Okay, say you’re the leader of a country and a few scientists discover something that could change the world. You could bribe the researchers to keep their mouths shut, but wouldn’t it be easier just to kill them?
I’m not saying that this happens a lot, but there has definitely been some shadiness afoot over the years. Let’s take a look at five eyebrow-raising cases of scientists dying after making important discoveries.
Back in the ’80s, Ronald Reagan introduced an ambitious defense program called Strategic Defense Initiative (nicknamed Star Wars), which was designed to shoot lasers at incoming missiles from space should the Russians attack. Between 1982 and 1990, 25 British scientists who worked for GEC-Marconi, the British wing of the program, mysteriously died. Some believe that they were killed by Soviet spies, and others believe that their own government had a hand in it.
In 2003, biological warfare expert David Kelly anonymously leaked that the British government had falsified information regarding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. When Prime Minister Tony Blair found out it was Kelly, a parliamentary committee was formed to question him. He was found dead in his apartment two days later. The police said it was a suicide, but because a judge ruled that the evidence had to be sealed for 70 years, we won’t know what truly happened for a long time.
Don Wiley was a leading expert in chemical weaponry, most notably anthrax. During the 2001 anthrax epidemic, Wiley’s car was found on a bridge with the keys still in the ignition. His body was later found in the Mississippi River. Another anthrax scientist named Vladimir Pasechnik also died around the same time.
Australian astrophysicist Rodney Marks died mysteriously at the South Pole research station while working on an observatory. His body was held by the government and security contractor Raytheon for unknown reasons. It was later revealed that Marks died of methanol poisoning.
Three different researchers working on the same project died in 2013 while studying the effects of global warming, leading another scientist on the team named Peter Wadham to believe that they were assassinated by oil industry leaders or the United States government.
There aren’t many facts available to back up these theories, but that’s partly because people in power have taken pains to keep them under wraps. Does anyone else feel like there’s something fishy going on here?