Home » Uncategorized » The perceived frequency of the Hum – How many hums are there?

The perceived frequency of the Hum – How many hums are there?

Follow World Hum Map and Database Project on WordPress.com
Follow World Hum Map and Database Project on WordPress.com

One line of inquiry that I have been thinking about recently is the perceived frequency of the Hum I hear in the region of the Lower Mainland of Vancouver, BC, Canada. The Hum Database asks for this information, but unfortunately, very few people have used a tone generator (which are free and all over the internet) to match what they seem to be hearing. If we had better information here, we might be able to start sorting out the issue of whether there are multiple hums.

I think it’s too easy to jump right to the conclusion that “there are many hums”. For example, there is a minority (but very vocal) school of thought that high pressure gas pipelines are responsible for the Hum. As always, I ask the most basic questions regarding the locations and timing of the first reports of the Hum, followed by questions about how pipelines cause the Hum hundreds of kilometres away, where there are no pipelines or any significant industrial activity. How can the Hum suddenly stop, or appear, for days or weeks or months if pipelines are responsible? These troubling questions are set aside with a wave of the hand and the response “there are many hums”, and so one need not dwell on the apparent logical problems with any one theory.

Muddying the waters further, Novak, who investigated the Windsor disturbance, described the sound himself as an idling diesel engine, which is the classic description of the Hum. Almost nobody picked up on this comment, which I think conflated Windsor with the rest of the world and was a real setback to those of us interested in researching the worldwide Hum. Zug Island may indeed be causing all sorts of sonic trouble around Windsor, but my guess is that the worldwide Hum affects that region as well, but because of the existing audio spectrum, it cannot be detected.

Science does not choose winners based on who is the most charismatic, best organized, loudest, or the most prolific with commentary. At a certain point, the brainstorming and arguing must stop and the controlled experiments must begin.  If those experiments yield results, they must be replicated. Only then should we speak with confidence about what is causing all this.

And this generalizes to other theories, from cell phone towers to the electric grid to HAARP, Broadband over Power lines (BPL), and so on. People get emotionally attached to their theories, and some folks likely have a fear that all the time and emotional energy they’ve invested in trying to convince others about the source of the Hum will have end up being wasted. And I think from a psychological point of view, it can be attractive to free ourselves from troubling facts.

Show me the science.


  1. Mac Hanson says:

    I hear an 80 Hz hum with a variable 1 Hz beat / modulation. I’ve matched this with audio test samples downloaded from the net. Why not post a page with a range of sample sounds for hearers to try and then report their results? You know you’re getting close when you can hear beats.

    As most people cannot perceive the hum, I was wondering of it is caused by a resonance effect by microwaves hitting minerals in the brain. Perhaps mobile phone transceivers are the source and only about 1:50 people have right minerals in their brain to catch the signal? The pineal gland in the brain contains small Magnetite, Appetite and Calcite crystals, but the majority of people’s pineal glands are locked down by Fluoride, Calcium, Aluminium and Mercury contaminants. Could this be a common denominator?

    • Hello, Mac. Just a quick note about frequencies. In my experience, most nuisance hums seem to be between 30 and 70Hz, approx. This I have concluded, as a basic guideline, from sample recordings that were kindly made and put on a cassette tape quite a few years ago, by I.S.V.R., care of Southampton (England) University. They gave me a range of ‘hums’, starting fairly low, and going up to (I think, from memory) about 100Hz. Higher than that, and ‘The Hums’ seem to me to be too high to be included in the general widespread search that so many of us are attempting…..The classic description of a’a diesel engine idling’, seems a good one, that many people can understand quickly. I would like to upload these hums, so that people can listen to see if theirs are anywhere near any of them, but I’m sorry, I don’t know how to do it, and anyway, the tape might have gone brittle by now : it has been stored during fluctuating temperatures in our home here for about 25 years…..Best of luck with the search. R.M., ‘ LFNSH ‘ , England ; Care Of : healthwatchgloucestershire.co.uk

