Ted Kaczynski & James Benning
Investigating a deeply troubling facet of rugged American individualism, James Benning gives us four landscape shots containing a painstakingly constructed replica of Unabomber Ted Kaczynski’s cabin, one shot per season. On the soundtrack, Benning himself reads extracts from Kaczynski’s writing.
The readings are from the following 5 documents:
Kaczynski’s journals from the early 1970s, recording his progress at hunting and gathering, and his connection to the Montana wilderness.
A hand-written folded sheet of paper detailing his acts of “monkey wrenching” and first attempts at planting bombs.
Two notebooks written in numerical code in 1985 and decoded by Benning in 2011
Two excepts from Industrial Society and Its Future by “FC” (aka the Unabomber Manifesto) as published in its entirety (35,000 words) in The New York Times and The Washington Post in 1995
A 2001 interview with Kaczynski by J. Alienus Rychalski, special correspondent for the Blackfoot Valley Dispatch.
Buy the DVD:
About the director:
James Benning (born 1942) is an American independent filmmaker and educator. Over the course of his 40-year career Benning has made over twenty-five feature-length films that have shown in many different venues across the world. Since 1987, he has taught at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). He is known as a minimalist filmmaker.
1. Kaczynski’s journals from the early 1970s
[Recording his progress at hunting and gathering, and his connection to the Montana wilderness.]
I explored to the east along a high Ridge, reached a High Peak, and then turned back very fineview.
Though somewhat obscured by trees, many of the trees are very old, with thick trunks, but not very tall, apparently stunted, which is probably why they were never logged off.
Near the High Peak at which I turned back, I saw a grouse but couldn't get a shot at it.
Shot 2 squirrels on the way back.
Expenditure 322 cartridges for a quantity of meat which I estimate to be equivalent to a can of fish.
When almost back to the cabin, I wasted one cartridge trying to shoot a rabbit, which I missed.
I should have gotten it, but was tense and over anxious because I hadn't shot a rabbit before and because it would have been a pretty big chunk of meat compared to.
These little squirrels.
Went up on the Ridge to work on a lean tube for a camp which I hope to use as a base for further exploration.
Saw no game, probably because it was windy and snowing heavily, and squirrels don't seem to like bad weather.
When done, a minor exploring walked to the relatively low peak northeast.
Of the cabin.
Shot nothing today but need no meat since my eration plan includes a can of fish for today.
One camp per week.
The rest of the day I spent as follows, made candles and made a candle holder to catch the wax.
Worked on putting trim around the door to keep the weather out.
Made hooks from a coat hanger and attach them to the wall to hang my rifles on.
One more step towards solving the problem of where to put things in this tiny place.
Relatively warm again today.
Was out for four or five hours.
Things which are the source of the stream which runs by the cabin.
There's a beautiful ravine closed in by tall trees.
Here I saw a group of three deer.
Later, on a Ridge, I saw a substantial herd of deer, more than I could well count.
The window the.
High Ridge was very fierce.
On the way back I had the misfortune to meet the Jag off who has been staying in the cabin which I passed on the way up here just after turning off the gravel Rd.
The Cox Sector City is going to be up here all the time now because he is laid off for the winter.
It seems like there's no place in the world where one can be alone. It wouldn't be so bad if I found the fellow's personality congenial, but in fact I disliked the jerk.
Snowshoeing good yesterday and today because the snow has become crusted as a result of recent warm spell.
Found a fine new.
Found a fine new little area for us today, the slopes not very steep.
On a Ridge where the wind had blown some of the ground clear of snow, I found some wild onions growing and soil loose enough so they could be dug up.
Digging them was rough work because the wind was very bitter and I had to dig with a pointed stick.
My little handspeed I had left at home because I hadn't expected to find GKG onions.
On the way back, I spotted a porcupine in a pine tree and shoot-ed, expending 222 cartridges.
At first it seemed to be dead, but then I noticed that it was still breathing.
Because of the thick hair and quills, I couldn't see where the brain area of its head was, so I just put my gun against what I guess should be about right and fired.
It was very difficult to butcher because the skin didn't pull away from the flesh very cleanly, and of course one had to watch out for the quills.
It had many tapeworms inside the abdomen, so after cleaning it, I washed my hands and my knife thoroughly in a strong solution of Lysol and I burned all the refuge.
Naturally, I will cook the meat very well.
This morning went wading through the snow.
For a couple of hours.
