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Manchester 'alien' howl mystery solved

Posted on Saturday, 15 February, 2014 | Comment icon 14 comments

The Beetham Tower. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Suicine

An ominous 'alien-like' noise was heard across the city this week as strong winds battered the region.

Perplexed shoppers took to Twitter to report the ominous howling noise which seemed to reverberate for miles. One Twitter user described it as a "low, evil, end-of-the-world noise" while others likened it to the imminent arrival of an extraterrestrial spacecraft.

As it turns out the sound was being generated by strong winds blowing across the Beetham Tower, a 47-story skyscraper that has been embroiled in controversy. The bizarre design flaw has proven such an embarrassment in fact that the phenomenon has become known as "The Beetham Tower Howl", prompting architect Ian Simpson to apologize to residents for the disruption caused by the noise.

"The problem is caused by the glass and metal sculpture at the top of the building," said acoustic and audio engineering expert Prof. Trevor Cox. "When the wind rushes past the edge of the glass panes turbulence is created. This is very similar to how turbulence generates sound within a recorder."

Source: The Mirror | Comments (14)

Tags: Manchester, Sound

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #5 Posted by :PsYKoTiC:BeHAvIoR: on 28 February, 2014, 18:44
Whoa. Some sounds are sinister.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Rafterman on 28 February, 2014, 19:35
I'm still trying to figure out what an "alien-like" noise is.
Comment icon #7 Posted by The Silver Thong on 28 February, 2014, 19:47
I think it sounds a little like Spanish.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Awake2Chaos on 28 February, 2014, 19:52
That is wicked creepy.....
Comment icon #9 Posted by 029b10 on 6 March, 2014, 12:52
Bet nobody cites this reason...
Comment icon #10 Posted by dr no on 6 March, 2014, 15:56
Very true! I remember when it was first built and the hum was reported and on our local news they had an architect on who was saying it was badly designed and he had predicted this would happen
Comment icon #11 Posted by keninsc on 8 March, 2014, 7:51
Here at the beach we get high winds at times and when they get around forty or so MPH they make a sound like a jet engine. In fact, on several occasions we gotten complaints about low flying aircraft. Then we explain to them what it is and many times people think we're messing with them.
Comment icon #12 Posted by toast on 8 March, 2014, 10:16
Because it isn`t the reason. The real world gets explained by real ppl and not by preachers and/or preaching.
Comment icon #13 Posted by keninsc on 8 March, 2014, 12:24
Now, now, be kind.
Comment icon #14 Posted by eaglesareskykittens on 10 March, 2014, 22:18
I know right, I was gone to start an end of the world club and everything, order club member t-shirts and everything.

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