First Millennial Foundation

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First Millennial Foundation Logo, circa 1996

The First Millennial Foundation (FMF) (1992 - 1998), later called the Living Universe Foundation (LUF) (1998 - present), is a space advocacy and futurist group established by Marshall T. Savage in 1987, and legally incorporated 2 December 1992.


The first step in his quest for space colonization was launched in 1987 when Savage created the non-profit Living Universe Foundation (formerly called the First Millennial Foundation) based in Rifle, Colorado. A dedicated team established a fledgling World Wide Web colony to propagate its memes. Many had been dormant since the mid 1970s when Gerard K. O'Neill co-founded the legendary L5 Society and wrote the book The High Frontier (1977) which rapidly established space migration as a new public fad. O'Neill testified to US congress in January 1976, later pitching his space station designs to an indifferent corporate America. By late 1977 the public was reading Whole Earth Review publisher Stewart Brand's book Space Colonies, listening to Timothy Leary's 'Space Migration' lectures, and watching George Lucas' film Star Wars. Fantasy had replaced pragmatic idealism in the rush to storm the Heavens.

While Savage's model represents the Age of Aquarius' optimism at its peak, it is also "the first 'post-environmentalist consciousness' stab at this problem," according to Creon Levit, a scientist with the Numerical Aerodynamics Simulation Division at NASA's Ames Research Center.

"It's not just space colonization for its own sake, but it's an integrated plan of space colonization and 'save the planet' type activities," he says. "Most importantly there is a path - a 'bootstrap process' - to get there that seems like it might actually happen.

"The problems with the proposals that came out in the late 1970s and early 1980s were that they all required massive amounts of spending by the industrialized countries in order to get space colonization off the ground. O'Neill and Leary wanted massive chemical rocket launchers to build it, and solar powered satellites were really the only thing that they could come up with to get the thing boot-strapped. That required such a huge investment. They were talking hundreds of billions to get started, whereas the Millennial Project is talking about less than $100 million.

"Savage's plan has dropped the start-up cost by three or more orders of magnitude. In contrast to O'Neill or Leary, the first couple of phases occur on Earth. The second stage � a prototype self-sufficient sea colony named Aquarius Rising, is probably the most exciting stage of the whole scenario. If we can get that to work, I'm happy, and space colonization is just one of the things that we can accomplish in the future as a result."

— Alex Burns, "Forward the Foundation", disinfo, circa 1997

FMF was one of several semi-utopian space nonprofits that were created in the 1980s and early 1990s, including Eric Klien's "The Atlantis Project" (1993-1994) [1], Ed Bass' Biosphere 2, Greg Bennett's the Artemis Project, Mark Evan Prado's P.E.R.M.A.N.E.N.T., and Gerard O'Neill's Space Studies Institute. Some were about space colonization, but others were about colonizing the oceans ("sea-steading") [2].

In North America in the early 1990s, three trends were prominent:

1. Concerns about the Earth's environment became more prevalent, and there were was a major trend towards environmentalism as a movement.

2. Continued interest in human space exploration and faith that technology would allow further humans to explore space.

3. The rise of the Internet as a social and organizing medium.

Savage's ideas seemed to solve our environmental problems by using space as our escape route, and it seemed like by organizing on the Internet, the First Millennial Foundation might be able to accomplish its ambitious aims despite not having a traditional organizational structure.

If Earth is considered a closed system, there will be less for all forever. The frontier is closed, the wilderness is gone, nature is being destroyed by human consumers, while billions are starving. The future indeed looks grim, and there are, ultimately, no really long-range, positive solutions, nor motivation for making the sacrifices and doing the hard work needed now, unless we understand that we are evolving from an Earth-only toward an Earth-space or universal species.

— Barbara Marx Hubbard [3], Distant Star (Electronic Magazine of the First Millennial Foundation), 1997

Other famous scientists of the era were saying similar things, including Carl Sagan and Robert Zubrin:

Today the human race is a single twig on the tree of life, a single species on a single planet. Our condition can thus only be described as extremely fragile, endangered by forces of nature currently beyond our control, our own mistakes, and other branches of the wildly blossoming tree itself. Looked at this way, we can then pose the question of the future of humanity on Earth, in the solar system, and in the galaxy from the standpoint of both evolutionary biology and human nature. The conclusion is straightforward: Our choice is to grow, branch, spread and develop, or stagnate and die.

— Robert Zubrin, Entering Space, 1999

Name origin and incorporation

According to Jamal Wills, the name "First Millennial Foundation" had its origins from Isaac Asimov's "First Foundation".

Savage incorporated the foundation at around the same time he self-published the first printing of the book, in December 1992. The articles of incorporation include an extremely grandiose statement of purpose, as well as references to sentient life forms other than humans:

The management of the Foundation shall be vested in a Board of Directors ... Other sentient life forms may serve on the Board of Directors, but no fewer than three Directors shall be of the species Homo Sapiens.

— The First Millennial Foundation, Articles of Incorporation, Article 6, Board of Directors. Marshall T. Savage, 2 December 1992.

The Millennial Project contains no new technologies; sea colonies, laser launchers, wave riders and mass drivers have been on the drawing boards for years, been modeled and tested. Pretty pictures of man made worlds in the oceans and the heavens we have in abundance. What Savage has done is put the pieces together in a way that gives us the opportunity to start things rolling without going cap in hand to the politicians who don’t believe us and have no money to spare if they did. It is the concept of the Foundation which is the new departure. Like O’Neill, who gave us the idea that every man could be an astronaut, Marshall Savage has given us the hope that private interests can start the seeds of a space program.

— Jim Potter, New Frontiers (the FMF UK chapter's newsletter), Winter 1996


As stated in the "Foundation" chapter of TMP, Savage wanted to build a small demonstration colony, called "New Eden", in the book, and "New Atlantis", or later, "Aquarius Rising", demonstrating OTEC technology.

I am delighted to report that I have located the perfect site for our New Atlantis project. It is an idyllic island located approximately 90 miles southwest of Nassau in the Bahamas. It is called, with uncanny serendipity, Little San Salvador (San Salvador, of course being the island where Columbus first made landfall in the New World). ...

— Marshall T. Savage, Vol. 1 No.1 First Foundation News, July 1993 [4]

Getting this project off the ground turned out to be quite difficult, however:

By the mid-90s the group had had several false-starts with several promising ventures, (we actually had a "deal" worked out by Marshall and the board of directors around 1993 with assured backing by hotel venture capital if we could get the land for development of an "Eco-Resort" in St. Croix, but if fell apart [circa April 1997] when the land owner sold the property to someone else for cash-up-front) that fell through for various reasons. Each venture scaled back the 'scope' of effort and financing needed from the group as it was found while support and enthusiasm were high physical presence, required skills, and funding especially were actually in short supply.

— Randy Campbell, 17 August 2009

The core OTEC technology itself did not turn out to be as good as it first appeared:

Some other gripes are borne out in hindsight. For example, Savage presumed that Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion could scale to provide the base load (24/7 NOT wind'n'solar'n'storage) supply of cheap and boundless energy that is essential to survival. In a time when US oil companies wastefully flared off natural gas Savage proposed cracking seawater for hydrogen, which was to become the mobile fuel. The Millennial Project formed actual groups to research OTEC but it became apparent that the process's tiny surplus (it is just a heat difference engine operating close to margin) cannot easily scale, especially in the corrosive salty environment.

