From Bernie Hutchins…
“The first time I remember hearing the Hum (probably about 1999) I became aware that the “sound” could be interrupted just by speaking sharply the word “THERE” to alert my wife to the fact that the “truck engine” that I was claiming to hear outside was surging. The sound dipped down every time I tried the alert her, then returned. ( A private little joke perhaps! – the Hum was generally unrelenting, but could be personally paused! ) Sudden sounds (brief grunts) or rapid nods killed it – although it came back almost immediately (about half a second). After about five tries, I got the message – the Hum was almost certainly inside my head.
Dealing with music synthesis and hearing since 1972, I surmised it was a protective mechanism of the middle/inner ear that very briefly clamped it down, regardless of external or internal origin of the source. I really tried to find the source (a truck or pump), tried to display the waveform (similar to:
which also leads to previous postings), learned of the “Taos Hum”, and eventually decided that it was an internal restless-rumbling of the hearing mechanism subject to something like an AGC (automatic gain control). Then I ignored it, completely, for some 16 years. (Incidentally, my wife to this day, hears no Hum.)
Listening late at night to a radio program in early 2016, I heard Glen discussing the Hum with George Noory. For the first time in some 16 years I listened for the Hum. It was still there, and when I grunted, it died and came back just as I remembered. I was extremely impressed with Glen on the program. I wondered if he had made the connection to interruptions and the implications as to source. Thus began my current involvement.
The interruption phenomenon is perhaps very significant. We all extrapolate from our own observations, and apparently not everyone agrees that the Hum can be interrupted in this manner. As a CLOSE parallel; much as I (and probably most hearers here) find it difficult to understand that not everyone hears the Hum, I myself find it difficult to believe that not every Hum hearer experiences the interruptions. I want to say (unfairly! – as many here may with a non-Hum-hearer) that they “just aren’t trying”. I guess it is obvious that many Hum hearers do not have adequate training with normal sound. Why would they? Because of my 45 years experience with sound synthesis, I am pretty good at hearing details, and associating sounds corresponding to engineering “signals” with what I hear, or can synthesize.
I first experienced the interruptions as basically an irritation – something weird – my voice interfering unexpectedly with my hearing. I soon understood it as a dip in an amplitude “envelope”, being an engineering “model” that helps me perceive and describe the interruptions. I think this means that an ear-protective mechanism takes over briefly. When it’s otherwise quiet, the mechanism rattles in some manner. In this view, the very common experience of Hum masking or distraction (not blocking) is a continuing resetting of the protective mechanism by daytime environmental/household noise.
While I describe the interruption as one of the Hum going away in response to some sound or motion, and coming back automatically, it is MUCH LESS a recognition of the Hum being gone, and MUCH MORE of it ramping back up in response to each interruption event you personally impose. I find grunts and head shaking most effective. You need to repeat these actions – perhaps a dozen times. In relatively short order, you will likely recognize the association of OVERT CAUSE AND SUBTLE EFFECT as being evident. Make sure you recognize about how long (how short?) a half-second is here; that you are listening for the RETURNS, not the stops; and that the effects are SUBTLE; and you may need to practice.
Please let everyone know how this comes out in your case. Particularly if you “learned” to notice the interruptions after first missing them.”