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Was There an AIDS Contract? [Morrissey]

Was There an AIDS Contract?

I heard about Jakob Segal's theory that the AIDS virus originated in a
US government biological warfare research laboratory in early 1989.
After some preliminary research, I was amazed to find that this shocking
theory had received no attention whatsoever in the mainstream American
press, and almost none in Europe.

The questions this theory raised were a matter of pure science, or so it
seemed to me. There were only three possibilities: 1) Segal was wrong;
2) he was right; 3) it could not be determined either way. I resolved to
find out which of these was true.

1. Informing the press

My first thought was to notify the press. Perhaps, by some fluke, they
had not heard of Segal, just as I hadn't, though he had been publishing
his conclusions since 1986. Surely American journalists would be as
anxious as I was to find out and expose the truth.If Segal was wrong, it
would be one's patriotic duty to say so.If he was right, or even might
be right, the same principle would hold. In the land of the free and the
home of the brave, one does not shirk from the truth. Remember
Watergate! So I wrote the following article and sent it off in September
1989 to a couple of dozen US journals and newspapers:


Is AIDS Man-Made?

The theory that AIDS originated in the laboratory has been circulating
in Europe, particularly in West Germany, since late 1986.

The theory hinges on the claim that the AIDS virus (HIV) is virtually
identical to two other viruses: Visna, which causes a fatal disease in
sheep but does not infect humans, and HTLV-I (Human T-Cell Leukemia
Virus), which infects humans but is seldom fatal.

Prof. Jakob Segal, the author of the theory, says that structural
analysis using genome mapping proves that HIV is more similar to Visna
than to any other retrovirus. The portion (about three percent) of the
HIV genome which does not correspond structurally to Visna corresponds
exactly to part of the HTLV-I genome.

This similarity, says Segal, cannot be explained by a natural process of
evolution and mutation. It can only have resulted from an artificial
combination of the two viruses.

He notes that the symptoms of AIDS are consistent with the complementary
effects of two different viruses. AIDS patients who do not die of the
consequences of immune deficiency show the same damage to the brain,
lungs, intestines, and kidneys that occurs in sheep affected with Visna.
Combining Visna with HTLV-I would allow the virus to enter not only the
macrophages of the inner organs but also the T4 lymphocytes and thus
cause immune deficiency, which is exactly what AIDS does.

As further evidence that HIV is a construct of Visna and HTLV- I, Segal
cites studies which show that the reverse transcription process in HIV
has two discrete points of peak activity which correspond, respectively,
to those of Visna and HTLV-I.

AIDS is thus, according to Segal, essentially a variety of Visna. This
has important implications for research, since a cure or vaccine might
be found sooner by studying Visna in sheep than by concentrating, as at
present, on monkeys.

The theory of the African origin of AIDS, that it developed in African
monkeys and was transferred to man, has been abandoned by most
researchers. All of the known varieties of SIV (Simian Immunodeficiency
Virus) are structurally so dissimilar to HIV (much less similar than HIV
and Visna) that a common origin is out of the question. Furthermore,
even if such a development by natural mutation were possible, it would
not explain the sudden outbreak of AIDS in the early 1980s, since
monkeys and men have been living together in Africa since the beginning
of human history.

The "Africa Legend," as it is called in a 1988 West German
(Westdeutscher Rundfunk) television documentary, is further debunked by
the epidemiological history of AIDS. There is no solid evidence of AIDS
in Africa before 1983. The earliest documented cases of AIDS date from
1979 in New York.

In addition to the WDR documentary and occasional mention in magazines
like Stern and Spiegel, Segal's work has been published in West Germany
(AIDS-Erreger aus dem Gen-Labor? [AIDS-Virus from the Gene Laboratory?],
Kuno Kruse, ed., Berlin: Simon & Leutner, 1987) and India (with Lilli
Segal, The Origin of AIDS, Trichur, India: Kerala Sastra Sahitya
Parishad, 1989). He has also been conducting lecture tours in West

Scientific journals, Segal says, have refused to publish or discuss his
theory. This is difficult to understand. If he is wrong, he should
certainly be refuted. The cornerstone of the theory is that HIV is a
combination of Visna and HTLV-I. Segal claims that any trained
laboratory technician could produce AIDS from these components, today,
in less than two weeks. If this is true, it should be demonstrable by

The next question is, if it is possible to produce HIV from Visna and
HTLV-I now, was it also possible in 1977, when Segal claims the AIDS
virus was created? He says it was, by use of the less precise "shotgun"
method of gene manipulation available then, though it would have taken
longer--about six months. If this is true, it should also be

The final question would be: Was it produced in a laboratory? Segal
believes he has shown that it was, but he goes further than that. He
also believes he knows who produced it and why. Segal quotes from a
document presented by a Pentagon official named Donald MacArthur on June
9, 1969, to a Congressional committee, in which $10 million is requested
to develop, over the next 5 to 10 years, a new, contagious micro-
organism which would destroy the human immune system.

Whether such research is categorized as "offensive" or "defensive"is
immaterial: in order to defend oneself against apossible new virus, so
the reasoning goes, one must first develop the virus.

Since the Visna virus was already well known, Segal continues, the
problem was to find a human retrovirus that would enable it to infect
humans. Scrutiny of the technical literature, Segal says, reveals that
Dr. Robert Gallo isolated such a virus, HTLV-I, by 1975, though it was
not given this name until later.

1975 was also the year the virus section of Fort Detrick (the US Army's
center for biological warfare research in Frederick, Maryland) was
renamed the Frederick Cancer Research Facilities and placed under the
supervision of the National Cancer Institute, Gallo's employer.

It was there, in the P4 (high-security) laboratory at Fort Detrick,
according to Segal, where the AIDS virus was actually created, between
the fall of 1977 and spring of 1978. Six months is precisely the time it
would have taken, using the techniques available then, to create the
AIDS virus from Visna and HTLV-I.

Segal claims that the new virus was then tested on convicts who
volunteered for the experiment in return for their release from prison.
Failing to show any early symptoms of disease, the prisoners were
released after six months. Some were homosexual, and went to New York,
where the disease was first attested in 1979.

The researchers had not counted on creating a disease with such a long
incubation period. (One year is relatively short for AIDS, but would not
be unusual if the infection was induced by high- dosage injections.) If
the researchers had kept their human guinea pigs under observation for a
longer time, they would have detected the disease and been able to
contain it.

In other words, Segal claims that AIDS is the result of a germ warfare
research experiment gone awry.

In an interview on April 18, 1987, published in the Dutch newspaper De
Volkskrant, Dr. Gallo describes Segal's theory as KGB propaganda.

Segal, who is Russian (Lithuanian Jewish) but has been a professor of
biology (now emeritus) at Humboldt University in East Berlin since 1953,
is a bit old (78) to be starting a career as a propagandist. Soviet and
East German officials, for their part, have maintained a discreet
silence on the matter, for reasons of realpolitik, Segal believes.

The question of whether AIDS is man-made or not cannot be answered by
dismissing it as propaganda.

