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Lab 257: The Disturbing Story of the Government's Secret Germ Laboratory Paperback – August 9, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (August 9, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006078184X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060781842
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,528 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Startling...[Carroll] raises critical questions about the ever-changing balance between science, security and safety...Right on target.” (Popular Science)

About the Author

Michael Christopher Carroll spent seven years researching and writing Lab 257. A native of Long Island and an avid outdoorsman, Carroll is now general counsel of a New York-based finance company. He lives on Long Island and in New York City.

Customer Reviews

Very interesting read.
D. Russell
This is a real story of total government incompetence at Plum Island's lab 257.
Sunil
Like I said, the truth will REALLY make you think!
C. Dawson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Joseph VINE VOICE on June 13, 2006
Format: Paperback
Ever wonder about the origins of Lyme Disease and West Nile Virus? Lab 257 begins by presenting an interesting circumstantial case that the outbreak of these strange maladies in the U.S. may be traced to the secret government facility at Plum Island. The author then proceeds to explain how, thanks to inadequate funding, managerial complacency, and insufficient governmental oversight, this once state-of-the-art animal disease laboratory has degenerated into an environmental hazard of startling proportions, making future outbreaks of other frightening biological agents all too possible. The book concludes with some useful suggestions regarding alternatives to the current situation at Plum Island, acknowledging the heightened importance of its charter in the post-9/11 world. While some may find the details a bit dense in parts, it's a fine piece of investigative journalism that cries out for concerned citizens and politicians to take notice.

-Kevin Joseph, author of "The Champion Maker"
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Jason VINE VOICE on February 18, 2009
Format: Paperback
Reading an official press release from Plum Island is fairly benign. What's not easy is to read, however, is the litany of diseases handled incompetently there: Ebola, Marburg hemorrhagic fever, foot-and-mouth disease, Rift Valley fever virus, anthrax, plague, Entebbe, Zagazig 501, typhoid, diphtheria, E. coli, AIDS, polio, Japanese encephalitis, swine flu, mad cow disease, virulent influenza, Coxsackie B-5 virus, louping ill, Venezuelan equine encephalitis, Newcastle disease, vesicular stomatitis virus, contagious ecthyma, Nairobi sheep disease, and anthrax. Not all of these viruses have been contained. And that doesn't even take into account the various other test tube concoctions that cause encephalatic brain seizures, massive hemorrhaging, blindness, and death. Scary stuff, right?

Indeed, it's easy to make connections between Plum Island and three major disease outbreaks (West Nile virus - 1999, Lyme disease - 1975, Dutch duck plague - 1967). When looking at a map that displays the number of Lyme disease cases in the US, the results are staggering. There is a heavier concentration of Lyme disease within a small radius of Plum Island than anywhere else in the U.S., which doesn't come as much of a surprise when considering they bred and infected deer ticks and Lone Star ticks by the thousands.

Multiple outbreaks and deficiencies have been noted, but management has admitted only six employees contractions of exotic animal diseases: 3 - Newcastle, 2 - vesicular stomatitis, 1 - foot-and-mouth disease. On the verge of an environmental catastrophe for decades, it's hard to believe their miniscule estimates.
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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Wayne Klein HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 15, 2006
Format: Paperback
Like THE RIVER, author Michael C. Carroll has a lot of evidence some of it circumstantial and some of it solid that suggests the spread of Lyme Disease and even West Nile Virus could be the work of the US Government's research on Plum Island. Nestled in Long Island Sound off the coast of Connecticut and not far from New York City this "biological Three Mile Island" was established to do research on bio warfare using techniques that were developed by the Nazi's and Japanese during World War II. Using Project Paperclip to offer refuge to German scientists (and Japense as well) after the war U.S. scientists benefited from the knowledge that was developed on POW's and concentration camp victims to develop new and better ways to kill and disable our enemies.

Lab 257 was the focal point of much of this research. The lab had consistent failures in isolating many of the viruses and bacteria that they studied. In fact the negative pressure environment where the animal bodies were to be destroyed was wired incorrectly blowing potential viruses and bacteria everywhere prior to their disposal. Using information from people who worked there (some anonymously), declassified files and other credible sources of information Carroll makes a compelling case for the carelessness of our government in research that may have helped spread Lyme disease infected ticks and other viruses into the environment.

While it certainly is important to understand how many of these viruses and bacteria work, it's even more important to protect the public from contamination. The sloppy methods used at the lab put many people that live in the surrounding area at risk. Since takne over by the Department of Homeland Security, Americans are in the dark as to the plans for this biological waste disposal site.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By C. Dawson on January 30, 2010
Format: Paperback
They always say that TRUTH is scarier than FICTION. If the accounts of Plum Island as written by Michael Carroll are true, this book will frighten you into restless nights. The blatant negligence, scandals, turnover, and reckless behavior of scientists at this so-called "safest lab in the world" facility will shock you at every turn of the page. You will be shaking your head in disbelief, dropping your jaw, and grabbing your chest at some of the accounts. If you are an animal lover, this book may NOT be for you, as it does describe some horrific accounts of inhumanity to livestock animals, rodents, and a few domestics as well. Not for the feint of heart. BUT...
If you REALLY want to know what went on behind closed (and leaky) doors of Plum Island Germ Laboratory #257, Mr. Carroll gives you an interesting and terrifying glimpse. Don't say I didn't warn you. Like I said, the truth will REALLY make you think!
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