New Documents Reveal Cold War Chemical Testing Conducted on U.S. Neighborhoods

New Documents Reveal Cold War Chemical Testing Conducted on U.S. Neighborhoods

By Dave Gahary

The next time you express concern to a family member, friend, colleague or acquaintance about chemtrails and you’re scoffed at as a “conspiracy theorist,” politely remind them of Operation LAC, Large Area Coverage, a late 1950s United States Army project “which dispersed microscopic zinc cadmium sulfide (ZnCdS) particles over much of the United States, to determine the dispersion and geographic range of biological or chemical agents.” At the time of the spraying, cadmium was a known toxin.

Then, if that isn’t enough to pique their interest, you can educate them on another covert U.S. Army project, revealed to Americans last month, referred to as the Manhattan-Rochester Coalition (MRC) by the sole researcher who uncovered it. The operation was a spin-off of the Manhattan Project, the U.S., U.K. and Canadian research and development program begun in 1939 to create an atomic bomb.

MRC was “an obscure aerosol study in St. Louis, Missouri, conducted under contract by the U.S. military from 1953-1954, and 1963-1965,” which “targeted a segregated, high-density urban area, where low-income persons of color predominantly resided,” 70% children under the age of 12. Again, ZnCdS was used, but this time it was potentially laced with radium, whose use was discontinued after workers, mostly women, who were later referred to as “Radium Girls,” began dying from exposure from hand painting watch dials. Radium in all of its forms is highly radioactive and because of this instability is luminescent.

Implicated in the study is the now-defunct United States Radium Corporation, a New Jersey company that developed glow-in-the-dark radioactive paint. Workers would ingest radium by licking their brushes to paint the fine details on faces of watches and clocks and were told the paint was harmless. After a slew of cancers and lawsuits, however, U.S. Radium was no more, although nearly a century later, its legacy remains as the contamination from the radium-processing plant still affects those living near the site.

These latest revelations of the U.S. government using unwitting citizens as guinea pigs in Cold War chemical experiments was brought to light by Dr. Lisa Martino-Taylor, a professor of sociology at St. Louis Community College and married mother-of-two. She began her research several years ago when two colleagues who grew up in the area wondered if the experiment was the cause of their cancers, and she selected this topic for her doctoral thesis at the University of Missouri.

St. Louis residents, racked with a variety of cancers, suspected something because a 1993 congressional study confirmed radiological testing in Tennessee and lands west during the Cold War, and Congress was tipped off to the St. Louis experiment by declassified documents and demanded a health study. Perhaps predictably, three years later a committee determined “that the testing did not expose residents to harmful levels of the chemical. But the committee said research was sparse and the finding relied on limited data from animal testing.”

Dr. Martino-Taylor’s 838-page dissertation, who spent years tracking down files, is comprised mostly of declassified Army documents, obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests, and is available online, placed there perhaps as a personal security measure. Her revelations are unique in that they contend that a radioactive substance was added to the ZnCdS. The Army admits that it added a fluorescent substance but whether or not it was radioactive remains classified.

The documents reveal in part that the Army placed chemical sprayers on school and public housing project rooftops, in parks and on station wagon roofs, spraying as they drove. One St. Louis resident remembered playing baseball in the summer “when a squadron of green Army planes flew close to the ground and dropped a powdery substance. She went inside, washed it off her face and arms, then went back out to play.” City residents were falsely told that the Army was testing smoke screens to shield cities from a Russian nuclear attack.

Missouri Senators Roy Blunt (R) and Claire McCaskill (D) have asked Army Secretary John McHugh for more information in a letter demanding answers. As this goes to print, neither senator has received a response.

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The AFTERWORD in APPENDIX A on page 229 of the study deserves special mention and is duplicated in its entirety below:

This piece is an extension of my Master’s thesis, which focused on the chemical weapon Agent Orange, and what I believe was the improper and reckless disposal of that agent all over eastern Missouri. Initially, I believed that the spraying of zinc-cadmium-sulfide in St. Louis to be an issue of a hazardous toxin being sprayed without consent. I had no inkling whatsoever that the St. Louis aerosol study might be related to a vast project undertaken by a clandestine group of Manhattan Project scientists developing the most sinister weapons of war in the form of radionuclide materials such as radioactive dust, beads, pellets, and smoke.

There came a brief period of time when I felt overwhelmed by some of the revelations related to the human-subject tests, and was not sure if I had the fortitude to continue this project. I felt physically ill as I read about how radioactive oatmeal was fed to institutionalized children (and moreover, sponsored by Quaker Oats); stolen cadavers including infants; radioactive injections into ill and/or pregnant patients without their consent or knowledge, etc. The blatant and cavalier targeting of vulnerable populations by some of the nation’s top scientists and physicians, backed by the U.S. military, was a chilling and gross violation of human rights.

Ultimately revealed, was a complex network in a vast military-industrial-scientific machine of war, encircled with deception and manipulations to maintain secrecy and allow continuance of their quest for an unrivaled global empire. This required dehumanization of certain groups, lying by omission, layering of secrets, internal and external controls of information, threat, engaging particular qualities in individuals that aligned with the group’s goals, and the quashing of dissent, inside and out. Secrecy, rhetoric, and other machinations were purposely used to undermine 230 responsive actions inside the organization, and outside in the larger arena of public discourse.

This is absolutely connected to power, and there was no existing theory that I could find to explain the types and levels of manipulation used internally and externally by the elites involved in the coalition, to avoid internal dissent and public opposition. The large support staff who completed the daily tasks at the behest of the Manhattan-Rochester Coalition elites, who themselves appear to have engaged in outright criminal actions, may not even have been aware of the larger project in which they participated. The “thousand people below” those elite decision-makers were likely ordinary, patriotic, and moral in other spheres of their lives. Indeed, we would consider most of them to be good citizens and members of the community, and fine family members. When the thousand people below contributed to the Manhattan-Rochester Coalitions wide-scale projects, such as SUNSHINE, many of them likely did not have an ethical sense, in that it had been purposely disengaged through the elites use of mechanisms (described herein) to create ethical autism. In this way, educated, moral, and ethical individuals below the top decision makers (who bear much of the legacy and responsibility here), were induced to contribute to unethical, harmful, and/or criminal actions in which they might never ordinarily play a part, given full knowledge of the project. As well, the general public and the targeted vulnerable populations were also disengaged from critical analysis through social autism, which was also induced through the use of the mechanisms described in this study.

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Dave Gahary, a former submariner in the U.S. Navy, is the host of AFP’s ‘Underground Interview’ series.

Be sure to check out all of AFP’s free podcasts. You’ll find them on the HOME PAGE, ARCHIVES & PODCAST section.

 

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