Hearing effect of microwaves: what it is and possible explanations

Have you ever thought about the effect microwave waves can have on our minds? Although it sounds like science fiction, its effect is real and has been studied for over 50 years.

This phenomenon is called the auditory effect of microwaves.. Here we will see what it is exactly and how it has been studied.

    Microwave hearing effect: what is it?

    Have you ever heard of the auditory effect of microwaves? Also called the Frey effect by its discoverer, the American neuroscientist and biologist Allan H. Frey, it is a somewhat curious phenomenon, which has even been categorized as a “mind control” phenomenon.

    Allan H. Frey was the first to publish his findings on this phenomenon, which we will learn about later. This phenomenon, roughly, consists of an effect produced by the “clicks” (sounds) induced by the different microwave frequencies. These clicks are generated in our head.

    The origin of this effect can be traced back to World War II, when a group of people realized they had heard these clicks while working near radar transponders. Microwave aural clicks are only heard by the person themselves, not by those around them.

    Origin and history

    As we have seen, American neuroscientist and biologist Allan H. Frey was the first to talk about the auditory effect of microwaves in 1960. At the time, Frey was working at the University’s Advanced General Electronics Center. Cornell. It was here where he was in contact with a technician, who claimed he could hear the sounds emitted by a radar.

    A year later, in 1961, Frey embarked on the study of this phenomenon. Frey found that people who heard these clicks or noises, similar to a buzz, and sometimes numbers or words, they heard them “straight from their head” (not through their hearing organs).

    Just a year later, in 1962, Frey published his study “Response of the Human Auditory System to Modulated Electromagnetic Energy”.

    Through his experiments, Frey observed that people could “hear” microwave radiation if it was the right one; this happened at a distance of up to 100 meters.

    However, beyond the effect, Frey also detected a number of side effects in his participants, which consisted of: a tingling sensation, headache, and dizziness.

    Pandora Project: The US Government

    So that was in the 1960s, when the United States became concerned about microwaves and the “mind control” they could have. For its part, the US government discovered that its embassy in Moscow had been bombarded by low-intensity electromagnetic radiation.

    As a result, the government itself, in 1965, started the Pandora project, which consisted of top-secret research whose mission was to explore the possible effects of these low-level microwaves, both behavioral and physiological.

    This phenomenon has been secretly studied for four years. How? ‘Or’ What? “Unintentional” sailors have been exposed to microwave radiation, and other small experiments have also been carried out. The results, however, were disparate, and internal scientific disputes arose within the research itself. Some believe the investigation has continued and there has even been talk of a weapon that uses sound waves to send words at people’s heads.


      A little later, in the 1970s, NASA also studied the possible auditory effect of microwaves. What they observed is that this effect occurred as a result of thermal expansion of parts of the human ear around the cochlea, A structure of the inner ear.

      Thanks to this expansion, the microwaves which could generate words, and which came from inside the head, were modulated. Thus, they also found that signals modulated in the ear could include words or sounds with a possible intracranial origin.

      How is this effect explained?

      So basically the microwave auditory effect results in a kind of “clicks” that is heard internally in the form of buzzing or auditory sensations. But why are they happening?

      It is believed that its cause lies, as we have already argued, in the thermal expansion of parts of the hearing instrument. What happens, precisely, is that the brain heats up with each pulse and the pressure waves that are causing it travel to the cochlea, through the skull.

      associated milestones

      We will list, in chronological order, a number of relevant milestones related to the auditory effect of microwaves.

      1. 1975

      On March 30, 1975, it was released an article titled Microwaves and Behavior, which dealt with this phenomenon, by Dr. Don R. Justesen (Published in “The American Psychologist”).

      2. 1983

      Eight years later, on December 19, 1983, Philip Stöcklin of Satellite Beach, FL, filed for a patent for auditory microwave communication.

      3. 1988

      Five years after the patent, a private entity patented an application to generate signal bursts, thereby promoting the creation of intelligible communication.

      4. 1998

      Finally, ten years after the previous event, another device has been patented, this time based on the auditory effect of microwaves, and in order to keep birds away from aircraft turbines.

      What role does technology play in all of this?

      On the other hand, technology has also played its part in the auditory effect of microwaves. To give a relevant example, in 2008 an American technology company announced that it was developing a device, called MEDUSA (Mob Excess Deterrent Using Silent Audio), based on the principle of the microwave hearing effect.

      This device, in particular, would consist of a microwave gun, capable of transmitting sound directly to people’s heads.

      Thus, this device would exploit the auditory effect by microwaves, and would act by causing a “shock wave” inside the skull, a wave that our ears could detect. Additionally, a series of pulses could be transmitted through the gun to produce recognizable sounds.

      However, this device would not be intended for the common population, but its purpose or mission would be linked to military or crowd control applications. Once again, reality trumps fiction.

      Bibliographical references:

      • Allan H. Frey (1962). Response of the human auditory system to modulated electromagnetic energy. Journal of Applied Physiology 17: 689-692.
      • Hambling, D. (2008). The microwave beam gun controls the crowds with noise. New scientist.
      • Levy, Barry S .; Wagner, Gregory R. and Rest, Kathleen M. (2005). Prevent occupational illnesses and injuries. American Public Health Association. p. 428.

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