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Microwave Weapons Are Prime Suspect in Ills of U.S. Embassy Workers

来源:纽约时报    2018-09-03 06:12

        During the Cold War, Washington feared that Moscow was seeking to turn microwave radiation into covert weapons of mind control.        冷战期间,华盛顿曾担心莫斯科试图将微波辐射变成隐蔽的精神控制武器。
        More recently, the U.S. military itself sought to develop microwave arms that could invisibly beam painfully loud booms and even spoken words into people’s heads. The aims were to disable attackers and wage psychological warfare.        后来,美国军方也在寻求开发微波武器,它可以在无形中传送刺耳的声音,甚至可以把话语送入人们的头脑。其目标是令攻击者失能,并用于心理战。
        Now, doctors and scientists say such unconventional weapons may have caused the baffling symptoms and ailments that, starting in late 2016, hit more than three dozen U.S. diplomats and their family members in Cuba and China. The Cuban incidents resulted in a diplomatic rupture between Havana and Washington.        现在,医生和科学家说,这种非常规武器可能引发了令人困惑的症状和疾病,从2016年底开始,30多名美国外交官及其家人在古巴和中国受到袭击。古巴的事件已经导致哈瓦那和华盛顿之间的外交关系出现裂痕。
        The medical team that examined 21 affected diplomats from Cuba made no mention of microwaves in its detailed report published in JAMA in March. But Douglas H. Smith, the study’s lead author and director of the Center for Brain Injury and Repair at the University of Pennsylvania, said in a recent interview that microwaves were now considered a main suspect and that the team was increasingly sure the diplomats had suffered brain injury.        一个医疗小组检查了在古巴受影响的21名外交人员,于3月份在《美国医学会期刊》(JAMA)上发表了详细报告,其中并未提及微波。但该研究的主要作者、宾夕法尼亚大学(University of Pennsylvania)脑损伤与修复中心主任道格拉斯·H·史密斯(Douglas H. Smith)在最近的采访中表示,微波现在被认为嫌疑最大,该团队越来越确定这些外交官遭受了脑损伤。
        “Everybody was relatively skeptical at first,” he said, “and everyone now agrees there’s something there.” Smith remarked that the diplomats and doctors jokingly refer to the trauma as the immaculate concussion.        “一开始所有人都持相对怀疑态度,”他说,“现在所有人都同意这里面有问题,”史密斯说,外交官和医生开玩笑地将这种创伤称为完美的脑震荡。
        Strikes with microwaves, some experts now argue, more plausibly explain reports of painful sounds, ills and traumas than do other possible culprits — sonic attacks, viral infections and contagious anxiety.        一些专家现在认为,微波打击比声波攻击、病毒感染和传染性焦虑等其他可能的罪魁祸首更能合理地解释受害者报告的那些痛苦的声音、疾病和创伤。
        In particular, a growing number of analysts cite an eerie phenomenon known as the Frey effect, named after Allan Frey, an American scientist. Long ago, he found that microwaves can trick the brain into perceiving what seem to be ordinary sounds.        特别是,越来越多的分析家引用了一种令人毛骨悚然的现象,它被称为弗雷效应,以美国科学家艾伦·弗雷(Allan Frey)的名字命名。很久以前,他发现微波可以诱使大脑感知到似乎很普通的声音。
        The false sensations, experts say, could account for a defining symptom of the diplomatic incidents: the perception of loud noises, including ringing, buzzing and grinding. Initially, experts cited those symptoms as evidence of stealthy attacks with sonic weapons.        专家说,这种虚假的感觉可以解释这些外交事件中的一个明显症状:受害者感觉到极大噪音,包括铃声、嗡嗡声和碾磨声。起初,专家们认为这些症状是使用声波武器进行秘密攻击的证据。
        Members of JASON, a secretive group of elite scientists that helps the federal government assess new threats to national security, say it has been scrutinizing the diplomatic mystery this summer and weighing possible explanations, including microwaves.        秘密的精英科学家团体JASON一直在帮助联邦政府评估对国家安全的新威胁,他们表示,今年夏天该组织一直在仔细研究这个外交之谜,并考虑可能的解释,包括微波。
        Asked about the microwave theory of the case, the State Department said the investigation had yet to identify the cause or source of the attacks. The FBI declined to comment on the status of the investigation or any theories.        当被问及此案的微波假说时,国务院表示调查尚未确定袭击的原因或来源。联邦调查局拒绝评论调查的进展或任何假说。
        The microwave idea teems with unanswered questions. Who fired the beams? The Russian government? The Cuban government? A rogue Cuban faction sympathetic to Moscow? And, if so, where did the attackers get the unconventional arms?        微波假说中充满未解之谜。是谁发射了微波?俄罗斯政府?古巴政府?古巴的一个胡作非为的亲俄派别?而且,如果是这样,攻击者是从哪里获得这种非常规武器的?
        At his home outside Washington, Frey, the scientist who uncovered the neural phenomenon, said federal investigators have questioned him on the diplomatic riddle and that microwave radiation is considered a possible cause.        发现这一神经现象的科学家弗雷在他华盛顿郊区的家中表示,联邦调查人员已就这一外交之谜向他咨询,而且微波辐射被视为很可能的原因。
        Frey, now 83, has traveled widely and long served as a contractor and a consultant to a number of federal agencies. He speculated that Cubans aligned with Russia, the nation’s longtime ally, might have launched microwave strikes in attempts to undermine developing ties between Cuba and the United States.        弗雷现年83岁,曾经到处旅行,并且长期担任多个联邦机构的承包商和顾问。他推测,发动微波袭击的可能是与该国长期盟友俄罗斯勾结的古巴人,企图破坏古巴与美国之间发展关系。
        “It’s a possibility,” he said at his kitchen table. “In dictatorships, you often have factions that think nothing of going against the general policy if it suits their needs. I think that’s a perfectly viable explanation.”        “这是一种可能性,”他在自家的厨房餐桌边说。“在独裁统治中,总会有一些派别,只要符合自身需要,它们绝不介意和通行政策对着干。我认为这是一个非常有道理的解释。”
        Microwaves are ubiquitous in modern life. The short radio waves power radars, cook foods, relay messages and link cellphones to antenna towers. They are a form of electromagnetic radiation on the same spectrum as light and X-rays, only at the opposite end.        微波在现代生活中无处不在。这种波长较短的无线电波可以驱动雷达、烹饪食物、传播信息、以及把手机连接到天线塔。它是一种电磁辐射形式,与光和X射线在同一频谱内,只不过位于另一端。
        While radio broadcasting can employ waves a mile or more in length, microwaves range in size from roughly a foot to a fraction of an inch. They are seen as harmless in such everyday uses as microwaving foods. But their diminutive size also enables tight focusing, as when dish antennas turn disorganized rays into concentrated beams.        无线电广播使用的是波长为一英里或更长的波,而微波的大小是从约一英尺到几分之一英寸。在加热食物等日常应用中,它被认为是无害的。然而,当碟形天线将散乱的射线转变为集束时,这种较小的波长可以实现紧聚焦。
        The dimensions of the human head, scientists say, make it a fairly good antenna for picking up microwave signals.        科学家们说,人体头部的尺寸恰恰使其成为拾取微波信号的极好天线。
        Mr. Frey, a biologist, said he stumbled on the acoustic effect in 1960 while working for General Electric’s Advanced Electronics Center at Cornell University. A man who measured radar signals at a nearby G.E. facility came up to him at a meeting and confided that he could hear the beam’s pulses — zip, zip, zip.
        Intrigued, Frey traveled to the man’s workplace in Syracuse and positioned himself in a radar beam. “Lo,” he recalled, “I could hear it, too.”        弗雷感到好奇,于是前往在锡拉丘兹的工作场所,把自己定位在雷达波束之中。“你看,”他回忆说,“我也能听到声音。”
        Frey’s resulting papers — reporting that even deaf people could hear the false sounds — founded a new field of study on radiation’s neural impacts. Frey’s first paper, in 1961, reported that power densities 160 times lower than “the standard maximum safe level for continuous exposure” could induce the sonic delusions.        弗雷随后发表一系列论文,报道即使聋人也能听到虚假的声音,它们创立了一个关于辐射对神经影响的新研究领域。弗雷在1961年发表的第一篇论文称,功率强度比“连续暴露的最大安全水平标准”低160倍的微波,可能会引起声音错觉。
        His second paper, in 1962, pinpointed the brain’s receptor site as the temporal lobes, which extend beneath the temples. Each lobe bears a small region — the auditory cortex — that processes nerve signals from the outer and inner ears.        他的第二篇论文于1962年发表,将微波的大脑的受体部位定位为颞叶,它们延伸到太阳穴下方。每个额叶上都有一小片区域,即听觉皮层,负责处理来自外耳和内耳的神经信号。
        Moscow was so intrigued by the prospect of mind control that it adopted a special terminology for the overall class of envisioned arms, calling them psychophysical and psychotronic.
