Pick of the Week #10: Navy Tested Microwaves on Military Volunteers

September 13, 2010.  Navy exposes military volunteers to microwave radiation (1972).

Among Zory Glaser’s documents, I found a newspaper article entitled:  Navy Testing Microwave Risk (United Feature Syndicate, 1972).

The article starts:  “The Navy is exposing 50 volunteers to potentially harmful microwaves to find out what these mysterious rays do to the human body.”   It goes on to say that Americans and military specialists are exposed to increasingly high levels of microwave radiation. Medical reports link these rays to cataracts, damage to male reproductive organs, cardiovascular changes, and psychological problems.

Dr. Dietrich Beischer, a German scientist, who exposed his own body to frequency microwave doses along with military personnel, headed the “human guinea pig” study.  This was a long-term study since “microwave effects may show up years afterwards . . . Genetic damage might not show up until the second generation.”  Dr. Beischer said he would make his results public by mid-1973.

A previous study was cancelled when monkeys exposed to “heavy microwave exposure” became ill.

Not having heard of Dietrich Beischer before, I did a search.  I learned that his early research in the 1950s on the effect on animals of being upside down was featured in Life Magazine.  I found several studies on the biological effects of null geomagnetic fields (ultra low magnetic fields that one might experience in space or on the moon for example) and  the biological effects of extremely low frequency magnetic fields (45 Hz).  While I was unable to find any of his studies on the biological effects of microwave exposure on human volunteers, I did find one study that documents how microwave radiation is altered by the presence of a human body, with standing waves produced on the illuminated side and a pronounced shadow effect on the opposite side.  This research is important if dosimeters are used to measure microwave exposure, as these dosimeters may provide false readings depending on the direction of exposure.

Dr. Andrew Marino (who studied with Robert O. Becker and is currently a Professor at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center) refers to Dietrich Beischer and the work he did with low frequency electromagnetic fields in his Amicus Curiae Brief on Exceptions.  More information about Dietrich Beischer’s extremely low frequency (ELF) research can be found at Powerline Electrosmagnetic Fields and Human Health.

While I was unable to find the results of the human microwave experiments that Beischer conducted, I was able to find other microwave studies with humans that I will share in future issues of “Pick of the Week.”

In the meantime, I wonder what happened to Dr. Dietrich Beischer’s research on microwave radiation?

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