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Tags crickets , Cuba conspiracies , Cuba incidents , mass hysteria , psychogenic illness , sonic weapons , US-Cuba relations

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Old 2nd November 2018, 11:23 AM   #561
dann
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Quote:
Back in the U.S. after being withdrawn from their posts, at least six of the evacuated Americans have reported suspected harassment or surveillance inside the U.S. to the FBI according to the NBC News. Some have found items moved or tampered with in their homes ligthts and TVs turned on that had been left off, and some report being followed by strangers.
Victims of Cuba and China ’Health Attacks’ Say They’re Being Harassed in U.S. The Daily Beast, Oct. 29, 2018)

An exclusive NBC investigation (Euro News/NBC on Twitter, 4:17 min. video)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 13th November 2018, 08:32 AM   #562
dann
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Latest news:

Quote:
Cuban foreign minister acknowledges health symptoms but says there were no attacks, deliberate acts or any specific acts that caused them,
Mimi Whitefield, Miami Herald (Twitter, Nov. 2, 2018)

Quote:
CUBA vs UNITED STATES
In the matter of unverified, unproven charges of ”sonic attacks” against U.S. diplomats and tourists by unnamed parties in the Republic of Cuba; seeking withdrawal of any and all charges; seeking return of U.S. diplomatic representation in Cuba; seeking return of Cuban diplomats to the U.S.; seeking financial reparations for loss of tourist income during the ensuing months/years while undocumented charges caused loss of tourism income.

In short it’s time for Cuba to take the gloves off. No longer can Cuba and the Cuban people rely on billboards and social media to plead its case.

Cuba must take that case to the highest court in the world.
A Case for Cuba (Cuba Business Report, Nov. 2, 2018)

Quote:
The defeat of two Cuban-American candidates, one a political newcomer and the other an incumbent, who were seeking to represent South Florida districts in the House of Representatives.
Since the Tuesday election, there’s been plenty of chatter about whether the midterms could change the dynamics of how Congress votes on Cuba issues and whether towing a hard line on Cuba is still a sure-fire election strategy in South Florida.
Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo, who dependably has joined with other Cuban-American members of Congress on Cuba issues, lost to Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, who was born in Ecuador; and Democrat Donna Shalala defeated Cuban American María Elvira Salazar.
Makeup of new Congress could create a different dynamic on Cuba policy (Miami Herald, Nov. 8, 2018)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 18th November 2018, 03:08 AM   #563
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Dann, did you see the latest New Yorker article on this? What struck me was it seemed sure that a handful of people at least had experienced something like the described sonic attacks. And it downplayed the skepticism. I don't speculate why that might be.

not sure if there is paywall:

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2...avana-syndrome
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Old 18th November 2018, 05:54 AM   #564
dann
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No, I hadn't seen it until you pointed it out to me. Apparently, you can read three or four articles a month before the paywall goes up.
One of the two authors, Jon Lee Anderson (Wikipedia), is also the author of the most comprehensive Che Guevara biography, Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life (Goodreads)
I can recommend it, even though scientific skepticism is not his strong side. From the first chapter:

Quote:
The horoscope was confounding. If Ernesto "Che" Guevara had been born on June 14, 1928, as stated on his birth certificate, then he was a Gemini - and a lackluster one at that. The astrologer doing the calculations, a friend of Che's mother, repeated the work and got the same result. The Che who emerged from her analysis was a gray, dependent personality who had lived an uneventful life. But this was in the early 1960, and Che was already one of the most famous people in the world.
(...)
When the puzzled astrologer showed Che's mother the dismal horoscope, she laughed. Then she confided a secret she had guarded closely for more than three decades. Her son had actually been born one month earlier, on May 14. He was no Gemini, but a headstrong and decisive Taurus. The deception had been necessary, she explained, because she was three months' pregnant when she married Che's father.
(...)
A doctor friend falsified the date on the birth certificate, moving it back by one month to help shield them from scandal.

I almost stopped reading it at that point, but I'm glad that I didn't.


The New Yorker article seems to be based mainly on interviews with Americans. I don't understand why they don't appear to have interviewed any Cubans.

Quote:
By that spring [of 2017], there were sixteen cases, nearly half of which involved C.I.A. officers. By the end of the summer, the number of C.I.A. victims had risen to nearly ten.
The Havana Syndrome (The New Yorker, Nov. 19, 2018)

At this point, I really think that we should stop referring to the alleged U.S. health-attack victims as "diplomats."
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 24th November 2018, 12:31 PM   #565
dann
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Quote:
Werner is the only U.S. worker in either Cuba or China whose identity is publicly known. None of the Cuba patients have come forward and the U.S. has not named them. Neither Hughes nor her daughter's lawyer, Mark Zaid, objected to her story being made public.
Mother of U.S. diplomat hurt in ’health attack’ speaks out (NBC News, Nov. 20, 2018)

Of course, we now know why no other alleged health-attack victim has been named: see the quotation from The New Yorker in the previous post.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 13th December 2018, 12:19 PM   #566
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The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) still insist on talking about "attacks affecting the health of U.S. Embassy Havana employees":

Quote:
The Trump administration has closed the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office in Havana, as of December 10, requiring Cubans to travel to the office in Mexico City to acquire visas to the U.S.
Cuba: A U.S. obsession (Granma, Dec. 12, 2018)

Quote:
USCIS will permanently close its field office in Havana, Cuba, on Dec. 10, 2018. The USCIS field office in Mexico City, Mexico, will assume the Havana Field Office’s jurisdiction over U.S. immigration matters for individuals who are in Cuba. The U.S. Department of State in Havana will also assume responsibility for certain services previously handled by USCIS.

U.S. Embassy visa services in Havana have been almost entirely suspended since November 2017 due to a drawdown in staffing as a result of attacks affecting the health of U.S. Embassy Havana employees. The U.S. Department of State and USCIS continue to explore options to resume consular and other immigration services in alternate locations. USCIS will inform individuals of alternate filing or processing instructions that are established.
USCIS Closes Havana Field Office on Dec. 10, 2018 (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 17th December 2018, 04:45 AM   #567
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A new study from doctors at Miami University finds that the alleged victims suffer from inner-ear afflictions, not concussions:

Doctors who first tested diplomats after Cuba ‘health attacks’ doubt concussion theory (Miami Herald, Dec. 12, 2018)

Quote:
“What we noticed is universal damage to the gravity organs in the ear,” Dr. Hoffer said. “The ear has a bunch of different balance organs — and two of them are gravity organs — and those are damaged in everyone.”
U.S. Diplomats With Mysterious Illness in Cuba Had Inner-Ear Damage, Doctors Say (New York Times, Dec. 12, 2018)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 21st December 2018, 06:08 AM   #568
dann
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Article based on the same medical report as the ones in the Miami Herald and the NYT:

Quote:
Dr. Carey Balaban, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh who contributed to the study, said the doctors have "measurable, quantifiable evidence that something really did happen. It's not just hysteria."
At the same time, Balaban said he wanted to stress that "we don't know what they were exposed to and certainly can't make any inferences as to whether it was deliberate or inadvertent."
'Not just hysteria': 25 US employees at embassy in Cuba did suffer inner-ear damage from mystery illness, study says (USA Today, Dec. 13, 2018)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 23rd December 2018, 03:47 AM   #569
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
A new study from doctors at Miami University finds that the alleged victims suffer from inner-ear afflictions, not concussions:

Quote:
“What we noticed is universal damage to the gravity organs in the ear,” Dr. Hoffer said. “The ear has a bunch of different balance organs — and two of them are gravity organs — and those are damaged in everyone.”
U.S. Diplomats With Mysterious Illness in Cuba Had Inner-Ear Damage, Doctors Say (New York Times, Dec. 12, 2018)
Doctors who first tested diplomats after Cuba ‘health attacks’ doubt concussion theory (Miami Herald, Dec. 12, 2018)
So the communists have developed a gravity wave weapon, or possibly a gravity particle weapon, or possibly a gravity wavicle weapon. Presumably all these crashing black holes that have been detected recently are actually test firings of the weapon.
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Old 2nd January 2019, 02:31 AM   #570
dann
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Or the gravity waves from the crashing black holes are the actual cause of the predicament in diplomats with particularly sensitive or frail otoliths!

(The Darwinian purpose of the organ is obviously to be sensitive to gravity and linear acceleration (Wikipedia). Only bipedalocentrics would make it all about balance (Wikipedia). )
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 6th January 2019, 03:10 PM   #571
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Quote:
" 'Sonic attack' on US embassy in Havana could have been crickets, say scientists."
https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...say-scientists
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Old 6th January 2019, 03:40 PM   #572
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From the abstract:
Quote:
As shown here, the calling song of the Indies short-tailed cricket (Anurogryllus celerinictus) matches, in nuanced detail, the AP recording in duration, pulse repetition rate, power spectrum, pulse rate stability, and oscillations per pulse. The AP recording also exhibits frequency decay in individual pulses, a distinct acoustic signature of cricket sound production. While the temporal pulse structure in the recording is unlike any natural insect source, when the cricket call is played on a loudspeaker and recorded indoors, the interaction of reflected sound pulses yields a sound virtually indistinguishable from the AP sample. This provides strong evidence that an echoing cricket call, rather than a sonic attack or other technological device, is responsible for the sound in the released recording. Although the causes of the health problems reported by embassy personnel are beyond the scope of this paper, our findings highlight the need for more rigorous research into the source of these ailments, including the potential psychogenic effects, as well as possible physiological explanations unrelated to sonic attacks.
Recording of "sonic attacks" on U.S. diplomats in Cuba spectrally matches the echoing call of a Caribbean cricket (biorxiv.org, Jan. 6, 2019)

Quote:
They found a striking resemblance to one species in particular: the Indies short-tailed cricket.
Yet the cricket’s song differs from the Cuban recording in one important respect. The noises heard by the diplomats were erratic, while the insects make high-pitched, rapid-fire pulses.
Mr. Stubbs suspected that this mismatch might be an artifact of the recording itself. Diplomats made their recordings inside houses, while biologists have recorded the crickets in the wild.
So Mr. Stubbs played the cricket recording in a house. As the calls bounced off the walls, they echoed in a pattern similar to the irregular pulses heard on the Cuban recording.
The song of the Indies short-tailed cricket “matches, in nuanced detail, the A.P. recording in duration, pulse repetition rate, power spectrum, pulse rate stability, and oscillations per pulse,” the scientists wrote in their analysis.
Experts on cricket songs said the analysis was well done. “It all seems to make sense,” said Gerald Pollack of McGill University, who studies acoustic communication among insects. “It's a pretty well supported hypothesis.”
The Sounds That Haunted U.S. Diplomats in Cuba? Lovelorn Crickets, Scientists Say (NYT, Jan. 4, 2019)

Quote:
The possibility of an insect causing the strange noise had actually been proposed previously. A group of Cuban officials submitted a report to the U.S. government in 2018 suggesting that the noise came from the Jamaican field cricket (Gryllus assimilis). But the report was perhaps disregarded by U.S. officials because the short chirp of the Jamaican field cricket does not match the grating, continuous sound in the diplomats’ recording from Cuba. The cricket species suspected by Stubbs and Montealegre-Z, in contrast, has a continuous call that precisely matches the echoing sound in the AP recording.
Why was the Indies short-tailed cricket not implicated before? A. celerinictus has only been documented in Jamaica and Grand Cayman and is not known to occur in Cuba. But it’s possible that this cricket was actually in Cuba all along. A. celerinictus used to go by a different name: A. muticus, another species that is nearly identical, and that does occur in Cuba. An entomologist at the University of Florida, Thomas J. Walker, distinguished the two species from each other in 1973 based on the frequencies of their wing strokes. But the distinct geographic ranges of the two crickets went unnoticed for over 40 years – until Stubbs used Walker’s field recordings of the crickets, which Walker had made available on his website, to investigate the strange recording from Havana. It is possible that the Cubans actually found the organism responsible but simply mis-identified it.
The Cuban Cricket Crisis: New study identifies insect as the likely culprit behind alleged “sonic attacks” on U.S. diplomats in Havana (The Society for Integrative & Comparative Biology, Jan. 4, 2019)

‘Sonic attacks’ at US embassy in Cuba may have just been crickets (New York Post, Jan. 6, 2019)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

Last edited by dann; 6th January 2019 at 04:04 PM.
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Old 6th January 2019, 09:45 PM   #573
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So this is truly a story where the response turns out to be *crickets*
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Old 6th January 2019, 10:33 PM   #574
dann
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Yes. If only they'd listened to the housekeeper!
However, I still look forward to responses from other medical experts to the study mentioned in post 567. I haven't seen any so far.

ETA: And remember what calebprime wrote in this thread as early as November 2017. And it should also be mentioned that it's what the bloody manipulative commies in Havana have been saying the whole time: Havana blames crickets and cicadas for injuries to U.S. diplomats (Quartz, Oct. 27, 2017)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

Last edited by dann; 6th January 2019 at 11:01 PM.
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Old 7th January 2019, 12:19 AM   #575
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Quote:
By comparing the US recording obtained by AP with the unique acoustic signature of hundreds of insects, Stubbs found several similar to the recording but no perfect match. That was until he realized that US staff probably made the recording indoors, altering the sound of the potential insect as it echoed off the walls.
Rerunning the analysis again after playing the insect calls through indoor speakers, Stubbs [= scientist Alexander Stubbs of the University of California] found a near-perfect match with the continuous call of the Indies cricket.
While the Indies cricket is not native to Cuba, further testing with bioacoustics experts at the University of Lincoln (UK) found that the frequency of the sound pulses heard at the embassy matched that of the Indies cricket’s sound production.
Cue the crickets: Berkeley researcher finds Cuba ‘sonic attack’ sound is actually insects chirping (rt.com, Jan. 6, 2018)

Back in December, Russia Today also mentioned the otolaryngology report from the universities of Miami and Pittsburg:
US diplomats did suffer ear damage after mysterious illness at Cuba embassy - doctors (rt.com, Dec. 14, 2018)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 7th January 2019, 08:41 AM   #576
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The German weekly Der Spiegel stresses that the new article hasn't yet been peer reviewed:
Quote:
Eine wichtige Einschränkung ist außerdem, dass die beiden Forscher ihre Idee bisher noch nicht in einem von Kollegen begutachteten Fachartikel präsentieren. Stattdessen haben sie zunächst nur Vorabdruck eines möglichen Manuskripts zur wissenschaftlichen Diskussion ins Netz gestellt. Das heißt, dass man die Ergebnisse mit Vorsicht behandeln sollte - weil sie möglicherweise näherer fachlicher Begutachtung nicht standhalten.
Angebliche Schallwaffen auf Kuba: Wurden US-Diplomaten Opfer von Insekten-Lärm? (Der Spiegel, Jan. 7, 2018)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 8th January 2019, 12:24 AM   #577
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A couple more ... in particular from science mags:

Quote:
In research released on January 4, a British and an American scientist said the cricket's chirps matched "in nuanced detail, the AP recording in duration, pulse repetition rate, power spectrum, pulse rate stability, and oscillations per pulse." The research has not been peer-reviewed
(…)
Although the sound on the AP recording comes from a Caribbean cricket, the scientists did not rule out "the possibility that embassy personnel were victims of another form of attack." Nor does it rule out that the diplomats' symptoms were psychosomatic, adding that their health problems were beyond the paper's scope.
Crickets could be behind the Cuba 'sonic attack' mystery, scientists say (CNN, Jan. 7, 2019)

Quote:
For Fernando Montealegre-Zapata, a professor of sensory biology at the University of Lincoln in the UK, the sound reminded him of the crickets he collected as a child, according to The Guardian. So he and Stubbs searched a database of insect sounds to see if any matched the tape from the AP.
(…)
“The paper shows how the cricket’s song could, when echoes to be expected in an indoor setting are taken into account, produce sounds strikingly, and quantitatively, similar to that provided by the AP,” Gerald Pollack, who studies sensory biology at McGill University in Montreal, tells The Guardian. “I find this a completely plausible explanation.”
Recording of “Sonic Attack” in Cuba Was Crickets: Scientists (The Scientist, Jan. 7, 2019)

Quote:
"This provides strong evidence that an echoing cricket call, rather than a sonic attack or other technological device, is responsible for the sound in the released recording," the researchers wrote. (The analysis explains only what was in this particular recording, something that may or may not have been related to the symptoms reported by embassy workers and others.)
The new study isn't the first to suggest that there was no "sonic weapon" behind the embassy workers' unusual symptoms. In February 2018, researchers documented the range of ailments suffered by 21 individuals who worked in the U.S. Embassy and reportedly fell ill in 2016 and 2017. They concluded that the symptoms simply didn't match those likely to be caused by weaponized sound waves, Live Science previously reported.
Mysterious Sounds Recorded at Cuba Embassy Were … Crickets (LiveScience, Jan. 7, 2019)

Quote:
When the bizarre recordings were compared to this cricket's usual chirps, the two sounds matched "in nuanced detail", sharing the same rate of pulse and frequencies.
The only discrepancies were easily explained: after all, the diplomats made the recordings inside a house, while biologists usually record crickets in the wild.
This isn't to say that there wasn't a sonic attack, or that the diplomats' symptoms were entirely psychosomatic. There may very well have been some sort of dastardly interference that caused the whole event, but the recording probably had little to do with it.
(…)
"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."
Scientists Have an Embarrassingly Simple Explanation For The Cuban 'Sonic Attack' Noises (ScienceAlert, Jan. 7, 2019)

Quote:
The actual cause of the diplomats' ailments was outside the scope of the study, with the researchers not ruling out that the diplomats suffered a sonic attack at another point.
"While disconcerting, the mysterious sounds in Cuba are not physically dangerous and do not constitute a sonic attack," said the study by Alexander Stubbs, a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley, and Fernando Montealegre-Zapata, a professor of sensory biology at the University of Lincoln in Britain.
"Our findings highlight the need for more rigorous research into the source of these ailments, including the potential psychogenic effects, as well as possible physiological explanations unrelated to sonic attacks," they wrote.
Cuban crickets, not weapon, heard by ill US diplomats: study (phys.org, Jan. 7, 2019)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 9th January 2019, 01:43 AM   #578
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The German science mag has a photo of the perpetrator: US-Diplomaten in Havanna offenbar Opfer von Grillengezirpe.
Most of the Danish news media have also published stories about the new development: Det var sgu rent faktisk Jesper Fårekylling!
For some reason, I haven't been able to find anything in Cuban news media. There's nothing in Granma, Juventud Rebelde or Radio Reloj - maybe because the Cubans don't really consider it news ...
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 9th January 2019, 02:39 AM   #579
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RT America love it, of course:
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But they are not the only ones:
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This one isn't new, but this is probably a good time to watch it again:
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 9th January 2019, 08:04 AM   #580
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https://www.theatlantic.com/science/...ickets/579637/

This article from the Atlantic discusses the cricket sounds, and has a few links to other strange animal noises. Enjoy!
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Old 9th January 2019, 12:12 PM   #581
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^thanks.
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Old 10th January 2019, 12:55 AM   #582
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Yes, it's great article. Ed Yong, the reporter of the article in The Atlantic, has found links to the recordings of crickets used by the scientists, in particular "the Indies short-tailed cricket (Anurogryllus celerinictus)" at 6.9 kHz, and also to the actual paper, not just the abstract.
A tale of sound and fury ...
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

Last edited by dann; 10th January 2019 at 12:57 AM.
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Old 10th January 2019, 07:43 AM   #583
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It has likely been pointed out already, but I found this detail from the article insightful:


Quote:
Cricket behavior could also help explain another mysterious detail of the Cuban incidents: Several diplomats claimed that the sound abruptly stopped when they entered a room or moved around. That’s “consistent with an insect stopping a call when threatened,” Stubbs and Montealegre-Z write.
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Old 10th January 2019, 08:42 AM   #584
dann
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That is my personal experience, too. I had one in a classroom recently (an ordinary Danish cricket, not the Caribbean kind), and it was pretty easy to determine the corner that the sound came from, but it stopped as soon as anybody approached that corner so we didn't get to see until one day when it was moving around on the floor.

If dealing with one of these guys, however, I would probably try to make myself as inconspicuous as I possibly could.

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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

Last edited by dann; 10th January 2019 at 08:49 AM.
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Old 10th January 2019, 09:34 PM   #585
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The story about Anurogryllus celerinictus has now appeared in the Cuban newspaper Granma:

Quote:
Un estudio, recientemente presentado en la reunión anual de la Sociedad de Biología Integrativa y Comparativa (SICB) muestra que los misteriosos ruidos coinciden con los chirridos de un tipo específico de insecto.
Las grabaciones de sonidos analizadas por un equipo de zoólogos y biólogos, entre los que se encuentran Alexander Stubbs, de la Universidad de Berkeley, en California, y Fernando Montealegre-Zapata, de la Universidad de Lincoln en el Reino Unido, terminan de echar por tierra las absurdas teorías conspirativas que, además, en un giro peligroso de los acontecimientos, culpan a los rusos de ser los autores de la agresión sónica a los diplomáticos estadounidenses.
El Dr. Stubbs, en una entrevista con The New York Times, declaró: «Lo único que puedo decir de manera bastante definitiva es que la grabación publicada por AP es de un grillo, y creemos que sabemos de qué especie es».
Del canto del sinsonte al del grillo (Granma, Jan. 10, 2019)

The Google translation isn't bad except for one small part of it:

"A study, recently presented at the annual meeting of the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology (SICB) shows that the mysterious noises coincide with the squeaks of a specific type of insect.
Sound recordings analyzed by a team of zoologists and biologists, including Alexander Stubbs of the University of Berkeley, in California, and Fernando Montealegre-Zapata, of the University of Lincoln in the United Kingdom, end up dismissing land the absurd conspiracy theories that, in addition, in a dangerous turn of events, blame the Russians for being the authors of the sonic aggression against the American diplomats.
Dr. Stubbs, in an interview with The New York Times, said: "The only thing I can say quite definitively is that the recording published by AP is of a cricket, and we believe that we know what species it is.""


I think that "echar por tierra" means throw to the ground, i.e. debunking.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 11th January 2019, 07:25 AM   #586
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Fox News has also reported the latest development of the story:
Mysterious sounds recorded at Cuba Embassy were ... crickets (Fox News, Jan. 10, 2019)

And so has the Nordic Business Insider:
'Sonic attacks' on U.S. diplomats in Cuba may have been ... crickets (Nordic Business Insider, Jan. 7, 2019)

The Fair Observer:
US Diplomats Attacked in Cuba … by Crickets (Fair Observer, Jan. 9, 2019)


However, I would particularly recommend this article from Vanity Fair for people who haven't been following the story. This is how it describes the development of the mass psychogenic illness in Havana:

Quote:
If you retrace the key events and anomalies of the outbreak at the embassy in Havana, every step of the way corresponds to those in classic cases of conversion disorder. The first few staffers hit by the symptoms were C.I.A. agents working on hostile soil—one of the most stressful positions imaginable. The initial conversation between Patient Zero and Patient One referenced only the odd sound; neither experienced any symptoms. Then, a few months later, a third embassy official reported that he was losing his hearing due to a “powerful beam of high-pitched sound.” As word spread quickly throughout the small, tight-knit complex of diplomats and other staff, Patient Zero helped sound the alarm. “He was lobbying, if not coercing, people to report symptoms and to connect the dots,” says Fulton Armstrong, a former C.I.A. officer who worked undercover in Cuba.
According to ProPublica, Patient Zero informed Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis, in a telling phrase, that “the rumor mill is going mad.” So a meeting was called, which spread the word even further.
THE REAL STORY BEHIND THE HAVANA EMBASSY MYSTERY - U.S. officials say dozens of diplomats in Cuba were felled by a sonic “attack.” But the likeliest culprit is far less futuristic—and much more terrifying. (Vanity Fair, Jan. 6, 2019)

And for those of you who have kept up with the news, this may be of particular interest. The otolaryngology report from December 2019 talking about inner-ear afflictions has been dismissed by other experts:

Quote:
In December, a new study found that 25 embassy staffers tested positive for real, physical symptoms—in this case, impairments to balance and cognitive functions. “What we noticed is universal damage to the gravity organs in the ear,” the study’s lead author told the Times. But a closer look at the study itself, experts say, reveals that it found no such thing. “This paper only reports statement of deficits without giving any evidence, or scores, or methods, or statistics, or procedures,” explains Della Sala, the editor of Cortex. “It is far below par, and would not pass the scrutiny of any respected neuropsychology outlet.” In other words, he says, the symptoms cited in the study may be testable. But that alone “does not necessarily support an organic cause.”
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 12th January 2019, 05:15 AM   #587
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One of the two researchers behind the new paper, integrative biology Ph.D. student Alexander Stubbs (the other one being Prof. Fernando Montealegre-Zapata of the University of Lincoln in the U.K.), is ”a grad student in professor Jimmy McGuire’s lab in the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at Berkeley,” and Berkeley News has used the opportunity to interview him.

Quote:
Asked how they can be so sure that the species identified in their report is really correct, Stubbs says, “No other known continuously calling cricket has a wing stroke rate of 180 per second. We can definitively say this recording is of a cricket, and we are pretty sure we know what species it is.”
Recorded sounds that plagued U.S. diplomats in Cuba just crickets hard at work (Berkeley News, Jan. 10, 2019)

The article also mentions another incident when the USA blamed one of its enemies for what later turned out to be an entirely natural occurrence:

Quote:
The 1981 “yellow rain” incident came about when the United States accused the Soviet Union of providing communist fighters in Southeast Asia with chemical weapons that were later found to be the feces of giant bees.

I hadn’t heard the story about Yellow rain (Wikipedia) before, but it’s very interesting – and in many ways very similar to the way that the USA has treated the sonic cricket attacks:

Quote:
After a lengthy investigation, U.S. analysts concluded in 1981 that the substance, dubbed “yellow rain,” was a chemical weapon made of fungus toxins and created by the Soviet Union. The U.S. secretary of state at the time, Alexander Haig Jr., announced that the Soviet Union had given the weapon to the Viet Cong and Pathet Lao, who dropped it on the Hmong (and other ethnic groups) in their villages and while they fled to refugee camps.
(…)
After reviewing the original study done by U.S. investigators, Meselson’s team found inconsistencies and contradictions in the testimony of people who witnessed yellow rain. The liquid sometimes rained down when there wasn’t a plane in sight. Most of the health problems could be explained by dysentery and nutritional deficiencies in refugee camps. It also became clear that the original interviewers had asked leading questions and unconsciously manipulated testimonies.
The Mystery of Yellow Rain (Science History, April 13, 2018)
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So you not only shouldn't confuse yellow rain with chemical weapons, you should also be aware that yellow rain has absolutely nothing to do with golden showers!
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 19th January 2019, 12:04 PM   #588
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Unfortunately, the rest of NewScientist’s new article is behind a pay wall, but this is how it begins:

Quote:
CUBA has long been a hotbed of improbable US spy games. Fidel Castro was famously targeted by hundreds of creative assassination attempts, including exploding cigars and suicide bomber clams, poison-tipped fountain pens and toxic wetsuits.
In 2017 the boot appeared to be on the other foot, as US officials concluded that hearing loss reported by diplomats in their embassy in Cuba was due to a covert sonic weapon wielded by nefarious agents.
What strategic goal is served by deafening diplomats is a mystery, unless Cuba is suddenly feeling protective about the relaxing sounds of the Buena [Vista Social Club (my guess, dann] …

Feedback: Havana spies bugged by shrieking Cuban crickets (NewScientist, Jan. 16, 2019)

I can recommend this 16 min. youtube video:
Quote:
The biggest purveyors of conspiracy nonsense out there are the main stream media establishment cronies, who are nothing other than repeaters of whatever lie is coming from whatever government agency is feeding them a line today, and they will just run with it, and they will report it, and they are the professionals who are getting the inside scoop about ’signals intelligence and blah blah blah secret technology no one knows what it is but it must be the Russians we have no proof but it doesn’t matter.’ These are the conspiracy peddlers that are clearly trying to lead the public in a certain direction. And the big headline stories will get all the coverage, ‘oh my God, secret microwave radiation attacks,’ but the niggly little details about that … that … the actual report … And please do go and read through the actual paper that they linked here in its … it’s not just an abstract, it’s an actual scientific paper where they show in great detail the pulse rates and the oscillations and everything: It is a cricket sound that’s been recorded. But more so than that even: They do get into the issue of the University of Pennsylvania paper that was criticized as using an arbitrarily low threshold for neurological impairment. The idea is this was at best a psychological phenomenon. People were hearing about, ‘oh there’s this thing that’s going on is affecting people, and they started to come down with the symptoms that were not quite nailed-down-able and can’t real quick pinpoint what this is, but it must be some new disorder.’ No, it was at best …, it was the public being trauma…, the diplomatic workers being traumatized by hearing these other stories and believing … duping themselves into believing that they had it, at best.
And on a societal scale, that’s what propaganda like this is meant to do when we hear nothing but these stories of this extraordinary weapons technology that’s being used on you by these Russkies that are hiding under every bed, it puts people into a fear state where they will begin to enact this in the real world – whether that’s some sort of neurological disorder or whatever else it is. That fear state is what they want you to dwell in, and that’s why the headline, the sensational headlines about secret brain frying maker microwave radiation will get all the coverage. The retractions will get none, except in the alternative media …
Secret Brain-frying Microwave Technology UNMASKED!!! - #PropagandaWatch, (The Corbett Report, Jan. 16, 2019)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 20th January 2019, 07:30 AM   #589
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
That is my personal experience, too. I had one in a classroom recently (an ordinary Danish cricket, not the Caribbean kind), and it was pretty easy to determine the corner that the sound came from, but it stopped as soon as anybody approached that corner so we didn't get to see until one day when it was moving around on the floor.

If dealing with one of these guys, however, I would probably try to make myself as inconspicuous as I possibly could.

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Meh, wetas are totally harmless. Well except for the ones on Skull Island, but other than those.....
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Old 21st January 2019, 04:54 AM   #590
dann
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Originally Posted by porch View Post
It has likely been pointed out already, but I found this detail from the article insightful:

Quote:
Cricket behavior could also help explain another mysterious detail of the Cuban incidents: Several diplomats claimed that the sound abruptly stopped when they entered a room or moved around. That’s “consistent with an insect stopping a call when threatened,” Stubbs and Montealegre-Z write.

That was pretty clear from the very beginning: http://www.internationalskeptics.com...4#post11998004
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 22nd January 2019, 09:26 AM   #591
dann
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Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post
Meh, wetas are totally harmless. Well except for the ones on Skull Island, but other than those.....

Well, the tree-climbing wetas appear to be very aggressive, but their bite doesn't appear to be really harmful, no more so than the bite of my lovebirds (i.e. non-toxic) when they felt that I was trespassing on their territory.
However, I just don't like large insects, so I'm glad that we don't have any that size around these parts.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 31st January 2019, 10:48 AM   #592
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Canada confirms 14th case of illness; halves Havana embassy staff

Quote:
(CNN)Canada has confirmed a 14th case of unusual health symptoms experienced by diplomatic staff in Havana, Cuba.

In a statement, the Canadian government acknowledged the case, and announced that diplomatic staff in Cuba would be halved. The number of diplomats at the Canadian embassy in Cuba will now be reduced from 16 to eight, according to a Canadian government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly.

"The health, safety and security of our diplomatic staff and their families remain our priority," the statement said. "The Canadian government continues to investigate the potential causes of the unusual health symptoms experienced by some Canadian diplomatic staff and their family members posted in Havana, Cuba. To date, no cause has been identified."

Cuban ambassador to Canada Josefina Vidal criticized the decision to cut staff as an "incomprehensible" move that "fuels speculation." "This behavior favors those who in the United States use this issue to attack and denigrate Cuba," she said. She emphasized Cuba's cooperation in investigating the symptoms and affirmed the country's commitment to good relations.

The Canadian statement said that after the last confirmed case of unusual health symptoms in November 2018, a number of Canadian diplomatic staff in Cuba underwent additional medical testing.

"These tests confirm that an additional employee has symptoms consistent with those of previously affected employees. This brings the total number of affected Canadian employees, spouses and dependents to 14."

In April, Canada pulled all nonessential staff and diplomats' family members, after testing concluded that their diplomats also suffered from mystery symptoms that included dizziness, ringing in the ears and memory loss.

The Canadian government said Wednesday there is no evidence that Canadian travelers to Cuba are at risk.
I don't see what's so "incomprehensible" about Canada's decision. Whether the Canadian diplomats are actually falling ill or simply succumbing to hysteria, it makes no sense for Canada to keep feeding a full contingent of replacements to Havana knowing they will keep getting sick and having to come back.
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Old 1st February 2019, 02:27 PM   #593
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I do see why the Cubans say that they find Canada's decision incomprehensible:

Quote:
Canada will reduce its diplomatic presence in Cuba by half after another Canadian diplomat came down with symptoms of a mysterious illness that has bedevilled U.S. and Canadian diplomats posted in Havana, Canadian officials announced Wednesday.
(...)
The fact that a recently arrived diplomat reported symptoms means the undiagnosed ailment is still a threat, officials said speaking on the condition of anonymity.
‘Havana Syndrome’ forces Canada to halve its diplomatic presence in Cuba (Radio Canada International, Jan. 30, 2019)

Quote:
A Canadian official said government officials are working closely with US officials. The US has not said what caused the incidents, although initial speculation centered on some type of sonic attack. The Canadian official said they have no information to indicate a cause or what might or who might be behind it.
Canada cuts staff in Cuba embassy after mystery illness strikes again (The Guardian, Jan. 31, 2019)

Quote:
Cuba understands the obligations of the government of Canada to protect its diplomatic personnel posted anywhere in the world and to try to find answers to the health symptoms reported in Cuba, however, it considers that Canada´s decision made public today is incomprehensible.
(...)
During the exchanges that had been held, it has become clear that there is no evidence that might reveal any brain damage, or that may explain the varied symptoms reported, or that may indicate that these symptoms had occurred due to the stay of the affected diplomats in Cuba.
The symptoms reported are varied, with a common denominator which is that they are difficult to measure or verify through technical means.

Statement by the Cuban Ambassador to Canada, Josefina Vidal January 30, 2019 (Representaciones Diplomaticos de Cuba en el Exterior, Jan. 30, 2019)

But on the other hand, diplomatic language aside, Cuba does seem to comprehend what is the actual reason for Canada's decision. From the same statement:

Quote:
This behavior favours those who in the United States use this issue to attack and denigrate Cuba.
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 1st February 2019, 04:29 PM   #594
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Do you feel that the statement "an undiagnosed ailment is still a threat" is in error, logically or as a practical matter of fact?

Do you feel that mass hysteria, itself, is not a threat that requires some kind of intervention?

If your answer to either is "no", then you cannot support a statement that Canada's decision is incomprehensible.

The Cuban representative's statement on the matter can be disregarded. It basically amounts to "Canada's decision is bad because they don't know exactly is causing the symptoms, and because the US could use it for propaganda". The first half is a non sequitur, and the second is wholly irrelevant; it's not Canada's job to worry about what the US thinks of the situation, and certainly not their responsibility to keep their staff in harm's way to avoid giving someone in some third country a propaganda point.

The statement also leaves out one very important common denominator between the symptoms: they were all reported after being stationed in Havana, which is reason Canada is drawing down staff there. It is prudent and logical.
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Old 2nd February 2019, 12:44 AM   #595
dann
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
Do you feel that the statement "an undiagnosed ailment is still a threat" is in error, logically or as a practical matter of fact?

It's not a question of how I feel. And an undiagnosed ailment is an undiagnosed ailment. It's not a threat as long as nothing (so far) has indicated that it's contagious, so it's in error logically and as a practical matter of fact. Especially in this case where it isn't even really undiagnosed.

Quote:
Do you feel that mass hysteria, itself, is not a threat that requires some kind of intervention?

It's still not a question of how I feel. But, yes, mass hysteria, hysterical contagion, mass psychogenic illness, behavioural contagion or conversion disorder (Wikipedia) requires "some kind of intervention":

Quote:
In the days following the incident, questions will remain as to what caused of the illness, what safeguards are there to prevent a reoccurrence, and what assurances are there that the facility is now safe. Answers to these questions when no physical cause is identified, as is the case in a mass psychogenic illness, must focus on building confidence that adequate care has been taken. Inquiries can be expected from students, parents, and the media. The ease with which individuals with questions can receive a reply from an appropriate university spokesperson can affect the level of trust perceived in the answers given. It is appropriate that at the end of the professional investigation of the incident, a report be issued to all interested parties. Because indeed the symptoms experienced by the victims were real, it is important to acknowledge that. Especially in cases of mass psychogenic illness, a coordinated staff response is essential for minimizing the disruption to the student community.
A case of Mass hysteria or toxic fumes ?: Considerations for University Administrators (Indiana University)

Epidemic Hysteria in Virginia: The Case of the Phantom Gasser of 1933-1934 (Bartholomew/Wessely, King's College, London)
conversion disorder: Treatment (Wikipedia)
Mass Psychogenic Illness: Risk Factors and Treatment (Clinical Neurology News, Feb. 2018)

Quote:
If your answer to either is "no", then you cannot support a statement that Canada's decision is incomprehensible.

The Canadian decision is wrong, but it isn't really incomprehensible.

Quote:
The Cuban representative's statement on the matter can be disregarded. It basically amounts to "Canada's decision is bad because they don't know exactly is causing the symptoms, and because the US could use it for propaganda". The first half is a non sequitur, and the second is wholly irrelevant; it's not Canada's job to worry about what the US thinks of the situation, and certainly not their responsibility to keep their staff in harm's way to avoid giving someone in some third country a propaganda point.

No, it's not Canada's job to worry about what the US thinks, but Canada sure tends to worry. It's also not Canada's job to "keep their staff in harm's way," but in a rational world it would be their job to recognize that there is no harm at all to remove their staff from. And if there were, why leave half of their staff "in harm's way" if they actually think that there is harm? Wouldn't that be an incomprehensible and irresponsible way of treating their staff?!!! It's very telling that they don't seem to think so, isn't it?

Quote:
The statement also leaves out one very important common denominator between the symptoms: they were all reported after being stationed in Havana, which is reason Canada is drawing down staff there. It is prudent and logical.

No, you're wrong again: They weren't all reported after being stationed in Havana. At least one was reported in Guangzhou, and that's not counting the other the more apocryphal cases ...

I think I'll sit down and watch The Falling (The Guardian) while we wait for the next chapter of this increasingly absurd story. I feel that it'll be fun to see the Arya Stark actress in a very different role.

In the meantime, did you read the Vanity Fair article?!
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Old 2nd February 2019, 01:14 AM   #596
Checkmite
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
No, it's not Canada's job to worry about what the US thinks, but Canada sure tends to worry.
Not about this. They were not concerned enough to evacuate their mission in Havana when the US did for similar reasons; only now is Canada acting.

Canada does not share the US's antagonistic and troubled history and political relationship with Cuba. It has cordial relations with Cuba and was always openly critical of the US embargo. Canada has no reason to want an excuse to disrupt diplomatic relations with Cuba and despite your proclamation above there is no actual historical precedent for them to care about or defer to the US's opinion of Cuba, or the US's opinion of Canada-Cuba relations.

Originally Posted by dann View Post
It's also not Canada's job to "keep their staff in harm's way," but in a rational world it would be their job to recognize that there is no harm at all to remove their staff from.
If Canadian diplomats are becoming hysterical with some regularity upon posting to Havana, there is harm in continuing to send new people there. The alternative is literally to insist nothing is wrong while sending more staff and inevitably continuing to create new hysteria cases, which seems highly unethical to say the least. I say inevitable, because I cannot find anything in the researchable internet literature about mass psychogenic illness that suggests a simple authoritative announcement that nothing is wrong and all the symptoms are entirely in the sufferers' own heads, and forcing sufferers to remain within the triggering environment or conditions, is known to put an end to a mass hysteria outbreak.

