Was Homi J Bhaba killed by CIA?

Was Homi J Bhaba killed by CIA?

Was Homi Bhabha killed in a CIA plot?

Homi Jehangir Bhabha was one of the most prominent and influential scientists of India. He is widely regarded as the "father of the Indian nuclear programme" and the founder of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) and the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC). He was also the first chairman of the Indian Atomic Energy Commission and played a key role in the development of India's space programme. He was awarded the Adams Prize (1942) and Padma Bhushan (1954), and nominated for the Nobel Prize for Physics several times.

However, his brilliant career and life were cut short by a tragic plane crash on 24 January 1966, when he was flying from Bombay to Geneva to attend a conference. The Air India Flight 101 crashed near Mont Blanc in France, killing all 117 passengers and crew on board. The cause of the crash was never conclusively determined, but some have speculated that it was not an accident, but a deliberate act of sabotage by the CIA.

Why would the CIA want to kill Bhabha?

Bhabha was a visionary who foresaw the potential of nuclear energy for India's industrial growth and national security. He advocated for a peaceful use of atomic energy for power generation and scientific research, but he also recognized the need for India to develop its own nuclear weapons as a deterrent against hostile neighbours. He was confident that India could achieve a nuclear test within a few years, given its scientific talent and natural resources.

This did not sit well with the US, which was engaged in a Cold War with the Soviet Union and wanted to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons to other countries. The US feared that India's nuclear ambitions would upset the balance of power in Asia and trigger a nuclear arms race with Pakistan and China. The US also wanted to maintain its influence and control over India's nuclear programme and prevent any collaboration with the Soviet Union.

Therefore, some have alleged that the CIA plotted to assassinate Bhabha and destroy his plans for India's nuclear future. They claim that the CIA planted a bomb on the plane or shot it down with a missile, and then covered up the evidence. They cite various sources of information, such as:

- A book by former CIA operative Robert Crowley, in which he confessed that the CIA was behind Bhabha's death and several other covert operations.

- A declassified CIA document, in which a CIA agent named Robert T. Crowley wrote a letter to another agent named John Edgar Hoover, stating that "We have successfully eliminated Homi Bhabha".

- A statement by former Indian diplomat MK Rasgotra, who claimed that he had received a tip-off from a French intelligence source that Bhabha's plane was brought down by a bomb.

- A report by former Indian journalist Gregory Douglas, who claimed that he had interviewed Crowley and obtained his confession on tape.

How credible are these claims?

The conspiracy theory of Bhabha's death has been widely circulated and debated in India and abroad, but it has not been proven or accepted by any official investigation or authority. There are many problems and gaps in the evidence and arguments presented by the proponents of the theory, such as:

- The lack of any direct or conclusive proof of the CIA's involvement or motive in the crash.

- The inconsistency and unreliability of the sources and witnesses cited by the theory, some of whom have been exposed as frauds or liars.

- The possibility of alternative explanations for the crash, such as pilot error, mechanical failure, bad weather or human error.

- The absence of any credible motive for the CIA to kill Bhabha at that time, when India was not yet close to achieving a nuclear test and was still under US influence and pressure.

Therefore, many experts and historians have dismissed the conspiracy theory as a baseless and sensationalist speculation, and have called for a rational and scientific analysis of the facts and circumstances of the crash. They have also pointed out that Bhabha's death did not stop or derail India's nuclear programme, which continued under his successors and achieved its first nuclear test in 1974.


Homi Bhabha was a remarkable scientist and leader who made immense contributions to India's scientific and technological progress. His death was a great loss for India and the world, but his legacy lives on in the institutions and programmes he founded and inspired. His death remains a mystery and a controversy, but it should not overshadow his achievements and vision. He deserves to be remembered and honoured for his work and not for his death.


(1) Was Homi Bhabha killed in a CIA plot like Rocket Boys implies? Director .... https://indianexpress.com/article/entertainment/web-series/was-homi-bhabha-killed-cia-rocket-boys-abhay-pannu-conspiracy-theory-7765552/.

(2) Homi J. Bhabha - Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homi_J._Bhabha.

(3) Who killed Homi Bhabha? The mystery behind India’s nuclear pioneer’s death. https://tfipost.com/2021/10/who-killed-homi-bhabha-the-mystery-behind-indias-nuclear-pioneers-death/.

(4) Conspiracy Files: The CIA blew up Homi Bhabha's plane, 'nailed' Shastri. https://newsable.asianetnews.com/india/conspiracy-files-the-cia-blew-up-homi-bhabha-s-plane-nailed-shastri-rf9p2c.

(5) Is CIA responsible for Dr. Homi Bhabha, and Shastri's deaths?. https://www.newsbharati.com/Encyc/2022/7/19/Is-CIA-responsible-for-Dr-Homi-Bhabha-and-Shastri-s-deaths-.html.

(6) Homi Jehangir Bhabha - Biography, Facts and Pictures - Famous Scientists. https://www.famousscientists.org/homi-jehangir-bhabha/.

(7) Homi Bhabha | Physicist, Biography, & Facts | Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Homi-Bhabha.

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