Patricia Doyle responded to my August 5 request for information about her credentials. Her letter also presents Henry Niman's credentials and some eye-popping data about the appearance of genes associated with Spanish Flu in pigs in South Korea. With her permission I have published the letter. See August 6 post H5N1, Virus X....)
I wrote in my earlier post today:
When I observe, "not letting them near," I also mean that the Chinese military is bulldozing entire villages where the X Virus has broken out. Loftus reported last night on three such incidents.Loftus indeed gave that report, but according to a published report by Henry Niman on Rense.com (which I linked to in the earlier post), the bulldozings were ostensibly related to an outbreak of H5N1, not X Virus.
I have decided to remove the paragraph from the earlier post because it is questionable and it's not central to my point, which is that China's authorities are not allowing WHO near sites where infections have recently broken out.
Also, it has struck me that four names in addition to Boxun keep popping up in relation to reports about X Virus: Patricia Doyle, Henry Niman, Recombinomics.com, and Rense.com and
So Pundita decided to visit Google.
Here, "Patricia Doyle, PhD" is convinced she caught SARS from an Asian grocery store clerk in the USA:
Here, she is telling a complex tale involving Plum Island and just about everything else except maybe sunspots:
That doesn't mean that the data Doyle passed along about Plum Island is untrue; it means that all things considered, over time she has demonstrated a pattern of being drawn to sensational stories with a biowar component. That could possibly skew her perception of the X Virus.
No luck in nailing down the nature of Doyle's PhD, although I might make things easy on myself if I simply emailed her to ask.
After spending time on Google today and moseying around the site, I'd say that Rense.com and Rense's radio program are, how to put this...somewhat questionable, if we are trying to think from the viewpoint of a good detective. That doesn't mean Rense's site can't publish valuable data. But a word of caution.
Also, some background on "Dr. Henry Niman, PhD" as he signed himself on one of his articles for Rense.
"Henry Niman, founder of Recombinomics, a biotech firm set up to develop vaccine against flu. Niman analyzes data by looking for the possibility that flu viruses are evolving swiftly due to a recombination mechanism.
Niman has analyzed all 610 gene sequences from H5N1 isolates uploaded to Genbank in 2004. He's hopeful sequence data from at least one isolate will likely be made available on Genbank or on Influenza Sequence Database of the Los Alamos National Laboratory in coming weeks."
Not that someone with a vested interest in flu vaccines isn't a reliable source of information, and of course his firm's reputation is on the line. But as a general observation, this is why they have double-blind studies in science; the will to believe can influence even the most sincere people.
The observation should not be read as a description of Doyle, Niman or Rense. But again, a word of caution. And because Pundita is famously a fussbudget I would not want to disappoint my fans; therefore, I am removing Recombinomics from the sidebar blogroll, at least until I learn a little more about Henry Niman.
If readers are groaning at this point -- well, just a few days ago I warned that serious news consumers must learn to think like an intel analyst. One reader wrote to ask what thinking like an intel analyst means. You're looking straight at the meaning. Studying data is a process, not opening a package. Granted, it helps to be a fan of crossword puzzles, mystery novels, police blotters or treasure hunts. Preferably all four.
Sooner or later we will get close to the bottom of the X Virus story. It just takes time, patience, and the instincts of a hunter. However, the really important issue at this time is somehow galvanizing the US government to lean hard on China's government to be more forthcoming with data about H5N1.
The exact nature of the X Virus, which even the China's government virologists might not have figured out yet, is not quite so important at this moment as heading off a H5N1 pandemic. For that, complete transparency and fast communication about the number, type and pattern of H5N1 outbreaks are critical.
It's possible the CCP is in a panic about fresh outbreaks of H5N1 on the mainland; if so, it could take very strong language and threat of economic sanctions from other governments to help them to snap out of it. Frankly, we're now in a race against time when it comes to H5N1 -- whether or not the virus has mixed genetic material with a mutated Ebola virus.