If you haven’t been following the news lately, American and Canadian diplomats in Canada were recalled back to their respective countries because many are suffering hearing loss and even brain damage as a result of a mysterious sound that even the FBI can’t identify.
Earlier in the year, staff at the U.S. Cuban embassy and even some hotel guests began complaining of dizziness, headaches, vomiting, bowel spasms, vertigo, permanent hearing loss and even brain damage. For a while the cause was unknown until those affected began telling the same story of hearing a high-pitched noise that drifted in and out depending upon where they were in a room.
The Cuban government denies any knowledge of the problem (or that a sonic weapon exists), and has even gone as far as allowing the FBI to enter the country to see if they could determine the cause. As of yet, they haven’t, but now we find that at least they’ve been able to record the sound to analyze it (listen below). That said, the exact origin, and who or what’s behind it, is still unidentified.
For the record, sound has been used as a weapon or an area deterrent for some time now. Some shop owners and malls use devices that emit 15k to 18k sounds that can’t be heard by anyone over 25 to try to discourage teenagers from loitering. The US Military and many cruise ships utilize sound cannons known as LRAD’s (Long Range Acoustic Device) that can shoot a very directional 150dB beam of sound to move a threat from an area.
The sound used in Cuba has around 20 different frequencies embedded in the sound at between 7kHz and 8kHz, so it can definitely be heard, and therefore avoided, but the diplomats originally weren’t aware that there was any danger and just viewed it as an annoyance.
Here’s a recording of the sound so you can listen for yourself, along with a spectrum analysis. Audiologists have claimed that it’s safe to listen to for short durations and at low volume, but it’s best to avoid it if you don’t like high-pitched sounds. And if you have any idea how it’s being emitted, multiple government agencies would like to know.