Foiled Again

If you’ve ever wondered if your brain waves were being recorded by American spy satellites (I know I have), you might be interested to know that the traditional defense against this kind of espionage – the aluminum foil helmet – has been thrown into doubt by a team of researchers at MIT.

They constructed three of the most common foil helmet designs, and used a mannequin’s head that had been fitted with an antenna in order to broadcast brainwaves through the foil helmets over a range of frequencies. They used a quarter of a milion dollar network analyser to measure the attenuation of the signal at different frequencies. Their findings were surprisingly counterintuitive:

Although on average all helmets attenuate invasive radio frequencies in either directions (either emanating from an outside source, or emanating from the cranium of the subject), certain frequencies are in fact greatly amplified. These amplified frequencies coincide with radio bands reserved for government use according to the Federal Communication Commission (FCC).

They concluded that the foil helmet craze must have been started by the US government in order to exploit a false feeling of security. Click here for methodological details.

[Update: Lyle Zapato, president and CEO of Zapato Productions Interdimensional, and webmaster of the official Aluminum Foil Deflector Beanie website, posted a rebuttal to the MIT study claiming two key methodological problems: one, the antenna was affixed to the outside of the mannequin’s head, leaving a gap betwen the helmet and the cranium, and two, the US government uses psychotronic energy rather than the simple radio frequencies tested in the MIT lab, rendering the MIT results moot. While it might be tough to access psychotronic conversion equipment, I would be interested to see the results of a study that placed the antenna inside the cranium.]

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