My Enemy Flicker: Neighbour’s Video Depicts Misery of Life in Wind Turbine’s Pulsing Shadow

For those unfortunates forced to live cheek-by-jowl with these things, it isn’t just incessant turbine generated low-frequency noise and infrasound that drives neighbours nuts.

At sunrise or sunset, those with turbines on their doorstep find shadow flicker – the pulsing beams of light that compete with rolling darkness inside their homes – is just another source of irritation to be suffered at the hands of an industry utterly devoid of human compassion or decency. The piece below tells the story of the video above.

Dashwood couple’s problem with shadow flicker raises ire
Chatham Daily News
Lynda Hillman-Rapley
5 May 2017

Matt Metzgar’s video has gone viral.

Filmed April 28 and then uploaded, the video of the shadow flicker his parents live with at their RR 1, Dashwood home has been viewed over 44,000 times and has been shared 740 times.

Metzgar filmed and then shared the video to draw attention to the conditions in which his parents have had to endure from a nearby wind turbine. The turbine is placed 667 metres away from their home, but the shadows from the rotating blades reach their home on County Rd. 83 in Huron County.

“Most people admire a beautiful sunset, my parents not so much,” Metzgar says in the video.

The video has drawn comments from around the globe, but more importantly for Metzgar, it’s also drawn the attention of Northland Power, which owns and operates that wind turbine and others. Northland has promised to investigate, and has even offered to provide some blinds for the occupants “until a permanent solution” can be found.

The senior Metzgar have lived with the flicker problem – without complaint – since the turbine became operational in 2016. They didn’t want to be interviewed about the situation.

But their son believes the flicker needs to be corrected. Indeed, he said his parents can’t watch television without their viewing being interfered by the movement of the turbine blades.

“My parents have never been complainers,” Metzgar said. “And they don’t wish to be seen as such. They don’t have any hope that complaining will get them any results. I, however, have heard them mention the shadow flicker numerous times but never experienced it until last month. I was under the impression that the flicker is the same as what I’m experiencing at my home. That flicker lasts for about 45 minutes, and since we are not using the east part of my house in the morning for prolonged times, I just took notice of their complaints and never thought it was this extreme.”

Metzgar took his video to Northland Power’s office on April 28 and was assured that the problem would be investigated.

“After I went to Northland Power’s Grand Bend Wind Projects office and showed them the video, I had a call that same day and was asked that my parents record the dates and times the shadow flicker occurs,” Metzgar said. “I suggested they had the technology to determine that, given they have the GPS coordinates of the house and the turbines. They are supposed to get back to me. Just recently, I heard that the wind companies are allowed to subject people to this for 30 hours a year, But I have not confirmed that yet.”

Metzgar posted the video the same day he visited Northland’s office. The response was explosive. Within a week it had been shared 740 times.

“Viewers are disgusted and comments are supportive of my parents,” he said. “No one is laughing at their situation, people seem genuinely horrified.”

Asked if the turbine flicker presents a health risk or concern for his parents, Metzgar said that’s difficult to determine.

“As it stands, shadow flicker is annoying and annoyance is a serious health issue under the World Health Organization.”

Patti Kellar has been a vocal opponent of wind turbines since they were built near her Grand Bend-area home. Her family has had health issues since operations began, because of an inaudible noise, she said.

She, along with thousands of others, was moved by Metzgar’s video.

“It’s profoundly touching as it shows real people suffering with shadow flicker from industrial wind turbines,” said Kellar. “Anyone with a heart could see their own family members in this situation.”

She said it’s not unusual that the senior Metzgars have chosen not to complain.

“They have quietly and stoically suffered in silence as have many more people in rural Ontario,” said Kellar. “For every person that files a complaint, there are countless others who will not.”

She said she believes some rural residents won’t lodge a formal complaint because they believe it will be futile, especially since the Ontario government has been adamant in its refusal to back down from Green Energy Plan.

Still, Kellar said problems of turbine flicker and other related concerns are being investigated.

