WASHINGTON—Some incidents of the debilitating medical condition known as Havana Syndrome are most likely caused by directed energy or acoustic devices and can’t be explained by other factors, a panel of U.S. intelligence analysts and outside experts reported on Wednesday.
The signs and symptoms of suspected Havana Syndrome are “genuine and compelling,” the executive summary of the panel’s report states.
“Pulsed electromagnetic energy, particularly in the radio-frequency range, plausibly explains the core characteristics” of the reported symptoms,” it says, while adding that “information gaps exist.”
The report by a group convened last year by Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines and CIA Director William Burns adds to a growing body of evidence suggesting that while many of the roughly 1,000 reported cases of Havana Syndrome can be explained by stress, existing medical conditions or other issues, others cannot.
It looked at five possible causes for the symptoms: acoustic devices, chemical or biological agents, ionizing radiation, natural and environmental factors, and electromagnetic energy, according to the report’s partially declassified executive summary.
“Some incidents have affected multiple persons in the same space, and clinical samples from a few affected individuals have shown early, transient elevations in biomarkers suggestive of cellular injury to the nervous system,” the report found.
A subset of Havana Syndrome cases, it says, involve four characteristics that, taken together, don’t appear to be caused by any known medical condition. Those are the acute onset of audio-vestibular phenomena such as pressure in one ear or on one side of the head, other near-simultaneous symptoms such as vertigo, a sense that the phenomenon is localized or coming from a specific direction, and the absence of known environmental or medical factors that would explain these symptoms.
Intelligence officials familiar with the panel’s work declined to say how many cases out of the roughly 1,000 reported fall into this subset.
Pulsed electromagnetic energy, particularly in the radio-frequency range, plausibly explains the symptoms in the subset of cases, the summary says. “Sources exist that could generate the required stimulus, are concealable, and have moderate power requirements,” it says.
That finding aligns with the conclusions of a December 2020 National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine study that concluded that exposure to some type of directed energy was most likely the culprit for a number of symptoms associated with Havana Syndrome.