Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Unusual Sounds on Hydrophones

Last night, on both Lime Kiln and Orcasound hydrophones, listeners were surprised to hear some peculiar sounds. Not the sounds of orcas, or the regular shipping traffic, but the sounds of human voices and mid-frequency sonar pings. I'm listening to the recordings made by Scott Veirs of Beam Reach now and it is very obvious that these sounds are not a part of the natural environment.

Jeanne Hyde of The Whale Museum contacted the Bellingham Coast Guard and confirmed that the Navy was doing exercises in Haro Strait. Scott Veirs recorded the sounds and created spectrograms.

To listen to the recordings, go to the Lime Kiln or Orcasound hydrophone sites, scroll down through the archived sounds, and click on one of the most recent recordings with the words "voice" and "sonar" in the title.

Also, the Port Townsend Peace Movement is holding a meeting on Thursday, April 9th at 7:30 pm to discuss the Navy's proposal to expand training exercises, which includes areas in Admiralty Inlet, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and the Olympic National Marine Sanctuary. For more information on this meeting, and how to send in your comments to the Navy by April 13th, click here.

1 comment:

  1. Bob Whitney of Port Townsend hangs out at Point Wilson taking fantastic photos of local wildlife, posting them to flickr as user "rlw5663". Yesterday he posted a photo of the submarine "San Francisco" (, which he claims to know was "in the Haro Strait making mid-frequency sonar noise". -Larry Osterman


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