Hundreds of people in Germany are being driven to distraction by a mysterious hum. A similar sound has been driving people crazy in the U.S.?first in Taos, New Mexico in the mid 1990s and more recently in Indiana.
Many people have been complaining of an elevated pulse rate and fatigue, caused by insomnia. ?Often at night I feel as if my bed were electrically charged. The pillow, the mattress and my whole body vibrate, and the only thing you want to do is to be able to turn off that sound,? says Carmen Mischke.
People have been complaining about the hum to the government for over 2 years. Now they have hired the physicist Henriche Menges to take a closer look at ten out of the 300 homes that have reported the phenomenon.
According to the German website www.raum-und-zeit.de the source of the mysterious sound is the U.S. military HAARP project, based in Alaska. So far, Menges dismisses these theories. ?We are starting off with the likelier explanations and leaving the more speculative ones aside,? he says. He is trying to track down the hum using a microphone and sensors that can detect low-frequency vibrations. He feels that such deep sounds could come from diesel motors, aircraft, waterfalls or the compressors used in refrigerators and air-conditioning equipment. Wind blowing over chimneys could also act as a giant organ pipe, he says.
The human ear can detect sounds as low as 20-40 hertz, and the microphone Menges and his team are using can detect sounds as low as eight hertz, while the vibration sensors are sensitive to as low as three hertz. This is important because human internal organs are sensitive to vibrations as low as 6 to 12 hertz, that are not detectable by the human ear. Menges believes that the humming is due to sound waves because of the sensitivity of people?s ears and abdomens to them. Low-frequency sound waves can be propagated over a distance of many miles and can even pass through thick concrete, making identification of the source difficult. He has ruled out electromagnetic waves emitted by cellphones because they are not intense enough to carry great distances.
The cause of a similar sound in Taos, New Mexico was in the mid 1990s was never discovered. A "Working Group for Investigation of the Buzzing Sound" says that the cause is low-frequency sound vibrations. They say that a ?very long-frequency electro-magnetic field? of between 0.5 to 50 hertz has been measured in the region. Their website is www.ohr-geraeusch.de.
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