Throwback: That time the Army blew up mom’s body


“I don’t see a pathway of ever getting past this,” aa devastated Jim Stauffer told Phoenix station ABC 15 about what happened to his late mother, Doris Stauffer, after he gave her body to the Biological Resource Center (BRC).

Jim Stauffer donated his mother’s body to the BRC in Maricopa County, Arizona, in 2013 after she died aged 74.

Doris Stauffer suffered from Alzheimer’s during the final years of her life. Doctors believed the disease may have mutated, as she did not have the usual Alzheimer’s gene, and they hoped to study her brain after her death.

After neurologists said they could not accept the body, Jim Stauffer donated it to the BRC in the hopes her brain could still be used for scientific research.

Several days later, Jim Stauffer received a wooden box containing his mother’s ashes. He was never told how his mother’s body had been used at the center.

Years later, a Reuters report revealed that her brain was never used for Alzheimer’s research. Instead, the body was sold off to the U.S. Army so it could be used as part of an experiment to measure damage caused by roadside bombs.

She was then supposedly strapped in a chair on some sort of apparatus, and a detonation took place underneath her to basically kind of get an idea of what the human body goes through when a vehicle is hit by an IED,” Jim Stauffer told ABC 15.

“There was actually wording on this paperwork about performing this stuff,” he added. “Performing these medical tests that may involve explosions, and we said no. We checked the ‘no’ box on all that.”

According to Reuters, at least 20 bodies donated to BRC were sold off to the Army for blast experiments without their family’s consent. The bodies were sold for around $5,893 each. It was contended that body parts were diced up and sold, in some cases around the world, for profit. Some people also received boxes containing cement dust instead of their relatives’ ashes

More about all of this malarky here at Newsweek.