This story just keeps getting crazier and more terrifying.
In August, the United States government first reported that there had been some sort of mysterious sonic attack on American diplomats in Cuba causing symptoms like hearing loss. As new details emerge, we are now learning that the damage was much more severe than originally reported.
American diplomats are telling stories of being jolted awake in their beds by blaring noise. Yet, when they moved just a few feet away from their beds, there was total silence. Following the attacks, some of the diplomats began experiencing hearing loss and speech problems.
“Other symptoms have included brain swelling, dizziness, nausea, severe headaches, balance problems and tinnitus, or prolonged ringing in the ears. Many victims have shown improvement since leaving Cuba and some suffered only minor or temporary symptoms.”
We are also learning now that at least some of the incidents happened only in specific rooms, or parts of rooms, with laser-like specificity. This is dumbfounding U.S. officials who say that the facts and physics just don’t add up.
A former CIA official who worked in Havana long before America re-opened the embassy there, Fulton Armstrong, said,
“None of this has a reasonable explanation. It’s just mystery after mystery after mystery.”
The Associated Press reports,
“Suspicion initially focused on a sonic weapon, and on the Cubans. Yet the diagnosis of mild brain injury, considered unlikely to result from sound, has confounded the FBI, the State Department and U.S. intelligence agencies involved in the investigation.”
So far, U.S. officials have been unable to identify a culprit or a device. Investigators have theories that the attacks could’ve come from the Cuban government or a rogue group of Cuban security forces. They believe there’s also a possibility that Russia is actually responsible for the attacks.
Along with at least 21 Americans, there were also some Canadians who were attacked in Cuba. Unlike with the U.S., Canada has had very warm relations with Cuba for decades. So it makes little sense that the Cuban government would attack them. It does lend credence to the Russian theory, however.
“Aside from their homes, officials said Americans were attacked in at least one hotel, a fact not previously disclosed. An incident occurred on an upper floor of the recently renovated Hotel Capri, a 60-year-old concrete tower steps from the Malecon, Havana’s iconic, waterside promenade.”
Another reason this case is so confusing is that many of the victims have different symptoms and different recollections of what happened. Some knew that the sonic attack was happening in real time. Some heard sounds or vibrations. And yet others were completely unaware of the attack until they started experiencing symptoms.
“Sound and health experts are equally baffled. Targeted, localized beams of sound are possible, but the laws of acoustics suggest such a device would probably be large and not easily concealed. Officials said it’s unclear whether the device’s effects were localized by design or due to some other technical factor.
And no single, sonic gadget seems to explain such an odd, inconsistent array of physical responses.”
Both the FBI and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have been to Havana this year to investigate. After doing full sweeps of the rooms no devices were found.
The Cuban government has been uncharacteristically cooperative with the investigation. And it seems apparent that the Trump administration does not believe that they are responsible for the attacks. So who, and what, is?
Meanwhile the list of victims continues to grow.