What did cause these unexplained booms around the world between 2007 and 2011? Whether they were created by earthquakes, exploding fireballs, explosions, sonic boom (army jets), construction, tsunamis or any other natural or man-made sources is still unknown.
NORTH CAROLINA – Something is shaking the southeast and has been for quite some time. A Carolina Beach resident was enjoying a Saturday morning when she felt and heard a ‘boom.’ Many people in her neighborhood ran outside in hopes of finding the source of the noise. “It feels like a Mack truck driving by and it just shakes your whole house.” “It’s a shaking feeling. More than thunder and more than a truck going by. Initially that is what it sounded like but it turned into something more than that and I guess more movement. I went to Facebook and I asked, ‘Did anyone else just feel a small earthquake?’ And within minutes people were posting from all over town saying, ‘I felt it in Mayfaire,’ ‘I felt it in Pine Valley.'” Dozens posted on her wall and thousands have reported the noises up and down the coast on various websites from Georgia to Virginia. With speculative explanations ranging from the ordinary, like military aircraft to the outrageous like ghosts and aliens. “I don’t think it’s ghosts, and I don’t think it’s aliens,” said a geophysicist with the United States Geological Service in Menlo Park, California. “I think it’s likely to be small earthquakes.” An earthquake produces audible sound by making the “ground around the person listening seem like they are in a big woofer. The ground is vibrating and that sound is transmitted up into the atmosphere and you hear a low rumbling sound.” But on the east coast another prominent Geophysicist says earthquakes have nothing to do with it. “There are earthquakes occurring all around the world that we are recording here in North Carolina,. If we had a local earthquake it would be impossible for us not to record that.” Of all the loud booms heard, recorded and studied there has never been any direct relationship discovered between any seismic activity. “It’s just very unlikely that we could have humans observe this and not have our very sensitive instruments making these observations.” But the California scientist strongly disagrees saying, “Magnitude twos and smaller could produce an audible sound that and shaking that wouldn’t be recorded on the seismic stations.” There are a number of aircraft and submarine testing and bombing ranges off the coast stretching from Florida to New Jersey, with more than a dozen off the Carolina coastline. And supersonic flight can certainly make a boom. But no military instillation is taking credit for the booms, and no exercises were scheduled at the time. “We know that these things were reported long before people were flying around at the speed of sound.” In fact the term Seneca Guns, which is often used to describe these sounds comes from a James Fenimore Cooper story explaining the same phenomenon published in 1851, 50 years before man even learned to fly. “It just doesn’t make sense how nothing could show up. How could nothing at all show up if all these people definitely felt and heard something that wasn’t thunder, that wasn’t a plane, and wasn’t a truck driving by the house?” Rven the most experienced scientists can’t agree on an answer. You could eliminate some theories by installing a seismometer and sensitive microphones along the Carolina coastline. But, since the booms do little more than rattle windows finding someone to foot the $10,000 to $20,000 bill in our current economy will likely keep the public guessing as to what is causing the mysterious booms. It’s just bizarre.”
IDAHO – Monday boom mystifies. At about 3:10 p.m. Monday, people across Twin Falls thought something heavy landed on their roofs. It was thought at the mall. It was thought downtown. It was even thought at the Twin Falls Police dispatch center. Despite all the startled residents, the boom remains a mystery. Twin Falls city police dispatchers originally called out over the police scanner that there might have been an explosion in the area of Fourth and Fifth streets North. Their phone lines lit up “like Christmas trees,” one dispatcher said, with reports of the noise. But no one who called had seen its cause. Officials at Joslin Field, Magic Valley Regional Airport didn’t hear the boom or know of anything that would have caused it. Aircraft flying from Mountain Home Air Force Base can cause loud sonic booms. Monday evening F-15 fighter jets were conducting training exercises in nearby airspace at the time “while adhering to established airspace and altitude restrictions.”
TEXAS – West Dallas residents seek answers about mysterious booms at night. What is it? From where does it come? “It’s scary because we don’t know what it is. Sometimes it’s loud, and sometimes it’s real loud.” “It was kind of like a little earthquake, a trembling.”: “It was loud enough, it shook the house.” “It” would be the Mystery Booms of West Dallas. “We’ve been having these big explosions and no one knows where it’s coming from. The window-rattling, wake-up surprises have been random, often occurring late at night, but not always. People have reported the sounds with varying degrees of imprecision and little sense of direction. “I’m thinking it’s some kind of explosion, and then you get up and don’t see anything. We need to know what’s going on.” “People have a right to know when they hear a boom it’s not bad. And this is approaching the level of a nuisance.” From descriptions, “it sounds like a pressure blast of some kind, a manufacturing process of some sort. … From what I’m hearing, it’s not a railroad sound, not a large metallic clang.” One resident is targeting an industrial area after speaking with neighboring workers.
Comments from the article – “What kind of power we’re talking about that rattles windows for up to 2 miles in all directions… you think it sounds scary inside your house, step outside and listen.”
“There is talk of a catastrophe occurring in 2012. I think the explosions you are hearing are the result of underground construction. The elite in Dallas are creating underground bunkers to protect them from imminent disasters.”
OREGON – Authorities still don’t know the cause of a Southeast Portland boom. It was the second mysterious explosion-like sound to hit the area in two weeks. Portland authorities have no idea what caused the Sunday night boom that shook a number of residents’ homes in Southeast Portland about 8:05 p.m. Many calls came in from the Sellwood neighborhood, but residents from Happy Valley to the Hillsdale area also reported hearing the ruckus. Portland Fire and Rescue sent several crews out, but “nobody could find anything.” Portland Fire contacted the airport, but no causes were found there. Police were similarly stumped. There were no reports to confirm that a sonic boom occurred, which some Portland authorities guessed to be the cause. Residents reported a similar incident March 15, and no authorities ended up pinpointing the cause. Some pointed to fireworks as an explanation, but it was never confirmed. The latest one was much louder, and it was “very sudden, very quick.” The mystery had the Portland area Twitterverse abuzz, as tweet after tweet referenced the “pdxboom.”
LOUISIANA – A loud sound similar to an explosion that rattled windows in the region late Monday afternoon was most likely a sonic boom caused by high-speed aircraft or a meteor coming through the atmosphere. The apparent sonic boom happened just before 5 p.m. and affected the area southwest of Shreveport to around Vidalia. “Looking at the path of the reports, there’s a definite linear path.” There was no irregular seismic activity in the area during the period immediately before and after the apparent sonic boom. “If indeed there was a meteor, they can come in at supersonic speeds.” There have been no reports of area residents seeing a meteor, but seeing one was unlikely because of overcast and daytime conditions. “If it was an airplane, somebody’s in trouble.” Some residents reported seeing two planes. A spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration did not return a call and an e-mail seeking comment. “There’s a lot of questions and few answers.” An enormous “boom” heard across parts of Louisiana on Monday remains a mystery. Lots of people are still wondering what caused the earth to shake. The boom was heard across 6 parishes in north central Louisiana. A science professor said a sonic boom is a possibility and could be heard over such a large area. He also is not ruling out a meteorite. “Did we have an explosion? Yes. Where was it? Don’t think it was at ground level, based upon seismic data. So, probably something that was airborne; possibly a military jet or the meteor possibility, as it was entering the atmosphere coming from northwest to southeast.” An earthquake has been ruled out, since there was no seismic activity.
CANADA – Vancouver residents report mysterious, very loud, sound – Much of Vancouver got an ear-splitting wakeup call Friday morning. Was it an explosion? A volcanic eruption? A thunderclap? No one had an definitive explanation, despite many theories about the big bang that shook Vancouver shortly after 6 a.m. “We did have a weather front move through the area in the early-morning hours. But there were no lightning strikes at all in the area.” Seismic monitors registered nothing out of the ordinary.
U.S. EAST COAST – The flashing lights and booming sounds seen over parts of the East Coast Sunday night were not a result of a man-made space object, according to the United States Air Force. It was first believed that the lights and sounds were caused by space junk related to the Russian rocket Soyuz docking with the International Space Stations Saturday. Whatever flashed through the sky followed the exact path the space junk was traveling over the eastern seaboard. Witnesses describe the flashes in the sky as being colored with yellows and oranges. Fireballs usually throw sparks that appear green followed by trains of blue and red. The loud explosion accompanying the balls of fire in the sky could be explained if the object was a rocket tank with residual amounts of booster fuel. The flashes and booms that people heard prompted calls to 911 and the National Weather Service late Sunday night. The calls were numerous enough for the National Weather Service to release this statement late Sunday night: “Numerous reports have been called in to this office and into local law enforcement concerning what appeared to be flashes of light in the sky over the Suffolk/Virginia Beach area. We are confident in saying that this was not lightning…and have been in contact with military and other government agencies to determine the cause. So far…we have not seen or heard of any damage from this and will continue to inquire as to the cause.”
The bright fireball Sunday evening was UNUSUAL even by fireball standards. So far we’ve heard of sightings from Maryland to North Carolina. “At precisely 9:40 p.m. EDT… Suddenly the ground lit up a bright green color. Gazing skyward we saw what appeared to be brilliant fireball meteor. As it moved across the sky NNE between Ursa Minor and Ursa Major it turned from a green color to a brilliant orange, with a white core. Two and a half minutes later we heard a low-pitched rumbling sound. I’ve been observing more than 40 years but have never seen a meteor this bright. It was absolutely spectacular!” Meteor specialists perk up especially at reports of rumbling or booming in the minute or two after a fireball. If a meteoroid penetrates deep enough into the atmosphere that sounds can reach the ground (as opposed to being refracted upward), it’s a sign that the meteoroid survived low enough that it likely dropped fragments on the ground. The fireball reportedly lasted only about 5 to 8 seconds. Re-entering satellites move more slowly, last much longer, and generally cross the whole sky. So the hunt for fallen meteorites is back on.
TASMANIA – UNUSUAL lights that sparked a wave of concern were probably a meteor or space junk. The unusual trail of lights seen speeding across the sky on Saturday afternoon was most likely a natural phenomenon. But the source of the mystery lights remains unknown. Police took dozens of calls about 1.30pm from people around the state who saw the lights heading south. Police said the sightings had triggered fears that a plane or a meteor was about to crash. If the light had been a meteor, it was likely to have either burnt up before it reached the ground or landed somewhere in the ocean.
SOUTH CAROLINA – A loud noise was heard shortly before 3 a.m. Friday morning in Aiken, Richmond and Columbia counties. Local law enforcement agencies also report hearing the boom, but no one knows what caused it. Two Aiken County Sheriff’s Office deputies reportedly saw a fireball in the sky. From the heavens came a fire ball, and a boom.Aiken is a town that’s not easily fooled, and is questioning the reports that the flash, and bang in the early morning sky, was a meteor.“I’ve heard the meteorite story, I’ve heard the airplane sonic boom story, I don’t know.” “I’m not buying the meteor explanation, no.”
There is a report that power was lost over downtown Augusta, Georgia(at least) at around 3am that morning. It was restored by 4am. Of course, this could be a coincidence with the timing of the boom. Since the collision of Russian and American satellites on Feb. 10, 2009, there have been a number of similar (unexplained) incidents reported (booms, meteor-like objects, etc.). Video evidence of boom and light – 3 property surveillance tapes captured odd footage. “…area right here, where the little swirl came down…there it went! There it went!“ The amazed owner never heard the sound…but after hearing reports, she believes she’s recorded light from the unidentified “object” that was seen and heard all over the CSRA, Friday morning. She has 3 surveillance cameras that captured 3 different images from that morning. Two cameras show something falling…this object fell a few seconds before the flash on the deck was seen…the other happened 42 seconds after the flash. A meteorite hunter is plotting points on a map of the area to try and pinpoint exactly where debris fell.
OHIO – The Ashtabula County Emergency Management Agency fielded between six and 12 calls this morning from people who say they felt a small earthquake. The calls regarding the tremor came in around 9:45 a.m. Officials in Ashtabula sent the info along to the Ohio Seismic Network for further investigation. There were no reports of any injuries or damage. Earthquakes and tremors are not uncommon in northeast Ohio especially along the lake shore. [no quakes recorded in Ohio on the USGS site]
ALABAMA – News 5 received reports from Spanish Fort to the Mississippi state line about a big boom around 2:00 p.m. that shook their homes. So far, no one has an answer for it. The National Weather Service had no reports. The USGS is not showing any signs of seismic activity in the area. In fact, the closest earthquake to Mobile within the past week was 718 miles away in Sullivan, Missouri on Saturday night. Eglin Air Force Base says they were not doing any training flights that afternoon which could’ve caused a sonic boom. And both the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office and EMA report nothing unusual. But something definitely happened and it caused a lot of concern. Especially for a West Mobile woman who says dishes fell out of her cabinets and broke on the floor. Whatever it was, it appeared to have come from the West and moved East.
NEW YORK – Staten Island residents are trying to figure out what caused a loud boom that was heard in at least six neighborhoods.
The explosion-like blast rattled windows of homes at about 7:55 p.m. Monday. It could be heard for miles. Police and firefighters responded to numerous calls to 911, but the loud noise remained a mystery on Tuesday. Police say they found no explosion anywhere in the borough and Con Edison reported no outages or transformer explosions. Last week, witnesses reported big booms of a different sort. A brilliant yellow streak was seen in the skies north of the city, in Westchester and Rockland counties. Some residents believed it was a meteorite fireball. It was just before 8 p.m. on Monday and again six minutes later. Suddenly, a powerful boom, or some say a pair of booms, reverberated through about half a dozen Staten Island neighborhoods, rattling windows, shaking buildings and sending people running into the streets. “Not a normal sound. It was heavy and low.” Some saw a flash.
NEW YORK – There were reports of a big “boom” and a brilliant yellow streak in the skies north of New York City. There was no seismic activity in the region. The sound early Saturday has been likened to a window-rattling explosion. Police got a flurry of reports from people in Scarsdale, Mount Vernon, Yonkers, Tuckahoe, Eastchester and Bronxville. An witness to the spectacle early Saturday in Westchester County apparently saw a meteorite fireball. A collector is offering $10,000 for a piece of the meteorite. Another “boom” was reported early Monday in neighboring Rockland County.
A second loud boom – may have rattled windows in parts of Rockland County Monday – and its origin remains as mysterious as the explosive noise that blew through southern Westchester County over the weekend. “It was about 5:15 a.m., and it woke up the whole house. The house was shaking. It sounded like someone had flown an F-16 over the house.” An earlier unexplained “boom” shook homes in parts of southern Westchester early Saturday. That noise, and the one that reportedly woke up parts of Rockland yesterday, was unlikely to be an earthquake, weather pattern, falling space debris or a civilian aircraft, officials from local, state and federal agencies said. The likelihood of the boom being from a meteorite would be “very rare.” “When people say bigger, they usually mean brighter. It is possible that something in the atmosphere can do that, but it is very rare. But seeing it moving in a downward arc would be an optical illusion. You would not be able to see that.” There also have been no confirmed reports of seismic activity over the weekend.
CALIFORNIA – had a similar boom mystery a few days earlier. The search for the cause of the sonic boom Central Coast residents felt Wednesday morning may be a bust. A Federal Aviation Administration official said the search for the source of the mysterious morning rattling has turned up nothing. “We reviewed all the radar data for flights in the airspace in Northern California around the time that people reported this boom. There were several military aircraft operating but they were slow. None of these aircraft were going supersonic.” The Orange County Register reported a sonic boom 12 hours before what was heard on the Central Coast on Wednesday. The mystery has spurred its share of conspiracy theories. On the Sentinel Web site, readers comments suggested the boom was E.T.’s return, an intercontinental missile fired by North Korea, a chemtrail weather modification program or test runs of new, secret U.S. Navy jets. Orange County residents had similar theories after thousands of doors and windows across the county rattled and vibrated. Some suggested an asteroid was the source of the shaking. The asteroid passed by Monday night. A U.S. Geological Survey spokesperson said the shaking was not caused by an earthquake, though several people called 911 to report a possible rattler after the boom.
CALIFORNIA – Mysterious rattling reported in county; earthquake ruled out as the cause. Even though Central Coast residents felt rattled Wednesday morning, the source of the shaking was not under their feet, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
At 9:15 a.m., USGS sensors detected ground movement, but the signals did not resemble an earthquake. The movement appeared to originate off the Monterey Bay coast. “Our best guess is that it was a sonic boom from a jet off the coast. That’s all we can say scientifically.” The Air Force reports it did not have jets flying off the coast that morning. After receiving calls about a boom in Southern California, the Federal Aviation Administration said it is searching through flights they monitored Wednesday morning to find the supersonic jet. “We haven’t found anything yet that would explain the sonic boom.” “The energy travelled across our seismic sensor network at the velocity of a compressional wave in air rather than the velocity of a similar wave through the ground, which is much faster.” “I was outside and heard two loud booms. My husband said the house shook quickly, like a truck hit it, not the typical earthquake shaking, much quicker.” One man heard four loud booms – two before 10 a.m. and another two around noon. They made our windows rattle. It was like a blast, it sounded like a dynamite blast almost.” Residents in Salinas and Monterey also reported feeling the boom. The ground did move Wednesday morning also. The USGS Web site reported four minor earthquakes in the region. A magnitude 2.0 earthquake hit near Los Altos Hills at 8:40 a.m. Two quakes struck outside Tres Pinos: a 1.3 magnitude at 5:42 a.m. and a 1.6 at 7:52 a.m. The shaking detected at 9:15 a.m. was not posted on their site, because it was not classified as an earthquake. At 11:12 a.m., a 1.7 movement was measured in a quarry near Portola Valley. The USGS attributed that to a robable quarry explosion.
