ABOUT 100 CIA OFFICERS AND FAMILY HAVE BEEN SICKENED BY HAVANA SYNDROME

About 100 CIA officers and family members are among about 200 US officials and kin sickened by “Havana syndrome”, the CIA director, William Burns, said on Thursday, referring to the mysterious set of ailments that include migraines and dizziness.

Burns, tapped by Joe Biden as the first career diplomat to serve as CIA chief, said in a National Public Radio interview that he had bolstered his agency’s efforts to determine the cause of the syndrome and what is responsible.

He confirmed that among other steps, he had tapped a senior officer who once led the hunt for Osama bin Laden to head a taskforce investigating the syndrome, and said he had tripled the size of the medical team involved in the investigation.

The agency also had shortened from eight weeks to two weeks the time that CIA-affiliated people must wait for admission to Walter Reed national military medical center, he said.

“It’s a profound obligation, I think, of any leader to take care of your people and that is what I am determined to do,” Burns told NPR in his first interview since becoming CIA director in March.

Havana syndrome, with symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, migraines and memory lapses, is so named because it first was reported by US officials based in the US embassy in Cuba in 2016.

Burns noted that a US National Academy of Sciences panel in December found that a plausible theory was that “directed energy” beams caused the syndrome.

Keep reading

Mysterious New ‘Borg’ DNA Seems to Assimilate Genes From Different Organisms

Mysterious strands of DNA that seemingly assimilate genes from many different organisms in their surrounding environment have been discovered in a Californian backyard.

Scientists have named these elements “Borgs”, and their discovery could help us not just understand the evolution of microorganisms, but their interactions within their ecosystems, and their role in the broader environment.

According to geomicrobiologist Jill Banfield from the University of California, Berkeley, Borgs could make for a tremendously significant discovery.

“I haven’t been this excited about a discovery since CRISPR,” she said on Twitter. “We found something enigmatic that, like CRISPR, is associated with microbial genomes.”

A paper describing the structures has been uploaded to preprint server bioRxiv, and currently awaits peer review.

The first of the Borgs was discovered in mud dredged up from Banfield’s backyard. She was working with geneticist Basem Al-Shayeb of UC Berkeley to identify viruses that infect anoxic microbes known as archaea that live in wetland environments, Science Magazine reports.

Environmental DNA is an excellent way to identify the range of organisms that inhabit an ecosystem. But in their scoop of mud, Banfield and Al-Shayeb found something funny: a structure of DNA consisting of nearly a million base pairs. That’s huge.

A closer look at the sequence revealed even more peculiarities: more than half of the genes were new; it had mirrored sequences at the end of each strand; and it showed structures consistent with the ability to self-replicate.

Puzzled, the researchers turned to DNA databases to see if they could find anything else that looked like their discovery. They identified 19 sequences that seemed to fit the profile.

What these DNA structures are is unclear, but they’re certainly fascinating. They belong to a class of structures called extrachromosomal elements, or ECEs, which can be found outside of the chromosomes that contain most of an organism’s genetic material.

ECEs are huge and self-replicating, and they can be found inside or outside of the cell nuclei; examples include plasmids and viral DNA.

“We can neither prove that they are archaeal viruses or plasmids or mini-chromosomes, nor can we prove that they are not,” the researchers write in their paper.

The Borgs are much larger than other ECEs, however, according to Banfield: one-third of the size of their host microbes.

Keep reading

US probes rash of health incidents among diplomats in Vienna

The Biden administration is investigating a recent rash of mysterious health incidents reported by American diplomats and other government employees in Vienna, Austria, U.S. officials said Friday.

Some of the symptoms are similar to those first reported by U.S. diplomats and spies in Havana, Cuba, in 2016 and 2017 for which no definitive cause has yet been determined, according to the officials, who said more than 20 new cases were being looked at by medical teams at the State Department and elsewhere, including the Pentagon and CIA.

“In coordination with our partners across the U.S. government, we are vigorously investigating reports of possible unexplained health incidents among the U.S. Embassy Vienna community,” the State Department said. “Any employees who reported a possible UHI received immediate and appropriate attention and care.”

Some believe the unexplained injuries, which include brain damage, are the result of attacks with microwave or radio wave weapons. However, despite years of study there is no consensus as to what or who might be behind the incidents or whether they are, in fact, attacks.

Keep reading

Ashli Babbitt’s husband goes on TV to push for answer on who fatally shot wife in Capitol breach

The husband of Ashli Babbitt has gone on television to push forward the effort to learn the name of the police officer who fatally shot his wife during the Jan. 6 Capitol breach.

“Somebody up in D.C. knows,” Babbitt said Monday night on the Fox New Channel’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight.” “I think a lot of people know, but nobody is telling us. And the silence is deafening … I never expected to lose my wife to political violence.”

Babbitt, an Air Force veteran, was fatally shot as she attempted to climb through the broken window of a door to the Speaker’s Lobby, just off the House floor. 

In April, the Justice Department announced that it would not seek charges against the officer who shot Babbitt, 35, following a “thorough investigation” by the Metropolitan Police Department. The department said the officer fired a service pistol, hitting Babbitt in the left shoulder, but no further information was released to the family. 

Keep reading

Unindicted Co-Conspirators in 1/6 Cases Raise Disturbing Questions of Federal Foreknowledge

Of all the questions asked, words spoken, and ink spilled on the so-called “Capitol Siege” of January 6, 2021, none hold the key to the entire event quite like what Sen. Amy Klobuchar asked of Christopher Wray.

The Democrat from Minnesota asked the Trump-appointed FBI Director: Did the federal government infiltrate any of the so-called “militia” organizations claimed to be responsible for planning and executing the Capitol Siege?

The full segment is available on YouTube.

Christopher Wray is able to uncomfortably weasel his way out of answering the question directly, partially because Klobuchar does him the courtesy of not asking him the question directly. Klobuchar instead asks the FBI director if he wishes he had infiltrated the militia organizations allegedly involved in 1/6 — assuming from the outset that there was in fact no infiltration, thereby providing the FBI director an easy way to avoid addressing the question one way or another.

Revolver News is willing to address the matter directly in the following three questions:

  • In the year leading up to 1/6 and during 1/6 itself, to what extent were the three primary militia groups (the Oath Keepers, the Proud Boys, and the Three Percenters) that the FBIDOJPentagon and network news have labeled most responsible for planning and executing a Capitol attack on 1/6 infiltrated by agencies of the federal government, or informants of said agencies?
  • Exactly how many federal undercover agents or confidential informants were present at the Capitol or in the Capitol during the infamous “siege” and what roles did they play (merely passive informants or active instigators)?
  • Finally, of all of the unindicted co-conspirators referenced in the charging documents of those indicted for crimes on 1/6, how many worked as a confidential informant or as an undercover operative for the federal government (FBI, Army Counterintelligence, etc.)?

Keep reading

Space Force launches a top secret ‘space domain awareness’ satellite into orbit from the bottom of a jet in first project by mystery ‘Space Safari’ unit

The U.S. Space Force successfully launched into orbit a ‘space domain awareness’ military satellite that it designed and built in less than a year, under a significantly tighter timeframe than what’s usual for space launches. 

The satellite, dubbed Odyssey, is the first launch of the Space Force’s secret, special projects unit. Odyssey hitched a ride inside a Northrop Grumman Pegasus rocket fixed to the bottom of a modified ‘Stargazer’ L-1011 carrier jet and launched from California‘s Vandenberg Space Force Base early Sunday morning. 

The hush-hush mission is the Space Force’s first trial with condensing the timeline it typically takes to launch vehicles into space. 

According to a press release from aerospace and defense company Northrop Grumman, it ‘seeks to introduce speed, agility, and flexibility into the launch enterprise in order to respond to dynamic changes in the space domain.’ 

As its guinea pig, the Space Force used Odyssey, which is a surveillance satellite used to detect foreign objects floating in space.

Keep reading

G7 Summit: Body found by cliffs near the meeting of world leaders

The death is being treated as unexplained and not suspicious, Cornwall Live reports.

Hell’s Mouth is approximately eight miles from Carbis Bay, where the world leaders are meeting, but there is currently nothing to suggest the incident is linked to the event.

A spokesperson for the Maritime and Coastguard agency said: “At approx. 11.15am today (11 June), HM Coastguard’s assistance was requested by Devon and Cornwall Police in the North Cliffs area.

“Portreath coastguard rescue team and the St Ives RNLI lifeboats were sent, alongside the search and rescue helicopter from Newquay.”

A statement from Devon and Cornwall Police said: “Police attended an area near Bassett Cove, Cornwall after a body was located at around 11.30am.

“Colleagues from the Coastguard and the RNLI also assisted officers at the scene.

“Police are currently treating the death as unexplained but there are not thought to be any suspicious circumstances.”

Keep reading

Jan. 6 video mystery: Senator asks about officer ‘gesturing toward’ doors as intruders file past

The top Republican on one of the Senate’s most powerful investigative panels says video footage from the Jan. 6 riot shows more than 300 people gained unauthorized access to the Capitol through a single doorway, and he is demanding answers from the police officers who were nearby.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.), the top Republican on the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, sent a letter late Thursday to U.S. Capitol Police Acting Chief Yogananda Pittman divulging the findings of his security footage review and asking whether the officers present during the episode have been interviewed.

“Have these officers filed detailed reports of this incident?” Johnson asked. “Has USCP conducted transcribed interviews with them? If so, I request copies of these reports and transcribed interviews. If not, I respectfully ask for the opportunity to interview these officers.” 

The  Wisconsin lawmaker said the footage showed approximately 309 unauthorized people flowing into the Capitol building through the upper west terrace doors during a 14-minute span on Jan. 6. Since USCP estimated that at least 800 unauthorized people breached the building that day, this entry would be tied to as much as 38% of that total figure, he noted. 

“At approximately 2:26 p.m. on January 6, a security camera showed a male inside the Capitol attempting to open one of the upper west terrace doors to exit the building,” Johnson wrote. “This unauthorized individual, who was by himself at the time, walked through a narrow hallway to the double doors and attempted to exit through the left door by pushing the door’s crash bar. The door did not open and the individual turned around and walked back through the hallway and away from the doors.

“Approximately seven minutes later, at 2:33 p.m., security footage showed five unauthorized individuals walking down the same hallway, past a police officer. The security footage, which did not include audio, appeared to show the police officer gesturing toward the doors as these individuals walked past him. Once at the double doors, one of the five individuals pushed the left door’s crash bar and this time, it opened. All five individuals exited the building at approximately 2:33 p.m.”

Johnson is asking Pittman several questions, some of which include whether she concurs with the assessment that about 309 people gained entry to the facility through those doors and whether USCP still thinks about 800 unauthorized people entered the building that day.

Keep reading

‘There is stuff’: Enduring mysteries trail US report on UFOs

The blob, captured on distant, fuzzy video by Navy pilots, seems to skitter just above the ocean waves at improbable speed, with no discernible means of propulsion or lift. “Oh my gosh, man,” one aviator says to another as they laugh at the oddity. “What … is it?”

Is it a bird? A plane? Super drone? An extraterrestrial something?

The U.S. government has been taking a hard look at unidentified flying objects like this one. A report summarizing what the U.S. knows about “unidentified aerial phenomena”—better known as UFOs—is expected to be made public this month.

There won’t be an alien unmasking. Two officials briefed on the report say it found no extraterrestrial link to the sightings reported and captured on video. The report won’t rule out a link to another country, according to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss it.

While the broad conclusions have now been reported, the full report may still present a broader picture of what the government knows. The anticipation surrounding the report shows how a topic normally confined to science fiction and a small, often dismissed group of researchers has hit the mainstream.

Worried about national security threats from adversaries, lawmakers ordered an investigation and public accounting of phenomena that the government has been loath to talk about for generations.

“There is stuff flying in our airspace,” Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, one of the senators who pressed for the probe, recently told Fox News. “We don’t know what it is. We need to find out.”

Congress late last year instructed the director of national intelligence to provide “a detailed analysis of unidentified aerial phenomena data” from multiple agencies and report in 180 days. That time is about up. The intelligence office wouldn’t say this past week when the full document will be out.

The bill passed by Congress asks the intelligence director for “any incidents or patterns that indicate a potential adversary may have achieved breakthrough aerospace capabilities that could put United States strategic or conventional forces at risk.”

The chief concern is whether hostile countries are fielding aerial technology so advanced and weird that it befuddles and threatens the world’s largest military power. But when lawmakers talk about it, they tend to leave themselves a little wiggle room in case it’s something else—whether more prosaic than a military rival or, you know, more cosmic.

“Right now there are a lot of unanswered questions,” Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California told NBC this week. “If other nations have capabilities that we don’t know of, we want to find out. If there’s some explanation other than that, we want to learn that, too.”

Keep reading