Alexis believed he was under influence of electromagnetic waves

The FBI releases information that the Navy Yard gunman believed he was being controlled by electromagnetic waves. He had written “my ELF weapon” – apparently referring to extremely low frequency waves – and “Better off this way!” on the shotgun he used.

BBC News – FBI releases CCTV of Navy Yard gunman Aaron Alexis’ attack.

Valerie Parlave, head of the FBI’s field office in Washington, said in Wednesday’s news conference that they were still investigating Alexis’ background and motivations.

But she noted the former Navy reservist had a well-documented history of mental health issues.

Ms Parlave said: “At this point I can confirm that there are multiple indicators that Alexis held a delusional belief that he was being controlled or influenced by extremely low frequency, or ELF, electromagnetic waves.

“The etching… is believed to reference these electromagnetic waves.

“In addition, a document retrieved from the electronic media stated ‘ELF attack is what I’ve been subject to for the last three months, and to be perfectly honest that is what has driven me to this’.”

Ms Parlave added: “ELF technology was a legitimate programme for naval subtonal submarine communications.

“However, conspiracy theories exist which misinterpret its application as the weaponisation of remote neural frequencies for government monitoring and manipulation of unsuspecting citizens.”

Do conspiracy theorists feed into the delusional thoughts of mentally ill people? It’s hard to pin this on crazy media rats like he-who-shall-not-be-named and the various forums and websites that promote such nonsense as real. But there is something to be said for the acceptability of these ideas. They are so popular now that it no longer seems odd for people to subscribe to them. Normal people believe this stuff so it makes it more difficult to tell who may really need help. Or, does it…?

Tip: Jeb Card

  18 comments for “Alexis believed he was under influence of electromagnetic waves

  1. spookyparadigm
    September 26, 2013 at 8:04 AM

    The answer will be to watch how many places use this either as proof of their conspiracies, or another bit of “maybe” to keep the air of uncertainty going

  2. spookyparadigm
    September 26, 2013 at 8:33 AM

    Rense puts it right next to a video about “electronic harassment.” I didn’t immediately see it on Infowars

  3. Chris Howard
    September 26, 2013 at 8:36 AM

    Delusional thoughts don’t, necessarily, make you mentally ill. They may be a symptom of an illness, but most people have them throughout the course of our lives.

  4. Nos482
    September 26, 2013 at 12:05 PM

    While in this case it’s clearly Bullshit, not all conspiracy theories are delusions.
    I mean, just a few years ago what would we have called a story like…oh I don’t know, maybe that the NSA is monitoring the whole worlds internet activity?!

  5. spookyparadigm
    September 26, 2013 at 12:45 PM

    NSA’s activities have been known in various ways for a long time. There is not much that Snowden has revealed that is different other than scope from what NSA was doing from the 1950s on, and NSA’s predecessors before that, with international cables, mail, phone, etc.. I mean, Echelon has been a common parlance word for how long? Nevermind that this is the same warrantless email snooping and wiretapping the NYTimes exposed in eight years ago (though they very nicely sat it on it until after the 2004 election, of course). And there is the building of NSA rooms for monitoring, at telecoms, from March 2001 on.

    Anyone who was surprised by what Snowden has shown hasn’t been paying attention to information freely available in mainstream press for almost a decade. The most important aspect of the Snowden case, IMO, is to show how terrible an idea it was for the Bush administration to push so heavily for the black budget to be largely in the hands of contractors rather than federal employees. They did it because it gave them leeway around regulations, allowed them to bypass long-term career agents and officials who might have been hard to get on board with some of their activities, and for the obvious reasons of corruption (contractors get paid a lot more than federal employees, and we’ve seen this kind of connections=profit in war profiteering with KBR and Halliburton, never mind the rotating door for DoD and other officials after retirement). But the flipside is that, shockingly, handing out secret clearances to the lowest bidder might mean compromising both your integrity, and your operations.

