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The Rise of Biological Warfare in the Wake of the 1918 Influenza

Updated: Dec 16, 2023

By: A. W. Finnegan

1918 Influenza and Biological Warfare
Emergency hospital during influenza epidemic, Camp Funston, Kansas. Emergency hospital during influenza epidemic (NCP 1603)

In my recent book, The Sleeper Agent: The Rise of Lyme Disease, Chronic Illness, and the Great Imitator Antigens of Biological Warfare, I cover in the first two chapters, the early developments and uses of biological weapons from their primitive use in older times up to the days of World War I, and I put special emphasis on the devastation caused by the 1918 Influenza, erroneously called the “Spanish” Influenza, or “Spanish Flu” for short. It was only coined the “Spanish” flu because at the time of World War I when it began to spread, the United States had censored the press from reporting on it under severe penalties to prevent panic among the soldiers who were enlisted or about to be drafted into the military and sent to war. This was done not only in America but in many additional countries involved in the War effort.

The point of origin for the 1918 Influenza has been documented as Fort Riley and Camp Funston, in Kansas, starting in March 1918, just a month after the Rockefeller Institute finished up testing experimental meningococcus vaccines on soldiers. While I make no definitive claims about the vaccine being the cause of the 1918 Influenza, I explain in my book how the injections would have certainly enhanced the Influenza spreading in that location among soldiers about to be shipped overseas to the frontlines. I simply show how meningococci can suppress the immune system and allow the circulating virus a perfect environment and opportunity to rapidly mutate to reach a very high virulence, especially in soldiers tightly packed in ships sent overseas to war.

But more than this, I also point out the relationship between the meningococcus vaccine and the German biological sabotage program of 1914, where German Agents setup shop in the United States to covertly infect military and medical horses around the country with such germs as glanders (Burkholderia mallei) and anthrax (Bacillus anthracis). I point out that horses were a major target at the time, not just because of their use in military cavalries, but also because horses and horse tissues were in widespread use to produce serums and vaccines (as broth for growing cultures of meningococci often used horse tissues) intended for human use. I show how the 1918 influenza virus mangles the immune system and invites secondary bacterial infections to deliver the deathblow. I make the case that the events surrounding the German biological sabotage program provided the perfect environment to aid and abet the 1918 Influenza to bring the global devastation it did.

But this is not all, in these early stages of germ warfare, we find British Intelligence overlapping and having infiltrated the German sabotage program, secretly giving the Germans a little help to make the program more costly for the Americans, who were supposed to be their allies! Why British Intelligence would help the Germans attack their American allies would seem virtually implausible to the average person, but the first chapter of my book takes the reader back even further to primitive biological warfare employed by the British against American Native Americans and aborigines in Australia during the early days of American and Australian colonization, where smallpox was used as a weapon to wipe out tribes that posed a threat to the British colonies.

These early instances of primitive biological warfare are not theory but established facts. Moreover, the British even used smallpox as a weapon in attempt to defeat the American Continental Army with quoted correspondence by the First American President and then-General, George Washington, discussing the deliberate use of smallpox as a weapon against the Continental Army during the early days of the United States of America. Again, Washington is directly quoted on the British use of smallpox as a weapon against the Continental Army, establishing its factual context.

This inevitably leads us to review further epidemics in the following century where suspicious British activities brought the United States and Australia serious epidemics of contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (Mycoplasma mycoides) just years apart, while also leaving a suspicious context surrounding the Irish potato famine caused by the potato blight fungus (Phytophthora infestans), which later became an established biological warfare agent used in anti-crop warfare and employed by the British in World War II.

Early in the book, the reader is given an in-depth look at the factors that led up to the 1918 Influenza, with horses and cattle being targeted and deliberately infected by the British and blamed on the Americans, while Germany began to suspect hostile actions by the United States, and this set the pretext of antagonism between Britain, Germany, and the United States, that eventually led up to the First World War and pulled Russia into its nefarious activities, and because of the devastation witnessed on the Russian side from the 1918 Influenza and the typhus epidemics, it was a testament on the effectiveness of using germs as prospective weapons to fight future wars.

After the world witnessed the devastation caused by the 1918 Influenza, the factors that provided its unique environment and the biological components involved would later become the model to emulate in future research developing effective biological weapons. It sheds light on the viral and bacterial synergy involved in the unique and fatal outcomes of respiratory viruses and their use as weapons. In further depth, we review the claim by Soviet Intelligence that the 1918 Influenza was a weaponized avian influenza developed by the British and used against the Russians. This and so much more is covered in great depth in The Sleeper Agent: The Rise of Lyme Disease, Chronic Illness, and the Great Imitator Antigens of Biological Warfare.

Buy your copy of The Sleeper Agent: The Rise of Lyme Disease, Chronic Illness, and the Great Imitator Antigens of Biological Warfare, to learn the astounding fact of how widespread the use of biological warfare was by the days of World War I, along with its primitive use since the formation of the United States of America as far back as 1763! Read with astonishment, direct quotes from the first American President on the use of biological weapons against the Continental Army by the British, and learn what has been buried in obscurity for so long – the prevalence and reality of biological weapons – as special weapons of war and biological terrorism! This book details out the hidden history and esoteric art of germ weapons like no other book on the subject has done, until now!

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