Home WORLD Scientists lash out at the microwave theory of “Havana syndrome”

Scientists lash out at the microwave theory of “Havana syndrome”



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After the U.S. State Department announced that all non-essential personnel would be evacuated from the embassy, ​​workers at the U.S. Embassy in Havana left the building on September 29, 2017.

A long-awaited weekend study concluded that the microwave oven attack was the “most reasonable explanation” for a mysterious injury outbreak reported by dozens of US diplomats in Cuba three years ago.

But when National Academy of Sciences reportResearch commissioned by the US State Department shows that the discovery of possible microwave attacks is far from conclusive. At the same time, external experts on microwaves and the mysterious “Havana Syndrome” think this is impractical. A scientist called it “science fiction.”

David Relman, Chairman of the Stanford Expert Panel on Infectious Diseases, said: “In many ways, what we are talking about is that the U.S. government needs to achieve this goal in a more prudent and comprehensive way. “The government needs to go all out, not only to study what happened, but also to predict the future development.”

The State Department appreciated the announcement and stated in a statement to BuzzFeed News that the report “can be added to data and analysis, which may help us reach a final conclusion on what happened.”

The statement added: “In many conclusions, the report pointed out that’symptoms and signs’ are consistent with the effects of pulsed radio frequency energy. We will note that “consistent with” is a term in the medical and scientific fields. The authenticity is allowed but the reason cannot be determined.”

Approximately 35 diplomats reported that this mysterious injury began at the end of 2016, damaging U.S. diplomatic relations with Cuba in most of the work of the Trump administration.

In 2017, the State Department first publicized its concerns about the staff of the U.S. Embassy in Havana. They reported hearing loud noises followed by symptoms such as earaches, headaches and head pressure. Early news reports claimed that sonic weapons were the cause, causing deafness, inner ear damage and concussion-like brain injury syndrome, but new NAS reports dismissed them. At the time, Rex Tillerson, head of the U.S. State Department, called it “Health attackDiplomats and their families.

Other circulated theories suggest that the mysterious disease is caused by sound Trigger hysteria or Russian spies sabotage diplomats in some way. In 2019, the State Council required the NAS to review diseases with the limited information available, and focused on recommending how to collect medical information for any future clusters of cases. Last year, the team held three meetings and listened to the opinions of the medical teams who treated or checked some sick patients; it also reviewed the reports of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health, and listened in closed meetings Testimony of eight patients.

However, the report stated that due to security and medical privacy laws, the team was blocked due to a lack of information about the persons involved. The medical test data provided is not comprehensive enough because the data collected is only used to help treat patients, not to investigate outbreaks of injuries.

Jeffrey Staab, a professor of psychiatry at the Mayo Clinic, said: “We have no information about individuals, including those who were first affected, who were later affected, and their relationships. “With these limitations in mind, the team focused on the acute, immediate symptoms reported by the Havana diplomat-loud voice, stress, vibration, earache and headache-which are the most unique and beneficial of possible explanations. information. The team also ruled out recent reports that Canadian tourists and American diplomats suffered similar injuries in China.

Staab said: “There are indeed loopholes in the information.” “Even if we have all the security check permissions, we can see everything about everyone, but there will still be loopholes in the information.”

Panelists told BuzzFeed News that these same restrictions limit the reasonable explanations scientists can make about the injury. One theory is that the mysterious disease is caused by infectious diseases such as Zika virus and is considered “extremely unlikely”, while the latest explanation that the disease outbreak was caused by pesticide poisoning was determined to be “unlikely.” , Although scientists pointed out that patients without blood samples can be completely ruled out.

“Even if we have all the security check permissions, we can see all the circumstances of everyone, but there will still be loopholes in the information.”

Scientists also considered the third theory, that the mass mental illness is the cause. In this case, a series of acute symptoms appear, followed by more chronic diseases, especially persistent dizziness, difficulty thinking, insomnia and headaches, which reflect the past outbreaks of injuries and illnesses spread by social infectious diseases. However, due to the lack of data about individuals and their contacts to map social networks, Staab said the panel of experts was unable to draw clear conclusions. Relman said: “The most difficult thing to put aside is the psychological, social explanation.”

This leaves the final theory that the disease is caused by a “directed radio frequency energy attack.” Based on a real phenomenon called the “Frey effect”, under this phenomenon, a pulsed microwave beam directed at a person’s ear will produce a clicking sound that only the target person can hear. “Effect” is the “most reasonable” considered explanation.

“It’s a bit dramatic. But first, important and real things happened to these people,” Lehrman said. “We have studied possible mechanisms and found that one mechanism is more reasonable than others and is fully consistent with some of the most unique clinical findings.”

The report concluded that the microwave attack may cause compensatory balance and dizziness syndrome, accompanied by depression caused by injury. Staab said that chronic injuries usually have psychological factors and should not be considered as real symptoms.

The most important finding of the report is its recommendations to the State Council on how to thoroughly investigate future clusters, which include experts from multiple disciplines, not just doctors familiar with brain injuries. Staab said: “No matter what happens, we can’t happen again.”

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

Kenneth Foster, a bioengineer at the University of Pennsylvania, said: “The report does not have a unified debate on why microwaves should be used.” 1974. He said that this effect requires high power levels to produce almost inaudible sound, and it is not known to cause harm. He said: “Maybe someone is loading a truck with a large microwave transmitter in trouble, causing employees to hear a’click’, but there are simpler ways to harass people than this,” he said.

Robert Baloh, a neurologist at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), said: “This is not science fiction, but science fiction.” Havana Syndrome: The true story behind a large number of mental illnesses and the mystery and hysteria of the embassy. Baloh said that news reports, not situations that the expert group did not consider, portray the spread of the disease to patients, which looks a lot like the collective psychological outbreaks of the past. He added: “There are many misunderstandings, these symptoms are real, even among doctors, people are indeed injured.”

“This is not science, but science fiction.”

Mitchell Joseph Valdés Sosa, a neuroscientist at the Cuban Neuroscience Center, said the report is a step in the right direction because it makes sonic weapons and brain damage more widespread The theory is invalid.The survey results are similar to Cuban Academy of Sciences 2018 reportCo-authored by Sosa, the study shows that early injuries in a small group of people are likely to spread to more people in the entire diplomatic field through public psychology. Souza said: “Of course, we do not agree with the discovery of radio frequency pulses, but this is the first time we have asked American experts to recognize that psychological factors may be important.”

He pointed out that the Cuban hotels and communities where the microwave attacks occurred were located in crowded open spaces so that a small group of people would not be affected and would not attract people’s attention.

Sosa added that the Cuban Academy of Sciences did contact the team of experts to present its investigations into the communities near the reported injuries. However, it was informed that the team’s contract did not allow negotiations with Cubans.

Andrei Pakhomov, a bioengineer at the Old Dominion University, said that none of the team members seem to have extensive experience in the biological effects of microwaves, which may explain whether they are willing to consider ideas similar to the Frey effect. He said that he has studied himself for 40 years. Skeptical. In that area. “There are many reports on the biological effects of radio frequency fields, but there are no reliable reports.”

in spite of Suspect report Russian spy Pakhomov stated that based on Soviet-era research, Russian spies built this weapon in some way.

He said: “I know all the people out there who can make a difference in this field.” “They are all retired, or for scientific purposes.”


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