The controversial high-security government laboratory that has been operating for over half a century on Plum
Island, located just off the tip of Long Island, New York, also was slammed by Hurricane Sandy.
The facility, known as the Plum Island Animal Disease Center, has been operated by the Department of Agriculture
and reportedly used to experiment with methods of controlling infectious diseases and other maladies that affect farm animals.
Since 2003 the facility has fallen under the control of the Department of Homeland Security. While plans were
in the works to move the laboratory to a more secure site in Kansas, money for the move was stalled because of the financial
crunch that swept the nation in 2008. Consequently the laboratory was still in place on Plum Island when Sandy came to call.
Ironically the government was in the process of drafting an environmental impact statement before putting the
island up for sale. The reason for the study was to determine if the impact of 60 years of animal testing created a threat
to public health.
It was a valid concern, since the researchers on the island worked with such ugly issues as hoof and mouth disease,
African swine fever, vesicular stomatitis, and cattle plague. Any of these diseases would be a threat to agricultural food
production if they got loose over the land.
For this reason, the microbiologists working at the Plum Island facility worked in special pressurized buildings
with air constantly blowing in and never out to prevent airborne germs from escaping. Workers changed into autoclave-sterilized
suits before entering the lab and endured a full body scrub down with disinfectant while leaving through an airlock.
Even with these security precautions, animals penned outside the laboratory area sometimes were found to be
infected. Eventually even the animals kept for testing had to be contained in secured buildings.
Because it was a government run facility and because it was secluded and off-limits to public investigation
the Plum Island facility became a target for conspiracy buffs. There were claims of secret research and even clandestine development
of biological weapons.
Writer Michael Carroll produced a book: Lab 257: The Disturbing Story of the Government’s Secret Plum
Island Germ Laboratory in 2004. In the book Carroll suggests that the strange Lyme disease infection spread by ticks was accidentally
released from that lab. Carroll also blames the Plum Island research center for
the outbreaks of Dutch duck plague in 1967 and the West Nile virus in 1999.
One of Jesse Ventura’s Conspiracy Theory television documentaries expounded on Carroll’s thesis
as did author Kenneth King in yet another book, Germs Gone Wild.
While government and other members of the scientific community deny that nefarious activities were going on
at the Plum Island facility, can anyone be sure? And if these kinds of bugs were being stored in that lab, is it possible
that the Halloween week storm that blasted the island damaged the 60-year-old structure enough to release them over the land?
What havoc have we sewn in our reckless quest to be the rulers of the Earth?