J. Orlin Grabbe
The two men headed to the Hilton Hotel in Sherman Oaks, California
in the late Spring of 1986 were on their way to meet representatives
of the mujahadeen, the Afghan fighters resisting the Soviet invasion
One of the two, Ted Gunderson, had had a distinguished career in the
FBI, serving as some sort of supervisor over Special Agents in the
early 60s, as head of the Dallas field office from 1973-75, and as
head of the Los Angeles field office from 1977-1979. He retired to
become an investigator for, among others, well-known attorney F. Lee
And all along the way, Gunderson, whether or not actually a CIA
contract agent, had been around to provide services to various CIA
and National Security Council operations, as he was doing now.
In more recent years Gunderson was to become controversial for his
investigations into child prostitution rings, after he became
convinced of the innocence of an Army medical doctor named Jeffrey
McDonald, who had been convicted of the murder of his wife and three
young children in the 1970s. This has led to various attempts by the
patrons and operators of the child prostitution industry to smear
Michael Riconosciuto was there to discuss assisting the
with MANPADs----Man Portable Air Defense Systems. Stinger missiles
were one possibility. If the U.S. would permit their export,
Riconosciuto could modify the Stingerís electronics, so the guided
missile would still be effective against Soviet aircraft, but would
not be a threat to U.S. or NATO forces.
But Riconosciuto had another idea. Through his connections with the
Chinese industrial and military group Norinco, he could obtain the
basic components for the unassembled Chinese 107 MM rocket system.
These could be reconfigured into a man-portable, shoulder-fired,
anti-aircraft guided missile system, and produced in Pakistan at a
facility called the Pakistan Ordinance Works. The mujahadeen would
then have a lethal weapon against Soviet helicopter, observation,
and transport aircraft.
Riconosciuto was more than just an expert on missile electronics; he
was also an expert on electronic computers and associated subjects
such as cryptology (see my "Michael Riconosciuto on Encryption").
Riconosciuto was a prodigy who had grown up in the spook community.
The Riconosciuto family had once run Hercules, California, as a
company town. In the early days (1861) a company called California
Powder Works had been established in Santa Cruz, CA. It later
purchased land on San Pablo Bay, and in 1881 started producing
dynamite, locating buildings in gullies and ravines for safety
purposes. A particularly potent type of black powder was named
"Hercules Powder", which gave the name to the town of Hercules,
formally incorporated in 1900. In World War I, Hercules became the
largest producer of TNT in the U.S.
Hercules, however, had gotten out of the explosives business by 1940
when an anhydrous ammonia plant was constructed. In 1959 Hercules
began a new manufacturing facility to produce methanol,
formaldehyde, and urea formaldehyde. In 1966 the plant was sold to
Valley Nitrogen Producers. Labor problems led to a plant closure in
1977. In 1979 the plant and site was purchased by a group of
investors calling themselves Hercules Properties, Ltd.
However, Michael and his father Marshall Riconosciuto, a friend of
Richard Nixon, continued to run the Hercules Research Corporation.
In the early 1980s Michael also served as the Director of Research
for a joint venture between the Wackenhut Corporation of Coral
Gables, Florida, and the Cabazon Band of Indians in Indio,
Riconosciutoís talents were much in demand. He had created the a-neutronic
bomb (or "Electro-Hydrodynamic Gaseous Fuel Device"), which sank the
ground level of the Nevada test site by 30 feet when a prototype was
tested. Samuel Cohen, the inventor of the neutron bomb, said of Riconosciuto:
"Iíve spoken to Michael Riconosciuto (the inventor of
the a-neutronic bomb) and heís an extraordinarily bright guy. I also
have a hunch, which I canít prove, that they both (Riconosciuto and
Lavos, his partner) indirectly work for the CIA."
Riconosciutoís bomb made suitcase nukes obsolete, because it
achieved near-atomic explosive yields, but could be more easily
miniaturized. You could have a suitcase a-neutronic bomb, or a
briefcase a-neutronic bomb, or simply a ladyís purse a-neutronic
bomb. Or just pull out your wallet for identification and ----.
The Meridian Arms Corporation, as well as the Universities of
California and Chicago owned a piece of the technology.
But there was more than explosives in the portfolios of the CIA
agents who surrounded Riconosciuto like moths around a candle. Both
Robert Booth Nichols, the shady head of Meridian Arms Corporation
(with both CIA and organized crime connections), and Dr. John
Phillip Nichols, the manager of the Cabazon reservation, were
involved in bio-warfare work----the first in trying to sell
bio-warfare products to the army through Wackenhut, the second in
giving tribal permission for research to take place at Cabazon.
According to Riconosciuto, the Pentagonís Defense Advanced Research
Projects Agency (DARPA) was in charge of the classified contracts
for biological warfare research. Riconosciuto would later testify
under oath that Stormont Laboratories was involved in the
Jonathan Littman, a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle would
"Cabazons and Wackenhut appeared to be acting as middlemen
between the Pentagonís DARPA and Stormont Laboratories, a small
facility in Woodland near Sacramento."
The Race Weapon
Riconosciuto would make additional claims about Bio-Rad Corporation,
a medical supplier which had gradually taken over Hercules,
California. They were also, Riconosciuto would say, covertly engaged
in bio-warfare research -- producing some of the deadliest toxins
known to man.
The focus of Bio-Radís research was said to be bio-active elements
that could be tailored to attack those with certain types of DNA.
Weapons could thus be produced that were specifically designed to
wipe out specific races or genetic classes of human beings.
(Alternatively, particular DNA types could be immunized against a
deadly biological agent; the agent could then be released, and
everyone else would die.)
A couple of years later, Meridian International Logistics, the
parent company of Meridian Arms, was to farm similar research out to
the Japanese. This included (according to minutes of a corporate
meeting dated Aug. 26, 1988) methods for "induction and activation
of cytotoxic T-lymphocytes".
Associated with Meridianís Robert Booth Nichols in a Middle Eastern
operation called FIDCO, a company that ran arms into and heroin out
of Lebanonís Beqaa (Bekaa) Valley, was Harold Okimoto, a
high-ranking member of the Yakuza.
Okimoto had longed worked under Frank Carlucci (who served as
Secretary of Defense and Deputy Director of the CIA before becoming
Chairman of The
Carlyle Group). Okimoto owned food concessions in
casinos around the world----Las Vega, Reno, Macao, and the Middle
East. (Free drinks and anthrax while you play blackjack, anyone?)
Meeting Riconosciuto and Gunderson at the hotel were two
representatives of the mujahadeen, waiting to discuss their armament
needs. One of the two was named "Ralph Olberg." The other one was
called Tim Osman (or Ossman).
"Ralph Olberg" was an American businessman who was leading the
procurement of American weapons and technology on behalf of the
Afghan rebels. He worked through the Afghan desk at the U.S. State
Department, as well as through Senator Hubert Humphreyís office. Olberg looked after the Afghanis through a curious front called MSH----Management
Sciences for Health.
The other man, dressed in Dockerís clothing, was not a native Afghan
any more than Olberg was. He was a 28-year-old Saudi. Tim Osman (Ossman)
has recently become better known as Osama Bin Ladin. "Tim Osman" was
the name assigned to him by the CIA for his tour of the U.S. and
U.S. military bases, in search of political support and armaments.
Gunderson and Riconosciuto were not on an altruistic mission. They
had some conditions for their help. And they had some bad news to
deliver. The mujahadeen needed to be willing to test new weapons in
the field and to return a research report, complete with photos.
The bad news was that some factions of the CIA didnít feel that Oldberg and
Osmanís group were the real representatives of the
Afghans. Upon hearing this both Tim and Ralph were indignant. They
wanted to mount a full-court press. Round up other members of their
group and do a congressional and White House lobbying effort in
Did the lobbying effort take place? I donít know. There is some
evidence that Tim Osman and Ralph Oldberg visited the White House.
There is certainty that Tim Osman toured some U.S. military bases,
even receiving special demonstrations of the latest equipment. Why
hasnít this been reported in the major media?
One week after giving an affidavit to Inslaw regarding the PROMIS
software in 1991, Riconosciuto was arrested on trumped-up drug
The Assistant U.S. Attorney prosecuting the case attempted to cover
up Riconosciutoís intelligence background by claiming to the jury he
was "delusional." A TV station came and pointed a camera out at the
desert at Cabazon and said,
"Riconosciuto says he modified the
PROMIS software here."
Of course Riconosciuto didnít modify the software out between the
cacti and yucca. Sand isnít good for computers. He did the
modifications in offices in nearby Indio, California. The AUSA told
reporters Riconosciuto had been diagnosed with a mental condition,
the implication being "heís making all this stuff up". Yes, there
had been a mental evaluation of Riconosciuto. I have a copy of the
The diagnosis? Here it is: NO MENTAL DISORDER. The Department of
Justice consistently and maliciously lied to the jury, just as had
been threatened by Justice Department official Peter Viednicks if
Riconosciuto cooperated with the congressional investigation of
If the war against Osama Bin Ladin (Tim Osman) is not a total fraud,
then what is Michael Riconosciuto doing in prison? Why doesnít he
have an office next to Colin Powell so he can give realistic advice
on Bin Ladinís thinking? And where is Ralph Olberg?
Thirty-four days before the East African embassy bombings of August
7, 1998, Riconosciuto notified the FBI in Miami that the bombings
were going to take place. Two days prior to the bombings he
requested of BOP (Bureau of Prisons) officials at the Federal
Corrections Institution (FCI) in Coleman, FL., that he be allowed to
call ECOMOG security headquarters to warn African officials. The BOP
denied the request.
Riconosciuto was mystified at being ignored by the relevant
government authorities. Iím not mystified.
I suspect the reason
Riconosciuto was ignored was that the relevant
parties, including especially the Miami FBI office, knew all along
the bombings would take place. And they wanted them to happen.
The same is true with respect to the recent plane bombings of the
WTC. It wasnít an intelligence "failure". The terrorist acts were
deliberately allowed to happen. The actors may have been foreign.
But the stage directors appear to have been all along here in the
U.S. Cui bono?
Isnít it time to let Michael Riconosciuto out of prison, and wipe
the slate clean of the trumped up drug charges, and let him be a
national security advisor----at least with respect to the
governmentís pursuit of Osama Bin Ladin? Isnít it time to quit
pretending Osama Bin Ladin came out of nowhere?
This is not an academic argument. Sources say
three dozen MANPADs
have been imported into Quebec, Canada, from Colombia (where they
arrived from Eastern Europe). The missile shipments followed the
"northern" drug route----from Colombia into Canada. The missiles
involved are Russian Strellas and Iglas. These will serve just fine
to take down commercial airline flights. Just like TWA 800. Which
group of terrorists has the missiles?
Meanwhile, how many biological warfare agents are in the hands of
organized crime? Maybe you should ask Riconosciuto about all this.
Michael Riconosciuto is now incarcerated at the FCI Allenwood, PA.
You know where to find him.
Note: Michael Riconosciuto has just been moved to Springfield, MO.
His address is:
Michael J. Riconosciuto
21309-086 Box 4000
U.S. Medical Center