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Why Haven’t I gone into the Box Yet?

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

The Box is sitting in the woodshed, and a light coat of rust is creeping in a number of spots. All I have to do is crawl inside and see if it works. There is no risk, just a few minutes should tell the story.

But there’s a further issue. Readers will know that I talk very little about my own experience with, and suffering from, the Hum. I can add some more detail here. There was a period of perhaps one week, when living less than 10 km from the small town of Sechelt, BC, when I thought to myself: “Okay, this is really a nuisance now.” I used the ensuite bathroom fan to drown it out. But that’s as bad as it has ever been, which is nothing compared to the terrible torment of the people who write to me and the thousands of people who have entered their information into the database.

Rarely do I say much about my professional life, but I’ll mention that the World Hum Map and Database is one of several projects that I am juggling. A fews weeks ago I went up to Whistler, BC, to address the joint conference of the British Columbia Association of Mathematics Teachers and the Northwest Mathematics Conference Fall Conference. Quite seriously, in the hotel room the night before my talk, well after dinner in the lounge, I looked at the program and saw that I was incorrectly scheduled for a 90 minute session, rather than the 45 minute blocks that I always choose.

That was interesting.

I gave an evidence-based talk about raising mathematics classroom practices to the expert level, circa 1989 and, along the way, at least six people stood and walked out. Perhaps they didn’t like my off the cuff remarks about post-modernist discourse. Maybe it was my cynicism toward several of the more recent and embarrassing trends in education. Hard to say, but in any case, that speech actually marked the end of that part of my life. I’ve helped train every mathematics education graduate at UBC for the past 16 years. I’ve written the articles, spoke at the conferences, and on and on. I’ve made my point on the academic side of mathematics education.

Which brings me back to the Hum, because a big cognitive and temporal load is off my shoulders now, and I can get ready to finally get inside the Box and record the experience.

But there’s another possible issue: I haven’t heard the Hum in months. I’m hit by ambient sound 24/7, because as a matter of course, the bathroom fan runs all night long. When I can, I’ll find a quiet zone at night and listen. I pretty sure I’ll still hear it.

And I’ll let you know when I go in, and I’ll let you know what I hear.

But I will do it on my schedule. 🙂



  1. kurt says:

    I folliw your comments intense Glen, thanx for your work

  2. jane says:

    Look forward to hearing the outcome. Perhaps having some volunteers to support you and also try the box may help?

  3. Arnaud B. says:

    +1 Send it to me in Belgium 🙂
    Remarque: Since half-october the hum is nearly vanished for me, strange, i’s the first longer time what append to me since 6 years !
    Best regards

    • Caro says:

      Arnaud, I live in Belgium too and since 2 weeks the Hum has clearly decreased. Except the night between last Sunday and Monday (quite strong hum), but the rest of the last two weeks it was either absent or really discrete… So strange if you heard the difference too…

  4. Rusty McCabe says:

    I haven’t heard the hum in several months either here in the D/FW area. I lost my wife back in June and thought maybe the trauma of the loss did something to make me not hear anymore. Even recently going west of Fort Worth, I used to hear it very strong but all is quiet now. Very strange indeed.
    Rusty from Euless Texas 76039

  5. Charlie says:

    Hi Glen

    I’ve been thinking about your decision to not jump into the Box straightaway. Two or three weeks ago I was advocating a ‘quick and dirty’ test of the box, ie. just get in and see what happens. But now I think that your decision not to rush in and do this was a very sensible one.

    This experiment does need to be performed in a controlled and rigorous fashion. Otherwise the significance of your findings could be seriously reduced. Even a hastily run trial could leave you open to accusations of being happy with a sloppy methodology, or publicising your findings prematurely etc.

    So I think it is better if you wait until you have the time and space to do the experiment properly.


    • To ‘Charlie’. I was trying to make a comment to Glen, but cannot see just now how to ….you mentioned the Deming box experiment…..(the need to do it carefully and rigourously ……I was wondering, Glen and others say that The Hum goes quiet for various lengths of time (in my case from 1987 to qround 1995, I had it 24/7, for all but approx’ 4% of the time….very wearing. ….Glen says he seeks a quiet time, then do the test (I hope I have that right?), but if The Hum is caused by radio waves interacting with subtle ambient noises, I don’t see how there could be a quiet time, since we all live in a ‘fog’ of radio communications, hence so many radio stations….apologies if I have this wrong….! Any thoughts, please Glen? Best Wishes for the research. Rosemarie Mann, ‘LFNS Help’, England.

  6. Arnaud B. says:

    Hello Caro, where do you live in Belgium? You’re the first one people i met who’s feel the Hum like me. It could be very interresting to meet another Hum sufferer in my country. Is it possible to meet you to taking about our hum perception?
    It’s good to know i’m not alone in Belgium with that “curse” If you would speaking with me, you can contact me at “Bourdonbelge” on Twitter, we could exchange our email adress in private message.
    Best regards

    • Caro says:

      Hello Arnaud. I live in Hainaut. Not far from Nivelles. What about you?

      Unfortunately, 5 days ago moreover, the Hum was back. It is not as strong as during summer : I can fall asleep without becoming furious in my bed but is present and stronger in the middle of the night. Well to be accurate, I don’t “feel” the hum. I hear it. And the noise I hear is a very low bass tone. Not a “bourdon” like noise. And you?

      I heard the hum here, but in Bruxelles too, in luttre also (Belgium, Hainaut), in Mondorf les bains (Luxembourg, VERY strong), and even in Toscana Italy. I don’t know when I started to hear it. But I was somewhat happy to discover other people hear it also (it is not in my head) and to hear it at so many other places… Because I bought my house two years ago and I was so desappointed about that noise that I thought about leaving… I believed it was due to the “autoroute” 2 km from me. Now I know everywhere would probably be the same as even in the middle of nowhere in toscana, it was the same… 😦

      Where do you live? Do you know other people in Belgium hearing it?


      • Arnaud B. says:

        Hello Caro,
        For me, the Hum restart also during the15th november and now he’s with me during all nights since this date but like you, i head it and i can falling asleep but my nights are still too shorter and i’m awake too early (at 3 or 4 in the morning). I’m living nearly Liège and you’re the first person i met from Belgium. But maybe can we continue in
        private contact. You could contact me on this Email : bourdonbelge@gmail.com or on Twitter “Bourdonbelge”

        @ glen,
        Sorry Glen for our hum feeling exchange on your blog but we are so happy to find a suffering friend in the neighborhood country.
        Bravery for life after the disappointment (i’m talking about your conference). and we continue to wait patiently when all conditions are met for the famous Deming box test.
        Friendly, Best regards

      • Thanks. It won’t be long.

  7. SGVH says:

    Sorry to hear re your disappointing conference experience. What an aggravating bummer!


    I don’t put my “Vibrations & Hum” ongoing disaster in the same category as all of you fine folks & fellow sufferers simply because I’m 99% sure the problem HERE emanates from the PowerGrid (with “RF-MESH” SmartGrid Technology now imposed upon it). However, this info might help somebody else who may stop by.

    LOCATION: N. Florida USA > Where Spring+Summer are basically the same (hot, humid) & Fall/Winter are basically the same (less hot, less humid, with only a few “cool days” thrown in during “Winter”). In other words, we only have 2 Seasons, “Summer & Winter.”

    1. Last Fall 2014, my first Fall with the Vibrations+Hum (after it had begun horridly in Late Spring 2014 & continued horribly Strong all Summer 2014) was my first clue when things changed > the regularity & intensity of the Vibrations+Hum dropped off considerably in the Fall/Sept. 2014 (more days with either Nil or Less-Intense Vibes+Hum), thank God!

    2. My 2nd clue came when I found the below “Transmission Assessment” document/excerpt by the local utility company as to the difference in power generation between the 2 Florida Seasons:

    •Summer/”Extended” Misery
    •Winter/”Shorter Duration” – Less Misery

    “…Transmission Assessment”:

    Click to access 2012%20JEA%20Transmission%20Assessment.pdf

    From Pg.10 in .pdf:
    …[the Local Utility] has also determined that the most critical demand levels to [Local Utility’s] BES [bulk electric system] performance are those typical weather normalized peak demands experienced during [Local Utility’s] typical summer period where greater reactive demand occurs along with high real demands for an extended period of time.

    Even though [Local Utility’s] winter season usually experiences higher real demands, the reactive demands are lower and the duration of these higher real demand spikes are shorter in duration than the typical summer demand duration.

