Those who’ve suffered say it began after hearing this sound.
However, “60 Minutes” said listening to the audio, recorded by an unnamed former official, will not lead to any of the problems associated with the syndrome as the sound is a “byproduct” and not the cause.
Speaker alert: You might want to turn down the volume before playing this:
While most of the incidents linked to the condition happened overseas, the CBS News show reported several cases around Washington, D.C. ― including some on White House grounds.
“It was like this piercing feeling on the side of my head, it was like, I remember it was on the right side of my head and I got vertigo,” Olivia Troye, a homeland security and counterterrorism adviser to then-Vice President Mike Pence, told “60 Minutes.”
She said she felt it in 2019 on a staircase in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, which is part of the White House campus, as well as three times on the nearby Ellipse.
“I was unsteady, I was, I felt nauseous, I was somewhat disoriented, and I remember thinking, ‘OK you’ve got to ― don’t fall down the stairs. You’ve got to find your ground again and steady yourself,’” she said.
Hundreds of U.S. officials have said they’ve suffered from a range of unexplained issues including headaches and nausea after hearing unusual sounds, with the first known cases traced to staff at the U.S. Embassy in Cuba in 2016, giving the condition its name.
The CIA last year said most cases did not appear to be caused by a foreign power, but investigations continue.
So far, no firm explanation has emerged but theories include a weapon using energy, such as microwaves. Others have speculated at a psychological origin, including mass psychogenic illness, more popularly known as “mass hysteria.”
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