25 Best Kept Secrets That’ll Scare You – Part 2

For part 1 of this article, click here.

For more such interesting declassified documents, check out this article.

11Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment

During the Tuskegee syphilis experiment, the US Public Health Service withheld penicillin treatment from hundreds of impoverished sharecroppers to study the natural progression of untreated syphilis in rural African-American men. This led to their life expectancy falling by 1.4 years, which accounted for approximately 35% of the life expectancy gap between black and white men. The study continued until it was leaked to the press in 1972. A doctor was even reprimanded by the US government for treating an elderly black man with syphilis because the doctor ruined their experiment. The elderly black man was unwittingly part of the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment, and the doctor had unknowingly stumbled upon it.


12Project 1794

Project 1794 was a top-secret program with the U.S. Air Force working with a Canadian aeronautics company to build a supersonic flying saucer-like aircraft that would be able to simultaneously wage psychological war on the Soviet Union as well as physical war (it was also designed to be a bomber). The project was scrapped when they figured out that not only would it be too expensive to build enormous flying discs, but also that crafts of that shape were near impossible to fly at supersonic speeds. A lot of UFO conspiracies started after the test of their smaller flight models.


13Vipeholm Experiments

From 1945 to 1955, Swedish researchers subjected uninformed patients of Vipeholm Mental Hospital to a series of tests to determine how teeth decay worked. The tests began as government-approved vitamin research but quickly deteriorated into experimentation with a diet of candy and chocolate, sponsored in large part by the local confectionery industry. Many of the patients had their teeth irreparably ruined, and it began a large conversation on the ethics of informed consent because these experiments were performed on people who were “uneducable” who had no say in what went on.


14Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program

The Pentagon commissioned an initiative called the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program in 2007 and they just recently released footage of US military aircraft approaching these “advanced aerospace threats.” The program produced documents that describe sightings of aircraft that seemed to move at very high velocities with no visible signs of propulsion, or that hovered with no apparent means of lift. Officials with the program have also studied videos of encounters between unknown objects and American military aircraft — including one released in 2017 of a whitish oval object, about the size of a commercial plane, chased by two Navy F/A-18F fighter jets from the aircraft carrier Nimitz off the coast of San Diego in 2004.


15Stasi Files

In East Germany, a committed freedom fighter and her husband had dealt with having her home raided while she was away, being arrested on the way to protests and all sorts of state-sponsored harassment. After the wall fell she was able to read the documents the Stasi had kept on her and found out her own husband was an undercover agent and had written many reports on her activities with a bloodless banality. All citizens were allowed to view their own files and many were shocked to find out that their own relatives were informing on them. There was even a case of a mother spying on her son, for which she was awarded East German Service Cross, given to informers who proved particularly reliable.


16NSA ANT Catalog

NSA ANT catalog is a 50-page classified document listing technology available to the NSA and other national security administrations have been in possession of, and use, for the purpose of cyber-surveillance. The document was created in 2008 and was made public in 2013. The technology in this document is incredible, and terrifying for the idea of privacy. These devices are everywhere, could be in any cable, any computer, any phone, any anything.


17Manned Orbiting Laboratory

The Manned Orbiting Laboratory was a United States Air Force project back during the Cold War. Its stated goal was to test the effectiveness of space-based reconnaissance. Its hidden agenda was to test the applications of an orbital weapons station. It would have also been used for global surveillance, including Americans. Luckily it was canceled to fund the Vietnam War.


18Business Plot of 1933

The wealthiest businessmen of America, like the names you see on banks and buildings in America today, allegedly formed a plot to overthrow President FDR and install a military leader in his place. Their choice was a U.S. Marine General named Smedley Butler, as he was a decorated leader of the highest rank. Butler, a loyal patriot, played along until they were seriously about to attempt to collapse the U.S. economy by holding the financial stability of the country hostage. He rolled on them and testified to Congress about the planned coup. No one was prosecuted.


19Ultra

One of the world’s best-kept secret is hiding the fact that the Allies broke the Enigma cipher, later, the Japanese “Purple” cipher, the German Lorenz cipher, and the Italian C-38 cipher. Allies had blown every code the Axis used out of the water, thanks to the work of the Polish Cipher Bureau, and the Bletchley Park mathematicians including Alan Turing, and the American Signal Intelligence Service. The collective intelligence from all these broken codes was called Ultra. But they couldn't let the axis know that their codes were broken. What do you do when your code gets broken? You make a new, harder one. The allies couldn't let that happen.

So they basically lied to their own men. If they wanted to take out an Axis supply ship after finding it through Ultra, they had a spy plane fly over where they knew the ship would be, then they sunk it. They also had to hide the broken codes from their own soldiers, lest they revealed it under careless talk. One of the few times they were forced to sink ships immediately, they covered it by sending a message in a code they knew the Germans had broken, to a spy in Naples, congratulating him of his success. The spy didn't exist, but the Germans intercepted the message and assumed everything was still good with Enigma.

They didn’t even reveal Ultra after the war. They saw to it that the Enigma machines were sold to potential enemies in the Third World, who continued to use the broken codes for years. Ultra wasn't revealed in its full extent until 1974, 29 years after the war. Never has a secret of such massive importance been so well kept for so long.


20Death of TELSTAR

USA was responsible for the death of TELSTAR, the world’s first commercial satellite. Starfish Prime was a high-altitude nuclear test conducted by the United States in 1962 and that blast created an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) that killed TELSTAR. TELSTAR was placed in orbit a day after the test. The EMP effect of the detonation energized the Earth’s magnetic field long enough to cause the satellite to die on orbit. US government didn’t tell AT&T what had happened until around 2005 or so.

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