Sunday, February 13, 2011

Trip to Plum Island

Jesse Ventura's Trip to Plum Island

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To start the new season his show, "Conspiracy Theory With Jesse Ventura," the pro wrestler turned Minnesota governor has been nosing around Long Island Sound
Plum Island recently has been opened up for real-estate speculators after plans were announced to move its shadowy government animal-testing laboratory to Kansas. But as Ventura and his crew were storming the island by boat, they were under close watch by the Coast Guard.
"What do they think I am, a terrorist?" he asks from the dock.
"You know, I find it very, very interesting. I'm a former governor, a former mayor, a former Navy SEAL with the top security clearance, yet I can't go on Plum Island," Ventura says. "I get the Coast Guard tailing me, I get vehicles along the shore watching our every move. Where I come from, if you're the one paying the money, that makes you the boss. How come we the people aren't the boss anymore? We're the one paying the salary of these people, and yet they deprive us of knowing what they do on this island."
His report calls Plum Island, off Orient Point, N.Y., and 10 miles from the coast of Connecticut, "the government's real life island of horror - a secret bio-warfare lab a stone's throw from New York City and Boston ... a U.S. facility created by former Nazi scientists that could wipe out the human race."
The report strongly suggests that Lyme disease, which was identified in deer ticks in Connecticut 35 years ago and named after the town just across the Sound from Plum Island, was the result of experiments gone wrong on the island now under the control of Homeland Security.
"It seems very circumstantial," Ventura says over the phone from Minnesota, "but the godfather of Plum Island was an ex-Nazi, and his expertise was infecting ticks and mosquitoes with biological germs, What do you think he's going to work on on Plum Island? Auto mechanics?
"And is it circumstantial that the first cases of what they would call Lyme disease was found a stone's throw from Plum Island in Lyme?"
The job of "Conspiracy Theory" is to bring up these questions, along with those raised by the washing up of weird, unidentifiable animals on Long Island, with names like the Montauk Monster.
Besides, he says, why is Homeland Security running an animal disease lab? And he has more questions: "What's the idea of us experimenting in bio warfare?" he asks. "I thought that was against the rules. We invaded Iraq because Saddam had chemical weapons. We've been using chemical weapons for 40 or 50 years. What's the hypocricy there?"
The Coast Guard did indeed chase his boat when he tried to get close to Plum Island, Ventura says, but "what did they think I was going to do? I don't want to set foot on the place."
Plum Island is the first of a number of stories covered this season. Future episodes tackle a secret billionaire's club with the power to manipulate markets, government internment camps, the inevitable Area 51, and the conspiracy that got Ventura interested in this field in the first place: the JFK assassination.
"In was the mid-'80s when I was in my pro-wrestling career, everything switched from driving and trains to flying and airports. ... There's no more boring way to travel than planes. So I began reading. I found the Kennedy assassination interesting. So I read every book I could get my hands on. It came to light to me ... that our government is not honest with us most of the time."
Of course, Ventura was part of the government for a time as well. He first served as mayor of Brooklyn Park, Minn., from 1991 to 1995 before shocking the nation by winning election for governor of Minnesota in 1998, serving one term.
"A politician makes it a career," Ventura says. "I'm a statesman. I had one term and got out."
When "Conspiracy Theory" started in December 2009 on truTV, it drew more than 1.6 million viewers, breaking a network record for largest audience for a new series launch.
"Everywehre I go, including New York City, regular people on the street when we're out shooting, shake my hand and say, 'Governor, thank you for courage, thank you for what you're doing here. You're the only one with courage that bring them to light'."
"Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura" starts its second season Friday at 10 p.m. on truTV.

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