back to article US yanks staff from Cuban embassy over sonic death ray fears

The US State Department on Friday announced that it is pulling all non-essential staff and their families out of its embassy in Cuba following reports of a secret weapon being deployed against employees there. In a communiqué, the department said that the embassy would be reduced to an emergency skeleton staff until future …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can I be the first to call bullshit on these claims by an American government run by the clown prince?

    How bizarre it is that every enemy is a society not aligned with the USA and it's debt and capitalist model.

    1. kain preacher Silver badge

      Americans were not the only ones injured.

      1. mics39
        Unhappy

        Canadians unfortunately are often collaterally damaged.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        When you say "injured" how do you mean? It's an invisible threat that can't be quantified from a secret weapon nobody has seen and nobody has any information on. Am I to believe that the Cubans have developed a weapon without the US knowing anything about it that they can deploy invisibly even though the US have lots of satellites that could quite easily locate them. They have also invited the FBI to come and investigate.

        Behold the mighty power of my invisible gun, I shall aim it with my mind and smite the Americans down in their embassy because <insert reason here, because I can't think of one>

        Does America have a Department Of Bullshit for these things?

        1. oiseau Silver badge
          Facepalm

          "Does America have a Department Of Bullshit for these things?"

          Hmm ...

          It would seem so.

          Everything indicates it is inside the Oval Office and the guy who runs it 24/7 moonlights as a false epipremnum aureum.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            I did wonder what Tony Blair was up to these days.

            1. TheVogon Silver badge

              "I did wonder what Tony Blair was up to these days."

              It can't be worse than "middle east peace envoy" ! What a great job he did of that....

        2. SuccessCase

          “secret weapon nobody has seen and nobody has any information on”

          Sonic attacks are hardly secret or hard to do. They just aren’t that common.

          And the guy in the picture, is not under sonic attack. If i’m Not mistaken, i’d say he is suffering the effects of depressurisation and the sand definitely looks like it is Martian, so I deduce he’s lost his space helmet whilst on Mars (and possibly Arnold Swarzenegger is nearby).

          1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

            "

            Sonic attacks are hardly secret or hard to do.

            "

            Nor are they difficult to detect. A phone app could detect them.

          2. J. Cook Silver badge
            Boffin

            The picture is a screen cap of the main bad guy from the first film titled "Total Recall"; you've nailed it right on the head there. :D

        3. kain preacher Silver badge

          When you say "injured" how do you mean

          hearing loss

          Oh and they are not blaming the Cubans. They always says from an unknown source.

      3. jmch Silver badge

        I second the 'bullshit' call. CIA have huge technical capability. For example overhear conversations by bouncing a laser off a window and measuring the interference caused by sound waves vibrating on the window. Surely they also have more advanced capabilities not known to the general public.

        A 'sonic ray' should be easily detected by a microphone operating in the right frequency, and with some spectrum analysis and triangulation it should be trivial for CIA tech guys to identify such a ray, what's causing it and where it's coming from. Same goes even if the 'ray' isn't exactly 'sonic' but something else. And if there was any actual proof of such a 'weapon' being used, you can be sure that the tweeter in-chief would be close to declaring war... instead all we are hearing out of the US is bluster and hearsay.

        If Americans aren't the only ones suffering symptons, that's neither here nor there. Could just as easily be down to unknown environmental factors rather than collateral damage from a targeted attack. Whether it's targeted or untargeted, it seems more likely to me that it's something environmental (I would have thought 'something in the water' but USAians are notoriously reluctant to drink tap water)

        1. rh587 Bronze badge

          I second the 'bullshit' call. CIA have huge technical capability. For example overhear conversations by bouncing a laser off a window and measuring the interference caused by sound waves vibrating on the window.

          Yeah, this.

          They may be shouting that it's the Cuban's responsibility to ensure the protection of visiting Diplomatic staff, but US Counter-Intelligence groups can and do sweep embassies and diplomatic premises for bugs and it seems highly improbable that they would allow their staff to be "attacked" for a period of months without taking some sort of diagnostic action - the Cubans/Russians/SPECTRE could have been listening in. They're also quite familiar with acoustic espionage tools and weapons, having developed a few themselves over the years!

          I find it inconceivable that after the first few reports they didn't install additional counter-espionage and monitoring tools, step up their sweeps, etc.

          Seems far more likely it's something bad in the aircon, CO fumes from a bad boiler, sick building syndrome or the like.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Sonic Attack

      In case of Sonic Attack on your district, follow these rules:

      If you are making love it is imperative to bring all bodies to orgasm simultaneously.

      Do not waste time blocking your ears.

      Do not waste time seeking a "sound proofed" shelter.

      Try to get as far away from the sonic source as possible

      Do not panic

      Do not panic

      Use your wheels. It is what they are for.

      Small babies may be placed inside the special cocoons

      and should be left, if possible, in shelters.

      Do not attempt to use your own limbs.

      If no wheels are available - metal - not organic -

      limbs should be employed whenever practical.

      [...]

      1. smudge Silver badge
        Alien

        Re: Sonic Attack

        Thinking only of myself.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Can I be the first to call bullshit on these claims by an American government run by the clown prince?"

      ^ That is just cheap and crude denial because the victims of these attacks have been medically examined.

      The question then becomes, "Who is doing this and why?". My money's on either hardline Cuban regime members or the Russians who just don't want to see a Cuba-USA rapprochement.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        If this is a sonic attack, then one would think that it could be detected by a suitable type of microphone. There's no need to try to localise the source - just have a big flashing red light to warn the user to get out.

        Is it possible that there's something rather more ordinary going on - e.g. a low-level carbon monoxide leak from badly-maintained boilers?

  2. Mephistro Silver badge

    I'd bet my monies on...

    ... some viral infection or light food poisoning. Both can cause short term symptoms like the ones listed in the article.

    And it'd be trivial for the USA to deploy sound analysers able to identify sonic attacks. Hell, they could probably do it with an app for smartphones and tablets! If they haven't done this already -or they have, but haven't detected said weapon- it's probably because this 'sonic weapon' is just a load of BS that goes well with El Cheeto's plans for Cuba.

    1. malle-herbert Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: I'd bet my monies on...

      My money is on the Atreides...

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: I'd bet my monies on...

        My money is on the Atreides...

        Well, the David Lynch version anyway - just a more easily quantifiable 'secret weapon' than the nebulous political one in the book, which, however made a lot more sense.

        1. israel_hands

          Re: I'd bet my monies on...

          In the book the "secret weapon" is Fremen warriors trained in the "weirding combat" of the Bene Geserit. Think galaxy's greatest warriors + galaxy's most lethal secret martial art = a lot of suddenly very dead Sardaukar and a very nervous Emperor.

          Anyway, as to this nonsensical "red scare" sonic attack bullshit I'm expecting it to turn out the hotel and embassy share a water source which has probably been contaminated with something. There are plenty of bugs that can cause the reported symptoms and a sonic attack is trivial to detect with even a fairly shitty recorder and some software.

          It does seem very retro though. Like a throwback to the 60's and 70's. Maybe it's all being orchestrated by the CIA, sick of everyone talking about the autistic number-crunchers at the NSA and desperate to get back to a time when they were everyone's favourite spooks.

          1. Teiwaz Silver badge

            Re: I'd bet my monies on...

            In the book the "secret weapon" is Fremen warriors trained in the "weirding combat" of the Bene Geserit. Think galaxy's greatest warriors + galaxy's most lethal secret martial art = a lot of suddenly very dead Sardaukar and a very nervous Emperor.

            Sort of yes/no

            What made the Emperor nervous was Duke Letos popularity among the other Great Houses, the ease at which he inspired loyalty by being/appearing a man of the people. Sending House Atreides to Arrakeen was to make them vulnerable - the Empire had no idea there were so many desert fanatics.

