the disappearance of several
scientists. They seem simply to have vanished from the
face of the Earth. Chilling news is read by former ITV
newscaster Tim Brinton who gives a gloomy report on
The program will be screened in several other
countries, but not America. Network bosses there want
to assess its effect on British viewers.
The truth was, however, that network bosses in
America, as well as in Russia, were permitted no
discretion: Screening of Alternative 3 was forbidden.
And in the UK, the backlash which followed the
transmission resulted in a media-blackout. Andrew
Shonfield, already introduced, was reluctant to become
deeply involved. On JULY 9, Watkins visited Shonfield
at the Royal Institute for International Affairs:
WATKINS: Alternative 3 has been called a hoax.
What is your reaction?
SHONFIELD: It would be wrong, in the present
political climate, for me to make any comment.
WATKINS: You suggested, on record, that cooperation
between East and West could involve some "massive but
covert operation in space." Would you elaborate?
Alternative 3 • Section Nine • 99
SHONFIELD: I emphasized that this could be the
situation but I did not state categorically that it was. In
fact, as I recall, I explained that I was not in the
business of speculation.
SHONFIELD : You took part in that program as an
expert commentator. How do you feel about its
dismissal as a hoax?
SHONFIELD: The program was of a more sensational
nature than I had anticipated. I was surprised by some
of its discoveries.
WATKINS: Do you think there is validity in those
SHONFIELD: I'm sorry. I'd prefer to say no more.
The interview was unsatisfactory. However, only a
few weeks later, we received information which provided
deeper insight into Alternative 3.
transcript furnished by "trojan"
Thursday, August 4, 1977
A-Two: But losing a whole batch consignment like
A-EIGHT: We had bum luck, that's all there is to it.
A-Two: Three hundred bodies smashed to bits — a
complete write-off and that's all you can say? "We had
bum luck..." Look, I'm not a technical man and I tend to
100 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
get lost with some of this technical talk, so will someone
please explain just how a thing hke this can happen,
because, I tell you, I've got a gut-feeling there's been
R-FlVE: You can't prevent the occasional mishap — it's
unrealistic and in this case, perfectly random.
A-TWO: Yes, but—
R-FlVE: Meteorites are very common; roughly 19,000
weighing over 3.5 ounces enter the Martian atmosphere
A-Two: Don't our pilots take avoiding action?
A-ElGHT There isn't a crack fighter-pilot alive able to
dodge an incoming meteorite.
R-ElGHT This discussion, in my humble opinion, is
over. Our scientific people at Archimedes Base have
assured us that this disaster — our first, I must
emphasize — could not have been avoided, and that has
been confirmed by the Committee in Residence.
The ITV broadcast was a success and as a
disinformation piece, it exceeded all expectations. I
think we have learned — and are learning — many
invaluable lessons. This is a red-letter day for
asymmetric psychological warfare.
A-FlVE: And it's the first campaign of its type that
has been successfully sub -contracted, and no one's the
R-ElGHT: Well, it's cannon-fodder, as you say — a new
myth. With a little luck, it will assume a life of its own,
run on auto-pilot, adequately misdirect...
A-ElGHT He has demonstrated that people sooner
embrace the safety of the lie than seek the danger that
Alternative 3 • Section Nine • 101
accompanies the truth — Brinton will take Lovell's
revelations to the grave.
R-Two: No sleep -job?
A-EIGHT: No sleep-job.
JOSEPH Banks Rhine, founder of the Foundation
for Research on the Nature of Man (FRNM) and
frequent lecturer, was interviewed on our behalf
by Colin Weston in Brussels on SEPTEMBER 23, 1977.
That interview, which Weston taped, provided insight
into the meaning of the phrase "sleep-job." In the early
1960s, he explained, significant advances were made in
the study of parapsychology at the universities of
Kharkov and Leningrad. The advances involved
telepathy and, more specifically, the long-distance
invasion and manipulation of minds. The potential
military advantages were obvious: Enemies could be
suborned remotely — virtual marionettes. "Experiments
have demonstrated that children, like birds and beasts,
are more receptive to telepathic messages than are
adults," said Dr. Rhine. "The fully -developed mind
erects barriers; barriers that may be penetrated when
one's defenses are compromised, either by fatigue or
Alternative 3 • Section Ten • 103
emotional distress. The barriers that the mind would
erect in the waking world are diminished during REM
sleep. This is the window during which the mind may
easily be invaded. . . and controlled."
Weston frowned, said incredulously, "Controlled, eh?"
"Instructions can be administered and if
circumstances are propitious he will obey those
instructions, even an order to self-destruct."
"Good God!" said Weston.
"It's a delicate business. There are many variables to
which attention must be paid: biorhythms, overall
impressionabihty, and psi-sensitivity — "
"The instinct for self-preservation would
countermand any instructions calculated to result in
suicide!" interrupted a disbelieving Weston.
"Did you read that somewhere? It isn't true. The
mind, regardless of its perceived waking resolve, is
"And this is a common practice?"
"Common? I'm not saying that; I'm telling you what
is possible." Maybe Dr. Rhine was right:
Monday, February 2, 1976: James Riggerford, 42,
happily married with three children, walked from his
beachside home south-west of Houston, Texas, sometime
shortly after 3:00 AM, two days after resigning as the
Operations Administrator with NASA. His body, found
clad in pajamas, was later recovered from the Gulf of
Tuesday, September 7, 1976: Roger Marshall-
Smith, a 31 year-old physicist who had recently returned
from temporary attachment to NASA in America, was
living with his parents in Winchester, Hampshire. They
found him just after 1:00 AM, two hours after they had
104 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
all gone to sleep, in flames at the bottom of the stairs.
He had apparently, while still asleep, doused his
clothing with turpentine and set fire to himself. The
agony of burning had awakened him but by then, it was
Saturday, January 15, 1977: James Arthur
Carmichael, 35, aerospace technician, fell to his death at
4:35 AM from a sixteenth -floor hotel bedroom window in
Washington. Friends said that he had seemed happy
and in normal spirits the previous evening and had gone
to bed alone at midnight. He, too, was wearing pajamas.
Were these men "sleep-jobs?" We don't claim to
know but we consider it a possibility.
Tim Brinton joined Benson in the room behind Studio B.
"How were things with George?" he asked.
"Not good," said Benson miserably. "He wants to
junk Colin's interview with McDermott. Quite frankly,
Tim, it looks bad unless you can squeeze more out of
"More!" responded Brinton, clearly exasperated.
"What more could you want!"
"Relax, Tim. It seems to hinge on Lovell," Benson
nodded. "Lovell has pertinent knowledge."
"There's a big difference between knowing and
talking." Brinton visualized the growing clefts in the
magnetosphere. He began to sweat. "He wasn't
forthcoming, John. I don't think we should press him."
"Try him again," urged Benson. "Tell him everything
you know! what we've got from McDermott and
Alternative 3 • Section Ten • 105
Two days later, Brinton was back in Lovell's book-lined
study at Jodrell Bank. Lovell and Brinton sat opposite
one another, saying nothing. Lovell shattered the
silence, which had grown icy: "We can make up any old
thing, Tim. It doesn't have to be the truth. I'll talk
about environmental collapse, the hole in the ozone
layer, pesticides — anything. You aren't culpable. It will
be our little secret." For once, Lovell was without his
signature tweed jacket and his sleeves were already
rolled up above the elbows, as if he was prepared for a
"This is awkward. I regret our last meeting —
everything about it — "
"Here is my proposal, Tim. In a minute, you'll turn
on your tape-recorder. I will start talking. 50% of what
I will say will be relatively true. You'll get a scoop in
which John Benson will have some faith. Sound good?"
Brinton rested the tape-recorder on his lap, pressed
the "record" button.
The Lovell Transcript, Part Deux:
LOVELL: You know about Alternatives 1 and 2 and
why they were rejected. Alternative 3 offered a more
limited option — an attempt to ensure the survival of a
small cross-section of the species... in theory. We were
academics, after all, not technicians; we were under the
impression that the technology that the theories
demanded were beyond man's grasp. We were wrong.
BRINTON: Uh, right — um, so this third option was,
LOVELL: Right, off-world: Mars, ultimately, with
intermediate staging on the Moon.
BRINTON: What about candidacy?
LOVELL: For Alternative 3? It's not a lottery, if that's
what you're asking.
106 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
BRINTON: Mars was always the primary destination?
LOVELL: Not at first: 100,000 million + stars in the
Milky Way and as long ago as 1950 Fred Hoyle
estimated that more than a million of those stars had
planets amicable to life.
BRINTON: It was that vague?
LOVELL: In '57, at Huntsville, but the situation soon
changed, and by "soon" I mean twelve months.
Preparations were well underway by FEBRUARY of '58.
Turn the tape off.
"You are under the impression that Earth is a unique
water-rich blob of mud teeming with hfe, alone in an
otherwise desolate and lifeless solar system. This notion
has been marketed very aggressively and for obvious
reasons. It isn't true. Our definition of "life" has been
reevaluated. We have learned that sentience isn't
something that develops exclusively in a greenhouse like
Earth; the kind of sentience exhibited by creatures on
Earth is but one variety. That we found a great deal of
life on Mars shouldn't come as a surprise, and although
it was spectacular news, our imperatives precluded
"When you say "sentience," you mean other conscious
life-forms, like you and me."
"No, not like you and me — not exactly, although at
first..." Lovell paused, withdrew his pipe from his pants
pocket, reached for a nearby bag of tobacco, continued:
"Your people will portray Alternative 3 in a negative
light and that is understandable. But I'm not sure any
of us has the choices he or she thinks he has. I can only
say — and I know our astronauts, if they were able, would
confirm this — the rules on Earth do not apply in Space."
Alternative 3 • Section Ten • 107
"I don't understand — the pictures relayed from
Viking revealed an endless expanse of red rock — terrain
that seemed to offer little prospect for colonization — the
telemetry, everything. . . ."
"Uh, right," started Lovell, "Viking was equipped
with several instruments, one of which was developed by
a sewage engineer named Gilbert Levin. It was
designed to detect microbial life. It worked; microbial
life was detected in abundance... but it wasn't
"I don't understand."
"The Viking missions were designed to fail, not
unlike the Gemini missions. Viking's carbon- detector
was disabled in order to discredit Levin's results! NASA
knew that Levin's device would detect life in abundance.
They did with the Viking Missions what they will do
with your Alternative 3 broadcast: seed a handful of
truths and then discredit them; truths that once
undermined, will have a hell of a time finding a credible
audience. This is the method whereby which secrecy is
maintained, and you, Mr. Brinton, are an unwitting
agent. I know you'll do the right thing."
Brinton telephoned Benson from a payphone on
Nantwich Street in Cheshire. He told him the Lovell
interview was a success, and then walked to The Black
Lion on Welsh Row. He ordered a whisky. And then
George H. Leonard, interviewed by Colin Weston, agreed
that there was an obvious conflict between the
description of Mars offered by Lovell and the pictures
which had been released by NASA: "Many people have
also wondered why NASA was so stingy with its
108 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
photographic budget," he said, "particularly when you
consider how important the pictures are supposed to be."
Leonard pointed to a blow-up photograph of "familiar"
Martian terrain which was mounted on a board in the
studio. "That picture says it for me," he said. "We're
told that they spent all that money putting that probe on
Mars and then what do they do? They equip it with a
camera which can focus only up to one hundred meters.
And that, as somebody observed, is about the size of a
large film studio; it doesn't add up. If they really wanted
high -resolution imagery of Mars, they would equip the
craft with a vastly superior camera system — better
cameras are available — make no mistake about that —
but the one they used, well, it was as if they'd
deliberately fitted it with blinders and a broken lens."
"They determined that we should see only what they
wanted us to see?"
"That could be. Everything we see is filtered through
NASA — it is second-hand. So if they tell us it's Mars,
such a pronouncement must be accepted on faith. Audio
is no different; we don't hear everything that's said
between Mission Control and the spacecraft. There's
another channel — the biological channel."
"We learned about that from Maurice Chatelain,"
"Sure, Chatelain; he was well-acquainted with the
Apollo Unified S-Band System.
"It was my job to ensure that the extraterrestrial
question was considered and promoted by the type of
people that would, by association, undermine the
question's salience. "
WENDY had not gone back to Lambeth — not
since Harry disappeared. He didn't get out on
his own, not while stoned; someone must have
taken him. She knew she would never see him again.
She had to get away, or they might kill her, too. She
went to Birmingham; they would not find her there.
Had she let Harry down? She remembered the small
box which he had considered so important; he had
hidden it beneath a floorboard at the Lambeth house.
"It held the key," he'd told her, "to something important;
110 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
to a tape made by the dead man — Ballantine." She
ought to get that box to Weston at Anglia TV. She owed
Harry that much.
On Thursday, JUNE 9, Wendy took a train to London
and traveled by bus across the city and by 3:30 PM she
was at number 33 — the formerly derelict house. It had
been renovated and through the ground-floor windows
she could see a group of young people sitting in a circle
with their eyes closed. Wendy hesitated. She was
anxious and disappointed. She had expected the house
to be empty. She had anticipated walking in, marching
to the second-floor, peeling away the floorboard and of
hurrying away with the box. Now it couldn't be like that
at all. She tapped with her knuckles on the door —
tentatively, at first, and then harder. Footsteps
approached and the door was opened by a tall and
scrawny man with long hair and an unkempt beard. His
feet were bare and he was wearing tattered blue jeans
patched with bits of floral curtaining. His eyes — dark
and deeply-set — were disconcerting. He was in his mid-
thirties, maybe, or even nudging forty. "Good afternoon,
sister," he said. "Jesus loves you." His voice was deep
and his accent was East London.
"Who are you?" asked Wendy.
"Eliphaz," he replied. "Eliphaz the Temanite."
"I used to hve here. I left something important
"The only thing that is important is Jesus. Has He
entered your heart? He is waiting — waiting for you to
invite Him in."
"Could I pop in and collect it?"
The man stepped back, gestured for her to follow,
"Here in the Temple, everyone is welcome," he said.
"Come on in. Jesus is here," said the man
encouragingly. "And you need Jesus."
Alternative 3 • Section Eleven • ill
Wendy pointed to the youngsters who were still
kneeling in their silent circle. "What are they doing in
there?" she asked.
"We are the Children of Heavenly Love," said the
man. "We were sinners and we lived in the bondage of
the flesh but Jesus Christ, the greatest revolutionary of
them all, has entered our hearts and saved us from sin."
He closed his eyes, screwed up his face in apparent
anguish. "Thank you, oh thank you, Lord Jesus," he
said. He opened his eyes, smiled, and extended a hand
"Eliphaz," said Wendy, "Is that your real name?"
"It became my name when I entered into the love of
Christ," he said. "Before I found the Lord I was called
Jack. Now I am saved and Jack has exited stage-left."
"That thing I mentioned," she said. "I left it upstairs,
under the floorboards."
"You are more than welcome to come in," said the
man. "Here in the Temple we do not wish to keep things
which are the possessions of others." She followed him
through the hall and up the stairs. The place had been
cleaned and the walls had been painted. All three doors
on the landing were open.
Wendy indicated the front room. "In there," she said.
The man stopped, put a hand on her arm. "I forgot to
ask your name."
He smiled, "There is fear in you, sister. You should
accept the Lord and let Him help you."
"Why is my name important?"
"So that I can introduce you to my brothers," he said.
Wendy noticed two young men in the room. Both were
about eighteen and dressed in the style of the man called
112 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
Eliphaz. There was no furniture, not even the old sofa.
The young men were seated on the bare boards, studying
a shared Bible, whispering.
"My name is Wendy."
Both youngsters immediately looked up and
scrambled to their feet. "This is Wendy," said Ehphaz.
He took Wendy's elbow, eased her into the room.
"This is Lazarus, one of our brothers from America,"
he said. "And our friend over here used to be called
Arthur, but now he's filled with the Spirit and he's
become Canaan. Canaan the Rechabite."
"Jesus loves you, Wendy," said Lazarus politely.
"Praise the Lord!" He spoke with the warm and homely
drawl of the Deep South. On the knuckles of his right
hand was tattooed the word "love." A tattoo on his left
"Yes, Jesus loves you," said Canaan.
"Thank you," she said. It sounded ridiculously
inadequate and there was an awkward silence. She
indicated the section of the floor where the sofa had been
and turned to Eliphaz the Temanite. "It should be
there," she said, "under the loose boards."
He nodded. "You need help?"
"No, thank you. I can manage." They watched as
she attempted to pry up one of the boards.
"Wendy, do you know Jesus?" Lazarus put the
"Sure." She was preoccupied with her work and she
did not look up. "Sure I know Him." The board was
fixed more firmly than she'd expected.
"I mean really know Him," said Lazarus, vehemence
in his voice.
Alternative 3 • Section Eleven • 113
The board was now rising from the floor. Wendy
wormed her fingers under it and started to tug.
"I tell you," continued Lazarus, "He was an unwashed
hairy hippy from the slums of Galilee, but, you gotta
believe me, that cat was for real."
Loud creaks as bits of wood bent and finally burst
away from the retaining nails. Wendy peered down into
the darkness ■ nothing: She must have picked the wrong
board. "Yes, He's here with us today. He's right here in
this room, and I tell you, He's a mind-blower."
Maybe it was nearer the window. Yes, the board had
been just behind the sofa.
"He's the ultimate trip, Wendy, and you want to get
with Him because there ain't much time left."
This board was looser. She jiggled it a little to get a
better grip and lifted.
"It's all right here in the Bible, how the seven vials of
the wrath of God will be poured over the nations."
There! She snatched the box, got to her feet. "Thank
you," she said. "I'm sorry to have interrupted you."
Eliphaz, she now realized, had placed himself squarely
between her and the door. His face was coldly resolute
and his arms were folded across his chest. "That box is
yours and whatever is in it is yours, but I have to ask
you one question," he said. "Does it contain drugs?"
Suddenly he seemed bigger than before — bigger and
more powerful. She had been a fool to return to this
house. Lazarus and Canaan the Rechabite seemed to be
closing in on her, one on either side; her stomach was
churning with panic.
"I've got to go now." She was struggling to control
her voice, "please let me go."
"It's all here in the Book of Revelation." Lazarus
appeared to be unaware of what was happening in the
114 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
room. He was preoccupied entirely with his convictions
about the imminent End of Days. "Listen to this, the
Bible gives facts and details: '...and the fourth angel
poured out his vial upon the sun and power was given
unto him to scorch men with fire. . . '"
Eliphaz held out his hand. "Give me the box."
"No!" she shouted. "It's nothing hke that!" He stood
aside to let her pass.
"Please forgive me for being suspicious," Ehphaz
apologized. "We would have taken them if they had been
drugs. We would have taken them and destroyed them.
You have to realize that many of our brothers and
sisters here were damaged by drugs in their days of
"You're letting me go?"
"Of course, but please come back to see us," said
Eliphaz. "All God's children are welcome in the Temple."
"Let Jesus into your heart, Wendy," said Lazarus as
she walked to the landing.
"Hallelujah!" added Canaan the Birmingham
Eliphaz escorted her to the front door. "Don't forget,
sister, that you do need Jesus," he said. "God be with
At a nearby phone box, she dialed the number for
Anglia Television. "May I speak with Cohn Weston?"
"One moment," said the operator. "I'll put you
Arthur Garrett had prepared a background-information
sheet about Mars for Benson so that some of the details
could be fed into the program's links. Here is a relevant
Alternative 3 • Section Eleven • 115
One question which has not been satisfactorily
resolved concerns the atmosphere of Mars. Does it have
air which we could breathe? The answer, quite frankly,
is that no one seems to know. I've spoken to a number of
scientists who are confident that quantities of free
oxygen did exist there at one time. It may well be that,
as Lovell has suggested, life supporting atmosphere has
been locked in the surface-soil but I have been unable to
find any other expert who is prepared to publicly
endorse that suggestion. Obviously the question of Mars
colonization depends on an Earth like atmosphere.
Lovell has been publically denounced by his peers; I
wouldn 't stick my neck out professionally on his sayso.
In short, John, it's a fascinating theory but it doesn't add
Benson read the last few lines for the second time
and snorted. "Well, Arthur love, it's my neck that'll be
sticking out, not yours," he said. "Lovell's got me
convinced and I'm prepared to gamble on him." But he
didn't need to gamble, not as it turned out. For, at that
moment, Wendy was waiting to talk to Colin Weston.
JUNE 13, 1977: Memo from Aubrey Buxton to Marquis
I have returned to the studios today after a week's
sick leave and I am astonished to learn that it is your
intention to permit the McDermott interview. We have
already discussed the unethical circumstances under
which the interview was conducted as well as
McDermott's extravagant views. We agreed, I thought,
that his statements could not possibly be substantiated
and that, if dignified by inclusion in a program
purporting to be serious, could do considerable harm.
This particular Science Report program, as I have told
you on numerous occasions, is an example of
116 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
irresponsible sensationalism which will reflect adversely
upon the company's image. Once again, I urge you to
withdraw this program from the schedule.
JUNE 14, 1977 : Memo from Marquis Townshend to
/ can no longer agree with you over the remarkable
brain drain investigation which has been mounted by
Benson and his team. I grant that it is controversial and
even frightening. It will also cause embarrassment in
high places. However, I have assessed the evidence
which is now in the program — the product, I might add,
of diligent research and impressive dedication — and I
feel it would be a professional failure were we to
suppress what appears to be the unpalatable truth.
Since we last spoke I have had the opportunity to study
Brinton's interview with Dr. Lovell Lovell is a man for
whom I have the greatest respect and no one of his
stature would lend his name to anything which, in your
words, reeked of "irresponsible sensationalism. " There
have been times, as you know, when I have been
perturbed by the unexpected directions in which this
investigation has moved. I have rescinded my
reservations and Benson has my unqualified support.
JUNE 15, 1977: Memo from Aubrey Buxton to Mr.
John Woolf, Executive Producer...
You are already aware of my misgivings in relation to
the Science Report program, scheduled for network
transmission on JUNE 20, in which it is suggested that
there is an international conspiracy to transport
intellectuals and others to another planet. I have made
my opinions known on many occasions and I commend
your attention, in particular, to the minutes of the
Senior Executives' Meeting held on APRIL 8. I warned
then against what I recognized now as a policy of
Alternative 3 • Section Eleven • 117
/ am taking the unusual step of enclosing herewith
copies of all correspondence between the Chairman and
myself on the subject for I feel that, in view of the
damage this production could do to the reputation of the
company, this is a matter in which you might see fit to
intervene. I cannot urge too strongly that under no
circumstances should this program be screened.
JUNE 15, 1977: Memo from John Woolf to Marquis
Townshend. . .
See the attached note which reached me by hand
today from Mr. Buxton. It is not my practice to become
entangled in differences of opinion between my
Chairman and any of his subordinates, particularly
when I am approached in what I consider to be an
underhanded manner, with no copy of the note having
apparently been sent to you. Nor did I intend to
intervene on this aspect of program -policy which I
consider to be entirely your territory.
Townshend reread the memos. "Cheeky bastard!" he
said. He dialed Buxton. "Buxton, be in my office in two
Katie Glass took the call in the Science Report office.
"No, Cohn's popped out for a coffee. Who's this calling,
"I must speak to him," said Wendy. "It's urgent."
"Can I take a message?" Wendy wanted to get rid of
the box. Every wasted minute, she felt, put her in
greater danger. "Could you find him? It is desperately
"I'll see if I can catch him in the canteen. Can I give
him a name?"
"Tell him it's the girl who was with Harry," said
Wendy. "Tell him I've got Harry's package."
118 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
"I'm in a paybox and I'm out of change."
"Give me the number of the box and hang up," said
Wendy waited with her back to the door of the booth.
She was unaware of the man until he jerked the door
"You plan on spending the day in here?"
"I won't be more than a minute! I'm waiting for a
He grabbed her arm, started to pull her. "Well, I'm
waiting to make one, so come on out."
"This won't take long, really."
"Lady, this is a public box and I'm not hanging
around all day while — " The phone rang.
Wendy snatched the receiver, heard Weston's voice.
"Yes, it's Wendy. I was the girl with Harry," she said. "I
must meet you. Harry had something he wanted to give
you and now I've got it, but I've got to be careful."
They met an hour later at the spot where Weston had
first seen Harry Rosa — at the Boer War Memorial.
"They might be looking for you?" asked Weston. "Who
Wendy shrugged, "Who knows?" She handed Weston
the box. "That's what Harry wanted you to have; he said
it was related to the Ballantine tape. Does that make
"No," said Weston. "Wait here. I'll have a look inside
the box." He hurried to the Norwich Castle Visitor's
Center, locked himself in a bathroom cubicle and opened
the box. It contained a square printed circuit. He
Alternative 3 • Section Eleven • 119
"I have to go," said Weston. "See what sort of tune
we can get out of this."
"You don't need me anymore?"
"Where will you be?"
"Not sure. Not in the UK."
Weston tapped the box. "Do you want to know how
this ends up?"
"I'll contact you," she said. She hurried across the
street, and like Rosa, disappeared down Castle Meadow.
A few hours later, in the darkness of the Anglia
Television preview theater, Benson and Weston watched
in amazement as pictures from the decoded Ballantine
tape spilled across the screen. "I don't believe it!"
exclaimed Benson. "Good God, I simply don't believe it!"
EVERY seat in the preview theater was filled. All
members of the Science Report team had been
summoned to see what Benson and Weston had
been watching. Marquis Townshend was also there,
sitting next to Benson, and so were many other
executives. Benson's eyes were sparkling with
excitement when the houselights came up. "Well,
George?" he asked. "What do you think?"
Townshend frowned and nibbled at his bottom lip,
baffled and reluctant to commit himself. "What can I
think?" he countered. "If what we've seen is authentic —
if it isn't an elaborate hoax — then the human race has
been conned and we've got the most incredible television
scoop ever. But it can't possibly be true!"
"But it fits, doesn't it?" persisted Benson. "It fits with
everything else we've got..."
Alternative 3 • Section Twelve • 121
"Have you checked with Jodrell Bank — with people
who worked with Ballantine?"
"Yes; we've spoken extensively with Lovell."
"And put the thing to NASA. If we used it in the
program and it turned out to be a fraud, there would be
blow-back. I give you fair warning, John, I'm not
prepared to carry the can."
"But NASA is certain to deny it," protested Benson.
"Let me know when you've spoken to them."
Townshend got up, left the theater.
The NASA official, who refused to give his name, took a
very different attitude. "I've heard some freaky notions
in my time but this one caps the lot. You better face it,
son, someone's pulling your leg."
"Then you are stating categorically that the tape is
"How could it be anything else? That must be the
most stupid question I've heard this year."
"The information on it is inaccurate?"
"Why don't you do me a favor: quit while you're
"I'm taping this conversation. Will you go on record
and state, categorically, that the information conveyed
on the tape is fraudulent?"
"I'm sorry. I've wasted enough time on this! there's
absolutely nothing more to say."
Weston was left with a dial-tone. "Blast!" said
Weston. He was tempted to dial again. All the official
spokesmen had been briefed, asked to stay mum — to
laugh the idea off the stage. It was a charade. Weston
felt, more strongly than ever, that the tape was genuine,
122 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
but proving it — that was another matter. No sooner did
he return the phone to its cradle than it rang; it was
"Ballantine did meet a 'Harry Rosa' at NASA. I've
wrestled his diary from Lady Ballantine. He made a
couple of hurried scratches regarding the 'Harry' in
Harry promised help but is frightened. . .
Destroy tape. . .
"What are we to make of that?" asked Lovell.
"Was there anything else?"
"Nothing relevant," replied Lovell.
"The tapes you use at Jodrell Bank — is there
anything distinctive about them?"
"In what sense?"
"Could you, by studying this tape, establish if it
belonged to Jodrell Bank?"
"No, but I might be able to ascertain that it didn't
belong to us."
"And that would support the tape's authenticity."
"Sure it would, to a degree."
"Would you be wilhng to come to Norwich?"
"I'll leave immediately," he said. "I'm anxious to see
what is on the tape."
Weston met Lovell at reception and took him to the
preview theater where Benson was waiting. They sat in
silence, watching and listening. "Incredible!" exclaimed
"You think that originated at Jodrell Bank?" asked
Alternative 3 • Section Twelve • 123
"Let me examine the tape," said Lovell. Benson led
the way to the projection box and Lovell produced an
eye-glass through which he minutely studied the tape.
They waited while he inspected each frame. Then he
closely scrutinized the header and leader sections.
"Well?" asked Benson. "What do you think?"
"There are no Jodrell Signatures," said Lovell. "This
is the genuine article."
They hurried him to Townshend's office where he
repeated his belief and the reasons for it. "Give me just
one minute," said Townshend. "I'd like to have the
Executive Producer in on this one." He dialed Woolf s
internal number, explained the situation, and replaced
the receiver. "He's joining us," he said.
Woolf listened while Lovell spoke. "Fascinating," he
said. "And this diary — may we see it?"
Lovell nodded. "It's in my car."
"Well, George," said Woolf. "You're Chairman."
"Yes, but this is different," protested Townshend. "I
want your help. If we make a misstep there's going to be
"You want me to share the blame."
"George, are you keen on using the tape?"
"In light of Dr. Lovell's testimony, I'm all for it."
"Fine," said Woolf. "I'm with you all the way."
The Ballantine tape was the most astounding feature of
the now notorious investigative report known as
Alternative 3. It was authentic, but as Townshend had
feared, it did inspire blowback. Tim Brinton introduced
it and all that could be seen at first was a haze of colors
124 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
and uncertain shapes. There was a whirling blur of
confusion — multi-colored dust dervishes glimpsed crazily
through a tumbling kaleidoscope... Then the picture
resolved and the camera skimmed low over a barren
landscape. No vegetation, no suggestion of life — mile
after mile of red desolation. One could hear static, then
men cheering, and finally American voices from the
FIRST VOICE: Okay, try to scan.
SECOND VOICE: Scanning now.
FIRST VOICE: The readings... Where are the
At that moment, superimposed over the image of the
alien landscape, beneath a timestamp which read
13:59:59 UTC, viewers saw the computer-printed word
"TEMPERATURE." And, almost instantaneously, that
word was duplicated in Russian: "TEMllEPATyPA." Then
there was an outburst of Russian voices — excited,
jubilant. And then, once again, the second American
voice came through with great clarity: "Wait for it. Wait
for it. Come on, baby, don't fail us now, not after all this
way!" Computer data appeared alongside the words on
the screen. The temperature, they showed, was four
degrees Centigrade. More printed words: "WIND
VELOCITY," in English and then in Russian: "CKOPOCTb."
And the first American voice was shouting
triumphantly: "It's okay! It's good, it's good." A Russian
voice, equally ecstatic, carried the same message. Then
the computer readout delivered the most vital
information of all — in English and Russian — about the
atmosphere of the "new territory." The words and
letters were appearing with agonizing slowness. There
was silence, and then there arrived whoops of joy. The
first American voice could be heard shouting over the
din: "On the nose! Hallelujah! We got air, boys. We're
home! Jesus, we've done it. We got air! His yells of
Alternative 3 • Section Twelve • 125
excitement, and similar ones from his Russian
counterpart, were drowned by the crescendo of cheering,
and during a lull in that cheering the second American
voice could be heard saying: "That's it! We got it. We
got it! Boy, if they ever take the wraps off this thing, it's
going to be the biggest date in history: FRIDAY, MAY 13,
1960. We're on the planet Mars — and we have air!'
That was it — the end of the Ballantine tape. Millions
of viewers wondered if they had misheard: Man on Mars
in 1960! No, that was not possible. Tim Brinton, his
face somber, assured them that it was more than
possible. Here, from a transcript of the program, are his
We believe that to be an authentic record of the
first — and secret — landing on Mars by an unmanned
space probe from Earth. We also believe the date
given— FRIDAY, MAY 13, 1960— to be accurate. Clearly,
the blanket of security by which this information has
been covered could have been maintained only through
the active participation of governments at a very high
level. Clearly, there must have been some powerful
reason why the true conditions on Mars, suitable as they
appear to be for human habitation, have been kept
secret. Indeed, the effort which has gone into
persuading the world- at -large that the opposite is true
argues that some operation of supreme importance has
been going on beneath this veil of security. We believe
that operation to be Alternative 3. Whether a human
survival colony has been established on Mars, or
whether preparations are still in hand for its
transportation from the Moon to Mars, we do not know.
But we offer this program tonight as a challenge to those
who do know the truth.
He paused after spelling out that challenge, one hand
resting on a model of the Earth and one shaking hand on
a model of Mars. Benson watched, proud. He knew that
126 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
the company had taken a calculated risk with this
program; that what had been revealed would be
emphatically denied; that there could be ugly
repercussions for Buxton and Townshend — and
especially Brinton, the episode's personality. He was the
anchorman, the man who — as far as the public was
concerned — was at the center of the entire investigation.
He was well-known and well-respected and that, from
the official viewpoint, made him doubly vulnerable. It
would be remarkable if attempts were not made to
discredit him; to prove that, far from being a responsible
commentator, he had been party to an ill-conceived hoax.
At no time, however, had he considered opting out. He
believed in the truth, he presented it professionally, and
this particular truth was far too important to be
suppressed. He concluded with these words:
We regret if the implications of what you have seen
are Jess than optimistic for the future of life on this
planet. It has been our task, however, merely to bring
you the facts as we understand them, and to await the
The response started before he finished speaking:
Switchboards at newspaper offices and regional
television stations were flooded with calls from
frightened people; from people desperate for
reassurance. Those people got their reassurance:
Buxton issued a denial. But that denial was a lie.
THERE is nothing new, of course, in the concept of
men using the moon as a launch -pad for new life
on Mars. H.G. Wells, who correctly anticipated
many technical triumphs perceived as ludicrous by his
peers, in his classic The First Men in the Moon, wrote
"It isn't as though we were confined to the Moon."
"There's Mars — clear atmosphere, novel
surroundings, exhilarating sense of lightness. It might
be pleasant to go there."
"Is there air on Mars?"
"Seems as though you might run it as a
128 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
Wells, once again, has been proved right. A number
of leading journalists, honoring Wells' prophecies, did
not embrace the Buxton denial. They were puzzled by it,
for it had the ring of in authenticity. Alan Coren, in The
Times of JUNE 21, throws doubts on the validity of the
The seeming preposterousness of the story, on the
other hand, was totally acceptable. The
preposterousness of the times has seen to that. Why
should the madness of the NASA program not be linked
to the madness of Watergate, to create a NASA-gate in
which life is discovered on Mars, but the information is
suppressed for governmental ends?
James Murray of The Daily Express is another level-
headed and highly-experienced writer who does not
readily accept the obvious. And so on the front page of
his own newspaper, he courageously stuck to his
assessment of Brinton, Weston and the others^
They plausibly linked natural phenomena and real
events in space to come to the inevitable conclusion that
there was a monumental international conspiracy to
save the best human minds by establishing a new colony
on Mars — so all these scientists and intellectuals
slipping abroad were really being shipped to Mars on
rockets via the dark side of the moon.
Murray, in other words, recognized the truth even
though he did not have the facts to substantiate that
truth. Men like Coren and Murray worried Buxton.
They perpetuated the doubts and suspicions he had tried
to smother, and he was frightened that they might start
digging deeper; that they might be able to present the
full truth, which is the chief objective of the 33 ld
Anniversary Edition of Alternative 3. Other men, for
other reasons, were disturbed by the reahzation that the
Alternative 3 sensation was not swiftly buried. They
were particularly unhappy about Phihp Purser's Sunday
Alternative 3 • Section Thirteen • 129
Telegraph suggestion that the investigation might have
been a "fiendish double-bluff inspired by the very
agencies identified in the program," which, we concede,
is partly true.
Many Members of Parliament, not privy to the facts
about Alternative 3, have since claimed that they
suspected the truth. Nevertheless, they had the task of
coping with much of the terror which spread so swiftly
after the broadcast. Most people, as we have said, were
eager to believe Buxton's denial, but an appreciable
minority intuited the full significance of what had been
revealed. These were people, in the main, who had
already been cognizant of the sort of people behind the
1968 Condon Report (Scientific Study of Unidentified
Flying Objects). There were those who remembered
what the Evening Standard had said about the $500,000
It is losing some of its outstanding members under
circumstances which are mysterious. Rumors are
circulating — at least four key people have vanished from
the Condon team without offering a satisfactory reason
for their departure. The complete story behind the
strange events in Colorado is hard to decipher.
The validity of the suspicions in that Evening
Standard article suddenly seemed to be confirmed by
other statements later made public — quite apart from
President Carter's remarkable about-face on the subject
of flying saucers. Andrew Shonfield: "At the very
highest levels of East-West diplomacy there has been
operating a factor of which we know nothing... " Would
a man of Shonfield's caliber make a statement of that
nature? Apollo veteran Hank McDermott: "The later
Apollo Missions were smokescreens — to cover up what's
really going on out there, and the bastards didn't tell
us — not a damned thing!" Why, if there was nothing to
hide, did he make such a statement?
130 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
JULY 30, 1971 22:16:29 UTC
SCOTT: Arrowhead really runs east to west.
Mission Control: Roger, we copy.
IRWIN: Right, we're (garble) we know that's a
fairly good run. We're bearing 320; hitting range for
413. I can't get over those lineation(s) — that layering on
SCOTT: I can't either. That's really spectacular.
IRWIN: They sure look beautiful.
SCOTT: Talk about organization!
IRWIN: That's the most organized structure I've ever
SCOTT: It's (garble) so uniform in width.
IRWIN: Nothing we've seen before has shown such
uniform thickness from the top of the tracks to the
"I was put in an impossible position. For weeks after
that program went out I was getting depositions at the
House, demanding that the government author a formal
denial. I supported that demand; it would have helped
alleviate the anxieties of my constituents. However, it
Alternative 3 • Section Thirteen • 131
was not possible to pin down anyone in authority. I tried
to put down questions about Alternative 3 but they were
invariably blocked — and odder still, the House record of
my inquiries has been struck. I tried to raise the matter
privately with Ministers but was invariably told that
Alternative 3 was a subject that they were not at liberty
"I soon formed the impression that something
unusual was happening behind the scenes; that we in
Britain were on the periphery of some secret venture
choreographed by an unseen hand. Nothing specific was
said, you understand, but hints were dropped. It was
hinted that I had overstepped my bounds. "
According to his secretary, MP Bruce Kinslade was
also making inquiries into the facts presented in the
Alternative 3 investigative report of JUNE 20. On
WEDNESDAY, JULY 6, Mr. Kinslade was struck by a lorry
near his home in Kensington. VERDICT: "Accidental
JULY 26, 1977, The Times-
A frightening picture of the accelerating world
population is given in the 1977 World Population Report,
published this week by Population Concern. The report
points out that half the fuel ever used by man has been
consumed in the past 50 years. The world's population
is now more than 4,000 million and increasing by
200, 000 every day (07-01 -2010: 6, 830, 586, 985).
Thursday, September 29, 1977: Dr. Gerard K.
O'Neill was interviewed by British Aerospace
Correspondent Angus Macpherson. Macpherson,
respected as one of the world's most authoritative
science -fact specialists, wrote:
132 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
Flying to London today is another scientist who is
perfectly serious about his prediction of what faces the
human race as we approach the start of the 21 st century,
but American physicist Dr. Gerard O'Neill holds out the
promise of a totally different future — a brave new world
in space. The choice, as he sees it, is between George
Orwell's 1984 and Arthur Clarke's 2001. "Tell humanity
there's no hope and everyone applauds you. But tell
them there is a way out and they get furious, " say Dr.
O'Neill, who has worked for seven years on a mind-
stretching scheme for the emigration of most of us into
artificial colonies in outer space. He has been brusquely
dismissed as a peddler of nonsense by Jacques Cousteau,
whom he admires, and there was hurt as well as humor
on the lean face under its trendy Roman fringe as he told
me- "Jacques is terribly worried about the pollution of
the ocean and the destruction of its life. He thinks we
ought to be doing more about it', so do I.
Environmentalists are really very negative', they're so
obsessed with Earth's problems they don't want to hear
about answers. " O'Neill's own answers are that we not
only can colonize the solar system, but must, if human
life a few generations from now is to remain civilized.
O'Neill is coming to London to present his prediction
of space colonization to the British Interplanetary
Society. The BIS is a legendary forum for glimpses into
the future. Its members have seen a Moonlanding ship
unveiled, looking eerily like the Apollo LEM, but some
thirty years before it. And they were the first to hear
Arthur Clarke outline a visionary scheme for a global
chain of communication satellites. This could be a
similar bit of history-making. For most of the
generation that gaped at the first Moon landings it has
become a madly expensive confidence trick — a game of
golf on a useless rock pile that only two could play and
that cost 500 pounds a second. All this is desperately
myopic, declares O'Neill, for the denizens of a planet
Alternative 3 • Section Thirteen • 133
whose 4 billion inhabitants face the prospect of being
two to three times as crowded by the early years of the
"In fact, we found in space precisely the things we are
most in need of— unlimited solar energy, rocks
containing high concentrations of metals and, above all,
room for man to continue his growth and expansion. A
static society, which is what Earth would have to
become, would need to regulate not only the bodies but
the minds of its people. I refuse to believe that man has
come to the end of change and experiment and I want to
preserve his freedom to live in different ways. I see no
hope of saving it if we remain imprisoned on the Earth. "
Macpherson pointed out that O'Neill is "consulted
respectfully — if a shade warily — by Government
Officials, Senate Committees and State Governors."
The article indicated that O'Neill was not aware — and
possibly is still not aware — that the future envisioned by
Alternative 5 had already arrived. Macpherson wrote:
His colonies are planned as vast cylindrical metal
islands drifting in orbit, holding inside a natural
atmosphere, trees, grass, rivers and animals — a capsule
of a warm Earthlike environment. He sees them
reaching half the size of Switzerland and housing 20 to
30 million people, sustained by the inexhaustible energy
of space sunshine. Yet their construction, he insists,
would require only off theshelf materials.
The article finished with these thoughts :
For most people of the prespace generation, the
moment when the magic finally went out of the
adventure came a year ago when the dream of life on
Mars was dispelled by the Viking spacecraft, but for
O'Neill, that was another plus for space: "The best thing
we could have found was nobody there. The colonization
of the new frontier can take place without repeating the
134 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
shaming history of the Indian nation — or even the bison.
Perhaps nobody's there, anywhere, after all. Perhaps
there isn't a Daddy to show us how to do things. It's a
bit frightening, but it gives us a lot of scope. "
Howard Stanley Seifert
HOWARD Stanley Seifert, Emeritus Professor of
Aeronautics and Astronautics, died of cancer on
AUGUST 24, 1977, at his home on the campus.
He was 66 years old and had served on the Stanford
faculty for a period of 16 years before retiring in 1976.
Professor Seifert was internationally known as a leader
in the relatively new field of rocket propulsion, and his
special contribution at Stanford was to develop a strong
curriculum in this field, along with special research
programs in related areas of space studies and
Professor Seifert was born in Reynoldsville,
Pennsylvania, and pursued studies leading to Bachelor's
and Master's degrees in the physics department at
Carnegie Institute of Technology. He transferred to the
California Institute of Technology to complete his Ph.D.
in physics. His early postdoctoral experience included a
position as Associate Professor of Physics at Kalamazoo
College in Michigan for a period of two years, from which
he went to the Westinghouse Corporation as a research
physicist for another two years. During that period of
time his major research interests included infrared and
x-ray spectroscopy and development problems of gaseous
discharge tubes. To supplement a relatively low salary
at Westinghouse, he periodically brought forth patent
136 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
disclosures each of which rewarded him with an extra
$25 — an indication of his creative mind.
In 1942, Professor Seifert joined the Jet Propulsion
Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology and
entered the field of rocket propulsion that was to become
his specialty. During his 12 years at JPL, he rose to
Chief of the Applied Physics Division and made
important contributions to the basic science and
technology of liquid-rocket propulsion. During World
War II Seifert was a member of a small group working
with Professor Theodore von Karman, that was chiefly
responsible for the early advances in the field of rocketry
in this country. This group provided the technical
expertise for the earliest application of jet propulsion to
American aircraft systems, namely the use of JATO (Jet
Assisted Take Off) for launching aircraft. In 1954Seifert
left JPL to join the Ramo-Wooldridge Corporation (now
Space Technology Laboratories) and spent five years
there working on advanced propulsion and space
systems. He came to Stanford in 1960 to accept a
position as Professor in the Department of Aeronautics
and Astronautics, alone, with a management consulting
position at the then newly-formed Sunnyvale Research
Laboratory of the United Technology Center. His active
and imaginative service as the mainspring of the
department's teaching and research program in
propulsion and related space science is a matter of
record. In particular, he introduced into the Stanford
curriculum the concepts of advanced propulsion,
including electric propulsion in its several forms. He
always enjoyed working with students, and they
invariably appreciated his interest in their progress and
in themselves as individuals and as friends.
