I think this FBI informant had a geek crush on Ray Bradbury. He wanted to stalk him at all costs. He invented this elaborate "Communist-angle" ruse to justify to his superiors the inordinate amount of time he used obsessing over Bradbury's every move, admiring him from afar. I imagine it's easier to maintain this fib than do actual work of any value.
This would make a good comedy sketch, actually! Like a variant of The Tailor of Panama.
Sal A. Light
Say it fast aloud
I actually invested money into the now dissolved Canadian company, Nexia Biotechnologies, which was the first to do the spider-goats. You are entirely correctly. Spinning the silk is the harder second part. The gains in reducing cost per meter couldn't keep the pace with similar gains in carbon nanotubes, which competed for many of the same practical applications. Nexia's first path to market was to be superstrong medical sutures. At first, the FDA promised expensive human trials would not be needed since the proteins were naturally occurring. When the FDA later about-faced, it was Game Over for Nexia, who sold the IP rights to a company in Virginia. They also sold the IP behind their proven anti-chemical warfare agents. But the tyrants of the world never used chemical warfare against the US military, so that was (thankfully) also a financial bust.
Nexia was also trying to GMO a plant crop that could grow the silk protein in their leaves. After harvesting, the leaves would be grinded and sifted. However, you're still back to the same Spinning Problem that you highlighted.
"Life is a garment we continuously alter, but which never seems to fit." -- David McCord