WHAT IS THE HUM?    FOR HUM ADVICE AND SUPPORT, EDUCATION   AND OTHER SCIENTIFIC CONSULTANCY VISIT http://www.drchrisbarnes.co.uk   e-mail manager@bsec-wales.co.uk



The Scientific Paper on Hum Geography follows this preamble. 


(We fear less what we understand)


The HUM is an unusual noise, heard usually, but not exclusively, nocturnally.  It is reckoned only to be heard by between 2 and 11% of the World’s population in industrialised regions and is characterised by tones matched by hearers in the region 30-80 Hz yet not necessarily detectable by acoustic detectors or instruments at these frequencies. Superimposed upon the higher frequencies perceived are present pseudo random modulations in the region 0.25-5 Hz giving an effect sounding like a very large bee trapped in a bottle but often considerably lower pitched and barley discernable yet  can be extremely annoying or distressing to some of those afflicted.


The HUM was first heard in the UK in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s and first heard in the USA in 1976 but more extensively the early 1990’s. More recently, it is heard in Scandinavia, Germany, Australia and New Zealand and now even parts of Italy, Russia, China, South Africa and South America.  It seems that as the World becomes more industrialised there are more cases of the HUM.    This fact alone suggests the HUM must, somehow, be associated with infrastructure. 


Only a handful of past publications have sought to understand the HUM and there are several World Wide Internet Forums on the subject which sometimes sadly get abused by idiots and crackpots banding about UFO and conspiracy theories. Such ideas frustrate the real Science of the HUM.   The present author’s internet publications are attempting to redress the balance. 


Experiments of the present author using one or two infrasound frequencies in the range 5-12 Hz compounded with one acoustic frequency around 30 Hz have led to the synthesis of HUM like effects in the laboratory as described by sensitive test subjects. The present author believes, therefore, the HUM to be a complex infrasonic acoustic (possibly electro-acoustic effect) manifest by the arrival of multi-frequency sounds and frequencies which fulfil certain criteria and often to be from more than one source and location. In the UK there can arise infrasound from both natural (atmospheric)* and anthropogenic sources such as  pumped storage and hydroelectric power stations, maybe also oil drilling and exploration, motorways, bridges, factories, gas mains, sub-station transformers etc. etc.. Additionally, he has found where individuals can be sensitised by electromagnetic radiation although stresses that it is predominantly sound NOT electromagnetic radiation which is the cause. This is the only way  that all the reported features of the HUM such as relationships with weather and jet stream patterns, lying snow, traffic and aircraft motion, Hum in some caves  etc. etc. can be reasonably rationalised.       In the author’s home area he has become convinced there is involvement of both Welsh Hydroelectric Pumped Storage facilities as the HUM varies depending which motor generator pairs are operative and this is borne out  by a Scientific Publication on underwater frequencies present from a similar Hydroelectric dam, see Miyamoto et al 1989,  Journal of Acoustical Society of America.  The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America -- May 1989 -- Volume 85, Issue S1, p. S127.   This hypothesis also adds a credible explanation to the findings of another contemporary British Internet HUM publicist John Dawes  who has associate the HUM with the power grid and who describes the HUM AS maximizing at times of light load on the grid.

These are of course exactly the times when pumped storage is generating!!!

Because no one single sound source can be identified as the cause of the HUM this would make litigation by the victims an extremely difficult exercise.    It may be better to try and find what causes such individuals to have such sensitive low frequency ( infrasonic) hearing and investigate ways to either turn it off or  entry  of in infrasonic and electromagnetic signals into house bedrooms for example.


·        *It is interesting to note that all World wide HUM CASES have been reported within +/- 3 YEARS of solar minimum

·        Atmospheric infrasound from Galactic GRB maximises at solar minimum, see Soroka ET AL






The Hum in Britain a Geographic Study leading to a New Hypothesis of both UHF/Microwave and low frequency Magnetic Involvement as a cause or augmenter of this LFN Infrasound Phenomenon. 1st Submitted to Journal of Scientific Exploration February 2007   Final Revision after several years of Internet Publication November  2015.


                                                    DR     CHRIS BARNES


Bangor Scientific Consultants,   Gwynedd

Email  manager@bsec-wales.co.uk



Abstract – First hand experience of this enigmatic, infrasonic phenomenon is described. The effects of location and weather conditions on the perceived HUM characteristic and level are investigated. It is shown that the HUM is a very real physical phenomenon. Further that at least for certain electro-sensitive individuals, two additional essential ingredients for their perception or augmentation of the HUM appear to be both the presence of UHF/ microwave electromagnetic radiation and low frequency magnetic fields, the latter either arising from 50 Hz mains or power grid or, alternatively, powerful local medium wave a.m. radio transmissions, which of course vary considerably with terrain and geographic location.  This requisite for both field types is confirmed using both anthropogenic and laboratory field sources.   Furthermore there is a fairly critical dependence on the strength of both fields concerned which goes a considerable way to explaining the previously reported almost hap-hazard nature of the HUM. Possible mechanisms for this kind of interaction, at microwave intensities often much lower than those involved in the Frey effect and at a cellular biological level are discussed. One of the individuals concerned can also perceive a 50 Hz magnetic field as a continuous low frequency buzz in the absence of significant levels of higher frequency radiation.  A dependence of the HUM level on coupling at the air-body interface and on the presence of passing vehicles and wind speed confirms the involvement of at least one UHF or microwave electromagnetic or acoustic component. The author’s son, an individual living in the same household as the author and his wife rarely hears the HUM but reports fewer sleep disturbances on nights when weather conditions reduce the HUM amplitude.  An additional explanation of why the HUM is mainly perceived at night and not in cities is presented.  Various cases of the HUM around the World are re-investigated and can be qualitatively explained by the arguments advanced herein.   The HUM is a nocturnal nuisance and nightmare for some individuals, the human rights implications of sleep disturbance are discussed.  There may also be implications for the health and well being of even those individuals who do not physically perceive the HUM per se.





The LFN ( low frequency noise/infrasound phenomenon) known by some as the   HUM under its various guises; ‘Taos’, ‘Kokomo’, ‘Largs’ and  ‘Bristol’, to name but a few, seems to ‘heard’ or perhaps it is more accurate to say ‘perceived’ ubiquitously throughout the Western World by between at worst and best estimates some 2% and 11% of the population. Those who perceive this phenomenon, mainly, although not exclusively at night, are known as ‘hummers’.  Both the present author and his wife are hummers. Their son who lives in the same household, although younger than the main hearing group, also occasionally hears the HUM and suffers sleep disturbances at the times when the author perceives the HUM.  Thereby this work presents both first-hand subjective evidence of the HUM allied with particularly relevant scientific viewpoint and new hypotheses.



An excellent review of the history, occurrence and some alleged causes of the HUM phenomenon has been given recently by (Deming 2004). While the present author in agreement with Deming, comes to the conclusion that the HUM is electromagnetic in nature he doubts    however Deming’s exotic conclusion concerning TACAMO transmissions as the general cause of the HUM, instead preferring the notion that they   may only be a small part of the HUM ‘jigsaw’ puzzle.



Interestingly, Deming has stated that relatively speaking the hum has is perceived more extensively in Britain than anywhere else. The present author believes this is to do with the small physical size of Britain relative to the positions of its Electricity distributions system and possibly additionally to its locations of its major UHF Television transmitters which are often co-sited with or very close to powerful medium or long wave a.m. broadcast transmitters. 



 More recently it has been proposed by Dawes that simply ELF emissions from the UK Power Grid itself, http://homepages.tesco.net/~John.Dawes2/cause.htm, rather than house wiring per se, is the prime and only cause of the HUM phenomenon in Britain.  Dawes sees the power grid’s interactions with the local ionosphere as a prime mover for the HUM. There is certainly a huge energy density in the power grid connected to the longest ‘Beveridge’ antenna in the land. It is reasonable to assume some power then will couple to the ionosphere and in fact this has recently been observed, see Mannone (2006).   The argument advanced being that most HUM cases in the UK seem to follow the distribution of the 400KV 50Hz electricity distribution grid and that the HUM is still perceived when household electricity master switches are turned off.   However, set against this, Britain is so small there are few areas devoid of proximity with the power grid, therefore a lot more people ought to be hearing the HUM if Dawes’ hypothesis is to be believed and if the Hum is purely and singly down to just the power grid.  



Others have advanced the notion the coastal locations are required for any manifestation of the HUM. Indeed, two of the main UK high profile HUM locations, namely; Largs   in Ayrshire, Scotland and Bristol in South West England meet this criterion. However, these two locations are also significantly close the super grid  power grid,  and equally close to High Power UHF Television transmitters and additionally close to medium and long wave a.m. broadcast facilities of 10-100 KW.  There are also locations in Britain away from the coast and where the HUM is perceived such as parts of Birmingham and parts of London for example which equally meet all three of these criteria. The problem then is in identifying whether  single or multiple criteria which in addition to infrasound might be associated with HUM locations might be the real cause of the Hum or simply augmenters of the phenomenon.  




Deming (2004) has stated that the HUM was first perceived extensively at night in Britain in the early 1970’s.  One such therefore search for infrastructure or environmental changes which took place around that time.  One such possibly relevant change was the introduction of   UHF TV was first introduced in Britain in 1967 and became extensive in the early 1970’s. Prior to that transmitters ran a ‘test card’ until about 12-40 am and then they were switched off all night. Other sources of radio frequency radiation such as PMR was extensively on low band and high band VHF and so a relative state of ‘electromagnetic quiet’ existed at night.  In the USA, a much larger country, UHF Television was invented in the late 1950’s but with much larger counties and longer transmission path distances to cover, Low Band VHF and cable services predominated for National television until the advent of extensive satellite and Local UHF broadcasting, which really only took off in the early 1990’s.  Every major town and city in the USA soon got local UHF broadcasting and Cellular phone technology began advancing and turning digital at about the same time. This seems to coincide with when most complaints of the HUM began in the USA, although there was a case in Oregon as early as 1976.   




Thus relatively speaking, a similar proportion of locations in the USA ought to be expected to have proximity to UHF TV broadcasting and GSM cell phone installations as in the UK. The suggestion is then that if these are factors involved in the HUM there ought to perhaps be an additional co-factor causing enhancement or potentiation of the HUM at or proximal with just certain sites.  Most Hummers say they can escape the HUM if they travel between 30 and 50 Km.  A re-appraisal of the most well-known Hum data from around the World leads to a possible conclusion that the HUM is almost exclusively present in areas which have both a strong a.m. broadcasting  transmitter field  and a UHF or microwave field such as from UHF TV or GSM present simultaneously.  The prime focus of this work then is to present such a re-appraisal in conjunction personal observations of and experimentation upon the HUM phenomenon in a number of UK locations. These have been made during the author’s opportunity to travel around Britain in connection with another aspect of his employment. Additionally a suite of scientific techniques and apparatus has been employed at and close by the authors’ home location. 




The appraisal and observations made result in a scientifically plausible hypothesis for either HUM  causation or augmentation.  


Observations by others elsewhere in Britain and around the World, a re-appraisal.


As well as in Bangor UK, the HUM has been observed at numerous locations throughout Britain and the World.  Some of the data in table 1  is courtesy of city-data.com.
























30 KW + 2 X 7KW










Not known-three transmitters

3 X50 KW































810 AM AND 185 AM

































2X 10KW
































Deming (2004) has suggested TACAMO transmissions as the most likely cause of the HUM since these are a powerful source of VLF radio. However such transmissions would not be expected in all locations at all times and would perhaps be more prevalent for coastal manifestations of the HUM.



A re-examination of the data from the most significant world –wide locations shows some of them are not necessarily on coasts and that they all have two things in common. They are located close to both high power UHF TV installations and high power medium wave a.m. broadcasting facilities often either closely sited or even co-sited with the former.   Sometimes a microwave mobile phone signal gives stronger field strength than a TV transmitter, see Kokomo for example. Many of these sites also have co-sited with the AM or TV transmitter, a powerful VHF FM broadcast transmitter and in the light of recent epidemiological cancer studies, perhaps the influence of the latter should not be ruled out.   If electromagnetic signal sources are indeed a cause of the HUM these locations have plenty of such sources of their own without advocating the need for TACAMO.  At first sight then it would seem then that the HUM could be either caused by or augmented by either the UHF/ microwave sources present at these locations or the medium wave transmissions or both. There are no significant locations in the World which report the HUM which are close to only one type of signal source.



The possible exception has been microwave hearing by personnel exposed to radar signals at field strengths of far greater amplitudes than those present in the background environment. In any event regular or routine exposure of the general public to such amplitudes would not be permitted by internationally agreed exposure limits (http://www.emfs.info/issue_ExposureLimits.asp) and so can be ruled out as the general cause of the HUM.



The remaining then is that the HUM may potentially either arise or be augmented  as a combination of the influence of human exposure to simultaneous high and low frequency electromagnetic fields with in most cases adequate sources being those fields arising from UHF television and installations and medium wave broadcast transmitters.  This hypothesis potentially explains the rise of HUM cases in Britain during the 1970’s. In some locations the dominant field strength in the UHF/microwave regime will be that from mobile phone towers rather than TV towers and it would seem that there is some evidence to support the hypothesis that emissions from the former in conjunction with strong medium wave fields can also augment the HUM.   



All three of these types of signal sources are now ubiquitous in society. A certain criticism then of this hypothesis would be that there are fewer HUM reports from big cities than from suburbs and more rural areas. Valid reasons for this discrepancy will be explained later.    




The locations


A series of fixed locations in Britain have been employed in attempt to validate the above hypothesis and these have been chosen to be geographically and geologically diverse as well as to confirm the hypothesis of the HUM proposed from the high profile cases in the above re-appraisal.  Some mobile and open air investigations have also been made closer to the author’s home.



The fixed locations are as follows


  1. Bangor, Gwynedd, North West Wales, LL57 2TW, U.K.
  2. Gringley on the Hill, Doncaster, South Yorkshire, UK
  3. Lifton, Launceston Cornwall, UK
  4. East Hoathley, East Sussex, BN8 6EL, UK
  5. Elford,West Midlands, B79 9DA, UK



The locations are now described in more detail with respect to geography, underlying geology and electromagnetic environment. Location 1 is the author’s present home town and locations 2-5 were visited while travelling in connection with another employment. 



Location 1; Bangor


Bangor is a coastal city in North Wales it lays on volcanic Basalt and Rhyolite strata. Bangor is sandwiched between the Tidal Sea Straits known as the Meani Straits to the North and the Snowdonia mountain ranges to the South. The location is an electromagnetically very noisy environment. ELF noise is to be expected, with a nearby electrical Super grid and switch station located some 5km away at Pentir. The location is also situated some 200 metres between two low voltage electricity sub-stations with underground cabling.  There is also a 10KW Medium Wave A.M. transmitter at Penmon some 6 km to the North West.  Similarly Bangor lies in a noisy VHF/UHF/Microwave environment with no fewer than 7 nearby cell phone masts including BT 150 MHz continuous telemetry and paging, GSM TDMA, G3 CDMA and more recently TETRA. The closest of these is some 300 metres to the West of location 1, it carries 900MHz TDMA GSM and 150 MHz paging transmissions.  In addition some 8km to the NW is a major UHF television 150 KW T.V. tower at Llandonna carrying the full range of analogue and digital television transmission, this is co-sited with VHF FM and DAB broadcasting facilities.  Location 1 is also close to nearby telecom wired and wireless PC networks.



Location 2; Gringley on the Hill             


Gringley is a rural village location on Jurassic limestone and clay sedimentary strata and is located some 15 km east of Doncaster. There were no visible high voltage power transmission cables and no visible electricity sub-stations at location 2; although the cell phone signal was quite strong there were no visible cellular masts. The nearest substantial TV transmitter is about 40 km away. The nearest substantial powerful a.m broadcasting transmitter is some 80 km distant.



Location 3;Lifton, Cornwall


Lifton is a tiny low- lying, rural village located on Sedimentary strata and a few kilometres to the North of intrusive igneous strata.  It has no nearby high voltage cables or sub-stations and a weak cell phone and very weak TV signal.  Lifton is 30 km distant from the nearest TV transmitter and 50km distant from the nearest substantial a.m.  radio transmitter.



Location 4; East Hoathley


East Hoathley is also very low lying and on metamorphic strata. It has a weak TV signal and the cell phone signal is so weak it is inaccessible from inside buildings.  There were no signs of electricity grid installations. East Hoathley is 30 km distant from the nearest UHF TV transmitter and 80 Km distant from the nearest a.m. or f.m. radio transmitter.   There are 1800MHz cell phone transmitters about 1km distant but not within a line of site path.





Location 5; Elford, West Midlands


Elford is a small low lying village on mixed sedimentary strata and next to a wide river. Elford has overhead low voltage electricity cables with no sign of a local sub-station and no nearby cellular towers. Interestingly some of the properties in the village feature in the British book of ghosts!   High voltage grid wires are located about 10 km away. Elford is 25 Km distant from co-sited UHF TV and FM radio and 70 Km away from a major AM radio transmitter at Droitwich.






Local Mobile and outdoor locations


A variety of more local mobile and outdoor locations have been chosen although these are limited to a 10km radius of Bangor and its immediate surroundings. Choice was for proximity to the sea, the high voltage 400KV grid, and TV masts or cell phone towers – all potential and previously ascribed sources of the Hum. It has also been possible to study the effects of the weather upon perception of the HUM at these locations.



Subjective experiences at the various locations


Reports are included of both the experiences of the author and his wife, both hummers, at Location 1 and the various mobile and open air locations.


Reports are only available as the subjective experience of the author alone at locations 2-5.



Location 1


The author’s wife        first noticed the Hum in the master bedroom at location 1 almost immediately since moving in some three years ago.  She perceives the Hum as the classic ‘fly or wasp trapped in a bottle intermittent buzzing noise’. Repeated attempts to clear the HUM by relocating the bed failed, as expected. Now so sensitised to the HUM, she hears it almost every night and often in other nearby locations even in cars or the open air, particularly near the sea.       Both the author and his wife hear the HUM at all locations throughout their house at location 1, however it is loudest nearest windows.



The author began hearing the HUM in location 1 about twelve months ago, prior to that, the only electro- sensitivity or similar he had ever displayed was nausea and vertigo with CRT type computer monitors (thank God for TFT technology) and hearing (inner -head perception) the odd squeak or whistle when constructing and testing extremely high power VHF and UHF amateur radio equipment. 



The author’s perception of the HUM is more varied than that of his wife. Firstly the perceived level varies from quiet to sleep disturbing, secondly the perceived modulation on top of an approximate 30Hz background, varies from ‘animal voice’ or  ‘lullaby’ to annoying steep rise time ‘Morse –code like’ emanations culmination in either ear popping crescendos or the feeling of the whole head ringing. Sometimes there is ‘modulation’ superimposed on high pitched tinnitus.  



Throughout 2005 and in the first six months of 2006 the author identified a pattern in the Hum which only appeared to present close to periods of full moon. Of course tides vary with the moon and to some extent coastal winds. Initially the HUM sounded to the author more like the classic throbbing diesel engine but over the last month or so from October 2006, this pulsating modulated HUM however, seems to have become more aggressive and almost omnipresent nocturnally and can sometimes even be heard in the daytime subject to interruption by traffic. It is known that recent changes have happened in the local UHF/microwave environment at location 1 which may account for these changes in the HUM.    Firstly BBC Digital Radio now transmits from Llanddona. Secondly the North Wales Police force in Bangor now operates TETRA radios. It will be shown later that TETRA is the more likely culprit.



Both the author and his wife only appear to be sensitive to the HUM on the right side of the head or at least it is perceived in the right ear.  A recent study seeking to find the best position for wearing a body mounted 2.45 GHz antenna ( See et al 2007) has shown the right ear and shoulder to be the pair of body points with the lowest radio frequency impedance i:e most penetrable to radio frequency radiation .   



The author’s wife has not tried shielding the HUM and seems to be able to consciously blank it out on some nights. The author however, is unable to do this, and has resorted to various methods of screening. It is found that a small square of conductive plastic from a PC component bag pressed firmly between the pillow the facial cheek and outer ear is quite effective.  On some occasions, if a hand or non conductive plastic is employed for shielding, a changed or increased pulse repetition frequency (PRF) in the Hum is noted, where subjectively the PRF seems to increase from about 2 Hz to about 10 Hz.



As stated location 1 is extremely noisy in both the very low and very high frequency electromagnetic environments. There is a strong 3D standing wave field at either 900 MHz or 1800 MHz cell phone frequencies as borne out by measurements employing standard satellite finder equipment independently powered up by 9 volt battery.   



Low frequency measurements have been taken using ‘Spectrum Lab’ software and a PC Sound card attached to various antenna systems including VHF whip, a ground  loop and a torroidal transformer winding.   Sometimes when the HUM is prevalent there appears to be swept frequency signals in the range 1-400 Hz and an imbalance in the harmonic content of the 50 Hz mains frequency. This will not be reported on further herein but is worthy of further investigation.    



The HUM phenomenon was not significantly influenced by the outage of the Wylfa Nuclear Power Station between May 7th and July 7th or thereabouts 2006-personal communication station Health and Safety manager. The significance of this is that during the outage there would have been more incoming load on the power grid. Dawes (2006) has stated the phenomenon to be dependent on the power grid load. 



