Dan­ger­ous sound?

The Daily Press (Timmins) - - WORLD NEWS -

an acous­tics ex­pert and en­gi­neer­ing pro­fes­sor at The Ge­orge Wash­ing­ton Univer­sity who re­viewed the record­ing with the AP.

Those fre­quen­cies might be only part of the pic­ture. Con­ven­tional record­ing de­vices and tools to mea­sure sound may not pick up very high or low fre­quen­cies, such as those above or be­low what the hu­man ear can hear. In­ves­ti­ga­tors have ex­plored whether in­fra­sound or ul­tra­sound might be at play in the Ha­vana at­tacks.

The record­ings have been played for work­ers at the U.S. Em­bassy to teach them what to lis­ten for, said sev­eral in­di­vid­u­als with knowl­edge of the sit­u­a­tion in Ha­vana. Some em­bassy em­ploy­ees have also been given record­ing de­vices to turn on if they hear the sounds. The in­di­vid­u­als weren’t au­tho­rized to dis­cuss the sit­u­a­tion pub­licly and de­manded anonymity.

Cuban of­fi­cials wouldn’t say whethertheu.s.has­sharedthere­cord­ings with Cuba’s govern­ment.

An­other big ques­tion re­mains: Even if you know you’re un­der at­tack, what do you do? Still dumb­founded by what’s caus­ing this, the United States has been at a loss to of­fer ad­vice.

The em­bassy’s se­cu­rity of­fi­cials have told staff if they be­lieve they’re be­ing at­tacked, they should get up and move to a dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tion, be­cause the at­tack is un­likely to be able to fol­low them, the com­ment­ing in­di­vid­u­als said. The AP re­ported last month that some peo­ple ex­pe­ri­enced at­tacks or heard sounds that were nar­rowly con­fined to a room or parts of a room.

At least 22 Amer­i­cans are “med­i­cally con­firmed” to be af­fected, the State Depart­ment says, adding that the num­ber could grow. The at­tacks started last year and are con­sid­ered “on­go­ing,” with an in­ci­dent re­ported as re­cently as late Au­gust.

Cuba has de­fended its “ex­haus­tive and pri­or­ity” re­sponse, em­pha­siz­ing its ea­ger­ness to as­sist the U.S. in­ves­ti­ga­tion. Cuban of­fi­cials did not re­spond to re­quests for com­ment for this story but have com­plained in the past that Wash­ing­ton re­fuses to share in­for­ma­tion they say they need to fully in­ves­ti­gate, such as med­i­cal records, tech­ni­cal data and timely no­ti­fi­ca­tion of at­tacks.

The record­ings also ap­pear to rule out one pos­si­bil­ity for a high-tech weapon: Elec­tro­mag­netic pulses.

The broad ar­ray of symp­toms re­ported, in­clud­ing those not eas­ily ex­plained by sound waves, had led to ques­tions of a pos­si­ble mi­crowave or ra­dio wave de­vice fry­ing body tis­sue from afar. Re­search con­ducted by the U.S. mil­i­tary decades ago showed that short, in­tense “pulses” of mi­crowaves could af­fect tis­sue in the head in a way that was in­ter­preted by the ear as sound, mean­ing that a mi­crowave de­vice could po­ten­tially “beam” sounds di­rectly into peo­ple’s heads.

If that were the case, the sounds wouldn’t show up on a record­ing.

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