Segal believes he has answered the question. We do not have to believe
him, but we do have to believe that the following questions are

1) Can HIV be produced by combining Visna and HTLV-I in the laboratory
2) Can it be produced using the techniques available in 1977?
3) What did go on at Ft. Detrick between 1969 and 1978? What were the
results of the $10 million Pentagon research project announced on June
9, 1969?


I didn't get a single reply--not even a form-letter rejection. Later I
rewrote the article, concentrating on the MacArthur testimony and the
fact that neither it nor Segal had ever been discussed in the press.
This much was certain. The MacArthur testimony was authentic, and part
of the public record. I had seen and photocopied it myself in the
Library of Congress. On June 9, 1969, Dr. D. M. MacArthur, then Deputy
Director of Research and Technology for the Dept. of Defense, told the
House Subcommittee on Appropriations:

"Molecular biology is a field that is advancing very rapidly,
and eminent biologists believe that within a period of 5 to 10
years it would be possible to produce a synthetic biological
agent, an agent that does not naturally exist and for which no
natural immunity could have been acquired...a new infective
microorganism which could differ in certain important aspects
from any known disease-causing organisms. Most important of
these is that it might be refractory [resistant] to the
immunological and therapeutic processes upon which we depend to
maintain our relative freedom from infectious disease...A
research program to explore the feasibility of this could be
completed in approximately 5 years at a total cost of $10

This was scandal enough. It does not mean that Segal is right, but it
does mean the US government wanted, and considered it feasible, to
create an AIDS-like virus as early as 1969.

It would not be surprising if the government wanted to keep this quiet,
but what about the press? I could find only two references to
MacArthur's testimony, in a book by Robert Harris and Jeremy Paxman (_A
Higher Form of Killing: The Secret Story of Chemical & Biological
Warfare_, NY: Hill & Wang, 1982), and in a couple of articles by Robert
Lederer and Nathaniel S. Lehrman in _Covert Action Information Bulletin_
(28, summer 1987, and 29, winter 1988).

Segal had been similarly ignored. Through the Amerika Haus library in
Frankfurt I ran a DIALOGUE search of the indexes of major US newspapers,
magazines and journals for the name Jakob Segal, and it came up
negative. At least he had been mentioned a couple of times in _Der
Spiegel_. In America he was apparently completely unknown.

I found this intolerable.I did not agree with Segal; I only wanted to
see his arguments discussed by people competent to make a judgement.
Then I and the rest of the reading public could decide which arguments
were more convincing. I thought that was the way free speech worked.
Here was a guy saying the US government created AIDS, and claiming to
have proved itscientifically, and he was being ignored.

By contrast, I had read about the storm of controversy that Peter
Duesberg's theory had caused. He suggested in 1987 that AIDS is not
caused by a virus at all--certainly at least as speculative a thesis as
Segal's. But there is a significant difference. If Duesberg is right
and HIV does not cause the disease, the question of whether the virus
originated in the laboratory is irrelevant. In that sense, it is the
antithesis of Segal's theory. Was that why it received so much
attention, while Segal was completely ignored?

I also wanted to call attention to Segal's new book (_AIDS: Die Spur
fuehrt ins Pentagon_, Essen: Neuer Weg, 1990), which had not (and still
has not) appeared in English.

I sent the revised version of my article out to a number of journals,
but the only reply I received was from a "radical" leftist editor, who

"We have real problems with the Segal material....There was a logical
fallacy in Lehrman's reliance [on Segal's theory], too, because he used
Segal's theories to bolster his notion that the release of AIDS was
deliberate, even though Segal believes that it was accidentally
released....The issue is further complicated by the recent retraction of
the current Soviet government of the allegations of CBW connections they
had made, undoubtedly another of Bush's little quid pro quos. A further
difficulty is that the most credible critic in this country of the
standard medical establishment line is Dr. Peter Duesberg, who argues
(and Lehrman agrees) that AIDS is caused toxically, not simply virally.
The synthesis of all this might be that if AIDS is toxically triggered,
even if it requires some viral precondition, the trigger could be caused
either environmentally or deliberately or both.

"In any event, although we believe that the issue of the cause of AIDS
is an incredibly significant one (and certainly do not think you or any
other the other critics of the Establishment) are lone nuts, we don't
think that the issue is anything near so clear-cut that the failure to
give significant coverage to Segal is "the biggest coverup since JFK.

"We would be interested in a general piece on the failure of the media
(U.S. and Western Europe) to cover alternative theories in general,
which would not have to accept any particular theory, but would show how
conferences which take the establishment line get considerable coverage
whereas those which do not are barely, if at all, covered. Ditto for
the personalities involved.

"Anyway, these are some of the reasons why we do not feel like running
with the ball right now."
I replied:
"I wanted to focus on the 1969 MacArthur testimony--a scandal in
itself--and what Segal makes of that. You probably have Segal's English
monograph of 1986, which he wrote before he knew about the MacArthur
testimony. (He got it from Rifkin). Since then he has been much more
specific about tracing what he considers to be the exact course of
development of the virus, i.e. Gallo's execution of that 1969 contract.

"This--Gallo's role--may not be provable, but the heart of Segal's
thesis, namely that VISNA + HTLV-I = HIV-I, is testable, as I pointed
out. There is no scientific explanation for why it has not been tested,
which leaves the political one. The theory is very clear and precise.
If Segal is wrong, he could easily be proved wrong.

"This is not the case with Duesberg or any of the other theories. The
effect of the Duesberg theory, as I pointed out in the article, is to
remove the entire question of the origin of the virus from the debate,
which then becomes dissipated in the probably unresolvable question of
environmental triggers, susceptibility, etc.

"The question we should ask is this: Why has Duesberg's theory, which
is not testable, been given so much attention, while Segal's theory,
which is testable, has been completely ignored? I did a national (US)
magazine and newspaper database search (DIALOGUE), and if it is
accurate, the name Jakob Segal has never appeared in a major US
newspaper or any scientific journal.

"If Duesberg is the most credible critic in the US of the medical
establishment, as you say, he serves (willy nilly) the coverup
admirably, for the reason I have described. As we well know, mind
control involves control of the offense as well as the defense (Gallo,
Essex). The parallel here with the JFK case is the Blakey Mafia theory.
That, as Garrison says, is a red herring. It doesn't matter who pulled
the triggers, and it doesn't matter what 'triggers' AIDS, if we are
trying to find out the whole truth. Blakey will have us tracking down
Mafiosi for the next hundred years, and Duesberg will have us searching
for non-viral AIDS 'triggers' for another hundred.

"It's hard to say what the biggest coverup up will turn out to be (if
anyone ever finds out). AIDS can never be as 'clear-cut' as JFK, in
terms of evidence ignored, suppressed, and distorted, because there are
not enough microbiologists around who are capable or willing to do the
private research. In terms of lives lost and money spent, though, AIDS
will be near the top. In another sense, too, this is as big as JFK,
because if Segal is right it means that 'science' is just as corrupt and
manipulable as the press and the government. This will come as a great
shock to many who believe that questions of 'pure science' are immune to
political manipulation.

"You are probably right about a deal with the Russians. In fact, Segal
says they talked about AIDS at Reykjavik. Maybe that's what Reagan was
really upset about, rather than SDI. I wouldn't be surprised if he heard
the truth about AIDS at that conference for the first time. In any case,
Segal was told subsequently by East German and Soviet authorities that
he could continue to publish and speak on the subject (mainly in West
Germany--the East Germans gave him no opportunities), as long as he did
not explicitly associate himself with the East German or Soviet
governments. Now there is the question. They could have stopped him
whenever they wanted to, but they didn't. Do you think they would have
allowed him to continue to publish and give lectures in the West if they
thought he was wrong? If he was a KGB agent, as some people have said,
would they have been stupid enough to let him make such monstrous
allegations if there was nothing to them, and if they could easily be
proved false?

"I will think about your suggestion for a more general approach, but are
you sure that another consideration of alternative theories would be
productive? CAIB did a good job on that. To make the analogy with JFK
again, what good is rehash of the 'alternative' assassination theories?
It just perpetuates the confusion and plays right into the hands of
those who want to avoid, most of all, clear questions and clear answers.
I tried to word my article so as not to imply acceptance of Segal's
theory. I do not accept it. I think it should be discussed. My point
was that Segal has posed a clear, testable hypothesis which, despite the
importance of its implications, has been completely ignored. That point
would be considerably diluted if Segal's theory were treated as just
another crazy (and untestable) theory, like Duesberg's.

There was no response. I was getting nowhere.

2. Talking to the experts

My next tack was to try to pursue the science of the matter. This was
difficult, since my last foray into the natural sciences was in 1968,
when I took the general biology course at college which was also
required for humanities majors. Still, as a linguist I felt I was a
scientist of a sort, and I felt that with a reasonable effort I should
at least be able to inform myself enough to answer my basic question:
Was Segal right, wrong, or is it impossible to know?

In the summer of 1989 I had seen a reference in Time magazine to someone
I had known as a teenager who had become a well-known cancer and AIDS
researcher--a virologist and a viral surgeon. If anybody could answer my
questions it would be Tony. (The name is fictitious; I see no reason to
personalize the issue.) I found his address in Who's Who and wrote to
him, enclosing a copy of my unpublished article and a longer article
written by Segal that had been published by a left-wing (Marxist) West
German newspaper. An exchange of letters followed, which I reproduce

Pass this on if you like. RSVP ,
because I don't read all the newsgroups it may appear on.

Sept. 14, 1989

Dear Tony,
...My main reason for writing is to ask what you think of the enclosed. My article has not been published. Segal's article is from the Rote Fahne, a Marxist weekly, which I know doesn't exactly enhance its credibility, but nobody else will publish him. That shouldn't affect the science of the matter. I hope your German is up to it. I think you'll find Segal's style clear and non-convoluted, which is more than I can say for most German academicians--or American ones, for that matter.
Let me be honest. I'm quite aware that you might be the last person who might tell me anything, even if you could, about this,but the thing really bothers me, and a lot of other people too, at least in this country. If Segal is wrong, he sure as hell ought to be proved wrong. Would be great to hear from you, in any case.
Mike Morrissey
September 21, 1989
Dear Mike,
Your question is one that has come up many times before. The answer is simple. The virus is not man-made. Segal gives us too much credit since this is the most complex virus we have seen. We can't even make a simple one. If it were as he says we would also have the technology to eliminate it and we do not, as yet.
We don't know where it actually comes from but the best guess is from a non-human primate from Africa. This is because very similar viruses cause AIDS-like diseases in these animals. However, the "missing link" has not been found, but it may turn up at any time as more studies are done.
You may also have heard that AIDS is not caused by the virus HIV. More nonsense. The evidence that it does is overwhelming and this will become clearer to the public as specific drugs and vaccines are developed. To get a better view of all of this let me refer you to the October 1988 issue of Scientific American.
Yours sincerely,
Antonio L. DiAngelo
Oct. 6, 1989
Dear Tony, I'm afraid I don't understand your comments on AIDS. Of course we cannot make a horse or a donkey, but if we put them together we can "make" a mule. Segal says the horse and the donkey were Visna and HTLV- 1. Nor do I see why, if this is what happened, the virus should be any more defeatable than any other.
I don't know if you have actually read Segal's work, but it is very convincing and simply cannot be dismissed out of hand. He has countered every even halfway "scientific" argument--it would appear--with success. What the public cannot understand or accept is why, if he is wrong, he cannot be refuted with scientific arguments, and why his arguments are simply ignored. If he is right, of course, everything is all too clear.
Segal deals at length with Essex's Africa hypothesis, and points out that even he (Essex) has retracted it, although it continues to be propagated in the media. Nor can I understand why researchers seem to be ignoring the possibility that AIDS is a Visna variety and might be more amenable to prevention or cure if treated as such. That means that they should be working with sheep, not monkeys.
Oct. 17, 1989
Dear Mike,
This is hard to do by letter, but here goes. Visna + HTLV-1 could never be crossed to give HIV-1. HIV-1 has things in it that neither of the others have.
HIV-1 is a member of the same family as Visna but more complex. Indeed, much of what is known about Visna is used to further our knowledge of HIV-1.
The Africa hypothesis is not that of Essex. What he has retracted is something that relates to HIV-2, an HIV of West African origin. Max detected the presence of this virus in man but when he isolated it, a contamination occurred in his lab with SIV-1 (a simian AIDS virus). This was not found out until later. The real HIV-2 exists and is a second human virus.
You need to read much more than Segal and I suppose I should read more abut him. I finally stopped some time ago when I concluded he was on the wrong track. I can imagine how difficult it is for you, though, with all of this controversy about. It is a very strange time in science.
Best regards,
Antonio L. DiAngelo
Oct. 29, 1989 Dear Tony,
I know I'm in way over my head, but all I can do, like everyone else, is try to evaluate somehow or other the opinions of experts, which is very difficult when they contradict each other.
I don't know if you are referring to the tat genes when you say HIV-1 has things that Visna and HTLV-1 do not, but if so Segal responds to this objection in his book as follows:
"As early as June 1986 Gonda et al. (Proceedings of the Nat. Academy of Sciences 83, 4007-4011) published a comparative study of the HIV and Visna virus genomes ... The result was that both genomes were highly similar, and that all structural elements were shared by both of them, except for a small segment of 300 nucleotide pairs with an exceptionally high genetic instability, nearly identical to a section of the HTLV-1 genome. That means that all the new structural elements first described in the HIV genome, such as the tat-genes complex, also exist in the Visna virus genome."
Segal has a whole chapter based largely on this study by Gonda and an earlier one published in Science 227, 173-177 (1985).The 60% homology Gonda found between Visna and HIV-1 in 1986, with the latter varying by mutation at abut 10% every 2 years (Hahn et al., Science 232, 1548-1553, 1986), would point to near identity around early 1978, when Segal claims that a section of a genome originating from HTLV-1 was added to Visna by gene surgery to produce HIV-1.
In another chapter, Segal suggests that HIV-2 is a manipulated SIV virus, made pathogenic possibly by the surgical insertion of an orf-A gene.
Other microbiologists I have talked to do not dispute Segal's thesis that AIDS is a laboratory product, though there is disagreement as to exactly how it might have happened and from precisely what components. I have also been referred to an article by Julie Overbaugh et al. in Nature 332, 731-734 (1988), which apparently demonstrates that it is possible to produce a new virus in the laboratory which is more pathogenic than its components. This means that Segal's scenario is at least not to be ruled out by any fundamental law of nature.
Certainly Dr. MacArthur did not believe this in 1969, when he made the statement to Congress that Segal quotes in the article I sent you. Jeremy Rifkin's petition of Feb. 10, 1988 (appended to Segal's book) to disclose what became of this project yielded nothing, of course. It's a secret! Perhaps the scientists themselves are our best hope. Segal feels that Gonda may have tried indirectly to point to the truth by calling attention to the similarity between Visna and HIV--if so, more power to him.
The worst thing about Segal's theory is not that it may be correct, bad as that would be, but that it is being, as the Germans say, "tot geschwiegen." Of that there can be no doubt, and the implications are dismal. Sincerely,
Nov. 20, 1989
Dear Mike,
I can sympathize with your confusion and let me state that it is Segal that is over his head. He doesn't understand the words homology or mutation rates. He creates new viruses by splicing in genes (which is possible) without understanding the outcome. It is all nonsense.
Surely we can switch genes between HIV and HTLV-1 and make them work. It could also be done between Visna and HTLV-1, in theory. But, I repeat, Visna plus HTLV-1 in any arrangement does not make HIV-1 now or in 1970. 60% homology is a very distant relationship. If Segal is so convinced, why doesn't he make the construct and see what kind of virus it makes. Would it infect human cells? Would it kill T cells (Visna does not)?
Moreover, HTLV-1 was discovered as a virus in 1978 but its genes were not defined until the 1980s, certainly the ones Segal talks about. For that matter, the Visna genes were also not well established until the 80s and perhaps even later than HTLV-1. I envision it to be almost totally impossible that the chemical equation he speaks about could have taken place even in 1978. Add to that the likelihood that HIV-1 was present in man before then, probably as far back as 1959 and you now reach absurdity. It just does not add up.
Where he is correct is that HIV-2 and SIV are very similar, one perhaps deriving from the other. You don't need a surgical insertion to visualize that.
Antonio L. DiAngelo
He had finally said it: Nonsense! So it is possible to "make" new viruses. That much, at least, was clear. Segal doesn't understand homology and mutation rates? What doesn't he understand, exactly? He doesn't understand "the outcome"? He says in this case the outcome was AIDS. Segal should do an experiment and find out? Why should an experiment be necessary, if Tony is so sure that Segal is wrong?
Is he sure? First he says "Visna plus HTLV-1 in any arrangement does not make HIV-1 now or in 1970." Then he says he "envisions it to be almost totally impossible." Not so sure, after all.
Tony must know that Segal doesn't say that Visna kills T-cells. Sheep with Visna die because the macrophages, the large whiteblood cells, become infected in the earliest stage, not the T-4 cells. The infected macrophages then eventually destroy the thymus gland, which prevents the further development of T-4 cells and destroys the immune system. This is why HIV-infected chimpanzees do not develop AIDS. The T-4 cells in the monkeys are infected, but the macrophages remain healthy. In humans, the macrophages are infected, as in sheep. If Segal is right, then, the key to therapy is not in preventing the infection of the T-4 cells but in preventing the infected macrophages from destroying the thymus.