            The Fremen trained up in the Bene Gesserit 'weirding way' of combat came after the fall of House Atreides. It was a secret weapon, just not the secret weapon that the Emperor found initially threatening and made him fearful enough to assist House Harkonnen in the destruction of House Atreides.

            1. breakfast

              Re: I'd bet my monies on...

              Of course the key strategic failing of all the Great Houses on Dune was that they would always attack the most southerly(? I think? It has been almost 20 years .) unit first, so you could put something unimportant at the bottom of the map and build up your troops easily to overwhelm their bases.

              1. Teiwaz Silver badge

                Re: I'd bet my monies on...Game version

                I think I still have a copy of the Dune Game somewhere - wonder if it still runs on Dosbox....

                Far less annoying than Jeff Waynes war of the worlds game (all that ...loading combat map)

    2. BillG Silver badge
      Pirate

      Re: I'd bet my monies on...

      Very low frequencies can have uncomfortable effects on the human body.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'd bet my monies on...

        "Very low frequencies can have uncomfortable effects on the human body."

        Depends if you're smashed off your tits listening the drum and bass. (or as I like to call it, bum and face)

    3. Captain DaFt

      Re: I'd bet my monies on...

      And it'd be trivial for the USA to deploy sound analysers able to identify sonic attacks.

      Might be real, but not an attack at all, just poorly designed fans.

      Cuba is hot, hot and humid. Wanna bet how many oviet designed fans/ACs there are running there?

      “infrasound”, are ultra low frequencies that we cannot hear but can be felt as vibration. However, our brain is affected by this ultra low frequency and will appear as stress of unknown cause. Low frequencies have stronger oscillatory wave to the brain through skull and other bones. (from the webpage)

      1. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

        Re: I'd bet my monies on...

        I've experienced the infrasonic air conditioning torture in office buildings. It's irritating, like a baby screaming constantly, but less noticeable because it's not interpreted as an audible tone. Having that stress while you are sleeping too could cause some damage.

        The one problem with the theory is that you CAN hear and feel infrasonic sounds. It's just not a tone so it doesn't register in your brain as a sound. It's more like the sensation you get when somebody sneaks up behind you. Infrasonic sound also causes walls, pipes, wires, and glass to squeak very slightly. Some other audible noise would be needed to mask out conscious detection of the infrasonic noise. It's a bit complex to be plausible.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'd bet my monies on...

      ... some viral infection or light food poisoning ...

      Personally, I would bet on the rum and nicotine over-indulgence: cuban rum is a dangerous thing if you are not used to dringking it - by the time you start noticing the effects, you are already too plastered to stop. Combine that with a good, strong cigar you have no clue how to smoke properly, and buzzing in your ears will be the least of your problems next morning.

    5. Orv Silver badge

      Re: I'd bet my monies on...

      I was thinking something like "sick building syndrome," where one or two people fall ill for unrelated reasons, then everyone else makes themselves sick with the placebo effect.

    6. technoise

      Re: I'd bet my monies on...

      Mephistro: And it'd be trivial for the USA to deploy sound analysers able to identify sonic attacks. Hell, they could probably do it with an app for smartphones and tablets!

      Maybe not for smartphones and tablets since they will be equipped with microphones designed to work in the normal range of human hearing. However, yes, I think even a hobbyist could rig up devices for monitoring AF and RF at a wide range of frequencies.

      1. Mephistro Silver badge

        Re: I'd bet my monies on...

        "Maybe not for smartphones and tablets since they will be equipped with microphones designed to work in the normal range of human hearing. "

        I read in ElReg a few weeks ago that a group of boffins were using harmonics and other similar tricks to detect ultrasounds with mobes. The acceleration sensors have been used already to detect infrasounds. Not sure this method would be precise enough for this particular context, though.

  3. 2Nick3 Bronze badge
    Megaphone

    Can you hear me now?

    EOM

  4. Alister Silver badge

    I'm also quite sceptical about these alleged attacks, primarily because I really can't see what the motive would be.

