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Sechelt Noise Survey

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An assistant and I are about to conduct a trial run of the type of data gathering that was done in Kokomo, Indiana. What makes Sechelt, BC interesting is that this is a retirement community. Given what is already known about the demographics of hearers, I wasn’t surprised to hear that an informal localized study suggested that more than 10 percent of households in a certain radius had somebody in the house who could hear it.

This study comprises two closely related parts. The first involves a third party not connected to the research being paid to hand-deliver roughly 200 letters labelled “Noise Survey” to homes in five clusters around the Sechelt area. Two of those clusters will be located further North on the Sunshine Coast Highway, in the communities of Halfmoon Bay and Madeira Park. The text of that letter is given below.

The second part of the study is to have Canada Post randomly insert 200 letters into mailboxes in the Sechelt Area. The inserts would be the same as those delivered to the houses. It will be interesting to see which method generates the greater participation rate.

In both cases, participants are directed to http://thehum.info and asked to enter their data on the web form. My guess is that participants will view the Hum map while they are there, which is part of a largely unspoken agenda that aims to generate a sense of community and ultimately media attention to the Hum phenomenon.

This research blog will announce the results.

Glen MacPherson

————————————————— text of letter follows:

Dear Sunshine Coast Residents.

We are asking for your participation in a survey regarding noise disturbances in this area. For several years now, residents have periodically complained about a deep hum or low “rumbling” sound, something like a truck engine idling outside your home. The sound is often reported to be more noticeable at night, and louder inside the home than outside of it. Some people seem especially sensitive to the noise, whereas others have difficulty hearing it. Most commonly, it is heard by people 50 years of age and older.

Similar reports from other cities and other countries have led to speculation about the source of this type of noise – from high voltage power lines to communications systems to natural gas lines, to other types of industrial activity. By getting a clearer idea of how and where local residents are affected, we’ll have a better chance of locating the source of the disturbance.

The anonymous data gathered from this survey will form part of a larger study of this phenomenon. Your identity will be anonymous, but your data fully public at http://www.thehum.info.

If you could spare a few minutes, could you please enter your information on the web survey form located at


Thank you for your time.

Questions or comments can be directed to glen.macpherson@gmail.com


  1. Jennifer says:

    While visiting a friend at Roberts Creek I heard it (she did too).

  2. Jim Stephanidis says:

    I started out thinking that machinery or a truck in the area was running constantly. I read an accurate description which is that of a diesel engine idling. At times, I thought it was from my refrigerator causing a vibration on the floor. It’s been about a month or so that I notice the him being constant, so decided to do some research. I just stumbled on to your website. It is very interesting that so many people are experiencing this phenomena. I will be following your progress as this mystery unfolds. I would love to participate full time but lack the funds to do so.

  3. dzenmind says:

    How much time it will take for the new investigators to reach the same conclusions as Victor Nixon did? He died, as the Hum killed him. He has connected the Hum to a single piece of equipment, the one that is used for a BPL (Broadband over Powerlines). There is more on the subject here: http://www.savedereel.com/pdfs/victor_tribute%20warrior%20EHS.pdf
    I have been tumbling between one theory and another until recently, when I heard the Hum very loud coming from the overhead powerlines at 4 different locations in a quiet mountain village. While looking closer, after I took some pictures, I could distinguish the associated with the BPL equipment being put there. I also made some videos, one next to the powerlines from where I heard the Hum, and another, at night in my bedroom in the same village when the Hum was very loud, and the camera picked up clearly another frequency, same in both videos, which Victor would describe as the Hum white noise. It cannot be mistaken, once you hear it. The camera picks up this white noise which in turn somehow gets “translated” through the ear by the brain as the sound we all know, the Hum.
    This knowledge must be spread and we need more warriors like Victor Nixon (RIP, Vic!), to stop spreading this worldwide menace through the PLC/ BPL/Smart Grid system! If you don’t believe, read more on the PLC, the Smart Grid is using the same equipment but more “smartly” so that many of us get confused and believe the low frequency noise Hum fairy tale from 1001 Nights.

    • tofinosurfer says:

      Before I invest any more time on Victor Nixon’s work, could somebody help me with something: I see multiple references to his impressive-sounding qualifications, but nowhere can I find what those actually are, in detail, with years and institutions. I don’t really mind if a layperson does good science, but knowing his background would give me confidence. Regarding lay science, Eric Hoffer, author of the brilliant and penetrating piece on mass-movements “The True Believer”, was a longshoreman by day.

    • Sandaura says:

      I knew Victor when he was still of the mind that the noise was a local issue in Pittsburgh. I invited him to come to my home in MA so that he could come to the realization that this is wide spread. He did and it changed his investigative direction.

      I believe that the power grid has always been at the root of the issue. The modern day hum that people are becoming aware of globally are no longer an isolated incidents. Our common denominator and the time line fits the power grid’s infrastructure transition to two way communication and digital wireless. Before I knew of the smart grid network my family and I became aware of the harmonics, pure tones, infrasound. We also suffered the symptoms people are speaking of when exposed to a wireless or TWAC meter.

      We live in a rural area of 900 people in our town. No paved roads, industry, cell towers, public sewer or water. So when this noise began it was like a like switch was turned on. We filed numerous complaints with the State and utilities two years before we discovered the utilities changed out our analog for a wireless meter. The utility turned on a mobile cellular antenna which they are using to manage the network. This all started in the fall/winter of 2006. The noise has not stopped to this day. After several demand letters and phone calls the utility replaced the meter with a mechanical, manually read one. Our nose bleeds, migraine-like headaches, vertigo, heart palpitations stopped, but the noise remains. We knew before hand it would not stop because we figured out by then that it is riding on the lines and the grid is a point source for the emissions.

