Neurology Prof Says “Havana Syndome” is Psychosomatic Mass Hysteria; U.S. Legislation Already Passed to Aid Victims

By B.N. Frank

“Havana Syndrome” is still sometimes described as “mysterious” even though its cause – exposure to microwave energy – has already been identified by medical experts (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5).  In fact, American legislators have passed bills to help victims (see 1, 2).  Nevertheless, one neurology professor is still convinced that “Havana Syndrome” is merely “mass psychogenic illness.”

From The Conversation:

Havana syndrome fits the pattern of psychosomatic illness – but that doesn’t mean the symptoms aren’t real

Robert Baloh , Professor of Neurology, University of California, Los Angeles

In early September 2021, a CIA agent was evacuated from Serbia in the latest case of what the world now knows as “Havana syndrome.”

Like most people, I first heard about Havana syndrome in the summer of 2017. Cuba was allegedly attacking employees of the U.S. Embassy in Havana in their homes and hotel rooms using a mysterious weapon. The victims reported a variety of symptoms, including headaches, dizziness, hearing loss, fatigue, mental fog and difficulty concentrating after hearing an eerie sound.

Over the next year and a half, many theories were put forward regarding the symptoms and how a weapon may have caused them. Despite the lack of hard evidence, many experts suggested that a weapon of some sort was causing the symptoms.

I am an emeritus professor of neurology who studies the inner ear, and my clinical focus is on dizziness and hearing loss. When news of these events broke, I was baffled. But after reading descriptions of the patients’ symptoms and test results, I began to doubt that some mysterious weapon was the cause.

Don’t let yourself be misled. Understand issues with help from experts

I have seen patients with the same symptoms as the embassy employees on a regular basis in my Dizziness Clinic at the University of California, Los Angeles. Most have psychosomatic symptoms – meaning the symptoms are real but arise from stress or emotional causes, not external ones. With a little reassurance and some treatments to lessen their symptoms, they get better.

The available data on Havana syndrome matches closely with mass psychogenic illness – more commonly known as mass hysteria. So what is really happening with so–called Havana syndrome?

Embassy employees in Cuba and other countries reported hearing loud noises and then experiencing cognitive and hearing issues. Kateryna Kon/Science Photo Library via Getty Images

A mysterious illness

In late December 2016, an otherwise healthy undercover agent in his 30s arrived at the clinic of the U.S. Embassy in Cuba complaining of headaches, difficulty hearing and acute pain in his ear. The symptoms themselves were not alarming, but the agent reported that they developed after he heard “a beam of sound” that “seemed to have been directed at his home”.

As word of the presumed attack spread, other people in the embassy community reported similar experiences. A former CIA officer who was in Cuba at the time later noted that the first patient “was lobbying, if not coercing, people to report symptoms and to connect the dots.”

Patients from the U.S. Embassy were first sent to ear, nose and throat doctors at the University of Miami and then to brain specialists in Philadelphia. Physicians examined the embassy patients using a range of tests to measure hearing, balance and cognition. They also took MRIs of the patients’ brains. In the 21 patients examined, 15 to 18 experienced sleep disturbances and headaches as well as cognitive, auditory, balance and visual dysfunction. Despite these symptoms, brain MRIs and hearing tests were normal.

A flurry of articles appeared in the media, many accepting the notion of an attack.

From Cuba, Havana syndrome began to spread around the globe to embassies in China, Russia, Germany and Austria, and even to the streets of Washington.

The Associated Press released a recording of the sound in Cuba, and biologists identified it as the call of a species of Cuban cricket. Gail Hampshire/Flickr, CC BY

A sonic or microwave weapon?

Initially, many experts and some of the physicians suggested that some sort of sonic weapon was to blame. The Miami team’s study in 2018 reported that 19 patients had dizziness caused by damage to the inner ear from some type of sonic weapon.

This hypothesis has for the most part been discredited due to flaws in the studies, the fact there is no evidence that any sonic weapon could selectively damage the brain and nothing else, and because biologists identified the sounds in recordings of the supposed weapon to be a Cuban species of cricket.

Some people have also proposed an alternative idea: a microwave radiation weapon.

This hypothesis gained credibility when in December 2020, the National Academy of Science released a report concluding that “pulsed radiofrequency energy” was a likely cause for symptoms in at least some of the patients.

If someone is exposed to high energy microwaves, they may sometimes briefly hear sounds. There is no actual sound, but in what is called the Frey effect, neurons in a person’s ear or brain are directly stimulated by microwaves and the person may “hear” a noise. These effects, though, are nothing like the sounds the victims described, and the simple fact that the sounds were recorded by several victims eliminates microwaves as the source. While directed energy weapons do exist, none that I know of could explain the symptoms or sounds reported by the embassy patients.

Despite all these stories and theories, there is a problem: No physician has found a medical cause for the symptoms. And after five years of extensive searching, no evidence of a weapon has been found.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

No evidence of a weapon may have been found; however, common personal wireless devices and infrastructure also emit harmful electromagnetic radiation (aka “Electrosmog”) and exposure can cause symptoms, illnesses, and injuries (see 1, 2).  This is referred to as Microwave Sickness, Radiation Sickness, Electromagnetic Sensitivity (ES) and/or Electromagnetic Hypersensivity (EHS).  Common sources include activity trackers, cell phones, cell towers (see 1, 2) utility “Smart” Meters, Wi-Fi, 5G, and more.

In the meantime, reports of Americans experiencing “Havana Syndrome” symptoms continue to make headlines (see 1, 2, 3).

Activist Post reports regularly about “Havana Syndrome” and unsafe technology.  For more information, visit our archives and the following websites:

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