Anemomenophobia

The first time I encountered the horrors that are wind turbines, I was driving alone through the California desert between Los Angeles and Joshua Tree. As the road curved through the mountains, I spotted gigantic spindly white towers staggered atop the crests of the lower hills ahead of me. Each one had three colossal blades that sliced relentlessly through the air, turning turning turning as if nothing could stop them. Some had blades that hung limp as if they had become ill and were slowly dying. They lined the hills turn after turn, endless rows of towering white metallic insects, an alien armada marching across the twisting hills towards me, small farm houses shrinking helplessly beneath them.

The people in the tiny houses rented out their land to energy companies, in exchange for money, dizziness, respiratory difficulties, migraines, nightmares. The wind energy sector maintains that all of these side effects are imaginary, but a recent scientific study suggested that though the sound turbines create is at a frequency too low to be heard by the human ear, the human brain is still able to detect by these frequencies, giving one a vague uneasy feeling of imminent danger.

I’m not sure if it’s this infrasound that underlies my own anemomenophobia, or if it’s the sight of them alone that terrifies me. Perhaps on a subconscious level the two things are linked.

Driving through Indiana last summer, I encountered a flat endless field of them stretching out toward the horizon on the opposite side of the highway.  I pulled off at a rest stop to get my bearings, only to discover they were there, too, scattered about behind the building and trees.  I quickly got back in the car, to get back on the road and away from them as quickly as possible.  

On the way back at night, I saw what appeared to be red pulsating lights ahead off to the side of the highway.  As I got closer, I discovered there were in fact rows and rows of these red lights on the ground, pulsating slowly on and off in synch. As my eyes adjusted, I discovered to my horror that I was passing back through the field of wind turbines, the red warning lights at their bases. The pulsating red lights seemed to beat in time with my thudding heart, to in fact be the very throbbing of the endlessly spinning blades working towards some alien and infernal purpose.

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