Monday, October 11, 2010

THE ‘SHROOM: THE ODYSSEY OF ROBERT LEWIS’S ATOMIC SCULPTURE


“The piece itself is kind of ugly, but so was the deed.”

--Dr. Glenn Van Warrebey assessing Robert A. Lewis’s mushroom cloud sculpture, 1983
[1]

“He was an entertainer and would always want people’s attention.”

--Dieter Rosellen assessing the late Glenn Van Warrebey, 2010
[2]



INTRODUCTION

Decades ago, Dieter Rosellen dubbed an unusual piece of art acquired by his best friend as “The ‘Shroom.” He still refers to the white Italian marble mushroom cloud sculpture by that nickname.[3] The artist’s more formal (and thought provoking) title for the work is etched into its base: ‘God’s Wind’ at Hiroshima?[4] The sculptor, Robert Lewis—the co-pilot of the Enola Gay, the plane that dropped the first atomic bomb in warfare—died in 1983 and Rosellen’s pal, author and psychologist Glenn Van Warrebey, passed away twenty-one years later.[5] The ‘Shroom survives both of them.

This is the story of the sculpture’s evolution: From its birth in the tortured imagination of an atomic veteran to its current state—an unsettling curiosity that has to be seen to be believed. It is also a tale of the intersecting lives of the man who created it and the man who exploited it.


THE UNLIKELY CONSCIENCE OF THE ATOM AGE


The Brooklyn-born Captain Robert Alvin Lewis was not the sensitive artist type when he and his fellow crewmembers dropped what they called “The Gimmick” on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. The brash flyboy’s first spoken reaction to the mushroom cloud rising over the devastated Japanese city was: “Look at that sonofabitch go!”[6] But on paper and removed from the immediate reaction of his peers, the co-pilot was more contemplative. In an in-flight log that he was keeping as a favor for William Laurence of the New York Times, Lewis wrote the immortal words, “My God, what have we done?” Ten years later, this phrase was nervously delivered by its author to a viewing audience of millions on This Is Your Life. On both occasions, it is reported that Lewis’s initial incentives for providing his impressions of the historic mission were financial.[7]


Regardless of the motive, there was undoubtedly genuine emotion behind the many words that the airman committed to paper on that epochal day. That most famous line from the notebook may have emerged slowly into the public consciousness, but it has since come to serve as history’s reaction to the first combat use of an atomic weapon. Indeed, in 1985 Time magazine quoted Lewis’s profound-with-age rhetorical question on the cover of its fortieth anniversary of Hiroshima issue.[8]

Time Magazine-1985
In the heavily censored and patriotic aftermath of the A-bombings and the war itself, however, the co-pilot’s words proved to be too strong to use in their entirety. In the initial newspaper coverage of the Hiroshima mission reviewed by CONELRAD, the phrase was truncated to “My God,” if it was used at all.[9] William Laurence—the man who asked that the log be kept in the first place—also cut the quote down for his 1946 book, Dawn Over Zero.[10] A quarter century after Hiroshima, the logbook was auctioned off for $37,000. At the time of the sale, the complete quotation, along with other excerpts, appeared in newspapers around the world. [11] Lewis, who was then the plant manager for the Henry Heide Candy Company in New Brunswick, New Jersey, used some of his profits from the auction to buy marble for his art hobby.[12] He was no longer the skirt-chasing hell-raiser of his World War II days—he was a married man and a father of five.[13] But August 6, 1945 clearly still haunted the former co-pilot.

Robert and Mary Eileen Lewis with a growing family, 1957

SALVATION AND THE ‘SHROOM

Lewis Sculpting-Lo
Robert Lewis had been sculpting for a time before he sold his Enola Gay notebook in 1971. In fact, the previous year he had won a local prize for a piece he called Salvation which he described as “the hand of God grabbing another (hand) of man.” During the same period, the artist completed the mushroom cloud sculpture.[14]

