Saturday, November 5, 2016

Ship Photos Of The Day – Seaspan Shipyard, Vancouver



----
Ship Photos Of The Day – Seaspan Shipyard, Vancouver
// gCaptain.com

seaspan-shipyard-vancouver-25By Cindy Konrad (gCaptain) On October 19, 2011 ,under the National Shipbuilding Strategy, a $30 billion project, Seaspan won a major contract to rebuild the Canadian government's non combat  vessels. "If it does not have a gun and larger than 1000 gross tons we are building it here," said Brian Cater, President of Seaspan. This […]

The post Ship Photos Of The Day – Seaspan Shipyard, Vancouver appeared first on gCaptain.


----

Shared via my feedly newsfeed


Sent from my iPad

Ship Photos Of The Day – Seaspan Shipyard, Vancouver



----
Ship Photos Of The Day – Seaspan Shipyard, Vancouver
// gCaptain.com

seaspan-shipyard-vancouver-25By Cindy Konrad (gCaptain) On October 19, 2011 ,under the National Shipbuilding Strategy, a $30 billion project, Seaspan won a major contract to rebuild the Canadian government's non combat  vessels. "If it does not have a gun and larger than 1000 gross tons we are building it here," said Brian Cater, President of Seaspan. This […]

The post Ship Photos Of The Day – Seaspan Shipyard, Vancouver appeared first on gCaptain.


----

Shared via my feedly newsfeed


Sent from my iPad

USS Leviathan: A Most Valuable Spoil of War



----
USS Leviathan: A Most Valuable Spoil of War
// Roads to the Great War

Official Navy Painting: "A Fast Convoy USS Allen Escorting USS Leviathan The first large American troopship to make the Atlantic crossing with troops was the 54,000 ton USS Leviathan, formerly the German liner Vaterland, owned by the Hamburg America Line. Launched at Hamburg in 1914, she could sustain a speed of 20 knots across the Atlantic regardless of weather. She had 14 watertight
----

Shared via my feedly newsfeed


Sent from my iPad

October 1916 - WWI



----
October 1916
// Centennial Countdown to the Great War



In October 1916, as the presidential election campaign continues in the United States, no part of the world is untouched by the war.  A German U-Boat pays a visit to Newport, Rhode Island, where it makes and receives courtesy calls on American officers, then returns to sea and sinks nine merchant ships off the North American coast.  Six Americans are killed when a German submarine attacks an armed British merchant ship in heavy seas off the coast of Ireland.  On the Western Front, the French retake Fort Douaumont, the first of the fortifications at Verdun that fell to the Germans when they began their assault in February.  On the Somme, bloody fighting continues without significant gains by either side.  The Italian Army launches the eighth battle of the Isonzo and attacks Austrian troops in the mountains of the Trentino.  Continuing their offensive against Romania, German armies force the Romanians to abandon all the gains they have achieved since declaring war in August.


*****

President Wilson Campaigning in New Jersey This Month

The American presidential campaign is in full swing.  President Wilson left Shadow Lawn on October 3 for a visit to Omaha to join in the semi-centennial celebration of Nebraska statehood.  At the Omaha Auditorium on October 5, he told a capacity crowd that America has stayed out of the war "not because she was not interested, but because she wanted to play a different part."  He said "there is as much fight in America as in any nation in the world, but she wants to know what for."  On the same day Elihu Root, the former Secretary of State, Secretary of War and Senator from New York, addressed a Republican Club rally in Carnegie Hall.  He said the Wilson administration had failed to impress its opponents, whether Germany, Mexico, or the railroad unions, with the true spirit of America, and that the Republican Party and its nominee Charles Evans Hughes represented patriotic Americanism.  Back at Shadow Lawn on October 7, President Wilson attacked the Republican Party as one "with no proposals upon which all could unite," a disunited party which "cannot avow its purpose" and is "shot through with every form of bitterness, every ugly form of hate, every debased purpose of revenge, and every covert desire to recover secret power."  Referring to former President Roosevelt, he warned that "if the Republican Party should succeed, one very large branch of it would insist upon what its leader has insisted upon, a complete reversal of policy ... [which] can only be a reversal from peace to war."


Hughes Campaign Button

In Louisville, Kentucky on October 12, Wilson's opponent Charles Evans Hughes answered a heckler by saying that if he had been president when Germany published its warning to Lusitania passengers he would have warned Germany that an attack on the ocean liner would have meant the immediate termination of diplomatic relations.  Referring to the American response in February 1915 to Germany's declaration of unrestricted submarine warfare, Hughes accused President Wilson of not living up to his own strong words in response to the initial submarine threat.  Hughes said that, unlike Wilson, "when I said 'strict accountability' every nation would have known that that was meant."  On October 16 in Omaha, he responded to Wilson's charge that a victory of the Republican Party would mean the country would be ruled by "secret power" wielded by an "invisible government."  He said it is not the Republicans but the Democratic administration of President Wilson that has been governed by "mysterious influences" that do not represent the desires or interests of the American people.  In a reference to Colonel House, the president's unofficial but highly influential adviser, Hughes said "I desire government through two Houses and not three."



U53 in Newport Harbor

A German U-Boat, U53, made a surprise visit to the United States on October 7, entering Newport Harbor escorted by an American submarine it encountered as it approached Narragansett Bay.  After being guided to an anchorage at the naval base, the German submarine captain exchanged courtesy calls with Admiral Austin Knight, commander of the Naval War College, and Admiral Albert Gleaves, commander of the destroyer forces, and delivered a letter addressed to German Ambassador Count Johann von Bernstorff.  He told the American officers he had sufficient water, provisions and fuel, and was back at sea within a few hours.  Within the next two days, U53 sank nine merchant ships off the coast of North America.  Last May's Sussex Pledge to observe "cruiser rules" was obeyed in every case, and all those aboard the merchant ships were rescued.  After conferring with Secretary of State Lansing, President Wilson has decided to take no action.


Ambassador Gerard

The presence of U53 in American waters coincided with a visit to the United States by the American ambassador to Germany, James W. Gerard.  On October 10, within a few hours after his arrival in New York on the Scandinavian-American liner Frederick VIII, he met with Secretary of State Lansing at Colonel House's residence in New York.  The Secretary then departed for Shadow Lawn, President Wilson's summer residence at Long Branch, New Jersey, where he conferred with the president about reports that the German government is under pressure to resume unrestricted submarine warfare against merchant and passenger shipping.

On October 28, a German submarine torpedoed and sank two British steamships in heavy seas off the coast of Ireland.  One of them, S.S. Marina of the Donaldson Line, was an armed merchant ship with 49 Americans aboard, six of whom were drowned.  The attack appears to have been without warning, violating the Sussex Pledge.



General von Mackensen

War on the European continent continued on multiple fronts.  On October 24, after a two-day artillery barrage, the French Army at Verdun recaptured Fort Douaumont, taking 6,000 German prisoners.  On the Somme, the village of Le Sars, recently captured by the British, was lost to a German counterattack and then retaken five days later.  The Italian Army advanced in the Trentino, regaining the northern slopes of Mount Pasubio, and launched another offensive at the Isonzo River, capturing some 5,000 Austrian prisoners.  In the Balkans the offensive against Romania continued.  On October 19, German Army troops under the command of General August von Mackensen broke through the Romanian defenses at Dobrudja, and three days later entered the port city of Constanta, erasing the gains of the Romanian Army since it entered the war.






