In 2002, Mary Leitao – a former electron microscopist and immunohistochemist – noticed sores on her two year-old son’s lip. The child complained of ‘bugs’, and when Leitao examined the sores she discovered small red, black, blue and white fibres. Leitao took her son to numerous doctors who could find no evidence of any disease or allergy. After consulting one pediatrician at Johns Hopkins, he recommended Leitao would benefit from psychiatric evaluation.
Indeed, this is the stance of nearly the entire medical community, who view the ‘disease’ mostly as a form of delusional parasitosis. Yet, sufferers of ‘Morgellons Disease’ (a name chosen by Leitao) tell a different story. In some cases the symptoms may in all likelihood be delusional on the part of the victim, or involving Munchausen’s by proxy in the case of adults with ‘afflicted’ children, but the majority of Morgellons patients are definitely not crazy.
Mary Leitao and her husband Edward were convinced that their son was suffering from “something unknown” and set up the Morgellons Research Foundation (MRF) in 2002. Morgellons symptoms include sensations of insects crawling beneath the skin, skin rashes and legions that do not heal, muscle and joint pain, cognitive disfunction and the aforementioned fibres that appear beneath the skin and can be extracted from the sores.
Forensic examination of the fibres found no match to any known fibre in the FBI’s database.
When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) refused to acknowledge the existence of Morgellons as a new disease, the MRF began an online petition that was eventually sent to members of Congress. In 2006, the CDC created a task force to investigate the Morgellons enigma and in 2008, the CDC enlisted the US Armed Forces Institute of Pathology and the American Academy of Dermatology to assist with the investigation. This, of course, would leave sufferers and conspiracists with little or no confidence in the investigation finding a prompt and satisfactory resolution.
For there are many theories regarding Morgellons. Personnel at Tulsa Police Crime Lab who studied the fibres from a Morgellons patient, stated that the fibres were not manmade and did not come from a plant, adding it may be some byproduct of a biological organism. Others theorise regarding pollutants and pesticides, others regarding military bioweapons and still others on the subject of alien experimentation. Another theory gaining some credence is to do with nanotechnology. Whilst this relatively new technology is certainly incredible, its application in our society has gone forth with little or no study into its potential risks. Only one thing is certain – the symptoms of Morgellons are real and widespread across the United States, and to a lesser degree in Europe and even Australia. In addition to the sores and fibres, sufferers complain of difficulty walking and even a sagging mouth when speaking. It is by all accounts a living hell.
by Max Drake
(Max is a freelance writer and artist for GritFX.)