The Australian Government (particularly Veterans’ Affairs) has refused to pay compo to thousands of injured workers who are entitled to compensation, by arguing those workers failed to me certain demands – demands not based in law according to the High Court (2016) and the Full Court of the Australian Federal Court (2015).


These courts strongly disagreed with the Government by concluding that injured workers are NOT always required to prove:
(i) a causal connection with employment (at [44]); or
(ii) that the injuries occurred suddenly (at [47]);  or
(iii) that evidence is from a medical specialist (at [62]), i.e. courts can make common sense inferences from a sequence of events.

There have been two investigations into the facts in my case:
(1) the air force investigation, where the investigating officers refused to interview my witnesses; refused to accept evidence from me since it supported my case; threatened to imprison me if I ever spoke about any of my case; and handed the investigation over to Air Force Headquarters, who later admitted they never completed the investigation.

(2) the Tribunal investigation where they dismissed all of the evidence as being not “objective”, even when that evidence was from a computer, specialists, or Government Departments.

2001 flew Newcastle to Canberra in PC-9AF

Whereas the Federal Court found that the Tribunal erred in law by imposing such unlawful demands, the High Court found the Tribunal faultless.


PHYSIOLOGICAL CHANGE: I was a ‘healthy and very fit’ qualified aerobatics pilot (at [53]). Later the air force medically discharged me for ‘debilitating’, ‘incapacitating’ vertigo.[1] The Tribunal accepted specialist medical evidence that I became ‘disabled’ (at [48]), and found that physiology means functioning.[2] Therefore, becoming disabled is physiological change. Yet, the Tribunal denied compensable injury as it was ‘not satisfied… that Mr May suffered a physical injury… amounting to a… physiological change in the normal functioning of the body…’ (at [63]). Why? ‘The Tribunal accepts that objective evidence … would be evidence of physiological change… However, there is no objective evidence…’ (at [59]). What makes Government departments and medical specialists not objective?

SWELLING: The Tribunal explained ‘objective evidence of a swollen tongue… would be evidence of physiological change’ (at [59]). I submitted to the Tribunal evidence from many doctors; including Dr S.C. Babu, Commanding Officer (CO) of the RAAF Institute of Aviation Medicine (AVMED) and Dr J. Newlands, Medical Officer (MO) AVMED, who confirmed ‘Tongue and palate swelling… May remains symptomatic’. The Tribunal accepted evidence from other air force doctors who reported: ‘tongue swelling, pushing forward on teeth… tongue … fissured…’ (at [21]). I also submitted photographs. However, after Veterans Affairs denied ‘any objective evidence’ (at [36]), the Tribunal found, ‘there is no objective evidence of Mr May’s swollen tongue…’ (at [59]). What makes photographs and force doctors not objective?

VERTIGO: A St Vincent’s Hospital computer called the ‘Balance Master’ measured an ‘abnormal’ result.[3] This computer and its apparatus measure effects of dizziness and vertigo – such as how much a patient sways when trying to stand still or otherwise controlling movement.

20030918 Balance 1

Medical specialists and Air Force officers and doctors reported that I suffer vertigo.[4] The Tribunal said that ‘objective evidence of … dizziness would be evidence of physiological change. … However, there is no objective evidence of Mr May’s …dizziness…’ (at [59]). What makes a computer not objective? A computer!

CAUSALITY: The High Court found that the Tribunal did NOT require a causal connection, which is surprising considering that the Tribunal wrote, ‘[i]t is the causal connection between the vaccinations Mr May received and the reaction Mr May claims to have suffered following the vaccinations which is the critical issue in this case’ (at [49]). The Tribunal considered evidence, such as TGA saying ‘Causality: Certain’ and royal australian air force (RAAF) doctors reporting ‘reaction to Vaccine’ (at [42]). However, Veterans’ Affairs convinced the Tribunal that neither TGA nor the RAAF are objective: ‘there is no objective evidence to connect the condition with the vaccinations’ (at [65]). What makes Government departments not objective?

