Friday, January 27, 2023

Letter: Lieut. Commander A. B. Scoles to Robert Heinlein

January 24, 2011 by  
Filed under Evidence, The Heinlein Archives

Source: Heinlein Archives (ANNA201a-9)
Date: 14 January 1942

Lieutenant Commander A. B. Scoles wrote to Heinlein on stationery from UNITED STATES NAVY YARD, PHILADELPHIA, PA, NAVAL AIRCRAFT FACTORY. It’s obvious that they had known each other and been corresponding for some years. Scoles said that he had been reading all Heinlein’s stories, and that it was due to Heinlein’s success that Scoles was now writing to him. Elsewhere it’s reported that they were together at the Naval Academy at Annapolis (Heinlein was Class of 1929) and on the aircraft carrier USS Lexington in 1931. 1

In his letter, a month and a week after Pearl Harbor, Scoles described experimental high altitude flight work his “laboratory” was engaged in at the Naval Aircraft Factory, cabin and suit pressurization, oxygen equipment, pressure suits, and a refrigerated  high altitude fuselage chamber. He wrote that maybe there were Astounding and Amazing Stories writers and readers, “men with ideas,” formerly known as “crack-pots” and now coming into their own as saviors of the country, and he detailed the pressure suit problem he thought this group might be able to solve.

Scoles suggested that Heinlein write an article for the sf mags about the need for all of these ideas,” and be a “clearing house” for them. Scoles believed that recent press articles about high flight operation “could be used as a reason for such an editorial and the means to pry people loose from their ideas.” Scoles proposed that he could cooperate with Heinlein, look over the ideas and take care of getting them into the proper hands for “development.”

Scoles “incidentally” invited Heinlein to go back on active duty and work “in the Factory.” He promised Heinlein “a most interesting job with not too much to do, if he thought his health could stand the Philadelphia climate.


  1. It is very likely that Heinlein introduced Scoles and Hubbard. Scoles became a director of the first Dianetics operation in Los Angeles in 1950, and Hubbard blamed him for many years afterward for letting legal get in the way of dissemination and running the organization into the ground. See also: HCOPL Income Flows and Pools; HCOPL Legal and Dissemination; and HCOPL Financial Planning Tips.

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