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New developments

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(I was taught in high school that “new developments” was a redundancy. Perhaps it is, but in either case, it gives the reader the sense that something interesting has happened, and that it is a development).

While I was in Russia, living on Marata Street in St. Petersburg, I was contacted by a Post-Doctoral Fellow working and studying at a serious university in Germany. I am protecting his identity because he fears – rightly so – future employers, for example, looking askance at his association with something that might be construed as some type of mental disorder. I wore him down on that point, and he conceded that he, I, and we, are all experiencing the same thing and that we should work together to figure out what is causing it.

It is very real. Most Hum Hearers are just everyday people, representing both genders about equally, and mean and median age distribution curves normally distributed and in tight correlation with population density. There are no such things as “hot spots” unless what they are hearing is actually emanating from a mundane source, such as an industrial roof-mounted fan unit. Henrik has written a seminal article on this topic, which also gives people who hear low-frequency noises a field-guide to tracking down what exactly is causing their local sonic disturbance. One thing we don’t understand yet is why fully ambidextrous people are much more likely to hear the Hum. Also, it appears there is a moderate correlation between Attention-Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Autism in Hum Hearers and their families. These are examples of what we have learned. The phenomenon is so well documented now that I think it’s time for serious people to start talking about it.

And I’m told they are about to. I am expecting to learn the initial results of some serious lab testing conducted recently at the previously-mentioned university lab in Germany. I’ve always said that once a serious lab was involved, within 18 to 24 months the answer would be at hand. If that lab’s results are accepted for peer-reviewed publication, then the Hum will enter mainstream serious scientific literature for the first time. Numbers of previous articles and data sources have appeared in journals that also published some far-out and in some cases outlandish science. A mainstream journal is important for all kinds of reasons. If and when that happens, the biggest part of the struggle will be accomplished. Ear-nose-and throat doctors, among other specialists, will get involved and so will their research dollars. It then becomes a race to see who will get the credit for solving it.

And when the answer comes I hope it also provides relief for people who are suffering from this. I feel lucky that it doesn’t bother me a lot, but it would nice to experience full quiet in a quiet environment; like almost everyone else, when I go into a very quiet environment later at night, I can hear it. I love the forest, and I’d like to eventually enjoy it without the Hum. I’m ready to have this solved and then move to other projects. But until then, we’ll keep working at it.






  1. Steve Kiley says:

    I have commented before. It is good to hear that there is some progress being made.
    I have a recurring ear problem. When that happens, I can no longer appreciate most music, as the bass notes are all fuzzy, like being under water.
    However, when that happens, I no longer hear the hum.
    At the moment, the hum is back, and I can hear music properly.
    So, I would much rather hear the hum than not, as I have pretty much got used to it.
    I am convinced it is a real phenomenon, not tinnitus.
    Interesting about ambidextrous. I am right handed, but use my left much more often in doing tasks, like opening bottles. As a guitarist and pianist, I also am using both hands, obviously.

    • reagan1973 says:

      Hey I am late to the party. The whole hum thing popped up on the front of my web page and I started reading. Then I come here and see that it’s got some connection to ambidextrous people. I write with my left, throw with my right, throw darts and bowl with either with great accuracy. Just finding this interesting as I didn’t think much about it for the last year or so. I thought it was a fridge compressor or something but it was loud like a truck idling ouside, but it’s 1AM and no one is around. And can’t pinpoint it. I only really notice it at night. I keep checking to see if someone is in the driveway.

      • Melissa Padgett says:

        You could have something about ambidextrousness. Many of us who have been hearing The Hum for some time (in my case since November 2013) try to determine correlations, causations, sources, reasons, FACTORS, to make sense of this experience. If (as I’m inclined to believe) our brains differ from non-hearers, then ambidextrousness is a viable factor among others. Personally, I am inclined to believe that some sort of (even trivial) brain trauma is a factor. I fell and hit my head very hard the year I started hearing the hum full-time. Back to your point, I play piano and do other tasks usIng both hands. I can’t say I’m fully ambidextrous but am fairly skilled with each hand.

  2. straightcue says:

    Thanks for the update Glen, God bless (8

  3. Melissa Padgett says:

    Through the 6 years I’ve heard the Hum, you’ve been there. Your site was what saved me from complete despair in the first year. Thank you for this update, and your continued dedication and advocacy to solving thus mystery.

  4. Eva Fishman says:

    Hi Glen –

    Such exciting news!

    I haven’t commented for a long time, not because I don’t hear the HUM anymore, (it has been horrible for weeks at a time the last few months) but because life interferes with computer time (water heater died and without hot water for over a week, flooding issues, health issues, ad nauseam).

    Looking back at my posts of almost 4 years, I feel some vindication about what I postulated! I am ADD, and wondered back then if there are other “conditions” or medical issues that impact whether someone hears the HUM or not, whether there is a geological causation (i.e. volcanic, earth crust, plate movement), atmospheric conditions, solar impact, etc. How statistically significant is the correlation between ADD or autism? (note – 2 very different conditions).

    Ambidextrous people are using parts of their brain on both sides equally, whereas those of us that are dominant right/left are primarily using one side. Doesn’t explain that phenomenon, but interestingly both ADD and ambidextrous people have “rapid fire” thinking and processes in the brain, basically chemical reactions – any “connections” to the HUM would be up to neuroscientists to determine, I guess.

    Is there any data on people who heard the HUM, but as they aged developed hearing loss, and no longer hear it? For me, that would confirm the cause is not internal, but the perception of it IS.

    With the ADD, I can say that I have acute hearing, color is “eye candy”, am good at spatial puzzles. I can distinguish many different noises or sounds simultaneously whether the HUM is present or not (much to the annoyance of my kids when they were little), can identify a classical piece of music from hearing one or two notes (much to the annoyance of just about everybody…). What any of this has to do with the HUM, I haven’t a clue.

    Let’s hope there are scientists out there that would love to solve the mystery, and find solutions to help decrease the misery of hearers, hopefully in my lifetime (I’m in my 70’s). I doubt there is a Nobel Prize waiting for them, but in my opinion they would deserve it!

    Thank you, Glen, for having the courage to see this through over the years –


  5. Barry says:

    Hi Glen,
    Amazing work that you are doing. The Hum is a real grind for many and your clarity, tenacity, time and effort are much appreciated. My story is the same as so many others so the details are redundant at this point…I live in the east end of Toronto near the lakefront and have been hearing the Hum for close to 8 years now. Everybody on my street thought I was a total nut. Finally during a random conversation with someone in the neighbourhood they mentioned that persistent sound was making them bonkers etc…

    Anyway I try to avoid thinking about it and pay as little attention as possible as it seems to exasperate and perpetuate the problem. That being said I have randomly come across some articles in the mainstream media related to the phenomena. The latest this morning in The Atlantic magazine ,’…here is the link. https://www.theatlantic.com/feed/author/bianca-bosker/

    Also, again in the Atlantic a few months back, this short 25 minute documentary on someone trying to trace the source titled ‘The Unexplained
    Noise 2% of People Can Hear’. https://www.google.com/url?client=internal-uds-cse&cx=011155507021793277500:q1wrtf3mvmu&q=https://www.theatlantic.com/video/index/593992/doom-vibrations/&sa=U&ved=2ahUKEwjv3Zi5-4zlAhWDc98KHWkbB3QQFjAAegQIBhAC&usg=AOvVaw3hT8zpWRDONDj2y2_6KCNz

    Thanks again Glen.


  6. Melissa Padgett says:

    Eva, to riff on your comments: when I was young I had synestesia, where I saw words and notes as colors. I also heard light. It’s not that uncommon (famously the author Nabokov had it and I think his writing reflects it), but I mention it because it’s another brain condition, which perhaps–like ADD–makes those of us with these conditions more sensitive to perceiving the hum. I’m not particularly ambidextrous but did play piano for years, requiring the use of both hands. My experience over the last 6 years of the hum is that it is harder to hear now than at first. However, I’m guessing it’s because I’ve had an earbud in my left ear almost every listening to white noise to drown it out, which may have affected my hearing. I did get tested about 4 years ago and had “perfect hearing” in both ears. Needless to say the hearing doctor had zero interest in my story. How sad to be a scientist with no curiosity. The main difference over the years is that I don’t feel the intense vibrations in my feet and teeth as I used to, for which I’m deeply grateful. That was horrible–like being hooked up to two electrical wires, experiencing shocks I could not escape or control.
    I’ve always believed those of us who hear the hum are conductors due to a biological state: something in our bodies resonates with this frequency. I wondered early on if it was due to a fall I took where I hit my head, and in doing so, rearranged the skull so it vibrated differently. It was right after that in 2013 I heard it. However, I did hear it 4 years before in another location, which kind of negates the fall theory. One thing I’ve often wished is that others would test if can they hear it underwater. My hum seems to vanish when I submerge both ears.
    Anyway, just wanted to share a bunch of experiences I remembered when reading your post. Good luck–to you and all of us!

  7. Brian says:

    Hello Dr McPherson. While not a him heater, I have followed along. But I came across an interesting article today that says that the him is caused by a volcano forming. Attached is a screenshot of the article. Regards, Brian
    On Wed, Oct 2, 2019, 8:04 PM World Hum Map and Database Project wrote:
    > Dr. Glen MacPherson posted: “(I was taught in high school that “new > developments” was a redundancy. Perhaps it is, but in either case, it gives > the reader the sense that something interesting has happened, and that it > is a development). While I was in Russia, living on Marata Street” >

  8. Catt says:

    I’m new here but I’ve only been dealing with this “problem” for a couple years. When it first started, I thought I going insane. I’ve gotten a bit used to it now. Most nights I’m able to drown it out with other noises. But there are times that it’s so loud I want to rip out my ear drums. I have discovered that when it gets unbearably loud, it coincides with either earthquakes or volcanic eruptions across the globe. The higher the magnitude of the earthquake, the louder the hum is. Has anyone researched this particular angle of the hum? Based on my own personal experiences, I believe that at least some of us that suffer from this, are hearing the earth vibrations in connection to earthquakes and volcanoes.

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