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Sonic Attack

Written By: - Date published: 12:01 pm, June 8th, 2018 - 93 comments
Categories: China, International, Politics, Propaganda, us politics - Tags: ,

It seems like an employee at the US consulate in Guangzhou heard himself losing his marbles. Seriously.

As reported by The Guardian, dutifully echoing and reinforcing a  The New York Times article, he had “been hearing sounds like “marbles bouncing and hitting a floor” since April last year.”

I can only assume that when he jumped up to scrabble around gathering them up back into their jar, that they were already quite gone.

But it doesn’t end there.

This, also  from the  “The Guardian” – US state department officials said on Wednesday it had sent “a number of individuals” from its consulate in Guangzhou back to the US for “further evaluation and a comprehensive assessment of their symptoms”

Further to that, Mike Pompeo has announced the formation of a task force. And similarities to an incident in Cuba last year when claims of sonic attack were laid, have been, or are being, investigated.

And we put these people in charge and grant them immense measures of power?! Seriously?!!

Anyway. How can I, in light of all this nonsense, resist putting in a link from a more innocent period of my addled youth?

I don’t want to diminish the idea that sound can have profound psychological effects – there’s white noise and all sorts. And even, arguably, workers outside the window jumping around with pneumatic drills; roosters going off at four in the morning; commercial radio – these things might be thought of as ‘sonic attacks’. But the idea that Chinese and/or Cuban fellas are standing around with some dish like pointy device or whatever…I guess the operators wear headphones?

This whole thing’s right up there alongside the variation of the wicked witch with poisoned apple thing – y’know, the specially trained toxic door handle operatives? Oh hang on, lots of people believed that one. So… if people believed that one do they also believe this one?

Hmm, maybe that’s why we come to have little bands of people in charge throwing their power and paranoia around the show.

93 comments on “Sonic Attack”

  1. Roflcopter 1

    Because Aliens.

  2. Gosman 2

    Why are you ruling this out as a possibility?

    • mac1 2.1

      Because its the nature of the noise allegedly chosen for its interference capabilities?

      Now if it had been say endless replays of Simon Bridges’ Budget speech, or the braying from the Benches during Question Time, or “Oi’m Lay-ving” from Paula Bennett, then perhaps such possibilities could be entertained.

      If it were true, I’d play President’ Trump’s Inauguration Address. There’d be no work done in US Embassies. Half the staff would be standing to attention and half addressing the toilet bowls with cries of “Hugh!” and “Ralph!”

    • mac1 2.2

      Because its the nature of the noise allegedly chosen for its interference capabilities?

      Now if it had been say endless replays of Simon Bridges’ Budget speech, or the braying from the Benches during Question Time, or “Oi’m Lay-ving” from Paula Bennett, then perhaps such possibilities could be entertained.

      If it were true, I’d play President’ Trump’s Inauguration Address. There’d be no work done in US consulates. Half the staff would be standing to attention and half addressing the toilet bowls with cries of “Hugh!” and “Ralph!”

    • dukeofurl 2.3

      because thats what experts said about the same instances in Cuba

      Essentially for ‘sonic’ to have the effects mentioned it would certainly be detectable.


      “Throughout the series of alleged attacks, however, questions have persisted as to how any sonic weapon could, without deafening levels of noise, have produced hearing loss and cognitive symptoms.’

      high enough standard for you Gosman to drop your silly nonsense ?

      my GUESS, is its the faulty aircon, often can be hot or colder and make you feel unwell, droning noises that others cant hear.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 2.4

      DARPA confirmed development of weapons that are similar.

      Its strange to me that you automatically rule the possibly out.

      • dukeofurl 2.4.1

        No they havent
        I dont even have to check as they wouldnt confirm anything and it would defy science

  3. Phil 3

    Various forms of sonic ‘weapons’ have been experimented with in the military for decades, and have been used to disperse protests and crowds in the last coupe of years.

    There’s probably a completely banal explanation for the illnesses described in the NYT piece… but, it’s far more plausible and likely that the cause of this is some kind of nefarious weapon than, say, “Bush did 9-11” or “The moon landings were a hoax by Stanley Kubrick”.

    • McFlock 3.1

      Pretty much.

      The Cuba case could have been something, or it could have been people getting paranoid about insect noise and being examined closely, therefore finding unexceptional levels of brain injury that are usually undetected in the general population. But that feeds into the China situation.

      Some sort of technology sharing between Cuba and China is plausible, but necessary for both of these to be “attacks” by the same sort of device.

      I’d be interested in anyone looking at adaptations of the LRAD principle, where the “sound” is actualy the result of a coordinated interference pattern of a number of lesser sounds. I’ve long wondered about whether the LRAD can produce an undetected “brown note”, for example 👿

    • Bill 3.2

      So there’s plausible bullshit and bullshit? I’m having problems with that one, given that “plausible” contradicts “bullshit”.

      Way I see it, that just encourages idiots who want a bob each way…or timorous beasties too scared to make a sound that might contradict their master’s call…or true believers/gullible twats.

      Seriously Phil. Moon landing hoax, Bush 9/11 and sonic attacks on consulates/embassies are in the same clutch of folders filed under “B”.

      The only difference I can see between them is that the sonic shite is being peddled by a government.

      • McFlock 3.2.1

        False equivalence again.

        Between knowing something beyond all doubt and knowing absolutely nothing, we have guesses and apparent probabilities.

        The moon landing being a hoax is fucking stupid – for example the source of radio signals is a trivial matter to establish, and the Soviets would have sprayed cum all over the planet if the TV signals had come from anywhere other than the moon.

        Whereas passive exposure to radiation of different types has been a hazard for diplomats going back to at least the 1940s.

        To put it another way – if someone went to the moon and found nothing there, people would be astounded. If it turns out in 20 years that some sort of directional surveillance system causes hearing loss and brain injury, most people will be only mildly surprised.

        • WILD KATIPO

          We have stealth fighters that are capable of ‘ cloaking’…. and other military developments that the public in no way will ever be privy to for obvious reasons…

          It has been estimated that certain sectors of the military of the United States ,… is around 300 years in advance of currently accepted and publicly displayed orthodox technology… that’s scary. Particularly in the massive black budget research programs involving such entities as Lockheed, GM etc…

          And although the bulk would in all probability be in development and research stages … 300 years?… that’s quantum leaps in technology.

          For example,… its old news an unrelated body of researchers teleported a mouse from one cubicle to another ,… for all intents and purposes using the same ‘debunked ‘ principles as used in the Philadelphia experiment.

          IE: Tesla style electromagnetic fields / free energy and the like… so,… why the skepticism’s by people on the use of sound?

          The older I get the less skeptical I get… can you imagine what it was like from the 1870’s… to the 1950’s for those who had witnessed so many massive technological advances,… or those born in 1890 and saw the horse and cart era as a common mode of transport to men landing on the moon?

          My grandmother was one such.

          So I don’t think it is wise to discount anything offhand anymore. Those old timers certainly had no reason to do so .

          • McFlock


            ok, let’s go with the “cloaking”:

            Broad-spectrum or just visible light?
            Camouflage or transparent?
            If transparent, how do they see out?
            Uses energy or bends the light around the structure?

            Possible, but I’d be “most surprised” although short of “astounded”.

            • WILD KATIPO


              It apparently uses a ‘scale’ effect , which when reversed deflects radar and as well , regarding infrared heat seeking missiles and the like , – uses a technology to flow cooling air over the engines which diffuses the heat..

              I wont give you the specifics as you can readily read up on the rest yourself. Its there for you to check yourself. But the main point is it already exists, has been tested and is now in use. I find it incredulous that self professed ‘progressive thinkers’ swallow orthodox science and refuse anything else. Pretty self limiting.

              Heres one about tank cloaking.

              ‘Invisibility cloak’ for tanks tested – YouTube
              Video for stealth fighter cloaking ability you tube▶ 1:27

              Its almost a type of conservatism in of itself,… Luddite almost. When it suits.

              Imagine for instance if the sufferers of the Bubonic plague in the middle ages had access to penicillin… I think they would have abandoned their travelling Flagellants preachers and lined up for antibiotic doses instead , don’t you?

              For example they are the first to bemoan climate change and rail against the petroleum industry’s and talk on about alternative energy sources… yet what is that but advances beyond orthodox solutions?

              Another example was a man from the South Island who ,… ended up on TV here because he developed a car engine that ran on water.That was in the 1970’s and I saw it as a child. He stuck it in a mini a drove it around.

              Apparently after that we never heard more ,.. so if he could of developed that , there were others also… yet we haven’t heard much from that aspect. We hear about ‘electronic cars’ that still need someone to clip the ticket to keep them going…

              With water?… not so.

              • McFlock


                That vid is restricted to monochrome IR, from the horizontal perspective, and is a goddamn promo vid anyway (good luck with that level of efficiency in practice). Many a gap betwixt trying to get defense $$$ by making youtube vids and actually fielding a workable system. If it worked that well, it’d be secret.

                There’s a massive industry in water powered cars, ray guns, carbon capture, supercomputers the size of your thumb, AI systems that act like people, new “better” cryptocurrencies – most of them are ideas that never pan out. Most of the remainder are simply fraudulent companies wanting seed investors for a few years before moving onto the next big thing.

                A few actually end up in the real world. One or two even change it.

            • alwyn

              In terms of stealth fighters the cloaking is at radar frequencies only. It is mostly done by the shape of the fuselage panels which deflect the radar signals.
              They look quite normal at visible light frequencies, although they will have some camouflage. They also tend to deflect the engine exhaust to help prevent infrared detection. It is nothing like that DB9 (?) in one of the James Bond movies.
              I understand that planes like the F22 and F35 have radar cross sections like a sparrow.
              However they look quite normal. Here is an F22.

              • McFlock

                Restricted radar frequencies, at that.

                WK is on drugs again

                • alwyn

                  “WK is on drugs again”.
                  Certainly seems to be the case.
                  I am, of course, far to polite to suggest such a thing.

                  • McFlock

                    me, I’m an asshole.

                    • Well said, actually your more of a cunt than an asshole,… and , as I’m busy doing other things atm I really haven’t got the time to divest in entertaining a full flown wanker such as yourself.

                      And just like so many other supercilious prats on this and other blog sites the message remains the same, asshole.

                      Do some of your own research and pull your head out of that logjam you call an arsehole .

                    • McFlock

                      Oh, teleport the mouse out of your arse sometime.

              • Exkiwiforces

                This is not a bad read either and if my laptop didn’t crap itself a couple of weeks ago I would’ve post a link on how the cunning Serbs shot one of the sky using mobile phone Frequencies and the mobile phone towers as radars linked to Gekko SAM mounted on the back of a BRDM along with piss poor mission planning from the Yanks as well didn’t help either.


                Speaking of radar signals I also had some theoretical papers written by some Aussie bloke many moons ago (80’s-90’s) in the Australian Aviation Magazine on the JORN network which uses HF Radio waves as form of radar waves.

          • Bewildered

            I have some cheap tin foil hats for sale WK, teleporting a mouse I call bs, particle entanglement yes but a few trillion particles short of a mouse I suggest

        • Bill

          You being fcking serious? You’re being serious, aren’t you?

          You are actually suggesting some degree of credibility be afforded this notion that US employees in embassies and consulates are being subjected to sonic attacks from secret equipment(s) that’s being deployed by Cubans and Chinese.

          Biscuit. Gone. Well done!

          • McFlock


            Why do you think it must be incorrect?

            Do you believe that sound waves or other radiated energy wave cannot cause physiological harm, even in inaudible frequencies?
            Or that they cannot be focussed in some way?

            Intentional harm is doubtful, and has no observable benefit. But exposure to an emission as a side effect of some classified surveillance technology? It’s been done before. An argument against it is the required information sharing between Cuba and China if it is a side effect.

            But your complete incredulity ignores the fact that to expose people to some manner of radiated energy without their immediate and direct knowledge (for whatever purpose) would simply be a novel application of existing technology coupled with an unexpected side effect, unlike faking the moon landing (which would have necessitated some impressive rewriting of the laws of physics).

            • Bill

              I think you misunderstand me McFlock. I’m not saying or suggesting the claims are “incorrect” – I’m saying they are complete and utter bullshit riding huge dollops of stupidity and paranoia.

              But sure, if you think it’s sensible to imagine the existence of some “what-ever” that the US is entirely oblivious to, then you and who-ever else can go knock yourselves out.

              If I could have been bothered with anything beyond picking myself up off the floor from having fallen over laughing, I’d have had a wee look to see what “Staring at Goats” research and possible funding dynamics are on the go in the US before throwing up the post.

              • McFlock

                I’m not getting the distinction.

                Do you mean “bullshit” in that they are implausible claims, or that they are “bullshit” in the sense that the people making the claims do not care whether or not the claims are true?

                Because I think the diplomats think something happened to them, and care. In Cuba and China. Whether they are correct, whether it is true, is another point entirely.

                • Bill

                  Some employees were ill or sick or whatever (exhibited symptoms not associated with “being in the pink”).

                  Who instigated and promoted the whole “sonic attack” bullshit? And what’s with supposedly intelligent media running po-faced pieces on it?

                  • McFlock

                    So the two dozen people who felt similar symptoms that they associated with odd noises at the time (and then turn out to have previously undetected brain damage and hearing loss) are telling the truth in good faith,


                    anybody else who sees that and makes the same association is just bullshitting?

                    • Bill

                      What association? People suffering auditory hallucinations = sonic attack?

                      ffs McFlock.

                    • McFlock

                      How do you know they were auditory hallucinations.

                      And why did most of the people who experienced those “hallucinations” end up with brain damage and hearing loss?

                      And what vector is there to cause brain injury, hearing loss and auditory hallucinations in people in that place and not close by?

                      Is there a local tropical “funny noise then brain damage” disease?

                      Or is the only possible explanation the ever-so-handy “mass hysteria, everyone just call them crazy and look elsewhere” and we just figure that most diplomats have some level of undetected brain damage and hearing loss?

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                A systematic review of observational studies was conducted to assess the association between everyday life low-frequency noise (LFN) components, including infrasound and health effects in the general population.”

                Some associations were observed between exposure to LFN and annoyance, sleep-related problems, concentration difficulties and headache in the adult population living in the vicinity of a range of LFN sources…

                That the effect may be real doesn’t mean that it can be, or has been weaponised, but.

                • Bill

                  If I was in the US and researching the weaponisation of sonic signals, I might be pointing at anything and everything “over there” that could be used to bolster any argument as to why funding should continue or increase.

  4. ianmac 5

    A strange smell in a NZ building recently lead to a number of people “feeling sick” and once 1 or 2 laid claim to “dizzy”, others went out in sympathy. No identifying cause.
    Same happened in a Secondary Girls school a few years ago. Sympathetic response from a number of girls. Suggestibility.
    I would be sceptical in China, Cuba, and in NZ. Think of Beatlemania.

    • McFlock 5.1

      Yeah, always an option: “mass hysteria”

      The Cuba one we have the most information on, and there were physiological observations over the long term. But maybe those observations aren’t uncommon in the wider population, but aren’t observed unless the person is closely examined.

      But hysteria is also the easy crutch to lean on – it’s a completely unprovable explanation with which to write off the unknown.

  5. I agree with Gosman,… ‘ Why are you ruling this out as a possibility? ‘…

    Sound is a powerful medium in its own right , take infrasound for instance , that is frequency’s far beyond the range of human detection… and is used by both elephants and tigers,… in the case of elephants it is used to locate herd members over long distances , or those in distress,… with tigers, … it s used to ‘ paralyze ‘ victims into ‘freezing’ … making its prey vulnerable.

    Phil mentions military experiments , well ,… it was found high frequency’s caused anxiety, tenseness , aggression , panic states etc,… while low frequency’s caused depression , lethargy etc…

    Mystery of Elephant Infrasounds Revealed | Animal Super … – YouTube
    Video for infrrasound elephants and tigers you tube▶ 3:26

    • And this :

      Tigers Secret Weapon – Infrasound Roar – YouTube
      Video for tigers infrasound you tube▶ 6:32

      Fascinating stuff !!!

  6. David Mac 7

    I’ve read about an experimental weapon that shot a flash of laser like light. Sounded viable, blind soldiers aren’t much use.

    Sonic assault has been the subject of some imaginative satire. Douglas Adams and Vogon Poetry, readings can be lethal. Was it Monty Python that had a joke so funny that those translating it into German could only look at half the joke or die laughing?

    • McFlock 7.1

      ISTR permanent blinding lasers are banned by international convention.

      Of course, if you know the most likely frequency of laser, the counter is basically sunglasses.

      • David Mac 7.1.1

        Ahhh ok ta, so they should be, dirty weapon. Yes, don Ray Bans or be blind for life, a marketing dept’s dream brief.

        • McFlock

          They already issue sunnies and dust goggles. Just tweak the spec so they cover known laser systems in the field – ruby, one or two other wavelengths. Probably do it already so they don’t accidentally blind themselves with designators and range finders lol

          • Exkiwiforces

            I still have my issue WilleyX Ballistic Eyewear and ESS Ballistic Eyewear with it’s inter-changeable lens’s. Both sets can take eye full from a shotgun blast, frag and secondary frag from most close range HE weapons IED’s etc, Laser proof, can use it with your Night-fighting Equipment and they tough as a old school combat boot, but they are not dog proof as I found with my Jack.

            For the old school Infantrymen out there (Reg’s, Nasho’s, CMT and TF) its a chargeable offence if you are wearing Eyewear on patrol and they as useless as tits on a bull in the jungle.

            Getting back to tropic now, there are sonic weapons out there and were all the rage with the yanks as a non lethal use force wpn as form of riot/ crowd control. As for the Cuba and China thing it presents a quite an interesting issue IRT diplomatic conventions under the Vienna accords as the yanks weren’t the only nation to be affected in Cuba. And another interesting thing is that Poms did trails with sonic wpns with view to using them during the troubles in Nth Ireland, but found out that the side effects from it weren’t worth the trouble.

      • alwyn 7.1.2

        How would you like to go round wearing these “sun glasses”?
        I hate to think what they must weigh.

        • David Mac

          Oakley’s new ‘Stormtroopers’ groovy.

          it’s just the tint that you look through Alwyn, if they block the right frequency light, little Lennon frames would work. Nuclear Apocalypse survival, yeah that’s a bit more kit.

  7. ropata 8

    Negate the sonic attack with Negasonic Teenage Warhead (by Monster Magnet)

  8. Treetop 9

    I have heaps of sonics in my home. The shower water heard hitting the lounge wall from next door. The wall was opened up prior to me occupying and sound proof batts would have helped.The shower door banging at 3am. The washing machine can be heard as well.

    My bedroom backs onto a bedroom in another flat in front. The sliding door is heard and the bathroom extractor fan connected to the light. A conversation can be heard through the wall as well.

    Kitchen noise is in my face as well. Stomping, dishes banging and the microwave door.

    Section 38 of the residential tenancy act states that I am entitled to quiet and enjoyment.

    When a house is divided up and 3 people have a separate lease BUT it is like living with flatmates. Flatmates can have an agreement to not randomly have someone in your face between 10pm-7am.

    There is more to having a warm and dry home. My home is not up to standard when it comes to warmth either.

    • McFlock 10.1

      If IEEE published it, they’d have more than a few who could poke holes in it.

      If it turns out to be too many diplomats taking ultrasonic jammers into meetings because they’re all paranoid, the irony would be pretty funny. But in places like Cuba and China, you could imagine US staff being more concerned about meeting security…

      • David Mac 10.1.1

        I think it’s perceivable that diplomats from some countries are carrying heavily disguised hot-rod phones or comps. Ultrasonic jamming of a conversation in the room, scan a hotel room for active listening devices etc.

        • McFlock

          Hardly disguised. A lot of corporates do it, too – even smaller businesses.

          Any jerk can pick up a bug or a camera for two figures. Half the time they film themselves installing it, and then it gets found by a flatmate. Spectrum monitoring is part and parcel of it (for active devices), as well as signal resonance (the wavy-wands over the walls are low-power emitters looking for feedback from currently inactive radio circuits). Then there’s the jammers, both sound (distorts the mics enough so they don’t record) and radio (stops transmission).

          But on the flipside, people are always looking for new ways to send and receive signals in a manner nobody even thinks to look.

    • Andre 10.2

      It’s not babble. The effect is similar to that commercially exploited by Holosonics.

      It’s a really weird experience moving in and out of the spot where the Holosonic sound field is active – basically it’s like moving in and out of the area illuminated by a spotlight, but with sound (and even less scattered sound leaking out of the spot than you get with light).

      • David Mac 10.2.1

        Oh yeah, I’m a believer. I have tinnitus, if the constant crickets in my head raised their volume by 10 fold, it’s easy to imagine it making me feel very ill.

        Re: science babble comprehension. What I mean is, someone could say to me “Oh you’ll get that result because the hydrogen molecule is lighter and will always spin off in that same direction.” and I’d have to say ….”um ok”. It could be bullshit, might be true, I dunno. I’m easily scientifically deceived.

      • McFlock 10.2.2

        Hmmm – I don’t recall that name before, but I might have confused the mechanism with the LRAD.

        I do recall one developer of something like that sayingthat when they were just getting out of lab-level testing that he’d take it to cafes and play the sound of plates smashing, but only so the wait-staff could hear it, the meanie 🙂

        • David Mac

          Looks like the going rate is about US5k for a tidy second hand LRAD rig on ebay.

          Fascinating field to Google, riot control with Sonic cannons, shessh. The sensation that your head is about to explode is a compelling reason to go away.

          • McFlock

            Also fascinating why some of them failed – there was an underslung grenade-launcher-style vortex cannon that failed because they also wanted to use it to carry pepper gas along the vortex ring and they wanted like a 200 metre range – because military.

            Hell of a way to clear a street for 50m, though.

            But most of it is flailing around because the US is stuck in an assymetric war forever that it doesn’t know how to fight. Fucking numpties.

            • Exkiwiforces

              The Yanks came up with some very novel ideas for the use of Non lethal use of Force. Like the spider net which throws a net out to some distance either by vehicle or helicopter, then they a crack at a sticky foam like substance that tasted like a sticky fudge I’m lead to believe. Where the Poms stuck with the baton round, CS round, batons/ Short Cam poles, Shields and all else fails a good old fist fight.

              We once had to use the cam method on a Ex, in which give OFOF aka 2RAR when they cross the line and we the grunts a right Royal flogging that day. Then they had the nerve to complain to Legal officers and they said well you lot decided to go to the next level which wasn’t in that serial and quite frankly you lot got what you deserve. We in put 2RAR out of action for about 2mths as their main rifle coy recovered and from wasn’t the only hit we did to the Regular Army Infantry that year either by us Rockapes.

        • Andre

          Look them up, if you haven’t already. It’s totally different to LRAD, which just uses lots of power and carefully sized speakers.

          The applications being talked about when I first became aware of them were things like vending machines selling their stuff when a mark stepped into the right spot in front of the machine. So you’d only hear that one machine rather than a cacophony of machines.

          Pranking wait staff seems an excessively cruel way to use the tech. I hope they figured out they were being had and by whom and took a suitable revenge.

          • David Mac

            There are cool applications for that tech. eg: Standing on a particular spot on a platform and getting audio information for only the journey you’re interested in. ‘Stand on a L if you’re going to London.’

            Sound has moved on so far since I was savvy. At a recent party, I thought Queen were in this joker’s lounge, no speakers everywhere, one of those soundbar things. Extraordinary.

            • McFlock

              Another big one is monitoring comms channels but also wanting to hear what’s going on in the room – places like control rooms or ship bridges. Usual practise is to place one headphone over your ear and listen to the boss with the other ear. Now you can sit there and you hear everyone, but nobody else hears the comms chatter.

              • David Mac

                Ha! Damn I want to understand that but I don’t.

                Wouldn’t interested parties just share mic/headphones on a shared channel?

                Maybe it would be like sharing a channel with colleagues but needing no hardware to listen or speak?

                • McFlock

                  If you imagine an incident response room, I might be on the radio network to a variety of folk, but most of the traffic incoming is basic level that nobody else needs to hear immediately. I can respond with a quiet voice and log it.

                  On the other hand, the boss might be having a discussion with someone about an emerging issue, and also need an operator to bring up specific surveillance cameras to assess the situation. But then if the boss needs me to tell an asset to go somewhere, I need to be right on the ball and hear everyone clearly, tell the boss who is close by, maybe fire stuff over to the big screen, etc. And 4 or 8 hours of a headset can be a bit much.

                  So I need to hear some bits of what’s going on, the boss needs to not hear most things, and we need to be able to communicate with each other clearly across the room.

                  Looking at the NASA mission control room, only one person speaks to the astronauts. Most other people at the workstations would also have communication with specialists related to that workstation – right back to manufacturer representatives. But the mission controller just needs to know the upshot of what all the workstation-level discussions are – go or no-go. And the astronauts just need to now what to do next.

                  • David Mac

                    Gotcha, thanks, that is cool. Genuine selective hearing rather than just pretending.

    • Bill 10.3

      So my question is this.

      Why are supposedly intelligent media running on Chinese and Cuban “sonic attackers” when this is out in the public domain?

      And oh, the sweet irony of it possibly being something that’s been self inflicted.

      I wonder when the US will be issuing apologies to the Chinese and Cuban governments, as well as ushering Cuban diplomats back to the US? Or when the Guardian and NYT will be rowing back from their bullshit and reporting this angle?

      I guess that’ll be a “middle finger wait” and that we’ll merely be left with the faint echo/memory of a dog whistle about nefarious foreigners and their ray guns.

      • McFlock 10.3.1

        All of the reports I have seen have been careful to call them “medical incidents”, with any mention of “sonic attack” being in quote marks. For example.

        And it’s being reported because US government officials were saying they suspect it, and expelling diplomats for failing to protect US diplomats. So that’s a big deal.

        • Bill

          Are you a beach sandal McFlock?

          Your previous comments have revolved around rejecting “hysteria” in favour of “sonic attack”, with no apparent consideration given to any other possible cause that wasn’t nasty Chinese/Cuban “operatives”.

          And now it’s “no-one ever actually said or headlined “sonic attack” (except in quote marks). 🙄

          • McFlock

            Your previous comments have revolved around rejecting “hysteria” in favour of “sonic attack”, with no apparent consideration given to any other possible cause that wasn’t nasty Chinese/Cuban “operatives”.

            That’s not true, and completely unfair.

            Even my initial comment was simply about how such an effect is plausible.

            My second comment dealt purely with your false equivalence of saying the sonic attack theory was in the same folder as the faked moon landing theory.

            Which basically sums up the comments I’ve had in this thread with you: you go apeshit at the mere suggestion that there might be some plausibility to the idea. That even “some degree of credibility be afforded” to an explanation that fits all the available evidence, is technically plausible, and should be repeatable (unlike “hysteria”) – as DM’s IEEE article demonstrated.

            I’ve been pretty open-minded about what might or might not explain two dozen people coming down with similar symptoms, and then others doing it across the globe.

            You’re the one who has exagerrated and distorted how the media has presented it, and refused to accommodate any other plausible theory beyond your preconceived ideas.

            But I found the technology discussions quite interesting.

            • Bill

              McFlock, we can agree the link provided by David Mac was useful and intelligent.

              Beyond that, I never mentioned hysteria, nor any other reason as to why a number of people “fell over”. All I said was that talk of sonic attacks was fucking nonsense. (And yes, in the same league as moon bullshit and 9/11 bullshit regardless of how easy or difficult it is to refute the bullshit moon and 9/11 theories).

              Oh. And I also mentioned it in the same breath as there being dedicated teams of door-handle poisoners, because it’s in the same league as that too 😉

              • McFlock

                If it’s plausible, it’s not nonsense.
                And the more easily it’s refuted, the less plausible it is.

                But that’s just my little approach to reality. I guess an alternative is to assume that any claim for which I don’t have overwhelming proof of its truth must therefore be as nonsensical as any proposition that has overwhelming evidence against it.

                And as for what you mentioned, didn’t you come up with auditory hallucinations?

                • Bill

                  That reads to me like pin dancing on your part McFlock. There is a thing called “common sense”. I recommend you try to discover it and use it some day.

                  The story of “sonic attacks” would never have been put out there if the employees had been in a consulate office in Sweden or Germany or any number of other countries. It was an obvious piece of bullshit propaganda based on lines that might as well as come from some lousy science fiction comic.

                  If that Spectrum link from three months ago is correct (and seeing as how the guys successfully “reverse engineered” available audio, it’s presumably very close to the mark) – and if their conjecture on jammers is correct and the use of those jammers is fairly ubiquitous, then some employees in other embassies and consulates will likely have been exhibiting similar symptoms.

                  And why, when a common sense explanation has been in the public domain for three months, is it that the likes of The New York Times and The Guardian have persisted in the uncritical peddling of bullshit government lines?

                  Are we to believe that David Mac, a casual commentator on a NZ blog has more research capability at their fingertips than some combination of quite major liberal media outlets, or that none of IEEE Spectrum’s 400 000 members sought to inform any liberal media outlets about the existence of that piece, or that liberal media outlets and their science and tech writers/depts, don’t keep up with the world’s flagship publications in the fields they write about?

                  Yes, I took it from the articles that the employees were experiencing auditory hallucinations. That conclusion/assumption on my part was wrong. A reading comprehension “fail” if you like.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke


                    The Guardian might be but the NYT isn’t.

                  • McFlock

                    The IEEE link merely managed to duplicate the sound patterns by using interference from different ultrasonic sources.

                    They did not link it to health effects.
                    They did not determine that this was the only way such a pattern could be reproduced.
                    They did not determine whether this interference, if it was the cause of the pattern, was intentional (e.g. a directed carrier signal, or even a power source for a passive listening device).
                    They posited the idea of multiple jammers inadvertently causing this interference pattern.

                    It is a plausible theory. Just as plausible as the signal being an intentional “attack”, or some other covert device having an unexpected physiological effect.

                    So looking at the situation, why aren’t people falling over themselves with brain damage in embassies around the globe? Hell, ultrasonic jammers aren’t uncommon – why aren’t these effects as commonly observed as smoking and lung cuncer? The only reason an attack was suspected was because of the places this effect manifested: diplomatic posts in Cuba and China.

                    But no, apparently the idea that the signal might have been intentionally caused (for whatever reason) doesn’t have the slightest shred of credibility as an explanation for people being “ill or sick or whatever“. But one report suggesting an accidental creation of the signal and it’s just “common sense” that interference from ultrasonic jammers caused their illness.

                    • Bill

                      How many times would I have to use the word “if” in a comment before you picked up on the word “if” and its function as a qualifier?

                      And how many times would I need to not write something and not claim something before you’d desist in suggesting I had made some claim or other, or written something that I’d neither claimed nor written?

                      If you think a ridiculous line from a fucking trashy sci-fi story is up there with people having actually investigated and reproduced the effects mentioned in all these sonic attack pieces – that you previously claimed weren’t really pieces about sonic attacks because “quotation marks” and anyway, you weren’t arguing any sonic attack line or “sonic attack” line and it was unfair for me to suggest you were…

                      Sheesh, these hard core, endlessly equivocating, shifting apologist lines in defense of liberal messaging that you habitually dance forth with on topic after discussion after issue McFlock – How much longer?

                    • McFlock

                      “a ridiculous line from a fucking trashy sci-fi story”
                      Part of the problem is that not all of us are inside your head to decode shit like that.

                      Took me ages to figure out the “beach sandal” line was calling me a “flip flop”. When I’ve used the word “if” more often than you have 🙄

                      Back to the topic: as I said, they apparently reproduced an interference pattern from a recording taken at the time. We don’t know if that interference pattern was intentionally applied, or merely accidental. We don’t know if that pattern caused the observed physiological effects. We don’t know how common that interference pattern is. It is merely a theory as plausible as someone applying the interference pattern externally, for whatever purpose, and that pattern having a physiological effect.

                      But Moon landing hoax, Bush 9/11 and sonic attacks on consulates/embassies are in the same clutch of folders filed under “B” simply shows a complete lack of proportionality when it comes to assessing reality.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 10.3.2

        supposedly intelligent media

        Is that a widely held supposition? News to me. I thought you regarded them as “stenographers”.

        • Bill

          What percentage of people do you think it is that lend credibility to stories because they come from the likes of The New York Times, Guardian or Washington Post? A higher percentage than if the story comes from a tabloid, the same percentage, or a lower percentage?

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            The NYT says:

            it remains unclear whether the illnesses are the result of attacks at all. Other theories have included toxins, listening devices that accidentally emitted harmful sounds or even mass hysteria.

            The Guardian omits these details.

            I note your certainty* regarding the attempted murder of Sergei and Yulia Skripal, but then you’re also bagging the NYT despite the above passage, so hey.

            *that there are people who uncritically believe the London official version, as opposed to the Kremlin official versions.

  9. David Mac 11

    I’d like to be the beach sandal please. ‘Hang Loose’

  10. Treetop 12

    Misophonia is a condition where there is sensitivity to specific sounds.

    Has this been excluded?

    People can become sensitised to any sound as well.

  11. xanthe 13

    Is it just urban myth that the CCC was able to clear Cathedral square of vagrents and other “undesireables” by playing engelbert humperdinck continuously.?

  12. Cinny 14

    This thread made me think about the sonic booms that have been going on in the USA, especially over the last year.

    It’s not a conspiracy theory, it’s reality, the problem is no one is saying what is causing the sonic booms.

    Tyler has been reporting it for some time, as have news channels in the USA, this clip provides the info. The clip also talks about the american government worker in China and mentions what was reported in Cuba.

  13. NZJester 15

    Sonic devices have been made and deployed already for commercial purposes, it is not too much of a stretch that they could be used for stealth psychological warfare. There is a sound cannon sold for use against Pirates and another targeted at young people.
    A sonic noise device called The Mosquito is apparently being used on youths in areas that shop and building owners do not want them hanging around. They are playing a frequency of sound that can only be heard by young people or those very rare adults who still have an extremely good hearing. The idea is the annoying noise will make them not want to hang out in the area for too long. I do though have to wonder what the legal ramifications of such a device might be as tests have shown they can cause health problems if a young child not able to leave the area such as a baby who can hear the noise with its parents who cannot hear the noise is exposed to it for a long period as mentioned in the Wikipedia article about it with tests done in Germany.

  14. DB 16


    At University of Auckland, in a warm safe room, lives a small community of yeast cells. These cells grow differently to normal yeast, as they are subject to a constant sound wave. Somehow, in a mechanism as yet not understood, the sound makes the cells more oblong than their typical shape is.

    A paper was released and the scientific community impressed. That was about 5 years ago. Sound therapy is in its absolute infancy. We now know there is an effect. And we can all stand about saying WTF?


    Check the third research interest. This man is absolutely brilliant, and has not a nefarious bone in his body.

    Sonic attack?

    Yeah, Right.

  15. DB 18

    “possibly even a rogue faction of Cuban spies hoping to derail the restored diplomatic ties between Havana and Washington. Moscow is another prime suspect, though U.S. officials are undecided whether the Russians might be the main aggressors or accomplices, or absent altogether”

    Yeah, right.

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