The likely cause of the reported "acoustic attack" on U.S. diplomats and their families in Cuba was crickets, not sonic devices as some feared, CNN reports.
State Department officials told CNN in August 2017 that employees at the U.S. embassy in Havana had been hit with an "acoustic attack" by sonic devices that left two with health problems.
Now CNN reports two scientists, the University of California Berkeley's Alexander L. Stubbs and the University of Lincoln's Fernando Montealegre-Zapata, have determined a recording of the noise, released by the Associated Press in October 2017, "spectrally matches the echoing call of a Caribbean cricket."
The article, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, notes in its abstract that "Beginning in late 2016, diplomats posted to the United States embassy in Cuba began to experience unexplained health problems including ear pain, tinnitus, vertigo, and cognitive difficulties which reportedly began after they heard strange noises in their homes or hotel rooms."
It continues, "As shown here, the calling song of the Indies short-tailed cricket (Anurogryllus celerinictus) matches, in nuanced detail, the AP recording in duration, pulse repetition rate, power spectrum, pulse rate stability, and oscillations per pulse . . . This provides strong evidence that an echoing cricket call, rather than a sonic attack or other technological device, is responsible for the sound in the released recording."
CNN received no comment from Stubbs, Montealegre-Zapata or the State Department.
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