Biological Warfare: Dark Harvest

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With the aim of getting their island back, "properly laundered," the statement continued, a "team of microbiologists from two universities," aided by local people, had recently landed on the island and carefully collected 300 Ibs. of soil samples. "Over the next twelve-month period, these bags will be deposited at appropriate points that will ensure the rapid loss of indifference of the government and the equally rapid education of the general public." Accordingly, the message concluded, the first "seeds of death" were being sent to the place from which they had come: "Porton Down has just received a gift from Gruinard Island, the first of many."

Sure enough, the first package of dirt, weighing 10 Ibs., was found the same day near the Porton Down laboratories, and analysis showed that it contained Bacillus anthracis. Although the box that showed up at Blackpool did not contain anthrax spores, officials said the soil was similar to that on Gruinard Island.

Several other packages of earth have since been found throughout the country, but all were thought to be the work of pranksters. Scottish police have placed Gruinard Island under observation and continue to search for any recent visitors. Meanwhile, if the people behind "Dark Harvest" are to be believed, there remain 280 Ibs. of contaminated earth hidden somewhere in Britain, awaiting further distribution.

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