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What I Heard off the Grid

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After the BBC4 interview in Winnipeg, I went off the grid on a small and fairly isolated island in the region of Kenora, Ontario, in the Lake of the Woods, a massive lake that spans the Canada-United States border. I’m back home now.

The Hum was very loud – much louder than in my home town in BC, Canada. In fact I could often hear it well during the day, even with a wind blowing. The night before I left the island, I awoke at around 3:00 a.m. and for the first time in several years, the Hum was a distraction, bordering on an irritant. So I took out my phone, put in my earbuds, and launched the tone generator app. Yet again, as usual for me, I perceived a dominant tone that centred at around 56.5 Hertz.

I was thousands of kilometres away from my home town. Why was the tone the same? How could an acoustic source explain this? I speculated on this until just before I finally drifted back to sleep, I heard the sound of a train whistle. The nearest tracks were almost 15 km away.

Among the many emails I just sorted through, a few were from people with serious scientific credentials, and I am excited to engage with them over the next few weeks while I get ready to test the Deming Box again.

Stay tuned.

 

 


50 Comments

  1. TINMA says:

    Very interesting. This kind of reinforces my thought that city noise drowned out me hearing the hum until I moved to a quieter side of town….then the hum made its self noticeable. I still do not understand why I only seem to hear it when it is cold outside ,45ish degrees or less.

  2. Kevin Grey says:

    “I was thousands of kilometres away from my home town. Why was the tone the same? How could an acoustic source explain this?”

    Precisely. So, what’s it going to take before you entertain the notion that the answer lies within you?

    Classical Chinese medicine can explain this phenomenon within its own paradigm. But of course because it doesn’t conform to scientific principles, it isn’t considered ‘acceptable’ (& that’s putting it politely).

    I’ve cured myself of the hum. I hope you find a way to do so too, some day.

    Best wishes,
    KG

    • Perhaps Classical Chinese medicine can explain why the Hum started in England in the mid-to-late 1960s?

      • Kevin Grey says:

        Hi Glen,
        Well, perhaps it would be more accurate to say that it “started [to be noticed as a phenomenon] in England in the mid-to-late 60s?

        My point about Chinese medicine was more of a ‘by the way’ comment, as this treatment modality was not directly responsible for me curing myself of the hum.
        So, even though CCM can explain it, I don’t have any evidence that it can cure it, although I think it might be able to or help, at the very least. But the level of skill among practitioners, worldwide, is so variable, unfortunately, that I would hesitate even to suggest this much. This is also why I specifically said Classical Chinese medicine & not the genericTCM practised by the overwhelming majority aound the world. I apologise if my comment gave the wrong impression (as I can see it must have).

        I have been meaning to post on the Yahoo forum about my experience, but I’ve been hesitating because I see that most people on there are so completely invested in the idea of the source being of an external nature that I fear my comments wouldn’t be well received & I’d be dismissed as a troll; also, it takes me ages to write as clearly & articulately as I’d like. But I suppose I really must make the effort, now that I’ve made such an apparently grand claim. And just so that it doesn’t seem like I’m keeping everyone in suspense: in a nutshell, the “trick” was essentially to train myself not to hear it – just as I believe part of the reason I was hearing the hum was as a result of unwittingly training myself to hear it.

        All the best,
        KG

      • Is it your opinion that people can train themselves to not hear tinnitus?

    • Ian says:

      Please could you be more specific? I would be interested in the details of how you have been cured.

      • Kevin Grey says:

        Hi Ian,
        I’ve just responded to Glen’s reply to my comment. I hope that will give you an idea (when it posts), but I’m afraid I can’t go into any further details than that for now, because, as I said, I really need to take some time to compose an acceptable & comprehensive account of my experience.
        Best wishes,
        KG

  3. Glen –

    I am very interested that you pitch match at 56.5 Hz. Myself, I match best to 64 Hz. If individuals hear different pitches (particularly if they were standing side by side), and the individual’s result is consistent across time and space (as yours seems to be), then that is significant.

    You didn’t say how “difficult” it was to do your match. Mine was tedious. My difficulty is consistent with classic pitch matching experiments that say that resolution is poor below about 100 Hz (as bad as 3%) and is much harder with pure tones than with harmonically rich ones (like a sharp pulse) where harmonics support the correct fundamental pitch.

