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

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Old 1st November 2017, 07:35 PM   #281
Checkmite
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Sure thing; Sherkeu posted it just above:

Originally Posted by Sherkeu View Post
Compare to the AP recording here.
If working on the AP's recording makes it obvious the sound was produced by an animal, the way you've shown for the cricket sound clip, I'll have to capitulate on the potential evidentiary value of the AP sound clip.
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Old 1st November 2017, 11:18 PM   #282
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Wait a minute, let me get this straight: So if the AP's alleged recording seems to have been created by de-noising and filtering an actual recording of crickets, then it doesn't have any potential evidentiary value, whereas if it seems never to have been anywhere near the sound made by a cricket (or any other animal), then it does?
Will somebody playing around with e.g. sinus waves and presenting a tape, claiming: 'This is a recording of the supersonic weapon (noise harassment, whatever),' have potential evidentiary value? If that is the case, then of what exactly?

PS I guess that what I'm asking is the question that we usually confront believers with: What evidence would it take to change your mind? i.e. about this case being an attack (harassment, whatever) on … let's call them: US diplomats in Havana perpetrated by the Cubans (Russian, ISIS, whatever)?
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Old 2nd November 2017, 01:28 AM   #283
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The evidence I would like to hear is a good quality recording of several of those same crickets, to show whether it produces the same noise around 7kHz without the clear chirping an individual animal makes.

If the AP recording really is of multiple animals will Calebprime be able to pick out the same characteristics he identified from an individual, or will they be masked by the multiple sources?

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Old 2nd November 2017, 02:15 AM   #284
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It doesn't need to be a cricket, or even a cicada (most cicadas make noise in the daytime).
There are a few species of loud katydids that make a continuous high-pitched sound.

Let's check out some more noisy Cuban bugs!

The Robust Conehead. Listen here.
Quote:
"Song: A continuous harsh buzz of incredible volume, with a peak frequency of about 8 kHz. Can be heard more than a thousand feet away! At close range, it becomes painful to listen to. One would think that the insect would burst into flames from the friction produced in creating such an intense song." ....
"In addition to being loudest, this species has the fastest stridulatory wing-stroke rate of any katydid--208 cycles of wing movement per second in the example above. The song must be slowed to one-sixteenth speed to allow individual wing-movement cycles to be heard."
The Cuban Ground Cricket is a fast trill sound, but at 42 pulses per second, it is a relative slowpoke to this turbo katydid at 208! (normal cricket noise is somewhere around 5/second).

I'm not sure with the volume (up to an ear-splitting 100db) and insane speed that it could be reliably recorded with a cellphone. The mic on my Samsung doesn't 'do' loud well and I'm pretty sure it's all compressed. Perhaps the victim doing this AP recording had some better tech to use. We really don't know how it was made, or altered, or even transferred for that matter.

The runners up :
The Swift Conehead. Listen here.

The Broad-tipped (Triops) Conehead. Listen here. (atypical summer song)

All the Coneheads are loud, but these 3 can live in Cuba and make a continuous high-pitched tone.

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Old 2nd November 2017, 02:25 AM   #285
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Quote:
"It's the same bandwidth and it's audibly very similar," said Lt. Col. Juan Carlos Molina, a telecommunications specialist with the Interior Ministry. "We compared the spectrums of the sounds and evidently this common sound is very similar to the sound of a cicada."
Cuba bugged by US allegations of sonic attacks (Fox News Oct. 27, 2017)

Breitbart, by the way, thinks that the Cuban report
Quote:
… does not address the Castro regime’s decades-long history of harassing and tormenting diplomats from nations it considers adversarial, particularly Americans and Canadians.
Cuba: Sonic Attacks on U.S. Diplomats Were Cricket, Cicada Noises (Breitbart, Oct. 27, 2017)


and also claims that
Quote:
At least one former Cuban political prisoner has testified to being tortured in prison with a sonic device that emitted sounds very similar to what the Associated Press released as the audio diplomats reported hearing before suffering adverse health effects. The incident in Cuban prisons in question required the use of loudspeakers and occurred in the 1970s, suggesting that Cuba has had access to such technology for decades.

Quote:
The report corresponds with several anti-American opinion pieces published in the numerous websites controlled by the communist regime. One particularly scathing attack surfaced on the website CubaDebate, which referred to President Donald Trump as “the sorcerer’s apprentice” and compared him to Mickey Mouse.

I am not sure that I sympathize with this comparison, however. If I were Disney, I would probably sue ...
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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 November 2017, 02:39 AM   #286
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I've slowed down the AP sound, but it just sounds like a couple of crickets with no definition and no high end at all.

I could post it, but there's not much to hear -- just a bunch of vaguely pulsing sine-like waves.

I'm not sure how much individual variation there is in the bugs, but the best way would be to get a clean recording of the "attack" and then simply see if it more or less matches pitch with some insect. (This seems close.)

I say this without hearing the two back-to-back, which I'm doing now:

Listening back-to-back, I'd say the pitch-match is remarkable, especially considering we're probably hearing some aliasing in the AP recording from crappy electronic processing.