IDAHO – Mysterious ‘skyquakes’ return to valley, reported across U.S. – Roughly a year after a series of bizarre rumbling was reported across the Magic Valley, similar incidents are being reported again in south-central Idaho and northern Nevada. On March 3, the Southern Idaho Regional Communications Center heard from people from Buhl to Kimberly and Jerome who reported a loud boom and rumbling that evening. One off-duty dispatcher felt it in Twin Falls, and one supervisor said he felt it at his own home in Kimberly. “I thought (at first) it was my neighbors moving heavy equipment.” Farther south, residents of Spring Creek, Lamoille and Elko, Nev., last week reported periodic rumbling and occasional shaking over several days, all at varying times of day. Mining companies in the area said that they haven’t done anything unusual that would cause the rumbles and suggested that they may be sonic booms from military aircraft. But the rumblings heard on and off for the past few years last just a few seconds too long and are too continuous to be sonic booms. Mountain Home Air Force Base officials don’t believe they’re the cause. The closest jet at the time was 23 or 24 miles away from Twin Falls and another base doesn’t report any training at the time.
But geologists still said that sonic booms may be the best explanation. No earthquakes were recorded anywhere close enough to southern Idaho to have caused the noise at the time. The Idaho Geological Survey wondered about extremely tiny earthquakes, noting that scientists aren’t able to record so called “micro-earthquakes.” But they still don’t believe an earthquake was the culprit, and noted the reports were too widespread to be something local, such as large quarry blasts.
“What it actually is, is anyone’s guess.” Scientists gave similar responses last March, when odd rumblings happened regularly at 11:23 p.m. for several days. But the military then also denied any involvement. Often called “skyquakes,” the unexplained booms have become a regular occurrence worldwide in recent years, often coming in waves over the same area, according to reports on Web sites such as www.abovetopsecret.com, that track the phenomenon.
Southern California news outlets reported a strong skyquake that rattled windows across the Los Angeles-Orange County area at 9:20 p.m. on March 3 just hours after the one felt in the Magic Valley. The following day, March 4, another skyquake was felt over California’s Central Coast region.
Seismic stations around Monterey Bay, Calif., recorded a compression wave at 9:15 a.m., but the wave lacked the up-and-down shear that usually characterizes an earthquake. And on March 7 residents of Westchester County, NY, reported being shaken from their sleep by a pre-dawn skyquake that rattled the Hudson River Valley area just north of New York City. While widely scattered, the latest string of skyquakes all resulted in the same round of denials from U.S. Geological Survey officials (no earthquakes), civil officials (no construction blasting or other known explosions) and military and civilian air traffic controllers (no exercises or high-speed flights).
FLORIDA – Sanibel residents reported this morning a loud boom and shaking on the island. Officials with the City of Sanibel Police Department said they have received calls about a disturbance in the area and are investigating. There is no information on what could have caused the noise and shaking. “It sounded and felt like an earthquake. The walls were shaking.” The shaking lasted about four seconds and occurred around 10:43 a.m.
SWAZILAND – The geology survey and mines department says it is still consulting to find the cause of the tremor that was experienced in the country on Wednesday night.
They would only make conclusions after comparing reports from their counterparts in other countries. The Swaziland Meteorological services has since said it will work with the geology department to find the cause of the tremors. “We are aware that there were tremors in some parts of the country and we are working on finding out causes.” The frequency of the tremors is worrying. “Climate has to do with a lot of things like volcanoes, deserts, so the frequency of the tremors could be early signs of these things.” The nation was told it should not worry as both departments would do everything possible to find out how serious the situation is. “As the meteorology department, we cannot have all the answers to the nation but all we can say is we will be observing the situation. We will consult the geology department on the situation.”
AUSTRALIA – Police are still bewildered by the explosions that rocked Guanaba in the past two weeks and say no one has come forward with any information about what could have caused them. Residents of the area first heard an explosion that shook their houses on February 5 at 8.30pm. The following Wednesday, February 11, a similar noise was heard, although residents said it sounded further away. Police have established it was about 2km from the first one but that is where their investigations have come to halt.
TEXAS – Sonic booms and at least one fireball in the sky were reported in Texas on Sunday, less than a week after two satellites collided in space and a day after the Federal Aviation Administration asked U.S. pilots to watch for “falling space debris”. There were no reports of ground strikes or interference with aircraft in flight. Video shot by a photographer from News 8 TV in Austin showed what appeared to be a meteor-like white fireball blazing across a clear blue sky Sunday morning. Most of the reports the FAA received came in about midday Sunday in an area of Texas from Dallas south to Austin. The Texas Department of Public Safety received calls from residents surprised by sonic booms about 11 a.m. Calls came from an area from Dallas to Houston.
MINNESOTA – The enduring mystery of the south Minneapolis explosions rattling both windows and neighbors’ nerves has once again reared its head. A new spate of nighttime blasts, roughly 100, have been going off since summer, something that has been occurring intermittently for nearly three years. The last time that police investigated the spate of explosions, in 2006 and 2007, they were finally able to determine the source: fireworks, most likely set off by teenagers.
This time, though, only about half can be explained. Fireworks and exploding electrical transformers account for the explained half, “but for the rest, we just don’t know. We can’t explain it.”
The most troubling, if far-fetched, theory — that anarchists were in the Mississippi River gorge, practicing their explosive skills in preparation for the Republican National Convention — didn’t pan out. “It was a real homeland security concern so we were down there in the river with the St. Paul cops, but that wasn’t it.” Undercover cops have been working the neighborhoods where the blasts have been reported but have enjoyed only mixed success. For example, on Monday shortly after midnight, three explosions were reported and were quickly determined to be fireworks. Two more reported several hours later remain head scratchers. “There’s one theory that competing groups of some kind are trying to see who can come up with the loudest explosions down by the river.”
Another theory that didn’t hold was the possibility that some unknown kind of chemical reaction was occurring in the city’s water treatment system. Although most appear to be occurring near the river, sound echo patterns have sent the noise across a wide swath of the city along the river from roughly E. Lake Street to Ford Parkway. And they’ve been heard by residents dozens of blocks to the west. Just as in 2007, news of the explosions has spread like electronic wildfire among residents, who have lit up neighborhood e-mail lists with their accounts of the noise. Last time, theories ran from pipe bombs to sonic booms to exploding gas lines. This time, the theories have run more along the lines of propane cannons and violent freight train car coupling. Police are continuing their investigation.
