On September 15, 2021, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ordered all military personnel, Defense Department civilian officials and contractors to report any symptoms of Havana syndrome, a mysterious disease that affected US diplomatic missions in many countries around the world.
The mysterious disease manifested itself for the first time in 2016 in Havana, Cuba, where it literally wiped out the staff of the US Embassy. The victims reported that at first they heard strange grinding and ringing sounds, and then they either lost consciousness, or began to experience severe migraines, dizziness and disorientation. The diplomatic mission had to be closed, and the personnel had to be repatriated. At least 59 Americans in Cuba and China have been screened or treated for the unknown illness. The total number of patients amounts to at least 130 people.
In 2021, a new wave of unexplained health incidents took place, this time in Vienna and Berlin. According to The Associated Press, in August of this year, the arrival of US Vice President Kamala Harris to Vietnam was delayed for three hours for the same reason. It was said that another employee of the US Embassy — this time in Hanoi — allegedly fell victim to the "Havana epidemic."
At the same time, the Defence Department, as well as the Joe Biden administration made it clear that they take the problem very seriously. The State Department and the CIA issued a series of guidelines for their employees as well. One of them says that one should immediately leave a potentially dangerous place if feeling unwell. To crown it all, the US State Department set up a special work group that diplomats and their family members could turn to should they experience "unexplained health incidents."
The fear of imminent danger has settled in long corridors of the US State Department and the CIA. Government officials now feel uneasy about going on long business trips, especially with family members. And of course, rumours started spreading very quickly about a new "secret weapon of the Russians" that affected intelligence officers and diplomats.
The geography of the Havana syndrome has been expanding. CIA staffer William Burns returned from India and brought easily recognisable symptoms along too. US agent Marc Polymeropoulos, who worked in Moscow, lost his ability to work forever, started suffering from severe headaches and blamed the infamous Havana syndrome for this.
Evil tongues pointed out, though, that the former spy obtained a high severance pay and a life-long pension complete with free social insurance ahead of schedule.
In December last year, the staff of the US National Academy of Sciences provided their own medical opinion on the subject: from the point of view of scientists, a microwave weapon is to blame.
The verdict, signed by 19 medical specialists and experts in related fields of science, stated that the above-mentioned symptoms developed as a result of directed pulsed radio frequency energy attack. This is the only explanation to the mysterious disease, the scientists said. The report of the commission was published by The New York Times.
One of the unwritten rules of modern-day American diplomacy instructs to consistently accuse Russia of any cataclysms and destructive phenomena of unknown origin. Therefore, it should not be surprising that Avril D. Haines, the Director of the National Intelligence in the Biden administration, informed President Biden on August 8 of this year that experts were doing their best to find evidence that would prove the involvement of elusive Russian agents in the phenomenon. They are still looking, good luck to them.
Moscow has repeatedly denied such accusations. In December 2020, Maria Zakharova, an official representative for the Russian Foreign Ministry, stated that Russia did not have any microwave directed weapons.
"Such provocative, unsubstantiated speculations (…) can hardly be regarded as a serious reason for comment," the diplomat said.
In is worthy of note that in the fall of 2021, cases of the "microwave" disease were reported in Japan, Uzbekistan, Colombia and Australia.
Back in January 2018, Beatrice Colomb, a professor at the University of San Diego, published an article in Neural Computing journal about the effects of microwaves on the human body. In September of the same year, the researcher sent a detailed letter to the division of the US State Department engaged in the investigation of the Havana syndrome. The professor said that she had no doubts about the microwave nature of the Havana syndrome.
It should be noted that Beatrice Colomb specialises in the effects of microwaves on the human body. The US State Department reported back that they read the report with interest.
Meanwhile, researchers in the United States described the symptoms of microwave auditory exposure as the Frey effect, in honour of one of the pioneers in the field. Experts agree that the human brain can work like a receiving antenna that picks up gigahertz waves. When subjects were exposed to pulsed microwave irradiation, they reported that they could at first hear strange grinding sounds and then feel fatigued.
From the point of view of the scientists, this is due to the dielectric properties of the human brain. When exposed to external electric and magnetic energy fields, internal polarisation of the human brain may occur, which triggers severe medical consequences. Such conclusions can be found in the report from the International Society for Bioelectromagnetism. The document was published in July of this year.
Professor James C. Lin of the University of Illinois, a leading investigator of the Frey effect, believes that microwaves can cause thermoelastic disorder in the ear and disrupt motor coordination.
Curiously, all modern research into the field of targeted exposure of humans to microwave radiation has been conducted in the United States.
First research works on the subject date back to December 1966, when deputy director of CIA's DARPA research and development agency mentioned a project related to microwave weapons.
Later, it became known from confidential sources that the US Air Force launched three secret research programs during the 1990s.
The first project was named Hello. The task was to select the range of microwaves that would cause people to experience loud ringing noise in the head. The second study, codenamed Good-bye, was supposed to find frequencies that would be capable of suppressing crowd aggression. The US apparently was looking for ways to disperse demonstrations. The third line of research — Good night — was supposed to enable remote killings of people.
In the spring of 2018, when Professor Colomb published her article on the effects of microwaves on humans, Curtis Waltman of MuckRock media platform discovered an email from the Washington State Fusion Center in his inbox. There was a heavy zipped file attached to the email. The file was called "EM effects on human body". This information was published by Popular Mechanics in the April 19, 2018 issue.
The document described the technology for creating psycho-electric weapons and effects of radiation on the human brain and body. It also contained information about the creation of a device to remotely manipulate human beings.
Science, including the one that looks for sophisticated ways of destruction of living beings, does not stand still. According to French military media outlets, the US is testing a new type of air defense system that uses the microwave technology. The complex is known as THOR (Tactical High Power Operational Responder) and is designed to combat unmanned aerial vehicles with the help of powerful electromagnetic impulses. Such impressive progress in the development of new areas of applied physics may give an indirect answer to the question of who is really behind the Havana syndrome phenomenon.