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Correcting some things from the Inside Edition piece

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The Inside Edition crew shot six hours of video in three locations here on the Sunshine Coast, and that was compressed to about 90 seconds on the “mystery sounds” segment. I very much need to correct some things and educate readers on a few others.

First, I was misquoted about the source of the Hum. Please read this.

Second, the Deming Box was designed to block VLF radio waves (from 3 kHz to 30 kHz), not “low-frequency sound waves”. Having the woman climb into the box made for good tv, however.

Third, I distance myself completely from “sky trumpets”, “apocalypse sounds”, and related silliness, including ridiculous conspiracies and pseudoscience.

Please read through this blog if you are interested in educating yourself about the Worldwide Hum. The language used here is scientifically rigorous but accessible to many readers.

Glen

 


51 Comments

  1. jimvandamme says:

    Wow, that’s some great journalism there! Six hours of video..???
    Well, any publicity is good publicity.

    • Exactly. That’s why I say yes to each and every media request – even the tiniest YouTube Channel. The History Channel is the only one I’ve said no to, because I was afraid of it turning into a “Taos Hum” circus. Good to hear from you again, Jim.

  2. Harvey Wolfson says:

    I don’t share your view about the publicity resulting from this piece on Inside Edition. Comparing the Hum to the other “phenomena” suggests that all proponents of these mysterious sound phenomena are kooks, unfortunately. So have the same opinion about the reference to the Deming Box. I fear that these so called journalists are spoofing us, Glen. I hope we can recover.

    • Well, one can be correct in the wilderness, or partially heard in the limelight. Inside Edition was a risk – no doubt – but my feedback so far was that I appeared sober and serious. The reason why I agreed to appear on this show is that almost five million people would watch it, and if only a single one of those five million people were in a position to move the project forward, they would educate themselves and reach out. There’s no way of telling. Nevertheless, for posterity and for the serious reader, I’ve already set the record straight in writing on social media.

  3. Lisa Allen says:

    Inside Edition is a tabloid type news program, so I wasn’t surprised that the segment was so short and that they didn’t give it the serious attention it deserves. That said, not everyone who watches Inside Edition is an idiot and knows this is their style of reporting, and can still get the gist of a serious story. Glen, you looked and sounded as credible as a human being can. Many more people have learned something about the Worldwide hum tonight through the imperfect vehicle of Inside Edition, and that is a good thing as far as I am concerned. Sometimes you have to take what you can get and that’s ok.

    • Harvey Wolfson says:

      It would be very interesting to have 2 (or more) hum hearers in the same place and see if what they heard was the same. Glen, I’m in Vancouver and would be willing to try this with you. What would it mean if we did hear the same thing? Or if we didn’t????

      • An experiment that is long overdue!

      • Ian says:

        Interesting to hear this being said here and now! I seem to recall being the first (maybe), if I recall correctly, to suggest this – some time ago it was too. I also seem to remember silence by some and being politely shot down and dismissed at the time by others. Funny that 😉 (It’s been a while since I posted and can’t quite remember right now which email address I used when I posted..)

      • The experiment has been conducted a number of times – back to the 80s at least, and possibly earlier.

      • Ian says:

        Conducted a number of times you say? Interesting. Please could you elaborate? And why is it an experiment long overdue? Could you point me where to look please?

      • Harvey Wolfson says:

        Not sure what you’re saying, Glen. In response to my suggestion, you said that the experiment was long overdue, but in response to Ian, you say it’s been conducted a number of times. But whatever the case, what were the results?

      • Long overdue relative to our project. Previous efforts have been written about. When I return home I’ll post some readings.

      • I’m back at a laptop, so I can reply properly. There have been a number of such informal experiments. Here is an example from Dr. Chris Barnes, a well-known name in older Hum research: http://www.drchrisbarnes.co.uk/HUM.htm. (see Experiment #2). Note that Chris did not have access to the data we have now, and so some of his conclusions are not on track. What I suggest doing, which I’m pretty sure has not been done before, is to get a significant number of Hum Hearers together at night, and first determine how many of them can hear the Hum at that location. Second, and crucially, have them use a tone generator to match the dominant frequency they hear. This one experiment could be very important, yet there are some practical and logistical obstacles to performing it. I am open to ideas regarding how to organize it.

      • Harvey Wolfson says:

        Thanks for the further information, Glen. In addition to ascertaining whether hearers are hearing the same dominant tone, I think it would be important to determine whether the sound is synchronous among the hearers. Not sure if I can explain this properly, but I mean that if the sound could be represented by a sine wave, that hearers would have the crests and troughs in the same place at the same time. If this synchronicity did exist, I believe that would be evidence to support at least a partially external source. If the synchronicities were not the same, could this support the hypothesis of a purely internal source. Or would we be introducing too many variables? Just thinking out loud.

      • Possibly the earliest account of group-hearing of the Hum is the Mullins/Kelly “The Mystery of the Taos Hum” in ECHOES Vol 5, No. 3, 1995 (Newsletter of the Acoustical Society of America), a very readable classic account:

        http://acousticalsociety.org/sites/default/files/docs/echoes/v5n3.pdf

        Here the authors report a gathering of 10 SELECTED hearers eight of whom pitch matched to individual frequencies of from 32 to 80 Hz.

        This by the way, seems to be the source of the still-quoted figure of 2% of Hum hearers among the general public. Such a rare chance of coincidence also accounts for so few reports of ACCIDENTAL encounters.

      • Harvey at Jan 27, 2018 2:38 PM

        Possibly the term you were searching for is not “synchronous” but “phase locked” which will not occur if the Hum frequencies are scattered (at least not harmonically related). There is plenty of evidence that the frequencies are scattered: Mullins/Kelly cited above; Frosch, Internat. Tinnitus J., Vol. 20, No. 1 (2016), listing 30-80 Hz; and of course, Glen’s data base here. [ It is also the case that no one has ever recorded/displayed what people supposedly hear to even check the phase!]

        A couple of additional Points can be made which seem related to the fact that Mullins/Kelly apparently only peripherally considered the possibility of an internal generation of the phenomenon:

        (1) They say “… Surprisingly, many hearers reported beats between the speaker-generated sound and the hum, implying the physical existence of a second tone. …” This would be logical if the “beats” were first-order (amplitude beating), but for me at least, they are second-order or “subjective” beats.

        (2) They further comment on the very quiet environment of their test. “… This suggests that the hearers are not extracting a faint period signal from noise by a mechanism similar to stochastic resonance and perceiving the signal as a hum. …” I take this to mean that the Hum is not a “bandpass filtering” of background random noise; that being too low in amplitude. If internally generated, their observation is irrelevant.

        Bernie

      • Harvey Wolfson says:

        Thanks, Bernie. As the 1995 article appeared to be an excellent first foray into understanding the Hum, I’m wondering why the research didn’t continue from that point. Or did it? Of course I’m referring to research other than Glen’s. Also, you and the article both refer to “beats” and I’m not sure what is meant by that term. As far as I am aware, I don’t believe that I hear beats. My Hum is the typical idling Diesel engine.

      • Thanks Harvey –

        Beating as used here is NOT a characteristic of the Hum per se, but is rather the interaction of a perceived Hum with an intentionally presented (as with a “function generator” and loudspeaker, or an online tone generator with computer speakers) second tone. The second or reference tone is used as a tool – trying to match the pitch of the Hum, and any beating is only heard during the test. It is helpful to compare this to the cross-tuning of musical instruments where eliminating a (generally annoying) amplitude “throbbing” at the generally low frequency of the tuning error is a key factor leading to success. This is understood in terms of physics and trigonometry, but can be complex in details. More than you want or need is available here:

        http://electronotes.netfirms.com/EN213.pdf

        Strong amplitude beating due to the physical mixing (superposition) of real sound in the air is called “first-order” beating. In contrast, a far less-annoying or less-noticeable “second-order” beating (or “subjective” beating, perhaps much better described as a shimmering as opposed to a throbbing) is the result when two tones mix in the brain, as happens when two tones are not mixed in the air but are rather input through separate ears (using headphones). The Hum/Test-Tone beating I hear seems to be second-order.

