The FBI files on Edward Anatole Michael Corson reveal a very interesting character.
Corson, Edward Anatole Michael, Ph.D. 1945
Corson’s father came from Russia and likely changed his name to Corson. Edward Corson was born in 1921 on Long Island.
Emil Klaus Fuchs
Page 34 of the pdf starts a section on Edward M. Corson. This is a memo dated March 3, 1950.
Note the FBI misspells Edinburgh as Edinburg. (One of those furrin cities.) So if you search in the pdf, don’t include the h on the end.
Bottom of page 34.
Michael George Corson was investigated by the FBI from 1941 to 1945 and again from July 1946 to April 1948. These found nothing. Michael G Corson was considered a possible security threat because he was from Russia. We learn elsewhere in these docs that someone said he was a White Russian and anti-Communist who came to the US in 1918. Edward was born in 1921.
Valentine George Corson, brother of Edward M. Corson and son of Michael G. Corson was investigated in March 1949 in connection with the Loyalty Program.
Edward M. Corson in his filings claimed to be born June 27, 1921 in Long Island New York. His mother was Natalie T. Corson. His brother VG Corson and parents were born in Russia.
Corson showed his education as Johns Hopkins University from 1938 to 1943, receiving a Ph.D. (The JHU record above indicated this was granted in 1945.) Institute Advanced Study Princeton 1946. (This is when he plagiarized Fock.)
Corson worked for Union Carbide and Carbon from 1943 to September 1947 at New York City and Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Corson thus could have passed info on processing uranium to the Russians. As it turned out, they built processing plants with dimensions close to those of the US for critical processing.
Corson married to Mary E. Kuntz granddaughter of Peter Kuntz a multimillionaire of Dayton, Ohio.
Charles H. Shaw, professor of physics at Ohio State University who worked with Corson during the war heard Corson to make sympathetic statements to Russia during the war. Shaw characterized Corson as unreliable in his work and declined to recommend Corson for employment.
In 1944, Edward M. Corson paid 100 dollars to the Russian Student Fund in NYC. This was to Pierre Routsky. The fund was associated with radical groups including Communists and pro-Soviet as well as White Russian.
Dr. J. C. Hubbard of JHU indicated he applied to the Russian Students Fund in 1937 and 1938 on behalf of Corson for a loan of 500 dollars, which money was to be repaid.
Michael George Corson was born in Kiev, Russia on December 20, 1886. He entered the US in NYC on December 20, 1918. On Feb 27, 1925, he was naturalized in New York City.
Prior to coming to the United States he was employed in Russia as a research and plane development instructor. From 1922 to 1925 he was employed at the Union Carbide and Carbon Company Research Laboratories. From 1926 to approximately 1947 he was in business for himself as a consulting engineer for various iron and steel companies.
By letter on June 17, 1941, Mr. Adolph A. Berle, Jr., Assistant Secretary, Department of State, advised the Bureau that on May 31, 1940, Michael George Corson appeared at the Department of State and desired to be made an agent of the Department of State in Mexico to combat Nazi and Japanese interests. At that time he said that he had been a Terrorist in Russia and had no fear of using similar methods to rid the world of Hitler ani similar dangers. When told that a memorandum would be made of his visit at the State Department, Mr. Corson remarked that apparently the department was not interested in his offer and unlike Americans in general he was not afraid of shooting and hanging to save the country and he would continue his plan without official aid.
Page 4 of the FBI document is skipped and we go to page 5. The document does not disclose
everything and somethings are blacked out even on pages included.
Page 5 discusses a plan Corson had to get technical information for a plant to process Beryllium to go to Russia. Corson talked with a Dr. Kawecki to obtain plans and possibly Kawecki to travel to Russia.
Michael Corson wrote Bureau that he saw too many capitalists and their top servants to think they were morally or intellectually fit to run the nation’s economic machine.
The FBI original document goes beyond page 5, but this is not included in the PDF.
One question that arises from these documents is whether Edward M. Corson and his father were both mentally unstable. Oppenheimer suggested that in one place.
However, Corson’s relation to Max Born is not fully disclosed. It appears that Oppenheimer told very little to the FBI about Max Born.
We now know that Max Born assistants and students included Klaus Fuchs, Leopold Infeld, Cheng Kaijia, Huanwu Peng, Kun Huang who all went to the Eastern Block or Communist China before or shortly after the arrest of Fuchs as a spy. Of these, Cheng Kaijia and Huanwu Peng worked on the Chinese atom bomb.
If we conclude that Max Born was a spy and was a node in a Russian spy ring, then Corson is more likely a Communist. This would probably point to his father being also a spy for Russia. Their histrionic displays would then be seen as ploys.
Corson would later accuse Mott the physicist of being a Communist. Max Born in his book published after his death, says Mott sent Fuchs to Born because Mott thought Fuchs was a Communist and spread Communist propaganda among the undergraduates. Page 284 of Max Born “My Life Recollections of a Nobel Laureate.” Mott in a footnote denies such a comment was made seriously.
Born says he knew Fuchs was a Communist. Corson in the FBI materials says that Born had told him
that Fuchs was trying to spread Communist materials and that Born told him not to.
Looking at the FBI materials, the plagiarism by Corson of Fock and Fock Letter were not reported to the FBI. Oppenheimer talked to them about Corson but did not mention that. Nor did Oppenheimer tell the FBI that Born was plagiarized and Kapitsa had implied this in print in the obit of Rutherford. The Oppenheimer Security Clearance hearing was in spring 1954. Max Born was awarded the Nobel Prize in fall of 1954.
Page 8 of pdf related to Corson.
Page 9 of pdf is the information from Oppenheimer and from Corson’s employer relating to him being mentally unstable.
Page 10, Corson said he met Fuchs in 1943.
The book “Klaus Fuchs a biography” by Norman Moss states on page 20 that Corson knew Fuchs in Edinburgh in the 1930s.
The book states the Fuchs, Peierls, and Corson worked on gaseous diffusion calculations for the Oak Ridge plant to process uranium together in New York. Corson claimed not to see much of Fuchs after work it states.
Corson and Peierls both were supportive of Fuchs when Fuchs was arrested. See page 150 of this book and the FBI reports.
Page 151, Peierls restarted smoking after Fuchs arrest and seeing Fuchs in jail. Genia, the wife of Peierls was from Russia and was upset at Fuchs arrest and spying being revealed.
So was Corson unstable? Was he also a Communist? Were Corson’s actions a ploy to distract attention or exhibits of mental instability?
If we assume that Max Born was a Communist, and that Russia sent him people already Communists, then Corson going to Edinburgh in the 1930s would indicate Corson was already a Communist then. This would be at age 17 if that was 1938. Perhaps the entire Corson family were Communists with a cover story of being White Russians who were anti-Communists.
There also is the contentious point of Fuchs being sent by Mott to Born because he was a Communist or not. In the book by Norman Moss, it is stated, Fuchs was sent because they had too many people at Bristol.
Much information was not disclosed to the FBI. Why did Oppenheimer not tell the FBI about Corson’s plagiarism and the Fock Letter when Oppenheimer reported on Corson calling him and being distraught and mentally deranged at Fuchs’ arrest?
Page 10 of pdf of FBI goes on about Corson saying others in England were Communists and security risks. Eventually Corson names Mott as one.
Michael Corson was living on 610 West 142nd Street NYC in May 1950. See page 15 of pdf.
MI-5 stated they didn’t attach a high degree of reliability to Corson’s accusations about 4 people as security risks for Russia, although one of them was a known Communist sympathizer.
We keep coming back to the question of whether Corson was unstable. Even if he was, Oppenheimer didn’t tell the FBI about the plagiarism by Corson or that Max Born was a victim of plagiarism or that Kapitsa made references to it.
In 1950, Sidney Dancoff duplicated without attribution the method of Tamm, which is part of Fock Space methods.
It appears that Marcos Moshinksy at Princeton started the use of the term Fock Space and was the first to use that term. He was from Mexico but was born in Ukraine, the same as Corson’s father.
He was born in 1921 into a Jewish family in Kiev, Ukraine (which was then part of the Soviet Union). At the age of three, he emigrated as a refugee to Mexico, where he became a naturalized citizen in 1942. He received a bachelor’s degree in physics from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and a doctorate in the same discipline at Princeton University under Nobel Laureate Eugene Paul Wigner.
In the present paper we propose to develop a quantum-mechanical scheme in Fock space that would describe interactions that take place through the formation of a compound particle.
Corson Fock letters in 1947.
If Oppenheimer wanted to make the case that Corson was unstable why omit this? Except that it would direct attention to plagiarism which would lead to attention to Max Born as a plagiarism victim and Kapitsa’s comments about this, cryptically, in the Rutherford obit? That would lead to a focus on the Max Born assistants then leaving to the Eastern Bloc, and raise questions about Oppenheimer himself. So Oppenheimer said nothing about that.
Oppenheimer became director of IAS in 1947, the same year as the Corson Fock exchange. That was an IAS matter since Corson was at IAS at the time.
Later, Oehme would publish his paper on Edge of the Wedge while at IAS. The Russians are still pushing that this was Bogolyubov’s work and have written Oehme out of the story at the Wiki entry on Edge of the Wedge.
In December 2008, Tamtamar edited this Wiki page to push the Russian version.
Oppenheimer was direct of IAS when Oehme was there on this paper. Oehme then went to Univ of Chicago. Oehme seems to have been obsessed over this dispute.
Oehme created his own wikipage earlier in 2008.
Fuchs helped the Chinese according to the book Nuclear Express.
Fuchs was granted amnesty and released on 23 June 1959, after serving nine years and four months of his sentence at Wakefield Prison and promptly emigrated to the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). A tutorial he gave to Qian Sanqiang and other Chinese physicists helped them to develop the first Chinese atomic bomb, the 596, which was tested five years later according to Thomas Reed and Daniel Stillman, the authors of The Nuclear Express: A Political History of the Bomb and Its Proliferation (2009). Three historians of nuclear weapons history, Robert S. Norris, Jeremy Bernstein and Peter D. Zimmerman, challenged this particular assertion as “unsubstantiated conjecture” and asserted that The Nuclear Express is “an ambitious but deeply flawed book”.[57
Note the Nuclear Express book was discussed Sep 2008 in an article by the same authors.
That article linked this blog
One important “pupil” who paid Fuchs an early visit was Qian Sanqiang. In 1959 Qian was the designated mastermind of Mao’s A-bomb program. In July of that year, Qian made his way to East Germany, where he met with Fuchs at length. (H. Terry Hawkins, now a senior fellow at Los Alamos, told Stillman in 2006, “I read this report in an unclassified publication, that this meeting took place shortly after Fuchs returned to East Germany. Fuchs gave Qian information that greatly assisted the Chinese program.” Also see http://www.oldatlanticlighthouse.wordpress.com/category/klaus-fuchs.) During those long summer days of 1959, Fuchs gave Qian a full tutorial on the design and operation of Fat Man. In all likelihood, he also added his thoughts on the role of radiation pressure in thermonuclear weapons.
The many Max Born assistants who went to China and at least 2 worked on the bomb for China show that there was much not being discovered by the FBI in the Corson and Fuchs investigations. Some of this was intentional withholding by the universities it would appear. That continued into the 1970s when Kapitsa got the Nobel Prize in physics.
In 1947, the Soviet most likely to get the Nobel Prize in physics was Fock. So if the Soviets were trying to push him, having Corson plagiarize intentionally would be one tactic so they could expose it. The Dancoff paper in 1950 may have been the same with Tamm as the victim. Dancoff was an Oppenheimer student who worked on the bomb. Oehme was at IAS in 1958 and the victim was Bogolyubov. Tamm got the Nobel Prize in 1958 and Born in 1954. Born was also a plagiarism victim and one Kapitsa was implicitly referencing both in obits of Rutherford in the 1930s and later. Rutherford had made Bohr a Fellow of the Royal Society the year after the plagiarism of Born which helped Bohr get Rockefeller money. Rutherford’s son in law Fowler was the professor who sponsored the plagiarism and likely got a letter with the preprint of the Born Jordan paper in 1925. Kapitsa was there and learned this and became a witness against Bohr and Dirac. Kapitsa sent a letter to Bohr trying to recruit him for Russia in 1944. There was then the Terletsky meeting with Bohr and later Sudoplatov book pushing the Terletsky meeting and also that the intelligence services in Russia got the bomb info.
An undergrad paper by Michael Schwartz in 1996 at Harvard states that Russia got its first bomb and all the info on how to process the fuel from the Americans.
This paper implies a much larger network than US universities admit to. Sudoplatov also claims his network was larger than is known.
The Sudoplatov book may have been intended by Russia in 1994 to put pressure on the econ profs in control of IMF loans to Russia, Stanley Fischer and Larry Summers. The IMF loans increased in size at this time. Berezovsky then got a loans for shares corrupt enrichment perhaps because he was the one to think of doing this. In his 1997, Nobel Prize autobio, Robert C. Merton makes a misstatement about Hakansson that helped protect Stanley Fischer. A book on Long Term Capital Management says they traded Russian government bonds as if they had inside info. They took a large long position to profit from inside knowledge that Russia had kompromat over Stanley Fischer and Paul Samuelson uncle of Summers?
Going back to Edward M. Corson, at a minimum, info was not disclosed about him or Max Born to the FBI. Nor was this disclosed at the Oppenheimer Security Clearance Hearing. Edward Teller likely knew some of this, but limited his testimony after Hans Bethe and Teller had a heated discussion the night before on what Teller would say.
Bethe and Weisskopf erupted with anger over the Sudoplatov book getting coverage in the US from PBS News Hour and other publications. Weisskopf had plotted with Oppenheimer to kill Heisenberg in 1944 too late in the war for a German bomb but when Heisenberg was a threat to expose some Max Born assistants as communists once the war was over.
An early response came from three Manhattan Project physicists in a letter of protest to McNeil-Lehrer. Hans Bethe, Robert R. Wilson and Victor Weisskopf expressed amazement that the program would broadcast such scandalous charges without trying to check the facts. “As a result,” they wrote, “you helped a criminal, who has mounted a highly skilled effort to make himself rich, to slander some of the greatest scientists of this century.” The American Physical Society promptly organized a press conference in which physicists and historians combined to warn that there were strong reasons to doubt Sudoplatov’s claims.
In some quarters any reply by physicists seemed self-serving. “It is now obvious that McCarthy was right,” said the London Sunday Times (April 24); the National Review (May 30) speculated that the APS’s call for opening relevant archives might produce “unhappy surprises of the sort that greeted Hiss and Rosenberg partisans when they demanded access to the FBI’s archives.” A special responsibility fell upon historians of science for an objective evaluation.
The Harvard paper by Swartz would support the Sudoplatov book that there was a vast network of scientists spying for Russia that gave Russia all the info to build their bomb and process the fuel. Sudoplatov indicates in his book that the first bomb was a copy of the American bomb.
Sudoplatov’s implications about Bohr, Fermi and Oppenheimer receive support from the plagiarism aspect of it and the many Max Born assistants involved in bomb work for China. Fermi was also a Dirac plagiarism victim. Oppenheimer as well as Teller, Heisenberg, Pauli, Weisskopf were Max Born Assistants.
