Moments in U.S. Diplomatic History

Microwaving Embassy Moscow — Another Perspective


us-embasy moscow oldADST’s post on Microwaving Embassy Moscow brought back a flood of memories to James Schumaker, who served most of his career in the USSR and later Russia and Ukraine. In this account, he describes how U.S. Ambassador to the USSR Walter Stoessel threatened to resign, the widespread concern many Americans posted at the embassy had regarding potential health problems, especially when two ambassadors died of cancer, and his own experience with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. This comes from his blog and is used with his permission.

Read about the 1977 fire at the embassy, when the KGB sent in operatives disguised as firemen and other KGB anecdotes.

 

shoe Walter_J._Stoessel,_JrSCHUMAKER:  Just as I was arriving in Moscow, all hell was breaking loose over the issue of Moscow microwaves.  For years, it had been known that the Soviets had been irradiating the Chancery with low level non-ionizing radiation. In fact, microwave bombardment of the upper floors of the Central Wing had actually begun as soon as we had moved into the Chancery on Tchaikovskiy back in 1953.

The existence of the microwave problem had been kept under wraps for years, first because no one knew that there might be health consequences, and later, according to unconfirmed reports, because Henry Kissinger wanted to avoid damaging chances for détente.  When Ambassador Stoessel (seen at left) learned about the problem, he threatened to resign unless the Embassy community was told.  As a result, the microwave story was finally made public in a press conference called by the Ambassador.

In the wake of Ambassador Stoessel’s announcement, many in the Embassy community felt betrayed about being kept in the dark for so long, and still more were anxious about the effect the microwaves might be having.  Some thought that the microwaves were used by the Soviets to activate the numerous listening devices they had emplaced in the building prior to American occupancy.

Others believed that they were a jamming signal designed to foil our own electronic snooping devices (a highly classified report that came out in the 1970s leaned to this interpretation, and this is what the Soviets told us as well).  Still others thought that the Soviets, who apparently knew a lot more about microwaves than we did, were using them to affect the mental states of Embassy employees.

The worst fear of Embassy staffers, however, was that the microwaves, whatever their purpose, might have some as yet unknown health effects. This seemed to be borne out over the years by the finding, in the early 1970s, that an unusual number of people were departing post with elevated white cell counts.  It also came out that, anecdotally at least, there seemed to be a larger number of cancer cases, and especially leukemia, among former Embassy staff than would appear to be normal.

A study of the Embassy community by Johns Hopkins in 1978 purportedly proved that in actuality Embassy personnel were on average healthier than ordinary Americans, but in my view, and the view of many at the Embassy, this study was not conclusive.  In particular, the study did not recognize the fact that Americans permitted to go out to Moscow were already pre-selected to have “1” clearances in most cases [healthy for worldwide service], and so naturally the Embassy population would be much healthier than an average group of ordinary Americans.

At the same time, journalists like Paul Brodeur were pointing out that the health effects of low-intensity microwaves were not well understood, nor were the possible synergistic interactions of outside microwaves with similar microwave sources within the Embassy itself.  All in all, many people in Moscow were agitated and offended by what appeared to be efforts to sweep the whole controversy under the rug. Moscow staffers tended to be a little overwrought in any case, due to the unique pressures of work and life in Moscow, and the efforts of the State Department to assuage their concerns were viewed with extreme suspicion.

shoe _us_embassy_llewellyn_thompsonshoe Charles_BohlenThe clincher for many Moscow staffers was the unusual incidence of illness on the part of American Ambassadors stationed in Moscow.  An article by Paul Brodeur in the December 20, 1976 issue of New Yorker and an earlier article in Time Magazine reported that not only had two recent American Ambassadors to Moscow died of cancer (Llewellyn “Tommy” Thompson and Charles Chip” Bohlen), then-Ambassador Walter Stoessel was suffering from a severe blood disorder (Ambassador Stoessel, who was universally admired, eventually died of leukemia in 1986).  To most Moscow staffers, it just seemed like too much of a coincidence.

