Dr. John Hubbard M.D.
Dr. John Hubbard


Dr. John Hubbard Interviews Henry Siner in the 1970's

The Henry Siner Interview Interview is given courtesy of Shawn Montgomery www.zerozerotwo.org who transcribed it from the original recordings.

: Mr. Siner, this is Dr. John Hubbard in Buffalo, New York calling.

: Yes doctor, hello.

Opening pleasantries.

: Let me ask Mr. Siner, when did you first go to work with Rife?

: It was approximately 1932 or 33.

: And when did you stop working for him?

: When I got back from England, then I got into the service.

: Into the military service?

: Yes that's when I stopped working for him.

: When you came back from England, now, was this when you took the microscope over to..?

: No, that was in 38 and 39.

: Oh, you took the microscope over in 1938 and 39?

: Yes sir. At that time we were working on the virus research with some of the top people in the country.

: In 1932 and 33?

: Yes.

: Do you remember the names of those people with whom you all were doing the virus research?

: Well, let's see. There was Dr. Milbank Johnson from Los Angeles, and there was a gentleman from Northwestern University who was head of the...

: Kendall?

: Yeah, Kendall, Arthur Kendall. Is he still alive?

: No, he's dead now.

: Well he was out every year and there was this other gentleman from Canada (Dr. Gruner).

: Was there one by the name of Rosenow?

: Yeah, Rosenow of Mayo, he came out every year.

: And you say a man from Canada came down?

: I can't recall his name, it's been so long ago. Hmmm, what are some of the big schools there?

: McGill?

: That was it, McGill, he was head of the microbiology department at McGill. Fine gentleman.

: Now then, so you stopped working for Rife when you had to go into the military service?

: Yes.

: And when was that?

: I think it was when I enlisted.

: Army or Navy?

: Navy. Well, actually I was put into the Coast Guard.

: You must have started to work for Rife when you were rather young, weren't you?

: That's right.

: Did you have any more education than a high school education when you went to work for him?

: Yes, some college. Not while I was working for him, but after. I was in high school when I worked for him.

: You went to high school while you worked for him?

: Yes sir.

: I see. All right, now then, let me ask, did you yourself look through any of those microscopes that he built?

: Oh sure.

: You did? All right.

: I went over to England and demonstrated it to all his associates over there.

: Do you remember the names of those people?

: Yes, Dr. Gonin was the main one. And I was over in England with my family not too long ago, three or four years ago, and tried to find the lab and where the microscope was placed, and I couldn't find it. I don't know whether it was bombed out during the war, or what happened to it.

: Do you remember whether it was at the London School of Tropical Medicine?

: No it wasn't there. It was in a little town called Shortlands, in Kent. That's the last I heard of it.

: Now, did you take the microscope to the lab in Shortlands, in Kent?

: I did. I personally delivered it and set it up.

: How long were you there at the lab in Shortlands?

: A little over a year.

: You were there for nearly a year?

: A little over a year.

: And were you still in the employ of Rife at this time?

: No, I was in the employ of the English group who were interested in the research what he was doing. He was to come over later but never did. Then the war threat came along and it all came to a halt. But Dr. Gonin was over here to visit me before he died. This must be fifteen years ago.

: Fifteen years ago? That would be in 1961.

: Yes, it was about then, he was over here to visit me.

: That's interesting. Did he have anything to say then about the microscope?

: He said it was still there. At that time he was failing physically and had lost all of his interest in everything practically. Fine old gentleman though he was. What are you trying to accomplish Doctor?

: Do you remember that article that Seidel and Winter published in 1944 in the annual report of the Smithsonian Institute?

: No, I don't know about it.

: Oh, you don't. Well I shall send you a Xerox copy with some photographic reproductions of the illustration that were shown in there. What I am trying to do is to obtain one of these microscopes and restore it, and get a commercial microscope manufacturer to use the optical principles in this microscope, but put it into an inverted microscope. I want the objective system below the specimen and the illumination above the specimen so that I can have gravity to work with the specimen to hold it in immediate contact with the cover slip. I have no doubt that this would increase the productivity of the instrument a great deal for biological work where you would need to make long term observations in a relatively large volume of fluid. I have been after this microscope ever since 1949. I have been writing and trying to find out about it. Last year, February of 1975, I was at a meeting in New York City: The Society of Electron Microscopists gave a symposium on recent advances in scanning electron microscopy. At this meeting, one picture was shown of an algal cell, which was a very good likeness of one of the pictures which Seidel and Winter published in ’44 from Rife’s laboratory. Then I went back and found that electron microscopy of a tetanus spore had been done as late, or as early, as 1960. This cross-section of the tetanus spore was very similar to what Rife had, only Rife’s picture was better. And his picture showed (in Seidel’s article) the unit membrane which biologists have described and come to discuss more amply in the later part of the '50's and early '60's. This membrane is approximately 100 angstroms plus or minus 10 angstroms; it's about 90 to 120 angstroms in thickness. This is a triple layered membrane and this is resolved in that photograph which Seidel and Winter published. So, when I realized this in February of '55, I got after this, I started calling around the country and trying to find out about these microscopes again. And then I got hold of Oscar Richards up in Oregon and a few other people I called. But the person that really gave me the lead that I found most helpful was this fellow Christopher Bird down in Washington D.C., a journalist, he was working on this, I don't know how he got into it. He told me once but right at the moment I forget. But at any rate, he got in contact with John Crane out there in San Diego. So as soon as I read his article, which was published in the New Age, I went out to San Diego this April. And I spent a week looking at the remains of what was left of Rife's laboratory that John Crane had in his possession. From this point on I have been down to the NIH to see what would be needed to try and get some money to get into this at a more advanced production level. I have talked to some of the people over at American Optical. I have been over to the University of Rochester where they have an Institute for Optics. You see, Eastman Kodak is over there. I am very definitely committed to a do-or-die effort to get this microscope brought to the attention of the experts in optics where they will have to realize that we have at least one, and possibly two, photomicrographs which could not have been produced by an electron microscope, because the electron microscope preparation techniques were not adequate by any means back in the late ‘30’s and early ‘40’s, in fact they weren’t adequate really until the early ’50’s. This is one of the things I went out there to see Crane about.

: Does Crane have the microscope?

: He does have number three, that’s the big universal scope, and he has number four.

: Well, is there any chance he would sell them?

: Well, I have tried to rent them. I sent him a letter in June and offered him 1000 dollars a year for the rental on them, and offered to try to restore the instruments and return them to him restored or he could sell them to whoever he wished.

: Are they in working order?

: Number three microscope is just filthy dirty Mr. Siner, just filthy. Mr. Crane said that three of the prisms in number three microscope were missing and it was not working. Number four microscope was not so dirty. I did get to work with it a little bit. It was very, very poorly aligned, but I was able to get an image produced with a l0X objective. But it was in such poor condition I only spent about 20 or 30 minutes with it and decided that nothing further should be done until we could get these microscopes into a good laboratory where we could clean them up, dismantle them carefully, study them, and put them back together.

: You are absolutely on the right track. That's the way to do it. So now it's a question of getting a hold of them.

: Yes, and Crane is, I'm sorry to say Mr. Siner, Crane is going to be a very difficult man to deal with. And I want to caution you, he is a very litigious person, very litigious.

: Well I have no interest in him whatsoever and never have had. This all came about, his relationship with Rife after I was gone.

: Does he know you?

: He might do. He might know me. But I had nothing to do with him whatsoever.

: You do know Dr. Gross, don't you?

: Yes, very well. He is a very close friend of mine and I have known him for many years, very fine scientist.

: Well, I talked with him yesterday and I failed to warn him that Crane is so litigious a person. I must caution him at a later time and if you talk with him would you please tell him that I know beyond any doubt that Crane is ready to trigger a lawsuit at a moment’s notice.

: So it is best that we have no contact with him.

: I think so, at this point, at any rate. Now Crane has done a useful service and for this I am grateful to him. He has preserved much of the remains of the photographs and the paraphernalia that Rife had. But I am absolutely sure of this, that he does not understand anything really fundamental about optics. He is absolutely unknowledgeable in these matters. After this letter I sent him in June making this offer, I also sent a letter to a Mr. Charles Wilson who is a Republican candidate for Congressman in your area, in the primary at any rate. Crane had managed the previous campaign of Wilson. Wilson is the Chairman for the Board that Crane has incorporated. He has incorporated himself under Utah statute. I can only caution you on this also, that with this man too, you want to be very careful. Wilson is a licensed lawyer. Crane spent much of his time while he was in prison, and Dr. Gross can fill you in on the nature of the conviction and the incarceration. Crane studied law and he told me that in California a person can bring, or defend himself in court without having to be licensed to the bar. So this means that he could bring a lawsuit. And he has written briefs. He has sent one brief that was at least a hundred pages in length down to Christopher Bird in Washington who is the person whom I have mentioned earlier. So I bring these things to your attention to warn you that this is a very sticky situation.

: I appreciate that Doctor.

: And now I can tell you, Mr. Crane is now 62 but he is not a young 62. He is obese. He is short of breath, or at least he was 6 months ago when I visited him in April. He was quite overweight; he was short on breath at rest almost. But he was still very alert mentally. He is quite energetic. There is no lack of energy in this man. Apparently his first wife has left him for whatever reason, I was not interested in finding out and I do not know that any of his family has anything to do with him now. I do not know whether they do or they don’t. The situation is then that I left there and I thought that he would agree to, although he did not commit himself, in fairness to Mr. Crane I must say that he did not commit himself to loan me the instruments. He did loan number four microscope. That's nearly the twin brother of the one that you took over to England. He did loan that microscope to Marcel Vogel who is a senior research chemist at IBM at San Jose. Marcel has that microscope now and he has had it for about six months but he hasn’t done anything with it. That’s the one that I looked through in April.

: Did you put a grid under it to see if there was any spherical aberration?

: It was so poor, the alignment was so poor at the time that I viewed it, and the images were so poor, Mr. Siner, I didn't care to try and test it any more after I got an image through and I saw that the train did work. As I recall right now there was no spherical aberration but I must say that I could be wrong.

: Was the sub-stage condenser unit in good shape? The rotating prisms?

: There was on the number four microscope only two prisms that rotate. On the number three microscope there were two sets of prisms that rotate, two different sets. They were exactly alike. They were so-called Risley prisms. Do you remember them by that name?

: Yes sir. These were set to illuminate the organisms in their true chemical color.

