Myths and mysteries: The Taos Hum

Published Jul 30, 2011 03:33am

Everything seems to be normal in the small town of Taos in New Mexico. Well, almost everything. In this town of about 4,700 residents, a strange phenomenon affects the population. It is called the Taos Hum — a strange humming noise like one that would come from an idle diesel engine left running.

Investigation into this low humming noise has not lead to any tangible proof of where this noise might be coming from. The whole thing gets weirder as people who hear it cannot get rid of the irritating persistent hum even by putting on earplugs! The noise is louder inside the house or contained environment than outside. Some people hear it all the time and some hear it at intervals. For some its gets so disturbing that it keeps them up at night.

It is said that the humming sound began in 20 years ago but the exact time varies. However, when the reason or location of the noise could not be found, it gained so much importance that the people suffering from it contacted the United States Congress in 1993 and asked for help.

A serious investigation of the mystery began in 1997 with several science and science institutions getting involved to get to the root cause of the noise. They interviewed people who were affected by the sound and were surprised to find that the effects of the mysterious humming resulted in nosebleeds, feeling dizzy, vibrations, irritability and, of course, sleep disorders. The residents were of the opinion that it was due to some secret government project or military installations, which were based near the area.

Investigators and researchers came to no exact explanation to the cause of the hum but some of them attributed it to the possibility of electromagnetic waves which are caused by meteors.

Another strange thing about the mysterious humming sounds is that more men can hear it than women. Also some people cannot hear it at all. What could generate this noise? And why is it in this specific location? Whatever the reason, do the people who hear it possess some kind of advanced and evolved hearing, which is yet to be discovered by science?

Also why has this phenomenon just started 20 years ago? If the rise of industry is the cause, then that happened much earlier.

The answer to that could be the more advanced technology of today. But some are certain that the occurrence is due to supernatural phenomenon or even some sort of conspiracy to keep the real reason from the general public.

To name a few interesting suppositions, the famous or infamous town of Roswell, which is supposed to have had a flying saucer crash in 1947, is pretty close to Taos. Furthermore, there was much strange flying aircraft activity reported in the region even after the initial alleged crash which was covered up by the United States military, stating that it was a weather balloon that had crashed. Then one also wonders if the “Trinity” atom bomb test in 1945 could have had triggered the phenomenon.

Just like the persistent humming, the story too does not end here. The noise has also been reported in other places in the world giving these “Hums” their local titles, like the “Bristol Hum” and the “Bondi Hum”. Interestingly, the Massey University in Auckland, New Zealand, tried to record the hum and reported that its power spectral density has a frequency peak of 56 hertz.

The Bristol Hum was reported in the late 1970s in Britain. In some locations, volcanic activity nearby was the cause. Experts say that in the human body, the auditory nervous system too can create a humming sound called tinnitus. But why do people hear this sound in a particular location cannot be explained.

Interestingly, people with tinnitus can also hear and distinguish the Hum from their disorder. Then there is another scientific theory in which it is possible that hot gasses moving beneath the Earth can cause the vibrations and sounds. But all this is mere speculation. So far no one has come

up with the proper or precise explanation of the Taos Hum or the same phenomenon in other areas. Some even attribute it to an advanced civilisation below the surface, one that uses advanced technology.

But for now it seems that the mystery endures and will for many years till its source is discovered. And last but not least, like all eerie stuff that goes ‘bump’ in the night, the Hum too increases as darkness falls.


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