4

An article from a professor of psychology describes a type of so-called “ radio-wave, auditory, assaultive. transmitting (RAAT) implants,” which is essentially a covert listening device, and it can be implanted into and stay in human ear canal as a remote listening device.

The article contains some very detailed descriptions of such “spying ear bug” with case studies and victims’ reports. The descriptions include (full details see the article link above):

The purpose of these implants is the use of electromagnetism in a communication device which can act as a transducer. The input typically ranges from two to seven megahertz (MHz) at low intensity. According to reports about individuals who have described them, the input is described as sound resembling that which a commercial radio might provide.

The device would be invisible by an observer, given that the cases have not revealed others' mentioning that they noticed them. Because the persons have not had implantation via invasive surgery, their implied location would be internal but easily reachable. Their function would indicate placement in the ear canal, near the tympanic membrane or ear drum. Transmission of electromagnetism would be two-way, meaning that the transducers act as both receivers and transmitters.

This is certainly beyond the medical implants like cochlear devices or detectors working in and powered by human body which can transmit only to nearby machines. This device described is long-ranged and seems to be self-powered, almost like a micro mobile phone. The author mentioned that oftentimes the claim of existence of such device would be considered as paranoia or schizophrenia, etc., yet the article have very detailed case studies described and overall seems to support the existence of such device. Also people in the case studies making such claims of the device and I wonder how possible/impossible are they. The claims and discussions from the article include:

The accounts by case study subjects imply certain characteristics of the RAAT implants that involve their location, probable operation, structure and materials. The device would be invisible by an observer, given that the cases have not revealed others' mentioning that they noticed them. Because the persons have not had implantation via invasive surgery, their implied location would be internal but easily reachable. Their function would indicate placement in the ear canal, near the tympanic membrane or ear drum.

The conditions under which RAAT implants are placed in someone's ears are described as follows. Because most implantation seems to occur without the victim's awareness, this information has been provided by radio operators. The accounts seem consistent in describing the typical conditions for implanting as involving general anesthesia during surgery for another purpose. ...

The invisibility of the implants without an otoscope implies that they do not have batteries or other external power source. They would need to draw power from the person's own life systems including the neurological system. How this energy source works has puzzled the case study subjects, but the ruses have suggested such outlandish mechanisms as power directed from Defense Department satellites enabling the use of implants as emitters for spying purposes.

Hence, by scientific principles and current technology, do such device possibly exist, or is it totally the product of delusions? Please don’t just claim the absurdity or give joking/ridiculing comments; instead some scientific arguments are needed.

9
  • @ARogueAnt. I think the author’s stand is not directly stated (whether the author believes in the existence of such device), but the paper is indeed a study of the effect of such a device and never explicitly denied its existence. There are people in the case studies making such claims of the device and I wonder how possible/impossible are they. I will edit to make this clearer.
    – RLR
    Nov 7 at 3:50
  • @ARogueAnt. That’s also part of the reason I believe this question can be asked. I think there should be scientific ways of proving/disproving this and/or explaining the situation which is claimed by those involved in the case studies.
    – RLR
    Nov 7 at 4:01
  • 2
    "without the victims awareness" feels very far fetched. The ear canal is very sensitive and you would certainly notice if something is in there. It also easy to detect from the outside, just shine a light in there or poke around with Q tip. There would be no space for something like this in the middle ear.
    – Hilmar
    Nov 7 at 15:33
  • 4
    The article essentially postulates a different etiology for a range of symptoms that have traditionally been associated with paranoid schizophrenia. The technologies required to produce those symptoms with this etiology do not exist, but I guess they seem close enough now that some patients are more comfortable attributing their symptoms to this technological cause rather than evil spirits.
    – antlersoft
    Nov 7 at 16:21
  • 2
    The article is riddled with grammatical errors, nonsequiturs and general absurdity (the FDA having anything to do with 'RAAT's, subjects somehow being aware of being tracked) - this is not an actual article, but either a trollpost, result of psychological distress, or an attempt to somehow empathize with a subset of paranoid schizophrenics.
    – bukwyrm
    Nov 8 at 0:13
14

There is a lot wrong with the whole thing here. For a start, when you try and find the original article

allegedly written by Professor Kelley

which is titled

Case Studies of Destabilization and Delusions Described as
Radio-wave Transmitted: Behavioral Implications

Kathryn Kelley
Department of Psychology, University of Albany, State University of New York
Albany, New York 12222, United States of America

There is no copy other than at the URL you provided.