: Now Mr. Siner let me ask, going back to England now for a moment, you were there for nearly a year, was Gonin working with this microscope all this time?

: He was in charge of the project and built this beautiful laboratory over there, with a concrete base. When we got the microscope over there, I took it over on a ship and it got banged around quite a bit. But we got it all straightened out so that it would work well. And then he had a lot of friends of his come over and visit the lab, and we did some demonstrations of showing organisms, mobile bacteria under an ordinary microscope and then using the same objectives and oculars under the big one and showed the difference in the size. And they were quite impressed with it of course.

: Could you see more detail with the Rife scope (Rife Microscope)?

SINER: Oh yes. Yes you could. You could see the flagella very clearly. They were as long as what looked like a small cigar. They are only what, 8 microns long or something like that. Under an ordinary microscope you just see, well you know what you see. Then we stared this research project, what they were doing at that time was we were working on a filtered virus that they called X. It was really a cancer research project that was going on. And then we would take tissues, malignant tissues and grind them up and then, Kendall, Dr. Kendall developed a media made of desiccated hog intestine and Tyrode solution, as I recall it. Then we would culture these things under a slight vacuum. Then we would use a Berkefeld filter and filter them out and then we would get the virus bodies. Of course they were so small that we couldn't stain them naturally. So then we used this petragraphic micropolarimeter which identified the predominating chemical constituents of the organism and then set the prisms accordingly, and then the virus bodies were illuminated and they were shown in their chemical color, much like you would see the gas in one of the outer space planets. And so we were getting busy setting up this lab and we went over to Baird and Takelock, a big chemical company, and bought a lot of the equipment. We had a lot of things going, and programs going. Most of my time we were just demonstrating the instrument and culturing organisms, waiting for Rife to get there. But they were most gracious those English people were, and they understood the situation and they kept in contact for quite a long time.

: Now in 1939 and 1938, this was the time in which this big lawsuit had gotten started against Rife.

: I didn't remember that. I was over in England. I didn't know that there was a lawsuit

: Oh yes, there was a long-lasting one.

: Who sued him?

: One of the engineers (Philip Hoyland) that he had hired to build his radiation equipment (Rife Machine. And this is what broke him. He got started on alcohol right after this lawsuit.

: Well, frankly, since you brought it up, that was the main reason for me severing complete relations with him.

: I see.

: Because it got so bad Doctor that he was just not sober at all. I didn't want to be associated. I had started a new career, business. I went into business. Built a large company, sold it out, retired, and now I am into banking. So I have lost all contact with what little I did know after being away all these years. But if I could be of any service in helping you find that instrument, if you can't get one from Crane, I was thinking last night that perhaps we could find out where the Gonin family is by contacting the British Medical Association, because he was quite a prominent physician. And his daughter I think must still be alive. If we could find her she would probably be able to tell us if the instrument is still there and if it is, where it is.

: Do you remember the address of Dr. Gonin?

: Yes, it was The Gables, Shortlands, Kent. His name was Dr. B. Winter Gonin. Very highly respected man. Very wealthy man. He paid all my expenses. He just treated us royally. We had a big limousine at our disposal, my first wife and I. We worked quite late every night until midnight or one o clock. She was there and enjoyed every minute of it.

: Let me ask you this Mr. Siner, John Crane claims that that microscope that you took over there was not paid for. Do you know whether there was ever any agreement to purchase the microscope, or did Rife give it to them, or was it paid for in fact? Do you know anything about the finances of it?

: No I don't. I was just a young fellow and I didn't get involved in that. I was just working for them and I never did get involved in finances at all.

: It seems very unlikely that a very wealthy man would have not understood any purchase price or the terms of purchase or rental of such a microscope. You never heard whether Rife was giving it to him, or loaning it to him or anything like that?

: No, I knew nothing about the details of the arrangement, other than the fact that I was given a ticket, my wife and I, and off we went and set up the lab. We had a nice place to live in and work. And that was it.

: Let me ask you something else. Do you remember any notebooks that Rife may have kept of his researches in the laboratory?

: Yes, I did all of those notes for him but I don't know where they are.

: Would you recognize the notebooks if you were to see them again, do you think?

: Oh yes. Who has them?

: Well that's what I am trying to find out. I have an idea that the Food and Drug Administration may have some of them. Let me ask you something else. Dr. Kendall had a daughter; this was the Dean of the Medical School at Northwestern. He was the Chairman of the Microbiology Department there. I understand that his daughter worked in the laboratory for Rife for a while.

: Yes.

: Do you remember what her married name was?

: You are asking to search way back in my memory.

: Well, look, at a later time, if it comes to you, give me her name; I understand she lives in Arizona right now.

: I think she married a physician who was with the Scripps Institute.

: That's the same story I have gotten from others.

: His name was, golly sakes, I can't think of it.

: If you can later come up with the name that could be very helpful.

: Now, if you are able to get a hold of the microscope, the one in England if it's possible, or make some arrangements if you can with the fellow who has it, the best suggestion you have already come up with, and that is to take it to a good top-notch optical firm and have then take it apart and make sure everything is in alignment. For your new sub-stage thing you could have them do that.

: Mr. Siner, would you be willing to come to Buffalo for a short visit if your expenses could be taken care of and give any assistance that you might think appropriate?

: I would be willing to do that if there was something specific that I could help you with. I mean if you were at a point in time where there is something that I could really be of assistance to you with, rather than just a conversation that we could do over the phone. I wouldn't want you to spend your money unless it would be meaningful.

: All right, now then, Dr. Gross said that it was necessary for you to telephone Rife and hold a transatlantic conversation to realign the microscope.

: True.

: It was true. Do you remember what all you had to do during that alignment procedure?

: It was so long ago that I don't recall exactly. I remember that we had to get into the barrel and adjust some of the prisms that each bent the light back and forth. But I don't recall the details of it.

: I see. I did get a drawing from Crane, which had about, oh about ten or twelve prisms in it. Do you remember how many prisms were in this system that you took here to England?

: I don't recall. Ten or twelve, maybe.

: Let me ask you this, do you have any recollections of what they were calling viruses? Did they actually make some photographs, not of bacteria now…

: Virus bodies.

: …of virus bodies with this microscope?

: Yes.

: Oh, I would love to get my hands on those plates if they are anywhere around.

: Does Crane have them? Did he say?

: Crane showed me what he had but there was nothing of any viruses on the plates that he had.

: If we could get a hold of Kendall's daughter, maybe she might have some knowledge of where they might be. As I say, when Rife started to drink heavily I just washed my hands of the whole thing and went on to other things. I just don't like to be associated. I felt so sorry for him. As a matter of fact I put him in an institution. I took him to Los Angeles to an alcoholic institution. And he was so brilliant that he finally, I don't know how he did it, but he got liquor in there somehow. It was just a terrible, terrible waste of a tremendous brain and a tremendous talent because he was a genius for sure. I saw him just before he died about three years ago and he was still pretty alert, but very feeble. I'm sure that his liver must have been shot drinking that much. He probably had a tremendous case of cirrhosis. He looked bad, very bad, the poor fellow.

: He didn't say anything about his notebooks or any of his researches or anything?

: I asked him where he might keep them and he said he didn't remember. I said, "See if you can because it is important to try to get a hold of them." I was out there with another friend of his, Bob, I can't remember his name, but we went out to see him at this rest home. I would suggest that you try to locate Gonin's daughter in England. You might try the British Medical Association.

: Well, the story that I had was that the microscope was later sent to the London School of Tropical Medicine. But I am going to take the information that you have given me. Mr. Siner you are potentially a most important person for the reconstruction and the recovery of all of this material and if you would jot down from time to time whatever you can recall.

: Tell me how to get a hold of you. Address exchanges follow.

: Mr. Siner, I can only tell you in the plainest of language that I am most determined to try to get this microscope system recovered and the principle of it, the principle elucidated by competent optical experts. So far my experience with them has been that they are skeptical at the politest. But the facts are the photographs that were published back then, one of them and maybe two of them, are indisputably beyond the capability of any resolution that was available at that time, and they have been confirmed by electron microscopy since then. Now I have a project that I am trying to get off the ground in aging. I think that I know what one of the two fundamental common denominators in aging, in all forms of biological aging, not just humans or animals or vertebrates, but in all forms of aging, I think I know what one of these common denominators is. To do the experimental work that is needed to be done a microscope, an inverted microscope, with the capabilities which Rife's microscope had, would be very, very helpful. I wouldn't be able to do much of the research without this microscope. But if I had the microscope it would help a great deal. Now Rife's microscope, the way he had it designed, in my opinion, today could not be considered a very highly un-productive microscope. It would be very difficult to get a lot of work out of it compared with a lot of the microscopes that you can buy, either Zeiss of Germany or Nikkon of Japan. What we need is an inverted microscope, something like the Zeiss Axiomat. I don't think there is a chance in the world of getting anything that would be patentable. I forgot to tell Dr. Gross this last night. But we looked into it and I don't think there is any remote possibility of getting anything that could be patented so there is nobody who is going to make any money on it. And this is where Crane is suffering from a delusion that somehow or other he is going to make some money out of this. And nobody is going to make any money out of it. In fact, what I will try to eventually do is get the NIH to make contract to reimburse the expenses of a microscope manufacturer to produce this microscope. Nobody can make any money on it, or any real money.

: That's right.

: But its potential in biological and in pathological research is very great. So this is where the ball lays now, and do warn Dr. Gross if you talk with him about this matter of the litigation.

: Yes, well we want to have absolutely nothing to do with this man, Crane, in any way shape or form. I don't want any contact with him or anything to do with him.

: Well I don't blame you. I don't have to worry too much because he would have to have something really very good to get to me here in New York. I have no fear here. But I did take away a lot of photographs, which he gave me. He treated me, I must say, Mr. Crane treated me, while I was there, he treated me with every courtesy nearly that I could ask for. There was nothing that he did to me personally that I could object, but it was quite clear to me what some of the limitations were the he has and which he has in his thinking. Well, I will send you a copy, and I will also send a letter to Gross, with a reprint of this article and some photographic reproductions of the microorganisms.

: It might jar my memory loose on some other items of importance.

: Yes, well any help that you can get. If you can get the help of Kendall's daughter it would be of an enormous help.

: I'll see what I can do doctor. And as I say, if you have something back there in Buffalo where I could be of some real assistance, not just talking. I'd be very happy to come back in the interests of your project and my memories of dear Dr. Rife.

: Really Mr. Siner, as far as I can tell at this time, you are really the most knowledgeable person about Rife’s actual laboratory work, you and Alice Kendall.

: I'll be glad to come back there only if I can really be of use to you.

: All right. Goodbye.

Tape ends.
Second call

: When did you happen to meet Rife?

: I first met Rife with mutual friends when I was going to the state College taking Biochemistry and he was looking for someone to assist him in this new research program that he had in virus bodies and also this ray machine that he had which he thought would have a destructive method of destroying certain pathogenic organisms reaching the same vibratory rate as the organism and thus destroying it like certain tones of music will destroy or break the glass.

: A particular resonance?

: A particular resonance or vibratory rate we called it. I was interested so after school I spent several years working in the laboratory with him.

: Several years?

: Three or four years at least, while I was going to school.

: While you were going to school, uh huh, and this was before your were married?

: Oh yes. And we used to work until twelve or one o'clock in the morning, then I would get home and get to bed and get up in the morning. And he gave me certain equipment to take to my house so that I could work on it even when I got home. And it was quite an experience until finally several other very important researchers heard about this instrument and the technique, the first being the gentlemen from Rochester: Dr. Rosenow. E. C. Rosenow. He found out about it and came out every summer and spent all of his time with us. Dr. Arthur Kendall of Northwestern University soon joined and then we had this doctor, I forgot his name from McGill, very famous.

: He was doing work in blood, wasn't he?

: Yes, but he was also interested in pathogenic organisms, especially the virus bodies. So he was involved in it and finally we published an article in 1931 of the American Medical Association Journal, Dec. issue.California and Western Medicine, Dec, 1931  

: Ah this is a read I didn't have, Dec. issue 1931 of JAMA. Ok.

: And this had to do with the microscope itself, the story behind it, its capabilities and what it was being used for, together with those great researchers who were connected with Dr. Rife at that time.

: Now this was the JAMA? Gee I totally missed that.

: You look it up. I am pretty sure, if my memory serves me right, it was a Dec. issue in 1931. Can you get it?

: Oh sure, absolutely.

: You look it up and I am sure you will find it all in there.

: Who was the author, was Rife one of the authors? Or was it Kendall? Or Rosenow?

: I have forgotten. Maybe it was joint. It might have been a joint authorship. From there we received a great deal of publicity, mostly adverse from the AMA claiming this was all a farce and that the ray was insignificant and would not do anything as was claimed.

: Where was this adverse publicity produced?

: In the USA, all over. American Medical Association jumped on it. After the article they jumped on It and claimed that It was all for naught. You know like something that was being dreamt up.

: Where did they put their adverse comments?

: In the newspapers.

: Oh. Ok.

: But be that as it may, these researchers from London, this Dr. Gonin, Was a physician on call to the Royal House and he had an associate that was the brother of Churchill, a very-wealthy person, and they came over to the USA, saw the microscope, brought some of their people over, technical people, who examined it. They wanted it brought over to England so that it could be used over there for further study. In those days the virus was just in its infancy, the virus body studies, the chick egg infusion and so forth and so on. Except that Kendall had found some way of doing this outside the living entity in what he called his K-medium. Which, I think, was deseccated hog intestine and Tyrode solution or something like that.

: I've got that.

: But you know I am going back so many years, so you will have to pardon me if I don't remember all of it. And so it was arranged that I would take the microscope, by that time I was married, and they suggested that it might be a good idea for me to take the microscope over to England and set it up, and that Rife would soon follow to demonstrate to the various groups, microscopic society, biological people, and all the rest of them who were interested at that time. And so, being just a young man of twenty two, we packed up the microscope in a great box, and got on a big ship out of New York and off we went to England.

: A transcontinental railroad to New York?

: No, we went on Greyhound bus as a matter of fact. But I made sure that the instrument was latched down pretty safely inside of the bus where they carry the baggage. And lo-and-behold, when we got over on to the ship, going across the sea, a violent storm came up, a tremendously violent storm, 1938 or late 1937 winter. I think it was winter 1937. And three or four ships were lost to sea right out of New York harbor. And that microscope that I had latched to one of the bunks got loose and before I was awakened it bounced from wall to wall. You can imagine my chagrin when we finally got it over to England and had to go through customs, first they thought it was some sort of war instrument and we were detained by the police in Scotland Yard to make sure that we were not bringing in some sort of a war machine.  And then when we finally got to this magnificent laboratory which they had built to Rife’s specifications. They had a table for the microscope (I think I have some pictures of it at home) that they had sunk in the bedrock, the base of it, so that there would be no vibrations, because the slightest vibration on this Instrument was like an earthquake. And so we finally set up housekeeping there and bought all equipment from all the catalogues, all the re-agents and culture media, the slants, and whatever you need to grow microorganisms on, and also the filters that we needed to get this bacillus X, that we called it, cultured under semi-vacuum conditions etc. etc. This went on and on and we kept writing to Dr, Rife, please come over, we need you, I am only twenty two and I have no degree in medicine and here all these big brains coming in from all over everywhere, on bicycles, mind you, and I am demonstrating, day and night, practically what the microscope can do. And the only thing that they could understand was to take a typical mobile bacterium and view it under a conventional instrument with the same ocular and objective, and then take the same oculars and objectives to the big instrument and take the same hang-drop slide and put it under the big instrument with the oil immersion lens, and focus down on it. And they see the same organisms instead of being like this, were like this, sort of, and they thought it was some sort of Houdini trick. So we had to take it out of that one and put it back on the little one two or three times.

: Could you see any structure inside?

: I could see the structure inside and the flagella very clearly. Oh yes. And then Dr. Rife fell into the trap of some of these people who wanted to make a fortune off of this thing.  

: Wait, before you go to that, you had to service this microscope after that trauma?

: Oh yes, when we got it over there it was in terrible shape. All of the prisms were out of adjustment and I did not know where to start. So we had this long distance hook-up. It must of cost our doctor friends over there a fortune in those days. And we had a man from one o the optical companies with us, who was following instructions, and we took the thing apart and readjusted the prisms as Rife directed and put it all together and it worked fine.

: Oh, if only those instructions could have been written down.

: Well, there you have the story of how I got over there and how I got into it and actually when I got back over here to this country when the war broke out. I wanted to get into the service.

: Rife was an alcoholic when the war broke out?

: When I got back here he was completely gone. He was a dedicated alcoholic. He was married to a marvelous Chinese woman and she asked me if I wouldn't please take him to an institution. This is sort of comical in a way, but very sad. There was one on Wiltshire Blvd. in LA that treated alcoholics, the drying out type thing. And I drove Dr. Rife up to LA and he said, “I know I am going now to get cured, but I am so nervous that my hands are shaking. Do you mind if I just have one drink?” And I said, no, you are not getting any more, please. But he was persistent. So he had three or four, I guess, doubles, and he made me have just one, which I didn't like to drink anyway. Finally I got him out of that bar, which was right across the street from this home, leaned him up against the wall and rang the doorbell, and two young fellows in white jackets said, "Are you Dr. Rife? Oh yes, come in please." And they smelled my breath, I suppose, and thought I was he, and they starting marching me upstairs. And I said, “Wait a minute, it is not me! He’s downstairs!” So they finally got him and he was such a smooth talker, he got all of the doctors there interested in the research program on how to cure alcoholism. And the first thing you know, in order to prove his theory, he had them bringing in whiskey and they all wound up drunk, the whole damn bunch of them. And then, when I went to pick him up three weeks later, he was worse than ever, and I said to my wife at that time, "I cannot do business with an alcoholic, or work with them, because they will lie and do anything to get a drink. And then when he associated himself with these vulture-type people, who were trying to cash in on the thing. There was a Dr. Yale, years ago, who was nothing but a quack, and he got a hold of this Rife ray and there were all kinds of things that were happening that I just didn't want any part of. I was a young man and I was going to make my own way in life, and a respectable life, without having any problems of that kind. And that is how it all happened, and how it all ended.

: Did you ever see him after that?

: Just before he died.

: Just before he died, you saw him once more?

: Yes, out at the rest Home in EI Cajon. There is a fellow by the name of Bob Peck who has been in to see me several times and wants me to get interested in this thing again.

: Get interested in what?

: In the development of the planning of the microscope and getting it…

: Oh, oh, he does?

: Yes, and I told him that until such time that there are reputable people involved in this thing, who have a purpose and a determination, I’m not interested in talking to Mr. Crane or any of these other people at all.

: You saw Rife with Peck and your wife. Did Rife remember very much?

: No, he was sort of in a very happy condition of Euphoria almost really. He had all sorts of new ideas about what wonderful things he was going to do. And I questioned him as to whether or not he remembered the programs that we had going and he seemed to sort of grasp it, but I don't think he was all with it at that time. I think that he probably had small brain hemorrhages that destroyed the thinking process. He finally died just a few weeks later.

: Where is he buried?

: I have no idea?

: I would like to visit his grave. Do you remember Rife ever trying to explain to you his microscope optics?

: Not in detail, in technical detail, except, and now I am going back, way back in memory, to say that, as I recall, he drew these lines of what happens as the rays come through the objective lens and cross and start up, and then they start to hit the barrels. And then he said we have a prism that catches these just before they cross and straighten them out again and just keep them bending back and forth through the chamber of the instrument until they reach the ocular where they finally come into the eye. In that I way we don't lose the magnification because when the rays cross, that is when you lose the magnification.

: To your memory, did he have curved surfaces on those prisms?

: No.

: He then had lenses interposed between the prisms didn't he?

: I think so.

: Do you remember him saying anything about grinding any parabolic surfaces on any of these lenses?

: No.

: But you do remember him personally grinding lenses?

: Yes. As I recall these prisms were triangular.

: If I were to show you a diagram would it help you?

: It might.

Tape ends.
Third call.

104. Siner
goes on vacation with his wife to England, when they return, Hubbard interviews him again. We learn that Siner's wife has cancer. The interview turns to Rife.

: I did get over to the hospital, to the school, and met Dr. Bird and the other gentleman that was supposed to know something about it. ..

: Dr. Duncan?

: Yes, he was gone someplace. But they had a young fellow there, a technician that seemed to be pretty aware of what was going on. This was not the microscope that I took over at all.

: It wasn't?

: No. And Dr. Bird kept insisting that it was. And then the other young man , said, "No, look, here's the case it came in and here's the bill of lading and all, and it was addressed to the British School of Tropical Medicine, by Dr. Pepper of Colorado or somewhere. I don't know how he got into the act. But anyway they couldn't see through it. And I took it apart a little bit, and looked at it, and first of all, the tube itself and the objective lens was out of line with the sub-stage condenser, it didn't even have it lined up. So I got a wrench and unloosened that bolt and lined it up. And then the light started coming through ok, except now that they had banged up the prisms.

: Now Henry, this was or was not Rife's microscope?

: It was one of them, but it wasn't the one I took over. I don't know where that one is. This was just a small little baby one. He made three or four of that kind. But that’s not the one that I took over, at all. So I suggested to them that they immediately get hold of the Physic Department and bring the man down, and he came down, and I explained to him that these prisms were out of line. And he said that there would be no problem and that he'd get into it and line them up. And that was the end of it. I tried to get the microscope to take back and that wouldn't go.

: They didn't want to part with it?

: No, no, no. They didn't want to part with it. They don’t even know what they are doing over there and they won’t let anybody help them. That’s the problem. When I saw that misalignment and pointed it out to them, this young technician said, “Oh my God you are right. We certainly don’t have that lined up do we.

: Oh dear.

: So I sort of just washed my hands of the whole thing, and because my wife is so ill, I just came home.

: Oh, I am sorry about this Henry. You didn't get a chance to look around for any of your photographs?

: They had nothing. They want me to send them a photo of that particular cell, and also the virus body that we took a picture of one time. I don't know where all that stuff is. You have some pictures of some microphotos, haven't you?

: Yes, I do.

: Well you might drop him a line and say that I have reported to you that I was over there and saw it, that it was not the instrument that I took over. You understand that I had recommended that they call in their physics department to re-align the prisms, and that you have the photos that Dr. Bird is interested in getting, because they are pretty skeptical that there was anything like that ever taken through the microscope, and it was not taken through that one.

: Did it have Rife's name on the barrel in front?

: Yes, it did. It was one of them. Apparently that thing has been banged around so much, they had it all in parts and this young fellow, this technician, put it together.

: What was his name?

: Oh I don't recall. I don't recall his name. But he seemed to be a pretty savvy young man. So I don't know whether or not they called in their physics department or whether they've re-aligned the prisms or anything else.

: I had sent you some big photographs of these microscopes, I remember last year. Now did any of these photographs match your memory of what you had taken over?

: Well, I know the one he has there is the one that I didn't take over. And I know it's true because the packing case came from a Dr. Pepper in some city in Colorado as I recall.

Fourth call

: Tell me, have you had a chance to think over anything more on the letter Dr. Gross sent to me back in December?

: Well I understand that he is interested in trying to find an instrument, if we can locate one, and then build for you an instrument that can do what you want done.

: Well, there are several things that have developed since he wrote to me and I wrote to you back last year. First of all, John Crane got the number four microscope back from IBM and he has now agreed that he would rent the number three and the number four to me, and he would also sell them. Now, the prices are not cheap but they are definite. He wanted $250 a month for the number three instrument and $150 a month for the number four instrument. And number four instrument is complete but in poor condition and needs alignment badly. Number three instrument, the big universal machine, is complete, as I told you last time. He wants $25,000 for the number three and $10,000 for the number four. Now, I had my request here at the university turned down for the small amount of money which I was asking for three or four reasons which could be changed greatly if you and Dr. Gross would commit yourselves to restoring the microscopes. They did not know, when I made my request here, I did not have an agreement from John Crane that he would rent the instruments. Now, Crane had a case all the way up to the Supreme Court and it was just reviewed this month and his petition was denied. So he is no longer active on one legal case that may have involved these microscopes. So I think he would probably be more reasonable than he would have been back last fall. Do you have a copy of the letter of Dr. Gross to me on December 22nd?

: It's at home in the file, but I have a pretty good idea what it said.

: There were two sentences in here, one the funding, the present plan is to obtain bank loans after orders from universities and industries to rent the equipment have been received. Now I don't think, at this time, that it's necessary to try to obtain bank loans. I think I can get money still from the university if you and Dr. Gross are really committed to joining me on this.

: May I make a suggestion to you. It would seem that this problem be approached in the following manner with the following priorities. Number one, that Dr. Gross, either through you or directly, contact this man and say, "We would be interested in considering rental and or purchase of one or both, provided we can get the necessary parts that are missing to make it workable." So this way Gross, who is interested in building these instruments, has a chance to get a hold of one, or both of them, for say a thirty day basis with no long lease, where you'd pay him two or three hundred dollars or whatever, and then we take a look at it and see what's missing, see if the parts are replaceable, what parts are missing, what parts are needed, who can provide them. Then if you can get one or both of them working, then you can go further and talk about either a purchase or a longer rental period so that Gross could get his scientists working on a new model that would incorporate Rife's principle, that's what you're needing. Doesn't that sound like a logical way to help you?

: Well I think it is certainly a plan to consider. I don't know whether I should mention Dr. Gross' name. I think I ought to keep Dr. Gross and your name out of any discussions with Crane.

: Well, why don't you suggest to Crane that your university would be more inclined to talk about a purchase or a long lease if they knew that we had an instrument that is workable and if he was willing to rent it for a month or two months, you will have people in that particular industry take a look at it and see if they can put it in working condition.

