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Tags crickets , Cuba conspiracies , Cuba incidents , mass hysteria , psychogenic illness , sonic weapons , US-Cuba relations

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Old 5th September 2018, 11:29 PM   #481
dann
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Even in ordinary, not particularly science-minded households, if some of the members of that household fall ill, in particular if they fall seriously ill, and others don't, it will usually be considered what the diseased have in common and don't share with the ones who remain healthy.
In Pont-Saint-Esprit pollution of air or water were ruled out because it would have affected everybody, and so was contamination of bread in general. People who fell ill had eaten bread from one particular bakery, and people were so certain of this that one priest became the victim of the conspiracy theory that he had poisoned the bread because he didn't eat any bread from that bakery and consequently also didn't fall ill. (You know, like when Jews allegedly stayed away from the Twin Towers on 9/11!)
This is not rocket science, even though finding out the exact kind of contamination obviously is.
Depending on how exactly the rye, wheat or barley from which the flour for that particular bakery was stored, some of it could have been affected by the flooding mentioned, some of it not. Your idea that all (or some) other buyers of flour from that mill would also have received contaminated flour is not valid. That it would subsequently have been investigated if any contaminated grains were still left at the mill or delivered to other bakers is also more than likely.
You have absolutely nothing on which you can base your suspicion that it was a case of mass hysteria. And I think that you are aware of that by now.

.... as are the U.S. authorities in the case of the diseased U.S. embassy employees in Havana concerning their suspicion, which is usually referred to as certainty, that the cause of their disease was an attack: Some people heard something, some people didn't, some peoples' brains were affected, others' weren't, the people who feared that an attack might be taking place were the ones who got sick, the ones who didn't think so also didn't fall ill.
What is left to support the idea that an attack was taking place is one person seeing a truck leaving the vicinity of one of the buildings! (I know the heavily trafficked area, so it doesn't surprise me!) The Cubans say that they've tracked it down - I bet there are plenty of surveillance cameras in the area and that they've kept the footage! - and it belongs to a church!

You have absolutely nothing to go on, and neither do the U.S. American authorities. That they are adamant about their conspiracy theory about an attack is obviously because of politics, nothing else. (And it is completely ridiculous to think that "certain countries" would launch an attack on Americans immediately after they'd managed to get their guy elected to the White House!)
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"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 5th September 2018, 11:36 PM   #482
dann
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Live Science promises to follow up on the the so-called Frey effect:

Quote:
Live Science will continue to report on the Frey effect and its potential role in the apparent attacks. This article will be updated with a link to a more thorough explanation of how it works, and what it does.
Microwave Weapon Blamed for Apparent Attack on US Embassy in Cuba (Live Science, Sep. 4, 2018)

The latest Cuban reactions to the renewed microwave weapon allegations:

Quote:
“If you look at the alleged events, there have been reports that there are several people in a room with thick walls and thick windows and only one person was targeted. This is a kind of weapon that doesn’t exist,” said Dr. Mitchell Valdes-Sosa, a well-known neurologist who is part of the Cuban special task force investigating the alleged attacks. “It’s science fiction, not science,” he said.
“First, it was sonic weapons, now microwave. What’s next, kryptonite?” the investigator said in an interview with CNN at his research center in Havana, referring to an earlier theory that sonic weapons emitting high-powered ultrasound waves could have caused the injuries.
Valdes-Sosa said researchers and investigators are working on a paper to rebut the microwave weapons theory.Cuban Scientist Rejects Microwaves As Source Of Mysterious Acoustic Attacks On Diplomats (CBS Miami, Sep. 3, 2018)

In Havana they're asking the cui bono? question:

¿A quién beneficia la mentira sobre los supuestos incidentes contra diplomáticos norteamericanos en La Habana? (Granma, Sep. 4, 2018)


Quote:
“They started with the theory of sonic attacks that could not withstand the analysis of the scientific community and police investigations conducted by both countries. Then they resorted briefly to a hypothesis about a viral attack that was discarded for lack of evidence. For several months now, they have been talking about a brain concussion, without a concussion taking place, and attributed to only four diplomats,” Cossío recalled.
The Cuban diplomat noted that no evidence is available to support the latest theory or any scientific principles to justify its conclusions, although some media outlets are reporting the microwave story.
"What has been demonstrated is what scientists from Cuba, the United States, and other countries maintain, and what the island’s government has said from the beginning: the existence of attacks is false and the U.S. government knows this very well, since it has had multiple opportunities to prove it," he reiterated.
It is impossible to prove something that did not occur, and the U.S. knows it (Granma, Sep. 4, 2018)
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/dann
"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 6th September 2018, 12:25 AM   #483
Checkmite
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Depending on how exactly the rye, wheat or barley from which the flour for that particular bakery was stored, some of it could have been affected by the flooding mentioned, some of it not. Your idea that all (or some) other buyers of flour from that mill would also have received contaminated flour is not valid.
No, it isn't. The milled flour is produced by the batch and bagged; ergot powders up the same way as wheat, it would have drifted everywhere. And according to what I've read, all of the theories assert the flour to have been contaminated either at the mill or earlier in the process.

Sorry, it is simply not believable that a flour mill could process ergot-infected wheat in such a way that the entirety of the contamination was limited to one or two sacks of flour. The odds of it happening are cosmic in scope. Heck, even before the ergot and flour are dustified together in the mill, the bad delivery of wheat would've spread out into several batches' worth of volume because all the wheat was stored in together in silos and thus becomes mixed to a degree before being processed. Not to mention the fact that the mold will continue to grow and actively spread in that environment up until the time it is processed.

If you want to effectively rebut this, it will require a solid explanation for why no ergot was ever found in the baker's flour or anywhere else at his facility. Or at the mill from which he obtained the flour. Or anywhere else at all relevant to this case. Ergot was a known threat and the technology for detecting it was available in the time period.
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Old 6th September 2018, 02:10 AM   #484
dann
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Isn't it about time that you stop writing "according to what I've read" and provide us with quotations and links?!
Unless you can tell us exactly how the wheat, rye and/or barley was processed at the mill, your conjectures aren't all that interesting. Let's hear specifically how it was done and why that would support your idea that the pain maudit wasn't maudit at all.
Remember that ergot was only one possible explanation. There seems to be no doubt that all the people who got ill had eaten bread from the same baker. Therefore there seems to be no doubt that it was caused by some kind of contaminated flour.
And remember that no matter what happened in France in 1951, it has very little to do with what happened in Havana in 2016-17 and in Guangzhou in 2018, i.e. the case of mass hysteria of U.S. American embassy and consulate employees.
You're clutching at straws in your attempt to justify the attack accusations.

In the meantime, let me provide you with quotations and a link:
Quote:
L'affaire du pain maudit est une série d'intoxications alimentaires qui frappe la France pendant l'été 1951, dont la plus sérieuse à partir du 16 août à Pont-Saint-Esprit (Gard) où elle fera cinq, voire sept morts, cinquante personnes internées dans des hôpitaux psychiatriques et deux cent cinquante personnes atteintes de symptômes plus ou moins graves ou durables. Plus de soixante ans après les événements de Pont-Saint-Esprit, on ne sait toujours pas à quoi les attribuer. Cliniquement, les symptômes étaient ceux d'une forme mixte d'ergotisme, mais ce diagnostic n'a pu être prouvé. Pour la justice, la cause est une farine avariée.
(…)
Le seul point commun entre toutes les victimes est en effet d'avoir acheté et consommé le pain de la boulangerie de Roch Briand. La consommation de ce pain provoquant vomissements, maux de têtes, douleurs gastriques, musculaires, et accès de folie (convulsions démoniaques, hallucinations et tentatives de suicide), /HILITE]ce syndrome pourrait évoquer l'ergotisme[/hilite].
(…)
L’enquête du commissaire Sigaud s’oriente très rapidement vers un meunier poitevin de Saint-Martin-la-Rivière, Maurice Maillet, accusé d’avoir mélangé dans la farine employée à Pont-Saint-Esprit du seigle avarié, et vers le boulanger Guy Bruère qui lui aurait fourni ce seigle. Maillet avoue et déclare : « je n’ai pas osé livrer cette marchandise de mauvaise qualité dans ma commune, alors je l’ai expédiée à Pont-St-Esprit ». Les Spiripontains applaudissent l'arrestation de ces deux hommes fin août. Tous deux passent deux mois en prison avant d'être innocentés et d'obtenir leur libération « provisoire » fin octobre 1951, un laboratoire militaire d'analyse de Marseille n'ayant trouvé aucune trace d'ergot de seigle ni dans le pain, ni dans la farine.Affaire du pain maudit (Wikipedia)
So the facts in the case are:
1) It seems to have been a case of food poisoning. (By the way, notice the "a series of", which according to you would disprove mass hysteria!)
2) It appears to have been ergot poisoning (same symptoms), but it was never proved.
3) The only thing that the cases had in common was that they had bought and eaten bread from the same bakery.
4) One of the suppliers admitted improper handling of the grains (mixing wheat with rye, the usual source of ergot poisoning because the color of rye makes it more difficult to detect), but again: no proof, which is why even he was later acquitted. And apparently impossible to get, and we don't know why: Did the baker and miller destroy the evidence?

Now compare this with the despicable accusations against ... whomever! ... in Cuba and Guangzhou!
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 6th September 2018, 06:05 AM   #485
dann
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PS
I forgot to comment on this: « je n’ai pas osé livrer cette marchandise de mauvaise qualité dans ma commune, alors je l’ai expédiée à Pont-St-Esprit »


The guy actually says that it was a very special batch of 'merchandise' that he delivered, different from the rest! I don't know what enabled him to make this distinction, but it contradicts your conjecture about the impossibility of distinguishing one batch from another!
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/dann
"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 6th September 2018, 10:42 AM   #486
Checkmite
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Isn't it about time that you stop writing "according to what I've read" and provide us with quotations and links?!
Because you've been providing them yourself. By "everything I've read", I'm referring to the wiki pages you have linked, and their source articles. And most of the time I'm describing what cannot be found in the material, which means I cannot provide a quote anyway. For instance, when I say something like "I can't find any indication that the investigation actually pursued any theories outside of contaminated bread", what am I supposed to "quote" to support that?

Originally Posted by dann View Post
Unless you can tell us exactly how the wheat, rye and/or barley was processed at the mill, your conjectures aren't all that interesting. Let's hear specifically how it was done and why that would support your idea that the pain maudit wasn't maudit at all.
There just isn't a tremendously wide variety of grain milling technologies, such that it's possible some less-messy method was being used in the mill in question that might preclude the possibility of cross-contamination from an infected delivery of grain. Appropriate for the time period is roller milling, especially for whitened flour of the type your articles report the French preferred.

Look at this video of a modern roller mill facility in India. You will have to cue through the video to find shots which show the inside of the mill; but note even in this modern-day facility the prevalence of flour all over the floors and equipment in some areas.

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE


There ARE ultra-modern facilities in some places today that give the process an air-tight seal from end to end, although of course the insides of these conduits and machines will still be coated with flour. And none of those facilities were around in 1951, it hardly needs to be said.

The thing is, the "exactly how" of the milling process is a red herring here. The spreading of contamination has little to do with the milling process itself; it is the mass storage of grain and the simple well-known physical properties of flour, however produced, that make the spreading of contamination throughout the mill's equipment and building inevitable.

Originally Posted by dann View Post
Remember that ergot was only one possible explanation.
It is the only one the authorities seem to have actually pursued at the time, per the sources YOU have provided. Most of the alternatives have been proposed many years afterwards and have largely been dismissed in favor of the ergot explanation.

Originally Posted by dann View Post
There seems to be no doubt that all the people who got ill had eaten bread from the same baker. Therefore there seems to be no doubt that it was caused by some kind of contaminated flour.
No contaminated flour was ever found.

To be clear, flour WAS tested and found to be uncontaminated.


Originally Posted by dann View Post
So the facts in the case are:
1) It seems to have been a case of food poisoning. (By the way, notice the "a series of", which according to you would disprove mass hysteria!)
This is also the very first time in the literature you've sourced so far that claims this incident was one of a "series" of incidents, and it provides no further details along those lines. This detail needs corroboration before it can be considered. But since you've told me I'm wrong about this point, it would be intellectually dishonest of you to try and use it as a rebuttal in this case.

Originally Posted by dann View Post
2) It appears to have been ergot poisoning (same symptoms), but it was never proved.
Exactly and that is important, because ergot contamination is a very definitely, positively provable thing where it exists, and there has been no sufficient excuse offered as to why it had not been.

Originally Posted by dann View Post
3) The only thing that the cases had in common was that they had bought and eaten bread from the same bakery.
The only thing hundreds of children who suffered a mass outbreak of epilepsy-like seizures and other malaise in Japan in 1997 had in common was the fact that they had all watched the same episode of a popular cartoon.

Of course, at least a very small percentage of the victim pool in that case was medically determined to actually have epilepsy.

Unlike in France, where absolutely none of the foodstuffs were found to be actually contaminated with ergot. Maybe it was a special "disappearing ink"-like variety of ergot.


Originally Posted by dann View Post
4) One of the suppliers admitted improper handling of the grains (mixing wheat with rye, the usual source of ergot poisoning because the color of rye makes it more difficult to detect), but again: no proof, which is why even he was later acquitted. And apparently impossible to get, and we don't know why: Did the baker and miller destroy the evidence?
No, there was no "impossible to get":

Quote:
Tous deux passent deux mois en prison avant d'être innocentés et d'obtenir leur libération « provisoire » fin octobre 1951, un laboratoire militaire d'analyse de Marseille n'ayant trouvé aucune trace d'ergot de seigle ni dans le pain, ni dans la farine.
There was actual bread product and flour available to test. A military laboratory tested it. And they found no ergot. Not a single trace of it. Because there most probably wasn't any.

The baker may have "destroyed evidence" if for some reason he came to suspect his own bread before the authorities came to seize it; but he could not have destroyed the leftover bread in the victims' own houses, all of which should have tested positive for ergot if it had been contaminated. So now we have a theory which requires not just only one or two sacks of flour in the whole mill to actually be contaminated with ergot; it requires the eventuality that only very specific portions of a number of individual loaves of bread made from that flour were contaminated, and that all of those portions happened to be eaten by the victims, leaving none left to be discovered by scientific investigation. Incredible.

And there's simply no way to "destroy" all of the flour that coated the machines and surfaces in the mill and grain elevators, save just blowing them up completely at least.
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Old 6th September 2018, 11:50 AM   #487
dann
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1) The only people affected were the the people who had eaten bread made from a below-par batch of flour.
2) That "flour was tested" tells us nothing, since we can't be sure that it was flour from the contaminated batch.
3) What do people usually do with foodstuffs when they suspect it of being unsafe to eat? They throw it out! Do we know if the MDs or the authorities asked them to hand it over for investigation? I don't, but if you do, it would be great if you would provide us with quotations and links, which you don't seem to want to do. (Your youtube link is irrelevant: Proving that flour is dusty really isn't the point here. If you'd told us about the quantity of flour necessary to detect ergot contamination of flour in 1951, it might have been interesting.)
It is not required for the evidence to disappear "that all of those portions happened to be eaten by the victims, leaving none left to be discovered by scientific investigation."
When did that part of the investigation start?!
”L'affaire débute le 16 août 1951,” and the accused were released from jail ”fin octobre 1951.” Did a laboratory analysis really take more than two months back in 1951? Or did they start collecting samples much too late for any usable bread or flour to be found?
I think that most bakeries would have been cleaned a couple of times in two months, and I doubt that families would have cherished the memory of the outbreak to the extent that they would save old bread, running the risk that somebody might eat it by mistake.

