In 1996 A Boy Scout From Michigan Obtained Several Radioactive Materials And Built A Working Nuclear Reactor

He was pretty drawn to Peter Parker’s character from the Spiderman comic books as early as seven years of age. Now he continues to be fascinated by the radioactive glow and his new passion – genetic coding and mutation, and this shows that the 37 year-old David is not that far from the 7 year-old him.

When he was still young, his parents got divorced, and his dad, who worked as an engineer at GM, married Kathy Missig. David used to spend most of his time living with them. During holidays and weekends the got to stay with his mother Patty and her boyfriend Michael Polasek.

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10-year-old David received “The Golden Book of Chemistry Experiments” from Kathy’s dad. He recalls that he loved everything about the book. His dad can remember that that was the exact moment something changed inside his boy. He created a small lab in his room, which seemed pretty innocent until the day he created an explosion. David recalls working with phosphorous, unaware of it being highly ignitable. What he actually did was accidently creating nitroglycerine, and it exploded the moment David hit it with a screwdriver.

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He clearly remembers how bad his arm got hurt. Unsurprisingly, his stepmom ended all experiments under her roof, but that did not stop the boy – he just moved to shed out back. He tackled on a variety of projects, like the phosphorous paint, for example.

He tried to get some additional information from the nuclear regulatory organs by writing to them, but they were seemingly not interested in replying to a student. So he went in the role of a professor who is involved in nuclear projects.

He was pleased when he got all the information he wanted by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. All he needed to do from that point is get his hands on some materials. Surprisingly, his list was pretty easy to source. For example, Americulum-241 was used in the production of smoke detectors and thorium 232 could be found in the so-called Coleman gas lantern. So he managed to buy hundreds of defective or broken smoke detectors by presenting himself as a teacher who would use them for a class project in physics. He also purchased lithium batteries worth more than a thousand dollars, cut all of them and drained the element he needed from them, then mixed it with thorium dioxide and then wrapped everything in a ball made out of tin foil. He heated the ball with the help of his Bunsen burner, and this resulted in a quantity of purified thorium, about 170 times the amount NCR has to issue a license for.


However, the closest thing he did in terms of safety was the Geiger counter he put on his Pontiac’s dashboard. Heather Beauvette, his girlfriend back then, was not exactly thrilled by these experiments. The only person David spoke to about all this was Jim Miller, his friend and also a helpful mathematician, as David admits himself that he sucks in math, realizing that it is quite an obstacle when you pursue a science career. A nuclear reactor in your backyard can be considered as an ever bigger obstacle, nevertheless.

Consequently to the scandal, David made the decision to join the Navy. When he appeared in front of a judge, David thought that his dad and his attorney spoke to him and came up with this solution. At first, it seemed that he found a new obsession, replacing the other one, and he made another decision – to participate in all four existing army forces. In a twist of irony, he was assigned on the USS Enterprise – a huge aircraft carrier, which is nuclear-powered. He did not like his new position all that much, but he enjoyed travelling the world during the four years of service.
After that episode of his life, he went to the Marines and was designated in Japan, but things became rough for him and his world started shattering.

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In present day he is a paranoid schizophrenic with bi-polar disorder, according to his diagnose. Medication treatment is undergoing, but that cannot keep him from struggling with anxiety and being delusional, and it all comes from the creations his mind keeps emitting. When he became a marine, he went through his first signs of the illness, which he describes as very dark moments.

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He eventually got discharged with honors due to his medical issues and that brought him very down low. Upon returning in Michigan, he felt he had no aim, and that was not typical for David at all. Eventually he got involved with the wrong company and ended up being arrested for smoke detectors theft from the building he lived at the time, clearly showing that he was still fascinated by nuclear stuff. In that same time, a worker at the building saw David stealing one detector and reported him, and in the following events police found sixteen more detectors in his home. It was clear that he wanted to extract the material from these devices and use it for experimenting.

The captain of Clinton Township police station at that time, Richard Maierle, recalls that even a bomb squad was summoned, considering David’s past. But as it turned out, there was no need for concern. David denied the larceny charges, but he still was sentenced to six months in Macomb County Jail’s psychiatric unit.

After that period, David’s life became a mess, and he had to cope with the tragedy of his mother Patty’s suicide. But deep down the ambition to create something great was alive, and he always had an enormous knowledge appetite. Currently he is close to earning a third degree from the Community College in Macomb – in Automotive Engineering. Applied Science was his first choice, and Performing Arts followed. The three majors seem odd at first, but David thinks that they may work well together in the future.

David finds topics to experiment on everywhere. Even when he started to notice that Kit Kat, his domestic feline friend, loves catnip pretty much, he wanted to process it and extract the essence.

So, with that idea in his head, he boiled some of it and filtered the liquid through some coffee filter, then he evaporated the liquid and made syrup out of the essence, claiming that the cat likes it a hell of a lot.

David loves collecting antique clocks, particularly the ones with radium-painted faces.
He is aware that his life is a chaos most of the time, but keeps hoping to find something better to do and studies hard to achieve it.

The biggest ambition that he is after in the moment is attending Michigan State University, which he hopes will give him the chance to develop the light bulb that could glow for a hundred years.

In his own words, so far he has caused a little chaos, but as he continues to learn on a daily basis, he might be able to leave a scratch someday.

H/T – Source

Written by Patrick Bennet

I have been working as a teacher my whole life. I love reading books.

I love writing about all kind of different and interesting facts. It's not only exciting, but I learn something new every day. What I learn I share it with you guys. If you have any questions feel free to contact me.

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