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[casi] Kelly/other microbiologists' mysterious deaths

Could there be a link between Mr Kelly's death and other
mysterious deaths of microbiologists (Mr Kelly was a
MoD microbiologist)? See below for a
2001 article on this matter. Do we know what area Mr
Kelly's research was in? Perhaps this could be forwarded
to British journalists, Philippa Winkler

 The Very Mysterious Deaths

       Of Five Microbiologists
                              By Ian Gurney

    It is a story worthy of a major conspiracy theory, the script for a Mel
    Gibson "Who dunnit?" action movie, or a blueprint for a contrived and
    unbeleivable episode of "The X Files". Except the facts surrounding this
    story are just that. Facts. The Truth. Five emminent microbiologists,
    leaders in their particular field of scientific research, either dead or
    missing in the last eight weeks, and a bizzare connection between one of
    the dead scientists and the mystery surrounding the death by Anthrax
    inhalation of a sixty one year old female hospital worker in New York.
    Sounds far fetched? Read on.

    Over the past few weeks several world-acclaimed scientific researchers
    specializing in infectious diseases and biological agents such as Anthrax,
    as well as DNA sequencing, have been found dead or have gone missing.

    First, on Novemeber 12th, was Dr. Benito Que, a cell biologist working
    on infectious diseases like HIV, who was found dead outside his
    laboratory at the Miami Medical School. Police say his death was
    possibly the result of a mugging. The Miami Herald reported that:

    "The incident, whatever it may have been, occurred on Monday
    afternoon as the scientist left his job at University of Miami's School of
    Medicine. He headed for his car, a white Ford Explorer parked on
    Northwest 10th Avenue. The word among his friends is that four men
    armed with a baseball bat attacked him at his car."

    On November 16th, within of week of Dr. Que's assault, Dr. Don C
    Wiley, one of the United States foremost infectious disease researchers
    was declared missing. Bill Poovey, a journalist with Associated Press

    "His rental car was found with a full tank of petrol and the keys in the
    ignition. 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.
    Associates who attended the St. Jude's Children Research Advisory
    Dinner with Dr. Wiley, just hours before he disappeared, said that he was
    in good spirits and NOT depressed. He was last seen at the banquet at
    the Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis the night he vanished. Those
    who saw him last say he showed no signs of a man contemplating his
    own death."

    Wiley left the hotel around midnight. The bridge where his car was found
    is only a five-minute drive away and in the wrong direction from where
    he was staying, leaving authorities with a four-hour, unexplained gap
    his vehicle was found.

    Now Memphis police are exploring several theories involving suicide,
    robbery and murder.

    "We began this investigation as a missing person investigation," said
    Walter Crews of the Memphis Police Department. "From there it went to
    a more criminal bent."

    Dr. Wiley was an expert on how the human immune system fights off
    infections and had recently investigated such dangerous viruses as AIDS,
    Ebola, herpes and influenza.

    From the United States, the story moves to England. On November 23rd,
    Dr. Vladimir Pasechnik, a former microbiologist for Biopreparat, the
    Soviet biological-weapons production facility was found dead. The Times
    was the only newspaper to provide an obituary for Dr. Pasechnik, and

    "The defection to Britain in 1989 of Vladimir Pasechnik revealed to the
    West for the first time the colossal scale of the Soviet Union's
    biological warfare programme. His revelations about the scale of the
    Soviet Union's production of such biological agents as anthrax, plague,
    tularaemia and smallpox provided an inside account of one of the best
    kept secrets of the Cold War. After his defection he worked for ten years
    at the U.K. Department of Health's Centre for Applied Microbiology
    Research before forming his own company, Regma Biotechnics, to work
    on therapies for cancer, neurological diseases, tuberculosis and other
    infectious diseases. In the last few weeks of his life he had put his
    research on anthrax at the disposal of the Government, in the light of the
    threat from bioterrorism."

    Back to the United States, and on December 10th, Dr. Robert M.
    Schwartz was found murdered in Leesberg, Virginia. Dr. Schwartz was a
    well-known DNA sequencing researcher. He founded the Virginia
    Biotechnology Association where he worked on DNA sequencing for 15

    On Wednesday, December 12th 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."

    And so to Victoria State, Australia, where, on December 14th, a skilled
    microbiologist was killed at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial
    Research Organisation's animal diseases facility in Geelong, Australia.
    This is the same facility that, as the journal Nature announced in January
    this year:

    "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

    The microbiologist who died had worked for 15 years at the facility. His
    name was Set Van Nguyen. Victoria Police said:

    "Set Van Nguyen, 44, appeared to have died after entering an airlock into
    a storage laboratory filled with nitrogen. His body was found when his
    wife became worried after he failed to return from work. He was killed
    after entering a low temperature storage area where biological samples
    were kept. He did not know the room was full of deadly gas which had
    leaked from a liquid nitrogen cooling system. Unable to breathe, Mr.
    Nguyen collapsed and died."

    Now for the intriguing part of this story. On Friday, November 2nd, the
    Washington Post reported:

    "Officials are now scrambling to determine how a quiet, 61-year-old
    Vietnamese immigrant, riding the subway each day to and from her job in
    a hospital stockroom, was exposed to the deadly anthrax spores that
    killed her this week. They worry because there is no obvious connection
    to the factors common to earlier anthrax exposures and deaths: no clear
    link to the mail or to the media."

    The name of this quiet 61 year old hospital worker was Kathy Nguyen.

    Copyright Ian Gurney, December 2001. Ian Gurney is the author of "The
    Cassandra Prophecy"


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