Cuban scientist rejects microwaves as source of mysterious acoustic attacks on diplomats

Featured Cuban scientist rejects microwaves as source of mysterious acoustic attacks on diplomats

A Cuban government investigator looking into reports of mysterious acoustic attacks on US and Canadian diplomats on Cuba on Monday dismissed a US government theory that microwave weapons emitting concentrated beams of radiation may have been used in the incidents.

"If you look at the alleged events, there have been reports that there are several people in a room with thick walls and thick windows and only one person was targeted. This is a kind of weapon that doesn't exist," said Dr. Mitchell Valdes-Sosa, a well-known neurologist who is part of the Cuban special task force investigating the alleged attacks. "It's science fiction, not science," he said.

"First, it was sonic weapons, now microwave. What's next, kryptonite?" the investigator said in an interview with CNN at his research center in Havana, referring to an earlier theory that sonic weapons emitting high-powered ultrasound waves could have caused the injuries.

Valdes-Sosa said researchers and investigators are working on a paper to rebut the microwave weapons theory.

Previously, the island government not only denied involvement in the attacks but cast doubt on whether they actually occurred. In June, Cuba's Foreign Ministry said "political motivations" drove the United States to withdraw its embassy personnel.

Though a March report based on the examinations of 21 diplomats who served in Cuba didn't link the attacks to microwaves, the study's lead author, Douglas Smith, director of the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Brain Injury and Repair, told The New York Times that US diplomats in Cuba and China likely suffered brain injuries and that microwaves are considered the culprit.

Valdes-Sosa said for a microwave weapon to work it would have to been used at a close distance, and none of the diplomats reported seeing the alleged perpetrators. He said that Cuban authorities had investigated the report that one diplomat who suffered an apparent attack had seen a van speed off and that the vehicle belonged to a church.

While the US has not directly blamed the Cuban government for carrying out the attacks, US officials said Cuba is responsible for safeguarding the diplomats well-being and that Cuban officials would likely know if a third government were responsible.

But Valdes-Sosa said after more than a year of US, Canadian and Cuban investigations there was still no hard proof that any attacks actually took place.

"For an attack to have occurred you have to have a real victim. First the thing we are not sure is if all these people evacuated from Cuba are really ill or have suffered do something that happened to them," Valdes-Sosa said. "Second, you have to have a perpetrator. Who would be interested? You have to have the opportunity."

Last modified onTuesday, 18 September 2018 07:52

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