by Aaron Kesel
In a real-life X-Files episode, United States House members are reportedly concerned in a bipartisan vote that the Pentagon may have unleashed biological weapons or entomological warfare in the form of ticks or other insects that caused the spread of Lyme disease.
Roll Call, a congressional-focused newspaper reports that on July 11th the House secretly decided through a voice vote to support adding an amendment to the 2020 defense authorization bill that would require the Department of Justice to look into whether the Pentagon/ CIA/ DoD umbrella weaponized ticks.
According to Roll Call, New Jersey Republican Rep. Christopher Smith wrote the amendment demanding the inspector general “conduct a review of whether the Department of Defense experimented with ticks and other insects regarding use as a biological weapon between the years of 1950 and 1975.”
First, let’s define biological warfare based on the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention. The definition of a BW agent is pretty clear:
“Microbial or other biological agents, or toxins whatever their origin or method of production, of types and in quantities that have no justification for prophylactic, protective or other peaceful purposes.”
It’s an indisputable fact that the U.S. has had has a longstanding policy for human experimentation, experimenting on its civilian population for decades since the 1950s (Cold War) doing a total of 239 “germ-warfare” tests over populated areas, according to The Washington Post.
Even before the Cold War and WW2, the U.S. was involved in eugenics experiments like forced sterilization for undesirables across at least 24 states — prior to even the Nazis being involved in the same practice years later.
In fact, there were a whopping 64,000 cases of forced sterilization in the United States, but this number does not take into account the sterilizations that took place after 1963.
Around that time, women from different minority groups were singled out for sterilization in various different experiments. The number increases even more if the sterilizations after 1963 are taken into account, increasing the number of sterilizations in the United States to a massive 80,000. The documentary in the tweet below tells the tale.
The American eugenics movement received extensive funding from various corporate foundations including the Carnegie Institution, Rockefeller Foundation, and the Harriman railroad fortune.
In 1972, United States Senate committee testimony brought to light that at least 2,000 involuntary sterilizations had been performed on poor black women without their consent or knowledge, according to an in-depth article on eugenics in the U.S. entitled “6.6: Eugenics in the United States.”
This author has previously written about one biological warfare project used during the Cold War, Operation LAC, or (Operation Large Area Coverage.)
Yes, this is your secret history of previous deep state experiments. The U.S. Army inside the continental United States, revealed by a professor of sociology at St. Louis Community College, Lisa Martino-Taylor, experimented by spraying zinc cadmium sulfide particles over much of the U.S. across several cities including St. Louis and Texas; that project was known as Operation LAC (Large Area Coverage.)
To recap, the U.S. Army also secretly tested carcinogenic chemicals on unknowing residents of Canada in Winnipeg and Alberta during the Cold War in testing linked to weaponry involving radioactive ingredients meant to attack the Soviet Union, as Activist Post reported.
The incidents occurred between July 9, 1953, and Aug 1, 1953, when they sprayed six kilograms of zinc cadmium sulfide onto unsuspecting citizens of Winnipeg from U.S. Army planes. The Army then returned 11 years later in 1964 and repeated the experiments in other parts of Canada including Suffield, Alta. and Medicine Hat, Alta., according to Lisa Martino-Taylor, National Post reported.
Even further, the United States held open-air biological and chemical weapons tests in at least four states – Alaska, Hawaii, Maryland and Florida – during the 1960s in an effort to develop defenses against such weapons, according to Pentagon documents. According to the documents, artillery shells and bombs were filled with nerve agents like sarin and VX gas.
These tests were part of Project 112, a military program in the 1960s and 1970s to test chemical and biological weapons and defenses against them. Parts of the testing program done on Navy ships were called Project SHAD, or Shipboard Hazard and Defense, Miami Herald reported.
The CIA also did several unethical human experiments in the United States. In one instance they injected radioactive material into hospital patients without their consent at all.
Other experiments were performed on pregnant women in Nashville who were given a radioactive iron cocktail to ingest so that researchers could determine if cancer could be passed on to their offspring. Even children were fed radioactive oatmeal as part of a “science club,” Martino-Taylor said.
The previous report didn’t note whether the experiments in Canada were connected to Operation LAC, though it has several similarities to the project, or whether this was a bigger part of Project 112.
However, for years the Canadian government has denied that it tested any bioweapons in Alaska and Alberta, as well as spraying “simulated bio-weaponry across North American cities, including Winnipeg.”
