Chronology of Events in the Suppression of
Dr. LaViolette's Pioneer Effect Paper

Part I: What transpired from 1985 - 2002

1) 1985 - 2002 Background: In 1985 Dr. LaViolette had published in a refereed journal a series of three papers on a physics theory he had developed. The theory is called subquantum kinetics.  The editor of this journal (Intl. Journal of General Systems) thought his theory to be significant enough to warrant its publication as a special issue of the journal entitled "Special Issue on Systems Thinking in Physics."  After its publication the paper received much favorable response.  Later he expanded on the astrophysical aspects of his theory in subsequent refereed journal publications appearing in the Astrophysical Journal (1986) and in Physics Essays (1992, 1994).
     In his 1985 foundation papers, and later in the 1994 edition of his book entitled Subquantum Kinetics, he had stated a key test of his theory which predicted that if a maser signal was transponded between spacecraft over a distance of many astronomical units, the return signal would be found to be blueshifted.  In these publications he also stated the amount of the expected blueshift.  In 1980 he communicated his prediction to JPL scientists who were interested in studying maser signal Doppler shifts as a means of detecting gravity waves.  
     In 1998 and again in 2002 a group of scientists led by John Anderson, a member of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory group which LaViolette had contacted in 1980, published papers announcing the discovery of an anomalous blueshift in maser signals transponded from the Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11 spacecraft.  The value that they gave was within a factor of two of the value that Dr. LaViolette had published over a decade earlier.
     Thus this Pioneer finding constituted a confirmation of his previously published blueshifting prediction.  He felt that it was important to alert the physics/astronomical community of this confirmation, so in April 2002 he submitted a paper on this confirmation to a refereed physics journal.  But, in addition, he also intended to post his submitted paper simultaneously on the physics archive.  It is common practice for physicists and astronomers to post papers on the physics archive even before they have been formally accepted for publication.  This allowed the scientific community more ready access to such papers since journal review can often be quite an extended process.  In fact, a large number of the papers posted on the physics archive have never received journal publication.
     Moreover at that time, the Pioneer 10 maser signal anomaly was being very actively discussed on the physics archive subsection dealing with general relativity and quantum cosmology (  Not only had the JPL team posted their papers on this discovery, but many other scientists had posted papers as well speculating as to the cause of the anomaly. About half of these papers proposed new physics explanations.  Indeed, the cause of the anomaly was not well understood.  But none of these scientists had made predictions prior to the discovery of the anomaly.  Their theories were all formed a posteriori.  Dr. LaViolette was the only one to have published a prediction of the effect prior to its discovery.  But none of the authors of those papers were aware of his prediction.
     So he felt an urgency to post his paper on the physics archive to inform the physics community about this prediction. However, the archive was set up only to accept papers automatically from email addresses ending in gov or edu.  All other individuals were required to have their papers endorsed by a sponsor.  Dr. LaViolette fell in this second group since he was affiliated with a private research institute (the Starburst Foundation) which had a dot-com website.  On April 16, 2002 he contacted the archive by email to get approval to post papers to the archive.
     Now, more than more than 2-1/2 years later, they still refuse to allow him to post this paper even though they have been contacted by three physicists all offering to sponsor him for posting to the archive, one of these individuals being a Nobel Laureate.  One can only conclude that their attempt to prevent his prediction from being posted to their archive and being known to the physics community amounts to unjust discrimination against him.
     The Pioneer Effect, if real, is something that is not predicted by standard theories of physics, and many papers proposing new physics have been allowed to be posted to the archive.  So why in LaViolette's case, when he even made a prediction that is now confirmed, why would he be singled out to be blocked from posting his paper?  The history of his interchange with the archive is presented below.

 April 16, 2002: LaViolette emailed the archive requesting that he and his organization (The Starburst Foundation) receive permission to be able to post physics/astronomy papers to the physics archive. They responded sending him the following instructions:

Subj: RE: register
Date: Tuesday, April 16, 2002 4:24:33 PM

Your register request has been deferred.

