and many other such reports
from around the world

Last Wednesday, ABC News in Australia carried a story about hundreds of rainbow-colored parrots falling dead out of the sky along a swath of the east coast of that country centered on Brisbane, the capital of Queensland. In 2010, around the time the first 4G cell towers were being built, ornithologists described the first cases of a mysterious disease that paralyzed and killed these stunning creatures. During the summer of 2019-2020, when the first 5G towers went into service, 1,500 rainbow lorikeets rained out of the skies. And last week, when more than 200 dead lorikeets were collected in just a few days, it made headlines again.

This disease, which has been named Lorikeet Paralysis Syndrome, has puzzled scientists. It is not encephalomyelitis, which was described in the 1970s as an uncommon disease in these birds that began with clenching of the feet progressing to complete rigid paralysis. The brains and spinal cords of such birds were abnormal, showing edema, cell death, degeneration of neurons, and other gross abnormalities. But birds with Lorikeet Paralysis Syndrome are limp, not rigid, and have no visible abnormalities. In the past 14 years, ornithologists have been at a complete loss to explain it. Tests for all known pesticides and fungicides have come back negative, and scientists have ruled out infectious diseases. And the same syndrome is being seen in flying foxes. An article in the Australian Veterinary Journal states:

“Manifestations of this disease range from the inability to fly and hindlimb weakness and ataxia, to a flaccid paralysis of all limbs and the neck, inability to blink, paralysis of the tongue, inability to swallow and voice change. The number of cases each year ranges from hundreds to thousands, making it one of the most important wildlife diseases and animal welfare concerns in Australia.”

Muriel in the UK, who brought this to my attention, writes:

“What puzzles me is that people cannot see what is going on and they do not understand why these beautiful birds are dying. Even reading the symptoms will give you a clue!

“I observe wildlife here, the birds, the bees who come to my garden. The birds get confused, and the bees, I only have a handful in the Summer now. Quite a lot of cats have been lost where I live. Too many from December to January. I really think that cats are getting confused and are getting lost as a result.”

Reports from around the world (continued)

Persephone writes from California: “I’ve had a dozen free range farmyard chickens for the last 5 years, supplemented each summer with new chickens obligingly hatched by some of the members of the flock. Every winter until this one, their egg production would drop off, but only to about half the production of the rest of the year. This winter, they stopped laying completely, even the youngest hens. This happened in early November, and there have been no eggs since. Knowing that emfs negatively affect reproduction in many species, I wonder if the increasing emf smog has finally overcome their reproductive capacity completely in these colder months. Will they start laying again in spring? I don’t know.”

Steve writes from Ontario: “I too have noticed a decline of birds at my feeders. I live just east of Toronto on Lake Ontario. What can we do?”

Felicity writes from Australia:Our experience here in Mid North South Australia with the massive wind turbines is horrible. There are no bats left here, or eagles.”

Tapani writes from Finland: “It is my observation that mosquitoes and other insects have decreased dramatically in the tropical countries. I have been working in the tropics since 1986. Until recently, I always carried two mosquito nets with me and used them always wherever I slept, at home, and in hotels. Also in Finland in summer. It was the most important item in my bag.

“Now I hardly need my mosquito nets. I just returned from the Philippines where I didn’t have to use them at all. In the Mindoro jungle island there were some mosquitoes outside at night but not many. The same is true in other tropical countries where I recently visited, Singapore, Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa Rica. The last time I used my nets was in remote Eastern Finland last summer because there were flies in the house.

“Insects, birds, and frogs have almost disappeared. The green movement doesn’t talk about the obvious reason.” 

Ron writes from Australia: “Years ago I had what I hope was a precognizant dream. EVERYTHING was turned off and it felt like a whole body orgasm, so intense it woke me up, like a sense of release, I knew exactly what it was and my senses stretched out into the surrounding forest like there had been a magnet ready to plug me back into nature and I knew there was an antichinus nesting under the floor, a snake slithering down the hill about 50 meters away. I miss the birds and insects and the sound of a healthy forest so much, I am sure it will take off again if we just stop. It isn’t too late yet.

Davidina writes from England: ”I am 84 years old. I have always been a keen lover of Wildlife and in particular Butterflies and Birds. For the past 5 or 6 years, ever since a 5G mast was erected nearby, my husband and I have noticed with great alarm that there is a huge decrease in ALL Insects, Butterflies and Birds. In fact, we saw virtually NONE of any of these creatures during the past 12 months, and the numbers of these have been VERY few for at least the past two or three years. I am very, very sad at what has happened. The world is not the same place that I grew up in and loved as a small child. I despair!” 

Jean-Jacques writes from France: “During these last years , after driving your car for hundreds of kilometers, your windshield is as clean as when you started.”