— Reddit user "hocuslocus", January 2018 [5]

The FMF tried to implement other real ventures, but they, too, did not succeed:

The 'final' official venture of the FMF was a planned "Poly-species" aquarium and combined aquaculture set up that had been arranged with NELHA ( that fell through due to inability to raise financing. (Laughable in a way because part of the reason we couldn't get funding was the rumors that the lab and OTEC was going to be shut down by the Federal government, the state however took over many of the lapsed federal programs and look at the place now :o)

— Randy Campbell, 17 August 2009

Engineering difficulties

Volunteer Eric R. Lee (a research physicist at the University of New Mexico and Stanford alum, who died May 2018) [6] [7] [8] did some analyses of the G-forces on Bifrost Bridge, showing that it would not work for humans.

Eric R. Lee also did experiments with seacrete, showing the accretion was chalky and unusable as a building material. Also, Phil Kopitske was able to show that Marshall had made an error in calculating the accumulation rate, meaning the seacrete would accumulate too slowly.

Explosive growth

TMP was published in 1992 and 1994, and the second printing especially served to drive huge interest towards the FMF. The book's closing words were a rallying cry to join the FMF:

Now is the ultimate moment in the history of the universe. The fate of a million million worlds hangs here in the balance. An infinity of space awaits, hushed, afraid even to breathe, anticipating the next, the crucial moment–your decision.


Now your course is simple–join us. Throw your shoulder to the wheel. We have far to go, much to do, and little time. Together we can bring this dead universe to life. Come with us, add your power to the energy flux of the Foundation's laser. Beam up with us. We are going to the stars.

— Marshall T. Savage, The Millennial Project, page 384

Important early support [for FMF] came from futurist/author/social architect Barbara Marx Hubbard, and key Hard SF authors like Gentry Lee, Larry Niven, Poul Anderson. Jerry Pournelle featured The Millennial Project as 'Book of the Month' in an August 1993 Byte magazine article. Savage's book also garnered positive reviews from Astronomy and Whole Earth Review.

The 1990s saw a resurgence in commercially orientated organizations like the LUF that operate outside NASA's sphere of influence. Key organisations include the Space Access Society, the X Prize Foundation, and the Island One Society. Just as the LUF's project designations are a throwback to mid 1970s New Age optimism and the common practice of using names from ancient mythology for manned space flight programs; this trend remanifests the many private projects that were common in the late 1970s, prompted by feasibility studies of the RAND Corporation and the Smithsonian Institution . These options became more restricted as NASA's space shuttle program became dominated by Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) and other military contracts. Cold War geopolitical manoeuvres by the United States and the USSR, plus fears of uncontrollable world population growth ended such 'selfish' uses of resources, leading to the current NASA bureaucratic gridlock.

"We're not part of the general space advocacy community, which is basically a lobby group trying to get money out of Congress, so we're essentially meaningless to them," Savage comments.

— Alex Burns, "Forward the Foundation", written in 1997 for Australia’s 21C Magazine. "The article was edited and laid out for an issue then the magazine ceased publication. I later posted it on the Disinformation website, which I edited and wrote for disinfo, circa 2001"

By July 1996, boyed by the reprinting of the TMP book in 1994, the foundation had hundreds of members, regular newsletters, and dozens of chapters around the United States.

At their rented physical office at 2128 Railroad Avenue, Suite 205, P.O. Box 347, Rifle, Colorado, they mailed hundreds of packages to people who expressed interest in joining the FMF.

The FMF placed much faith in the fledgling World Wide Web as an organizing medium. They created many websites and web pages, many with the help of their Internet guru, Scott "Thor" Halbert [9], who won the best volunteer award at the August 1996 FMF core conclave.

At this time, Savage's disciples were quite fanatic in their devotion to the mission they were undertaking:

There has probably not been a project of the importance even conceived of this century as the Millennial Project. I truly believe that the future of humanity depends on its success. If it fails, and no other solutions to current problems come forward, humanity will not colonize space, and will begin a slow, brutal decline until the Earth's ecosystems fail and we die. All. Zero. Nada. There might be some crumbs left for the ants and cockroaches. Maybe in another 500 million years the biosphere will recover and another species can make the attempt, but it damn sure won't be us. The world we have now is not one I am proud to pass on to my daughters. My efforts for the Foundation make me feel like I am actually doing something tangible and effective in a world where almost nothing is tangible and effective. I believe that if we of the foundation put our shoulders against the mindless forces that drive the world today that we can move the earth. If I was not doing this, I would have to do something like it or I would have trouble living with myself. I still find it amazing that I found this thing. I feel that I may be able to pass on a solid future to my daughters that I will be proud of, and it will be a hell of a wild ride for me on the way!

— Scott "Thor" Halbert, before 28 February 1997

I plan to retire to a hammock between two palm trees on the outer breakwater of Aquarius in 2020, at the age of 60. Until, then, we all have a future to build together, so I'll meet you on road that is taking us there, and I'll see you on the Web!

— Phil Kopitske [10], FMF website, circa 1996 [11]

In July 1996, The First Millennial Foundation Board of Directors were:

  • Marshall T. Savage
  • Joan L. Savage (Marshall's mother)
  • Roy E. Savage (Marshall's older brother)
  • Jim Martens
  • Alan K. Forbes (who later worked with Marshall until 2014 as President of IEPM on "geothermic" oil recovery technology)
  • David Miller
  • Phillip Kopitske (designer of the 1991 board game "Space Race" [12])
A capture of the First Millennial Foundation's homepage, 24 December 1996.

To manage the group's growing complexity, Savage introduced the concept of the "Gemstar" as an organizational unit:

The first thing to know about the First Millennial Foundation is that it's an organization intent on ACTION. The Millennial Project is based upon the premise that--scattered throughout the world's population--the necessary talent, energy, and will exist to migrate Earth's life outward into the Solar System and beyond. The Foundation is dedicated to accomplishing that goal by bringing that dispersed energy, will, and talent into focus on the WORK that needs doing--and GETTING IT DONE. The means to focus all that energy--the 'lens' if you will--is the gemstar. Gemstars are work teams; they are the Foundation's organizational building blocks. When joined in a gemstar team, Foundation members work together and apply their talents and skills toward accomplishing specific needed goals.

— TMP website, 6 May 1996

However, the organization was unable to function using this system, according to Randy Campbell:

By that time [1994-1996] the "leadership" problems you mentioned had grown enough that the overall organization was fragmenting anyway. We never hit, (and probably really couldn't have as Marshall had overestimated the impact of the internet on organizational ability) the 'magic' number and could never have supported the "core-and-cladding" organization suggested in the book let alone the financial ability to bring about a starter Aquarius project.

— Randy Campbell, 17 August 2009

Newsletters and chapter memberships reveal such eccentric and diverse perspectives as:

  • Serious engineers from the aerospace community, such as Lockheed Martin
  • An east cost chapter called "Cosmic Dreamweaver" for "Wiccans in Space"
  • An editorial calling for Second Amendment rights to be respected in the future Aquarius colony.

By the time the starter projects fell through in 1997, the FMF had begun to fragment:

By this time polarization had taken hold in the overall organization with various sub-groups pulling membership towards various sub-goals and positions such as (really basic descriptions here please note :o) "environmental action-now" or "space-now" or "Aquarius-now" etc, advocating that the group DO-SOMTHING now, instead of endless internet and BBS email discussions and talking sessions. Membership began to decline as various segments split off towards organizations more focused on action now and not some action in the 'fuzzy' future. Around this point we lost the tax-free status, and had to close our offices in Rifle Colorado as we couldn't afford the rent or to pay the 'staff' most of whom were living in a basement and working two "other" jobs just to make ends meet.

