Zion Island 29.




TO: J. Edgar Hoover, Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation. 

FROM: SAIC Jeffrey Morton, Salt Lake City, Utah.

DATE: 10 January 1953. 

RE: Possible loss of plutonium from Hanford Works.   

            Bureau agents conducted a wide-ranging investigation following the derailment of the UP freight train near Nampa, Idaho on 24 December 1952. 

            Bureau agents discovered the following facts:

  1. Mr. Kenneth Hashimoto observed six men in the dining room of the Dewey Palace Hotel on the evening of 24 December 1952. 
  2. Mr. Hashimoto is a prosperous potato farmer in the Nampa area and a deacon of the Methodist church.  He had brought his family to the hotel dining room before attending Christmas evening services. 
  3. Mr. Hashimoto approvingly noticed the men because they were quiet and were not drinking, which was out of character for the other male patrons of the restaurant on this occasion.  In retrospect, he believed that they were not members of the Church of Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons).  This judgement is based solely on their physical appearance.  The men “didn’t look Mormon.” 
  4. Examination of the Dewey Palace Hotel records revealed that six men had occupied three rooms in the hotel from 23 to 25 December 1952, although the clerk did not recall seeing any of the men on 25 December.  The group paid in cash in advance.  The ledger reveals only that the rooms were booked to a “Tom Smith and party.” 
  5. Hotel parking records reveal that two vehicles were parked at the hotel for the same 23-25 December 1952 period. 
  6. The parking attendant believes that one of the vehicles was a Buick sedan and the other a General Motors “deuce-and-a-half” truck.  He also recalls that both vehicles had Nevada license plates.  (The attendant is a disabled military veteran previously stationed at the Nevada Proving Grounds.)  The parking attendant kept no record of the plate numbers. 
  7. Idaho Highway 51 and Nevada Highway 11 provide the most direct route between Nampa and Nevada.  Bureau agents thoroughly questioned gas station operators and hotel managers along this route.  No one recalled the party of six or the pair of vehicles.  None recalled fueling a GM 2.5 ton truck.  These trucks have a 40-gallon fuel tank, so fueling them would have been both a time-consuming experience and a significant pay-off for a gas station operator. 
  8. We can only conclude that if the Buick sedan. GM truck, and the six men from the hotel were involved in the derailment of the UP freight train, then they did not go to Nevada by the most direct route. 
  9. Investigation continues pending further orders. 



Zion Island 24.


TO: Admiral John A. Waters, Jr., Director of Security, Atomic Energy Commission. 

FROM: Joseph McCarthy, Security Supervisor, Hanford Works, Hanford, Washington. 

DATE: 26 December 1952. 

RE: Possible loss of plutonium from Hanford Works. 

  1. On the afternoon of 24 December 1952, three sealed freight cars belonging to the A.E.C. were added to a Union Pacific freight train bound from Portland, Oregon, to Salt Lake City, Utah, at Benton Port, Washington. 
  2. From Salt Lake City, the sealed cars—two decoys and real cargo car—were bound for Sandia Laboratory, Albuquerque, New Mexico.  They bore standard Union Pacific Railroad markings and were indistinguishable from the other cars. 
  3. On the night of 24-25 December 1952, the freight train derailed near Nampa, Idaho.  Several freight cars caught fire. 
  4. The Security Office at Hanford did not receive report of this incident until just before noon on Christmas Day.  Investigators were immediately dispatched. 
  5. The preliminary telephone report from the investigators make several alarming points. 
  6. The train appears to have derailed because the spikes securing the rails on two successive 39-foot sections had been removed before the train arrived. 
  7. The freight cars caught fire because of arson. 
  8. Small explosive charges were used to destroy the seals and locks on the A.E.C. real cargo car, but not on the two decoys. 
  9. A small, but as yet undetermined part of the cargo destined for Sandia was removed. 
  10. Investigation continues.  Request permission to contact the F.B.I. offices in Salt Lake City and Seattle. 


Zion Island 12.




TO:                  Mr. J. Edgar Hoover, Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation.


FROM:            Mr. Clyde Tolson.


DATE:            29 March 1951.


RE:                  Possible Further Security Breach, Manhattan Project.


Saypol[1] telephoned.  The Rosenbergs[2] have been convicted.  He anticipates that Judge Kaufman[3] will impose a harsh sentence.  Therefore, the Rosenbergs undoubtedly will inform on their KGB contacts.  They would have to be heartless fanatics not to do so.  Testifying will save their lives and not leave their sons as orphans.


It is vitally important, that they provide full and forthcoming information.  Recent information suggests that the security breach at Los Alamos may be more complicated than the Bureau had first understood.  This opens new lines of investigation that must be pursued.


At some undetermined point, Julius Rosenberg and/or Harry Gold may have supplied information on atomic weapon design to others in addition to the Russians.  The NYPD “Red Squad” has—informally–reported[4] that both men met several times with “Walter Glassman.”  The FBI assesses that this person is identical with “Vladek Spiegelman.”[5]

Bureau legal attache, Mexico City, reports that one “Gualtiero Vidrio” [translates as “Walter Glass”] entered Mexico through port of Veracruz traveling on a European Union passport.  The men may be identical.[6]



Vidrio/Glassman/Spiegelman is NOT known to be a Russian operative.

Who does he represent?

How, when, and for what purpose did he arrive in the United States?


[1] Irving Saypol, born 1905; BA, Saint Lawrence University, JD, Brooklyn Law School; United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

[2] Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.  Espionage agents of the Soviet Union.

[3] Irving Kaufman, born 1910; JD, Fordham University School of Law.

[4] FBI Special Agent James Joseph Kelly conferred with NYPD Detective John Gerald Kelly (the men are brothers) at “The Slaughtered Lamb,” a bar in Brooklyn on Saturday, 24 March 1951.

[5] Born 1906, Czestochowa, Russian Empire.  Primary school education only.  Textile dealer.  Spiegelman was relocated from Poland to Madagascar, 1941.  Arrived in the United States on date and by means uncertain.  Agent evaluations of Spiegelman/Glassman range from “modest/unassuming/deferential” to “ruthless and calculating.”

[6] Passport information states that Vidrio was born in 1906, Czestochowa, Russian Empire.  Lately resident of Berlin, German Reich.

Zion Island 10.

IPNdeM press release, December 1947.  (My translation.)

The Instituto Politechnico Nacional de Mexico announces with great pride that Professor Albert Einstein will hold a visiting fellowship at “el Poli” for Spring Semester 1948.  While Professor Einstein will not be teaching any classes, he will give several public addresses and be available for consultation during his stay.  He will reside at a private home at #45 Avenida Viena in Coyoacan.

Zion Island 9.

Library of Congress/Admiral John A. Waters, Jr., Papers/Director of Security, Atomic Energy Commission/Miscellaneous/Notes to Self.


No Date.  Yellow legal pad.  Transcribed from hand-writing.


Krauts?  Already sharing Congo ore.  RH seems keen on no-pro.

Limeys?  Limited share from Congo.  RAB all about domestic reform.

Russkies?  Not much industry or science.  No air force.  Nuke Chechens?  HA!  What an idea.

Japs?  Big difference between them and US/Ger.  But Japanese China has bunch of Ur.

**Still, Geiger counter ships leaving Seattle/SF/Long Beach.


2 containers/30 lbs.  Why so little?  Need X for a “Trinity” bomb.  Need Y for a “Super.”  Need a lot more than that for a program.  + sci/ind infra.

Interrupted by fire engines?  Bolted?

Try again?


WEAPON DESIGN.  Or just dump it in Pepacton reservoir.  See what happens?


Then, Timms issue.[1]  Vetting.  FitzG—slimey.


[1] General(ret.) Thomas Timms, candidate for Commissioner, Atomic Energy Commission.

Zion Island 8.





TO: SIC Jeffrey Morton, Salt Lake City, Utah.


FROM: Clyde Tolson on behalf of J. Edgar Hoover, Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation.


DATE: 17 January 1953.


RE: Request for information.


Jack ZELIG may be identical with Zelig JACQUES.

INS reports that the latter entered the United States from British Mandate Palestine on a student visa on 1 August 1939 to study at the New School for Social Research in New York City.  He registered for classes, but then disappeared.

