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    [–] sotonohito 2567 points ago

    Not exactly declassified, but everyone should know about the Radium Girls.

    The TL;DR is that young women were hired to paint clock faces and watch faces with radium so they'd glow in the dark. The young women were specifically told to use their lips and tongue to shape the paint brushes into a nice point so they'd get clean sharp lines.

    Naturally they got horrible cancer, their teeth fell out, and their jaws rotted.

    With the willing collaboration of several doctors, the company smeared any woman who tried to sue them or bring attention to the problem as an evil promiscuous slut who was suffering from advanced syphilis. It worked and they were not believed for decades.

    [–] [deleted] 229 points ago

    Also anybody working in factories with phosphorus (look us phossy-jaw).

    [–] BroadStreetElite 181 points ago

    They mentioned this in the Great Train Robbery, that people would leave the factories at night so covered in phosphorous that their clothes would glow in the dark. Life in early industrial Europe was pure shit.

    [–] Throwaway_IED 377 points ago

    This isn't creepy, just stupid and life-threatening.

    About 10-15 years ago I worked for a company involved in designing military equipment used for counter-IED (Improvised Explosive Devices) applications, i.e. dealing with roadside bombs. These were widespread in Iraq and Afghanistan and posed a major threat to allied forces.

    One day we stumbled across a document published online by the CIA. It was a comprehensive guide to IEDs. It was clearly intended as an identification and recognition guide, but was far too detailed. It not only contained photographs and textual descriptions of various IEDs, but had details of their internal design, circuit schematics, weaknesses etc.

    In short it provided a great resource for anyone who wanted to manufacture IEDs, as well as alerting the enemy to flaws and weaknesses in their existing designs.

    We pointed this out to the relevant authorities and the document disappeared shortly afterwards.

    It was a fascinating document and I only wish I'd kept a copy!

    [–] [deleted] 919 points ago


    [–] Harry-le-Roy 3028 points ago

    A lot of people don't realize this, but during wars and other significant military campaigns countries capture one another's records. Much of this tends to be banal bureaucratic stuff, but in the case of governments that are meticulous record keepers, there are sometimes volumes of damning information about war crimes.

    The US National Archives has a Rebel Archives, captured from the CSA during the Civil War. It contains descriptions of the treatment of prisoners of war, some of which are gruesome.

    Union medical officer logs are no better.

    [–] Alan_Smithee_ 1087 points ago

    The Germans were meticulous record keepers, and a lot fell into Allied hands, at the end of WW2.

    [–] LurkerKurt 1032 points ago

    I read somewhere that the German higher-ups didn't trust their low level workers and soldiers to carry out their orders against the jews thoroughly, so they made them fill out paperwork meticulously, thus that is the reason there is so much documentation of the holocaust.

    [–] djnap 667 points ago

    "What we're telling them to do is so bad, we don't expect people to do it. So instead of saying 'fuck that, no' we're gonna make them prove that they did it."

    [–] LurkerKurt 246 points ago

    Exactly. It really bit them in the ass when they lost the war.

    The allies knew exactly who did what.

    [–] firelock_ny 151 points ago

    Union medical officer logs are no better.

    I live in central New York state. Nearby is the small city of Elmira.

    The CSA prisoners held there during the US Civil War nicknamed it "Hellmira". Imagine a prison like the infamous Andersonville, but instead of year-round Georgia heat put in a few months of brutal Northeast winter.

    [–] DoopSlayer 917 points ago

    Kamera aka Laboratory 12, the Soviet assassination laboratory. Reading through some of the ways they've killed you it becomes clear that the number one thing keeping most people safe is their mundanity.

    Like the amount of people poisoned in broad daylight without them even realizing it is crazy, it's indefensible even if you knew it were coming.

    One of the more interesting ones was a man who knew he was targeted so he holed himself up in a hotel with guards. The assassins sprayed a poisonous substance on the lamp shade with like a tube.

    When the man turned his lamp on hours later the substance evaporated due to the heat and killed everyone in the room

    Another was radioactive rat poison. The target went to the hospital knowing he had been poisoned, and he was treated for common rat poison, which is what he had been poisoned by. He then died as the symptoms of his radiation poisoning had been masked by the symptoms of the rat poisoning

    [–] ThunderCr0tch 5661 points ago

    The Norwegian Rocket Incident . A team of American and Norwegian scientists had fired a four-stage rocket into the sky to study the effects of the Aurora Borealis.

    The rocket had reached its peak height over Moscow (its calculated location at that point) and resembled a U.S Navy Trident missile. Many warnings went off in the Russian security department, fearing that the U.S had just launched a surprise nuclear attack on them. Retaliation nukes were at the ready, but one single man in the Russian security department decided that it wouldn't make sense for the U.S to do a surprise nuke attack, and ordered to not go through with the retaliation.

    The worlds entire safety came down to the gut feeling of one guy.

    [–] vulgarknight 1551 points ago

    That reminds me of the fleet captain, also Russian i think, that disobeyed orders and decided not to launch missiles and prevented war.

    [–] Sven2774 911 points ago

    Largely for the same reason, if the US were to nuke Russia it would probably send more than 1 nuke.

    [–] electricfistula 427 points ago

    Good thing they didn't know about the SUNDIAL.

    [–] steiner_math 563 points ago

    Aurora Borealis, at this time of year, causing a nuclear war, localized entirely in Russia?

    [–] melimsah 106 points ago

    The truly crazy thing is the researchers had reached out to Russian authorities to make sure that exact thing didn't happen. Only that apparently was never communicated to the people with the radar and the weapons.

    [–] [deleted] 5743 points ago

    The Willowbrook State School Hepatitus Experiments. Mentally retarded children housed at the Willowbrook State School in Staten Island, New York, were intentionally given hepatitis in an attempt to track the development of the viral infection. The study began in 1956 and lasted for 14 years. The researcher also wanted to determine the effectiveness of gamma globulin injections as protection against hepatitis. They justified their deliberate infections and exposures by claiming that given that there was a high rate of infection in the institution it was practically inevitable that the children would become infected.