The sky is falling, but it’s meteors, not satellite debris, that lit up the sky in Kentucky, Texas and Italy on Friday, 2-13-09. Three fireball meteors were seen over Italy just hours before the lights began streaking across Kentucky.
The Kentucky light and sound show was seen over a large area of the state, with some people saying it shook houses and briefly turned night into day.
Then, on Sunday, 2-15-09, runners in a marathon in Austin, Texas, saw a fireball so bright that it was visible in daylight. “Meteors are seen all the time. Occasionally they are very bright and lead to a sonic boom-type noise.”
A spokeswoman with the North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command, which tracks man-made objects entering the Earth’s atmosphere over North America from Colorado Springs, Colo., said she was not aware of Friday’s reports from Kentucky. But they sounded similar to what was coming out of Texas on Sunday. NORAD saw nothing on its radar on Friday night or over the weekend and there was “definitely nothing” from last week’s satellites hurtling through the sky. “If something was re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere, we’d track it.”
FLORIDA – Is it a bomb? Is it a plane? Or is it a sonic boom? Loud bangs have Islanders looking to the sky with wonder. Occasional loud booms had Marco Islanders and others in Southern Collier County wondering what the noise was Wednesday and Thursday. Police officers heard the noise too, but they weren’t sure what they were. “Some residents even thought it was an earthquake. We checked into it and there were no earthquakes in our area.”
While the military may not confirm or deny any jets in the area, residents were reporting Air Force sightings off the Gulf coast the last two days.
PENNSYLVANIA – Several residents of Bethany, Pa. reported feeling a possible quake at 7 p.m. Monday, about two and a half hours BEFORE a 3.0 magnitude earthquake was recorded in Morris County, New Jersey. Monday evening at approximately 7:00 p.m. the earth shook on Bethany Hill, Old Wayne Street, Sugar Street, Spruce Street and on Wayne Street. Coincidentally, at that time, a large boom and a burst of light transpired on Sugar Street. It was enough to make people come out of their homes on Sugar Streetrush to the window, “and what to their wondering eyes should appear”, but a huge flame, a light that shot up in the sky. Neighbors on Old Wayne Street came out in the snow to check their houses to see “what fell on their roofs”. They thought it could have been a whole tree that fell on the roof and onto the ground. One citizen thought the plow had driven into his home! A second boom was felt, but much lighter in nature.
What could it be? The police responded, but there were no accidents reported , there was nothing to investigate. “We couldn’t ALL be crazy! There was a lot of telephoning going on and together with the moving and the shaking, we accepted the fact that we actually did experience a strange phenomenon!” The earthquake in New Jersey apparently occurred on a fault line that runs to Bethany.
ARKANSAS – From rattling windows to big loud booms, Sequoyah County residents reported feeling tremors earlier this week, and now officials are investigating the matter. The reports come from as far north as Marble City and as far south as the Le Flore County border. Calls have been pouring into the county sheriff’s office. Residents say they heard rumbling noises, and saw their windows and sliding glass doors shaking. Officials say there is no evidence at this time of seismic activity, but they’ll continue to look into it.
NEBRASKA – loud booms heard in Grand Island Tuesday night and Wednesday morning are believed to be starling control measures or the acts of curious youth. The Central Platte Natural Resources Distric began shooting off propane cannons last Friday night around dusk for about seven to 14 days. But Grand Island/Hall County Emergency Management said the 911 center received calls about loud booms from “one end of town to the other,” and the calls came after dusk.
They were reported between 9:30 and 10 p.m. Tuesday and again around 7 a.m. Wednesday. “There were no reports of fire, no reports of damage, no reports of power outages or any infrastructure damage.”
The boom almost sounded like a “sonic boom” that is sometimes heard from traveling aircraft. Calls to the Central Nebraska Regional Airport were not immediately returned. Area youth may be experimenting with something like a “dry ice bomb.”
When dry ice is dropped into a 2-liter bottle of water, a loud explosion can be the result. The technique has been featured on the cable television show “Mythbusters.”
The city of Grand Island has contracted with the U.S. Department of Agriculture for starling control in the past, but no such work is currently under way. “The city has not received any calls from citizens regarding problems with starlings.” USDA officials have been tracking the birds. They believe the birds are moving to the area later in the season this year, and for the most part, the flock that is here stays in Grand Island the majority of the year.
NORTH CAROLINA – Emergency officials said residents in Clayton and Wendell reported hearing loud booms that shook their houses Sunday evening at approximately 5:45 p.m. People in Selma and Middlesex reported the same thing. Emergency crews were searching the area for the source of the noise. Some residents have speculated that the noise might have been the result of a sonic boom, a term that is commonly used to refer to the shocks caused by the supersonic flight of a military aircraft.
However, officials at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Wayne County said planes are not allowed to produce a sonic boom. Plus, all of the base’s F-15s completed landing at 4:15 p.m. (additional individual reports at link)
MINNESOTA – People living in the Longfellow neighborhood in Minneapolis were jolted awake in the middle of the night Thursday by a big boom. However, police said they aren’t sure what caused the explosion. This is the second time in a week an unexplained explosion has been heard. “I heard an explosion. It sounded kind of loud and it reverberated,” said a man who was jolted awake by the sound.
He thought it was coming from Longfellow Park and investigated.
“It was rather scary. I walked outside, meandered down half asleep and didn’t see anything.” Blocks away others heard it too.
Police took calls stretching a 14-block radius from the 3000 block of Lake Street to 44th Street. “I knew it wasn’t a gunshot, so it had to be a transformer.” But Xcel Energy said a transformer didn’t blow and said, “nothing in our reports indicates an explosion from our equipment.” Police said they don’t believe the explosions are terroristic or connected to the upcoming Republican National Convention. While authorities aren’t saying much about the two explosions, reports are calling them issues of Homeland Security.
Reports of unexplained explosions in Minneapolis actually started years ago. Residents said another explosion was heard in a 14 block area in south Minneapolis from Lake Street to 44th Street East. (video of residents discussing the startling noises)
CANADA – Mystery deepens surrounding Kincardine area explosions – The mystery has deepened surrounding explosions that shook the Kincardine area last Thursday with University of Western Ontario scientists ruling out a meteor shower.
