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Your ignition switch is going bad. The strange noise is the starter remaining engaged and locked to the flywheel. Your best bet is to have the starter tested at your local auto parts store, to deduce that it is not, in fact, your starter.
There is most likely a problem with your starter -- if it is not grabbing the engine to turn it over when you turn the key, the starter motor will spin (giving you the whirring noise) but the engine will not move. First things first ... have someone turn the key, and hit your starter with a stick or something ... sometimes this will free up whatever part is not working proper5ly, and you won't have to replace your whole starter. If hitting your starter doesn't work ... and if you are good with cars, try replacing the starter and see if that helps.
Hopefully those will help ... if not, you will probably have to take the car to a mechanic to get it fixed, as there are several other parts that could be causing the issue -- but they are hard to get to and require some experience to know what you are looking for.
You either have a bad solenoid on your starter OR a bad ignition switch as these are the only two things that can cause the symptom you describe... I lean to the solenoid first, RARELY does an ignition switch sieze up in the start position but it is a possibility. Several national chain parts stores can test the starter for you (GM starters have the starter solenoid mounted directly to the starter and you need to remove the starter to get to it, so you would take the whole unit in to test it... REMEMBER to disconnect the battery first!)