It is thought that “directed” microwave radiation is the likely cause of illnesses experienced by US diplomats in Cuba and China, a report has claimed.
The report by the National Academy of Sciences – and commissioned by the State Department – is the latest attempt to find the cause of mysterious illnesses that US officials experienced in Havana from 2016.
Researchers found that “directed, pulsed radio frequency energy appears to be the most plausible” explanation for symptoms experienced by officials – including cognitive difficulties, intense head pressure and some dizziness.
This was following a reported 26 personnel being affected by unexplained hearing loss during the autumn of 2016 – sparking a diplomatic row between the two countries.
“Havana syndrome” symptoms were also experienced by Canadian diplomats and other officials at the US consulate in Guanghzhou in China around early 2017.
The study found that this explanation was more likely than previous theories – psychological issues and some suggestions of potential tropical disease.
Last year, a different report concluded that emotional trauma and fear were the causes for the bad health.
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Prior to this, it was thought that a sonic attack may have been the reason, following some personnel experiencing high-pitched sounds – similar to the noise made by crickets – in their homes.
The new findings did not give a name for the potential source of energy, and refrained from saying that it was the result of an attack.
It did, however, state that research on this style of injury was conducted in the former Soviet Union.
The study – led by 19-committee members – noted there were some difficulties experienced in conducting the research.
This was because not everyone reported the same symptoms, and researchers did not have access to all the previous studies on the matter – a lot of which was classified information.
Committee chairman David Relman said that the studies were “concerning”.
The professor of medicine at Stanford University said: “The committee found these cases quite concerning, in part because of the plausible role of directed, pulsed radio frequency energy as a mechanism…”
“…but also because of the significant suffering and debility that has occurred in some of these individuals”.
He added: “We as a nation need to address these specific cases as well as the possibility of future cases with a concerted, co-ordinated, and comprehensive approach.”
Some of the Americans impacted have criticised the US administration’s dealing of their health complaints, and at least one has sued the State Department.