Hey there! Good to see you. I imagine you’re checking this blog site because it’s the 70th anniversary of Ron Tammen’s disappearance from Miami University. In recognition of this day, I’m happy to report that we—you and I—are now in the number three spot whenever someone Googles “Ronald Tammen”—which floors me, since I’ve done absolutely nothing special to achieve that position other than post updates when I have them. If you Google the more familiar “Ron Tammen,” we’re at number two, and that’s really amazing too. What I’m trying to say is that this is on you, Good Man readers. Your visits and clicks and comments and likes have put us near the top of the search engine heap, and I thank you so, so much.
If Ron’s still alive, he’d be 89 years old. And, by the way, if he is still living and he’s landed here after Googling his former name, I only ask that he leave a comment below, no matter how strange or out-of-the-blue it might feel to him. Ron, if you’re reading this, the door is wide open, and we would love to hear from you. But no pressure.
Speaking of which, I was beginning to feel a little pressure myself about a month ago when I was thinking about what to write about today. Things have been happening research-wise, the wheels are still turning, but I just didn’t feel like I had anything new to report just yet.
Well, I do have something new to report, thanks to reader Julie Miles, the same Julie Miles who recently created a searchable, sortable MKULTRA index that’s available on the homepage of this blog site. (If you haven’t explored it yet, I encourage you to download it and have a look around. If you ever feel the desire to go through some of the CIA’s MKULTRA documents, the Miles index—should we call it that? I think we should!—will give you a ginormous head start.)
Back to today’s news. Last month, I read a book by Nicholson Baker—a book that Miles had recommended to me—in which he describes his experiences with the Freedom of Information Act. On page 231, Baker shared a fact that, although relatively minor in the grand scheme of his narrative, struck a major chord for me. A few days later, as that new piece of information was rolling around somewhere in my brain, I reread a note that Carl Knox had jotted down in 1953 and revisited some U.S. Census forms from 1940 and ’50. That’s when a neuron must have fired, which caused a synapse to form, and so on down the line, resulting in the aha moment that was the inspiration for today’s post.
Some of you may recall how, for other Tammen milestones, I’ve given away T-shirts, Christmas ornaments, and key chains with Ron’s face on them. We’ve had quizzes and a Twitter chat and beers at Mac and Joe’s. On anniversary number 65, I did a Facebook Live Stream from my sister’s kitchen, and nervously leafed through a copy of the psychology textbook that Ron would have used, giving you my best guess of the page it was opened to when he stepped away from his desk for the last time. We’re not going to do any of those things this time. God knows the planet could use a few less promotional items, and livestreaming still scares the crap out of me.
Besides, I believe that what you want is information—new, compelling information about the Tammen case. So that’s what I’ve decided to give you this year. What’s more, you know how great it is to be able to binge a TV series in one night as opposed to having to wait each week for a new episode to drop? Well, THAT, my friends, is what we’re doing this year. Today, I’m dropping four fairly major blog posts all at the same time. They’re separate, but related, and you can read them whenever you’d like—binge them all now or read them one at a time, whenever. It makes no difference to me. There are no rules. Well, you may want to read them in order. That would probably help.
Two important final points:
- I’ll be discussing several people by name, especially two key people. Please keep in mind that the year was 1953, at the height of the Cold War. If someone—anyone—back then were asked to do something for national security, most would probably do it. If they were asked to keep quiet about it, again, for national security’s sake, a typical person would do that too. The two people I’ll be focusing on were very nice, wonderfully admirable human beings, as you’ll soon learn. I just think they may have known something more about Ronald Tammen when the news broke that he’d disappeared.
- When I present my hypothesis, please recognize it as just that—a hypothesis. There’s always the chance that I could be wrong.