The tests were
carried out by scientists at Porton Down, the government's chemical and
biological weapons research laboratory, in 1953 and 1954 during the height of
the Cold War.
The men who
took part in the tests claimed they were duped into taking the LSD, thinking
they were taking part in research to find a cure for colds.
Don Webb, one
of the volunteers who received an extra week's pay for the tests, said he and a
colleague began to hallucinate after being given a clear liquid to drink.
melted and opened so that I could swear that I could see his skull beneath the
skin," he told BBC radio.
and floor of the room seemed to be covered by a clear liquid that was moving
about and writhing.
surrounded by a cell of moving writhing things inside an ordinary room."
A spokesman for
the Foreign Office, which deals with MI6 inquiries, denied the men had been
offers were made on behalf of the three claimants and on legal advice ... the
government thought it was appropriate to accept," he said.
weren't duped into taking the tests. It's history: No one knows precisely what
happened 52 years ago."
paid to the men have not been disclosed, but the BBC said they were thought to
be less than £10,000 ($17,500) each.
they have grudgingly acknowledged they did something wrong," Webb said.
"I think that's as near to an apology or an explanation as I'll get."
The LSD case
comes after an inquest in 2004 ruled that a serviceman who died during
experiments at Porton Down to test the effect of the lethal nerve gas sarin had
been unlawfully killed by the Ministry of Defence.