Just as diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba began to thaw, a series of mysterious incidents befell the U.S. embassy in Havana. Several diplomats and embassy employees reported unexplained symptoms including hearing loss, dizziness, headaches, nausea, and vertigo. As these employees were examined, all of them reported hearing strange electronic sounds while at the embassy or even in their beds.
Some of the 21 affected workers were even found to have unexplained mild traumatic brain injuries. Naturally, many observers began to speculate that these personnel were subject to some sort of covert sonic attack unleashed by spies working for a foreign adversary. And here we all thought the Cold War was over.
Now, events have taken a turn for the worse as U.S. personnel in China are beginning to report eerily similar symptoms. The U.S. Embassy & Consulates in China have issued a health alert warning government employees to report any “abnormal sensations of sound and pressure” and to avoid locating the source of these phenomena themselves:
If you have concerns about any symptoms or medical problems that developed during or after a stay in China, consult a medical professional. While in China, if you experience any unusual acute auditory or sensory phenomena accompanied by unusual sounds or piercing noises, do not attempt to locate their source. Instead, move to a location where the sounds are not present.
The BBC reports that one employee at the U.S. consulate in Guangzhou was sent to the U.S. for examination after reporting symptoms similar to those reported in the suspected sonic attacks in Cuba. That employee was also diagnosed with a mild traumatic brain injury.
It doesn’t take an international super sleuth to deduce that these workers are likely being targeted as part of some counterintelligence plot or form of clandestine diplomatic espionage. With all of the recent allegations of shady backroom deals between foreign governments, assassinations or attempted assassinations, and saber rattling between superpowers, it’s likely there is already a shadow conflict occurring behind the scenes. Exactly who is behind these attacks and what their motives may be remain unknown.