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Title:A TRIAL OF AN INCAPACITATING DRUG [Main Title]
Film Number:MGH 4464
Summary: Record of the Moneybags Trial (abbreviated version of Small Change) when volunteer subjects from 41 Royal Marine Commando engaged in a field exercise after imbibing the hallucinogen LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) at Porton, 27 November - 4 December 1964.
Description: Introductory title places trial in context of recent research to discover chemical agents able to incapacitate enemy forces but with negligible risk of fatal casualties. Aim of trial is to test effect of drug LSD 25 on behaviour of troops in field conditions. Detailed coverage of the trial follows: Marines bring in prisoners on Day 1 (Control day), then attempt same exercise on Day 2 (Drugged). One Marine in state of distress is comforted by nurse, while others smile and laugh hysterically, one attempting to cut down a tree with his spade, and another climbing the tree. CDEE umpires in white coats observe. After exercise Marines rest in bed in Porton ward, with nurses visible in background and a scientist with a reel to reel audio tape recorder capturing wildtrack sound of patients. One very distressed Marine is held by duffel coated doctor and scientist, muttering "I am not going to die." Cut back to end of the exercise, with Marines departing by truck, before concluding title states that despite promising results of experiment, further research is needed into methods of disseminating drug, the effects of larger doses and establishing economical production techniques. "Despite these and other problems, LSD is regarded in the light of present knowledge as one of the drugs which merits more detailed examination and testing."
Production Details: Ministry of Defence (Production sponsor)
Chemical Defence Experimental Establishment, Porton Down (Production company)
Personalities, Units and Organisations:
Keywords: Porton Down, Wiltshire, England, UK (geography)
Physical Characteristics: Colour format: B&W
Sound format: Sound
Soundtrack language: English
Title language: English
Subtitle language: None
Technical Details: Format: 16mm
Number of items/reels/tapes: 1
Footage: 643 ft; Running time: 16 mins
Notes: Acquisition: one of thirteen assorted reels on LSD trials (Operation Moneybags, Operation Recount); other trials held as MGH 4465, 4466 and 4467.
Remarks: the film was originally designated "Confidential".