A man holds a Chinese flag from a house opposite the US Consulate General in Chengdu, Sichuan province.(REUTERS)
A man holds a Chinese flag from a house opposite the US Consulate General in Chengdu, Sichuan province.(REUTERS)

Mysterious injuries suffered by US diplomats in China, Cuba likely caused by microwave energy: Study

The researchers said that the chronic symptoms that were reported are often seen in patients after head trauma, as a result of chemical exposure, infectious diseases, or stress in a hostile environment.
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Kunal Gaurav
UPDATED ON DEC 06, 2020 04:05 PM IST

The mysterious head injuries suffered by US diplomatic staff and their families in China and Cuba are consistent with the use of directed microwave energy, according to an assessment published by the National Academy of Sciences. In late 2016, US Embassy staff in Havana, Cuba, began to report the development of an unusual set of symptoms and some of the cases began with the sudden onset of loud noise.

A year later, a US diplomat in Guangzhou, China, started experiencing unexplained symptoms, including headache and memory problems. The doctors concluded that the diplomat, Mark Lenzi, suffered a serious brain injury but MRI findings didn’t reveal the cause. The US State Department requested the National Academy of Sciences to assess the cause.

“The committee felt that these acute symptoms were more consistent with a directed radio frequency (RF) energy attack, and explored possible related mechanisms,” the report said, referring to cases involved in so-called sonic attacks.

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The researchers said that the chronic symptoms that were reported are often seen in patients after head trauma, as a result of chemical exposure, infectious diseases, or stress in a hostile environment. The committee did not find any evidence for usual forms of traumatic injury. While it did evaluate possible chemical and infectious causes as well as psychosocial causes, the overall analysis showed that they were not the likely cause.

The committee said that there are several studies on the health effects of pulsed RF sources, but there are insufficient data in the open literature on potential RF exposure/dosage characteristics and biological effects possible for the cases involved. The report has not concluded that the use of directed microwave energy was deliberate, however, it cautioned that such action could be used for nefarious purposes.

“The mere consideration of such a scenario raises grave concerns about a world with disinhibited malevolent actors and new tools for causing harm to others, as if the U.S. government does not have its hands full already with naturally occurring threats,” the report said.

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