6 episodes

In December 2016, a US official in Havana went to the embassy medical centre to report a debilitating and confounding  illness. The symptoms included headaches; nausea; hearing loss; problems with memory and vision – and its onset was characterized by hearing… something. A buzzing, hissing, grinding… sound.

Soon, a second official came down with the same symptoms. Then a third. Then a fourth. By the time the story went public in summer 2017, dozens of US diplomats, as well as some Canadians, had come down with what was becoming known as “Havana Syndrome.”

In this deep dive investigation, journalist Nicky Woolf peels back the layers of one of the most bizarre mysteries of the modern age. You’ll hear about how the US agencies failed to agree even on the basic premises. State department said it’s a “sonic device,” then rolled that back. The CIA have hinted microwave radiation might be involved. The FBI said there was no “there” there – now they seem to be rolling that back as well.

We’ll explore the wild and wide variety of theories that have been put forward. Could it be caused by noisy crickets? Or mosquito spray? Or could it all be a mass delusion? We’ll hear from the cast of characters who inhabit this world; diplomats and spies, neurologists and physicists, skeptics and believers – and, with their help, begin to piece the evidence together.

THE SOUND is a story about spycraft, technology, and the brain. It’s a story where, at every turn, you’re never quite sure what’s real and what’s an illusion. It’s a story about how the Cold War, maybe, never really ended.

The Sound: Mystery of Havana Syndrome Project Brazen

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.4 • 93 Ratings

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Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

In December 2016, a US official in Havana went to the embassy medical centre to report a debilitating and confounding  illness. The symptoms included headaches; nausea; hearing loss; problems with memory and vision – and its onset was characterized by hearing… something. A buzzing, hissing, grinding… sound.

Soon, a second official came down with the same symptoms. Then a third. Then a fourth. By the time the story went public in summer 2017, dozens of US diplomats, as well as some Canadians, had come down with what was becoming known as “Havana Syndrome.”

In this deep dive investigation, journalist Nicky Woolf peels back the layers of one of the most bizarre mysteries of the modern age. You’ll hear about how the US agencies failed to agree even on the basic premises. State department said it’s a “sonic device,” then rolled that back. The CIA have hinted microwave radiation might be involved. The FBI said there was no “there” there – now they seem to be rolling that back as well.

We’ll explore the wild and wide variety of theories that have been put forward. Could it be caused by noisy crickets? Or mosquito spray? Or could it all be a mass delusion? We’ll hear from the cast of characters who inhabit this world; diplomats and spies, neurologists and physicists, skeptics and believers – and, with their help, begin to piece the evidence together.

THE SOUND is a story about spycraft, technology, and the brain. It’s a story where, at every turn, you’re never quite sure what’s real and what’s an illusion. It’s a story about how the Cold War, maybe, never really ended.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    Jericho

    Jericho

    There’s a mysterious outbreak of neurological problems among American spies and diplomats in Cuba. Host Nicky Woolf documents the first cases with never before heard accounts from Havana, while parsing through classified intelligence to learn how this mystery began.

    www.soundistheweapon.com

    • 29 min
    The Immaculate Concussion

    The Immaculate Concussion

    Havana Syndrome cases are spreading. Investigators flock to Cuba while politicians start hunting for a culprit. Host Nicky Woolf breaks down the early investigations by the US and Cuban governments while our own search ramps up. Meanwhile, a political narrative starts to take shape.

    www.soundistheweapon.com

    • 32 min
    Speak of the Devil

    Speak of the Devil

    When recordings of a strange sound in Havana go public, some wonder if these “Havana Syndrome” health problems are real or imagined. We take a critical look through the research – and enlist the help of a mentalist – to try to answer the question: is this whole thing in our heads?

    www.soundistheweapon.com

    • 35 min
    Introducing The Sound: Mystery of Havana Syndrome

    Introducing The Sound: Mystery of Havana Syndrome

    In December 2016, a US official in Havana went to the embassy medical centre to report a debilitating and confounding  illness. The symptoms included headaches; nausea; hearing loss; problems with memory and vision – and its onset was characterized by hearing… something. A buzzing, hissing, grinding… sound.

    Soon, a second official came down with the same symptoms. Then a third. Then a fourth. By the time the story went public in summer 2017, dozens of US diplomats, as well as some Canadians, had come down with what was becoming known as “Havana Syndrome.”

    In this deep dive investigation, journalist Nicky Woolf peels back the layers of one of the most bizarre mysteries of the modern age. You’ll hear about how the US agencies failed to agree even on the basic premises. State department said it’s a “sonic device,” then rolled that back. The CIA have hinted microwave radiation might be involved. The FBI said there was no “there” there – now they seem to be rolling that back as well.

    We’ll explore the wild and wide variety of theories that have been put forward. Could it be caused by noisy crickets? Or mosquito spray? Or could it all be a mass delusion? We’ll hear from the cast of characters who inhabit this world; diplomats and spies, neurologists and physicists, skeptics and believers – and, with their help, begin to piece the evidence together.

    THE SOUND is a story about spycraft, technology, and the brain. It’s a story where, at every turn, you’re never quite sure what’s real and what’s an illusion. It’s a story about how the Cold War, maybe, never really ended.

    www.soundistheweapon.com

    • 2 min
    Meeting Nicky Woolf: Answering the Global Mystery of Havana Syndrome

    Meeting Nicky Woolf: Answering the Global Mystery of Havana Syndrome

    What is Havana Syndrome? Nicky Woolf speaks with Project Brazen co-founder Tom Wright about his upcoming investigative podcast, THE SOUND: Mystery of Havana Syndrome.

    Nicky shares his experience following the unexplained phenomenon from Havana to Washington DC, Miami, London, and beyond. He talks about meeting victims of the devastating illness, efforts to understand the science that could have caused it — even building his own device — and how new cases of the syndrome continue to appear to this day. 

    THE SOUND is a story about spycraft, technology, and the brain. It’s a story where, at every turn, you’re never quite sure what’s real and what’s an illusion. It’s a story about how the Cold War, maybe, never really ended.

    Make sure you don’t miss an episode by subscribing to THE SOUND: Mystery of Havana Syndrome, wherever you listen to podcasts. 

    www.soundistheweapon.com

    • 6 min
    Scoring THE SOUND: The complete musical exploration of Havana Syndrome by Grammy-winning Attacca Quartet

    Scoring THE SOUND: The complete musical exploration of Havana Syndrome by Grammy-winning Attacca Quartet

    Get a first listen to THE SOUND's hauntingly original score, composed and performed by the Grammy-winning Attacca Quartet. Amy Schroeder, Domenic Salerni, Nathan Schram and Andrew Yee have created a rich, lavish, soulful, and at times uncanny soundscape – the perfect accompaniment to this strange and unsettling story. Exclusively available in full to Brazen+ subscribers.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
93 Ratings

93 Ratings

Natemymate ,

So far, so good

First episode is well done and intriguing, but doesn’t reveal anything we don’t already know about this strange affliction and how it started. Looking forward to learning more in upcoming episodes. I’ll definitely stay tuned.

the 'ville ,

Intriguing!

I had read about Havana Syndrome in the past, but the deep dive is a must-listen. Impatiently awaiting the next episodes!

Wellwellwellll ,

Score!

The sound design in this thing is very tastefully done, love the music and especially the cicada buzzing in E2. Think this thing is going interesting places, and E1 skeptics - 2 is delivering new stuff for me anyway.

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