Reports from around the world indicate recently that mysterious “booms”, or what are sometimes referred to as “explosions” or “sky-quakes” are being reported in various countries (Update: many news outlets have reported over the winter months that frost quakes, also called cryoseisms, may be behind some of the mystery noises. For a complete resource on possible causes underlying the mystery booms, visit this link).
Most recently, New York and the United Kingdom have been among the epicenters of the phenomenon, as reported by The Daily Mail:
“A loud boom was reported by a number of people in upstate New York on Saturday afternoon at the same time as a similar noise was heard more than 3,000 miles away in the UK.
“Residents in locations including Buffalo, Cheektowaga, Clarence and as far north as Niagara Falls took to social media to report the unusual noise at around 4:45 p.m. EST. People described it as loud enough to shake their homes and rattle windows.”
“At the same time as residents in New York State reported hearing noises, hundreds of Twitter users in the UK reported hearing similar sounds – that also shook their windows.
An audio recording of numerous instances of the loud bangs recorded around England indicated a strange, thunder-like rumbling, with separated consecutive blasts, as can be heard in the audio segment below:
Residents in Great Britain suggested a number of possible solutions to the mystery “crashes,” which included the sound of military tests underway, as well as “unusual weather conditions” as a possible source. The Daily Mail noted that, “conspiracy theorists took to social media to claim that aliens were to blame.”
Gralien Report listener Beth Arzy and her boyfriend, Bobby, were among those in the UK who heard these sounds, and shared their report of the incident:
Saturday night my boyfriend and I are in the front room watching a film, I guess around 10 or so, and we hear these immense BOOMS! Bobby thought it was fireworks, but it sounded more like crazy thunder so I stuck my head out the window to see what it was. Didn’t think much of it, just figured it must be fireworks as it wasn’t too cloudy.
Just now, Bobby mentioned he read this (links the Daily Mail article) and said “that’s what we heard!”
How weird is that? It was about 5 booms I heard, then when I lent out the window it stopped. Bastards.
On November 22, Gralien Report listener Lindsey Lou wrote to us to describe a very similar phenomenon that a friend of hers in New Jersey had been experiencing:
“My coworker has a house in Cape May, New Jersey, and told me there have been a series of mystery ‘booms” and shaking. Locals say these booms [coincide with someone who] uncovered a set of hundred-year-old-train tracks on the beach, and some other bizarre old things that have also been uncovered.
“I’m having trouble finding too many reports connecting the two, so it may be an obvious case of mistaken correlation, instead of some fantastic Fortean phenomenon.”
One of our Gralien Report listeners, Jeff Adamson, also posted on Facebook that there had been a strange, unidentified explosion or similar sound several nights ago. He wrote to us with the following update:
“Just heard your call for an update. Many are saying the boom was thunder, as we were getting heavy snowflakes. Even the news reports pointed to “thunder-snows”. However this (sound) lasted 20 seconds or so, and didn’t have the rumbling through the sky like normal thunder has. Emergency vehicle responses were said to have been triggered by the vibrations, but it was nearly immediate. Bottom line, known one is sure.”
I chose to write about Lindsey’s story in an article at Mysterious Universe, which featured a number of similar reports from the Dayton, Ohio area, as well as parts of rural Kansas. In the article, I asked the readership to share with me their reports of mystery boom phenomenon from around the world. The response was impressive:
“I live in Miamisburg, OH and just heard the loud boom that sounded like a bomb went off. My house shook and the windows rattled.” –Kathy, Miamisburg OH.
“I came across your article whilst looking into unexplained loud explosions. I live in Manchester, United Kingdom and on the 24th November at 22:25 there was a loud single explosion sound. This was heard 20 miles away and windows rattled etc. There is no reason for this, no fires or signs of an explosion. There were no bright flashes.” –Scott Cooper, Manchester UK
“I live in Tenaha, Texas. We’ve had a few earthquakes the last couple of years. I’m pretty sure it’s from fraking. I only mention this because what I heard Monday evening (nov 24) was not coming from the earth. But it was… There was a constant hum and then a strange combination of a crack and a boom. The boom occurred every few minutes and it went on for almost an hour. My neighbors at two other houses were out listening too. I heard them talking and when the noise stopped they went back in. I’ve only lived here a few months so I don’t know anyone well enough to ask what they heard or think it was. We really love our privacy out here so I don’t want to get too many eyebrows raised but I thought I should share it nonetheless. I hear a hum most nights too, penetrating but I’m not real familiar where the highway is in relation to me or what industries are nearby. It felt unnatural.” James, Tenaha TX
“Hello, this may be of no use to you at all but sometime last year, a series of booms were reported in the Lauderdale/ Colbert county areas of North/West Alabama. I personally didn’t experience anything but it was reported on local news outlets throughout it’s duration (nearly a week). Ultimately, they decided it was the disposal of ammunition that had exceeded it’s shelf life but several people have noted that that doesn’t add up because people nearest the disposal site reported nothing. Anyway, may be a complete waste of your time but thought I’d make mention.” –Trent, Alabama
“Out here in the San Joaquin valley where I’m from! We get hail at certain times of the year and the stone fruits along with raisin vines have new developing growth…they have hail cannons that sound like, well, cannons of all things. These turn the hail into slush so no harm is done! The further away you are of course the booms aren’t as loud. Hope this give some insight!” –Schell, CA
Mauna Loa Mountain on Hawaii’s Big Island is also reportedly an epicenter of unusual “sky-quake” activity, as one reader sent along information to us about, which had previously been sent to Linda Howe at earthfiles.com:
“I live in Hawaii and I am sending out a request to other local people on this island to report what they are hearing and keep note of when the sounds are heard.
