ARMY CHEMICAL TESTS USING HUMAN SUBJECTS
The purpose was to evaluate the impact of low-dose chemical warfare agents on military personnel and to test protective clothing and pharmaceuticals.
This is not an upbeat or fun post that I usually would prefer to make here, but this is something that I have really wanted to address regarding the activities in the 60s and 70s in Edgewood, Maryland.
Edgewood Arsenal was one of three army bases in the area which also includes Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) and Fort Hoyle that have been home to ordnance, chemical, technology, and artillery commands. APG also had a Vehicle Test Facility.
I didn't even know about this situation that happened in the history of Edgewood Arsenal until just about a year or so ago. Frank Zappa, who had also lived in this area back at that time, came out about this information in the past also. He was bothered by this situation as well and did the soundtrack 'Edgewood Arsenal' for a documentary entitled Dr. Delirium and The Edgewood Experiments.
I agree that the people involved in this deserve to be outed, including even my own father who worked at Edgewood Arsenal as a civilian Chemical Engineer in the 1960s and 70's from about 1964 or so and into the 1980's. Incidentally, Frank Zappa's father also worked at Edgewood Arsenal chemical warfare facility during this period.
I don't have absolute proof that my father was directly involved, but I do know that Edgewood was - and still is - a relatively small Army base facility, so there was probably very little chance that most who worked there at the time were not aware of the chemical tests being done (even with compartmentalization).
It was also likely that the prevailing sentiment at the time was that it was a good and necessary thing to do for 'the greater good' and that sacrificing the health of a 'few' GI's was worth the cost. After all, it was the era of 'better living through chemistry'... (thanks ultra evil DuPont).
My father was a former active duty army officer who had then turned Army Reserve to work for the government as a civilian engineer doing these very same types of experiments to test the effect of various chemicals used in warfare on both people and equipment.
I was a child during this time, but my mother did say that my father did experiments involving army tanks to see how much of certain chemical warfare agents would be able to penetrate the interior to see how this could be improved in future designs for such tanks. (In fact, he was deployed as a civilian to Israel during the 6-Day War in 1967 due to his work with tank chemical tests.)
I somehow imagined that this was being tested only on the equipment (the tanks themselves) using some type of monitoring device. I now realize that the tests were most likely being done using human subjects - GI's - who in many cases were not fully briefed as to what they were being subjected to.
I also was told that my father did tests on gas masks to see how well they filtered out chemical warfare agents. These tests were also most likely being done on human subjects who were given no extra precautions or detox to help them later with any after-effects. In fact, most of these test subjects were not even told what types of chemicals were being tested on them.
There is now finally a law suit holding the army liable for the aftermath in the health of many of these test subjects, but unfortunately coming so many decades later that it is hardly compensation for all of the suffering that both they and their families have had to endure all this time. Also, many of the personnel that could testify are quite old by now (my father for instance is now 87 years old). - submitted
One of the books below is called: Hydrogeology and soil gas at J-Field, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. Gee, isn't that what we're now facing with all of these recent chemical spills? Is this where they test and practice these types of things?
Another of the books below is Simulation of ground-water flow and transport of chlorinated hydrocarbons at Graces Quarters, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. This is exactly what we were told was being dealt with in East Palestine Ohio.
One more is the book entitled: Clouds of Secrecy: The Army's Germ Warfare Tests Over Populated Areas (in the US). Included here is yet another army base located in Maryland, Fort Detrick in Frederick MD.
"Fort Detrick was the center of the U.S. biological weapons program from 1943 to 1969 which now currently supports a multi-governmental community that conducts biomedical research and development, and global medical communications. The lab is known to research pathogens such as Ebola and smallpox."
Below are a few articles with more information on this subject:
Secret Army volunteer’s widow blames VA for spouse’s death
Decades After Secret Chemical Tests, Veterans Await Notification and Medical Care