    Cuba and America have only recently re-established diplomatic relations after decades of sanctions, and I don't understand why it would be of benefit to Cuba to piss of the Americans again.

    1. kain preacher Silver badge

      They are saying they are not sure who is behind it. Canadians have been targeted as well. So not sure what the end game is .

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "They are saying they are not sure who is behind it. Canadians have been targeted as well. So not sure what the end game is ."

        If it's not communists then it must islamisistsisms

      2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Windows

        Canadians have been targeted as well

        If Canadians have been "targeted", then I suppose it must be real.

        It's probably just the dumb-rays being deployed the world over by Justified Ancients, their frequencies must be off. Carry on.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "It's probably just the dumb-rays being deployed the world over by Justified Ancients,.... "

          Are those the Mu Mu ones?

    2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      A Country in Turmoil and Terrified by Rabid War Machinery?

      and I don't understand why it would be of benefit to Cuba to piss of the Americans again. .... Alister

      Alister, the better question to be asking is what is the benefit to America to be pissing off Cubans again?

    3. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      IF anyone's behind this (I find the rum and cigars plausible) then the anti-castro community in Miami would be a beneficiary, they have been against this from the start.

    4. smudge Silver badge

      Cuba and America have only recently re-established diplomatic relations after decades of sanctions, and I don't understand why it would be of benefit to Cuba to piss of the Americans again.

      So who would want to piss them off? (Yes, I know - who wouldn't? - but I'm being serious for a change.)

      I would start off by checking where the North Korean embassy is.

      1. CraPo

        About 2km away

        https://www.google.co.uk/maps/dir/Embassy+of+the+United+States+of+America,+Calzada,+Havana,+Cuba/Paseo+Habana,+Calle+A,+La+Habana,+Cuba/@23.1389805,-82.3957429,16z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m13!4m12!1m5!1m1!1s0x88cd79d5f1d6817b:0xa66689f666e933e!2m2!1d-82.3876316!2d23.1458786!1m5!1m1!1s0x88cd77643b791045:0x335c618cffac812c!2m2!1d-82.3956105!2d23.1344525

  5. Mahhn

    This is what it is

    It's a False flag event. Yes the people are really being sacrificed (made deaf, brain damaged) for the sake of forcing Cuba to give Turnip a "better deal" as he has been insisting on. And this is what they are using to do it: https://www.wired.com/2008/07/the-microwave-s/

    Who are they? well that depends on how deep your conspiracy theories are.

    1. ma1010 Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: This is what it is

      @Mahhn

      That's the first time I've read any plausible explanation of this phenomenon. It's horrible. It seems obvious to me that this is something that should be banned internationally, rather than, as the author of the article seems to suggest, used in shopping malls to beam advertisements into people's heads. (I hope the author was just taking the piss on that, but I wouldn't bet on it.)

      False flag event? I hope not, but can't rule it out. So much of the time nowadays it seems like the US government is slipping back into the 1950's when they could do just about anything they could imagine and get away with it. Back then it was "'cause Russians" and now it's "'cause terrorism." Hopefully there's something that's going to stop them as happened back in the 1960's and 70's.

      1. Mark 110 Silver badge

        Re: This is what it is

        What are you going to ban? Noone knows what it is yet. If you don't know what it is then good luck banning it . . .

      2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: This is what it is

        Back then it was "'cause Russians" and now it's "'cause terrorism."

        Newsflash: Now it's "Coz Russians fighting Our Terrorism" (and spoiling the rightful Diversity Coronation of Brat Hillary, but that's just by-the-by)

  6. HildyJ

    Orange Herring

    It's a complete orange herring from Trump to drum up anti-Cuba sentiment. The most likely cause according to scientists is accidental exposure to unregulated chemicals, probably from cleaners and exterminators. Sonic devices are as credible as aliens.

    From an excellent analysis in The Verge: "A much more likely explanation for the symptoms is some kind of chemical exposure, Oghalai [Chair of the Caruso Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Southern California] says. That’s a lot more simple.” https://www.theverge.com/2017/9/16/16316048/sonic-weapon-cuba-us-canadian-diplomats-ultrasound-infrasound-science

    1. handleoclast Silver badge

      Re: Orange Herring

      You deserve mega upthumbs for "Orange Herring."

