Almost always wrong, never in doubt

The website Rocky Flats Gear no longer exists, but it provides insight into the anti-nuclear sentiments of 2012-2013. Note the article on breast cancer clusters in California and the reassurances that, “For the first time, radiological shields are attractive, durable, affordable, fun, and comfortable to wear”. In Denver and the West, the Denver Post carried an article in 2010.


  • Pack city council meetings with people who may or may not be part of the city constituency [Broomfield, 2017?]
  • Having lost multiple time in courts, use delaying tactics for any Rocky Flats action. Procedural objection lawsuits are a favorite, paid for the Rocky Mountain Peace&Justice Center.
  • Attempt to inject fellow activists onto local councils, e.g., Rocky Flats Stewardship Council [so far: Sasha Stiles, Randy Stafford, Travis Culley]
  • “Chris Allred and Andraa von Boeselager along with others from the RMPJC have been making the rounds to area school districts, warning officials of the residue plutonium and other radioactive contaminants that remain in the area from years of weapons production in the middle of the last century at the plant.” [The Nation Report, January 25, 2018]

Let the activists speak“?

Spokespeople for activist groups

Randy Stafford: In his request to be appointed to the Rocky Flats Stewardship Council on 26 Oct 2020, Randy stated, “My education and career is in the natural sciences. I’m a mathematician and computer scientist. And for 32 years, I’ve worked as a software architect.”

In fact, Randy has an undergraduate degree in computer science, which has never been considered one of the natural sciences. He has no credentials in mathematics other than as a user. He states that troubleshooting software consists of “using the scientific method to create hypotheses on what may be wrong with those systems.”

Called out in a Stewardship Council meeting by Nancy Ford about his claim to represent 100,000 people, he replied, “What I did was I took the US census data, the most recent US Census for the populations of Arvada, Westminster, and some of the other communities immediately surrounding Rocky Flats…So it was a rough estimate, Nancy, of the populations of these municipalities that live pretty nearby Rocky Flats.” This is, of course, the very same population already represented by local municipality members of the Stewardship Council.

Jon Lipsky: one of the two FBI agents who raided the Rocky Flats plant in 1989.

From the article Rogue Agent written by Quentin Young in 2018 in 5280 magazine:

“David Abelson, executive director of the stewardship council, has advised local governments since 1999 on issues related to Rocky Flats, and he questions Lipsky’s understanding of the present-day conditions. “We probably had somewhere around 300 to 400 public meetings over those 10 or 11 years,” Abelson says of the cleanup. “Never once do I recall Jon Lipsky at any of those meetings. Never once.” Abelson also raises doubts about the raid, which he says “was based on premises that later turned out not to be accurate.” Abelson says the alleged nighttime incineration of plutonium never occurred.

That opinion is shared by Smith, Lipsky’s EPA partner on the Rocky Flats investigation. “Jon thought it happened, and I was 100 percent sure it didn’t happen,” Smith says, adding that the incinerator used by workers to burn protective suits and other waste using a box of matches “was literally the size of a backyard barbecue.” Although they disagreed over the incinerator question, both thought individuals had committed crimes at Rocky Flats. But Smith didn’t believe the investigation had produced sufficient evidence to indict anyone at a high enough level to have an impact. “Jon kind of went off the deep end,” Smith says. “He started seeing conspiracy theories in everything.”

Chris Allred, undergrad degree in film. Leads the Rocky Mountain Peace&Justice anti-Refuge efforts. Led the visits to school systems to urge them to disallow visits to the Refuge. You can assess his credentials from a 2019 Facebook posting on the Peace&Justice Facebook group.. The founder of and another well-known activist are practicing astrologers.

Sasha Stiles, M.D. A former chairman of the board of the Colorado chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility, she is responsible for the coverage of Rocky Flats. Her bio notes observes,

“She has worked to define parameters for a risk assessment process of Rocky Flats and its buffer zone.  The goal of the work is to ensure such assessments are based on human rights, rather than assumptions or mathematical models.” Human rights, eh?

She is responsible for placing on the PSR website an Important Review Paper: A Quick Look at Plutonium Contamination from Rocky Flats by LeRoy Moore, whose breaking news is Carl Johnson’s 1981 Ambio paper [see our Epidemiology pages for complete references], discredited soon after:

. . . one can say that there is no substance to either Dr. Johnson’s alleged increased total incidence of total cancer in the areas of increased plutonium or his statistically significant increase of observed cases over expected cases for some cancers at some ages. [1982]

“The strongest statistical correlation found was between cancer incidence and proximity to the State Capitol Building,” [1983],

“None of the 20 maps shows significant clustering of cancer cases in the vicinity of the Rocky Flats Facility… no pattern seems to be associated with the distance to the Rocky Flats Facility. Only one of the 20 test statistics has a P- value in the neighborhood of 0.05, which is entirely consistent with chance variation as an explanation.”

Mark B. Johnson, M.D.: It was Dr. Johnson’s job to have identified—on behalf of the public in Jefferson County—whether a health threat exists. He has had almost 30 years to do so. Why now—months before the Wildlife Refuge was to open—develop scruples about an old issue? It is much easier to claim “not enough is known” and call for an “independent analysis” than to do the homework, of course. Though an extreme latecomer to the Rocky Flats scene he was featured in a 2020 Westword article. Invited by Sasha Stiles to give a presentation at her April 2022 online symposium on Rocky Flats entitled Nuclear Epidemiology, Who Can You Trust? Apart from the fact that this is NOT the topic he covered (he punted and covered the history of awareness of radiation and health effects), he went on to remark in a Westword article

“In my search to make sense out of radiation physics and quantum mechanics I became convinced that the same thing was being done by nuclear scientists to keep the rest of us in the dark.”

DMW’s entire professional career involved using and teaching quantum mechanics. A college physics major’s background suffices.

“Community groups and antinuclear activists have also revealed credible science that supports their claim that the risk is not trivial. At least eleven studies have found plutonium contamination just east of the plant at levels hundreds of times greater than background radiation, and at least three epidemiological studies have found significantly increased rates of cancer near and downwind from the plant.”

No published, credible studies have ever found excess cancer rates around Rocky Flats. Actual doses from plutonium are so low that that any will be found. It is much easier to claim “not enough is known” and call for an “independent analysis” than to do the homework.

Perhaps Dr. Johnson is a candidate for a Ladopo Misinformation Prize!

Michael Ketterer, Ph.D chemistry: Dr. Ketterer is the only person in the anti-Refuge group with actual physical science credentials. I endorse his recent measurements of ‘hot particles’ along the eastern boundary of the Refuge. Unfortunately, his measurements were ‘work for hire’, paid by the Rocky Mountain Peace & Justice Center. It was effectively a ‘bounty hunt’ for hot particles (one of LeRoy Moore’s bugaboos, discredited as a special risk by 1978. Such work is generally owned by the employer. It is thus unlikely that it will be published, nor would the claims below survive peer review:

Decades of USDOE and CDPHE studies to date have failed to recognize and characterize Rocky Flats originating PuO2 particles and have not assessed their risks to human health” and

Particles of these dimensions are amenable to transport under strong wind conditions, and represent a grave hazard for human inhalation and pulmonary retention.

The first statement reflects total unfamiliarity with Rocky Flats published literature. Most exposures to Pu are via hot particles, and the best data on such exposure comes from Rocky Flats workers. The second phrase is deliberately alarmist, to keep his funders happy; the authors presented no dose estimate so would not know if there is a hazard or not.