For the most part, I was blissfully unconcerned about the microwave controversy.  At the time, it seemed to me that it was an issue taken more seriously by Embassy spouses, who were afraid for their children, than by the Embassy leadership, which in fact was in the crosshairs of whatever the microwaves might be doing.

Periodically, I would see Soviet technicians standing side by side with American techs on the upper floors of the Chancery.  They were measuring ambient levels of microwave radiation.  Naturally, the Soviet equipment didn’t find anything, while ours did.  I thought it was funny at the time.  Screens were put up on the Chancery windows, which were said to diminish the amount of microwave emanations getting into the Embassy.  I didn’t think much about that, either.  I just continued to do my work and not think about the possible consequences.

Microwaves continued to be beamed at the Embassy throughout my tour, and, though the levels went up and down over the years, emanating first from one, and then two locations, the microwaving of the Embassy continued until at least 1988.  Over the years, thousands of Americans were exposed.

Shortly after my tour was over, I found out that my cavalier attitude toward the microwave issue was not at all justified, at least in my own personal case.  Med informed me in late 1979 that my own white cell count was much higher than normal, and advised me to continue testing.  In 1985, my white cell count got high enough for MED to recommend that I see a hematologist, so I went to a local doctor in San Clemente, Dr. Tsang P. Fong.

He did a bone marrow test (the one where they hammer a spike into the pelvic bone – very uncomfortable).  The test confirmed that I had Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) stage zero, but that chemotherapy was not advisable, since I had no symptoms and the cure would be worse than the disease.

shoe bone marrowMy reaction to what should have been catastrophic news was typical for me — I had no real reaction at all.  I took Dr. Fong’s call at our condominium in Palm Springs, calmly accepted the news, and made another appointment to come in for additional testing.  I never told my mother –I didn’t want to upset her, and she couldn’t have done anything about it anyway.

As the reality of my illness began to set in, I started studying up on the issue.  My research on CLL was not encouraging.  Most patients progressed slowly to Stage Four, and survived on average only a few years.  The mortality rate 20 years out was close to 100 percent.

I determined to fight the disease as best I could by leading a healthy lifestyle, although, paradoxically, I then volunteered for a high-risk assignment to Kabul in 1988.  Perhaps in the back of my mind I had this feeling that I could take more risks, since I didn’t have very long to live anyway — a kind of “who cares?” illogical approach that has gotten me through many crises in life.  State Medical knew about the CLL diagnosis and downgraded me to a “2” Medical clearance, but didn’t stop me from going overseas, mainly because the jobs I was volunteering for often had no takers.

SchumakerMy white count stayed stable through the 1980’s, although I did notice that there were periods where I would look especially pale or have slightly swollen glands.  My visits to Dr. Fong convinced me, however, that I was doing much better than expected.  Most other patients I saw were very sick indeed, a pitiable lot.  In the 1990’s for reasons no one can really explain, my white count began to normalize.  By 1999, my CLL was in remission and my white count had returned to normal.  At my last State Department physical in 2001 my “1” clearance was restored.

To this day, I don’t know exactly how I got CLL, or why it gradually disappeared.  In the back of my mind, however, I have always considered the Moscow microwaves to be a prime suspect.  I have often wondered how many others faced the same medical issues I did over the past few decades.  Perhaps another, independent study of the problem is warranted.  I would certainly support such a proposal.
Permalink
  • EJ

    Meanwhile, here in America, Tom Wheeler from the FCC is getting ready to roll out 5G wireless before anyone has time to object.

  • Safesam

    unfortunately RF radiation has now been declared a possible carcinogen in 2011. It is worse than anyone imagines and responsible for the death of millions fmor cancer and other diseases already
    http://www.bioinitiative.org
    http://www.electromagnetichealth.org

  • Fred Flinstone

    It’s a shame that these cell company’s have a license to kill! It is immoral to make money making people sick. They just put a cell tower next to my subdivision and people are complaining about headaches and anxiety including myself.

  • Seabreezes1

    In Congress, MOBILE NOW S 19 – to make wireless proliferation easier and faster. This 2017 law is based on the same thinking in the 1996 Telecom Act that said non-ionizing radiation was perfectly safe and caused no human or environmental harm. Tell Congress to go back to the future. http://www.electronicsilentspring.com/july-2017-news/

    SCIENCE
    2016 German Review of harm: http://www.cqlpe.ca/pdf/Hensinger_Wilke_2016_umg_Engl.pdf
    2016 Damages trees: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27552133?dopt=Abstract
    2015 Biochemical impact: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25879308
    2013 Blood and hearts: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24192494
    2010 US Review of harm: http://safeschool.ca/uploads/Blake_Levit_Henry_Lai_1_.pdf

  • RDNZL

    Any thoughts about the distinct possibility that the U.S. Cuban Embassy staff were being hit in their homes and in their hotel rooms with higher frequency microwaves or some other directed energy tech and/or neuro-weaponry? Or, is that an elephant in the room that government insiders are too afraid to ask or cannot ask, at least not in a public forum? (And I don’t mean to sound judgmental, as I know government truth-tellers or even truth-seekers are not always received too warmly these days.)

    But, the effects the 21 U.S. Cuban Embassy staff have reported, in approximately 50 documented incidents, are remarkably similar to the ‘suite of effects’ that people from all over the world have been reporting for at least a couple of decades, including feeling vibrations; feeling nauseous; loss of balance; severe headaches; speech and thought problems, including struggling with concentration or common word recall; loud ringing in the ears; other deafeningly loud sounds similar to the high-pitch chirping of crickets or cicadas; or blaring, grinding noises, like metal scraping across a floor; or having these ‘suite of effects’ or injuries vanish upon moving a few feet away from the spot where they initially occurred, only to have the same ‘suite of effects’ return, when moving back to the original target spot.

    As the F.B.I., Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), and Cuba’s Dirección General de Inteligencia (DGI), and all other health officials from these countries and the global medical community continue to investigate and ponder these troubling incidents, perhaps it is time for the whole security, law enforcement and global medical community to reconsider or look more carefully at the growing chorus of people who have been reporting, for far too many years now, a strikingly similar ‘suite of effects,’ which are often minimized or even categorically dismissed as “tinfoil hat” nonsense, resulting in the victims of these attacks not receiving the same level of critical medical care and inquiry that the embassy workers have appropriately received, which could provide the grave insight that the ‘suite of effects’ and medical conditions the Cuban Embassy staff are manifesting may prove to be also occurring in the fast-growing population of people describing nearly the exact same ‘suite of effects’ but are not receiving the necessary level of medical care, including brain swelling, brain damage, concussions, blood disorders, hearing loss, and eventual cancers, including leukemia.

    Whether it is intentional or not, the almost-sole focus on whether the “Cuban Signals” are or are not from an acoustic or sonic weapon is a red herring, as Joseph Pompei, a former MIT researcher and psychoacoustics expert explains: “Brain damage and concussions, it’s not possible…Somebody would have to submerge their head into a pool lined with very powerful ultrasound transducers.”

    On the other hand, the ‘suite of effects’ and the descriptions of the incidents in Cuba could be explained by microwave or other directed energy technology/weapons.

    Perhaps someone wants to sit down and have an open discussion regarding these incidents, as the directed energy weapons market is growing by billions and billions and poses a very real threat to world stability and peace. For that ‘sit-down’ to occur, courageous men and women will need to step forward with the truth, and the media blackout will need to end, as it can no longer be swept under the rug:

    deps.org

  • RDNZL

    Any thoughts about the distinct possibility that the U.S. Cuban Embassy staff were being hit in their homes and in their hotel rooms with higher frequency microwaves or some other directed energy tech and/or neuro-weaponry? Or, is that an elephant in the room that government insiders are too afraid to ask or cannot ask, at least not in a public forum? (And I don’t mean to sound judgmental, as I know government truth-tellers or even truth-seekers are not always received too warmly, especially these days.)

    But, the effects the 21 U.S. Cuban Embassy staff have reported, in approximately 50 documented incidents, are remarkably similar to the ‘suite of effects’ that people from all over the world have been reporting for at least a couple of decades, including feeling vibrations; feeling nauseous; loss of balance; severe headaches; speech and thought problems, including struggling with concentration or common word recall; loud ringing in the ears; other deafeningly loud sounds similar to the high-pitch chirping of crickets or cicadas; or blaring, grinding noises, like metal scraping across a floor; or having these ‘suite of effects’ or injuries vanish upon moving a few feet away from the spot where they initially occurred, only to have the same ‘suite of effects’ return, when moving back to the original target spot.

    As the F.B.I., Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), and Cuba’s Dirección General de Inteligencia (DGI), and the global medical community continue to investigate and evaulate these troubling incidents, perhaps it is time for the whole security, law enforcement and global medical community to reconsider or evaluate more carefully the growing chorus of people who have been reporting, for far too many years now, an alarming ‘suite of effects,’ strikingly similar to the set of symptoms and effects that ‘targeted’ Cuban Embassy staff have reported. Unfortunately, victims reporting a similar ‘suite of effects’ to what the Cuban Embassy staff have reported often have had their valid complaints minimized or even categorically dismissed as “tinfoil hat” nonsense, as it sounds too bizarre and too fantastic, as most of the medical community is not taught how to identify the ‘suite of effects’ or the possible medical manifestations of directed energy technology or neuro-weapons.

    If the medical community struggling to make sense of these incidents in Cuba begins to treat–with the same critical level of medical care and evaluation–the fast-growing population of people describing nearly the exact same ‘suite of effects’ all over the world, the medical community will likely find a similar set of medical conditions or symptoms in the cries that remain unheard, including brain swelling, brain damage, concussions, blood disorders, hearing loss, and eventually, down the road, cancers, including leukemia.

    Whether it is intentional or not, the media’s almost-sole focus on whether the “Cuban Signals” are or are not from an ‘acoustic’ or ‘sonic weapon’ is a red herring, as Joseph Pompei, a former MIT researcher and psychoacoustics expert explains:

    “Brain damage and concussions [from an acoustic or sonic weapon], it’s not possible…Somebody would have to submerge their head into a pool lined with very powerful ultrasound transducers.”

    On the other hand, the ‘suite of effects’ and the descriptions of the incidents in Cuba could be neatly explained by the relatively mid-range employment of microwave or other directed energy technology/weapons. The DoD knows it. The intelligence community knows it. The hundreds/thousand of other government agencies and private “homeland security” companies know it. Weapons experts know it. Many journalists know it but skirt right around it.

    What happened to Seymour Hersh or James Risen? A scoop too big and too scary? No one dropped the documents right in their laps?

    Perhaps someone wants to have an open discussion regarding these incidents, and IT. IS. TIME. The global directed energy weapons market is growing by billions and billions and poses a very real threat to world stability and peace. Considering directed energy technology–including small, portable hand-held electromagnetic pulse generators or EMP ‘guns’ (to harass/slowly kill your neighbors or your ex with an untraceable weapon). Much larger, and potentially highly-lethal and incredibly destructive ones for “medical purposes” can easily be bought online, by pretty much anyone. It is time for our governments to stop pretending they don’t exist or that they are just “experimental and theoretical,” and it is time to create laws and regulations to make sure they don’t CONTINUE to end up in the wrong hands.

    For that ‘sit-down’ to occur, courageous men and women will need to step forward with the truth about how these weapons are currently being used “in experimental settings.” (Like Tuskegee and MKUltra, they aren’t just being used in Cuba; they are being tested on U.S. soil on unwitting Americans and on people all over the world.) It is time for the complicit, disgraceful U.S. media to end its unconscionable media blackout, as it no longer can be swept under the rug:

    deps.org

Return to Moments in U.S. Diplomatic History

Microwaving Embassy Moscow …

by Admin CoolBen time to read: 6 min
6