Wake in Fright: Wind Turbine Infrasound Causes Panic, Fear & Nightmares

The evidence proving the unnecessary damage done to wind farm neighbours by the noise generated by giant industrial wind turbines is mounting by the day: Germany’s Max Planck Institute has identified sub-audible infrasound as the cause of stress, sleep disruption and more (see our post here); and a Swedish group have shown that it’s the pulsing nature of low-frequency wind turbine noise  (‘amplitude modulation’) that is responsible for sleep problems in those forced to live with it (see our post here).

The Max Planck Institute’s research exposed subjects to sub-audible infrasound (IS) while subject’s responses were identified using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), establishing a direct connection between IS exposure and responses in the amygdala, indicative of a stress response in that subject. The study led to a postulate that:

stimulation over longer periods of time could exert a profound effect on autonomic functions and may eventually lead to the formation of symptoms such as sleep disturbances, panic attacks or depression,..”

For those forced to live in proximity with these things, waking up in a state of fright, and a feeling of unease is a common experience. In homes inundated with wind turbine generated pulsing (amplitude modulated) low frequency noise and infrasound, residents routinely report sleep disruption. But a not insignificant proportion of those also report waking as if from a horrible nightmare, or startled by some unknown force or presence.

Here are some quotes from Australians living near industrial wind turbines:

“Almost immediately after we moved in I started to develop problems such as nocturnal panic attacks” David Mortimer

“When Melissa feels them, she’ll wake up in the middle of the night with heart racing. … You’re not supposed to wake up with heart rate of 140 or whatever ridiculous things. But when Melissa does wake me up she’ll say, “Oh, can’t you feel the house moving?”” Rikki Nicholson

“I feel this is stress. That’s because I’ve woken up sometime in the night either from really bad nights where the whole body vibrates, or it just gives you that sense of wanting to run away. It’s the sudden wakings in the middle of the night, when the turbines are running hard, that you can wake up with this fright. It’s that, what’s happened? What’s going on? There’d be nothing around you, there’d be no loud noises, no bangs, or anything, to have woken you.” Robyn Brew

“That night was probably the worst night I’d ever experienced, where, just, the rapid heartbeat, and really thumping, you couldn’t sleep. … And it’s an extreme feeling of those nights with really, sort of, dark forebodings, if you like”. Donald Thomas

“Now, we can’t sleep with that. …. But somewhere during the night it is going to way me up and I am going to find myself half way down the passageway, trying to get away from scorpions and snakes and whatever the hell frightens the hell out of me. Is that a tie over from our primordial days when we use to hang from the trees? And you know, low frequency sound meant it was a, an earthquake or some big creature that was going to eat us, and it is triggering this response. I don’t know. But we’ve had enough”. David Mortimer

The work done by Germany’s Max Planck Institute vindicates those experiences, with a direct causal agent responsible for stimulating a fear response in those exposed to amplitude modulated, wind turbine generated low-frequency noise and infrasound.

Prompted by reports that people exposed to infrasound, including that generated by wind turbines, can experience a fear or panic like response, TV medico/medical researcher, Michael Mosley conducted an experiment involving infrasound exposure, which appeared in his series, Meet the Humans series (Season 1, Episode 5: Culture of Fear).

Two groups of 5 people were asked to rate the scariness of a selection of items. One group was unwittingly being exposed to infrasound, while the other (control) group, wasn’t. Here’s what happened.




Michael Mosley: You can be scared by things you see even if they’re not real, and you can of course be scared by a sound, but strangely enough you can also be scared by vibrations which are so low frequency you’re not even aware they’re there and yet they still produce a feeling of dread. Well, that’s the theory, I’m going to put that to the test.

These low frequency sound waves are known as infrasound. Below 20 hertz, they’re outside the human hearing range. Infrasound occurs naturally. It’s produced by large animals, earthquakes, and volcanoes, which may explain why we seem to be programmed to fear it. In the modern world, infrasound can be generated by wind turbines, aeroplanes, or machinery.

To see if infrasound really does have a subconscious effect, I’ve split my guinea pigs into two groups, and asked them to rate some Victorian curios on how scary they find them.

Subject 1: What is it, a gun?

Subject 2: Hello, darlings.

Michael Mosley: One group are left to get on with it.

Subject 3: That’s a rhino foot.

Subject 4: Is it actually real?

Subject Jane: Yeah, that’s a real rhino foot.

Michael Mosley: The other group are unwittingly under the influence of infrasound. They’ve got a giant speaker somewhere behind the screen in that room producing this really low frequency sound.

Researcher 1: If we asked them they’d say they have no awareness whatsoever of anything happening in the room.

Researcher 2: That’s fascinating, that we can actually not hear something and be afraid.

Subject 5: That thing, can you imagine that flying?

Subject 6: Exactly..

Michael Mosley: They can’t hear the infrasound but we’ve shifted the pitch so you can. Amongst this group is taxidermist Jane.

Subject Jane: No this thing unnerves me more than the spider.

Subject 7: Jane doesn’t care.

Subject Jane: I’m touching it.

Subject 7: Jane’s rock and roll.

Subject Jane: I’m a very logical person. Things like that do not scare me at all. I would say people scare me more.

Subject 7: That would hurt you, that could kill you, that could kill you.

Subject 8: That can’t kill you, the person that’s holding it would kill you.

Subject Jane: It’s actually humans, what humans are capable of, isn’t it? My mother was extremely overprotective, I mean really overprotective. No, no, you can’t go out, Jane, somebody might grab you. They have a lot to answer for, mothers.

Michael Mosley: Okay, so this is without infrasound, is that right?

Researcher 2: That’s right.

Michael Mosley: Each group have now rated the objects from a ‘not at all scared’ 1, to a ‘frightened to death’ 10.

Researcher 1: So it can go completely cumulative.

Michael Mosley: Grand total of 96. Okay, so the …

Researcher 1: The non-infrasonic group …

Michael Mosley: Get a 96.

Researcher 1: Bring in the next box.

Michael Mosley: Kind of small sample, so who knows but in theory, in theory, this group should score slightly higher because they’ve been exposed to infrasound.

Researcher 1: So they were rating the same objects, but under different conditions?

Researcher 2: So Paul is 21.

Michael Mosley: Charlie’s 18.

Researcher 1: Jane is a very underwhelming straight 1s.

Researcher 2: She could have had a floor effect, right?

Michael Mosley: What’s a floor effect?

Researcher 2: The floor effect is when you have no response.

Researcher 1: The look that she had, the body postures sort of chin jutting, defiant pose. To me, that suggested that she was like, whatever you say I’m not going to be scared.

Subject Jane: My house is a bit like this.

Subject 7: Nice.

Subject Jane: It is a little bit. Yeah, the thing is, I’ve got real human skulls and real human skeleton hand.

Michael Mosley: Six and four

Researcher 1: I’ve got 28 out of these two.

Michael Mosley: It’s 85. 114.

Researcher 1: Wow.

Michael Mosley: Jane was unfazed but even so, her infrasound group found our objects more frightening. The infrasound lot definitely basically scored a higher fear factor.

Researcher 2: They did, that’s almost a 20 point difference.

Michael Mosley: Yeah, pretty cool. Our small study is consistent with other research, which has found infrasound can make people feel uneasy, disturbed, even a little bit anxious.

SBS On Demand

Being vindicated is a whole lot nicer than being vilified. Those unfortunates forced to live with incessant turbine generated low-frequency noise and infrasound have experienced plenty of the latter and way too little of the former.

The experiences recorded above come from people who are not lunatics, who are not fabricating their experiences, who are not anti-wind, climate change deniers. The reports are real and their experiences are all too real. They are shared by hundreds of others across the globe.

Science, the unbiased search for physical truth, has established that exposure to infrasound and low-frequency noise (of precisely the kind generated by large industrial wind turbines) causes sleep disruption in a significant proportion of those exposed to it. The Max Planck Institute’s work acknowledges that infrasound exposure causes stress, panic and fear reactions in human beings. Michael Mosley’s little experiment, does the same.

Unfortunately, science comes a poor second to the ideological drivel pumped out by climate alarmists, in general, and the wind cult, in particular. For far too long people like David Mortimer, Melissa Ware, Rikki Nicholson, Robyn Brew and Donald Thomas have been victims of malicious ridicule and torment. For years, the wind industry in Australia relied upon a former tobacco advertising guru to do their dirty work, in that respect.

It’s time that those in charge took the science seriously. And, more to the point, it’s time they took their obligations to those unable to sleep comfortably in their very own homes even more seriously.

The harm suffered by the likes of David Mortimer, Melissa Ware, Rikki Nicholson, Robyn Brew and Donald Thomas, and hundreds more like them around the world, is thoroughly unnecessary. Eventually, there will be a reckoning. Those who continue to act with a lack of objectivity and compassion will be dragged into court and called to account.

Litigation pursued by those who have suffered will be a nightmare that never ends for those who could and should have prevented it. Let that nightmare begin.

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.


  1. Emyr Griffiths says:

    I happened to listen to BBC Radio 4 Unreliable Evidence last night (27-09-2017) – The Law and Climate Change – Can lawyers save the planet? In this program Clive Anderson and guests discuss the role the law can play in reducing global warming.

    I’m not sure if the license allows people in other countries to listen to the program, but you might me able to listen to it again on BBC iplayer:

    Although this program is illustrative of the nauseating BBC bias towards man made climate change, it did raise one point which I found interesting.

    Govts have an obligation to protect the health of it’s country’s citizens. THis makes it easier to take govts to court rather than corporations.

    The program illustrated this point with the example of the Urgenda Foundation winning a landmark court case in 2015 which forced the Dutch government to increase its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Similar court battles have since been won elsewhere in the world, most recently in South Africa where judges ruled against government support for a new coal-fired power station.

    If organisations are able to successfully challenge govts in alleged climate change issues, in light of the mounting evidence of industrial wind turbines causing harm to human health, it would be worth exploring the possibility of taking govts to court for allowing people to be exposed to an instrument of torture and harmed in their own homes.

  2. Some of us are severely impacted by some previously inexplicable thing which occurs near wind farms and other sound sources. We have been ruthlessly dismissed in one way or another, time and time again and are grateful to be supported by those outside the biases of industry; and for thorough independent scientific investigations which are without a doubt, verifying what we have been telling wind farm owners, govt. authorities and our medical practitioners is occurring to us in our homes. What is impacting us is the amplitude modulation at an infrasonic rate, as discovered during the Cooper Study at CB. What is generally not understood is that despite three different independent acoustic studies, by Dr Bob Thorne, Les Huson and Steven Cooper at Cape Bridgewater, the owners of the wind farm are allowed to state they are a compliant wind farm and are not obliged to investigate further, nor to actually fix or prevent the problems causing us various symptoms such as, constant headaches, BP problems, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, sleep disturbance, mood changes, menstrual problems, noise sensitivity. There are horrific and dread filled times where those impacts from these industrial operations are rated at a level 5, (worst impacts) which cause disturbances and impacts to health which are at first confounding and often indescribable. Being exposed to these emissions has forced many people and often at their own cost from their homes and properties. Properties which sit vacant or sometimes bulldozed by the wind industry. Sometimes neighbours are paid to vacate or not complain about the nuisance, but more often are just abandoned to their fate. These problems have been known since before the CB and other Victorian wind farms started operating and wind turbine problems have been known in the science arena since NASA studies were done thirty years or so ago. If authority keeps turning its back on those of us making legitimate complaints and if these problems are not fairly remedied so people may continue to live in or be restored to good health and with peace inside our homes, then litigation is the only option.

  3. Agnes Doolan says:

    Thank you Neil!

  4. Neil van Dokkum says:

    Reblogged this on The Law is my Oyster and commented:
    The scientific research and verified evidence is now overwhelming. Wind farms are a dangerous hazard.

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