Alternative auditory pathways to the brain
This page, http://www.zebracards.com/EA-004.html, has some interesting
medical links regarding non-traditional ways of hearing auditory
signals. On reading it I was inspired to collect together some
disparate information sources to form this current article. Readers
of these groups and lists are probably familiar by now with the
"hearing" of pulsed microwaves, as well as with the acoustic
heterodyning of two ultrasonic beams for "directed sound." But there
are some other ways that sounds can be transmitted, in addition to
First, there is the use of electric fields (as opposed to
electromagnetic waves). Humans can detect variations in an electric
field, and some such variations are perceived as sound. The classic
reference seems to be:
Sommer, H.C. and von Gierke, H.E. "Hearing Sensations in Electric
Fields," _Aerospace Medicine_, pp 834-839, Sept. 1964.
Here are a couple of excerpts from online articles. First, from
"Sensation of Hearing in Electromagnetic Fields," Clyde E. Ingalls, _N
Y State J Med_, 1967 Nov 15;67(22):2992-7.
Sommer and Von Gierke have done a great deal of work with
electric fields, showing that the skin on the head can be
vibrated by an electric field and that the sound reaches the ear
by bone conduction. Likewise, the eardrum can be vibrated
directly by an electric field.
The page below describes some experiments conducted by Colin Keay, a
pioneer in geophysical electrophonics (defined as "the production of
audible noises of various kinds through direct conversion by
transduction of very low frequency electromagnetic energy generated by
a number of geophysical phenomena").
While I was working in Ottawa, extensive searches of research
publications for clues about likely transduction mechanisms
revealed little that was useful apart from interesting papers on
hearing tests, psychoacoustics, biophysical electrophonics (which
is the perception of sound from direct electrical stimulation of
areas near the ears) and reports of radio signals detected by
tooth fillings. Apart from work on electrostatic loudspeakers,
only one paper, by Sommer and von Gierke (1964), dealt with the
direct human perception of electric fields varying at audio
frequencies. They reported that large fields are required:
several thousand volts per metre.
A subsequent visit to the Physics Department of the University of
Western Ontario was more productive. The Head, Professor Parker
Alford, expressed great interest in my progress thus far and
encouraged me to make use of an anechoic chamber in his
department for tests of the human perception of electric and
magnetic fields varying at audio frequencies.
The magnetic field tests were inconclusive. The electric field
results for the most part verified Sommer and von Giercke's
findings, except for three of the volunteers who were markedly
more sensitive than most, the best one able to detect electric
field variations of only 160 volts peak-to-peak at 4 kHz
frequency. The common factor proved to be their hair. Two
females with the fashionable Afro hair styles and a male with
very long soft hair showed the lowest threshold of
sensitivity. Obviously their hair was acting as a transducer.
As well, there was a serendipitous discovery. Naturally I acted
as the first test subject, and underwent the same test again as a
check just prior to dismantling the equipment. My threshold for
detection had risen 3 to 4 decibels! Luckily the answer was
found: I was not wearing my glasses. When they were replaced my
test results reverted to the same as they were initially. Clearly
the glass frames were responding to the imposition of the varying
electric field. This finding indicated that mundane objects in
the immediate vicinity of observers may assist their perception
of electrophonic sounds from bolides.
These experiments amply explain the capriciousness of
electrophonic sounds. One or two people in a group may hear the
sounds while others do not. Or one entire group may report the
sounds while other people in less favourable surroundings hear
nothing. The experiments described above which have settled this
conundrum are not difficult to perform yet I have found no
evidence of them being performed by any other researchers.
What is the mechanism by which VLF and ELF signals can produce such
sounds? How might engineers apply such knowledge? Can such signals,
or *combinations* of them, be speech-modulated? Could effects like
the Taos hum be related? Are there other environmental signals,
natural or artificial, in the range to cause the effect?
