Operation Resurrection

Operation Resurrection

Secret experiments were conducted on apes in hope of resurrecting them after they had been decapitated and had their heads and bodies switched.

In this secret project, implemented in 1965–66, the CIA replicated the isolation chamber that had been constructed earlier by Dr. Donald Ewen Cameron, the “brain butcher,” at the Allen Memorial Psychiatric Institute in Montreal and rebuilt it at the National Institutes of Health. A psychologist who had helped the Office of Special Services (OSS) interrogate Nazi prisoners during World War II, Cameron became intrigued by the experiments conducted on concentration camp prisoners by German doctors, and he later contracted to work for the OSS, which became the CIA in 1947, in the field of behavior manipulation. He continued this specialty in Projects Bluebird and Artichoke, which became MK-ULTRA in 1953. Cameron conducted numerous experiments in sensory deprivation, sensory overload, and drug inducement. His harsh experiments with electroshock, LSD, and drug-induced comas that sometimes lasted for months, as well as his penchant for performing prefrontal lobotomies, proved far too extreme for some of his “patients,” and many of them died. In Operation Resurrection the experiments would not be with humans, but with apes.

The apes were first lobotomized, then placed in total isolation. After a time, the experimenters, adapting the radio telemetry techniques developed by Leonard Rubenstein, directed radio waves into the brains of the apes. Apes who appeared to receive the frequencies were decapitated and their heads transplanted to other apes’ bodies to see if the radio energy could bring them back to life—thus, Operation Resurrection. The apes that were not selected for possible resurrection from the dead were bombarded with radio waves until they collapsed and became unconscious. Autopsies yielded the information that their brain tissue appeared literally to have been fried.

It is difficult to see how Operation Resurrection could possibly have produced information of any value to any study of behavior control, behavior modification, or mind control. Researchers will probably never know the rationale behind the belief that dead apes could be resurrected if you switched heads and bodies, for in 1972 the director of the CIA, Richard Helms, ordered all records of MK-ULTRA’s projects, operations, and subprojects destroyed.

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