Mysterious Cuban 'Sonic Attacks' Targeted US Spies

Tyler Durden's picture

Just days after the Associated Press reported that the State Department planned to withdraw most of its personnel from the Cuban embassy in Havana, the wire service is returning with another revelatory scoop about the mysterious “sonic attacks” that have caused injuries ranging from minor to life-threatening in 21 embassy personnel: Many of the diplomats targeted were US spies, partly explaining the State Department's reluctance to discuss the attacks.

Frightening attacks on U.S. personnel in Havana struck the heart of America’s spy network in Cuba, with intelligence operatives among the first and most severely affected victims, The Associated Press has learned.


It wasn’t until U.S. spies, posted to the embassy under diplomatic cover, reported hearing bizarre sounds and experiencing even stranger physical effects that the United States realized something was wrong, individuals familiar with the situation said.

However, the AP’s government sources refused to confirm a timeline for the attacks, or provide other basic details, underscoring the sensitivity of the ongoing investigation.

While the attacks started within days of President Donald Trump’s surprise election in November, the precise timeline remains unclear, including whether intelligence officers were the first victims hit or merely the first victims to report it. The U.S. has called the situation “ongoing.”


To date, the Trump administration largely has described the 21 victims as U.S. embassy personnel or “members of the diplomatic community.” That description suggested only bona fide diplomats and their family members were struck, with no logical motivation beyond disrupting U.S.-Cuban relations.

The revelation that some of the victims were spies adds another dimension to the mystery; however, the motivations behind the attack remain as murky as the attackers’ identity. It’s unclear, according to the AP, whether the attacker intentionally targeted spies. Though if it were true, the attacks would represent an unprecedented escalation of the long-running spy games between the US and Havana.

Behind the scenes, though, investigators immediately started searching for explanations in the darker, rougher world of spycraft and counterespionage, given that so many of the first reported cases involved intelligence workers posted to the U.S. embassy. That revelation, confirmed to the AP by a half-dozen officials, adds yet another element of mystery to a year-long saga that the Trump administration says may not be over.


The State Department and the CIA declined to comment for this story.


The first disturbing reports of piercing, high-pitched noises and inexplicable ailments pointed to someone deliberately targeting the U.S. government’s intelligence network on the communist-run island, in what seemed like a bone-chilling escalation of the tit-for-tat spy games that Washington and Havana have waged over the last half century.


But the U.S. soon discovered that actual diplomats at the embassy had also been hit by similar attacks, officials said, further confounding the search for a culprit and a motive.

If disrupting US-Cuba relations was the attack’s intent, then they have clearly succeeded: The US quietly expelled two Cuban diplomats in August. And by withdrawing most of its embassy personnel and warning travelers to stay away from the island, the US is signaling a chill in travel and trade that could prevent Cubans from visiting family members in the US. The reduction in embassy staff means visa processing has been suspended indefinitely.  

Of the 21 confirmed cases, American spies suffered some of the most acute damage, including brain injury and hearing loss that has not healed, according to the AP’s sources. Many of the victims provided similar descriptions to US authorities: They described hearing something that sounded like loud crickets before falling ill. However, in many of the more recent cases, victims didn’t report hearing the noises. Instead, they identified the symptoms later on, raising concerns among investigators that the attacks may be getting more sophisticated and harder to detect.

To be sure, while the State Department told the AP that all cases have been “medically confirmed,” several officials said it’s unclear whether all of the victims’ symptoms can be conclusively tied to attacks. Considering the deep sense of alarm at the embassy, it’s possible that some wrongly attributed symptoms to the attacks.

So far, the US has been unable to identify the weapon used in the attacks. Initially, the State Department gave diplomats the option of leaving Havana, but many, including some of the attack victims, opted to remain.

For his part, Cuban President Raul Castro has denied responsibility for the attacks, expressing equal alarm and promising to aid in the investigation in any way possible.

When President Raul Castro denied any culpability in February, he did so on the sidelines a meeting in Havana with five visiting U.S. members of Congress, the AP found. The U.S. had raised complaints about the attacks to Cuba just days earlier through diplomatic channels.


But the visiting lawmakers knew nothing of the attacks taking place in the country they were visiting.


Nor did they know that Castro had used the occasion of their meeting to pull aside Jeff DeLaurentis, then the top U.S. diplomat in Cuba, to say privately that his government was equally alarmed and willing to help.

