Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Morgellons

(Alleged fibers "growing" in dish)

Morgellons (Morgellons Disease) is a syndrome characterized by crawling and stinging skin sensations, persistent skin rashes/lesions, and the appearance of "unknown" fibers on and beneath the skin. The cause(s) of Morgellons are unknown but many believe it to be caused by a conspiracy involving chemtrails, population control efforts, HAARP, nano-bioweapons etc.

Modern Morgellons first came to light in 2001 when a woman, Mary Leitao, claimed her two-year old son developed sores on his lips and complained of "bugs". Leitao has a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and had worked in a local hospital. She said she examined the sores with her son's toy microscope and found fibers of different colors.[1]  She took her son to 8 different doctors who were unable to find any cause or known illness. Dr. Fred Heldrich, from John Hopkins, examined her son and found nothing. He further stated that Mrs. Leitao should seek psychological help.[1] In 2002 Leitao founded the "Morgellons Research Foundation" (MRF) and since that time the Foundation claims that it has received 12,000 case reports from people around the world.

Fast forward a few years and Leitao's story makes national news. This mysterious condition was discussed on several TV shows, including ABC's Medical Mysteries. But, despite the coverage and outpouring of purported sufferers, numerous medical studies have repeatedly failed to find any cause. This has led to a vast number of theories ranging from the targeted infection of the population by governments to aliens.[2] Some have even suggested that these fibers act as tiny antennas connecting us to mind-control programs.

Now, let us look at the facts:

The CDC began actively investigating Morgellons in 2007 after an extensive letter-writing campaign. In 2012 the CDC released their findings after studying 115 patients. They found no infective agents or environmental causes. In conclusion, they noted that this syndrome closely resembles delusional infestation (also known as delusional parasitosis) more than a new condition.[3][4]

There was also a study done by the Mayo Clinic which looked at 108 patients. The study was conducted from 2001-2007 and the results released in 2011. The study included examining skin biopsies and they found no evidence of a skin infection. The Mayo Clinic likewise raised the point that the sufferers are exhibiting the same signs and symptoms of delusional infestation.[5]

After studying the fibers they concluded they were bits of clothing and other everyday fibers (cotton, nylon etc) as well as things like gravel and oil that the sufferers had scratched into themselves.[5]

What about the wine test?

There is a Morgellons "test" that you can find online.[6] Basically, by washing your mouth with red wine for 5 minutes and then spitting into a cup you can determine if you have been infected. If you see stringy bits in the cup you are a victim. Aside from the odd issue of only using red wine (and not beer, vodka, etc) it is somewhat curious that this would be such an easy test and yet so many doctors have failed to detect these "nano-pathogens" in skin and blood samples.

Perhaps there is something more mundane at work? Wine tasters have always noticed "stuff" in the wine they spit out. They have known about this since before airplanes even existed. The mechanism at work is referred to as astringency. Astringency is the drying, roughing and sometimes puckering sensation that is experienced after tasting most red wines. Red wines also contain tannin's which can interact with your saliva (and the proteins therein) and cause a gritty sensation as well as bind together and form "super structures" which you can see.[7][8] So, fairly obviously, if you swish wine or other tannin containing substances in your mouth for an extended period of time you are likely to find bits of stuff in it once you spit it out. 

What about the people/groups involved in scientifically proving Morgellons?

Raphael Stricker is the author of "Morgellons disease: Analysis of a population with clinically confirmed microscopic subcutaneous fibers of unknown etiology" published by Dove Medical Press. However, he is also a disgraced doctor who was found guilty of falsifying data and excluding information which did not support his hypothesis.[9] And while the fact that he lied in the past is not 100% evidence that his data is currently untrustworthy it is nonetheless an important factor to keep in mind. Stricker is also associated with the Morgellons Research Foundation. The misconduct findings list him as an M.D however; I'm not sure what kind of doctor he actually is. I've found veterinary microbiologist, intern, scientist and others associated with his name. 

Dove Medical Press is an open access (free) journal. Further investigation reveals that DMP has a number of somewhat disturbing problems which, in my mind, makes them a non-credible source.[10][11][12]  

Randy Wymore is an associate professor of Pharmacology at the University of Oklahoma. He has been very active in studying Morgellons, in particular the fibers. Supporters often cite his work as evidence of Morgellons, specifically Wymore's first test in which he concluded "There's something real going on here. Something we don't understand at all." The problem is that science needs more than one test, more than one study and results MUST be repeatable or else it's just a theory. After additional studying, Wymore's fibers have been identified as: cotton, nylon, human hair, down from a pillow and other known substances. Wymore further admits "We have not yet exactly replicated the exact results of the forensics people in Tulsa."[13]

Clifford Carnicom is a computer consultant and former researcher & manager with various government agencies. According to his site he holds a Bachelors of Science. He founded the Carnicom Institute which claims to do "scientific research" on environmental and health issues.[14] Carnicom claims to have done a large amount of research into chemtrails and Morgellons and his "work" has been widely cited online in support of Morgellons being caused by some government chemtrail conspiracy. Interestingly, on his site there is a disclaimer which reads in part "The Institute does not perform any medical diagnosis. Any presentation, opinion or expression [by an Institute representative] in no way implies or denotes endorsement by the Institute." The Institute has two board members, Carnicom and a former music teacher.  


A man named Jay Reynolds has taken considerable pain to research the claims made by Mr. Carnicom. Reynolds concludes:


"No medical reports, material analysis, or documentable and confirmable evidence has been presented which supports the hypothesis that chemical or 
biological agents are currently being delivered or can be associated with 

jet contrails."


The relevant pages and information can be found here:[15][16][17]

The Institute's Morgellons research page also discusses the red wine test and lists a number of symptoms including: eye "floaters", joint pain and stomach problems.[18] The symptom list is not intended to be inclusive implying that there are many more symptoms. When just about anything can be associated with Morgellons (just do a Google search) it makes it very difficult to actually determine what is or is not a direct symptom and opens the door for anyone to claim they're sufferers and no one would dare doubt them. 

Carnicom claims to have a new "improved" method for researching "webs" that fall out of the sky. They look suspiciously like a cotton or nylon net which has been cut up and wrapped over a stick.

(Image from Carnicom)

Others claim that heavy metals like gold and silver are being dumped into the air along with the pathogens that cause Morgellons. Gold especially is practically harmless to humans. They also claim that 12,000 families in the US have been infected with Morgellons (which differs greatly from the MRF's claim of 12,000 *individual* cases - the world over). So after the countless chemtrails, the millions exposed, only 12,000 are infected?[19] Sounds more like a failure than any well-oiled conspiracy to doom us all.  

Morgellons from the 1600s? 

An interesting note of history is a letter by Sir Thomas Browne which was first published in 1690.[20] In it he writes:

"Hairs which have most amused me have not been in the Face or Head, but on the Back, and not in Men but Children, as I long ago observed in that Endemial Distemper of little Children in Languedock, called the Morgellons, wherein they critically break out with harsh Hairs on their Backs, which takes off the Unquiet Symptomes of the Disease, and delivers them from Coughs and Convulsions." 

And there are a number of other similar descriptions throughout the last 500 years. Could it be that a small minority suffer from this long forgotten rare illness while others suffer from delusion? Only further research will give us the end truth but there is little doubt that the modern and common claim of Morgellons is more legend than reality.

Bottom Line:
There is no credible evidence for this syndrome of being anything but a psychological illness and mass hysteria which has fed off lies, misinformation, ignorance and simple fear. Morgellons has no clear diagnosis criteria, no clear set of symptoms and is nearly identical to delusional parasitosis.[21][22] No one likes to admit they've either been the victim of a hoax/myth or that they have a psychological disorder.


Doubt, ignorance and fear can cause otherwise reasonable people to see, feel or think just about anything. Does this alone mean that people aren't experiencing itching or crawling sensations? No. Get a group of friends together and start talking about lice. Before you know it there will be people scratching and running off to a mirror to see if they have bugs in their hair. Just because you "feel" something doesn't mean your body is responding to an external physical stimuli.

We are surrounded by fibers from our clothes, blankets, napkins, paper, home and car upholstery, from each other, pets and even spider webs. The hairs on our body have wildly varying thicknesses, colors and shapes. Contrails (the trail of "smoke" behind a plane) have been observed since at least the 1940's, just because people confuse them or misidentify them doesn't mean much.


Instead of admitting the possibility that people like Mr. Carnicom have been taking advantage of the fear and ignorance surrounding this issue for their own benefit proponents will resort to the last stand of all conspiracy theorists: That the government and the millions of independent, private scientists the world over are all part of some vast plan. That "they" have been so blinded by formal education (even though the theorists claim to use the very same information and methods as academia) that they simply cannot discover what is clearly before their eyes. A perfect trump card, you either "see the light" or you're a part of it.

So tell me, which is more realistic?

