This Is What Americans Heard During The Mysterious Cuban Sonic Attacks, And Why Experts Don't Buy It

Tyler Durden's picture

Multiple neurologists and experts have told The Guardian that the mysterious 'sonic attacks' upon US diplomats in Cuba are likely just a case of mass hysteria. The extensive Guardian report is based on research and interviews with top neurologists and medical experts explaining that the likeliest explanation for the strange and inexplicable symptoms reported by US embassy staff in Cuba which have led to a breakdown in relations between the two countries has nothing to do with some kind of Cuban sonic device or high tech conspiracy.

The neurologists say that the most plausible explanation is that the diplomats' high stress environment is leading to neurological abnormalities and disorders which are causing psychosomatic (or self-induced) symptoms. If true it would be a shocking revelation that such a "natural cause" phenomenon could result in the US removing most of its embassy staff from Havana. The Guardian report was issued on the very day that the Associated Press published what it purports to be an audio recording of high pitched undulating sounds which some embassy workers in Havana claim made them sick. Reports indicate that 22 US victims have suffered mysterious ailments after working at the embassy, including hearing, visual, cognitive, balance, sleep and other problems.

US Embassy in Havana, Cube. Image source: RNZ via AFP

Though it took over a year for the complaints to surface in the media, it all started in the fall of 2016. Several of the affected diplomats were recent arrivals at the embassy, which reopened in 2015 as part of Barack Obama’s reestablishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba. The various accounts were strange yet similar: one diplomat, for example, described being jolted awake in a Havana hotel room by a grinding, blaring cacophony. When he moved a few feet across the room, the noise stopped. When he got back into bed, the agonizing sound hit him again; as if, he told doctors, he had walked through some invisible wall cutting straight down the middle of his room. Multiple personnel also reported persisted nausea, nosebleeds, headaches, and dizziness while stationed in Cuba.

The US State Department has deemed the occurrence to be deliberate attacks, though US officials have stopped short of pointing the finger directly at the Cuban government. But The Guardian is now casting significant doubts on the US allegations even while its report acknowledged the new audio recording obtained by the AP.  

It sounds sort of like a mass of crickets. A high-pitched whine, but from what? It seems to undulate, even writhe. Listen closely: There are hear multiple, distinct tones that sound to some like they’re colliding in a nails-on-the-chalkboard effect.

The Guardian begins by citing Alan Carson, a consultant neuropsychiatrist and former president of the British Neuropsychiatry Association, who explained, “Typically what one gets in a functional disorder is some trigger. It is often relatively mild and non-specific, it can be a minor physical injury. But then a combination of a degree of anxiety and also belief and expectation distort that feeling.” Carson suggested that initial reports of US staff hearing strange sounds and experiencing unusual sensations could have triggered similar sensations in others: “If there is a strong enough expectation that something is going to happen, that will distort in an entirely real way the incoming information,” Carson said. “In certain circumstances that can be transmitted from person to person... If one person has that experience strongly enough and sets off that train of thought in somebody’s else’s mind, that can happen too.”

Sound waves from a sonic attack on the US Embassy in Cuba? Image source: New York Post

The report futher cites Mark Hallett, head of the human motor control section of the US National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, to introduce the likely possibility of a "mass hysteria" phenomenon. Hallet said, “From an objective point of view it’s more like mass hysteria than anything else.” This involves possible "functional disorders" taking root among small groups of people based on the power of suggestion in high stress close working environments. The Guardian explains further:

“Mass hysteria” is the popular term for outbreaks among groups of people which are partly or wholly psychosomatic, but Hallett stressed there should be no blame attached to them.


“Psychosomatic disease is a disease like anything else. It shouldn’t be stigmatized,” said Hallett, who is also president of the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. “It’s important to point out that symptoms like this are not voluntary. They are not a sign of weakness in an individual’s personality.”

Hallet also noted the vagueness of the complains among the nearly two dozen embassy staff: “There are a very large number of individuals that have relatively vague complaints as far as I can see.” He said. “There has been an exploration of possible causes for this and nothing has been found and the notion of some sonic beam is relatively nonsensical."

“If it is mass hysteria that would clarify all the mystery – and presumably normalize US-Cuban relations again,” Hallett suggested. “These people are all clustered together in a somewhat anxious environment and that is exactly the situation that precipitates something like this. Anxiety may be one of the critical factors."

Audio released by the AP on Thursday purports to capture what American embassy staff heard in Cuba.

Jon Stone, a University of Edinburgh neurologist and leading author in the field also told The Guardan that such disorders were so frequent in society that it constitutes the second commonest reason people seek out neurologists. “There is a misconception that only people who are weak-willed, people who are neurotic, get these symptoms. It isn’t true,” Stone explained. “We are talking about genuine symptoms that people have of dizziness, of headaches, of hearing problems, which they are not faking.” Stone seconded Hallett's analysis of the mass hysteria phenomenon as "the outbreak could have started with one or two people falling ill with headaches or hearing problems, and those spread in a high-stress atmosphere and then amid talk of a 'sonic attack'."

One of the interviewed medical professionals went so far as to say it's likely that experts within American intelligence understand the "mass hysteria" possibility quite well. According to Dr. Robert Bartholomew, author and widely regarded expert on outbreaks of mass hysteria:

None of this makes sense until you consider the psychogenic explanation... American intelligence agencies are the most sophisticated in the world, and they reportedly don’t have a clue as to what’s causing the symptoms. I will bet my house that there are agents in the intelligence community who have also concluded that this is a psychogenic event – but their analysis is either being repressed or ignored by the Trump administration because it doesn’t fit their narrative. Mass psychogenic illness is by far the most plausible explanation.

Meanwhile The Guardian questioned the US State Department about the possibility of functional disorders, to which a spokesperson responded: “We have no definitive answers on the cause or the source of the attacks on US diplomats in Cuba, and an aggressive investigation continues. We do not want to get ahead of that investigation.”

We will be to the first to confess that the idea that this could all be much ado about nothing based on some kind of psychosomatic self-induced mass hysteria and panic event would be an explanation perhaps just as wildly unexpected and "out there" as the high tech sonic device attack scenario. Either one sounds like it could be the plot line for some sci-fi movie or X-Files type series.

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RedDwarf's picture

Got something you cannot explain?  Got something you don't want to explain?  Just label it mass hysteria and claim it's not real.

Davidduke2000's picture

Most likely the embassy staff were all spies who the Russians caught, they had to leave or else. 

1.21 jigawatts's picture

a real sonic weapon would use samples of Hillary Clinton's ostrich cackles

moorewasthebestbond's picture

...or the fake moaning of Weinstein's casting couch whores.

2Blondboys's picture

Extreme stress? Doing what?

Deep Snorkeler's picture

Your brains have been infiltrated

with magnetic nanoparticles.

Electro-magnetic beams activate these

particles blocking synapses

causing thoughtlessness.

All of America is so afflicted.

It's a hopeless situation and

public schools should close.

In America, a basic education

is unachievable.

dlweld's picture

Funny that no-one has mentioned the "audio spotlight"- seems like this is a militarized version..

This is from the wiki article:

This technology allows a beam of sound to be projected over a long distance to be heard only in a small well-defined area;[citation needed] a listener outside the beam hears nothing.

roddy6667's picture

Tertiary syphilis.

lurker since 2012's picture

I got a erection to that sound. Is that normal? HW

dlweld's picture

If you keep doing that, you'll go deaf!