Bethe was a Fowler assistant and received Rockefeller money. Rutherford made Bohr and Sommerfeld Fellows of the Royal Society in 1926 the year after the plagiarism by Dirac of Born that Fowler was part of.
Bethe was an assistant to Fowler, Sommerfeld, Bohr and Fermi in the following years.
The FBI was unable to put together a picture on these interrelationships because the scientists and universities held back info. They knew about the plagiarism and knew Russia knew about it. Russia published comments in print. The Nobel Prize for Tamm was linked to this through the Dancoff duplication of the Tamm work. (Duplication is meant to avoid taking a position on plagiarism, duplication by sympathetic vibrations so to speak is allowed.)
This continued in the 1990s as the scientists reacted in anger to the Sudoplatov book. This reaction created a big furor which the econ profs would hear. They in turn had their plagiarism to cover up. Russia had already put pressure on them to get Nominations for the econ Nobel Prize for Kantorovich is likely. This includes at econ conferences in Poland, where Martin Weitzman of MIT and now Harvard was an attendee. Weitzman was closely linked to Duncan Foley, Peter Diamond, Karl Shell, and Franklin Fisher all linked to the Stanley Fischer work that duplicated the Hakansson thesis that Shell had at MIT in 1966 from public records. All of these should be witnesses along with Robert C. Merton and the latest winners of the Nobel Prize in econ as well.
Miguel Sidrauski was to be Stanley Fischer’s thesis chairman and he was from Argentina. They bonded as fellow immigrants and Zionists as we find from Duncan Foley in part.
Interview Karl Shell
Olivier Blanchard interview of Stanley Fischer.
Blanchard didn’t even know Fischer’s thesis was on dynamic programming including part of their joint book in the 1980s on Macroeconomics.
By the time of Fischer’s thesis, the events of Corson were part of Soviet tradecraft. So the idea of using Fischer to ensnare Samuelson and MIT to put pressure on them to get nominations for Kantorovich for the Nobel Prize in econ may have been in Russia’s mind. If so, Sidrauski and possibly his wife Martha may have played a role. Duncan Foley’s interview prompts such an inquiry. They may also have told Russia it happened.
Sidrauski then Foley then Franklin Fisher were chairmen of the Stanley Fischer thesis. Samuelson was on it. An unusual thesis to have 3 different people as chairman and to apparently plagiarize the Hakansson thesis and another Hakansson paper.
What happened with Corson, Fuchs, Max Born, etc. became tradecraft for Russia to use with academics by the 1960s when the Fischer thesis came along. At that time, Russia wanted a Nobel Prize in econ for Kantorovich. This parallels the prize they got for Tamm after he was apparently plagiarized by Sidney Dancoff, a former Oppenheimer student and assistant, in 1950.
The Fock Letter is a basic point of Soviet tradecraft to manipulate academics over plagiarism. This is true whether Corson was an intentional agent provocateur of theirs or not. The concept was there either way by the time of the 1960s. Sidrauski may have played a role with Stanley Fischer of such a nature. There are also parallels with Fowler and Dirac plagiarizing Max Born. That gave Russia through Kapitsa leverage over Rutherford, Fowler, Dirac, and Bohr. They got leverage over Bohr because Rutherford made him a Fellow of the Royal Society the next year and Bohr was linked to Born and Jordan. Born then wrote to Bohr asking for a Rockefeller stipend for Jordan at Bohr’s institute.
Sudoplatov makes much of Kapitsa in his 1994 book and Bohr. All this was meant to put pressure on the econ profs to give Russia IMF loans. When those materialized from Fischer and Summers, Berezovsky got rewarded in loans for shares. It was Berezovsky who picked Putin to succeed Yeltsin. Putin taunted Fischer with a comment about getting him a job in Moscow after he finished with the IMF. Now Fischer is up for Vice Chairman of the Fed. Franklin Fisher and the others at MIT should be interviewed on these subjects.
The above is speculation and hypotheses. Please restate as questions. All other disclaimers apply.