Not long after the Vietnam war, a strange, sticky, yellow substance occasionally rained down on villages throughout the mountains in Laos and northern Vietnam.
In the early 1980s, suspecting that the Soviet Union had secretly provided a chemical weapon to the Viet Cong, investigated the substance. Following the investigation, U.S. Secretary of State Alexander Haig Jr publicly claimed that the “yellow rain” was in fact a chemical toxin. He believed it originated from the Soviets.
Yellow Rain: The Bee Feces Theory
One skeptic, a Matt Meselson and a Harvard University biologist, doubted the official U.S. story.
He embarked on his own investigation of the strange yellow substance. In 1983, he obtained samples of the yellow rain from U.S. officials and analyzed them.
Meselson claimed that his team’s analysis found the yellow substance contained pollen commonly eaten by Asian honey bees. He also claimed that the amount of mycotoxins found in the substance were no higher than rainwater found on plants elsewhere throughout Southeast Asia.
Meselson theorized that all of the ailments claimed by witnesses were caused by nothing more than dysentery or nutritional deficiencies caused by poor sanitation and lack of food.
Canadian Biologist Supports Meselson’s Claim
In 1989, Dr. Peter Kevan, a biologist at the University of Guelph in Ontario, conducted further research in the area with Dr. Makhdzir Mardan of the University Pertanian Malaysia.
Kevan and Mardan measured the body mass of hundreds of bees before and after they left their hives and found that the Asian bees lost 20% of their weight upon returning. They confirmed that this phenomenon was especially frequent on warmer days.
Dr. Kevan told reporters:
“In Southeast Asia, the notion of yellow rain as a biological weapon has pretty much laid to rest. The U.S. Government made a mistake.”Dr. Peter Kevan quote via New York Times
Apparently Dr. Kevan hadn’t read the overwhelming, peer-reviewed, scientific research that already existed on the matter.
The U.S. government never retracted its accusations that the Soviet Union was the source of a chemical weapon in the region, and that that was what caused the local illnesses there following the appearance of the yellow rain.
CIA Was Monitoring Yellow Rain Research
Meanwhile, during the same time period, the CIA was actively monitoring research into the yellow rain phenomenon. This is revealed by a Wall Street Journal article from September of 1985 titled, “The ‘Bee Feces’ Theory Undone” that was archived by the CIA and declassified in 2012.
There is also a November 1985 Wall Street Journal article titled, “‘Unequivocal Proof’ of Yellow-Rain Weapons” also archived by the CIA and released in 2011.
The article lists the following as evidence that the “Bee Feces” theory was bogus.
- Meselson acknowledge during a phone interview that the bee feces samples actually hadn’t contained any trace of the mycotoxins believed to have killed citizens in Laos and Northern Vietnam.
- All 13 samples of food and feces obtained on the ground did not contain the mycotoxins found in the samples collected by U.S. officials from the affected areas.
- These negative results were “left out” of his now-famous Scientific American article because “editors at Scientific American had set strict length limits and ‘lots’ of data had to be left out.
- Canadian toxicologist Bruno Schiefer’s research showed that the mycotoxins don’t occur naturally in Southeast Asia.
- A U.S. Army lab at Aberdeen, Maryland found the exact same toxins on two Soviet gas masks from Afghanistan in 1982.
Multiple experts disagreed with Mr. Meselson’s findings, including Charles Stahl (former chief pathologist for the U.S. military, James Farnum, an East Tennessee pathologist, and Dr. Christopher Green, former CIA yellow rain expert.
All three had concluded in their peer-reviewed paper published in the April 1985 issue of the Journal of Forensic Science that the yellow rain victims had in fact died from a chemical warfare agent.
Unequivocal Proof of Yellow-Rain Weapons
Despite the ongoing media campaign attempting to debunk the U.S. government’s claim that the Russians were responsible for the yellow rain deaths, some media outlets continued to report the overwhelming evidence.
The November 1985 excerpt from the Wall Street Journal was one example of this. It included a list of all of the proof from peer-reviewed scientific journals from 1982 through 1985 proving beyond any doubt that the yellow rain was a real chemical attack.
- Journal of the Association of Official Analytical Chemists (1983): This paper reported that samples collected from the victims were analyzd for Fusarium toxins using gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. The results included toxins that “do not occur naturally”. The study also found that “analysis of leaves, soil, water, and cereals collected” in areas where the chemical attack did not occur “did not contain any Fusarium toxins”.
- Biomedical Mass Spectrometry (1982): Analysis of yellow rain samples using ion monitoring showed high concentrations of mycotoxins. Interestingly the paper reported, “Evidence for a formulation which contained polyethylene glycol [a man made compound] was also obtained.”
- Fundamental and Applied Toxicology (1984): Conclusions found numerous mycotoxins in “leaves, water, yellow powder, and fragments originating at sites of Yellow Rain attacks in Southeast Asia and their absence in background samples […] from areas not exposed to Yellow Rain strongly implicate their use as warfare agents.” The study also found the toxins in samples collected from victims.
- Journal of Forensic Science (1985): This was the study mentioned above which found that “…the combination of trichothecene mycotoxins detected are not consistent with natural occurrence and provide evidence that the pathologic effects are related to a toxic agent.”
The Power of Foreign Disinformation
This story demonstrates the power of a strong disinformation campaign. Whether or not the Soviets had a hand in promoting Meselson’s “bee feces” theory throughout mainstream media during the early 1980’s, the effects of his singular results getting so much publicity had the effect the Soviets would have wanted.
To sweep away any public outrage that might come if it were proven the Soviets really had unleashed a chemical weapon upon the victims throughout Southeast Asia.
Unfortunately, not many in the public ever heard much about the overwhelming evidence mounting in scientific, peer-reviewed journals proving that yellow rain was in fact a chemical weapon that had killed more than 10,000 people in Laos, Cambodia, and Afghanistan.
Unfortunately, the creators and aggressors who utilized that chemical weapon upon other human beings have never been identified, and have never been punished for their crimes against humanity.
That alone should go down as one of the most significant tragedies in modern history.Originally published on TopSecretWriters.com