On This Day…

U.S. Army Kills 6,000 Sheep with Nerve Gas…..

March 13, 1968…..

The U.S. Army accidentally kills 6,000 sheep with nerve gas, but denied it for 30 years – until finally admitting they had known all along that they had caused it.
An army aircraft was flying a nerve gas test mission over the Dugway Proving Ground with chemical dispensers containing the nerve agent VX when a malfunction caused one of the dispensers to fail to completely empty. As the aircraft gained altitude after its bombing run, the remaining VX gas leaked out behind the aircraft over ranches outside of Salt Lake City, eventually settling over a flock of sheep, killing 6,000 of them. People working in the area developed nervous-system illnesses that were indicative of low levels of VX exposure.
The Army initially denied responsibility for the incident. However, a 1970 study conducted by the Army showed incontrovertible evidence that the gas test killed the sheep, stating that VX was found in both snow and grass samples from the area. This report was not released to the public until 28 years later in 1998.
The international outcry over the incident led U.S. President Richard Nixon in 1969 to ban all open-air chemical weapons testing.