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Modern Mysteries

Cuba 'sonic attacks' could be accidental

By T.K. Randall
March 3, 2018 · Comment icon 7 comments



Could ultrasound interference be responsible ? Image Credit: GFDL Roger McLassus
Scientists may have found an alternative explanation for the strange sounds heard by diplomats in Havana.
The phenomenon, which has targeted embassy personnel and sparked a breakdown of international relations between Cuba and the United States, was first made public in August.

Thought to involve the use of sonic weapons, the attacks have been directly targeting the hotel rooms of US diplomats and have induced a range of symptoms that include hearing loss, dizziness, balance problems, visual complaints, headache, fatigue, cognitive issues and difficulty sleeping.

Now though, computer scientists from the University of Michigan believe that they may have finally solved the mystery and that these so-called 'attacks' may actually be entirely accidental.

The key, they argue, lies in the interference produced when two ultrasound listening devices are placed too close together.
Such an intense sound could account for some of the symptoms being experienced by the victims.

The team reached this conclusion by reverse-engineering a recording of the audio and by combining various ultrasound sources in an attempt to reproduce what the diplomats would have heard.

"When a second inaudible ultrasonic source interfered with the primary inaudible ultrasonic source, intermodulation distortion created audible byproducts that share spectral characteristics with [the recording]," they wrote.

While their findings are inconclusive, their explanation for these incidents is certainly compelling.

"The devices put in by the Cubans could have caused problems that no one knew could happen," said former US diplomat James Cason. "If this finally solves the mystery of sonic attacks, it is likely that Cubans will never admit it. They would have to recognize that they have eavesdropping devices everywhere, and that they will never say."

Source: Miami Herald | Comments (7)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Not A Rockstar 5 years ago
So this is a case of Spy V Spy and too many bugs in their rooms? If true, I do not see it as being accidental. Unforeseen consequence maybe, but not accidental.
Comment icon #2 Posted by ChaosRose 5 years ago
I'm not buying it.
Comment icon #3 Posted by JESUS A TORRES 5 years ago
Typical for that kind of regime - No surprise at all...
Comment icon #4 Posted by RoofGardener 5 years ago
Sounds highly implausible to me. Why would a listening device produce ultrasound ? Or sound of any deion ?†
Comment icon #5 Posted by Hammerclaw 5 years ago
The Chinese and Russian bugs were placed too close together causing resonance feedback producing inaudible high frequency sonic effects.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Calibeliever 5 years ago
Interesting theory. I don't understand the science but it passes the smell test. I never did figure out what the Cubans would have to gain from 'attacking' diplomats in such a bizarre fashion. But inadvertently causing harm because they didn't know how to properly operate their equipment sounds much more plausible.
Comment icon #7 Posted by JAT 5 years ago
Interesting, isn't it? - It seems that some Cuban operatives are kind of stupid - Well, who knows... †


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