‘San Francisco’s fog is famous, especially in the summer, when weather conditions combine to create the characteristic cooling blanket that sits over the Bay Area.
But one fact many may not know about San Francisco’s fog is that in 1950, the US military conducted a test to see whether it could be used to help spread a biological weapon in a “simulated germ-warfare attack.” This was just the start of many such tests around the country that would go on in secret for years.
The test was a success, as Rebecca Kreston explains over at Discover Magazine, and “one of the largest human experiments in history.”
But, as she writes, it was also “one of the largest offenses of the Nuremberg Code since its inception.”
The code stipulates that “voluntary, informed consent” is required for research participants, and that experiments that might lead to death or disabling injury are unacceptable.
The unsuspecting residents of San Francisco certainly could not consent to the military’s germ-warfare test, and there’s good evidence that it could have caused the death of at least one resident of the city, Edward Nevin, and hospitalized 10 others.
This is a crazy story; one that seems like it must be a conspiracy theory. An internet search will reveal plenty of misinformation and unbelievable conjecture about these experiments. But the core of this incredible tale is documented and true.’
- Blood & Fog: The Military’s Germ Warfare Tests in San Francisco
- How the British Government subjected thousands of people to chemical and biological warfare trials during Cold War
- Secret Science: A Century of Poison Warfare and Human Experiments (Book)
- Cold War at Porton Down: Informed Consent in Britain’s Biological and Chemical Warfare Experiments
- Clouds of Secrecy: 2006 BBC Documentary
- The past Porton Down can’t hide
- Hidden history of US germ testing
- Millions were in germ war tests
- Porton Down used soldiers for Sarin gas tests in 1983
- Porton Down scientists face charges over 1950s experiments
- Of Microbes and Mock Attacks: Years Ago, The Military Sprayed Germs on U.S. Cities
- Clouds of Secrecy: The Army’s Germ Warfare Tests Over Populated Areas (Book)
- Army Conducted 239 Secret, Open-Air Germ Warfare Tests