Mysterious boom sounds have baffled people all over the planet throughout the past year. There have been 64 recorded incidents within the last 12 months, with the majority heard on the east coast of the USA, but also reported everywhere from the Middle East to Australia. Experts have no clear answer as to the cause of these sounds, but theories range from Leonid shower meteorites exploding in the atmosphere to supersonic aircrafts.
The most recent bang resounded over the US state of Alabama on November 14. Dubbed “Bama boom,” the noise shook houses and terrified locals. Residents notified authorities of a suspicious sound that rattled windows and seemed to originate on the northwest side of Lochbuie, Alabama. They could not figure out the source of the noise, however, and have ruled out an explosion as they could not find flames or an odor indicating one.
Photo: U.S. Navy
The Birmingham National Weather Service tweeted: “Loud boom heard: we do not see anything indicating large fire/smoke on radar or satellite; nothing on USGS indicating an earthquake.”
Alabama locals took to Twitter to report the latest event. One user described it as “an incredibly loud boom” that “shook the entire house.”
Previously, on October 10, a similar incident left Australians in Cairn confused and frightened. Two weeks after that another boom resounded over the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia, and reportedly at the same time, a blue meteor passed across the sky.
Photo: Navicore/Wikimedia Commons
“It just got bigger and bigger, and it was just this big flash across the sky, and there were sparks coming off it,” Port Lincoln local Lisa Watson told News Corp. “I pulled up home, and I heard two massive bangs, maybe a second apart, and then the sky lit up again… I just felt the whole earth shake twice.”
Other locations that have reported similar incidents include Swansea, Yorkshire, Lapland, and St Ives. According to some reports, these so-called Bama Booms are becoming more frequent.
Bill Cooke, the head of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office, recently admitted that his department does not have clear answer as to what is causing the mysterious loud noises. He states that the boom could not have been caused by the Leonid meteor shower, but adds that it might have been a bolide, which is a significant meteor that explodes in the atmosphere.
“The sound was not caused by a Leonid meteor,” Cooke stated, “Which is the light produced by a fragile bit of comet hitting the atmosphere at over 150,000 miles per hour. At such speeds, the particle does not last long, burning up completely at altitudes of 60 miles or so. Leonids never penetrate low enough into Earth’s atmosphere to produce sounds audible on the ground.”
The U.S. Geological Survey’s Lakeview Retreat in Alabama picked up seismic data that showed a loud boom had occurred, and 600 miles away in southern Ontario The Elginfield Infrasound Array picked up a matching infra-sound signal beginning at the same time. According to Cooke, Nasa will continue to analyze the available data with the hope of determining the origin of the sound.