November 27 (RIA Novosti) - The family of a US government scientist who reportedly jumped to his death nearly 60 years ago now plans to sue the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) that secretly gave him hallucinogenic drugs, claiming the man was murdered and that the CIA has long covered up the truth about his death, The New York Times reported Tuesday.
“The evidence points to a murder, and not a drug-induced suicide,” said Eric Olson, whose father, Frank Olson, was a bioweapons expert at the Army’s Biological Laboratory at Fort Detrick in the US state of Maryland.
The lawsuit claims during a 1953 trip to biological and chemical weapons research facilities in Europe, Olson witnessed extreme interrogations including some that were fatal as the CIA experimented with biological agents he had helped to develop.
CIA officials admit that a few months after the trip, Olson was given a drink spiked with LSD.
After he told a colleague and his wife that he wanted to resign from his job, several CIA officials traveled with him to New York for a psychiatric evaluation.
While there, he fell to his death from a Manhattan hotel room.
The CIA was eventually forced to admit that its agents had secretly given Olson the drug just nine days before he died. The family received a financial settlement and an apology from the White House.
But Olson’s death became part of American pop culture, seen as an unsolved mystery surrounding CIA experiments that included brainwashing and mind control during the Cold War.
“The CIA’s wrongful conduct in this case continues under the present administration,” said attorney Scott Gilbert who represents the Olson brothers, according to the Times’ report. “I have met personally with senior agency officials who still refuse to acknowledge the truth and to provide us with all documents relevant to this matter.”
The family plans to file suit in US District Court in Washington on Wednesday in the hopes that the court can force the CIA to open its files and provide more information in the case.