When I got back, I boiled for 30 minutes the rest of the porcupine heart, liver, kidneys, a few lumps of fat and a large clot of blood taken from the chest.
Directly after boiling, I ate the kidneys and part of the liver, which were rich and delicious.
I also ate part of the blood clot.
Which tasted good enough, but had a dry texture which I didn't care for.
I then sliced up the heart and the rest of the liver and put them into the frying pan with lumps of fat to fry.
They tasted very good this way too, but not any better than they had tasted just boiled.
The pot in which I had boiled the stuff contained a dark, rich broth.
I crumbled the cloud of blood into small pieces and put it into the broth with a handful of noodles and boiled it some more.
The result was a very tasty soup.
A few days ago, I noticed decided soreness around the roots of my teeth from chewing the rather tough porcupine meat.
Most of my food here has been soft, and I suppose I'm out.
Of shape for.
Chewing tough things on the left side, the soreness soon subsided, but on the upper right it persisted and even worsened.
Today I've found I have an infection.
In the gum.
I suspect that this may have resulted from fragments of meat having been jammed in between the gum and the teeth.
During the process of chewing, I ran a piece of thread between the gum and teeth to remove any bits of meat that might still be there and the thread.
Came up with a little pus on it, so The thing is draining and perhaps will begin to subside.
Of the few animals around here whose personalities I have, some acquaintance, the squirrels are the most interesting.
Chipmunks come second.
I have no compunction about killing rabbits and porcupines, but I rather regret shooting squirrels.
I like them too much.
17 degrees below 0 this morning looks like we are in for a cold spell clear sky.
The first thing I did this morning after building a fire was to make a pot of cocoa.
The only reason I mentioned such a trivial item is that under the circumstances, it tasted most extraordinary.
Had a fairly lazy day today, forgot to mention the soreness in my gum has finally disappeared.
I shot a coyote.
I wish I could say there was some skill involved, but it was all luck.
There was a light layer of fresh snow.
Just as I was coming to the Crest of a little Ridge, the coyote.
Came over from the other side.
We stopped and stared at each other for a few seconds. Then I aimed and fired. I was a little afraid that the bullet would not be enough to immediately disable him, since it was only a 22 and a standard velocity cartridge yet.
But he went right down.
However, when I approached, he heaved himself up on his front legs and dragged himself down the hill with his hind legs trailing behind, apparently paralyzed.
The bullet hit his spine.
I now I now load it with a high speed hollow point.
Long rifle cartridge and found him lying by the Creek.
As he showed some disposition to get up on his front legs again, I shot him in the back, the bullet passing out through his chest and making a pretty good hole.
Actually, I almost regret shooting him because he was such a beautiful, alert animal and he was the first coyote I had ever seen, except from a moving car.
Which doesn't count.
It was quite a job carrying him back to the cabin.
He must have weighed 30 pounds or more.
I have all the meat stashed away.
Some just hung in the cool attic, some packed in snow, and some hung up behind the stove to make jerky.
I put the hide on a stretcher made of spruce.
Holes, but I still have to clean off the fat bits of meat which still cling to it.
Today on my walk, a bull elk moved out of my path and made the mistake of trying to go through a shallow ravine.
Noticing that the ALK was having great difficulty with the deep snow in the ravine, I thought I would pursue him and see how close I could get.
The elk floundered so badly that his progress was extremely slow, and his difficulties were compounded by the fact that in the neighborhood of the ravine were many small trees which grew too close together for him to get his antlers through.
As a matter of fact, I was able to snowshoe right.
Up to him.
By the time I reached him, he was so exhausted that he just laid panting in the snow.
I approached him from the side put.
Out my hand.
And stroked his ribs for several minutes.
The guy who has the cabin below mine came up here and gave me a can of chili, two cans of Peaches, a package of six Hershey bars, a large package of frankfurters and $2.00, all of which he insisted that I accept this payment for helping him get would last week.
He said he sold the wood for $15. Was he trying to be especially generous because he had some idea?
That I am impoverished.
One of the main satisfactions of being up here is doing everything for myself.
He is a decent enough guy and all that, but how can I explain to him that I would rather catch my own wild meat than eat frankfurters?
Today I finished my squirrel trap.
It seems to work pretty well.
It is powered by 12 fat rubber bands and snapshot very strongly.
If I can find the right bait to track squirrels, I should be OK with it.
Since it was made mostly from scraps, it only costs a $0.35 to make it a package of rubber bands and a few nails and screws.
Weather has been just fine lately.