SSA reports that a “Jack Zelig” was employed as an Assistant Manager of “The Golden Arm” lounge in Newport, Kentucky from January 1943 to March 1946.  Newport PD reports that the lounge is a popular bar and restaurant with excellent floor shows.  Kentucky SP report that the lounge is a front for large-scale gambling and prostitution, and that the Newport PD is “as crooked as a dog’s hind leg.”

Kentucky SP further report their interest in a traffic incident that occurred near Newport in February 1946.  An automobile was discovered at the bottom of a steep bank, partially submerged in the Licking River.  Two men inside had died of injuries attending the accident.  Both men were “Italian gentlemen” from New Orleans.  A technician discovered black paint mixed in with the green paint on the left side of the wrecked car.

War Department reports that twenty-one men with some variant of that name served in the Army between 1940 and 1950.

Bureau examination of their service records found one Jack Zelig of particular interest.  Born: New York City, 1 August 1914.  Enlisted, March 1946, at St. Louis, Missouri.  After basic training, this Zelig was assigned to the Transportation Corps, where he trained as a truck-driver.  His commander discovered that he already spoke some Russian, so he was sent to the Army Language School, The Presidio, San Francisco.  Worked as a translator and radio observer in the listening post maintained at Fort Rousseau, Sitka, Alaska Territory.  He received a compassionate discharge upon the death of his father in March 1950.

Kentucky SP further report that the truck plate number belongs to a moving van based in Lexington, Kentucky.  Stolen sometime in late December 1952, but not reported until 2 January 1953 because it was replaced with a similar-appearing plate.  The replacement plate, in turn, was stolen off a garbage truck in Covington, Kentucky.  Replaced by a Handicapped Driver plate stolen off a Nash Metropolitan, but no one noticed.

No further information at this time.


Zion Island 7.

Extract from The Straits Times (Singapore), 31 March 1951, 6b.

News has just reached us that Dr. Ernst Rudin, chief medical officer on Madagascar and a well-known expert on psychiatry, died in an automobile accident on 7 March.  Dr. Rudin apparently lost control of his vehicle on a mountain road while driving from the capital city of Theresienstadt to the port city of Toamasina.  A private service (closed casket) was held on 9 March 1951.

Zion Island 6.

Sea Cargo Manifest.

General Information.

Vessel Name: S.S. Judith of Bethulia            Date of Departure: 29 August 1953

Nationality: Panamanian                                Date of Arrival: 23 October 1953

Port of Departure: Dar es Salaam                Port of Arrival: Vera Cruz, Mexico


Name of Master: A. Gentileschi


Zion Island 5.

“UP Train Derailment and Fire Near Nampa,” Idaho Statesman, 26 December 1952, p. 1.

An east-bound Union Pacific freight train derailed five miles west of Nampa just before mid-night on Christmas Eve.  The engine, tender, and a dozen freight cars left the tracks.  Several of the freight cars then caught fire.  The Nampa fire department responded to the scene.  They soon brought the fire under control.  The engineer and brakeman were transported to Nampa for medical care.  Neither was seriously injured.  The cause of the derailment is under investigation.

Zion Island 4.

צייַטונג לאַכוואַ נייַ (New Lakhva News, my translation) October 1952.

Readers of this newspaper will admit that we have seen many an unusual sight since we left our home countries.  Among the most unusual sights of late has been the work of the New Lakhva model airplane club.  These are not simply reproductions of famous aircraft meant to decorate a little boy’s bedroom.  They are diminutive “real” airplanes, although the designers grumpily admit that they are not “real” engineers.  Club members have moved from simple gliders to planes powered by rubber bands to planes with tiny gas engines.  In the most recent demonstration, two of our local enthusiasts demonstrated how a small plane could be controlled from the ground.  It’s all done with a small radio set.  A tiny receiver on the plane then adjusts the controls on the airborne model.  Club members demonstrated their skills in a pasture outside of the village this past week-end.  They made their little plane, which they have named ברייט ליכט (“Bright Light”—my translation) take off, climb, dive, and circle the pasture.  Children and adults alike were amused by the tricks.  The only mishap occurred when the two “pilots” tried to land their plane.  Some unforeseen problem or error caused the model to nose into the ground.  Well, practice, practice, practice.  Mordechai A and Menachem B insist that the idea could have many practical applications.  We’ll keep watching.