        Regardless of the beats being first- or second-order, they are extremely helpful for pitch matching the Hum, which is already quite difficult at the low-frequency (30-80 Hz) and low-volume levels at which the Hum presents.

        * * * * * * * * * * *
        As to your first question about why (in our view) insufficient attention is paid to Hum research, I would only suggest that even that would be virtually non-existent without the exposure possible with the Internet. Note that the 1995 Mullins/Kelly ECHOES blurb, while associated with the exalted Acoustical Society of America, only appeared in a newsletter, not their main journal (JASA).

        Bernie

      • Harvey Wolfson says:

        Thanks, Bernie. Not being a musician, and having failed in all attempts to become proficient in the most rudimentary of musical instruments, and after having been kicked out of our Grade 7 class choir (many moons ago), and being unable to even carry a tune, I can’t really relate to your “tuning” analogy. However, I sense that you’re saying that there was some sort of discrepancy between the perceived hum and the reference hum, perhaps analogous to a twangy guitar string. But this is all extraneous anyway. It would be fantastic if the source of this phenomenon could be discovered in our lifetime, along with some way to eliminate its effect on the sufferers.

  4. Melissa Padgett says:

    Glen, as always, thank you for your persistence and diligence in spearheading this endeavor. We are all in your debt. On a personal note, the Hum is worse for me recently; I wonder if it’s affecting my digestion.

    I haven’t seen the IS segment yet and look forward to it.

    And, I have another thought….Would you considered creating your own YouTube channel and videos on this topic? I know you have a full-time teaching job, so acknowledge the effort this would entail. And, the benefits could be great. You could provide:

    1) Accurate Hum data, with no “middle-man” to get misinterpret. 2) Case-studies to support the data; 3) A forum for “hearers” to access information, other than the website. 4) I believe you can recover some costs through YouTube fees.

    I’d be the first to volunteer as a case-study! Please consider. Again, thank you for all you do.
    Melissa

    • What an outstanding idea. If I can get set up with proper video and audio, there’s no reason why I couldn’t produce a dozen or so crucial videos on the major topics surrounding the Hum. In fact, it wouldn’t take more than a weekend. I will be giving this some serious thought. I still of course have four or five outstanding promises to keep.

      • Melissa says:

        I’m happy you’re considering it. It need not entail a lot of equipment initially. Many on YouTube record quite good quality videos using their smart phone and a tripod or phone holder. And there are a boatload of how-to videos. On YouTube. 😊

      • Melissa says:

        Couple of more thoughts re: YouTube channel, which you may already know. You can have a Patreon account where people donate funds to support your channel. And you can host livestreaming sessions. And you can conduct interviews of hearers or scientists or…gosh I’m excited about this!

      • I’ve created a Patreon account, and I will begin creating content very soon.

  5. david says:

    I seen the segment from Inside Edition and while you did the Hum tone community proud Glen it was yet another hatchet job, poor and lazy journalism at tackling the phenomenon known as the Hum tone.

    If you ever decide to host a Youtube channel I think it’s incumbent on every Hum sufferer to upload a video of say 10 seconds with a piece of paper stating their location with the statement “I hear and suffer from the Hum” or something to that effect. And that could be put into one piece of video.

    Im a videographer so Im here for any work or advice.

    • Melissa says:

      David I love that idea; what a powerful visual message that would be all spliced together, people from every part of the planet.

      • david says:

        Hello Melissa,

        Such a video done correctly and forwarded to media outlets could have the potential for a viral video which would not only bring much needed attention to our plight but revenue to hum youtube channel.

        A video of people from the four corners of the World with one thing in common that they can hear a noise that no one else can.

      • david says:

        Hello Glen are you editing my comment? I had posted two links to Youtube videos of my experience of the hum?

      • Slightly, yes. But not because of you. I don’t give Tom Moir any space here.

      • david says:

        But the video is not about Tom Moir but a hum tone sufferer who details his nightmare of living with the hum tone. Whether you agree or disagree with Tom Moir’s theories and conclusions he does say that such a Hum tone exists. Plus my “Sleeping in a Tent” video did not feature anyone but myself.

      • I’m generally less and less enthusiastic about external links unless they point to research articles and similar sources. But feel free to post again in the “Open Forum” area.

      • david says:

        Testimony videos are just as valid if not more now than research videos. If cancer wasn’t so painful and terrible to those who testify that it is it wouldn’t be getting the attention it does.

        We are too small a community to be getting fractured for things that don’t really matter.

      • Agreed. So if you wish, make your full post in the “Open Forum” section.

  6. I was disappointed they lumped in the sky trumpets, booms, etc, as if that is what you are researching. Those sounds happen once (if at all), and are not the persistent hum (like a Diesel engine) most of us are hearing.

    • vito martorella says:

      you’re right Blake, they’ve actually mixed the sounds of the trumpet, boiled with the buzzing thing creates confusion. However Glen is right there are many scoundrels who only create false news …

  7. vito martorella says:

    Hi Professor Glenn, even from Italy we follow you, many people do not believe what we hear at night, and think that I’m not normal.

    • Lisa Allen says:

      Vito – what part of Italy do you live in? I have cousins in Bari.

      • vito martorella says:

        hi Glen, I live in two distinct locations in Italy: in Taranto, a city on the sea (it is 80 km from Bari) and in central Italy, (Umbria) in the small town called Preci (800 meters high). Mostly alive in Preci, a highly seismic territory, there was a strong earthquake in 2016 where even today the earthquake swarm is not over yet.

      • vito martorella says:

        Sorry want mean Lisa !

      • Lisa Allen says:

        Ciao Vito, I have heard of Umbria and Taranto. My mother is from Bari so I have lots of family there, and also in Rome. How long have you been hearing the hum? Do you have any idea about how many other Italians hear it too, and where it is the most prevalent? Can this site be translated into Italian or is it only in English? It would be nice if it was available in all languages to reach everyone in the world with a computer but that’s probably very hard to do. Anyway, it’s nice to have Italy represented here!

        Lisa

      • vito martorella says:

        hi Lisa, I write in English so everyone can understand! So I hear this sound since I was 13, I’m talking about 1973, I lived with my family in Taranto, being a port, industrial and military city, I always thought that strange nighttime sound was a consequence of human activities, I thought this for many years, until a few years ago. Only by accidentally drawing information, I read a lot, I began to understand that I was listening to something profoundly different that no one else felt outside of me. Even today when I go to my city of birth, watching the sky in the evening I listen to this strange sound …. but today I understand that I listen only to myself and perhaps a few others. I recently lived in Umbria, a highly seismic area, I realized that this strange sound exists also in this place ….. Where I live in Umbria is a very isolated place, a comunity of up to 15 people, so there are no acoustic contaminations of a big city. In Umbria, in particular the area where I live is strongly seismic, we often hear rumbles and classical hisses immediately before the real shock comes. So I do not have particular attention to this strange buzz, but in Taranto I always hear it every night …..

  8. vito martorella says:

    however I can not get a clear idea about the phenomenon, and I do not want people to think I’m crazy. Frankly I have no personal certainty if this sound comes from the sky, as it seems or from the earth. However I discovered by chance that the phenomenon was also present in Umbria, I learned to listen to the voice of the Earth with the bad experience of the 2016 earthquake, that’s why I discovered that the phenomenon is also present in Umbria, or in the area where I live near Norcia.city.

    • Lisa Allen says:

      Vito, You have been hearing this for so long, that must be so difficult. I only started hearing it two years ago but others here have been hearing it for a long time, like you. You seem to have a good command of the English language so let me ask – do descriptions of the hum on this forum match what you’re hearing in Italy? For example, is it louder at night, and do you have trouble blocking it with earplugs and such, and does it sound something like an idling truck, or a rumble or drone? Do you hear or feel a beat or pulse at times, too? You say that you can’t get a clear idea about the phenomenon. Well, don’t feel bad because no one knows for sure what is causing it. Hopefully Glen and others who are knowledgeable about science will be able to figure it out eventually, but for now there are only theories. If there are any words you don’t understand on this site let me know and I’ll try to help translate if I can.

      • vito martorella says:

        Hi Lisa, it is exactly as you have described, I had omitted that I also hear the boats or impulses, I also feel those, I thought it was a trick of my mind. But I hear exactly what you described !!!! The only thing that I do not feel a particular annoyance, I do not use earplugs, when I’m at home and I’m awake in the silence I hear it but not annoyingly. At Glen I filled out the questionnaire, maybe I was wrong to compile the listening of the sounds because I did not understand correctly.

  9. vito martorella says:

    however I am pessimistic, I do not think Prof. Glen can solve the mystery, to do this research technology and financial resources are needed.

  10. Lisa Allen says:

    Vito, when you say that you hear the “boats and impulses,” I’m not sure what you mean. Can you translate that in Italian for me? I don’t know if you mean boats as in ships, or something else. Do you feel vibrations? I’m very glad you aren’t annoyed by the noise. During the day it doesn’t bother me much either but at night it makes it hard to fall asleep at times, especially when it’s really loud. On Glen’s database there is a question that asks us to describe what it sounds like, so if you did list what it sounds like you probably did it correctly. I looked at the map of Italy and see there are a couple of entries near Bari and also near Taranto. I don’t think I saw yours, though.

    I think there is (or will be) some effort to get funding for more in depth research into this, and if that happens I think this mystery can be solved. It’s discouraging but still I try to be hopeful, and whenever an appropriate opportunity presents itself, I talk about it because I want people to know it exists. I told a NP (Nurse Practioner) at a CVS pharmacy clinic about it the other day and she was very interested because she heard it to for awhile, but for her it stopped. We both described the exact same phenomenon. I told her about the Worldwide hum website and she said she was going to look it up. If she tells a few people then more people will know. That’s how knowledge of it will spread. But we have to talk about it in a credible way so people don’t think we’re just nutty kooks (pazzo!).

    • vito martorella says:

      I hear or feel a beat or pulse at times.
      In italiano battiti e impulsi o leggerissimo battito di tamburi.di brevissima durata.

      I filled out the Glen questionnaire twice, but the site says it is not published quickly because it needs its time, however the first time I compiled it I was in Taranto several months ago, but I did not see my questionnaire published Glen is probably very busy.

      • vito martorella says:

        However I hope that Glen has funding, but often behind these things there are great interests, (spesso il pesce piccolo non viene preso in considerazione). Sometimes I think that this phenomenon is a common mental problem of only one part of the population, because from what I have read, they have made measurements and with scientific instruments, but nothing has happened, or there is the will to keep the subject in silence for I do not know what interest.

  11. vito martorella says:

    I repeat I am not optimistic about the solution of the problem, it will probably go on like this for many years.
    Humanity has big problems to solve, that if it does not commit itself I do not think that the human race has good prospects !!!!

  12. Lisa Allen says:

    Vito,

    I used an Italian to English translation tool:

    battiti e impulsi o leggerissimo battito di tamburi.di brevissima durata: beats and pulses or very light beat of drums of very short duration.

    That is exactly what I hear, too, even right now as I am writing.

    Spesso il pesce piccolo non viene preso in considerazione: often small fish are not taken into consideration.

    So true, unfortunately. There are so few of us who hear this and that doesn’t work in our favor.

    Others on this site also think the source of this noise is internal, or a combination of internal and external factors, so you are not alone in your thinking.

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