  6. spookyparadigm
    September 26, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    And I just heard an interview with a podcaster familiar to this website, who on the one hand decries the jump to conspiracy we’ve seen with mass killings, yet in the interview did the classic “well, microwave tech does exist, so who knows” when it came to the Navy Yard shooting. Sigh.

  7. neko
    September 26, 2013 at 12:47 PM


    I don’t consider the NSA monitoring a conspiracy theory. I don’t see how you get that. The FISA courts,the patriot act and the NSA charter,make it not a conspiracy, but their openly admitted and well documented jobs. That the federal government has OKed a secret club star chamber of privilege in the open and let it operate in the dark isn’t a conspiracy. A disgrace, possibly, but not a conspiracy.

    We, and our representatives, OKed the NSA sausage factory. Not a conspiracy. It’s their charter to do exactly what they were doing. Please don’t confuse “I didn’t know that!” with a conspiracy.

    While there have been “conspiracies” revealed in history, I don’t know of a single “conspiracy theory” that has actually be proven true. That is, someone predicting publicly a conspiracy, and then there actually being one.

    Please do cite one, if possible.

  8. spookyparadigm
    September 26, 2013 at 1:08 PM


    The NSA stuff is not a conspiracy per se, but at the same time, while I am not surprised by the “revelations” they aren’t exactly clearly legal either.

    If I wanted to highlight a real conspiracy, the buildup to the invasion of Iraq does fit the bill. To wit

    – There are a number of declarations to reporters and others by those involved that while they did not believe Iraq was involved in 9/11, it was related to the push for war against Iraq. They don’t out and use the word “excuse” but it fits. Members of the administration had made quiet noises about Iraq for months before 9/11.

    – Iraq war planner Paul Wolfowitz has openly said that the WMD issue was in fact just an excuse that the war could be hung upon.

    – Rumsfield and others set up their own Office of Special Plans to create intelligence, going around CIA and State Department with their own little network. Now, you might say they were deluded rather than straight up making the intelligence up, and I’ll have to disagree with you. But even then, they did in fact create a secret conspiracy to circumvent the intelligence hierarchy of the US in order to direct the outcome of Congressional and public approval to accomplish a military invasion. That’s a conspiracy

    – The ties to members of this group of war planners that led to false reports by Judith Miller of the NYTimes and others have been well documented in the press due to her role in the Libby trial.

    – Most damning of all, the Downing Street Memos include (a) the verified fact that bombing of Iraqi air defenses and other military installations was stepped up months before any vote was made, even before the first serious public suggestions of a war by the planners of the invasion (b) that if a war could not be accomplished through Congressional and approval, then provocations would be made including most infamously painting a U-2 recon plane with UN colors and hoping the Iraqis would shoot it down, providing a justification for invasion, and (c) the infamous discussion of the “sexed up” intelligence

    The push for the Iraq war was a secretly conducted conspiracy of high government officials who used and abused faulty and fraudulent intelligence, attacked those who tried to show the intelligence was fraudulent, and put the mechanisms of war in play months before getting any legal approval. There are plenty of other details that add to the conspiratorial aspect here, including former Haliburton CEO Richard Cheney negotiating the no-bid war contract with Haliburton that proved a huge boon for the company.

    That’s what a real government conspiracy looks like, one that has resulted trillions of dollars in destruction and the deaths of thousands of Americans and other Coalition citizens and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. But while there are tremendous amounts of intrigue and mystery to it, it doesn’t fit the woo-woo flavor of conspiracy theorists, except as a way to justify their more ridiculous ideas as “see, that’s real, so this is too!”

    To quote the UFO and D&D enthusiast in the X-Files episode when an “alien” autopsy unveils the subject to be a dead man in a costume, “You mean it’s just a dead human being?” before he goes and throws up.

  9. neko
    September 26, 2013 at 7:50 PM

    @spooky —

    Wow, you like the long posts. OK, I’ll admit I can’t read that right now.

    Not sure why you mention the NSA’s activities are not clearly legal. I would only say legality is temporal. At the moment, while dubious, they are technically legal, until a court says otherwise.

    What you mean is, “I believe a court someday will rule them illegal, maybe.” OK. I accept that. But they are legal right now, de facto. Whatever other words you may like to apply to the NSA.

    As for the Iraq war…

    I don’t know of a “conspiracy theory” that turned out to be true.

    I didn’t say real conspiracies didn’t exist… not sure why you would then point a real one out to me.

    In fact, I believe I stated explicitly conspiracies did exist. Just that conspiracy theorists never predict them. Yet.

    One day, like a bunch of monkeys whacking at typewriters, one of them will get it right. Given time.

    I will say, in spite of the QED implicit, I’m not sure you mathematically proved the Bush Admin. efforts amount to a conspiracy, either. But I don’t have time now for close reading… it was a lot, and I am old ( as are my eyes ).

    From what I know of that whole sad affair, though, I would say I don’t agree with you it amounts to a conspiracy, I have other words for it. I think I’m reasonably familiar. But a politician presenting distorted facts is not a conspiracy, it’s their job. It dilutes the word too much.

  10. September 27, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    Idoubtit wrote, “But there is something to be said for the acceptability of these ideas. They are so popular now that it no longer seems odd for people to subscribe to them. Normal people believe this stuff so it makes it more difficult to tell who may really need help. Or, does it…?”

    I think the intelligence community (IC) itself is as responsible as anything else for the rise in public acceptance of the feasibility of Manchurian Candidates gone bad. Please allow me to explain a bit while offering a few references for those who find the subject matter interesting.

    Non-lethal weapons expert, intelligence consultant, retired intel officer and UFO community staple Colonel John Alexander perpetually has a great deal to say about such topics. A rigid anti-conspiracy theorist, Colonel Alexander met with investigative journalist Sharon Weinberger. In her 2007 WaPo cover story ‘Mind Games’, Weinberger explained that Alexander suggested a younger group of Washington officials who weren’t around for MKULTRA were once again expressing interest in mind control.

    “It’s interesting, that it’s coming back,” Alexander stated:

    Weinberger explained how Alexander scoffed at the accusations of Tis. The colonel makes no secret that is his stance on the subject, commonly calling the mental health into question of self-described targeted individuals, or TIs, as well as participants of such odd cases as the Gulf Breeze Six.

    Alexander described to Weinberger his support for electronically modifying behavior and tapping into the enemy’s brain. “Maybe I can fix you, or electronically neuter you, so it’s safe to release you into society, so you won’t come back and kill me,” the colonel explained. He then added, “We’re now getting to where we can do that.”

    While the colonel unequivocally denies the validity of the TI community, that is not only quite not the case with all of the IC, but even Alexander’s former boss. General Bert Stubblebine, the man featured at length in Jon Ronson’s ‘The Men Who Stare at Goats’, a member of the Military Intelligence Hall of Fame and the former commanding officer of John Alexander, claimed to have knowledge that mind control operations on involuntary research subjects continued after Congress ordered them stopped in the 1970’s. The general and his ufologist/psychiatrist wife, Dr. Rima Laibow, explained their alleged knowledge of mind control operations on the website of a nonprofit corporation they founded and operated:

    Retired Navy Commander C.B. Scott Jones enjoyed a long and colorful intelligence career that included professional lobbying activities and investigating the paranormal on behalf of Rhode Island Senator Claiborne Pell. He also claimed his writer/researcher friend Michael Drosnin was targeted by the FBI with an incapacitating electronic mind control device. Jones proceeded to report the allegation to Dr. John Gibbons, science advisor to then-President Bill Clinton. Jones additionally informed Dr. Gibbons that he suspected the UFO subject was being used to cloak mind control activity.

    In early 2012 Jones agreed to field some questions from me, at which time I asked if he continued to hold such beliefs, to which he replied, “I think that the UFO/ET subject has been used to cloak a number of classified U.S. programs that certainly includes mind control.”:

    My point is not to suggest that we should either accept or reject such accusations. Verifiable evidence, which is not available, is essential to drawing such conclusions, as ‘Doubtful News’ so frequently and helpfully demonstrates.

