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(43 posts)

Droning Hum all night long near Camp Long


  1. LesleyB
    Member Profile

    Hi we live very close to Camp Long on the hill that looks over Delridge and all night long we heard a droning hum - sounds like a distant airplane, but continual. It's been going on nonstop now for at least 8 hours and is still happening right now at 7am. It gets louder and softer in a repetitive way over the course of 30 seconds or so. Does anyone know what this is? We have only heard it once before. It's annoying enough to want to drown it out so we can sleep.

    Posted 4 years ago #         
  2. velo_nut
    Member Profile

    velo_nut

    THE WEST SEATTLE HUM MYSTERY CONTINUES!!!!!

    Goldfinger's secret layer, I think. Either that or it's the steel factory, the ferries, a top secret boeing aircraft, a 400 cycle TG on a freighter, the motor on the lower drawbridge, someone having sex next door...

    Ponderous man, really ponderous.

    Posted 4 years ago #         
  3. LesleyB
    Member Profile

    4:45pm - just got home from work and it's still going on. Continual and constant. I'm going to investigate.

    Posted 4 years ago #         
  4. GenHillOne
    Member Profile

  5. LesleyB
    Member Profile

    Thank you for the links. Many of them describe exactly what's going on. It's 6:30 and still going on. I drove around to see if I could get closer to it - found that I didn't hear it all near Nucor. When I drove closer to the Duwamish - at SSCC, it was even louder. Must be something industrial down there. It's miles away - must be loud! I don't mind the trains or the planes (in general), but this is annoying because it's nonstop! -

    Anyone think it might be the Lafarge Cement Plant? - it is directly east of where I live (the 5400 block) and also directly below SSCC.

    Posted 4 years ago #         
  6. CrazyDogLady
    Member Profile

    We live on not far from Providence Mt. St. Vincent. Right now I am typing this (12:43 a.m. Weds. morning) listening to the hum increase and fade...increase and fade. My husband noticed it the other night and pointed it out tonight, too.

    Posted 4 years ago #         
  7. christopherboffoli
    Member Profile

    It was really loud around the Junction around 11pm. I actually took a quick drive around to try to see if I could figure out the general direction of the sound. But it was bouncing off of everything so it was difficult to pin down.

    Posted 4 years ago #         
  8. really loud in puget ridge too, enough to keep us awake. in my half asleep stupor I almost went outside barefoot to walk around and try to find out what it was. have heard it very loudly for the last 3+ nights, and wonder if this is the reason why our toddler who typically sleeps through the night has been up in the middle of the night unable to sleep for the past 2 weeks- nothing else has changed.
    it's maddening.

    Posted 4 years ago #         
  9. I heard it last night for the first time on Genesee Hill. I remember waking up thinking it was a container ship but it just kept on going so then I realized I was listening to the infamous West Seattle Hum. Alien spacecraft piloted by night-fighting ninja squirrels perhaps......

    Posted 4 years ago #         
  10. LesleyB
    Member Profile

    Glad I'm not crazy!!! I have been hearing it on various evenings and nights since my first posting, as well, but none of them have gone on as long as the first time (over 22 hours!!!) Considering moving my bedroom to the west side of the house to reduce some of the sympathetic resonance that the east side of the house experiences from it.

    I don't want to obsess over this, but if we can figure out what it is, we should at least try to get the source to stop after 10pm.

    Posted 4 years ago #         
  11. CrazyDogLady
    Member Profile

    Have you heard it lately? I haven't noticed since last I posted. Full disclosure: This is Mary Sheely (CrazyDogLady is my pre-writing-for-WSBlog name) and I've been thinking about going full-on late night Hum Chasers mode, but it looks like WSB has tried but never able to pinpoint the source.

    Posted 4 years ago #         
  12. Backside of the Alaska Junction.... heard it off and on the same night as the first postings. I kept thinking it was a car running outside, but when I'd go out to look, the sound would move around. It's weird. I heard it for a little while last night, but then the wind drowned it out. I hear ships on the sound sometimes, echoing off the W. Seattle hills but this hum is different.

    Posted 4 years ago #         
  13. bill8437
    Member Profile

    Been hearing it north of Westwood Village since April 09.

    Posted 4 years ago #         
  14. LesleyB
    Member Profile

    I haven't heard it in a few days, either. I am pretty positive it is coming from the Duwamish, though, as it is VERY loud at SSCC coming from the east. One of these times, I will drive down West Marginal and try to find it.

    Posted 4 years ago #         
  15. CrazyDogLady
    Member Profile

    LesleyB, feel free to PM or DM me (whatever it's called on here). Together we can be a hum-fighting team.

    Posted 4 years ago #         
  16. As a disciple of Cliff Mass, I would recommend you focus your hunt on those nights where there is a stable layer of clouds above us (stratus) or fog. The stable atmosphere and likely temperature inversion above West Seattle is probably reflecting the sound from the Duwamish Corridor. Active weather impedes formation of stable reflecting layers.
    -
    Oddly enough I suspect the source isn't Nucor just because the sound is more likely to reflect at shallower angles rather than at steep ones (IMHO--I am a generalist when it comes to science). Like light, the simplest explanation is that sound travels at equal angles--A sound wave hitting the temperature inversion at 25 degrees will reflect off the at 25 degrees. So the Duwamish corridor is the more likely suspect.
    -
    While I live near Alki, an out-of-town guest over New Years asked: "Where is the train?" so we went on a drive the following day to Harbor Island. Good hunting (my two cents).

    Posted 4 years ago #         
  17. I think this came up in one of the earlier discussions, but ... While leaving the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council meeting (story in the works) a little earlier tonight at the Precinct, I noticed Home Depot had some sort of vehicle (I don't know if it was a mini-forklift, the parking lot equivalent of a Zamboni, or what) running around (close to 8:40 pm) and humming like mad. That's down the hill from some of the areas that frequently mention The Hum O'Mystery.

    Posted 4 years ago #         
  18. velo_nut
    Member Profile

    velo_nut

    Jesus H Christ people.

    The answer is this....

    it's the 400 hertz from the the steel plant.

    All of you that want to go out and hunt it down will get NO WHERE due to the frequency.

    There is only two places you will feel a 400hz tonal... a nuclear submarine motor generator and the steel plant in West Seattle.

    Posted 4 years ago #         
  19. celeste17
    Member Profile

    celeste17

    Hey Velo,
    Thank You for this information. How long have you known what has caused the hum? How do you know that this is what is causing the hum? I have never noticed it so it doesn't bother me. I enjoy information and whenever I can I look information up on the internet.

    Posted 4 years ago #         
  20. dawsonct
    Member Profile

    Yeah Velo, quit holding out. Where did you come by your information? And when you refer to a "400 hz", what exactly are you talking about? A generator? How did you arrive at your certitude.
    -
    I've never noticed the hum, but Velo's oblique response to this subject is a bit irritating.

    Posted 4 years ago #         
  21. From Wikipedia:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utility_frequency

    Skip to the bottom and there is a little audio track comparing 50 Hertz (Hz) noise, 60 Hz noise, and 400 Hz noise. Now as I haven't heard the mystery hum, so I can't say whether velo-nut is correct in his assumption, but perhaps others who've heard the hum can see if the tone is right.

    While Nucor may use 400Hz frequency power for their mill I was not able to source this on the Intertube. The 400 Hz tone sounds pretty high in pitch, so it should be distinctive if Nucor was the source. Also Nucor shuts down frequently as market demand and maintenance requires it too, so if you hear the hum and Nucor isn't melting iron, that would rule them out.

    Posted 4 years ago #         
  22. LesleyB
    Member Profile

    I'm actually a trained audio engineer with a little equipment, so next time i hear it and have a chance, I will try to find out what the frequency is. Also, with regards to the cloud cover, that can be accurate, but with low bass waves, they tend to travel far, and also move around objects that are in their way. They are sort of omnidirectional, which is why it is very difficult to isolate sounds from bass frequencies when you are setting up a mic to record something. I'd be interested to find out if its 400hz - that seems kind of high to me. It physically shakes my bedroom wall.

    Posted 4 years ago #         
  23. LesleyB
    Member Profile

    CrazyDogLady, pardon my ignorance. I don't know how to PM or DM. If you know how to do it to me, please go for it!

    And I'm starting to think maybe Velo Nut is making money or something from this hum, as he seems to be taking a lot of time to come onto this thread and discourage us from even talking about the Hum. ;)

    Posted 4 years ago #         
  24. LesleyB...there is no PM function on here....it's been gone for quite some time now. If she wants a direct message, guess she has to give you her email addy.

    Posted 4 years ago #         
  25. velo_nut may have ruled out the steel plant..
    i have heard this hum and like LesleyB, think it too low pitched to be 400 Hz

    this is better than a scavenger hunt... can't wait for her to measure it...

    Posted 4 years ago #         
  26. We live on Pigeon Point and I must say I've never heard this "hum". Heard noises that sound like dinosaurs and great crashing noises that shake the house, but no "hum"......hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

    Posted 4 years ago #         
  27. I suspect people are hearing noises from a variety of sources. It just depends on what's making noise on a particular night, what the weather conditions are, and who's awake to hear it. We live in a big city. There are lots of things that hum.