Probably around 1997/8 the group basically 'split' with one half arguing for the establishment of a "Land Based Colony" as an intentional community of FMF, (now the LUF due to Marshall having sold the book rights and name to a movie studio) members. The members at the LBC, (eventually named Space Environments Ecovillage or SEE)being employed in the local area or by business at the LBC and donating time and "extra" income from the figured cost-savings of living at LBC towards the "next" step of the build up to Aquarius. LBC/SEE would also show-case "green" living, along with a planned closed environment greenhouse, and other projects related to long term living both on and off Earth.

Oh and somewhere along in here the chosen location would allow people to commute to work outside of SEE and also be isolated enough to begin Marshall's idea of "re-training" people to live on a frontier.

The other 'half' of the organization never really 'gelled' into an opposition with an alternate plan, but more objected to the idea of an LBC as not being workable within the limited funds still available to the organization, nor having enough 'real-world' physical and financial support to be carried off.

— Randy Campbell, 17 August 2009


Number Date Location Notes
1 Summer 1993 ? First conclave
2 Summer 1994 ?
3 4 - 6 August 1995 Denver, Colorado Robert Zubrin spoke
4 2 - 4 August 1996 Colorado Springs, Colorado Joint Conclave with United Societies in Space. Robert Zubrin returned
5 1997 Los Angeles, California Hosted by Kail Anderson. Lost a considerable amount of money, which Marshall had to pay.
6 31 July 1998 for about 3 days Denver, Colorado "Turning point conclave". Marshall did not attend.
7 1999 ? Final in-person conclave. Marshall again did not attend.
8 27 October 2001 Online-only

Seven "core conclaves" took place from 1993 to 1999, bringing together the core members of the FMF (and in 1998 and 1999, LUF). At the first five, Marshall was present. An eighth and final online-only conclave was held in October 2001.

The Conclave is like a convention, held once a year, for core members and other interested people to get together face to face to discuss The Project. It's Awesome - Be There.

— Scott "Thor" Halbert, 24 June 1995

The first core conclave of the FMF took place in August 1993, following the publication of TMP.

The 2nd conclave took place in August 1994.

The "3rd Annual Core Conclave of The Millennial Foundation" took place at the Holiday Inn @ I-225 & Parker, in Denver, Colorado, from 4-6 August 1995. Its aim was "to exchange the newest technology supporting the Project’s aims and create a governing body to further the work to the next step." Events included: "Phil Kling and Frank Pfaff discuss the project and team structure of the millennial foundation, and Scott Halbert talks about the substantial effort the FMF is putting into the word-wide-web." [13] Other speakers included:

  • Dr. Robert Zubrin - Originator of Mars Direct
  • Barbara Marx Hubbard - Founder of the Foundation for Conscious Evolution
  • Dr. Richard Crews - President, Columbia Pacific University
  • Marshall T. Savage - Author of The Millenial Project and "person responsible for this fine mess"
Colorado Springs, Sunday 4 August 1996. Right after the core meeting during the 1996 FMF Core Conclave

The fourth FMF conclave took place 2-4 August 1996 at Colorado Springs, Coloradio. It was billed in the FMF newsletter as a "joint-conclave", with "United Societies in Space" to make the conclave "bigger and better than ever". Scheduled speakers were said to include Dr. Robert Zubrin, Dr. Phil Harris, Deyong Kong, Craig Cleaveland, Scott Halbert, and "our very own" Marshall Savage.

A conclave took place in Los Angeles in summer 1997, at a "hospitality suite". [14] It was run by Kail Anderson and the Pasadena Chapter. Unfortunately it lost a considerable amount of money.

A 1998 conclave took place from 31 July in Denver, and was billed as the "Turning Point Conclave". There was excitement about an OTEC project going forward, but also an ominous moment where they "had dinner Friday in a nearby Mexican restaurant, with rousing conversations and a very interesting announcement. Richard [Crews] reported that Marshall [Savage] has decided to become less active in the day-to-day affairs of the FMF. We have a strong membership and leadership, and well-formed goals with exciting openings and plans to pursue them. Marshall will spend more of his energy on his young family and his construction business as well as research and writing. We have been given the chance to run with the ball. ... At this point, we all took a bus trip across Denver to visit the new FMF offices, located in a colorful ex-church owned by Declan O'Donnell (a longtime supporter of the FMF and a member of the FMF Advisory Board). " [15]

The 1999 Core Conclave

A 1999 conclave took place, again without the involvement of Marshall Savage. The organization's chapters were already shrinking in membership by this point. Their priority was recruiting more members.

It's not clear if a conclave took place in 2000.

A conclave was held in 2001, according to the 2002 LUF website. [16]

It's not clear if a conclave took place in 2002, but it seems unlikely.

Distant Star

Perhaps the most enduring accomplishment of the FMF / LUF, besides SEE-1, was their publication, Distant Star, which was the labour mostly of its first editor Dr. Richard Crews. It published 13 issues from 1996 to 2003.

First 12 issues are available here: [17], and issue 13, the last one, was published in late 2002 following the death of William Gale. [18]

In the 13th issue, Eric Hunting discusses the concept of the technological singularity fully 2 years before the publication of Ray Kurzweil's book The Singularity is Near, publicizing the concept.

Space Environments Ecovillage

According to Randy Campbell, in this split, the "land based colony" (LBC) folks "won" by default, since William Gale died and left money to buy land for a colony to the LUF. It was established in Balstop, Texas in 1999. [Gale died August 2002 so this timeline is somewhat messier than Randy makes it appear.]

SEE-1 circa June 2002, taken by Richard Crews. "A broad view of the inhabited southwest corner showing the shed to the right, one of the mobile homes in the background-left, and several projects -- fruit trees, arbor, hydroponics, bat and purple martic houses, fish tank, etc."

The Space Environments Ecovillage (SEE) in Bastrop, Texas was a project funded and run by William Gale and Richard Crews. It issued several reports in the early 2000s and was perhaps the only concrete project to have actually been realised.

Our first member took up residence at SEE-1 on May 1, 2001. During the subsequent months, about two dozen visitors came for stays of a few hours to several days in length. Most of these were “working visits.” In the fall of 2001 a second member [Jack] moved to the site, and a second used mobile home was brought in to provide living accommodations for him and also more comfortable visiting quarters.

— Richard Crews, Distant Star, 1 July 2002

William Gale was instrumental in planning and purchasing land for the project in 1997. In August 2002, he died and his ownership passed to SEE-1 resident Richard Crews [19] [20]

Richard Crews, (SEE-1's first and only long-term "resident" colonist from start to end) was quoted in the Book "Rocket Dreams" on the plans and concepts behind SEE. Link here (Start at page 119) [21]

[SEE] failed. Richard was the only resident and he couldn't go it alone. Eventually the money ran out, the effort got to be too much and the LBC was deeded back to the family of [William Gale].

— Randy Campbell, 17 August 2009

Living Universe Foundation

Richard Crews spent the early part of 1997 in negotiations with the IRS to grant FMF tax-free status. However, it ran up against a few problems:

  • Marshall and his mother and brother had "permanent seats" on the Board of Directors
  • Marshall, rather than FMF, held the copyright to TMP.

Richard asked Marshall to concede those two points. Marshall may have conceded the first point without issue. However, he was unwilling to give up his copyright. There was some sort of misunderstanding between Marshall and Crews, which led to a hostile email sent by Marshall to the board:

Recently I was STUNNED to hear that Marshall thinks I tried (and maybe he thinks I am still trying) to "take over" "his" organization, steal his book rights, whatever. I thought that he had gotten through that irascible fit of petty misunderstanding that led to his writing an email castigating the Board a few years ago. [in mid-1997]

— Richard Crews, 27 November 2000 [22]

At some point between the end of the conclave in August 1997 and October, when a new board not including Marshall was set up, the rift Crews referred to above transpired. The land deals had fallen through and so Marshall likely wished to keep the book rights for himself to retain some benefit, rather than assign them to FMF. He stepped away from the organization. His wife drew up the papers for a different organization, called "Living Universe Foundation", as a successor organization to allow his acolytes to continue their work but not be connected in any way to the TMP book.

At the time of Tami's incorporation of the LUF on 12 November 1997, the board of directors was listed as:

  • Tami A. Savage (wife of Marshall)
  • Richard L. Crews
  • William A. Gale (from the New York chapter)
  • Samuel Liebowitz (from the New York chapter)
  • Scott Halbert (webmaster from New Mexico)

On 30 April 1998, William Gale announced in the Distant Star newsletter that the First Millennial Foundation had (1) renamed itself as the "Living Universe Foundation", and (2) been granted 501(c)3 status:

The First Millennial Foundation has reached a nodal point in its development. After several years of various efforts, we have been granted access to "tax-exempt status" (or "501-c-3 status") by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.

— William A. Gale, William Gale, Secretary, LUF, 30 April 1998 [23]

The history of the name change from FMF to LUF goes like this.

In about 1997 or 1998 [it was 1997] we decided to have the First Millennial Foundation (FMF, which was a not-for-profit Colorado corporation) apply to the IRS for tax-exempt status. This would allow people who made donations to not pay income taxes on the donation. More importantly, it would make the FMF acceptable to grant-making foundations.

As executive director I worked with a tax lawyer to prepare the application to the IRS. This took several months and cost $1,000 (of my money). And it involved personal, one-to-one negotiations between our lawyer and the IRS examiner (which was the main reason for paying the lawyer $1,000--we found a lawyer who knew the system and the IRS people and had worked with them many times before).

The IRS examiner finally ruled that the FMF needed to own all rights to the book, TMP, because it looked too much like the corporation could serve as a front for making a profit on the book.

I was jubilant at our success. But when I asked Marshall, he refused to assign all rights to (and future profits from) his book to the FMF because he still hoped to make money on a Hollywood movie and a board game based on the book.

This surprised me because he and I had previously talked about this (this had been part of the negotiations between our lawyer and the IRS examiner) and he had agreed that rights to the book probably weren't worth anything without the FMF.

In fact he got pissed off at me because he considered it a betrayal for me to ask him this. (This, by the way, is the same route that led to Jack Reynold's leaving the FMF--he was running the Rifle office and Marshall got unreasonably and unrealistically angry at him.)

I thought Marshall was wrong, but I resigned as executive director and member of the FMF because I had told Marshall when I "joined up" in the early 1990s that I recognized him as founder and spiritual father of the FMF and that I would always and only function in line with his interests as he saw them.

Tami Savage, Marshall's wife, felt bad about all this (and I think pretty much agreed with me--she had been aware of the developing negotiations with the IRS examiner as they were going on). A few months later she contacted me that she had incorporated a new not-for-profit organization (also in Colorado) under the name Living Universe Foundation (LUF) and had had a lawyer rewrite the IRS application without any mention of the FMF or the TMP book (but otherwise using the same application materials I had laboriously--and expensively--prepared), and the renewed application had been approved by the IRS examiner for tax-exempt status. And would I please come back on board and get back to all the good work I was doing developing the Foundation. [Tami Savage signed the articles of incorporation on 12 November 1997.]

So I re-upped, became executive director of the new organization (actually the same organization but renamed LUF rather than FMF).

That was a couple of years before I went to Texas to try to get SEE going.

We (the LUF) never were successful getting any donations bigger than a few tens of thousands of dollars (there were four such donors--me, William Gale, Phil Kopitski, and Marshall--many people, probably hundreds, made lesser donations of either money or services).

We did not get positive responses from any of the couple of hundred grant-making foundations I contacted.

— Richard Crews, 13 August 2011 [24]

Departure of the founder

At the height of the FMF in the mid-1990s, Savage was "almost canonized" by some members. Additionally, the work of administering hundreds of members with differing views was proving difficult. This led Marshall to feel quite "frazzled" and "overwhelmed" by "the amount of work and attention the book had drawn to him." [25]

In fall 1997 Marshall, disappointed by the lack of traction in getting physical projects set up, gave up actively working with the organization:

After five years of pounding my head against an intransigent public it has begun to dawn on me that the world at large is not ready to embrace First Foundation's message of mankind's rendezvous with stellar destiny, at least not yet. That is somewhat discouraging, but despite this I am more optimistic now that we will ultimately achieve our ends than at any time hitherto. The reason for this is a growing conviction on my part that the human race is riding a rocket that will ultimately carry all of us to the stars. This rocket is not yet evident in the literal sense, but figuratively I think it analogizes present history accurately.

— Marshall T. Savage, Convergence with Destiny, Distant Star, Volume 5 of 13, November 1997

See main article: Convergence with Destiny.

Marshall ceded control of the organization to the remaining volunteers, principally, Richard Crews and the tri-state chapter volunteers. His departure also led to the departure of several important technical contributors.

He changed his focus on trying to get a movie of TMP created, and succeeded in selling the movie rights in late 2000. However, no movie was produced.

He was still communicating with the organization somewhat, but after about the year 2000, he asked that the organization no longer contact him and since then he's had no interaction with LUF.

Various theories have been advanced for exactly why he departed.

I have a great deal of respect for him. Why did he leave? Has a personality that isn't very well-suited to celebrity, and for his own benefit, and for the privacy of his family, he decided to step away. I hear he is working on a new book on life extension technologies.

— Keith Dauzat, the Space Show podcast 8 May 2011

Mr. Savage did exactly as an English major is trained to do. He researched hundreds of outside authoritative sources, reported what he found, and documented everything in the back. There are literally hundreds of citations. As would be expected of someone with an incomplete knowledge of various subjects, he made technical errors that no true expert in the field(s) would have. Seacrete is vaporware. Bifrost will kill any human passenger. You can't live your entire life in weightlessness because your brain fluid does not drain away properly and builds up pressure inside the skull. The protein content he reports for Spirulina has long been proven false (almost all the protein to be found is due to contamination by other species.) That is our Marshall T. Savage; a flesh and blood man who once dared to dream and discovered that Icarus burns when he dares fly too high.

— Keith Dauzat, 8 June 2013 [26]

The thing is, Marshall was not an engineer. He was an English major, able to write wonderful prose, but he didn't have the technical background to really make his ideas work through the complicated process of developing a business plan, taking out loans for development of the ideas, etc. He never found any financial backers willing to help. That, in my opinion, more than anything resulted in the schism of the community 15 years ago and the results of the last 15 years. That is to say, pretty much nada. Not his fault. Not really our fault. It just was and is.

— Chad Lupkes, 29 June 2013 [27]

He does not appear in the LUF board of directors list his wife filed with the government when incorporating the LUF on 12 November 1997.

During a board meeting on 10 December 2000 some inactive board members, including Sybelle Gitmann and Shan Kelley, were bypassed, in favour of new people, Ingrid Moon, Reg Holmes, and Richard Crews, promoted into the board. The old board remaining were William Gale, Jamal Wills, and David Cunningham (ex-officio, Executive Director). [28]. This board remained static, and laid fallow, for years, until the revival of the organization in 2009.

We have been delighted to learn recently that Marshall was able to sell some movie rights to "The Millennial Project" (TMP). We are enthusiastically hopeful that this will lead to more widespread popularization of TMP and the LUF. During the meeting some concern was expressed that because of this "deal," Marshall might want to limit the LUF's use of terms, images, or ideas from TMP Phil Kopitski put in a call to Marshall while the meeting was in progress, and was able to assure us, before the end of the meeting, that Marshall did not sell any "restrictive" rights that would limit the LUF's activities or use of TMP in any way. He continues to wish the LUF well.

— Ingrid Moon, Distant Star, describing the 10 December 2000 "Instant Messenger" board meeting of about 15 board members [29]

The "mystery" of the departure of the founder has been raised countless times in subsequent social media posts. Longtime member and TMP2 author Eric Hunting reflected on this in 2008:

I don't really understand the obsession with Marshal Savage some people seem to have. Maybe it's the apparent mystery of where he went.

Certainly, the man deserves to be honored for devising one of the best futurist visions of the 20th century. And his participation would certainly be appreciated and helpful. But, to be frank, his participation in the FMF was always tentative. He communicated with very few people in the FMF and never participated in any forum discussions. As I understand it, he just didn't want the personal attention. He tended to do things by himself or with just a couple of the core members and sometimes pursued things most of the membership never heard a thing about until months or years later -like when he did interviews for Discovery Channel documentaries and no one found out about it until they aired years later and long after he was gone. And he didn't just disappear like some stalked genius from a spy movie who 'knew too much' abducted off the back-streets of Berlin by thugs in a black Citroen DS and spirited off into the night. His participation in the FMF trailed-off over some time and he had sporadic contact with a few people well after ending his active participation until eventually cutting off all contact. He willingly chose, for his own reasons, to leave and to abandon a promising career as a futurist writer. We don't know what those reasons were but we should respect the man's choice and privacy. Recruiting a PI to track the him down is, if you'll excuse my bluntness, a ridiculous suggestion. If he wants to participate he has always had every opportunity to and dragging the poor man out to face attention he obviously doesn't want would only engender his resentment. If he is dead and left in anticipation of that, then he obviously desired his privacy for that. Satisfy your curiosity with a search of obituaries.

Frankly, I don't see why it matters so much. Though I personally have been a bit annoyed at his disappearing at a time that was particularly critical for the FMF, he never was a 'leader' in any conventional sense -just the default authority on the content of his book. He left all the followup and implementation to others, simply because he had none of the necessary specialized engineering knowledge himself for it. TMP gave us more than enough to move on with if we actually had our own act together. That's the basic problem. In the past, our group doesn't seem to have understood how to work the 80:20 Principle (that roughly 80% of effects usually come from 20% of causes), the core membership had a problem with assuming personal responsibility, we had a lack of capable people who could get key things to critical mass by themselves, a membership composed of -as is normal- mostly fence- sitters, and we didn't seem to understand the basic notion that space advocacy is show biz and that the attention of most of the membership was keyed to TMPs entertainment value. No big mystery here and nothing Savage would have offered any great insight on, since he seemed to be just as clueless about these things as the rest of us at the time, far over-estimating the potential of 'virtual communities' as most people did when the Internet was young.

To be honest -and I mean no insult by this- these notions of TMP requiring black projects or being the product of some mysterious secret multidisciplinary cabal seem like cop-outs to me. it's like saying; "it's OK we haven't gotten anywhere with this yet. It really was only possible with the intervention of gods, faeries, and the MIB." The whole point of TMP's suggestion of cultivating a new culture and society is premised on the fact that government can't do this with any amount of money. And even if there was a 'secret' TMP going on now, so what? What good does it do anyone? Whether reality or fantasy, it's utterly irrelevant. We should feel comforted as we fry that some of the bastards who helped make the world a mess in the first place will survive to carry civilization on? I could not care less about what such idiots do behind their cloaks of childish secrecy. State secrets are the province of criminals, perverts, and cowards.

Savage was no Einstein. He was a very well-read building contractor with a gift for deductive reasoning and good writing and research skills. Fact is, the original TMP is riddled with technical holes, like most futurist visions. That doesn't make it invalid. The future is, after all, a moving target and one person can only learn so much. It didn't take channeled knowledge from distant cosmic intelligences for Girard O'Neill to write The High Frontier or dictation from von Braun's ghost for Robert Zubrin to write On To Mars. (it DID take several hits of DMT and subsequent 'conversations' with self- transforming machine-elves for Terence McKenna to write Timewave Zero, but that's another story...) Most everything in TMP is recycled material from futurist concepts that have been written about from the start of the 20th century on. There are no entirely new ideas among any of the discrete elements in the book. Savage didn't invent anything but the logistical scheme he devised to string these things together with -because, since the start of the 20th century, they've all been floating around independently of each other with no rational scheme for implementing them. All elaborate solutions to non-apparent problems which Savage gave purpose to by relating them to each other as parts of a coherent scheme of space development. And he tried his best to 'modernize' these concepts to bring them up-to-date with what he knew of the contemporary technology -just as we've had to now do with TMP itself because technology evolves and these plans age and become irrelevant if not kept up to date and freshly illustrated. It would have been better if Savage had initiated this himself given that so many people are fixated on him as some authority figure. But most cathedrals weren't finished by the same builders to start them. I think I've done OK by myself so far and I can't claim to be but half the writer/researcher he was. If I can do it, it can't be 'rocket science'.

Sure, it would be great if Savage was still around to participate but he's not and, frankly, it doesn't really matter. He's not the problem. The rest of us are. If there was a TMP movie on DVD right now, most people reading this now would buy it right away. How many would pay for it three years in advance? Probably few to none. If Aquarius spontaneously rose fully-formed from the sea tomorrow everyone reading this now would want to go visit it immediately. But most of them would also suddenly discover a laundry list of excuses for why they could never actually move there. Think about why this is and you'll understand what the real challenge here is. It has nothing to do with the lack of Marshal Savage, some secret super-science, or some zillion-dollar government program. It's us.

— Eric Hunting, 19 March 2008 [30]

On 21-23 September 2000, even after leaving the organization, Marshall received a potential interested offer from the founder of Blue Byte Software and flew to Austin to take the meeting, bringing along his trusted technical friend and foundation co-volunteer Phil Kopitske.

Thomas (CEO/President) and Samantha (Director of Marketing and PR) Hertzler at Blue Byte Software had invited Marshall and myself out to Austin, paid our airfare and a rental car, put us up in the Northpark Executive Suite Hotel at 7685 Northcross Drive Thursday and Friday 21 and 22 Sep, 2000, took us to dinner the night of our arrival. On Friday they had given us a tour of their software development offices, and then invited us out to their home Saturday the 23rd where we talked about the Hertzlers becoming angel investors in the FMF, and in particular in the building of Aquarius Rising, a shore-based mariculture and tourism facility where OTEC and other technologies would be prototyped.

During much of the talk that Saturday at the Hertzler's home, Thomas and Samantha seemed eager to invest, but toward the end they locked eyes with one another, paused for a few seconds, and decided against it. Marshall and I were disappointed and a bit confused, as the interview had been going well.

I believe they were also interested in also creating online games set in the various chapters of TMP, where players could fill the roles of Colonist, Architect, Games, Supports, or just Tourists to assist in the designing, construction, settlement, and day to day operation of the various virtual oceanic, low orbit, lunar, asteroidal, and Mars Arcologies. The games then available from Blue Byte included Pro Tennis Tour, Battle Isle, The Settlers I, II, III, and IV, Dragon's Lair 3D.

— Phil Kopitske, personal correspondence with Michael Currie, 12 May 2019


In a document titled LUF Vision and Direction: A Tale of Two Paradigms, published after the August 1999 core conclave, the record of the FMF was analyzed by Brad Woodard.

For four years, the First Millennial Foundation undertook numerous projects to attempt to bootstrap the Millennial Project, as defined by Marshall Savage’s book of the same name. These projects ranged from simple experiments, such as the Polypond project at NELHA in Hawaii, all the way up to a large-scale Eco-tourist resort. In spite of the number of intelligent, motivated people involved, none of these projects ever came to fruition.

Now, in 1999, we have seen the FMF’s chapters dissolving one by one, the projects are all but abandoned, and an average day’s messages on the discussion lists have dropped from forty or more to a dozen on a really busy day.

What happened?

From my viewpoint, this is what occurred:

Unrealistic expectations. Creating something as complex as a master-planned resort community takes years of land planning and millions of dollars of development before even breaking ground. The FMF, however, felt confident that a handful of volunteers would be able to do this work for free within a limited time frame.

When Aquarius Rising was officially declared dead, the autopsy determined scale as the cause of death. We looked at other, smaller projects at this point. We started a smaller scale Aquarius Rising business plan. A group of us with limited business knowledge, time and resources attempted to put together a plan to sell investors on AR, as we called it. At no point did we let our complete lack of knowledge of venture capitalism prevent us from assuming that we could convince investors to throw millions of dollars at us to spend on untested technology. The fact that we were essentially a group of e-mail volunteers with no track record or assets of our own was irrelevant.

From here, we proceeded to Polypond and SEE with similar results. In each case, we made unrealistic assumptions about the time and commitment members could contribute, as well as the resources necessary to accomplish these projects. This was not done out of stupidity, but out of the sincere and intense desire to make something happen and not seeing any other alternative to make it possible.

— Brad Woodard, A Tale of Two Paradigms, circa 17 October 2000.

The LUF's first president, and leader succeeding Marshall Savage following his stepping away at the 1997 conclave, was the combative and cantankerous Richard Crews. However, something transpired before the August 1999 meeting, as he was not present at the August 1999 conclave. At this conclave, Shan Kelly was elected president. At the board meeting, which took place on 21 August 1999 at the conclave:

The Board of the Living Universe Foundation met on Saturday, August 21, 1999, following a membership meeting at which new board members were elected. Dave Cunningham, Dmitri Donskoy, William Gale, Sibylle Grittman, Shan Kelly, and Phil Kopitske were in attendance. Richard Crews was absent.

... The board ... elected Dave Cunninham as Executive Director... The Board then elected Mark Elrod to fill the unexpired term of Dave Cunningham. Mark joined the meeting.

The board elected Shan Kelly as President, Phil Kopitske as Vice President, William Gale as Recording Secretary, and Dmitri Donskoy as Treasurer.

The two year terms of the following directors of the Living Universe Foundation were expiring as of the meeting: Dave Cunningham, William Gale, Scott Halbert, and Sam Liebowitz. In addition, the appointment of Shan Kelly to fill the seat vacated by Thomas Bjelkemann-Petterssen until the next annual meeting was ending. Thus five directors were to be elected, four for two year terms, and one for a one year term. The members elected Dave Cunningham, William Gale, Sibylle Grittman, and Shan Kelly to two year terms and Phil Kopitske to the one year term.

— William Gale and Dmitri Donskoy, from the report on the 1999 conclave

However, it appears Shan shirked his duties and became un-contactable by the time another meeting was held in December 2000, at which point the organization had essentially stopped functioning. A new board was elected, putting Ingrid Moon in charge. She immediately put out a lengthy planning paper, but with no staff to put it into action, it only served as a barrier to taking any real action.

Ingrid Moon attempted to put a positive spin on things in her first and only "From the Bridge" missive, from the last issue published of "Distant Star", 15 January 2001:

The FMF/LUF explored several paths. It developed a marvelous Website for providing information and coordinating members' ideas. It built the first “Millennial Community” -- in cyberspace. It held a series of conclaves over several years for hundreds of members to gather to learn about and discuss the vision. It explored numerous related engineering and social issues through e-mail discussion groups. It developed an on-line “e-zine,” Distant Star. It sent expeditions to evaluate potential shoreline Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) sites in Hawaii, Baja California, and St. Croix in the Virgin Islands. And much, much more.

Recently there has been a renewal of energy and activity within the LUF. And there seems to be a shift in emphasis or priorities -- a reevaluation of what kinds of activities are best to pursue.

But the Great Vision is strong. In fact, whatever directions the LUF may pursue, or whatever other groups or organizations may rise to participate in the march towards its realization, the Great Vision of The Millennial Project has been born. And it is, we believe, humanity's finest path -- an inspiring roadmap for the next 1,000 years.

— Ingrid Moon, Distant Star, 15 January 2001 [31]

In Februry 2001 Richard Crews moved into SEE-1, and by this action essentially took moral leadership of the group.

The website failed for the first time 2 April 2001, when it reverted back to the domain provider. It did come back after a few days, but over the next couple of years this domain eventually fell to scalpers.

In summary, from the August 1999 conclave onwards, the LUF fell victim to analysis paralysis where some members created elaborate plans for the future but no people save for Richard Crews (SEE-1) and Eric Hunting (TMP2) have come forward since that time to do any practical work towards that vision. In 2005, volunteer Jeremy Noyes posted the following summary:

Time line of FMF/LUF

Marshall T. Savage started the First Millennial Foundation in 1987. Mr. Savage wrote TMP - The Millennial Project: Colonizing the Galaxy in Eight Easy Steps - and published it in 1992. The book circulated widely among science fiction fans and slowly gained a gathering of like-minded folks that answered the call at the end of the book to join Mr. Savage's organization.

By 1994 the group was in full swing and preparing to purchase a colonization site on the Island of St. Croix in the Caribbean. The business plan for the colony was organized around an Eco-Tourism resort with associated mariculture off shoots derived from an Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) plant.

Unknown reasons caused the business plan to fall through and by 1995 the organization had lost much of its momentum. Mr. Savage left the organization he had started shortly thereafter, and Richard Crews took over, renaming the group the Living Universe Foundation (LUF). The group languished on the Internet and lost much of its membership between 1996 and 2000.

In [February 2001] Richard Crews retired to 22 acres in Bastrop Texas purchased by William Gale. The Texas property was supposed to be the first Space Environments Eco-village (SEE-1) but failed to gain enough colonists to see its fruition. [In August 2002] William Gale had died, and Richard Crews failed to file paperwork to maintain the LUF's 501c(3) nonprofit foundation status. Giving up the concept of SEE-1 the property was sold and Richard Crews retired to 50 remote acres in California.