Carlotta writes from England: “I too have noticed here in Gloucestershire, the decline in my back garden, so much so since the Covid years 2020 to now. That summer we had great weather for planting food stuffs and with it there were many insects in our garden, however there seemed to be hardly any last year, not many bees and no ladybirds at all! Flies are gone from kitchens and we no longer need to cover our food. The flies that used to hit the windscreen on journeys no longer exist! What can we do?”

Danielle writes from Namibia: “I’m seeing fewer bees and insects. It’s strange is it not? We want to communicate, but it’s killing our world.”

Peter writes from Switzerland: “Where I grew up, in rural Switzerland, insects, birds, bees, bumblebees, dandelions in the garden. . . it was paradise. Much of it is gone today. Been replaced by literally a forest of antennas.”

Alec writes from France: “It is sad isn’t? In our French farm village it’s exactly the same story.”

Leroi writes from France: “I notice something in human beings since the 1990s: there is an expanding number of disabled children. I lived in Belgium until the year 2003; there was a tower on my street, in the middle of the village, with 3 tiers of cell phone antennas on it. On my street alone I counted 14 disabled babies. Now these families are definitively in great difficulties.”

Charmaine writes from Scotland: “I live in the far north of Scotland in a small village. I saw one cabbage white butterfly in my flower garden last summer (2023), very very few bumble bees and little to no other flying pollinators. One single Jenny wren, one pair of blackbirds, no blue tits, no thrushes, chaffinches and no other small birds except a single Robin. We used to have a very bad period during summer when there were so many biting midges just at the time the swallows and martins arrived that it was uncomfortable to go outside. I can’t remember being bitten at all last summer and there were few swallows and martins racing down the river, skimming the surface. I saw no moths this year either and heard only one or two squeaks from bats. But then if there are no insects these wonderful creatures will leave. What we do have is a reasonably noisy house sparrow group thanks to the creeper plant on the side of a neighbour’s house. We also have a small group of starlings nesting in the old fisherman’s storage facility built from stone blocks by the harbour. It’s no longer really used by fishermen as the herrings were fished out here so that is also a thing of the past.

“Our house is opposite a small, well-flowing river and near the ocean so we should have much wildlife and insects. Sadly we now do not. Signal towers have gone up and the dratted wind turbines up the braes and in the fields. They have also put up 80 wind turbines in the North Sea that we can see from the land and we know there is trouble from those with the shellfish and crab populations in the North Sea. I so hate what is happening and even in a rural setting, these much needed and loved creatures are missing.”

Judith writes from England: “Greetings from south coast UK. I have designated my little home and garden to be an organic Nature Reserve, and do what I can to support all Life, so have various Spiders indoors, many hibernating Snails, and some Frogs & Toads. Flies and Moths are very rare, as are Butterflies, and Ladybirds. I haven’t checked the ants recently. There’s still a community of Blue-tits and some visiting Starlings in the big bramble hedge, and there were some edible blackberries this year, though the pear tree had a plentiful crop which didn’t ripen properly. Worms and Woodlice seem still in evidence. I left all the thistles to grow big and was blessed to see some Bees — also to see that Snails love Thistles! Foxes come through quite often, at night, but I haven’t seen a Hedgehog in a long while.”

Michael writes from California: “Living in Santa Cruz for over 40 years I have noticed the same wildlife and insect declines.”

Margaretha writes from Australia: “I have an ulcerated toe and often it is not covered so that it gets air, but I need to be careful in case a fly comes in and sits on it. I have had it happen once and it was terrible.

“But now there are so few flies. When visitors come and the door opens, we always needed to shoo the flies away. Now, none seem to be around. It is Summer in Australia and it is a time for plenty of flies.”

Pamela writes from England: “I live on Dartmoor, and am finding many less birds and insects than when I came here in 1990.”

Kristel writes from Switzerland: “Thank you for informing us and registering all that is observed in the concrete world as oppose to the virtual where so many spend their entire days nowadays. In the west part of Switzerland where I’ve always lived, I noticed the same as all the other people’s reports in your last newsletter.

“I lived near the lake when I was a child and the frogs’ chants were so loud! They stopped around 1999-2000 here. I started gardening around that turn of the century. In my urban area then, around 2001-2002 I started noticing bumble bees and bees having strange behaviors — flying around in circles, being not able to fly, dying ones who looked before dying totally lost and crippled. The wild bee colonies left my garden. No more butterflies too, except the white ones. I also noticed more and more diseases in my garden.

“I got full-blown EHS from 2010-2015, thanks to the new smartphones and the 4G roll-out. So I fled to the countryside to an area with less cell phone coverage. I was so happy to notice again bumble bees, honey bees, butterflies and wild insects in my garden. There were a lot of birds too. Especially in the winter times.

