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June 16, 1978 - Image 15

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1978-06-16

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The Michigan Daily-Friday, June 16, 1978-Page 15
New documents link 'U', CIA

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requested all additional CIA documents
concerning Project ARTICHOKE and
relating to the University.
The Agency's assistant general coun-
sel, A. R. Cinquegrana, informed Over-
berger in a letter dated March 29, 1978
that the CIA had no more documents
which concerned ARTICHOKE and
related to the University.
But additional documents do exist
IN A FEBRUARY 5, 1975 memoran-
dum to then Director of Intelligence
William Colby, Donald Chamberlain,
CIA Inspector General, stated that in
1949 the Agency's Office of Scientific In-
telligence (OSI) began analysis of
"foreign work on certain unconven-
tional warfare techniques, including
behavioral drugs."
Chamberlain stated that preliminary
phases of what was to become Project
BLUEBIRDincluded "review" of drug-
related work at, among seven other in-
stitutions in the country, the University
of Michigan. According to Chamberlain
the objectives of the research were to:
" learn how to condition agents to
prevent unauthorized extraction of in-
" learn how to control an individual's
mind through "special interrogating
" discover how to enhance memory,
" establish means of preventing hostile
control of Agency personnel.
IN AN April 1955 field report on a trip
to southeastern Michigan, a CIA agent
visited Ionia State Hospital to discuss
ARTICHOKE work which would begin
at the facility in another year.
At Ionia, a panel of doctors working
for the CIA tested the effects of LSD on
unwitting criminal sexual psychopaths
between 1956 and 1961, according to
other previously-released documents.
On the subject of LSD, one of the
Ionia doctors, whose name was deleted,
said the drug was a very "important
chemical and perhaps with study the
most valuable for our use." The CIA
agent wrote that the doctor was doing
experimental work with LSD, "but
stated at the present time, the control of
the chemical for out (CIA) use has not
yet been worked out."
THIS STATEMENT came after the
LSD-related death of Dr. Frank Olson
who in 1953 took the chemical in a CIA
experiment. Olson had a bad reaction to
the drug and underwent psychiatric
care in New York at CIA expense until
he threw himself through a closed win-
dow in his tenth floor hotel room.
The CIA later concluded, that Olson's
death was triggered by the LSD ex-
periment, according to another CIA
On the fourth day of the six-day ex-
cursion the CIA agent, who identified
himself in the report only as "the
writer," visited Alexander Smith, a
University professor of Mycology (the
study of fungi).
The agent praised Smith as
"probably the outstanding mycologist
in the United States, if not the world,
The writer stated in the report that
Smith was "extremely cooperative"
and surprised the agent by asking why
the area of toxic mushrooms had not
been fully researched. The writer
stated that Smith was aware that toxic
mushrooms grew in the Soviet Union
and that Russian literature-contained
usrt eamle o''alve Uing

ACCORDING to the CIA agent, Smith
talked at length about the thousands of
toxic mushrooms in the U.S. and
Canada, which the CIA should study
Smith stated that the toxicity or
chemical content of the mushrooms
was not in his field and this would
require a pharmacologist or chemist
plus careful research.
Nonetheless, the agent wrote that
Smith "urged that this work be carried
According to the CIA agent, Smith of-
fered to collect specimens for the Agen-
cy on a field trip in northef'n Michigan.
Smith offered his services free of
charge unless the Agency wanted him
to make "extensive collections." Then
a small sum of money would be
The CIA agent also wrote that Smith
was planning a fifteen-month field trip
in the western U.S. on a $12,000 grant
for the National Science Foundation.
Smith suggested the Agency be in-
cluded in this field trip.
THE WRITER wrote that while he
"had no knowledge of the Agency's
connection with the National Science
Foundation, but he is certain such con-
nections must exist and the writer
recommends that full advantage be
taken of the fifteen-month collecting
trip that Dr. Smith will undertake for
the National Science Foundation and
the University of Michigan.
In an underlined section of the report,
the CIA agent wrote that Smith urged,
"before anything else should be
done" ... someone from the Agency
entirely familiar with mushrooms and
who understands the problems involved
technically should visit him."
The writer wrote that Smith "stated
emphatically" that he regarded the
Soviet study of mushrooms to produce

rubber as a matter of "extreme in-
telligence importance."
The report continues with Smith
suggesting other prominent
mycologists whom the CIA should
"clear", including Morton Lenge, a
university professor of mycology in
Denmark, and Rolf Singer, who is now
working at the Field Museum of
Natural History in Chicago.
SMITH ADMITTED, in the report, to
eating a mushroom - Verpa Bohemia
- which completely upset his visual
coordination. Smith reported this
caused him to walk "into a wall while
trying to walk through a door."
The CIA agent said Smith appeared
to be extremely valuable "and a future
source of information for the Agency
and should definitely be exploited."
Smith, a 73-year-old, still teaches at
the University and works at the Univer-
sity Herbarium. In an interview, Smith
said he vaguely remembers the in-
"They probably had talked to me, but
as far as I was aware, nothing came of
it," said Smith.
After World War II he was flooded
with a stream of investigators -
"people coming through looking for

problems and looking for things to do
with mushrooms," said Smith. "I gave
He said the CIA wanted to know what
mushrooms would produce certain
compounds. "But they never came
through with a real clear-cut project for
what they wanted or worked out a
prospectus on how to go about it," he
Smith said he did not remember
collecting specimens for the CIA but
stated he "never turned in any sam-
ples." He said when the CIA came in
asking questions, "I did the best I could
for them." But he added, "you get in-
formation for nothing - you don't ex-
pect much."
Smith said he has never been in-
volved in LSD research and was never
approached to work on such a project.
"I never knew of Project AR-
TICHOKE," said Smith. "When you
mentioned the name, I thought you were
talking about vegetables."
The Virginia state legislature has
the highest percentage of lawyers in
the country. Fifty-seven per cent of
the state's lawmakers are attorneys.

MINI COURSE 420 1 credit
The Prehistory & Early History of Romania
June 15-July 11 3-4:30 p.m.
2009 Museum Tues.-Fri.
Visiting lecturer: Dr. Lucian Rosu (Fulbright Exchange Scholar), Professor
of Archaeology and Early History at the Academy of Economic Studies,
Bucarest, Romania.
This course will deal with the fundamental problems in the archaeological
and textual analysis of the prehistoric and early historic periods of Romanian
For Information: Contact Anthropology Dept., 221 Angell Hall, 764-

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