eternity in the palm of your hand’ William Blake
Mr. Sealy owned
Paragon house and one day he called up the young Doctor David Payne
and asked him to buy the property. The Federation Government
of the West Indies with its headquarters in Bridgetown, the island’s
capital, was being formed and Payne thought it would be a good idea
to buy the great house since homes would be needed for its officials.
He bought the
house and fourteen acres of land in 1959 for $23,000 Bds at eight percent
interest and paid $166.00 per month mortgage through Cottle Catford
a firm of solicitors. Paragon land was a wind swept
and wave battered rugged raised beach platform, with sheer 60 feet cliffs
of sharp eroded coral limestone running over to the West to Long Beach,
a mile wide bay stretch of white sand.
In 1963 Payne
rented the house to a new company called the High Altitude Research
Project for $300.00 Bds a month in the person of a Professor Dean Mordecai
for a project to do something with guns and satellites.
he should have rented it for more for shortly after they moved in a
whole army of scientists, technicians and military people descended.
The place was transformed into something like Dr No from James Bond.
He drove to Paragon every evening after his clinic to see what new and
fascinating things were happening and stood by thinking that he was
too lowly of intelligence to understand what was going on. One
day he went and the staircase had been moved.
“Do you know
anyone who could be an all rounder, get things done with the government?”
Professor Mordecai asked him shortly after the project was installed.
Payne said. He recommended a young man he had meet by the name of Carlton
Brathwaite, who had just finished working for Costain, an international
construction company that had just built Barbados’ first and new deep
water harbour. He knew that the young man had done basically the
same work. Signing in and out things and keeping check on
stores and getting things done with government.
NEWSPAPER 27TH MARCH 1962
is to play what may be a vital part in the testing of the instruments
for the exploration of the moon. Early next month a converted
naval gun near Seawell Airport will blast off a series of chemical-packet
‘bullet-rockets’ high into the atmosphere
– the start of McGill University’s spectacular
‘Operation Space’, a multi-purpose scientific project that will
make Barbados a world space research center and provide the island with
the best equipped storm detection station in the Southern West Indies.
this yesterday the Canadian University said that Barbados was
‘a natural choice’ for the location of their
‘space guns’. The island’s weather and the fact that
the University already has research facilities there under the Bellairs
Research Institute and the BRACE Experiment Station, were main factors.
‘space gun’ site will be between Seawell Airport and the seacoast.
The actual launching installation will
be at the foot of the cliffs at the east end of the runway.
A command control port will be located in a compound at the lower level.
Most of the instrumentation, radar, telemetry, receivers and so on,
will be installed close to the airport control tower so that the Department
of Civil Aviation can get “full benefit”.
launchings will be under the supervision of Barbados’ own airport
control officer, the university said. Barbados’
‘space shot’ program will fall into two stages. The
first will be a small installation around a converted four-inch naval
gun, from which payloads or instrumentation of five or six pounds will
be fired up to about 150,000 feet.
stage will be a launching tube built around a 16-inch gun capable of
sending a 2,000lb payload to 150,000 ft or 200 lbs. To 500,000 ft. or
forecasts that, when the second stage has been reached a booster rocket
will be added to the payload, using a standard solid fuel, and the original
rocket will probably “escape the earth altogether”.
will be tracked from the ground by radio and possibly radar sets, says
the university which will also provide the surveillance to make sure
the atmosphere is “clear of all airplanes or satellites before launching”.
The rockets will send back messages and these will be picked up by automatic
direction finders on the radio receivers. The radar, say
the University, besides following the experiments will also be available
for traffic control works.
still, to Barbados however, will be the complete equipment for a regular
meteorological station, vital equipment in the surveillance of conditions
before launching and a long-needed storm detection station for Barbados
– an island directly in the path of the world’s hurricane spawning
is wasting no time on the first miniature
‘blast-off’. The first exploration shots from the smaller
‘space-gun’ are scheduled to be made early next month, and the larger
gun should be in action by the end of summer, according to the University.
shots will eject sodium nitrate mixed with aluminum powder and the reaction
can be observed from the ground. Later, however, the
‘space-guns’ may fire off grenade loaded bullets which will explode
at high altitude.
BULLETS INSTEAD OF ROCKETS?
University. The gun launched probe will not be suitable
for doing all the scientific work that can be done with rockets, but
it can do a great deal of this work and has many advantages as compared
to a rocket.
In the first
place it is cheaper. In the second place it is more predictable
and reliable. It can stand in a state of instant readiness
and be fired with great frequency if need be. At the present
time much of information gained about the upper atmosphere shows great
variance simply because conditions are varying all the time, and at
the present time using rockets, it is not possible to get measurements
sufficiently frequently to trace the pattern of variation.
With the gun-launched probe this will become possible and so will help
very materially in gathering information about the properties of the
atmosphere at extreme altitude.
The gun fired
electrically, and an electrician was needed to wire the bags of explosives,
packed behind the projectile in the breech of the gun, to go off simultaneously.
This was Renee Low’s job. It entailed being at the breech
of the gun when the shots were being loaded.
was coming but the nerves could not be quite. Reaction was
involuntary,” he recalls.
on the American Bauxite Base at Chagaramas in Trinidad as Chief electrician
from 1936 and during the years of the Second World War. On his return
to Barbados in 1952 the Government of Barbados employed him as Chief
Electrician for Seawell Airport. When HARP came in 1962
he was transferred by the government to work on the project.
“At the beginning
of HARP we changed a generator at the airport and the government told
me to give the discarded generator to HARP. The electricians
at HARP were unable to adopt it to their needs. I was called
in and asked to fix it as a side job.” He remembers.
then that George Payne was not only working on the project but that
he was one of the ‘heavies’. George Payne had been in a group
of old wireless men such as Cecil Sampson, who were pioneers of radio
in Barbados, who met regularly as a group. Lowe had taught
Payne general electrics and George had specialized in radio.
George was an absolute genius, the best. George and I did something
with a radio at HARP that was astounding, that beat the fellows at the
Headquarters in North Troy. We put up a transmitter.
George did all the calculation and we were able to talk to North Troy
as though they were in St James. In order to bring it to
more efficiency George went to North Troy and rearranged their whole
transmission system. We made a phone patch.
Whatever the electronic engineers in Canada were capable of we could
do as much as that. Often when we set up projects the men
in Canada could not do the counterpart. With certain projects
here, we had to send them the technology to put it up there in North
Troy. George Payne was one of the giants of HARP.
The amazing thing was that Payne was not only a leper, he was half an
invalid and was highly respected and loved for his genius.
Payne did more electronics schematics at HARP than any other person.
He cared for nothing but the truth. Some people did not
Dr Bull was
an amazing man from the first encounter. The gun was at first elevated
mechanically. Bull decided to change the method and do it
electrically. A design to achieve this was made in North
Troy and brought down to us. As Chief Electrician I was
asked to install it. Our generator was not big enough so
I borrowed one from the airport and connected it. The motor
of the generator started to burn while the gun was still in the process
‘We had better
bring the gun back down. If it goes up now you going get
it down?’ I turned and said to Dr. Bull who was standing
by my side.
he said. ‘Don’t let that worry you, what goes up must
I don’t remember
what happened but the gun must have come down. I have seen
him do things that were fantastic. For instance a vehicle
is on the ground and the ammunition that is calculated to drive it.
He would ask Robbie Sealy, the gun captain from Goodland District, how
much ammunition he had calculated. Then he would come up
with his own figure and the explosive would be accurate.
that a gun with a 32 inch bore and a long enough barrel could shot straight
into orbit. We could have launched a satellite or put things
in the air for next thing to nothing. I remember one night
we fired the gun every two hours.
What we had
at HARP was expendability. People thought we had to obtain
things from outside or go somewhere for our technology, but we took
discarded equipment – from places like the U.S. Armed Forces and other
countries. We took systems from amateur radio and modified them
to do what we wanted.
We could not
buy certain electrical equipment so we sat down and built them.
We modified all kinds of equipment to suit our specific needs and produced
the effects that were required. I was afforded the opportunity
to try out many of my ideas at HARP. There are certain things
I could do. I would be sitting in the workshop.
An engineer would come up and say ‘I want you to do so and so and
I had to do it. Then you had to know where to get what.
HARP was worthwhile.
One of our by-products, one of the things we ended up with was a laboratory.
We had everything thought up, we tested the efficiency rate of propellant,
the burning rate of ammunition, the pressure the ammunition would produce
inside the gun. We ran tests for governments.
We tested for Germany, America, England. It was easier for
us to do this. These countries would have had to set up
a laboratory. They contracted us to try out their various
ideas for they did not have the expertise or the equipment.
When Germany, England, or Belgium had a new ammunition they would have
us test a particular aspect of a thing.
Bull put gauges
in the gun with the ammunition for Germany. When we fired
it the burning rate was so high that it could never be used.
There was no gun on earth that could have withstood that burning rate.
Our gun withstood it. Germany is advertised as the expert
on gunnery, but the English were superior. When the Germans
built something the English bettered it.
I was proud
to have worked on the project. Being Chief Electrician at
HARP was a culmination of life work in electricity.
fiddling with things during his school days in the 1920s, Morse code,
learning to make magnets, like many boys of that age. His
father was an mechanical engineer. There was no radio.
The first scheduled radio program was aired over KDKA in Pittsburg on
the evening of November 2nd 1920, when the returns of the
Harding-Cox presidential elections were broadcast to an audience of
a few thousand listening in on homemade Betsies.
The event marked
the birth of schedule broadcasting, an application of radio telephony
which had been proposed in 1916 by David Sarnoff, at the time
a young employee of the Marconi wireless company. The first
sponsored broadcast was on August 28th 1921 over WEA in New
York. The National Broadcasting Broadcasting Company (NBC)
was formed in 1926, and on New Years Day 1927 the first coast to coast
network program, a football game, play by play, was broadcast from the
Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. Columbia Broadcasting System
(CBS) was formed in 1927.
in the 1920’s there was Cable and Wireless on the Reef Road in Bridgetown
behind a vegetable and meat market. The idea of a loudspeaker
was not known. There were a few radios around but they were
with headphones. The idea of the Rediffusion wire service
came a long time after that. There was a lot of outward migration
from Barbados at that time such as Barbadians going to Panama to help
build the Canal. There was a great need for engineering
there. Lowe’s father had worked in Panama as a mechanical
In the 1920s
it was hard for the coloured man to find work to suit his qualifications
in Barbados. Many coloured people with qualifications like Lowe’s
father found it easier to work overseas than in Barbados at the time.
These Barbaians went overseas and learnt a lot and when they came back
they put their knowledge to use.
Radio was developing
and in World War I it was used a lot and that sparked the imagination.
In Barbados there were quite a few coloured fellows before Lowe such
as Fitzgerald Grant, Freddie Miller, Tom Rocheford. There
was only one white man that got together with these coloured men and
that was a Mr. Archer who lived at the corner of Strathclyde a suburb
of Bridgetown, the capital, which was then divided into two a
black side and a white side, with the blacks not allowed to walk on
the white side.
books from the library and bought books and read theories, met, discussed
them and set out to prove what they had read. They took
discarded telephones from the telephone company, took the receiver and
the transmitter out and built their radios.
money and sent to England to buy his equipment and the information but
the coloured fellows imported from America because it was cheaper and
easier. Customs gave the coloured fellows problems for they
were frowned on as seen as trying to reach above their station.
The superiors felt stupid in the face of these progressive young men
and deliberately set out to give them all sorts of problems.
Lowe began doing electrical work, house wiring, installing lights.
He found it difficult to get a reasonable paying job because he was
so dark skinned.
see the paper today?” A solicitor acquaintance of Lowe called out
by a paper when I cannot by food.” Lowe said.
a job in Trinidad for an electrician like you,” he replied.
“Go and see this man.” The solicitor wrote the name
Crawford and an address at the central foundry in Bridgetown.
were hiding?” Mr. Crawford, who turned out to be a white
man said. “You don’t know me?” Crawford
realized that Lowe had not recognized him. “You foolish
bitch, you are the one that taught me electrics. Go and
tell them that I say give you the job.”
The time was
World War II. Many Barbadians went south to Trinidad.
The job in Trinidad turned out to be Chief Electrician on the Tremblodora
Dock with the Bauxite Industry at the American base at the Chagaramus
terminal. During the war years Bauxite was needed to make
the airplanes used to win the war. It was mined in Jamaica
and British Guyana as it was then called, and sent to America and England.
The war shall be fought and won in the air, Lord Beaverbrook said.
No large sea
going craft could sail the rivers of the interior of British Guyana.
Small craft were needed to travel into the interior to bring out the
Bauxite ore. These craft then delivered the ore to Trinidad
where they transferred their much needed cargo to the much larger sea-going
war there was need for all kinds of engineers at the transfer station.
They all had radios and listened to the speeches and the goings on of
fight them in the trenches, we shall fight them air” When
Churchill said those words, the people, who worked in the Bauxite plant
knew that he was talking with his sinews only for they knew that England
had nothing to fight the Germans with, for there was no bauxite getting
through to build his planes. The German submarines were sinking
the ships bound for England with bauxite and food.
The war was
fought at the Caribbean’s back door yet the average Caribbean person
knew nothing. There were a lot of German submarines in the
area and many reports that they were stationed at Martinique and Guadeloupe.
There were stories of German submarine crews coming ashore at Pelican
island, an island just outside the Bridgetown Careenage, changing their
clothes, visiting nightclubs, and gathering information on shipping
in and out of Barbados, and then going back to their submarines.
Not only did
the Germans try to stop the Bauxite shipments but also the food sent
from the islands to Europe – plantain, bananas, from the other islands,
and sugar from Barbados. Many ships were sunk in Caribbean
waters, and many not more than two miles of the coast.
Trinidad was always tense because of the large amount of shipping.
Trinidad had a large harbor and many ships came there to berth.
They were followed by the German U boats. Every day survivors
came into Port of Spain. On board the ships were also Caribbean
soldiers on their way to war.
“I am going
off to England to the war. This was heard more and more.”
One day a merchant
vessel, the Cornwallis, was torpedoed just off Bridgetown in Carlilsle
Bay. Some of the volunteers who had just boarded the boat
to England were rescued, and brought back to port greasy and grimy with
all there belongings lost.
While in Trinidad
Lowe lived in Belmont a small suburb in Port of Spain. His wife
had accompanied him and his daughter was born there. He
returned to Barbados in 1945. A fellow radio buff was now
Deputy of the Government Electrical Department, and he hired Lowe to
work in the Department.
Winnie Mandela was accused of kidnap and murder by her bodyguards, during a time of political unrest, of a 14 year-old boy, popularly known as Stompie, who is accused of being an informer. It is a killing that for political mileage has been made into a murder. Nelson Mandela spent decades in jail because he and the African National Congress (ANC) stood for violence against apartheid. This cannot be changed. Now that Mandela is President he supports the government owned armament corporation, Armscor, which exports weapons it built to protect the apartheid state and oppress South African blacks, all over Africa and beyond, in the name of jobs and profits he said.
Armscor made everything from heavy guns to trucks to jeeps because of the international boycott. Its enemy was black Africa. The Rhino is an Armscor special - pure un-mitigating terror: an armoured vehicle designed for combat in the townships, in which South African riot-police were safe from Molotov cocktails and bullets and from which they shot tear gas and bullets through gun ports, and descended en masse with helmets, shields, body armour, and bull whips on black demonstrators. Photographs showed in the background a Rhino and in the foreground white men with whips pursuing men, women and children like dogs.
In 1976 Space Research Corporation of Barbados, SRC, under another name, acquired shares in Armscor and provided the South Africans with a deadly new weapon for their growing impressive arsenal.
It was 1987 and Oliver Tambo had come to visit Antigua and Barbuda at the invitation of the Prime Minister. The not so honourable Prime Minister of Barbados must have been afraid of what could be disclosed about his government and party’s involvement in the supply of arms to South Africa’s apartheid regime and refused Tambo’s offer to visit. Tambo disclosed that Antigua had sent money to the ANC since the 1940’s and ANC members had used Antiguan passports for decades.
“Is Zola Zemba still alive?” I asked.
“Yes.” Tambo replied. “But how do you know Zola Zemba?”
“I am from Barbados and I would like to co-ordinate what you have on Space Research and an arms deal to South Africa? May I come and see what you have?” I said to a voice at ae wire service on St. Jacques Street in Montreal, producers of a documentary series called “The Third Estate.”
In one of their earlier programmes they had claimed that SRC had supplied arms, which were tested in Barbados to South Africa and shipped clandestinely through Antigua. The programme was full of errors and was picked to bits. Gerald Bull, owner of SRC and Carlton, General Manager continued to insist that they knew nothing about the shipped arms even though Bull was about to be released from Allenwood minimum security prison for the breach of the UN arms embargo against South Africa.
“Bull was set up. It was Colonel Gregory and the Democrats.” Colonel Gregory was a U.S retired army, and SRC official, who was also sentenced along with Bull. According to William Lowther, author of “Arms and the Man,” Col. Gregory, this CIA and National Security Agency, NSA, officer destroyed all documents incriminating the CIA. Democrats then pressurised Bull financially to a point of bankruptcy in order to force him to make a deal. They promised that if he pleaded guilty and accepted single responsibility; he would be fined and not sent to jail. Bull, out of mounting financially difficulties, agreed, pleaded guilty and a judge sentenced him to a year. He was confined in, Allenwood, a jail with no walls and many generous facilities for the rich and famous and the high and the mighty.
I believed, the original meeting for the supply had been organised in 1975 by a close family member to a minister in the Belgium government and a further meeting took place at a dinner party at the home with a circular driveway in the outskirts of Brussels, of a family member of the minister. A company called Poudreries Reunies de Belique (PRB), which represented the combined gun powder manufacturers’ association of Belguim, was to be used and the Israelis at dinner, talked about the order.
“Are you an employee of Space Research?”
“No, I just want to co-ordinate what you have here with what I have from at home.”
“Are you a family member?”
“No, I just want to see what you have to compare with what I have.”
On such hesitancy and vagueness we made an appointment for the next morning. I dressed with the thought to impress but just enough to blend in - a pair of large ribbed corduroy brown pants, Cartier belt, beige cashmere sweater and cardigan, Rolex watch and a pair of burgundy Charles Jourdan boots to match the belt. In the foyer at an entrance I signed in, was directed upstairs, identified myself, was chirpy and was given a pile of files and placed at the messenger’s desk.
“May I make some notes?” I asked after half and hour.
I spent five hours. They went to lunch and realised by that time that I must know something.
“Our editor is in New York and he wants to speak with you.” A man at A desk handed me a telephone.
“Do you think Bull supplied arms to South Africa?” He asked after he introduced himself.
“Do you think Bull got his just rewards?”
“Do you think justice was done?”
“I want to talk with you. I will fly in tonight. Let us meet tomorrow at ten.”
I made an appointment, which I had no intention to keep. Downstairs, I signed out and thought that I should have used a fictitious name. All the information was there but the Third Estate had not been able to piece it together. Zola Zemba was African National Congress (ANC) guerrilla fighter, who brought news from Robert Mugabe of the Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front in Rhodesia to Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau. He said that Bull’s guns were on South African soil.
The proof was in the financial transfers and companies.
Re-entry patterns, firepower and kill capacity: my education in the arms business started at twenty-four years old - Gary two-years-old - when I met Bull. The business and its secrets took us into the true world and its real politics - arms dealers, Israelis, Generals and military experts, politicians and prime ministers, and companies. Bull designed a shell for Israel, which they used on the Golan Heights to bombard miles away. The men in the machine shop in Barbados neatly packed thousands of half-inch darts into a prototype artillery shell to test them for the American army in Vietnam. These shells were exploded with devastating effect in the fields and jungles. Carlton, the General Manger of Bull’s project in Barbados who was also my live-in lover kept one of the darts stuck in the tail of a small wooden mouse on his desk.
I left the building with a crescendo of music in my head, walked along St. Jacques Street, looked behind and to the side and was scared out of my mind. I came to the brand new subway and kept close to the side of the building for safety. I expected a knife in my side or a bullet in my back at any moment for I knew that I knew something that very few people knew. Guns roared and whirred through my head and I saw the size of craters they left in the ground and the human devastation. …
End of excerpt
The small cove was called Wood Fancy Beach on the old map. A huge mobile home was placed on the cliff. Beneath the cliff, in a cove, on the beach was an old Carib cave. The Caribs left tools and tables carved into the coral stone. North West of Wood Fancy is a place called Long Beach where there was a large Amerindian settlement. That coast was one of the first stops from a rowing expedition south and in high winds Wood Fancy was the first easy cove into which to drift. It was out of sight on the coast, a quarter mile from the plantation house, down a hill halfway between the plantation and the gun-site. The beach was down the path through the cliff. Located on the Southern tip of the island, the water was calm only for the odd time in September and July. The waves wash the beach, which is as a collecting centre for Japanese buoys and sea eggs spawn off shore; lobsters lurked further out on the reef and we fished off the cliffs. The older fishermen passed along the rocks and descended to the beach on the path from Long Beach, whch curved down to the sand. We dove for lobsters with a crocus bag in lobster season and to dive for sea-eggs in sea-egg season we used the maypoles which the fishermen kept on the beach.
“How you could do me that, Mummy?” My son moaned. It was his birthday party. He did not take to the idea that I had planned to serve only healthy fare.
His good friend, my old school mate’s second son, had slept over. The boys disappeared early, doing what boys do on a compound* of many acres where the nearest house is one mile to the north-west or three miles to the east. Penny Hole Beach was two miles away and the caves where the horseshoes grew. The shooting range was always there to find empty shells and to inspect the targets. The out building and the big guns were a boy’s paradise. An hour or two before the party the two boys returned to the caravan. They were happy to see the huge container of ackees.
“What have you there? Are those detonators?’ Faces turned white and stomachs dropped into intestines.
“We brought these up from the gun site.” The boys said.
The gun referred to was the longest firing gun in the world as recorded by the Guinness Book of Records, and the site a mile away on the project.
“Give me those detonators gently, hand me all, one by one.”
The boys were scared, wide eyes and handed over the detonators. It was an agonizingly slow walk along the two hundred yards up the rock road, detonator in hand in the sun to the main building. One of the ammunition bunks had been opened, the detonators left in the open and the boys had helped themselves. They played war with them for the whole morning. When my classmate and her husband arrived the boys and I never said a word.
* High Altitude Research Project/Space Research Project at Paragon Barbados. Ed.
The belief that nothing worthy is easy, denies the simple truth, which brings freedom. Dr. Bull’s assassination, thousands of miles away brought international reporters to the sleepy village of Fairy Valley. He wrote his book “Paris Kanonen – the Paris guns (Wilhelmgeschutze) and Project HARP. - “THE APPLICATION OF MAJOR CALIBRE GUNS TO ATMOSPHERIC AND SPACE ESEARCH. In it he clarified many aspects of his work and reconstructed the German guns, which delivered their shells over a distance of more than 120 kilometres. He produced the history, schematics, diagrams, details and projections of his own technology of his HARP gun. He wrote about new dimensions of gun-technology that were exceeding conventional techniques. Bull dedicated his book:-
Bull received his doctorate from McGill at twenty-four, was the pioneer mind behind wind tunnels, rocket designs and ballistics. The Canadian government’s Research and Defence Institute (CARDI) took this young man under their wing and developed his scientific talents. His lifetime idea and work was force, speed and trajectory. He was one of the only people in the world that had an idea of the mathematics behind high velocity physics - aerodynamically designed projectiles fired from barrel lengths, at tremendous speed and force, boosted with rockets and packed with explosives.......................
The largest gun in the world was in Bimshire and was recorded in the Guinness Book of Records as the longest firing gun; at vertical declination it fired a projectile 200 miles into the skies. The guns could shoot thirty miles and hit a target the size of a tennis court nine times out of ten. Boom! Orbit! Satellites! Space Gun! The Iraqi “Doomsday Gun.” The breach of the gun became a laboratory and people came from all over the world: military men, mechanical engineers, and experts on guns, brought their ideas on paper and the small group of locals and foreign scientist under Dr. Bull made them work. More space probes were sent above and research done on conditions in the upper atmosphere over Barbados than Cape Kennedy or any other part of the globe and much of the information about upper atmospheric conditions and re-entry patterns used at the Cape for the space programme was collected in the island. The experiments carried out were quoted in scientific magazines and papers. Space research, however, was not to be for Barbadians or the world at large.
The science of rocketry and the science of weapons are related, “sister sciences.” A simple mathematical equation equals the optimum barrel for field artillery. A longer barrel plus an extended firing shell could travel 30 kilometres or over - one and a half times - farther than its standard counterpart. In a controlled test, SRC shells shattered into 4,756 fragments as compared with the 1,356 fragments from TNT filled NATO shell. It had a “very nice killing pattern,” a NATO general declared. With new materials of greater tensile strength, this was the future of modern science. Since the 1960’s Dr. Bull was made a citizen of the US so that he could work in their laboratory and be privy to the design of its intelligence and scientific community. The Prime Minister of the island at this time claimed the pronunciation of his name, Barrow, as Barouche although face-to-face, he was manifestly black, had in a small amount of white and was not manifestly mulatto or white.
The twenty Jewish families on the island, most of them poor and fleeing, were engaged in retail merchandising, real estate and to a lesser degree in garment manufacturing. They invited Barrrow into the synagogue gave him money sent him to Israel from where he came back with more money and he recognized the state of Israel. There is, as yet, no Palestinian charge d’affaire. Prime Barrow was on handouts under the aegis of Henry Kissinger and his plan for the “new NATO.” He belittled Arabs offers of money to developing countries as leverage against Israel in the United Nations and what they were getting out of it. He played the “game of nations” where people and nations are pawns. The oil crisis of 1973 and the international economic recession meant that his government would not have the money to afford more capital ventures and could not guarantee an expanded wages bill. Nevertheless when the Arabs came offering soft investment loans to offset the effect of the oil crisis that also was new potential sources of credit he refused their offers and doomed his people to further economic hardship. He was at a personal loss as how to handle the problem of the growing national debt nevertheless he was loyal to the West.
Kissinger offered the Israelis complete cooperation with the NSC apparatus including their most secretive intercepts and he institutionalised it as a policy arrangement under the secret Johnson-Eschol secret nuclear pact. A huge ring inside U.S. intelligence covert operations saw the transfer of nuclear material to Israel for bomb production. In 1968 a German built freighter of Liberian registry the Scheersbur left Antwerp with five hundred and sixty drums of yellowcake uranium oxide weighing two hundred tons. The cargo’s declared designation was Genoa. The yellowcake was smuggled to Israel’s Diminona reactor in the Negev dessert. Rafi Etian the head to Mossad covert operations in Europe who was indicted in the US for directing the espionage active of convicted Navy intelligence spy Jonathan Pollard was accused of helping with the smuggling of uranium from the Apollo nuclear plant to Israel and in Europe for the theft of uranium.
After Israel stole their nuclear capability they said that Bull’s technology was obsolete but in 1975 they called him again through a retired US army colonel and asked him to sell them extended range shells. The shells were shipped to Belgium where fuses and explosives were added and then on to South Africa.
Israel was dependent on Nigeria for 60% of its oil and from the early 60s the Mossad supplied information to South Africa’s apartheid regime on African National Congress (ANC) members in exile and caused hundreds to be arrested, tortured and killed by the racist. In Gordon Thomas’s book Gideon’s Spies - The Secret History of the Mossad he writes in Chapter 13 entitled African Connections: “The prospect of thousands of trained and well-armed [African revolutionaries] being within a few hours striking distance of Israel was alarming to its politicians and intelligence. But to provoke this guerrilla army when they had offered no direct threat could lead to a confrontation Israel did not want. …Meir Amit [Israel’s then Chief of Military Intelligence] when Kwame Nkrumah, the pro-Chinese ruler of Ghana, was on a state visit to Beijing, Mossad orchestrated the uprising that led to both Nkrumah’s overthrow and the destruction of the CIS [Chinese secret service] infrastructure in the country … having set the two bastions of communism at each other’s throats while at the same time, as Merit Amit later put it “working our way into the African woodwork’ … Mossad turned its attention to the one intelligence service in Africa it had come to look upon as a friend: the bureau of state security, BOSS, the most feared arm of South Africa’s security apparatus. Boss matched Mossad in blackmail, sabotage, forgery, kidnapping, prisoner interrogation, psychological warfare and assassination.. Like Mossad, BOSS had a free hand in how it dealt with its opponents. The two services quickly became bedfellows. Often operating in tandem, they moved through Africa, enjoined by a secret “understanding” between Israel’s Prime Minister, Golda Meir, and the Pretoria regime. .. In a dozen countries, Mossad exploited newfound African nationalism. This chapter is required reading for all African and black people.
After the 1977 UN worldwide arms embargo on the sale of weapons to the apartheid regime the CIA persuaded Bull to helped arm them in order to preserve “Western strategic interest” in southern Africa against Fidel’s Castro’s “communist-backed’ Cuban mercenaries using Soviet weapons for which Cuba earned $1,000.00 per month per man in hard to come by US Dollars. Bull supplied them with what they needed for success, the longest firing artillery gun in the world and sold twenty percent of ARMSCOR the South African government owned arms company SRC. It was a short-lived love affair.
The premier intelligence agency in the United States is not the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) if the allocation of money is an indication of power, the National Security Agency (NSA), which receives the largest government budget, is the most powerful intelligence bureaucracy in the world. It was established by the National Security Act of 1947 and is exempt from any law that does not mention it by name in the text of that law. The Agency’s differs from the CIA, which is charged with foreign intelligence gathering and the FBI responsibility for federal criminal violation. They have jurisdiction over electronic signals and the space in which they travel. In the fifty years it took for space flight to realize, the empire of NSA control and the subversive power of ruling an invisible government had passed to the NSA, whose members, unlike those of the CIA cannot be prosecuted in the performance of their duty. The true menace is the lawlessness of its corruption and its open abuse of power. It does as it pleases and the system of government in the United States has evolved under their pressure to the point where they are responsible for setting United States policy. They vet everyone but themselves and are no less filled with blunders, incompetence and career climbing officials out to make quick names for themselves. Their directors come from the same fields of men that make Washington politics renown for secrets, scandals and cover-ups.
In July 1975 one of their sub committees began a $317 million secret plan in Southern Africa signed by Gerald Forde. The Chief of the Angola Task Force, John Stockwell, later wrote a book on the operation, “In Search of Enemies: A CIA Story.” He descried the document as deliberately vague, unspecific and to be flashed out in verbal briefings. The document stated that the President found the operation to be important to the national security of the United States. No country was specified only the continent, Africa, and it was described as the provisions of material support and advice to moderate nationalist movements for their used in creating a stable climate to allow genuine self-determination in the newly emerging African States.
It was planned according to the situation as perceived by Kissinger. Kissinger’s perception of the Angola conflict was based on a theory of global policy: He used the shipping lanes of the giant tankers that bring oil from the Middle East around the Horn of Africa to the United States to rationalise his opposition to the Soviets present. Although Angola had little importance to American national security and little economic importance beyond the Robusta coffee it sold to American markets and the small amounts of Petroleum gulf oil pumped from the Cabindan oil fields. The Assistant Secretary of State for American Affairs resigned because Kissinger rejected his recommendation that the US seek a diplomatic solution in Angola and play no active role in the country’s civil war. In July 1975 the first planeload of arms left South Caroline for Angola. The African division chief of operation in the CIA while giving Stockwell his charge told him that the Soviets were “screwing around in Angola and the CIA was supposed to stop them.
When Castro continued to use the only airplane he had that could reach Southern Africa to send troops to Angola to fight with Soviet supplied weapons two CIA terrorist, Freddie Lugo and Richardo Lozano who worked for an organization called Condor, which was backed by the CIA, on Wednesday 6th October 1976, left a bomb on the Cuban plane, which was operating as a normal passenger flight as it sat on the tarmac at Seawell Airport, Barbados. The bomb exploded as the aircraft started its ascent out of the island, two miles off island and all seventy-three persons on board were killed. It was the worst act of US terrorism against Cuba and the largest number of Cubans killed since the Bay of Pigs invasion. In terms of shock and worldwide publicity it is one of the worst terrorist acts committed in the late 20th century. It ranks with such acts of infamy as the Munich massacre in 1972; the bombing of the US Marine Barracks in Beirut in 1983; the bombing of the Pan Am 747 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988 and the World Trade Center bombing in 1995; the bombing of the Oklahoma Federal Building; the Osaka subway nerve-gas attacks and the simultaneous Dar Es Salaam and Nairobi US Embassy bombing in 1998. If the effectiveness of terrorism relies on the impact an act has on world public attention then the Cubana bombing, was a successful terrorist operation which polarized world opinion, .The whole North Korean Olympic fencing team was on board flight the plane, eleven Guyanese and fifty-seven Cubans. Chief amongst the formulators of this act of terrorism were foremost, George Bush, the then head of the CIA - the Director of Central Intelligence, (DCI); Henry Kissinger, the Secretary of State; and Brent Scrowcroft, the National Security Advisor. This should have driven the last nail in the coffin of Kissinger’s foreign policy, and spell the end of George Bush’s political career and his cronies in the CIA.
It was mass murder.
On June 5th, the CIA began the programme that would lead to this tragedy, when its agents bombed the Cuban mission to the United Nations in New York. It was not the first time the CIA committed a terrorist act in the U.S. using Cuban exiles in a breech of its Charter prohibiting operations on its own soil. On July 9th, agents exploded a bomb on the luggage trailer for Cubana Airlines at Norman Manley International Airport in Jamaica. A day later the peace and tranquility of a tropical evening were shattered as operatives exploded a bomb in Independence Square, a quiet promenade in Bridgetown, Barbados, at the British West Indies Airways (BWIA) office that handled Cubana. On July 12th, they bombed Air Panama’s office in Bogotá, Columbia. Air Panama handled Cubana Airlines. On July 23rd, agents attempted to kidnap the Cuban Council in Mexico. On August 09th, spies kidnapped and killed two Cuban embassy officials in Argentina. On August 17th, the Agency exploded two bombs in the offices of Cubana in Panama.
A fair and open trial of the terrorist would mean exposure. The only way to prevent an international scandal was to have the new Labour Prime Minister of Barbados intercede. In spite of all the evidence handed to him. Adams ruled that the government had no jurisdiction in the matter and no crime was committed that was prosecutable in Barbadian courts – never mind he had bits and pieces of some of the seventy-three people two confidential confessions from the terrorist, two diaries with dates and two hundred pages of corroborating evidence obtained by the Trinidadian government when they arrested and detained the two terrorist
A fair and open trial of the terrorist would mean exposure. The only way to prevent an international scandal was to have the new Labour Prime Minister of Barbados intercede. In spite of all the evidence handed to him. Adams ruled that the government had no jurisdiction in the matter and no crime was committed that was prosecutable in Barbadian courts – never mind he had bits and pieces of some of the seventy-three people two confidential confessions from the terrorist, two diaries with dates and two hundred pages of corroborating evidence obtained by the Trinidadian government when they arrested and detained the two terrorists...........................
The Devil, according to some Christian ethics, is the Lord of the flesh who rules over the material world with his four horsemen he threatens all life with famine, disease, war and poverty.
The Democrats used Bull as a whipping boy for breaking their own embargo. In the fall of 1979, Joshua Nkomo, one of the guerrilla leaders, fighting to overthrow the white minority government of Ian Smith in Rhodesia visited Cuba and Castro told him that Cuban intelligence had picked up reports from dock workers in Antigua that a Canadian based company was shipping arms to Rhodesia. An opposition leader in Antigua began a campaign against the company and he claimed that the Antigua government were training a private army with Bull’s help.
Jimmy Carter’s administration just sworn in, began a worldwide democracy campaign of human rights. Carter’s administration was no kinder or human towards sovereign nations, in fact, after Billygate, the true nature of the Democratic slush fund of covert illegal activities tarnished what remained of Carter’s do-good image.
After a carefully controlled disinformation campaign that began in the Caribbean amongst the minions of small island political party life and bogus revolutionary fronts funded by Cuba and worked up to Washington officials in the Carter administration the Prime Minister of Antigua reluctantly and under heavy pressure of the propaganda asked the project to leave the island. In Barbados the new Labour administration compulsorily acquired its property and refused to pay.
In order to make Bull comply with their wishes and not rock the boat with any revelations that would unhinge the Democrat’s foreign policy, the Democrats threatened to close Bull’s Highwater/Vermont complex and bankrupt his companies. A plea bargain was suggested to Bull as a way of keeping everybody happy but Bull resisted. He knew that he was a scapegoat to cover the trail of Kissinger’s - now chairman of the Northern American Trilateral Commission - strings behind Carter. To save his work Bull finally agreed to plead guilty in exchange for a suspended sentence but they betrayed him again. He pleaded guilty and they turned and sentenced him to one year in jail - six months of which was suspended - as an international criminal for breaking the United Nations arms embargo in South Africa. Cuba had scored a victory.
What the small islanders in the Caribbean did not understand was the nature of their slavery under the developing One World Government but this was in the years to come by then the writing was on the wall for there was no more East and West, only the rich and the poor.
Bull spent more that ten years trying to prove that he was not a profiteer and that the government that had convicted him had set him up under orders from its highest authorities – the National Security Council, Henry Kissinger, the Secretary of State who had worked closely with Bull and Israel, George Bush who was the head of the CIA, and the President, Gerald Ford.
He tried to appeal his conviction but bowed to threats made against his life. He tried to secure a pardon, which does in hindsight seems possible, as under the presidency of Nelson Mandela the G5 ‘white tiger’ gun, the most accurate, durable, and longest firing field gun is a source of South African military pride and sold all over black Africa.
In the defence writer Russell Warren Howe’s monumental book Weapons it is reported that the Charge d’Affair of the U.S. Embassy in Bridgetown had written a secret report that “A Barbados-born SRC employee had called on him at the embassy and had taken a threatening tone…” at the beginning of the investigation into the South African arms deal.
This Barbadian SRC employed who negotiated the Iraq deal and kept his silence has a new life since Bull’s murder. He is chairperson of the British/Barbados culture committee the players of the Great Game at the centre of the British ex-patriots and Jewish Hofjudens, with their MI6 and off shore banking. He has adapted to the new order of things and speaks of Kissingers and Bronffmans, one of Kissinger’s Associates, in his housecoat and his old masters paintings.
With the withdrawal of the Canadian government and the US Army from the project Bull transformed the project into the first privately owned ballistic company and Broffman’s financing was used for sometime. The Broffmans are head of one of the largest Zionist organization. Their Broffman building is on the McGill campus off St. Catherine Street in Montreal was Bull’s first office. The Broffman made their money bootlegging with the Kennedys. The Broffman’s illegal whiskey, “chickencock,” killed over 20,000 people in Canada during prohibition.
A string of books including a film, The Doomsday Gun, after Bull’s assassination, saw the CIA, fronting for the NSC, in an effort to cover–up that the Mossad killed Bull, release the news that they had gone to and appealed to Bull’s patriotism.
The NSC is the root and problem of the United States government corruption, for the agency more than any other provides the information by which myriads of special interest and their special committees decide United States policy. A good compassion to it is the British Secret Service, which is said to have no face. It is a shifting balance of forces and individuals in the cabinet, the establishment and the intelligence services.
It is not dogma or heresy that makes it dangerous for such men as Bull, as it did for Galileo but the intent of the intelligence world to keep a lid on its double-dealings. There are secrets to its operations that have to be kept hidden from a docile and vulnerable population and Bull was not content to keep within certain confines of his research.
Imperialism is in vogue. There is a proliferation of imperialist propaganda, in which intellectuals, artists, the media and politicians have found currency. The attitude is that it is a dirty world but somebody has to do it; someone must protect Western Civilization. It is what CLR James, writer and one of the great political thinkers of this century called barbarism. When the Zionist killed Bull they tried to destroy the past so that new Imperialism can appropriate the future.
Early in the year 1981, two years after Saddam Hussein took over control of Iraq, the man in charge of Iraq’s defence, Arbid Arbid, met Bull’s reoreentatives in Paris. The Iraqis complained about the inefficiencies of a howitzer they had bought from Austria which they had modified using his patent. SRC told them that South Africa used the same howitzer technology but a later edition.
Oddly enough, a few weeks later an Israeli F4 Phantom Jet armed with smart bombs, flown by the astronaut who died recently in the American space programme shuttle accident, blew up Iraq’s nuclear reactor at Osirak.
Bull and his general manager spent many weeks at a time in Iraq. They found the Iraqi people an educated, intelligent, caring, loving and giving people with a large middle class; he loved them and they in turn loved him. They gave him two golden guns in true James Bond style. The night he received them, they were in a holster and he pulled them out and played with them. Nothing could have pleased him more, sixty and balding yet forever the golden boy-scientist or so he thought.
The small sandy cove was called Wood Fancy on the old maps. An old Amerindian cave was beneath the cliff, on the beach. Tools were found and tables and seats carved in the coral are still there. Northwest of Wood Fancy is one of the longest beaches on the island called Long Beach where there was also a large Amerindian settlement. That coast was one of the first stops on a rowing expedition from the south. It was an easy cove into which to drift. It collected Japanese fishing buoys, pieces of nets, and all kinds of and flotsam and jetsam.
On this coral cliff, in the south east overlooking the breaking waves of the Atlantic at the old plantation house called Paragon was this historic and unique space research centre capable of launching inexpensive rockets into space using a ‘super-gun’ - the largest ‘space-gun’ ever fired – which shot specially designed shells to 200 km above the earth for peaceful upper atmospheric space research.
. The landing and installation of the gun for which railway lines had to be constructed and a local man was squeezed to death between two ships and the achievement on this coastal cliff is recorded as the largest act of cooperation between the US and Canadian governments.
A tiny but powerful cliché in the aerospace lobby, realized that a fantastic technology had been developed in a tiny “sugar republic”, more importantly; they feared that their monopoly in space could be broken and their slice of the billions of dollars space budget cut back by competition from the project’s more inexpensive launch system. It was unimaginable to these vested interests that wanted to control space that someone, at this important time, somewhere beyond their reach, in a small one hundred and sixty-six square-mile, just-independent island-nation, had become an advanced technological space centre and led an independent programme.
Satellite technology was in its infancy. Only five years before the U.S.S.R. had successfully launched “Sputnik I’, the first orbiting satellite – a 23-inch, ball orbiting at 560 miles every 97 minutes above the earth. The Americans followed a year later with ‘Score’; the second ‘Courier’ and in 1962 the third ‘Echo.’ The telecommunications application of satellite technology was in its planning stages, but already industry’s leaders, AT&T and RCA who launched their first satellites in 1962 were predicting an “information highway” in space and an “interactive network” that would make land-lines obsolete.
Between 1963 and 1971, the Commercial satellite co-operation (COMSAT) perfected its international telecommunication satellite system, INTELSAT. A series of early Bird commercial communications satellites were launched in geo-synchronous orbit between 1965 and 1971 that handled the bulk of international satellite communications. Not until the 1972 “open skies policy’ of the Federal Communications Committee (FCC), did it became legal to put private domestic satellites in American air-space. This gave time to companies like Bell Telephone, the same RCA, West Star and the Commercial Satellite Cooperation to coordinate their planned monopolization of space and satellite technology.
Bull’s project brought the technology, which generated developments in the island’s electronics, its mechanical engineering and its radio telemetry. The avionics of the island’s airport, outfitted by their technicians was the best surveillance radar in the Caribbean. By the time of the project’s completion the Paragon range was largely self-sufficient for its engineering and electronic needs most of which was supplied by trained locals who then took into the economy the engineering and electronic skill, which had the project, continued would have transformed the technical base of the economy. The gun rockets were assembled and machined in the project’s mechanic shops with sophisticated machine tools, solid fuel prepared and loaded into projectiles, radar tracking synchronised with other sites in the nearby islands of Trinidad, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Grenada and a totally integrated launch control with direct link to North Troy, Vermont, USA, the project’s headquarters. Technicians were trained to do the majority of the work. There was precious little to be bought readymade nor could the technology be found anywhere so the project used discarded equipment from places like the US Armed Forces and other countries. They modified the equipment to suit their specific needs and produced the required effects. They took systems from amateur radio and modified them and when they could not buy certain electrical equipment they built them.
Had cheaper, more plentiful satellite systems been put up by regional bodies or even nations in South America the development of the electronic media, telephony and satellite link-ups would have transformed the information economy of the entire region to an industry based on primary engineering facilities built, owned and operated by the people of the region.
On a tiny scale, but mirrored to what would be found in the other parts of the moderately developing world, the change to inter-active services: cellular and computer networking would have been facilitated more quickly. The glaring communications gap of today between the informed minority and uninformed majority - the increasing gap between rich and power, large numbers of unemployed and unemployable and the collapse of our industries could not have happened.
From 1964, when the Canadian Government expressed an interest in using the 16-inch space-gun to put satellites in orbit, to the projects closure this secret lobby did all it could to ensure that Bull’s technology would not be used for satellite launching. The lobby was able to undercut the security of the Canadian government, the funding of the McGill University affiliated work in atmosphere study and the US designed companies, which developed guidance and propellant systems for the “gun-rockets.”
The situation today, with the regional satellite network under monopoly rates for images from its satellites, the exorbitant telecommunications rates and the regional lack of co-operation even in the development of teaching would have been avoided. Added to this the decline in the cultural identity under the two-pronged attack of foreign media products and an educational system that divorces science from the humanities. Developing countries have been denied human resources so necessary for private business and government.
The detractors continue to insure that work of this nature anywhere in the developing world cannot continue. The attacks and disinformation campaigns even today show the false images that developing countries foist on themselves when they create a culture ripe for the picking of the neo-colonialist.
Dr. Gerald Bull was the 20th century’s greatest ballistician. He headed a laboratory where he and his team of scientists created a revolutionary gun, which shot gun-rockets 200 miles into space and also revolutionized the design of field artillery. He was assassinated while he was in the process of building a space gun in Iraq. Ed.
Journalist William Lowther writes in his biography of Gerald Bull, “Arms and the Man, Iraq and the Supergun” that Bull, “grew up in Canada at a time when they were really no blacks there. He had no sensitivity to black problems because he had no exposure to black people.”
It was autumn, we were in the cool mountain air overlooking rolling hills of Eastern Quebec at Bull’s A-frame home, the largest in the world, at a place the Indians call Highwater, fifty miles from the city of Montreal. Bull, his general manager and I had met in Montreal and made the drive together. Highwater occupied 1,600 hectares and straddled both the United States and Canadian border at Montreal, near the villages of Mansonville, Cold Hollow and North Troy, Vermont. A cross-border road ran from the forest to the vacation home.
There were two sets of customs, Canadian on the
Montreal side and U.S. on the North Troy side. These were special agreements worked out amongst the USA government, the Canadian government and the International Boundaries Commission.
With my passport that meant that if I left the compound by the same gate at which I first arrived through, no passport was needed but if I exited through the other gate I needed to show it.
The General Manager was not born nor ever resided in Canada but nevertheless, had long been given a Canadian passport which facilitated easy exits and entrances.
Eagles soared overhead. Mimi was Bull’s wife. The son of Mimi’s sister had drunk a weed killer in a suicide attempt. The family sent him to South Africa to his uncle, their only brother, a priest in the black townships. Mimi and I spent the morning in the sun outside the eastern kitchen door near a kitchen garden and fish pools.
Hosts of new people were at the project and Bull brought them by for lunch and dinner along with regulars like a retired Colonel who worked for the National Security Council, a General who once headed US Army Intelligence; and a Cuban a long serving and loyal employee, whose home was next door in Vermont. Highwater was a time of relaxation and sports, hot dogs, hamburgers and fast food were the order of the day. No one organized anything. Today, Bull forgot that there were strange guests present - South Africans.
“Bring me my drink, you nigger.” Bull shouted.
“How dare you call him that?” Came an indignant interjection from a representative of apartheid, whose husband, as it was made public years later, was there to place an order for the most advanced and efficient killing machine of its kind, to kill blacks of Southern Africa. “I do not call them that.”
Bull called French Canadians niggers of Canada. He had great jokes about Pollocks. His vocabulary included white-trash, spikes, every derogatory name for every race, including Jews and Arabs. The practical joke terror was in deep doo-doo. No one came to his assistance: not niggers, the squaw girl, spikes, a pollock, or Mimi, his French-Canadian wife - the nigger of Canada.
“What do you call them?” Mimi asked.
“I called them friends.” The resident of apartheid said.
“See,” said Mimi, “dear, you must learn to call us friends.”
Angela Cole writing about her friend Gerald Bull and The Harp project in Barbados
On March 30th 1990, Dr. Gerald “Gerri” Vincent Bull had a gun full of bullets unloaded in his body and head outside his apartment in Uccle, an exclusive area of Brussels. In 1994, four years after his death, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), fronting for the National Security Council (NSC), in an effort to cover–up for those who are responsible for his murder, released the news that Gerri, my friend, was not the villain or culprit they had for the past twenty years held him up to the world as and for which the Democratic Government had jailed him for six months. They, they admitted, in a spirit of new honesty, had gone to him in 1975, him whom they had created an act of Congress to make an American citizen, the only man to be so hallowed besides Winston Churchill, and appealed to his patriotism.
“You have to help us in South Africa. Castro’s troops in Angola are beating shit out of us. We need something to kick those communists’ asses. We need your guns in South Africa.” They said they said to Gerri.
Bull was the ballistician of the century as named by Jane’s Journal of Armaments and Defence, the foremost magazine in the arms world. When I met him in 1970 he was in Barbados across the runaway from my office at International Caribbean Airways in Seawell International Airport at his High Altitude Research Project (HARP)/ Space Research Corporation (SRC). Those were the days when the war for space was being fought and few people knew.
Bull, who received his doctorate from McGill at twenty-four, was the pioneer mind behind wind tunnels, rocket designs and ballistics. After, Gerri, a teenage student designed a wind tunnel to simulate the conditions which would have occurred when his uncle, a flyer during World War II, was shot down and killed over the English Channel the Canadian government Research and Defense Institute (CARDI) took this young man under their wing and developed his scientific talents. His lifetime idea and work was force, speed and trajectory. He was one of the only people in the world that had an idea of the mathematics behind high velocity physics - aerodynamically designed projectiles fired from barrel lengths, at tremendous speed and force, boosted with rockets, packed with electronics and Boom! Orbit! Satellites! Space Gun!
The largest gun Bull used, was in Barbados; the HARP gun. This was a prototype of the Space Gun and the forerunner of the guns of the future; from the hand-held Schwarzenegger Eraser electromagnetic rail gun that shoots through solid objects and with an X Ray motion sensor that locks on to the heartbeat; to the liquid gas gun at Lawrence Livermore Laboratories that forms part of the Strategic Defence Initiative (SDI), American’s attempt to protect the United States from attack by intercontinental ballistic missiles by controlling the space above earth, with just such a weapon as this that can hurl a projectile into space at an oncoming missile. The gun at HARP is recorded in the Guinness Book of Records as the longest firing gun; at vertical declination i.e. pointed upwards, it fired a projectile 200 miles into the skies above Barbados.
The Iraqi “Doomsday Gun” and ballistic innovations such as the base bleed shell, a patented over the counter shell, which makes a big gun fire one-third farther, are Bull’s creations. Bull changed the shape of shells to increase accuracy, and designed a gun that could shoot thirty miles and hit a target the size of a tennis court nine times out of ten.
Barbados had a laboratory in the breach of the longest firing gun. Bull ran tests for governments - Germany, America, England, and the First-world, - who would have had to set up a laboratory from scratch to test high performance powder munitions. He put gauges into the gun to check the pressure in the chamber at the time of the detonation. He tested propellant; its blasting sequence, burn rate and the pressure wave it produced in the breech. He checked the efficiency of propellant, the burning rate of ammunition, and the pressure the ammunition would produce - all inside the gun. Once the project tested some ammunition for Germany. It was fired and the burning rate was so high that the propellant could never be used for there was no other gun on earth that could withstand it. With new materials of greater tensile strength, this was the future of modern science. Men came from all over the world with papers that could shingle a library: military men, retired and otherwise, mechanical engineers, and experts on guns, brought their ideas on paper and the small group of local Barbadian and foreign scientist under Bull made them work.
There was telemetry for measuring speed in space. Tracking – radar and cameras in St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Trinidad and Grenada which tracked and photographed the shot from the time it left the barrel until it reached apogee - the point at which the vehicle loses velocity and falls by inertia. Barbados had more space probes sent above it and research done on conditions in the upper atmosphere above it than Cape Kennedy or any other part of the globe. The experiments carried out in this island were quoted in every scientific magazine, and published in scientific papers. Much of the information about upper atmospheric conditions used at Cape Kennedy for the space programme was collected in Barbados.
“Send me a mathematician.” Bull said after a shoot.
That made me understand that it was just plain, simple, ordinary mathematics, physics and chemistry, which I had done at secondary School – one of the only fifteen girls on the island to do so. Science subjects were taught at only two schools on the island – one for boys and one for girls. Space research, however, was not to be for Barbadians, or the world at large. A powerful lobby closed the project in Barbados; so too twenty years later it was not meant to be in Iraq.
In 1981, I had left Barbados just before the elections and spent some time with some friends in Frankfurt to avoid the elections. They introduced me to a Jewish intern whose father was head of the Jewish Community in Frankfurt and ten years my junior. He brought me collie and invited me to a mime show. The next night he took me to the premier of The Harder They Fall the Jimmy Cliff movie at the university common room. We dated some more and hung out at the guild’s disco.
As prearranged Carlton, the general Manager of HARP/SRC, left the island soon after the elections for Paris. A school friend with her husband who worked for UNESCO lived there and their first and only child, a girl, was newly born and I wanted to visit with the family. As usual whenever I tried to enter France there would be the scene at some airport.
“You do not have a visa for France?” The airline traffic clerk asked.
“I will get it when I get to Paris.”
“We will not put you on our plane to Paris without a visa.”
“You cannot stop me from travelling on your plane. Those are the rules, look them up. I will sign a release relieving you of responsibility and I have a ticket back to Barbados my home.”
The French issue visas for Caribbean people, which were valid for three months only and most of the times travel to France was spontaneous. I had boycotted Paris since the recent widow of an arms dealer and the wealthy unofficial king of Jersey and I were refused a drink at the George V bar because we were unaccompanied women. Before her husband died, the couple had been such honoured guest that when they stayed at the George V the owner tore up their bill when they went to pay.
“We do not serve unaccompanied women.”
“Are you staying at the hotel?”
“We do not serve unaccompanied women.”
The manager explained that he was very sorry it was nothing personal but they were many prostitutes in Paris and this was the way to protect the good name of the hotel. He refused to get Charles Forte on the telephone.
“O.K. We will rent a room, we will not use it and we will have our drink.”
Nothing moved them. We were defeated. I took my argument to Sandy Lane Hotel in Barbados owned by the Forte Group and when I could not get agreement I boycotted the hotel, my stomping ground, for one year.
This was my first visit to Paris since then. We stayed at the Paris Hilton, near the Eiffel Tower. Arbid Arbid was an Iraqi and an older man who recovered from shrapnel wounds. He ran Iraq’s defences ;his address was Lebanon airport and he had been resident at the Hilton for months while he received medical attention. In those days Arabs did not stay in Jewish establishments and the Hilton is owned by Jews.
“This is a different Arab.” Arbid laughed.
Arbid met a French woman in the bar of the Hilton and I convinced her to have a drink and lunch with him behind her husband’s back. Arbid loved malls. He took me along to a Jewish shop on the Left Bank, with a small frontage and huge shop space in the back which run deep and wide where several designer items, from YSL to Cardin were sold at 30% below the market price. I was given a discount card. He said that the Iraqis knew where all the deals were. A short time after our meeting the Israeli blew up the nuclear reactor at Osirak in Iraq. Negotiations with Iraq suddenly stopped. Negotiations resumed during 1982 to 1983 and Carlton and Bull spent many weeks at a time in Iraq. I knew the Iraqi through the telephone. They sent me an Iraqi carpet, a red and a black outfits like Arafat’s with the head scarves, which I wore constantly and a female out fit. Bull loved the Iraqi people and they in turn loved him. They gave him two golden guns in true James Bond style. The night he received them, they were in a holster and he pulled them out like a cowboy and played with them. Nothing could have pleased Bull more, sixty and balding yet forever the golden boy-scientist.
Bull’s assassination was linked to a series of events that lead to the Gulf War. He had almost completed what he and the Iraqi’s called the Babylon Gun, and the world would come to know as the Doomsday Gun – a launching system for satellites, a space gun modelled from the HARP prototype in Barbados. Who killed Gerald Bull, is the subject of my next book The CIA Collaborators?
An essay from Angela Cole's Book Reflections written by Gary Cole
Creativity is central to Dr. Gerald Vincent Bull’s attempt to build the S1000 a 3,000-kilometre range super gun called the Babylon Gun. What is creativity? What are its limits and most importantly, what is “permissible” in its name? How does the scientist create the earth-shattering new and original from the old? Is there right and wrong in the art of creation?
The Babylon gun is a story of the desire of the scientist to realize dreams. It is also a question of morals and motivation. Why did Bull want to build the biggest gun? From whence came the desire? Is it good? Is it moral? Is it bad? Is it evil? These questions are important to understand the political nature of the whole affair. How are men to be viewed against the background of the Gulf War?
On 22nd March 1990, a few days after he test-fired a prototype “Baby Babylon” of his super gun over the tranquil Iraqi desert and five months before the August 02nd Iraq invasion of Kuwait, Dr. Bull was assassinated outside the door of his apartment in Brussels.
Project Babylon, or the Babylon gun was the fruition a lifetime of work and experimentation for Dr. Bull. In the thirty years after leaving the University of Toronto with a doctorate at 22, the youngest person ever awarded at a Canadian University and although he had become the best gun designer alive he had not realized his dream of building a supergun capable of launching satellites into orbit as he set out to do since 1954. Bull’s study of aero physics and his book “The Paris Gun” were dedicated to the principle of building a supergun capable of firing missiles 30 miles and more and putting satellites in orbit.
Iraq in 1988 commissioned Bull to build this gun one half of which existed in the design principles of the HARP gun in Barbados, which he built in the late 60s and the other half in his mind. At the time of Bull’s death the prototype was operational; nearly all the parts of the super gun were assembled in Iraq and in a matter of weeks the Babylon Gun would be ready for testing. Several other pieces for the gigantic 1000mm barrel, disguised as parts for oil pipes to escape export restrictions on scientific and military technology to Iraq, were on docks, on lorries or in warehouses in Britain and Europe ready to be shipped to Iraq. The hydraulics system, to dampen the guns gigantic recoil, had already been built by a British company.
“The Doomsday Gun” the recently released movie about Bull’s attempt to build his gun and his subsequent assassination should have satisfactorily answered these questions. This action-packed thriller although the flow of events is more in words, gives answers to these questions but only on the emotional level of feelings and sympathy. It portrays the passions of the characters but does not, however, comment on the implications of the profound intrigue involved on any system of ethics or politics. It does no tease out the final answer to the fundamental question of why Bull would risk his life to build the supergun just as it does not finally answer who killed Bull.
It is a pity, for at the centre of this magnificent political story is a void of blindness and decadence, which deserves comment for out of such comment comes great literary nihilism, which is found in the work of the 19th century classics of Doestoevsky,Mellville and Nietzsche.
The world of Gerald Bull is the true inheritor of such epics as“Moby Dick” and “The Brother Kalamazoo.” Men such as Bull are the product of a new society that writers such as Doestoevsky, Melville and Nietzsche envision. In Melville’s words he is a new “genuine character” in Nietzsche’s he is an “Overman.” “Man is something that is to be surpassed.
What have you done to surpass man?”
Frederick Nietzsche (1844-1900), the German philosopher and poet famed for his concept of the overman or superman, in his book “The Gay Science” in defining a central part of his philosophy said that the distinguishing difference between the higher being and the lower is the degree of their desire for certainty. The higher man sees and hears exceptionally more than the lower. The great majority of people, unfortunately, he wrote, lack an intellectual conscience and are unable to feel and think at the same time an eternally growing world of values, perspectives, affirmations and negations.
This creative world, which is the subject of the desire for certainty, is inaccessible to most people. Many prefer to believe this or that and live accordingly without first accounting the final and most certain reasons for or against their actions and beliefs. Such people are contented to live their lives unquestioning of the truth of their ideals. Nietzsche created a marvellous, new negative dialectic when he argued that the truth of these ideals was their lack of truth. The ideals of society are a lie. What kind of man and what kind of mind would design the Babylon Gun?
“The Doomsday Gun” gives its viewers poetic images: the image of praying and the symbol of the moon. In the beginning of the movie a twelve year old Bull kneels in a Catholic Church pew and keeps, under his prayer book, a copy of Jules Verne’s “From The Earth to the Moon,” which tells a story about a gun that could place things on the moon. The cover of the book is illustrated with a large gun and a picture of the moon. Verne (1828-1905), a lawyer turned science fiction novelist wrote amongst others, “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea,” “Around the World in Eighty Days,” and “Journey to the Centre of the Earth” before the invention of airplanes, rockets and submarines yet he predicted accurately their uses. Verne’s work is still popular science fiction today.
The most authoritative book on the arming of Iraq by the English journalist Kenneth Timmerman “The Death Lobby” and the main instrument used by Western legislators to unearth the facts of the Iraqi military machine, simply suggests strongly that Bull was an unscrupulously evil man and ignores the philosophical questions behind his silent sanctioning of Bull’s murderers and ignores the philosophical and moral questions behind the actioning of Bull’s murder. The book provides the possible backdrop to the “Doomsday Gun”. The symbols in the move tell of some unknown and irrational inspiration bound up in the story of science and the imagination. They are deterrents to following Bull’s life, for they offer the marketable image of it as a tragic sacrifice.
The question, by both book and movie, that if Gerald Bull’s desire is irrational and atavistic what then of science and its goals? What does this say to society about scientific discovery for is not Bull’s unswerving desire to build the world’s longest firing gun - a gun with a range of 3,000 miles capable of launching satellites into space - an insight into what motivates people, in particular what motivates scientific genius?
Bull studied aero-physics at Mc Gill University. His dream after a careful study of the Paris Gun, the Krupp manufactured smooth bore cannon, which shelled Paris in World War I from over sixty miles away, was that it was possible with modern technology to launch rocket assisted payloads into space from a smooth bore artillery tube. It would be far less expensive than using fuel rockets to launch satellites and it could be used to transport components for use in building space stations in orbit. His HARP gun in 1967 did achieve this in a limited way but it was a prototype to the supergun. Arthur Koestler (1905-1983), the European essayist, novelist, political activist and scientific writer in his book on the nature of the scientist and scientific discovery, “The Sleep Walkers” examined the lives and theories of European natural philosophers and scientist, Nicholas Copernicus (1473-1543), Tycho Brache (1546-1601), Johannes Kepler (1571-1630), Galileo Galileo (1564-1642) and Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) to illustrate the idea that scientific discovery is not a rational positivistic process, not a steady march of progress or a gradual growth of the human species from blind ignorance to cool rationality but it is stumbled upon through irrationality. Feelings, emotions and intuition play an important role in (scientific) discovery. Koestler argues it is the make up and the inclination of the scientist to trust certain irrational leaps not the mass of knowledge at hand that engenders scientific progress.
Bull was such a man. He continued to confound the ballistic world throughout his breathtaking career with his ability to consistently improve gun technology to the point that now with his supergun anything was possible. He worked against the notion that bore technology was obsolete, which gave a monopoly to the missile rocket complex to sell its costly technology. There seemed to be no stopping his ability to cut and contrive and keep his head and dream afloat. Behind this was a simple joy of life and freeness and openness that made Bull a very likeable man, who convinced and inspired the scientist, who worked with him and those, who were interested in his technology.
Koestler asks the question why do civilizations make scientific discoveries, which a few centuries later are forgotten and are rediscovered by another civilisation hundreds or thousands of years later? Scientific genius he shows, is like a pendulum swinging back and forth between periods of great scientific breakthroughs and dark ages of ignorance and superstition. Koestler’s ideas are amongst the most original that sought to understand human society through a study of the philosophy of it sciences.
Michael Foucault, a famous contemporary French philosopher of knowledge is also like Koestler, in that he writes books such as “The History of Madness” and “The Order of Things” to show the blind side of science. They describe the same thing. Foucault says imagine a world that thinks in a different way than today and then you can understand how science and philosophy works. It is what Koestler meant by saying that genius abandons useless ways of thinking for its own ideas in an apparently irrational form. A man like Bull will remain incomprehensible for the many without an understanding of this crucial idea.
Koestler examines the heliocentric solar system (the sun in the centre of an orbiting system of planets) of Copernicus, which was widely known in the ancient world but dismissed as heretical and unscientific in 17th century Europe. Copernicus’s proof for what is now known as the “Copernican Revolution” is wrong according to modern science, but the feelings he had about the validity of the ancient model were right. Koestler shows how an “idea fixee,” an unforgettable dream, based in feeling and thought is at the source of scientific discovery. Fixed ideas and unshakeable thoughts in the mind of the discoverer guide the geometry and mathematics of discovery.
It is not a matter of working from what you have and thinking how everyone thinks. It is a kind of leap from logic to intuition and then back from intuition to logic. Scientist such as Bull, Koestler calls sleepwalkers. They are led to discover from dreams and desires, emotions and feelings. Bull was like Johannes Kepler, the father of modern astronomy, who studied numerology and astrology all his life, subjects he thought were filled with ignorance and superstition. He numbered and plotted horoscopes of everything of importance. This same obsessive idea of geometrical and mathematical harmony led him to discover the planetary laws. Without his obsession for geometrical harmonyKepler would never had done away with the disorder of medieval astronomy. Without his devotion to perfect design, he would have deteriorated in the difficult times of his life, to a crank court astrologer, a far easier job, and left nothing for posterity. LikeKepler, Bull was the product of the scientific mind of the last three centuries.
The men, who founded the New Philosophy of modern science did so by the sheer magnitude of their great work, which elevated them to the level for geniuses. Tycho Brache, the greatest astronomer of pre-telescopic times, is the best comparison to Bull. At the end of his life, in 1600, the famous astronomer worked with Kepler to chart the planetary tables using the in genius instruments he had built. Throughout Tycho Brache’s unabated passion was the observation and plotting of the skies. His observatory was the envy of the entire world. All else took second place. His wealth, friendships, and political allegiances were important only in how nearer they took him to this goal. In his life, as in Bull’s this pattern was unchanged.
Why would Bull build his super gun in Iraq when it would tilt the balance-of-power in the Middle East and proliferate strategic nuclear weapons? Was the will, as Nietzsche wrote beyond good and evil?
London (MI5), Washington (CIA and NSA), France (Douzienne Bureau), Germany (Gehreinestat Politzi) and Moscow (KGB) were complicit in the affair. Iraq had been armed to the teeth by the western military establishment: arms dealers, bankers, government officials and the largest and most influential Western corporations - Daimler-Benz, Cargill, and Dassault and many more took advantage of the fantastic arms bazaar which Saddam Hussein had created in his programme of military industrialization.
French policy towards Iraq was that of an ally. Jacques Chirac, the French President, considered the sale of the Isis and Osiris reactors at the Osirak nuclear plant, as the legitimate trade of sovereign nations. The pressure that the United States and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) placed on its atomic programme in the name of nuclear proliferation did not intimidate the French. DeGaulle, the former French Prime Minister pulled France out of NATO in 1966 over his refusal to relinquish control of the French nuclear arson to NATO generals.
France had already sold Israel its nuclear reactor at Dimona in the 1950’s and France’s official policy of nuclear power was to consider it the right of “national sovereignty” not an instrument of foreign policy manipulation. Along with the sale of the Osirak plant, were a list of multi-billon dollar contracts for armaments, technology and capita works, which the French sold to Iraq from 1981 to 1989. Iraq bought from France the most advanced laser guided smart bombs - Exorcets, Milan, Aramat, H.O.T., Magic missile systems, the advance AMX30-GCT howitzers, multi-billion dollar aircraft and avionics deals including FI mirages: Super Etards, Alouette, gazelle, super Pama helicopters and supplicated Tiger G radars. France also built desalinisation plants, petrochemical complexes, fertilizer factories, car assembly works and an airport. The French were first and foremost traders.
The victorious Allies never captured or controlled the German mind. The Germans, banned from selling arms by the terms of its surrender in WWII, nevertheless, supplied the scientist and technology Iraq needed to develop its strategic missile programme and chemical weapons capability. German policy was to fight its straightjacket ban on selling weaponry by insisting that it did not sell anything specifically designed to manufacture chemical weapons. What Iraq was capableof making at the chemical plants - pesticide plants and otherwise, the German company Karl Kobb built - which could produce enough pesticide to spray every blade and shrub in the Middle East for a decade - was not Germany’s concern. They could not control how Iraqis thought or their actions. The Iraqi strategic weapons programme bought only what the Germans could sell - technical know-how and Degussa, the company that manufacture Zykkon B, the gas used in the death chambers at Auschwitz and spearheaded the Nazi atomic bomb programme: Messerschmit-Bolkow-Blohm (the builder of the V and V2 rockets of the Nazi missile programme and Bohlen (heir to the Nazi armament company Krupp) laughed all the way to the bank. By 1988 Germany had sold Iraq $1.2 billion in supplicated machine tools capable of manufacturing gyroscopes for guidance systems, complicated trigger mechanisms, uranium enrichment equipment, laboratory, machinery and tools for dealing with lethal chemicals. When the BBC programme Panorama in 1986 revealed to the world the gas attack the Iraqi army launched against the Kurdish city of Halabja, the German government of Chancellor Kohl refused to admit to or to back down from supplying and building Iraq’s chemical capability.
The U.S. in strategic partnership with Israel in the region supported Iraq and Iran, its enemy, in the Persian Gulf War. Israel through the Iran-Contra “arms for hostages” deal sold through the American National Security Council (NSC) (650 million in weapons in 1968 alone) contacts (Robert MacFarlane, Admiral John Poindexter and Brent Scrowcroft). It was in Israel’s interest to keep the war going as long as possible, for it would mean weaker Arab resistance to their policies in Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The United States was the greatest warmonger of them all for while the Iran-Contra initiative continued to secretly fund the Iranian Islamic fundamentalists, the US extended a credit line of $1 billion through the Department of Agriculture to Iraq. The Iraqi military machine, though not made in the USA was paid for by the USA. The Banque National de Levora (BNL) in Atlanta financed Bull’s Babylon Project out of the Department of Agriculture commodities Credit (CCC) programme, as were French, Italian and German arms purchases and developments. Timmerman states the effect of US Governments $1 billion credit extended in 1982 was “to turn the day to day management of US policy towards Iraq over to the huge agro-industrial conglomerates such as Cargill, Arab financed Drefuss.” The United States treasury financed a $5billon dollar line of credit after Iraq had exhausted its $35 billion reserve of foreign currency. By June 4th, 1989 when Kissinger Associates were called into reschedule Iraq’s debt, it was clear the country had been bought and sold. The French sold arms, the Germans supplied technology, the Americans loaned money and the Iraqis added their inspiration to put it all altogether. Bull’s S1000 would put the topping on the Iraqi strategic weapons programme. The International Atomic Agency had concluded that Iraq was two years from building a bomb from the Osirak reactor when Israel bombed it on June 07th 1981. After the success of “operation Babylon” as Mechanin Begin, the then Prime Minister of Israel, called the Osirak bombing, Iraq pursued four different processes of uranium enrichment for bomb building.
In 1987, Jonathan Pollard was arrested and found guilty in the US of treason for passing US satellite information on Iraq’s military factories to Israel. Pollard testified that the US did not want the world to know how close Iraq was to building an atom bomb. On February 22nd 1989 Rear Admiral Thomas Brooks, the Director of Naval Intelligence broke rank and told Congress that Iraq was actively pursuing a nuclear weapons programmed. Saddam declared on April 12th 1990 to a pro-Iraq lobby Senate delegation in Iraq headed by Senator Robert Dole that, “a just piece is possible when, if Israel possesses one missile, the Arabs possess one missile, so neither can use it.”
The West had come to terms with the existence of Iraq’s nuclear programme. Sooner or later if not already Iraq would have the bomb. Revised updates after the Gulf War was that Iraq was six months from completing the bomb. An Iraqi engineer claimed that he worked at an enrichment plant at Ash Shargai, which had produced ninety pounds of bomb grade material. He said the plant had never been bombed in the war and that four other plants like it had survived the bombing unscathed. Concern, therefore shifted to the development of the Iraq missile programmed.
The Missile Technology and Control Regime (MTCR) signed by the G7 nations in 1984 restricted the transfer of the technology necessary to build the guidance and propulsion systems of strategic missiles with a range of over 2,000 kilometres. The modified Scud Missiles, which Iraq used in its war with Iran, had a range of approximately one thousand kilometres and though of some concern to Israel were not effectively strategic weapons; they did not give Iraq a viable option of first strike in the event of a nuclear war with Israel. It was not a match to the Israeli designed intermediate range ballistic missile “the Jericho” and the Israeli Air Force, and any first strike would not remove Israel’s annihilating retaliatory strike. Israel also had the option of an overwhelming first strike.
Israel maintained nuclear superiority in all scenarios. In December 1989, however, Iraq entered the strategic arms race with the successful launch of the Al Abid, a two thousand-kilometre range ballistic missile. Alarm bells rang. The US administration began to “express concern” over the Iraq missile programme and Israel’s Mossad threatened scientist who worked on the Condor missile programme in Iraq. This situation was unacceptable to Israel, which because of its concentrated target formation meant that Iraq could much easier launch a crippling blow to its civilians and military but they could not halt the Iraq missile programme which was speeding along with German, Brazilian and Egyptian help.
The Americans calculated that the strike capability of a real super powers was still many years away from Iraq and seemed convinced that Saddam would run out of money and succumb to the economic pressures of sustaining a nuclear arms race and debt rescheduling. Iraq would have to play their diplomatic game with Israel for Saddam would run out of money before Iraq developed the expensive missile technology monopolised by the G7 countries.
