A medical expert with the University of California has weighed in on her suspicions as to what caused the concussion-like injuries in US embassy workers in Cuba in 2017, and at an embassy in China this past June, and says that what were initially thought to be "sonic attacks" are most likely the effects of microwave-based surveillance devices.

In an interview on CBC radio’s "As it Happens", professor of medicine Dr. Beatrice Golomb, with the University of California, San Diego, said that both the auditory effects and the brain injuries suffered by the victims are consistent with the effects caused by microwave-based surveillance devices, and that these types of injuries have been reported before by US embassy workers in Russia, over the course of the Cold War.

Golomb says that the noises reported by diplomats in Cuba and China "included chirping, grinding and ringing, exactly noises that are reported as part of what’s called the ‘microwave auditory effect.’" The differences in the type of sound perceived would be due to the different size and dimensions of each individual’s head, and the effect requires low ambient noise to occur, explaining why the effect was only reported to have happened at night.

Golomb doesn’t believe such a microwave source would have to be weaponized to cause such an effect, and given the circumstances involved is more likely to be an effect of microwave-based surveillance equipment. She cites a mid-1970s article in the New York Times that reported that "the U.S. Embassy in Moscow was microwaved from 1953 to the late 1980s or 1990s," and that the US "engaged in shielding efforts related to that. Health problems were reported by diplomats." At the time, Russia responded by claiming that the microwave emissions were from their efforts "to thwart [US] surveillance devices that were on the roof of the embassy."

Golomb says that the injuries reported by victims of microwave-based injuries exhibit concussion-like symptoms, albeit lacking a corresponding physical injury, much like the headaches, nausea, hearing loss and cognitive difficulties reported by the affected embassy staff in China and Cuba.

According to Golomb, medical images made of the brains of both the affected diplomats at the US embassy in Russia and what she refers to as "electro sensitive" civilians "look like traumatic brain injury… It turns out that both head injury and radiofrequency radiation cause injury in part by something called oxidative stress, the kind of damage that antioxidants help protect against."

As to whether or not the affected embassy workers will make a full recovery, Golomb says that "it will vary from diplomat to diplomat… It’s the same as with head concussion. Some will make a full and complete recovery, some will have lingering problems."