As recounted in Glenn Van Warrebey’s book, Looking Up, Looking Down: The Psychology of the A-Bombers and Survivors of Hiroshima, Lewis explained that he was unsure about whether to call the sculpture ‘God’s Wind’ at Hiroshima or ‘The Devil’s Wind’ at Hiroshima. The inspiration for the title came when he visited Japan shortly after the war. Lo-Sculpture-Title A Japanese dentist there had told him that he felt that the detonation of the atomic bomb over Hiroshima was “God’s Wind” because it effectively ended the war. Lewis, though, wasn’t sure if the breeze might have come from a more malevolent source. Van Warrebey writes that, in the end, he settled on a more ambiguous variation on the dentist’s sentiment: ‘God’s Wind’ at Hiroshima? The question mark—emphasizing the artist’s own ambivalence—is significantly larger than the other lettering.[15]

There are also “streams” that are prominently featured running down the “stem” to the base of the statue. Van Warrebey quotes Lewis’s explanation for this macabre flourish in his book: “It comes down and makes a flowing form like liquid. In my own mind this liquid is the blood of human beings flowing from the bomb.”[16]


Sculpture-base
With this monument to therapeutic art officially completed, the ‘Shroom sat in the back of Lewis’s garage for the next seven years.[17] But, as we shall see, he was never able to keep it in the back of his mind.


Lo-Sculpture-Lewis Name-Best
THE BLACK BELT PSYCHOLOGIST

Before Glenn Van Warrebey met the co-pilot of the Enola Gay and, indeed, before he was even born in 1950, his family had a connection to Robert Lewis. Glenn Van Warrebey, Sr. and Lewis went to the same school in New Jersey. Lewis graduated from Ridgefield Park High in 1937 and Van Warrebey, Sr. received his diploma in ’35.[18] Glenn, Sr. is said to have reminisced about Lewis in some of his well-worn dinner table stories. They were not, as one member of the Enola Gay crew later claimed, in the service together. Glenn’s father was in the Merchant Marines—far removed from the B-29s of Lewis’s war experience.[19]

Lewis-Van Warrebey HSLewis (left) and Van Warrebey, Sr. 

In 1969, shortly after Glenn, Jr. graduated from high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served most of his time aboard the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt, a nuclear submarine. After getting out of the military in 1971, Van Warrebey earned black belts in karate and judo and opened a dojo with his friend, Dieter Rosellen. At the dojo, Glenn would stage elaborate power demonstrations such as board breaking and ice breaking.[20]

At the same time, he was pursuing his undergraduate degree in psychology at Rutgers University and making extra money as a body guard for touring celebrities such as Johnny Cash. He would later move to California to earn his M.A. in clinical psychology from Pepperdine University and his Psy.D. from California Western University (now known as Alliant International University).[21]

Lo-Glenn Board Breaking.jpeg
By 1977, Dr. Van Warrebey was making a substantial living from his psychotherapy practice and from writing and lecturing on the subject of hypnosis. That year he put out a book and a spoken word album on the topic.[22] He was also profiting handsomely from savvy property investments. Glenn was not content to simply have money—he liked to flaunt it and he reveled in cruising around in his Rolls Royce or one of his many other luxury automobiles. In other words, he was not your average mental health professional.[23]

Lo-Van Warrebey-Rolls
Dieter Rosellen neatly captures the relentless drive of his friend in one paragraph:
Glenn, as I said, was out to promote himself and capitalize on every opportunity he could. He would become what he needed to be in order to make things work. He was a bit ahead of his time in my eyes and would always amaze me at some of the things he would come up with and do.[24]
THE SHRINK AND THE ‘SHROOM

Glenn Van Warrebey and Robert Lewis first became acquainted at Krogh’s, a popular local tavern in Sparta, New Jersey where they both happened to be regulars. It was a casual beginning to a very unusual relationship. At some point in 1977 Lewis became Van Warrebey’s patient.[25]

According to Looking Up, Looking Down, it was approximately three weeks into their therapy sessions when Lewis mentioned his mushroom cloud sculpture. Van Warrebey quickly convinced him to bring the fifty-pound, sixteen-inch tall statue into the office.

The doctor was suitably wowed:
The mushroom statue’s presence immediately hit me with such an emotional impact that I had to censor myself in front of him for a few seconds. Psychologists might call my reaction a profound “uh-huh effect.”[26]

Warrebey-Back of Book-Photo
Dieter Rosellen told CONELRAD that his friend had confided to him during this period that he was extremely impressed with the odd piece of atomic art. It is Rosellen’s feeling that Glenn immediately recognized its cash worth.[27] Van Warrebey would later tell reporters that Lewis gave him the sculpture for the purposes of therapeutic closure (“Lewis had been carrying the mushroom as his cross and he gave the mushroom and his cross to me,” the doctor told one newspaper in 1981), but Rosellen says that it was exchanged “in lieu of payment for professional services.”[28] According to a Sarasota Herald-Tribune feature on Van Warrebey, these services included hypnosis to “force Lewis to relive” the Hiroshima bombing mission. “It’s the same thing you do with a person who has been raped or had some other traumatic experience,” Van Warrebey told the paper.[29]

Robert Lewis may have been pleased with the progress he was making with Van Warrebey, but his family—particularly his wife, Mary Eileen—was less enamored with the doctor. The Lewises were particularly incensed that Glenn was in possession of their patriarch’s very personal and potentially valuable sculpture. At one point, after they sought the ‘Shroom’s return, Van Warrebey resorted to hiding it even though it was his property. When asked if the family’s animosity troubled Glenn, Dieter Rosellen replied, “It didn’t bother Glenn. Nothing bothered Glenn.”[30]

THE ‘SHROOM ON TOUR

Desaturated-Shroom & Peace Dome.jpeg
Shortly after Robert Lewis’s death in June of 1983, his surviving psychologist began a protracted effort to sell the ‘Shroom. Dieter Rosellen confirmed his late friend’s strategy to CONELRAD: “He took advantage of it. He took it to Japan in an effort to build up its value and create interest in it. He wanted to make money off of it after Bob Lewis died.”[31] The doctor wasn’t the only one who tried to profit off of items connected to the Enola Gay co-pilot after his passing—the Lewis family did, too. In 1990, Mary Eileen Lewis, Robert Lewis’s second wife, attempted to sell what she claimed was the original navigator’s log through Christie’s in New York. When the Hiroshima mission’s navigator, Theodore van Kirk, came forward and said he was in possession of the original log, Christie’s investigated the matter and issued a statement that they could not vouch for the authenticity of Mrs. Lewis’s property. As a result, the item, which had at one time been valued at $100,000 to $150,000, did not sell, but a pair of binoculars used by the Enola Gay crew did fetch Mrs. Lewis $12,000.[32]

Publicly, Van Warrebey was playing the role of the respectful buddy. When the Kyoda News Service of Japan was trying to arrange for the sculpture’s display at the Peace Museum in Hiroshima, the doctor told the Associated Press: “I could see a museum, but…I don’t want to sell it. Some things don’t have a price. Bob gave me this, and I recall his saying something about ‘Don’t sell this.’ He was a friend of mine.”[33]

While it does not appear that the statue was ever formally showcased at the Peace Museum (there is, however, a photo of it in the shadow of Hiroshima’s famous A-Bomb Dome which can be seen in this post), Van Warrebey did cart the ‘Shroom all over Japan during the summer of 1984.

Lo-Glenn and Shroom on Japan TV.jpeg
He toured the country giving lectures on the research he was engaged in for his forthcoming book on the bombers who dropped the first atomic weapons and those who survived the cataclysmic explosions. The doctor’s experience with Lewis had inspired him to begin interviewing the crew members of the Enola Gay and the Bock’s Car from a psychological point of view. His barely disguised agenda was to find some evidence of guilt on the part of the American crews who carried out the Hiroshima and Nagasaki missions. During the Japan tour, Van Warrebey also conducted interviews with the Hibakusha (Japanese bomb survivors). [34]

Paul Tibbets, the proudly remorseless commander of the 509th Composite Group and the pilot of the Enola Gay, had a delayed realization of Glenn’s “guilt” angle and said as much to him in a letter dated September 18, 1984: “Again and again you have come back to ‘innocent victims’ and my perceived position regarding them, to the point you seem intent on getting a statement from me that you can use for a specific purpose.”[35] The retired brigadier general, who initially cooperated with Glenn, was fed up and reportedly tried to block the book’s release.[36] Tibbets, who was accustomed to dealing with compliant biographers, had met his match in Glenn. The pilot’s portrayal in Looking Up, Looking Down is not always a pleasant one, but it has the ring of truth.[37]

Tibbets Ltr
Before returning to the United States, the doctor loaned the ‘Shroom to the Buddhist monks at the Kiyomizu-dara Temple in Kyoto, Japan. The photograph below shows the sculpture on display (on the table under the painting, in between the monk and Van Warrebey). The monks pondered its significance for a year while Van Warrebey finished writing Looking Up, Looking Down.[38]

