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Report: Windsor Hum Likely From Zug Island “Blast Furnace Operations”

Friday May 23rd, 2014, 10:11am


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Essex MP Jeff Watson speaks to the media, Friday morning

Whether you’ve felt/heard it or not, the “Windsor Hum” is real, according to a government report released this morning.

Essex MP Jeff Watson addressed the media Friday morning to reveal the report’s findings.

Infrasound and acoustic monitoring techniques were used by researchers at the University of Windsor as part of a $60,000, federally funded study. The study began last year and came to an end in January.

The results using infrasound monitoring were inconclusive.

Watson told reporters acoustic monitoring concluded that “the Windsor Hum does exist and has characteristics suggesting the source the source is from Zug Island in River Rouge, Michigan.”

But Watson said further work must take place to exactly pinpoint the location on the US side.

Watson said the report inconclusively reported that the Hum’s origin was from a blast furnace on Zug Island.

“Scientists were able to hypothesize that the source of the Hum is the blast furnace at US Steel,” said Watson.

“However they were not able to conclusively confirm that.”

Watson said the findings were not conclusive because scientists did not actually go on site on Zug Island due to the fact that the study was Canadian funded and took place on Canadian soil.

“We need both the permission and the cooperation of US officials. That’s where we’re turning our efforts now.”

Watson said the Canadian government has provided US authorities with the results of the studies and the next steps include meeting with American officials in July.

“We took this issue seriously,” said Watson.

But the source still is officially unclear.

The Hum was described by West Windsor and LaSalle residents over the years as a pulsing, vibrating, rumbling, low-toned ‘hum’ often heard and even felt in the walls, floors and windows of homes.

Some described the Hum as likened to the sound of a bass speaker in a passing car, while others would hear a charging freight train barreling down on them.

The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Canada conducted a study between June and August in 2011 that concluded the Hum was an acoustic noise originating in or near Zug Island in the City of Rouge River, Michigan.

River Rouge said at the time they lacked a budget to investigate further.

In March 2012, over 20,000 people took part in a telephone town hall on the issue.

Windsor West MPP Teresa Piruzza took citizen concerns to the Ontario Legislature in April 2012.

“This issue has made international headlines, required countless public fora – and resulted in thousands of complaints being filed – and yet no action has been taken.”

The vibrations attracted the attention of a web developer who in 2012 created an app to help citizens try and pinpoint where they felt the Hum.

The local web developer — who didn’t want to be named — developed the app for iPhone, Blackberry and Android, along with location-aware desktop browsers, which logged a user’s location and reported the data to a public map.

The results primarily pointed to Zug Island at last check before the site fell into disuse.

Last year, a Toronto filmmaker took a great interest in the Windsor Hum and raised more than $15,000 to produce a documentary.

Adam Makarenko said he came up with the concept to create “an investigative documentary jam packed with stake-outs, surveillance, mixed with a series of interviews from residents to scientific experts” after learning about the mysterious Hum.

Makarenko learned that that the sound was affecting thousands of residents in both Windsor, and areas of Detroit like Delray, Ecorse, and River Rouge.

The federal government committed to further studying the Hum in early 2013. Research projects were carried out and the results were made clear today.

Filmmaker Adam Makarenko shoots Zug Island in this media handout from 2013

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