JFK's Joke on Congress

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Post Sat Aug 14, 2010 11:13 pm

JFK's Joke on Congress

Dear Members,

I am an amateur writer who had an unusual friend. He was a scientist and a physician. Not just any scientist, he was a space medicine scientist. In his last year on this earth, he and his wife took me aside and told me about part of his career. It seems he spent 9 years clandestinely flying into and out of the USSR, helping Soviet cosmonauts stay alive in space. The years were 1962-1971--space race years. Since my friend was a serious man, I believed him. But I also checked the dates and events he covered. Yes, he was the author of many scientific papers on living in micro-gravity conditions. Yes, he had a photo of Yuriy Gagarin and himself, and yes, he had been a contractor to the NSA and CIA for those 9 years. Also he had received special recognition from the USSR for his work. Yes, there was a large file on him in Washington and no, I could not see it. My congressman could not see the file, either. I contacted certain USSR officials from the era. They did not confirm my story but they would not deny it, either.

I wrote a story about this physician-scientist and as I got to the end I found there was possible danger to his scientist-children. Therefore, I converted my story into a novel and gave my friend a new name. But the facts are there. Kennedy and Khrushchev did reach a secret agreement and we did send a scientist to work with the Soviets at Baikonur. He worked in secrecy, not even allowed to tell his wife or children. He has been dead a few years, a great hero who cannot be known.

My book is known as "The Insider" and should be out in September. I have made a lot of people angry over this book, and I have gained converts, too. Well-known ones. I do not know why it is a hostility-generating topic, but it is. Truly no good deed goes unpunished.

Thomas S. Fiske, Author (I can be found on Google)
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Post Mon Aug 16, 2010 10:16 pm

Re: JFK's Joke on Congress

Hi Thomas. Welcome to the forum, and thanks for sharing this with us. It certainly sounds like you've uncovered a most interesting story, in both human and political terms, from the early days of the space age.

I don't know either why you've encountered such hostility over digging into a piece of history that (as I understand it from what you've said) reflects well on all concerned. My only guess is that any paperwork marked "Secret" automatically triggers powerful defence mechanisms among bureaucrats wherever they are, and that once that gets going, no amount of common sense will calm it down.

Anyway, good luck with the book! I'll keep an eye out for it.

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Joined: Sat Aug 14, 2010 10:39 pm

Post Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:15 pm

Re: JFK's Joke on Congress

Thanks for the welcome. There are several reason for hostility against my research.

Many of the people I have dealt with have taken written positions on whether or not the US reached an agreement with Khrushchev. I have disagreed with them. Others claimed to have written complete "inside info" books on various Intel agencies and they have found that they weren't told much. It appears that Congress was never told about our man in Baikonur--Congress people thought we were in some kind of race. I asked Professor Khrushchev the son of Nikita if anyone in Russia today cared whether the US helped the USSR, and his answer was not comforting. Perhaps some historians will have to re-evaluate their positions on Khrushchev and Brezhnev as they come to accept what I am calling a humanitarian effort in space history. Finally, it appears that some in both the US and the Russian governments are keeping our space medicine assistance a deep dark secret and would prefer that I take a long walk off a short plank, rather than publish my book.

Thomas S. Fiske
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Post Sat Aug 21, 2010 10:26 pm

Re: JFK's Joke on Congress

I suppose both governments have invested a lot in a particular picture of that era, but it is a sorry situation if individuals are too blinkered to accept new information on a topic.
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Post Sun Aug 22, 2010 12:40 am

Re: JFK's Joke on Congress

You are lucky to have such interesting friends! The things you say don't totally surprise me, as plainly the Apollo-Soyuz joint mission in 75 didn't just appear out of thin air - it must have been built on some kind of US-USSR co-operation before that.

I'd say that scientists and medical people are generally more internationally-minded than politicians, but I can't imagine that any sort of co-operation between the US and USSR went on without clearance from some very senior political people at least, so your thread title is probably well chosen!

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