Hardly rocket science, anyone who has been to a nightclub in the past thirty years would have noticed that white clothing fluoresces blue-white under UV lights (UV, Ultra Violet, Black Light, Woods Lamp, same thing). Particularly white cotton, including the white fibers in denim jeans.

Yet, Time Magazine says:

Dr. Gregory Smith wants people to know it’s not all in his head. According to the Gainesville, Ga., pediatrician, white fibers have been burrowing into his skin for the past two years, making him feel like he’s under constant bombardment from insects or cactus needles. Shine a black light on these fibers and they’ll fluoresce blue, he says, just like something you’d see in The Twilight Zone.

And the Morgellons Research Foundation says:

They are generally described by patients as white, but clinicians also report seeing blue, green, red, and black fibers, that fluoresce when viewed under ultraviolet light (Wood’s lamp).

It all started with Mary Leitao, who “showed the doctor how the fibers glowed under an ultraviolet light”.

So what’s going on here? Why does the MRF and their publicity department not know that practically all white clothing fibers fluoresce under UV light? Why do they keep repeating that their fibers fluoresce as if it’s something special?

If they can’t get that science right, something that is practically common knowledge, then what else might they have got wrong?

Here’s some white acrylic fibers at 200x, with normal and UV lighting.

flouresenct-acrylic-bottom-200x.jpg flouresenct-acrylic-uv-200x.jpg

Not like something out of The Twilight Zone, just normal clothing fibers.

Update (Aug 1st, 2006): For an explanation as to exactly WHY they fluoresce, see here:

www.techno-preneur.net/ScienceTechMag/july06/Fluorescent_brighteners.pdf

The Morgellons Research Foundation is an advocacy group. It has orchestrated the current media coverage by spoon-feeding a story to television news, both local and national. For those in the media who would like to do a similar story, I present the following 12-step method:

Step 1 – Find some Morgellons Patients. This is not difficult. Simply ask around on the Morgellons Research Foundation’s recommended Lymebusters forum. There are many people there who love to talk about their symptoms. Beware, as there are a few oddballs around, who might not quite be on message. Beware of patients with web sites that make them look obsessive, such as Anne Dill on Good Morning America, or Richard Vigil on 10News

Step 2 – V.O. – describe the symptoms of Morgellons in a scary manner, you want to hook your audience here. Note that thousands of people across the country have Morgellons, and there are hotspots of the disease in California, Texas and Florida.

Step 3 – Have the patient describe what is wrong with them, and have them show their lesions.

Step 4 – V.O. – Say these patients are being ignored by doctors, who claim it is all in their heads. It is important to set up sympathetic contrast in anticipation of step 9.

Step 5 – Zooming photos. Show photos of fibers and multi-colored fuzzballs, zoom and scroll while doing this, as it looks a lot more dramatic. Speak with a tone of amazement while describing the photos.

Step 6 – Professor Wymore soundbites – like “there’s definitely something going on“. Show Wymore in his Lab and wearing a white coat. Make it look like he’s an expert in this field. Do not mention he’s not a doctor. Do not mention he’s actually an assistant professor.

Step 7 – (Optional), show Wymore holding the letter he has written for sufferers to take to their doctors.

Step 8 – More zooming photos, this time describe how people find fibers inside their lesions. Try to make it sound impossible.

Step 9 – Find a doctor, interview him for hours, and show the line where he mentions “Delusions of Parasites“. Ignore complex terms like Neurotic Excoriations, Dermiatitis artefacta or “Case Definition“, as these cloud the issue.

Step 10 – Back to Wymore (or Ginger Savely), and have them say something to make the doctor seem silly. If it’s Savely, don’t mention she makes her living treating people who are convinced they have Morgellons.

Step 11 – A ray of hope: say that, at long last, the CDC is investigating Morgellons. Do not mention they are just investigating if there is any evidence that it exists in the first place.

Step 12 – Tie it up, cut back to your initial patient to remind the viewer of the human side of the story. V.O. about the hope they have. Make it real.

I’ve touched on this subject before, but it keeps coming up in the media, so I’ll take the risk of repeating myself.

The Morgellons Research Foundation says:

Distinct geographic “cluster” areas of this disease have been noted near Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose and San Diego in California

It then shows a little map with those four cities highlighted, which makes it look like California is breaking out with acne.

cal-spots-copy.jpg

Recently people have been noticing ominous parallels between those four random cities and medical centers. Here’s what they say on the Morgellons Research Foundation’s recommended forum:

Three of these cities, San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles, are home to a University of California Campus that includes a major medical center teaching facility and extensive bio research facilities.

Three of these cluster cities have an additional second University Campus located within a fifty mile range with a medical school and extensive bio research facilities.

San Jose is located 16 miles from Stanford Medical/Research facility and less than 50 miles from the UCSF Medical Center

This worries the lymebuster – perhaps they think this indicates that Morgellons is some kind of escaped pathogen which was simultaneously released from all four of these facilities. Is there any other way of explaining this?

Here’s what the lymebuster has to say:

The first person I showed this to said there is no possibility that the relationship is random. I am looking for a statistician to calculate what the odds are of these common factors of Morgellons cluster cities being random or not.

As someone else on this board likes to say, I’m a duck if all these converging factors are just a coincidence. I bet the odds against this being random are about a billion to one.

Close. Let’s see, if there are 400 cities in California, four of which are clusters of Morgellons and four have a med school with a bio research campus, what are the odds of them randomly being in the same four cites?

About 25 Billion to one! Higher than their guess, and they were including Texas. So clearly this relationship is NOT random. There must be something going on.

Okay, I’ll spill the beans, there are the most cases of Morgellons, and the biggest medical schools and bio-research facilities in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose and San Diego because:

THAT’S WHERE EVERYONE LIVES!

Top ten California cities by population:

1 Los Angeles 3,819,951
2 San Diego 1,266,753
3 San Jose 898,349
4 San Francisco 751,682
5 Long Beach 475,460
6 Fresno 451,455
7 Sacramento 445,335
8 Oakland 398,844
9 Santa Ana 342,510
10 Anaheim 332,361

The Morgellons Research foundation is just tossing out meaningless sound bites for the evening news, and their fans at Lymebusters are concocting fantastical stories around these McStatistics.

I sometimes compare Morgellons with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, since they share many of the same symptoms.

CFS took a while to be recognized as a disease (and there is still much debate), since it’s just a collection of common symptoms that the sufferers feel. There is no real physical manifestation of the disease, which makes it hard to test for, since you just have to rely on verbal reports from the patient.

In this respect, Morgellons has a vast advantage over CFS when it comes to being recognized as a disease. Not only do sufferers have lesions on their skin, but most importantly, they have something entirely new to science, something so unusual that finding it immediately settles the diagnosis, since only Morgellons has this symptom.

It’s the fibers.

That’s really all that makes this proposed disease special. The fibers are the key to the whole matter. That is ALL that is needed to establish this as a new disease – you can work out the details of the other symptoms later, but if you simply establish that people are producing fibers, then you’ve proven your case.

The OSU team claim they could see fibers under the skin within 45 seconds. What exactly is the problem here. Can’t they just take a video and show us what they see? Why did they not do this when CNN was there for two days?

It’s very easy. All this talk about Morgellons vs. Delusions is a red herring. Fibers are real objective evidence, nothing to do with delusions. Just show the fibers coming out of the skin and you’ve made your case.

Wymore says he’s personally convinced, but he can’t get enough interest to persue it effectivly as other people think the patients are delusional.

Well, there’s a very simple way of proving that something new to science is going on, which is sure to get people excited.

It’s the fibers, stupid!

Various myths have arisen around the Morgellons story in the media. The problem with such myths is that by repetition, they get elevated from simple misrepresentations and errors to established facts. This site is about investigating some of the more unusual claims regarding Morgellons, and hopefully dispelling the Morgellons myths.

Myth #1 – 4500 People have Morgellons

False. 4500 people have filled in a survey on Morgellons.org, unfortunately the symptoms described in the survey are so vague that practically anyone could qualify as to having Morgellons. No usable case definition exists for Morgellons

Myth #2 – Since the CDC is investigating it, it must be real.

False. The CDC is investigating the Morgellons reports, to determine IF it is real. Dan Rutz, spokesman for the CDC, says “We don’t have any evidence to support that [there's an infectious process going on]“, and “In the absence of any objective review, people have jumped to conclusions and found each other on the Internet and formed their own belief structure.”

Myth #3 – There is photographic evidence of Morgellons

False. There are a lot of photos, particularly of fibers. The problem is that the vast majority of these fiber photos look just like normal fibers from clothing, bandages, bedding and furniture. Fibers are everywhere, and they inevitably get onto your skin. One researcher claims to have found a few fibers he cannot identify, but forensic investigations often have unidentified fibers, so this tells us nothing.

Myth #4 – Doctors have observed fibers emerging from the skin

Dubious. The claim is that fibers were observed “within 45 seconds“, and yet on the recent CNN report, at least six star patients were examined over two days with the CNN cameras present, and using a portable video microscope. The best evidence they were able to present was a single blue cotton fiber laying on top of the skin. If the evidence is so obvious, why could it not be videoed?

Myth #5 – Morgellons sufferers are really sick, and it’s not all in their heads.

TRUE – Not a myth at all, yet the Morgellons Research Foundation seeks to portray this as a struggle between an new disease, and a summary diagnosis of mental illness. The real situation is a lot more complex.

The Morgellons research Foundation is currently gearing up for a new media promotional piece they are organizing with ABC’s Prime Time: Medical Mysteries, possible to be aired in early August. In this piece they will continue to promote these, and other, myths. I believe this deliberate misrepresentation of the facts is encouraging people to make decisions regarding their health care that may be harmful to their health.

© 2012 Morgellons Watch Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha