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American Diplomats being deafened Cuba with "covert sonic devices"

 
 
 
 
 
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A mysterious illness has struck down some American and Canadian diplomats in the Cuban capital Havana, with the symptoms including nausea, migraines, concussion-like brain injuries and long-term deafness.

While the details are sparse, reports suggest the diplomats may have fallen victim to some sort of “sonic attack”, with the finger pointed squarely at the Cuban Government.

One of the working theories at the moment is that the mysterious illness is somehow connected to infrasound — sound so low it is inaudible to humans.

This incident comes early in the diplomatic relationship between the US and Cuba, which began only two years ago when former president Barack Obama announced the US would be building connections with Cuba following a five-decade boycott.

While relations with Cuba have worsened since Donald Trump was inaugurated, there have been no overt displays of hostility between the two countries up until the discovery that some American diplomats have been suffering an unexplained illness.

Finger pointed at Cuban Government

Steve Dorsey from CBS Radio in Washington DC has been investigating this mystery, and he says the story is so unusual he found it difficult to believe.

“There was so much that harkened back to the days of the cold war that it was hard to believe at first,” Dorsey told Radio National.

Steve Dorsey’s source said as many as eight or nine American diplomats have had to curtail their assignments in Havana, potentially due to “acoustic devices” causing everything from migraines to sleeplessness to hearing loss.

At least one Canadian also reported symptoms.

The State Department admitted the first reports were from late 2016, but escalated in June 2017.

The Department has been reluctant to confirm the details Steve Dorsey reported, but did confirm the US was working with the Cuban Government to investigate.

“There’s a lot of theories about exactly what this is. Could it have been surveillance gone wrong, or deliberate harassment?” Dorsey said.

“It’s thought that these devices could have been hidden inside or outside the homes of diplomats, which were provided by the Cuban Government. It’s unclear whether it’s microwave technology, or some sort of sound device.”

Incident shrouded in Mystery

Dorsey’s source said at least one of the victims has been deaf for 10 months, and there are concerns it may be permanent.

Philippe Doneux is managing director of Acoustica, a Sydney company with 30 years’ experience making commercial and residential soundproofing.

“Yes, you can affect health. Like those new loudspeakers that are being used by some police forces,” Mr Doneux told Radio National.

Those giant loudspeakers, or “sound cannon”, used by police in riot-control operations, were adopted by Australian police last year, and while their extremely loud volume can damage hearing and make you unwell, they’re not subtle, and they make a noise like a fire alarm.

Experts say it would be impossible to use an advanced sound cannon surreptitiously to attack someone.

“If you’ve got very powerful sound waves, you vibrate all the atoms and molecules in your body, but you need a lot of power behind that to have that effect,” Mr Doneux said.

“You will have experienced this sensation at a concert or dance club, but you need powerful speaker drivers, and the diplomats would have noticed it immediately.”

Is it possible troops are being ‘secretly microwaved’?

The other option mentioned by Dorsey is microwaves experts say if you were secretly being microwaved, deafness would be the least of your worries, as it would be cooking all of the water in your body from the inside out.

While Philippe Doneux said surreptitiously attacking someone with high-powered sound would be unlikely, another expert from one of Australia’s leading universities said it would be possible, particularly considering the housing in Havana was provided by the Cuban Government.

He suggested if the Cuban Government built the homes with speakers built into the walls, they could potentially provide a low-frequency dose of sound over a long period of time that might go unnoticed.

Having said that, he said had never heard of anything like that being done before, and that it was pure speculation, hence why he didn’t want to attach his name to the quote.

So far, it appears not to have had an effect on the Australian diplomats in Havana.

“I did reach out to the Australians to see if they’re affected by this at all, and there’s no indication that they are,” Dorsey said.

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