A Terrible Mistake  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

A Terrible Mistake: The Murder of Frank Olson and the CIA’s Secret Cold War Experiments (2009) is a book by H. P. Albarelli Jr., a writer and investigative reporter. It is the result of Albarelli's 10-year investigation into the controversial death of Army biochemist Dr. Frank Olson.

Albarelli is a graduate of Antioch Law School and is a claimed expert on the history of the CIA's rumored behavior modification and assassination programs of the 1950s, such as Project ARTICHOKE and MKULTRA.

Frank Olson's Death

On November 28, 1953, Army biochemist working with the CIA fell to his death from a hotel window in New York City. Twenty-two years later it was revealed that the scientist, Frank Olson, had been drugged with a chemical similar to LSD days before his death. In 1996, the New York District Attorney’s Office opened a murder investigation into Olson’s strange death. The book documents the several facts surrounding the death of Olson. No arrests or charges were ever filed.


In this book Albarelli alleges (based on official US government documents) that the CIA tested the use of LSD as a war weapon on the population of Pont-Saint-Esprit as part of their MKULTRA program. Albarelli states that Sandoz was covertly producing LSD for the CIA at the time that Sandoz scientists pointed the finger at ergot or mercury.

See also

Frank Olson, Cold War

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