Faeriedust's picture

All this talk of "stress" ignores one simple fact: Cuba is different.  It's foreign.  Probably in ways that the pampered scions of the State Department didn't expect on an island barely a hundred miles off the coast of Florida.  In laymen's parlance, unexpected differences can give people the "creeps".  Noises may be different -- you think that the sound of traffic is the same everywhere, but it isn't; different vehicles have distinctly different sounds, as do different insects (lots of insects in a subtropical environment).  The Cubans source their home appliances from non-American manufacturers, so they probably sound different, too.  They repair things long past the point where Americans throw them away, and they jury-rig parts to function.  There would be different odors to everything, starting with other humans, and in a city they could be overwhelming.  And different viruses, bacteria, and allergens.  Any or all of these differences could trigger "non-specific symptoms".  All such symptoms would be real, and a few could be deadly.

Americans tend to think of the world as essentially benign and domesticated, an orderly and well-controlled place that can't hurt you  except under rare and exceptional circumstances.  In fact for most people in most times and places, the opposite is true.  The world is a chaotic and dis-orderly place, where just about everything can hurt you and lots of things can kill you.  And an Embassy that's "supposed" to be home territory that has been shuttered for decades is a perfect location for this juxtaposition of assumptions and reality to collide.  If they want to get to the bottom of the problem, the U.S. should send in a team of anthropologists, whose expertise is in exploring unknown places and cultures without the emotional blind spots and baggage of the average American.

Then again, maybe Trump just needed an excuse to renege on Obama's re-opening diplomatic relations, and this makes a good story.

mkhs's picture

Then again, you are still on the payrfoll. 

How do you pay the bills?

scaleindependent's picture

It looks like even our diplomats have been infected by "Sensitive Snowflake Syndrome".

scaleindependent's picture

The high tech Cubans had 253 people blow into dog whistles just outside the diplomats' windows.

The horror.

Rikky's picture

When these morons can't explain something they blame it on people being crazy.  happens all the time.

seataka's picture

Smells like &ullshit to this old sound man.

The question to ask is what is the MOTIVE for inventing and publicizing this at this time?

TheAnswerIs42's picture

Sounds very similar to the WiFi/Cell Phone Electro Smog BS which was so popular a few years ago and is now largely forgotten.

Turns out the only known cure was Behavioral Modification Therapy (aka It's all in your head)...

WillyGroper's picture

your post is as full of shit as a christmas turkey.

it's measurable & it's a TRILLION times worse than in '92.


Solio's picture

Exposure to radiation can contribute to tinnitus.

sheikurbootie's picture

"Experts" believe in climate change that will freeze or super heat the world in 30 days too.  Fuck the "experts" the MSM pony up to comment. 

Microwave is my guess, a barrage of wavelengths some on a frequency we can hear and others not.  I hope these same "experts" understand the human ear is limited to a narrow range of sound.  A neurologist is probably not the guy to ask about an audible weapon. 

When I was in the military we had an electronic counter measure jammer that made no audible noise, buzzed a little, but it would completely fry your brain if you walked in front of it.   At 3 feet it would melt a chocolate bar in seconds.   As a pilot, I sat 3 feet behind it, they told us it was safe....  The procedures manual mentioned not to turn it on while on the ground. 

roddy6667's picture

I worked at a large distribution center where people were opening boxes of clothing that had just come off a truck. The truck had been shipped from Long Beach, CA to West Springfield, MA by rail. Some boxes were covered with a white powder. The employees, mostly women, started exhibiting signs of anthrax poisoning. EMS sent a special HazMat Unit, stripped the women naked, and put them through decontamination showers before taking them to the ER. Many were violently ill. The story went worldwide on CNN and other news outlets. After examination,, the white powder turned out to be white latex house paint. The plywood interiors or the trucks were painted white. The motion of the rail cars caused the boxes to chafe against the wood and rub the paint off. 

Anthrax takes 7-10 days after expossure to develop symptoms, not 10 minutes. Hysteria is real, even if the cause is fake.

DUGTRUX's picture


DUGTRUX's picture


D503's picture

I quit working and paying for shit due to the feminist sonic attacks I was enduring. If it wasn't for the sonic attacks of hearing others pay for food I wouldn't buy merely because it was a waste of money, I might be able to get by in my life as a useful member of a society that is largely useless to me.