    Furthermore, it is understood that during winter peak demands, [Local Utility’s] real generation output capacity is greater due to lower ambient temperatures and the additional thermal capacity of facilities is beneficial to greater tolerance for higher demands. This greater tolerance is reflected in [Local Utility’s] facility ratings where appropriate.

    3. My 3rd clue came approx. May 2015 while listening to an audio interview of SmartGrid & Electrical Expert/Electrician, Building Technologist, & Thermal Radiation Consultant, Curtis Bennett (who is up there in BC, btw). One short sentence he said: The VIBRATIONS (& their “Hum”) are caused by the POWER DENSITY of the Grid at any given time, & then he went on to describe Ohm’s Law, etc.

    I’m no expert, but it sounds to me like what the Utility Co. described above re “Real Demands” vs. “Reactive Demands” jives with the “Power Density” (“Generation Output”?) mentioned by Mr. Bennett.

    4. Enter Fall/Sept. 2015, & the Vibrations+Hum again dropped off noticeably, being really bad/Strong approx. 2-days a week (vs. almost endless in Summer) with up to 3-full-days in between of either Low/Really-Low-Intensity down to “Nil” (Nil meaning Zero Vibrations, & Hum being so Faint it is barely audible).

    So that’s the “good news” giving my body a few more breaks in the torment, but the bad news is Spring/Summer will come again, unfortunately.

    If you live Up North where it is really cold in Winter but less “Generation Output” is needed in Summer, the reverse may be true…(?)


    • SGVH says:

      Hello David/Ireland! (a fellow believer, btw!)

      1. First off, I don’t try to figure out the source of the Vibrations+Hum in other people’s locations, especially other countries of which I know nothing about.

      2. Secondly, I made that clear in my comment above by this “Disclaimer”:
      •”I don’t put my “Vibrations & Hum” ongoing disaster in the same category as all of you fine folks & fellow sufferers simply because I’m 99% sure the problem HERE emanates from the PowerGrid (with “RF-MESH” SmartGrid Technology now imposed upon it).”

      3. Evidently, some SmartGrids in USA were begun in the 1980s & moreso by the mid to latter 1990s, so SmartMetering is not as “new” as we were led to believe. Just one USA-example as an FYI:

      1987_FP&L (Utility in Central/South Florida) AMI (Advanced Metering Infrastructure):

      (I first saw/stumbled upon this pdf slide-show presentation on Mon. 7/27/15):

      9/30/04: “Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) Overview of System Features and Capabilities”:

      Click to access king.pdf

      [From page 19 of pdf]

      Case Studies:

      •Pennsylvania Power & Light

      •Idaho Power Company

      •Florida Power & Light [FP&L]

      [by] Ward Camp
      Vice President Distribution Control Systems, Inc.
      [From page 24]

      Florida Power & Light (FPL):

      ™–AMI system for both advanced metering and load control:

      •Distribution line communications.

      [Me: The words “data” &/or “communications” ALWAYS refers to MICROWAVE/RF Radiation].

      •First units installed 1987.

      •710,000 customers.

      •‰815,000 load control devices.

      •‰Several tens of thousands of AMI meters. ™

      –Result is “demand response power plant”:

      •‰1,000 MW of load reduction in normal operation.

      •2,000 MW in emergency.
      End Quoted FP&L text from pdf.


      So if the above is true & not a typo by “Ward Camp, Vice President Distribution Control Systems, Inc.,” then at least this ONE utility in FLORIDA began using AMI (Advanced Metering Infrastructure) Smart Grid/SmartMetering as far back as 1987!

      4. In the “Take Back Your Power” SmartGrid documentary, they interview Jeffrey Armstrong, a former Apple Exec & Silicon Valley Insider, who said that the Smart Grid was planned in the early 1980’s but that the only question at the time was, “Who would get to install it into people’s homes? By using Telephone Company wiring or Utility Company wiring?” (Obviously the Utilities won out.) But my point is: If it was “planned” in Early-1980s, then it is not unreasonable that FP&L could have begun implementation by 1987. (See TakeBackYourPower.net for that documentary.)

      5. Thanks for the invite but I don’t do FB. I’m more of a WP fan (WordPress blogs). 🙂 But if you have any further specific questions, & if Glen doesn’t mind, please post them here. God bless & hang in there!

    • Tamara says:

      To SGVH,

      Hello, I would love to believe that the hum is from Smart Grid. That would be something that could be proven and possibly one could do something about it. But as other people have mentioned this has been going on long before SG.

      I live in Northern Ca. We paid extra not to have a Smart meter and our electric is at the end of the grid.

      I have been hearing the hum on and off for years. First searching for a cause in and around my home only to come up empty. Then I found this site and realized that this is a world wide phenomena.

      Over the past 8 months or so it has been gone. I was happy and peaceful. Only hearing that wonderful slight ring in my ears that comes from lack of sound.

      About a month ago it has come back only now it’s louder and pulsating. I believe that it is related to HAARP. Stations are now all over the planet and we are the unlucky ones that hear it.

      • Melanie says:

        Hi Tamara

        I am in Northern CA also way out in the Country Is started hearing it and feeling it mid Dec 21st 2015 and went solid for almost 2 weeks then one day shut down for a few hrs I have it mastered when it comes on when it shuts off when I can only hear it when I can feel and hear it. its gets really loud at night in my bedroom I am single floor homestead

    • TINMA says:

      Interesting comment. I live up north. I was thinking when it was colder I heard it more. Maybe something to this. I do not hear it when the wind is blowing though.

  8. dorian says:

    Sorry about the conference experience; thank you for sharing some of what you have been going through. Im relieved you are proceeding on a timetable beneficial to you and hope you continue to do so. From the inception of this project you have shown compassion, professionalism, integrity and determination in all your endeavors and im so grateful for all you and others have done and continue to do. Dorian

    • I hope nobody thinks I’m bitter about the conference; it was a great way to finish that part of my life. I’m really excited about turning my time and attention to pressing projects, such as ….. 🙂

  9. frank rizzo says:

    so turn the damn fan off and go in already. Your other conferences have nothing to do with it. What is it with this cliff hanger shit?

    • Volunteers aren’t what they used to be, are they? Since the start of this project I have asked for help with the Map, with the web programming, with writing letters to the editor, with doing historical research, with fundraising, and on and on. Apart from some early help from John Beaman and about a dozen contributors, I’ve done it all. So when somebody tells me it’s time to get to work, I have to chuckle. I would sign off by quoting The Little Red Hen, but that would be abrasive, even for me. 🙂 I’ll do it when I do it, and I’ll announce it here.

      • TINMA says:

        Ha, I had all but forgot the little red hen story. Not sure what I can do to help, but would like to..this hum effects us all.

  10. simon says:

    Glen, you are the only person I can think of that is really trying hard on this, so yes ignore the critics and do it at your own pace. The world is full of whingers, but not may of them actually get off their arses and do something constructive about whatever it is that bugs them..
    Best regards

  11. Peter says:

    The Hum for me had also been gone since around the end of September. Only in the last week has it begun again. It starts off low and has been building every day since.

  12. Jonathan says:

    I also have done some research into what could be causing the hum and annoying people worldwide. Just look at the world map and the pattern related to the number of location where the hum is being heard. It would appear that the USA and western Europe is being most affected. This in itself has to tell us something. After a lot of time in studying the phenomenon I have come to the conclusion that the unwarranted sounds that people are hearing are most probably being induced by psychotronic technology. It would be interesting to note when Glen gets into the box and closes the lid whether the hum reduces in amplitude, disappears completely or stays at the same level. Also, a test should also be made with the box isolated from the ground and another test made with the box connected to a ground stake.

    • To Jonathon. Hi. About the Deming Box : I was wondering whether a meter of some sort should be taken into the box with the Hum Hearer, and measurements made ? If some hums are caused by radio waves , perhaps interacting with ambient sounds, then it would be interesting to see how a meter reacts inside the box, coupled with the Human Hearer’s perceptions…..would taking a portable radio , plus perhaps a mobile phone, inside the box help ? If either no longer worked, would that be a simple way to establish whether suspected radio frequencies were able to get into the box? Best Wishes, Rosemarie Mann, ‘LFNSHelp’, care of : healthwatchgloucestershire.co.uk

  13. Peter says:

    Hi Glen,

    In concur with Charlie’s Nov.11 comment above. In my opinion you shouldn’t risk all your hard work to date with a hastily implemented test.

    I replied to your earlier call for Vancouver-area volunteers but haven’t been back to your site after I didn’t receive a reply. See https://hummap.wordpress.com/2015/06/03/calling-all-vancouver-area-hum-hearers-the-vlf-blocking-box-is-nearing-completion/#comment-1543

    I am really happy to see that you’ve managed to complete the Box since. I also experienced a brief respite from the Hum this past Fall but have been hearing it again for the past few days. I have become good at ignoring it so I intentionally don’t track its frequency/strength for myself, I just acknowledge that it is there and don’t try to overreact to it (i.e. cognitive therapy). That said, I’d still love to get to the bottom of it like you and our fellow experiencers. Therefore, I’d like to renew my offer to assist you with planning the methodology, running the Box tests, and/or serve as test subject when you are ready.

  14. Thanks, Peter. I appreciate your offer, and I may invite you to Gibsons to go into the box after I do. Would you also be interested in doing some editing on the Hum Map?

    • Peter says:

      Hi Glen. I wish I had the time to commit to helping out with the Hum map but I simply don’t at the moment. I’m self-employed, raising three small kids, and have committed to other volunteer activities. However, I will put this project at the top of my list if time does clear up. I have been the lead on volunteer run projects in the past so I can empathize with the Little Red Hen feeling. However that also means I’ve learned to say no when I have to, sorry. I do hope that you invite me up to Gibsons for box testing. I will make time for that. You have my email.

  15. Tobypaws2002@aol.com says:

    Dear Glen, It would be very interesting to get some ‘Hum’ volunteers to test the Deming Box, and see what they hear from inside it, comparing it (if anything) to ‘The Hum’ they hear before they go into the box…. Could a meter of some sort be taken in, to record what, if any, sounds DO get in ? By the way, I have bought an air cleaner fan (‘Bionaire’ brand), that makes a pleasant ‘hiss’ sound, which I can sleep with. I wonder if something like that might be more helpful to you than the bathroom fan ? My Mother had one of those, set in the ceiling, and it made an irritating low hum. And the extractor fan in our bathroom here makes a loud hum, not the kind of sound you could easily habituate to…. A gentle , steady ‘hiss’ sound appears to be the most helpful masking sound, ( I guess similar to pink or white noise?)

    plus your choice of sound makes you feel less at the mercy of the incoming nuisance noise…. Best Wishes. Rosemarie. LFNSHelp, England. (care of : _www.healthwatchgloucestershire.co.uk_ (http://www.healthwatchgloucestershire.co.uk) )

  16. Daniel Taylor-Shaut says:

    I just spent half an hour reading about this after Quartz directed me to an article on the topic. Why would you go only halfway through with the project? Sure, it needs to be done ‘on your schedule’, but coaxing people along in the name of science as well as their PayPal accounts are misleading. If you were sincere about getting to the bottom of the issue, or at the very least draw conclusions on your hypothesis, then it’s easy to assume and expect that you would have gone through with it already. The only thing holding you back from drawing those conclusions is you. A bit selfish if I must say so. I don’t think you really want to prove anything, at least that’s my take on it given what I’ve read in these comments and my understanding of the New Republic article. Would’ve been nice to see something of fruition come out of speculation, I am intrigued by the topic but I doubt that will ever happen since your schedule clearly won’t allow for it.

    • I think you need to stay on top of the news here on this blog. I did go into the Box. My next step is to move the box to a more appropriate location so that I can be certain I am hearing the Hum before I go into it. As for donations, I am grateful that a tiny number of people have donated a grand total of less than $500.00. I won’t go so far as to quote the Little Red Hen, but I will return to what is a reasonable stance: this is a 100% volunteer project, and nobody is paying me a dime to do this. My primary responsibilities are to my family and the taxpayers who pay me to teach their children. After that, I put time into maintaining the Hum Map, and I work on the physical experiment when I get to it. So, yes, it will happen on my schedule. If anybody get frustrated with that, I hope they lobby a major university to get involved and solve this.

  17. Paul smith says:

    Hi we now have this hum in Bridgwater,Somerset it started around two years ago, the sound sound is like heavy plant running and through this winter it was almost constant day and night with only about two weeks without it in the summer it seems to be two weeks of noise one week quite the constant drone is driving myself and others mad.

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