By Tony Sokol
Hey you kids, get off my lawn. A mysterious hum that has been reported for over sixty years is turning out to be a global phenomenon.
All over the world, the elderly have been complaining about a mysterious, droning sound that they can't escape.
Katie Jacques of Leeds, England told the BBC "It's a kind of torture; sometimes, you just want to scream. It's worst at night. It's hard to get off to sleep because I hear this throbbing sound in the background. ... You're tossing and turning, and you get more and more agitated about it."
The hum sounds vaguely like an idling engine and has been described as torture and, according to "The Top 10 Spooky Sleep Disorders" has been blamed for at least once suicide in England.
People who hear the mysterious hum describe it is a steady, low-frequency sound droning, throbbing or rumbling sound that creeps in slowly during nighttime hours and continues incessantly. The mysterious hum has been heard in the United States, with the most recent reports coming out of Taos, N.M. but there have been reports from as far away as Bristol, England and Largs, Scotland.
Science has no answer to a mysterious hum has been plaguing people in all corners of the earth.
Theorists of the phenomenon studied medical causes, submarine messages, naturally occurring sonic recordings, man-made industrial noise, industrial noise bands and all sorts of things that might have alien origins.
Reports of a mysterious hum have been persistent since the 1950s and may have gone unreported before then.
In 1991, the mysterious hum was reported in New Mexico, near Taos. Residents described a low-level rumbling noise. Los Alamos National Laboratory researchers, as well as experts from the University of New Mexico and Sandia National Laboratories could identify no origin.
At least one outbreak of this mysterious hum was traced to a Daimler Chrysler plant. In 2003, the municipal government of Kokomo, Indiana, financed a study to find the cause of the Kokomo Hum, not to be mistaken for Frank Zappa's Dinamo Hum. Investigators pointed to two industrial sites that were producing noise at a specific frequency. The manufacturers tried to block the sounds, but residents continued to complain about the noise.
In spite of many scientific investigations, the cause of the mysterious hum and why it only plagues a small group of people is unknown. It is listed in "The Top 10 Unexplained Phenomena."
For the most part, the hum is louder at night, mainly heard indoors and is more common in rural or suburban environments. Although the sound of the city may drown it out.
A study by Geoff Leventhall, an acoustical consultant in Surrey, England, found the hum is only heard by about 2 percent of people living in areas where it is reported. Most of the "Hearers," as they call themselves, are between the ages of 55 and 70. Sufferers complain of headaches, nausea, dizziness, nosebleeds and sleep disturbances.
Researchers don't think the "hearers" are "hearing things." They don't blame mass hysteria or hypochondria. They also don't think it caused by aliens beaming waves to earth from flying saucers. For the most part they believe it is caused by industrial equipment.
Or it might be an air conditioner or a heating unit. Also, as the people who hear it are over a certain age, it might be a form of tinnitus. Or it might be something those damned kids left on the lawn.