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Reply #112: 'This is different:' Son of scientist who died in 1953 compares cases then and now [View All]

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HillbillyBob Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-06-08 12:38 PM
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112. 'This is different:' Son of scientist who died in 1953 compares cases then and now

Eric Olson knows a little about government scientists.

His father, Frank Olson, was an early researcher in the biological warfare program at Fort Detrick until he died in 1953. At the time, United States government officials said Olson's death was a suicide, and that Olson jumped or fell to his death from a high-rise hotel in New York City.

In 1975, the Rockefeller Commission discovered the CIA had slipped LSD to Olson and several other scientists just days before while they were attending a conference at Deep Creek Lake in Garrett County.

CIA spokesmen later admitted its agents were involved in an experimental drug program, but said Olson's death was an apparent suicide.

Eric Olson, who was 8-years-old when his father died, still lives in Frederick. He thinks his father, caught between the Central Intelligence Agency and the U.S. biological warfare program, was killed because he questioned the government's motive in biological warfare.

Now another Fort Detrick scientist, Bruce Ivins, is dead -- an apparent suicide.

"What you've got now is different," Olson said in a telephone interview Monday.

"I'm not a conspiracy theorist. My father's case has to do with the enforcement of security when you're doing morally compromising activities. It had to do with covert operations. It wasn't that he was some Detrick scientist. He was working for the CIA. He was privy to what the CIA was doing."

Olson has spent much of his life trying to prove that his father's death was not a suicide. "My father was a pioneer in this kind of research of anthrax," he said.

The FBI's case against Bruce Ivins, however, might be watertight, Olson said.

"If this guy isn't the guy, the guy who did these letters must be something like this."

What's notable about anthrax, as his father knew in 1953 and scientists like Ivins know today, is that deadly spores last, he said.

The federal government has been under pressure to solve the 2001 case, in which anthrax-laced letters killed five people and sickened 17 others, Olson said.

"You can't solve the case without it coming from the government itself," he said. "There was incredible pressure to solve it for the public at large. After seven years, they still don't know who it was. That is not reassuring. I thought this case was going to dribble out in the sand."

Olson said his father knew too much, but this case is different.

"Sometimes, things are what they seem."

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