Another really interesting point is the description of the hyper localized nature of the sound -- present in one part of the room and not another. Its really hard to localize a sound signal, as anyone who has worked with parabolic speakers can attest. Yes, there can be focal points, but the sound definitely drifts out to the surrounding areas to a significant degree.
One example of hyperlocalized sound perception is Lamont Young's 'Dream House' installation in NYC  Although not captured in video documentation, there are distinct and significant microtonal shifts that are easily perceptible as you move through the space caused by standing waves produced through the interaction of the tone generators and the architecture. But this happens within the context of a loud drone that fills the whole room. Not at all what is described by the diplomats and family members.
I hope they can get to the bottom of this and I hope that more information is made public.
This is the best bet I've seen since this story broke.
> In 1962, Allan H. Frey discovered that the microwave auditory effect, i.e., the reception of the induced sounds by radio-frequency electromagnetic signals heard as clicks and buzzes, can be blocked by a patch of wire mesh (rather than foil) placed above the temporal lobe.
I'm ready http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/weirdalfoil_232...
Personally I think something much more benign is probably the answer. Maybe someone introduced drugs into their food/water? Sometimes a noise is just a noise.
There is also an easy way to test whether the sound is actual sound conducted in air or the effect of microwave exposure: ear plugs.
How it works: you can hear a high frequency wave if its modulated at audible frequency. If it's switched on and off at a relatively low frequency, you can sense the presence and absence of the high-frequency vibrations. Those waves are poorly absorbed from the air, but once they make it into the body they are transmitted much more easily by tissues besides bone. So your ears are not much better than the rest of your skin, which acts like a funnel for sound, diverting it to your cochlea.
I agree it might be unlikely that one signal might induce sound in a human that sounds like the sound a recorder might record - but I don't know. I just know that it's trivial for radiation to fool sound equipment (eg: cell phone signal too close to a speaker/mic/amplifier).
However, if this is a sophisticated weapon, there might be two signals: high power that target humans, lower power that target recording equipment?
as with anything else: it's about the amount of energy you put into it.
Focused ultrasound would be completely capable, and share the quality of being perceptable in the targeted region, and absent elsewhere.
[image of device] https://www.israel21c.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/insight...
Amazon has an assembled kit for sale:
Also, more info from soundlazer.com, here:
Also, reminds me of the MacGyver (original) episode "Soft Touch"- where a Columbian drug cartel tortures a federal agent in a garage using high-decibel noise.
It has been studied in China, where evidently it was considered ethical to do so. Search terms: China ultrasound study
What this does to the population's average mental ability and sanity is an interesting question. Autism is suspected.
If they had devices in the embassy which required maybe intersecting "beams" of microwaves to power up and transmit, and something went wrong...
I agree that it's probably not Cuba itself doing it though. My own suspects, based on nothing but wild speculation, is that this is Russia, rogue elements in Cuba, China, or the CIA testing experimental technology.
As for why I imagine the CIA is testing this, the CIA has experimented on unwitting American citizens and servicemen with drugs and poisons in the past, so it's not outside their ken to do such a thing.
Perhaps the CIA is testing their new stealth harassment/assassination/mind reading tool and wants to test it on realistic targets but also not risk exposing the device to a hostile party. With US intelligence agencies perpetrating and investigating attacks on realistic targets, it may make a good test environment.
I'm not saying I believe it is the CIA, obviously I have no evidence and this is just speculation. I'm just saying I'd consider them as suspects.
1 - http://healthland.time.com/2012/03/23/the-legacy-of-the-cias...
The other thing is, that a large part of the spy game is that intelligence agents often work out of embassies. The way the game is played is that as long as intelligence personnel stay in their lane, there's no trouble. The US has spies working out of embassies around the world, and foreign intelligence services have spies working in embassies in DC.
But for an adversary like Russia, maybe they would try to attack people on diplomatic passports if they knew there were some way to make it untraceable or covert. Cuba might do the same if they felt they could thwart US spying.
Note that there was also an alleged incident like this at the US embassy in Uzbekistan:
State Dept. denies it, but if there is an intelligence angle to this, denials would be standard.
