Earlier this month the Associated Press reported that two more U.S. diplomats had been pulled out of Cuba on the suspicion that they were suffering from the same symptoms as 24 other diplomats who were injured last year. Today Politico reports the diagnosis has been confirmed:
The diplomat was “medically-confirmed” to have experienced symptoms similar to other diplomats, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement. Another diplomat working at the U.S. Embassy Havana was confirmed to have experienced similar health problems last week.
“These are the first medically-confirmed cases in Havana since August 2017. Both cases result from a single occurrence in late May in a diplomatic residence in which both officers were present,” Nauert said in the statement.
So that makes 26 injured Americans in Cuba and another 10 who may have suffered similar injuries while in China.
Many of the victims have described hearing a grating, high-pitched sound which seemed to be localized to a particular part of a room they were in. However, the AP reports confidence in that explanation is waning:
The confirmed Cuba patients have been found to have a range of symptoms and diagnoses including mild traumatic brain injury, also known as concussions. Unexplained sounds and vibrations that accompanied the symptoms initially led investigators to suspect a sonic weapon, although an interim FBI report in January said no evidence had been uncovered that sound waves could have damaged the Americans’ health, the AP reported.
Back in April, Sen. Rubio said an FBI briefing he’d received convinced him that progress was being made in working out what happened. However, the following month 10 more cases which appear very similar cropped up in China.
So is this a sonic attack at all or is something else happening? Back in March, a University of Michigan scientist named Kevin Fu argued that the audible sound experienced by the victims could have been the result of “intermodulation distortion” resulting from ultrasound eavesdropping devices interfering with each other. However, Fu’s paper did not suggest how the ultrasound from listening devices could have resulted in mild brain injuries to those who heard the sounds.
There may be someone at the CIA who knows what is really going on but so far the public record is pretty vague. It’s not even 100% clear that this was intentional, though it certainly feels that way given that only U.S. and Candian diplomats have been injured so far. Here’s a news report from last week after the 25th victim was medically confirmed: