According to recent documents uncovered by American Journalist Hank Albarelli the CIA may have drugged a French town in 1951. Pont-Saint-Esprit’s population was hit with wild hallucinations and nausea, symptoms closely related to LSD. On August 16 1951 postman Leon Armunier fell from his bicycle and recalls feeling like he was “shrinking and shrinking” as well as being quite nauseous. Over a period of several days dozens more people fell ill with the same symptoms. Most of the victims were so violent that they were placed in straight jackets and chained to hospital beds. At that time no one had heard of LSD other than governments so an investigation blamed ergot, a fungus that occurs naturally on rye, as well as a bakery.
Hank Albarelli was digging through old CIA files when he stumbled upon a paper titled “Re: Pont-Saint-Esprit and F.Olson Files. SO Span/France Operation file, inclusive Olson. Intel files. Hand carry to Belin – tell him to see to it that these are buried.” F. Olson or Frank Olson was the man responsible for the agency’s research into the drug LSD. David Belin, meanwhile, was executive director of the Rockefeller Commission created by the White House in 1975 to investigate abuses carried out worldwide by the CIA.
While the reports do not specifically say the CIA drugged civilians with its new drug it does however lead us to that assumption. During the time of the poisoning the Korean war was just kicking off, the cold war was underway and the CIA was using drugs to coerce confessions from “spies”. It is highly probable that an operative was keeping his stash of the secret drug in a batch of bread in the bakery and was accidentally distributed to the population if it was not done on purpose.
The citizens of Pont-Saint-Esprit are calling for the French government to look into the matter immediately so they can finally know what really happened. My best guess is that the CIA purposely drugged the town just to see the effects of its mass use and what it could do to a population. The CIA was much more bold with their actions during that time so much so that an entire commission was created to investigate all of their abuses. It is also safe to say that nothing will come of a French investigation as the CIA probably ditched the remaining papers long ago then again a staffer 15 years from now could stumble upon them; who knows?
It certainly makes you wonder what other weird events in history were caused by the CIA and other spy agencies around the world.
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Information Via: BBC