Home » Uncategorized » Vanessa Lowe has done an excellent piece on the Hum

Vanessa Lowe has done an excellent piece on the Hum

Follow World Hum Map and Database Project on WordPress.com
Follow World Hum Map and Database Project on WordPress.com

With all the low-quality stuff out there, this one stands out – professionally produced and properly-researched.



  1. Citrique Citron says:

    Well done But not only nocturne. Cheers

    [New post] Vanessa Lowe has done an excellent piece on the Hum

    Dr. Glen MacPherson posted: “With all the low-quality stuff out there, this one stands out – professionally produced and properly-researched. https://nocturnepodcast.org/can-you-hear-that/

  2. Melissa Padgett says:

    So well done. It’s enormously healing to hear others’ experiences. I’ve heard it since 2013, though am happy to report that my new home—which I bought 3 years ago—has both forced air and ceiling fans, which combine to create a white noise that actually covers it quite well. Good to hear you Glen. As always thank you for all you do for those who suffer.

  3. ladymozart says:

    Excellent interview. Thank you for sharing this.

  4. George G. says:

    Excellent. Outstanding production.

    Good work Vanessa and team, thanks Glen for posting this.

    If this podcast goes worldwide,your long held wish of enticing university
    research departments to study the phenomenon may finally get underway.

    Lets give Glen a hand here everyone, forward this podcast link to all interested parties.

  5. Marcel Muizelaar (the Netherlands) says:

    Could someone explane, why after all these years people still don’t really write about the main source , the oil and gasindustry. Big compressorstations, and huge high-pressure pipelines often burried in the earth soil are vibrating and make surrounding buildings ,(like homes) and everything what is in these buildings , resonate. Vibrations are a common problem in this industry.
    Is it normal to hear or feel resonation?
    It is more like a ringing across the brain. Normally, we hear sounds only when they make our eardrums vibrate. The resonation in the body (when it is connecting with a transmitter like concrete) of groundvibration , cause nerve hairs in the inner ear to shiver, and that triggers electric signals that travel along the auditory nerve into the brain.

    The frequency of the resonation is between 0-16hertz which is infrasound, not hearable for people.

    A microbarometer is used to measure infrasound. Most microphones are too insensitive to these low frequencies. A microbarometer is a very sensitive – hence micro and high frequency version of the barometer. The microbarometers are placed in arrays, a series of instruments, so that the direction from which the infrasound originates can be determined.

    In many cases, the sound waves are also recorded directly by seismometers. The passing pressure wave also moves the soil. Such “seismic” recordings are often difficult to recognize as an acoustic signal.

    With an array of microbarographs or low-frequency microphones, it is possible to determine the direction from which the signal comes. With two arrays it is therefore possible to determine the location of the source.

    Why you wake up ?

    because , when you are laying in your bed and on your pillow , the resonation gives the body a bad feeling. Thats why a lot of people wake up
    when you live in such an area with compressorstations and/or high pressure pipelines!

    Your biggest problem is to say: I hear a sound!
    Because as I explaned before , unhappely for you , your brains tells you it is a sound.
    So: Don’t ask your neighbour , if he hears a humming sound, but ask what time they wake up or if they have sleeping problems! You will find out dat in your neighbourhood, there are many people to find with the same problem.

    They don’t hear it , you can explane them what is goiing on!

    Now you are, the messenger of the bad news and not the crazy one that hears what they don’t hear !!!!!!!

    Please start the research in this direction!!




    • I don’t think anybody is disputing the fact that pipelines can generate low-frequency sound and infrasound – at least I haven’t read any such commentary. All the measuring techniques you describe are well known, to us as well. As for pipelines being “the main source” of the Hum, I think that’s false, for two reasons. First, the Hum is being detected hundreds (in some cases thousands) of kilometres from pipelines. Second, when we attempt to record the Hum, nothing is recorded. Even in cases where there is an infrasonic fundamental at, say, 16 Hz, there might be an audible harmonic at 32 Hz, but the crucial point is that the sound in the audible range will be recordable. If you place 10 Hum hearers in a quiet room in a quiet environment at night, they will all perceive different fundamental tones, and the perceived loudness of those tones is only mediated by ambient noise and not by location. Do write back if you think I misunderstood something. Bernie and/or Henrik may want to comment.

    • Henrik says:


      When studying the thousands of hum reports, it has become obvious that the majority of all “Hum” cases are environmental noises. The most common description is that it is heard primarily indoors, and many people additionally describe some sensation of ‘vibration’. This is typical for environmental noises that are carried as mechanical vibrations through the ground and then make the building vibrate. The sound is then amplified through the phenomenon of room resonances, and that is why it is heard only indoors, with the windows shut.

      Gas pipelines certainly are sources of noise, and especially through bedrock the noise can be heard over tens of kilometers, some say even a hundred. But there are many other under- and on-ground activities, causing similar noises. Mining and crushing, diesel power plants, drainage pumps in low-lying areas like Holland and Northwest Germany, etc, etc.

      As Dr. MacPherson says, all physical noises can be recorded and traced, but they do not constitute “The Hum”, since they are all different and there are no common causes or remedies for them.

      What we are trying to explain in this project is the phenomenon of non-recordable hum experiences, which can only be generated inside the body, and which follow the hum-hearer wherever he/she goes. Once we find the mechanism for this phenomenon, we can hope to find a remedy, and possibly explain what triggers this Hum in only very few individuals, probably less than 1% of the population. This aim is reflected in our hum report questionnaire.

  6. Gwyn says:

    Thank you for this.

    I have not heard anyone comment about another possible cause, that exposure to low frequency sound could alter the mechanics of the inner ear so some people can hear the Hum. See


    To me this makes a lot of sense. I only hear the Hum it in one ear and blocking that ear with my finger stops the noise. It could be that this affects ear pressures but I still think I am hearing an external sound.

    • Henrik says:


      Thank you for this very interesting link!

      LFN – induced sensitization of the hearing threshold is a very intriguing theory.

      At least to me this is a new thing. However, this research paper claims that the result is higher sensitivity to external noises. The big question is, whether this mechanism also could explain spontaneous hum generation in the head. We shall follow this theory and see where it is leading.

      • Gwyn says:


        Further to my comment. Blocking the noise with my finger in my left ear works as that way I can produce an almost complete seal and this stops the noise but, more importantly, the feeling of pressure and vibration. It is this aspect that is the most distressing as the actual volume of the Hum is very low. I think that is why ear plugs don’t work, because the seal is not good enough. Lying on the pillow on my left side seems to magnify it.

        If I was internally generating the sound I would not expect blocking the ear to work so external input seems to be involved.

        Also, during the last night, it became worse than it has been for a long time and this coincided with a weather change and my radio reception was bad and I wonder if air pressure has an effect on radio waves and the inner ear. Just a thought.

      • Robert Riedlinger says:

        The hum is not sound,it is microwave radiation from broadcast towers.I discovered that back in 1996 when I bought a home that was less than 400 feet from a tower that held T V,F M radio and cell phone antennas..Just GOOGLE Microwave hearing and that will give you the answer.

      • Henrik says:


        You may be right that this is the explanation in a handful of individual cases. However, the field strength of any transmitter decreases with the square of the distance. If you look at the hum map you will see that people hear the hum out in nowhere, far from any transmitters or power grids, and it typically follows the sufferer. So as a generic explanation for real-time causation, all kinds of electromagnetic sources have been written off long ago for the purpose of this project.

    • Henrik says:


      Re your posting 24 July: Since you can block your hum by plugging your ear, your problem looks like enhanced sensitivity to external noises. The article you referenced may or rmay not explain the mechanism in your individual case. Weather may or may not be involved.

      This project, however, tries to explain the causes of internally generated hum phenomena, which follow the sufferer wherever they go, and then to possibly find a remedy for that global problem.

      Sensitivity to the myriad of external environmental noises cannot be “solved” by any one explanation, or remedied by one specific method. That seems to be a global “pollution problem”, which your referenced article describes quite well. The only thing you can do is to trace it, identify the source, and see if it can be remedied. Please refer to the instruction papers on the home page http://www.thehum.info.

      • Gwyn says:

        Dear Henrik,

        Thanks for the advice but I have done all that. Noise of around 64 Hz, had the recording equipment from the local council with nothing showing, travelled around the countryside and hearing it just as strongly in the car but no-one else does. It does the momentary second break if I turn my head. Very variable from very obvious to virtually quiet.In fact, all the things Glen describes. Just the variation of being able to stop the feeling of pressure and throbbing by totally blocking the ear.

        I will just have to continue with my fan app at night as it is the only way I get relief as I can’t spend my life with my finger in my ear!!

      • Henrik says:


        Re your posting 26 July: Local councils and any other authorities always apply the A-weighting curve when investigating noise complaints. Therefore those visits prove nothing. Using the Spectroid method described on http://www.thehum.info will tell you yes or no. Since you know the frequency of your hum, you only need to see whether there is any peak at 64 Hz or not – at a time when you hear your hum loud and clear.

  7. Ian says:

    Yeah, very good piece indeed – very representative of my experience. I first started hearing “the hum” circa 1983-84 aged 16-17 years old (though at the time I had no idea it was “the hum” only finding out others were experiencing (suffering) this about 13 years ago!

    Puzzled why my entry on the hum map has been removed though??

    • Hi Ian. To ensure that we have a highly valid data set, we employ a very strict set of filtering criteria. For example, anybody who answers that they have exerted “Little Effort” in tracking down the source of the noise gets filtered out. Anybody who reports a perceived tone of 120 Hz in a 60 Hz electric grid gets filtered out because they are almost certainly hearing an artefact of the grid. Those are two examples.

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