Truth and Goat Staring

I read The Men Who Stared at Goats a few years ago.

Cecil’s mention of the one man who jumped out a hotel window during LSD testing reminded me that this episode is mentioned in the book.

The man in question was Frank Olson. He worked in Fort Detrick near Fredrick Maryland. His wife reported that Frank became extremely confused and paranoid during the week before the suicide. He went to New York with some colleagues to visit a psychiatrist in New York. He was staying at the Statler Hotel (now the Hotel Pennsylvania) when he jumped out of a tenth floor window.

The whole event took place in 1953, but the full story wasn’t known until the 1970s. Before then, the family never knew LSD was involved. There are questions whether Frank Olson knew he was given LSD or not.

Link to column

His son claims that he was murdered as well. Olson was exhumed and a doctor supposedly found blunt force trauma consistent with a blow on the head, but there is no definitive evidence.