Home World News Scientists come up with the microwave theory for "Havana Syndrome"

Scientists come up with the microwave theory for “Havana Syndrome”


Miami Herald / Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Workers at the US Embassy in Havana left the building on September 29, 2017, after the State Department announced that they had withdrawn all unnecessary staff from the embassy.

A microwave attack is the “most plausible” explanation for the mysterious injury outbreak that dozens of US diplomats in Cuba reported three years ago, a long-awaited study. over the weekend has concluded.

But the scientists have cooperation on Report of the National Academy of Sciences, as authorized by the US Department of State, says the findings of possible microwave attacks are far from conclusive. Meanwhile, outside experts on microwave ovens and the mysterious “Havana syndrome” have dismissed it as unbelievable. One scientist calls it “science fiction”.

Council Chairman David Relman, an infectious disease specialist at Stanford, said: “In many ways, what we are saying is that the US government needs to do this in a more deliberate and inclusive way. . “What is needed is the effort of the entire government to not only study what happened, but also predict what the future will be like.”

The State Department praised the announcement, saying in a statement to BuzzFeed News that the report “could add more data and analysis that could help us come to a final conclusion about what happened. “.

The statement adds, “Among some conclusions, the report notes that the ‘constellation signs and symptoms’ are consistent with the impact of pulsed radio frequency energy. We note that ‘consistent with’ is an artistic term in medicine and science that allows for rationality but does not define cause. “

About 35 diplomats have reported mysterious injuries that began in late 2016, affecting U.S. diplomatic relations with Cuba for the majority of the Trump administration.

In 2017, the State Department first publicized concerns about the US Embassy staff in Havana reporting that they heard loud noises and then experienced symptoms including ear pain, headache, and head pressure. Initial reports have cited audio weapons as the cause, causing deafness, inner ear damage and concussion-like brain damage syndrome – all disproved by the new NAS report – which Rex Tillerson, then head of the State Department, called “health attack“About diplomats and their families.

Other theories circulated show that the mysterious illness is caused chirr causing mass hysteria either The Russian spy has somehow caught the diplomats. In 2019, the State Department asked NAS to look at diseases with limited information available and put an emphasis on consulting how to collect medical information for any future group of cases. The panel met three times last year, hearing from medical groups that have treated or examined some of the affected patients; it also reviewed the reports of the CDC and the National Institutes of Health and listened to testimony from eight patients in secret sessions.

But the council was delayed due to a lack of information about who was involved, the report said, because of medical privacy and privacy laws. The medical assay data provided is not thorough enough, as it is collected to help treat the patient rather than investigate an injury outbreak.

“We do not have information about each person, including who is first affected, who is affected later, what their relationship is,” board member Jeffrey Staab, professor of psychiatry at the Mayo Clinic , said. Given those limitations, the seminar focused on the acute, immediate symptoms reported among diplomats in Havana – loud sounds, pressure, vibrations, earaches and headaches – most notably and bow provide information on possible explanations. The panel also ruled out recent reports of similar injuries among Canadian tourists and US diplomats in China.

“There are real gaps in the information,” Staab said. “Even if we have all the security measures in place to see everything about people, there will be gaps in the information.”

It is those limits that limit what scientists can say are the plausible explanations for injuries, board members told BuzzFeed News. One theory is that the mysterious illness is caused by an infectious disease, such as the Zika virus, which is considered “highly unlikely” – and a more recent explanation that the outbreak was caused by pesticide poisoning. The worm was identified as “unlikely”, although the scientists pointed out that there was no residual blood sample from the patient for complete exclusion.

“Even if we have all the security measures in place to see everything about people, there will be gaps in the information.”

The scientists also consider a third theory that mass psychopathy is the cause. In this scenario, a series of acute symptoms followed by a greater number of chronic conditions – especially persistent dizziness, difficulty thinking, insomnia, and headaches – reflect flares. injury in the past due to social contagion. However, without data on individuals and their contacts to map out social networks, Staab said, the panel could not draw conclusive conclusions. “The hardest thing to put aside is the psychological, social explanation,” Relman said.

That leaves one final theory that the illness is caused by a “radio frequency directed energy attack”. Based on an actual phenomenon known as the “Frey effect”, in which pulsed microwave beams aimed at a person’s ear can produce noises that only the targeted person can hear, panel The controller suggested “Frey-like effect” as “the most plausible” among the explanations considered.

“It’s a bit of a drama. But first, something important and realistic happened to these people, ”Relman said. “We looked at possible mechanisms and found that one mechanism is more plausible than the others and is quite consistent with some of the most distinct clinical findings.”

The report concludes that a microwave attack can cause compensatory balance and subsequent dizziness syndrome, accompanied by their traumatic depression. Chronic trauma often has psychological aspects that shouldn’t be considered real symptoms, Staab says.

Some of the report’s most important findings are its recommendations to the State Department on how to thoroughly investigate any future cluster of diseases, with experts from a variety of disciplines rather than just doctors familiar with brain damaged. “No matter what happens, we can’t let this happen again,” Staab said.

However, experts in both microwave and group psychology are very critical of the report’s conclusions.

“The report does not make a strong argument why microwaves should be involved,” said University of Pennsylvania biological researcher Kenneth Foster, who first described the mechanism behind the Frey effect. 1974. This effect requires a very high level of power to make a sound that is hard of hearing and it doesn’t hurt, he says. “Maybe someone had trouble transporting a large microwave transmitter to get the staff to hear ‘click’, but there are simpler ways to harass people,” he said.

“This is not science but science fiction,” UCLA neuroscientist Robert Baloh, co-author of Havana Syndrome: Mass psychological illness and true story behind the mystery and hysteria of the embassy. Baloh says the news reports alone, not reviewed by management, paint a picture of the disease that spreads through patients in ways that look a lot like group psychosocial flares in the past, Baloh. to speak. He added: “There are a lot of people who misunderstand these symptoms for real, people get really hurt, even among doctors.

“This is not science, but science fiction.”

Neuroscientist Mitchell Joseph Valdés Sosa of the Cuban Center for Neuroscience said the report was a step in the right direction as it neutralized wild theories about sound weapons and brain damage. Findings are like one Report 2018 of the Cuban Academy of Sciences, as co-commissioned by Sosa, argues that early injuries in a few people may be psychologically contagious to more people than in the broader diplomatic community. “Of course, we disagree with radio frequency pulse detection,” Sosa said, “but this is the first time US experts have acknowledged that psychological effects could be important.”

He noted that Cuba’s hotels and neighborhoods where microwave attacks were supposed to take place in crowded, open spaces, it is unlikely that such a small group would be affected or Attacks can go unnoticed.

The Cuban Academy of Sciences has contacted the council to present surveys of nearby areas where injuries were reported, Sosa added. But it was said that the panel contract did not permit Cuban consultation.

Neuroscientist Andrei Pakhomov of Old Dominion University said that none of the members had much experience with the biological effects of microwaves, which could explain their willingness to see the same effect as Frey. is reasonable. in the area. “There are many reports on the biological effects of radio frequency magnetic fields, but none of them are reliable.”

In spite of report suspected Pakhomov, a Russian migrant, said the field is now non-existent in Russia.

“I know all the people out there who might have done something in the field,” he said. “They are all retired or no longer active in science.”


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