      I shall almost certainly steal it for use elsewhere. :)

    2. Scroticus Canis

      Re: Orange Herring - "some kind of chemical exposure"

      That is the most logical explanation, there are loads of ototoxic compounds around and some used medicinally (aspirin, quinine are two common ones). Also possible is the virus/infection scenario.

      An epidemiologist should be able to narrow down the commonalities of those affected if there is a 'concerted' cause.

      Sonic weapons are just too bulky for effective subsonic effects and building material would quickly dampen ultrasonic frequencies. You also need loads of power in the generated frequency for it to have much physical or physiological effect over any distance.

      1. Mark 110 Silver badge

        Re: Orange Herring - "some kind of chemical exposure"

        And obviously there's been no toxicology done on the victims? Not sure that a chemical affect would hold water. I can't believe all the victims would fail to get independent toxicology even if there was a CIA conspiracy feeding them clear results.

  7. Lysenko

    Witchcraft !!

    Anything else and a couple of hundred dollars worth of off the shelf sensors would detect and characterise it, even if the source couldn't be localised (infra sound). The other alternative is lies. I know which one I would bet on.

  8. John 110

    The answer's simple!

    Just issue them all with tinfoil hats, that'll shield 'em.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: The answer's simple!

      Possibly a whole-body suit? If it's chemical, I'm not sure that would help. It's a good start though.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: The answer's simple!

        "Possibly a whole-body suit? If it's chemical, I'm not sure that would help. It's a good start though."

        And just in case there is an audio element, the embassy staff should all wear Arctic parkers at all times. With hood up.

  9. G R Goslin

    Old research

    There was a lot of research done, some time ago, on the effects of infrasonics. Very Low Frequency sound effects, which gave the same symptoms as have been reported. The researchers found that the sounds, high amplitude, but low frequency were being generated by the effects of wind on structures. It was, at one time known as "the sick office" syndrome. Places where people felt ill working, but were ok if they moved away from the area. For myself, having spent many years working in factories, the general noise levels would have masked the effects, but made you deaf, instead. And, yes, it was promoted as a possible weapon. If only they could work out how generate it at will, and how to aim it.

    1. mics39
      Pint

      Re: Old research

      My bet is on Beats headphones.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Old research

      it was promoted as a possible weapon. If only they could work out how generate it at will, and how to aim it.

      The research found that you couldn't aim it, but you could still move the source around, creating a brain-melting bubble. MoD research built specialist vehicles like this, that moved round low income areas generating ultra high intensity infra sound from a relentless DOO-WHOMP-WHOMP-DO-DOO-WHOMP-WHOMP, mixed with the sounds from illegally modified engine and exhaust. Sadly the volunteer drivers were quickly reduced to slack-jawed gibbberers, devoid of sense or good taste, often resorting to back-to-front baseball caps and Burberry attire. Entire neighbourhoods were made uninhabitable, and boffins feared that if enough of these sonic-death-mobiles met together at a "cruise", it could provoke a subsonic singularity, tearing a rift in time and space. This led to many councils seeking injunctions to ban "cruising", but unfortunately the worst fears were realised back in late 2015 when a cruise in Luton created the necessary conditions, linking the present day to 1970 in a feedback loop. It is because of this loop that we have a US president reigniting the cold war, a mad, socialist fuckwit seeking to nationalise everything in the UK if he can get elected, people chuffing on about building rockets and supersonic passenger jets, and huge government borrowing that can never be repaid.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Old research

        Ah, yes, 1970 when Edward Heath was elected PM

      2. handleoclast Silver badge
        Coffee/keyboard

        Re: Old research

        DOO-WHOMP-WHOMP-DO-DOO-WHOMP-WHOMP

        New keyboard required.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @ Re: Old research

        Sorry, but you know too much.

