It’s that time again: the weekly mystery boom round-up. Unexplained and powerful explosions continued to shake the ground throughout the United States this week with seemingly little attention paid to them by elected officials and law enforcement agencies. What on Earth (or off) could be causing these booms?
On February 5, the Tucson News Now reported an Earth-rattling explosion felt throughout Tucson. Residents took to social media to share their experience with the booms, which apparently have been baffling residents of southern Arizona for years. Several of the noises have been powerful enough to register on seismograph. The Tucson News Now reached out to the three closest military installations to Tucson, and while Luke Air Force Base confirmed that their exercises produced sonic booms in the area on the same day, the times at which the base reported those booms occurred did not correspond with the times of the noises reported by residents.
A few days later on February 7, residents along the Wake County-Franklin County line in North Carolina reported sudden and terrifying loud booms. According to CBS 17, many homeowners “walls rattled and floors shook when mysterious blasts occurred nearby.” While the nearby Seymour Johnson Air Force Base was a prime suspect, officials there denied all responsibility for the booms. As in many other modern cases of mystery booms, explosive firearms targets containing tannerite were also suspected, although gun store owners interviewed by CBS 17 say it’s doubtful the small targets could cause such loud booms heard throughout such large areas.
On February 11, residents of Davidson, North Carolina were also frightened by a mysterious loud boom. “I swear it like shook our entire house," Davidson Jacqueline Hawtin told local NBC affiliate WCNC. "I was scared." Construction sites in the area were suspected, but the similarity with the innumerable other cases over the last several years likely suggests this one will remain unsolved.
The Week in Booms ended on Valentine’s Day as mystery booms were reported in East Louisville, Kentucky. People in several neighborhoods have been hearing booms for months without any official explanation, and some witnesses even report bright flashes of light which coincide with the anomalous sounds. Local news station WLKY reached out to the University of Louisville Geology Department and nearby rock quarries, but so far the booms remain unexplained.
While I personally feel that sonic booms are to blame, that leaves the question of why they seem to be occurring with increasing frequency all throughout the country. If these are sonic booms, what might the Air Force be up to? Is American airspace being threatened by an adversary or unknown force, prompting bases to scramble jets at supersonic speeds? Or are these merely exercises or training drills? If so, again, why the sudden increase in frequency?
So many questions, and so few answers. Will we ever find out what’s behind these unexplained booms? The silence of federal law enforcement agencies is deafening given the frequency and scope of the phenomenon. Who knows something we don’t know, and why aren't they telling us?