In 2016, U.S. officials stationed overseas started showing signs of a mysterious illness. The list of symptoms included headaches, sensitivity to light, sleep and cognitive problems, and nosebleeds. Many heard strange sounds that seemed to come from inside their heads.
Over the next two years, dozens of diplomats staying in U.S. embassies in Cuba and China all developed the same list of symptoms. Doctors summed it up as a type of brain trauma, but there’s no official answer of the cause. The lead theory is that the diplomats were the target of an unusual weapon—one that emits a directed pulse of microwave radiation.
In an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes,” Mark Lenzi, a State Department security officer who worked in the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou, China, said that he and his wife began to suffer after hearing strange sounds in their apartment. Lenzi seemed certain that they were the victims of an energy weapon.
“This was a directed standoff attack against my apartment,” Lenzi told “60 minutes.” “I believe it’s RF, radio frequency energy, in the microwave range.
The first scientist to suggest that microwaves were the cause of the illness was Dr. Beatrice Golomb, a professor of medicine at the University of California–San Diego, and a researcher who examines how drugs and environmental toxins harm health. When she heard about the diplomats’ symptoms, her first thought was microwave exposure.
“The profile of symptoms does not match anything else I’m familiar with,” Golomb said. “These are highly distinctive symptoms known to occur only in that setting. The likelihood that it could be anything else is very remote.”
Golomb wrote a paper outlining her case. Before it was even submitted for publication, it caught the attention of State Department officials eager for a meaningful explanation. She wrote that one major reason why the diplomats’ illness suggests a microwave cause is the auditory symptoms they experienced: hearing loss, tinnitus, and the presence of a chirping, ringing, hissing, or buzzing sound.
“The difference in the sound counts, in part, due to head dimensions,” Golomb said. “There were also reports that the sounds were tightly localized in space. When people moved, the sound’s source seemed to follow them. That’s not the case for stationary sound forces, but it is the case for the micro-auditory effect because the sound is actually produced in the head.”
This microwave-induced phenomenon is known as the “Frey effect” or “radio frequency hearing,” and was proven by Dr. Alan Frey in 1965 when he was working for the U.S. Navy. A 1976 U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency report described how to stimulate it: “Sounds and possibly even words which appear to be originating intracranially can be induced by signal modulation at very low average power densities.” ….