Earthquake Booms, 'Seneca Guns', and Other Sounds - Earthquake "booms" have been reported for a long time, and in the US they tend to occur more in the Northeastern US and along the East Coast. There have been many reports of "booms" that cannot be explained by man-made sources. No one knows for sure, but scientists speculate that these "booms" are probably small shallow earthquakes that are too small to be recorded, but large enough to be felt by people nearby. In New Madrid, Missouri, there are accounts of "artillery-like" sounds that were said to have occurred before or during the New Madrid earthquakes of 1811-1812. [Mystery booms coming from deep in the plate boundary were reported in Indonesia for many months before the December 2004 quake and tsunami.]

Meteors exploding in the atmosphere are a possible cause of other unexplained booms, which are sometimes described as skyquakes.

There does not appear to be any agreement on what causes the booms of the 'Seneca guns'. They have been occurring in several places around the eastern U.S. and in India for at least a century or two.


MYSTERY BOOMS reported in 2005 -

12/23/05 - MORE BOOMS in NORTH CAROLINA - Carolina Beach authorities were investigating reports of three loud booms in the area Tuesday. About 4:20 p.m., numerous residents heard a loud boom and some felt the building they were in shake. Officials were unaware of what may have caused the booms, but were looking at causes ranging from a plane flying too low to the ground to an earthquake. The U.S. Geological Survey Earthquake Center said it had no record of an earthquake along the North Carolina coast and local police said that there were no scheduled activities in the area that would have caused the booms or the buildings to shake.
Thousands of people reported hearing a series of explosive "booms" all across New Hanover County and in some sections of Brunswick County late Tuesday afternoon. Thoughts of the nuclear power plant exploding, an earthquake or a terrorist strike are just some of the theories that were tossed around after hearing the sounds.
Most of the information is pointing towards some type of military exercise. "It was a series of kabooms. It was just like an explosion." "I sort of jerked and almost lost my balance, and I noticed it was lasting longer that the ones we had heard in the past." The weather service reported seeing some military activity about 30 miles off shore at about 4:00 p.m. Tuesday and one viewer in Wrightsville Beach said she saw about nine military jets flying over head, but the Military is not confirming or denying any reports. The continental shelf shifting - an unstable piece of land off shore - is another theory, but geologists say it's very unusual for loud explosive noises to go along with that or an earthquake for that matter.

MYSTERIOUS BOOMS AGAIN - 11/23/05 - in ISRAEL - Just three weeks after dozens of residents from across Israel reported unusually loud “booms” and tremors throughout the night, residents again reported hearing loud boom-like sounds in different parts of the country Tuesday, mainly in coastal regions, claiming their homes shook as a result.
Police officials confirmed people reported they heard “explosions,” but added that the source remains unknown. No unusual military activity that may have caused the “explosions” was detected, and the Seismology Institute said no earthquakes were recorded. Most of those who reported of the blasts reside in the Sharon region, in central Israel; they said the shockwaves came from the direction of the sea. Last time the Air Force said, “this is an unusual phenomenon in which cold and warm layers are alternately formed in the air, and the sound waves move like a ping pong ball between the ground and layers."

10/29/05 - ISRAEL - Dozens of residents from across Israel heard unusually loud “explosions” and tremors throughout the night, but attempts to shed light on the source of the blasts has been met with uncertainty. At least one possibility has been discounted, with the country’s seismological institute saying no earthquake occurred. Police officials estimated the loud sounds were a result of sonic booms created by IDF fighter jets on their way to attacking Gaza, but the army insisted there was no unusual Air Force activity across the country overnight. Many residents said the explosions came from the direction of the sea. “Police personnel who heard the blasts themselves said they sounded like sonic booms. We still don’t know what caused the explosions. We had similar reports during the week.” Police in Haifa also received calls regarding a possible earthquake, but no damages were reported. The nighttime explosions have apparently become a routine occurrence throughout the Sharon region, north of Tel Aviv. In recent nights there have been other reports about blasts heard in the town of Herzliya, but the source of them is unclear. “It was a scary blast. The windows shook and we felt the entire house shake. The first thing that came to mind was a terror attack…we weren’t able to figure out what caused the first blast, and minutes later a second blast followed.” The blast was so powerful it knocked one door out. The owner said he thought an earthquake was behind the unusual occurrence. “It wasn’t like an explosion, but rather, the entire building shook.”

10/19/05 - INDIANA -More Fort Wayne residents have reported hearing more of those mysterious earth-shaking booms. After four months of silence, residents of a neighborhood on the city's northeast side say they heard two of the booms within hours of each other Monday. The booms, which rattle homes, have been heard primarily on the northeast side over the last year. Police investigations have not found an exact cause for the huge booms.
[Earlier Florida reported mystery booms, but I do not have the exact date.]

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