No. 65 was born in French Cameroons. In 1958, he was captured and sold to the US Air Force. Over the next two years, he underwent rigorous training in which his physical and emotional responses to extreme stress were recorded and compared to those of his peers. If his response was correct he was praised. If it was incorrect, electric shocks were administered to the soles of his feet. No. 65 performed exceptionally well and was the top candidate in his class.
On January 31, 1961, he was strapped into a small capsule and fitted with dozens of sub dermal sensors to constantly measure his physical condition. This capsule was secured to the top of a 2,562 lb. rocket that launched him 160 miles above the Atlantic Ocean at a top speed of 5,857 miles per hour. His heart rate rose to nearly three times its normal resting rate. After experiencing 7 minutes of weightlessness, his capsule re-entered the earth’s atmosphere and eventually splashed down 422 miles off the coast of Florida.
By the time rescue helicopters arrived, the capsule had taken on 96 gallons of seawater as a result of damage sustained during re-entry. No. 65 was recovered alive. Physiological data suggested that he was under extreme duress for the majority of the journey and recovery process, but he completed his tasks as instructed. Expert behavioral analysis confirmed this, adding that he suffered severe bouts of anxiety and fear on his mission. He died of natural causes in 1983 and his remains can now be found in a drawer in the US National Museum of Health and Medicine in Silver Spring, MD.