The Mystery of The Taos Hum

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For decades, residents of Taos in New Mexico have been haunted by a mysterious sound This terrifying noise is known for “pushing residents to the brink of madness”

Its side-effects include headaches, insomnia, breathing difficulties and acute anxiety Yet, none of the many research teams sent to investigate have ever solved this puzzle Taos is a desert town situated in the Sangre de Christo mountains Of its 5,000 residents, around 2% are affected by the hum It is not known when the sound began

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Most “hearers” say it sounds like a “far-away diesel engine” It has “an abrupt beginning” and is “always a low, barely audible sound” with a “fluctuating pulse” Over 80% of sufferers are plagued by the sound at least once a week Bizarrely, the hum is louder in contained environments, like houses or cars The absence of an explanation has led to fears that the hum is caused by extra-terrestrial activity

This is not surprising Taos is fewer than 500 kilometres from Roswell, the alleged site of a 1947 UFO crash that remains shrouded in mystery to this day University of Oklahoma Geophysics Professor David Deming says the hum could be coming from top secret US military activity

Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) technology is a commonly used in weapons technology due to the excruciating pain it can inflict Research by the World Health Organisation shows these frequencies can disable the central nervous system, disrupt sleep patterns and induce dangerous electrical currents in the human body These effects correspond to the medical problems experienced by the Taos hearers ELF signals are also used in military communications Deming points out that eerily similar side-effects were experienced by people exposed to the U

S Navy TACAMO system in the 1960s The programme used ELF pulses to communicate between ballistic missile submarines and long-range bombers Therefore, many “hearers” are convinced dangerous military activity is the root cause In 1993 Taos residents successfully lobbied Congress for an official investigation into the Hum

Their petition blamed classified military activity The government sent in a team of high profile researchers Yet, despite using sophisticated sonar tracking devices – including a purpose-built “ear” – they found no evidence of any mysterious low frequency sound The leaders of this study – University of New Mexico Professors Joe Mullins and Jim Kelly – suggested the Hum might be linked to a biological quirk in hearers Mullins said “”We may be seeing some unusually sensitive ears combined with a background of electrical noise or acoustical noise

” Yet, even this could not be verified Their report concluded, “We are left with a mystery There are no acoustic signals that might account for the hum nor are there any seismic events that might explain it There are no unusual lines at suspect frequencies in the electromagnetic spectrum recorded near Taos” Importantly, the Taos Hum is not unique

There have been many reports of mysterious sounds over the years The explanations are rarely extraordinary For two days in 2012, Borneo residents heard a terrifying roar that began in the early hours of the morning, and finally stopped after dawn The noise created mass panic, with many hysterical locals convinced of supernatural goings on It turned out to be coming from factory boiler testing

Similarly, in 2014 an “unearthly” droning sound was heard by residents of Coventry in England Despite initial fears of an alien invasion, the noise was later found to have been caused by a military plane hidden from view Indeed, ultrasonic sound expert Dr Chris Barnes believes that these hums are produced by human activity In 2011, Barnes collected convincing evidence that a mysterious hum in the UK

was the combined result of local road strengthening and changing construction techniques It is also possible that hearers have an ear condition such as tinnitus, where the sufferer hears constant buzzing Professor Mullins concluded that this was the most likely solution In 1994 the Head of Research at the UK

’s Royal National Institute for Deaf People said, “Hummers are a group of people who cannot accept that they have tinnitus” The effects of the Hum can still be debilitating Professor Tom Moir at Auckland University of Technology, whose research focuses on hum phenomena, has uncovered several shocking hum-related tales One hearer of the “Auckland hum” deliberately hacked off his left ear with a chainsaw to escape the incessant droning But these tales should not be mistaken for proof of the supernatural

Indeed, extra-terrestrial explanations for the Taos Hum are unlikely to be true Apart from purported witness testimony, there is no evidence that a UFO ever crashed at Roswell But it is also possible that the hum does not exist at all, and is actually a figment of hearers’ imaginations During an investigation by Congress, researchers conducted in-depth interviews with many of the hearers Intriguingly, descriptions of the sound varied from person to person

Some claimed the hum was a low buzz Others reported it sounding like high pitched squealing This breadth of experience suggests it may be a psychological phenomenon akin to mass hysteria Radford says in this case residents may “have been reporting subjective experiences instead of objective sounds” This supports Professor Mullins’ research, which found that “the carrier frequencies selected by the hearers ranged from 32 Hz to 80 Hz

” Mullins called this significant variation between hearers “both intriguing and puzzling” If the cause is psychological, it would explain why sonar devices have repeatedly failed to register the sound The mystery of the Taos Hum defies reasonable explanation Sadly, until its source is found, hundreds of Taos residents will continue to be tortured by it with no hope of the pain going away

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