Observations placeholder

Srebrenica hallucinations



Type of Spiritual Experience


Number of hallucinations: 35


A description of the experience

Med Confl Surviv. 1998 Apr-Jun;14(2):120-55.  Surviving the impossible: the long march from Srebrenica. An investigation of the possible use of chemical warfare agents.  Hay A

In July 1995 about 15,000 people attempted to walk from the enclave of Srebrenica to free territory in Bosnia.

Two-thirds were captured or killed.

Many of the remainder experienced hallucinations on the march, leading them to believe they were the victims of chemical weapons. This paper reports extended structured interviews with 35 survivors, including three doctors, carried out a year later on behalf of Human Right Watch.

The literature on the likeliest CW agent, 3-quinuclidinyl benzilate (BZ), and on stress as a cause of hallucinations, is reviewed. While CW exposure cannot be ruled out, it is concluded that the hallucinations can be ascribed to the consequence of multiple stresses--artillery attacks, exhaustion due to lack of sleep, starvation, thirst and the effects of drinking unpurified water.

PMID: 9633268

The source of the experience


Concepts, symbols and science items



Activities and commonsteps