The Mystery Of Plum Island

In July 2008 an unidentified, hairless creature washed ashore near the town of Montauk, New York Dubbed the “Montauk Monster” by the press, first the discussion centered on whether the creature was an elaborate hoax

However talk soon shifted to whether the creature could have been from the mysterious Plum Island, home to the Animal Disease Center and just two miles from the American mainland The center’s administration has vigorously denied any involvement, yet the facility on the island has been accused of a string of unethical practises; from biological weapons testing to warped genetic practises But if the monster isn’t a product of Plum Island experiments, what is it they actually do? Plum Island was owned by a succession of families from 1659 until 1890 when it was given over to military use The US Army Chemical Corps began work on a series of laboratories in 1952 before ownership was transferred to the Department of Agriculture under advisement from one Erich Traub Traub was a leading scientific light in Nazi Germany during World War Two, suspected of working on the Axis biological warfare program

Soon after it opened in 1954, Plum Island began studies into foot and mouth disease This was the same disease Traub was suspected to have worked to weaponise during the war The official purpose of the facility was to research effective preventative measures against agricultural diseases, given the devastating effect it could have on an economy This is not all that strange In 2001 one of the worst outbreaks of foot and mouth in the UK cost the British economy over five and a half billion dollars

However local people have been increasingly concerned with Plum Island’s other, less publicized activities For decades authorities denied reports that they had participated in biological warfare programs This is despite allegations from Cuba that their agriculture had been infected by the US with the deadly Newcastle virus

The same Newcastle virus which Erich Traub, advisor to Plum Island, had worked on during the war Documents uncovered by Newsweek magazine in 1993 appeared to confirm the suspicions of a history of bio-weapons research Officially these programs were discontinued in 1969 by President Richard Nixon However locals such as Randy Sykes are not convinced, as the local area appears to suffer from regular disease outbreaks In 1978, Lyme disease appeared a mere 13 miles away from the facility, which was quickly blamed by the sufferers In 1999 the West Nile virus, another of Dr

Traub’s areas of speciality, was found for the first time in the United States Interestingly the first recorded human cases in the US are cited as being found in Queens, New York; approximately 90 miles from Plum Island The USDA has dismissed both cases as merely coincidence, and issued no explanation for West Nile Virus sudden appearance Meanwhile theorists such as Jesse Ventura allege that at best the powers that be are negligent and that the outbreaks have been covered up accidents

At worst, the facility is intentionally releasing pathogens into the surrounding areas to monitor the effectiveness and virility of their programs If the latter is the case exactly how bad is security on Plum Island? And how much at risk is the general public? In 2002 76 maintenance staff members went on strike after talks broke down over pay rises and jobs going to the private sector As a consequence emergency temps were drafted yet problems still occurred Water pressure dropped across the island, disabling decontamination and necropsy rooms, and the union for the striking workers accused authorities of failing to properly screen replacements In 2003 a whistleblower, James A

McKoy, accused the center of permitting security breaches and inappropriate asbestos cleaning Perhaps most damning of all, author Kenneth King has claimed he has evidence of workers using duct tape to seal testing laboratories For those seeking answers about Plum Island’s darker experiments, time is running out The Department of Homeland Security, the current owners, are planning to construct a new testing facility Plum Island is to be sold; its secrets will be buried deep within governmental archives So where does that leave the Montauk Monster? Officially the Monster has been identified as a decomposing raccoon Case closed? Possibly not In 2010 a dead human body was found on Plum Island itself The body was described as being tall and well built with elongated fingers and injuries consistent with brain surgery

This has led to allegations that Plum Island isn’t just experimenting on animals, but has moved onto humans as well As yet there has been no official explanation

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