Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Frank Olson was a U.S. Army scientist at the top secret Special Operations Division at Fort Detrick, known for dying under mysterious circumstances in New York City on November 28, 1953. His specific research in the Army is unknown, but he was involved in biological weapons research and experimented with mind control drugs.
According to the government's version of events, as part of the MK-Ultra experiments Olson was dosed with LSD, without his knowledge, and suffered a nervous breakdown. The CIA sent him to New York to see one of their psychiatrists, who recommended that Olson be put into a mental institution for recovery. On his last night in Manhattan, Olson threw himself out his hotel room window. He fell to the pavement thirteen stories below and died.
His family had no idea of the details of the accident until the Rockefeller Commission started uncovering some of the CIA's MKULTRA hijinks. In 1975, the government admitted that Olson had been unwittingly dosed with LSD. White House staffers Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney arranged for President Gerald Ford to meet with the Olson family and personally apologize on behalf of the United States government. The government offered them an out of court settlement, which they accepted.
Frank Olson's son Eric does not accept the government's explanation, and has devoted his life to researching the circumstances of his father's death. Eric Olson believes that his father was murdered by United States government agents after he began developing reservations about his work and attempted to resign. Retired Army intelligence agent Norman G. Cournoyer, one of Olson's closest friends at Fort Detrick, also denies that Olson committed suicide, relating that Olson openly expressed grave reservations about whether the United States should be developing biological weapons. Another retired colleague from the Fort Detrick biological warfare division, William P. Walter, concurs, and relates that at the time of his death, Olson's colleagues were divided on the question of whether he committed suicide or was killed.
In 1994, Eric Olson had his father's body exhumed. The forensic scientist in charge of the examination, Professor James E. Starrs of The George Washington University, determined that Olson had suffered some form of blunt force trauma prior to falling out of the window, and called the evidence "rankly and starkly suggestive of homicide". Based on his findings, the Manhattan district attorney opened a homicide investigation into Olson's death in 1996, but was unable to find enough evidence to bring charges.
- Son probes strange death of WMD worker - Scott Shane writing for the Baltimore Sun (September 12, 2004)
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details