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10 Deeply Unsettling Declassified Information Now Available to the Public

8. From 1956 to 1970, doctors at the Willowbrook State School in New York intentionally gave hepatitis to the mentally disabled children in order to track the development of the infection.

Willowbrook Mental Patients
Image credit: ©1979 by William Bronston, M.D. via mn.gov

The Willowbrook State School was set up in 1947 in order to care for mentally retarded children. But, the school is now mentioned mostly because of the experiments on children. In the first decade of the school, there were hepatitis outbreaks, mostly Hepatitis A. As a result, two professors from New York University and Yale University carried out some controversial experiments on mentally disabled children. They intentionally gave hepatitis to the children in order to track the phases of the disease and gauge the effects of gamma globulin, a kind of immunity booster.

In spite of the negative publicity, the experiments continued. As a result, the researchers found the difference between serum hepatitis and infectious hepatitis. While the first one was spread by blood, the latter was spread from person to person directly. However, this knowledge gain didn’t change the public’s opinion about the experiments. Also, these experiments were not the only scandals about the school. According to records, sexual and physical abuse by the school staff, the inadequacy of facilities, and overcrowding were also major problems. The government shut down the school in 1987. (1, 2)

9. In 1968, the Mexican government placed snipers in buildings near the area where students were protesting. A sniper shot soldiers who were there for security and the other soldiers thought the students were shooting them. They started shooting unarmed and innocent students resulting in the death of more than 300.  

Tlatelolco massacre, The Guardian, 5 October 1968
Image credit: Marcel·lí Perelló/Wikimedia, Image source: theguardian.com

Ten days before the opening of the 1968 Summer Olympics, a massacre occurred in Mexico City when security forces shot into a crowd of unarmed people. About 10,000 high school and university students came together in the Plaza de las Tres Culturas in order to protest the actions of the government and voice their demands. However, the government had no thought of hearing them. Military forces and police officers soon arrived in the area in order to arrest the leaders of the student organizations. However, just after their arrival, they were welcomed with a gunshot. The soldiers and the police then started shooting into the crowd as they thought the students had shot at them. This led to the death of between 300 and 400 students, although the government media claimed only 20 people died.

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The truth about this massacre was revealed after 40 years. In the documents, first-person statements, historic recordings, and news reports of the time, people could see a clear picture of the day. The government placed snipers in the buildings around the plaza and ordered them to shoot into the security forces. Also, the government was responsible for kidnapping and torturing lots of students. Then-president of Mexico, Diaz Ordaz, was held accountable for this massacre. (1,2)

10. The Japanese Army established a covert unit, Unit 731, to research chemical and biological weapons between 1935 and 1945. Within this unit, the army conducted many human experiments. The researchers who worked during these experiments were granted immunity by the US after the WWII in exchange for the data they gathered during these experiments.

Unit 731, Gas Test
Image source: Wikimedia, taringa.net

The Imperial Japanese Army set up Unit 731 as a covert chemical and biological research and development facility in 1935. The primary purpose of this unit was to research the use of chemical and biological materials as weapons. In order to achieve this purpose, the Imperial Army conducted a series of lethal, human experiments. There were at least 3,000 people who were used as the test subjects. Although most of the subjects of the experiments were Chinese, there were also Mongolians, Soviets, Korean, and Allied prisoners of war (POWs).

After the war, the researchers who had conducted all these experiments received a secret immunity from the US instead of a trial. The US government did this in exchange for the data and findings gathered during the experiments. The purpose was to combine that data with the data of the US Biological Warfare Program. On the other hand, Russia tried the researchers captured in a war-crime trial. (1,2)

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