David Charles Hahn, who was nicknamed the “Radioactive Boy Scout,” received regular visits from the FBI for nearly a decade from 2005 through 2015, Ars has learned.Hahn, who was profiled by Harper’s Magazine in 1998 for his attempts to build a homemade breeder nuclear reactor in his mother’s backyard shed, passed away late last year in Michigan at the age of 39. Last month, Ars reported that Hahn did not die as a result of radiation poisoning.Upon his death, we filed numerous Freedom of Information Act requests with various federal agencies, including the FBI. Amongst the documents we received were three FBI reports dating between 2007 and 2010. They detail three separate instances when people reported to law enforcement that they believed that Hahn may be trying to restart his nuclear activities. When local and federal authorities investigated, they found no such evidence.With these reports, Ars contacted Kenneth Hahn, David’s father. He said he had never seen these documents before.However, the elder Hahn told Ars that, upon his son’s return from military service in 2005, David would receive regular, unannounced visits from the FBI at least annually. The FBI would interview David and search for any evidence of nuclear material.“Each time they were really hoping to find something,” Kenneth Hahn told Ars, adding that the searches took two to three hours.
“Radioactive Boy Scout” regularly visited by FBI for a decade, father says