A new twist in the mysterious illness known as “Havana Syndrome” has come about as a new U.S. intel report says that the condition might be caused by targeted electromagnetic pulses (EMPs), BBC reported.
The Intelligence Community Experts Panel on Anomalous Health Incidents released a report on Tuesday saying the illness might be caused by “pulsed electromagnetic energy, particularly in the radio frequency range,” Business Insider reported.
“We’ve learned a lot,” an intelligence official familiar with the panel’s work told reporters, speaking on anonymity under terms set by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, CNN reported. “While we don’t have the specific mechanism for each case, what we do know is if you report quickly and promptly get medical care, most people are getting well.”
The latest development and the panel’s latest plausible beliefs of the cause of the mysterious illness confirms a National Academies of Science report from late 2020 that found “directed, pulsed radio frequency energy,” adding that to be “the most plausible mechanism in explaining these cases.” However, they did not make firm determination of such, according to CNN.
Since 2016, more than 1,000 officials, employees, and families linked to U.S. embassies and missions around the world have reported symptoms of “Havana Syndrome,” according to reports. The symptoms include headaches, vertigo, and sound heard in only one ear.
The first case was reported in Havana, Cuba, in 2016 but cases have since been reported around the world in Washington, D.C., as well as France, Austria, Switzerland, and Vietnam, Business Insider reported.
Initial beliefs were that the Cuban government was using a weapon blasting microwaves that went beyond the range of human hearing as Americans began visiting Cuba in late 2016, when the boarders opened for tourism, but as cases developed around the globe, the theory has been sidelined, according to BBC.
Since President Joe Biden has taken office over a year ago, over two dozen cases of “Havana Syndrome” have been reported, according to reports.
Last month, a CIA report ruled out that “Havana Syndrome” came from a hostile foreign power, CBS News reported.
“In this extensive investigation we have so far not found evidence of state-actor involvement in any incident,” the CIA said in a statement. “[W]e assess it unlikely that a foreign actor, including Russia, is conducting a sustained, worldwide campaign, harming U.S. personnel with a weapon or mechanism.”
However, despite their findings in January, the CIA said they are not done in their investigation.
“While we have reached some significant interim findings, we are not done,” CIA Director William Burns said in a statement. “We will continue the mission to investigate these incidents and provide access to world-class care for those who need it.”
A group known as Advocacy for Victims of Havana Syndrome said in a statement that the CIA report “must not be the final word on the matter,” according to NPR.
“The CIA’s newly issued report may be labeled ‘interim’ and it may leave open the door for some alternative explanation in some cases, but to scores of dedicated public servants, their families, and their colleagues, it has a ring of finality and repudiation,” their statement said.