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www.mast-victims.org forum / Health / THE HUM: Microwave Hearing: Evidence for Thermoacoustic Auditory Stimulation by Pulsed Microwaves
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# Posted: 31 Oct 2006 07:05

Kenneth R. Foster 1 and Edward D. Finch 1
1 Naval Medical Research Institute, National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland 20014
Acoustic transients can be thermally generated in water by pulsed microwave energy. The peak pressure level of these transients, measured within the audible frequency band as a function of the microwave pulse parameters, is adequate to explain the "clicks" heard by people exposed to microwave radiation.

Acoustic Detection of Cosmic-Ray Air Showers.
W. L. BARRETT (1978)
Science 202, 749-751

Holographic assessment of microwave hearing.
C. Chou, A. Guy, K. Foster, R Galambos, and D. Justesen (1980)
Science 209, 1143-1145

Holographic assessment of a hypothesized microwave hearing mechanism.
A. Frey and E Coren (1979)
Science 206, 232-234

# Posted: 20 Nov 2006 04:19

Scientists investigating a strange humming sound in the New Zealand city of Auckland believe they have pinpointed the frequency.
The source of the noise, however, remains a mystery.

According to Dr Tom Moir, a computer engineer at Massey University's Institute of Information and Mathematical Sciences, the low level drone is almost certainly hitting the scales at a frequency of 56hz.

He has tested three people who can hear the noise and they all come up around that frequency. A fourth person who was tested returned an inconclusive result.

Although 56hz is within the standard range of human hearing - which can range from 20 to 20,000hz - it is too low for most people to pick up.

That however, has not brought the sleuths any closer to pinpointing the source of the hum which they have dubbed the Unidentified Acoustic Phenomena.

Dr Moir rules out geological factors. "It's more likely to be things like pipes under the ground - you known, gas pipes, sewerage pipes, factories in the distance."

But for those who can hear it, the sound is the bane of their lives, driving some to distraction and others to take drastic action.

Dr Moir said one sufferer, a man, was so desperate to stop hearing the sound that he deliberately tried to damage his own hearing by cranking up a chain saw close to his ears. "He said it was so bad, he couldn't stand it. It was driving him mad."

Another victim of the hum says it can prevent her from sleeping at night.

Since a woman living in the North Shore suburb of Brown's Bay first contacted Dr Moir and his colleague Dr Fakhrul Alam in mid-August, the scientists have been approached by about 30 sufferers, all from areas in Auckland's north.

"These people who pick [the hum] up have a very low threshold for hearing at low frequencies - don't know why, but they do," says Dr Moir.

Some have been reticent to give away more details of their predicament for fear that reports of persistent humming could adversely affect the resale price of their homes.

With the help of one of the sufferers, Dr Moir has developed a simulation of the sound. "The real thing," he says "is more like the drone of an aircraft and it comes and goes," he said.

The affliction appears to be similar to tinnitus, a condition in which sufferers hearing a constant, high-pitched ringing sound. In severe case it can affect sleep and normal daily routines.

A number of high profile musicians are said to have suffered from tinnitus including Beethoven, Bono and Eric Clapton.

Complicating the investigation is the fact that neither Dr Moir nor his colleague can hear the sound so with each sufferer they visit they must first run tests to rule out psychosomatic factors and any other obvious causes.

Fortunately, Dr Moir discovered on the weekend that his wife, who accompanied him on a visit to one of the affected homes, was able to hear the hum.

This is not the first incidence of humming in New Zealand. In 2005, New Zealand author Rachel McAlpine wrote a book called The Humming.

In her novel set in small town, an artist called Ivan and a number of the townsfolk are plagued by a low frequency humming noise.

The book was largely inspired by the author's own experiences in the seaside town of Puponga on the northwest tip of New Zealand's south island which was itself at the centre of a humming mystery some years back.

Listen to a simulation of the sound (most people won't be able to hear it, but if you play it in something like Windows Media Player and turn on the visualisation you will "see" the sound waves).

# Posted: 20 Nov 2006 04:38

Here are the Australian links.
For the Mp3 you will need to put your sound on and up, it is a recording of the hum.
http://www.smh.com.au/news/technology/mystery-noise-is-a-real-humdinge r/2006/10/24/1161455714733.html


http://www.libertyforum.org/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=Paranormal&Number= 295009514&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=21&part=

# Posted: 24 Nov 2006 14:21

I've had something similar and it was stress related and all in my own head. There was nothing actually in the air as real soundwaves. It's another form of tinnitus (which I suffer from, mildly). It came mainly with the raise in blood pressure from exertion and went as I relaxed.

