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Monday, Dec 17, 2001

same old song

"The fate of Frank Olson, long stamped 'Top Secret,' was a dark and cautionary tale of the Cold War. On November 19, 1953, Olson, a 43-year-old scientist at Fort Detrick, had joined other government researchers at Deep Creek Lodge in Western Maryland. There, an unseen hand had slipped 70 micrograms of LSD into his glass of Cointreau and the glasses of others. The meeting soon degenerated into hours of drug-induced hilarity. But days after, Olson was said to be sullen and withdrawn. A government official had escorted him to New York to 'take care of him'-words his son Eric would later use with grim irony. Shortly after 2:30 on the morning of November 28, 1953, Olson's body was discovered, bloodied and broken, on the pavement of Manhattan's Seventh Avenue, clothed only in underpants and a T-shirt.The government asked the family to believe that he had hurled himself through a closed window on the 10th floor of the Statler Hotel, while a government scientist assigned to keep an eye on him had slept in the next bed."