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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Last Train to Nowhere?

There's a stunning piece just posted at NYT site from tomorrow's paper on a book I wrote about last month--Charles Pellegrino's Last Train from Hiroshima. I wrote about it in the context of it being bought by James Cameron for a movie (I have written dozens of stories on the subject and co-authored the book with Robert Jay Lifton Hiroshima in America). Pellegrino is an old friend of Cameron and worked with him on Titanic and other projects. Now William J. Broad in the Times reveals that a key revelation in the book is based on a hoax.

Pellegrino fell for a story from a guy who claimed he was a last minute substitution on an A-bomb bomb and told the story of a partial "dud" -- made up out of whole cloth. The author now says he will revise the book ASAP. Here's an excerpt:

That section of the book and other technical details of the mission are based on the recollections of Joseph Fuoco, who is described as a last-minute substitute on one of the two observation planes that escorted the Enola Gay.

But Mr. Fuoco, who died in 2008 at age 84 and lived in Westbury, N.Y., never flew on the bombing run, and he never substituted for James R. Corliss, the plane’s regular flight engineer, Mr. Corliss’s family says. They, along with angry ranks of scientists, historians and veterans, are denouncing the book and calling Mr. Fuoco an imposter.

Facing a national outcry and the Corliss family’s evidence, the author, Charles Pellegrino, now concedes that he was probably duped. In an interview on Friday, he said he would rewrite the book for paperback and foreign editions.

“I’m stunned,” Mr. Pellegrino said. “I liked and admired the guy. He had loads and loads of papers, and photographs of everything.”

The public record has to be repaired, he added. “You can’t have wrong history going out,” he said. “It’s got to be corrected.”

2 comments:

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Anonymous said...

If Pellegrino is serious about his comment:
"The public record has to be repaired... "You can't have wrong history going out... "It's got to be corrected."
Then what about the "wrong history" hardback books currently being sold and are already in circulation?? Is Pellegrino, or his publisher, going to recall those books? If not, then history HAS been rewritten and IS being irreparably damaged.

from: Son of a B-29 Pilot!

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