Posts tagged ‘Archived Elfis’

911, Mysterious Death of Saudi Flight Instructor and HAARP

911, Mysterious Death of Saudi Flight Instructor and HAARP

UQ Wire: 911 Hijackers Who Lived At A US Navy Base
Thursday, 15 August 2002, 9:49 pm

Unanswered Questions: Thinking For Ourselves
Presented by…

Come Fly With Me?

A Saudi Flying Instructor Who Died Mysteriously On May 8 Had The Same Name as Two 9/11 Hijackers Who Lived At The Same U.S. Naval Air Base

by Tom Flocco * * And
14 August 2002


911 Hijacker – Saeed Alghamdi
Amid reports in the days after the September 11 attacks that two of the hijackers, Saeed Alghamdi and Ahmed Alghamdi received flight training at Florida’s Pensacola Naval Air Station, a new dot has been connected which may shed more light on past revelations that 9/11 terrorists learned to fly at secure United States military bases.

Royal Saudi Air Force Major Ambarak S. Alghamdi had continued to remain in his position as a Pensacola Naval Air Station flight instructor after the 9/11 attacks, notwithstanding his Saudi Government ties – and that most of the terrorists were Saudis.

911 Hijacker – Ahmed Alghamdi
No reports are forthcoming, however, about whether Government investigators or victim family attorneys have yet sought information and biographical reports or files from the State Department or Saudi Arabian government as to whether the Saudi flight instructor was related to three FBI-named United and American Airlines hijackers who had the same Alghamdi surname.

An FBI press release (9-27-2001) listed the third Alghamdi – Hamza – as yet another hijacker who was on the same United Airlines 175 jet as Ahmed Alghamdi, both of whom crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center with doomed Americans.

Strangely, however, Saudi Major Ambarak Alghamdi is now dead – victim of a mysterious, unexplained, and largely uncommented-upon plane crash on May 8 in clear weather. Two other victims of the accident were from the Raytheon Corporation, which now owns technology via its E-Systems division that is capable of, “disrupting or taking down airplanes….with advanced guiding systems,” according to patented technology invented by Texas physicist Bernard J. Eastlund.

The specialized Raytheon technology is so secret, that according to reports, even the House and Senate are not being told how appropriations in the billions are being spent on its so-called ‘black’ projects – primarily developed for its main employer, the CIA.

According to a Pensacola News-Journal report, Florida Senator Bob Graham, Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee investigating the September 11 attacks, was briefed on September 16 regarding the latest intelligence information, but there was no mention of suspected hijackers having been enrolled as pilot trainees in Pensacola, said his spokesman, Paul Anderson. (9-17-2001) Graham has remained silent on the subject.

Graham has already been linked to a controversial September 11 breakfast meeting with Pakistan’s Inter-Services Security Agency (ISI) Chief who ordered $100,000 wired from Pakistan to terrorist leader Mohammed Atta in the days immediately prior to the attacks

According to Pentagon and local military officials, “[foreign] students are instructed in everything from warfare specialty training to air navigation meteorology and land/water survival,” while refusing comment on the media reports of September 16.

Pentagon officials referred calls on the subject to the FBI, which also refused comment, said the News-Journal.

This, at a time when Congress is soon to vote on the fall Appropriations bills which will essentially reward widely acknowledged national security failures at the Department of Defense (DOD), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) with billions of dollars in taxpayer resources — without one public 9/11 hearing seeking either truth or accountability.

Photo By Kim D. Johnson, AP

911 widow Ellen Mariani, left, and friend four days after her husband’s death in the World Trade Center disaster.

Last December, Ellen Mariani, whose husband Neil died on the same United 175 flight as two Alghamdi terrorists, brought the first 9/11 lawsuit against United and two airport security companies: (For more information see… “9/11 Judge Orders Consolidation But Ignores DOJ Evidence Tampering”

The Alghamdi revelations could fuel speculation that Mariani’s attorneys, Mary Schiavo and John Greaves, will seek to subpoena INS records detailing the Alghamdi hijackers’ entrance into the United States, visa status, INS interview reports, and DOD and Naval flight instruction logs, files, and pilot interviews – and possibly Saudi Government records on the terrorists who hijacked two United jets.

Such information would reveal and verify how or whether Saudi flight instructor Ambarak Alghamdi was instrumental in facilitating either the Alghamdi terrorists’ military flight training, or their ability to surreptitiously use the naval air base as a domicile of record in order to move freely throughout the U.S. prior to hijacking United Airlines 175 and 93.