I'd go with crickets being the source of that sound unless there's something better.
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Old 2nd November 2017, 02:40 AM   #287
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Here is a katydid being filmed and collected in Zapata Swamp - about 70mi from Havana (as crows fly). Something in the swamp is making noise!

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Old 2nd November 2017, 02:41 AM   #288
dann
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Originally Posted by Sherkeu View Post
There are a few species of loud katydids that make a continuous high-pitched sound.
Wow! It would be amazing if that could also be the rational explanation for the allegations of torture: "… has testified to being tortured in prison with a sonic device that emitted sounds very similar to what the Associated Press released."
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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 November 2017, 04:03 AM   #289
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I'm alarmed to learn that the Cuban regime has had access to loudspeakers since at least the 1970s. If they ever get their hands on amplifiers goodness knows what they might do.
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Old 2nd November 2017, 05:33 AM   #290
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Some vehicles even have wheels nowadays!
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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 November 2017, 11:33 AM   #291
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Originally Posted by calebprime View Post
I've slowed down the AP sound, but it just sounds like a couple of crickets with no definition and no high end at all.

I could post it, but there's not much to hear -- just a bunch of vaguely pulsing sine-like waves.

I'm not sure how much individual variation there is in the bugs, but the best way would be to get a clean recording of the "attack" and then simply see if it more or less matches pitch with some insect. (This seems close.)

I say this without hearing the two back-to-back, which I'm doing now:

Listening back-to-back, I'd say the pitch-match is remarkable, especially considering we're probably hearing some aliasing in the AP recording from crappy electronic processing.

I'd go with crickets being the source of that sound unless there's something better.
Without hearing the comparison for myself I suppose I need to take your word for it; but I don't see why that should be problematic. Crickets it is.
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Old 2nd November 2017, 12:01 PM   #292
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This one slipped by me until now:

Quote:
And American experts said they know of no technology that would explain the symptoms.
"There's never been any kind of physiological response that reflects the symptoms that have been reported that has ever been caused by sound waves of any type," said Joe Pompei, a former MIT researcher who is the founder and president of Holosonics, a sound technology company.
"Unless they had transducers in the bathtub and had the diplomats submerge their heads for a long time, it's just not possible," Pompei added.
(NBC News, Oct. 24, 2017)

I found the link to the NBC News article at CubaDebate, but the Cuban article seems to be merely a summary in Spanish (My Spanish is a little rusty and was never very good in the first place) of the NBC News article: Expertos de Cuba y EEUU coinciden: No hay evidencias de “ataques sónicos” (CubaDebate, Oct. 25, 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

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Old 2nd November 2017, 12:10 PM   #293
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
Without hearing the comparison for myself I suppose I need to take your word for it; but I don't see why that should be problematic. Crickets it is.

With my own impaired hearing, I guess it wouldn't give me any kind of certainty to hear calebprime's sound sample for myself, but let's not dismiss his "probably" and "unless there's something better."
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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 November 2017, 12:22 PM   #294
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
Without hearing the comparison for myself I suppose I need to take your word for it; but I don't see why that should be problematic. Crickets it is.
What I didn't say clearly enough is that the best way right now is simply to listen to the 2 soundfiles that you and S. linked to, back-to-back.

Because we don't have enough samples of the noise, and nothing clear, no amount of slowing down is going to reveal much new detail, or give an insight, I think.

Happy to keep trying.

If it really bugs you, I can dig up the slowed down AP sound again, or make it again. I might have cleaned up and thrown it out.


As for what I'm saying: I've made a living with my ears and technology and this sounds like a bad recording of crickets.

It's simply the "think horses, not zebras" school of diagnosis.

Last time I checked I could only hear to 13k. But I'm in a quiet room with great gear.
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Old 2nd November 2017, 04:06 PM   #295
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
This one slipped by me until now:

I found the link to the NBC News article at CubaDebate, but the Cuban article seems to be merely a summary in Spanish (My Spanish is a little rusty and was never very good in the first place) of the NBC News article: Expertos de Cuba y EEUU coinciden: No hay evidencias de “ataques sónicos” (CubaDebate, Oct. 25, 2017)
These statements seem to echo those quoted in the Guardian article I linked to a couple of pages ago:

Quote:
“Brain damage and concussions, it’s not possible,” said Joseph Pompei, a former MIT researcher and psychoacoustics expert. “Somebody would have to submerge their head into a pool lined with very powerful ultrasound transducers.”
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Old 2nd November 2017, 04:07 PM   #296
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Originally Posted by calebprime View Post
What I didn't say clearly enough is that the best way right now is simply to listen to the 2 soundfiles that you and S. linked to, back-to-back.

Because we don't have enough samples of the noise, and nothing clear, no amount of slowing down is going to reveal much new detail, or give an insight, I think.

