Further to the ongoing correspondence on mysterious sounds: from 1976 to 1989 we lived in the small hamlet of Inchlaggan in Glengarry, Inverness-shire, where my son and I experienced sounds and vibrations from under our feet, at dead of night, causing us considerable alarm. The following is an extract from my autobiography in which details of the incidents are recorded:
A totally different experience attacked both visual and auditory senses over a period of many days, even weeks. While living in Scotland, our son with a degree in astronomy, would often spend much of the night observing nature's wonderland. I had given him a standing request that, if ever there was a display of the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) he should wake me, regardless of the unearthly hour.
One very cold January night he went out to observe a known meteor shower; in the small hours of the morning, he woke me to join in the observation of a strange phenomenon. Glen Garry, in which we lived, was a prominent east- west valley in the Highlands. From a knoll, giving unrestricted views, we watched a flickering heavy band of light seen parallel to the glen at an angle of elevation of about 45 degrees. It looked something like a giant fluorescent light tube that was suffering due to a faulty starter. The odd thing was that we were looking south, not north towards a possible aurora.
We watched its performance for some time and, while so doing, realized we could hear an unfamiliar hum apparently coming from across the waters of the loch. We knew exactly where the odd isolated croft was and so walked down a rough track towards the shore in order to gain a better directional fix on the sound. As we did the noise became louder and louder until suddenly the sound appeared to be behind us. We backed off to where the sound was loudest and found ourselves under a disused telephone line which ran the length of the glen. Moving along the line to the nearest pole, we discovered the vibration associated with the noise was causing the wires to whip up and down in an alarming manner, while the pole was acting like a sounding board, amplifying the noise. We retreated for safety. As our observations continued, of both the sound and the strip of light in the sky, we noticed a correlation between them. As the noise increased, the light increased. Analysing the sound more, we detected two elements; one was the hum of an electric generator or motor while the other was a grinding sound. I could imagine an electric-powered tunnelling machine boring its way beneath our feet. Ken and I discussed the noise, the vibration and the sky-borne display at length, making notes in an effort to be objective. The following night we even took a tape recorder and made a recording, albeit with the sound at a lower volume and no display of light. I, like many, have heard wind whistling through wires - making them sing - but the night air was absolutely still. There was no wind.
The experience which, to some degree, persisted for weeks later, had me so intrigued that I made extensive enquiries, culminating in a conversation with the telephone engineering department in Aberdeen. Their reply was inconclusive but, in the course of time, men came and felled all the telephone poles with a chain-saw after first removing the wires.
I considered the possibility that this disused telephone line, in such a remote area, was being used for some weird experiment in transmitting powering signals. Years later, after the war in the Falkland Islands, a proposal was made to install an Extra Low Frequency (ELF) transmitter on a nearby hill. This would be used for communicating with submarines on the other side of the globe. I wonder, had Ken and I stumbled on to some secret trials?

Maurice Duffill