Another Meaning For The "Red Planet?"
One week after NASA announced that the area on Mars where the Curiosity rover set down will be "forever known as Bradbury Landing," in honor of the late science-fiction author Ray Bradbury, it was revealed that the FBI had conducted numerous investigations of Bradbury in an unsuccessful effort to determine whether he was secretly a member of the Communist Party. TheDailyBeast.com on Wednesday published 40 pages of Bradbury's FBI files obtained by a Freedom of Information Act request, revealing that for a time the agency kept Bradbury's home under surveillance and obtained statements from admitted former Communists that Bradbury "was probably sympathetic with certain pro-Communist elements in the [Writers Guild of America]." One informant described how Bradbury rose up at a meeting of the WGA where a resolution was introduced to deny membership to Communists or anyone who had invoked the Fifth Amendment at a Congressional hearing. "Cowards and McCarthyites!" Bradbury allegedly shouted. An FBI analysis of Bradbury's The Martian Chronicles by special agent John S. Temple concluded, "The stories were connected by the repeated theme that earthmen are despoilers and not developers."