    My point is that, yes, there are a great deal more demographics than the obviously and seriously mentally disturbed that are cultivating these belief systems, and one of those demographics is most certainly the intelligence community itself. The same group of people that tell us we are deranged to entertain the possibilities intermittently tell us to believe it in the first place, for whatever varieties of reasons.

  11. neko
    September 27, 2013 at 5:32 PM

    @spooky —

    OK, I read it all. Nope. Not a conspiracy.

    Your argument seems more of a set of things you don’t like about the conduct of the Bush administration leading to the Iraq war.

    Was Bush partisan? Yes. Was he too sure of his conviction there were WMDs? Yes. Did he float ( but not actually do ) stupid plans like hoping a UN painted spy plane would get shot down? yes, probably. Did the administration cherry pick data and present a one-sided view of their case to the world?

    Yes, yes. But a conspiracy? Not really. One sided views, cherry picking, captious actions hoping to justify war… obtuse, obnoxious, odious. Terrible.

    In the end, the war was presented to the world, and congress, some of whom, by the way, had access to wider information and chose to go along anyway. This is a strange conspiracy. Legally, it doesn’t meet the definition. They presented their arguments in public. There was open debate. They didn’t blow up an American ship and blame the Iraqis.

    some of the catalogue, like the military preparing for war before war is declared…

    Spooky, are you an isolationist, and expecting I share that sentiment? Even then, I hope the US military isn’t sitting naked, so as not to be prepared for war that is a likely possibility. Even if I thought, like Ron Paul, they should all come back to American soil. Which I don’t.

    And, again, none of this…. is a conspiracy theory.

    If you wanted to point to a conspiracy, you could say “Guy Fawkes”. OK. That’s a real conspiracy from history, widely accepted.

    But… Guy Fawkes wasn’t predicted by CTs. No meaningful history has come from CTs about GF.

    So… again, I’m not sure of the point, even if I accepted GWBWMDIraq = conspiracy. So?

  12. spookyparadigm
    September 27, 2013 at 10:52 PM

    I’ve mentioned the Office of Special Plans, which resulted in the war, in circumventing the intelligence community in order to create a war, and in espionage convictions.

    Maybe you see that as business as usual. I don’t.

  13. neko
    September 28, 2013 at 2:44 PM


    Please, don’t confuse me with someone who thinks all of what Bush did was moral, legal or OK. I don’t see a moral equivalency here for his actions with torture, detentions, or general lack of brains.


    The Office of Special Plans didn’t cause the war alone. Arguably, it was an irrelevant side show.

    Congress authorized the war, and the American people, at the time, stood and applauded for it overall, or were silent because they weren’t certain.

    There were doubts floated about the presidents interpretation of the intelligence from many quarters, including the media, congress, and the military.

    There was a sizable minority who voiced dissent. It wasn’t a secret group that brainwashed all Washington.

    We had a debate. The wrong answer, in my view, was picked, like it or not, by the nation’s government, -almost universally- voted up in congress, both chambers.

    Not a conspiracy.

    Certainly, the distorted view of things coming from the POTUS did not help. This distorted view was created by the arrogant silo thinking of the fail philosopher D. Rumsfeld and others, who don’t understand the logical fallacies they embrace, to this day.


    It is the president’s cabinet. Politicians ignore facts they don’t like all the time, and grasp onto falsehoods that suit their agendas. They form groups to push their desired outcomes, including cases for wars that don’t have to happen, like Syria.

    Thankfully, that nice guy Vlad Putin is there to reason with the POTUS and keep us from hurting ourselves and others.

    That’s a joke… sort of.

    The CIA, NSA and Mil INT doesn’t run the presidency. It’s the other way around, last I checked. If they did, and I put that idea forward, that would be an actual conspiracy theory.

    Of course, I mean aside from their vast powers of persuasion based on factual evidence without omission, as best they understand it.

    However, other presidents have massaged data and ignored logic to get their wars, or silence critics, or topple foreign governments, over and over. It is, indeed, not so unusual.

