"Brain abnormalities found in victims of US embassy attack in Cuba. Mysterious attacks that harmed 24 Americans in Havana resulted in changes to white matter tracts in brain, doctors say"
Medical testing has revealed the embassy workers developed changes to the white matter tracts that let different parts of the brain communicate, several U.S. officials said, describing a growing consensus held by university and government physicians researching the attacks. White matter acts like information highways between brain cells.
Loud, mysterious sounds followed by hearing loss and ear-ringing had led investigators to suspect “sonic attacks.” But officials are now carefully avoiding that term. The sounds may have been the byproduct of something else that caused damage, said three U.S. officials briefed on the investigation. They weren’t authorized to discuss it publicly and demanded anonymity.
Doctors still do not know how victims ended up with the white matter changes, or how exactly those changes might relate to their symptoms. US officials would not say whether the changes were found in all 24 patients.
Acoustic waves have never been shown to alter the brain’s white matter tracts, said Elisa Konofagou, a biomedical engineering professor at Columbia University who is not involved in the government’s investigation.
“I would be very surprised,” Konofagou said, adding that ultrasound in the brain is used frequently in modern medicine. “We never see white matter tract problems.”
So what are "changes" to white matter? Is a "change" the same as "damage"? How is it measured? What are they comparing it against? Your white matter "changes" when you learn a new skill (like music, or juggling) or are simply exposed to novel situations.Medical testing has revealed the embassy workers developed changes to the white matter tracts that let different parts of the brain communicate, several U.S. officials said
It's very hard to say without any context or numbers. It's also very hard without comparison to another similar population. It might even be impossible, as many of the symptoms, even including changes in white matter, might after arisen in some cases due simply to the idea that they were being zapped, and the intense worry and scrutiny that came thereafter.Learning involves changes in strength of synapses, the connections between neurons in gray matter. But human brain imaging using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has revealed structural changes in white matter after learning complex tasks. This raises the question of whether white matter responds to experience in a manner that affects neuron function under normal circumstances, thereby affecting information processing and performance. There are a few intriguing observations related to this possibility. For example, structural changes in white matter correlate with the number of hours a professional musician practices (1). The greatest changes were seen in parts of the brain that were not yet fully myelinated. Similarly, adult subjects showed increased white matter structural organization in a brain region important for visuo-motor control 6 week after learning to juggle (2). And in a study of adults learning to read, the volume, anatomical organization, and functional connectivity of white matter tracts linking cortical regions important for reading were increased (3). Whether these changes in white matter structure affect neuron function directly by altering transmission of information required for acquiring a skill is not clear. However, the observations do show that learning a new skill is associated with altered white matter structure in the mature brain.
yup. Changes are noted in PTSD. Besides, how would they know what the white matter looked like BEFORE the alleged sound incidents? Are brain scans required for all employees?as many of the symptoms, even including changes in white matter, might after arisen in some cases due simply to the idea that they were being zapped, and the intense worry and scrutiny that came thereafter.
These seem like serious ailments, and not something that is usually attributed to learning to juggle. I know how to juggle. I never once lost my hearing because of learning to juggle.
Cuban panel claims stress caused mystery illnesses
Science 08 Dec 2017:
Vol. 358, Issue 6368, pp. 1236-1237
After a 9-month probe hampered by lack of access to medical records, a panel of Cuban scientists this week declared that U.S. diplomats here likely suffered a “collective psychogenic disorder” earlier this year, not the deliberate “health attack” that the U.S. Department of State has claimed.
Based on media reports about the mysterious symptoms, including hearing loss, nausea, vertigo, and memory lapses, some U.S. scientists had already reached similar conclusions. Stanley Fahn, a neurologist at Columbia University who has seen a summary of the Cuban report, agrees that “it could certainly all be psychogenic.” That a panel appointed by the Cuban government dismisses the U.S. claims may not be surprising, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation is still leading what State Department officials have described as a “vigorous” multiagency investigation. But the Cuban report summary, obtained by Science, reveals intriguing details. For instance, a high-frequency noise that some had identified as a possible “sonic weapon” may have been crickets chirping.
We have Cicadas here, and they do indeed have a bizzare high-pitched noise that's very difficult to locate. The noise varies from a grating buzz to a high pitched whine. Here's a high pitched one:Some felt vibrations, and heard sounds – loud ringing or a high-pitch chirping similar to crickets or cicadas. Others heard the grinding noise. Some victims awoke with ringing in their ears and fumbled for their alarm clocks, only to discover the ringing stopped when they moved away from their beds.
Republican Sen. Jeff Flake says the U.S. has found no evidence that American diplomats in Havana were the victims of attacks with an unknown weapon.
“The Cuban Interior Ministry is saying the FBI has told them there is no evidence of a sonic attack, even though that term is being used, attack, there is no evidence of it,” Flake told the AP. “There’s no evidence that somebody purposefully tried to harm somebody. Nobody is saying that these people didn’t experience some event, but there’s no evidence that that was a deliberate attack by somebody, either the Cubans or anybody else.
So Rubio still says it's "an attack", just maybe not a sonic one.
Sen. Marco Rubio pushed back Sunday against comments from a Republican colleague that the United States has found no evidence of “sonic attacks” in Cuba.
The Florida Republican charged the attacks were a “documented fact.”
In a series of tweets Sunday, Rubio dismissed comments by Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, a longtime advocate for improving ties with Cuba, stating that any U.S. official briefed on the mysterious events in Havana “knows full well that while method of attack still in question, that attacks and injuries occurred isn’t.”
or directly under their bed? and cicadas can be really loud! imagine them in a nearly closed room with reflective walls and there is no wonder that someone gets confused by that noise.So what it a couple of the cases were just people with a cicada in their room?
A technical report from the University of Michigan offers a stunningly simple theory for the source of the Cuban “sonic attack”: a pair of eavesdropping devices too close to each other and tripping the ultrasound that ironically was supposed to make their presence quiet.
More importantly, it might not have been done with malicious intent.
“It doesn’t prove it’s the cause,” Kevin Fu, an associate professor at the University of Michigan and one of the co-authors of the study, cautioned. “It’s a correlation. But to us, it seems like a strong correlation.”
Strikes with microwaves, some experts now argue, more plausibly explain reports of painful sounds, ills and traumas than do other possible culprits — sonic attacks, viral infections and contagious anxiety.
The state department remains convinced these are real attacks.
U.S. officials suspect Russia in mystery 'attacks' on diplomats in Cuba, China
Josh Lederman, Courtney Kube, Abigail Williams and Ken Dilanian / Sep.11.2018 / 1:42 AM ET
The suspicion that Russia is likely behind the alleged attacks is backed up by evidence from communications intercepts, known in the spy world as signals intelligence, amassed during a lengthy and ongoing investigation involving the FBI, the CIA and other U.S. agencies. The officials declined to elaborate on the nature of the intelligence.
The evidence is not yet conclusive enough, however, for the U.S. to formally assign blame to Moscow for incidents that started in late 2016 and have continued in 2018, causing a major rupture in U.S.-Cuba relations.
So I'm still going with mass hysteria as my #1 explanation. When they say "diagnosed with brain injury and symptoms consistent with the Cuba cases" this sounds just like the usual constellation of symptoms that everyone has from normal life and getting older. Hearing loss, vision changes, fatigue, aches and pains, etc. Someone hears a buzzzing from a cicada or some electrical equipment or something. They are worried about energy beam attacks, they tell someone, a doctor asks them if their hearing has changed, they think about and notice a slight ringing in their ears which has always been there, but not noticed until now. Same with other symptoms.Around the same time, in May, the State Department disclosed that a worker posted to the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou, China, had also reported unexplained sounds and then been diagnosed with brain injury and symptoms consistent with the Cuba cases. It's unclear how firmly U.S. evidence indicating Russia was behind the Cuba cases extends to China, where the investigation is still in the early stages.
and that seems about right; a new paper strongly suggests a very loud cricket-species searching for mates:So I'm still going with mass hysteria as my #1 explanation.
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/04/science/sonic-attack-cuba-crickets.htmlOn Friday, two scientists presented evidence that those sounds were not so mysterious after all. They were made by crickets, the researchers concluded...“There’s plenty of debate in the medical community over what, if any, physical damage there is to these individuals,” said Mr. Stubbs in a phone interview. “All I can say fairly definitively is that the A.P.-released recording is of a cricket, and we think we know what species it is.”
This latest person went to the embassy late last year.
The Canadian statement said that after the last confirmed case of unusual health symptoms in November 2018, a number of Canadian diplomatic staff in Cuba underwent additional medical testing.
"These tests confirm that an additional employee has symptoms consistent with those of previously affected employees. This brings the total number of affected Canadian employees, spouses and dependents to 14."
When Werner’s health worsened, her mother grew so alarmed that she quickly flew to China. She arrived and set about buying new air filters and imported food and water, thinking the city’s pollution may have been harming her daughter’s health. Nothing worked.
Then Laura started experiencing the sounds and sensations, too.
“We heard a very high-pitched sound in Catherine’s bedroom. And we heard a very low, pulsing sound in the living room,” Hughes said. “Our heads would pulse. You would feel like you would want to regurgitate. You could become instantly paralyzed, instantaneously fatigued.”
Both Hughes and her daughter also believed they were being surveilled, having noticed signs that their apartment had been broken into. Hughes said they’d discover lights turned on that had been left off, or furniture and other items moved around in obvious signs of an intrusion.
There is a little more saying that the children were told to stay in Canada whilst Allen and wife came back
In the late winter of 2017 the previously healthy members of the Allen family began experiencing symptoms, from nosebleeds to headaches, that they couldn’t explain.
They would wake up with excruciating headaches. They experienced nausea and vision problems.
Their youngest son, 12, was getting as many as four nosebleeds a day, even passing out. Mrs. Allen began hearing high-pitched noises. The couple became uncharacteristically irritable.
“We knew there was something, but we just couldn’t figure out what was going on.”
And then, one evening in early April, there was a knock on their door. An American diplomat who lived across the street asked if Allen would go for a walk. “Living in Cuba, we understood that our houses were bugged.”
What Allen learned shook him.
His neighbour told him a dozen Americans had already been evacuated from Havana after suffering from symptoms including nausea, headaches, nosebleeds, hearing and eye problems.
He told Allen the symptoms were believed to be the result of attacks with some kind of a weapon, maybe sonic.
“It just hit me, ‘Holy crap, this is going on in my house.’”
Mrs. Davies was diagnosed as having damage to her vestibular system and is hypersensitive to light and noise, suffered from headaches, dizziness and muscle twitching that would last for days. She has to wear special glasses because of sensitivity to light which is similar to the mother of the diplomat from China.
Diplomat Davies, his wife and their two young children were having strange experiences in their nearby Havana house during the spring and summer of 2017.
Early in the year, their young daughter began having difficulty concentrating at school. She suffered from nausea, tinnitus, sensitivity to light, visual impairment, and, like the Allen children, sudden nosebleeds, sometimes in the middle of the night.
Mrs. Davies had complained about hearing high-pitched sounds. Then, during a game of ultimate Frisbee with American and Canadian diplomats in a local park, Mrs. Davies suddenly fell to the ground.
“I no longer knew where was up and where was down,” she told her concerned husband of the fall.
That is a bit more detail; about what the people experienced. I'll talk more about Part 2 in next post
Diplomat Baker, who was posted to Havana with her two young children, began experiencing symptoms of Havana syndrome in early 2017, including tinnitus, headaches and vertigo. Her elementary school aged daughter was nauseous, had headaches and heavy nosebleeds.
