Havana Syndrome — The Haiku Master, the Cicadas and the CIA [UPDATE : DNI Statement on the Intelligence Community Assessment (March 1, 2023)]

“One is reminded of Montaigne’s acerbic comment: ‘Men under stress are fools, and fool themselves.’ ”

Michael Crichton
The Andromeda Strain

June 2 2022 — Matsuo Bashō was the most famous poet of the Edo period in Japan. After centuries of commentary, he is recognized as the greatest master of haiku. The CIA could learn a few things from his poetry. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY

RELATED POST : 50 Years Ago — Pablo Neruda Awarded Literature Nobel Prize (October 21 1971) — Was Neruda a KGB Agent?

RELATED POST : 60 Years Ago — Hounded by the FBI, Nobel Prize Ernest Hemingway Ends His Life (July 2, 1961)

RELATED POST : Poetry as Insurgent Art: Pity the Nation [Lawrence Ferlinghetti]

RELATED POST: Was Noble Prize John Steinbeck a CIA Agent?

“Five of those agencies determined it was ‘very unlikely’ that a foreign adversary was responsible for the symptoms, either as the result of purposeful actions — such as a directed energy weapon — or as the byproduct of some other activity, including electronic surveillance that unintentionally could have made people sick.”

Washington Post
(March 1 2023)

UPDATE (March 2 2023) — The Director of National Intelligence Avril D. Haines has issued the following statement:

“Today we are sharing key judgments and investigative efforts from our Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) on Anomalous Health Incidents (AHIs). (…)

Based on the latest IC-wide effort, which has resulted in an ICA that will be issued today, I can share with you that most IC agencies have now concluded that it is ‘very unlikely’ a foreign adversary is responsible for the reported AHIs. (…)

As part of this review, the IC identified critical assumptions surrounding the initial AHIs reported in Cuba from 2016 to 2018, which framed the IC’s understanding of this phenomenon, but were not borne out by subsequent medical and technical analysis.

In light of this and the evidence that points away from a foreign adversary, causal mechanism, or unique syndrome linked to AHIs, IC agencies assess that symptoms reported by US personnel were probably the result of factors that did not involve a foreign adversary, such as preexisting conditions, conventional illnesses, and environmental factors.”

So, is it finally over?

“We will also continue to act on the recommendations provided by the IC Experts Panel and invest in research to understand our adversaries’ evolving capabilities and to look for answers to the questions that remain.”

What does that mean exactly?

I think that one section of the ‘Updated Assessment of Anomalous Health Incidents‘ explains what is going on…

“Two agencies (…) judge that radiofrequency (RF) energy is a plausible cause for AHIs, based in part on the findings of the IC Expert Panel and the results of research by some US laboratories.

All agencies acknowledge the value of additional research on potential adversary capabilities in the RF field, in part because there continues to be a scientific debate on whether this could result in a weapon that could produce the symptoms seen in some of the reported AHI cases.”

Stay tuned!


“Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity, but don’t rule out malice.”

Albert Einstein

UPDATE (January 25 2023) — On October 3 2017, I coined the expression “Havana Syndrome” which is now universally used, both by mainstream media and the research community.

In the same piece, I suggested for the very first time that microwave attacks, conducted for espionage, were the most likely explanation.

RELATED POST : Five Years Ago — And thus a new syndrome was born… [Havana Syndrome – October 3 2017]

Here is what I wrote:

“If the facts are confirmed and if the effects are indeed caused by a physical device, I find the microwave explanation far more likely than a sonic attack.”

In December 2020, the US National Academy of Sciences came to the same conclusion. In February 2022, the US ODNI released a short declassified Executive Summary which also agrees with my initial analysis.

Five years later, I came to the conclusion that these alleged attacks in Cuba never occurred.

In a new series of podcasts from VICE World News, journalists Jon Lee Anderson and Adam Entous take listeners to the heart of this saga. [Here is the link: Havana Syndrome — VICE]

The second episode — The Diplomat and The Spy — is particularly revealing for it contains much information coming directly for patient zero, a CIA officer working in Havana under cover from the State Department.

His testimony makes it very clear that he never was the victim of a microwave attack. It is also abundantly obvious that the “Russian Directorate” of the CIA wanted everyone to believe that Russia was behind these (non existing) attacks.

“If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.” And, for a while at least, they got away with that lie… Once again.

PS — In the interview, you will hear the good CIA officer explain that he was puzzled by the fact that the Cubans had immediately identified him as a spy. Ask yourself a simple question. Why exactly would the State Department recruit a former wedding photographer with no formal education whatsoever to conduct diplomacy in Cuba?


“In October 2017, the Havana Syndrome term first appeared on the Intel Today blog. The expression was coined by Dr. Ludwig De Braeckeleer. He was the first person to suggest that these events were related to microwave attacks.”

Dr. Leonid Ber
Havana Syndrome
(December 2022)

Perhaps, one of his most famous haiku is the following which he wrote during a summer retreat in a mountain temple:




Allow me to first provide the most accurate translation I can think of.

The feeling of being free from noise!

The sound of the cicadas

penetrates deep inside the big rock.

Now, the beauty of poetry is that each of us is allowed to interpret it the way he likes. Here is my own understanding of this masterpiece.

The noise of the cicadas is powerful enough to penetrate deep inside a big rock, but it can not reach inside the mind of a wise man.

In times of stress and chaos, it is only natural to be confused and distracted by the noise around us. Yet, one must be disciplined and stay focused.

In these most trying moments, we have a duty to think clearly and precisely.

Despite a $85 billion annual budget, it took the US Intelligence Community and the CIA task force more than 5 years to realize that the primary cause of the Havana Syndrome was just the chirping of Cicadas.

And yet, from the very beginning, the CIA had all the information needed to rule out microwave attacks.

PS — For the record — The expression “Havana Syndrome” was coined by Dr. Ludwig De Braeckeleer and appeared for the first time in a story published by the Intel Today blog on October 3 2017. [Here is the tweet] Why would Wikipedia dispute such a simple fact?

“Men are tormented by the opinions they have of things, and not the things themselves.”

Michel de Montaigne


US Intelligence Agencies Are Trying To Solve Scientific Mysteries And Failing Badly — BuzzFeed News


Poetry — The Haiku Master, the Cicadas and the CIA

Poetry — The Haiku Master, the Cicadas and the CIA [Havana Syndrome : Was the CIA incompetent or malicious?]

Havana Syndrome — The Haiku Master, the Cicadas and the CIA [UPDATE : DNI Statement on the Intelligence Community Assessment (March 1, 2023)]

“It is the role of intelligence to identify and characterize threats to the nation and to sift what is likely true from what is probably false. But the public has gotten very little useful or meaningful information from our intelligence agencies. They could do better.”

Steven Aftergood
Federation of American Scientists

This entry was posted in Poem and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s