The Monkey House

“The power of biological weapons is ten times more than nuclear power. Unless we act fast with an open mind, any one of them can extinct the human race.” – Amit Ray, Nuclear Weapons Free World-Peace on Earth

I have a confession to make. The idea of biological warfare scares the crap out of me. But, unlike a nuclear weapon that will explode and destroy a given area, a biological weapon can be much more insidious. They don’t make a huge flash of bright white light and a deafening bang that can be heard from miles around, you just become infected with a horrible biological agent, and you die. And depending on the agent, there is not much that can prevent the spread of disease.

I attended the Army Academy of Health Sciences at Fort Sam Houston as part of my military training. It was there that I learned about Ebola Reston. Reston, as in the Virginia town of 61,000 people in suburban Washington, DC. Parts of the briefings on the Reston case were classified and will remain so. Today, I will only discuss what is available in the public record, but that’s scary enough.

It was called “the monkey house.” Hundreds and hundreds of monkeys from around the world were shipped to this average-looking building along the main drag in Reston. The public did not know what was inside; this was a holding facility for primates that would eventually become subjects in biological experiments nationwide. But, in 1989, there was a big problem.