        Soviet research on microwaves for “internal sound perception,” the Defense Intelligence Agency warned in 1976, showed great promise for “disrupting the behavior patterns of military or diplomatic personnel.”        国防情报局于1976年警告说,苏联对“内部声音感知”的微波研究有“破坏军事或外交人员行为模式”的极大前景。
        Furtively, globally, the threat grew.        在全球范围内,威胁在暗暗增长。
        The National Security Agency gave Mark Zaid, a Washington lawyer who routinely gets security clearances to discuss classified matters, a statement on how a foreign power built a weapon “designed to bathe a target’s living quarters in microwaves, causing numerous physical effects, including a damaged nervous system.”        美国国家安全局(National Security Agency)向一名例行获得安全许可以讨论机密事宜的华盛顿律师马克·扎伊德(Mark Zaid)做出陈述,说明了一个外国势力如何制造出一种武器,“用以将目标的生活区浸没于微波中,对其身体造成很多影响,包括使其神经系统受损”。
        Zaid said a NSA client of his who traveled there watched in disbelief as his nervous system later unraveled, starting with control of his fingers.        扎伊德说,他的一名美国国家安全局的客户在那里旅行时,难以置信地看到他的神经系统后来崩溃了,从失去对手指的控制开始。
        Washington, too, foresaw new kinds of arms.        华盛顿也预见到了新型武器的出现。
        In Albuquerque, New Mexico, Air Force scientists sought to beam comprehensible speech into the heads of adversaries. Their novel approach won a patent in 2002, and an update in 2003. Both were assigned to the Air Force secretary, helping limit the idea’s dissemination.        在新墨西哥州的阿尔伯克基,空军科学家们试图向敌人的脑袋里灌输可以理解的语音。这一新方法在2002年获得了专利,2003年又获得了更新。两项技术都划归空军部,从而限制了这一想法的传播。
        The lead inventor said the research team had “experimentally demonstrated” that the “signal is intelligible.” As for the invention’s uses, an Air Force disclosure form listed the first application as “Psychological Warfare.”        首席发明家说,研究小组已经“通过实验证明”——“信号是可以理解的”。至于这一发明的用途,一份空军信息披露表将“心理战”列为第一项应用。
        Russia, China and many European states are seen as having the know-how to make basic microwave weapons that can debilitate, sow noise or even kill. Advanced powers, experts say, might accomplish more nuanced aims such as beaming spoken words into people’s heads. Only intelligence agencies know which nations actually possess and use such unfamiliar arms.
        The basic weapon might look like a satellite dish. In theory, such a device might be hand-held or mounted in a van, car, boat or helicopter. Microwave arms are seen as typically working over relatively short distances — across the length of a few rooms or blocks. High-powered ones might be able to fire beams across several football fields, or even for several miles.        基本的武器可能看起来像卫星天线。理论上,这种装置可能是手持的,也可能安装在货车、汽车、船只或直升机上。典型来讲,人们认为微波武器能在几个房间或街区这样相对短的距离内发挥效用。高能微波武器可能能够在几个足球场甚至几英里的范围内发射光束。
        As a candidate, Donald Trump faulted the Obama administration’s normalization policy as “a very weak agreement” and threatened to scrap it on reaching the White House. Weeks after he won the election, in late November 2016, the U.S. embassy in Havana found itself battling a mysterious crisis.        作为总统候选人的唐纳德·特朗普曾指责奥巴马政府的正常化政策是“一项非常软弱的协议”,并威胁要在入主白宫后废除它。在他于2016年11月底赢得大选几周后,美国驻哈瓦那大使馆发现自己正在与一场神秘的危机作斗争。
        Diplomats and their families recounted high-pitched sounds in homes and hotel rooms at times intense enough to incapacitate. Long-term, the symptoms included nausea, crushing headaches, fatigue, dizziness, sleep problems and hearing loss.        外交官和他们的家人描述了在家里和酒店房间里听到的尖锐声音,有时强度大到足以使他们丧失行动能力。长期的症状包括恶心、剧烈头痛、疲劳、头晕、睡眠问题和听力下降。
        In October, Trump expelled 15 Cuban diplomats, producing a chill between the nations. Administration critics said the White House was using the health issue as a pretext to end President Barack Obama’s reconciliation policy.
        The day after the expulsions, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a closed, top-secret hearing on the Cuba situation. Three State Department officials testified, as did an unnamed senior official of the Central Intelligence Agency.        驱逐事件发生后的第二天,参议院外交关系委员会(Senate Foreign Relations Committee)就古巴局势举行了一次闭门的机密听证会。三名国务院官员和一名未具名的中央情报局高级官员出席作证。
        In January, the spooky impact of microwaves on the human brain never came up during an open Senate hearing on the Cuba crisis.        今年1月,参议院就古巴危机举行公开听证会时,没有提到微波对人脑的可怕影响。
        But in a scientific paper that same month, James C. Lin of the University of Illinois, a leading investigator of the Frey effect, described the diplomatic ills as plausibly arising from microwave beams. Lin is the editor-in-chief of Bio Electro Magnetics, a peer-reviewed journal that explores the effects of radio waves and electromagnetic fields on living things.        但是,在同月发表的一篇科学论文中,“弗雷效应”的首席调查员、美国伊利诺伊大学的詹姆斯·C·林(James C. Lin)描述了外交人员因微波束而生病的可能性。林是《生物电磁》(Bio Electro Magnetics)杂志的主编。这本杂志是一份同行评议的期刊,探讨无线电波和电磁场对生物的影响。
        In his paper, he said high-intensity beams of microwaves could have caused the diplomats to experience not just loud noises but nausea, headaches and vertigo, as well as possible brain-tissue injury. The beams, he added, could be fired covertly, hitting “only the intended target.”        在他的论文中,他说,高强度的微波束有可能导致外交官们不仅听到巨大噪音,还感到恶心、头痛和眩晕,以及脑组织受损。他补充说,波束有可能是隐蔽发射的,只打击“既定目标”。
        In February, ProPublica in a lengthy investigation mentioned that federal investigators were weighing the microwave theory. Separately, it told of an intriguing find. The wife of a member of the embassy staff, it reported, had looked outside her home after hearing the disturbing sounds and seen a van speeding away.        今年2月,ProPublica在一项漫长的调查中提到,联邦调查人员正在权衡微波理论的重要性。另外,这项调查还包括一个令人感兴趣的发现。该调查称,一名使馆工作人员的妻子在听到令人不安的声音后,曾向屋外张望,并看到一辆货车疾驶而去。
        A dish antenna could fit easily into a small van.        碟形天线很容易装进小货车。
        The medical team that studied the Cuba diplomats ascribed the symptoms in the March JAMA study to “an unknown energy source” that was highly directional. Some personnel, it noted, had covered their ears and heads but experienced no sound reduction. The team said the diplomats appeared to have developed signs of concussion without having received any blows to the head.        对古巴外交官们进行研究的医疗小组将3月份《美国医学会杂志》(JAMA)研究中提到的症状归因于一种不明能量来源。这种能量来源具有很强的方向性。这项研究指出,一些工作人员遮住了耳朵和头部,但他们听到的声音没有减小。研究小组称,外交官们似乎出现了脑震荡的迹象,尽管他们的头部并没有受到任何击打。
        In May, reports emerged that U.S. diplomats in China had suffered similar traumas. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the medical details of the two groups “very similar” and “entirely consistent" with one another. By late June, the State Department had evacuated at least 11 Americans from China.        今年5月,有报道称,美国驻华外交官也遭受了类似的创伤。美国国务卿迈克·庞皮欧(Mike Pompeo)称中国和伊朗外交官的医疗细节“非常相似”、“完全一致”。截至6月底,美国国务院已经从中国撤离了至少11名美国人。
        For his part, Frey says he doubts the case will be solved anytime soon. The novelty of the crisis, its sporadic nature and the foreign setting made it hard for federal investigators to gather clues and draw conclusions, he said, much less file charges.        弗雷说,他怀疑此事不会很快得到解决。他说,危机的新奇、偶发性质和外国背景使得联邦调查人员很难收集线索并得出结论,更不用说提起诉讼了。
        “Based on what I know,” he remarked, “it will remain a mystery.”        “根据我所知道的,”他说,“这将继续是个谜。”

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