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Humans Used for Radiation Experiments: A Shameful Chapter in US History
[...] The military even dumped radiation from planes and spread it across wide areas around and downwind of Oak Ridge, Tenn., Los Alamos, NM, and Dugway, Utah. This “systematic radiation warfare program,” conducted between 1944 and 1961, was kept secret for decades.
“Radiation bombs” thrown from USAF planes intentionally spread radiation “unknown distances” endangering the young and old alike. One such experiment doused Utah with 60 times more radiation than escaped the Three Mile Island accident, according to Sen. John Glenn, D-Ohio, who released a report on the program 20 years ago. [...]
EXPOSE REVISITED - This year marks the 20th anniversary of the declassification of top-secret studies, the “Human Radiation Experiments,” done over a period of 30 years, in which the US conducted radiation experiments on as many as 20,000 vulnerable US citizens.
Victims included civilians, prison inmates, federal workers, hospital patients, pregnant women, infants, developmentally disabled children and military personnel — most of them powerless, poor, sick, elderly or terminally ill. Eileen Welsome’s 1999 exposé The Plutonium Files: America’s Secret Medical Experiments in the Cold War details “the unspeakable scientific trials that reduced thousands of men, women, and even children to nameless specimens.”
An April 17, 1947 memo by Col OG Haywood of the Army Corps of Engineers, reported by The Washington Post on Dec. 16, 1994, explained why the studies were classified: “It is desired that no document be released which refers to experiments with humans and might have adverse effect on public opinion or result in legal suits.”
In one Vanderbilt University study, 829 pregnant women were unknowingly fed radioactive iron. In another, 188 children were given radioactive iron-laced lemonade. Detailed by a 1986 report of the Subcommittee on Energy Conservation and Power, from 1963 to 1971, 67 inmates in Oregon and 64 prisoners in Washington had their testicles targeted with X-rays to see what doses made them sterile.
She received a Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting in 1994 while a reporter for The Albuquerque Tribune for a 3-part story titled "The Plutonium Experiment" published beginning on November 15, 1993.
She was awarded the prize for her articles about the government's human radiation experiments conducted on unwilling and unknowing Americans during the Cold War.
Welsome also has been honored by the National Headliners Association and the Associated Press and has received many awards for her writing.
In 1999, Welsome wrote the book The Plutonium Files: America's Secret Medical Experiments in the Cold War. In 2000, Welsome received the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for First Nonfiction for The Plutonium Files.
Deception, Cover-up and Murder in the Nuclear Age