First recording emerges of high-pitched ‘sonic weapon’ linked to attacks on US Embassy workers in Cuba

The first public recording of high-pitched, cricket-like sounds out of Havana could be linked to the attacks on U.S. Embassy workers, according to a new report.

The recording, first released by the Associated Press on Thursday, is reportedly one of several from Havana that first led investigators to believe a sonic weapon was involved.

Of Americans affected in Cuba, not all of them reportedly heard the sounds. But some who did said, while not identical, that the recording was relatively consistent with what they heard.

“That’s the sound,” one witness said.


The recording, which has not yet provided much insight about what is harming diplomats, has been sent to the U.S. Navy for further examination. The Navy has advanced capabilities for analyzing acoustic signals.

It is unclear whether the sounds are directly responsible for the attacks, which have been shown to cause hearing, cognitive, visual, balance, sleep, and other problems.

At least 22 U.S. Embassy workers were injured in the attacks that began last year in Havana.

As a result, the U.S. has pulled 60 percent of its government employees out of the country. It also expelled 15 Cuban diplomats from the embassy in Washington D.C.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the move was made because Cuba had failed to protect American diplomats on its soil.

“Until the government of Cuba can ensure the safety of our diplomats in Cuba, our embassy will be reduced to emergency personnel to minimize the number of diplomats at risk of exposure to harm,” Tillerson said.


The Cuban government has denied all knowledge or involvement in the attacks, calling the U.S. move “hasty” and “irresponsible.”

The State Department also issued a warning to American tourists, urging them to stay away from Cuba, saying that the U.S. cannot guarantee that individuals staying at Havana hotels would not also be harmed.

Some U.S. tourists have since complained of symptoms similar to those experienced by government workers.

The recording was shared with workers at the U.S. Embassy in order to teach them what to listen for.

Because of the limited information available, the U.S. government has only been able to advise workers that if they think they’re being attacked, they should move to another area because the attack is unlikely to be able to follow them.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.