“Something pretty significant exploded south and west of Goderich and Kincardine. It could have exploded out in Lake Huron.”
Highly sensitive devices installed near Lucan by Western to monitor low frequency sound waves detected a series of four impulses that lasted about a minute, starting at 11:12 p.m. on July 31. Five minutes later a low frequency rumbling was detected coming from the Kincardine area. “If you had been in London and it was really quiet outside, you should just have been able to hear the low rumble from these explosions. That’s UNUSUAL at this sort of a distance.” With Ontario’s largest nuclear plant located just north of Kincardine, the explosions have triggered international media interest. Officials at Bruce Power have said there was nothing unusual at the nuclear station. South Bruce OPP were inundated with 911 calls shortly after 11 p.m. that night with residents describing walls shaking and windows rattling. The signals detected at Lucan, probably five or six minutes after the original blast, were intense.
If it had been caused by a meteor, there should have been a bright fireball in the sky. The university has a camera system at Kincardine aimed at the sky to capture the image of any meteors. “We have already looked during the time interval of interest. It was clear that night and no meteor.”
The monitoring devices at Lucan indicate all of the explosions occurred in the same area south and west of the Kincardine area and south of Goderich. In the past, the same instruments have picked up mining explosions in Wyoming in the western U.S. and the Shell refinery explosion in Sarnia. “Based on frequency content and the phenomenology of the signals, these are not consistent from what we would expect from a meteor at all.”
But the signals also don’t fit another theory, that it was caused by a sonic boom from a jet. “They are not all that consistent with shockwaves you would see with supersonic aircraft.” The closest fit for the signals from the explosion, particularly the low rumbling, would be surface blasting at a mine. The only mine in the area is Sifto Salt’s underground operation at Goderich. A worker at the mine who lives nearby said he has never felt any tremor from blasting at the salt mine that stretches under the lake.
AUSTRALIA – Sunday afternoon around sunset there were a series of loud explosive sounds heard from one end of Magnetic Island to the other and nobody seems to know what it was. “It could very clearly be heard in Horseshoe and Nelly bays (different people I spoke to) and at first sounded like distant thunder. But it continued at fairly regular intervals for at least an hour – just before sunset – if not longer.” Others heard the sound but, as they reside on the West coast, assumed it was just more live firing practice by the air force on Halifax Bay. However, after making enquiries they learned there were no exercises being conducted at the that time. Calls to the Townsville Met Office, the Harbour Master and even Cluden race track (did you have a fireworks display after the races?) resulted in three big “Nos”.
WISCONSIN – A couple claims a mysterious noise plagues their house in Green Bay. The noise has been plaguing them for two years and sounds something like a rumbling motor, with a subtle vibration that won’t quit. Then it stops – especially when they try to show city officials or acoustic experts what they’re hearing. “It’s like there’s a semi parked right outside with the engine running, but when you look out, there isn’t one.” The couple have lived in the same house for 42 years. The problem only developed over the last two years.
When they leave, the don’t hear the noise, so they know it’s not some health problem the two share. City officials hired a company for $1,000 worth of testing in the house this spring, but the tester came up with no noise and no significant vibration. The local alderman has heard the sound. “It’s like an engine thing, a low-frequency vibration. I think it would be an annoyance.” The immediate neighbors haven’t complained, although some people have said they heard the sound.
CALIFORNIA – Worried citizens who believed another wildfire was burning in Los Angeles called authorities in what was believed to be remnants from a possible meteor shower. “We received several 911 calls from concerned citizens early today about fire being seen across the Los Angeles skies. We believe they may be seeing remnants of a meteor shower in the sky and want to assure people there are no wildfires currently burning in Los Angeles.
TENNESSEE – A ground and air search of northern Bedford County was conducted Tuesday night after two area residents reported possibly seeing an airplane going down. Nothing was found as of Wednesday morning. Emergency workers were inititally notified of grass fires near a subdivision on Pepper Hill Road and on Eady Road west and north of Deason about 7:45 p.m. Deputies were later told both callers said they’d seen what they thought was a plane. No fires were found. Also, a man said a loud “boom” shook his room at the Tennessee Fire and Codes Academy, Unionville-Deason Road.
Rescue personnel did a “dark search” of an area behind the academy and checked several small, private airstrips in the area. Four-wheelers were used to check several areas described by callers as possible crash sites. A helicopter was brought in later, finding nothing except a burning brush pile on Ebb Joyce Road. [A webpage reader has reported a 20-30 second loud, low rumbling around the 1st of November in Knoxville, Tennessee.]
CANADA – at 3:20 am there was a big boom experienced in the Vancouver area of British Columbia, Canada. It was heard over a large area, including Vancouver, North Vancouver, Burnaby and Coquitlam. “It was of such a force in Coquitlam that it shook our whole house and knocked down ceiling panels in our basement. A friend (80) reported that she was also awakened by the boom and when she looked out her window she saw large flashes in the sky, which she attributed to a sizeable fireworks display!” (This has not been reported on the news sites and was dismissed by radio reporters as thunder.)
AUSTRALIA – The BIGGEST QUAKE IN 40 YEARS to hit the Great Southern has cracked the walls of one man’s home but left his neighbours’ homes unscathed. The quake, which registered 4.8 on the Richter scale, left his house trashed.
“I do know that it happened just around 8 oclock because my clocks all jumped off the wall, along with all my pictures, and the clocks stopped.” While many people reported that the quake had shaken their house, for this man the experience was quite different. “I never had a shake I just had an almighty boom.” He has been expecting something like this for some time. “For the last few months I’ve also been getting these booms and it took a while to work out what it was. It sounded like something landing on the roof – we’re talking something pretty heavy, not like a swan or a bird, more like an elephant.
I’d ring my neighbours up after and say ‘did you hear that? Did you feel it?’ and they’d say ‘no we never felt anything’. I almost felt like I was going mad, that I was just imagining it although I know one time my daughters were here staying with me and they said ‘what is that dad?’ and I said ‘I don’t really know’.
