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"There's something going on," Hallinan said of the aurora's whisper. "It's scientifically unreasonable, yet people do hear it."
Hallinan says the thin air of the ionosphere--where the aurora dances from 60 to about 200 miles above the earth's surface--can't carry sound waves. Even if it could, Hallinan says, we're so far away that it would take several minutes for the sound to reach us.
Hallinan suggests a few possible explanations for auroral noise. He said the brain may sense electromagnetic waves from the aurora and somehow convert them to sound. Another theory is that electrical currents induced on the ground by the aurora (which also corrode the trans-Alaska oil pipeline) may create an audible electrical discharge from nearby objects such as spruce trees or buildings.
It's somehow comforting that this part of the aurora borealis remains a mystery. The voice of the aurora will undoubtedly someday be captured on tape and explained, but if I ever hear it, I'll whisper back. Maybe Barron has something to tell us.
November 17, 2006 - 12:46PM
A New Zealand scientist believes he's captured a recording of the mystery hum that has been heard by scores of people living and in and around the city of Auckland.
The Bristol Hum is the most widely reported hum in the U.K. Some of the features of the Bristol Hum are:
* Sounds like an idling diesel engine.
* Most "hummers" are over the age of 50
* At least one partially deaf person hears the hum without using a hearing aid
* "Hearing" of radar signals can be ruled out, since aluminum foil enclosures do not attenuate the Hum.
* If a signal generator and loudspeaker is used, a zero beat can be heard around 100Hz
* Steel enclosures (such as cars, vehicles, some buildings) slightly attenuate the perceived hum, but only if greater than 1/8" wall thickness.
* J. Hall of Bristol UK committed suicide in 10/96 after having been driven crazy by the hum.
* The Hum can be detected and recorded using coil detectors.
In addition to requiring large quantities of energy and being difficult to use with a portable device, infrasound works poorly in air where sound waves tend to reflect off the body.2 Low-frequency sound travels in all directions and is hard to direct. (Infrasound is measured at 20 Hz and below, ultrasound at 20 KHz and above.) Wavelength is in a ratio to the aperture of the device that is directing it, so that infrasound needs a very large aperture. As a matter of contrast, ultrasound uses a very small aperture. It is cheap to generate and relatively easy to direct, but ultrasound burns surface tissue and destroys organs (medical ultrasound is used to break up kidney stones) and therefore has not been adapted for non-lethal purposes.
Infrasound is an amazingly effective weapon under the right conditions. A small percentage of the population is so unbearably sensitive to infrasound that they become nauseous near the ocean (which naturally generates low-frequency signals) and can sense, or "hear," earthquakes hundreds of miles away. Ultra-low frequencies will nauseate and disorient most people under the right conditions (that is, if the sound can easily couple with their bodies, which it does under water or in a high-pressure chamber).
Originally posted by booda
I must admit that I have heard this buzzing noise myself but have always put it down to a problem with my ear. I wonder if we can gather a list of people on ATS that have heard this and possibly a location where this happens and pinpoint what it could be. This phenomena happens all round the world, especially in Europe according to Wiki. Any thoughts people...
(visit the link for the full news article)
Mod Edit: Review This Link: Instructions for the Breaking News Forums: Copy The Exact Headline
[edit on 5/20/2009 by semperfortis]
Oh and I still get the vibrations once in a while, and if it's really quiet, I always hear a humming noise. almost like a distant rumble.