New Comprehensive Research Shows ‘Sonic Attack’ Claims Were False

The most comprehensive study ever to be published on theories on the health symptoms reported by U.S. embassy staff in Havana, Cuba has been released by a group of prestigious scientists. 

The technical report by a 21-member multidisciplinary research team of scientists of the Cuban Academy of Sciences on “unidentified health incidents”, found that the evidence asserted to support the “mystery syndrome” narrative (dubbed “Havana syndrome” by U.S. politicians and foreign press) is not scientifically acceptable in any of its components.

CIA officers stationed at the U.S. embassy in Havana, first complained of symptoms in 2016. Canadian citizens later made similar claims, followed by U.S. employees in other countries. The reports were accompanied by allegations of ‘sonic attacks’.

The experts expose the factors that render implausible the claim that such incidents were caused by some unidentified energy weapon. Dr. Mitchell Joseph Valdes-Sosa detailed the findings in a Monday morning press conference.

Below is the Executive Summary of the technical report, titled: An Assessment of the Health Complaints during Sojourns in Havana of Foreign Government Employees and their Families

This is a technical report by a multidisciplinary research team created by the Cuban Academy of Sciences (CAS) concerning “unidentified health incidents” reported in Havana.

Employees of the U.S. complained of several symptoms when stationed in Havana, frequently linked to the hearing of strange sounds. Apparently similar symptoms emerged in some Canadian citizens, and later in other U.S. employees in other countries. A “mystery syndrome” narrative assumes that attacks with some unidentified energy weapon is the cause. The narrative rests on the following -unverified- claims: 1) A novel syndrome with shared core symptoms and signs is present in the affected employees; 2) It is possible to detect brain damage originating during a sojourn in Havana in these employees; 3) A directed energy source exists that could affect people’s brains from large distances after piercing through physical barriers at homes or hotel rooms; 4) A weapon capable of generating such a physical agent is realizable and identified; 5) Evidence is unearthed that an attack has taken place; 6) Available evidence falsifies alternative medical explanations.

In this report we critically examine the plausibility of these claims and the evidence on which they are based. We conclude the “mystery syndrome” narrative is not scientifically acceptable in any of its components and has survived due to a biased use of science. 

Although we lack critical information, we can offer plausible interpretations that fit the available facts better than the ”mystery syndrome” account. We attempt this based on published reports from the U.S. and Canada and field studies carried out in Havana. We detail in this report the arguments for these interpretations, which are listed below. It is possible that some U.S. employees while stationed in Havana felt ill due to a heterogeneous collection of medical conditions, some pre-existing before going to Cuba and others acquired due to mundane causes. Other diseases prevalent in the general population can explain most symptoms. Thus, a novel syndrome does not exist (something evident in the official U.S. reports). Only a minority of persons present have noticeable brain dysfunction, most due to experiences before their stay in Havana and others due known medical conditions. No known form of energy can selectively cause brain damage (with laser-like precision) under the conditions described for the alleged incidents in Havana. The laws of physics that govern sound, ultrasound, infra-sound, or radio frequency waves (including microwaves) do not allow this. These forms of energy could not have harmed brains without being felt or heard by others, without disrupting electronic devices in the case of microwaves, or producing other lesions (like burst eardrums or skin burns). Nothing of the sort was reported. Although there are weapons that use sound or microwaves, they are large and there is no possibility that this type of weapon would not go unnoticed (or leave a trace) if deployed in Havana under the conditions in which the strange sounds were alleged to have heard. Neither the Cuban police, F.B.I., nor Royal Canadian Mounted Police, have uncovered evidence of “attacks” on diplomats in Havana despite intense research. Finally, psychogenic and toxic explanations for many symptoms in some cases have been rejected prematurely. Specifically, all the conditions for psychogenic propagation of malaise were present in this episode, probably including an inadequate initial medical response, the early official U.S. government endorsement of an “attack” theory, and sensationalist media coverage, among others.

CAS is willing to revise its conclusions if new evidence emerges. It welcomes attempts to disprove its counterclaims in an atmosphere of open scientific collaboration. However, it firmly rejects as an “established truth,” a narrative built on flimsy foundations and faulty scientific practice. An example is the idea that an “attack took place, which is accepted without critical thinking. Some science articles -and most news stories we have read- accept as an axiom that attacks occurred in Havana, thus an idea to build theories on. Nevertheless, after four years, no evidence of attacks has emerged. It is time for a restart of the narrative.

CAS reiterates its willingness to collaborate with any other U.S. or international counterparts, with the goal of better understanding the health incidents involving U.S. diplomats and their families in Havana (or in any other place). Ultimately, we hope this would help alleviate suffering in affected individuals and contribute to re-establishing closer ties between the two scientific communities and eventually between the two countries. 

The report can be accessed here in English.

The report can be accessed here in Spanish.