‘Havana Syndrome’ – a link between wireless radiation and symptoms.

‘Havana Syndrome’ – a link between wireless radiation and symptoms.

In 2016 US embassy staff in Havana, Cuba, began reporting unusual symptoms — pain, ringing in the ears, dizziness headaches and cognitive problems. Medical investigations failed to find a cause and many of the staff were withdrawn from the embassy.

The baffling condition became known as the ‘Havana Syndrome’ and cases were subsequently reported by US embassy staff in Paris, Geneva, Berlin and Bogotá (Colombia). Ultimately around 200 people connected with US administrators reported similar symptoms in 12 countries.

To address the problem, the US Intelligence Community—the Director of National Intelligence and Deputy Director of the CIA—established an expert panel to investigate potential causes of what they called ‘Anomalous Health Incidents’ (AHIs). The panel reviewed classified documents on scientific, medical and intelligence topics and heard from affected individuals.

On 1 February this year, the panel’s report was released. 1, 2

It says, ‘Pulsed electromagnetic energy, particularly in the radiofrequency range, plausibly explains the core characteristics of reported AHIs, although information gaps exist. There are several plausible pathways involving various forms of pulsed electromagnetic energy, each with its own requirements, limitations, and unknowns. For all the pathways, sources exist that could generate the required stimulus, are concealable, and have moderate power requirements. Using nonstandard antennas and techniques, the signals could be propagated with low loss through air for tens to hundreds of meters, and with some loss, through most building materials. Stimulation and disruption of these biological systems has been credibly demonstrated in cells and tissues, and persons accidentally exposed to radiofrequency signals described sensations similar to the core characteristics. However, there is a dearth of systematic research on the effects of the relevant electromagnetic signals on humans.’

The report also found that ultrasound could plausibly explain some symptoms but could only be used in close-access situations. Some other environmental exposures were ruled out.

The symptoms are similar to those experienced by US embassy staff in Moscow in the 1990s, as a result of which it was found that Soviets had beamed microwave radiation at the US embassy for several decades.3

The 2022 panel investigating symptoms made recommendations and advised that it would continue to support affected workers.


2. https://www.dni.gov/index.php/newsroom/reports-publications/reports-publications-2022/item/2273-complementary-efforts-on-anomalous-health-incidents

3. Goldsmith, John. (1995). Epidemiologic Evidence of Radiofrequency Radiation (Microwave) Effects on Health in Military, Broadcasting, and Occupational Studies https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1179/oeh.1995.1.1.47 . International journal of occupational and environmental health. 1. 47-57. 10.1179/oeh.1995.1.1.47. and https://afsa.org/havana-syndrome-there-was-moscow-signal

What can you do?

You can also…

  • check out Lyn McLean’s interviews with physicist and radiation expert Dr Leendert Vriens here and Maria Zeee here

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  • see the latest news in our March newsletter EMR and Health here

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