The Resonance Key
The Resonance Key:
Exploring the Links
Between Vibration, Consciousness, and the Zero Point Grid
By Marie Jones and Larry
"What's the Frequency?"
"I count all the time
on resonance. I call on this, you see." Josef Albers
Remember those cheesy
coin-operated vibrating beds that were all the rage in nearly every motel back
in the 1970s? How about alphanumeric pagers that would vibrate when someone
paged you? Has some heartless idiot ever driven through your neighborhood in the
middle of the night "bumping" the latest rap hit? It seems like everything
vibrates. From the invisible photons that collectively make up the light that
you are using to read this book, to the cells that form our bodies, everything
has a vibration, a frequency, and a resonance. What we perceive as solid form is
anything but, for beneath it all lies a field of vibrating waves and
particles ... even down to the most subatomic level, popping in and out of existence
from a sea of virtual foam.
According to physics,
resonance is described as the tendency of a system to oscillate at maximum
amplitude at certain frequencies. Although this is a vastly oversimplified
definition, resonance can and does mean so much more. It is the science of
vibratory frequencies that synch up and create amplification, whether it is of
sound, energy, or force. Human behavior tells us that resonance is the
synchronization of beliefs, goals, and commonalities that occur between people.
We "resonate" with this. We "feel good vibrations" about him or her. Hopefully
we are "on the same frequency" or "riding the same wavelength" as our spouse or
Yet behind this seemingly
simple concept of the vibratory reality of, well, reality, there is a stunning
suggestion that resonance may be what truly makes reality real. A mouthful to be
sure, but if everything has its own frequency, and matching frequencies produce
specific changes and effects in the environment, we cannot help but wonder if
what we see, feel, hear, and experience is all about the patterns that emerge
when resonance occurs.
So, if resonance is so
important, what exactly is it and who discovered it? Italian physicist,
astronomer, and philosopher Galileo Galilei first discovered the concept of
resonance in 1602. Using a pendulum, Galileo determined that the swing rate of
the pendulum -- the push of the pendulum in time with the natural interval of
the swing from one direction to another -- was its resonant frequency.
Unfortunately, his theory that a pendulum's swings always take the same amount
of time was later proven incorrect.)
This same phenomenon is
seen on modern playground swing sets. If you push a person on a swing in time
with the natural interval of the swing, the person will swing higher. Push
harder or softer and you mess up the resonant frequency. This is due to the
amount of energy absorbed by the swing being maximized when the push is "in
phase" with the swing's natural oscillation rate. The opposing force of the
pushes, lessens the swing's energy when they are not "in phase." And it doesn't
do any good to push the swing when it is away from you, because no energy gets
transferred into the motion of the swing's original oscillation. The key is to
push the swing at just the right time during each repetition of the swing motion
to get the maximum impact (and hopefully not send your kid flying over the top
bar and into the sand).
To simplify this concept,
when things synch up, they flow. When they don't, they are forced and expend
more energy, thus preventing resonance from occurring. Interestingly, Galileo
was also one of the first scientists to work with sound frequency. He scraped a
chisel at different speeds and linked the pitches of the various sounds to the
spacing of the chisel's skips, thereby determining their frequency. He wrote
about his findings in his 1632 book Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World
Systems. Galileo's work was instrumental in the later development of
cymatics, which is the study of wave phenomena associated with physical patterns
produced through the interaction of sound waves in a particular medium.
The concept of cymatics is
an important one, and forms the basis of several theories that we shall expand
upon later. In 1967, the late Swiss doctor and researcher Hans Jenny, published
the bilingual book Cymatics -- The Structure and Dynamics of Waves and
Vibrations.' In this book, Jenny, similar to Chladni 200 years earlier,
showed what happens when one takes various materials such as sand, spores, iron
filings, water, and viscous substances, and places them on vibrating metal
plates and membranes. After a short amount of time, shapes, motions, and
patterns appear from the nearly perfectly ordered and stationary to those that
are turbulent, organic, and constantly in motion.
Jenny called this new area
of research "cymatics," which comes from the Greek word kyma, meaning,
"wave." Cymatics could be defined as: the study of how vibrations, in the broad
sense, generate and influence patterns, shapes, and moving processes.
