I've directly seen evidence that some people can 'hear' non-acoustic
Around 1988 a woman came into the Museum of Science in Boson to track down
a noise she heard "inside" her head during a public physics demonstration
in years past.
She was currently suffering from unexplained loud noises in her head while
at home, as well as headaches, loss of sleep, etc. She remembered
experiencing something many years ago at the Museum of Science which had
produced the same effect. Thus she hoped to get clues as to what might be
I was the head of the museum electronics department at the time. During
conversation she described a physics demonstration in the Cahner's science
theater which probably involved a tabletop VandeGraaff generator and other
high-voltage devices. Along with Mike A. from theaters/demonstrations, I
tried a number of devices to find out if she could "hear" them.
The offending energy sources turned out to be tabletop vacuum-tube tesla
coils, as well as a large tesla coil "plasma sphere" and a plasma tube art
object from artist Bill Parker called "Quiet Lightning;" a device driven
by a HF linear amateur radio amplifier (it put out several hundred watts
at around 3Mhz or so, if I recall correctly.)
All of these devices are silent, yet she could not tolerate the "noise" of
being anywhere near them. For example, she had to stay about 15ft away
from a tabletop vacuum tube tesla coil in order to avoid pain in her head.
We tried a double-blind test with the plasma spheres, and she still
responded strongly to them even when they were hidden on the other side of
a wall and none of us knew that they had been activated. In fact, she had
to move far away from the wall or the pain/noise she reported was
intolerable. She described the effect as coming from inside her head, and
as being different from normal sound.
It turned out that she was living in Framingham Mass., which I knew has a
large Raytheon military communications experiment facility. If any town
in Massachusetts is close to weird radio transmitters of all varieties,
Framingham is the place. I recommended that she try shielding her bedroom
with foam insulation panels which are covered with aluminum foil. This
would block high frequency radio waves, though it wouldn't stop VLF/ELF
frequencies. (I also told her to try an experiment: put a metal bucket on
her head to see if it stopped the 'noise', but I don't know if she ever
It was interesting that her teenage daughter had the same radio-detecting
ability, although not the pain and headaches. The daughter reported that,
as a child, she could sense any active television set at a distance and
through walls, and had found that her playmates could not do this.
The scanning coils in television sets emit strong magnetic spike signals
at 60Hz and 15KHz, as well as high voltage spike signals at 15KHz. Any
wideband radio receiver should be able to sense a nearby TV in operation.
The daughter's comments are evidence that human RF-hearing ability is
genetic rather than caused by something such as amalgam dental fillings
behaving as an accidental semiconducting rectifier.
Years later I read some recent research where iron particles were
discovered to occur naturally in the human sphenoid bones, as well as
microscopic bio-iron crystals in human brain tissue. Are human beings
natural radio receivers? It would make sense if mammals have a compass in
their brains to aid navigation. A microscopic compass can malfunction: it
can be violently wiggled by radio waves, and perhaps this was the cause of
the woman's troubles.
To anyone who suffers the same mysterious pain and noise as the woman
above: see if you can stop the noise with metal shielding. In other
words, put a small television set inside a closed metal box and see if you
can still "hear" the strange signals. Or ...put a bucket on your head.
Seriously! Find a clean metal wastebasket, or cover a small cardboard box
with aluminum foil. If placing this metal object over your head can
reduce or stop the signals, then it strongly suggests that they ARE radio
signals and not something else. It also means that you can make any room
into a "radio quiet room" by covering the walls and ceiling with metal
foil. A house might already by radio-quite if it includes foil-covered
foam panels as thermal insulation inside the walls.
Note that this thin foil shielding can only block high frequency signals
such as AM/FM/Television and above. Low frequencies far below the AM
radio band (called VLF or ELF) will go right through aluminum foil. In
that case you'd need thick slabs of solid copper in order to block the