1. I believe you

    I believe you New Member

    The other theory I have is WOOD ALCOHOL poisoning, I say it because of the syntoms and this is almost normal in Cuba.
  2. Trailspotter

    Trailspotter Senior Member

  3. pony

    pony New Member

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 6, 2017
  4. M Bornong

    M Bornong Senior Member

    I'd like to know how many of the injured showed this damage?
  5. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    • Informative Informative x 1
  6. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    It's all rather vague:
    So what are "changes" to white matter? Is a "change" the same as "damage"? How is it measured? What are they comparing it against? Your white matter "changes" when you learn a new skill (like music, or juggling) or are simply exposed to novel situations.

    It's very hard to say without any context or numbers. It's also very hard without comparison to another similar population. It might even be impossible, as many of the symptoms, even including changes in white matter, might after arisen in some cases due simply to the idea that they were being zapped, and the intense worry and scrutiny that came thereafter.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  7. pony

    pony New Member


    Considering that these incidents in Cuba left "US officials there with physical symptoms that one official said includes potentially permanent hearing loss", I would assume that any alteration would lean more towards "damage" than "change."

    Also from the article above, "In the autumn [of 2016], officials said the affected diplomats and their spouses began to experience symptoms of hearing loss so severe and puzzling that an investigation was launched, and it was determined that they were at risk. They were allowed to leave Cuba, the officials said.

    No children were affected, but at least some of the adults who were are believed to have suffered permanent hearing loss, according to the officials."

    These seem like serious ailments, and not something that is usually attributed to learning to juggle. I know how to juggle. I never once lost my hearing because of learning to juggle.
  8. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    yup. Changes are noted in PTSD. Besides, how would they know what the white matter looked like BEFORE the alleged sound incidents? Are brain scans required for all employees?
  9. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    That's not the point. They detected " changes to the white matter tracts". They did not say what the nature of that change was, nor did they correlate it with the people who had hearing loss
  10. Trailspotter

    Trailspotter Senior Member

    More on Cuban panel conclusion in Science magazine today:
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Interesting, I'd missed the "cicada" theory, but it actually got reported back on Oct 27 on Cuban TV:


    And in fact it was described as "similar to cicadas", presumably by the people who heard it, well before that, like in the 14 Sept 2017 Guardian article:
    We have Cicadas here, and they do indeed have a bizzare high-pitched noise that's very difficult to locate. The noise varies from a grating buzz to a high pitched whine. Here's a high pitched one:

    Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bu2TunA2Pyw

    And a close up, somewhat different sound:

    Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3PRkwixQnQ

    Part of the difficulty to tracking a single cicada (a trait shared by crickets and frogs) is that they tend to stop when you move - combined with the non-directional nature of the sound means you have to move a bit, wait, then see it it got louder. I once spent half an hour tracking one that was just 40 feet away.

    So what it a couple of the cases were just people with a cicada in their room?

    A huge problem here is discounting of explanations because they do not apply to all case, combined with taking aspects from one case (like a clinical diagnosis of "brain damage") and applying it to all cases.
  12. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Mixed messages in congress:


    So Rubio still says it's "an attack", just maybe not a sonic one.
  13. Robert Bartholomew

    Robert Bartholomew New Member

    I am not in the habit of posting to online blogs, but in coming across this one, I have to say, the remarks by Mick West are very insightful and informative. I have just posted an updated assessment of the 'sonic attack' episode on my Psychology Today Blog, after watching the Hearings by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.


    Take away the 'mild brain trauma' and 'white matter track changes' - both of which did not happen to everyone,and you are dealing with a small sample size to begin with, and you have a classic textbook case of mass psychogenic illness. Many common conditions can cause white matter changes. As for concussion symptoms, this is an odd medical description. I remain confident that this is mass psychogenic illness.

    Dr. Robert E. Bartholomew
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 12, 2018
    • Like Like x 3
  14. or directly under their bed? and cicadas can be really loud! imagine them in a nearly closed room with reflective walls and there is no wonder that someone gets confused by that noise.

    when you were last time with joe rogan on his podcast and he'd played that soundsample, my first thought was "oh, sounds almost like a bad recording from a cicada".
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. I think thats a political choice.
  16. Henry Crun

    Henry Crun New Member

    Suggestion that the effect was caused by intermodulation distortion between two ultrasound devices used for (for example) motion detection or eavesdropping.


    Looks like a study of the ages of people who were affected could be useful, with older people less sensitive to high audio frequencies.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Abe

    Abe New Member

    A new theory emerges:


    This theory seems fairly compelling. I would have liked the NYT to interview a skeptical scientist or two, though.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 1, 2018
  18. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    NBC News follows up on the microwave theory, pointing the finger at Russia:

    The state department remains convinced these are real attacks.

    The incidents appear to have stopped over winter, when cicadas don't sing, and resumed in the spring.

    [/ex]By September 2017, it appeared the attacks had stopped. But then new incidents were reported in April and May of 2018, leading to two new confirmed cases.

    One of the new cases, a worker sent to Havana on temporary assignment to fill a vacancy, was hit within just a few hours of arriving in the country, two individuals briefed on the incident told NBC News[/ex]

    The "Russia did it" theory takes a hit with incidents in China:

    So I'm still going with mass hysteria as my #1 explanation. When they say "diagnosed with brain injury and symptoms consistent with the Cuba cases" this sounds just like the usual constellation of symptoms that everyone has from normal life and getting older. Hearing loss, vision changes, fatigue, aches and pains, etc. Someone hears a buzzzing from a cicada or some electrical equipment or something. They are worried about energy beam attacks, they tell someone, a doctor asks them if their hearing has changed, they think about and notice a slight ringing in their ears which has always been there, but not noticed until now. Same with other symptoms.