‘So strange and bizarre’
Mystery of the sonic attack on diplomats deepens
It’s a sonic whodunit, with international ripples.
Canadian and U.S. diplomats serving in Cuba have been afflicted by a weird sonic blast that has affected their health and put police agencies in both countries on the trail for the culprit.
“A conspiracy theorist could have a field day,” said a former Canadian diplomat familiar with Cuba.
“This has been so strange and bizarre from the very beginning,” he said, speaking on background because of the sensitivity of the issue.
In March, Canada’s foreign affairs department began to hear reports about “bizarre” symptoms — headaches, nosebleeds, dizziness, ringing in the ears — affecting a number of its diplomats working in Havana.
Canadian diplomats as well as family members were affected in the incidents, suggesting that residences may have been targeted as well as official embassy buildings.
A Canadian government official, who spoke on background, declined to give to firm numbers on how many were affected but said, “it was not a one-off.”
But he said Canadians involved in the incidents are in “fine health” now and there has not been a reoccurrence.
“Clearly, whatever happened affected the Americans more deeply,” the official said.
It’s not clear whether it was some form of electronic surveillance gone awry or a deliberate attempt to target diplomats. Nor is it clear who is behind the attacks. Cubans? Russians trying to make mischief?
However, he said the Cubans have been “very eager” to collaborate with the investigation since being alerted to the incidents.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police is investigating, working in collaboration with the U.S., including the FBI, and Cuban officials.
The Associated Press reported Thursday that 21 U.S. diplomats have been victims in the mystery attacks. And it reported that the attacks had a “laser-like specificity” seemingly able to target specific parts of a building. During the incidents, diplomats felt vibrations and heard noises like ringing, high-pitched chirping, grinding — and sometimes nothing at all.