        Minion, crank up the bass to... TWELVE!

      4. Mark 110 Silver badge

        Re: Old research

        "It is because of this loop that we have a US president reigniting the cold war, "

        Nah - its because of this loop that Skelmersdale exists!!

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can't they just stick a load of noise cancelling headphones on the windows?

    Problem solved.

  11. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    Ry Cooder will sort out the problem...

    ...round up a few musicians. Play a few songs... everyone's happy... even got some endorsement from the POTUS at the time (see the sleeve notes for Buena Vista).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNYOVEXJBBM

  12. gregthecanuck
    Megaphone

    Send in the experts

    Agent Deci Bel reporting for duty.

  13. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    Snopes says it's unlikely.

    http://www.snopes.com/do-sonic-weapons-explain-the-health-diplomats-cuba/

    A virus going around maybe?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    and so it was foretold,

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0090729/

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I Blame The Punks And Their SubWoofers

    These reports have all been very vague and puzzling.

    Attacks are "known" to have occurred, but no one can say exactly what the "attacks" were.

    The "Cubans" are said to be at fault, unless it was someone else.

    This brings to mind the periodic attacks of hysterical psychosomatic illnesses at girl schools where everyone gets nauseated, faints, etc.

    Perhaps what we have here is an old fashioned case of the vapors.

  16. cd

    There's an old Packard engine running an exhaust fan somewhere, possibly in a tobacco warehouse. It was replaced with a Chevy six so the car could be used for taxi duty.

    See here, in particular the chapter pasted below...https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infrasound

    The referenced paper is well worth a read, BTW. I heard they made an album from it or something. I like My Life In the Bush of Ghosts better.

    Suggested relationship to ghost sightings

    Psychologist Richard Wiseman of the University of Hertfordshire suggests that the odd sensations that people attribute to ghosts may be caused by infrasonic vibrations. Vic Tandy, experimental officer and part-time lecturer in the school of international studies and law at Coventry University, along with Dr. Tony Lawrence of the University's psychology department, wrote in 1998 a paper called "Ghosts in the Machine" for the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research. Their research suggested that an infrasonic signal of 19 Hz might be responsible for some ghost sightings. Tandy was working late one night alone in a supposedly haunted laboratory at Warwick, when he felt very anxious and could detect a grey blob out of the corner of his eye. When Tandy turned to face the grey blob, there was nothing.

    The following day, Tandy was working on his fencing foil, with the handle held in a vice. Although there was nothing touching it, the blade started to vibrate wildly. Further investigation led Tandy to discover that the extractor fan in the lab was emitting a frequency of 18.98 Hz, very close to the resonant frequency of the eye given as 18 Hz by NASA.[46] This, Tandy conjectured, was why he had seen a ghostly figure—it was, he believed, an optical illusion caused by his eyeballs resonating. The room was exactly half a wavelength in length, and the desk was in the centre, thus causing a standing wave which caused the vibration of the foil.[47]

    Tandy investigated this phenomenon further and wrote a paper entitled The Ghost in the Machine.[48] He carried out a number of investigations at various sites believed to be haunted, including the basement of the Tourist Information Bureau next to Coventry Cathedral[49][50] and Edinburgh Castle.[51][52]

  17. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Its the bloody cochlea

    which is a spiral horn profiled tube filled with fluid that vibrates in the tube moving hairs that line the tube and thus detect sound in a range of frequencies - from 20hz - 20 khz in a young human, Deafness is normally caused by loud noises at the frequency of detection in the horn braking the fibres at that frequency. So for this to work in Cuba everyone else in the office was already deaf.

  18. Tom 7 Silver badge

    I think we should be looking to Turkey right now

    to see if any US sound systems are being shipped back home.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can't believe you guys haven't worked it out already.

    It's so obvious.

    They're playing David Icke talking books at ultra low frequency.

    That's BOUND to f*ck you up.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Can't believe you guys haven't worked it out already.

      We should have a new law for threads about how long it takes before someone mentions the lizards.

      The Iguana Mantra?

