Mysterious High-Pitched Piercing Sound on Montague?

We received email and comment over the weekend about a mysterious, piercing, high-pitched sound coming from Montague Street, around 166 Montague. Someone got so fed up with it they started a blog about it:


Have you Heard that Piercing Alarm?

Since early February 2007, we have heard a loud, high-pitched, alarm noise that can be heard through a closed window. It sometimes sounds for less than an hour at a time, and other times it can sound for several hours – often late at night and a few times heard during the day. It sounds like an electronic, unwavering, and unmodulating noise of sustained high pitch and it is hard to detect the origin.

 They have contacted various authorities, but to no one would help end this nuisance.

The person believes its source is 180 Montague St., however Saturday evening, around 8pm, I heard a high-pitched sound walking down Montague in the same vicinity, but it wasn't coming from 180 Montague, it was coming from either the Pearle Vision Center or the framing shop above it, and it sounded like a burglar alarm set a little too sensitive to movement. Was this the same alarm? Anyone else hear the sound? Any ideas of its source? Can anyone help this person?

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  • BP

    I didn’t hear any sounds, but today around 11am there were several fire trucks and FDNY personell at the intersection of Hicks and Montegue. I overheard the Key Food employees talking about a gas leak.

  • fairest

    hey. great blog. but americas first suburb was the upper east side.

  • fd

    The UES was a forest when Brooklyn was a thriving village in the 1700s.

  • fairest

    nevertheless, the subtitle here makes me uncomfortable. and thats a perverse feeling to get from a suburb

  • mike

    It sounds like someone has a “Mosquito” sonic device.

    I found this link whilst I was looking up the source of a similar sound I experienced at Liverpool St. Train Station in London.

    These devices are becoming a more common way to deter people loitering around shop fronts in the UK. Since I don’t think you need a licence to buy one it could be difficult tracking down who owns it.

    The above link has a sample MP3 to compare to the noise you heard.

  • Greg Vaughn

    I didnt hear this sound but for the past 7 years I have had a problem with an intermittent LOUD vacuum sound. It almost sounds like a jet engine. I cannot find the exact source, but it seems to be coming from one of the big buildings on the water side of the BQE close to Pier 1 and I live 3 blocks away. It comes on for anywhere from 30 min’s to 2 hours. This morning It lasted for over 3 hours (from 8:00- 11:00) . It was still going when I left for work. This was the first time I was able to find the approximate source because it’s so intermittent. It happens at night as well. It is not just a neighbors vacuum. It’s something really big. Maybe a huge generator powered by a turbine? Has anyone else heard it or complained?

  • http://deleted buddy

    I know what it was…Judy Stanton screaming when she found out Squadron would take the day, based on his position with regard to Brooklyn Bridge Park. The “park ne project” is way over budget , has no recreation and includes the precedent of private housing. The people have spoken. Time to retire the Heights Conservancy Association, en masse.