But if the Cubans aren’t responsible for the attacks, who is? The list of possible state actors has more than a couple names: Venezuela, Russia and China are all probably suspects. But until the US can determine the nature of the weapon used, intelligence officials can only speculate.

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smallblockchevy350's picture

Sounds a lot like the technology described here:

pods's picture

Who would want to thwart warming relations of the USA and Cuba?

Deep state? They need enemies for budgets. 

Hardcore Cuban nationalist?  

Doubt it would be another state actor (China, Russia).  


caconhma's picture

By the definition: any diplomat is a spy with a diplomatic immunity. Nothing has changed for the last 3,000 years.

giovanni_f's picture

Caipirinha instead of Mojito for all those tiny desktop-James-Bonds.

newdoobie's picture

Boom, you said it +1000


Valerie Plames excuse is nonsensical, she outed herself when she chose to work at an Embassy.


The objective of state dept. workers is to "Further the goals of the United States and the State Department"

Rusty Shorts's picture

pods, you getting warm ;-)


Christopher Baker on the US-Cuba Embargo

HRClinton's picture

Do some research on SAR*

   * Synthetic Aperture Radar

Now pretend that you're not only 'beaming' someone at microwave frequency, but also at acoustic frequencies. 

'Mind-blowing' effects, you could say.


MANvsMACHINE's picture

Did no one record anything? Makes absolutely no sense that they didn't record what was being played, even if it seemed innocuous.

GoinFawr's picture

The 'sound' would be localized to the target having his grey matter pulped, no? Eg. If you slip and brain yourself getting out  of the tub your neighbour's ears don't ring.


I didn't know Cubans were into Kate Bush:

Rusty Shorts's picture

They were beaming reggaeton music into their skulls, the horror.

Juggernaut x2's picture

I feel no sympathy for the Meddling Mutts in the CIA

WillyGroper's picture

nor do i.

coulda been worse...christopher stevens.


garcam123's picture

I just hope they fried their testicles so they can't spew little pieces of shit.

LetThemEatRand's picture

What, is it 1960?  We still need spies running around Cuba?   For what purpose?    Is the Deep State worried that they are going to invade the mainland with a platoon of 1957 Bel Airs?

smallblockchevy350's picture

Same reason why we "needed" over 500 diplomats and ambassadors to Russia. It's a big ain't in it.

Antifaschistische's picture

I don't understand this...all sounds, even those the human ear can't hear, are capable of being measured.  Do we not have equipment that can detect sound pressure!!  I have no reason to believe these people were not targeted by something....but, does it have to be sound?


DisorderlyConduct's picture

Sounds like constructive interference between different sources. But yeah, youd expect nodes all over the place - audible and measurable but probably not predictable.

I once worked with speakers that use an ultrasonic carrier that's FM modulated; the effect was a kind of highly directional audio beam. They were used to place ambient sound at locations in theme parks where the speakers could not actually be mounted. The effect was to energize the air column and make whatever it hit pick up the audio. It felt like the air was the speaker. Way cool.

I wonder what would happen if you pumped the power and sent some psyops kind of audio... Or what if you found a frequency in the RF range that resonated well with water and modulated that? Like high microwave thats modulated to low microwave. Zap. Scary to think about but is is very likely to be possible. But practical - maybe they're finding out...

garcam123's picture

My first Spanish phrase:

Heeeyyyy Manggg, what's da matta wid chu? Manggg?

Now Yo habla poco mas,  Vive Espanol!

Sirius Wonderblast's picture

That could seriously dispurt one sector of the classic car market, although the soviet engines many have fitted may be less desirable than an SBC.

just the tip's picture

i'll open an Ipcress file on this straight away.

get on it right after lunch.

Cluster_Frak's picture

the sound of silence, the guilty conscience cannot cope with it well.

tarsubil's picture

Uh no shit. You didn't think they were attacking actual diplomats, did you? Most embassay staff is just using it as cover. This has been known for 30+ years.

LyLo's picture

I still don't understand what an "actual diplomat" would be.  Like, day-to-day, what the hell would a "diplomat" describe as work?

Because honestly it all sounds a lot like spycraft to me.

NoDebt's picture

Diplomat = Off-duty spy.


Lumberjack's picture

In first since 1973, Israeli minister in ‘private’ visit to Cuba

“This is private family vacation and had nothing to do with her position as a government minister,” the spokesperson said, adding that Regev left on Sunday and the trip would last a week and a half.

The Foreign Ministry declined to comment on the visit.

With no Israeli embassy in the country, Canada currently represents Israel’s interests in Havana, including assisting the country’s Jewish community.

garcam123's picture

Hang out in Resturants with higher up hookers, do a few lines at 10, just to be at your best.

Take some pictures of the pidgeons both winged and walking.......smoke a Cuban,,,,,I can't remember the names of that worthless shit!

Hang out some more and look spy like........good job! Lotsa travel! Lotsa Ass!


Whatta's picture

it was probably UHF Jethro Tull. That'll damage anyones brain

MiTasol's picture

Really don't mind if I sit this one out.

garcam123's picture

Confirmed here!  I pumped that shit in here for ages at high volume......loved every note!  Still do!

Sat in the trid row in San Diego one year.......I think!!??!??, maybe Tampa, but it was GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Catahoula's picture

Awe hell! Just a little fun with low frequency, that's all. Just part of the game

Alok's picture

fair enough...   fuck the US spies...

B1G mNy's picture

Bathhouse Barry was happy to have relationships with Cuba and this is what we get. 

Juggernaut x2's picture

How is Cuba is a threat to the US exactly?

Rusty Shorts's picture

North Cuba, aka Florida is a electoriial swing state

Sanity Bear's picture

How come I have to lead everyone by the nose to obvious conclusions?

The primary suspect is the Deep State cutting losses and eliminating witnesses as an immediate cover-up reaction to the loss in the election, to prevent Trump from finding out something that they were doing down there.

That's why it started immediately after the election (as I predicted would be so revealed), that's why it's targeting spies first (they know too much).

Now, the short list of people who would be in possession of a weapon that would do something like this starts with the CIA and pretty much ends right there. So the rest shouldn't be all that hard to figure out, all that remains is to discover the details of who and why and what they wanted kept silent.

VladLenin's picture

Tit for tat, the U.S. probably hurt some of their people some way.

JLM's picture

The whole world will go after the US spies now with this tech, you don't get caught till well after the damage is done.  Spying is a dirty and dangerous profession.  Hard to feel sorry for them.

xrxs's picture

They will find a way to mitigate it - once they figure out the source. I don't think I would be brave enough to stick around with a weapon or other device that causes health effects potentially through walls (ceilings?) via an unknown means on the loose. Very ominous. In my opinion, there should be some sort of Geneva Convention on this type of thing. 

WillyGroper's picture

darn...betcha they never thought what they use on others would be turned on them.

a pic of an alleged suspect.

Herdee's picture

Russian Intelligence breaks up an ISIS sleeper cell:

Davidduke2000's picture

Because Russia is serious about wiping out isis, while the us support and arm them. 

sheketebaka's picture

To quote Barack Obama, "those weapons".

navy62802's picture


spanish inquisition's picture

Maybe Americans are beaming the device at American spies that don't have the correct ideological mindset that is required.... Sadly, it makes the most sense to me..

Aquarius's picture

The USA did this sort of thing during the cold war - in Russia during the60'and 70's. Frying peoples brains was the sort of pre-torture craze for the super spooks from the USA.

Old technology.

Why has the us so many spies in Cuba? Getting ready for some more failed bombing runs? ISIS? Or the Russians did it, Again?

But then, as navy62802 asks, "who gives a Fuck


ho diddly hum

uhland62's picture

Don't have any spies in the embassy then - when you say A, you're getting B. 

They tried to kill Fidel Castro many times, 48 times I think. The Soviets did not like that and stationed missiles on the island. Then JFK did a deal, you remove your missiles and we stop trying to kill Fidel - so I read, and I find that rather plausible, but wasn't there of course. Fidel is gone but maybe the US embassy on Cuba is gearing up meddling activities again.

BS: "within days of President Donald Trump’s surprise election" - you can probably not initiate such a finely tuned program within days. 

PrivetHedge's picture

The deal involved US nukes in Turkey - it wasn't really about Cuba.

ebear's picture

The missles in Turkey were real.  The ones in Cuba were probably plywood replicas, like the ones they used to drag through Red Square.  Maybe even the same ones.