It has just been revealed that Britain and the U.S. teamed up in a top secret international operation for two decades to steal the bodies of dead babies for nuclear research. Newly-declassified documents released by the American Department of Energy show that scientists from the UK Atomic Energy Authority removed children?s bones and bodies and shipped them to the U.S. for classified nuclear experiments.
There are hundreds of pages of documents which discuss levels of radiation in the ribs of stillborn babies and lists of dead children?s bodies obtained from the Middlesex Hospital in England and shipped to American nuclear laboratories. The babies are not named, but were assigned code names, such as Baby B-1102, a boy who died at 8 months old. The project was codenamed ?Project Sunshine.?
Ex-President Bill Clinton initiated the investigation that resulted in the documents being made public. A report on the project says, ?Researchers employed deception in the solicitation of bones of deceased babies from intermediaries with access to human remains.? The report goes on to say that doctors at English hospitals helped deliver the bodies of the babies to the researchers.
Willard Libby, a scientist who later won the Nobel Prize for his research into carbon dating techniques, instructed his colleagues to break the law in their search for bodies. ?Human samples are of prime importance, and if anybody knows how to do a good job of body-snatching, they will really be serving their country,? he said. ?We hired an expensive law firm to look up the law on body-snatching. It is not very encouraging. It shows how difficult it is going to be to do it legally.?
British scientists collaborated with the project from the beginning, in the early 1950s. Some of the reports compare the nuclear material in bodies obtained from England to those from San Francisco. One paper says parts from British babies and children up to the age of 10 years were ?readily available.? At the same time, British scientists conducted their own research on dead children. Between 1955 and 1970, they collected around 6,000 bodies. The documents indicate that the British also conducted tests on babies from Hong Kong. In the 1990s, English researchers tested fetal tissue from abortions but they say that this time it was done with permission.
Jean Prichard, whose baby died in 1957, says her child?s legs were removed by hospital doctors without permission. To prevent her from finding out, she was forbidden to dress her daughter for her funeral. ?I asked if I could put her christening robe on her, but I wasn?t allowed to, and that upset me terribly because she wasn?t christened. No one asked me about doing things like that, taking bits and pieces from her.?
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