I found some yellow violets and picked some of their leaves for salad.
They were good, having none of the acid tastes that the leads of some kinds of violets have and are supposed to be especially rich in vitamins.
My evening walk was uneventful, but as usual, I was strongly aware of the beauty of the place.
It must be understood that this beauty does not consist only in what is seen with the eye and heard with the ear.
It is involved with a sense of freedom.
The last two days or so had beautiful summary weather.
Took a long ramble up the ridges, so many blue grouse and shot 2 males.
While the weather.
Was bad the grouse didn't seem to be conducting their mating rituals.
But in today's fine weather, the males were strutting around again and calling.
They seem to have a variety of signals.
There's a melodious note that sounds like the noise made blowing across the top of the bottle.
Then there's a kind of deep, guttural note that the males make when they puff up their necks.
And there is a variety of clucking sounds.
I noticed if I went after a male a few times I got close enough to make it fly, but it didn't fly far because it didn't want to lose contact with the female that was cording.
When a grouse lands, it usually makes a pretty loud fluttering with its wings to break itself.
Every time the every time the male lands, the female answers with a flutter of its wings.
He fine Warm Day was out seven hours. I went about NE and found myself not very far from the abandoned dog house on South Fork Humbug Creek.
And I followed the stream that flows into Humbug Creek upstream.
It is paralleled by a small Rd.
I shot a squirrel here extending 1 cartridge.
Along the stream, I also took some dandelions and some particularly fine onions.
On the way back, I gathered leaves that I believed to be of the mustard family, and the mustardy taste confirmed this, so I wasn't afraid to eat it.
I found it to be one of the finest salad plants I have ever eaten.
It was slightly succulent and very tender, with enough radish flavor to make it spicy, but not so much to make it unpleasantly sharp.
The squirrel I shot turned out to be a pregnant female with four fetuses, each about 3/4 of an inch long, which I tossed into my Stew.
This morning I returned from a 16 day hike.
After I got home, I took a much needed bath down by the stream.
Later I watered my garden, thinned it, and.
Pulled some weeds.
In the evening, I took a little stroll.
No matter how often I look at those wooded hills and walk over them, I still find something exciting and mysterious about them.
A little after dark I happened to roll out of my blanket to readjust my clothing and I saw a most spectacular meteor.
Unless it was an artificial satellite or something like that reentering the atmosphere, it was a large fireball that left the long and brilliant trail and threw out sparks at times.
It streaked across the sky from north to South.
2. First Sabotages & Terror Bombings
[A hand-written folded sheet of paper detailing his acts of “monkey wrenching” and first attempts at planting bombs.]
See a scan of the full sheet of paper here.
Here I'm going to confess to, or, to be more accurate, brag about some of the misdeeds have committed in the last few years.
There's a small functioning mine.
I'll call it mine X for future reference, a few miles from my cabin.
On the South side of the Ridge that runs E from here.
They had a large.
Diesel engine mounted on the back of an old truck.
Apparently for running a large drill for boring holes in rock.
I put a small quantity of sugar in the fuel tank of the diesel engine and also in the gas tank of the truck.
Sugar in the gas is supposed to severely damage the cylinders and act as an abrasive.
Somebody used to have an oldish house trailer parked at an abandoned mine Upfield Gulch.
It seemed to be used only in hunting season.
They broke into this trailer by undoing some screws and prying off a metal window frame, ruining it in the process.
I had a strong psychological I had a strong psychological inhibition against breaking the window, even though it's very unlikely anyone could have been within earshot.
I stole a few cans of food from the trailer.
There was a bed under the removed window whose mattress probably got soaked with rain.
Later next summer, I noticed the trailer had been removed.
I went to the camp.
Apparently it's an Outfitters camp.
Along the Divide Trail east of the Trout Creek drainage.
They had a corral there and a little way back in the woods.
They kind of leaned too, with equipment stored in it.
I stole an axe.
This is the axe I still use.
Poked holes in several 5 gallon plastic water containers.
Took the stove pipe and hit it off in the woods.
Smashed 2 thermometers.
And scattered most of the other stuff around.
At the end of summer, after the roaring by, motorcycles near my camp spoiled the hike for me, I put a wire across the trail where cycle tracks were visible at about neck height for a motorcyclist.
Next summer I found someone had wrapped the wire safely around a tree.
Unfortunately, I doubt anyone was hurt by it.
I went back to my nex and put a generous quantity of sugar in the fuel tank of the diesel engine and gas tank of the truck.
When those guys were taking rock for landfill near my cabin here, I went at night and put a large quantity of sugar in the gas tank on an oldish pickup truck they had left there.
In fall, I went to a certain cabin in Rochester Gulch from trackside scene.
I'm pretty confident that it is.
The people who own this cabin were responsible for much of the motorcycle roaring that occur on the Ridge that runs E from Baldy.
Parked behind the cabin I found two snowmobiles in Akut A4 wheeled off road vehicle. I sugared the gas on the coop. I should have the gas on the cout and one of the snowmobiles.
Later, I went back to the same cabin.
There was a diesel earthmoving machine parked near it, and I sugared the field.
Then I unscrewed a window from its frame.
Still that inhibition about breaking windows.
Entered the cabin, stole the trail axe, slashed the mattresses of six beds they had their slashed the sofa and poured out 1/3 full bottle of vodka.
The next summer I set a booby trap intended to kill someone, but I won't say what kind or where, because if this page is ever found, the trap might be harmlessly removed.
But it probably doesn't have more than maybe a one in five chance of killing or seriously injuring someone.
I also strung a neck wire for motorcyclists along the divide trail about Brewster Bill Creek.
Later I found the wire was gone.
Whether it hurt?
Anyone I don't know?
Up South, Fork Humbug, I shot a cow in the head with my 3030.
And then got the hell out of there.
I mean a ranchers cow, not an elk cow.
I also went down at dawn and smashed Lee Mason mailbox with my axe in such a way that it looks as if some vehicle might.
Have hit it.
In fall, I went to some cabins along Dalton Mountain Rd.
It was a small house trailer parked on the lot, immaculately furnished inside.
I stole the rusty animal trap I found outside the cabin.
Overcoming my earlier inhibitions, I smashed most of the windows in the trailer, then reached inside with my rifle and smashed a Coleman Lantern and two gas lamp fixtures.
I smashed 6 panes on the cab and had the camera neck.
Or I shot a hole in a new tire on a trailer.
Then I got.
Then I got the hell out pretty quick because all this was noisy, of course, and close to the road.
As a result of indoctrination since childhood had a strong inhibitions against doing these things.
And it was only at the cost of great effort that I overcame the inhibitions.
I think that perhaps I could now kill someone under circumstances where there was very little chance of getting caught, but I'm not sure I could, because often one brainwashing turns out to be stronger than one thought.
As for motivation, I hate the technological society because it deprives me of personal autonomy.
It may be in some sense inevitable, but it is so only because of the way people behave.
Consequently, I hate people for the technological society and its associated phenomena.
From motorcycles to computers to psychological controls.
Almost anyone who holds steady employment is contributing his part.
People I hate most are those who consciously and willfully promote the technological society, such as scientists, businessmen and politicians.
I emphasize that my motivation is personal revenge.
I don't pretend to have any kind of philosophical or moralistic justification.
The concept of morality is simply one of the psychological tools by which society controls people's behavior.
In May 1978, I came back to the Chicago area, mainly for one reason, so that I could more safely attempt to murder a scientist businessman.
Or the like.
I would also like to kill a Communist.
Before leaving Montana, I made a bomb in a kind of box.
Designed to explode when the box was opened.
This was a long narrow box.
I picked the name.
I picked the name of an electrical engineering professor out of the catalog of the RESULI, or Polytechnic Institute and addressed the bomb package to him.
I took the package to downtown Chicago, intending to mail it from there.
But it didn't fit in the mailboxes.
And the post office package drops I checked out did not look as if they could swallow such a long package except in one post office at the Merchandise Mart.
But that was where I had bought stamps for the package a few days ago, so it's afraid to go there again because my face might be remembered.
So I took the bomb to the University of Illinois Circle campus and Superstitiously dropped it between two parked cars in the lot near the science and technology buildings I hope the student, preferably one in the science field, would pick.
Get up and would either be a good citizen and take the package to a post office or would open the package himself and blow his hands off or get killed.
I checked the newspapers carefully afterwards but could get no information about the outcome of what I did.
I have not the least feeling of guilt about this.
On the contrary, I am proud.
Of what I did.
But I wish I had some reassurance that I succeeded in killing or maiming someone.
Earlier this month, I left the second bomb in her room, marked graduate student research at the Technological Institute at Northwestern University.
The bomb was in a cigar box and it was arranged to go off when the box was opened.
