The Windsor Hum


Senior Member
For 2 years now Windsor has been experiencing a 'hum', as in one of those low, disembodied vibratory sounds that this site has had so much fun debunking. There's suspicion an American steel-mill on Zug Island is the source,

But of course those who espouse the global 'hum' conspiracy are loving it.
I live in a major steel-city, and we don't have any 'hum', so I wonder what they're doing in those factories, if it is the factories, to make such a damn racket. Must be hell to work there day after day if it is the source.
Don't believe myself its anything but some messed up industrial process, but I figured y'all might be interested.
Have you ever seen what goes on in a steel mill or a forge?? "Damn racket" doesnt' even begin to describe it!

My home town, Bristol in the Uk has had a 'hum' for years...

The above site, our local news rag, will not allow me to copy and quote, but the following, which blames the hum on causing cancer and driving people to suicide, gives a rough over view of the story...
External Quote:
The Bristol Hum came to prominence in the mid 1970s when Mr Stan Lovell aroused interest in the matter with his letters to the Bristol Evening Post, this resulted in a flood of letters from other sufferers who then formed a committee to investigate the matter
This committee had a connection with the London University, where by coincidence, an investigation into the phenomena was already being carried out, and the newly formed committee travelled to London University Department of Physics at Chelsea to meet the team of investigators.
After a preliminary discussion, each member of the committee took turns to enter a sound proof chamber where sounds at various frequencies were fed into headphones, the subjects asked to indicate the sound which most closely matched the Hum and they all chose the same frequency of 36 cycles per second.
On their return to Bristol, the committee contacted Bristol City Council with the results of the scientific investigation and the important 36 cps frequency, but City Officers claimed that the results must be false for the human ear was incapable of detecting sound at such a low frequency and they refused to investigate the matter.
Some of the sufferers were constituents of Arthur Palmer, Member of Parliament for Bristol, who took up their case and persuaded the City Council to carry out an investigation. Mr. Palmer, together with City Officers, toured the city at night and claimed to have found the cause which then is reported to have stopped.

When questioned as to the cause the City Council refused to reveal the source or any details and simply stated, We have had it stopped be satisfied with that.
Shortly after the visit of the Hum committee to Chelsea College the British Government stopped the grant for the investigation and the team were forced to abandon their work.
In 1979 senior Environmental Health Officer Mr Robert Enticott admitted to a national newspaper that health officials in Bristol had been investigating the noise for the past eight years but are no nearer an answer, we are completely baffled he confessed.

It should be noted the Bristol Hum has not stopped, in the period from 1978 to the present day, 2014, there has been a continuous stream of Hum complaints made to Bristol City Council, which is a matter of public record.
The Bristol Hum claimed two suicides, in 1997 Mr James Hall of Horfield and in 1998 Mrs Joyce Durbin ofToterdown
A request was made to Avon Coroner Dr. Paul Forrest to re-open the inquest on Mrs Durbin and to call for an investigation into the Hum responsible for her death but the request was refused.
my powers only arise on death as to the identity of the deceased, the circumstances of the death, and the particulars for registration. They do not arise now in any shape or form relating to investigation of the noise.

In 2009 Dr. Forrest was suspended from duty and subject to a criminal investigation concerning his handling of another suicide case.. Simon Caplan, a spokesman for Bristol City council stated, A coroner is officially responsible for investigating deaths - particularly those which happened in unusual circumstances - as well as determining the causes of death.

In 1999 Hum campaigner and secretary of the Low Frequency Noise Sufferers Association, Bob Lewis, made a map showing the locations of over 100 Hum sufferers who had responded to letters written to the Bristol Evening Post.
His map revealed that the majority lived on the high ground and hills that surround the City of Bristol, very few sufferers lived in the city centre and no replies came from areas which in the distant past had been marsh land.. The majority of sufferers lived in the Clifton area. Both suicides lived at elevated parts of the city

Over the years there have been many attempts by individuals and groups of Hum sufferers to force the UK Government to acknowledge the serious consequences of the Hum but they have all failed, and by the media ridiculing those affected, the problem has been controlled.
(The bold is from the original source)

I've been living in the city since 1981, and can honestly say I've never heard it, but there again having spent most of my life in very loud rock bands my hearing isn't exactly 100%. However I have several friends, who are perfectly sane and upstanding people, including an aeronautical engineer and a teacher who swear they can hear it fairly regularly.

It has variously been attributed to heavy machinery, traffic on the M4, M5 and M32 motorways that pass through or near the city, engines of ships in Bristol channel, passing trains, high voltage power lines, tinnitus, or even a psychosomatic effect and mass hysteria.
I live near a platform where tankers offload oil. It is about 1 mile from my house to the shore, then the platform is 1 mile offshore. I can (rarely) hear engines from the ships. When I hear it, it sounds just like these people describe. It is one in hundreds of ships that makes this hum. I would think if it has been bothering these folks for so long someone could find it. Although I do "get" what the mayor of the town said, he can't hear it. In my search for the source, I would totally lose the sound, then pick it up again.
This is possibly due to what is known as a standing wave. Say you are in a rectangular room. there will be one or two frequencies whose wavelengths fit EXACTLY into the space of the room. This then means if this particular sound frequency is in the room, in some places, you can't hear it at all and in other places it will be really loud. This is why recoprding studios have sound deadening and angles all over the place, to remove standing waves where possible. There could easily be something similar between the ship and the wall of your house for example.
I can remember sitting outside the Tesco store in Henley-On-Thames in the UK and the hum was deafening. I noticed there was a hill directly opposite and a train track that ran between the store and it and I was thinking maybe an electrical origin or some such phenomena. Maybe there were phone masts nearby that might have caused the hum and interacting with the local geography in some ways. The hum was unmistakable on some nights and completely missing on others. It was like being in the presence of a billion cicadas :D
I just stumbled upon this video that talks about hums, The Bristol Hum in particular

It doesn't reach any conclusions but does explore a number of possible causes including external environmental sources such traffic and industrial noise, natural sources such as wave action on sea floors, internal biological sources such as blood flow through the inner ear and military sources such as VLF radio signals. Its only 12 minutes long and is an interesting watch.