Besides electric and electromagnetic effects, humans can also perceive
ultrasound directly. This occurs without it being externally
converted to sound in the usual auditory range (as with heterodyned
Human ultrasonic speech perception. Lenhardt ML, Skellett R,
Wang P, Clarke AM. Department of Otolaryngology, Medical College
of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond 23298.
Bone-conducted ultrasonic hearing has been found capable of
supporting frequency discrimination and speech detection in
normal, older hearing-impaired, and profoundly deaf human
subjects. When speech signals were modulated into the ultrasonic
range, listening to words resulted in the clear perception of the
speech stimuli and not a sense of high-frequency vibration. These
data suggest that ultrasonic bone conduction hearing has
potential as an alternative communication channel in the
rehabilitation of hearing disorders.
This is apparently the same effect and mechanism as used by Neurophone
devices, as this description by its inventor Patrick Flanagan makes
clear (note Lenhardt is at MCV rather than UVA)
A team of scientists at the University of Virginia has shown that
all people are able to "hear" ultrasonic sound waves when these
sounds are transmitted to the body by direct contact
vibration. The upper frequency hearing limit for air conducted
sound has been established at approximately 24,000 cycles per
second. As we age, the upper frequency limit of hearing
perception is reduced as a result of aging factors in the
Dr. Martin Lenhardt and his colleagues have shown that normal
hearing people and profoundly deaf people can perceive
frequencies in the range of 28,000 to 100,000 cycles per second
when these sounds are transmitted to the body by a direct contact
This experiment establishes that there are two separate hearing
channels into the brain. One channel is for ordinary audio
frequencies in the range of 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz this channel
conducts sound into the cochlea or inner ear through the air or
through bone conduction. Bone conduction works by transmitting
sound vibrations into the hammer and staple bones that are
attached to the ear drum. Ordinary bone conduction and air borne
hearing work by the same mechanism: the cochlea.
The second hearing channel which was discovered by Dr. Flanagan
in 1958 is the channel re-discovered by Dr. Lenhardt and his
colleagues. The second channel conducts ultrasonic sound waves
through the bones, body fluids or through the skin to a newly
discovered alternate hearing organ.
The article by Dr. Lenhardt and colleagues entitled: Human
Ultrasonic Speech Perception, in the July 5, 1991 issue of
Science sheds light on the physical mechanism by which the
Dr. Lenhardt says: "The upper range of human air conduction
hearing is believed to be no higher than 24,000 Hz; nevertheless,
there have been reports of humans hearing well into the
ultrasonic range but only when the ultrasonic stimuli are
delivered by bone conduction. (Note: Later tests showed that the
sound is also conducted by skin and bodily fluids.) Furthermore,
ultrasonic bone conduction hearing in humans has been readily
demonstrated in various conditions of auditory pathology,
including sensorineural hearing loss and middle ear disorders."
Dr. Lenhardt further states that audio perceptual threshold tests
run on young, elderly and profoundly deaf people show that bone
conduction ultrasonic perception thresholds are essentially the
same in all three groups. This leads researchers to conclude that
there is an alternate hearing mechanism for receiving direct
contact ultrasonic signals. This study shows that profoundly deaf
people, can apparently hear sounds in the ultrasonic frequency
range when the sound is conducted directly into the body by
vibratory means. Up until this discovery, only dolphins, bats and
some other animals were known to be capable of hearing in the
ultrasonic frequency band.
The authors of this report constructed an amplitude modulated
ultrasonic transmitter that operated at frequencies ranging from
28 kHz to 90 kHz (28,000 to 90,000 cycles per second) in
frequency. The output signal from their device was coupled to the
heads of human subjects by means of a piezo-electric ceramic
vibrator, all subjects tested heard the modulated signal with
clarity. This research is essentially a duplication of
Dr. Flanagan's original Neurophone device which he constructed at
the age of 13 in the early months of 1958.
