Home » Uncategorized » For those who are new to Hum research: my statement on the source of the worldwide Hum

For those who are new to Hum research: my statement on the source of the worldwide Hum

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

In my view there are four hypotheses for the source of the Worldwide Hum that survive trivial scrutiny. So I start with VLF radio waves. What I present below is my best guess about what is happening and how radio theory suggests a specially designed Faraday-type unit – what I call the Deming Box – that can test the VLF hypothesis.

The interaction of VLF and ELF electromagnetic (EM) radiation with human tissue is being actively and intensely researched. If we go back to 2002 we can see an example from  Panagopoulos, Margaritis, and Karabarbounis  of one workable theory to explain how pulsed radio waves at lower frequencies can activate human nerve cells. For more than 50 years, increasing numbers of powerful VLF transmitters (mobile, stationary, and airborne), have been in operation. The VLF radio spectrum comprises frequencies between 3 kHz and 30 kHz. By line of sight, ground wave, sky wave, antipodal focusing, and geomagnetic coupling, the surface of planet Earth is riddled with zones of modulated high intensity VLF EM radiation. A small proportion of people – I now estimate no more than four percent of the adult population – have auditory systems that are sensitive to lower sound frequencies and the type of biological radio wave activation described in the above paper. They may be able to detect the Hum in many places on Earth solely by interaction with VLF radio, while there may be another group of people who need some extant sub-audible low frequency sound or infrasound at certain frequencies in order to create sufficient auditory activation that, together with VLF radio energy, would be interpreted as sound. Sources of industrial infrasound, such as mining, hydro-electric projects, windmills, high pressure gas pipelines, and massive construction projects may or may not be prerequisite or aggravating factors in some settings. When there is strong but sub-audible infrasound such as from a large industrial site, it may take little VLF exposure in order to activate the auditory system. High levels of ambient noise during the day from traffic, industry, mechanical devices, and other people, often mask the Hum and explain why the Hum is stronger at night when society has quieted down somewhat, and why the Hum can become very loud in sound-reduced rooms. If the Hum is rooted in VLF energy, it is therefore affected by the behaviour of the Earth’s magnetic field and by the height and layers of the ionosphere, solar activity, the time of day, and the season. The Hum also is rooted in the particular radio frequencies that governments use for communication. Therefore, when a powerful VLF transmitter suddenly stops broadcasting or changes frequency, this will cause a simultaneous change in the Hum at multiple locations across the planet. During a big solar storm, anything could happen. The Hum can also slowly drift over an area as do the entry and exit points for geomagnetic conjugate magnetic field lines.


  1. Eva Fishman says:

    Glen –

    Thank you for the most comprehensive and yet succinct explanation/working theory posted so far (for me, anyway). You also answered some of my questions from a few days ago. The hum has been gone or very mild the last 7-10 days, the respite has been glorious (I would say music to my ears, but the irony is too obvious!).
    Again, thank you for legitimizing the phenomenon. Once everything is confirmed as to cause, factors that influence, etc. we should have a “World Party” to celebrate. And send you on a well-deserved vacation (where the hum isn’t heard, of course).

  2. Arnaud B. says:

    Hello Glen, i’m joining to Eva to congratulate you for this very clear and very plausible synthesis about our friend “HUM”.

    Thank you, Glen !

  3. I’m new to your investigation altho I have heard of such noise that occurred out in the west coast. Are you sure this is caused by VLF RF or could it be ELF. I assume you know about Schuman waves caused by world-wide lightning. Back in late 1970’s I accidentally found AC currents flowing between a ham radio ground 100 feet from my house at my salt water marsh in Duxbury Mass and the “house Edison” ground. I filtered out 60 hertz and harmonics and recorded a lot of info that I could’t seem to completely understand, altho the amplitudes recorded pretty much correlated with solar output and storms. I had lots of trouble with this having the equipment blown out due to lightning strikes or serious electrostatic discharges. I have a banker’s box full of these recordings and hand turning stuff to see them. Also, I have devised an electrostatic antenna and high impedance amplifier to detect ELF signals. (Obviously, loop antennas are useless there.) I would be willing to send you much of this for your investigations, because I am getting too old to attempt much of this, being 90 plus years old, and a WWII Veteran. I have several patents awarded and am a l950 graduate of Union College with Physics major and Electronics minor. Hope you are interested to carry this further. Thanks, Robert B. Enemark, P.E. W1EC

  4. Kathy Mills says:

    Thank you so much for your work I just found this page and am so relieved. I am the only person in my house that hears it and I have been driving my family crazy with this hum. It is a deep rumbling hum like a car engine in the distance. I have spent many nights trying to figure out the source of the hum and have every electrical device in the house unplugged. I live in NW Calgary Alberta and would be happy to help figure this out.

    • I live in western Pennsylvania. I have heard “the hum” for several months, and I finally typed these words into an Internet search today:” I hear a low hum…” Yes! I’m not cray cray! I could have written your exact words. I’m not sure I care so much about what it is, but it’s nice to be validated!

  5. ladymozart says:

    I realized that when I completed the form for mapping, I didn’t indicate if I sense the hum more in one side or ear over the other. I am not certain of the importance of amending my statement now, however, it is clear that my right side is where I am receiving this sensation / hum. It is very distinct.


  6. Flying Dutchman says:

    “For more than 50 years, increasing numbers of powerful VLF transmitters (mobile, stationary, and airborne), have been in operation.”
    Mobile and airborne VLF transmitters? Are you kidding?
    VLF transmitters require very large antenna systems, usual dimensions are in the range of several hundred yards to a mile and a half. Could you tell me what a mobile or airborne VLF antenna would look like?

  7. Chicago NW says:

    Perhaps your hum is not the same as my hum. On at least one post I found annotations suggesting the perception is somewhat different from my observations. From the questions in the survey, I don’t see how those conclusions where drawn. I offered some additional items in my observations that would be simple, simpler than the tone generator question, to include. I’d like to see this taken to the next step. Can I help?

  8. Johanna says:

    Hi, another hum-newbie from europe. I want to thank everybody for sharing information and help here. My hum is just born (2 weeks) and I thought I go nuts, I was running around to find the source, until I understood, that whatever sources there might be, it is the perception of my ear and nobody else can hear it. Travel and music help, as do earplugs, from time to time the hum disappears for minutes, hours or even longer but shurely returns.
    So I listen just more to music, it helps a lot, most outer noise cancels my hum.
    Keep strong!

  9. Harvey Wolfson says:

    My hum began about 3 weeks ago and I just turned 66. Reside in a suburb of Vancouver BC. Hard to imagine how it can be so clear and distinct to me and yet inaudible to others. Even with earplugs it does not disappear. I can only drown it out with other noise, such as a fan on high speed. What is the survey referred to in the post of Dec 16/16?

    • Judy says:

      The hum I hear began five+ years ago. Only in the right ear. I was living across from a naval /airforce base ( Whidbey Island)- There may be a connection with the flying of the EA-18G “Growlers”.

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