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The competing theories

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Over the past four years I’ve witnessed – and refereed – a few online shouting contests between people who are convinced they know the source of the world Hum. Passion may be a great engine for scientific research, but it is a poor arbiter of it. In my view, four hypotheses have survived the most trivial examinations and the available evidence. Each of these hypotheses has its difficulties. I am examining and testing them in turn.

  1. VLF radio frequencies between 3 Hz and 30 kHz (and possibly ELF frequencies below 3 kHz) are interacting with living tissue and activating the human auditory system in a way the brain interprets as sound, and sometimes as perceptions of physical vibration (The perception of EM energy as hissing and/or popping sounds has already been established at higher frequencies, such as radar and microwaves). I have a built a unit that aims to completely block VLF radio waves within an enclosed space.
  2. The world Hum is caused by the (increasingly) grand accumulation of low frequency sound and infrasound from human activity, including for example mining, marine traffic, air traffic, windmill farms, smelters and blast furnaces, freeway traffic, the electric grid, factories, and so on.
  3. The world Hum is the result of a terrestrial/geological process. Many geological processes can work very quickly, such as during earthquakes. Some can work over months or years (e.g. volcanoes). I have a person digging into the historical records to find evidence of the Hum in 19th century England. If it can be solidly established that the Hum has occurred in past centuries, then this would be a piece of confirming evidence for this theory.
  4. The world Hum is an internal body process along the lines of otoacoustic emissions and tinnitus. If the currently accepted timeline of the Hum is correct, then I think this theory is unlikely. If we find historical evidence of the Hum, then this theory becomes a serious contender.


  1. Kevin says:

    My money is on #4. Lack of historical evidence does not disprove it.

  2. Ian says:

    On Theory number 4: I do find myself puzzling over “why” anyone “starts to hear”. The vast majority, if not all, “sufferers” can identify a point in their lives where they became annoyed/afflicted by this “hum” – a time both before they heard it and a time after they began hearing it. I also suspect that a group of “hearers”, put together (in the same location), might record different experiences, in so much that one might hear on a particular occasion, where another does not. (I suspect this, but currently have no way of establishing if this is the case.)

    If I knew some of my neighbours, for example, had had some experience of “the hum” and we each kept a journal and then compared notes……
    I’m not saying that this would in anyway confirm theory number 4, though.

    Which theory of the cause, finally, proves correct (?), I’m still hung up on: why some have heard/some have not? Why I didn’t hear back then / but do now? Why some report they haven’t heard for a while / when I VERY, VERY rarely go even an hour (of quiet) without it?

  3. Charlie says:

    I think what Ian mentions would be an interesting line of investigation.

    I live a rural area and I can ‘hear’ the hum easily. Several times a day it will change quite noticeably in intensity and quality. Generally these changes will occur fairly quickly, often within the space of a few seconds to a minute or so. In principle it would be a simple matter to assemble a few hearers and see if they perceived these changes in the same way and/or at the same time etc.. Though I’m not sure how I could go about this in practice!

    Certain similarities might lend weight to the hypothesis that an external factor is involved (or vice versa).


    • Ian says:

      Hello Charlie,

      I submit comments like that because I ask myself whether it might be possible to “unlearn” to hear “the hum” – as a coping strategy. I don’t know how long / when you first experienced it? I have been troubled by this for more than 30 years. Have you ever “caught” yourself, so to speak, not hearing “the hum” only to have it “come on”? It’s difficult to be truly subjective about this I find, because “the hum” is so obtrusive, such an annoyance that…… Again, I do not speculate that theory 4 is the truth. These days I try and live with “the hum”: habitually I don’t try to mask it (as in I don’t follow any particular routines i.e. sleep with a fan on etc.). If it becomes too intolerable (usually because of other stressful matters going on in my life / pysche), then of course I do. Theory 4 seems strange though. I’ve experienced tinnitus for example, or ringing in the ears after a music concert and I know that the sound is “within me”. “The hum” though always seems to come from the outside – but it comes so obtrusively that it ends up inside ((?) rambling now 😉 )…….blah, blah, blah!

      • Charlie says:

        I think that I have heard the hum for a number of years without realising what it was. I lived near a major highway and I just assumed that it was part of the sound of traffic, Then I noticed a couple of very strange things about it. Firstly, that any attempt at blocking the sound (pillows, earmuffs etc) seemed completely ineffective, and secondly that I could ‘hear’ the hum just as easily in remote places – well away from any manmade sources of that type of noise. I really started to wonder what this ‘sound’ could be, so I did an internet search and found this site.

        In answer to your second question – yes, I have found myself not hearing it, and then have it ‘come on’. I guess the simplest explanation is that it’s getting louder, or that some low level ambient noise that was masking it has ceased. Yet despite that I sometimes get the odd impression that I sort of ‘tune’ into it. But I guess vague impressions aren’t normally the stuff of science (: .



  4. Jonathan says:

    Personally, I do not think the hum is related to any of the above. I think that certain people are being ‘targeted’ for a variety of reasons. The number of people experiencing the hum seems to be growing Some people just experience the phenomenon as many have described, that being like the sound is of a diesel engine idling in the distance. But for many others who hear the hum it can also be accompanied with some other very annoying sounds such as harsh white noise effects at differing pitch bands, whines, sequenced two or three note patterns that are sometimes superimposed with different textures of white noise and other severe mentally debilitating effects.

    If you suffer from deafening white noise effects try closing your eyes for anything up to twenty minutes and take note of whether the level of the white noise diminishes, completely disappears or is replaced with another sound. For tinnitus sufferers who experience these debilitating white noise effects they will normally be experienced at very high sound levels that are way over their normal tinnitus sound level.

    Historically, if the hum only became apparent during the 60s there could be a genuine reason why the human race is being subjected to this form of mental interference. For many my explanation for this form of targeting may appear incomprehensible but when it is considered scientifically it may not be as ‘wild’ as it may seem. I will post more on my theory later.

    • Everybody gets at least one chance here to express their theory or intuition, but at that point I insist on supporting evidence. So I will wait for that. At this point I do not think that there is a scrap of serious evidence for specific electronic targeting of individuals.

  5. straightcue says:

    I believe and know #1 is the most composite find.

    Because we hear things, and I do not desire to hear this sound and have taken 10 years out of my life to determine and source out the cause of it, so I can overcome this barrier and move on with my life. My findings in my research have only confirmed the reality of the situation.

    We all know that sound affects the mind and body. So deep research in to how sound affects the mind etc.. and which type of sound makes the body more receptive to an increase sound variance without the body activity know what is going on, in generally accepting different volume in signal lengths to project an adjusting period of accumulation sound variances. Pronounce these sounds in series of patterns after an extended amount of time, and you will get a large group of people that will accept this type of “encoding” of sound patterns, series of sound variances, which ultimately breakdown into thought code.. Big step there, I know, but that is where it goes.

    Thats just the highlight of the disclosure, face it, its the fact of reality, and its lived day by day. So go search youtube for Technological Control Grid Prevents People From Thinking, Dr Nick Begich.. and ponder how real this is, go from there.

    Serious is serious.

    Basically, these people are producing this sound to control the minds of people, and if I resist their sound projection, their information relay to induce my mind to there “coordinateness” They use the alternative information to create a barrier to then reinforce their control “mechanisms” back on me. In other words, using my own thoughts to feed their feedback system..

    The downplay ends like this.. The more I resist, the more the machine feeds code back to them to refute, or resist my resistance against them. In their minds, the game is, who is God here.. and they say, either they can use their own mind patterns to overcome anyone that choose to not accept their information or does God ultimately save them in the end. So thus the attempt to force God’s hand, and that makes them feel they are power-tripping because they caused a reaction from the Creator of All Life, and if God does not respond, they are like God in their own eyes.

    They just don’t want to accept someone saying “no” to their power-trip, and they are pushing the envelop to ensure their “luminance” to generate a greater following, this more power to the “system” systematic approach to life, rather relying on God for life and its unexplained miracles. They are trying to number every thought, this is the mark of Beast, in through the tactics of the Illuminati.

    The storefront disclosure… its all there, I just said it all, and one day you will know the truth.

    This is the Spirit of the Lawless Son (2 Thessalonians 2:8) Thats just a form of deception, the greed/selfishiness of their own heart.

    But of course, in most people’s worlds, it is to make everyone happy and satisfied in reading this, and this type of information its going “to far” to rely on in the intuitive, not inventive mind to focus on the conceptional conscious “awares” to believe that this would and could actually happen. It actually requires a person to believe in God, and ask that of some people in the science world, and forget it, it won’t happen. No we are supposed to just have a plausible mind theory that is acceptable by all matters of minds, so this it could only be conceivable that it is actually the truth. Others will just defy the odds cause it is solely a rejection of reality. Cause it’s fear.

    Then the theories will never end, unless the people accept the facts. Truth is here, Word of God, deal with it, Amen.

    • Again, everybody gets a chance here, but unless you can provide some serious supporting evidence, I think we can let this one drop. I’m afraid that I can find very little in your post that I agree with.

  6. Jonathan says:

    “At this point I do not think that there is a scrap of serious evidence for specific electronic targeting of individuals.”

    Glen, There is more than a scrap of evidence, there is plenty of evidence that this form of invasive technology exists and there are many testimonies given by many sufferers that can also be examined. I would ask you to look up the work of Doctor Robert Duncan and Doctor John Hall for more information on this particular subject.

    My theory relates to a source of the hum that may possibly be non-terrestrial in origin and a reason for it but it also has to be said that certain covert organisations on this planet have had this form of technology for some considerable time.

    • What I think differentiates reports of the world Hum from those of Individual Targeting is the scope of the claims. My only personal claim is that I can hear a noise under certain conditions. Those who claim to be targeted do much more than that: they are claiming the existence of technologies for which there is no widely accepted evidence; moreover, they claim that those technologies can zero in on specific people. If you think there is such evidence, then by all means post it here so we can examine it. And by the way, videos of people lining up at a microphone to give their stories don’t carry a lot of weight. I can’t prove that those reports are false, and therefore the onus is on such people and researchers to establish that they are correct. As an aside, I’ll mention that there are countless reports of schizophrenic patients who report, for example, rats scurrying across the floor. Unless we can agree on some process for establishing whether those reports are accurate or not, all we can do is argue about it. In those extreme cases, however, I think we can pretty much all agree that such reports do not reflect reality as most of us experience it. NOTE that I am not saying all people who claim to be Targeted Individuals are schizophrenic. I’m saying that I’ve seen no serious evidence to support their claims.

      • Joanne says:

        I am a hum hearers and only started hearing it in 2017. I would like to know if there has been an increase in cases? If so we would have to ask ourselves how has the environment changed to cause the increase of cases- modern technology, cell radiation?

      • Peter says:

        Joanne, any stats that show such increase would need to be controlled for statistical biases (e.g. increasing the options to report this – like this web page – means more reported cases, which doesn’t necessarily mean more real cases) and simple environmental changes (e.g. increasingly better soundproofing of homes leading to increased number of “self-diagnosis”, especially for mild cases, may skew the numbers of real cases)… so one needs to be careful when interpreting it.

  7. TINMA says:

    I tend to think it is not a internal thing. I am very interested in the possibility that there is a history( an history beyond technology) of the hum. That could rule out many theories if it is proven.

  8. Jamie says:

    Its definitely not #4 as I have only started experiencing the hum after moving to another area of the city. I’ve had tinnitus (as does my partner who can’t hear the hum) for decades so to state it is the cause is nonsense considering I only started hearing the hum when we moved in to our new house 2 years ago. The noise occurs intermittently …….unlike my tinnitus which I suffer with every day, so I’d say I’m an expert in what noise my tinnitus makes which is certainly not the Hum. My bet is either #1 or #2,

  9. Jonathan says:

    Glen, many thanks for your reply. I think we are dealing with two types of mental interference here. Firstly, there is the VLF hum that you, me and many others are experiencing either all the time or intermittently. The sound of the hum and its relevance to that of a distant idling diesel engine or low frequency drone appears to be a common factor. From this description many acoustic researchers have been looking for the source of the sound but are unable to determine its origin. My own view on this is that the source is not of an acoustic nature but that of an electromagnetic nature. Whatever the form of technology is, it is very clever. The hum sounds are not experienced in just one place but, as can be seen from Glen’s map, is a global phenomenon with many of the westernised countries being affected. Could it possibly be that the source of the hum is non-terrestrial?

    The second type of interference is that experienced by many targeted individuals. The sounds they hear may include the hum, but like myself they hear other mentally debilitating sounds as well. These sounds can include rasping white noise effects that can be unbearable at times and makes one want to scream. As I type this script I am being subjected to a type of mid-range rasping white noise effect. Other sounds may include a whining effect based on two notes that are usually one tone apart or, as in my case, a sequence of three notes over, in musical terms, that make up a four or five bar phrase with the pitch of each note being superimposed with white noise. The note sequence sometimes changes in pitch so it makes me wonder if these induced sounds are being computer-controlled.

    One weekend last year the white noise effects were so loud that on the following Monday I sought help from my local GP. She quickly contacted a department that deals with mental health issues and I had a nurse visit me who took down details of what I was experiencing. This was followed up by a visit by a field psychiatrist who also reviewed the situation. I mentioned to him about the hum and other effects that some people were experiencing and said that I thought that there may be cases of misdiagnosis taking place where people are being assessed for tinnitus problems that may possibly be non-existent. He had heard about the hum but admitted that he had never met anyone who was experiencing the phenomenon or the other mentally-interfering effects that I had described. When he asked why did I think I was being subjected to these effects I told him that I thought it was down to some lunar research documents that I had publicised and the powers that be didn’t like what I had made public. It was fortunate that I was able to show him some of the lunar images I had examined and what I had found in those images. I informed him that I had been hearing the very low frequency hum since the early 90s but the other invasive auditory effects had only started at the beginning of March 2013 after I had published some of my research the end of the previous year. I would describe the sounds that I hear other than the hum as being space-like sounds. He went away saying that he would consult with colleagues on the matter and would make a return visit at a later date.

    On his second visit some weeks later he said that I was definitely not schizophrenic and what I was experiencing was something that he and his colleagues were not aware of but he did say that his colleagues were very grateful for bringing the hum phenomenon to their attention. All he could offer was psychotropic medication to dampen the effects, which I refused. I said the drugs would be totally useless if the effects still persisted. I informed him that the only way that this could be stopped was at source. I provided him with detailed accounts and other documents relating to what other people were experiencing and have not heard from him since. I do not expect to hear from him as how to deal with this phenomenon is outside of his medical remit. It would appear that the medical and psychiatric professions are totally oblivious to the devastating mental effects that these different auditory phenomena can have on people. As this would seem to be a growing problem world-wide it’s about time the medical professions started to take notice as the problems would appear to affecting more unsuspecting people by the day.

    • Yet again, your second argument cries out for verification, and for the slightest bit of evidence that there are electromagnetic technologies that are capable of doing what so-called TIs claim. I feel bad for anybody who is suffering, but at this point, unless such evidence is presented, I think I will turn back to the phenomenon I am studying.

      • Eva Fishman says:

        Hi Glen –
        It’s been a few months since I’ve been at the site, and it never fails to amaze me how convoluted (and distorted) some people’s interpretations are. Some theories are so outrageous (and the “evidence” that proves it), there is no doubt a mental health problem is the issue.

        Reading some of the comments, especially from those who are certain about #4, I’m struck by a couple of things: Many have not taken into account the nearly instantaneous spread of information that wasn’t the case even 20 years ago, let alone hundreds of years ago. More people aren’t necessarily experiencing it because of “mass hysteria”, but more likely that there is more and better reporting of their experience – thanks to you – and your research has legitimized the phenomenon experienced by stable, intelligent people, and de-stigmatized it. Think of the Salem witch trials – is it possible they heard the HUM?

        Reminds me of the story about the 3 blind men meeting an elephant for the first time. The first one says an elephant is a long, muscular tube-like animal, having only the trunk to touch; the second one states how wrong the first one is, the elephant is a thin, small, snake-like animal, because he is at the tail; the third one scoffs at the other two, and with his arms around an enormous leg says the elephant is more like a tree, not an animal at all. None of them are wrong, nor are they right – they simply don’t have all the necessary information, and until they communicate with one another, can’t know “what is an elephant”. The elephant hasn’t changed, it has always been there “as is”. Once the 3 men talked and shared their perceptions, they were able to “see” the elephant accurately.

        I suspect the HUM we now hear has 2 components to it (perhaps more). If it is basically a geological or atmospheric phenomenon, it has always been there “as is”. If a cave man or Mozart heard it, would they have known to report it? Or to describe it? As man progressed, technology exploded, and communications allowed sharing of information that normally wouldn’t have been shared – or even necessary. With the new technologies came new phenomena, like VLF, sonar, radar, trains, planes and automobiles (to paraphrase) etc.. These phenomena may have acted as amplifiers for the existing HUM, or sensitized more humans to its reception, or in confluence made the HUM more noticeable to more people in ways we are yet to discover – or all the above. As populations spread, so did the use of the technologies, and again more people began experiencing the HUM.

        The last 3 weeks the HUM has been horrible 24/7, after 2 months of mild to “gone”, with intermittent periods of loud. The last time it was this loud was when the solar flare occurred December 28, 2015 -January 3, 2016.

        Don’t know if my ideas make sense or not, but thanks for reading!

        Eva Fishman

      • Thanks, Eva. This was an excellent post. Your scientific instincts are solid.

  10. Jonathan says:

    Glen, With reference to my second argument, may I suggest you investigate the book written by Dr Robert Duncan PhD titled “The Matrix Deciphered”. He has also written other titles on this particular subject. In fact, he could be considered as being one of the ‘architects’ of this type of technology. He trained at MIT and from there he was engaged by the CIA to work on psychotronic research, which he freely admits to.

    It’s a shame that I live so far away as I would love to get in your Deming box just to see if there is any effect on the sounds that I hear. I do suffer from low level tinnitus but the harsh white noise sounds that I am hearing of late along with the hum can only be described as a mentally debilitating experience.

    • I’ve looked through the declassified records and all through Wikileaks, and I see no good evidence of thoughts and or intelligible speech being induced inside people’s heads, let alone such technology being focused upon individuals. I’d really like to see it if it exists. There are now many declassified records from the 60s and 70s, and so maybe I missed something in my examination of them. Just go to Google Scholar and you can find all kinds of references, including Frey’s notorious attempt to microwave speech directly into the brain (which was an abject failure). If you think you have something or have found something, please provide specific references (names, years, facilities, and so on). I don’t care about what sounds irrational or outlandish or paranoid – I care about the quality of the evidence.

      So show me the science.

      • I think this topic and it’s tangents have had enough airplay. It’s time to move on.

      • Eva Fishman says:

        Hi Glen –

        I haven’t joined in on the conversation for a while, but the recent spate of posts from Dave and Straightcue has me thinking the two of them should have their own site…. They both offer nothing that can be scientifically investigated, and remain mired in their own peculiar thinking. They provide “evidence” and then create a “theory” supported by the “evidence”, instead of postulating a theory, then using the scientific method to determine if there is any evidence to support it.

        Why focus on Artificial Intelligence when there is so much natural stupidity around…


      • I never want to be (seriously) accused of censorship or filtering. But, as you know, I have my limits. On that particular topic I take my inspiration from Noam Chomsky who, when asked about how we should deal with hate speech and false news, replied: “Win the argument”. And after people have had their say, then I move on. With regard to folks having their own site, I agree. I can even provide technical help on how to do that, although I am very busy. All the best, Glen.

      • And just so there is no doubt, I don’t think any hate speech has ever been posted here. But I do think some demonstrably false stuff has appeared in these pages. In some cases I’ve confronted it directly; in some instances, other readers did an equally good or better good job of it. Everybody gets at least one or two chances here with the marginal stuff, but there are times when, unless new, repeatable, and verifiable evidence is forthcoming, I am going to move forward. I have experiments to conduct.

  11. Eva Fishman says:

    Thanks for the positive comments, Glen, much appreciated. I have a medical background so empirical thinking is in my DNA!

    I haven’t experienced the “white noise” that recent posts have mentioned. Is this something new, or did I miss the discussion about it? For me, the HUM has been just that – a rumbling, low-pitched vibratory HUM, sometimes pulsed, other times steady, waxing and waning in intensity and volume with no apparent cause for the inconsistency (yet, anyway).

    I’ve been noodling on this for some time, and more ideas have occurred in my little gray cells (as Hercules Poirot would say…).

    Thinking about the experiments with the Deming box, couldn’t the fact that the box (and yourself) is earth-bound, meaning it is on the ground, distort any results if there is a geological component to the HUM? The name of the scientist who said as soon as you observe a phenomenon, it changes, escapes me (senior moment, I guess). You can’t step into the same river twice.

    The ideal experiment would be having the box and you suspended and floating X number of feet above ground, with experiments run under different atmospheric conditions, various times of the day, and various locations.

    Unfortunately, that is impossible, because any vehicle that would get you aloft would have noise, whether a hot air balloon, a plane, etc. Guess you’ll need to learn how to levitate, Glen…😉. If the experiments could be done on the moon, I wonder if the HUM would even exist, given so little atmosphere, composition of the moon is different than the earth’s, no technology present (with exception of how you got to the moon), etc. Any attempt to simulate such conditions creates their own problems.

    If you saw the movie “Avatar”, there is the scene towards the end where the inhabitants sit with their tails tuned in to the planet (if you haven’t seen the movie, this makes no sense), and collectively they gather a “life force” that revives/restores a dead human to life. The dots I’m connecting are that experience of the HUM, is “collective”, and there are enough similarities among the people who hear it to continue trying to determine its cause.

    One post stated even if a cause is identified, finding a solution to “fix” it is another matter. There is some data on the physical impact it has on people, but that is another can of worms, and if certain technologies are responsible for it, would throw away the can opener… All of this takes money – this is an election year in the U.S., any ideas about approaching candidates (not all of them, you’d lose credibility…).

    Eva Fishman

  12. Jonathan says:

    Glen, Looking through some articles here are some websites and documents of interest.
    [links edited out because of relevance].

    I also found this military declassified document that gives a lot of technical information.

    Click to access Bioeffects_of_Selected_Non-Lethal_Weapons.pdf

    • I’m familiar with this document, and there’s little in it that hasn’t been discussed on this forum. Note that in the entire document there is a single speculation about “what if” voices could beamed into heads. The rest of the article is accurate, but quite mainstream.

  13. Jane says:

    Thanks Glen. I would agree with theories 1, 2 and 3 as being possible/likely. There may be a component of number 4 involved however my own experience wouldn’t fit. I first started hearing the hum 20 years ago. It was only occasional about 2 or 3 times a year and only ever at my home. I never heard it anywhere else. Approximately 5 years ago it became a much more frequent occurrence and then almost permanent in the summer of 2014 and I started hearing it in many more locations. I’ve heard it now in 5 different locations in the UK and I’ve heard it in Turkey (haven’t done any other travelling recently to check other places!). I have also heard the hum start and stop very abruptly on 4 occasions. Sometimes it is raging and other times a background hum. Myself and a few other hearers connect on Facebook and have tried to find commonality between our experiences and particular times. It seems that sometimes there is a timing or weather component thats connected and other times not. Having said that we have not been very scientific about it!

  14. Dan says:

    There are many serious “speculators’. There are not many serious “investigators” Why? There is no real positive incentive to find the source of “The Hum”. If a VERY WEALTHY person or institution offered, let’s say, $1,000,000 to anyone who could find the source and prove it, we would see the serious “investigators” come out of the woodwork. The true source would soon be uncovered. These theories are going to drag on for years. Money talks….(I’m sorry I don’t have one million to offer). Also, I hear the hum 24 hours a day here in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Maybe I should give Donald Trump a call. What do you think?

    • I think you are totally correct – there is no profit motive here, and therefore private or foundational philanthropy will be a key. There are several such foundations out there, and if anybody out there has experience writing grant applications (this is a specific skill), then feel free to contact me. As for Donald Trump, well, I would accept his money and try to do something good with it. I would not accept money from any organization that might be playing an aggravating role in creating hums, such as US Steel, for example.

  15. George G. says:

    Very well written Glen.
    The day science jumped in bed with corporate chiefs was the day the rot set in.

  16. Dan says:

    I could sit for hours and read the experiences in your database! Some people are quite distressed and really need answers. An enigma for sure, such as how the pyramids were built. We may never know for sure the answer. Although some explanations make me grin…such as “The city blames it on mating of drumfish.” A worldwide fascination……….this “HUM”. I witnessed something interesting in my home concerning the vibrations associated with the hum. The power had gone out and it was night, about 3;30 AM. I live in a very secluded area with nothing to vibrate near my house and the fridge was off due to power outage. I was walking around in my kitchen with flashlight and put the light beam on a glass of water on granite top counter. I could hear the hum very loud at the time. As the light passed through the water surface in the glass and reflected on the counter top I could notice small ripples in the light reflection and on the water surface. A few nights later I tried an experiment. I turned off all power in the house and suspended the glass of water about half inch from counter top from the ceiling using very fine, thin fishing line. Again no vibrations from house or outside, but hum was loud. Did the same with flashlight passing beam through water surface so could see reflection of light on counter top. Could see NO RIPPLES! So went outside and sat glass of water on concrete picnic table. Using a mirror to reflect the light as it passed through water surface I could see ripples again! Now to remind you this should be done at night and it must be very still with no wind or vehicles running nearby. So what did I conclude by this experiment? The hum vibration emanates from the ground up, not through the air! It travels through the ground, into a structure, through the feet, up the body, into the auditory system then into the brain! So if anyone reading this wants to “SEE” the hum, try it yourself at home. The glass of water must be on something solid such as granite or concrete, not a wooden table or plastic. Also the light must reflect off of something smooth and shiny, a mirror is great to use. You will see the ripples in the light reflection mostly, not the water surface. More experiments to be posted later….this is FUN for sure!

    • This post from Dan has generated considerable interest from numbers of people. I encourage readers to try to duplicate this. I should note that John Dawes has done similar things in the past.

      • Eva Fishman says:

        After reading Dan’s posts, it seems my idea of suspending the box off the ground may not be as far-fetched as I thought. The earth itself may be producing interference, and depending where you are, could determine whether you hear the HUM or not, what the character of the sound is like (such as rumbling or white noise), when it is heard and /or loudest, etc. I live in Minnesota, which is mainly iron. Do populations living in the mountains hear it? Do submarine personnel hear it? What about the desert populations? More and more it seems the cause is a confluence of at least 2 components, sort of a “perfect storm” of phenomena, and depending on variables such as weather, geography, physiology of individuals etc., explains (in part) why some hear it and others don’t. Also, what happens in one area obviously has consequences someplace else. The earth is like a balloon, you poke it one place, it will bulge in another.

        As for approaching Trump, as I mentioned in my previous post, some candidates would damage your credibility… Choose wisely 🙈🙉🙊


      • Not to worry, Eva, I won’t be approaching Trump. In fact I’ve never directly approached anybody for funding. I was the kid in high school that was mortified by the thought of selling stuff during the dreaded door-to-door fundraisers!

      • Eva Fishman says:

        Ha-ha, you wouldn’t have made a very good Girl Scout…. (I didn’t either…) 😀

    • Gerry says:

      Really interesting post and experiment Dan, which I’ve yet to try but intend to.
      (But I do not doubt you!)

      Your theory of vibration coming from the ground up and somehow causing us to perceive ‘the hum’ makes sense.

      I started perceiving the tone back in 2011 and at that time I firmly believed it was reverberating through the structure of my home and coming up from below.
      I imagined tunneling was taking place or similar(24/7!!) and the local councils had not informed us about it!
      This turned out to be partially true(they were adjusting a subterranean rivers flow in order to redirect it to stop local flooding above), however, the work was minimal and only happening during the standard 9 to 5 schedule.

      Nowadays, I ultimately have no idea what direction the perceived tone(the hum) is coming from, as I’ve long since gotten lost in its complexities(and then some!).

      But, one of the ideas I’ve considered as a smoking gun(and I’ve had many of these!!) was the possibility that global ‘hydraulic fracturing'(aka Fracking) might just be a factor here??

      Some serious forces are being used here to dislodge gas(etc) out of deep rock formations from below.
      (And it’s a renowned controversial process too!)

      Could the forces be causing global traversing seismic ripples, microscopic in intensity, but somehow getting converted into a frequency as it comes up by way of resonating through buildings.
      Or it may be a frequency from the get go and it simply gets amplified by buildings or by our auditory senses or both???
      (Sounds mad, but there are geniuses out there who’ll no doubt be able to work this one out!!)

      I would hazard a ‘layman’s’ guess that it wouldn’t take too many of these things running simultaneously at different locations globally, to cause this!

      So, an international ‘harmony’ of resonating buildings creating a frequency which is being perceived as a tone somewhere in our auditory senses caused by hydraulic fracturing might be causing the damn hum!!(phew—maybe I need to put a few commas in there!!!)

      Might be worth trying to tie up Glen’s hum map with known global fracking sites, to see just where and when these things are active.

      It’s got to worth considering at least!


  17. George G. says:

    This is a fascinating observation Dan, and I’m going to give it a go next Hum max.
    If I have a container and place a calibrated scale from its center to the outer edge, perhaps I could determine the frequency of the vibration by carefully measuring the distance between each ripple?

    Someone help me out if this measuring method is flawed please—it could be that Dan has provided us with a cheap but effective detector.

  18. Tobe says:

    Hello Glen,
    I live in a rural area and have been hearing the hum since 2009 just after I moved here. Just today, I’ve found out that a ‘mono-pulse radar’ tower was built about 15km away in 2008.
    Does anyone know if this sort of radar could be pertinent with regard to the ELF theory?
    All the best.

  19. Jonathan says:

    Dan, This is a very interesting observation. An unknown force has to be causing the geophysical resonance.

    Could it possibly be that the surface of the globe is being bombarded by a source that is non-terrestrial after discounting all the other terrestrial possibilities?

  20. to: George G. May 5, 2016 at 5:44 pm

    If you try this, keep in mind that the physics would suggest the surface tension of the water would make this (related to) the famous “circular membrane” (drumhead) problem that is solved in terms of Bessel functions. Many engineering math books give this as an example of one of the few differential equations that can be solved in closed form! (Most DEs need to be numerically integrated.) Jearl Walker’s “Flying Circus of Physics” may also have a lead (like item 2.88, 2nd Ed.), although a quick look didn’t indicate the exact thing.

    As such, the ripple distances would seem related to the dimensions of the cup, not due to anything about The Hum.


  21. George G. says:

    Thanks Bernie,
    I am way out of my field in this area, I suspected my measuring technique would be flawed.
    I will look at the references you suggested.


  22. George at 3:06 pm

    After posting my comment it occurred to me that a much better and easier experiment would be to use a “Helmholtz” resonator. The theory is very easy:

    Click to access EN128A.PDF

    It is essentially a soda bottle held up NEAR the ear. Random sounds may excite the resonator just as you do by blowing across the mouth of the bottle. You’ve done that!

    Using the formula (1), suppose that instead of the 473 cm bottle (pint) you used 6000 cm. I get about 52 Hz – down where we look for the hum. Now where do you get a 6000 cm soda bottle? Cut a 2L bottle and splice in two more 2L bottle bodies. Worth a try? Fun? Enjoy the soda too!


    • Eva Fishman says:

      Wouldn’t there be reverberation from your head, contaminating any sounds you hear? Hold a seashell to your ear and you get a “whooshing” sound, yet you wouldn’t say what you are hearing is the ocean that is 2200 miles away in either direction – in my case, as I live in Minnesota. Even holding it “near” the ear changes what you might hear. Cupping my hands over my ears I can hear blood rushing through my blood vessels. The HUM is more distinct without any interference, at least in my experience of it.

      The parabolic microphone that is set up at the Science Museum in St. Paul has startled many a museum goer. A mere whisper can be heard across the museum if you stand in a certain spot and face a certain direction, which makes me wonder if that is part of the reason some hear the HUM, others don’t – they are in the “right spot”. With so many variables, an in-depth study of the HUM will require more intense experiments, all we have is anecdotal evidence, making it difficult to scientifically determine cause(es). And of course it takes money to do such large-scale experimentation, finding control groups, making sure there is no contamination of your test subjects, etc. etc. Another factor is that often those reporting their experiences are unique in some way that hasn’t been identified.

      Glen has asked for help, hoping someone knows about grant writing, but fund-raising is hard enough, let alone fund-raising among people who may represent the tip of the iceberg of a larger problem, and appears to be the province of “nut jobs”, despite evidence it may be a much bigger phenomenon. How do we get additional credible scientists on board? How do we find that “lynch-pin” that will open up the subject so money will come in to do definitive experiments? Glen needs a full-time staff!

      I need to go to bed, but as Ahn-old would say, “Ah’ll be boch” (Thank you Terminator…)

  23. To Eva Fishman May 6, 2016 at 10:08 pm

    With the Helmholtz resonator (AKA soda bottle) you hold the bottle opening NEAR the ear, perhaps 1/2 inch away and it doesn’t have to be directly aimed at the ear. Think of it as a cylindrical “piston” of air in the neck “bouncing” against a “spring” of much more compressible air (the volume of the main body). Your ear samples this much as an earphone would. Any bottle would probably work. Odds are very good you did this as a kid?

    Your saying ” Cupping my hands over my ears” is pretty much my less delicate “sticking fingers in the ear holes”. But that is an essential.finding, and I think key to the Hum as I posted on my Electronotes site a couple of days back: http://electronotes.netfirms.com/ENWN40.pdf

    The parabolic mike reminds me of the natural “Whispering galleries” where you stand on a walkway at the periphery of a domed ceiling and have a normal conversation with someone 100 feet away on the other side. Jearl Walker discusses this (Items 3.62 and 3.63) of his Flying Circus of Physics mentioning St. Paul’s in London and other sites. (I guess one must be cautious what one says in a church!!!).

    Oh – and spending public funds on the Hum would probably bring Senator William (golden fleece) Proxmire (your neighbor) back from the dead.

    Never a dull moment.



    • Eva Fishman says:

      Ha! I like your thinking . Too bad we haven’t found a credible celebrity or well-known figure who hears the HUM (one that’s still alive, this is a tough enough task without trying to resurrect the dead 😇…). We need a Ted Koppel or Barbara Walters, and have him (or her) interview Glen.

      As for watching what you say in church, that’s probably a good practice anyway. Talk about the walls having ears…. And as for playing around with bottles as a kid, they were GLASS (I’m so old, God calls me “grandma”). We did use tin cans, however, and had our own “string theory” long before the current one. We’d poke a hole in the bottom of 2 cans, stick the ends of a long piece of string into each can and knot it, and stand on opposite ends of a room. One person held the can to their ear while the other one spoke into their can. It worked, we could hear what they said! Never mind that we were in the same room… speaking in a stage whisper. We were convinced we’d reinvented the telephone and created the walkie-talkie.

      From what I have read the last couple of years about people’s experiences, it seems to me they report the HUM is heard inside some sort of structure, not outside (I have been able to hear it outside only a few times in the middle of the night, calm weather). Does this beg the question that the HUM is a wave that is heard when some barrier (like a house), stops its flow, and/or sets up a resonance, regardless of the cause (microwave, magnetic, radio, electric, volcanic, VLF, etc.)? I apologize if all this has been discussed before, and admit I haven’t read your posts on Electronotes (an oversight that will be corrected when I’m through blathering on here).

      Tag, you’re it –

  24. Eva – you said May 9, 2016 at 11:47 am: “stand on opposite ends of a room”

    You have to think bigger than that !!! We used gallon paint cans and a metal wire, and a distance over 300 feet. Worked great.

    But the story is more interesting than just the toy version, although the 1876 photo-finish race to the patent office between Bell and Gray gets better on each retelling. Remember that for a while, no one could seriously imagine that people would even WANT to talk remotely. Further, anyone (most anyone?) at that time could understand how a sound vibration could travel acoustically along a wire. (That had been known for two centuries at the time of Bell.) Not so much.an electrical signal on a wire (what’s electricity?) – snake oil! In an attempt to get around Bell’s patents, there were attempt to supply poor-man’s service acoustically over distances of about a mile.

    The intersection of technology and history is interesting always.


    • Eva Fishman says:

      For a 6 or 7 year old, a big room is a cavern… I remember thinking that Dick Tracy’s “Wrist-Watch Communicator” was real, and asked my folks to get me one. Seemed doable to me, didn’t understand why they chuckled. And now we have it and more. Same thing with Buck Rogers and space exploration, anything sci-fi, (my older sisters had to bring them home to me from the high school library, you couldn’t get “such books” at the elementary school. Guess they believed “such books” would damage our young minds).

      Also loved Jules Verne’s stories, (though that giant squid thing assured I wouldn’t be doing 20,000 leagues under anywhere… then again, I did become a certified SCUBA diver. Forty feet was just fine for me). I’m still waiting for teleportation to become a reality, might have to live a few hundred years longer, though. I agree with Woody Allen who said, “I plan on living forever. So far, so good.” My kids would say that I have “mind meld” down pat, I could always tell what they were thinking….

      Genetics could really expose those stories about who my ancestors were as being apocraphal. Probably best left alone, would hate to discover I’m related to Attila the Hun.


  25. […] my view there are four hypotheses for the source of the Worldwide Hum that survive trivial scrutiny. So I start with VLF radio […]

  26. Mark Stewart says:

    So I know that Radar is quite a ways away from the 3kh range since it hits 30 Mhz to 30 Ghz, but I did notice something odd about your map that has points where people reported hearing the hum. Your map looks very similar to several radar coverage maps. Even the few radar maps I could find for the UK had coverage zones that lined up right where the high concentrations of reports were. Just doing a side by side comparison of your map to radar coverage maps from google is visually striking. That to me poses more questions than answers, and I don’t have the necessary background to help beyond that. The most I can offer is to tell you there’s seemingly a pattern there. Also, radar has been around since 1935 so it has been here as long as, as far as I am aware, the oldest reports of this hum. I know from the post that research is going to look in other directions. But if that doesn’t lead to the answer every one is looking for, it might be worth looking at why your map and radar maps are so similar.

  27. […] After many months of stalling and false starts, I finally entered the Deming (VLF radio blocking) Box, and it did not diminish the Hum for me at all. I’m waiting for follow up evidence before abandoning the VLF radio theory in favour of the other hypotheses. […]

  28. Peter says:

    If the premise is “there’s single world Hum”, I think that mat be a problem. My intuition tells me there’s various phenomena that people interpret as Hum. Some have acoustic cause, some purely brain-internal cause (perhaps triggered externally with delayed internal effect). The former may be caused by plethora of events, I’m more interested in the latter, i.e. your 4th hypothesis.

    My expectation would be that a kind of “low-frequency tinnitus” exists with humanity for very long time (or as long as the triggers for it existed), just people started reporting it as a problem the way you collect data only recently. I’d also expect there’s some serious scientific research into the topic already.

    • Eva Fishman says:

      Hi Peter –

      If you have the time, read the posts by numerous experts and “ordinary folk” like myself that have been written over the last 2-3 years. It will fill you in on the discussion, and confirm some of your ideas (and maybe challenge some).

      To respond to what causes the variations, my thought is that factors like weather, elevation, ambient noise, time of day, season, location, geological factors, etc. impact a person’s perception (or non-perception) of the HUM at any given moment. I don’t think it can all be attributed to an internal feature, especially for those of us who not only hear it, but also feel it and have experienced vibration or HUM in our body.

      The kooks aside, most of us are stable, credible, intelligent people. Thanks to Glen, we’ve been able to talk about our experiences without the ridicule and skepticism that many of us have endured. He has dedicated at least 3 years to this, all on his own time, and has approached it using scientific methods. Only recently has the scientific community taken serious notice, no one has done the extensive study that Glen has. Money is needed in order to continue testing credible theories, and conducting experiments that will eventually identify “cause(s)”, and hopefully what can be done (if anything) to help those of us who have literally suffered from it.


      • Peter says:

        Hi Eva,

        for the 4th option, the article states: “If the currently accepted timeline of the Hum is correct, then I think this theory is unlikely.”

        Can you point me to an article / anything detailing the “timeline of the Hum”? I tried, but wasn’t able to find something summarizing that.

        Curious question – have you tried to measure the frequency of your hum?

    • Peter – thanks

      Basically your evaluation is correct. But keep in mind that hearing “the Hum” is already rare, but with considerable commonality among these rare “hearers” (sounds like diesel engine, can’t block, interrupts) such that the various alternative experiences likely contribute mainly unintended “noise in the data”, and at times, embarrassing sensationalism.

      The “low-frequency tinnitus” (otoacoustic) notion you say you favor is likely a strong possibility. Please see my recent:

      Click to access ENWN45.pdf


      • Peter says:

        Hi Bernie, the PDF you linked was too technical for me to swallow, but I’ve had a look at another one from you (http://electronotes.netfirms.com/ENWN40.pdf), which is very interesting and has also a list of references, which I’m going to look at in coming days / weeks. It still strikes me as very surprising this doesn’t seem to get more attention from medical researchers (as s suspected neural effect, rare, but with clear repeating patterns). Thanks!

      • Peter – you noted “…was too technical for me to swallow…” Glad you liked the ENWN-40 however.

        You might also enjoy the new note I posted two weeks ago:

        Click to access ENWN47.pdf

        No equations! No Figures! Just discussion. It deals with what I consider to be four major observations as significant evidence of an internal source: (1) No electronically detected “sound”, (2) Personal interruption ,(3) Glen’s negative-result Deming Box, and (4) the Wide Scatter of Pitch Data (as in your comment to Eva, few people report pitch matches, which are difficult to do, but I have concluded that the sketchy data already make a single external source unlikely).

        As to your ”…. this doesn’t seem to get more attention from medical researchers…”, perhaps the Hum leaves way too little damage (as compared to getting run over by a bus at least). How would you PROVE you even hear anything? I doubt we are ALL NUTS – but I think Glen is certainly correct that we are “All Alone” in finding an explanation. Seems good company to me.


      • Eva Fishman says:

        Hi Bernie – (and Peter)

        I’m not convinced the HUM is an internal phenomenon, like tinnitus. If you want to experience tinnitus, take 3-4 aspirin (if you’re not allergic and don’t have a bleeding disorder or ulcer). You will see that the HUM is a very different sound.

        That brings to mind an analogy: If someone is allergic to bee stings, (susceptibility) their allergy is ‘internal” since not everyone is allergic to bees. However, the cause of their reaction is external – the bee – and most people have had a bee sting with no repercussions other than a sore spot, and have no idea what a reaction is like. In other words, some people may have a structural or neurological predisposition to hearing an externally generated phenomenon, whatever the cause(s), such as the HUM, and there are more potential causes now, and communication technology makes it possible to instantly share the experience.

        Thinking about it in terms of history, 500 hundred years ago if someone was stung by a bee and went into anaphylactic shock, it would have been attributed to “possession”, or something within that person (who would die), with no thought to an external cause. We now know differently. Unfortunately we have no way of “proving” whether ancient peoples heard the HUM or not, except perhaps through references from ancient texts and stories.

        Until we can pinpoint the cause(s) – which I believe to be multiple – (see my other earlier posts), we can’t prove it NOW. The earth has a hum to it (geological), the crust isn’t static, gravitational pulls that are internal and from space as we orbit through it around the sun (which has its own forces going on), technology that brings its share of disturbances, etc etc. The explosion of allergies, especially asthma among kids, is at epidemic proportions. Asthma occurred among the ancients, but there weren’t as many antigens as now, so now a bigger percentage of the population has become susceptible. Could something similar be happening with the HUM?

        Another question, how old is the youngest person who hears the HUM? What percentage of children hear it?

        To continue with my skepticism that the HUM is internal, it is louder in some parts of the house than others, and if purely internal, I don’t see how that could be. I don’t hear it on walks with my dog, but do hear it at my nephews house 3 miles away. My dog DOES hear it and is impacted by it, I’ve posted about the poor pup’s behavior when it is present. It can go weeks with it at a subliminal volume, or gone, then bam! It comes back with a vengeance and practically makes me certifiable. To respond to Peter, no, I haven’t tried to measure the HUM’s frequency – I wouldn’t know how to go about it (no equipment), and there are several others that have posted their attempts.

        If you watch public television (US), a few months ago there was a series on human genetics that was fascinating. I mention it, because it has me wondering, what if we could test everyone of the hearers and determine what the predominant genetic group that hears the HUM is….. or even if there is a “predominant” one, or is it spread among the various genetic groups evenly. There are groups that are predisposed to alcoholism (they are missing a crucial enzyme that processes alcohol), groups predisposed to diabetes, groups predisposed to certain cancers, etc. Could there be groups predisposed to the HUM?

        I’ll leave you with that thought!


      • Jane says:

        I agree with your thoughts Eva. My son who is 11 hears the hum but only when it is really loud and it doesn’t bother him. My cat definitely becomes more wary when its loud. My neighbour also hears it and is bothered by it but not to the degree I am. We often compare notes and more often than not (though not always!) are having the same kind of experience at the same time. I am in Central Scotland and am connected with 2 other “hearers” one in Glasgow the other just outside Edinburgh. We have tried keeping a diary and comparing notes – so far we could not say with any certainty that we’re hearing the same thing at the same time. We can “hear” each others hum at our respective homes. So there seems to be a geographical element to it i.e. the hum is not necessarily the same at one place at the same time as at another but in a small location it could be. In the school playground last week I heard a mother talking about this low level hum that she has started to hear since Christmas……she is not too adversely affected by it and has heard it in several very remote locations. Over the past year as I have talked about it more openly I have come across 5 other people who can hear what I’m hearing at that moment and report they often hear it but are not bothered by it. So clearly sensitivity and other factors play their part too.


      • Eva and Jane – good reporting from both – thanks.

        Eva said: “….the HUM is a very different sound…”
        I agree – it is not ordinary (high frequency, say 4000 Hz, as in aspirin-induced) tinnitus. It MIGHT be a “mirror image” low-frequency version.

        Eva also said: “…I haven’t tried to measure the HUM’s frequency – I wouldn’t know how to go about it (no equipment)…”
        You can always try the free:
        Set it to triangle (easiest to match) and the default 440 Hz. Play with it a while. Then jump around trying to match the Hum. Don’t become discouraged – it may well take many tries. See my comments in ENWN-47 above.

        Jane said: “…. We can “hear” each others hum at our respective homes….”
        Wow – that’s good. Pretty much one test I was hoping for. But what pitches do you hear? Your “home pitch” or the other’s pitch? Or are they the same? These pitch matching tests need to be done individually of course. Again, the online tone generator can prove useful.

        I further wonder if both Eva and Jane hear the canonic Hum or something mundane and probably more local. Does the pitch interrupt with head shaking, and ramp back up when you stop? I have discussed this in detail, and compared it to swatting at a fly and knocking it down only to have it (repeatedly) back in your face a second later. This is NOT a particularly easy test to accomplish, but I find it diagnostic of the canonic Hum (mine at least).

        – Bernie

      • Eva Fishman says:

        Wow, so many things to try. Thanks, Bernie. Doing these “tests” competes with other things, like eating or sleeping. I find myself so absorbed on the computer that suddenly it’s 10:30pm and I haven’t eaten or taken the dog out since lunch! I wonder if the HUM is more detectable when hungry….

        Along the lines of who is susceptible to hearing it, as in my last post, I wonder if genetics is involved. I know it’s pretty esoteric, but thinking about blood types, since there are so few, would it be of value to ask hearers to input their type into the data base and see if there are any statistically valid patterns? Not everyone would be willing to do so (with good reason – there’d have to be strong security to assure privacy and “un-hackability”, as with medical records). Since the data is anonymous, though (unless you comment, there are no names attached to the data…😉), people might be willing to do it. A good programmer could develop a simple program that would suss out the relevant stats and provide any significant patterns.

        I’m also wondering if a person hears the HUM, at say, age 45, but as they get older and experience age-related hearing loss, is the HUM still as noticeable or significant? If they also experience the HUM in their body as well, like Jane and I do, and many others, is that element still present as a “symptom” of its presence? If so, then it would support the theory of an external cause(s). If not, then we’re back at square 2, (not quite as bad as square 1…), trying to determine why some people are susceptible to hearing the HUM, (an “internal” condition), and some are not. I’ve had acute hearing my whole life, still do even at my age.

        I first heard the HUM 8 years ago when I moved into my townhome in a suburb I had never lived in before. It was devastatingly loud, it vibrated through my body like loud thunder does (I’m not very big), and brought me to tears many times. My dog would become listless, she’d shake her head, and stare up at the ceiling. I asked my (new) neighbors if they heard it, they had no idea what I was talking about, and firmly established myself as the new neighborhood kook. I didn’t tell my family for 2 years, and when I did, the reaction was “crazy Eva”, and was promptly “diagnosed” by my psychiatrist brother-in-law as an “hysteric”.

        I even contacted various engineers and asked how much would it be to come to my home and try to identify the source. They said around $2000. So, Plan B, since I’m retired and on fixed income. I have heard the HUM only a handful of times outside, and it has been late at night. I finally found Glen, and over the last 2-3 years have garnered my family’s respect that this is a legitimate problem. I’ve sent them numerous posts and the site address.

        My nephew who lives 3 miles east of me (he’s a professor at St. Thomas University) was my loudest critic, and now he is interested in the whole phenomenon, asks me if it’s been a problem recently, etc. His interest is genuine now that it is credible, has credible people involved, and the scientific process is being used. I hear it at his house, he nor his wife (also a professor, but at the University of Minnesota), hear it, and when their kids were still at home didn’t either.

        Over the past year there have been fewer episodes of the mind-numbing intrusive HUM, most days it’s minimal or gone. When it IS loud, it makes me and the dog miserable.


      • Jane says:

        Yes hard to know whether we were hearing the same hum at the same time. Haven’t tried the pitch testing. For me the head shaking doesn’t seem to work – as in it the hum seems to be continuous or is back almost instantaneously. My hum is most definitely not local! I hear it in many locations. “Volume”, intensity and sometimes the pitch does vary even in one location. I have been a “hearer” for a long time and have driven hundreds of miles to try to locate its source or understand its pattern. I am inclined to feel that it is some kind of internal effect – but that its definitely induced by something externally.

      • Eva Fishman says:

        Yes to everything in your last post! (The one after this one)


      • Thanks Eva –

        I doubt there is a lot that can be gleaned from medical records. Too many variables and too few hearers. And I doubt most folks can adequately self-report. A few very high quality reports however may serve well, eventually.

        As for “crazy Eva” she may be remarkable, but not crazy. The hum is a real THING even if not real sound. Have you considered trading your “psychiatrist brother-in-law” in on a second dog ! ! ! ? Seriously, I can’t imagine how you know what your dog might hear, but they are certainly noble beasts and extremely empathetic toward their owner’s demeanor. Tell the dog it is an ice-cream truck! You will smile and the dog may smile back.

        Probably you and I are thinking this all through from the perspective of those of us who DO hear – not so much with regard to those who are “Hum challenged”. You say you have “acute hearing”. Are the non-hearers just less skilled, or perhaps predisposed to not paying attention?

        – Bernie

      • Jane –

        Please consider trying the pitch matching. You say you note that the pitch sometimes changes so you obviously have a reasonable ear for pitch. That ability, and the online tone generator might well get us along a way. Particularly if you can compare this to a second hearer.

        You said “…hum seems to be continuous or is back almost instantaneously…” Yes – the effect I hear is gone for 1/2 second and then back. I hear it coming back up when I stop shaking my head. It is subtle, but dependable.

        You also said “…some kind of internal effect – but that it’s definitely induced by something externally…” Even an internal origin, such as the spontaneous vibrations of the middle ear that I envision, are somehow INITIATED. The ear is extremely sensitive. Think Brownian motion.


      • Peter says:

        Bernie, re your post from 2017-03-11:

        thanks for the other PDF, I skimmed through that and also a bit of other material, in a nutshell, putting ad hoc acoustic sources aside, what most hearers perceive seems to me even more likely internal; EM (or other unknown external mechanism) not impossible, but very unlikely.

        I wonder how solid is the science behind “some people can ‘hear’ some radio waves under ‘certain’ conditions”. Don’t have time to dig into that though 😦 .

        I see in fact a lot of reasons for scientists to look into this more systematically – if “rare” means single digit %, then it’s still a huge population world-wide, some of whom find it frustrating and degrading their quality of life. Also importantly, it may be associated with other natural or pathological processes in human organism, shedding light elsewhere.

        Just exploring the nature of human brain and perception of sound (for some also other sensations) alone would be worth it I think.

        Perhaps it’s just about writing a good project description to get funding from some EU grant 🙂 . Suggesting this as a research topic for a University or Academy may be worth the shot.

      • Peter says:

        Bernie – re your comment about “originating in middle ear” – now I realized I don’t know if hum hearers report it as originating from a specific ear/direction, or rather “omnipresent”? I think it’s more often if not always the latter.

      • Eva Fishman says:

        Hi Peter –

        I agree with you the impetus is external, not internal. If it were internal, we’d hear it all the time and everywhere, not just “worse” at times or gone altogether, or in certain rooms and not others, or only inside and rarely outside or not hear it outside at all, etc. Also, the physical manifestations (I can “feel” what seems to be some sort of vibration through my chest, I’m small and thin, this has been reported over the last few years by others, too) would be hard to attribute to an internal “cause”. I have been startled awake during the night by a sudden onset of very loud HUM – it breaks through the sound machine I use most nights since the HUM became a part of my life – and no, I’m not dreaming!

        When it started for me (8 years ago when I moved to my present home), I’d turn my head to try and determine the direction it was coming from. I kept meticulous daily records for several years, documenting everything about the HUM, as well as details about the weather (barometric pressure, rain/no rain, cold, hot, windy, season), local construction projects, time/night/day, whether the irrigation system was running, was the A/C on at the school or church across the street from me (the HVAC units are on the roof), whether the roof vent turbines on neighbors’ houses were turning rapidly (I don’t have turbines), etc. etc. ad nauseum. I did not find a correlation with any of it in relation to the presence (or non-presence) of the HUM or its variations in pitch, volume, or where it was. Anecdotally, it seemed related to geological (i.e. earthquake) and astrological (i.e. sun flare)phenomena. Whether those records would be of value at this point, I don’t know.

        It can be present in the morning and much of the day, and then there is a sudden awareness it has stopped or decreased in volume. The opposite has occurred also, where I’m going about my business in the house, the HUM is absent, and I’ll walk from one room into another and it’s as if I suddenly walked into the HUM at full bore. Over the years I learned how to manage its impact, and have come to detente with it. Only when it is extremely loud, and I haven’t had enough sleep or I’m not feeling well, and feel unable to “stand it”, do I leave the house (if possible). But whether it is present or not is NOT dependent on what I term capricious factors like other ambient noise, sleep, etc., those factors only influence my ability to put up with it. Yes, my dog is attuned to me, but the staring up and listlessness is all hers (contrary to what you might imagine, I don’t stare up at the ceiling, shake my head, or flop down on the bed and lay there…… ).

        And so it goes…


      • Peter says:

        Eva, I don’t want to play any expert or researcher here, but I’d suggest you try to correlate your perception of hum (at least the more serious instances, if it varies over time) with other seemingly unrelated circumstances in your daily life, like exposure to higher/lower volume of sound during the day, sleep patterns, stress levels, ambient sound at different places you hear/don’t hear it, whether you tend to concentrate on the hum, or are distracted, etc. From the little I’ve learned about it, these things may matter and maybe can help you manage it.

      • Peter – replying to your two comments of March 17

        (1) The usual citations for RF-to-audio seem to be the work of Allen Frey (Google) and Clyde Ingalls (who, by coincidence, was MY freshman advisor!), both from Cornell in the 1960’s, and are specific to microwaves. There is no evidence that such frequencies (easily blocked by metal foil) cause the Hum (VLF/ELF is the range suggested).

        (2) As for formal scientific research: sorry, but it’s really not going to happen. This has been discussed. [No money, no basis for even a successful research PROPOSAL, and complications (legal and practical) of using human subjects.]

        (3) As to “direction”, at least in my case, my Hum is 24/7/365, no direction, AND I can interrupt it for half a second with a head shake, reliably, diagnostically. It’s internal. To me, this is definitive, even without the other three arguments in my ENWN-47 linked above.

        — Bernie

      • I think this comment from straightcue reaches the limits of what I think might be helpful or informative. What we are studying here has nothing to do with religion, political agendas, mysticism, or conspiracy. There are plenty of entertaining websites available for such pursuits. Bernie has made crucial and ongoing contributions to this effort, and I value his input very much. Glen.

      • Peter says:

        Hi Bernie, re your last response:

        re 1 – ok, so having non-ionizing RF radiation in ELF/VLF range such somatic effect would probably require very novel mechanism to be discovered? Doesn’t sound very likely.

        re 2 – I’d be more optimistic about that; there’s definitely broad research into classical tinnitus and talking about money, finding a cure / effective treatment for it would definitely result in boatloads of money in revenue. The hum may be simply a secondary research topic for such researchers, as it seems to be very closely related. I can envision a range of observational and even experimental studies into hum without even approaching ethical boundaries. But unfortunately I don’t have sufficient insight and bandwidth to pursue this myself.

        Just an example – this article I found in my browser history from the time I looked into the topic couple of days ago and seems to be one of the best I found, it references couple of research sources that made good impression on me (as solid and sophisticated):


      • Peter – thanks for the article link – good find.

        If I recall, when I first heard the mention of tinnitus with regard to the Hum I supposed there was no connection. (More recently, I CONSIDER the possibility of a mirror-image low-for-high analog.) Studies of an “active ear” go back to Gold and Pumphrey (Google) in 1948, and tinnitus seems today to be supposed quite universally to be of internal (inside the head) origins. The difference in pitch is about 100:1.

        Even a person who has not studied sound propagation “recognizes” (constant observation) that high frequencies dissipate rapidly with distance. Is it possible that we PREJUDICIALLY associate a high pitch with SMALL NEARBY sources (a gnat in the ear), and low pitches with LARGE FAR-AWAY sources (trucks up the road)?

        – Bernie

      • Peter says:


        I think your intuition about people’s expectation about acoustic source location based on [low] pitch makes very good point and may be one of the reasons people tend to look for an external hum source.

        I’m sure you are aware that strong tinnitus has often clearly identifiable cause (usually hearing damaging “boom” sounds). It’d be interesting to see if there’s something like that associated with onset of hum – it seems from what I’ve read there’s no such clear link established yet, which probably also contributes.

        Re tinnitus – I think our sound perception is neurologically very complex cascade, which is obviously very difficult to examine experimentally and “classical” high-frequency tinnitus may have in common with low-frequency humming tinnitus just the fact it is a “glitch i the same complex system”, but the actual neural mechanism may be completely different and otherwise unrelated.

        I was just surprised by the small amount of studies on “low frequency tinnitus” I was able to find just by using Google.

        FYI, I have recently heard a discussion about tinnitus on this podcast:


        Listen to episodes 607 (towards beginning) and 608 (follow-up, towards the end).

        Since it was around the time I encountered “The Hum” topic, I notified these guys in case they’d be interested in additional follow up. I’m not giving it too much chance though – they tend to cover a lot and this one is probably more difficult one to prepare properly. However, the host is a neurologist, I assume he has much better access to medical research databases, so could give a bit more insight into “low frequency tinnitus” research (I was hoping). Let’s see.

      • Peter said:

        “I think your intuition about people’s expectation about acoustic source location based on [low] pitch makes very good point and may be one of the reasons people tend to look for an external hum source.”

        Exactly my thinking. One’s mind does not entertain the idea of a power generator inside the ear. The mind subconsciously rejects.

        – Bernie

      • Eva replied to Peter MARCH 19, 2017 AT 2:58 PM:

        “I agree with you the impetus is external, not internal. If it were internal, we’d hear it all the time and everywhere, not just “worse” at times or gone altogether, or in certain rooms and not others, or only inside and rarely outside or not hear it outside at all, etc……”

        Eva, I don’t see how you conclude it would be time/place invariant if internal. Do you really mean constant? Being physiological/perceptual, it would most likely VARY greatly. ( I perceive a physiological sensation of being hungry at times, but not always!)

        However, for MYSELF, I CAN hear the Hum 24/7/365 WHEN the environment is sufficiently quiet (not always silent enough of course). In a definable sense, it IS always “available”. I shake my head to verify with the interruption test. Then – I forget it. Right now, there is a heater fan running nearby. If I turn it off, I can hear the Hum.

        Your hum may well be an entirely different type.


      • Eva Fishman says:

        Hi Bernie –

        When I first started hearing the HUM 8 years ago, I was concerned it had something to do with my new home, and I had just put in a new furnace. I even had the HVAC guys come and listen, they heard nothing. They checked the furnace and it’s connections, they went up on the roof to make sure the gas connections to the furnace and fireplace were properly installed and undamaged or leaking, etc. It was so loud I couldn’t imagine why others couldn’t “hear” it or perceive it.

        That women hear low tones/frequencies better than men, and men are literally more attuned to higher frequencies (like women’s voices) is a physiological and scientific fact, so we may indeed be perceiving somewhat different phenomena, or at least describing it differently. I have tinnitus and am aware of it only when I focus on “hearing” it. The HUM is very different, I can’t “call it up” on demand, it is not present 24/7 as yours is – which tells me your “hum” could very well be internal. Ambient noises, traffic, etc. don’t determine whether I hear the HUM or not – if it is present, I hear it regardless.

        My 34 y/o daughter, who is oblivious to her environment most of the time, had come over for a visit about a year ago, and heard it for the first time in the 8 years I had complained about it. She was astonished at how loud it was, she happened to be here when it was present. For me, it confirms that what I’m perceiving has an external source/cause.

        If you cup your hands snugly over your ears, you will hear a low, constant thrumming – then clench your jaw – it will get louder. Simple explanation is that the human body is a miraculous “machine”; blood flow in your veins and arteries, electrical stimulation of muscles (when you clench your jaw) and other factors cause you to hear it. I hear the tinnitus over and above it, it is separate from the above named functions AND the HUM (there’s a party always going on in my head…).

        For me, the apt analogy isn’t being hungry sometimes and other times not, but more like suddenly smelling something delicious and starting to salivate. The salivation is an internal response, but the stimulus is external. Hunger is purely an internal sensation/mechanism that we become aware of based on hormone levels and brain chemistry – a simplification, yes, but to further explain would probably bring down half a dozen servers… Over-eating and the consequences are another topic.

        I wish I had neighbors like Jane does, who hear it! As someone mentioned (was it Peter?) unless there is a global hysteria going on, this is a real phenomenon. Animals can sense impending earthquakes, storms, etc., I wonder what internal “sensors” are triggered and by what external sources…


      • Eva –

        If your daughter and you both hear the Hum at the same time at your home, that is interesting. Does she hear it at her home too? Also, can you both do a reliable pitch match (independently) and do they agree or do they differ? I have recently posted an EXTENSIVE discussion of pitch (including as a driven phenomenon) http://electronotes.netfirms.com/EN229.pdf Lot’s of graphs – no equations!

        Also, you may have said, but what is your result for my head-shake interrupt test? Recall that I have offered extensive guidance on running this test. It’s not easy, but is doable. http://electronotes.netfirms.com/ENWN46.pdf

        Thirdly, I do not HEAR the Hum 24/7/365 because it is often masked. But I feel sure it is there all the time, and I CAN hear it if I take simple steps to reduce the “masking” (traffic, rain, radio, heaters). I wonder if you ever hear/do-not-hear under equivalent quiet conditions. For me, if it’s sufficiently quiet, it is there to a noticeable (not always equal) degree.

        Perhaps what you hear really is completely different.

        – – – Bernie

  29. Jane says:

    I have found that by reducing (almost completely eliminating) my exposure to electro magnetic radiation, especially wifi, mobile phone, Smart equipment etc has removed some of the worst aspects of hearing the hum i.e. headaches, soreness, internal vibrations. I still hear the hum but it is having less of an impact.

    • Jane – thanks for the report

      If by “almost completely eliminating” EM (Wi-Fi etc) you have “removed” certain symptoms, but “still hear the hum” then it follows that the Hum itself was NOT a cause of the eliminated symptoms, and the EM is NOT a likely cause of the Hum! Do you agree?

      Of course, since you have had some success, others might like to know exactly HOW you eliminated the RF.


      • Jane says:

        Hi Bernie. Yes I had started from the premise that the hum was the cause of all my woes and thus focused all my energies of discovering its source. However what I have discovered is that many symptoms have abated by not using wifi (using ethernet), only occasionally using mobile and switching it off or on airplane most of the time, getting rid of dect phones and replacing with corded ones. Convincing neighbours to change their habits, replace their phones and switch of wifi at night. It is impossible to completely eliminate all microwave fields as we are bombarded everywhere. Getting a meter has been really revealing. I had no idea how much of this is everywhere. The hum has certainly reduced in volume and intensity but not gone altogether. I thus wonder whether it is the effect of so many microwave fields on our auditory system. In doesn’t come in through the ears but is some how stimulated in the brain/auditory system. I had thought because I lived rurally and wasn’t near masts that all was good in this area. Hahaha 🙂

  30. Michael E Wagner says:

    If the map shows locations with recent experiences, it seems that you could set up devices to test if it is a true external source producing the frequency or vibration, right? Or if it is truly something that only occurs in certain individuals. Maybe it is not a sound, but our mind interpreting it as a sound. I lean toward believing #1.

  31. Jocelyn says:

    I live in the Santa Monica Mountains and have been hearing the Hum for about four years now. I hear it almost all the time out of my left ear. I can plug my ear and make it go away, so I know it’s not internal. I have heard the Hum while at our vacation home on a peninsula in Maine, in a ski rental cabin in Big Bear, CA and our home in Ventura County. Where I did NOT hear it recently was in a Park City, UT townhouse (I also slept in a dead quiet basement room and no hum) and I have not heard it hotels Las Vegas, Florida and other places I’ve visited since first hearing it. Noises that used to conceal the Hum in my home no longer do, so I often play music to block it. I believe it to be volcanic in nature, or perhaps some of us are hearing the Hum of the universe. No one I know can relate so I rarely talk about it anymore.

    • Peter says:

      Jocelyn, Glen & others:

      It’d be very helpful to summarize a list of “the hum” characteristics/features, perhaps with attempt to quantify how frequent each are among hearers, at least on some coarse scale (always-sometimes-seldom).

      Honestly, what I have read here leaves me believing it’s tinnitus-like internal phenomenon for most people that report it, but there are interesting pieces of information that challenge it and perhaps may provide interesting insights.

      An example repeated here in Jocelyn’s comment is the observation that it’s perceived as coming from one ear and plugging it stops it.

      I’m also planning to go to regular preventive checkup of my hearing and want to bring this topic up with the doctor. So far, doctors I’ve discussed it with were quick to throw it to broad “tinnitus” pile, so having a good list of observations that make it different would help.


        (1) SURELY IT’S A TRUCK. It’s quiet in your house, appliances off, no TV, perhaps late at night, and you hear a rumble somewhere in the distance – surely a utility truck idling during a repair. Perhaps you ignore it the first night. Eventually you walk about your home, but never get closer to or further from it, or find anything buzzing. Eventually you look up/down the block. Strangely you probably find you barely hear it outside.

        (2) YOU ARE ALONE! You ask someone else in your home what they think the humming is? Typically, they hear nothing. You know the Hum is real but others suppose your imagination is in play. Very few people hear it (perhaps 2%). If nearly everyone at home hears the hum, it is probably a real sound. In such a case, look harder for a motor, a vibrating supply pipe, a neighbor’s air conditioner, even a loose panel on a power transformer.

        (3) DOES NOT BLOCK LIKE ORDINARY SOUNDS Pillows, earplugs and the like do not work. Distractions such as a bathroom fan left running may mask the Hum.

        (4) SHAKE IT AWAY. Now do the following test: When it’s quiet and the Hum is “booming” shake your head vigorously (as you might in refusing to eat a third jelly donut offered!). If you can shake for say, five seconds, did the Hum stop during the shake? Hard to tell? And anyway, if it went away, it came back ALMOST immediately. That counts. Shake a half-dozen times. Do you hear it come back (ramp back up) after a half-second? It’s a lot like shooing away a pesky gnat, you think he’s gone but is in your face again in a half second. If you can stall I for a fraction of a second, reliably, you pass this test. But it’s a diagnostic tool – not a remedy.

        (5) WHAT’S THE PITCH? Try to match the pitch of the Hum. Give it a good try, humming the pitch yourself if you can (although a fine singing voice is not required, try this with nobody home!). If you find you have to “buzz” your throat to get even nearly in tune, this is typical. Typical pitches are 30 to 100 Hz – in the lowest two octaves of the piano. Eventually try an online tone generator. If it’s say, 56 Hz or 64 Hz, that about what we expect. If it’s exactly 60 Hz (US/Canada) or 50 Hz (rest of world) you might want to look more at power equipment. If its 440 Hz, look for an orchestra tuning on your lawn – the point of the joke here being that the Hum is octaves below 440 Hz. If it is pitched well above the orchestra it is not the Hum, but likely ordinary tinnitus (ringing in the ear).

        (6) IT’S NOT ALWAYS THERE. Well, it probably is there waiting 24/7/365. Fortunately, you ignore it or it is masked out by even relatively low-level environmental noise (street traffic, office noise, TV, conversation, birds). But is it ever NOT there when you have determined it is quiet enough and you actively try to hear it? The Hum is probably there.

        (7) IT MAY VARY SOME. While it seems to be always there, demanding or on demand, it may seem to vary night to night, or even on intervals of a second or two, but not exactly periodically, but randomly. That is, it may “surge” which is why it sounds even more like a truck.


      • Peter says:

        Bernie, this looks very good.

        I wonder if (3) holds for everybody, I think earplugs may block / mask it for some (someone posted about it and also I’ve had an episode of hearing hum that is well described by your post, and earplug did block it – or created a noise which concealed it at least).

        Now, it’d be interesting to determine, how is all this different to what falls under “tinnitus” definition.

        I’d assume it’s mainly (4). Anything else?

        Although tinnitus is apparently high frequency in most cases, I did not find anything excluding low frequency humming from its definition.

        Having all-embracing definition doesn’t add a lot of value of course, but it may explain the possible disconnect between medical science and popular hum understanding which I perceive.

        P.S. When checking tinnitus definitions, I’ve found this interesting article from 1993:


      • Peter says:

        Glen, ok, but what about the important differences between the actual perceived phenomena / their features?

      • I’m not sure I understand what you mean by “actual perceived phenomenon”, but I’ll go with what I think you mean. The mean ages are different. The gender split is different. The racial split appears to be different, and on and on. There are also many people who suffer from both tinnitus and the World Hum, and report the two as being completely different in nature. Is this what you are referring to?

      • Peter says:

        If someone describes their perception of hum OR tinnitus, what makes you determine that it falls under either hum or tinnitus AND not the other – that’s my question.

        I’m not implying it’s the same thing – I’d consider that an open question with leads pointing to both being in some aspects different in both underlying causes and manifestations. Which the stats you refer to also indicate.

        I’m just interested in what makes it different you your view.

      • Given the statistics I have now, I question the very premise of “Low-frequency tinnitus”. It’s interesting how often that phrase gets thrown around, but I’m not convinced yet. Speaking very generally, tinnitus is a high frequency perception, often resulting from environmental exposure. The Worldwide Hum is a low frequency perception, whose source is yet unknown.

      • Peter says:

        Glen – so basically you see the frequency to be the most important differentiator?

        I’m intentionally leaving out the speculation about causes / sources – that’s more difficult question, I’m just trying to understand, whether the hum has an existing medical classification, or if it should be dealt with separately / as something “new” or with justified distinction.

        To be honest, just the frequency difference doesn’t look to me to be too compelling for scientists to treat the hum as separate phenomenon – note that most tinnitus definition I’ve seen include “humming” perception as a symptom as well. I’d agree that such definition may be too broad, but it’d help to have more distinct features (of the measurable or self-reported symptoms) that would differentiate the hum from classical tinnitus.

      • I gave the broadest possible distinction. As I mentioned previously, there seem to be a large number of differences in the way the two manifest. That itself differentiates them diagnostically. But of course there’s much more: everything from the historical timeline to the air-travel disruption and on and on. My problem with “low freqeuncy tinnitus” is that the medical community simply reaches for that phrase due to their own lack of awareness on the topic. But that’s not surprising; after all, it was known as far back as 1982 (and likely earlier) that ulcers were largely caused by bacteria, but it took the medical community more than a decade to recognize the fact.

      • Peter says:

        Glen, I think we should make distinction between direct symptoms and secondary observations. I wouldn’t cnsider being certain age or a phenomenon taking place in certain global timeframe to be a diagnostics symptom.

        Regarding the former, we have so far:

        1. Frequency, which is always low with the hum, but mostly high with classical tinnitus (CT).

        2. Interrupting the hum with head shaking, which we assume doesn’t work for CT.

        You mention “air travel disruption” – what exactly does it mean? Hum stopping for some time after air travel?

        There’s also the earplug masking I’ve noticed around here, but it seems inconsistent.

        This is a good start, but if I was a researcher looking for motivation for relevant research, it’s still too little to start with.

        You imply there’s a lot of additional differences, so if these are summarized somewhere (I wasn’t able to find such consolidated list), please point me to it. If there isn’t, why don’t we simply make one here?

      • I agree such a distinction should be made, but it does point to two different conditions. I gave a partial list, however. There are a few other symptomatic distinctions, such as being significantly louder indoors than outdoors, and being easily masked a low-level background noise. Air travel tends to disrupt the Hum, just as it does with Otoacoustic Emissions. Earplug use has mixed results. As to the list you suggest, it has appeared several times in different forms, and it is still evolving somewhat. A search will reveal those. If not, I’ll try to collate one when I can.

      • Peter says:

        Glen, re searching for a consolidated list of differences, I tried with no avail – so if you do have a link, I’d be interested.

        Not sure how strong indoor/outdoor difference would be on that list though – that may have simple plausible explanation which you actually refer to (masking by noise), which intuitively makes sense for lower frequencies.

        Also – when searching for such list, I’ve found several notions confirming it may be under “tinnitus” umbrella for medical professionals (and I still agree it may deserve a distinction), quoting:

        “Low-frequency tinnitus: Perhaps the most confusing type of tinnitus because sufferers aren’t sure whether the sound is being produced internally or externally. Often, the tones correspond to the two lowest octaves on a piano and are described as a humming, murmuring, rumbling, or deep droning. This type of noise seems to affect people most strongly.”


      • Eva Fishman says:

        Hi Bernie –

        I haven’t weighed in for a long time, but find your list to be an excellent “nutshell” description, and wanted to comment.

        Intermittently this winter, the HUM has been horrible, and I’m “trapped” in the house because of record snow and cold (the high Friday will be -8 below…). When it is at its worst and I’m going to sleep, I put my sound machine on white noise, and increase the volume until it is loud enough to mask the HUM. Even though the machine is loud, it is better than the HUM when loud, because the HUM is inconsistent, and there is a sensation felt in my body that is masked by a heavy quilt. I obviously don’t carry a noise machine around the house, and some times it practically makes me certifiable.

        There is no doubt in my mind that it is external, I have tinnitus and it is completely different than the HUM. As for recording it, is there equipment sensitive enough to pick up a source that may be hundreds or thousands of miles away, amplified by any one of a dozen intervening factors, the hearers position on the globe, configuration of buildings, topography, weather, etc. and the hearers sensitivity?

      • Peter at Jan 17, 2018

        Remember, these are tests for The Hum (“incurable?”) so that if you can block it with pillows or earplugs, etc., THAT’s GOOD. You WANT to fail the tests of a typical Hum. A person who had a real (acoustic) sound, perhaps a fan for the cooler of a grocery store next door, can potentially block it or get the fan replaced.

      • Peter says:

        Bernie, I have the “real” hum in mind (as being discussed in this forum, i.e. no simple real acoustic source around), which can be somehow concealed by earplugs.

        I know such combination doesn’t sound likely, but that makes it interesting as it may be real for some people. I wouldn’t expect it to work by blocking soundwaves of course, but probably by creating some kind of masking noise (which may not be even clearly perceived), or by other uknown machanism.

        I understand you do hear the hum and I assume you did try to block it by earplugs, but it didn’t help – correct?

      • Glen at Jan 17, 8:16 PM.

        I too am rather against calling the Hum “tinnitus” or even “low-frequency tinnitus”.

        As we get older, our high hearing limit drops from perhaps 16 kHz to 4 kHz. That’s apparently 3/4 gone! Shocking! Well its just the upper two octaves of about 7 octaves, and we never needed them much anyways. SOME research indicates high-frequency tinnitus (perhaps 5 kHz) follows this upper edge down. It’s called “edge pitch”, as the brain does seeks out edges.

        So how would you feel about “Reciprocal Tinnitus” for the low side. My Hum at 64 Hz is right were my low frequency loss is.

        For more details:

        Click to access ENWN45.pdf

      • Peter at Jan 28 8:38 PM

        Peter – quite right: the spurious noise associated with any physical noise blocking is a factor to consider. Earplugs, pillows, cupped hands, etc. all produce distracting (like scratching) noises. We know that SHORT headshakes, utterances, grunts, etc. INTERRUPT the Hum for about 1/2 second. Also, CONTINUOUS sounds can distract or MASK the Hum completely. So is this analogous to a “system” having an output response that is the convolution of a weighted collection of input impulses convolved with an impulse response? Possibly.

        For me, I have tried all sorts of blocking and never succeeded, with most seeming too distracting to determine if they were actually a blocking rather than being a continuous or near-continuous set of interruptions. I have previously suggested this (masking as a series of continuous interruptions) as a possible source of the slightly varying amplitude often described with the Hum.

      • Replying to Eva Fishman FEBRUARY 27, 2019 AT 3:30 PM

        The “list” of mine above to which you refer was expanded into a WebNote of mine:

        Click to access ENWN53.pdf

        as “Checklist – Typical Hum”.

        Eva, you said: “There is no doubt in my mind that it is external,. . . . .”

        Does this mean you have tried and FAILED one or more or even most of the tests on the list?

        You also said: “. . . . ,I have tinnitus and it is completely different than the HUM.”

        It certainly is – about a factor of 100 in pitch. The Hum (internal) is something like 50 Hz (very low) while ordinary tinnitus is something like 5000 Hz (piercingly high).

        You also asked: “As for recording it, is there equipment sensitive enough to pick up a source that may be hundreds or thousands of miles away,. . . . . .”

        Please see my comments on recording/displaying here:

        Click to access ENWN54.pdf

        I have strong doubts anything definitive would result and it would be tedious and costly. Make sure you are NOT hearing The Hum (internal) before investing time/money!


  32. […] The leading theory is that the world Hum is an internally generated audiological phenomenon, possibly related to otoacoustic emissions.  (Note that tinnitus is also a self-reported audio effect, although it manifests quite differently from the Hum.) There are four competing theories. […]

    • I’m sorry, but I’m having trouble understanding your point. You write, “Those witness demographics to my mind rule out a degenerative aging factor and a communicable disease / virus factor, thus using the only evidence available we can see this leading theory is disputed strongly by the actual only form of evidences available”. Well that of course is not true, because I never mentioned viruses nor disease. So unless I’ve misunderstood your point, you’ve created a straw man.

    • First, let me correct you on something. I have made no conclusions as to the cause; rather I am pursuing what I think is the most likely explanation. Why do you assume “an internal defect” is sudden? In fact, most Hum hearers report that they gradually became aware of the noise. And I also wonder why you assume that something has gone wrong. It could well be that there are people who are hyper-sensitive to some types of low frequency noise and infrasound. It could also be a genetic anatomical variation. Your logic about lack of prior medical problems does not hold; for example, you see that such logic falls apart if we try to apply it to tinnitus. But in any case, if you think you are onto something more scientifically promising, suggest some transparent and repeatable experiments, and let us look at it.

  33. George G. says:

    That was bloody fantastic!

    What an excellent show.

    The host asked pertinent questions.

    He was polite, sincere and most of all, intelligent, so unlike the usual ding-a-lings we see and hear in the general media these days.

    Well done Glen, and good work host and crew of Ep 526

  34. Gwyneth Booker says:

    I have been reading your information about The Hum and have entered my details onto your data base. I wondered if any more information had come to light about its origins.

    I have been plagued by this strong, low frequency noise since August 2018 which varies in strength but often causes an intense feeling of pressure on my ears and headache. I cannot believe that this is internally generated. I have slight tinnitus and the two sounds are completely different. I am sure that the hum is exterior in origin but I believe that it is just my sensitivity that has changed. Environmental health officers have not been able to identify any abnormal sounds with their recording equipment. I know that I have always been more sensitive to vibration rather than actual sounds in the past and it is the vibration element of this low frequency sound which is most distressing. The only relief is an app that produces a cancelling sound [or my fan or the fridge] This has become indispensible at night. As soon as I turn it on the pressure felling disappears.

    What is strange is that the tone using the online tone generator corresponds to 65 Hz but this does not produce the same vibration. That is more like the 50 Hz cycle. 50 Hz is the frequency of the UK power supply and I believe that this is the most likely source. It can be just as strong in the car if everything is turned off and the doors and windows are closed. It is usually stronger in a north-west direction from home.

    I wonder if changes in sensitivity to an external sound can be regarded as a 5th theory

    • Henrik says:

      Sensitivity to external sounds, a.k.a. hyperacusis, is one possibility, and is shown in the “Logic Hum Map”, which you can find under another thread on this blog. Hyperacusis can be verified through a regular audiogram at any hearing clinc. Do the 250Hz lowest tone especially carefully.

      By going to the website http://www.thehum.info you can find instructions about how to determine whether a hum is internal or internal.

      The power frequency 50Hz can produce an audible hum just below 50Hz (46-49) from rotating electric motors like fans or pumps, or exactly 100Hz and its multiples from transformers or electromagnetic switches (a.k.a. contactors). You cannot pick up an audible 50Hz “from the air”.

      If you do the internal/external test and find out that it is internal, and you still don’t believe it, you are in good company. Around half of those who hear an internally generated hum (“low-frequency tinnitus”) refuse to believe that it is internal. Interestingly, nobody who suffers from normal high-pitched tinnitus have any problem with accepting the diagnosis. “- Analyze that!”

      • Peter says:

        Henrik, re people refusing to believe their low-freq tinnitus is internal: to me it seems to have quite obvious explanation, or probable reasons. Unlike high-frequency tinnitus, lower frequencies are common in real world. Probably all people also experienced brief high-frequency tinnitus-like episodes, which are obviously internal. Next, there are some differences between low- and high-pitched tinnitus (the head-shake, I think the low-freq one also tends to vary more than high-freq, maybe sometimes goes away completely – which may make people think it’s environment dependent in a direct way). Besides that, I think the sufferers subconsciously don’t want to admit it’s internal (and thus most likely will be permanent) and give up the hope that altering something external can remedy the condition.

  35. Henrik says:

    Peter, that was a thoughtful and nicely worded analysis of the phenomenon. I shall quote that next time I face the question…

  36. Joseph Strange says:


    I’m a grammy award winning audio engineer and have done some audio science that prove’s the hum is real. Experiments i’m willing to recreate and help other’s recreate. Glen has my story and information.

    To those of you suffering, the waves are real, in my case, they are perfect sine waves, I can recreate 100% accurate duplicates of the hum waves in my DAW using a signal generator.

    Phase cancellation is the only way to achieve dead silence while the hum is active. Do you not want to hear it? Noise cancelling headphones playing a sine wave at the hum’s exact frequency with the phase flipped 180 is how you achieve dead silence.

    If the hum is changing frequencies rapidly, which it usually does, this becomes difficult or impossible to phase cancel it 100% of the time. But if the hum is holding one frequency, you can phase cancel it forever until it changes.

    I have phase cancelled the hum out many times only to laugh at dead silence as I don’t hear that very often.

    Others mentioned the hum being active 24 hours a day, I have experienced that to be true. Its changed frequency over the years, from 71hz steady or bouncing between 71 hz and 112 hz.

    Now in 2019 the hum is in the low mid range frequencies around 200hz – 300hz range, this is just a guess as I never phase canceled the hum after it switched pitch on me.

    While this information may be exciting to some of you it does not explain the source, which I see a lot of wild speculative theories on here lol. But I can elaborate on the source a little bit.

    The source is obviously fed by the grid, during wide spread power outages I notice the hum is not present, i cant hear it. I would need access to the local power grid to troubleshoot the source in my area.

    But for now I can at least let people know its real and over here in Michigan, and can prove it through phase cancelation.

    – Joe

    • Peter says:


      by “real” you mean acoustic? From what you have written, I assume you did not actually record the hum, but infer it from being able to phase-cancel it.

      I think if it was plain acoustic phenomenon, there wouldn’t be a problem recording it at some level.

      Therefore I think the hum originates somewhere downstream in sound processing neural paths, which are not yet sufficiently explored.

      However, being able to cancel it simply by shifting wave phase would shed a lot of light into it.

      Perhaps not related, but some time ago I read about a prospective method of treating tinnitus by omitting its frequency (in spectrum of music / sound the patient is exposed to). I would assume using phase-shifting to cancel classical high-frequency tinnitus was tried and failed. If hum is to be low-frequency tinnitus, being able to cancel it this way would be another difference implying the underlying causes are different.

  37. Peter says:

    I have randomly stumbled across a diagnosis method based on recording otoacoustic emissions – apparently in routine use by doctors. Not sure I fully understood how the device works (haven’t experienced it firsthand), but it may be a tiny microphone sensitive enough to record the emissions and diagnose hearing that way. If it is so, it may be a tool for those who still believe the hum has acoustic cause or symptom. Here’s the top link from Google results that looks relevant, for those interested I’d suggest spending more time researching the topic, this is just a tip.

  38. Antonio Gimeno (@agntui) says:

    The truth is out there (a bit further) ,the Hum no longer a mystery.
    I´m a surveyor from Valencia ,Spain. I’m one of the new hearers for Hum, and that’s the reason wich moved me to investigate it. First i realized that there were many people hearing it some nights during april 2020 at my city, i’ve found a recording on youtube and many witnesses, on the net and at my neighboorhood, so i triangulated the source as the harbour area, 7km away from home.Then i studied the kind of noises that were happening at the harbour in comparisson to the recorded at home.
    I present to you my findings applied to one of the first cases

    The Bristol Hum, an old mistery, solved.
    I’ve developed a methodology to detect the source of almost any low frecuency noise reported around the world, through geography and topography ,and the science behind it is not very complicated, just a few notions about environmental acoustics.
    As Bristol Hum is one of the first cases reported, and still is going on ,this finding would be useful for many people around Bristol and around the world.

    • I’m glad that you were able to track down the source of the low-frequency nuisance in your area. There are of course many such sources, and at http://www.thehum.info one can find an excellent guide for doing just that. This project is dedicated to determining the source of the world Hum, which most certainly has not been solved, despite misguided news stories to the contrary.

    • Antonio –

      You didn’t provide a Youtube link to the Valencia hum. When I search Youtube for [Valencia Hum Spain] I get several videos, none of which resembles “The HUM”. One is around 360 Hz and the other is lower pitched but intermittent at about 15 second intervals. Specific LINK PLEASE.

      And you do not report what you observed at the harbor?

      Then you jump to the Bristol Hum – suggesting you solved it? But – No information reported.

      What specifically, if anything, are you offering?


  39. About my first comment in this post, i don’t see the link about Bristol explanation i did (it’s in my facebook and twitter). Here is the science behind my conclusions, it’s in spanish but graphics about thermal inversion and propagation of low pitched sounds, wind influence, low atmospheric pressure influence, are easy to follow :

    • Antonio: I’m not sure whether you read my previous comment (or those from others), but I think we’ve established beyond any reasonable doubt that there are many anthropogenic sounds that create low-frequency hums. I can make a long list of those if you wish, yours among them. Now, turning a different matter: the World Hum, which is what we are mainly interested in here. I’m not sure that you understand the distinction.

    • Antonio – Thanks

      As for the videos, I hear absolutely nothing that remotely resembles my experience with “The Hum”, or anything of a nature I would not expect to hear acoustically in a harbor. Most are too mechanically regular and/or too high pitched (300-400 Hz) to be ”The Hum”. What specifically did you hear?

      In particular, are YOU a Hum Hearer (in the sense we discuss here on Glen’s site)?

      If I understood you correctly, the article in Spanish was supposed to explain the Bristol Hum? It does not seem to include the word “Bristol”.


  40. Bruce Longmore says:

    A contribution to the ‘worldwide hum’ debate.
    This is my first contribution. My professional career in extra high voltage electricity transmission and transformation in the Australian environment required an understanding of electrical and magnetic field characteristics in both the built and natural environments.
    Additionally, I have a sensitivity to ‘the hum’ that manifests itself directly through my cranium as a steady pulse at about 4Hz. It is analogous to the classic example of the large truck idling in the distance. For me the pulse, although it comes and goes, has a benign and soothing effect and likely has a smooth waveform. Otherwise the effects conform to Bernie Hutchins Typical Hum Checklist as found in ENWN-53 of 27 Feb 2018.
    For some years I dismissed the effect as an aberration of high-frequency tinnitus. Then, a couple of months ago and by chance, I happened across this forum.
    Reading the comprehensive comments associated with the ‘Worldwide Map’ led me to some further research. Then by a process of elimination, with the help of ‘Occam’s Razor’, a candidate source of the Hum emerged from the background that I consider is worthy of further research.
    The candidate is “Schumann’s Resonance’ (SR), a well-studied and documented electro-magnetic (EMF) phenomena that is ever-present in the Earths’ biosphere, is bounded by the Earth’s surface and the ionosphere and is caused by the interactivity of atmospheric lightning and the Earths’ magnetic field.
    The basic SR is at about 4Hz, with resonant frequencies occurring at higher amplitudes, the fundamental and most intense at about 8Hz, then with decreasing intensity at about 6.5Hz intervals through nodes to about 40Hz.
    SR exhibits significant intensity changes due to complex interactivities including the spherical nature of the containment chamber creating waveform nodes, the rise and fall of worldwide lightning activity, diurnally generated changes to the altitude of the ionosphere, solar induced ionosphere changes and various other interactions. SR is continuously recorded at locations around the world. The Russian Space Observing Station at Tomsk provides a real-time readout. Its website is worth a visit.
    The question now resolves to whether these waveforms can be recognised by the human brain, or by some human brains, or by none? And if recognised, in what form?
    Recent neurological research by a Caltech team aimed to determine the sensitivity of the human brain to the Earths’ magnetic field may shine some light on the issue.
    They built a chamber in which the Earths’ magnetic field could be replicated, with the further ability to change both the fields’ direction and declination. The chamber was shielded against extraneous electrical, magnetic and acoustic background noise.
    Volunteers were then connected to brain scan electrodes specifically aimed to measure Alpha-wave activity in the subjects. Alpha-wave activity functions in the 7Hz to 13Hz range and the experiment was set up in the range 6Hz to 14Hz. Each volunteer was exposed separately to the magnetic field in the chamber.
    Of the 36 volunteers 4 were found to be sub-consciously sensitive to the magnetic field. The scans of the others showed no sensitivity. Further tests with the sensitive four found that Alpha-wave activity significantly decreased for varying time-spans following directional and declination changes to the magnetic field.
    Conclusions from the study indicate that some individuals do indeed have a subconscious and perhaps vestigial recognition of Earths’ magnetic field.
    The Caltech study is documented in ‘Live Science’ 18March 2019, ‘The Scientist’ 19March 2019 and more comprehensively in ‘eNeuro’ 18March 2019. The Caltech team was coordinated by C. X. (Connie) Wang.
    My conclusion is that there may be common denominators between SR, the Caltech study and ‘The Hum’ perspective worthy of further study initiatives in some form. What do you think?

    Bruce Longmore

  41. Curtis says:

    Hi Glen

    I’ve just donated so thanks for keeping up the work. I believe #1 fits with my personal experience the best. When I shake my head from side to side fast the hum stops and then returns on stopping.

    I’m still looking myself as it’s been constant for the past year now. I can’t be sure but I think the churches (primarily Church of England in the UK) have certain types of Antennas on top which can block frequencies creating black spots or distance guages.

    All the best
    – Curt

    • Curt, in your first paragraph June 20, 2021 at 2:10 am you relate observations (head shake pause – AGC transient) that I regard as a STRONG hallmark (diagnostic) of an internally-sourced Hum.

      However, in also favoring Cause #1 (RF) you conntradict your observations. In fact, what could, for example, “Antennas on top which can block frequencies creating black spots or distance guages.” possibly even mean? You say nothing about how RF becomes AF let alone how your personal head-shake could pause an extended physical network.


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