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> Deadly Fools Of Plum Island

Master Of His Domain
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Posted: Aug 20 2005, 04:09 PM
Quote Post
The Deadly Fools Of Plum Island
From Patricia Doyle, PhD

Jeff - I have seen some articles lately referring to the Plum as a BSL 4 laboratory. It appears that Homeland "lack of" Security has been able to sneak in the BSL 4 upgrade. So, the Plum is a BSL4/BSL5. It has now been compared to the Ft. Detrick lab.
What fools! Didn't anyone hear me or Mike Carroll or any of the reporters who had been to the devil's own island and saw the steel drums above ground in the dump oozing their infected contents??
It almost makes me want to give up and simply hang the sign "gone fishing." Problem is...the Long Island sound fishing isn't so good anymore, and there are no more lobsters. If I went fishing, I would probably simply fish out test tubes or Plum Island refuse.
It is a monster island where animals check in but don't check out...
"Monster Island"
New York's Plum Island is a level-4 bioresearch facility.
What exactly is going on there?
By Alan Cabal
I make it a rule to never ascribe malicious intent to any occurrence that can be reasonably attributed to human stupidity. There is no such thing as a completely fail-safe system; at least, none that human ingenuity can devise. Likewise, I acknowledge the role of coincidence in the course of human events. Synchronicity does not necessarily imply a designing will. Shit happens, as they say.
The tragic loss of the space shuttle Columbia is a classic illustration of both of these principles: The shuttle is as close to a fail-safe system as our species is capable of. No one at NASA wants to lose an astronaut to an accident. The fact that it broke up over Palestine, TX, while carrying an Israeli war hero is simply a coincidence. It was not brought down by a stone-throwing child, an errant kite or a suicide bomber. There are those who see the Hand of God in coincidences such as this. I am not one of those people.
That said, I do tend to agree with the ancient Greeks that hubris leads inevitably to a correction of some sort. As hubris has become as ubiquitous as obesity in America lately, I try not to concern myself too much with it. Inasmuch as I can, I keep my concerns local.
And locally, there is no more terrifying example of hubris than the Plum Island Animal Disease Research Center.
Located just two miles off the tip of Long Island and six miles from the Connecticut coastline, Plum Island is home to a Bio-Safety Level 4 (BSL-4) research facility. The only comparable government facilities in the country are the United States Army laboratory at Fort Detrick, MD, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. Plum Island is specifically engaged in the study of zoonotic diseases. Zoonotic diseases are diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans, like West Nile, like Lyme disease. Like Ebola.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture established the research facility there after acquiring the 840-acre island from the military at the end of World War II. The initial charter from Congress mandated the study of animal diseases, particularly foot-and-mouth disease, with an eye toward eradicating these maladies from the nation's livestock. It seemed an ideal location for such an endeavor: prevailing winds, after all, blow out to sea.
In 1954, the research took a more aggressive turn, with scientists looking to cook up ways to inflict damage on Soviet livestock. The Cuban government alleges that in the 1960s and 70s, bioweapons developed at Plum were deployed against Cuban agriculture, targeting pork, tobacco and sugar cane. Back in 1999, Floyd P. Horn, administrator of the Agriculture Research Service, persuaded President Clinton to include Plum Island in his expanded bioterrorism program based on the possibility of a biological attack on the nation's agricultural base. Last year the administration of the island's research facilities was transferred from USDA to the Department of Homeland Security.
The 200-odd employees do not live on the island; they commute from their homes in Connecticut and Long Island. The facility is only accessible by government ferry, and local sailors who have strayed too close have reported being warned off in no uncertain terms by armed military personnel. The diseases being researched do not live exclusively under glass"there are quite a number of infected live animals for study there. Some of these diseases have an incubation period extending for days.
Which means that it is entirely possible for a researcher to be unknowingly infected on a Friday and then spend the weekend cheerfully spreading some hideous plague from the Hamptons to Tribeca. The government claims that there has only been one outbreak on the island"foot-and-mouth in 1978"which they contained by killing all the livestock. They further maintain that there has never been a leak to the mainland. Apparently the first appearance of what we now call Lyme disease a mere 13 miles northeast of the facility falls under the category of coincidence, as does the mysterious and still unexplained appearance of West Nile virus in Long Island and New York City.
Coincidences, it seems, abound at Plum.
