Dugway Proving Ground- Let’s play with explosives AND ship live anthrax
The Army Research facility at Dugway Proving Grounds has been under extreme scrutiny, not just for shipping live anthrax samples to no less than 85 labs worldwide, but after inspectors learned that some of the employees were mixing different compounds in common pots and pans to make “exotic explosives.”
The Army claims that all safety measures have been implemented, and problems corrected. But the facility has a dark side, a history of shall we say not-so-nice work.
According to the Daily Beast,
The year before, however, a Dugway contract chemist blew off part of his right hand and damaged his eyesight when he inexplicably decided to synthesize a dangerous explosive compound with a simple “mortar and pestle,” according to another internal Army document obtained by The Daily Beast. That compound, erythritol tetranitrate, is a close cousin to an explosive commonly used by terrorists in their bomb plots. But the compound used by al Qaeda and other terror groups is less susceptible to friction and impact — and is therefore safer to use than the stuff being toyed with at Dugway.
The Pentagon did, however, provide evidence indicating that Dugway has a near-flawless safety record. The Department of Defense gave The Daily Beast logs from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration showing only a single work-related injury over the past three full years. (The OSHA logs only account for government employees’ wounds; injured contractors — like the chemist with the mangled hand — aren’t included in such statistics.)
Besides treating Anthrax spores with gamma radiation and learning that it didn’t work, and “f***ing around” with explosives that could blow up New York, the Dugway Proving Grounds has dark history of contaminating surrounding area farms with everything from Venezuelan Encephalitis to VX (the VX incident killed 4,000 sheep in the area around the base). They are also noted for experimenting on 5,800 US Servicemen, who now fight for their survival with health-related issues.
It is unfortunate that America has a dark side – we would all love to have the good side of America be the one we all see. But on occasion, the dark side peeks through.