Professor Seifert published over 40 papers on rocket
propulsion, heat transfer, and applied physics. He edited
the important reference work Space Technology (Wiley);
Alternative 3 • Appendix A • 137
and was a consulting editor for the McGraw-Hill series
in Missile and Space Technology. In 1965 he was elected
to the International Academy of Astronautics and he
served also as President of the American Rocket Society
and Vice-President of the International Astronautics
Federation. He received the Rocket Society's Pendray
Award for his contributions to the astronautical
literature, and in 1976 received the Wyld Propulsion
Award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and
Astronautics "for your leadership in the field of rocket
propulsion over the past three decades, and your
extensive contributions to the technical literature in
propulsion and space systems." Seifert was also a Fellow
of the American Institute of Aeronautics and
Professor Seifert's more recent interests included the
fields of robotics and energy. He served as principal
investigator on a program called "Lunar Pogo
Transporter Project," a highly original proposal for
energy-efficient transport on the lunar surface by
hopping instead of rolhng. He was also an organizer of
the first national conference on remotely manned
systems held inl972, as well as an editor of a survey film
on "Remotely Operated Teleoperator Robot Systems."His
interests in solar energy led to his course entitled
Conversion of the Sun's Radiation for Man's Use. More
recently he had been a consultant to the government of
Saudi Arabia on the development of a solar and wind
energy research laboratory. Communicating scientific
information to the non-specialist was always a special
interest of Howard's. While still at Westinghouse he and
his wife Mary wrote radio scripts for a program called
"Adventures in Research." They also collaborated on
over 80 articles on popular science for young people.
More recently they coauthored a widely distributed book
called Orbital Space Flight (Holt Library of Science),
dealing with the physics of satellite motion. Mary and
138 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
Howard were a working team, and their relationship
prospered because of it.
Music played an important role in Howard Seifert's
life. He was an accomplished cellist and played regularly
with local friends in string quartets and other chamber
music groups. Among them was a group which included
Professors Daniel Bershader and Milton Van Dyke, and
which served as the resident chamber-music group of the
Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He
combined his musical interests with an interest in the
life of the Lutheran Community on the Stanford campus
by his special efforts in helping to acquire and install an
organ for the University Lutheran Church.
Howard and Mary had two daughters and one son, all
of whom are married and pursuing their own busy lives.
Howard himself was active in both curricular and
extracurricular pursuits until his final illness. We shall
miss him as a stimulating colleague, fellow music lover,
and as a human being who helped enrich our lives.
— Daniel Bershader, I-Dee Chang & Walter Vincenti
The Sphinx and The Spy
The Clandestine World of John Mulholland
Copyright © 2001 Genii Corporation
All Rights Reserved
Reproduced Without Permission
AT mid-century The Sphinx stood as America's
oldest and most prestigious magic magazine.
Over its five-decade history, it had become part
of the lifeblood of the conjuring world. Then, on June 29,
1953, John Mulholland wrote a letter to journal's
subscribers. "This is to inform you that as of June 1,
1953, the publication of The Sphinxhas been suspended.
The immediate cause is that my health does not permit
me to do the necessary work. My Doctor orders me to
confine my efforts at this time to the shows by which I
earn my living." [l]
It was true that Mulholland's health was not good.
An inveterate smoker, he suffered from ulcers, stomach
disorders and arthritis. Editing The Sphinx for twenty-
three years had taken a physical and financial toll. But
rather than limiting his activities to his live
performances, Mulholland had actually embarked on a
new endeavor... an endeavor far more secretive than
anything in the realm of conjuring. He had entered a
world of covert operations, espionage, mind control,
140 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
drugs, and even death. John Mulholland had gone to
work for the CIA.
At the time, John Mulholland was one of America's most
highly regarded magicians. An outstanding stage as
well as close-up performer, he had become a noted
author, lecturer, historian, collector, editor, and world
traveler. In many ways, he had helped make magic
Mulholland was born in Chicago, Illinois, on June 9,
1898. As a five-year old, he sat enthralled by a
performance of Harry Kellar's. It would begin a lifelong
love of conjuring. His family moved to New York when
he was quite young and it was there that he began to
learn the techniques of the craft. At age 13 Mulholland
began taking magic lessons from John Wilham Sargent
at $5 an hour. Known as "The Merry Wizard," the gray-
haired, goateed Sargent had been President of the
Society of American Magicians in 1905-6 and would later
serve as Harry Houdini's secretary from 1918 until 1920.
He was a true mentor to young Mulholland and instilled
in him not only an appreciation of the art of magic but of
its theory, history, and literature.
Mulholland learned his lessons well. He made his
debut as a performer when he was 15. While he would be
later regarded as one of magic's great scholars, his
academic achievements were somewhat hmited. He took
a number of courses at both Columbia University and at
New York's City College, but did not attain a degree.
From 1918 to 1924, he taught industrial arts at the
Horace Mann School in New York. He sold books for a
while and then taught at Columbia University before
embarking on a career as a full time professional
Alternative 3 • Appendix B • 141
Over the years, Mulholland developed an enormous
range of presentations. He was equally at home
performing close-up magic, entertaining a society dinner,
or working the mammoth stage at Radio City Music
Hall. In 1927 Mulholland gave a lecture in Boston about
the magicians of the world, illustrating each vignette
with a trick from that nation. It added a new genre for
him and for the profession: the magician as lecturer.
After the death of Dr. A. M. Wilson in April of 1930,
he took over editorship of The Sphinx. For the next 23
years he would oversee magic's most influential
periodical. He was a prolific writer. Aside from the vast
number of articles he penned, he authored such books as
Magic in the Making (with Milton M. Smith in
1925), Quicker than the Eye (1932), The Magic and
Magicians of the World '(1932), The Story of Magidl935),
Beware Familiar Spirits (1938), The Art of Elusion,
(1944) reprinted as Magic for Entertaining, The Early
Magic Shows (1945), John Mulholland's Book of Magic
(1963), Magic of the World (1965) and The Magical Mind
-- Key to Successful Communication (with George
Gordon in 1967). He had also co-wrote a 1939 magic-
detective novel, The Girl in the Cage, with Cortland
Over the years, he amassed one of the world's finest
collections of magic books and memorabiha. His library
housed some 4,000 volumes related to conjuring.
His knowledge of tricks seemed inexhaustible, as was
his familiarity with the performance, theory, psychology,
history, and literature of magic. He served as the
consultant on conjuring to the Encyclopedia Britannica
and the Merriam -Webster dictionary and at one time
was the only magician listed in Who's Who in America.
142 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
As America entered the 1950's, the world around
John Mulholland was changing. The Cold War was at its
height. US foreign policy had gone from trust to terror.
In June of 1950, over one hundred thousand soldiers
from Communist North Korea crossed the thirty-eighth
parallel, invading the republic to the South. The
previous year, Soviet Union had detonated its first
atomic bomb. The stakes had become enormous. The
consequences of military confrontation could well be
global thermonuclear war.
American policymakers decided that other means -
covert means — would have to be instituted to stop the
expansion of communism. As a secret study commission
under former President Hoover put it:
"It is now clear we are facing an implacable enemy
whose avowed objective is world domination by whatever
means and at whatever cost. There are no rules in such
a game. Hitherto acceptable longstanding concepts of
'fair play' must be reconsidered. We must develop
effective espionage and counterespionage services and
must learn to subvert, sabotage, and destroy our
enemies by more clever, sophisticated, and effective
methods than those used against us."
The vehicle for this effort was the Central
Within the Agency, there was a concern - almost a
panic - that the Russians had developed a frightening
new weapon: a drug or technology for controlling men's
minds. A new term had entered the lexicon:
"brainwashing." At show trials in Eastern Europe,
dazed defendants had admitted to crimes they hadn't
committed. American prisoners of war, paraded before
the press by their North Korean captors, "confessed" in
Zombiedike fashion that the US was using chemical and
biological warfare against them. When George Kennan,
the US Ambassador to the Soviet Union, made some
Alternative 3 • Appendix B • 143
inexplicably undiplomatic remarks at a press conference
and was declared persona non grata by the Kremlin,
American intelligence officials wondered if he had been
hypnotized or drugged.
The CIA leadership feared a "mind control gap."
The Search for a Manchurian Candidate
In early April of 1953, Director of Central
Intelligence Allen Dulles outhned to a Princeton
audience the urgency of the situation. Describing "how
sinister the battle for men's minds has become in Soviet
hands," Dulles revealed that the Russians had developed
"brain perversion techniques" which must be countered
at any price.
The CIA had already begun crafting this counter. On
April 3, 1953 Richard Helms, the Agency's Acting
Deputy Director, had proposed an "ULTRA- sensitive"
program of research and development in clandestine
chemical and biological warfare.
The goal, Helms wrote, was "to develop a capabihty
in the covert use of biological and chemical materials.
This area includes the production of various
physiological conditions which could support present or
future clandestine operations. Aside from the offensive
potential, the development of a comprehensive capability
in this field of covert chemical and biological warfare
gives us a thorough knowledge of the enemies theoretical
potential, thus enabling us to defend ourselves against a
foe who might not be as restrained in the use of these
techniques as we are. For example: we intend to
investigate the development of a chemical material
which causes a reversible non-toxic aberrant mental
state, the specific nature of which can be reasonably well
predicted for each individual. This material could
potentially aid in discrediting individuals, eliciting
144 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
information, implanting suggestion and other forms of
mental control." 
The "offensive potential" was unstated, but the aim
was clear: to create what later would be known as a
"Manchurian Candidate." The term would come from the
title of Richard Condon's 1959 best seller about a plot to
take an American soldier captured in Korea, condition
him at a special brainwashing center in Manchuria, and
create a remote-controlled assassin programmed to kill
the President of the United States. Condon's book was
fiction; the Helm's plan was not.
In fact, the CIA had already begun exploring the use
of chemicals to influence thought and action as well as to
incapacitate and even kill. Of particular interest to the
Agency was the potential the hallucinogen LSD had in
Discovered by Dr. Albert Hoffman on April 16, 1943,
d-lysergic acid diethylamide -- or LSD as it would
become known -- seemed to be a drug custom-made for
the intelhgence community. Its intense potency in even
miniscule amounts would make it easy to administer
covertly. The sense of euphoria and hallucinations that
accompanied it might well lead those under
interrogation to drop their guard and inhibitions,
enabling a free flow of information. Some beheved the
chemical might even be used to alter the state of a
persons being -- to convert an enemy agent, to
dishearten idealistic adversaries, to reprogram a
person's memory or thoughts, to get an individual to do
something he or she otherwise would never do.
The proposed CIA work on drugs and mind
manipulation was to remain one of the Agency's deepest
secrets. "Even internally in the CIA, as few individuals
as possible should be aware of our interest in these fields
and of the identity of those who are working for us." 
Alternative 3 • Appendix B • 145
On April 13, 1953 Allen Dulles approved the project.
The program was to be known as "Project MKULTRA. 
The "ULTRA" hearkened back to the most closely guarded
American -British secret of the Second World War: the
breaking of Germany's military codes. The "M-K"
identified the initiative as a CIA Technical Services Staff
(TSS) project. This was the division within the Agency
responsible for such things as weapons, forgeries,
disguises, surveillance equipment and the kindred tools
of the espionage trade. Within the TSS, MKULTRA was
assigned to the Chemical Division (TSS/CD), a
component with functions few others - even within the
Technical Services Staff - knew about. This unit was
headed by Sidney Gottlieb, then a 34-year old Bronx
native with a Ph.D. in chemistry from the California
Institute of Technology. A brilhant biochemist, Gottlieb
was a remarkable, albeit eccentric, man. A socialist in
his youth and a Buddhist as an adult, he was on a
constant search for meaning in his life. He found some of
it in an unrelenting passion for his clandestine labors.
He did not appear to be the least bit troubled by the
moral ambiguities of intelhgence work. He would do
virtually anything if he believed it to be in the American
interest. Overcoming a pronounced stutter and a
clubfoot to rise through the ranks of the CIA, he would
later describe himself as the Agency's "Dr. Strangelove."
Others were less kind. Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey
St. Clair termed him America's "official poisoner." 
The very same day that Allen Dulles approved
Project MKULTRA, Sidney Gottlieb went to see John
Gottlieb knew how to mix the potions. The question
was how to deliver them secretly.
Mulholland agreed to help.
A Magician Among the Spies
146 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
Gottlieb wanted Mulholland to teach intelligence
operatives how to use the tools of the magician's trade -
sleight of hand and misdirection - to covertly administer
drugs, chemicals and biological agents to unsuspecting
Why Mulholland decided to do this is a matter of
some conjecture. The world was a far different and more
dangerous place in the early months of 1953 than it is
today. The war raged in Korea. The bloody battles of
Pork Chop Hill, Eerie and Old Baldy were headline
news. Some 50,000 American servicemen had already
lost their lives in the conflict and more than 7,000 were
prisoners of war. Stalin's death in March raised
tremendous concern about stability in the Kremlin. In
the United States, Senator Joseph McCarthy's anti-
Communist crusade was raging. The prevailing mood
was one fear, perhaps even paranoia.
"John did not have a political agenda," says George
Gordon, a close friend with whom Mulholland would
later write The Magical Mind. "He said 'yes' because his
government asked him to."
Mulholland had an enormous sense of public duty.
He took great pride in his contributions, however small.
That a special edition of his book The Art of Illusion had
been printed in a format so that its 160 page text could
fit into the shirtpockets of World War II servicemen gave
him great satisfaction.
He was very aware of the role other magicians had
played in aiding their countries in times of trouble. He
had written and lectured about Robert-Houdin's 1856
mission on behalf of Napoleon III to help quell the
Miraboutded uprising in Algeria. And he was very
famihar with the camouflage work Jasper Maskelyne
had done for the British government during the Second
Alternative 3 • Appendix B • 147
Furthermore, the leaders of America's intelligence
community were the kind of men Mulholland could
easily hke and admire. General William "Wild Bill"
Donovan, the founder of the Office of Strategic Services,
America's World war II spy agency liked to hire Wall
Street lawyers and Ivy League academics to commit
espionage. He filled the secret service with confident,
intelhgent, often daring young men from leading eastern
colleges. By the time the CIA was established in 1947,
these were the people who ran America's covert
operations. Within the inner circles of American
government, they were regarded as the best and the
brightest. They planned and acted to keep the country
out of war by their stealth and cunning - two qualities
Mulholland long admired.
They were also America's elite. Steward Alsop noted
they were called "the Ivy Leaguers, the Socialites, the
Establishmentarians." He himself coined an alternative
epithet: "the Bold Easterners." The CIA, he said, was
"positively riddled with Old Grotonians." 
The men heading the CIA effort that Mulholland had
been asked to join certainly fit this picture. The
Princeton-educated Allen Dulles had been associated
with the prestigious Wall Street law firm of Sullivan and
Cromwell. His grandfather John W. Foster had been
Secretary of State as had been his uncle-by-marriage
Robert Lansing. A secret agent in both world wars,
Dulles looked like an avuncular professor with his white
brush moustache, his tweed suits, and his ever-present
pipe. But behind the jovial exterior was a hard and
determined leader. His brother John Foster Dulles
became Secretary of State on January 31, 1953. Allen
took up the CIA post twenty-six days later.
His deputy, Richard Helms, had a different
personality but similar roots. His education had
included a year at an exclusive Swiss boarding school
148 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
and another year in Germany. A Williams graduate, he
tried his hand at journalism before joining the OSS. He
served with Dulles in Germany and stayed within the
intelhgence community after the war. This prudent,
professional spy - the chief of operations of the
clandestine services -- could be seen playing tennis at
the Chevy Chase Club on Sunday mornings clad in long
white flannel trousers.
It may not be surprising that John Mulholland, who
spent much of his career among in New York's
fashionable society, would find such men fascinating. As
Jean Hugard wrote to Orville Meyer, "I believe in reality
Mulholland has an inferiority complex; he doesn't mix
with us poor mortals." 
If "The Very Best Men" who made up the CIA were to
the magician's liking, the converse was also true. John
Mulholland was precisely kind of person the Agency
wanted and needed. Here was a man with a remarkable
knowledge of the art of deception - its tools, its
techniques, its psychology. And he knew how to keep a
secret. Not only had Mulholland made a living from the
execution of these skills, he had gained a reputation as
conjuring's most accomplished teacher. By look and
demeanor, the magician fit the Agency mold. While his
roots were not really Eastern estabhshment, the tall,
slender Mulholland with his prominent nose and thatch
of gray hair certainly looked the part. He had entree to a
wide circle of business, governmental, social, academic,
and entertainment leaders. A world traveler, he was
equally at home on the New York City subway system or
entertaining the Sultan of Sulu or the King of Romania.
How and when Mulholland came in first contact with
the CIA remains unknown. Evidence suggests that it
was in 1952, perhaps earlier. By March of 1953, he was
certainly consulting for the Agency and being paid for
these "professional services." Inasmuch as he was
Alternative 3 • Appendix B • 149
billing the government on a biweekly basis, it seems
apparent that this was ongoing work with at least some
of it related to development of Project MKULTRA. 
During their April 13 conversation, Sidney Gottheb
asked Mulholland to put together a proposal for an
operations manual applying the magician's art to
clandestine activities. Mulholland summed up his
suggestions as to what this covert guide would have to
contain in a letter that he sent to Gottlieb the following
"I have given the subjects we discussed considerable
thought," Mulholland wrote. "Below is outlined what I
believe is necessary adequately to cover instructions for
"1.) Supplying... background facts in order that a
complete novice in the subject can appreciate the
underlying reasons for the procedures suggested. Part of
this background would clarify the erroneous opinions
commonly held by those who are famihar with
(magician's techniques). In this section would be given
alternative procedures, or modifications, needed by
different types of operators (differences in fact or
assumed), as well as changes in procedure needed as
situations and circumstances vary. The material is
necessary in order for the operator to be able to learn
how to do those things which are required. . .
"2.) Detailed descriptions of covert techniques in all
those operations outlined to me and variations of
techniques according to whether material is in a solid,
liquid or gaseous form. Included would be explanations
of (the skills) required and how quickly to master such
skills. It is understood that no manipulation will be
suggested which requires (actions) not normally used,
nor any necessitating long practice. To state this
positively: all (covert techniques) described would be
adaptations of acts usually performed for other
150 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
purposes. Descriptions also would be given of simple
mechanical aids, how to make them, and how to carry
them about. Where needed, application of the data
given in section 1 would be supplied. The time
consuming part of writing this section will be in
developing the adaptations and modifications of the best
existing (methods) to fit new requirements.
"3.) A variety of examples to show in detail how to
make use of the (techniques) previously described.
These examples would be given with varying situations
and the ways to accommodate procedure to meet
"If desired, I am prepared to start work on this
project immediately. I believe I can complete the
proposed writing in eighteen to twenty weeks. I
understand, if I am given this assignment, that you, or
your representative, would be willing to check my work
at a conference approximately every two weeks."
Mulholland estimated that the cost for him to do
write the manual would be $3,000. 
The Secret Book of Secrets
Gottlieb was very enthusiastic about Mulholland's
approach and wanted to move ahead quickly. On May 4,
he drafted a Memorandum for the Record spelling out
what Mulholland was to do:
1.) The scope of this subproject is the collection, in
the form of a concise manual, of as much pertinent
information as possible in the fields of (magic as it
relates to covert activities). The information collected
will be pertinent to the problem of (surreptitiously
administering) liquid, solid, or gaseous substances to
2.) The information will be collected principally from
the previous studies made by Mr. Mulholland in
connection with various problems he has considered. Mr.
Alternative 3 • Appendix B • 151
Mulholland seems well qualified to execute this study.
He has been a successful (performer) of all forms of
prestidigitation. He has made a careful and exhaustive
study of the history of prestidigitation and is the
possessor of an extensive hbrary of old volumes in this
field. He has further seriously studied the psychology of
deception and has instructed graduate students...
3.) The period of time covered by this request covers
six months from the date of commencement of work by
Mr. Mulholland and the costs will not exceed $3,000."
Mulhollands proposal was approved that same day
and $3,000 was set aside to cover its cost. It would
become Project MKULTRA, Subproject 4. 
MKULTRA — and its component parts — had already
become one of the Agency's most secret operations.
Mulhollands work, along with that of others working on
the project, was considered "ULTRA sensitive."
Consequently, there would be no formal documents that
would associate CIA or the Government with the work in
question. Instead, the Technical Services Staff was to
reach "an understanding with the individuals who will
perform the work as to the conditions under which the
work will be performed and reimbursement arranged.
No standard contract will be signed." [ll]
On May 5, Gottlieb, in accordance with this
procedure, wrote the magician that "The project outlined
in your letter of April 20 has been approved by us, and
you are hereby authorized to spend up to $3,000 in the
next six months in the execution of this work." No
contract or formal agreement was enclosed or ever
signed per CIA policy. However, the letter did include a
check for $150 to cover Mulholland's latest work for the
agency (March 18 th - April 13 th ). In terms of when
Gottlieb and Mulholland could next meet, the chemist
noted "A very crowded schedule of travel makes it
necessary for us to delay until June 8 th our next visit
152 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
with you. An effective alternative to this would be for
you to come on May, 13, 14, or 15 to discuss the current
status of the work. Is this possible?" 
Mulholland wrote Gottlieb back on May 11. "Thank
you for the notification that my project has been
approved. I understand the stipulations. I am resuming
work today." Enclosed was a signed receipt for the check
and a notation that Gottlieb's missive had taken longer
than expected to reach him. "Due to the fact that your
letter was addressed to (a former address), it was
delayed in reaching me. That was an apartment from
which I moved... years ago. The fact that the letter did
reach me shows the cordial relationship I have with my
local Post Office. My present address is above."  He
made no comment on how such an error could occur on
such a confidential issue.
Mulholland was keenly aware of the project's
sensitivity. Among the stipulations was a commitment to
total secrecy. Even the manuscript itself would have to
be written in a manner that protected the Agency should
it fall into the wrong hands. There would be no
references to "agents" or "operatives." Instead, covert
workers would be called "performers;" covert actions
would simply be labeled "tricks."
Mulholland immediately set about the task of
researching and writing the manual. While he
continued his performance schedule, he cleared his
calendar of other commitments. He stopped giving
magic lessons, put off work on other writing
assignments, and suspended publication of The Sphinx.
