- With respect to the question of the nature
of widespread reports of jets (many identified as U.S. Air Force) that
are spraying something that dozens of people around the nation claim makes
them and their communities sick, the following testimony of Professor Leonard
A. Cole is most relevant and alarming. In the following testimony before
the U.S. Senate, Dr. Cole covers facts regarding the U.S. military's spraying
of HUNDREDS of populated areas in the U.S. with harmful chemicals and infectious
pathogens as part of biological warfare experiments. Dr. Cole has a book
on the topic that has received much praise:
- "Clouds of Secrecy: The Army's Germ-Warfare
Tests Over Populated Areas," by Leonard A. Cole (http://amazon.com)
- Environmental News Service reports on
U.S. Air Force jets seen spraying something that makes people sick: http://ens.lycos.com/ens/jan99/1999L-01-12-01.html
- Begin Dr. Cole's Testimony
- United States Senate Testimony before
the Committee on Veterans' Affairs May 6, 1994
- Open Air Testing with Simulated Biological
and Chemical Warfare Agents
- By Leonard A. Cole, Ph.D.
- My name is Leonard A. Cole, and I teach
science and public policy at Rutgers University in Newark. My research
interests include biological and chemical warfare policies, and I have
written in particular about testing done in the U.S Army's biological defense
- I appreciate your invitation, Senator
Rockefeller, to testify about experiments involving simulated biological
and chemical warfare agents. These agents, which the army calls simulants,
are intended to mimic more lethal bacteria and chemicals that might be
used in actual warfare.
- As described in my book, Clouds of Secrecy,
the army began a program in 1949 to assess the nation's vulnerability to
attack with biological weapons. During the next 20 years, the army released
simulant agents over hundreds of populated areas around the country. Targets
included portions of Hawaii and Alaska, San Francisco, St. Louis, Minneapolis,
New York City, Washington, D.C., Key West, and many other cities. The purpose
was to see how the bacteria spread and survived as people went about their
- Evidence suggested that the tests may
have been causing illness to exposed citizens. Nevertheless, as army spokesmen
subsequently testified, the health of the millions of people exposed was
never monitored because the army assumed that the bacteria and chemicals
- Vulnerability testing continues at Dugway
Proving Ground, 70 miles from Salt Lake City. Several smaller communities
are closer to the base, and Dugway itself is home to hundreds of civilians
and military personnel and their families. The stated purpose of the tests
is to evaluate biological detector systems and protective gear.
- Since tests involve spraying simulants
outdoors, it is important to understand how much risk they pose to humans
who are exposed. Official statements have not always been dear on this
matter. A July 1993 news release by the Dugway Public Affairs Office indicates
that "no specific safety controls or protection are required for testing
with simulants." The statement implies, erroneously, that the simulants
- In fact, during 45 years of open air
testing, from time to time the army has stopped using certain simulants
for reasons of safety. In each instance the army belatedly recognized they
could be causing disease and death, although such information had long
been available in the medical literature. This was the case in the 1950s
when it ceased using the fungus Aspergillus fumigatus as a simulant. The
fungus had long been known to cause aspergillosis, a disease that can be
fatal. Similarly, in the 1960s the army stopped using zinc cadmium sulfide,
a chemical that had been known for years to cause cancer.
- In the 1970s, the bacterium Serratia
marcescens, a source of infections that can lead to death, was taken out
of service as a simulant. And in the 1980s, dimethyl methylphosphonate,
a chemical known as DPP, was removed from use as a simulant because of
its carcinogenic and other toxic potential. I understand that one of today's
witnesses, Earl Davenport, was exposed to DMMP at Dugway in 1984 and may
still be suffering health problems as a result.
- Indeed, simulants now used at Dugway
continue to pose risks. The chemical ethylene oxide, which is present in
some of the mixtures used in outdoor spraying, is a known carcinogen. The
bacterium Bacillus subtilis, while not generally seen as dangerous, is
cited in medical textbooks as able to cause serious infections. In truth
any microorganism that seems harmless under some circumstances may cause
illness under others.
- Exposure to high concentrations of any
microorganism can be critically dangerous to people in weakened conditions.
The elderly, the very young, people with AIDS and others who have weakened
immune systems are more susceptible to life threatening infections. Nevertheless,
the army has not monitored the health of citizens who may have been exposed
during its tests while maintaining that its bacterial agents cause no harm.
- In addition to people who are unwittingly
exposed to the army's bacteria and chemicals, human research subjects may
not be receiving appropriate information. A test at Dugway in November
1993, for example, raises important questions in this regard. The test
was intended to assess the ability of chemical agents to penetrate protective
- Test subjects wore special outer garments
and were then sprayed with chemicals in simulated battle conditions. An
army Environmental Assessment before the test indicated that some of the
chemicals could be toxic. Yet the consent form that the subjects signed
in advance of the test said nothing about any of the chemicals.
- Subsequently, two of the test subjects
said they were asked to sign another consent form sometime after the test
had been completed. The second form described the chemicals. But having
the subjects sign a consent form after an experiment, rather than before,
makes little ethical sense. The procedure renders meaningless the notion
of informed consent.
- Finally, several physicians at the University
of Utah Medical School in Salt Lake City continue to express concern about
the tests at Dugway. They do not feel they have information that would
enable them optimally to handle infections and complications that might
be caused by the tests. Dugway officials have thus far not satisfied their
concerns either about field tests involving simulants or indoor tests with
highly pathogenic agents.
- These are a few of the disconcerting
issues associated with testing at Dugway. If such tests must continue,
several policy suggestions seem appropriate:
- --Inform people in the area before each
test that they may be exposed to the army's biological and chemical agents.
- --For a substantial period after each
test, monitor the health of the exposed population.
- --Provide comprehensive information in
understandable language to human subjects before they participate in any
- --Fully inform the neighboring medical
community about the nature of each test and its possible medical complications.
- --Above all, strive for safety, candor,
Visit Ian Williams Goddard -------- http://Ian.Goddard.net
- From: Teresa Rogers <firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Response to article on Aerial Biological Testing
Date: Wed, 10 Feb 1999 14:34:21 PST
- Dear Sightings,
- I find the articles on your website thought provoking,
informative and entertaining. But after reading the article on the Shocking
History Of Aerial Biological Testing On US Citizens, I became very alarmed
because it appears that something similar may have effected my family.
- In 1968 my family moved to Milpitas, which is roughly
45 miles south east of San Francisco. In the late 60's and early 70's Milpitas
was a small place. In October 1968 my younger sister was born. In January
1970 my family was hit by tragedy when she was diagnosed with Leukemia.
Needless to say, this was not a fun time but you just deal with what fate
hands you. In 1971 my parents were contacted by the Center for Disease
Control and asked if they could have samples of blood from everyone in
the immediate family. Someone from the CDC came to our home and took blood
samples. I was only eight years old at the time, but thought it strange
that someone would come to us rather than having blood drawn at a hospital.
The gentleman from the CDC told my parents that there was a cluster of
9 families in the Milpitas area who's child had been diagnosed with leukemia.
They were taking blood samples, testing water and testing air flows in
the area in an attempt to discover what might be contributing to this outbreak.
Before this man left, he indicated that the CDC intended to report their
findings to all families affected. My sister died in 1975 at the age of
7. We were never contacted again and never heard back from the anyone
regarding their findings.
- I've never investigated this matter because I figured
that no news meant the CDC found nothing. But in light of this article
and other findings that are coming to light, I'm beginning to believe that
I should take a closer look. Thank you for putting this article on your
- Teresa Rogers San Jose, CA