Chapter 7

An Interview with Dr. Robert Strecker

THE next morning, I tried contacting Strecker again. First I dialed what I thought was his published telephone number.


Again, it rang continuously unanswered. Then I called the number directory assistance had given me for Dr. William Campbell Douglas, a physician from Clayton, Georgia, who had published an article entitled "WHO Murdered Africa," which supported Strecker's theory.


As in past attempts, a machine instructed me to leave a message.

"Is there anyone there!? This is about the sixth time I've called. I've been trying to reach you for months. I'm trying to reach Dr. William Douglass. I need to get in touch with Dr. Robert Strecker. My name is Dr. Len Horowitz, and this is an emergency. If anyone can answer, would you please return my call?"

I then left my 800 number and hung up.


Two days later I received a call from a Mr. William Douglass. I was delighted. He immediately informed me, however, that he was not the person I sought.

"I've been getting a couple of calls a month for Dr. Strecker, so I finally decided to get his number. If you like, I can give it to you."


"Please. I would really appreciate it."

Finally! I thought as I quickly dialed the magic numbers, feeling the end of my frustration might be near.


"Hello, this is Dr. Strecker's office," a woman's kindly voice answered. Following a lengthy introduction, the woman informed me that Dr. Strecker was indeed alive, well, and practicing internal medicine in Needles, California. He was busy seeing patients, I was told, but I was assured he would return my call that evening.

"All right!"

I affirmed as I hung up the phone. Then I quickly relayed the good news to Jackie. The information on Strecker's whereabouts immediately helped to ease her concerns.


On the Line

That night, Robert Strecker returned my call with news about his ongoing crusade to bring the "truth to light." We spoke at length about our independent investigations, immediately developing the warm rapport that two black sheep isolated from the establishment's scientific flock might.


Pondering safety, I asked,

"Has anyone from the government ever bothered you over all these years?"


"Not really," he replied. "Since the suspicious deaths of my brother and Representative Huff, [1] I've just gone about my business. There was one incident though that occurred shortly after I sent reports of my findings to all the health and intelligence agencies."


"What happened?"


"Well, first, the CIA warned all agencies that I was a communist and told them not to take anything I said seriously. My brother Ted obtained a copy of the release they sent out through the Freedom of Information Act. Their counterintelligence efforts apparently worked."


"Do you still have a copy of the release?"


"I wish I did," Strecker replied. "It disappeared along with a lot of other records Ted and I had collected. Shortly after Ted's death, my office was burglarized."


"Interesting," I said. "Who do you think did it?"


"I believe it was the CIA, but I obviously can't prove it."

Following an illuminating conversation, Robert - as he preferred to be called - and I agreed to mail each other copies of our previous publications. He would send me a copy of 'The Strecker Memorandum,' which I still had not viewed, and I would send him 'Deadly Innocence,' which he had not heard about.


Then we also agreed to exchange interviews.


I set up a time to be a guest on "He Said/She Said," a radio program Strecker co-hosted with Betsy Prior on KGER-AM, Los Angeles, and he agreed to be interviewed for this book.


The Strecker Interview

Several weeks went by before we could coordinate our schedules for my telephone interview with Strecker. By this time, I had watched 'The Strecker Memorandum,' and considered, as Acer had, Strecker's position that AIDS had been "predicted, requested, created, and deployed." Strecker, I now knew, was a stocky, earnest-looking man in his late 40s or early 50s. His dark blond hair glistened as he spoke.


His wire-rimmed glasses and slightly graying temples portrayed a more mature, intelligent, demeanor than what his boyish face disguised. He spoke quickly and easily, accompanied by an unmistakable Midwestern drawl. He appeared to me to be a once all American, football hero type, whose athleticism and idealism was quickly dashed by the nature of medical education and academic politics.


I began the interview by reading from a list of questions I had prepared for Robert to answer:

LEN: Robert, first off, what convinced you that the AIDS virus was synthetically manufactured?

ROBERT: What convinced us [The Strecker Group] was the fact that this new agent had suddenly appeared out of nowhere. That the virus had characteristics of animal viruses more so than human viruses, and that the genetic structure of the AIDS virus actually looked like the viruses that appeared in animals that would not normally adapt themselves in humans... That could have occurred spontaneously, but not by the process that scientists have normally talked about.


For instance, not by the virus running in primates [the highest order of mammals, including man, monkeys, and lemurs] because if you look at the genetic structure of the AIDS virus, what you find is that the codon choices [the specific sequence of three (purine and pyrimidine) bases in the viral RNA that codes for the production of a specific amino acid by the infected cell] included in the AIDS virus are not existent in primate genes.


Therefore, to assume that they simply mutated in order to adapt themselves into primates in the case of AIDS is vanishingly small although still possible.


What happened is that the virus either mutated in cattle and sheep, and then was artificially adapted to humans by growing in human tissue cultures, which they [virologists] do and in which they are easily manipulated in that manner - or the virus was actually constructed in a laboratory by gene manipulation, which was available to scientists in the early '70s although many of the techniques were not talked about until the mid '70s, because the biowarfare laboratories throughout the world have always been about five to ten years ahead of other laboratories working on all kinds of projects.


In addition, a clearer reason is, if you look at the appearance of the 'human retroviruses,' the fact is that there were a host of these things that appeared all at the same time. So, you have to explain not only the appearance of HIV-I, but also HIV-II, HTLV-I, NTLV-II, HTLV-IV, HTLV-V, HTLV-VI, ad nauseam.


And so, to say that these things all spontaneously mutated at the same time in nature, and in the same direction, to infect human beings spontaneously and spread disease in worldwide epidemic proportions, in my opinion, is absurd compared to the known fact that scientists were working with exact progenitors of these viruses in their laboratories, which we can document.


The Green Monkey Theory

LEN: But what about the green monkey theory - the theory that a green monkey bit an African or someone had sex with an ape?

ROBERT: That's just nonsense... Green monkeys are about the size of chickens. So the idea of a human having sex with a female monkey the size of a chicken is, of course, absurd. In addition, the theory that a transmission occurred through biting, of course, is always said to be close to impossible. If you look at the CDC and everybody else, they say that biting is not an easy way to spread these diseases except in the case of the purported green monkey which is suddenly the way it was spread. [2]


We don't believe that the viruses came from primates or from green monkeys. In addition, if you look at the whole theory that was published in Rolling Stone... which accused Wistar Institute of spreading AIDS to Africa in the polio vaccines of the early 1960s; Wistar, of course, says that they have now reviewed all their stocks [without finding any incriminating evidence for the allegation]... Wistar Institute is one of the world's biological leaders in 'retrovirus, virus, and cancer causation, cancer research,' [and is] located in Philadelphia. [3]


And these viruses were originally known by their Philadelphia names. They were called 'NBC' for New Bolton Center, which is also in Philadelphia. And if you look up the original AIDS virus, in our opinion, that goes back to cattle viruses that were called NBC, New Bolton Center I through about XIV or XVI. [4]


And we identified HLTV-I and HLTV-II and HLTV-III in those first cultures that were adapted to human beings by growing them in human tissue culture... For many years actually, you could simply call up New Bolton and say, "Give me some NBC-XIII." And they would send it to you. And then when AIDS appeared around 1978 or so, all of a sudden the NBC line all disappeared. You could no longer order them.

LEN: How interesting.


The Cow Theory

ROBERT: Yeah. It is interesting. And so we tracked NBC, I think it's [NBC-] XIII ... back to Louisiana State Agriculture Farm (LSAF) cow BFC-44. And what happens was you see, they were looking a lot at HLTV-I, which is like bovine leukemia virus (BLV), [5] and this cow at the LSAF got they thought a BLV infection. She got huge lymph nodes in the neck just like HLTVV-I/BLV in cattle.


And then she apparently conquered it because the lymph nodes went down; she got better after a mononucleosis-like disease, and she made lots and lots and lots of antibodies against this virus. Then about five or six years later, she started losing weight rapidly, developed diarrhea, and died with pneumonia. And they autopsied her and of course she had no immune system left. And as far as we can tell, that was the original bovine visna virus isolate.

LEN: What year was that?

ROBERT: 1969. And that virus was capable of wiping out T-cells selectively, it produced syncytium [a mass of cell fluids containing many cell nuclei formed by the joining of originally separate cells as a result of infection or disease] [6] in tissue culture, and it does everything that AIDS does.

LEN: Now, who was studying that?

ROBERT: That was isolated from the LSAF outside of New Orleans.

LEN: So Gallo wasn't the only one studying that virus?

ROBERT: No, everybody was. These [cultures] were [widely distributed]. If you go back and look at the veterinary literature, they were looking at all the BLV, bovine leukemia virus lines, bovine syncytium viruses, and bovine visna viruses. And all these things were being studied... Well, at this point, they were still essentially noninvasive because they were restricted to animals. But, then what happened was in the late '60s and early '70s they started growing these in human tissue.




Early Researchers

LEN: Now when you say 'they,' can you be more specific in terms of the labs that you're familiar with that were doing this work?

ROBERT: Yeah, well virtually every lab in the world that was doing sophisticated lymphocyte studies. But particularly Gallo and company at the NIH, ahh ... ahh ... actually there were only a few guys you know - Gallo, Montagnier, a couple of guys that are dead, Baltimore, [7] Teman, [8] and a few others and a few veterinarians... Dmochowski was interesting because he was the first one to show that you could basically adapt retroviruses to different mammalian species by growing them in the tissue cultures that you wanted them to go to. Now he's down in Texas. [9]


Miller, in 1969, took bovine leukemia virus and injected it into chimpanzees, and the chimpanzees formed antibodies against the virus. [10] So they concluded that these chimpanzees were immune. And so that was the decision for telling everybody that bovine viruses in human beings posed no threat; which is relatively true, there is a species barrier. Since the 1950s and even the 1940s Bumy, [11] Bobrow, [12] and all these guys from Europe said these [bovine] viruses posed a threat to humans, so they began a whole program of mass extermination of cattle in Europe that carried BLV and other viruses. [13]


In this country, half of our herds are infected with BLV, BFC, or BVV, and the only thing that has prevented, in my opinion, everyone from dying of T-cell leukemia is the fact that pasteurization of the milk kills viruses. Now if you look at the distribution of T-cell leukemia across the upper United States, from like Minnesota to Wisconsin, there's a huge incidence of T-cell leukemia in dairy farmers.


And if you actually look at some of the studies done in France, they found that guys working in meat-packing plants had a greater incidence of T-cell leukemia too. [13] So there's all this evidence that T-cell leukemia is related to BLV, which it certainly is, [and] for sure, if you culture the virus in human tissue and adapt it, what you get [is an HTLV-I-Iike virus that thrives in humans]... If you look at BVV, bovine visna virus, [13] ... it's very closely related [to HIV], but it's still not there; it's not the same as AIDS because what you have is bovine visna virus - a virus growing in cattle - and that's not adapted to humans yet. To adapt it to humans, you've got to grow it in human tissue, as they were doing in those early '70s. And what they discovered was that it was a selective T-cell destroyer [just as the AIDS virus is].


French/American Bull

ROBERT: Do you know what the true conflict [was] that occurred between Gallo and Montagnier?

LEN: The one that I'm aware of was that Montagnier allegedly gave him what he thought was the virus, and Gallo supposedly cloned it.

ROBERT: That was all bull... Because they both had the viruses growing in their labs in the early 1970s. The real problem was, and what happens is - suppose you take a culture of lymphocytes, you take T-cell lymphocytes and you dump in HTLV-I or II. What happens to the T-lymphocyte culture?

LEN: It gets infected, and it proliferates.

ROBERT: That's exactly what happens. The tissue grows and grows and grows in human beings. That's what results in leukemia. You have to take the cells out; they get so packed that the tissue culture dies. Now what happens when you dump bovine visna or AIDS virus into the same tissue cultures?

LEN: The cells don't grow.

ROBERT: Exactly! They're lysed. They die. So when you come back in a day or two and look, there's nothing left except debris. And so Gallo couldn't figure out how to make enough virus for the antibody tests. They needed virus in quantities to get everything going. And they couldn't get them to reproduce long enough to get large quantities of virus.

[I felt the urge to interrupt Strecker at this point since I had questioned this same allegation before when Randy Shilts advanced it in 'The Band.' Instead, I remained silent, heeding my father's recommendation that I could, "learn more from listening than speaking."]

ROBERT: So that's the real argument. And what Montagnier figured out was if you dump in Epstein-Barr virus on to the T-lymphocytes, you immortalize them... They will just sit there and make virus for you, which is why if you have an Epstein-Barr virus infection on top of an AIDS virus infection you're in sorry, sorry shape... The immortalized Epstein-Barr-virus-infected T-cells will just churn out AIDS viruses day after day after day... And so that was the real thing that Montagnier discovered... [14]

LEN: And that's not published anywhere?

ROBERT: Oh sure it's published. But it's the true argument versus the suspicious argument that, "You stole my virus." That's all a lot of bull because they both had the virus, and they both knew what they were doing from day one in my opinion.

[If that was true, I considered, then Gallo would have also known about the Epstein-Barr virus effects, which I recalled he also published. [14] So I questioned Strecker:]

LEN: Now when I look back at the research literature, at least in the Index Medicus, Montagnier did not have too many publications in this field [in the early 1970s], whereas Gallo had been churning out the publications.

ROBERT: Except that Montagnier had worked with Gallo! [15]

LEN: They did?

ROBERT: Yeah, they were in the same [building] or on the same hallway.

LEN: At the NCI?

ROBERT: Yes! ... Montagnier was over here... around 1965 or so; he and Gallo were working together... They're all connected.

LEN: Interesting.

[I had not considered the possibility that Gallo and Montagnier had known about each other's work prior to 1978 as Shilts documented.]

ROBERT: And then when... Donald Francis and what's his name? When they published that cat house experiment, and questioned, "Is it possible that there's a human retrovirus similar to this one." Of course [there was]! Gallo had already isolated HTLV-III... And his office was only twenty-five feet away.

[I sat up on the edge of my seat taken by the allegation. 'The Band' presented Francis as somewhat of a hero during his alleged conflict with Gallo and other NCI administrators over withholding support for AIDS research. I suspected he knew about Gallo's early research, and Strecker was now alleging the same.]

LEN: You mean Don Francis from the CDC? Francis was originally at the NCI before he went to the CDC?

ROBERT: Yes... He was working there right next to Gallo. And that's when they did their famous cat house experiments showing that the cats were transferring the viruses back and forth amongst themselves. And then they wrote this article that said, "It is possible..." [16] I mean, they knew or else they didn't talk for the whole time. They knew that there was a similar virus out there growing in human beings... Gallo had already isolated it, and their labs were twenty-five feet apart.

LEN: Now what I seem to have dug up in the 'WHO Chronicle,' is that the first American laboratory to be sent any of the viral strains from which they began was the NCI [17]

ROBERT: Yeah. Well, I think that's a lie. I mean, I think the viruses were growing in the basement of the NCI (National Cancer Institute ) all along... Do you know about the meeting between Gallo, Montagnier, and Salk?

LEN: No.

ROBERT: Oh my God! Anyway, a year or two ago, and this is documented in 'Science' or somewhere, Gallo, Montagnier, and Salk met in San Diego to write up the history - the official history - of their discoveries. [18]

LEN: Salk? The polio virus Salk?

ROBERT: Yeah, they met down there and made up a story... And I personally believe that virtually everything they wrote was bull... We [referring again to his brother and other colleagues in The Strecker Group] understood that they used to meet like two or three times a week and decide what to tell next - how to package it, how to discuss it. In other words, they already knew everything because they'd been working on it since the early 1970s. They basically knew they had the same stuff [retroviruses and reagents] because if you look at what happened, their discoveries were too quick...

LEN: OK. Explain this now. Why did Gallo in 1980 become so frustrated that he couldn't keep the [T-lymph] cells alive, so allegedly he quit.


LEN: According to Shilts, Gallo dropped out of the AIDS race for about two years.

ROBERT: I don't believe that either. I don't know what he was doing in that time frame, but he was still working on AIDS; there's no doubt about that.

LEN: According to Shilts, Gallo had only about 10 percent of his lab going on the AIDS problem. He said that Gallo stonewalled researchers throughout the world [by] not providing the antibodies, not providing the cell lines that were required to identify and cultivate the virus.

ROBERT: Yeah... Why would they want to give things away when they knew what was going on already, and it was a matter of Gallo and Montagnier deciding who was going to tell what when... Do you know the story about the patent? [19]

LEN: Gallo ripped Montagnier off.

ROBERT: Yeah. That's what brought the split. You see we [the United States] tried to take all the money.

LEN: Well, that's what they've done.

ROBERT: Yes. Yes. Yes. So that's what got the French so angry. And what was Montagnier going to do? Come out and say, "Well, we lied. We've been doing this work all along. We're all crooks." So that's, in my opinion, what happened. Anybody with any scientific credibility knew that Gallo stole the virus if that's what they were talking about because they [HLTV-III and LAV] were identical... But I think that the big war was really a war over money.

LEN: Oh, for sure.

ROBERT: Yeah. Anybody with any sense knew; I mean retrovirologists laugh about it because they knew that Gallo stole it. It was only the press that was blind.

LEN: But how do YOU reconcile the first comment that they all had these things and then later that he [Gallo] cloned it [Montagnier's LAV]?

ROBERT: They had them, and you can grow the virus in perpetuity if you keep constantly changing their cell line as it kills it. That doesn't mean you can grow it in any quantity. In other words, every lab in the world - and these were all over the world, they weren't just here and in France; they were in Germany and Russia and everywhere - [and] a lot of people had the [human] cell lines, and they had the cattle cell lines [in the early 1970s]...


And we know they had, in 1976, BVV, bovine visna virus, growing in brain tissue in Brussels because we have papers on that. One paper said that the AIDS[-like] virus would infect [human] brain tissue. And the guy even wrote, "Is it possible that this is a cause of slow virus disease of man?" [20] So, I mean, they were everywhere.


The Conspiracy of Cells

ROBERT: Plus, they were growing in cattle naturally, and we were using fetal calf serum as growth medium for every cell culture in the world... The theory was that since these were extracted from fetuses, they were sterile, but in fact, they weren't. Because the AIDS virus and BLV-I and II were being transferred in the gene lines. And so they were potentially transferring these viruses into every tissue culture throughout the world... So it gets very mixed up. You've got to read a book called 'Conspiracy of Cells,' by Michael Gold. [21]


This is a story about Walter Nelson Reese who worked in the highest containment laboratory in the NIH - the BSL 4 lab. That's where they keep their tissue cultures, and they had like 300 to 400 of them. And in 1981, Walter Nelson Reese published a paper [in 'Science'] saying that over a third of them were Henrietta-Lack-cell contaminated cell lines. Henrietta Lack was a black lady who worked at Hopkins in the late 1950s. She died around 1965 or so while she was still working there... [from] a tumor of the uterus that literally ate her alive. And that tissue was the first human tissue that was grown in perpetuity in tissue cultures.


Because up till then, they would only grow one or two divisions and then die, and her tissue called HELA - that's where HELA comes from, Henrietta Lack - was the first [cancer cells] that would grow in tissue cultures. Now those cell lines were sent all over the world, and what happened was that scientists were contaminating their tissue culture cells with HELA accidentally.


And in the early 1970s, I think '72 under Nixon, the Russians sent us six cell lines that they thought contained human cancer-causing viruses. And those were sent to Walter Nelson Reese who was the keeper of the cell lines in the United States. He was in San Francisco, and it was his job to keep the cell lines straight and not contaminate them. That was [during] the great "war on cancer," that's where all this stuff came from. The NIH was funded in '72 with billions of dollars to find the cancer virus... Nixon was trying to steal the show from [Teddy] Kennedy by coming up with a virus and vaccine against cancer.


They said, "Let's find a virus." So that's where the big cancer virus hypothesis came from. Now when we got these six cell lines from the Russians... Reese started looking at them and discovered that they were all female; then he discovered that they were all black. And so he questioned, 'How many black females are there in Moscow who have cancer?' And, of course, what he discovered was that these were all Henrietta Lack cell contaminants that contained monkey viruses. And so all that stuff the Russians sent us was in fact a fraud.


But... it was a very embarrassing thing because they thought they had got there first, and what we proved was that they were awful scientists. So then what Walter Nelson Reese did is that he started looking at all the cell lines of the United States, and closely. And [then he] discovered that at the NIH, over a third of them were HELA contaminated. What happened was that when they would open their tissue culture lids, they would aerosolize small particles into the air.


They would float around and drop into another cell line, and HELA's so aggressive that it will literally take over. And so it just takes one cell to drop into another cell line and it takes over, and it amalgamates, and those were called HELA contaminated. And so what the NIH did to him [Dr. Reese] was, of course, de-funded him and put him out of business. Because he proved they were all a bunch of idiots.

LEN: Oh - I see.

ROBERT: So then the problem was you had a whole bunch of HELA-contaminated cell lines floating around and being sent out as clean cell lines and they weren't; they were actually human cancer malignant cell lines, and some of them contained viruses that were from other species. And so it represented a big problem. Plus, they were throwing in fetal calf serum which was contaminated with these bovine viruses. So you had a mixture for a natural [disaster]. I mean, the thing is, like they said in the '72 conferences, it's a wonder that we don't have worse disasters. You just wonder why we haven't been annihilated by these idiots. If, for instance, you look at the tissue cell culture that was used to determine x-ray tolerance of human tissue, it turns out it's a HELA-contaminated cell line. Which means the most radiation-resistant cell line in the world is used as the standard to determine how much radiation a human should be exposed to!

LEN: Unreal.

ROBERT: Well, that's all documented in 'Conspiracy of Cells' by Michael Gold... Walter Nelson Reese now runs an art gallery. They put him out of business...


The Patient Zero Theory

LEN: All right, let's get back... to the situation with AIDS. What about the "patient zero theory?"

ROBERT: That's nonsense. First off, this guy lived in Canada and flew primarily in Canadian cities, yet you must propose that he only had sex in American cities because the disease broke out in specific American cities where he allegedly had sex. In addition, it doesn't make any sense if you look at the time frame. AIDS broke out in '78 in Manhattan and then in '80 in San Francisco. It didn't break out in Montreal in '79, or in Toronto, in Quebec, or Ontario in '80, whatever. It broke out in select cities in the United States in a select time frame which corresponds exactly to the hepatitis B study. [22]

LEN: OK. Let's talk about that study for a minute. If you could conceive of a way that vaccine could have been contaminated, how could it have happened?

ROBERT: Two ways. One way accidentally and one way intentionally.

LEN: All right then, elaborate...

ROBERT: Well the vaccine was prepared from gays first off, and then it had plasma expanders that came from cattle added to it.

LEN: So the hepatitis B vaccine is produced through the bovine serum.

ROBERT: Yes... It had expanders put into it as a mechanism of production.

LEN: Like serum?

ROBERT: Yeah, serum... Because they needed to expand the volume.

LEN: Now is the vaccine produced in cow carcases?

ROBERT: No, it's made from humans.

LEN: The hepatitis B vaccine [is made] from the gay men's serum?

ROBERT: And also from straight men's serum.


ROBERT: And... that's the most interesting thing. Why did they make two separate vaccines?

LEN: Yeah. Why?

ROBERT: Because the epitopes [23] [surface molecules] of hepatitis B [antigens] in gays was different than in straights... So what does that tell you?

LEN: I'm not quite sure.

ROBERT: Well it tells you there's not a lot of exchange going on between the two pools. Because if there were, the hepatitis B would not have separated into two epitopes. So if there was a lot of exchange, the information would have been heterogeneous in the pools, not homogeneous and not different [between homosexual and heterosexual men]. Now suppose you introduce a virus which is transferred like hepatitis B into the gay pool or population. When will it show up in the heterosexual pool?

LEN: I don't know. When?

ROBERT: Well it will take it a long time to show up there, because what you know is that the exchange of information going on between homosexuals and heterosexuals is limited. So Szmuness was the guy who conducted that study. [22] Szmuness came from Poland, and was educated in Moscow. He somehow managed to escape [from Poland] to the United States with his family in tow, and ended up in New York City... as the head of the New York City Blood Bank.

[That is interesting, I thought as I reflected on my recent tour of the National Holocaust Museum in Washington. The Nazis, I learned, had done extensive blood and genetics research in an effort to discriminate and exterminate mixed breeds from their racist and white supremacist world. A Russian-educated Polish researcher with Szmuness's credentials could have best survived Nazi-occupied Poland by joining the Nazi's research effort, or post-Nazi Poland by serving Russia.

  • How did he end up in the United States?

  • I wondered if there was a link between the Nazi effort to exterminate homosexuals and Szmuness's study that targeted gays with allegedly tainted hepatitis B vaccines?

The Gennan-owned Merck Company, after all, funded the study and produced the experimental and control vaccines] [22]

LEN: So [still somewhat perplexed, I asked,] that's the theory of unintentional infection?

ROBERT: Well, the fact is that the vaccine could have been prepared in a way that unintentionally infected them. Yes. [But] it might have been intentionally contaminated by somebody [also]... They may have been testing gays trying to develop an immunity against something they knew was already ripping through Africa... It could be that they were testing it just to test it, or it could be that somebody intentionally was trying to exterminate gays, or in our opinion, it could be that their actual goal was to exterminate the United States.

Strecker's latter remark took me by surprise. It was the first thing he said which to me made no sense.

LEN: The actual goal was to try to exterminate the United States? And that's one of your most plausible explanations?


LEN: And who would have been behind that?

ROBERT: Some foreign party. The Russians or someone who didn't like us. Because the Russians have talked about that for fifty years. There have been KGB biological warfare experts that have been trying to do that to us for fifty years.

[I felt intuitively uncomfortable with Strecker's explanation. I recalled his comments about Walter Nelson Reese which proved the Soviets knew far less about viral biotechnology than American researchers. Moreover, it seemed farfetched to believe the Russians had somehow managed to infiltrate the New York City Blood Center which appeared to be the starting point for the AIDS epidemic in America. This part of Strecker's theory would have required Szmuness, or one of his associates, to have been a secret agent working for Russia.]

LEN: OK, but why would they have started with gays?

ROBERT: For a very obvious reason. And that is because nothing would be done. Just think about this. Suppose you put this virus in the heterosexuals or kids. What kind of response would have occurred compared to the response that did occur?

LEN: Right. That's for sure. Quite different. I appreciate that, but still, even to this day, the heterosexual spread is limited compared to the spread in the gay population.

ROBERT: Only in this country.

LEN: Right.

ROBERT: If you look in the world, what percentage of the world's AIDS cases are heterosexuals?

LEN: Ninety percent.

ROBERT: Over 90 percent. Right. Exactly... It's only in this country that you have this strange, unexplained predominance of homosexuals. Now, that's why you have to remember what I just told you. What happens when you put a virus that is transferred like hepatitis B into the homosexuals? When does it appear in heterosexuals?

LEN: Not for a long time.

ROBERT: Exactly... [That's why] I think it was pure genius. Now people say, "Well nobody would think of that." And my answer to that is: "Well, I thought of it. So why couldn't they think of it?"

LEN: I still like my theory better.

[Problems with the 'communist theory' flooded my head. Strecker noted the Russians were way behind us in viral research. How would the Russians have gained access to the viruses in Gallo's or Merck's labs in the first place. Even if Szmuness had been a Russian agent, he would have needed to gain access to the viruses first in order to contaminate the vaccines.


Also, had the Russians created AIDS-like viruses shortly after Gallo surely did, then why had Gallo become the world's preeminent retrovirologist and not some Russian? Also the patents are worth millions. Why would the United States and not Russia hold the patents on the AIDS virus antibodies and cell lines?]

ROBERT: Yeah. I mean I don't have the answer. I'm just telling you my theory.


African Vaccine Trials

LEN: OK. So that's the intentional theory.

ROBERT: Yeah. It could've been an experiment. It could've been intentional to get rid of gays. It could've been intentional to infect all of us.


ROBERT: And you see what happened. In our opinion, IARC, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, took these viruses to Africa in the early 1970s and tested them. Because we think they were trying to get the virus/cancer hypothesis proved; they wanted to develop a vaccine, and they wanted to find out which of those [viruses] were actually causing cancer because they weren't sure. [24] So how do you prove it. How do you prove Koch's postulates [25] in the case of virus and cancer?

LEN: Difficult.

ROBERT: Yeah. You've got to test them.

LEN: Right.

ROBERT: It's like saying because you have lung cancer in women; it's because they wear hose. That doesn't prove anything. You've got to have causation. So they were stuck. Now that's what was said in our references. They said, "let's test it; let's test it in humans with the same degree of sophisticated experiments that we use in animals." What does that mean? And then they published their test sites. And the test sites are exactly where AIDS is. We had these huge laboratories over there. [24]

LEN: And what year was that?

ROBERT: 1972, I think... It says that epidemiological studies are of no use per se. So what do you conclude?

LEN: That they're going to have to test it in a population.

ROBERT: Exactly. And then it says we're going to test these things in sibships - brothers and sisters from the same family. And they were going to study the time course of the infection. And then we said, well, what do you mean by that? And they said, well, we're going to study the antibody response. And I said, well you already knew the antibody response. How could there be any time course to that. The only thing that a time course could refer to is an infection. Which means you had to have active particles. That's all in the references, [26] Anyway in 1972 they said, let's make a T-cell destroyer. That's out of the bulletin of the WHO.

LEN: That I know.

ROBERT: The same year, they said let's test it, and then let's inject it. And then they published their test sites which is a map of Africa where they have all their test sites, and that corresponds exactly to the outbreak of AIDS.

LEN: Do you have those maps anywhere?

ROBERT: They're in the references [we published]. [26] They're also in the Federal Register... So we think that they went over there and tested it... Then somebody put it back into us or simply used it in us.

[Again, I thought, it makes more sense to place the source of the experimental AIDS viruses in Bethesda and not Russia given that the WHO had made the NCI, and not a Russian institution, the initial distributor of viral testing reagents [27-29]


And since the initial homosexual outbreak of AIDS was in New York, Szmuness and his New York colleagues along with Merck researchers seemed to be the prime suspects. Then I wondered whether there were any documented links between Gallo's group and Szmuness?]


Manufacturing AIDSLike Viruses

LEN: OK. Now let's get a little bit more specific about the virus itself. With regard to the AIDS virus, had it been specifically manufactured, what might have been the first steps? What do you think the researchers began with?

ROBERT: I think they began with bovine visna virus, which they knew was a T-cell destroyer. And they made that by crossing bovine and visna [viruses] in cattle... Visna is the virus in sheep. Its characteristic is a destroyer, and they wanted a T-cell destroyer. So they took a T-cell attacker-the bovine leukemia virus and crossed it with a visna to make a T-cell destroyer, which is exactly what they got. But then all they had was a T-cell destroyer in cattle which wasn't very good for humans. So then they grew it in human tissue, and when you do that it adapts to human beings (see fig. 7.1). And there are a host of ways to get these things to grow in tissue even if the receptors won't take [the virus]...

LEN: They could have delivered the viral RNA a number of ways.

ROBERT: Yes. One of the ways is by pseudo-virus formation.... Pseudo-virus formation is where you put in a simultaneous mixture of cells and viruses, and what happens is, for instance, if you put bovine and visna viruses in with herpes virus; in the packaging process, you'll get BVV genome inside a herpes coat and visa versa. So then you separate out all the herpes ones, and it just infects any cells which are sensitive to herpes. And you can artificially introduce BVV into a herpes-sensitive cell, because it has BVV on the inside and herpes on the outside.

LEN: I remember reading through studies about that technique being used.

ROBERT: Yeah. Another way is you treat them with heat, and they open up. Or you can use some detergents that will open them up, or there's a host of different things; even some viruses will tend to open them up. It makes the cells permeable even though they normally wouldn't be, so you can introduce the one you want to get in even though there's no real receptor for it.

LEN: OK. So it could've been bovine visna virus, BVV, but also there was some speculation it could have been scrapie, another sheep virus, right?

ROBERT: Yeah, well... Scrapie's a little bit different than visna, but basically I don't think scrapie's a retrovirus. It's like it, but it's not the culprit.

LEN: During our first conversation, you also mentioned, like other researchers, you could actually take a look at the AIDS virus, and it looks like it's been spliced in particular regions.

ROBERT: Oh yes. Actually, looking at it was one of the first things that told us what it was because BVV and AIDS, of course, look identical, and there weren't that many 'D-type' retroviruses. There were only a few. The 'D-type' are cylindrical-shaped retroviruses which of course BVV and AIDS are identical. Besides the fact that they were both magnesium dependent and were T-cell attackers that would produce syncytium and could wipe out cells. And then what you do is look at the genome. Actually, a paper by Gallo published in 'Science' I think about '83, or '86, said he took the restriction endonucleases [scissor-like enzymes] and treated the virus, and showed that when the virus falls apart, that where it falls apart are exactly at the gene lines. In other words, it manages to fall apart just at the places where they could have constructed it.

LEN: Is that right? Just where the foreign pieces might have come together?

ROBERT: Yes, it falls apart in ten or twelve places... because those endonucleases cut at specific points. But, what's interesting is ... if it occurred spontaneously [in nature], why would it fall apart exactly where the genes occurred - the gag, pol, envelope, the tat genes? [30] Everything sort of cuts apart just the way you would put it together if you were constructing it... [This] we thought [was] the strongest piece of evidence that would have said they actually put it together entirely in a lab.

LEN: And how might they have done that then? Let's say they started with BVV.

ROBERT: Well, in this case if you start with BVV, you just manipulate it to grow it in human tissue to adapt it to humans. If you started with BLV and visna, you would... take the viruses, cut them up [with enzymes], then chromatograph them so that they're homologous. That is, the ten different parts [separate], then you take each different part that you want uniquely and put it together with other parts and zip' em up.

LEN: And how do they 'zip them up' or combine them?

ROBERT: They have enzymes that sow them back up just like they've got ones which cut' them apart. These are repair enzymes.

LEN: Then they separate those particular viruses, and they put them into cells?

ROBERT: They put them into serum... [add] your enzymes and [other] parts and wait for awhile. And then throw [everything] ... into a culture and see what happens."

[I was still a bit fuzzy.]

ROBERT: But you see that's work. You don't have to do that. Nature does it all for you. All you do is take a cow and simultaneously inject bovine in one hip and visna in the other, and the cow is your mixer. And it will do it for you automatically. Because what happens is the viruses are so unstable that they will recombine and produce every thermodynamically stable recombinant possible.

LEN: Interesting. It's unbelievable.

ROBERT: Yeah. You see that's why everybody says, "We didn't make these viruses! We didn't have the techniques."

LEN: That's nonsense.

ROBERT: Right. That's bull too, but, of course, our answer is: "Well... the virus makes itself." So you don't even have to implicate them for the genetic [engineering] viewpoint, if you don't want to.

[Strecker then provided a unique, common sense, metaphor for the emergence of HIV.]

ROBERT: It's like saying you've got a baby with no arms and legs and somebody dressed it up and took it to a party in Beverly Hills. Well, it sure couldn't do that and get there by itself!

Fig 7.1

- Theoretic Manufacture of AIDS-Like Viruses From Bovine leukemia and Shee Visna Viruses:


Diagram depicts the theoretic manufacture of AIDS-like viruses according to Roben Strecker, M.D., Ph.D., beginning with the bovine leukemia virus and sheep visna virus. Suppon for this theory was presented by Fort Detrick, NCI researchers Gonda MA, Braun MJ, Caner SG, Kost TA, Bess Jr JW, Arhur LO, and VanDer Maaten MJ. Characterization and molecular cloning of a bovine lentivirus related to human immunodeficiency virus.

Nature 1987;330, 388-391.


Evidence Against Simians

LEN: What about simian monkey viruses? Why do they have scientists throughout the world claiming HIV is a simian monkey type of virus?

ROBERT: Because they get money for that. You know... Here... send more money. Let me tell you about the simian AIDS virus. First off, how does simian AIDS virus work? It produces a protein that causes AIDS in simians, and it's very easy to make a vaccine against a protein. And that's actually a derivative of the Mason Phizer monkey virus, which is another laboratory creation... another man-made virus made in the lab which was a simian virus that was being used for various things. It will cause AIDS in apes, but it doesn't do it [like HIV]; it does it by making a protein that wipes out their immune system.

LEN: Is it also a specific T-cell destroyer?

ROBERT: No... The virus produces a protein, and the protein messes up the immune system. And it's very easy to make a vaccine against a protein. But AIDS works entirely differently. It wipes out the T-cells and works inside of macrophages... It inhibits the processing plant. AIDS is really a problem of macrophages, not of lymphocytes... The virus makes the macrophage dysfunction. What really is supposed to happen is that the macrophage is supposed to chop up the virus and present it to the T4 cell [thymus-derived cells] for the production of delayed immunity, and then to the B [bone-marrow-derived] cell for antibodies. But what happens is that the macrophage can't process it.

LEN: OK. So what happens then?

ROBERT: They run around the body and inject it into other cells. That's how the virus gets into other cells. That's how the virus gets into cells that don't have receptors for it.

LEN: So the macrophage actually reproduces the virus and then distributes it?

ROBERT: Yes. That's exactly what happens. That's how it gets into the brain. It's carried across the blood-brain barrier by macrophages that then inject it into brain cells.

LEN: Because T4-lymphocytes don't cross the barrier?

ROBERT: Yeah, they do, but they don't inject it... They don't have sex with cells, whereas the macrophages do. And also the viruses are bigger than the pores of the membranes, so they can't get across directly. So something has to carry it.


Strecker's Colleagues

LEN: Now let's discuss some of your colleagues. Others have reported similar findings to yours. During our first conversation, we talked briefly about John Seale. [31] What do you know about his work?

ROBERT: Seale started writing about AIDS in '81 or so, even before us, and he was the first guy to say AIDS was not a venereal disease, and that it appeared to be artificial and spreading in an unusual manner, which was really just looking at the fact that the virus appeared in different areas of the world at the same time.

ROBERT: By the way, do you know the story of Parvo II?

LEN: No.

ROBERT: Parvo-II virus is a dog virus that appeared simultaneously around the world at the same time and proceeded to kill hundreds of millions of dogs. How does a virus appear in Australia, Europe, and Asia all at the same time?"

LEN: American Airlines.

ROBERT: Right. American Airlines.

[We both laughed.]

ROBERT: OK. And then instead of spreading contiguously [from one dog to another], the viruses were spreading and popped up [in different areas around the world] as if directed mutations had occurred [and been delivered by humans]. And Parvo II was eventually proven by genetic techniques to be feline panleukopenic virus which had contaminated dog vaccines. [32] So Seale was observing the same thing with AIDS. How was this virus appearing at different spots in the world at the same time in a sense without any contiguous spread? I mean, even if you look at the gay [transmission] theory [if AIDS started in Africa, Haiti, Paris, and then New York], why wasn't there AIDS in Miami, or New Orleans, or Dallas. I mean those guys were going to Haiti [New York, Africa, and Paris] far more than the gays from San Francisco. I mean none of this theory makes any sense! Then Segal began to write the same thing.

LEN: Jacabo Segal, from Humboldt University in Berlin? [33]

ROBERT: Yes. He was at the Institute of Biology in East Berlin. He was writing the same stuff, but again, he thought that the virus was constructed from HTLV-I and visna. And that's correct except he didn't go far enough because really HTLV-I is just bovine leukemia virus in man. So both [Seale and Segal] were saying the same sort of stuff, but neither one could exactly figure out how it was done. And so that's basically what we figured out, how it occurred. And we believe it occurred at Fort Detrick... And Segal was probably supplied information by the KGB.

[This sudden reference to the KGB threw me again. Somehow I needed to reconcile why Strecker, who believed the Russians may have brought AIDS to America, also recognized Fort Detrick as the source of the scourge.]

ROBERT: The Russians wrote in over 400 public places that the virus was constructed over here. And if you remember our good surgeon genital went over there and made a deal with them. I don't know if you know anything about that?

LEN: Which surgeon general was that?


LEN: No. I didn't know that.

ROBERT: Yeah. Koop went to Russia - to Moscow - and basically made a deal with them to stop talking about it and we'd give them our money.

[That doesn't surprise me, I thought, reflecting on the alleged apology Gorbachev offered Reagan according to Covert's 'Cutting Edge.'] [34]

LEN: That's what I figured cause something like that is talked about vaguely in the book that I got from Fort Detrick. By the way, have you seen that book?


LEN: You've got to get a copy of it. It came out in 1993. It's the fifty year history of Fort Detrick. It's free. They'll send it to you.

ROBERT: Well they won't send me one.

[Strecker seemed to relish that possibility and his notoriety.]

LEN: Oh they will. It's by a very nice guy. He's the public relations director for the fort. His name is Norman Covert. Imagine that?

ROBERT: Norman Covert? [Strecker laughed heartily] Is that a code name?

LEN: That's his real name. It's perfect, huh?

ROBERT: Well, do you know anything about what's going on there, the anthrax building?

LEN: Yes. I read about that.

ROBERT: Do you know about the Ebola building?

LEN: Vaguely.

ROBERT: Well they've got another building that's contaminated now; that they can't get into because of Ebola. You know they've got a whole bunch of problems. There's a bunch of people in Frederick [Maryland] that believe everything we talk about. We've quite a few supporters there, because they've had a lot of problems with strange illnesses. And so they're not entirely unsuspicious.

[I shuttered for a moment considering the fact that I was scheduled to visit Frederick on my way to present an AIDS education seminar in Western Pennsylvania later in the year.]

LEN: Robert, here's another one - Dr. Manuel Servin of the National Autonomous University of Mexico said that research conducted at Columbia by the U.S. Army was starting to point to the deadly disease in Haiti. He said that an unexplained accident caused the virus to spread to an employee of Haitian origin, and this person he believed, brought it back to Haiti. What do you think of that theory? [35]

ROBERT: No. There were like 47,000 Haitians working in Zaire at the time of these experiments... So we think they either got it from the vaccine project or from the gays that were infected.

LEN: OK. So there were tens of thousands of Haitians working on health and welfare activities in Zaire during the 1970s?


LEN: OK. So here's another one. There was a European physician who told a Russian journalist that he believed he was working for a DOD subcontractor with orders to mutate simian monkey viruses to produce fast-killing human viruses. [31] Had you heard that?

ROBERT: No, but that's entirely possible.

LEN: And this report went on to say that the experiment was considered a partial failure because they got a slow-acting virus rather than a fast one. They were allegedly looking for fast acting killers.

ROBERT: Except that quick viruses are, of course, worthless because they're too easy to defend against. I mean a very fast-acting virus is not any good.

LEN: What do you mean?

ROBERT: Frank Fenner talks about all the characteristics... Ahh... It's out of... Cold Springs Harbor, that's the other great biowarfare palace. It's the Eugenics Institute... Cold Springs is in upstate New York... That was the place started by Margaret Thanger and others. Now they're, of course, the big biological warfare place under the guise of just research. Anyway, Cold Springs Harbor put out a big thing on MMMV, that is, the 'maximally monstrous malignant virus,' and then they gave all the characteristics. And they talked about what it would take to produce this kind of virus. And, of course, all the characteristics are exactly those of the AIDS virus except for one thing, and that is, aerosolized transmission - which we believe is potentially possible.

[Oh, God forbid, I thought. I hadn't heard that theory before. Given Strecker's obvious intelligence and formidable knowledge, his assertion startled me.]

ROBERT: But they produced papers about what makes viruses malignant and monstrous. And one of the things is that they work slowly, and not fast. And that they are constantly mutating. Exactly the characteristics of AIDS.

LEN: Interesting. It's unbelievable.

ROBERT: Yes it is.

Final Recommendations

LEN: Now, the first time we spoke, you mentioned something about... a forthcoming cure for AIDS. How might it work?

ROBERT: Well, it's very simple in theory; complicated in practice. Basically, just as viruses are little crystals, you might hit them with electromagnetic frequencies and destroy them. Just as you can shakedown a crystal and destroy it without disrupting the surrounding house, you can [theoretically] disrupt viruses without destroying the surrounding cell structure.

LEN: Are there laboratories working on that?

ROBERT: Not that I know of.

LEN: OK. Now there was something in the news the other day that the French had allegedly discovered a cure. Have you heard anything new?

ROBERT: Nah. I haven't heard or seen anything... I can't believe the word would not be all over everywhere if they thought [they had a cure] ... particularly the French. Now you see also what is Pasteur? The Pasteur Institute is their biowarfare institute, the same as Porton Down [in England], the same as Ivanofsky Institute [in Russia], the same as the Tokyo Institute. These are all the biowarfare centers for these countries; they're also the great AIDS research centers for these countries.

LEN: Right. It figures. Now my last question. If you could tell people one thing about AIDS or your theories, what would it be?

ROBERT: The whole story. Everything. How the virus was made; that it was man-made, and we think it represents a threat to the human species.

LEN: And if there's some positive thing that people can do you might recommend, what would it be?

ROBERT: Other than no IV drugs, reduce their [sexual] promiscuity, and no blood products, start by questioning some of the things that they hear which may or may not be true.



[1] According to The Strecker Group, Dr. Strecker's brother, Ted Strecker, was found shot to death alone in his home in Springfield, Missouri, an apparent suicide, on August 11, 1988. In the past he suffered from depression and monumental frustration at the relative lack of interest in his findings. Ted had been working with Robert to uncover evidence linking the DOD to the development of HIV. Ted is credited, along with Black military officer, Zears Miles, for having discovered and distributed fig. 1.1.


However, Robert spoke with Ted the night before his death. He seemed cheerful - "in good spirits," - looking forward to new developments that promised progress. The following day he was found dead. His 22-caliber rifle lay next to him. He left no note, no message, and he said no goodbyes. This was very untypical of him.


Officially the death was ruled a suicide.

"Next," according to The Strecker Group, "Illinois State Representative Douglas Huff of Chicago was found alone in his home, dead from an apparent overdose of cocaine and heroin, on September 22, 1988. Representative Huff did everything in his power to make the Illinois State Legislature and the people of Chicago aware of Dr. Strecker's work. He was very vocal, gave many press interviews, was constantly on television and radio urging people to wake up to the coverup concerning AIDS. Did Representative Huff use drugs? Perhaps yes, but only occasionally and recreationally. Was he an addict? No. Would he have known how dangerous a massive overdose of cocaine and heroin was? Yes of course. Cause of death: officially a stroke. Dr. Strecker has serious doubts..."

[2] Strecker's comment came months prior to the first confirmed case of HIV transmission from a human bite. See: Singer G and Athans M. 91-year-old teaches world about AIDS: HIV contracted from prostitute's bite. Sun-Sentinel Saturday October 28, 1995 pplA and 6A.

[3] Several reports confirmed that The Wistar Institute is located at 36th and Spruce Sts. Philadelphia, PA 19104 (215-222-6700). See: Science and Technology Division National Referral Centel: Biological Sciences: A Director of Information Resources in the United States. Washington, D. C.: Library of Congress, 1972, p. 493.

[4] New Bolton Center is apparently now part of the University of Pennsylvania. One reference which appeared during my Medline search was: Bowman KF, Tate LP Jr., Evans LH and Donawick WI. Complications of cleft palate repair in large animals. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 1982;180;6:652-7.

[5] Gonda MA, Braun MJ, Carter SG, Kost TA, Bess JW, Arthur LO and Van Der Maaten MJ. Characterization and molecular cloning of a bovine lentivirus related to human immunodeficiency virus. Nature 1987;330:388-391. This research group, which reported stark similarities between the bovine immunodeficiency-like virus (BIV) and HIV, interestingly enough was funded by the National Cancer Institute and based at the Frederick (Fort Detrick) Cancer Research Facility in Maryland.

[6] Stedman's Medical Dictionary, Twenty-Second Edition. Baltimore Maryland: Williams & Wilkins Co., p. 1233.

[7] Temin HM. The role of the DNA provirus in carcinogenesis by RNA tumor viruses. In: The Biology of Oncogenic Viruses, LG Silverster, Ed. New York: Elsevier, 1971, 176; Temin HM. The protovirus hypothesis. J. National Cancer Institute 1971;46:3. Also see: Temin HM. The participation of DNA in Rous sarcoma virus production. Virology 1964; 23:486; Temin HM and Mizutani S. Nature 1970; 226:1211.

[8] Baltimore D. Viral RNA-dependent DNA polymerase. Nature 1970;226:1209.

[9] Maruyama K and Dmochowski L. Cross-species transmission of mammalian RNA tumor viruses. Texas Medicine 1973;69:65-75. Regarding Hilary Koprowski serving at The Wistar Institute in Philadelphia, see: Silversti LG. The Biology of Oncogenic Viruses. New York: American Elsevier Publishing Company, Inc., 1971, p. 332; HuebnerRJ, TodaroGJ, SarrnaP, Hartley JW, FreemanAE, Peters RL, Whitmire CE, Meier H and Gilden RV. Switched Off' Vertically Transmitted C-type RNA Tumor Viruses as Determinants of Spontaneous and Induced Cancer: A New Hypothesis of Viral Carcinogenesis. In: Defectiveness, Rescue and Stimulation of Oncogenic Viruses: Second International Symposium on Tumor Viruses, Royaumont, France June 3-5, 1969. Paris: Centre National De La Recherche Scientifique, 1970, pp. 33-77; Montagnier L. Alterations de la surface des cellules BHK21 en rapport avec leur transformation par des virus ongogenes. Ibid., p. 6; For more on ethnic cancer studies see: MacMahon B. The ethnic distribution of cancer mortality in New York City, 1955. Acta Unio Internat. contra cancrum, 1960 16;1716; Newill VA. Distribution of cancer mortality among ethnic subgroups of the white population of New York City, 1953-58. J. National Cancer Institute 196126:405.

[10] Miller JM, Miller LD, Olsen C and Gillette KG. Virus-like particles in phytohemagglutinin-stimulated lymphocyte cultures with references to bovine lymphosarcoma. Journal National Cancer Institute 1969;43:1297-1305. See also: Miller JM and Van Der Maaten MJ. The biology of bovine leukemia virus infection in cattle. In: Viruses in Naturally Occurring Cancers: Book B. Essex M, Todaro G, and zur Hausen H, Eds. Cold Spring Harbor Conferences on Cell Proliferation, Vol. 7, New York: Cold Spring Harbor Lahoratory, 1980, pp.901-909.

[11] Burny A, Bex F, Chantrenne J, Cleuter Y, Dekegel D, Ghysdael J, Kettmann R, Leclercq M, Leunen J, Marnrnerickx M and Portetelle D. Bovine leukemia virus involvement in enzootic bovine leucosis [lymphosarcoma in cattle]. Adv. Cancer Res. 1978;28:251; See also: Bumy A, Bruck G, Cleuter y et al. Bovine leukemia virus, a distinguished member of the human Tlymphotropic virus family. Soc. Press. Tokyo: VNU Science Press, Utrecht, pp. 219-227,1983

[12] Bobrow SN, Smith RG, Reitz MS and Gallo RC. Stimulated normal human lymphocytes contain a ribonuclease-sensitive DNA polymerase distinct from viral RNA-directed DNA polymerase. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 1972;69;11:3228-3232; Gallo RC, Pestka S, Smith RG, Herrera, Ting RC, Bobrow SN, Davis C and Fujioka S. RNA-and DNA-dependent DNA polymerases of human normal and leukemic cells. In Silvestri, L. (Ed.): II. Lepetit Colloquia on Biology and Medicine "The Biology of Oncogenic Viruses." Amsterdam, North-Holland, 1971, p. 210.

[13] Mussgay M, Dietzschold B, Lorenz R, Matheka HD, Matthaeus W, Straub OC, Weiland F, Wilesmith JW, Frenzel B and Kaaden o. Some properties of bovine leukemia virus, its use in seroepidemiological studies, and eradication of the disease from infected herds. In: Viruses in Naturally Occurring Cancers: Book B. M. Essex, G. Todaro and H zur Hausen, Eds. New York: Cold Spring Hamor Laboratory, 1980, pp. 911-925; Flensburg JC. Attempt to eradicate leukosis from a dairy herd by slaughter of cattle with lymphocytosis. Report over a ten-year period. Vet. Microbiol. 1976 1 :301; Callahan R, Lieber MM, Todaro GJ, Graves DC and Ferrer FJ. Bovine leukemia virus genes in the DNA of leukemic cattle. 1976 Science 192:1005; Crespeau S, Sarsat FP, Vuillaume A, Levy D and Parodi AL. A two-year sero-epidemiological survey of bovine leukemia virus (BLV) infection in a high-incidence area of the southwest of France. Ann. Rech. Vet. 19789:747; Haase A. The slow infection caused by visna virus. Curl: Top. Microbiol. Immunol. 197572:101.; Narayan 0, Griffin DE and Clements JE. Virus mutation during "slow infection"- Temporal development and characterization of mutants ofvisna virus recovered from sheep. J. Gen. Virol. 197841:343.

[14] Though I was unable to locate the Montagnier publication re: placing EBV into infected T-cell culture to keep them alive, I did locate several articles published in the early 1970s that noted the presence EBV caused lymphocytes to proliferate. Several papers were presented during conferences attended by both Montagnier and Gallo that emphasized the role of EBV in molecular biology and tumor virology. Gallo wrote about the work of Pagano and the role ofEBV in human cancer in his 1977 book, referred to EBV as a model oncogenic virus: "The evidence with EBV, although not definitive, has been extended from Burkitt's lymphoma to nasopharyngeal carcinomas." So he was certainly well aware of the ability of EBV to prompt lymphocytic proliferation. See: Gallo R. Recent Advances in Cancer Research: Cell Biology. Molecular Biology, and Tumor Virology, Volume I. Cleveland: CRC Press, Inc., 1977; In 1971 EBVwas also studied by Gallo and co-workers. See FujiokaS and GalloRC. Aminoacyl Transfer RNA Profiles in Human Myeloma Cells. Blood 1971; 38;2:246-252.

[15] I was unable to find direct evidence that Montagnier had worked side-by-side with Gallo at the NCI. However, I located ample evidence that the two traveled in some of the same scientific circles, and attended many of the same cancer virus conferences. It is clear they were aware of each others' research from the late 1960s. Also, Montagnier published a report that suggested links between LAV/HTLV-III and the bovine leukemia virus. See: Alizon M and Montagnier L. Relationship of AIDS to other retroviruses. Nature 1985;313:743.

[16] Strecker's comments about the "famous cat house experiments," wherein Don Francis and Robert Gallo allegedly knew it was possible for mutant forms of feline leukemia virus (FeLV) to jump species to humans, are supported by parallel presentations made by the researchers during the same Cold Spring Harbor conference in 1980 See: Gutensohn N, Essex M, Francis DP and Hardy, Jr. WD. Risk to humans from exposure to feline leukemia virus: Epidemiological considerations; and Wong-Staal F, Koshy R and Gallo RC. Feline leukemia virus genomes associated with the domestic cat: A survey of normal and leukemic animals. In: Viruses in Naturally Occurring Cancers: Book A. Essex M, Todaro G, and zur Hausen H, Eds. Cold Spring Harbor Conferences on Cell Proliferation, Vol. 7, New York: Cold Spring Hamor Laboratory, 1980, pp. 699-706; 623-634.

[17] World Health Organization Report. Five years of research on virus diseases. WHO Chronicle 1969 23;12:564-572; World Health Organization Report. Recent work on virus diseases. WHO Chronicle 1974;28:410-413; Kalter SS and Heberling RL. The study of simian viruses-work of the WHO collaborating laboratory on comparative medicine: Simian viruses. WHO Chronicle 1969;23;3:112-117.

[18] Strecker was also accurate in reporting that Salk and colleagues at The Salk Institute had been researching RNA and DNA retroviruses including the simian monkey virus (SV40) with financial support from the NCI and the West German Max-Planck Society. Thus, Salk quite plausibly participated, as Strecker alleged, in writing up the history of AIDS virus research, and in making "up a story." See: Tonegawa S, Walter G and Dulbecco R. Transcription of SV 40 genome transformed and lytically infected cells; Eckhart W. Induction of cellular DNA synthesis after infection by polyoma virus: viral gene expression in the presence of hydroxyurea. (Both research teams from The Salk Institute) In: The Biology of Oncogenic Viruses. Proceedings of the second Lepetit Colloquium, Paris France, November 1970. LG Silvestri, Ed. New York: Elsevier, 1971, pp. 65-75;290-294.

[19] Beardsley T. AIDS: Pasteur sues over patent. Nature 1985;318:595; Palca J. AIDS: US wins round in patent row. Nature 1986;322:200; Palca J. Franco--US agreement on AIDS test within sight: AIDS patent dispute near end? France and United States call truce. Nature 1987;326:115; See also: Staff writer. Settling the AIDS virus dispute. Nature 1987;326:425426; Anderson C and Butler PD. US rejects French request to reopen AIDS patent deal. Nature 1987;326:425-426; Rensberger B. AIDS scientist Gallo, rival meet to discuss cooperation. The Washington Post, Saturday January 9, 1993, p. A2; Anderson C. Scientific misconduct: Popovic is cleared on all charges; Gallo case in doubt. Science 1993;262:981-983; Culliton BJ. Misconduct charges against Gallo withdrawn after Popovic decision. Nature 1993;366:191; Brown Dand SchwartzI. Case against AIDS scientist dropped: Agency decides evidence insufficient to sustain Gallo charges. The Washington Post Saturday, November 13, 1993, pp AI;16; Greenberg DS. End of the Gallo case-maybe. The Lancet 1993;342:1289; Staff writer. What to do about scientific misconduct. Nature 194;369:261-262.

[20] Gutensohn N, Essex M, Francis DP and Hardy, Jr. WD. Risk to humans from exposure to feline leukemia virus: Epidemiological considerations; and Wong-Staal F, Koshy R and Gallo RC. Feline leukemia virus genomes associated with the domestic cat: A survey of normal and leukemic animals. In: Vruses in Naturally Occurring Cancers: BookA. Essex M, Todaro G, and zur Hausen H, EdS. Cold Spring Harbor Conferences on Cell Proliferation, Vol. 7, New York: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, 1980, pp.699-706; 623-634.

[21] Gold M. Conspiracy of Cells Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1986.

[22] Szmuness W, Stevens CE, Harley EJ, Zang EA and Oleszko WR et al. Hepatitis B vaccine: Demonstration of efficacy in a controlled clinical trial in a high-risk population in the United States. New England Journal of Medicine 1980;303;15:833-841. Regarding Szmuness, I later learned from AIDS researcher and physician Alan Cantwell, Jr. that Wolf Szmuness became a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University School of Public Health, and chief of epidemiology at the New York City Blood Center in Manhattan shortly after his arrival in the United States. According to Cantwell, who credits Magic Shots (1982) by Allan Chase, Szmuness was born in 1919 in Poland, and came to the United States in 1968 after being expelled from Poland "by the communist government in an anti-semitic purge." With no other history, it is interesting that Szmuness, so quickly, in 1969, became the chief epidemiologist at the New York City Blood Center. For more information see: Cantwell A. AIDS and the Doctors of Death: An Inquiry into the Origin of the AIDS Epidemic. Los Angeles: Aries Rising Press, 1988.

[23] An epitope is a molecular region on the surface of an invading microorganism or infectious agent capable of eliciting an immune response and of combining with the specific antibody produced by such a response. It is also called a "determinant," or "antigenic determinant."

[24] Gardner WU. International union against cancer: Brief history, organization, and program review of a nongovernmental voluntary organization. National Cancer Institute Monograph 197440:51-55; Higginson J and Muir CS. Epidemiologic program of the International Agency for Research on Cancer. National Cancer Institute Monograph 197440:63-70.

[25] Koch's postulates were advanced as a scientific method to determine the cause and effect relationship between a germ and the disease it is believed to cause. It is based on three tests: 1) the microbe must be invariably found among organisms demonstrating the disease; 2) the microbe must not be present in disease-free organisms; and 3) the microorganisms must be effective in causing similar diseases among laboratory animals infected with the germ.

[26] Strecker R. This is a bio-attack alert. The Strecker Group, 1501 Colorado Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90041. March 28,1986, pp. 24-26.

[27] Rowe DS. The WHO immunology laboratories at Lausanne. WHO Chronicle 1968;22;11 :496.

[28] WHO Report (Based on the 1969 report The medical research programme of the World health Organization, 19641968, Geneva.) Five years of research of virus diseases. WHO Chronicle 1969;23;12:564-572.

[29] Kalter SS and Heberling. The study of simian viruses. WHO Chronicle 1969;23;3:112-117.

[30] Three HIV genes-gag, pol and env-code for the structural parts of the AIDS virus envelope, or for the enzymes needed for gene transcription and insertion. According to authorities (Haseltine WA, Wong-Staal F. The molecular biology of the AIDS virus. Scientific American 1988;52-62; and Kieny MP. Structure and regulation of the human AIDS virus. J AIDS 1990;3:395-402), the gag, or group specific antigen, gene codes for the p24 proteins which form an "inner shell" within the virus. The pol gene codes for the reverse transcriptase enzyme which transcribes viral RNA to form a proviral form of DNA. The pol gene also codes for the endonuclease enzyme which transports the provirus into the host cell's nucleus and then deposits it into the host chromosome. The env gene codes for the "transmembrane protein" gp41 (glycosylated protein 41), which is incorporated into the envelope along with a closely associated gp120 protein which itself may have cell and nerve killing effects. The tat gene codes for a protein that enhances viral replication.

[31] Moscow World Service in English. Belitskiy on How, Where AIDS Virus Originated. March 11, 1988. Published in International Affairs. FBIS-SOV-88-049, March 14, 1988, p. 24. Text discusses Seale's allegations, but does not furnish specifics.

[32] Allison AC, Beveridge WIB, Cockburn WC, et al. Virus- associated immunopathology: Animal models and implications for human disease. Bulletin WHO 1972;47:257-263.

[33] Havana International Service in Spanish. German Claims AIDS Virus Created by Pentagon. FBIS-LAT 91-017. January 25,1991. Caribbean, Cuba. Text discusses Dr. Jacobo Segal's allegations. Document PA 2401213091-0000 GMT 24, January 1991.

[34] Covert NM. Cutting Edge: A history of Fort Detrick, Maryland 1943-1993. Fort Detrick, MD: Headquarters, U. S. Army Garrison, Public Affairs Office, 1993. [For copies calI301619-2018].

[35] Havana International Service in Spanish. Commentary Accuses U.S. of Developing AIDS Virus. LAT 24, June 1987. Caribbean, Cuba "Viewpoint" commentary read by Angel Hernandez. Docu- ment PA 200342- OOOGMT 19, June 1987. pp. A5-6.

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