INS and DOD documents of this nature would not seem on the surface to pose national security problems, thus victim family acquisition of the files would likely not be blocked, ultimately, by the courts.

United States Navy Base – Pensacola, Florida
Domicile Of Two 911 Hijackers & Three Pilots Named Alghamdi

Military records show that hijackers Saeed and Ahmed Alghamdi listed their address on driver licenses and car registrations as 10 Radford Blvd., a base roadway where residences for foreign-military flight trainees are located, according to Newsweek (9-15-2001). Saeed Alghamdi listed the Radford address to register a 1998 Oldsmobile, and then used it again to register a late model Buick. Driver licenses thought to have been issued to [Ahmed Alghamdi] in 1996 and 1998 also list the Radford residence, added Newsweek.

Newsweek then visited the Pensacola base, “where military police confirmed the address housed foreign military flight trainees, but denied access past front barricades. Officials at the base confirmed that the FBI is investigating the three students.”

On September 17, Florida Senator Bill Nelson, “asked the Pentagon to confirm or refute reports that two of the terrorists were listed at a housing facility for foreign military officers at a Pensacola Florida Air Base,” according to the Washington Post (9-22-2001).

The direct links connecting the two hijackers to United Airlines could lead victim family lawyers to seek additional documents and files detailing Pentagon and INS procedures, interviews and reports about the two Alghamdis – one on United 175 and one on United 93 – given that the documents would also not likely present national security violations.

On September 21, the Washington Post added that Senator Nelson, “was informed that the FBI could neither say ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ ” because the bureau was still, “investigating any connection to the military facility,” according to Nelson’s press spokesman, Dan McLaughlin.

However, investigative journalist Daniel Hopsicker also called Nelson’s office, adding that the Florida Senator had still not received a reply as of October 30, 2001: “In the wake of those reports we asked about the Pensacola Naval Air Station but we never got a definitive answer from the [Ashcroft] Justice Department,” said a spokesman for Senator Nelson. (Online Journal, 10-30-2001)

Hopsicker, leading the way regarding 9/11-linked reporting from Florida, added that Nelson‘s spokeman said, “So we asked the FBI for an answer ‘if and when’ they could provide us one. Their response to date has been that they are trying to sort through something complicated and difficult.”

A Scoop call yesterday to Senator Nelson’s office seeking an update on the matter revealed that Nelson finally received a DOJ letter from Attorney General John Ashcroft, who asserted that Pensacola Naval Air Station did not train hijackers, according to Nelson’s press spokesperson Gretchen Hitchner.

However, Ashcroft offered no explanation as to how Saudi terrorists could have gained access to and been able to live at the Pensacola, Florida military base as their driver licenses and car registrations indicated, according to news reports – flight training or not.

And Ashcroft’s letter to Nelson never mentioned that the two terrorists had Pensacola Air Station addresses – let alone that a now-mysteriously deceased, Pensacola naval flight instructor from the Royal Saudi Air Force had the same name and also lived and worked at the U.S. naval air base.

The T-39 Sabreliner – Two Mysteriously Crashed In May

A review of at least eight news reports revealed that Major Ambarak S. Alghamdi, 32, from Albaha, Saudi Arabia, died mysteriously on a “routine training mission.” According to the Pensacola News-Journal (5-10-2002), Coast Guard Petty Officer Chad Saylor described the search conditions as, “optimal,” with the air and water temperatures at 80 degrees with 3-foot seas and excellent visibility.

The two planes involved were T-39 Sabreliners, based out of Pensacola Naval Air Station (NAS), which suddenly disappeared from radar, 40 miles at sea south of Pensacola Beach.
Moreover, CNN correspondent Barbara Starr reported that, “the Navy has not commented on what details the crew of the third plane [involved in the mission] might have provided.” (5-9-2002)

And there were no public interviews of the crew from the third plane which searched for signs of life immediately after the crash. But a Navy official, “acknowledged the assumption that the downed planes somehow collided,” according to Starr.

Both planes disappeared at the same time and neither sounded a mayday; moreover, there were no reports available regarding radio contacts among the three planes immediately prior to the two planes going down.

Harry White, spokesman for Pensacola NAS, declined to say whether investigators believe they collided. A week later – with more information – White said he still could not confirm whether the planes collided, according to the Associated Press. (5-16-2002)

More curiously, however, Training Squadron 86 – to which the downed planes were assigned – had just celebrated more that 330,000 accident-free flight hours over 25 years, and has previously been awarded several honors for its safety record, according to the Squadron Web site.

Daniel Else, 50, a retired Navy lieutenant commander who trained in the T-39 Sabreliner in 1975 said that, “normally though, the planes do not come into close contact;” adding that, “those exercises are usually conducted at comfortable cruising speeds at an altitude between 10-15,000 feet, which could explain the six-mile separation of the debris fields.”
(Pensacola News-Journal, 5-10-2002)


Two of the seven dead Pensacola crew members were civilian instructors who were former Vietnam-era military pilots working for Raytheon Aerospace Corporation, but employed as contractors for Pensacola Naval Air Station, according to the News-Journal. The two deceased former military pilots employed by Raytheon were Marshall “Fritz” Herr and Homer “Gray” Hutchinson III.

According to its web-site, Raytheon supplies Air Traffic Control systems to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) but also to foreign governments, and is active in the fields of global positioning systems, infrared/electro-optics, and Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuits.

It is also a provider of tactical communications and military radios, specialized aircraft modification services, and airborne countermeasures systems – also to a wide variety of customers worldwide. Moreover, Raytheon provides special mission aircraft, target drones, and aircraft training systems to the military services, among multiple other military products far too numerous to mention.

However, its most controversial product is the High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP). The technology, a key component of Raytheon’s E-Systems division,
is described in its original patent (number 4,686,605) originally owned by ARCO Power Technologies but sold to E-Systems – now owned by Raytheon.

Briefly, HAARP – and its related but far more refined technology applications – use powerful microwave pulses that, according to the patent, can disrupt or take down airplanes and missiles with advanced guiding systems, according to a lengthy article entitled “The End of Freedom”, by Dennis Rodie, originally published in Belgium by the periodical, Kleintje Muurkrant, in December, 1999.

Rodie says the Defense Department is using HAARP technology to perform atmospheric measurements and to replace submarine communication systems; however, he adds that HAARP can also cause interference with or total disruption of communications over a large portion of the earth with electromagnetic beams of different frequencies, according to the patent. Moreover, it can be used for alteration of weather, causing drought and floods.

Rodie also describes the work of Dr. R.O. Becker, twice nominated for the Nobel Prize for bio-electromagnetism. In his book, The Body Electric, Becker details the experiments of Dr. Alan Frey who was able to use microwaves to slow down, speed up or even stop the heartbeat, while also creating leaks in the blood brain barrier – research financed by the United States Navy. But Rodie then reveals that the technology makes it technically possible to cause a heart attack by using a beam which can penetrate the human sternum.


Given the fact that terrorists can gain entry to secure military installations, a Saudi Air Force instructor with the same name as three FBI-identified hijackers can unexplainably turn up dead during a routine training mission in perfect weather, and secret CIA-financed Raytheon technology has the capability of taking down airplanes, the question is begged as to who is left to seek truth and real accountability.

The reporting of Dan Hopsicker (, 12-26-2001), delves deeply into what a Tampa Tribune headline called, “The Phantom Flight from Florida,” wherein a Saudi prince – the son of the nation’s defense minister – as well as the son of a Saudi army commander took off in a twin-engine Lear jet just two days after the September 11 attacks, when every other plane in the United States was grounded. Moreover, Hopsicker made a special point that the Federal Government said the flight never happened despite the Tribune’s glaring headline. Meanwhile no one has even asked why the princes were in Tampa on 9/11!

The two Saudi princes flew to Lexington, Kentucky where other Saudi princes were purchasing racehorses; and from there, they flew a private 747 jet out of the country. But two armed bodyguards hired by the Saudis to get the princes out of Florida told Hopsicker that the Saudi plane took off from a private hanger at Raytheon Airport Services in Tampa.

Hopsicker’s report ultimately traced the ownership of the Lear Jet to Wally Hilliard, who is a partner of Rudi Dekkers, owner of the Venice, Florida flight school where most of the Saudi terrorists developed their airplane hijacking skills. Hopsicker added that the local police had collected all the files detailing Dekkers’ relationships and business with the hijackers – including the Alghamdi terrorists.