This phenomenon has a
three-part unity. The fundamental and generative power is in the vibration that,
with its periodicity, sustains phenomena with its two poles. At one pole we have
form, the figurative pattern. At the other is motion, the dynamic process.
These three fields --
with vibration and periodicity as the ground field, and form and motion as the
two poles -- constitute an indivisible whole, even though one can dominate
sometimes. Does this trinity have something within science that corresponds?
Yes, says American polarity and music therapist John Bealieu. In his book
Music and Sound in the Healing Arts, he draws a comparison between his own
three-part structure, which in many respects resembles Jenny's, and the
conclusions researchers working with subatomic particles have reached. "There is
a similarity between cymatic pictures and quantum particles. In both cases that
which appears to be a solid form is also a wave. They are both created and
simultaneously organized by the principle of pulse (read: principle of
vibration). This is the great mystery with sound: there is no solidity! A form
that appears solid is actually created by a underlying vibration."
This unity or underlying
vibration between wave and form, in which the quantum field, or the vibration,
is understood as reality, then posits that the particle or form, and the wave or
motion, are two polar manifestations of that one reality: vibration.
As we further our
understanding of resonance, we must take a moment to clarify the concept of
standing waves. Standing waves occur when a steady wave runs into a "reflecting
barrier" or wave. The incoming wave and the reflective wave travel at the same
rate, but because they are going in the opposite directions, the peaks and
valleys of one create interference with those of the other wave. These peaks and
valleys create a pattern called "nodes" and "anti-nodes," which are still points
and the points of alternating crests and troughs (or peaks and valleys).
The strongest standing
waves occur when waves are reflected back again, and fit perfectly inside a
space the right size and shape to allow incoming the waves to be "in phase" with
their own reflections and re-reflections. The frequencies at which these occur
are the "resonant frequencies" of the object the waves are within. This bouncing
back, or reflection and re-reflection, of waves within a whole number of
wavelengths is responsible for creating the sound we hear when a tuning fork is
struck. The tuning fork rings at a particular pitch, which is the number of
times the sound wave travels from one end of the object to the other and back
again within a second. Synched or in-phase sounds with matching resonant
frequencies actually create larger waves or vibrations, until "damping" occurs,
which stops the entire process. (Think of the opera singer shattering the
vibrating glass with her high note. She damped that sucker!).
Resonance occurs throughout nature, as well as in many man-made devices. Some of
the examples of natural and man-made resonance include:
resonances of musical instruments and human vocal cords.
mechanisms of all modern clocks and watches; the balance wheel in a mechanical
watch and the quartz crystal in a quartz watch.
resonance of the Bay of Fundy.
resonance as exemplified by some moons of the solar system's gas giants.
of the basilar membrane in the cochlea of the ear, which enables people to
distinguish different frequencies or tones in the sounds they hear.
AM radios use
resonant coil pickups on ferrite rods as compact aerials (much smaller than the
resonance of tuned circuits in radios and TVs that allow individual stations to
be picked up.
coherent light by optical resonance in a "laser" cavity.
of a crystal wine glass when exposed to a musical tone of the right pitch (its
If all this science has
made you hungry, fear not! You will be delighted to know that resonance can even
be linked to the cooking of your food. For instance, did you know that the great
bastion of convenience -- the microwave oven -- operates by cooking without the
use of external heat? Would you believe that resonance is responsible? Hungry
for a nice, thick, juicy steak? Put a steak in a microwave oven, and the
microwave radiation created within the oven interior assumes the same resonant
frequency as the water molecules in the steak, thus heating it and cooking it
from within. How is that possible? Although the delicious steak may appear to us
as a solid object, it is in fact an oscillating mass of molecules that contain
water. When energy (and thus, amplitude -- the extent of a vibratory movement
measured from the mean position to an extreme, or the maximum departure of the
value of an alternating current or wave from the average value) is added
courtesy of the microwaves, it heats up and turns the raw mass of meat and water
into a juicy, mouthwatering porterhouse.
Of all the different types
of resonance, "mechanical resonance" is one of the more intriguing. Mechanical
resonance describes how a mechanical system can absorb more energy when the
frequency of its oscillations, or vibrations, match those of the system's own
natural frequency more so than it would the frequencies of other resonances.
Some objects do have more than one natural resonant frequency, especially
harmonics, which are made up of multiple frequencies.
An interesting example of
mechanical resonance can be found in the anecdotal tale of soldiers marching
across a bridge. Because marching in lockstep could create a resonant frequency
equal to that of the bridge, and thus cause it to possibly collapse, there is a
longstanding myth that soldiers are ordered NOT to march in lockstep and to
occasionally break step to avoid mechanical resonant failure. Whether or not
they could actually collapse a bridge by marching in unison, we do know that
there has been some precedent set.
Back in November of 1940,
the Tacoma Narrows
Bridge in Washington was determined to have collapsed due in part to the
complicated match of oscillation between the bridge's own resonant frequency,
and that of the strong winds passing through it. The bridge collapse actually
had lasting effects in the field of engineering. In some undergraduate physics
texts the bridge collapse is still presented as an example of elementary-forced
resonance with the wind providing an external periodic frequency that matched
the natural structural frequency. Since then, the real cause of the bridge
failure was determined to be aeroelastic flutter. Nevertheless, that collapse
fueled additional important research in bridge aerodynamics/aeroelastics and
influenced the designs of all great long-span bridges since.
FIGURE 1-1 Tacoma Narrows
CAPTION: "The Tacoma
Narrows Bridge collapses in November of 1940 allegedly due to mechanical
resonance." Image courtesy of Wikipedia
Millennium Bridge, a steel suspension bridge crossing the River Thames, was also
closed after only a few days due to a wobble when more than 80,000 people walked
across the bridge on opening day in June of 2000. Structural engineers stated
that the lateral vibration (resonant structural response) caused the bridge to
be closed for modifications. Londoners nicknamed the bridge "Wobbly Bridge."
Even buildings can fall
prey to mechanical resonance. One of our favorite science luminaries, Nikola
Tesla, is considered by many to be one of the pioneers in resonance
experimentation. Tesla was a Serbian mechanical and electrical engineer who has
often been described as the most important scientist and inventor of the modern
era. Tesla created his own mechanical oscillators in his
New York lab, which
resulted in some rather annoying shaking of local buildings. The NYPD became
intimately familiar with Mr. Teslas's exploits! In Chapter 2, we will look more
deeply into Tesla's contributions to the field of resonance.
Tesla stated before he
died that he had created such an "earthquake machine," and today's retrofitted
buildings in earthquake zones do indeed include systems of dampers that can
absorb the incoming waves from major quakes. The buildings that suffer the most
extensive damage in quake zones are actually those with matching resonant
frequencies to the quake's waves, a time when resonance is surely not such a
Just as buildings,
bridges, and earthquakes have their own resonant frequencies, so to does the
planet Earth. Known as the Schumann Resonance, this frequency measures
approximately 7.83 hertz, or just a little more than seven and one half beats
per second. Scientists suggest the origin of this frequency is located in the
area between the surface of the Earth and the ionosphere. The set of spectrum
peaks in this extremely low frequency (ELF) portion of the Earth's
electromagnetic field was named after physicist Winfried Otto Schumann, who
discovered it in 1952. This Earth's dimensions act as a "resonant cavity" for
these electromagnetic waves in the ELF band. Lightning and major storm activity
excites energy in the cavity, which is also linked to the North American power
Actually, there are
several Schumann Resonances. The 7.83 Hz Schumann Resonance was made popular by
researcher Robert Beck whose work on ELF signals, Earth resonances, and their
affect on alpha brain-wave frequencies was presented at a
conference and published in late 1970s. In theory, 7.83 Hz is a brain-wave
frequency often associated with intuitive and psychic abilities. But it is wrong
to say that the Earth only resonates at 7.83 Hz. There are several frequencies
between 7 and 50 hertz that compose the Schumann Resonances, starting at 7.8 Hz
and progressing by approximately 5.9 Hz. (7.8, 13.7, 19.6, 25.5, 31.4, 37.3, and
43.2 Hz). These resonances are not considered fixed frequencies, and all of
these frequencies fluctuate around their nominal values. Changes in these
frequencies are quite normal. For example, the fundamental Schumann frequency
fluctuates between 7.0 Hz to 8.5 Hz. These frequencies also vary from specific
geological location to geological location, and often have naturally occurring
The Schumann Resonances
result from cosmic energy build-up within the cavity between Earth's highly
conductive surface and the conducting layer in the ionosphere, creating
broadband electromagnetic impulses that fill the entire cavity and cause the
cavity to resonate. These frequencies create the Earth's "Harmonic Signature."
The Schumann Resonance, as
we will see in future chapters, is linked with the pyramids in
sacred geometry, ley lines, and other sacred locations and paranormal hot zones.
It might even have an effect on our own bodies.
itself is classified into types according to the frequency of the wave. In order
of increasing frequency, these include:
Radio waves have the
longest wavelengths -- the size of buildings, with gamma rays having the
shortest length -- smaller than the nucleus of an atom.
The distance between two
adjacent crests and troughs is the actual wavelength. Electromagnetic radiation
does actually consist of both wave-like and particle properties, with the wave
properties more common when the electromagnetic radiation is measured throughout
larger time frames and distances, and the particle properties more common at
smaller time frames and distances.
Visible light makes up
only a small window of these frequencies, most of which are invisible to the
eyes of living organisms. Light has a spectrum of frequencies, which together
form a light wave with different frequencies having different angles of
refraction. White light, when passed through a prism, is separated into
different frequency waves. This occurs because of "the wavelength dependant
refractive index" of the prism material.
Radiation with a frequency
in this visible spectrum reflects off of an object and strikes the eye of the
observer, resulting in visual perception and imagery. The human brain then
processes the reflected frequencies into various shades, hues, and colors,
resulting in most humans perceiving the same object in the same way. In other
words, a red rose usually looks like a red rose, unless one is colorblind.
Perhaps the most
fascinating type of resonance occurs within the realm of sound. Acoustics is the
science of sound, ultrasound, and infrasound, which includes all mechanical
waves in gases, liquids, and solids. The word acoustic is derived from an
ancient Greek term meaning "to be heard." The study of acoustics began in the
ancient Greek and Roman cultures between the sixth century
BCE and first century BCE,
and, naturally, began with the study of music. Pythagoras took a deep interest
in the science and nature of musical intervals, and helped to propel the field
of study forward, with further research done by the likes of Aristotle and
direction, type, size, location.
Ocean waves: storms at sea,
Severe weather: location,
location, warning, core radius, funnel shape, precursors.
avoidance, altitude, strength, extent.
Elephants, whales, hippos,
rhinoceros, giraffe, okapi, and alligator are just a few examples of animals
that create infrasound.
Some migratory birds are
able to hear the infrasonic sounds produced when ocean waves break. This
allows them to orient themselves with coastlines.
An elephant is capable of
hearing sound waves well below the human hearing limitation (approximately 30
hertz). Typically, an elephant's numerous different rumbles will span between
14 and 35 hertz. The far-reaching use of high-pressure infrasound opens the
elephant's spatial experience far beyond our limited capabilities.
or microbats: carnivorous bats (not fruit bats or flying foxes).
dolphins, porpoises, orcas, and whales.
Two bird species: swiftlets
Some visually impared
humans have learned this technique
Sonar (an acronym for
sound navigation and ranging) including
Adapted from www.hyptertextbook.com
The idea that sound and
sonic vibration was such a fundamental part of the construct of reality was
nothing new, and persists even to this day. Similar to visual perception, the
realm of sound seems to cross the lines between the seen and unseen.
In nature, animals use
sound to locate objects. Echolocation is the act of emitting sound waves and
detecting the echo to locate an object or for navigational purposes. Fishing
bats have developed such sophisticated echolocation abilities that they can
detect the fins of a minnow, which have the consistency of a human hair,
protruding only two millimeters above a pond surface. Dolphins and whales also
echolocate, also referred to as biosonar, emitting calls into their environment
and using the return echo as a way of finding everything from food to danger to
a potential mate. Birds and shrews also have the skill of biosonar, although
perhaps not as sophisticated as the bat.
Echoes can help in
navigation as well, and as in the case of bats, to forage for food. Calls are
measured based upon intensity, frequency modulation (FM), and constant frequency
(CF), harmonic composition (one frequency or multiple frequencies that make a
harmonic series), and note duration (a single bat echolocation note can last up
to 100 milliseconds). The ability to echolocate involves the auditory system,
which is adapted specifically for this purpose, and specialized primary sensory
neurons in the brain that can sense and interpret the calls. Various parts of
the animal's brain play roles, including a structure in the middle brain of bats
called the inferior collicus. The auditory cortex is much larger in echolocating
creatures than in mammals that do not use the skill.
There have been cases of
human echolocation, allegedly used by blind people to navigate their
environment. Tapping canes or clicking noises can help the blind find their way
in a world void of visual cues. With heightened auditory ability, they can use
the sound waves reflected by nearby objects to determine how close they are, or
the size of the object as they move along. Because humans are not able to make
the sounds at the higher frequencies of bats and other animals, to which the
skill comes naturally, human echolocation is crude by comparison.
Acoustic location is the
use of sound in general to locate objects, and also encompasses sonar and echo
sounding, which measures the distance to the bottom of the ocean using the echo
of sound pulses. Ultrasounds are used in the medical field to view the insides
of the body. Radar detects the echo of radio waves to locate or pinpoint the
position of an object.
Some critters, such as the
Aeds aegypti, the species of mosquito that serves as a vector for dengue
and yellow fevers in humans, use sound to attract the opposite sex. Talk about
resonating with another! This mosquito literally sings its own special "love
song," using the resonation of its beating wings in the thoracic box. The
frequency of a female's "song" falls between 300 to 600 Hz and easily attracts
the male, who gives off his own matching "song" in the 600 frequency range,
creating a lovely harmonic of "come and get me baby." Together, but only if they
are a true tonal match, they make beautiful music and breed a ton of new
For years scientists
thought mosquitoes could not even hear in this frequency range, but now realize
that this use of harmonics might actually be used to one day get rid of these
nasty disease-carriers for good. But for now, they engage in "harmonic
convergence," something no other creature has been yet proven to do.
Sound has played a vital
role in our lives throughout time, and even Egyptologists who study the meaning
behind the Great Pyramid at Giza suggest that sound and resonance were of the
utmost importance to highly advanced ancient civilizations.
Sounding Off on Sound
Sound is a
mechanical, longitudinal wave.
produced by small and rapid pressure changes.
The speed of
sound depends upon the medium and its state.
of a sound wave corresponds to its intensity or loudness.
of a sound wave corresponds to its pitch.
frequency limit for human hearing is around 18,000 to 20,000 Hz.
above the range of human hearing are ultrasonic.
frequency limit for human hearing is around 18 to 20 Hz.
below the range of human hearing are infrasonic.
of a sound wave does not change as the sound wave propagates.
generally produce long-wavelength, low-frequency sounds.
generally produce short-wavelength, high-frequency sounds.
The ability of
an animal or electronic sensor to identify the location or direction of the
origin of a sound is known as sound localization.
sound wave is known as an echo.
Adapted from www.hypertextbook.com
Acoustic resonance works
just as mechanical resonance does, but the system is one based upon harmonics
and musical instruments. String instruments, such as harps, guitars, violins,
and pianos, have resonant frequencies that relate directly to the mass, length,
and tension of each string. Even tube instruments, such as flutes, clarinets,
and horns, measure their own resonance in accordance with the length and shape
of the tube, as well as whether or not it is open or closed at the ends. A
modern flute is an open pipe, while a clarinet is considered closed. Vibrating
air columns create similar resonances to the harmonics created by strings.
Sound vibrations, when
matched in resonance, create lovely harmonics, but unwanted resonance can also
result in a "wolf note," or a particular resonant note that causes the
instrument to resonate a bit too loudly. Single notes of sound create music, but
even a single note can result in ear-splitting feedback when a microphone is in
the range of a speaker or amplifier, reproducing the sound waves picked up from
the opposite side of a room, but one or more wavelengths behind. Any musician or
fan of live music has had to deal with the perils of feedback.
One very amusing example
of acoustic resonance at work exists in the town of
California. Known as the "musical highway," there is a stretch of road about a
mile outside of the city that, when driven over, plays the theme from the
Lone Ranger. This oddity has drawn thousands of curiosity seekers to the
area who delight in driving over the otherwise unimpressive stretch of road
again and again (you can experience it on YouTube!). The musical effect comes
from grooves cut into the road surface, the idea of the auto manufacturer,
Honda, as a way to promote their Honda Civic, which they claim gets the best
musical results when driven at 55mph on the road. The car's weight and combined
speed are optimal for hearing the asphalt overture. Similar musical highways now
appear in the
and South Korea.
Nature has its own "boom
boxes," too, most notably the Singing Sand Dunes of the Atlantic Sahara in
Morocco, one of 35 known locations around the globe that make their own brand of
mysterious music. According to a recent LiveScience article, "Singing Sand
Dunes: The Mystery of Desert Music," staff writer Michael Schirber reports on
the mysterious sounds that emanate from the dunes in a loud, low-pitched rumble
that can last as long as 15 minutes. Bruno Andreotti, a scientist at the
University of Paris, took
some hi-tech equipment to study the barchans, or large crescent-shaped dunes,
which are said to "sing" two or three times a day if the winds are just right.
Andreotti and his team also found they could induce the sounds by creating
little avalanches, but were still not able to pinpoint the actual mechanism
behind the music.
Using measurements of the
vibrations in the sand and air, Andreotti was able to detect surface waves on
the sand that emanated from the avalanche at the relatively slow speed of about
130 feet per second. The face of the dune acted like a huge loudspeaker -- with
the waves on the surface producing the sound in the air. Andreotti believes the
sound comes from the collision of the grains of sand that create a "feedback
loop," which then causes the sound waves to synchronize the collisions of sand
grains so that they end up being all on the same beat.
The sound the sand dunes
makes is low-pitched, between 95 and 105 Hz, described as something akin to a
low-flying propeller aircraft.
Again, this is music
created purely by the resonance of sand grains against each other, the wind, and
the air to create just the right mix for making sweet song ... if you are into music
that sounds like propeller aircraft, that is.
Many people who study
consciousness and the human body suggest that acoustic resonance can influence
the body's organs and cells, even the functioning of the brain. In future
chapters, we will explore the links between vibration, sound, and altered states
of consciousness, as well as the manifestation of paranormal phenomena. A simple
example of how music can affect the body, though, can be seen in the lovely
Tibetan Singing Bowls. Also known as Himalayan Bowls, these "standing bells" are
made of Panchaloha, or five specific metals composing a bronze alloy of copper,
tin, zinc, iron, and other small traces of metals. These bowls produce
multiphonic and polyharmonic overtones, unique to the bowls alone, and are
believed to induce a highly meditative state, trance induction, and altered
states of consciousness.
The bowls vibrate to
produce sound when their sides or rims are struck in a certain way, or exposed
to the friction of a wooden, plastic, or leather mallet that "rubs" the rim of
the bowl to create the "singing sound." The bowls are known to produce rather
complex chords of harmonic overtones, as well as soft bell-like tones, many of
which are used in specific rituals to mark the passing of time, or certain
events and holy times. Some scholars suggest that singing bowls have been in use
in the Himalayan region as far back as the eighth century
as an enhancement to meditative practices, as well trance induction and prayer.
Author's note: I (Larry) own an antique Tibetan singing bowl, and although it
sounds really cool and "new agey," I've yet to find myself rocketing into some
transcendental state of Zen while playing it.
But just as the Singing
Bowls produce sounds that supposedly transform one to a higher level of
consciousness, rumor suggests that sound can also do some rotten things to the
human body. One particularly nasty legend of the infamous Brown Note persists.
As it's name implies, the Brown Note is reportedly the specific infrasound
frequency that causes humans to lose control of their bowels. Though there is
absolutely no scientific evidence of the reality of the Brown Note, and shows
such as Mythbusters and Brainiac: Science Abuse have tested the
note to no avail, the rumor persists that high-power sound waves below 20 Hz are
felt by the body as a vibration, rather than heard by the ear as a noise. The
Brown Note frequency range is said to be between 5 and 9 Hz, and the authors of
this book challenge any reader to prove it is a real note and not just another
According to her thesis
paper entitled "Mark Twain and Nikola Tesla: Thunder and Lightning," Katherine
Krumme tells the story of Tesla receiving a very special visitor to his
laboratory -- Mark Twain. While Twain was at the lab, Tesla had been
experimenting with the interesting effects of a mechanical oscillator, which
produced alternating current of a high frequency. Tesla was especially
interesting in the significant low frequency vibrations the machine produces and
wondered if the vibrations might have therapeutic or health benefits.
Twain then asked to
experience the vibrations and stood on a platform of the machine while Tesla set
the oscillator into operation. Twain was enjoying himself greatly and exclaimed:
"This gives you vigour and vitality." Tesla warned Twain not to stay on the
platform too long, but Twain remained, stating he was having too much fun. Tesla
again insisted, but Twain stayed on the machine for several minutes more until,
suddenly, he exclaimed: "Quick, Tesla. Where is it?"
Without hesitation, Tesla
pointed to the restroom. Twain had experienced firsthand what the laboratory
workers had known for some time: the laxative effect of the machine's low
frequency vibrations. Although we have no way of corroborating the facts
surrounding that incident, perhaps that this may have been the genesis of the
Brown Note legend!
Many acoustics experts
insist that there is no real evidence that infrasound can cause vomiting or
defecation, however, some conspiracy theorists point to the military's ongoing
interest in developing ultrasonic weapons as evidence to the contrary. There is
some evidence, however, that loud concert music, especially when coming from
subwoofer arrays of speakers, is responsible for the lung collapse of people
standing too close to the arrays (Wired magazine, September 2004).
Author's Note: Marie can attest to this after attending a Judas Priest concert
in the 1980s. She still can't breathe!
For the purposes of this
book, infrasound is perhaps the most important sound frequency range that we
shall discuss. Infrasound is simply sound with a frequency that is too low for
the human ear to audibly discern. The range of what is considered infrasonic
covers sounds below the lowest limits of the human ear, from 20 hertz down to
0.001 hertz. Interestingly enough, this is the range of sound utilized by
seismographic instruments for detecting earthquake activity. The volcanic
eruption of Krakatoa in Indonesia in 1883 first introduced the observations of
naturally occurring infrasonic waves. During the eruption, the acoustic waves
literally circled the Earth several times, and were recorded on barometers at
various locations around the globe.
The man considered the
pioneer of infrasound research is French scientist Vladimir Gavreau, who
experienced everything from inner ear pain to shaking lab equipment while
experimenting with infrasonic waves in the 1960s. From his research, he went on
to invent an infrasonic whistle.
naturally during times of severe weather, avalanches, and seismic activity such
as earthquakes and volcanoes, iceberg cavings, lightning, tornadoes, and other
natural phenomena, as well as man-made sonic booms and chemical and nuclear
explosions. Even diesel machinery and wind turbines can create infrasonic waves,
as well as those subwoofer speakers responsible for lung collapses at loud
Animals are able to
perceive sound in the infrasonic range. As a matter of fact, animals have been
known to evacuate an area during earthquakes and other natural disasters. They
are able to utilize the naturally emitted sounds created by the events as a type
of early warning system, as was seen during the 2004
tsunami, when thousands of animals reportedly fled the general area. In addition
to the use as an "emergency notification system," whales, elephants, giraffes,
rhinos, and even alligators use infrasound as a form of communication, while
migrating birds might also utilize infrasound as a navigational tool.
magazine's "Can Animals Predict Disaster?" studies have indeed shown that even
zoo animals respond to infrasound, although in a more muted reaction due to
their constant exposure to such sounds in their usual urban settings. Alligators
specifically use infrasound to signal to a mate and can produce a number of
infrasonic sounds by "vibrating air inside special sound-producing sacs in their
Human beings also appear
to have an intrinsic response to infrasound. In fact, during World War II, it is
believed that Nazi propaganda engineers used infrasonic sound as a means to
rouse anger amongst the sizeable crowds that would gather to hear Hitler.
Infrasound may have been one factor in creating an entire nation filled with
hatred and anger. In addition, and as we will see in a future chapter,
infrasonic sound has been associated with the perception of "paranormal"
phenomena. Sounds spooky! But studies have been conducted at musical concerts
involving human response to differing types of music, and according to the
Nature report, more than one quarter of the listeners reported "ghostly"
feelings of anxiety, sorrow, fear, and even chills down the spine while
listening to infrasonic melodies.
These kinds of studies
have put infrasound front and center in the field of paranormal research. But
before we tune into that ghostly frequency, let's look at some of the brains
behind the science of resonance.
*This excerpt from The
Resonance Key reprinted with permission of the publisher, New Page Books.
Copyright C 2009. All Rights Reserved.
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