Lo-Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto
GOING TOO FAR

As the fortieth anniversary of the atomic bombings approached, Van Warrebey lit the fuse on a publicity stunt to generate interest in his yet to be published book. Using bombardier Kermit Beahan’s statement to him that he had “regrets” and “remorse” over his participation in the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, the doctor sent a letter to the mayor of that city, Hitoshi Motoshima. The missive informed the mayor that Beahan wished to come to Nagasaki during the upcoming anniversary peace ceremonies and personally apologize for his actions. A month later, Motoshima politely turned down the psychologist’s astonishing proposition:

Mayor of Nagasaki
Dear Dr. Van Warrebey,
Thank you for your letter of June 11, 1985.

The letter provided me with a clear understanding of St. [sic] Col. Kermit Beahan’s feelings of remorse concerning the dropping of the atomic bomb; a weapon which brought unimaginable suffering to the citizens of Nagasaki at the end of World War II.

I would like to impress upon you the fact that although there are atomic bomb survivors who are willing to meet and speak with Mr. Beahan, there are others who say: “The agony of the hibakusha continues even today. I cannot find it in my heart to meet with Mr. Beahan.”
I must also inform you that unfortunately the city of Nagasaki will not be able to officially invite him to the Peace Memorial Ceremony.

In conclusion, please accept my wishes for your good health and continuing success in your work.

Sincerely yours,
Hitoshi Motoshima
Mayor of Nagasaki
[39]
The Associated Press broke the news of the rejection of Beahan’s supposed offer a week later[40] and, according to Enola Gay countermeasures officer, Jacob Beser, the whole episode caused his former colleague considerable distress:
I called Beahan. I couldn’t get to him. He pulled his phone for three days because he didn’t know what was happening. The whole world descends on him. He didn’t even know this idiot had done this. And I told him the whole story.[41]
Beahan pulled himself together in time for the fortieth anniversary of Nagasaki to issue a clarification to his hometown newspaper, the Houston Chronicle. He explained that it would be ludicrous for him to apologize. He also said: “I regret I had to drop an atomic bomb. For that matter, I regret the first 100-pound bomb I ever dropped. I regret the whole damn war ever started. Van Warrebey apparently didn’t understand the difference between ‘regret’ and ‘guilt’—I certainly feel no guilt for bringing World War II to an early conclusion.” Further down in the article, the psychologist’s conspicuous absence is called out in a separate paragraph: “Van Warrebey could not be reached for comment.”[42]

A year earlier, Beahan and other members of the 509th Composite Group had happily conversed with Van Warrebey at their annual reunion in Philadelphia. The pilots of the Enola Gay and Bock’s Car even posed for pictures with him.[43] But things turned chilly after the letter to Mayor Motoshima. Theodore “Dutch” van Kirk, the last surviving member of the Hiroshima mission, told CONELRAD that after the Beahan incident, several members of the crew regretted ever speaking to Van Warrebey.[44] Not that the burned bridges mattered much to Glenn—the book, after all, was done.

Glenn. Tibbetts  SweeneyTibbets, Van Warrebey, Sweeney (pilot of Bock’s Car), 1984 

THE BOOK

Looking Up-Frnt-Cvr
No doubt realizing that it would be his most enduring vehicle for promotion, Van Warrebey made sure that the ‘Shroom was prominently featured in the art for Looking Up, Looking Down. The garish cover illustration by Henry Doren shows the sculpture practically dripping off the edge of the front of the book. Inside, there is the posed shot of Lewis “working” on the ‘Shroom in the 1970s. And, finally, on the back there is a photograph of the author sitting next to his prized art piece.[45]

Looking Up, Looking Down may not have helped sell the ‘Shroom, but until this article, finding a copy of the book was the only way to actually see what the thing looked like. Robert Jay Lifton references the sculpture and cites Van Warrebey in Hiroshima in America: A Half-Century of Denial (co-written with Greg Mitchell), but that book does not provide an image.[46] Needless to say, a mere textual description is woefully inadequate in conveying the weirdness of the ‘Shroom.

After Van Warrebey promoted his book and completed some leftover research connected with the project, he moved on to other things. In 1995, he or his publisher slapped a vaguely Halloween-ish orange sticker on the remaining stock and tried to sell copies as “Hiroshima Haunting: Fiftieth Anniversary Edition.” As of this post, used copies of the book start on Amazon at $45.00.



Whatever his reasons (aside from profit) for writing the tome, he wound up producing an invaluable contribution to the scholarship on the violent dawn of the atomic age. Indeed, Van Warrebey’s hypnosis books and National Enquirer articles (yes, he wrote for the tabloid in the early 1980s)[47] may be all but forgotten, but his interviews with the people directly involved in one of the seminal events in the history of the world is the doctor’s true legacy. CONELRAD has examined a small portion of the research Van Warrebey collected for his book and we are convinced that it meets the standards of rigorous academic study.[48] It is ironic that the flamboyant psychologist’s ethically hazy relationship with Robert Lewis led to such an important work, but it did.

Lo-Van Warrebey-Interview TapesSmall sampling of Van Warrebey interview tapes 

WHITHER ‘THE SHROOM?


Glenn Van Warrebey, who always preferred writing books to practicing psychology, churned out a few more titles[49] before his personal demons got the better of him in Mexico in 2004. The doctor, who owned property in Puerto Vallarta, and taught for a while at the University of Guadalajara, died from complications of alcoholism that year at the age of 54. He left behind two ex-wives, a child from each marriage and…the ‘Shroom, which, at the time of his passing, was sitting on his parents’ mantelpiece in Sparta, New Jersey.[50]

After Glenn’s hometown funeral, his brother, Wayne Van Warrebey, took custody of the sculpture and some of the documents related to his most significant professional achievement: Looking Up, Looking Down. Glenn’s best friend, Dieter Rosellen, saved the majority of the audio tapes and one video recording that underpin the book’s conclusions.[51]

In 2005, James Ferrell, an appraiser with Bonhams & Butterfields in San Francisco, examined the ‘Shroom and told Wayne that there was no way he would be able to assign a value to it. When CONELRAD followed up with Ferrell in 2010, he explained that his specialty was not sculpture, but arms and armament. He reiterated his view that the piece is probably beyond appraising. It speaks volumes, of course, that this gentleman—who had probably looked at a thousand or more objects in the intervening years—immediately remembered the ‘Shroom.[52]

Mr. Ferrell went on to tell CONELRAD that one of the elements missing from the piece is something that is known in the auction trade as “tangibility.” That is to say, because Robert Lewis didn’t carve the ‘Shroom on the Enola Gay on the way back from Hiroshima, it cannot be considered a “tangible” part of that history.[53] The flight diary, on the other hand, was written during the actual mission and therefore has that special quality that bidding wars are made of.[54]

But if one looks at the back cover of that famous logbook, one can see the genesis of the sculpture that Lewis would create twenty-five years later. The budding young artist sketched the mushroom cloud from his vantage point aboard the plane and then recorded the hour of the rendering (0930), the date (8/6/45) and signed his initials (RAL).[55]

Sketch_Lewis_BW
It seems obvious now that it was the mental anguish that Lewis must have felt over his role in the killing of 100,000-plus human beings that eventually helped transform his amateur cockpit doodle into the ghastly, yet cathartic, ‘God’s Wind’ at Hiroshima. If this isn’t “tangibility,” we don’t know what is.

History-Art-Collage 
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS / NOTES

CONELRAD would like to thank Wayne Van Warrebey and Dieter Rosellen for their invaluable help in making this article as comprehensive as it is. Many of the images seen in this post are used with the permission of Mr. Rosellen and Mr. Van Warrebey. No image or video from this article may be reproduced without the written permission of CONELRAD.

CONELRAD would also like to thank the Ridgefield Park, New Jersey Public Library for their assistance in confirming that Glenn Van Warrebey’s father and Robert Lewis attended the same high school.

Finally, CONELRAD is grateful to Theodore “Dutch” van Kirk, the last surviving member of the Enola Gay crew, for his generosity in speaking with us for this article.


[1] “Carving Shows ‘Ambivalence’ on Hiroshima,” Daily Register [Red Bank, NJ] via Associated Press, October 17, 1983.

[2] Dieter Rosellen e-mail to Bill Geerhart, October 4, 2010.

[3] Bill Geerhart telephone interview with Dieter Rosellen on September 21, 2010.

[4] The title of the sculpture is documented in Glenn Van Warrebey, Looking Up, Looking Down: The Psychology of the A-Bombers Survivors of Hiroshima [Winona, Minnesota: Apollo Books, 1985], p. 1. The title has also been confirmed by CONELRAD’s examination of images of the actual sculpture provided to us by Glenn Van Warrebey’s brother, Wayne Van Warrebey.

[5] John Edwards, “Lewis, Enola Gay crewman, dies,” Smithfield (Virginia) Times, June 22, 1983. Van Warrebey’s 2004 death was confirmed to CONELRAD by his brother, Wayne Van Warrebey, as well as his best friend, Dieter Rosellen. His death was also confirmed by a friend of his named Linda Wepner in an August 8, 2010 e-mail to Bill Geerhart. CONELRAD was unable to find any published obituaries on Van Warrebey.

[6] Gordon Thomas and Max Morgan Witt, Enola Gay [New York: Stein and Day, 1977], p. 265. Lewis’s “sonofabitch” quote is also cited in Joseph L. Marx, Seven Hours to Zero [New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1967], p. 172.

[7] For Lewis’s favor for Laurence and his expectation of financial gain from the logbook see Thomas and Witts, Enola Gay, p. 240. For Lewis’s expectation of financial gain from appearing on This Is Your Life, see Rodney Barker, Hiroshima Maidens [New York: Viking, 1985], p. 94. For video of Lewis’s appearance on This Is Your Life see: http://conelrad.blogspot.com/2010/08/hiroshima-this-is-your-life.html.

[8] Time magazine cover, July 29, 1985.

[9] John R. Henry, “Men Aboard B-29 Atomic Bomb Carrier Were Amazed and Speechless…,” Port Arthur (Texas) News via INS, August 8, 1945. Henry’s article reports the utterance of the words “My God” in reaction to the Hiroshima bombing, but does not identify Lewis as the speaker.

[10] William Laurence, Dawn Over Zero: The Story of the Atomic Bomb [New York: Knopf, 1946], p. 221.

[11] Deirdre Carmody, “A-Bomber’s Notebook Sold,” Corpus Christi (Texas) Times via New York Times, November 24, 1971. For more on Lewis’s logbook and subsequent auctions of it, see: http://conelrad.blogspot.com/2010/09/notebook-history-of-enola-gay-flight.html.

[12] Thomas and Witts, Enola Gay, p. 281.

[13] Lewis’s hell-raising is referenced in Thomas and Witts, Enola Gay, p. 76. His skirt-chasing is referenced in Van Warrebey, Looking Up, Looking Down, p. 26 and Paul W. Tibbets, Jr., The Tibbets Story [ New York: Stein and Day, 1978], p. 215. The size of Lewis’s family derived from the previously cited obituary.

[14] The detail on “Salvation” is found in Burt A. Folkart, “Co-Pilot on First Atomic Bomb Run Dies,” Los Angeles Times, June 21, 1983. The completion date of “‘God’s Wind’ at Hiroshima?” is found on the sculpture itself.

[15] Van Warrebey, Looking Up, Looking Down, p. 1.

[16] Ibid., pp. 1-2.

[17] Ibid. p. 1.

[18] Ridgefield Park High School “Idler” yearbooks for the years 1935, p. 33 and 1937, p. 35.

[19] Reference to Glenn Van Warrebey, Sr. mentioning Robert Lewis derived from Bill Geerhart’s telephone interview with Dieter Rosellen on September 21, 2010. For erroneous assertion that Glenn Van Warrebey, Sr. and Robert Lewis were in the service together see: Jacob Beser Miscellaneous Interviews, pg. 17.

[20] Bill Geerhart telephone interview with Dieter Rosellen on September 21, 2010.

[21] Bill Geerhart telephone interview with Dieter Rosellen on September 21, 2010; Bill Geerhart telephone interview with Wayne Van Warrebey on September 13, 2010. Glenn Van Warrebey “About the Author” insert accompanying Looking Up, Looking Down, 1985.

[22] Dr. Glenn Van Warrebey, Self-Hypnosis and Post-Hypnotic Suggestion [Los Alamitos, CA: Hwong Publishing Co., 1977]; Dr. Glenn Van Warrebey, Hypnosis—For Self-Improvement and Actualizing Your Potential [custom/private label, LP-3079, 1977].

[23] Bill Geerhart telephone interview with Dieter Rosellen on September 21, 2010; Bill Geerhart telephone interview with Wayne Van Warrebey on September 13, 2010.

[24] Dieter Rosellen e-mail to Bill Geerhart, October 4, 2010.

[25] Bill Geerhart telephone interview with Dieter Rosellen on September 21, 2010; Note: Van Warrebey, for obvious professional and publicity reasons, presented his initial meeting with Robert Lewis in differently when talking to the media. For example, in a November 2, 1981 Sarasota (FL) Herald-Tribune article by Jim Curtis, the psychologist stated that Lewis had sought treatment after reading about his hypnosis book and record album. Van Warrebey repeated the line to the Reading (PA) Eagle on August 6, 1989.

[26] Looking Up, Looking Down, page 1.

[27] Bill Geerhart telephone interview with Dieter Rosellen on September 21, 2010.

[28] “Mushroom as cross” quote derived from Jim Curtis, “Therapist Uses Over-Indulgence to Treat Smokers,” Sarasota (FL) Herald-Tribune, November 2, 1981; On page 4 of Looking Up, Looking down, Van Warrebey states for the record that the statue was a gift: “…toward the end of our professional relationship, he [Lewis] rid himself of the symbolic mushroom statue and gave it to me. He seemed happy to be relieved of it.” “In lieu of payment” quote derived from Bill Geerhart telephone interview with Dieter Rosellen on September 21, 2010.

[29] Jim Curtis, “Therapist Uses Over-Indulgence to Treat Smokers,” Sarasota (FL) Herald-Tribune, November 2, 1981.

[30] Bill Geerhart telephone interview with Dieter Rosellen on September 21, 2010. CONELRAD spoke with Robert Lewis’s widow, Mary Eileen Lewis, on the telephone on August 8, 2010. Before she made it clear that she did not wish to speak to us any further, Mrs. Lewis confirmed that her husband had given the sculpture to Van Warrebey and that the family was disappointed that he had done so.

[31] Bill Geerhart telephone interview with Dieter Rosellen on September 21, 2010.

[32] Accounts of the 1990 auction are found in: “Enola Gay Log at Christie’s Is Disputed,” New York Times, December 7, 1990; “A-Bomb Memento: Enola Gay’s Hiroshima Logbook to be Sold,” Pacific Stars and Stripes via AP, December 8, 1990; “Questions Discourage Bids on Enola Gay Log,” The New Mexican (Santa Fe, NM) via AP, December 8, 1990.

In an October 10, 2010 interview with Bill Geerhart, Theodore “Dutch” van Kirk stated that it was his opinion that Mrs. Lewis sincerely believed she owned the original navigator log. Van Kirk explained this conviction by recounting how immediately after the Hiroshima mission he created an exact replica of the navigator log for an intelligence officer named Colonel Hazen J. Payette. Payette required the copy for a report that he had to prepare. Because Payette had the replica, he allowed van Kirk to retain the original. Weeks later, after the unit had left Tinian and had moved to the base at Roswell, New Mexico, van Kirk said that he witnessed Lewis picking up the the duplicate navigator log. Payette had apparently discarded it after writing his report and Lewis retrieved it assuming it was the original.

Van Kirk told Geerhart that he finally sold the original log through a Dallas, Texas auction house in 2006 for his asking price price of $300,000. He had turned down a lower bid in a previous auction in 2002.  

[33] “Carving shows ‘ambivalence’ on Hiroshima,” Daily Register (Red Hook, NJ), via A.P., October 17, 1983.

[34] Van Warrebey’s tour of Japan in 1984 is discussed at length in his book, Looking Up, Looking Down.

[35] Van Warrebey, Looking Up, Looking Down, p. 103; CONELRAD was also provided a copy of the actual letter by Wayne Van Warrebey.

[36] Bill Geerhart telephone interview with Theodore “Dutch” van Kirk interview on August 9, 2010.

[37] For the mostly heroic depictions of Paul Tibbets, see the 1952 MGM biopic Above and Beyond starring Robert Taylor as the pilot; the previously cited Gordon Thomas and Max Morgan Witt book, Enola Gay, and the TV movie based on it, Enola Gay: The Men, the Mission, the Atomic Bomb starring Patrick Duffy as Tibbets (with Gregory Harrison as Robert Lewis). Van Warrebey presents a more nuanced view of Tibbets.

[38] Van Warrebey, Looking Up, Looking Down, p. 11.

[39] Copy of July 11, 1985 letter from Mayor Hitoshi Motoshima provided to CONELRAD by Wayne Van Warrebey.

[40] “Bombardier to apologize to Nagasaki bomb victims,” Pacific Stars and Stripes via AP, July 19, 1985.

[41] Jacob Beser Miscellaneous Interviews, p. 17-18.

[42] Cindy Horswell, “Regrets? Yes—But No Guilt,” Houston Chronicle, August 10, 1985.

[43] Van Warrebey’s participation at the reunion is documented in both text and photographs in his book Looking Up, Looking Down.

[44] Bill Geerhart telephone interview with Theodore “Dutch” van Kirk interview on August 9, 2010.

[45] The art illustration credit to Henry Doren is found on the Acknowledgments page of Looking Up, Looking Down.

[46] Robert Jay Lifton and Greg Mitchell, Hiroshima in America: A Half Century of Denial [New York: Putnam, 1995], p. 234.

[47] See footnote 22 for Van Warrebey’s hypnosis works; Examples of his tabloid work are as follows: Glenn Van Warrebey, “How Weather Affects Your Health,” National Enquirer, February 2, 1982; Glenn Van Warrebey, “Simple Breathing Exercises Can Cut Heart Attack Risk,” National Enquirer, April 20, 1982.

[48] CONELRAD review of Glenn Van Warrebey’s interview and tape records provided by Wayne Van Warrebey and his friend, Dieter Rosellen.

[49] Glenn Van Warrebey, The Jersey Girls Joke Book [Glenn Van Warrebey Publishing, date unknown]; Glenn Van Warrebey, Pancho Villa Sales and Marketing: The 21st Century Bible [Sparta, NJ: Lehigh Pub., 1995]; Glenn Van Warrebey, Read My Lips: The Latest University Research Findings on Subliminal Advertising and Sales [Sparta, NJ: Lehigh Pub., 1998]; Glenn Van Warrebey, E-COM: Easy, Fast and Impactful Internet Marketing [Sparta, NJ: Lehigh Pub. 2001].

[50] Bill Geerhart telephone interview with Dieter Rosellen on September 21, 2010; Bill Geerhart telephone interview with Wayne Van Warrebey on September 13, 2010.

[51] Bill Geerhart telephone interview with Dieter Rosellen on September 21, 2010; Bill Geerhart telephone interview with Wayne Van Warrebey on September 13, 2010.

[52] Bill Geerhart telephone interview Wayne Van Warrebey on September 13, 2010; Bill Geerhart telephone interview with Bonhams & Butterfields appraiser, James Ferrell, on October 6, 2010.

[53] Bill Geerhart telephone interview with Bonhams & Butterfields appraiser, James Ferrell, on October 6, 2010.

[54] For the auction history of Robert Lewis’s flight log see: http://conelrad.blogspot.com/2010/09/notebook-history-of-enola-gay-flight.html.

[55] Image of Robert Lewis’s flight log, including the sketch on the back cover found on the Christie’s auction website.

3 comments:

fallout_shelter_six said...

being in the same room with "the Shroom" would creep me out and it wouldnt have anything to do with hiroshima. its a great story and a part of history.hiroshima and nagasaki set the example of the horrors associated with the combat use of nuclear weapons had it not happened in 1945, Moscow and Washington along with other cities would of been the examples on a larger scale in the 1950s and still radioactive today.

rpgirl said...

Robert Lewis was not from Brooklyn, but from Ridgefield Park, NJ. My parents were a bit older & remembered him. Two of my uncles were his age & one was in the Army Air Force as well. My uncles & my dad were born in RP & my mom moved there at age 2. I'm 68 & I remember my mom telling me about Robert Lewis. WWII was very much a reality to my generation as we all played "war"as kids & all knew someone who was without a father due to the war.

Bill Geerhart said...

@Rpgirl: Robert Lewis was, indeed, born in Brooklyn, New York on October 18, 1917. His family moved to Ridgefield Park, New Jersey in the mid-1920s.