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Tuesday, 21 November 2017

What is causing the mysterious 'booms' heard in 64 locations around the world this year?

  • Most recently, a 'boom' was heard across much of the north of Alabama
  • Suggested causes include supersonic aircrafts, a ground explosion, or a bolide
  • Other booms have occurred in Cairns on October 10 and Abergavenny on May 11 
  • Incidents of these mystery booms are becoming more frequent

  • Residents in Alabama were left baffled last week when a loud boom resounded across much of the state.
    The boom, nicknamed 'Bama Boom', has left experts stumped, with suggested causes ranging from supersonic aircrafts to meteors exploding in the atmosphere.
    This isn't the first time that the mysterious sound has been heard, and incidents are becoming more frequent according to some reports. 
    This year alone, similar noises have been reported 64 times this year, in locations including Michigan, Lapland, St Ives, Swansea and Yorkshire.

    Mysterious booms have been reported 64 times this year, in locations including Michigan, Lapland, St Ives, Swansea and Yorkshire. Incidents are becoming more frequent according to some reports.
    Mysterious booms have been reported 64 times this year, in locations including Michigan, Lapland, St Ives, Swansea and Yorkshire. Incidents are becoming more frequent according to some reports.

    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.'
    The service suggested that the sound was either caused by a sonic boom from aircraft, or a meteorite from the Leonid shower.
    But Nasa has since cast doubt on these explanations.
    Speaking to ABC 3340, Bill Cooke, head of Nasa's Meteoroid Environment Office, said that the boom could have been caused by a supersonic aircraft, a ground explosion, or a bolide - a large meteor that explodes in the atmosphere unrelated to the Leonid shower.
    While the noise was picked up by the US Geological Survey, data suggests that the boom wasn't the result of an earthquake.
    The boom may have been caused by a military flight by a supersonic jet, although the US Air Force is yet to confirm this.
    The Bama Boom is just one of many mysterious booms heard worldwide this year.
    Idaho, November 15 
    Cause: Unknown 
    The day after the boom in Alabama, a similar noise was heard in Idaho.
    Multiple people reported hearing a loud boom over the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley around 23:00.
    Many of the reports described the sound as being similar to a sonic boom, although its cause and location remain unclear.

    Idaho, November 15 
    Cause: Unknown 
    The day after the boom in Alabama, a similar noise was heard in Idaho.
    Multiple people reported hearing a loud boom over the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley around 23:00.
    Many of the reports described the sound as being similar to a sonic boom, although its cause and location remain unclear. 
    Cairns, October 10 
    Cause: Unknown, suggested explanations include a meteorite, a gas bottle explosion or military plane 
    On October 10, a boom was heart over Cairns, Queensland that had the city baffled.
    .



    While the noise in Alabama was picked up by the US Geological Survey (graph  pictured), data suggests that the boom wasn't the result of an earthquake
    While the noise in Alabama was picked up by the US Geological Survey (graph  pictured), data suggests that the boom wasn't the result of an earthquake
    Residents' theories ranged from a meteorite to a gas bottle explosion or military plane.
    A FA-18 Hornet plane was heard flying over Cairns the previous night, but no jets were flying on the night when the 'explosion' happened.

    Abergavenny, May 11
    Cause: Unknown 
    Residents in Abergavenny, Wales, were also shocked after they heard a series of booms on May 11.

    Speaking to the Abergavenny Chronicle, one resident said: 'It nearly gave me a heart attack it was that loud. At first I thought it was shotgun blast or a firework, but it was way too loud for that. It sounded more like a tank going off.
    'My husband said it was probably mini meteors colliding with the earth, but have you ever heard such nonsense?'
    Again, the source of the Welsh booms have remained unsolved.
    But other booms this year have had explanations behind them.

    Lapland, November 17 
    Cause: Falling meteor 
    On November 17, a boom in Lapland was caused by a fireball from a falling meteor. 
    Footage showed a bright light in the sky over Inari in Finland - but the flash was so intense it was also seen in Russia's Kola Peninsula and in northern Norway.
    Stargazers reported seeing the sky 'light up like day' for a few seconds alongside a loud noise as the space rock plummeted towards Earth. 
    Eyre Peninsula, October 27
    Cause: Falling meteor 
    On October 27, another boom was heard over Eyre Peninsula in Australia, as a bright blue meteor shot across the sky.

    Other booms have been known to be caused by secret military missions. On May 7, a boom rattled Central Florida, caused by a military mission ending at the Kennedy Space Centre (stock image)
    Other booms have been known to be caused by secret military missions. On May 7, a boom rattled Central Florida, caused by a military mission ending at the Kennedy Space Centre (stock image)

    WHAT COULD THEY BE? 

    In 2017 alone, 64 booms have been heard worldwide. 
    The cause of most of the booms remains a mystery, although several explanations have been suggested.  
    1) Sonic booms 
    A sonic boom is the sound associated with the shock waves created by an object traveling through the air faster than the speed of sound – such as supersonic aircrafts.
    Sonic booms generate significant amounts of sound energy, sounding like an explosion to the human ear. 
    2) Military exercises
    Many unexplained loud noises can be put down to military training, either at Army or Naval bases or in remote areas used for such exercises.
    3) Controlled explosions  
    A controlled explosion is a method for detonating or disabling a suspected explosive device, such as bags left at train stations.
    4) Unusual weather
    Many loud noises link back to unusual weather events, such as electrical storms or thunder storms.  
    5) Meteors
    Large meteors passing above Earth often produce shock waves that can be heard as a sonic boom. 
    6) Sound amplified from aircraft
    Some have suggested that the sound was due to inversion - a phenomenon that occurs when a layer of warm air sits over a layer of cooler air, magnifying the sound of an aircraft miles away.   
    7) Aliens 
    Some conspiracy theorists claim that the mysterious booms are noises created by aliens - although there is no evidence to support this. 

    On November 17, a boom in Lapland was caused by a fireball from a falling meteor. Footage showed a bright light in the sky over Inari in Finland - but the flash was so intense it was also seen in Russia's Kola Peninsula and in northern Norway
    The loud bangs weren't caused by the fireball hitting Earth, and instead were caused by the change in pressure as the meteor soared through the air.
    Speaking to News.com.au, Renee Sayers, a spokeswoman from the Desert Fireball Network, explained: 'The shock wasn't from it hitting the ground; It is like a sonic boom shock, a pressure shock.'  
    Central Florida, May 7
    Cause: Supersonic flight testing 
    Other booms have been known to be caused by secret military missions. 
    On May 7, a boom rattled Central Florida, caused by a military mission ending at the Kennedy Space Centre.
    The US Air Force tweeted: 'The Air Force #X37B #OTV4 has returned from orbit and landed safely at @NASAKennedy.' 


    MYSTERY BOOMS IN 2017

    November 18 - Michigan      
    November 19 - Damascus - caused by airstrikes      
    November 17 - Lapland - caused by meteor      
    November 15 - Idaho      
    November 14 - Alabama     
    November 8 - Tennessee      
    November 4 - Oregon      
    November 3 - Minnesota      
    November 1 and 2 - New Jersey and San Diego      
    October 27 - Eyre Peninsula - caused by meteor      
    October 25 - New Jersey      
    October 20 - British Columbia      
    October 17 - North Carolina      
    October 10 - Detroit      
    September 25 - St Ives     
    September 22 - Temple Terrace, Florida      
    September 17 - Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey, Ohio     and Massachusetts - caused by meteor  
        
    September 7 - Moranbah, Australia      
    May 30 - Tauranga, New Zealand      
    May 26 - Kent      
    May 24 - Texas      
    May 19 - Massachusetts     
    May 16-17 - Lincolnshire      
    May 13 - Ontario - caused by earthquake      
    May 12 - Tennessee      
    May 11 - Abergavenny, Wales      
    May 7 - Florida - caused by secret military mission      
    April 25 - San Diego      
    April 17 - Michigan      
    April 15 - Michigan      
    April 9 - Maine      
    April 3 - Texas      
    March - Vermont      
    March 27 - Cornwall      
    March 26 - Arizona      
    March 25 - Gordonvale, Australia      
    March 22 - Wisconsin      
    March 13 - Virginia - caused by earthquake      
    March 12 - New York      
    March 11 - Kentucky      
    March 5 - Montreal      
    March 2 - Nottingham      
    February 27 - Louisiana     
    February 13 - Ohio     
    February 12 - Indiana      
    February 10 - Pennsylvania      
    January 30 - New Orleans      
    January 30 - Washington D.C      
    January 29 - Maryland      
    January 24 - San Diego      
    January 20 - Swansea      
    January 19 - New Orleans      
    January 18 - North Carolina      
    January 17 - Canterbury      
    January 16 - Beddgelert, Wales      
    January 16 - Greater Manchester      
    January 13 - Marseilles      
    January 12 - North Yorkshire      
    January 6 - Louisiana      
    January 6 - Oregon      
    January 5 - Liverpool      
    January 4 - Missouri      
    January 4 - Washington      
    January 3 - Connecticut


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