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French bread spiked with LSD in CIA experiment

A 50-year mystery over the ‘cursed bread’ of Pont-Saint-Esprit, which left residents suffering hallucinations, has been solved after a writer discovered the US had spiked the bread with LSD as part of an experiment.

In 1951, a quiet, picturesque village in southern France was suddenly and mysteriously struck down with mass insanity and hallucinations. At least five people died, dozens were interned in asylums and hundreds afflicted.

For decades it was assumed that the local bread had been unwittingly poisoned with a psychedelic mould. Now, however, an American investigative journalist has uncovered evidence suggesting the CIA peppered local food with the hallucinogenic drug LSD as part of a mind control experiment at the height of the Cold War.

The mystery of Le Pain Maudit (Cursed Bread) still haunts the inhabitants of Pont-Saint-Esprit, in the Gard, southeast France.

On August 16, 1951, the inhabitants were suddenly racked with frightful hallucinations of terrifying beasts and fire.

One man tried to drown himself, screaming that his belly was being eaten by snakes. An 11-year-old tried to strangle his grandmother. Another man shouted: “I am a plane”, before jumping out of a second-floor window, breaking his legs. He then got up and carried on for 50 yards. Another saw his heart escaping through his feet and begged a doctor to put it back. Many were taken to the local asylum in strait jackets.

French bread spiked with LSD in CIA experiment
An American investigative journalist has uncovered evidence suggesting the CIA peppered local food with the hallucinogenic drug LSD

Time magazine wrote at the time: “Among the stricken, delirium rose: patients thrashed wildly on their beds, screaming that red flowers were blossoming from their bodies, that their heads had turned to molten lead.”

Eventually, it was determined that the best-known local baker had unwittingly contaminated his flour with ergot, a hallucinogenic mould that infects rye grain. Another theory was the bread had been poisoned with organic mercury.

However, H P Albarelli Jr., an investigative journalist, claims the outbreak resulted from a covert experiment directed by the CIA and the US Army’s top-secret Special Operations Division (SOD) at Fort Detrick, Maryland.

The scientists who produced both alternative explanations, he writes, worked for the Swiss-based Sandoz Pharmaceutical Company, which was then secretly supplying both the Army and CIA with LSD.

Mr Albarelli came across CIA documents while investigating the suspicious suicide of Frank Olson, a biochemist working for the SOD who fell from a 13th floor window two years after the Cursed Bread incident. One note transcribes a conversation between a CIA agent and a Sandoz official who mentions the “secret of Pont-Saint-Esprit” and explains that it was not “at all” caused by mould but by diethylamide, the D in LSD.

While compiling his book, A Terrible Mistake: The Murder of Frank Olson and the CIA’s Secret Cold War Experiments, Mr Albarelli spoke to former colleagues of Mr Olson, two of whom told him that the Pont-Saint-Esprit incident was part of a mind control experiment run by the CIA and US army.

After the Korean War the Americans launched a vast research programme into the mental manipulation of prisoners and enemy troops.

Scientists at Fort Detrick told him that agents had sprayed LSD into the air and also contaminated “local foot products”.

Mr Albarelli said the real “smoking gun” was a White House document sent to members of the Rockefeller Commission formed in 1975 to investigate CIA abuses. It contained the names of a number of French nationals who had been secretly employed by the CIA and made direct reference to the “Pont St. Esprit incident.” In its quest to research LSD as an offensive weapon, Mr Albarelli claims, the US army also drugged over 5,700 unwitting American servicemen between 1953 and 1965.

None of his sources would indicate whether the French secret services were aware of the alleged operation. According to US news reports, French intelligence chiefs have demanded the CIA explain itself following the book’s revelations. French intelligence officially denies this.

Locals in Pont-Saint-Esprit still want to know why they were hit by such apocalyptic scenes. “At the time people brought up the theory of an experiment aimed at controlling a popular revolt,” said Charles Granjoh, 71.

“I almost kicked the bucket,” he told the weekly French magazine Les Inrockuptibles. “I’d like to know why.”


Source www.telegraph.co.uk

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17 Comments on "French bread spiked with LSD in CIA experiment"

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Check out Bad trip to Edgewood documentary! You’ll find it on youtube! It’s about US military and CIA Testing all sorts of drugs on US Servicemen! Channel 4 (U.K.) Aired it in the early nineties!


There is a book about this event. Forget the title and author.


Wish someone would spike my food w lsd. It would make for one hell of a weekend!! Lol 🙂


Who is above the CIA to make this kind of experiments?


These things probably happen all over the world. There are secret societies as well. Sinister.


No one is….these are black government experiments. A small group within the government.


Dat woz done by dar company employee not by dar gov
Jus like dar horse meat incident or dat of glass found in baby food.


Seriously Naya why stoned. …lol????


Governments around the globe have been caught practising unethical human experimentation with mind altering drug chemicals and biological testing.
Take a look at WW2 ,’The Nazis drug machine ‘ created by Hitler ,drugging soldiers with mainly Speed and alcohol as well as other drugs , Part of his plan to increase the performance of his army in battle .


Martin Demetrius It’s true


Hitler himself had his doctor give him a shot of meth everyday which he called “vitamins”. Those of us been around long enough know this as “Hitler’s recipe”. Very clean, very pure meth but still has all the awful side effects. Hence Hitler’s reason for being more psychotic and paranoid towards the end. Thought he could make super soldiers that didn’t require food or sleep. Instead it just made them all insane


Wut Ur sayin dar soldiers we’re high ?


The CIA is the reason we are still using technology that’s actually old they have anti gravity vehicles and stuff that would eliminate cars so we don’t wreck the environment as much but they use fossil fuels so they have power


I’m not surprised if this turned out to be true the CIA did this to a group of unknowing soldiers during the gulf war and god knows when else?


the beginning of cold war experiments..the U.S. did this to its own citizens as well…not just LSD, but doses of radiation and all sorts of things, either exposing us directly or through food and water. all done under a Democratic government. i know because im one of the survivors of cold war experiments.


I’ve heard this before. Terrible.