Virgil "Gus" Grissom by Regina

The only person that has been sitting here, and he's been with me for last couple of months.  Actually hasn't, he hasn't been with me, he's been sitting in a chair with Jerry, my husband, has been Virgil "Gus" Grissom, and his other guys, (Ed) White and (Roger) Chafee.

But anyway, it was funny, as I'd walk into my kitchen, and we have a big dining table and the TV's over in a corner and stuff, and I could always smell the guys because they're all smokers. And I can smell the coffee and the smoking. And then Gus would take this chair right next to Jerry and they'd sit there and be very polite, in his way.

But what he (Grissom) wanted to share with all of you, and that's really part of the reason why he's here, is, he says, that years ago, Bill (Gough) had asked him some questions. Now, (as) Regina, I don't... I don't remember them, what they were. He (Grissom) does. And one of them was regarding how they died on the launch pad. And he said, he understands what happened. They (Apollo 1 crew) get the gist. They know what happened with the super-oxygenated capsule, and all of the problems that came out of that. He said, but probably the worst thing is they didn't have anybody helping them – as entities – to go on.

So, their bodies burned. They were outside their bodies, but they, you know, they disintegrated, and they were just charred remnants by the time the capsule was fully approached and opened and everything else. And he... he said, "I can still smell my body burning."

And I've got that smell right now in me. And it's... it's pretty gross.

But what he would like is that sometime today, if we could all send energy or a trauma-release type of meditation, in some form.

He says, "I don't know all the words, but for those men who had to open the capsule and see us as we were – charred victims of a fire. They (NASA) don't talk about them (the recovery crew,)" he says. And he said, "those are the heroes. Because not only were we charred, we were (also) left there. They had to. They were ordered to leave our remains with the capsule, so that they can see and study what exactly went down. What went wrong?"

And he said that was okay. He and Chaffee and White, they were good with that, they were okay with that. But he said, "What we weren’t okay (with), is the men who had to sit there and guard us as we were this charred remain."

Those men, and I feel like there's... they're very old now or one may even be gone. But he says the trauma that they lived with the rest of their lives impacted their family and their psychological process of how they functioned. He said they were a mess. They were. And they couldn't talk about this. And it never went in a report. They had to live with it because they were 'the men.' You know, hold it in.

So what he's telling me – what he's asking, he's not telling... he says he's long past telling anybody anything. But he is asking us that if, later on, when we're all done here, if we could please, as a group effort, "send a trauma-release form of meditation to all of those who had to see us – in our condition of human char.  Because you cannot smell a campfire, you cannot smell anything without smelling 'us' first. And that's what that... those individuals have had to go through."

And he said, "I'm grateful that we were, that Jeanne and I (Grissom) were able to help the Challenger crew.  And I'm really grateful that I was able to step in years ago." He says, "Years ago, to talk to you, Bill (Gough).  And there was another guy, Charles Wilhelm or something, Chuck Wilhelm." That's what he says, who answered you. That's what he's telling me right now. I (Regina) wouldn't remember that name forever. Anyway, but, and he's grateful for that.

But he said, "It's not about me, and it's not about my guys anymore." He said, it's about those (the recovery crew.) And he said the worst is they've got to tell their wives and that affected their lives, affected their family.

So anyway, that's what he wanted really to share with me. And he says…

I (Regina), "Thank you very much." (responding to Grissom.)

He's telling me he enjoys hanging with Jerry, my Jerry (Regina’s spouse.) So … they have the same interests.

Anyway, umm... "Ancient Alien theorists suggest…" he (Grissom) says. (laughter)

How funny is that? (chuckle). 

But anyway, so thank you, and he thanks.

That was Grissom, "Gus" Grissom, and he was speaking on behalf of himself, Ed White and Roger Chaffee.