But according to one local law enforcement official, “The FBI took all our files, everything.” Then he added that, “they loaded two Ryder trucks right outside that (police station) window, then drove them right onto a C130 military cargo plane at Sarasota airport which flew out with [Governor] Jeb Bush aboard.” Is Hopsicker striking a presidential nerve?

All Americans – but more specifically the September 11 victim families – may well come to agree with a young mother named Kristen Breitweiser, who sat with her three year-old daughter and their dog, watching Ellen Mariani’s husband Neil’s hijacked United 175 jet crash into the South Tower of the World Trade Center – effectively destroying her future family life with her husband Ronald, while he sat at his desk.

Breitweiser entranced MSNBC’s Phil Donohue last night, remarking that Congress is so conflicted that it cannot possibly investigate itself – even as she asked why, “President Bush just sat there for 25 minutes while the country was under attack,” adding that it was “disgusting.” Mrs. Breitweiser stared at the camera, quietly speaking in a composed and serene rage.

The November election could well reveal whether or not Americans share Kristen’s quiet rage that congressional national security oversight is disgusting enough to make wholesale changes.

Supplementary research was contributed by Michael Thomas.

Copyright (c) 2002 by Thomas Flocco. Used with permission.

* – Tom Flocco is an independent American investigativ
journalist who has written for,,,,, and Contact:

* – The Uncensored National Weekly Newspaper Published On Capitol Hill. 1433 Pennsylvania Avenue SE. Washington D.C.20003. Order Line: 1-888-699-6397 for print subscriptions and more investigative stories.

Hyper-Sonic Sound System (HSS), a Device That Can Put Words Inside Your Head

Hyper-Sonic Sound System (HSS), a Device That Can Put Words Inside Your Head from 100 Yards Away

Hearing is Believing

Woody Norris wants to tell you something—and he can put the words inside your head from 100 yards away. Is his invention sound, or just a pipe dream?

By Jamie Reno and N’gai Croal

Aug.5 issue — In this post-Enron era, there aren’t too many CEOs who will cheerfully volunteer to a reporter, “My company’s never made a dime!” But the American Technology Corp.’s Elwood (Woody) Norris isn’t your typical CEO.

BLESSED WITH THE bone-crunching handshake of a used-car salesman, the R-rated vocabulary of a drill sergeant and the potential innovative genius of a Thomas Edison (Norris’s previous claim to fame was creating a forerunner to the sonogram), Norris has an enthusiasm for his latest contraption that’s infectious.

He’s standing in a corner of his cluttered San Diego office, holding a gizmo that looks something like a retro-futuristic waffle iron with a portable CD player Velcroed to its back. “Are you ready?” he asks, then points his invention directly at the head of someone who’s just entered the room 10 feet away. “Now, can you hear it? Can you hear it? Isn’t that unbelievable?” What the person across the room hears is, well, unbelievable: all of a sudden, the sound of a waterfall has materialized in his head. And, it turns out, no one else in the room can hear it but him. It’s as if the sound is coming out of thin air. As Keanu Reeves said in “The Matrix”: whoa.

After more than a decade of trial and error and about $30 million in R&D, the 63-year-old Norris may be on the verge of changing the world as we hear it—and making some major money to boot. The Hyper-Sonic Sound System (HSS), as he calls it, can take an audio signal from virtually any source—home stereo, TV, computer, microphone, etc.—and convert it to an ultrasonic frequency that can be directed like a beam of light toward a target up to 100 yards away. Picture a car where parents can listen to the Eagles while their kids wild out to Eminem in the back seat. This is big audio dynamite—possibly the biggest breakthrough since modern speakers were conceived 77 years ago—and Norris knows it. “It’s rare when you have a Thomas Edison who actually gets fame and success in his own lifetime,” he says with customary modesty. “This is a big, honkin’ hit.”
What’s the secret? In the range that human beings can hear, sound scatters in all directions, like the light from an open flame. Traditional speakers work by moving air; they rapidly vibrate the flexible cones in your speakers to form sound waves. But no single speaker can accurately reproduce the —full range of audible sound (approximately 20Hz to 20,000Hz), so loudspeakers rely on separate units—large woofers for low frequencies, small tweeters for high frequencies and midrange speakers for the middle of the audio spectrum—to re-create the whole range of sound. That works fairly well, but it also has some drawbacks, most notably distortion from the multiple sound fields that become increasingly apparent as you pump up the volume.