Modern microphones and recording / analysys techniques FAR outweigh the capabilities of the human ear, so if the scientists can't pick it up then it's not a geniune soundwave in the environment. Something in the head is producing it for the sufferer.

# Posted: 10 Dec 2006 18:34

Is there anybody like me? I have removed into a better house, and my complaints have deminished oder vanished here. But one thing remains just the same. When there are many telephon calls, on peak hours, there is this hissing and sissing sound in my ears, very loud. I have tinnitus, but nevertheless, when I live rather healthy with regard to hf radiation, how come I still here those peaks in telephon calls?

William O
# Posted: 20 Dec 2006 23:15

Hi nel

You are not alone !

If you are taking about mobile phones then I would recommend you give it in for recycling.

You won’t get me on a mobile phone as they are too painful to even consider.

If you are referring to fixed landlines, then I am with you on that.
This hissing and sissing sounds like HF radiation, possibly from ground resonance.

You can pick that up anywhere, as the source does not have to be the landline, it only acts as a receiver of ground waves.

You may prefer to use the loud speaker function available on most phones now, as this helps me a little.

If you don’t mind me asking, where are you from ?

If the above does not make sense nel, then we may have our wires crossed…:-)

Best regards
~ William

# Posted: 21 Dec 2006 03:00

Hi William,

Thanks for the kind answer. I am from Holland, I don't mind you asking! Was my english that bad? :-) I see now I was not clear with my question. I am a EHS person. And in spite of having moved into a better, rather HF-free house I still hear the hissing and sissing sounds when people call on peak hours, just the hissing and sissing sounds, not the phones themselves. I hear that just being in my house, walking around or sitting silently. At peak hours it is very loud, like a bunch of people gossiping :-) :-(
Not nice to hear. I myself have only a landline phone. I had the hope that, once living rather HF-free, this hissing and sissing would stop. It bothers me not too much, not really, it is only loud ad 'peak hours', I mean the hours when lots of people call, for instance 19.30, 23.00 a.s.o. I just don't understand that with the lowering of the HF level around myself the hissing and sissing sound has not diminished... But maybe this question is too hard to answer. Maybe my ears have suffered too much, so that this goes just goes on despite the positive change in the surrounding.

Best regards
PS hope your ehs is not bothering you too much

William O
# Posted: 24 Dec 2006 04:07 - Edited by: William O


Motorola Florida Research Laboratories
Author: Joe A. Elder, Ph.D

Motorola.pdf link


Human auditory perception of pulses of radiofrequency (RF) energy is a well-established
phenomenon that is dependent upon the energy in a single pulse and not on average power density. RF-induced sounds can be characterized as the perception of subtle sounds because, in general, a quiet environment is required for the sounds to be heard.

The sound is similar to other common sounds such as a click, buzz, hiss, knock or chirp. Effective radiofrequencies range from 216 to 10,000 MHz, but an individual’s ability to hear RF-induced sounds is dependent upon high-frequency acoustic hearing in the kHz range.

The fundamental frequency of RF induced sounds is independent of the radiofrequency but dependent upon head dimensions. The detection of RF-induced sounds is similar to acoustic sound detection once the cochlea is stimulated; however, the site of conversion of RF energy to acoustic energy is peripheral to the cochlea.

The thermoelastic expansion theory explains the RF hearing phenomenon. RF-induced sounds involve the perception, via bone conduction, of thermally generated sound transients, that is, audible sounds are produced by rapid thermal expansion resulting from only a 5 x 10-6 oC temperature rise in tissue at the threshold level due to absorption of the energy in the RF pulse.

Is the use of the Human auditory perception of radio frequencies being harnessed by advertising companies, or is it my imagination ?

~ William

# Posted: 2 Feb 2007 01:04

My background is in RF radio and satellite communications, which leads me to my suposition. I beleive the natural resonate frequency of the earth is around 7.8Hz (cycles per second) or so. The frequency of AC power in NZ is 50Hz. When 2 signals mix, they hetrodyne, giving you two products, f1+f0 and f1-f0. Therefore might it be possible that this 56Hz sound the the heterodyning together of the earths resonate frequency and normal electricity?

That's my 2 cents.
Thanks, Rob M rhubarb@sympatico.ca

# Posted: 2 Feb 2007 13:24

Interesting, Rob, yes, to my surprise it seems NZ uses 50Hz too (I would have guessed 60Hz like the USA)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_with_mains_power_pl ugs%2C_voltages_and_frequencies

.. but
a) it would be 57.8
b) 50-7.8 (42.2) should be produced just as well too!

Back to the drawing board perhaps :o)
- but if there's a 10Hz higher phenomenon in the USA, then mains power is looking like a good candidate for involvement!


# Posted: 20 May 2007 00:32

i live in New Zealand and i hear the noise constantly, is hurts sometimes too. i've been to doctors and everything and they don't believe me, they even gave me pysc medication. i hate this a lot. anyway, never come here if your ears are sensitive!! [i][/i]

# Posted: 27 Jul 2007 18:32

i live in switzerland and about 5 months ago when visiting a friend in paris, i woke to a sound of very low pitched humm that came and went, kind of like a machine turning off and on intermittently... a kind of pulsing sound just at the edge of my hearing but enough to annoy and bewilder me. at first i attributed it to something in the building mechanics but upon return to switzerland i hear it now at home, at work... virtually everywhere indoors where it is quiet and not much external noise. i wake each morning to this pulsing humming sound, and was wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience? oh yes and recently i've been getting dizzy spells... perhaps this is something my body is creating due to some kind of illness..... but it truly seems to be an external sound that i am hearing mostly on the left side of my head.....

# Posted: 29 Jul 2007 15:33

It's microwave hearing. LOOK: Sensation of hearing in electromagnetic fields. Cornell Uni. sch. of engineering and Cornell aeronautical lab. inc. The answer is there and I found my answer on 30 minutes ago. Good luck. M UK who has been to wonderful Auckland 6 times.

# Posted: 5 Feb 2008 14:31

I live in the South West UK and am sometimes troubled by the Hum. I have always heard a background humming noise since my early life but that was always a harmonious noise. I always assumed everyone heard it but appearently not. It sounds like an electrical noise. Since 1993, however, I've heard the so-called Hum that people complain about all over the world but it's only present about 3% of the time, although one year it lasted for six months. It seems to result from a qualitative change in the 'normal' background Hum such that it becomes louder and discordant in character. The sound is below the threshold of pain but is so unpleasant that it's effects are the same as pain.

The Hum can easily be blocked with ear defenders and a gum shield but an ear defender on it's own does not stop it. The gum shield damps the jaw and skull and stops the sound entering the inner ear via those structures. You cannot stop low frequencies with an ear defender or ear plugs alone. A lot was made of that fact to suggest that the Hum wasn't caused by sound but you easily prove it is sound by using a gumshield with an ear defender or ear plugs. That stops it whereas it wouldn't stop microwaves or any of the other strange phenomena that people have proposed to explain the Hum. It's only sound. Very few people can hear the low frequencies and 80% of our population have dmaged hearing anyway.

It's possible for two frequencies to interfer in an unpleasant and discodant way if they don't harmonise.

# Posted: 10 Apr 2008 05:27

It's 3am and I am awake yet again as I cannot block out this dreadful humming noise. Nobody else in my family can hear it and I've been too worried to mention it to anyone else for fear they will think I'm insane! I also live in the South West UK and have heard this noise for several years, although it is worse since moving house just over a year ago. I have tried ear plugs which haven't helped on their own so I will be going shopping first thing for a gum shield in the hope of a good night's sleep at long last. Thanks!

Anon from 24 Nov 2006
# Posted: 10 Apr 2008 13:02

Is it not possible that it's a tremor in the jaw muscles, which is why the gumshield works?
I have teeth missing, an uneven "bite", trouble with my neck due to that, tinnitus and occasional hums... I'm pretty sure it's something I perceive but it isn't actually a real sound in the air - no microphone in the room would pick it up. No disrespect intended, it is EXTREMELY difficult to pinpoint low frequency sound or tell if it's genuine or not.
Best wishes

# Posted: 17 Aug 2008 16:16

Yay, I'm not nuts then.

I live in Ireland. For the past 2-3 years my girlfriend and I were living far out in the boonies, but we moved back to civilisation and into a new house in March and that's when I started complaining about "the pulse" as I called it, short, rapid pulses of random durations, always in my right ear.