The Tribunal denied vaccine causality (of which there are many types) because the Department of Veterans’ Affairs’ witness Dr R. Loblay rejected one type of vaccine reaction – immunologically mediated reactions. His reason was that ‘there is no biological mechanism consistent with a vaccine generating an immune response’ (at [35]). Let’s be clear: Loblay required biological mechanism (aka mechanistic; aka plausibility) evidence, as detailed in his report to the Tribunal (discussed at [33]-[35]). Loblay wrote, “… epidemiological evidence… cannot establish a cause-and-effect relationship… mechanistic evidence is required’ and ‘…May fails to meet the necessary criteria for mechanistic plausibility… used by the IOM…’ Loblay (pp 8-10) alleged these demands were founded on the research of ‘Sir Austin Bradford Hill’ (Hill, 1965) and the ‘Institute of Medicine (IOM, 2011)’. However, when we check Loblay’s ‘scientific criteria’ we find Hill actually wrote that this “is a feature I am convinced we cannot demand. What is biologically plausible depends upon the biological knowledge of the day” (p 298, my emphasis). Likewise, the IOM accepted probable causality on epidemiologic evidence without biological / mechanistic evidence: ‘A conclusion of “favors acceptance of a causal relationship” must be supported by either epidemiologic evidence of moderate certainty of an increased risk or by mechanistic evidence of intermediate weight’ (my emphasis; p 8, see also pp 2, 10, 11, 43). I showed the Tribunal this. The Tribunal wrote, ‘Mr May was critical of Dr Loblay’s reports… also that he had misconstrued some of the material which he took into consideration in formulating his opinion’ (at [47); and ‘Despite the reservations about Dr Loblay’s evidence expressed by Mr May, the Tribunal found his evidence convincing…’ (at [56]). Further, the argument the Tribunal disproved was a specific type of reaction known as an ‘immunologically mediated reaction to vaccines’ (at [32], [38], [56]), which was nothing to do any of the causality arguments I ran! In sum: no compo, since no causality, since I failed to meet a requirement the (misrepresented and misquoted) science says must not be demanded.

[1]Squadron Leader (SQNLDR) Dr C. Watson, Senior Medical Officer (SMO) wrote, ‘May became unwell soon after joining the RAAF in 1998. … Long history of debilitating symptoms…’ (15 Sep 02)

Specialist Dr P. Barrie, ENT Surgeon wrote, ‘…Pilot who has had imbalance since he was given immunisation injections in 1998… Clearly the effects of this imbalance are potentially going to be very severe on this young man’s career…’ (18 Dec 02)

Wing Commander (WGCDR) T. McDonald, Deputy Director Personnel Support, AFHQ wrote, ‘you are Medically Unfit for Further Service (MUFS).’ (31 Mar 03)

Squadron Leader (SQNLDR) Dr G. Wilson, Senior Medical Officer (SMO) wrote, ‘May continues to suffer from Vertigo and the symptoms are moderately disabling. He is unfit for the duties which he enlisted for (Pilot training).’ (2 Apr 03)

Specialist Dr, Professor P. Fagan, Otology, Neurotology wrote, ‘…he would appear to be genuinely handicapped… almost certainly there is nothing that can be done for him…’ (13 Jan 04; 1061)

Wing Commander (WGCDR) Dr M. O’Donoghue, Commanding Officer (CO) 2ATHS (hospital at RAAF Base Williamtown) wrote, ‘May continues to suffer with chronic persisting symptoms’ (25 Feb 04)

Specialist Dr R. Loblay, allergist wrote, ‘[May] is significantly disabled” (26 Oct 10)

Specialist Dr A. Dowe, Consultant Ear Nose Throat (ENT) Surgeon wrote, ‘Prescribed impairment: Persisting vertigo’ (2756) ‘overall assessment of incapacity overall for civilian employment would be large (60% to 100%). … I cannot see that there is going to be any significant improvement … in Mr May’s retiring impairment or incapacity for civilian employment.’ (11 Jun 11)

[2] ‘…‘physiological’ is defined in the Macquarie Dictionary (Revised 3rd edition) as meaning “consistent with the normal functioning of an organism” and ‘physiology’ as “the science dealing with the functioning of living organisms of their parts” (at [51]).

