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Lingering Effects of Early US Bioweapons Testing on Military Personnel

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Lingering Effects of Early US Bioweapons Testing on Military Personnel

project paperclip team

It’s not news that the US military has repeatedly tested biochemical agents on its own troops during the 1943 -1969 US biological weapons program. Nor is it news that at least eight if not more of the scientists involved in Project Paperclip were Nazi scientists who were given asylum in the US and never brought to trial for their participation in Hitler’s human experiments.

None of this is new information, but it remains news because many of those military personnel who were subjected to biochemical testing now believe they are victims of those chemical agents with ongoing chronic health issues.
The categories of possible types of exposure that military personnel might have include:

–> Chemicals

–> Radiation

–> Warfare Agents

Is Bacillus Globilgii Harmful to Your Health or a Safe Simulant?

One of the substitutes that the military uses as a simulant for anthrax in tests is BG (Bacillus globilgii). BG can be easily traced through water and air so that how it moves can be documented.

While BG is naturally found in the soil, it is the cause of many food poisons when left on produce, as well as ocular infections. The military contends that BG doesn’t pose a health hazard to troops exposed to it. This belief has come under fire during the past decade, especially for individuals suffering from compromised immune systems that some researchers believe makes BG a health risk to those people.

Autumn Gold

The agent bacillus globigii was used for testing projects Autumn Gold. In May 1963, the military conducted a biological test of the vulnerability of ships at sea in operation Autumn Gold. The main test was of protective masks for the Navy and Army and to see how long the bacteria lingered. BG (Bacillus globilgii) was aerosoled over naval ships some 60 miles west-southwest of Oahu, Hawaii and the quality of the gas masks was tested for leakage. (1)

Project Shipboard Hazard and Defense (SHAD)

Shipboard Hazard and Defense (SHAD) operated from 1963 to 1969 and was conducted by the US Army and US Navy for the purpose of testing chemicals by spraying naval ships. The sprayings were done without the knowledge of thousands of military personnel on board the ships. (2)

The Project SHAD Investigation includes a DoD website with information and a form for any soldier exposed during those early days of testing to complete. The DoD then matches the information to the declassified testing records for that time frame to determine what the soldier was exposed to. The soldiers are then directed to the VA for possible treatment.

The DoD’s investigation of potential exposures is slated to conclude in 2014. This includes the DoD visiting the testing locations that contained data on the test and type of exposure. The DoD states that it also follows up on any information given by veterans. For those veterans that don’t contact the DoD but were exposed, the DoD states it will be notifying those individuals, providing treatment and if any claims for compensation are made will oversee those as well.

Of the total 112 test projects scheduled. Investigators determined that:

–> 52 were cancelled

–> 45 were completed

–> 12 status unknown

Medical Countermeasures, the military website for SHAD investigation and claims, offers those who were exposed to SHAD testing a wealth of information as well as a form that can be completed for filing a claim. (3)

The website also has a list of each test name, date, location, the agent or stimulant used, the investigation status and VA information. In addition, there’s a link that lists the ships that were exposed to chemical and bioweapons testing. The most unsettling aspect of the list is that some ships were exposed to multiple testings. (4)

Dugway Proving Ground Gas Tests on Unsuspecting Soldiers

The Army base, Dugway Proving Ground in Utah, also conducted secret military testing of gases on soldiers. Several veterans suffer multiple physical ailments and diseases that they feel are related to the exposure they had to various gases. Soldiers report that they were ordered to remain quiet about their participation in the tests with reassurances that the chemicals weren’t harmful.

Some of the physical and health complaints of those exposed to gas at Dugway include:

–> Lung scarring

–> Nerve damage

–> Prostate cancer

–> Kidney failure

–> Skin cancer

–> Congestive heart failure

Project Big Jack

Project Big Jack conducted 20 trials at Fort Sherman Military Reservation, Canal Zone between February 15, 1963 and March 15, 1963. These tests were designed to measure chemical penetration of jungle canopies. (5)

–> Phase one testing used Bacillus globigii (BG)

–> Phase two released tri (2-ethylhexy1), phosphate (TOF) and a simulant for toxic chemical agent VX.

Agent Orange was developed as an herbicide and defoliant and also caused an estimated 400,000 deaths and over 500,000 children born with birth defects. (6)

Veterans Exposed to Toxic Chemicals for Decades

In 2009, Veterans Today reported that “the U.S. Force Health and Readiness Programs counted 10,500 veterans who may have been exposed to toxic chemicals during more than two decades of tests…” (7)

Edgewood Arsenal and Fort Detrick, Maryland, allegedly tested for over five decades more than 400 different chemical and biological substances on over 100,000 active duty military personnel. It’s difficult to fathom such statistics of military personnel having been subjected to potentially harmful or even deadly chemicals. (8)

The soldiers served up as unsuspecting guinea pigs now suffer the effects of chemical and biological substance exposure. Those who issued the orders and those who came up with the idea to use servicemen as test subjects were never charged with any kind of crime. Perhaps that is the real wrongdoing in all of this. No one was held accountable and the victims never received any form of justice. It’s highly unlikely that they ever will.

References & Image Credits:

(1) Department of Defense
(2) Wikipedia
(3) Medical Countermeasures
(4) Medical Countermeasures: SHAD
(5) Department of Defense
(6) Wikipedia
(7) Wikimedia
(8) Convivial via photopin cc

Originally published on

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