In November 2016, American diplomats in Cuba complained of persistent, high-pitched sounds followed by a range of symptoms, including headaches, nausea and hearing loss.
Exams of nearly two dozen of them eventually revealed signs of concussions or other brain injuries, and speculation about the cause turned to weapons that blast sound [nytimes.com] or microwaves [nytimes.com]. Amid an international uproar, a recording of the sinister droning was widely circulated in the news media.
On Friday, two scientists presented evidence that those sounds were not so mysterious after all. They were made by crickets, the researchers concluded.
That's not to say that the diplomats weren't attacked, the scientists added — only that the recording is not of a sonic weapon, as had been suggested.
Alexander Stubbs of the University of California, Berkeley, and Fernando Montealegre-Z of the University of Lincoln in England studied a recording of the sounds made by diplomats and published by The Associated Press [youtube.com]. "There's plenty of debate in the medical community over what, if any, physical damage there is to these individuals," said Mr. Stubbs in a phone interview. "All I can say fairly definitively is that the A.P.-released recording is of a cricket, and we think we know what species it is."
Recording of "sonic attacks" on U.S. diplomats in Cuba spectrally matches the echoing call of a Caribbean cricket [biorxiv.org] (open, DOI: 10.1101/510834) (DX [doi.org])
Previously: US Embassy Employees in Cuba Possibly Subjected to 'Acoustic Attack' [soylentnews.org]
A 'Sonic Attack' on Diplomats in Cuba? These Scientists Doubt It [soylentnews.org]
Cuban Embassy Victims Experiencing Neurological Symptoms [soylentnews.org]
Computer Scientists May Have Solved the Mystery Behind the 'Sonic Attacks' in Cuban Embassy [soylentnews.org]
Sonic Attack? U.S. Issues Health Alert After Employee Experiences Brain Trauma in Guangzhou, China [soylentnews.org]
Two US Diplomats Evacuated From China Amid 'Sonic Attack' Concerns [soylentnews.org]
Latest Explanation for Cuban Embassy Symptoms: Microwave Weapons [soylentnews.org]