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Typical Lyme Story, Atypical Victim

Discussion in 'Infections: Lyme, Candida, EBV ...' started by duncan, Jun 26, 2019.

  1. duncan

    duncan Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  2. chrisb

    chrisb Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    one should not be surprised at the possibility of accidental escapes. We know that the Army Chemical Corps somehow managed to infect sixty workers with brucellosis in circumstances which are unclear.

    This report also suggests that disposal methods may have left something to be desired
    www.ph.ucla.edu/epi/bioter/ftdetrickunearths.htm

    One can almost see the FEMA employees rapidly selling up and moving out.
     
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  3. chrisb

    chrisb Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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  4. duncan

    duncan Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Newby has written elsewhere that there is a back-story to that Pillar article which ran in 2016. She had accrued bioweapon's data surrounding the key researcher responsible for discovering what eventually became known as Lyme disease, i.e., Willy Burgdorfer. She was concerned, though, that her background was not in that area. So she sought out a respected investigative journalist whose background was steeped in biological warfare. Pillar had written a book entitled "Gene Wars: Military Control Over the New Genetic Technologies." He was well-regarded as a serious journalist. They met. She relayed what her research had found, and discussed what paths the evidence suggested. The result was the Swiss Agent article.

    It's a little intriguing that this suspected Rickettsial agent of Lyme disease - at least apparently suspected by Willy Burgdorfer - was discovered at the same time as the Borrelial agent (in the same sample of ticks culled from Long Island!), and considered very seriously as that cause - then disappeared from all records and conversations for over 30 years. According to Newby, the trail led to boxes hidden away in Willy's garage, if I recall correctly.

    Ludlum or Clancy could have conjured this as one of their story lines - only this stuff really happened. Willy really was recruited to work for the US Government, first innocuously and ironically on vaccines, then reportedly on bioweapons programs which included infusing ticks with all kinds of bad-ass microbes. He'd at times literally fly back and forth between Rocky Mountain Lab and Fort Detrick to do this (although evidently he traveled the world in this capacity).
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2019
  5. chrisb

    chrisb Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    @duncan Does this book provide the most complete information about Burgdorfer available? The obituaries and potted biographies elsewhere seem to have obvious lacunae, but having looked at the available pages on Amazon, I am not at all sure I will be able to read the book. I cannot decide whether all authors of such books share an editor, or whether all editors tell all authors "That will never sell, you must make it marketable". At which point they lose me.

    With the Fort Detrick connection I think that this area falls just within the outer limits of legitimate ME enquiry.

    I am still having difficulty in understanding why all the scientists who cited the Imboden papers concealed the fact that it was military research, and insisted that childhood trauma might perpetuate the illness, ignoring the most obvious likely depression or anxiety inducing factor, that a serious illness had been contracted in the course of employment undertaking obviously unsafe experiments on dangerous pathogens. It is hard to believe that they did not know-all they would have had to do was read the full papers which they cited.
     
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  6. duncan

    duncan Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    As far as I know, it does (if you're talking about Newby's "Bitten"), at least in terms of his work history, e.g. vaccine and bioweapons. I found it a relatively easy read, and these days I have issues reading. I broke it up over many days, so that helped.

    If you're looking for a psych connection/influence, if it's there, I didn't see it. But you might notice something I missed.

    The take-away is it is a thoroughly documented and referenced layout of Willy's (reluctant) participation in microbial weaponry efforts. My understanding is Fort Detrick was pretty much home base for that, even though Willy was in Montana at Rocky Mountain Laboratory. The connection was there, just as Plum Island fell under Fort Detrick's umbrella. The infamous Fort Detrick Eight Ball is discussed in pretty good detail.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2019
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  7. chrisb

    chrisb Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    @duncan Thanks. Yes I meant "Bitten". Perhaps I will have to bite the bullet, and read it along, with Lab 257.

    I wasn't looking for a psych element to this story, just as I am not looking for a bio-warfare cause for ME. I think psych element would have performed a wholly different function.

    I also thought the lacuna in Cluff's obituary was rather similar to that in Burgdorfer's.
     
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  8. duncan

    duncan Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    @chrisb, I've tried to steer clear of this kind of stuff for 15 years, but some of it is hard to just pretend didn't happen. Some you know to take with a grain of salt - but STILL you look a little closer at. For instance, Willy Burgdorfer is on tape saying he believes Lyme Ct was the result of a bioweapons release. So, sure, that gets your attention. He was the world authority on both all-things-spirochetal, and all-things-Rickettsial. But, when he said it, he'd been sick with Parkinson's. Was he lucid at that moment the words came out of his mouth? I cannot say.

    But his work history is documented and can be verified. His involvement in covert bio-agents research and weaponization of vectors like ticks can be vetted.

    Does it matter, though?

    To me, these days, yes it matters, because I cannot fathom why so many patients are being grossly mischaracterized. It goes beyond disagreements over Science and inferencial debates. It reaches past legacy concerns. There is a deliberate calumny being contrived against patients, and I'd like to know why. This is one avenue I feel - these days, at least - compelled to go down. If it's a dead end, all the better.
     
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  9. chrisb

    chrisb Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    @duncan Yes. I think this is one of those matters which one comes to reluctantly and by accident, but, once there, one has to look at it.
     
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  10. chrisb

    chrisb Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I trust that Bitten will keep up the high standards of Lab 257...... "It shows that the seemingly bucolic island in the shadow of New York City is a ticking biological time bomb that none of us can safely ignore" -(from the blurb). The only thing I like better than a good pun is a bad pun.

    On reflection Bitten is going to have to answer some difficult questions about the potential strategic or tactical purpose of Lyme disease as a weapon and the manner, extent and timing of any release to enable the disease to become endemic. We shall see.
     