Ordinarily we require an appropriate institutional affiliation, so if you are trying to register from a public access provider, please use instead (for example) your university account.
If you are trying to register from an e-mail account with a research employer that officially sponsors your work, then please send a message to with brief information on that employer (including a pointer to that employer's web pages).
If you have no suitable institutional affiliation, then please find someone with such an affiliation, and with expertise in the relevant subject matter, to sponsor your activities.


 April 16, 2002: He follows the stated instructions and responds by sending the following email:

subject: register

I am trying to register from an email account with my research employer: The Starburst Foundation. Starburst Foundation is a research institute that does work in astronomy, physics, geology, systems theory, and psychology.  You may view some information about my institution at the following web address:
Please register me in the physics archives.
Paul LaViolette


April 17, 2002: He also contacts Dr. Mermin of Cornell physics dept. who is on the review board for the archive. He emails him a copy of his paper in confidence so that he can see that its topic fits with the subject areas covered by the archive. Dr. LaViolette writes:

subject: paper for posting on Cornell arXiv website

Dear Prof. Mermin,
Attached is the paper I would like to post on the arXiv website.
As we discussed, I am trying to register to get an email account for my research institute, the Starburst Foundation, which does work in astronomy, physics, geology, and systems theory.

Paul LaViolette

Dear Professor Mermin,
I forgot to mention that I would like that you keep confidential the paper I sent you.  I have a few more changes to make before I submit it for publication.  For the present, this copy is only for you to review.

Paul LaViolette

Mermin writes back:

Subj: Re: paper for posting on Cornell arXiv website
Date: Wednesday, April 17, 2002 10:02:38 PM

Please confirm that it will be OK to discuss with another person connected with the arXiv, since I want to make sure that my judgment agrees with his.

I had planned to talk with him about this on Friday and should be back to you shortly after that.

Hope that's OK.


 April 18, 2002: Dr. LaViolette responds to Mermin as follows:

Dear Prof. Mermin,
I think it would be Ok to discuss the paper with the person you have in mind provided that they would not be a potential reviewer of the paper during journal publication or are not any of the authors cited in my paper.

Paul LaViolette

Mermin responds saying:

Subj: Re: paper for posting on Cornell arXiv website
Date: Thursday, April 18, 2002 10:26:11 AM

I'm sure that won't be a problem. There is an issue of arXiv policy for which your article constitutes a useful test case. Thanks for your patience.


Prof. Mermin does not elaborate on what this "test case" is about. But it is evident at this point that the physics archive begins to take what could be construed as discriminatory action against LaViolette.  Based on the archive's later unusual actions, we may surmise that at this point Mermin and this other committee member (Ginsparg?) had gone beyond the bounds of deciding if the subject area fell in the appropriate physics/astronomy category.  It is reasonable to conclude that they passed some negative judgment on LaViolette or on his paper.  Did they disagree with the theory he was proposing, based on their own personal biases?   They never did say that there was anything wrong with his paper.

    Or did they conduct an internet search on Dr. LaViolette's name to investigate his research interests, views posted on his website, or what other people were saying about him on their websites, and decided that they disagreed with his philosophical views or that he delved into too many subject areas considered taboo in the physics community?  If so, what does such a "thought police" investigation have to do with the scientific adequacy of his paper?  And, is blacklisting based on internet snooping ethical?




One day later he receives the following response from the archive:

Subj: Re: register
Date: Friday, April 19, 2002 4:17:40 PM

We are in the process of revising our policies with respect to unaffiliated researchers. We insist that new submitters are part of the academia or that they are suffiently [sic] networked with it.  If you have no recognized academic affiliation, then you must find someone who does, and with expertise in the relevant subject matter (your specific field of research), to sponsor your registration with us.

Sponsorship should be informed and enthusiastic, as if that person felt comfortable being co-author of your works.  It should not be granted merely to support freedom of speech or to help out a friend.

arXiv admin

So it is apparent here that to deal with his request (their test case) they were revising their rules, making them more stringent than the rules they had sent him in their April 16th email. The last paragraph of their email is especially stringent.  This special treatment came after they had a chance to read a pdf copy of the paper he intended to post.










April 21st & 22nd, 2002: Subsequent interchange with Dr. Mermin:

Subj: arXiv
Date: Sunday, April 21, 2002 10:18:35 AM

Dear Dr. Laviolette,

I have checked with those responsible for arXiv on your wish to post
your article.  As you may know, arXiv has recently moved from Los Alamos
to Cornell and the Cornell people have begun to develop a formal
policy statement, which will include the scope and goals of the arXiv
and spell out the rights and responsibilities of users,submitters, and
administrators.  If you wish to pursue the matter further you would
need to contact the relevant people at the Cornell University Library
via Edward Weissman <>, though it is likely their
response will be delayed until the new formal policies are in place.

Meanwhile, especially if you are concerned with priority, I would advise
you to submit your paper to an appropriate peer-reviewed journal.

A submission from the Starburst Foundation would receive the same
response as the one you attempted, so getting an email account for the
Foundation is not the answer.

With best wishes,

David Mermin


Dear Professor Mermin,
Thank you for looking into this matter.
I have always planned to submit my paper to a journal, but journal review incurs delays and I wanted to put the matter before the physics community as soon as possible, which is why I am pursuing archive posting in parallel with submission.
Since there would be a delay in deciding this matter via the Cornell library, would it not be possible for the Starburst Foundation to be sponsored by an organization that already has access to the arXiv, e.g., like someone at NRL or at the Naval Observatory?  If so, what procedure should they follow? Who should they contact?

Best wishes,
Paul LaViolette


  He received no further response from Mermin.  So he proceeded to contact Dr. Chubb of the Office of Naval Research who felt he was qualified under the criteria for sponsorship stated in the April 16th email.




April 25, 2002: Dr. Chubb writes the following very persuasive email to the physics archive offering to sponsor Dr. LaViolette's paper and research institution (The Starburst Foundation).

 Subj: Endorsement of Starburst Foundation
Date: Thursday, April 25, 2002 11:00:32 AM

To whom it may concern, I am writing to endorse the idea that a particular manuscript by Paul LaViolette, of the Starburst Foundation (website:, should be included in the Cornell preprint archive.  The Starburst Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization engaged in scientific research and education.  The paper which is titled, "The Pioneer Maser Signal Anomaly:Possible Confirmation of a Photon Blueshifting Effect?" provides an important prediction, based on a novel theory, associated with an effect (an anomalous gravitationally induced blueshift in photon frequency) that potentially has important implications, both at a fundamental level, and in practical terms.

In particular, as a research physicist at the Naval Research Laboratory, I have been involved over the years with issues related to maintaining precision time and frequency standards in space, and related topics, including the effects of gravitation and time dilation on microwave transmissions in the Global Positioning System (GPS).  Through this work, I have become aware of a number of anomalies associated with precision measurements of photon frequency that have direct bearing on practical, precision applications of and improvements to the GPS.  The kinds of innovative, theoretical developments suggested by Dr. Paul LaViolette in this paper not only may very well have implications in addressing these anomalies, but because of their relevance to the GPS, these kinds of ideas may spawn new, important, practical developments that could have national importance.

As a government employee, working for an established institution (the Naval Research Laboratory) that is permitted to submit papers to the archive, not only do I approve of and strongly endorse the work in this paper, but in more general terms, I endorse the work that I have been exposed to from the Starburst Foundation, associated with this particular topic.  This foundation promotes innovative approaches for solving and addressing important problems.  As a worker in the field, I think that by including this work by Paul LaViolette, in particular, as well as additional papers by Starburst Foundation, associated with the topic presented in this paper (and in related areas), you will help to foster meaningful dialogue about important, fundamental ideas, related to an important area of science.

Yours Truly,





May 2, 2002: More than one week had gone by and neither Dr. LaViolette nor Dr. Chubb had received a response back from the archive regarding approval of Dr. Chubb's offer for sponsorship. LaViolette sent the following email, but no response was forthcoming, just silence:

Subj: status of registration request
Date: Thursday, May 2, 2002 12:47:35 PM

Dear webmaster,
I was wondering if you have reached a decision about allowing my organization, the Starburst Foundation, to register with your archive.  A scientist at the Naval Research Laboratory has emailed you a sponsorship letter. Is that one sponsor sufficient? Keep in mind that I am a full member of the American Astronomical Society and have published papers on my research in journals such as the Astrophysical Journal, Monthly Notices, Earth, Moon, and Planets, and Meteoritics.

Sincerely yours,
Paul LaViolette, Ph.D.


 May 24, 2002: Having received no response to his email, LaViolette contacted Jean Poland of the Cornell University library who is affiliated with the hosting of the physics archive project. He wrote to her as follows, following it with a copy of Dr. Chubb's recommendation:

Subj: Admission to physics archive
Date: Friday, May 24, 2002 8:06:47 AM

One month ago Dr. Chubb emailed to the archive an endorsement for my organization, the Starburst Foundation, recommending that we be allowed to post papers to the physics archive.  I have a paper that I would like to post and have been waiting to receive a user name and password, but have not had any return communication.  I was wondering why there is such a long delay. Could you tell me who to contact or have them contact me about this?

I have followed the instructions on your archive site.  This said that if the organization's url does not end in edu or mil, an endorsement would be necessary to allow participation in the archive.  The Starburst Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit scientific research institute and we have engaged in both research and education types of activities. Below is a copy of the endorsement letter emailed by Dr. Chubb.

Paul LaViolette, Ph.D.


 May 28, 2002: Jean Poland responded to his email as follows:

Subj: Re: Admission to physics archive
Date: Tuesday, May 28, 2002 8:34:09 PM

Dr. LaViolette - Thank you for your inquiry. We are currently reviewing
our submission policies.  At the time you and I talked I suggested a
sponsor who is an expert in your area and has articles appearing on the
arXiv might be appropriate.  We are currently working with our physics
colleagues and legal counsel to come up with review policies that will help
us develop the arXiv at Cornell.  This is a more complex process than it
might seem and I appreciate your patience.  I will let you know when the
policies are determined.

Jean Poland


 June, 2002:  Based on Jean Poland's response, he concluded that the physics archive may not have acted on Dr. Chubb's offered sponsorship because they felt that his area of expertise was not sufficiently close to the subject of my paper.  So at this point he wrote a letter to Nobel Laureate Hans Bethe hoping that his endorsement might be sufficient.  Dr. Bethe had coauthored as many as 9 astrophysics papers posted to the physics archive during the previous four years.  Moreover he had received the Nobel Prize for astrophysics work he did on explaining nuclear fusion processes occurring within the Sun.  The photon blueshifting effect discussed in LaViolette's paper on the Pioneer anomaly had substantial bearing on stellar energy processes, which would fall precisely within Dr. Bethe's area of expertise.  Although Dr. Bethe is retired, he nevertheless is affiliated with Cornell University as Professor Emeritus.  Since he did not have email, LaViolette faxed him the following letter along with a copy of his paper:

To: Dr. Hans Bethe
From Paul LaViolette
The Starburst Foundation
6369 Beryl Road, #104
Alexandria, VA 22312


Dr. Dr. Bethe,

Dr. [M. Y.], who is a personal friend of my parents and myself, suggested you might be able to help me out.  I am trying to get authorization from people at Cornell to post a paper I wrote to the general relativity and quantum cosmology section of the physics arXiv, a website that Cornell monitors at which physicists may post papers they have written on various topics of mutual interest for mutual comment.  Since I am not associated with a university, I can only be given permission to access the site if I first get someone to sponsor me saying that they feel that I should be given permission to have such access, i.e., that the paper I am posting is of such a nature that it should be of interest to the physics community.  The organization I am affiliated with is a nonprofit research institute, but since it is not a university some form of sponsorship is needed.