Instead of using a vibrating membrane like traditional speakers, the HSS technology electronically converts audible tones into a pair of ultrasonic waves at frequencies far beyond human hearing. But when the ultrasonic waves interact after being processed by Norris’s creation, they reproduce the original audible frequency. Even better, since the audible frequency is being carried by those ultrasonic signals, it’s highly directional. That means you can effectively “shine” a spot of sound wherever you want it. What Norris has done over 10 years is to figure out a relatively inexpensive way to combine the two ultrasonic signals to produce the desired sound. Two weeks ago ATC start- ed limited production, and the company’s small lab is already strewn with the devices. Prices are expected to range from $600 to $900 per unit, depending on size.

It’s easy to see how HSS could make some magic. Imagine a home theater system optimized not for your entire living room but for the club chair that you kick back in. Or a giant nightclub with several different music areas on the dance floor, none of them overlapping. But Norris has $30 million in costs to recoup, and HSS isn’t yet perfected for the lower tones prevalent in music. So some of the cooler stuff will have to wait while he hooks up with retailers and the U.S. military for “Minority Report”-style applications: vending machines that call out to you as you walk by; sonic “guns” that can incapacitate the enemy with 150 decibels of sound without deafening the good guys. One person who came away impressed is U.S. Marine Capt. Todd Gillingham, after a recent demonstration for more than 40 military and law-enforcement representatives. “For instance, it can send the tape-recorded sound of a tank or explosion to another area to throw the enemy off,” he says. “I don’t know about us acquiring this technology in any large quantities at this point, but I do think it has great potential.”

Elwood (Woody) Norris may be on the verge of changing the world as we hear it
That’s music to the longtime inventor’s ears. After Norris sold his first patent for $330,000 in the early ’60s, he quit college and never looked back. His subsequent efforts range from an all-in-one earpiece-microphone for hands-free mobile-phone use (sold to another company for $1.5 million), the world’s smallest AM-FM radio (a modest success) and a personal aviation device (a James Bond-like mini-helicopter that has gotten off the ground, but has yet to truly take off). All this and more can be perused at, his hilariously self-promotional Web site, where every article ever written about him or his products—from publications like Popular Mechanics and BusinessWeek to Playboy and Gallery—has been carefully scanned and posted. And Norris’s outsize dreams extend to Hollywood; he likes to show off his sci-fi screenplay about—surprise—the world’s greatest physicist.

Not everyone is a believer in the San Diego inventor. A local newspaper characterized him as “a dream spinner who regularly disappointed Wall Street with glowing predictions for various electronic products that subsequently flopped.” Floyd Toole, vice president of acoustical engineering at the high-fidelity audio company Harman International, met with Norris several years ago and remains skeptical. “It’s a party trick,” says Toole about HSS. “We don’t believe it represents a paradigm shift in mass-market audio.” Perhaps Norris’s harshest critic is former MIT Media Lab researcher Joseph Pompei, who’s developed a rival product under the name Audio Spotlight (automaker DaimlerChrysler is evaluating it in some concept cars) and accuses Norris of everything from taking credit for the work of others to dubious business practices, all of which Norris denies. “For over a decade, [Norris has] promoted impressive-sounding technology of which he has very little evidence of real understanding,” says Pompei. Norris shoots back: “His unit is where we were five years ago.”

“You know Panasonic’s slogan ‘Just slightly ahead of our time’?” Norris asks. “Everything I’ve ever invented has been about 10 years ahead of its time. I know the reputation I have in San Diego: that I take too long on these things, that nothing I’ve invented has ever made money. Well, this will be my vindication.” The world will be watching—and listening.

© 2002 Newsweek, Inc.

SkyNet is Coming!

“SkyNet” was the fictional artificial intelligence defense grid in James Cameron’s THE TERMINATOR. The SkyNet AI strives to kill or enslave all humans in a MATRIX like reality.


Commanders Envision Armies of Robots, Swarms of Fighting Drones in the Sky

An association of nearly 300 scientists and engineers spread across 45 project teams and coordinated by the Office of Naval Research is about a year and a half into a five-year, $11 million effort to determine what it will take to build such a system

Tooth Phone

Thursday, 20 June, 2002, 11:44 GMT 12:44 UK

Put your mobile where your mouth is
That ringing in your ear could be your phone

Soon you could be swapping your mobile phone for a molar phone.
Royal College of Art students in London have developed a phone that fits inside a tooth.

The concept device picks up signals with a radio receiver and uses a tiny vibrating plate to convey them as sound along the jawbone to a person’s ear.

The designers said the mini-molar phone could be implanted in a tooth during routine dental surgery.

The prototype phone is the work of graduates James Auger and Jimmy Loizeau and forms part of the Royal College of Art’s annual summer exhibition.

Known as The Show, this exhibition shows off the best ideas of the current crop of RCA designers and students.

Bits and bites

Currently, the tooth phone is only a mock-up and lacks the communications chip to actually turn it into a functioning device.

Mr Auger said the technology to turn it into a working device already existed and it would be a simple matter to build the relevant chips into the gadget.

The designers speculate that, if the tooth phone becomes a working device, it could be used by stock traders to receive up-to-the-moment information about share prices or to help football managers communicate quickly with players during key matches.

However, the existing design is only supposed to help stimulate debate about future wearable computing devices and to help explore the social and cultural ramifications of in-body technology.

The tooth phone is on show at the Science Museum in London from the 21 June to November.

Development of the device was funded by the National Endowment for Science, Technology & the Arts as part of a collaboration between the Science Museum and the Royal College of Art.

Parole Hearing For Manson Follower

Parole Hearing For Manson Follower
Wednesday June 5, 2002 2:10 PM

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) – A judge ordered a new parole hearing for former Charles Manson follower Leslie Van Houten, saying her good behavior behind bars should be considered.

Superior Court Judge Bob N. Krug also suggested Monday that the state Board of Prison Terms provide further guidance on other things she can do to earn her freedom.

The judge said last month that the board had not given specific reasons for denying parole to Van Houten, who was convicted of a double slaying in the 1960s.

The state board has rejected parole for Van Houten 13 times, most recently in June 2000. Board members said she could benefit from further therapy in prison.

A new parole review was scheduled for later this month, a spokesman for the state prison system said.

Van Houten’s lawyer, Christie Webb, declined to comment, saying she wanted to discuss the decision with her client first.

Van Houten, now 52, was a teen-ager when she was convicted in the slayings of Leno and Rosemary La Bianca. She was a part of the Charles Manson cult that also murdered pregnant actress Sharon Tate and four others in the summer of 1969 – one of California’s most notorious crimes.,1282,-1785197,00.html

Should the moon be developed?

Date:   06-11-02 00:54

The Moon Society, a nonprofit organization of astronomers, computer programmers and other scientists, advocate ‘large-scale industrialization and private enterprise’ on the moon.

Should the moon be developed?

Lunar golf courses, largescale industrialization under debate

By Jim Carlton

May 24 — A dispute over prohibiting development on the moon is causing rising tides of controversy on earth.

High school testing eyed for schizophrenia signs

High school testing eyed for schizophrenia signs
By Ellen Barry, Globe Staff, 5/25/2002

PHILADELPHIA – Hoping to head off the most debilitating of mental illnesses before it strikes, Yale University researchers are laying plans to search for a secret hidden in the brains of ninth-graders: In every group of 100 students, one will go on to develop schizophrenia.

For generations, schizophrenia has been diagnosed in late adolescence, after lives and relationships are already damaged by its painful early stages. In a scattering of research centers, including Yale’s, excitement is building around the possibility that doctors can spot ”pre-psychotic” symptoms and intervene in ways that could delay or weaken the onset of schizophrenia. Yale psychiatrists have been in talks with Connecticut schools to introduce a screen for high school freshmen.

But the idea of such early screening is contentious. Critics warn that it may be too early to identify people in the general population as being at risk for psychosis – both because prediction is still inexact and because there is no consensus on how to treat people who have not yet developed full-blown symptoms. Once a person is identified as at risk for schizophrenia, the most promising interventions – low-dose antipsychotic drugs – carry their own set of risks.

”We have to be cautious,” said Jim McNulty, president of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. ”We don’t know the long-term effects of medications on the human brain. It’s a trade-off.”

A Yale research center called Prevention through Risk Identification, Management and Education , or PRIME, is developing a possible student screen now, although Dr. Thomas McGlashan, PRIME’s chief investigator, said general screening was still some time in the future. ”We’re talking about a year from now” at the soonest, he said.

Schizophrenia, which afflicts 2.2 million Americans, tends to strike men in their late teens and early 20s and women slightly later, and rarely appears in older people. At the heart of the Yale plan is a tantalizing possibility: that early treatment with antipsychotics during that ”window of vulnerability” could protect them until the age when vulnerabililty lessens.

