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No. 69: May-Jun 1990

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Machine-like underground noises

On SF#68, we reported on the "English hums." One theory is that these particular humming sounds emanate from turbines in Britain's network of buried natural gas pipelines. It seems, though, that similar subterranean sounds are heard in many places where buried pipelines are unlikely. Mainstream scientists care little for such phenomena; and the following data were collected by an independent researcher.

Yakima Indian Reservation, Washington. Statement by W.J. Vogel, Chief Fire Control Officer:

"In September 1978 the sound of underground turbines or engines was heard at Sopelia Tower at the southern boundary of the reservation for seven (approximately 9:00 p.m. to 4: a.m., September 3-4). According to Vogel the noise was like a 'turbine' or 'unsynchronized propellers on a multi-engine aircraft.' When let outside the lookout station, the fire lookout's dog displayed anxiety, and the lookout felt barely perceptible vibrations under her feet when standing on a concrete slab. The lookout said she had heard the same sound during the summer of 1978, but always during the daylight."

Colorado. Testimony of T. Adams:

"Camping on the western slope of the Sangre de Cristos, northwest of Mount Blanca and south of the Sand Dunes, we heard the sounds in 1970. Two or three nights in succession, it 'cranked up' after midnight and subsided shortly before dawn. It wasn't really loud enough to hear over conversation - but definitely sounded like a motor of some sort, with a suggestion of a dynamo-type whine to it. And others had said that it sometimes seems even louder with an ear to the ground. One could easily imagine (Adam's emphasis) the sound was coming from beneath the surface, but whether it did or not remains purely speculative."

The report referenced below contains similar observations from Texas, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, California, Puerto Rico, England, and Ita ly. Unusual luminous phenomena have also been noted in the areas where the underground sounds have been heard, which explains why these phenomena were reported in a UFO publication. Some UFO investigators suspect that both the sounds and luminous phenomena are due to low-level seismic activity.

(Long, Greg; "Machinelike Underground Sounds and UFO Phenomena," International UFO Reporter, p. 17, November/ December 1989.)

From Science Frontiers #69, MAY-JUN 1990. 1990-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987