On January 9, 2009, ACG stalwart and eminent astronomer Dr Tom Van Flandern passed away shortly after being diagnosed with cancer. He was 68 years old. Tom received his PhD in Celestial Mechanics (theory of orbits) from Yale University in 1969. From 1963 to 1983 he was employed at the US Naval Observatory, where he rose to Chief of Celestial Mechanics for the Nautical Almanac. He was particularly involved in improving the accuracy of the Global Positioning System. In 1991, he founded the Meta Research Institute to support ideas in astronomy and astrophysics that were not popular with mainstream institutions and publications, and followed this with his book Dark Matter, Missing Planets, and New Comets in 1998. In recent years he was a Research Associate at the University of Maryland, and consultant on GPS to the US Army Research Laboratory in Adelphi, MD. He was active in both the Alternative Cosmology Group (he served on the committees for both conferences) and the Natural Philosophy Alliance, where he was highly respected for his critiques of both Special and General Theories of Relativity, subjects which he was particularly well qualified to discuss.
He leaves his wife Barbara, four children, and a number of grandchildren. He will be sorely missed on this team.
Condolence messages: http://metaresearch.org/msgboard/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=1273
The X-Conference by Tim Binnall. Pictured l to r, Tom Van Flandern, Tim Binnall, Richard C. Hoagland
http://www.metaresearch.org/ - Meta Research
http://www.cosmology.info/ - Cosmology Alternative Group