Pathogens for War, by University of Western Ontario historian Donald Avery, notes that Canadian scientists were intimately involved in U.S. bioweapons research until 1969 when then-president Richard Nixon unilaterally ended the program. Significant quantities of toxins, including sarin and the nerve agent VX, were stockpiled at Canada, Suffield until at least 1989, The Star reported.
The United States allegedly scrapped its biological weapons program in the late 1960s and agreed in a 1997 treaty, the “Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons” to destroy all its chemical weapons.
The goal “was to deter the use of biological weapons against the United States and its allies and to retaliate if deterrence failed,” the government explained. “Fundamental to the development of a deterrent strategy was the need for a thorough study and analysis of our vulnerability to overt and covert attack.”
For years many rumors have surrounded New York’s Plum Island and Maryland’s Fort Detrick (the same base that anthrax originated from that was used in an attack on media and politicians after 9/11) may have infected insects for biological weapon tests and then released those insects outside of the lab in a live experiment, leading to the spread of viruses/diseases.
Fort Detrick is home to Battelle’s Top Secret Bio laboratory the (National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center – NBACC) under a U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) contract for the last decade. Battelle was awarded a $344.4 million federal contract (2006 – 2016) and another $17.3 million contract (2015 -2026) by DHS.
There are three main forms of entomological warfare – insects directly used as weapons, insects used to destroy crops, and insects used as vectors to inflict disease, according to Ryan C. Gott, Ph.D.
According to Peterson, the American Civil War from 1861-1865, marked the first instance of alleged use of an insect as a weapon of war. The Confederacy accused the Union of deliberately introducing the harlequin bug, and Murgentia histrionica, into the South.
Tremendous crop damage resulted in the South because of this pest. This allegation was never proven, and it now appears that the harlequin bug moved on its own into the South from Mexico. However, humans may have aided in the movement of this pest.
Disease relationships (microbial and insect vector) were elucidated in the early twentieth century. As soon as the mechanisms were known, military planners began to apply them as possible warfare agents.
The next alleged use of insects as a biological weapon was in 1943 when Hitler agreed to establish an SS biological weapons research station at Posen. As the Russians got closer to the research station, work then accelerated at the station, but no real advances were made before the Russians occupied the station on March 1945.
They also performed experiments on the feasibility of using insects such as the Colorado potato beetle to attack Allies’ potato crops. The Germans were accused of dropping cardboard boxes filled with Colorado potato beetles over England from 1941-1943, according to research by Peterson.
However, the containers were never recovered, but abnormalities associated with the presence of the beetles prompted Sir Maurice Hankey, head of Britain’s biological warfare effort, to write a memo to Winston Churchill airing out his concerns.
That’s not the only alleged insect biological weapon; as British invasion fears grew after the successful evacuation from Dunkirk, rumors spread that the Germans had created an omnivorous strain of grasshopper which would soon starve the British into surrendering. It turned out that this was a myth.
However, the fact that Nazi doctors used human subjects for experiments into insect-borne diseases is no myth. Concentration camp inmates were intentionally infested with typhus-infected lice by SS doctors at Natzweiler, Dauchau, and Buchenwald. Many of these doctors and scientists were sentenced to death by the Nuremberg Tribunal after the war.
There was also several attacks launched against China by Japan from 1939-45; plague-infected fleas were disseminated directly out of aircraft or via specialized bombs that deployed the fleas. In 1944, an assault team was assembled to sprinkle plague-infested fleas around the Saipan airfield, which the Americans held at the time.
However, that operation was stopped after the ship carrying the assault team was sunk by an American submarine and the experiment was never accomplished. But just because that attack failed doesn’t mean that other attacks didn’t.
Potentially one of the most disturbing cases involves Dr. Shiro Ishii a microbiologist and a Japanese army medical officer during the Second Sino-Japanese War and World War II. As Ishii moved through the ranks, Ishii was placed in charge of building and running Unit 731, a top-secret biological weapons research and development facility, The Guardian reported.
Unit 731 was established in northeast China in a Japanese puppet state on nearly 6 square kilometers of land. Officially, Unit 731 operated as a water purification plant and lumber mill, part of the Epidemic Prevention and Water Purification Department of the Kwantung Army. Ishii and others working at Unit 731 would eventually kill well over 10,000 Chinese citizens and prisoners of war (POWS.)