I did it this way instead of mailing the bombs of someone, because an unexpected package in the mail might arouse suspicion.
According to the Tribune, may.
Tonight, a graduate student was hospitalized with cuts and burns as a result of my bomb.
Unfortunately, I didn't notice anything in the article indicating he would suffer any permanent disability.
I figured the bomb was probably not powerful enough to kill unless one of the lead pellets I put in it happened to penetrate a vital organ.
But I had hoped that the victim would be blinded, or have his hand blown off, or be otherwise maimed.
Well, at least I put him in the hospital, which is better than nothing, but nothing to satisfy me.
I wish I knew how to get some dynamite.
By the way, my motive for keeping these pages separate from the others is an obvious one.
Some of my other journals contain hints of crime, but no actual counts of felonies.
But these must be carefully kept from everyone eyes.
They make a small compact packet, easily concealed.
3. More Terror Bombings
[Two notebooks written in numerical code in 1985 and decoded by Benning in 2011]
Plan was to blow up airliner in flight.
Late summer and early fall 1979, I constructed device.
Much expense because they had to go to Great Falls to buy materials including barometer and many boxes of cartridges for the powder.
I put more than a quart of smokeless powder in a can and rigged barometer so device would explode at 2000 feet, or conceivably as high as 3500 feet.
Late October mailed package from Chicago priority Mail so it would go by air.
Unfortunately, plane not destroyed, bomb too weak.
Newspapers said low power device surprised me. As I wrote in 1979, I speculated why the bomb was weak.
Now I know why smokeless powder is deflagrating and not detonating explosive.
And container too weak even to fully utilize its deflagrating potential.
Seems that trigger system not too reliable.
According to Chicago Tribune, Bomb went off his plane approached Washington, according to Sun Times.
Passengers said Bomb went off halfway to washing.
Should have gone off long before.
Use pressurizing information from 1971. Conceivably they now pressurize at lower altitude. Suspect that light touch a barometer needle on contact, not absolutely reliable and transmitting current.
Bomb did not accomplish much.
Probably destroyed some mail.
No damage to plane.
At least it gave them a good scare.
Much thick smoke came into passenger space.
Plane landed at airport other than its destination because of this, tribune said no panic.
But Sun-Times said some were jumping up and down, screaming for the poor stewardess.
FBI investigating incident.
FBI suck my cock.
May 81 planted small bomb less than two ounces of explosive in the computer science department at Berkeley. This is Apparate to #2 experiment 83 in my notebooks. At the same time I mailed the larger bomb Apparate to #1. Experiment 82.
To Boeing Corporation Auburn, WA Outcome, a Boeing bomb unknown.
Berkeley Bomb did well for its size.
It was sprung by Air Force Pilot 26 year old named Hauser working on a Masters degree in electrical engineering.
He probably would have been killed if so positioned as it was.
Mainly his right arm was hit, witnesses said.
Whole arm exploded, blood all over the place.
One news, one newspaper said ARM was mangled, another said it was shattered and that he would never recover.
Full use of arm and hand.
Also there was damage.
To one eye.
One paper said the small computer lab was destroyed.
This is improbable.
I was relieved to read what kind of guy sprung the trap.
I worried about that some young kid, undergraduate, not even computer science major, might get it.
But the guy clearly typical member of technical class, might even be one of the guys that have flown those ******* jets over my house.
This gives me great relief to my choking, frustrated anger and sense of impotence against the sys.
At the same time, must admit I feel badly about having crippled the man's arm. It has been bothering me a good deal.
This is embarrassing because while my feelings are partly from pity, I'm sure they come largely from training, propaganda, and brainwashing we all get.
I do not get the idea that I regret what I did.
Relief of frustrated anger outweighs uncomfortable conscience.
I would do it all over again.
Again, so many failures with feeble, ineffective bombs were driving me desperate with frustration.
Have to get revenge for all the wilderness being ******** by the system.
Further search of newspapers yield Hauser's arm was severed or nearly severed. Tips of three fingers, tips of three fingers torn off.
How was her father of three kids?
He was afraid his dream was ruined.
Dream was to be astronaut.
I am no longer bothered having crippled the sky, partly because they just got over it with time, partly because his aspiration was so ignoble.
Searched other newspapers, found no reference to Boeing bomb.
It was designed and built with such care that malfunction seems highly improbable.
Recently I camped in a paradise like glacial Cirque.
At evening, beautiful singing birds were ruined by the obscene roar of jet.
