A few years ago, residents in the southern and western parts of Windsor complained of a mysterious noise. It was described as a “hum” sound that brought with it vibrations that were often strong enough to rattle windows.
Here is an example of the "Windsor Hum" that was recorded by Michigan Radio’s Tracy Samilton in May of 2012 (It was digitally enhanced so you are able to hear it on your speakers).
Imagine hearing that sound all day, every day. Now, those sounds are back, haunting the Windsor residents that live nearby.
An initial investigation into the source of the hum was inconclusive. The most popular theories are that it's coming from the U.S. Steel factory on Zug Island, an industrial island that lies on the U.S. side of the Detroit River, just below the city of River Rouge. Canadian researchers weren’t allowed access to the site on Zug Island so they are unable to confirm the source of this industrial sound.
Mike Provost, who has lived on the west side of Windsor for 31 years, has been tracking these industrial noises. He joined Stateside and was asked to describe what the noises sound like.
“We have the hum, which can be two different things depending on where you live and what you’re hearing,” said Provost. “It seems to be the truck idling next to your house [sound] for a lot of people and some people hear it as a pulsing and a pounding against the side of your house that is constant. It sounds like thunder … and that goes on for minutes, hours, days.”
Provost says the sound, which can often sound like the “[Star Trek] Enterprise going into warp speed,” is present day-in and day-out. Whether you’re making lunch in the afternoon, or you’re trying to sleep late at night, the hum remains. The only variable is the volume of the noise. One consistent pattern he has noticed is that the volume increases considerably at night, although depending on the weather or the amount of wind, there will be some relief. But more often than not, when the sun goes down, the sound that resembles an idling truck increases.
Watch a video report from The Detroit News below as they interview local residents about the "Windsor Hum"
Living with this sound, Provost says there’s nothing he can do to get rid of it. It’s constantly there.
“You can turn the TV up to full peak, or turn the stereo up to full peak and then you still don’t get away from the feeling,” said Provost. “You may not hear the sound but you can feel the vibrations … you have to wonder if the vibrations are vibrating pictures on your walls and dishes in your cupboards, what is it really doing to your insides, to your nervous system, to your blood flow.”
The issue has gotten the attention of local and national media, and even the SyFy Channel where conspiracy theorists have tried to link it to a U.S. communications program that may be working on mind control or a device that can alter the weather.
The only thing most people can agree on is that the sound is coming from Zug Island. Provost says someone has shot video of one of the furnaces at US Steel creating some of the sounds that are being heard.
“I’m not an engineer, but in this day and age you’d think there would be a way to muffle the sound,” said Provost. “Whoever the culprit is, they know who it is and they know what’s causing it … I don’t think there’s a repair process because of the way the furnace is operated, if it indeed is a furnace. That’s all I can say … an engineer has to be able to figure out how to muffle the sound to a point that it’s bearable for all those concerned.”
Michigan Radio reached out to the U.S. Steel Corporation for comment on this story and they declined.
Listen to the full interview above to hear about Provost’s exhaustive efforts to find the source of the noise.