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Glen MacPherson doesn’t remember e,ectromagnetics first time he heard the sound. It may have started at the beginning ofa dull, steady droning like that of a diesel engine idling down the street from his house in the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia. A lecturer at the University of British Columbia and high school teacher of physics, mathematics and biology, months passed before MacPherson realized that electromagneticss noise, which he’d previously dismissed as some background nuisance like car traffic or an airplane passing overhead, was something abnormal.
I went driving around my neighborhood looking for the source, and I noticed it was louder at night.
Electromagnetically excited acoustic noise and vibration – Wikipedia
Exasperated, MacPherson turned his focus to scientific literature and pored over reports of the mysterious noise before coming across an article by University of Oklahoma geophysicist David Deming in the Journal of Scientific Exploration, a peer-reviewed academic journal devoted to exploring topics outside of mainstream science. It’s characterized by a persistent and invasive low-frequency rumbling or droning noise often accompanied by vibrations.
While reports of “unidentified humming b.y.lloud pop up in scientific literature dating electrommagnetics to the s, modern manifestations of the contemporary hum have been widely reported by national media in the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia since the early s. Most sufferers find the noise to be more disturbing indoors and at night.
Electromagnetically excited acoustic noise and vibration
Much to their dismay, the source of the mysterious humming is virtually untraceable. While the uneven experience of the Hum in local populations has led some researchers to dismiss it as a “mass delusion,” the nuisance and pain associated with the phenomenon make delusion a dissatisfying hypothesis. Intrigued by the mysterious noise, MacPherson launched The World Hum Map and Database in December to collect testimonies of other Hum sufferers and track its global impact he now also moderates a decade-old Yahoo forum along with Deming.
MacPherson quickly discovered that what to him was a strange rumbling was actually having pernicious effects on hundreds of people, from headaches to irritability to sleep deprivation.
Tom Moir, a professor at the Auckland University of Technology and Hum investigator, first started looking into the Hum after an Auckland resident called Moir’s office at Massey University in Residents of Auckland’s northern shore claimed that the Hum was so intense that it was preventing them from sleeping or concentrating.
Many had lived a life of vibroacoustic agony, unsure if what they were hearing was real or not. A mechanical engineer in the chemical industry, Kohlhase, like so many other Hum sufferers, has devoted his free time to searching for the source of the noise. It feels like your fingers are in your ears. Other people have different experiences: Sometimes the floorboards in the house have a distinct vibration to them, or they they feel it in their feet in their bedsprings.
Many people find their ears ringing. So what’s behind the Hum? After nearly four decades, Hum investigators may finally have some idea. Colin Novak spent the last year listening to the “Windsor Hum” that’s been torturing residents in the Windsor area of Ontario since A previous study had confirmed the existence of the low frequency noise in the vicinity of Zug Island, a highly industrialized island located on Michigan side of the Detroit River.
Steel plant on Zug Island, which reportedly generates a high volume of VLF waves during its hours of operation. Novak’s study caps off decades of Hum theories, but given the inconsistent experience of the phenomenon around the world, cataloguers of the Hum still aren’t quite sure if it has a single, definitive source.
While ELF and VLF waves may cause people to experience the incessant droning, not every local Hum appears to have an easily traceable source.
What about the Aukland and Taos Hums? And why does the Hum seem to appear and disappear for months at a time? Some Hum investigators suspect that there’s a global source responsible for the Hum worldwide.
Deming’s research, considered close to authoritative in the Hum community, suggests that evidence of the Hum corresponds with an accidental, biological consequence of the “Take Charge and Move Out” TACAMO system adopted by the US Navy in the s as a way for military leaders to maintain communications with the nation’s ballistic missile submarines, land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles, and long-range bombers during a nuclear war.
Because of their large wavelengths, VLF can diffract around large obstacles like mountains and buildings, propagate around the globe using the Earth’s ionosphere and penetrate seawater to a depth of almost 40 meters, making them ideal for one-way communication with subs. And there are other theories. While Moir agrees with MacPherson that the disturbance is occurring at a very low frequency, he’s convinced that the source of the Auckland Hum is primarily acoustic rather than electromagnetic, partially because he claims his research team has managed to capture a recording of the Hum.
An alleged recording of the Auckland Hum by Prof. Plug in your headphones or increase the volume of your speaker system to maximum to hear. A simulation of the Auckland Hum created by a research team lead by Prof. It gets into our wooden houses very easily. And part of the reason people have so much trouble identifying the source of it is because of how low frequency the Hum is: It literally moves right through your head before you can figure out which ear picked it up first.
There could be both electromagnetic or acoustic sources that complement each other. The real difficulty is separating the two hypotheses through testing. Novak and the researchers who traced the Windsor Hum to Zug Island, hypothesizes that the source of the Connecticut Hum is industrial rather than military, generated by a network of nearby high volume gas pipelines. The arrival of the Hum, Kohlhase argues, coincided with increased development of natural gas pipelines in northern Fairfield County, and the increased hydraulic pressure used by the Iroquois and Algonquin interstate pipelines that run through his corner of Connecticut could result in the non-directional, extremely low frequency ELF humming noise previously unheard in the region.
This a pressing public health issue. It is not just some casual annoyance, claims Kohlhase. The resulting infrasonic sounds blanketing the region could result in widespread vibroacoustic disease — an occupational disease occurring from long-term exposure to large pressure amplitude and low frequency noise — the symptoms of which include those often described by Hum suffers: The Hum may transition from unexplained mystery to unfortunate byproduct of modernity, a fixture of human geography like light pollution.
State and local governments may finally be paying attention. Worried about the potential behavioral effects of the Connecticut Hum, Kohlhase dispatched concerned emails to state and local health officials laying out his research. Kohlhase was so persistent that he contacted Connecticut State Police investigators almost six weeks after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, insisting that the Hum allegedly produced electromangetics nearby gas pipelines could have had something to do with Adam Lanza’s behavior leading up to the shooting.
I am absolutely not an expert, but if sound sensitivity is such a serious issue to those on the autism spectrum, perhaps extremely low frequency sounds can result in a pernicious effect. Look at a map of instances like this, in Washington, or the Gabby Giffords shooting in Arizona, and I bet you’ll see that each place coincides with a Hum cluster.
Here is the fundamental problem facing Hum sufferers electroomagnetics the world: The World Huma site electormagnetics to exploring the “mysterious phenomenon being heard by thousands around the world,” is riddled with byzantine entries about UFOs crashing in Siberia.
MacPherson knows how insane it sounds. This is why you don’t put that stuff in the microwave. State-funded tests on Hum-affected regions may yield data that could lead to a real-world solution, rather than conspiracy theories. By providing one destination for Hum data and testimony, he’s hoping that professional and independent researchers will use the collected data to help develop and execute experiments that could help identify the source of their local Hum.
But until someone funds and conducts rigorous tests in an affected region, says Moir, people will continue to use the Hum as an excuse to blame modern technology, from mobile phones to telecom towers to the digital radio bands used by law enforcement. And that aura of pseudoscientific insanity surrounding the Hum has made the job of independent researchers more challenging. In the meantime, many just want to identify some relief. I’m just trying to do the best I can to help.
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