Back in 2010, it was widely reported that the federal government would sell its shadowy Plum Island Animal Disease Center and all the lovely beachfront property that goes with it. A little over two years later, the General Services Administration has finished its study and is advising just that.
The 840-acre retreat located off the eastern tip of Long Island was popularized by Dr. Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs when he rebuked Clarice Starling’s offer of supervised visits to its sandy shores and famously ascribed a more straightforward label to it, calling it “Anthrax Island.” He was of course referring to the the biolab located there that was designed to test deadly pathogens and safeguard the food supply and according to some conspiracy theorists, create bioweapons.
The GSA has not set a price or determined what should done with the island, which is probably a good thing since the Department of Homeland Security still hasn’t secured the money it needs to replace the aging facility with a planned $1.3 billion lab in Manhattan, Kansas, a region of the U.S. that is danger-close to the country’s beef supply not to mention it being prone to town-swallowing tornadoes. Despite these factors government officials say the threat of a pandemic breaking out and wiping out the population is relatively low, so no need to worry. (Photo: U.S. Department of Agriculture/Flickr)