The 50 Hz magnetic flux density at location 1 fluctuates from 0.1-0.2 micro-Tesla across each room and was 0.6 micro-Tesla adjacent to the house wiring harness and was 9.0 micro-Tesla adjacent to the house electricity meter. The RMS microwave electric field in the master bedroom at location 1 varies between 0.1 and .3 volts per meter in the bulk of the room but in the range 0.4 to 3 volts per metre in contact with the windows.    The RMS electric field measures at 882 KHz (Radio Wales) is of similar amplitude.




Location 2


The author only had occasion to stay in Gringley one night in early October 2006. The author’s wife meanwhile was reporting the usual phenomenon present at location1.


No HUM was perceived by the author in Gringley on retiring to bed. A very weak effect was however perceived on waking at 0400-0600 but significantly different from that at location 1. The effect perceived was simply that of a very distant and gentle buzzing noise with slow and continuous undulations in amplitude with a periodicity of approximately 0.2-.5Hz. The effect was in no way unpleasant, like that at location 1 and hence the author was able to return to sleep.



Location 3


The effects at Lifton were pretty much identical to the effects at Gringley. Meanwhile the author’s wife perceived the usual HUM at location 1.



Location 4.


East Hoathley was the only location which was absolutely silent! What a pleasure to sleep there! 



Location 5


The house at Elford was allegedly haunted. Certainly the drainage system made some very peculiar gurgling! The guest bedroom the author was in felt somewhat colder than he was accustomed to and he did wake at least half a dozen times in the night. A slight buzzing noise started during the night at about 0400 hours and it was pretty much the same as at locations 2 and 3 maybe slightly louder.



It was not possible to make flux/field measurements at locations 2-5 or to investigate the effects of the weather thereupon since the author’s visits to those locations were only transitory overnight stays.  




The mobile and outdoor locations


There have been reports of the HUM being heard in vehicles but very few outdoor reports. To date the author assumed this must have been due to masking by the hearing of noise in the classical sense. Four mobile/outdoor locations were chosen (OL1-4). Readings of 50 Hz magnetic flux density were taken at all four locations both inside and outside the vehicle.



Location OL1


This was about 2km South of Bangor and chosen to be as close as practically possible to a privately located GSM ‘Macro cell’ and other communications towers all some 350 metres distant. This tower also carries other trunked radio, PMR and TETRA over a wide range of frequencies from 150 MHz to 2.2 GHz and a couple of 10GHz links at maximum powers of 32dBw per carrier. The 50 Hz magnetic flux density in the vehicle was 0.1 micro-Tesla.



Location OL2 


This was about 5km SE of Bangor and chosen to be immediately underneath a 400KV super grid pylon but with good line of site to a plethora of cellular and TV towers and to the Radio Wales medium wave transmitter at Penmon, some 9 Km distant. The magnetic of the 50 Hz flux density in the vehicle was 1.0 micro-Tesla and outside of the vehicle was 2.9 micro-Tesla. 



Location OL3


This was also chosen to be underneath a 400KV super grid pylon about 4km North of Bangor on the island of Anglesey in a low lying location quite well screened from cellular tower and TV radiation. The magnetic field densities were as location 2. 




Location OL4


This was chosen for its proximity with the sea. It was a quiet coastal location about 5km NE of Bangor and known as the Spinnies Beach nature reserve. The 50 Hz magnetic field density was 0.1 micro-Tesla. This location is however overlooked by the large cellular tower at OL1, a UHF TV transmitter some 9km to the North and is level with a 10KW medium wave radio transmitter (Radio Wales) some 8km N.E. across the narrow ocean Menai strait.       

Observations at the ‘OL’ Locations


Several visits to each location were made. The only location where the HUM phenomenon could be perceived regularly inside the vehicle and irrespective of external conditions was location OL4. On some occasions the HUM phenomenon was so intense that it could even be perceived outdoors against the background noise of the wind and waves!  Due to sea path propagation the medium wave radio Wales 882 KHz transmission would be strongest at this point.



The location where the HUM phenomenon could sometimes be perceived the loudest was location OL2. Perception at this location appeared to depend on the wind speed and was minimal at high wind speed. Another very unusual phenomenon was noted at this location. Use of a standard GSM handset at the author’s right ear at this location provoked an intense and painful sound pulsation in the left ear of the author, one not usually sensitive in any way whatsoever to the HUM phenomenon. It is obvious that the vehicle would not have made an overly efficient screen to the 50Hz magnetic component from the power lines and indeed some 35% of the measured flux density entered the vehicle. It would have been expected, however, that a vehicle forms a pretty effective Faraday cage to the 50Hz electric component.       




A strong phenomenon of sorts could be perceived at location OL1 but it did not appear to have the same pulse repetition characteristics as at location 1. It could only be perceived inside the vehicle. This may be because the site is elevated and nearly always very windy. The unusual characteristic could have been because the location is completely surrounded by communications towers of several different frequencies ranging from 400 MHz to 2100 MHz.



No HUM phenomenon whatsoever could be perceived inside the vehicle at location OL3. However an interesting observation was made outside the vehicle on an extremely wet and windy night.  The author found that if he stood immediately centrally underneath  and in-between the conductors and firmly plugged his ears, a faint inner-head continuous buzzing at either 50 or 100 Hz could be perceived rather akin to the nocturnal buzzing at fixed locations 2,3, and 5.      This tends to lend a certain amount of support to the Dawes (2006) hypothesis and the idea that at least some humans are sensitive to 50 Hz ELF through some diction means other than by their external ears. However, the auditory effect evoked by  sensitivity to this stimulus is not viewed  by the author as being the same phenomenon as the ‘diesel engine’ or ‘wasp in bottle’ like HUM as more commonly perceived and described World-wide. 





The HUM, vehicles and the weather


The author has conducted painstaking studies of many variables which are said to effect perception of the HUM World Wide. At least at location 1 the largest single dependency of the amplitude and occurrence of the HUM is on wind speed. This is perfectly consistent with a UHF/ microwave sources being paramount for producing the effect. The effects of moving foliage on microwave propagation paths are well documented (Crosby 2006) and (Zhang 2006) and there can be significant attenuation and path loss. Thus on windy nights, in particular when the wind speed exceeds about 20 knots the HUM is not perceived at location 1.  Fortunately, although urban, location 1 is nevertheless surrounded on most sides by foliage and tall trees between it and the nearest communications towers. Passing vehicles also momentarily attenuate the HUM at location 1. This is suggestive that the offending signal source is being scattered into the premises at location 1 from somewhere at or close to ground level. There are metallic fences and other metallic building structures opposite location 1 which could be responsible. The notion of street level microwave fields is more consistent with GSM rather than TV as the major uhf/microwave source at location 1. It is known that GSM antennas are purposely designed to radiate along a strongly downwards pointing projection angle   (Health.http://www.hants.gov.uk/regulatory/advice/mobilebase.html).




There have also been anecdotal reports from elsewhere that rain attenuates the HUM or that the HUM is much louder in periods of fine settled weather. These are also perfectly consistent with effects on UHF/microwave field strength.    



The HUM has almost exclusively being described as a night-time curse. In addition to the fact that it is much quieter at night so people have more chance to discern the phenomenon, there are generally less vehicles moving at night so that UHF and microwave fields present will be more spatially  coherent and generally a lot less scattered. When a passing vehicle extinguishes the HUM at location 1 there appears to be a ‘dead time’ of some 2-5 seconds before it is perceived to start again. This dead time is perceived similarly by both the author and his wife.  Large proteins and bio molecules have relaxation times which range from picoseconds to seconds (Kostov 1999); the longer times particularly for protein folding, possibly suggestive of direct biological interaction in the HUM perception process, see later.  Further it has been stated that biological systems communicate and function coherently (Budagovsky 1999) and (Johnjoe McFadden Quantum Evolution, Chapter 11) therefore coherence time may be a likely factor involved in the detection of electromagnetic radiation by such systems. Moving vehicles and the wind certainly have two things in common; both will certainly disrupt the spatial coherence amplitude of a complex web of standing background UHF or microwave field(s).    



Why there are few or no HUM reports from big cities


Because the UK is geographically small, other than in London there has been no need to locate powerful a.m. radio installations and UHF TV transmitters in the hearts or even suburbs of big cities.  At least in the UK then for most big cities one would expect few or no HUM reports. This is exactly what is observed.  Even in London where one has the potential ingredients for the HUM, few are reported. An internet search for ‘HUM’ and ‘London’ is instructive. Most people get used to the London hum, which is something completely different to the subject of this work, and is described simply as incessant background noise.   



So why are London and large US cities different? Essentially they have the same elements capable of producing the HUM as those listed in the table.  There are three significant differences between big cities and locations where the HUM prevails. Firstly, in cities, there is almost constant anthropogenic masking noise and infrasound, even at night; secondly, there is almost always constant vehicular movement to scatter and disrupt the spatial and temporal coherence of both acoustic and electromagnetic fields and finally, many residents in big cities live in apartments and tower blocks which contain steel reinforced concrete, a material which tends to attenuate radio frequency radiation more heavily then those used to construct more rural properties. Any one or a combination of any of these three differences is more than adequate to explain the previous conundrum.   




Further possible evidence for electromagnetic involvement


The author can stop the HUM by using a small square of electro-conductive plastic pressed firmly against the sensitive side of his head and face. Even ordinary plastic reduces the HUM level and changes the perceived sound to an increased PRF. The dielectric loss of these materials at UHF and microwave is significant particularly as there will be parallel lumped coupling with the skin.  Thus this is further evidence that a radio frequency signal contributes to the HUM. The right ear is one of the easiest points of access of radio frequencies into the body (See et al 2007) and both the author and his wife perceive the HUM in that bodily region. 




Initial conclusions to be reached from all the observations


The observations of the present author are not unlike those of the ‘EmsciTek’ consulting company who were asked to investigate various locations in Kokomo, Indiana, and published their report on August 29th 2003.  What Kokomo and Bangor and all the other examples in the Table  have in common are the presence of UHF and microwave sources, often multiple, and often powerful and a medium wave broadcast facility, in the former case radio station WIOU.   Clearly, the effect being perceived does not meet the energy thresholds for a single frequency thermo-expansion mechanism of microwave hearing (Frey 1962) but nevertheless is very real, can be very distressing to some individuals and cannot be dismissed.  Frey did not consider the effects of multiple UHF and microwave carriers and neither do we have any idea what, if any,  lower frequency background fields and their strengths  would have been present during Frey’s or similar microwave hearing experiments (Lin2001 and Elder 2003).  At the time of writing it is not known if Bangor has the same or similar LFN components to those described for Kokomo.



Further, it would appear for that at least for two specific individuals, namely the author and his wife to perceive the HUM more or less as previously described elsewhere there always needs to present  at least two significant electromagnetic components and at significantly different ends of the radio frequency spectrum.  In Bangor and its closely surrounding radial regions, one of the components is a UHF or microwave signal and the other might be a medium wave frequency ground wave in one particular case at 882 KHz, as borne out by the strongest perception of the HUM being at location OL4.  The variation in relative field strength of the two or more required radio frequency components for HUM perception and degree of spatial and/or temporal coherence or homogeneity of the UHF/microwave component from one location may explain the observations to date that perception of the HUM for ‘hummers’ is critically dependent on location, hence the past reported very enigmatic nature of the phenomenon. The suggestion that there might be a dependence on both required microwave (electric) field strength and low frequency flux density for the precipitation of the phenomenon is further confirmed by the fact that there are no significant reports of the HUM from areas with UHF /microwave sources alone other than at much, much higher power levels. If the UHF /microwave electric field component is in the region of 0.1 -1 volt per meter, there always has to be an additional and  nearby low frequency usually medium wave component  for perception of the HUM.



There remains the possibility that in addition to medium wave fields, 50 Hz fields at appropriate levels might also, in some way, be involved in the perception of the HUM, thinking particularly significant event involving the GSM handset at location OL2.   However, one should perhaps remember that power lines can also act as very good long wire antennas for higher frequencies and lower than 50 Hz as well.


What seems to be emerging is a notion that the HUM is a LFN phenomenon that is somehow also potentiated or augmented by certain types of electromagnetic fields.

An EM field of course has components and it may be possible further to investigate their influence.   




Microwave power and ELF field strength dependence; electric or magnetic?



Since a car acts as a good Faraday screen to electric fields at D.C. and low frequencies it is safe to assume that the low frequency interactions experienced at location OL2 are probably magnetic in origin. On the other hand both electric and magnetic components of a UHF /microwave signal can easily enter a vehicle through its windows,  


Having established that frequencies from two very different ends of the radio spectrum seem to need to be simultaneously present for the HUM’S perception, the question arises what if any is the significance of 50 Hz.  Can 50 Hz magnetic fields augment the microwave induced HUM as an alternative to medium wave fields? 


In order to further explore microwave power dependence and elucidate if 50 Hz low frequency field strength is involved, other experiments were performed.  This was particularly important, for it seemed that at the outset odd to the author that he might be proposing a mechanism wherein the interaction of very tiny fields could be perceived and results in the HUM, but yet say the higher fields associated with normal use of a GSM handset didn’t!  Perhaps this notion however, is not that strange. The Science of field matching is applied elsewhere, in MRI tomography, for example.  



Two experiments were tried. In each experiment the GSM Handset emitted RMS microwave field strength of 112 volts per meter. In the first experiment a GSM handset was activated in a silent call to the author’s landline telephone and left at the end of a room some 6 metres long at a date and time when the HUM was not apparently present. The author moved quietly round the room. At no position in the room could any auditory sensation be perceived.    In other words a single carrier 900MHZ microwave electric field strength ranging between 2.85 and 112 v/m in the presence of ambient background medium wave and 50 Hz fields did not provoke an effect. It is interesting to note that at its lowest value this represents electric field strength only some fifteen times the value of the microwave electric field strength which is present when the HUM is being perceived on quiet motionless nights. Thus there is a possible notion of critical relative field levels and perhaps even frequencies to perceive/augment the HUM in the first instance. Further in an ordinary room space, the predominant 50Hz fields would be expected to be electric fields arising from house wiring and perhaps Dawes (2006) ‘wall voltage’



In a second experiment, the GSM Handset was similarly activated and placed adjacent to the right ear of the author which was also placed proximal to a magnetic flux density of 68 micro-Tesla from a fluorescent tube choke. In an instant, buzzing and fluttering noises could be perceived inside the head of the author, which ceased when the handset was de-keyed. This is confirmation that at least in evoking some sort of auditory response,   at 50 Hz the magnetic field component is most important. In contrast, since the HUM could be perceived in a vehicle at location OL4 where the 50 Hz magnetic field was minimal there is also the suggestion that a magnetic field at medium wave a.m frequencies is also important in the perception of the HUM.  For both frequencies the subject are in the near field.



These experiments suggest that a critical regime of field and flux strength for both the high and low frequency activating components and possibly also of frequency for the latter component are all required to  come together to produce a discernible physical auditory effect. It would seem that at least for a 50 Hz magnetic field instead of or in addition to a background medium wave field that the numeric values of flux level expressed in micro-Tesla have to be comparable with the values of Field strength in Volts per meter, i.e.  The two fields somehow seem to need comparable amplitudes to biologically ‘modulate’ each other. A well understood analogue of this is for example in electronics wherein amplitude modulation in radio transmission systems when to achieve 100%   modulation the audio and radio frequency amplitudes necessitate being equal.    It is to be expected that such critical coincidences in amplitudes of two or more field types will only at rather specific geographic locations, which also appears to be a feature of the Hum.    Similar cases of types of flux quanta or fields interacting at critical and quantised levels are  of course commonplace elsewhere and are commonly exploited in medicine for example in the guise of magnetic resonance and electron spin resonance.   





D.C. Magnetic Field dependence


Biological systems have evolved in the earth’s natural and slowly fluctuating magnetic field.  In order to ascertain if static DC fields are relevant to HUM perception a small loudspeaker magnet was placed on the head of the author in a variety of positions whilst he perceived the HUM. There was a barely perceptible increase    in HUM amplitude with the magnet in situ and anterior to and above the author’s right ear. Such a magnet is expected to have a value of flux density some times greater than the earth’s natural field and locally, ought to swamp out that field.  The conclusion is perhaps then that static DC fields are not particularly relevant to the perception of the HUM. The earth’s natural field is of course subject to natural pulsations and this experiment alone is neither sufficient to include or dismiss their relevance in HUM perception. It should also be remembered that the magnet could also have been acting as an antenna enhancing the omni-present anthropogenic microwave field. Neither can the contribution of stellar microwave fields arriving from outside the earth’s geo-sphere be totally ruled out. 




Theories of Electrophonic Hearing of the HUM


  1. Low frequencies vibration, electro-gravity and low frequency electromagnetic signals.




Vibrations and electromagnetic signals can come from underground rocks. This is predominantly expected of igneous rock which contains quartz and other piezoelectric materials.   The HUM is heard in locations which do not lie on igneous rock, the type most likely to be piezoelectric, and sufficient evidence has been presented here and elsewhere to dismiss Earth Piezoelectricity as a major cause of the HUM.  That is not to say the geo-electric effects (Beamsish 2006) will not contribute in some way to the local 50Hz field at any location or to the ground wave strength of medium or long wave radio waves both of which are proposed here to be potentially important in the perception of the HUM.   Seismic-electric and seismic magnetic effects may be important in the HUM and will be discussed elsewhere.



Dawes (2006) has suggested that ‘electro- gravity’ signals from the power grid are the sole cause of the HUM in the UK.  One can certainly  see how the 50 Hz could modulate the ionosphere which might under some circumstances result in an AGW ( atmospheric gravity wave) giving rise to acoustic pressure waves  or an EA (electro-acoustic) disturbance of the atmosphere.    Since a similar pattern is not observed with the power grids in other countries direct hearing of 50 or 60 Hz by whatever mechanism can probably be ruled out as the cause of the traditional ‘diesel engine throb’ associated with the HUM world-wide but could conceivably have a part to play in explaining the effects which the author experienced in locations 2, 3 and 5.   Some have argued that HAARP or other ELF military communications systems may have a part to play in the HUM. It is also feasible to see how these too could give rise to AGW type, EA or even ELS (electro-scalar) atmospheric waves. However, it should be remembered that the first reports of the HUM predate installations such as HAARP and SURA.



All the locations World-wide in which the HUM is perceived appear to be proximal with powerful medium wave a.m. broadcasting transmitters. Coincidentally, powerful VHF FM transmitters are almost always co-sited with these. To date there are no well documented HUM reports from regions more than 20 or 30 Km distance from such transmitters. Deming (2004) has made reference to people who hear the aurora or large fireballs entering the earth’s atmosphere, both of which are potentially capable of producing radio frequency electromagnetic energy in the kilohertz regions, not so far away from the a.m broadcasting band. One possible conclusion is then that ‘hearing’ or some kind of bio-detection of medium wave frequencies alone is sufficient to explain the HUM.  Set against this is the fact that there is only one reported location where the HUM is discerned which does not also have a very proximal high power television transmitter, this is Victoria B.C.in Canada.  It should perhaps be pointed out that although Victoria’s television transmitter is some 100Km distant, it is located on huge mountain and has a staggering 2MW of power. The field strengths received in Victoria from such a transmitter would probably be comparable with a more local transmitter of a few tens of kilowatts located some 10Km distant. Such scenarios exist for the other sites re-appraised. Some of the sites which experience the HUM, Kokomo, Indiana, for example, receive a stronger cell phone base station emission than UHF television signal and this is a highly likely, contributing factor. 



The observations at the authors’ residence, location 1 are not consistent with the HUM arising simply as a result of a medium wave signal. A medium wave signal would not be disrupted by wind and rain or by moving vehicles.     



On balance then hearing of a medium wave signal alone can be discounted as the sole stimulus of electrophonic hearing of the HUM. As stated earlier that does not mean to say  that a medium wave or low frequency component is not an important or even crucial addition to a UHF or microwave component in HUM perception/or augmentation.      




  1. The Frey Effect


Microwaves are known to generate sound in polymeric and dielectric materials given appropriate power levels and pulse widths or time –gating. It is thought this generation is due to thermo-elastic and electrostrictive mechanisms (Guo 1988, Hosten 1998 and Bacon 2001).  There is no reason to suppose that these mechanisms might not also prevail in biological molecules particularly biopolymers with similar structures. Frey (1962) has proposed a thermo-elastic mechanism for hearing microwaves. According to Frey it has been shown that microwaves of appropriate power level and pulse modulation period can be heard by a considerable sub-set of the population.       



Estimates of the peak power from a GSM Handset are about 8 times the RMS output. Power levels from the mobile Handset are just about within reach of provoking an auditory response according to the Frey (1962) effect dependent on pulse width. However, in this present study, a response with the handset could only be provoked in the presence of a considerable 50 Hz magnetic field. Doubtless during Frey’s original experiments there would have be some background low frequency fields present. These are more or less ubiquitous in social housing as well as in scientific premises. Sadly, the values of such low frequency fields are not documented in the work of Frey thus a further evaluation is not possible. 