I am faxing with this letter a copy of my paper, which I am also submitting to the Journal of Physics. The paper comments on the Pioneer 10 signal anomaly in which John Anderson and his group at JPL believe they have found evidence of anomalous blueshifting in maser signals transponded from the Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11 spacecraft.  Some 17 years ago I had published a prediction stemming from a physics theory I had developed which not only predicted that photon blueshifting would be observed but also predicted the amount to within 40% or so of what is found. Since your opinion is highly respected by the physics community and since you also have close ties with Cornell, I thought they would value your opinion on this matter.

Posting this paper on the physics arXiv website would allow me to bring this apparent confirmation of my theory to the attention of the physics community at the earliest possible date, regardless of the outcome of journal peer review.  Note that a large majority of the papers posted on the arXiv are not published so it is not necessary to have prior acceptance for journal publication.

If you feel you could recommend to the caretakers of this arXiv that they give me access for posting my paper, you could email your support to the webmaster at: and send a copy of the email to:  If you prefer the telephone, you may contact either Jean Poland, the associate university librarian (607-255-xxxx), or Prof. D. Mermin at 607-255-xxxx.

I greatly appreciate your time in looking over my paper and helping out on this.

Best wishes,
Paul A. LaViolette, Ph.D.




September 23, 2002: Some months passed and finally Dr. Bethe had a chance to read the paper. He communicated to LaViolette that "he felt that he may have something there" and that he "doesn't know of anyone else who has proposed something similar."  However Dr. Bethe's phone calls to the physics archive went unanswered.  He was given the name Prof. Paul Ginsparg as a person to contact.  But, Ginsparg did not return his phone calls.  So at this point LaViolette emailed the following letter to Dr. Ginsparg, copying it also to Dr. Mermin and Jean Pollard:

Subj: Dr. Bethe is trying to get in touch with you
Date: Monday, September 23, 2002 10:43:01 PM
From: Gravitics1
To:, Gravitics1

Dr. Paul Ginsparg
Administrator of the Cornell Physics Archive

Dear Dr. Ginsparg,
Dr. Hans Bethe tried to get in touch with you today by telephone. I am contacting you also by email since Dr. Bethe does not have email.  He wanted to let you know that he is willing to sponsor my paper entitled "The Pioneer Maser Signal Anomaly: Possible Confirmation of Spontaneous Photon Blueshifting" so that it can be posted to the physics archive. He can be reached at.

I had first contacted the archive webmaster 5 months ago requesting permission to post this paper. Shortly after that I had also emailed an endorsement written by Scott Chubb of the Naval Research Laboratory.  But I had no response.  I hope that now that Dr. Bethe also recommends it to be posted that you will send me a user name and password so that I may post my paper to your site.  Please note that my paper attempts to call attention to data confirming a theoretical prediction that I had previously published and which was apparently unknown to the authors who published the confirming data, so your immediate action on this would be greatly appreciated.

Paul A. LaViolette, Ph.D.


 September 29, 2002: Instead of making an effort to respond to Dr. Bethe, who has no email capability, the archive sent LaViolette an anonymous email reprimanding him for attempting to contact one of their committee members by telephone.  They wrote:

Subj: RE: Dr. Bethe is trying to get in touch with you
Date: Sunday, September 29, 2002 3:04:15 PM

Your message has been forwarded to this address for processing.
Note that this is the only address that should be used for such communications,
and under no circumstances are telephone calls accepted.

Endorsements must come from currently active archive users intimately familiar
with the work in question.  Neither of your proposed sponsors qualifies.
Your attempted submission has been determined to be inappropriate for this
resource.  You should sumit [sic] it instead to a conventional journal.


   Here they state that they do not consider Nobel Laureate Hans Bethe as qualified and give no reason why.  Yet contrary to what they state he is a currently active archive user since he has coauthored many papers posted to the archive.  They raised their barrier to entry by requiring now that the sponsor be "intimately familiar with the work in question."  Indeed, Dr. Bethe had not written papers specifically on the subject of the Pioneer anomaly.  But was this not going a bit overboard?  It certainly was not the same standard they were using to permit other physicists from posting their papers.  Moreover, people who receive permission to post papers on the archive are allowed to post on any subject that deals with physics or astrophysics.  Thus it does not make sense to grant permission on a paper-by-paper basis.  Why should a sponsor be "intimately familiar" particularly in this particular area. Would it not be enough that he is an astrophysicist with a general knowledge of physics and astrophysics as is the case for Dr. Bethe?
   They also state that LaViolette's "attempted submission has been determined to be inappropriate for this resource."  This may be interpreted as meaning that his submission of Dr. Chubb and Dr. Bethe as sponsors was determined as being inappropriate.  But as we shall see from later communications, they are implying here that they have determined that LaViolette's paper is inappropriate - without stating their reasons for reaching this conclusion.




