News agencies around the world have begun playing an eerie audio recording of a mysterious ‘sonic attack’ on the U.S. Embassy in Cuba. For some people, this will be proof positive that an attack occurred. Earlier this year, State Department officials began claiming that a number of Embassy personnel have been made sick by an acoustical weapon. Symptoms included hearing loss and brain damage. All of this sounds ominous, and very real, but when you delve deeper, I am convinced that we are dealing with a case of mass psychogenic illness. The vast majority of symptoms are common psychogenic complaints like headaches, nausea and fatigue. But what the U.S. government has failed to tell us is conspicuous. There is no detail at all, and no breakdown of symptoms. For instance, they have failed to release the medical records of those affected so they can be studied more closely. They want us to accept that a ‘sonic attack’ has taken place by taking their word for it. They have made dramatic claims like ‘brain trauma’ and ‘permanent hearing loss.’ This is suspiciously vague. Show us the medical records and redact the names so individuals won’t be identified.
This is not the first time claims like this have been made.
Since the early 1940s there have been several similar outbreaks involving claims of mysterious humming sounds reportedly making people sick, especially in the United States. The most famous of these is the ‘Kokomo Hum’ in the city of Kokomo, Indiana. Some have even suggested that the American military was conducting secret tests on its own citizens. Conspiracy theorists have had a field day with these cases. In 1999, Kokomo city officials were besieged by complaints from at least 90 residents, many of whom claimed that the hum was not only irritating, but ruining their health.
A study of one Kokomo neighborhood by an acoustics engineer seemed to confirm the reality of the hum after he reported detecting a low frequency sound at about 55 decibels and 15 hertz – too low to be heard by the human ear. At the time, an expert from the Acoustical Society of America observed that the origin of the sound was unclear. “Those levels of sound could be coming from road traffic on even distant highways, air or rail activity or possibly just some industrial plants or even commercial buildings in the area. And, in fact, those levels could be caused just by the wind in the trees,” said Bennett Brooks. He cautioned that the range of ill-effects attributed to the low frequency hum could be entirely imaginary. “The levels that will rattle dishes on a wall … haven’t been shown to cause health problems, other than perhaps people waking up at night worrying,” Brooks said at the time. One Kokomo resident claimed that a barely audible, throbbing vibration caused her house to shake and made her ill to the point where she moved away.
The Taos Hum
Similar claims of ill-health associated with the presence of low-frequency sound have been recorded in Taos, New Mexico, since 1991, but the source has not been determined, nor has any conclusive link to ill-health including sleep problems, earaches, irritability and general discomfort, been proven. In the early 1990s, the ‘Taos Hum’ shot to national media prominence, and ever since, people from across the United States have reported mysterious humming noises and similar accompanying health problems as in Kokomo.
London and South Hampton have had their own Hum Scares. Scores of residents have complained of an irritating low frequency sound dating back to the 1940s. They too have claims that it has caused health problems. In 1989, an organization was formed to investigate reports: The Low Frequency Noise Sufferers Association, nicknamed ‘the Hummers.’
Sonic Weapons Exist
For the naysayers out there who say that I do not know what I am writing about because the U.S. Government has been testing acoustic weapons for years, I do not deny this. But experts agree that to be able to target embassy personnel, and to do so covertly, is not scientifically plausible. The irony in this affair is that when the media ask for more information, such as the medical records of those supposedly affected, or more details in general, we are met with the sounds of silence.