      Our environment is a perfect place to test for sound. The nights are as low as 27dBa with no wind.

      Our fingerprint of the noise has been analyzed several times and the result is the same.
      If you want to see more data we would be happy to share it with you. Just email us.


      • The Hum appeared decades before BPL. Feel free to explain this.

      • Sandaura says:

        Yes, be happy to Glen,
        I refer to the noise pollution that is currently heard in every state of the USA as the modern day hum. It is ubiquitous since the two way communication network was turned on for the AMI ie., smart meters being part of the technology. The isolated inicidents in the past, came and went and most definitely could have been Grid related. The noise pollution I write about and have forensic evidence from experts to prove, that the grid is source. The timeline fits when I started hearing this pollution is the day the utility replaced my analog with a smart meter. The symptoms and the noise appeared. The noise has been consistent with the same fingerprint since 2006. H.E.S.E. report EMR noise pollution report on what this is doing to our wildlife is also very compelling. We have collected evidence from four different areas of science by experts and all confirming the same thing. The noise is constant, it is a modulated pulse and it is radiating on the power lines.

  4. Brian says:

    My wife and I have both noticed a clear humming sound in our neighborhood in Penn Hills, PA (outside Pittsburgh). It seems to only happen at night, and it sounds like it’s coming from outside, but when we go outside we don’t hear it anymore. Very strange. It’s definitely not our imagination. I think there may be some underground mining operations in our area, and maybe they have some night-time machinery running. I’m not sure.

    • Lulu says:

      Lulu UK
      I hear it outside and inside, but when i first started to hear it i thought it was coming from the flats above me.
      I always thought it was in doors but on coming back from a trip one Sunday lunch time, on getting out of the car i heard it, it seems to always be in my left ear.
      It begins as a faraway throbbing sound and gets closer and becomes a pulsating hum…

      • anne says:

        Could it be the smart meters from bc hydro that were installed the last few years on the sunshine coast?

  5. Kev says:

    This scientific research is very interesting & much appreciated. However, I would like to suggest an additional hypothesis, which I feel is important not to exclude from the overall understanding of the phenomenon and which is backed up by the general demographic of sufferers i.e. over 50yrs of age (this is a generalisation; there will always be exceptions due to genetic, psycho-emotional & environmental factors).

    Deafness & tinnitus are well known, common conditions for this age group, although they have both been ruled out as causes of hearing the hum (the latter especially). But both are poorly understood in terms of the reasons for their onset. However, calcification (which also occurs in other tissues & structures at this age e.g. bone spurs, arthritis etc.) of the bones of the inner ear is a likely cause.

    Assuming this (or other physiological changes in the ear, which are due to the natural aging process) to be the case with hum sufferers, it would make sense that the fusing of tiny bones related to hearing could be likened to the greater conductivity of completing a circuit, which may allow for lower or other frequencies to be registered more acutely.

    Interestingly, an opposite effect has been implemented as a social experiment at the other end of the age span: with teenagers, whereby high frequency sound, not normally audible to adults, has been used as a sonic deterrant in areas prone to social juvenile delinquency.

    Clearly, for sufferers, the hum is a condition which is caused by both internal & external factors. I would like to see the internal aspect(s) investigated more from a physiological perspective than a psycho-emotional one, which is currently the case.

    My sympathies go out to all fellow sufferers.

    (Also posted in another section; please moderate as necessary)

    • Jennifer says:

      So why does the sound come and go? For the past month and a half it has been blissfully quiet except for and hour or two for two separate days. It was raining yesterday and I heard it until the sun came out. Does weather have anything to do with a person’s hearing? Today is lovely and quiet too. I have noticed that, after hearing the sound for a lengthy period, and then “The Quiet” arrives I need to have some recovery time. When I hear the sound it is as though I am in some sort of suspension and when I don’t hear it my body relaxes. It takes me a few days to feel well again.

      • Lulu UK says:

        Since my last posting on here i have acquired additional knowledge from various other sites offering an opportunity for individuals to share their own experiences regarding this low invasive sound..
        Not everybody hears it and unfortunate for me is that my partner cannot hear it..
        I get a bit annoyed when i read that those that cannot hear it blame it on tinnitus or it is an old persons problem, well i am 55 and yes i do suffer from mild tinnitus but this low frequency sound overpowers the tinnitus…
        I live in hope that one day someone will come forward and put us out of our misery..

  6. Nick M. says:

    If this is truly a “sound wave” we are all hearing, I suggest dong an experiment. I would do it myself except for the fact that I lack the funds. OK so you find a house that has a hum inside. Then you line the walls and ceilings with sound absorbing panels and use bass traps in the corners to see if this can help block the noise. I’ve been considering wanting to do this to block all noise, really. I hate noise.

  7. dzenmind says:

    As for the Hum and BPL – BPL may have appeared years after the Hum, but the technology behind it and more specifically – power-electronics, appeared during the same time as the Hum. BPL as a concept was explored at least 40 plus years ago.

    Cameras for remote viewing, for instance, are part of the Hum. The power electronics uses thyristors, to convert the AC into DC; and these little, cheap, made in China pieces, are to blame.

    • The concept of BPL may have been explored more than 40 years ago, but I’m not sure how that answers the questions. Are you suggesting that Largs, Scotland, for example, first employed BPL equipment and other nearby towns did not? The basic questions remain unanswered. Why England in the early 1970s, and America in the early 1990s? Why Kokomo, Indiana and not some other city (of any size) near it? I keep coming back to these most basic questions because any good theory needs to answer them. Glen.

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