Not a word about the tat-genes. Why? It's an important point. Does HIV- 1 have things that neither Visna nor HTLV-1 have or not? Segal says no, Tony says yes, then drops the point. Not a word about the MacArthur testimony, either.
I saw no point in continuing. Tony wasn't going to say more than he had, and I was not impressed. In fact, it was hard to believe he was being honest. He seemed to be dodging every point. Every time I threw him the ball, he just stepped out of the way and threw another ball back. What was a "simian AIDS virus"? Monkeys don't get AIDS. Tony never responded to my point about "making" the AIDS virus. Had this been a misunderstanding, a question of semantics?
I couldn't help remembering this a year and a half later, in March 1991, when I saw an interview on WorldNet, the USIA's satellite television network, with a chap named Todd Lowenthal, who looked a little like a llama and had an equally exotic job title, something like "Chief for Countering Soviet Disinformation." He used the Segal theory to explain what "disinformation" is. The theory was obviously false, said Lowenthal, because everybody knows that the AIDS virus is "far too complex to have been made by a scientist."
That was exactly what Tony had said. He had also said that if "we" had made it, we would be able to destroy it. But why should this be so?
Segal had dealt with all of the other points Tony brought up, as Tony presumably knew. What I wanted was a rebuttal to Segal, not simply a repetition of the claims that Segal had (seemingly) refuted, including the claim that there is evidence of AIDS before 1979. Segal has consistently argued that this evidence is inconclusive.
Almost a year later after Tony's last letter, Segal published a short article in the Rote Fahne (Aug. 25, 1990) responding to the latest claim of evidence for AIDS before 1979. I sent a copy of the article to The Lancet, Science, Nature, and Scientific American, along with a cover letter asking for a response. Not one responded. I also decided to try Tony once more:
Sept. 3, 1990
Dear Tony,
Enclosed is an article by Segal published here re. the Corbitt et al. study published in The Lancet (336, 51f., 1990), which I guess you know is a respected English medical journal. Corbitt et al.claim to show that a British sailor died indisputably of AIDS in 1959. Segal challenges this claim, as he has all the purported evidence of AIDS before 1979, saying they proved only that the sailor was infected with a retrovirus, not necessarily one that causes AIDS, it being now known that many people, perhaps half the population, are carriers of non- pathogenic retroviruses which have nothing to do with AIDS. What do you think?
Segal was in Kassel for a talk in February, and I asked him the same question you ask in your letter of last November: If Visna + HTLV-1 = HIV-1, why doesn't he do an experiment and prove it? He said he would like to but it's not that simple. You need a P-4 laboratory and the virus specimens, and no one is about to make those available to him.
An equally good question is, if he is wrong, why doesn't someone with the requisite facilities (e.g. the U.S. government) do the experiment and prove it? He could be invited as an observer to make sure he was convinced, then forced to retract his allegations.
Just to say it's nonsense, even if nearly everyone who should know something about the matter says it, is not enough. Remember the Warren Commission? Besides, even crazier theories, e.g. the Duesberg idea that HIV does not cause AIDS at all, get plenty of exposure and debate. There is absolutely no reason why Segal has not been discussed with equal fervor in the scientific community-- unless that reason is political. This is the sad thing, because it shows that science stops where politics begins.
I guess I have been naive, but I have always wanted to believe that science had a special status and was somehow immune (to use a fateful word) to political pressures. Yes, that really was naive, I'm afraid. No one is more subject to pressure and manipulation than high tech scientists, who can work only in dependence on complicated (and all- powerful) institutional and financial structures.
In short, I have no doubt that--if Segal is right--enough pressure could be brought to bear, all over the world, to keep the lid on. There are plenty of examples of that.
I'm quite aware that having worked at the Frederick Cancer Research Facilities under Gallo, formerly the virus section at Ft. Detrick, you probably know a lot more about these things than you could admit. That too is very sad. I wish you could find some way to tell me what you really know.
All the best,
Sept. 11, 1990
Dear Mike,
I have never worked under Bob Gallo nor in Gallo's laboratory atthe Frederick Cancer Research Facilities. There is also nothing secret or occult. Strike all of that from your mind.
Your apparent obsession with Segal is difficult to comprehend. There are many more important things to do than to rebut a theory that makes no scientific sense. Our focus is on a vaccine for AIDS and other measures that will help eradicate the disease and relieve suffering. This requires all of our attention, energy and skills. Scientific truth lies in reproducible experiments, which automatically means that these must fall in the public domain.
With best wishes,
Antonio L. DiAngelo
Never worked directly under Gallo? He had worked as a consultant to Frederick--that was in Who's Who. Not a word about Segal's article in The Lancet. Nothing secret or occult? Science always in the public domain? Who did he think he was kidding?
I felt there was nothing more I could say to Antonio L. DiAngelo. I wished that just once he had signed his name "Tony."
Tony wasn't the only scientist I talked to. One German researcher said sure, it was possible to mix viruses together. Yes, he had heard of Segal, but he didn't know a lot about it. In fact, he said, only scientists doing AIDS research would be able to answer my questions. But he didn't think Visna + HTLV-1 would make HIV- 1. Why not? He couldn't explain.
Another scientist, a woman who is also an environmental activist, said she thought it was possible that the AIDS virus was produced by mistake in a laboratory, most likely in experiments with monkeys, but that Segal's particular theory was wrong. Why? She couldn't explain. She was no longer pursuing the origin of AIDS question. She had butted her head against stone walls for a while and finally just gave up. I was beginning to see what she meant.
I talked with one of the representatives of the Greens in the European Parliament in Strasbourg. He wasn't interested. There were more important concerns than the origins of AIDS, he said. People were more concerned about the dangers of applying genetic engineering to agriculture, for example. Really? How could they expect to find out the truth about agricultural products if we can't find out the truth about AIDS? How did he know what people were concerned about? Here was one person who was concerned--me. What did he know but what he read in the press, just like the rest of us? Segal did not appear in the press (except occasionally in the Rote Fahne), so as far as this supposedly progressive politician was concerned, the origin of AIDS was not a public issue. I thought he might be interested in making it a public issue, but I was wrong.
Segal was scheduled to give a talk at the university in Kassel in September 1990. By then I knew his arguments, and I also knew that the problem for me--as well as for him--was to find someonewilling and qualified to debate with him. I called the director of a German AIDS research institute, introduced myself and asked him if he would be willing to answer some questions. He was willing, and friendly enough, but that was all. Our telephone conversation went as follows (again, the name is fictitious):
Hoffmann: "Ok, shoot."
MM: "Have you heard of a man called Jacob Segal, from Humboldt University in Berlin?"
Hoffmann: "Yes, I've heard of him."
MM: "Well, I'm not a biologist, but the reason I'm calling is that he's coming here to Kassel the day after tomorrow to give a lecture. You probably know that his work is very controversial..."
Hoffmann (chuckling): "That's putting it mildly!" MM: "From what I've heard, he can't even get people to debate with him. That's why I'm calling. He's giving a speech here at the university next week, and I don't know anyone in Kassel involved in AIDS research, but a friend of mine told me you are one of the most competent men in the field, and I wanted to know if you or anybody at your institute could come to Kassel as a kind of counterpoint. Not necessarily to debate with him, but I think it would be good if a different point of view could be presented too."
Hoffmann: "I'll tell you, unless Segal has something new, it would be a waste of time. I remember a lecture he gave in Aachen. He claimed the AIDS virus was created in American biological warfare laboratories and set loose in order to get rid of homosexuals and control the overpopulation problem in Africa."
This was wrong, but I didn't correct him. Segal says the virus escaped accidentally, with prisoners who had been inoculated with it in an experiment, in return for their freedom. When no symptoms of disease showed up after six months, they were released prematurely, since no one knew the disease would have such a long incubation period. Some of the ex-prisoners joined the gay scene in New York, whence it spread. Segal has never implied that it was anything but an accident, an experiment gone awry.
But Hoffmann's inaccuracy was interesting. It showed how closely linked the two thoughts are, and how easily Theory A, that AIDS is laboratory product (which Segal endorses), leads to Theory B, that AIDS is biological warfare (which Segal does not endorse). If Theory A is correct, Theory B is at least conceivable.
Hoffmann: "Segal's first mistake was that he claimed it happened in 1976. That's completely impossible, from a bio-engineering point of view. Nobody could have spliced genes together with that result then, and I doubt that it's possible today."
He doubts that it's possible? He doesn't know? Has he tried it? If not, how can he be so sure?
Hoffmann: "But the most important proof that his theory is absolute nonsense is the fact that we have evidence of AIDS infections long before 1976."
1979, I corrected him silently. That was when the first AIDS case was documented in New York, which Segal still insists was in fact the first case, despite the so-called evidence (which Segal disputes) to the contrary.
Hoffmann: "That takes care of Mr. Segal. It's a completely idiotic hypothesis, and I hope that Segal, who has done some reasonable work in other areas, has found something else to spend his time on. Or how do you see it?"
MM: "I'm not in a position to judge, as a layman. That's just the point. I've read his book and I must say his arguments are plausible, but I have no way to evaluate them scientifically. I do know that he has counterarguments to what you've just said. I can't explain it in detail, but he says what other researchers have considered evidence of AIDS before 1979 is inconclusive, that there may be evidence of retroviruses, but not of AIDS in particular."
Hoffmann: "Nonsense. I saw cases myself in the sixties in Africa, even photographed them, and there are blood samples which have been preserved and documented. If Segal still wants to stick to the 1979 in New York thesis, he really ought to hang it up."
MM: "He puts a lot of faith in the gene-sequencing analysis or gene- mapping and Chandra's work showing the electro-focusing of the reverse transcription."
I had no idea what I was talking about, but I trusted that Hoffmann did.
MM: "Segal says this kind of analysis proves conclusively that the similarity of Visna and HTLV-1 with HIV-1 is so great that it could not have occurred otherwise, that is, naturally--that it must have resulted from gene-splicing. So there we are. He says the degree of similarity proves it beyond the shadow of a doubt, and other scientists say it proves nothing at all. What is the layman supposed to think?"
Hoffmann: "As far as I'm concerned, Segal is just being stubborn. The whole thing is very far-fetched. Of course you can talk forever about something, but in the scientific world you can't just go to a university somewhere and give a lecture and expect other people to jump to defend themselves or even respond. We have no time for that. Segal's theory is pass. The best you can say is that it was an idea once, a suspicion, but there isn't the slightest proof of it, never has been."
MM: "Still, it's a horrific accusation, and I don't say that just because I'm an American and it's my government that's being accused of being responsible for AIDS. I would think someone, not the least the American government, would want to prove him wrong. What he says sounds scientific enough to me, but of course I'm no judge. Aren't there any serious scientific rebuttals to Segal's theory?"
Hoffmann: "Serious scientists haven't dealt with it for the simple reason that it is ridiculous."
MM: "Yes, but it continues to circulate, and if it is nonsense it's not doing anybody any good. I'm not a superpatriot, in fact I'm pretty critical of my government, but I don't want to think of it as responsible for creating AIDS if it's not true. I hope it's not, but I just can't be as sure of that as you are. That's my problem. How can I convince myself that it's nonsense? I need to have a counterargument that makes at least equally good sense. Isn't there some way to prove that he's wrong--by experiment, for example? He says any trained laboratory technician could make HIV-1 out of Visna and HTLV-1 in less than two weeks. Why not try that and see?"
Hoffmann: "Such nonsense! Look, I have a young biochemist sitting here next to me. Let me repeat that for his benefit. [To his colleague] Segal claims any lab technician could produce HIV- 1 from Visna and something else in two weeks."
A loud guffaw could be heard in the background.
Hoffmann (chuckling): "He just fell off his chair! Absolutely ridiculous! You know, one thing really irritates me a bit. How can a German university invite someone like this to give a talk? Who's behind it? These are really stupid, completely outdated ideas."
MM: "I think someone in the public health office organized it."
Hoffmann: "Are you sure it wasn't one of the leftist student groups? You know who publishes his book, don't you--the MLPD, the Marxist- Leninist Partei Deutschlands. Maybe it was the Stasi [East German intelligence]. That's a joke, of course."
MM: "I don't know. But why should it matter? This is supposedly a question of science."
Hoffmann: "You should look into it, because I have good contacts with the Federal Ministry of Health, and I can tell you that we dismissed the Segal theory from the very beginning as totally absurd. The lecture in Aachen that I attended some years ago was organized by the Greens, whose environmental ideas aren't bad, but they're terribly left."
MM: "My problem is simply that I would like for Segal to be wrong, but I can't convince myself of that without counterarguments in some form or other, in a debate or a scientific journal, or whatever. As long as his ideas are not discussed, and as you say simply dismissed out of hand, I can't resolve it in my mind."
Hoffmann: "What do your American friends and colleagues think of all this?"
MM: "They don't even know about it. Segal's book hasn't been published in English." Hoffmann: "Well, that should tell you something. You have to remember that we--at least at my institute--are underfinanced, understaffed, and we have a lot more important things to spend our time on than Mr. Segal's silly theories. We think the best thing is to ignore him completely. You can lose months trying to refute whatever crackpot claims he might make. He has no proof at all, but the other guy, he has to have proof! That stuff about anybody being able to make HIV in the laboratory, for instance. Totally impossible."
Why months? I thought. Segal says it can be done easily, in two weeks, by anybody with access to the component viruses and research facilities. Hoffmann had such access, presumably. He could do the experiment, and if it was negative, it would be good publicity. I could picture the headline: "Hoffmann Proves Segal a Quack--U.S. Government Not Guilty." Wouldn't that be worth a few days' work?
MM: "There's also that Pentagon document from 1969. I know that's authentic, because I've seen it. That proves that the government did want to create an AIDS-like virus, and considered it feasible, as early as 1969."
Hoffmann (ignoring this point): "I suspect my American colleagues think the same way I do, that the best way to handle such nonsense is to ignore it. Let it play itself out, die a natural death, which it will because there's nothing to sustain it. Just wild hypotheses. That's why he goes to universities like Kassel, which doesn't have a medical school and might have a strong leftist contingent, so he thinks he can get away with it."
Handle it? This didn't sound very scientific. I didn't want him to handle it, I wanted him to refute it, if he could.
MM: "That's why I'd like to get someone like you or somebody from your institute to come here and debate with him."
Hoffmann: "No, I'm sorry, absolutely not. We really have better things to do. There's a saying: The more water you pour on the wheel, the more it turns. The best thing is just to let Segal run himself out. There are plenty of idiotic theories that can't be scientifically disproved. We can't spend our time refuting every ideologue that comes along. Maybe philosophers have time for that, but we don't. If I refute him it means I take him seriously, and I don't. I think he's a nut."
MM: "All right, Professor, I guess I'll just have to see how it goes. I mean, I don't have that much time either. Certainly not enough to try to become a microbiologist at this stage of the game. There must be a better way, but I don't know what it is."
Hoffmann: "Why bother with it then? Who's forcing you to go to this lecture?"
MM: "Well, nobody, of course. I'm just interested. Thank you very much for your time, Professor Hoffmann."
Hoffmann: "Not at all."
I was getting pretty discouraged. Another year went by, and I decided to make one more stab at the "science" question. I made up the following questionnaire and sent it to all the AIDS researchers whose addresses I could find: I am a layman who has been trying for years, without success, toget a straightforward answer to a straightforward question on a matter of science. Hence this survey, which I hope you will help me with, because whatever the results, it should show something.
1) Is it possible to produce HIV-1 or HIV-2 in the laboratory (by manipulating or combining other organisms or substances by gene surgery or other means)?
____ Yes.
____ No.

____ I don't know, because

____ no one has done the work to find out.

____ it is not scientifically possible to find out.

____ the information cannot be divulged for security

____ I have not looked into the question.

____ (other reasons--use reverse side if necessary):

If the answer to 1) is "Yes":

2) With what components?

3) Since what year has this been possible (using either "shotgun" --
trial -and-error--methods or more precise methods)?

In any case, bibliographical references and/or comments will be
appreciated (use reverse side if necessary):

The information below will be kept strictly confidential.



Professional position:

Would you like to receive the results of this survey?
Name and address of others who could respond to this survey: In April 1992 I received what I expect will be the last reply tomy questionnaire, unless I send it out again. It was from an American professor of pharmacology, whom I'll call Professor Smith. I had not sent the questionnaire to him, so someone had forwarded it. Here is my reply to him:
June 6, 1992
Dear Prof. Smith,
Thank you very much for responding to my questionnaire. Your reply is in fact the most important one I have received, and I've been walking around with it now in my briefcase ever since I got it, not quite sure what to do next. Perhaps you can help me.
Let me first tell the results so far (without mentioning names, since I promised not to). Of the couple of dozen people I sent the questionnaire to, 8 people have replied. 5 said "No" (not possible to produce HIV-1 or -2 in the laboratory).
2 (one was you) said "Yes." Another person said "Yes--in theory, but not practical."
The other unequivocal "Yes" came from someone who is apparently "only" a secondary school science teacher, but he is writing a book on the subject and enclosed an extensive bibliography. His answer to "With what components?" was:
"HIV-1: Visna, CAEV, BVV + minor component, either from another virus, or picking segments of original human DNA. HIV-2: SIV (SMM) + minor segments picked after selection from human cell culture (evolution in test tube)--the reverse may also be true."
His answer to "Since what year has this been possible?" was:
"HIV-1: trial-and-error, since ca. 1970. HIV-2: since the exploration of the SIVs, ca. 1985, by mistake probably earlier." The "theoretically Yes" answer was from an American researcher and professor, whose answer to "With what components?" was:
"One could provide equivalent genes from other retroviruses and then synthesize those unique to HIV."
His answer to "Since what year has this been possible?" was:
(underlining "possible"): "Mid-1980s."
The other 5 respondents--a couple of whom are "heavyweights" in the field (since even I have heard of them)--said "No" categorically, without further comments, except for one person, (professor, MD, public health scientist), who added to his "No":
"I'm not a molecular biologist etc. but am virtually certain, from reading and discussions, that HIV-1 and HIV-2 arose from "wild" viruses and that when they arose we did not have the technology to create them. We may however be developing the technology which could allow us to produce "new" or modified dangerous viruses in the future. (But if we use the technology reasonably we can use it against disease.)"
I think from these results you can see why your response strikes me as extremely significant. Even if it had been only 1 out of 100, it would have been significant.
What I would like to do now is write back to the other respondents and see if I can elicit a response to what you have said. I will not identify you, of course, unless you wish, but if there is anything you can add to what you wrote on the questionnaire (further remarks, bibliographical references), I would like to include it.
You wrote, in case you don't recall, in answer to "With what components?":
"Ribonucleotide triphosphates, enzymes, salts & buffer, RNA synthesizing machine."
In answer to "Since what year has this been possible?," you wrote:
"HIV-1 1985; HIV-2 1986 (once the nucleotide sequence of the viruses was known)."
I find it very difficult to understand, if this is only a matter of science, why even my little survey has produced such different answers.
I purposely limited my question and treated it as a purely scientific one, because I know that the further questions and implications are highly political and sensitive (to put it mildly). I don't want to ask you to comment on any of that, but if you wish to (just for my information, not for the letter I'm thinking of sending to the other respondents), of course I would be very interested to know your opinion.
I assume that you know what I'm talking about: the question of an artificial origin of AIDS has been around for some time, though ignored by the mass media. There are the recent polio (and earlier smallpox) vaccine theories, the theories of Jakob Segal, John Seale, Robert Strecker, etc. If the viruses cannot be produced artificially now, however, the question of an (accidental) artificial origin some years ago, though it does not disappear, is more speculative. If the viruses can be produced in the laboratory now, as you say they can, the next question is clear: How can one be sure that this capability did not exist prior to 1985-86 (e.g. in secret military research, the results of which can remain unpublished and unknown even in the "scientific community" for years)? (I don't know if you are aware that the DOD wanted, considered it possible, and asked Congress for the money to create an AIDS-like virus--though the term "AIDS" was not used--as early as 1969. I have the documentation if you'd like to see it.)
But as I said, I don't want to ask you to speculate on thesequestions. My primary purpose is still to get a reasonably satisfying "scientific" answer to the question I have posed. You have said the viruses can be made in the laboratory today, and that is certainly reason enough to wonder why the others say no. No one said they didn't know, that the answer is not yet known, unknowable, etc., although I specifically mentioned these possibilities. So I am left with flatly contradictory opinions by presumably equally qualified experts. Though obviously this may happen on many questions, I don't see how it is possible on this particular question, because it is testable by experiment.
What would be necessary to prove that what you say is correct-- which would mean, of course, that the others are wrong? Has anyone actually made HIV-1 or -2 in the lab? Would that be the only incontrovertible proof that it is possible? Would it be difficult? Time-consuming? Legal? Would you need access to controlled substances or special facilities (e.g. a P-4 lab)? Sincerely,
Michael Morrissey
I did not hear from Professor Smith again.
3. Conspiracy theories
I felt that I had given it my best shot. I hadn't heard much lately from Segal, either, but after all, he was in his eighties. He published another book in 1991 called AIDS--Zellphysiologie, Pathologie und Therapie (Essen: Neuer Weg), but it is a highly technical work and I haven't read it, nor have I heard of any reactions to it. He doesn't discuss the question of origin in this book, but since it is based on the thesis that HIV-1 is essentially a form of Visna, if this work is scientifically sound it will support his origins thesis. But how, if ever, will I know that?
In January 1992 a German television program repeated the old accusation that Segal had developed his origins theory for the Stasi, the (former) East German intelligence service. Segal responded as follows (my translation):
Public Statement by Prof. Jakob Segal
On January 28, 1991, the German television program "Panorama" claimed the theory that the AIDS virus HIV-1 was developed for military purposes by the Pentagon was an invention of the (former) East German intelligence service (Stasi). The writers Stefan Heym (East) and Mario Simmel (West) were said to have fallen for this lie and helped to spread it further.
This claim is completely false. The suspicion that HIV-1 originated in the laboratory was discussed as early as 1984 at the annual meeting of the American Academy for the Advancement of Science. Then the American researchers Robert Gallo and Max Essex launched a counter-theory suggesting an African origin, which was publicly described by the World Health Organization asscientifically untenable. This theory contained such obvious errors that I became curious and joined the discussion in 1985. By careful analysis of molecular genetic and immunological data I was able to prove that the AIDS virus in fact resulted from splicing part of the human-cancer-causing virus HTLV-1 into the virus that causes the fatal sheep disease known as Visna.
In the meantime official documentation has been discovered which proves that the Pentagon requested 10 million dollars as early as 1969 for the purpose of developing a virus that would destroy the human immune system, i.e. a synthetic AIDS-like virus. My theory is thus supported by the documentary record, and no convincing scientific arguments have appeared to refute it. Nevertheless, for reasons that are all too clear, no reputable scientific journal will publish my work.
The first non-scientific journal to publish my theory, along with the similar ones of John Seale of Great Britain and the American Robert Strecker, was the London Sunday Times in the fall of 1986. On the basis of comprehensive materials I distributed, some African scientists then put together a brochure which was distributed at the Conference of Non- Aligned Nations in Harare. After that my theory began to arouse some interest in official circles. Representatives from the US embassy, the East German Ministry of Health and the Stasi talked with me. I was invited to give a series of lectures in West Germany with well-qualified discussion partners, but I had much worse luck in my own country of East Germany. There I was not allowed to present my views in any journals, and the only lecture I gave to a sizeable audience was organized by a dissident church group.
In view of this history, it is ridiculous to claim that the Stasi thought up this theory and ordered me to propagate it. Nobody in the Stasi had the technical expertise to have produced such a theory. It was my work and mine alone, and I refuse to allow a few sensation-hungry journalists to deprive me of the credit for it.
January 30, 1992
Prof. Dr. sc. Jakob Segal
Leipziger Str. 43
O-1080 Berlin, Germany
(End of Part 3.) ttal to Segal, not simply a repetition of the claims that Segal had (seemingly) refuted, including the claim that there is evidence of AIDS before 1979.Segal has consistently argued that this evidence is inconclusive.
This had no discernible consequences. It seemed the question of the origin of AIDS was taboo, and had been for several years. Segal could be denounced, but not discussed.
Then, on March 3, 1992, I saw a surprising report on CNN, which I had recorded and was thus able to transcribe:
CNN: A Texas researcher has a new theory about how the AIDS virus developed. He says it mutated from a virus that causes an AIDS- like disease in monkeys and that humans were inoculated with it. His claim is detailed in Rolling Stone magazine. "The Origin of AIDS" proposes a shocking theory: that the AIDS virus, now known to have existed in monkeys, may have spread to humans through, of all things, experimental polio vaccinations. Tom Curtis (freelance writer): The polio vaccine did great things in terms of sparing us, you know, the dreaded scourge of that period, but it would be a terrible irony to find that it brought another scourge. I sort of hope against hope that this hypothesis is wrong, but it is testable.
CNN: Curtis found that a quarter million people in Africa were inoculated by American doctors with an experimental polio vaccine. That vaccine was produced using the kidney tissues of monkeys. More recent research has shown that some monkeys carry a virus similar to the one that now causes AIDS.
Curtis: "If those monkey kidneys were contaminated, it would be an efficient way to spread the disease, that is to say, the disease of AIDS."
CNN: Far-fetched? Yes, according to the polio-pioneering doctors quoted in Curtis's story. One is quoted as saying, "You're beating a dead horse. It does not make sense. But one AIDS researcher is not dismissing the theory.
Dr. Robert Bohannon (AIDS researcher): Nobody will ever know unless those stocks are turned over for analysis.
CNN: Dr. Robert Bohannon has done AIDS research at Baylor and M.D. Anderson. He has requested samples of the original polio vaccines so that he can test them for AIDS-related viruses. One researcher has sent him some very early vaccine, another has not responded. The federal government, which also holds some of the original vaccines, is considering his request. If he does find the AIDS-related virus in the vaccines, he says the polio researchers themselves should not be faulted.
Bohannon: If they had known that there was anything like HIV or SIV in those, I'm sure they would not have used them. They would have found something else.
CNN: So for now Bohannon continues to wait for more samples to come from the government and from polio researchers--samples of polio vaccine that could help to answer the question, Where did AIDS come from? Elsewhere, Dr. Bohannon's theory of how AIDS developed has not yet been reviewed by other scientists or appeared in scientific journals.
This was the first discussion of the origins question I had heard or read in the media in years, outside of the Rote Fahne, and here it was on CNN! I was astounded. This theory was considerably less explosive than Segal's, but the essential implication was not that different: AIDS was created by human error. Someone was responsible. Maybe not the US government, but someone.
A couple of weeks later there was another interesting news item. MacNeil-Lehrer reported on 3/25/92 that nearly 50% of the 210,000 documented AIDS cases in the US were blacks, Hispanic, native, Americans or Asians--blacks forming 31% of the new cases, although they are only 12% of the population. Blacks and minorities, then,are clearly getting hit disproportionately hard by AIDS, just as gays, intravenous drug users and prostitutes are.
These figures referred only to the US. Worldwide, given the proliferation of the disease in Africa and the rest of the Third World, the disproportion of non-whites getting the disease









