Mystery of the cursed bread: who is to blame, the CIA, Stalin or ergot?

1951. A small town in the South of France suddenly strikes a strange illness. It starts almost innocently, headaches, nausea, dizziness. And then night falls, which was later the name of "night of the Apocalypse".

Mystery of the cursed bread: who is to blame, the CIA, Stalin or ergot?

The village of Pont-Saint-Esprit is located on the right Bank of the rhône river. Seventy years ago it was a small village where lived only 4500 people. From the coast with a beautiful view of the river, life flowed smoothly and quietly — Pont-Saint-Esprit was one of those places where, passing through the street, it was impossible not to meet someone.

Mystery of the cursed bread: who is to blame, the CIA, Stalin or ergot?No one could have foreseen that it was this village will fall the mountain, which the French themselves called "cursed bread" — le pain maudit.

Mystery of the cursed bread: who is to blame, the CIA, Stalin or ergot?Seven people were killed, dozens were in a madhouse, hundreds more suffered severe symptoms of poisoning. And the culprit was the bread, but the mystery of the tragedy is still is not fully disclosed.

It all began August 16, 1951, when the townspeople suddenly attacked by a disease of unknown origin. Madness descended on Pont-Saint-Esprit.

Mystery of the cursed bread: who is to blame, the CIA, Stalin or ergot?

Another victim of the "cursed bread" I saw how the heart runs between the foot, begging the doctor to bring him back. Many crazy had to be hospitalized, before wearing them straitjackets.

Mystery of the cursed bread: who is to blame, the CIA, Stalin or ergot?

The doctor guessed that the culprit was food poisoning, but for a long time failed to find the source of the poison. In the early days, five people died and two more later. By 21 August, after only five days, more than a hundred people were poisoned, six were hospitalized, among them was three children.

Mystery of the cursed bread: who is to blame, the CIA, Stalin or ergot?

The first theories and their debunking

Mystery of the cursed bread: who is to blame, the CIA, Stalin or ergot?

Indeed, all the troubles accused by a local Baker, who is not purposely used in baking flour infected with ergot — fungi that are parasitic on grasses. However, some time later, this theory was replaced by another — the people were poisoned with mercury.

Mystery of the cursed bread: who is to blame, the CIA, Stalin or ergot?

Albarelli found a recording of a conversation between a CIA agent, where it was mentioned "the secret of Pont-Saint-Esprit" and that the problem was not in ergot, a toxic substance in the diethylamine, which is part of the LSD.

In the preparation of his book "the great mistake: the murder of Frank Olson and the secret experiments of the CIA during the cold war" (A Terrible Mistake: The Murder of Frank Olson and the CIA''s Secret Cold War Experiments) Albarelli spoke to former colleagues of Olson. Two of them told the man that the cause of the incident was the mysterious experiments that were conducted in those places. According to the journalist, Frank was directly associated with the ongoing experiments, during which, presumably, LSD as toxic weapons sprayed from airplanes, to test the effect of mass hysteria.

The real bomb was the document from the White house addressed to the members of the Board of the Rockefeller Foundation, which was formed in 1975 to investigate the crimes committed by the CIA. The document was a list of names related to the incident in France, and a direct indication of the connection between the CIA, LSD and the Pont-Saint-Esprit. However, the accused party denied it.

Inhabitants of Pont-Saint-Esprit insist on disclosure of the true causes of the disease. 71-year-old Charles Grange says: "I was almost done and would really like to know why."

Keywords: 50s | Riddles | Crazy | France | CIA

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