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French Government Queries U.S. State Dept. about LSD Attack

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  1. chillinwill
    Prompted by a new book release, the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research has received a confidential inquiry from the office of Erard Corbin de Mangoux, head of the French intelligence agency, Directorate General for External Security (DGSE), concerning a recent account of American government complicity in a mysterious 1951 incident of mass insanity in France. The DGSE is the French counterpart of the CIA.

    The incident took place in the village of Pont-Saint-Esprit in southern France, and is described in a recent book about the 1953 death of an American biochemist, A Terrible Mistake: The Murder of Frank Olson and the CIA’s Secret Cold War Experiments. The book, by investigative journalist H.P. Albarelli Jr., was published in late November 2009 by TrineDay, which specializes in books about “suppressed information.”

    The strange outbreak severely affected nearly five hundred people, causing the deaths of at least five. For nearly 60 years the Pont-St.-Esprit incident has been attributed either to ergot poisoning, meaning that villagers consumed bread infected with a psychedelic mold, or to organic mercury poisoning. But Albarelli reports that the outbreak resulted from a covert LSD aerosol experiment directed by the US Army’s top-secret Special Operations Division at Fort Detrick, Maryland. He notes that the scientists who produced both alternative explanations worked for the Sandoz Pharmaceutical Company, which was then secretly supplying both the Army and CIA with LSD.

    The effect was devastating, as a contemporary French report made clear: “It is neither Shakespeare nor Edgar Poe. It is, alas, the sad reality all around Pont-St.-Esprit and its environs, where terrifying scenes of hallucinations are taking place. They are scenes straight out of the Middle Ages, scenes of horror and pathos, full of sinister shadows.” Even Time magazine took notice: “Among the stricken, delirium rose: patients thrashed wildly on their beds, screaming that red flowers were blossoming from their bodies, that their heads had turned to molten lead. Pont-Saint-Esprit’s hospital reported four attempts at suicide.”

    A Department of Justice website on the dangers of LSD states that in the early 1950s “the Sandoz Chemical Company went as far as promoting LSD as a potential secret chemical warfare weapon to the U.S. Government. Their main selling point in this was that a small amount in a main water supply or sprayed in the air could disorient and turn psychotic an entire company of soldiers leaving them harmless and unable to fight.” The CIA entertained a number of proposals from American scientists concerning placing a large amount of LSD into the reservoir of a medium-to-large city, but, according to former agency officials, “the experiment was never approved due to the unexpected number of deaths during the operation in France.”

    Albarelli also describes a series of small, secret chemical attacks by the CIA on the New York City subway system during the 1950s. Recently, the Army has referred to these experiments as “simulated tests,” but contemporary documents make no reference to simulation. An August 1950 FBI memorandum refers to “planned BW (biological warfare) experiments in the New York Subway System in September, 1950,” expressing concerns about “poisoning the water supply of a large metropolitan area at the source … the poisoning of food … sold to the general public.”

    In its quest to research LSD as an offensive weapon, Albarelli claims, the Army drugged over 5,700 unwitting American servicemen between the years 1953 and 1965, and, with the CIA, experimented widely with LSD and other drugs through secret contracts with over 325 colleges, universities and research institutions in the U.S., Canada and Europe, involving about 2,500 additional subjects, many of them hospital patients and college students.

    According to an official with the DGSE, who declined to be identified, “If the details of this book’s revelations prove to be true, it will be very upsetting for the people of Pont-St.-Esprit, as well as all French citizens. That agencies of the United States government would deliberately target innocent foreign citizens for such an experiment is a violation of a number of international laws and treaties.”

    Kent Goodman
    February 3, 2010
    PRWeb
    http://www.prweb.com/releases/A_Terrible_Mistake/Albarelli/prweb3549024.htm

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  1. Pondlife
    French bread spiked with LSD in CIA experiment

    A 50-year mystery over the 'cursed bread' of Pont-Saint-Esprit, which left residents suffering hallucinations, has been solved after a writer discovered the US had spiked the bread with LSD as part of an experiment.


    [imgr=white]http://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=13685&stc=1&d=1268387593[/imgr]

    In 1951, a quiet, picturesque village in southern France was suddenly and mysteriously struck down with mass insanity and hallucinations. At least five people died, dozens were interned in asylums and hundreds afflicted.

    For decades it was assumed that the local bread had been unwittingly poisoned with a psychedelic mould. Now, however, an American investigative journalist has uncovered evidence suggesting the CIA peppered local food with the hallucinogenic drug LSD as part of a mind control experiment at the height of the Cold War.

    The mystery of Le Pain Maudit (Cursed Bread) still haunts the inhabitants of Pont-Saint-Esprit, in the Gard, southeast France.

    On August 16, 1951, the inhabitants were suddenly racked with frightful hallucinations of terrifying beasts and fire.

    One man tried to drown himself, screaming that his belly was being eaten by snakes. An 11-year-old tried to strangle his grandmother. Another man shouted: "I am a plane", before jumping out of a second-floor window, breaking his legs. He then got up and carried on for 50 yards. Another saw his heart escaping through his feet and begged a doctor to put it back. Many were taken to the local asylum in strait jackets.

    Time magazine wrote at the time: "Among the stricken, delirium rose: patients thrashed wildly on their beds, screaming that red flowers were blossoming from their bodies, that their heads had turned to molten lead."

    Eventually, it was determined that the best-known local baker had unwittingly contaminated his flour with ergot, a hallucinogenic mould that infects rye grain. Another theory was the bread had been poisoned with organic mercury.

    However, H P Albarelli Jr., an investigative journalist, claims the outbreak resulted from a covert experiment directed by the CIA and the US Army's top-secret Special Operations Division (SOD) at Fort Detrick, Maryland.

    The scientists who produced both alternative explanations, he writes, worked for the Swiss-based Sandoz Pharmaceutical Company, which was then secretly supplying both the Army and CIA with LSD.

    Mr Albarelli came across CIA documents while investigating the suspicious suicide of Frank Olson, a biochemist working for the SOD who fell from a 13th floor window two years after the Cursed Bread incident. One note transcribes a conversation between a CIA agent and a Sandoz official who mentions the "secret of Pont-Saint-Esprit" and explains that it was not "at all" caused by mould but by diethylamide, the D in LSD.

    While compiling his book, A Terrible Mistake: The Murder of Frank Olson and the CIA's Secret Cold War Experiments, Mr Albarelli spoke to former colleagues of Mr Olson, two of whom told him that the Pont-Saint-Esprit incident was part of a mind control experiment run by the CIA and US army.

    After the Korean War the Americans launched a vast research programme into the mental manipulation of prisoners and enemy troops.

    Scientists at Fort Detrick told him that agents had sprayed LSD into the air and also contaminated "local foot products".

    Mr Albarelli said the real "smoking gun" was a White House document sent to members of the Rockefeller Commission formed in 1975 to investigate CIA abuses. It contained the names of a number of French nationals who had been secretly employed by the CIA and made direct reference to the "Pont St. Esprit incident." In its quest to research LSD as an offensive weapon, Mr Albarelli claims, the US army also drugged over 5,700 unwitting American servicemen between 1953 and 1965.

    None of his sources would indicate whether the French secret services were aware of the alleged operation. According to US news reports, French intelligence chiefs have demanded the CIA explain itself following the book's revelations. French intelligence officially denies this.

    Locals in Pont-Saint-Esprit still want to know why they were hit by such apocalyptic scenes. "At the time people brought up the theory of an experiment aimed at controlling a popular revolt," said Charles Granjoh, 71.

    "I almost kicked the bucket," he told the weekly French magazine Les Inrockuptibles. "I'd like to know why."

    Henry Samuel in Paris
    Published: 7:00AM GMT 11 Mar 2010
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/wor...-bread-spiked-with-LSD-in-CIA-experiment.html
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