Scientists are questioning the evidence about an alleged attack on diplomats at the U.S. Embassy in Havana.

December 6th, 2020–A US government report has found that a mystery illness suffered by US diplomats in Cuba was most likely caused by microwaves.

But he report by the National Academies of Sciences does not say who is responsible for the directed energy waves.

But it said research into the effects of pulsed radio frequency energy was carried out by the Soviet Union more than 50 years ago.

The illnesses first affected people at the US embassy in Havana in 2016-17.

Staff and some of their relatives complained of symptoms ranging from dizziness, loss of balance, hearing loss, anxiety and something they described as “cognitive fog”. It became known as “Havana syndrome”.

But then in October 2017, The Associated Press released a recording of the sound. And that’s when the scientific support for an attack began to crumble.

A pair of experts on insect sounds decided to analyze the audio. And they soon realized that the sound was no weapon. “The recording released by the AP is, in fact, a cricket,” says Alexander Stubbs, a doctoral student at the University of California, Berkeley. To be precise, he says, it’s the mating call of a male Indies short-tailed cricket.

The US accused Cuba of carrying out “sonic attacks”, which it strongly denied, and the incident led to increased tension between the two nations.

A 2019 US academic study found “brain abnormalities” in the diplomats who had fallen ill, but Cuba dismissed the report.

Canada also cut its embassy staff in Cuba after at least 14 of its citizens reported similar symptoms.

The latest study was carried out by a team of medical and scientific experts who examined the symptoms of about 40 government employees.

Many have suffered longstanding and debilitating effects, the report said.

“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,” the report reads.

“Studies published in the open literature more than a half-century ago and over the subsequent decades by Western and Soviet sources provide circumstantial support for this possible mechanism.”

It noted there had been “significant research in Russia/USSR into the effects of pulsed, rather than continuous wave [radio frequency] exposures”. It said that military personnel in “Eurasian communist countries” had been exposed to non-thermal radiation.

Cuba was not the only posting where US diplomats have reported the unusual symptoms.

In 2018, the US removed several officials from China after employees working in the southern city of Guangzhou reported “subtle and vague, but abnormal, sensations of sound and pressure”. One US official was diagnosed with mild brain trauma.

Cuba’s director-general for the United States, Carlos Fernandez de Cossio, said US and Cuban representatives had met nine times to discuss the matter and that Washington was not willing to cooperate on the level Havana had hoped for.

US representatives had told Cuba at the meetings that there was no proof of attacks, Cossio said at a press conference. He added that “the State Department continues using the term ‘attacks’ in its press statements with total irresponsibility.”

The US and Canada have pulled part of their diplomatic staff out of Havana over health symptoms such as dizziness, hearing problems, headaches and insomnia.

Washington has talked about “sonic attacks.” But Cuban experts said at the press conference that the symptoms are more likely to have been caused by common illnesses.

The large equipment needed to stage sonic, acoustic or microwave attacks would not have gone unnoticed, they argued.

Tensions are running high between Washington and Havana over US support to Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido’s attempt to oust President Nicolas Maduro, an ally of Cuba.

 “When I first heard about it, I think, like everybody, I was very concerned. It’s terrible. Americans injured. I was very concerned that there was a weapon,” says Douglas Fields, a brain scientist who spent months investigating the events in Cuba.

 

Fields read the medical studies. He interviewed experts on brain injury and inner ear problems. He even went to Cuba. But he didn’t find any evidence to support the claim of an attack.

“And then the story keeps changing,” he says. “Not a sonic weapon. Then it’s microwaves, and then it’s hysteria and then it’s an infection and on and on and on.”

Now Fields thinks Havana syndrome is really a collection of symptoms and health problems you might see in any group of people — and especially people doing a highly stressful job in a sometimes-hostile environment.