During the Cold War the British government thought it would be a good idea to test chemical and biological weapons against their own citizens.
Below are the top 5 chemical weapons tests conducted on British citizens.
1) Zinc Cadmium Sulphide Dispersal
Between 1953 and 1964 around 4600 kilos of zinc cadmium sulphide was dispersed from ships, trucks and airplanes. Scientists knew the chemical concoction had a ‘largely unknown toxic potential’, yet still conducted the experiment around Salisbury in Wiltshire, Cardington in Bedfordshire and Norwich in Norfolk. It was also dispersed across areas of the North Sea and English Channel, where the extent of its effects are entirely unknown. Today, we understand zinc cadmium sulphide to be carcinogenic.
2) Bacillus Globigii Dispersal in London’s Subway System
To find out whether the long distance traversal of aerosols through London’s tube system was done through the ventilation system or on board the trains, scientists released the bacteria Bacillus Globigii into the subway system. While some scientists are documented as having reservations about the experiment, it is unknown whether or not any adequate, if any, testing was done on the effects of the bacteria before its release. Today, we know it causes food poisoning, eye infections, and septicaemia.
3) Black Death Released Off Scottish Coast
Live plague bacteria were released just a few miles from the Isle of Lewis, an island that several thousand people called home. The experiment was thought to be safe as the prevailing wind should have blown the bacteria out to sea, however if the wind were to change direction thousands of innocent lives would have been at risk. It is well documented that at least one fishing vessel travelled through the plague cloud. We need not expand upon the effects of the plague.
4) Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis Experiment in The Bahamas
The case of the fishing vessel becoming an unwilling participant in a plague field test meant that future chemical and biological tests were conducted further afield, where scientists knew of areas ‘without restrictions’. British overseas territories (AKA colonies or occupied lands), like the Bahamas, were the new playground. Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis was released near an uninhabited island in the Bahamas by scientists, despite the fact it can cause high fever, long term fatigue, headaches and occasionally death if it were to reach populated shores.
5) Experimental Nerve Gas Dispersal in Nigeria
In Obanaghoro, located in the South of British-occupied Nigeria, scientists spent over a year dispersing experimental nerve agents. The tropical environment was key to what the scientists were trying to test in relation to these particular agents. Again, the extent to which this nerve gas affected local populations and even employed locals, working as a part of the project, is entirely unknown. Sarin is known to have been tested here, which causes loss of bodily function and usually death, while those who survive are likely to suffer brain damage and psychiatric disorders.
Ulf Schmidt, Professor of Modern History at the University of Kent who carried out the research exposing all of these cases, said: ‘the government records I’ve been looking at are conspicuously silent on all this’. He went on to say that ‘officials had clearly good reasons as to why the kind of experiments undertaken in Nigeria were strictly prohibited on the British mainland’.
Schmidt’s work has also found that 30,000 secret chemical warfare experiments were carried out between 1945-1989 on more than 14,000 ‘volunteer’ British soldiers. He believes that most of the soldiers were never given enough information to give informed consent. All of these findings and more can be found in the professor’s new book, Secret Science.
Do you believe similar, deadly experiments are still going today?