Monday, October 26, 2009

The Taos Hum and "The Transition of Juan Romero"

Exhibit AUD001: Recording about the Taos Hum

It is generally agreed that discussion and naming of the "Taos Hum," a low-frequency sound many have claimed to hear in and around Taos, New Mexico, dates to the 1980s. Since popularization of the Taos Hum, other hums have been suggested around the globe. The Taos Hum has been blamed on any number of culprits, though a persistent one ties it to Dulce and the legends of a secret military and/or extraterrestrial underground base.

But while the story of the Taos Hum may not be that old, it bears a striking resemblance to the central feature of one of H. P. Lovecraft's earliest stories, "The Transition of Juan Romero," written in 1919 though not published until the 1940s.

Specifically in the story, the secret of a mysterious lineage comes to a head after the dynamiting of a mine in the Southwestern United States, probably Arizona, in 1894. Soon afterwards, a low rumbling sound emerges from the abysses opened by the explosion. Lovecraft writes

"It was Romero’s voice, coming from the bunk above, that awakened me, a voice excited and tense with some vague expectation I could not understand:

"Madre de Dios! - el sonido - ese sonido - oiga Vd! - lo oye Vd? - señor, THAT SOUND!"

I listened, wondering what sound he meant. The coyote, the dog, the storm, all were audible; the last named now gaining ascendancy as the wind shrieked more and more frantically. Flashes of lightning were visible through the bunk-house window. I questioned the nervous Mexican, repeating the sounds I had heard:

"El coyote - el perro - el viento?"

But Romero did not reply. Then he commenced whispering as in awe:

"El ritmo, señor - el ritmo de la tierra - THAT THROB DOWN IN THE GROUND!"

And now I also heard; heard and shivered and without knowing why. Deep, deep, below me was a sound - a rhythm, just as the peon had said - which, though exceedingly faint, yet dominated even the dog, the coyote, and the increasing tempest. To seek to describe it was useless - for it was such that no description is possible. Perhaps it was like the pulsing of the engines far down in a great liner, as sensed from the deck, yet it was not so mechanical; not so devoid of the element of the life and consciousness. Of all its qualities, remoteness in the earth most impressed me."
Things only get worse from there.

A mechanical sound, emanating from deep underground, in the American Southwest, and as noted in the story, tied into occult traditions?

That's the Taos Hum.

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