In this age of fake news, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to discriminate between fact and fiction. But conspiracy theories are nothing new. Conspiracy theories are arguably propaganda and have existed for as long as society has.
What’s scary is the substantial scientific evidence which suggest we’re even influenced by news we know is fake.
Conspiracy theories are such an easy target for ridicule because they are often most widely spread by those who screech about lizard people on the internet.
Every now and again however, these theories turn out to be true.
Take the eerie conspiracy theory that the U.S. military stole dead infants for experimentation.
This theory takes many forms, but all comes back to the idea that in some secret government lab, they’re doing human experimentation without our knowledge. If it was an episode of the X-Files, it’d probably involve some shady agency secretly collecting DNA samples from the public to breed with aliens or create super soldiers or some such monstrousness.
You’ll be disappointed on the aliens and super soldiers part, but the rest of it is almost weirder than fiction.
Imagine you’re a parent who lost an infant … then found out after death, a government agent sneaked in and stole parts from it for experimentation. That happened. A lot.
During the 1950s, the U.S. government was interested in how fallout from nuclear weapons would affect human bodies, and whether nuclear testing would be a hazard to human health.
Which is a valid concern!
But they needed tissue samples from humans to test, and since most people would have objected strenuously to their bones being removed to test for the presence of radioactive isotopes, the government instead targeted a demographic that couldn’t put up a fuss (or, more importantly, vote): dead bodies.
The government went grave-robbing. Here, we’ll let one of the project’s scientists, Dr. Willard Libby, explain: “[H]uman samples are of prime importance, and if anybody knows how to do a good job of body-snatching, they will really be serving their country.” That’s a quote from a secret meeting in 1955, and he went on to point out that these corpses needed to be young. So most of these bodies were recently-deceased infants, often from other countries where that kind of thing was easier to get away with.
Yes, consent was of no concern here — one mother named Jean Prichard gave birth to a stillborn baby in 1957, asked for the body so she could dress it for a burial, and was refused. It turned out they were trying to hide the fact that they’d cut its legs off to hand them over for testing.
The mission was called Project Sunshine, probably to mask the horror of robbing and maiming scores upon scores of baby corpses under a veil of cheerfulness. The Clinton administration’s Advisory Committee dug up the details of the project as part of their mission to uncover ethical issues in past radiation experiments.
What the hell, past?
Together We Can Survive Anything,
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