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The U.S. military conducts Operation Plumbbob at the Nevada Test Site, 65 miles northwest of Las Vegas. Operation Pumbbob consists of 29 nuclear detonations, eventually creating radiation expected to result in a total 32,000 cases of thyroid cancer among civilians in the area. Around 18,000 members of the U.S. military participate in Operation Pumbbob's Desert Rock VII and VIII, which are designed to see how the average foot soldier physiologically and mentally responds to a nuclear battlefield ("Operation Plumbbob", Goliszek).
(1957 - 1964) As part of MKULTRA, the CIA pays McGill University Department of Psychiatry founder Dr. D. Ewen Cameron $69,000 to perform LSD studies and potentially lethal experiments on Canadians being treated for minor disorders like post-partum depression and anxiety at the Allan Memorial Institute, which houses the Psychiatry Department of the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal. The CIA encourages Dr. Cameron to fully explore his "psychic driving" concept of correcting madness through completely erasing one's memory and rewriting the psyche. These "driving" experiments involve putting human test subjects into drug-, electroshock- and sensory deprivation-induced vegetative states for up to three months, and then playing tape loops of noise or simple repetitive statements for weeks or months in order to "rewrite" the "erased" psyche. Dr. Cameron also gives human test subjects paralytic drugs and electroconvulsive therapy 30 to 40 times, as part of his experiments. Most of Dr. Cameron's test subjects suffer permanent damage as a result of his work.
In order to study how blood flows through children's brains, researchers at Children's Hospital in Philadelphia perform the following experiment on healthy children, ranging in age from three to 11: They insert needles into each child's femoral artery (thigh) and jugular vein (neck), bringing the blood down from the brain. Then, they force each child to inhale a special gas through a facemask. In their subsequent Journal of Clinical Investigation article on this study, the researchers note that, in order to perform the experiment, they had to restrain some of the child test subjects by bandaging them to boards (Goliszek).
Approximately 300 members of the U.S. Navy are exposed to radiation when the Navy destroyer Mansfield detonates 30 nuclear bombs off the coasts of Pacific Islands during Operation Hardtack (Goliszek).
The U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) drops radioactive materials over Point Hope, Alaska, home to the Inupiats, in a field test known under the codename "Project Chariot" (Sharav).
In response to the Nuremberg Trials, Yale psychologist Stanley Milgram begins his famous Obedience to Authority Study in order to answer his question "Could it be that (Adolf) Eichmann and his million accomplices in the Holocaust were just following orders? Could we call them all accomplices?" Male test subjects, ranging in age from 20 to 40 and coming from all education backgrounds, are told to give "learners" electric shocks for every wrong answer the learners give in response to word pair questions. In reality, the learners are actors and are not receiving electric shocks, but what matters is that the test subjects do not know that. Astoundingly, they keep on following orders and continue to administer increasingly high levels of "shocks," even after the actor learners show obvious physical pain ("Milgram Experiment").
Researchers at the Laurel Children's Center in Maryland test experimental acne antibiotics on children and continue their tests even after half of the young test subjects develop severe liver damage because of the experimental medication (Goliszek). The U.S. Army's Deseret Test Center begins Project 112. This includes SHAD (Shipboard Hazard and Defense), which exposes U.S. Navy and Army personnel to live toxins and chemical poisons in order to determine naval ships' vulnerability to chemical and biological weapons. Military personnel are not test subjects; conducting the tests exposes them. Many of these participants complain of negative health effects at the time and, decades later, suffer from severe medical problems as a result of their exposure (Goliszek, Veterans Health Administration).
The FDA begins requiring that a new pharmaceutical undergo three human clinical trials before it will approve it. From 1962 to 1980, pharmaceutical companies satisfy this requirement by running Phase I trials, which determine a drug's toxicity, on prison inmates, giving them small amounts of cash for compensation (Sharav).
Chester M. Southam, who injected Ohio State Prison inmates with live cancer cells in 1952, performs the same procedure on 22 senile, African-American female patients at the Brooklyn Jewish Chronic Disease Hospital in order to watch their immunological response. Southam tells the patients that they are receiving "some cells," but leaves out the fact that they are cancer cells. He claims he doesn't obtain informed consent from the patients because he does not want to frighten them by telling them what he is doing, but he nevertheless temporarily loses his medical license because of it. Ironically, he eventually becomes president of the American Cancer Society (Greger, Merritte, et al.).
Researchers at the U of Washington directly irradiate the testes of 232 prison inmates in order to determine radiation's effects on testicular function. When these inmates later leave prison and have children, at least four have babies born with birth defects. The exact number is unknown because researchers never follow up on the men to see the long-term effects of their experiment (Goliszek).
In a National Institutes of Health-sponsored (NIH) study, a researcher transplants a chimpanzee's kidney into a human. The experiment fails (Sharav).
(1963 - 1966) New York U researcher Saul Krugman promises parents with mentally disabled children definite enrollment into the Willowbrook State School in Staten Island, N.Y., a resident mental institution for mentally retarded children, in exchange for their signatures on a consent form for procedures presented as "vaccinations." In reality, the procedures involve deliberately infecting children with viral hepatitis by feeding them an extract made from the feces of infected patients, so that Krugman can study the course of viral hepatitis as well the effectiveness of a hepatitis vaccine (Hammer Breslow).
1963 - 1971) Leading endocrinologist Dr. Carl Heller gives 67 prison inmates at Oregon State Prison in Salem $5 per month and $25 per testicular tissue biopsy in compensation for allowing him to perform irradiation experiments on their testes. If they receive vasectomies at the end of the study, the prisoners are given an extra $100.
Researchers inject a genetic compound called radioactive thymidine into the testicles of more than 100 Oregon State Pen inmates to learn whether sperm production is affected by exposure to steroid hormones.
In a study published in Pediatrics, researchers at the U of California's Department of Pediatrics use 113 newborns ranging in age from one hour to three days old in a series of experiments used to study changes in blood pressure and blood flow. In one study, doctors insert a catheter through the newborns' umbilical arteries and into their aortas and then immerse the newborns' feet in ice water while recording aortic pressure. In another experiment, doctors strap 50 newborns to a circumcision board, tilt the table so that all the blood rushes to their heads and then measure their blood pressure (Goliszek).
(1964 - 68) The U.S. Army pays $386,486 (the largest sum ever paid for human experimentation) to U of Pennsylvania Professors Albert Kligman and Herbert W. Copelan to run medical experiments on 320 inmates of Holmesburg Prison to determine the effectiveness of seven mind-altering drugs. The researchers' objective is to determine the minimum effective dose of each drug needed to disable 50 percent of any given population (MED-50). Though Kligman and Copelan claim that they are unaware of any long-term effects the mind-altering agents might have on prisoners, documents revealed later would prove otherwise.
(64 - 67) The Dow Chemical Company pays Kligman $10,000 to learn how dioxin - a highly toxic, carcinogenic component of Agent Orange -- and other herbicides affect human skin because workers at the chemical plant have been developing an acne-like condition called Chloracne and the company would like to know whether the chemicals they are handling are to blame. As part of the study, Kligman applies roughly the amount of dioxin Dow employees are exposed to on the skin 60 prisoners, and is disappointed when the prisoners show no symptoms of Chloracne. In 1980 and 1981, the human guinea pigs used in this study would begin suing Kligman for complications including lupus and psychological damage .
The Department of Defense uses human test subjects wearing rubber clothing and M9A1 masks to conduct 35 trials near Fort Greely, Ala., as part of the Elk Hunt tests, which are designed to measure the amount of VX nerve agent put on the clothing of people moving through VX-contaminated areas or touching contaminated vehicles, and the amount of VX vapor rising from these areas. After the tests, the subjects are decontaminated using wet steam and high-pressure cold water.
As part of a test codenamed "Big Tom," the Department of Defense sprays Oahu, Hawaii's most heavily populated island, with Bacillus globigii in order to simulate an attack on an island complex. Bacillus globigii causes infections in people with weakened immune systems, but this was not known to scientists at the time.
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