Well, Plum Island is an island, and it does have some plums on it, but that’s not weird enough for me to write about it. Let’s start with the basics. It’s a small island off the coast of New York, off the northeastern tip of Long Island. It is roughly three miles long, only a mile in width, at most, and totals eight hundred and forty acres. Sure, it was dubbed Plum Island because of the succulent beach plums that grow along the coastline, but the strange aura hovering over this place is anything but sweet. It has been called Mystery Island, Monster Island, and the non-fictional version of The Island Of Dr. Moreau, not because of its historic lighthouse and flavorful fruit, but because its home to a mysteriously laboratory, hidden away from peering eyes.
For years Plum Island changed hands, including one pivotal purchase in 1659 for the gargantuan cost of one coat, one barrel of biscuits, and one hundred fishhooks—what a steal. During World War II, the island became home to anti-submarine base and guns were installed on the shoreline to keep a watchful eye out for approaching German U-boats, warships, and planes. Then, in the mid-fifties, long after the passing of the war, Plum Island was sold to the United States Department of Agriculture, which then turned it into—Plum Island Animal Disease Center.
Animal disease center—what exactly do they do there? According to a press release, they research and diagnose to prevent catastrophic economic losses caused by foreign animal diseases, or F.A.D’s, accidentally or deliberately introduced into the United States. Here is their mission:
1.) Development of more sensitive and accurate methods of disease agent detection and identification.
2.) Development of new strategies to control disease epidemics, including rDNA vaccines, antiviral drugs, and transgenic, disease-resistant animals.
3.) The assessment of risks involved in importation of animals and animal products from countries where epidemic F.A.D’s. have occurred.
4.) Diagnostic investigations of suspect cases of F.A.D. outbreaks in U.S. livestock.
5.) Tests of animals in animal products to be imported into the U.S. to make sure those imports are free of F.A.D. agents
6.) Production and maintenance of reagents used in diagnostic tests and vaccines for F.A.D’s.
7.) Training of animal health professionals in the recognition and diagnosis of F.A.D’s.
Now, that sounds all nice and good, but a lot of what really goes on at Plum Island is shrouded in secrecy and conducted behind closed doors. Some eyewitness’ claim that the research done on the island is our first line of defense against foreign animal diseases, others claim that the island is the isolated playground for the creation of bio weapons. A mysterious file known as “Project Jefferson” seems to indicate an effort to develop a vaccine-resistant form of anthrax for use as a weapon against foreign invaders.
Trying to get a true account of the incidents at Plum Island is like trying to squeeze blood from a stone—or blood from a plum. The island has two docks and is only accessible by a government issued ferry. Any unsuspecting boaters and weekend warriors who naively wander too close to the dark island are quickly shoed away by armed military personnel and warned never to return, less they face dire consequences. Every single one of the two hundred employees are forced into a decontamination shower on arrival and departure from the island. Because of this and other strict security measures, the island boasts about their safety record and claim that not once in over fifty years of operation has a single animal pathogen escaped from the confines of the island.
Now, let’s move onto the strange and curious circumstances they seem to permeate the Plum Island. The first appearance of Lyme disease reared its ugly head 13 miles northeast of the island, not the luckiest of numbers. Unexplained appearances of the West Nile virus have haunted sections of Long Island and New York City. The rotten indistinguishable husks of unidentifiable animals have washed ashore on the surrounding coastline. Random occurrences of Foot And Mouth disease, along with numerous other puzzling happenings have detonated within close range of the island.
The powers that be behind Plum Island state that they work to protect farm animals, farmers, ranchers, the nation’s farm economy, export markets, and last but not least, our own food supply, but what are they really hiding?
Next time you indulge your taste buds with a tantalizing chicken nugget, you can rest assured that it is free from disease, but the true nature of Plum Island has yet to be uncovered.
It all started with a man named Adolf Hitler and the rise of the Nazi party. Between the years of 1939 and 1945, when the Nazi Germany began to lay waste to everything in their path, they employed some of the worlds most brilliant and evil scientists. Tucked away in underground facilities, these scientists would commit controversial and horrid experiments on animal and human alike. These experiments ranged from testing the body against mustard gas, hypothermia, malaria, bacterias, incendiary explosives, and poison. They even went as far as gene-splicing, fusing bodies together, and attempts to make severed body parts live free from their fleshy anchors and independent of any other living systems. Tales of disembodied arms taking on a life of their own and escaping along with severed heads that continue to stay alive long after their body has seized to exists run rampant. Very little proof of successful experiments exists, but there are a handful of pictures, and a disturbing piece of 8mm celluloid proving that Nazi scientists achieved their goal of fusing a second living head on to the body of a dog. Once, during a chance encounter at Coney Island with a traveling sideshow, I was privileged enough to view the last remaining frames of that very film. Clearly authentic, the scene in question, filmed sometime in the mid-fifties, takes place in a necropsy room, where the body of a canine with two heads awakens from slumber and begins to bark—from both mouths.
You might already be asking, what does this have to do with Plum Island? The answer is, everything. After the death of Adolf Hitler and the abolishment of the Nazi party, all traces of the infamous German scientists and their blasphemous creations entirely disappeared. If you put the pieces together, connect the dots, and factor in a series of baffling Morse code messages sent from somewhere on the island during the early sixties, then you come to the true conclusion. The island is a modern day Alcatraz and the missing scientists, after being captured and disguised, were sent to the island where they have been forced to continue their grisly work to this day. Who knows what strides they have made in there research, what creatures they have created. For now we are safe, but all it will take is an upheaval, an act of sabotage, outbreak, or a hurricane, and all hell will break loose—literally.
True horror, it seems, abounds on Plum Island.