Henrik, one of our “scientists in residence” has written a long-awaited paper on tracking down external environmental noise using very basic tools. I will feature prominently on this blog and on the Hum Map website for the near future. I hope that this paper will not only help create a purer dataset for our project but will aid people who are suffering from nuisance, low-frequency noise that arises from classic anthropogenic sources.
The paper is written in two parts.
I’ve found another source of the so-called “Sky Trumpets” noise. I inadvertently captured it on my phone in Russia (video)
Well, the word “found” is self-congratulatory – it was painfully easy to find with a few minutes of searching. What triggered this was that a few days ago I was being interviewed by a reporter who was curious about my thoughts on the so-called “sky trumpet” noises. I suddenly remembered that not only did I hear it myself, but I captured it on video (posted below). I had just arrived in Moscow, and I was at the Ismailovo Hotel complex (Beta Hotel). I was highly distracted (if not stressed) at the time because of a major paperwork problem (my apologies for the video – it is a private travel video and it caught me at a moment when I was in quite a predicament). At the time I made a mental note to comment on it later. In the video below, you can clearly hear it from about 0:03 through 0:10.
Sorry if I disappoint anyone, but it is a mechanical noise, caused by the brakes on large trucks travelling at lower speeds. Large machinery, trains going around curves create similar sounds. Other mechanical sources can create similar sounds. This has been reported for years over the internet by professional mechanics and amateur enthusiasts alike. All the sensationalists and fabulists had to do was take 20 minutes and go find it. Here is a sample of the sound coming from a smaller truck. And here is another reference to the “blue whale” noise caused by malfunctioning brakes. This poster talks about a “dying whale” noise. And another. And here. There are hundreds of references to it.
And of course, there may be other equally mundane causes of unusual noises, but the fundamental issue here is that tracking them down takes work and many people are in general lazy. So it’s the job of killjoys like me to dismantle the silliness. However, from what I now understand about psychology, education, sociology, and religion, there will always be a subset of people who will desperately and fiercely latch on to explanations that invoke the mysterious, the supernatural, and the conspiratorial. Some of them do this even when they should know better, such as the Science Education professor I knew at the University of Manitoba who believed in Velikovsky, or university graduates I know who believe the Earth is 6000 years old, and many other examples. As science continues to unveil how the universe works, these people don’t retreat, they simply bounce to the next magical and untestable claim, or the next exciting conspiracy.
The earlier published logic map (Rev.7x) has been updated to Rev.8. See link below. The main change is, that the direct, or real-time, influence from electromagnetic fields has been discarded since no theoretical or empirical evidence has been found to support this possibility. Long-term electromagnetic radiation remains as a possible sensitizing factor together with many others. Additionally, some minor rewordings have been introduced.
This version still only represents Henrik’s thoughts on the subject, and does not constitute the official standpoint of the Project.
We’ve more than doubled the number of enhanced data points on the Hum Map and Database. Here is a direct link:http://thehum.info/newhum/#
Let me know if you see anything that warrants my attention.
I approached this stunning building (Российская национальная библиотека) looking forward to looking through Soviet scientific literature in order to see what, if anything, had been written about the Hum in the Russian language. The Worldwide Hum is obscure enough, without the added barrier of a (difficult) foreign language spoken well by few people in the West. Therefore I thought there could be a decent chance that the source of the Hum was solved, or at least investigated, during the Cold War, and is now sitting out in plain view, but unknown to us. My Russian is good enough so as to know what to look for, and then if need be, I could follow up by referring to technical dictionaries, Russian Langage study partners with scientific credentials, and so on.
When I walked through the doors, I was met with full-on airport-style security (as is very common everywhere in Russia in places of cultural or historical significance or where large numbers of people gather). As I approached the desk it occurred to me that I needed to choose my words carefully. In my most polite Russian, I said, “Good day; I am a tourist, and I very much like Russian Language, culture, and history (which is all true), and I may I please visit your library?” The most senior of the security guards looked at me with mild incredulity and marched me over to a separate desk where two female officials were standing. I repeated my request, and one of them rejected my notion out of hand, but then seemed to reconsider my request and then looked at me and said firmly, “Show me your passport”.
In Russia, you must always carry your passport with you, or if you are a tourist, a photocopy of it. A photocopy is even good enough for the Police (who, by the way, do not kid around). I explained that I keep my passport secured in my apartment, but I am happy to provide a photocopy to her. She brushed away that idea and I was dismissed from the library.
My readers know that when it comes to researching the Hum, we put aside personal differences and politics and stick to the science. But I trust my readers will forgive this brief comment about what I think is a North American treasure: open libraries and a free press. As I stood outside the library to take the picture you see above, I thought to myself, “This is a library“. I just wanted to go inside and learn.
I’ll keep trying, however. Just before leaving for Russia, I was interviewed by a Russian documentary crew (in English) about the Hum Map and Database, and perhaps by the time next summer comes around, I will have navigated the bureaucracy in advance so that I get access to the information we need.
It’s great to be back.
I heard the Worldwide Hum roughly four days after I arrived in Russia. It wasn’t as clear and distinct as it here on the Sunshine Coast in BC. The city of St. Petersburg is dense and highly populated, home to more than five million people. So it didn’t surprise me that my nighttime window for hearing the Hum was smaller than in my small town on the West Coast of Canada. Presumably, the cacophony generated by such a densely populated and busy city would only subside for a few hours during the wee hours of the night. My apartment was on Ulitsa Pravdy, in the downtown core and just a few hundred meters away from the intersection of two big metro lines. The Metro (subway) system starts up early, comprises more than 1400 cars and almost 200 trains moving fast and deep – in one case almost 300 feet beneath street level. The road traffic is fast, intense, and high volume. There is a rich and high volume audio spectrum, down into the infrasonic.
And now the anticipated answer to the question: What perceived frequency did I hear?
I’m sorry but I can’t answer that accurately. I opened up the online tone generator several times, but I couldn’t get a good match like I can here. I am quite confident that it is the same general range (i.e. low 50s Hz to mid-60s Hz).
I know this is disappointing because had I been able to get a good frequency match, it could have sorted out one issue: the electric grid. Russia has a 50 Hz grid, unlike North America, which uses 60 Hz. A difference in perceived Hum tone would have been significant and possibly diagnostic. Had I heard a different frequency, it could have also lent weight to the theory that the Hum is a conglomeration of noise, with each location having unique sonic characteristics, interpreted individually by people’s auditory systems.
Anyway, it’s great to be back.
This facility is apparently open for tourists. I would very much like a Hum hearer to go inside for a little while and tell me what they experienced.