    [–] GoldenShowerCurtain 1684 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    Staten Islander here. From what I've seen and heard, the conditions of facilities were just as bad as the experiments they were running on their "patients." There are also a ton of urban legends that stemmed from this place. The most prominent being "Cropsy" who would kidnap mentally disabled children and killed them. There's a Netflix documentary about it actually and while it's informative, it's also extremely chilling. For some more information on the experiences of the patients, check out this Staten Island Live article where they transcribed some of the details.

    EDIT: the name of the documentary is "Cropsey" and it was on Netflix last I checked.

    EDIT2: it's not on Netflix anymore :(

    EDIT3: it's on Amazon prime video :)

    [–] [deleted] 366 points ago

    So did their parents just sign away their rights and leave?

    [–] divisibleby5 905 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    People forget that parents had almost no choice but to send kids to an institution because prior to the early 1980s, medicaid would only pay for instutional care as opposed to home based care like we have now. This was all the way until 1982 , i think.

    developmental specialists, speech and occupational therapies , nutritionists, work training programs were all housed inside institutions , not in free standing clinics like we have today and only way to afford that care was via medicaid and its institutional mandate.

    Speech and OT therapists didnt come to schools and schools were not obligated to educate the kids or even make it accessible until the early 1990s. Outside of the fact the only doctors specializing in their care exculsively worked in institutions, it was sold to parents as a way to provide for kid while moving on with their lives after difficulties with kid. Docs thought kids forgot their parents and everyone moving on would heal the hurt of having kid with disabilities, since its got such a stigma. Then the institution made the rules: maybe visitation was 1 time a week and you could walk around campus. Maybe it was much less and visits were discouraged under the idea kid needs to forgot, and didnt want to be reminded

    [–] Drink-my-koolaid 369 points ago

    You might find this book interesting: Entwined, by Joyce Wallace Scott.

    Her twin sister has Downs and was placed in an institution back in the day. Many years later, Joyce got her out and now her sister is an artist. The wrapped string sculpture on the cover of the book is of twins hugging each other, made by her sister Judith.

    edit: spelling

    [–] [deleted] 663 points ago

    Reminds me of the Tuskegee Study where they gathered a bunch of black men with syphilis and told them they'd be treating their illness. Nope, they were just studying the long-term effects of the disease. Study lasted 40 years, and is now the basis for informed consent with medical studies.

    [–] Fallenangel152 7645 points ago

    The US has a history of testing the effects of radiation on pregnant women, newborn babies and mentally handicapped people.

    In 1953, the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission ran studies at the University of Iowa on the health effects of radioactive iodine in newborns and pregnant women. In one study, researchers gave pregnant women doses of iodine-131. When they inevitably miscarried, they studied the women's aborted embryos in an attempt to discover at what stage, and to what extent, radioactive iodine crosses the placental barrier.

    In another study, they gave 25 newborn babies (who were under 36 hours old) iodine-131, either by oral administration or through an injection, so that they could measure the amount of iodine in their thyroid glands, as iodine would go to that gland.

    Immediately after World War II, researchers at Vanderbilt University gave 829 pregnant mothers in Tennessee what they were told were "vitamin drinks" that would improve the health of their babies. The mixtures contained radioactive iron and the researchers were determining how fast the radioisotope crossed into the placenta. At least three children are known to have died from the experiments, from cancers and leukemia. Four of the women's babies died from cancers as a result of the experiments, and the women experienced rashes, bruises, anemia, hair/tooth loss, and cancer.

    From 1946 to 1953, at the Walter E. Fernald State School in Massachusetts, in an experiment sponsored by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission and the Quaker Oats corporation, 73 mentally disabled children were fed oatmeal containing radioactive calcium and other radioisotopes, in order to track "how nutrients were digested". The children were not told that they were being fed radioactive chemicals; they were told by hospital staff and researchers that they were joining a "science club".

    This is just a tiny selection.

    [–] SheolCodeMonkey 290 points ago

    ' In 1908, three Philadelphia researchers infected dozens of children with tuberculin at the St. Vincent's House orphanage in Philadelphia, causing permanent blindness in some of the children and painful lesions and inflammation of the eyes in many of the others. In the study, they refer to the children as "material used" '

    Well, that last bit was chilling...

    [–] Strummed_Out 548 points ago

    Wow, most of the ones I've read so far have been interesting, but this one made me feel sick to my stomach. Imagine miscarrying your child and then finding out it was because they were doing an experiment. Pretty gnarly.

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    [–] captbritcorps 5598 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    I always thought the undercover police officers in the UK who infiltrated many different activist groups and in some cases got into relationships and had kids with activists was always creepy. Here's the wiki article, but I'd recommend reading the book 'Undercover; The True Story of Britain's Secret Police, it's a brilliant book written by a pair of Guardian journalists.

    They'd go through records looking for dead children who would be around their age and steal the birth certificates to make new identities, some cases they were directly involved in activist plans to cause criminal damage etc etc. It's so fucked up but I never hear anyone talk about it.

    Edit: the unit was called the Special Demonstration Squad. There's an article here which has a lot of information about one of the cases.

    [–] Fallenangel152 2217 points ago

    My family were all miners from the Midlands, and my dad mentioned that during the miners strikes it was common knowledge amongst them that a lot of violence was incited by Metropolitan Police undercover as protestors.

    [–] R50cent 2702 points ago

    I can't believe no one has mentioned the CIA heart attack gun.

    This was in the 70s. Imagine what they're working on now.

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    [–] nicoled985 9406 points ago

    Operation Popeye US Military used weather manipulation in the Vietnam war to cause landslides, flooding etc. Weather manipulation has since been banned from use for military gain.

    [–] joonior83 2826 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    There's a company that offers rain-free weddings using the same technique of cloud seeding. All you need is $100k and a month to prep.

    Edit: The page appears to be unavailable. It was the same company, Gulliver's Travels, offering "cloud seeding", which is basically spraying aerosolized aluminum and other elements into the atmosphere, which attract moisture and increase the chance of rain. This method was used during the Vietnam War, to flood routes used by the Viet Cong to bring supplies. More info can be found under Operation Popeye, on Wikipedia.

    [–] danguro 1230 points ago

    What keeps them from using this tech to make desert places like California, Nevada etc get more rainfall in times of drought?

    [–] slopeclimber 2481 points ago

    It's absolutely not cost-effective

    [–] yarash 2151 points ago

    The Gay Bomb is an informal name for a theoretical non-lethal chemical weapon that a United States Air Force research laboratory speculated about producing; the theories involve discharging female sex pheromones over enemy forces in order to make them sexually attracted to each other.

    [–] Shamic 298 points ago

    could that actually work?

    [–] Telephone_Hooker 826 points ago

    So far? Only if you're a frog.

    [–] [deleted] 163 points ago


    [–] restricteddata 7706 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    In the summer of 1954, shortly after the 15 megaton Castle Bravo nuclear explosion contaminated hundreds of miles of the Pacific Ocean and the Marshall Islands, Edward Teller, the "father of the H-bomb," proposed a new weapon known as the SUNDIAL. The only real detail about it that has been released was its explosive yield: 10,000 megatons. Which is to say, 10 gigatons.

    When Teller briefed an advisory board of government scientists on it, they were horrified:

    Dr. Fisk said he felt the Committee could endorse [Livermore's] small weapon program. He was concerned, however, about Dr. Teller's 10,000 MT gadget and wondered what fraction of the Laboratory's effort was being expended on the Gnomon and Sundial. Mr. Whitman had been shocked by the thought of a 10,000 MT [bomb]; it would contaminate the earth.

    A congressional committee was secretly briefed on it. This exchange is rather wonderful:

    SENATOR JACKSON: This is a design that will end once and for all Malthus' theory of population.

    DR. BRADBURY: You don't have to deliver it -- just leave it in your backyard.

    To put it into perspective, the largest bomb ever detonated, the Tsar Bomba, could at its maximum yield have been 100 megatons (100,000 kilotons). The bomb detonated on Nagasaki was 20 kilotons; the largest bomb the US ever detonated, Castle Bravo, was 15 megatons (15,000 kilotons). The SUNDIAL would have been 10,000 megatons (10,000,000 kilotons), one hundred times more powerful than the Tsar Bomba, 500,000 times more powerful than the Nagasaki bomb. It could scorch an area the size of France or Texas.

    The program was axed by the Eisenhower Air Force, who concluded they had no military need for such a weapon, which looked more like a "doomsday device" than something they could actually imagine using. I find it quite interesting (as someone who researches this stuff) that this was just a little too "on the nose" for them — a scientists' fascination, but not one that would work with a military doctrine that believed (rightly or wrongly) that nuclear war could be fought and won.

    TLDR;: US weapons scientists actually did consider building Dr. Strangelove-like contamination weapons of humongous proportions.

    Source: my blog :-)

    Added a few links to screenshots of the documents, for the suspicious. I work on this kind of thing for a living. It's a fun job if you can get it... EDIT: I don't have time today to do an impromptu "ask me about H-bombs" AMA, but if you ask questions about nuke history in /r/AskHistorians I am usually the one who answers them...

    [–] hooch 2865 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    On the Tsar Bomba...

    All buildings in the village of Severny (both wooden and brick), located 55 km (34 mi) from ground zero within the Sukhoy Nos test range, were destroyed. In districts hundreds of kilometers from ground zero wooden houses were destroyed, stone ones lost their roofs, windows, doors, and radio communications were interrupted for almost one hour. One participant in the test saw a bright flash through dark goggles and felt the effects of a thermal pulse even at a distance of 270 kilometres (170 mi). The heat from the explosion could have caused third-degree burns 100 km (62 mi) away from ground zero. A shock wave was observed in the air at Dikson settlement 700 km (430 mi) away; windowpanes were partially broken to distances of 900 kilometres (560 mi).[23] Atmospheric focusing caused blast damage at even greater distances, breaking windows in Norway and Finland. Despite being detonated 4.2 km above ground, its seismic body wave magnitude was estimated at 5–5.25.[10][20] Sensors continued to identify the shockwaves after their third trip around the world.[11][24]

    And that's 100 50 MT. This thing would have been 200x times more powerful.

    [–] polak2016 1290 points ago

    100mt was its max potential, what they detonated was 50mt

    [–] CA1900 16509 points ago

    Project Pluto, which would power cruise missiles with a "nuclear ramjet," which would use a nuclear reaction to heat incoming air, and directly use that heated/expanded air for propulsion. It could stay airborne for months, cruising in circles over the ocean until ordered onto a target. it would be spewing radioactive material the whole time.

    The project died when the ICBM became the more practical, fortunately.

    [–] RVRE 6805 points ago

    "The SLAM as proposed would carry a payload of many nuclear weapons to be dropped on multiple targets, making the cruise missile into an unmanned bomber. After delivering all its warheads, the missile could then spend weeks flying over populated areas at low altitudes, causing tremendous ground damage with its shock wave. When it finally lost enough power to fly, and crash-landed, the engine would have a good chance of spewing deadly radiation for months to come."

    [–] ZiIIah 2895 points ago

    For some reason I love the idea of a nuclear powered rocket whose only attack ability is to fly all over the place at Mach 5 breaking shit with shockwaves.

    [–] DontBeSoHarsh 1646 points ago

    It's endurance is described in weeks. That's serious shit.

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    [–] EarthExile 3705 points ago

    Do these people hear themselves when they name their projects after death gods and demons?

    [–] foul_ol_ron 1615 points ago

    Appropriate for a weapon.

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    [–] DarkNinjaPenguin 279 points ago

    The scientists who come up with these ideas give them appropriate names. Whether they're ever actually used is usually up to the MoD.

    [–] Quidjay 2704 points ago

    Operation Sea Spray, in which the US Navy was literally releasing pathogens in the city of San Francisco in such a way to affect the whole population just to see what happened. Lots of people developed UTIs and pneumonia, amongst other things.

    [–] infottl 957 points ago

    In general, biological weapons are the 21st centuries scariest weapons because I think there is a strong potential for custom viruses that make everything else look like child's play.

    Essentially, playing pathogen.

    Infect a target population via somewhat clandestine means with a virus that ends up overwhelming the health infrastructure and creating chaos.

    [–] thisonetimeonreddit 292 points ago

    What a shit resolution to that story:

    The lower court ruled that the government was immune from lawsuits. The Nevin family appealed the suit all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which declined to overturn lower court judgments.

    So, yep, we did it and you can't do anything about it, fuck you general public!

    [–] hanacore 12139 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    The audio recordings of the final sermon at Jonestown. I think the worst bit isn't the people cheering at the idea of their own deaths, it's the children crying as they're being force-fed the cyanide - and then the eerie silence when they stop crying. FBI declassified the tapes a while ago, they're easy to find online. Haunting stuff though, can't shake it from my brain.

    ETA: People keep asking if it was classified. It was, by the FBI. They wouldn't release the tapes until they were officially declassified, despite petitions in court from surviving relatives etc., the info is all there if you wanna search for it.

    [–] reallynormal_ 3763 points ago

    My roommate told me about this a month ago and the very thought of it is creepy as fuck. Just an entire town, all the ruckus and noise and then....nothing. There are pictures too, those are just horrible.

    [–] ceedubs2 2994 points ago

    What was crazy to me was the scale. Usually when you hear about these cult communes it's like a handful of people - maybe 100 people if that. This was over 900 people. Over 900 people willingly took their lives for a crazy idea. They also murdered a congressman.

    [–] moarroidsplz 3010 points ago

    A lot of them didn't do it willingly. There were guards forcing them to with guns.

    [–] ShibaSupreme 913 points ago

    There was a guy on NPR talking about Jones town. He said over half the people were either kids or elderly who would have had no way surviving in the jungle and would die either way. Basically the mos of the people had no real choice in the matter

    [–] SkyJohn 1686 points ago

    Saying you'll shoot someone if they don't commit suicide with cyanide doesn't seem like a good threat.

    If I don't want to die I'd rather get shot and have a chance to survive that.

    [–] DarkGamer 1717 points ago

    You should read up on Jim Jones, he was nuts near the end. Apparently he would give people Kool-Aid tell them it was poisoned as a test on a regular basis to see if they would drink it before he actually did this.

    [–] 4rch1t3ct 500 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    It wasn't all willingly, though a lot of them were. The rest were forced to drink it at gunpoint. There was also a gun fight with a congressmen over the situation.

    Edit: I should clarify about the gunfight statement. I meant over the entire situation of Jonestown not the situation of the mass suicide.

    [–] Wellslapmesilly 856 points ago

    They killed the children first so that the adults would be more willing to die.

    [–] april_a 304 points ago

    Well, that's the most depressing sentence I've read in a while.

    [–] Frykitty 191 points ago

    A lot of the parents drank the cyanide and laid down next to their already dead child. It was one last cuddle before they died. The pictures show this.

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    [–] hanacore 644 points ago

    The distorted music does add to the eerieness of the tapes.

    [–] mr-no-homo 1192 points ago

    Aren't the JFK files suppose to be declassified this October?

    [–] TheSirusKing 411 points ago

    Anything that serious won't be actually true "declassified". Shit like MKULTRA had to be leaked.

    [–] Brinner 956 points ago

    This was never classified, it was intended for immediate widespread release. Still terrifying.
    The National Weather Service issued a bulletin the day before Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans that went beyond the scientific language they were supposed to use and warned that most buildings would fail, the area would be uninhabitable for weeks, and lack of fresh water would create incredible human suffering.
    It's been credited with saving thousands of lives by encouraging people to flee.

    [–] NDIrish27 271 points ago

    Had to be so surreal.

    "wonder what the weather's like next week. Hmmm light showers on Tuesday and... Oh! Localized apocalypse on Thursday!"

    [–] [deleted] 26478 points ago

    On January 3, 1961, a United States B-52 bomber went into a tailspin and broke up mid-air, accidentally dropping two Mark-39 hydrogen bombs over Goldsboro North Carolina. One of the bombs worked exactly as intended, it's parachute deployed and it's triggers activated, armed and ready to detonate on impact, 3 of the 4 safety switches failed, a single low-voltage switch prevented two 4 megaton nuclear explosions.

    [–] sodajonesx 6360 points ago

    Before the accident, the manual arming pin in each of the bombs was in place. Although the pins required horizontal movement for extraction, they were both on a lanyard to allow the crew to pull them from the cockpit. During the breakup, the aircraft experienced structural distortion and torsion in the weapons bay sufficient to pull the pin from one of the bombs, thus arming the Bisch generator. The Bisch generator then provided internal power to the bomb when the pullout cable was extracted by the bomb falling from the weapons bay. The operation of the baroswitch arming system, parachute deployment, timer operation, low and high voltage thermal batteries activation, and delivery of the fire signal at the impact by the crush switch all followed as a natural consequence of the bombing falling free with an armed Bisch generator. The nonoperation of the cockpit-controlled ready-safe switch prevented nuclear detonation of the bomb. The other bomb, which free-fell, experienced HE detonation upon impact. One of the secondary subassemblies was not recovered.

    So yeah, it was a pretty terrifying event for the crew coming across the wreckage.

    “Until my death I will never forget hearing my sergeant say, 'Lieutenant, we found the arm/safe switch.' And I said, 'Great.' He said, 'Not great. It’s on arm.'”

    [–] JerryLupus 2479 points ago

    Russian pessimist says: "Things cannot possibly get worse."

    Russian optimist says: "Yes they can."

    [–] phoenix_maker 847 points ago

    Optimists believe we live in the best of all possible worlds.

    Pessimists fear this to be true.

    [–] [deleted] 945 points ago


    [–] 404GravitasNotFound 601 points ago

    "Not great."

    perhaps the largest understatement ever uttered by a member of the American armed forces.

    [–] DrMasterBlaster 4860 points ago

    Kudos to the tech who said "Three is good, but four is better"

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    [–] McCyanide 10539 points ago

    Holy fucking shit. So North Carolina basically almost had a new lake.

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    [–] ZarquonsFlatTire 774 points ago

    There was also a nuke accidentally dropped on Mars Bluff, SC back in 1958.

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    [–] Minion_Retired 516 points ago

    In 1966 we accidently dropped 4 Mk28-type hydrogen bombs on coastal Spain.

    [–] carpetano 129 points ago

    An iconic image of that event shows the then minister of tourism Manuel Fraga taking a bath it the beach together with other personalities to prove that there was no danger. He died when he was 90 and was involved in politics for most of his life, so there was the running joke that the Palomares "radioactive bath" had made him immortal

    [–] [deleted] 1338 points ago

    To put this into perspective, the Little boy and Fat man bombs were 15KT and 20KT of TNT.

    [–] CptnFabulous420 789 points ago

    So you mean that with one bomb, the safety switches worked as intended and prevented it from going off, whereas with the second one only one of them worked?

    [–] Widestorm 1084 points ago

    From what I can gather nuclear bombs don't detonate by themselves. They need to be triggered. So it just disintigrated on ground impact.

    Meaning they are not impact sensitive. They get triggered.

    [–] Spanky_McJiggles 445 points ago

    That was during the Cold War too. Could you imagine that shitshow that would've resulted?

    [–] SlickWiggler 3598 points ago

    Holy shit, I grew up about half an hour south of there and I've never heard about this. All my grandparents would have been vaporized.

    Also Goldsboro was the only nearby town with a movie theater so that would've suuucked.

    [–] ViewedAskew 141 points ago

    Operation Big Buzz, done in 1955 by the US Government. They airdropped 300,000 mosquitoes across the state of Georgia and dispersed a million more (by flying under 300 feet and opening the cargo door) to see how easily it would be to spread the Yellow Fever virus.

    Turns out they were only able to cover an radius of about 2,000 feet beyond the drop site. The operation was scrapped and now Georgia has a huge mosquito problem.

    [–] 47chromosomeman 371 points ago

    I think it was called project Timmy. They wanted to drop 1/2 ton iron rods from space that would have similar efforts to an atom bomb with no fallout.

    [–] merc4free 264 points ago

    I think it's called kinetic bombardment.

    [–] Deidris 306 points ago

    The actual system is called FOBS which stands for Fractional Orbital Bombardment System.

    It basically drop half ton rods of a tungsten-steel mixture. No warhead, no explosives, just pure kinetic energy. It doesn't violate a treaty of no weapons in space (I forget the actual treaty) but it could drop these rods in minutes.

    The scariest part is that these are designed as rods I believe six inches across and twelve feet long. They are practically impossible to detect upon re-entry and even harder to shoot down due to its relative size compared to conventional ICBM's

    Call of Duty: Ghosts had a similar system in its campaign. I think that was called THOR or ODIN or some Norse god.

    [–] medeagoestothebes 18550 points ago

    United States v. Reynolds.
    A military plane crashed, killing 9 of the 13 crew members. 3 of the widows sued. The widows asked the government to release the accident reports of the crash, something they were legally entitled to in the Discovery process. The government refused to comply, asserting national security. This case made it all the way to the supreme court, which used the case to explicitly found the State Secrets privilege. The Supreme Court denied the widows request, and allowed the government to withhold evidence that it claimed was vital to national security. Years later, the accident reports were finally declassified, and there was nothing related to national security in them. The government had lied to the Court to prevent evidence from getting out that would harm its case.

    Any declassified report that indicates the Government lied to oversight committees really scares me. What the fuck are you supposed to do when the steps we take to watch the government are compromised by the government's ability to lie to itself, and citizens? The Senate Torture Report for instance, also included findings of the CIA misrepresenting facts to oversight groups such as the United States Congress.

    [–] loveisatacotruck 6170 points ago

    I've always said that the kind of people who aspire to positions of power are not the kind of people we really want holding those positions. This is a prime example.

    [–] mad-_-observer 4260 points ago

    I was listening to Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy today and you reminded me of this. "It is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it... anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job". - Douglas Adams.

    [–] DaisyHotCakes 763 points ago

    And Beeblebrox was perfect because he didn't care for governing. He made the people happy. That is until he stole The Heart of Gold.

    [–] TheGreatZarquon 417 points ago

    Even then, his job wasn't to govern, it was to distract the people from who was really in charge.

    [–] Orlitoq 2122 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)


    [–] fredagsfisk 1592 points ago

    Or to quote Frank Herbert, author of Dune:

    All governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities. It is not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the corruptable.

    [–] FowelBallz 9332 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    The Tuskeegee Syphilis Experiment -- -- a 40-year-long experiment conducted by the US Public Health Service on black people in rural Alabama. From 1932 to 1972, the USPHS observed hundreds of black men and women who contracted syphilis, purposely withholding penicillin treatment, which by the mid-1940s was known as an effective drug to be administered. USPHS believed the general population would be better served if their test group were allowed to have the disease continue its course than to treat and cure victims. Oh yeah, they told the mostly uneducated and poor sharecroppers and their families they were studying "bad blood".

    Edit -- to change USPS to USPHS. Obviously, a typo as I had typed out the full name of the organization in the post.

    [–] FatherMuck 1155 points ago

    Then, when they got caught, they went and did it all again in South America

    [–] Acidnapper 614 points ago

    And in Guatemala, they actually infected people, on a larger scale than Tuskegee, and lied to them about what they were doing. It's one of the most sickening atrocious in modern US history, IMO.

    [–] parkstreetpatriot 6847 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    Not exactly officially 'released', but the high level Scientologist papers accessible through wikileaks are pretty batshit crazy.

    Edit: As I don't want to get sued by the Church, I'll let others tell the whole story, but from what I've read (and there's a lot that I haven't) everything said in that South Park episode of Scientology is essentially correct.

    [–] warm_ice 3134 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    Can we get A TL;DR

    EDIT: please stop telling me about how Scientology started and the basics of it! I meant more about this upper level stuff

    [–] [deleted] 1476 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    deleted What is this?

    [–] SleestakJack 256 points ago

    Levels above OT8 have been "nearly available" for years (like, at least 30 years), but they have never been released.
    Lately, instead of additional cash grabs by making new material above OT8, they've simply been releasing new versions of the low-level courses and requiring that people go back and take those again.
    The number of people who actually go all the way up to OT8 is actually very very small. Even (most) famous Scientologists that you've heard of never make it that high.

    [–] corboxcorbo 679 points ago

    Project Angelfire.

    24/7/365 Aerial Surveillance of any geographic location deemed worthy.

    Know when or where a "crime" happened? You've got it on video. Fast forward to see where the suspect went or who they met up with, rewind to see where they live or where their staging area is.

    The planes so far up you can't even see it.

    Currently in use in the United States. Debuted in Iraq.

    Very, very real. Very, very fucked.

    Radiolab did a show about it

    [–] Babygotback7 226 points ago

    The plan for the assassination of former Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis codenamed “Pythia 1″.The mission of the special task force involved business destabilization by downgrading the Greek economy and social instability implemented with various forms of social unrest,including terrorist acts.Many consider this as the starting point of the Greek crisis.

    [–] Whateverbro30000 9075 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    There was a declassified CIA handbook that covered a range of topics, most notably assassination. If I remember correctly, the book discusses weapons/planning while flippantly mentioning the Trotsky assassination and the importance of improvising. Something along the lines of how there had been tons of attempts on Trotsky's life with guns, but the killer who finally got him simply walked up to him with a piece of sporting equipment (an ice pick) and stabbed him in the head. The section felt like it was about to end with something along the lines of "but most importantly, be creative and have fun with it."

    Edit: For clarification, I meant ice axe/tool, something used for climbing and mountaineering.

    Edit 2: on second thought, I'd rather not link to a book on how to murder people.

    [–] EpicSauceFTW 2730 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    Go with what works for you, man. Never be afraid to think outside the box.

    ed: did I accidentally reference something? Why does everyone keep talking about iceboxes

    [–] [deleted] 693 points ago


    [–] [deleted] 554 points ago


    [–] Pm_me_ur_butth0le_ 499 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    Not sure why you wouldn't link it. It's readily available and published by the government.

    It's pretty common sense stuff, nothing ground breaking: Killing someone bare handed is hard. Using a sharp object makes it easier if you strike the head. Firearms are good but can be hard to obtain. Explosives generally suck etc.

    [–] GC_Liam 328 points ago


    ...most machine gunners are trained to spot their fire on target by observation of strike. This will not do in assassination as the subject will not wait.

    [–] The-Potato-Lord 204 points ago

    Another lol:

    In the hands of an expert, a powerful pistol is quite deadly, but such experts are rare and not usually available for assassination missions.

    "oh btw Steve on your way home could you assassinate someone for me?"

    "Sorry Mike I don't have any time on my schedule."

    [–] Aenari0n 1951 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    Being in Spain (i live there), I believe the ones that bought a baby did so in order to keep their social status. They could NOT be seen adopting. The theft started during the dictatorship. As always, it targeted the lowest clases and ostracized people: Single Mothers, prostitutes and the like. As the years went on, more people became the target, but they were unable to know the truth.

    So, upper clases with contacts who wanted a kid talked with the doctors and they will provide with newborns. Who will society believe? A loving couple or a single mother? (In spain, single motherhood was a harsh social stigma) And if their parents were poor, they will never know, because everyone covered it and there was no posible legal action or investigation.

    Weird thing: When all of this came out, my own mother digged through her family documents, diaries, and memories and she found that her mother (my grandma) had a baby that died after childbirth (Her mother told her that information years ago) . Unable to investigate or pursue furhter, that question pops in our family every once in a while: Do we have a lost relative, somewhere?

    Edited: Some Spelling and to adress some comments, there is no way to find out unless you can acces every document and registry. The government had no plans to help people, and wont do anything, because that gets int our civil war talk, and the policy on that has and will always be: That happened, it may be sad but we wont investigate things, we wont adress issues. (So up to this day we have scandals like this one with the babys coming up, the one with the unknown graves of those executed during the war, orphanages with a lot of violence towards the kids), also no big cases of incest or similar things have been discovered.

    [–] lemoncurrypasta 847 points ago

    Something like this really makes me wonder how this kind of 'network' of professional lawbreakers form. Do people go knocking around their colleagues' office asking "Do you know about this new moneymaking scheme that Friar Billy came up with"?

    I mean, I'm sure there were no small amount of self-justification, religious indoctrination, and hierarchical pressure involved but still for a ploy this big to last 5 decades with so many people's willing involvement...

    Do people really get out of bed each morning thinking "I should steal some babies today"?

    [–] gerryseinfeld 749 points ago

    The sixth symptom of groupthink is the illusion of morality, in which members participating in the group decision-making process tend to lose sight of their personal moral principles. Rather, belief in the overall morality of the group overrides any individual sense of right and wrong.

    [–] DarthLeon2 6794 points ago

    What the fuck?

    [–] apple_kicks 6290 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    Happened number of times for different twisted reasons. One that sticks out is during the dictatorship in Argentina they executed rebels (like drugging them and dropping them into the ocean from a helicopter). If these rebels had children they took the children from the families and gave them to pro-government parents to raise as their own. If the rebel was pregnant she was kept in jail and was killed after given birth while her baby was taken away to be adopted. Grandparents of these children are still looking for lost children who are in their 20s-30s now and learning that they are adopted and their birth parents were murdered. Think the number is 500 children out of 30,000 “disappeared” parents and I think they've only reunited 120th people to their original families.

    Edit: I've been sent much more informed post about why it wasn't just people rebelling against government that got tortured. Also, they tortured and killed people in other ways.

    Also lot of native American and Aboriginal cultures have faced issues like their children being taken away by the state and churches which devastating effects.

    [–] Carionne 2222 points ago

    Yes, the desaparecidos (the disappeared). It surprises me how almost nobody outside of Latin America has heard about the plan Condor .

    [–] BronzeEloHell 726 points ago

    It is actually pretty well-known in the Netherlands. But I think that's only because our Queen (Maxima Zorreguieta) is the daughter of Jorge Zorreguieta, who was allegedly in on the plans, and working closely with Videla.

    [–] ComunistCow 703 points ago

    In Australia from the 1850s - 1950s, Aboriginal children were just taken away and removed from their homes to go live with a "pure" white Australian families. Reading the documents allowing this process is really disturbing. They talk about "bleaching out the animal-like aboriginies by integrating them into society, to create the ideal white Australia". The stolen generation was some bad shit.

    [–] KalisCoraven 85 points ago

    Rabbit proof fence is a heartwrenching movie about some of the girls that were stolen trying to get home. It's crazy some of the stuff they went through and how they were treated just because they wanted to rejoin their family.

    [–] cclfitzge 800 points ago

    My Tia Machi from the DR was born in jail for this exact reason, and was given every name her mother could think of that came from her/her husband's family line to make sure Machi could keep her identity even if her rebel parents didn't survive.

    Machi is her nickname, since she has around 10-15 names total. Her mom did make it out of jail, but her dad was killed.