The microwave electric field strengths in the bedroom at location 1 are some two to three orders of magnitude   below those documented in the Frey effect but it is still a hundred times greater than those recommended for sleeping areas by the Burgerforum

BRD proposal 1999, see http://www.powerwatch.org/news20050207_tonight.asp


It is unlikely then that the Frey effect of thermo-acoustic stimulation is the likely biological detection mechanism for the HUM.  However erring on a note of caution, it should be remembered that Frey (1962) did not consider the effect of animal or human bombardment by multiple radio frequency carriers in the UHF and microwave spectrum characteristic of the real life situation in many homes today, both afflicted and otherwise by the HUM.  It is possible that beats between various carriers may give rise to bio-acoustic effects hitherto not yet adequately investigated.  However, even if there were to be a sub-set of the population who can perceive microwaves well below the threshold levels defined by Frey (1962)  as a result of beats between several microwave sources, this still does not account for the observable facts, i.e. the need  for there to be present a significant and additional low frequency a.c. field.   



  1. Ferroelectric and similar deposits in the brain


There is some evidence to suggest that such deposits as calcites exist in the pineal gland (Baconnier 2002 and Lang 2002). Similar compounds exist in the sacule (part of the inner ear concerned with gravity, acceleration and balance). However, the observable facts simply do not support these as the seat of the HUM detection and perception. If detection were by means of a sort of ferroelectric detector one would expect a direct dependence on field strength with perhaps just one resonance frequency depending on the size and location of the deposit. One would also expect less dependence on location and many more HUM hearers. This is quite simply not observed.   However, under some circumstances HUM like effects are observed at certain key distances form transmitters, this may involve ferroelectric deposits and quantum mechanical magnetic vector potential effects which will be discussed later and elsewhere.    





  1. Larmor resonance of cellular structures  and ion cyclotron resonance or combinations of the two



Notions of coherence and quantum effects in Biology were first pointed out by Herbert Fröhlich FRS (1949). Fröhlich truly was a Physicist ahead of his time, as has been pointed out by Smith (2006) very recently. Smith (2006) cites more than twenty Fröhlich references including Fröhlich, H.  (1980).



      Larmor resonance of cellular structures and ion cyclotron resonance are simply two such examples of coherence involving magnetism and electromagnetic fields.  

These models ( Ledner 1990), Volpe 2003), (Matronchik 2005), (Nair 2006) and (Pafur 2006) have been used to explain the non –thermal behaviour of isolated collections of living cells exposed to electromagnetic fields. It would seem they also hold out the most reasonable promise to explain the manifestation of the HUM as a non-thermal biological effect.  Both models predict quantisation in the range of allowable field, frequency and flux values which will bring about biological effect either rotation of cellular organelles in the former model or rate modulated ion efflux and biological activity in the latter.  Both models are in support of the observable results for the HUM at the various locations studied and of GSM handset experiment.  The notion that quantization be required with respect to levels of allowable field(s) to bring about an effect fully supports the observed hap-hazard nature of the HUM at locations World Wide, in that not all locations could possibly be expected to support the required field or flux Eigen values.  Only when locations with a ‘perfect match’ to the required resonance conditions are found will the HUM be perceived.  Even at a fixed location or building wherein residents sometimes perceive the HUM, there is no reason to suppose ideal conditions for its perception at times will be met.   For instance UHF and microwave and cell phone signal paths tend to fade with changes in ambient weather conditions etc. (BBC NEWS (2006) Mobile masts signal rain showers). Likewise fluctuations in ground induced currents in the local power grid, ground conductivity and geomagnetic field (Beamsish 2006) will all play a part in determining the ambient DC magnetic field and the medium wave field levels which play a part in the perception of this hitherto enigmatic phenomenon.  At the Bangor locations, the strength of the Radio Wales 882 KHz medium wave signal will also be expected to be influenced by tidal behaviour in the nearby Menai Strait.




The ion cyclotron resonance model explains how mainly low frequency electric or magnetic fields might modulate a biological process in the presence of a fixed DC field such as that of the Earth. Ion cyclotron resonance frequencies for common biological ions are in the region 1-200 Hz. Thus invoking the phenomenon of ion cyclotron resonance alone would be sufficient to explain the author’s personal sensitivity to the 50 Hz power grid. On the other hand, if ion cyclotron resonance alone was responsible for the perception of the HUM one would have perhaps expected a much more pronounced effect from the loudspeaker experiment.




Larmor resonance of larger cellular organelles is predicted to occur causing slow rotation at microwave frequencies (Matronchik 2005) and under the influence of constant or slow time varying magnetic fields (which could presumably be applied at 50 Hz or even at kilohertz or medium wave frequencies) this would be an alternative mechanism for the coupling and detection of low energy microwaves in say the inner ear. The mass and charge of cellular organelles vary as a result of interactions with proteins and ions. It is feasible to see therefore how under certain conditions processes set up by Larmor resonance in biological systems may be modulated by ion cyclotron effects and vice versa. Movement of whole cellular organelles in the cochlear or its nearby region as a result of these unique resonance processes will be sufficient to set up piezoelectric stimulation of the cochlea’s hairs and hence produce an evoked auditory response, with or without the aid of ion cyclotron resonance. The slow rotation associated with Larmor resonance would also be expected to give rise to quite long temporal coherence times and would elegantly explain the dead time experienced in HUM perception after say the passage of a nearby vehicle.



Further with coherent ‘bio-detection’ of the HUM non-linearity and long coherence times would mean perceived responses might bear little if any semblance to the original modulating frequency or pulse repetition frequency.  The noise presently perceived by the author has some slight semblance of GSM TDMA or CDMA modulation but cannot be accurately discerned as either.  GSM and TETRA signals do vary in amplitude, but are not amplitude modulated per se.  Nevertheless, it would seem, some hearers of the HUM certainly seem to perceive more complex noises the more background   electrosmog’ is present.  It is possible the original idling diesel engine effect comes about from a combination of just one dominant UHF or microwave carrier and one dominant ELF or MF field. Either the perceived fluctuations are internally generated, being due to blood flow or external and due to slowly fluctuating variations in the UHF or microwave path which are well documented.   Similarly there are slow fluctuations in the underlying earth’s D.C. magnetic field, but in view of the ‘loudspeaker result’ these may be less relevant or even discounted.  Little wonder then that some ‘hummers’ have been almost driven mad trying to come to terms with their ‘inner’ sounds. Little wonder even many physicians and general practioners have ascribed the HUM to low frequency tinnitus or even schizophrenia!       Sadly we now know for sure this is definitely not the case. The proponents of sub-cellular and quantum theories of electromagnetic interaction will take relief that their hypotheses now at last appear to be vindicated and validated not only in the test tube but also by whole body evidence at the ‘person’ level. 







5.      The tensor tympani muscle making the eardrum tremble

As of 2005, a scientific hypothesis suggests the HUM originates on the eardrums of affected individuals as a result of  the tensor tympani muscle trembling. In other words they suggest that the HUM is nothing other than a form of tinuitus. (The tensor tympani is a muscle within the inner ear for tightening the eardrum.) The 40-page hypothesis can be read in German on the pages of the German Association for Research about the Hum, IGZAB (InteressenGemeinschaft Zur Aufklärung des Brummtonphänomens). See: http://www.IGZAB.de . See de:Brummton Phänomen.

It is difficult to see if the HUM is simply due to tinutus why removing the affected indivuduals from a particular location also removes the HUM.  Tensor Tympani Syndrome has been reported previously (see Klochoff 1979). Klochoff (1979) explains how the Tensor Tympani Muscle only produces a reflex which responds to very strong and startling noises in humans.  However, very interestingly,  reflexes  could also be initiated in the muscle as components of startle response initiated elswhere in the body! For instance such initiation could by via an orbital air jet.  Raised tension in the tympanic membrane as a result of spasm of this muscle can render the ear upto ten times more sensitive to air pressure changes than normal. The representative impedance pattern of the ear however, showed slow variations with pulsatile spikes superimposed.  Certainly the present author is often conscious of something vibrating inside his ear when he perceives the HUM, but at a much faster pulse repetition frequency. The outer ear canal can act as a Helmoltz resonator and thus blocking or partly blocking the outer ear flap would be expected to change the pulse repetition frequency if  it were actively radiating sound. This is exactly what happens for the author. The low random buzzing pulse repletion frequency of the HUM gives way to a higher regular pulse repletion frequency of approximately 10Hz as the ear is gently covered with a hand or piece of  plastic and the signal cuts off altogether when conducting plastic is used instead.    The rate of trembling of this muscle or whatever other structures are excited, clearly and significantly exceeds the rate during that which is described as the ‘Tonic Tensor Phenomena’ (Klochoff 1979). It seems inconceivable that such a rare biological phenomenon would affect two separate individuals in the same household simultaneously, as is the case when the author and his wife perceive the HUM. Unless that is the syndrome is being triggered by outside influence.  Klochoff (1979) states that 80% of individuals afflicted by Tensor Tympani Syndrome also suffer from dizziness and vertigo. Neither the author nor his wife suffers from these. 


The proposition thus, which is open to contention, is whether or not the tensor tympani muscle or other parts of the ear  tremble of their  own accord in certain individuals for whatever physiological reasons, or are induced to tremble by external means.   Directly coupled low frequency and voltage stimulations cause nerve impulses to be created and can cause muscle twitching. This mechanism is exploited in electrical muscle toning devices.     Remotely coupled electric and magnetic fields are known to cause bio-effects at high levels. The question is here then how do they produce significant bio -effects at levels which have hitherto by many considered as being safe.


6.      Combinations of the above, the body as a coherent detector

A possible mechanism for the HUM could be some kind of combination of mechanisms 4 and 5 above.  An experiment was devised to see if the HUM could be created purely electromagnetically under laboratory conditions. The author did not have access to UHF and microwave signal generating equipment but did have a GSM handset and also used a VHF frequency source of 144.74 MHZ.  A swept lower frequency source was available spanning 1.6 – 40 MHZ. 


With the GSM handset in a silent call to the author’s landline telephone and a lower un-modulated frequency of 1.6 or 8 MHZ and field strength of 110 V/m, a weak effect could be perceived.  Rather than the usual pulsation of the HUM the author was only able to create a weak buzzing sensation in the inner ear, but given that the signal sources were at higher field strengths than the external signals thought to produce the HUM and  single and un-modulated frequencies, this  biological effect in his own body is regarded as significant . Further   the mechanism above would suggest and confirm that two distinct high and low frequency groups were necessary.  


Some HUM hearers and electro-sensitive individuals say that they experience biological effect other than the HUM per se. For example Huttenen has observed involuntary hand movements in a moving VHF electromagnetic field.  http://herkules.oulu.fi/isbn9789514297601/isbn9789514297601.pdf

  While exploring the combined effects of a range of high and low frequency groups the following was found. At frequencies of 5.16 and 144.74 MHZ both fed into indoor omni-directional aerials and with his head in the near-field of the aerials, estimated to be at some 110 volts/meter at both frequencies, a strong twitching of the author’s left eye lid was induced.


The author has thus shown biological effects as   experimental proof of  the existence of ‘two frequency bio-effects’  and further he believes than on the weight of evidence provided such effects are also a feasible cause of  either HUM perception and/or augmentation  in the general population at large.  Similar to the 50 Hz experiments it would appear that the field strengths at the two frequencies need to be comparable for the effect to be induced. 


It has been noticed that transmission bursts from the local 150 MHz paging transmitter modulate background 50Hz field amplitudes at location 1. A human brain however sensitised or entrained to slow changes from a modulation envelope in this way be it by ion cyclotron resonance or pineal deposits may some how then be able to coherently detect that modulation form the higher from envelope by say Larmor resonance or whatever. Thus some combination of the above hypotheses may turn out to be the actual mechanism of HUM perception.  It is interesting to note that in the case of the Kokomo HUM the Emscitek study points out that the signals from WIOU were so strong they were modulated onto all the local electricity supplies and house wiring, possibly then they also modulated the local cell phone transmission in some way. The body or brain or certain neurones then act like some sort of a coherent or phase sensitive detector for all the envelopes concerned.  Even free and bound bodily water may be involved.


Smith (Dallas,2000), has recently linked biological coherence and acupuncture and has been studying acupuncture and homeopathy in relation to water memory imprinting which he shows to be a physical effect based on frequency rather than a chemical effect.  The classical and Voll acupuncture meridians are shown by Smith to have associated high and low frequency bands, which can be entrained to respond to external stimuli.  Several of the important acupuncture meridians and their main stimulating points are seen to have frequencies which coincide with radio and microwave frequencies in the environment.   



For instance, in relation to HUM perception, it is possible that the small intestine high frequency band of 1.2 MHz, frequency as defined by Smith, could be entrained by medium wave broadcast transmissions. It is astonishing to note, that on standard acupuncture charts, this Meridian leads up the neck, through the cheek and into the ear!  Indeed acupuncturists often use needling or electro-stimulation of this meridian for treating ear disorders!  Smith also states that the Du Mai (GV) meridian, which is seen by acupuncturists as representing the state of the cerebro- spinal fluid, is particularly sensitive to r.f. radiation.   Its natural frequency of 148 MHz is particularly close to that used by powerful paging and telemetry transmitters in the UK. The Ren Mai (CV) runs centrally from the genitals to the face and so could conceivably couple radio frequency energy to the head. It has a natural upper frequency of band of 730 MHz. This meridian should easily entrain to the UHF TV band. Smith has stated that entrainment can occur several percent outside these limits so it is just possible this meridian might entrain to  as low as TETRA 400 MHz as high as  900 MHz mobile phone frequencies.



The kidney and liver upper frequency bands are 47 KHz and 240 MHz respectively. It is very interesting to not that these are two other meridians which acupuncturists have used to treat tinnitus.  Smith (Dallas 2000) has shown that the kidney meridian will entrain at 50 KHz. Both these frequencies ought to be present in the radio frequency environments of many locations. 50 KHz will arise as beats between multiple TDMA GSM users and 240 MHz is very close to the new DAB radio broadcasting band.  Interestingly Deming (2004) has stated that kilohertz radio frequencies may also be a feature of the TACAMO system which he alleges is the main cause of the HUM.



In the specific experiments which produced movement evoked bio-effects in the body of author, frequencies of 144 .74 and 5.16 MHz produced eye lid spasm. If Smith’s hypothesis is correct then   these frequencies could have been coupling into the body at GV14 and possibly also at the Gall Bladder Meridian. 5.16 MHz is very close to twice the natural Gall Bladder frequency stated by Smith (Dallas 2000). Of course quantized Eigen values or harmonic frequency jumps are to be expected in coherent systems.  Again employing Smith’s ideas, in the experiment with the mobile handset and the co-applied lower frequencies of either 1.6 or 8 MHz which produced auditory response it is possible the fourth harmonic of the liver frequency or Ren Mai was being stimulated by the handset and the lower frequency applied was stimulating either the small intestine or stomach meridian by entrainment.  Now we can see there are several equally possible mechanisms for the body to detect or coherently absorb electromagnetic radiation. It is not unreasonable to assume that one or a combination of these is responsible for bringing about vibration of component(s) of the ear either directly or indirectly as by initiation of the startle response and hence attendant perception of the HUM.  Because of the complexity and non-linearity of the processes concerned the original pulse patterns or modulations in the stimulus signals are unlikely to be preserved.



 Smith (2002) points out the general dangers of frequencies from the external environment to biological systems, especially man. He further re-examines   cancer epidemiology of distance related effects from radio and television transmitters. He states that for coherent detection it is necessary to have the magnetic A and B fields 180 degrees out of phase. Since the A field (strictly A-potential) travels through the true vacuum and is not slowed by the refractive index of air as is the B field then there will always be a frequency and distance dependent phase difference between the A and the B field from radio transmitters. For a full understanding of Smith’s hypothesis it is necessary to first understand the quantum mechanical phenomenon known as the Aharonov-Bohm effect (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aharonov-Bohm_effect). Particualry, since Webb et al. (1985) have demonstrated Aharonov-Bohm oscillations in ordinary, non-superconducting metallic rings; for a discussion, see Schwarzschild (1986) and Imry & Webb (1989) and  Bachtold et al. (1999) have  detected the effect in carbon nanotubes, it is not unreasonable to suppose that the Aharonov-Bohm effect  would not be relavant in biologoical systems or within their component water and cells.  On this basis Smith (1989) accounts for why cancer clusters maximize not in the immediate vicinity of a powerful VHF FM transmitter but some 5 Km distant.  The ratio of the speed of electromagnetic waves in a vacuum compared to that in air is 1.0003 to 1, so that at a frequency of 100 MHz this represents a half wave length or 180 degrees of phase difference of 1.5 m (transit time difference 5ns) or  maximum biological coherence at some 5 Km from the transmitter. It is exactly here where the ratio of observed to expected cancer cases doubles!   In fact close to the transmitter there are no cases of cancer over and above those expected normally. Further credence for Smith’s ‘acupuncture’ hypothesis (Smith (Dallas 2000)) is lent when one considers that 98.4 MHz is the centre frequency for the acupuncture ‘allergy’ meridian according to Smith.   Interestingly many VHF FM broadcasting transmitters in the UK are either co-sited or very close to Medium Wave AM Broadcasting facilities with frequencies in the range 0.55-1.6 MHz, very close to the ‘allergy’ low frequency band as described by Smith (Dallas 2000).  Certainly if the body’s immune system is permanently stressed or overloaded as if being challenged by allergens it is reasonable to assume that an increased cancer risk may result, the very effect seen above.  One such known example not associated with a radio frequency emission is with wheat gluten allergy; http://www.pressbox.co.uk.  An alternate explanation of the increased cancer risk is due to the effect of electromagnetic fields depleting night time melatonin levels (Maisch 1997). 



  1. Alternative detection hypotheses; possible electromagnetic and infrasonic involvement 


An alternative mode of detection for the HUM is just as possible. Imagine that the electromagnetic stimulation renders the ear much more sensitive to changes in pressure similarly as in Tonic Tensor Phenomenon.  When it is really quiet, usually at night the HUM is mainly perceived. It is possible that the HUM is airborne infrasound only perceived because of this sensitizing effect of the dual frequency electromagnetic radiation.   This does not detract from the need for a coherent radio frequency component or components or from the fact that the UHF component of the HUM is disrupted by passing vehicles. Airborne infrasound is ubiquitous in the environment at frequencies from .01-10 Hz and with coherence lengths of up to 100metres.  It is known that infrasound can be used as a detector of approaching storm fronts etc... It is interesting to note that some reports of the HUM correspond with weather phenomena and Jet streams.  This hypothesis is strongly supported by the notion that the HUM is mainly heard indoors because outdoor noise and pressure changes at higher frequencies may overwhelm the infrasound being perceived. To test this, radio and sound sources could be set up inside an anechoic chamber. Unfortunately, the author has no access to one at present.  On the other hand, heightened sensitivity to infrasound may not require being a consequence of the Tensor Tympani itself, vibrating or otherwise.  Smith (Dallas 2000) and elsewhere (Smith 1989) has stated that for bio- effects involving water imprinting, the relative phases of the magnetic potential  A and field  vector B are important. The A component is unaffected by matter whereas the B component is. Thus any pressure field which locally modulates the air density, will change its refractive index and hence the magnitude and phase of the B component. Thus pressure changes due to atmospheric infrasound will modulate the B component. This ‘modulation’ could then be perceived as the HUM.    The highest profile places where the HUM has been perceived in Britain are in Western coastal regions namely; Largs, Bristol, South Western Cornwall and now Bangor.  Storm fronts approach Britain from the West and so would any associated infrasound. This does not mean to say that the HUM cannot be perceived at inland locations, since according to the above two variations of the author’s hypothesis any source of infrasound will suffice to generate HUM like effects and in the second variant of the hypothesis so will any alternative  non –acoustic pressure fields which could modify the refractive index and dielectric constant of air such as  static or slowly varying electric (E) fields. These would be expected to have the same effect on local dielectric constant and hence modulate the B component. Similarly the B component will be modulated by time varying changes in atmospheric humidity.  Since we are postulating that bio-detection of the radio frequency signal involves phase difference between A and B then in fact any mechanism which modulates this phase difference be it natural or anthropogenic may, under these conditions, contribute to the HUM as perceived.  Many different anthropogenic noise sources, in particular infra-sound, have in the past been blamed for the HUM. By applying either variation of the author’s present theory it is possible to see how they could at least all have their appropriate relevancies.   For example in the UK turbines in the gas distribution grid have been blamed. Whereas it is unlikely that such noises would permeate only certain locations it is on the other hand easy to see how they might modulate street level air density and hence effect cellular telephone propagation in the manner described above. Excluding anthropogenic sources, even atmospherically mediated propagation multi-path effects will be very relevant.


It is interesting to examine the distances involved. It is reasonable to assume that entry of an electromagnetic signal may be at whole body level, i:e the body acting rather as a half-wave antenna.  Taking a typical FM broadcast frequency of 100 MHz, yields a half wavelength of 1.5 metres, about the height of a teenage child.  Taking typical cell phone frequencies of 900 MHz and 1800 MHz respectively yields half wavelengths of 16 and 8 cm respectively i.e. significant fractions of the linear dimension of a human head. The longest motor neurons in the human body have axons which are over a metre long, comparable then with the wavelengths of these radio frequencies. 


