The Strange story of the FBI, a Los Alamos physicist and the Venezuelan Government

October 24, 2009


This is a rather strange story. It has the elements of truth and the elements of deception. It sounds too far fetched to be true, but has the components of veracity. It is the story of Pedro Leonardo Mascheroni, a physicist who worked at Los Alamos for many years and may be accused of treason for passing classified information to the Venezuelan Government or someone claiming to represent it. The story has too many inconsistencies to be the truth, but at the same time, has many consistencies that suggest there is some truth to the whole thing. We may never know.

Pedro Leonardo Mascheroni is a US citizen and Physicist of Argentinean origin. He has been a somewhat controversial figure, critical of the US fusion program, but also critical of the US weapon program. He was dismissed from Los Alamos many years ago and sued the Regents of the University of California, which runs the Los Alamos Lab. He lost the suit and was not reinstated. He has been repeatedly described in the New York Times as a “rebel scientist” dismissed from the labs as a security risk, but defended by the Head of Security of the same labs. And here the contradictions begin, as the same Head of Security suggested that the firing of Mascheroni created a national security risk if he went back to Argentina, while others claim all of his work and even the report on his firing were public.

And Mascheroni himself seems to have said contradictory things, as he stated in 1991 that he would never let weapons data fall into unfriendly hands, but then he says that he was the one to  first approach the various Governments (reportedly including the Venezuelan one) trying to sell his ideas on fusion. He then says that the Venezuelan Government wanted him to produce a study on how to build a nuclear weapons program and he decided to do it to show to the Chavez Government that this was too expensive. Instead he wanted to have Venezuela show some interest in his fusion ideas (the same ones that in 1991 he was fighting to be able to publish, but was unable to do so, so they can’t be too public) as a way of getting the US to be interested in them.

He then proceeds to tell a story of communicating via post office boxes in secret and collecting $20,000 in cash from his supposedly Venezuelan contact and then bickering over how to pay him the $800,000 for his report and never getting it. Then, the FBI detains his contact with his report on fusion (not on whether Venezuela should or not build a nuclear weapons program) which triggered the raid on Mascheroni’s home and the suspension of his wife at Los Alamos where she works and has a high security clearance. He was told that he would be charged with treason, but has yet to be charged and held a press conference to tell his story on Thursday.

And thus the inconsistencies. Mascheroni paints himself as an altruistic and idealistic scientist trying to get his ideas across, but his work  seems to be more on smaller fusion systems using lasers, which is far removed today from being or getting to be a useful weapon. At the same time, he claims to be dealing with openly available information, but meets in secret and charges or tries to charge large amounts of money for his work, but then claims he did not touch the money and was keeping it for the authorities.

The official story also has holes or gray areas in it. If the “Venezuelan” contact was detained, why is it that he is not named or mentioned or has not been charged? Was the FBI visit just a fishing expedition or do they know more than they are letting on? Was Mascheroni set up by the US Government? So  far, the evidence seems to point this way to me, given the fact that all of the news minimizes the Venezuelan connection and the inconsistencies mentioned above.

Finally, there is the inconsistency in my mind that given that there are nuclear experts in so many countries that could provide the same advice for a fee (Including Mascheroni’s own Argentina), why would the Venezuelan Government approach someone living in the US with all of the potential complications it could entail, including the fact that it could be a set up? I think they have learned something from Maletagate and Antonini, they are not dumb.

Thus, I don’t buy it yet. I don’t think Mascheroni is the idealist he is trying to project, nor do I think the Chavez Government is involved. Too many inconsistencies for my taste.

But there may be lots we don’t know yet.

27 Responses to “The Strange story of the FBI, a Los Alamos physicist and the Venezuelan Government”

  1. Mathew Walls Says:

    story about a family who is running from the FBI because the dad hasn’t payed taxes to the government for 18 yrs. One day cops kill the two parents and 17 year old Danny is on his own with his 7 yr. old sister to take care of and they have to run from cops. A cop catches Danny when he goes out grocery shopping and he tases the cop and kidnaps his 16 yr old daughter on impulse. Then it switches to the 16 yr old girls pov and she falls in love with her captor. Lori ( the girl) tries to call her dad at a reststop to tell him shes okay but her call is cut off and there is heavy breathing in the background. She doesn’t know who it is and her and Danny are being followed by a strange truck everyday.

    Good, bad, any suggestions for how to make it better/ get rid of Danny’s little sister somehow?

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  4. Jim Says:

    If you have an interest in conspiracies, you might want to read some of the works of author Eustace Mullins, including The Secrets Of The Federal Reserve System, about the Zionist controlled money trust which controls the U.S. Federal Government, as well as G. Edward Griffin’s World Without Cancer, which uncovers the American Medical Association’s conspiracy with the Federal Drug Administration and the National Cancer Institute in which to ban Vitamin B17 from the United States because of its use in curing all forms of cancer.

  5. GWEH Says:

    Kepler, I have that book… it’s a little old but I get your point. BTW, Israeli intelligence visited my house in Miami back in 2000 or 2001… the infamous “art students.”

    I was suspicious from the start and my suspicions were further aroused after looking at the crappy art they where hawking and the bad answers they were giving me. I asked them if they had done military service and whatnot and they got all weird on me. Why did they visit me? Because I lived next door to the Emergency Operations Center (EOP) in South Miami….

    Back to the topic… the accusations against invisible DAS agents smells like tit-for-tat… either Luis is real or this is one right out of the FBI playbook for the Chavistas: “we can also play the same game”

    Things are very weird. I know USG is going after some big and everything else is just a distraction but too many things on the periphery bother me including the Venezuela-Honduras air-corridor that has seen heavy use lately. USG is not sharing radar tracks or letting their Honduran counterparts know about these flights or airspace violations (the US military radars in Honduras, Curacao and elsewhere see everything in this area).

    USG is being negligent and allowing clandestine flights loaded with cocaine and possiblly cash and weapons to move unfettered into Honduras.

    Why does Obama have such a hard-on about restituting Zelaya? To me this really sounds like POTUS is handing over Honduras to Chavez in return for better relations with Venezuelan but the experts say not. Then what?

  6. Kepler Says:

    They are sloooow…esto lo montó un gocho.

  7. Roberto Says:

    Follow me on this for a sec. This guy, Mascheroni, talks to “Luis” over a year ago (Feb ’08), gets 20 grand, which he keeps and doesn’t spend.

    (He was keeping it to show Congress. Me, I’d take a picture of it and watch out Las Vegas!)

    Luis gets nabbed TWO WEEKS AGO, carrying info given to him in Feb of ’08 by Mascheroni? So he’s carrying this info around for over a year and a half? Just waiting for the FBI to drop in?

  8. Kepler Says:

    Or an Israeli op. They are doing a lot of PR about Venezuela’s possible cooperation with Iran for the production of nuclear weapons, specially now that they are under pressure because of the further expansion of settlements, the Gaza report…
    as I wrote before, almost anything is possible at this stage: really someone very clumsy within chavismo, a fake by one or the other player.

    Victor Ostrovsky: By way of deception.

  9. dan Says:

    Sounds sort of like a US op too though. Will be interesting to watch.

  10. dan Says:

    Venezuela is probably demonstrating its usefulness and effectiveness as an espionage partner to the Russians – i.e., the same country that has provided and is providing Iran’s program and has made public pledges to Chavez. Laser/fusion technology could hardly be useful to a country that doesn’t have a nuclear program (Venezuela), or one as basic as Iran’s. Russia might have a use for it. Or perhaps the Chinese.

  11. Kepler Says:

    Well, I suppose they have to show that Luis is real (or Levy or Lewis).
    I don’t think Hugo’s statements are hints to much. He can start joking about gas chambers and find it really funny. Remember: he is a Venezuelan clown.

  12. GWEH Says:

    if Luis is real then it does not serve USG to go public. Since Luis is not US citizen and was nabbed spying, his arrest can be kept secret.

    I did find it interesting that Chavez commented (so soon) on the case over the weekend. I also find the ‘no comments’ from the Venezuelan Embassy strange.

  13. Roberto Says:

    Then it’s all about “Luis”, and Mascheroni is actually and literally a deer in the headlights.

  14. GWEH Says:

    the argie has been retired 20 years… the government is not going to entrap him like that… some fishing expedition! If this guy has not been charged by now then what?

  15. Kepler Says:

    What’s your bet?

    – top chavismo round the bench
    -middle rank chavismo also gone nuts
    – cia to blame it on chavismo
    – Mossad posing as Venezuelans to divert from West Bank, to put pressure on Iran
    – Iran posing as Venezuelans for getting the technology they are missing
    – Mandrake

  16. Master.Pussy Says:

    I think this is a publicity stunt made by the government and the scientist to show the world that we have the resources too create Massive destruction weapons. Remember this projects take many years to develop, and I doubt the venezuela goverment looks so far ahead

  17. Robert Says:

    Why would Venezuela be talking to this bonehead when Iran has the secrets of nuclear weaponry?

  18. Roberto Says:

    Maybe the jury was scared off by the ray emitting airplane that scares up rain that Chavez ordered up. That’s why no announcement on the contest.

    On Mascheroni: The Feebs moved in because they thought the inconsistencies merited it. Maybe Mascheroni is their pawn.

    As for whether the Vzlan. Govt. is involved, too soon to tell. I think Miguel is right about that part.

  19. bruni Says:

    Parole, parole, parole

    parole, parole, parole

    show us the winner

    parole parole parole

  20. moctavio Says:

    There is a winner, will be announced in the next few days, blogger has been very busy. There will be a post about it.

  21. framethedebate Says:

    Many inconsistencies is spot on. OT but along lines of inconsistent, there was a blogger that held a contest involving photos of Muammar Gaddafi. The contest was supposedly to be judged solely by the blogger. After the dealine for submission had passed, the blogger wrote that a decision would be made regarding the contest following a weekend of review. Since that time, not a single mention of the contest again. Perhaps like Chavez, there was never any intention of following thru. Perhaps it was a simple oversight by the holder of the contest. Either way, we may never know as there are many inconsistencies given the bloggers historic record.

  22. GWEH Says:

    Mascheroni did not just hand over some public domain information on a silver platter. Assembling this report ipso facto entailed using his knowledge as a physicist, much of this knowledge being the fruit of his research years at Los Alamos. When Mascheroni says “y mis conocimientos de física,” those are indeed damning words.

    “El dijo que quería crear sistemas de disuasión nuclear contra Estado Unidos, y yo le dije que la información la podía sacar del caso que presenté al Congreso, documentos desclasificados, no secretos, construidos con la internet y mis conocimientos de física”

    Quotation taken from EL NUEVO HERALD.

  23. GWEH Says:

    remember Weng Ho Lee?

  24. GWEH Says:

    while the info may be public, it’s who put the info together and how they put the info together that matters.

  25. Alex Dalmady Says:

    Wow. Strange indeed.

    Isn’t it also strange how these guys, when caught taking money, always claim to be running their own “private” sting. Remember ABSCAM?

  26. GWEH Says:


    Monday we will know if the ‘Venezuelan agent’ is for real

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