Imagine this hypothetical.
A material is found that has the potential to unlock nearly unlimited energy. Although the scientists who made the discovery know that the material is dangerous to humans, no one knows exactly how dangerous the material is, what its short and long term effects are, and in what doses these effects manifest.
Without this information, the scientists embark upon a secret project that requires several thousand people to be exposed to the substance. Most, if not all of the people involved in this secret project, are unaware that they are being exposed.
During the secret project, all of the workers are exposed to the material. Some are more exposed than others and are injured. The scientists study how and why certain workers are injured, how greater their doses were, and what the effects of their exposures are. Nonetheless, the secret project continues and more are exposed. Some are injured in ways that are not apparent until several decades later.
At the same time the workers are being exposed, the scientists also conduct a parallel series of animal exposure experiments.
Eventually, the scientists decide it is not enough to just observe the secret project’s workers, or to expose test animals to the material.
Instead, they devise a series of experiments that would see them purposely inject the material into human test subjects.
But how could the scientists possibly ask for volunteers for such a dangerous and unpredictable study?
They could not and did not.
Instead, these scientists secretly injected scores, if not hundreds of people with the material–just to see what happened. Many of these uninformed test subjects suffered adverse effects.
The secret project inflicted an immeasurable amount of harm on everyone exposed to the dangerous material.
But wait…there’s more.
The ultimate purpose of the secret project–beyond understanding the material’s dangerous effects–was to create a device capable of vaporizing an entire city in an instant.
Indeed, the scientists were successful in this secret project. The city-destroying device they created was used to decimate two cities–killing approximately 200,000 civilians.
When the secret project was publicized, the scientists were heralded as heroes instead of denounced as mass murdering sociopaths.
Is this story some kind of twisted horror cosmic from the fevered mind of a fiction writer?
No. This is the secret history of the Manhattan Project.