Germ Warfare

An excerpt from my book in progress, Morgantown to San Francisco:

Germ Warfare

         The ABC Evening News reported that the Army admitted to conducting germ warfare experiments in the subways of New York, Chicago and San Francisco.

         The Army said that the germs were of a non-disease carrying kind. Others have said that these Army germs cause heart valve infection and pneumonia. But, even if they are harmless germs, what right does the Army have to experiment on the people who ride those subways? And, since they only admitted to what they got caught at, what other experiments are they conducting against the health of the American people? Perhaps swine flu and French polio are army experiments.    

         These experiments shocked me so much that I called my friends and asked them to send a telegram to President Jimmy Carter asking him to stop the Army germ warfare against the American people or any people for that matter.     

I called Ned Chilton, the inspired publisher of the Charleston Gazette newspaper, and told him that the Army released germs in several locations in the United States to find what the pattern of distribution would be as time went on. He said, “It was probably just an experiment.” I replied “You got it!” Soon after that a front page article in the Gazette by reporter Lawrence L. Knutson, revealed that this experiment had gone on for twenty years ending in 1969.

 The Gazette article revealed that, “The Army secretly conducted simulated germ warfare attacks using live bacteria against 19 American civilian targets including the Pennsylvania Turnpike, the city of San Francisco and National Airport in Washington…Overall, the Army staged 239 open air tests….In 79 of the cases, disease-causing agents were used. The other 160 tests involved stimulants such as sulfur dioxide, fluorescent particles and soap bubbles. However, some critics have questioned whether some of the theoretically nontoxic bacteria may have caused pneumonia or other respiratory diseases.”

I recall reading of a family in San Francisco suing over the death of their father. They claimed his death was caused by the Army’s germ warfare experiments. In June 2009 a TV documentary confirmed once again the Army germ warfare experiments on U.S. citizens.

About Sam's Branch

I joined the Peace Corps in 1961 as West Virginia’s first volunteer. Go to to order my book Imagonna: Peace Corps Memories. I am the eighth generation of my family born in the Big Coal River Valley of West Virginia. My father and grandfather were underground coal miners. I have a chemical engineering degree from West Virginia University (WVU). After training to make sidewinder missiles, I joined the Peace Corps and taught chemistry and coached the track team at a secondary school in Nigeria. Since that time, I was WVU’s first full time foreign student advisor and worked in urban outreach, organic farming, construction labor, and high school teaching. I recently retired from the board of directors of the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy (, and recently retired from the board of directors of the West Virginia Kanawha State Forest Foundation ( I am still on the board of the Labor History Association and the West Virginia Environmental Education Association and recently joined the board of the West Virginia Civil Liberties Union. I am active in the campaign to stop the destructive practice of mountain top removal strip mining in the Appalachian Mountains. You may contact me at or my blog samsbranch.wordpress.
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1 Response to Germ Warfare

  1. Chet Thornton says:

    Thanks for sharing this Julian.

    This is the first report that I’ve seen but I can say that I’m not surprised.

Leave a Reply to Chet Thornton Cancel reply

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