– No fewer than 10 mystery sonic booms were reported yesterday between southern New Jersey along the East Coast to Long Island New York, according to scientists with the US geological survey (USGS).
The first was recorded at 1:24 p.m. EST around 2 miles northeast of Hammonton, New Jersey. During the next hour and a half USGS seismometers recorded at least nine more sonic booms along the coast as far north as Long Island. Sonic booms occur when aircraft or spacecraft travel at speeds greater than the speed of sound which is 761.2 mph. Once a vessel passes through the sound barrier a shockwave, also traveling faster than sound, causes the sonic boom, which can sound like a huge bomb exploding midair, according to John Bellini, a geophysicist with the USGS.
Incidences of unidentified explosions that sound like sonic booms have increased dramatically all over the country including Texas, California, Indiana and Georgia as well as yesterday along the eastern seaboard. Few of the instances can be explained by civil authorities. Earlier this month, Lucy banks shared on the DSW Scanner’s Facebook page: “Loud booms in Euless, Texas just now lots of them started off really loud and then got quieter.” On the same thread Kim Walk Prazak reports another boom in Keller, Tx. “Any ideas about their origin?”
Jennifer Whitacker reports 2 loud booms, the first was louder than the second in Indiana. Just remember that the New Madrid fault lies right under this state. Is the next big one around? And Becky Forrester Garrison reported blasts in northern Georgia. On Jan. 4. Meanwhile, Joshua D. from Gamewell, North Carolina heard another loud boom at about 7:50 pm the same Sunday evening.
The cause of yesterday’s sonic booms remains a mystery although it is speculated they probably were not explosions because such events would be spotted by satellites or eyewitnesses. Officials have also ruled out NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island in Virginia, which routinely launches small rockets and jet test flights from its Eastern Shore site. According to spokesman Keith Kohler, no rocket launches or jet flights occurred at the NASA center.
Loud booms are being heard and recorded around the world in escalating numbers. In 2014 a series of similar incidents were reported simultaneously in Britain and the US. Residents in Buffalo, Cheektowaga, Clarence and as far north as Niagara Falls took to social media to report the unusual noises. People described it as loud enough to shake their homes and rattle windows. Meanwhile, hundreds of Twitter users in the UK reported hearing similar sounds that also shook their windows. An audio recording of the ‘loud bangs’ was made by a woman as she sat at home in Croydon, south London. Authorities were unable to confirm the source. Claudia Angiletta from that region said that she was watching TV at home when similar unexplained sounds started.
Sonic boom like noises were reported long before aircraft capable of breaking the sound barrier were built on Earth. Do to social media the phenomenon is being reported far more frequently today, and includes audio recordings of incidents. Still, only a small number of the sonic booms, air bursts, sky quakes or whatever one chooses to call them are confirmed cases of supersonic flight by identified aircraft. Such a mystery leaves much to the imagination and can raise the level of anxiety a notch or two when experienced firsthand.