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Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The Porton Down: how human experimentation has helped the investigation of the poisoning Skripal

Prime Minister Theresa may said that the poisoning Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, with high probability, is Russia. According to her, the findings of advanced British laboratory, Porton Down show that the poisoning of the Russian defector used the nerve agent from the group of “Beginner”, which is produced in the territory of the Russian Federation. The Porton Down really is almost one of a kind institution in the United Kingdom. At the beginning of the last century there were developed chemical and biological weapons and is still in the laboratory deals with the study and utilization of deadly gases. Is at Porton down and their skeletons in the closet: experiments on people and animals, the sudden death of the subjects and even the rumors about the imprisonment there of aliens.

photo: en.wikipedia.org

Laboratory, Porton Down is located near the town of Salisbury, which was poisoned Skripal. According to the newspaper The Telegraph, its history takes its beginning in 1916. A year earlier in the First world war was first used chemical weapons. The establishment of the research centre was a response of great Britain to the German chlorine and mustard gas. The country began to develop its own poison gas. After the war development continued, including in the direction of a new weapon — biological.

By the end of the Second world war, Porton Down shifted to studies of nerve gases. The experiments were conducted on volunteers. However, not all of them knew the danger they exposed their lives. Some of the volunteers claimed to have signed up for experiments in the field of combating colds. One of these volunteers was 20-year-old serviceman Ronald Maddison, who was hoping to use a small remuneration for participation in the study, to buy an engagement ring to his fiancee Mary Pyle. But the wedding was not destined to take place.

No one told Madison that he was going to expose the deadly sarin gas, otherwise he would never have agreed. To kill the officer, however, also no one was going: scientists did not expect that some layers will be a weak protection against sarin, which dripped on the body of the volunteer. A few minutes later, after the experiment, Maddison, died in agony. The yard was in 1953. Three years later, Britain abandoned the development of offensive chemical weapons and switched to research in the field of protection against him. Stocks of deadly substances Porton down began systematically destroyed, and this work is still going on. Finally, tests of nerve gas ceased in 1989, along with the cold war.

The British Ministry of defence only partially admitted his guilt for the death of the soldier, insisting that his death was the result of an accident. But the parents of Madison did not give up and achieved that in 2004, the military held a formal investigation into the activities of the laboratory. A report on their findings, they reported that some of the details of the experiments “might not meet ethical standards.” Two years later, the family of an officer and the military Department came to the agreement that acknowledged that the government committed “gross negligence” in relation to their son.

Maddison was not the only one affected by the work of Porton down. In 2008, the British Ministry of defense concluded an extrajudicial agreement with 360 participants of the experiments, paying them a total of £ 3 million. The volunteers received compensation for the fact that you were misled. They, like the deceased officer, believed that taking part in the study of influenza.

Anyway, these days, Porton Down seeks to get rid of his bad reputation. At the research center employs about 3,000 people. At different times they were engaged in the investigation of the use of poison gas by Saddam Hussein, were looking for a cure the Ebola epidemic and assessed the situation with chemical weapons in Syria. Despite the apparent violation of ethical standards in the past, controversial experiments also served the laboratory with good service in particular has helped to develop protective clothing that have been used after poisoning Skripal in Solsberri.

In June 2016, the British defense Ministry issued a press release in which it refuted the most common myths about Porton Down, for example, that it held the aliens (dead or alive) or growing cannabis.

Read the story: Developer “Newbie”: Skripal and his daughter will die or remain crippled

See photo essay on the topic:

Sergei Skripal: a traitor’s life in photos

16 photos

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