I generally only hear it @ night, and primarily when I was about to go to sleep. I'd keep going "there it is! no wait, there it is again, did you hear it?" "no" "wait there... no, never mind." Of course, my girlfriend's hearing isn't very good, she always had problems, whereas I would say my hearing is better the most and easily my most accurate sense. I am actually qualified as a sound engineer, and so I would say not only is my hearing good, but it's also well trained, let's say.

Now the house is a large house, it's in a mid-sized Irish town but far from the centre of it, it's a nice neighbourhood, not an estate, quite spacious and certainly not loud. It's also right next to the town's water tower, so I thought maybe that's it. I also thought that perhaps it was due to the size and acoustic properties of the house itself and that it might actually be acting as a natural amplifier, creating harmonics, for example, of passing traffic (the road we live on is not busy but there is a busy road quite nearby) water system, or perhaps some transformer. That's not unheard of; vibrations and acoustic phenomenon creating infrasonic harmonics.

Another theory I had was the 4-bar surge protector I had plugged in near the bed for my reading light so I plugged that out but that wasn't it either. But, at any rate, my theory, until this morning, was that it was something to do with the house, rather than myself.

Last night I stayed at my mother's house and found that, in fact, the sensation was even worse! It kept me up for a while until I finally succumbed to exhaustion. I woke up this morning, and immediately found myself getting hit by far longer pulses, way longer causing a slight pressure in my head. My mother's house is in a very similar neighbourhood to our own. It's a one-time country road, on very outskirts of a mid-sized urban area, that's since been recently developed by the Range Rover soccer mom contingent.

Until this morning I had been working on the assumption that it was something to do with our own house. But it's obviously not. I also don't think it's due to any hearing problems, because my hearing has always been superb and I haven't noticed any degradation. I thought maybe I had some infection, so I done a Google search and came across this "hum" phenomenon, and discovered that it's quite widespread and read all the various theories. I didn't get any answers, of course, but what I read sounds exactly like what I've been having. So I'm happy, at least, that this is something that's relatively common. So I thought I'd add my own story to the mix, for what it's worth.

# Posted: 20 Aug 2008 15:56

near power lines or electric wiring; mobile phone mast that is near but you cannot see - camoflaged; electric alarm near bed; mobile phones, wifi on at night; energy saving light bulbs.
I have experienced humming from these things.
Turn off all plugs at night and don't sleep near the mains electricity into the house.
Or is it the fridge!
See if any of these make any difference! Good luck

# Posted: 24 Sep 2008 04:17

i am so glad i found this site i thought i was going mad the noise i here is a low humming noise just like someone has a car engine running in the distance but it comes and goes and gets worse at night i live in west midlands and i seem to be the only one who heres it it doesnt hurt just annoys me and yes it goes away when i leave my flat so i am guessing its something to do with electricity i have tried turning of plugs but it still does not stop the only time i know i never here it at all is if we have a power cut but sometimes i can go months without hearing it and then i will suddenley notice it again once i notice it thats when it gets worse as i know its there and unintentially end up listening for it i also had it in my last flat it was strange as in certain areas of the flat it was louder hope something is done about this and it is taken seriously before all the people who here it go mad

# Posted: 24 Sep 2008 11:04

Trust me on this, at such low frequencies you simply cannot tell (audio expert or not) whether it's a genuine airborne sound or muscle/nerve activity entirely contained within your own head. Try gumshields/ bite guards etc first, before you question your sanity! Boots sell one for around £20 that you warm up in hot water and it moulds to your mouth snugly. Sleep with that in and you may find the problem clears up.

# Posted: 24 Sep 2008 20:15

i forgot to mention my last flat was a 10 min walk from my flat im in now and i rememer while i was living in my old flat all the residents in my street sighned a pertition to stop a phone mast being built in the area and won but i dont know if they still built it just moved it to another street so it could be close to where i live now i will be keeping my eyes out for it

# Posted: 24 Sep 2008 20:21

http://freepage.twoday.net/stories/5063037/ this is the recent info i have found on the phone mast what worries me it says they want to build another phone mast so that means theres already one around somewhere

# Posted: 14 Oct 2008 16:26


When I first heard The Hum a couple of years ago I did a bit of searching and found:


and at the time the site had a UK map showing the location of Hum reporters with an overlay showing the high voltage grid. There seemed to be a pretty good correlation.

My sensitivity to The Hum has varied over time, sometimes at night it is a sound of distant diesel engine idling, other times it is too loud to ignore.
As a coping strategy I used a battery operated radio on a timer. When I wake in the middle of the night I switch on the radio and listener to the World Service until I go back to sleep. After a short time the radio switches off.

best of luck,


# Posted: 29 Oct 2008 14:52

Quick question for caz..

Im a new hum sufferer in the Northwest (Lancashire). Did you really notice that the hum disapeared when there was a power cut?

Would love to hear from you.


# Posted: 29 Oct 2008 15:08

I live in Coppull, Lancashire, which is a small village near Chorley. I have been hearing a strange low frequency humming sound intermittently for just over a year now, usually when the ambient noise is low in the house.. At first it wasn't very strong, it just sounded like a big diesel engine ticking over, far away in the distance, but if I went outside of my house, I couldn't hear it. Up until recently I have been blaming it on something in my house, an electrical appliance like the fridge or something. Over the last two or three weeks the low frequency humming has started getting much stronger, with a painful undulating pulse, its now disturbing my sleep, to the point where I've been walking round my house in the middle of the night, trying to find the source. I even tried turning off the mains electricity supply, but this still didn't stop the hum. So then I started to suspect that it must be something else, maybe something in the surrounding area to my home, like a transformer or generator or something. I have even been driving round local industrial areas looking for the source but with no success..

Two weeks ago I was visiting a friend 13 miles away in Ormskirk and I realised I could hear the hum, when sitting quietly in my car near his flat. Then I noticed I could also hear it at my parents house 9 miles away. That's when I started to think that this must be something else, and I decided to do some research on the internet for answers. I now realise that I am not alone..

Its a very strange thing, I can hear it almost constantly at home, some times it does go quieter, but sometimes the hum is so strong with an undulating pulse that it hurts, causing headaches and keeping me awake at night, so this week I have tried using Nytol which is a natural sedative. It has helped me get to sleep but then later in the night the humming wakes me up, usually between 2 - 3 am when the humming is at its strongest, and I usually don't manage to get back to sleep till around 5:30 am (ish) when it eventually eases off a little.. I cannot go on like this for much longer !!!!

I can assure you that, to me the noise does not sound like it is coming from inside my head, it definitely sounds external and I am inclined to believe that it is some kind of noise pollution, whether it be electromagnetic or (ELF) signals or whatever.. However, as I am the only one in my family that can hear this noise, I am trying to keep an open mind and I have made an appointment to see my doctor to make sure the problem isn't a medical one.

I would really like to know if this is being taken seriously by any of the authorities and what, if anything is being done about it..?

# Posted: 30 Oct 2008 23:14

Just a quick update..

I reported my low frequency hum to the environmental health dept today.
They dont think Im crazy, they have had two similar complaints in this and are keen to try to locate the source. They are coming to my house at 3pm tomorrow with special low frequency recording equipment.

Lets wait & see !

# Posted: 6 Nov 2008 15:44

Steve the diver you sound just like me we liver in Warrington and have had the same problem as you for some 4 months now - done everything within our power to locate the source of the humming, gas/electic meters changed, boiler checked, everything electrical removed from the house and placed in the garden including the freezer cannot locate this it is driving us mad. Had hearing test, we can all hear the humming. Environmental Health been out cannot locate anything.

Now stuck cannot live like this for much longer the lack of sleep is a killer.

Has anyone got an anwer?

# Posted: 7 Nov 2008 10:24

Hi all,

Have a look at this website:
Low Frequency Humming
It's got alot of info on the "Hum".
At first glance it seems very complete.

# Posted: 19 Nov 2008 17:37

I had the recording equipment in place for a few days, and although I could hear the hum, the equipment did not record anything conclusive. So I am no closer to identifying the source of the hum.

Also I was working away from home for three days last week and I did not hear the hum at all whilst I was away. Then after I came back home on thursday night the hum had completely disapeared..

However after a few days back at home, I can now hear the hum again but its not as strong as it was before..

# Posted: 19 Nov 2008 17:44


Forgot to mention, my doctor gave me a clean bill of health, blood pressure etc etc.. My ear drums appear perfectly normal too.. He also explained that there are no medical conditions he knows of that would produce these symptoms...

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