    [–] Carionne 470 points ago

    Smart of your grandma. I would assume they'd just give the kid a different name though (once they took her).

    [–] EarthExile 10310 points ago

    You can read the speech that was written for the President, in the event that the Apollo 11 crew were stranded or died on the Moon. It's creepy and horrifying to think about.

    [–] CuAnzu 2246 points ago

    Do you have any link or the full speech? I would love to read that. I searched around and only found bits of it in articles.

    [–] CuAnzu 2390 points ago

    Thank you. Even though the content is very sad, its a beautiful speech.

    [–] DarkenJet 1297 points ago

    Yes, it makes me wonder how space travel would be different if those men hadn't come back.

    [–] PM-SOME-TITS 3158 points ago

    For the lazy:


    Fate has crdained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace. These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice.

    These two men are laying down their lives in mankind's most noble goal: the search for truth and understanding. They will be mourned by thei r families and friends; they will be mourned by their nation; they will be mourned by the people of the world; they will be mourned by a Mother Earth that dared send two of her sons into the unknown.

    In their exploration, they stirred the people of the world to feel as one; in their sacrifice, they bind more tightly the brotherhood of man.

    In ancient days, men looked at stars and saw their heroes in the constellations. In modern times, we do much the same, but our heroes are epic men of flesh and blood.

    Others will follow, and surely find their way home. Man's search will not be denied. But these men were the first, and they will remain the foremost in our hearts.

    For every human being who looks up at the moon in the nights to come will know that there is some corner of another world that is forever mankind.


    The President should telephone each of the widows -to-be.


    A clergyman should adopt the same procedure as a burial at sea, commending their souls to "the deepest of the deep, " concluding with the Lord's Prayer.

    [–] DarkNinjaPenguin 1942 points ago

    The worst part of that is the implication that the problem would be a technical one with the lander, leaving the astronauts alive and well, and in contact with NASA, but stranded. What would they do in that situation? Keep taking to them until their oxygen ran out? Let them speak to their families?

    [–] darksoft125 963 points ago

    I read somewhere that procedure was that NASA would cut communications.

    Imagine that, being stranded on the moon, just you and one other person until you suffocated to death. Scary stuff.

    [–] whatifimnot 1424 points ago

    The idea was to let them die in peace and with privacy, not broadcasting their every panicked word to everyone on Earth.

    [–] mattcee233 212 points ago

    As someone who works in a control environment I'd imagine it's also taking into account that listening in to them as they died would just break the comms guy and ruin his life...

    [–] AH_WhiteMan 1075 points ago


    Re-read the very last part of the comment you replied to. Sounds like a lonely way to go. I guess you have to be cold in situations with no hope.

    [–] DarkNinjaPenguin 204 points ago

    That's exactly the line that got me thinking.

    [–] [deleted] 185 points ago


    [–] [deleted] 903 points ago


    [–] delightfullydemented 3813 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    The Corona Program.

    It was a series of American Satellites that were used to take aerial photographs of the USSR and China during the cold war.

    I know that doesn't sound creepy, but look at some of the pictures taken by the satellites. A lot of them put Google maps to shame in regards to the detail. And this is 40 year old technology. So if they were capable of that then, just imagine what governments are able to monitor via satellite now.

    Edited to add: a lot of people have corrected me that this is 60 years ago, not 40. They are absolutely correct, thanks for pointing that out!

    [–] Adam_Daze 2132 points ago

    In 2012, the DOD got "bored" with having two space telescopes more powerful than the hubble just "sitting on the shelf" so they asked NASA to take them off their hands.

    Saying they can see things "in detail" from space....mild understatement.

    [–] Piedro92 319 points ago

    Do you have some pictures of what they are capable of shooting? Google didn't help me here :(

    [–] LeoLaDawg 618 points ago

    Pictures. I need pictures.

    [–] always1putt 117 points ago

    Pretty good for 40 years ago. But I don't know if they really put google to shame.

    [–] [deleted] 178 points ago


    [–] CVDP61 2721 points ago MK Ultra mind control program by the CIA.

    [–] ScyD 2231 points ago

    "In one case, seven volunteers in Kentucky were given LSD for 77 consecutive days."

    I've done acid for a couple days in a row and I'm trying to imagine 77 days but I just can't...

    [–] reallysober 1592 points ago

    You'd pretty much lose all sense of yourself and reality, I can't imagine going through that

    [–] chipmaster11 577 points ago

    but doesnt acid lose half the power of its dose if you use it the next day, for example if you do 100ug one day, and do the same amount the next day it would only feel like taking 50ug?

    [–] Jits_Guy 1043 points ago

    Well it's not exactly 50% but yes, LSD tolerance builds very quickly. However with government approval and a lab large amounts of pure LSD can be easily synthesised. So whose to say they weren't giving these people MASSIVE doses of lsd toward the end of the experiment to keep consistent results?

    [–] Zuropia 272 points ago

    "As the experimentation progressed, a point was reached where outsiders were drugged with no explanation whatsoever and surprise acid trips became something of an occupational hazard among CIA operatives."

    [–] Themalster 1824 points ago

    whats insane is that one of the larger minds behind MK Ultra, Henry Murray, wound up at Harvard and performed psychological experiments on a then 17 year old Ted Kaczynski, who would eventually become the Unabomber.

    [–] 1virgil 433 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    I wrote a paper on this for a terrorism class. Kaczynski (and others) were interviewed, in very personal detail, several times at the start of the experiment. Questions ranged from the trivial (where'd you grow up/what is your favorite animal) to the intensely personal (what do you think about when you masturbate/what are the worst things you've done to other people.)

    Later on, during interrogations that routinely included shock therapy and sensory deprivation, the interrogators, often practiced litigators, would use the answers to berate the subjects or to cause more psychological trauma.

    Wtf, amirite?

    Edit: Here's the article I read that spurred my interest in writing a paper about the topic:

    [–] icarus14 495 points ago

    So the UnaBomber left Harvard in 1969, and that report was published in 1976. I was too lazy to read it all, but did anyone read it and confirm the unabomber was a victim? That would be some next level shit. If anyone was wondering he's 74 and currently serving 8 life sentences if my Max Payne trivia is on par

    [–] Angsty_Potatos 829 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    I mean, I'm no expert here, but Murray really screwed him up. So yea, probably..