“Mauna Loa Mountain on Big Island of Hawaii: Joan Ocean of Dolphin Connection International emailed: “Since the beginning of November 2014, I have heard sounds like a large, heavy metal structure being slowly towed along a concrete road. It was scraping and shrieking as it moved, and also made a rumbling sound. It continued for a long time, at least 15 minutes, before I went back to sleep … it was odd because I live at 2200 feet high on the Mauna Loa mountain and there are no large roads nor construction taking place here and certainly not in the middle of the night. …These rumbling sounds were preceded by a subtle whistling sound, and that was the unusual noise that woke me up. Due to my decades of working with free-swimming dolphins, the whistling sound was similar to their high-pitched whistles, and I am very sensitive to that sound. At first I thought it must be a bird, but when I walked out on my deck in the dark to hear it better, I could tell it was not a bird because the sound was not bird-like, it was continuous and piercing. Then I heard the heavy metal rumbling sounds.” –Big Island, Hawaii
Other reports we’ve been receiving from around the globe are as follows:
“Lots of booms being reported between (At least), Everett and Mount Vernon, WA. Reports of strange lights in the sky have also been reported.”
“We had some in new Zealand earlier this year that made the news. These shook windows over 100ks away. Originally everyone denied knowledge army didn’t do it, airforce, navy nope then a couple of days later the army said oh wait that was us testing bombs in the range. So the media said do it again then and they set of a the biggest bomb they had. But no sonic booms. Guess it was a fluke. Look up New Zealand Herald, they covered it. Also the ‘Cambel Live’ TV show.” –Steven, New Zealand
“I was reading the article of “Mysterious booms are being reported across America again” and in my town of Richland Center Wisconsin around the end of August 2014, I heard what sounded like a sonic boom or an explosion and I felt what I call pressure move through my house and it seemed like a feeling you have when you are around something that exploded. My brother also heard the noise that lives near by and I have a friend who lives 20 miles from me who heard the exact same sound. We posted on Facebook to see if anyone knew of what the noise was. No one has ever found out what caused it to this day. Just wanted to share the information.” –Todd, Richland Center, Wisconsin
“I work out in Scottsboro, Alabama area and a couple days after those earthquakes that hit the Midwest we had something rattle the shop I work in 3 times. Our shop is like 100’x40′ big. It’s a steel building that’s built on a concrete slab. It didn’t necessarily shake the shop where we felt it. It just rattled things and got out attention bc it was like a boom that just really caught our attention. It’s just hard to explain. People who live 30-50 miles away from that area even talked about something rattling their house but nothing was ever on the news in our area. Let me know if you get any emails from anyone else in the North Alabama region.” –Chris, Scottsboro Alabama
“In regards to the sonic booms story, I was hearing something weird last night that may or may not be related. I’m living in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada (about 45 minutes east of Toronto and right by Lake Ontario). There was a really loud, really high pitched sound that would last for about 4 or 5 seconds and repeat every couple of minutes. I noticed it at about 11:00pm and when I went to sleep at about 1:30 it was still going.
“It was driving me so crazy that I went around my whole place turning things off, listening, and then unplugging and listening. It was at a pitch that was just barely within my range of hearing (for someone who’s 3? old), so I don’t think it was any kind of alarm. It was the same from every room, which makes me think it wasn’t some kind of electronic buzzing. Plus, it was actually really hard to ignore it and get to sleep, even after I put on a podcast. …and I live by train tracks, I’m not that delicate with sound when it comes to going to sleep.
“Anyhow, just thought it was weird, and after I saw the article, I wonder if it’s something that might be related or being carried over the lake maybe (it’s about a 10 minute drive away)? –Maria, Oshawa, Ontario
Within just a few minutes, Maria actually wrote us back from her iPhone with a quick update: “No word of a lie, two minutes after I emailed you, I stepped outside and just heard two booms about two minutes apart, and all the dogs in the area are going nuts.”
A number of suggestions have been made about the possible causes behind these widespread reports of mysterious crashes, which have included earthquakes, as well as sonic booms created by government aircraft. The most popular among these had been the secretive “Project Aurora” aircraft, which tabloids in the UK were claiming as a source based on an expert who suggested the sounds in the audio segment featured earlier in this article had been a “pulse detonation engine” the likes of the fabled Project Aurora, a secretive U.S. spy plane that may exist, based on reports that began to appear back in the late 1980s.
