'Havana Syndrome': Diplomatic Staff Malaise In Cuba & China—A Sonic Or Microwave Weapon?

Yithian

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Apparently Cuba may have been experimenting with sonic devices on the U.S. embassy. If so, it's an odd choice, given the ostensive thaw in their long frosty relationship.

US embassy staff in Cuba 'suffered brain injuries'

Some US embassy staff in Cuba hit by suspected acoustic attacks suffered "mild traumatic brain injury" and permanent hearing loss, a union says.

In the fullest account yet of the impact on workers, the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA) said employees had also suffered "cognitive disruption and brain swelling".

Last month, the US state department said 16 employees had needed treatment.

Cuba has denied any involvement and says it is investigating the reports.

US embassy staff and at least one Canadian began to notice symptoms late last year.

Continued:
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-41133855
 

Ermintruder

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This was definitely reported on BBC Radio 4 at least earlier this week, or possibly late last week.

No mention whatsoever was made as to brain injuries, the reports were purely of hearing loss.

Interesting delay in the onlineing of this story by Auntie Beeb. But: I see a knife in every shower-curtain....
 

hunck

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Whilst there may be high volume directed sonic devices aimed at dispersing crowds, and some passenger ships it seems are now equipped with such 'sonic cannons' which project deafening noise over 300 metres to deter pirate attacks, they can't be held responsible for the Cuban US embassy hearing losses. I think employees might have noticed if they were subjected to ear splitting noise.

Unless the noise was high frequency above the human range - but could inaudible sound cause hearing damage?

The reports are confusing - some say the events occurred in the employees house & affected their family.

In some of the attacks a sophisticated sonic weapon that operated outside the range of audible sound was deployed either inside or outside the residences of US diplomats living in Havana, according to three US officials. The weapon caused immediate physical sensations including nausea, headaches and hearing loss.

But
Other attacks made a deafeningly loud sound similar to the buzzing created by insects or metal scraping across a floor, but the source of the sound could not be identified, the two US officials said. Some of the diplomats were attacked by the mystery weapon late at night in their homes while they were asleep, the officials said.

Two former US officials with a background in intelligence and surveillance said they had doubts that the health problems were the result of a deliberate attack with a sonic weapon. They pointed out that the symptoms were first noticed in late 2016, when US-Cuban relations were the best they had been in decades, following the visit of Barack Obama to Havana.

"I doubt that it would be an intentional effort to derail normalization between people who opposed it," said William LeoGrande, co-author of "Back Channel to Cuba: The Hidden History of Negotiations Between Washington and Havana." "It's more likely that people in the Cuban security forces might have done a favor for friendly intelligence services without having cleared it all the way up the chain of command."
 

EnolaGaia

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... The reports are confusing - some say the events occurred in the employees house & affected their family. ...

Agreed ... I can't (yet) get a coherent picture of what's happened where, when, or to whom.
 

EnolaGaia

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“Until we know more, the possibility of mass hysteria is certainly in play,” New Zealand sociologist Robert Bartholomew, author of Outbreak! The Encyclopedia of Extraordinary Social Behavior, told BuzzFeed News. Many documented mass hysteria cases involve so-called sick buildings that turn out to be psychological outbreaks, he noted.

“Based on the scant information that has been disclosed, it is very possible that this cluster is psychogenic in nature, as most of the symptoms are headaches and dizziness, while the most serious case is described as ‘mild traumatic brain injury’, whatever the hell that means, and could be entirely unrelated.”

SOURCE: https://www.buzzfeed.com/danvergano/silent-sonic-secret?utm_term=.kwwaxYQrq#.qgJaWM6LP
 

Mythopoeika

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New Details Deepen Mystery of US Diplomats' Illness In Cuba -
https://www.apnews.com/697536f065e6...low&utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=AP_Politics

The page won't let me copy/paste even an excerpt, but please go check it out. Trust me, it's weird.
All you have to do is select the text...

