Dr. Gerald Bull's family mourns his murder
Dr. Gerald Bull was like a figure in a spy novel, designing arms for some of the world's harshest regimes. With no shortage of possible enemies, he died at the hands of an unknown assassin. But the Canadian-born artillery expert was also a brilliant scientist with a dream: to launch a satellite with a giant gun.
. Belgian police found $20,000 US in cash in Bull's briefcase. This, paired with the method of killing and the use of a gun silencer, convinced police Bull was killed by a professional assassin.
. After he moved to Brussels, Bull set up a new incarnation of the Space Research Corporation and worked on contracts to design weapons for China, Spain, Yugoslavia and Iraq.
. In 1986 Bull self-published a book about the giant German "Paris Guns" of the First World War. The extensively researched book compared the Paris Gun with HARP and HARP's role in the development of artillery.
. Bull's passion for the supergun was revitalized at a scientific conference in Virginia in 1985. Organizers from the Pentagon were interested in the military applications of a gun-launched orbiter (GLO) that could be controlled once it left the barrel. This was exactly what HARP had been exploring, and Bull spoke well and at length on the subject. He was asked to submit a formal proposal and readily agreed, but the project was shortly shelved.
. There is evidence Bull knew his life was in danger. His apartment had been visited several times by unknown people while he was away. There are also reports he had been indirectly and directly warned against continuing his work for Iraq.
. Bull was mourned by Mimi, his wife of 35 years, and their seven adult children.
Broadcast Date: March 31, 1990 Guest(s): Charles Murphy
Reporter: John Curtin
Last updated: February 8, 2012
Page consulted on April 25, 2013
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