Five Dead Biologists Linked To
Howard Hughes Medical Institute

By Jonathan Ashley

The deaths of five microbiologists between 12 Nov 2001 and 12 Dec 2001 have one link in common -- the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI).
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 & Cellular 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 immune 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 intelligence.
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 collaborations 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 with nitrogen."
The journal Nature announced in January 2001:
"Australian scientists, Dr. Ron Jackson and Dr. Ian Ramshaw, accidentally created an astonishingly virulent strain of mousepox, 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 affiliations 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 Howard 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 appeared 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 spending about $500 million to construct and operate the campus, which is situated along the Potomac River near Leesburg, Virginia, about 30 miles from HHMI headquarters."
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. Especially when they involve an institute founded by Howard Hughes, a man who has been linked to the CIA in numerous books and articles.

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