Wind Farms Turn Scottish Highland Homes Into Sonic Torture Traps


An ill wind blows as the surge of turbines stirs fears of silent danger to our health
Scottish Express
Paula Murray
10 August 2014

TENS of thousands of Scots may be suffering from a hidden sickness epidemic caused by wind farms, campaigners have warned.

The Sunday Express can reveal that the Scottish Government has recently commissioned a study into the potential ill effects of turbines at 10 sites across the country.

More than 33,500 families live within two miles of these 10 wind farms – which represent just a fraction of the 2,300 turbines – already built north of the Border.

Hundreds of residents are now being asked to report back to Holyrood ministers about the visual impacts, and effects of noise and shadow flickers from nearby wind farms.

Campaigners fear that many people do not realise they are suffering from ailments brought on by infrasound – noise at such a low frequency that it cannot be heard but can be felt.

One such person is Andrew Vivers, an ex-Army captain who has suffered from headaches, dizziness, tinnitus, raised blood pressure and disturbed sleep since Ark Hill wind farm was built near his home in Glamis, Angus.

Mr Vivers, who served almost 10 years in the military, said the authorities had so far refused to accept the ill effects of infrasound despite it being a “known military interrogation aid and weapon”.

He said: “When white noise was disallowed they went on to infrasound. If it is directed at you, you can feel your brain or your body vibrating. With wind turbines, you don’t realise that is what’s happening to you.

“It is bonkers that infrasound low frequency noise monitoring is not included in any environmental assessments. It should be mandatory before and after turbine erection.”

He is raising concerns about an “acknowledged and unexplained increase of insomnia, dizziness and headaches in Dundee”, where two large wind turbines have been operating since 2006. Mr Vivers, 59, said all medical explanations of his own sudden health issues had been ruled out and it was more than 12 months before he was convinced of the link to the wind farm.

He said: “I was getting these headaches and dizziness and just not sleeping, but I was putting it all down to all sorts of other things. A couple of times I was walking on the hills around the house with my dogs and got a really bad dizzy spell.

“I actually had to sit down for a few minutes and while I was sitting down wondering what on earth was wrong with me, I did notice the wind was coming straight from the turbines.” Mr Vivers said he has also witnessed an “incredible number” of dead hares on the moors around Ark Hill and believes they may have succumbed to “internal haemorrhaging and death” as a result of the turbines.

He added: “If this coming winter is going to be anything like the last and with the plans to build a second wind farm much closer to us, I think we’ll have to sell our home and move elsewhere.”

The 10 sites under the microscope in the new survey include one in Dunfermline, where almost 23,000 households are nearby, and Little Raith near Lochgelly, Fife, where there are nearly 9,000 households.

The others are Achany in Sutherland, Baillie near Thurso, Caithness, Dalswinton in Dumfriesshire, Drone Hill, near Coldingham, Berwickshire, Griffin in Perthshire, Hadyard Hill in Ayrshire, Neilston in Renfrewshire and West Knock, near Stuartfield, Aberdeenshire.

About 2,000 questionnaires have been sent to residents in a move that is understood to have caused tension between the Scottish Government and the renewable energy industry.

The “wind farm impacts study” is being managed by ClimateXChange, which has published information about the project online.

It says: “The research will use two sources of information: how local residents experience and react to visual, noise and shadow-flicker impacts, and how the predicted impact at the planning stage matches the impact when the wind farm is operating.

“The final report is due in autumn 2014. It will inform the Scottish Government’s approach to planning policy on renewables and good practice on managing the impact of wind farms on local residents.”

One of the contractors involved in the project is Hoare Lea Acoustics, an international firm which specialises in measuring noise and vibration from wind farms.

However, Susan Croswaithe, the UK spokeswoman for campaign group European Platform Against Windfarms, said the study would be “little more than a box ticking exercise”.

She added: “On the face of it, it does look like a step in the right direction, but can we really trust it? My issue is that it is not independent enough.

“Our website is full of examples of people not being listened to.

“We have two very large wind farms near us in Ayrshire, Arecleoch and Mark Hill – 60 turbines and 28 turbines.

“If people in my area have noticed they are feeling better at the moment but do not understand why, it may be because the turbines have been switched off while they do maintenance on the grid.”
Scottish Express

Andrew Viviers
Andrew Viviers: another unnecessary wind farm casualty.

Andrew Viviers makes the following – perfectly reasonable – observation about noise testing:

“It is bonkers that infrasound low frequency noise monitoring is not included in any environmental assessments. It should be mandatory before and after turbine erection.”

The idea of “testing” for the impacts from turbine noise and vibration without including infrasound and low-frequency noise is “bonkers”, indeed. Dr Mariana Alves-Pereira – who has been studying low-frequency noise impacts with her research group for 30 years, certainly thinks so (see our post here).

The noise standards – written by the wind industry – rely on the dB(A) weighting and, therefore, deliberately ignore the vast bulk of the sound energy produced by turbines – which pervades homes as infrasound and in frequencies that cause sleep deprivation and other adverse health effects (see our post here).

The standards not only ignore infrasound, but the South Australian EPA’s noise guidelines even ludicrously assert that infrasound was a feature of earlier turbine designs that is not present at “modern wind farms”. SA’s EPA – despite being incapable of following its own guidelines when it came to noise testing at Waterloo – managed to find infrasound present inside neighbouring homes at a very modern wind farm, that started operation in 2010 (see our posts here and here). For a great little summary on wind turbine generated infrasound and its adverse affects on health, check out this video of Professor Alec Salt laying it out in clear and simple terms:



Given the work of Professor Salt (outlined in the video) and Steven Cooper’s findings at Cape Bridgewater (see our post here) “the recent unexplained increase of insomnia, dizziness and headaches in Dundee”, referred to by Andrew Viviers is not so difficult to explain at all.

The direct link between very low-frequency turbine noise, sleep disturbance and annoyance was well and truly established by Neil Kelley & Co over 25 years ago (see posts here and here and here). And the wind industry knew all about it (see our post here).

Well, Highlanders – it seems like the right time to grab your Claymores and bring your political betters to account.


5 thoughts on “Wind Farms Turn Scottish Highland Homes Into Sonic Torture Traps

  1. If Scotland’s hydroelectric schemes were providing base load power instead of cutting in for as little as 5 minutes in times of peak demand and to the highest bidder (ref. BBC TV Scotland, “Making Scotland`s Landscape” 2010), Scotland could avoid the rollout of industrial wind turbines throughout the land. And in turn avoid the health dangers and the destruction of Scotland`s magnificent scenery and protected wildlife from the location of miles and miles of massive concrete, steel and fibreglass wind turbines. After the folly of this industry is fully realised, Scotland will be left with acres of derelict waste land covered in disused concrete foundations that are there forever. Scotland should use the abundant rainfall it is known for to provide clean renewable base load hydro electricity. In addition to the planting of more trees as stated in the aforementioned BBC documentary, this wonderful country could be doing its bit for a cleaner future. And the rare and protected birdlife could once again return. The Fort William Aluminium Smelter in West Scotland has been using hydro electricity from the Lochaber hydroelectric scheme since 1929!

  2. If it was some military dictator,such as Saddam Hussain or Idi Amin, inflicting this type of ‘torture’ on their country’s citizens then world leaders and the every ‘western media’ outlet would be screeching’foul’, but all we get in respect to the wind industry is the ‘blind eye’ and the ‘deaf ear’ and ‘lies’ and ‘denial’. Time for the 33,000 families in Scotland to speak up very very loudly to stop the absurdity.

  3. Brilliant STT.
    Scotland is getting tough. We are sick to death of this political nonsense and the continued denial of health effects from industrial wind turbines. Judgement day is coming and the government and wind industry better believe it!
    Charge ……………………!

    1. Show no mercy. The wind industry, its parasites and their political enablers haven’t. So why should their entirely unnecessary victims show any when it comes to settling the score?

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