Until 1991, all of the employees were federal. During 1991 and ,92, the workforce bifurcated, with many of the jobs being turned over to the private sector, which naturally led to a simmering resentment in the ranks. On August 13, 2002, the resentment came to a full boil and a strike was called: 76 members of the International Union of Operating Engineers walked out at midnight after negotiations on wages and benefits broke down. The union members, employed by a government subcontractor, LB&B Associates, headquartered in Columbia, MD, were responsible for essential support services such as decontamination, waste-water treatment, keeping the generators in working order and other maintenance and safety-oriented occupations. For the duration of the strike, temps were brought in to replace them, the sentinels and technicians of the island's infrastructure.
By the end of that month, the FBI had been called to the island to investigate allegations of sabotage. It seems that the water pressure on the island fell precipitously, disabling decontamination facilities and the necropsy rooms used to examine dead animals. The union blamed the problem on the inexperienced temporary replacement workers, suggesting that they had not been adequately screened and lacked the training to properly maintain the essential daily activity of the island, let alone handle an emergency. Jacob Bunch, a spokesman for LB&B, refused to comment on the FBI investigation and responded to a New York Times reporter's query about the replacement workers by stating that "In terms of training, I will tell you that people are well trained or they wouldn,t be there. I am not going to get into how they are trained." He flatly refused to discuss the issue of security clearances.
The strike and the FBI investigation drew unwanted attention to the island. Local residents in Connecticut and Long Island have long harbored suspicions about the nature of the research being done on "Mystery Island," as some call it. One local politician was quoted as saying, "I have gotten calls from constituents asking if it is safe. People worry about Plum Island under routine circumstances, so you can expect that they worry more when circumstances are as unusual as these."
Press requests to visit the island were denied by both the FBI and the USDA, but one union official claimed to have received a frantic call from one of the replacement workers. As he put it, "They were sleeping on cots, working 12- hour shifts and not being able to make calls off the island. He described their condition as being held captive." The chief operating officer of LB&B, Ed Brandon, scoffed at the report, saying that the worker in question had already left the island and that everything was under control and running smoothly.
As a result of the FBI investigation, one of the strikers, Mark J. DePonte, pleaded guilty to tampering with government property. Coincidentally, in October a 600-gallon container of liquid nitrogen somehow managed to tumble off the rear of one of the island's ferries. Shortly thereafter, it was revealed that at least one of the replacement workers had an arrest record.
During the fifth month of the strike, a three-hour power outage renewed public interest in the island. It certainly piqued my interest. On that day, I could not help but fixate on Stephen King's The Stand and Larry Underwood's trek through a sea of corpses in the Lincoln Tunnel, clawing his way out to Jersey. I found the failure of all three of the island's backup generators particularly provocative. Jovial corporate gasbag Ed Brandon had nothing to say about the inability of the replacement workers to operate the generators after five months on the job, and his erstwhile associate Jacob Bunch was equally dumbstruck.
I packed up the car, scored some weed, picked up my girlfriend and headed to the Jersey Shore, just to be on the safe side. Coincidence and stupidity will kill you just as dead as conspiracy and evil genius, if the wind is right, so we holed up in a motel in Ocean City and followed the story from there.
The only reason the incident went public at all was that one of the replacement workers basically flipped a gasket and called Hillary Clinton's office, spilling the beans on the power failure to one of her staffers. The worker stated that, "The reason I am coming forward is because what I have seen at the center is really out of hand and something needs to be done about it."
And just like that, the possibility of disaster was in the open.
Without power, the air filtration systems are inoperable. Without power, decontamination procedures break down. Without power, the seals in the pressurized airlock doors start to deflate. According to one report, workers were desperately sealing the doors with duct tape.
My girlfriend and I stayed in Ocean City for a few days, walking the deserted frozen boardwalk together and monitoring the news for any signs of an incipient human die-off in New York. The most frightening book I have ever read is Laurie Garrett's The Coming Plague, a comprehensive overview of emerging rain-forest viruses and antibiotic-resistant bacteria. I was so badly rattled that I actually put the book down about three-quarters of the way through. Sitting down there at the Jersey Shore, watching the whitecaps roll in through the desolate frozen darkness on the longest night of the year, it was all too easy to imagine Manhattan in the throes of a deadly epidemic triggered by some half-wit scab's inability to figure out the basics of generator maintenance and operation.
I took an inventory of the worst zoonotic plagues I could think of: Nipah virus, anthrax, Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis, Hanta virus"
Hanta, I recalled, is transmitted in rodent feces. There was an outbreak in the Four Corners area in the southwest, back in the early 90s. The vector? Pinola nuts contaminated by rat shit.
