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Recordings of the Sounds Heard In the Cuban US Embassy Attacks Released (apnews.com) 300

New submitter chrissfoot shares a report from The Associated Press: The Associated Press has obtained a recording of what some U.S. Embassy workers heard in Havana in a series of unnerving incidents later deemed to be deliberate attacks. The recording, released Thursday by the AP, is the first disseminated publicly of the many taken in Cuba of mysterious sounds that led investigators initially to suspect a sonic weapon. The recordings themselves are not believed to be dangerous to those who listen. Sound experts and physicians say they know of no sound that can cause physical damage when played for short durations at normal levels through standard equipment like a cellphone or computer. What device produced the original sound remains unknown. Americans affected in Havana reported the sounds hit them at extreme volumes. You can listen to the "Dangerous Sound" here via YouTube.
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Recordings of the Sounds Heard In the Cuban US Embassy Attacks Released

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 13, 2017 @09:08AM (#55361883)

    >The recordings themselves are not believed to be dangerous

    So we can rule out Kanye West...?

  • Sound experts and physicians say they know of no sound that can cause physical damage when played for short durations at normal levels through standard equipment like a cellphone or computer.

    Obviously these people have never heard Trump speak. I actually envy them

    • by mark-t ( 151149 )
      They said "physical damage"... emotional damage isn't really considered physical.
      • Good to know that a physical brain isn't responsible for feelings and emotion, nor that anyone has been swayed to violence by his words.
        • Emotional damage generally has to be pretty severe to cause physical damage. A good analogy is a computer virus - it can wreak all sorts of havoc on the software and data of your PC, but it's very rare that it can cause any physical damage.

      • by cstacy ( 534252 )

        They said "physical damage"... emotional damage isn't really considered physical.

        http://www.nationalreview.com/... [nationalreview.com]

    • Sound experts and physicians say they know of no sound that can cause physical damage when played for short durations at normal levels through standard equipment like a cellphone or computer.

      Obviously these people have never heard Trump speak. I actually envy them

      Self harm is evidence of a mental disorder... You might want to get that physical damage checked out.

  • by bobstreo ( 1320787 ) on Friday October 13, 2017 @09:13AM (#55361927)

    The youtube sounds to see if they're legit?

      I've got the order for 20 or so outdoor speakers pointed at my neighbors house waiting on amazon...

    • by burtosis ( 1124179 ) on Friday October 13, 2017 @09:36AM (#55362075)
      Those recordings are likely just intermodulation products [wikipedia.org]. Basically they occur because of how differences in the frequencies used appear as separate frequencies themselves, both from imperfections in how the sound is created, transmitted, and the natural way sound behaves. The actual frequencies used were likely above and perhaps even below what regular audio recording would pick up. For example my cellphone signal has on occasion been picked up on nearby wired phones as audiable clicking, due to the modulation being in the human hearing range, even though the carrier frequency is 3+ orders of magnitude too high to hear.
      • > The actual frequencies used were likely above and perhaps even below what regular audio recording would pick up

        I'd bet on ultrasound. A nice way to deliver damaging energy to a human ear without that ear detecting it.

        At 120db it causes hearing damage.

        • I think that is much more likely myself also, for that and the additional reasons that powerful low frequency sounds are harder to generate with compact equipment and harder to direct as well. But with the limited info I can't really rule out lower frequencies.
    • by Waffle Iron ( 339739 ) on Friday October 13, 2017 @10:24AM (#55362459)

      I've analyzed the sounds. If you adjust the equalization carefully, clean up the noise, and adjust the playback speed you can make out that it's actually a message spoken in German:

      Wenn ist das Nunstück git und Slotermeyer? Ja! Beiherhund das Oder die Flipperwaldt gersput!

      • by sconeu ( 64226 )

        I hope you had multiple translators, each working on only one word...

        • by Topwiz ( 1470979 )

          That is the 'Killer Joke' from Monty Python. It is just random German gibberish.

          • by sconeu ( 64226 )

            I know. That's why I hoped you had each one working on only one word. I understand that you might go the hospital if you accidentally see two of them together.

          • That is the 'Killer Joke' from Monty Python. It is just random German gibberish.

            Of course. If they had used the actual joke they would have caused the deaths of tens, if not hundreds, of Monty Python fans, and probably would have been sued. They had to replace it with a non-functional variant to protect us.

  • This is egg on their face. It means that they cannot guarantee diplomatic safety in their own capitol, and if it's their own people doing it behind their back it means they cannot control their own intelligence services. Those are the sort of things that make a dictator get cold sweats at 2AM. It's a major crack in the facade of their power.

    Let's say that it turns out to be "The Russians" and we catch them in the act. The obvious solution for the Cubans is to let us take the foreign operatives back to the U

  • My dog took notice (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I played all 5 seconds of the YouTube link at very low volume and my dog jumped up from where he was lying down and began looking around the room with a "what the fuck was that" attitude.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 13, 2017 @09:40AM (#55362099)

    The actual sound is very creepy, but its slightly under volume. You may need to adjust your speaker volume. At 3min the tones begin to oscillate a little causing a slightly dizziness. Be careful. https://youtu.be/cyMHZVT91Dw?t=3m5s [youtu.be]

  • Sorry, but I couldn't hear a thing despite turning my speakers up.

  • See, we all think those commies are soo much smarter than we are, they have devised a sonic "weapon" that even our best experts can't explain.

    Here, let me try.

    This is the sound of jury-rigging. If you've got not parts, and no money, and no normal source for repairs, you just put stuff together as best you can. This particular noise is the sound of a fan scraping a trash-can lid that washed up on shore 20 years ago. /sarc

  • I've known more than a few intelligent Cuban-Americans (except for Otto Reich, whom I don't know), so allow those still back on the island a little leeway please. If they used concentrated bursts of directed microwave transmissions (something the old Soviets were researching back in the 1960s) along with those sounds, people might tend to believe the sounds were the cause and not look for any microwave sources.
  • The thing that surprised me most about this whole affair was that no-one seems to have modified a gunfire location system [wikipedia.org] to see where these sounds originated.

    I understand that ensuring the safety of your diplomatic staff is of primary concern but, given the US's traditional response to threats, I'd have expected a 'squad' of marines or a pair of men in dark glasses knocking on the door of room 623 in the overlooking office block* within a week of 'hearing' the sounds.

    *An example. Not the actual location of

    • You couldn't use a similar setup because it's highly unlikely the sound was omnidirectional like a gunshot. All your sound sensors would pick up near silence. Plus if it was a constant and consistent sound that wouldn't work from a timed location perspective either. You could probably determine a direction, if you had actual gear at the location where it was focused.

"When the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to treat everything as if it were a nail." -- Abraham Maslow

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