Many reports of strange sounds have been coming from all over the world in recent months, to the puzzlement of much of the online community. You can watch a YouTube playlist of 50 videos, the earliest being from March, 2011.

Explanations given for this phenomenon include: UFOs, military experiments, HAARP (High frequency Active Auroral Research Program), atmospheric phenomena involving thunder, the hum of power lines, and nearby trains. Of course, many people say it’s all just a hoax.

After watching many videos, some of which are clearly a hoax, I have broken the sounds down into 3 categories.

Some, like in Kiev, Ukraine (also heard in the video above), are a loud, pulsating sound that has been compared to a horn (trumpet, tuba, trombone). Many have suggested that they are the trumpets of the apocalypse from the book of Revelations. Others have said it has a metallic quality, like two heavy pieces of metal scraping against each other, echoing through the air.

Some have cited nearby trains to explain the sounds, but this can’t explain why, all of a sudden, trains around the world have been making this sound. Also, in this video from Denmark, you can see and hear a train pass at the beginning, and then a completely separate sound is heard after the train passes.

This is suspiciously similar to the tripod sound from the War of the Worlds movie, which could explain why some have assumed that UFO’s are the source. It could also provide an easy sample for hoaxers to edit into their videos (possibly with some manipulations).

Two separate videos (here & here) from Oshawa, Ontario, shot on the same night, at around the same time, have similar pulsating sounds. The sound seems more distant in these videos than others, possibly because of low quality recording. Two videos doesn’t rule out the possibility of a hoax, however,  as they could have been shot by two people working together, or even by the same person at different locations.

In other cases, there’s more of a constant rumbling noise like wind, thunder, or a jet plane flying overhead. In a video from Colorado, you can hear the rumbling as distinctly separate from the wind, and also, there are no clouds in the sky, which seems to rule out thunder as a source.

Another video, from Tallahassee, Florida back in March 2011, has a rumbling noise that lasted about 20 minutes. The people who shot the video thought it was a tornado. They called 911, and were not given an explanation, but were told that many people have reported the sound. At one point a flash of light appeared in the sky, and the sound faded away immediately afterwards. This is similar to what happened in Minnesota later on, in September.

News reports have released a statement from the National Weather Service blaming the Tallahassee noise on a phenomenon called ducting. A duct is a low density layer of the atmosphere with a reduced refractive index allowing waves (usually radio, but also sound) to travel further than they normally would. This could potentially carry the sound of distant electrical storms to somewhere not experiencing the disturbance, which could explain the clear sky rumbling in Colorado, mentioned above.

A third type of sound, like in this video, also from Colorado, has a loud bang, every few seconds. This is much different from the other noises, which leads me to believe it is unrelated. The up-loader tries to link this to the Virginia earthquake the following day. This might make sense if it were the same day, or if Virginia were anywhere near Colorado. Also, comments on the video are disabled, which always makes me suspicious.

An interesting thing about this phenomenon is that observers often seem to have trouble telling where the sound is coming from. Some say it seems to come from the ground, others say from the sky, and some say it comes from all around them. It has also been known to rattle the foundations of buildings and furniture.

Of the 3 types of sounds mentioned, the first one is the most interesting to me. It is the least natural sounding of the 3, and also the one with the least logical explanations, other than a possible hoax.

I’m inclined to believe that at least some of these reports are genuine. In the CTV Saskatoon report below, the mayor of North Battleford claims to have heard the sound, which he describes as a “scraping”, as well as over 40 people who have called in, or sent Facebook messages, to a local radio station. It’s hard to believe that so many people would be involved in a hoax.

In this video, a physics professor at the University of Saskatchewan says that “somehow they are picking up noise from an environmental antenna… that is electromagnetic noise, nice natural noise”. He also says it is normal, and there is nothing to worry about. I’m not sure in what universe electromagnetic waves from an antenna are considered natural, but this is certainly not normal (at least in this universe). What’s not explained is why similar reports haven’t been made prior to last summer.

This is a fairly recent phenomena, and it seems to be increasingly more common in recent months, most likely because of hoaxers trying to take advantage of the hype to get more views on YouTube and elsewhere.

Many people looking for answers point to HAARP, an ionosheric research program funded by the US Air Force, the Navy, and the University of Alaska. The facility is located near Gakona, Alaska. HAARP has been the target of many conspiracy theorists who say it has the potential to disrupt weather patterns. It has been blamed for catastrophes such as floods, droughts, hurricanes, thunderstorms, and earthquakes, as well as other events such as major power outages. They have even been accused of using mind-controlling radio waves.

Some concerns about the activity of HAARP are likely legitimate, although, many of the conspiracy theories seem to be rooted in nothing more than paranoia. The seemingly increasing number of natural disasters of late can make people wonder and try to find a reason for it and also, look for someone to blame. Some people who are unwilling to accept the science behind climate change might be more likely to blame it on the government.

This mysterious phenomenon raises a lot of questions. For some of the reports, there seems to be a logical explanation. Others are clearly a hoax. It seems to me that something strange is definitely going on here. Whether it’s a natural phenomenon, or a man made result of secret government activity, it seems that this is something worth following and looking into further. Who knows? Maybe this is the trumpets of the apocalypse.