Here're recent cases that brought directed energy weapons under the spotlight
Until 2015, most of the individuals claiming to be victims of directed energy weapons were ridiculed and made a laughing stock. However, Dr. Mathew Arneguard case followed by similar attacks on the American diplomats in Cuba and China changed people's perspective.
"Dr. Mathew Arneguard claims he's a victim of electromagnetic pulse generator gun attack in Canada"
American citizen, Dr. Mathew Arneguard (Ph.D. Neurobiology) was living in Vancouver, Canada while working on an assignment. In December 2015, he claimed he saw three individuals standing inside the office building across an alleyway pointing a vortex gun-like weapon at his apartment. Within seconds, he started hearing a high-pitched noise and experienced intense pressure on his brain. He used his presence of mind and rushed out of his apartment.
After returning, he found patterns consisting of concentric rings with lines in circles on the apartment's window panes. That night, he made a video of his apartment’s condition with his mobile phone. Dr. Arneguard believes the attack and marks on the window indicated the use of an electromagnetic pulse generator gun-like weapon.
He became nauseous, dizzy, experienced headaches, and was unable to sleep during the next few days after the attack. While interacting with journalist Pat Spain, Dr. Arneguard pointed out that someone probably wanted him to leave his new apartment.
"They were keeping an eye on me for several days before the attack. Police failed to reach any conclusion. But my investigation pointed out that criminals were probably using a home-based version of directed energy weapon developed by the military to scare the crowd. The question is, how criminals got their hands on such a weapon," said Dr. Arneguard who returned to the US within a few months after the attack.
"American diplomats in Cuba and China were targeted with directed energy weapons?"
During late 2016, Americans stationed at the US embassy in Havana, Cuba began experiencing headaches, nauseousness, exhaustion, humming in her ear, and problems in sleeping. They all heard piercing/high-pitched noises. The impact was such that they were unable to sleep and even their family members, including children, were facing the same medical conditions. These US diplomats claimed they were attacked with strange weapons, and all of them were asked to return to the US for treatment. The American embassy operates with skeleton staff since then.
In 2017, an American diplomat based in China faced a similar horror. Headaches, exhaustion, humming in her ear, this is what diplomat Catherine Werner started feeling when she got sick while working in China. Her symptoms were similar to those reported by most of the victims in Cuba.
"I woke up during mid-night, and I could feel the sound in my head. It created intense pressure on both of my temples at the same time. I also often heard a low humming sound. It was osculating, and I remember looking around for the source of the sound as it was painful. I started to get hives' since Oct 2017, and I woke up with headaches. I started feeling tired after doing the simplest things. My symptoms were so severe that I started throwing up," said Werner while interacting with journalists.
Werner experienced ringing in the ear even after changing her residence and shifting to a hotel. Further, problems in concentrating and dizziness made matters worse. Even her dogs who shared the same hotel room were throwing up blood. In April 2018, she returned to the US for treatment. According to the state department, as of May 2018, three dozen American diplomats have faced such attacks.
"Expert opinion and medical tests indicate the use of directed energy weapons"
The victims who interacted with journalists said they wanted Americans to know what happened to their diplomats. The victims of such violence should come forward and opt for treatment instead of hiding facts.
"Several tests, scans pointed out that some of the victims had developed brain injuries due to these attacks. The weapons can also cause temporal lobe damage and even change the liquid inside the ear canal," said University of Miami's neurologist Dr. Michael Hoffer who was a part of the team that medically examined the victims.
Experts suggest Werner's medical report highlighted mild traumatic brain injury and it happens to be permanent damage. One of the victims had a child with a disability; even the kid developed the same symptoms, and so did pet dogs.
These symptoms aren't imagination; in fact, they experienced changes in their brain. The law enforcement agencies believe culprits possibly used microwave weapon, sonic weapons, or electromagnetic weapons to target diplomats in both countries.
"The US military had deployed a directed energy weapon during the Afghanistan War"
The US military already has electromagnetic radiation based non-lethal directed-energy weapon called the Active Denial System (ADS) in its kitty. The gun can target the outermost layer of the individuals' skin. It was deployed for the first time during the Afghanistan War back in 2010.
Now, military experts are working on microwave arms that beam painfully loud booms (using the Frey effect) into the target's head and paralyze them as a part of psychological warfare. The high-intensity microwave beams can be fired in such a way that they hit only the targeted individual.
Currently, besides the US, several countries, including Russia and China have directed energy weapons development programmes running for decades. Article 35 from the Geneva Conventions (1977) prohibits the use of weapons that can cause excessive injuries. However, experts believe the International Humanitarian Law needs to be amended to include the use of directed energy weapons.
By: Nitten Gokhaley
Marathi version of this column was published by Chaprak Weekly.
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