Reportedly the now-famous photo of the little girl strapped down to a table under a sign saying STRAIN ALL URINE, first surfaced on a Japanese blog in 2008. I first saw it at Aangirfan blog, where it has been used repeatedly as an illustration of classified experiments done on children in the MKULTRA project.
When I first came across it in around 2010, I was shocked, as most people would be. I know children were subjected to this, and worse, by scientists funded by the CIA and governments. However I also questioned its authenticity. Where was the photo taken, and in what year? Who found it and how did they get hold of it? Does anyone know? Is it a real photo, from a real experiment, and if so, from which which program or MKULTRA subproject.
It's important to note that all records of experiments on children were destroyed by CIA chief Richard Helms in 1973. Although many victims have come forward recounting their experiences as children in this program, a huge effort has been made by all the institutions involved to hide or destroy any evidence, for obvious reasons. The biggest being, the possibility of a massive class action suit on behalf of the estimated hundreds of thousands of survivors.
Blogger and aerial photographer Ellen Atkin recently posted this image at her blog, alongside a photo of herself, possibly a school photo, in which she appears at "about eight years old in 1969". Give or take. So she stated, somewhere, but I recently learned Ellen is now 53 -- meaning she was born around 1963. That's way too late for her to be the same little girl. I think there is no denying a certain physical resemblance. What's lacking are details to back it up, e.g. details about when and where this disturbing photo was taken.
The girl in the "Strain All Urine" photo appears to be eight to ten years old. MKULTRA ran from 1953-64, if the information in the caption is correct, this little girl would have been born no later than 1956. However, the copy I found on the internet is dated "1961" - if accurate by 1969 she would have been a teenager, at least 16.
Like several other survivors, Ellen grew up on the Canada-US border, an area where many similar classified programs operated in the 1950s and 60s. I have met MKULTRA survivors - all women -- from that area of southern Ontario who claim they were trafficked across the border to laboratories and facilities in upstate New York, e.g. military bases with connections to Cornell University in Ithaca.
Joan Baez is a famous survivor of the Cornell mind control program. Another is the late Lynne Moss Sharman, whom I had the privilege of meeting and knowing briefly -- featured in a video posted at Aangirfan blog in 2008.
This is what a real survivor sounds like. She's not vying to be 'MKULTRA Girrrrl" -- the poster child in the photo.
The typewritten caption pasted in next to the STRAIN ALL URINE sign reads: "Unidentified white female between the age of 8 and 10 years old. The subject underwent 6 months of treatment using heavy doses of LSD, electroshock and sensory deprivation. Experiments under codename MKULTRA about early 60s. Subjects memory was erased and her brain is that of a newborn baby."
I don't know the source of the typewritten information, and I haven't tried analyzing the typeface to see if it is from a typewriter of the period, but the last line ("her brain is that of a newborn baby") suggests it could be from her 1960s medical file. If it is from written records, why would her name and date of birth not be included, along with the nature of the treatment? Why would she be called an "unidentified white female between the ages of 8 and 10." Why would her country of origin also be a mystery?
To me, this is reason to question the authenticity of this photo, or at least it raises the same issues mentioned above, re: its original source. Another problem is that the angle of the photo and the mask covering the lower part of the face, make it difficult to accurately compare the two faces.
Who took the photo? My best guess is, it was snapped by a nurse or orderly. Reportedly, temporary workers were hired to feed the laboratory children -- and ordered never to speak about what they saw. Some were forced to flee for their own safety.
Finally, what happens to an 8 year old child after her mind is wiped to that of a newborn baby? In the case of adult patients of Dr Cameron and others, they returned home unable to function, needing to be retrained to eat and use a toilet. So, where did that little girl go with her newborn brain? She would not have returned to her Grade Three class, or posed for a normal-looking school photo, and her school records would show an absence of many months. More than likely that brain-wiped child would have need 24/7 care in an institution.
Many children in these experiments ended up dead. Some, allegedly, went on to become 'mind controlled operatives', 'sleeper agents' and 'super soldiers.' Chances are, things did not turn well for the anonymous girl in the photo, but we will probably never know.
At about the same time this photo surfaced on the internet, I came into possession of a photo of a man in what appears to be a similar kind of experiment. This photo was captioned "McGill Hebb experiment, McGill 1951" and featured a man I suspect is Leonard Cohen. Some people disagree with me on that, but since Cohen also told me (and others including his ex-manager Kelley Lynch and her mother) he was in sensory isolation tanks in the MKULTRA program, and was an undergraduate at McGill in 1951, I think I'm justified in arguing it could very well be him.
I have another photo which someone sent me, which I believe is of Dr. Josef Mengele, in 1949, taken at a notorious Quebec City mental hospital where Duplessis orphans were incarcerated, abused, tortured and even killed in heinous medical experiments. For several reasons, I think it's Mengele -- but people at the Montreal Holocaust Centre laughed and shrugged when I showed them the image. In the first place it's too small for clear identification.
One person's photographic proof is someone else's cause for skepticism, or even ridicule.
In trying to prove that I, as a child, was taken to military bases and used in secret Cold War experiments, I've had to rely on all kinds of sources including:
my own fragmentary childhood memories
things I was told (and not told) by parents, relatives, and family friends as I was growing up
historical records that place my family and me at the centre of the MKULTRA project at McGill and around Montreal in the 1950s and 60s
a single file card (obtained with great difficulty from McGill's patient records department) stating my father was a Cameron patient in 1962
an emptied 'Psychiatry' file for me, dated 1955, i.e. age 3-4 which I was shown by McGill Records, but not allowed to keep. I was definitely hospitalized for 'Pneumonia' that winter, but no records exist for that hospitalisation during which my parents were told I 'nearly died.' By far the likeliest explanation is that my bout of pneumonia was the cover for slipping me into Dr. Cameron's secret LSD experiments on children, for which all records were later emptied, hidden, or destroyed.
my school records from 1958-59 (when I was in Second Grade) show I was absent for exactly 100 out of 200 school days) -- which was remarked on but never explained at the time. That was exactly when Cameron's subproject 68, involving drugs, hypnosis, ECT, and sensory isolation was at its height -- and there are CIA records to show that, which allude to "new research tools" he was using, probably children.
The following photos from our family album would appear to be about a year apart, possibly snapped en route to some kind of 'annual checkup.' I have been told that the destination was always a military base outside Montreal. It seems to me my parents were documenting these trips for some reason that they certainly never talked about to us while we were growing up.
I would be the first person to admit that the above list doesn't constitute proof in the legal sense and would probably not get me past the first interview with a lawyer -- and I have spoken about my case with Allan Stein, of Stein and Stein, who has successfully represented other survivors. He advised me not to pursue compensation, and showed me a thick file of letters he has received from dozens of people across Canada who were in programs similar to the most infamous one at McGill, as he explained why he was unable to help them.
It would be wonderful, in a way I suppose, if I had photos of myself lying on a table in a McGill experiment. I'm not 'MKULTRA Girl' but I have had flashbacks of being electro-shocked by a team of white-coated men. MKULTRA doctors and their military colleagues worked in secrecy and didn't leave many traces -- just scars on those who survived. The other children lie in unmarked graves.
I recently looked more closely at another photo of me, below -- taken in 1954 (the colour of the license plate is proof of the year). It's one of the series showing my brother and me at different ages, wearing different clothes, at various locations: always, apparently, in springtime in deserted roadside locations.
The interesting thing about this photo -- apart from my cute outfit (sturdy pants, probably overalls, worn under a spring coat) and innocent smile -- are the reflections clearly visible on the hood of the Ford Consul -- my dad was always a "Ford" man. On the left, a square-shouldered male figure in a fedora, which must be my father. On the right, not so visible, the photographer (probably my mother) who is getting me to pose. And also on the right, clear reflections of a flag flying in the wind, and some buildings: one of them low to the ground, the other with two storeys.
Yes, it definitely looks as if we've just arrived at the military base and are about to go inside, and my parents are recording the moment when I begin my career as a Cold War soldier, age three.
Meanwhile in 2004-6, while I was piecing together my family's story I was contacted by a group of psychics who , while knowing nothing about MKULTRA, demonstrated an astonishing ability to explore the program, via remote viewing. With no prompting from me, they described those long country drives from my childhood that ended at a military base south of Montreal. Then they went onto locate and talk to murdered children in the spiritual world, interview them, and in one session even read their 1960 files hidden in the catacombs under the Allan Memorial Institute. In the case of one little girl, strapped for months in a chair with electrodes in her skull, I was able later to find birth and death records for her in the Montreal archives. She also appears in a drawing by survivor Carol Rutz who was in experiments at the Allan that same year, 1960. Her dates of birth and death corresponded exactly with the information she provided to my team of remote viewers, and her death in 1963 at age 19 coincided exactly with the close of the program.
It's another piece of the puzzle. But proof? Proof is elusive, unless the missing records surface -- probably not in our lifetime.