header graphic


Documents Referring To Discovery
Of Additional MKULTRA Material

[document begins]    [View JPEG Document Scan of This Page]

22 June 1977

MEMORANDUM FOR: Deputy Director of Central Intelligence

THROUGH: Deputy Director for Science and Technology

SUBJECT: Request for Guidance on Handling Recently Located MKULTRA Material

     1. (U/AIUO) This memorandum is to advise you that additional MKULTRA documents have been discovered and to obtain your approval for follow-on actions required. Paragraph 7 contains a recommended course of action.

     2. (U/AIUO) As a result of John Marks FOIA request (F-76-374), all of the MKULTRA material in OTS possession was reviewed for possible release to him. Following that review, the OTS material in the Retired Records Center was searched. It was during that latter search that the subproject files were located among the retired records of the OTS Budget and Fiscal Section. These files were not discovered earlier as the earlier searches were limited to the examination of the active and retired records of those branches considered most likely to have generated or have had access to MKULTRA documents. Those branches included: Chemistry, Biological, Behavioral Activities, and Contracts Management. Because Dr. Gottlieb retrieved and destroyed all the MKULTRA documents he was able to locate, it is not surprising that the earlier search for MKULTRA documents, directed at areas where they were most likely to be found, was unsuccessful. The purpose of establishing the MKULTRA mechanism was to limit knowledge of the sensitive work being performed to those with an absolute need to know. If those precepts had been followed, the recently found B&F files should have contained only financial and administrative documents. (In retrospect, I realize that

-104-    [
View JPEG Document Scan of This Page]

SUBJECT: Request for Guidance on Handling Recently Located MKULTRA Material

a serious error was made in not having B&F files and other seemingly innocuous files searched earlier.) As it happened most of the individual subproject folders contain project proposals and memoranda for the record, which in varying degrees, give a reasonably complete picture of the avenues of research funded through MKULTRA. For your information, the original memorandum setting up MKULTRA, signed by Mr. Dulles, is also among these documents. A copy of the memorandum is attached.

     3. (U/AIUO) At this writing, it does not appear that there is anything in these newly located files that would indicate the MKULTRA activities were more extensive or more controversial than indicated by the Senate Select (Church) Committee Report. If anything, the reverse is true, i.e., most of the nearly 200 subprojects are innocuous. Thus, the overview of MKULTRA is essentially unchanged. With two exceptions, the project find fills in some of the missing details.

     4. (U/AIUO) One of these exceptions is Subproject Number 45 which concerns an activity that should have been reported earlier. That project deals with the search for a knockout drug which was concomitant with, and a by-product of, cancer research at a major university. It is believed that an objective reading of that project would demonstrate the search for knockout materials and anesthetics were compatible activities. However, the research proposal stated that "chemical agents... will be subjected to clinical screening... on advanced cancer patients".

     5. (C) Subproject Number 55 contains full details of CIA's contribution of $375,000 to the [deletion] Building Fund. The Agency was then involved in drug research programs, many of which were being conducted by [deletion] whose facilities were inadequate. In order to facilitate the ongoing research programs, it was decided to expedite the building program by contributing to it through a mechanism that was also being used to fund some of the research projects.

-105-    [
View JPEG Document Scan of This Page]

SUBJECT: Request for Guidance on Handling Recently Located MKULTRA Material

The contribution could be controversial in that it was made through a mechanism making it appear to be a private donation. Private donations qualified for, and [deletion] received, an equal amount of Federal matching funds. A letter from the Office of General Counsel dated 21 February 1954 attesting to the legality of this funding is in the file.

     6. (U/AIUO) The Legislative Counsel has been made aware of the existence of these additional MKULTRA documents which are still under review and sanitation. The MARKS case is in litigation and we are committed to advise Mr. Marks of the existence of these files shortly, and to deliver the releasable material to his attorneys by 31 July. A letter from the Information and Privacy Staff to Mr. Marks' attorneys informing them of the existence of this material is in the coordination process and is scheduled to be mailed on 24 June.

     7. (U/AIUO) There are now two actions that should be taken:

          a. Release appropriately sanitized material to Mr. Marks' attorneys as required by FOIA litigation.

          b. Inform the Senate Select Committee of the existence of the recently located records prior to informing Mr. Marks' attorneys.

It is recommended that you approve of both of these actions.

     8. (U/AIUO) If additional details on the contents of this material are desired, the OIS officers most familiar with it are prepared to brief you at your convenience.


David S. Brandwein
Office of Technical Service

[document ends]

-106-    [
View JPEG Document Scan of This Page]

[document begins]

The Director of Central Intelligence

Washington, D.C. 20505

The Honorable Daniel K. Inouye, Chairman
Select Committee on Intelligence
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Mr. Chairman:

     During the course of 1975 when the Senate Committee, chaired by Senator Church, was investigating intelligence activities, the CIA was asked to produce documentation on a program of experimentation with the effect of drugs. Under this project conducted from 1953 to 1964 and known as "MK-ULTRA," tests were conducted on American citizens in some cases without their knowledge. The CIA, after searching for such documentation, reported that most of the documents on this matter have been destroyed. I find it my duty to report to you now that our continuing search for drug related, as well as other documents, has uncovered certain papers which bear on this matter. Let me hasten to add that I am persuaded that there was no previous attempt to conceal this material in the original 1975 exploration. The material recently discovered was in the retired archives filed under financial accounts and only uncovered by using extraordinary and extensive search efforts. In this connection, incidentally, I have personally commended the employee whose diligence produced this find.

     Because the new material now on hand is primarily of a financial nature, it does not present a complete picture of the field of drug experimentation activity but it does provide more detail than was previously available to us. For example, the following types of activities were undertaken:

          a. Possible additional cases of drugs being tested on American citizens, without their knowledge.

          b. Research was undertaken on surreptitious methods of administering drugs.

          c. Some of the persons chosen for experimentation were drug addicts or alcoholics.

          d. Research into the development of a knockout or "K" drug was performed in conjunction with being done to develop pain killers for advanced cancer patients, and tests on such patients were carried out.

-107-    [
View JPEG Document Scan of This Page]


          e. There is a possibility of an improper payment to a private institution.

The drug related activities described in this newly located material began almost 25 years ago. I assure you they were discontinued over 10 years ago and do not take place today.

     In keeping with the President's commitment to disclose any errors of the Intelligence Community which are uncovered, I would like to volunteer to testify before your Committee on the full details of this unfortunate series of events. I am in the process of reading the fairly voluminous material involved and do want to be certain that I have a complete picture when I talk with the Committee. I will be in touch with you next week to discuss when hearings might be scheduled at the earliest opportunity.

     I regret having to bring this issue to your attention, but I know that it is essential to your oversight procedures that you be kept fully informed in a timely manner.

Yours sincerely,



[document ends]

Appendix A: Testing and Use of Chemical and Biological Agents by the Intelligence Community

Appendix C: Documents Referring to Subprojects