The latest revelation in the investigation into the "sonic attacks" aimed at US embassy workers in Cuba says they may not have been attacks at all but rather the symptoms of "mass hysteria". Senior neurologists suggest the string of mysterious symptoms experienced by US diplomats in Cuba may have been the symptoms of "mass hysteria", a psychosomatic disease. The brain injuries suffered by US embassy workers caused the US to pull out from the embassy in Cuba and has caused a rift between the two countries.
Although the state department describes the symptoms as attacks, both US and Cuban investigations have found no evidence of a weapon. Mark Hallett, the head of the human motor control section of the US National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke says, "From an objective point of view it’s more like mass hysteria than anything else." What exactly is "mass hysteria"? "Psychosomatic disease is a disease like anything else. It shouldn’t be stigmatized," says Hallett. "It’s important to point out that symptoms like this are not voluntary. They are not a sign of weakness in an individual’s personality."
Hallett went on to say, "If it is mass hysteria that would clarify all the mystery – and presumably normalize US-Cuban relations again. These people are all clustered together in a somewhat anxious environment and that is exactly the situation that precipitates something like this. Anxiety may be one of the critical factors."
If the physical symptoms the US embassy workers experienced are the product of "mass hysteria" from working in a stressful environment, how do you explain the recordings that nearly all of the victims verified as sounding just like what they heard?
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While not all of the Americans affected in Cuba reported hearing the sounds, most of them did and while they do not all say the recording is identical, the majority consensus is the sound is relatively consistent with what they heard. Tensions between the two countries will be high until the matter is sorted.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says, "Until the government of Cuba can ensure the safety of our diplomats in Cuba, our embassy will be reduced to emergency personnel to minimize the number of diplomats at risk of exposure to harm." Cuban officials have denied having anything to do with the "attacks" and called the recall of American embassy workers "hasty" and "irresponsible."
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