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 March 2010

LOUISIANA - 3/8/10 - 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.