- The deaths of five microbiologists between 12 Nov 2001
and 12 Dec 2001 have one link in common -- the Howard Hughes Medical
- Dr. Benito Que was a cellular biologist at the University
of Miami Medical Center, which receives grants from HHMI. Que, 52, was
found in the street near the laboratory where he worked. According to the
Miami Herald, "...word among his friends is that four men armed with
a baseball bat attacked him at his car." He died on 6 Dec.
- Probably the most reported death was that of Dr. Don
C. Wiley, 57, who vanished on 16 Nov. His abandoned rental car was found
on the Hernando de Soto Bridge outside Memphis, Tenn. The Associated Press
reported, "His disappearance looked like a suicide, but according
to colleagues and Dr. Wiley's family, the Harvard Scientist associated
with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute would never commit suicide."
His body was found on 20 Dec.
- Dr. Wiley was a member of the Dept. Molecular &
Biology at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Harvard University in
Cambridge, Mass. "In 1999, Wiley and another Harvard professor, Dr.
Jack Strominger, won the Japan Prize for their discoveries of how the
system protects humans from infections."
- The New York Times reported that Dr. Vladimir Pasechnik
died of a stroke on 23 Nov 2001. Their source for this information: Dr.
Christopher J. Davis of Great Falls, Va., formerly in British
- Dr. Pasechnik was "the administrative head of the
old Soviet Biopreparat, a scientist who was responsible for aerosolizing
plague and successful developer of binary weapons known as the Novichok
group of weapons..." He "was found dead in the UK where he lived
since he defected from the Soviet Union in 1989. During his debriefing
by western intelligence agencies, he revealed that Biopreparat was a major
Soviet weapons facility involved in offensive biological weapons research,
development and production of anthrax, plague and smallpox."
- It has been reported that Pasechnik "...spent over
10 years working at the Centre for Applied Microbiology and Research at
the UK Department of Health in Salisbury," The Centre is actually
at Porton Down -- near Salisbury -- and has had sub-contracts and/or
with HHMI. Researcher Dr. Leonard Horowitz has reported that "Porton
Down is the chief biological weapons research and development organization
for the U.K."
- Set Van Nguyen was "...a skilled microbiologist
... at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation's
(CSIRO) animal diseases facility in Geelong, Australia." He died 11
Dec 2001 "after entering an airlock into a storage laboratory filled
- The journal Nature announced in January 2001:
- "Australian scientists, Dr. Ron Jackson and Dr.
Ian Ramshaw, accidentally created an astonishingly virulent strain of
a cousin of smallpox, among laboratory mice. They realised that if similar
genetic manipulation was carried out on smallpox, an unstoppable killer
could be unleashed."
- "Releasing his name today, police said Mr Nguyen
had worked for CSIRO's Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL) as a
microbiologist for 15 years," reported the Victoria Herald Sun.
- Two members of the research staff at CSIRO have had
with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in the past.
- Dr. T J Higgins, who's "major research focus is
the application of gene technology for plant improvement," was, in
1981, "a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Fellow at the University
of Washington in Seattle, Wash."
- Dr. John Lowenthal, "has worked at CSIRO since 1990
and is project leader for the avian cytokines project, which forms part
of the Vaccines and Therapeutics Program at the Australian Animal Health
Laboratory." From 1987-1989 he was a Research Associate with the
Hughes Medical Institute at Duke University in Durham, NC.
- On 13 Dec 2001 the Washington Post reported, "A
well known biophysicist, who was one of the leading researchers on DNA
sequencing analysis, was found slain in his rural Loudoun County home after
co-workers became concerned when he didn't arrive at work as expected.
Robert M. Schwartz, 57, a founding member of the Virginia Biotechnology
Association, was found dead in the secluded fieldstone farmhouse southwest
of Leesburg where he lived alone. Loudoun sheriff's officials said it
that Schwartz had been stabbed."
- Dr. Schwartz worked at Virginia's Center for Innovative
Technology, a government-funded nonprofit agency in Herndon, Va. He died
12 Dec 2001.
- Where is the connection to HHMI? This one might be a
stretch, but on 28 Feb 2002, the HHMI announced the selection of Rafael
Violy Architects PC as the architect for its Janelia Farm research campus,
to be located in Loudoun County, Va.
- "In the next decade, the Institute anticipates
about $500 million to construct and operate the campus, which is situated
along the Potomac River near Leesburg, Virginia, about 30 miles from HHMI
- Leesburg, Va. is not far from Herndon, where Dr. Schwartz
worked. It is also very close to Great Falls, Va., where Dr. Christopher
J. Davis, formerly of British Intelligence lives. Remember him? He was
the individual quoted in the New York Times as saying Dr. Pasechnik died
of a stroke.
- Perhaps it is merely coincidence that all these doctors
had some sort of connection to the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Perhaps
it's merely a coincidence that a former member of British intelligence
who now lives near the headquarters of Howard Hughes Medical Institute
is the New York Times' source for the cause of death of someone who died
in the United Kingdom. But I don't believe in this many coincidences.
when they involve an institute founded by Howard Hughes, a man who has
been linked to the CIA in numerous books and articles.