Happy to keep trying.
No! I wasn't being facetious - I'm quite satisfied.
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Old 3rd November 2017, 07:20 AM   #297
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
These statements seem to echo those quoted in the Guardian article I linked to a couple of pages ago:
Yes, they do. The acoustics experts have been pretty consistent from the very beginning. Tragic Monkey referred to a similar statement as early as Sep. 18.
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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 3rd November 2017, 07:41 AM   #298
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Yes, they do. The acoustics experts have been pretty consistent from the very beginning. Tragic Monkey referred to a similar statement as early as Sep. 18.
"Soon came the hearing loss, and the speech problems, symptoms both similar and altogether different from others among at least 21 US victims in an astonishing international mystery still unfolding in Cuba."

Dafuq?

"Some victims now have problems concentrating or recalling specific words, several officials said, the latest signs of more serious damage than the US government initially realized."

When people can't keep their story straight from one interview to the next, that doesn't strengthen the claims!

The only thing consistent about this story is the absurd efforts many are going through to make completely unrelated observations into a Grand Unified Theory.

We stuffed our government full of sycophants and cronies, many of the dingbat conspiracy persuasion.

Were reaping what we've sewn.

This is where the tapatalk signature that annoys people used to be
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Old 3rd November 2017, 12:03 PM   #299
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You are not the first one in this thread to talk about the present US Administration in this thread, and there is a new actable by Robert E. Bartholomew, who quotes several acoustics (or weapons) experts in a recent article in Skeptic: THE “SONIC ATTACK” ON U.S. DIPLOMATS IN CUBA: Why the State Department’s Claims Don’t Add Up
Quote:
“A leading figure in the field of psychoacoustics, former MIT researcher Joseph Pompei,” “German physicist and acoustics specialist Jürgen Altmann of Technology University Dortmund,” “Former Brown University neuroscientist Seth Horowitz Former CIA officer Fulton Armstrong,” “Timothy Leighton, professor of Ultrasonics and Acoustics at Southampton University in the United Kingdom,” “Drs. James Jauchem and Michael Cook of the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory in San Antonio, Texas,”
He ends his article with speculations that
Quote:
It may be no coincidence then that the outbreak reportedly began just days after the election of Donald Trump, an administration known for promoting conspiracy theories.
and one of the comments to the article thinks that
Quote:
Maybe the diplomats were just getting nauseous at the idea of Donald Trump overseeing foreign policy. I’ve been experiencing some of the same symptoms myself whenever I read the papers.
So maybe for future references we should start calling this as a case of Sick President Syndrome.


There is a reference and link to Bartholomew's article in Real Clear Science, also Oct. 25, 2017)
And for people who are into superheroes, there’s now an article called No, Ulysses Klaw did not attack U.S. diplomats in Cuba (adventuresinpoortaste.com, 26. Oct., 2017)
I hadn’t heard about Ulysses Klaw, but he appears to be
Quote:
a human physicist who has been transformed into solid sound, and who wears a sonic emitter on his right wrist as a prosthetic device.
Ulysses Klaw (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 4th November 2017, 11:50 PM   #300
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Originally Posted by Delphic Oracle View Post
"Some victims now have problems concentrating or recalling specific words, several officials said, the latest signs of more serious damage than the US government initially realized."

When people can't keep their story straight from one interview to the next, that doesn't strengthen the claims!
I think it strengthens the "claim" such as it is that those having such issues are suffering from a genuine malady of some kind. It doesn't strengthen any relationship to whatever sounds they believe they heard in Cuba.
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Old 5th November 2017, 01:44 AM   #301
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Oh boy, here we go again!
It actually strengthens the claim that we are dealing with a case of mass hysteria: any new symptoms only show how it is evolving. The first case of hearing loss may very well have been genuine:

Quote:
However, it is certainly possible that the initial index case may have an organic diagnosis, but not those subsequently afflicted. This is a pattern that is frequently reported in other MPI episodes.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3536509/
That you have to add "of some (!) kind" certainly doesn't strengthen your diagnosis!

My guess is that in the near future, any of the previous 22 (23?) 'victims' forgetting one of the items that they intended to buy at the supermarket will think that they are now exhibiting a symptom of this "genuine malady", and this in spite of the fact that from time to time we probably all experience these 'symptoms': "problems concentrating or recalling specific words."

I sure as hell know that I do. The more stressed out or just plain exhausted I am, the likelier I am to have problems concentrating. And with some specific words I've noticed a general tendency to having difficulties recalling them, to the extent that I've had to develop little mental strategies in order to cope. For instance, I can only remember the word tautology by reminding myself that its first syllable is tau like in the German word tausend and the first time I heard tautology was in a German context. Luckily it's not a word I need to use very often.

(Am I the only one here doing stuff like this? Or should I, too, start blaming the Cubans? Or maybe the Germans?!)

Se also: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC543940/
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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 5th November 2017, 02:46 AM   #302
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Don't worry, Dann. If you still care about remembering tautology, you're still ok.

I figure if it's important, it will come back to me.
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Old 5th November 2017, 03:13 AM   #303
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I don't worry, and I've had the same problem all my life, so I don't even worry that it might be age-related.
However, when I'm in class and stuck for words, I can't resort to comforting myself that it'll come back to me at some point. Having to juggle three languages also doesn't help.
But in the future, I'll just blame the Cubans!
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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 5th November 2017, 08:55 AM   #304
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
No, Ulysses Klaw did not attack U.S. diplomats in Cuba (adventuresinpoortaste.com, 26. Oct., 2017)

In addition to the comic-book/superhero version of this story, there's also the salsa version, but that's one of mine: CUBAN SOUNDS: Jiminy & His Crickets of Mass Hysteria
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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 5th November 2017, 02:04 PM   #305
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If you dig deeper into this situation, you find that the US decisions against Cuba the last few months all align with the crisis in Venezuela and Cuba's massive influence there.

The situation is at super critical levels now as Venezuela is predicted to default on their loans and the impending economic collapse will ripple through global financial markets. Still, Maduro's Castro-Chavista regime has managed to hang onto power through election fraud and violent crackdowns on protesters (power they lost after being defeated in Dec 2015 elections). Many world leaders have tried diplomacy, with the most promising efforts happening last Nov 2016. All have failed.
95% of Venezuela's hard currency comes from US companies as we have the specialized refineries for their subpar crude. But, like Cuba, the party line is that the evil Imperialists are the source of all their problems. One by one, all the freedoms have been stripped and 1-party power consolidated under the guise of protecting the people (where have we seen this before?). The people in what once was the richest SA country now live in chaos and poverty. It's bizarre to see how it all has unfolded and every hope for a return to democracy was squashed along the way.

As for the specific need to remove the diplomats, I think it was completely retaliatory to limit economic benefits and urge Cuba to make some sort of concession on Venezuela. Leaving also removes the ability to process the travel and immigrant visas. (Castro threatened a 'migrant crisis' if we broke ties, something his older brother had done).
You'll notice that new Venezuela sanctions happened the week before the sonic story. Their allies, Russia (arms-for-oil) and Iran (please-help-raise-oil-prices) also got new sanctions that week. Those last 2 are the best hope for economic rescue - though Venezuela currently looks like a mess only the IMF could afford.

The effects of any covert US operations in Venezuela and Cuba aren't clear.
There is a report of an 'alleged' Venezuelan assassination plot on Rubio in July that may have entered the mix.
Actually, a whole slew of critical events happened between May1-Aug8 that seem to feed right into the 'health attack' issue with Cuba. I'll try to put all the events/dates in summary later.
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Old 5th November 2017, 03:34 PM   #306
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
Oh boy, here we go again!
It actually strengthens the claim that we are dealing with a case of mass hysteria: any new symptoms only show how it is evolving.
Yeah, see, but, no. I've been looking through some past cases of what is generally considered to be mass hysteria, and the definitive common factor between all of them is that all of the victims share the exact same symptoms. One girl in church starts uncontrollably laughing, and then there are a dozen girls in the same church uncontrollably laughing. One little boy in Japan is reported to have suffered a "seizure" after watching a certain episode of a popular cartoon, and next thing you know a hundred other little boys are suffering seizures after watching that episode. Sometimes there are multiple symptoms reported, like headaches AND nausea AND vomiting; but in those cases, every person who ends up being afflicted, has headaches AND nausea AND vomiting. I have yet to read about a single case where a Dancing Mania "evolved" into a Toothache Mania, or a mass schoolgirl fainting episode "evolved" into a mass gout attack, with one random bloke on the side wondering if his case of shingles is part of the same disease. This business of 20 different people with 20 different symptoms being bundled together into a single case of "mass hysteria" seems unique to this Cuba incident.

Originally Posted by dann View Post
That you have to add "of some (!) kind" certainly doesn't strengthen your diagnosis!

My guess is that in the near future, any of the previous 22 (23?) 'victims' forgetting one of the items that they intended to buy at the supermarket will think that they are now exhibiting a symptom of this "genuine malady", and this in spite of the fact that from time to time we probably all experience these 'symptoms': "problems concentrating or recalling specific words."
That's obviously not true; after all this report we're talking about is months old already and there haven't been any new developments along the line that you predict, at least that have been reported.

But, once again, you are leaping to conclusions. My "diagnosis" is that a person having devolving memory loss long after having returned from Cuba, probably has something genuinely wrong with him. A person suffering persistent hearing loss long after having returned from Cuba, probably has something genuinely wrong with her. It is only your continued, insistent presumption that I'm implying the "same thing" is wrong with both of them, AND that "thing" has anything whatsoever to do with Cuba.

Because since those September reports, with the only exception maybe of the headaches or hearing symptoms (because exposure to loud and constant sound is already well known to sometimes cause those transient conditions), I've pretty much discounted any of the medical symptoms having anything to do with the alleged Cuba sounds, because - as the articles back then pointed out - it's pretty obvious they couldn't be very related. And I've already said as much before in this thread; I shouldn't have to repeatedly assert it every page lest people forget it. I simply also object to the symptoms being handwaved as "mass hysteria", because there's no evidence they are, for one, and for another the range of symptoms being reported is too vast and disparate compared to known cases of mass hysteria, which as I said involve masses of people all "succumbing" to a very particular and defined set of symptoms.

Rather, I think that all the various people who reported nausea OR headaches OR "tingling sensations" OR vision problems OR whatever, most likely just had unrelated bugs of various types. When you travel, especially to different climates, places where the air and water have different chemical traces in them, places where you haven't developed saturation immunity to the local micro-critters, you get the sniffles, or diarrhea, or occasional muscle weakness, or what have you - it's just what happens. That, and not "mass hysteria", is actually the most reasonable explanation for what's going on. The fact that a couple of people hearing sounds and feeling weird things around the same time led others to more keenly notice the random but innocuous medical issues they'd also started experiencing since moving to Cuba and simply wondering or even investigating if there might be a connection, is just fairly typical "inquiry" to me, not enough to go slapping the "mass hysteria" label on the entire affair and treating them like they're a bunch of woos crying about gluten.
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Old 5th November 2017, 03:34 PM   #307
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
I think it strengthens the "claim" such as it is that those having such issues are suffering from a genuine malady of some kind. It doesn't strengthen any relationship to whatever sounds they believe they heard in Cuba.
Are there more explanations for making inconsistent statements from one questioning to the next than "a genuine malady?"

This is where the tapatalk signature that annoys people used to be
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Old 5th November 2017, 03:44 PM   #308
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Here's an article outlining some of the current Cuba-Venezuela issues.
Newsweek Aug 2, 2017


Quote:
Cuba is not a just an ally of Venezuela, Cuba is the puppet master of the Maduro regime. Since the days of Hugo Chávez, the Cubans have been closely advising the Venezuelan government on how to dismantle democratic institutions.

Cuban agents control many agencies within the Venezuelan government and are deeply ingrained in the armed forces. In exchange, Cubans get cheap Venezuelan oil, a subsidy that at some point amounted to 20 percent of the island’s GDP. Cuba has made it clear in recent weeks that it won’t allow its colony to slip from its control.
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Old 5th November 2017, 03:49 PM   #309
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Originally Posted by Delphic Oracle View Post
Are there more explanations for making inconsistent statements from one questioning to the next than "a genuine malady?"
Where does "making inconsistent statements from one questioning to the next" come from?
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Old 6th November 2017, 03:30 AM   #310
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
I've been looking through some past cases of what is generally considered to be mass hysteria, and the definitive common factor between all of them is that all of the victims share the exact same symptoms. One girl in church starts uncontrollably laughing, and then there are a dozen girls in the same church uncontrollably laughing. One little boy in Japan is reported to have suffered a "seizure" after watching a certain episode of a popular cartoon, and next thing you know a hundred other little boys are suffering seizures after watching that episode. Sometimes there are multiple symptoms reported, like headaches AND nausea AND vomiting; but in those cases, every person who ends up being afflicted, has headaches AND nausea AND vomiting. I have yet to read about a single case where a Dancing Mania "evolved" into a Toothache Mania, or a mass schoolgirl fainting episode "evolved" into a mass gout attack, with one random bloke on the side wondering if his case of shingles is part of the same disease. This business of 20 different people with 20 different symptoms being bundled together into a single case of "mass hysteria" seems unique to this Cuba incident.
Yes, you have "been looking through some (!) past cases", but apparently not enough, and there's probably a reason why you seem to prefer the medieval ones when no properly medically trained observer was present (or even existed) to take down all the symptoms of everybody (or at least as many as possible) affected. What is reported is the one thing that seemed to characterize the mania and also gave it its name. They are the records we are left with.

And I would really like to see your documentation that this is what characterizes an outbreak of mass hysteria (or mass psychogenic illness): "every (!) person who ends up being afflicted, has headaches AND nausea AND vomiting."

It simply isn't true - at least it isn't true of contemporary cases: sick building syndrome, complaints about electro smog or the recent, and to some extent still ongoing HPV-vaccine scare in my own country.
Skeptic Ginger already pointed that out to you:
Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
The biggest tells:
No one has the same symptoms
Some nebulous rash, a scratchy throat and headaches dominate the complaints
One cannot find a correlating exposure
And not always but not an unusual finding, people are mad at some supervisor or employer action
which you dismissed at the time with a rather typical straw man:
Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
Dishonest description. It's been reported that many of the complainers reported different symptoms, but you don't have enough information to justify reframing that as if there are absolutely no similar symptoms between any two alleged victims.

So let's continue:
Quote:
That's obviously not true; after all this report we're talking about is months old already and there haven't been any new developments along the line that you predict, at least that have been reported.
So now you're blaming me that what I guess will happen "in the near future" hasn't already happened???! I'm sorry, but that's kind of how the future works, even the near one.

