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posted by mrpg on Saturday February 17 2018, @08:01PM   Printer-friendly
from the signal-to-noise-ratio dept.

Diplomats and other victims of mysterious "sonic attacks" at the American embassy in Havana, Cuba are experiencing neurological symptoms months after being affected:

A preliminary case report on the victims of mysterious "health attacks" in Havana, Cuba details the results of extensive clinical evaluations, concluding that the individuals appear to have sustained "injury to widespread brain networks without an associated history of head trauma."

The report offers the first medical glimpse of the victims—US government personnel and their families who were serving on diplomatic assignment in Havana. From late 2016 to August 2017, they reported experiencing bizarre and inexplicable sonic and sensory episodes. The episodes tended to include directional, irritating sounds, such as buzzing and piercing squeals, as well as pressure and vibrations. Afterward, the victims developed a constellation of neurological symptoms.

In clinical evaluations of 21 of 24 individuals affected, an interdisciplinary team of doctors at University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine retrospectively pieced together symptoms—an average of 203 days after individuals were exposed. They found that the most common issues persisting more than three months after exposure were cognitive impairment (17/21); balance issues (15/21); visual (18/21) and hearing (15/21) problems; sleep impairment (18/21); and headaches (16/21).

Previously: U.S. State Department Pulls Employees From Cuba, Issues Travel Warning Due to "Sonic Attacks"
A 'Sonic Attack' on Diplomats in Cuba? These Scientists Doubt It


Original Submission

Related Stories

US Embassy Employees in Cuba Possibly Subjected to 'Acoustic Attack' 12 comments

The US believes several State Department employees at the US embassy in Havana were subjected to an "acoustic attack" using sonic devices that left at least two with such serious health problems they needed to be brought back to the US for treatment, several senior State Department officials told CNN. One official said the employees could have suffered permanent hearing loss as a result.

The employees affected were not at the same place at the same time, but suffered a variety of physical symptoms since late 2016 which resembled concussions.

Conspiracy theory fodder, or actually possible?

alt links:
https://archive.fo/yZB5q
https://web.archive.org/web/20170809231552/http://edition.cnn.com/2017/08/09/politics/us-cuba-acoustic-attack-embassy/index.html


Original Submission

U.S. State Department Pulls Employees From Cuba, Issues Travel Warning Due to "Sonic Attacks" 15 comments

State Department orders nonessential diplomats and families out of Cuba following mysterious attacks

The US State Department is pulling out all families of employees and nonessential personnel from Cuba, after a string of mysterious attacks against US diplomats.

Several US officials tell CNN that 21 US diplomats and family members became ill after apparent sonic attacks. The American embassy will continue to operate with a 60% reduction in staff. The officials said the US will stop issuing visas in Cuba effective immediately because of the staff reductions and the decision is not described as a retaliatory measure. Officials say there will still be consular officials in the embassy available to assist US citizens in Cuba.

The State Department is also issuing a travel warning, urging Americans not to travel to Cuba because they could also be at risk as some of the attacks against diplomats have taken place at hotels where Americans stay, a senior State Department official told reporters Friday.

Also at the Miami Herald, BBC, and NYT:

Some of those attacked have suffered significant injuries, with symptoms including hearing loss, dizziness, tinnitus, balance and visual problems, headache, fatigue, cognitive issues and difficulty sleeping. But despite an intensive investigation by the F.B.I., the cause and perpetrators of the attacks remain a mystery, with some experts speculating that some kind of sonic weapon or faulty surveillance device may have been at fault.

Related: US Embassy Employees in Cuba Possibly Subjected to 'Acoustic Attack'


Original Submission

A ‘Sonic Attack’ on Diplomats in Cuba? These Scientists Doubt It 41 comments

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 Jürgen Altmann, a physicist at the Technische Universität Dortmund in Germany and an expert on acoustics.

Once again, the New York Times gets it wrong. James Bond is not the movie genre they're looking for.

mrpg also brings us this less-critical AP report, What Americans Heard in Cuba Attacks: The Sound.


Original Submission

Latest Explanation for Cuban Embassy Symptoms: Microwave Weapons 45 comments

Spooky Theory on Ills of U.S. Diplomats in Cuba (archive)

During the Cold War, Washington feared that Moscow was seeking to turn microwave radiation into covert weapons of mind control. More recently, the American military itself sought to develop microwave arms that could invisibly beam painfully loud booms and even spoken words into people's heads. The aims were to disable attackers and wage psychological warfare.

Now, doctors and scientists say such unconventional weapons may have caused the baffling symptoms and ailments that, starting in late 2016, hit more than three dozen American diplomats and family members in Cuba and China. The Cuban incidents resulted in a diplomatic rupture between Havana and Washington.

The medical team that examined 21 affected diplomats from Cuba made no mention of microwaves in its detailed report [open, DOI: 10.1001/jama.2018.1742] [DX] published in JAMA in March. But Douglas H. Smith, the study's lead author and director of the Center for Brain Injury and Repair at the University of Pennsylvania, said in a recent interview that microwaves were now considered a main suspect and that the team was increasingly sure the diplomats had suffered brain injury. "Everybody was relatively skeptical at first," he said, "and everyone now agrees there's something there." Dr. Smith remarked that the diplomats and doctors jokingly refer to the trauma as the immaculate concussion.

Strikes with microwaves, some experts now argue, more plausibly explain reports of painful sounds, ills and traumas than do other possible culprits — sonic attacks, viral infections and contagious anxiety. In particular, a growing number of analysts cite an eerie phenomenon known as the Frey effect, named after Allan H. Frey, an American scientist. Long ago, he found that microwaves can trick the brain into perceiving what seem to be ordinary sounds.

Mentioned in the article: JASON, which is also investigating the attacks and considering the possibility of microwaves causing the symptoms.

Previously: US Embassy Employees in Cuba Possibly Subjected to 'Acoustic Attack'
U.S. State Department Pulls Employees From Cuba, Issues Travel Warning Due to "Sonic Attacks"
A 'Sonic Attack' on Diplomats in Cuba? These Scientists Doubt It
Cuban Embassy Victims Experiencing Neurological Symptoms
Computer Scientists May Have Solved the Mystery Behind the 'Sonic Attacks' in Cuban Embassy


Original Submission

Sonic Attack? U.S. Issues Health Alert After Employee Experiences Brain Trauma in Guangzhou, China 27 comments

A U.S. government health alert has sparked comparisons to symptoms experienced by State Department employees in Cuba:

US officials have issued a health alert after a US government employee stationed in southern China reported "abnormal sensations of sound and pressure" that indicated a mild brain injury.

The official, assigned to the city of Guangzhou, reported a range of physical symptoms from late 2017 through to April 2018, and was sent back to the United States for assessment, the State Department said. The US Embassy in Beijing learned on May 18 that the clinical findings of the evaluation matched that of a "mild traumatic brain injury," an embassy spokeswoman told CNN.

The alert will raise comparisons with a series of unexplained incidents in Cuba that led to the withdrawal of most US personnel from the embassy in Havana. The cause of those incidents, reported in late 2016 and early 2017, still remains a mystery.

[...] The State Department said in its Wednesday statement that anyone who experienced "unusual acute auditory or sensory phenomena" while in China should move away from the source of the noise.

Also at BBC, CNBC, South China Morning Post, and MarketWatch.

Related: US Embassy Employees in Cuba Possibly Subjected to 'Acoustic Attack'
U.S. State Department Pulls Employees From Cuba, Issues Travel Warning Due to "Sonic Attacks"
A 'Sonic Attack' on Diplomats in Cuba? These Scientists Doubt It
Cuban Embassy Victims Experiencing Neurological Symptoms
Computer Scientists May Have Solved the Mystery Behind the 'Sonic Attacks' in Cuban Embassy


Original Submission

Politics: Two US Diplomats Evacuated From China Amid 'Sonic Attack' Concerns 32 comments

Two American diplomats stationed in China were reportedly evacuated from the region after being sickened by a mysterious ailment linked to odd sounds.

The two Americans evacuated worked at the American Consulate in the southern city of Guangzhou, the New York Times reported Wednesday, adding that their colleagues and relatives are also being tested by a State Department medical team.

American officials have been worried for months that American diplomats and their families in Cuba -- and now China -- have been subjected to a "sonic attack," leading to symptoms similar to those "following concussion or minor traumatic brain injury," the State Department said in a statement Tuesday.

The new cases broaden a medical mystery that began affecting American diplomats and their families in Cuba in 2016. Since then, 24 Americans stationed in Havana have experienced dizziness, headaches, fatigue, hearing loss and cognitive issues, the State Department said.

[...] The nature of the injury, and whether a common cause exists, hasn't been established yet, the department said.

Previously: Sonic Attack? U.S. Issues Health Alert After Employee Experiences Brain Trauma in Guangzhou, China

Related: US Embassy Employees in Cuba Possibly Subjected to 'Acoustic Attack'
U.S. State Department Pulls Employees From Cuba, Issues Travel Warning Due to "Sonic Attacks"
A 'Sonic Attack' on Diplomats in Cuba? These Scientists Doubt It
Cuban Embassy Victims Experiencing Neurological Symptoms
Computer Scientists May Have Solved the Mystery Behind the 'Sonic Attacks' in Cuban Embassy


Original Submission

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  • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 17 2018, @08:10PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 17 2018, @08:10PM (#639439)

    Havana Ha Ha Ha
    Half of my head is in Havana Ha Ha Ha
    Other half in East Atlanta ha ha ha
    Half of my head is in Havana
    There's something bout that sound yeah
    Havana Ha Ha Ha

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 17 2018, @08:10PM (33 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 17 2018, @08:10PM (#639440)
    • (Score: 3, Informative) by frojack on Saturday February 17 2018, @08:15PM (19 children)

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Saturday February 17 2018, @08:15PM (#639442) Journal
      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 17 2018, @08:33PM (10 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 17 2018, @08:33PM (#639445)

        No, that is something entirely different. The reported effects are unlikely to be the result of a "sonic weapon". I'd be looking at microwaves [medicaldaily.com] first and I'd start by eliminating the possibility of a malfunctioning device within the embassy.

        • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 17 2018, @10:17PM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 17 2018, @10:17PM (#639483)

          Yup. And are they sure there are no other cause in the environment? Bad paint? Sick building? Built on a chemical dump? I dunno. Maybe the sonic stuff is symptoms, not causes.

          • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 17 2018, @10:35PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 17 2018, @10:35PM (#639489)

            Embassy was built on an ancient Taíno graveyard.

        • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Sunday February 18 2018, @01:36AM (1 child)

          by HiThere (866) Subscriber Badge on Sunday February 18 2018, @01:36AM (#639552)

          Considering everything I'd be looking first for some disease organism, and then for an allergic reaction.

          OTOH, I'm no medic.

          --
          Put not your faith in princes.
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 18 2018, @05:27AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 18 2018, @05:27AM (#639610)

            Amazing! I'm sure the "interdisciplinary team of doctors at University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine" never considered the possibility. Have you considered proposing yourself to lead the "interdisciplinary team of doctors at University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine "? I'm sure they would find a room for you with extra soft padded walls.

        • (Score: 2) by driverless on Sunday February 18 2018, @04:53AM (4 children)

          by driverless (4770) on Sunday February 18 2018, @04:53AM (#639604)

          A much simpler explanation is sick building syndrome, which the embassy actually is: They had to spend a ton of money in the 1990s trying to revamp it because of this problem. Looks like they didn't quite succeed.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 18 2018, @05:31AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 18 2018, @05:31AM (#639613)

            Sick building syndrone: "These symptoms appear to be linked to time spent in a building, though no specific illness or cause can be identified"

            How the FUCK is this a much simpler explanation? Perhaps Jesus is putting LSD in the water supply at night because nobody's praying enough - that's a simple explanation, right?

          • (Score: 2) by beckett on Sunday February 18 2018, @05:54AM (1 child)

            by beckett (1115) on Sunday February 18 2018, @05:54AM (#639620)

            What evidence do you have it's the building causing neurological symptoms? if you claim it is due to a reno done in the '90s, there should be a number of cases of these types of disease from the past two decades, as well as reports of deafness.

            Is there any history of building residents becoming sick with similar damage? please post anything you might have; it would be very interesting if you have epidemiology on this building.

            • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 18 2018, @02:16PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 18 2018, @02:16PM (#639701)

              The Feng Shui is probably all wrong. One time I moved the sofa in my living room and got terrible pains until I moved it off my foot. Made a huge difference.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 19 2018, @12:53PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 19 2018, @12:53PM (#640062)

            5 Canadian diplomatic staff reported similar symptoms. Mass hysteria could still account for this, but I doubt that environmental contamination local to the US embassy could.

      • (Score: 1) by tftp on Saturday February 17 2018, @08:38PM (7 children)

        by tftp (806) Subscriber Badge on Saturday February 17 2018, @08:38PM (#639447) Homepage
        ""Long Range Acoustic Devices, which emit an ear-splitting whine, were used intermittently throughout the day" one reporter wrote" - was such a whine heard by the embassy staff? If not, the known LRADs could not be involved.
        • (Score: 2) by takyon on Saturday February 17 2018, @08:48PM (4 children)

          by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Saturday February 17 2018, @08:48PM (#639451) Journal

          Set it to "harsh silence" (>28 kHz).

          --
          [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
          • (Score: 1) by tftp on Saturday February 17 2018, @08:55PM

            by tftp (806) Subscriber Badge on Saturday February 17 2018, @08:55PM (#639455) Homepage
            Ultrasound doesn't penetrate walls. That's why we use it in sensors. All this covered in the Scientific American article linked above by an AC.
          • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 17 2018, @09:02PM (2 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 17 2018, @09:02PM (#639459)

            Set it to "harsh silence" (>28 kHz).

            The frequency response of monitor loudspeakers with ribbon tweeters extends to 50kHz, I'm sat right in front of a pair. Predominant research into ultrasound is as a treatment for brain injury [fusfoundation.org] not as a viable weapon. [wikipedia.org]

            • (Score: 2) by takyon on Saturday February 17 2018, @10:02PM (1 child)

              by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <takyonNO@SPAMsoylentnews.org> on Saturday February 17 2018, @10:02PM (#639477) Journal

              Ultrasound might be safe for the brain, until you crank up the decibels.

              See also transcranial direct current stimulation [wikipedia.org] vs. electroshock therapy [wikipedia.org].

              --
              [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
              • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 17 2018, @10:33PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 17 2018, @10:33PM (#639488)

                Ultrasound might be safe for the brain, until you crank up the decibels.

                This applies to all sound, some doesn't even require excessive replay level - Miley Cyrus songs for example.

                You'd be aware if a product like this was in use. [argoasecurity.com] If you care to pull up a table of sound absorption coefficients and keep the inverse square law in mind, it should become apparent that something like this would not be effective operated from outside a building.

        • (Score: 2) by frojack on Saturday February 17 2018, @11:16PM (1 child)

          by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Saturday February 17 2018, @11:16PM (#639508) Journal

          If not, the known LRADs could not be involved.

          Why would you suspect a KNOWN LRAD was used? Do Cuban's patent their clandestine tools with the US Patent Office?
          They would change any known design to be far less detectable.

          The statement was asserted that there was no such weapon known. Yet two seconds of google search shows that there are several such things from many manufacturers both in the US and other countries that are on the market.

          Who knows what else is in the inventory of government agencies, or embedded in the walls of the long vacant embassy. People in the embassy did hear things, loud things, things so loud they would overrun any available microphone and not be recorded.

          --
          No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
          • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 17 2018, @11:44PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 17 2018, @11:44PM (#639518)

            The statement was asserted that there was no such weapon known. Yet two seconds of google search shows that there are several such things from many manufacturers both in the US and other countries that are on the market.

            Sadly, none are capable of violating the laws of physics.

            embedded in the walls of the long vacant embassy.

            There's no plausible scenario where this proposed "sonic weapon" could have originated from outside the building.

            At 50kHz, you're losing 2.4dB/M due to the absorption coefficient of air and a building is going to have a minimum STC rating (for audible frequencies) of 50dB. At ultrasonic frequencies, the absorption coefficient of a building is 1.0 or above. I've worked with shotgun mics (interference tube like the LRAD but in reverse) and parabolas and you'd not stand outside a building and record a conversation occurring inside.

            People in the embassy did hear things, loud things, things so loud they would overrun any available microphone and not be recorded.

            Nobody is disputing this.

            I've already suggested microwaves, as did this AC. [soylentnews.org] Which seems more likely, sonic weapon or microwaves? [nytimes.com]

    • (Score: 4, Funny) by Whoever on Saturday February 17 2018, @08:43PM (1 child)

      by Whoever (4524) on Saturday February 17 2018, @08:43PM (#639449) Journal

      No such "sonic weapon" is known to exist.

      That's because, obviously, their injuries came about as a result of living in a communist country and nothing else!

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 18 2018, @06:06AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 18 2018, @06:06AM (#639625)

        Not to mention the socialized government healthcare they received when they came back to the USA. Get those people back on their own 2 feet and taking pride in themselves then we'll see those symptoms magically disappear (as well as the healthcare leeches that accompany them).

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by JNCF on Saturday February 17 2018, @08:48PM (9 children)

      by JNCF (4317) on Saturday February 17 2018, @08:48PM (#639450) Journal

      Scary thought: what if we attacked a human body with a sonic weapon that was tuned to the resonant frequencies of that body's constituent components? I once knew a man quite a bit older than myself who claimed that such a weapon had been tested on him during his military years, and that he had signed papers promising his silence on the subject. If true, he was surprisingly loose with the information. I never fully trusted him. He said that it gave him a wide range of symptoms (they tested different frequencies at different times) including permanent partial hearing loss, balance loss to the point of not being able to stand, headaches, various bodily pains, vomiting, pissing, and shitting. That last bit sounds like it came out of a South Park episode, I know.

      You have no reason to unconditionally believe me, and I have no reason to unconditionally believe my unnamed source, but it wouldn't be particularly surprising to me if world governments have had access to sonic weapons of this nature for the last half-century.

      • (Score: 1) by tftp on Saturday February 17 2018, @08:59PM (1 child)

        by tftp (806) Subscriber Badge on Saturday February 17 2018, @08:59PM (#639458) Homepage
        First we need to ask ourselves what, if any, components are capable of resonance. This is a function of quality of a resonant system, directly linked to losses. A chain of steel balls on strings has very high quality, and they can swing and hit each other for a long time. Replace steel balls with meat and you get... nothing.
        • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 18 2018, @02:10AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 18 2018, @02:10AM (#639562)

          A chain of steel balls on strings has very high quality, and they can swing and hit each other for a long time. Replace steel balls with meat and you get... nothing.

          meatballs

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by JoeMerchant on Saturday February 17 2018, @09:08PM (1 child)

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Saturday February 17 2018, @09:08PM (#639461)

        a man quite a bit older than myself ... he was surprisingly loose with the information.

        When you get old enough, you stop caring what they might do to you - it's unlikely (in this country) that they'll come after your descendants, if you even have any.

        We tested a therapeutic device tuned to one resonant frequency of the thoracic cavity, around 2 Hz - displace the body with about 1/4g of sinusoidal acceleration at 2 Hz and you stimulate increased bloodflow in the organs, release of endogenous nitric oxide which further dilates the vessels and increases circulation.

        Seems like your un-named source was being hit with much higher frequencies, but still mechanical, and not for therapeutic effects.

        Seems like the embassy victims were being neuro-stimulated with the signals, and it's not unreasonable to think that a few days of continuous sub-conscious stimulation could cause some nasty, and lasting effects.

        • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 17 2018, @09:27PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 17 2018, @09:27PM (#639466)

          A 2Hz sine wave has a wavelength of 171.5 Meters, a loudspeaker that can project that at amplitude and with sufficient damping that most of the energy isn't output as structural vibration would be difficult to hide. With a lower frequency (longer wavelength) you need more mass to block sound while ultrasound would require massive amplitude to transmit through a partition wall. When we add in considerations like the inverse square law, we may as well start claiming this "sonic weapon" was powered by a perpetual motion machine.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 17 2018, @09:11PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 17 2018, @09:11PM (#639462)

        You would have to target resonant modes of skull cavities or vital organs which differ in size between people and at the amplitude required, you'd deafen them first. Surely sound waves can be insidious enough [mindvalley.com] without venturing into Exploding head, David Cronenberg territory?

      • (Score: 3, Funny) by krishnoid on Saturday February 17 2018, @10:46PM

        by krishnoid (1156) on Saturday February 17 2018, @10:46PM (#639495)

        ... he had signed papers promising his silence on the subject. If true, he was surprisingly loose with the information.
        ...
        He said that it gave him a wide range of symptoms (they tested different frequencies at different times) including permanent partial hearing loss, balance loss to the point of not being able to stand, headaches, various bodily pains, vomiting, pissing, and shitting. That last bit sounds like it came out of a South Park episode, I know.

        Plus decreased inhibition about describing personally embarrassing things he signed NDAs on, apparently.

      • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Sunday February 18 2018, @01:00AM (1 child)

        by FatPhil (863) <reversethis-{if.fdsa} {ta} {tnelyos-cp}> on Sunday February 18 2018, @01:00AM (#639546) Homepage
        Remind me how resonance works in the presence of such high damping?
        --
        Life is a precious commodity. A wise investor would get rid of it when it has the highest value.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 18 2018, @01:12AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 18 2018, @01:12AM (#639549)

          Remind me how resonance works in the presence of such high damping?

          How damp are we going here? Are you aware that even water has resonance? [lsbu.ac.uk]

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 18 2018, @06:11AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 18 2018, @06:11AM (#639628)

        Funny you mention it. There's a former military guy who lives under the bridge near me who talks (to himself mainly) about medical experiments done on him. He's got syphillus so, yeah, I guess he was right about that ;)

    • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Sunday February 18 2018, @06:58AM

      by c0lo (156) on Sunday February 18 2018, @06:58AM (#639638)

      Sonic weapon, no.
      Son cubano [wikipedia.org], yes.
      And it's truly [youtube.com] enjoyable [youtube.com], especially on hot days with a Havana Club dark aged rum handy.
      I'd be happy to mention cigars, but many here have a too righteous spirit.

  • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 17 2018, @09:16PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 17 2018, @09:16PM (#639463)

    This still looks like an instance of the Microwave Auditory Effect [wikipedia.org].

  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by leftover on Sunday February 18 2018, @12:51AM (10 children)

    by leftover (2448) on Sunday February 18 2018, @12:51AM (#639543)

    Anyone who has had their head in an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scanner can attest that it produces the effect of loud noise. Metallic clanging and quickly-clamped bangs are how I describe it. They sound like they are produced mechanically but they are not. The problem with this as an attack vector is the extreme difficulty of producing strong enough magnetic fields without the equipment being quite more than noticeable. Steel objects flying around would also be noticeable.

