Nathan Safferstein Dies; Manhattan Project Worker was 92

By: Sean Patterson - March 8, 2013

The Associated Press is reporting that Nathan Safferstein, a counterintelligence agent for the Manhattan Project, has died.

Safferstein’s family told the AP that he died Tuesday, March 5 at his home in the Bronx. He had been suffering from an unnamed illness for some time.

As part of the program centered around creating the atomic bomb, Safferstein was trusted with some of the Manhattan Projects’ most precious secrets. The AP report states that Safferstein eavesdropped on Los Alamos laboratory scientists to ensure they weren’t leaking secrets about the program. He was also tasked with transporting sensitive material, such as uranium and top-secret messages.

Safferstein was reportedly a grocery store manager before being recruited into the Manhattan Project and stationed at Los Alamos. He followed the project all the way to the Pacific theater, where he was able to sign his initials to the atomic bomb dropped in Hiroshima. After the war, Safferstein returned to grocery store work. He went on to become president of a marketing company and later founded two companies.

(Image courtesy Michael Safferstein/AP)

Sean Patterson

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Sean PattersonSean is a staff writer for WebProNews. Follow Sean on Google+: +Sean Patterson and Twitter: @St_Patt

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  • Jake Witmer

    It’s stories like these that make me think we’re living in the Matrix. The guy was a grocery store manager. “Jim, look how neat the shelves in here are. We need this guy!” “I don’t know Roger, do you think he tests out as a sociopath? Will he be able to keep a secret if he’s tortured?” “Well, Jim, there’s only one way to find out. Make him an offer he can’t refuse, and call him down to the pschological warfare testing offices tomorrow at 6:30pm.” “But Roger, what if he can’t handle the work?” “Jim, with shelves this neat and tidy, I’d be very surprised indeed if something as simple as holding a stethoscope to the wall of an underground laboratory will be difficult for this guy.” “Good point” —So he works with them on their little “Nuke Japan” project, and then goes back to being a grocery store manager. Wow. Somebody, wake me up.