IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Social Issues & Current Events
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Tags crickets , Cuba conspiracies , Cuba incidents , havana syndrome , mass hysteria , microwave weapons , sonic weapons , US-Cuba relations

Reply
Old 16th January 2023, 09:05 AM   #1641
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 17,004
Canadian 'syndrome' news:

Quote:
Lawes goes to school and is described as “a serious student who maintains a good attitude in class”.
Still, Lawes has been described as having “a tendency to justify or deny his antisocial behavior,” having difficulty trusting authority figures, and “often feeling that his rights are not being respected or that he is not being treated fairly.”
Psychological and psychiatric evaluations concluded that Lawes required treatment for a mental disorder — something Lawes repeatedly denied during the hearing, though he admitted hearing voices and believing people were causing him pain with a remote control — something he did another inmate said it’s called “Havana Syndrome.”
Lawes, who worked for two years as a police officer in Kingston, Jamaica, admitted during the hearing that he shot a man with his service revolver during a robbery in his spare time.
Corbella: Calgary Police Officer David Lawes’ killer should remain behind bars (CandaToday.News, Jan 16, 2023)

He has been locked up at least since 1994 and nowhere near Havana in the meantime, I assume.
__________________
/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
dann is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 17th January 2023, 02:33 PM   #1642
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 17,004
Another new series of podcasts about the 'syndrome':

"In 2016, a mysterious, debilitating illness begins to afflict American diplomats and spies working abroad – first in Cuba, and then around the world. Victims report crippling neurological symptoms. Some describe the feeling of being hit by an invisible, directed pressure while they were stationed on government property, or sometimes standing in their own homes or hotel rooms. Is this bizarre illness the result of a weapon? Is it mass psychosis? Or something else entirely?
Award-winning journalists Jon Lee Anderson and Adam Entous take listeners to the heart of this saga in HAVANA SYNDROME, a new podcast from VICE World News."



Quote:
Dec 23, 2022
Coming Soon: Havana Syndrome 3 min
A mysterious illness is knocking out US spies and diplomats all over the world, ruining US diplomacy with Cuba and leaving thousands of government officials afraid that they’ll be next. No one knows what’s causing the illness, who’s behind it, or if it’s even real. From VICE World News, this is Havana Syndrome.

Jan 17, 2023
1. Get Off The X 40 min
Tina Onufer thought she was getting a plum gig at the newly reopened U.S. embassy in Havana, Cuba. Then she has a bizarre incident in her kitchen that makes her question everything. Reporters Jon Lee Anderson and Adam Entous set out to solve what happened to Tina and other victims of the so-called Havana Syndrome.

Jan 17, 2023
2. The Diplomat and The Spy 43 min
A White House official leads top-secret negotiations between the U.S. and Cuba in an effort to restore trust. Little does he realize the CIA has other plans.

Jan 17, 2023
3. Immaculate Concussion 43 min
Dozens of Havana Syndrome patients are secretly whisked away to the University of Pennsylvania for study and treatment. Doctors are shocked by what they find.

Jan 17, 2023
4. Adios y Hasta Nunca 42 min
Jon Lee and Adam fly to Havana, Cuba to investigate the earliest Havana Syndrome cases. What they find on the ground fuels more questions than answers.

Havana Syndrome (Apple Podcasts preview)

POLITICO writes about the podcast:
Quote:
NEW THIS MORNING — Vice World News’ new podcast series, “Havana Syndrome,” featuring award-winning journalists Jon Lee Anderson and Adam Entous, is up with its first slate of episodes bringing listeners new information on the scale of the mysterious debilitating illness that resulted in crippling neurological symptoms starting in 2016 among American diplomats and spies workers in Cuba.
Politico, Jan 17, 2023

So I guess the series doesn't end after the first four episodes.
__________________
/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; 17th January 2023 at 02:42 PM.
dann is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 17th January 2023, 04:45 PM   #1643
Skeptic Ginger
Nasty Woman
 
Skeptic Ginger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 93,022
Quote:
... mysterious debilitating illness that resulted in crippling ...
I don't recall anyone was crippled. Did I miss that?
Skeptic Ginger is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th January 2023, 12:47 PM   #1644
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 17,004
Quote:
Merriam-Webster:
1: to deprive of the use of a limb and especially a leg
the accident left him crippled

2: to deprive of capability for service or of strength, efficiency, or wholeness
an economy crippled by inflation

1: I haven't heard of any limbs being lost, and the victims we've seen so far have not been in wheelchairs or on crutches.
2: Well, yeah. Some of them lost their jobs. Polymeropoulos said that he couldn't drive anymore. And it does say "crippling neurological symptoms" ...

Robert Bartholomew wrote:
Quote:
Dr Swanson and colleagues reported a case series of US government personnel in Cuba with neurological symptoms associated with audible and sensory phenomena.1 The authors argued against the possibility of mass psychogenic illness as the etiology. Mass psychogenic illness is a nervous system disturbance characterized by excitation, alteration, or loss of function, with the physical symptoms exhibited unconsciously and lacking an organic etiology.
Neurological Symptoms in US Government Personnel in Cuba (JAMA, Aug 14, 2018)

So crippling it is, I guess.
__________________
/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
dann is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th January 2023, 12:37 PM   #1645
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 17,004
In a quotation in post 1,634 about the new eight-part podcast series, The Sound: Mystery of Havana Syndrome, it said that "the podcast will launch on January 23," but according to Yahoo! News it may already start this Friday, i.e. tomorrow:

Quote:
The Sound: Mystery of Havana Syndrome
Widely available, episodes weekly from Friday

Ringing in the ears, dizziness, a sound so loud it feels like pressure: the symptoms of Havana syndrome are so bad that US vice-president Kamala Harris’s 2021 visit to Vietnam was delayed due to possible cases. But despite investigations by the FBI and the CIA, no one knows what causes the mysterious condition. Along with spies and neurologists, Nicky Woolf investigates – and asks why it affects so many US and Canadian diplomats.
Best podcasts of the week: The sinister theories behind the ‘Havana syndrome’ phenomenon (Yahoo! News, Jan 17, 2023)
__________________
/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
dann is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st January 2023, 07:00 AM   #1646
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 17,004
A short article about the podcast mentioned in post 1,642.

Jon Lee Anderson writes:

Quote:
In late 2018, my colleague Adam Entous and I teamed up to find out exactly what happened to these spies and diplomats. The resulting New Yorker piece – “The Mystery of the Havana Syndrome” – uncovered many new details about incidents, as well as the timeline of events that led up to the initial reports in Cuba. But years later, we – along with the rest of the world – are still asking: what is Havana Syndrome? Is it real? And if it is real, who – or what – is causing it? And perhaps the most frustrating question of all: why is it taking the US government so long to solve it?
We Set Out To Solve the Mystery of Havana Syndrome. Here’s What We Found. (Vice, Jan 17, 2023)

Unlike Jon Lee Anderson, I am no longer asking, "What is Havana Syndrome? Is it real? And if it is real, who – or what – is causing it?" Those questions were answered satisfactorily a long time ago as was the question about why it's "taking the US government so long to solve it?" (The US government doesn't want to solve it! It's biased and interested in a solution that isn't supported by facts.)

But nevertheless, the podcast series is very interesting, not least because Anderson and Entous have managed to interview Patient Zero himself, the CIA operative 'Tony'. And they look at the 'syndrome' in the political context of not only the rapprochement between the USA and Cuba towards the end of the Obama administration but also of the relationship between the two countries since the Cuban revolution in the 1950s.

I have listened to the first four podcasts and am looking forward to the rest.
__________________
/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
dann is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st January 2023, 08:39 AM   #1647
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 17,004
In recent week, several articles have appeared in U.S. and Cuban media about American Ana Montes, who was released after serving two decades in prison for spying for Cuba. Having been behind bars, she can't be suspected of attacking anybody with pulsed directed microwave energy weapons, but occasionally references to the 'syndrome' do appear in the articles:

Quote:
While discussing his book on Montes for “Washington Post Live,” Jim Popkin said, “There’s a temptation to discount Cuba as a besotted old tiger eager to harm the United States but lacking the fangs and fury to pull off the job.”
“[Cuba’s] intelligence services are really good. They were trained by the Soviets, and they’re very clever and crafty without a lot of money.”
Remarkably, Popkin added, “I had one FBI official say they don’t have any rules. There’s no morality, and no Congress keeping an eye on them. So it’s a lot easier for them than it is for our own spy services.”
The only thing more absurd than this statement is the fact that Popkin apparently believes it. (Well, actually, "Havana Syndrome" might be more absurd.)
Ana Montes: Closer To A Whistleblower Than A Dangerous Spy (The Dissenter, Jan 18, 2023)
__________________
/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
dann is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 21st January 2023, 09:34 AM   #1648
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 17,004
Project Brazen has released a number of teaser tweets for their podcast series The Sound: Mystery of Havana Syndrome:

https://twitter.com/ProjectBrazen/st...52716589555712 The sci-fi version
https://twitter.com/ProjectBrazen/st...53460772044805 The brain-attack version
https://twitter.com/ProjectBrazen/st...52626055217166 The cricket version
https://twitter.com/ProjectBrazen/st...51251594661894 The Hitchcock version
https://twitter.com/bradleyhope/stat...52074884055041 The Goya version
https://twitter.com/ProjectBrazen/st...89805994168322 The Vermeer (Girl without a Pearl Earring) version
https://twitter.com/ProjectBrazen/st...12505058775043 The disaster-movie version
https://twitter.com/ProjectBrazen/st...10830466023427
https://twitter.com/ProjectBrazen/st...89264639549443 The ocussed pulsed energy ray version
https://twitter.com/ProjectBrazen/st...89014944432130 The Escher version
https://twitter.com/ProjectBrazen/st...26440623083521 The the-noise-is-coming-from-INSIDE-THE-HOUSE version
https://twitter.com/ProjectBrazen/st...23224212705280 The Cronenberg (Videodrome) version

Somehow I get the impression that they don't take the attacks seriously!
__________________
/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; 21st January 2023 at 09:36 AM.
dann is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd January 2023, 09:31 AM   #1649
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 17,004
I can't access this one:
Quote:
It began at the US embassy in Cuba. Now there have been more than a thousand incidents of diplomats hearing a strange sound then suffering from mysterious brain injuries, with some victims left permanently disabled. As a new podcast reveals, investigators are still on the hunt for a convincing explanation.
Havana syndrome: Sonic attacks or all in the mind? (The Sunday Times, Jan 22, 2023)
So I don't know if the new podcast it refers to is the one from Vice or the one from Project Brazen.
__________________
/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
dann is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd January 2023, 09:49 AM   #1650
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 17,004
I don't think that On Cuba News takes the 'syndrome' quite seriously:

Quote:
The new measures of the Joe Biden administration mean good news for Cubans who want to leave the country, although they are not so good news for the Cuban nation. Some 260,000 Cubans entered the United States through the southern border in fiscal year 2022 alone, more than double the number that arrived through Mariel 40 years ago. And recently, with the reopening of the U.S. consular services in Havana, the quota of 20,000 annual visas negotiated by the two governments in 1994-1995 and suspended by Donald Trump in 2017 has returned.

The cause or the pretext was the so-called Havana Syndrome, a strange ear condition that affected several diplomats in the Cuban capital. The syndrome was never fully understood or explained by experts, but in their narrative they included as a cause both a terrible Russian secret weapon and the sound of crickets when they seek mating in the summer.
Biden and Cuba, the good and the bad…these days (OnCubaNews, Jan 21, 2023)
__________________
/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
dann is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd January 2023, 04:55 AM   #1651
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 17,004
Jericho

The first episode of Project Brazen's podcast series, The Sound: Mystery of Havana Syndrome, first mentioned here in post 1,634, premiered today:
Quote:
Jericho
There’s a mysterious outbreak of neurological problems among American spies and diplomats in Cuba. Host Nicky Woolf documents the first cases with never before heard accounts from Havana, while parsing through classified intelligence to learn how this mystery began.
The Sound: Mystery of Havana Syndrome (Apple Podcasts, Jan 23, 2023 - 29 min)
And the walls


ETA: As I mentioned in post 1,640, I feared the worst after having seen and listened to the annoying teaser for the series, but I can recommend it after I have listened to the first episode, Jericho. It appears to be serious and not at all sensationalist.
__________________
/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; 23rd January 2023 at 05:45 AM.
dann is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 23rd January 2023, 01:18 PM   #1652
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 17,004
It is remarkable that this new article from The National Defense University Press does not simply ignore the JASON report.

Quote:
An elite advisory group of science consultants advising the U.S. Government known as JASON was also contracted to determine the cause and nature of Havana syndrome. The JASON team concluded that the sounds recorded in Havana “are mechanical or biological in origin, rather than electronic. The most likely source is the Indies short-tailed cricket, Anurogryllis celerinictus.” Furthermore, “The recorded audio signal is, with high confidence, not produced by the nonlinear detection of high-power radiofrequency or ultrasound pulses. . . . We judge as highly unlikely the notion that pulsed RF [radio frequency] mimics acoustic signals in both the brain (via the Frey effect) and in electronics (through RF interference/pickup).” JASON therefore attributed 8 of the original 21 cases of the syndrome to hearing cricket noises. Needless to say, this explanation was not well received by some, particularly when those affected had chronic health outcomes because of their experiences.
Havana Syndrome: Directed Attack or Cricket Noise? (The National Defense University Press, Jan 16, 2023)

I assume that the "8 of the original 21 cases" that were attributed "to hearing cricket noses" were the 8 'syndrome' victims who recorded the sounds on their cell phones. It is obvious that the sonic-attack idea has now been abandoned completely, at least by the authors of the article. The conclusion makes this clear:
Quote:
We have progressed considerably from attributing AHI/Havana syndrome to noises caused by indigenous crickets.
'The sonic attacks are just soooo 2017-18, aren't they? We don't believe in the ridiculous idea of cricket attacks anymore!'

But they don't seem to consider that they have abandoned sonic attacks in favor of an idea that lacks any kind of evidence. In the case of the cricket attacks, at least they had the recordings. Now, all they have is their imaginary hostile 'perpetrator(s)' and their imaginary 'ingenious method':

Quote:
Yet the problems of identifying its origin and possible perpetrator(s) remain unsolved. Until answers are found, it remains undetermined if foreign actors have developed an ingenious method for hampering our overseas diplomatic missions, or if perhaps foreign postings in and of themselves contribute to the cause.

When the only actually possible explanation is deemed to be unacceptable, it is at least consistent to continue to support the idea that sinister foreign adversaries are screwing with innocent U.S. diplomats overseas (!), which, by the way, seems to dismiss the idea that AHIs on U.S. soil (see post 1,581) were caused by any kind of 'ingenious method'.
I wonder what former White House top officials like Olivia Troye (see post 1,595) think of this new development ...


ETA: It just occurred to me that Mark Zaid, the lawyer of many of the alleged 'Havana Syndrome' victims, also completely dismissed the relevance of the cricket sounds even though they were the one thing that the Havana cases had in common and the thing that several of them recorded as proof that they were the victims of an attack: "whatever they were experiencing, they happened (!) to also (!) hear crickets." See post 1,602.
__________________
/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; 23rd January 2023 at 01:49 PM.
dann is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th January 2023, 06:07 AM   #1653
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 17,004
A short interview with Nicky Woolf, the investigative journalist behind the new podcast, The Sound: Mystery of Havana Syndrome:

Quote:
Gizmodo: As you allude to, there’ve been countless theories and debates about what has happened, both in political and scientific circles. How has it been for you, as an investigative journalist, trying to adjudicate this? Which views deserve a proper hearing or not?

Woolf: The way I had come to look at it is almost like it was a trial, and that I was sort of a lawyer. And so throughout the show, we go through each of these theories that have come out in a sort of Occam’s Razor way—to try to test each one out. At one point, we have a physicist friend of mine build a couple of test devices to try out. And we tried to be quite rigorous about it.
There were a few theories that were more easy to knock down than the others. There’s the scientific elimination, since some things just aren’t physically possible. And then there’s the circumstantial elimination, where some things just don’t fit with the patterns. So that was the approach we took.
What Really Happened to 'Havana Syndrome' Sufferers? (Gizmodo, Jan 23, 2023)
__________________
/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
dann is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th January 2023, 11:56 AM   #1654
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 17,004
Len Ber, Targeted Individual, diagnosed with #HavanaSyndrome due to domestic #DirectedEnergy attacks, doesn't like the two new podcasts, the one from Vice and the other one from Project Brazen.
The former is allegedly "nothing but CIA propaganda."