“But around the spring of 2019 there was a huge mass of dying trees in the surrounding forests. I live at the foot of the Jura Mountains. It’s mostly firs and beech trees. In the media they say it is because of droughts and warmer temperatures. But the amount of dead trees was much more massive in the precise area of the Jura where the military radar was beaming. Around 2020 the military bought a new American radar, much more powerful, that is now covering a larger area, not only the upper mountain front but also portions of the coastline of the Neuchâtel lake.

“In the years after 2020 I noticed dying trees everywhere and farther outside the radar beam. They are cutting the dying trees at a fast rate. When you go for a walk in the forests it looks more like undergrowth forests than a real forest with mature trees. And this winter I was shocked to look at the Jura. Where it use to be all green in the wintertime now it’s all brown. There are almost no firs or conifers left. I also went across big piles of hundreds and hundreds of cut conifer trunks. If I can judge from the size they were centenarians or even older firs. I am so sad to witness the extinction of these magical beings. As I know how much they can bring to Humanity. How you feel at peace, calm, and breathe deeply around those majestic beings. Humans really need their energy now just in order to stay grounded in these crazy times.

“For the last two winters I have noticed fewer and fewer birds when there used to be so many at the bird feeder. Also no more squirrels. No more hares seen. Blackbirds are fewer and smaller. Three times I saw a dead male finch lying on the ground with no sign of injuries in my garden and in the area. I saw for the first time in my life a rook with white feathers on his tail. This summer there were no more bats and so a lot more mosquitos. In my neighborhood thuya’s hedges are dying. I also notice more and more diseases in my garden. My health is also declining and my friends’ health too. Everybody seems exhausted and get colds really frequently, even in the summer time and they have a harder time to get rid of them. It seems to me that general immunity for all living beings in my area has dropped. I don’t look at the stars anymore as I see all these new satellite lights that destroy all the beauty and magic of our nights.

“The living world is dying, and no one wants to know the real cause. Everybody’s looking at their screens and talking about carbon emissions and demanding more electrical energy, more innovations, more electric technology. Here in Switzerland they plan a 30% increase in electricity production the next few years!

“Today a news item just hit the headlines. The title is « Why is biodiversity dying out faster in Switzerland than elsewhere? ». In this article they point in part at our population density. But no words about e-radiation. Right, there’s so many people living here. In 2022, 220,4 inhabitants per square kilometer including mountains and lakes. And most of them with one or more smartphones. Swiss people love to say they are « advanced users of innovative technology ». If you look at a Swiss map there are antennas and electrical power lines everywhere. In this article from the Swiss government it is said that « In Switzerland, mobile communication services are almost fully covered ». But despite that they continue to erect new masts saying that we need always more due to the ever increasing flux of data.”

Alison writes from Florida: “In Florida we have ‘no see um’s’ in the warm months. I’ve seen or felt no evidence of them for the past 2 summers.”

Susie writes from Georgia: “The chilling silence and lack of critter noise is terrible. Thirty years ago, at dusk, when I took my evening walk in the streets of University City in St. Loius, Missouri, there were gigantic, beautiful swarms of fireflies everywhere — in every patch of grass, wherever it was green, there was a glowing fog of fireflies.

“I did not notice the sandhill crane migration this year. Millions of Starlings flew overhead at St. Mary’s Academy in September. Typically, the starling flocks we have seen annually were about 300-500 birds — nothing of this magnitude before now.”

George writes from Australia: “Where I live in Gold Coast, the birds (robins to eagles), butterflies, frogs, cane toads, bees, cicadas, aphids, insects and moths, spiders, flying foxes and the scents of native scented flowering native trees have disappeared.”

Susan writes from Cape Cod, Massachusetts: “Birds are lessening. May 2023 was the beginning of a normally big tick season. Ticks were everywhere for a week, then the next week they were gone. This fall another cycle started and within a week there were none.  Bees have definitely lessened.”

Hannah writes from South Carolina: “I moved to South Carolina 3 years ago before the pandemic. We noticed how great it was because there was so much wildlife here compared to the Northeast. Three years later and it is all gone. No one says anything… no one cares…”

Diana writes from the island of Samos, Greece: “Insects and birds are declining rapidly worldwide. It’s no good trying to throw all the blame on pesticides or other chemical toxins, because there are still enough places in the world where pesticides and other such poisons are not in the environment, such as where I live. If pesticides were the problem, we wouldn’t be seeing huge declines in insect and bird populations here, and particularly not in the area where I live.”

Diana has documented not only the disappearance of most insects, but severe deformities in those that remain: butterflies with deformed wings, scorpions with short tails, butterflies that are half their normal size, dragonfly populations in which females outnumber males 100 to 1, instead of the normal ratio of 1 to 1.

