It is unusual for Havana Syndrome to only affect U.S. diplomatic and intelligence personnel (and in Cuba, Canadian).
BENGALURU: THE PROBLEM: In 2016, several U.S. Embassy staff and 14 Canadian diplomats stationed in Havana, Cuba complained of dizziness, migraines, nausea, fatigue, anxiety, cognitive difficulties and memory lapses similar to the symptoms of a concussion. These unusual and often disabling symptoms have since been called Havana Syndrome. Years later, American diplomats and intelligence officers had this experience in Asia and Russia, Poland, Berlin, Vienna, Serbia and Georgia. In 2018, American personnel were evacuated from Guangzhou in China for the same problem. In 2019 and 2020, two incidents were reported in Washington DC. In August 2021, US Vice President Kamala Harris’s visit to Vietnam was delayed due to similar complaints from US personnel in Hanoi. Later in September 2021, a member of the delegation of CIA Director Bill Burns, visiting New Delhi, reported symptoms compatible with this mysterious Havana Syndrome. The United States House and Senate recently passed a bill called the American Neurological Injury Victim Assistance Act (HAVANA) to financially support staff with brain injuries.
INVESTIGATION RESULTS AND SUSPECTS: Thorough investigations into possible causes have not been able to definitively identify the cause. The CIA, FBI, State Department, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted independent investigations instead of a coordinated study. A study by advanced brain MRI techniques on 40 of the 44 Cuban diplomats with Havana syndrome revealed definite damage to the auditory and visuospatial subnets of the brain and was reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association. In December 2020, an expert committee from the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine said the findings were consistent with exposure to pulsed radiofrequency / microwave radiation. US officials suspected attacks by the GRU, Russian military intelligence. Meanwhile, Cuban authorities analyzed air and soil samples for neurotoxic pesticides (used against mosquitoes) or chemicals and found none. This year, a panel of 16 scientists from the Cuban Academy of Sciences said that “no known form of energy can selectively cause brain damage (with laser-like spatial precision) under the conditions described for them. alleged incidents in Havana “. In the 1970s, NASA research showed that thermal expansion in parts of the internal year in people exposed to microwaves from radar installations was the cause of the clicks and buzzes they heard (Frey effect ). Many other causes have been suggested for the unusual sounds heard, including ultrasound, locust song, and mass psychogenic illnesses, but none of them can cause the brain damage seen in those affected.
RADIATION: The electromagnetic field associated with the passage of radiofrequency waves, in particular radio waves (RF) and microwaves (MW), causes vibrations and rotations of polarized molecules causing friction between them and therefore heating of the material. RF have a longer wavelength and therefore have greater penetration but heat up slowly, MFs have a shorter wavelength and therefore have less penetration but heat up faster. Various radio wave frequencies are used for TV and FM and AM radio, amateur radio, and television broadcasts. Microwaves are widely used in point-to-point communication links, cell phones, wireless networks (WiFi, Bluetooth, remote control, smart devices, collision avoidance systems, garage door openers and keyless entry systems) , microwave, radar, satellite radio relay networks and communication with spacecraft, body scanners, remote sensing, radio astronomy, particle accelerators and spectroscopy. Microwave heating is used for medical diathermy and cancer treatment, industrial heating, cooking food in microwave ovens, pasteurization of liquid products and disinfection. Radio frequency is used to heat and dry textiles, wood, powders and processed foods. Lasers have medical, industrial and military applications. High energy ionizing radiation includes x-rays and gamma rays as well as higher energy UV rays. These can damage DNA and sometimes lead to cancer. Microwaves don’t have enough energy to ionize and damage genetic material, but can cause the type of brain damage seen in Havana syndrome, provided they are able to penetrate. Therefore, US investigators suspected directed pulsed RF energy as the likely cause. Many attempts have been made to militarize directed energy. A Directed Energy Weapon (DEW) damages its target with highly focused energy including laser, microwave, ultrasound, plasma, and particle beams.
It is unusual for Havana Syndrome to affect only American diplomatic and intelligence personnel (and in Cuba, Canadian), abroad and this too in a hotel or house, without affecting family members or neighbors. . It makes me wonder if the problem is due to microwave radiation from a specialized encrypted wireless earpiece used by these officials, as microwaves from these handy devices could enter the ear and brain. More focused radio waves from surveillance equipment could cause interference or malfunction of these wireless headphones.
Dr PS Venkatesh Rao is a consultant in endocrine, breast and laparoscopic surgery.