The group exists currently (2005), as a Yahoo forum with roughly 400 members 20 of them frequently active. Neither the LUF nor the FMF are currently registered and maintained as official organizations. Marshall sold the movie rights to Colombia Pictures. The publication rights of TMP are now controlled by Time Warner who claim they will only negotiate with an established publishing agency regarding the possibility of publishing the book electronically. [Incorrect; Time Warner nor Columbia never owned any rights; According to Marshall circa September 2018, he never sold rights to any group and they still remain with the publisher, Little, Brown, who he has not heard from since receiving his author's advance in 1994]

The members of the group continue to post amazingly detailed plans of how to get re-ignite the beryllium flame, but while individual member projects move ahead, the group effort itself suffers from analysis paralysis. Productivity and organization continue to be low and many folks who wander in quickly wander back out.

— Jeremy Noyes, Yahoo Groups [32]

2003-2011 - Eric Hunting and Yahoo Groups

For about ten years, Eric Hunting made intellectual contributions to the LUF in the form of a "TMP2" wiki-driven successor to the original book:

Though starting with a promising and rapidly growing community, the FMF ran into critical trouble when Marshal Savage abandoned his own brainchild and his career as a futurist around the turn of the century, supposedly because of interpersonal conflicts with some of the 'core' members of the original FMF. This was followed by a rift in the community between supporters of the original scheme and a more Libertarian influenced faction that sought to abandon the marine phase of development as a distraction in the belief that we were entering a new commercial space race with the advent of the Lockheed VentureStar --a notion that proved very premature. I spent about a decade seeking to revive the organization, eventually becoming president by default and cultivating the wiki project TMP2 [33] in an attempt to update TMP to more contemporary technology and futurist thought, create a Sourceforge-like project development forum, and seek the creation of new futurist media. However, for some ten years, I was the only person who ever contributed significantly to the project.

— Eric Hunting, private email correspondence, 2017

Hunting goes on to reflect on how TMP typified several trends: the rise of the Internet as a force for social organization, and the fading of the space-advocacy community as a serious driver of technological development.

Marshal Savage was originally a strong believer in the potential of the Internet as a catalyst for global social action. But the space advocacy movement was already in a decline at the time the FMF was founded, the original founders of the movement retreating into the formal space establishment and relegating the movement to a non-participatory role, a haven for establishment outcasts like Robert Zubrin, and a growing infiltration by purveyors of New Age and SciFi inspired psuedo-science, conspiracy theory, and radical Libertarianism. Instead of catalyzing action, the Internet created increasingly sheltered echo-chambers that cultivated increasing cladification of the movement into ever smaller, more ineffectual, groups pursuing their own pet 'magic bullets' for space's challenges. People with actual science and engineering backgrounds were progressively driven off until little more than a bunch of SciFi fans remained.

— Eric Hunting, private email correspondence, 2017

I don't suppose you've heard of The Living Universe Foundation? (LUF as we lovingly call it, which was the First Millennial Foundation before that or FMF, before the rights to that name were sold along with the movie rights for the book it's all based on...Gad the hoops you jump through for a tax-free status we never used :o)

It's based on the book "The Millennial Project: 8 Easy Steps to Colonizing the Galaxy" by Marshall Savage.

Sad to say the steps were soon proven to be anything BUT easy but when the book came out in 1990/91 the mix of synergism of Environmentalism in saving planet Earth while simultanously expanding mankind out into the galaxy had a huge impact on a great number of people.

While the Foundation as an actual 'movement' and organization lasted only (officially) about 5 or so years as initial enthusiasm ran smack into reality, there is still a quite on-again-off-again active internet presence that keeps people discovering both the book and the concept of environmentalism and space-colonization not being mutualy exclusive.

There is an active Yahoo! Groups forum, (recently VERY active as new folks are putting new life into trying to organize the very eclectic and rather free-spirited "old-timers" as well as others into a new organization) there is project to 're-write' the book with updated technology and a less 'over-arching' sequence of steps that are more 'do-able' on the budget of a small yet diverse organization of individuals called "TMP2" on wiki.

I'm quite sure that the group and people still involved would LOVE to hear about the Exoenvironmentalism movement if you have time to post there John. Anyway, I thought I should point the book and groups out to anyone in general and you in particular John.

(Wikipeda entry for the book)

The TMP2 wiki page:

— Randy Campbell, 17 August 2009 [34]

2009 - 2013 Revival

As of early 2011, the following was posted to the About page of

The Living Universe Foundation (LUF) was originally established as the First Millenial Foundation based on the book "The Millenial Project" by Marshall Savage. The current leadership of the LUF came together over the luf-team mailing list in early 2011 with the desire to revive and continue the vision originally presented by Mr. Savage.

Board Members (as of 2011):

  • President - Open (later, Steven Carr was elected into this position)
  • Vice President - Open
  • Treasurer - Dmitri Donskoy [35]
  • Secretary - Tom Hanson (also referred to as Hansen)
  • Visionary At Large - Eric Hunting
  • Executive Director - Keith Dauzat

Core Members

  • Harold M. Frost IV [36] (participated in Tom's podcasts)
  • Aaron Method
  • Chad Lupkes [37]
  • Jonas Allesson

LUFoundation is established as an educational organization to spread the word about the 8 point vision. TMP2 is published, and gathers new energy for the movement that we haven't seen since the first book was published. People want to know what they can do. We start bringing the Conclaves together again, and we start building a community.

The money from the sale of the book is enough to start a small media company, Living Universe Media, which continues to expand the TMP2 website with new graphics and content derived from the Conclaves and interested artists all around the world.

The money from the book is also used to launch Living Universe Investments, which is a financial institution dedicated to providing the means to fund Aquarius and expand the New Space movement to the next level. We come up with some new financial products that let people buy shares in the Aquarius Fund, the Bifrost Fund, etc. These funds invest in the technology companies that are in the process of developing the technology to make each step in our vision a reality. They are also dedicated to providing financing to companies and non-profits around the world that are changing our global culture and improving people's lives. The more these Funds and other financial products see success, the more people want to be part of them, leading to the construction of Aquarius in the North Pacific Gyre where the plastic is mined and recycled for reuse and for building additional platforms that go all around the ocean providing fresh water to coastal communities through desalinization and spreading the word and wealth everywhere they go.

The LU Investment Corporation invests in water purification, renewable energy, education and job creation all around the world, building itself into one of the strongest and most well respected organizations the planet has ever known. We fund scientific expeditions to the Moon, the Near Earth Asteroids and Mars, bringing back knowledge and hope. Some of our scientific expeditions transform into long term residences, and the first Avalon station is built on the Moon in the year 2069, my 100th birthday.

The rest is history.

— Chad Lupkes

Prominent members of LUF:

  • Eric Hunting (the only substantial contributor from 2006 - 2016)
  • Steve Carr [38] [39]
  • Keith Dauzat, former board member, Living Universe Foundation [40] [41]
  • Chad Lupkes, who advocates for a long-term approach and had a spirited exchange on the Space Show at the 1:00:00 mark [42]
  • William Gale (1940 - 2002)
  • Richard Crews (1937 - 2012) [43]
  • Jamal Wills, who was involved in the 1990s and posted board meetings in 2011 [44]
  • Edward F. Nash, Jr., who appears as a director in the LUF 2011 articles of incorporation.

