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on August 9, 2005
I found this to be one of the most engaging and astounding books I have ever read. The author tells the story of Plum Island, an island of the coast of Long Island on which was located a US government laboratory that ran secret experiments of various viruses, bacteria, and other microbial agents. Superficially owned by the USDA, its stated purpose was to help US agriculture by studying the different diseases that could afflict livestock, and come up with vaccines or cures for them. The real purpose of the lab was to study those diseases to see if and how they could be weaponized for use against the livestock of other countries in a war, specifically the Soviet Union.

The experiments that went on at Plum Island began during the 1940s and continued through the 1990's. During this time, Lyme disease, West Nile Virus, Ebola, and other diseases were imported here from various geographies and countries to be studied. The author speculates that many of these diseases accidentally got out and of the island, and spread to the local wildlife and then to the human population. The causes of these mishaps range from human error, technical failures of various kinds, and the occasional hurricane.

The author does a good job of covering the science that went on at this lab, along with the politics and secrecy involved, such as Congressional oversight, lawsuits from various NGO's, and conflicts with the local media and governments. This is a great book to read, and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to know more about where your tax money goes to.
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on April 6, 2004
Has it ever occurred to anyone that the first outbreaks of Lyme disease, in 1975, happened a mere 10 miles from the Plum Island germ laboratory? It certainly didn't to me until after reading this book. Since 1948, ticks have been bred and infected with the Lyme virus and other horrific viruses on this US govt. owned island located off the coast of Long Island and Connecticut in Long Island Sound. Old Lyme, CT, namesake of the disease, lies directly in the path of the prevailing wind direction from Plum Island. It just kind of makes you wonder.
This book provides an objective history of the Plum Island Animal Disease Center - from its early days as a biological warfare laboratory following WWII (...), through the years it was controlled by the USDA, up until today, when control of the island lies with the Dept. of Homeland Security. At least two outbreaks of diseases that made it to the mainland from Plum Island have occurred over the years; there is also evidence that other virus outbreaks - such as the West Nile virus - possibly originated at the Plum Island facility.
It is amazing that so few people really know about the activities on the island, especially when you consider that it is just miles from one of the most populated areas in the country - the New York City area. This book is a great read for anyone concerned about the environment, biological warfare, or the mechanics of the federal govt. It is a must-read for anyone living within 100 miles of Plum Island and/or using Long Island Sound recreationally.
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on June 27, 2004
If "The Hot Zone" scared the pants off of you, then this book will leave you naked. As an eastern Long Islander, this book really opened my eyes and made me think. With every chapter I read, I was on the phone soon afterwards telling my friends, "And you know what else the government is doing there...." The only reason I did not give this the full five stars was that it seemed to me in the last chapter that Mr. Carroll changed his stance on this issue. After an entire book of relating the nasty things that have happened on Plum Island---and ARE happening--Carroll suggests that perhaps Plum Island is needed. If this is his belief after all the research he did, then why wasn't that reflected in the rest of the book? Even so, I reccommend this book to anyone concerned about the health and safety of their neighborhood, particularly everyone living in the Long Island/Connecticut areas.
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on April 23, 2004
Thank you, thank you, thank you to Mr. Carroll for having the courage to write this enlightening book. As a chronic Lyme disease sufferer for 14 years, it was always my gut feeling that this horrible disease somehow originated at Plum Island, but was never quite able to put all the details together. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that my illness might have originated from a Nazi Germany biological warfare program. This is a very bizarre illness with psychiatric, neurologic, arthritic and cardiac manifestations. Many Lyme sufferers are also coinfected with Bartonella, Babesia, Ehrlichia, Mycoplasma fermentins and various other pathogens. Now it is easy to see why the government has not helped the Lyme community in developing a reliable test to diagnose this. Now it is easy to see why we have received little help from the government for the development of a reliable test. No good test equals no diagnosis = no problem. The government would have a massive lawsuit on their hands for all the people that have suffered this inhuman disease and all the people in the future who it will affect. Lyme disease is reaching epidemic proportions. The undiagnosed segment of Lyme sufferers is probably at about 75%. This book is probably the most important read for Americans today. Thank you to Mr. Carroll for this wonderful piece of investigative reporting. His research is invaluable.
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on February 25, 2004
Michael Carroll's brave and compelling book raises questions that must be answered. The depth of research becomes clear quite quickly, but Carroll's a master of taking a LOT of information and delivering it in a very readable fashion. If The Hot Zone and the Omega Code raised the hairs on your neck, this book will deliver, but much scarier, because you can't just walk away and say "It's only a movie"....
Anyone who dismisses this book as an unlikely scenario is just naive. Bravo to Carroll, whose 7 years of writing shows up on every page.
This is a book that you should read, and then send to your Congressperson and Senator immediately. Though Carroll discusses the threat to the eastern seabord, I'm here to tell you that the same thing that happens to the guard in the first chapter happened to me in the Hollywood Hills in one of LA's most exclusive neighborhoods.....that means it can happen to you. Read this book, and wise up.
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on April 24, 2014
I found it abundantly documented, declassified government documents, specific references to highly qualified sources.

It is chilling to read how careless scientists get, working with deadly viruses. Read it for yourself: the author makes a pretty strong case that Lyme Disease, which is spreading across the United States may well have been, one of their escaped experimental viruses!
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on October 10, 2004
Michael Carroll has done a tremendous job in writing this book. Having dealt with Lyme disease for the past 10 years makes one leery of what Lab 257 is doing. Is Lyme disease a US Government Coverup? A terrible mistake? An accident or a planned release of a bacteria that may be the cause of untold millions of illnesses. Why hasn't the US Government come up with an accurate test for Lyme disease? This book should be in every library and on everyone's reading list.
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on June 30, 2016
Great book, can't believe all I'm learning, would encourage anyone to read this book ! About biological warfare our government has been involved in since WW II starting at Plum Island off New York shores. Lymes disease is so much more serious then the public knows !!
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on December 12, 2013
Excellent book that did not leave anything out about Plum Island and the atrocities committed there! I have Lyme disease and this book revealed allot about just exactly how the bacteria was created and then how certain vectors were chosen to inject the bacteria in! The amazing part that did not occur to me was how the bacteria left the island. It explained so much about the bacterias beginning and why the deadly Lyme disease is so prevalent and how it came to be that so many people all over the country are afflicted with it. I was shocked to find our government is responsible for this.
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on October 8, 2014
Surely most Lyme literate victims are familiar with the voluminous publications of Dr. Allen Steere who first diagnosed Lyme at Yale.
Read "Principles and Practices of Infectious Diseases" 2 edition, John Wiley & Sons, 1985 chapter "Bacterial Diseases: Spirochetes: Lyme Disease' pages 1345-1349 by Allen G. Steere and Stephen E. Malawista regarding the bizarre distribution of Lyme infected tick and Lyme infected patients on the East and west sides of the Connecticut River, just opposite the shores of Plum Island. 30 times more infected deer ticks and 12 times as many patients reside on the East side of the Connecticut River which divides the state perfectly in half. Any rational man who can read a map would instantly question the cause of this Lyme void on the mainland that Steere referenced to research by R.C. Wallis, Brown, Kloter and Main.

Furthermore, the early maps of the 1980s depict Lyme at four major port sites at opposite ends of our nation's coasts: New York and surrounding ports, Duluth Minnesota on the Great Lakes, New Orleans in the Caribbean and San Francisco on the Pacific; all WWII lend-lease shipping ports to and from the Soviet Union moving livestock, grain, rats and furs.

It would be a pleasure to debate Michael Carroll on the origins of Lyme disease. His book is very entertaining, but the author has been seriously sidetracked by leftwing political bias and Cold War propaganda of the American Communist Party's "Daily Worker." Let's take a look at these maps, and get the facts, Mr. Carroll. The deer and birds are getting a bad rap. See "Lyme Disease and the SS Elbrus" by Rachel Verdon for details.
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