The Taos Hum
Some residents and visitors in the small city of Taos, New Mexico, have for years been annoyed and puzzled by a mysterious and faint low-frequency hum in the desert air. Oddly, only about 2 percent of Taos residents report hearing the sound. Some believe it is caused by unusual acoustics; others suspect mass hysteria or some secret, sinister purpose. Whether described as a whir, hum, or buzz and whether psychological, natural, or supernatural no one has yet been able to locate the sound’s origin.
In 1977, a British newspaper received nearly 800 letters from people complaining of loss of sleep, dizziness, shortness of breath, headaches, anxiety, irritability, deteriorating health, inability to read or study because of the incessant hum.
Most famous in the U.S. is the “Taos Hum”. There the annoyance was so acute for the “hearers” in Taos, New Mexico that they banded together in 1993 and petitioned Congress to investigate and help them find the source of the noise. No conclusive causes were discovered. One prevailing theory holds that the hum is created by a military communications system used to contact submarines.
Most hearers say the noise begins abruptly, never abates, interferes with sleep and is more noticeable inside a house or car than outside. Some describe it as sounding like a diesel engine idling in the distance.
Since it has proven undetectable by microphones or VLF antennae, its source and nature is still a mystery.