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As the tapes unwound in the courtroom, there were moments when the conversations were both naive and alarming.

Davis wanted to get his hands on dynamite and Frazier allowed as how he knows where to get it. Davis, of course, had no money for dynamite.

"I'd rather steal it," Davis told Frazier. "But not from anybody, not from a human. I'd rather steal it from a corporation . . . If I steal, I want to steal from a crook. A corporation. I'm real rigid about that . . . If worse comes to worst, we could just steal it and send him the money [for the dynamite]."

In the same March 23, 1988, conversation, Davis explained why he needed dynamite.

"I'm gonna blow the Canyon Mine and knock over the head frame," he told Frazier.

Complications were also considered:
Davis: "I want to see it go down."
Frazier: "You want to see it?"

Davis: "I want to see it go down, because I want to make sure nobody walks out of that trailer. If somebody walks out of that trailer, I'm going to yell at them."

Frazier: "Yeah?"
Davis: "And tell them to get back inside, there's about to be an explosion."

Frazier: "Yeah"
Davis: "'Cause I don't want anyone to get hurt."
Frazier: "Right."

Davis also shared with Frazier pointers on how to keep from getting caught, specifically keeping his home free of incriminating evidence.

"What I do is I clean my house out of everything after I do a strike, before I do a strike. No dope. You know, no Earth First! journals. Nothing. You don't have to do that if you don't want to. Just telling you what I do . . . And then I don't talk about it on the phone or nothing for a couple of months."

Later, in the same conversation, Davis offered his considered opinion on his adversaries.

"Unless we fuck up, and I haven't ever fucked up, or leave some clue that would point to Prescott, they literally have the entire western United States to look at for who did it," said Davis. "Usually cops aren't really very smart. The only way they ever catch anybody, generally speaking, is if someone talks."

At that precise moment, FBI agents Tollhurst and Bailey jumped from the prosecutor's table, leapt into the air, and exchanged vigorous high-fives. They then raced around the courtroom with index fingers raised and proclaimed to the jury, "We're number one."

Actually, they didn't do that.
The FBI contented itself knowing that the agency had pulled a small trailer of damning, if circumstantial, evidence out of Davis' apartment including a typewriter whose letters matched identically with those found on a note in Davis' home.

Referring to the attack on Palo Verde and other nuclear facilities that never materialized, the note read: "We are running out of time. Some power plant poles attending certin [sic} nuxlear [sic] installations in the Western United States were cut down last night. EMETIC accepts full responsibility."

Could Mark Davis and his colleagues ever have launched an assault on Palo Verde without the FBI's assistance?

The tapes played last week generated mixed signals.
On January 3, 1989, one week shy of a year after Ron Frazier went to the FBI, he taped a conversation with Davis. The two men were still discussing the nonexistent thermite. But something had changed.

Energy Fuels Nuclear's uranium operation at Canyon Mine was sabotaged on September 25, 1988, and 29 power poles were cut.

The FBI knew about this strike and let it occur.
What they did not know in advance was that as Canyon Mine was struck on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, a simultaneous attack by environmentalists happened at an Energy Fuels Nuclear facility on the North Rim.

Davis related what happened at Canyon Mine to Frazier.
"Yeah, the power went out when we cut a bunch of the poles about three-quarters of a way through . . . I got down on the ground with a hacksaw and cut the one that was going to the ground. That fell over. The whole thing fell over and the lines shorted . . . those lights they have out there flared . . . She said it looked like an atomic-bomb explosion. Like this huge flare of light."

In the very same conversation, Davis gave the government ominous information.

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Michael Lacey
Contact: Michael Lacey