And again: In the case of the 'cursed bread' in France, it was very obvious that the bread caused the outbreak. It was the one and only thing all victims had in common. (And unlike the Japanese children in 1997, this was before the arrival of the internet.)
In the Havana case, all you had was the sound of crickets - and you only had that in some of the cases - but even after it became glaringly obvious that it actually was crickets, it is still treated as an attack. What we are left with now are four cases of allegedly impaired brains with 'concussions without concussions,' and we are no closer to a weapon or a perpetrator, but still it's treated as an attack.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 7th September 2018, 05:00 AM   #488
dann
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Quote:
No microwave weapon that affects the brain is known to exist. The FBI has investigated the Cuba cases and found no evidence of a plot.
Scientists and doctors zap theory that microwave weapon injured Cuba diplomats (Washington Post, Sep. 6, 2018)

Washington Post on Twitter

Also here:
Quote:
University of Cincinnati neurologist Alberto J. Espay stated, “Microwave weapons is the closest equivalent in science to faux news.”
Scientists and doctors zap theory that microwave weapon injured Cuba diplomats (Relatednews.net, Sep. 6, 2018)

Quote:
Skeptics of the microwave weapon hypothesis have to face their own challenge: it is impossible to disprove the existence of invisible agents. In this case, the agent is a theoretical weapon exerted by unidentified assailants who leaves no trace.
Critics say it does not pass a plausibility test.
Scientists and doctors zap theory that microwave weapon injured Cuba diplomats (Naaju.com, Sep. 6, 2018)
__________________
/dann
"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

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Old 7th September 2018, 05:54 AM   #489
dann
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Quote:
“Microwave weapons is the closest equivalent in science to fake news,” University of Cincinnati neurologist Alberto Espay said, in the latest article that discredits the US's false accusations against Cuba.
Cuba Solidarity on Twitter (Sep. 7, 2018)


Quote:
A pretext is all that is needed to start a conflict, something with which the United States has experience, from the Spanish-American War, to Vietnam, Iraq… but its latest efforts to vilify Cuba are unique
How is a pretext for a cold war manufactured? (Granma, Sep. 6, 2018)
__________________
/dann
"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

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Old 7th September 2018, 09:33 AM   #490
Checkmite
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
3) What do people usually do with foodstuffs when they suspect it of being unsafe to eat? They throw it out! Do we know if the MDs or the authorities asked them to hand it over for investigation?
If they did not, then you're demanding we accept the so-called "findings" of a slapdash and phony "investigation" which made conclusions that were unsupported by any physical evidence. That's ridiculous. What would even be the point of testing bread that was baked weeks or months after the fact? And, why are you so insistent on one hand that the investigation's conclusions are so credible and likely accurate, while on the other hand openly attacking their methodology where its results conflict with the conclusions, like questioning whether the actual testing they conducted was good enough or timely enough to produce accurate data? This is so jarringly inconsistent.

Feel free to continue this bizarre theatre where you find special reasons or weave justifications to ignore or dismiss the actual results of what little scientific analyses were actually done in this matter, while persistently refusing to even acknowledge all the painfully obvious problems with an untested hypothesis that has no actual facts supporting it. I will not treat some vaguely educated guess as if it had the weight of a scientifically-derived conclusion, no matter how repeatedly you insist that we do.

Originally Posted by dann View Post
It is not required for the evidence to disappear "that all of those portions happened to be eaten by the victims, leaving none left to be discovered by scientific investigation."
When did that part of the investigation start?!
”L'affaire débute le 16 août 1951,” and the accused were released from jail ”fin octobre 1951.” Did a laboratory analysis really take more than two months back in 1951? Or did they start collecting samples much too late for any usable bread or flour to be found?
I think that most bakeries would have been cleaned a couple of times in two months, and I doubt that families would have cherished the memory of the outbreak to the extent that they would save old bread, running the risk that somebody might eat it by mistake.
I have no idea how long laboratory analysis took back then, but modern day DNA analyses can take weeks, so the time doesn't strike me as particularly odd; being that this is the real world and not an episode of CSI. In addition, consider the potential quantities of samples taken. All that stuff had to be tested individually.

The quote I posted says the two individuals spent two months in jail before being released. Mid-August to the end of October, is just over two months. Meaning those individuals were arrested a couple of days after the event itself at most, not weeks or months. Logically this meant that authorities had decided bread was responsible almost immediately, and acted on that information immediately as well. It's beyond merely possible and far into the realm of probable that leftover loaves of bread were still present in the victims' houses and the bakery by the time that determination and the resulting arrests were made. And I really don't see why residents would have any reason to suspect the bread themselves, since it was the doctors and investigators that determined its importance, and likely the first that any of the residents heard about it would've been an official announcement to keep any remaining bread for testing.
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Old 7th September 2018, 11:28 AM   #491
dann
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
If they did not, then you're demanding we accept the so-called "findings" of a slapdash and phony "investigation" which made conclusions that were unsupported by any physical evidence. That's ridiculous. What would even be the point of testing bread that was baked weeks or months after the fact? And, why are you so insistent on one hand that the investigation's conclusions are so credible and likely accurate, while on the other hand openly attacking their methodology where its results conflict with the conclusions, like questioning whether the actual testing they conducted was good enough or timely enough to produce accurate data?

Because in 67 years nobody, and in particular nobody among the many experts with much more insight into the case than the two of us, seems to have suggested that this was a case of mass hysteria. And I suspect that the only reason why you do is that you want to draw attention away from an very obvious case of mass hysteria, the U.S. embassy employees in Havana and Guangzhou.

Quote:
This is so jarringly inconsistent.

No, not at all.

Quote:
Feel free to continue this bizarre theatre where you find special reasons or weave justifications to ignore or dismiss the actual results of what little scientific analyses were actually done in this matter, while persistently refusing to even acknowledge all the painfully obvious problems with an untested hypothesis that has no actual facts supporting it. I will not treat some vaguely educated guess as if it had the weight of a scientifically-derived conclusion, no matter how repeatedly you insist that we do.

The one fact supporting it was that all the victims had eaten bread from the same batch. Apparently, nobody else got sick. The symptoms appear to have been pretty consistent. Your guess is the one that's vague, but it's not particularly educated, and you are the one who insists that the scientifically-derived conclusions so far were all wrong.

Quote:
I have no idea how long laboratory analysis took back then, but modern day DNA analyses can take weeks, so the time doesn't strike me as particularly odd; being that this is the real world and not an episode of CSI. In addition, consider the potential quantities of samples taken. All that stuff had to be tested individually.

Since you have no idea, your objection is irrelevant. How long modern-day DNA analysis takes is just as irrelevant since they weren't doing that kind of analysis. (DNA wasn't discovered until 1953.) However, I would be very interested to hear more about the "potential quantities of sample taken" and "all (!) that stuff" that had to be tested individually. How much was all that stuff? What do you know about it? Any quotations? Any references?

Quote:
The quote I posted says the two individuals spent two months in jail before being released.

I suppose you're referring to the quotation I posted that you the reposted, but never mind.

Quote:
Mid-August to the end of October, is just over two months.

So far I've said two months, but it might be two-and-a-half.

Quote:
Meaning those individuals were arrested a couple of days after the event itself at most, not weeks or months.

Meaning that you are guessing and have no idea.

Quote:
Logically this meant that authorities had decided bread was responsible almost immediately, and acted on that information immediately as well.

Yes, it appears to have been clear almost immediately that only people who had consumed the bread from a particular baker fell ill.

Quote:
It's beyond merely possible and far into the realm of probable that leftover loaves of bread were still present in the victims' houses and the bakery by the time that determination and the resulting arrests were made.

Which is still based on your assumption that the authorities had decided and acted "immediately." That may be true, I don't know, but I would like to see you make an effort and find out. From what I know about bakeries, they don't leave old bread, flour or crumbs lying around too long because they want to avoid mold and pests. And I've already mentioned what ordinary households usually do with old bread. (In 1951, freezers and even fridges were rare.) And because of the suspicion, they probably wouldn't have fed it to the pigs.

Quote:
And I really don't see why residents would have any reason to suspect the bread themselves, since it was the doctors and investigators that determined its importance, and likely the first that any of the residents heard about it would've been an official announcement to keep any remaining bread for testing.

It's possible that you don't see it, but I think that most others do, and I've already explained how everybody usually starts comparing who did what and who didn't when some people come down with a disease and others don't. I most recently had the experience when three (of twenty) Danes (and unfortunately I was one of them; the two others were worse off and hospitalized for dehydration) came down with what appeared to be a rota virus infection in the early spring of 2016 in Cuba. We compared notes, and determined that it probably wasn't the food since we had had very different things to eat, and several of our companions had had the same things with no adverse effects.
So "the first that any of the residents heard about it" probably wouldn't have "been an official announcement to keep any remaining bread for testing." On the contrary, people would probably have informed the doctors about their suspicions, which would have made them ask other patients and their relatives about their experiences.

By the way, I notice that you seem to prefer a discussion about the affaire du pain maudit in Pont-Saint-Esprit to a discussion about the alleged attacks in Havana and Guangzhou. I fear that it's a derail and would prefer that the bread discussion be moved to a thread dedicated to that theme.

What do you think of the microwave weapons now that the experts are beginning to comment on it? Do you think that the best way to find out what happened is to stick to a preconceived idea that somebody must have attacked the Americans and then use your imagination to come up with imaginary weapons that might have caused the symptoms?! (in four out of ... I don't know how many cases there are by now ...)
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Old 7th September 2018, 11:48 AM   #492
dann
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Now that the microwave-weapon idea has been debunked, a theory that was aired earlier this year, spy ware gone haywire, has been revived:

Quote:
But the difficulty of aiming the beam at a person’s head some distance away would be daunting. You would have to know exactly where the victim’s head is located. You could use a much higher power radar such as that used for airport traffic control and spray the beam over a wide area, but the equipment then would be very large and cumbersome. Microwave antennas could also be embedded within the embassy walls, along with some kind of aiming device, but they would be easy to detect.
Cuba's "Sonic Attack" on the U.S. Embassy Could Have Been Merely Sounds Emitted by a Listening Device (Scientific American, Sep. 7, 2018)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 8th September 2018, 04:45 AM   #493
dann
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In an op-ed, the Washington Post writes about the allegations in the New York Times that the U.S. embassy employees in Havana were attacked with a microwave weapon:

Quote:
This is not confirmed; other experts say microwaves could not be the case.
(…)
Still, the microwave explanation has again raised a question about whether the United States has discovered more than is being said about the perpetrators. If there are known culprits, they should be identified and held to account.
A literal secret weapon is hurting U.S. diplomats abroad. What is it? (Washington Post, Sep. 7, 2018)

On Sep. 6, the Washington Post wrote that
Quote:
No microwave weapon that affects the brain is known to exist. The FBI has investigated the Cuba cases and found no evidence of a plot. Searches of the U.S. Embassy and other locations in Havana have turned up no sign of a weapon.
Most significantly, doctors examining the sickened diplomats have established no clear link between their symptoms and any external source.
Scientists and doctors zap theory that microwave weapon injured Cuba diplomats (WP: Health & Science, Sep. 6, 2018)

So the editorial seems to be a challenge to the State Department: Put up or shut up! Show of the evidence – if you have any!

It is interesting to see to see the reasons that the State Department comes up with to justify that it continues to talk about attacks:

Quote:
The State Department said this week that it continues to label the events in Havana as “attacks” because of the “likely exclusive focus on diplomats and their families” as well as “the scope and duration of the incidents.”
(WP, Sep. 6, 2018)

The second part of it, the “scope and duration,” is, maybe not coincidentally, also how Checkmite argued recently, and I’ve debunked that idea in some detail in posts 455, 456, 460 and 463.

But the “likely exclusive focus on diplomats and their families” is even more absurd when you consider that this is exactly what used to (before the social media) characterize groups affected by mass psychogenic illness (Wikipedia): “affecting members of a cohesive group.”

In another thread, I have already pointed out how a new alliance between woo and U.S. diplomacy seems to be forming:

Quote:
The symptoms experienced by the Cuba patients match symptoms in other people who are “electrosensitive,” according to her analysis, which relies on the JAMA study and news reports.
Scientists and doctors zap theory that microwave weapon injured Cuba diplomats (Washington Post, Sep. 6, 2018)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 9th September 2018, 01:36 AM   #494
dann
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As mentioned in post 482, Sep. 5, Live Science promised to follow up on the so-called Frey effect:

Quote:
It's impossible for a beam of microwave pulses to do auditory damage without essentially vaporizing the target, Foster told Live Science.
"You'd have to increase the intensity from anything that's been experimented by maybe seven or eight orders of magnitude, and then the subject would just go up in smoke," said Foster, who researched the possibility of microwave weapons for the U.S. Navy starting in the 1970s. The heat generated by the microwave pulses would simply be too intense, he said.
(…)
Another strike against the microwave theory is that the Associated Press released a recording of the sounds linked to the diplomats' symptoms in 2017. A microwave-generated sound can't be recorded or heard anywhere outside the target's own head.
Could 'Microwave Weapon' Really Have Caused US Embassy Workers' Bizarre Symptoms? (Live Science, Sep. 5, 2018)

So crickets still appear to be the better explantation ...
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 9th September 2018, 05:09 AM   #495
dann
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Better call Saul

Microwaves possible cause, not 'prime suspect' in US personnel illness in Cuba: Doctor (ABC News, Sep. 4, 2018)

Quote:
In less than 24 months, the hypotheses have gone from “acoustic attacks”, viruses, diffuse brain damage and now microwave weapons. All without a single piece of supporting evidence.
That is to say, they want to make you believe that pigs fly and do not even show the photo that proves it.
The State Department and the Flying Pig Theory: If you want to explain why pigs fly, first you have to see one flying. (medium.com/Dominio Cuba, Sep. 6, 2018)

And Beatrice Golomb, MD, PhD, professor of medicine at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, writes:
Quote:
(Beatrice) Golomb said her research draws attention to a larger population of people who are affected by similar health problems.
"I looked at what's known about pulsed RF/MW in relation to diplomats' experiences," said Golomb. "Everything fits. The specifics of the varied sounds that the diplomats reported hearing during the apparent inciting episodes, such as chirping, ringing and buzzing, cohere in detail with known properties of so-called 'microwave hearing,' also known as the Frey effect.
"And the symptoms that emerged fit, including the dominance of sleep problems, headaches and cognitive issues, as well as the distinctive prominence of auditory symptoms. Even objective findings reported on brain imaging fit with what has been reported for persons affected by RF/MW radiation."
(…)
In her paper, scheduled to be published September 15 in Neural Computation, Golomb compared rates of described symptoms among diplomats with a published 2012 study of symptoms reported by people affected by electromagnetic radiation in Japan. By and large, she said the cited symptoms -- headache, cognitive problems, sleep issues, irritability, nervousness or anxiety, dizziness and tinnitus (ringing in the ears) -- occurred at strikingly similar rates.
Researcher links diplomats' mystery illness to radiofrequency/microwave radiation (EruekaAlert.org/University of California, Aug. 29, 2018)

I, for one, think it’s great if the similarity between electromagnetic hypersensibility (if that's what it is) and the alleged microwave weapons in Havana and Guangzhou has been established:

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/dann
"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

Last edited by dann; 9th September 2018 at 05:10 AM.
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Old 10th September 2018, 09:44 AM   #496
Checkmite
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Because in 67 years nobody, and in particular nobody among the many experts with much more insight into the case than the two of us, seems to have suggested that this was a case of mass hysteria.
So what? The laughable CIA poisoning theory was only introduced less than ten years ago, but you are remarkably insistent that it shouldn't be dismissed despite this.

Originally Posted by dann View Post
And I suspect that the only reason why you do is that you want to draw attention away from an very obvious case of mass hysteria, the U.S. embassy employees in Havana and Guangzhou.
This tangent is my fault; but it's not a deliberate distraction.

Originally Posted by dann View Post
The one fact supporting it was that all the victims had eaten bread from the same batch. Apparently, nobody else got sick.
Including, presumably, other people who ate bread from the same "batch".

Originally Posted by dann View Post
The symptoms appear to have been pretty consistent. Your guess is the one that's vague, but it's not particularly educated, and you are the one who insists that the scientifically-derived conclusions so far were all wrong.
"Ergot poisoning" was not a scientifically-derived conclusion. It was a hypothesis that was never tested, but apparently simply accepted out-of-hand. The actual testing that was done, which you have dismissed, indicated no presence of ergot. You are free to claim the negative tests don't count because you can imagine things they may possibly have "done wrong" regarding the sampling and so forth; but ultimately that only shifts ergot from "disproven hypothesis" to "untested hypothesis".


Originally Posted by dann View Post
Since you have no idea, your objection is irrelevant. How long modern-day DNA analysis takes is just as irrelevant since they weren't doing that kind of analysis. (DNA wasn't discovered until 1953.)
No; but that was just an example of a laboratory analysis that takes an extended period of time, meaning such things exist so the fact that it took two whole months for the military's testing laboratory to issue findings is not a substantive objection.

Originally Posted by dann View Post
I suppose you're referring to the quotation I posted that you the reposted, but never mind.
Yes, that one.

Originally Posted by dann View Post
Meaning that you are guessing and have no idea.
And here you are once again discounting data in favor of baseless supposition. The date of the incident, the time of the bakers' incarceration, and the time of announcement of the laboratory's findings and the bakers' being cleared of responsibility, are some of the very, very, very few actual facts we appear to possess on this case, but you dismiss what they must indicate as meaningless.

Originally Posted by dann View Post
Which is still based on your assumption that the authorities had decided and acted "immediately." That may be true, I don't know, but I would like to see you make an effort and find out.
This can be reasonably extrapolated from the dates we already have in hand. Which I have done and you have dismissed.

Originally Posted by dann View Post
From what I know about bakeries, they don't leave old bread, flour or crumbs lying around too long because they want to avoid mold and pests. And I've already mentioned what ordinary households usually do with old bread. (In 1951, freezers and even fridges were rare.) And because of the suspicion, they probably wouldn't have fed it to the pigs.
You've already made a supposition about what ordinary households usually do with old bread. I'll make a counter-supposition: I suspect most households usually eat all of a loaf of bread before it gets old enough to throw away.

That said - it's not like investigators could not have looked through the household's rubbish to find bread scraps if necessary. The ergot would certainly not have vanished into thin air.

Originally Posted by dann View Post
It's possible that you don't see it, but I think that most others do, and I've already explained how everybody usually starts comparing who did what and who didn't when some people come down with a disease and others don't. I most recently had the experience when three (of twenty) Danes (and unfortunately I was one of them; the two others were worse off and hospitalized for dehydration) came down with what appeared to be a rota virus infection in the early spring of 2016 in Cuba. We compared notes, and determined that it probably wasn't the food since we had had very different things to eat, and several of our companions had had the same things with no adverse effects.
Interestingly, there are no claims made anywhere that everyone who ate bread from the same batch actually got sick; only the converse. It would seem from your anecdote here that you would normally consider that fact important; but in the present case it suggests that ergot may not be a possibility so of course you cannot consider it now.

Originally Posted by dann View Post
So "the first that any of the residents heard about it" probably wouldn't have "been an official announcement to keep any remaining bread for testing."
These were not people gathering of their own volition after the fact of a trip to a foreign country, where direct access to information and medical advice didn't exist anymore and all that was left was to share anecdotes. These were people in their own town in the 1950's, where a medical event of some kind was underway, where medical officials had been investigating from the outset, and where officials had access to media and other public communication avenues.

Originally Posted by dann View Post
By the way, I notice that you seem to prefer a discussion about the affaire du pain maudit in Pont-Saint-Esprit to a discussion about the alleged attacks in Havana and Guangzhou. I fear that it's a derail and would prefer that the bread discussion be moved to a thread dedicated to that theme.
I am finding the current tangent tedious. I'll admit again that it was my fault, but I strongly discourage you from trying to start another thread and moving discussion there. It would be better simply to stop it altogether.

Originally Posted by dann View Post
What do you think of the microwave weapons now that the experts are beginning to comment on it?
I don't know enough about microwaves to have an opinion. On its face, it sounds like woo.

At least the now-dismissed idea of a "sonic attack" had some merit for me, insofar as: I was previously aware that sound has been and is still today used as an offensive and defensive weapon; that some sound has been shown to have physiological effects on humans; and that there are some sounds which can be heard by some people and not by others in the same location, by deliberate design. You can take all of those established facts, compare them to the reports from Cuba (and China, if you like) and say, "how well do these reports match up with what we know about sonic 'weapons' that actually exist". Not well, it turns out; but still, knowing what I knew, I was able to make that comparison.

I don't know anything about microwaves. I know that people can be burned by standing too close to high-powered transmitters, but nobody has reported being burned.

Your article links are quoting actual doctors, for instance the head of UPenn's Center for Brain Injury and Repair, among other university doctors, who are making statements at least tentatively supportive of microwaves as a possibility - which is interesting because we never saw a single statement from these directions actively supporting "sonic weapons" when that was the rumored cause. On the other hand, there are other experts of similar caliber making rebuttals. I don't know enough to be able to judge either's opinions.

The Medium article is silly though; it portrays the microwave case as being made by "THEY", as in "what THEY want you to think", as if the statements giving the idea credit weren't coming from doctors connected with several different university research departments. It's the kind of language you expect to see from Kevin Trudeau, not an article claiming to be the voice of reason.
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Old 10th September 2018, 01:29 PM   #497
dann
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1) I was never insistent that the CIA theory shouldn't be dismissed:
Originally Posted by dann View Post
(And the CIA hypothesis seems to be a conspiracy theory.)
I just don't think that you should be so adamant that the U.S. diplomats in Havana were the victims of an attack when you immediately dismiss the idea that the CIA might have had something to do with the LSD-like symptoms of the Pont-Saint-Esprit case.

2) Why do you presume that other people ate bread from the same batch and weren't affected? You've got nothing whatsoever to back up your suspicion, do you?

3) Ergot poinsoning was a scientifically derived conclusion based on the symptoms of the victims and the apparent cause: What everybody had in common was bread from the same baker, and one perpetrator admitted that the flour looked so suspicious that he wouldn't let the locals in his own area eat it.

4) "the fact that it took two whole months for the military's testing laboratory to issue findings is not a substantive objection." Neither is your claim that they collected samples immediately after the incident and then spent two-and-a-half months testing them.

5) "the time of the bakers' incarceration". When were they incarcerated? Did it not leave them time to get rid of the evidence? - maybe inadvertently (ordinary cleaning procedures).

6) Yes, I have dismissed what you consider reasonable extrapolation.

7) "I suspect most households usually eat all of a loaf of bread before it gets old enough to throw away." Yes, you do. And so do I ... unless they suspect that something's wrong with it, in which case they'd probably burn it in the fireplace. And since you're so fond of the word "supposition", you again suppose that "investigators" descended on the homes immediately - or within a day or two.

8) "Interestingly, there are no claims made anywhere that everyone who ate bread from the same batch actually got sick; only the converse. It would seem from your anecdote here that you would normally consider that fact important; but in the present case it suggests that ergot may not be a possibility so of course you cannot consider it now."
I always consider that fact important, but since the Cuban doctors who treated the two others said that they suffered from a rotavirus infection, and not food poisoning, which we ourselves had also more or less ruled out, it made sense: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotavirus#Transmission
We were a group of salsa dancers who had been dancing rueda de casino all week where you change partners continuously, i.e. touch the hands of a lot of other sweaty people:
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And a lot of people are more or less immune to the virus, but we (obviously) weren't. We were all grown ups, but it's not uncommon in adults: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14871633

9) "These were not people gathering of their own volition after the fact of a trip to a foreign country, where direct access to information and medical advice didn't exist anymore and all that was left was to share anecdotes." Neither were we: There was a doctor as well as a nurse among the participants. And the nurse was one of the two who were hospitalized.
All in all, we were probably a whole lot better supplied with medical expertise than a small French town in the early 1950s. You overestimate the efficiency of European societies in post-WW2 Europe:
"These were people in their own town in the 1950's, where a medical event of some kind was underway, where medical officials had been investigating from the outset, and where officials had access to media and other public communication avenues."

10) The merit that the accusation of a sonic attack didn't have was that many had heard nothing, and that it couldn't have the impact that was claimed. The merit that the accusation of a microwave attack doesn't have is that no such weapon seems to possible. That a doctor begins to fantasize about a kind of weapon based on brain changes in four patients that may have been caused by any number of things is plain crazy. They are medical doctors, not engineers or weapons experts.
By the way, they came up with this idea more than a year after the first alleged attacks in late 2016, a long time after the sonic one had become too ridiculous to maintain, so I'm not really impressed that they didn't try to stick to it and instead invented another one to make the idea of an attack seem plausible.
There's no reason to think that they aren't just as biased as the State Department, Tillerson or whoever is in charge now.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 11th September 2018, 05:17 AM   #498
dann
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The microwave weapons have now made it to the British Medical Journal (BMJ:
News: Microwave weapon caused syndrome in diplomats in Cuba, US medical team believes Sep. 10, 2018)

Quote:
The suspicion that Russia is likely behind the alleged attacks is backed up by evidence from communications intercepts, known in the spy world as signals intelligence, amassed during a lengthy and ongoing investigation involving the FBI, the CIA and other U.S. agencies. The officials declined to elaborate on the nature of the intelligence.
The evidence is not yet conclusive enough, however, for the U.S. to formally assign blame to Moscow for incidents that started in late 2016 and have continued in 2018, causing a major rupture in U.S.-Cuba relations.
U.S. officials suspect Russia in mystery 'attacks' on diplomats in Cuba, China (NBC News, Sep. 11, 2018)

Not conclusive enough to assign blame or elaborate, but inconclusive enough to publish suspicions, apparently ...
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 11th September 2018, 11:31 AM   #499
dann
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The NBC News piece is being picked up by others:

Quote:
Now, US officials are certain that the symptoms experienced by victims in Havana and China are the result of deliberate attacks, and Russia is the primary suspect.
HOSTILE TRANSMISSIONS — US Intelligence thinks Russia may have microwaved US embassies in Cuba, China (Ars Technica, Sep. 11, 2018)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 11th September 2018, 06:49 PM   #500
Venom
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This is very interesting. It would fit well with the covert war Russia is waging on the West. Will wait for further developments. Very frightening as well.
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Old 12th September 2018, 02:40 AM   #501
dann
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Don't jump to conclusions in this case!
Remember how the microwave-weapon theory promoted by the New York Times was debunked by Washington Post just a few days later? All it took was a little journalistic effort: WP had simply interviewed a couple of scientists about the feasibility of that kind of weapon.

And remember how the cricket-like sound that set the whole thing off turned out be be ... crickets (combined with a panicky work environment)? Until then, apart from the State Department, the FBI, the CIA and other trusted investigators, nobody (in particular: no journalists) had had access to the embassy employees themselves and based their reporting on their own naïve trust in the people in charge. Again, all it took was a little journalistic field work.

And now the media are willing to jump to conclusions about Russia because the NBC has talked with people who want us to think so. They are actually so willing to jump to conclusions that the FBI refuses to comment and the State Department warns against the NBC report:

Quote:
The FBI said it did not have a comment on the NBC report. And a US government source familiar with official assessments said intelligence agencies would not confirm the report.
Heather Nauert, State Department spokeswoman, told Reuters on Tuesday: "We have made no determination on who or what is responsible for the health attacks."
Russia emerges as main suspect in mystery of US diplomats' illness in Cuba, according to officials (Telegraph, Sep. 12, 2018)

(This might be a good point to stop calling them "health attacks" then ...)

Quote:
State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert cautioned reporters to be “very skeptical” about the NBC report during a press briefing on Tuesday. “Our position has not changed. We have not assigned any blame and we continue to look into this.”
Now Russia is suspected of attacks against diplomats in Cuba. Will U.S. strike back? (Miami Herald, Sep. 11, 2018)

By the way, the Miami Herald article has many examples of who would like to believe what in this case. For instance, it probably won't come as a surprise to anybody that Marco Rubio is convinced that the Cubans are to blame no matter what.

ETA: Even in the NBC article Heather Nauert was quoted:
“The investigation is ongoing. We have made no determination on who or what is responsible for the health attacks.”
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"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

Last edited by dann; 12th September 2018 at 03:24 AM.
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Old 12th September 2018, 04:00 AM   #502
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Notice what the NBC article told us:

1) ”The officials declined to elaborate on the nature of the intelligence.”
That is what they do, isn't it? But is it wise to believe them, then?!

2) ”Since last year, the U.S. military has been working to reverse-engineer the weapon or weapons used to harm the diplomats (…) including by testing various devices on animals.”
Notice what this tells us about the case: It’s appears to be even more absurd than men staring at goats!!! People at the top have decided that these allegedly new infirmities among U.S. diplomats - let’s call them diplomella from now on – were caused by weapons, and now they have spent more than a year subjecting animals to what probably amounts to very unusual cruelty to come up with a weapon that might do the kind of harm that they think they have discovered in the diplomats. (I imagines something along the lines of the urban myth about the poodle in the microwave oven … except that ”one or more additional technologies were also used.”)

3) “the fact the incidents continued long after they became publicly known has cast doubt on the possibility that the damage was accidental.”
Remember that this was Checkmite’s latest idea, too. It doesn't contradict that this is a case of mass hysteria/mass psychogenic illness, and it sure as hell doesn't support the idea that it's any kind of attack. Notice also that nobody so far - as far as I can tell and I have probably read everything that's been published - has claimed that the alleged damage was accidental. There’s method to it, it just doesn’t seem to be weapons technology method …

4) ”in addition to State Department diplomats, the victims include multiple CIA officers, at least one member of the U.S. military, and representatives of other agencies.”
Just to remind you that these guys don’t appear to have been typists …

5) And another reminder: “The exact medical syndrome remains a mystery even to the University of Pennsylvania physicians treating the patients.” And even when ”Penn physicians presented their most recent technical findings” in August, ”the summit ended with [hilite]no new medical revelations.”[/i]
So let’s recapitulate the findings of the original JAMA article:
Quote:
MRI neuroimaging was obtained in all 21 patients. Most patients had conventional imaging findings, which were within normal limits, at most showing a few small nonspecific T2-bright foci in the white matter (n = 9, 43%). There were 3 patients with multiple T2-bright white matter foci, which were more than expected for age, 2 mild in degree, and 1 with moderate changes. The pattern of conventional imaging findings in these cases was nonspecific with regard to the exposure/insult experienced, and the findings could perhaps be attributed to other preexisting disease processes or risk factors.
Neurological Manifestations Among US Government Personnel Reporting Directional Audible and Sensory Phenomena in Havana, Cuba (JAMA, Mar. 20, 2018)

Microwave-weapon attacks!!!
Who do they think they’re kidding?
A major part of the U.S. American public, apparently!
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 12th September 2018, 04:08 AM   #503
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The Ars Technica article I quoted from in post 499 has added an update:

Quote:
Update: The Washington Post reports skepticism about microwaves being the source of the symptoms among doctors and scientists, including some doctors who were critical of the initial JAMA report. University of Cincinnati neurologist Alberto J. Espay told the Post, “Microwave weapons is the closest equivalent in science to fake news.”

However, Russian microwave weapons appear to be the latest craze ...
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 12th September 2018, 11:42 AM   #504
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Hmm...I too inexplicably woke up at 7 in the morning today (I set my alarm for 10:00 am).

Heard some high pitched ring in my bathroom and (thought?) I felt a little nauseous or gassy. Burped a bit, maybe it was my heartburn?

Maybe this is hysteria.
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Old 12th September 2018, 01:37 PM   #505
Checkmite
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
By the way, they came up with this idea more than a year after the first alleged attacks in late 2016, a long time after the sonic one had become too ridiculous to maintain, so I'm not really impressed that they didn't try to stick to it and instead invented another one to make the idea of an attack seem plausible.
As I've already mentioned, to my knowledge the doctors quoted as tentatively supporting microwaves as "a possibility" never said anything in support of sonic attacks when that was the prevailing media rumor; so it's not a matter of "THEY" dropping the sonic attack "idea" and "inventing" another one instead.

Also, it seems like they were answering press questions about the possibility of microwaves, rather than actually promoting or announcing that possibility of their own volition.

On another tangent, I'm a little curious. What would it take - in theory - to provoke an "outbreak" of MPI?
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Old 12th September 2018, 03:11 PM   #506
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
... when that was the prevailing media rumor; ...

The sonic attack had already been debunked a long time ago when the doctors published their report.

Quote:
What would it take - in theory - to provoke an "outbreak" of MPI?

