Brian O’Leary, American scientist and NASA astronaut, died from cancer he was , 71.
Brian Todd O’Leary was an American
scientist, author, and former NASA astronaut died from cancer he was , 71. . He was a member of
the sixth group of astronauts
selected by NASA in August 1967. The members of this group of eleven were known
as the scientist-astronauts,
intended to train for the Apollo Applications Program -
a follow-on to the Apollo Program, which was
ultimately canceled. In later life he became an advocate of utilizing exotic
energy sources to resolve humanity’s energy problems.
(January 27, 1940 – July 28, 2011)
O’Leary was born and raised in Boston, and credits a teenage visit to Washington,
D.C. with inspiring the patriotism that drove his efforts to become
Climbing the Matterhorn, running the Boston
Marathon and becoming an Eagle Scout
were among his pre-astronautic activities. O’Leary had two children.
O’Leary graduated from Belmont High School,
Belmont, Massachusetts, in 1957; received a bachelor of arts degree in physics
from Williams College in 1961, a
masters of arts in Astronomy from Georgetown University in 1964,
and a doctor of philosophy in astronomy from the University of
California at Berkeley in 1967.
O’Leary became a Fellow of the American
Association for the Advancement of Science in 1975. Other
organizations are: 1970-1976, secretary of the American Geophysical Union’s
Planetology Section; 1977, team leader of the Asteroidal Resources Group, NASA
Ames Summer Study on Space Settlements; 1976–1979, member of the nominating
committee of the American Astronomical
Society Division for Planetary Sciences; 1983–1985, chairman of the
board of directors of the Institute
for Security and Cooperation in Space; 1990, founding board member
of the International Association for New Science; 2003 founding president of
the New Energy Movement; 2007-, Fellow, World Innovation Foundation.
While attending graduate school in astronomy at the University of
California, Berkeley, O’Leary published several scientific papers on
the Martian atmosphere.
O’Leary’s Ph.D. thesis in 1967 was on the Martian surface.
Soon after completing his Ph.D. thesis, O’Leary was the first astronaut
specifically selected for a potential manned Mars mission when it
was still in NASA’s program plan projected for the 1980s as a follow-on to the
Apollo lunar program.
O’Leary was the only planetary scientist-astronaut in NASA’s astronaut corps
during the Apollo program.
O’Leary resigned from the astronaut program in April 1968, and cited several
reasons for resigning in his The Making of an Ex-Astronaut, which
included the cancellation of the Mars program in early 1968.
After O’Leary’s resignation from NASA, Carl
Sagan recruited him to teach at Cornell University in 1968,
where he researched and lectured until 1971. While teaching at Cornell, he
studied lunar mascons.
O’Leary subsequently taught astronomy, physics, and science policy assessment
at several academic institutions, including the University
of California at Berkeley School of Law (1971–1972) Hampshire
College (1972–75) and Princeton University
O’Leary was a member of the Mariner 10 Venus-Mercury TV Science Team.
The team received NASA’s group achievement award for its participation.
O’Leary authored several popular books and more than one hundred
peer-reviewed articles in the fields of planetary
science, astronautics, and science
He was one of the more visible scientists who participated in Gerard K. O’Neill and the L5
Society‘s plans for an orbiting city.
O’Leary suggested that Earth-approaching asteroids
and the moons of Mars would be the
most accessible space-based resource for space colonies.
O’Leary was among the earliest to coordinate observations and interpretations
of stellar occultations by planetary satellites and asteroids.
O’Leary also wrote and edited popular books on astronomy and astronautics.
During the 1970s and 1980s, O’Leary was a regular contributor to the magazines Omni,
Digest, New Scientist, Astronomy, and Sky
O’Leary became politically active early in his career. He participated in a
demonstration in Washington, D.C. in 1970, to
protest the war in Cambodia. Richard
Nixon administration officials invited O’Leary and his fellow
Cornell professors into the White House to present their
grievances and their meeting appeared as the lead story of CBS
Evening News on May 9, 1970.
O’Leary was Morris Udall’s energy advisor
during his 1975-1976 campaign for U.S.
president, and served under Udall as a special staff consultant on
energy for the U.S. House Interior Committee subcommittee on energy and the
environment in 1975-1976.
O’Leary advised other U.S. presidential candidates, including George
McGovern, Walter Mondale, Jesse
Jackson, and Dennis Kucinich.
During those years, he also immersed himself in several controversies
relating to NASA’s objectives, including its manned lunar landings, the Space
Shuttle, and the weaponization of space.
O’Leary promoted a joint manned mission to Mars between the U.S. and the Soviet
O’Leary twice traveled to the Soviet Union in the late 1980s to promote the
peaceful exploration of space. O’Leary participated in a peace cruise along the
River in the Ukraine with the first
Westerners to visit the area in decades.
A remote viewing experience in
and a near-death experience in 1982
initiated O’Leary’s departure from orthodox science. After Princeton, O’Leary
worked in the space industry at Science Applications
International Corporation in Hermosa
Beach, California, beginning in 1982.
O’Leary refused to work on military space applications, which resulted in
losing his position there in 1987.
Beginning in 1987, O’Leary increasingly explored unorthodox ideas,
particularly the relationship between consciousness and science, and became
widely known for his writings on “the frontiers of science, space, energy and
He lectured extensively since the 1980s on science and consciousness, in places
such as the Findhorn Foundation, Esalen
Institute, Omega Institute, Unity
Churches, Religious Science churches and
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta
Centres. He extensively traveled internationally during his
investigations, which included visiting scientific laboratories and mystics
such as Sathya Sai Baba. In the
mid-1990s, O’Leary began to write about his investigations regarding innovative
technologies that allegedly utilize energy sources that science does not currently
recognize (also called new energy), and how those technologies can transform
the planet and the human journey.
O’Leary believed there is an extraterrestrial presence on Earth, its
relationship to those potentially transformative technologies, and their
conjoined organized suppression.
O’Leary also participated in the Face
on Mars issue.
In 2003, O’Leary founded the New Energy Movement.
Shortly after his new energy colleague Eugene
Mallove was murdered in 2004,
O’Leary moved to Ecuador,
where he resided for the rest of his life. He ontinued to travel and publicly
lecture on the subject of new energy and planetary healing.
In 2007, O’Leary presented a paper titled, “Renewable and Unconventional
Energy for a Sustainable Future: Can We Convert in Time?”, at the
International Energy Conference and Exhibition in Daegu, S.
With his artist wife Meredith Miller, in 2008 he co-established the Montesueños
Eco-Retreat in Vilcabamba, Ecuador,
which is devoted to “peace, sustainability, the arts and new science.”
In 2009, O’Leary published the Energy Solution Revolution.
In 2010, O’Leary published “The Turquoise Revolution”.
Declining Health and Death
O’Leary credited a natural anti-cancer salve named Cansema,
made by American businessman, inventor, manufacturer and promoter of various
herbal products Gregory Caton, with removing a
skin cancer tumour on his back, contracted whilst in his 60s; he even wrote a
testimonial for Caton to use in the promotion
of this product. After having his second heart attack in 2010, he died at his
home of intestinal cancer in Vilcabamba, Ecuador, soon
after diagnosis.[citation neede
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