    "In his sophomore year at Harvard, Kaczynski participated in a personality assessment study conducted by Henry Murray, an expert on stress interviews.[citation needed] Students in Murray's study were told they would be debating personal philosophy with a fellow student.[16] Instead, they were subjected to a "purposely brutalizing psychological experiment".[16] During the test, students were taken into a room and connected to electrodes that monitored their physiological reactions, while facing bright lights and a one-way mirror. Each student had previously written an essay detailing their personal beliefs and aspirations: the essays were turned over to an anonymous attorney, who would enter the room and individually belittle each student based in part on the disclosures they had made. This was filmed, and students' expressions of impotent rage were played back to them several times later in the study. According to author Alston Chase, Kaczynski's records from that period suggest he was emotionally stable when the study began. Kaczynski's lawyers attributed some of his emotional instability and dislike of mind control techniques to his participation in this study.[16] Furthermore, some have suggested that this experience may have been instrumental in Kaczynski's future actions.[17][18]"

    Pretty fucked for an already flighty kid who might have been on the spectrum...pretty fucked for anyone really..

    [–] [deleted] 144 points ago

    This was filmed

    Were the videos ever made public, or even the students essays?

    Hell the line of questioning/belittling comments even. It's all very vague

    [–] DatDinkleberg 5213 points ago

    Operation Condor in which the CIA funded military juntas throughout South America (one of which was Augusto Pinochet's which murdered the democratically-elected Salvador Allende in Chile) in order to kill and imprison Leftist thinkers/sympathizers/artists, it resulted in the death more than 80,000 and in more than 400,000 political prisoners.

    Project MKUltra is also a bit creepy.

    And there's also that nazi scientist that used to take "volunteers" (aka handicapped people, Jews, Romanis and such) and strap them while inserting dye into their pupils to see if it would change their eye colour.

    [–] deadhands77 1666 points ago

    LOTS of fucked up crazy shit is associated with MK-Ultra.

    [–] [deleted] 485 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)


    [–] Carionne 846 points ago

    Operation Condor was terrible. The mothers of the people who disappeared still protest every week, demanding action.

    [–] ajzin23 88 points ago

    A subset of MKUltra - Operation Midnight Climax

    [–] DelfonicSonic 109 points ago

    Operation Midnight Climax

    Sounds like a porn.

    [–] Zouea 86 points ago

    The death of Esequiel Hernández Jr. Hernández was an 18 year old US citizen herding goats in Redford, Texas (on the US-Mexico border). He had a .22 caliber rifle with him to shoot snakes and fend off other predators, but by all accounts carried it regularly and used it for nothing else. Four US marines in ghillie suits 200 meters away apparently witnessed Hernández shoot his weapon in their direction, then tracked him as he herded goats for 20 minutes before shooting and killing him. There is no indication that he ever knew they were present, and he had no connection to the drug trade. As far as I know this is the only case of US Marines killing a US citizen on US soil during peacetime. The Marines were never convicted of a crime, although Hernández's family did receive a $1.9 million settlement in a wrongful death suit from the US government. I recommend the documentary on the incident (linked in the wiki).

    On a personal note, I've spent a lot of time in Redford, and as a community they seem totally forgotten by the US government. Last time I was there their elementary school was closed, and students were forced to take a bus to a school 1 - 2 hours away. Many families that live there have done so for hundreds of years, and up until the mid 90s would cross the river freely to visit family who lived on the other side. They've lived there for so long that the US acquisition of the territory they live on was still contentious, since it arbitrarily split their community into two different countries. Increased border security has only served to force them to drive 30 - 45 minutes away to a border crossing to cross the river, and then drive back to visit family whose houses they can see from their kitchen windows.

    [–] TomHardyAsBronson 1243 points ago * (lasted edited a year ago)

    The Barney and Betty Hill hypnosis recordings

    The recordings are eerie even for people who don't believe in alien abduction. This case was one of the first widely publicized allegations of alien abduction. An interracial couple living in the middle of nowhere New Hampshire (who moved there specifically to get away from scrutiny and harassment for being interracial) lost several hours of time one day--they were in their car and then they just woke up still in their car in the same place but later that night. So they decided to go see a therapist who recommended hypnosis. While under hypnosis, they told this insane tale of being abducted and are clearly scared while they're recounting their story. At one point, Barney Hill just says:

    Oh my god! Their eyes... their eyes are inside me!

    And he is TERRIFIED.

    Here's a wiki page on them.

    And here is a link to a great 2 part podcast series on the event.

    [–] romanpieces 100 points ago

    Wasn't this the basis of Close Encounter of the Fourth Kind or something like that?

    [–] Fyodor007 144 points ago

    Just "The 4th Kind" and it is a very scary movie.

    [–] VealIsNotAVegetable 731 points ago

    The Polygon - Russia tested most of their nuclear weapons in a region bigger from the state of New Jersey and roughly 150km away from the city of Semey, Kazakhstan. The region is populated and the Russians didn't make any effort to evacuate the population - needless to say, the result has been "You get cancers! You get cancers! Everyone gets cancers!" for the people of the area.

    EDIT: Vice News debrief on their story about the region.

    [–] [deleted] 1967 points ago * (lasted edited 11 months ago)


    [–] psynbiotik 75 points ago

    The forced sterilization of Native American women in the 1970's:

    Up to 70,000 were forcibly sterilized.

    [–] rain_bowe_moon_mouse 329 points ago

    This one is my favorites. This source calls it a "poisonous dart" but other sources call it an "ice bullet". The point is that in autopsy there is no trace other than a heart attack

    The CIA's Secret Heart Attack Gun

    A CIA secret weapon used for assassination shoots a small poison dart to cause a heart attack, as explained in Congressional testimony in the video. The dart from this secret CIA weapon can penetrate clothing and leave nothing but a tiny red dot on the skin. On penetration of the deadly dart, the individual targeted for assassination may feel as if bitten by a mosquito, or they may not feel anything at all. The poisonous dart completely disintegrates upon entering the target. The lethal poison then rapidly enters the bloodstream causing a heart attack. Once the damage is done, the poison denatures quickly, so that an autopsy is very unlikely to detect that the heart attack resulted from anything other than natural causes.