In 2016 and 2017, 25 Americans, including CIA agents, who worked in the U.S. Embassy in Cuba suffered serious brain injuries causing impaired vision and memory loss among other persistent symptoms. Now, we’ve learned that at least 15 American officials in China suffered unexplained brain trauma soon after.
American military itself sought to develop microwave arms that could invisibly beam painfully loud booms and even spoken words into people’s heads. The aims were to disable attackers and wage psychological warfare.
Now, doctors and scientists say such unconventional weapons may have caused the baffling symptoms and ailments that, starting in late 2016, hit more than three dozen American diplomats and family members in Cuba and China. The Cuban incidents resulted in a diplomatic rupture between Havana and Washington.
In China, 60 Minutes found similar issues.
Catherine Werner: I woke up in the middle of the night. I could feel this sound in my head. Um, it was intense pressure on both of my temples. At the same time, I heard this low humming sound, and it was oscillating. And I remember looking around for where this sound was coming from, because it was painful.
Scott Pelley: When did you first notice that you weren’t feeling well?
Catherine Werner: October of 2017, I started to get hives all over my body. Really bad hives. I woke up with headaches every day. Um, I started to feel tired. The simplest things would just make me very, very tired.
Scott Pelley: Were these symptoms growing worse over time?
Catherine Werner: They were. Yes. My symptoms would get so bad that I would throw up, or I would wake up with nosebleeds.
She says even her dogs were throwing up blood. Werner assumed her illness was connected to China’s toxic smog. She didn’t know it at the time but her symptoms were the same that American officials in Havana had suffered since 2016. The U.S. Embassy there is all but closed as a result.
Catherine Werner became so ill, her mother traveled from the U.S. to live with her.
Catherine Werner: She spent almost three months with me. During that time she also got very ill. Um, and she and I shared the same symptoms.
Scott Pelley: What sort of symptoms did your mother have?
Catherine Werner: Headaches and um, ringing in our ears. Um, we also started to both um, have difficulty recalling words.
After reporting her experiences, Werner was medically evacuated to the U.S. for treatment. U.S. agencies are investigating, but Mark Lenzi has a theory.
Mark Lenzi: This was a directed standoff attack against my apartment.
Scott Pelley: It was a weapon?
Mark Lenzi: Oh, of course it was a weapon.
Scott Pelley: An energy weapon–
Mark Lenzi: Absolutely.
Scott Pelley: What sort of energy is this that we’re talking about?
Mark Lenzi: I believe it’s RF, radio frequency energy, in the microwave range.
A clue that supports that theory was revealed by the National Security Agency in 2014. This NSA statement describes such a weapon as a “high-powered microwave system weapon that may have the ability to weaken, intimidate, or kill an enemy over time without leaving evidence.” The statement goes on to say “…this weapon is designed to bathe a target’s living quarters in microwaves.” The NSA disclosed this in a worker’s compensation case filed by former NSA employee Mike Beck.
In her paper, scheduled to be published September 15 in Neural Computation, Golomb compared rates of described symptoms among diplomats with a published 2012 study of symptoms reported by people affected by electromagnetic radiation in Japan. By and large, she said the cited symptoms — headache, cognitive problems, sleep issues, irritability, nervousness or anxiety, dizziness and tinnitus (ringing in the ears) — occurred at strikingly similar rates.
Some diplomats reported hearing loss. That symptom was not assessed in both studies so rates could not be compared, but Golomb said it is widely reported in both conditions. She also noted that previous brain imaging research in persons affected by RF/ EMR “showed evidence of traumatic brain injury, paralleling reports in diplomats.”