New details deepen mystery of US diplomats’ illness in Cuba
WASHINGTON (AP) — The blaring, grinding noise jolted the American diplomat from his bed in a Havana hotel. He moved just a few feet, and there was silence. He climbed back into bed. Inexplicably, the agonizing sound hit him again. It was as if he’d walked through some invisible wall cutting straight through his room.

Soon came the hearing loss, and the speech problems, symptoms both similar and altogether different from others among at least 21 U.S. victims in an astonishing international mystery still unfolding in Cuba. The top U.S. diplomat has called them “health attacks.” New details learned by The Associated Press indicate at least some of the incidents were confined to specific rooms or even parts of rooms with laser-like specificity, baffling U.S. officials who say the facts and the physics don’t add up.

“None of this has a reasonable explanation,” said Fulton Armstrong, a former CIA official who served in Havana long before America re-opened an embassy there. “It’s just mystery after mystery after mystery.”
 

kamalktk

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Maybe it's not a sonic weapon but another type of device and the hearing things is just a side effect. After all the gunshot sound is a side effect of launching the bullet at high speed.
 
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hunck

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The question would be - what sort of other device could it be & who's operating it?
 

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hunck

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Maybe. Does a focused microwave generator exist & could it have the effects reported? I'd have thought if it's possible it would produce a heating effect. As previously said, it would likely have to be without official government knowledge or approval. It started when Obama was president & relations with the US were warming.
 

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I was reading about this in the paper today. What possible noise could cause memory loss? Was the noise a side effect of the attack ray, if that's what it is? Could it be psychosomatic? So many questions, and nothing fits the apparent facts. At least if it happens again there's a chance the victim will know what's happening. It's like something out of The Prisoner.
 

ramonmercado

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Or could it be Mass Hysteria?

"Sonic Attacks" at the US Embassy in Cuba - Mass Hysteria?
Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Mick West, Today at 10:49 AM.When I first read the stories about the strange events in the US Embassy in Havana, Cuba, I accepted them as fact. Why not, I though, after all Cuba is not very friendly, and then there's Russia, probably trying to make trouble by zapping the Embassy. It did seem a bit odd though.

Then things got stranger, Candians reported being affected, people were "targeted" in Hotels. The incidents varied. And then I saw this list of symptoms today:
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2...not-to-visit-cuba-and-withdraws-embassy-staff
  1. I used to write a lot about "Morgellons", a label for a similar constellation of symptoms that people self diagnose with after convincing themselves that fibers are emerging from their skin. The Morgellons symptoms, if we remove itching and finding things on your skin, are, in short form:

    http://www.thecehf.org/faq.html
    • Life altering fatigue
    • Neurological impairment
    • Visual and hearing changes
    • Brain fog and diminished higher cognitive abilities
    • Hair loss
    • GI changes
    • Muscle aches, Joint pain
    • General malaise; intense, life-impacting pain
    • Dental deterioration
    • Sleep disturbances
    • Psychiatric manifestations can include anxiety, depression, new onset of panic attacks, changes in behavior and personality. ...
https://www.metabunk.org/sonic-attacks-at-the-us-embassy-in-cuba-mass-hysteria.t9102/
 

Frasier Buddolph

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When this story surfaced, I thought of something like this:

https://www.holosonics.com/
http://www.soundlazer.com/

This is a system of sound broadcasting where the content is modulated onto two ultrasonic beams aimed at the target. The ultrasonic beams themselves are inaudible, but when they strike the target, the interference produces audible frequencies. The beams are high-intensity, up to 120 dB, which seems could produce physiological effects.

The system is highly directional and is only audible within a narrow zone around the target. I think it was developed primarily for advertising but would lend itself nicely to gaslighting an unsuspecting victim.
 

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More doubt cast on sonic attacks.

A scientific enigma lies at the heart of a strange confrontation between the United States and Cuba.

According to the State Department, nearly two dozen diplomats at the American Embassy in Havana have been stricken with a variety of mysterious medical symptoms, including hearing loss and cognitive difficulties.

