12-16 Move Over Taos Hum
By JAY MILLER
SANTA FE -- Now that the Taos Hum has spread worldwide, New Yorkers are coming up with a new sensation. It's a sweet smell, similar to maple syrup.
It may be a public relations gimmick. New York City isn't often thought of as smelling good. Rotten eggs would be more descriptive of a typical New York smell.
Some New Yorkers smell a rat. They figure it's an odor of mass destruction, disguised with a sweet scent.
Police, fire and environmental investigators were quickly dispatched from the city Office of Emergency Management with sniffing machines, but could report only that the smell was of no immediate danger to the public.
So what was the smell? King Kong eating breakfast, maybe? Since the smell had occurred previously in October, it wouldn't have been the sweet smell of success. In their customary October Disappointment, the Yankees, once again, fell to the Angels in the first round of the Major League Baseball playoffs.
Some described the scent as caramel. Others said it was like a freshly-baked pie. A "Big Apple" pie, no doubt. There we are, back to the public relations promo again.
At least with this smell sensation, no one has started worrying that they are going crazy as they have with the Taos Hum. Sweet smells may become too much of a good thing for New Yorkers but the Taos Hum soon starts driving some Taosenos out of their minds.
An amazing number of Web sites now chronicle the Taos Hum, which has spread throughout the nation and world. The hum may not have begun in Taos. It may be just that Taosenos, who treasure their quality of life, notice it more.
In downtown Manhattan, a sweet smell is a bit of a shock. But who's going to notice a hum? In Taos, it's something to complain about.
And Taosenos have complained. When Gov. Bill Richardson was a member of Congress, he had it investigated by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, on which he served. That was in the early 1990s. Richardson said he thought it was a defense-related activity.
But, as with all defense-related activities, a positive finding would have to be kept secret for "national security" reasons. And that meant that even if Richardson found out, he couldn't report back to his constituents.
Now that the hum has spread nearly everywhere, we are beginning to hear reports that when complaints get loud and frequent, the hum mysteriously stops.
For those still in doubt about all this, check out the Taos Hum on the Internet. There are a surprising number of Web sites worldwide and most use the name Taos Hum. From scanning some of them, it appears that many people relieve their anxieties by setting up a Web site to learn more about what is happening to them and to learn who else is experiencing the same phenomenon.
Besides Taos, the other hum location most frequently mentioned is Kokomo, Indiana. But for the most part, reports on Web sites I reviewed came from very small towns or completely rural locations.
Certainly the sound would be most noticeable in isolated locations. And when the sound stops, people in quiet locales say it is quite a jolt. The fact that the sound does stop, is a good indication that it is external and not something that is happening solely within an individual.
In 1994, the television show, "Sightings," took on the Taos Hum. It rigged up a "Faraday cage" in which it placed "hearers" to see if the sound could be blocked out by a 350-pound steel box designed to eliminate electromagnetic signals. But it didn't work and the mystery continues.
Some of the few things we do know about the Hum are that less than 10 percent of people are hearers and there are places they can go to get away from the noise.
Otherwise, it remains a likely military secret.
JAY MILLER, 3 La Tusa, Santa Fe, NM 87505
(ph) 982-2723, (fax) 984-0982, (e-mail) email@example.com