Newly declassified CIA documents have revealed further details of the horrific experiments that took place during the agency’s infamous Project MKUltra.
MKUltra was a CIA operation that involved extreme methods of mind control that were tested on US and Canadian citizens. The projects began in the 1940s and ran until the 1970s when the details of the experiments were exposed because victims began speaking out about the conditions that they were subjected to.
There were 150 “sub-projects” within the MKU program, many involved advanced brainwashing techniques using mind-altering drugs, sensory deprivation and electroshock therapy.
In the most recent documents, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request made by investigative reporter John Greenewald, new details were revealed about some of the animal experimentation that took place during MKU.
Greenewald published a large cache of files from the release on his website, The Black Vault, which has taken a special interest in government mind control operations and other secret programs. In one declassified letter a behavior modification expert describes his work in conducting brain surgery on six different dogs to rewire their brains so they could be controlled remotely.
The author of the letter writes:
“As you know, I spent about three years working in the research area of rewarding electrical stimulation of the brain. In the laboratory, we performed a number of experiments with rats; in the open field, we employed dogs of several breeds.”
Another report is also in the file, which was titled “Remote Control Behavior with Rewarding Electrical Stimulation of the Brain,” and published in 1965.
The report stated:
“The specific aim of the research program was to examine the possibility of controlling the behavior of a dog, in an open field, by means of remotely triggering electrical stimulation of the brain,” the report states. “Such a system depends for its effectiveness on two properties of electrical stimulation delivered to certain deep lying structures of the dog brain: the well-known reward effect, and a tendency for such stimulation to initiate and maintain locomotion in a direction which is accompanied by the continued delivery of stimulation.”
From the descriptions made in the report, the experiments seemed extremely inhumane, with notes that the surgical procedure caused “infection at the electrode site due to a failure of the surgical wound to heal.”
The report indicated that the researchers used trial and error to attempt multiple different surgical procedures, the method that finally worked was described as follows:
“Embedding the electrode entirely within a mound of dental cement on the skull and running the leads subcutaneously to a point between the shoulder blades, where the leads are brought to the surface and affixed to a standard dog harness…The stimulator had to be reliable and capable of sufficient voltage output to be usable in the face of expected impedance variation across individual dogs.”
The author of many of these letters included in the file had their name redacted from the documents. However, the context of the letters seem to show that the person was an expert in the field who had done prior work for the CIA and was now hoping to get an entire lab dedicated to his research. There is no indication as to whether his request for a lab was ever approved.
In another CIA experiment, unrelated to MKU, researchers would surgically wire cats with recording devices so they could be used as spies, but those experiments also ended up going terribly wrong.