After concluding that staffers were the victims of a stealth attack, the department withdrew nonessential personnel from Havana and issued an advisory urging Americans not to visit. On Tuesday, the Trump administration expelled 15 Cuban diplomats from the United States.

The State Department has not provided further details about the medical condition of the affected staffers. But government officials have suggested anonymously that the diplomats may have been assaulted with some sort of sonic weapon.

Experts in acoustics, however, say that’s a theory more appropriate to a James Bond movie.

Sound can cause discomfort and even serious harm, and researchers have explored the idea of sonic weaponry for years. But scientists doubt a hidden ultrasound weapon can explain what happened in Cuba.

“I’d say it’s fairly implausible,” said Jurgen Altmann, a physicist at the Technische Universitat Dortmund in Germany and an expert on acoustics. ...

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/05/science/cuba-sonic-weapon.html
 

Analis

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Or is it just a flase flag or made-up accusations ?
 

Yithian

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Having had time to think, I think my two favoured explanations are:

  1. Actual sonic device employed by dissident elements in Cuban secret services--with or without Russian assistance.
  2. LSD or other hallucinogen in the water supply and some form of subsonic trigger brings personal or mass hysteria.
I wouldn't expect a real explantion until the historians get the declassified files though!
 

hunck

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Purported recording of the Cuba sound, as reported by Associated Press.

https://apnews.com/88bb914f8b284088bce48e54f6736d84

Hmmm...it's all a bit perplexing - there's no way you wouldn't notice that sound if you were exposed to it at dangerous levels. It'd be intolerable pretty quickly. On the meter, it seems to peak around 7khz which is easily audible. The man later in the clip is talking about frequencies above the human hearing range which in exceptional cases would be around 20 khz. For most people it would be somewhere in the 15 - 20 khz range.

I don't think that's cleared the muddy waters much.
 

Yithian

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Hmmm...it's all a bit perplexing - there's no way you wouldn't notice that sound if you were exposed to it at dangerous levels. It'd be intolerable pretty quickly. On the meter, it seems to peak around 7khz which is easily audible. The man later in the clip is talking about frequencies above the human hearing range which in exceptional cases would be around 20 khz. For most people it would be somewhere in the 15 - 20 khz range.

I don't think that's cleared the muddy waters much.

Might it be possible--I have minimal understanding of acoustics--to mask the sound by broadcasting it in an environment where another sound of lower pitch and greater volume is already being produced?

The small-but-deadly spider that goes unnoticed because there's an elephant in front of you.

There are a number of constant sounds that we aurally 'tune-out' on a daily basis; if the sounds were curated to match and interact with background building noises (air-conditioning, fans, pool filters, elevators etc), could the effects be generated more covertly?

Bespoke Sonic Assault.
 

hunck

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Might it be possible--I have minimal understanding of acoustics--to mask the sound by broadcasting it in an environment where another sound of lower pitch and greater volume is already being produced?

The small-but-deadly spider that goes unnoticed because there's an elephant in front of you.

There are a number of constant sounds that we aurally 'tune-out' on a daily basis; if the sounds were curated to match and interact with background building noises (air-conditioning, fans, pool filters, elevators etc), could the effects be generated more covertly?

Bespoke Sonic Assault.

I think if you were producing the 'white noise' sound at levels enough to cause hearing damage, masking it with a louder sound of a different set of frequencies would just deafen you in a different fashion. The other sound would have to be even louder & even more intolerable.

Constant sounds such as fans, air-conditioning, are generally at low background levels & your brain can filter them out. On the recording, there's no other sound apart from the white noise so it was recorded more or less on it's own or it's drowned out whatever else is going on.

I'm wondering where & when this recording was made, - somebody's house, the embassy, an FBI lab?..why it's not mentioned in the report, & why it's taken all this time to produce something concrete in the story.

It's not adding up to a coherent picture.
 

Mythopoeika

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As a sufferer from tinnitus due to decades of shooting, I experience that 24/7/365.

Perhaps a career in the Diplomatic Service awaits.

maximus otter
I suffer from something similar, although not as annoying as that sound sample.
 
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