Lenhardt et al postulate that ultrasonic vibrations are sensed by
a tiny gland in the inner ear known as the Saccule. This gland is
approximately the size of a snow pea. The Saccule is used by
living organisms to sense gravity. It is filled with a fluid and
has tiny hairs that extend into its interior. When the position
of the head is moved, the fluid movement stimulates the tiny hair
cells telling us whether we are tilted of standing up-right.
Another article entitled: "Projections from the Sacculus to the
Cochlear Nuclei in the Mongolian Gerbil" from the Brain Behav
Evol 1989;34; 193-200 postulates that the Cochlea (hearing organ)
originally evolved from the Saccule and that the Saccule may be
used as a primitive hearing organ in lower animals. In fishes for
example, the organ responsive for sound perception appears to be
the Saccule. The authors go on to state that the Saccule may have
a dual auditory and gravity detection functions in the auditory
systems of amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals (now in
Dr. Flanagan's original Neurophone patent number 3,393,279 issued
on 7/16/1968 consisted of a 30 - 50 kHz amplitude modulated
ultrasonic oscillator that generated approximately 3,000 volts
peak to peak across two mylar plastic insulated electrodes that
were placed in contact with the skin. When an audio signal such
as music was fed into the device, the music could be heard by a
person wearing the electrodes on their skin. The Neurophone
hearing sensation feels like the sound is at the center of the
head. Tests at Tufts University showed that the skin under the
electrodes was caused to vibrate by the energy field. When a
stethoscope was placed on the skin next to the electrodes, the
audio vibration could easily be heard.
Tests with profoundly deaf human subjects showed that these
subjects could "hear" the audio modulation of the Neurophone even
though they could not hear the same sound by means of ordinary
bone conduction hearing aids.
Finally, the sorts of acoustic pulses believed to be responsible for
microwave hearing can be induced by mechanisms other than microwaves.
(And what about ultrasonic thermoacoustic waves?) Below is a quote
from a survey article, "Human Auditory Perception of Pulsed
Radiofrequency Energy," J.A. Elder and C. K. Chou, Motorola Florida
Research Laboratories. Do note the source, though, and phrases like,
"Human perception of pulses of RF radiation is a well-established
phenomenon that is not an adverse effect."
The hypothesis of Foster and Finch (1974) predicts that the RF
hearing effect is related to thermoelastically induced mechanical
vibrations in the head. Vibrations of this type can be produced
by other means, such as by a laser pulse or by a pulsed
piezoelectric crystal in contact with the skull (Chou et al.,
Note also that plain old acoustic vibrations can be induced in teeth
and bones and perceived as sound by bone conduction. A company is
already ready to market cell phones implanted in teeth, which are said
to produce clear sound
(http://www.datafilter.com/mc/audioToothImplant.html). There is even
a toy lollipop holder connected to a radio which allows children to
hear sounds through the teeth.
I'll end by including some references to some experiments which are
apparently not documented in scientific journals, but which are worth
considering. This is especially true in light of the above
information. How might the various scientific effects and devices be
combined with each other, along with the rest of engineering,
psychology, etc.? The first excerpt is from an article by Dick
Sutphen, describing some neurophone experiments by Flanagan.
In one of his recent tests, Pat conducted two identical seminars
for a military audience -- one seminar one night and one the next
night, because the size of the room was not large enough to
accommodate all of them at one time.
When the first group proved to be very cool and unwilling to
respond, Patrick spent the next day making a special tape to play
at the second seminar.
The tape instructed the audience to be extremely warm and
responsive and for their hands to become "tingly." The tape was
played through the neurophone, which was connected to a wire he
placed along the ceiling of the room. There were no speakers, so
no sound could be heard, yet the message was successfully
transmitted from that wire directly into the brains of the
audience. They were warm and receptive, their hands tingled and
they responded, according to programming, in other ways that I
cannot mention here.
The next experiment is described by Robert Beck in a 1992 _Nexus_
article, and involves brain entrainment experiments.
Any of you people know Dr. Ed Maxey, Stanton Maxey in Florida?
