Radio Head – Can We “Hear” Radio Transmissions?


Just over two years ago my sister told me that she had been hearing what sounded like a muffled radio playing at night when she was in bed. She said it sounded like a radio playing behind a wall. Sometimes playing music and sometimes just talk. The sound was muffled enough that she couldn’t quite make out the words, and the music was not recognizable. Try as she might, she never could find the source. My father who lived with her at the time also heard the mysterious radio in his apartment, but neither of them could find it. She questioned whether the source might be paranormal in nature and asked me to give it some thought.

Interested in this claim I started doing some research. I located a radio broadcast tower just 5 miles from her house. It was an AM broadcast station broadcasting at 770 MHz. Interestingly, it was christian broadcast station that had talk shows and played music. I had my sister tune a radio near her bed to 770 AM and instructed her to turn the radio on when she heard the mystery radio and see if the sounds matched. They did. She didn’t recognize the music because she’s not familiar with christian music and the talk show schedule coincided with her experience of hearing talking. It was an amazing find. I was curious to see if any other people were experiencing this strange phenomena. Doing an internet search I found many forums with people describing the same experience as my sister. It seemed to be a common phenomena.

Later that same year, I put out a call for people who were experiencing these mysterious radio broadcasts. 25 people responded and to my amazement I was able to tie the majority of the reports to radio towers near their homes. All within 15 miles or less. All AM towers, mostly lower band frequencies. This was truly a phenomena, but I simply couldn’t find anyone who was researching it. I was baffled. How could something so strange exist, affecting what I believe to be thousands of people and no body is researching a cause?

Well in the months that followed I gathered more claims of people experiencing the mysterious radio syndrome, but could only guess at how it could be concurring. My initial thought was that the human brain must be able to detect radio frequencies and transferring them to the auditory system, but that was just a guess. Then, in the middle of my endless scouring of published research papers (one of my research techniques), I found a paper published in 1982 by Chung-Kwang Chou, Arthur W. Guy and Robert Galambos.

They were conducting research to explain the claims of radar workers (since World War II) that they were able to “hear” the microwaves emitted by the radar. What they found was amazing and fully supported the research I had done to date. According to the paper:

” Microwave hearing is most easily explained by the mechanism of thermoelastic expansion, i.e., absorption of microwave energy produces nonuniform heating of the exposed head; a thermoelastic wave of pressure is then launched, presumably through bone conduction, to the cochlea where it is detected. After auditory-nerve excitation in the high-frequency portion of the cochlea, transmission of the microwave-induced neural response follows the same auditory pathways as do all of the .acoustically induced responses through the brainstem and thalamus to the auditory cortex. ”

In other words, through a form of heated expansion the radio waves are absorbed through the bone in the skull and is audibly detected by the cochlea (the spiral cavity of the inner ear containing the organ of Corti, which produces nerve impulses in response to sound vibrations.) and wa la! people are hearing a radio broadcast. The idea is similar to hearing through vibration, and the result would be, as in the many claims, muffled sound not easily to discern.

I know not many people would be excited by finding a paper like this, but for me it was a validating experience and it feels good to know I was on the right track all this time. Here is the paper I discovered (for those interested)