- "“An old building was found. A scientific center of some sort, full of discarded equipment. Some I recognized, other items are new to me. It does seem to have been abandoned. I do not question its presence like I do not question the changes that this world provides me with. Instead, I strive to adapt and survive. Inside, I have found small areas of snow, but also traces of something dark. Beds that probably did not hold free people. Corridors that lack warmth. I feel unwelcome inside it. I will try to stay away as its maze-like features might trap me for good. What transpired here? Do I want to know?”"
Léry’s Memorial Institute
Nestled in a sleepy woods 3 miles south of Michaelstown, Illinois, the Léry Memorial Institute started out life a hospital specializing in the rehabilitation of GI’s returning from the Korean War. The mansion built in the late 1800's and it's massive lot were donated by the previous owner to be transformed into a medical facility. As an army hospital it always fell under different laws and rules to other hospitals and in 1967, it effectively became a front for the CIA. Under the Stewardship of Mr. Stamper, the old army patients were shipped out and a huge fence erected around the property. Around this time, the public were refused access to the patients and the whole place was shrouded in secrecy.
By 1970 the Institute was fully transformed into a CIA black site with special requirements to develop cutting-edge interrogation techniques and they employed a wide range of different doctors and specialists to help them. The Institute thrived through the 70’s growing to a staff of hundreds, filling the main hospital and several out-buildings.
Documents and evidence about the Institute is scarce as the government condemned the entire building in 1983, even razing most of the building to the ground in what seemed to be planned explosive demolition. Even now, the events that lead to the closing of the Institute and what happened to the staff and patients is shrouded in controversy and mystery. Snippets of information in heavily redacted documents tell the story of some kind of incident or event, but even the most tenacious of reporters have failed to unearth any real evidence of conspiracy or wrongdoing. You can still see what remains of the shell of the main hospital facility, standing defiant against the ruins that surround it on what is still US Military land.