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A MYSTERY noise in the form of a persistent hum or buzz has residents across the inner west scratching their heads and reaching for the ear plugs.

When Neil Hill of Newtown wrote a letter to the editor about such a hum and it appeared in the Courier’s October 6 edition, he had no idea the response would be immediate and international.

John Berry, who lives opposite Sydney University, said a continuous humming noise had disturbed his sleep for years but his investigation of the noise had been fruitless.

“Sydney University has mechanical equipment running 24/7 so it seemed the most logical source,” Mr Berry said.

A noise consultant hired by the university failed to identify any problem - and Mr Berry said this week it was almost impossible to identify the source of low frequency noise. Balmain’s Rosa Needham was glad to hear she was not the only one hearing a consistent hum. She tried to find the source but to no avail.

“It certainly seems to be worse in the early hours of the morning but that’s probably because it is so quiet at night,” Mrs Needham said, adding: ” ... I try not to focus on it too much.”


When Mario Grech from the sleepy village of Woodland, England, received a copy of the Inner West Courier from his brother in Marrickville, he was surprised to read a mysterious hum was being heard on the other side of the world.

A similar mystery noise has been plaguing some of the villagers of the rural town. His wife Marilyn described the noise as a low-frequency humming noise.

“I hear it between midnight and 4am and it keepsmeawake,” Mrs Grech said.

Mr Grech described Woodland as a quiet little town with one street, one shop and a pub.

He said investigations had revealed that people all over the world were hearing a similar hum but no common source had been identified. “It’s been suggested that it could be underground mines but that has not been proven.”


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