Assuming cells in the body truly respond in a coherent manner, we can expect some sort of stimulus to be excited more or less uniformly throughout the body, or alternatively that coupling is into long axons, for non-linear and quantum effects classical radio frequency attenuation need  not apply.  Nevertheless it is probably safe to assume that if an auditory response is initiated this will be in the regions of the head or brain normally responsible for evoking such responses when the ear is stimulated acoustically. This would line up with the notion of a possible involvement of the small intestine acupuncture meridian and the fact that the right ear is more sensitive to the effect.  It is known that the main site of electrical transduction for the acoustics side of the  ear is within the cochlea and that the dimensions of this structure’s  ‘hairs’ range from 3-500 microns with most being in the tens of microns size bracket and about 3 microns in diameter.  It is not unreasonable to assume, that effectively then, any ‘modulation’ of the B  field(s) involved   ought at least to produce  an amplitude of deflection  of a few percent of the size of these hairs  of these hairs, if hearing of the HUM is focused within the traditional hearing apparatus of the ear! Calculation shows this to be a tiny phase shift of the original transmitted frequency i.e. some 0.002 degrees.  The author has show that at location 1 the HUM disappears completely with wind a speed exceeding some 20 Knots, similarly it momentarily disappears when cars pass by at similar speeds. Calculation of the Doppler shift on a wavelength of 32 cm (frequency 900 MHz) yields some 0.3 microns at speed of 20 Knots. It would seem that if the HUM is perceived in this way, there must be a saturating effect above a certain hair displacement. Assuming the bulk B field component which arrives at location 1 is scattered randomly by the induced wind movement then this will also disrupt any spatial and temporal coherence in the incoming signal and cause loss of the HUM perception. Alternatively and secondly the induced modulation of the B field by the wind might be in phase with the normal external auditory response and therefore not perceived by the brain as the same annoyance or irregularity as with slower or quieter modulations which give rise to the   HUM. Either argument is further in support of the notion that the HUM will not as readily be perceived in big cities as in more rural locations, because of higher background noise and continuous vehicular movement as cited earlier. 


The Hum single effect or multiple?

Deming (2004) has pondered over whether the HUM World-wide is a single effect or has multiple causes. He concluded that on balance the HUM is probably a single universal effect.  

However, the weight of the evidence presented here is that possibly two separate or multiple cause(s) and effects have been identified.

At least from the author’s personal experience, he would appear to possess some sensitivity to 50Hz fields as borne out by the experiment at location OL3.  This experience was far more like the phenomenon experienced at locations 2, 3 and 5   and was not in any way unpleasant.  A possible mechanism for ‘hearing’ 50Hz in this way is most likely ion cyclotron resonance. 50Hz also corresponds closely with integer harmonics of the low frequency bands of several of the acupuncture meridians as given by Smith. That is not to say that 50 Hz electric fields could not modulate higher frequency B fields in line with mechanism 7 as outlined above.   50 Hz and other ELF frequencies may also appear directly as infrasound and building vibrations due to several various other geophysical mechanisms which will be discussed at a later date.   


The Hum World-wide however, is often described as an unpleasant, highly irritating and all penetrating noise much more like a ‘wasp trapped in a bottle’ or an ‘idling diesel engine’. This is the very sound perceived on still nights by the author and his wife at location 1 and the other recorded mobile and outdoor locations in the immediate Bangor area. This is the sound which on the balance of the evidence as reviewed and presented here requires both a UHF/ or microwave electromagnetic component to be simultaneously present with a low frequency magnetic field most likely provided by a strong local medium wave broadcasting facility and possibly also by a VHF FM facility. In all probability is an effect wherein either the ear is made highly sensitive at infrasonic frequencies as a result of this radio frequency (electromagnetic or magnetic) stimulation or alternatively wherein natural or anthropogenic infrasound is perceived as a result of being modulated onto one or more electromagnetic and/or acoustic signals. Modulation within the cochlear will be discussed at a later date. 

In the laboratory it has also been possible to bring about other similar but not identical physiological effects besides the HUM by using appropriate combinations VHF and HF/MF   electromagnetic fields.


 Further work

An experiment was initially proposed by the author during the writing of this paper to prove once and for all that the HUM is not in the mind of the sufferer. It is proposed that a portable EEG machine be used on a collection HUM sufferers during sleep at times when the HUM is present and not and /or at locations with the HUM present and not. The influence of a serious disturbance like the HUM should show up on brain waves. The author believes it may even show up on the brain EEG’S of people who don’t physically perceive the HUM as aural stimulation, given the experiences of his own son.  It would seem, on making a thorough and final search through the literature towards the end of the writing of this work that a very similar study (The Austrian Study 2005) has, indeed, recently been made and has been cited by Dr Grahame Blackwell at http://www.starweave.com/masts. Its results show significant perturbations in the EEG trace of individuals placed within 50 metres of a mobile phone base station transmitter without their prior knowledge of its location.    



Humans are not the only mammalian species to suffer adverse effects as a result of pulsed electromagnetic radiation. A recent study has shown cows too are very adversely affected; see Loscher and Kas (1998). 



HUM Prediction


Based on the ides of Smith (Dallas 2000) it should be possible to predict with some certainly precisely which sites will suffer from the HUM and those which will not. From epidemiological cancer studies (Smith 1989) it would appear that sites wherein for a given radio frequency the magnetic A and B components are exactly 180 degrees apart (i.e. in anti-phase) ought to be associated with the largest bio-effect. If the HUM is a bio-effect then at the largest probability of hearing the HUM ought also to be associated with the same type of phase difference.


The present author proposes that it would be instructive to follow a natural extension of these ideas and consider sites where A and B are in anti-phase as a result of any odd integer multiples of 180 degrees. At these sites too the HUM effect should be maximised. Broadly this appears to be borne out by the experimental results


 For example, Location 1 is some 400 meters from a 900 MHz TDMA GSM Macrocell. This represents a phase difference of 144 degrees between the A and B magnetic components at that frequency, sufficient to suggest significant biological effect if adopting the ideas of Smith (Dallas 2000).  The recently installed Police Tetra Mast on Bangor Mountain some 1.25 Km  distant presents a serious problem with the A and B fields being exactly 180 degrees apart. Consistent with such ideas, Location 1 has a serious HUM problem which as of late, as predicted by the theory got worse.  On the other hand at location 4 East Hoathley had no HUM problem. Translating the distances of the nearest cellular phone transmitters at East Hoathley is instructive. For the nearest 900 MHz transmitter A and B were almost 400 degrees out of phase i.e. close to cancellation for the effect but in any event the transmitter did not have a line of site pathway with the location.  It is instructive to consider these results and those for the ‘OL’ locations in tabular form. The author and his wife did not perceive the HUM at their previous two home addresses so these have been included in the table for comparison, see PL1 and PL2.  The author and his wife sometimes perceive the HUM in the author’s parents’ house on the island of Anglesey. This location AF1 has also been included.  Further with available new insight the HUM was also investigated at additional and totally random locations; RL1 and RL2 and also close to two more transmitter sites; At a distance of only 20 meters from TX1 carrying VHF and UHF police communications and 1800 MHz GSM and at a distance of 350 meters from TX2 carrying VHF FM Radio, DAB radio and UHF T.V. and 900 MHz GSM. The results are summarized in Table 2 wherein ‘APM’ stands for the odd anti-phase multiple e.g. if APM =1 phase difference between A and B =180 degrees, if A= 2, 360 degrees and so on.   Also wherein LAM is the distance from the most powerful AM broadcasting transmitter in wavelength multiples.     












APM 100 MHz FM



APM TV ~600MHz


APM GSM 1800









































































































From Table 2 it can be clearly seen that locations which have no HUM are, either as originally predicted in this present work, large distances from UHF TV transmitters and AM radio transmitters, Location 4 fits this category or alternately they may be located much closer to such transmitters provided they are not located in such a way as to have the A and B magnetic components from nearby VHF, UHF or microwave sources arriving in anti-phase.      A significant exception to this rule, at first sight, appears to be location OL3 which has the relevant 230 MHz DAB signal components arriving in an odd integer multiple (5) of anti-phase. Location TX1 also has no HUM but the DAB signal components arriving almost in anti-phase. The conclusion must be therefore that DAB does not contribute to the HUM.  This is perhaps hardly surprising

in that DAB uses an unusual modulation technique known as  COFDM (coded orthogonal frequency-division multiplex). The multiplex data stream is spread over about 1500 QPSK-modulated carriers so that, in spite of interference and drops in field strength, the COFDM demodulator in the receiver picks up an adequate number of signal components for evaluation.  Perhaps because all the energy is not packed into one discrete frequency bio-effect is less likely. The modulating frequencies of the individual carriers are also well above the threshold of human hearing. However, it should also perhaps not be forgotten that DAB is transmitted in the 220-240 MHz band, a band of frequencies close to the natural frequency of the liver meridian according to Smith (Dallas 2000).  The liver meridian is actually one used by acupuncturists for treating tinnitus!  An intrinsically very similar modulation method is used for digital television so any assumptions relating to TV transmission and the HUM will be perhaps more likely to relate to UHF Analogue TV. This would also line up with the observation of the HUM mainly appearing in Britain in the 1980’s when such TV was first introduced.   The proof of this will be upon us in Britain in one or two year’s time as UHF Analogue TV is turned off. We should then seek to enquire if significant changes in the HUM distribution and intensity occur. 


Certainly the locations that have bad HUM, namely; location 1 and location OL2 and the worst HUM; namely location OL4 have the A and B components of the UHF TV signal arriving in anti-phase. This is complemented by the same components of the TETRA signal arriving in anti-phase at all three of these locations.  At location 1 there may also be some contribution from VHF FM and particularly 900 MHz GSM as borne out by the effects of cars passing at street level.  Both these signals also have A and B components almost in anti-phase.  In locations OL2 and OL4 however the VHF FM magnetic components are almost in phase so this might tend to rule out VHF FM transmissions as a major player in the HUM. 


The   locations with moderate HUM were all significantly more distant from a UHF TV transmitter. Sources of the HUM at AF1 and RL2 would appear then to be predominantly 1800 MHz GSM whereas at RL1 900MHz GSM would appear to be responsible. These being the only possible HUM causing transmissions arriving at the aforesaid locations with their two relevant magnetic components in anti-phase. 