    Doesn’t mean it’s good or we should accept it. Some of those incidents were even real conspiracies! But the Iraq war was large, ugly, and public. there really was no room for a conspiracy theorist, either, to make up a prediction about it.

    What would that be? The president and the executive branch want war? This didn’t require any thinking, it was clear to everyone, even to those who objected. the president is cherry picking facts? Everyone knew that, if they wanted to know.

    Unless, again, conspiracy is “stuff happens I object to that is unusual by my definition of unusual, which has wide precedent in the past for it but is novel in particulars, therefore unusual”, I figure we don’t have a conspiracy here, or a prediction of a conspiracy in any case.

  14. September 28, 2013 at 4:29 PM

    A couple definitions of conspiracy theory:

    – a belief that some covert but influential organization is responsible for a circumstance or event.

    – an explanatory proposition that accuses two or more people, a group, or an organization of having caused or covered up, through deliberate collusion, an event or phenomenon of great social, political, or economic impact.

    I assert it is not difficult to identify reasonable examples of the above. In terms of practicality, I think it is rather stubbornly counterproductive to across the board deny people conspire to carry out significant actions.

    If, however, anti-conspiracy theorists are trying to communicate that they require verifiable evidence for extraordinary claims, that is of course a reasonable stance. Taking either extreme doesn’t seem too practical to me, especially if we tend to get hung up on terminology and trying to prove a belief system, either pro or con, as compared to reviewing data that justifies further research.

  15. neko
    September 28, 2013 at 7:59 PM

    @Jack —

    I think you are mistaking the criticism, fundamentally, of CT.

    The argument is not “there is no water”

    The argument is “dowsing hasn’t proven itself as a method of finding water.”

    Conspiracies exist. Right. No one said otherwise above, that I can see. I actually read all of it. I’m starting to wonder why, since no one else is.

    I would argue that no conspiracy theory advocate has ever actually found a real conspiracy.

    Not. Even. Once.

    I never said there weren’t conspiracies, but they are always found by other means than conspiracy theory.

    historians. criminal investigators. Reporters. Tax accountants. Angry foreign governments. whistle-blowers from the inside. FOIA requests. Time. All of these things find conspiracies, all the time.

    These are not conspiracy theorists.

    Please don’t confuse “other people are finding what we are looking for” with “my method works.”

    And I have asked, not that someone point to a historical conspiracy, but that someone point to a case where a conspiracy theorist has identified a real, genuine object of their desire.

    I’m not saying they need to produce extraordinary evidence for their claims, although I could. I am arguing a methodology that people put such stupendous amounts of time and energy into which never finds anything is, just a thought, perhaps itself flawed in some way?

    In short, I’m saying let’s not confuse the existence of gold with the idea that alchemy is valid. Any process that fails that much after so much work should possibly be reconsidered.

    In fact, given it’s abject failure, perhaps, just perhaps, we should consider that’s it more than just flawed, but is an active case of wish fulfillment in action, clouding people’s thinking?

    I won’t even bring up that CT is frequently simply a disguise for the ugly ideas and the demonization of groups the CT doesn’t agree with.

    I have said, though, that someday they are bound to be right. Even a broken watch is right twice a day. It just hasn’t happened yet.

  16. October 1, 2013 at 1:15 AM

    Hmm, I dunno, neko. That sounds like some rationalizing and selective examination of circumstances to me.

    Stuff happens. People make claims. There is no reason to accept claims absent evidence. Conversely, claims supported by evidence become facts.

    Whatever one chooses to label it, that’s what happens, it appears to me. Arguably, derogatory labels just serve to induce emotional responses that hinder the process of unbiased research.

  17. October 2, 2013 at 6:00 AM

    And the guy who killed a Capitol police officer a few years ago was complaining about a “ruby laser” on a satellite beaming to him

  18. Colin
    October 3, 2013 at 7:24 AM

    Here’s a nice short post!
    Someone claiming he is controlled by secret rays, is little different from someone who says “God told me to do it”, as did the so-called Yorkshire Ripper in England. The gullible, the superstitious and the paranoid are simply influenced by the latest “scientific” concepts.

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