Two Hums; one sufferer’s evidence, by Dr Chris Barnes, Bangor Scientific and Educational Consultants, Bangor, Wales, UK e-mail






Low frequency noise in various guises undoubtedly affects more people than meets the eye. Some simply perhaps do not complain remaining complacent whereas others might be persuaded to believe they afflicted by tinnitus.  Low frequency noise and its possible causes have been extensively researched and documented in a recent DEFRA report (ref).   One specific aspect of low frequency noise described by some as a pulsating or warbling buzz or hum rather like the noise of a wasp trapped in a bottle has been referred to as the HUM first heard extensively in Britain in the 1980’s or more specifically Taos Hum after a region in New Mexico where it was first heard extensively in the early 1990’s. It would seem however the HUM or rather Hums pervade most of the Western World afflicting estimates of between 2-11% of the population.  It is incredibly difficult to do Science on the HUM because almost all reports are anecdotal. However, the present author, as a sufferer and also an internationally published Scientist now feels able to shed additional light on this enigmatic phenomenon. 



Infrasonic HUM


Barnes (refs) has established the irritating HUM heard in North Wales to be of infrasonic origin and very strongly correlated with the position of the 300 milli- bar jet stream. Further Barnes has postulated that sensitivity to such infrasonic HUMS arises when individuals possess increased acute low frequency hearing, particularly in the right ear, extending below normal low frequency cut-off points.  This hypothesis is strongly supported by audiometric measurements performed on the author and members of his family and by the damping effect of extensive car journeys of several hours duration either away from the source of the HUM and back in the same day or simply to other points in the country. It is postulated that as moving cars are very strong sources of broad band infrasound and low frequency noise, the sound radiated by their interiors somehow deadens HUM sensitivity perhaps by a kind of temporary threshold shift of the hearing.   Indeed recently in driving round Britain the author never noticed the irritating ‘Bangor’ HUM once in any of the locations he stayed at or until at least 48 hours after returning home.  However in some locations it was possible to perceive a different higher pitched more gently varying noise in the dead of night.  For more detail see,




Electromagnetic or gravitational HUM       


It is presently postulated therefore that there may indeed after all be two distinct kinds of the HUM as perceived by humans.  The high pitched HUM was not particularly annoying and appeared subjectively to have a frequency in the region of 100Hz and only varying very slowly in amplitude and possibly frequency and could not be screened by ear plugs as can to a certain extent the Bangor Hum.  Within the bounds of Physics as we currently understand, a signal capable of interacting with humans and which cannot be screened by earplugs is either electromagnetic or gravitational in origin.  Shielding of the electric component of a low frequency electromagnetic wave is quite trivial.  Shielding a gravitational field might only be possible by going deep underground.  Shielding a magnetic or scalar em wave is not readily possible although these are not acceptable to all physicists. In this latter respect, readers are encouraged to make reference to my paper on Active Prediction of Hum sites by Aronov Bohm criteria.     There are anecdotal reports of some HUM sufferers getting relief by descending into deep limestone caves (ref).  This supports the notion of a gravitational HUM perceived by the inner ear (ref). It is further exciting because it potentially links with unified field physics and electro-gravitation theories.   Alternatively if the HUM involved ion-acoustic waves the one phenomenon could manifest in all three above mentioned ways.  It is certainly known that the ionosphere generates natural ion acoustic waves and similarly that anthropogenic such signals can also be created by 50 and 60 Hz power grids or by using ionosphere heating.





Humans are highly complex organisms. To quote a familiar maxim ‘one man’s meat is another’s poison. There is presented above personal and anecdotal evidence to suggest that perhaps the phenomenon previously referred to as the HUM is not one but possible two or more distinct phenomena or at least manifest as such.    


Deming (ref) has postulated a specific kind of electromagnetic HUM and Dawes (  ) has postulated a HUM caused by the effect of the UK power grid on the gravitational field. Significantly further research is required in these areas to fully elucidate the cause of non –infrasonic HUMS which although not as personally irritating to the present author as are those of infrasonic origin might afflict others more seriously.