Richard Feynman, master of deception and enemy of America?

Beloved scientist’s FBI files house theory that he he was a master spy

Written by Michael Morisy
Edited by JPat Brown

While the vast majority of letters, interviews and other data gathered by the FBI regarding Richard Feynman paint the picture of a loyal genius who helped the United States of America build the first atomic weaponry, one interviewee saw a more sinister purpose: A methodical, patient path towards betraying the country from its very highest ranks.

The FBI’s tipster, who offered to “swear to these things on a Bible, in a court, or before President Eisenhower”, wrote:

And indeed, the letter’s author (whose name has been redacted) laid out an interesting case for Feynman-as-secret-agent, citing his analytical mind, film-developing prowess, code breaking techniques and his well-known fascination for lock picking. The latter was a skill he regularly showed off at Los Alamos, to the chagrin of more security-minded scientists.

The letter also warned of Feynman’s “unusual personal magnetism.”

Perhaps that skill worked its magic on the FBI itself: The records don’t indicate that the Bureau, despite its extensive investigations into Feynman, took the letter very seriously.

Read the full letter embedded below, or on the request page.


Image via Wikimedia Commons and is licensed under CC BY 3.0