Okay, about the time I was playing with it he did a very
interesting experiment. He took a little coil, a few turns of
wire, put it on the floor underneath the operating table and
found that by turning this thing on a certain frequencies a large
percentage of the people tested had brain wave
entrainment. Entrainment simply means that their brain wave - the
firing of their neurons - latches onto this magnetic field coming
from this little coil putting out micro-gauss. You can't even
measure things this low unless you have highly sophisticated
equipment. It is invisible. It's tasteless, odourless etc. This
is in a paper that he presented to a geophysical society meeting
not too long ago. He too came up with the magic number that I
have, 7.8 Hertz. He found that exactly four seconds after this
field went on, the subject's brain waves would lock on exactly,
on frequency and phase.
This was Dr. Polk's original paper, and then this "cop-out" about
1975 when the people that were working in this field had to go
back, backtrack, and pretend like they had not published their
original papers, or seen what they had seen. This is what happens
when you get a government grant, boys and girls!
Some good work that was being done at UCLA in their brain
research group. Dr. W. R. Adey was on another government grant
sponsored by the Office of Naval Research, into the effects of
these (in this case - pulsed) very high frequency fields, that
were pulsed with a very low frequency modulation. His published
papers, and this goes back several years, show that this could
influence the brain waves of cats and monkeys; and he didn't talk
about the work that was done out there with human beings because
by now this was fairly sensitive. They knew it worked. They
didn't know why. So a lot of time, money and effort went into
finding out what in the human brain was beginning to respond to
A few German physicists were looking into the possibility that
this may have been the mechanism that we have lived with for
thousands of years. The name of the paper is "The Biological
Effect of Extremely Low Frequencies in the Atmosphere". In other
words, if we live in a natural ELF environment could this
possibly be the key and mechanism for mass accidents, mass
suicides, etc.? All of the people who did this work
independently, Tromp in Holland, Koenig in Germany, found: yes -
when they went back through the weather records, this had to be
the mechanism that caused all of these admissions to psychiatric
hospitals on certain dates, all of these homicides. The data is
beginning to become massive.
James R Hamer - "Hammer". He was working with human subjects, and
he has disappeared, as have a few others. He did some extremely
interesting work, and this was way back in 1968. At that time he
was with the Space Biology Laboratory Brain Research Institute,
University of California. The rest of his papers that I managed
to gather about ten years ago are now classified. You can't get
them for love or money. Hamer found that in a 9Hz signal the
reaction time was definitely shortened. You were more alert. If
you changed that signal down a few cycles per second, 3Hz to 5Hz,
look what happens to the reaction time. This applies to human
beings, monkeys, cats, - apparently all life forms that have
If you think researchers don't just "disappear," consider this quote
from Robert Becker's [note Becker, not Beck here] 1985 book _Body
Unfortunately, my source, having served as a hatchet man for
defunding research on the environmental dangers of
electropollution, isn't exactly reliable. Complaints of a mole
could easily be a blind for a large and intense U.S. EMR weapons
program. That there's more going on than meets the eye is clear
from my last communication with Dietrich Beischer. In 1977 the
Erie Magnetics COmpany of Buffalo, New York, sponsored a small
private conference, and Beischer and I both planned to
attend. Just before the meeting, I got a call from him. With no
preamble or explanation, he blurted out: "I'm at a pay phone. I
can't talk long. They are watching me. I can't come to the
meeting or ever communicate with you again. I'm sorry. You've
been a good friend. Good-bye." Soon afterward I called his office
at Pensacola and was told, "I'm sorry, there is no one here by
that name," just as in the movies. A guy who had done important
research there for decades just disappeared.
The crucial point to me is that both sides may be embarking on
hostilities whose consequences for the whole biosphere no one can
yet foresee. Even if the Soviets have begun an electromagnetic war
and we're totally unprepared to fight back, I doubt that a simple
buildup and retaliation are the best course for our own survival.
