The Tin-Foil Hat Brigade in the Lab


Tin Foil hatsYou have to admire science. Nothing is beneath its inquiring eye. When I read that students at Berkley U had seriously investigated the nature of the ubiquitous-in-the-wingnut-community tin foil hats, I had to smile. Once again, science saves the day.

Bad news for the wingnuts. While research didn’t prove tin foil hats will stop the aliens from eating your brain, it did suggest that the hats may amplify certain frequencies that may be in the control of either governments or corporate interests.

According to the researchers at berkeley.intel-research.net/arahimi/helmet/,

The helmets amplify frequency bands that coincide with those allocated to the US government between 1.2 Ghz and 1.4 Ghz. According to the FCC, These bands are supposedly reserved for ”radio location” (ie, GPS), and other communications with satellites (see, for example, [3]). The 2.6 Ghz band coincides with mobile phone technology. Though not affiliated by government, these bands are at the hands of multinational corporations.

Then with what can only be tongue-in-cheek seriousness, the authors of the study conclude,

It requires no stretch of the imagination to conclude that the current helmet craze is likely to have been propagated by the Government, possibly with the involvement of the FCC. We hope this report will encourage the paranoid community to develop improved helmet designs to avoid falling prey to these shortcomings.

Gawds, I love this sort of thing. Unfortunately, the video of the research and results has been taken off YouTube. I can only hope someone restores it.

In the mean time, any creationists or self-described psychics among my readers should be concerned that your tin foil hats are actually allowing the evil government spy agencies access to your thought waves… better turn on the microwave to scramble their signals…

Thanks to Haggle for posting the link!

2 thoughts on “The Tin-Foil Hat Brigade in the Lab

  1. Graham McLeod

    Hi Ian,
    Interesting Triumph material drew me on to your site. But back to Tinfoil Hats…
    Assuming that Tinfoil is actually Conductive these days, the bowl-shaped hat presumably acts like a Dish, as used by Radio Astonomers at Jodrell Bank, and Satellite TV users. This will be where it’s claims of Gain, by Focussing, arise from.
    Exactly like focussing the Sun, using a concave mirror. However, the Gain is only provided in the Forward Direction, in this case the waves would have already passed up through your body and brain in order to get to the Inside of the dish.
    So unless Government and nefarious Agencies are busy planting transmitters under your floor boards, firing upwards, you don’t have much to worry about.
    I repectively suggest that if one is paranoid enough to wear a tinfoil hat, then you have a lot more than Microwave Radiation to worry about.. like Getting a Life.
    Holding a cell phone to your ear with a tinfoil hat on Might actually Cut the radiation entering your brain, but presumably these individuals are Anti-cellphone anyway and would never contemplate using one. Now if you were to jam one in the back of your throat, it might be at the dish focus…. I am a Microwave/RF Electronics Engineer, and just loved the photo, but if any of my colleagues turned up for work with such a hat, and was serious about it, they’d be well on the way to losing their job!. By Demonstrating Incompetence and Muddled Thinking.

  2. Haggle

    I think these guys are doing a great service to – in their words – the “paranoid community”. Although I don’t personally believe we are being brainwashed by radiowaves (unless you count reality TV), I think that if a job is worth doing then it is worth doing well. And if the “paranoid community” want tin-foil hats then they should at least have access to materials and designs that actually do block electromagnetic radiation.
    Maybe there is a role for properly designed and manufactured tin-foil hats in our schools where – I am told – parents are becoming increasing concerned over the the effects of Wi-Fi on their kids brains. It seems to me that the minor inconvenience of donning a tin-foil hat far outweighs the major disruption to modern learning that would result from completely turning off the routers.
    I wonder how many parents who object to Wi-Fi also allow their kids to use cell phones? Don’t misunderstand me, I am firmly of the opinion that Wi-Fi is safe. But, if I did believe it to be dangerous, and knowing what I do about the inverse square law, the electromagnetic spectrum, and the mechanism by which microwaves affect water-based matter (like human tissue), how could I then believe that cellphones are safe?