Citizens in Britain and portions of the Southwestern U.S. have been complaining about a maddening hum that just won't go away. And researchers have been unable to pinpoint its source. Not everyone can hear the low-pitched hum, and those who do say that it seems artificial in nature - and is driving them crazy. In 1977, a British newspaper received nearly 800 letters from people complaining of loss of sleep, irritability, deteriorating health, inability to read or study because of the incessant hum.
Most famous in the U.S. is the Taos Hum. There the annoyance was so acute for the "hearers" in Taos, New Mexico that they banded together in 1993 and petitioned Congress to investigate and help them find the source of the noise. No conclusive causes were discovered. One prevailing theory holds that the hum is created by a military communications system used to contact submarines.
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4. BALL LIGHTNING
In January 1984, ball lightning measuring about four inches in diameter entered a Russian passenger aircraft and, according to the Russian news release, "flew above the heads of the stunned passengers. In the tail section of the airliner, it divided into two glowing crescents which then joined together again and left the plane almost noiselessly." The ball lightning left two holes in the plane.
Ball lightning is another natural phenomena for which science has yet to come up with a full explanation. The problem for scientists is that the manifestation of the phenomenon is so rare that it is almost impossible to study. Attempts have been made to recreate it artificially in the laboratory, but an actual specimen of naturally occurring ball lightning has yet to be captured for study. This may be impossible since the phenomenon is fleeting - floating about for awhile and then fading away or exploding with a loud pop.
What makes ball lighting so fascinating and puzzling is its strange "behavior." Witnesses have said that it moves about as if with a kind of intelligence, following patterns on walls or furniture, and seeming to avoid obstacles. More mysterious still is its ability to pass through solid objects. Sometimes it leaves holes, as with the airliner above, but it has also been seen to pass through window glass and even walls without even leaving a mark.
This might be a phenomenon related to ball lightning... then again it might not be. No one really knows what the many "spooklights" reported around the world are caused by. And there are many. Most famous, perhaps, are the Marfa Lights seen for generations near Marfa in Western Texas. The lights appear almost nightly and can be seen at a distance from Highway 90. Yet when investigators try to approach the lights, nothing can be seen.
Other spooklights include: The Tri-State Spooklight near the borders of Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri; the Brown Mountain Lights near Morganton, North Carolina; the Gurdon Light near Gurdon, Arkansas; the Cemetery Lights of Silver Cliff Colorado; the Hebron Light in Maryland; the Hornet Spook Light in Southwest Missouri; and the Peakland Spooklights in Britain.
There are many unproved theories, of course, including alien activity, mirages, ghosts (usually headless railroad workers), and ball lightning induced by tectonic stresses in rocks.
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