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Posts Tagged ‘nervous system

US investigates second suspected case of mystery ‘syndrome’ near White House

By Katie Bo WilliamsJeremy Herb and Natasha Bertrand, CNN

Updated May 17, 2021

(CNN)Two White House officials were struck by a mysterious illness late last year — including one who was passing through a gate onto the property — newly revealed details that come as investigators are still struggling to determine who or what is behind these strange incidents.

Multiple sources tell CNN that the episodes affected two officials on the National Security Council in November 2020, one the day after the presidential election and one several weeks later.

The cases are consistent with an inexplicable constellation of sensory experiences and physical symptoms that have sickened more than 100 US diplomats, spies and troops around the globe and have come to be known as “Havana Syndrome.

The intelligence community still isn’t sure who is causing the strange array of nervous system symptoms, or if they can be definitively termed “attacks.”

Even the technology that might cause such an inconsistent set of symptoms is a matter of debate

The first incident, previously reported by CNN, occurred after the 2020 election as the NSC official was attempting to pass through an unstaffed gate near the Ellipse, according to a source with direct knowledge of the incident. That person suffered only mild symptoms after the encounter, including headaches and sleeplessness, all of which went away after a week.

The second official, whose case has not been previously reported, was struck weeks later near an entrance to the White House grounds, two sources familiar with the matter told CNN.

The second official suffered more serious symptoms and was ill enough to seek immediate medical treatment.

The twin incidents in downtown Washington, along with a previous suspected case in northern Virginia in 2019, have raised concerns that the wave of episodes first seen only among Americans overseas is now occurring in rising numbers on US soil — and maybe even at the President’s front door.

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This story is based on interviews with over a dozen current and former officials with knowledge of the US efforts to respond to these mysterious incidents.

For five years now, investigators have struggled to explain the strange experiences reported by US diplomats and other government workers in Cuba, Russia, China and elsewhere — episodes that in some cases have led to chronic headaches and brain injuries.

Victims have reported experiencing sudden vertigo, headaches and head pressure, sometimes accompanying by a “piercing directional noise.”

Some reported being able to escape the symptoms simply by moving to another room — and step back into them by returning to their original position.

The number of suspected cases worldwide is increasing, according to a recent statement from the leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee. There have been more than 130 cases worldwide over the past five years, according to the New York Times, which reported at least one episode taking place overseas in the last two weeks.

There have also been suspected cases in Europe, CNN previously reported, and additional suspected cases are being investigated domestically, according to sources with knowledge of the matter.

‘Anomalous health incidents’

Under pressure from lawmakers and victims, the Biden administration has dramatically ramped up its efforts to “identify the cause of these incidents, determine attribution, increase collection efforts, and prevent” what the intelligence community now terms “anomalous health incidents,” a spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said in a statement on Tuesday.

CIA Director Bill Burns has begun to receive daily briefings on the matter, including some from victims of these strange encounters, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

But even a definitive diagnosis proving any one case is, in fact, “Havana Syndrome,” has proven frustratingly difficult, officials say.

Victims suffer a myriad of different symptoms both initially and over time, and scientists, engineers and medical experts are divided over whether all of the cases under investigation can be attributed to a single cause.

The government has successfully identified and fielded a blood test that can point to some markers that may indicate exposure, according to two US officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

That test was among the diagnostic tools used in recent cases of intelligence officers who reported symptoms consistent with Havana Syndrome, and in the case of at least one of the White House victims, according to sources familiar with the matter.

But the test alone is not enough to offer a clear diagnosis.

Multiple agencies are also trying to create or repurpose a type of sensor that could be used to detect anomalous activity and, theoretically, help establish that personnel are being hit, according to two current US officials and one former US official — although sources cautioned such a tool would only be able to detect the activity, not protect from it.

“How do you counter something you don’t know is coming?” said one intelligence official.

March report from the National Academy of Sciences found that “directed, pulsed radiofrequency energy” was the most likely cause of the strange set of symptoms — so-called microwave energy — but officials caution that even that isn’t known for sure, and some academics have publicly dismissed the theory as unsupported.

“The whole ‘microwave’ theory is not because someone has any intelligence to suggest it, or someone saw it happen,” said one source familiar with the intelligence on the matter. “This is what’s been so maddening. It’s based purely on symptoms.”

“We have no hard leads — just all circumstantial evidence. And it’s circumstantial evidence that could also be something completely different.”

A National Security Agency memo made public in 2014 revealed that the agency had intelligence from as recently as 2012 pointing to the possible existence of “a high-powered microwave system weapon … designed to bathe a target’s living quarters in microwaves, causing numerous physical effects, including a damaged nervous system.”

