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Friday, March 19, 2010

CIA Testing Ground?

For centuries, nothing much happened in Pont-Saint-Esprit, a sleepy village in southern France. Perched on the banks of the River Rhone, people lived there much as they had done since Medieval times.

Indeed, throughout the great dramas of the past 100 years, peasant farmers toiled in the fields while housewives browsed for cheeses, bread and other local produce at the village market.

But then, one rainy Saturday in August 1951, life imploded for the good people of Pont-Saint-Esprit. That was the day that insanity came to call - bringing bedlam, bloodshed and worldwide infamy with it.

Without warning, local people - young and old, male and female - went mad. En masse.

Some ran screaming through the narrow, cobbled streets, crying out that terrible, flesh-eating demons were in hot pursuit. Others, wild-eyed and clearly deranged, jabbered that their brains had turned to molten lead and their internal organs were flowing, ablaze, from their ears.

One man leapt from a high window in the main street, shouting 'I'm an aeroplane', before plunging to the ground with his arms outstretched.

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