Ending The Sphinx was a major step for Mulholland
and for the magi community. Begun in Chicago in
March of 1902 and subsequently housed in Kansas City
and finally New York, this staid yet controversial
periodical had become the most influential of magic
journals. Mulholland had taken over the publication
Alternative 3 • Appendix B • 153
with Volume 29 Number 3 in May of 1930.  It was a
source of great joy for him. It was also a tremendous
burden. "For 23 years, I have edited The Sphinx as a
labor of love and without financial reward. Each of
these years I have spent a great amount of time, and
considerable money, to produce a magazine of service to
the professional magician and to the serious student of
magic. The magazine has been a professional
publication and never has catered to those who look on
magic as a sort of game. I realized I could not go on
forever and for the past several years I have been
searching for some individual, or group, qualified to take
over the editing and publication of The Sphinx and
maintain its standards. I found no such person, or
persons, and until such is, or are, found the publication
of the magazine will be suspended.
"I wish to express my appreciation to the many loyal
readers, and above all to the contributors who made my
editorship such a rewarding endeavor. It has been a
source of deep personal gratification to know how well
The Sphinx has been received during the years." 
The final issue, the 597 th , was Volume 52, #1, dated
For the next several months, he worked continuously
on the MKULTRA project.  He soon found, however,
that if it were to meet the CIA's expectations, his
manual would have to be far more than a hypothetical
extension of existing magic tricks, principles and
methods to covert activities. He was going to have to
create real world solutions to real world problems. He
and Gottlieb discussed the challenge.
On August 3, Gottlieb set up a new subproject
(Subproject 15) in order "to expand the original
provisions of subproject 4 to include an allowance for
travel for Mr. Mulholland and for operational supplies
used in the course of this project." Mulholland and the
154 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
Agency, Gottlieb wrote, needed to meet more frequently
in order to consult on the details of the manual and the
travel allowance would facilitate Mulholland's coming to
Washington for some of these discussions. Furthermore,
he noted, "Certain portions of subproject 4 require
experimental verification by Mr. Mulholland. The item
for operational supplies is intended to provide for the
purchase of supplies used to test or verify ideas. The
cost estimate for subproject 15 is $700.00 for a period of
six months." 
Even with these additional resources, Mulholland
found the project a greater challenge than he expected.
Getting it right was imperative. The consequences of a
magic trick going wrong might be embarrassment or a
decline in bookings; a covert operation going bad could
cost an agent his or her life. He met with Gottlieb in late
summer to discuss the matter. Gottlieb agreed to
consider extending the time to meet this need.
On September 18, Gottlieb filed an amendment to the
MKULTRA Project Records that noted "The time period
for the original proposal by Mr. Mulholland was six
months, which would expire about 11 October 1953. The
unusual nature of this manual demands that it be a
creative project... rather than a mere compilation of
already existing knowledge. For this reason the time
estimates are difficult to make in advance and it is
apparent at this time that the estimate was too short for
the adequate preparation of this manual. It is in the
best interests of the Agency to extend this time hmit and
obtain the best possible manual rather than hold Mr.
Mulholland to the six-month period. It is requested that
the original six month time period be extended an
additional six months. There is no change in the
original cost estimate or the original agenda." 
That same day, Gottlieb wrote to Mulholland: "This is
at least a partial answer to the questions you asked the
Alternative 3 • Appendix B • 155
last time I saw you. According to my records, your
initial estimate was six months, which would expire
about October 11; I am initiating a six month extension
of the original estimate, which should more than take
care of the time factor. The original cost was $3,000.00,
of which $1,500.00 is remaining as of now. 
Mulholland devoted his energies to the project and by
November his first draft was complete. But neither the
magician nor the Agency were completely satisfied with
the product. As Mulholland wrote Gottheb on November
"The manual as it consists of the following five
"1. Underlying bases for the successful performance
of tricks and the background of the psychological
principles by which they operate.
"2.) Tricks with pills...
"3.) Tricks with loose solids...
"4.) Tricks with liquids...
"5.) Tricks by which small objects may be obtained
secretly. This section was not considered in my original
outline and was suggested subsequently to me. I was,
however, able to add it without necessitating extension
of the number of weeks requested for the writing.
Another completed task not noted in the outline was
making models of such equipment as has been described
in the manual."
"As sections 2, 3, 4, and 5 were written solely for use
by men working alone the manual needs two further
sections. One section would give modified, or different,
tricks and techniques of performance so that the tricks
could be performed by women. The other section would
describe tricks suitable for two or more people working
in collaboration. In both these proposed sections the
156 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
tricks would differ considerably from those which have
"I believe that properly to devise the required
techniques and devices and to describe them in writing
would require 12 working weeks to complete the two
sections. However, I cannot now work on this project
every week and would hesitate to promise completion
prior to the first of May, 1954." 
Mulholland estimated that it would cost $1800 to
finish the project. 
Gottlieb, whose goal was an operational guide that
would be of use to agents in the real world, shared
Mulholland's view that broadening its scope to include
collaborative efforts by teams of operatives or by female
agents was well worth the delay. On November 17, he
authorized Mulholland to draft the two additional
chapters and extended the timeline for completion of the
book until May. This new work became MKULTRA
Subproject 19. 
Impressed with Mulholland's range of knowledge and
analysis, the CIA was beginning to extend its
relationship with the magician beyond just the
preparation of the covert operations manual. By now,
the Agency was utihzing more and more of his expert
advice. His ongoing meetings with the TSS staff
accelerated. In December 9, Gottlieb expanded
MKULTRA's Subproject 19 to increase the travel and
operational supplies available to Mulholland and to
provide for even more consultation between the conjuror
and CD/TSS. At the same time, he was asked to take on
yet another assignment ■ to work with the Agency "in
connection with an investigation of claims in the general
field of parapsychology..." 
The CIA was fascinated by the idea of mind reading
and thought transmittal. If possible, such extrasensory
Alternative 3 • Appendix B • 157
abilities would be among the most potent weapons in
their arsenal. It would revolutionize both the obtaining
and the delivery of secret information. At one point, the
Agency had been approached by a man claiming to be a
"genuine mystic" who had developed a system for
sending and receiving telepathic messages anywhere in
the world. Mulhollands task was to evaluate this and
other claims of telepathy and clairvoyance.
Mulholland, a hard-nosed skeptic, was right at home
investigating the paranormal. He had been lecturing on
the topic since 1930, when he began exposing the means
and methods of fortunetellers. He soon broadened this
to debunk and denounce other forms of occultism. By
1938, he had written a book on the subject, Beware
Familiar Spirits, which traced the history of modern
spiritualism and described its techniques. He had no
interest in letting the assertions of "mystics,"
clairvoyants and mind readers go unchallenged.
With increasing frequency, someone inside the
Agency would want an explanation for something they
had seen or heard and Mulholland was asked to explain
it. In virtually every case it would turn to have been
accomplished through the stagecraft of magic. This
would not stop the CIA - or other branches of the United
States Government - from spending enormous resources
over the next three decades to explore the possibilities of
parapsychology and remote viewing.
With this additional work at hand, it was soon
evident that Mulholland would not be able to have the
manual finished as anticipated. "An extension of time
is needed to give Mr. Mulholland more time to complete
this task," Gottlieb wrote. "The original estimated
completion date was May 1, 1954. It is noted that the
completion date estimate is now extended to November
158 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
In the spring of 1954, Mulholland found himself
facing an unforeseen problem. Much of his income for
the previous year had come from the CIA for work that
he knew was to be kept absolutely secret... even from
other branches of the United States Government. But
now it was time for him to prepare his taxes. Mulholland
requested instructions from the Agency on how he was
to report this income to the Internal Revenue Service
and what he should do if he were audited or questioned
by the IRS.
An internal CIA memo spelled out the problem: "Mr.
Mulholland is a self employed magician whose normal
income is derived from payment by various individuals
and organizations for individual performances. Although
not applying to calendar year 1953, other characteristic
sources of income are from publishers of books, etc., and
from individuals to whom he has given instructions in
magic. When preparing his Federal Income Tax form,
income is customarily listed by individual performances,
etc., with the person or organization paying for the
performance, the location of the performance, the
amount received, and the deductions itemized for each
performance or each source of funds, rather than for a
standard deduction to be taken. As may or may not be
characteristic with professional performers, these
deductions are often questioned by the Internal Revenue
people, and Mr. Mulholland is frequently called on to
justify some of his deductions. For this reason, a
detailed record book is kept of his income, with a
separate page for each performance or source of income."
While acknowledgement of the magician receiving
payments from the Agency was not felt to be a breach of
security in itself, the CIA believed that it was absolutely
imperative that the nature of Mulholland's work be kept
from IRS scrutiny. "After several conferences with the
Assistant General Counsel of the Agency, and the
Alternative 3 • Appendix B • 159
Security Officer for TSS, the following was
recommended^ Mr. Mulholland should report all funds
received from CD/TSS except for funds for travel
expenses, but no attempt should be made to itemize
deductions based on these funds. Income tax should be
paid on the entire amount reported. Mr. Mulholland
should determine a conservative value for the amount of
tax paid in excess of what would have been paid if
reasonable deductions were made. The reason for this
was the feeling that any questions by the Internal
Revenue people concerning funds paid by CD/TSS would
be prompted by questions on deductions made. It was
recommended that the excess tax paid by Mr.
Mulholland be refunded by the CD/TSS."  This
recommendation was immediately accepted "to protect
the security of the Agency." 
Mulholland followed the Agency's instructions and
was reimbursed by the CIA for the excess taxes that
resulted from this approach  Subproject 15 was
expanded to include this financial arrangement  and
similar agreements were instituted for subsequent years
in which he received remuneration from the Agency. 
Operational Applications of the Art of
Mulholland continued work on the operational guide
throughout the spring and summer. The text was
completed by early fall. But the magician had one more
task to do - to help prepare drawings, diagrams and
photographs to illustrate the book's proposed
techniques.  By winter, the manuscript was finally
complete. It was titled Some Operational Applications of
the Art of Deception.
"The purpose of this paper," Mulholland wrote in the
introduction, "is to instruct the reader so he may learn to
perform a variety of acts secretly and undetectably. In
short, here are instructions in deception." 
160 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
The following eight chapters - illustrated with
diagrams hand-drawn by Mulholland - ran over 100
pages and outlined how to apply the magician's art to
the needs of espionage and covert activity. It covered
how to administer pills, liquids, gasses and loose solids
surreptitiously. It discussed means of obtaining small
objects secretly. It proposed strategies and tactics to fit
the needs of female agents. And it put forth techniques
that could be used by teams of men working in tandem.
All this was set forth in language that adhered to the
original stipulations put to Mulholland in April of 1953.
The language of the manual had to sound like a simple
magic text without any words or examples that would
connect it to its true clandestine use.
But this was not some primer for amateur magicians
to learn a few tricks. No matter how gentle the
language, this was to be a guide for agents in the field to
perform dangerous, provocative and even lethal acts.
The solids, gases and liquids were not harmless
substances. What Mulholland was teaching CIA
operatives to do was surreptitiously administer mind-
altering chemicals, biological agents, dangerous drugs,
and lethal poisons in order to disorient, discredit, injure,
and even kill people.
Today - five decades after it was written - the tricks
and approaches set forth in this manual are still
classified "top secret."
Mulholland's name appears nowhere on the
document, but - consciously or not -- he did leave a
subtle trace: the illustrations he sketched detailing facial
expressions look very much like self-portraits. This
notwithstanding, Some Operational Applications of the
Art of Deception, remains John Mulholland's most secret
book of secrets.
A Member of the Team
Alternative 3 • Appendix B • 161
While the operational manual was now complete,
John Mulholland's work for the CIA was far from over.
He had become part of the MKULTRA team and the
Agency was already employing his knowledge and skills
in a wide range of ways.
In October of 1954, Mulholland's agreement with the
CIA was extended to include his assistance in the
"design of devices for the covert delivery of materials" as
well as provide for "such other travel and services as
may be desired from Mr. Mulholland at various times."
The following summer, the Agency asked the
magician to undertake another assignment. The success
of intelligence operations almost always rests on the
ability to transmit information clandestinely. Theirs,
after all, is a world of secrets. Mulholland's manual had
spelled out how to administer materials - notably pills,
liquids, and loose solids - to unsuspecting victims
through the tricks of the magician's trade. He was also
helping the Technical Services Staff design devices to
carry this out. Now he was to show the intelligence
community how to use the methods of magic to exchange
information covertly with one another. Furthermore, he
was to use his knowledge and creativity to fashion new
methods that were unknown even to the conjuring
On August 25, Gottlieb outlined this new project "on
the application of the magician's art to the covert
communication of information" in a confidential CIA
memo. According to Gottlieb, "this would involve the
application of techniques and principles employed by
'magicians, 'mind readers' etc, to communicate
information, and the development of new techniques. It
is contemplated the above would provide a contribution
to the general efforts in the area of non-electrical means
of communication. Mr. Mulholland has agreed to
162 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
undertake this task." Mulholland's compensation for
this was raised from $150.00 per week to $200.00 per
The Agency continued to enlarge the scope of John
Mulholland's work. On June 20, 1956, the magician's
arrangement was again expanded. "Objective: Make Mr.
Mulholland available as a consultant on various
problems — TSS and otherwise — as they evolve. These
problems concern the application of the magician's
technique to clandestine operations, such techniques to
include surreptitious delivery of materials, deceptive
movements and actions to cover normally prohibited
activities, influencing choices and perceptions of other
persons, various forms of disguise! covert signaling
systems, etc." 
That August the Agency extended its financial
arrangement with the magician for another year. 
And in November of 1957 Mulholland's projects were
authorized for yet another 12 months.  CIA financial
records show that he continued to submit vouchers and
be paid through February 5, 1958 
It is not clear whether John Mulholland continued to
consult for the CIA after that. By then, his health had
deteriorated considerably. He still smoked constantly.
His arthritis had become very severe, but ulcers and
other stomach problems prevented him from taking even
aspirin to relieve it. He severely limited many — if not
most — of his projects and activities.
While Mulholland's work for the CIA may have
ended, the Agency continued its interest in the
connection between the techniques of conjuring and
espionage. Indeed, in the spring of 1959, the Agency
extended another MKULTRA Subproject (subproject 83)
to revise and adapt some of material that Mulholland
had developed on "deception techniques (magic, sleight
of hand, signals) and on psychic phenomena." 
Alternative 3 • Appendix B • 163
MKULTRA was not merely some academic research
experiment. Nor was Sidney Gottlieb, the man who
oversaw Mulhollands work, just an American version of
"Q," the scientific wizard who supplied James Bond with
his dazzling gizmos and gadgets. Certainly Gottheb's
Technical Services Staff came up with more than their
share of wristwatch radios and disappearing inks. At his
core, Gottlieb was a dedicated and determined
"operations" leader. His chemical division laboratory
stored a vast array of poison pills and potions. And
Gottlieb knew how - and was willing -- to use them.
While a clubfoot kept him from military service in
World War II, it didn't stop him from engaging in some
of the CIAs most covert and deadly missions. He
traveled to Leopoldville (Kimshasa) with an Agency-
developed bio-toxin in his diplomatic bag. Designed to
mimic a disease endemic to the Congo, the virus was
cultured specifically for its lethal effect. Its intended
victim: Congolese leader Patrice Lumumba. Once in the
Congo, the scientist carefully instructed CIA operatives
in how to apply the toxin to Lumumba's toothbrush and
food.  Gottlieb mailed a monogrammed
handkerchief — doctored with brucellosis — to Iraqi
colonel Abd a-Karim Qasim  and he developed
poisoned cigarettes intended for Jamal abd an-Nasir of
Egypt.  Fidel Castro was an ongoing focus of
Gottlieb's chemists — from the LSD the Agency hoped to
spray in the Cuban leader's radio booth to the botulinum
pill-laden pencil they crafted to assassinate him. 
Foreign leaders were not the only objects of Gottlieb's
interest. Gottheb was constantly experimenting to see
the real world impact of his drugs. Such experimentation
was at the heart of the MKULTRA project. The Agency
conducted 149 separate projects involving drug testing,
behavior modification, and secret administration of
mind- altering chemicals at 80 US and Canadian
164 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
universities, hospitals, research foundations, and
prisons. Over the years, hundreds of individuals were
guinea pigs in this research. Some were government
employees, mihtary personnel, and students who had
varying degrees of knowledge about the tests. But many
were unwitting subjects, particularly drug addicts,
prostitutes, mental patients, and prisoners — people who
were unlikely to complain and even less likely to be
believed if they did. One group of men was kept on LSD
for 77 days. A mental patient in Kentucky was dosed
with LSD for 174 days. The CIA even set up its own
brothel to monitor the effects of the hallucinogen on
prostitutes and their unsuspecting clients.
Gottlieb's MKULTRA projects weren't limited to mind-
altering chemicals. He explored a host of biological
agents, toxins, and other drugs as well as such areas as
crop and material sabotage, harassment techniques for
offensive use, gas propelled spays and aerosols,
hypnosis, sensory deprivation, and electroshock. 
But the darkest episode may well have been one in
which John Mulholland found himself personally
involved during the very first year of his MKULTRA
work: the death of Dr. Frank Olson. 
Death and the Magician
Recruited by the US Army from graduate school at
the University of Wisconsin in 1943, Frank Olson was
one of the pioneering scientists in America's biological
warfare program. He served his active duty in the Army
Chemical Corps at Camp Detrick in Frederick,
Maryland, and later traded his Army job for a civilian
position within the same branch. He was soon working
in a new and highly secretive subgroup: the Special
Operations Division (SOD). The Division had three
primary functions: assessing the vulnerability of
American installations to biological attack; developing
techniques for offensive use of biological weapons; and
Alternative 3 • Appendix B • 165
biological research for the CIA. This CIA research
included an MKULTRA subproject (code name MKNAOMl)
in which SOD was to produce and maintain vicious
mutant germ strains capable of killing or incapacitating
would-be victims. An expert in biochemistry and
aerobiology, Olson's specialty was delivering such deadly
diseases in sprays and aerosol emulsions.
Twice each year, the MKNAOMl team from SOD held
a working retreat where the Army scientists could plan
and discuss future projects with their CIA counterparts.
On Wednesday, November 18, 1953, Olson and five of
his SOD colleagues traveled to a remote stone cabin
located at Deep Creek Lake in western Maryland for
such a meeting.
Sidney Gottlieb was always looking for ways to test
the effects of his chemicals. This session presented just
such an opportunity. His goal, he would later say, was
to "ascertain the effect clandestine application of LSD
would have on a meeting or conference." After dinner on
the second night of the retreat, he had his assistant, Dr.
Robert Lashbrook place a "very small dose" of LSD in a
bottle of Cointreau. All but two of the SOD team was
served the LSD -laced liqueur. As part of this
"experiment," Olson unwittingly received some 70
micrograms of the hallucinogen.
Until then, Gottlieb saw nothing unusual in Olson's
behavior. However the introduction of the drug had a
definite effect on the entire group. Increasingly
boisterous, they soon could not engage in sensible
conversation. The meeting continued until about LOO
a.m., when the participants retired for the evening.
Gottlieb later recalled that Olson, among others,
complained of "wakefulness" during the night. But aside
from some evidence of fatigue, Gottlieb observed nothing
unusual in Olson's actions, conversation, or general
behavior the next morning.
166 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
By the time Olson returned home Friday evening,
things had changed radically. The 43 -year old
biochemist was, as his wife Alice would later recount, "a
totally different person" — severely depressed, anxious,
highly agitated. Lapsing into silence, Olson wouldn't tell
his wife anything that had occurred. All he would say
was "I'm going to have to resign; I've made a terrible
The following Monday, November 23, Olson was
already waiting for his boss, Lt. Col. Vincent Ruwet,
when he arrived at work at 7^30 a.m. Olson told him that
he wanted to quit or be fired. Ruwet reassured him that
everything would be all right. Olson phoned his wife "I
talked to Vin, he said I didn't make a mistake,
everything is fine and I'm not going to resign." But
Tuesday morning saw a return of his anxiety and
depression. Olson again went to Ruwet and, after an
hour-long conversation the two decided that Olson would
benefit from medical assistance.
Col. Ruwet - keenly aware of the sensitivity of
Olson's circumstances - immediately turned to the CIA
for help. He telephoned Robert Lashbrook and advised
him that "Dr. Olson was in serious trouble and needed
immediate professional attention." Agreeing to make the
appropriate arrangements, Lashbrook then phoned
Ruwet was instructed to bring Olson to Washington,
D.C. to meet with Lashbrook. A few hours later all three
men were on their way to New York to see the physician
that Gottlieb and Lashbrook had agreed upon: Dr.
Abramson was an unlikely doctor from whom to seek
psychiatric assistance. An allergist and immunologist
practicing medicine in New York City, he had no formal
training or degree in psychiatry, nor did he hold himself
out to be an expert in the field. He was, however, closely
Alternative 3 • Appendix B • 167
associated with research projects supported indirectly by
the CIA and had substantial experience with LSD. Fully
vetted by the Agency, he had a "top secret" security
clearance, and while the CIAs Security and Medical
offices maintained a long list of other doctors, including
psychiatrists, with such "top secret" approval,
Abramson's work and interest placed him well inside the
Technical Services Staffs "family." Gottlieb was
determined that his secret activities remained secret -
even within the wider reaches of the CIA.
Abramson saw Olson twice that day -- first at his
East 58 th Street office and then later that night at
Olson's hotel. On the latter visit, the doctor gave the
biochemist two bottles: one of bourbon and one of the
sedative Nembutal - an unorthodox prescription for
someone in Olson's condition.
Frank Olson was slated to see Abramson again the
following day. Before doing so, the three men made
another stop. "We accompanied Dr. Lashbrook, at Dr.
Lashbrook's suggestion, on an official visit he had to
make," Ruwet would later disclose in a confidential CIA
affidavit. That visit was to John Mulholland.
The three men arrived at Mulholland's office around
3:00pm on November 25. Things did not go well. "During
this visit, Dr. Olson became highly suspicious and mixed
up. When this became apparent we tactfully cut the
visit short." 
Lashbrook then took Olson for another session with
Abramson. The next morning, Thursday, November 26,
Lashbrook, Olson and Ruwet returned to Washington so
that Olson could spend Thanksgiving with his family. An
SOD driver met Olson and Ruwet at National Airport.
But as they were driving up Wisconsin Avenue, Olson
had the car pull into a hotel parking lot. Olson told
Ruwet that he was too ashamed to face his family and
afraid that he might become violent with his children.
168 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
After a lengthy discussion, it was decided that Olson and
Lashbrook would return to New York, and that Ruwet
would go to Olson's home in Frederick, Maryland, to
explain the situation to Olson's wife.
Lashbrook and Olson flew back to New York that
same day for further consultations with Abramson. They
spent Thursday night at a Long Island hotel not far from
Abramson's Long Island clinic. The next morning the
two men returned to Manhattan with Abramson. By now
the biochemist was acting more and more "psychotic"
with what Abramson would later say were "delusions of
persecution." Olson thought the CIA was out to get him.
