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Modern Mysteries

New Havana syndrome study raises more questions than answers

By T.K. Randall
March 20, 2024 · Comment icon 16 comments
Acoustic weapons drill.
Could directed energy or acoustic weapons be responsible ? Image Credit: US Navy / Tucker M. Yates
Scientists have conducted advanced tests on the brains of those afflicted with the enigmatic condition.
Havana syndrome, which is said to cause a range of symptoms such as fatigue, headaches and nausea, is named after a spate of suspected 'attacks' which began in Havana, Cuba back in 2016.

At the time, it was believed that US diplomats were being targeted by some sort of directed energy weapon by unknown foreign agents with the goal of disrupting diplomatic ties with the country.

Since then, similar symptoms have been experienced by dozens of US personnel in multiple different countries, prompting a groundbreaking 5-year study into the phenomenon.

Now, at last, the results of the study have been published and, incredibly, sophisticated MRI scans of the brains of those afflicted have found no evidence of either brain injuries or degeneration, leaving researchers scratching their heads as to what could be responsible.
The symptoms are undoubtedly real, with those afflicted being aversely impacted in their daily lives.

"These individuals have real symptoms and are going through a very tough time," said study co-leader Dr. Leighton Chan. "They can be quite profound, disabling and difficult to treat."

While the lack of apparent physical damage to the brain will be reassuring to those suffering, it still leaves the entire nature of Havana syndrome a complete mystery.

As things stand, government departments have all-but ruled out the possibility of foreign interference and have come to refer to cases of such symptoms as "anomalous health incidents".

It may be some time yet, however, before a definitive explanation can be found.

Source: Independent | Comments (16)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #7 Posted by Alchopwn 23 days ago
My parents were both in the US Department of Foreign Affairs.  They never worked in Havana however.  If they were ever unduly stressed, they seldom if ever showed it.  Regardless, I think Havana Syndrome is something else.  I suspect that the US Cuban Embassy staff were subjected to an eavesdropping device that emitted infrasound.  Idk if the new study is just reinventing the wheel, but I am pretty sure this was confirmed in previous studies.  Infrasound has been linked to "sick building syndrome" which is consistent with the symptoms afaik.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Ell 23 days ago
It might be caused by a virus?
Comment icon #9 Posted by Chaldon 23 days ago
Absolutely possible. Our ears are deeply hardwired into the brain without any intermediates, that's why music instantly affects us so deeply on so many levels, from deeply physiological (e.g. goose bumps and sweating) to the most intellectual. There are closed feedback loops in the brain structures so they can possibly be excited in response to certain resonant frequencies (see Neural Oscillation) coming directly from the auditory system. Some of these loops have the ability to cause larger waves of neural excitement to form which propagate over vast areas of CNS and reaching into PNS. So who ... [More]
Comment icon #10 Posted by Alchopwn 22 days ago
Thanks for showing interest Chaldon.  It may interest you to know that experts have linked the somewhat cliche phenomenon of "All of a sudden the forest was completely silent" to large predators emitting infrasound.  It has been noted before big cat attacks especially.  It is worth noting that people who have had brushes with BF have also had the forest go quiet prior.  Others have had strange and dramatic experiences of out of place sounds like a semi-trailer engine brake and an air horn going off, but 30 miles from any road, and in a remote and narrow ravine with a stream at the bottom.... [More]
Comment icon #11 Posted by Piney 22 days ago
I haven't been able to listen to music since my wife died in December. But it apparently gives me a stronger emotional response because of my autism. So I'm told.
Comment icon #12 Posted by WitchHearse 21 days ago
I am so sorry for your loss Piney. I lost my oldest son's father. I know it isn't easy.
Comment icon #13 Posted by Buzz_Light_Year 21 days ago
It's been my experience that it's the animals themselves that make the woods go quiet. Animals learn the distress and warning sounds of other animals and when one sounds an alarm they all go quiet. Having spent a good part of my leisure time in the woods it always goes quiet when I enter and a little later the sound picks back up. It even happens when I step out my backdoor and all the birds suddenly go silent. But I'm also rural and I don't expect the same behavior of the animals in the city. Yet it still gets my attention when the sounds stop. 
Comment icon #14 Posted by Bed of chaos 20 days ago
We don't know this. Why would the U.S. hire multiple diplomats w hypochondriasis? Who excessively worry about fake illnesses. I'm not sold it was some panic attack or nervous breakdown. More likely an ultrasound attack or something similar to what SWAT teams use to disperse crowds. Some of the diplomats had inner ear damage. Which probably has nothing to do w self control, yoga or meditation. Plus, I don't think ear damage is common symptom of hypochondriasis.  Wikipedia (Havana Syndrome) lists of a couple different possibilities. One being, poisonous gas or fumes. Except it was only the dipl... [More]
Comment icon #15 Posted by Chaldon 19 days ago
Aha ? I also noticed that back when I was a teenager: if you sit quietly in the woods for a while then all kinds of birds and little animals begin shuttling around while at first none can be seen.
Comment icon #16 Posted by Piney 19 days ago
Thank you.

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