John Hanna as the founder of the original ELF Environmental Life Force, a radical US environmental group which was active in the 1970s. He was convicted and sentenced to five years for actions taken by the group.
Hanna was convicted in a federal court for the manufacture and detonation of home-made napalm bombs placed on seven crop-duster aircraft at the Salinas, CA airport on May 1, 1977. He claimed to have acted in self-defense against toxic pesticides, but was sentenced to five years in prison. After his release, Hanna created a not-for-profit research foundation which employed University of California graduate students to develop non-chemical pest control strategies. He no longer advocates the use of ELF tactics, like arson and vandalism, because they "don't bring about meaningful changes." He instead promotes the adoption of legal measures, commenting: "I accomplished more for the environmental cause through my research organization and its spin-offs than I ever did as an eco-guerilla." Hanna has also worked as a freelance journalist, publishing most notably on the SS Columbia Eagle incident. He retired to Alaska, where he creates bamboo flutes and stringed instruments.