Mysterious Rumblings and Vibrations in Windsor, ON, Canada are Causing Problems - August 2011
"West end resident Gary Grosse compares the sound of the mysterious rumblings to the sound of "a fleet of diesel trucks idling next to your home."Photograph by: File photo by JASON KRYK, The Windsor StarIf just a handful of people were griping about mysterious underground rumblings and vibrations in their neighbourhoods, you could probably call them crackpots and get away with it.
But when you've got more than 250 official complaints registered with the Ministry of the Environment, and Facebook websites are springing up to track the noise, there's clearly something going on. So why can't anybody figure it out?
It was months ago when folks first started talking about the strange sounds and pulsing sensations that seemed to be emanating from beneath homes all across Windsor and Essex County.
One woman said it felt like being underground in Union Station, with trains passing overhead. The house would vibrate. The windows would rattle. It left her feeling unsteady on her feet and made her ears hum.
Someone suggested she might be suffering from tinnitus. Others thought she was crazy, until the neighbours admitted to hearing and feeling the same thing. Everybody who's experienced the rumblings has a similar description. The reports are strikingly consistent.
"I'd compare it to a fleet of diesel trucks idling next to your home," said west-ender Gary Grosse, who started one of the websites to log vibration times and share experiences. "I've learned it's a wide range of ages affected. And that people are experiencing the same symptoms - rattling windows, headaches, nausea. Even animals are being affected," he said "It's not something with the inner ear. It's definitely something real."
Real, yes. But pinpointing what, exactly, is causing the rumbling has turned out to be frustrating. MoE has ruled out all the usual suspects, like explosions at the salt mines, Zug Island, lake freighters and planes arriving and departing from Detroit's Metro Airport. We're not surprised by that assessment, since the rumblings are recent. All those enterprises have been around for years, so why would the vibrations start now?
Some firmly believe the influx of wind turbines is to blame, and while a company spokesman has refuted that possibility, it's worth further investigation. Those turbines are relatively new to Essex County. Did their arrival coincide with the vibrations, or is it just a coincidence?
MoE didn't deal with that issue when it suspended its investigation in May. "Our priority was to determine if an industrial source was causing the vibrations," said Teri Gilbert, issues project co-ordinator at the ministry's local office. "It doesn't seem the source is an industrial one."
Residents were angry with that response, and rightly so. Knowing what it wasn't didn't solve the problem. They were no closer to finding out what was causing the disturbance, and they wanted the ministry to dig deeper.
Natural Resources Canada stepped in and provided four seismic monitors to place at strategic locations throughout the city. Three of them are still at work collecting data, and it's hoped they'll finally solve the mystery.
It seems incredible that the answer still eludes investigators, considering all the technological advances at our fingertips. Since officials in Michigan and Ontario's Environment Ministry have both ruled out industry as the culprit, it's time to consider other sources, including those wind turbines.
Hopefully, the seismic readings will provide definitive results. But if they don't, the government can't just walk away. There has to be a reason for these sudden and disturbing rumblings, and residents need to know what it is."
Several articles on the mystery sound over the past few months: