Friday, February 24, 2012

Getting Back on Track

A little update is in order, just so you don't think the windmills that Quixotic Joust has been chasing, besides flapping their arms, are jumping around as well. There is, in fact, some method to our madness.

The phase of research now being pursued began with the intention of determining who the Morris D. Jaffe connected to LBJ really was and what he was up to. During that initial effort, QJ found that Jaffe owned a uranium company with headquarters in Dallas. While investigating that tidbit, QJ discovered that D. Harold Byrd also owned a uranium company operating in Utah, which was sold to Canadians with strong ties to Israel at a time when Israel was building its own nuclear weapon. That fact led to connections between one of the associates of the Byrd uranium company's buyers, Bryan Newkirk, and Permindex associate and Bobby Kennedy nemesis Roy Cohn.

Since Roy Cohn was mentioned significantly in the Torbitt Document, QJ then determined to learn more about its author, David Copeland, writing under the alias of Torbitt. That research was interesting but seemingly a dead end, requiring QJ to backtrack a few steps and pick up a new trail. That brings us up to date and explains the reason for this new tack.

Hopefully, that at least partially explains the reason for QJ's fascination with the fictional book by Chinle Miller shown below, recently read by this writer on Kindle. Uranium Daughter was recently featured and proved to be an excellent read, as well as providing insight into the American lands within the uranium boom of the 1950's. But more history is in order and available, thanks to Raye C. Ringholz:

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Prior to World War I, radium mining dwindled but a new bonanza was identified in the tailings dumps of the mines. When it was determined that the discarded vanadium added to molten steel would greatly increase the tensile strength and elasticity of the metal, Utah's vanadium industry flourished. One of the dominant figures in the resultant boom was Howard Balsley of Moab, who sold carnotite ores to Vitro Chemical Corporation of Pittsburgh for medicaments and luminous paint.
It wasn't until twenty-five years later, as a result of the atomic age and subsequent arms race of the Cold War, that uranium, previously considered a waste product of the vanadium mines, came into demand as a key element for nuclear weaponry. In the beginning, almost 90 percent of the United States' uranium supply was imported from the Belgian Congo and Canada. But scanty amounts being filtered from abandoned radium and vanadium dumps on the Colorado Plateau gave promise of an untapped domestic source. The Manhattan Project of the U.S. Corps of Engineers, charged with development of an atom bomb to end the war, instituted a covert program to mine uranium from the vanadium dumps and sent geologists to scour the region in search of new lodes.
With the end of World War II, the Atomic Energy Commission replaced the Manhattan Project and launched the first federally-sponsored mineral rush in history. The AEC constructed roads into the back country, promised $10,000 bonuses for new lodes of high-grade ore, guaranteed minimum prices and paid up to $50 per ton on 0.3 percent ore, constructed mills, helped with haulage expenses and posted geologic data on promising areas tracked by federal geologists using airborne scinillometers and other sophisticated radiation detection instruments.
The Four Corners area, where Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico meet, suddenly teemed with prospectors in the greatest ore search since the gold fever days of the previous century. Amateurs and experts, alike, followed AEC guidelines and used radiation detectors called Geiger counters to test promising sandstone formations for uranium deposits. Concentrating on exposed outcroppings along canyon rims, they searched primarily for the grayish Salt Wash member of the Morrison formation. When a likely claim was located, they used diamond drills to core test holes to determine if mineable ore was present.
I've begun to suspect that the author, Chinle Miller, was a pseudonym used by someone who knows more about the history than she feels free to state as fact, much as David Copeland was afraid to use his real name when talking about Division Five, the enforcement unit from the FBI which worked to control uranium products as early as the 1930's when the Tennessee Valley Authority was created. Oversight originally fell under the auspices of the Army Corps of Engineers and only after the Manhattan Project ushered in the atomic age on Japan did the Feds create the above-top-secret Atomic Energy Commission, then connected to J. Edgar Hoover's FBI. All these details led me to inquire about the beginnings of this uranium boom in the Four Corners area in the 1950s, and about Charles Augustus Steen, the Uranium King.

Steen aka Utex sells to Atlas in 1962.
 Steen did well for a time, but then the AEC turned off the spigot, and the Steen family plummeted.

Click to englarge
This is a lot of information to absorb at one sitting. Stay tuned for the next installment.

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