Planes laughed at the idea of having any compunction about crippling airplane pilot.
Summer of 1981, I began hearing disagreeable noises of machinery, sometimes surprisingly loud, depending on meteorological conditions falling winter.
Many otherwise pleasant excursions were ruined for me by the morning, and hauling of these iron monsters audible for miles over the hills.
I made-up my mind to get revenge.
But it was difficult to determine just where noise was coming from.
Had to wait for summer anyway, since my tracks could easily be fouled and snow.
But noise seemed to stop and spring.
Then I began hearing it again in late summer 1982.
I followed the noise to find it came from a logging operation in Willow Creek drainage.
Logging off one of my favorite wild spots.
Pushing trees over with bulldozers instead of cutting with saws.
When they left for the day, I went in and found the whole surface of the ground stripped right off.
They left a 5 gallon can of oil sitting on their machine that they used to pick up logs and load them on truck.
I poured oil.
Over the machine's engine and set.
Fire to it.
Spent pleasant nights sleeping on top of the mountain and came home leisurely in the morning.
It felt so good after him.
I felt so good.
After having done this, though, he might uneasy over the risk of being suspected.
Few years ago, some ******* built a vacation house just across Stemple Pass Rd, motorcycle and snowmobile phenes.
They would buzz up and down Rd past my cabin on most weekends, summer and winter.
Last summer they were worse than usual, sometimes made it a three day week.
Was getting absolutely intolerable.
My heart was going bad.
Any emotional stress?
Anger above all?
Makes it beat irregularly.
It got so that the constant cycle noise was choking me with anger, heart going wild.
Risky to commit crimes so close to home, but I figured if I didn't get those guys, the hanger would literally kill me.
So one night and fall I sneaked over there though they were home and stole their chainsaw.
Buried it in a swamp.
Couple of weeks later I chopped my way into their house, smashed up interior pretty thoroughly.
It was a real luxury place.
They also had a mobile home there.
I broke into that two, found silver painted motorcycle inside, smashed it up with my axe.
They had four snowmobiles.
Sitting outside, I thoroughly smashed engines of those with the axe.
Week or so later, cops came up here and asked if I had seen anyone fooling around.
Any buildings around here.
Also, ask if I had any problems with motorcycles.
The truth crossed their minds, but probably they didn't take.
But probably they did not seriously suspect me, otherwise their questioning would not have been so perfunctory.
I am pleased I was so collected in answering cops questions.
May 1982. I sent a bomb to computer expert named Patrick Fisher. His secretary opened it. One paper said she was in hospital.
In good condition, with ARM and chest cuts, other papers said bomb drove fragments of wood into her flesh, but no indication that she was permanently disabled.
Frustrating that I can't seem to make lethal bomb revenge attempts have been gobbling much time, impending other work.
But I must succeed, must get revenge.
Not long after 4 going, I think, June or July, I went to University of California, Berkeley, placed in computer science building a bomb consisting of a pipe bomb in gallon can of gasoline.
According to paper, Vice, Chairman of Computer science department picked it up.
He was considered to be out of danger of losing any fingers, but would need further surgery for bone and tendon damage in hand.
Apparently Pipe Bomb went off but did not ignite gasoline.
I don't understand it.
Traveling expenses for such raids are very hard at my slender financial resources.
Last summer, Dynamite Blast was booming all over the hills, occasionally audible at my cabin.
Exxon conducting seismic exploration for oil?
Couple of helicopters flying over the hills.
Lower a thing with dynamite on cable.
Make blast on ground.
Instruments measure vibrations.
Early August I went and camped out, hoping to shoot up a helicopter in area east of Crater Mountain. Proved harder than I thought because helicopters oz in motion only once had 1/2 chance. 2 quick shots as COPD across space between 2 trees both missed.
When I got back to camp, I cried partly from frustration of failing, but mostly grief at about what is happening to this countryside.
It is so beautiful.
But if they find oil, disaster.
Even if they don't find oil, the blasts and helicopters ruin it.
Or can I go now?
For peace and quiet.
On the way back, he chopped down a wooden power line pole near Holcomb Creek.
Beginning of June 1985, success at last, after many failures reported in these notes, took me a year and a half of intensive effort to develop effective type bomb.
4 1/2 parts of ammonium nitrate from fertilizer to one part extremely fine. Powdered aluminum from aluminum paint.
Ignited an ordinary iron water pipe with metal plugs of equal strength.
Simple enough, but I followed some false leads before trying this one.
No difficulties I've faced for obvious reasons.
Can't order chemicals from supply house.
Must make them or extract them from readily available materials.
No vehicle, no vehicle to transport stuff.
Difficult access to library, very limited equipment.
Had to build own balance, little money.
Experiment 100 in mid November, I sent a bomb in the mail to James D McConnell, behavioral modification researcher at University of Michigan.
Only minor injuries to McConnell.
Assistant D Flag rated did not detonate.
Must be either.
A little weak.
Or loading density of explosive a shade too high at failure.
On December 11th, 1985, I plant a bomb disguised to look like scrap of lumber behind Rentec computer store in Sacramento.
I mailed letter to San Francisco Examiner and name a group calling itself Freedom Club claiming credit for the bombing and announcing itself as anti technology.
Terrorist organs, they.
I searched latimes through December 13th and some other papers through December 14th found no mention of bombing.
I feared something had gone wrong.
I was terribly frustrated and thought I was going to have to spend all winter making new, better bombs, so I wrote my brother giving excuse to call off visit I was going to make to him.
Then, according to San Francisco Examiner, December 20th, the operator, owner, manager of the store was killed, blown to bits on December 12th. Excellent, humane way to eliminate somebody he probably never felt the thing $25,000 reward.
Offered rather flat.
But the article stated that no group had claimed it.
No mention of my letter.
Letter not arrived yet. Seems strange, but since experiment 97 turned out so well, I will try to arrange to visit brother after all.
4. Excepts from the Manifesto
Two excepts from Industrial Society and Its Future by “FC” (aka the Unabomber Manifesto) as published in its entirety (35,000 words) in The New York Times and The Washington Post in 1995
See the full manifesto here.
Human beings have a need for something we call the power process. ... The power process has four elements. The three most clearcut of these are called goals, effort, and attainment of goals. ... The fourth element is more difficult to define and may not be necessary for everyone. We call it autonomy ...
It is true that some individuals seem to have little need for autonomy. Either their drive for power is weak or they satisfy it by identifYing themselves with some powerful organization to which they belong. And then there are unthinking, animal types who seem to be satisfied with a purely physical sense of power (the good combat soldier, who gets his sense of power by developing fighting skills that he is quite content to use in blind obedience to his superiors).
But for most people it is through the power process—having a goal, making an AUTONOMOUS effort and attaining the goal—that self-esteem, self-confidence and a sense of power are acquired. ...
By “freedom” we mean the opportunity to go through the power process, with real goals not the artificial goals of surrogate activities, and without interference, manipulation or supervision from anyone, especially from any large organization. Freedom means being in control (either as an individual or as a member of a SMALL group) of the life-and-death issues of one’s existence: food, clothing, shelter and defense against whatever threats there may be in one’s environment. Freedom means having power; not the power to control other people but the power to control the circumstances of one’s own life. One does not have freedom if anyone else (especially a large organization) has power over one, no matter how benevolently, tolerantly and permissively that power may be exercised. It is important not to confuse freedom with mere permissiveness ...
It is said that we live in a free society because we have a certain number of constitutionally guaranteed rights. But these are not as important as they seem. The degree of personal freedom that exists in a society is determined more by the economic and technological structure of the society than by its laws or its form of government. Most of the Indian nations of New England were monarchies, and many of the cities of the Italian Renaissance were controlled by dictators. But in reading about these societies one gets the impression that they allowed far more personal freedom than our society does. In part this was because they lacked efficient mechanisms for enforcing the ruler’s will: There were no modern, well-organized police forces, no rapid long-distance communications, no surveillance cameras, no dossiers of information about the lives of average citizens. Hence it was relatively easy to evade control.
As for our constitutional rights, consider for example that of freedom of the press. We certainly don’t mean to knock that right; it is a very important tool for limiting concentration of political power and for keeping those who do have political power in line by publicly exposing any misbehavior on their part. But freedom of the press is of very little use to the average citizen as an individual. The mass media are mostly under the control of large organizations that are integrated into the system. Anyone who has a little money can have something printed, or can distribute it on the Internet or in some such way, but what he has to say will be swamped by the vast volume of material put out by the media, hence it will have no practical effect. To make an impression on society with words is therefore almost impossible for most individuals and small groups. Take us (FC) for example. If we had never done anything violent and had submitted the present writings to a publisher, they probably would not have been accepted. If they had been accepted and published, they probably would not have attracted many readers, because it’s more fun to watch the entertainment put out by the media than to read a sober essay. Even if these writings had had many readers, most of these readers would soon have forgotten what they had read as their minds were flooded by the mass of material to which the media expose them. In order to get our message before the public with some chance of making a lasting impression, we’ve had to kill people.
... [I]n the past put certain limits on the development of societies. People could be pushed only so far and no farther. But today this may be changing, because modern technology is developing ways of modifying human beings ...
[I can't find many of the following words in the manifesto, but perhaps it's merged together quotes from the manifesto & multiple letters:] ... with the use of antidepressants, bugs, techniques of surveillance, physical coercion, methods of propaganda, psychological techniques along with biological and neurological methods, and genetic engineering.
Our society tends to regard as a “sickness” any mode of thought or behavior that is inconvenient for the system, and this is plausible, because when an individual doesn’t fit into the system it causes pain to the individual as well as problems for the system. Thus the manipulation of an individual to adjust him to the system is seen as a “cure” for a “sickness” and therefore as good.
Assuming that industrial society survives, it is likely that technology will eventually acquire something approaching complete control over human behavior.
5. Interview with his Lady Love
A 2001 collaboratively written interview with Kaczynski by Joy Alienus Rychalski, special correspondent for the Blackfoot Valley Dispatch.
See the full interview here.
First there’s a hard climb to get up on top of the ridge, and then a level walk of a mile or so to get to the open forest of lodgepole pines where I want to hunt. A little way into the pines I find the tracks of a snowshoe hare. I follow the trail around and around through its tangled meanderings for about an hour. Then suddenly I see the black eye and the black-tipped ears of an otherwise white snowshoe hare. It’s usually the eye and the black-tipped ears you notice first. The bunny is watching me from behind the tangled branches and green needles of a recently-fallen pine tree. The rabbis is about 40 feet away, but it’s alert and watching me, so I won’t try to get closer. However, I have to maneuver for an angle to shoot from, so that I can have a clear shot through the tangle of branches—even a slender twig can deflect a .22 bullet enough to cause a miss. To get that clear shot I have to lie down in the snow in an odd position and use my knee as a rest for the rifle barrel. I line up the sights on the rabbit’s head, at a point just behind the eye…hold steady…ping! The rabbit is clipped through the head. Such a shot ordinarily kills the rabbit instantly, but the animal’s hind legs usually kick violently for a few seconds so that it bounces around in the snow. When the rabbit stops kicking I walk up to it and see that it’s quite dead. I say aloud “Thank you, Grandfather Rabbit”–Grandfather Rabbit is a kind of demigod I’ve invented who is the tutelary spirit of all the snowshoe rabbits. I stand for a few minutes looking around at the pure-white snow and the sunlight filtering through the pine trees. I take in the silence and the solitude. It’s good to be here. Occasionally I’ve found snowmobile tracks along the crest of the main ridge, but in these woods where I am now, once the big-game hunting season is over, in all my years in this country I’ve never seen a human footprint other than my own. I take one of the noosed cords out of my pocket. For convenience in carrying I put the noose around the rabbit’s neck and wrap the other end of the cord around my mittened hand. Then I go looking for the trail of another rabbit. ...
The more intimate you become with nature, the more you appreciate its beauty. It’s a beauty that consists not only in sights and sounds but in an appreciation of…the whole thing. I don’t know how to express it. What is significant is that when you live in the woods, rather than just visiting them, the beauty becomes a part of your life rather than something you just look at from the outside.
... [P]art of the intimacy with nature that you acquire, is the sharpening of your senses. Not that your hearing or eyesight become more acute, but you notice things more. In city life you tend to be turned inward, in a way. Your environment is crowded with irrelevant sights and sounds, and you get conditioned to block most of them out of your consciousness. In the woods you get so that your awareness is turned outward, toward your environment, hence you are much more conscious of what goes on around you. For example, you’ll notice inconspicuous things on the ground, such as edible plants or animal tracks. If a human being has passed through and has left even just a small part of a footprint, you’ll probably notice it. You know what the sounds are that come to your ears: This is a birdcall, that is the buzzing of a horsefly, this is a startled deer running off, this is the thump of a pine cone that has been cut down by a squirrel and has landed on a log. If you hear a sound that you can’t identify, it immediately catches your attention, even if it’s so faint that it’s barely audible. To me this alertness, or openness of one’s senses, is one of the greatest luxuries of living close to nature. You can’t understand this unless you’ve experienced it yourself.