Hubble Telescope Trouble: a Whistle-Blower's Report

Letter to Nexus magazine, 2006


I recently watched a National Geographic TV program featuring conspiracy theories about the NASA Moon landings, which mentioned your magazine Nexus.

I thought you may be interested in learning some of the facts behind the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) fraud and the fraudulent "investigation" and settlement which followed.

I worked on the HST development project in 1984-1985 wherein I was tasked with testing the FGS, or fine (optical) guidance systems which track the telescope's attitude in relation to the positions of known stars.

I was also tasked with testing a quadrant of the telescope's primary mirror (the big one). It was during this testing that I discovered the now infamous "spherical anomaly" which caused images to be produced blurry, necessitating the repair flight to install the COSTAR unit.

I reported the flaw to my unit supervisor (Lou Montagnino) who told me, "Keep this under your hat." He also promised they would fix it prior to shipping it out to Lockheed.

A few months later, while serving with my state's military reserve unit (Air National Guard, Air Force), the completed components were being shipped out through the airfield on our base. I recognised some of the people and asked if they'd fixed the mirror flaw.

This question was met with a gruff answer, ''There’s nothing wrong with that mirror!" Assuming they merely wished to avoid embarrassment, I didn't pursue the matter further.

Only upon watching the results on television after its launch did I realise that they'd knowingly committed a fraud and so I began my own investigation.

To make a long story short: NASA and US Justice Department personnel knowingly gave false testimony (under oath) to the US Congress (as documented in the Congressional Record of November 16th, 1993) and cut a deal with the contractor of record (Hughes Division of GM), allowing Hughes to avoid a fine of nearly three-quarters of a billion US dollars.

I contacted both of my state's senators (through their staff) and sent them details of the initial fraud (as it occurred prior to shipping) and to the (then) president elect Bill Clinton. This letter was sent via registered mail through the US Postal Service and thus its delivery was officially documented in USPS records.

I included other issues in that letter to Mr Clinton – ending with an admonition that the USA was rapidly falling to the same fate as the Roman Empire. In his 1994 State of the Union address (before both houses of Congress), Clinton referred to that passage – denying its veracity.

In 1996 I sent a lengthy legal brief to the US Justice Department’s Criminal Investigations division, documenting the initial fraud perpetrated by the contractor and the subsequent fraudulent investigation perpetrated by NASA.

Subsequent phone conversations with staff of members of Congress sitting on the committee hearing NASA's testimony revealed they didn’t wish to pursue any further investigation into the fraud(s) (due to 'contributions' from the leading contractors Lockheed and Hughes?), claiming "Don't cry over spilt milk".

Anyone with an interest in this matter, please respond via email to discuss it further.

Larry T. Pines, 2006
Middletown New York USA

Letter to Nexus magazine
Originally published in NEXUS magazine Vol 13, No 3

NEXT Article next page

AULIS Online – Different Thinking