  20. FlamingDeath Bronze badge

    It's that special relationship

    That the US establishment seems to have with the world, one of paranoia, bigotry, and megalomania

    For me the words "special relationship" have some seriously Orwellian doublespeak and sinister undertones attached.

    When the US establishment wants something, they end their sentences with a reminder of how much money they spend on their military. The US main export is literally Terror™

  21. Christian Berger Silver badge

    It should be trivial to get some facts on that

    Essentially get some measuring equipment, a decent digital audio recorder might do, and look for it. I mean this is sound, you can measure and record it.

  22. Sssss

    We had a expert on abc24 here the other day saying they don't exist etc. Appalling television, yes, yes, and no, no to the truth. Also, I've just read a Popular Mechanics article that claims experts are claiming it is outside of physics. So, I'll give the ABC24 expert a little slack. But rather than be skeptics following what others tell you, it is better to actually look into things. Being outside physics is likely not the reason things are happening to people, and the US is pulling staff out. I'll give an example of technologies and what might be happening below.

    http://www.popularmechanics.com/military/news/a28232/who-and-what-is-attacking-us-diplomats-in-cuba/

    There were testing on sonic weapons I think going back 1960's or earlier, to some extent. Even a few shows on TV used the notion as part of stories, probably inspired by these tests. Mission impossible, or the Avengers, might have been two shows with it.

    By the late 80's or 90's they had narrow beam sonic devices, and by the 2009 Sasers. The narrow beam, I read in New Scientist, the reviewer could walk across the room accross from the device and only hear the beam in a foot radius (I think this might have been the diameter of the device). Latter it came to the point that they could cross over ultra sonic beams to produce pure sound of the frequency difference, at a place in 3D space, for use in Music concerts. A TV soundbar was put forwards that bounced beams onto walls to use as speakers.

    Note here, this unusually simplistic page on sonic W, which leaves out a lot of the time line, but still mentions active weapons:

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonic_weapon

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_amplification_by_stimulated_emission_of_radiation#Narrow-gap_indirect_semiconductor_as_a_SASER_system

    Now, that is the official stuff we know about. I've had freinds in intelligence that reported stuff that shouldn't have existed many decades ago. The subject of sonic weapons never came up, I think. But just because we don't see things out there, doesn't mean they don't exist. The blind man asleep that waking, says to himself that he doesn't want to open his eyes, because he sees everything. He indeed sees all he has experienced, but misses the rest of the world. Real science is about looking for what is really possible.

    Now, going back in time, well this stuff seems to go back thousands of years, so just recent centuries instead. Vibrational resonance of energy with structures, and in this case sound. An notion in alternative science, and real science, that you can match up a frequency to a physical structure to maximise some effect. Also nuclear reactions using sound waves in liquid. Conversely, it should be possibe to set up pressure waves electromagentically. If you look at that popping laser 3D space laser projector in Japan, you see how this is illustratively possible.

    So, somebody can point a narrow beam of sound at your room only, and even at you, not disturbing your neighbours much. It can follow you head around. Setting it up right, it can proppergate straight through the outside of the building (glass is a good bet) and use it as a relay. Likely, this might be tested while you are out with a laser through a window to record effect and audible noise on you and your neighbours. Using two overlapping beams, you can produce a desired affect on it in the target volume (body). Now, alternatively, you can use lasers etc, at low enough frequencies they can pass through and the cross beam may produce audible sensations. Etc. Yes, physics does allow a lot, if you think like an engineer, rather than a skeptic.

    It is likely, apart from individuals, that a state actor with ready cover in Cuba might be responsible (not Cuban themselves).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Must Have Beem The Chili

      Submitted for entertainment value only -I have never had any connection with the intelligence services, but the previous generation did.

      The story related was that back in in the late 50's - early 60s, the CIA had developed a device that generated low frequency sound waves that caused people to lose control of their bodily functions.

      Such power was too attractive not be exercised, so some of the more juvenile would embark on late night missions, clad only in diapers, and cruise the quiet suburban streets soiling the bed sheets of the DC area.

      American Ingenuity And Knowhow - This is what makes America great.

      1. Captain Badmouth
        Coffee/keyboard

        Re: Must Have Beem The Chili

        "a device that generated low frequency sound waves that caused people to lose control of their bodily functions."

        Perhaps the Russians had one in that Moscow hotel...

        Is that coffee on your keyboard? ---------->>>>>

    2. Christian Berger Silver badge

      Actually like a laser...

      "So, somebody can point a narrow beam of sound at your room only, and even at you, not disturbing your neighbours much."

      It does reflect on surfaces so you can detect it easily even if not in the main cone of radiation. Yes you can do mixing, it's common with all systems that have some non-linearity, again, you can check for that very easily.

      It seems that if there was an actual case against the Cubans, there would be some actual evidence presented.

  23. B83

    Sonic Attacks

    Bloody Hedgehog!

    1. EnviableOne Bronze badge
      Pint

      Re: Sonic Attacks

      I was waiting for that one!

  24. Winkypop Silver badge

    Retaliate

    Blast them back with loud recordings of Trump speeches.

    Or would that be pushing the Geneva Convention?

  25. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
  26. DropBear Silver badge

    May not be in any way related, but our "insulating glass" office windows (combined with the room acoustics I assume) are annoyingly effective in converting many car's idling engine sound, whenever they decide to wait outside, into the vibration equivalent of standing right next to a Diesel locomotive minus (most of) the actual sound. I mean you _can_ still hear it as deep muffled vibration but you mostly feel it and it definitely is _highly_ unpleasant. Open the window - hear just a normal car idling; close the window - instant brain-vacuuming "whobobobobob" at ten thousand decibels. I wonder if something similar might be happening over there completely accidentally...

  27. Mike Moyle Silver badge

    FWIW, I really wish that everyone who is saying that sonic effects can easily be tested for would add "if the device(s) is functioning continuously." Some news articles report that the affected said that they occasionally heard very localized loud noises.

    From the Associated Press viaThe Guardian (Thursday 14 September 2017):

    "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 US victims in an astonishing international mystery still unfolding in Cuba. The top US diplomat has called them 'health attacks'."

    So, the effects can be quite localized and intermittent, since in this case it's reported to have started suddenly and, presumably, eventually ended. Hard to put sensors everywhere for long enough to have a good chance of finding any putative outside source.

    As to it being a false-flag operation, that's certainly possible, but if you can't think of actors inside OR outside of Cuba or the U.S. that would like to see rapprochement between the two countries scuttled in order to further isolate one or both, then it sounds like you're just not looking.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Canada

    When I was last there a decade a go, many of the tourists were Canadian (it's similar to a Mediterranean holiday for us).

    A huge amount of goods come via Canada

    They are quite liked by the Cubans.

    So it's more likely collateral damage...or the Rum and Cokes, where the rum is 90% of the drink.

    1. Mike Moyle Silver badge

      Re: Canada

      I'm sure it's lovely, but -- not to put too fine a point on it -- your college students* apparently come down to Boston, Massachusetts for Winter Break because the temperature hovers around freezing and there's ONLY three feet of snow, so your definition of what qualifies as a holiday may be somewhat questionable.

      (* I worked in a liquor store in downtown Boston for several years and saw a LOT of McGill student IDs every February.)

  29. Jake Maverick

    "We have no reports that private US citizens have been affected, "

    I call bullshit on this one! There are plenty of reports....'cept when we report it all us political dissidents are interned and then ass raped and tortured in mental prisons. They've been using them and refining the technology for decades. Now it seems other powers have got their hands on them to....Russia would be the obvious suspect to start fighting back/ defending themselves and have easy access through Cuba.....

    Other more famous TIs/ gang stalking victims (which is essentially the new name for MKultra/ contelpro) are Aaron Alexis, Myron May.....there are thousands if not tens of thousands of us though, all over the planet...

  30. This post has been deleted by its author

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