To track news minute-by-minute:
The US Government has so far never said or implied that it was the Cuban Government. For at least two reasons: it's obvious they have a lot to lose, and it's questionable whether they have the capability to pull off that attack.
It's very reasonable to frame it as an attack. It was highly targeted at US embassy staff (and one Canadian was harmed I believe). I've seen no major media sources pushing the line that it was likely Cuba.
(There are probably all kinds of crazy military proposals that get rejected)
Though that outcome falls more on Hearst and Pulitzer.
However you'd expect damage to the eyes first, since they have virtually no blood flow and are extremely vulnerable to heating. I think its way more likely that drugs are the cause of any negative effects, and while sound might have been involved it's probably related to something else.
I'd also expect the crowd at HN to be better educated than to jump to quick and baseless conclusions. Almost all comments assert a form of attack happened, acoustic and whatnot, despite the lack of details, the crowd's inexpertise in the field, and doubting comments made by actual experts (see Joseph Pompei, Jürgen Altmann). Speculating and guessing isn't very useful.
That said, I've visited Cuba and the respective areas (Atabey and Miramar) where the diplomats usually reside and it's a mystery to me how anybody could carry such an operation without anybody noticing any suspicious activity. The area is inhabited by ordinary Cubans and houses tend to be relatively close to each other. To get an idea here is an American diplomat holding a Yard sale before leaving the country: http://cdn.havanatimes.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Yard-s...
> U.S. officials told the AP that investigators have now determined:
> — The most frequently reported sound patients heard was a high-pitched chirp or grating metal. Fewer recalled a low-pitched noise, like a hum.
> — Some were asleep and awakened by the sound, even as others sleeping in the same bed or room heard nothing.
> — Vibrations sometimes accompanied the sound. Victims told investigators these felt similar to the rapid flutter of air when windows of a car are partially rolled down.
> — Those worst off knew right away something was affecting their bodies. Some developed visual symptoms within 24 hours, including trouble focusing on a computer screen.
I remember when I took alimemazine once I had severe sleep paralysis. I heard a loud buzzing sound and the day after I felt extremely drowsy.
But in the end all we can do is speculate, which is fun I guess. Maybe all of this is really nothing and they're just finding anomalies because they're looking for them.
I'm skeptical. Part of me thinks that this is mass hysteria.
I guess if is deliberate, it might be interesting to look who would benefit from it? It hurts American diplomats but it also hurts Cuba's position. Would stand to benefit from Cuba looking bad or from hurting the improved relationship between Cuba and US.
There was talk of using something like a passive listening device, say something embedded in the walls or furniture that's not powered but has to be activated with a ultrasound beam. Something like The Thing (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Thing_(listening_device) but miniaturized?
I fully expect a barrage, but based on your question, cui bono... Russia needs to keep the US separate from Cuba. They want the client state that provides a physical base and influence in the US backyard. Why now is another question, but perhaps because they thought they could get away with it now.
Perh they were testing some new surveillance or countersurveillance tech but things didn't work out as planned, snafus and of course they got outed by the obvious effects or side effects.
It would be hard to believe the resulting effects were deliberate. The actions yes, but not how they worked out.
Cuba is an incredibly undervalued asset. They have a well educated population, resources and are a political gateway to Latin America, which is an incredibly valuable, undervalued market. When Cuba finally opens up the economy, they are going to be an incredibly strategic target for all of the global power blocs.
Could be possible an unknown infectious vector altering gene expression on the central nervous system?
(I'm venturing into tin-foil-hat-zone here because this article is really lacking any facts or details about the incident)
Did anyone try decoding it? GMSK, FSK, BPSK, ASK?
1. Diplomats are experiencing weird physical symptoms.
2. Diplomats are claiming to hear a noise.
Yeah, its suspicious, but there still isnt much tying the two together besides the fact that they happen around the same time. Even if they are related, thats still not a good reason to believe 2 is causing 1- its just as plausible to believe there is some kind of surveillance causing the noise and a drug related attack is also being carried out. IMO (and I have experience with high frequency in-air sound) its far more likely than a sonic or EM attack causing the symptoms, but it is at least as plausible.
But the backlash from it caused several changes to the law and the formation of commissions to regulate this kind of behavior.