Jack Parsons and “certain agencies”
Source: Carter, J. (1999). Sex and Rockets The Occult World of Jack Parsons. Venice, California, Feral House.
It is evident that Parsons was considered an important if dangerous figure by the authorities. His FBI file, which was requested prior to the Freedom of Information Act as part of a JPL history project, is heavily censored. Although FOIA rules have since changed, when one requests the file one normally gets a photocopy of the file that has already been processed. There have been no updates, simply because the FBI hasn’t noticed or doesn’t want to bother with it.Among the many reasons Parsons was investigated was not only the “black magic” but also his association with communist sympathizers. Fellow GALCIT group member, Frank Malina, whose efforts served the U.S. quite effectively, was also a victim of the Communist witchhunts. After the war, Malina had become head of the scientific research division of UNESCO in France, a post he held until his political beliefs and longstanding membership in the Communist Party were discovered. He resigned and turned to a successful career in “kinetic art.” Several of his pieces are still on display in England, and the art/science journal he founded, Leonardo, is still published by MIT. Malina died in France in 1981.
It may have been Malina who first introduced the late John Parsons to the UFO-researcher and debunker, Jacques Vallee, who was the role model for the French scientist in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Vallee suggests that JPL would deny Parsons ever existed; but, as evidenced by a memorial plaque on JPL grounds (and numerous convex sations with the staff of JPL) the opposite is actually the case.
After the war, group leader and rocket scientist von Kármán was invited to Germany to inspect various Nazi research installations like the one at Peenemünde. This visit occurred at the invitation of Hap Arnold and his other old friends in Washington. Von Kármán’s autobiography, The Wind and Beyond, contains pictures from his trip to Germany, including one shot of him interrogating a German scientist. As previously noted, von Kármán worked in Germany during the decade following World War I. After World War II, he was instrumental in recruiting Nazi scientists to the United States. Declassified documents refer to this effort as “Operation Paperclip.”[ 2] Some of Parsons’ letters to Cameron are from Alabama, where Paperclip rocket scientist Wernher von Braun was a prisoner of war, and it is possible the two had met. Von Kármán spent the next two decades engaged in various aeronautics research projects and died in 1963, a giant among men.
GALCIT member and alleged spy Hsue-shen Tsien had an interesting if troubled life after the war ended. Evidently he was accused of being a Communist simply because he was Chinese, as, years later, Malina’s widow told an interviewer, “We never saw him at any of the cell meetings.” This incident embarrassed Tsien so much he decided to return to China—something he thought he’d never do. However, immigration stopped him at the docks and detained him for five years, by which time, the authorities figured, anything he knew would be obsolete. Then they deported him, and subsequently he singlehandedly built the Chinese missile program from scratch using what he had learned at GALCIT. Tsien’s fascinating life is recounted in Iris Chang’s biography, Thread of the Silk Worm. (pp 192-3)