Mysterious Humming Noise Disrupts Windsor Residents, Canadian Goverment Blames Michigan

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By Michael Billera | May 2, 2012 7:38 AM EST

A mysterious humming sound and rattling noise has been baffled authorities of southwest Windsor, Canada.

Last February, there were only a few complaints regarding the so-called "Windsor Hum." Now, over a year later, the noises from the west side of the city have not subsided and the complaints keep rolling in to Canadian authorities. The sound has rattled windows, knocking objects off shelves and, in response, a senior aide to Canada's foreign minister investigated the issue.

"The Windsor hum is having a negative effect on the day-to-day lives of Windsor residents," Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird  said in a media release about two weeks ago, according to Canadian Broadcasting Corp. "We are prepared to collaborate with stakeholders and other levels of government to identify the source of the problem so that potential mitigation measures can be designed and implemented."

Windsor residents also blamed the noises for causing illnesses and causing their pets to become erratic, reported the Wall Street Journal. However, Americans do not appear to hear the sounds, raising suspicions. A federal Canadian inquiry into the matter concluded, while not definitively, that the hum could be coming from U.S. side of the Detroit River near Zug Island, an industrial area, reported The Star.

"The government of Canada takes this issue seriously," said Bob Dechert, a senior aide to Canada's foreign minister, after a fact-finding trip, which included a visit Zug Island, reported the Wall Street Journal.

Zug Island, which is operated by U.S. Steel Corp. is off-limits to the public. It is surrounded by wire fences. Only individuals with proper credentials are allowed into the area.

Last May, a loud noise shook Windsor resident David Robins. He said that his room began to vibrate with loud throbbing noises. He stepped outside to find his whole neighborhood was shaking

"To be honest, I was scared," he said, reported the Wall Street Journal.

Hundreds of other local residents have demanded actions from the politicians. While Canadians believe that it is seismic activity coming from Zug Island causing the commotion, American authorities are not so quick to jump to that conclusion.

"It may not be actually emanating from Michigan," said Hansen Clarke, the U.S. Representative for the East Detroit, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The mayor of River Rogue, a suburb of Detroit whose jurisdiction includes Zug Island, told Canadian officials that his city's budget would not allow for testing to track down the noise, reported ABC. In fact, the mayor said neither he nor his residents can hear any noise, booms or hums.

"The only place I am hearing noise from is Canada--from politicians complaining," the mayor, Michael Bowdler, told the Wall Street Journal.

Still, Dechert wants United States officials to look into the matter.

"There is definitely something going on that's affecting people on the Canadian side of the river," he said.

Last Thursday, the State Department met with Canadian officials to discuss the issue.

"We do sympathize with the plight of those affected but, unfortunately, the federal government doesn't have regulatory authority over noise pollution," a spokesman for the State Department said.

Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality did investigate the humming noise last year. However, they did not find any evidence that machinery from Zug Island was to blame. It is especially difficult to study the noises, since they happen sporadically and do not occur every night, reported ABC.

Windsor residents, however, are just hoping the noise will stop.

"I just want to be in my rocking chair with my baby asleep on top of me," said Windsor resident Sonya Skillings. But "all I can hear is 'vrump, vrump, vrump.' "

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