When I first read the stories about the strange events in the US Embassy in Havana, Cuba, I accepted them as fact. Why not, I thought, after all Cuba is not very friendly, and then there's Russia, probably trying to make trouble by zapping the Embassy. It did seem a bit odd though.
Then things got stranger, Canadians reported being affected, people were "targeted" in hotels. The incidents varied. And then I saw this list of symptoms today in The Guardian:
This rang a bell for me, as it's quite similar to symptom lists given for conditions that many consider to be psychosomatic. They are all symptom of getting old. Other than "brain injuries" I personally have ALL those symptoms right now at this very instant.
I'm familiar with this type of list because I used to write a lot about "Morgellons", a label for a similar constellation of symptoms that people self diagnose with after convincing themselves that fibers are emerging from their skin. The Morgellons symptoms, if we remove itching and finding things on your skin, are, in short form:
- Life altering fatigue
- Neurological impairment
- Visual and hearing changes
- Brain fog and diminished higher cognitive abilities
- Hair loss
- GI changes
- Muscle aches, Joint pain
- General malaise; intense, life-impacting pain
- Dental deterioration
- Sleep disturbances
- Psychiatric manifestations can include anxiety, depression, new onset of panic attacks, changes in behavior and personality.
Could the Cuba attacks be mass hysteria? More specifically we'd label it a "mass psychogenic illness"
Such events are not uncommon, and well documented through history:
The idea that psychological factor might be at play in the embassy situation was also suggested earlier this month by sociologist Dr Robert Bartholemew:
Of course the possibilities here are not a binary choice of "Sonic Attack", vs. "Mass Hysteria". There's a number of possibilities. For a start something had to trigger this. It's quite possible that one or more people experienced something - either a genuine illness, some environmental thing, a side effect of something going on nearby, or even an actual "sonic attack" by nefarious third parties. Although experts think that's unlikely:
Any "real" cause need not be the same for everyone who has non-psychosomatic symptoms. These are an incredibly common group of symptoms. WebMD lists 140 conditions that manifest symptoms of concussion like dizziness, fatigue, headache and hearing loss. Here's just the top 18
If you work in a place where suspicion is normally quite high (like the embassy in Cuba), and people say that building is being subject to an attack that might damage your brain, then you are going to be hypersensitized to whatever your body is telling you. Right now I've got slight ringing in my ears, a headache, fatigue, and now that I think about it I have been having trouble hearing what people are saying on TV, plus my balance isn't what it was, I can't read fine print any more, and I only slept around 4 hours last night!. I've just not paid it much attention because it's just me getting old.
So even if there's a genuine attack or other cause for some of these symptoms, it's highly unlikely that everyone reporting them was actually affected by that cause.
[Note: for discussion of possible physical causes, including exotic weapons, see: https://www.metabunk.org/exotic-wea...al-causes-of-the-cuba-embassy-syndrome.t9104/ ]