Alternative auditory pathways to the brain (recovered posting)
John Michael Williams
jwill at AstraGate.net
Wed Apr 30 00:07:08 EST 2003
[This posting seems to have been removed from Google (?).
If this is so, there would be serious issue of intellectual
theft possible. I hope I am mistaken, somehow. Anyway,
I am reposting it with added comments by me -- jmw]
Where do you find these things? I was not
aware of the Elder & Chou paper until your
original posting of ~24th April. Very interesting!
Some new comments on this article below:
"Allen L. Barker" <alb at datafilter.com> wrote in message news:<b8bpko$uqm$1 at slb2.atl.mindspring.net>...
> 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 ...
> 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").
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 10 - 30
> 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
> auditory system.
> 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
> Neurophone works.
> 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.
Include dogs: dog-whistles emit mostly ultrasonic sound. I
think up to around 30 kHz.
> 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."
Well, 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 stop it.
Thus, under many circumstances, microwave hearing
certainly would be 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.,
This hypothesis can be shown wrong, or at least seriously
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
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.
> 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
> brain waves.
> If you think researchers don't just "disappear," consider this quote
> from Robert Becker's [note Becker, not Beck here] 1985 book _Body
... Stuff uninteresting to me omitted here. Repost, if
you want. --jmw
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,
The Marines here complain about having to shoot people rather
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
would for a small animal such as a rat. Low frequencies mean
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.
> "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
> stun gun."
> 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
jwill at AstraGate.net
John Michael Williams
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