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Attuned Vibrations is a vendor with articles making numerous claims about the benefits of certain audio frequencies.

On the 528 Hz – The Love Frequency page, they claim that 528 Hz sound helped clean oil from the Gulf of Mexico.

In 2010, John Hutchinson, an electromagnetic energy expert from Vancouver, B.C., Canada, helped purify poisoned water off the Gulf of Mexico following the BP oil spill. He and his research partner, Nancy Hutchinson (formerly Nancy Lazaryan), used the 528 Hz frequency and other Solfeggio tones to reduce the oil and grease in polluted water

...

Their results were certified by Dr. Robert Naman, President of Analytical Chemical Testing Laboratory, Inc. of Mobile, Alabama. Dr. Naman, an analytical chemist with almost 30 years in the field, tested the samples and confirmed the complete removal of oil and grease from the after treatment sample source tested.

As you can see, the amount of oil and grease “before” the frequency treatment was 7 ppm (parts per million, or milligrams per liter); while the samples that had undergone the frequency exposure measured less than 1 ppm.

Test results

Was 528 Hz sound used to successfully clean polluted water in the Gulf of Mexico?

Related questions:

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  • 4
    So the claim is that two samples were presented for testing, and in one of them the pollution below 1 ppm. But there is no way to tell when and where the samples were actually taken. Apr 18 at 2:06
  • 3
    Does it say how it helped clean up the pollution? Is it actually cleaning it up or just helping it get more diluted? From my perspective cleaning up of an oil spill is removing it from the area not just lowering the amount present by dilution.
    – Joe W
    Apr 18 at 19:17
  • 8
    Ridiculous. Doesn't pass the "stop doing that, stop being stupid" test. Acoustic radiation follows the inverse square law. You can calculate how much energy you'd have 1 mile away from the source and whether or not there's enough energy there to break up oil molecules, which are a mix of literally thousands of different kinds of long chain carbon molecules. Even if it were possible for one type of molecule, how would a single frequency work on all kinds of organics?
    – stix
    Apr 19 at 16:56
  • 3
    The question asks about sound, but the claim seems to be about EM waves. These are two entirely different things, though both behave as waves.
    – reirab
    Apr 19 at 19:08
  • 1
    @jcaron I agree, of course, but I do think the question should match what at least appears to be the claim, regardless of how ridiculous the claim may be.
    – reirab
    Apr 19 at 23:23
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Because there is no associated study, peer-reviewed or otherwise, it is difficult to prove a negative. That said, extraordinary claims (a particular frequency of sound makes oil disappear) require extraordinary evidence, which is not presented. Other details of the article make it reasonably certain that this is nonsense.

Nancy Hutchinson (formerly Nancy Lazaryan), used the 528 Hz frequency and other Solfeggio tones to reduce the oil and grease in polluted water

(Emphasis mine.) The "Solfeggio frequencies" are nonsense. They're related to numerology, though not by name, in terms of trying to find some magical correspondence (aside from frequency doubling by the octave) between the Solfege notes for a scale starting at 396Hz. 528Hz is supposed to be the "Transformation and Miracles" tone.

Moreover, John Hutchinson is a well-established crackpot "inventor". That the article cites him as an "electromagnetic energy expert" is rather like citing a homeopath as a "pharmaceutical expert".

Without access to the cited demonstrative study, we cannot state definitively that this is false, but the trappings and company kept by the article strongly suggest that this is nonsense at best, and a hoax at worst.

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    In music, if you start from 396 Hz, the (pure) perfect fourth is 4⁄3 times that which is 528 Hz. What is relevant to music is the ratio 4:3 (and other similar ratios). Of course, this has no relevance to oil pollution, and any reference frequency used in music is arbitrary since only the relative frequencies matter. Apr 19 at 19:27
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    @JeppeStigNielsen - well, sure. I've got a circle of fifths artwork on my wall. It's all derivative of octave doubling. This doesn't give it mystical powers.
    – jdunlop
    Apr 19 at 20:51
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    People who are actually "electromagnetic energy experts" are called physicists or electrical engineers, and would be referred to as such if they had any real credentials
    – Kevin
    Apr 20 at 17:18
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It is important to note that what Dr. Robert Naman "certified" is just the concentration of oil and grease in each of the two samples provided. He did not in any way "certify" the relationship between those samples and the experiment.

Without any evidence of how and when those samples were taken, it does not prove anything regarding the effect of the treatment.

Also, even if the two samples had indeed been taken in the same way, at the same place and same depth, in identical weather conditions, before and after the treatment (and the 528 Hz treatment was the only thing done), unless there is a control sample to compare to, it's difficult to evaluate if the change is in any way related to the treatment. It could have been due to weather (wind or rain) or currents affecting the mass of water and giving those results independently of the described treatment.

To be at least somewhat credible, the claims would need:

  • The exact and detailed methodology to be described
  • Multiple experiments, as well as controls to compare the results with and without the "treatment"
  • Peer-review so that issues with the methodology could be found
  • Independent reproduction

I don't see any of either of those.

Finally, if you want to have a good laugh and you have time to spare, google John Hutchinson, that will give you a good idea of how much you can trust anything from him:

John Hutchison, is a well known scientist best known for examining The Bermuda Triangle, and explaining strange occurrences in this infamous area of the Atlantic ocean, called the “Hutchison-Effect,” all associated with electromagnetic disturbances of unknown origin. The Canadian Government has persecuted Hutchinson heavily over the years, the last time for supposedly causing his neighbor to levitate without consent.

Source: 528records.com

He also supposedly operates "anti-gravity" equipment.

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  • 1
    I, too, want to see this additional information and cannot find it. But how can we be sure that Naman hasn't produced this info?
    – Oddthinking
    Apr 19 at 21:23
  • @Oddthinking it would not be Naman (who just tested the samples provided, as far as I understand it) but rather the Hutchinsons, who supposedly performed the experiment. But other than a video of them loudly playing some new age “music” video on a laptop connected to large loudspeakers next to an agitated sea, there’s not much else I could find. Have to admit I didn’t search much, given the dubiousness of the claims.
    – jcaron
    Apr 19 at 21:57
  • Thanks for the correction. Yes.
    – Oddthinking
    Apr 19 at 22:23
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    @Oddthinking isn't the burden of proof on Narman? Why do we have to be sure that he hasn't produced the info? If it isn't easily available and findable while viewing the sample data, then it doesn't exist for all we care.
    – cjnash
    Apr 20 at 15:42
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    " The Canadian Government has persecuted Hutchinson heavily over the years, the last time for supposedly causing his neighbor to levitate without consent." That seems impolite.... Apr 21 at 9:17
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This is as close as you can get from science:

Abstract of review paper from 20 years ago

To summarize it: low-frequency acoustic waves can displace oil and other substances trapped in the pores of porous media (sandstones and so on). This is a promising technique to increase production from oil fields, especially at the end of their life, near depletion.

So, can we treat pure water as a water skeleton with (imaginary) pores filled of water, and therefore the polluting oil being trapped in these (imaginary) pores will be displaced by the low frequency sound?

Ignoring for a moment that it sounds perilously close to homeopathy, memory of water and correlated crap (correlation does not imply causation, crap implies crap), I see no convincing proof nor sound experimental evidence for this, so I would say "no" to your question about Gulf of Mexico, and "no" to the broad question underlying the Hutchinsons approach(1).

(1) Hey, at least they seem to be a happy couple!

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