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  11. duncan

    duncan Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Newby is a good reporter. The book reads like a long article from Time Magazine. The logic is measured and even-handed. Much of this was occurring during the height of the Cold War, until Nixon purportedly ended it in 1969. We wanted multiple contingencies. We eyed bioagents that could kill large swaths. We looked at bioagents that could kill just one or two, and do so discreetly.

    We also studied bioagents that would not necessarily kill. If I understood correctly, the goal, in theory, would be to cause sweeping economic harm without anyone knowing we did anything; to make people sick in adversarial countries, and have their doctors not be able to figure out what was wrong. People grow sick, and once sick, stay sick. The burden on any nations economy if enough were disabled could be crippling. And one of the vectors they were most keen on was the tick.
     
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  12. chrisb

    chrisb Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    That's what I thought it would have to be - a strategic long term, economic weapon to be used in areas which would not need to be occupied.

    I thought that the idea in the 50's was to look for weapons causing mortality and that morbidity became the priority in the 60's. That must be an oversimplification.

    Its all very odd. One wonders at what point they knew that they had killed Edward Nevin in San Francisco. One might have expected that to produce a certain caution - if not for the protection of thee public, at least for the protection of themselves. One could see how that could produce the idea that a psychosomatic explanation for long term chronic illness could be useful.
     
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  13. duncan

    duncan Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    If it were an accident, and they realized they could not get that genie back into the bottle, yes. Deny, deny, deny. Then it became marginalize the victims.

    Perhaps what they did not anticipate was the impact capitalism would have. The rush to score big $'s with a vaccine was incredible - as was/is the desire to cash in on the diagnostics windfall. With all that greed, discovery was going to ensue, albeit slowly.
     
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  14. chrisb

    chrisb Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    This official history of the Rocky Mountain Lab is very eloquent in what it does not say.
    www.niaid.nih.gov/about/rocky-mountain-history

    Perhaps people can decide for themselves whether: After the war, work at the lab returned to its primary mission of basic scientific research of infectious diseases. In 1948, the National Institute of Health was reorganized, and RML became part of what is now called the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) adequately describes the work allegedly carried out by Burgdorfer.

    A hypothetical question for you. Given a disease affecting people on land one side of a river, but not the other, on which side would you build your research lab? Apparently the precautionary principle does not feature in official thinking. We never make mistakes. It is illuminating.
     
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  15. duncan

    duncan Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I'm not sure if your question is metaphorical, or if it is about Borrelia per se, or just a general one that captures the inadequacies of govt infectious disease research. It's not your question - it is my brain which is sucking for air right now, so I apologize.

    Of course, they weren't looking for Borrelia back in the 40's and 50's and 60's. I guess they were looking at the relapsing remitting species, but not what became known as Lyme, unless it was fabricated somewhere along the line. I think it was a rickettsial outpost initially....

    Oh, I just read your link! Ha! Yeah, right, which side of the river is right. You gotta love the moat! Ticks don't swim, but they float or can attach to debris that floats, and can survive submerged for days. And is that a sanitized history or what? HA! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Of course, some of that laughter is directed right back at me for not reading your link at the getgo. :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2019
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  16. chrisb

    chrisb Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    An interesting aspect of this is the three centres involved: Plum Island, Fort Detrick and RML. Plum Island was under the Army Chemical Corps from 1952 to 1954 but then passed to USDA. Fort Detrick was Army Chemical Corps. RML was NIH from 1937 to 1948 and the NIAID.

    My suspicions about the Imboden, Cluff and Canter papers, and the need to enquire into them, was caused by the funding from the Army Chemical Corps. It seems that that was not in itself a ground of suspicion. The funding could equally have come from other sources, if the allegations about Burgdorfer's work are correct, and there seems to be evidence to support those allegations.
     
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  17. chrisb

    chrisb Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I have to change my opinion. Not of the first chapter. Hurry over that, the one you see on the Amazon preview. The rest is essential reading. I think the evidence seems to be valid. The only doubt is about what one is to infer from it, and the as yet unexplained holes.

    And I am suspected of conspiracy theory for doubting the Imboden, Cluff and Canter partnership. I doubt if that was ever intended to be about ME at all. Indeed they may never have heard of the condition. It looks to be far more to do with these goings-on at Fort Detrick, and that we are a mere unintended side effect - courtesy of Eisenberg and Greenberg. Unintended at least by those authors.

    Now to reread it.
     
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  18. duncan

    duncan Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Ah, you read it. :)
     
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  19. chrisb

    chrisb Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I am trying to understand the chronology of the disappearance of the Swiss Agent. In the last para on p200 where it says "By August 1980 he was confident enough with his experiments to share test results with East Coast investigators...", do you think that should be 1979? It makes no sense as it is.

    On the following page it says, "Then in April, the swiss Agent USA rickettsia vanished". I think that must be April 1980. It's a little confusing.

    In any event strange things seem to have happened, and there are people who know about it.
     
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  20. duncan

    duncan Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Well, Steere would be one of those people, and I suppose Jorge Benach who gave Willy the samples, and I suspect a few upper echelon EIS.

    And yes, I think she meant By August 1979. In the Fall of 79 it appears Willy was confident an unusual strain of Rickettsia was behind the outbreak. But by sometime in the Spring of 1980 (within a 6 month span?) they decided against that weird Rickettsia. It's not clear why. About 2 years later Willy published his theory that a Borrelia species causes Lyme.

    Then the Rickettsia findings disappeared for over 30 years. It's like that little chapter never happened.

    She is kinda mute in the book what she thinks, but I saw an interview where I think she speculates it's chimeric, a sort of breed. I need to see more of the science before I can get there.
     
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