Matthew Berdyck: Peter John Ross Nowhere Man Film Likely To Increase Incidents At Perry Nuclear Power Plant

Superfund Research & Beyond

Matthew Berdyck: Peter John Ross Nowhere Man Film Likely To Increase Incidents At Perry Nuclear Power Plant

April 8, 2021 Department of Energy 0

 

On April 7th, 2021, police and federal agencies converged upon Perry Nuclear Power Plant, located in North Perry Village, Ohio, causing a massive public scare over what turned out to be a guy who had falsely claimed he had a bomb.

This event immediately brought back memories of a prior incident that occurred in 2018, when a website known for publishing false information, called Scumbagged.com, posted that I was “headed to Perry to commit an act of terrorism.”

When the now discredited article had been published, a copy of it was emailed to me by an anonymous account known to be connected to Columbus filmmaker Peter John Ross, a man who is producing a political attack film against myself and this organization, called Nowhere Man.  The film features a completely fabricated series of events involving Perry Nuclear Power Plant.

Moments after the Scumbagged.com article was published, I’d placed a phone call to the North Perry Village Police to notify them that I was not in the State of Ohio, that I was actually headed towards Washington DC, and that Perry Nuclear Power Plant was not a subject of my work.

Ironically, during the call to the police it turned out that I didn’t even know where North Perry Village is located.  I had not been on I-90 in close to 15 years.  I’d only read about the plant in Cleveland news magazines;  I’d never actually seen it in real life.  Yet, I was “headed that way,” according to Ross and friends.

As I’ve stated previously, I believe that Cleveland Scene Magazine, Cleveland Free Times, and activist groups have done a great job of watchdogging the plant; it wouldn’t be something I’d use as a subject of my work because it’s not original research.  I prefer to focus on uncovering new issues, not already well covered subject matter, as not to tread on the work of other activists and journalists.

Up until the moment of the publication of the Scumbagged.com article, I had never spoken or written the words Perry Nuclear Power Plant in my entire life, though I was aware of its ongoing safety concerns and that it was to be shut down.

At the time of the incident, I was on a well published road trip east, from Hanford, Washington, where I’d visited the B Reactor, located at the Hanford District of the Manhattan Project National Park, the site of the world’s first continuously functioning nuclear reactor, used to create the first nuclear bombs.  

This organization has done extensive research on the Manhattan Project and its subsequent 70 years of environmental fall out.  Along the trip, I’d visited Idaho Labs, the former Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Manufacturing Facility, Red Gate Woods, and other historical sites associated with the development of the nuclear bomb, and US nuclear sites.  

 

 

During the trip, I’d learned that due to cheaper cost of fracking and natural gas production, nuclear power is slowly being phased out. Eighteen nuclear power plants, in the US, were to be closed as a result.  It wasn’t until after the Scumbagged.com articles were published that I realized Perry was one of them.  During the trip, I’d also uncovered the Morris Operation, across the street from Dresden Generating Station, in Morris, Illinois.  The Morris Operation is the nation’s only permanent storage facility for high level transuranic waste, or what are also called spent fuel rods; it was unguarded. 

In discovering the Morris Operation, I learned that as these power plants were closed down, the cooled rods, encased in cement casks, were going to be left in the parking lots of the closed down nuclear facilities; the US has no formal permanent storage facility for spent fuel rods as Yucca Mountain, a proposed site for permanent storage, is continually opposed by activists and sites like Idaho Labs are only temporary storage facilities; all of them are full.

Obviously, leaving these fuel rods sitting out in the open is going to create intense security risks that could lead a hostile foreign or domestic actor to obtain the materials needed to create dirty bombs.  Based on the fact that I’d found the Morris Operation to be completely unguarded, my efforts were to create the justification for a permanent storage facility and to increase security at these closed down facilities, which are left in the hands of private security and local police who are ill prepared to deal with terrorist situations.

In reality, I was not only trying to protect the environment, I was trying to stop terrorist attacks.  Last month, an officer with the New York Police Department Intelligence and Terrorism Unit told me that she found it ironic that I had been accused of terrorism when I was actually trying to stop it.  Ironic, indeed.  

When the Scumbagged.com article was released, I was on I-80, 400 miles away, driving East towards Three Mile Island, one of the plants slated for shut down and the site of the nations worst nuclear incident, a partial meltdown of reactor TMI 2.  At some point, I’d checked into a hotel in the town next to Three Mile Island, went to a bar, got drunk, and then ended up in a diner, at about 1am in the morning.

As I ate my breakfast, the only other people in the restaurant were a coupe police officers.  As I was eating a slice of bacon, I heard one officer’s CB crackle, “Be on the lookout for Matthew Berdyck, driving a white Land Rover, and use caution when apprehending him as he may be armed.”

Completely drunk, I furrowed my brow, stared forward for a few seconds, until I shrugged my shoulders and went back finishing my slice of bacon. 

The police immediately sprang into action, ran right past me, as I watched them through the front window, run out into the parking lot, at which point they saw my white Land Rover, stopped and looked back at me through the window.  I waved at them.  They turn ran back in the restaurant and surrounded me, but immediately figured out that they had no idea why they had apprehended me.

The police detained me for roughly 45 minutes while one of the officers called North Perry Village Police and encountered a manically ranting officer who told them a “complete mad man was headed towards Perry Nuclear Power Plant.”

The North Perry Officer said I was a schizophrenic maniac, unhinged, out of control and was going to cause a terrorist attack.  The officer looked back at me, calmly sitting there, dressed in a suit, now eating my biscuits and gravy. He had an odd look on his face.

The officer hung up the phone, walked over to me and said, “Where are you headed?”  Because I was drunk and had forgotten to turn it off, I’d randomly still had my map software running, which showed my trip east.  I held up my phone and said, “I’m on my way to DC but I stopped in town to take photos of Three Mile Island for a project I’m working on to get the spent fuel rods out of your small towns, so you don’t end up responsible for them if some actual maniac shows up.”  The Officer said, “That guy was raving mad and his story doesn’t add up.”

The officer said, “You’re free to finish your breakfast if you want and if you need a witness, you can contact me.  We don’t appreciate getting dragged into this.”  I then sat there with the police and finished my breakfast.

I never did get my photos of Three Mile Island.  After the drama, I stopped my efforts to get the spent fuel rods out of small towns and to increase security at US nuclear facilities.  Score one for Peter John Ross, the brave hero working to kill us all.  

According to the North Perry Village Police, after the Scumbagged.com article was published, phone calls that originated from a “burner phone” in Akron, Ohio placed false tips to North Perry Village Police and the Cleveland FBI. A burner phone is a prepaid, throwaway phone used by people who’d like to hide their identity.  These phone calls occurred hours after I had already spoken with North Perry Village Police, gave them my phone number, and made myself available to them. 

The North Perry Chief of Police told me that they’d tracked my phone, without a warrant, under the false premise of a mental health check, and located me in Pennsylvania.  It was only random chance that myself and every officer in the town were sitting in the same diner, or none of this would have ever happened.

A few days later, after speaking with North Perry Police, again, I decided to drop the matter and thought that was the end of it.  My father was a police officer in a small town and I empathize with the police who are stuck dealing with ongoing nuclear power plant issues.  North Perry has enough problems, as it is, and I didn’t want to add to them.

A year and a half later, Peter John Ross, reignited the issue when he showed up in North Perry and started flying a drone near the power plant, now claiming to be making film about my “threats to cause a terrorist incident at North Perry Power Plant.” I spoke with the chief again, who told me he had no part in the film and would never participate in a project like that.  I apologized to him for Peter dragging this all back up after so many years.

When the incident happened last night Peter started posting about it again and bragging about his great relationship with the chief.  He’d been making these claims for years but the North Perry Police have denied any involvement with Ross and the Nowhere Man film. 

The chief and I both agreed that it appeared that even though there was never a threat to Perry, in the first place, that Ross and friends had manufactured the incident for his documentary.  We also agreed that, back in 2019, since I had been traveling east, and publicly posting about it for weeks, that they had arbitrarily picked Perry since it’s a convenient filming location that’s not too far from Columbus, Ohio, saving production costs, and North Perry Village appeared to be located upon the path I was traveling.  

In spite of this, Peter claims that the FBI contacted him and interviewed him about the matter, that I’d been formally investigated, and that the matter had been closed.  The FBI never contacted me or questioned me about the allegations.  

Once the case was closed, Peter claims he then filed FOIA requests for the closed case records, revealing that not only had they manufactured the incident, they’d also incited an investigation by the FBI, for the purpose of generating FBI records to be used in the movie to further bolster Ross and his online conspiracy theories about myself and this organization.

 

 

Though I assert that the Nowhere Man film is the only bomb that North Perry Nuclear Power Plant has to worry about, last nights bomb scare raised yet another concern with the film project.

I am also working on selling a film project, called Finding Nowhere Man, which pairs the Nowhere Man film footage with my own and wholly discredits his story.  As I’m aware, numerous major newspapers and journalists are watching this situation; this is eventually going to cause a national scandal, for various reasons.

With all the public attention that’s going to be brought to Perry, via Ross and his exploitation of the town and it’s police for fun and profit — this has been addressed with him and he does not care — I’m reminded how the movie Erin Brockovich brought tens of thousands of gawkers to Hinkley, California, after the release of the movie Erin Brockovich.

There is a very real likelihood of growing security risks at the plant when people start trespassing to get shots of a film location.

Based on my experience, and last night’s incident, it’s clear that raising alarms like this disturbs the public, causes fear to ripple through the citizens, disrupts police services, and freaks out the local police.  Even though, I’ve repeatedly asked Ross to have compassion for this suffering small town, he appears to not be able to experience this simple human emotion. 

As has happened in the past, when he’s caught lying, he doubles down and will go to great lengths to fabricate evidence. In this case, however, it’s actually the Cleveland FBI that’s apparently endorsed his scam and participated, whether they know it or not. 

Ross has posted photos of himself inside the FBI office in Cleveland, so when the next publicly alarming incident at Perry happens, as a result of this terrible mockumentary posing as a legitimate film, it’s their own fault for falling for Ross and his whacked out conspiracies, lies, and false reality he’s crafted in his crazy, ginormous head. 

-Matthew Berdyck