She continues: “We have lost almost all species of beetles, lacewing and other flies, most of the moths (and all the larger moths except for a few hummingbird moths), many butterflies, virtually all wasps and hornets, and many species of wild bees including wild honeybees. There are almost no mantises, no katydids, and very few grasshoppers and crickets. There are a few slugs, but no snails. There are very few woodlice, earwigs, millipedes, centipedes or silverfish, and very few web-spinning spiders. No species of insect remains unaffected; all species have either declined or vanished altogether, including soil insects such as earthworms (we have only seen two this year) grubs (none) and even ants. When the queens hatched after the first rain, there were very few of these flying ants compared to other years—a few dozen compared to hundreds. Many plants are not being pollinated properly…

“As the insects vanish, so do other creatures that depend on them. Here on Samos, I have noticed a huge decline in lizards of all sorts, including geckos and chameleons, all of which live on insects. Bats have also declined hugely. Hedgehogs, which are snail-eaters, are locally extinct. As the insects vanish, the food we humans need becomes harder to grow. When the insects are gone, we too will starve.

“Insectivore birds are declining very rapidly, and this past year we saw many fewer flycatchers, shrikes, bee-eaters, hoopoes, swifts, swallows and martins than we used to have. There were no night-jars at all. Insectivores on migration don’t stay long these days, because they can’t find enough to eat. Most garden songbirds are insectivores, and I fear the day when we will no longer wake up to the songs of robins, blackbirds, song-thrushes, black-caps and other warblers. If wild plants aren’t pollinated, the seed-eaters such as chaffinches and goldfinches will perish too.”

Diana states in no uncertain terms: “Are there biologically safe power levels that would protect life on this planet? … the answer is no. I think we must choose: wireless technologies or nature. And since we can’t live without nature — wireless technologies cannot feed us — we must choose nature if we want to survive.”

Jeff called me from Alberta. “We’re seeing effects on birds, and no bugs on our windshields. I think we’re slowly getting cooked,” he told me.

Andrew emailed me from England on January 26. “There was a little skit on BBC Breakfast this morning,” he wrote. He quoted the program: “Fewer wild birds are visiting UK gardens, with greenfinches, starlings and sparrows seeing the greatest decline.”

Where there are few cell phones in use, nature is still abundant. Birds are fleeing from other areas and taking refuge there. Insects are still thriving there, even where there is a lot of agriculture and therefore pesticides:

Suzan writes from England: “I live in East Anglia. The population here is fairly low, and mobile phones tend to lose the signal. The nearest town, with 11,000 inhabitants, is 2 miles away. The nearest town with 5G is 10 miles away, and the coastline of the North Sea is 10 miles away. There are many woods and substantial agricultural land here.

“I have seen an increase in birds I’ve never seen before, millions of insects (ants, flies, wasps, bees, ladybirds, butterflies, hornets etc.). Grass, thistles and trees grow in abundance. Even my Jack Russell terrier still has a spring in his step at nearly 17 years of age.

“I chose to live here after being diagnosed with cancer in 2011 and refusing all conventional treatments. I believe that technology needs to turn the volume right down but people are almost attached to mobile devices intravenously and wonder why they get sick.” 

Jack writes from Ontario: “We have a cottage near Bon Echo provincial park. We are in a relatively isolated area on a lovely little lake. We feel fortunate and with very few cell phones around we hope to continue to make our area a healthy place for wildlife. We have noticed a decline of some insects but we do have lots of small birds having a smorgasbord in the trees around us. To this point we feel we are doing ok but have noticed there are no honeybees around us and only one or two Monarchs. We have planted milkweed but to this point no larvae or monarchs.

“However, we do have water snakes, garter snakes and frogs, and even a family of beavers down at the end of the lake. The frogs seem to be in decline a bit but with the water snakes there must be plenty to sustain them. The lake has many fish including bass, walleye and pike.

“A couple of blue herons have made their home across the lake as well as a family of loons which took out a family of geese… Loons do not share well in their claimed territory. The family of screech owls are a ‘hoot’ at night, particularly the babies, and the pileated woodpeckers make short work of deadwood. They love the black carpenter ants.

“Lots of mosquitoes, blackflies, deer and horseflies that tell us they are still in charge for May-July, at least until the dragonflies are done with them.

“Just a positive observation but I do worry for the future.”

I can confirm the above observations. At the end of August 2023, I took a trip up to South Dakota. In Nebraska and Kansas, although I could see cell towers in the distance everywhere we went, there were more farms than people and few cell phones were in use. I was amazed not only at how much better I felt there, but at how many birds I saw while driving on roads through endless fields of corn and soybeans. I was also amazed at all the insects we had to clean off our windshield.

Arthur Firstenberg
President, Cellular Phone Task Force
Author, The Invisible Rainbow: A History of Electricity and Life
P.O. Box 6216
Santa Fe, NM 87502
+1 505-471-0129
February 6, 2024

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