History Channel seeks out engineering prof for expertise on Windsor Hum

Engineering professor Colin Novak’s investigation of the Windsor Hum was featured on a History Channel program about unexplained mysteries.

A new History Channel show about the world’s most fascinating and inexplicable mysteries featured a University of Windsor engineering professor and his investigation into one of Windsor’s infamous enigmas — the Windsor Hum.

The intermittent rumbling sound has plagued local residents for the past seven years. In 2013, Colin Novak, an associate professor in the mechanical, automotive, and materials engineering department, was contracted by the Government of Canada to lead a study on the source of the hum.

A Los Angeles film crew from UnXplained, a show hosted and produced by William Shatner, visited campus to learn more about Dr. Novak’s Noise Vibration and Harshness-Sound Quality Group, which set up low-frequency noise monitoring stations across the city’s west end and portable infrasound arrays to record noise within the hum’s frequency range.

“Most people don’t know exactly where it comes from and have learned to live with it, but would like to find a solution so they don’t hear it anymore,” said Sandrine Magloire, UnXplained’s co-producer, after spending the day interviewing residents affected by the hum, and Craig Pearson, managing editor of the Windsor Star.

The segment aired July 26 as part of an episode that focuses on mysteries in nature. Magloire says the Windsor Hum will appear alongside the mysterious formation of Devils Tower in Wyoming; a lightning storm in Venezuela that lasts 10 hours a night, 300 nights a year; and the Crooked Forest, a cluster of oddly-shaped pine trees in Poland.