On Thursday, McGlashan presented hopeful new results at the American Psychiatric Association’s annual meeting in Philadelphia.

”There is evidence to suggest that intervention in this stage can have a preventive effect,” McGlashan said.

McGlashan is a year from the end of a clinical drug trial in which 60 patients thought to be at risk for schizophrenia are administered either sugar pills or the antipsychotic drug Zyprexa as a prophylactic measure. After eight weeks of treatment, the Zyprexa group had only half the level of psychotic symptoms as the placebo group, said researcher Scott Woods.

Those in the Zyprexa group also gained an average of 10 pounds in the eight-week period, contrasting to an average one-pound weight gain in the placebo group.

McGlashan has been under scrutiny for his research on pre-onset schizophrenia in the past, in large part because of the risks in giving powerful antipsychotic drugs to young people who are not diagnosed with any mental illness. Two years ago, he was cited by federal regulators for various ethical violations, including failing to fully inform participants of risks.

In the frustrating world of mental health care, early intervention has become a watchword, and Connecticut school officials have said they are eager to break ground by adding mental health to their roster of preventive health programs.

”We looked at it much like we look at eye screens and that sort of thing,” said Nancy Pugliese, who coordinates substance abuse prevention programs for the Connecticut public schools.

As part of that effort, Larry Davidson, a psychologist from the PRIME center, plans to begin an outreach program in the fall, teaching ninth-graders the early signs of psychosis, bipolar disorder, and other mental disorders. Both schools and parents must agree for students to be enrolled in the course, he said. When PRIME develops an accurate screen for pre-onset schizophrenia, it will be administered as part of the course, said Tandy Miller, the PRIME psychiatrist developing the screen.

Catching serious mental illness early is a wonderful opportunity, said Paul Appelbaum, chairman of the department of psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts and president-elect of the American Psychiatric Association.

”If we can actually intervene and try to prevent psychosis in half the people we’re treating, isn’t that a terrific accomplishment?” Appelbaum said.

The trouble, he said, is that even specialists are only right about half the time when they predict who is going to develop schizophrenia.

Patrick McGorry, who heads the Early Psychosis Prevention and Intervention Centre in Victoria, Australia, found that 40 percent of adolescents he identified as ”pre-psychotic” experienced the onset of schizophrenia within a year.

McGlashan’s early results – published in the May issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry – show that 54 percent of 13 patients identified as pre-psychotic had developed schizophrenia within a year.

Therein lies the problem for potential screening. For the subjects who are incorrectly identified as pre-psychotic, the identification itself could be life-changing, Appelbaum said.

”Does it impact on your ability to get health insurance?” he said. ”What about the self-stigma? You may begin to think of yourself as somebody who is going to be schizophrenic.

Davidson said that stigma will be reduced through the educational efforts PRIME plans to start in September, funded by a $99,000 grant from the National Alliance for Research of Schizophrenia and Depression. A similar educational effort in the classrooms and movie theaters of Norway had significant effects: the average delay from the first episode of psychosis to treatment went from 21/2 years to 2 months. The average delay before treatment in the United States is two years, largely because of a lack of awareness of the symptoms of mental illness, he said.

If Connecticut high school students were identified as at risk for psychosis, teenagers and their families would be carefully monitored, possibly at the PRIME clinic or a planned affiliate clinic in Hartford, McGlashan said.

But doctors can not confidently advise any preventive treatment at the moment. Although there are numerous experimental treatments being explored for pre-onset psychosis – such as antidepressants or cognitive behavioral therapy – no method has been broadly tested as a preventive measure.

”You don’t recommend any treatment unless you’ve got a thorough evaluation,” Davidson said. ”The state of knowledge right now is that you would not make” the recommendation to prescribe antipsychotics.

One observer said it is crucial that a broad screening tool not be used to nudge subjects toward an experimental treatment.

”The assumption always is that screening does no harm,” said Steven Hyman, who stepped down as the director of the National Institute of Mental Health to become Harvard’s provost. But screening for depression, a common disease for which treatment is reasonably safe and effective, is different from screening for a disease that is difficult to identify and treat.

”We don’t have proven ways of knowing who is schizophrenic, and the risk-benefit ratio of treating them prior to onset of serious symptoms is not established,” Hyman said.

Ellen Barry can be reached at