September 30, 2002: Thinking that they would want the opinion of a sponsor who had previously written on the subject of the Pioneer anomaly, LaViolette then contacts Dr. Lou Scheffer of Cadence Design Systems Corp. who had posted several papers to the physics archive on the Pioneer anomaly.  He sent him the following email:

Subj: Paper on the Pioneer 10 blueshift effect
Date: Monday, September 30, 2002 1:07:05 PM

Dear Lou,
Thank you for taking a look at my paper, which is the attached pdf file.  Let me know if you would be interested to sponsor it for posting on the physics archive (gr-qc section).  I have also submitted it for journal publication and am waiting to hear the decision, but that can take a long time.  Since this topic has been actively discussed on this archive, and since my paper calls attention to an earlier prediction of the effect from a previously published theory which was apparently unknown to the authors Anderson et al. who published the confirming data, I would like to get it posted as soon as possible without waiting for the long process of journal publication.

I would also be interested in any comments you may have.

Best wishes,
Paul LaViolette


 October 11, 2002:  Dr. Scheffer then emailed the following letter to the physics archive notifying them that he was glad to sponsor LaViolette for posting papers:

Subj: No Subject
Date: Friday, October 11, 2002 8:45:43 PM

Dear Sirs,
I've read Paul LaViolette's paper "The Pioneer Maser Signal Anomaly: Possible Confirmation of Spontaneous Photon Blueshifting" and believe you should allow him to post it to the archive.  I don't believe in this theory myself (I think the Pioneer effect can be explained by conventional physics), but it meets the test of a scientific explanation:
- It makes a numerical prediction of the effect predicted by the theory.
- It compares the theory to experiment and finds no contradiction.
- It specifies other measurements which could be used to prove/disprove the theory.
Of course if the proposed effect is real there would be serious revision required to standard astrophysical explanations, as outlined in the paper.  However many others have speculated on possible new physics indicated by the Pioneer anomaly without detailed examination of all the other consequences of their theory (including the authors at JPL, the authorities in the field) so I think Dr. LaViolette should be allowed to add his explanation to the long list of proposed explanations.
The paper is short and can be read quickly, so although I don't personally believe it, I'd rather err on the side of inclusion and let the possible explanation stand or fall on its own merits.

As for my background, I've posted several papers to the archive on the same effect (most recently gr-qc/0108054 ). They've been cited (though not believed) by papers which have made it through review and into the refereed journals, and my paper is following the same course.  I've got lots of other publications in the field of electronics.

Lou Scheffer


 October 15, 2002: LaViolette also emailed the archive stating that he would like to consider Dr. Scheffer as a sponsor and also he requested that they reconsider Dr. Bethe's offer for sponsorship as well:

 Subj: Sponsors recommending that I be allowed to post astrophysics papers
Date: Tuesday, October 15, 2002 10:21:01 AM

Dear Sirs,

Dr. Scheffer has had an opportunity to read the paper that I wish to post to the gr-qc archive and has recently emailed his recommendation to you.  I wanted to request that you consider him as my sponsor supporting your decision to allow me to post papers to the archive.

I also request that you reconsider allowing Nobel Laureate Hans Bethe to act as my sponsor. I believe he conforms to your stated requirements for being a sponsor.  During the past 4 years he has coauthered as many as 9 papers that have been posted to the archive, mostly to the astro-ph section. He abbreviates his name as H. A. Bethe.  After reading my paper he feels that "I may have something there" and he does "not know of anyone else who has proposed something similar".

