The newspaper reported a conclusion of investigators that
Harvard scientist Don C. Wiley died of accidental causes.
The autopsy report theorized that Wiley was lost, had been
drinking, had a minor accident, got out to inspect the damage,
and a gust of wind blew him over the side of the bridge.
This conclusion sounds preposterous. Ordinarily, I would
suppose that they are are just protecting the reputation of
Wiley and Harvard, and are protecting the feelings of the
family, from having to confront the more likely scenario of
a suicide. One would be inclined to just let it go.
It would still be slightly unsettling to see reality being
altered that brazenly. However, in this case, the public has
a right to know the real story, because of possible connection
to terror and other recent events. Public safety issues trump
even the feelings of colleagues and family.
One article that I received recently had a different theory:
"Those who would pervert and convert the available information
for the development of weapons have a problem. Many if not most
of the scientists involved in the field are working for the betterment
of mankind in conquering diseases. If they were to become aware
of efforts to pervert the research, they might raise objections and
expose those responsible. (Some may already have reached that
point.) This might be the explanation of the recent mysterious deaths
and murders of top scientists in the field. Then again it might just be
the concept of "compartmentalization" where few are to be privy
to the total picture.
Since the September 11 attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center,
no less than seven or eight top microbiologists have been murdered or
died under suspicious circumstances."
I don't believe that any conclusions can be drawn yet, but the "gust of
theory is probably the least plausible theory of all.
The article said that the bridge had "only" a 4-foot high barrier.
If Wiley were 8 feet tall, then maybe it would make more sense
to say "only" 4 feet. For a man who is 6 feet tall, a 4-foot bridge
is 2/3 of his body length, and well up to his chest. That may be
tall enough to jump over, but is too tall to "accidentally" fall over,
even if you are completely drunk and in a gale force wind.
The autopsy report supported its "accident" theory by saying
that no one had seen any sign of struggle on the "busy" bridge.
That is also illogical. No one saw any sign of a stranded motorist,
or a man being blow away by a gust of wind, either. How "busy"
could this bridge been, especially at 4am in the morning, the time
at which Wiley's car was found?
The autopsy report that it wasn't likely a suicide, because Wiley
had hit a support beam, and most suicide jumpers would
supposedly jump out further, over the support beams.
That doesn't make sense- it you are trying to kill yourself, then
why should you care if you are going to hit a support beam?
Also, it was late night and probably pitch dark, below the bridge.
Slipping right over the edge is just as plausible as a swan dive.
The report also said that Wiley had a few drinks earlier that
evening, and this constituted more evidence that it must have
been an accident, because he would have been a little more
It is somewhat doubtful that such a successful researcher
would have much of a drinking problem, or it likely would have
hampered his success. Furthermore, many people who commit
suicide are likely to ply themselves with drink beforehand, also.
Suicide isn't the real issue, though. It is important to get at the
real truth, because there are a number of scenarios where scientists
in certain professions might be under attack, just as embassies,
or New York City, or air flights have been under a pattern of attack.
People who don't want to hear that concern are the parties who
are being the more truly irresponsible ones.
If "conspiracy" is such a dirty word, then we should not have
illogical autopsy reports that are more implausible than most
September 11 was a conspiracy, and it was real, and it was serious.
It might have been prevented if the possiblity had been taken a
bit more seriously, beforehand.