LISTEN: Sound in Havana Heard by U.S. Embassy Workers Before Attacks



Picture of the US embassy in Havana, taken on September 29 after the United States announced it is withdrawing more than half its personnel in response to mysterious health attacks targeting its diplomatic staff.

For months, U.S. officials in Cuba have been investigating what led to a series of attacks against personnel working in the embassy in Havana.

While they haven’t yet determined what’s caused 21 victims to be mysteriously injured, audio recordings obtained by The Associated Press on Thursday shed light into what they may have heard before suffering the effects of the undisclosed attacks.

The recordings feature sounds similar to a group of crickets, but at a much higher pitch. They’ve been sent to the U.S. Navy for analysis and to other intelligence services, but they haven’t given investigators much to go on.

“The recording gives us the first tangible sense of what it was like for these American government workers in Havana who were hearing these unexplained sounds in their residences and later developed physical symptoms,” the AP’s Josh Lederman said. “Americans who heard these sounds in Havana have described slightly different sounds. And even in some of the recordings that the AP has reviewed, there are slight variations. However, this high-pitched cricket sound seems to appear in all of them.”

George Washington University Professor Kausik Sarkar, who specializes in mechanical and aerospace engineering, listened to the recordings and told the AP it’s possible the piercing sounds could lead to physical damage.

“It’s like an acoustic hammer which is hitting you,” Sarkar said. “You’re just not able to hear it because its frequency is much higher. There were some concerns to it, and if it was really, really high, it could create some bioeffects.”

Listen to the high-pitch noises yourself in the video below: