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Why does what happened in Moscow in the 60’s correlate to what happened in Havana?

Updated: Apr 13, 2023

“As I followed the Havana syndrome story, it increasingly occurred to me that I had seen something like this before. The mention of the word “microwaves” in particular, triggered a flood of memories, as did the stories of initial skepticism by the State Department and other agencies over the concerns of potential victims. It was Moscow Signal all over again.” - James Schumaker, The American Foreign Service Association.

After reports of a multitude of different symptoms came to light in 2016, memories began to come back to surface for many people. Remembering ‘The Moscow Signal’, as many of the symptoms and the most probable cause were almost identical to what happened at the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba. In the 1960’s many people believed that the cause of The Moscow Signal was microwave energy, years later, many pose the question as to why the cause was never determined, and how it relates to the cause of Havana Syndrome. After reading articles from interviews of victims of both The Moscow Signal and Havana Syndrome, many of their symptoms appear to be similar. They also all seem to unfortunately deal with this idea that what they went through is simply just a case of ‘mass hysteria’.

During the Cold War, it is said that the Soviets pointed microwaves at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, Russia. From there, microwaves were discovered at the Spaso House, in Moskva, Russia in 1951, and then again in 1959 while Vice President Nixon was there. The Theremin Device is what was discovered and it was found inside of ‘The Great Seal’, a gift to the United States from the Soviets. In the 70’s, National Security Administration Officer Charles Gandy was set to get to the bottom of the microwaves. Over time, the Moscow Signal would increase in intensity. Ambassador Walter Stoessel, (who was the Chief of Mission in Moscow at the time), was informed about the situation in January of 1976 by the Gerald Ford Administration. Subsequently, he threatened to resign if his staff wasn’t notified. That September, Ambassador Stoessel left, and was replaced in January 1977 by Ambassador Malcolm Toon. Once the word spread about The Moscow Signal, the U.S. Embassy staff were understandably irritated and many began filing lawsuits against the United States government. Many started referring to this as “MUTS”, or Moscow Unidentified Technical Signals. When it comes to The Moscow Signal, the United States didn’t become aware of it until years later. It’s also said that even when the United States found out about it, the U.S. Embassy staff in Moscow were not informed about it for years. The question posed now is, did the United States omit the truth on purpose? How would this affect situations like Havana Syndrome in the future?

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