Mystery Solved: 2020 NAS Report Links Diplomats Neurologic Symptoms from “Havana Syndrome” to Directed Microwave Radiation Similar to Electromagnetic Illness

American scientists have been struggling to unravel the cause of a “mystery illness” for years, after reports of incapacitating neurologic symptoms were experienced in American and Canadian government officials stationed in Cuba in 2016 (AKA-“The Havana Syndrome”), and American diplomats in China in 2018. More recently similar attacks have been reported on U.S. soil and later in 2021 in Vienna. A second 60 Minute episode on the Havana Syndrome airing on February 20, 2022 revealed many more White House officials and family members who suffered attacks on the White House grounds in the last 3 years. Several have developed permanent neurologic symptoms requiring ongoing medical treatment. This variable and perplexing array of symptoms were reported in diplomats, their families, and even their pets intermittently, but usually at night in homes and hotels, with many developing permanent neurologic effects from what physicians termed was a form of “functional brain injury”. Dr. Beatrice Golomb authored an explanation for the mystery illness in her 2018 peer reviewed article, Diplomats’ Mystery Illness and Pulsed Radiofrequency/Microwave Radiation. The National Academies of Sciences agrees that it is likely to be directed pulsed microwave radiation beams of “energy”. Congress is moving to pass a bill to pay for medical treatment of the brain injuries suffered by U.S. diplomats and their families.

The distinctive symptoms experienced by the victims included severe piercing headaches, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, insomnia, imbalance, nosebleeds, memory loss, hives, ringing in the ears, loss of eyesight and hearing loss.   Odd sounds such as chirping, ringing, grinding or humming, were also experienced, that were loud, emanated from a distinct direction that appeared to follow the individual and could not be reduced by putting their hands over their ears.  The health effects mirror those of individuals who have developed electrosensitivity (EHS) or electromagnetic illness in the presence of wireless devices such as Wi Fi, Cell Towers and cell phones, which emit pulsed radiofrequency radiation. The National Academy of Sciences in 2020 looked at the evidence and concluded that pulsed radiofrequency radiation is the most plausible explanation for the diplomat’s symptomatology. This is a story of political and medical intrigue that dates back to the 1950’s. 

Updated 9/18/2022

More recently, news articles have reported that over 130 personnel and their families have been affected with long term symptoms so severe that they needed ongoing treatment. The New York Post reported, “In one 2019 case, the outlet reported, a military officer driving with his 2-year-old son while serving overseas became overcome with nausea and headaches after pulling over at an intersection. The young boy also began crying in the backseat. After driving away, the pain stopped and the child ceased crying.” Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced on Nov 5, 2021 that he has assigned two career diplomats to oversee the State Department investigation of the “Havana syndrome,” deploying “new technology to U.S. missions around the world to help understand the cause.” An LA Times article on Feb 24, 2022 about the rising number of domestic (including private citizens) “Havana” attacks in Washington D.C. quotes Former Department of Homeland Security chief of staff, Miles Taylor stating, “I think we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg.”

Was the “Havana Syndrome” a Secret Known to the Military Decades Ago?

Paul Brodeur, a former staff writer for the New Yorker and one of the first reporters to write about the connection between microwave radiofrequency radiation and neurological harm back in 1976 , recently wrote a Feb 7, 2022 opinion piece about the “Havana Syndrome”. In his article he discusses the long term Russian microwave radiation bombardment of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, likely initiated in the 1940’s through at least the 1970’s. Brodeur references a recent American Foreign Service Association publication where retired Foreign Service officer James Schumaker writes about his experience in Moscow in the 1970’s as a staff aide noting his then nonchalant attitude concerning the rumors circulating about the Moscow embassy “Signal”. After spending many years in the Moscow embassy, and hearing reports that the embassy was likely subject to microwave radiation, he later developed Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia and states , “To this day, I don’t know exactly how I got CLL. In the back of my mind, however, I have always considered Moscow microwaves to be a prime suspect. I had arrived in Moscow in 1977 in perfect health, and I left in 1979 with a high white cell count and was diagnosed six years later with CLL. In Schumakers’s article, “Before Havana Syndrome, There Was Moscow Signal, he notes , Today’s Havana syndrome is “like déjà vu all over again,” as Yogi Berra might have put it.” He also highlights the reported high white counts and other health effects of fellow workers, as their health had been secretly studied by some at John Hopkins University.

Declassified Records Document Indicate the “Moscow Signal” Was a Precedent for the “Havana Syndrome”

New declassified documents catalogued by George Washington University indicate that the U.S. had known about the “Moscow Signal” at the U.S. Embassy since the 1950’s. No formal action was taken, however, until the 1960’s when a flurry of correspondence began between the U.S. and top Soviet officials, including Communist Party General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev. The first posting of this declassified information was Sept 15, 2022 and reveals letters and telephone conversations involving concerns and secret negotiations to remove the microwave beams. Diplomacy between the U.S. and the Soviet Union was tenuous with the “Moscow Signal” becoming a major foreign policy problem.

There were concerns about the health impacts of the microwave radiation that was assumed to be for surveillance or interference with U.S. communications. Many details it is felt have been left out or were destroyed but worries about health impacts were apparent. President Ford wrote to Brezhnev that the beams may, “Pose unacceptable potential hazards to the health of our employees.” Brezhnev maintained that the levels of radiation were “several times lower than the standard officially recognized in the United States as not hazardous for human health.” An agreement was later reached, such that the U.S. would dismantle the surveillance shed on the U.S. Embassy in exchange for the Soviets “turn[ing] off their radiation”, which occurred after the levels of radiation were increased. Document 29 discloses the increased radiation measured in 1977 showing it varied “between 3.15-5.70 microwatts per centimeter squared.” The Soviets had studied this radiation for decades thus set standards 100 times lower than the U.S. More recently the Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection has warned of the hazards of this RF radiation and maintained a maximum of 10 microwatts per centimeter squared, compared to the U.S. of 1000 microwatts per centimeter squared for certain frequencies.

Embassy Workers Have Brain Alterations in White Matter Tracks

Physicians have found changes in the white matter tracks of the brain in affected embassy workers. White matter consists of bundles of nerves which are individually surrounded by a lipid layer (myelinated) creating tracks or “highways that connect regions of the brain” and bridging gray matter. White matter tracks are central to learning, memory and coordination of communication. Verma et al (2019) performed neuroimaging of 40 affected government personnel and concluded in the JAMA article, “Among US government personnel in Havana, Cuba, with potential directional phenomena exposure, compared with healthy controls, advanced brain MRI techniques revealed significant neuroimaging differences in whole brain white matter volume, regional gray and white matter volume, cerebellar tissue microstructural integrity, and functional connectivity in the auditory and visuospatial subnetworks. ” They highlight that these ultrastructural changes are consistent with traumatic brain injury.

Single High Powered Microwave Pulses Causing Traumatic Brain Injury

The mechanism of injury is still being researched with some attributing this to a sharp increase in heat with microsecond intense peak pulses that could create “thermoelastic stress waves “. These could initiate soft tissue injury and mimic stressor effects of traumatic brain injury. Dagro et al (2021) performed a computational analysis of the neuropathological effects of single high powered pulses of EMF noting, “These studies reveal that the MAE [microwave hearing] threshold depends on the energy in a single pulse (not the average power density) for sufficiently short pulses [e.g., 32 μs in (46)], and peak power densities of 102 to 105 mW/cm2 have been known to cause auditory effects in human participants (45).” They also point out research demonstrating that high-peak-power pulsed  “microwave exposures were affecting cognitive function in the rats, particularly the decision-making process.” Raslear TG et al (1993)

The Havana Act of 2021 to Compensate Victims of Microwave Weapon Attacks

Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced S.1828, the HAVANA Act or the “Helping American Victims Afflicted by Neurological Attacks” Act of 2021, which unanimously passed the Senate June 7, 2021. This Act amended the Central Intelligence Agency Act of 1949 to authorize the payments to personnel of the Central Intelligence Agency who incurred “qualifying injuries to the brain” such as happened in Havana, China and Europe. This was in response to a hearing in which it was revealed that these government personnel were not getting appropriate diagnosis and treatment. This has bipartisan support.

NSA Whistleblower Writes to the U.S. Senators

NSA Intelligence analyst and whistleblower Karen Melton Stewart wrote a pointed letter to Senators Mark Warner (D-VA), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jeanne Sheehan (D-NH) dated June 2, 2021. Her letter states, “Please write an all-encompassing piece of legislation to stop this horror of the exploitation of innocent people with Microwave Weapons (and other DEW Directed Energy) attacks…Innocent people are thrown onto the watchlist, based on little to nothing, with no notification or warning…using this new secret underclass of “untouchables” as nonconsenting test subjects for Military Industrial Complex weaponry such as Directed Energy Weapons like microwave, millimeter waves, lily waves,weaponized WiFi…as well as war-grade gases, poisons…”

CBS Interviews the Diplomats

Interviews of the victims were shown on a 60 minutes episode 3/17/19 with diplomats relating in detail their physical symptoms. Robyn Garfield, a trade officer with the Commerce Department stationed in Shanghai, reported the “sound” attacks he experienced were for months on end. His wife Britta said one attack felt like an electric shock that temporarily paralyzed her. The couple stated there were effects on their children, who suffered blurred vision and loss of balance, with their daughter just suddenly falling on her side one day. 

Catherine Werner, a U.S. Commerce Department trade officer stationed in Guangzhou, China, developed headaches, extreme fatigue, vomiting, nosebleeds and ringing in the ears when the attacks started. Her dogs were throwing up blood.  When her mother arrived to help her, she became sick with the same symptoms. 

Mark Beck, a National Security Agency counterintelligence officer, developed de novo Parkinson’s which he later attributed to events occurring 20 years earlier in 1996 when he was stationed for a week in a hostile country.  His co-worker who traveled with him that week also developed Parkinson’s Disease. An unclassified version of the NSA intelligence report Beck later read, stated that the hostile country’s weapon was a “high-powered microwave system weapon that may have the ability to weaken, intimidate, or kill an enemy over time without leaving evidence…this weapon is designed to bathe a target’s living quarters in microwaves.” and that it is designed to cause “numerous physical effects, including a damaged nervous system.”  

American Cuban Relations Become Tense in 2015

An article in the New Yorker explains how American Cuban relations that were built during the Obama administration became tense in 2015 with the announcement of the new administration, resulting in either Cuba or Russia, and later China, being blamed for the attacks on diplomats in Cuba that grew weekly from December 2015. This led to the withdrawal of most of the U.S. officials from Cuba who underwent comprehensive medical examinations and testing. 

Dr. Douglas Smith, the director of the Center for Brain Injury and Repair, at the University of Pennsylvania, convened a group of experts who initially thought the symptoms could be psychosomatic. However, after interviewing the patients he said, “There was not one individual on the team who was not convinced that this was a real thing”. Physicians did not know what this condition was, but called it “Havana Syndrome”, Cuba Syndrome”, or the “Immaculate Concussion”, as there was no physical evidence at the scene of a weapon or device. 

Senate Hearings Confirm Health Consequences

At a Senate Hearing on the attacks of the U.S. Diplomats on January 9, 2018,  U.S. Senator Menendez from New jersey stated,It is also our understanding that upon finally accepting that the employees were suffering life-altering health consequences, the Department took months to arrange for the appropriate care. It was almost a year before the Department put the embassy on ordered departure status, and only after reports surfaced in the media.”

The University of Pennsylvania Report Published in JAMA

Dr.  Douglas Smith and colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania ultimately published a retrospective study of 24 affected government personnel in Havana, Cuba, in the March 20, 2018 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Swanson et al (2018).    The authors thoroughly reviewed the medical records, and clinical tests of vestibular, oculomotor, cognitive, and audiometric function, in addition to neuroimaging. They found “widespread brain network dysfunction”, with 86% of the victims having sleep impairment, 86% with ocular symptoms, 81% with cognitive abnormalities, 76% with headaches and 68% with auditory symptoms. 67% of the cohort was out of work 203 days after the attacks. Some have recovered fully with “cognitive rehabilitation” but others have had symptoms recur. The authors concluded the cause was “of unclear origin” but “These individuals appeared to have sustained injury to widespread brain networks without an associated history of head trauma.”They listed it as an “acquired brain injury from a directional exposure of undetermined etiology”from an unnatural source.

Dr. Beatrice Golomb, UCSD Professor, Unveils the Mystery Illness

While the FBI could not find evidence of “sonic” attacks, Dr. Beatrice Golomb, professor of Medicine at UCSD and an expert in the biologic mechanisms for unusual illnesses such as Gulf War Syndrome and electrosensitivity, published the most comprehensive, well researched scientific paper on this subject that explained the confounding medical mystery. In her research paper, Diplomats’ Mystery Illness and Pulsed Radiofrequency/Microwave Radiation (2018),  she concludes, “Reported facts appear consistent with pulsed RF/MW as the source of injury in affected diplomats.” These are the same symptoms reported by individuals with electrosensitivity found in the academic literature. Here are some excerpts from her article. 

Strange Sounds Attributed to Radiofrequency PEAK Pulses

Dr. Golomb cited Elder and Chou’s 2003 research paper indicating that the human auditory response of clicks, buzz, hiss and chirping is a well-established phenomenon of radiofrequency (RF) hearing.  The authors note, “The auditory response has been shown to be dependent upon the energy in a single pulse and not on average power density. The weight of evidence of the results of human, animal, and modeling studies supports the thermoelastic expansion theory as the explanation for the RF hearing phenomenon.” 

“Havana Syndrome” Symptoms Look the Same as Electrosensitivity Symptoms

She goes on to explain the phenomenon of electrosensitivity symptoms she has identified in her research at UCSD and the similarities to reported health effects of the “Havana Syndrome”. Dr. Golomb notes, Each of the protean symptoms that diplomats report also affect persons reporting symptoms from RF/MW: sleep problems, headaches, and cognitive problems dominate in both groups. Sensations of pressure or vibration figure in each. Both encompass vision, balance, and speech problems and nosebleeds. Brain injury and brain swelling are reported in both.”

Electrosensitive Stories from UCSD Investigation

In her published article, Dr. Golomb highlights many stories of electrosensitivity in the UCSD scientific investigation she leads. One case was related to Smart Meters with the article stating,  “In a case reported to UCSD investigators, new-onset right-sided ear pain and hearing loss attended the inciting episode (seated for 6 hours, unknowingly, directly across the wall from a bank of multiple smart meters for a building, slightly toward her right), along with vise-like headache, concentration problems, and two nights of no sleep (followed by chronic lesser sleep impairment), and, abating over months, continued to be triggered, always exclusively or predominantly on the right side, by previously tolerated RF/MW exposures thereafter.”

Physicians in Germany ask for Health Investigation of Cell Towers in 2005 

Dr. Golomb included a reference to an open letter from Dr. Cornelia Waldmann-Selsam to the German State Chancellor, Edmund Stoiber, on behalf of 114 physicians (Bamberger Appeal), asking for an investigation into the newly reported adverse health symptoms of 356 residents who lived near cell towers in Oberfranken, Germany. She noted, “Many humans get sick from emissions far below the recommended limit values, which consider only thermal effects, and we have a sickness picture with characteristic symptom combinations, which are new to us physicians,”  The list of symptoms were, ” Sleep disturbances, tiredness, concentration impairment, forgetfulness, problem with finding words, depressive tendencies, tinnitus, sudden loss of hearing, hearing loss, giddiness, nose bleeds, visual disturbances, frequent infections, sinusitis, joint and limb pains, nerve and soft tissue pains, feeling of numbness, heart rhythm disturbances, increased blood pressure , hormonal disturbances, night-time sweat, nausea.” Resident noted almost immediate improvement when moving away.” Dr. Waldmann-Selsam goes on to say, “physicians were able to prove, by re-testing the patients, the normalization of blood pressure, heart rhythm, hormone disturbances, visual disturbances, neurological symptoms, blood picture,”. She called this an emergency medical situation and requested an official health investigation.  

Eleven years later Dr. Waldmann-Selsampublished an article showing cell towers not only harm humans, they also harm trees and plants. Radiofrequency radiation injures trees around mobile phone base stations. (2016).   

Maine Survey of Smart Meters and Neurological Symptoms in Residents

Richard Conrad, PhD, a John Hopkins biochemist performed a health symptom survey of residents in Maine after the installation of smart meters in 2012. This was in response to reports of neurologic symptoms in residents after smart meters were attached to their homes. A constellation of “severe” symptoms of electrosensitivity that developed in residents included fatigue, insomnia, difficulty concentrating, headaches, agitation, ringing in the ears, pressure in the head, tingling burning skin, heart racing, arrhythmia, memory problems. 

Testimony From One Individual

“Both my wife and myself began to develop mysterious symptoms that we never had before, and then more than a week after the symptoms began, we discovered that smart meters had been installed before we first developed the symptoms. Because of smart meter exposure I am now extremely electrically sensitive and can no longer safely live in our San Francisco home. I went from being a perfectly healthy 35 year-old to being electrically sensitive in a matter of weeks. The limitations of this condition are extraordinary. I do not know how much longer I will be able to work at my financial services firm. Nor do I know how much longer I will be able to live in a city or town with a cell phone tower. Once a person becomes sensitized to microwave radiation, life becomes completely different, and difficult. I have constant headaches, unless I am in nature. My ears ring if I am within miles of a cell tower. I have fatigue if I am around wi-fi for too long. Using a cell phone for calls or internet functions has become impossible. I used all of the above technology just 15 short months ago with no problems. I had no idea such technology could be harmful. Now my wife and I search for a safe place to live and I look back fondly on the days I could use a computer without symptoms. I know that many, many others are going through similar situations-all since installation of smart meters. Something must be done.”

Mystery Attacks Near the White House in 2019 and 2020 and in Russia in 2017

While reports of earlier incidents were on foreign territory, there were at least 2 similar reports of “Havana Syndrome” attacks on U.S. soil and near Washington DC that were discussed at an April 2021 Senate and House Armed Services Committee. A White House official reported an attack in November 2019 while walking her dog in Virginia. The second attack reported by a National Security Council official occurred on the large oval lawn at the White House in November 2020. A comprehensive investigation by GQ details an interview with Marc Polymeropoulos, a former covert CIA operative who suffered a similar attack when he traveled to Russia. He still has debilitating neurologic symptoms.

Russian Research into Microwave Radiofrequency Radiation is Longstanding

Russia has studied microwave radiation for decades and tested it on U.S. diplomats in Moscow for 15 years. Then ambassador, Walter J. Stoessel Jr., had suffered nausea and bleeding in his eyes. Soviet officials stated they were just jamming American listening devices on the roof of the building. A New York Times article in 1976 describes the situation with government doctors concerned about the long-term health effects of microwave radiation such that they installed screens on embassy windows. Although data suggest no increase in long term effects such as cancer in the embassy workers, there was “more depression, more irritability, more difficulty in concentrating and more memory loss”. James Schumaker, a retired Foreign Service Officer, stated in an interview,  “ I have to tell you what a shock it was in about 1972 or 1973 to wake up to the great, microwave scandal and to find that Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and his associates had kept from us the fact that for years we had been bombarded by microwave apparatuses, directed straight at the embassy in Moscow.”

Russia has always had lower exposure limits for radiofrequency radiation after their researchers, such as Biophysicist and founder of RNCNIRP, Yuri Grigoriev, studied adverse biological effects of RFR. Russian Government Reports on microwave radiation have shown a broad array of biologic effects. The Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation (RNCNIRP) in 2008 warned there were significant health risks of chronic exposure to radiofrequencey radiation from wireless devices. In April 2011 the RNCNIRP published the Russian Committee on non-Ionizing radiatio 2011 report Children and Teens, again with dire warnings about wireless microwave radiation. Professor Yuri Grigoriev passed away at age 95. A well written biography and historical article in Microwave News explains professor Grigoriev’s immense contributions.. 

The Mechanism of Harm from Wireless Radiofrequency Radiation Elucidated

The mechanisms explaining both the “Havana Syndrome” and electrosensitivity were also reviewed. The central elements are “oxidative stress and the relevance of oxidative stress to potential auxiliary mechanisms, such as mitochondrial dysfunction, blood- brain barrier disruption, membrane alterations, impaired blood flow, apoptosis, effects on voltage-gated calcium and anion channels, and triggering of autoimmune reactions.”  Yakymenko’s  2015 study on radiofrequency radiation (RFR) and oxidation was cited, as his group found that 93 of 100 studies demonstrated a positive association between radiofrequency radiation and oxidative stress. Dr. Golomb explains that oxidative stress is mediated by free radicals, which induce an inflammatory response, that can damage lipids, proteins, DNA, RNA and mitochondria (the primary source of energy for cells). Dr. Golomb also cites research showing melatonin (an important internal human antioxidant) levels are low in persons with electrosensitivity and chemical sensitivity. 

A new review article on the Effects of Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Radiation on Neurotransmitters in the Brain (HU 2021) highlights the broad effect of wireless radiation on the complex diversity of neurotransmitters and neural circuits in the brain. This supplements decades of research on short and long term nervous system effects of wireless RF radiation.

The National Academies of Sciences (NSA) Report

A diverse expert academic scientific team at the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine was commissioned by the State Department to examine this issue in detail. While some previously hypothesized the symptoms could be due to vestibular migraine  or be psychosomatic, this esteemed committee reviewed all the evidence in these episodes, writing a 2020 independent consensus document. They came to the same conclusion as Dr. Golomb, stating, “Overall, directed pulsed RF energy … appears to be the most plausible mechanism in explaining these cases among those that the committee considered” .  Their concern was urgent noting, “It is imperative that the United States recognize and quickly respond to future cases with a well-coordinated, multi-disciplinary, science-based investigation and effective interventions.”  

Canadian Diplomats File a Lawsuit

While American diplomats hired an attorney, as they felt they were being studied perhaps more than treated, several Canadian diplomats filed a lawsuit against the Canadian Government in February 2018, claiming failure of the government to protect them or provide adequate medical treatment and downplaying their symptoms. They also contend that the Canadian government interfered with and stopped the diplomat’s participation in the University of Pennsylvania’s investigation into the “Havana Syndrome”.

Where Will the Next “Havana Syndrome” Be…Your Home? 

These episodes may be a harbinger of more frequent and serious “syndromes” to come. In order to accommodate the telecom industries manufactured need for 5G telecommunications expansion, cell towers are being placed adjacent to homes. This will surely increase health reports of debilitating electromagnetic illness that is already apparent across the United States and in other countries. City council meetings are filling with people who have electrosensitivities that developed or were exacerbated by cell towers placed near their homes, forcing them to be modern refugees begging for relief and a safe place to live with their families. 

Who Decides Safety Levels? The FCC Takes Over Regulation of Public Safety from the EPA in 1996

Congress fundamentally changed the legal framework governing telecommunications with the passage of The Telecommunications Act (TCA) of 1996, concentrating regulatory authority over the broadly interpreted environmental effects of RFR within the FCC. The TCA specifically prohibits state and local regulation of wireless facilities based on RFR emissions as long as they comply with FCC regulations, which do not consider environmental effects (SEC. 704. FACILITIES SITING; RADIO FREQUENCY EMISSION STANDARDS). That same year Congress removed authority of the EPA to engage in RFR research or activity. The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 contained “The Spectrum Act” allows multiple antennas to be placed on a pole at the same emission level without an upper limit of radiation.