Even searching for "Surveillance Technology- The Ear Bug" in Scribd (supposedly an originator for this article) returns nothing.

That alone casts huge doubt over how genuine this article is, let alone everything else.

So I look to see if there is or was a Kathryn Kelley at University of Albany in New York. There is The State University of New York at Albany, commonly referred to as University at Albany not of. However, there are papers written by a Kathryn Kelley while affiliated with Albany State University and other places. Albany State University is a public university in Albany, Georgia. Not New York. However, looking at Amazon's information about her with her book Females, Males, and Sexuality: Theories and Research (Suny Series in Sexual Behavior), it says

Kathryn Kelley is Associate Professor of Psychology at State University of New York at Albany.

Being from the United Kingdom and not a New Yorker, this confuses me and so I will leave that bit there.

If you look at Kathryn Kelley's research while affiliated with Albany State University and other places, you will find that her research is in the field of Sexology — the scientific study of human sexuality, including human sexual interests, behaviors, and functions.

Why would someone in this field be interested in looking at RAAT Implants, or whatever they are supposed to be called?

Informal names for them have included: radio-wave hearing implants; electromagnetic auditory devices; internal, auditory, connecting devices; and radio-wave, auditory, assaultive. transmitting (RAAT) implants.

Searching for device information outside this "article" again provides nothing. But... There are Cochlear Implants and they don't do what these are reportedly doing.

As for implanting the device, as @Hilmar pointed out in the comments,

"without the victims awareness" feels very far fetched. The ear canal is very sensitive and you would certainly notice if something is in there. It also easy to detect from the outside, just shine a light in there or poke around with Q tip. There would be no space for something like this in the middle ear.

The "article" even mentions,

There may be tiny stitches visable in this area, which secure the devices in a section of the canal. Multiple pairs of implants in each ear can be forced upon the anesthetized victim when additional surgery occurs in the future.

It is hard, if not impossible, to prove something doesn't exist, and we are at risk of entering into a straw man argument. The whole thing looks bogus and just does not add up.

It looks like an attempt to try and create a seemingly legitimate scientific paper to bring Schizophrenia diagnoses into question, especially where auditory hallucinations are involved.

4
  • 2
    "State University of New York at Albany" is the usual formal way to refer to a campus of the state-funded university system in New York state; the first part is often shortened to SUNY. SUNY Buffalo, SUNY Albany, SUNY Binghampton etc. are all schools in the overall NY university system. "University of Albany, State University of New York" is, as far as I'm aware, a very atypical, if not garbled, way of writing it.
    – Dave
    Nov 8 at 15:54
  • Thanks for clearing that up @Dave Nov 8 at 15:59
  • 2
    Peculiarly, one of the only references in the "paper" is to a book called "Sarah: A Sexual Biography" - something the real Kathryn Kelley might well cite, but weirdly unconnected to the topic at hand. I wonder if the original author started with a real paper and manipulated it beyond all recognition.
    – IMSoP
    Nov 8 at 19:08
  • Hmmm, possible @IMSoP Nov 8 at 19:10
-1

A similar device was recently discovered to be used by a criminal group that helped students cheat on the Swedish SAT test. A small magnet bead was glued to the ear canal and together with a copper necklace it became a miniature earpiece that was invisible from the outside.

However, in this case it was only used to transfer speech, not as a microphone. It also requires additional equipment to work so you would definitely be aware of it. My guess is that a non-technical person learned about this device and exaggerated its features.

New contributor
filip is a new contributor to this site. Take care in asking for clarification, commenting, and answering. Check out our Code of Conduct.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .