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

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Old 5th March 2018, 02:35 PM   #401
Checkmite
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Originally Posted by TheGnome View Post
Now I seem to recall that the signal in question was quite strong.
We have no idea how strong the signal was; just that it was audible.
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Old 5th March 2018, 03:14 PM   #402
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
This explanation makes a whole lot of sense. Any embassy is bound to be flooded with radio frequencies, both from listening equipment installed by other nations' intelligence service and jammers installed by the embassy nation's counterintelligence services. These frequencies are normally inaudible of course; but the experiment proves that audible sounds can be produced at foci of frequency interference. This could easily explain the sounds heard by some - specifically the phenomenon reported by some that the sounds were extremely local; that is, that one could move one's body in and out of a small focused "zone" of audible sound. This small area is where the frequency interference happened to produce the audible tones.

This is a much more likely explanation than say crickets, which should be audible everywhere and which it seems unlikely that someone who's lived in the location for months would suddenly start hearing after being long deaf to them.
Every modern home and workplace is flooded with radio waves. We shouldn't confuse those with sound waves.

The article doesn't really help explain anything. It's speculation about a method of producing low frequency sounds by mixing high frequency sounds which is completely familiar to engineers if not well known to the general public. The 'experiment' was a demonstration, not an investigation, because the effect shown is already well understood.

I remember this technique being demonstrated on TV decades ago, as a system intended to produce localised audio descriptions within a museum hall or art gallery which would only become audible near each exhibit.

It doesn't get us anywhere closer to evidence of skulduggery in Cuba. The presence of audible sound doesn't strongly imply the presence of inaudible sounds as its source and even if it did, there's no hint of any mechanism for harming people with ultrasound nor motive for doing so. It still seems to me that rumours of the commies secretly beaming radio waves through diplomatic buildings (again) is exactly the sort of thing that would make people suddenly notice every little sound they'd previously ignored. I'm still persuaded it's just crickets.
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Old 5th March 2018, 09:18 PM   #403
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Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
It doesn't get us anywhere closer to evidence of skulduggery in Cuba. The presence of audible sound doesn't strongly imply the presence of inaudible sounds as its source and even if it did, there's no hint of any mechanism for harming people with ultrasound nor motive for doing so.
The article itself explains that the intent of the exploration wasn't to try and find any mechanism by which people were harmed, but just to provide a possible explanation for a sound which some people could hear and only in certain places, while others heard nothing; a phenomenon that crickets as an explanation fails to explain.
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Old 5th March 2018, 11:14 PM   #404
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
We have no idea how strong the signal was; just that it was audible.

Just audible?! That's not how it was described six months ago when it was supposed to impair people's hearing.
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Old 6th March 2018, 01:03 AM   #405
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The way I see it:

Kevin Fu did not examine what people were hearing. How could he? He didn't have access to them. Instead he examined the published audio clip. He then came up with intertmodulation[1] as a possible mechanism and did some experiments that this indeed could be the case.

But this leads to quite a few questions. Maybe he has answered them in the published (or soon to be published) paper, I don't know, but I'll list a couple.

With people experiencing this sound, the intermodulation (IM) would take place in their ears. For the sound clip, the IM would be produced in the recording device. Not all nonlinearities are equal. Are they really comparable in this case?

Do we know the quality and fidelity of the sound clip? What type of recording device was used? If it was digital, are we certain it's not aliasing e.g.? Are there artefacts from a compression algorithm maybe?

All in all I think it's an intriguing hypothesis but, going just from the linked article, I don't think it's much better supported than the crickets explanation.


[1] The choosen expression, intermodulation interference, might be a bit misleading. It just means that an unwanted signal is interferring with the desired signal. It has nothing to do with interference patterns as can be seen in soap films, or are used in interferometry. These do appear in perfectly linear media. For intermodulation to occur there absolutly must be some nonlinearity, in this case either in the recording device, or in the human ear.
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Old 6th March 2018, 05:56 AM   #406
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
The article itself explains that the intent of the exploration wasn't to try and find any mechanism by which people were harmed, but just to provide a possible explanation for a sound which some people could hear and only in certain places, while others heard nothing; a phenomenon that crickets as an explanation fails to explain.
I don't recall seeing a report of anyone hearing a noise which another person present couldn't hear, so this may not be a matter of whether some people were able to hear a particular sound but simply whether they noticed it.

My recollection is that one person reported a sound which ceased when they got out of bed or sat up in bed (plausibly turned a light on?) and resumed when they lay down again. Crickets fit that quite neatly.
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Old 7th March 2018, 02:29 PM   #407
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Cuban protests against the permanent cuts at the U.S. embassy in Havana with references to the alleged health attacks:

Quote:
“It is false that the diplomatic staff of the Embassy is or has been at risk,” added Fernandez de Cossio.
The Cuban diplomat stressed that “it is false that it was allowed in Cuba or that any deliberate action against diplomats of the United States may have occurred in Cuba.”
Cossio criticized on Twitter that Washington continues to use the word “attack”, when “it knows perfectly well that no attack or deliberate act occurred in Cuba against its diplomats.”
“The United States has sufficient evidence that Cuba is a safe country for US diplomats or any country, as well as for Cubans and for more than 4 million foreign visitors every year,” he added.
Cuba Criticizes Trump’s Decision to Maintain Reduction in Embassy Staff (Havana Times, Mar. 3, 2018)

Quote:
A State Department spokeswoman, Heather Nauert, called the Cuban complaint "ridiculous."

"Let's remind Cuba: They are obligated under the Vienna Convention to protect our diplomats. It is very serious that 24 of our U.S. government colleagues suffered health attacks, some with serious and ongoing symptoms. Secretary Tillerson had to protect his staff by limiting our work at the U.S. Embassy in Havana to emergency services," she said.

"While our investigation is ongoing, rather than find excuses, Cuba should focus on helping to locate who or what is responsible for the harm caused to American citizens," Nauert added.
Cuba condemns U.S. cuts to embassy staff over health attacks (VOA News/AP, Mar. 5, 2018)

Quote:
Asimismo, el Director General para Estados Unidos calificó como otro acto hostil y difamatorio la renovación de la alerta que recomienda a los viajeros reconsiderar las visitas a Cuba, emitida igualmente el 2 de marzo.
En su opinión dicha alerta está basada en motivaciones políticas y no tiene relación con la salud de los funcionarios ni con la preocupación por los viajeros.
«Es falso que el personal diplomático de la Embajada esté o haya estado en riesgo. Es falso que haya sido objeto de ataques. Es falso que se haya permitido en Cuba o que pueda haber ocurrido en Cuba por parte de alguien alguna acción deliberada contra diplomáticos de los EE. UU. Es falso que ciudadanos estadounidenses tengan razones para temer por su seguridad en Cuba», expresó.
«El Gobierno de EE. UU. tiene evidencias suficientes de que Cuba es un país seguro para diplomáticos estadounidenses y para los diplomáticos de cualquier país, como lo es para los ciudadanos cubanos, para los residentes extranjeros y para los millones de viajeros de todas partes del mundo que visitan Cuba cada año».
Minrex: Decisión unilateral del Gobierno de Estados Unidos responde a motivaciones políticas (Juventud Rebelde, Mar. 6, 2018)
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Old 14th March 2018, 03:56 AM   #408
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Quote:
Pompeo shares much of Trump’s worldview
Beyond his Russia falsehoods, Pompeo is known for a hard-line view of Iran — including “rolling back” the Iran nuclear deal — and his support for Guantanamo Bay and the brutal interrogation of terror suspects.
Mike Pompeo, your likely new — and Trump-friendly — secretary of state (Vox, Mar. 13, 2018)

¿Qué significa la designación de Mike Pompeo para Venezuela y Cuba? (Diario las Américas, Mar. 13, 2018)

There's no reason to think that Pompeo won't continue the lie about the alleged Cuban health attacks.
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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 March 2018, 05:46 AM   #409
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New JAMA article:

Quote:
Steven Lewis, MD, coauthor of the editorial accompanying the study, noted that none of the patients underwent similar testing before they arrived in Havana, making it difficult to pinpoint when their problems began. Without reporting the age of each patient or having prior baseline test results, it’s also impossible exclude the likelihood that the neurological findings could simply be due to aging, explained Lewis, chief of neurology at the Lehigh Valley Health Network in Pennsylvania.
For example, he said, age could be a factor in the 3 people who needed hearing aids after they left Havana. “We don’t know if they were 38 or 58. If they were 38 and had hearing loss, maybe that would potentially be a little more significant.” Given the lack of baseline testing, it would be helpful to have blinded evaluators compare the cohort to age- and sex-matched controls, Lewis said.
More Questions Raised by Concussion-like Symptoms Found in US Diplomats Who Served in Havana (JAMA Network, Mar. 20, 2018)

I know from my own experience and that of friends that many people with impaired hearing tend to procrastinate instead of being pro-active about it. Sometimes it may be a question of vanity - even in women, even though it's usually pretty easy for them to cover up the hearing-aid devices you can get nowadays, so it's no surprise that discreet (533.000 google hits!) is a major selling point (efficient 845.000!). It's also no surprise that in a group of 24 people of all ages, you may find three whose hearing is so impaired that hearing-aid devices are recommended.

Quote:
The key victims were CIA agents. Not a single tourist was affected, and the island remains among the safest countries in the world to visit.
(…)
Only after DeLaurentis briefed the entire diplomatic corps at the Havana embassy in late March 2017 did something akin to mass hysteria break out. Some 80 members of the US diplomatic community, including family and non-diplomatic personnel, took a leave to Miami to be tested for symptoms.
(…)
But at time when the Trump administration seems determined to undermine better US relations with Cuba, travel to the island has become all the more important. If the State Department is unwilling to engage in the mission of diplomacy, it will be left to the citizen-diplomats to fill the void and, at the people-to-people level, advance the cause of positive relations.
What the US Government Is Not Telling You about Those 'Sonic Attacks' in Cuba (The Nation, Mar. 7, 2018)

The Nation refers to this Pro-Publica article (Feb. 14, 2018), which I already linked to (among many others) in post 390.
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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; 22nd March 2018 at 05:49 AM.
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Old 4th April 2018, 07:01 AM   #410
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At least, the alleged health attacks don't seem to have harmed tourism much:

Quote:
Experiences reported and surveys conducted indicate that visitors have been satisfied with their trips to Cuba, confirming that Cuba is secure, tranquil, and stable, characteristics also recognized by United Nations international agencies, and other specialized tourism groups. At the same time, leading companies have praised the country's standards of quality and comfort.
Cuban tourism: Secure and on the rise (Granma, Mar. 26, 2018)

I hope the sonic blasts will be relegated to the fairy tales where they belong!

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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 April 2018, 05:18 AM   #411
dann
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Quote:
The Canadian government says 10 people, including children, are currently being followed for medical care by a doctor hired by Canada’s Global Affairs department and are experiencing symptoms that are similar to a concussion, such as headaches, dizziness, nausea and difficulty concentrating. Two of those people reported symptoms after they returned to Canada.
Canada Recalls Families of Diplomats in Cuba (Wall Street Journal, Apr. 16, 2018)

Quote:
Canada announced Monday it was bringing home the families of its diplomats in Cuba, after a year-long investigation into a mysterious illness afflicting Canadian and US officials failed to reveal a cause.
(…)
The symptoms included dizziness, headaches and a lack of ability to concentrate. "In some cases the symptoms have appeared to lessen in intensity, before reasserting themselves," the government said.
(…)
The last two cases in August and December involved individuals who reported having sensed what they described as waves of pressure.
Canada pulls families of diplomats out of Cuba over mysterious illness (eNCA.com, Apr. 17, 2018)

To me the description of the symptoms still sounds like psychogenic illness.
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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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