People of Terceira Island in Portugal are contracting deadly illnesses, chief among them is cancer—the rates at which the disease progresses are incomparably out of sync with other parts of the Azores archipelago. The island is in many ways similar to other islands in the archipelago—except for one. To this day, the US’s 65th Air Base Group has been hosted in the Lajes Airbase on the island. The island’s position was deemed convenient by the US military; it is located right in the middle flanked by the US and Europe. This has been the commonly accepted view of the island since at least World War II.
The airbase on this Terceira Island serves as a refueling station for US aviators. As such, there are a lot of fuel tanks along with numerous storage facilities. There is evidence of spills over the course of the island’s role as fueling station and these spills are responsible for contaminating soil, aquifers, and local waters. The scariest thing of all is that there have been reports by inhabitants regarding alleged nuclear activities—something that the government is being tight-lipped about.
Cases of deadly diseases and death from cancer in Terceira Island are expanding rapidly. The island is home to 8.52% of the total population of the Azores archipelago. Yet, cancer cases arising from this particular island make up a staggering 33% of all reported cancer cases across the archipelago. And this extends to cases of rare cancer types such as eye cancer. Heavy metals are highly concentrated deep in the soil of the island, leading to above-normal numbers of other diseases such as cardiac problems, infertility, and dementia—and not to mention, cancer. High concentration of metals (such as molybdenum, zinc, or copper) has serious health damage to those around affected areas.
Investigations have turned out unsetting findings. Once, a black rock was found in Praia Bay. Observation then revealed that this rock is actually sediments of hydrocarbons, which then formed a link to a series of spills occurring around the US airbase. It is speculated that there have been 88.000 liters of fuel spilled in Terceira Island in last 10 years alone—based on existing reports and documented events. There are at least another 150 liters that are still not documented. Radioactivity levels are high in Pico do Careca, which is a human-made hill built on top of old bunkers, near the US airbase.