The Central Intelligence Agency has uncovered thousands of "lost" documents which show that its chemical and biological mind-control experiments on human subjects were conducted as late as mid-1972.
CIA Director Stansfield Turner has maintained that the only sketchy financial records left in the CIA's files on its mind-control projects showed human experimentation was discontinued in 1964.
The newly discovered files - 14 folders with about 700 pages of financial records - indicate that human subjects were experimented on with their knowledge under the CIA's Project MK-SEARCH until the project was halted by CIA Technical Services Director Sidney Gottlieb on July 10, 1972.
A CIA spokesman acknowledged yesterday that the MK-SEARCH files had been located among the budget material. The spokesman also said 14 boxes of additional detailed intelligence files were stumbled upon several weeks ago by CIA researchers during "a routine reivew of inactive records."
The boxes contain records of U.S. intelligence operations going back to the days of the Office of Strategic Services in 1043, the CIA spokesman said. The OSS was the CIA's predecessor.
They also contained detailed operations files on chemical and biological experimentation run from 1949 until the mid-1950s under the CIA's code names Bluebird and Artichoke. Subjects of the experiments include CIA personnel who were aware of the experiments and forigners who may not have been, according to the CIA.
The CIA spokesman said he was not aware if the Bluebird/Artichoke documents, which are still classified, showed of any experimentation on prisoners of war captured in Korea. North Korean officials accused the Unitd States in 1951 of conducting bacteriological experimentation on captured POWs at Koje Island prison off South Korea. U.S. officials emphatically denied the charges.
The MK-SEARCH files were described by the CIA as "skimpy." The project was the CIA's successor to an earlier mind-control operation codenamed MK-ULTRA which began in 1950 and tapered off in the mid-1960s.
In MK-SEARCH, volunteers, some of them paid, were apparently involved in chemical and biological experiments. The experimentation was farmed out to various private researchers who were under instructions to explain to subjects what they were receiving the CIA spokesman said. The spokesman called MK-SEARCH a "sanitized" version of the earlier MK-ULTRA operation.
Turner publicly deplored the human experimentation aspects of MK-ULTRA last month. Full records on the CIA mind-control programs were destroyed by Gottlieb just before he retired in 1973, according to secret testimony by Gottlieb to the Senate Intelligence committee last year. During that testimony Gottlieb insisted he had forgetten most of the details of the programs.
According to the CIA's spokesman the newly discovered files were over-looked during previous searches - described by Turner and others in the CIA as "through" - because of the agency's poor filing system.
"The system was screwed up," the CIA spokesman said. "We didn't find the old files because all early records were compartmentalized and we looked in the wrong compartment.
He said it was possible that additional records on the agency's drug and mind-control experiments may still be discovered.
In a related development, Johns Hopkins University said yesterday that it was among 86 private institutions involved in MK-ULTRA. An unnamed chemistry professor was paid from 1964 to 1966 by the CIA to develop allergins for the agency under a project titled "harassment" by the intelligence agency.