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posted by chromas on Friday February 04 2022, @09:21PM   Printer-friendly

Havana Syndrome could be caused by pulsed energy devices – US expert report

A US intelligence report by a panel of expert scientists has named pulsed electromagnetic energy and ultrasound as plausible causes for the mystery Havana Syndrome symptoms suffered by US diplomats and spies in recent years.

The report found that a group of cases could not be explained by health or environmental factors or by psychosomatic illness. It also said that devices exist with “modest energy requirements” which were concealable and could produce the observed symptoms and be effective over hundreds of meters or through walls.

The panel, established last year by the director of national security, Avril Haines, and the CIA director, William Burns, said the investigation was not tasked to identify a culprit, but in a statement accompanying the report, Haines and Burns said it would help sharpen the search for the origins of they mysterious ailments.

“We will stay at it, with continued rigor, for however long it takes,” they said.

Also at BBC and CNN.

Previously:
"Havana Syndrome": U.S. Baffled After New Cases in Europe
CIA Finds No Evidence of a Foreign Adversary Causing "Havana Syndrome"


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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Snotnose on Friday February 04 2022, @10:44PM (16 children)

    by Snotnose (1623) on Friday February 04 2022, @10:44PM (#1218833)

    is if in fact the US intelligence agencies are really in the dark. You're going to tell me they haven't tried things like this on rats/pigs/monkeys/darkies?

    You are really going to tell me the Cubans were the test cases for some super sekrit Russian thing the 3 letter agencies had never caught a whiff of?

    I apologize for darkies, I really meant (I'm too lazy to figure out the regex) negros, arabs, central americans, and in general "people nobody will give a shit about". We can put folks in the sex offenders database and the no fly list into that list cuz everyone knows they are the worst of the worst (I pee'd in an alley when I was 18, couldn't afford a lawyer, now I can't get a decent job).

    The TLAs know what is happening, they aren't saying because either A) they want to keep doing it; or B) they got totally pwned and don't want to admit it.

    --
    The dishes in the sink are giving me dirty looks again.
    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Runaway1956 on Friday February 04 2022, @11:10PM (10 children)

      by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 04 2022, @11:10PM (#1218835) Homepage Journal

      You're going to tell me they haven't tried things like this on rats/pigs/monkeys/darkies?

      It's called an "Active Denial System", and the military has had it for over a decade already. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Active_Denial_System [wikipedia.org]

      The device that they are imagining, and searching for, in this case probably works on similar principles. Beam the right electromagnetics at living tissue, and fiddle around until you get the frequency that gives the results you want. Lasers are the best example - you can blind a person pretty easily, either temporarily or permanently, you can hard boil his brain if your laser is powerful enough.

      More to the point, they were considering using it in Washington, D.C. June, 2020.
      https://www.cnbc.com/2020/09/17/feds-considered-using-heat-ray-on-dc-protesters.html [cnbc.com]
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Active_Denial_System [wikipedia.org]

      At some point in time, I read another article showing such a system mounted on a much smaller vehicle than shown in the Wikipedia article. It can be mounted on a Humvee, or a full sized pickup truck, it will easily fit onto a 2-ton delivery truck frame. It might fit onto something smaller, like a typical SUV, probably with less power and reduced range.

      --
      Your private safe room in the back of your mind? Trump pooped in it.
      • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 04 2022, @11:21PM (7 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 04 2022, @11:21PM (#1218839)

        The millimeter wave-based Active Denial System doesn't fit the symptoms reported for Havana Syndrome.

        • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Friday February 04 2022, @11:29PM (6 children)

          by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Friday February 04 2022, @11:29PM (#1218844) Homepage Journal

          *sigh*

          I didn't say it was this particular system.

          The device that they are imagining, and searching for, in this case probably works on similar principles. Beam the right electromagnetics at living tissue, and fiddle around until you get the frequency that gives the results you want.

          Unless everyone involved is full of shit, they are almost certainly looking for an electromagnetic weapon.

          --
          Your private safe room in the back of your mind? Trump pooped in it.
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 05 2022, @05:27AM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 05 2022, @05:27AM (#1218933)

            It could just as easily be acoustic, as mentioned in the summary. There are certain ultrasonic frequencies that can cause symptoms like that and the required equipment is both cheap and easy to conceal. Detection is also difficult because common audio recording equipment can't hear it.

            • (Score: 2) by Dr Spin on Sunday February 06 2022, @08:37AM

              by Dr Spin (5239) on Sunday February 06 2022, @08:37AM (#1219221)

              Both audio and radio frequency spectrum analysers are readily available, and have been for at least 30 years.

              3 inches of wire makes a good aerial for high power microwaves. A tin-foil hat makes quite a good Faraday cage.

              An app in your iPhone could probably sense acoustic stuff well beyond what your ears would sense. If not,
              a cheap piezo tweeter connected to an Arduino would be enough to indicate suspicious acoustic activity.

              If they can't find it, either they are not looking, or its not there.

              --
              Warning: Opening your mouth may invalidate your brain!
          • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 05 2022, @05:47AM (3 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 05 2022, @05:47AM (#1218944)

            Yet another area of Runaway1956 expertise. Runaway! You are a maroon! You have no idea what you are talking about! Stop making us have to listen to you, just because you THINK you have an "opinion". And, careful, when you mess with spies, they have access to a lot of information about you that you might think they do not.

            • (Score: 3, Touché) by janrinok on Saturday February 05 2022, @08:15AM (2 children)

              by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Saturday February 05 2022, @08:15AM (#1218961) Journal

              Stop making us have to listen to you, just because you THINK you have an "opinion"

              He is as entitled to express his 'opinion' as you are to express yours - no matter whether you think it is right or wrong. Why is this always a one-way thing with people of your ilk?

              I have seen nothing here to indicate that he is making you read it. In fact, if you had read it properly you would have noticed his name and you could have skipped over it - oh, you did notice his name? So you chose to read it! How is that anybody's fault but your own?

              • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 06 2022, @06:11AM (1 child)

                by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 06 2022, @06:11AM (#1219211)

                He is as entitled to express his 'opinion' as you are to express yours - no matter whether you think it is right or wrong. Why is this always a one-way thing with people of your ilk?

                No, this is wrong, incorrect. Runaway is an idiot, his opinion nearly always amounts to dis-, or mis-information. He is a Russian agent trying to destroy the West. Did you not see his journal on the Ukraine? Obvious Russian agent of influence. If SN continues to be complicit in his "opinions", I imagine there are several espionage laws in several countries that could have jurisdiction.

                • (Score: 2) by janrinok on Sunday February 06 2022, @09:05AM

                  by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Sunday February 06 2022, @09:05AM (#1219223) Journal

                  That doesn't give you right to choose who can comment on this site and who cannot. What goes in journals is entirely the user's responsibility. I don't agree with Runaway's politics or medical advice either. You are not forced to read them.

                  People express similar opinions each day in the MSM, on TV, and on the internet. Contrary to your personal desires it has not been made illegal in the USA. This site was established there for this very reason - it has freedom of speech enshrined in its Constitution.

                  If you wish to have the right to choose what people can and cannot say you can start your own site somewhere else. We can give you all the software but from then on you would be on your own. Good luck!

                  If SN continues to be complicit in his "opinions", I imagine there are several espionage laws in several countries that could have jurisdiction.

                  Really?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 05 2022, @04:17PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 05 2022, @04:17PM (#1219002)

        Lasers ... uhm ...

        So if the diplomat is in the building either

        A: The laser is in the same room as the diplomat being pointed at the diplomat. You would think someone would notice.

        B: The laser is being pointed from outside the building on the diplomat. The laser would have to penetrate various barriers such as walls. You would think that the walls would block most of the radiation and if enough radiation made it through the walls and various barriers it would possibly cause noticeable damage to the walls themselves on their way in the building before reaching the diplomat possibly starting a fire even or at least creating noticeable smoke. Also, the people from outside the building pointing the lasers at the diplomat would have to know where the diplomat is within the building.

        I suppose you can have a scenario where multiple lasers are surrounding the diplomat from multiple vantage points from outside the building and they all converge at the diplomat's exact location so as to amplify the intensity (kinda like how radiation cancer treatments work). The people pointing the lasers would still have to know where in the building the diplomats are and it's hard to imagine that no one would notice that a bunch of lasers surrounding the building are being pointed at the building unless the lasers originated from a far distance in which case much of the radiation would attenuate with distance (plus more would attenuate through the walls of the building but I guess the idea behind this is that each individual laser wouldn't be powerful enough to burn the walls and enough of each laser would make it through the walls so that their combined effect can be powerful enough to do something. It would also be hard to create a small powerful or even an exact convergence target if the lasers originated from afar). This seems far fetched also.

        Or are you suggesting that the diplomats are being targeted while outside the building. So someone in a Jeepers Creepers van is stalking the victims with lasers whenever they step outside the building and no one is noticing. Also seems far fetched.

        I don't know ... the only thing I can think of is someone is aiming x-rays at the building kinda like how x-rays scanners are used to scan trucks at checkpoints. Not a laser X-Ray but a broad x-ray device. Again, I can't imagine that this would be hard to notice (ie: you can test for the presence of high x-ray radiation) and, IIRC (I think this possibility was already discussed in previous discussions), I thought that at one time they did test for the presence of x-rays and the tests showed that there aren't any abnormal levels of x-rays.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 05 2022, @12:11AM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 05 2022, @12:11AM (#1218860)

      You apologize for using an offensive term?

      I am not offended, I just think you can do better in raising the tone of discussion.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 05 2022, @05:29AM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 05 2022, @05:29AM (#1218935)

        It says something about how hypersensitive people are today that a non-racially-related phrase like 'in the dark' could be construed as offensive.

        • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 05 2022, @06:16AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 05 2022, @06:16AM (#1218953)

          It says something about how hypersensitive people are today that a non-racially-related phrase like 'in the dark' could be construed as offensive.

          That's it! This here microaggression just earned you a spot on the blacklist.

    • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 05 2022, @12:30AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 05 2022, @12:30AM (#1218869)

      Get fucked, Nazi.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 05 2022, @02:32AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 05 2022, @02:32AM (#1218898)

        With the cool uniform on or off?

  • (Score: 5, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 04 2022, @10:47PM (5 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 04 2022, @10:47PM (#1218834)

    US staff posted to strange foreign lands were experiencing High Fructose Corn Syrup withdrawl. Their systems just couldn't cope with real sugar anymore, especially the cane sugar that makes it into Cuban Rum.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 04 2022, @11:44PM (4 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 04 2022, @11:44PM (#1218850)

      Hmm, possibly, but HFCS isn't too much different from cane sugar.

      What it could be instead is deep-fried butter withdrawal.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 05 2022, @12:16AM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 05 2022, @12:16AM (#1218863)

        Nonsense. I've visited the United States and your HFCS sodas taste horrible.

        The only non-alcoholic fizzy beverage I liked was a root beer in NYC stating "made with real cane sugar" on the label.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 05 2022, @01:00AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 05 2022, @01:00AM (#1218876)

          If you see soda in a glass bottle here, it's probably imported stuff made with real sugar. Everything else is garbage.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 05 2022, @03:10PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 05 2022, @03:10PM (#1218986)

          You're completely full of shit, the difference in taste between real sugar and HFCS is relatively small when you've mixed it in with the rest of the flavorings. Now, if just taking a spoonful of it, that's different, but mixed into food products with other flavorings, it's just not that noticeable.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 06 2022, @08:01PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 06 2022, @08:01PM (#1219273)

            At room temperature HFCS has a decidedly 'citrus' tang to it that you'll notice in almost every drink flavored with it (the exception being many 'energy' drinks, since they use such pungent flavorings to cover up all the crap that is in them.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Gaaark on Saturday February 05 2022, @12:03AM (2 children)

    by Gaaark (41) Subscriber Badge on Saturday February 05 2022, @12:03AM (#1218857) Journal

    couldn't they just set up some equipment to find if it is "pulsed electromagnetic energy and ultrasound"?