Originally Posted by dann View Post
And if there were, why leave half of their staff "in harm's way" if they actually think that there is harm? Wouldn't that be an incomprehensible and irresponsible way of treating their staff?!!! It's very telling that they don't seem to think so, isn't it?
The people who are staying presumably have not succumbed to the hysteria, which means there is no danger for them specifically to remain. Determining whether new personnel are susceptible to hysteria requires them to be sent there, which is problematic because "failing the test" means they develop the troublesome symptoms which are certainly disturbing and grievous for them to deal with, psychosomatic though they may be.

ETA: There also may be logistic issues at work here. During the original outbreak, once Canadian diplomats began reporting symptoms, the Canadian government made a public announcement that it was allowing any diplomat who wanted to leave Cuba, regardless of symptoms, to return and be reassigned. With new cases of symptoms continuing to emerge, things may have come to a point where too many staffers have asked to leave Cuba and not enough staffers have volunteered to be sent to Havana to replace them.

Originally Posted by dann View Post
No, you're wrong again: They weren't all reported after being stationed in Havana. At least one was reported in Guangzhou, and that's not counting the other the more apocryphal cases ...
There are no reports I can find of Canadian diplomats reporting these symptoms anywhere other than Cuba. Perhaps you are conflating them with the US diplomatic reports.
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Old 2nd February 2019, 05:08 AM   #597
dann
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
Not about this. They were not concerned enough to evacuate their mission in Havana when the US did for similar reasons; only now is Canada acting.

Canada does not share the US's antagonistic and troubled history and political relationship with Cuba. It has cordial relations with Cuba and was always openly critical of the US embargo. Canada has no reason to want an excuse to disrupt diplomatic relations with Cuba and despite your proclamation above there is no actual historical precedent for them to care about or defer to the US's opinion of Cuba, or the US's opinion of Canada-Cuba relations.

And yet the Havana syndrome (Wikipedia) spread from CIA agents to Canadian diplomats.

Quote:
If Canadian diplomats are becoming hysterical with some regularity upon posting to Havana, there is harm in continuing to send new people there. The alternative is literally to insist nothing is wrong while sending more staff and inevitably continuing to create new hysteria cases, which seems highly unethical to say the least. I say inevitable, because I cannot find anything in the researchable internet literature about mass psychogenic illness that suggests a simple authoritative announcement that nothing is wrong and all the symptoms are entirely in the sufferers' own heads, and forcing sufferers to remain within the triggering environment or conditions, is known to put an end to a mass hysteria outbreak.

Why do you think, literally, that the alternative is "to insist nothing is wrong while sending more staff and inevitably continuing to create new hysteria cases"? Is that what a single one of the many recommended treatments or interventions suggests? Why did you try to "find anything in the researchable internet literature about mass psychogenic illness that suggests a simple authoritative announcement that nothing is wrong and all the symptoms are entirely in the sufferers' own heads," instead of reading what they actually recommend? Why this fairy tale about a(nother) wrong way of tackling a problem as the only alternative to the wrong way that is actually being used?!

Quote:
The people who are staying presumably have not succumbed to the hysteria, which means there is no danger for them specifically to remain. Determining whether new personnel are susceptible to hysteria requires them to be sent there, which is problematic because "failing the test" means they develop the troublesome symptoms which are certainly disturbing and grievous for them to deal with, psychosomatic though they may be.

I don't presume anything about why they are staying. Since they aren't tourists but employees of Canada, my guess is that they are staying because Canada wants them to stay. I haven't heard of a test to decide whether or not somebody is "susceptible to hysteria". Have you?! I assume that only an insignificant number of the embassy employees to be withdrawn from Havana will be teenage girls ...
(You can read about how the girls at the Le Roy High School were treated.)

Quote:
ETA: There also may be logistic issues at work here. During the original outbreak, once Canadian diplomats began reporting symptoms, the Canadian government made a public announcement that it was allowing any diplomat who wanted to leave Cuba, regardless of symptoms, to return and be reassigned. With new cases of symptoms continuing to emerge, things may have come to a point where too many staffers have asked to leave Cuba and not enough staffers have volunteered to be sent to Havana to replace them.

I don't think that your hypothesis is backed up by the words used to describe the situation.

Quote:
There are no reports I can find of Canadian diplomats reporting these symptoms anywhere other than Cuba. Perhaps you are conflating them with the US diplomatic reports.

No, I'm not. But why do you want to watch the Canadian cases isolated from the U.S. American ones that started it all?!
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"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx

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Old 2nd February 2019, 10:06 AM   #598
dann
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By the way, I wonder why we haven't heard the Brits complain about health-harmed diplomats. Their embassy in Havana is right next to Canada's. Why would the crickets only bother New-World English speakers?
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 2nd February 2019, 10:27 AM   #599
dann
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This one's interesting:

Quote:
"I think I can safely say the Cuban officials are as frustrated as we are that we cannot get any closer to determining a cause," the Canadian Government official told reporters.
(...)
The Canadian official said they have no information to indicate a cause or what or who might be behind it.
Canada withdraws half of its embassy staff from Cuba after another mystery illness (ABC News Australia, Jan. 31, 2019)
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"Stupidity renders itself invisible by assuming very large proportions. Completely unreasonable claims are irrefutable. Ni-en-leh pointed out that a philosopher might get into trouble by claiming that two times two makes five, but he does not risk much by claiming that two times two makes shoe polish." B. Brecht
"The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. The demand to give up the illusion about its condition is the demand to give up a condition which needs illusions." K. Marx
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Old 2nd February 2019, 10:44 AM   #600
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This is like a lot of the nonsense people believe. If there is something physical that affects one's tissues, then it can be detected. Unless you think it's magic pixie dust, that's not detectable.

Are these people presenting with the same symptoms consistently between individuals and are the symptoms accompanied by physical findings?

This case has all the hallmarks of hysteria.
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