If that’s not enough, the scientists referred to their victims as maruta or “logs,” both of which referenced the cover story of being a sawmill and revealed their complete disregard for the lives of the people they tested.
Unit 731 investigated, among many deplorable things, the best disease and vector combinations to attack an enemy and the best way to introduce that vector, via water supply, air, and through insects, i.e. entomological warfare.
The Soviets also ran experiments with fleas in Mongolia before and during the war. In one account, political prisoners and prisoners of war were chained in tents with pens of diseased rats until the subjects were bitten by disease-infected fleas.
Supposedly, in the summer of 1941, one of the prisoner/experimental subjects escaped and began an epidemic that was controlled only because the Soviets then bombed the entire Mongol community.
In 1952, China accused the U.S. of engaging in germ warfare against the people of North Korea. The Chinese began producing large amounts of evidence which suggested that the U.S. was spreading bacteria-laden insects and other objects over the Korean countryside.
Also, various plagues suddenly appeared in areas where there had not been a single documented plague for over 500 years.
Chinese entomologists accused the U.S. of distributing disease-carrying anthomyid flies, springtails, and stoneflies with P-51 fighters. Also, accusations were leveled stating that America was contaminating areas with plague-infested rats and fleas, and anthrax-infected flies and spiders.
In all, the U.S. was accused of dropping ants, beetles, crickets, fleas, flies, grasshoppers, lice, springtails, and stoneflies. The alleged associated diseases included anthrax, cholera, dysentery, fowl septicemia, paratyphoid, plague, scrub typhus and typhoid, according to Peterson.
The Chinese also set up an international scientific commission for investigating the facts about bacterial warfare. The commission, consisting of scientists from all over the world, ruled that the United States probably did engage in limited biological warfare in Korea.
In 1962, General Stubbs went on the record and admitted to Congress that insect strains were being developed that were resistant to insecticides.
Finally, in 1969, President Nixon stated for the unilateral destruction of biological weapons. Just three years later, the U.S. signed on to the Biological Weapons Convention, which banned the development, production, stockpiling, transfer, and acquiring of biological weapons.
In 1975, the U.S. also signed the Geneva Protocol of 1925, which further banned the use of these weapons in war. The treaties, however, do not ban research by nations, which in the U.S.’s case may mean it continued the entomological warfare experiments it started on fleas, rats and other creatures that were used as carriers of diseases.
In 1970 and 1972, Sand Fly Fever tests were performed on humans according to a declassified U.S. Army report – US Army Activities in the US, Biological Warfare Programs, 1977, vol. II, p. 203. During the operation known as Whitecoat volunteers were exposed to bites by infected sand flies. Operation Whitecoat was a bio-defense medical research program carried out by the US Army at Fort Detrick, Maryland between 1954 and 1973.
For decades, the U.S. Army examined whether infected mosquitoes could be used to kill our enemies in “entomological warfare.”
Some of the most notable entomological warfare experiments include – Operations Drop Kick, Big Buzz, May Day, Whitecoat, Big Itch and Bellweather. And these are just what are public knowledge and declassified.
“In these excerpts from a March 1981 Army report, you can marvel at how much it would have cost to launch a yellow fever-infected mosquito attack on a city (with a handy ‘Cost per Death’ chart included!),” Smoking Gun writes. (archived)
Smoking Gun also wrote an in-depth article analyzing the documents (here).
Operation Whitecoat: Infected flies tested to bite humans.
Operation Big Itch: Field tests were performed to determine coverage patterns and survivability of the tropical rat flea Xenopsylla cheopis for use as a disease vector in biological warfare.
Operation Big Buzz: 1 million A. Aeugupti mosquitoes were produced, 1/3rd were placed in munitions and dropped from aircraft, or dispersed on the ground. The mosquitoes survived the airdrop and actively sought out human blood according to the experiment.
Operation May Day: Aedes Aegupti mosquitoes were dispersed in Georgia, USA.
Operation Bellweather: The U.S. Army Chemical Research and Development Command, Biological Weapons Branch, studied outdoor mosquito biting activity in a number of field tests at Dugway Proving Ground, Utah, in 1960. Virgin female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which had been starved, were tested on soldiers out in the open.
Still, parts of the 1981 U.S. Army report such as the “Mass production of Aedes Aegypti” have not been declassified like Operation Drop Kick which was fully redacted. This means the experiments could still be ongoing under a different name or the same operation moniker.
Aedes Aegypti, also known as yellow fever mosquito, has been widely used in U.S. military operations. The same species of mosquitoes are alleged to be the cause of dengue, chikungunya and even the Zika virus.
If the current review by U.S. Congress determines that the Pentagon has created insects as biological weapons, the House is demanding that the inspector general must present Congress with information including “whether any ticks or insects used in such experiments were released outside of any laboratory by accident or experiment design.”
It is an unnerving truth that the government may be responsible for having unleashed a custom-made pathogen as part of a biological human experiment.
Even if by accident (which is less likely given the deliberate releasing of insect weaponization above), that’s not so bizarre either.
In 2009, the German news agency Spiegel reported that a Swine Flu container exploded on a train in Switzerland. This may have been what was behind the outbreak of Swine Flu during the same year despite denial in the article.
“In the midst of global fears of a swine flu pandemic, a container with swine flu exploded on a train carrying over 60 people.
“Luckily, however, it was not the mutated swine flu virus that has killed around 150 people in Mexico. The police quickly reassured the public that there was no danger of any infection.”
Likewise, China also had an incident of an outbreak which resulted in five top officials of the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) punished for the outbreak of SARS. The investigation found that the release of the virus was due to the negligence of two CDC employees who were infected and not deliberate, China Daily reported.
In 2017, scientists at the University of Alberta put together from scratch a relative of the smallpox virus, the horsepox virus, Scientific American reported. Although not deadly to humans, or horses for that matter, the fact remains that such a feat can be accomplished by scientists.
In 2014, another scientist – Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin-Madison – genetically manipulated the 2009 strain of pandemic flu virus H1N1 Swine Flu in order for it to “escape” the control of the immune system’s neutralizing antibodies, effectively making the human population defenseless against its reemergence, Independent UK reported.
That same year, scientists at the same University in Wisconsin-Madison headed by Kawaoka created a life-threatening virus that closely resembles the 1918 Spanish flu strain that killed an estimated 50 million people, which was condemned by their colleagues as “crazy.”
Last year, a major U.S. government report from National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine warned that advances in synthetic biology now allow scientists to have the capability to recreate dangerous viruses from scratch; make harmful bacteria more deadly; and modify common microbes so that they churn out lethal toxins once they enter the body. The report did not mention entomological warfare weapons.
The Guardian reports:
“In the report, the scientists describe how synthetic biology, which gives researchers precision tools to manipulate living organisms, “enhances and expands” opportunities to create bioweapons. “As the power of the technology increases, that brings a general need to scrutinize where harms could come from,” said Peter Carr, a senior scientist at MIT’s Synthetic Biology Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts.”
“The report calls on the U.S. government to rethink how it conducts disease surveillance, so it can better detect bioweapons, and to look at ways to bolster defenses, for example by finding ways to make and deploy vaccines far more rapidly. For every bioweapon the scientists consider, the report sets out key hurdles that, once cleared, will make the weapons more feasible.”
The Guardian references one of the first believed cases 20 years ago where geneticist Eckard Wimmer of Stony Brook University in New York recreated the poliovirus in a test tube. Also occurring last year, a team at the University of Alberta built a vaccine for their infectious horsepox virus.
“The virus is a close relative of smallpox, which may have claimed half a billion lives in the 20th century,” reports The Guardian. “Today, the genetic code of almost any mammalian virus can be found online and synthesized.”
A book published earlier this year titled Bitten: The Secret History of Lyme Disease and Biological Weapons — predated the House call for an investigation. This book may have inspired Smith to propose the bipartisan amendment that is co-sponsored by Maryland Republican Andy Harris and Minnesota Democrat Collin Peterson who are echoing the calls for an investigation.
Another book that is recommended reading by this reporter and that was used in excerpts of writing this article is by Jeffrey A. Lockwood, a professor of natural sciences and humanities at the University of Wyoming’s detailed novel called: Six-Legged Soldiers: Using Insects as Weapons of War.
If the U.S. used vector-borne diseases such as plague (carried by fleas), yellow fever and malaria (mosquitoes), typhus (lice), Q fever (ticks), and dysentery (flies) in conflicts from the Napoleonic campaigns through World War I, what was stopping the continuation of those entomological warfare experiments until the modern-day era on ticks with Lyme disease? The answer is: absolutely nothing.
It’s clear that the Pentagon’s umbrella in the military was experimenting on entomological warfare, and now the government needs to compensate millions of Americans who may have been infected from the covert release of pathogens piggybacked on insects and animals alike.