University of California psychology professor Tom R. Tyler acknowledged Monday it was he who received a package from the Unabomber last week, said he is glad the serial terrorist was engaging in a written dialogue, not more violent acts, and plans to reply.
“I’m very pleased the Unabomber appears interested in providing education about his beliefs,” Tyler said in a prepared statement released by the university after review by the FBI.
Tyler last Friday received a manila envelope-sized package that he mistook for a thesis. Opening it up, he discovered a letter and a copy of a manuscript from the Unabomber that appears to be a carbon copy of a lengthy manifesto sent last week to East Coast newspapers.
Fitting in with his criticism of modern technology, the bomber apparently composes his letters on a manual typewriter, making copies with carbon paper and ordinary typing paper, according to an official familiar with the investigation, adding that the manuscripts have many typographical errors.
The bomber, he said, “doesn’t believe in whiteout.”
Investigators believe he is something of “pack rat” who has hoarded wire and stamps used in the bombings, the source said. These things are generic in nature and not easily traceable, making the suspect hard to detect, the source said. He also has kept stamps of varying denominations for a significant period of time, the source said. Trying to find out where he purchased the stamps used on his packages, he said, proved a deadend.
In preparing his bombs, the source said, the Unabomber repeatedly used wire from the same roll - a brand of wire sold throughout the nation so it was not traceable to a specific region.
Authorities also believe the bomber is someone who has a small workshop or access to one. “He doesn’t go to Radio Shack and buy things. He makes them,” the source said.
Voicing surprise at getting the package at his office, the professor said the bomber was responding to comments he made in an article published in May in the San Francisco Chronicle about “social malaise.” Tyler said he is preparing a response to the material.
“I think discussion about these issues is a far more positive and ultimately much more effective way to bring about change than violence,” said the academician.University officials said the package did not contain any threats to the professor or anyone else on campus.