Not only has extensive research been done on such effects and
technology, but every indication (except official government
admissions) is that it both has been and still is being tested on
nonconsensual citizens. These people are subjected to torture,
another generation of victims just like the radiation experiment
victims. The United States is a vicious human rights abuser, and
scientists and medical people participate in such abuses both
wittingly and unwittingly. Listen to the mind control victims! It
has happened before, and it is still happening. A society where
people can be covertly harassed and manipulated with impunity is *not*
a free society. Technology that is kept secret is technology that is
not used to help the patients it can help, and it is ripe for deniable
exploitation against the ordinary citizens.
In this interesting paper
Neil Cherry hypothesizes that humans evolved with the various
electromagnetic resonances such as the Schumann resonance, and now use
them as biological regulators. That would explain some of the
sensitivity to certain such phenomena, beyond just interference with
bioelectric phenomena via overpowering external signals. Whatever the
evolutionary reason, humans are quite sensitive to certain frequencies
of electromagnetic radiation. This knowledge *has* been used to
design weapons. We're not just talking random electropollution here.
See this _US News_ article by Douglas Pasternak, for example,
By using very low frequency electromagnetic radiation -- the
waves way below radio frequencies on the electromagnetic spectrum
-- he [Eldon Byrd] found he could induce the brain to release
behavior-regulating chemicals. "We could put animals into a
stupor," he says by hitting them with these frequencies. "We got
chick brains -- in vitro -- to dump 80 percent of the natural
opioids in their brains,'"Byrd says. He even ran a small project
that used magnetic fields to cause certain brain cells in rats to
release histamine. In humans, this would cause instant flulike
symptoms and produce nausea. "These fields were extremely
weak. They were undetectable," says Byrd. "The effects were
nonlethal and reversible. You could disable a person
temporarily," Byrd hypothesizes. "It [would have been] like a
Byrd never tested any of his hardware in the field, and his
program, scheduled for four years, apparently was closed down
after two, he says. "The work was really outstanding," he
grumbles. "We would have had a weapon in one year." Byrd says he
was told his work would be unclassified, "unless it works."
Because it worked, he suspects that the program "went black."
Other scientists tell similar tales of research on
electromagnetic radiation turning top secret once successful
results were achieved. There are clues that such work is
continuing. In 1995, the annual meeting of four-star U.S. Air
Force generals -- called CORONA -- reviewed more than 1,000
potential projects. One was called "Put the Enemy to Sleep/Keep
the Enemy From Sleeping." It called for exploring "acoustics,"
"microwaves," and "brain-wave manipulation" to alter sleep
patterns. It was one of only three projects approved for initial
Eldon Byrd recently died of cancer. Before his death he was involved
with mind control victims, trying to help them measure the signals
they are harassed with. Having worked with such technologies and
agencies he believed the claims of the victims, or at least that they
were *seriously* worth investigating.
More information available at
Mind Control: Technology, Techniques, and Politics
Home page: http://www.datafilter.com/alb
Very interesting post!
Some comment below.
> Alternative auditory pathways to the brain
> The page below describes some experiments conducted by Colin Keay, a
> pioneer in geophysical electrophonics (defined as "the production of
> audible noises of various kinds through direct conversion by
> transduction of very low frequency electromagnetic energy generated by
> a number of geophysical phenomena").
Keay seems mostly to be concerned with the ionizing trail left by
a meteor (bolide) as possible source of the auditory sensations
claimed by witnesses. It would be interesting if these objects were
metallic iron in composition: They might concentrate lines of force
from the Earth's magnetic field; then, there might be density
(=conductivity) modulations as the meteoroid penetrated different
layers (features) of atmosphere, causing kHz RF in turn detected
auditorally. I think these objects arrive at speeds around 40,000
> Dr. Lenhardt further states that audio perceptual threshold tests
> run on young, elderly and profoundly deaf people show that bone
> conduction ultrasonic perception thresholds are essentially the
> same in all three groups. This leads researchers to conclude that
> there is an alternate hearing mechanism for receiving direct
> contact ultrasonic signals. This study shows that profoundly deaf
> people, can apparently hear sounds in the ultrasonic frequency
> range when the sound is conducted directly into the body by
> vibratory means. Up until this discovery, only dolphins, bats and
> some other animals were known to be capable of hearing in the
> ultrasonic frequency band.
Include dogs: dog-whistles emit mostly ultrasonic sound. I think up
to around 30 kHz.
> Finally, the sorts of acoustic pulses believed to be responsible for
> microwave hearing can be induced by mechanisms other than microwaves.
> (And what about ultrasonic thermoacoustic waves?) Below is a quote
> from a survey article, "Human Auditory Perception of Pulsed
> Radiofrequency Energy," J.A. Elder and C. K. Chou, Motorola Florida
> Research Laboratories. Do note the source, though, and phrases like,
> "Human perception of pulses of RF radiation is a well-established
> phenomenon that is not an adverse effect."
Right: Tinnitus is the perception of
hissing, buzzing, or sizzling because of cochlear damage. It
is a debilitating disease symptom requiring therapy in
many cases. Anything causing similar sensations would be similarly
debilitating, especially if the cause was not identified so
that the victim had to bear it without knowing how to
> The hypothesis of Foster and Finch (1974) predicts that the RF
> hearing effect is related to thermoelastically induced mechanical
> vibrations in the head. Vibrations of this type can be produced
> by other means, such as by a laser pulse or by a pulsed
> piezoelectric crystal in contact with the skull (Chou et al.,
This hypothesis can be shown wrong, or at least seriously inconsistent
with the known mammalian sensitivity to RF. Some of the criticism may be
found in my posting at http://arXiv.org/pdf/physics/0102007
I am working on a more thorough study of microwave hearing, but
it is not published or posted yet. The microwave hearing
effect in the literature almost certainly is a direct EM effect
on the cochlea. My guess is the hair cells themselves; in any
case some anatomical feature common to all mammals, because the
threshold for microwave hearing is the same in all species
within about a factor of two. Thermoelastic effects depend
linearly on the size of the skull (and the thermal expansion
coefficient(s) of the skull and head tissues). If it were
the only correct effect, the threshold would be much higher for
rats than humans--it is about the same.
> ... We're not just talking random electropollution here.
> See this _US News_ article by Douglas Pasternak, for example,
The Marines here complain about having to shoot people rather than
blind them with lasers. But, that's the way the law works:
Poison gas is forbidden, as well as tear gas (by military, not
by police), because it is gas. Blinding is forbidden, because it
is blinding, regardless of the alternatives (bullets).
Poisoning and infection with disease is forbidden, even if
the victim would be expected to recover. This prevents
greater abuse by forbidding all abuse.
> By using very low frequency electromagnetic radiation -- the
> waves way below radio frequencies on the electromagnetic spectrum
> -- he [Eldon Byrd] found he could induce the brain to release
> behavior-regulating chemicals. ...
I agree that such effects are possible; I am not sure
how selective, though. It takes a relatively low frequency to
penetrate the human skull or other part of the body; high
frequencies, say over 10 GHz, won't penetrate much, although they
would for a small animal such as a rat. Low frequencies mean long
wavelengths, which can't be concentrated very well in small areas.
Thus, selectivity for different parts of the brain I think would have
to be by resonance, not spatial focussing of a beam.
RF causes rotation of dipoles in cell membranes, creating
a time-averaged depolarization and thus interfering with
normal function of nerves and muscles, at least, if
not also glands.
I wrote bolide entry speed as 40,000 km/s.
However, relativistic bolides are not observed!
I meant 40,000 km/hr. Maybe somewhere between
10 and 30 km/s.
jw...@AstraGate.net (John Michael Williams) wrote in message news:<4032bf27.03042...@posting.google.com>...