Edward T. Haslam (2007 TrineDay)
How the unsolved murder of a doctor, a secret laboratory in New Orleans and cancer-causing monkey viruses are linked to Lee Harvey Oswald, the JFK assassination and emerging global epidemics
Review by Stuart Bramhall
Dr Mary’s Monkey is far more important for the light it sheds on the current epidemic of breast and other soft tissue cancers than on the JFK assassination. Haslam’s book provides a detailed history of how the Salk and Sabin polio vaccines administered to three million baby boomers were accidentally contaminated with a cancer causing monkey virus known as Simian Virus 40 (SV-40). It also describes the massive cover-up initiated by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and American Cancer Society, who continued administering the vaccine after they learned it was contaminated.
Wild Claims of Cancer by Injection
Dr. Mary’s Monkey also lends credibility to Jack Ruby’s claim that injection with a cancer causing virus was responsible for the “galloping” lung cancer that developed suddenly in 1967, after he was granted a new trial, and killed him within three months. For many years, assassination researchers have claimed that Bob Marley developed “galloping” brain cancer from a nail covered with cancer-causing viruses (his second assassination attempt).
The book, with a forward by long time assassination researcher Jim Marrs, the author of Crossfire (1989), is essentially a memoir, augmented with detailed documentary evidence. It skillfully interweaves the history of SV-40 with new information about the New Orleans right wing anticommunist and anti-Castro community Lee Harvey Oswald worked with in 1963, when pay slips and other records reveal he was on the payroll of both the FBI and CIA. Haslam focuses considerable attention on David Ferrie, the CIA pilot played by Joe Pesci in Oliver Stone’s “JFK”. who helped organize Cuban exiles in the Bay of Pigs invasion and other anti-Castro activities. Haslam establishes that it was Ferrie, one of Oswald’s long time friends and mentors, who first recruited him into intelligence work when he joined Ferrie’s Civil Air Patrol troop as a high school student.
Why Did Ferrie Keep 100s of Mice?
Haslam’s memoir also clears up a mystery that has troubled assassination researchers for 35 years – namely the discovery, by New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison, that Ferrie was performing medical research on hundreds of mice he kept in his apartment (Garrison describes this in his 1967 Playboy interview http://www.jfklancer.com/Garrison4.html). Garrison, the only prosecutor to indict any of the assassination co-conspirators (CIA-contractor Clay Shaw), discovered the mice when Ferrie died suddenly under mysterious circumstances, just as Garrison was about to arrest him.
Haslam’s detailed endnotes refer mainly to Warren Commission evidence released under the 1992 JFK Records Act and more recent Freedom of Information Act records; the secret files of ex-FBI agent Guy Bannister (who also had an off-the-books assignment in the anti-Castro movement); interviews with witnesses who knew Dr Mary Sherman, who was conducting secret SV-40 research at Tulane at the time of her murder; the official police report: a detailed architectural analysis of the New Orleans US Public Hospital (where the linear accelerator used to “mutate” SV-40 viruses was kept); and detailed consultations with a variety of scientific and medical experts.
Haslam’s New Orleans Background
Haslam, who grew up in New Orleans, first learned that scientists at Tulane were secretly researching cancer-causing monkey viruses while he was still in high school. His father, an orthopedic surgeon who taught at Tulane, was a friend of Dr. Mary Sherman and Haslam met her as a child. His high school class also discussed Jim Garrison’s prosecution of Clay Shaw and efforts by the FBI and CIA to derail it. A class member who was the son of the New Orleans coroner shared details of the case that never appeared in the papers.
From early on, Haslam, a highly successful advertising executive, believed there was a link between the white mice Garrison found in Ferrie’s apartment in 1967, Sherman’s research into cancer-causing monkey viruses and her brutal 1964 murder. However he didn’t begin his formal investigation into her death until 1992, when he became concerned that the irradiation of monkey viruses at Tulane might have accidentally created Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Structurally the AIDS virus is very similar to Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV), another common monkey virus.
SV-40 and the Current Cancer Epidemic
SV-40, the monkey virus Dr. Mary Sherman, David Ferrie and a woman named Judyth Vary Baker (who describes her romantic involvement with Lee Harvey Oswald in her 2010 memoir Me & Lee) were experimenting with, was first discovered in 1957. Originally known as “polyoma virus” (referring to its ability to cause several types of tumors in small mice), it was first identified by Drs Bernice Eddy and Sarah Stuart at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In 1960 Eddy discovered that the monkey kidney cells used to prepare the Salk and Sabin polio vaccines were contaminated with SV-40 (see * below).
Instead of withdrawing the vaccine, the NIH (as they often do with whistle blowing scientists), chose to destroy her career. A year later two other virologists replicated Eddy’s findings, and two polio vaccine manufacturers voluntarily withdrew their vaccine. Although NIH allegedly took steps to ensure that batches that came to market after 1963 were free of SV040, they continued to inoculate millions of children with the contaminated vaccine. To avoid “public hysteria,” they chose not to alert parents of the cancer risk.
The New Orleans Medical “Manhattan Project”
Haslam believes the top secret experiments Sherman, Ferrie and Baker conducted in 1963 involved irradiation of SV-40 virus in the hope a creating a biological warfare agent – a mutated virus that could cause “galloping” cancer, which kills its victims within weeks rather than months. Following irradiation, Sherman injected the mutated viruses into thousands of mice. It was Ferrie’s and Baker’s job to sacrifice the mice, dissect the tumors and identify and extract viruses that seemed the most virulent.
Who Was Alton Ochsner?
The project chief was a surgeon, staunch anticommunist and former head of the American Cancer Society named Dr Alton Ochsner. Ochsner was also founder and president of the Information Council of the Americas (INCA), which produced and distributed anticommunist radio programming aimed at Latin America. The financing for INCA came from Oschner himself and other New Orleans doctors and business people, including the CIA contractor Clay Shaw, who ran the New Orleans International Trade Mart and who district attorney Jim Garrison prosecuted as a JFK assassination co-conspirator in 1967.
Freedom of Information Act files Haslam obtained on Ochsner reveal he had a longstanding relationship with the US military and the FBI and other government agencies. The records refer to a “Sensitive Position” Haslam held with the FBI between 1957-59 and indicate the FBI released him in 1959 (the year Castro’s revolutionaries overthrew the totalitarian dictator Batista) to take another “Sensitive Position” with an “undisclosed agency.” Haslam believes the latter was a kind of medical Manhattan Project (the name of the top secret project that created the atomic bomb). He also believes that the linear accelerator Sherman used to irradiate viruses was secretly installed at the New Orleans US Public Health Hospital with funding from one of the CIA-front organizations that financed the paramilitary activities of the anti-Castro Cuban exiles Ferrie and Oswald worked with.
He believes the original mission of Ochsner’s project was to find a vaccine against SV-40 (similar to the recent vaccine Gardisil), to prevent an epidemic of soft tissue cancers in children exposed to it via the polio vaccine. This is what Baker was told when she originally went to work for him. Somehow, though Haslam doesn’t make this clear, it was transformed into a project to create a biologic warfare agent to assassinate Castro.
The Role of Lee Harvey Oswald
Oswald (on both the CIA and FBI payroll in 1963) comes into the story as a chaperone for Baker, who was a girl genius and only 19 when Oschner recruited her. Oswald was also assigned to be the courier who would smuggle the fatal virus into Cuba. This meant Baker had to train him to look after the special culture medium that kept it alive.
Although Haslam’s original intention was to identify Dr Mary Sherman’s killer, in the end he concludes that she most likely died from accidental electrocution while operating the extremely operating the extremely high voltage linear accelerator. The top secret nature of her biological warfare research made it essential to conceal the circumstances of her death. Thus her body was secretly moved to her apartment and the death made to look like a murder.
* About SV-40: Haslam devotes an entire chapter to the likely role SV-40 exposure, via the polio vaccine, has likely played in the current epidemic of soft tissue cancers. He cites National Cancer Institute Data showing a 50% increase between 1973 and 1988 in skin, lymphoma, prostate and breast cancer. He also argues that the millions of dollars wasted finding a lethal virus to kill Castro would have been far better spent on developing a vaccine against SV-40, similar to Gardisil, the vaccine used to prevent cervical cancer by suppressing papillomavirus.
There is a website (www.sv40foundation.org) devoted to the collation of SV-40 research. Except for a rare cancer known mesothelioma and a type of brain cancer, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) still claim that “more research is needed” to establish a definitive link between SV-40 and human cancers. However for the most part, their studies have the same methodological flaws (they use the wrong control group for comparison) as their research into low level fluoride toxicity. None of them take account of strong presumptive evidence that SV-40 (which is extremely contagious and transmitted via poor hand washing, shared cooking/bathing/toilet facilities, sex and maternal-fetal transmission) has infected the entire population of countries that mass inoculated their children. Instead they merely compare individuals who received the polio vaccine between 1955 and 1963 with those who didn’t. To be scientifically valid, CDC epidemiological studies would need to compare current cancer rates with pre-vaccine rates or with cancer rates in countries (Austria, Turkey and Finland) that didn’t give the Salk and Sabine vaccine.
SV-40 appears to induce cancer by facilitating the action of other more aggressive carcinogens (for example cigarette tars, estrogen or ultraviolet light). Thus people infected with SV-40 won’t automatically develop cancer. This will depend on a number of variables, including their natural immunity and other exposures.
Stuart Bramhall is a prolific author and journalist, who maintains several web sites, including “The Most Revolutionary Act”. She currently resides in New Zealand and has also been interviewed twice by Jim Fetzer on “The Real Deal”, on 7 February 2001 and on 10 August 2011.