As may be seen, the blueshifting phenomenon that my paper proposes has broad application to astrophysics (e.g., resolution of the solar neutrino problem, hypernova, etc.).  Nevertheless because the paper also deals with quantum phenomena that have cosmological significance (photon frequency stability) it also is relevant to the gr-qc section where currently there is an active discussion of the Pioneer 10 effect.

So I request that you consider both Dr. Bethe and Dr. Scheffer as my sponsors.

Sincerely yours,
Paul LaViolette, Ph.D.
The Starburst Foundation




October 16, 2002:  The archive responded to Dr. Scheffer, denying his request to sponsor LaViolette.  Quoting parts of his letter, they respond as follows:

-----Original Message-----
From: register-query for []
Sent: Tuesday, October 15, 2002 7:35 PM
To: Louis Scheffer
Subject: RE: Sponsors

>I've read Paul LaViolette's paper "The Pioneer Maser Signal Anomaly:
>Possible Confirmation of Spontaneous Photon Blueshifting" and believe you
>should allow him to post it to the archive.

We have already explained that at this point Mr. LaViolette's only
option is to submit to a conventional journal.  If it is not suitable for a
conventional journal, then it is not suitable for this resource.

> As for my background, I've posted several papers to the archive on the
> same effect (most recently gr-qc/0108054 ).

Due to numerous problems, the policies have been changed since a year ago.


"What else can we call this other than shameless blacklisting?"

  So even after Dr. LaViolette took time to find someone who had expertise in the specific subject that his paper deals with, following the directions that they had given him, they still refused to allow him to post his paper.  It seems that when they could no longer find a reason to deny LaViolette's sponsorship on the basis of his choice of people to act as sponsors, they then resorted to just a flat denial saying that he would have to prove that his paper was suitable by having it first accepted for publication by a "conventional" journal.  But, two years later Dr. LaViolette submitted a paper that had been accepted by a conventional journal and was again denied access (see suppress2).  As mentioned above, other physicists who use the archive are not held to this same standard.  They are allowed to post their papers prior to receiving notification whether their papers are accepted for publication.  And if they are not accepted, they are still allowed to keep those papers posted.  It is undeniably evident that the Cornell physics archive chose to break their own rules of sponsorship in order to bar LaViolette from posting his paper.  What else can we call this other than shameless blacklisting?




October 22, 2002:  In response Dr. LaViolette emailed to the archive the following letter of complaint:

 Subj: Concern about your procedures for archive sponsorship
Date: Tuesday, October 22, 2002 12:45:26 PM

Dear Sirs,

I have now submitted to you three people who are willing to act as my sponsors.
Initially, Dr. Chubb of the Naval Research Laboratories sent you a letter to this effect requesting that I be allowed to post papers to the physics archive.  But no response was forthcoming from your committee.  Why, I don't know. Was it because Dr. Chubb had himself not previously posted a paper to your archive?  Then I left a telephone message on Dr. Ginsparg's answering machine indicating that Nobel Laureate Hans Bethe was trying to contact him to inform him that he would act as my sponsor.  But on September 29th, you rejected Dr. Bethe stating:
"Endorsements must come from currently active archive users intimately familiar
with the work in question.  Neither of your proposed sponsors qualifies.
Your attempted submission has been determined to be inappropriate for this
resource. You should submit it instead to a conventional journal."

Your rejection of Dr. Bethe, Professor Emeritus at Cornell University, surprised me.  Besides having coauthored as many as 10 astrophysics papers posted to your archive in the past 4 years, his opinion is highly respected in the physics/astrophysics world.

Thinking that your refusal was because Dr. Bethe had not written papers specifically on the Pioneer 10 anomaly, I then contacted Dr. Scheffer who has posted papers to your site precisely on this subject.  He emailed you a letter agreeing to act as my sponsor.  But you rejected him also. Dr. Scheffer forwarded to me your October 15th response which states:
"We have already explained that at this point Mr. LaViolette's only
option is to submit to a conventional journal. If it is not suitable for a
conventional journal, then it is not suitable for this resource."