October 1916 – Selected Sources and Recommended Reading

Contemporary Periodicals:
American Review of Reviews, November and December 1916
New York Times, October 1916

Books and Articles:
A. Scott Berg, Wilson
Britain at War Magazine, The Third Year of the Great War: 1916
Winston S. Churchill, The World Crisis 1911-1918
John Milton Cooper, Jr., Woodrow Wilson: A Biography
John Milton Cooper, Jr., The Warrior and the Priest: Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt
Patrick Devlin, Too Proud to Fight: Woodrow Wilson's Neutrality
John Dos Passos, Mr. Wilson's War
David Fromkin, A Peace to End All Peace: Creating the Modern Middle East, 1914-1922
Martin Gilbert, Churchill: A Life
Martin Gilbert, The First World War: A Complete History
Martin Gilbert, A History of the Twentieth Century, Volume One: 1900-1933
Martin Gilbert, Winston S. Churchill Volume III: The Challenge of War, 1914-1916
Richard F. Hamilton and Holger H. Herwig, Decisions for War, 1914-1917
August Heckscher, Woodrow Wilson: A Biography
Godfrey Hodgson, Woodrow Wilson's Right Hand: The Life of Colonel Edward M. House
Paul Jankowski, Verdun: The Longest Battle of the Great War
Keith Jeffrey, 1916: A Global History
Roy Jenkins, Churchill: A Biography
John Keegan, The First World War
David M. Kennedy, Over Here: The First World War and American Society
Ian Kershaw, To Hell and Back: Europe 1914-1949
Nicholas A. Lambert, Planning Armageddon: British Economic Warfare and the First World War
Arthur S. Link, Wilson: Confusions and Crises, 1915-1916 
Arthur S. Link, Woodrow Wilson and the Progressive Era, 1910-1917
G.J. Meyer, A World Undone: The Story of the Great War, 1914 to 1918
Merlo J. Pusey, Charles Evans Hughes
Jonathan Schneer, The Balfour Declaration: The Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict 
J. Lee Thompson, Never Call Retreat: Theodore Roosevelt and the Great War
Adam Tooze, The Deluge: The Great War, America and the Remaking of the Global Order, 1916-1931
Barbara W. Tuchman, The Zimmermann Telegram   
Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns, The Roosevelts: An Intimate History
The West Point Atlas of War: World War I


----

Shared via my feedly newsfeed


Sent from my iPad

Genealogical Disaster: Part — 1. The 1973 Fire at the U.S. National Personal Records Center [feedly]



----
Genealogical Disaster: Part — 1. The 1973 Fire at the U.S. National Personal Records Center
// Roads to the Great War

By Constance Potter, NARA In terms of size and impact — the number of records destroyed and the number of persons affected — none of the earlier fires equaled the disaster of July 12, 1973, at the National Personnel Records Center. Walter W. Stender and Evans Walker, writing in  The American Archivist On 12 July 12 1973 the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St. Louis, MO,
----

Shared via my feedly newsfeed


Sent from my iPad

Family gets Pennsylvania WWI soldier's lost Purple Heart

american-flag-600x340.jpg

A long-lost Purple Heart awarded to a midstate soldier during World War One is being returned to his family.

Purple Hearts Reunited says Private first class Jacob Samuel Nailor Jr.'s grandson in Naples, Florida, would be given the medal tonight night.

Jerry Nailor is also an Army Veteran and former state representative.

Jacob Nailor enlisted in the Army in 1917 in Harrisburg and was injured in France during the Aisne-Marne campaign in October 1918.

He had mustard gas burns on his head, back and knees.

He was treated and remained with his company until he was honorably discharged in 1919.

The medal was ``rescued'' by the organization, which found it for sale on eBay.

Purple Hearts Reunited has returned medals and artifacts to over 200 families and museums.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Death Toll Rises in Pakistani Shipbreaking Yard Explosion

Death Toll Rises in Pakistani Shipbreaking Yard Explosion


By Reuters on Nov 02, 2016 08:57 am

Photo: Mustafa Qadri

By Gul Yusufzai QUETTA, Pakistan, Nov 2 (Reuters) – Pakistani firefighters were battling on Wednesday to douse a fire still raging more than a day after a series of explosions on a decommissioned oil tanker, with the death toll rising to 17, and more than 20 workers missing, officials said. Tuesday’s initial blast occurred as […]

The post Death Toll Rises in Pakistani Shipbreaking Yard Explosion appeared first on gCaptain.

 
 Read in browser »

Malaysia Turns to China for New Navy Ships

Malaysia Turns to China for New Navy Ships


By Bloomberg on Nov 02, 2016 09:03 am

File photo: Royal Malaysian Navy

By  Chris Blake and Shamim Adam (Bloomberg) — Malaysia said it will buy at least four Littoral Mission Ships from China as Prime Minister Najib Razak announced “new steps” in military cooperation between the two countries. Najib oversaw the purchase of the vessels on Tuesday during a state visit to Beijing. While no details were […]

The post Malaysia Turns to China for New Navy Ships appeared first on gCaptain.

 
 Read in browser »

PHOTOS: Explosion at Pakistani Shipbreaker

PHOTOS: Explosion at Pakistani Shipbreaker


By Mike Schuler on Nov 02, 2016 11:12 am

Rescue workers walk near the burning oil tanker at the ship-breaking yard in Gaddani, Pakistan, November 2, 2016. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro

At least 17 people have died and many more are still missing 24 hours after a series of explosions ripped through a beached oil tanker at a shipbreaking yard in Gaddani, Pakistan on Tuesday. The initial blast reportedly occurred during welding work inside a former floating oil production tanker where dozens of workers are believed […]

The post PHOTOS: Explosion at Pakistani Shipbreaker appeared first on gCaptain.

 
 Read in browser »

One Flare, or Two?

Frank Och's watercolor depicts the wrecked ARIZONA resting on the bottom of Pearl Harbor. (Naval History and Heritage Command)

Frank Och’s watercolor depicts the wrecked ARIZONA resting on the bottom of Pearl Harbor. (Naval History and Heritage Command)

As the first attack wave of Japanese bombers and fighters passed over northern Oahu, Commander Mitsuo Fuchida faced a critical decision. Should he fire one signal flare, indicating his aircraft would use the “surprise” attack plan, or two, signaling the “no surprise” plan? To armchair admirals, the answer is obvious; however, the first-wave commander fired two flares.

Why he did so and the consequences of his actions are the subject of the lead article in Naval History magazine’s 75th anniversary commemoration of the Pearl Harbor attack. The author of “Commander Fuchida’s Decision,” retired Navy Commander Alan Zimm, won the U.S. Naval Institute’s 1999 Arleigh Burke Essay Contest for his piece “Human Centric Warfare” and is a member of the Strike Systems Analysis Group at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.

