I'm not the first to have heard a strange airborne rumbling near Victoria BC.
Today, February 15 2013, as I walked the beach near Cordova Bay 1 to 2 pm, I heard about ten episodes of low deep rumbling coming in over the ocean from the south east. It was like muted distant thunder of sustained volume and lasting almost a minute at a time. The ground wasn't shaking but the air was vibrating at low frequencies that I felt rather than heard. Nothing in my life's experience quite compares. It resembled the background sound of a jet taking off but stronger and deeper and more distant or as someone linked below said, like a freight train. It was difficult to pin down the direction as it seemed to be coming in over a 20 to 30 degree range. A little later at 4:30, I heard a couple more episodes ten miles north and, again, coming from the direction of the ocean.
UPDATE: Fresh comments below November 6th. Has anyone got recording equipment that can handle low frequencies? I'll attach the sound track to this post.
UPDATE 2: SOLVED Click through to read about the US Growler.
Previous reports including one at the same bay are dated 2012, 2009 and 2005.
2012 in Sooke BC "like a freight train".
2010 Victoria area: "It sounded like a huge thing coming"
2009 Cordova Bay, Victoria area. "For the past week I have been hearing these very low and deep rumbling noises that seem to be coming from the sky. ... I notice this happening almost daily. It is impossible to tell where exactly it's coming from. It's like thunder, but very subtle, low, deep, constant and lasts for about 40 seconds to a minute".
The anecdotes include a writer from Ohio and another from New Zealand but the Saanich Peninsula on Vancouver Island figures in most of the reports.
Does anyone have a good explanation?
Update August 15 2013: Lots of comments from other puzzled hearers in the same area.
I've wondered if the air itself can create the noise as it passes over some land feature, like the way you can blow over the top of a pop bottle and hear a low throaty noise. I also wondered if bodies of air running into each other could create some kind of a noise as they shear past one another. Someone must have an idea.
Update: Report that "Mysterious Hum driving people crazy around the world".
The text refers to a "humming, throbbing, rumbling" sound.
The noise recorded near Taos, New Mexico sounds about right except it is sustained and isn't described as being directional.
Update: There are many reports from Windsor, Ontario, saying "similar to an idling train" and another saying "a fleet of diesel trucks idling next to your home."
Update: October 24th 2013 A community near Southampton in England hears a pulsing deep tone some nights. A scientist who must like microphones has a theory that it is produced by mating fish.