But the memo did not definitively confirm the existence of such a weapon, or which country may have developed it.

And some officials have questioned how such a weapon might be discreetly powered — especially in crowded downtown Washington — and focused so precisely that it would only cause injury to the target’s brain and not the rest of the body.

Equally murky is who might be behind these incidents, if they are indeed attacks.

Some evidence points to Russia as a likely culprit, officials say, but it is largely circumstantial: Russia is one of only a few countries that has dedicated research and development to what some experts believe could be the kind of weapon that could cause symptoms consistent with Havana Syndrome.

Some officials tracking Havana Syndrome suggest that, if a foreign adversary is using some kind of directed energy weapon, the intent may not be to harass or maim US personnel, but rather to collect information from their cell phones.

“I don’t know if they stumbled across a collection mechanism that allows it to be used as a weapon system or if they are just trying to collect (data from cell phones) and it (causes) adverse side effects,” said one person with direct knowledge of the incidents. “From what I read that the jury’s still out on what exactly people thought it was.”

‘We don’t have the smoking gun’

The new incidents, including those in Washington, have sparked growing frustration among lawmakers on Capitol Hill, who say the intelligence community has failed to provide Congress with enough information on what it knows and how it’s responding — and has not properly taken care of the victims.

“I’m appalled that many of these individuals who were injured in the line of duty have had to fight to get adequate medical care, to have their injuries even recognize and acknowledge and to receive financial compensation,” said Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Lawmakers on the House and Senate Intelligence and Armed Services committees have been demanding additional details and have urged intelligence officials to declassify information about the attacks.

Lawmakers have praised Burns’ stated commitment to the issue, but a recent closed-door Senate Intelligence Committee briefing on the subject was one of the committee’s most contentious in recent memory, according to two sources familiar with the briefing.

Congress has also expressed concern that the government has failed to sufficiently coordinate efforts out of multiple agencies — including the Pentagon, intelligence community and State Department — to address the problem.

“There are lots of entities in the government looking at this. We need to have it better coordinated,” said Senate Intelligence Chairman Mark Warner. “I think there’s a level of seriousness given to this now that frankly was not there until Director Burns came and made this a priority.”

The Virginia Democrat said it was frustrating that after five years since these apparent attacks began occurring, there’s still difficulty in everything from taking care of those who have been injured to determining who is responsible and even what tools or weapons were used.For some victims of these strange incidents — some of whom are suffering from debilitating ongoing health problems — the government’s response has been equally frustrating.

Current and former officials say that during the Trump administration, individuals who reported experiencing these symptoms weren’t always believed.”

It took awhile for certain people to take it very serious,” said one official with direct knowledge of the incidents

Even now, officials who report these symptoms are closely screened to confirm whether their symptoms are physical or psychosomatic.”

The problem with the handful (of episodes) that I know have happened here in this country (is) the smoking gun,” said the official. “We don’t have the smoking gun.”

8 Hugs a Day per person can go a long way to increase a community life expectancy

Preity posted this Dec. 4, 2013

10 Reasons Why You Need at Least 8 Hugs a Day For Your Health

1. The nurturing touch of a hug builds trust and a sense of safety. This helps with open and honest communication.

2. Hugs can instantly boost oxytocin levels, which heal feelings of loneliness, isolation, and anger.

3. Holding a hug for an extended time lifts one’s serotonin levels, elevating mood and creating happiness.

4. Hugs strengthen the immune system. The gentle pressure on the sternum and the emotional charge this creates activates the Solar Plexus Chakra. This stimulates the thymus gland, which regulates and balances the body’s production of white blood cells, which keep you healthy and disease free.

5. Hugging boosts self-esteem. From the time we’re born our family’s touch shows us that we’re loved and special. The associations of self-worth and tactile sensations from our early years are still embedded in our nervous system as adults. The cuddles we received from our Mom and Dad while growing up remain imprinted at a cellular level, and hugs remind us at a somatic level of that. Hugs, therefore, connect us to our ability to self love.

6. Hugging relaxes muscles. Hugs release tension in the body. Hugs can take away pain; they soothe aches by increasing circulation into the soft tissues.

7. Hugs balance out the nervous system. The galvanic skin response of someone receiving and giving a hug shows a change in skin conductance. The effect in moisture and electricity in the skin suggests a more balanced state in the nervous system – parasympathetic.

8. Hugs teach us how to give and receive. There is equal value in receiving and being receptive to warmth, as to giving and sharing. Hugs educate us how love flows both ways.

