BZ Timeline

by Erowid

  • 1958 Army begins experimenting with BZ.
  • 1962 – 1964 U.S. army produced over 100,000 pounds of BZ for use in Vietnam.
  • 1962 U.S. military allocates 2 million dollars to the construction of a facility designed exclusively for weaponizing conventional bombs with BZ.
  • 1963 Major James S. Ketchum, who participated in research experiments at the US Army Chemical and Research and Development Laboratories at the Edgewood Arsenal in Maryland, publishes a technical memorandum detailing BZ’s effects on 362 human subjects.
  • 1964 Army begins using BZ gas in Vietnam.
  • Late 1960’s BZ production is discontinued because “its effects on enemy front-line troops would be varied and unpredictable”.
  • 1986 U.S. military chemical arsenal at Pine Bluff still contains BZ bombs awaiting destruction.
  • 1990 The movie Jacob’s Ladder portrays the use of BZ during the Vietnam war.


  1. Lee MA, Shlain B. Acid Dreams: The CIA, LSD and the Sixties Rebellion. Grove, 1985.
  2. SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute). CB Weapons Today Volume II-The Problem of Chemical and Biological Warfare – e Humanities Press (1973).
  3. Harris R., Paxman J. A Higher Form of Killing- The Secret Story of Chemical and Biological Warfare. Hill and Wang. (1982).
  4. Ketchum, J.S. The Human Assessment of BZ: CRDL Technical Memorandum 20-29, U.S. Army Chemical Research and Development Laboratories (1963)
  5. U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine. Detailed facts about Psychedelic Agent 3-Quinuclidinyl Benzilate (BZ).
  6. Chemical Stockpile Disposal Program. U.S. Army Toxic and Hazardous Materials Agency, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD (1986).


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