The Frank Olson Legacy Project

1 December 1953

SUBJECT: Conversation with Chief of TSS re Olsen Case



1. All LSD is in Chief's safe for which he only has combination.

2. Preparing cables to field to find out who has custody and access. Issuance done only with Chief's concurrence and use only with DD/P approval. Senior military officer wanted work broadened to include biological as well as chemical.

5. Acquisition. Not classified as narcotic--organic chemical. Don't purchase it--because an experimental can't be sold in U.S. Has been doled out by a foreign company. With one exception LSD has been given to us. An American company has given us some.

6. Correspondence and memorandum. Don't believe any reports addressed to Agency. DD/P has one memo on subject.

8. CIA officer has discussed use of something of this type with experts from Camp Dietrich and they had all agreed that an unwitting experiment would be desirable. The LSD was given to all of the ten at the camp except one (who doesn't drink) and one other who has a heart condition, both of Camp Dietrich. About 20 minutes after giving the dose the CIA officer them what they had been given. They all agreed that it was an interesting experiment and there was no adverse comment. Only after Olsen committed suicide was there any reaction adversely to the experiment itself.

9. According to Chief TSS, Olse has a history of mental disturbances. Last summer he apparently told his wife that he was upset and she suggested he see a doctor. he objected to being made division chief because of a fear he couldn't do the job, and after reciving the job shortly thereafter asked to be relieved. On the Monday following the experiment he told his Army chief that he expected to be fired or asked to resign. he then went up to New York with the TSS employee and saw the psychiatrist. After several trips between New York and Washington, the psychiatrist finally came to the conclusion that Olsen should go to a sanitarium. On Friday night, November 27, Olsen at dinner with the TSS emplyee in New York appeared to be completely rational and discussed the time they would have to get up in the morning to get the train, etc.

Inspector General


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