Hantavirus. Rift Valley Fever. Listeria. Neisseria Meningitidis.
Klebsiella Pneumoniae. Ebola.
These words invoke confusion, as we don't know what some
of them are. These words invoke fear, as we do know what
some of them are.
Either way, these words mean trouble. They are virulent
nasty diseases that lead, in part, to death.
Our hometown is home to Ft. Detrick. All of the above diseases
reside or will reside above, under or in the ground at Ft.
Ft. Detrick has been here since 1943 and employs lots and
lots of Frederick residents. Ft. Detrick is vital to national
security and to Frederick.
Does Ft. Detrick have the potential to become deadly?
Many know that Ft. Detrick exists when they move here.
How many take the time to research what kind of base it
Do we have the resources to find out the truth?
As one drives west along Rosemont Avenue, all one has to
do is look to the right to see a multi-story, boarded up
building. It is boarded up because it housed anthrax. The
anthrax leaked and the building became contaminated.
This is where things get confusing. Depending to whom one
speaks, the building was decontaminated years ago, thus
it is claimed to be safe. Others say that since the building
is contaminated to the core of the very bricks it is made
of, it will take another 100+ years before it could be called
Either way, it stands there boarded up.
Some say that the materials located at the fort, if released
into the atmosphere, would kill everyone on the East Coast.
Authorities say that the amount of material at the fort
is in such small quantity that if released there isn't enough
to do that much harm.
They say that the potentially harmful material is so far
under ground that it wouldn't get airborne anyway. Pity
They go on to say that if, by some fluke, it did get airborne,
the organisms just die quickly and pose little or no risk.
If the organisms don't die, the prevailing winds would carry
it out to sea.
Does that mean watch out downtown Frederick? What happens
Polluted water has been found at the fort. Polluted ground
has been found at the fort.
Authorities will tell you that the water isn't drinking
water and that the ground and water pollution at Ft. Detrick
is contained to the fort. Is that possible?
You can't blame the current guardians of the fort for the
mistakes of their forefathers. People were simply ignorant.
They didn't know that if you throw hazardous materials in
the ground and water that it will eventually pollute and
make hazardous that ground and water.
The current guardians are responsive to - and look for ways
to dispose of - hazardous waste, when they find it.
The questions raised by many out here in the civilian world,
is something like, "Why aren't they pro-actively looking
for this stuff?" "Don't they have records and the like,
so they know where this stuff is?"
It is imperative we research ways to combat these diseases,
and, thankfully, they have been successful at finding vaccines
to combat some of this stuff. For instance, the smallpox
vaccine that is currently used was developed at Ft. Detrick.
Yet, why does the government set itself up to answer questions
such as this by plopping these facilities in heavily populated
Anyone who has gone to the Wings Over Frederick Air Show
the last couple of years got to see a demonstration of what
it would be like if there were a hazardous material leak.
They say it is a re-enactment of what would happen at Ft.
Detrick, if the worst-case scenario occurred.
One also hears of that our emergency personnel have prepared
for an emergency at the fort.
That raises the final question.
While the chance of accident, or leak, or trouble is remote,
what are we, as residents in the shadow of the fort, supposed
to do if the worst-case scenario happens?
Do we wait until the fateful day that we have an emergency
at the fort in order to find out?
Is it possible for that kind of information to be disseminated
in advance without causing an unnecessary panic? It is possible
that if you try to be proactive in that regard, people would
assume that something is already happening - thus panic.
Can we even know what to do in advance, as it would be necessary
to respond to the event that is occurring at the time?
When Three Mile Island's nuclear power plant was about to
blow, sirens blared and some fled. Yet the banks of the
Susquehanna River were lined with onlookers as the emergency
plan dealt with only those who lived on the island with
That has subsequently changed. It took near disaster for
change to happen.
Many people seem to distrust anything military and anything
government, especially when there needs to be some secrecy
Some secrecy is needed with what goes on at Ft. Detrick.
Some would say that we would never know if something happened
at the fort.
That is simply poppycock. We would find out one way or another.
Let us just hope that the worst-case scenario never happens
and if it does, that the authority's contentions are true.
Just in case though, are we supposed to head west?