Isn’t this child abuse? “I can’t sleep in my room because of wind turbine ingen nous [engine noise]” (Sophia, age 6)

Mar 8, 2014


Editor’s note:  The following was written by Ted Hartke on 3/7/14.  The Hartkes were forced to flee Invenergy’s California Ridge windfarm (Illinois) because of Wind Turbine Syndrome.  Fleeing meant abandoning their home.  (Click here for story and photos.)

When do we start calling this “child abuse”?


Dear Friends,

I took Sophia to the eye doctor and pediatrician on Wednesday. She is having stress issues. After we were done, we went to my office so that I could do some work before going home.

While at my office, Sophia kept herself busy and found paper/pens/highlighter and did artwork. Art is a way of dealing with feelings, and it provides an outlet for emotions.

Please share these attachments with the decision makers in your communities. I have not heard her talk much about “ingen nous” (engine noise).

sophia1 sophia2

This made me sad, angry, and upset. It also made me proud of the fact that I was doing my best to protect my family and serve my community. Let’s keep working hard so that we don’t have to see this type of art project being done by other little girls.

InvEnergy did not include any of my noise complaints as part of their annual report to the Vermilion County Board. I know that they have received “perhaps hundreds” of our emails requesting that turbines be turned off so that we could sleep in our house. I also included them on this email, and expect them to include this with their annual report along with how many times they used a tube of grease on the moving parts of their wind turbines.


 When I visited their office today, I pointed out to Matt Wingler (above), the manager of the Vermilion County project, that his annual report was inaccurate and incomplete. I made him extremely uncomfortable, and Wingler’s response was a threat to call the law if I didn’t leave InvEnergy’s property immediately. I am breaking my promise I made to him which was allowing him to remain an anonymous employee of InvEnergy. He may have done what his employer tells him to do, but he has shown that he cannot handle a situation when there is grief and suffering with any sort of human decency.

Wind turbines do not make good neighbors. Wind energy companies, including InvEnergy, and some of their employees, are pulling off an injustice which is hurting people.

Please tell everyone you know what is happening to wind energy victims.


  1. Comment by Marshall Rosenthal on 03/08/2014 at 10:01 am

    Child abuse is illegal. “I was just following orders” is not acceptable in this society, just as it was not acceptable from the Nazi stooges. It is the unpleasant job of contemporary people to stop this before the present day fascist oligarchs destroy more innocent lives to satisfy a few billionaires.

    How long will it take the American people to wake up from this nightmare?

  2. Comment by Sharon on 03/09/2014 at 2:54 pm

    I live near three industrial-sized turbines, and for now, the Town of Falmouth is honoring the court order of 7 pm to 7 am stopping of the blades. This has been a relief, but my vertigo came back two days ago. I feel so sorry for all those who suffer from these machines. It’s like being held hostage and in fear that the industry giants will get their way, by hook or by crook.

    I get angry when I hear politiciains, doctors and CEO’s state, as if they are experts, that we are making this up or it’s all in our heads. My God, how can thousands of people make up the same stories? I wasn’t even aware of problems with them until I began to get ill from sleep deprivation. Then the dizziness and falling-down began. It was a nightmare living in my own home. Living on 2 acres with 33 undeveloped behind me, all wildlife ceased on my property. They’ve been returning since the silencing of the turbines…even by 12 hrs per day.

    I remember when my then 34-yr-old son came to visit me and they’d been running only a month or so. He stood on the back deck and asked, “Is that thing turning?” I said, “Yes.” He laughed and said, “I thought I was seeing things.” He then asked if they shut them off at night and I said no. He said, “They make a lot of noise.” I said, “Yes, they do.” He had trouble sleeping that night and went home. He doesn’t come to visit me very often anymore. I go visit him instead. I play catch up with my sleep.

  3. Comment by Curt Devlin on 03/09/2014 at 9:02 pm

    Dear Sophia,

    Thank you for your letter and drawing. When I saw them, I thought that you are someone with just the right name. Sophia means wisdom and I can tell from what you wrote that you are already a very smart and very wise person, especially for someone who is just six years old. You are already much wiser than many people who are all grown up.

    I am very sorry to hear that you and your family can’t sleep in your home any more because of the noise from the turbines. I want you to know that there are many people who understand that turbines are hurting you and we are trying very hard to stop them from spinning so people like you and your family can sleep in your own homes again.

    Until then, you should know that you are very lucky to have a mom and dad who love you so much and who are trying so hard to make sure you and your brother are safe, even if you have to live in a trailer for now.

    I think that your words will tell lots more people how bad it is to live near turbines and maybe your words will help us stop them even sooner. Thank you for telling your story in a way that everyone can understand.

    Best wishes,


  4. Comment by Bruce on 03/19/2014 at 5:12 am

    I cannot understand how any government of any country can allow these fraudulent wind turbines to keep going and destroying our lives from the noise, let alone our most valuable assets — “our children” — who are our future. Like Sophia, who say how it like it is. All I can say, Sophia, is, “Good on you for speaking out how it is affecting you.”

    Shame on our politicians, doctors and CEO’s that are telling lies about there being no harm from these useless fans. They are wrong; there is real harm to health from these fans. These people are nothing but the scum of the earth, and it is a shame that these so-called leaders can’t speak the truth.

    (I wonder how much “loot” they got in the brown paper bags!)

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