by J. D. Heyes
The most recent scientist was found dead after a strange disappearance, but he wasn't just any scientist: He was employed not by academia but by the federal government's National Institutes of Health in Maryland, according to a website called All News Pipeline, which has been tracking and reporting the strange deaths.
The recently deceased, Dr. Martin John Rogers, specialized in tropical diseases, the website reported, and malaria in particular. "This death alone, despite the mysterious circumstances, normally wouldn't be of note if it wasn't for the long... very long list of dead scientists already documented since 2004," the website reported. Much of that documentation can be found here: SteveQuayle.com.
According to reports, Rogers was found near his wrecked automobile, which had spun off the roadway and down an embankment in western Maryland Sept. 4; he had been missing since Aug. 21, however, after leaving his home for work at the world-class NIH research center near Washington, D.C. As of this writing, authorities did not have a cause of death, but an autopsy had been scheduled to determine it, according to The Baxter Bulletin, a Gannett newspaper.
Asked to compromise U.S. national security
The paper went on to report that a search for Rogers did not begin until a "few days after he failed to show up for work." However, on the day of his disappearance, "a sweaty Rogers... wearing a green-checkered shirt and tan khaki pants" was seen on surveillance video, and he used a credit card at a local Motel 8 "a few hours after he left home."
A couple of days later, another report claimed that Rogers was sighted on a "local trail," which police have described as "likely credible."
"The detective working on the case has found 583 missing people in his career. He told us that why a person leaves often helps them find out where they went," local veterinarian Rob Conner, Rogers' brother-in-law, told the Bulletin. "But when the detective went through all the normal reasons a person leaves -- money problems, work problems, trouble at home, a girlfriend -- none of that matched John." A local NBC affiliate described the disappearance and resultant sightings this way:
Police said surveillance video captured Martin checking into a hotel in La Valle, Maryland, looking "stressed out." Last week, police received multiple reports of possible sightings along the C&O Canal towpath, including by Edwards Ferry, near Poolesville, Violettes Lock near Darnestown, and as far away as Cumberland.
Rogers' death is far from uncommon. For a decade, microbiologists, virologists and scientists of all stripes have been dying, and often under strange circumstances. Here are two more of the stranger cases:
'This job is killing me'
-- Mark Ferri, 59, a renowned American nuclear engineer who was found dead in a hotel room from a sudden heart attack. He was visiting Manchester, England, on "business" the day of his death. He was reportedly under stress from his job, having said to his wife, "a number of times, 'this job is killing me.'"
His wife Michaela added that a couple ofweeks earlier, she spoke to him and told authorities investigating his death that "he didn't sound right."
"He said it was just his work and they were giving him additional assignments and he was feeling overwhelmed and he didn't think he would be able to complete them," she said.
-- Shane Todd, 31, who had a Ph.D. in electrical engineering, with particular expertise in gallium nitride.
He felt increasingly uncomfortable with his work with Huawei, a Chinese company -- to the point that he informed his family that he was being asked to compromise U.S. national security and that he was in fear for his life.
Todd was working on a "one of a kind" machine which had a dual civilian-military purpose and use, requiring his brand of expertise. He refused to do what he was being asked to do, so he turned in his two-month notice. He found a good job with a Virginia-based company and bought his ticket back home but was found dead the day after his last day of work.
The case was so odd that even the CBS program 48 Hours did an episode on it: CBSNews.com.
You can read about the others here: SteveQuayle.com.