From my dad to the Tribune Star. Hopefully they publish it and perhaps other outlets will pick up the story as well.
With the recent interest in the 40th anniversary of man’s landing on the moon, I would like to offer a never published fact. This has never been made public because at the time it was classified “Top Secret” federal government information.
My father, Lawrence R. Jones, invented solid rocket booster fuel while employed at Commercial Solvents Corporation [which has fascinating ties to the state of Israel, explained in the paper] of Terre Haute. His patent #3,383,252 was issued on May 14, 1968 .
During the time of his research the only person that dad reported his experimental progress yo was Dr. Wernher von Braun , Director, NASA George C. Marshall space flight Center. One of his unsuccessful experiments caused an explosion that blew one and a half stories off the north side of the C.S.C. research building on south first street. His lab assistant lost his life in this incident.
My father’s research on this project started in 1958. At that time, my mother, sister, and I were shadowed by Federal Government agents anytime we were away from our home at 1539 South Sixth Street. The reason for this was that the U.S. Government thought that we might be kidnapped by the Russians as a means to obtain dad’s research information.
My sister, Trudi, first noticed two men in a black car following her and her friends as they walked home from Sarah Scott Junior High. My father,City Councilman from the First District, asked the Terre Haute police to look into the matter. So we had Federal Agents being tailed by Terre Haute city detectives. This is how we found out about our federal protection and the reason for it.
I remember my father bringing home a baseball size ball of solid rocket booster fuel and bouncing it off the walls of our kitchen. He said to me “Son, this product is going to put Americans on the moon.” And , as history shows, it did.
Thank you for allowing me to share some childhood memories.