So it’s been very localised but it hasn’t happened for at least a month which had me concerned – either it was going away, or this was coming and this is what came.” (photos)
INDIA – A geologist has visited 8 Gir villages to study mysterious rumbling sounds
that have been occurring for the past several days. He said that the sounds are certainly not emanating from earthquake tremors or its aftershock, but were caused due to “block system”, which might be the after-effect of the 2001 massive earthquake in Kutch. However, he refused to elaborate. Asked about his observation of the recurring phenomena, he replied that he cannot say anything with certainty about its root cause. The villages of Haripar, Jasapar, Moruka, Suruva, Vadla, Akol Vadi, Rasoolpara and Hadamatiya experienced the rumbling sounds on the 8th, spreading panic among the people who rushed out of their houses as the vessels started making a huge rattling sound. Many houses developed cracks on the walls. All of the villages fall within a radius of 15 kilometers. The village of Jaspar experienced 15 such sounds. These events are not new, and three years ago such sounds were felt in Haripur. A seismograph installed between October and December of 2001 has so far recorded more than a thousand tremors, ranging up to 3 on the Richter scale. The Haripur village and nearby areas had again experienced the rumbling sounds during December of 2004.
CALIFORNIA – Mysterious shaking along Central Coast on Monday morning – Folks in the Five Cities Area reported they felt an earthquake. People as far away as Santa Maria to Los Osos also felt shaking. One San Luis Obispo woman said she saw her windows shake three times about five minutes apart. “It really shook, and I though we’re having an earthquake, but nothing else was shaking. So I don’t know. Just the windows? Just the windows.” The U.S. Geological Survey is not reporting any earthquakes in the area. Monday’s shaking is consistent with past sonic booms. Action News contacted several military bases across the region but none would confirm that that was the cause.
CALIFORNIA – 12:09 am – Representatives with the Sonora Police Department and both the Tuolumne and Calaveras County Sheriff’s Departments say they fielded numerous calls early in the morning in regards to a “loud boom,” and “structures shaking.” There were several calls from residents who reported seeing “a blue light,” just before the “loud boom.” The incident reportedly occurred at 12:09am. The Police Department notes that it also received a call from a resident in Tuolumne, in which a female reported seeing what she thought was fireworks, and then something spiraling over her house. Early indication from the law enforcement agencies is that the loud boom was somehow the result of a meteor shower.
AUSTRALIA – It might have felt like an earthquake to Sydney coastal residents but it wasn’t, scientists say. Dozens of Sydney coastal residents reported their houses shaking this afternoon (8/7) but Geoscience Australia said it was not an earthquake. Residents reported windows shaking about 3.45pm (AEST) in the eastern beach suburbs of Maroubra, Clovelly, Bondi and Tamarama. “We’re pretty happy to say that it wasn’t an earthquake. At this stage Geoscience Australia has not recorded any seismic activity. It would certainly have to be very, very small for us not to register it.” Radio talkback callers also reported several houses shaking on Sydney’s north shore and northern beaches.
AUSTRALIA – A mystery earth tremor has been reported by residents in eastern Sydney, but the A number of ABC radio listeners have also reported feeling a tremor on the north shore and eastern suburbs. A defence spokeswoman also ruled out a sonic boom from high speed aircraft.
MISSOURI – The United States Air Force has launched an investigation and hope to provide resdents who heard a series of loud booms Monday with an answer to clear up any confusion. Military officials at Whiteman Air Force Base at Knob Noster, Missouri said that their staff would do everything they could to determine what caused all the commotion Monday afternoon. Air Force personnel were not aware of any missions or training exercises in the area at that time that would have caused the booms that were accompanied by shaking in some areas. Residents from one end of Camden county to the other reported hearing loud, sonic-type boom sounds beginning around 2:15 p.m. The sounds and shaking that accompanied the booms shook windows, rattled dishes and may have caused some damage to walls where the sheet rock cracked.
The sheriff’s department had contacted Whiteman, the St. Louis Earthquake Center and other agencies to find out what caused the noise.
CALIFORNIA – Military aircraft appear to be responsible for sonic booms and shaking that residents around the county were feeling Wednesday afternoon, July 18th, officials said. Edwards Air Force Base officials said they sent an F-22 airplane out to a testing area about 50 miles off the coast that could have explained the rattling residents reported. But the area is also used by other branches of the U.S. military that could have had aircraft in the area.
In addition, NASA was conducting sonic boom testing at the base that may have been heard by residents along the coast. The base is located in the Mojave Desert, near the Kern and Los Angeles county line. Sheriff’s Department officials reported receiving dozens of calls from residents around the county who reported feeling shaking and loud booms at three different times before about 1:30 p.m. Residents from California Valley to Arroyo Grande reported feeling the shaking and hearing the booms.
Comments from residents – “I’ve lived in California all of my 48 years, and I’ve heard sonic booms many times before, including the big double boom of the shuttle coming in. This was much different. It was 3 or 4 seconds of what sounded like a jackhammer on my walls, followed by a window rattling boom. If the Air Force is playing with a new secret toy, fine, say “no comment”,
but this story isn’t working for me at all.” “I thought we were seriously under attack. I got my dog ready to evacuate. A boom is a boom, an explosion and several second rumble is something very different. I’m not buying the story…”
SRI LANKA – The residents of Lunugamwehera in the Hambanthota district of Sri Lanka’s Southern Province say they experienced something similar to an earthquake in the early hours on Monday. The residents of Beralihela and adjacent villages say that the tremor was unexpected and the houses quivered with the earth shock around 12 to 12:30 in the middle of the night. However, a spokesman of the National Geological and Mines Bureau said that no earthquake that could have felt by Sri Lanka was recorded by the equipment at the centre.
TENNESSEE – Dozens of people in Knox County woke up to some rumbling Monday morning and investigators are still working to figure out what it was. Dozens of calls flooded central dispatch at about 1:15am, mostly from two neighborhoods off Northshore Drive in West Knoxville; Admiral’s Landing and Northshore Landing. Many people tell us they woke up to loud rumbling and thought there were animals or prowlers in their basements or attics. Others thought there was some sort of explosion shaking the ground. “Half of our neighborhood had come outside and there was these constant shakes in the ground, constant thud. It felt like some type of missile attack. It wasn’t an earthquake, I’ve been through an earthquake.”
VIETNAM – An ‘earthquake-like phenomenon’ in central Vietnam sent residents into a panic. Hundreds of people in a village in Vietnam’s central highlands fled their homes in panic early Monday when a suspected earthquake hit the area. No one was hurt and scientists and authorities are studying the area to see if it was indeed an earthquake or some other phenomenon. Residents of A Klai village in Gia Lai province’s in La Pet commune said they had felt strong vibrations beneath the ground, houses shook violently, cracks had appeared on the walls, and the ground had sunk. Fissures up to 4 meters deep had opened up. Incredibly, however, all these were confined to a tiny area of around 50 meters, with areas beyond that remaining unaffected.
SOUTH CAROLINA – Newsrooms were flooded with calls about the mystery rumble observed Thursday morning. According to the National Earthquake Information Center, there is nothing to indicate there was an earthquake in the Charleston area. It doesn’t rule out the possibility that it was a smaller quake, but they said it was most likely a sonic boom. However, the Charleston air traffic controller said there was nothing in the pattern at that time that is capable of producing a sonic boom. There are no reports of damage.
A big boom, followed by earthquake-like tremors. That’s how people are describing what they felt Thursday morning. “The ground was shaking, the house was shaking, the windows were banging.” All those who felt it say it lasted seconds. Even the National Weather Channel was reporting a possible earthquake felt in the Charleston area. But since the 1800s, not a single report of a quake in that area has been confirmed. The National Earthquake Information Center says this isn’t an earthquake since nothing was recorded on their seismographs. There is another possible explanation for this mystery according to the US Geological Survey. There is an unexplained phenomenon called Seneca Guns that sound like sonic booms and shake homes. There have been reports of
Seneca Guns along the coasts in South Carolina and also in North Carolina and Virginia. In addition, there have been reports of such booms around Lake Seneca and Lake Cayuga in New York State. Some speculate this could be gas escaping from vents in the earth’s surface, but no exact cause is known.
OHIO Something happened at around 9 p.m. that a lot of people heard. But nobody seems to have any idea what it was. “It” was a loud bang, something loud enough to be heard all over the county, and loud enough to make small objects move in houses. Rumors range from an earthquake to a meteor strike, a sonic boom to something ice-related.
While we may never know for sure, at least one scientist believes the meteor could be the answer. There’s no evidence to suggest an earthquake could have caused the bang, especially not over the range specified. “The type of waves that I see is not earthquake-type stuff. What bothers me is we don’t see it anywhere else. Right now this is mysterious to me.” The National Weather Service’s station in Wilmington is equally lost, especially after hearing calls from the Cincinnati area. The only common factor is that each area was affected by Tuesday’s ice storm.
“It definitely wasn’t thunder. We’re kind of stumped on that ourselves.”
Not everyone agreed that it’s a meteor, however. Every contact one heard about the bang was writing from an area that got some layer of ice earlier this week. “I’m 100 percent certain that it’s ice. It’s only the areas that had a lot of ice. None have been from areas with just snow.” He did offer one idea, but not one that would explain the noise over such a large area. He described a phenomenon called a “frostquake,” in which water seeping into the ground and freezing can cause the earth to break up and create localized bangs.
TEXAS – Galveston County residents from League City to Texas City to Jamaica Beach reported hearing what sounded like a series of short explosions during the weekend.
The sounds so worried some that the Texas City office of homeland security launched its own inquiry. “We started getting calls about 8 a.m. (Sunday, 2/4). We called all the plants, the Coast Guard, tried calling Ellington Field and can’t find where they came from.” The media liaison for the FBI said her agency had no reports of any unusual activity and said there were no drills or training exercises involving explosives taking place during the weekend. The blast came without warning and rattled windows up and down Bay Street in North Texas City. The Texas Office of the U.S. Geological Survey said there had been no recorded seismic events along the Gulf Coast this weekend. So what went boom? What could have shook homes from League City to Galveston’s beaches? They do know that they came from above.
“I can tell you to the exact minute … I heard them” – the first boom was at 4:14 p.m. Sunday. With back-to-back booms at 5:12 p.m. and 5:14 p.m. as well. The booms were described as short, low-pitched bursts lasting only a few seconds. Given those descriptions, the most plausible explanation would appear to be the sonic boom made by a jet when it crosses the sound barrier. With Ellington Field close by, it wouldn’t be the first time jet fighters would have been blamed for creating a stir. But all of the Air National Guard’s planes were on the ground Sunday. A spokeswoman for the Houston Airport System said checks into the mysterious booms came up empty. [Scores of people all over the Midwest and Upper Midwestern United States reported seeing flames and fiery explosions in the sky Sunday night – probably meteorites, possibly connected to the booms. See 2/6 for the meteorite article.]
MICHIGAN – residents in four counties said they heard loud booms and bangs Thursday night. Between 8:32p.m. and 11:30 p.m. residents called police, complaining about the “explosions.” Many people were frightened by the noises, which some claimed sounded as if something had hit their homes. “One lady described it as sounding like someone was banging with both fists on her door.” It is being explained as a possible weather phenomenon involving a drop in temperatures. Rapidly dropping temperatures could have created a stable layer in the atmosphere called a temperature inversion. That temperature inversion will trap sound waves close to the surface of Earth. Those sound waves, when dispersed, are forced to move horizontally from their source, instead of upward and horizontally.
VIRGINIA – Some Giles County residents are a little shaken after a tremor-like event Wednesday night, others say they heard a loud “thunder-like” sound. Virginia Tech researchers say they received several calls about a meteor sighting the same time of the tremors. The BIZARRE incident took place around 8pm. Researchers say the seismic station in Giles County did get a very short but intense seismic signal.
FLORIDA – newsrooms were flooded with calls from residents in Lee County who said they felt an earthquake just before 10am and again at 12:50pm on Wednesday the 10th. The USGS said there were no earthquakes that would have been felt in SW Florida.”The doors were going boom, boom, boom. They actually shook and made noise.” “It felt like a big explosion.” Many people’s dogs started barking. It may have been a sonic boom over the Gulf of Mexico.