The Plum Island Animal Disease Center is a federal research facility located two miles off the coast of Long Island in New York. It claims to be dedicated to the research of animal diseases; however, at one point it has been home to Swine Flu, Rift Valley Fever, Anthrax, Mad Cow Disease, Lyme Disease, Foot-and Mouth Disease, and West Nile Virus. The land on which Plum Island sits was originally purchased during the Spanish American War for the construction of Fort Terry.
In 1954, Mexico and Canada began experiencing mass outbreaks of Foot-and-Mouth Disease in cattle. In response to the outbreak, the Army simply gave Plum Island to the Agriculture Department for the express purpose of establishing a research site to study Foot-and-Mouth Disease. Oddly enough, this was the exact time that the Plum Island facility requested a $75 million dollar upgrade to make “the facility to a bio-level 4 status” for the express purpose of biowarfare research.
From its beginning, the Plum Island Animal Disease Center was shrouded in secrecy. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly who commissioned the work or who was running the show. However, it has been proven that in the 1950’s, President Truman okayed the US Government’s recruitment of high-ranking Nazi scientists to head up the project on Plum Island. These men of the Third Reich were offered a swift ticket out of Germany and then ushered into the US. One such Nazi was a man named Erich Traub whose specialty in Hitler’s army was germ warfare, specifically research using the common tick as a weapon to transfer deadly diseases.
At the beginning of the Cold War, the US and the Soviet Union were both looking for ways to destroy each other. They were looking for new ideas and it was time to play dirty. In November 1957, U.S. military intelligence explored the possibility of eliminating of the food supply of the Soviet Union by destroying all their farm animals. Enter Erich Traub. The US military believed Traub’s work with germ warfare could provide them with the ultimate weapon. The theory was simple; the ticks could be used to transmit deadly disease to the USSR in a very effective and undetected manner. Traub would simply inject the ticks with the lethal pathogen of choice, attach large numbers of infected ticks to birds or other animals, and then Viola! An instant Russian pandemic could be delivered right to the front door of the Kremlin. The Joint Chiefs of Staff liked the idea so much that they authorized this project along with other germ warfare research in 1952.
Fast forward to1975. A mystery illness broke out just a short distance away from Plum Island in the town of Old Lyme, CT. It was a sickness that the medical community had never seen before. This mystery illness was given a name…Lyme Disease. Once cases began popping up all over the Northeast, some serious medical research was done in an effort to find out what caused Lyme Disease. Officials quickly determined that Lyme Disease could only be caused by one thing: deer ticks. Sound a little too coincidental?
A former Nazi scientist gets his one way ticket to the US in the 1950’s, he’s put in charge of a multi-million dollar biowarfare research facility, is asked by our own government to create the ultimate biological weapon using ticks to deliver and spread disease, and then a mass illness caused by ticks breaks out in a rural Connecticut town that’s just miles away from Plum Island. In the 1980’s, even more questions came to light when researchers discovered traces of borrelia (the infectious and deadly bacteria of Lyme Disease) in preserved insect and animal samples found on neighboring Shelter Island and Long Island. The samples dated back to the precise time that Erich Traub was infecting ticks at the Plum Island lab. This was proof that the ticks infected in the island’s lab had not been contained to the island. Sensing the tension, the government did what they always do when they’re trying to cover their tracks…deny, deny, deny.
In the coming years, several people began to speak out about the disturbing tests that were being conducted on Plum Island. James McKoy was employed as a maintenance worker on the island repeatedly complained about the poor security of the labs. He claimed that in December of 2002 the island suffered from a power outage in the labs. The emergency generators failed to kick in and, according to McKoy, workers spent hours attempting to seal the doors of the lab with duct tape. You read that right. Duct Tape. Nothing stops life-threatening germs like duct tape. McKoy was fired after speaking out to the public.
In 2008 and 2009, things got worse for the island’s reputation as creatures began to wash ashore at Mantauk in Long Island. The carcasses were leathery, had stick-like clawed fingers, hair in patches, elongated misshapen heads, and stunk like crazy. Officials of Plum Island quickly denied the bodies came from their labs. However, the creatures were scooped up by unknown agents, never to be seen again. But wait, it gets better. Police were called out to the island in 2010 because maintenance workers dialed 911 after finding a mutated body on the shore.
You read that right, too. A mutated body! According to police reports, the body had very elongated fingers, webbed digits in some areas, and five holes had been drilled into the skull. Suffolk County Police reported the body to be a white male, but changed their report the very next day to say the body was that of a black male. Shouldn’t be a hard task to determine if a body is of Caucasian or African descent, right? Again, the Men in Black scooped up this mystery body and no one has laid eyes on it since.
Officials continue to deny that Plum Island poses danger to Americans, be it from germ warfare or mutant experiments. However, if there is no risk to the American public, how did Lyme Disease mysteriously infect citizens in a tiny town that happened to be down-wind from Plum Island? If there are quantities of lethal germs being stored within the labs of Plum Island, exactly what do they plan to do with them and why? Do they plan to use them on unsuspecting American citizens?
What kind of genetic science projects have they been involved in? Animal diseases do not produce a mutating effect on human bodies, nor do they create massive genetic changes in animals. What’s even more frightening than all of the information that we do know about Plum Island…is the information that we don’t know.
Written by Nikki S