U.S. Military Conducted Open-air Biowarfare Experiments

A December 8, 1994, staff report prepared for the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs included a description of the U.S. military's open-air experiments with hazardous chemical and biological agents.

From 1951 to 1969, the U.S. military conducted hundreds or perhaps thousands of such tests at Dugway Proving Ground near Salt Lake City, Utah. In one case, Venezuelan equine encephalomyelitis was found in the nearby animal population. In 1968, more than six thousand sheep died following the release of a nerve gas from an airplane. The Department of Defense initially blamed the deaths on pesticide use, but after autopsies found a nerve agent, the Department reimbursed the ranchers whose sheep were poisoned.