Baker underwent medical testing that confirmed balance and vestibular issues and suggested the need for further investigation early in 2017, but was told follow up testing would not take place for months.
Diplomat Allen had three Shih Tzu dogs and this is the bit that I am more intrigued byIt is not crickets.
To me and this is my personal opinion - this ties in to the Chinese incident. In the interview with the female diplomat's mother she mentions that her dogs were also seemingly affected.
During the summer of 2017, before the family returned to Ottawa, their were behaving strangely, said Allen. Almost every night, the dogs would run to the corner of their yard backing on to a house where American diplomatic staff lived and bark frantically, for no apparent reason. “There was nothing there.”
The dogs were shipped back to Ottawa after the family returned. One of them, a seven-year-old, subsequently began behaving strangely — suddenly biting at non-existent flies, arching its back and lying on its back and putting its feet in the air. A veterinarian diagnosed seizures and told the family there was something wrong with the dog’s brain. The vet recommended the dog be euthanized.
Now I do have some figures which state the percentages of those that still have permanent effects but I need to find that study first I think before I start throwing numbers at you.
MRIs show bleeds coming from small capillaries in their brains, he said, which are completely different from the control group. “For us, this is the concrete evidence we needed that this was real.”
Canadian diplomats and families have also been diagnosed with vestibular and vision disorders, cognitive disorders and other issues.
andIf it is hard to understand how a mysterious psychological and neurological process could have sickened a group of previously healthy diplomats, it turns out to be even harder to understand how invisible weapons could have done so.
Ric Tell, a former chief of the Electromagnetics Branch of the Environmental Protection Agency, has spent more than 50 years studying and helping to set international standards on safe exposure limits to electromagnetic radiation, including microwave radiation. “If a guy is standing in front of a high-powered radio antenna — and it’s got to be high, really high — then he could experience his body getting warmer,” Tell told me. “But to cause brain-tissue damage, you would have to impart enough energy to heat it up to the point where it’s cooking. I don’t know how you could do that, especially if you were trying to transmit through a wall. It’s just not plausible.”
During the summer of 2017, before the family returned to Ottawa, their were behaving strangely, said Allen. Almost every night, the dogs would run to the corner of their yard backing on to a house where American diplomatic staff lived and bark frantically, for no apparent reason. “There was nothing there.”
According to a new Canadian study, obtained exclusively by Radio-Canada's investigative TV program Enquête, the cause could instead be neurotoxic agents used in pesticide fumigation...
The symptoms experienced by the diplomats and their families, rather, are consistent with low-dose exposure, leading researchers to examine the effects of cholinesterase (ChE) blockers in commercial products...
The researchers found that since 2016, Cuba launched an aggressive campaign against mosquitoes to stop the spread of the Zika virus. The embassies actively sprayed in offices, as well as inside and outside diplomatic residences — sometimes five times more frequently than usual. Many times, spraying operations were carried out every two weeks, according to embassy records.
Toxicological analysis of the Canadian victims confirmed the presence of pyrethroid and organophosphate — two compounds found in fumigation products.
There was also a correlation between the individuals most affected by the symptoms and the number of fumigations that were performed at their residence...
Cindy Calkin, a psychiatrist and member of the multidisciplinary research team, said she categorically rejects the idea of mass hysteria. "I have interviewed all but one or two of [the victims] and I haven't found any evidence of psychiatric disorder. This is a very strong group, very resilient and there is no evidence of mass hysteria," she said. "Part of the diagnostic of mass hysteria is that there is no underlying other medical cause that can be found. And we [found] underlying medical evidence...
The researchers are now looking to collaborate with Cuban officials to determine whether any Cubans suffered similar brain injuries, as their study only focused on Canadian individuals.
U.S. Diplomats and Spies Battle Trump Administration Over Suspected Attacks
By Ana Swanson, Edward Wong and Julian E. Barnes
Oct. 19, 2020, 7:31 p.m. ET
One of the biggest questions centers on whether Trump administration officials believe that Mr. Lenzi and other diplomats in China experienced the same mysterious affliction as dozens of diplomats and spies at the American Embassy in Cuba in 2016 and 2017, which came to be known as Havana Syndrome. American employees in the two countries reported hearing strange sounds, followed by headaches, dizziness, blurred vision and memory loss.
But the government’s treatment of the episodes has been radically different. The State Department, which oversaw the cases, has produced inconsistent assessments of patients and events, ignored outside medical diagnoses and withheld basic information from Congress, a New York Times investigation found.
The C.I.A. director remains unconvinced, and State Department leaders say they have not settled on a cause.
Critics say disparities in how the officers were treated stemmed from diplomatic and political considerations, including the president’s desire to strengthen relations with Russia and win a trade deal with China.
“These injuries, and subsequent treatment by the U.S. government, have been a living nightmare for these dedicated public servants and their families,” said Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Democrat of New Hampshire. “It’s obvious how a U.S. adversary would have much to gain from the disorder, distress and division that has followed.”
Dr. David A. Relman, a Stanford University professor who is the chairman of the National Academies of Sciences committee that examined the cases, said it was “disheartening and immensely frustrating” that the State Department had refused to share the report with the public or Congress “for reasons that elude us.”
In a statement, the department said “the safety and security of U.S. personnel, their families and U.S. citizens is our top priority. The U.S. government has not yet determined a cause or an actor.”
The situation has been complicated by the fact that American officials and scientists still debate whether the symptoms resulted from an attack.
Many diplomats, C.I.A. officers and scientists suspect a weapon producing microwave radiation damaged the victims’ brains. But some scientists and government officials argue it was a psychological illness that spread in the stressful environment of foreign missions. Some point to chemical agents, like pesticides.
(National Academies) Report Points to Microwave ‘Attack’ as Likely Source of Mystery Illnesses That Hit Diplomats and Spies
The most probable cause of a series of mysterious afflictions that sickened American spies and diplomats abroad in the past several years was radiofrequency energy, a type of radiation that includes microwaves, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has concluded in a report.
The conclusion by a committee of 19 experts in medicine and other fields cited “directed, pulsed radiofrequency energy” as “the most plausible mechanism” to explain the illness, which came to be known as Havana syndrome, though they said that they could not rule out other possible causes and that secondary factors may have contributed to symptoms, according to a copy of the report obtained by The New York Times.
The report, which was commissioned by the State Department, provides the most definitive explanation yet of the illness that struck scores of government employees, first at the U.S. Embassy in Havana in 2016, and then in China and other countries. Many of the officers suffered from dizziness, fatigue, headaches, and loss of hearing, memory and balance, and some were forced into permanent retirement.
C.I.A. officers visiting overseas stations also experienced similar symptoms, The Times and GQ magazine reported in October. The officers were traveling to discuss countering Russia covert operations with foreign intelligence agencies, a fact that adds to suspicions that Moscow is behind the episodes.
Though couched in careful, scientific language, the new report reveals strong evidence that the incidents were the result of a malicious attack. It attributes the illnesses to “directed” and “pulsed” — rather than “continuous” — energy, implying that the victims’ exposure was targeted and not the result of more common sources of microwave energy, such as, for example, a cellphone.
It also said the committee found the immediate symptoms that patients reported — including strange sensations of pain, pressure and sound that often appeared to emanate from a particular direction, or occurred in a specific spot in a room — were more consistent with a directed “attack” of radiofrequency energy.
The committee considered other causes, like chemical exposures and infectious diseases, but said they appeared unlikely.
The report said that the variability of the incidents, which appeared to affect people in different ways, left open the possible influence of “psychological and social factors.” And it said that some of the victims may be experiencing a condition called “persistent postural-perceptual dizziness,” a nervous system disorder that produces a prolonged feeling of vertigo or unsteadiness.
Moscow has denied any role, and Gina Haspel, the C.I.A. director, has not concluded the Kremlin was responsible. But some C.I.A. analysts who are Russia experts, diplomats and scientists contend that evidence points to Moscow, which has a long history of experimenting with the technology.
The report does not point to a perpetrator, though it mentions “significant research in Russia/U.S.S.R.” on pulsed radiofrequency technology, as well as the exposure of military personnel in Eurasian communist countries to microwave radiation. The Soviet Union bombarded the American Embassy in Moscow with microwaves in the 1970s and ’80s. In a 2014 document, the National Security Agency discussed a microwave weapon used by a hostile country, which people familiar with the document said was Russia.
The report by the National Academies also contains a stark warning about the possibility of future episodes, and the U.S. government’s ability to detect them, or to mount a response. The fact that American government employees reported afflictions not only in Cuba and China but also in Russia and other countries raises questions about how widespread the incidents may be.
The report said that the variability of the incidents, which appeared to affect people in different ways, left open the possible influence of “psychological and social factors.”
These key characteristics of mass psychogenic illness have strong parallels with outbreaks of infectious diseases and have been investigated successfully using similar rigorous epidemiologic methods since the 1960s (Knight et al., 1965), including detailed examinations of index cases and subsequently affected individuals, contact tracing, and careful investigation of the environments in which the events occurred (Bartholomew et al., 2012; Boss, 1997; Cole et al., 1990; Knight et al., 1965). As described in Section 3, the committee noted two constellations of signs and symptoms, one of them acute, occurring at the onset of some cases with more distinct and unusual features, and the other chronic, occurring later in the course of these cases or with subacute onset in other cases. However, in the absence of patient-level data, the committee could not identify index versus subsequent cases. Furthermore, the committee received no epidemiological evidence about patterns of social contacts that would permit a determination about possible social contagion. Without access to these data, a retrospective diagnosis of mass psychogenic illness is considered to be speculative at best and subject to necessary criticism (Jacobsen and Ebbehøj, 2016, 2017; Jansen et al., 2016). Thus, the committee was not able to reach a conclusion about mass psychogenic illness as a possible cause of the events in Cuba or elsewhere.
The committee faced a variety of challenges in responding to these requests (see Section 2). In particular, much of the detail and many of the investigations performed by others were not available to it, either because they are classified for reasons of national security or restricted for other reasons (e.g., internal department deliberations, protected health information, etc.). Thus, the committee had only limited amounts and kinds of information.
There are multiple possible mechanisms for non-thermal RF biological effects, including apoptosis and cell oxidative stress (Barnes and Greenebaum, 2018; Ilhan et al., 2004; Salford et al., 2003; Steiner and Ulrich, 1989; Zhao et al., 2007).RF-induced, non-thermal cell membrane dysfunction (Ramundo-Orlando, 2010) can occur from coherent excitation (Fröhlich, 1988) above 1 GHz due to a variety of effects including electroporation, metabolic changes, pressure fluctuations, and voltage gated calcium channel disruption (Pall, 2013, 2016).
Military personnel (in Eurasian communist countries) exposed to non-thermal microwave radiation were said to have experienced headache, fatigue, dizziness, irritability, sleeplessness, depression, anxiety, forgetfulness, and lack of concentration, as well as internal sound perception for frequencies between 2.05-2.50 GHz (Adams and Williams, 1976). The review by Pakhomov and Murphy noted that many of the studies from the former Soviet Union were flawed in one or more ways, but that some were well done, replicated, and credible.
Pulsed RF effects on the nervous system can include changes to cognitive (D’Andrea, 1999; Lai, 1994; Tan et al., 2017), behavioral (D’Andrea and Cobb, 1987), vestibular (Lebovitz, 1973), EEG during sleep (Lustenberger et al., 2013), and auditory (Elder and Chou, 2003) function in animals and humans, though many RF exposure characteristics (carrier frequency, pulse repetition frequency, orientation, power densities, duration of exposure) complicate direct comparisons of different experiments (D’Andrea et al., 2003)
In 1961, Alan Frey identified a new, RF-induced auditory phenomenon in both normal and deaf humans that became known as the “Frey effect” (Frey, 1961) (see Appendix C). The areas near the ear were most sensitive to these RF exposures; modulating the RF energy could produce a variety of effects including the perception of “buffeting of the head” or pressure on the face/head without dizziness or nausea, a “pins and needles sensation,” and a sound described as a “buzz, clicking, hiss, or knocking” within the head for RF frequencies between 0.4-3 GHz, depending on pulse width, pulse-repetition frequency (PRF), and peak power density (Frey, 1962).
Yeah,I was using it as a kind of catch all.Mass hysteria isn't really the proper term, I think. In cases of mass hysteria there is no real physical problem. In this case I think people are connecting many different things together into a single fictitious story, so mass delusion is the better term.
I think most of this can be attributed to various forms of encephalitis and other infectious disease. Americans are exposed to endemic diseases they haven't heard of, and try to apply some explanation that involves human intent. That's a universal trait. Things don't just happen - someone makes them happen.
The Sun doesn't rise on its own. The Priests must perform a ceremony to make it happen. And the Sun is pushed around by a god or by angels... something much like a human.
Crops don't just fail. Someone has to have made it happen. So the strange old woman no one likes is accused of being a witch. Or it's fairies, or spirits, or devils, or dead relatives.
People see things in the sky that they can't personally explain. So it's aliens.
People see the world through their own eyes. We constantly have to do things to make things happen; so we feel that everything gets done by someone or something much like us.
Or from a different perspective; we're social animals, with very complex social behaviors It's very important to be aware of other people's intent; why they do what they do. So the human brain has been shaped to process things in that context - human intent.
I do remember this being a pretty big story.The Moscow Signal was a reported microwave transmission varying between 2.5 and 4 gigahertz, directed at the Embassy of the United States, Moscow from 1953–1976, resulting in an international incident. The US government eventually determined it was probably an attempt at espionage, and that there were no significant health effects on embassy staff.
After the news of the Moscow Signal broke to the public, many Americans became afraid of the "invisible threat", something they could not see but feared could kill them. Author Paul Brodeur first warned Americans of the danger of "invisible threats" in the form of a list of environmental hazards to human life, which included "detergent enzyme, cancer-causing asbestos fibers, and ozone-depleting fluorocarbons in spray cans." In Brodeur's book The Zapping of America, he claims that Americans are exposed to lethal levels of radiation from missile-tracking radars, television transmitters and even the common household microwave oven.
Apparently the Soviets in Moscow have been trying to jam listening devices in the U.S. embassy with low-level microwaves. What has been the experience of the employees there?
There have been some disturbing preliminary results from studies done on them—for example, that one-third of embassy employees have developed lymphocytosis, an abnormality of the blood-forming system leading to a high count of lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell. In addition, there is believed to be an excessively high rate of cancer among Moscow embassy personnel.
Is microwave radiation suspected of having any genetic effects?
Yes. There was an excessive birth rate of female offspring at a Sperry-Rand radar plant during World War II, where 19 workers in a row became fathers of girls. At Fort Rucker, Ala., in 1969-70, 17 children were born with congenital clubfoot—four times the expected number. Their fathers were helicopter pilots routinely exposed to emissions from military radar.
Have there been any long-term studies on the overall effects of microwaves?
All our studies to my knowledge have been short-term. There has not been one serious study over a 20-year latency period, during which biological damage can evolve. That’s the whole ball game right there. What happens to us in 20 years? The assumption that this stuff at lower levels is absorbed or goes right through the body without ill effect is asinine. It has put our society—the world’s most technologically sophisticated—into the position of crossing its fingers.