Charlie Pellegrino wrote:Dear John: I've just received a call from Bill Broad of the New York Times, backed by what appears to be overwhelming evidence that Joseph Fuoco, though he flew on Hiroshima recon. missions before and after the Hirosima mission, did not fly on the atomic mission itself.
Though he had hundreds of photos of all missions (including the atomic mission) and papers listing his flights, it seems that today's evidence from the squadron, etc, is very clear. I know that there was much contemporary (1945) chaos in record-keeping with regard to missions because crews were constantly changing planes - - which is why the Great Artiste (and not Bock's Car) was listed erroniously, in the New York Times in 1945 and then for more than three decades in the history books, as the plane that dropped the atomic bomb. But this does not appear to be a result of the usual chaos. The navigator who sat next to the flight engineer on the plane, Necessary Evil, is still alive, as is the flight engineer's wife, who has a letter from President Truman. The navigator is certain that Joseph Fuoco was not there.
I am trying to reach out now to these families and get the rest of the story, and will begin at once to rewrite the few chapters that have Joseph Fuoco in them, replacing them with the story of the man who actually sat in the seat claimed by Joe Fuoco.
The bottom line is that I cannot have wrong history going out there - repeatedly, in future editions. These pages will be corrected, at once.
We may want to talk about this tonight. Get it out in the open right away.
As for Joe Fuoco, I got to know him and his family very well, and I find it hard to believe that there was a mean or intentionally deceptive bone in him. I don't want to be trashing a WWII veteran. As Bill Broad has suggested, Joe might actually have convinced himself over the years that he was on the atomic bombing mission. We must figure out how to talk about him. Most of the blame is mine. As a scientist, I forgot the first rule - which is to doubt virtually everything. I thought I questioned deep, but clearly not deep enough.
Now, my job is to make corrections, and make sure that the right history goes down to future generations.
See you later,
- - Charlie P.
(Letter to John Batchelor, Fox News Radio, where the story alerting the public to an error in the book was broken that very night, on the John Batchelor Show.)
(Letter to National Geographic.)Charlie Pellegrino wrote:To judge from the mountain of evidence pouring in today, it appears (see above) that we will be able to talk about Charles Sweeney's account, and about some of the other people on the bombing missions; but until we know precisely which missions Joe Fuoco was, or was not on, I do not want to be mentioning him in the film. Following the new documentation sent today, it appears that we can say with reasonable certainty that he was not aboard Necessary Evil for the Hiroshima mission. I will be discussing this on the John Bachelor show tomorrow night. (We are recording tonight.)
Fuoco was also a key puzzle piece for the exact nature of the uranium bomb's problems; but if his recollections of the Hiroshima mission are wrong, I cannot trust as fact anything he said about "Little Boy," even if tiny bits of the puzzle came from Alvarez and Sweeney. Fuoco presented the biggest missing piece of that jigsaw; but I've decided to entirely discard it.
I especially want to get in contact with the families of the people who were aboard Necessary Evil (the navigator is still alive) and get their stories (instead of Fuoco's) for the paperback edition.
As an archaeologist, I've learned that above all else I have to keep a faith with the dead. I have a responsibility to put the man who really was in Joe Fuoco's seat in his rightful place in history. Joe Fuoco is not alive and cannot defend himself, so I'll not speak badly of him.
See you later,
- - Charlie P.
This topic is locked until further notice. I will reserve my own replies for that time, as well.