The strange story of Havana Syndrome

Learn more about Havana Syndrome by checking out the Conspiracyland podcast, available now.

Video transcript

MICHAEL ISIKOFF: Over the past few years, over 1,100 US spies and diplomats have reported getting sick. First, in Cuba and then later all over the world. A phenomenon that's been called Havana Syndrome.

The prevailing theory, widely promoted by members of Congress and many in the news media, is that these ailments-- headaches, extreme fatigue, vertigo, and in some cases brain injuries-- were the result of hostile attacks from a foreign power. Most likely, the Russian Intelligence Services under the firm control of Vladimir Putin.

But what if the whole narrative isn't true? We interviewed a top official at the US State Department who says the US government has found no evidence connecting foreign actors, like Russia, to these unexplained illnesses. Same goes for top officials at the CIA and the Department of Homeland Security.

These comments are especially striking, considering the US Congress last year passed the Havana Act, which pays up to $189,000 to government officials who suffered from the syndrome under the assumption that they were the victims of a vicious attack from a foreign government. But after five years of nonstop media coverage of mysterious microwave weapons and Russian devices, some senior officials now believe the whole thing might just be a conspiracy theory that simply never panned out.

You can hear their interviews and much, much more on the latest season of our conspiracy land podcast, "The Strange Story of Havana Syndrome."