    Posted 4 years ago #         
  28. LesleyB
    Member Profile

    Maybe it may never happen again, but if it does and I am near a microphone, I will record it and let you all hear it. Just heard on the news that the LaFarge plant is going to reign in its emissions (yeah!), so maybe the hum will go away, too!

    Posted 4 years ago #         
  29. StringCheese
    Member Profile

    My question is, what is operating in the middle of the night? Ferries aren't running, Boeing isn't running engine tests... Does Nucor operate a noisy graveyard shift?

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  30. I had never heard this sound before here. I live near the OP in Highpoint on the hill facing the Duwamish. I could hear the barge traffic quite clearly but also an overarching continuous sound that I estimated to be oscillating between f# and G above middle c. This seems to be similar to the Wikipedia 400hz sound sample.
    Some nights I can hear the forklifts and backup alarms from Nucor quite clearly, but this night the ambient sounds carried by atmospheric conditions seemed to be predominately what I had previously associated with river traffic.

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  31. Same area as MTM. Woke up at 1:15am and thought it was a car running as well. Got up to look out the window and the sound seemed to be coming from a different direction and realized it was that darned hum. At about 1:55am it dimmed down... like there were two motors and one turned off. Then I managed to get back to sleep... Right before I dozed off I wondered if anyone would mention it on the Blog. Glad to know I'm not the only one who heard it.

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  32. Garden_nymph
    Member Profile

    Garden_nymph

    It sounds like parking lot cleaners at Westwood. It was very loud the other night.

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  33. pigeonmom
    Member Profile

    pigeonmom

    Never heard it when I lived in Sunrise Heights but I heard it last month in Westwood.

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  34. When I lived in Belltown (with 1/2 the space under ground) I would hear a hum over the clubs. I thought it was the drilling for the Beacon hill tunnel. Been back to WS for 6 years and have heard the hum off and on for the last two years. (mid California Ave) ...hummm interesting. Glad someone else hears it too

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  35. flowerpetal
    Member Profile

    flowerpetal

    Funny that some of us hear it and others do not. Upon retiring at the end of the day; laying right next to my partner in the same bed (don't worry, this aint going in "that" direction) I will ask, can he hear that constatnt hum/drone. He replies, "you mean the fridge?" "No" says I. "Is it that small plane going over the house?" he asks. And again I reply "no." And on and on it would go if I allowed it, with him never hearing it.

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  36. My wife insists it is my snoring. The sound travels all the way down the west coast.
    Sorry to hear I am keeping all of West Seattle awake.
    Anybody have effective snoring relief?

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  37. WMO:
    Get tested for Sleep Apnea.

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  38. I live near Jefferson Square and I heard this all night last night. I can hear it right now. I wish the person (on similar blogs) who has sound equipment could assess this annoyance right now...

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  39. oddreality
    Member Profile

    We heard it all night last night also. We are about a mile south of Jefferson Square.

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  40. Noticed it last night, north of the Junction. Could it be freight trains idling? We can sometimes hear them hooting their horns.

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  41. casaboba
    Member Profile

    This reminds me of the refrain in a song by Frank Zappa called "Dynamo Hum." "G rated" lyrics below.

    Dinah-moe humm
    Dinah-moe humm
    Where this dinah-moe
    Comin from?
    Done spent three hours
    An I aint got a crumb
    From the dinah-moe, dinah-moe, dinah-moe
    From the dinah-moe humm.......

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  42. I, too, was kept awake all last night from this (oddreality, looks like we're close to you). I can't even describe it except to say it sounded "industrial," and at about 4:30 it got worse, at times as if it were a plane or helicopter approaching.

    We get some train noise, too, but I don't think it sounded like trains idling. Unless it's trains idling with some kind of fans blowing at the same time??

    I also am not sure that this would be considered The Hum. This was less "beneath the surface," so to speak. To me, a hum means not only is it not placeable, it seeps its way into your very being, and earplugs actually make it more focused. Last night's noise was not placeable, and it had potential to get under the skin, but when I put earplugs in, it was less present...

    Either way, I'd love to know what was causing it, grr.

    Posted 3 years ago #         
  43. ws4ever
    Member Profile

    I've been bugged by this noise in Arbor Hts. Sounds like someone has a low-pitched generator motor going, or a distant cargo plane...but the sound goes on and on and on. Sometimes in the morning, sometimes at night. Thought a neighbor had music with a too-loud lower register. It's raining outside, so plenty of clouds. I don't remember this from previous years at all, just this year. Like being in a very boring suspense movie. Arrrrgh.

    Posted 3 years ago #         

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