Directed energy weapons intended to disrupt or damage their victims’ brains were the most likely source of a series of mysterious attacks singling out U.S. personnel assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Cuba in 2017, three doctors involved in the investigation have told National Defense in exclusive interviews.
The three experts were contacted by the State Department to investigate 25 cases of government employees working in Cuba who complained of suddenly hearing noises, pressure in their ears, followed by symptoms such as headaches, vertigo, dizziness and loss of cognitive functions.
The team of three experts concluded that incident was a widescale use of electronics to carry out a so-called neuro-weapon attack. Neuro-weapons are an emerging, but little understood threat that is compounded by the ease in which they can be purchased on the internet.
“I think we are turning a page,” said Dr. James Giordano, a professor at the departments of neurology and biochemistry at Georgetown University Medical Center and chief of the Neuroethics Studies Program at the Pellegrino Center for Clinical Bioethics. The Pentagon has taken notice of the event and Giordano and the two other team members will be briefing the J3, joint chiefs of staff, on Sept. 7.
The team recorded “objective findings of balance disorders” on 100 percent of the 25 victims, who had reported the symptoms. Everyone was abnormal in at least one balance test. “We made sure they were ‘super’ abnormal not just ‘barely’ abnormal, Hoffer said. The 10 people who were in the same buildings at the time of the attacks showed no symptoms.
The 25 victims also had a unique pattern of cognitive disorders that the co-lead of the team, the university’s director of neuropsychology Dr. Bonnie Levin, picked up, he said.
Giordano said directed energy weapons can cause these injuries by creating “cavitation,” or air pockets, in fluids near the inner ear. The shape of the inner ear amplifies sounds and waveforms to cause the effect. The process creates air bubbles, or cavities, that eventually burst.
Near the inner ear are two pathways carrying blood to the brain — the cochlear aqueduct and the vestibular aqueduct. The bubbles can travel rapidly up the aqueducts into the brain where they can “function as a stroke,” Giordano said.
“The likelihood of multiple sources of energy of acoustic and radio frequencies … is there, we just don’t know what it was,” he said.
The team could not conclude exactly what method the perpetrators used on the victims, but narrowed it down to several possibilities: drugs alone was deemed “unlikely.” Ultrasonic (acoustic) exposures they judged “very possible and likely.” Electromagnetic pulsing was also rated “very possible and probable.” Microwave energy was deemed possible, but “unlikely.”
There was another possibility — but more information was needed to know — that the attackers used a combination of a drug that was activated by the directed energy weapon.
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