Sources:
1. Mom fights for answers on what's wrong with son, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
2. Radiation & Chemtrail Assault, Food Freedom (blog)
3. CDC Study
4. Delusional Infestation, Clinical Microbiology Reviews (an introduction to the illness)
5. Morgellons, Medpage Today
6. Red Wine Spit Test, Beforeitsnews.com
7. Red wine astringency, Wine Aroma Dictionary
8. Food Chemistry 3rd Edition, pg 657. By Owen Fennema (hosted on Scribd)
9. Final findings of scientific misconduct, National Institutes of Health
10. Richard Poynder interviews Dove Press publisher, Open Access News
11. Predatory Open-Access Publishers, Jeffery Beall, University of Colorado-Denver (PDF)
12. DMP and academic fraud, DailyKos
13. Morgellons: A hidden epidemic or mass hysteria? The Guardian
14. The Carnicom Institute: Mission
15. Reynolds 1, his FOIA requests
16. Reynolds 2, chemtrail "web" info
17. Reynolds 3, an example of a claim by Carnicom being found false
18. Carnicom's Morgellons page
19. GeoEngineering Exposed, a blog roll with posts tagged "Cliff Carnicom"
20. A Letter to a Friend, Sir Thomas Browne (University of Chicago)
21. Morgellons Disease? A study published in Dermatologic Therapy (Wiley)
22. Morgellons: contested illness, a study published in Sociology of Health & Illness (Wiley) (PDF)


Additional Reading:
Morgellons' Wikipedia article
Morgellons Watch, a skeptic site
Morgellons related thread (supporters and opponents) 
Hair, Wikipedia
Contrail, Wikipedia 

Moregellons-like descriptions:
Sir Thomas Browne and the Disease Called the Morgellons, by C.E. Kellett MD 1935

11 comments:

  1. Please come to my house....I can show you 3 or 4 things immediately that would make you take back everything you just said.Your explanation of the wine test is terrible....the same thing happens with many mouthwash brands.The stringy stuff in the test is not random floaters....but a specific shape over and over hooked together.Also the stringy shapes exist elsewhere....they are in the blood....I bleed them out.I am not sure why they cant see this....they need to talk to me.Since I have been treating...massive amounts of stuff is coming off...and out of my body.specific dander with little tails sticking out.all my socks have dried morgellon "bodys" on them.I can stand in front of a window and itch my hair and scalp...,.and very obvious things come off me over and over.If you ask me much too much attention is being paid to the fibers and they are not the biggest thing I see....I have something like a scar tumor on my neck....If I rub olive oil on it after 15 mins something like sharp sand and tiny silt particles come out of the skin...not just a couple....but hundreds...and something like dirt is in me.You need to come to my house and I will convince you in 10 mins that there is something beyond your imagination.You are just fortunate these words like sand coming out of you is not imaginable is it.Your mind has not come in plain sight of piles of stuff that is not normal.I could go on....some of the things you state are known studies.....your talk of the wine test leaves me to believe you have no personal knowledge or insight whatsoever...and only regergitated the facts you like.When you personally come talk to me.....then I might respect your words.Why would you even waste time writing this....it's just as bad as claiming its gmo or chem trails....if you don't know you don't know...got it.I don't know where its from....I am way beyond this stuff about it being fake....the pictures on the net are accurate.Where did they come from.Not the fibers...not the rash....the actual little things....I can draw a picture of them.Something is up....I don't believe every explanation....but I do believe seeing piles of specific things....not random...specific.Really come to my house in Michigan....or don't personally write anything on the topic ever again.Most of what you wrote you didn't write...you just showed that no progress has been made.I have never been into conspiracy theory.....I can't understand what the problem is...you don't even need a microscope.Just so yo know the CDC spent like 365.000 dollars orer all those years.What did they put one guy up in an appartment....that kind of money for this is a joke. write me www.criticalmass@tc3net.com I realize much of the world agrees with you currently....the part that does not see it with their own eyes for 15 years or more like I have.It is real....don't ever forget what I am telling you....just be glad your child does not have it....then you would be willing to listen. Really your talk of the wine test is an outrage....you have no Idea....so clueless.I don't say it's a conclusive test for morgellons.....I say there is a specific thing....it's in the nose...it's in the blood....its in the mouth....its don't make me go on.A specific thing...specific size...specific pattern....like identifying things under a microscope.....you know a paramecium when you see one.I just used paramecium as an example not the actual thing.Really come over...or don't ever write abouit this....maybe you on the payrole.you want to see someone act crazy....imagine your son has this and you can't get any help....

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    1. It would be nice if you actually kept your thoughts concise and well structured. I got a headache trying to read all of that. You don't have a clue what I know or do not know and by virtue of you saying "maybe you on the payrole" makes me think you are indeed psychologically unstable. IF you have actual evidence how about sending me some pictures, or samples? Or let us simply walk down logic-lane for a moment. If the claims of literally thousands of sufferers are real, and they all claim to have been examined by doctors who "dismiss" them then either nearly the *entire* medical field (which comprises millions of people all combined - drs, nurses, staff, etc) is a part of some vast conspiracy, OR, people are suffering from a very real disease - a psychological one. Astringency causes materials to clump together in ways that can resemble "hooks"... proteins fold, they do not exist as long straight lines of molecules. You clearly did not read the end of my post where I brought up medical stories from many years ago. I stated that there is a *possibility* of some unknown or forgotten illness, which is NOT what people claim as modern day Morgellons, but is something else and will require more study. You are clearly suffering from something, what it is I do not know, and I am sorry. But I do know that what is commonly referred to as Morgellons simply doesn't exist. IF you are telling me the truth then you have a real illness and I hope you can find relief, it's just not "modern day" Morgellons because that is a hoax.

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  2. Jacob: While I appreciate your take on this subject... and the skeptical nature of your stance (always wise to be skeptical until proven otherwise) if you are indeed actually interested... I can put you in direct contact with a dear friend who is suffering greatly from this condition (call it whatever you want)

    The fibers, sores and even the fact that she can't come into contact with ANYTHING that runs on a battery (cell phone especially) without the batteries mysteriously failing withing days of coming into direct contact with her.

    I've collected pictures, video and other solid, very real examples of what is happening to her.

    Worst of all... EVERY SINGLE DOCTOR she has turned to has started out eager to help... but withing weeks... cease speaking with her for no apparent reason whatsoever. She is literally desperate for help.

    This is a real person, inflicted with very real symptoms, who is suffering daily. If you are interested in seeing any of this... I'd be happy to share and introduce the two of you.

    Drop me a line at realehtay@gmail.com if it is something you'd like to pursue.

    - Re'al

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  3. Morgellons is indeed surrounded by much fear and ignorance. The fear is what you should be feeling but yet the ignorance is what you are blogging. A handheld microscope can reveal that fibers not only coming out of the lesions but are also under unbroken skin. The CDC report could not identify the fibers and we are to assume all of the random sufferers that have the same fibers must be shopping at the same place. This clothing store uses such rare textiles that it took the CDC 5 years to decide that morgellons is delusional parasitosis. I believe anyone who has not examined a patient should not judge this disease. After examining a single patient your opinion would change. This is very real and very man made biology paid for by U.S. tax dollars and then swept under the rug by another waste of U.S. tax dollars. I think if you research a self assembling nano tubes you may find a project conducted jointly between a Big 10 college and a branch of the military. It is an interesting read about self assembling, self replicating fibers that luminesce under UV light (like the morg fibers) and also the high burning point as well as the conditions that improve the growth and slow the growth. This research was done in organic material since apparently we need to grow fibers in plants, animals, and humans. The world is not flat and we have stepped into a science fiction world that will never be the same again. Between projects like this and the genetically modified food supply we are all going to wish we would have opened our eyes and minds sooner. If you wonder why Dr's run from this then look at how the Lyme DR's were treated and some even lost their license. Should they risk a high paying career or listen to CDC? With CDC history I would rather risk high paying career so I could live with myself. It was also kind of military to assist in investigation since they have such knowledge about all of this.

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  4. To assume that hundreds of thousands of unrelated persons all over the world with similar symptoms have delusional parasitosis is incredibly arrogant- it implies that only gullible, naive, non-critical thinkers are affected. This is perfectly offensive and yet another reprehensible tactic to vilify the victim, much like in other abuse situations. And make no mistake- the symptoms are real, the debris is real, the itching is practically surreal, the lesions are real. Responsible leadership is indefatigably denied and those who attempt to educate live in fear or simply disappear off the radar. Hundreds of microbiologists in the same field die mysterious or accidental deaths prematurely in droves. Perhaps they knew too much because in this war, science is not allowed to play. This is indeed an assault on humanity and aside from the lives that will be sacrificed as the first wave (the body count satisfactorily buried by government and corporate and military negligence), many more will be lost when the general population is exhibiting these symptoms.

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  5. If the bugs hatching out of my body are NOT real, and are my imagination, then why won't a typical lab take a sample due to the risk of bio hazards? If the visible, fast active corrosion of a pair of tweezers used to pluck my "hair" in a simple solution of alcohol is normal, please enlighten. Is there another reasonable explanation as to why a doctor of 24 years who knows me- knows I'm not delusional- cannot identify an unknown skin phenomenon and after consulting with others suddenly treats me as if he doesn't know me? Why does my hair feel foreign and cause me to react with histamines as I'm suddenly allergic to my own hair follicles? What are pod like cocoons attached to my clothing after it comes out of the wash? What are all the black specks that accumulate everywhere in my environment and drift off of me like dust? What is the sharp gritty shiny silica like particles that are excruciatingly painful coming out of my pores? What are the red stripes that surface on my skin? Why do I feel like I am dying? I'll tell you why- because I am being decomposed from the inside out and my body is trying to fight a pathogen of which it has no experience or memory. To assume that all who exhibit symptoms are victims of internet myths and fear mongering and sheep mentality is to assume that you are superior in knowledge and expertise. Ask the Morgellon's sufferers how many of them have bought RF detectors and microscopes and changed their whole way of living because they have been abandoned b science and medicine and government and family and the community at large. We HAVE to do our own research and are compelled to compare. Thank god for the Internet! The CDC study was ludicrous in that it took an extremely small pre-picked sample of previously established patients by Kaiser, subbed it out to Kaiser and spent no money ($325,000). Then called it a day. Really? That same year DARPA was allocated $600 billion to continue their research and development on nano-insects as vectors. The budget is unclassified now so you can find it. You don't know how this is spread any more than we do. Why is it that if you try to explain to a peer, they may ACT like you are crazy yet are the first to avoid coming to your house, taking a ride in your car or hugging you. Are they delusional too because they entertain the possibility that you might be legitimate? Because they see with their own eyes what you describe? It is a lonely lifestyle that not one or any of us chose so all the naysayers and de-bunkers can call me when they start blowing fuses and have magnetic properties and are oozing foreign materials out of their mystery wounds. I will be here to commiserate, not to say I told you so. This is a travesty that will ultimately be exposed but, I fear, not before it's too late. We are not all stupid- yes, I searched the internet to find the latest unknown disease so that I could get all the negative attention I ever wanted because I'm so stupid and easily influenced and can't think or see or feel for myself. And gee, I really wanted to live my life in utter HELL and MISERY and ISOLATION. Yep- that's what I strove to do. Please!! We still have dignity if not quality of life or health.

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    1. You clearly ignored the section entitled "Morgellons from the 1600s?" where I say that it could be a long forgotten, real, illness. My conclusion was based on the facts that: the medical establishment has refuted the modern claims as presented; that the disease has no clear and set criteria of diagnosis or symptoms; that even among Morgellons "believers" the description of the condition varies wildly; that a number of people/groups involved are non credible; and that I haven't seen any reliable, reproducible, scientifically based and reasoned explanations that don't go off into "the government is trying to kill us all" territory. I stated that more research needs to be done, it's not my fault a typical lab won't assist you. You may want to look into WHY they won't assist you - typical labs are not equipped and are generally not allowed (by law & policy) to take samples which may come from unknown pathogens. This blog is simply me looking into things and reporting on what I find. I give conclusions based on what I find, not hysterics, hearsay, rumor, or personal stories. I can't say "you have Morgellons" if I can't even find a clear definition of what it is, if the CDC and Mayo refute its existence based on hundreds of samples, and if the "tests" (like the wine test) have another alternative, and more probable, explanation without the need to invoke government conspiracies. If they were really trying to kill most of us, they've had one pathetic track record.

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  6. I wish you to encounter the same "thing" I have, and to be treated the way I am, you really deserve it.

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  7. wow, you seem so well versed in the language and writing skills, but reality challenged.

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  8. It's really too bad that so many diseases begin this way- no one believes they exist, and patients have to fight and advocate for themselves until someone takes them seriously.

    How do you explain that a high number of Morgellon's sufferers also have Lyme disease and/or other tickborne diseases?

    Dr. Stricker is a wonderful physician and he's actually very western- he is skeptical of alternative therapies and doesn't like to do anything unless he sees the studies and numbers proving things.

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  9. This man's missive follows the typical psycho-political rhetoric taught to agent-provocateurs for diversion and distraction. Using the "findings" of CDC doctors and researchers as the "authority" on which to gauge the legitimacy of this heinous attack on the Human population, is like asking the Devil to help you cast out demons. You think that all the bio-research centers across this country (and the world) haven't been "gagged" by some sort of "national security" lockdown? What kind of blithering idiot would think that the TRUE findings of the CDC (on the probability that the government is conducting covert biological warfare on its citizens), would be fully disclosed to the public...especially since intrepid independent researchers have already exposed the probable cause and nature of this disease? Do you REALLY believe that with all that has been exposed thus far, that the GOVERNMENT scientists (at the CDC and where ever) would just up and say "yeah...ya caught me. My bad...?!" Thanks - but no thanks Mr. Wizard. Toto already pulled the curtain on your game...

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