Quote:
But, once again, you are leaping to conclusions. My "diagnosis" is that a person having devolving memory loss long after having returned from Cuba, probably has something genuinely wrong with him. A person suffering persistent hearing loss long after having returned from Cuba, probably has something genuinely wrong with her. It is only your continued, insistent presumption that I'm implying the "same thing" is wrong with both of them, AND that "thing" has anything whatsoever to do with Cuba.
If all you're saying is that sometimes people may develop memory loss, then I'll have to agree with you. People do that all the time and for various reasons. But the kind of memory loss described here is pretty specific, and the reason why I mentioned my own experience with very similar 'symptoms' was that I seriously doubt that we're talking about anything other than people in a prolonged state of anxiety beginning to question and worry about every little thing that they imagine might be wrong with them and a symptom of a serious defect - much like the tourist staying at the Hotel Capri who appears to have come down with a bad case of hypochondria based only on the tingling sensations that he felt in his extremities when he started relaxing after a long day of walking in Havana.

Quote:
Because since those September reports, with the only exception maybe of the headaches or hearing symptoms (because exposure to loud and constant sound is already well known to sometimes cause those transient conditions), I've pretty much discounted any of the medical symptoms having anything to do with the alleged Cuba sounds, because - as the articles back then pointed out - it's pretty obvious they couldn't be very related. And I've already said as much before in this thread; I shouldn't have to repeatedly assert it every page lest people forget it. I simply also object to the symptoms being handwaved as "mass hysteria", because there's no evidence they are, for one,
That is the problem with the diagnosis of mass hysteria/mass psychogenic illness that you seem to be unable to grasp: In modern medicine it has become fairly easy to find evidence for most diseases: you x-ray the led and find the fracture, you analyze the blood and discover the virus or the antibodies corresponding to a well-defined disease. That is proof positive. What's funny about the diagnosis of a psychogenic illness is that you do much the same thing, and when you don't find anything, you begin to suspect hypochondria or - if you have a number of patients from the same group: mass psychogenic illness. That is the 'proof', i.e. the absence of proof of something else, an actual disease - but, of course, proof is not what you're looking for ...

Quote:
and for another the range of symptoms being reported is too vast and disparate compared to known cases of mass hysteria, which as I said involve masses of people all "succumbing" to a very particular and defined set of symptoms.
Yes, that's what you already said, and it remains a straw man the second time around.

Quote:
Rather, I think that all the various people who reported nausea OR headaches OR "tingling sensations" OR vision problems OR whatever, most likely just had unrelated bugs of various types. When you travel, especially to different climates, places where the air and water have different chemical traces in them, places where you haven't developed saturation immunity to the local micro-critters, you get the sniffles, or diarrhea, or occasional muscle weakness, or what have you - it's just what happens. That, and not "mass hysteria", is actually the most reasonable explanation for what's going on.
No, it isn't! If you get diarrhea (and I've had the 'pleasure' more than once in Cuba), it's fairly easy to diagnose what causes it: You just have to look for the "micro-critters" in a stool sample. Critters found - diagnosis complete: That is what actually caused the symptoms, and it's usually relatively easy to cure. (And if not: drink plenty of water and wait it out.) What seems to be essential in the case of mass hysteria is the story, the paradigm! Concealed super weapons (nowadays in Havana) or 'the Devil made me do it' (the middle ages).
And that is how your true, real-life, actual diseases can evolve into mass hysteria, contagious like a meme within the paradigm of the STORY!

Quote:
The fact that a couple of people hearing sounds and feeling weird things around the same time led others to more keenly notice the random but innocuous medical issues they'd also started experiencing since moving to Cuba and simply wondering or even investigating if there might be a connection, is just fairly typical "inquiry" to me, not enough to go slapping the "mass hysteria" label on the entire affair and treating them like they're a bunch of woos crying about gluten.
(Checkmit's own use of bold, in this case; the ones above were mine, dann)
Wondering, investigating and inquiring are very admirable endeavors, but now you're trying to change the paradigm, to turn it into a case of semi-skeptics coming down with something on a sea cruise, which is obviously not what happened here. I am beginning to wonder what your relationship is to this group of people since you seem to have a very peculiar need to invent a story about the whole thing that doesn't in the remotest way reflect the description of the case that we have heard so far.
Mass hysteria or mass psychogenic illness, however, does!
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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 6th November 2017, 04:30 AM   #311
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Originally Posted by Sherkeu View Post
Here's an article outlining some of the current Cuba-Venezuela issues.
Newsweek Aug 2, 2017

Quote:
Cuba is the puppet master of the Maduro regime (… and) ... it won’t allow its colony to slip from its control.
That doesn't sound biassed at all.
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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 November 2017, 08:48 AM   #312
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
That doesn't sound biassed at all.
Agree, that particular description is exaggerated but the basics were all in that short article.

As for the attacks, my current theory is insecticide fogging. I bet they fogged/sprayed heavily in late November before visitors arrived for Castro's funeral. Cuba had been fogging a lot that year for the Zika virus.

If that is the case, people would feel sick in bed, but not when they left the room. Not because of the attack, but because of their altitude as the chemicals hang in low spaces.
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Old 6th November 2017, 09:08 AM   #313
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Originally Posted by Sherkeu View Post
Agree, that particular description is exaggerated but the basics were all in that short article.

As for the attacks, my current theory is insecticide fogging. I bet they fogged/sprayed heavily in late November before visitors arrived for Castro's funeral. Cuba had been fogging a lot that year for the Zika virus.

If that is the case, people would feel sick in bed, but not when they left the room. Not because of the attack, but because of their altitude as the chemicals hang in low spaces.
Can you explain that last bit?

eta: oh, you mean that they'd be inhaling fumes when prone in bed, but when they got up and walked around, they'd have little more exposure
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Old 6th November 2017, 11:20 AM   #314
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Originally Posted by Sherkeu View Post
Agree, that particular description is exaggerated but the basics were all in that short article.

As for the attacks, my current theory is insecticide fogging. I bet they fogged/sprayed heavily in late November before visitors arrived for Castro's funeral. Cuba had been fogging a lot that year for the Zika virus.

If that is the case, people would feel sick in bed, but not when they left the room. Not because of the attack, but because of their altitude as the chemicals hang in low spaces.

OK, so you now you seem to think that we're dealing with an actual disease, even though symptoms disappearing when people leave the room or the building is usually considered to be a tell-tale sign that what you're dealing with is sick-building syndrome, i.e. mass psychogenic illness.
And why do you think that "insecticide fogging" would produce hearing loss, mild concussions and the rest of the symptoms allegedly exhibited by the American spies/diplomats? And why wouldn't any Cubans in the area suffer the same symptoms? Because they're used to the fogging?
Even the super-sonic blasters are beginning to sound more credible - at least in comparison to this.
I've been in Havana, La Lisa, when fumigación was carried out in a residential area (against ordinary mosquitos), and no fogging seemed to remain 20 minutes later when people were allowed to go back inside - maybe because the buildings are usually very open to the rest of the world. At the Hotel Capri they probably have air conditioning, but even so, I've never come across air-tight doors and windows in Cuba so I don't think that your hypothesis is air-tight.
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Old 6th November 2017, 11:35 AM   #315
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Originally Posted by Sherkeu View Post
Agree, that particular description is exaggerated but the basics were all in that short article.
I know next to nothing about Venezuela, but based on what I can find on Wikipedia, it seems as if people there have been struggling with insufficient living conditions for the past 50 years, so I see no reason to ignore the economy of the country prior to Hugo Chavez’s presidency: Economy of Venezuela 1960s to 1990s

Venezuela’s position at the Misery Index of 2016 is deplorable and seems to be due mainly to the drastic drop in oil prices:
History of Venezuela’s inflation inflation compared to oil revenue

A slightly more balanced view of the crisis in Venezuela can be found at the BBC: Venezuela crisis: What is behind the turmoil?

What I absolutely hate about US reports about Venezuela is stuff like this:
Quote:
With oil prices low and the government's cash dwindling, price controls have become a huge problem. The state still subsidizes food far below normal prices to appease the poor.
The Venezuelan state is trying to make sure that poor people will still be able to eat, and the media in the USA worry about this offense against the laws of capitalism! 'This is how devastating your attempts at bribing the poor with bread is to a proper market economy!'
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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 6th November 2017, 11:52 AM   #316
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Originally Posted by calebprime View Post
Can you explain that last bit?

eta: oh, you mean that they'd be inhaling fumes when prone in bed, but when they got up and walked around, they'd have little more exposure
Exactly. Seems normal Cuban streets and homes get fogged with a kerosene/diesel based mixture. The hotels and resort areas use more unoffensive smelling combos.
With all that spraying for Zika and Cuba chronically low on supplies, there no telling what they may have used if they needed an alternative or if the mixtures were done properly, especially as when Castro mobilized the army to join the mosquito fight.

The effects of one chemical insecticide I know of used in Cuba, Cypermethrin, can cause paraesthesia, or that 'pins and needles' tingling and numbness with exposure. That sounds like the symptoms of that tourist who said he too had been 'attacked' a few years ago - but the embassy worker symptoms do not match his.

Solvents and certain antibiotic and cancer medications are known to cause permanent hearing loss. The solvents would need pretty big exposure, like working years in a factory with them. I'd also have to think that doctors and investigators would have carefully looked at all ototoxic medications given the symptoms are near identical. For example:
Quote:
Gentamicin -11% of the population who receives aminoglycosides experience damage to their inner ear.[14] The common symptoms of inner ear damage are: tinnitus, hearing loss, vertigo, trouble with coordination, dizziness.[15] These problems may be permanent.
The cause will surely be something synergistic. It's like an episode of house MD where we find out, in that a-ha moment, that all the diplomats used the same cleaning lady who caused some toxic chemical mixture with the indoor insecticide residue and then left her rags to dry on the intake fan.
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Old 6th November 2017, 12:04 PM   #317
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
OK, so you now you seem to think that we're dealing with an actual disease, even though symptoms disappearing when people leave the room or the building is usually considered to be a tell-tale sign that what you're dealing with is sick-building syndrome, i.e. mass psychogenic illness.
What I am trying to figure out is how it started. I do not put too much stock in all these victims as I do think the later claims are necessarily influenced by suggestion. Essentially, it is a mix of real symptoms (unexplained cause) and psychogenic ones that played out over months.
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Old 6th November 2017, 12:32 PM   #318
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Originally Posted by Sherkeu View Post
Exactly. Seems normal Cuban streets and homes get fogged with a kerosene/diesel based mixture. The hotels and resort areas use more unoffensive smelling combos.
With all that spraying for Zika and Cuba chronically low on supplies, there no telling what they may have used if they needed an alternative or if the mixtures were done properly, especially as when Castro mobilized the army to join the mosquito fight.

