The CIA intentionally dosed a French village with LSD as part of a top-secret mind control experiment according to documents released under FOIA.
When the inhabitants of the quaint village known as Pont-Saint-Esprit in southeastern France experienced hallucinations and what can only be described as mass insanity back in 1951, the flour at a local bakery was blamed. However, a writer who was researching a book found evidence that it was actually an intentional mind control experiment carried out by the CIA.
In what is known locally as the “Mystery of the Cursed Bread,” local people were suddenly gripped by frightening hallucinations involving snakes, dragons and fire on August 16, 1951. Five people died and dozens of people were committed to asylums, with hundreds being left with some degree of madness after the incident. People were delirious, with Time magazine reporting at the time that some believed their heads were turning to molten lead or that flowers were blooming from their bodies.
A local postman at the time, Leon Armunier, was doing his rounds in the town of Pont-Saint-Esprit when he was suddenly overcome by a feeling of nausea and wild hallucinations.
He recalls being put in a straitjacket and sharing a room with three teenagers who had been chained to their beds to keep them under control.
“Some of my friends tried to get out of the window. They were thrashing wildly… screaming, and the sound of the metal beds and the jumping up and down… the noise was terrible.
“I’d prefer to die rather than go through that again,” Armunier said.
According to H.P. Albarelli Jr., who published a book about the experiment, the incident had nothing to do with ergot contaminated bread, and instead, was part of a top-secret mind control experiment conducted by the CIA.
Albarelli’s findings are based upon a CIA documents he uncovered while investigating the incident entitled:
“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.”
The Telegraph reports:
Mr Albarelli came across CIA documents while investigating the suspicious suicide of Frank Olson, a biochemist working for the SOD who fell from a 13th floor window two years after the Cursed Bread incident. One note transcribes a conversation between a CIA agent and a Sandoz official who mentions the “secret of Pont-Saint-Esprit” and explains that it was not “at all” caused by mould but by diethylamide, the D in LSD.
Further research revealed that F. Olson, according to the BBC, was Frank Olson – a scientist that had spearheaded research into LSD for the CIA, while Belin was a reference to David Belin, who was executive director of the Rockefeller Commission created by the White House in 1975 to investigate abuses carried out worldwide by the CIA.
The Pont-Saint-Esprit and F. Olson Files, mentioned in the document, would show – if they had not been “buried” – that the CIA was experimenting on the townspeople, by dosing them with LSD, according to Albarelli.
According to a BBC report:
It is well known that biological warfare scientists around the world, including some in Britain, were experimenting with LSD in the early 1950s – a time of conflict in Korea and an escalation of Cold War tensions.
Albarelli says he has found a top secret report issued in 1949 by the research director of the Edgewood Arsenal, where many US government LSD experiments were carried out, which states that the army should do everything possible to launch “field experiments” using the drug.
Using Freedom of Information legislation, he also got hold of another CIA report from 1954.
In it an agent reported his conversation with a representative of the Sandoz Chemical company in Switzerland.
Sandoz’s base, which is just a few hundred kilometres from Pont-Saint-Esprit, was the only place where LSD was being produced at that time.
The agent reports that after several drinks, the Sandoz representative abruptly stated: “The Pont-Saint-Esprit ‘secret’ is that it was not the bread at all… It was not grain ergot.”
In his book “A Terrible Mistake: The Murder of Frank Olson and the CIA’s Secret Cold War Experiments,”Albarelli explains that he had spoken to the former coworkers of Frank Olson who had told him that the Pont-Saint-Esprit incident was just a part of a variety of mind control experiments that had been carried out by the CIA.
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One mystery that remains, according to Albarelli, is whether French authorities were aware of the actual cause of the incident.
Whether the French government was aware or not, those affected by the CIA experiment have a right to know what actually happened, and why they were used as test subjects for an experiment of this nature — without consent.
Writer unearthed documents pointing to LSD experiment
Albarelli reached this shocking conclusion while looking into the suicide of a biochemist who had been in charge of LSD research for the CIA, Frank Olson. Olson jumped from a 13th-floor window just two years after the incident.
The writer found CIA documents that aroused his suspicion bearing the ominous title: “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.”
Belin is a reference to the then-executive director of the Rockefeller Commission, David Belin. The commission was created by the White House to look into worldwide abuses carried out by the CIA.
The only place LSD was being produced at that time was at the Sandoz Chemical Company, whose Switzerland base is just a few hundred kilometers away from Pont-Saint-Esprit.
One of the documents he discovered was a report from a CIA agent who said that a Sandoz representative said to him: “The Pont-Saint-Esprit ‘secret’ is that it was not the bread at all… It was not grain ergot.”
According to the Telegraph, two former colleagues of Olson admitted to Albarelli that the Pont-Saint-Esprit incident had been part of a mind control experiment that the CIA and U.S. Army was running. It is not known whether the French secret service was aware of the operation.
Albarelli also said that more than 5,700 American servicemen had been drugged by the U.S. Army between 1953 and 1965 as part of its research into using LSD as a weapon. LSD was the subject of widespread experiments during the early 1950s as the Korea conflict took place and Cold War tensions escalated.
This is just one of many cases where people have been used as test subjects for experiments without their knowledge. It’s not surprising that the agencies involved are keeping mum about it, and it looks like those who were affected, like so many other victims of mass human experiments, may never know what really happened.