"I'm just trying to make a way out of no way, for my people" -Modejeska Monteith Simpkins









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This only evidence this article alludes to is the fact that it was western scientist that innoculated Africans with this virus in the first place (either intentional or unintentional) - - I personally believe that it was intentional; as in the Tuskeegee Experiment. Also, if the chickens go to the fox to find out why so many chickens are dying, as opposed to foxes, then the fox will give the chickens whatever answer (or evidence) he wants the chickens to believe.

Please don't do that. To assume all blacks "chickens" and all whites "foxes" is bigotry. I'm sure that you don't mean that.

That's not indeed the only sloid evidence. It shows that HIV was known before the 1970s, by the end of the 1950s, and given the rate of mutatino of the HIV, it appeared in the human population a good while before that. It would have ahd to anyway, since the man tested was HIV positive in 1959. The similarity of SIV and HIV is far greater than any similarity between HIV and Visna. In fact, we have found that humans can be infected with SIV, and that infection with SIV eventually becomes HIV. Two lab workers were accidentally stuck with the needles used to draw blood from SIV-positive monkeys, and they both developed HIV.

I already mentioned the man who was found to have both SIV and HIV.

In Cameroon, about 20% of the monkeys sold in markets for meat are SIV-positive.

No one was infected with the virus intentionally. We foudn vials of the original vaccine, and it was not cultured with chimp kidney cells and had no traces of HIV in it. IT was cultred from macaque kidney cells, and macaques do not get HIV. At least, not so far.

This is not an intentional disease. It is natural. Tuskeegee was intentional, this just happened as it has happened before with other diseases. That's why it has infected so many whites, too. They are not collateral damage. They are patients, results of the natural course of things.

When I used that senario, I did not particularly mean it to be racial; rather those who created this disease (foxes) and those whom the disease is killing (chickens)---if Aids is a government/military germ warfare creation/experiment, I am sure that people of all races are involved, much like the black nurse who was heavily involved in the Tuskeegee experiment and was instrumental to the effect that the doctors involved said it could not have been done without her help; (she was the liason between the people infected and the doctors conducting the experiments and any doctors that could possibly treat those infected with sphyllis and ghonerea, by lying to the people infected and going to any doctor that they could have seen or did see to let the doctor know not to treat them with anything that would cure the disease.

I just do not understand why you are so bent on believing the theory of the very ones that may be responsible, if my theory is correct -- and I still believe it is. Even if Aids is some ancient disease that "jumped" species from a monkey to a human, it is still suspect that Africans in these affected areas were not wiped out long before the 1970's on, and the tier effect of the disease is my basis for not believing that it was not part of some germ warfare experiment or genicide . . . it just does not make any sense for all over the globe black and brown people are more infected that white and close to white people. The American Aids rates is the most outstanding proof, in that in this country, approximately the same percentage of people do the same things (sex, drugs, prostitution, hemophiliacs, blook transfusions, etc.), yet, the majority of people in America that have Aides are Black people, then the next largest population is the Hispanics(brown people)--that alone is proof that it is not only a natural occurrence, because if it were, you would see the disease affecting people of different races by approximately the same percentages. It is suspect that where ever there is a large, heavy or predominate black population, the disease is rampant,even though these black people may be separated by centuries and oceans and cultures.
The "jumped speciies" theory may be right and I may be right, because both could have occurred.
Cow and dogs have gonnerea and sphyillus, most American eat beef and have or are around dogs, why would Black Americans have any higher incidents of those disease than any other Americans.

Also, I do not have any ill feelings towards you or anyone else that does not agree with me. I welcome healthy debates and differing opinions than my own without malice. I have always felt like people should be able to discuss issues and disagree without becoming enemies over their disagreement --I have the same disagreement with my mother who is a nurse and she has the same perspective and belief of the origin and the spread of Aids as you do.
Are there any other diseases in history that suddenly appeared as is from nowhere, started in one part of the world (America) then bang jumped to another part thousands of miles away and started killing millions? Has this ever happened before, does anyone know?

Is it just talk or are you for solutions? If you are GENUINELY interested in solving black problems? Then join us at
As far as I know this is the theory behind several diseases(viruses) as well--(the 'jumped species theory). With my mother being a nurse and having to study the pathology of disease and especially after the on-set of the Aids epidemic, has had to study similar theories of the spread of disease; even down to the theory of some ancient or old diseases resurfacing after being buried for centuries and with people going into place to dig and build, etc. on grounds that have not been disturbed for centuries.

No matter what, I still have to consider the source, especially when it comes to diseases like Aids--it seems that anyone's only sources of reference has to come from the very ones that may be responsible for the disease "jumping species" or spreading particularly to people of color throughout the world.

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