Between the end of 2016 and the spring of 2017, some thirty diplomats from the US embassy in Havana suffered from hearing loss, nausea, tinnitus and even brain injuries for an alleged attack with sonic weapons, of which the United States blamed the government of Cuba. Finally, scientists conclude that the perpetrators were a particular kind of crickets, as reported by the British newspaper The Guardian. They were many months where a mysterious and persistent noise seemed to be aimed at diplomats, a theory of conspiracy that led to think of some kind of ultrasonic weapon, explosive sound waves or microwaves.
However, in the end everything seems to have been much simpler than that. A new analysis of the audio recordings collected and made by a group of researchers from the United Kingdom and the United States details that the strange noises can be nothing more than the singing of some crickets.
To be more exact, the culprits of the “sonic attack” appear to be of the Anurogryllus celerinictus family, the short-tailed cricket, an insect famous for its penetrating squeals during the mating season.
As explained by Fernando Montealegre-Zapata, professor of sensory biology at the University of Lincoln: The recording is definitely a cricket belonging to the same group. The call of this Caribbean species is approximately 7 kHz, and it is delivered at an unusually high speed, which gives humans the sensation of a continuous, high-pitched sound. The truth is that I am not surprised that this could bother people who are not familiar with the sounds of insects.
Apparently, when the recordings were compared with the usual sounds of this cricket, both agreed “in detail”, they share the same rate of pulses and frequencies.
The teacher, who grew up in South America, remembers when a boy who collected crickets of similar species and kept them in boxes in his room. One night, he was awakened by a very penetrating sound. The culprit was one of the male crickets, calling his companions. The noisy insect was ejected from the room, but Montealegre-Zapata could still hear the cricket singing to attract female specimens.
However, despite the fact that these crickets can cause a lot of human disturbance, they probably do not have the power to cause so much damage, at least not in the way that diplomats suffered, so the possibility of some kind of attack – It’s still an option. The cause of the diseases of some of them remains unclear.
Translated by JRE