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A few years ago I posted on this topic, and a few minutes ago I rediscovered why. As evidence piles up against EM-based theories (VLF radio, microwave, etc), I’m leaning toward the theory that the Worldwide Hum is an internally generated perception of sound and in some cases, vibration. Note that there may be external triggers or pre-requisites, such as ototoxic medications, environmental exposure, infrasound, and so on.
So focusing back on medical diagnostics, take a look at this startling experimental result: http://digitalcommons.northgeorgia.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1049&context=papersandpubs.
Allow me to offer an executive summary: When you strike a deep bass note on the piano, for example, the piano string vibrates strongly at that fundamental dominant frequency, which is what you hear. But, the string also vibrates at other frequencies, called overtones. (It is the mixture of these different harmonics and overtones that make each musical instrument and voice unique.) Musicians will know these overtones as the third, the fifth, the seventh, and so on. The fascinating thing is, if those harmonics and overtones – without the fundamental – are played to you, your ear and brain will create the fundamental note for you, and you would swear that you can hear the fundamental bass note being played! I don’t use exclamation points very often, but this is quite remarkable. This effect is called the missing fundamental. The undergraduate researchers in the above paper conducted a brilliant experiment in which they played tones that created an infrasonic missing fundamental. That is, the brain created a note that was below the range of hearing. They measured the brain response using EEG recordings which clearly showed the missing fundamental rising at 18Hz.
So then I had an idea. We should do something very similar. The important lesson from the above study is that there are external experimental techniques that can validate real or perceived sounds. This could separate Hum hearing from schizophrenia, otoacoustic emissions, tinnitus, or other phenomena, just for starters.
We don’t need to create the missing fundamental. If we are perceiving, say, a 47 Hz tone, then the EEG might show that. It also might show whether that perceived Hum disappears in the presence of masking noise, or whether it is persistent. If a 47 Hz signal cannot be read on the EEG, then this will point neurologists toward different hypotheses. It seems to me that no matter what the result, we can use the data generated.
Please let me know if you have connections in the medical world who might be interested in making this happen.
From the beginning, in every interview I’ve given, I’ve insisted that the interviewer answer two of my questions:
The first question is, “Do you think that tinnitus is real?” (The answer is almost always “Yes”, which leads to the second question.)
“Why do you think it’s real?”
I admit that I take pleasure in the awkward and sometimes stunned silence that usually follows. You see, tinnitus is self-reported, as is the Hum. Why is one credible but not the other? The answer is simply one of proportions. So many of us have experienced transient high frequency squealing noises and tones that nobody questions another person who also reports it. But since a much smaller proportion of people experience the Hum, some people have doubts. It’s a good thing that so many typical, everyday, and responsible people are in our ranks.
So the next time you encounter skeptics, you have two questions for them.
If we had access to this equipment, our mystery could be solved within a few weeks. Working on our own and with limited resources, this could be a long project. As soon as a major university gets involved, we will have our answer very quickly.
In response to a recent comment…
The Deming Box experiment was conducted and was described here in detail. The next experiment requires making some minor modifications to George G.’s device (specifically, measuring the inductance on a coil inside the unit). As for finances, the web hosting costs about US $356.00 per year (see attached receipt), and the WordPress ad-free hosting is US $30.00 per year. Donations cover less than this amount (see Paypal statement).
But nobody should ever feel compelled to donate. I’d rather a wealthy person who can easily afford it do so. Better yet, I’d like governmental or institutional funding.
Every once in a while I need to set the record straight about my scientific credentials. I am not a scientist. I have been teaching mathematics, psychology, physics, biology, general science and other subjects for almost 30 years, as well as having trained mathematics teachers at UBC for 16 years. I also lecture at UBC Robson Square with their GMAT and GRE programs. I clarify this in every interview I give, although this information slips through the cracks sometimes. Several sources have stated that I am a scientist at UBC and that is quite false. My work with the Worldwide Hum has caused me to read very broadly into a large number of scientific topics. In other words, I know a little bit about everything scientific, which is why outfits like Maclean’s talk to me.
I directed the interviewer from Maclean’s to some widely available peer-reviewed research (from PubMed, etc) on vibroacoustic disease and exposure to low-frequency sound and infrasound. I also explained some basics surrounding the use of ultrasonics to generate localized sound at a distance. I obviously don’t have access to classified documents, so my comments regarding the US Embassy in Cuba were sheer speculation – and the reporter correctly reported that.
Recall that we had a significant setback in which the Hum Map became corrupted and we had to downgrade to the March 2017 version. The latest upload seems good, but please feel free to examine some points and let me know if anything looks amiss. Also feel free to share any fresh statistics you may compute.
Kristen French is putting together an article and would like to hear from people in New York State. Please contact her at email@example.com.