Young children are full of wonder and curiosity. Like many of you, I didn’t know what my father did when he went off to work, but I always wondered. He was a chemist and for a period of time he traveled from our home in Newton, NJ all the way to his job at Perkin-Elmer Corp. in Danbury, CN. I distinctly remember my mother looking out the window as she awaited his return each week.
Time goes on and we eventually grow up leaving those mysteries behind…right? Ah, that was not to be the case here. In the latter part of 2011, the National Reconnaissance Office declassified one of the nation’s most top secret programs ever. The Hexagon KH-9 project, dubbed “Big Bird”, involved satellite spying during the height of the Cold War. Fox news has a good online story about it at best place to buy isotretinoin online uk.
For over 40 years, all of the people involved in the project never uttered a single word about it to anyone, not their spouses, best friends…nobody! As it turned out, our father may have been part of this mission. My brother recalls a conversation he had with our father after the news broke. Dad may have been instrumental in creating a solution to develop photos from the massive sized negatives generated by the satellites. Kodak, Perkin-Elmer and other companies were bidding for the work. Ironically, Kodak is practically synonymous with Rochester, where my father was born and raised, but Perkin-Elmer won the bid and possibly with his help!
What’s so inspiring about this story, aside from the possibility my father was involved, is that approximately 1,000 employees of Perkin-Elmer were able to remain silent about this program for decades. In this day where it seems like everything we do and say can be publicized in an instant, there will always be people willing to do the right thing. Thank goodness that was the case with this program, considering the safety of our nation was probably at stake.
I always knew my father was brilliant, and it appears he may have been part of something much larger and more important than any of us could ever have dreamed. Oh, and it’s his 81st birthday today, as my sister just reminded me! He held a number of patents that involved scientific terminology, diagrams, and concepts well beyond my comprehension. Here is a diagram from one of his patents, dated 1968, involving photographic emulsion…a light-sensitive colloid…whatever that means:
I plan to incorporate some portions of his patents into a jewelry design. I’ll blog about that once I complete the work. For now I’m left wondering what other mysteries might hide behind those eyes of his?