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Letters to the Editor
Aspartame (see article)

To the Editor

It is my firm opinion that the consumption of Aspartame has various adverse health effects, at least to the majority of people who use products containing this chemical.

I began using aspartame in the early 1980s, mainly in Diet Coke and coffee. In 1986 I began having mysterious auras, strange smell sensations that medical doctors could not explain. In 1987 at the age of 48, I was the only pilot on a twin-engine prop-jet powered aircraft on a charter flight far out over Alaska's Bering Sea, suddenly and without warning I collapsed unconscious. When I recovered about 10 minutes later the now pilot-less aircraft and fallen over two miles and by now was just a few hundred feet above the ocean. Was that a miracle or what? In searching the history of commercial aviation we find no instance where a pilot had survived a similar event.

I was diagnosed as having had a seizure of undetermined cause. I had consumed five aspartame-sweetened drinks that day, including a can of diet soft drink one hour before the event. The FAA revoked my airman medical certificate; this resulted in the immediate and permanent loss of a successful and adventurous 25-year career as a commercial pilot, first in my native Australia then in the USA and Canada.

Much extensive medical testing followed. Several EEG tests during the first year after the seizure were somewhat abnormal; other than the auras these were the only negative findings. (All this while still using Aspartame) Since then I have had many CAT, MRI's, EEG and PET scans- all unremarkable. I am currently being monitored for a "seizure disorder now in remission."

Why am I so sure that aspartame was the major factor that triggered this event? I was put on seizure medicine, the auras continued. (By now the doctors told me that these auras were a result of seizure activity in the brain) About one year later I became aware of the Aspartame Consumer Safety Network ( and was told by the founder Mrs. Mary Stoddard, about a connection between aspartame and seizures. When I discontinued using Aspartame the auras ceased.

Still being skeptical, after several months I began using aspartame and within a few weeks the auras returned. I repeated this pattern several times; the results became predictable and consistent. To me this was proof positive. I could switch the seizure activity on and off ! This was all the evidence that I needed. I have not experienced any auras or seizures since I stopped using aspartame 11 years ago. I will ever be grateful for the help I received from ACSN.

The Aftermath

Was I permanently injured? Yes, very much so. Devastated both financially and emotionally, I sought help from a counselor who diagnosed me with severe depression. I am now enjoying life much more as I get my self back on track and find healing for that chapter of my life. Nothing, however can fully replace what I have lost. Additionally I was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease in 1998. At first little more then a nuisance it has now progress to a serious disability.

In addition to the many scientific findings, I consider myself living walking proof of the serious and some times life-threatening consequences of consuming aspartame.

Harold Wilson
Portland, Oregon

Chemtrails (see article)

Dear editor,

Thank you for printing James Gilleland's letter about chemtrails. Chemtrails are a dark reality of which many people are as yet unaware. Leading researchers and reporters on this phenomenon are routinely rebuffed by national and local agencies, including the FAA and the EPA. After Clifford Carnicom's continued efforts to alert the EPA on this matter, the agency so far responds that it is "unaware of the existence of chemtrails." I called the FAA in Seattle and was routed first to the Public Relations Department and then to the University of Washington's weather department. No one it seems at the FAA is willing to discuss chemtrails. Perhaps if more citizens call them and/or our political representatives, we can have more effect.

To that end and to inform more people about this danger in our skies, I am producing two cable access programs on chemtrails. Mr. Gilliland will appear in my first program and Mr. Carnicom in the second, along with Nancy Newell, Energy Policy Coordinator for the local chapter of the Sierra Club. I do not have the times allotted yet, but your readers can find out program times by going to and clicking on producer's name, Courtney Scott or program title, "Poisoned Skies, Tracking the Chemtrail Mystery."

 I think it is time for spiritually minded people everywhere to start paying attention to what is going on right above us, almost daily now for the last few years. Steam vapor from airplanes does not explain the massive spraying of our skies without our permission. The core issue is informed consent. For those who may not know, American citizens have been used as biological guinea pigs at least once before in the 1950's. You can read about it in the book "Clouds of Secrecy" by Leonard A. Cole.

Courtney Scott

2639 NE Clackamas
Portland, OR 97232

To the Editor

I am lucky to have a job at a window, so I can see the outside while I work. For many years now I have been watching the skies. The stories about the so-called chemtrails really puzzle me. The more I look into the matter, the more my puzzlement grows.

One can fairly well predict the contrails by the looks of the air up there. If the sky is a crisp, dark blue, there are usually only short contrails that quickly fade, if they form at all. These are caused by the moisture in the engine exhaust. If the air "up there" is hazy, almost forming clouds, the contrails are persistent and spread, on some days eventually covering the sky. Depending on the moisture, I have seen all types of contrails, from the immediately fading ones to the sky-covering persistent ones. I don't see a sharp distinction between two different kinds, but rather a continuous spectrum.

With respect to "chemtrails," I have these questions: Why is the appearance of "chemtrails" always linked to somewhat hazy air at the altitude where planes fly?

Why don't we ever see "chemtrails" in crisp, blue skies? If "chemtrails" were real, where would "they" get all these tankers? We're talking thousands upon thousands of planes here! The military is big, but nothing compared to civil aviation. Where would all these tankers take off and land? I'm sure that every military airfield is being watched by people who would like to document the "chemtrail" tankers. Nowhere on the web did I see a picture of a "chemtrail tanker" taking off or landing. They are always shown at altitude and always look suspiciously like passenger planes. If "they" would use tankers masquerading as civilian planes from regular airports, do you believe that such a gargantuan operation could be kept secret? Why do we see the "chemtrails" spreading up there, but we never see the "stuff" coming down? This would be a thick fog!

I believe the contrails haven't changed, just the awareness of them. As for the peripheral claims about biological effects, I believe this is similar to when children spread scary stories. You hear a scary story, and to make it more believable, you embellish it just a little. Then someone else hears it, takes all that you say for the truth and then ever so slightly embellishes it some more.

Please don't take me as an apologist for abuses by industry or the government. But there are many real things going on that could be described as evil, such as growth hormones in milk, aspartame, HAARP, low frequency active sonar, that we don't have to invent something like the "chemtrails."

William W. Pfeifer
Vancouver, Wa