Very close to the main GSM macro cell co-sited with TETRA, some 350 meters distant, location OL1, a different subjective HUM experience occurred. The HUM was more like continuous white noise and has much less of a pulsating characteristic. Clearly there was a bio-effect but not the same as those at greater distances or with fewer frequencies involved. Similarly this was the case as close as practically possible to the UHF TV mast, some 300 meters, location TX2, there were similar effects. It should not be forgotten however that an appropriately ordered GSM signal was also present at this location.    It should not be forgotten how enormous the field strengths and power levels would have been at this location.  These results for the HUM appear to add considerable credence to Smith’s (1989) explanation of cancer epidemiology around TV masts.   



Such investigations will form the basis of important further work for the present author and ought hopefully similarity for others in this exciting and challenging field. With the advent of newer modulation methods and precise future documentation and site assessment the HUM might, hopefully, become a plague of the past. 



The overall conclusion based solely on Table 2 is then that for perception of the HUM there has to be a source of UHF or microwave frequency (ies) at 400 MHz or above wherein the magnetic A and B components arrive at the hearer in anti-phase. More often than not the UHF component can be provided by a powerful television transmitter but in some locations 400 MHz TETRA or 900 or 1800 MHz GSM signals also contribute to a greater or lesser amount.  Additionally there needs to be proximity of less than 17 Km with a powerful AM radio transmitter (10KW at source). The additional contribution of 100 MHz VHF FM to the process is possible but questionable.  The author intends to conduct further studies into HUM prediction in order to fully validate the magnetic A/B hypothesis and to show which type of UHF frequencies and transmission most provoke the HUM.  It is hoped to submit the results of such a study as a short follow up paper. 



Psychological studies and Medical Statistics.



Another ideal way to assess the effects of the HUM would be to conduct psychological tests on HUMMERS and non- HUMMERS in both real trials and double blind trials.  Schools and Universities could check for correlation of exam results with student’s residential location and measured field strength(s) therein for example.



Medical statistics could be checked to see if there are increased reports of ‘tinnitus’ coming from certain areas or locations where the HUM is either known or expected to be prevalent according to the above hypotheses.  Physicians and doctors who are not aware of the HUM would to date have been expected to have diagnosed HUM sufferers as victims of low frequency tinnitus, depression or even schizophrenia!



Legal significance.


As more and more evidence gathers to prove that the HUM is a real biological effect it may become necessary for the relevant   industries to take this on board.  European Human Rights Law states that individual residents of member states have the right to peaceful and undisturbed sleep. Clearly for HUM sufferers that is not always possible.


Some European countries are taking a sensible and cautious approach and have adopted the BurgerforumBRD proposal 1999, see http://www.powerwatch.org/news20050207_tonight.asp.




The future



Human kind is probably living through the greatest changes in their natural and anthropogenic environment ever encountered.  Besides a rise in the HUM we are seeing unprecedented rises in teenage mental illness and mental illness in general including geriatric dementia.  Evolution is being hurried at a hitherto unnatural pace.

The author sincerely believes that electromagnetic pollution is a major contributing factor. 




It would be almost impossible to turn our backs on the technology we have developed and come implicitly to rely upon unless of course we are eventually forced to do so by catastrophic global disaster. We should perhaps consider using technology to our advantage by providing homes with electromagnetically screened sleeping areas or using systems to reduce the coherence of microwave radiation entering our homes or even by developing electromagnetic and or acoustic masking technologies rather similar to noise cancelling headphones on a jet fighter.  Further it would make common sense for the major players in the broadcasting and telecommunications industries to fund such developments if they are not eventually to be driven out of business by law suits filed by millions of injured parties. The author’s personal opinion is that it will shortly be proved that ‘HUMMERS’ are just the tip of an iceberg. Prevention is better than cure; otherwise a potential scandal far greater than dioxin or asbestos might lie just around the corner. 





  1. The HUM would appear to be a real infrasonic phenomenon which for some people is enhanced by  involving multiple electromagnetic stimuli (2 or more) originating outside the body and coupling to it. One or more parts of the ear may vibrate or oscillate as a direct or indirect response to these stimuli. The modulation envelope perceived in the HUM is not directly that of either transmitter and may be even more complicated as the ear may be rendered more sensitive to low frequency noise and/or electric fields as a result of the said stimuli. 





  1. At least two very different high and low electromagnetic frequencies of comparable field strength are found at sites where people often perceive the HUM. Most likely it is the magnetic field component of the lower frequency which is most significant in the overall perception of the HUM. In support of this hypothesis it should be noted that physiological responses have been provoked in other parts of the body under laboratory conditions, employing frequency pairs at field strengths previously regarded as being ‘safe’.   Further in support of the hypothesis that it is particularly the magnetic component of the lowest frequency in the pair which is important for HUM perception is that the HUM is perceived very strongly inside a stationary car, which would be expected to act as a fairly effective Faraday screen with respect to low frequency electric fields.   



  1. The HUM Worldwide is perceived in areas which have a nearby powerful a.m. medium wave radio transmitter (approx 10-50KW gives 10-20km radius) and a local source of UHF or microwaves. In order of probability the most likely UHF source for the HUM is UHF TV followed by GSM and TETRA. Powerful FM (88-108 MHz) transmitters are often co-sited and their influence might not be totally ruled out.  DAB radio transmissions do not significantly seem to contribute to the HUM. If the Hum were only acoustic or only infrasonic a wider geographic distribution would be expected.



  1. The HUM is disrupted by factors which attenuate or lessen the spatial and /or temporal coherence of microwaves and sound e.g. moving vehicles, wind and rain.  Such factors would also disrupt infrasound. Such factors would also disrupt the modulation of the B magnetic field of a microwave component by any natural or anthropogenic source capable of changing the dielectric constant of air. 



  1. HUM-like and movement evoking bio- effects can be reproduced under laboratory conditions using appropriately matched pairs of fields and frequencies.



  1. Even individuals who do not perceive the HUM may suffer sleep disturbances when the HUM is strong.



  1. The HUM is not reported extensively in large cities because there is constant noise and movement. See also (4) above.  Apartment blocks are often more attenuating to electromagnetic signals than other housing.  A line of site path with transmitters is rare and thus there is less opportunity for the required phase relationships between magnetic components A and B.



  1. Psychological testing and medical statistics could help validate these findings.



  1. The HUM is a nuisance which deprives its victims of sleep and causes psychological stress. As such it justifies its victims pursuing legal action against the relevant users of the electromagnetic spectrum.



  1. Technology rather than confrontation might be the correct way forward but planners should err on the side of caution as there could shortly be seen an explosion of hitherto previously unconfirmed biological effects of electro-smog.



  1. Locations prone to HUM should be able to be predicted according to the present author. They will satisfy the requirement as at (3) above and additionally have an odd integral number of (half-wave) anti-phase time lags between the magnetic A and B components of at least one of the UHF /microwave fields therein present.  Note : A similar distribution might occur in the case of seismic and airborne infrasound form relatively local sources given the wavelength difference for a fixed frequency



  1. The HUM or its augmentation is most likely coherently detected by the body. Possible entry points for the frequencies involved are, in terms of acupuncture meridians, the small intestine meridian for the medium wave frequencies and the Ren Mai meridian for the UHF or microwave frequencies.   The brain’s alpha rhythms operate coherently so infrasound interacting with these and appropriate radio pulse modulation frequencies may be important here.







The author wishes to thank Mr Stuart Wisher for some interesting discussions during the writing of this paper.   The author also wishes to thank his wife Gwyneth for sharing with him her experiences of the HUM and in particular elucidating the important observation of the dependence of the HUM level at Location 1 on moving vehicles. Further the author wishes to thank Gwyneth for her kind help and contribution to the experimentation at the various mobile and outdoors locations employed in Gwynedd, Wales UK. 









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Mannone, J.C. Lecture: Radio Astronomy with Cavity Waves in Astrophysical and Ionospheric Plasmas. Tamke-Allan Observatory , Rockwood TN . Slide number WP4.3. http://radio-astronomy.org/node/209


Don Maisch EMFacts Consultancy (1997) An Australian Senate discussion Paper, 27 October 1997 (published in Hansard) http://www.emfacts.com/papers/ http://www.emfacts.com/papers/

Matronchik,  A.Y. (2005) The combined influence of the static magnetic field and microwave radiation on conformation of nucleoid in living cells. Electromagnetic Compatibility and Electromagnetic Ecology, 2005, IEEE 6th International Sympsoium. 277-280   http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/login.jsp?tp=&arnumber=1513123&url=http%3A%2F%2Fieeexplore.ieee.org%2Fxpls%2Fabs_all.jsp%3Farnumber%3D1513123   POSSIBLE KEY PAPER



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Quantum Evolution, Johnjoe McFadden. Chapter 11xmlns:w="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:word" xmlns="http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40">. http://www.surrey.ac.uk/qe/C11.htm


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Schwarzschild, B (1986). "Currents in Normal-Metal Rings Exhibit Aharonov-Bohm Effect." Phys. Today 39, 17–20, Jan. 1986. http://scitation.aip.org/content/aip/magazine/physicstoday/article/39/1/10.1063/1.2814843

See,S.P., Cai,A and Zhi NC , (2007) Study on Transmission of RF signals on the Human  Body. Institute for Infocomm Research 20 Science Park Road, #02-21/25 Teletech Park , Singapore 117674.  http://www.ieeeaps.org/education/distinguished-lecturer-program/past-distinguished-lecturer-appointments   ( CLOSEST CONTACT DETAILS ARE ALL THAT NOW SADLY REMAINS ON INTERNET)


Smith C.W. (2002) Effects of Electromagnetic Fields in the Living Environment. Proc. Intl. Conf. Electromagnetic Environments and Health in Buildings, Royal College of Physicians, London, 16-17 May, 2002. In: Clements-Croome D (Ed.).  Electromagnetic Environments and Health in Buildings. London: Taylor & Francis, October 2003. Chap. 3,   pp. 53-118.ISBN 0-415-316-561 http://www.scienceoflife.nl/html/cyril_smith.html




       Smith C.W. (2006) “Herbert Fröhlich FRS: A physicist ahead of his time” Liverpool University 2006. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1475491615000661( nearest related reference )


       G.J. Hyland & P. Rowlands (Eds.)  Chapter 7: pp. 91-138 Fröhlich's Interpretation of Biology through Theoretical Physics.


Volpe, P.(2003) Interactions of zero-frequency and oscillating magnetic fields with biostructures and systems. Photchem. Photobiol. Sci., 2, 637-648. http://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2003/pp/b212636b#!divAbstract  ( POSSIBLE KEY PAPER COULD OPEN UP NEW CANCER TREATMENTS IN THE FUTURE – STATMENT BY DR CHRIS BARNES NOVEMEBER 2015 )


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Zhang, Y. (2006) Impact of Wind-Induced Fading on the Capacity of Point- to-Multipoint Fixed Wireless Access Systems.   IWCMC’06, July 3-6, 2006,Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.979-984.