A string of mysterious “directed-energy” attacks on American national security and diplomatic personnel in other countries has raised red flags, and the most recent attacks have hit targets inside the U.S.
Previously, the mysterious “attacks” affected government employees overseas. The U.S. Embassy in Havana was targeted first when scores of diplomats reported similar symptoms of headaches, dizziness, and nausea. Later, medical examinations found some of the diplomats had suffered brain damage.
There were similar incidents in Moscow and the Czech Republic. A panel of experts concluded that the incidents were “directed-energy” attacks using microwaves, but many scientists have been skeptical.
Now, the mystery has deepened as several attacks have been recorded in Washington, D.C., and Miami.
NEWS: The US is investigating a possible incident that occurred near the Ellipse in November, where an NSC official was sickened with symptoms similiar to "Havana Syndrome" that have affected dozens of US personnel abroad, w/ @KatieBoWillCNN https://t.co/KVgSKNwpuV
— Jeremy Herb (@jeremyherb) April 29, 2021
In Miami, several staffers reported suffering from the symptoms of Havana Syndrome, although it’s unclear for which U.S. agency they work.
Officials across the U.S. government have investigated these and other similar suspected directed-energy attacks, including possible targeting of U.S. service members at home and abroad, and have sounded the alarm about the issue to lawmakers, POLITICO first reported. The incidents involved officials working for both the Pentagon and the CIA. CNN on Thursday first reported the incident on the Ellipse. GQ reported on a similar incident in Arlington last year.
Two Pentagon officials briefed members of the House Armed Services Committee about the suspected attacks in a classified setting last week, POLITICO first reported. The briefers were Jennifer Walsh, the then-acting Pentagon policy chief; and Griffin Decker, the Pentagon’s director of the emerging threats cell. Officials have told lawmakers that they believe the threat of directed-energy attacks around the world is growing.
At first, the CIA believed the diplomats in Havana had been victims of some kind of “sonic weapon.” Embassy personnel reported hearing a strange sound before the onset of symptoms.
But in March, scientists with the National Academy of Sciences concluded that the illnesses were likely caused by directed microwave energy, although it’s not clear if the source was a weapon or not.
Unfortunately, that investigation may have been botched, according to the author of a book on Havana Syndrome, Robert E. Bartholomew. He says the NAS panel failed to look into the possible origins of Havana Syndrome as being psychological.
There is also a concern that those overseeing the panel may have had motives that were driven more by politics than science. For instance, the former President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists told me that he was invited to join the panel, only to be dropped. The reason: a radio interview he gave in which he espoused the likelihood that Havana Syndrome was psychogenic. This suggests the possibility of a bias against a psychological explanation.
Bartholomew thinks it’s possible that many government personnel who claim to be suffering from Havana Syndrome were actually conditioned to think they were under some kind of attack. Noted journalist Timothy Golden investigated.
Golden provides a rich description of the early social patterning and spread of Havana Syndrome. Once the State Department had accepted the sonic device explanation, U.S. diplomats who were being posted to Havana “were quietly warned they could face a mysterious threat that was causing American Foreign Service officers to fall ill, some with long-lasting symptoms.”11 Those diplomats who were about to be posted to Havana were even played audio recordings made by staff in Cuba, of the mysterious sounds that had accompanied their symptoms. These recordings were later identified as crickets and cicadas.
A State Department report on “Havana Syndrome” obtained by CNN through a Freedom of Information Act request “concludes that the US government’s response and investigation into the so-called Havana Syndrome may have been botched from the beginning” and was characterized by “chaos” and disorganization.
In short, we don’t really have a clue as to why our people are falling ill. The “attack” may have been suggested to the government personnel but the effects of whatever it is are real enough.