This revival reached its zenith around the time when Hunting and Dauzat were interviewed on 8 May 2011 by David M. Livingston for his show, "The Space Show" [45] [46]

Limbo Existence as a Yahoo Group

The LUF site was first archived by Internet Archive on 3 December 2002. At this time the LUF Board of Directors was:

  • Ingrid Moon, President [47]
  • Richard Crews, Vice President
  • Reg Holmes, Treasurer
  • William Gale, Secretary
  • Jamal Wills, Board Member
  • Sibylle Gittman, Board Member
  • Shan Kelley, Board Member
  • David Cunningham, Executive Director
Rise and decline of the LUF discussion group

The LUF existed as a Yahoo Groups discussion, which yielded hundreds of posts, until the group died around September 2013. [48]. The group was plagued by a man called [Caycee Dee Neely]( [49] [50] who would repeatedly create various pseudonyms [51] and then ask the longtime members where Marshall Savage had gone.

Someone in the group made the fateful decision to migrate the message boards to a privately-hosted forum, which proved disastrous to the vitality of the community.

The Living Universe Foundation is moving away from Yahoo Groups. Please be aware that posting on luf-team will close on September 9th, 2013. Please feel free to post on our new forums at

— Living Universe Foundation website

The successor site,, no longer exists, so the historical record ends at this point.

During this phase the legal entity of LUF ceased to exist. Longtime volunteer Keith Dauzat summarized the situation in 2005:

The Living Universe Foundation experienced a very gradual decline in activity over a period of about a decade. Around 2003 the Executive Board determined that the nonprofit status of the foundation was no longer economically worth maintaining. The charter was permitted to lapse and the foundation reverted to the default status in the state of Colorado which is an "unicorporated association."

The group continues to maintain several legacy communications portals, especially the Yahoo! Group LUF Team where former members and occassional new parties collaborate on projects such as CELSS, Mars Society, 1000 Planets Inc, OTEC news, and others.

The LufWiki fell into disarray when the primary administrator became unable to devote sufficient time to maintaining things server side. A corrupted file or table somewhere led to edits being lost rendering most of the wiki unreadable. The revision files were largely intact so the entire set of 7 webs in LufWiki universe were downloaded and burned to CD and otherwise backed up on the private server space of long time members. The wiki remains suspended in the ether until it can be properly archived allowing the content to be put back into use. Several content management systems are being explored for use in a new website for the LUF Phoenix Project but it is unlikely that a TWiki platform will be chosen again.

There is also talk of a "new book" [TMP2] to refresh the now outdated technology that spawned the first iteration of the foundation.

— Keith Dauzat, on the LUF Wikipedia Talk page, 9 April 2005, 20:43 UTC

The domain was taken by a scalper by 9 May 2008.

Other later notable members:

  • Jonas Allesson [52]
  • Tom Hanson [53], who has been making annual filings for LUF, keeping it a legal entity, for the past several years.


From 2006, Eric Hunting pioneered the second version of the TMP book (TMP2). This resulted in the TMP2 site: [54]

The concepts of TMP were picked up by a few people with real engineering background. Eric Hunting took those concepts and has been developing "TMP2" on the wikia site. It's huge, and updates the technical aspects and puts out a new and updated vision of the 8 steps. It's not flowery language, and we don't have a lot of beautiful concept graphics to go with it. But it's there. What we need more than anything right now is someone with visual art skills to take the updates and make those pictures and images so we can show that the concepts are still valid and need development.

— Chad Lupkes, 29 June 2013 [55]

Other sites

6 Billion, a board game, was inspired by TMP [56]


Marshall founded FMF to implement his vision in TMP. It failed achieve this goal. However, it generated considerable intellectual and popular interest in thinking about the future, the environment, and space colonization:

The value of organizations like ... the First Millennial Foundation is that they "push the envelope" in our macrothinking. Although the ideas are not presently implemented fully, these visionaries plant seeds that someday in the future may blossom, though not as their founders may have envisioned.

— Phillip Harris, Space Enterprise: Living and Working Offworld in the 21st Century [57]

Former members of the foundation have been inspired to go on to stellar careers in technology and other areas:

  • Thomas Bjelkeman-Pettersson, co-founder and director of

Legal history

Summary of Legal Entities in the State of Colorado

  • 2 December 1992 to 1 October 1999 (FMF)
  • 14 November 1997 to 1 May 2000 (LUF)
  • 7 December 2000 to 2003 (LUF, reinstated)
  • 18 April 2011 to present (LUF, reinstated)

Complete timeline

On 2 December 1992, Marshall Savage signed the articles of incorporation for FMF. It was formed on 4 December 1992. First board:

  • Marshall T. Savage
  • his mother Joan L. Savage, and
  • his brother Roy E. Savage.

Headquarters was Marshall's brother John's law office at Rifle House, 201 Railroad Avenue, in Rifle, Colorado.

7 March 1995, added:

  • Dave Miller (Colorado)
  • Poul Anderson (California) (famed hard SF author)
  • Dan Barker (Colorado)

At this point the business was being run from Marshall's private residence at 1332 Arabian Avenue.

At some point from here to 31 May 1997, Marshall and Tami Savage and their children moved their personal residence from 1332 Arabian Avenue to 1363 Anvil Road.

On 31 May 1997 a filing signed by his wife Tami replaced his mother Joan with Tami as treasurer. At this point their Rifle office had been set up, at 2128 Railroad Avenue, unit 205.

21 October 1997, articles of incorporation for LUF were adopted by the board of directors meeting.

12 November 1997, The Living Universe Foundation ("LUF") was filed for incorporation by Tami Savage. (ID# 19971182983) It was "formed" on 14 November 1997.

However, the required periodic reports were not filed in 1998 or 1999 for LUF (or FMF).

On 1 October 1999, FMF was deliberately subjected to administrative dissolution, completing the transition from FMF to LUF.

On 1 May 2000, LUF was administratively dissolved by the State of Colorado. The registered agent, David B. Cunningham [58], had not filed the necessary annual filings and so the company was dissolved.

On 7 December 2001, David B. Cunningham, applied for reinstatement, listing the new president Ingrid Morn.

On 1 February 2002, a regular report was filed for LUF by David.

In 2003 it was administratively dissolved once more under statute 7-137-101(1)(B).

On 18 April 2011, Keith Joseph Dauzat of Houston applied for reinstatement, this time using National Registered Agents, Inc. instead of a physical address in Colorado since no one was actually in Colorado anymore.

On 25 September 2011, a board of directors meeting was convened and the articles were once again adopted:

  • Dmitri Donskoy
  • Eric Hunting
  • Edward F. Nash, Jr.
  • Keith J. Dauzat (the incorporator)

These articles were filed on 13 January 2012.

A periodic report was filed on 23 February 2012 by Keith.

Report was filed 16 June 2013 by Keith.

Report was filed 18 June 2014 by Thomas Adams Hanson of Columbus, Ohio.

Report was filed 29 April 2015 by Thomas Adams Hanson of Columbus, Ohio.

Report was filed 3 May 2016 by Thomas Adams Hanson of Columbus, Ohio.

In approximately 2016, according to Keith Dauzat, Tom and Keith decided to close the LUF bank account and divert the remaining balance of about $640 USD to another nonprofit, Leeward Space Foundation [59], to support a Florida conference.

Report was filed 31 May 2017 by Thomas Adams Hanson of Columbus, Ohio.

Report was filed 1 May 2018 by Thomas Adams Hanson of Columbus, Ohio.

Report was filed 30 May 2019 by Michael Currie of Ontario, Canada.

As of 2019, the State of Colorado continues to list LUF as having a status of "Good Standing".


Facebook page [60]

Space Enterprise: Living and Working offworld in the 21st Century. Phillip Harris. Springer Science & Business Media, 29 December 2009 [61]

"Forward the Foundation" by Alex Burns, disinfo, circa late 1996. [62]