Could the spread of Lyme disease among humans be the result of experiments with ticks of the US. military?
The US House of Representatives has called for an investigation into the “possible involvement of the Department of Defense biowarfare labs in the weaponization of Lyme disease in ticks and other insects” from 1950-1975. The amendment from New Jersey member of Congress Smith, calling for the investigation, was approved by the House. He suggests the government turned ticks and insects into bioweapons to spread disease and possibly released them.
If this is found to be the case, the investigation will have to assess “the scope of the experiment” and “whether any ticks or insects used in such experiment were released outside of any laboratory by accident or experiment design”.
Congressman Smith said he was inspired by “a number of books and articles suggesting that significant research had been done at US government facilities, to turn ticks and insects into bioweapons”.
A recently published book – Bitten: The Secret History of Lyme Disease and Biological Weapons, has raised questions about the spread of the disease, which affects more than 400,000 people in the US alone each year. The book contains interviews and references to the work of the discoverer of Lyme, Willy Burgdorfer, who reportedly was a bioweapons specialist for the US military and said the Lyme epidemic was caused by a military experiment gone wrong.
He was tasked with breeding fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and other blood-sucking insects, and infecting them with pathogens that could cause severe disability, disease—even death—to potential enemies.
The book suggests that one of the experiments might have gone wrong and led to the eruption of Lyme disease in the US in the 1960s.
Several other experts say these claims have no basis in fact and reek of conspiracy theory. Although research into biological warfare and possible use of insects does exist, they claim there’s no evidence a bioweapon-tick project ever existed.
Animals and War. Confronting the Military-Animal industrial Complex (2015) Nocella, Salter & Bentley (eds.) Lexington Books.
From elephants to dolphins, dogs to mules, insects to pigeons and many other species. Throughout history, animals have been used as beast of burden, messengers, as weapons, have their bodies vivisected in military research and suffered as collatoral damage in war. Part of the military-animal industrial complex.
The horror we have – and still inflict upon them today – is endless.
[ID: front cover of the book has a black and white drawing of a war scene with several animals in it. Bench on the right side of photo, with three cats sleeping on it]
[ID of featured image. Close up of human skin, with tick attached to it]