9. Hugs are so much like meditation and laughter. They teach us to let go and be present in the moment. They encourage us to flow with the energy of life. Hugs get you out of your circular thinking patterns and connect you with your heart and your feelings and your breath.

10. The energy exchange between the people hugging is an investment in the relationship. It encourages empathy and understanding. And, it’s synergistic: the whole is more than the sum of its parts: 1+ 1 = 3 or more! This synergy is more likely to result in win-win outcomes.

Note 1: I like hugging. I may also mention these same 10 reasons why friendly massages, holding hands… increase community tolerance level, our self-esteem and longevity…

Note 2: I’m handicapped and unable to extend life-expectancy of any modern community:

1. My hands are mostly cold, most of the year, particularly when in the shadow

2. I’m a smoker. Must find a smoker or an ex-smoker who relishes this aphrodisiac smell

3. My circle of friends are very restricted…

4. Must negotiate with a couple of people for multiple hugs a day to make the count of 8 and over…

5. A single beautiful and lovable person can do the trick… I’m searching for this person…

Our entire life is a constant stream of acts of faith…

Our brain is trained, since we are born, to act according to sets of acts of faith.

Whatever we were told about, taught, any behavior we were “forced” to change, tacitly or consciously, are intrinsic part of our belief system.

We move around and do thousands of involuntary acts and decisions during the day without being aware of them: Our unconscious brain is taking over most of our acts and decisions, and is in total control of our daily habits.

You purchase a red car. The next day your mind plays tricks on you and you see your car is turning greenish. What color are you ready to believe you car is? You don’t believe your senses at this moment, but you rely on your act of faith. The car you purchased was red, you saw it, it is the color of your preference and Red is how you were told the color is.

For thousands of years, earth was flat and the sun fixed. This act of faith didn’t turn earth not roundish and the sun constantly moving…

This belief system didn’t change the daily life of the common people, except those who dared to challenge these concepts.

The “reformed belief system” just opened up new job opportunities and business undertaking, for better or worse.

We go to schools and we are inculcated thousands of “pieces of knowledge” without experimenting, investigating, or even reflecting on these knowledge. This big baggage of acts of faith, which we carry around, without even realizing that these knowledge as in fact sets of a belief system.

You have people calling themselves scientists and engineering who say they only believe in plain “facts” and experimental research…

Now and then, you have a bloke telling them that their “scientific” system of assumptions and taken for granted rational or logical acquisition are faulty. Paradigm shifts are common occurrences in every field of study, and yet, the scientific professionals in every field of practice take to their graves the old belief system. How do you expect the common people to change their belief systems?

And you have all these clerics from all religions and sects trying their hardest to superimpose “conscious knowledge” of mythical stories and abstract notions on your already supercharged acts of faith.

All these clerics making it a business to make you believe in redundant “set of faiths” by frequent training and practices (going to religious ceremony, contributing money, getting to gathering, baptizing, wedding, burying you..) building in routines of customs and rituals… As your family and educational systems have done previously.

And you have people changing their religious faith because a few prescribed daily habits in these sects are more comfortable and suit better their comfort zone, and then claim to believe in the entire structure of the belief system of their new religion… And go about persecuting the hapless members of other religions…

As if our brain does not function naturally going about acts of faith

A well-oiled system that drives you implicitly to constant stream of acts of faith

When young, we hanged on varied ideologies, principles, moral standards, opinions… As we grow up, we try to alter many of these positions with rational attitudes and “sounder logic”… But if we scratch a little deeper under this thin rational reversal of stands, anyone who knew us will discover the foundations of the initial belief system.  All we do is to fundamentally fool ourselves that we have changed…

Basically, we spend our life adapting to the default belief systems and default values, pre-programmed in our nervous system…

What can bring change to our mind are frequent different actions and engagement in order to train the brain to newer sets of belief systems with newer daily habits, physically and in thinking.

We need to make conscious effort to attend and observe how we obey the automatic reactions of our nervous system, and try to disobey the automatic orders, now and then. Exercise our attention restricted capabilities to increase our emotional intelligence...

And this is a harsh journey for actually changing the initial acts of faith that we have lived with for so many years and are part of our fiber.

As we grow up, we start claiming that we don’t trust people, and that we trust animals on the ground their behavior do not fluctuate wildly…

Fact is we tend to heap good faith on strangers, and particularly when we are strangers in their environment.

As we lack the energy to investigate and ask targeted questions on every stranger, we rely on the blink judgement power of our unconscious to do the quick and dirty job for us.

All those idiosyncratic opinions and judgment we amass growing up, the countless forgotten experience that we have forgotten, the zillion innuendos that our memories have stashed away, for the unconscious to retrieve and sift through at leisure…


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

July 2021
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