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Author Topic: This Is Bizarre!...  (Read 1254 times)
« on: January 27, 2005, 01:07:18 AM »

Author airs conspiracy theory on Imís death

By MIKE WELLS of the Tribuneís staff
Published Sunday, January 23, 2005

"The death of retired research Professor Jeong Im has all the makings of a spy novel, and some say that idea isnít far off base.

Someone stabbed the 72-year-old scientist multiple times in the Maryland Avenue parking garage at the University of Missouri-Columbia, put him in the trunk of his Honda and set the car on fire. Adding to the mystery, police say a hooded, masked man was seen carrying a gas can away from the scene.

University police on Friday announced a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the Jan. 7 killing. Police have received more than 185 leads, including some that appear far-fetched.

A few days after firefighters found Imís body, a national radio talk-show guest theorized the killing was part of a plot to kill off key microbiologists in the world before unleashing "the ultimate epidemic."

Steve Quayle, a self-published author and newsletter writer from Bozeman, Mont., told listeners of "Coast to Coast AM" that Im was the 40th microbiologist to die under suspicious circumstances in four years and was perhaps among those specializing in vaccines and bio-weapons research.

MU officials have described Im as a protein chemist whose specialty was synthesizing peptides.

The Korean immigrant came to MU in 1987 from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. After retiring four or five years ago, he returned to MU, working about 10 hours a week on lab work for other professors in the departments of microbiology and immunology and pharmacology.

There is nothing in Imís published history to suggest heíd worked in bio-weapons research. Quayle said thatís not proof the scientist wasnít a target.

While acknowledging he doesnít know whether Imís death was part of a plot, Quayle said the circumstances concerned him. "Iím no conspiracy nut," he said. "What youíre seeing is some of the most famous men in the world, at least in their fields, are dying mysteriously."

The deaths include stabbings, drownings, plane crashes and hit-and-run crashes. Some were ruled suicides. "Thereís only been several whoíve died of Ďnaturalí causes," Quayle said.

The Mid-Missouri Major Case Squad investigated Imís death, disbanding after 11 days. The case returned to MU police, who have seven officers and detectives working on it, Capt. Brian Weimer said.

Some radio listeners have contacted police, and Weimer said their suggestions were not ignored. Police called the producers of the show to find out what was broadcast.

"It goes in like a lead like everything else," Weimer said. "Weíve not ruled out absolutely anything. Weíre looking at any answer to try to solve this."

Quayle said he has followed bio-weapons issues for 30 years but said he started chronicling the deaths of microbiologists on www.stevequayle.com after a missile in October 2001 downed a passenger jet carrying five Israeli scientists over the Black Sea. Over the next several months, 11 microbiologists around the world died in various circumstances.

After last weekís "Coast to Coast" show, the Tribune received numerous e-mails and phone calls from people around the country who accept Quayleís idea. "The pattern thatís emerging would be disturbing to any statistician," said Bill Stockglausner of Columbia. "The list is factual, and it appears strange that this is happening to these people who were in a certain profession."

Stockglausner likes Quayleís reasoning. "Heís one of the few people of whom I can say I trust his comments," he said. "Am I convinced? No, not totally. But the percentage of being convinced gets closer each time one of these guys ends up dead."

MU history Professor Jeff Passley, who teaches a course about conspiracy theories and conspiracies, said mysteries invite speculation. "Itís always more interesting to think of something weird than the more obvious," he said, because there are loose standards for what is apparently unexplainable. "Itís do-it-yourself investigative work. Itís investigative science done by some guy in his basement who doesnít have any training."

Passley designed his course to show students how conspiracy theories shift and evolve with the values of the times. For example, he said, some people in the communist-fearing 1950s thought extraterrestrial beings wanted to enslave the planet. In the í60s, people started viewing aliens as peace-loving "space brothers." And in the í70s, aliens were suspected of performing sexual experiments to breed with humans.

"Itís true that almost every sort of religion or belief system purports to explain the unexplainable and to give you a sense of control," Passley said. "These conspiracy theories are just a version of that. They try to impose rationality upon the unexplainable."

 What's going on here folks?

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