Uninteresting. Look at what it takes in practice instead!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_psychogenic_illness
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hysterical_contagion
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypochondriasis
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Functional_disorder
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4884863/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3536509/
Quote:
What causes mass psychogenic illness?
Many outbreaks of mass psychogenic illness start with an environmental “trigger.” The environmental trigger can be a bad smell or a suspicious-looking substance. Or it could be something else that makes people in a group believe they have been exposed to a germ or a poison. When this happens, many of them may begin to experience symptoms of sickness at the same time. In some cases, one person gets sick and then other people in the group also start feeling sick.
FamilyDoctor.org

In this case the environmental trigger wasn't a bad smell or a suspicious-looking substance. It was the sound of crickets heard by a group of suspicious spies, some of whom weren't familiar with the sound. Remember post 435?

Quote:
"Everybody was in a frenzy about it," says a second U.S. diplomat who was stationed in Havana at the time with young children. "We had a big window in the front of the house. It was a horrible feeling. We just thought, ‘Oh my God, we're in harm's way,’" she says. "You start to feel paranoid."
(...)
A panel of Cuban scientists that evaluated U.S. evidence and gathered its own data concluded in December 2017 that U.S. recordings of a grating, supposedly unnatural sound match the chirping of the Jamaican field cricket, a notoriously noisy insect that's common in Cuba. People's state of mind determined whether they developed symptoms, the first diplomat asserts. "I don't know anybody who at one point thought we were under no risk and then subsequently decided that they were a victim."
(...)
She acknowledges that over time, a divide widened between "the true believers" and those like her who are skeptical that there was an attack.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 12th September 2018, 08:30 PM   #507
Checkmite
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
In this case the environmental trigger wasn't a bad smell or a suspicious-looking substance. It was the sound of crickets heard by a group of suspicious spies, some of whom weren't familiar with the sound. Remember post 435?
Well wait - I'm not sure we know enough to say that. We know some people heard sounds, and one person who recorded them managed to record crickets; that makes it reasonable to deduce that the ones who heard sounds probably heard crickets. But since some of the individuals never claimed to have heard sounds and yet "fell into" the MPI, I don't think it makes sense to call the crickets the trigger. It was just another thing that was noticed once people became hyperaware.
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Old 13th September 2018, 12:09 AM   #508
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Yes, it does make sense!
All it takes is a couple of people who apparently fall ill. To the rest, they, the first victims of the MPI, become the trigger! In the case of the HPV-vaccine-scared girls in Denmark, there was no smell, no substance (other than the vaccine itself, which wasn't suspicious until the rumors made it so), no sound. As soon as a couple of girls fell ill after the vaccinations (correlation is not causation and all that), attributing their symptoms to the vaccine and going online with their stories, you have the trigger.

It's not very different from what happens when children fall ill after other kinds of vaccination and their parents don't tell themselves that children fall ill all the time with or without vaccines (more often without, of course) so the two things might not be connected - except that that would be 'mass psychogenic illness by proxy', of course!

By the way, I think that this is something I haven't mentioned before about the HPV-vaccine scare in Denmark: A disproportionate number of the girls affected were elite athletes. And, as it turned out, the girls also tended to have visited MDs more frequently than their peers even before they were vaccinated against HPV.
I don't know if this is a pattern that you also find in other cases of MPI.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 13th September 2018, 01:56 AM   #509
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There is a new article in the Cuban newspaper Granma about the so-called microwave weapons mentioned in the New York Times and the allegations against Russia in the recent NBC News article:

En Cuba no se ataca a diplomático alguno, de ningún país, por ningún país (Granma, Sep. 12, 2018)
”In Cuba, no diplomat from any country is attacked by any other country”
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 13th September 2018, 09:31 AM   #510
Checkmite
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Yes, it does make sense!
All it takes is a couple of people who apparently fall ill. To the rest, they, the first victims of the MPI, become the trigger!
You do not know whether the ones who heard the sounds were the first victims.
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Old 13th September 2018, 10:25 AM   #511
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No, and you don't know that they weren't!
However, it does seem to be the more likely scenario, which is just one of the many things that are so infuriating about the way the U.S. autorities have handled and are still handling the case:

Originally Posted by dann View Post
”The officials declined to elaborate on the nature of the intelligence.”
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

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Old 13th September 2018, 02:58 PM   #512
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
No, and you don't know that they weren't!
I'm not the one making a claim about what the inciting stimulus was.

Originally Posted by dann View Post
However, it does seem to be the more likely scenario,
There is literally nothing in evidence to suggest it is the more likely scenario. You are personally lending it such weight solely because it would reinforce your claim.
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Old 13th September 2018, 09:39 PM   #513
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How on earth do you manage to come up with the idea that "There is literally nothing in evidence to suggest it is the more likely scenario", i.e. that "the ones who heard the sounds were the first victims."???
I do know that the one (!) "who heard the sound" was (!) "the first" victim (!).

It has literally been (more than) suggested by one newspaper article after another since the beginning - "Later their symptoms came." - and still is: "First came the mysterious sound — then the diplomatic fury."

Quote:
Those who became sick, including Canadian diplomats who suffered unexplained nosebleeds, mentioned hearing a distinctive sound or feeling a pressure or vibration in their heads.

Quote:
The mystery began late in 2016. Personnel attached to the U.S. embassy in Havana developed symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, and insomnia after (!!!) hearing strange loud sounds or feeling a sensation of pressure.
(...)
The first to fall ill was a U.S. intelligence agent in Havana. The "index case," as Hoffer calls him, complained to the embassy doctor of ear pain, tinnitus, vertigo, and feeling "cognitively not perfect." The agent said he had heard "a really odd, loud noise that seemed to follow him in the room," says Hoffer, who examined him in February.
Sonic attack or mass paranoia? New evidence stokes debate over diplomats’ mysterious illness (June 20, 2018)

Your denial is absurd! What do you hope to gain from being in denial about this?! Could it be that you, Checkmite, "are personally lending it such weight solely because it would reinforce your claim"???
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

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Old 13th September 2018, 10:46 PM   #514
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Quote:
Cuba scientific investigators met with State Department officials and scientists in Washington Thursday in an effort to make some headway on what is causing the mysterious ailments that have struck 26 diplomats at the U.S. Embassy in Havana.
(…)
The nine-member Cuban scientific delegation also met with members of Congress and the National Academy of Sciences to press their point that there needs to be more scientific cooperation to unravel the mystery. Cuban investigators have complained that the United States is not sharing enough medical information on the victims to carry out an adequate investigation.
After the meeting at the National Academy of Sciences, José Ramón Cabañas, the Cuban ambassador to the United States, tweeted “when Cuba and U.S. scientists meet there is only one language: Science.”
Cuban scientists visit U.S., say, yes, U.S. diplomats were sick but there were no attacks (Miami Herald, Sep. 13, 2018)

Especialistas de Cuba rechazan la teoría de los «ataques de salud» y «daño cerebral» a diplomáticos de Estados Unidos (juventud rebelde, Sep. 13, 2018)

The New York Times and NBC News don't seem to have been present at the meetings ...
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 14th September 2018, 06:53 AM   #515
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Now the NYT has reported that meetings took place yesterday, Thursday, Sep. 13:

Quote:
“We believe there can be a few individuals who have some sort of illness,” said Dr. Mitchell Joseph Valdés Sosa, the director general of the Cuban Center for Neurosciences. But he said the possibility that psychological factors may have played a role could not be eliminated.
Cuban Experts Insist No Proof Exists of Attack on Diplomats (NYT, Sep. 13, 2018)

Quote:
"The Cuban side is completely unable to support the hypothesis of health attacks and brain damage as reported by the State Department," said Dr. Mitchell Valdes Sosa, chief of the group of Cuban scientists and physicians. "Nothing was presented that could add up to sustain such a thing."
The Cuban delegation renewed calls for the State Department to release to it specific medical records and other data about the victims in order for it to be studied.
No progress as US, Cuba meet on mysterious ‘health attacks’ (The State, Sep. 13, 2018)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

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Old 14th September 2018, 11:08 AM   #516
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
How on earth do you manage to come up with the idea that "There is literally nothing in evidence to suggest it is the more likely scenario", i.e. that "the ones who heard the sounds were the first victims."???
I do know that the one (!) "who heard the sound" was (!) "the first" victim (!).

It has literally been (more than) suggested by one newspaper article after another since the beginning - "Later their symptoms came." - and still is: "First came the mysterious sound — then the diplomatic fury."

Your denial is absurd! What do you hope to gain from being in denial about this?! Could it be that you, Checkmite, "are personally lending it such weight solely because it would reinforce your claim"???
Are you deliberately ignoring the parts which occur immediately after your highlighted segments that say "or feeling a pressure or vibration in their heads"? Because that's not the same as hearing a sound.

Additionally, tinnitus is NOT the cricket sound, and the crickets certainly didn't cause any vertigo.

I think a far "more likely scenario", to borrow your terminology, is that later victims heard that the earliest victims had "heard sounds" - that is, reported tinnitus symptoms - and these later victims just became hyperattentive to the point where they were primed to notice any "unusual sound", like the crickets. This is essentially a sort of campfire story effect; where you hear tree branches creak and groan and snap all day in the woods and don't pay it any attention whatsoever - if you even notice it at all - but after nightfall and a nice scary ghost story, suddenly those sounds become much more noticeable and take on a much more not-readily-identifiable, if not sinister, nature.
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Old 14th September 2018, 01:50 PM   #517
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No, I don't ignore anything.
And, no, "a pressure or vibration" in the head is not the same as a sound.
Did I claim that it was?!
Have you noticed that what you're describing now is a perfect example of mass hysteria/mass psychogenic illness? What you describe as "essentially a sort of campfire story effect."

Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
Additionally, tinnitus is NOT the cricket sound, and the crickets certainly didn't cause any vertigo.

No, tinnitus is not the cricket sound, nor is it any sound at all, actually, but to the victims of tinnitus it is as if they 'hear' something, and sometimes what they think they hear is very close to a cricket sound. That depends on the individual case of tinnitus. And crickets don't cause any vertigo:

Quote:
Vertigo is a symptom where a person feels as if they or the objects around them are moving when they are not. Often it feels like a spinning or swaying movement. This may be associated with nausea, vomiting, sweating, or difficulties walking. It is typically worse when the head is moved. Vertigo is the most common type of dizziness.
Vertigo (Wikipedia)

Now look at this list: MPI: Common symptoms (Wikipedia)

The crickets themselves don't cause this, but they may trigger the "anxiety or nervousness" of the victims of MPI.
Just like a weird smell ... or scary campfire stories ...

Be sure to remember that you were the one who, albeit inadvertently, ended up comparing the CIA agents in Havana to a group of girl scouts telling each other scary ghost stories around the campfire!
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

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Old 14th September 2018, 03:44 PM   #518
Checkmite
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
No, I don't ignore anything.
And, no, "a pressure or vibration" in the head is not the same as a sound.
Did I claim that it was?!
Have you noticed that what you're describing now is a perfect example of mass hysteria/mass psychogenic illness? What you describe as "essentially a sort of campfire story effect."
Yes - and I'll warn you now that I will continue to make such comparisons in the future; because contrary to your near-Trumpian characterizations otherwise, I conceded that Cuba was a psychogenic case pages (chronologically: MONTHS) ago.

What you are missing is the specific point of the comparison. I suggest it was the people who came later, who had heard about "strange sounds" (a misunderstanding of the initial tinnitus symptoms reported by the first victims) and misinterpreted the crickets as one such "strange sound" as meaning they (the later victims) were also "under attack". The crickets were not the trigger for the MPI; their sound was simply incorporated as part of it later on. I propose that the "triggers" for this MPI event were one or two legitimate cases of tinnitus, connected or not with a couple of coincident legitimate sinus discomfort cases or headache/migraines, and things spiraled from there.
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Old 15th September 2018, 01:52 AM   #519
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Unfortunately, it is difficult (or maybe even impossible) to figure out exactly what "the specific point of the comparison" ought to be as long as we are more or less left in dark about most of the details of the case. What you describe is not unlikely, but the only thing we seem to know about the order of the individual cases is the first one, the index case:

Quote:
The "index case," as Hoffer calls him, complained to the embassy doctor of ear pain, tinnitus, vertigo, and feeling "cognitively not perfect." The agent said he had heard "a really odd, loud noise that seemed to follow him in the room," says Hoffer, who examined him in February.
(From post 513)

I find it a little strange that the (CIA? FBI? NSA? Just curious, it doesn’t matter much in the context) agent who was the index case complained of both tinnitus [i]and "a really odd, loud noise that seemed to follow him in the room," since that is what you would expect tinnitus to do unlike an ordinary source of sound: Since it is inside you, you take it with you as if it were a sound coming from earphones. This also seems to correspond with the reports that some people heard sounds that others in the same room didn’t hear!
(However, that doesn’t mean that other cases where the sound allegedly was heard only in one, very limited part of a room and stopped when you moved away from it, that these cases might not have been tinnitus, too, since tinnitus tends to be worse when you are lying or sitting still, focusing on it. When you get up, listen to something else and no longer focus on it, it seems to go away. On the other hand, it might also just be a cricket that stops chirping when it sees you get close to it.)

But because of the secretive nature of the spy business, probably, we don’t know anything about the order of the next cases and how exactly they described their experiences and symptoms. You get it wrong when you write about “the initial tinnitus symptoms reported by the first victims (!)”. We just know about the tinnitus symptoms of the index case. We don’t know if the cases that followed immediately after also complained of or had tinnitus, heard crickets, or heard nothing at all. But (if the reports were correct) we do know that some of the cases didn’t hear a thing, some did, etc.

Mass hysteria doesn’t doesn’t seem to require that there is a trigger like a sound or a smell even though there often is one:
Quote:
Symptoms often follow an environmental trigger or (!) illness in an index case and spread rapidly by audiovisual cues, often aggravated by a prominent emergency or media response.
Episodes of mass hysteria in African schools: A study of literature (U.S. National Library of Medicine/Malawi Medical Journal, Sep. 2011)

The conclusion of the African study, which mentions parents spreading it from school to school by calling a local radio station, is also interesting:

Quote:
From the review of the literature above, Mass hysteria is something that has occurred in many schools in Africa. Mass hysteria has been defined as the occurrence in a group of people of a constellation of physical symptoms suggesting an organic illness but resulting from a psychological cause with each member of the group experiencing one or more of the symptoms. It is caused by the extreme stressful situations that the student encounters and enhanced by face-to-face or visual communication, indirect conversation or gossip, and the mass media. Mass hysteria has a negative impact on the physical, psychological and social wellbeing of students and need to be quickly managed. Time should not be wasted in a fruitless search for environmental precipitants, which by reinforcing behavior may serve to prolong the episode. In other words, Mass hysteria should not be a diagnosis of exclusion, after all the physical, chemical and biological factors have been ruled out. Group anxiety should be reduced, and Statements denying the role of the presumed agent (such as witchcraft or the supernatural as is the case in most African countries) should be made by those in authority. Unless the initial fear is given credibility by the media or authorities, cases of mass anxiety hysteria seldom last more than a few days.

Compare this to the credibility (= aggravation!) that is now given by the media and authorities to the Russian microwave weapon!!! And consider that after examining at least dozens of cases, the doctors found only “3 patients with multiple T2-bright white matter foci, which were more than expected for age, 2 mild in degree, and 1 with moderate changes.” Especially when ”the findings could perhaps be attributed to other preexisting disease processes or risk factors.


ETA: I would really, really, REALLY like to read the report that tries to explain this case to Trump!
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/dann
"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

Last edited by dann; 15th September 2018 at 01:54 AM.
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Old 15th September 2018, 10:20 AM   #520
dann
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Join Date: Feb 2004
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It just occurred to me: I can't imagine a ******** weapon than this (imaginary) one!
In the course of more than a year, the damage it (allegedly) caused was: “3 patients with multiple T2-bright white matter foci, which were more than expected for age, 2 mild in degree, and 1 with moderate changes.” And even these ”findings could perhaps be attributed to other preexisting disease processes or risk factors.”

I can't imagine that the damage to the credibility of the CIA, the FBI and the State Department doesn't outweigh anything that this weapon could have done if it actually existed!
No wonder the Russian RT is having a field day on Youtube - the presenter is even wearing a tinfoil hat!

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/dann
"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

Last edited by dann; 15th September 2018 at 10:21 AM.
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