Bair, W. J.; Hackett, P. L.; Horstman, V. G.; Hungate, F. P., and Thompson, R. C. "Sheep
Deaths in Utah," Science 219 (25 February 1983), pp. 907-908.
This is a letter to the editor. It was written by colleagues of those who have been accused of lying
by Judge Christensen, who decided that government witnesses lied to him in his courtroom back
in the 1950s. The farmers claimed that A-bomb tests in Nevada had killed their sheep, and
wanted recompense. The government denied the charges and presented evidence that the deaths
of the animals could have been due to other causes. The farmers' suits were dismissed, but
recently they were all reopened when the Judge decided he had been deceived.
These friends of those accused of lying for the government state: "We were not involved with the
sheep studies at Hanford Laboratory, but we will not accept as true any allegations of
impropriety, let alone fraud." (p. 907)
"In our view, the defendants in the 1956 civil suit brought by sheepmen were guilty of no breach
of scientific ethics. They brought to the court their relevant data and their best scientific opinion."
R. Jeffrey Smith, who wrote the report for Science, responds here to the letter. He denies
sensationalizing the case and suggests that it was the judge involved who accused the
government's witnesses of lying.