CNN reported Sunday that scientists believe that microwaves are responsible for the "sonic attacks" on U.S. diplomats, who have reported unexplained head and brain injuries since returning from their trips to China and Cuba.
According to Douglas Smith, the director of the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Brain Injury and Repair, the weaponization of microwaves caused 21 U.S. diplomats in Cuba to suffer various brain injuries.
"Everybody was relatively skeptical at first," Smith told The New York Times, "and everyone now agrees there's something there."
While a majority of the attacks occurred in 2016 and 2017, there have also been a few incidents this year as well.
After investigators found no evidence of acoustic devices used in the attacks, police came to the conclusion that microwaves were being used to attack American diplomatic officials.
University of California San Diego professor of medicine Beatrice Golomb agreed with Smith's claim that microwaves are the main suspects in these attacks. "Reported facts appear consistent with pulsed (radio frequency/microwave radiation) as the source of injury in Cuba diplomats," Golomb said in her report. "Non-diplomats citing symptoms from RF/MW...report compatible health conditions."
"Everything fits," Golomb said in a separate press release for her university. "The specifics of the varied sounds that the diplomats reported hearing during the apparent inciting episodes, such as chirping, ringing and buzzing, cohere in detail with known properties of so-called 'microwave hearing,' also known as the Frey effect."
A recent report in The New York Times noted that the Frey effect is being cited quite frequently by scientists and analysts. Also known as the microwave auditory effect, the Frey effect claims that microwave frequencies generate noises, which can be heard inside a person's head, which is similar to the ringing and buzzing sounds the 21 injured U.S. diplomats recall hearing at the time of the attack.
While scientists appear certain that microwaves, or microwave frequencies, were used in the sonic attacks, the U.S. State Department has yet to specifically address the matter, releasing only a vague statement on Sunday, saying, "the health and well-being of our personnel remains our top priority. The investigation into the origin of these symptoms continues. The inter-agency community is working diligently to determine the cause of the symptoms, as well as to develop mitigation strategies."
In June, the Cuban government denied their involvement in the attacks, questioning whether or not they had ever actually occurred in the first place. The Cuban Foreign Ministry even asserted that the diplomats left the embassy due to "political motivations," rather than the serious injuries they sustained.