Sunday, November 13, 2005

"Isotopes From These Metals, Some of Them Are Not From This Planet"

Alien Implant
Undisclosed Spying Objects

By AL Lewis
The Denver Post

     There's a guy in Yuma who swears aliens put an implant in his wrist.

     Tim Cullen, a 54-year-old former construction worker, says he had it surgically removed in 1998. He says it was metallic and coated with a biological membrane.

     "Isotopes from these metals, some of them are not from this planet," Cullen told me. Others claiming to have been abducted by UFOs have told similar tales. Have they all been bugged with alien tracking devices?

     "It was a lot more sophisticated than the ear tags we put on cattle out at the feedlot," said Cullen, who has appeared in several TV UFO documentaries.

     I'm a big fan of alien-abduction stories. But I'm more afraid of giant corporations and government bureaucrats developing tracking devices of their own - tiny chips that are increasingly implanted in consumer products.

     "This technology can be turned against people," said Katherine Albrecht, a privacy advocate and co-author of "SpyChips: How Major Corporations and Government Plan to Track Your Every Move With RFID."

     RFID stands for radio frequency identification. RFID chips can be as big as an index card or as small as a grain of salt.

     When beamed with a pulse of electromagnetic energy by an RFID reader, they broadcast information - typically a unique serial number. The history of the chip and the item to which it's attached can then be recorded and monitored in computer databases.

     RFID chips help manufacturers manage supplies. They help retailers track inventories. They reduce theft. They let marketers gather customer information.

     But Albrecht fears one day we may all be under constant surveillance.

     The seeds for this potential sci-fi nightmare are already sown. You may be using an RFID device to pay tolls on E-470. You may be using one to get through the door at work. In both cases, your identity and the time you passed the RFID reader were probably recorded.

     Wal-Mart, Target, Home Depot, Gil- lette, Proctor & Gamble, United Parcel Service and the U.S. Postal Service have used RFID technology. Many grocery stores are using club cards that link customers' names to every item they purchase.

     Albrecht and co-author Liz McIntyre envision a future in which RFID readers are everywhere - embedded in roads, sidewalks, doors, household appliances, floors and ceilings - recording everything.

     They have sifted through scores of RFID patents, including ones
on deep-organ implants that can never be removed.

     These could track prisoners, mental patients, military personnel, corporate employees - and maybe you.

     "We've had a whole 20th century worth of pretty horrific history," Albrecht said. "We've seen many governments turn on their citizens and use every means at their disposal to control and, in many cases, exterminate their own citizens."

     Scores of companies are developing RFID systems. One of them is Denver- based RFID Ltd. Its president, Nicholas Chavez, has launched an Internet rebuttal campaign against the book.

     "They are very entertaining writers," he told me. "They must have asked, 'What is the absolute worst thing that can be done with this technology?' Let's write it into a book to scare the crap out of nontechnical people."

     He says RFID technology is a long way from being able to do many of the things the authors claim and is still too expensive to deploy as ubiquitously as the authors imagine.

     For more information, check out and then see Chavez's rebuttal at

     Albrecht and McIntyre primarily argue for awareness and disclosure. They want companies to provide labels when there are RFID chips in their products.

     This seems reasonable to me. If companies and governments want to know what people are doing, they should not object when people want to know what the powers-that-be are doing. After all, technology can be easily abused. Just ask Cullen.

     "The extraterrestrials are doing it," he told me. "What's going to stop our government?"

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