Mineshaft Gap's picture

Other, ahem, "reporting" straight from tonight's main page at the Guardian website:

Yes, Donald Trump can be removed from the US presidency. Here’s how

I am in Guantánamo Bay. The US government is starving me to death

Late-night hosts on Trump's instability: 'Let's hope he forgets the launch codes'

We're dealing with monsters: why adults need kids' books more than ever

& etc.

foxenburg's picture

It sounds much like what you hear when walking near electricity pylons.

foxenburg's picture

It sounds much like what you hear when walking near electricity pylons.

Ms No's picture

Mass hysteria isn't what people think it is either, but yeah, you knew this was BS from the get go, especially when this is a re-run of cold war era bullshit.


roodeetoodee's picture

Sirs, I am fluent in six million forms of communication.

This signal is not used by the Alliance.

It could be an Imperial code.

smacker's picture

The people suffering from these attacks are stressed out/highly geared people (eg CIA) who are trained to be paranoid and to see anything thru the lens of a suspicious conspiracy. It shouldn't surprise anyone to see mass hysteria or psychosomatic events break out which then spreads like wildfire among them. It's their job to be paranoid and many of them are human beings who are subject to the same psychological stresses and strains as the rest of us. And once you've convinced yourself that something bad is going on, you'll never feel safe about it until the conditions which gave rise to it are resolved. Which in this case is that the individuals return home to the US.

Arrest Hillary's picture

It's the dog whistle sounds you don't hear that kill you .... like the micro screeching made by a sun dial's shadow racing across the hot surface .... that's why you never see ants .... lounging on sun dials .... my momma done tole me ?

Eyes Opened's picture






saldulilem's picture

Aargh, it's the brown note! blep blep bleerrrp ....

qwertyFUBAR's picture

Remember the  Maine  Acoustic Attack on American Diplomats !!

EDIT: Oh loooky text strikethru in the rich text entry (even a control for it) is stored in the database but does not appear on the site.  Just empty SPAN tags.  Such stupid html slack. Well PRETEND 'Maine' is struck through and through.

smacker's picture

Yeah, I've tried to use the "strike-thru text" feature but it never shows up when my comment is saved & posted. Although it does show up in original article text posted by Tyler. Weird.

Tyler: can you please fix this?

He-He That Tickles's picture

It's all in your head, because we put it there.

Arrest Hillary's picture

They amplified the sound of lice .... in the panties of a Havana Hooker .... eating the dried flakes of love .... high marks for creativity .... and local color ?

Arrest Hillary's picture

The embassy tech geeks tried to smuggle in a disgronificator .... but, it wouldn't fit in the diplomatic pouch ?

Arrest Hillary's picture

It could be an Al Sharpietown/Reverend Jocksin shake down of the Cuban government .... for the embassy staff niggers .... no, they're Commies as well ?

bh2's picture

Speaking of "mass hysteria", how are those investigations coming along about evil Russians intruding on our elections?

thisguyoverhere's picture

Millimeter wave weapons, microwave weapons and frequency induced bio attacks are the wave of the future. Patents were drawn up in as early as the 20s (possibly earlier).

So sure, dismiss the claims. Its easy, you weren't there.

pipes's picture

It's not either/or.

The technology can exist...AND...these folks may be full of shit hypochondraics. 

They have such wide-ranging symptoms and muddled claims that I have a hard time reconciling "A" sonic attack.

Even IF they are actual first instinct would be that it was yet another case of US ptb using it's own people as lab rats, and not the Cubans.

hsun85's picture

It that what Bitcoin chart will look like?

PitBullsRule's picture

Its probably one of those shitty Russian air conditioners they imported for the sweltering Cuban heat.

Spray a little WD-40 on it, that will quiet it down for awhile.