I was recently asked for my logical opinion on a topic that apparently has the interwebs abuzz.
Naturally, I was dismissive of the ‘phenomena’ as white noise. My inquisitor wouldn’t settle for that response. I was harried into research efforts, because “you’re good at this type of thing”. Of course, in the modern age, I was quickly inundated with all manner of oddball theories. “It’s the trumpets of Angels, heralding the Apocalypse!”
“It’s mother earth, groaning in her suffering from the destruction caused by man.” “It’s aliens, signalling their intent to invade!” or my personal favorite “It’s HAARP! – the government trying to control us through radio waves.”
I quickly found an article from 1983 referring to natural geological noises. These are called brontides. The cause of these geological reports varies, as does the way they sound – and where there occur.
For more than a century, people have been hearing strange sounds in the sky over the lakes of Yellowstone National Park:
- “While getting breakfast, we heard every few moments a curious sound, between a whistle and a hoarse whine, whose locality and character we could not at first determine …” (F.H. Bradley, 1872)
- “[I]t seemed to begin at a distance [and] grow louder overhead where it filled the upper air, and suggested a medley of wind in the tops of pine trees and in telegraph wires, the echo of bells after being repeated several times, the humming of a swarm of bees, and two or three other less definite sources of sound …” (Edwin Linton, 1892)
- “It put me in mind of the vibrating clang of a harp lightly and rapidly touched high up above the tree tops, or the sound of many telegraph wires swinging regularly and rapidly in the wind, or, more rarely, of faintly heard voices answering each other overhead.” (S.A. Forbes, 1893)
- “They resemble the ringing of telegraph wires or the humming of a swarm of bees, beginning softly in the distance, growing rapidly plainer until directly overhead, and then fading as rapidly in the opposite direction.” (H.M. Chittenden, 1915)
While geological explanation may work for the man of reason, it does nothing to satiate the Passion of Gaia. I have personally recognized that there are vast variances in acoustics, dependent upon and indeed caused by ambient moisture and relative air density. Have you ever been out on a cold, snowy night and noticed the sound stage effect and how your voice seems to carry, while on other nights, it seems die the moment it leaves yours lips?
While researching, I was dragged through the mud of all sorts of theories regarding the strange noises. I also saw some copycat reproductions which used different video with the same audio loop. In drawing my conclusion as to the nature of these noises, I have found a few critical bits to remember:
1) “Unexplained” doesn’t mean that there is no scientific reason, just that you don’t yet know what that reason may be.
2) The first logical step from learning of a strange occurrence, should not be to assume the end of the world, imminent invasion by aliens, the anthropomorphic suffering of a large rock, or nefarious activity by government.
3) Just because someone says “it never happened before 2011″ doesn’t make it so. Sometimes, it happened, but you just didn’t hear about it.
4) In the age of the 24hr news cycle, instant information, and constant electronic stimulation, maybe you should take a break every now-and-then.
I have no doubt that these unexplained noises occur. I have even less trepidation in saying that they have occurred for all of earth’s history and will continue to do so. While not normal for most, they are certainly nothing to get your panties in a wad about.