US, Cuba, mystery diplomatic symptoms

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by FailyScaley, Sep 29, 2017.

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  1. If it looks like a duck...

    If various Western diplomatic personnel are suffering odd symptoms only in Cuba then for the Cubans to profess surprise is a tad ingenuous.
     
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  2. Having seen the effects (in 1968) of a strobe at 3,5Hz, perhaps a sub sonic projection at the same frequency would have similar debilitating results?
     
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  3. Cuban television did a show on the allegations that foreign diplomats (primarily the Americans) have been subjected to some sort of mysterious sonic weapon. Cuba presents defence against alleged sonic attacks

    The first thing to point out is that the Americans haven't given the Cubans access to any evidence such as eyewitness accounts or medical records that could be used to try to get to the bottom of things.
    The TV program said that the US delegation told them they didn't have any actual evidence that an attack occurred, and have no theory as to how such an attack would lead to the health symptoms being reported.
    I should also give a reminder that the Americans aren't accusing the Cubans of actually doing anything, just of not protecting the diplomats from whomever is supposedly doing it.

    To continue on, the reporters interviewed neighbours of the diplomats, who said they haven't heard any strange sounds or suffered any symptoms themselves.
    The Cuban government has been provided with three recordings of the supposed sonic attack which were made by the alleged victims. Analysis of the records showed the sounds to be very similar to those made by crickets and cicadas native to the area.
    The TV reporters noted that cicada and cricket noises can be loud enough to cause hearing loss and other medical problems.
    If that sounds (no pun intended) a bit hard to believe, here's a National Geographic video which explains how loud cicadas can be. The narrator in this one quotes sounds even louder (up to 100 db) than noted in the Cuban report.


    There are numerous other similar news reports about cicadas going back at least 10 years. Here's another example from 2011. Cicadas' Chirp Could Cause Hearing Damage, Professor Says | HuffPost
    There are of course many different species of cicadas, so it should be no surprise that different researchers are reporting different sound levels. They also appear to make different sounds, as the ones in the video above sound quite different from the ones which live around here (Canada). Hence, I suspect that if you travel to a different place you may not necessarily recognise the sounds made by the local cicadas.

    I have spoken with UK visitors who have remarked on how astonished they were as to how loud the cicadas we have here are. Generally the ones here tend to stick to the tops of tall trees, so while they are by far the loudest thing around during their breeding season on a hot, sunny, summer day, they're not really a problem and you learn to ignore them.

    I'm not necessarily convinced that cicadas are the cause of the alleged problems in Cuba. However, I wouldn't be surprised if the people in question were suffering from some sort of tropical disease such as a mosquito borne virus. Cicada noise however could be mistakenly associated with the symptoms which haven't been properly diagnosed because the way the symptoms are being reported has doctors looking for the wrong cause. This latter problem by the way isn't unusual either, as doctors in northern climates frequently don't recognise tropical diseases in patients who have brought them back from vacations.
     
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  4. Such weapons do exist, but why would Cuba do anything when they have just had sanctions lifted after many many years? More likely to be mischief from certain parties who want the sanctions put back asap.
     
  5. Oh I agree with that. If it is some naughtiness it's almost certainly a foreign player, not the Cubanos.
     
  6. More news on mysterious "Cuban sonic death ray".
    U.S. State Department to probe Cuba incidents amid skepticism of sonic attack theory
    Tillerson tells AP Cuba still risky; FBI doubts sonic attack

    The US State Department will investigate the unexplained health issues of American diplomats in Cuba.
    The investigation will include looking into whether the problem was actually caused by something like a virus. I believe that I mentioned in a previous post that a tropical virus was high on my own list of suspects.
    AP has reported that a new FBI report shows no evidence for the theory of a sonic weapon.
    Canadian diplomats were also affected by whatever the problem was. Canada found the Cubans to be co-operative with the Canadian investigation (although no specific cause was determined).

    The US government however are still saying though that although there's no evidence that connects the Cuban government to this problem, the US is still demanding that "someone" in the Cuban government "bring this to an end".
    Just what exactly the Cuban government is expected to do is even less clear. I suspect there are several issues at play here. One is that the US government has gone so far out on a limb with with the "sonic death ray" theory that they are afraid of being made laughing stocks if they were to back down from that now.

    The other is that the anti-Cuba lobby in the US has seized on this as a stick with which to beat Cuba and doesn't want to let go of it.

    The AP version of the report contains some misleading information which should be pointed out. The AP version notes that Canadian diplomats have been affected as well However, it does not include the facts that Canada has not bought into the "sonic death ray" theory and that Canada has found the Cubans to be co-operative with the Canadian investigation.
     
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  7. ISTR a similar outbreak in KAF. Yanks were convinced it was TB poisoning. Didn't go down the poorly prepared, out of date food in the supreme cookhouse.
     
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  8. This is complete nonsense.

    It’s a mass psychogenic event. Bookloads of medical evidence to support this.

    There is no scientific basis for a “sonic weapon” which just targets Septics and Canucks. Don’t Cubans and other nationalities have ears?

    Even the sonic weapons that do exist are pretty much rubbish. Someone has been listening to too much Hawkwind.

    There is no commonality of symptoms across the affected individuals and nobody has been given access to their medical records.

    The US attitude is “any stick is fine for beating my enemy with”.


    Sonic Weapons in Cuba

    "Sonic Attacks" at the US Embassy in Cuba - Mass Hysteria?

    “Sonic Attack” or Mass Hysteria?
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2018
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