26 votes

Havana syndrome: NSA officer’s case hints at microwave attacks since 90s

7 comments

  1. [3]
    Eric_the_Cerise
    Link
    ... For anyone who remembers the series of news articles a few years ago, about US senior staff in Cuba possibly being attacked by mysterious secret microwave weapons ... this is a very...

    ... For anyone who remembers the series of news articles a few years ago, about US senior staff in Cuba possibly being attacked by mysterious secret microwave weapons ... this is a very interesting follow-up story.

    10 votes
    1. [2]
      knocklessmonster
      Link Parent
      I completely missed this when it happened, apparently. Are these a relatively new thing, as in the last six years?

      I completely missed this when it happened, apparently. Are these a relatively new thing, as in the last six years?

      2 votes
      1. Greg
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        There were reports that I believe coined the term "Havana syndrome" in late 2016 - the facts were murky, there was discussion of microwave or other RF weapons, lots of unanswered questions from...

        There were reports that I believe coined the term "Havana syndrome" in late 2016 - the facts were murky, there was discussion of microwave or other RF weapons, lots of unanswered questions from the various three letter agencies when asked for comment. I remember it capturing the imagination for a short while because it had all the hallmarks of classic James Bond era espionage, and then fading away because there really wasn't any concrete information to go around.

        A while after that, the narrative shifted to it being psychosomatic and/or mass hysteria. I couldn't tell you where I heard this, but I can tell you that it settled in my memory well enough for me to approach this new article with the assumption that the microwave weapon theory was fanciful and debunked (which appears very much not to have been the case). For context, the first thing I get on a Google search for "Havana syndrome", even in an incognito tab, is a prominent Google Books box out with a synopsis that reinforces the psychosomatic hypothesis. Whether that's pure coincidence, intentional misinformation placed without Google's knowledge, intentional misinformation placed with Google's knowledge, or conspiracy theorists muddying the waters, is something I couldn't tell you.

        Now we appear to be in act three, where the microwave weapon theory gains credibility again, and potentially some declassified/FoI'd documents shed a tiny bit of light on the matter.

        [Edit] Fixed link

        6 votes
  2. [2]
    bub
    Link
    It is frustratingly difficult to find any reliable information about this kind of attack, the technology used, or the resulting syndromes without running into the spaghetti of conspiracy theories...

    It is frustratingly difficult to find any reliable information about this kind of attack, the technology used, or the resulting syndromes without running into the spaghetti of conspiracy theories and tinfoil hat nonsense surrounding it.

    This is certainly convenient for anybody secretly using this stuff against diplomats, but to say that this muddying of the issue is intentional on their part would be just another conspiracy theory.

    My point? Guess I don't have one. Just irked that I don't know what to think about any of it.

    8 votes
    1. knocklessmonster
      Link Parent
      Some stuff looks like a conspiracy but isn't (this, [PRISM](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PRISM_(surveillance_program), numbers stations. It's also incredibly useful for espionage when you can...

      Some stuff looks like a conspiracy but isn't (this, [PRISM](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PRISM_(surveillance_program), numbers stations. It's also incredibly useful for espionage when you can write off questions of a credible threat as a conspiracy. It can be done without being part of the plan, just an intelligence agency taking advantage of the opportunity that presented itself.

      6 votes
  3. [2]
    RNG
    Link
    A couple of questions: What value does this provide Cuba? They can expel diplomats at will. Are we to believe that a tiny Central American socialist country crushed by international sanctions...

    A couple of questions:

    What value does this provide Cuba? They can expel diplomats at will. Are we to believe that a tiny Central American socialist country crushed by international sanctions developed "a high powered microwave system weapon that may have the ability to weaken, intimidate or kill an enemy, over time, and without leaving evidence?"

    “The 2012 intelligence information indicated that this weapon is designed to bathe a target’s living quarters in microwaves, causing numerous physical effects, including a damaged nervous system.”

    But why?? They can just close the embassy / consulate at will. Iraq having WMDs feels straight up reasonable by comparison.

    Since we are discussing the US, if one were to try to drum up support for a military invasion of Cuba there may be value in pushing such a narrative, and considering dozens upon dozens of coups and invasions of Central American socialist countries under false pretenses, we must consider that very real possibility.

    3 votes
    1. nukeman
      Link Parent
      It might not be Cuba doing this. One theory is that Russia is behind the attacks (a Cuba allied/friendly with the United States denies the Russians a safe country in the Western Hemisphere....

      It might not be Cuba doing this. One theory is that Russia is behind the attacks (a Cuba allied/friendly with the United States denies the Russians a safe country in the Western Hemisphere. Additionally, ensuring everyone else isn’t at peak performance is an advantage).

      2 votes