April 13

MKUltra, CIA mind-control experiments, initiated in 1953


You’ve never been on an acid trip, but this is probably what one would feel like.

Someone — or something — is chasing you.

The thing was in your bedroom when you woke.  It stood upright, like a man…but the body was overly muscled and covered with coarse, dark hair.  The eyes flashed red, its toothsome mouth elongated like an animal’s snout.

You panicked and ran from your own home while a frothing growl followed close.  You slammed the door, and you heard scratching at the wood, risked a glance behind.

And it’s your house, but the door is painted an unfamiliar red.  Spiral patterns form in the wood, like the swirl of a hypnotist’s disc, and you turn your head.  After-images of the spirals twist on the front lawn.  They look like traps that would grab your feet if you stepped in them, pulling you beneath the earth.

You jump to the driveway.  Too disoriented to take your own car, you race into the street, wave down a passing automobile.  The car slows to a crawl, the driver’s side window slowly scrolling down.  You expect the driver will call you crazy, ask why you’re blocking the road.  Instead, he sticks a long hairy snout out the window and growls menacingly.

With a scream, you run the other way, putting distance between yourself and the strange car.  One of your neighbors will help, you’re certain, but you can’t seem to recognize the other houses on the street.

Your own house looks different now, three stories high, ornate gargoyles along the elaborate roof.  That red door swings open and the muscular beast lumbers into the yard, pauses with its nose in the air to catch your scent.

Is it possible you spent the night in a strange home… a monster’s home?  And that creature is rightfully disturbed that you’ve invaded his territory?

Mind racing, you duck between two homes, cutting across the back lawns.  In one fenced-in yard, a family plays in their in-ground pool.  The children roll in the water, their damp, coarse fur shining in the morning sunlight.  The beast parents arrange large portions of hair-less food on a table covered with a white- and red-checked cloth.

This must be an experiment.  You’ve been drugged against your will, just like the unknowing subjects of mind-control experiments in the ’50s and ’60s.  Project MKUltra performed tests with LSD and other hallucinogenic drugs, hoping to find new ways to weaken a subject’s personality, frighten or disorient them, force them into uncharacteristic behaviors, or to reveal secret information.

If this is a drug, you want it to wear off soon.  The people are all monsters.  The buildings change as you watch, and the ground shifts beneath your unsteady feet.

You’ll confess to anything, say whatever they want to hear.  But nobody’s asking you any questions.