The US government allowed secret radiation experiments on Black children from the Black town of Lyles Station, Indiana. The documentary titled “Hole In the Head”: A Life Revealed” documents one of the survivors of these radiation experiments.
An African- American man named Vertus Welborn Hardiman who was born March 9, 1922 in Lyles Station Indiana tells his story of how the government used him for a radiation experiment when he was 5 -years old. Vertus and 9 other black children were used as human Guinea Pigs where they were subject to an extremely high dosage of radiation on the crown of their heads. When the case was taken to trial, the hospital personal misrepresented the treatment and told the courts it was a treatment for ringworms. No charges filed, sounds familiar huh?
When asked was he angry for the radiation experiment performed on him, Vertus replied, “No, if you’re angry it means your heart is not right.” It’s hard to imagine how this this elderly gentleman had to wear a beanie cap or wig to cover the hole left in his head with the horrific disfigurement which was caused by the experiment and hear him say he wasn’t mad.
Vertus says, “God kept him here because he thinks he wanted this story to be told to show the magnitude of his mercy”.
The experiment left Vertus and the other children with unsightly physical deformity. He kept his secret for more than 70 years before befriending a young man he met at church by the name of Wilbert Smith who he felt comfortable sharing his story with.
He talks about the black community founded in the 1886 called Lyles Station which remains the most intact African –American settlement in the state. It was known as one of the earliest Negro settlements in the United States. Some of the current residents are descendants of the original settlers. This town is an intricate part of the process of freeing slaves. They call the community “Freedom Village”
Vertus says, “Don’t allow the devil to ride, because if you let him ride, he will soon want to drive”.
Check out his story below
Video Source: Glenn Gipson