The effects of one chemical insecticide I know of used in Cuba, Cypermethrin, can cause paraesthesia, or that 'pins and needles' tingling and numbness with exposure. That sounds like the symptoms of that tourist who said he too had been 'attacked' a few years ago - but the embassy worker symptoms do not match his.

Solvents and certain antibiotic and cancer medications are known to cause permanent hearing loss. The solvents would need pretty big exposure, like working years in a factory with them. I'd also have to think that doctors and investigators would have carefully looked at all ototoxic medications given the symptoms are near identical. For example:


The cause will surely be something synergistic. It's like an episode of house MD where we find out, in that a-ha moment, that all the diplomats used the same cleaning lady who caused some toxic chemical mixture with the indoor insecticide residue and then left her rags to dry on the intake fan.

Now that is scary. I think this kind of thing might indeed be a strong possibility.
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Old 6th November 2017, 12:38 PM   #319
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Originally Posted by dann View Post
And why do you think that "insecticide fogging" would produce hearing loss, mild concussions and the rest of the symptoms allegedly exhibited by the American spies/diplomats? And why wouldn't any Cubans in the area suffer the same symptoms? Because they're used to the fogging?
Even the super-sonic blasters are beginning to sound more credible - at least in comparison to this.
I've been in Havana, La Lisa, when fumigación was carried out in a residential area (against ordinary mosquitos), and no fogging seemed to remain 20 minutes later when people were allowed to go back inside - maybe because the buildings are usually very open to the rest of the world. At the Hotel Capri they probably have air conditioning, but even so, I've never come across air-tight doors and windows in Cuba so I don't think that your hypothesis is air-tight.
I was looking at what was different in Cuba during that time. Spraying for Zika was something done aggressively all during 2016 and into 2017. Heavier spraying before world leaders came to Cuba in late November is probable. Cuba had boasted of just 3 cases of Zika in Sept 2016 when neighbors had thousands. For months they did not update. It turned out in later reports that a Zika outbreak did arrive and by May they announced the total was up to nearly 1900 cases.

It's also probable that Castros death sent US intelligence officers to Cuba in November. It's also a near certainty that Cuba tried to spy on them and the US has evidence of Cuban agents being nearby during the 'attacks' (since they are always nearby, right?). But since it cannot be said for sure, here we are.

And I think I have a possible theory of how all this relates to that insect noise, and ultrasound - all are normal events that fit together quite easily and do not involve any covert sonic attack. I'm currently missing some info on my proposed bug's capabilities.

eta: You are right that a missing piece is why just US workers and some Canadians? If it is environmental, then it should affect everyone, right? There would need to be some way to verify that the best-supported cases are isolated from the population surrounding them and then look for common denominators among that isolated group. I don't think it's possible to do this beyond speculation. There just isn't enough information.

*I do find it interesting that a small group of reporters seem to break all the new info from 'sources' and no one from Obama's Cuba team or Trumps is complaining of leaks or laying blame, or even being skeptical of the verity of attack claims in general.

Last edited by Sherkeu; 6th November 2017 at 01:01 PM. Reason: eta
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Old 6th November 2017, 01:43 PM   #320
dann
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 3,647
Originally Posted by calebprime View Post
Now that is scary. I think this kind of thing might indeed be a strong possibility.

A strong possibility? Really?

This is just plain crazy! There are numerous causes of hearing loss in adults, for instance ”inherited from your parents or acquired from illness, ototoxic (ear-damaging) drugs, exposure to loud noise, tumors, head injury, or the aging process.” The Mayo Clinic mentions the following risk factors: aging, loud noise, heredity, occcupational noises, recreational noises, some medications and some illnesses, so if even one of those drugs exists in Cuba, it suddenly becomes number one suspect – after super-sonic weapons and crickets have f-i-n-a-l-l-y been eliminated from the competition.

If the pursuit of the suspicious Cypermethrin as the culprit remains unsuccessful, let me suggest that it might be worthwhile to find out if any of the patients had Cuban ancestors who might have brought the susceptibility to hearing loss down on their unsuspecting grandchildren.
And if that doesn't work, we should consider that these guys spent time in Cuba, and we all know what happens when we spend time, don't we? That's right, we age, even in Havana, so this is yet another one of those things that the Cubans didn't properly protect the US agents against!

Gotta make that Cuban connection stick – somehow!
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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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