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Topic: Infrasound
Message: Posted by: Joshua Quinn (Oct 4, 2004 03:45AM)
I've been reading some interesting articles on [b]infrasound[/b] -- sound waves at frequencies below the human hearing range, which, though inaudible, are said to have various effects on people.

What exactly these effects are depends on who you ask, but there seems to be a general consensus that they tend to fall under the category of "unusual experiences." Chills up the spine, the sensation of being watched, religious euphoria, sudden inexplicable fear, and even visual hallucinations have been associated with infrasound (with varying levels of credibility).

For some reason, I thought this might be of interest to some people here -- especially with sťance season upon us. ;)

Scientists have used giant pipes to produce the sound waves acoustically, but it would be easy enough to do it electronically at home. The effective frequencies seem to be in the 10-18 hz range. There's plenty of cheap (probably even free) audio software that can generate a sine wave in that range, and a decent sub-woofer can reproduce it. Using it at a show could be as easy as generating the wave, looping it, burning it to a CD, and pressing Play at the appropriate time.

Some interesting links:


DISCLAIMER: There are those out there in cyberspace who claim that infrasound can cause anything from headaches to nausea to blindness to insanity, and has been used in secret government operations to control minds, destroy individuals, and defeat entire armies. If they happen to be right, and you do what I described above and use it in your show, and your audience ends up passing out or vomiting or hacking each other to bits with their plastic cutlery, I don't accept any responsibility, and I don't imagine Steve Brooks does either.
Message: Posted by: bluefred (Oct 4, 2004 04:35AM)
Thanks for sharing this! Sounds interesting. ;-]
Message: Posted by: paulajayne (Oct 4, 2004 05:04AM)
There was a French researcher doing trials on infrasound as a weapon and managed to destroy his own lab.

Message: Posted by: cardiac (Oct 4, 2004 07:05AM)
Interesting stuff, thanks for posting. BTW found this link off one of yours


(You may have to cut and paste the whole link.)
Message: Posted by: paulajayne (Oct 4, 2004 08:30AM)
Found this:

Very low frequency sound which can travel long distances and easily penetrate most buildings and vehicles. Transmission of long wavelength sound creates biophysical effects; nausea, loss of bowels, disorientation, vomiting, potential internal organ damage or death may occur. Superior to ultrasound because it is "in band", meaning that it does not lose its properties when it changes mediums such as from air to tissue. By 1972 an infrasound generator had been built in France which generated waves at 7 hertz. When activated it made the people in range sick for hours.

Could be a messy show if you used this.

And this:

"Fascinated by the phenomenon, Gavraud decided to build machines to produce infrasound so that he could investigate it further. In casting around for likely designs, he discovered that the whistle with a pea in it issued to all French gendarmes produced a whole range of low-frequency sounds. So he built a police whistle six feet long and powered it with compressed air. The technician who gave the giant whistle its first trial blast fell down dead on the spot. A post-mortem revealed that all his internal organs had been mashed into an amorphous jelly by the vibrations."

And if you want to build one:


Message: Posted by: johne (Oct 4, 2004 09:31AM)
Quinn, you might find this interesting.


John E.
Message: Posted by: kaytracy (Oct 4, 2004 10:21PM)
Paula, I am not sure about the French researcher thing, as the end of the article it says the story is ficticious, though based on "some reserach"
As Kenton would maybe remind us, "Which researchers, and <who what when why how where>?"
Message: Posted by: teejay (Oct 5, 2004 02:44AM)
Hi Paula
'Transmission of long wavelength sound creates biophysical effects; nausea, loss of bowels, disorientation, vomiting, potential ........'
Should that read
'loss of bowel movement'
Both are messy but one isn't as messy (or as serious)
as the other
Message: Posted by: cardiac (Oct 5, 2004 07:02AM)
So after reading all the above links, the idea to record a subaudible tone and play it during performances is basically a bad idea (unless you like mopping up afterwards).
Message: Posted by: johne (Oct 5, 2004 08:56AM)
LOL...you may have to help those that may get blinded out too. Possible a good idea to take keys at the door.

Message: Posted by: MentaThought (Oct 5, 2004 11:47PM)
I happen to have several "Silent Subliminals" CD's.
Before dismissing the concept of "silent subliminals" please be aware that the technology was used in the Persian Gulf War of the early-1990s and, undoubtedly, in the current Afghan/Iraq wars as well.
See http://www.megabrain.com/daisy.htm .