Over a 26-year career with the CIA, Marc Polymeropoulos recruited spies in the back allies of sketchy neighborhoods, chased terrorists across the Middle East and helped run operations against Russia, NBC News reports.
But nothing in his tenure scared him as much as the symptoms that knocked him flat in a hotel room in Moscow in December 2017.
“I couldn't stand up,” Polymeropoulos told NBC News' Andrea Mitchell in his first television interview. “I was falling over. I had an incredible sense of nausea and ringing in my ears. I was, frankly, terrified.”
He came to believe he was among the American diplomats and spies who suffered from the so-called Havana Syndrome, the mysterious affliction that first cropped up among officers at the American embassy in Cuba in 2016. Polymeropoulos became so debilitated from fatigue and chronic headaches that he retired from the CIA last year, still unsure of what exactly had hit him.