MIT Sources Reveal Stadium 'Blast' Story
Culprits Learn Fale Today
The complete story of how eight students from the Massachusetts institute of Technology slipped into Soldiers Field last. Tuesday night and planted explosives that if detonated would have initialed the 60-yard line with the letters "MIT" was disclosed last night.
Sources close to the plotters at MIT gave the CRIMSON a step-by-step account of the plot that might have interrupted the Harvard-Yale game with a surprise blast directly after the opening kick-off.
The eight students, whose names have not been disclosed, were released by police Saturday night pending decisions on punitive measures by MIT authorities.
These spokesmen completely discounted reports that the explosion would have "left a crater in the middle of the stadium" and "caused a panic among the 57,621 spectators," statements made by game Boston newspapers.
Brighton police and the dean of MIT have also asserted that the extent of the damage from the possible blast has been greatly exaggerated.
Idea Born Last Monday
Nipped in the bud long before game-time, the stunt was first conceived by the students last Monday night as an "initiative towards a good, clean Harvard-MIT rivalry."
According to the CRIMSON'S MIT sources, the blasters broke into Soldiers Field between 10 and 11 p.m., Monday by clambering over the iron fence near Dilion Field House.
They examined the field, then planned the placing of explosive wiring beneath the midfield turf and the stationing of the detonating point under the wooden stands behind the 30-yard line.
They carried out the plans Tuesday night.
Al MIT, Dean of the Institute Everett W. Baker said yesterday a five-member faculty committee will meet this morning to decide what punitive measures, if any, would be invoked against the culprits.
Dean Baker believed the explosion would have lifted only a small puff of dirt that groundskeepers could quickly have raked and rolled, but asserted that "from our point of view, it was thoroughly rude and unsporting for the students to barge in on such an attraction as a Harvard-Yale game. Harvard is naturally and properly interested in stopping such outright vandalism."
According to a statement yesterday from Dean Bender, Harvard will probably not press criminal charges against the pranksters. Final decision, he said is up to the HAA.
The actual explosive--called "primacord"--was purchased Tuesday from a local demolitions distributor. The spokesmen from MIT claimed it was so "harmless" that no permit was required.
Before laying their wire in the stadium, the pranksters tested the stunt in a residential area near the Institute. They concluded it could be carried out "with safety."
The plotters system for firing the blast was simple. One of them, stationed behind the grandstand, was assigned to set off the charge by use of batteries. He was to be signalled by two accomplices, who were stationed in the wooden bleachers.
The spotters, according to the spokesman, were to give the signal when players and officials moved out of the mid-field area. The first opportunity of this kind did not come until Harvard had been downed deep in its own territory after the kick-off.
When the MIT trigger-man reached for the detonator, he was seized by a plain-clothesman from the Brighton police force, which had been called in by the HAA Thursday.
At that time, Stadium groundskeepers had discovered suspicious "wrinkles" at the 50-yard line, and had also spotted the ends of the fuses under the stands. The explosives had been promptly removed.
The MIT student who set up the trigger-point is said to have had a surplus of wire and merely hid it under a pile of leaves since he had no pliers or tape needed for splicing