Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on May 19, 1974 · Page 5
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Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 5

Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, May 19, 1974
Page 5
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5A - Ma 1974 Sunday Gatetie-Mail Wevt Virginia Defense Admits Rainmaking ANGUS GAITHER Hig Decision Scholar Faces Puzzle THOMPSONVILLE, 111.'.?-- Angus Gaither. 18, is torn between family responsibility and a thirst for learning. The valedictorian of Thompsonville High School in Southern Illinois says he has until Monday to inform Harvard University officials if he can accept a scholarship providing $5,250 a year. He also has been nominated for the service academies at West Point and Annapolis. "It's Harvard I want because of academic opportunities there in the field of law and politics," says Gaither. "The University gave me a 30-day extension for accepting the scholarship and the deadline is Monday. "Here I am faced with probably the biggest decision of my life and having a hard time finding the time just to think about it." * * * GAITHER'S FATHER is dead. His brother, J. C., 32, suffered a stroke two years ago and is partially paralyzed. A month ago his mother, Cleta. 60. had a stroke and is bedfast. Angus is the family breadwinner. He managed to maintain a straight A average in school and work the family's 400-acre farm by himself. "I can't get help because it's the height of the planting season and everyone is busy with his own farm," he says. "I've been getting up at 5 a. m. to feed our 20 head of cattle and 50 hogs. Then I cook breakfast and get my^mother and brother taken care of. A neighbor usually drops in while I am at school." · Gaither, a husky six-footer, drives the family's 1967 car two miles to school. He is back home in midafternoon. "Then I start plowing and discing until 10 p. m. The neighbors usually have supper for me." I By Seymour M. Hersh (c) AVir York Times Service WASHINGTON - The Defense Department has acknowledged to Congress that the Air Force and Navy participated in extensive rainmaking operations in Southeast Asia from 1967 to 1972 in an attempt to slow the movement of North Vietnamese troops and supplies through the Ho Chi Minh Trail network. Testimony made public Saturday showed a considerable disagreement within the Pentagon about the military value of the top secret rainmaking effort. The testimony also revealed that former Defense Secretary Melvin R. Laird has apologized to Congress for having c a t e g o r i c a l l y denied t w o years ago that rainmaking efforts had been going on. pleading ignorance of the operation. Laird said that he had "never approved" it and that he had understood that it had not taken place under former President Lyndon B. Johnson. The cloud-seeding program which defense officials said increased local rainfalls up to 30 per cent, was the first known use of weather warfare in military history. The Pentagon's admission came during a top secret hearing last March 20 before the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on the oceans and international environment. Dennis J: Doolin, deputy assistant secretary of defense, and Lt. Col. Ed Soyster of the Army, representing the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the subcommittee that 2,602 cloud- seeding missions were flown from an Air Force base in Thailand dropping a total of 47,409 canisters of rain-producing silver iodide or lead iodide over North Vietnam, South Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, beginning on March 20, 1967. * * * THE RAIN M A K I N G reached a peak in 1971, according to Pentagon statistics made available to the committee, with more than 11,000 canisters dumped. Well-informed sources have told The New York Times that the operations at that point were tightly controlled by Henry A. Kissinger, the President's adviser for national security. In his testimony, Doolin defended the program by noting that, "if an adversary wanted to stop me from getting from point A to point B, I would rather he stopped me with a rainstorm than stopped me with a bunch of bombs." In his testimony,'Soyster of the joint chiefs told the committee that the Pentagon had authorized cloud seeding over North Vietnam on July 11. 1967. The colonel told the committee that the defense intelligence agency had estimated Sears V Sale! Convertible V2-HP Jet Pump Pump is built for good service 'with cast iron body and base. A u t o m a t i c pressure switch holds pressure at 2(1-4(1 pounds. Deep or shallow well jel sold separately. is '/2-HP Regular 889.95 }00 Jet extra Save! 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Doolin suggested that he did not share the military's enthusiasm tor the rainmaking program. "When you look at the amount of rainfall that was in these given areas anyway." he said, "and what was added to it possibly by these extra seedings, it looks to me like you are getting 21 inches in a given area and we add two inches." "If I was on the bottom," the Pentagon official added. "I do not think I would know the difference between 21 and 23." the go easy care culotte dresses Fashions you love wearing to run to the market, pick up the kids from school and just an easy day around the house .. . culotte dresses that look great and keep up with your active schedule. Select from many styles in lots of prints and colors ... all cf easy care fabrics and each one features a zip crotch. You're sure to love the selection and want to add more than one style to your wardrobe. 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