    Looking at your data base (the first 800 or so), relatively few have attempted a pitch match and even then they report (individually) a range. But the numbers are all over. Many of the individual entries are in the span 40-70 Hz. Perhaps this indirectly reflects the relative difficultly of the matching for this phenomenon. Or is it evidence that the Hum is an individual-dependent phenomenon?

    Bernie

    • You’ve been asking the same questions I have. This has been a keen interest of mine from the beginning, because I’ve never heard of a case where an acoustic tone, even a low frequency one, being perceived differently. For example, if I strike a deep bass note on a piano (which is quite rich in overtones), and then ask ten people to put on one headphone and then match the dominant tone to a tone generator, I’m sure they will all report the same frequency with a high degree of precision. Tinnitus, however, has across a wide variety of (usually high) pitches. Oddly, many folks in New Zealand are reporting 56 Hertz tones. That’s what got me thinking about geomagnetic conjugates.

      • Glen –

        True, it is common to pitch-match with precision, consistency, and generality; particularly with harmonically rich tones from DRIVEN oscillations (bowed strings, winds), when presented simultaneously with the test reference. A fair range of variation is otherwise expected; with tones that are short, which rely on memory, are band-passed noise, or those with “partials” (modes) that are non-harmonics (true of many or most percussive instruments which are generally transient). For some particular (individual) examples of percussive instruments, the pitch seems to be truly ambiguous between two choices, like the “Necker Cube” optical illusion.

        For me, pitch-matching the Hum is just difficult overall (low level, low pitch, wavering, noisy). The moderately wide distribution is probably expected. What we don’t know is the reliability of any one report. Even relatively few “high quality” reports would amount to a lot.

        The distinction between harmonics (source driven) and parallel modes (natural transient partials) is perhaps a model worth keeping the back of our minds. That is, if the Hum is externally driven (AF or RF, etc.) than pitch would be the same for everyone and perhaps supported by true harmonics. If, on the other hand it were internal, the differing dimensions of each individual could result in somewhat different pitches (like resonances excited by impulses or noise) and support the pitch certainty by harmonics would be much less likely. Essentially the difference between the piano tone (everyone agrees) and tinnitus (everyone differs) which you mentioned.

        Bernie

  4. Simon says:

    Hi Glen, yes a sobering thought: no matter where we go the hum always gets there too. I have recently returned from holiday on the Isles of Scilly, around 70km off the West coast of the UK. A quiet, beautiful and tranquil place to escape the stresses of the World, or so you might think.. Sure enough, the hum was going full blast every night, although the sound of the waves breaking gently on the beach at night kind of made up for it. I also have various recordings of natural sounds like waves or rain that I sometimes play in a loop to mask the hum when it really bugs me, and this usually works pretty well.

    I know that your current working theory for the hum may not characterise it as an acoustic source, but however bizarre it may seem I am now convinced that it is, and I have some fairly good recordings of the hum that may eventually shed some light on the source. They could possibly be simulations, but if so they are pretty convincing, and have been made by someone who has clearly heard the hum at some point.

    If anyone is interested in doing some analysis on the recordings just drop me a line. simonpayneuk@hotmail.com
    Best wishes
    Simon.

  5. Jonathan says:

    Over the last couple of years I have been looking for a possible source of the hum and I think I may have found a possible logical explanation as to where the source is located and the reason for it. The hum is not an acoustic wave travelling in free air but is a sound that is being modulated onto a radio-frequency carrier wave. Could it possible be that from the global perspective humanity is under ‘attack’ and the only people that here the hum are those people who have an organ within the cranium that has a similar wavelength that is capable of demodulating the hum sound from the carrier wave? The only organ that springs to mind is the basilar membrane that is contained within the cochlea. Are there any other possible candidates of organs that could possibly demodulate a radio-frequency wave?

    • Simon says:

      Hi Jonathan,
      I am intrigued by your theory, could you please expand a bit more on these ideas? And who or what do you think might be attacking us? I am very open minded so would genuinely like to hear your ideas, no matter how left field they may appear to some..
      Regards
      Simon.

  6. Marcus says:

    Just found an article online _.”the hum that helps to fight crime_BBC news”. Might explain what we’re hearing_like to hear people’s opinions. Marcus,southern ireland

  7. Kevin Grey says:

    “Is it your opinion that people can train themselves to not hear tinnitus?”

    No. I think that’s a different condition. I had tinnitus before the hum & it’s still there.

    • … or can people train themselves to not hear the sound of a leaf blower, or a chainsaw? After recently moving to our new remote location in the forest, the Hum sometimes thunders during the evening and night time. To suggest that one can “train” oneself to not hear it is an idea that I reject out of hand, at least in my current circumstances.

  8. Kathryn says:

    I do think it’s possible to train yourself out of hearing something: e.g. I work in an air conditioned office – and, oh what bliss when it turns off at 6 o’clock. By which I mean that I don’t hear it (or train myself not to hear it) during ‘normal’ working hours: in other words, I become accustomed to it, and so only become aware of it when it stops – if that makes sense? But the Hum isn’t like that … it’s either there, or it isn’t. It’s sometimes loud, sometimes soft and sometimes not there at all. But whichever, I’m always aware of its presence or absence.

    • For me the Hum entered my awareness in the way that most sounds do: at some point, any sound will get your attention if it is loud enough and lasts long enough. I don’t feel comfortable with – or comforted by – the wisdom that we don’t have to focus on the sound. I’m wondering what your argument is against removing mufflers from cars and trucks. After all, the sound can be ignored. If large numbers of people are suffering from a sound, then my goal is to get to the bottom of it and find out what is causing it. If your technique provides any sort of interim relief, then so be it.

      • Kathryn says:

        Hello Glen. Apologies – my post wasn’t clear. When I said I don’t hear it during normal working hours, I was referring to the noise made by the air conditioning unit; it suddenly becomes noticeable by its absence, when the unit switches off.
        I usually only hear the Hum when I’m at home and I have no technique for not hearing it. The only relief is when, for whatever reason, it is simply absent. So I’m agreeing with you.

  9. Charlie says:

    I tried a tone generator that I found on the web this morning, and the predominant pitch that I perceive is about 260 Hz. If I try ‘singing’, or tuning a guitar string to the Hum’s pitch it comes out as a slightly flat middle C (C4 = 261.6 Hz) . There seemed to be some 130 Hz (approx) in the mix and various other indistinct frequencies as well.

    I set the tone generator to 56.5 Hz and that tone was far lower than anything I can recall ‘hearing’ . It would be interesting to go to a place where lower frequencies have been reported and see if my perception of the hum changed.

  10. Kevin Grey says:

    “To suggest that one can “train” oneself to not hear it is an idea that I reject out of hand”

    Yes, and I suspect that would be the overwhelming response & why I haven’t spoken about my experience, till now. But if you consider (FOR EXAMPLE!) that meditation could be described as training oneself not to think, then maybe not so far fetched eh?

    I can only be grateful that somehow I have managed to end 2 yrs of derangement & hum hell; I experienced disturbing physical sensations, as well as the typical auditory problems. That it took me so long to work out what should have been blindingly obvious (it’s coming from you stupid) still amazes me.
    Please don’t think I’m being smug. I have the greatest sympathy for all hum sufferers & wish all you all eventual respite, but I think an obsessive fixation on tracking down an external source is a major part of the problem.

    Best wishes,

    KG

  11. Eva Fishman says:

    Kevin –

    I question whether you’ve trained yourself to “not hear” the HUM, or if the HUM has changed character and you’re experiencing a respite from it due to that. If you don’t hear it anymore, I’d question if what you experienced for over 2 years is the same HUM thousands of others have heard and continue to hear in varying degrees and locations, and if it IS the same HUM, it’s possible you’ll experience it again when you least expect it. I’m currently in a lull, it is very quiet and subliminal, but this has happened before, so I’m not convinced I’ve overcome it – it WILL be back, of that I am convinced. Consider Glen’s experiences…

    Eva

  12. charlie says:

    Hi Kevin

    I’m a little confused, are you saying that you have somehow trained yourself to not hear the Hum? If so, I would be interested to learn how it was that you did it. I have dabbled with meditation myself and trying to let go of thinking etc., but I cant see how that approach would work with the Hum. For me the Hum manifests as a real sound, and I don’t think that I could switch it off any more than I could switch off my perception of regular acoustic sound.

    That said, the Hum insofar as I can tell, is not regular acoustic sound, it doesn’t play by the same rules, and just perhaps there is an internal switch that we might access. It’s a bit far fetched, but then again the Hum is a bizarre phenomenon in itself.

    Having lived with the Hum as a seemingly constant companion for the last three years all I can say is that I have learned (subconsciously) to tune it out. I guess it’s bit like living near a busy road …. you get used to it.

    cheers
    Charlie

  13. Kevin Grey says:

    Hi Eva,
    I can assure you that my hum was exactly as commonly described by most humees: diesel engine running somewhere & impossible to locate, louder at night when things get quieter. I also heard it in multiple locations. Sometimes, it would oscillate; occasionally, this seemed to be in time with my (slow) heart rate, but never consistently, so I didn’t pick up on that as a possible clue to its internal origin.

    “if it IS the same HUM, it’s possible you’ll experience it again when you least expect it”

    Maybe, but all that will do is to alert me to the fact that other factors in my life & my responses to them have gotten out of control.

    Do you kind of wish I do hear it again? – misery loves company. I’m not trying to be unkind, but when I was at the height of my obsession to uncover the source or at least confirm it was real, I persuaded a friend to stay over to see if he could hear it & was bitterly disappointed that he couldn’t. I was hearing it so loud, I just could not accept that he couldn’t hear it. He eventually said he could sort of hear something like I was describing but I’m pretty sure he was either just humouring me or didn’t consider it to be of any consequence.

    Emotions play an important role in the hum.

    I wish I could provide you/everyone with a cast iron method of achieving what I have, but I’m not selling anything except maybe an idea about a different approach to eliminating it from your life. The only tangible method I can say I used, was a breathing technique I’d heard about to combat insomnia, which I was obviously suffering terribly from at the time. The one where you breathe in as slowly as possible through the nose to lung bursting point & then exhale forcefully through the mouth, as if saying phew, but with no sound. That worked pretty well for me in getting to sleep.

    Apart from that, all I can say is at some point I made a very powerful & conscious decision that I was no longer prepared to acknowledge the existence of the hum – a positive force of will, if you like. And I also rationalised that the hum was really no worse than trying to sleep on a ferry or airplane – a mental act of acceptance or surrender. It disappeared pretty quickly after that. About 3 or 4 months later, curious, I tried to see if I could hear it again & sure enough i was able to tune in to it again, which really freaked me out. So, I started doing the breathing exercise again and mentally going la la la I’m not listening…sounds funny but that’s pretty much what I did. And it disappeared again. These days I don’t think about it at all, except for now when describing my experience of course. But so far so good & I feel confident about being able to control it.

    “I’m not convinced I’ve overcome it – it WILL be back, of that I am convinced.”

    If you WILL it back (key word), keep listening for it & tuning in to it, then I’m afraid to say you’re probably right.

    “Consider Glen’s experiences…”

    I’m sorry, I haven’t been following too closely lately. But haven’t all his experiments proved fruitless? But as a good scientist he won’t give up, especially now he has come so far & has enough ideas for more & more tests.

    OK, that’s about all I’ve got. This has taken me ages to write & it’s my birthday today, so I really feel I deserve a beer now 🙂 Glen has already dismissed my ideas & I totally understand. I’m grateful he has allowed me to say what I have & if it ever makes a difference to anybody, anytime, it will have been worth it.

    Best wishes,
    Kevin

    • Ian says:

      Hi Kevin,

      I would like to come out in support of your “thread” (I also hope you will continue to visit this forum and try and refine further, if you can, what it is you are trying to get across). I think I get your reluctance. If you have “mastered” this (and I personally, so far, feel this to be a distinct possibility (what I am trying to say is I remain open-minded !)) you will need to look after yourself first before getting to a place from where you might offer something of help to others.

      Whether or not an external cause can be identified, questions, for me at least, will still remain:

      Why do I hear but my neighbour or spouse, say, do not?
      Why do some report respite? I hear it most of the time (every day almost)? And what is this respite? How can it be explained?
      And for me the biggest question of all – Why did I suddenly start hearing? I think all can identify roughly when they first started experiencing this. So, what latent or dormant something or other has been activated and by what? There is some characteristic that I share now with other hearers, what is it and what can I do about it?

      Could I support the idea of self help? I certainly think a level of self-understanding, if this can be reached, is necessary and may prove to be useful.

      Cheers, Ian

    • Ian says:

      Kevin you wrote:
      “The only tangible method I can say I used, was a breathing technique I’d heard about to combat insomnia, which I was obviously suffering terribly from at the time. The one where you breathe in as slowly as possible through the nose to lung bursting point & then exhale forcefully through the mouth, as if saying phew, but with no sound.”

      I have been googling, looking for this technique (so far without any luck), is your description all there is to it?

      Ian

  14. Kevin Grey says:

    We’ve just cross posted Charlie. I think you’re on the right track.

    Best wishes,

    Kevin

  15. charlie says:

    Hi again Kevin,

    Hope you had a good birthday! Yeah, cross posts create confusion. Not to worry though!

    A while back, someone – I can’t remember who at the moment – mentioned that making a ‘grunting’ sound affected their perception of the hum. Your breathing technique although different, does also involve our respiratory system. Frankly I have had no success in changing the hum using any technique at all. I did try (just now) your breathing technique, but as yet to no avail. But given that we know virtually nothing about the hum I try to keep an open mind. Though as the saying goes – it’s important to keep an open mind, but not so open that your brains fall out. That’s not an aspersion on you by the way, it’s just that I try to balance sceptism with open mindedness ( is that a word? ).

    Anyway I know Glen said that he rejected the idea that you could train yourself not to hear the hum, he did however qualify that by saying ‘at least in my current circumstances’. And to be honest, given my current circumstances I am sceptical of the notion that a mental technique could have an affect on the hum (at least for me) . That’s not to say it doesn’t work for some people.

    I’m also curious as to why you think the hum has an internal source. Is it entirely internal, or is it perhaps an internal response to some unidentified external stimulus? Personally I wouldn’t know how to tell the difference.

    cheers Charlie

    • Simon says:

      Charlie,Kevin,
      Very interesting discussion. I have found too that I can “disrupt” the hum for significant periods, ranging from a few seconds to several minutes, (depending on the hum intensity) by grunting or snorting hard (exhaling) through the nose. This kind of makes me wonder if the hum is actually causing the cavities in our head to resonate in some way, and temporarily changing the shape or volume of the various passages in our heads even slightly for a short time is enough to disrupt the perception of the hum. A long shot, but no wilder than some of the theories I have come across..
      Cheers
      Simon.

    • Hi Charlie –

      Likely I am the one who posted about the “grunt test” although many folks note that various sudden sounds or motions can interrupt the Hum. Here is a link with extensive details:

      http://electronotes.netfirms.com/ENWN41.pdf

      I emphasize that these interruptions are extremely brief, on the order of 1/2 second. Further, concentrate on the prompt, predictable, RETURNS (ramping back up after 1/2 second) as it is easier to hear something (returns) than nothing (gone?).

      As to the question of internal vs external, if your personal grunt (or similar) works, we really have to believe that you are NOT turning off a megawatt transmitter in Wisconsin (or whatever). Instead, something (probably in the middle ear) is protecting that mechanism from large signals. (It is known that such mechanisms even trigger in response to your own voice.) The Hum, in this view, is related to the protective mechanism idling while off (quiet conditions).

      Bernie hutchins@ece.cornell.com

  16. George G. says:

    Bernie,Charlie, Kevin, Simon.
    Take a good breath, close your mouth and pinch shut your nostrils, then “pop out your ears” much like a diver would.
    Does the Hum suddenly increase in volume?

    If you are still with me, does one ear dominate in perceived level?

    Keenly awaiting your reports.

    • George –

      Great – I love experiments and then trying to see what we can learn from them. That is what I do when I can.

      Unfortunately, my ears do not pop – almost never do. And no change at all for trying.

      I assume your answers are Yes and Yes. If so, I am curious as to what you suppose it means. But of course, give the other continents a chance to reply!

      Bernie

    • Simon says:

      George,
      Apologies for the late response, but it is festival season here and I have been off-grid in a tent for a few days, and yep, there is still hum to be heard, even in a tent in rural Suffolk, hey ho.. I may be one of the few folk who can hear the hum pretty loud everywhere, even outdoors, unfortunately!
      I tried your experiment a few times, but to be honest, I am not sure I noticed much change to the hum. I think it did get slightly louder, but not sure about the dominant ear effect. When I first started hearing the hum it definitely seemed louder in my right ear (for quite few years in fact) but now it almost seems to be in the centre of my head (or both ears equally) and I cannot in all honesty say that the experiment changed that perception for me. Keep the ideas coming!
      Regards
      Simon.

      • George G. says:

        Thank you for your reply Simon,

        My Hum perception is also symmetrical, but upon “popping out my ears”, the right ear becomes dominate.

        Another way to view this experiment is thus;
        Face north and pop your ears. The Hum seems to originate from the east.
        Face east and repeat the experiment. The Hum then appears from the south.
        Face south, etc. etc.
        And I bet London to a brick that people with dominant left ear Hum will experience the opposite direction.

        Now, for the big one. After doing this experiment for several weeks, the damn Hum is slowly getting weaker.
        I’m serious. It is diminishing, gradually but surely!

        Help me out any medicos out there, is it a case of “getting used to a loud Hum when ear popping, so normal Hum seems quieter, or what???

        Cheers,
        G.

  17. George G. says:

    Yes Bernie, experiments are essential. And yes, your assumption is correct.

    I do not know what it means, but I fear I may have discovered how to make the Hum louder. Great! Just what we needed!

    I also noted a recent posting by Jonathan relating to the workings of the cochlea etc. If you are still out there Jonathan, perhaps you could also come across this experiment?

    Cheers,

    G.

    • Thanks George –

      If as you report, the Hum gets louder when your ears “pop” this may be important. If I recall correctly this popping is an equalizing of pressure between the middle ear and the atmosphere (both sides of the eardrum). The middle ear is the air-filled chamber that houses the famous tiny bones (hammer, anvil, stirrup), which serve as an impedance-matching transformer between air and liquid (the cochlea, or inner ear).

      Under high sound pressures, the “stapedius” muscles stiffen this mechanism reducing transmission (automatic gain control). At low levels, the muscles relax to normal. It seems possible that a pressure imbalance in the inner ear chamber could act much as a (partially) tightened muscle.
      Thus popping the ears might well not only clear muffled real sounds, but enhance (that is – set to normal) any mischievous spontaneous vibrations responsible for the Hum.

      Here is a general reference:

      http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/sound/protect.html#c2

      Worth considering?
      Bernie

  18. George G. says:

    Thank you Bernie for the info.
    Yes, by a simple manipulation I am able to intensify ambient sound levels as well as the Hum, and you have provided a scientific explanation supporting my claim that I have some control at will.

    In view of that, some of the recent comments made by Kevin deserve serious study, not the thoughtless dismissal he received.

    • Hi George –

      Indeed I suspect you do have some willful control over the perceived level of the hum. It is different from my “grunt test”, but related, I think.

      SUPPOSE that the Hum is a spontaneous, mostly random rumbling of the mechanism of the inner ear. If when we have a cold (or other cause of air pressure imbalance) the stirrup is pulled back from the oval window (entrance to the cochlea) by eardrum “ballooning”, BOTH normal sound and the incidental Hum would be reduced, and a normal level restored to BOTH by ear popping. So possibly you are not increasing the Hum, but rather a restoring to normal. Thus to reduce hum, get a head cold! Sure.

      Now (but) one of my experiments indicated that the Hum was interrupted by a grunt, but a reasonable equivalent (artificial) acoustic sound was not. Why not? Isn’t that a problem for my theory? Maybe – maybe not.

      Grunting (or head shaking) as interrupters of the Hum are likely different from a pressure-difference-induced reduction in stirrup contact, which is apparently a pull-back due to a ballooning of the eardrum. The grunt apparently involves protective muscles beyond the eardrum, so it perhaps inhibits spontaneously vibrations (Hum) while not affecting the normal sounds (transmission and contact with the oval window).

      To the extent that this sounds like I may know what I am talking about, let me insist that I do not. But the findings that the Hum can be interrupted (grunt or shaking) or altered in level (ear popping) strongly suggest that the Hum is internal and associated with the middle ear.

      More discussion please. –Bernie hutchins@ece.cornell.edu

      • George G. says:

        Bernie, you have read my thoughts.

        I was an advocate for the EMR theory, but too many posts suggest that the source may well “be within us.” My own experiences suggest to me that yes, it is in my head, and so I am learning to manipulate it in order to ignore it.

        I noted very recently a post from TINMA correlating the Hum with ambient temperature. With regard to what your recent observations suggest, it would seem cold weather would indeed influence our Hum mechanism. The rabbit hole keeps getting deeper.

        More discussion will follow, I am sure.

