It’s been compared to a subwoofer blasting Barry White’s greatest hits or an idling diesel truck.
Others say the low, rumbling noise that has stalked residents in the Canadian city of Windsor for years sounds like Star Trek’s Enterprise gearing up for warp speed.
“Very destructive,” is how Mike Provost, a 62-year-old retired insurance salesman describes the so-called Windsor Hum. “If you think of thunder, and you take that thunder and constantly repeat it for hours and days, weeks, that’s all it is.”
Residents on the west and south side of Windsor – a city of 210,000 people that sits just across the river from Detroit – began complaining of a mysterious noise some six years ago, blaming it for rattling windows and trembling wall hangings.
“You can’t get away from it,” says Provost. “You go outside to work in your garden, you go outside to enjoy the sun, the noise is there.”
Part noise and part vibration, the hum varies in intensity and comes and goes at random intervals, sometimes lasting hours and other times droning on for days. Sometimes it quiets down. But in recent months, residents say the Windsor hum has intensified to unprecedented – and unbearable – levels.
“It’s past unbelievable,” says Provost. “Never have I ever heard it like this.”
As the sound revved up, it sparked a flurry of posts on a closed Facebook group – which counts more than 1,400 members – for those affected by the hum. “Everybody has their own story,” says Provost, who ascribes constant feelings of nausea to the hum.
In 2012, more than 22,000 people dialled in to a local teleconference about the hum, voicing concerns that ranged from the effect of the noise on pregnancy to the long-term impact it could have on a home’s foundation.
The hum’s persistent presence in the city has sparked creativity and inspired a slew of conspiracy theories; from a PhD thesis that seeks to incorporate the noise into song to theories that link the hum to UFOs or covert tunneling by the Canadian military.
Studies commissioned of the 35Hz sound by the Canadian government suggest a more mundane source; pointing to Zug island, an American industrial area located a few miles down the river from the bridge that separates Windsor and Detroit.
It’s a link dogged by uncertainty, as Canadian scientists studying the noise weren’t able to access Zug island. Home to a US Steel plant and a coke battery owned by the local utility company, the manmade island is part of the tiny municipality of River Rouge and much of its 0.93 square miles is patrolled by security guards.
Colin Novak of the University of Windsor, one of the lead researchers on a 2013 Canadian government study of the hum, once described the research “like chasing a ghost”.
Using a state of the art recording station, his team was able to confirm the existence of the noise and determine that it was likely coming from the blast furnace operations on Zug island. Belonging to US Steel, the machinery is visible from the Canadian city.
SOURCE: Ashifa Kassam