Skip to main content

Mysterious Ugandan "Nodding Disease" and the Strange "Twitching Disease" in New York: A Possible Connection?

On March 6, the Washington Times reported on a mysterious disease which is killing children in the impoverished African nation of Uganda.  Known as "nodding disease", this condition is characterized by epilepsy-like symptoms which cause uncontrollable and constant nodding and drooping of the head.  The Washington Times reports that more than 1,000 children have been stricken with nodding disease since June; hundreds have died.  The cause, as well as the cure, is unknown.    

Earlier this year, another strange disease was documented in upstate New York.  Referred to as "twitching disease", this condition causes victims to twitch uncontrollably, and in most of the cases the sufferers are teenage girls.  Environmental activist Erin Brokovitch has even gotten involved, suggesting that the strange disorder may be the result of a toxic chemical spill which took place near the victims' school decades ago.  Last month, it was reported that medical professionals who examined these girls have concluded that "twitching disease" is nothing more than a form of mass hysteria. 

Similar unexplained disorders have been reported near Roanoke, Virginia in 2007, and North Carolina in 2002.  In all cases, the sufferers were teenagers.  Also, in all cases, doctors found that there was nothing medically wrong with any of them.  As a result, these teenagers have been written off by the medical community, assured that the mysterious twitching disease was nothing but a delusion.

Could these outbreaks, each one characterized by involuntary spasms, tics, and twitching, be nothing more than a hoax?  Or is there something very strange going on which science cannot yet explain?

While it's true that many of the sufferers of these disorders could be "faking" their symptoms in order to capitalize on the media attention, not every case can be so easily dismissed.  It's not as if teenagers from Uganda to New York are sending text messages to each other saying, "Let's start twitching today!  It's the cool thing to do!"  Even if 99 out of 100 cases of these unexplained diseases can be written off as "mass hysteria", those in the medical community will have failed to live up to their moral and professional obligations if they dismiss the one victim in the entire bunch who has a legitimate case. 

Although the causes of these strange ailments remain unknown, it should be pointed out that in all of these cases, natural gas drilling has taken place nearby.  The process known as fracking (hydraulic fracturing) has been under intense scrutiny in the past few years, yet so-called "experts" insist that this process, in which pressurized chemicals are pumped into the earth in order to fracture rocks, is completely safe.  This assurance must be taken with a grain of salt (or a healthy dose of skepticism), since the chemicals used in fracking include benzene, ethylene glycol, methanol, boric acid, and lead.  All of these substances are toxic, and many are neurotoxins which can produce the types of symptoms seen in both Uganda and the United States.

Even more disturbing is the fact that radioactive isotopes are used in fracking.  There are over 30 different radioactive isotopes used in fracking, and usage of these toxic materials have resulted in elevated radiation levels near drilling sites.  In spite of this fact, many of these radioactive isotopes are not being monitored by the Environmental Protection Agency.  The EPA's Hydraulic Fracturing Draft Study Plan excludes the monitoring of radioactive forms of xenon, rubidium, iridium, scandium, iodine, gold, and krypton-- all of which are used as tracers.

In 2010, TIME Magazine reported that Uganda, along with other East African countries, have an abundant amount of natural gas, and in the years following TIME's story ("Is East Africa the Next Frontier for Oil?") natural gas drilling has become one of the fastest-growing industries in East Africa.  The discovery of Uganda's vast store of natural gas was announced by Kalisa Kabagambe back in 2007 (Kabagambe is Uganda's permanent Secretary of Energy).  The impoverished war-torn nation's hunger for economic growth has led to the rapid construction of wells, even attracting the interest of American companies like Halliburton  http://www.ugandaoilandgas.com/blog/?p=36

The following statement appeared on the Uganda Gas and Oil Blog in July, 2011:

 Halliburton Co. (HAL) Chief Executive Dave Lesar said Monday that demand for oil field services in North America, such as hydraulic fracturing, continues to grow faster than companies like his can add equipment as producers rush to drill unconventional oil basins.

As you can see, in Africa and North America, the "gasholes" are drilling wells so fast that they can't even keep up with themselves.  If Halliburton can't send equipment and supplies to the drilling sites fast enough, then how agencies like the EPA effectively monitor these companies?  The answer, quite frankly, is that they cannot.

The Uganda Gas and Oil Blog concluded with:

Lesar also said that while Halliburton is spending heavily in sub-Saharan Africa to establish operations in countries including Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda, the efforts should “position us for many years of profitable operations going forward."

Should it be any surprise that the mysterious and deadly "drooping disease" was first documented in Tanzania?

In 2011, Halliburton reported a profit of $739 million.  Meanwhile, young people are dying mysteriously in the shadows of natural gas wells.  But that's half a world a way.  Here in America, young people aren't dying.  Yet.  They're just twitching in order to put on an act for the cameras, and being dismissed by the media and the medical community as a bunch of attention-seeking hypochondriacs.

    

Popular posts from this blog

The Incest Capital of the World?

At the far eastern edge of Kentucky, nestled in Appalachia, resides Letcher County. In spite of its isolation and poverty (approximately 30% of the county's population lives below the poverty line), Letcher County has managed to grow at an impressive rate, from a population of just 9,172 in 1900 to a present-day population of nearly 25,000. However, even if Letcher County tripled or quadrupled its present population, there's still a pretty good chance that virtually all of the county's inhabitants would be related to each other-- thanks to one particularly fertile family whose astounding rate of reproduction can put even the friskiest rabbit to shame.

Around the year 1900, Letcher County was the home of a man by the name of Jason L. Webb, who made national headlines for having the one of the largest families in the world. According to newspaper reports of the era, Jason had 19 children, 175 grandchildren, and 100 great-grandchildren. Perhaps even more impressive was his b…

Black Eyed Children Finally Explained!

Last month, we received an email from a reader in Michigan, in response to our article debunking the "black eyed children" phenomenon, which links these so-called "paranormal" entities to recreational drug use.  The reader, whom we will call Onizuka in order to protect his identity, claims that not only is he familiar with BEKs- but that he was one.  "Onizuka" agreed to speak with JOTB via Yahoo instant messenger.  Ironically, this conversation took place on 4/20, a date which is embraced by those who are part of the drug culture.


JOTB:Thanks for taking the time to speak with us.  In one of your previous emails, you stated that you were a "black eyed kid".  What did you mean by that?

Onizuka:  Last November I was driving late at night at turned on the radio and came across an episode of Coast to Coast AM and the topic of the show was black eyed children.  It convinced me to do some research on the topic, and that's how I found your article.  A…

Remembering the ill-fated voyage of the Aerowagon

From 1917 to 1922, the Bolshevik-led Red Army battled the anti-Communist White Army during the Russian Civil War.  By the end of 1919 the Bolsheviks had taken the cities of Omsk and Kiev, and had successfully repelled the White Russian siege of Petrograd.  However, the Bolshevik's momentum would be short-lived as the White Army, after retreating across the Baikal, regrouped and joined forces with Gigory Semyonov's Transbaikal Cossacks.  As the Red Army's losses began to mount, especially in Poland, the Bolsheviks attempted to gain a competitive advantage by embracing new technologies, sometimes with disastrous results.  Such is the sad tale of young inventor Valerian Abakovsky and his Aerowagon.

Abakovsky was a Latvian-born inventor who earned his living as a chauffeur for Cheka, the state security organization created by Lenin.  His position granted him access to many high-ranking Soviets and, although details are scarce, Abakovsky most likely used his influence within t…