The mysterious high-pitched buzzing sound associated with suspected “sonic attacks” on U.S. diplomats in Cuba may have actually been caused by crickets, according to a report published Friday in a biology journal.
The strange incidents began in late 2016 when U.S. embassy personnel began seeking medical care for hearing loss and ear-ringing that was eventually linked to weird noises or vibrations — circumstances that initially led investigators to suspect the diplomats were victims of malicious “sonic attacks.”
The Associated Press released audio in October 2017 of the high-pitched sounds heard in Havana, and that audio was then analyzed by a pair of researchers at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Lincoln, in the United Kingdom.
The findings, published Jan 4. in the preprint journal BioRXiv, determined the recording matched the sounds of the Indies short-tailed cricket known as Anurogryllus celerinictus, which is native to Cuba.
The scientists, Alexander Stubbs and Fernando Montealegre-Zapata, noted the sounds of the crickets matched “in nuanced detail, the AP recording in duration, pulse repetition rate, power spectrum, pulse rate stability, and oscillations per pulse.”
The findings, which LiveScience reported were not yet peer reviewed, also noted the AP recording exhibited “frequency decay in individual pulses, a distinct acoustic signature of cricket sound production.”
“While the temporal pulse structure in the recording is unlike any natural insect source, when the cricket call is played on a loudspeaker and recorded indoors, the interaction of reflected sound pulses yields a sound virtually indistinguishable from the AP sample,” the scientists noted. “This provides strong evidence that an echoing cricket call, rather than a sonic attack or other technological device, is responsible for the sound in the released recording.”
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SOURCE: Fox News, Travis Fedschun