Where Is The Weapon?

State Department and intelligence personnel have reported neurological symptoms since 2016 that have been attributed to a “directed microwave” weapon. The first reports were from State Department personnel in Havana, Cuba, and the symptoms have been named the Havana Syndrome.

No cause of this syndrome has been identified, but it has been attributed to the effects of a directed microwave weapon. But nobody has shown 1) that microwaves cause such symptoms or 2) that such a weapon exists, or what it might look like.

At one point in my career, I did some research that bears some similarities to the discussions that have been going on. So I wrote about that.

Cross-posted to Balloon Juice


  1. The Blog Fodder · May 11

    When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth. – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, stated by Sherlock Holmes.
    If microwaves as a cause are impossible, what remains?


    • Cheryl Rofer · June 9

      I wouldn’t say that they’re impossible, just not proved as a cause.


  2. Brian Kubota · June 9

    Based on described symptoms, I believe I have been suffering with the same/a similar condition for approximately 2 years, and I have reason to suspect that prolonged exposure to a white noise eavesdropping suppression / productivity system is the cause. While my exposure occurred in an unremarkable office, it would come as no surprise that these systems are leveraged in secure settings, such as embassies or other government offices. My symptoms map to those described in reporting to a high degree, inclusive of headaches, vertigo, tinnitus/directional tones (including the distinctive loud crickets), cognitive difficulties, sleep disturbances, and an overwhelming sense of unease. While I am not a physician, based on my research, I suspect that prolonged exposure to white noise can induce what is referred to as stochastic amplification, a widely used technique in signals analysis, in the brain and drive maladaptive neuroplasticity.

    These systems are of increasing use in office settings for their purported productivity and privacy benefits, and I am concerned they may represent an ongoing threat to the health of those exposed, and a potential common thread between cases.

    For reference, here is an article which indicates potential negative effects of white noise exposure:


    • Cheryl Rofer · June 9

      Interesting, and another possible cause of the symptoms. But no more proved than any other explanation.


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