It’s that time again, readers: the weekly mystery boom round up. These unexplained, powerful explosion-like sounds have been shaking the ground around the world with a worrisome increase in frequency lately, and if you ask me, not enough attention is being paid to them. While there are many different possible explanations for these anomalous sounds, the similarities among them are striking and seem to suggest one overriding phenomenon may be occurring. What could be causing these booms, and why are the ‘official’ channels so silent?
In my home state of North Carolina, residents of Johnston County have been reaching out to law enforcement for answers about the earth-rattling booms which have been shaking their homes for weeks. This week, one of the booms was so powerful it seemed to disturb the air. "It was a little bit of a weird atmosphere then, boom a loud bang," said Clayton, North Carolina resident Rocky Hall. "When I mean loud, I mean it took the air out of your chest... it sucked right out of you and then everybody came running out of the houses and stuff.” The Wake County and Johnston County Sheriff's Offices say their phones have been “ringing off the hook” this week due to the booms, but so far no evidence of their origin has been found.
Much farther north, people in southern Idaho have been reportedly hearing and feeling booms for weeks. The booms have been so prevalent that local radio station KEZJ has begun polling residents to see just how widespread this unexplained phenomenon may be. One local professor of geology believes the mysterious "skyquakes" are related to a nearby bombing range, but a spokesperson for the Mountain View Air Force station says the base had no aircraft in the air at the time the "skyquakes" were reported. However, the same spokesperson added that they "could not confirm that a separate military outfit wasn't responsible for the noise."
This next incident seems to close the case of the mysterious explosions which have plagued neighborhoods in northwest Phoenix, Arizona since last November. In that case, mysterious booms were accompanied in some cases by unexplained flashes of light and even flying debris, two details which seemed to suggest someone was testing improvised explosives. Those suspicions were confirmed this week as Phoenix Police recently arrested Houston Willis, a man they say has been detonating explosives all over town including on the grounds of an elementary school.
Last July, the FBI helped arrest the owner of a chemical supply company who had also been detonating homemade explosives throughout Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Are more of these mystery booms being caused by would-be bomb makers? Why are so many people constructing homemade explosives? Given the current sociopolitical climate in the US and the fact that several would-be terrorist plots have already been foiled, these developments are worrisome to say the least.
Still, it seems that not all mystery booms can be chalked up to idiots playing with combustible materials. In central Missouri, residents reported a loud boom on the morning of March 4. Columbia Police and Emergency Management officials scrambled to locate the source of the noise before aerospace giant Boeing claimed responsibility. It turns out Boeing was performing a “functional check on a military aircraft” in the area, and while the company’s statement did not include the term “sonic boom,” it’s pretty clear that they broke the sound barrier as part of the test.
I’ve suspected for a while now that many of these booms are caused by military aircraft, but this is one of the few times that anyone has actually stepped forward to claim responsibility. Here we are hundreds of cases later with explanations provided in only a few incidents. Are these mystery booms not as related as they seem? Are there more would-be terrorists testing improvised explosive devices throughout the country? Is the military industrial complex testing new aerospace technology in secret? While a few cases have now been closed, the mystery only increases in terms of the hundreds of cases which still remain unsolved.