The following ran on March 2, 2012, on the Mixmaster Dallas Observer blog. Seismologist Brian Stump provided expertise for this story.
March 16, 2012
There are strange noises emanating from the earth's core. There are even stranger noises booming down from the sky, according to witnesses around the world who've recorded them and put them up on YouTube.
If, like me, you stay up nights watching these things and reading interweb posts about how chemtrails are poisoning us and how Jay Z, Beyonce, Blue Ivy and the other Illuminati are prepping lizard-people overlords to take over our government, you may have stumbled down the rabbit hole of videos labeled "strange noises" or "strange sounds." A bunch of them popped up on YouTube in the middle of January, all purporting to have captured the same groaning, metallic thrum so loud it makes dogs bark and window frames rattle. This is a good compilation that ties the sounds to the electromagnetic waves of the Aurora Borealis.
Many of the videos turned out to be hoaxes. But others, like these from Norway, Sweden and Denmark, seem to capture the same weird sound - not unlike whale songs with deeper notes -- for real. In this one from Germany, you can hear the sound coming from the sky at such volume it sets off car alarms.
So what is it? End of the world? Earthquakes? UFOs playing a variation of the five-tone Close Encounters theme? HAARP, the mysterious government High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program that bounces soundwaves into the ionosphere to try to heat it - or perhaps to control our thoughts and cause seismic continental shifts?
Really, you can go nuts with this stuff. But it's kind of fascinating to think that ears in Canada, Czech Republic, Brazil, Russia, Croatia, Scotland, the Netherlands and Mexico are hearing the same otherworldly space singing.
From NASA comes this explanation: "If humans had radio antennas instead of ears, we would hear a remarkable symphony of strange noises coming from our own planet. Scientists call them `tweeks,' `whistlers' and `sferics.' They sound like background music from a flamboyant science fiction film, but this is not science fiction. Earth's natural radio emissions are real and, although we're mostly unaware of them, they are around us all the time."
According to scientists who study this phenomenon, there might be some relation between the new batch of sounds and the ones called "The Hum," a low-frequency acoustic anomaly reported for the past 40 years in certain areas of the UK and in the US in and around Taos, New Mexico; Kokomo, Indiana; and Norman, Oklahoma. The Hum can't be heard by everyone, but those who do hear and feel it complain that it disrupts sleep, causes migraines, dizziness, earaches and nausea. Theories about what causes The Hum include deep-well drilling, power lines and cell phone towers (though those only started sprouting up in the 1990s). A persistent hum that annoyed residents of Windsor, Ontario, last year was eventually traced to an iron-making facility on a place called Zug Island in nearby Detroit.
According to this research paper on The Hum by David Deming, College of Geosciences at the University of Oklahoma, "anomalous sounds" like those reported in January 2012 may have been coming from above, not below. Groaning, clanking, roaring noises "have been reported as coincident with large-scale electromagnetic emissions associated with the Aurora Borealis and the passage of large meteors through the Earth's atmosphere."
SMU seismology professor Brian W. Stump wasn't familiar with the latest rash of booms, groans and hums recorded around the globe this year, but says, "Historically there are a number of kinds of geophysical sources that can produce acoustic and sub-audible kinds of sounds. Earthquakes can do that. But I know of no controlled experiments about that."
The sounds have been recorded in Texas, including this video from Corpus Christi. And one from Allen, north of Plano.