Those Mysterious Sonic Weapon Attacks In Cuba Just Got A Whole Lot Stranger


Robin Andrews

Science & Policy Writer


Who's responsible for the attacks? Eliks/Shutterstock

As reported a couple of weeks back, sonic weapons appear to have been used on both American and Canadian diplomats in Cuba. Although precisely who is using them – and what the devices consist of – remain unclear at present, the symptoms of the diplomats are always the same: extreme headaches, hearing loss, and nausea.

At the time, it appeared that just a handful of diplomats had been affected, but as reported by CNN, over 10 American envoys and family members are receiving medical treatment after months of sonic attacks. Several anonymous government sources have also told the network that two diplomats have long-term injuries and are unable to return to Havana; others have opted to leave their assignments early.


At the same time, five Canadian envoys and their own family members have also fallen ill. At the time of writing, there is no diagnosis of any sort of disease, and the idea of a sonic weapon – which is real, by the way, not just hypothesized – keeps coming up.

Details remain scant, but it appears that the devices are being used exclusively within Cuban government-owned properties, and that the attacks have been going on for longer than previously acknowledged. Intriguingly, it also appears that there have been at least two types of sonic weapon deployed in the Cuban capital city.

Even the precise weapons being used remains a bit of a mystery. Delpixel/Shutterstock

As we explained in a previous article, the first type appears to be silent – at least to human hearing. This could mean that the weapon being used employs microwaves, which, at certain frequencies, rapidly heats brain tissue and generates a “shockwave”, which ends up vibrating the inner ear at dangerous levels.

Alternatively, infrasound could be used. This low-frequency noise – again beyond the range of human hearing – causes fatigue, apathy, hearing loss, confusion, disorientation, and nausea, according to the US National Institutes of Health (NIH).


CNN also reports that some of the attacks are accompanied by an audible noise, a “deafeningly loud sound similar to the buzzing created by insects or metal scraping across a floor.”

As before, the origin point of the noise remained elusive, but it’s been noted that these attacks have been known to occur at night when the diplomats were sleeping.

At present, much remains a mystery, at least to the general public. The US and Cuban diplomatic services have been discussing the issue both publically and privately, the FBI and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are in Havana to investigate, and a few Cuban diplomats have been expelled from Washington DC during the furor – but other than that, what’s actually going on is anyone’s guess.


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