Soviets 'Microwaved' U.S. Embassy

U.S. relations with Moscow through the decades have been problematic at best while the embassy itself has been the subject of spy scandals, eavesdropping and other Cold War intrigue. One of the strangest episodes was revealed in the 1970s, when the U.S. confirmed that the USSR had been beaming microwaves at the embassy for the past 15 years. One concern was that the Soviets were trying to inflict physical harm on the Americans working there. Famed columnist Jack Anderson wrote that a CIA file named “Operation Pandora” described the Soviets’ attempt to “brainwash” Americans. The level of microwaves was actually lower than what was considered safe in the U.S. at the time; another explanation is that the USSR was apparently trying to jam electronic monitoring devices located at the embassy. William Andreas Brown discusses the widespread concern among Americans working at the embassy at the time and their anger at the State Department for its lack of transparency on the issue.  He was interviewed by Charles Stuart Kennedy beginning in November 1998. Read also about James Schumaker’s experience.

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