TCAMO revisited, not radio frequency radiation but why TACAMO aircraft could have been involved in some early cases of the Hum by Dr Chris Barnes, Bangor Scientific Consultants, first published without reference list March 2012. 



The present paper re-visits and presents a structured critique the first ever peer reviewed publication on the Hum by Professor David Deming based on what is now known about the Hum.   TCAMO aircraft and aircraft in general are shown to be a possible source of infrasonic component for the Hum and in particular can produce simultaneous coherent seismic and airborne sound. However this is also true of pumped storage power systems, power cables, oil and gas exploitations explorations and wind turbines.     



The Hum is an enigmatic noise phenomenon that is estimated to plague between 2 -11% of the World’s population. Those afflicted report hearing a deep pitched pulsating drone rather like that of a distant idling diesel engine. The noise is usually heard stronger indoors and in the dead of night. Much play is made by early commentaries, such as Deming for example,   on the fact that early cases of the Hum were not amenable to audio recording and this led to the Hum being classed as almost paranormal and undoubtedly delayed its investigation by mainstream scientists.     However, technology has advanced a lot since the 1970’s and infrasonic and audio spectra can now be recorded in almost real time by the use of computer software and waterfall displays.  Such spectra are often subtly different at locations with and without the Hum.    In the former locations narrowband infrasound has been found in addition to acoustic sound.   Indeed Hum- like effects can be synthesised in the laboratory but only by certain crucial combinations of frequency and phase relationships. This together with the possible potentiating effect of pulsed microwave radiation (as a sensitizer of hearing) and low frequency magnetic signals (refs) accounts for the fact of the Hum only been found in apparently random locations within a specific region. At such locations frequencies coming together from one or multiple sources can give rise to the Hum.     


The flaws in Deming’s argument

The only peer reviewed papers ever published on the Hum are that of Deming (ref) and the letter of reply by the present author.   Deming concludes that the most probable cause of the Hum in space and time is low frequency electromagnetic emission from TCAMO aircraft.  It is also stated that the Hum is heard predominantly in coastal regions but only in small coastal town locations not coastal cities. Further it is stated that those afflicted by the Hum have to travel distance of between 40-80 Km to get relief and yet further it is stated that TCAMO aircraft often have 200kW transmitters.  The operation of these aircraft would have to be highly secret and random. It is seems common sense or highly unlikely that they would want or be allowed to hold their positions for hours on end. To this end this is quite contrary to the Hum which seems to be a long lived feature in some locations.  That is not to say there might have been a mechanism whereby they could provide shorter periods of the Hum. In any event the data rate of communication between such aircraft and their sister submarines is secret and therefore unknown.   The present author has advanced another hypothesis concerning why travelling gives relief from the Hum.  The cabin of a moving car or vehicle contains high levels of broad band infrasound which provide a sort of TTS deadening the ear’s sensitivity to the Hum. In this respect it would be useful to survey and see if professional drivers and pilots ever hear the Hum? Some have stated that the Hum is merely due to ‘oversensitive’ hearing ( ref). However,   the latest research on Wind Turbines shows that we all have the capacity to be badly affected by narrowband infrasound and seismic vibration whether we actually perceive it as a heard Hum or not via components of the ear known as the Utricle and Saccule which are at least 15dB more sensitive to low frequency sound and infrasound than the cochlea (ref).  

     Another fundamental flaw in Deming’s argument is that elf radio waves don’t know boundaries. Thus if hearers were sensitive in a coastal town there ought to be the same proportion of hearers in a large city. Unless bio-detection of ELF by the Human body had a very peculiar response to field strength, this immediately rules out bio-detection of such emissions from TCAMO aircraft. Such quantum effects might be expected with bio-detection at VHF, UHF or microwave frequencies (ref) but the wavelengths ate all wrong at ELF.  Also there are no reports of Hum cases close to land based ELF transmitters.

On the other hand, powerful elf radio waves do have the ability to demodulate at any non-linearity, boundaries of dissimilar metal for example.  There ought however to be the same probability of this happening in houses in small cities or towns as in large cities and thus once again the observable facts for the number of recorded Hum hearers simply don’t stack up.   


Could TCAMO still be involved?

Deming has concluded that the source of the Hum must be moving. Similarly Tom Moir has made an equivalent suggestion regarding the New Zealand Hum (private communication).     Even sub-sonic aircraft are known to generate infrasound (refs) and seismic signals .  It is interesting to note that at least in Bangor North Wales the Hum appears to require coherence in at least two channels, possibly seismic and infrasonic (acoustic) and that at least one channel yields a predominantly vertical signal, i.e. maybe due to a seismic Rayleigh wave or similar.    

Thus it is not improbable that at least in some parts of the World TCAMO aircraft or any other aircraft for that matter could be contributors towards the Hum.  Indeed in the early days of the Hum before the proliferation of other Infrasonic and sources seismic sources TCAMO aircraft may well have been the major sources of the Hum.      It is then easy to see why those in big cities would not hear the Hum. Big cities never sleep. There is always sufficient background noise and vehicular movement to disturb the coherence required for the Hum.

On the other hand smaller cities and towns have suburbs and more rural outskirts where traffic flow all but comes to a halt a night and hence there is nothing to disturb the coherence of the Hum.  Of course this proposition would not fit in with Deming’s argument for he appears to be totally dismissive of the Hum as involving anything acoustic on the basis of Hum complaints continued after the Kokomo investigation. The present author has too read the EmSciTek report and investigation into the Kokomo Hum.  It was actually stated that some of the complaints ceased after the investigation and corrective work to the acoustic sources involved. Thus it would be wrong to totally dismiss infrasound, acoustic sound and seismic vibration out of hand as possible causes of the Hum.     



21st Century Hum 

Where does this leave the Hum today in 2012?  Cases of the Hum continue to pop up all around the world and it is now not just a feature of the Western World.   Indeed the Hum seems to be proliferating more quickly of late.  One possible reason for this is publicity. If people learn what the Hum sounds like and then hear it, they are more likely to declare they have got it!  It is doubtful TCAMO aircraft are proliferating at the same rate as the Hum. Indeed the present author doesn’t know enough about military systems to comment if they are even still in use. It is thought that there are other systems such as HAARP which may provide submarine communication but much of this is prone to speculation.


In Britain the Hum proliferated in the 1970’s especially around Bristol. In the 1970’s the Concord supersonic passenger aircraft was in use and supersonic aircraft are known to give infrasound which propagates far greater distances than infrasound generated by sub-sonic transport. Concord was of course initially tested from the Bristol area.   Today there are no supersonic passenger aircraft but there are possibly more supersonic military aircraft in our skies than ever before. Thus aircraft of all kinds remain a feasible source of infrasonic and seismic signals to contribute towards the Hum.  

One thing is clear both Deming and the present author agree that the Hum is anthropogenic in origin. The present author has strong evidence to support this (ref).

Aircraft thus possibly rank along with world power systems (ref), oil and gas exploitations and exploration, super-tankers, wind turbines and pumped storage power systems as major contributors towards the infrasound component(s) of ever expanding cases of the Hum the World over.  Though the mechanism of generation of infrasound and seismic vibration by power systems is completely different the harmonic signals involved are returned via the ionosphere (refs) as can be infrasound at or below 10 Hz (refs) which can also be returned by lower regions of the atmosphere giving a two channel system (refs).   Although ordinary hydropower stations are known to be strong generators of infrasound often in the region of 2 Hz (refs) and their emergence does seem to coincide with instances of the Hum in northern Europe, no such timeline seems to exist in the USA and Canada where hydropower has been in use considerably longer.  In the USA there are more than 1800 gas compressor stations compared with only 26 in the UK. When land mass is taken into account the density of gas compressor stations in the USA is approximately double that in the UK.  It is possible then the dominant source of infrasound and LFN in the USA could be gas compressors and thus they could potentially feature more as a tonal component in the Hum than they do in the UK.   In this respect is interesting to note that in the USA the Hum began in New Mexico which has the largest density of Gas Compressor stations.   In both countries high pressure gas pipelines and high voltage power transmission systems often run in the same corridors or parallel to minimise land scarring. There is potential then for electro-acoustic and seismo-acoustic interaction between the two systems (Refs).    The requirement for a Hum with a moving source (Deming and Moir) is not violated if the Hum is produced by any system with moving parts and in any event if the Hum has components which are propagated to earth via the ionosphere and/or upper atmosphere then these are also in constant motion.      


If the Hum suddenly moves into an area the temptation is to look for changes in infrastructure and indeed in some cases such as with wind-turbines this can sometimes yield a result (refs). Wind turbines are an added complication because not only do they produce airborne sound, infrasound and seismic sound but also they contribute significantly to imbalanced ground currents in power systems yet another potential cause of the Hum.  In other cases the change may be several tens or even hundreds of kilometres away.  A recent case of the Hum which the present author was asked to investigate is worth noting. This was in Woodlands, County Durham UK, an area riddled with old mine workings. The Hum there commenced after subsidence caused a large hole in the road which was filled in with hundreds of tons of concrete.  The latter most probably caused an alteration in the seismic signal propagation in the area and allowed a crucial component for the Hum to propagate whence otherwise it was previously not doing so. 


Further work  

The author is presently exploring World acoustic power sources for the Hum and also the timelines of several known World infrasonic sources in a bid to further pin down the Hum.