Scientists: Crickets Likely Caused Reported 'Acoustic Attack' in Cuba

Scientists: Crickets Likely Caused Reported 'Acoustic Attack' in Cuba

Despite this new evidence pointing to crickets as the culprit, Stubbs noted that US officials may still have been assailed by the Cuban government: "It's entirely possible that they got sick with some other completely unrelated thing that was not a sonic attack, or that they were targeted in some other way".

Since 2017, the baffling case of USA diplomatic staff in Cuba and elsewhere who developed symptoms resembling brain trauma after allegedly hearing odd noises (sometimes called "Havana syndrome") have spawned plenty of theories of varying plausibility: A "covert sonic device", malfunctioning spy gear, weaponized microwave radiation, poisoning, and even psychogenic illness.

The Indies short-tailed cricket, Anurogryllus celerinictus, was close, but not a ideal fit. The cricket's chirps matched "in nuanced detail, the AP recording in duration, pulse repetition rate, power spectrum, pulse rate stability, and oscillations per pulse".

"The recording is definitively a cricket that belongs to the same group", Fernando Montealegre-Zapata, a professor of sensory biology at the University of Lincoln in the United Kingdom, told The Guardian.

The researchers noted that while the audio recording obtained by the press were from crickets, it does not negate the possibility that the diplomats were subjected to an attack that made them feel ill.

You can hear both the "sonic attack" and cricket recordings here.

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A State Department spokesperson told CNN that "a U.S. government interagency investigation, involving medical, scientific, and technical experts across the USA government and academia, is ongoing to determine the source and cause of these events".

The State Department pulled 60 percent of its diplomatic staff in Cuba back in September 2017 after the illnesses were reported. Confused by the frequency and strangeness of the symptoms - eventually dubbed "Havana Syndrome" - doctors and American intelligence officers spent months looking for a cause, but repeatedly came up empty.

But other studies have dismissed the conclusion, with a paper in the International Journal of Social Psychiatry finding suspicious that no Cubans reported symptoms and theorizing about a mass hysteria.

Three people eventually needed hearing aids for moderate to severe hearing loss, and others had ringing or pressure in their ears, according to that report.

"All has been speculation or manipulated information", Cuba's Director General for US Affairs at the Cuban Foreign Ministry, Carlos Fernandez de Cossio, said December about the US investigation into the incidents.

"The concrete questions have not been asked". During that year and the one prior, USA diplomats in Cuba had complained of headaches, nausea, dizziness, and other symptoms. What is the U.S. government hiding?

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