Portable microwave weapons capable of causing ‘Havana syndrome’, experienced by US diplomats and spies, have reportedly been developed by US adversaries in recent years.
James Giordano, a senior fellow in biotechnology at the US Naval War College, made the surprising claim in an interview with the guard on Thursday, amid a Pentagon probe to determine what made government employees sick.
Since 2016, more than 130 State Department, CIA and National Security Council (NSC) employees have fallen ill with sudden onset of vertigo, debilitating migraines, lightheadedness and nausea.
Last November, an NSC employee had an unexplained episode in Washington, DC, where he suddenly fell to the floor, lost his ability to speak, and “thought he was going to die.”
Some researchers think the symptoms may be caused by “sonic seizures” in which “rapid microwave pulses heat soft tissue in the brain to create a shock wave in the skull.”
Giordano claims that in the early 2000s, an American company prototyped a small portable weapon that could cause such effects before the research was halted.
However, he says he has found that other countries have developed a similar device that “uses microwave frequencies that can disrupt brain function without any burning sensation.”
“This was important – and quite frightening – because it represented a state of progress and sophistication of these types of instruments that were not previously thought to be achieved,” he told the publication.
Giardono is prohibited from disclosing which countries made the weapon, but The Guardian lists Russia and China as two possibilities.
Portable microwave weapons potentially causing the “Havana syndrome,” experienced by US diplomats and spies, have reportedly been developed in recent years by an American adversary. The first reports of the mysterious disease emerged in Havana, Cuba, in 2016. The country’s US embassy is pictured
What is the ‘Havana Syndrome’? The mysterious illness is said to have sickened at least 130 US officials since 2016
The problem has been dubbed the “Havana syndrome” because the first cases hit US embassy staff in Cuba in 2016.
According to a US defense official who was not authorized to discuss details publicly, at least 130 cases are now under investigation across the administration, up from several dozen last year. The National Security Council is leading the investigation.
People believed to be affected have reported headaches, dizziness and symptoms consistent with concussions, with some requiring months of medical treatment. Some have reported hearing a loud noise before symptoms suddenly started.
Investigators believe there are at least four cases involving Trump White House officials.
Supporters of those affected accuse the US government of failing to take the problem seriously or provide necessary medical care and benefits.
US senators last month said the government is investigating an apparent increase in mysterious directed-energy attacks.
Research on the US prototype was not developed after 2004, reportedly due to ethical concerns.
Lev Sadovnik, who was part of the development team, told The Guardian: “We obviously have very strict restrictions on human and animal testing here. The Russians don’t live up to these standards.’
He added that several ethical standards fostered by the Chinese government would provide them “unique opportunities to advance life sciences and technology development in ways that would be unsustainable in the United States and in programs of our NATO allies.”
Like Giardono, he believes it is entirely possible that one of those countries has created a microwave weapon that is small in size and easy to transport.
“It’s conceivable that you could hide it in a car or a van, but it won’t work over a long distance,” he said.
Similarly, University of Illinois professor James Lin told the paper, “You can certainly put a system in a couple of big suitcases that will allow you to put it in an SUV.
“It’s not something that requires huge amounts of space or equipment.”
The claims of all three experts now make it more likely that the cause of the unexplained disease is nefarious in nature.
Reports surfaced last month that some US officials suspected Russia’s infamous foreign intelligence agency — the GRU — could be the culprit.
A US military officer, based in a country with a large Russian presence, told The New Yorker that he felt his head might explode during an incident in which he was found to have been near a GRU vehicle.
But China cannot be excluded either.
In October last year, it was reported how diplomat Mark Lenzi, 45, was stationed in Guangzhou, China, in 2017 when he developed unexplained symptoms, including headaches, memory loss and trouble sleeping.
His neighbor Catherine Werner also fell ill and fellow US official Robyn Garfield was evacuated from Shanghai with his family in June 2018.
Since 2016, more than 130 employees of the State Department, the CIA and the National Security Council (NSC) have suddenly suffered from vertigo, debilitating migraines, vertigo and nausea. Some researchers think the symptoms could be caused by a sonic attack in which “rapid microwave pulses heat soft tissue in the brain to create a shock wave in the skull”
The Biden administration is under extreme pressure to solve the mystery with: legislators from both sides. The 130 people believed to be affected are also demanding answers.
In addition to an investigation now being conducted by the Pentagon, the CIA has launched its own investigation.
CIA Director William Burns recently testified before Congress that he would make the investigation “a very high priority to ensure that my colleagues receive the care they deserve and that we get to the bottom of what caused these incidents.” and who was responsible’.
Burns receives daily updates on the investigation, which covers employees who reported cases this year.
Whatever an official review concludes can have huge consequences.
Confirmation that a US adversary has carried out damaging attacks on US personnel would spark calls for a strong response from the Biden administration.
A British Dragonfire laser-guided energy weapon system that emits microwave pulses is pictured in 2019. It is possible that Russia or China have developed a device much smaller
However, some scientists remain skeptical about whether the disease is actually caused by a portable microwave weapon.
dr. Robert Baloh of the University of California, Los Angeles, told The Associated Press that scans of the brains of healthy people sometimes show mini-strokes and that any weapon possible would be too large or require too much force to be deployed without detection. .
Baloh said the growing number of cases considered directed energy attacks are in fact linked to “mass psychogenic illness,” in which people who learn from others with symptoms begin to get sick themselves.
But Giardono disagrees.
“It is very difficult, if not impossible, to falsify or misrepresent certain findings in objective clinical evaluations,” Giordano said. “I mean, there are certain things you can’t make your nerves do or don’t do.”
The US embassy in Cuba is pictured. In 2016, several employees who worked there reported the strange and sudden onset of symptoms that led to the unexplained disease being named “Havana syndrome.”