  2. Pangaban1 says:

    Thanks Glen, Your latest comments have lifted my hopes immeasurably, even with the warning and frankness.   “Never doubt that a small group of committed, thoughtful citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that really ever has.” Margeret Mead.   Changing the world is unrealistic, I’ll admit on this score, but  my concern remains that if we can perceive by “hearing” something that may already be causing damage to the world’s environment that other people cannot hear then it’s our responsibility to do what it takes to understand the hum and get word to the World Health Organisation and all who count.  Unity and convincing science is our best hope. If it is, or has the potential, to  cause wider harm THAT will get governments’ attention. The sleep disruption alone of a growing number of people in, say, ten years’ time, will impact productivity, health care costs, basic societal functioning, and what of the critical mass?  Extrapolating projections of just  2% of the global population (the reported pc in some areas) cannot be ignored. Can this really be overstated?   I think we  need to do much of the work ourselves.  May I suggest the forum also includes a spreadsheet for members to print out to keep a daily record of their experience. Hard facts per person: time of day, loudness, and a brief description of the hum, to complement your proposed work Glen. As said previously I will contribute to crowd funding for the boxes. I am willing to undertake any remit that you think fit. To restate the obvious: the hum is not on policy makers’ radar precisely because the source is such a mystery and hum hearers are  held to ransom by this.  It has upended my life, and even now after 16 months sleep is impossible without a number of measures in place at night (white noise, fan and half a sleeping pill on bad nights – all supplied as suggestions by people on the forum who kindly took the time to offer guidance). But the reality is that I probably would still have a house and a job if there was public awareness at the least. The sheer disruptiveness of this thing and my campaign to get officials to act (police, ward councillor, city noise pollution officials, neighbourhood security pointman, local political party reps, a flyer campaign and letters to various newspapers)  while at the time not knowing what to call it, was frustrating and humiliating.  I was working alone and addled by sleep deprivation.  My suffering – any of ours’ – need not happen to anyone else.  Pet theories are red herrings. I spent ages counting (and glaring at) cellphone towers – there are thousands- without a sliver of evidence to show the telecommunications industry with its satellites and broadband causes the hum.   Your forum is a godsend in many ways, for information, encouragement and to end the isolation. Warm regards,  Lisle

  3. Melissa says:


    You raise good points. I’m guessing we all want to KNOW what is causing the hum so badly so we can somehow affect our own experience of it, and if we get attached to a theory it’s because we need to believe there’s some hope in one day stopping it.

    As to variations: today–Sunday–the hum has been down to virtually nothing (if I really strain I can still hear it), whereas yesterday not only was it super loud, but there were vibrations coming through chairs and the floor. Those extreme variations are confusing and I have no explanation. If it’s the Smart Grid, perhaps there’s less “traffic” on Sundays? I confess that I am so relieved when it disappears that I don’t want to spend time trying to figure out what’s going on. When it comes back though I am back to near-despair. I have slept for 5 months with an iPhone ear bud in my left ear, with white noise on, and much of each day as well, as I work from home. And I’m most distressed by the vibration, which I can only imagine causes havoc in every cell.

    About a month or more ago I did fill out your database survey with my location, and answered all of the questions, but haven’t seen my data represented on the database yet. I also downloaded the free tone generator and recorded what I heard, which–if memory serves–was around 100 hz.

    I think it was either you or someone on this forum who mentioned that adopting a lower calcium diet might help, to help dissolve or otherwise affect the calcium crystals in our inner ear, the build-up of which might be why some of us hear the hum and some don’t, and why it may appear louder in one ear.

    I’m grateful it was raised as that point became very important to me last week: I suddenly had an extreme attack of vertigo, caused–I believe–by the inner ear crystals having built up or moved to where they don’t belong. Luckily someone mentioned the Epley Maneuver , and after spending an hour or so reeling and vomiting (sorry), I was able to try it. The vertigo disappeared and so–briefly–did the hum. I was dumbfounded! While the vertigo has stayed away, the hum is back in full force (except rare days like today). I will continue to try the Epley Maneuver as it appears to affect the “transistor” in my ear that picks up the hum. For anyone not familiar with it, there are multiple YouTube videos showing that (and other similar) techniques, and it’s recommended to repeat it often. I’m curious if anyone else has tried it and what results you get.

  4. Carla says:

    The Hum is usually around 75 – 80Hz, but seems to be a combination of lower and higher frequencies kind of harmonizing with each other.

    There is a youtube video called “Bashar C sharp Tone of the Earth”. It claims to be 136Hz, but doesn’t seem to match my tone generator, which matches the sound at about 75 Hz.

    Listen to this video and tell me if this does not sound very much like the Hum you all are hearing?

  5. Paul DeLucchi says:

    I get a steady 83hz (low E) in the San Francisco bay area. Occasionally there’s a harmonic one fifth lower (A) but it’s fleeting. The 83hz never varies, 24/7. The description of “a truck idling in a neighbor’s driveway” is not far off, if that truck was in very good tune since there’s very little “throb” to the sound.

  6. K. Winter says:

    I suspect that there are multiple sources of infrasound. I get a semi-constant, frequent high-pitched ringing most of the time; probably 10kHz or above. Sometimes, I can hear the ‘diesel engine’ rumbling. Sometimes, I [not hear, but] very viscerally feel tones of 1-20Hz rippling through my body; those are the days that consistently tend to coincide with red alerts on http://www.haarpstatusnetwork.com. Sometimes, the tones sound like they are heterodyned. (Example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ipgyo9Obnw)

    For this reason I think there *are* multiple hums- and that certainly shouldn’t come as much surprise. Suggested explanations I’ve seen on this site alone have included solar flares, geomagnetic activity, phased array emitters, particle accelerators, cell phones, smart metres, power lines, crystals in brains, mechanical mind reading… Ok, some of them are more readily believable than others; but the unifying theme is that they all are the source of or interactions with electromagnetic radiation in some way.

    For the record, people wanting to give shielding or monitoring a shot should check out http://lessemf.com. They sell EMF-blocking and/or -conductive fabrics and metres for tracking electromagnetic frequencies.

  7. Keith Dobson says:

    I’m waiting for the world to wake up and realise that “the hum” is a genuine audio sound that moves air, and that it is not even that difficult to record with the right equipment. Once recorded, it’s frequencies can be analysed, as I have done here:
    NEW “Earth Resonance” phenomenon – GENUINE AUDIO RECORDING [World Hum]

    PLEASE – Hum Hearers – Listen, and leave a comment..
    In solidarity,

    • Most of us who are studying this are reasonably awake in that we are willing to examine a number of possible theories as to the source of the Hum. Acoustic sources are one such possibility. Alas, one must first sort out the hoaxes (recorded with iPhones in many cases, which cannot even come close to the bass response needed). If I get good experimental evidence that VLF radio is not the culprit, then I will turn to the audio side of things. Yet I’m already confused about how an audio source could cause me to hear a perceived dominant frequency of 56.5 Hz both on the west coast of BC and also in the centre of North America, thousands of kilometres away. I’m curious how that could be explained.

      • Rosemarie Mann says:

        Dear Keith,
        I just found your post here, I haven’t read it thoroughly, as I have a visitor just arrived , but I just wanted to say that I too recorded ‘The Hum’, in Southern England, without excessive difficulty.This was quite a few years ago, mid 1990’s. I used a D.A.B. recorder, with a fairly decent microphone. I put all the kit in a cupboard,wrapped in soft duvets, to block out any ambient noises. I made recordings on ‘Hum days’, and ‘No Hum days’. Then I compared them, and the difference was clear.
        The recordings were done in exactly the same way, with no levels changed.
        Your audio recording was very much like what I used to hear.
        Mine was ‘on’ approximately 95% of the time, with only very rare short breaks :
        the odd day, here and there.
        I approximated ‘mine’ to around 30 to 40 Hz.,using comparison recordings (from ISVR, they were very helpful and informative : that was mainly Dr. Ian Flindell), and that was borne out at the Anechoic Chamber in ISVR, Southampton, England, where the computer screen showed that around 33Hz was getting into what was supposed to be a sound-proofed room.
        ‘My’ environmental ‘Hum’ was quite a faint sound in the normal sense, but nevertheless, very disrupting. My 7 years of extreme discomfort, especially ref’ sleep loss and stress, prompted me to start a Helpline (now evolved into largely internet access, and referring to site mentioned below, as volumeof calls was becoming unmanageable). This I did in 1997, when I was free of the nuisance noise (I moved house to a lucky place which only has ‘it’ now and then, depending on wind direction : when the wind is from the city, then : LFN, but when the wind changes to westerly, no LFN.
        I’m sure it will be a comfort to many to hear that ‘it’ CAN be recorded, which is what I’ve said all along. There may be other phenomena that we don’t yet understand, plus many different, but similar, low hum acoustic sources, but my general view is that MOST ‘hums’ will turn out to be acoustic,
        and therefore be possible to record.
        I still think that after many years, and in the absence of proper experiments about whether people really CAN ‘hear’ radio waves, etc, which I have to say I have yet to be convinced about.
        But that is what science is for : careful experiments to TEST the ideas that come up…
        Many years ago I had an idea, and did a simple experiment, in what must be a fore-runner of Dr. Glen McPhersons’ ‘Deming Box’ experiment :
        I went into a shipping container with a portable radio and a mobile phone : neither worked in there.
        I think Glen is testing to see if a Hum hearer still hears their hum inside the box ?
        May I suggest that if the hearer is one of those who suspect radio waves, they must surely take a small radio in there with them, and see if it works, or another piece of equipment that registers the frequencies they suspect.
        If it does NOT work, and they still hear a Hum, then surely that would show
        that their hum is not radio waves, or the frequency /ies that they suspect….
        By the way, I would expect a sealed box to muffle an acoustic ‘hum’ , at least a little,
        but it’s not practical to live or sleep in there, as a desperate Hum Hearer would wish….!
        The Deming Box experiment echoes my suggestion of a stone or lead-lined underground bunker, many years ago, which I also said was impractical, possiblly claustrophobic, and difficult to ventilate without letting an acoustic hum in, if one were present……..
        Surely in the Deming Box should be some sort of a check to see if radio (etc) waves can get in or not, placed in the box, along WITH the Human Hum hearer?
        Very glad that attempts are being made to clarify what is involved in this debilitating problem.
        Looking forward to reading more.
        Many Thanks.
        Rosemarie Mann,

      • Mac Hanson says:

        My own research has focused on the range 75 Hz – 83 Hz (SLF), my own experience of the Hum has been at 80 Hz. Replicating the Hum produces beats when close to the perceived frequency, which suggests that the auditory nerve or at least the brain is definitely receiving something around the 80 Hz range, but attempts to record an acoustic Hum at this range have failed.

        Recordings of acoustic ELF frequencies below the audible range when played back at audible frequencies produce some amazing sounds, but these are nothing like the Hum, they lack the purity and persistence of the Hum; I put them down to seismic and city-industrial rumbles, creaks and whines.

        I understand that it has already been proven that ELF and SLF EM frequencies can cause oscillations in the surface membranes in certain cells, the fibrous cells in the cochlea are particularly apt for reacting to such frequencies enabling some people to perceive particular resonant frequencies. This could explain why some people perceive the Hum within a range of frequencies, which are resonant to the biological properties of their nerve or cochlea cells.

        I’m also aware that Russia (ZEVS 82 Hz) and the US (Seafarer (Project ELF) 76 Hz) use SLF radio waves for submarine communications because these frequencies can pass through the ocean and earth. So if hearers can still hear the Hum inside the Demming box, don’t be too quick to rule out EM SLF waves!

      • I agree. It would be unfortunate if it is found that ELF radio frequencies are the culprit frequencies. That’s because the radio skin depth is colossal at such wavelengths, which would mean that Faraday-type shielding would be impossible.

  8. Keith Dobson says:

    Thank you for engaging! Please excuse my frustration..

    The only thing we know for sure about the hum is that thousands of people say they hear it. Therefore our starting point is acoustics. Acoustics is the only solid fact we have. So why throw that away, in order to follow unorthodox theories, before making extensive and concerted attempts to record the sound at various different locations, analyse it, and compare it?
    This myth about it being “unrecordable” is the single largest obstacle to the phenomenon being taken seriously. It kicks the whole subject into the paranormal. It is the number one excuse for the world to laugh at this.

    I know, as does anyone who hears it and records it, that this sound is moving air: I hear it; I record it; I play it back and it sounds exactly like the sound I heard with my ears whilst recording it. If I was recording a bassoon for example, played it back, and it sounded just like the bassoon I just heard being played, what are the chances that the microphone didn’t record the bassoon at all, but instead created an audio noise that mimicked the bassoon so well that everyone was fooled by it? Impossibly high, it will surely be agreed.
    Why on earth are all the recordists so readily disbelieved, when the alternative explanations are far far weirder? This makes no sense to me at all.

    In addition, the local Electric company recorded here with state of the art, noise-finding recording gear. Their Bruel & Kjaer microphone also recorded strongly elevated amplitude in the region of 20Hz.

    Explanation right here: The sound you hear at widely divergent locations is emanating from the earth, or the sky, or both. If you compare my spectrum analysis with Dugall’s, there are glaring similarities, especially around 20Hz, and our recordings were made approx. 1000 km apart.
    Either electro-magnetic energy such as Schumann resonance is causing part or parts of the earth to physically vibrate, and thus emit sound waves; or some other phenomenon, deep within the earth is generating sound waves.
    Sound, as we know it, unlike electro-magnetic resonance, diminishes in amplitude over distance, regardless of the medium it is travelling through. Therefore it follows that the only items large enough to emit the same sound at similar amplitude over hundreds and thousands of miles across the earths surface, are: the earth; the sky; or both.
    Regarding frequency: 56.5 Hz is 3 times (a) 18.84Hz; It is also 4 times, or two octaves above (b) 14.125Hz;
    (a) circa 19 Hz; is right in the middle of the dominant frequency recorded here in Europe. It corresponds with Schumann resonance.
    (b) circa 14 Hz; a recorded frequency here, albeit of lesser amplitude, but notable as it also corresponds with Schumann resonance.
    Hope this helps!

  9. Keith Dobson says:

    I’m sorry – I don’t understand the question above. Nobody is saying, or implying, that the Hum appeared anywhere first, are they?
    I’d like to apologise for the defensive tone of my previous post. I’d like to make clear that I truly very much appreciate everyones work in all fields toward solving this mystery.

    • You may want to familiarize yourself with some of the history on this topic. There is a timeline that raises troubling questions regarding a number of explanations.Deming’s 2004 paper is a good place to start.

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