Bull’s gun, however, would change all of this and the US and Israel would be unable to use its control of the missile-rocket complex to dictate Middle Eastern policy. With soft and inexpensive technology Iraq could mass produce Bull’s 3,000-mile supergun and establish in the mountains of Northern Iraq an impregnable nuclear zone of defensive and offensive capability. Added also to the bargain, was what Bull had promised from the beginning, a vehicle that could launch satellites. Bull had shown the Iraqis how to get around the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) restricting missile technology to the industrialized world. He gave Iraq a taste of true power.
“I am become death, the shatterer of worlds.” Said Ophenhemeir, a Jew, the builder of the nuclear bomb.
Was Bull’s gun the desire of a man of science? Perhaps the ethical answer is simply as Nietzsche says, you are supposed to do what you have trained your brain, your mind and your will to do. If you are trained to be a swimmer; you will swim. That is life. If you trained yourself to be a magician you will do magic. Training the will is an art. It is easier to have no will and be a slave working in a bank. Beyond the pursuit of money many have no will and without the intellectual conscience they have no idea of true motivation.
Bull had worked from the early 1960s when he built the HARP gun, to overcome the obstacles in designing a gun that could put satellites into orbit. There was no other person alive with this talent and ability. How could Bull become Saddam Hussein’s hireling, his hired gun? People asked how could he work for a murderer? Bull was smarter than that and he would not sacrifice his dream to false moralities built on the expediency of competing nation states fighting for world domination.
“I sell technology. I do not fire my guns. I am not responsible.” Bull countered always.
Scientist such as Galileo in his defence of the heliocentric solar system have had to pay lip service to the ignorance of their times. It is a common theme when looking at the lives of the great scientist that shaped the modern world. Science can cease to progress under the dogma of what is believed to be true. In Bull’s case what was believed to be true of the Middle East by the West was the propaganda of oil companies, anti-Semitics, bankers and arms dealers.
The development of science can never become so utilitarian so as to dispose with the idea of the scientist in pursuit of the unattainable. The purest form of scientific research has been hindered over and over throughout history by the interest vested in the application of its discoveries. Einstein, for instance, did not discover the laws of relativity so as to build an atom bomb. He developed it through looking at the world in a different way, in an interest to make real what exists in an idea. The danger of brilliant scientist to the status quo of their age is not their inventions but their minds. The kind of thinkinginvolved in the creation of something new and unique is more important than the uses of the thing created. Such ways of thinking sometimes challenges a vested interest in fundamentally revolutionary ways. It is for the integrity of his mind that the scientist is sometimes hunted, put on trial and killed. In Galileo’s time the study of the natural world by the New Philosophy, as modern science was then called, could not take precedence to the application of its discoveries and theories by the Church. The Church, itself filled with learned men of the new way of thinking would only allow what it felt it could use as dogma and thus Galileo, the inventor of the optical telescope, the thermometer and the proponent of the heliocentric solar system (and personal friend of the Pope) was put on trial and placed under house arrest.
This is particularly applicable to Bull especially in view of his involvement with key players of today’s arms industry. The technology of weaponry has revolutionized the organization of society over and over again. The moment of the realization of such ideas as building a rocket that could travel at thousands of miles per hour or of building a cannon that could destroy the walls of a castle, or of developing an invincible form of empty-handed fighting was not just a matter of good and evil for a scientist like Bull trying to do what had never been done before. Bull wanted to develop his technology to build his supergun to launch satellites and put things on the moon. It was not simple marching but it was the moment when man achieves the impossible.
Let the leaders of countries play their political games, it was not his affair, he was interested, not in power, business or patronage but in doing what had never been done before. He was a scientist in love with the laws of ballistics, which where not governed by the ideologies and propaganda of competing nation states in their quest for power. This was his great danger, however, because his dream and integrity to the scientific quest would lead him against the status quo.
Bull always felt that he should have won a Nobel Prize for his ballistics work, after all Alfred Nobel used the money he received from his invention of TNT to set up the Nobel Trust. Bull was not the kind of man to remain quiet of such contradictions. He was open and frank in his dealings and knew what he did - sold technology to make guns, artillery and rockets. It was not for Bull first and foremost a clandestine affair and for someone involved in so secret a profession he was accused of having a big mouth. His conscience was clear. Bull’s motivation was never making money. He was not poor, married money and could make it as easy as any of the “cocktail scientist” (his contemptuous term for the scientist who pursued careers for money and prestige). He risked his money and career, involved himself in the dangerous intrigue of the intelligence services in pursuit of a single fixed idea, and it separated him from his company. Bull’s virtue was the dream of his gun.
The world comes to him, who designs the longest firing gun. Israel came, saw and bought the smooth bore and shell technology, modified the G3 howitzer, used it to protect the Golan Heights and devastated the Palestinians hope of regaining their homeland. The US had developed Israel’s intelligence gathering machine and boosted its military in a secret nuclear pact between the two countries. It began in 1968 and became publicly known in 1986 when an Israeli nuclear scientist,Mordechie Vannunu claimed Israel possessed 400 nuclear warheads and 100MRVs (Multiple Independently targeted re-entry Vehicles.)
The swapping of secrets, information and technology in the years 1968 to 1986, the early part of which Bull worked with Israel, resulted in the propaganda that Israel was the defender of democracy in the Middle East region. The promotion of Israel as a “democratic ally was so successful that even in little Barbados where the Israelis visited the HARP Project, the Prime Minister was fond of exclaiming his sympathy with the Zionist cause by professing that he was Jewish.
The danger to scientist like Bull, Vannunu, Sakarov orOppenheimer, however and not the masquerading political leader, is that their work in and knowledge of weapons technology involved them in the web of international espionage. They knew too much. It is dangerous for such men.
Bull was the only person besides Sir Winston Churchill to be made a citizen of the USA by an act of Congress so that he could work in their laboratories and be privy to the designs of its intelligence and scientific community. Bull, the anti-communist, was broken by the disloyalty of the White House who had left him out in the cold. The defenders of the West against Soviet and Cuban expansion in the horn of Africa had done an about face and the communist bogie evaporated before his eyes. US/Soviet affairs were taking a new direction and Bull was expendable to Kissinger now that Israel had got what they wanted. Bull was shattered. They had used him, involved him in a dirty arms complex of their creation only in the end to destroy his dream and reputation and bankrupt his company. Bull had been held up to the world for ridicule in the name of democracy and human rights. The irony is that in their name, the CIA had asked Bull to help South Africa against Soviet and Cuban incursion in the region. His disillusionment was the result of a deep understanding than most people of what the Carter ‘human rights’ foreign policy meant for the future of democracy in America. In any case the story of the exposure of Bull’s South Africa dealings needs to be extracted from a dross of propaganda and disinformation.
When Bull came out of prison he wanted nothing to do with the United States of America administration; he saw them for what they were, traitorous. He vowed never to set foot US soil again and never to deal with them again. His company, SRC, was almost bankrupt. He moved to Europe and set up SRC Brussels. A ballistic wizard cannot be kept down; before long companies in Austria, Belgium, Britain and South Africa purchased the licence for his base-bleed, smoothbore technology and he made millions again. He started business with Iraq in 1981 and just after that Israel bombed the Iraqi nuclear facility. He cooled down; next the Chinese invited him to China. He went, developed a variety of assets in the Chinese war machine and he improved vastly their artillery. Bull made his millions but his dream was again laid to rest. He tried to sell the S1000 dream gun to the Israelis in 1983 but they were not interested and refused it; they said that it was out dated and not workable and they no longer wanted his technology. The British did not think that the gun would work either and the missile rocket complex in the US continued to discourage the development of smooth-bore technology preferring to sell their expensive technology to client states. Bull was back in Iraq for the duration of the 80s. He was on his own having abandoned every one. He began to feel restless and tired of this continuous slave labour routine. He knew it all and understood that nothing in this world makes sense. He decided to build his gun - a gun to put missiles on the moon. The cost of building such a gun would be in the $10 to $20 millions and it is foreseeable that he would have problems placing it anywhere in the world. He needed a country to finance and fulfil the facilities to build it. The only taker was Iraq. In 1988 Iraq asked him to design his supergun and he took the opportunity.
The project was going very fast and successful; his supergun was prominently featured in a Baghdad arms fair and two weeks later Iraq announced the test firing of the prototype, the Baby Babylon gun. They said that it was a test programmed for putting satellites in orbit, however, with a firing position of forty-five degreesand without the tracking and guiding system necessary for observing the exact telemetry of the shell it was clear that the gun was an artillery piece. The range was reputedly in excess of 1000 kilometres making it the longest firing gun in the world. It was the final milestone in Bull’s career.
In the movie Doomsday Gun an Israeli colonel in the Mossad threatens Bull and tells him that he cannot make a gun for Saddam to shoot missiles into Israel. Bull tells him that that is Saddam and his (Israel’s) problem. Also the CIA man who tracks him tells him that Saddam is a murderer and Bull asked him: “which country is not. It is all politics.” He says. “Today they sell the Iranians; tomorrow they sell the Iraqis; today they hate the Iranians tomorrow the Iraqis. Their enemy becomes their friend. It is all politics, big business and power what they made for themselves was their own concern.” And no matter the threat from Israel on his life Bull said that he was going to build his gun.
The movie does not clearly indicate or show clearly that Bull knew and understood that the NSC, the CIA, the MI5 had no objections to his dealing with Iraq. As it turned out the US government through its Ministry of Agriculture were financing his project as the films reveals through accounts on Iraqi banks in Atlanta Georgia.
Frank Langella played a good Bull. Bull was shorter, balder and wore his hair longer from a side part in his sideburn and pulled the hair over to hide the baldness, which was a particular problem in the wind. He was more informal with his Canadian accent than Langella and Bull was more of a clown and practical joker, who ate onion sandwiches and played absolutely low-key.
“There is nothing sinister about the movie, the mob - the CIA, the Mossad, the NSA - everyone cooperated; they blabbered insulted, intellectualised and cooperated and spoke to each best interest. The movie moves along at a leisurely pace and except for the dialogue one picture of Bull is of him sitting on top of the world, careless like lotus-eaters of Tennyson poem of mankind. Timmerman tries to capture the glee that Bull must have felt on December 05th 1989 at an Arab Space Research Centre when he watched the 2,000 mile range Al-Ahid missile disappear into the upper atmosphere to the shouts of “Allah Akbar” - God is Great - in its first successful launch. There are few who have the sense of power and Timmerman argues that its misuse is the greatest of evils. There is a sense of intelligibility that puts Bull and men like Brazilian Brigadier Hugo de Olivier Pina, who at sixty year of age was at the head of the Iraq Strategic missile programme. Timmerman is at a lost to understand how Pina can say on Brazilian television “my conscience is at peace.” This lack of understanding is, a conspiracy of silence about who killed Gerald Bull. The only escape from material life where the devil is king is death; all must die in order for life to begin again. Death then is the sign of creativity.”
copyright 2007 Caribbean opc consultants