 Who is Minding the Military’s Store? Developing “Havana Style” Microwave Weapons

The story continues as our government and media reports on the military’s new warfare technology with directed energy weapons. Congress is being asked to approve budgets for research and development of these modern “Star Wars” energy weapons to counter and compete with China, Cuba, Russia and others.  A Forbes article  reports that the Defense Health Agency is looking to develop a wearable sensor for soldiers to detect microwave weapons that cannot be seen and may be transitory, but are surely felt by the individual. Where is this leading us?   The Guardian reported in 2021 that Russia and China have developed microwave technology capable of injuring the brain many years ago and in 2004 a US company made a prototype of this technology for the Marine Corp that was called Medusa. ABC news explains how these directed energy microwave weapons convert energy into radiated electromagnetic energy and then focus it on a target. These high-power microwaves can damage electronic equipment. Boeings CHAMP (Counter-electronics High-powered Microwave Advanced Missile Project) project uses high powered microwave devices placed on a missile to take down swarms of drones marking, “a new era in modern-day warfare“.

5G in Space: Space Wars and Space Junk

Before Starlink we had about 2,500 satellites in orbit. Currently we have about 3,000 operational satellites in space according to the Union of Concerned Scientists database, with plans for a massive expansion. Elon Musk has already put 700+ 5G Starlink satellites in space for high speed internet with plans to expand to 42,000 low orbit SpaceX satellites. 

The telecommunications industry is looking forward to billions of dollars in profits from the further expansion of 2G, 3G and 4G in space with large cell towers in lower orbit where they have never been before in lower orbit.  In the interest of having fast broadband access anywhere on earth the government has entered into public private partnership with players that are being allowed to blanket the earth with low orbit satellites constantly radiating beam forming, laser like microwave energy along with older 2G, 3G and 5G wavelengths . These companies are commercializing space for their profit. These include not only Starlink satellites but also Amazon with 3,000 Kupier satellites which are preparing to launch and collect more of your data as you shop online from space.

 Microsoft is also a player in this , planning to offer Azure Orbital services to connect satellites to it’s cloud computing network.  What will the consequences be?

Space Wars? 

The potential for other countries to interfere with and destroy these satellites has not escaped the government. Low earth orbits are at risk, but could also transmit directed energy to defend their territory. While we march ahead launching thousands of satellites there is a lack of domestic and international policy to guard against unethical surveillance, the massive increase in the environmental footprint of these projects,  the loss of the dark night sky, a looming disaster with space debris, let alone if nuclear weapons were detonated from space.

Space Junk

Space is now considered to be the world’s largest garbage dump. Increasing space junk is alarming for NASA, from large objects to millimeter fragments. NASA notes, “More than 500,000 pieces of debris, or “space junk,” are tracked as they orbit the Earth. They all travel at speeds up to 17,500 mph, fast enough for a relatively small piece of orbital debris to damage a satellite or a spacecraft.” Satellite companies who are adding to the commercialization of space for their profits in public private partnerships don’t have to worry because, although there is a NASA Orbital Debris Program  there are no global rules. China successfully launched a space station April 29, 2021, however, the 98 feet long and 16.5 feet wide rocket remnant which weighs 21 metric tons is plunging to earth and will land in an unknown area but headed for New Zealand. The U.S. Secretary of Defense stated they had no plans to shoot it down and they were hopeful that it will land in a place where it won’t harm anyone or cause damage. The remains of the rocket crashed into the Indian Ocean near the Maldives with no injuries.

Spin versus Science

We have not considered how this blanket of continuous microwave radiation on land and in space which we cannot see, will affect human health, environmental health or planetary health. No one has assessed the environmental footprint of this expanding technology including 5G (How Green is 5G?) . The short-term consequences have not been carefully thought out, not to mention the long-term consequences. Big Tech’s economic call for profits and “progress” over people seems to be a recurring theme. Spin, not science prevail once again.

We have identified a list of 28 unique tactics used in five diverse case-studies to manufacture doubt. Five of these strategies were used by all five organizations we examined, suggesting that they are sufficient for the protection of products, to the detriment of public health. Based on all information gathered herein, we have created a working definition for manufactured doubt: the deliberate alteration and misrepresentation of knowable facts and empirical evidence to promote an agenda, often for financial benefit..” Goldberg and Vandenberg (2021) “The Science of Spin”

Government Reports

Scientific Articles 

News Reports

%d bloggers like this: