Recording of "sonic attacks" on U.S. diplomats in Cuba spectrally matches the echoing call of a Caribbean cricket

Beginning in late 2016, diplomats posted to the United States embassy in Cuba began to experience unexplained health problems including ear pain, tinnitus, vertigo, and cognitive difficulties which reportedly began after they heard strange noises in their homes or hotel rooms. In response, the U.S. government dramatically reduced the number of diplomats posted at the U.S. embassy in Havana. U.S. officials initially believed a sonic attack might be responsible for their ailments. The sound linked to these attacks, which has been described as a high-pitched beam of sound, was recorded by U.S. personnel in Cuba and released by the Associated Press (AP). Because these recordings are the only available non-medical evidence of the sonic attacks, much attention has focused on identifying health problems and the origin of the acoustic signal. As shown here, the calling song of the Indies short-tailed cricket (Anurogryllus celerinictus) matches, in nuanced detail, the AP recording in duration, pulse repetition rate, power spectrum, pulse rate stability, and oscillations per pulse. 

Please click the image below to read the entire article

Source: Biorxiv.org

Source: Biorxiv.org

Voice analysis 'shows Italy has wrong man in people-smuggling case'

Forensic voice experts have presented evidence to a Palermo court showing a man Italian prosecutors have claimed for 18 months to be one of the world’s most wanted people-smugglers is a victim of mistaken identity.

The voice of the Eritrean people-smuggling kingpin Medhanie Yehdego Mered, recorded in 2014, does not match that of the suspect arrested in Sudan last year and extradited to Sicily with the aid of Britain’s National Crime Agency, the experts said.

Prosecutors in Sicily announced the capture of Mered, 35, in Khartoum in June 2016, hailing it as “the arrest of the year”, while the NCA described the detained man as “one of the world’s most wanted people-smugglers”.

Please click the image below to read the full article.

 

Source: The Guardian

Russian general ID’d in actions before shootdown of Malaysian passenger jet

On Sept. 28, 2016, the Joint Investigation Team released recordings of two apparent Russian officers, one clearly a commander, and sought public help in identifying them.

McClatchy’s partners recorded several recent phone calls with Tkachev asking him about his recent ceremonial appointment and later confirming biographical details.

Those recordings were compared with the recordings of intercepted calls of the unidentified purported Russian commander that the Joint Investigative Team posted on YouTube.

On those YouTube recordings, there’s one man to whom the others on the intercept are clearly deferential, as if under his command.

The reporting team gave the original audio recordings and those obtained in recent calls with Tkachev to the University of Colorado’s National Center for Media Forensics for analysis. The Center’s director, Catalin Grigoras, specializes in forensic authentication of recorded media.

Please click the image below to read the full article.

Source: McClatchy DC Bureau