The big news in the community of Targeted Individuals appears to be this lawsuit:
Targeted Justice files $1.3 Billion lawsuit against the DOJ, FBI, & DHS. (Targeted Justice, Jan 12, 2023)
__________________
/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
dann is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th January 2023, 03:46 AM   #1655
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 17,004
Deny everything, admit nothing, and make counter-accusations.

Mark Lenzi, who claims to have been attacked in Guangzhou (see posts 1143, 1145, 1150, 1396 and 1470), is back:
‘Deny Everything’: Why the US Hasn’t Solved the Mystery of Havana Syndrome (Vice, Jan 24, 2023)
__________________
/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
dann is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th January 2023, 04:20 AM   #1656
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 17,004
Quote:
And finally, if you’ve been following Vice’s gripping podcast on Havana Syndrome, the final four episodes dropped at midnight Tuesday.
Farewell to the X waiver (Politico, Jan 24, 2023)

Indeed!

Quote:
Jan 24, 2023
5. Anyone, Anywhere, At Any Time 40 min
The U.S. consulate in Guangzhou, China becomes the site of a mysterious outbreak of illnesses, and the White House takes notice. Is Havana Syndrome spreading?

Jan 24, 2023
6. If There’s a ‘There’ There 38 min
Adam receives an anonymous tip, which sends down the rabbit hole to investigate decades-old incidents in which the Soviet Union repeatedly aimed microwaves at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.

Jan 24, 2023
7. Vienna Rules 34 min
The largest outbreak of Havana Syndrome illnesses is reported in Vienna, Austria. Adam and Jon Lee travel there to explore why the city has become a hotbed of spycraft.

Jan 24, 2023
8. Deny Everything, Admit Nothing 44 min
Adam and Jon Lee try to piece it all together, and find that there’s a big hole in what they’ve found thus far. Luckily, a mysterious source comes out of the woodwork to fill in the blanks.
Havana Syndrome (Apple Podcasts preview)
__________________
/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
dann is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th January 2023, 07:19 AM   #1657
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 17,004
The conclusion of the Vice podcast is a disappointment. Of my original suggestions Alien Attack? Mass Hysteria? Conspiracy? Aldous and in particular Anderson, apparently, think that it was a conspiracy: Castro did it! In Havana, with a Russian ray gun.

In spite of the lack of a weapon, the lack of a perpetrator, and the lack of a single malicious microwave actually having been detected, Aldous & Anderson think that Fidel Castro (who died on Nov 25, 2016) had been so pissed off by the CIA's escalating attempts to recruit new spies in Cuba that he decided to get back at them by using a pulsed energy weapon delivered by the Russians.

But what about the 1,000 cases in the rest of the world?, you may well ask. Well, after having damaged the brains of CIA agents in Havana, the Russians would have asked, "Why not take it on the road?" and then they started using the same hypothetical weapon against American intelligence agents all over the world, "messing with their heads."

It doesn't seem to bother A&A much that the 1,000 cases in the rest of the world have found other explanations in spite of having had 'Havana Syndrome' symptoms. They just regret that "without a smoking gun, we can't come out and declare war."


The conspiracy-theory thinking behind this conclusion becomes clear in an excerpt from the seventh episode. After Mark Polymeropoulos has told his story about his alleged Anomalous Health Incident in Moscow, Anderson says:

Quote:
So here we have a very experienced (!) CIA officer who is suggesting that Russia might be behind the Havana Syndrome. And then when the dozens of cases in Vienna pop up, I can't help but think that what happened in Vienna and what happened in Havana were really similar.

These are the two biggest outbreaks of Havana Syndrome that we know about. They both happened during U.S. presidential transitions. Havana cases started in 2016, Obama to Trump. And then Vienna at the end of 2020, Trump to Biden, which is a very unstable time in the U.S.
Both outbreaks also happened in countries that are diplomatic battle fields for the Americans and Russians.

So to me, these Havana Syndrome incidents are of a kind. They bear a signature on them. And it seems to me that the signature is Russia.
(Episode 7, Vienna Rules)
You will have to go to the actual podcast to listen to the sinister background music!

It doesn't seem to matter at all "that we don't know for sure what happened in Austria", that there's not a single piece of real evidence, that it's all circumstantial.

It also doesn't matter that the 'signature' on Vienna is nothing but Anderson's ability to imagine that Russians must be behind it because Polymeropoulos suspected that Russians were behind his AHI, and Russians have been busy spying in both Vienna and Havana.

But wouldn't Paris and Geneva also 'bear a signature on them'? The two European cities where outbreaks of 'Havana Syndrome' were reported in January 2022, five days before the CIA interim report (almost) put an end to the whole thing.
Has anybody mentioned Paris and Geneva since then?! Why not? Don't we need to get to the bottom of this? 'Connect the dots', as conspiracy nuts would say ...
__________________
/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; 25th January 2023 at 07:34 AM.
dann is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 26th January 2023, 04:32 AM   #1658
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 17,004
Correction:
Originally Posted by dann View Post
(...)
In spite of the lack of a weapon, the lack of a perpetrator, and the lack of a single malicious microwave actually having been detected, Aldous & Anderson think that Fidel Castro (who died on Nov 25, 2016) had been so pissed off by the CIA's escalating attempts to recruit new spies in Cuba that he decided to get back at them by using a pulsed energy weapon delivered by the Russians.
(...)
It doesn't seem to bother A&A much that the 1,000 cases in the rest of the world have found other explanations in spite of having had 'Havana Syndrome' symptoms.

It should have been (Adam) Endous & (Jon Lee) Anderson and consequently E&A.
__________________
/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
dann is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 26th January 2023, 05:05 AM   #1659
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 17,004
New NPR interview:

Quote:
"It's incumbent on [the CIA] to provide the medical help we require, which does not include telling us that we're all making it up," former CIA officer Marc Polymeropoulos told GQ Magazine in 2020. "I want the Agency to treat this as a combat injury."
We discuss it all with Woolf, Polymeropoulos, and Dr. James Giordano, professor of neurology, Georgetown University and one of the medical investigators of "Havana Syndrome."
The Curious Case of 'Havana Syndrome' (NPR, Jan 25, 2023 - 37:57 min.)

I am pretty sure that medical help does include telling patients what their ailments are. If doctors think that a patient is 'making it up' (which appears to be how Polymeropoulos thinks of psychogenic illness), that is what the patient should be told. I don't think patients can or should require that their ailments are treated "as a combat injury" if the medical evidence does not point in that direction.

In the NPR podcast, mass psychogenic illness is dismissed as the explanation for 'Havana Syndrome' for two main reasons:
1) The first two 'syndrome' patients hadn't heard of each other's experiences.
2) "There are symptoms that can not be faked."

As for 1), I assume that the first two patients are the ones we hear about in the Vice podcast series, episode 8. Deny Everything, Admit Nothing. In that podcast, they are two CIA operatives in Havana called Craig and Tony, Craig being the "mysterious source (who) comes out of the woodwork to fill in the blanks," which is very convenient.

However, Craig only contributes with his own 'syndrome' story. The only reason why Entous and Anderson think that he 'fills in the blanks' is that he appears to develop his symptoms much the same way that Tony did. But he claims to have done so before and independently of Tony until they meet up and describe to each other the experiences and symptoms they have had. The alleged 'filling in the blanks' is neither an identified perpetrator nor the discovery of a smoking (ray) gun.

As for 2), it's the same mistake that has been made by advocates of the attack theory since the very beginning when mass psychogenic illness was dismissed with the argument that the 'Havana Syndrome' patients weren't trying to shirk but wanted to get back to work. Mass psychogenic illness isn't faking! The main proponents of the MPI explanation have stressed this again and again: The symptoms are real! They just aren't symptoms of an attack!

At this point, this should have become clear to even Mark Polymeropoulos. And to the CIA, if they are actually telling Polymeropoulos and the other victims of AHIs that they "are all making it up," which I doubt. On the contrary, people (for instance Pamela Spratlen and the leader of the Vienna office) appear to have been removed if they so much as considered MPI as a possibility.
__________________
/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; 26th January 2023 at 05:11 AM.
dann is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 27th January 2023, 02:49 PM   #1660
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 17,004
Amateur Hour

Originally Posted by dann View Post
I can't access this one:
Quote:
It began at the US embassy in Cuba. Now there have been more than a thousand incidents of diplomats hearing a strange sound then suffering from mysterious brain injuries, with some victims left permanently disabled. As a new podcast reveals, investigators are still on the hunt for a convincing explanation.
Havana syndrome: Sonic attacks or all in the mind? (The Sunday Times, Jan 22, 2023)
So I don't know if the new podcast it refers to is the one from Vice or the one from Project Brazen.

