In West Virginia, "Wi-fi refugees" seek shelter from electromagnetic oppression

The BBC reports on the phenomenon of people who claim to have been made sick by wi-fi and mobile phones, and now seek refuge in Green Bank, West Virginia. This town is situated in the US Radio Quiet Zone, where there is no wireless allowed within a 13,000 square mile range to prevent interference with a number of major radio telescopes. Some of those "listening points" are part of the US government's spy network.

It's easy to mock the Wi-Fi refugees, as science does not support their claim that wireless waves are harmful to health. But the notion of living in a "quiet zone" sounds quaintly comforting. Snip:

There are five billion mobile phone subscriptions worldwide and advances in wireless technology make it increasingly difficult to escape the influence of mobile devices. But while most Americans seem to embrace continuous connectivity, some believe it's making them physically ill.

Diane Schou is unable to hold back the tears as she describes how she once lived in a shielded cage to protect her from the electromagnetic radiation caused by waves from wireless communication.

"It's a horrible thing to have to be a prisoner," she says. "You become a technological leper because you can't be around people.

"It's not that you would be contagious to them – it's what they're carrying that is harmful to you."

Ms Schou is one of an estimated 5% of Americans who believe they suffer from Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS), which they say is caused by exposure to electromagnetic fields typically created by mobile phones, wi-fi and other electronic equipment.

More: BBC News – 'Wi-fi refugees' shelter in West Virginia mountains.

(thanks, Cyrus Farivar)