While working on a presentation years ago, he sought to compare the accuracy of precision weapons with bomber hit rates at Pearl Harbor. Despite the mountain of books written about the attack, the figures were elusive. Zimm went back to the original sources, computed the numbers, and, as he told me, found they were “much less than one would expect from the accolades given to the attack by historians.” Further research and analysis resulted in his book Attack on Pearl Harbor: Strategy, Combat, Myths, Deceptions and his article in this issue.

Over the past dozen years, Mitsuo Fuchida has become one of the most controversial figures in Pacific war historiography. His accounts of his actions and key events at Pearl Harbor and Midway were gospel, repeated in highly respected books—such as Gordon Prange’s At Dawn We Slept—and on the big screen in Tora! Tora! Tora! and Midway. Zimm’s article as well as its sidebar, “A Pattern of Behavior,” focus on some of Fuchida’s questionable claims.

The former naval aviator told his war tales in numerous interviews; in his 1955 Naval Institute book Midway: The Battle that Doomed Japan; and in articles—including the lead piece in the September 1952 issue of Proceedings. How did Fuchida explain firing two flares in the Proceedings article? With some added details and without the graphic language, his explanation is the same as in Zimm’s article. Fuchida concludes with a controversial post-attack scene on board the carrier Akagi, which Zimm touches on in his sidebar.

Naval History‘s other Pearl Harbor coverage includes John Wukovits’ account of Battle off Samar hero Clifton “Ziggy” Sprague’s gallant defense of his seaplane tender during the strike, and Christopher O’Connor’s inquiry into how the U.S. Navy failed to connect the Royal Navy’s 1940 torpedo-bomber attack on Italian battleships in Taranto Harbor and the Pacific Fleet’s vulnerability at Pearl Harbor. Meanwhile, in “Looking Back,” Paul Stillwell recounts attack memories of former child residents of Ford Island, and “As I Recall” features the recollections of a USS Arizona (BB-39) crewman who survived his ship’s destruction.

Half a world away on 7 December 1941, Baltimore socialite Virginia Hall was in Vichy France working as a spy for the British Special Operations Executive. Two years later, Hall was a U.S. Office of Strategic Studies agent preparing to return to France, where she would lead Allied reconnaissance teams. She is one of several women who served on battlefields or behind enemy lines who Navy Reserve Lieutenant Andrea Goldstein features in “Forgotten Pioneers.” The article earned her first prize in the 2016 Naval History Essay Contest.

Political Posters: An Evolving Campaign Tool November 2, 2016 by Lara Szypszak - Library of Congress

Many may ask if campaign posters make a difference in political elections. Some of us will stick a sign in our lawn, and others may simply see posters hung in storefront windows. With another election upon us, I turned to our Poster Specialist to reflect upon campaign posters of the past, and ask about the changes she has noticed in the design of political placards over time.

Lara: Please share with us a couple of your favorite political campaign posters, and tell us what about them catches your eye.

Jan: Usually, I admire a poster that gets its message across quickly and succinctly. But you have to be impressed by the information overload on this poster.

This poster includes the results of every presidential election from 1796 to 1868, the population of each state and territory in 1870, biographies of Horace Greeley and B. Gratz Brown, portraits of past presidents, the Liberal Republican Party platform, a map of the United States, and much more.

On the other hand, I like Student Magazine’s McCarthy supporters as “Spirit of ’76” poster (below) because it reinterprets a famous nineteenth century image of a moment in the American Revolution in a modern way.

McCarthy supporters as "Spirit of '76". Poster published by Student Magazine (Firm), between 1968 and 1976. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3g06515

McCarthy supporters as “Spirit of ’76”. Poster published by Student Magazine (Firm), between 1968 and 1976. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3g06515

<em>Yankee doodle 1776</em> / A.M. Willard. Chromolithograph published by J.F. Ryder, c1876. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.05936

Yankee doodle 1776 / A.M. Willard. Chromolithograph published by J.F. Ryder, c1876. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.05936

Lara: What are the major changes in trends (style, technique, etc.) that you have noticed from the earliest political campaign posters up to the present?

Jan: Over time, posters seem to have become much simpler in design. Many posters from present day campaigns are text only, including the name of the candidate, and sometimes a campaign slogan, as you can see in this photo of a polling place during the 2010 D.C. mayoral election.

Political campaign posters located at the Hine Junior High School, on 8th Street, near intersection with D St. SE, Washington, D.C. Photograph by Carol Highsmith, 2010. //www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/highsm.10103/

Political campaign posters located at the Hine Junior High School, on 8th Street, near intersection with D St. SE, Washington, D.C.  Photograph by Carol Highsmith, 2010. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.10103

Lara: What makes a successful campaign poster to you?

Jan: This William Howard Taft poster is very well-designed. It is eye-catching, incorporates red, white, and blue and a flattering portrait of the candidate. It also associates a positive message of “Good Times” with Taft.

Wm. H. Taft - "good times". Chromolithograph by Allied Printing Trades Council, c1908. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.10590

Wm. H. Taft – “good times”. Chromolithograph by Allied Printing Trades Council, c1908. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.10590

Lara: Any other thoughts?

Jan: This year’s election is notable for its historic first, a woman as a major party candidate. But there have been female candidates in the past. In 1972, Shirley Chisholm declared herself unbought and unbossed in her unsuccessful attempt to capture the Democratic nomination for President.

Bring U.S. together. Vote Chisolm 1972, unbought and unbossed. Poster by N.G. Slater Corporation, 1972. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.42048

Bring U.S. together. Vote Chisolm 1972, unbought and unbossed. Poster by N.G. Slater Corporation, 1972. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppmsca.42048

 

The living room in the home of the Thaxtons, Mechnicsburg, Ohio . Photograph by Ben Shahn, Summer 1938. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/fsa.8a18571

The living room in the home of the Thaxtons, Mechnicsburg, Ohio. Photograph by Ben Shahn, Summer 1938. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/fsa.8a18571

Learn More:

Add a Comment

This blog is governed by the general rules of respectful civil discourse. You are fully responsible for everything that you post. The content of all comments is released into the public domain unless clearly stated otherwise. The Library of Congress does not control the content posted. Nevertheless, the Library of Congress may monitor any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove content for any reason whatever, without consent. Gratuitous links to sites are viewed as spam and may result in removed comments. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on the Library site. Read our Comment and Posting Policy.

Required fields are indicated with an * asterisk.


Thursday, November 3, 2016

The NUMEC Affair: Did Highly Enriched Uranium from the U.S. Aid Israel's Nuclear Weapons Program?

 

Zalman Shapiro (1920-2016) held a PhD in metallurgy and assisted in the design of the first nuclear submarine and the first commercial nuclear power plant. One of the founders of NUMEC in 1957, he served as its Chairman and President until he resigned in 1970. Since the 1960s, controversy has abounded over whether he oversaw the diversion of weapons grade uranium produced by NUMEC to the Israeli nuclear program.