Today, I could acces the article in The Sunday Times. I don't know why. It is written by Nicky Woolf, who also made Project Brazen's podcast series, and if you don't want to know how that podcast ends, you should stop reading at this point.

Nicky Woolf dismisses the MPI explanation out of hand and seems to be convinced that the 'Havana Syndrome' constitutes an actual attack. His main reference is none other than Beatrice Golomb, mentioned most recently in post 1,633.

I will get back to Nicky Woolf's article tomorrow when I have more time, but for now I will leave you with this, which is how the article ends:

Quote:
Many of them, like Karen Coats, have been left severely disabled. She says she experiences pain when she is in the same room as an electronic device.
She has trouble speaking and, after extensive rehab, has been told she has reached her recovery limit — she will get no better. She has been given medical retirement benefits by the state.
“She can’t concentrate on anything for more than about 30 minutes,” says her husband, Kevin. “She can’t remember words. She’s embarrassed all the time, so she never wants to leave the house. It’s heartbreaking.”

Since most of you here are skeptics or, even if you aren't, have probably watched Better Call Saul, this may already have occurred to you, too: Karen Coats seems to have been turned into an electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) sufferer by the 'Havana Syndrome'!

If Nicky Woolf is worth his salt as an investigative reporter, he would have asked people about something like this. (People other than Beatrice Golomb, that is!) Now, it obviously wouldn't do to ask Coats to have her brain scanned (again?), but less than that would do it. A double-blinded test, much like the ones used when testing dowsers, could be used to find out if Coats actually suffers from EHS or if it's all in her mind.

And I think her doctor(s), too, owe(s) it to her to put her through this kind of test and would do so unless they have a reason to want her to continue to believe that she suffers from EHS. I don't doubt her suffering, her symptoms, but I seriously doubt that they are caused by electromagnetism.
I am sure that Robert Baloh would be happy to explain these things to both Coats and Woolf.

And as for the argument used to dismiss mass psychogenic illness as the cause of the 'Havana Syndrome', I'll get back to that tomorrow.
__________________
/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; 27th January 2023 at 03:08 PM.
dann is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 28th January 2023, 07:42 AM   #1661
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 17,004
Amateur Hour, Continued

Continued: Havana syndrome: Sonic attacks or all in the mind? (The Sunday Times, Jan 22, 2023)

Robert Bartholomew needs no introduction to people who have been following this thread:
Quote:
Havana syndrome is “a classic outbreak of mass psychogenic illness. Standard. Textbook,” says Robert Bartholomew, a medical sociologist at Auckland University and one of the world’s leading experts on mass delusions. Suggestibility can cause powerful physical symptoms.
(...)
On closer scrutiny, it was clear there were parts of the story the psychogenic hypothesis could not explain. Yes, the power of suggestion could feasibly be responsible for headaches, nausea and dizziness — but it can’t make you bleed inside your eyes.

That is true, at first sight - pun not intended - and the article has already mentioned typical MPI symptoms:
Quote:
Diplomats, not just CIA agents, started to have the same symptoms. Nausea, dizziness, cognitive issues and insomnia.

So why aren't bleeding eyes mentioned in this context? The question is important because the case of one agent/diplomat, Karen Coats, who was mentioned yesterday (see previous post), suffered from retinal hemorrhage and this one case appears to be Nicky Woolf's argument for dismissing MPI:

Quote:
That afternoon Karen Coats started seeing black spots. She was sent to Miami, where a doctor found that her retina was bleeding. She was told they’d “only ever seen this when somebody has a trauma to their head, like a car accident”.

But what she was allegedly told was a lie. And a very obvious one:

Quote:
In older children and adults, retinal hemorrhage can be caused by several medical conditions such as hypertension, retinal vein occlusion (a blockage of a retinal vein), anemia, leukemia or diabetes.
(...)
In adults, retinal hemorrhages are largely spontaneous, secondary to chronic medical conditions such as hypertension.
Retinal hemorrhage (Wikipedia)

Now, I can't say who's lying: Karen Coats, "they" (the medical research team, I assume), or Nicky Woolf, but it would have been as easy for Woolf, the author of this piece, to look it up as it was for me.
But that's just one thing. The other thing is the question of mass psychogenic illness: Hypertension may have a psychological component, but I seriously doubt that "retinal vein occlusion (a blockage of a retinal vein), anemia, leukemia or diabetes" are psychosomatic.

So it does seem unlikely that her retinal bleeding was caused by mass psychogenic illness.
But it's not at all unlikely that some of the 'Havana Syndrome' sufferers had other ailments that were in no way due to MPI.

I have mentioned the very serious widespread case of MPI in Denmark that took place in 2015 in girls who had been vaccinated against HPV. What convinced the Danish doctor Jesper Mehlsen that the girls' problems were something other than MPI was the fact that some of them had real physiological symptoms, e.g. mitochondrial dysfunction, but he was criticized for lacking a control group in his studies.

Mehlsen never succeeded in documenting that the ailments that the girls complained about had anything to do with the vaccines. It was sometimes difficult to find a group of unvaccinated girls in Denmark large enough to make a proper comparison of vaccinated and unvaccinated girls, but whenever other medical research teams carried out studies, there was no difference in the percentage of reported ailments in the two groups.
Besides, many of the 'HPV girls' turned out to have visited doctors before they had actually been vaccinated complaining about the same symptoms that they later ascribed to the vaccines.

In a group of people suffering from the same symptoms, it is highly likely that one or more of them may suffer from other things completely unrelated to whatever they may have in common. That individuals in the 'Havana Syndrome' group ascribe each and every one of their symptoms to having been attacked doesn't prove their point. And I haven't seen Baloh, Bartholomew or anybody else advocating the MPI explanation claim that retinal bleeding was caused by MPI.

I don't know how long it takes to edit a podcast series - the next episode will appear on Monday, I assume - but Nicky Woolf's article in The Sunday Times based on his investigations for the podcast - leaves a lot to be desired.
I assume that he still has time to make up for it, and I think that he should.
__________________
/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
dann is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 28th January 2023, 01:43 PM   #1662
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 17,004
Vice

Back to the Vice podcast by Adam Entous and Jon Lee Anderson. Post 1,657 was based on the two last episodes in that series, 7 and 8. I had skipped episodes 5 and 6.

Episode 5, Anyone, Anywhere, At Any Time, consists mainly of interviews with Mark Lenzi and John Bolton. Lenzi was one of those people allegedly targeted in Guangzhou, and Bolton was one of Trump's security advisers. He talks about the 'Havana Syndrome' case where two of his aides camed down with the 'syndrome' in a London hotel room.
Entous and Anderson go to London to investigate the case:

Quote:
Entous: - We're standing outside the hotel, directly in front of where the room was. (...) The way it's situated is it's built out, every other room sticks out. From where we are, we can see the back of the chairs in the room. And so, frankly, I didn't realize how visible it would be. But if you were sitting on one of those chairs, you're in a clear line of sight from the sidewalk out front. If somebody were actually in the room standing or sitting, you would be able to see their head. You know, their head and shoulder easily.

Anderson: - You are very exposed

Entous: - You are exposed, actually. You are much more exposed than I realized.

(Sinister, suggestive music fades in, slowly)
Anderson: - Just below those exposed windows is a very short street, and on that street are two public parking spaces, which is super rare. There are almost no parking spaces in this entire neighborhood. Which is all to say, if you had a big experimental weapon you need to move in a large vehicle to keep it hidden, these two parking spots are perhaps the only ones in the neighborhood where you could park.
On that day we stood in front of the hotel, a big white van was parked in one of those spaces. And it had a perfect view of the room in which Bolton's aides had sat.
You can sit in that kind of van and do whatever you're gonna do.
(My transcription! As I've mentioned before, my hearing isn't very good, so I may have got a detail or two wrong!)


It is all so easy to imagine, isn't it?! 'We're standing here, right outside where it happened! We can see the chairs! And there is an actual white van in the parking lot!'

This has nothing to do with investigative reporting. This is all about imagination.
Imagine if somebody had a big experimental weapon.' (Why experimental? At this point, the London case, the imaginary weapon was already supposed to be old and tested on CIA agents and diplomats in Havana and Guangzhou, wasn't it?!) 'And there's a van! A real van! Imagine if somebody had that imaginary weapon in that van, and that van had been parked here on that day!'

Vice, please don't send these two guys anywhere to investigate anything again! They are much too excitable for their own good and fall prey to their own suggestions. I've read Jon Lee Anderson's Che Guevara biography. It was good because it was based on actual research. Let them roam around in old archives, but don't let them get all excited out in the real world where something mysterious may have happened. I'm almost relieved that they didn't come down with ''syndrome' symptoms themselves, being so close to the room and a van at the same time!

If you must, let them become participants in a reality show. Sit them down around a campfire at night and have boy scouts tell ghost stories. Then add a bit of sinister music like what's used in the podcast and see how scared Entous & Anderson can get. But don't call it investigative journalism. It's got nothing to do with that.
__________________
/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
dann is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 29th January 2023, 08:03 AM   #1663
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 17,004
Amateur Hour, 3

Continued from posts 1,660 and 1,661 about the article: Havana syndrome: Sonic attacks or all in the mind? (The Sunday Times, Jan 22, 2023)

Quote:
The more digging I did, the more difficult it became to discount the possibility that this was an attack. Sonic weapons do exist. For example, long-range acoustic devices — essentially very powerful and focused loudspeakers — are widely used for crowd control. But for the events in Havana an acoustic weapon didn’t fit. Victims including Karen Coates reported stepping in and out of the sound’s range as if it were coming from a narrow beam. Sound waves don’t have that kind of pinpoint accuracy.

Other types of directed energy cannot be as easily ruled out. “Really, there’s one thing that was a fit for all the key pillars of argument, and that was pulse radio- frequency radiation,” says Beatrice Golomb, a professor of medicine at the University of California San Diego.

It won't come as a surprise that I don't find it difficult at all "to discount the possibility that this was an attack," but I still object to Nicky Woolf's argument for discarding the possibility that the sound heard by the alleged 'Havana Syndrome' was actually sound. Cricket sound!

1) Several of the spies and diplomats in Havana actually recorded the sound, and others confirmed that the recorded sound was the sound that they themselves had heard when they were being 'attacked'. Everybody now appears to acknowledge that the recorded 'sonic attack' sound was the sound of crickets. See post 1,652 about the article published by The National Defense University Press.

2) In post 1,661, I mentioned how easy it was to find out that the claim about retinal bleeding wasn't true. It is also embarrassingly easy to find out that the claim about sound waves and acoustics isn't true, i.e. the claim that "Sound waves don’t have that kind of pinpoint accuracy."
All I had to do was google "sound as a beam pinpoint":
Sound Beaming (SonicArts)
These Directional Speakers Throw Sound in Focused Beams Like a Spotlight (YankoDesign, Oct 17, 2019)
I don't have any personal experience with these speakers. You might also object that it's highly unlikely that crickets would use them. So I would like to share an actual personal experience:
I have a stove with a timer. It makes a sound in the treble spectrum. I estimate it to be in the range of the recorded cricket sounds. At one point, I used it as an alarm clock in the morning until I overslept because I hadn't heard it. In order to make sure that I hadn't simply forgotten to turn on the timer, I turned it on and listened carefully. (As carefully as I can, being hard of hearing.) Now, I don't sleep in the kitchen, and I don't have a stove in my bedroom. The sound has to travel from the kitchen, through a hallway, to my bedroom. I noticed that I could sometimes hear the sound, and sometimes I couldn't. It depended on the position of my head. Turning my head would be enough to (apparently) turn the sound on and off!
That's how directional a sound in the treble range behaves even when it doesn't come out of a directional speaker. (Unlike bass sounds, which accounts for the fact that you can have a subwoofer hidden almost anywhere, but the speakers with the treble sounds need to be placed correctly with nothing blocking the sound.)
Treble sound waves do have "that kind of pinpoint accuracy," which, by the way, is also my experience with actual, real-live cricket sounds!

3) If I have understood the Frey effect correctly, it is much more unlikely that it would feel directional to somebody who is exposed to it, so there is no need to resort to dubious 'experts' like Beatrice Golomb to explain the sound heard by the 'Havana Syndrome' sufferers. But if Nicky Woolf is a proper investigative reporter, he should at least get the idea properly tested. I assume that he has resources for something like this that I don't have:
Do the test! Expose yourself and/or others to the Frey effect! Can you move "in and out of the sound’s pulsed radio-frequency radiation beam's range as if it were coming from a narrow beam"? You should have an acoustics expert do the same test with recordings of lovelorn crickets, please! Inquiring minds want to know!
(And by the way, guys like David Relman* could have made this test, too. I am pretty sure that he has even more resources at his disposal than Nicky Woolf!)

If any of our ISF acoustics and/or microwave radiation experts would like to chip in, I would be very grateful!


*ETA: I mention David Relman because he made a similar argument about sound versus pulsed electromagnetic energy, which I quoted in post 1590:
Quote:
Dr. David Relman: They left, it dissipated. They returned, it recurred. That to us was something that we had never heard of, we could not explain by known medical or environmental conditions, and to us deserved our special attention in an effort to understand what might be the plausible mechanism.
That mechanism, Dr. Relman's committees concluded, was most likely "pulsed electromagnetic energy." In other words, a focused beam of microwaves fired from a distance.
__________________
/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; 29th January 2023 at 08:11 AM.
dann is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 29th January 2023, 02:28 PM   #1664
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 17,004
It should not come as a big surprise that Len Ber, Targeted Individual, now seems to believe that there are computer chips in Pfizer's vaccines:

Quote:
Len Ber MD (on Twitter, Jan 29, 2023)
Any MEMS experts came out yet to offer their opinion what in the world this could be? I doesn’t make sense that these images are not plastered across the front page of every publication with a modicum of respect for humanity left. Cholesterol hahaha good one!
Quote:
David Nixon (on Twitter, Jan 29, 2023)
Here are a few photos from one of my 6 month old slides on a Pfizer injectable. No cover slip. Darkfield images at 200x magnification. Still hasn't dried out...
Does not look like salt of cholesterol...
__________________
/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
dann is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 29th January 2023, 09:27 PM   #1665
Roger Ramjets
Philosopher
 
Roger Ramjets's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 6,043
Originally Posted by dann View Post
1) Several of the spies and diplomats in Havana actually recorded the sound, and others confirmed that the recorded sound was the sound that they themselves had heard when they were being 'attacked'.
Case closed!

Quote:
Now, I don't sleep in the kitchen, and I don't have a stove in my bedroom. The sound has to travel from the kitchen, through a hallway, to my bedroom. I noticed that I could sometimes hear the sound, and sometimes I couldn't. It depended on the position of my head. Turning my head would be enough to (apparently) turn the sound on and off!
There are several effects at play here.

Sound 'reflects' off hard flat surfaces like light reflects off a mirror. The noise from your stove timer spreads out in all directions, losing intensity with the square of distance because it has to cover a wider area. But in a room the waves bounce off walls and create standing waves, making it louder in some places and quieter in others. If the room is largely empty the reflections could be very prominent.

The distance between the peaks of a standing wave is dependent on the wavelength of the sound, which is inversely proportional to frequency. The wavelength at 2kHz (typical buzzer frequency) is ~170mm or 7 inches. Moving your head ~90mm or 3.5 inches could be enough to change from being quiet to loud, even though the sound filling the room is not at all 'directional'.

When sound waves enter an area such as a hallway it will 'guide' the waves down it as they bounce off the walls, reducing the attenuation compared to open air. The parts of the wave that bounce at a narrow angle will suffer less reflections and attenuation, so it becomes more directional.

So you could have sounds from eg. crickets coming into a building through an open door or window, being guided down a hallway and then spreading out as they enter a room, creating standing waves that make them loud in one place and quiet in another.

The final effect to consider is sensitivity of the human ear. As we age the little hairs in the cochlea which sense individual frequencies break down, dramatically reducing their sensitivity. This generally affects higher frequencies first, so a person may think their hearing is fine when in fact it is a thousand times less sensitive at high frequencies. When this happens you will hear nothing until the sound reaches a certain intensity, at which point the brain may think it's much louder because it is used to hearing very little at that frequency.

This is why people with mild hearing loss often complain that sounds are too loud. A few years ago I suffered rapid hearing loss when my eustachian tubes became blocked and caused a build up of fluid. When they eventually cleared I became 'hypersensitive' to the sounds I could hear. I couldn't stand hearing dishes bang together in the sink, and someone using a stapler would sound like a gunshot from the other end of the room.

So when I read about Karen Coats hearing a very loud sound, then nothing a short distance away, I was not surprised.

Sound can be focused too, like any wave. With a suitably sized reflector dish you could direct painfully loud sound at a small area from a fair distance away, without people outside the 'beam' noticing much. Hiding it would be tricky though, because the required reflector is quite large and it needs an unobstructed 'view' of the victim. But we don't need to speculate on the possible use of such a device because the source of the actual sound has been identified and we know it is natural.

Quote:
If I have understood the Frey effect correctly, it is much more unlikely that it would feel directional to somebody who is exposed to it, so there is no need to resort to dubious 'experts' like Beatrice Golomb to explain the sound heard by the 'Havana Syndrome' sufferers.
The sounds described don't seem to match the Frey effect, and the rf intensity required to produce the effect would be difficult to achieve. It would probably fry nearby electronic devices long before you could hear it.

Quote:
But if Nicky Woolf is a proper investigative reporter, he should at least get the idea properly tested.
Question:- what is the job of an investigative reporter?
Answer:- to 'uncover' interesting stories that will make people watch the adverts / buy the magazine etc.

It may not be in his best interests to get the idea 'properly' tested.

Forget Nicky Woolf. We should focus on the important things.

The problem with 'Havana Syndrome' is that victims have been hurt, and they need treatment - not just being told it's all in their head so get over it. Any effort to debunk it publicly is only going to fuel their fears. The first goal should be to provide effective treatment without judgement, so these people can move on with their lives - then we can expose the real causes in all their ugliness.

But what are the real causes? The proximate cause was whoever it was who decided it would be a good idea to warn diplomats about possible 'sonic attacks'. But it wasn't all their fault. Number 1 is our diplomatic system that puts people in stressful situations and pumps their minds full of conspiracy theories.

Our diplomats weren't in Havana because they liked living there. Their job was to stare down the evils of communism every day so that people back home would be free of it. For decades they held the line, then Obama insisted on 'normalizing' relations with Cuba. But you can't normalize evil. The place is probably crawling with Russian spies just waiting for the chance to compromise, poison or throw out a window any American whose guard slips, and we know they must have all kinds of nasty secret weapons because we have them too.

The governemt put them in harms way, then pulled the trigger. Now they are suffering from a psychosomatic illness that the system caused, as well as whatever other random ailments they may have. In some cases It may not be possible to scrub the crazy from their minds, in other cases it might be necessary to cure them. But that is something for psychiatrists to deal with, not us. For their sakes it would be better if the whole thing dropped off the news and was handled quietly.
__________________
We don't want good, sound arguments. We want arguments that sound good.

Last edited by Roger Ramjets; 29th January 2023 at 09:43 PM.
Roger Ramjets is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th January 2023, 03:02 AM   #1666
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 17,004
The second episode of The Sound: Mystery of Havana Syndrome was released today. It's called The Immaculate Concussion.

I may get into more detail about it later, but for now I find this very interesting:

Quote:
Nicky Woolf: Listen! There's something I need to address here. You may have noticed that we heard Karen's story from Kevin in the last episode, and now we're hearing Kate's story from Doug. There's a reason for that. Both Karen and Kate told us they hadn't yet felt able to sit for an interview. The prospect of speaking for an extended period surrounded by electronic devices is really painful. And they both struggle with words and stringing thoughts together, which makes them wary/weary (?) of long interviews.
We may hear from them later in the series, but in the meantime they asked Doug and Kevin to speak for them both. That's the case as I write this nearly six years out from Havana.

Remember this from post 1,660:
Originally Posted by dann View Post
Quote:
Many of them, like Karen Coats, have been left severely disabled. She says she experiences pain when she is in the same room as an electronic device.
She has trouble speaking and, after extensive rehab, has been told she has reached her recovery limit — she will get no better. She has been given medical retirement benefits by the state.
“She can’t concentrate on anything for more than about 30 minutes,” says her husband, Kevin. “She can’t remember words. She’s embarrassed all the time, so she never wants to leave the house. It’s heartbreaking.”

Since most of you here are skeptics or, even if you aren't, have probably watched Better Call Saul, this may already have occurred to you, too: Karen Coats seems to have been turned into an electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) sufferer by the 'Havana Syndrome'!

So now we have two cases of 'Havana Syndrome' where the 'syndrome' appears to have caused electromagnetic hypersensitivity. So let's take a look at what Wikipedia says about EHS:
Quote:
Electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) is a claimed sensitivity to electromagnetic fields, to which negative symptoms are attributed. EHS has no scientific basis and is not a recognised medical diagnosis. Claims are characterized by a "variety of non-specific symptoms, which afflicted individuals attribute to exposure to electromagnetic fields".

Those who are self-described with EHS report adverse reactions to electromagnetic fields at intensities well below the maximum levels permitted by international radiation safety standards. The majority of provocation trials to date have found that such claimants are unable to distinguish between exposure and non-exposure to electromagnetic fields. A systematic review of medical research in 2011 found no convincing scientific evidence for symptoms being caused by electromagnetic fields. Since then, several double-blind experiments have shown that people who report electromagnetic hypersensitivity are unable to detect the presence of electromagnetic fields and are as likely to report ill health following a sham exposure as they are following exposure to genuine electromagnetic fields, suggesting the cause in these cases to be the nocebo effect.

Which, of course, is why I think that Nicky Woolf should invite Karen (and now also Kate) to get tested! For the sake of both truth and the self-described victims. As long as they continue to believe that they suffer from EHS, it is unlikely that they will get better.

And once again, let me stress that I don't doubt that their symptoms are real. I don't suspect them of faking their symptoms. But I do think that Karen won't "experience pain when she is in the same room as an electronic device" - if she doesn't know that an electronic device is there.
That would be the point of conducting a proper double-blinded test.


At the end of the episode, next week's episode is announced. It appears to contain an interview with Robert Bartholomew. It would have been interesting to hear what Nicky Woolf thinks of Bartholomew's explanation if he hadn't already dismissed mass psychogenic illness as the explanation of 'Havana Syndrome' in the article in The Sunday Times. See post 1,660.
__________________
/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
dann is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th January 2023, 06:14 AM   #1667
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 17,004
Selected excerpts:
Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
So you could have sounds from eg. crickets coming into a building through an open door or window, being guided down a hallway and then spreading out as they enter a room, creating standing waves that make them loud in one place and quiet in another.

One of the diplomats/spies who are interviewed in the episode The Immaculate Concussion says that he went out on the porch to record THE SOUND!

Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
The final effect to consider is sensitivity of the human ear. As we age the little hairs in the cochlea which sense individual frequencies break down, dramatically reducing their sensitivity. This generally affects higher frequencies first, so a person may think their hearing is fine when in fact it is a thousand times less sensitive at high frequencies. When this happens you will hear nothing until the sound reaches a certain intensity, at which point the brain may think it's much louder because it is used to hearing very little at that frequency.

This is why people with mild hearing loss often complain that sounds are too loud. A few years ago I suffered rapid hearing loss when my eustachian tubes became blocked and caused a build up of fluid. When they eventually cleared I became 'hypersensitive' to the sounds I could hear. I couldn't stand hearing dishes bang together in the sink, and someone using a stapler would sound like a gunshot from the other end of the room.

If you are not a musician or a composer (like Beethoven!), I assume that the most debilitating thing about hearing loss is that you can't hear what people are saying. (Even worse for me as a language teacher.) When I got my hearing aids, some of the things that I was suddenly able to hear again weren't what I needed or wanted to hear: the rustle of bags of candy being opened in a movie theatre, for instance. Very high frequency, apparently.

Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
So when I read about Karen Coats hearing a very loud sound, then nothing a short distance away, I was not surprised.

Sound can be focused too, like any wave. With a suitably sized reflector dish you could direct painfully loud sound at a small area from a fair distance away, without people outside the 'beam' noticing much. Hiding it would be tricky though, because the required reflector is quite large and it needs an unobstructed 'view' of the victim. But we don't need to speculate on the possible use of such a device because the source of the actual sound has been identified and we know it is natural.

And almost universally acknowledged at this point.
Mark Zaid, the lawyer of many of the alleged 'Havana Syndrome' sufferers, is obviously in a bit of a pickle and flailing about:
Quote:
Zaid: They really did hear those sounds because they really did hear crickets, you know, at the time something was happening to them. But the crickets have nothing to do with, you know, whatever this is. Unless of course, I guess, some country got so advanced that they attached some sort of weapon to distract them with crickets, like passenger crickets or something, right, in a game where pigeons were actually used, were designed to be used ...
Interviewer: When you say it was unfortunate, you are talking about the recording of ...
Zaid: The recording! The recording has nothing to do with what these incidents are! It was total coincidence that at a point in time where whatever number of people recorded things, one or two, I guess, that, whatever they were experiencing, they happened to also hear crickets. And then they turned their phone on or something.
See post 1,602

Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
The sounds described don't seem to match the Frey effect, ...
But that's just because the devious adversaries drowned out the Frey effect with the sound of carrier crickets!!!
Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
... and the rf intensity required to produce the effect would be difficult to achieve. It would probably fry nearby electronic devices long before you could hear it.

But that is made irrelevant in the reporting. Notice that it is never mentioned. The main thing, in order to make the idea seem plausible, is that the Frey effect as such exists at all. And it may be possible to develop some kind of microwave weapon, so that must have been what caused the 'syndrome'. QED. The 'Havana Syndrome' was an attack!

Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
Question:- what is the job of an investigative reporter?
Answer:- to 'uncover' interesting stories that will make people watch the adverts / buy the magazine etc.

That is very far from the definition of investigative journalism, but it is apparently what it is turning into.

Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
It may not be in his best interests to get the idea 'properly' tested.

Forget Nicky Woolf. We should focus on the important things.

The problem with 'Havana Syndrome' is that victims have been hurt, and they need treatment - not just being told it's all in their head so get over it. Any effort to debunk it publicly is only going to fuel their fears. The first goal should be to provide effective treatment without judgement, so these people can move on with their lives - then we can expose the real causes in all their ugliness.

I find it hard to empathize with the people you consider to be the victims of the 'syndrome'. They were in Cuba to topple a government that the USA doesn't sympathize with: 'regime change'. The irony is that the 'syndrome' that they came down with inadvertently did more to harm Cuba and the Cubans than all their attempts to recruit 'dissidents' by giving the Trump administration an excuse to introduce more sanctions. This was then aggravated by the pandemic, which probably caused the deaths of thousands of Cubans in 2021 because the Cuban vaccination campaign couldn't get started till after the Delta variant had arrived.
So I agree with you "that victims have been hurt," but very few of the victims were U.S. spies and diplomats.

Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
But what are the real causes? The proximate cause was whoever it was who decided it would be a good idea to warn diplomats about possible 'sonic attacks'. But it wasn't all their fault. Number 1 is our diplomatic system that puts people in stressful situations and pumps their minds full of conspiracy theories.

Our diplomats weren't in Havana because they liked living there. Their job was to stare down the evils of communism every day so that people back home would be free of it. For decades they held the line, then Obama insisted on 'normalizing' relations with Cuba. But you can't normalize evil. The place is probably crawling with Russian spies just waiting for the chance to compromise, poison or throw out a window any American whose guard slips, and we know they must have all kinds of nasty secret weapons because we have them too.

If we look back at the beginning of the 'anomalous health incidents', the evil adversary that the CIA operatives had in mind appears to have been the Cubans, not the Russians. I think the Russians weren't incorporated into the attack narrative until more balanced commentators objected that they couldn't see what kind of motive the Cubans would have. At this point in time, it is obvious why Ivan has become the favorite perpetrator.
I assume that the CIA operators can't have been unaware of the motive for retaliation that they themselves were giving the Cubans, but that is obviously not something that they will divulge, but it is mentioned in the first two episodes of the Vice podcast, and it is probably the reason why Anderson and Entous come up with the idea that Fidel Castro on his deathbed would have called for a 'health attack' on the U.S. officials.

Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
The governemt put them in harms way, then pulled the trigger. Now they are suffering from a psychosomatic illness that the system caused, as well as whatever other random ailments they may have. In some cases It may not be possible to scrub the crazy from their minds, in other cases it might be necessary to cure them. But that is something for psychiatrists to deal with, not us. For their sakes it would be better if the whole thing dropped off the news and was handled quietly.

Bartholomew would distinguish between mass psychogenic illness, which is what the initial two dozen 'syndrome' sufferers came down with, and suggestion, which is when the government told U.S employees on foreign soil to look out for certain symptoms and thus gave them the idea of how to interpret whatever symptoms they may or may not have had.

The Danish HPV-vaccine scare really took off when a TV 'documentary', The Vaccinated Girls - sick and abandoned, interviewed and showed some of the girls and the doctors who believed their stories. (I remember one young woman with spasms that looked much like the cases in this recent article from Science-Based Medicine: Viral Videos of Alleged Vaccine Side Effects) It appears to have been a deliberate policy that it was later "dropped off the news and was handled quietly." It seemed to do the trick: The medical studies that acquitted the vaccines were published and referred to in most mainstream media, and at this point people's confidence in the vaccines is back. The antivaxxers didn't have much success during the pandemic, and the MMR vaccines are now administered to an even higher percentage of children than before the pandemic.

But unlike the 'syndrome' in the USA, the antivax agenda in Denmark wasn't backed up by any powerful economic, religious or political interest groups.
__________________
/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
dann is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st January 2023, 12:34 AM   #1668
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 17,004
The quotation is about Nicky Woolf's series:

Quote:
The series goes heavy on the drama, deploying chilling sound effects imitating the experiences of victims and opening with choirs singing “Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho”, as Woolf recounts the Old Testament tale of God commanding the Israelites to besiege Jericho with the sound of massed trumpets.
What’s behind the strange phenomenon of Havana syndrome? — podcast review (Financial Times, Jan 30, 2023)

Both series, Nicky Woolf's from Project Brazen and Adam Entous & Jon Lee Anderson's from VICE go "heavy on the drama, deploying chilling sound effects."
I find it really annoying when sound effects are used while I'm trying to understand what's being said in the interviews, but that's probably just me and my impaired hearing.
__________________
/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
dann is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 31st January 2023, 01:04 AM   #1669
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 17,004
Quote:
The CIA strives to adhere to the mandate that it does not operate as a policymaking institution, though there have been unfortunate exceptions. The CIA’s misguided endorsement of the George W. Bush White House’s contention that deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein retained weapons of mass destruction is one famous example. And arguably, former CIA Director Gina Haspel’s deflection of Havana Syndrome concerns and reported interference with reporting that cast Russian leader Vladimir Putin in a bad light so as not to provoke President Donald Trump is another.
Rep. Jordan’s Dangerous New Panel is Nothing Like the Church Committee (JustSecurity, Jan 27, 2023)

So Gina Haspel may have been one of those officials removed from office, like Pamela Spratlen, because they were unwilling to eliminate mass psychogenic illness as a possible explanation for the 'syndrome' - probably because they were hoping to prevent the MPI from spreading further. Cynthia Rapp may have been another one.

From the CNN link in the quotation above:
Quote:
Some victims and former intelligence officials also report that skepticism by some high-ranking career officials — in particular under former CIA Director Gina Haspel — has made it difficult for victims to get the appropriate care.
(...)
Leadership overhaul
The inspector general review, which has not yet risen to the level of a formal investigation, is specifically examining how sickened officers are cared for.
At the same time, CIA Director William Burns is overhauling the leadership team responsible for the matter and bolstering the medical care available to victims.
The former head of the task force responsible for finding the cause of these incidents, Cynthia Rapp, has retired less than a year after taking on the role — the second key departure since Burns took command of the agency. The chief medical officer, seen by some former officers as too skeptical of the mysterious ailments, announced his retirement and was replaced earlier this year.
CIA inspector general reviewing handling of ‘Havana Syndrome’ cases (CNN, July 23, 2021)

They must all have felt vindicated by the CIA interim report!
__________________
/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; 31st January 2023 at 01:25 AM.
dann is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st February 2023, 03:54 AM   #1670
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 17,004
Nicky Woolf again:

Quote:
Journalist Nicky Woolf has spent months looking into the bona fide mystery of what exactly is happening with all of those U.S. diplomats and intelligence operatives reporting brain injuries thanks to some unnamed, futuristic weapon - and come away with the impression that this story, however far-fetched it may seem, may actually be true.
Havana Syndrome Might Be Real and It's Scary as Hell (The Daily Beast, Feb 1, 2023)

Well, those of us who have spent years looking into the 'Havana Syndrome' know that it's no mystery and certainly not a bona fide one. We know exactly what is happening, and we know that all of those U.S. diplomats and CIA operatives weren't reporting brain injuries thanks to some unnamed, futuristic weapon. On the contrary, their symptoms are due to their being scared ****less by their own imagination, and the far-fetched story can't possibly be true.

Since the Woolf article in The Sunday Times, somebody must have pointed out to him that the whole story is extremely inconsistent because all of a sudden he now seems to "also (!) believe that there's a huge amount of psychogenic transfer going on," while still maintaining "that there was a real attack of some kind (!) with some kind (!) of intentionality and with some kind (!) of device."

This is some kind of utter nonsense, and Nicky Woolf ought to feel some kind of embarrassed by his own sloppy research! I'm almost surprised that he didn't buy into the QAnon conspiracy.
__________________
/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
dann is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old Yesterday, 01:24 AM   #1671
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 17,004
Once again, Google seems to have been hiding an article about the 'syndrome'. I am talking about The Truth About the “Havana Syndrome” (Fair Observer, Oct 12, 2022), one of Peter Isackson's many excellent articles about the 'syndrome' and in particular about how it has been handled by the media. (Others mentioned in post 1,071.)

This time, Isackson's article was about CNN's Sanjay Gupta's 'investigation' of "one of the most complex and controversial health mysteries in recent years known as ‘Havana Syndrome.’"
I wonder if the reawakened interest in the 'syndrome' due to the new podcasts from Project Brazen and VICE is the reason why Gupta's podcast now appears on YouTube.

Quote:
Dr. Sanjay Gupta travels to Cuba to investigate one of the most complex and controversial brain mysteries in recent years known as "Havana Syndrome." First reported by two dozen U.S. officials in Havana, Cuba starting in 2016, these unexplained health incidents have since multiplied to include hundreds of reports of concussion-like injuries around the globe. Despite various government investigations, American officials have yet to make clear what is behind these injuries and whether a directed energy weapon may be to blame. Dr. Gupta sets out to explain the truth behind "Havana Syndrome," the extent of its impact on the brain, and the potential continuing threat facing government officials at home and abroad. This special report originally aired on CNN on September 25, 2022.
Sanjay investigates “Havana Syndrome” Pt. 1 (CNN Podcast on YouTube, Jan 17, 2023)
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

For some reason, the media has begun to refer to the 'hundreds of AHIs around the globe' as if it had not already been revealed that they weren't 'concussion-like' and as if they had not already found other, pretty ordinary, explanations.

Some of the people interviewed by Gupta:
Dr. Michael Hoffer
Dr. Mitchell Valdés-Sosa
President: Dr. Luis Velázquez Pérez
Dr. David Relman

Seek, and ye shall find!
My (inadequate) transcription:
Quote:
Gupta: Like any rigorous medical investigation, it must start with the patients themselves, individuals the Cubans never had access to, but Dr. Relman and his team did.

Relman: We saw evidence in specific individuals of clear disturbance to brain function, and even injury, that we can't easily explain, but has to be understood as something that is real. These were people who clearly had suffered and continued to suffer. It was our task to explore and try to explain what might cause these cases. We considered a number of possible things, everything from a chemical exposure to an infection to external stimuli like electromagnetic energy. And we said, OK, there is precedence for microwave energy causing sound in the head that others don't hear. And that was one argument (?) that said, 'Hey, let's walk down that path and see if we can fill out a possible story, a plausible story for microwave energy'. And that's what we did.

Gupta: In August of 2020, Dr. Relman submitted his panel's findings to the State Department with the surprising conclusion that the American symptoms were consistent with the effects of directed pulsed radio-frequency energy. The report did not rule out other possible mechanisms, but the findings gave weight to a new theory: that these injuries may have been caused by a microwave weapon.

Valdés-Sosa (?): .... but the evidence is very weak. In fact, it's not existent.

Relman (?): As the saying goes, you know, Doc, the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Just because you do not find things in those initial field reports, just because the patient had some variety of symptoms, if you talk to them and hear what they said, what they'd experienced, at least ... original ... It's pretty compelling.

Valdés-Sosa (?): It's true that the absence of evidence is not a demonstration that nothing happened. But you don't start hunting for a mysterious weapon and trying to find the attacker if there is no evidence of that.

Gupta: It is not uncommon for scientists to have different hypotheses when encountering uncertainty, especially if politics is involved. But the fact is, what started in Havana didn't stay there.

At this point, Gupta tells the story about Mark Lenzi, the guy who was allegedly attacked in Guangzhou, and Marc Polymeropoulos, the senior CIA officer who was allegedly attacked in Moscow. And once again Gupta mentions the "nearly 900 concerningly similar incidents across the globe. (...) But the majority of those cases, Dr. Relman says, can be explained by known medical and environmental conditions. But not all of them."

Gupta doesn't seem to understand that his fact that "what started in Havana didn't stay there" is a piss-poor argument for the 'syndrome' having been caused by a microwave weapon when the vast majority of those other cases abroad have found other explanations. And he and Relman seem to think that the (alleged) lack of an explanation is an argument for a microwave attack - much like Christians who see evidence for the existence of God whenever something (allegedly) hasn't (yet) been explained.

And Relman doesn't seem to understand that this is not how a scientific investigation is supposed to work: ''Hey, let's walk down that path and see if we can fill out a possible story, a plausible story for microwave energy'.'

In the Fair Observer article mentioned above, Peter Jackson writes:
Quote:
In contrast [to NYT giving up on the attack idea after CIA's interim report], CNN wasn’t about to abandon a theme its audience had become addicted to. In its pitch for the program in September featuring Dr Gupta, CNN asked this question: “But what causes the mysterious illness?” Instead of following the CIA’s and NYT’s lead, it answered its own question: “Dr. David Relman, who co-authored the influential American Academy of Sciences report, concluded that microwave energy is a plausible explanation.” “Plausible” is among the most abused words in politics. So long as something dismissed as unlikely may have even marginal plausibility, CNN will milk it until the udder goes dry.
.The Truth About the “Havana Syndrome” (Fair Observer, Oct 12, 2022)
__________________
/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
dann is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old Today, 09:02 AM   #1672
dann
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 17,004
This Panaudicon article inspired by episode 6 of the VICE podcast, If There’s a ‘There’ There,” mainly concerns itself with the question of retaliation against the imaginary perpetrator of the imaginary 'syndrome' attacks:

Quote:
Cue the discussion at 34:40: the Pentagon is going to get involved now.

35:16 – “People at DOD proposed kicking it up a notch, meaning respond to Russian intelligence with our own harassment.” (The prevailing view at the time in the IC amongst those who believed there were attacks happening is that the Russians were the most likely culprits).

I thought this was rather curious. What is meant by “our own harassment”? Would it be something comparable? I’m sure that we do have devices in the same technological space based on my own research, and that they are classified. Adam Entous, who interviews Chris Miller ["former acting Secretary of the DOD in the final days of the Trump administration who started to take Havana Syndrome seriously after a DOD servicemember reported an assault"] for the podcast, says the following to Miller in response to the notion that we might respond somehow with “our own harassment”: “The concept that something that we might do might somehow trigger WWIII is always the thing that’s cited to me as why the Russians who have this escalatory ladder that they’re willing to climb much faster than we’re willing to go up it. Is that something you were finding you were confronting? The fear of the escalation that might come from the other side?” Miller dodges the question: “Great question. Don’t know. Let’s be honest, we’re dealing with bullies here. We’re dealing with Iranians, the Russians, the Chinese, and it’s no different than the playground bully.
Havana Syndrome (Panaudicon, Feb 3, 2023)

It is amazing that the author of this piece is willing to believe in an actual perpetrator of an actual attack using an actual weapon in spite of not a single one of those things having been found or identified: "If the DOD or IC have inside information which shows that such effects could be caused by a weapon, as I believe they do, then they are prolonging the agony of all affected parties by withholding this information and empowering the attackers."

So 'good luck, imaginary bullies! We don't know who you are, but we know it's you!'
__________________
/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
dann is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Social Issues & Current Events

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:30 PM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2023, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.