Dr. Serkan ANILIR claims that he has once worked at NASA as a leader of a space elevator project. According to what he writes in the Japanese book "The space in your pocket" (see also this entry):
- Started working at NASA in April 2001 as a member of "Space Elevator" project team, while he was still a Ph. D. student (p. 49)
- Later became an "advanced project leader" at NASA
- Returned to Japan after the project expired
- Obtained Ph. D. in March 2003
- Started working at JAXA after finishing Ph. D. ("lecturer" according to his book, but the official report says he was a "project research staff" which is usually a non-permanent, entry-level position)
- While he belonged to JAXA, he was also working at NASA
- He was selected as a NASA astronaut candidate in 2004, thanks to the recommendation by the Turkish Air Force General.
The claim of being an astronaut candidate was already examined in another entry. Here we will discuss his affiliation with NASA. NASA makes many documents available on web, which can be searched from here. However, a simple search with the keyword "Anilir" yields no result. How is it possible that he was an "advanced project leader" there and still managed to leave no trace in NASA documents? This adds to the doubt on the existence of "ATA space elevator project" which was carried out at NASA, according to his books in Japanese.
He was invited to a panel discussion at "113th J. I. Forum" by Koso Nippon (Japan Initiative) on December 20th, 2006. According to the record (in Japanese), he said (in Japanese)
でも、残念ですが、NASAも空軍ですし、私もNASAにいたとき大佐まで上がって、実はNASAの科学者も全部軍人です。which is translated as
However, unfortunately, NASA is also [a part of] the Air Force. I was promoted to Colonel when I was at NASA; actually all the scientists at NASA are military personnel.
NASA was created according to "National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958", and is nothing but the civilian agency as defined in Sec. 102 (b)
The Congress further declares that such activities shall be the responsibility of, and shall be directed by, a civilian agency exercising control over aeronautical and space activities sponsored by the United States, except that activities peculiar to or primarily associated with the development of weapons systems, military operations, or the defense of the United States (including the research and development necessary to make effective provision for the defense of the United States) shall be the responsibility of, and shall be directed by, the Department of Defense;
It is very difficult to understand how Dr. Anilir misunderstood such a fundamental fact about NASA after working there as an "advanced project leader". It is even more difficult to understand how he could be promoted to Colonel by working at NASA. That would be a very special accomplishment, achieved only by Dr. Anilir. Maybe we should call him Col. Anilir, instead of Dr. Anilir, to show our respect :-) Oh, and by the way, this might solve the mystery why he was proudly wearing the spacesuit with the "stars and stripes" (American national flag.)