A droning, industrial hum that for years perplexed and disturbed locals in Windsor, Ontario, near the U.S.-Canada border, reemerged in recent months.
The monotonous, reverberating sound and its accompanying vibrations – known as “the Windsor hum”—has returned to haunt the city’s residents,according to the Windsor Star.
And this time it’s louder than ever.
Mike Provost, a resident on Windsor’s Hillcrest Boulevard, has kept records of the hums heard throughout his neighborhood, he told the newspaper. He noted a particular blast on Saturday, Feb. 27, that “shook everything … like a pounding on the wall.”
“Some people complain about dishes rattling, windows rattling,” Provost told the Star. “It can get real disturbing.”
Concerns about the hum first arose several years ago on the western and southern ends of Windsor, which lies just south of Detroit across the Detroit River. One night in 2012, more than 22,000 residents phoned government officials about the hum during a call-in event.
A 2013 report in On Earth magazine described how the incessant sound disturbed thousands of residents in that time, “vibrating their beds, wrecking their concentration, making their toddlers cranky. Some even blamed it for killing their goldfish.”
The hum jolted resident Gary Grosse out of sleep at 2 a.m. one night, the magazine reported, driving him to try to hunt down the source in his car. Another resident, Sherry Kelly, heard the hum, too, but feared people would think she was crazy if she mentioned it.
The crew of a SyFy channel show even visited Windsor in 2013 and floated the ideathat the hum was connected to HAARP, a U.S. communications program that conspiracy theorists said could control minds or the weather, depending on whom you ask. The show found no conclusions.
After myriad complaints, a 2014 report by the Canadian government linked the noise pollution to the work of U.S. Steel, based on Zug Island – a mass of land in the Detroit River just over the U.S.-Canadian border, the Star reported.
Experts think the hum could be the traveling sound of distant blasts from industrial furnaces releasing pressure on the American island, but jurisdictional complications have hamstrung Canadian officials in investigating operations there.
U.S. Steel, for its part, has cast doubt on the notion that it causes the hum.
An attorney of River Rouge, Mich., the municipality that oversees Zug Island, told theStar in 2012 that it didn’t have resources to look into the problem.
“We are not going to pay for something that is for somebody else’s benefit because this is not a problem affecting us,” David Bower said.
According to Provost, the Windsor resident tracking the hum’s return, the jolting noises have been worse around 8 p.m.
“Come on, give me a break,” he said. “Let us get some sleep. Let us get some peace and quiet.”
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