STOP CASSINI Newsletter #77 -- October 20th, 1998

Copyright (c) 1998

STOP CASSINI Newsletters Index

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Subject: The Truth Is Classified -- STOP CASSINI NEWSLETTER #77 -- October 20th, 1998


This issue [was shipped] as two parts, one of which [was] included as a text file attachment. [Online, they appear together].

Sincerely, Russell D. Hoffman, Editor, STOP CASSINI NEWSLETTER

***** STOP CASSINI NEWSLETTER Volume #77 -- October 20th, 1998 *****
Today's subjects:

By Russell D. Hoffman
Copyright (c) Russell D. Hoffman

***** VOLUME #77, October 20th, 1998 *****

*** URGENT ACTION ITEM!!! Sent to us from
*** Noflyby Site

NOTICE OF INTENT: To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Proposed Production of Plutonium-238 for Use in Advanced Radioisotope Power Systems for Future Space Missions (DOE/EIS-299). DOE intends to prepare an EIS to assess the potential environmental impacts of establishing a domestic capability to produce Pu-238 including the storage of neptunium-237 (Np-237), fabrication of Np-237 targets, irradiation of targets to produce Pu-238, and the processing of these targets to isolate the Pu-238 and recycle the Np-237. The Pu-238 would be used in advanced radioisotope power systems for potential future space missions. Without a long-term supply of Pu-238, DOE would not be able to provide the radioisotope power systems that may be required for these potential future space missions, and the Department would not fulfill the intended space nuclear power role assigned to the Department in the National Space Policy statement issued on 19 September 1996. This assigned role of maintaining the space nuclear capability is also consistent with the Department's charter under the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended. Alternatives to be analyzed for the fabrication of Np-237 targets and for processing the irradiated targets include the use of the Radiochemical Engineering Development Center in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and the Fuels and Materials Examination Facility at the Hanford Site near Richland, Washington. Alternative facilities for the irradiation of targets for Pu-238 production include the Advanced Test Reactor near Idaho Falls, Idaho, the Fast Flux Test Facility at the Hanford Site, Washington, and the High Flux Isotope Reactor in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

The public scoping period begins with the publication of this Notice of Intent and will continue until 4 November 1998. Public scoping meetings will be announced as soon as determined but at least 15 days prior to the date of the meetings. Contact Colette Brown, Office of Nuclear Energy, Science and Technology (NE-50), U.S. Department of Energy, 19901 Germantown Road, Germantown, Maryland 20874, tele. 301.903.6924, fax: 301.903.1510, E-mail: Collette Brown. Requests to speak at scoping hearings, scoping comments, and requests for documents should be submitted to the above contact. [For detailed information, see 63 FR 53398, 5 October 1998.]

Comment period begins Oct 5 and ends NOV 4

DOE Contact:
Colette Brown, Office of Nuclear Energy, Science and Technology (NE-50)
USDOE, 19901 Germantown Road
Germantown, MD 20874

Telephone 301-903-6924
FAX 301-903-1510

EMAIL: Colette.Brown@HQ.DOE.GOV

A toll free telephone number has been established to receive public comments.
Interested parties may call 800 708-2680 and leave a detailed message with their comments

*** One environmental organization for all?

I saw an ad the other day on TV, paid for by the Ad Council, about some umbrella organization sort of like the United Way but for environmental organizations. It collects funds across the nation and disperses them as it sees fit. Don't buy into this lie. It's just another way to control the most vital "natural" resource of them all -- the money.

Instead, you should support your favorite environmental organizations directly. It is the nature of environmentalism that we CANNOT become one group, so any plan to try to "all join together" is doomed. For example I saw an article in my local paper where some "environmentalists" were opposing a geothermal energy plant because it looked bad. It is supposed to produce 50 Megawatts of much-needed energy in Northern California. Geothermal energy is just about the cleanest (and cheapest) type of energy known. But these so-called "environmentalists" don't like it because it will "spoil" the looks of a beautiful area.

They should visit Chernobyl if they want to see a spoiled landscape. Or come visit San Onofre and imagine what a tidal wave would do to it in a matter of seconds if one hit (and study the local geology, which experts now say clearly indicates such waves have hit this area (Southern California) in the past 10,000 years).

Please, folks: We need energy. We desperately need clean energy solutions. Speaking of which:

*** Department of Energy (DoE) to build Holocaust Museum in Las Vegas, NV

Yup, you heard right. The Department of Energy, who know next to nothing about mass murder (because they only do it without thinking) is going to build a Museum of International Insanity in Las Vegas, Nevada. They have committed a full $10,000,000 to the project, which is more than they have given to actual victims of many of their assaults on the people of the United States..

I forget what they really plan to call it. It's to be dedicated to the history of the making of the bomb. From the sanitized official government viewpoint. It might forget to talk about the millions of tons of uranium mine tailings left to seep into the Colorado River near Moab, Utah. It might also ignore the next item completely:

*** 13,000 or 230,000? Who knows?

Under the heading "Scientist sorry for delayed fallout report" the San Diego Union Tribune reported that the scientist responsible for a 14-year health study of radiation from Cold War weapons testing has apologized for delaying release of the study for more than a decade. The results of the study indicated that from 11,300 to 212,000 people have gotten or will get cancer from Iodine 131 released from 100 above-ground tests between 1951 and 1962. These tests were believed to be harmless at the time, at least as far as the public was told. Most cancers from the tests were/are/will be thyroid cancers, most were caused from drinking contaminated milk. And speaking of environmental damage:

*** Lockheed Martin does the string fling thing:

Environmental maniacs Lockheed Martin have launched from Vandenberg AFB an experimental satellite aboard a Taurus rocket, which includes as one of 29 experiments, a 3.7 mile long tether.

Did you know that tethers are (so far) the only manmade objects in space which you can see from Earth with the naked eye, which do not have the shape of a point of light? They normally look like straight lines.

If you thought space debris from individual objects is a problem (it is), a 3.7 mile long piece of tough, durable cord is practically an unspeakable horror. Every so often you read about dirt bikers who have the misfortune to cross a wire or string someone has stretched across a path. The result is often severe injury and even decapitation. Similarly, these "tethers" in space are an incredible hazard to future space travelers. If they are lucky, they will be able to reel it in at the end of the experiment. But if it breaks, it becomes an orbital garrotte.

Lockheed Martin should be thoroughly investigated for all its various assaults on the people of this planet, but instead of being broken up, they are getting bigger, being allowed to buy Comsat (for $2.7 Billion), reducing the number of sources for the U.S. government to obtain competitive bids on major space projects. And speaking of space debris:

*** Chinese satellite high-tails itself out of Leonid's way

We have heard recently that a Chinese satellite is right now as this is being written, being moved in such a way that when the Leonid meteor shower arrives, it (the satellite) will somehow be "behind" (downwind, so to speak) the moon and will probably get less hits that way.

Many other satellites will undoubtedly be moved behind Earth if possible during the peak period of the storm, which could be the biggest "natural" financial disaster in history depending on how many satellites (if any) get sand-blasted out of existence. Reports from the 1800's about previous extra-strong Leonid showers said that you could read a newspaper by the light of the storms. This indicates that losses could be severe in the satellite business.

What is interesting about the Chinese Satellite, aside from the fact that they are somehow using the moon as a shield (nifty!), is that it is taking them fully SIX MONTHS to perform the maneuver. They are doing it because it is a very valuable satellite -- a multi-billion dollar bird.

If it seems worth it to them to take such a drastic step to protect such an investment (Centuries-old Chinese reports of strong Leonid showers also exist) I think we can feel assured that the domestic flyboys are all crossing their fingers on this one. If you hold stock in these silly things, (like Globalstar, which lost what were supposed to be its first 12 satellites recently in a Russian accident), then you might want to consider dumping it before the galactic sandstorm hits.

Then again, it might not be that bad this year. Ever 33 years or so, Leonid is extra-bad, but every so often, it's much much worse. Earth is hit by an estimated 50 tons of naturally-occurring space debris EVERY SINGLE DAY anyway (90% burns up completely in the atmosphere) with relatively little damage on Earth or in space, right? But you cannot read your newspaper at night, except maybe with a full moon. It would take a lot of pebbles to reach that light level.

The ramifications of a large percentage of satellites being knocked out (perhaps 5% of all operational birds, perhaps 50%) would be very interesting to see, politically, to say the least. There would be widespread writing of polemic tomes, if nothing else, and much finger-pointing. Everyone will act surprised. "We never thought it could be that bad" they will say.

And if it doesn't happen? What if it isn't that bad? Well, that's the nature of disaster prediction based on historical/statistical evidence. Around 2030-2032 we might get "lucky" again, or maybe even in 1999. It makes you wonder about the logic of basing the world's communications on satellites when fiber-optic cable into the home would give each of us better access to the world of stored knowledge and better ways to communicate with the rest of humanity.

But "they" don't want that. "They" want the mind-control of the television news broadcast via a few select stations. That's not what we want. Our motto is, "From anyone who knows to anyone who doesn't".

*** A thief among us: Insects robbing Hanford of their Nuclear stockpiles

Hanford, Washington, home of the worst assault on the environment in the nation's history, has been losing unknown quantities to a known predator -- insects. How much is missing? Nobody has any idea, but besides what's missing, some of the nuclear waste has been turning up in buildings in unexpected places, piled there by insects in the course of doing whatever it is insects do. Colonize the planet, I guess.

That this is happening at Hanford indicates something that undoubtedly is happening everywhere nuclear waste exists. Certainly the tailings in Moab, Utah are being ravaged by insects. Anywhere nuclear waste sits -- Three Mile Island. Chernobyl. Ward Valley will be ravaged by insects if it is ever built, just 600 feet from the Colorado River's water table -- insects will move masses of muck many miles, over time. Insects will rule this earth (again?) if we let them, and nuclear waste hastens their victory over us.

Part Two: Another Louis Friedman Issue


(Note: This is part two of this newsletter, which is attached to part one as a text file.)

In America, the citizens elect the government. The government works for all the people. The military works for the President, therefore every soldier works for every citizen. Indeed, in a free country it can be no other way.

Dr. Friedman has sent us his resume as requested. It's fascinating. It is shown below "verbatim" (as promised) and following it are my comments, and some questions I hope Dr. Friedman will answer in light of what his resume indicates he knows. But it appears the truth is classified and he will not be able to answer my questions.


Russell D. Hoffman, Editor, STOP CASSINI newsletter

***** STOP CASSINI NEWSLETTER Volume #77, October 20th, 1998 *****

Today's subjects:

***** Volume #77, October 20th, 1998 *****

*** Words to ponder

". have things already advanced so far that it is counted moral to utter falsehood, but immoral to speak the truth? Does the good old song, which we used to sing to the sound of the rapier, no longer hold:

'A pitiable wretch is he
Who knows the truth and yet can silent be.'

Has this ancient glory for ever departed? Should it now read:

'A pitiable wretch is he
Who knows what's false and cannot silent be.'

Do you dispute what I have declared to be the truth? First let me speak, and then disprove what I say. If you can do so, so much the better for you! But bear this well in mind: the spoken word is SOMETIMES dangerous; more dangerous at all times is the suppressed word."

-- excerpted from J'Accuse! (I accuse!), written in 1914 (published in 1915) by a German who knew the truth (as many did, but their leaders and the many sheep that followed them did not).

*** Dr. Friedman's most recent email to the editor of this newsletter

At 06:32 PM 10/7/98 Louis Friedman wrote:
Mr. Hoffman

The length of your reply does not add to its credibility. I will be happy to send you my c.v. -- please let me have your mail address.

Louis Friedman

*** My Response (from October 8th, 1998)


You think that's lengthy? Short attention span, huh?

My mailing address appears at the bottom of each of my emails (including this one). It is:

Russell Hoffman
Carlsbad CA

If you include your mailing address for me, I will send you a copy of my ALL ABOUT PUMPS CD-ROM with my compliments, which is what I've been doing for the last 15 years. On the other hand if you're going to be at that big space shindig in LA this weekend, I'm still debating (with myself, whom I seldom lose to) going; we could meet there and exchange items then. Of course by now you've probably finished my last email...


Russell Hoffman

*** Dr. Friedman's Resume


B.S. - Applied Mathematics and Engineering Physics - University of Wisconsin, 1961
M.S. - Applied Mechanics - Cornell University, 1963 (minor in Astrophysics)
Ph. D. - Instrumentation (Aeronautics and Astronautics) Massachusetts Institute of Technology - 1971. Area of
specialization: Interplanetary guidance, Astrodynamics; Minor - Optimal Control. Thesis: Extracting Scientific
Information From Interplanetary Spacecraft Radio Tracking Data.


September 1979 to present:
Executive Director of The Planetary Society; co-founded new, popularly oriented, non-profit organization with
Bruce Murray and Carl Sagan.

February 1970 - 1980: At Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91103
Advanced Projects Group of Mission Analysis Division (February 1970 to October 1975; Supervisor August 1972
to October 1975)

Manager of Planetary Studies in Office of Plans and Programs (October 1975 - October 1976)
Solar Sail Program Development Leader (October 1976 to August 1977)
Principle technical leadership for development for solar sailing technology readiness for Halley Comet
Rendezvous Mission
Mars Program Leader (September 1977 to August 1978)
AIAA Congressional Fellow (September 1978 to September 1979) Organizer of Congressional Space Symposium
Leader and Originator of International Halley Watch

September 1968 - February 1970: At MIT completing Ph.D. Program

Gravitation Theory (Relativity) and Experimental testing using spacecraft tracking data. Work principally done at
MIT Experimental Astronomy Laboratory and Lincoln Laboratory.

Also Teaching Assistant for Feedback Control course.

September 1963 - September 1968: AVCO Corporation, Wilmington, Massachusetts.

Summer 1963: Associate Editor, 1963 Summer Institute of Space Mathematics.

1961 - 1963: Teaching Assistant in Applied Mathematics at University of Wisconsin, U.S. Armed Forces Institute
and at Cornell University, Engineering Mechanics Department


AIAA Associate Fellow (previously Technical Committee member); American Astronautical Society Member
(Technical Committee Chairman)
Division of Planetary Sciences - American Astronomical Society
Pi Mu Epsilon (honorary)
Sigma Xi (honorary)
American Association for the Advancement of Science


Friedman, "Potential of Interplanetary Spacecraft Data for Testing Gravitational Theories," Proc. of Conference on Scientific Applications of Radio and Radar Tracking in the Space Program, (April, 1969), JPL TR 32-1475, July 1970.

Friedman, "Applications of Presently Planned Interplanetary Missions to Testing Gravitational Theories," Proc. of Conference on Experimental Tests of Gravitation Theories (Nov. 1970), Ed. R. Davies, November 1971.

Bourke, Friedman, Penzo, Stavro, "Design of Grand Tour Missions," Presented at AIAA 9th Aerospace Science Meeting (January 1971).

Friedman, Hamilton, Stanton, "Estimating Trajectory Correction Requirements for Multiple Outer Planet Missions," reprinted from Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, (December 1972).

Friedman, Moore, Sohn, "Navigation Requirements for Advanced Deep Space Missions," Jorunal of the Institute of Navigation, Fall 1972.

Saunders, Friedman, Thompson, "Mission Planning for Remote Exploration of the Surface of Venus," AIAA/ASME/SAE Joint Space Mission Plannint and Executive Meeting, (July 10-12, 1973).

Rose, Friedman, "A Design for a Venus Orbital Imaging Radar Mission", AIAA 12th Aerospace Sciences Meeting, (January 30 - February 1, 1974). (Also in JSR, February 1975).

Uphoff, Roberts, Friedman, "Orbit Design Concepts for Jupiter Orbiter Missions, "AIAA Mechanics and Control of Flight Conference, (August 5-9, 1974). (Also in JSR, June 1976).

Van Dillen, Friedman, Cheng, "Projection of School District Enrollments, " AIAA Mechanics and Control of Flight Converence, (August 5-9, 1974).

Friedman, Lewis, "Future Exploration of Venus," Reprinted from Astronautics and Aeronautics (May 1975).

Friedman, Nunamaker, "Mission Design of a Pioneer Jupiter Orbiter," AIAA/AGU Conference on the Exploration of the Outer Planets (September 17-19, 1975).

Burke, Friedman, "To the Outer Planets -- and Onward," AIAA/AGU Conference on the Exploration of the Outer Planets, (September 17-19, 1975).

Friedman, "Plaentary Missions -- Possibilities for the Future," International Hall of Fame Dedication Conference, Alamogordo, New Mexico (October 1976).

Ivie, Friedman, "An Outer Planet Exploration Facility," AIAA 15th Aerospace Sciences Meeting (January 24, 1977).

Friedman, " et al. (17 others). "Solar Sailing -- The Concept Made Realistic," AIAA 16th Aerospace Sciences Meeting, Huntsvill, Alabama (January, 1978).

Friedman, "Mars -- Is It Time To Return Samples," Presented to the Annual Meeting of the American Astronautical Society, Houston, Texas (November 1978).

Friedman, "A proposal for a U.S. Initiative -- The International Halley Watch," AIAA 18th Aerospace Sciences Meeting, AIAA Paper 80-0113. (January, 1980).

Friedman, "Science and Exploration as Rationale for Space Policy," Presentation to the AAAS Annual Meeting, San Francisco, California (January 1980).

Friedman, "The International Halley Watch," JAF-80 G-287, IAF 31st Congress, Tokyo, Japan (September 1980).

Rahe, Brandt, Friedman, Newburn, "Halley's Comet and Plans for its Observation During its Return in 1986," in Sun and Planetary Systems, Fricke and Teleki (eds.), Reidel, 1982.

Friedman, "Detour Assists Gelileo Mission," The Planetary Report, March/April 1982, p. 10-11.

Friedman, "Has the Shuttle Killed Space Science?" Science 82, May 1982.

Friedman, Sagan, "Expedition to the Asteroids," The Planetary Report, July/August 1983.

Friedman, "Visions of 2010: Human Missions to Mars, the Moon and the Asteroids," The Planetary Report, March/April 1985, p. 4-6, 22.

Friedman, "Towards Becoming A Multi-Planet Species," IAF 36th Congress, (October 1985).

Friedman, "Halley's Comet Was Here! A Look at Halleymania," The Planetary Report, March/April 1987, p. 14-15.

