This is an “ear-witness” account of the fabled “Seneca guns,” the common name used to describe mysterious booms now reported from around the world. My father sent me this report after hearing the booms while working on his house in Wilmington, NC, not far from Cape Fear, where these strange booms have been heard before. He contacted me a few times to comment and provide some more information, his story is presented here in the order it was received…
It was about 2 this afternoon and I was outside up on the ladder painting trim when the world shook for about 2 seconds with a loud boom, I could feel the ladder shake. Mom came running out thinking I had fallen off the ladder. I knew what it was… The Seneca Guns. These booms have been reported here since the 1800′s and nobody knows what they are. Over the years I have read investigative reports but they can not figure it out. No seismic record, no military exercises and certainly not airplanes. Weather was clear and bright with mid 60′s temp.
The term Seneca Guns came from James Fennimore Cooper in a short story he wrote in the 1800′s about unexplained booms heard around Lake Seneca in New York.
I have heard the noise about five times since we moved here. Interesting, with absolutely no explanation. There was no echo or follow up sounds. Just one big boom and tremor that lasted about two to three seconds. As I said, I have been through this at least five times in the last 15 years and the next day discussion is always the same.
The newspaper had a nice article about it today. Same old story, same old theories. Nobody knows for sure but they said that they checked the seismic records for yesterday and there was nothing. One theory is that it was a massive slide of the continental shelf but I would think that if it was related to land slides in the Atlantic there would have been a seismic tremor.
There was an interesting posting on the Weather Underground, one of my favorite sites for weather, about this with some good links.
The Next Day…
Friends of ours said that about 10:30 this morning (Saturday, 11/6) their apartment shook and there was a loud boom. All the neighbors were out trying to see what it was. I was here at my desk at that time and heard or felt nothing. When I mentioned the boom yesterday (Friday) at 2 they said they were in the condo and did not hear or feel a thing. It is a distance of about 10 miles.
Here is a report from a guy south of us who heard both booms and a third also:
“I felt a large one yesterday (11-5-2010) in Kure Beach around 2:15pm, large enough to rattle the front door and just felt another smaller one today (11-6-2010) around 10:10am, much smaller than yesterdays but still noticeable, then a smaller rumble around 10:20. I was just Googling to try and find out what it was and stumbled upon this article. Interesting phenomenon for sure.”
The two today were of a lower intensity which would explain why I did not hear them.
Other related articles online:
Star News Online: Booms rattle Southeastern NC residents for second time…
Scientists hear Mystery Boom from Space
Star News Online: Mysterious Booms rock Cape Fear region
Seneca Guns or Mistpouffers on Wikipedia
So, what do you think? Sonic booms? Geological? Atmospheric? Non-disclosed military exercises?