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microwave hearing (Frey effect), especially voice modulation

Rog NOSPAMrlmvideo at hotmail.com
Sun May 12 10:12:09 EST 2002

In 35 years or more working in EMC and electromagnetics I've only
encountered two individuals that demonstrated sensitivity to RF.  One
of them was a young man (about 25) who was working at a Boeing radar
site that used to tune the feedhorn of the parabolic dish by having
his head near the feedpoint - he said he could hear the pulses inside
his head and could discern when resonance was achieved.  None of the
rest of us really wanted to try it, since the peak power was around 1
kW (this was long before OSHA guidelines etc.).  Another individual
could not be in a screen room (shielded room) when RF generators were
radiating - his tear ducts would open and out would come the
handkerchief (and him as well).  Eventually he changed occupations.  

Of course nowdays there are thousands of people claiming to have
sensitivity to RF, electric and magnetic fields, but they are
undoubtedly victims of the New Age BS that proliferates on the
newstands and elsewhere.  I've done (expensive) surveys in the homes
of some of these people to prove to them that they're "safe," but they
are hard to convince, once their minds are made up.  One lady had an
entire bookshelf filled with pseudo-scientific advice on this stuff,
along with mercury fillings, flourine, Dr. Persinger and con trail
conspiracies.  They form neighborhood coalitions to ban cell-phone
towers and other forms of "EMF pollution," but I'll wager that not a
single one of them has ever picked up a text on electromagnetics, or
ever read any actual peer-reviewed medical paper discussing biological
effects of electromagnetic energy.


On Sat, 11 May 2002 18:19:34 -0400, "Allen L. Barker"
<alb at datafilter.com> wrote:

>There is a great deal more information on microwave hearing (the Frey
>effect) on the web now than there was even just a couple of years ago.
>At the bottom of this article I have included a list of some of the
>quality material now available.  I have focused on the
>voice-modulation aspect, whereby an audio signal can be modulated onto
>the microwave carrier and subsequently perceived as the original sound
>"in the head" of a person illuminated with the microwave radiation.
>Nonetheless, full answers to questions such as the following -- as far
>as I know -- are not known in the open literature:
>-- Do *individuals* vary widely in their sensitivity to the effect?
>What power levels affect the most sensitive people?
>-- How do different variables affect an individual's sensitivity to
>the effect?  Are there ways it can be increased?  Would initial
>harassment and resulting PTSD have any effect on it?  Chemicals?
>Electromagnetic exposure?  Age?  Etc.
>-- How do microwave parameters (such as pulse rate) for peak effect
>vary for different people?  (Some mathematical models vary according
>to head size, as one variable.)
>-- What is the subliminal threshold for any effect?  Is it below
>the conscious hearing level?
>-- Are there other low-power effects which can cause subjectively
>similar results (such as "voices") in humans?
>These sorts of questions are important just for their potential
>relevance to the health of people in an environment full of
>It would not be that difficult to construct a test of the effect that
>people could take like a hearing test.  It would just require some
>market for the machine (homemade devices may be dangerous) and a
>medical recognition of the effect.
>If such devices and practitioners were available, then people
>reporting related symptoms could be tested, if only to find out the
>relevant data.  They could also get an idea of what such voices sound
>like and "seem like" subjectively and compare them to what they
>The effects mind control victims report might be related to the Frey
>effect or might not.  Specifically, among true victims, some may be
>assaulted with microwave-hearing-based weapons but others are
>assaulted with different technology or techniques.
>Effects such as microwave hearing might be used at a later stage to
>actually dismiss victims, by people claiming it was all electrical
>sensitivity or it was *all* harassment with microwave-hearing-based
>devices.  But what is new?  Mind control victims know it is always
>something with the torturers, always some distraction or
>rationalization, anything but that they are victims of domestic
>torture operations.  Don't forget the known and documented mind
>control victims who are still ignored and ridiculed, and secret
>research projects like PANDORA set up specifically to test microwave
>effects on human behavior.  How many domestic torture victims further
>persecuted as "schizophrenics" by supposed healers are too many?  The
>Soviets had a term, "sluggish schizophrenia," for people crazy enough
>to challenge the totalitarian state.
>------  References on the web, with excerpts.  ---------
>[Frey's original 1962 paper.]
>      http://www.raven1.net/frey.htm
>[An SBIR contract on "Communicating Via the Microwave Auditory Effect"]
>      Http://www.raven1.net/v2s-kohn.htm
>      An innovative and revolutionary technology is described that offers a
>      means of low-probability-of-intercept Radio frequency (RF)
>      communications. The feasibility of the concept has been established
>      using both a low intensity laboratory system and a high power RF
>      transmitter. Numerous military applications exist in areas of search
>      and rescue, security and special operations.
>[A recent paper by Lin, with references esp. to pitch of perceived signal.]
>      http://www.eecs.uic.edu/eecspeople/lin_acm3.htm
>[Abstract of a NASA technical report, very direct about the applications.] 
>      http://www.abovetopsecret.com/pages/lowpower.html 
>      A decoy and deception concept presently being considered is to
>      remotely create the perception of noise in the heads of personnel by
>      exposing them to low power, pulsed microwaves. When people are
>      illuminated with properly modulated low power microwaves the sensation
>      is reported as a buzzing, clicking, or hissing which seems to
>      originate (regardless of the person's position in the field) within or
>      just behind the head. The phenomena occurs at average power densities
>      as low as microwatts per square centimeter with carrier frequencies
>      from 0.4 to 3.0 GHz. By proper choice of pulse characteristics,
>      intelligible speech may be created. Before this technique may be
>      extended and used for military applications, an understanding of the
>      basic principles must be developed. Such an understanding is not only
>      required to optimize the use of the concept for camouflage, decoy and
>      deception operations but is required to properly assess safety factors
>      of such microwave exposure.
>[An email from Alan Frey, a long-time researcher in microwave hearing.]
>      http://iubio.bio.indiana.edu/R13391-15315-/news/bionet/emf-bio/9603.newsm
>      There is a microwave hearing effect that occurs at very low power 
>      densities and a skull vibration effect that occurs when very high energies are 
>      applied to the head.  There is some confusion in the literature because the
>      vibration effect has often been referred to as a microwave hearing effect,
>      but it is not the same phenomena.
>[A Navy publication reprinted at John Pike's web site.  He was formerly with FAS.]
>      http://www.globalsecurity.org/org/news/2001/e20010327questions.htm
>      Inside The Navy
>      March 26, 2001
>      Vol. 14, No. 12
>      Pg. 1
>      (Reprinted with permission) 
>      Questions Linger About Health Effects Of DOD's 'Non-Lethal' Ray
>      by Christopher J. Castelli, Chief Editor 
>      [...]  
>      Though U.S. military proponents of the non-lethal ray say they
>      worry the public will get the wrong idea about the technology, the Air
>      Force's own "New World Vistas" report, published in the mid 1990s,
>      actually describes goals of using electromagnetic radiation for what
>      sounds like mind control.
>      "It would also appear possible to create high fidelity speech in the
>      human body, raising the possibility of covert suggestion and
>      psychological direction. When a high power microwave pulse in the
>      gigahertz range strikes the human body, a very small temperature
>      perturbation occurs. This is associated with a sudden expansion of the
>      slightly heated tissue," states the report. "This expansion is fast
>      enough to produce an acoustic wave. If a pulse stream is used, it
>      should be possible to create an internal acoustic field in the 5-15
>      kilohertz range, which is audible. Thus it may be possible to 'talk'
>      to selected adversaries in a fashion that would be most disturbing to
>      them." This appears to be a reference to the "microwave hearing
>      effect," a scientific phenomena Frey is credited with discovering in
>      the 1960s.
>      Hackett said the non-lethal MMW ray project is not seeking to create
>      that kind of talking effect in people's heads.
>      In fact, Frey and Hackett said the microwave hearing effect does not
>      occur with millimeter waves (which range from 3 to 300 GHz).
>      "On the other hand, if your millimeter waves have enough energy
>      density, are powerful enough, there are other phenomena where you
>      could cause sort of a concussion kind of effect which could
>      conceivably be heard by bone conduction. It would transfer through
>      skin to bone and bone into the inner ear," Frey said. He said it might
>      be possible to modulate such energy to create the perception of some
>      intelligible sounds. "But off hand, I can't tell you what kind of
>      power levels you might need to do that," he said. Hackett dismissed
>      the idea of transmitting intelligible sounds to the head with MMWs as
>      pure speculation.
>      [...]
>[An OSHA slide presentation on general microwave health effects.]
>      http://www.osha-slc.gov/SLTC/radiofrequencyradiation/rfpresentation/healtheffects/mainpage1.html
>[Excerpts from a book(?) on biological effects of non-ionizing radiation.]
>      http://www.reach.net/~scherer/p/biofx.htm
>      Selected excerpts to      
>      Biological Effects of Radiofrequenzy Radiation (revised2.February1996 )     
>      cut/condensed from Biological Effects of Radiofrequency and Microwave
>      Radiation: Application, Hazards, and Safeguards.  by Wolfgang
>      W. Scherer( 25. March 1994 )
>      ..... A special role is played by
>      the electrophonic effect of microwave hearing. Humans can perceive a
>      buzzing or clicking sound in the back of their heads at exposure to
>      power densities as low as 0.1 mW/cm² of pulsed microwave radiation
>      (200-3000 MHz) , depending on the pulse repetition frequency and the
>      peak power density (around 300 mW/cm²). The absorbed energy produces a
>      thermoelastic expansion of the brain tissue causing an acoustic
>      pressure wave which is detected in the cochlea by the hair cells of
>      the organ of Corti. The energy needed to produce this effect is so
>      small that it does not actually increase the mean temperature of the
>      brain, yet the acoustic sensation is strong enough to be clearly
>      perceived in an ambient noise level of circa 65 dB. Due to this fact
>      microwave hearing does not cause an apparent physical reaction within
>      the head, but it is well known that humans suffer general stress
>      reactions when they are exposed to higher levels of sound. Noise
>      cannot only be an annoyance, but when it consists of pulsed sounds it
>      affects heart beat and metabolic rates. [8] The subliminal aspects of
>      noise levels are here not even considered despite the recognized
>      physiological effects of acoustic noise. It would be a very
>      interesting field for research to probe the subliminal acoustic
>      effects of such exposure to low radio frequency radiation. A possible
>      link between such radiation and noise related reactions , effects, or
>      damages would be an aspect worth of further investigation......
>["Radio Frequency Radiation (RFR) Bio-Effects Research in the Pan-Pacific Area"]
>      http://www.nmjc.org/aoard/HERFR.html
>      Relatively high-intensity RF fields have been shown to cause adverse
>      health consequences by heating tissues. No adverse health effects have
>      been scientifically confirmed from exposure to low-level RF fields for
>      extended periods, but certain questions have not been thoroughly
>      studied. There is very little information available in the scientific
>      literature to assess any health risks from exposure to pulsed RF
>      fields. Studies are needed that seek to identify any biological
>      effects produced by pulsed RF fields, of both high and low peak pulse
>      intensities. Examples of current and future technologies using pulsed
>      RF fields are telecommunications, civilian and military radar systems,
>      including emerging radar technology such as ultra-wide band radars and
>      anti-electronic weapons. Current and future research applicable to
>      mobile telephone systems should focus on the 900-2000 MHz frequency
>      range and appropriate pulsing and modulation patterns.
>[Justensen's article online, first published mention of speech-modulated microwave.]
>      http://www.adacomp.net/~mcherney/justesen.htm
>      By radiating themselves with these "voice modulated" microwaves, Sharp
>      and Grove were readily able to hear, identify, and distinguish among
>      the 9 words. The sounds heard were not unlike those emitted by persons
>      with artificial larynxes. Communication of more complex words and of
>      sentences was not attempted because the averaged densities of energy
>      required to transmit longer messages would approach the current 10
>      mW/cm2 limit of safe exposure.
>[Also search at the U.S. Patent Office]
>      http://www.uspto.gov/patft/index.html

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