Friedman, "A Space Station Worth the Cost: The Planetary Society Proposal," The Planetary Report, July/August 1987, p. 12-13.

Friedman, "Mars Balloon: A Novel Approach to a Treacherous Terrain," September/October, 1988, p. 7-11.

Friedman, "The Cost of a Piloted Mission to Mars," IAF 39th Congress, (October 8-15, 1988), Bangalore, India.

Friedman, Starsailing: Solar Sails and Interstellar Travel, John Wiley & Sones, Inc., New York, 1988.

Friedman, Staehle, "Solar Sails in an Interplanetary Economy," Chapter from Project Solar Sail, edited by Arthur C. Clarke, ROC - Penguin BOoks, April 1990.


*** And where am I coming from?

For those who wonder, my own "crudentials" are simply the following (there is substantial proof of each of these things): I can think reasonably logically, I have a reasonable amount of common sense, I am reasonably well-read, I am reasonably good at interviewing scientists, and I am a (natural-born, not that it makes any difference) United States citizen searching for the truth about Cassini. I am entitled to answers regarding this civilian launch of 72 pounds of plutonium 238 (mostly) in dioxide form.

Those are all my credentials, or "crudentials" as one person called them. Nothing at all. Add to them only that I am a (reasonably) good writer, and you have defined me. I am a nobody, and I know next to nothing (I knew even less when I first heard about Cassini less than two years ago, other than that vaporized plutonium is a really, really bad thing). But I am (or try to be) honest and I am (or try to be) willing to learn, and I have read what NASA purports to be an explanation for the average American citizen, and it doesn't make any sense to me. I state my objections, and I get insulted and misquoted by Dr. Louis Friedman. Now the insults fly in both directions, but I still wait for his real arguments for his position.

I think the discussion has by now gone way beyond the relatively simple question of "Is it right or wrong to have launched (and to now permit to do a flyby of Earth) 72+ pounds of plutonium 238 (mostly) dioxide on board Cassini?" I have little doubt that it was wrong. An interagency review board said it. Dr. Michio Kaku, Dr. Hoerst Poehler, Dr. John W. Gofman, Dr. Jay M. Gould, Dr. Ross McClunney, Dr. Helen Caldicott, Dr. Ernest J. Sternglass, and Dr. Karl Z. Morgan, and many many others all say so. I have listened to their arguments, and in many cases they have read or listened to my views as well. My newsletter has been an open forum to any who wish to write. While it's true that I no longer print every email that arrives here at the STOP CASSINI newsletter editor's desk ("monitor" for those who need new clich‚s), I continue to answer them personally. I don't think anyone feels censored here, other than (perhaps) the authors of a small handful of (unfortunately) vulgar and (thankfully) brief emails (the worst part was that the authors were generally right -- for example, one called me a "bleeping" idiot.). Dr. Louis Friedman has been welcome to write whatever he wants, and has often taken pen to hand (fingers to keyboard for those who want new cliches). Dr. Otto Raabe was offered a chance; he did not respond to my email. Dr. Friedman wishes to condemn me, but doesn't wish to state his reasons for that condemnation and certainly does not wish to try to educate me differently. NASA is certainly always welcome to join in the fray (of course they never will). NASA employees (current and former) and contractors can write here as well, anonymously if they so choose; and some have, both pro- and con-.

Longtime readers might remember the former Cassini senior engineer (in Newsletter #51) who said I had gone too far claiming that 747's (and many other aircraft) use Depleted Uranium for control surface counterbalances, yet they do. Indeed, all that has been written on these pages by me has been the truth, as best I can discover it, and others' comments? You take those as you want, (as you do mine) but I can only vouch that the anonymous letters were indeed sent to me, often by people who gave me their full names and addresses (such as the Cassini engineer) but not always -- sometimes I only had an email address. We all know that most email addresses are traceable. Nearly everything is done through email these days, as it should be. But it leaves a trace, as nearly everyone knows. Not a perfect trace, but a pretty good one if the email was indeed legitimate. Not that I have ever tried to trace anything (or even know how), but only that my "opponent" (the Government) can, and probably does. They know who writes me what. This I believe, this surely most of the people who write me believe. And yet time and again people have felt that they have both a right and a duty to contact me.

So it's surely true, that the government knows that what I am writing right now is the truth. Or at least, they know they could have known it if they had paid attention. My phone was surely tapped last year -- it doesn't have all those weird bleeps and clicks and echoes anymore, but last year, it was just ridiculous. The people I was talking to (Mark Elsis, Pamela Blockey-O'Brien, and many others) would acknowledge these clicks with a "Hi boys! Be sure you get all this down verbatim!" As often as not, believe it or not, such comments would result in a clearing of the lines. They don't like being noticed.

Why would we joke about it like that? Because otherwise it would crush us! Because it works. Because it's there.

Because we believe we are right, so we have to. We know we love our country. We know they know this too. Why we must fight against underhanded tactics that include presenting false information to the public, withholding information, and responding to our criticisms and comments without confronting us openly in any way, I do not know. But I do know that there are vast numbers of people in the government who KNOW that what Dr. John W. Gofman has to say on the subject of vaporized plutonium is very, very important. (Dr. Gofman is the person whom Dr. Louis Friedman had apparently not even heard of, until I mentioned him in some answers to Friedman last year. To claim that he has studied the issue of the dangers of plutonium, and yet not be familiar with Dr. Gofman and his work, is a travesty.)

But truth can seem to be such a fickle thing. One person's truth may be another person's poison. Truly, I cannot be sure that I am right. But if I am wrong, no harm is done. We would still get to Saturn. But if Dr. Friedman is wrong, the whole world suffers. We will gain knowledge. Knowledge about cancer and leukemia. I could be wrong 10,000 times, but by then we would be to Pluto safely -- but Dr. Friedman cannot even be wrong once. Perhaps the government is right that nuclear power on their secret spy satellites serves a higher purpose, but I doubt it. I doubt nuclear subs and especially nuclear carriers are right. I doubt nuclear weapons, which we've spent trillions of dollars on since the last one was used in anger, are right. I'm tired of this way of doing things. I believe there are safe alternatives. I believe this country has vast untapped resources which if properly utilized could help ensure world peace without building weapons of mass destruction and newer and better delivery systems for those weapons.

Environmentalism? I don't know the meaning of the term. Recently I read that "environmentalists" oppose a geothermal plant in northern California because it would not fit into the beautiful surroundings. Look at Chernobyl if you want to see ugly! Geothermal energy is awesomely clean and we desperately need the 50 Megawatts that plant could produce. That alone might be enough to power the next space launch facility, a mag-lev device. Imagine a clean, cheap launch facility to get us into space!

It will never happen as long as so-called "environmentalists" oppose clean renewable energy sources because they look ugly. To me there are few things more beautiful than a valley filled with wind-generators. Deer in the fields below them. Larger units can rise above even a forest and collect clean energy with virtually no ill effect on the environment.

When Dr. Louis Friedman writes that renewable resources have not been able to supplant nuclear and coal and other awful solutions currently being administered to the unnoticing public, he is referring to lack of public R&D and initial development funding (something nuclear received ample supplies of), and a willingness on the part of the public and government to mistake "NIMBY" attitudes for true environmentalism, which is a global thing. Nearly 6 billion souls exist on this world today, and they must be fed, clothed, housed and educated. To do any less is a crime against all humanity. As we reach the new millenium we realize that the world should be around for another 1000 years at least. Clean, renewable energy is the only reasonable solution. But Dr. Friedman thinks he has an answer in dangerous nonrenewable solutions, so he denigrates the opposition, hoping to sweep us away with his powerful (but brief) written statements and degrading asides.

Perhaps the protesters are right, that the geothermal plant needed to be better designed to fit into the environment. Maybe they would like it to microwave its energy production up into space, to have it transferred to a terrestrial collector elsewhere on earth. (That has other problems, but it would solve any transmission-line worries, but then, so does buried cable.) Maybe it should be painted green with ivy planted around it. But not build it? That is not true environmentalism. Choices, even sacrifices to supply clean technology, MUST be made. That is reality.

So what is the great advantage nuclear solutions have over others? It is this: They have been built around a tight-knit and relatively small group of people, picked for their "clearheaded" devotion to the cause. Sons and daughters of nuclear workers often become nuclear workers, for instance. There's a lot of that going around. The cancer death rates, while often elevated, are not elevated enough to dissuade most people, except perhaps the ones who's parents actually were victims of their work. But the others all pretend it cannot happen, will not happen, to them. Coal mines never had trouble getting hands to hold their pickaxes on the way to dusty death.

But don't believe me, because Dr. Louis Friedman says I have no credibility and he is right. And he is not alone. IEEE would not publish my response to their sleazy propaganda, although I read most of what I wrote to an IEEE 25-year member scientist in good standing prior to sending it, to be sure I wasn't misrepresenting the situation. Many of my newsletters were read to top scientists prior to publication, and the ideas were thoroughly discussed. I'm not afraid of the ground I stand on, Dr. Friedman. I believe it is firm. So it would have been nice if you had provided real answers to dispute me, but now I see why you could not. You signed a contract which closed your brain.

Before going on extremely dangerous missions (I know this from hundreds of books, T.V. shows, movies and personal interviews with former soldiers), it is not unusual for soldiers to look at each other and say to themselves about the guy they are looking at, "Poor bloke, he probably won't be coming back from this one." No, it won't be me, they say. We all say. We smoke, but we know it is unhealthy. We drink. We overeat and under-exercise. These are personal decisions. We drive too fast. We have just one or two beers, not nearly the limit, and see no added danger, yet in many cases, it's worse than being flat-out drunk and getting behind the wheel. Why? Because with only one or two drinks in you, you think you can still perform, and you know they can't catch you for DUI because you know you aren't legally drunk, but you have lost some of your inhibitions. So one tends to try crazy things, like passing in a "no passing" zone, or running a red light, or chasing a yellow one, or "pushing the envelope" around a curve. When our personal risks endanger others, the public has a right to get involved. Cassini threatens you, me, everyone, and the public has a right to get involved. But Dr. Louis Friedman will degrade anyone who does, unless they are scientists. Then he will ignore them.

The nuclear industry is a vast group of willing conspirators. They conspire not to know the truth themselves, that is, to deny the possibility that the opposition which Friedman degrades so much and so often, actually has something scientifically credible to say. When forced to admit that there are indeed highly credible scientists who oppose the nuclear alternatives, they have many "fallback" positions to comfort them, including, "but Gosh, we NEED energy!" and, "Coal is worse" and "Hormesis" (the theory that a little radiation is good for you) and "we can't get to Saturn any other way" and the biggest lie of all, "we need it for national defense".

We don't need an institution based on secrecy, lies, false bookwork, under-insurance, and God-awful dangerous poisons and carcinogens in vast quantities. We just don't need it. There are alternatives, clean, safe alternatives which can supply all the energy needs of this country and the world, without damage to the environment and without enslaving the population to false truths, false promises, and false hopes.

Dr. Louis Friedman, my esteemed letter writer, is a slave. A slave is someone who is not free. Not free to think. Not free to speak. Not free to break from one way of thinking and discover a whole new paradigm. I'm not talking about his failing to grasp that CAPS IS SHOUTING. I'm referring to his specific work history, which while giving us the impression he should know what he is talking about, also clearly indicates that he cannot speak about the very things he knows.

It also indicates that he is ignorant about the health-effects side of the arguments against plutonium power sources, further indicated by his not having heard of Dr. John W. Gofman, American hero, co-discoverer of Uranium 233, the man who isolated the first working quantities of plutonium for J. Robert Oppenhiemer for the Manhattan project during WWII, whose contributions to the nuclear industry Nobel laureate Glenn Seaborg has written as been worth "hundreds of trillions of dollars" (more than all the funding for the civilian space programs, ever). The nuclear industry hides Dr. Gofman. Hides him so well that after 35 years of Dr. Friedman stating he knows the relevant facts, as late as last year Dr. Louis Friedman was clearly not familiar with Dr. Gofman's opinions or credentials and it appears he still isn't. Yet it is absolutely impossible to understand the scientific reasoning behind the opposition to Cassini without knowing the work of this great man, whom Dr. Friedman has missed. He's 90! It's time to listen to him, Dr. Friedman! He is your senior scientist, but there are many other scientists who oppose Cassini as well.

But we cannot know what really makes Friedman say what he says, we can only recognize that his hands are tied and his mouth is zipped -- the truth cannot come out, because it would violate his security clearance. Not I nor anyone is asking him to do that. All we ask is that he have the decency to admit his inability to talk about the subject, and then shut up. But he cannot even answer truthfully the question of whether or not he can answer these questions truthfully! So DO NOT, Dr. Friedman, grant interviews on the subject of Cassini, because it is beyond your ability to speak honestly on the subject, because of your former employment. DO NOT, Dr. Friedman, give other good Americans who come inquiring about the truth, your standard lies and platitudes, for they do no one any good. America is tired of the nuclear lie. We have seen nuclear deterrence fail to deter aggression worldwide, in the 50 bloody years since the A-bomb was first used. We have welcomed, just this year, India and Pakistan (how you hate that I mention them in the same breath as your Cassini project!) to the nuclear club. Deterrence? What we have is envy. Bomb envy. Protect thyself! Get a bomb! North Korea wants one. Israel -- don't they have 100 or so? What did our trillion-dollar investment in nuclear weapons buy us? Teachers that cannot teach for lack of chalk, when instead every classroom should look not unlike Mission Control Center in Houston. We've lost the edge. Math and science scores drop across the nation, and have been dropping for decades while you've been risking hell on Earth to reach the stars. People in America still think education should stop at the end of high school, when meanwhile we send our troops half-way around the world to defend a nation (Kuwait) which offers free college education to everyone (every Kuwaiti, that is, but that's another row to hoe).

The nuclear secrecy, the fancy security clearances -- it's all hogwash. It's all well known stuff across the border. Even North Korea can launch a three-stage rocket now, and build a nuke. It's only the American Public the truth is still being withheld from. Dr. Louis Friedman cannot speak the truth. Why not? Because to do so would violate something far bigger -- his agreement with his (my) country. The only way to get the truth from him is to break the walls down. When the full truth is knowable, Dr. Friedman will undoubtedly be embarrassed by what he is now forced to say to be sure he does not let slip any "classified" information. I call on President Clinton, who has done such a (comparatively) magnificent job of "outing" the truth about many nuclear tragedies (and a few other things), to free people like Dr. Friedman from their chains as well!

*** Questions for Dr. Louis Friedman

Poor Dr. Louis Friedman. As is made abundantly clear from his resume (shown above), the most likely reason he says the things he does about Cassini and other plutonium launches and possible plutonium launches, and the most likely reason he misquotes me and misquotes everyone else (from time to time, as he sees fit) in the movement who opposes the madness of the NASA/MIL dishonorable, dishonest, disgusting, dismal dilemma, is precisely because he knows the truth, but cannot say it.

Notice his employment from September 1963 to September 1968 -- AVCO Corporation, Wilmington, Massachusetts, doing none other than "classified" work in the following:

"Earth Orbital (classified) Missions Analyses -- Re-entry error propagation studies, Satellite Dispersions, Lifetime Analysis, Rendezvous and Deployment Studies, Error Prediction."

Also, three lines lower and in the same time frame, "Classified Aircraft Weapons Implementation Study".

It is clear from his "classified" work that he is ABSOLUTELY UNABLE to answer honestly, any technical questions about Cassini or other nuclear launches or possible launches. Unless his security clearance on all the projects he worked on has been completely revoked, he practically MUST lie!

He has no choice but to lie, or to fail to respond specifically, or to obfuscate, unless specifically told not to. So someone can pick and choose what Dr. Friedman can say, or he can lie. He cannot voluntarily tell the truth about Satellite Dispersions, Re-entry error propagation studies, or any of a host of other things. Forbidden.

He can, however, pontificate, as long as such pontificating is not based on anything he knows which is classified information.

This makes reasonable conversation with him on the subject quite useless. Perhaps he could answer a "simple" mathematical question about something having nothing to do with Cassini, like, "Compare the chances of random collisions between a 25 mile long, high-strength tether in earth orbit to the same mass in an area the size of a grapefruit (the "wound" size) in terms of the increase (or decrease) of random-collision danger to other orbiting objects from this 'orbital garrotte'?" and I'd love for him to answer such a question.

But he undoubtedly cannot answer any of the following, because they involve "trade secrets". Rather, he can answer any of them any way he wants, except honestly. He cannot base his answers on classified information. This is perhaps, the real reason he does not answer my "polemics" point by point. To do so would be to violate his (and my) morals about keeping a promise to a previous employer, in his case, the military as a contract worker with access to military secrets. In my case, the banks (and bankers) I have worked for, the database companies, my software purchasers (including the military), etcetera. I cannot let them down (or the people who write me expecting confidentiality on my part) any more than Dr. Friedman (or I, or anyone) can change the past. We each have our responsibilities. Since I do not see how he can possibly tell the truth, I see no reason to continue asking him.

He should, however, stop talking to everyone else. Reporters quote him, interviewers interview him, about what? Cassini! About what he clearly cannot speak a word of truth or they'll (we'll) throw him in the slammer!

Here are some questions he undoubtedly cannot answer, which are all relevant to Cassini:


NASA says that the GIS is surrounded by a material which "missile nose cones" are made out of. (AVCO Corporation built missile nose cones in the early 60's, around the time of Dr. Friedman's employment there.) Assuming what NASA says is true (that it is the same material), isn't it also true that the total thickness of the GIS containment material, about 1/32nd of an inch, is far less than the amount which is expected to ablate during re- entry if the pellets are released through a fracture of the outer GPHS/RTG system prior to, or in the first moments of, a re-entry? )? In other words, aren't missile nose cones much thicker, precisely because they ablate during re- entry (which by the way is only at speeds of about 15,000 MPH compared to Cassini's 42,300 miles per hour (friction heat increases with the cube of the speed)? (Note: The containment system is untested at anything like the expected speed and conditions of a Cassini re-entry.) How sure are you, personally, these things will hold, and why?


How does the Russian plutonium containment system work? If you don't know, surely you have contacts who can find out. People whom you can call and in one phone call ensure that I get all the answers that are available. So "I don't know" is absolutely insufficient. This is something the public has a right and a need to know. Why, if you are supporting a good American policy, is it so hard to learn what Russia is doing on that important issue? Why would American NASA/MIL officials be hiding from American citizens the truth about Russian behavior? These are the guys that recently lost eight sailors on board a nuclear sub to a mad crewmember with a gun. If you don't know what the Russian space plutonium solutions are, since you undoubtedly have the power to find out, I implore you to do so, because we all need to know.


After the SNAP-9A failure in 1964 you contend no one, or virtually no one was harmed because the plutonium was dispersed at high altitude. How many aircraft were used to search for plutonium around the re-entry point? How much plutonium did they pick up? How many "sorties" did they run? What did the plume look like? In other words, how accurately do we really know the dispersion characteristics of vaporized plutonium dioxide? You can't answer any of these questions, not because you don't know, but because you are sworn to secrecy, right, Dr. Friedman? If you do answer them, you MUST lie unless told you don't have to. Isn't that right too, Dr. Friedman?


Ditto for Apollo 13. How many flights were made near its re-entry point? How close to the exact splashdown point was the nearest United States Government vessel or aircraft at the moment of splashdown of the lunar module (the "LEM")? How many times was the surrounding water tested? For how many years after the accident, from how many locations? How close has anyone gotten to the wreckage to ensure that the plutonium, which was not expected to come back at all, somehow survived re-entry as NASA has repeatedly claimed? You cannot answer any of these questions honestly if you know the answers, can you, Dr. Friedman? Not only that, but even if you have "plausible deniability", you think you are a free man, do you not? You could, with one phone call, speak to the President, or his science adviser, or hundreds of key people in NASA and in the military, so you can find out the real answers to these questions, but you won't, will you, Dr. Friedman? You are not an open pathway to truth, you are a Keep Out sign on the road to knowledge. A road which leads to a temple you delude yourself into calling "science", but real science can answer my simple questions. It does not take a "holier than thou" attitude as you have repeatedly done. How do I know? I've spent the better part of two decades writing about it and dealing with scientists. Not until I looked at Cassini have I ever run into the likes of you. Even Genetic Biologists (Gene splicers) are more open and try to explain what they are trying to do. You hide. From what? From a "small but vociferous group"! You justify your secrecy, lies, and misstatements with that coin. But who can blame you? Your real coin has no value.


What about the D. E. Rockey report and its misuse in the 1995 NASA EIS for the Cassini mission? It is clear now that you cannot even admit, for it would violate your need to keep classified certain "vital information", that the Rockey report was completely misused. For to admit it would be to say either that you know something you must keep secret (that plutonium is not only too dangerous to use, it's even more expensive!) or that you can't read English very well, for ANYONE reading the D. E. Rockey report and then reading the improperly-pulled quotes in the EIS, can only conclude that it was misused either on purpose or by accident by some very stupid people. Not rocket scientists, surely! But I understand now that you cannot comment on any of this, because it would violate your (and my) standards of keeping secret what has been entrusted to you.


The August 1998 Titan IVA explosion of what was possibly the most expensive military satellite in history. My claim that it may have contained -- probably did contain -- a plutonium power source, has so far remained totally unrefuted. The bird already had one antenna which was larger than a football field (for spying on terrestrial devices such as cordless phones) -- would they trouble themselves to unfurl another, which would need to be aimed in a totally different direction, and for which the thing it aimed at (the sun) would be unavailable during a good part of the time when the bird was probably going to do most of its work (at night, when the air is less ionized)? As I stated before, if plutonium was good enough for a relatively minor research project like Cassini, surely "national defense" would be a good enough reason to use it on that Titan? Wouldn't it, Dr. Friedman? Everything I say is the truth, as best I can see it and explain it. But you -- it is clear that you cannot answer truthfully, because of your binds. I have no such binds. I love my country but I am not in servitude to it. I am only in service (and gratitude) to it for the freedoms and happiness it has given me and my family, and for the possible future it represents. I am free to speak here, but I don't think you are. You would do this country a favor if you would shut up, under the circumstances. Maybe you cannot tell the truth, but you could at least stop passing pernicious platitudes.


Regarding your unclassified "Development of Error Analysis Programs", NASA has in the past underestimated the amount of space debris in orbit about the Earth by several orders of magnitude, as has been discovered earlier this decade. Not only that, but new ideas for earth-orbital space use include the aforementioned tethers as well as plans to try to create Solar Power Systems which "beam" energy to Earth from collectors in outer space. These collectors, to have a real impact on Earth's energy needs in the next millennium, would amount to millions of kg of new orbital material, thus causing the actual amount of debris to increase dramatically. My question to you is, when calculating the risk to Cassini from both man-made orbital debris and all the other debris, how can you possibly believe that you are necessarily within even several orders of magnitude regarding how much is actually out there? In other words, Cassini might fly through any number of hitherto unknown debris fields, perhaps even today as I write this. How did your friends at NASA come up with a number which reflects how little of space we've actually been through to estimate that particular value? Since this is probably part of "lifetime analysis" from your classified work, you probably cannot answer these questions. Yet you pontificate as though you can answer them, and that you should not do. It screws up the system. America doesn't need your lies, Dr. Friedman. Or your condescending attitude. If you wish me to step aside so that you can argue your case with the next person, fine. But I am here, and I have a right to ask the questions I ask. It was YOU who wrote about a dozen letters to the editor of this newsletter. You continue to write your one-liners (which say next to nothing). And YOU, Dr. Friedman, misquoted my statements regarding the possible consequences of the Titan IVA explosion last August. If you wish to try to show people I am a fool, you are welcome to do so (on these very pages, or anywhere), as long as you quote me accurately. Otherwise, we are at odds.


It is high time, indeed, that many of these so-called "nuclear" secrets that have been kept from the American public for so long be unmasked for what they really are -- an opportunity to cover up shoddy workmanship and financial/environmental disasters! I have heard, for example, from concerned citizens working in the appropriate places, that the venting system for the GIS units had a very high failure rate in tests. You could, in a phone call or two, get the reports -- if, that is, you are working from a position of truth. And if it were not for the fact that those very reports are (this has come to me from what appears to be a very reliable source) unobtainable even to those on the "inside". So I ask you, Dr. Friedman: To properly pontificate about the RTGs, you need to know about the vents! Help me find out the truth! But I'm afraid you cannot do so, for you once did classified work 35 years ago and have been chained for life by it. Even your conscience is chained, for you dare not think that your work was harmful or excessively risky to humanity. Even though you could perhaps be excused because you did not know, you will not accept that excuse. Instead you hold fast to your hidden logic.


Recent (last month) reports regarding fallout from nuclear weapons testing indicates that at this time, they do not know how many people -- but they estimate somewhere between 11,300 and 212,000 -- may get cancer from exposure to iodine-131, which releases beta particles and has a half-life of just 8.1 days. Such a variance is well more than an order of magnitude. With such inaccurate studies on the effects of low levels of radiation (in this case from Iodine-131, in the case of Cassini, mostly Pu-238 in respirable form) on the populace, how can you be so sure that NASA's most recent estimate of approximately 130 deaths from a "worst case scenario" for Cassini is in any way accurate? Furthermore, what with the uncovering of an Interagency (Government) report from June 1997 indicated the RTG/GPHS/GIS etc. containment system WILL NOT WORK for a flyby re-entry accident (despite your and NASA's assurances last year that it would), how can you possibly say that you know within several orders of magnitude what the risk of an accident is, and what the result of an accident would be? If both numbers are off by two orders of magnitude, highly possible, then your "one in one million" becomes one in 10,000, and "2300 deaths" (the number in one of NASA's earlier estimates) becomes 230,000 -- a one in 10,000 chance of killing 230,000 people doesn't sound like good odds to me. I don't like playing the odds at all, frankly, since solar alternatives were available. You can't beat those odds even if everything you've said about the lack of dangers for your plutonium-powered probe turned out to be true. Solar is risk-free. Read up on what the Europeans have come up with in the past few years.

Sure, the numbers in the above paragraph are just a little mathematical excursion -- but we know for certain that NASA miscalculated space debris in Earth orbit by several orders of magnitude and we also know that cancer deaths are difficult to estimate, also by several orders of magnitude. So, was Cassini worth the risk when alternatives for deep space missions existed even years ago, for Galileo? (The complete Rockey report is available online at our web site (not at NASA's).) How confident are you that the calculation of risk of an accident is NOT off by 10^2 and that at the same time the calculation of the health effects resulting from an accident is not ALSO off by 10^2? In other words, what is the degree of confidence you personally have in the NASA numbers you pontificate about? You cannot answer that question (or this one) truthfully, can you?


Speaking of mistakes of two or greater orders of magnitude, NASA estimated that the space shuttle had a 1 in 100,000 chance of failure prior to the Challenger explosion. Then, the value went down to just 1 in 78 -- more than three orders of magnitude difference! Now it's gone up again -- by more than an order of magnitude. NASA was "way wrong" in their first estimate! Even after fixing all the problems that were uncovered because of the Challenger disaster, they still do not believe in themselves with anything like the confidence they once had. Where does YOUR confidence in them come from?

Similarly, prior to the SNAP-9A launch in 1964, Dr. Karl Z. Morgan (you know who he is, I presume, a little, anyway?) was told (he stated this in sworn testimony) by NASA that the rocket had a "1 in 10,000,000" chance of re-entry. One in ten million. My question to you is, did you have anything to do with the creation of that number? It seems to have been right up your alley while you were at AVCO Corporation. But, you probably cannot answer that question either, or the backup question, which is, did you base any of your own work on whatever work produced that obviously ridiculous number?

My point in all this, is not to put you on the spot or make you question what you should do with your loyalty to our country. By all means keep it! Keep your secrets! My point is to point out to others that you cannot be a spokesperson for the truth about these issues, because what you know is all keyed in to classified information which you have not been freed from holding secret. There is no reason for anyone (reporter, space enthusiast, concerned citizen, or anyone else) to ask you anything regarding Cassini until and unless you are freed from your bondage. Even your misquoting me regarding my opinions about the Titan IVA launch from August, 1998 must be full of lies, or the truth of what you know would come out, which is not permitted. You misquoted me because to stay focused on what I actually accuse the U.S. military of, would require you to discuss things you are not allowed to discuss.

I will try, from this day forward, in my copious free time, to accomplish the task of freeing you, Dr. Friedman. I will seek, through letters to my Congresspersons, through my writing, perhaps through an FOIA or two, to get changes made which will allow you to say all you know about the things you have so far simply (as I said in my last letter to you) pontificated from "on high" about. Until then, however, I hope the world, and the American media, will respect you for what you know and can freely talk about, but will not be taken in when you talk about things you obviously cannot speak truthfully about.

Oh and, I'll send you a copy of Radiation & Human Heath by Dr. John W. Gofman, so you can see what leads him to the conclusions he draws.

I respect the man. I can respect you too, now that I know what makes you tick (and twitch) the way you do. Respect you, but want to hear your non-responses on CNN television or read them in USA-TODAY or whatever, regarding the upcoming flyby? Ha! You will be the man they will contact, and you will pontificate, as is your manner, but you know, and I know, and those with the sense to simply look at your resume know, that what you say cannot possibly be the truth.

Nearly every fighting man, and those who support him, needs to believe that he is doing good by doing bad. I'm sure you feel that way about yourself and at the time you worked on your "classified" projects, it may have been true. I do not question that. But you are claiming to be able to speak knowledgeably and truthfully, but in fact you cannot do that. I am a civilian through and through. To that extent, and it is an important one, we are both equals now. I have a right to wonder why someone would risk putting vast quantities of deadly carcinogens into my environment, and you have a duty to explain, since you have the qualifications and have taken it upon yourself to speak as an expert and even, to clog my newsletters with your "expertise". But you do not speak as an expert. You speak instead as an agent of disinformation. And all your fancy degrees do not answer any of my questions by their "mere" existence.

But I think you know there are no good answers. Cassini was and is a mistake, and the only thing left is to find out how bad a mistake it turns out to be. Perhaps it will turn out to be a harmless (nearly $4 billion dollar) mistake. That won't make it right, any more than shooting into a crowd and not hitting anyone makes it all right to have risked such an action.


Russell Hoffman
Editor, STOP CASSINI newsletter
Webmaster, STOP CASSINI web site


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