Beginning more than 50 years ago, and extending over the period from 1957 to 1978, according to official U.S. government records and studies, more than 300 kilograms of uranium 235 (U-235) in the form of highly enriched uranium (HEU) went missing from a nuclear fuel manufacturing plant in the small town of Apollo, Pennsylvania. The Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) concluded in 1966 that there was about a 200-kilogram deficit between the U-235 in the form of HEU supplied to the plant and the amount returned in products to customers. After the AEC and its Oak Ridge office calculated the processing losses based on NUMEC’s records, they determined that the fate of about 100 kilograms of U-235 in the form of HEU remained unexplained. NUMEC paid for the missing material, but later disputed the AEC calculations, maintaining that the unexplained 100 kgs could be attributed to other processing losses. After decommissioning of the Apollo plant, more than 330 kgs of U-235 in the form of HEU were unaccounted for, with most of that deficit occurring while NUMEC ran the plant.

For decades there have been allegations and suspicions that foreign agents, perhaps aided by American citizens, diverted a significant fraction of NUMEC’s unexplained uranium deficits to Israel for its nuclear-weapons program. Because of the high stakes involved, the affair has been clouded in denial and concealment for nearly a half century. Several recent books and articles, including a book by this Briefing Book’s primary author, Stealing the Atom Bomb: How Denial and Deception Armed Israel, have attempted to account for what is known and what is still a mystery.[1] Using recently declassified documents published today for the first time by the National Security Archive and the Nuclear Proliferation International History Project, this Electronic Briefing Book aims to make more widely available to the public the fascinating information that has been declassified so far.

The Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation, commonly known as NUMEC, owned the Apollo uranium plant. A company named Apollo Industries, headed by Morton Chatkin, Ivan J. Novick and David Lowenthal, invested in NUMEC when it was formed in 1957. Novick later headed the Zionist Organization of America. Lowenthal was an American Zionist who played a significant role in the resettlement of Holocaust survivors in Israel.[2]

One of Lowenthal’s partners in Apollo Industries and the president of NUMEC was Dr. Zalman Mordecai Shapiro, a chemist who played a key role in the development, at Bettis Laboratory, of the reactor that powered the world's first nuclear powered submarine, the USS Nautilus. Shapiro’s work at Bettis Laboratory also involved development of the fuel for the first commercial nuclear power plant at the Shippingport Atomic Power Station in western Pennsylvania. Shapiro left Bettis to become the technological force behind the creation of NUMEC, which he founded to invent new and improved methods of processing nuclear fuel.  Shapiro, along with a group of his principal managers, conceived, designed, built and oversaw operation of the Apollo plant until the early 1970s. The plant began manufacturing fuel for nuclear reactors in 1959. It processed many tons of uranium in its lifetime, reaching a peak annual throughput of more than 700 metric tons in 1973.

In early 1965, the AEC's Oak Ridge Operations Office in Tennessee conducted a routine inventory of government-owned HEU that the AEC had leased to NUMEC. As the AEC’s Oak Ridge people suspected, based on past concerns, the inventory disclosed a significant shortage. In early 1966, after extensive investigations, with a concerted effort by NUMEC and AEC to account for all conceivable operating losses, the AEC confirmed that 178 kilograms of U-235 in the form of HEU, the main ingredient for uranium-fueled atom bombs, were missing from the Apollo plant. Within three years, the amount had grown to 269 kilograms.

The  AEC, and subsequently its successor agency, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Justice Department, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Congressional Joint Committee on Atomic Energy (JCAE), the General Accounting Office (GAO), the National Security Council (NSC), the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), two committees of the U.S. House of Representatives, spanning four presidential administrations, investigated what became of the missing uranium. Despite their efforts, they never fully accounted for it. Those investigations extended over the period from 1965 to the early 1980s. The investigators all acknowledged that the material might have made its way to Israel, and some in high position firmly believed it had gone there, but, until recently, hard evidence of a diversion was veiled in secrecy and hard to find.

Today, more is publicly known about the NUMEC affair than ever before. In 2009 The FBI released a detailed statement that was made in 1980 by a former NUMEC employee who said he started work at Apollo in February 1965 and was fired in October 1978 by the present owner, Babcock and Wilcox, Inc., for job abandonment following an alleged job-related illness. The former employee said he encountered armed strangers on the uranium plant's loading dock one night in early 1965. He said they were loading what appeared to be canisters of HEU onto a truck in racks that he had not seen before. He also saw a shipping manifest that said the material was heading to a ship bound for Israel on the Zim-Israel shipping line. He said that a NUMEC manager later threatened him to keep his mouth shut about what he had seen. From the mid 1980s through 2009, the FBI also declassified some of its other reports from the 1960s and into the early 1970s. Those reports indicated that Zalman Shapiro, throughout the time he headed NUMEC, collaborated with a number of Israeli officials. They included people from the “Science Attaché” office at the Israeli embassy in Washington, D.C., and others from the Israeli intelligence agencies Shin Bet and Mossad, all believed to be part of Israel’s scientific intelligence organization (LAKAM), which collected nuclear technology in the United States to aid Israel’s nuclear weapons program.

Rafi Eitan (1926-) served as an Israeli intelligence operative for most of his professional life. During 1968, he had meetings at NUMEC that caught the attention of the FBI. Eitan had led the Mossad team that captured Adolph Eichmann in 1960 and served as head of European operations for Mossad’s human intelligence gathering unit, TZOMET, during 1963 to 1972. Besides advising several prime ministers on terrorism matters, during 1981-1985, he served as head of LAKAM (the Bureau of Scientific Relations), the scientific  intelligence collecting unit, until he resigned as a result of the Jonathan Pollard affair.

In 2014, the Interagency Security Classification Panel (ISCAP) declassified several documents about NUMEC, including voluminous 1978 reports by the NRC and the GAO. Those documents contained both FBI and CIA information regarding NUMEC. In 2015 CIA released another set of documents that appeared to add credence to the claim that in 1968 it found HEU traceable to the United States near the Israeli nuclear complex at Dimona, a fact that former AEC Chairman Glenn Seaborg recorded in his diary in June 1978.[3]Furthermore, documents found in 2014 among the personal papers of the late John Hadden, the former CIA Station Chief in Tel Aviv, provide additional insights into what CIA knew about the NUMEC case, Israeli nuclear espionage in the United States, and the Israeli nuclear program generally in the mid to late 1960s. The Hadden documents and the recently declassified CIA documents suggest that some of CIA’s intelligence information was not made available to the FBI and the NRC.

In the end, however, after several FBI investigations, including the use of warrantless wiretaps on Shapiro's phones, the Department of Justice chose not to prosecute him. It is easy to speculate that the Department made this decision because it was unable to use the wiretap information at trial and CIA did not want FBI or Justice to disclose its sources and methods. However, another possibility is that political and foreign policy considerations drove the decision. In 1971, to settle a dispute among the FBI, the Justice Department and the AEC over Shapiro’s security clearance, the AEC commissioners found him a new job at Westinghouse that did not require a security clearance.[4]  

The documents described below provide the first in-depth CIA and FBI accounts of NUMEC to reach public view. They contain greater detail about the NUMEC affair than was previously known, leaving strong but not incontrovertible evidence that a diversion did occur. However, the available materials are still highly redacted. In some cases, entire multi-page documents or entire attachments to documents are blanked out. Most of these are CIA records, which the agency claims contain classified information revealing its sources and methods.[5]

There are several new findings contained in the documents recently released. This new information is both material and relevant to understanding what happened at Apollo in the 1960s and what was not publicized during the investigations of the 1970s. Some of the recently declassified documents shed new light on the following issues.  

  1. In April 1968, Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) Richard Helms asked Attorney General Ramsey Clark to undertake a discrete, all-source investigation of Zalman Shapiro in light of new evidence gained by CIA (presumably through environmental samples taken in Israel that detected uniquely enriched uranium in the environment near Dimona). (Documents 8 and 9)
  2. Some FBI and AEC documents describe a September 1968 visit to the NUMEC plant at Apollo by four Israeli citizens known to be affiliated with Israeli intelligence. These documents took on new importance when one of those agents, Rafi Eitan, later was exposed as the head of LAKAM in the Jonathan Pollard espionage affair in 1987. (Documents 10 to 12)
  3. Despite AEC claims in the 1960s that there was no evidence of a diversion at Apollo, the FBI received a tip in 1968 from a NUMEC employee of how HEU could have been shipped out of the plant in food irradiators bound for Israel without detection. In addition, in the early 1980s, the FBI found a former NUMEC employee who claimed to have seen a diversion in process in 1965. (Documents 13 and 40)
  4. Some FBI documents suggest that disclosure of its NUMEC investigation would be viewed poorly by Israeli and American Jewish organizations. (Documents 14 and 15)
  5. In 1969, J. Edgar Hoover halted the FBI investigation of NUMEC that Helms had requested in 1968. Hoover asked the AEC what action it planned to take with respect to Shapiro’s security clearance and classified contracts. (Documents 15, 17 and 24)
  6. In internal CIA documents from the 1970s, which were released in 2015, CIA staffers Carl Duckett and John Hadden recorded the basis for their conclusion that NUMEC uranium had been diverted to Israel. Their information was included in a wide-ranging criminal investigation of NUMEC, initiated by Attorney General Edward Levi in 1976, in response to the concerns expressed by the NRC after it heard a briefing from Duckett. Dr. Glenn Seaborg, former AEC chairman, later confirmed that CIA included in some of these briefings the fact that it had discovered HEU with a Portsmouth signature in the vicinity of Dimona. (Documents 18 to 21, 34 to 38)
  7. In 1977, veteran CIA operative Theodore Shackley led interagency briefings about the agency’s evidence of a diversion. He briefed representatives of ERDA, NSC, FBI, NRC and congressional committees as concerns arose in the Ford Administration over ERDA and NRC statements that there was no evidence of diversion from U.S. HEU inventories. In this period, the CIA attached unusually high significance to preventing public disclosure of NUMEC information. (Documents 22, 23, 25 to 33)
  8. Congressman Morris Udall’s interview of Zalman Shapiro in 1978 served to record Shapiro’s side of the NUMEC story. (Document 39)
  9. In 1980, when the FBI investigation was essentially complete, a number of additional interviews were conducted. (Document 41)
  10. The NRC, near the end of its oversight of the Apollo uranium plant, told the FBI that 337 kilograms of U-235 would remain unaccounted for when B&W completed decommissioning the plant. (Document 42)

With the availability of this batch of newly declassified documents, more is known about the NUMEC affair. However, important unknowns remain. They include the following:

  1. The CIA is still redacting large portions of memoranda and letters written by NSC staffers and CIA employees (e.g., Shackley, Hadden and Duckett) and large swaths of information in FBI and GAO documents that contain CIA information. The CIA has released none of its internal operational documents that provided the basis for its summary pronouncements. These sources of information allegedly disclose CIA’s intelligence methods and sources, but 50 years after the fact, one wonders if there is another purpose.
  2. The FBI and CIA have suppressed information about the role of the late David Lowenthal and his relations with the other investors in Apollo Industries and NUMEC.
  3. The CIA has not disclosed which U.S. science laboratory performed the spectrographic analysis of environmental samples taken near Dimona that disclosed the presence of 97.7 percent enriched HEU from AEC’s enrichment plant in Portsmouth, OH, which supplied such uranium to NUMEC for the manufacture of fuel for U.S. naval reactors.
  4. In the absence of solid knowledge, one could speculate that CIA redactions of various documents now in the public domain concern the discovery of Portsmouth HEU near Dimona. The only document that attests to that fact in this EBB is Document 36 written by former AEC Chairman Glenn Seaborg. However, Carl Duckett discussed that discovery with Seymour Hersh who wrote in his book The Samson Option “that CIA operatives in Israel had found ‘traces of enriched uranium’ near Dimona that was similar to the enriched products that had been delivered for processing to Shapiro’s plant.” Hersh went on to say, “Duckett and other government investigators into NUMEC acknowledged that there was no meaningful correlation between the uranium processed in the NUMEC plant and the traces of enriched uranium picked up by American agents outside Dimona.”[6] Mattson’s recent book debunks that assertion.
  5. If the uranium that CIA found near Dimona was 97.7 percent enriched, it most assuredly came from AEC’s enrichment plant in Portsmouth. This fact did not become public knowledge until 2006 when the Department of Energy (DOE) declassified a report that listed by year the amount of HEU the AEC and its successors produced at the Portsmouth That report listed all of the 97.7 percent HEU used in naval reactor fuel.[7] According to that reference, Portsmouth was the only source of this level of uranium enrichment, and this uniquely enriched uranium was used exclusively for U.S. naval reactor fuel, which NUMEC processed.
  6. Other accounts of the discovery of HEU near Dimonasaid that the isotopic “signature” of the environmental samples showed that some of the HEU was enriched at the AEC plant in Portsmouth.[8]Several of these accounts attribute the source of the Portsmouth signature information to retired Air Force General Alfred Starbird of the Energy Research and Development Administration, a predecessor of the Department of Energy, who was briefed by CIA’s Theodore Shackley in the summer of 1977 (see Document 26).

Zalman Shapiro died on July 16, 2016, at the age of 96. Published accounts of his life pointed to the contributions he made to U.S. national security through his work for the naval nuclear program. They noted that he was investigated but never charged with providing Israel with weapons-grade uranium. They said that Shapiro was an ardent supporter of Israel where he contributed intellectually on matters of science and technology.  Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) National President Morton A. Klein, agreed, saying, “Zalman was one of the strongest and committed activists for Israel I’ve ever known. And when he set his mind to a pro-Israel or pro-ZOA project, he fought like a tiger to see it through — and see it through he did.” [9]


John Hadden (1923-2013), an engineer and former Army officer, joined the CIA in 1951. After assignments in Berlin, Hamburg and Salzburg, Hadden served as CIA station chief in the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv from 1963 to 1967, where he closely followed Israeli nuclear activities. Beginning in 1969, he worked for James Angleton, CIA’s chief of counterterrorism. Hadden retired from the CIA in 1973.

 

READ THE DOCUMENTS

Some documents in this list were obtained by private researchers who requested them of federal agencies and presidential libraries pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, Mandatory Declassification Reviews and appeals to the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel. Others came from a lawsuit by Grant Smith, director of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy, against the CIA to release its NUMEC documents and operational reports. Some documents were reviewed, redacted and released more than once. In each case, this posting provides the least redacted (most declassified) version of the document now available.

Document 1   “Summary Notes of Meeting with Representatives of the Nuclear Materials Equipment Corporation,” F. T. Hobbs, Acting Secretary, Atomic Energy Commission, August 10, 1965, labeled CONFIDENTIAL and OFFICIAL USE ONLY before redaction and release. 

Source: U.S. DOE Archives, 326 U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, Secretariat Collection, Box 1381, Meetings and Conferences. 

In this meeting, AEC commissioners Seaborg, Ramey and Tape and AEC staff members sought explanations from Zalman Shapiro and others from NUMEC for the inventory differences in highly enriched uranium (HEU) that the AEC's Oak Ridge Office had detected at the Apollo uranium plant earlier that year. At the meeting, Shapiro “admitted that some waste was generated by work on Navy fuels [and] … noted that in earlier years NUMEC had paid AEC up to $1 million for material losses.” In November 1965, because of Oak Ridge’s findings, AEC sent its own material accounting experts to Apollo. The AEC survey team supervised another plant-wide inventory supported by independent laboratory studies to try to account for the lost uranium.

Document 2    "Summary Notes of Briefing [of AEC commissioners] on Safeguards and Domestic Material Accountability," W. B. McCool, Secretary, AEC, February 14, 1966, illegible classification obscured by DOE before release. 

Source: U.S. DOE Archives, 326 U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, Secretariat Collection, O&M-6, Briefings Vol. 7. 

These minutes record a briefing provided by the AEC senior staff, led by Assistant General Manager Howard Brown, for the AEC commissioners on the outcome of the staff's investigation of NUMEC. The staffers told the commissioners how the losses on a recent NUMEC contract with Westinghouse, the so-called Astronuclear contract, compared to the cumulative eight-year loss of HEU from Apollo. The minutes reflect that “if collusion between a shipper and a foreign government were assumed it would be theoretically possible to ship material abroad in excess of the amounts indicated in the company’s records. Because it was based upon a presumption of honesty and financial responsibility, the AEC materials accountability system might not reveal a deliberate and systematic attempt to divert materials in this manner .... The basic Commission position [with the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy] should be that AEC had no evidence or suspicion that diversion had occurred; neither could the Commission say unequivocally that the material had not been diverted."

Document 3   Letter from AEC Chairman Glenn Seaborg to JCAE Chairman Chet Holifield, February 14, 1966, unclassified. 

Source: U.S. DOE Archives, 326 U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, Secretariat Collection, Box 1359, Materials-9. 

Chairman Seaborg wrote to Chairman Holifield to answer questions raised earlier by the Joint Committee. One question asked whether an investigation of NUMEC by AEC’s division of inspection or by the FBI was warranted. Seaborg responded, “In the absence of evidence or suspicion of violation of law, we have determined that an inquiry by the FBI is not now warranted. Our Division of Inspection is presently reviewing the survey report and a determination has not been made as to the need for further inquiry by that Division.”

Document 4   Letter from R. L. Hollingsworth (AEC General Manager) to John T. Conway (JCAE Executive Director), February 14, 1966, labeled CONFIDENTIAL before release by ERDA.

Source: DOE Archives, labeled NNNNC-12.

Hollingsworth responded to questions raised by the Joint Committee. His letter included AEC's computation of the value of the 61 kilograms of HEU that were missing on the Astronuclear contract (6 percent of the HEU in the contract), i.e., $736,600. He said that the AEC audit of November 1965 concluded that 178 kilograms of U-235 in the form of HEU was unaccounted for since the start of operations at the Apollo plant. Hollingsworth explained that 93.8 kilograms of the total of 178 kilograms could not be ascribed to any known loss mechanisms. Normally, such an unexplained loss would be examined for the possibility of theft. Instead, AEC said it found no evidence of theft. However, there is no indication that either the Commission or the FBI looked for such evidence at the time the material was discovered to be missing.[10]

Carl Duckett (1923-1992), a U.S. Army expert on Soviet missile systems, joined the CIA in 1963 and served as CIA Deputy Director and head of the Directorate of Science and Technology from 1966 to 1977. He briefed the NRC in 1976 on CIA’s conclusion in the late 1960s that Israel's first atom weapons owed in some measure to uranium from the NUMEC plant in Pennsylvania. 

Document 5   “Report of Survey: Control Over Enriched Uranium, Nuclear Materials & Equipment Corp., Apollo, Pennsylvania, Division of Nuclear Materials Management, Nuclear Materials Management Survey Number DNMM-53,” S. C. T. McDowell, Assistant Director for Control, AEC Division of Nuclear Materials Management, April 6, 1966, labeled OFFICIAL USE ONLY before release.

Source: FBI FOIA File No. 117-2564, document 586. 

In April 1966 Dr. Samuel McDowell of the AEC authored this 23-page report, with 40 pages of attachments, describing AEC’s late 1965 and early 1966 investigation and independent inventory of the uranium processing plant at Apollo and subsequent interactions with NUMEC. The report describes the cumulative inventory difference for HEU from the start of operations as 178 kilograms, of which 93.8 kilograms could not be explained.

Document 6   FBI investigation report, Pittsburgh Office of FBI, author's name redacted, June 21, 1966, labeled CONFIDENTIAL before redaction and release. 

Source: FBI FOIA File No. 117-2564, document 23. 

This report summarized an interview of Zalman Shapiro by FBI’s Pittsburgh Office on June 15, 1966. The AEC asked the FBI to determine if Shapiro should have registered as an agent of a foreign government pursuant to the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Shapiro described how NUMEC and the Israeli Atomic Energy Commission formed a joint venture company called ISORAD. He described meetings with the U.S. ambassador to Israel and with Joseph Eyal, science attaché of the Israeli embassy, in connection with the formation of ISORAD. Although the interview occurred after the AEC realized NUMEC was missing 93.8 kilograms of HEU, the FBI did not question Shapiro about the missing material.

Document 7    “Review of Accountability Controls Over Special Nuclear Materials, Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation,” Report to Joint Committee on Atomic Energy by the Comptroller General of the United States, June 20, 1967, unclassified, National Archives, University of Arizona, Special Collections Library, Papers of Morris Udall, Call No. MS 325, Box 364, Folder 7

This 78-page report by the General Accounting Office reviewed the various audits that had been performed on NUMEC operations at Apollo and concluded, “During the period of our review, we found that additional losses had been disclosed and NUMEC’s records showed that cumulative losses of U-235 through December 31, 1966 totaled about 260 kilograms or about 1.2% of receipts.”

Document 8   Letter from CIA Director Richard Helms to The Honorable Ramsey Clark, Attorney General, April 2, 1968.

Source: ISCAP Appeal No. 2013-062, Document #1, March 18, 2014. 

On April 2, 1968, DCI Helms wrote to Attorney General Clark to ask the FBI to reopen its investigation of Shapiro. In the cover note for the letter, Helms said, “Since the subject matter of this letter is so sensitive for obvious reasons, I would appreciate if you would return it to me when you have taken whatever action you feel appropriate.” In the declassified letter, immediately following a twelve-line redaction, Helms asked Clark to “initiate a discreet intelligence investigation of an all source nature of Dr. Shapiro in order to establish the nature and extent of his relationship with the Government of Israel.”

Document 9   FBI memorandum from C. D. DeLoach to Mr. Tolson, “Dr. Zalman Mordecai Shapiro, Possible Atomic Energy Act Violation,” May 6, 1968, labeled CONFIDENTIAL before redaction and release.

Source: FBI FOIA File No. 117-2564, document 38, released in less redacted form on September 28, 2009 per FOIPA No. 1091168-000. 

FBI Deputy Director Deke DeLoach wrote to FBI Associate Director Clyde Tolson concerning the new investigation of Shapiro requested by CIA. DeLoach expressed misgivings about the investigation. Director FBI Director Hoover penned his approval of the new investigation. “OK, but I doubt advisability of getting into this (redacted).”

Document 10 Memorandum from SAC, WFO, to Director, FBI, Subject: [Redacted] Atomic Energy Act, September 11, 1968, labeled SECRET before redaction and release.

Source: FBI FOIA File No. 117-2564, document 131.

In this memorandum, the Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the FBI’s Washington Field Office (WFO) told FBI Director Hoover that, according to the AEC’s Headquarters Security Office, the AEC’s New York Security Office had reported on September 6, 1968, that NUMEC had requested a visit by four Israelis to its office in Apollo, Pennsylvania, on September 10. The four were identified as:

  • Avraham Hermoni, Scientific Counselor, Israeli Embassy, Washington, DC;
  • Ephraim Beigon [Biegun], Department of Electronics, Israel;
  • Abraham Bendor, Department of Electronics, Israel;
  • Raphael Eitan, Ministry of Defense, Israel.

Although the FBI redacted much of this memorandum before its release, more is known from other sources about these four Israelis. At the time of the visit, Hermoni (1926-2006) was a chemist serving as Scientific Counselor and LAKAM Station Chief (spymaster) in the Israeli embassy in Washington, a post he held from late 1968 to 1972.[11] The FBI and the CIA knew of Hermoni’s activities in the U.S., including his establishment of a network for gathering technical intelligence. From 1959 to late 1968, Hermoni served as technical director (vice president) at RAFAEL, Israel’s weapons development authority. Biegun (1932-2007) headed the technical department in Israel’s secret service (Shin Bet) at the time of the visit to NUMEC. Bendor (1928-2014), who later changed his name to Shalom, worked for Shin Bet for 35 years and headed that agency from 1981 to 1986. In 1968, when visiting NUMEC, he was deputy director of the covert operations unit that served Shin Bet, Mossad and Aman and was on special assignment to LAKAM. Raphael (Rafi) Eitan (b. 1926) was deputy chief of operations of Mossad (1963 to 1972). In 1968 he was director of the covert operations unit that served Shin Bet, Mossad and Aman and was on special assignment to LAKAM. He had been the chief organizer of Israel’s capture of Adolph Eichmann in Argentina in 1960. He also organized the Mossad/LAKAM team in the Plumbat affair that diverted 200 tons of natural uranium oxide (yellowcake) from Europe to Israel in 1968, shortly after his visit to NUMEC. Eitan later served as a security advisor to Israeli prime ministers, a member of Israel’s Knesset and the head of LAKAM. While serving as LAKAM’s head, he was discovered in 1985 to be running the U.S. Navy spy for Israel, Jonathan Pollard. Eitan was also involved in the nuclear espionage activities in the United States of the Hollywood producer and Israeli citizen Arnon Milchan. The memo closed with the note that the AEC Security Office “would contact the Bureau for complete background on the visitors.”[12]

Document 11 Letter from Harry R. Walsh, Director of Security Division in AEC’s New York Operations Office, to Bruce D. Rice, Manager of NUMEC Security Division, September 20, 1968, unclassified.

Source: FBI FOIA File No. 117-2564, document 134. 

Ten days after the NUMEC visit by the four Israeli intelligence officers, Walsh confirmed “the telephonic approval furnished by [redacted] of my staff, regarding the unclassified visit of four (4) Israeli citizens to your facility on September 10, 1968. These visitors are identified in your two letters to me, dated September 12, 1968.” The FBI provided only one of the two letters of September 12 pursuant to the FOIA.

Document 12 NUMEC letter to Harry R. Walsh, AEC Director of Security and Property Management Division, New York Operations Office, from Bruce D. Rice, NUMEC Manager of Security, September 27, 1968, unclassified.

Source: FBI FOIA File No. 117-2564, document 149. 

This letter responded to a telephone call from Walsh requesting more information about who met with the four Israeli visitors and what they discussed. Walsh responded that Hermoni, Biegun, Bendor and Eitan met with Shapiro and four members of the NUMEC energy conversion department to discuss the possibility of developing plutonium-fueled thermo-electric generators. Walsh said NUMEC was developing a proposal for this work using only unclassified information and the Israelis also were seeking proposals from other nuclear organizations in the United States. The FBI has released no documents describing meetings of this sort with other nuclear organizations.

Document 13 Memorandum from SAC Pittsburgh to FBI Director, attaching 17-page report, “Dr. Zalman Mordecai Shapiro,” January 20, 1969, labeled SECRET and CONFIDENTIAL before redaction and release.

Source: FBI FOIA File No. 117-2564, document 268, released in less redacted form on September 28, 2009 per FOIPA No. 1091168-000

In this memorandum and report, the Pittsburgh office of the FBI told Director Hoover that Zalman Shapiro had written to AEC Chairman Seaborg to ask questions about licensing criteria for plutonium-powered generators of the type allegedly discussed with the LAKAM representatives in September 1968. Seaborg’s November 20 reply to “Dear Zal” described the conditions that AEC would impose on such exports. The FBI also learned that while Shapiro was in Washington, D.C., on September 30, 1968, he talked with Hermoni and Biegun and, “although there were problems, both were anxious to move ahead,” presumably with plutonium-238 generators.

The report noted that Shapiro departed for Israel on November 28, 1968. Upon his return, a wiretap revealed that Shapiro spoke about business opportunities while in Israel, the most promising of which was to create a research laboratory modeled after Battelle's Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) in Washington State. Shapiro also discussed another business venture concerning a chemical facility being built in Israel by Allied Chemical Company. The Nuclear Services Division of Allied Chemical built a plant in Metropolis, Illinois, to convert yellowcake to uranium hexafluoride, the feedstock for making natural uranium dioxide reactor fuel at the Apollo plant of NUMEC. “It appears that if subject [Shapiro] can raise a million dollars or so within the next few years, he would not hesitate to move to Israel and establish some business in that country.”

The report ended with the fact that in November a confidential source provided his FBI contact with a four-page document describing the packaging of food irradiators manufactured by NUMEC. The source advised that “it would have been a simple matter of placing large quantities of [HEU] in these food irradiator units and shipping them to Israel with no questions asked.”

Document 14  FBI Airtel, Pittsburgh SAC to FBI Director, “Dr. Zalman Mordecai Shapiro: IS—Israel, Atomic Energy Act,” January 24, 1969, labeled SECRET before redaction and release.

Source: FBI File No. 117-2564, document 270, released in less redacted form on September 28, 2009 per FOIPA No. 1091168-000

The FBI’s Pittsburgh office wrote to FBI Director Hoover about interviewing Zalman Shapiro. The SAC described Shapiro’s connections with Israeli intelligence officers and others. The SAC went on to say, “Concerning the question of subject having diverted U-235 to Israel, that has not been resolved. The relatively few individuals interviewed in this matter, including former employees, revealed their suspicions of subject’s activities, but produced no concrete information of value in this regard.” The SAC noted the Israeli technical intelligence network being run in the U.S. by Avraham Hermoni and opined there were probably others. He noted that Shapiro and others involved in the NUMEC case are very active and highly regarded in various Jewish organizations, “which exert some influence in this country.” He also noted Shapiro, "has expressed no allegiance to the United States but has stated he would fight for Israel and is believed to be seriously contemplating migrating to Israel within the next several years…. An interview would alert subject’s associates to this Bureau’s interest in their activities and could cause them to be more clandestine in their actions.”

Document 15 Letter from John Edgar Hoover (FBI Director), to William T. Riley (Director of AEC Security Division), “[Redacted] Atomic Energy Act,” February 18, 1969, labeled CONFIDENTIAL and SECRET before redaction and release.

Source: FBI FOIA File No. 117-2564, documents 304 and 305, the former released in less redacted form on September 28, 2009 per FOIPA No. 1091168-000

Hoover transmitted a summary report to AEC’s director of security by letter, stating, "This report summarizes the results of our investigation concerning Shapiro. Our investigation is substantially completed …. You are requested to advise as expeditiously as possible what action will be taken by the AEC with respect to the current security clearances of Shapiro and the classified contracts held by the Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation.” The 56-page report recounted Shapiro’s education and employment through 1968. It included summaries of FBI interviews with NUMEC employees, several of whom said they could not explain the missing uranium. The report contained the names, expertise and affiliations of ten men who met on November 3, 1968, with Avraham Hermoni in Shapiro’s home. All but three of the names remained redacted in FBI’s response to the 2009 FOIA request. The report reviewed other salient information from the wiretaps on Shapiro’s home phone, including Shapiro’s potential opportunity to take over Allied Chemical Company’s stalled construction project in Israel. The wiretaps also disclosed Shapiro’s interest in speaking to Moshe Dayan to discuss image intensifier tubes, used in night vision devices whose technology was in a state of change at that time. The wiretaps captured Shapiro’s November 8, 1968, statement "that he is of more value to Israel if he continues to reside in the United States where Israel’s problems can be more readily resolved.”

Document 16  AEC Letter from William T. Riley, Director, Division of Security, to the Honorable J. Edgar Hoover, Director, FBI, August 28, 1969, labeled CONFIDENTIAL and SECRET before redaction and release.

Sources: FBI FOIA File No. 117-2564, document 446, released in less redacted form by FBI on September 28, 2009 per FOIPA No. 1091168-000. An even less redacted form of the interview summary was provided by a December 15, 1989 FOIA response from CIA to the Natural Resources Defense Council (CIA Reference No. F87-1446). It contained an August 28, 1969 letter from AEC Assistant General Manager Howard Brown to DCI Richard Helms, transmitting the Shapiro interview summary. 

The two transmittal letters are provided here, along with the CIA’s copy of the interview summary. The AEC conducted the “Informal Interview” of Zalman Shapiro on August 14, 1969. The nine-page summary had a two-page attachment describing a follow-up interview by telephone on August 26. The follow-up interview was “in specific reference to the information he had provided … concerning the circumstances of his meeting at the Pittsburgh airport on June 20, 1969, with Jeruham Kafkafi.” The summaries provide an accounting by Shapiro of his interaction with Avraham Hermoni, scientific counselor of the Israeli embassy, and “a number of U.S. technical and scientific personnel” in the November 3, 1968, meeting arranged by “a scientist from the University of Cornell." Shapiro said the “general tone of the meeting concerned ways and means the group could be of assistance to Israel in solving some of its technical problems.” Shapiro said he met Jeruham Kafkafi, a subordinate of Hermoni, “about a half dozen times.” The interviewers reported that Shapiro was “calm throughout the entire interview except when pressed for the details of his meeting with Kafkafi on June 20 at the Pittsburgh airport.”

Document 17 Letter from J. Edgar Hoover, Director, FBI, to Honorable Richard Helms, Director, CIA, September 3, 1969, labeled SECRET before redaction and release.

Source: ISCAP Appeal No. 2013-062, Document No. 2, March 18, 2014. 

Hoover wrote to Helms to summarize the Bureau’s efforts to investigate Shapiro’s activities. Hoover said, “We have developed information clearly pointing to Shapiro's pronounced Israeli sympathies [one and a half lines redacted]. It is believed most unlikely that further investigation will develop any stronger facts in connection with the subject’s association [half line redacted]. The basis of the security risk posed by the subject lies in his continuing access to sensitive information and material and it is believed that the only effective way to counter this risk would be to preclude Shapiro from such access, specifically by terminating his classified contracts and lifting his security clearances. However, after careful consideration, including an interview with Shapiro, AEC has advised that it plans no further action at this time. Under these circumstances, we are discontinuing our active investigation of the subject.”

Document 18 "Possible Diversion of Weapons Grade Nuclear Materials to Israel by Officials of the Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation (NUMEC)." CIA Memorandum for the Record, author not identified but probably John Hadden, former CIA Station Chief in Tel Aviv, March 9, 1972, classified SECRET/SENSITIVE before redaction and release.

Source: CIA FOIA Response, Reference No. F-2010-01210|1:15-cv-00224, August 31, 2015

Carl Duckett told DCI George H. W. Bush on March 11, 1976, that this 1972 memorandum "was written by [redacted] who originated CIA action on this case [John Hadden] and who is available to answer any further questions you may have." By 1976, Hadden had retired from CIA and was living in Maine. He had strong convictions on the NUMEC matter as evidenced by documents described below, including subsequent presentations he made to DOE and congressional committees. This memorandum began with a summary of how Congress and the AEC allowed special nuclear material first to be leased and then owned by companies in the private sector. It then summarized the formation and financing of NUMEC, including the role of David Lowenthal. The memorandum summarized the inventory difference that AEC discovered at NUMEC in 1965. It then listed "[eleven] facts developed to date pertinent to such a possible diversion." The document’s author opined that NUMEC might have been conceived as an alternative method for producing Israel’s atom bomb from its inception or it might have become a necessity later, "when the existence of the reactor at Dimona was discovered." The memorandum concluded, "On the basis of the foregoing it must be assumed for the purpose of U.S. national security that diversion of special nuclear materials to Israel by Dr. Shapiro and his associates is a distinct possibility." In its eleventh fact, the memorandum noted that in 1971 Shapiro took an uncleared position with Westinghouse in its breeder reactor program.

Document 19 "Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation (NUMEC)," Memorandum for Director of Central Intelligence, from Carl E. Duckett, Deputy Director for Science and Technology, March 11, 1976, classified SECRET SENSITIVE before redaction and. Release

Naval Search Engine

Total Pageviews

Find-A-Grave Link

Search 62.2 million cemetery records at by entering a surname and clicking search:
Surname: