On this edition of Parallax Views, the “Havana Syndrome” has been in the news since U.S. diplomats in Cuba described experiencing a strange sickness involving ringing inside the ear among other symptoms. Since the initial reports of the “Havana Syndrome” were reported the idea that it is the result of exotic weaponry, either a sonic weapon or microve-based directed energy weapon, being used by Cuba (potentially with the help of Russia or China, some believe) against U.S. officials. Now reports of the so-called “Havana Syndrome” have spread to the United States, including D.C. Mainstream U.S. news media has picked up on the story and now the United States government is conducting an investigation into these alleged attacks.
Medical sociologist Dr. Robert Bartholomew, however, believes that this is all a mistake and that the alleged “Havana Syndrome” can better be explained by a stress-induced psychological illness rather than sonic weapons or microwave weapons. In his book Havana Syndrome: Mass Psychogenic Illness and the Real Story Behind the Embassy Mysery and Hysteria, co-authored with neurologist Dr. Robert Baloh, Dr. Batholomew makes the case that the “Havana Syndrome” is actually a case of mass psychogenic illness that has spread via rumor and innuedo. While the victims may experience very real symptoms, he says, the actual syndrome is unlikely to have been caused by sonic or directed energy weapons.
Dr. Bartholomew joins us on this edition of the program to discuss his research into mass psychogenic illness, why he beleives the Havana syndrome is better explained by this phenomena, similar cases such as the Mad Gasser of Mattoon, blunders made by jounralists and the media as well as the government in dealing with the “Havana Syndrome” story, conspiracy theories, how the “Havana Syndrome” is taking valuable resources and time away from combating problems like global warming, why he believes Cuba would not attack U.S. diplomats with exotic weaponry, and much, much more.