10 Outrageous Experiments Conducted on Humans

CIA Mind-Control Experiments (Project MK-Ultra)
We don’t know the full story on the MK-Ultra experiments — all of the records were destroyed. © vasabii/iStockphoto

If you're familiar with "Men Who Stare at Goats" or "The Manchurian Candidate" then you know: There was a period in the CIA's history when they performed covert mind-control experiments. If you thought it was fiction, it wasn't.

During the Cold War the CIA started researching ways they could turn Americans into CIA-controlled "superagents," people who could carry out assassinations and who wouldn't be affected by enemy interrogations. Under what was known as the MK-ULTRA project, CIA researchers experimented on unsuspecting American (and Canadian) citizens by slipping them psychedelic drugs, including LSD, PCP and barbiturates, as well as additional — and additionally illegal — methods such as hypnosis, and, possibly, chemical, biological, and radiological agents. Universities participated, mostly as a delivery system, also without their knowledge. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates 7,000 soldiers were also involved in the research, without their consent.

The project endured for more than 20 years, during which the agency spent about $20 million. There was one death tied to the project, although more were suspected; tin 1973 the CIA destroyed what records were kept.