Families of U.S. Diplomats living in Cuba have been called home due to a strange and mysterious illness baffling scientists. The illness seemingly produces neurological damage and a host of symptoms including hearing painful, high-pitched noises, crippling headaches, dizziness, nausea and difficulty concentrating.
• At least 24 Americans, mostly Diplomats and their family members, have been affected by the illness. Several of the victims are children.
• Although scientists aren’t sure exactly what is causing the illness, they have been able to identify the damage using brain scans. Scans show evidence of traumatic brain injury (TBI), the same kind of damage witnessed after strokes and head injuries.
• Many of the people affected had to be treated in hospital for long periods of time. Some have been left with significant concussion-like symptoms, including issues with executive functioning and mental processing.
• Theories on what may be causing the TBIs range from the absolutely absurd to the slightly more reasonable, but all sound like something pulled from a science fiction movie. Some of the strangest include alien interference, natural phenomenon similar to the “eerie noises” heard around the Earth a few years ago, and some form of mass hysteria.
• More possible theories include sonic attacks; while verging into the realm of impossibility, sonic waves could be used to induce TBI at great risk. Others suspect some type of infection or neurological illness that may be contagious in nature, including certain parasitic infections. Doctors have mostly been unable to confirm these suspicions yet.
• In response, the U.S. Government continues to trim back its staffing in Cuba. But this isn’t necessarily new; they first pulled approximately half of their staff home in October of last year. Officials aren’t saying much about the perceived attacks – and in some cases, aren’t confirming they are attacks at all.