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Operation Magic Sword was a 1965 U.S. military operation designed to test the effectiveness of the sea-borne release of insect vectors for biological agents.


Operation Magic Sword was U.S. military operation undertaken in 1965. It was designed to ascertain the effectiveness of releasing mosquito vectors for biological agents at sea. It took place off the southeastern coast of the United States and employed yellow fever mosquitoes with the hope of assessing their biting habits following an ocean-borne release.[1]


Magic Sword showed that when coupled with ocean winds that the mosquitoes could travel up to three and one-half miles to shore. The operation also showed that if needed the mosquitoes could be kept alive for cross-ocean journeys.

See also


  1. Lockwood, Jeffery A.. Six-legged Soldiers: Using Insects as Weapons of War, Oxford University Press US, 2009, p. 203, (ISBN 0195333055).

Further reading

  • Hay, Alastair. "A Magic Sword or a Big Itch: An Historical Look at the United States Biological Weapons Programme", (citation), Medicine, Conflict and Survival, Volume 15, Issue 3 July 1999, pages 215 - 234, (ISSN 1362-3699).
  • Horton, Richard C. Health Wars: On the Global Front Lines of Modern Medicine, (Google books link), New York Review of Books, 2003, p.89, (ISBN 1590170245).

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