The mystery boom phenomenon continues worldwide without any official explanation. While these incidents are spread out around the globe, the similarities among all of these unexplained ground-shaking booms are too striking to ignore. Even more striking is the deafening silence of law enforcement and governmental agencies. Are these all merely unconnected natural events? Why the sudden and sharp increase in frequency, then?

February has seen (heard?) cities all throughout North America rattled by powerful and mysterious explosion-like sounds. The phenomenon continued this week as cities in South Carolina, Arkansas, Kentucky, and England were rattled by unknown booms. It all began on February 18 when residents of the Charleston, South Carolina area felt the ground shake and heard a powerful boom. Geologists with the College of Charleston said that while they’re investigating the reports, it appears the noise was likely a sonic boom. The area is home to Joint Base Charleston, a military complex which houses units from every branch of the military.

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U.S. Air Force units stationed at Joint Base Charleston routinely conduct exercises around Charleston.

The next day, residents of Nottingham, England reported a late night “explosion” heard for miles. Concerned residents described the sound as “like a bomb going off,” and have suspected either a meteorite or explosive device. Louise Hunt of St. Ann's said the noise was too powerful to have been terrestrial in origin and believes its perpetrator originated from space:

It was like a big explosion, I put a status on Facebook and a few of my friends replied all saying they heard it too. It was really strange as we heard no sirens afterwards my partner then suggested it could if been a meteorite that exploded in mid-air somewhere.

When asked for comment from Nottinghamshire Live, Nottinghamshire Police merely shrugged, said they’ve “received no reports,” and presumably went back to their crosswords.

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Nottingham, England.

Back in the US, another terrifyingly loud set of booms rattled Fort Knox, Kentucky on February 22 - although these seem to have an explanation. The U.S. Army’s Marine Detachment has been conducting live fire tank training this week, creating booms loud enough to be heard 30 miles away. While residents of Fort Knox are used to the loud noises generated by military exercises, residents in surrounding areas say the noises usually don’t travel so far. Why the sudden change?

The month in mystery booms continued in the cities of Ward and Beebe, Arkansas, where residents heard a loud, unexplained explosion on February 24. Local police forces acknowledged the booms but asked residents not to call them in unless there was a “real” emergency.

Meanwhile, residents of east Tennessee continue to be terrified by unexplained booms which have returned to their town. The Morristown-Hamblen Emergency Management Agency is attempting to assure residents to stay calm, saying it has passed local reports onto state safety agencies.

Every week I write a round-up of the week’s mystery booms, and every week I’m left to wonder what’s behind the phenomenon. There are far too many identical incidents occurring each week for this to be merely a coincidence. Someone out there knows something the public doesn't. 

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"Shhh. The Masked Singer is on. Keep shopping. OBEY."

Or maybe not. Maybe these are merely unconnected and insignificant natural phenomena. Is my obsession with these booms all a case of the Baader-Meinhof effect in which individuals first notice a phenomenon or occurrence only to then see the same phenomenon everywhere? If it were only me hearing these noises I might think so, but the fact that they’re receiving the attention of at least local news outlets shows that the phenomenon has been heard and felt by thousands if not tens of thousands of individuals around the world. What is causing these mystery booms?

Brett Tingley

Brett Tingley is a writer and musician living in the ancient Appalachian mountains.

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