I reflected on the mother of all plagues, the incomparable Ebola virus, the deadliest strain of which, Ebola Zaire, has a 90 percent kill rate. Transmission is ridiculously easy: The victim starts sneezing at a certain point early in the infection, and the sneeze contains aerosolized droplets of infected blood. Ba-da-bing, ba-da-bang, ba-da-boom"you,ve got it. In about 10 days, you bleed out and die as your cardio-vascular system Well, your cardio-vascular system just sort of melts. Ebola Zaire would burn through this city like a fire in a cardboard factory.
Up in New Haven, CT, in 1994, a worker at Yale University's Arbovirus Laboratory became infected with Sabia virus, went home, then took a little jaunt to Boston, where it became apparent to him that his symptoms were serious. More recently, in February of this year, a Fort Detrick researcher inadvertently stuck herself with a needle containing one of the three known Ebola variants. None of the reports of the incident specified which strain, but one can only assume it was the relatively benign Ebola Reston, as she was permitted to go home and gather some "necessities" before being placed in quarantine the next day. She was released from quarantine on March 3.
Sometimes you get lucky.
The research at Plum Island has taken some very alarming turns. In 2001, the New York Times revealed the existence of the Defense Department's "Project Jefferson," an effort to develop a vaccine-resistant form of anthrax. The Pentagon responded to the story by asserting that the project would be completed and the results classified.
Last year, a St. Louis University virologist by the name of Mark Buller revealed in a characteristically dry academic report that he was tinkering with a more lethal form of mousepox, a relative of smallpox, and intended to extend this work to cowpox, which can infect humans. Buller's intent is to devise countermeasures against making pox viruses more lethal, but the central conundrum of bioweaponry defense research is that, by necessity, it entails offensive bioweaponry research.
For his part, Buller is aware of the problem. "When you have thrown a lot of money at it," he told Mother Jones magazine, "people start to think very hard about what is possible, losing sight of what is practical."
Problem is, this research doesn,t take place in a vacuum. These researchers are academics"they publish. As the hackers have been telling us for three decades, information wants to be free. So, creating increasingly deadly bioweapons in order to determine how they can be thwarted generates an endless spiral of increasingly potent plagues that must inevitably succumb to that most familiar and unforgiving of universal principles, Murphy's Law.
A lot of people in the know are sounding alarms about this. Richard Ebright, lab director at the Waksman Institute of Microbiology at Rutgers University, is quoted by Michael Scherer in this month's Mother Jones as saying, "That is work that creates a new vulnerability for the United States and the world. It's like the National Institute of Health was funding a research and development arm of Al Qaeda." Scherer also points out that the government is going full speed ahead with this sort of thing, doubling the Pentagon budget for chemical/biological warfare and pouring up to $10 billion into bioweaponry projects alone.
We are knee-deep in a new arms race, far more terrifying than anything the nukes race had to offer. Accidents happened with our nuclear launch protocols during the Cold War"we came close, far too close, on several occasions"and it's far easier to accidentally release a tick or a mosquito into the environment, or scratch oneself with an infected needle, than it is to inadvertently launch a missile.
Plum Island is 136 miles from the city, as the crow flies. If that crow should happen to land there briefly, perhaps to snack on a tempting bit of carrion, there is a realistic chance that the crow might then become patient zero, carrying back with it some unwholesome and unwelcome souvenir. Or consider the disgruntled, overworked generator mechanic suffering under the burden of a difficult divorce compounded by a bad reaction to Zoloft who goes postal"on a whole new level. Or maybe a series of unfortunate, coincidental and entirely benign failures will pile up like SUVs on black ice.
The list of possibilities for disaster goes on and on. I prefer not to be in close proximity to people who insist on flouting Murphy's Law, especially when they,re toying around with what we euphemistically refer to these days as Weapons of Mass Destruction. It's like drinking in a cop bar.
There's been a lot of blather and hoo-hah in the news around here lately that New Yorkers are unprepared for another major disaster along the lines of the Sept. 11 attacks. Very few businesses have established any kind of emergency preparedness drills or protocols, and the average citizen seems to be living in some hideously banal postmodern fog of confusion and denial. A friend of mine up in Inwood bought an ultralight kayak, figuring to haul it down to the estuary there and paddle away to Jersey if and when the bodies start piling up.
Even if nothing ever happens, it's a great toy in the summer months.
For more on Plum Island, see Jim Knipfel's review of Michael Christopher Carroll's Lab 257: The Disturbing Story of the Government's Secret Plum Island Germ Laboratory, p. 40.
Patricia A. Doyle, PhD
Please visit my "Emerging Diseases" message board.
Zhan le Devlesa tai sastimasa
Go with God and in Good Health

"Ye shall know them by their fruits"
~ Matthew 7:16

"Believe nothing. No matter where you read it, or who said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
~ Buddha
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Master Of His Domain
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Posted: Aug 21 2005, 04:04 PM
Quote Post
Plum Island, Lyme Disease And Operation Paperclip - A Deadly Triangle
From Patricia Doyle, PhD

Hello, Jeff - This is an excellent historical documentation of Plum Island's history even before it became the USDA Plum Island. The history goes back to operation paperclip and to PROVEN tick research on Plum Island dating back to the 1950s. Plum Island also worked with lone star ticks. ...I wondered how lone star ticks from Texas would get to my backyard in NY. The ticks had some help, i.e. germ scientists...and Plum Island.
Patricia Doyle


Plum Island, Lyme Disease and the Erich Traub File
(One 30-minute segment)
(Sources are noted in parentheses.)
(Recorded on 10/3/2004.)

Note: FTR#'s 260-316, 317, 324, FTR#325 and succeeding programs are streaming on Real Audio at FTR#'s 01-270, 316-324 are available for download only, also on Real Audio, on their Archive Page.)

Note: Users of this web site are emphatically encouraged to create a word document out of the program descriptions and do a "search" on individual subjects in order to more completely reference those items.

Note: Users of this web site (as well as the two WFMU web addresses noted above) are emphatically encouraged to use the internet to disseminate as much of the audio and printed material as possible. It is all FREE!

Note: It is recommended that listeners print the program descriptions for optimum readability. It is emphatically encouraged that listeners use the printed files on the Spitfire web site and the audio files on the WFMU web sites to create their own research/teaching databases.

Summary of FTR#480-(Note: The massive volume of "For The Record" programs about 9/11 and related topics is summarized and analyzed in the periodically-updated description for FTR#391. FTR#'s 454, 455, 456 are compilations of much of the key documentation culled from Mr. Emory's investigation into 9/11. Along with FTR#391, they should give listeners/readers a substantive grasp of this momentous event. It is recommended that listeners use this description and e-mail it to others. Also: The book "Martin Bormann: Nazi in Exile" is available at About Paul Manning. In addition, the professional history of the late Paul Manning, the book's author, is presented in the description About Paul Manning. This enables listeners to acquaint others with Mr. Manning's journalistic credentials. Key material from the book is synopsized in an extended description for FTR#305. Understanding the Bormann organization is essential to comprehending the concept of "the Underground Reich." Note also that U.S. Government documents proving Prescott Bush Sr.'s Money-Laundering on behalf of the Third Reich before and after World War II are available at a linked website, along with commentary by John Buchanan, who located the documentation. This material is discussed in FTR#435. The website containing the documents is .) In the mid-1970's Lyme Disease broke out in Connecticut and it has since spread through much of the United States. This program examines the possibility that Lyme Disease may have spread as a result of clandestine experimentation on biological warfare on Plum Island-a Department of Agriculture facility that doubled as an Army BW research facility. Dedicated to the study of animal diseases, Plum Island appears to have been the site of experiments with disease-infected ticks conducted by Nazi scientists brought into the United States under Project Paperclip. One of the Nazi scientists who appears to have been involved with Plum Island was Dr. Erich Traub, who was in charge of the Third Reich's virological and bacteriological warfare program in World War II. Was Traub involved with experiments that led to the spread of Lyme Disease?

Program Highlights Include: Examination of Traub's studies in the US prior to World War II; Traub's pro-Nazi activities inside the US before the war; John Loftus' discovery of references in the National Archives to Nazi scientists experimenting with diseased ticks on Plum Island; Lyme Disease activist Steven Nostrum's discovery of Loftus' findings and his work investigating Plum Island; Details of Traub's involvement with Plum Island; files about Tick Research and Erich Traub that have been purged; Scientific American's dismissal of the Plum Island/Traub/Paperclip/Lyme Disease link; the Nazi heritage of the Von Holtzbrinck firm-which owns Scientific American; Plum Island experimentation with the disease-carrying "Lone Star Tick"; the fact that the Lone Star Tick-native to Texas-has somehow spread to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut!

1. In order to understand how Erich Traub came to the United States, it is important to understand Project PAPERCLIP. The program begins with a synoptic account of that project and how its prosecution led to Traub's entry to the United States and his involvement with Plum Island: "Nearing the end of World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union raced to recruit German scientists for postwar purposes. Under a top-secret program code-named Project PAPERCLIP, the U.S. military pursued Nazi scientific talent 'like forbidden fruit,' bringing them to America under employment contracts and offering them full U.S. citizenship. The recruits were supposed to be nominal participants in Nazi activities. But the zealous military recruited more than two thousand scientists, many of whom had dark Nazi party pasts." (Lab 257: the Disturbing Story of the Government's Secret Plum Island Germ Laboratory; by Michael Christopher Carroll; Copyright 2004 by Michael Christopher Carroll; HarperCollins [HC]; p. 7.)

2. "American scientists viewed these Germans as peers, and quickly forgot they were on opposite sides of a ghastly global war in which millions perished. Fearing brutal retaliation from the Soviets for the Nazis' vicious treatment of them, some scientists cooperated with the Americans to earn amnesty. Others played the two nations off each other to get the best financial deal in exchange for their services. Dr. Erich Traub was troubling on the Soviet side of the Iron Curtain after the war, and ordered to research germ warfare viruses for the Russians. He pulled off a daring escape with his family to West Berlin in 1949. Applying for Project Paperclip employment, Traub affirmed he wanted to 'do scientific work in the U.S.A., become an American citizen, and be protected from Russian reprisals.'" (Idem.)

3. The program sets forth Traub's work for the Third Reich: "As lab chief of Insel Riems-a secret Nazi biological warfare laboratory on a crescent-shaped island nestled in the Baltic Sea-Traub worked directly for Adolf Hitler's second-in-charge, SS Reichsfuehrer Heinrich Himmler, on live germ trials. . . ." (Ibid.; pp. 7-8.)

4. Traub had studied in the United States before the war (at the Rockefeller Institute) and had been involved in Nazi activities inside the U.S. prior to 1939 (the outbreak of World War II). " . . . Traub also listed his 1930's membership in Amerika-Deutscher Volksbund, a German-American 'club' also known as Camp Sigfriend. Just thirty miles west of Plum Island in Yaphank, Long Island, Camp Sigfried was the national headquarters of the American Nazi movement. . . .Ironically, Traub spent the prewar period of his scientific career on a fellowship at the Rockefeller Institute in Princeton, New Jersey, perfecting his skills in viruses and bacteria under the tutelage of American experts before returning to Nazi Germany on the eve of war. Despite Traub's troubling war record, the U.S. Navy recruited him for its scientific designs, and stationed him at the Naval Medical Research Institute in Bethesda, Maryland." (Ibid.; p. 8.)

5. Nominally under the jurisdiction of the USDA (Department of Agriculture), Plum Island was also used for military biological warfare research on animal diseases. In that regard, it was involved with Fort Dietrick, the Army's top chemical and biological warfare facility. Note that Traub was at the foundation of the Plum Island/biological warfare nexus. "Just months into his PAPERCLIP contract, the germ warriors of Fort Detrick, the Army's biological warfare headquarters, in Frederick, Maryland, and CIA operatives invited Traub in for a talk, later reported in a declassified top-secret summary: Dr. Traub is a noted authority on viruses and diseases in Germany and Europe. This interrogation revealed much information of value to the animal disease program from a Biological Warfare point of view. Dr. Traub discussed work done at a German animal disease station during World War II and subsequent to the war when the station was under Russian control.' Traub's detailed explanation of the secret operation on Insel Riems, and his activities there during the war and for the Soviets, laid the ground work for Fort Detrick's offshore germ warfare animal diseased lab on Plum Island. Traub was a founding father. . . ." (Ibid.; pp. 8-9.)

6. It is interesting to note that the Third Reich's biological warfare program had the cover name of "Cancer Research Program." (In RFA#16-available from Spitfire-as well as FTR#'s 16, 73, we look at the National Cancer Institute's Special Viral Cancer Research Program and the evidence suggesting that the project was actually a front for the continuation of biological warfare research. Erich Traub appears to have been involved with the projects related to the SVCRP.) " . . . Everybody seemed willing to forget about Erich Traub's dirty past-that he played a crucial role in the Nazis' 'Cancer Research Program,' the cover name for their biological warfare program, and that he worked directly under SS Reichsfuhrer Heinrich Himmler. They seemed willing to overlook that Traub in the 1930's faithfully attended Camp Sigfried. In fact, the USDA liked him so much, it glossed over his dubious past and offered him the top scientist job at the new Plum Island Laboratory-not once, but twice. Just months after the 1952 public hearings on selecting Plum Island, Doc Shahan dialed Dr. Traub at the naval laboratory to discuss plans for establishing the germ laboratory and a position on Plum Island." (Ibid.; p. 10.)

7. More about how Traub came to be in a significant position at Plum Island. "Six years later-and only two years after Traub squirmed in his seat at the Plum Island dedication ceremonies-senior scientist Dr. Jacob Traum retired. The USDA needed someone of 'outstanding caliber, with a long established reputation, internationally as well as nationally,' to fill Dr. Traum's shoes. But somehow it couldn't find a suitable American. 'As a last resort it is now proposed that a foreigner be employed.' The aggies' choice? Erich Traub, who was in their view 'the most desirable candidate from any source.' The 1958 secret USDA memorandum 'Justification for Employment of Dr. Erich Traub' conveniently omitted his World War II activities; but it did emphasize that 'his originality, scientific abilities, and general competence as an investigator' were developed at the Rockefeller Institute in New Jersey in the 1930's." (Idem.)

8. The push to employ Traub as the director of Plum Island involved professional recommendations that omitted his work for the Third Reich: "The letters supporting Traub to lead Plum Island came in from fellow Plum Island founders. 'I hope that every effort will be made to get him. He has had long and productive experience in both prewar and postwar Germany,' said Dr. William Hagan, dean of the Cornell University veterinary school, carefully dispensing with his wartime activities. The final word came from his dear American friend and old Rockefeller Institute boss Dr. Richard Shope, who described Traub as 'careful, skill, productive and very original' and 'one of this world's most outstanding virologists.' Shope's sole reference to Traub at war: 'During the war he was in Germany serving in the German Army.'" (Idem.)

9. Traub declined the offer to lead the lab. There is considerable evidence that he was involved with biological warfare research at Plum Island. "Declining the USDA's offer, Traub continued his directorship of the Tubingen laboratory in West Germany, though he visited Plum Island frequently. In 1960, he was forced to resign as Tubingen's director under a dark cloud of financial embezzlement. Traub continued sporadic lab research for another three years, and then left Tubingen for good--a scandalous end to a checkered career. In the late 1970's, the esteemed virologist Dr. Robert Shope, on business in Munich, paid his father Richard's old Rockefeller Institute disciple a visit. The germ warrior had been in early retirement for about a decade by then. 'I had dinner with Traub one day-out of old time's sake-and he was a pretty defeated man by then.' On May 18, 1985, the Nazis' virus warrior Dr. Erich Traub died unexpectedly in his sleep in West Germany. He was seventy-eight years old." (Ibid.; pp. 10-11.)

10. "A biological warfare mercenary who worked under three flags-Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, and the UnitedStates-Traub was never investigated for war crimes. He escaped any inquiry into his wartime past. The full extent of his sordid endeavors went with him to his grave. While America brought a handful of Nazi war criminals to justice, it safeguarded many others in exchange for verses to the new state religion-modern science and espionage. Records detailing a fraction of Eric Traub's activities are now available to the public, but most are withheld by Army intelligence and the CIA on grounds of national security. But there's enough of a glimpse to draw quite a sketch." (Ibid.; p. 11.)

11. An important chapter in the story of how the inquiry into the possible link between Plum Island, Erich Traub's work on behalf of the US and the spread of Lyme Disease concerns the work of former Justice Department prosecutor John Loftus. In his book The Belarus Secret, Loftus referred to work done on Plum Island in the early 1950's in which Nazi scientists were experimenting on diseased ticks. Might that have referred to Traub?! " . . . Attorney John Loftus was hired in 1979 by the Office of Special Investigations, a unit set up by the Justice Department to expose Nazi war crimes and unearth Nazis hiding in the United States. Given top-secret clearance to review files that had been sealed for thirty-five years, Loftus found a treasure trove of information on America's postwar Nazi recruiting. In 1982, publicly challenging the government's complacency with the wrongdoing, he told 60 minutes that top Nazi officers had been protected and harbored in America by the CIA and the State Department. 'They got the Emmy Award,' Loftus wrote. 'My family got the death threats.'" (Ibid.; p. 13.)

12. "Old spies reached out to him after the publication of his book, The Belarus Secret, encouraged that he-unlike other authors-submitted his manuscript to the government, agreeing to censor portions to protect national security. The spooks gave him copies of secret documents and told him stories of clandestine operations. From these leads, Loftus ferreted out the dubious Nazi past of Austrian president and U.N. secretary general Kurt Waldheim. Loftus revealed that during World War II, Waldheim had been an officer in a German Army unit that committed atrocities in Yugoslavia. A disgraced Kurt Waldheim faded from the international scene soon thereafter." (Idem.)

13. "In the preface of The Belarus Secret, Loftus laid out a striking piece of information gleaned from his spy network: 'Even more disturbing are the records of the Nazi germ warfare scientists who came to America. They experimented with poison ticks dropped from planes to spread rare diseases. I have received some information suggesting that the U.S. tested some of these poison ticks on the Plum Island artillery range off the coast of Connecticut during the early 1950's. . . .Most of the germ warfare records have been shredded, but there is a top secret U.S. document confirming that 'clandestine attacks on crops and animals' took place at this time." (Idem.)

14. More pieces of evidence on the tantalizing trail of evidence pointing to a possible Plum Island/Traub/Lyme disease link: "Erich Traub had been working for the American biological warfare program from his 1949 Soviet escape until 1953. We know he consulted with Fort Dietrick scientists and CIA operatives; that he worked for the USDA for a brief stint; and that he spoke regularly with Plum Island director Doc Shahan in 1952. Traub can be physically placed on Plum Island at least three times-on dedication day in 1956 and two visits, once in 1957 and again in the spring of 1958. Shahan, who enforced an ultrastrict policy against outside visitors, each time received special clearance from the State Department to allow Traub on Plum Island soil." (Ibid.; p. 14.)

15. If in fact Traub was involved with research on Plum Island, this development would have been consistent with programs being conducted at that time involving experimentation on unwitting American citizens with biological and chemical warfare research agents: "Research unearthed three USDA files from the vault of the National Archives-two were labeled TICK RESEARCH and a third E.TRAUB. All three folders were empty. The caked-on dust confirms the file boxes hadn't been open since the moment before they were taped shut in the 1950's. Preposterous as it sounds, clandestine outdoor germ warfare trials were almost routine during this period. In 1952, the Joint Chiefs of Staff called for a 'vigorous, well-planned, large-scale [biological warfare] test to the secretary of defense later that year stated, 'Steps should be take to make certain of adequate facilities are available, including those at Fort Detrick, Dugway Proving Ground, Fort Terry (Plum Island) and an island field testing area.' Was Plum Island the island field testing area? Indeed, when the Army first scouted Plum Island for its Cold War designs, they charted wind speeds and direction and found that, much to their liking, the prevailing winds blew out to sea." (Idem.)

16. "One of the participating 'interested agencies' was the USDA, which admittedly set up large plots of land throughout the Midwest for airborne anticrop germ spray tests. Fort Detrick's Special Operations Division ran 'vulnerability tests' in which operatives walked around Washington, D.C., and San Francisco with suitcases holding Serratia marcescens-a bacteria recommended to Fort Detrick by Traub's nominal supervisor, Nazi germ czar and Nuremberg defendant Dr. Kurt Blome. Tiny perforations allowed the germs' release so they could trace the flow of the germs through airports and bus terminals. Shortly thereafter, eleven elderly men and women checked into hospitals with never-before-seen Serratia marcescens infections. One patient died. Decades later when the germ tests were disclosed, the Army denied responsibility. . . . In the summer of 1966, Special Operations men walked into three New York City subway stations and tossed lightbulbs filled Bacillus subtilis, a benign bacteria, onto the tracks. The subway trains pushed the germs through the entire system and theoretically killed over a million passengers." (Idem.)

17. "Tests were also run with live, virulent, anti-animal germ agents. Two hog-cholera bombs were exploded at an altitude of 1,500 feet over pigpens set up at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. And turkey feathers laced with Newcastle disease virus were dropped on animals grazing on a University of Wisconsin farm." (Ibid.; p. 15.)

18. "The Army never fully withdrew its germ warfare efforts against food animals. Two years after the Army gave Plum Island to the USDA-and three years after it told President Eisenhower it had ended all biological warfare against food animals-the Joint Chiefs advised that 'research on anti-animal agent-munition combinations should' continue, as well as 'field testing of anti-food agent munition combinations. . . .' In November 1957, military intelligence examined the elimination of the food supply of the Sino-Soviet Bloc, right down to the calories required for victory: 'In order to have a crippling effect on the economy of the USSR, the food and animal crop resources of the USSR would have to be damaged within a single growing season to the extent necessary to reduce the present average daily caloric intake from 2,800 calories to 1,400 calories; i.e., the starvation level. Reduction of food resources to this level, if maintained for twelve months, would produce 20 percent fatalities, and would decrease manual labor performance by 95 percent and clerical and light labor performance by 80 percent.' At least six outdoor stockyard tests occurred in 1964-65. Simulants were sprayed into stockyards in Fort Worth, Kansas City, St. Paul, Sioux Falls, and Omaha in tests determining how much foot-and-mouth disease virus would be required to destroy the food supply." (Idem.)

19. "Had the Army commandeered Plum Island for an outdoor trial? Maybe the USDA lent a hand with the trial, as it had done out west by furnishing the large test fields. After all, the Plum Island agreement between the Army and the USDA allowed the Army to borrow the island from the USDA when necessary and in the national interest." (Idem.)

20. A former employee at Plum Island in the 1950's has personal recollection of a "Nazi scientist" releasing ticks outdoors on Plum Island. "Traub might have monitored the tests. A source who worked on Plum Island in the 1950's recalls that animal handlers and a scientist released ticks outdoors on the island. 'They called him the Nazi scientist, when they came in, in 1951-they were inoculating these ticks,' and a picture he once saw 'shows the animal handler pointing to the area on Plum where they released the ticks.' Dr. Traub's World War II handiwork consisted of aerial virus sprays developed on Insel Riems and tested over occupied Russia, and of field work for Heinrich Himmler in Turkey. Indeed, his colleagues conducted bug trials by dropping live beetles from planes. An outdoor tick trial would have been de rigueur for Erich Traub." (Ibid.; pp. 15-16.)

21. Next, the program sets forth the case of Steve Nostrum-an early Lyme Disease victim whose reading of Loftus' book spurred him to begin inquiring about the Plum Island/Traub connection. "Somebody gave Steve Nostrum a copy of John Loftus's The Belarus Secret at one of his support group meetings. Steve had long suspected that Plum Island played a role in the evolution of Lyme disease, given the nature of its business and its proximity to Old Lyme, Connecticut. But he never publicly voiced the hunch, fearing a loss of credibility; hard facts and statistics earned him a reputation as a leader in the Lyme disease field. Now in his hands, he had a book written by a Justice Department attorney who not only had appeared on 60 Minutes but also had brought down the secretary general of the United Nations. Nostrum disclosed the possible Plum-Lyme connection on his own television show. He invited local news reporter and Plum Island ombudsman Karl Grossman to help him explore the possibilities in light of the island's biological mishaps. Asked why he wrote about Loftus's book in his weekly newspaper column, Grossman says, 'To let the theory rise or fall. To let the public consider it. And it seemed to me that the author was a Nazi hunter and a reputable attorney-this was not trivial information provided [and it was provided] by some reliable person.'" (Idem.)

22. "In October 1995, Nostrum, fresh off nursing duty (having earned an RN degree to help Lyme disease patients), rushed to a rare public meeting held by the USDA. In a white nurse's coat, stethoscope still around his neck, Nostrum rose. Trembling, his blond beard now streaked with gray, he clutched his copy of The Belarus Secret as he read the damning passage out loud for the USDA and the public to hear. 'I don't know whether this is true,' he said, looking at the dais. 'If it is true, there must be an investigation-if it's not true, then John Loftus needs to be prosecuted.' People in the audience clapped, and some were astonished. A few gawked, thinking he was nuts. How did the official USDA officials react? 'If stares could kill, I would have been dead,' remembers Nostrum." (Idem.)

23. "Hiding behind the same aloof veil of secrecy they had employed for decades, the USDA brazenly cut him off. 'There are those who think that little green men are hiding out there,' the officials responded to Nostrum. 'But trust us when we say there are no space aliens and no five-legged cows.' A few laughs erupted in the crowd. 'It did nothing but detract from what I was saying,' says Nostrum. 'But I said it, and I had the documentation to support it.'" (Idem.)

24. The author speculates about the deer and birds that visited Plum Island, and the possibility that some of the infected ticks may well have traveled to the mainland from the island on those vectors. (Carroll explains that white-tailed deer regularly swim the two miles to the island to forage and migrating birds stop on Plum Island on their way North and South during their annual migrations.) " . . . If Dr. Traub continued his outdoor germ experiments with the Army and experimented with ticks outdoors, the ticks would have made contact with mice, deer, and more than 140 species of wild birds known to frequent and nest on Plum Island. The birds spread their toxic cargo to resting and nesting perches atop the great elms and oaks of Old Lyme and elsewhere, just like they spread the West Nile virus throughout the United States." (Ibid.; p. 21.)

25. After noting that allegations of the discovery of Bb (the bacterium that causes Lyme Disease) in the late 1940's coincides with Traub's arrival on the island, the broadcast sets forth the denials by a USDA spokesperson that there was any BW/Traub/Plum Island link to the spread of the Lyme infection. Note that Scientific American dismissed the possibility of a "Nazi scientist" link to Plum Island. In FTR#240-part of the long FTR series about "German Corporate Control over American Media"--it was noted that the Von Holtzbrinck firm controls that magazine. Like its larger competitor Bertelsmann, the Von Holtzbrinck firm is rooted firmly in the Third Reich. In FTR#226, we examined the Nazi heritage of Von Holtzbrinck and the possibility that they may employed the notorious SS officer and Goebbels protégé Werner Naumann. The possibility that the Von Holtzbrinck/Scientific American link may have had something to do with the magazine's casual dismissal of the Traub/Plum/Lyme link is not one to be too readily dismissed. "Researchers trying to prove that Lyme disease existed before 1975 claim to have isolated Bb [the bacterium that causes the infection] in ticks collected on nearby Shelter Island and Long Island in the late 1940's. That timing coincides with both Erich Traub's arrival in the United States on Project PAPERCLIP and the Army's selection of Plum Island as its offshore biological warfare laboratory. The USDA's spokesperson, Sandy Miller Hays, is unconvinced about the possibility of a link between Lyme disease and Plum Island: . . . A PR expert, Hays had Scientific American eating out of her hand in June 2000, when they reported her as saying, ' 'We still get asked about the Nazi scientists,' . . . [with] the slightest trace of weariness creeping into her voice.' In their feature story on Plum Island, the prestigious magazine dubbed the intrigue surrounding the island as a 'fanciful fictional tapestry.'" (Ibid.; pp. 21-22.)

26. The program concludes with examination of Plum Island's work with the "Lone Star Tick"-native to Texas. The focal point of experimentation on Plum Island in the 1970's, the Lone Star tick-like Lyme Disease--is now spread throughout New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. How did that happen? " . . . The lab chief [Dr. Charles Mebus] failed to mention that Plum Island also worked on 'hard ticks,' a crucial distinction. A long overlooked document, obtained from the files of an investigation by the office of former Long Island Congressman Thomas Downey, sheds new light on the second, more damning connection to Lyme disease. A USDA 1978 internal research document titled 'African Swine Fever' notes that in 1975 and 1976, contemporaneous with the strange outbreak in Old Lyme, Connecticut, 'the adult and nymphal stages of Abylomma americanum and Abylomma cajunense were found to be incapable of harboring and transmitting African swine fever virus.' In laymen's terms, Plum Island was experimenting with the Lone Star tick and the Cayenne tick-feeding them on viruses and testing them on pigs-during the ground zero year of Lyme disease. They did not transmit African swine fever to pigs, said the document, but they might have transmitted Bb to researchers or to the island's vectors. The Lone Star tick, named after the white star on the back of the female, is a hard tick; along with its cousin, the deer tick, it is a culprit in the spread of Lyme disease. Interestingly, at that time, the Lone Star tick's habitat was confined to Texas. Today, however, it is endemic throughout New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey. And no one can really explain how it migrated all the way from Texas. . . ." (Ibid.; pp. 24-25.)

"Ye shall know them by their fruits"
~ Matthew 7:16

"Believe nothing. No matter where you read it, or who said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
~ Buddha
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