    --
    Bent, folded, spindled, and mutilated.
    • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Sunday February 18 2018, @01:05AM (4 children)

      by FatPhil (863) <reversethis-{if.fdsa} {ta} {tnelyos-cp}> on Sunday February 18 2018, @01:05AM (#639547) Homepage
      Pretty sure I had an MRI. Went into some friggin big head-scanning device. Didn't notice any acoustic effects. And I'm the guy who can still hear the horizontal refresh flyback on CRT monotors.
      --
      Life is a precious commodity. A wise investor would get rid of it when it has the highest value.
      • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Sunday February 18 2018, @01:11AM

        by FatPhil (863) <reversethis-{if.fdsa} {ta} {tnelyos-cp}> on Sunday February 18 2018, @01:11AM (#639548) Homepage
        Oh, yeah, and I forgot to add - no concussion or damage was found, and I had to pay a massive 5e for the whole procedure/consultation. No, it's not free - we don't want time-wasters slowing the system down. Socialised healthcare for the win. (Which is completely unrelated to the compulsory-insurance system that Romney (Republican) came up with, and which Donny Danktard (Republican) just abolished.
        --
        Life is a precious commodity. A wise investor would get rid of it when it has the highest value.
      • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Sunday February 18 2018, @01:44AM (1 child)

        by HiThere (866) Subscriber Badge on Sunday February 18 2018, @01:44AM (#639559)

        Sounds more likely to have been a CAT scan. That's XRays rather than magnets.
        I remember the "loud clanking sounds" from when I had an MRI...I did think they were mechanical, and never checked.

        --
        Put not your faith in princes.
      • (Score: 1) by mrkaos on Monday February 19 2018, @12:19AM

        by mrkaos (997) on Monday February 19 2018, @12:19AM (#639884)

        Pretty sure I had an MRI. Went into some friggin big head-scanning device. Didn't notice any acoustic effects. And I'm the guy who can still hear the horizontal refresh flyback on CRT monotors.

        I to can hear CRT monitors and have had my hearing checked as excellent. I heard exactly what the OP was talking about during a head MRI, I thought they were mechanical noises.

        --
        My ism, it's full of beliefs.
    • (Score: 4, Informative) by ben_white on Sunday February 18 2018, @01:37AM (4 children)

      by ben_white (5531) on Sunday February 18 2018, @01:37AM (#639553)

      They sound like they are produced mechanically but they are not.

      Wrong. The sounds in an MRI scanner are mechanical in origin. They are from vibrations in the gradient coils when rapid changes in current are applied.

      • (Score: 1, Troll) by leftover on Sunday February 18 2018, @02:39AM (3 children)

        by leftover (2448) on Sunday February 18 2018, @02:39AM (#639568)

        Sorry but nope. They can not be heard by anyone outside the field. Very thoroughly investigated.

        --
        Bent, folded, spindled, and mutilated.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 18 2018, @06:18AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 18 2018, @06:18AM (#639629)

          So wrong.

          I work with MRI every day and the noise is absolutely mechanical in origin and is heard by everyone in the vicinity. If you ever did the high-school experiment where you generate current in a wire by moving a magnet next to it then you have the explanation. The only difference in the MRI machine is that the current is changing in a static magnetic field.... which generates motion in the the wires surrounding the magnet cryostat, which creates the sound.

        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by tonyPick on Sunday February 18 2018, @10:54AM (1 child)

          by tonyPick (1237) on Sunday February 18 2018, @10:54AM (#639666) Homepage Journal

          They can not be heard by anyone outside the field

          Seriously, the first result on Google: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/17/science/why-mri-machines-make-that-loud-noise.html [nytimes.com]

          The pulses cause not just the desired changes but undesired vibrations of the gradient coils, resulting in the banging heard during an M.R.I. examination.

          As stronger magnets result in stronger vibrations, the higher the field strength of the M.R.I. scanner, measured in teslas, the louder the banging, Dr. Hentel said.

          On a side note: I've been in an MRI a couple of times, and you can hear them running from the adjacent waiting room.

          One time I got earplugs and the last time I had earplugs and headphones on me piping in local radio over them just to keep the noise down. Five more minutes of 90's pop and I'd have hit the damn panic button.

          • (Score: 2) by leftover on Sunday February 18 2018, @05:18PM

            by leftover (2448) on Sunday February 18 2018, @05:18PM (#639743)

            My source references were first-hand [unfortunately extensive] experience followed by discussions with engineers who did the testing under contract with the FDA. Perhaps early devices let some coils bang around but that could not have produced the high audio frequency components of the "clang" sounds I experienced. The closest I came to reproducing the sound mechanically used two pieces of cold-rolled steel bar, 3/8x2x36, whacked together crosswise on the 2" faces at approximately midpoint. The MRI sounds decayed much faster and varied with the machine settings Those BF coils would shrug off any signal at those frequencies so it does seem likely that the direct mechanism is microwave, as mentioned in an earlier post.

            Also, newer machines are really quiet mechanically but the clanging and banging are as loud as ever. Aside: The first device in my experience, in the early 1980s, had a bore diameter of 18" and was pretty rough in its mechanical movement. I had to stretch my arms above my head and offset my shoulders, couldn't inhale fully. Quite memorable.

            --
            Bent, folded, spindled, and mutilated.
  • (Score: 1) by Sulla on Sunday February 18 2018, @01:32AM (5 children)

    by Sulla (5173) on Sunday February 18 2018, @01:32AM (#639550) Journal

    The cigars coming out of Nicaragua and DR are a much higher quality than comes out of Cuba but people fall for the meme that they are better because they are banned. Cuban cigars have all sorts of side effects along with general being worse than their non-cuban counterparts. I imagine that a shipment of quality cigars from DR and a cessation of any cuban cigar use will prove to make them all healthy again.

    --
    "I'd rather take a political risk for peace rather than risk peace in pursuit of politics" - President Donald J. Trump
    • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Sunday February 18 2018, @01:39AM (1 child)

      by HiThere (866) Subscriber Badge on Sunday February 18 2018, @01:39AM (#639556)

      An interesting point. Check for allergens to something associated with Cuban cigars. Or Cuban food. I have a real hard time believing in this "sonic weapon", but there could certainly be an allergic reaction to something in the environment. Still, my first thought is some local disease.

      --
      Put not your faith in princes.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 18 2018, @06:23AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 18 2018, @06:23AM (#639632)

        Thanks, I'll forward your post to the interdisciplinary team of doctors at University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine so they can run with your idea. Would you be available to consult with them on the theory of allergy or some local disease? Your knowledge in these areas would greatly help the interdisciplinary team of doctors at University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 18 2018, @02:29AM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 18 2018, @02:29AM (#639566)

      Cuban cigars have all sorts of side effects

      Need cubancigar11 to confirm - who needs "sonic weapons" when we have tobacco to balme?

      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Sunday February 18 2018, @07:09AM

        by c0lo (156) on Sunday February 18 2018, @07:09AM (#639642)

        Cuban cigars have all sorts of side effects

        Need @cubancigar11 to confirm - who needs "sonic weapons" when we have tobacco to balme?

        The side defects disappear when the cigars are taken with Cuban rum.
        No, the generiified Bacardi stuff is a pale substitute.

      • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Sunday February 18 2018, @02:57PM

        by Phoenix666 (552) Subscriber Badge on Sunday February 18 2018, @02:57PM (#639718) Journal

        Early European adopters of tobacco use did claim it was a balme.

        --
        Washington DC delenda est.
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