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Sound Quakes -

Unusual Booms,


NORTH CAROLINA AND OHIO JOLTED BY MYSTERIOUS BOOMS WILMINGTON -- Gerry @ Far Shores reports mysterious booming noises that have shaken the Cape Fear coast from time to time returned last week, prompting calls to meteorologists and earthquake specialists from worried residents.  The National Earthquake Information Center in Boulder, Colo., detected no major earth movement in the area.  Modern theories include that the booms are caused by jets breaking the sound barrier, the shifting of the continental shelf, or a volume of air suddenly becoming hotter than the air surrounding it and exploding like a balloon. ASHTABULA, Ohio.  Sky booms accompanied by quivering of the ground was reported Friday, January 19, 2001, at 9:13 PM in this community on the shore of Lake Erie.  The booms sounded similar to explosions but no source was found.  Police and fire dispatchers fielded several calls from folks in Saybrook and Ashtabula Townships and in Ashtabula who felt the unexplainable tremor.  'The seismographic site did report some kind of blip,' Ed Semppi, director of the Ashtabula County Emergency Management Agency said, 'But there's no reason as to what happened yet.'  Officials from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Geologic Survey in Columbus had noticed a tremor-like vibration at their Jefferson- based seismographic site."   Thanks to the Ashtabula Star-Beacon for January 21, 2001" source Filier's Files back to sky quake reports Night Sky Boom Rattles Australians, Baffles Police  Tuesday December 26 8:44 PM ET SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australian authorities were baffled on Wednesday by overnight reports of bright lights and booming noises in the sky which shook some houses and prompted fears of falling space junk or meteorites. Police said they received numerous reports of ``explosions in the sky, sonic boom-type noises and flare-type lights'' over a two hour period on Tuesday night from residents along a 124 mile stretch of the country's east coast. ``There was a huge bang which shook my house,'' one resident of Bateman's Bay, 177 miles south of Sydney, told Australian Broadcasting Corp radio. ``I thought the house next door had blown up,'' he said. Police said they had contacted meteorology, air safety, emergency, and defense experts, but were unable to come up with any official reason behind the unusual night sky action. A number of small grass fires were also sparked around the nearby capital of Canberra at about the same time, they said. ``No debris has been found,'' a police spokesman told Reuters. The noise and lights prompted fears the accident prone Mir Space station could be making an uncontrolled return to earth after Russian space officials lost contact with the 130-ton craft for 24 hours until late on Tuesday. The craft, which remains safe in orbit, is to be dumped in the Pacific Ocean, 900 to 1,200 miles off Australia, in late February. Australia's Deep Space Communications Complex said a small meteorite was the most likely explanation for the sightings. ``That would cause a sonic boom and would also cause some good flares around it,'' operations supervisor Ian Warren told domestic news agency Australian Associated Press. back to sky quake reports   Sonic Boom Does Heavy Damage Gainesville, Florida June 28, 1958 UPI An aeronautical engineering professor said Saturday that damage caused by an apparent "sonic boom" here last week was the greatest reported anywhere in the country from such an incident. The blast shook this university city June 17 when 84 reports of broken windows were called in to local officers. Damage was estimated at between $10,000 and $20,000. John W. Hoover, University of Florida instructor, said generally "sonic blasts occur when aircraft attain a speed equal or faster than the speed of sound." But he said the specific reason for the explosions was difficult to explain. Several witnesses reported seeing Navy jets, at about the time of the explosion which knocked out windows in business and residential buildings.   A Navy spokesman at Jacksonville told the United Press International that a board of inquiry, failed to determine if the blast was caused by a Navy plane breaking the sound barrier.  back to sky quake reports Bulletin Probes ‘Boom’ Mystery BAXTER BULLETIN, Mountain Home, AR - Jan. 4, 2001   by FRANK WALLIS Bulletin Staff Writer   The Baxter Bulletin is attempting to discover the origin of things that go bump in the night.  The Bulletin has received several reports of loud noises that occurred generally in the coldest hours of the night Jan. 1 and 2. Descriptions of the noises range from like a "sonic boom" to "a hammer" hitting against a floor joist.  The U.S. Geological Survey offices in Memphis, Tenn., reported no seismic activity (commonly associated with an earthquake) in The Twin Lakes Area on Jan. 1 or 2.  Whatever the origin of the noises, the events seem also to share one common characteristic they are usually confined to a relatively small area which would seem to rule out the possibility of a sonic boom created by aircraft breaking the sound speed barrier.  A boom at a residence on Spring Lake Drive around 10:45 p.m. Jan. 1 and again the night of Jan 2 may be representative of other noises heard across The Twin Lakes Area. The boom CR: L. Wiliett the night of Jan. 1 was loud enough to frighten the occupants of the house, but not loud enough to be noticed by next-door neighbors. To add to the mystery, a neighbor's dogs that usually bark at the slightest sound or motion in the night were silent. Brent Wurfel, physics instructor at Arkansas State University Mountain Home, said prolonged cold temperatures and water offer at least two possibilities. Wurfel offers a theory of slabs of water-saturated rock freezing and cracking. Thick sheets office on lawns also may shift and crack, he said.  Steve Stafford, a U.S. forest ranger at Blanchard Springs, said ice in the quiet forest offers an array of constant sounds. In trees, it can sound", like "a shooting war," he said. Ranger John Thomas said "old-timers" tell tales of cold weather causing booming-and-crashing sounds in houses and larger structures like barns. Thomas said a large timber at the base of a load-bearing wall or in the ridge of a roof contracts in cold temperatures over a long period of time and may shift suddenly and emit a loud noise that seems to permeate the structure.  back to sky quake reports   Mystery Booms Rattle North Carolina Since 1850s By Jerry Allegood Raleigh News & Observer 9-1-1 FORT FISHER, N.C. -- The sound rolls in off the ocean like an invisible tidal wave, washing over houses with enough force to rattle windows and startling people who look uneasily to the ground and to the sky for an explanation. Boom. Rattle. Rattle boom. And it is over as quickly as it began. The mysterious noises have been reported as far back as the 1850s. Now, a Duke University seismologist hopes to find clues about the mystery sound's origins as a side benefit from an earthquake research project. Peter Malin, a seismology professor for 10 years, plans to monitor a sensor that has been placed deep in the ground at the Fort Fisher State Historic Site near Wilmington. The sensor is intended to record minor seismic activity that might indicate when more significant quakes can be expected. There is no explanation for the sounds, at least not one on which everyone agrees. Some say the rumbling is a sonic boom created by unseen aircraft. Others suggest top-secret military training offshore or maybe the earth moving on the ocean floor or deep below ground. Then there are the theories that gave the phenomenon its name, the Seneca Guns -- that the sound comes from the ghosts of American Indians firing guns to disturb descendants of those who drove them from their land. This name first arose in New York, then applied to North Carolina, even though there were no Seneca Indians there. Malin's hunch is that the booming noise originates in the atmosphere, although he has no particular theory on the cause. He heard the sound and saw its impact in July while preparing his project. Doors and windows shook, but the house didn't, he said, indicating to him that the ground did not move. Residents who have heard the noise for years have ruled out obvious suspects such as thunder because the booms have occurred on clear days when there were no clouds or lightning. Accounts of the rumbling date back to the days before airplanes, much less supersonic jets that fly fast enough to break the sound barrier. There is no particular pattern, although in the past they have been reported most often in the fall and spring. Other scientists have suggested that the interplay between water and weather might be causing the sounds. Some people say that the mystery should never to solved, but Malin says that there is good scientific basis for his wanting to figure it out.    back to sky quake reports Booming Scares Villagers - terrified by the noise of falling meteor November 16, 2001 Dozens of families fled their homes - fearing they had been struck by an earthquake. But the massive bang that shook their houses turned out to be the sound of a falling meteor. The space rock's shockwave set off burglar and car alarms. Terrified villagers in Eyemouth and nearby Ayton, Berwickshire, alerted police. But yesterday, experts claimed the sonic boom had been caused by a meteor entering the Earth's atmosphere at several times the speed of sound. Bennett Simpson, a seismologist with the British Geological Survey Centre, in Edinburgh, said such incidents were often mistaken for earthquakes. He said: "We have had reports of a number of unusual effects felt in the area. But this was not an earthquake. It is consistent with a meteor entering the Earth's atmosphere. "Something similar happened in Scotland a number of years ago and the reports were similar. It can be quite frightening." John Sinclair, from Ayton, said he had been watching television when his house was rocked by the boom at about 9pm on Tuesday. He said: "There was a loud thud and then everything began to shake. "I could hear car alarms going off as well - it was quite frightening really. We didn't know what had happened." The Royal Observatory in Edinburgh said they had no knowledge of a meteor passing over Scotland. But speculation that the boom may have been caused by an aircraft going supersonic was ruled out yesterday. The RAF said there was a ban on any jets going faster than the speed of sound over the UK. Daily Record, Glasgow - Scotland  back to sky quake reports   Sky Boom Rattles Alabama By Russ Corey Staff Writer February 16, 2002 TUSCUMBIA - What was thought to be an explosion at a Tuscumbia rock quarry Friday morning could have been a sonic boom caused by military aircraft flying in the area. Mike Melton, director of the Colbert County Emergency Management Agency, said the rumble apparently was caused by a sonic boom from a military aircraft. The sound caused windows to rattle throughout the Quad-Cities. Bryce Tidwell, a resident of the Valdosta area, said he assumed the blast came from Vulcan Materials, which operates a rock quarry off U.S. 72 in Tuscumbia. Tidwell said residents are used to the blasts, but the one Friday seemed much more powerful. "People ran outside to see what was going on," he said After Colbert residents began reporting hearing what sounded like a loud explosion, Melton began checking for possible causes. A call to the U.S. Air Force revealed that military aircraft were possibly flying over the Shoals on a training exercise about the time the rumble was heard at 8:30 a.m. "The military was real tight-lipped about what they were doing, but the best we can tell, a sonic boom from one of their jets is what everyone heard," Melton said. Vulcan Materials spokesman Eli Christopher said he received calls as well. Christopher said the worker in charge of Friday's blast indicated that nothing unusual occurred that would have made the blast that much louder that day. Christopher said he was later informed the blast that startled the residents could have been a sonic boom. "Maybe we're not 100 percent responsible for all this commotion (Friday) morning," Christopher said. Russ Corey can be reached at 740-5738 or  back to sky quake reports    MYSTERY JET STIRS EERIE ECHO OF 9/11 - Sky Quakes New York Post : Neil Graves  2/19/2002 Frightened New Yorkers - from lower Manhattan to Park Slope - thought they were reliving the Sept. 11 attacks when what appears to have been a military jet buzzed the city in the middle of the night. Residents said windows rattled and buildings quaked when a low-flying jet roared over the area at approximately 4:30 a.m. "I haven't been that scared since Sept. 11," said one Chelsea resident, who was jolted awake by the sound. A second shock wave of booming noise erupted a few minutes later, others reported. "My wife heard the plane coming through on 9/11, and she thought it was that all over again," said a man who lives near Ground Zero. A shaken Heidi Reich, of East 11th Street, said, "I thought I'd walk downstairs and not see the Empire State Building anymore." Air National Guard officials were unavailable to comment yesterday. Their F-15s and F-16s have been providing security since the terror attacks. Under regular protocol, the military must inform the FAA when it operates a flyover above the city. It is unclear if that's what happened yesterday. back to sky quake reports   Mystery Noise Gives Palm Bay The Shakes Florida Today, Melbourne, FL John A. Torres PALM BAY -- For now, it is a mystery. 2/22/2002 By mid-afternoon, just about everyone had a theory on the explosion-like boom that rattled windows in Palm Bay and southern Brevard County on Friday morning [Feb 22]. The boom occurred at about 8:45 a.m., and many described it as being similar to a sonic boom that occurs when the space shuttle approaches a Kennedy Space Center landing. There was no reported damage caused by the sound -- just a lot of curious residents. "I thought something exploded in my back yard," said Palm Bay resident Cheryl Smith. "I had just stepped out onto my porch when it happened. I jumped, and my cats jumped." Smith added her sister, visiting from out of town, came storming out, worried that a truck had crashed into the house. "We've already taken 200 calls on it from residents wondering what it was," said Lt. Richard Adams of the Palm Bay Police Department. "There was a loud boom that rattled windows in Palm Bay. We haven't been able to figure out what it was." Those sentiments were echoed by Melbourne International Airport officials, FAA Flight Service Stations in St. Petersburg, Miami and Fort Lauderdale and even Patrick Air Force Base after speculation centered on a military jet breaking the sound barrier. "I checked with our command post, and there was no military air activity in that area," said Lt. Eric Badger, a spokesman for Patrick Air Force Base. Indian River County sheriff's officials said they took calls from three counties about the blast. "We got so many calls that reception had to take some calls," said dispatcher Adrian Stewart. Morning dispatchers said calls were made to airports and even to Patrick, but none reported jets in the area at the time. But a Fellsmere police officer and two others witnessed a jet overhead at the time of the noise. "I was at work already. It sounded like a big explosion, and it moved our building it was so loud," said Maria Sanchez, administrative secretary for the Fellsmere Police Department. They took six calls questioning what had happened. "We told them we were pretty sure it was a jet," she said. The calls reached all the way south to Vero Beach. Police there said they received several calls about the boom, but they couldn't find any answers. Sebastian City Police also looked into the noise after receiving calls.  back to sky quake reports    Mysterious Feeble Earthquakes Occur Near Canberra Xinhua News Agency China - June 10, 2002 CANBERRA -- In the past six months, close to 100 earthquakes occurred in areas around a little village just north of the Australian Capital Territory. They didn't cause any damages but bored residents. The Canberra Times quoted Monday a resident living near the village of Sutton as saying that "It doesn't worry me. it's just a novelty. That's not to say it couldn't end up in some gigantic big bang somewhere down the track." The earthquakes were more often heard as a boom rather than felt as a shake, another resident said. The Australian continent seems to be sitting on a solid plate and no big earthquakes have been registered so far. In 1989, a quake hit Newcastle, a coastal city in New South Wales, killing one person. That was registered 5.6 on the Richter scale. Experts just can't explain the numerous small quakes. Enditem  back to sky quake reports Mysterious Rumble Shakes up Area Residents 1/14/2003 Kimberly Blair A sonic boom is the first thing Alan Woolford thought of when the walls and his desk started shaking around 3 p.m. Monday. "It wasn't your typical sonic boom," said Woolford, an artist for Blue Dolphin at Ellyson Field. "It just kept going and going, about five or seven seconds. It shook the whole building. My pedestal computer monitor was rocking and rolling back and forth." When he felt the ground beneath his feet tremble, he thought it was an earthquake. Residents from Century to Perdido Key and east to Milton flooded emergency call centers in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties reporting the boom that rattled doors and shook pictures off walls. The source of the vibration remained a mystery after emergency management and law enforcement officials ran into dead ends looking into the cause. The strongest indication pointed to a sonic boom. They ruled out a space shuttle flight over Northwest Florida. Military officials at Eglin and Hurlburt Field said they had no bombing or training missions that would have caused the rumble. Frank Miller, manager of the Pensacola Regional Airport, said there was no aircraft taking off or landing there that could cause a sonic boom. Officials with the Geological Survey of Alabama say seismic data does not point to an earthquake. "I have nothing showing an earthquake has occurred," said Dorothy Raymond, a geologist with the Survey in Tuscaloosa. The area was shaken in November 1997 when a quake measuring 4.9 struck near Brewton, Ala. Martin Chapman of Virginia Polytechnic's seismic department, which picked up that tremor, on Monday said his instruments were quiet. He said a meteor entering the atmosphere might cause a sonic boom of a magnitude described Monday. If the military is responsible for the boom, Catherine Olsen, who ran outside to investigate what shook her home near Cordova Mall, said, "they need to fess up. Everyone is so scared with everything going on in the world." This is not the first time the area has experienced a mysterious jolt. Similar unexplained tremors were reported in 1990 and 1991.  back to sky quake reports    Boom Still a Mystery Coffee, Moore, Franklin and Lincoln counties, Tennessee 1/14/2003 A loud noise rattled windows and shook buildings in a four-county area Saturday about 4:30 p.m. Authorities aren't sure what casued the noise, but it was suggested it may have been an aircraft sonic boom. The boom was heard and felt by persons throughout Coffee, Moore, Franklin and Lincoln counties while many were focusing their attention on the football game underway in Nashville between the Titans and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Scott Ulm, an employee at the Tennessee Corrections Academy in Tullahoma, said several employees heard the "boom" but exactly what caused it remains a mystery. "It was probably a sonic boom," he said. "But you can't tell for sure. All we heard is that there was a big blast." A sonic boom occurs when an airplane breaks the speed of sound. The boom, though loud and in some cases earth shattering, lasted only a few seconds. ? The Tullahoma News 2003   back to sky quake reports MYSTERY SKY BOOM & LIGHTS PUZZLE RESIDENTS OF NORFOLK, ENGLAND 2/16/03 A huge explosion overhead, reports of glowing lights in a field… it sounds like something out of the cult TV sci-fi show The X Files. But no, this was at Barnham Broom, near Norwich, and residents are still baffled about what went on one night last December. Parish councillor John Cowan was among dozens of villagers brought out of their homes by the sound of a huge explosion in the sky, at about 8pm on December 4. Residents are used to hearing military aircraft flying overhead from RAF Coltishall and other bases and thought a plane had crashed. Mr Cowan contacted the MP for South Norfolk Richard Bacon, who wrote to defence minister Dr Lewis Moonie asking him to investigate. Now Dr Moonie has responded but it seems the mystery has not been solved. "We heard this mammoth bang, it was really loud, everybody came out of their houses and looked up," said Mr Cowan, 28. "I got through to the police and they said a plane hadn't come down, but they had got lots of calls coming through. The house really shook, all the windows were shaking. It probably only lasted for five or 10 seconds." Mr Cowan is hoping someone somewhere might be able to offer an explanation for the experience, which has been ruled out as a sonic boom as it did not register on monitoring equipment. "On that night there was a lot of planes over head," added Mr Cowan. "Not much happens out in the country normally, but it's surreal. I'm sure there's a simple explanation, probably something really straightforward and silly." In his response to Mr Bacon, Dr Lewis said detailed investigations had been carried out. "I am pleased to confirm that no military aircraft, either British or American crash landed on that date and no aircraft was bought down by either airforce. "As part of the investigations…the British Geological Society was contacted to see if they could throw any light on the matter. However no sonic boom was registered on their equipment in the area on that day." A police spokeswoman confirmed they received three calls from the public between 8pm and 8.30pm that night, one describing a glow in a field, but added that "nothing untoward" had happened. back to sky quake reports   Theories Abound Days After Mysterious Manatee Boom 6/19/2003 DUANE MARSTELLER Herald Staff Writer MANATEE - The mysterious booming noise that shook portions of Manatee County continues to defy easy explanation, adding the local area to a growing list where the unexplained phenomenon has occurred. The thunderous blast, which rattled windows and residents' psyches from Anna Maria Island to East Manatee shortly before noon Monday, remained a hot topic of conversation days later. Theories as to the source abounded, but the answer continued to elude residents, officials and scientists alike. "It sounds like you have a good mystery down there," said Michelle Barret, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Geological Survey in Reston, Va. Manatee isn't alone. Similar inexplicable events have been reported in Pensacola; Cape Fear, N.C.; Dover, Del., and more than 20 other U.S. cities and towns in recent years. In all those places, the source of the startling booms has never been determined. And like those places, officials could only say what they thought the Manatee mystery wasn't. U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy officials dismissed a sonic boom from one of their jets as the source of the noise, saying none of their aircraft were in the skies above Manatee at the time. But that doesn't fly with some area residents, who said they heard two concussions - a loud clap, followed by a fainter one almost immediately afterward - that make it consistent with a sonic boom. "While I'm not surprised that the Air Force didn't admit to it, I'm quite sure that it was a military plane breaking the sound barrier," said Eric Seibert of Bradenton. "As a kid I used to hear B-58 bombers breaking the sound barrier as they flew out of an Indiana Air Force base. This was the same sound and effect." It might have been a military plane hundreds of miles away, said Dick Cutshall, who manages the airspace above Avon Park bombing range. Sonic booms can travel more than 100 miles under certain atmospheric conditions, bouncing off clouds and zones where cold and warm air meet, he said. No residents reported seeing military planes in the sky at the time of the boom, prompting some to speculate that it was a top-secret military flight of some sort. The Air Force has been rumored to be working on a hypersonic jet, which conspiracy theorists and UFO enthusiasts believe is behind several mysterious booms heard across the country. Air Force officials declined to comment. Others think Monday's burst was an explosion of some sort, but emergency officials said they would have known about it if there was one. Officials also discounted a reported transformer explosion at Albert Whitted Airport in St. Petersburg as a possible cause, saying it actually was a small electrical panel box that blew at 11:24 a.m. - more than 20 minutes before the booms heard in Manatee. "I would find it hard to believe that caused it because it was such a minor incident," said Lt. Rick Feinberg of St. Petersburg Fire & Rescue, which responded to the incident. "I really doubt it was this." Although Manatee residents also reported feeling the ground tremble along with the boom, it wasn't an earthquake, geologists said. Their sensitive seismic sensors, which have recorded sonic booms caused by space shuttles returning to Earth, detected nothing out of the ordinary anywhere in Florida on Monday. Nor was it weather-related, the National Weather Service in Ruskin said its equipment recorded no unusual weather conditions that could have caused the burst. That has left some Manatee residents to wonder if something more other-worldly is responsible. "If there is no explanation concerning meteorological events, planes or other possible solutions, could it be extraterrestrial?" asked resident Lori Fullerton-Melton. "Just a thought." Bland Pugh of Gulf Breeze, the Florida state director for the Mutual UFO Network , said he has not received any recent reports of UFO sightings in this part of the state. Residents elsewhere also are grappling with similar mysteries. The unexplained booms, also called sky booms and sky quakes, have occurred from Rhode Island to California in recent years. Residents in the Pensacola area have heard mysterious booms four times since 1989, most recently on Jan. 13 of this year, the Pensacola News Journal reported. Chattanooga, Tenn., citizens heard sky quakes on two successive Sundays earlier this month. Similar cases have been reported in Denver, Narragansett Bay, R.I., Los Angeles and several other cities since 1997, according to the Web site     back to sky quake reports Sonic boom? Earthquake? Big bang theories abound BY TERRY JOYCE Of The Post and Courier Staff The earthquake experts say it wasn't a shaker, and military authorities say they didn't have the kind of planes in the air that can make a sonic boom. But whatever it was, the noise that rattled Lowcountry communities about 1:30 p.m. Friday commanded a lot of attention. "There was this extremely loud, percussive noise," said Reynolds Pommering of Mount Pleasant. "My sister (on James Island) said she heard it, too, and that's eight miles across as the crow flies. I first thought somebody had run into the building." Local police said they didn't know what the noise was, but they received a lot of calls. "We've had no reports of any fires or explosions," said Charles Francis, a spokesman for the Charleston Police Department. "But we've gotten calls from Daniel Island, Wadmalaw and James Island." In like fashion, earthquake experts at Charleston Southern University and the University of South Carolina ruled out any temblors in the area. "We have nothing on our seismographs," said Abhijit Tantopadhyay with the S.C. Seismic Network at USC. Marlene Roberts with the Earthquake Education Center at CSU offered a similar remark. "I checked the charts and we had no earthquake on it," Roberts said. "We assume it must be a sonic boom." The Air Force, the S.C. Air National Guard and the Marines all have planes stationed in South Carolina that can break the sound barrier. But all three military bases insisted they had nothing in the air that could have created a sonic boom. "We get a lot of noise complaints," said Capt. Don Caetano, a spokesman for the Marine Corps Air Station at Beaufort. "But that's because people don't like F/A-18s flying low over their houses." Three of the nine fighter squadrons assigned to Beaufort were busy practicing the approaches they must use whenever they land on an aircraft carrier. All three will be deployed aboard the aircraft carrier Enterprise next month. But those approaches are flown at low speeds, not the 700-mile-an-hour clips needed to generate a sonic boom. And they flew nowhere near Charleston. Sonic booms can travel a long way, especially over water on a cloudy day, and the military often flies over water. But the list of suspects ran short after calls to Shaw Air Force Base and McEntire Air National Guard Station. Neither base had any of its supersonic F-16 fighters in the air. The Navy gets a clean bill, too. Navy spokesman Pat Dooling in Jacksonville said there were no carriers operating off the South Carolina coast that could have launched boom-making planes. Also, the Navy no longer has any supersonic jets assigned in Jacksonville. So what's left?One theory batted around was that it could be "Seneca Guns," a folk explanation used to describe unexplained booms often associated with the coast of North Carolina. Such booms have been experienced in North America since before the Age of Flight, some as early as the 18th century. Richard Thacker, a senior forecaster for the National Weather Service in Charleston who has studied the phenomenon, said there are a number of theories about what causes Seneca Guns, from gases being released from the sea floor to a sudden rush of cold air that hits the Gulf Stream. With phone calls pouring into the weather service Friday from Mount Pleasant to West Ashley, Thacker said his office wasn't sure what caused the boom. "It could be anything from a sonic boom to a Seneca Gun," he said. "We may never find out what caused it today." Terry Joyce covers the military. Contact him at or 745-5857. James Scott of The Post and Courier also contributed to this story. back to sky quake reports     Blasts Not Related to Seismic Activity: IMD Express News Service Jamnagar, September 2: EVEN as mysterious blasts and tremors continue to rock villages in Lalpur and Jamnagar talukas, the IMD team camping in the region has not been able to draw any conclusion. Declaring that the blasts are not related to seismic activity, the IMD team said that from now on geologists should observe the disturbances. Senior IMD team member K C Kondal said, ‘‘Our observation suggests that the blast and jerks experienced in the region are not related to any earthquake.’’ Elaborating further, Kondal said, ‘‘An earthquake produces waves from which its epicentre and intensity can be measured. But here, the phenomenon is localised and superficial. Jerks observed here are limited to small areas and often not recorded.’’ Most of these shocks are in the range of 1 to 1.5 intensity on the Richter scale. Though they have subsided in some villages, they continue in Jamnagar taluka, said the official. ‘‘Records on seismic activities are being sent to New Delhi on a daily basis, but even that hasn’t helped in drawing a conclusion,’’ said Kondal. He added, ‘‘I think that now this study should be handed over to geologists. The Geological Survey of India should be contacted in this regard.’’ He dismissed some media reports which suggested that it is a hydrological phenomenon following excessive rain in the region. ‘‘We have not reached any conclusion so far, but it’s not a hydrological phenomenon,’’ said Kondal. According to Kondal, two years ago, a similar phenomenon had been observed in Khandbahu region of Madhya Pradesh for six months. In Khandbahu, a large quantum of limestone had been found beneath the surface and a chemical reaction with water had caused tremors accompanied by blast-like sounds. But no one is sure whether the cause is same in Jamnagar district. Mild tremors accompanied by blast-like sounds have been rocking 15 villages of the district, with Lothia being the most-affected, where 20 such blasts have occurred in the past one month. A two-member IMD team comprising of K C Kondal and H P Verma, who have been camping in the district since August 23, have set up seismology equipment to record the intensity of these tremors. Meanwhile, people continue to spend the nights outside their houses, especially in Lothia, Chandergarh and Kojaberaja villages, where the maximum number of tremors have been felt. Many have shifted to tents installed by the Collector’s office. back to sky quake reports   Boom' a mystery for Watseka officials September 23, 2003 WATSEKA -- Watseka police are looking for the origins of the big booms that have been heard around town for a couple of weeks. Police Chief Donny King said Monday at the Public Safety Committee meeting that some loud booms happened late Sunday night and over the weekend. Alderman Ron Price reported three in his neighborhood in West Watseka Monday afternoon. There were six booms Sunday and two Monday on the east side of town, King said. "Have you checked the absentee list at school?" asked Alderman Silas Light. "That's an idea," King said. Captain Roger Lebeck said he doesn't think the booms are firearms but are probably fireworks. He opined they will probably find out who the culprit is when someone turns up with fingers missing. The Daily Journal, Kankakee, IL back to sky quake reports