Mention of this supposed aircraft on our weekly Gralien Report Podcast caught the attention of another of our listeners, who shared the following anecdote with us about his own experience with legends about Project Aurora:
“My father was an engineer for Lockheed for 33 years. He is now retired. Many years back, at least 15 years, my wife and I got a cat and named it Aurora. My father looked at me and asked why I named my cat after a secret spy plane program. I, of course, didn’t know what he was talking about and I asked him. He smiled and using air quotes said it is “rumored” that there is a spy plane program code named Aurora but he didn’t elaborate.
“Now, my father has the highest clearance you can get at Lockheed. I remember when he got it because they also did background checks on me, about 19 years old at the time, my brother, and my mother. Whenever aircraft stuff like this comes up in the news or elsewhere and I ask him about it he always smiles and says it’s just a rumor. Even now after he’s retired I think he still keeps up with what’s going on at Lockheed. He showed me some old video of F-22 test flights he got from one of his test pilot buddies but has never shared anything that wasn’t already out in the public domain but I’m pretty sure he has more. Whenever I ask him about it he always claims ignorance or it is something classified. “
Could it be a top secret U.S. aircraft that was behind the “mystery booms”? Another Gralien Report listener and correspondent, Thom Lesinewski, told us the booms reminded him of something quite different:
“I was greatly intrigued by the recent reports reports of the sky ‘explosions’. In fact I might have heard some the the popping myself. I say ‘might’ because I seem to recall recently hearing popping sounds, but I attributed them to firing at the local police firing range when is only about a mile from my home.
“I listened to the recording of the sounds many times, something struck me as familiar. I finally realized what it was. The Tunnel is the resonating chamber between earth and the ionosphere. Some years ago I was part of a research project called ‘INSPIRE’ which involved listening to VLF signals as they bounced off the ionosphere. It struck me that, at least to me, the recordings had a quality like the sounds were in a tunnel. While I never heard any pops, explosions in my research the overall quality of the tone was the same. I decided to do a bit of research.
Attached is a spectral display of the sounds Thom sent us:
“Interesting profile don’t you think? The consistency is interesting. The ‘popping’ is reflected in yellow blips along the bottom. They are present even in the sudden Plateau sound toward the end of the clip.
“The Frequency Plot show that the peak frequency is at 200Hz then tapers off quickly. But note the signal starts at a high level even below 100Hz. This makes me think that there is probably a considerable component even lower, perhaps in the infra-sound range. If so perhaps the global infra-sound network might have picked it up. Wonder if anyone is talking to the CTBTO network (Comprehensive Test Band Treaty Organisation )?
“I think it would be interesting to plot reports on the basis of Date/Time and location. But quality of data could be an issue.
“So, my gut feeling is that this is a result of a system test of some new Over The Horizon (OTH) system. either Radar, communications, or weapon. Probably from Russia. I recall from my youth during the Cold War, listening to Shortwave, and hearing the ‘Russian Woodpecker’ signal from the OTH radar they were working on. Very loud, and caused considerable problem on the airwaves. So they are not adverse to bold displays of technology (see Wikipedia’s entries on the Duga-3, and also see here for more). Finally, the Russians are still at developing the OTH ability (as are the western powers) see: Russia begins deployment of over the Horizon System.
“I know that the OTH systems are dealing with radio waves, and this is a audio phenomena, but that does not preclude some new system or a artifact from a new system due to ionospheric conditions. Don’t know..just guessing here. Need more data… more data…more data. Obviously this is all speculation. This is my choice but I must admit that the idea of it being caused by the ‘Aurora’ is appealing, but there are too many things wrong with that option.”
Another correspondent of ours with a background in aerospace technology wrote in with a slightly different take on the matter, and while considering the infrasound component to be a possibility, the phenomenon recorded in Britain sounded similar, to him, to a more widely recognized variety of crashing:
“You mentioned a listener who commented the infrasound network might be used to track the booms. I had thought of that too, but never had any luck finding a database of the network. Likely restricted. I kind of doubt its some radar/weapon/HAARP interacting with the ionosphere. I am more inclined to fireworks for the one you played the recording of (those remind me of the “grand finale” of those big bang fireworks I always love that are so bright and loud they blind you and shake your chest). Of course, they could be the good old “small comets” that I have always enjoyed.
“Also, I heard you mention the unusual Russian satellite. I got the orbital elements from www.space-track.org for it and the rocket body it came “close” to. The closest they got together were .25 km on Nov 25. But they didn’t maintain the distance, it varied based on the two orbits from .25 km to 2.5 km (for an average of 1 km) for 1 day or 13 orbits. It drifted to 16 km away from Nov 25 to Nov 29. But on Nov 29 it got as close as 3 km away. It looks like a rocket engine, not ion engine since the seven altitude changes have happened fairly impulsively like a rocket engine firing (not gradually as you would expect an ion engine over a number of orbits).”
So what is the source behind the sounds being heard worldwide? We have addressed the phenomenon here, and in our weekly Gralien Report Podcast (click here to launch that episode). Our friends at Mysterious Universe have also featured updates about the program on their show, and finally, my fellow blogger Paul Seaburn at Mysterious Universe and I have kept a running dialogue on the MU blog for a number of weeks, which can be viewed here, here, and here.
If you have any information or reports regarding the mystery noises, described as loud crashes of unknown origin, consider emailing us with your story.by