I’ve read a lot of reports stating that the electro-magnetic radiation from mobile phones and other Wi-Fi devices are harmful to humans. But I never really believed it until I actually heard the story of these two French women who are living in a cave to escape these evil rays.
Anne Cautain and Bernadette Touloumond suffer from hypersensitive reactions to electro-magnetic radiations. The symptoms include unbearable burning and terrible headaches, so bad that they couldn’t stand to live in the outside world anymore. After trying several other options, a cave has become their ultimate refuge. Anne and Bernadette’s cave is located outside the town of Beaumugne, on the edge of the Vercors plateau range, in France. To gain access to the area, a small ladder needs to be scaled while clinging to a rope. A sign reading “Mobile Phones Prohibited” is displayed on the hillside. 52-year-old Anne says, “I can’t take any sort of electro-magnetic waves, whatever they may be: Wi-Fi, mobile phones or high-tension wires.” She was the first to settle down in the cave, and is now spending her third winter there.
Photo © Jean-Pierre Clatot / AFP
For Anne, it all began with the burns. She couldn’t stand being in her apartment or at work anymore. A former employee of the University of Nice, she became allergic to radiation in January 2009. This was when Wi-Fi was installed in the university. She then began to look for “white-zones,” places without any high-tension wires, GSM antennas and Wi-Fi boxes. For a while, Anne spent her nights sleeping in her car in a suburban parking lot. But soon, the radiation spread there too. The cave was the only option left to her, and 66-year-old Bernadette joined her a while later. They receive other visitors from time to time who come there for the same reason, to escape the radiation their bodies are allergic to.
Photo via Robin des Toits
Although life is better for them in the cave, they still do not have access to fresh air or sunlight, which the women miss the most. Deep inside the cave, they have a few planks on the ground to help them keep their feet dry. Plastic sheets on the ceiling keep the humidity out. They have beds to sleep in and a table with a few candles. There’s no heating or electricity. They grow their own food organically outside their cave – apples, pears and organic marrows – in crates.
Many people have thought Anne and Bernadette to be crazy. They’ve ended up losing friends and family over their condition. The illness, however, is far worse than you can imagine. Electro-magnetic hypersensibility, or EHS, is now being accepted as legitimate. However, the number of people suffering from it seem to be very few. Anne says she doesn’t really enjoy her living conditions. “But I have no choice. Everywhere else, it is hell.”