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Originally posted by Shadowhawk
As I pointed out in an earlier post, there was no "deathbed" confession.
Harzan says that after the lecture ended a few people remained behind to ask questions. Some wanted to know more about the technology to “take E.T. home.” Harzan says Rich initially brushed off these queries but allegedly told one engineer, “We now know how to travel to the stars. We found an error in the equations and it won’t take a lifetime to do it.” I have also heard Rich's statement quoted as, “First, you have to understand that we will not get to the stars using chemical propulsion. Second, we have to devise a new propulsion technology. What we have to do is find out where Einstein went wrong.” Unfortunately, neither quote is verifiable but the second one sounds more like the words of an engineer, especially one with Rich's stated views as outlined in his letter to John Andrews....
...In 1994, a year after the UCLA lecture, rich told Popular Science magazine, “We have some new things [at the Skunk Works]. We are not stagnating. What we are doing is updating ourselves, without advertising. There are some new programs, and there are certain things, some of them 20 or 30 years old, that are still breakthroughs and appropriate to keep quiet about [because] other people don’t have them yet.” He didn't disclose, or even hint at, any advanced interstellar propulsion technologies because there was nothing to disclose.
"What we have to do is find out where Einstein went wrong"
[ Jim Goodall : ] "Ben Rich told me twice before he died: 'We have things at Area 51 that you and the best minds in the world won't even be able to conceive that we have for 30 or 40 years, and won't be made public for another 50.' A friend of mine at Lockheed told me: 'We have things in the Nevada desert that are alien to your way of thinking -- far beyond anything you see on Star Trek.