The mystery of Le Pain Maudit (Cursed Bread) still haunts the inhabitants of Pont-Saint-Esprit, in the Gard, southeast France. On August 16, 1951, the inhabitants were suddenly racked with frightful hallucinations of terrifying beasts and fire.
Eventually, it was determined that the best-known local baker had unwittingly contaminated his flour with ergot, a hallucinogenic mould that infects rye grain. Another theory was the bread had been poisoned with organic mercury.
However, H P Albarelli Jr., an investigative journalist, claims the outbreak resulted from a covert experiment directed by the CIA and the US Army's top-secret Special Operations Division (SOD) at Fort Detrick, Maryland.
The scientists who produced both alternative explanations, he writes, worked for the Swiss-based Sandoz Pharmaceutical Company, which was then secretly supplying both the Army and CIA with LSD.
French bread spiked with LSD in CIA experiment
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