Windsor's mysterious hum is real, says researcher
Colin Novak has hunch about where hum is originating, but won't reveal location until fall
A University of Windsor professor studying the Windsor Hum is convinced it's real.
Colin Novak set up a state-of-the-art, $250,000 recording station in a woodlot in the western part of the Ontario city in February. It's a virtual ear, tuned to record the hum 24/7.
Novak and a group of fellow scientists and researchers from the University of Windsor and London's University of Western Ontario received federal funding to study the mysterious noise.
When the sound he's looking for rises above a certain level it's registered on the equipment and Novak gets an email.
He said for the last month or so, his inbox has been full.
"Some of the evenings, we may get 30 or 40 emails in a given night, mostly between midnight and about 3:30 a.m.," Novak said.
That's enough to convince him the hum is real.
"We're in a pretty remote area in the night time. There's some construction activity happening right now, but at night, there's not too much out here.… when we're getting levels as high as we are, there's definitely some activity," he said.
The equipment's location hasn't been made public, but it's located in an area where the hum has been heard by Windsor residents.
Novak said he has an idea where the sound is coming from, but he won't speculate until his research is finished.
He and his partners will report their findings to the federal government by the end of the year.
"And from that point forward, I think it may become more of a political, and an engineering problem," Novak said.
People who live in the area have some theories of their own as to where the sound is originating.
Archie Cormier is a Windsor resident who claims to hear the noise.
"It's on the American side, and it doesn't do it all the time," he said of the noise. "So, if they can pinpoint the problem, then maybe they could find a solution."
Last year, a federal study suggested the hum may originate from the U.S. side of the Detroit River, in the general area of Zug Island, an area of concentrated steel production and manufacturing in River Rouge, Mich.
The mayor of River Rouge said in 2011 that his city didn't have the funds to investigate the hum.
The map below shows the location of Zug Island, southwest of Detroit.