  19. John says:

    Hello,

    I too was able to cure myself of hearing the hum. For reasons unrelated I started a daily ritual of mindfulness meditation and from that I had an OOB (out of body experience) and FROM THAT I started messing around with ways of “unblocking my pineal gland” this is a gland located in the middle of the head, flouride and calcium deposits clog there naturally and if you consume less of both you can unblock it. Mystics call it the seat of God.

    Anyway since I started consuming less floride for this reason, suddenly the hum stopped!

    I wonder if your pineal gland gets blocked by these flouride and calcium deposits, maybe the sound reverberates around the brain because it cannot penetrate these deposits? I don’t know but either way I cannot hear the hum any longer!

    It is up to you if you want to be open minded enough and do your own research on that topic, most people are blind or aggresively against spirituality. Either way, it cured the noise for me!

    • Simon says:

      John,
      I am really interested to know more about your experience.. For example, how did you reduce your intake of fluoride and calcium? And is mindfulness something one can learn through individual study, or did you take classes?
      best regards
      Simon.

  20. Ian says:

    Hello All, I have bumped this reply that I previously posted (in case it has been overlooked – please excuse my poor etiquette), and politely I would like to add to it: I ask Kevin to please step back into the fray. I have long considered learning techniques and habits it might be possible to overcome the hum and may lead to the explanation of why we hear – even if it does not prove or disprove any external factor. After all, on a pessimistic note, should it indeed turn out that ELF or something else can act as a stimulus, what is the likelihood of anything being done about it?

    Hi Kevin,

    I would like to come out in support of your “thread” (I also hope you will continue to visit this forum and try and refine further, if you can, what it is you are trying to get across). I think I get your reluctance. If you have “mastered” this (and I personally, so far, feel this to be a possibility) you will need to look after yourself first before getting to a place from where you might offer something of help to others.

    Whether or not an external cause can be identified, questions, for me at least, will still remain:

    Why do I hear but my neighbour or spouse, say, do not?
    Why do some report respite? I hear it most of the time (every day almost)? And what is this respite? How can it be explained?
    And for me the biggest question of all – Why did I suddenly start hearing? I think all can identify roughly when they first started experiencing this. So, what latent or dormant something or other has been activated and by what? There is some characteristic that I share now with other hearers, what is it and what can I do about it?

    Could I support the idea of self help? I certainly think a level of self-understanding, if this can be reached, is necessary and may prove to be useful.

    Cheers, Ian

  21. charlie says:

    Hi George

    Sorry for the late reply -I’ve been caught up with other stuff. Anyhow I have tried ear popping and nothing happened. I’ll try it again later. I also just tried Bernie’s grunt test again and this time – I dunno, but maybe I did detect a brief ( less than 0.25 s) reduction. It was so quick that I can’t be sure that I wasn’t imagining it.

    Also I have a more general question. If our perception of the Hum is caused by something physically vibrating in the middle ear, would it be possible to insert a sensitive microphone into the ear canal and detect it?

    cheers

  22. Charlie –

    You are quite correct that the brief silent periods are VERY difficult to hear. I came to understand that it was not so much the sound being GONE that was observed, but rather the fact that it soon RETURNED (ramped back up), reliably, every time. It is the returns in repeated trials that get our attention.

    Even better than the grunt is the head shaking. With some PRACTICE, you may be able to get just the right motions to hold the silence for perhaps 5 second – then stop. Within a second, it ramps back up (for me). No distraction of your own voice. And you likely stop shaking automatically as a consequence of getting tired of doing it!

    For details on this please see: http://electronotes.netfirms.com/ENWN41.pdf

    As for a microphone in the ear, some professionals can try this, but not you or I! I believe it is used for ordinary tinnitus (kHz) so it would be much more difficult at low frequencies.

    Bernie

  23. George G. says:

    Hi Charlie,
    I feel my description of the ear popping experiment was poorly worded, thus the lack of results.

    This is what I should have written:
    When you “pop out your ears”, sustain the pressure for a few seconds. You should notice a perceived increase in audio level of all ambient noise, and the Hum will appear dominant in one ear.

    Use light to moderate pressure, it doesn’t take much to achieve the effect. The important thing is to maintain pressure for a short measure of time.

    G.

  24. charlie says:

    Still no luck. Though I do have a cold and I also suffer from Meniere’s. Maybe these things are a factor. I’ll keep trying though.

    cheers

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