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Phantom noise could spark diplomatic dispute

Gary Grosse first heard the sound at 2 a.m. on a hot summer night in 2009. The air was still and the windows open, and the sound startled him out of slumber. Grosse, annoyed and unable to fall back asleep, jumped in his car and drove around looking for the source of the deep, rumbling pulse that now seemed to suffuse his leafy suburb of Windsor, Ontario, not far from the U.S. border. He ended up at the Detroit River, near the local power plant. Figuring the sound must be coming from the building, he dismissed it as a one-time irritation that would probably soon be fixed.

Sherry Kelly, a resident of nearby LaSalle, first noticed the noise a year and a half later, in the winter of 2011. An accountant with young children, she would stay up late catching up on work while her family was in bed and the house was quiet. “You think, is there something wrong with my hearing?” she says. “You look outside the window because it sounds like a truck idling. If there was a teenager in a sports car parked outside with his music on and the windows up -- it sounds like that.” But she was reluctant to mention the noise to anyone else. “For me, being a professional, you don’t want to step up and have people be, ‘Oh, she’s the crazy one who hears a hum.’”

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