‘High-speed Russian car chase in Florida may be tied to mysterious Havana Syndrome’

NEW DELHI: A high-speed car chase in Key West, Florida, in June 2020, has emerged as a potential link to the enigmatic “Havana syndrome,” as revealed in a CBS News’ “60 Minutes” report. Originating in Cuba in 2016, “Havana syndrome” has affected US and Canadian embassy staff in several countries, manifesting as headaches, balance issues, cognitive impairments, and sleep difficulties.Despite extensive investigations, including a comprehensive study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the cause remains unidentified, with no evidence of brain injuries or abnormalities found.
During the chase, police pursued a car at speeds exceeding 110 mph over 15 miles. The driver, identified only as “Vitalii” from St Petersburg, was found with a Russian passport, bank account notes, and a device capable of erasing a car’s computer data. Despite being apprehended, Vitalii provided no clear reason for fleeing the police.
This incident adds a new layer to the Havana syndrome mystery, initially speculated to involve directed energy attacks by foreign adversaries. However, recent US intelligence assessments suggest that these health incidents likely stem from a range of causes, including environmental factors and undiagnosed illnesses, rather than a singular external attack.
What is Havana Syndrome
Havana Syndrome refers to a set of medical symptoms and conditions reported initially by American and Canadian embassy staff starting in late 2016 in Havana, Cuba. The symptoms include a varied set of complaints such as hearing strange grating noises, experiencing pressure or vibration sensations, and feeling as if they were standing in an invisible beam of energy. Affected individuals have reported symptoms like acute headaches, dizziness, tinnitus, visual and hearing problems, vertigo, and cognitive difficulties.
The syndrome has since been reported by diplomats, intelligence officers, and other government personnel in various countries, leading to widespread concern and investigation by multiple agencies, including the US Department of State, the CIA, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Despite extensive studies, the exact cause of Havana Syndrome remains unidentified. Initial theories suggested acoustic attacks, while later investigations considered microwave energy, environmental factors, or even psychogenic factors as possible explanations. However, as of my last update, no definitive cause has been established, and the phenomenon continues to be the subject of significant research and debate within the scientific and intelligence communities.

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