Dr. MacPherson argues that tinnitus is an unlikely source of the Hum. This condition, caused by damage to the inner ear by external noise, most often produces a constant high-pitched hum, which could not account for most “Hummers.” Normal ear physiology could produce otoacoustic emission, or spontaneous noise generated by the inner ear itself. This is a common condition similar to tinnitus in rare cases, but more likely to produce the low-frequency noise associated with the Hum. It would also help explain “Hummers” insisting the noise follows them everywhere, even while traveling long distances.

Causes and Cures for Kokomo Hum


Oddly enough, the Netflix series Stranger Things has renewed interest in the Kokomo Hum, since the supernatural soap opera takes place in fictional Hawkins, Indiana. Before the series aired, the public Hum debate in 2004, when Kokomo hired an acoustic expert to track down its source. In a short time he pronounced a two culprits: a cooling fan on the Daimler Chrysler’s Kokomo Casting Plant and wonky compressors at Haynes International, both large factories in the city. The companies repaired the troublesome machines and a grateful Kokomo listened and heard…

The Hum. Still there. This time, their complaints were generally ignored.

Today, the only effective therapy for “Hummers” has been simply cognitive therapy, with victims learning management skills to stop focusing on the sound. For many, it has worked. But not for everyone.

Science, not Pseudoscience

Unlike the research of many Indiana oddities, the Kokomo Hum has both a fair share of crackpot theorists AND reputable researchers. Some of the more laughable theories include weaponized microwave emissions used by the US government, atmospheric electromagnetic radiation produced by the US government, underground nuclear testing by the US government…

You get the picture. Colorful and comical as they are, conspiracy theorists always display more grammar errors than evidence. A vast conspiracy involving the US government is very unlikely.

But researchers like Dr. MacPherson have kept the Hum in the realm of reality through hard work, largesse, and real scientific curiosity. Even with his efforts, we may have little chance of uncovering the cause of the Hum, but one thing is certain—without his efforts, there’s no chance at all.

Want to Know More? 

Visit Dr. Glen MacPherson’s site ‘Worldwide Hum and Map Database Project’. It’s a labor of love and scientific merit. The site design is less than flashy, but the available data is overwhelming and free.

He pays for it all himself, so if you have some change rattling around in your PayPal account, consider helping out with a couple bucks.

Read the comprehensive article “Hum Haunts Indiana City; Its Source is a Mystery” from 2002’s New York Times, published only a few years after the phenomena’s identification.