12:55 GMT06 March 2021
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    In 2017 the US State Department claimed several dozen diplomats working at its embassies in Cuba, China and Russia between 2016 and 2018 were affected by a mysterious audio device that caused several staff to suffer permanent hearing loss and possible brain injuries, with media reports suggesting multiple theories to explain the incident.

    The neurological symptoms of the mysterious illness purportedly experienced by American diplomats overseas, specifically at embassies in Cuba, China, and Russia, are consistent with the effects of ‘directed’ microwave energy, claims a report by a National Academies of Sciences (NAS) committee, commissioned by the State Department.

    Alleged radiation attacks that ostensibly prompted an array of US officials working overseas in previous years to fall ill with symptoms that included balance- and vision-related problems have been probed by the FBI, CIA, US military, the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service, the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    The incidents first came to light publicly in 2017, with reports claiming that in late 2016 US diplomats and other government workers stationed in Havana began hearing strange sounds and experiencing mysterious physical sensations that were suggested as resulting in hearing, balance and cognitive changes.

    The symptoms were also believed to be consistent with mild traumatic brain injury, such as concussion.
    The new report, released Saturday, is based on the results of findings assembled after a team of medical and scientific experts studied the symptoms of as many as 40 State Department and other government employees.

    US Secretary of State John Kerry (C) stands with other dignitaries as members of the US Marines raise the US flag over the newly reopened embassy in Havana, Cuba, August 14, 2015.
    © REUTERS / Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Pool
    US Secretary of State John Kerry

    According to the NAS report, many ‘victims’ claimed they had heard a loud sound and felt pressure in their heads. This was said to have been compounded by dizziness, an unsteady gait and visual disturbances that persisted, resulting in longstanding incapacitating effects.

    “The committee felt that many of the distinctive and acute signs, symptoms and observations reported by (government) employees are consistent with the effects of directed, pulsed radio frequency (RF) energy,” said chairman David Relman, a professor of medicine at Stanford University.

    As the study probed four options deemed likely in explaining the symptoms displayed by those affected, such as infection, chemicals, psychological factors and microwave energy, it determined:

    “Overall, directed pulsed RF energy … appears to be the most plausible mechanism in explaining these cases among those that the committee considered. ... The committee cannot rule out other possible mechanisms and considers it likely that a multiplicity of factors explains some cases and the differences between others.”

    The report concluded that more investigation was required, and is believed to raise a further plethora of questions, as it stops short of ruling out that the directed energy was delivered intentionally, as claimed by some US officials.

    It adds that “mere consideration of such a scenario raises grave concerns about a world with disinhibited malevolent actors and new tools for causing harm to others.”

    ‘Havana Syndrome’

    Between late 2016 and May 2018, more than two dozen US workers who served in Cuba and several Canadians had ostensibly suffered from the illness, dubbed the “Havana Syndrome”. A US government worker at the consulate in Guanghzhou, China, was also believed to have experienced similar symptoms.

    While some medical experts speculated at the time that staff might have simply suffered from mass hysteria. electromagnetic energy had been considered a possible explanation.

    NBC News reported in 2018 that American intelligence officials deemed Russia a leading suspect in what some branded as a deliberate attacks on diplomats and CIA officers overseas. However, at no point was there any conclusive evidence to substantiate the allegations, according to officials briefed on the matter.

    Cuba has adamantly and consistently denied any knowledge or involvement in the incidents.

    Moscow has also repeatedly denied allegations of being involved in any purported microwave radiation attacks.

    Related:

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    Sonic 'Attacks' on American Embassy Continue to Drive Wedge Between US and Cuba
    Tags:
    State Department, radiation, radiation, microwaves, Russia, China, Cuba, Cuba
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