: I doubt if it can be done in a month Mr. Siner. I rather suspect to restore number three microscope would take close to a year. The thing is, I think, I can ask for the money this time if you would be willing to take a look at the instruments.

: I would be very happy to take a look at the instruments to do everything that I could possibly do without any remuneration of any kind, just in the interest in science in general and your project in particular. So, I would be very happy to do that without any charge. I just don't want to get mixed up with this fellow Crane.

: Absolutely not. When he can take people all the way to the Supreme Court, that means expensive legal expenses.

: I don't want anything to do with him whatsoever. If you can work out a deal were you can get that instrument, either Gross, if he has the capacity in his plant to take that thing apart, if he has some optical people there that understand the principle and know what is needed to get the thing working, then fine. If not, you might have to go to Spencer or Bausch and Laumb, or one of those instrument makers and see if they have the expertise to get the scopes working. And then at least you will have given yourself every chance, every opportunity, to get something that's ongoing to help you in your project.
They talk about meeting with Gross and discuss their chances of success at the university.

: Let me ask one more thing Mr. Siner. Have you been able to recollect anything as to how Rife did his sectioning of that tetanus bacillus?

: I remember your letter and I have been wracking my brain and going back into my memory box, and it seems to me, if I remember correctly, that he had a special paraffin wax mixture of some kind that set quickly and held very firm as he was doing the microtome. I think it was paraffin wax.

: It was paraffin wax?

: I believe so, with something else. And I can't remember what else it was. Paraffin wax alone did not do it. There was some filler, I just can't remember, it was so long ago.

: Do you recall what type of a microtome he used to cut it with?

: It was a very, very small instrument that stood on four legs as I recall and had a very, very fine blade. I think it was a diamond type of blade edge

: A diamond edge. We do have diamond knives now.

: I think this was circular, as I recall it was circular and with a handle, and he rotated the handle which turned the blade and it was very, very fine, a very fine instrument, almost like a very fine watch.

: Did he make the microtome himself?

: I don't remember. I don't think he did. I think he bought it someplace. But I was just a young lad in those days you know. What I started out doing was washing bottles and tubes, and carrying media and all that sort of thing for him, and keeping his records. So I didn't really get into much detail. I know…. is Dr. Kendall still living?

: No, he died.

: How about Milbank Johnson, I guess he's gone too?

: Yes, he died, oh, twenty years or so ago.

: Rosenow?

: Rosenow is dead also.

: Oh God.

: Yes it’s a shame.

: All those people really knew because they worked close together.

: I am going to try to get to Kendall's daughter but I don’t want to approach Kendall's daughter with any warning because I was told that both Dr. Kendall and his wife and his son-and-law all died within a day or two of one another following a trial out there in San Diego in which the American Medical Association was one of the litigants. And this is something that I want to check on when I come out there because it seemed very, very strange that these people should all die within such a short time of one another.

: Were they posted?

: This I do not know and I certainly want to try and find out: This is one the first questions that comes to me. I can't help but think that there must have been some impropriety in their deaths and this is why I don't want to bring this matter up to Dr. Kendall's daughter until I have a chance to be physically in her presence when I start to ask her or talk to her about the matter. I'm afraid she will clam up and not be willing to talk.

: Isn't it a shame that all this should have happened?

: Oh, it is. I can tell you that the pictures here by our granting committee. There were three considerations that they were concern about. First of all they were concerned as to whether the project technically was feasible, and my grant request had been put in before I knew of your existence. It was also before I knew of Dr. Gross' existence. So, it would really be a matter of great complexity on the part of a brand new team. So they were a little concerned as to whether the project was feasible in the first place. Then another consideration was; well, if this was bonafide, if the picture had really been made with a light microscope such as was described in this article, why had not more been done since then and before now. Of course I did not want to put in my application the grim clinical history that Rife had with his alcoholism, but I imagine I am going to have some public opens.  

: Well that was the beginning of the downfall of the whole thing: his drinking problem. that started out, I believe, when the AMA locked horns with him. He just wasn't emotionally up to taking lt. I took him to an institution to try to get him cured, and he was such a smart talker, I think that he turned the curers into alcoholics. They'd smuggle into the place…

: (laughs) for heaven sakes. These are problems. The third problem was they were concerned about whether this did not violate some laws of optics, but none of the people there on the panel were physicists, much less experts in optics. So these are the problems that I have to try to overcome in a new presentation. Now, if I could have a statement from you that you were the person who made the adjustments, or if you could give me a history in your own words what you did optically for Rife.

: That would be part of your presentation of course. Now, Gross was going to get a hold of one of the museums to see if they had some microscope there. Which one was it?

: Well it's not a museum; it's the London School of Tropical Medicine. However, since I talked with you before Mr. Siner, and before all this bad weather came up, I’ve had people from the University of Paris call me about this microscope, people from the State Department in Canada, there s a person from McGill who is interested in it. Now then, with all this outside interest stirring up, if I go over, or if you go over, or if anybody goes over, without a follow-through already prepared, and goes to the London School of Tropical Medicine and does any more than what had already been done, the people there, there is no reason for them to part with that number five microscope. Of course I wouldn't object to it, but they would probably want people at Cook, Carleton and Simms, the big microscope manufacturer in the United Kingdom to do it.

End of Siner interviews.

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