After further discussions with Abramson, it was agreed
that Olson should be placed under regular psychiatric
care at Chestnut Lodge, an institution closer to his home
and which had CIA-cleared psychiatrists on its
Rockville, Maryland, staff.
Arrangements were made for Frank Olson's
immediate admission to the hospital. In what was
undoubtedly a remarkable coincidence, the doctor who
served as the admitting physician for was Dr. Robert W.
Gibson - the 25-year old son of Walter Gibson. 
Walter Gibson was one of magic's most prolific writers
and editors, though the general public would know him
best as the author of "The Shadow." He was also a close
friend and colleague to John Mulholland.
Unable to obtain air transportation for a return trip
on Friday night, Lashbrook and Olson made plane
reservations for Saturday morning and checked into
room 1018A in the Statler Hotel. Between the time they
checked in and KKOO p.m. they watched television,
visited the cocktail lounge, and then had dinner.
According to Lashbrook, Olson "was cheerful and
appeared to enjoy the entertainment." He "appeared no
longer particularly depressed, and almost the Dr. Olson
I knew prior to the experiment."
Alternative 3 • Appendix B • 169
After dinner, Lashbrook and Olson watched
television for about another hour, and at lLOOp.m.
Olson suggested that they go to bed, saying that "he felt
more relaxed and contented than he had since [they]
came to New York." Olson then left a call with the hotel
operator to wake them in the morning.
At approximately 2:30 a.m. Saturday, November 28,
Frank Olson crashed through the closed window blinds
and the closed window of his hotel room and fell to his
death on the Seventh Avenue sidewalk 10 floors below.
Lashbrook would later claim that he was awakened
by the crash of glass as Olson hurtled through the closed
window. But his first reaction was not to run downstairs
or call the police or the hotel operator. Instead, he
telephoned Gottlieb at his home and informed him that
Olson was now dead. It was only then that Lashbrook
dialed the front desk and reported the incident to the
By that time a cover-up had already begun. The
question is a cover-up of what?
Within minutes, uniformed New York City police
officers and hotel employees came to Lashbrook's room.
The CIA staffer was still in his underwear, on the
telephone in the bathroom. He told the police that he
worked for the Defense Department and he didn't know
why Olson had jumped from the window, but he did
know that Olson "suffered from ulcers" and might have
been suffering from job-related stress. The police
suspected foul play.
Two officers of the 14 th Detective Squad then
interviewed Lashbrook at the local police station.
Getting information out of him, they noted, "was like
pulling teeth." They asked to see what was in his
pockets and billfold. Among the contents of his wallet
was a scrap of paper with the initials "JM" on it, an
170 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
address, and a telephone number  . When asked by
the officers who this "JM" was, "Lashbrook indicated he
preferred not to identify him because of security reasons
and the matter was pressed no further by the
The police had little reason to see any connection
between paper and the incident. Their suspicions were
in another direction. At one point, the two officers
speculated to each other that the case might be a simple
homicide with homosexual overtones and noted this in
their written report.
In the meantime, Sidney Gottlieb had already
reported up the chain of command. CIA Director Allen
Dulles immediately dispatched agents of the Security
Branch -- what some have termed the "CIAs fixit men"-
to contain the situation. The Security Branch agents
quickly closed the NYPD investigation. They took every
necessary step to prevent Frank Olson's death from
being connected with the CIA in any way. They supplied
complete cover for Lashbrook so that his association
with the Agency would remain a complete secret.
With the external front under control, the Agency
then turned to its own internal investigation. Lashbrook
was again interviewed, but this time by an experienced
agent from the CIA. Now when asked who "JM" was,
Lashbrook identified him "as John Mulholland."
Interestingly he referred to him not as "John
Mulholland, the magician" or "John Mulholland, a writer
and lecture." He identified him solely as "John
Mulholland, an Agency employee."  Moreover, among
the papers in Lashbrook's room was "a receipt on plain
white paper for $115.00 dated November 25 1953 and
signed by John Mulholland. The receipt indicated
Advance for Travel to Chicago.'" 
However forthcoming Lashbrook was, the Technical
Services Staff still tried to keep the details of its
Alternative 3 • Appendix B • 171
operations from the scrutiny of others even within the
Agency itself. It downplayed the connection between
TSS and Olson's death and minimized any link to LSD.
Internal memoranda written after the biochemist's
passing questioned his emotional stability - a direct
contradiction to statements evaluating his mental state
prior to the Deep Creek incident. In the end, however,
the full details of MKULTRA and the experiment
involving Olson reached others within the CIA.
The CIA officially took the position that Olson's death
was indeed a suicide, triggered by the LSD given to him
by Gottheb and Lashbrook. But of course it hid even that
from the public, including the Olsons. The family had
only been told that the stress of his job had led to a
nervous breakdown and that Frank Olson had killed
himself. What little else they knew came from a small
article in their local paper: "Army Bacteriologist Dies in
Plunge from NY Hotel." In order to assure his family of
Civil Service benefits, the CIA had his death officially
recorded as a "classified illness."
And so it remained for twenty-two years. Then in
June 1975 a special commission chaired by Vice
President Nelson Rockefeller released the findings of its
investigation into illegal CIA domestic operations.
The Washington Post's coverage of the Rockefeller Report
noted that in the early 1950's an unnamed civihan
employee of the Department of the Army had leaped to
his death from a New York hotel window after the CIA
had given him LSD without his knowledge. On reading
the article, Alice Olson instantly reahzed the man
described in the morning paper was her husband.
Vincent Ruwet confirmed her suspicion that the
individual was indeed Frank Olson, but because of the
still top-secret status of the project was unable to
divulge any further details. On July 11, 1975, the Olson
family held a press conference expressing their outrage
172 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
and anguish, called for a full accounting of the incident,
and filed a wrongful death suit against the United
States Government. The story made national headlines.
Mind Control Murder?
Official Washington moved quickly to end the furor.
President Ford invited Alice Olson and her son, Eric, to
the White House where he personally apologized on
behalf of the government. Congress enacted legislation
providing $750,000 in compensation to the Olson family.
And CIA Director Wilham Colby met the Olsons for
lunch, where he gave them what he said was the
complete CIA-file on the Olson case. 
While the CIA was now "admitting" that Frank
Olson's death was a suicide brought on by the after-
effects of CIA- administered LSD, Eric Olson was never
fully convinced. This was, he felt, a classic example of
sophisticated misdirection, using a skill from the
magician's toolkit to protect a clandestine operation. "I
believe the key to all this," he would later write, "lies in
the connection between the heart of covert operations,
which consists in creating adequate cover stories, and
the heart of the magician's art, which consists in being
able to direct attention precisely to the place where the
thing is not happening... All curiosity was riveted on the
startling disclosure that the CIA had unwittingly
drugged a top scientist, but left no curiosity available for
the question of, 'Oh yes, what about his death; you
haven't told us how he could have gotten out the
After his mother died in 1993, Eric and the family
decided to move Frank Olson's remains from another
cemetery so that he could be reburied beside his wife. At
the same time, the son got a court order to have an
Alternative 3 • Appendix B • 173
Frank Olson had been buried in a sealed casket. This
was supposedly to spare his family from seeing how
badly mutilated his face and body were from crashing
through a plate glass window and falling ten stories to
the concrete below. But when the casket was opened,
Olson had none of the cuts or abrasions on his face as
had been expected. Instead, the forensic pathologist, Dr.
James Starrs, a Professor of Law and Forensic Science
at the National Law Center at The George Washington
University, found a deep bruise on Olson's forehead.
The bruise was severe enough to have rendered Olson
unconscious, Starrs thought, but probably did not result
from the fall. His conclusion was that the evidence was
starkly "suggestive of homicide."
That was Eric Olson's conclusion as well. He simply
couldn't imagine how his father could have run across
the small, dark hotel room, gained enough velocity to
vault over a radiator and crash with enough force to go
through the closed blinds and the heavy glass pane of a
shut hotel window... all with a CIA agent asleep in the
next bed whose entire responsibility was to keep track of
Despite this new evidence, federal prosecutors
refused to pursue the inquiry. The terms of the $750,000
Congressional financial settlement precluded a civil suit.
But Eric Olson was able to persuade New York public
prosecutor Stephen Saracco to look into the case.
Saracco decided there was indeed enough evidence to
convene a grand jury for an investigation into the death.
That investigation is continuing.
If Olson was murdered, the question is why? Did the
Technical Services Staff find itself with a man who knew
so much and yet was so ill that he was a threat the
MKULTRA's secrecy? Was the Olson case an experiment
in mind and behavior control that went so terribly wrong
it had to be terminated? Had Frank Olson said or done
174 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
something that was — as he himself feared — a breach of
security? Had he seen something so repugnant in the
MKULTRA work that he couldn't be part of it? Did the
biochemist intend to resign from an agency that could
then neither let him continue nor permit him to quit?
These remain questions for the grand jury to ponder.
Another unanswered question is raised by the small
scrap of paper that Robert Lashbrook had in his wallet
the night Frank Olson died. That was the paper with the
initials "JM" on it along with John Mulholland's address
and telephone number. Why was Olson in John
Mulholland's office on November 25? And what made
him so upset that the meeting had to be abandoned?
That Lashbrook would be meeting with Mulholland
should not be surprising. Part of the original agreement
between Mulholland and the CIA was that Gottlieb — or
his representative — would review the work the magician
was doing for the Agency at a biweekly conference. 
As the project progressed, it was clear that "frequent
consultations between Mr. Mulholland and CD/TSS"
were indeed essential. In order to facihtate these
conferences, Mulholland was provided an additional
travel allowance.  Even so, meetings were not
always easy to schedule and Lashbrook's being in New
York on other business would certainly have made
getting together simpler.
Moreover, Mulholland's work on the manual was at a
critical point. His manuscript encompassing the original
outline of the guide had just been completed. The
magician was now turning his attention to the two new
sections to be added to the first draft: one on covert
activities by women and the other on applications
suitable for teams of two or more people working in
collaboration with each other. In fact, it had only been a
week since Gottheb authorized Mulholland to proceed on
these two additional chapters.  Conferring with
Alternative 3 • Appendix B • 175
Lashbrook on the scope and substance of this material
would be only natural.
At the same, the Agency had begun to rely
increasingly on Mulholland for his advice and expertise.
Lashbrook carried with him a check for $115.00 — a
travel advance for an upcoming trip that Mulholland
was making to Chicago on behalf of the CIA. Why
Mulholland was going to Chicago for the Agency remains
uncertain, although there is some evidence that he was
going to take part in secretly assessing the claims of
Andrija Puharich — claims that related to electronic
systems and telepathy. His subsequent handwritten
travel voucher for the December 3 journey only lists
meeting with a "contact."  Perhaps the Lashbrook
visit was scheduled for the two men to discuss this
activity. In any event, Lashbrook did deliver the check
during the November 25 session and received a
handwritten receipt in return. 
With only an hour between the time Lashbrook was
slated to meet with Mulholland and Frank Olson's next
appointment with Dr. Abramson, it might have been
simply out of convenience that Lashbrook suggested that
Olson and Col. Ruwet accompany him on this visit.
Mulholland was always a gracious host and an engaging
conversationalist. It may well be, as John Marks
suggests, that "Lashbrook thought that the magician
might amuse Olson."  In fact, just the opposite
occurred. Olson got so suspicious and upset that the
meeting was quickly ended.
There are others who suggest that the motive behind
the Mulholland visit was far less benign. "One of the
things Mulholland may have been helping them do was
to create a cover story for what... they were doing in New
York in the first place," notes Eric Olson. Beyond that,
he says, "it fits with what they were trying to do in New
York: to assess, from any direction possible, how
176 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
deep... they were in with my father, and to try, again by
any means possible, to fix it and save their own butts."
Frank Olson's son is not the only one to suggest that
Mulhollands conjuring-related knowledge and skills
were being put to use to interrogate and influence the
biochemist. This is clearly the implication of the film
documentary Mind Control Murder produced by
Principal Films and presented as part of Arts &
Entertainment Network's Investigative Reports series in
September of 1999. 
The documentary puts forward its "strong evidence"
that Olson was eliminated by the CIA because he
wanted to leave the government after witnessing the
real world use of MKULTRA interrogation techniques,
including drugs and hypnosis... techniques that have
been "terminal" in nature. The activities at Deep Creek,
it suggests, were designed to find out what Olson knew,
what he had done, and what he was hkely to do. It cites
independent writer and investigator Hank Albarelli: "I
think there was an experiment of some sort at Deep
Creek Lodge. I think that it might have involved
hypnosis and that hypnosis experiment may have been
continued in New York in John Mulhollands office and
possibly in Dr. Harold Abramson's office."
"If Albarelli is right," the film's narrator Bill Kurtis
concludes, "the... method of special interrogation was
both the secret Olson was worried about and the
technique that two of its leading practitioners — John
Mulholland and Harold Abramson — then used on him."
The problem with this theory is that there is no
evidence that Mulholland was skilled as a hypnotist. To
the contrary, he appears to have been extremely
skeptical of its practicality, dismissing many exhibitions
of hypnosis as merely "magic shows."  Moreover, the
Agency had access to a wide range of individuals with
Alternative 3 • Appendix B • 177
true expertise in the area. There were at least eight
separate MKULTRA subprojects devoted to hypnosis,
including two involving hypnosis and drugs in
combination.  Five major CIA-sponsored hypnosis
experiments had already been undertaken by that
November. Indeed, Gottlieb had observed some of this
work firsthand and was well acquainted with the
hypnotists involved. 
"Even if Mulholland were not a skilled
hypnotist they still might have gone to see him, even if
hypnosis were the purpose," counters Eric Olson. "He
might have been the best they had available at the
moment and also the only guy with an adequate security
clearance to handle what they wanted. But they might
have found other ways of using Mulhollands skills, in
addition to or beyond hypnosis. ..I think the overall
purpose is clear: they were exploring whether and to
what extent they might distract my father (certainly the
essence of the magician's art) for the purpose of taking
his eye off the ball, making him forget, creating amnesia.
In trying to distract my father... they were taking a risk:
the same techniques that ultimately might quiet him
could also, if he detected what was going on, increase his
anxiety and fear." 
Whatever happened in Mulholland's office that
November afternoon, it did not curtail his work with the
Central Intelligence Agency. He continued his
relationship with the CIA for at least another five years.
His ability to keep this part of his hfe secret for so long
may well have been his greatest magic trick.
In Search of Secrets
That any evidence of John Mulhollands involvement
with the CIA still exists is remarkable in itself -
although it would take decades for it to come to light.
The CIAs practice was to maintain no records relating
to the planning and approval of MKULTRA programs.
178 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
 Few other files ever existed. Then, in January 1973,
acting on Sidney Gottlieb's verbal directions, the
Agency's Technical Services personnel sought out and
destroyed every single MKULTRA record they could find.
Gottlieb later testified -- and Richard Helms -- confirmed
that in ordering the destruction of the papers, Gottlieb
was carrying out then-CIA Director Helms' verbal
At some point, John Mulholland's personal files were
also apparently vetted to remove any connection
between him and the Agency. While Mulholland was
meticulous in his personal record keeping, not a single
reference to his clandestine work remains in his
personal archives. Noted writer and intelligence expert
Jim Hougan combed through the magician's files which
are now housed in David Copperfield's secret warehouse
in Nevada. "I went through each and every document
page by page. Not a single line related or referred to the
Agency. They were spic-and-span. It was apparent that
John Mulholland's files had been gone through and
sanitized by someone who knew the Agency and knew
how to eradicate any hint of its presence." 
Despite these efforts and unbeknownst to Gottlieb
and his staff, some MKULTRA documents still remained.
These files — presumably routine records from the TSS's
Budget and Fiscal Section — had been sent to the CIAs
Retired Records Center outside of Washington in 1970.
They should not have contained any MKULTRA material.
The financial paper associated with sensitive projects
such as this were normally kept by the branch itself
under the project title, not in the files of the branch's
Budget and Fiscal Section. Why these records were
stored in this manner is not known, but it accounts for
why the material escaped retrieval and destruction in
1973. It also explains why the Agency was unable to find
these MKULTRA documents in response to a subsequent
Alternative 3 • Appendix B • 179
US Senate Select Committee investigation of CIA abuses
in 1975. The Agency examined both the active and the
retired files of all the branches of the CIA considered
likely to have had an association with the project, but
never looked into the Budget and Fiscal Section retired
Then, in 1977, two exceptionally diligent Agency
researchers processing a Freedom of Information Act
request for former State Department officer John Marks
decided to double-check the Budget and Fiscal Section's
historical archives. They uncovered seven cartons of
MKULTRA material. In August, the Carter White House
made the existence of these papers public, though it
downplayed the significance of their contents. In
accordance with the requirements of federal statute,
some 16,000 pages of evidence had to be released to
All 16,000 pages were, in the CIAs own words,
"heavily sanitized." Few documents had escaped
redacting. Hundreds of names, places and dates were
blacked out. Entire pages were blank. Working with
four researchers, Marks painstakingly went through the
papers, cross-referencing the material, finding clues
wherever he could. In some instances, the blacked out
text could be deciphered simply by holding the page to
the light; others were identified by their context. His
resulting 1977 book, The Search for the Manchurian
Candidate, did what two United States Senate
Committees could not do: it assembled a detailed
account of the CIA and its foray into drugs and mind
Marks' book ran 264 pages. Only four sentences
related to John Mulholland. Those four sentences
stimulated the author's own Freedom of Information Act
request calling for the Central Intelligence Agency to
release of any information or records relating to
180 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
Mulholland's work with the CIA, including any written
agreements between him and the Agency, copies of the
documents he produced, or other related materials.
On June 26, 2000, the Agency responded with explicit
written confirmation that John Mulholland indeed had a
contractual arrangement with the CIA relating to the
operational uses of the magician's skills.  It included
over 200 pages of material directly hnked to Mulholland
and his involvement with the intelhgence community.
Like the documents released to John Marks in 1977,
these files were heavily — though inconsistently —
redacted. A request for a re-review of these files is still
Despite the CIAs editing of the material, the
documents provided a remarkably comprehensive
account of John Mulholland's work for the CIA. At times,
however, unveiling this information was like assembling
a giant jigsaw puzzle. Each and every document had to
be carefully scrutinized and then crosschecked against
all of the other released papers. All of the material
supplied to John Marks in 1977 as well as all of the
material released to the Olson family by the CIA in 1975
was reviewed in light of this new evidence. Finally, all of
this information was reassembled to form a
chronological narrative. This article is a summary of
These files may be the last link we have to the
clandestine world of John Mulholland. Sidney Gottlieb
retired from the CIA in 1973, receiving the Agency's
Distinguished Intelligence Medal for his 22 years of
service. After retiring, Gottheb and his wife worked in a
leprosy hospital in India for 18 months, then moved to a
farm in Rappahannock, Virginia. Gottlieb's health,
however, was not good and he suffered from a long
history of heart ailments. After a month-long bout with
pneumonia, Sidney Gottlieb died at his home on March
Alternative 3 • Appendix B • 181
7, 1999. He was 80 years old. Allen Dulles, the man who
approved MKULTRA, died three decades earlier. Vincent
Ruwet passed on in 1996.
John Mulholland died at age 71 on February 25, 1970
after a long illness in University Hospital, New York.
His life had been dedicated to magic and the keeping of
secrets. His clandestine work for the CIA was one secret
he was able to maintain until the very end.
[l] Mulholland letter to subscribers of The Sphinx,
June 29, 1953, George Daily Collection
 Memorandum for Director, Central Intelligence,
Two Extremely Sensitive Research Programs, Central
Intelligence Agency, April 3, 1953, author's files
 Memorandum for Deputy Director
(Administration^ Project MKULTRA - Extremely
Sensitive Research and Development Program, Central
Intelligence Agency, April 13, 1953, author's files
 Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair, "US
Official Poisoner Dies," CounterPunch, Institute for the
Advancement of Journalistic Clarity, March 1999
 Stewart Alsop, The Center- The Anatomy of
Power in Washington, London, Hodder & Stroughton,
 John Northern Hilhard, Greater Magic, Kaufman
and Greenburg, 1994, page 1095
 Mulholland invoice, Central Intelligence Agency,
MKULTRA document 4-30, April 13, 1953, author's files
 Mulholland letter to Dr. Sidney Gottlieb, Central
Intelligence Agency, MKULTRA document 4-29, April 20,
1953, author's files
182 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
 Memorandum for the Record, Project MKULTRA,
Subproject 4, Central Intelligence Agency, MKULTRA
document 4-28, May 4, 1953, author's files
 Letter to John Mulholland, Central Intelligence
Agency, MKULTRA document 4-28, May 5, 1953, author's
 Mulholland letter to Dr. Sidney Gottlieb, Central
Intelligence Agency, MKULTRA document 4-2, May 11,
1953, author's files
 James B. Alfredson and George L. Daily, Jr., A
Bibliography of Conjuring Periodicals in English: 1791-
1983, Magicana for Collectors, York, PA, 1986
 Mulholland letter to subscribers of The Sphinx,
June 29, 1953, op. cit.
 Expense Record, MKULTRA, Subproject 4,
Central Intelligence Agency, MKULTRA document 4-1,
 Memorandum for the Record, Project MKULTRA,
Subproject 15, Central Intelligence Agency, MKULTRA
document 15-2, August 3, 1953, author's files
 Memorandum for the Record, Amendment to
Project MKULTRA, Subproject 4, Central Intelligence
Agency, MKULTRA document 4-17, September 18, 1953,
 Letter to John Mulholland from Sidney Gottlieb,
Central Intelligence Agency, MKULTRA document 4-17,
September 18, 1953, author's files
 Mulholland letter to Sidney Gottlieb, Central
Intelligence Agency, MKULTRA document 19-2,
November 11, 1953, author's files
Alternative 3 • Appendix B • 183
 Cost Estimate, Central Intelligence Agency,
MKULTRA document 19-3, November 17, 1953, author's
 Memorandum for the Record, MKULTRA,
Subproject 19, Central Intelligence Agency, MKULTRA
document 19-5, November 17, 1953, author's files
 Memorandum for the Record, Project MKULTRA,
Amendment to Subproject 15, Central Intelligence
Agency, MKULTRA document 15-13, December 9, 1953,
 Memorandum for the Record, Extension of Time
for MKULTRA, Subproject 19, Central Intelligence
Agency, MKULTRA document 19-9, April 19, 1954,
 Memorandum for the Record, Summary of
Events Related to Reimbursement of Taxes to John
Mulholland, Central Intelligence Agency, MKULTRA
document 15-18, July 9, 1954, author's files
 Memorandum for the Record, MKULTRA,
Subproject 15, Expansion of Scope, Central Intelligence
Agency, MKULTRA document 15-19, July 9, 1954,
 Mulholland Receipt for Bank Check No.