“The investigation into the health effects of turbines conducted by the Huron County Health Unit, open to residents of Huron County, is currently in the hands of the ethics committee at the University of Waterloo and will be starting soon,” she said. “It will be closely watched by other health units in Ontario and I recommend people engage in this study. What some people fail to understand is that the health effects depend on individual sensitivities, length of exposure, wind speeds, geography and a host of other factors. Turbines are here, they do affect some people and that information needs to be captured.”

Chatham Daily News

Just another reason to hate wind power and those who profit from it.

10 thoughts on “My Enemy Flicker: Neighbour’s Video Depicts Misery of Life in Wind Turbine’s Pulsing Shadow

  1. Yes Shane that is what my plan is if they go up in front of my house – it will be their world that will come tumbling down as I will blow them up. If they put me in prison that is ok my life is nearly over and guess what – I will have a good night’s sleep. So let them put that in their bloody pipe and smoke it. These evil companies rely on paying people out but not this lady I tell you. Oh don’t let us forget the subsidies that you I and give them in our tax. Talk about laughing all the way to bank.

  2. 1 minute 52 seconds had my head spinning. I have photo sensitivity related to epilepsy and can’t tolerate tunnels or lovely tree lined avenues! This is a time bomb waiting to explode and I can tell you , darkened curtains don’t mask the flicker effect!

  3. The wind industry is constant in failing at public responsibility, openness and abiding by any or even their own ethics. No-one has proven wind turbine infrastructure won’t cause harm and you can believe it when an industry rep says to you they are not about saving the planet.

    What misery and abuse this elderly couple have helplessly and silently endured. The company has no right to request these people or any of us to document times and dates of incidents. Documentation which in my experience with pacific hydro was too quickly,easily disregarded, dismissed.. smothered by inadequate responses. This video documentation and evidence should suffice to show one and all that the quality of peoples lives are deteriorated by turbine shadow (and glint flicker). Visual evidence which cannot be disregarded. The room in the video appears it would be a lovely warm room over Winter, catching the light as it does but who would want to sit in it and if you suffer epilepsy or migraines you couldn’t. Their lovely home and our homes near turbines no longer offer pleasant sanctuary.

    Thirty hours of this!!… the system sinfully covers up for the industry and fails to protect peoples rights to enjoy the peace, quiet and safety of their home, and fails to protect we neighbours from wind turbine harm. Flicker may ‘only’ happen at certain times of the day, night or year and when it does, it is an additional abuse which pervades your home and senses and you cannot simply ignore it.
    Sundowners out the back watching the sun set on the Cape are an enjoyment stolen from us because of the intrusive hovering turbines and spinning blades which are ugliness in compare; destroying previous glorious skies, natural light and natural beauty. Ugliness on a par with a rubbish polluted stream, turbines are permanent polluting rubbish in the sky.

    The company if prepared to do damage control of their unclean green image,will likely offer thicker curtains or other useless gimmickry; then force a gag clause to prohibit further discussion about the problems their turbines cause.
    We cannot work and live under turbines and the dismal conditions they impose. The flickering through the trees and the shadows moving across the ground are dangerously distracting. Every distant planning panel and emotionally distant decision maker should watch this, learn and change. Our Governments refusal to act responsibly and ethically put rural health and safety first will have a price.