I received with surprise your rejection of Dr. Scheffer's sponsorship offer.  You now indicate that you require proof that my paper is suitable for publication in a conventional journal, implying that you are changing the rules in the instance of my submission, placing yet another hurdle for me to surmount.  This is not the same standard that you have applied in the past for other scientists since most papers posted to your website have not previously been accepted for publication, although many are in the process of undergoing review.  By the way, I prefer to be addressed professionally as Dr. LaViolette, not "Mr. LaViolette."  Moreover on the contrary, you had not "already explained that at this point my only option is to submit to a conventional journal."  In your September 29th email, quoted above, where you stated: "Your attempted submission has been determined to be inappropriate for this resource," most people would understand as referring to my submission of Dr. Bethe's sponsorship.  It does not specifically refer to the paper I wish to post.

Nevertheless, I have submitted my paper to a conventional refereed journal at the time that I also approached your committee to obtain a password for posting my paper.  My paper is still under journal review.  On April 22nd I wrote to Professor Mermin (on your committee) and said that I, "have always planned to submit my paper to a journal, but journal review incurs delays and I wanted to put the matter before the physics community as soon as possible, which is why I am pursuing archive posting in parallel with submission."  Later I indicated in a conversation to Jean Pollard that I had submitted the paper for publication.  So your organizing committee should be aware that my paper is submitted to a journal and hence there is no need for you to suggest in your letter that I submit for publication.

I indeed had emailed a copy of my paper in confidence to Dr. Mermin. But I did not expect that it would be given a formal review.  Dr. Mermin and perhaps one other person are the only ones to whom I gave permission to read my paper and so far Dr. Mermin has not stated any disagreement with its contents.  So I find this censorship rather puzzling.  It appears that someone on your committee happens to disagree with the contents of my paper and that to prevent me from posting it you are going to the extreme to change the rules you had previously posted on the archive website.

I have spent the past six months seeking out three potential sponsors.  To now change your rules, just in my case is really quite cruel.  It shows a callous disregard not only for the time I have spent, but also is disrespectful of Dr. Chubb, Dr. Bethe, and Dr. Scheffer who took time to carefully read my paper and make contact with your committee. What you have done is not right. Until you change your rules and post new ones, you are obliged to conform to the sponsorship rules you have previously posted. Since I now have fulfilled the requirements of those rules quite adequately, rules that you yourselves had directed me to follow, I request that you give me a user name and password so that I may post my paper.

Sincerely yours,

Paul A. LaViolette, Ph.D.
The Starburst Foundation




October 27, 2002:  The archive responded to his letter with the following arrogant email which failed to address any of the points he had brought up:

Subj: RE: Concern about your procedures for archive sponsorship
Date: Sunday, October 27, 2002 3:00:57 PM

The response from this address has been consistent:
please find an alternate outlet for your work.
No further messages are necessary.

Date: Sun, 29 Sep 2002 15:03:26 -0400
From: (register-query for
Your attempted submission has been determined to be inappropriate for this
resource.  You should submit it instead to a conventional journal.


 At that time Dr. LaViolette felt that the archive committee was discriminating against his paper because of personal biases that their committee members happened to hold.  Such suppression of a scientist's ideas when he is attempting to notify the physics/astronomy community about the confirmation of a prediction he had published, is quite unethical particularly when the archive gives no reasons as to why they find his paper unsuitable for posting and particularly when he did not send them the paper with the intention that they would review it for publication.  Dr. Carlos Castro Perelman, one of LaViolette's physicist colleagues, feels that the reason that the Cornell archive is so avidly trying to prevent the posting of LaViolette's work is because they consider it as a threat to established physics assumptions which they see as vulnerable to collapse if Dr. LaViolette's findings were to be communicated to the physics community.   So perhaps it is not the quality of the paper, but that they are afraid of it.

Could the suppression be because his paper
is seen as a threat to the status quo?

The behavior of the Cornell physics archive cabal is extremely disconcerting.  It is not a policy that fosters scientific progress (e.g., see the de Broglie quote).

If you think matters could not get any worse,
then read Part II which catalogs developments
from October 2004 to the present:  click here