Originally published at Global Research by David Ray Griffin on 10/8/14
Thomas (“Tod”) Christopher Fletcher was born in Alameda County, California, February 27, 1952. In 1980, while at Berkeley, Tod married Susan Elizabeth Peabody, a graduate student and later a teacher of English Literature.
Tod enrolled in the Berkeley Masters program in Geography, where he completed his thesis in 1982 (“The Mono Basin in the Nineteenth Century: Discovery, Settlement, Land Use,” 1982).
He then worked for several years towards his doctorate and completed all but his dissertation. But then a chronic illness, known as hypersensitivity to the environment, with which Susan had become afflicted, became so bad that she became bedridden. Wanting to take care of her himself, he could search for teaching positions only close to home. He taught at UC Berkeley until funding for the university was slashed, after which he taught at some junior colleges.
Tod published a book, “Paiute, Prospector, Pioneer: A History of the Bodie-Mono Lake Area in the Nineteenth Century” (Artemisia Press, 1987). In 2014, he was invited to give a lecture about this book at a conference to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the historic decision to protect Mono Lake. When he explained that he would not be able to attend, because he could not leave Susan for such a long period, the organizers told him that if he wrote the lecture, they would read it aloud, and this worked out.
In the years before 9/11, Tod wrote articles about the ecological crisis and the anti-globalization movement. These can be found at the Daily Battle website under his name or that of Max Kolskegg, Will Guest, and I. Berg.
Having sensed earlier than most of us the falsity of the government’s explanation of what had happened on 9/11, he said: “I never fell for the official explanation. I’ve been researching and writing about 9/11 since 9/12.”
Tod first contacted me about 9/11 in 2005 or 2006 and wrote the first Amazon review of my “Christian Faith the Truth behind 9/11,” which he called “Griffin’s Best Book on 9/11.” He then wrote Amazon reviews for all of my subsequent books, both those on 9/11 and those on other topics, all of which were excellent. For example, although he was not a philosophy major, he wrote one of the two best reviews of my “Unsnarling the World-Knot: Consciousness Freedom, and the Mind-Body Problem.”
He also volunteered to critique all of my essays and lectures, providing always-helpful suggestions for improvement. I first met him face to face a few years later, when we had a 2 or 3 hour conversation. I then met him again in 2011 when he participated in the conference in Claremont about my thought. There he presented a paper entitled “An Appreciation of Dr. David Ray Griffin’s Contribution to 9/11 Research,” which was then included in the resulting book, “Reason and Reenchantment: The Philosophical, Religious, and Political Thought of David Ray Griffin.” Although he normally would not do anything that required him to be away from home overnight, he made an exception in this case (which was possible then, before Susan’s illness had become so much worse). I greatly appreciated his making this exception.
In addition, after I decided following an illness in 2010 not to do more radio interviews, Tod, who had for awhile had his own radio show, helped to do many of the interviews that I had been invited to give.
Tod’s other projects included helping Fred Burks with PEERS and the Want To Know website; conducting interviews published on KPFA’s Guns and Butter program with Bonnie Faulkner; and writing essays for the Journal of 9/11 Studies and for the well-known news-site, Global Research, run by Canadian economist Michel Chossudovsky.
Since 2011, Tod has been a participant in the work of the panel for Consensus 9/11, which presents evidence contradicting the official account of 9/11. This September, the Consensus 9/11 website featured Tod’s recent KPFA interview, “The Pentagon Attack in Context.”
Many of us will miss Tod, I especially, as Tod, in addition to all his previous help, aided me the past 3 years working on a book on global warming (“Unprecedented: Can Civilization Survive the CO2 Crisis”), spending many hours a week on the task. Besides being a great proof-reader, he seemed to know almost everything. I was greatly looking forward to sending the book to Tod so that he could see the fruits of our labors in final form.
Tod’s final act was as selfless as the rest of his life. After 28 years of suffering, Susan’s hypersensitivity had escalated to an intolerable degree, as she was made sick by everything in her environment, including her own clothes. Being in agony all the time, Susan needed help to end her life, and Tod did not wish to live on without her.
With elegant simplicity, he wrote two other friends and me by regular mail, telling us that by the time the letters were received, he and Susan would be in a better place. Then on September 30, he took Susan to Point Reyes National Seashore, where they moved on together.
I will miss Tod terribly – as an assistant, a colleague, and a friend. He was one of the finest human beings I have been blessed to know.
October 7, 2014