    --
    --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Saturday February 05 2022, @12:29AM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Saturday February 05 2022, @12:29AM (#1218868) Journal
      Does seem like it'd be the thing to do. Just put up some sensors in likely areas and wait.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 05 2022, @05:35AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 05 2022, @05:35AM (#1218938)

      That's what I'd be looking into. The problem is procuring and deploying the equipment and then monitoring it. The State Department has a lot of sites to cover so it won't be cheap. Ultrasound in particular is rather specialized since common receivers can't hear anything above 48khz. What a report like this does is draw attention so the higher ups in DC will sign off on funding the project.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by inertnet on Saturday February 05 2022, @12:20AM (5 children)

    by inertnet (4071) Subscriber Badge on Saturday February 05 2022, @12:20AM (#1218866) Journal

    Or other pets that will show early signs of unwanted environmental influences.

    On the subject, I've been wondering if the Americans themselves are bringing some secret equipment that's causing their own people to get ill. After all, they're the ones that have the complaints all over the world.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 05 2022, @01:48AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 05 2022, @01:48AM (#1218887)

      Own secret equipment is usually the reason "they don't know"

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 05 2022, @05:39AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 05 2022, @05:39AM (#1218939)

      They are also likely targets and more likely to talk about it to the press. There are multiple state and even some non-state actors who would enjoy pulling something like this against the US and the technical barrier isn't all that high. In some ways it was just a matter of time.

    • (Score: 2) by bzipitidoo on Saturday February 05 2022, @12:25PM (1 child)

      by bzipitidoo (4388) on Saturday February 05 2022, @12:25PM (#1218972) Journal

      Yes. These 3 letter agencies are always shooting themselves in the foot, so to speak, by keeping secrets even from themselves. They absolutely will send their own people on wild goose chases to find out things some already knew. The previous story on this suggested that pesticides could be causing Havana Syndrome. Now it's electromagnetic pulses. If it's not the pesticides, and those who knew about pulsed energy devices kept quiet, it certainly slowed down the investigation. Or worse, they blame the Ruskies or other foreigners. Quite plausible, but also too convenient on the scapegoating. Could've saved the seekers a great deal of time and effort, and the taxpayers a good bit of money, if they'd been just a little more forthcoming.

      The poor canary might keel right over within minutes or even seconds of exposure to pesticides. Or ultrasound. Or energy pulses. Seems an excellent idea to use a few of them.

      • (Score: 2) by PiMuNu on Sunday February 06 2022, @11:03AM

        by PiMuNu (3823) Subscriber Badge on Sunday February 06 2022, @11:03AM (#1219229)

        > keeping secrets even from themselves

        May even deliberately set up an investigation and make a big noise about it so that the adversary does not realise the US has access to these weapons already. So it may well be an intelligence op.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 05 2022, @03:13PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 05 2022, @03:13PM (#1218987)

      I wouldn't be surprised if it turns out to be some equipment meant to prevent adversaries from spying on our personnel as they go about their jobs and these are just the people that are susceptible to ill effects from the equipment.

  • (Score: 0, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 05 2022, @12:59AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 05 2022, @12:59AM (#1218875)

    Wasn't there the theory that actually it was just poor water sanitation, that people who used water bottles and refused to drink the local tapwater were fine? Was that ever debunked?

  • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Saturday February 05 2022, @03:41PM (1 child)

    by Phoenix666 (552) on Saturday February 05 2022, @03:41PM (#1218996) Journal

    Hu-llo! It's Cuba. It's the Afro-Caribbean. And look at those symptoms! It's glaringly obvious that the Cubans have weaponized santeria.

    --
    Washington DC delenda est.
    • (Score: 2) by Dr Spin on Sunday February 06 2022, @09:49AM

      by Dr Spin (5239) on Sunday February 06 2022, @09:49AM (#1219224)

      Perhaps some Americans are allergic to maracas?

      --
      Warning: Opening your mouth may invalidate your brain!
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