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Monday, July 15, 2024

Know About Havana Syndrome: Investigator Links Mysterious Illness in US Officials to Russia

A lead US military investigator has told 60 Minutes that he believes US officials are being attacked by Russia. Greg Edgreen, a retired Army lieutenant colonel, has been examining reports of the Havana Syndrome. Edgreen notably ran the Pentagon investigation into the syndrome, which officials referred to as “anomalous health incidents.”

An FBI official, identified only as Carrie, had fallen victim to symptoms associated with the Havana Syndrome while she was investigating an alleged Russian spy inside the US, a joint investigation by CBS News, Der Spiegel, and Russian-focused magazine The Insider has found. Carrie was reportedly “hit by a crippling force” while she was at home in Florida in 2021, doing laundry.

“It felt like I was stuck in this state of, like, disorientation, not able to function,” she told the program. “I am completely consumed by a piercing sound that I can only describe as when you listen to a movie and the main character is also consumed by the sound after a bomb goes off.”

“It just pierced my ears, came in my left side, felt like it came through the window, into my left ear. I immediately felt fullness in my head, and just a piercing headache. And when I realized that I needed to get out of the laundry room, I left the room, and went into our bedroom next door, and projectile vomited in our bathroom,” she added.

What is the Havana Syndrome?

According to health.com, “”Havana syndrome” is a condition some government officials and their family members at US embassies in different countries have reported experiencing since 2016. Symptoms have included headaches, sleeplessness, and other signs similar to those of neurological conditions.”

“While some people experience the syndrome briefly, others have chronic symptoms. The causes of Havana syndrome remain unknown,” it added.

The recent revelations come days after some National Institute of Health studies claimed that although various US government employees experienced these symptoms, there was no consistent evidence of brain injury. The report added that the symptoms, in fact, were possibly caused by “preexisting conditions, conventional illnesses, and environmental factors,” as well as some other factors.

National Institutes of Health said that their research team used advanced imaging techniques and in-depth clinical assessments but found “no significant evidence of MRI-detectable brain injury, nor differences in most clinical measures compared to controls, among a group of federal employees who experienced anomalous health incidents (AHIs).”

“These incidents, including hearing noise and experiencing head pressure followed by headache, dizziness, cognitive dysfunction and other symptoms, have been described in the news media as “Havana Syndrome” since U.S. government personnel stationed in Havana first reported the incidents,” it added.

Meanwhile, Carrie revealed that when she was hit by the symptoms, she was on a case concerning a man named Vitalii Kovalev. A Russian national, he was arrested after a high-speed chase in Florida. Police subsequently discovered a Russian passport and bank account notes. They also recovered a device that could erase his Mustang’s computer data.

Who was Vitalii Kovalev?

An investigative journalist for The Insider, Christo Grozev, said that Kovalev used to be a Russian military electrical engineer with a top secret security clearance. He eventually left his career in intelligence and became a chef in the US.

Kovalev was caught and he pleaded guilty to evading police and reckless driving. He was subsequently sentenced to 30 months behind bars, but he eventually returned to Russia. Authorities in Russia claimed he died soon after on the frontlines of the country’s war with Ukraine.

Grozev claimed that he was able to obtain an accounting document connected to a top-secret Russian intelligence unit known as 29155. The document spoke of a bonus payment for an officer who worked on a project involving “potential capabilities of non-lethal acoustic weapons.”

“When I saw it, I literally had tears in my eyes, because it was spelling out what they had been doing,” he said. Grozev, however, added that this is not a solid proof of Havana Syndrome’s cause. “It’s the closest to a receipt you can have for this,” he explained.

Carrie was hit by the attack when Kovalev was in prison. A cardiologist later told her she could get back to work. However, some of her symptoms remained.

“I remember complaining to my colleagues for months after that, I felt like I had early Alzheimer’s,” she told correspondent Scott Pelley. “Short term memory, long term memory, confusing memories, multitasking. My baseline changed. I was not the same person.”

What did Greg Edgreen say?

Retired Army officer, lieutenant colonel Greg Edgreen, also spoke with 60 Minutes, claiming it appeared as though Russia had a common denominator across most of the Havana Syndrome cases. “One of the things I started to notice was the caliber of our officer that was being impacted,” he said.

“This wasn’t happening to our worst or our middle-range officers. This was happening to our top 5% percent, 10 percent performing officers across the Defense Intelligence Agency. And consistently there was a Russia nexus. There was some angle where they had worked against Russia, focused on Russia, and done extremely well,” he added

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(Source: HT)

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