Sunday, December 14, 2008

Hum Noise Beginning July 2008

We noticed a noise that is like a low-frequency hum, or vibration, that began in Ranchlands in July of 2008. We've been living in the neighbourhood since 1998, and in our current house since 2005. Our neighbours to the left and to the right of us have heard the noise, too. All of us have reported the noise to our Alderman's Office.

Sometimes the noise is very loud, sometimes it's soft, and sometimes it's completely inaudible. It's been loud enough to drive us out of the house and keep ourselves and visitors awake at night.

Suggestions have been made that this noise is similar to the "Taos Hum": a hum sound that is indeterminate. Anything is being considered as a possibility. However, the noise seems localized to the location of our house and our neighbour's houses on either side of us. Across the street, in our neighbour's house, there is no humming/vibrational noise. Articles on the "Taos Hum" and similar phenomenon seem to suggest that in those instances, the noise is noticed in a broader area than ours. But, anything is certainly possible.


henrythe8th said...

i was wondering what street in ranchlands you live on? maybe we can localize this phenomenon.

Joe Midi said...

We are on Ranchridge Way. Whereabouts are you?
I think localizing this is a very good step - and tough to do alone :-)

Thanks for being in touch! Looking forward to hearing from you.

seventhson said...

Ranchlands residents are not the only folks who hear this noise.
This low frequency noise or vibration(around 60hz) has been bothering me for some time.I live in the Emerald Bay areas of Springbank. I think the sound is coming from the Bears Paw Dam.

Joe Midi said...

Hi Seventhson,

When did you start noticing the noise?

seventhson said...

The noise started sometime during the winter of 2007, not sure exactly when.

Joe Midi said...

Have you taken any steps to find out what it is?

seventhson said...

We are at the Springbank Links Golf Course Area, just above the Bearspaw reservoir. I have been losing sleep for some time over this low frequency humming noise. Being a contractor I have noticed the noise at several houses that I have worked in (Aspen Ridge SW of Westhills, Horizon View Rd in Springbank, Rocky Ridge NW.)

I believe the noise is coming from the Bearspaw Dam Site.

patty said...

Welcome to the International community of the HUM hearers.

Hi, my name is Patty I've been hearing the hum for 5 years. They have tried to tell me it is Tinnitus, but I do believe I know the difference.
I have researched and think it is the Microwave Auditory Effect or Frey Effect. It is a complicated physical manifestation due to the Thermoelastic affect that pulsed amplitude modulation of electromagnetics has on some of our cochlear out hair cells.
All of the discerning bodies, like the World Health Organization, The International Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation etc. Know of and have evaluated a risk assessment of this condition, they are calling it the hearing effect.
I do hope this gives you some enlightment.
Sincerely yours
Patty Green
Roseneath, Ontario

patty said...

Welcome to the International community of HUM hearers.

Hi, my name is Patty. I have been hearing the hum for 5 years.
I now believe the hum is also called the Microwave Auditory Effect or Frey Effect. It is a complicated physical manifestation created by the Thermoelastic interaction of amplitude modulation of pulsed electromagnetics. The interaction of the microwaves creates a wave that stimulates our cochlear outer hair cells.
The World Health Organization calls it the hearing effect.
The ICNIRP and IEEE also know of this effect that amplitude modulation has on humans.
With hope that this helps to enlighten the situation.
Yours Truly
Patty Green
Roseneath, Ontario

Frank Penkala said...

Hearing it in Bowness on and off for a year or so. It's bad today and really starting to bug me. A lawsuit may be in order to get the issue attention and some progress on a remedy.

Cathie said...

I, too, have over the past few weeks only,started hearing a 'hum' - if that's what it is like a low throbbing vibration...I live in Rosedale near 16th Avenue and SAIT and with all the construction going on with those two places wonder if there is some generator on or something somewhere. I've asked around to a few other neighbours and they haven't heard it..I have pretty acute hearing though and some of them don't! Even my husband doesn't seem to hear it though. I can see this slowly driving me crazy.

Joe Midi said...

Cathie, please keep us apprised of your findings. It very well may be something to do with the construction happening close to you.

norahcar said...

Hi folks, I bought my house on Ranchview Circle in May 2006, and I started to notice the hum this past summer ... but it's not so bad here to keep me awake or really bother me much. I went around my house thinking it was my 'fridge or something but it's not. It comes and goes, and is definitely audible but for me not annoying. Norah C.

Joe Midi said...

Thanks, Nora. Would you be open to one of our team being directly in touch with you? Our email is

Thank you!

neo said...

its microwave towers aka cell phone towers, it is heating/eliminating a portion of the oxygen in the air

Anonymous said...

Just another data point here
Living in an inner-city neighbourhood
I have noticed that the locomotives on
the nearby CPR tracks have become significantly
louder in the past couple of years.
I believe this related to an effort to increase fuel efficiency by reducing
the mufflers. This effect is quite dependant on air temperature, density and thermal layering.
See Acoustic Waveguides for more information.
Good luck in finding the root cause


Anonymous said...

How far away is the nearest cell phone tower?

Joe Midi said...

There are cell towers within relatively close proximity to homes in Ranchlands. The closest one to our house is approx 500 - 600 meters.

Joe Midi said...


Interestingly enough, sound readings have been taking of idling locomotives down in the Bowness area, and they idle at 40 Hz. Our recent investigation noticed that the locomotives do not idle continuously, however. Many reports of the Noise include hearing it constantly. Having said that, it's a lead we're interested in pursuing.


Anonymous said...

I am hearing buzz too in the n.e. I heard that all the electric lines laid here years ago were bought on sale and are farmer grade this means the twist in the line is far apart not the regulartory every 1 inch which should be used to reduce white noise. 300 new cell phone tower applications are with the city becasue of the deregulation for wind this year. Glad to hear I am not the only one hearing things buzz hum and whine! cheers! eyannie

Anonymous said...

I live in lower Edgemont close to the John Laurie and Sarcee intersection. I have been aware of the hum for a few years now. The last few weeks have been particularly bad for not getting a full nights rest. I am either awaken enough to be partially conscious or fully awake. This takes place around the 3:00am period. I am going to try sleeping in another part of the house. This certainly a quality of life issue.

Joe Midi said...

Anyone experiencing the Noise, or something similar, is welcome (& encouraged) to contact us directly:


Sandstorm said...

I live in Central Florida, since July 2008, my sleep has been DESTROYED. It started with a strange vibration that jolted me awake, I thought it was some kind of machinery. By December 2008 a strange hum started. Sometimes constant, sometime uneven pulsing "Rumm...Rumm...Rumm Rumm", sometimes constant and painful (really hurts my ears, like torture) hum. I ruled out machinery because the sound came from different directions after awhile (It started out from a distinct direction for many months, usually 2:30-3:30 in morning. Then suddenly almost every night a different direction.)
Long story short (long?), I found the source(s) on quiet mornings/nights, sound is coming from CELL TOWERS, no doubt about it (sound comes from top of tower!) have found sources up to two miles away, they are generating weird low freq sounds either on purpose or as a side-effect. Have found T-mobile and SBA Towers II cell towers generating this awful sound.
Much louder inside house than outside, housemates cannot hear it, have tried to record sound, unsuccessful so far.
It has been over a year and a half, I think standing outside in the middle of the night, one night I just realized that I can tell what direction, months after first hearing sounds. Check (or Canadian equivalent, I hope there is one, my local county web site also list most locations) to find where the local towers are, when sound gets loud, go to the towers (safely, of course if it is late at night). I passed many towers that are closer, but for some reason there are particular towers that have made my life miserable, especially when it hurts my ears, I cannot block the sound with earplugs, earmuffs, and a pillow, weird sound goes through EVERYTHING!
I also get weird jabs of pain, like needle prick, and weird electric feeling in air washes over me. I have no doubt that it IS the cell towers here in Florida, but I still don't have a why, and a how! (How to block it)
I am planning to soundproof/insulate/shield my sleeping quarters, but I am so very fatigued from this deregulated nightmare.
Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Newcomer to Calgary here, my girlfriend lives in bankview, just off 17th ave and I've only heard it one night so far during the summer.

Actually come to think of it, it was the second last night of stampede I think.

... anyhow. We got home late and went to bed with the window open, and there was this strange, indeterminate low warbling noise.

The best way we could describe it is that it sounded similar to a sound effect from a 1950s style ufo movie.

It was prominent from about 2am onward.

That night there was also a dog that was left outdoors that went absolutely nuts and would not stop barking.

Very strange.

It was not so much a low frequency hum, but a low "woop woop woop woop" sound.

It was -everywhere- you couldn't source the origin of the sound, it would fade and then get louder.

I've never experienced anything like it.

Anonymous said...

Hi all,

I live in Cochrane and last winter CPR had one of their engines idling on a line just down the track from developed areas.

The noise kept us up at night as we couldn't block it out, music etc did not work.

At the time I contacted CPR and they gave me some mumbo %$$#% about having to leave the engines running due to the cold and that if they turned them off then there could be major malfunction due to frozen parts... however they have yet to leave the engine idle in that location again!

I would suggest that should you hear the noise, check any rail tracks within the vicinity of your home as I believe that this practice (although saving CPR money) is detrimental to the lives of those within the vicinity of the rails and they should be required to ensure that this is done well enough away from peoples homes.

Anonymous said...

I live in Raymond, Ontario, between Huntsville and Bracebridge and the hum started this August. I hear it clearly, and always, louder inside than out and never wavering. My husband hears it intermittently, but not as loud and constant as I do. We live near a microwave tower but it has never bothered us before. I drove as far as Haliburton this week and I heard it there at night. So did a colleague of mine. It was his first time hearing it. There are no close cell towers there. It is making me crazy! T.H

Gale said...

I live in Raymond, Ontario, between Huntsville and Bracebridge and the hum started this August. I hear it clearly, and always, louder inside than out and never wavering. My husband hears it intermittently, but not as loud and constant as I do. We live near a microwave tower but it has never bothered us before. I drove as far as Haliburton this week and I heard it there at night. So did a colleague of mine. It was his first time hearing it. There are no close cell towers there. It is making me crazy! T.H

Steve said...

Hello folks- I recently started participating on the yahoo hum forum as copsne so you may know we in western ct have concluded that changes to the natural gas transmission system (thru our testing, and investigation)as the source for at least over a 250 square mile region. We started hearing it the time we believe these changes started to be put on line around sept 2009. Alberta has such a large energy industry, this may be a very unpopular explanation, but worth considering. Look below your feet

Anonymous said...

25 Sep 2011. Steve: definitely not the pipelines. Ranchlanders: you’ve set up an important site here that allows folks from all over to compare notes. I’ve been badly disturbed by a similar Noise as described on this site, except that I’m from Whitehorse, Yukon. No pipelines here, not for at least 500 km. around.

I stumbled on this site through internet searches trying to find solutions to the very disturbing rumbling noise that I’ve experienced in my apartment since end of December 2010. Sounds like an idling truck, very low frequency, irregular pulsing, cycle of about 0.8 second, vibrations. Most intense between 2 to 5 AM. Can go on during most of the day, usually with a lull in the afternoon & early evening. Has sometimes stopped for a week or so at a time.

I seem to be the only one in my building who feels or hears this thing. Kept me awake at night, racing irregular heart beat, headaches, etc. I’ve had tinnitus for years, but this rumbling noise is completely different. I’m positive that it’s from some external source, not tinnitus.

I’ve lived in the same apartment for over 4 years, and this suddenly started on December 28, 2010, although nothing new or different had been installed in the building. Goes on in summertime too when the heating system is off. I searched for and eliminated all possibilities of mechanical sources from other apartments and nearby buildings, etc. I don’t hear this noise when outdoors, but I do hear it faintly inside my car with windows closed when parked near the building.

Traffic dies down completely here at night. There are no trains, no pipelines, no big industries in Whitehorse. We’re surrounded by hundreds of km of wilderness. The closest active mine is about 200 km away.

This process of elimination took me towards microwave radiation as the most probable cause, possibly in combination with other electromagnetic systems such as the geomagnetic field, which could explain the variations.

My apartment windows are facing a cell phone tower at 2 km distance, plus most tenants here have cell phones, cordless phones, wireless internet, and the building is right next to a high school with a powerful wireless system that reaches our building.

I’ve pretty much concluded that a tenant got a new wireless gadget for Christmas 2010, and this was the last straw. My apartment is at the top middle, probably at the worst locus of microwave resonance. It’s been hell. We need serious investigation of this man-made phenomenon.

Anonymous said...

I've been watching these stories all over North America for many years. I would suggest researching the construction of underground military bases. These bases exist everywhere and NATO's mandate is to have them installed at strategic locations in all NATO countries.

The noise is possibly from underground mining/coring operations using nuclear powered tunneling technology.

If it is the case, our officials will never own up to it.

D. Negrey said...

Anon, What proof can you offer that there are underground military installations?

Anonymous said...

We live over in In the Faconridge NE area and for the past 2 years have been hearing a hum that starts off low and then becomes louder. It sounds like and I have told my wife that it seems to be coming from the airport area and resembles the sound of aircraft engines being tested at one of the hangers. Yesterday it was on and off for the whole day which is strange as we usually only heard it a few timesaver month and only for about a half hour or so.

norahcar said...

WOW, I just read the post from Whitehorse and sometimes my heart races when I wake up at night too, I never put the two things together, my heart and the hum ... will have to observe more carefully.

norahcar said...

I found the hum very loud during the recent cold weather in January, woke me out of a sound sleep a few times.

Anonymous said...

oh well, I think I am the first one if not the only one reporting this hum effect for the Panorama Hills area. The hum which I called low base sound, started sometime on March 1st, 2012. Around the same time, I heard my neighbor playing loud music all day with "low base" which I thought they are the culprit of the noise. I think it's less likely since the frequency stays the same just like people said it resembles "diesel-engine" noise. I still have not explored all directions where it may come from. But it seems to be coming from the direction of Conventry Superstore. Has anyone have any explanation or recent encounter in the Panorama Hills area?

BTW, I think I am not the only one hearing this in the house although my dad and brother deny hearing anything; My dog was awake and could not sleep upstairs and wondering around. Eventually he had to hide and to sleep in the basement…

norahcar said...

The LOUD noise has been very bad in Ranchlands for about four nights in the last few weeks ... I guess I should keep a journal but even the blankets over my head could not block the noise. Please stop it now!

Anonymous said...

Hello. Im in Panatella way where the new condos were bult homes by avi. i could only hear this noise at night in the master beadroom and it seems to come from the empty field. let me explain. coming along stoney trail approaching country hills superstore. totoally forgotnthe street name. But u can see the panaorma townhouses on the right hand side and as u pass through two or three lights u see country hills super store. ok back up now to where youll exit stoney trail with the intention of going to country hills supersore u notice.. Coming from stoney trail. There are those panatalla panoama townhouses..there is an empty field there and looks like some shed thing there. Seems like alot of the noise might be coming from that shed. At least from my perspective this is where it is coming from

wolf said...

i just discovered that others are experiencing this worldwide and in various parts of calgary and alberta which validates my unique experience as i have lived in many locations since 07 in calgary and in rural alberta and in a bay area suburb in california and this same hum/rumbling/noise of distant machinery occurs in all parts of calgary, in rural alberta and in suburban california thus eliminating dams and water systems. it likely is what it feels/sounds like vs an anomaly that sounds like distant machinery.

it is critical we realize that it is driving 5-10% of those sensitive to it or living in the right triangulation of its resonance at risk of acquiring/suffering from assorted symptoms beyond frequent low-grade headaches, whole body vibrations, cascading into severe mood shifts and suicidal thoughts and worse. it is 100% destabilizing/debilitating and noise canceling technologies could well introduce even more adverse physiological responses.

it isnt too tough to name all possible contenders and i have a hunch i know which leading contenders it might well be aka which trees to bark up first. i need to get in direct contact with the investigation team players and the alderman. [i may need to edit this within next few days]

Anonymous said...

I live in Tuscany NW Calgary and I can hear similar noise. I have been hearing it for the last 3 years I think. It is really annoying and I am sure it can affect people health. It is not really a noise. It is like a vibration in the air from which you can not hide. In my opinion, it comes from cell towers. Can the cell towers be relocated?

Anonymous said...

I live in Valley Ridge NW Calgary. I started to hear the humming drone sound suddenly this past April. I thought it was a neighbours motor home idling outside. Not so. It is 6 months later and the sound is constant and it is making me crazy.

It seems to vary in intensity but is always present. I can't be comfortable in my own house anymore. I don't sleep well and I feel nauseated at times by it. I have had to resort to leaving the bathroom fans and a radio on ALL of the time and use a white noise sound conditioner machine at high volume beside my bed at night.

I am considering moving somewhere else possibly a house that is close to a busy road in hopes that the traffic noise will drown it out. As a side note - I have heard the hum in other locations (not in Calgary), but have also experienced places in the mountains where there is no hum. To me that proves it is not tinnutis but that also means it is not from Bearspaw Dam or another industry close by.

I really hope somebody can find something out soon because I am really at my wits end.

Anonymous said...

I'm from central Alberta and have never heard this wavey high low sound before until I visited the Yukon.staying in a hotel in White Horse ,I had a hard time sleeping and needed ear plugs to get any rest . it's non stop and very annoying.just wondering if anyone else hears it and what it is.