The attacks against U.S. Embassy staff in Havana, Cuba, originally billed as “sonic attacks,” have caused permanent damage to the white matter in their brains, causing officials to be skeptical the attacks were caused by a “sonic weapon.”
The government has not officially come up with an explanation for the nature of the attacks, but according to multiple news reports, investigators now believe the loud noises the victims heard—sometimes described as chirps, hums, and scraping sounds—were the result of the attacks, not the cause. The brain damage has resulted in a number of physical problems ranging from hearing loss and ringing in the ears to memory, vision, and balance problems.
Experts say sound waves can’t cause the level of brain damage seen in the Havana victims, but they are perplexed to describe what kind of weapon could. The doctors treating them are expected to present their findings soon in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
In the meantime, we’re left with a definite mystery that has grave implications for global politics.