M 142064, Central Intelligence Agency, MKULTRA
document 15-23, July 31, 1954, author's files
 Memorandum for the Record, MKX5UYRA,
Subproject 15, Expansion of Scope, op. cit .
 Memorandum for the Record, Reimbursement of
Excess Federal Income Taxes to Mr. John Mulholland,
Central Intelligence Agency, MKULTRA document 15-24,
February 24, 1955, author's files; Memorandum,
Reimbursement for Excess Income Taxes, Central
Intelligence Agency, MKULTRA document 15-33,
January 16, 1956, author's files
184 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
 Memorandum for the Record, Project MKULTRA,
Subproject 34, Central Intelligence Agency, MKULTRA
document 34-46, October 1, 1954, author's files
 Some Operational Applications of the Art of
Deception, Central Intelligence Agency, undated, p. 2,
 Memorandum for the Record, Project MKULTRA,
Subproject 34, Central Intelligence Agency, MKULTRA
document 34-46, October 1, 1954, author's files
 Memorandum for the Record, Definition of a
Task under MiTULTRA Subproject 34, Central
Intelligence Agency, MKULTRA document 34-39, August
25, 1955, author's files
 Memorandum for the Record, MKULTRA,
Subproject 34, Central Intelligence Agency, MKULTRA
document 34-29, June 20, 1956, author's files
 Memorandum for the Record, Project MKULTRA,
Subproject 34A, Central Intelligence Agency, MKULTRA
document 34-26, August 31, 1956, author's files
 Memorandum for the Record, Project MKULTRA,
Extension of Subproject 34, Central Intelligence Agency,
MKULTRA document 34-7, November 15, 1957, author's
 Invoice Check List, Central Intelligence Agency,
MKULTRA document 34-48, author's files
 Memorandum for the Record, Central
Intelligence Agency, MKULTRA document 83-12, March
26, 1959, author's files
 US Senate Select Committee to Study
Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence
Activities (Church Committee) Alleged Assassination
Plots Involving Foreign Leaders ••' An Interim Report,
Government Printing Office, 1975, pp. 20-21
Alternative 3 • Appendix B • 185
 Ibid. p. 181
 Central Intelligence Agency, Office of the
Inspector General, Report on Plots to Assassinate Fidel
Castro, CIA-IG, May 23, 1967
 Testimony of Admiral Stansfield Turner, Select
Committee on Intelligence & the Subcommittee on
Health and Scientific Research of the Committee on
Human Resources, US Senate, 1977, pp. 10-14
 A detailed and documented chronology of the
events surrounding the Frank Olson case can be found
in Appendix A, Project MKULTRA, The CIA's Program of
Research in Behavioral Modification, Joint hearing of
the Select Committee on Intelligence & the
Subcommittee on Health and Scientific Research of the
Committee on Human Resources, Washington, DC 1977;
the primary source documents can be found in CIA
Documents Concerning the Death of Dr. Frank Olson,
Center for National Security Studies documents
collection, Box 8, Number C-35, National Security
Archives, Washington, DC. The author's account is
based on the documents contained in these two sets of
 Affidavit of Lt. Col. Vincent L. Rewet, CIA
Documents Concerning the Death of Dr. Frank Olson,
CNSS, Box 8, C-35, Document 15, undated, National
Security Archive, Washington, DC
 Robert Gibson interview with Eric Olson,
December 20, 1999, Olson notes in author's files
 Joseph Treaster, "CIA Hired Magician in
Behavior Project" New York Times, August 3, 1977
 Agent's Report, Case record #73317, December 3,
1953, CIA Documents Concerning the Death of Frank
186 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
Olson, CNSS, Box 8, 035, National Security Archive,
 Ibid. Document 60
[5 1] These tiles were released by the Olson family in
1976 and can be found in the Kennedy subcommittee
hearings on Biomedical and Behavioral Research, pp.
1005-1132; see also CIA Documents Concerning the
Death of Dr. Frank Olson above
 Eric Olsen email to author, January 26, 2001
 Mulholland letter to Dr. Sidney Gottlieb, Central
Intelligence Agency, MKULTRA document 4-29, April 20,
1953, author's files
 Memorandum for the Record, Project MKULTRA,
Subproject 15, Central Intelligence Agency, MKULTRA
document 15-2, August 3, 1953, author's files
 Memorandum for the Record, Project MKULTRA,
Subproject 19, Central Intelligence Agency, MKULTRA
document 19-5, November 17, 1953, author's files
 Mulholland invoice for Dec. 3-4, 1953 trip to
Chicago, Central Intelligence Agency, MKULTRA
document 15-6, author's files
 Mulholland receipt for travel advance, Central
Intelligence Agency, MKULTRA document 15-6, author's
 John Marks The Search for the Manchurian
Candidate, W.W. Norton and Company, New York, 1979,
 Eric Olson e-mail to author, January 25, 2001,
 A&E Investigative Reports: Mind Control
Murder, Principal Films (London) and Arts &
Entertainment Network, 1999, Videotape AE- 17604
Alternative 3 • Appendix B • 187
 John Mulholland and George Gordon The
Magical Mind, Hastings House, 1967, p. 77
 Testimony of Admiral Stansfield Turner, op. cit.
 Memorandum for the Record, Visit to Project
(deleted), Central Intelligence Agency, MKULTRA
document 5-11, May 11, 1953
 Eric Olson email to author, January 25, 2001,
 Testimony of Admiral Stansfield Turner, op. cit.,
 Joint hearings! Select Committee on Intelligence
& the Subcommittee on Health and Scientific Research
of the Committee on Human Resources, US Senate,
Appendix A, page 69 August 3, 1977
 Jim Hougan interview with author, January 25,
 Testimony of Admiral Stansfield Turner
andAppendix B- Documents Referring to Discovery of
Additional MKULTRA Material, Select Committee on
Intelligence & the Subcommittee on Health and
Scientific Research of the Committee on Human
Resources, US Senate, 1977
 Letter to Michael Edwards from Kathryn Dyer,
Information and Privacy Coordinator, Central
Intelligence Agency, June 26, 2000
Dear Mrs. Brussell (Mae Brussell, "World Watchers
Recently, while reading through an old copy of
Critique, and then again in the Journal of Borderland
Sciences, I came across your name in a reference to an
"Update" you offer on the Alternative Three mystery. As
such, I would certainly like to obtain this for my files,
since I have been collecting related materials since the
early 60s when my father worked as a designer for
NASA. He was part of a team that designed the LEM
module, and he told me some pretty hair-raising stories
of the astronauts' "close encounters" on the Moon.
Then, in the Feb/Mar 1983 issue of Mother Jones (pg.
10) I came across a very strange article entitled
"Refugees on Mars: FDR's Secret Plan," outlining
something called the "M Project." This got me to
recalhng an event that had occurred to me several years
earlier, something I think you might be interested in.
Back during 1978 or thereabouts I happened on a
copy of a paperback book, Alternative 3, which detailed
some of the things my father had told me years earlier in
New York, specifically that the government had cracked
the secret of anti-gravity and that the military had disc-
He had also told me that NASA had evidence of lights
having been seen on the Moon for centuries and that
they had been recovering coded signals from Mars and
other planets, as well, at Arecibo.
Anyway, a month or so later I happened to be talking
with an old Pan Am Captain friend of mine when he
mentioned seeing a fantastic program on British TV. He
had a home there in London at the time and he said that
Alternative 3 • Appendix C • 189
both he and his son had watched this NASA expose
called the Alternative 3 Project. He said many Brits
believed the subject matter since it was so
A short time after that, I found myself up in Twin
Falls, Idaho, on a business trip and I was introduced to a
gal — about 40 — who worked as a sometime DJ at a
nearby radio station. After several drinks, and
discussion about this and that, I thought I would
impress her by mentioning that I had worked once as a
Congressional liaison to the Pentagon for Nixon's
Congressman during the early years of the Watergate
fiasco, and that my then-wife had worked as secretary to
Donald Segretti, head of CREEP, in the Naval Annex.
She was completely nonplussed at this.
Then, after another drink or two, she told me —
somewhat hesitantly — that she too had worked at the
Pentagon — behind the "Green Door" — as a
cryptanalyst for Military Intelligence, and as personal
secretary to an Admiral. This, she said, was during the
late '50s. And she said that after having helped uncover
a Soviet "mole" within her Top Secret Department, she
was promoted and later offered a very interesting
assignment — in Cahfornia.
By this time I was so intrigued that I found and set
up my tape recorder and flipped it on — covertly, of
course. By now she was really getting interesting, and
we had become a little more cozy. And since I had once
also worked as an Investigative Reporter for four years
(in Boston), covering political subversion in high places,
assassinations, espionage, etc, I felt that I had here the
genesis of a hell of a story. And subsequently I was able
to get her story on tape.
To get back to her story, she told me that she moved
out to Southern California to accept her new
assignment, sometime during 1962 I believe, and started
190 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
working for the Jet Propulsion Labs there in Pasadena.
She was assigned to a highly classified section of the
plant as a photo interpreter and eventually became head
of that department, where she met her future husband.
She said that while her function was to scan and
interpret all incoming photographs taken of the Moon
and Mars, with "high-resolution" photography
techniques and equipment aboard satellites (orbiting the
Moon and Mars) — her husband worked in another
department as a designer. His function was to design
domed, modular living facilities for "Colonies" of earth
scientists to be stationed on the Moon, and then Mars!
She said that the secret name of this amazing project
was: "Project Adam & Eve." Needless to say, I about fell
off the couch.
She told me that her husband, who had many
degrees, was designing these domed structures (and all
the life-support systems inside and out) because no other
type of housing would suffice. It seems that one of their
rocket probes had found that due to the gale force
velocity of the winds of Mars, no other structures would
hold up, and underground structures were ruled out. In
her photo-interpretation work she said she had
enhanced the pix to such a fine degree that evidence of
ancient civihzations of some kind was readily discernible
on both the Moon and Mars, that there was a green
vegetation belt on Mars (with "life forms"), that both
pyramids and a human face carved into a huge
mountain chain were observed!! She said that there was
evidence of water, an atmosphere, and almost normal
gravity on both the Moon and Mars, from the Pix and
other data she was privy to, amazing as all that sounds.
She told me that throughout the plant where she
worked there were numerous high-ranking officers,
Generals and Admirals, and that each department was
color-coded — so that a specific colored badge had to be
Alternative 3 • Appendix C • 191
worn at all times. I believe the badges were magnetic,
too, and had a current photo of each worker — with his
or her code number.
Sometime later on, she said, her husband and several
other key assistants were chosen for an even more secret
project (within this Top Secret Project) — and off he
went to parts unknown. And she never saw him again.
When she kept asking where he was she was
consistently told that his whereabouts were on a need to
know basis. For the next year or so she received letters
from him of a general nature but no hint of where he
was. One day, she was informed that he had been killed
and that they were very sorry. But they refused to give
her any more information than that, or even to [let her]
see the body or have normal funeral arrangements.
Finally, due to her constant questioning, they yanked
her Q clearance and she was fired. She had had to sign
an oath that she would not reveal what her job had been.
Sometime later, after making a lot of phone calls trying
to track down some answers, there were several
attempts on her life — including a near-fatal car
accident. As she told me then, she ended up leaving
Pasadena in the middle of the night — with her children
in tow — and headed for Idaho, where her parents lived.
When I asked, jokingly, if she thought maybe her
husband and the others had been drafter to go to
Vietnam, she stared at me for a blank moment and
replied^ "No, I think he was drafted to Mars!" And she
was deadly serious.
Sometime shortly after this midnight "interview,"
after returning to Salt Lake City, I simply had to share
this incredible tale with someone — so I loaned the tape
to an old friend of mine, an ex-FBI Special Agent who
lived in California. And I asked him to check out the
story through his connections. It was a very stupid thing
192 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
to do, for (you guessed it) he then promptly "lost" the
tape! There went my story.
Mae, should you wish to follow up on this, I would be
happy to give you both their names. For reasons I can't
disclose, I am in no position to follow up on anything at
the moment. The gal's name was Jolly S. [full name
withheld], and the last I heard, she was still working in
Twin Falls selling advertising. The other's name was
Neil M. [full name withheld], and the last I heard, he
was at [address withheld], West Covina, California. Neil,
upon retirement, had gone to work in Las Vegas as a
bodyguard for Howard Hughes.
Please, do not publish or mention their names for
obvious reasons. That is, unless you get their
permission. My real name is not really important. As a
reporter, I had some 50 exposes published over a 4 year
period, and I thought I had heard it all. Since then, I
have run somewhat afoul of the powers that be and I am
now writing a book, entitled The Dark Side of the Force,
about my experiences over the years. Keep up the good
work, and carry on the fight for a non-Soviet America.
Sorry to say, I have been completely knocked out of the
box after one too many exposes.
El Paso, Texas
THE MODERN BRAIN DRAIN
Compiled by Steve Quayle
November 15, 2010: Chitra Chauhan, 33.
EXPERTISE: Chauhan, a molecular biologist, was a
post-doctoral researcher in the Global Health
department in the College of Public Health. She earned
her doctorate from the Institute of Genomics and
Integrative Biology in New Delhi, India, in 2005, then
studied mosquitoes and disease transmission at the
University of Notre Dame.
CIRCUMSTANCE: Chauhan was found dead in an
apparent suicide by cyanide at a Temple Terrace hotel.
July 12, 2010: Franco Cerrina, 62.
EXPERTISE: Cerrina was a leading scholar in optics,
lithography, and nanotechnology.
CIRCUMSTANCE: Cerrina was found dead in a lab
at BU's Photonics Center. The cause of death is not yet
known, but have ruled out homicide
APRIL 26, 2010: Vajinder Toor, 34
EXPERTISE: Toor worked at Kingsbrook Jewish
Medical Center in New York before joining the faculty at
CIRCUMSTANCE: Shot and killed outside his home in
194 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
APRIL 6, 2010: Joseph Morrissey, 46
EXPERTISE: Morrissey joined NSU in May 2009 as an
associate professor and taught one elective class on
immunopharmacology in the College of Pharmacy.
CIRCUMSTANCE: Victim of a home invasion. Although
the cause of death was first identified as a gunshot
wound, the autopsy revealed that the professor died
from a stab wound.
FEBRUARY 13, 2010: Maria Ragland Davis, 52
EXPERTISE: Her background was in chemical
engineering and biochemistry, and she specialized in
plant pathology and biotechnology applications. She had
a doctorate in biochemistry and had worked as a
postdoctoral research fellow at the Monsanto Company
in St. Louis. She was hired at the University of Alabama
after a seven-year stint as a senior scientist in the plant-
science department at Research Genetics Inc. (later
Invitrogen), also in Huntsville.
CIRCUMSTANCE: Murdered by Amy Bishop.
FEBRUARY 13, 2010: Gopi K. Podila, 54
EXPERTISE: Indian American biologist, noted
academician, and faculty member at the University of
Alabama in Huntsville. He listed his research interests
as engineering tree biomass for bioenergy, functional
genomics of plant-microbe interactions, plant molecular
biology and biotechnology. In particular, Podila studied
genes that regulate growth in fast growing trees,
especially poplar and aspen. He has advocated
prospective use of fast growing trees and grasses as an
alternative to corn sources for producing ethanol.
Alternative 3 • Appendix D • 195
CIRCUMSTANCE: Murdered by Amy Bishop.
FEBRUAEY 13, 2010: Adriel D. Johnson Sr. 52
EXPERTISE: His research involved aspects of
gastrointestinal physiology specifically pancreatic
function in vertebrates.
CIRCUMSTANCE: Murdered by Amy Bishop.
NOVEMBER 11, 2009: Keith Fagnou, 38
EXPERTISE: His research focused on improving the
preparation of complex molecules for petrochemical,
pharmaceutical or industrial uses. Keith's advanced and
out-of-the-box thinking overturned prior ideas of what is
possible in the chemistry field.
OCTOBER 12, 2009: Stephen Lagakos, 63
EXPERTISE: Lagakos centered his efforts on several
fronts in the fight against AIDS particularly how and
when HIV-infected women transmitted the virus to their
children. In addition, he developed sophisticated
methods to improve the accuracy of estimated HIV
incidence rates. He also contributed to broadening access
to antiretroviral drugs to people in developing countries.
Circumstance: Car Crash.
SEPTEMBER 13, 2009: Malcolm Casadaban, 60
EXPERTISE: Molecular geneticist with a passion for
new research, Casadaban had been developing a
stronger vaccine for the plague.
196 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
CIRCUMSTANCE: Plague; the medical center says the
plague bacteria he worked with was a weakened strain
that isn't known to cause illness in healthy adults. The
strain was approved by the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention for laboratory studies.
AUGUST 6, 2009: Wallace L. Pannier, 81
EXPERTISE: Pannier was a germ warfare scientist
whose top-secret projects included a mock attack on the
New York subway with powdered bacteria in 1966. Mr.
Pannier worked at Fort Detrick, a US Army installation
in Frederick, MD that tested biological weapons during
the Cold War and is now a center for biodefense
research. He worked in the Special Operations Division,
a secretive unit operating there from 1949 to 1969,
according to family members and published reports. The
unit developed and tested delivery systems for deadly
agents such as anthrax and smallpox.
CIRCUMSTANCE: Natural Causes.
JUNE 9, 2009: August "Gus" Watanabe, 67
EXPERTISE: Watanabe was one of the five highest-
paid officers of Indianapolis pharmaceutical giant Eh
Lilly and Co. when he retired in 2003.
CIRCUMSTANCE: Friends discovered the body, a .38-
caliber handgun and a three-page note at the scene.
They said he had been depressed following the death last
month of his daughter Nan Reiko Watanabe Lewis. She
died at age 44 while recovering from elective surgery.
JUNE 3, 2009: Caroline Coffey, 28
Alternative 3 • Appendix D • 197
CIRCUMSTANCE: Hikers found the body of the Cornell
University post-doctoral bio-medicine researcher along a
wooded trail in Taughannock Falls State Park, about
400 yards from the home she shared with Blazej Kot, her
husband and alleged killer, in Ithaca, N.Y., where the
Ivy League school is located.
FEBRUAEY 14, 2009: Nasser Talebzadeh Ordoubadi,
EXPERTISE: Dr. Noah is described in his American
biography as a pioneer of Mind-Body-Quantum medicine
who lectured in five countries and ran a successful
health care center, General Medical Clinics Inc., in King
County, Washington for 15 years after suffering a heart
attack in 1989. Among his notable accomphshments was
discovering an antitoxin treatment for bioweapons.
CIRCUMSTANCE: Natural Causes.
JULY 28, 2008: Bruce Edwards Ivins, 62
EXPERTISE: Ivins was a coinventor on two US patents
for anthrax vaccine technology.
CIRCUMSTANCE: He committed suicide prior to formal
charges being filed by the Federal Bureau of
Investigation for an alleged criminal connection to the
2001 anthrax attacks.
JULY 3, 2008: Laurent Bonomo and Gabriel Ferez, 23
CIRCUMSTANCE: Laurent, a student in the proteins
that cause infectious disease, had been stabbed 196, half
of which were administered after death. Gabriel, who
hoped to become an expert in eco-friendly fuels, suffered
47 separate injuries.
198 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
MARCH 10, 2008: Yongsheng Li, 29
EXPERTISE: Li was a doctoral student from China
who studied receptor cells in Regents Professor David
Puett's biochemistry and molecular biology laboratory.
CIRCUMSTANCE: Cause of death unknown. He was
found in a pond between the Women's Sports Complex
and State Botanical Gardens on South Milledge Avenue
Sunday and had been missing 16 days.
OCTOBER, 2007: Dr. Mario Alberto Vargas Olvera, 52
EXPERTISE: He was a nationally and internationally
CIRCUMSTANCE: Blunt-force trauma.
MAY 31, 2006: Yoram Kaufman, 57
EXPERTISE: Dr. Kaufman began working at the space
flight center in 1979 and spent his entire career there as
a research scientist. His primary fields were meteorology
and climate change, with a specialty in analyzing
aerosols — airborne solid and liquid particles in the
atmosphere. In recent years, he was senior atmospheric
scientist in the Earth-Sun Exploration Division and
played a key role in the development of NASA's Terra
Satelhte, which collects data about the atmosphere.
CIRCUMSTANCE: Struck by an automobile while
riding his bicycle near the Goddard Spaceflight Center,
MAY 22, 2006: Lee Jong-woo, 61
EXPERTISE: Lee was spearheading the WHO's fight
against global threats from bird flu, AIDS and other
Alternative 3 • Appendix D • 199
infectious diseases. WHO director- general since 2003,
Lee was his country's top international official. The
affable South Korean, who liked to lighten his press
conferences with jokes, was a keen sportsman with no
history of ill-health, according to officials.
JUNE 8, 2005: Leonid Strachunsky
EXPERTISE: Strachunsky specialized in creating
microbes resistant to biological weapons. Strachunsky
was found dead in his hotel room in Moscow, where he'd
come from Smolensk en route to the United States
CIRCUMSTANCE: Struck on the head with a
MAY 19, 2005: Robert J. Lull, 66
EXPERTISE: Despite his missing car and apparent
credit card theft, homicide Inspector Holly Pera said
investigators aren't convinced that robbery was the sole
motive for Lull's kilhng. She said a robber would
typically have taken more valuables from Lull's home
than what the killer left with. Lull had been chief of
nuclear medicine at San Francisco General Hospital
since 1990 and served as a radiology professor at UCSF.
He was past president of the American College of
Nuclear Physicians and the San Francisco Medical
Society and served as editor of the medical society's
journal, San Francisco Medicine, from 1997 to 1999. Lee
Lull said her former husband was a proponent of nuclear
power and loved to debate his political positions with
Circumstance: Multiple stab wounds.
200 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
MAY 8, 2005: Todd Kauppila, 41
EXPERTISE: His death came two days after Kauppila
publicly rejoiced over news that the lab's director was
leaving. Kauppila was fired by director Pete Nanos on
Sept. 23, 2004 following a security scandal. Kauppila
said he was fired because he did not immediately return
from a family vacation during a lab investigation into
two classified computer disks that were thought to be
missing. The apparent security breach forced Nanos to
shut down the lab for several weeks. Kauppila claimed
he was made a scapegoat over the disks, which
investigators concluded never existed. The mistake was
blamed on a clerical error. After he was fired, Kauppila
accepted a job as a contractor at Bechtel Nevada Corp., a
research company that works with Los Alamos and other
national laboratories. He was also working on a new
Scatter Reduction Grids in Megavolt Radiography
focused on metal plates or crossed grids to act to stop the
scattered radiation while allowing the un-scattered or
direct rays to pass through with other scientists: Scott
Watson (LANL, DX-3), Chuck Lebeda (LANL, XTA),
Alan Tubb (LANL, DX-8), and Mike Appleby (Tecomet
Thermo Electron Corp.)
CIRCUMSTANCE: Died of hemorrhagic pancreatitis at
the Los Alamos hospital, according to the state medical
MAY 8, 2005: David Banks, 55
EXPERTISE: He was known as an Agro Genius
inventing the mosquito trap used for cattle. Banks was
the principal scientist with quarantine authority,
Biosecurity Australia, and heavily involved in protecting
Australians from unwanted diseases and pests. Most of
Dr Banks' work involved preventing potentially
devastating diseases making their way into Australia.
Alternative 3 • Appendix D • 201
He had been through Indonesia looking at the potential
for foot and mouth disease to spread through the
archipelago and into Australia. Other diseases he had
fought to keep out of Australian livestock herds and fruit
orchards include classical swine fever, Nip ah virus and
CIRCUMSTANCE: Banks, based in North Queensland,
died in an airplane crash, along with 14 others.
APRIL 18, 2005: Dr. Douglas James Passaro, 43
EXPERTISE: Dr. Passaro was an epidemiologist who
wanted to unlock the secrets of a spiral-shaped
bacterium that causes stomach disease. He was a
professor who challenged his students with real-life
exercises in bioterrorism
CIRCUMSTANCE: Unknown cause.
FEBRUARY 8, 2005: Geetha Angara, 43
EXPERTISE: Angara was a senior chemist with a
doctorate from New York University.
CIRCUMSTANCE: This formerly missing chemist was
found in a Totowa, New Jersey water treatment plant's
tank. Angara was last seen on the night of February 8
doing water quality tests at the Passaic Valley Water
Commission plant in Totowa, where she worked for 12
years. Divers found her body in a 35-foot-deep sump
opening at the bottom of one of the emptied tanks.
Investigators are treating Angara's death as a possible
JANUARY 7, 2005: Jeong H. Im, 72
202 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
EXPERTISE: A retired research assistant professor at
the University of Missouri, Columbia and a protein
CIRCUMSTANCE: l m died of multiple stab wounds to
the chest before firefighters found in his body in the
trunk of a burning car on the third level of the Maryland
APRIL 22, 2004: Darwin Kenneth Vest
EXPERTISE: Vest was an internationally renowned
entomologist, expert on hobo spiders and other
poisonous spiders and snakes.
CIRCUMSTANCE: Darwin disappeared in the early
morning hours of June 3, 1999 while walking in
downtown Idaho Falls, Idaho.
DECEMBER 29, 2004: Tom Thorne, 64; Beth
EXPERTISE: Experts on chronic wasting disease and
CIRCUMSTANCE: Husband and wife were killed in a
snowyweather crash on US 287 in northern Colorado.
DECEMBER 21, 2004: Taleb Ibrahim al-Daher
CIRCUMSTANCE: The Iraqi nuclear scientist was shot
dead north of Baghdad by unknown gunmen. He was on
his way to work at Diyala University when armed men
opened fire on his car as it was crossing a bridge in
Baqouba, 57 km northeast of Baghdad. The vehicle
swerved off the bridge and fell into the Khrisan River.
Al-Daher, who was a professor at the local university,
Alternative 3 • Appendix D • 203
was removed from the submerged car and rushed to
Baqouba hospital where he was pronounced dead.
NOVEMBER 2, 2004: John R. La Montagne, 61
EXPERTISE: Head of US Infectious Diseases unit
under Tommie Thompson; was NIAID Deputy Director;
expert in AIDS Program, Microbiology and Infectious
CIRCUMSTANCE: Pulmonary embolism.
OCTOBER 13, 2004: Matthew Allison, 32
EXPERTISE: Allison had a college degree in molecular
biology and biotechnology.
Circumstance: Fatal explosion.
SEPTEMBER 5, 2004: Mohammed Toki Hussein al-
EXPERTISE: He was a practicing nuclear physicist
CIRCUMSTANCE: Shot dead in Mahmudiya, south of
AUGUST 12, 2004: Professor John Clark, 52
EXPERTISE: An expert in animal science and
biotechnology Clark developed techniques for the genetic
modification of livestock. He played a crucial role in
creating the transgenic sheep, Dolly, which earned the
Roslin Institute worldwide fame. He was put in charge of
a project to produce human proteins (which could be
used in the treatment of human diseases) in sheep's
milk. Clark and his team focused their study on the
production of the alphaT-antitryps in protein, which is
used for treatment of cystic fibrosis. Clark also founded
204 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
three spinoffs ■ PPL Therapeutics, Rosgen and Roslin
CIRCUMSTANCE: Found hanged in his holiday home.
JULY 21, 2004: Dr. John Badwey, 54
EXPERTISE: Biochemist at Harvard Medical School
specializing in infectious diseases.
CIRCUMSTANCE: Developed pneumonia-like
symptoms; died two weeks later.
JULY 21, 2004: Dr. Bassem al-Mu dares
EXPERTISE: He was a Ph.D. chemist.
CIRCUMSTANCE: Mutilated body was found in the city
of Samarra, Iraq; he was tortured prior to death.
JULY 6, 2004: Professor Stephen Tabet, 42
EXPERTISE: He was an associate professor and
epidemiologist at the University of Washington, and a
world-renowned HIV doctor and researcher who worked
with HIV patients in a vaccine chnical trial for the HIV
Vaccine Trials Network.
CIRCUMSTANCE: Unknown cause.
JULY 2, 2004: Dr. Larry Bustard, 53
EXPERTISE: He was a Sandia National Laboratories
scientist in the Department of Energy who helped
develop a foam spray to clean up congressional buildings
and media sites during the anthrax scare in 2001. As an
expert in bioterrorism, he co-developed technologies used
against biological and chemical agents.
CIRCUMSTANCE: Unknown cause.
Alternative 3 • Appendix D • 205
JULY 1, 2004: Edward Hoffman, 62
EXPERTISE: He worked to develop the first human
PET scanner in 1973 at Washington University in St.
CIRCUMSTANCE: Unknown cause.
JUNE 29, 2004: John Mullen, 67
EXPERTISE: A nuclear research scientist with
McDonnell Douglas. At the time of his death he was
doing contract work for Boeing.
CIRCUMSTANCE: Poisoned with a large dose of
arsenic. Investigators will not divulge how Mullen was
exposed to the arsenic or where it came from.
JUNE 27, 2004: Dr. Paul Norman, 52
EXPERTISE: An expert in chemical and biological
weapons, Norman traveled the world lecturing on
defending against the scourge of weapons of mass
CIRCUMSTANCE: Killed when the single-engine
Cessna 206 he was piloting crashed in Devon.
JUNE 24, 2004: Dr. Assefa Tulu, 45
EXPERTISE: Tulu designed a system for detecting a
bioterrorism attack involving viruses or weaponized
CIRCUMSTANCE: Found face down, dead in his office.
The Dallas County Epidemiologist died of a hemorrhagic
206 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
JUNE 22, 2004: Thomas Gold, 84
EXPERTISE: Author of "The Deep Hot Biosphere,"
which challenges the accepted wisdom of how oil and
natural gas are formed and, along the way, proposes a
new theory of the beginnings of hfe on Earth and
potentially on other planets. Gold's theory of the deep
hot biosphere holds important ramifications for the
possibility of life on other planets, including seemingly
inhospitable planets within our own solar system. He
was Professor Emeritus of Astronomy at Cornell
University and was the founder (and for 20 years
director) of Cornell Center for Radiophysics and Space
Research. He was also involved in air accident
Circumstance: Heart failure.
MAY 25, 2004: Antonina Presnyakova, 46
CIRCUMSTANCE: A Russian scientist at a former
Soviet biological weapons laboratory in Siberia died after
an accident with a needle laced with Ebola. Scientists
and officials said the accident had raised concerns about
safety and secrecy at the State Research Center of
Virology and Biotechnology, known as Vector, which in
Soviet times specialized in turning deadly viruses into
biological weapons. Vector has been a leading recipient
of aid in an American program.
MAY 14, 2004: Dr. Hank Mallove, 56
EXPERTISE: Cold Fusion; "New Energy Research."
CIRCUMSTANCE: Blunt-force trauma to the head and
MAY 5, 2004: William T. McGuire, 39
Alternative 3 • Appendix D • 207
EXPERTISE: He was a NJ University Professor and
senior programmer, analyst and adjunct professor at the
New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark. He
emerged as one of the world's leading microbiologists
who developed and oversaw multiple -level of bio-
CIRCUMSTANCE: Body found in three suitcases
floating in Chesapeake Bay.
APRIL 12, 2004: Ilsley Ingram, 84
EXPERTISE: Ingram was Director of the
Supraregional Haemophilia Reference Centre and the
Supraregional Centre for the Diagnosis of Bleeding
Disorders at the St. Thomas Hospital in London.
CIRCUMSTANCE: Unknown cause.
APRIL 2004: Mohammed Munim alTzmerly
EXPERTISE: Iraqi chemistry professor.
CIRCUMSTANCE: Blunt-force trauma to the head.
MARCH 13, 204: Vadake Srinivasan
EXPERTISE: He was originally from India, was one of
the most- accomplished and respected industrial
microbiologists in academia, and held two doctorate
CIRCUMSTANCE: Car crash due t stroke.
JANUARY 24, 2004: Dr. Michael Patrick Kiley, 62
EXPERTISE: Ebola and Mad Cow expert.
CIRCUMSTANCE: Massive heart attack. Dr. Robert
Shope and Dr. Kiley were working on a lab upgrade to
208 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
Biosafety Level 4 installation at the UTMB Galveston
Laboratory (Homeland Security Contract).
JANUARY 23, 2004: Robert Shope, 74
Expertise: virus expert.
CIRCUMSTANCE: Purportedly died as a result of
complications incurred during a lung transplant, but
was later purported to have died of Idiopathic
Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF), often caused by an
environmental stimulus or a virus.
JANUARY 6, 2004: Dr. Richard Stevens, 54
DECEMBER 18, 2003: Robert Aranosia, 61
EXPERTISE: Oakland County deputy medical
CIRCUMSTANCE: While driving south on 1-75 his
pickup truck went off the freeway near a bridge over the
NOVEMBER 20, 2003: Robert Leslie Burghoff, 45
EXPERTISE: He was studying the virus plaguing
OCTOBER 11, 2003: Michael Perich, 46
EXPERTISE: Vector-borne diseases.
CIRCUMSTANCE: Car accident; drowning.
Alternative 3 • Appendix D • 209
JULY 18, 2003: David Kelly, 59
EXPERTISE: Kelly was the Ministry of Defense's chief
scientific officer and senior adviser to the proliferation
and arms control secretariat, and to the Foreign Office's
non-proliferation department, as well as senior adviser
on biological weapons to the UN biological weapons
inspections teams from 1994 to 1999.
CIRCUMSTANCE: Slashed his own wrists while
walking near his home.
JUNE 24, 2003: Dr. Leland Rickman, 47
EXPERTISE: Rickman, the incoming president of the
Infectious Disease Association of California, was a
multidisciplinary professor and practitioner with
expertise in infectious diseases, internal medicine,
epidemiology, microbiology and antibiotic utihzation.
CIRCUMSTANCE: Unknown cause.
SUMMER 2003: Dr. Roger
EXPERTISE: China Lake geneticist.
APRIL 2003: Bernardo Urbani, 46
MARCH 25, 2002: Steven Mostow, 63
EXPERTISE: Mostow was one of the country's leading
infectious disease experts.
210 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
CIRCUMSTANCE: He died in a plane crash near
MARCH 24, 2002: Dr. David Wynn- Williams, 55
EXPERTISE: He was an astrobiologist with the
Antarctic Astrobiology Project and the NASA Ames
Research Center. He was studying the capability of
microbes to adapt to environmental extremes, including
the bombardment of ULTRAviolet rays and global
CIRCUMSTANCE: Hit by a car while jogging near his
home in Cambridge, England.
FEBRUARY 28, 2002: Tanya Holzmayer, 46; Guyang
"Mathew" Huang, 38
CIRCUMSTANCE: Tanya Holzmayer was shot and
killed by a colleague, Guyang "Mathew" Huang, who
later shot himself.
FEBRUARY 12, 2002: Dr. Ian Langford, 40
EXPERTISE: Infectious diseases.
CIRCUMSTANCE: Found dead at his blood-spattered
FEBRUARY 9, 2002: Dr. Vladamir "Victor"
EXPERTISE: Korshunov, inventor of a multi-purpose
vaccine to combat weaponized biologicals, was head of
the microbiology sub -facility at the Russian State
Alternative 3 • Appendix D • 211
CIRCUMSTANCE: Blunt-force trauma to the head.
JANUARY 2002: Dr. Ivan Glebov
Circumstance: "Bandit attack."
JANUARY 2002: Dr. Alexi Brushlinski
Circumstance: "Bandit attack."
DECEMBER 6, 2001: Dr. Benito Que, 52
CIRCUMSTANCE: Cardiac arrest.
November 21 or December 23, 2001: Dr. Vladimer
EXPERTISE: Pasechnik was involved in the
exhumation of 10 London victims of the 1919 Type "A"
flu epidemic. He was also heavily involved in DNA
sequencing research. Pasechnik was the boss of William
C. Patrick III who holds 5 patents on the mihtarized
anthrax used by the United States and is now a private
biowarfare consultant to the military and CIA. Patrick
developed the process by which anthrax spores could be
concentrated at the level of one trillion spores per gram.
The anthrax utilized in the mail-borne attacks in the
United States was concentrated at one trillion spores per
CIRCUMSTANCE: Found dead in Wiltshire, England, a
village near his home. Two different dates have been
212 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
reported^ November 21 and December 23. Cause of
DECEMBER 16, 2001: Dr. Don Wiley, 57
EXPERTISE: Molecular Biologist with Howard Hughes
Medical Institute, Harvard University; top Deadly
Contagious Virus expert.
CIRCUMSTANCE: Abandoned rental car was found on
the Hernando de Soto Bridge outside Memphis, TN. He
was involved in research on DNA sequencing, and was
last seen around midnight on November 16, leaving the
St. Jude's Children's Research Advisory Dinner at The
Peabody Hotel in Memphis, TN. Associates attending
the dinner said he showed no signs of intoxication.
Workers at a hydroelectric plant in Louisiana found the
body of Don Wiley on Thursday, about 300 miles south of
where the molecular biologist was last seen. On
January 14, 2002, Shelby County Medical Examiner
O.C. Smith announced that his department had ruled
Dr. Wiley's death to be "accidental;" the result of
massive injuries suffered in a fall from the Hernando de
Soto Bridge. Smith said there were paint marks on
Wiley's rental car similar to the paint used on
construction signs on the bridge, and that the car's right
front hubcap was missing. There has been no report as
to which construction signs Dr. Wiley hit.
DECEMBER 14, 2001: Dr. Set Van Nguyen, 44
EXPERTISE: Working on a vaccine to protect against
biological weapons, or perhaps on a weapon. In
January, 2001, the magazine Nature published
information that two scientists, Dr. Ron Jackson and Dr.
Ian Ramshaw, using genetic manipulation and DNA
sequencing, had created an incredibly virulent form of
mouse pox, a cousin of smallpox and Dr. Nguyen had
Alternative 3 • Appendix D • 213
worked for 15 years at the same Australian facility. On
Friday, November 2, The Washington Post reported:
Officials are now scrambling to determine how a
quiet, 61 -year-old Vietnamese immigrant, riding the
subway each day to and from her job in a hospital
stockroom, was exposed to the deadly anthrax spores
that killed her this week. They worry because there is no
obvious connection to the factors common to earlier
anthrax exposures and deaths: no clear link to the mail
or to the media.
CIRCUMSTANCE: Found dead in the airlock of a walk-
in refrigerator in a laboratory in Victoria State,
Australia. The room was full of deadly gas which had
leaked from a liquid nitrogen cooling system. The room
DECEMBER 10, 2001: Dr. David Schwartz, 57
EXPERTISE: He was well-respected in biophysics, and
regarded as an authority on DNA sequencing.
CIRCUMSTANCE: Murdered by stabbing with what
appeared to be a sword in rural home Loudon County,
Virginia. His daughter, who identifies herself as a pagan
high priestess, and three of her fellow pagans have been
charged. Three teens that were into the occult were
charged with murder in the slashing death.
NOVEMBER 24, 2001: Avishai Berkman, 50; Amiramp
Eldor, 59; Yaacov Matzner, 54
EXPERTISE: Five microbiologists in this list of the
first eight people that died mysteriously in airplane
crashes worked on cutting edge microbiology research;
and, four of the five were doing virtually identical
research; research that has global political and financial
214 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
CIRCUMSTANCE: Another airplane crash kills 3
scientists. At about the time of the Black Sea crash,
Israeli journalists had been sounding the alarm that two
Israeli microbiologists had been murdered, allegedly by
terrorists; including the head of the Hematology
department at Israel's Ichilov Hospital, and directors of
the Tel Aviv Pubhc Health Department and Hebrew
University School of Medicine.
NOVEMBER 6, 200 1: Jeffrey Paris Wall, 41
EXPERTISE: Mr. Wall had studied at the University of
California, Los Angeles. He was a biomedical expert who
held a medical degree, and he also specialized in patent
and intellectual property.
CIRCUMSTANCE: Body was found sprawled next to a
three-story parking structure near his office.
OCTOBER 4, 2001: Five Unnamed Microbiologists
EXPERTISE: Three scientists were experts in medical
research or public health. The plane is believed by many
in Israel to have had as many as four or five passengers
who were microbiologists. Both Israel and Novosibirsk
are homes for cutting-edge microbiological research.
Novosibirsk is known as the scientific capital of Siberia.
There are over 50 research facilities there, and 13 full
universities for a population of only 2.5 million people.
CIRCUMSTANCE: Five unnamed microbiologists on a
plane that was brought down by a missile near the Black
Sea. Traveling from Israel to Russia; business not
MAY 7, 2001: Professor Janusz Jeljaszewicz
Alternative 3 • Appendix D • 215
EXPERTISE: He was an expert in Staphylococci and
Staphylococcal infections. His scientific interests and
achievements were in the mechanism of action and
biological properties of staphylococcal toxins, and
included the immunomodulatory properties and
experimental treatment of tumors by Propionibacterium.
CIRCUMSTANCE: Cause of death not disclosed.
DECEMBER 25, 2000: Linda Reese, 52
EXPERTISE: Dr. Reese was a Microbiologist working
with victims of meningitis.
Circumstance: Died three days after she studied a
sample from Tricia Zailo, 19, a Fairfield, N.J., resident
and sophomore at Michigan State University. Zailo died
JULY 16, 2000: Mike Thomas, 35
EXPERTISE: He was a microbiologist at the Crestwood
Medical Center in Huntsville.
CIRCUMSTANCE: Died a few days after examining a
sample taken from a 12 -year-old girl who was diagnosed
with meningitis and survived.
APRIL 15, 2000: Walter W. Shervington, M.D., 62
EXPERTISE: He was an extensive writer, lecturer and
researcher about mental health and AIDS in the
CIRCUMSTANCE: Died of cancer at Tulane Medical
SEPTEMBER 1998: Jonathan Mann, 51
216 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
EXPERTISE: He was founding director of the World
Health Organization's global Aids program and founded
Project SIDA in Zaire, the most comprehensive Aids
research effort in Africa at the time, and in 1986 he
joined the WHO to lead the global response against Aids.
He became director of WHO's global program on Aids
which later became the UN Aids program. He then
became director of the Francois-Xavier Bagnoud Center
for Health and Human Rights, which was set up at
Harvard School of Public Health in 1993. He caused
controversy earlier in 1998 in the media when he
accused the US National Institutes of Health of violating
human rights by failing to act quickly on developing
CIRCUMSTANCE: Swissair Flight 111 over Canada.
JULY 10, 1998: Ehzabeth A. Rich, M.D., 46
EXPERTISE: She was an associate professor with
tenure in the pulmonary division of the Department of
Medicine at CWRU and University Hospitals of
Cleveland. She was also a member of the executive
committee for the Center for AIDS Research and
directed the Bio-safety Level 3 facility, a specialized
laboratory for the handling of HIV, virulent TB bacteria,
and other infectious agents.
CIRCUMSTANCE: Traffic accident while visiting family
DECEMBER 25, 1997: Sidney Harshman, 67
EXPERTISE: He was a professor of microbiology and
immunology. He was the world's leading expert on
staphylococcal alpha toxins.
CIRCUMSTANCE: Complications associated with
Alternative 3 • Appendix D • 217
Mark Purdey, his Lawyer, and Veterinarian working
with Purdey Die :
EXPERTISE: Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) doctor
Mark Purdey was familiar with the expression
"abnormal brain protein." Before Dr. Purdey's death, he
speculated that Dr. C. Bruton might have known more
than what was revealed in his paper before he was
CIRCUMSTANCE: Purdey's house was burned down,
his lawyer on mad cow issues was driven off the road
and died and the veterinarian in the UK BSE inquiry
also died in a mysterious car crash. CJD specialist Dr C.
Bruton was killed in a car crash just before he went
public with a new research paper. The veterinarian on
the case also died in a car crash. Purdey's new lawyer,
too, had a car accident, but not fatal.
MAY 7, 1996: Dr. Tsunao Saitoh, 46
EXPERTISE: Abnormal proteins in Alzheimer's
CIRCUMSTANCE: Shot and killed, along with his
young daughter, in LaJolla, California. He was dead
behind the wheel of the car, the side window had been
shot out, and the door was open. His daughter appeared
to have tried to run away and she was shot dead, also.
1995: Dr. Jawad Al Aubaidi
EXPERTISE: A graduate doctor from Cornell, he was
hired to head the mycoplasma bio-warfare research
project. One of Dr. Aubaidi's projects was filling
payloads of scud missies with mycoplasma strains.
218 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
CIRCUMSTANCE: He was hit by a truck in his native
Iraq while changing a flat tire.
1994: Dr. C. Bruton
EXPERTISE: A CJD specialist who had recently
produced a paper on a new strain of CJD.
Circumstance: Car crash.
MAY 19, 1994: Jose Trias
CIRCUMSTANCE: Trias and his wife were murdered in
their Chevy Chase, Maryland home. They met with a
friend, a journalist, the day before their murder and told
him of their plan to expose Howard Hughes Medical
Institute (HHMI) funding of "special ops" research.
Grant money that goes to HHMI is allegedly diverted to
black ops research projects.
MARCONI SCIENTISTS MYSTERY
Compiled by Raymond A. Robinson
ACCORDING to Raymond A. Robinson, author of
The Alien Intent, "over two-dozen science
graduates and experts working for Marconi or
Plessey Defense Systems died in mysterious
circumstances, most appearing to be 'suicides.' The
Ministry of Defense (MOD) denied these scientists had
been involved in classified Star Wars Projects and that
the deaths were in any way connected."
MAECH 1982: Professor Keith Bowden, 46
EXPERTISE: computer programmer and scientist at
Essex University engaged in work for Marconi, who was
hailed as an expert on super computers and computer-
CIRCUMSTANCE: Fatal car crash when his vehicle
went out of control across a dual carriageway and
plunged onto a disused railway line. Police maintained
he had been drinking but family and friends all denied
Coroner's Verdict: accident
APRIL 1983: Lt-Colonel Anthony Godley, 49
EXPERTISE: Head of the Work Study Unit at the
Royal College of Military Science.
220 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
CIRCUMSTANCE: Disappeared mysteriously in April
1983 without explanation.
CORONER'S VERDICT: Presumed dead.
MARCH 1985: Roger Hill, 49
EXPERTISE: Radar designer and draughtsman with
CIRCUMSTANCE: Died by a shotgun blast at home.
Coroners Verdict: Suicide.
NOVEMBER 19, 1985: Jonathan Wash, 29
EXPERTISE: Digital communications expert who had
worked at GEC and at British Telecom's secret research
centre at Martlesham Heath, Suffolk.
CIRCUMSTANCE: Died as a result of falling from a
hotel room in Abidjan, West Africa, while working for
British Telecom. He had expressed fears that his life was
Coroners Verdict: Open.
AUGUST 4, 1986: Vimal Dajibhai, 24
EXPERTISE: Computer software engineer with
Marconi, responsible for testing computer control
systems of Tigerfish and Stingray torpedoes at Marconi
Underwater Systems at Croxley Green, Hertfordshire.
CIRCUMSTANCE: Death-by-fall from Clifton
Suspension Bridge (74m - 240ft.), Bristol. Police report
on the body mentioned a needle-sized puncture wound
on the left buttock, but this was later dismissed as being
a result of the fall. Dajibhai had been looking forward to
starting a new job in the City of London and friends had
confirmed that there was no reason for him to commit
Alternative 3 • Appendix E • 221
suicide. At the time of his death he was in the last week
of his work with Marconi.
Coroner's Verdict: Open.
OCTOBER 1986: Arshad Sharif, 26
EXPERTISE: Reported to have been working on
systems for the detection of submarines by satellite.
CIRCUMSTANCE: Died as a result of placing a ligature
around his neck, tying the other end to a tree and then
driving off in his car with the accelerator pedal jammed
down. His unusual death was complicated by several
issues: Sharif lived near Vimal Dajibhai in Stanmore,
Middlesex, he committed suicide in Bristol and,
inexphcably, had spent the last night of his life in a
rooming house. He had paid for his accommodation in
cash and was seen to have a bundle of high-
denomination banknotes in his possession. While the
police were told of the banknotes, no mention was made
of them at the inquest and they were never found. In
addition, most of the other guests at the rooming house
worked at British Aerospace prior to working for
Marconi, Sharif had also worked at British Aerospace on
guided weapons technology.
Coroners Verdict: Suicide.
JANUARY 1987: Richard Pugh, 37
EXPERTISE: MOD computer consultant and digital
CIRCUMSTANCE: Found dead in his flat in with his
feet bound and a plastic bag over his head. Rope was tied
around his body, coiling four times around his neck.
Coroners Verdict: Accident.
222 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
JANUARY 12, 1987: Dr. John Brittan, 52
EXPERTISE: Scientist formerly engaged in top secret
work at the Royal College of Military Science at
Shrivenham, Oxfordshire, and later deployed in a
research department at the MOD.
CIRCUMSTANCE: Death by carbon monoxide poisoning
in his own garage, shortly after returning from a trip to
the US in connection with his work.
CORONER'S VERDICT: Accident.
FEBRUARY 1987: David Skeels, 43
EXPERTISE: Engineer with Marconi.
CIRCUMSTANCE: Found dead in his car with a
hosepipe connected to the exhaust.
Coroners Verdict: Open.
FEBRUARY 1987: Victor Moore, 46
EXPERTISE: Design Engineer with Marconi Space and
CIRCUMSTANCE: Died from an overdose.
Coroners Verdict: Suicide.
FEBRUARY 22, 1987: Peter Peapell, 46
EXPERTISE: Scientist at the Royal College of Military
Science. He had been working on testing titanium for its
resistance to explosives and the use of computer analysis
of signals from metals.
CIRCUMSTANCE: Found dead allegedly from carbon
monoxide poisoning, in his Oxfordshire garage. The
circumstances of his death raised some elements of
doubt. His wife had found him on his back with his head
Alternative 3 • Appendix E • 223
parallel to the rear car bumper and his mouth in line
with the exhaust pipe, with the car engine running.
Police were apparently baffled as to how he could have
maneuvered into the position in which he was found.
Coroner's Verdict: Open.
APRIL 1987 : George Kountis age unknown.
EXPERTISE: Systems Analyst at Bristol Polytechnic.
CIRCUMSTANCE: Drowned the same day as Shani
Warren (see below) - as the result of a car accident, his
upturned car being found in the River Mersey, Liverpool.
CORONER'S VERDICT: Misadventure. (Kountis' sister
called for a fresh inquest as she thought 'things didn't
APRILlO, 1987: Shani Warren, 26
EXPERTISE: Personal assistant in a company called
Micro Scope, which was taken over by GEC Marconi less
than four weeks after her death.
CIRCUMSTANCE: Found drowned in 45cm. (I8in) of
water, not far from the site of David Greenhalgh's death
fall. Warren died exactly one week after the death of
Stuart Gooding and serious injury to Greenhalgh. She
was found gagged with a noose around her neck. Her
feet were also bound and her hands tied behind her
CORONER'S VERDICT: Open. (It was said that Warren
had gagged herself, tied her feet with rope, then tied her
hands behind her back and hobbled to the lake on
stiletto heels to drown herself.)
APRIL 10, 1987: Stuart Gooding, 23
224 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
EXPERTISE: Postgraduate research student at the
Royal College of Military Science.
CIRCUMSTANCE: Fatal car crash while on holiday in
Cyprus. The death occurred at the same time as college
personnel were carrying out exercises on Cyprus.
CORONER'S VERDICT: Accident.
APRIL 24, 1987: Mark Wisner, 24
EXPERTISE: Software engineer at the MOD.
CIRCUMSTANCE: Found dead on in a house shared
with two colleagues. He was found with a plastic sack
around his head and several feet of cling film around his
face. The method of death was almost identical to that of
Richard Pugh some three months earlier.
CORONER'S VERDICT: Accident.
MARCH 30, 1987: David Sands, 37
EXPERTISE: Senior scientist working for Easams of
Camberley, Surrey, a sister company to Marconi. Dr.
John Brittan had also worked at Camberley.
CIRCUMSTANCE: Fatal car crash when he allegedly
made a sudden U-turn on a dual carriageway while on
his way to work, crashing at high speed into a disused
cafeteria. He was found still wearing his seat belt and it
was discovered that the car had been carrying additional
petrol cans. None of the 'normal' reasons for a possible
suicide could be found.
Coroner's Verdict: Open.
MAY 3, 1987: Michael Baker, 22
Alternative 3 • Appendix E • 225
EXPERTISE: Digital communications expert working
on a defense project at Plessey; part-time member of
Signals Corps SAS.
CIRCUMSTANCE: Fatal accident when his car crashed
through a barrier near Poole in Dorset.
CORONER'S VERDICT: Misadventure.
JUNE 1987: Jennings, Frank, 60.
EXPERTISE: Electronic Weapons Engineer with
CIRCUMSTANCE: Found dead from a heart attack.
JANUARY 1988: Russell Smith, 23
EXPERTISE: Laboratory technician with the Atomic
Energy Research Estabhshment at Harwell, Essex.
CIRCUMSTANCE: Died as a result of a cliff fall at
Boscastle in Cornwall.
Coroner's Verdict: Suicide.
MARCH 25, 1988: Trevor Knight, 52
EXPERTISE: Computer engineer with Marconi Space
and Defense Systems in Stanmore, Middlesex.
CIRCUMSTANCE: Found dead at his home in
Harpenden, Hertfordshire at the wheel of his car with a
hosepipe connected to the exhaust. A St. Alban's coroner
said that Knight's woman friend, Miss Narmada Thanki
(who also worked with him at Marconi) had found three
suicide notes left by him which made clear his
intentions. Miss Thanki had mentioned that Knight
226 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
disliked his work but she did not detect any depression
that would have driven him to suicide.
CORONER'S VERDICT: Suicide.
AUGUST 1988: Alistair Beckham, 50
EXPERTISE: Software engineer with Plessey Defense
CIRCUMSTANCE: Found dead after being electrocuted
in his garden shed with wires connected to his body.
Coroners Verdict: Open.
AUGUST 22, 1988: Peter Ferry, 60
EXPERTISE: Retired Army Brigadier and an Assistant
Marketing Director with Marconi.
CIRCUMSTANCE: Found on 22nd or 23rd August 1988
electrocuted in his company flat with electrical leads in
Coroners Verdict: Open
SEPTEMBER 1988: Andrew Hall, 33
EXPERTISE: Engineering Manager with British
CIRCUMSTANCE: Carbon monoxide poisoning in a car
with a hosepipe connected to the exhaust.
CORONER'S VERDICT: Suicide.
Giant breach in earth's magentic
Dr. Tony Phillips
DECEMBER 16, 2008
NASA's five THEMIS spacecraft have discovered
a breach in Earth's magnetic field ten times
larger than anything previously thought to
exist. Solar wind can flow in through the opening to
"load up" the magnetosphere for powerful geomagnetic
storms. But the breach itself is not the biggest surprise.
Researchers are even more amazed at the strange and
unexpected way it forms, overturning long-held ideas of
"At first I didn't believe it," says THEMIS project
scientist David Sibeck of the Goddard Space Flight
Center. "This finding fundamentally alters our
understanding of the solar wind-magnetosphere
The magnetosphere is a bubble of magnetism that
surrounds Earth and protects us from solar wind.
Exploring the bubble is a key goal of the THEMIS
mission, launched in February 2007. The big discovery
came on June 3, 2007, when the five probes
serendipitously flew through the breach just as it was
opening. Onboard sensors recorded a torrent of solar
wind particles streaming into the magnetosphere,
signaling an event of unexpected size and importance.
"The opening was huge — four times wider than Earth
itself," says Wenhui Li, a space physicist at the
228 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
University of New Hampshire who has been analyzing
the data. Li's colleague Jimmy Raeder, also of New
Hampshire, says "10 27 particles per second were flowing
into the magnetosphere — that's a 1 followed by 27 zeros.
This kind of influx is an order of magnitude greater than
what we thought was possible."
The event began with little warning when a gentle
gust of solar wind delivered a bundle of magnetic fields
from the Sun to Earth. Like an octopus wrapping its
tentacles around a big clam, solar magnetic fields draped
themselves around the magnetosphere and cracked it
open. The cracking was accomplished by means of a
process called "magnetic reconnection." High above
Earth's poles, solar and terrestrial magnetic fields linked
up (reconnected) to form conduits for solar wind.
Conduits over the Arctic and Antarctic quickly
expanded; within minutes they overlapped over Earth's
equator to create the biggest magnetic breach ever
recorded by Earth -orbiting spacecraft.
The size of the breach took researchers by surprise.
"We've seen things like this before," says Raeder, "but
never on such a large scale. The entire day-side of the
magnetosphere was open to the solar wind."
The circumstances were even more surprising. Space
physicists have long believed that holes in Earth's
magnetosphere open only in response to solar magnetic
fields that point south. The great breach of June 2007,
however, opened in response to a solar magnetic field
that pointed north.
"To the lay person, this may sound like a quibble, but
to a space physicist, it is almost seismic," says Sibeck.
"When I tell my colleagues, most react with skepticism,
as if I'm trying to convince them that the sun rises in the
Alternative 3 • Appendix F • 229
Here is why they can't believe their ears: The solar
wind presses against Earth's magnetosphere almost
directly above the equator where our planet's magnetic
field points north. Suppose a bundle of solar magnetism
comes along, and it points north, too. The two fields
should reinforce one another, strengthening Earth's
magnetic defenses and slamming the door shut on the
solar wind. In the language of space physics, a north-
pointing solar magnetic field is called a "northern IMF"
and it is synonymous with shields up!
"So, you can imagine our surprise when a northern
IMF came along and shields went down instead," says
Sibeck. "This completely overturns our understanding of
Northern IMF events don't actually trigger
geomagnetic storms, notes Raeder, but they do set the
stage for storms by loading the magnetosphere with
plasma. A loaded magnetosphere is primed for auroras,
power outages, and other disturbances that can result
when, say, a CME (coronal mass ejection) hits.
The years ahead could be especially lively. Raeder
explains^ "We're entering Solar Cycle 24. For reasons not
fully understood, CMEs in even-numbered solar cycles
(like 24) tend to hit Earth with a leading edge that is
magnetized north. Such a CME should open a breach
and load the magnetosphere with plasma just before the
storm gets underway. It's the perfect sequence for a
really big event."
Sibeck agrees. "This could result in stronger
geomagnetic storms than we have seen in many years."
THE SEWAGE ENGINEER, THE 'WOW!
SIGNAL' AND THE PROOF THAT THERE
REALLY Z9LIFE ON MARS
The Daily Mail
FEBRUAEY 7, 2010
ALIENS are back in fashion. Even the Royal
Society, the most level-headed of scientific
estabhshments, is getting in on the action. Last
month it hosted a meeting about the prospects of finding
or making contact with extraterrestrials.
But everyone seems to have forgotten something.
Reputable scientists say we have already found aliens —
and heard from them, too. Did no one tell you?
Gilbert Levin, the man who found life on Mars, is
now in his 80s but his eyes still sparkle whenever he
talks about the day NASA's Viking probe touched down
on the Martian Plains of Gold. It was July 20, 1976.
"Oh, it was very exciting," he told me when I visited
his offices in Beltsville, Maryland, a few years ago. A
grin broke out across his face. "Everything went just
That includes the experiment he designed to look for
the signs of life. Levin is a sewage engineer by training,
and it was this that led him to invent a novel way to
His trick was to put out radioactive food and watch
for wisps of radioactive gas belching out as a by-product
Alternative 3 • Appendix G • 231
of microbe digestion. NASA saw it as an ideal way to test
for life in Martian soil.
Levin's experiment worked perfectly. Before launch,
the apparatus successfully detected the scarce life in soil
samples taken from the Californian desert. Two hundred
million miles from Earth, it worked again: Levin's
instrument got another positive result from Martian soil
Levin went out to buy champagne and cigars. A party
was in full swing when renowned astronomer Carl
Sagan phoned Levin to offer his congratulations. Levin
remembers it as the happiest day of his life.
His unhappiest came just two days later when the
Viking mission leader announced they had failed to find
life on Mars.
A colleague dug Levin in the ribs. "He said, "God
damn it, Gil, will you get up and tell them you detected
life?"" But Levin, cowed by his relatively junior status,
did not dare.
The problem was straightforward. Another of the
instruments on the Viking mission had searched for
traces of carbon in Martian soil and found none. With no
carbon, the mission chiefs reasoned, there could be no
life. The result of Levin's experiment must have been a
mistake, they said. Carl Sagan called again — to
withdraw his congratulations.
The trouble is, the mission chiefs had been misled.
Ten years after the Viking probe landed on Mars, a
scientist called John Milan Lavoie Junior contacted
Levin and told him he had worked on the instrument
that was supposed to look for carbon. No one had
admitted it at the time, but the instrument had never
worked properly, he said. Levin told a few people but no
one seemed to care.
232 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
A further 15 years passed and another of the
instrument's engineers, Arthur LafLeur, came forward
and told the same story. On Earth, before the mission
had blasted off for Mars, the instrument had been given
relatively large quantities of carbon to detect. It had
failed but the scientists had kept quiet about it.
The final nail in the instrument's coffin came in 2006
when the prestigious US National Academy of Sciences
published a devastating critique of it. Their report said it
had not been sensitive enough to rule out the existence
of carbon -based molecules in Martian soil.
You would think that, given all this, Levin would
have been vindicated by now. In fact, he has been
labeled a troublemaker. At the party to celebrate the
20th anniversary of the Viking mission, he caused a bit
of a scene by suggesting that NASA revisit his results.
When the 30th anniversary party came around, he
simply wasn't invited.
A growing minority of scientists are now taking
Levin's claims seriously, saying that Viking may well
have discovered life. But most shrug their shoulders and
say it was all too long ago to be sure.
Which brings us on to that alien signal — if that is
what it was. It came on AUGUST 15, 1977, the night
before Elvis Presley died.
The Ohio radio telescope that picked up the signal
was called the Big Ear. At 11.16pm, it recorded a single
pulse of radiation that seemed to come from somewhere
in the constellation of Sagittarius.
It is now known as the "Wow! Signal." That's what
Jerry Ehman, the man who spotted it in the computer
printout, scrawled in the margin. He had good reason to
do so: the characteristics of the signal were exactly what
alien-hunters had been told to look out for.
Alternative 3 • Appendix G • 233
Eighteen years previously, researchers had put
themselves in ET"s shoes and tried to work out the best
way to attract our attention. They decided that the most
noteworthy signal would be a radio signal at exactly
1,420 MHz. This is the vibration frequency of hydrogen,
the most common molecule in the universe.
Everyone agreed that it would be the most widely
intelligible way of saying, "We're here — are you?" When
the Wow! Signal came in; its frequency was 1,420 MHz...
I have never met Jerry Ehman but we have
exchanged emails and talked on the phone. He got in
touch with me — he had heard that I was looking for the
latest thinking on what the signal meant.
His first email told me everything I needed to know.
"I am still waiting for a definitive explanation that
makes sense," it said.
Ehman and his colleagues have explored every
possibility^ military transmissions, reflections of Earth
signals off asteroids or satellites, natural emissions from
stars, but nothing fits.
The strangest thing of all is that it came from a blank
patch of sky. When Ehman and his colleagues looked at
the exact location of the source, it turned out to be
devoid of stars. Ehman's only thought is that it could
have been beamed from a spaceship travelling through
the universe in search of some sign of hfe.
Not that he is totally convinced it really was aliens
but he has never come up with a better explanation.
"It had all the earmarks of being a signal from an
intelhgent civilization," Ehman told me on the phone.
"There it was, hke it was saying, "Here I am — can you
see me?" But, he concedes, we may never have proof one
way or the other.
234 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
Ehman was inspired to become an astronomer after
coming across a Reader's Digest article by Frank Drake,
one of the first scientists to calculate our chances of
finding extraterrestrial life. I was there when Drake
spoke at the Royal Society meeting last month.
He told the audience that, given the sheer vastness of
the universe and the relative weakness of our
technology, the chances of finding life or making contact
with an ahen civihzation are unbelievably shm. In other
words, it might happen just once in a lifetime.
Which made me wonder: have we been both
extraordinarily lucky and extraordinarily careless? It
seems we have had two chances, and missed them both.
A BLUEPRINT FOR A QUANTUM
Published by MIT
DECEMBER 9, 2009
PUSH on the electromagnetic fields in the
quantum vacuum and you should get an equal
and opposite force.
The quantum vacuum has fascinated physicists ever
since Hendrik Casimir and Dirk Polder suggested in
1948 that it would exert a force on a pair of narrowly
separated conducting plates. Their idea was eventually
confirmed when the force was measured in 1997.
In recent years, a new way of thinking about the
quantum vacuum has emerged which has vastly more
potential. And today, one physicist describes how it
could be used to create propulsion.
Before we discuss that, let's track back a little.
According to quantum mechanics, any vacuum will be
filled with electromagnetic waves leaping in and out of
existence. It turns out that these waves can have various
measurable effects, such as the Casimir-Polder force.
The new approach focuses on the momentum
associated with these electromagnetic fields rather than
the force they exert. The question is whether it is
possible to modify this momentum because, if you can,
you should receive an equal and opposite kick. That's
what rocket scientists call propulsion.
236 • Leslie Watkins & Anonymous
Today, Alex Feigel at the Soreq Nuclear Research
Center, a government lab in Yavne Israel, suggests an
entirely new way to modify the momentum of the
quantum vacuum and how this can be exploited to
Feigel's approach combines two well-established
ideas. The first is the Lorentz force experienced by a
charged particle in electric and magnetic fields that are
crossed. The second is the magneto-electric effect- -the
phenomenon in which an external magnetic field induces
a polarized internal electric field in certain materials
and vice versa.
The question that Feigel asks is in what
circumstances the electromagnetic fields in a quantum
vacuum can exert a Lorentz force. The answer is that
the quantum vacuum constantly interacts with magneto-
electric materials generating Lorentz forces! most of the
time, however, these forces sum to zero.
However, Feigel says there are four cases in which
the forces do not sum to zero. Two of these are already
known, for example confining the quantum field between
two plates, which excludes longer wavelength waves.
But Feigel says the two others offer entirely new
ways to exploit the quantum vacuum using magneto-
electric nanop articles to interact with the
electromagnetic fields it contains.
The first method is to rapidly aggregate a number of
magneto-electric nanop articles, a process which
influences the boundary conditions for higher frequency
electromagnetic waves, generating a force.
The second is simply to rotate a group of magneto-
electric nanop articles, which also generates a Lorentz
Either way, the result is a change in velocity. Feigel
says that the "mechanical action of a quantum vacuum
Alternative 3 • Appendix H • 237
on magneto-electric objects may be observable and have
a significant value.
The beauty of Feigel's idea is that it can be easily
tested. He suggests building an addressable array of
magneto-electric nanop articles, perhaps made of a
material such as FeGa03 which has a magneto-electric
constant of 10 A -4 in a weak magnetic field.
These nanop articles simply have to be rotated in the
required way to generate a force. Feigel calls it a
magneto-electric quantum wheel.
Of course, nobody is getting a free lunch here.
"Although the proposed engine will consume energy for
manipulation of the particles, the propulsion will occur
without any loss of mass," says Feigel. He even suggests,
with masterful understatement, that this might have
So here is a high-risk idea with a huge potential
payoff. The question is: who has the balls to try it?