    1. Melissa, well said.
      These things are an abomination on the landscape, as people come and go from their own homes, they blight the very essence of what should be personal space, a place of refuge from the rigours of a hard days work, a place to spend in pleasant pursuits, a place to find quiet repose.
      For many it is a place that offers them glorious vista’s from windows where blinds and curtains are rejected so nature can be appreciated.
      These things have stolen this from far too many people around the world. It’s time these companies had to answer for the lies they have and continue to tell. It’s time this onslaught into the lives of everyday people wanting only to live and work in a place of their choosing where they can find peace and pleasure without having to shut doors and windows and for some to install insulation and hang curtains to keep out noise and visual contamination – all of which fail to prevent the adverse effects of having massive industrial machinery in their ‘faces’ affecting their lives and livelihoods.
      All they want is to listen and watch the wildlife in their gardens and to enjoy outside pursuits without intrusion of these industrial monsters.
      We all need to keep up the pressure on those who can make a difference – Governments and authorising authorities, its time they stopped funding these things and started looking to their duty of care to their people, those who they are duty bound to ensure they do nothing to harm them.
      Lets see the end to the RET and RECs and lets see those that are installed are not harming anyone or the environment, and if they are then have them removed.
      What is the use of ‘saving the earth’ if it is made unliveable in doing it?

      1. What a beautiful letter Melissa Ware, yes these companies are telling lies, lots of lies and they get away with it because they have the money to pay people off. Don’t you worry I have seen it all. They don’t care. The government doesn’t care. Neither do people who don’t get bothered by them. Oh but they do look pretty. What is up with people? This is their world, their children and parent’s world. What about the trees and wild life on the ground and above which is destroyed daily by these horrible machines? It some times makes me think is it the war of the worlds when you see these terrible machines on our lands. What of our Grand kids? Do they deserve what we are letting happen? When they are older and we have gone, can you imagine the state of our world with all these horrible machines that have gone rusty and are not recyclable? These companies should be ashamed of themselves and our governments. It is only people power that is going to stop this huge scam that is getting bigger by the day. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer with our huge electricity bills. Shame on them all. I hope they will get their just desserts – just like the cigarettes companies.

    2. Same exact playbook in Michigans thumb, Huron,Tuscola and Sanilac Counties.
      Here, they send every complaint to a store they hold a contract with so that the homeowner can pick out any drapery, any window covering of any kind, at Nextera’s expense. No price limit. The store they use is the most expensive store around. Which happens to be sitting in a township directly south of the ‘thumb” ( hop skip and a jump for some of us locals) which also said NO to turbines previously and I’m positive they will not retract that ever. In fact, they stopped Walmart from building in their city a couple years ago.

      The fallacy of a mere 30 hours per year simply means nothing. One family might actually experience less or more.
      Simple Variables make each home unique to the amount of flicker.
      I’ve videoed flicker here and it extends across the whole road.
      I guess it doesn’t know that it shouldn’t cross the pavement.

      Two weeks ago, during opening morning of fishing on our Huron Lake/ Bay area, my husband was traveling home at 3 am in the morning, passing by our old homestead which now houses 3 turbines. Nextera is working feverishly throughout the darkness on turbines which were placed there during 2012, the first spinning in Tuscola County December of 2012.

      He took some photos with his phone and cried. This was his grandparents land (RIP) and he spent many a day walking and working with his grandfather during his childhood.
      We moved into the homestead and were planning our dream home on the land back in the late 80’s.
      We used to have a picture hanging on the cupboard door of the home we wanted to build 50 feet away from the original homestead.

      Now, that land is covered with turbines in every direction.
      I feel fortunate that for some reason, one thing lead to another and we left the homestead.
      Our home now, sits with a view of numerous turbines right in front of us.
      Depending once again on variables: sometimes I see 15 and sometimes I get the pleasure of seeing 30 or more.
      You would think that being I am 7 miles away from my closest bird slicer, it would be minimal, in sight, but it is not. They still appear to be a mere couple country miles away.

      1. Oh my God this is such a sad letter. My heart goes out to you. They are putting turbines up 2.2 km from my from my front door. I have fought so hard for all of this to stop. These companies are evil. The ones we are dealing with, Infigen, have done so many underhanded tricks it has been just unbelievable. I was sold my home not knowing what was going to happen – I thought that I had my forever home lol. Well, it’s not to be, I’m afraid. But I will not give in to these horrible people – I’m better than them. Just have to hope to God someone says enough is enough.

  4. If they were my parents l can tell you that turbine would look like swiss cheese by the very next sunset,,..

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