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‘The Mystery Of Anthrax Island’ Ending, Explained: Were Police Able To Capture ‘Dark Harvest’?

The latest documentary cites the story of Gruinard Island, sometimes also referred to by many as “The Island of Death.” The year is 1981, and the authorities have created a special investigation force to probe into the bizarre statement released by an enigmatic group calling itself “Dark Harvest.” The statement was rather strange and threatening in its own right and revealed that “Dark Harvest” had already started their campaign and would be sending the seeds of death to the place where they came from.

Spoilers Ahead

Seeds Of Death

The group’s first target was a secluded research facility located in Wiltshire. From the outside, the facility looked like any ordinary building, but in reality, it was  housing laboratory where scientists were relentlessly working with some of the most dangerous substances known to man. The facility was called “Porton Down,” one of the most secure and secretive locations in Britain. Due to the concerns raised by the mysterious letter, scientists were ordered to thoroughly search the premise, but to no avail. However, the scientists found a bucket filled with soil laced with “Anthrax.” Anthrax ranks among the most dangerous substances on the planet and can cause blisters on the skin, swellings, bloody vomit, and abdominal pain, eventually leading to a painful death. If coming into contact, symptoms would develop within 24 hours, and in a child, much sooner. After assessing the soil, the scientists were quick to deduce that the sample came from 600 miles away, from Gruinard Island, located just a few miles away from civilization in the far northwest of the British Isles.

The History Of Gruinard Island

The island was mostly inhabited following the clearances carried out during World War II and was a great asset to the English forces, who planned to carry out secretive operations on the island. Many locals have seen white fumes coming out of the place and men travelling back and forth wearing hazmat suits. Soon the locals found their cattle dead, lying on the land with their legs in the air. During the Second World War, Churchill established a secret committee, tasked the scientist to weaponize “Anthrax,” and picked Gruinard Island as the testing zone. Explosions were used to set free the Anthrax, with the expectation that airflow would finish the job. The experiment was a success, and the scientist left for Porton Down, but the Anthrax remained. Cattle, including cows, horses, sheep, and others, start dying off rapidly in the months that follow. Churchill never used the anthrax bomb, but the island was left isolated, abandoned, and untended. Even after four decades, the island was still deemed dangerous and uninhabitable.

‘The Mystery Of Anthrax Island’ Ending Explained – Were Police Able To Capture ‘Dark Harvest’?

The police expedited the investigation as another sample was found in Blackpool in just under five days. The cops began suspecting everyone, from locals to environmental activists to sheepherders and more. After further investigation, the police learned that two microbiologists had landed on the island and had dug out more than 300 pounds of soil. Dark Harvest claimed to be in possession of 300 pounds of the poisonous soil, and no one knew where they would strike next. But to their shock, another statement revealed that the objectives had been met and there would be no further attacks. But after years, a journalist ties Willie Mcrae, an attorney and anti-nuclear activist, to the group. He was a vocal campaigner who successfully opposed the contamination of Scottish soil with Britain’s nuclear waste. Adam Busby, the leader of the Scottish National Liberation Army, claimed responsibility for the action, but there’s still significant debate since he’s known to claim responsibility for things he hasn’t done. In 1990, the island was declared free of Anthrax after years of spraying, sampling, and spending millions of taxpayers’ money. But this wasn’t the end, as important news regarding the second letter broke out claiming that the soil wasn’t dug out of Gruinard Island; it came from the mainland itself, revealing that the contamination wasn’t confined to the island. The government’s inaction here was very reckless, and they decided not to “wake the sleeping dog of anthrax” contamination, hoping it would go away. Anthrax spores have a lifespan of 40–50 years, but in some conditions, they can be viable for up to 200 years.

‘The Mystery Of Anthrax Island’ – Is It Based On A True Story?

Certainly, the events chronicled in the documentary are based on real facts. During World War II, the news broke that Hitler had his best scientists working on biological and chemical weapons, putting combined forces at risk as, unlike others, the Nazis wouldn’t think twice before releasing harmful chemicals into the air. However, Churchill wasn’t in the mood to fall behind and ordered to weaponize Anthrax. The scientist travelled 600 miles from Porton Down” to Gruinard Island to carry out the test. After the desired outcome was reached, the scientist left without even sealing off the island or posting a “do not enter” sign. Whatever the case may be, the “Dark Harvest” group should be praised, as their actions led to the cleanup after more than 60 years.


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