[3]  Balance Master: (i.e. a computer at St Vincent’s Hospital). … Comparison to Clinically Normal Scores. 50% represents an average score. 5% or less… represents a clinically abnormal score. 4.4% Percentile Rank Relative to Normal Population … 4.3% Eyes closed – Average Position (18 Sep 03)

St Vincents Hospital Physiotherapist K. De Lapp wrote, ‘…test has excessive sway and the score is abnormal.’ (8 Oct 03)

‘experiencing Dizzyness [sic] and fatigue [..] glands palpable… viral illness’ Dr Wride, 6Hosp MO wrote, ‘History as above. …Not fit for operational deployment’ (22 Nov 98; 0085)

Squadron Leader (SQNLDR) Dr C. Watson, SMO: This situation has been ongoing since 1998 and remains unresolved.’ (15 Sep 02)

Specialist Dr. J. Tonkin, ENT wrote, ‘…more or less a continuous feeling of vertigo since the second day of entering the air force in November 1998. tinnitus in his left ear… he has tinnitus.’ (1 Jul 03)

Wing Commander (WGCDR) Dr. V. Duffy, MO wrote, ‘Longstanding vertigo’ (19 Nov 03)

Colonel J. Brock, Defence Health Services (DHS) wrote, ‘vestibular disturbance including episodic rotational vertigo, remain unchanged and have now persisted for a period in excess of 4 years.’ (1 Jun 04)

WGCDR Dr. M O’Donoghue Commanding Officer 2ATHS wrote, ‘Recurrent Vertigo…’ (24 Jun 04)             Wing Commander (WGCDR) Dr. Vince Duffy, MO wrote, ‘a history of disequilibrium’ (25 Jun 04)

Specialist Dr T. Kertesz, ENT surgeon wrote, ‘Dizziness… history of dysequilibrium. It seems to have started after air force vaccinations in 1998. Since then he has had positional imbalance, worse with changes in pressure whilst swimming or in an aeroplane. …constant disequilibrium and imbalance.’ (6 May 08; 1849)

Specialist Dr. D. Pohl, ENT wrote, ‘chronic recurrent vertigo requiring medication.’ (17 Dec 08)

I’m Ben. https://www.facebook.com/BJEMay


Someone, not me, deleted my old site.

Forward to TWO

© Benjamin May  1997 – 2014 All rights reserved.


3 responses

  1. Jazzy Wolf

    Hi Ben, this is an awful story and injustice. I firmly believe that vaccines can affect people and the medical profession will not acknowledge this. I truly am sorry and hope you will continie towards better health. Reading through this I was curious as you noted the vaccination was improperly administered and wondered what you meant by that? Also was it a particular vaccine? My son had reaction as a baby so I have an interest especially as an adult being forced to have them for employment etc. Kind regards

    2017 January 19 at 19:24

  2. Thank you, Jazzy Wolf. By ‘improper administration’ I refer to multiple counts of non-compliance with ADF regulations, policies, and other authoritative documents: e.g. failure to check contraindications; administering contraindicated vaccines; failure to provide risk information; failure to obtain informed consent; etc. I reacted to a number of vaccines, beginning with Twinrix, ADT, MMR, OPV, BCG, etc.

    I’m sorry your son suffered an adverse reaction. Thank you again for your kind words, and comments.

    All the very best.

    2017 January 20 at 22:57

  3. Jazzy Wolf

    Thank you. I actually ended up on your other site and read in it’s entirety chapter by chapter so I have a good understanding of your story! It was like a good book that one can’t put down. You are definitely a talented writer and your intelligence and humour shine through. Worthy of a 60 mins story but vacc comp is a hot potato they don’t want to stir. I’m not anti-vax I just think there are too many being forced on people, new ones added and very little evidence these are safe. It takes years for a new drug to be accepted as safe and most dont pass, but vaccines seem to get a free pass..I just don’t get it. Actually there was more personal nature to my query than I expressed and I wanted to ask is are you aware if the culture is still the same after all these years? What advice would you give to someone contemplating entering defence force and who is chilled to the bone from your story? If you were young Ben entering now is there anything you would do differently? Also have the other two pilots with similar symptoms made claims? They can’t possibly explain a cluster of rare auto-immune diseases as a coincidence? Thank you so much for sharing your story and I sincerely hope you can get resolution of this and recover your health. You are very brave, all the best Ben.

    2017 January 21 at 11:56

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