It's no secret that the government is great at keeping secrets. From Area 51 to CIA mind-control experiments, much of our national-security information gets labeled “confidential" or “top secret,” meaning that only those with the high-level government clearance can access these documents—that is, until they're made public. From MKUltra to Operation Sea-Spray, these once-classified documents are now fully available to read. Here are some of the most bizarre and disturbing.
Don't forget to check the comment section below the article for more interesting stories!
#1 The Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program
The Pentagon commissioned an initiative called the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program and they recently just released footage of U.S. military aircraft approaching these "advanced aerospace threats."
#2 Jeffrey Dahmer
Jeffrey Dahmer's full confession. It's a couple of hundred pages of pure madness. He was also known as the Milwaukee Cannibal or the Milwaukee Monster. Dahmer became pretty close to his interrogating detectives (Dennis Murphy and Patrick Kennedy) and provided a lot of detail to them. A lot of it in a pretty candid, off-hand manner. The first 63 pages are mainly forms and letters, the real meat of the confession starts afterwards.
#3 Operation Paperclip
Operation Paperclip. The U.S. recruited a bunch on Nazi rocket scientists so they could win the space race against Russia.
#4 My Lai
After My Lai (where 400-500 innocent civilians died in Vietnam after an army troop attacked an entire village), the U.S. government established a group to investigate other war crimes like this occurring in Vietnam (the Vietnam War Crimes Working group). They found 28 massacres of equal or greater magnitude than My Lai that the public was unaware of (so literally thousands of innocent people killed by U.S soldiers). The information has since been reclassified, but there were several journal articles on it when it was first released.
#5 Army's Zombie Manual
The army has a zombie manual.
#6 Hisashi Ouchi
The case of Hisashi Ouchi. He was a Japanese nuclear plant worker who was exposed to a lot of radiation which left him looking like a Fallout ghoul. They kept him alive for three months even though he was in a lot of pain. His heart even stopped three times in an hour but they kept on resuscitating him. It's interesting to read about.
#7 Radioactive Waste Dump
A few years ago someone dumped a bunch of FOIA documents outlining a lawsuit between an environmental lawyer and Sandia National Labs, and their dump of radioactive waste into Albuquerque's Aquifer.
#8 The Tuskegee Study
The infamous Tuskegee Syphilis Study: It was an infamous clinical study conducted between 1932 and 1972 by the U.S. Public Health Service. The purpose of this study was to observe the natural progression of untreated syphilis in rural African-American men in Alabama under the guise of receiving free health care from the United States government. The study was conducted to understand the disease's natural history throughout time and to also determine proper treatment dosage for specific people and the best time to receive injections of treatments.
#9 Talking Dolphins
I remember a U.S. government-funded project that involved teaching Dolphins how to talk.
Sign Up For Our Newsletter
Stories that matter — delivered straight to your inbox.
#10 Project 1794
Project 1794. It was a top-secret program with the U.S. Air Force working with a Canadian aeronautics company to build a supersonic flying saucer-like aircraft that would be able to simultaneously wage psychological war on our Cold War enemies as well as a physical war. The project was scrapped when they figured out that not only would it be too expensive to build enormous flying discs, but also that crafts of that shape were near impossible to fly at supersonic speed.
#11 Black Box Recordings
I find black box recordings from plane crashes to be extremely creepy and disturbing. Many of them are never released publicly but some are.
#12 Psychic Remote
In 1984, a psychic remote viewed the planet Mars for the CIA. In his remote view, he was asked to travel backwards to several points in time in Mars' history and several points of interest using coordinates. The psychic ended up describing things like some sort of planetary catastrophe, strange structures (including pyramids), and the strange inhabitants on the Red Planet. Whether you believe in aliens and conspiracy theories or not, it's definitely weird that an official branch of the government has run experiments like these.
#13 Sweden's Compulsory Sterilization Program
Sweden had a compulsory sterilization program running from 1935-1979. It was state-sanctioned and given without consent, sometimes without the people knowing they were being sterilized. The three main reasons for these sterilizations were:
- Health concerns for the mother.
- Eugenic (not wanting to pass on mental illnesses or any form of handicap).
- Social (antisocial people, criminals, drunks etc.). In other words, anyone who didn’t conform properly and was considered unfit to raise children.
MKUltra was pretty messed up. The CIA created a mind control program that tried a bunch of different things to control behavior in people. They paid homeless people in drugs to be drug test subjects. Unabomber was a test subject and it messed him up. Apparently, this lead to him killing people. Also, the author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest was a test subject.
Cointelpro should be deeply troubling to anyone with a shred of decency.
#16 Operation PBSUCCESS
Operation PBSUCCESS. The CIA backed the coup in Guatemala at the behest of the United Fruit Company and U.S. State Department. The official CIA history of the operation is truly one of the most messed up things I’ve ever read. It was also the blueprint for the Bay of Pigs and other CIA interventions around the world.
#17 The Toybox Transcript
The Toybox Killer transcript.
#18 The Business Plot of 1933
The Business Plot of 1933: the wealthiest businessmen of America, like the names you see on banks and buildings in America today, allegedly formed a plot to overthrow President FDR and install a military leader in his place. Their choice was a U.S. Marine General named Smedley Butler as he was a decorated leader of the highest rank. Butler, a loyal patriot, played along until they were seriously about to attempt to collapse the U.S. economy by holding the financial stability of the country hostage. He rolled on them and testified to Congress about the planned coup. No one was prosecuted. General Smedley Butler may be the reason the world does not (officially) have a society like The United Corporations of Rockefeller, Morgan and Chase.
#19 Sleep Deprivation
Sleep deprivation torture.
#20 Hitler in South America
The CIA was informed that Hitler was hiding out in South America in the 50s and thought it credible enough to investigate. There's even a photograph of the suspected Hitler with the principal source of information, who was also a former member of the SS that believed the allies couldn't prosecute Hitler for war crimes because it had been too long.
#21 The Snowden Documents
The Snowden Documents. Why is it the most messed up? Because nothing came of it, people are still being spied on today and it's not even seen as 'that bad'. That's why it's messed up.
#22 The CIA and Hollywood
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Department of Defense have long histories of involvement with Hollywood media from sponsorships and to direct consultations (Alford, 2017; Redmond, 2017). A declassified memo titled “The Motion Picture as a Weapon of Psychological Warfare” from the CIAs precursor, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS, 1947), stated its main objective was: “to exploit the potentialities of the motion picture as a weapon of psychological warfare for the United States” (p. 1). It went on to detail “potentialities” relating to influencing thoughts, behaviors and attitudes, providing extensive recommendations to coordinate with the film industry “in the interest of psychological warfare."
#23 Counter Intelligence Project
The CIA's audio tapes of MLK being intimate. HBO used the real ones for their LBJ docu-series starring Bryan Cranston. The program was called Counter Intelligence Project - CoIntelPro. They tried to infiltrate organizations they felt were anti-American. Of course, MLK was the worst of the worst.
#24 The Kennedy Files
I think the most important thing to come out of the recently redacted Kennedy files is verifiable proof that Ruby knew Oswald before the assassination. That’s been debated and covered up for decades.
#25 The Undesirables
In the 1930s, the Soviet government decided to send thousands of "undesirables" to a swampy river island called Nazino with nothing to survive on but bags of flour. People tried mixing the flour with river water and this resulted in outbreaks of dysentery. Eventually, people started eating each other for food. There was no leaving the island. Eventually, the settlement was dissolved and the 2,800 survivors were sent to smaller settlements upstream. All of this was kept secret by the government until 1988 when the glasnost policy was introduced and the details were made public.
#26 The 1961 Goldsboro B-52 crash
The 1961 Goldsboro B-52 crash. We almost blew up North Carolina with a nuclear weapon.
#27 Operation LAC
Operation LAC. Between 1957-1958, the U.S. Army sprayed zinc cadmium sulphide in primary African-American areas of St. Louis to test the dispersion and geographic range of bio or chemical attacks. It's considered a probable human carcinogen. The Pentagon maintains to this day that no one got ill from it, but residents and leaders of St. Louis speak differently. This only got widespread exposure after Missouri's two senators demanded the declassification of the project about 10 years ago.
The FBI's number one most downloaded files, according to the FBI, is a document called UFO. This is where the rabbit hole starts, not ends.
#29 Marie Curie
Pretty much anything related to Marie Curie. She discovered radium, coining the term "radioactivity", and suffered greatly for it. There's lots of documentation on how horribly she died, including her own testimony to the first-hand experience of radiation poisoning.
#30 Operation Marauder
Operation Marauder: The U.S. military's attempt to create a functional plasma weapon in the early '90s. After successful early experiments, the results were classified, and nothing's been published since 1995.
#31 Nuremberg Trials Transcripts
Nuremberg Trials transcripts. The trials of medical personnel were particularly bad. One example: there were trying to make poison bullets. To test them they would select Russian POW's and shoot them in the hip with a rifle. To be scientific, they had controls. So, they'd shoot one guy with a regular bullet and a couple with poison bullets and then watch them, making medical observations the entire time to see how long it took them to die.
#32 Tiananmen Square
Cables on the Tiananmen Square massacre.
#33 Pedro Albizu Campos
Pedro Albizu Campos was arrested a third time and imprisoned for 26 years for working to make Puerto Rico independent by the American government. The cause was that members of the nationalist party shot in Congress and unfurled the Puerto Rican flag, which was illegal to do at the time. He wasn’t there but he was the head of the nationalist party and the American government had been keeping an eye on him for years.
While in prison, his health deteriorated and he said that they were using radiation on him in his cell. No one believed him until folders used by the American government to keep tabs on the Puerto Rican people were declassified in the late 90s.
#34 British Army Experiments
The British army chemical and biological experiments were interesting, to say the least. The declassified documents explain the use of chemicals across large areas of the UK to see what would happen. Including, but not limited to, an experiment on the tube to see what happens.
#35 The Reece Committee
The findings in the Reece Committee that state the deliberate dumbing down of the U.S. population. In the Dodd Report to the Reece Committee on Foundations, he gave a definition of the word "subversive", saying that the term referred to "Any action having as its purpose the alteration of either the principle or the form of the United States Government by other than constitutional means." He then argued that the Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, and Carnegie Endowment were using funds excessively on projects at Columbia, Harvard, Chicago University and the University of California, in order to enable oligarchical collectivism. He stated, "The purported deterioration in scholarship and in the techniques of teaching which, lately, has attracted the attention of the American public, has apparently been caused primarily by a premature effort to reduce our meager knowledge of social phenomena to the level of an applied science.
#36 Stasi Records
In East Germany, the Stasi collected absurd amounts of information about civilians, later available at the Stasi Records Agency. There was even an archive of people's scents with impregnated cloths. You can visit the museum in Berlin.
#37 Operation Condor
The CIA has been involved in numerous regime changes in Latin America. In Operation Condor, the CIA worked with several countries to orchestrate assassinations, anti-insurgency training, and the disappearances of leftist civilians.
#38 The Manned Orbiting Laboratory
The Manned Orbiting Laboratory was an Air Force project back during the Cold War. It's stated goal was to test the effectiveness of space-based recon. Its hidden agenda was to test the applications of an orbital weapons station. Not only that, it would have been used for global surveillance, including Americans. The Government has been plotting to spy on us for over 50 years. Luckily it was cancelled to fund the Vietnam War, and was the military's last chance to develop a space program.
#39 Project MKUltra
Project MKUltra. To summarise, you know Stranger Things, basically, this is the main inspiration for that. Alternatively you could compare it to Deadpool's origins. Human experimentation to find superpowers. Yeah.
Chernobyl could've been stopped. Flaws in the construction were known about. By extension, various other smaller nuclear accidents in the USSR didn't get revealed to the public, including those in the vicinity of the reactors, until notably later.
#41 Operation Sea-Spray
Operation Sea-Spray. The military sprayed supposedly harmless bacteria over San Francisco to study the spread of biological weapon attacks. "Based on results from monitoring equipment at 43 locations around the city, the Army determined that San Francisco had received enough of a dose for nearly all of the city's 800,000 residents to inhale millions of particles each day during the week of spraying."
It was revealed that this happened over 200 times all across the U.S: "These tests included the large-scale releases of bacteria in the New York City subway system, on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, and in National Airport just outside Washington, DC."
#42 Operation Northwoods
Operation Northwoods. Basically, the U.S. government was going to carry out attacks its own people (as well as other military targets) and blame it on the Cuban government, so that the U.S. would have a "justified" reason for going to war with Cuba. The plan involved blowing up U.S. ships and even inciting acts of terrorism on the streets of America. It was backed by the DoD and Joint Chiefs of Staff. Thankfully, John Kennedy vetoed the idea. According to Adam Walinsky, JFK's speechwriter and friend at the time, JFK left the meeting and said, "And we call ourselves the human race."
#43 Nixon's Undelivered Speech
How about Nixon’s undelivered speech announcing that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were stranded alive on the moon with no hope of rescue?
"Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace. These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice. These two men are laying down their lives in mankind’s most noble goal: the search for truth and understanding.
They will be mourned by their families and friends; they will be mourned by their nation; they will be mourned by the people of the world; they will be mourned by a Mother Earth that dared send two of her sons into the unknown. In their exploration, they stirred the people of the world to feel as one; in their sacrifice, they bind more tightly the brotherhood of man.
In ancient days, men looked at stars and saw their heroes in the constellations. In modern times, we do much the same, but our heroes are epic men of flesh and blood. Others will follow, and surely find their way home. Man’s search will not be denied. But these men were the first, and they will remain the foremost in our hearts. For every human being who looks up at the moon in the nights to come will know that there is some corner of another world that is forever mankind."
#44 Joseph McMoneagle
A man named Joseph McMoneagle claimed he had the unusual talent known as "remote viewing" where he had the ability to see the world through another person's eyes at any physical place, and any place in time. The CIA ran a test on him in 1984 where they tried to discredit his ability. They gave him a piece of paper with coordinates and a date in time written on it, and told him to tell them what he saw.
The catch was the coordinates were on Mars and the date was a million years in the past. However, to their surprise when McMoneagle began to describe what he saw he described unanfamilliar landscape, and said that he viewed a civilization in a dire state. He then went on to describe complex infrastructure spanning the strange landscape, such as roads, aqueducts, channels and pyramids. He described the entities that he saw as, "tall shadowed figures," and it appeared that their situation was critical, and on the brink of apocalypse. The CIA declassified the entire transcript which can be read by anyone online.
#45 Dugway Sheep incident
Perhaps the most worrying of declassified documents is the Dugway Sheep incident. About six thousand sheep just...died. It was possibly due to an aerial release of nerve agents, but even that explanation isn't perfect as some other animals were fine and some sheep showed symptoms inconsistent with nerve gas exposure.